Spanish Pundit (II)

abril 10, 2007

Dead PC

Filed under: blog,blogging — Nora @ 12:58 pm
I’m sorry for not blogging but my PC is definitively kaputt. It has been going very bad lately, but, just after we have returned from Easter, it has said “No” to turning itself on. So I have lost all bookmarks, the RSS, etc. ;(
When I have the new one running I will blog again.

marzo 29, 2007

Italians charged in EU bribe case

Filed under: corrupción,Europa,Italy — Nora @ 9:54 am

From Deustche-Welle:

Three Italian nationals have been charged and are being held in custody in Brussels as part of a corruption probe into tenders awarded by the European Commission.

The three include a civil servant working for the European Commission, an assistant to a member of the European Parliament and a businessman, Belgian prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The three men, who live in Belgium and whose names were not given, were charged with forgery and using forged documents, corruption, fraud and forming a criminal organization, said spokesman Jos Colpin.

Large-scale bribery

“There were bribes of millions of euros for more than 10 years,” Colpin said.

The bribes were paid in relation to public tenders for buildings housing “European Commission delegations outside of EU territory,” he said.

The civil servant, aged 46, works for the Commission services responsible for managing delegations’ infrastructure.

The second person charged, aged 60, is the personal assistant of an Italian member of the European Parliament and the third person, 39, runs a real estate consortium.

Let’s see how far the accusation goes. But there is something that intrigues me: why telling all those data about the accusated men and not telling their names?

UPDATE: Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that the accused Italians are Sergio Tricarico, that is the assistant to the European Parliamentary Gianni Rivera, Giancarlo Ciotti, the Commission civil servant and Angelo Troiiano, the businessman.

It also reports that the accusation was made after charges were presented against the three of them were by a Finnish businessmen, who claimed he had been obliged to give them 345 millions of € (and he had to give them more, till 600 millions of €). The Finnish was going to build a Commission delegation in India.

Neither the Commission nor the accused have made any comments.

h/t Le Guerre Civile.

_________________

Tres Italianos han sido acusados y detenidos en Bruselas como parte de un procedimiento de corrupción en relación a sitios que son entregados por la Comisión Europea. Incluyen un funcionario que trabaja para la Comisión, un asistente de un miembro del Parlamento Europeo y un empresario, según los fiscales de la UE.

Los tres hombres, que viven en Bélgica y cuyos nombres no han sido anunciados, han sido acusados de falsificación y de uso de documentos falsificados, corrupción, fraude y formación de una organización criminal, según el portavoz Jos Colpin.

“Hubo sobornos de millones de euros durante más de 10 años!, añadió Colpin.

Los sobornos se pagaron en relación a solares públicos para construir “delegaciones de la Comisión Europea fuera del territorio de la UE.

El funcionario, de 46 años, trabaja para los servicios de la Comisión responsables de la infraestructura de las delegaciones.

La segunda persona acusada, de 60 años es un asistente personal de un miembro italiano del Parlamento Europeo y la tercera persona, de 39 años, dirige un consorcio de promoción y venta de inmuebles.

ACTUALIZACIÓN: el Corriere della Sera ha dado los nombres de los acusados: Sergio Tricarico, asistente personal del Parlamentario Italiano Gianni Rivera, Giancarlo Ciotti, que es el funcionario de la Comisión, y Angelo Troiiano, el empresario.

También añade que fue un empresario finlandés el que presentó cargos contra ellos tres, porque ya había pagado 345 millones de euros (de un total de 600 millones) para construir una delegación de la UE en India.

Ni la Comisión ni los acusados han hecho comentario alguno.


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marzo 28, 2007

The price of freedom in the Basque Country

Filed under: Spain,terrorismo,terroristas,violencia — Nora @ 11:02 pm

I have not written about the most degrading act perpetrated this week. And I am going to do it now.

Some months ago, the lehendakari Ibarretxe -one of the most hypocrite men I know- had a meeting with Otegi, the leader of the illegalised Batasuna, ETA political party. According to the Political Parties Law, an illegalised formation, as does not exist, cannot be represented and anyone having meetings with them should be punished.

So the Foro de Ermua, one of the organisations which have been fighting for freedom in the Basque Country, accused Ibarretxe of “illegal meeting”. But this guy, who thinks that being lehendakari [that is, President] gives him a right to think himself above the others, said that accusing him before a judge meant to go against the Basque institutions.

Of course, people from Basque Nationalist Party, to whom this man belongs, do not think that Judges are their institutions, because they can’t appoint them, so they do not have power over their decisions.

So the view was signaled for last March 26th. And there they went some members of Foro de Ermua, such as Iñaki Ezkerra or Antonio Aguirre, and some others of Dignidad y Justicia [that is Dignity and Justice], among them Daniel Portero, a son of a Spanish prosecutor killed by ETA terrorists. All of them were accusation in the process.

But Ibarretxe had called the people from his party and they had gone to support him. So they began insulting the members of Foro de Ermua and Dignidad y Justicia, calling them murders, killers and fascists. So Antonio Aguirre, after hearing all of that shouted “Hurra to Freedom”. Then he was punched in the bullocks and the people surrounding him shouted “Que se muera, que se muera”, that is “Just die”. His bodyguards detained the agressor but the erztaintza has let him loose. They were laughing and smiling while this man, who is menaced by ETA, was in the ground, in terrible pain:

The agression was widely critisized. For example, the Defensor del Pueblo [can be translated to Defender of the People], Fernando Múgica, whose brother was also killed by ETA terrorists, said that “this people use indistinctively the shoot in the neck, the bomb or the punching in the bullocks“.

Popular Party has identified the agressor: his name is Alejandro Aramburu Corral, a town counsellor from Basque Nationalist Group, named in 2005 by the Bilbao Major, Iñaki Azcuna, who has been asked to cease him in the post.

Foro de Ermua has already denounced the culprit. Theye have also denounced the ertzaintza because they let the agressor loose.

So, the Basque Nationalist Party is going to denounce 10 persons -who were the members of Foro de Ermua and Dignidad y Justicia- because of “illegal concentration“. Oh, please, come one, don’t make me laugh… of pity for so miserable persons…

Mikel Buesa, the President of Foro de Ermua, has accused the Basque Nationalist Party of “legitimising the violence made by its militants“.

Popular Party has also remarked that the agressor was set loose because he works for Ertzaintza.

Others blogging about this: Criterio, Incompetencia.com.

Related news: 30 kilos of explosive has been found in a house in the city of Andoain [Basque Country]. There were also detonators, 8 temporizers and other tools and substances to make more explosives. The detained [8 people] were trying to resuscitate the Donosti commando, one of the bloddiest ETA commandos. You can read it in 20 minutos.es, ABC.es, ElMundo. They had the order and all the methods to make new attacks: LD.

ETA has presented the new party for the next elections: Aberztalen Sozialisten Batasunen. ABC.es,

Zapatero denies ordering anything to the Prosecutors in the “Otegi process”. ABC.es,


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Un Human Rights Commission

Filed under: Naciones Unidas — Nora @ 7:46 pm

Some days ago I wrote that some countries suspected of HR abuses want to dismantle the UNHR Council. You have to see this video [in English]:

Faced with compelling reports from around the world of torture, persecution, and violence against women, what has the Council pronounced, and what has it decided?

Nothing. Its response has been silence. Its response has been indifference. Its response has been criminal.

More in the link.

________________

Para los lectores en español, Luis lo ha traducido. ;D.


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marzo 27, 2007

PP, PSOE, PRISA and the freedom of expression

Some days ago I posted about the demonstration held in Madrid against the concession of the 2nd grade to ETA terrorist De Juana Chaos. I also mentioned that there were a lot of people -especially Socialists, Communists and Nationalists- had protested over it in very angry terms.

But last week, something happened which is very grave. As much of you know El País is the most re-known Spanish paper abroad. It belongs nowadays to a holding, named PRISA, who is owned in a very important part by Spanish multimillionaire Mr. Jesús de Polanco. He made his fortune during Franco’s dictatorship selling books for students in low grades and then he made his empire grew into the most important Spanish communications holding. It includes radios (40 Principales -pop music-, Cadena Ser -information and general-, Cadena Dial -Spanish traditional and folk music-), TVs (Cuatro or Canal+), many newspapers (among others, EL Pais), several editorials (such as Alfaguara), and much more. He had also interests in South America.

After Franco died, he understood that democracy made his empire a little more fragile, as the priviledges he had within the dictatorship ended with it. So, he allied with the Socialists. I even remember that a Norwegian minister said once: “I have seen many parties which owned MSM, but this is the 1st time I see a political party owned by the media“. When I told this a friend some years ago, he told me “that Norvegian is a fascist”….

El Mundo newspaper [in its paper edition of Monday 26th, 2007, 3rd page] mentions all the priviledges that PRISA has had:

Political favours from the residual Fraco-ism when Arias Navarro authorised the publishing of El País, directed then by someone who was considered as Franco’s supporter, some months earlier than all its competitors. Political favours of the UCD [Unión de Centro Democrático = Democratic Center Union] when they authorised and made easy by the Suarez’s Government, the Cadena Ser buying at a ridiculous price. Political favours of Felipe González when they gave PRISA a pay-per-view television in a process founded in the public interest and when they let them merger with Antena 3 Radio illegally [according to a Supreme Tribunal Sentence]. Political favours with the Aznar’s Governments when they elude to execute that Supreme’s sentence and when they authorised the merger between Canal Satélite [from PRISA] and Vía Digital [From Telefónica] that in practice was only a concession of the monopoly of the pay-per-view TV. And political favours from Zapatero’s Government when they have transformed the licence of Canal + into a non-pay-per-view TV [la Cuatro] and modified the radiophonic legislation not to execute definitely the Supreme’s sentence“.

Anyway, both abroad and at home the holding had had a very good reputation as objective and just media.

But not any more, among a broad segment of Spanish society. The partial news they write or read in the radio had made a lot of people even erasing there radios or TVs from the machines at home, at office or in their cars. The newspaper that after the 9/11 attacks titled his edition of the day as “The world, waiting for Bush retailation”, is hated by ones and loved by others.

And these feelings had been deepened by the statement Mr. Jesús de Polanco gave last week at the Annual Gathering of Stakeholders of his holding. This statement runs:

It’s very difficult to be neutral when everything is one of the parts here things anythings is worth to get back the power“. “There are some people who want to go back to the Civil War. We have just seen a demonstration that was pure and hard Franco-ism. If this gentlemen regain power, they are going to come with a retaliation feeling, that, personally, scares me“. “If there was a right-wing party in Spain, laic, strong, with guts, Prisa will support it. It is what we are lacking of. We have already a left-wing party.”

In the same event, a stakeholder asked Polanco, why Hermann Tersch, a reknown journalist from El Pais was critisizing Socialist Government and what they were going to do about that contradiction. Polanco’s answer is an example of his own character:

That contradiction is now over. You will see it very soon, as the rest of the readers of the newspaper“.

The journalist had been fired because his ideological position was totally different from that of the holding. He had been a polemic journalist much critisized because he did not agree with the official line.

When the Government was all day speaking about the “fascists” and the “far-right”, he said:

“If an anticonstitutional flag or two, appear in a demosntration to which hundred of thousands of people there is no problem. In this country, there is no far-right: the elections tell you that, even there are a lot of people who want it to exist and a lot are also doing everything in their power to make it appear. I really believe that the people who try to generate and promote the far-right are in other places”.

He also called Castro the “sad Ceaucescu of the Antilles“, and he also supported Radio Cope which was threatened with an inmediate shut because the leading anchors were [and are] critisizing the Government. He said:

The quick deterioration of the Spanish political climate can have a lot of culprits. But the relentless pursuit of the offices and homes of members from political parties [remember that there was a brutal campaign of the anti-war hordes before the 2004 elections, in which lots of PP offices were broken into, PP militants and supporters were beaten and insulted continuosly, and then Zapatero considered those things as legitimate acts of freedom of speech] and to MSM, its worst and most grave expression yet, is an open, obscene and exclusive practice, but each day more frequently used by Catalan and Basque ultranationalist groups, some of them with political institutional bindings or not with the political party now in the Spanish Government.

It is an intolerable corruption of the democratic life that remembers me the harrasment of the members of German Nazi Party to the German and Austrian democratic media in the early days of Nazism and also to the agressions which were subjected the democratic media from the ultranationalists in the Balkans before and during the 90’s”.

So Rajoy has today asked why PRISA invites PP members if they are so bad.

In a breakfast organised by the Fórum Europa, Mariano Rajoy underlined that his party is independent, free, does not obey orders from nobody”, and it is only dependent on the Spanish people and their interests”. He was referring to the PP’s decision of not giving any more interviewes to PRISA group, in an answer that was afterwards strongly cheered by the people attending the meeting.

Related news:

Spanish writer Almundena Grandes says that “each morning she would shoot people who make her mad“. She writes for PRISA.

Ex-Defense Minister José Bono [his father was a member of Falange, the political party supporting Franco] says that PRISA will make sure that PP pays for this decision. Ejem. This said by the same Minister who declared that “he preferred to die than to kill” so he had ordered the troops “not to shoot anyone when in combat in Afghanistan“… makes me wonder: if he was so brave as to die without killing the enemy -apart from not understanding war…-, why on earth is he considering fear about the consequences this acts for PP?

There are also MSM and politicians who have critisized PP’s decision not to go to PRISA’s MSM. It is necessary to mention that PSOE is boycotting TeleMadrid and other Regional Public TV’s from PP-leadered Autonomous Communities, simply because they thought that these MSM were not neutral.

I agree with PP decision, I think they should have taken this decision long ago.

And it is curious that no one is commenting about Tersch’s sacking as a full violation of the freedom of expression in this country. But they are considering that, after being gravely insulted, one should go there to kiss their asses. No, thanks, democracy was made to defend normal citizens from abuses. And the abused here is not PRISA but Tersch. One reasonable leftist man.


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marzo 25, 2007

Countries suspected of HR abuses want to dismantle the UNHR Council

Filed under: China,Cuba,Derechos Humanos,Naciones Unidas — Nora @ 12:16 am

From Deustche Welle:

On the heels of a well-received report on Darfur by the newly revamped UN Human Rights Council, the body is in danger of having its power stripped away. The EU says, give the council more time.

Cuba is leading a bid by a number of countries to strip the Human Rights Council of its power to investigate and condemn violations of human rights, a move some activists warn could jeopardize the entire UN’s credibility, the news agency Reuters reported.

The 47 member states of the new UN watchdog, which was set up last year to replace its discredited predecessor, are quietly negotiating a package of measures which will define its role.

At stake is the fate of “special procedures” — independent investigators appointed to report on countries where abuses are suspected. The former Secretary General Kofi Annan described these rapporteurs as the “crown jewels” of the UN human rights machinery.

“Our fear is that some governments are trying to sell the crown jewels, trying to undermine the independence of special procedures,” Irene Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International, told reporters in Geneva.

“There are huge stakes here for human rights, not only for survivors of abuses but the credibility of the council and the larger credibility of the United Nations,” she said.

Politically motivated

Its 13 special rapporteurs on countries, retained for now from the former UN Commission on Human Rights, include experts probing suspected abuses in Belarus, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea.

One such investigator, Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, issued a much-anticipated report on Darfur March 12 which blamed Sudan for orchestrating war crimes across Darfur.

Still, some countries singled out for this attention, and their allies such as China, say such finger-pointing is selective and politically motivated. They want to abolish the investigators.

Cuba — which has never allowed a visit by the special rapporteur on Cuba, Christine Chanet —is leading the charge to dismantle country investigators.

The US declined a seat on the Human Rights Council

This is marvellous isn’t it? AS I do not like the things these bad people are telling me, because I am very democratic…. the solution is not to change, as I really do not have to change. No, the solution is ¡¡¡to get rid of this people!!! No, I am not going to kill them -hmm, although I have reasons enough, they are liars…!!-, but I am going to forbid them to critic me. I am going to get rid of these busy bodies…

And Zapatero & Co. so favorable as they are to UN, what are they going to say?


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marzo 22, 2007

More bad news for bloggers

Atlas Shrugs reports that two Egyptian bloggers have been kidnapped by policemen. She quotes Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey who esteems that there is going to be a crack down on bloggers. That said the same day in which Kareem has been definitely condemned makes me shiver. The Court has also let some Islamist lawyers to ask him for compensations on the grounds of “damages to Islam“.

On the other hand, Kareem has been honoured in London with a prize, which rewards people for fighting for freedom of expression h/t Sandmonkey. At the same Awards -five were given-, Chinese oppositor Cheng Guangcheng (photo below), called “the barefoot lawyer”, was also honoured after been sentenced for four years in 2006 for denouncing the late abortions (as late as in the 8th months) and other practices used to ensure the one-child policy. Another proof that China is not changing at all…

Chen Guangcheng


But not only in Islamic countries there are problems with critics on Islamic matters. An Australian journalist, named Gavin King, has written an article in which he names a blogger, gives details about his life and tries to picture him as an hysteric anti-Muslim guy. After promising him he was going to keep his name secret. Sheik Yer’mami has been commenting at Jihad Watch for some time and also writes in his own blog.

Australian reporter Gavin King. I am not going to give my opinion…, because even if he is not in favour of Sheik’s opinion, why pointing him as an objective? And after promising him he was not going to out him.

_____________________________________

La sentencia de 4 años de cárcel a Kareem ha sido confirmada el mismo día en que 2 bloggers han sido secuestrados por la policía. También hoy le han dado un premio en Londres a Kareem por su labor en favor de la libertad de expresión.

Pero los bloggers no sólo están (estamos…) amenazados en los países islámicos. En Australia un periodista (el de la foto de arriba) ha dicho el nombre, el trabajo y otros datos personales de un blogger después de prometerle que no iba a sacarle del anonimato. Sheik Yermami, comentarista habitual de Jihad Watch y blogger, teme por su vida, porque la entrevista tenía por finalidad hablar sobre la campaña que él y otros habían iniciado para frenar la construcción de una mezquita.


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Problems for Prodi after Afghan Taliban freed

Filed under: Afganistán,Islamismo,Italy — Nora @ 4:35 pm

FT:

Romano Prodi, Italian prime minister, came under attack again on Wednesday over his government’s stance on the Afghan conflict, four weeks after his centre-left coalition nearly collapsed when it lost a parliamentary vote on foreign policy.

Opposition deputies criticised the government for arranging with the Afghan government to free five Taliban prisoners in exchange for an Italian journalist who was kidnapped in southern Afghanistan on March 5.

Mr Prodi faces a difficult vote in the Senate, parliament’s upper house, next Tuesday when he will try to win approval to renew funding for military operations in Afghanistan.

You can also read about the increasing gap between Italy and US, deepened by this move.

Right after the story was known, sources very close to the Bush administration, the british Foreign Office and also to the German Cancellor and the Dutch Prime Minister, stressed their strong disappointment regarding the way the italian government is dealing with its efforts in Afghanistan.

The italian government is accused to dealing with the terrorists, giving the Taliban an international reliability they had not got before, and also is not doing any efforts to fight the terrorists due to the several “caveat” put to the italian military troops standing in Kabul, and doing so is accused to discuss its NATO allies’ decisions putting in jeopardy the force and the unity of the Organization itself.

As Charlton Heston said in “Battle of Pacific” -I think it is its title but as the original is in Italian… I do not know what the English-American/original title was-: “You do not win a war by kissing the ennemy“. There are two opitions here: “Or we sent the Italian soldiers to Afghanistan to do everything which is necessary to combat and win this [war] against the Taliban or we better ask them to return“.

A similar idea by Neocon Italiani.

Paolo reports that the Afghan Ambassador in Italy is angry about this decision.

Related posts on this: Italian reporter freed…

(more…)

marzo 17, 2007

Spanish Policeman comdemned for shoooting a robber

Filed under: Spain,violencia — Nora @ 2:54 pm

Yesterday I blogged about the Ondiep riots and how the people had claimed to be unprotected from gangs and criminals. Several days ago, I read this [link in Spain] but I forgot to post it. I think this is the cause of the people’s lack of protection:

In the night of the late January 15th, 2002, the Policeman Isidro Andrés Merino -with more than 25 years of service in the National Police (CNP)- shot one of the suspected roobers of a videoclub in Sabadell. Though he gave “halt!” several times, the robbers tried to go away in their car and nearly kill the policeman with the car. Of the 2 shots fired by Mr Merino, one of them went through the driver’s window and hurt him mortally in the breast.

For these facts, on Nov 22nd 2005, the Barcelona’s Audience Tribunal condemned firmly the policeman to a year in jail -though he won’t go to prison as he has not committed previous crimes- and 3 years of inhabilitation to the policeman, as author of a crime of imprudent homicide.

The Security Secretary of State has announced some days ago the execution of the sentence dictated by the Barcelona’s Audience Tribunal. The policeman, who was serving at the Local Police Station of Sabadell has been inhabilitated for the exercise of his profession for 3 years. He also loses his condition of agent as a civil servant.

He has been also condemned to pay 163,042€ for the family of the dead robber.

Of course, policemen are normal people. If they see that doing their job, they are going to earn a marvellous conviction for defending citizens, they are not going to do it and normal peaceful citizens are going to pay for this.


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marzo 14, 2007

Chirac to face corruption charges

Filed under: escándalos financieros,Francia — Nora @ 8:52 pm

Soem days ago I wrote about Chirac not presenting again to the next Presidential elections. Later I found very amusing that Civitatensis had classified the post about Chirac under “corruption”. Today through The New Media Journal I get to this article in Telegraph: Chirac to face corruption charges.

When Jacques Chirac hands in the keys to the Elysée palace on May 16, he will also lose his presidential immunity and runs the risk of prosecution in at least four corruption cases.

Mr Chirac, 74, has been linked to a string of party funding and other scandals known as “les affaires,” which date back to his time as mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Scores of former associates have been convicted for their involvement.

_____________________________

Cuando Chirac entregue las llaves del Palacio del Elíseo el 16 de Mayo, también perderá su inmunidad presidencial y corre el riesgo de ser perseguido en al menos 4 casos de corrupción.

El sr. Chirac, 74 años, ha sido acusado en una red de financiación de su partido y otros escándalos, conocidos como “los negocios“, que datan de cuando era alcalde de París desde 1977 a 1995. Bastantes de sus antiguos asociados han sido condenados por su implicación.


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