Spanish Pundit (II)

febrero 17, 2008

Investigadores de corrupción ingleses amenazados con otro 7/J

Si continuaban investigando los sobornos en los negocios de armas a Arabia Saudí… La corrupción, esa maravillosa ayuda al terrorismo a la que no se presta ninguna atención.

Bribes inquiry was warned of ‘another 7/7’, court told – Times Online:

Fraud investigators were told they faced the possibility of “another 7/7” and the likely loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with inquiries into Saudi Arabia’s arms deals, it was revealed yesterday.

High Court documents showed that the Saudis threatened to cut off intelligence, potentially making it easier for terrorists to attack London, if the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) did not drop its investigation into alleged corruption in deals with BAE systems.

After threats by the Saudis over co-operation in national security issues, the former Prime Minister Tony Blair subjected the SFO to “irresistible pressure” to stop its inquiries, it was claimed.

Lord Justice Moses, hearing a legal challenge to the scrapping of the inquiry, said the Government appeared to have “rolled over” in December 2006.”

Pero es que quién presionó para que se dejara de investigar fue nada más y menos que el ex-Primer Ministro Tony Blair, diciendo que la investigación “sólo dañaría las relaciones económicas y diplomáticas con Arabia Saudí“:

The Serious Fraud Office last year abruptly canceled its inquiry into the allegations after Tony Blair, the prime minister at the time, said the investigation would threaten thousands of British jobs and affect diplomatic and intelligence ties with Saudi Arabia. Blair had said an investigation would not “have led anywhere, except to the complete wreckage of a vital strategic relationship for our country.” BAE has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.At the judicial review Thursday, the Campaign Against Arms Trade and the Corner House, an anti-bribery group, said the government acted unlawfully in December 2006 when it told the fraud office to stop looking into alleged bribes paid by BAE to Saudi Arabian officials in exchange for arms deals.

Dinah Rose, a lawyer representing the two groups, said new documents showed that BAE Systems wrote to the attorney general confidentially to urge him to halt the investigation for commercial and diplomatic reasons.

Así que ya están pidiendo una nueva investigación:

Pressure groups and lawmakers have urged the government to restart the investigation or face new questions over its commitment to an international anti-bribery convention that says investigations should not be stopped because they could damage relations with other countries.

La cantidad de soborno fue de… dos mil millones de dólares que terminó en cuentas corrientes del Príncide Bandar Bin Sultan de Arabia Saudí y están vinculadas a los pagos provenientes de BAE (o sea, Gran Bretaña) a Arabia Saudí, por un negocio de armas de 1985.

British news media reported last year that more than $2 billion ended up in bank accounts in Washington controlled by Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, and that the payments coming from BAE were linked to an arms deal negotiated in 1985. The prince has denied accepting “improper secret commissions.

Por supuesto el príncipe bin Sultan (se tenía que llamar sultán…) lo niega…

Y ¿cuáles eran los grandes intereses comerciales de Gran Bretaña para no investigar?

At the time BAE and the Government were negotiating a key order for Typhoon fighters with the Saudis, a deal that was sealed last year.

En ese momento, BAE y el Gobierno estaban negociando una orden de compra primordial de cazas Typhoon con los saudíes, un negocio que fue concluido el año pasado.

Pero ¡¡¡menudos almas de cántaro!!! Les venden armas ¡¡¡a los que les amenazan con un atentado si no les dejan de investigar los trapos sucios!!! Hmm, claro, la corrupción es muy efectiva: poder y dinero todo en uno. Porque además es definitiva: una vez que alguien ha cobrado algo, ya se le puede chantajear de por vida. ¿Verdad, Bin Sultan?

Hmm, así que ¿quién es el príncipe Bandar Bin Sultan? JW:

This is Prince Bandar, smiling Prince Bandar (President of the Saudi Council for National Security). The one with the estate in Virginia. The one with the vast chalet in Aspen, where he had the top of an entire mountain removed so as to improve his view. The one who has that Plantagenet hunting-lodge outside London. The one who became the longest-serving diplomat in Washington, who entertained so lavishly all of his many good and great friends of both parties. The one who defended the massive thievery of the Al-Saud with his usual actor’s routine, as he served the port and distributed the box of cigars, that “after all, all governments are corrupt and it is only a matter of degree” — and how, after all, could the Americans present, all of them recognizing the corruption in their own government, and of which some of them were no doubt more than observers, disagree?Prince Bandar, the Smiler With the Knyf Under the Cloke, the one who was allowed in, or rather allowed himself in, to secret policy-planning sessions just before the war in Iraq. Prince Bandar, the one who was a regular tennis partner of Colin Powell, to whose wife he gave a jaguar, the very same one she had once possessed, and had let drop in conversation how much she missed it. Prince Bandar –whom did he not touch? Was there a President, or a Secretary of State, or a National Security Advisor, or members of key Congressional committees, or generals preparing arms sales of all kind, from AWACS back in 1980 to the most advanced weaponry now, or people in the Energy Department who never managed to come up with even the semblance of an intelligent energy policy, who never met Prince Bandar?

Así que el Sultán (el presidente del Consejo saudí de la Seguridad Nacional) tiene un rancho en Virginia, un chalet en Aspen -donde retiró la cima de la montaña porque le privaba de vistas ¿¿¿dónde estaban los ecolojetas???- y una casita de caza de estilo Plantagenet en las afueras de Londres. Además, se convirtió en un diplomático al servicio de Washington donde entretenía con largas fiestas a sus amigos (hmm, ¡¡¡qué videos tendrá de los desarrollos privados de las fiestas, dentro de los boudoirs al uso!!!…). Su teoría es que “todos los Gobiernos son corruptos: es sólo una cuestión de grados“.
Se le autorizó para que supiera los planes secretos justo antes de la guerra en Irak. Era un compañero de Colin Powell en los partidos de tenis, con quien jugaba de forma regular. A la mujer de Colin Powell le regaló su jaguar (¿¿a cambio de qué?? ¿los planes secretos?): el mismo Jaguar que la esposa había “perdido”, “pérdida” que dio lugar a comentarios.

Termina Hugh Fitzerald preguntándose quién de las personas que manejaban la política internacional americana, no ha tenido una relación con el Príncipe Bandar. Preocupante cuestión…

Eurabia: me da que es un poco más grande que sólo Europa. Y siempre existe una cosa en relación: la corrupción.

Mientras se siguen vendiendo armas a Arabia Saudí: el año pasado:

Estados Unidos anunciaba que está planeando vender a Arabia Saudí de 20.000 millones de dólares en sistemas de armamento avanzado, incluyendo kits de Joint Direct Attack Munition o JDAM, que son capaces de transformar las bombas no inteligentes en armas “inteligentes” de precisión dirigida.

On August, 2007, USA announced that it was planning to sell to Saudi Arabia 20 billion dollars in advanced weapon system, including kits of Joint Direct Attack Munition or JDAM, which are capable of transforming the non-intelligent bombs in “intelligen” weapons of directed precision.

Was involved Bandar in this agreement? Is US being also menaced with similar attacks if it doesn’t investigate corruption?

Por cierto, lo he buscado y no se ha publicado en España. ¿Tienen miedo de que nos preguntemos a cambio de qué se está regalando en armamento a Marruecos?

By the way, this has not even been published by any representative/important MSM in Spain. Are they afraid we can begin to ask why Zapatero is giving away weapons to Morocco? Or the other possibility: Has something been promised by Morocco to Socialist Government to have so bad policy regarding Morocco?

Lots of questions. Riddles in the dark. Gandalf. Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring.

junio 12, 2007

Jacques Chirac recibe una citación…

Filed under: corrupción,Francia — Nora @ 8:15 pm

 … por el caso Clearstream, pero él lo niega:

El ex presidente francés Jacques Chirac ha recibido una citación de los jueces instructores del caso Clearstream, una trama para acusar falsamente de corrupción a industriales y políticos franceses, incluido a su sucesor, Nicolas Sarkozy, según informa mañana el semanario satírico “Le Canard Enchainée”. El rotativo precisa que Chirac ha sido citado el próximo lunes, dos días después de que expire la inmunidad presidencial que le protegía ante la Justicia. Sin embargo, el entorno del ex jefe de Estado ha hecho saber a los medios locales que Chirac no ha recibido ninguna convocatoria judicial, de la que tampoco dijo estar al corriente su abogado, Jean Veil. Bajo el título, “Chirac, el hombre de la convocatoria del 18 de junio”, el rotativo afirma que los jueces Jean-Marie d’Huy y Henri Pons quieren saber por qué los carnés de notas del general Philippe Rondot (un experto en espionaje) están llenos de anotaciones del tipo “instrucción de PR” o “proteger a PR”, abreviatura que se interpreta como “Presidente de la República”.

Cadena COPE

mayo 8, 2007

Corrupsoe reloaded (part 2): Sebastián, socialist candidate to be Madrid’s Major

Filed under: corrupción,economía,elections,PSOE,Spain,Zapatero — Nora @ 11:41 am

So the revelations about the Economic Direction of the Presidency (EDP) keep on coming. Mr. Conthe, ex-president of the National Commission of the Market Shares (CNMV, the equivalent to the US SEC) has stated that he has “direct evidence” that Carlos Arenillas, vicepresident of the same Commission, received orders and acted as a representative from the EDP in the case of FG Valores in Jan 2005. “There was an incorrect mixture of personal links and public functions in realtion with a dossier about the president of the Bank“, referring himself to Francisco González, the President of one of Spain’s most important banks BBVA.

El Semanal Digital

El ex presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) Manuel Conthe afirmó este lunes tener “evidencia directa” de que el vicepresidente del organismo, Carlos Arenillas, recibió instrucciones y actuó como “correa de transmisión” de la Oficina Económica de Presidencia del Gobierno sobre el expediente FG Valores en enero de 2005. En concreto, señaló que tiene evidencia clara de un supuesto en el que a su juicio, hubo una “mezcla indebida de vínculos personales con funciones públicas en lo relativo a un dossier sobre el presidente de un banco”, en alusión a Francisco González, presidente del BBVA.

More about the embarrasing news:
ABC.es: economia – economia – Moncloa intentó utilizar a la CNMV para acosar al presidente del BBVA

El ya ex presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), Manuel Conthe, aprovechó ayer la toma de posesión de Julio Segura, para dar a conocer las «pruebas» por las que asegura que el vicepresidente de la CNMV, Carlos Arenillas, no debe permanecer en el cargo. Según explicó en una improvisada rueda de prensa, el sábado 15 de enero de 2005, Arenillas le llamó por móvil para que se vieran urgentemente «donde fuera», porque tenía «un documento importantísimo» que enseñarle. De esta forma, Conthe se presentó en el domicilio de Arenillas, la segunda y última vez que lo haría. En sus manos tenía el dossier de la venta de FG Valores a Merril Lynch, afirmando que se lo «había pasado la Oficina Económica de la Moncloa», donde había acudido con su coche oficial a recogerlo y, con la advertencia de que una copia del documento obraba en manos del jefe de informativos de la Cadena Ser, Javier Ruiz. Acto seguido, Arenillas llamó al periodista, quien se reunió con ellos pasados cinco minutos, llevando el dossier. Conthe les dijo que ese documento sería «irrelevante» si no pasaba el registro de entrada de la CNMV, lo que sucedió el lunes 17 de enero. Cinco días después, el 22 de enero, dicho dossier quedó archivado por entender la CNMV que era «prácticamente imposible» esclarecer las posibles irregularidades contables que se denunciaban. Estos hechos sucedían en el momento en que Sacyr acosaba al presidente del BBVA, Francisco González, tras haber comprado un poco más del 3% del banco.

But the things get more interesting. The person who was then the Director of the EDP was Miguel Sebastian (photo, left), now Socialist candidate to be Madrid’s Major, appointed by Zapatero, with no kind of militants’ elections and who is said to be the one who wrote the dossier to indict Francisco González.
Leftist radio Cadena Ser from Spanish holding PRISA, S.A., denied yesterday any meddling in the affair. But leftist newspaper EL País, from the same holding, has contradicted the radio and has recognised that it was Sebastian’s doing.
The Socialist candidate has suspended all his activities for the next 2 days.
It was said on those days that Sebastian wanted González’s job.
At the same time, Solbes, Economy Spanish Minister says that “hmm, that is something of the past“. Coming from a Government who is everyday searching for Historic Memory that is a somewhat bizarre statement. And at the same time, he is acknowledging that it was true…
El País deja en evidencia a la SER y reconoce que el dossier contra Francisco González viene de Miguel Sebastián – Libertad Digital

la Cadena SER. La emisora negó este lunes que el origen del informe fuera la Oficina Económica de Moncloa, pero este martes el editorial de El País pone en evidencia a la cadena al señalar al propio Sebastián. El candidato socialista a la Alcaldía de Madrid ha suspendido sus apariciones durante este martes y el miércoles.

What is more, he said this in the act in which the new President from the CNMV was officialy named. The new President, Mr. Segura was a Communist in his youth -very appropriate as someone who has to monitorize the share markets of a capitalistic nature: La Nación – Conthe acusa a Arenillas de ser correa de transmisión del Gobierno en el caso FG

Conthe realizó estas acusaciones ante los periodistas pocos minutos antes de que Segura tomara posesión, en un acto en el que participaron el vicepresidente segundo del Gobierno, Pedro Solbes, el propio Arenillas, y en el que estuvieron presentes, entre otros, el consejero delegado del BBVA, Jose Ignacio Gorigolzarri.

AS a result of the recent scandals in the CNMV, Popular Party is going to defend in Parliament on Thursday (that is, today), that the election of the President of the CNMV is made by a qualified majority of 3/5 of the Congress, something which has been more insisted on as a result of the last scandals, both related with Endesa turnover bid by Italian Enel and Spanish Acciona, and the now voiced -but which a lot of people suspected- pressures to convict Francisco González.
La Nación – El PP plantea que el presidente de la CNMV sea elegido por el Parlamento

El PP defienderá este martes en el Pleno del Congreso de los Diputados que el procedimiento de elección del presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores se realice a través de una mayoría cualificada de tres quintos de la Cámara Baja, reivindicación que los ‘populares’ han acentuado a raíz de las OPAs sobre Endesa y especialmente, tras las acusaciones que Manuel Conthe ha lanzado contra la Oficina Económica de la Presidencia del Gobierno al dejar el órgano supervisor.

Conthe acusa a Moncloa de usar la CNMV contra el presidente del BBVA – 20minutos.es
Left, Mr. Conthe, Mr Solbes (Spanish Mister for Budget and Economy) and Mr. Segura (new President of the CNMV), at the official act of the latter’s apointment as President of CNMV.
I have to add that Solbes and Sebastián have had a little war in the shades over the economy. Zapatero is a friend of Sebastián while he had to name Solbes to quiet some of his parties voices. It is rumoured that Sebastián is going to be named new Budget and Economy Minister after the May elections as he has not very good perspectives with the elections in Madrid.
As you can see in the photo, Segura is from Sebastian’s school. Is is my imagination or is he laughing about Solbes?

And what the leftists have said? The same El País has, in an editorial blamed all the problems in “Conthe’s lack of discretion, moderation and level-headed analysis that should have any high responsable of a financial control body“. Well, thank God Conthe is a Socialist. I wonder what they would have said if a center-right person would have been appointed.
And yes, the problem of the corruption is that people denounce it, not that people commits it. Marvellous…
La Frase Progre: “Todo arranca con el nombramiento de Conthe, que nunca dispuso de las cualidades de discreción, mesura y análisis ecuánime de la realidad que debería tener el máximo responsable de un organismo regulador financiero”

“Todo arranca con el nombramiento de Conthe, que nunca dispuso de las cualidades de discreción, mesura y análisis ecuánime de la realidad que debería tener el máximo responsable de un organismo regulador financiero”

But there is more: VP Arenillas also lied to Congress. When he asked if he had received pressures or instructions for any of the Government members or by their consulting bodies, he denied it. He said that “at any time he had received any of those“.
Arenillas minti�: Conthe demuestra que Moncloa estaba detr�s del acoso a FG – elConfidencial.com

Carlos Arenillas, vicepresidente de la CNMV, est� entre la espada y la pared, obligado a dimitir hoy mismo sin m�s dilaci�n. Las revelaciones que realiz� ayer el presidente saliente del supervisor, Manuel Conthe, sobre el �caso FG� demuestran que Arenillas minti� en el Congreso de los Diputados. All�, el vicepresidente asegur� que �en ning�n momento hab�a recibido instrucciones o presiones por parte de ning�n miembro del Gobierno o de sus organismos asesores�

Related posts: Corrupsoe reloaded (part 1): Ibiza and Arenillas.

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mayo 4, 2007

Corrupsoe reloaded (part 1)

Filed under: corrupción,PP,PSOE,Spain — Nora @ 7:29 pm
One of the distinct characteristics of the first 90’s was the corruption. The so-called beautiful people was every day in the papers as every day there was another scandal under the sun.
Well, Socialist came to power and corruption in a big scale again is on the papers.
From El Mundo:

El ex secretario general del PSOE en Ibiza, Roque López, desvela en una serie de conversaciones mantenidas mientras dirigía el partido que el PSOE pactó con el presidente de la promotora Brues el cobro de una comisión de 1,5 millones de euros. EL MUNDO ha tenido acceso a ellas y las revelará en diversas entregas.
López también cuenta en las conversaciones grabadas cómo la formación que lideró hasta el pasado mes de noviembre acordó el cobro de dicha comisión con el empresario Antonio Pinal.
El proyecto al que se refiere el caso es el Eivissa Centre, que ya se promueve a cargo de una empresa mixta, Itusa, cuyo 51% de las acciones obra en poder del consistorio ibicenco y el 49% restante está a nombre de Brues. La transformación de este centro ha sido presupuestada en unos 120 millones de euros.
En dicho complejo está previsto construir, entre otros edificios, un auditorio, un Palacio de Justicia, la Dirección Insular de la Administración, y un edificio de viviendas y locales comerciales. Además de 1.300 plazas de aparcamiento.
El ex secretario socialista le explicó con todo lujo de detalles la intrahistoria de la operación a una compañera de partido, la edil de Fiestas y Juventud de Ibiza, Sandra
Mayans, conversación que revela EL MUNDO.

Translation:
The ex-secretary general of Socialists of Ibiza, Roque López, explains in some conversations held during he was the boss of the Party in the island, he agreed with the president of the constructor firm “Brues” a commission of €1,5 millions.
López also has some more tapes in which it is told how the party he leadered till last Nov. agreed the party was going to be payed that commission. The businessman who was going to pay it was Antonio Pinal, an old known by every one because he was also the one who “collaborated” with Roldán.
The project that was the object of this, was the Eivissa Centre, promoted by a mixed firm, Itusa, of which 51% are owned by Ibiza’s Majorship and the other 49% belongs to Brues. The cost of the transformation of this center has a cost (in the budget) of around €120 millions.
In this complex, among other buildings, an auditorium, a Justice Palace, the Insular Direction of the Central Administration and a building with apartments and shops. And 1,300 parking places.
Periodista Digital continues: The Socialist ex-secretary explained fully the details of the operation to another party partner, the town consellor of Holidays and Young People from Ibiza, Sandra Mayans. In the same tapes they are naming this project “the most important cake of History“.

Of course, the main accused in the tapes, the Organization Secretary of PSOE (Socialists) José Blanco (above) has denied all the accusations derived from the tapes.
But there is another big corruption discovered on later days. The discovery by an independent MSM group, Interconomia, that Mr. Arenillas, Vicepresident of CNMV (Spanish SEC) had gone out with the boss of a hedge bonds firm and spent 1.400 on a dinner. Later they went to have some fun in the Madrid’s night. Afterwards, Arenillas’ brother was given a job on the firm.
Popular Party asked for his dimission. Mr. Conthe, the now ex-President of CNMV also asked for it, as he did not “give the appearance of being independent“. The fact that Mr. Arenillas’ wife is, Mercedes Cabrera, the Minister of Education, does not help that either.
All this crisis was mixed with the terrible crisis of the CNMV as a result of the takeover bid of Spanish electric firm, Endesa, by Italian Enel and Spanish Acciona. Mr. Conthe, after fighting for going to Congress to explain why he had resigned, denounced the Economic Office of Presidency, a sort of Economy Ministry in the shades, of the multiple illegal or at least, unethical, performed by both Enel and Acciona, the own Spanish Government and several members of CNMV’s board, specially Arenillas.
Mr. Conthe also blamed his own demission on the Board of the CNMV, who was not brave enough to punish both Enel and Acciona for their irregularities. Conthe even stated that the Government supported the takeover bid by Enel-Acciona, something extremely grave as, in a market economy, the Government is supposed to be impartial.
Popular Party has demanded action to the Anti-corruption Prosecutor because of the facts related to the takeover bid.

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mayo 3, 2007

Chávez: now, the banks

Filed under: corrupción,economía,Venezuela — Nora @ 8:00 pm

After the delirium he lived this last week-end, Chávez wants to nationalize the banks:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday threatened to nationalize the country’s banks and largest steel producer, accusing them of unscrupulous practices.
Private banks have to give priority to financing the industrial sectors of Venezuela at low cost,” Chavez said. “If banks don’t agree with this, it’s better that they go, that they turn over the banks to me, that we nationalize them and get all the banks to work for the development of the country and not to speculate and produce huge profits.” Chavez also warned the government could take over steel producer Sidor, which is majority controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA.

Hmm, yes, of course, and Venezuela has not any taxes on banks’ profit, hasn’t it? Did he have a lapsus? “That they turn over the banks to ME”….

More from Beitbart:

It was not clear if Chavez was only referring to Venezuelan banks like Mercantil Servicios Financieros CA and others, or if he was aiming the threat at major international banks that do business in the country, such as Banco Santander Central Hispano SA and Citigroup Inc.

Chavez also warned the government could take over steel producer Sidor, which is majority controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA.
Sidor “has created a monopoly” and sold the bulk of its production overseas, forcing local producers to import tubes and other products from China and elsewhere, Chavez said.
“If the company Sidor … does not immediately agree to change this process, they will oblige me to nationalize it,” Chavez said.
“I prefer not to,” Chavez added, as he ordered Mining Minister Jose Khan to depart immediately for the company’s headquarters and return with a recommendation within 24 hours.

Ye’ be warned…

If we consider that this year, inflation in Venezuela was 4.1% till april and that last year was 14.7% till September, Venezuela can have huge bad results in not a distant future.

But that’s not all: Corruption in Venezuela has boomed as oil prices have soared ($225.ooo millions in benefits both in oil and bonds) and the fact that the national funds are managed in secrecy and with no transparency. But Venezuela is also giving away a lot of money to Cuba (estimated between $2,2oo millions y $2,300 millions per year). Gustavo Coronel, author of the study, member of the Oil Joint Council of Venezuela between 1976 and 1979, writes:

Desde registros sospechosos de votantes (Venezuela tiene 17.000 votantes nacidos en el siglo diecinueve, con una persona de 175 años de edad que todavía trabaja) hasta contratos estatales sin licitación previa, todos los niveles de la sociedad han sido afectados. La corrupción involucra a los ministros, los jueces, los militares, los banqueros y a los ciudadanos ordinarios.
Desafortunadamente, no hay mucha probabilidad de una reforma. Los casos destacados de corrupción no han sido castigados. Coronel concluye: “Para reducir la corrupción de manera significativa en Venezuela, sería necesario eliminar los motivos y las oportunidades y castigar a los responsables. Luego de ocho años de Hugo Chávez en el poder, resulta completamente claro que la lucha contra la corrupción en Venezuela no podrá comenzar hasta que Chávez se haya ido”.

From suspicious voters’ registries (Venezuela has 17.000 voters born in the XIXth century, with someone aged 175 years that is working yet) to state contract given with no previous process, every part of the society have been affected. There are ministers, judges, military men, bank businessmen and ordinary citizens involved corruption.
Unfortunately, a reform is not probable. The most important cases of corruption had not been punished. Coronel concludes: “To reduce the corruption in a significant manner in Venezuela, it would be necessary to elimininate both the motives and the opportunities and punish the culprits. After 8 years of Chávez in power, it is very clear that the fight against corruption would not begin till Chávez has gone“.

Chávez has also began “agrotiendas socialistas“, sort of “Socialist agro-shops”. El Mentidero writes about these new shops:

La iniciativa consiste en repartir una especie de economatos propiedad del Estado, que a este paso será el único que pueda ejercer el derecho a la propiedad, que ofertan productos agrícolas con el fin de abaratar los “costos” de producción a los agricultores, como dicen ellos. Además, también “asesorarán” sobre qué productos deben (o pueden) comprar los campesinos. El caso es que controlarán hasta los productos que una persona debe comprar para sus cultivos, perjudicando así la competencia del sector y atacando de frente la libertad de empresa, pues mucho me temo que los establecimientos y productores privados no podrán hacer frente a precios públicos tan bajos.

The initiative consists basically in having a sort of little shops, state-owned, through all the country. These shops will offer agricultural products with the aim of reducing costs. They will also advice the peasantsabout the products they should (or can) buy. [So] they will be able even to control the products someone buys for their crops, damaging the competence inside this sector and attacking frontly the freedom of market, because I fea that private shops and producers won’t be able to face this public prices so low.

In the link there is very interesting video, in Spanish, in which the man in charged of one of these agrotiendas says he is very happy to open another of these shops to serve the “revolusión bolivariana“.

And more Venezuelans are leaving.

Also in O Insurgente.

DIE Zeit calls Chávez “el caudillo izquierdista populista del petróleo”, that is the “oil leftist-populist leader” [Venezuelas linkspopulistischer Öl-Caudillo]. Very interesting the last paragraph which points out that he is doing really nothing to reduce the dependence of Venezuela from the profits of the raw materials, especially when the possibility exists of new materials or sources of energy which could be developed in the future.

As Chávez announces he is out of World Bank and International Monetary Fund,

Investors reduced exposure to Venezuela’s sovereign debt on Wednesday on fears that the country’s decision to leave the IMF could trigger a technical default on its external bonds.
Total returns on Venezuela’s debt declined 0.6 percent on JP Morgan’s EMBI+ index (11EMJ: Quote, Profile, Research after President Hugo Chavez announced on Monday that Venezuela will withdraw its membership from Washington-based lending organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.

You can read the marvellous post of Devil’s Excrement with some more news. Especially this paragraph about what could happen with the bonds:
You see, much of the country’s bonds, including those issued by Chavez as recently as a year and half ago, include a clause or a covenant which says that the country leaving the IMF would constitute a default event. Of course, Chavez knows it all, but apparently could not remember this detail, which led to the bonds dropping today. To make matters eve worse, the Minister of Finance, said Venezuela had no plans to default on its debt, demonstrating his ignorance about what default means. He repeated later in the day that Venezuela had no plans to default, referring to no plans of stopping paying the debt, but clearly failed to understand that a technical default would mean that bondholders could ask for accelerated payment, lowers ratings, more cost and even worse, the inability of the country to issue new debt while the condition exists.
Marvellous…
Captain Ed has more.

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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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