Archive for March 29th, 2007

El Diario Exterior [in Spanish]:

“In Afghanistan there is an important level of unsecurity”, with these words Spanish Minsiter of Defense, José Antonio Alonso, has admitted about the situation in the country where Spain has sent troops.

In his appearance before the Congress’ Commission of Defense, Alonso has revealed “two significative incidents”: one on Dec 13th and other on March 15th. On March 15th a device exploded at 200 metres from a military convoy, when a motorcycle driven by 2 Afghan civil people exploded.

According to Alonso, in the explosion one of the Afghan was killed when he was manipulating the device, with which they were going to attack Spanish forces or from other countries. About the other incident, happened on Dec 13th, he detailed that it was a suicide attack, in which his author was killed and there were no hurt in the Spanish forces, who came back to base with no problems.

But the motive of his appearance before the Congress’ commission has been the explosion which killed Spanish soldier Idoia Rodríaguez, of which he said that in the attack was used a “very potent anti-tank mine”, which were used in 2001, before the entry of international allied troops in the country.

He also mentioned that the mine had between 6.2 to 6.9 kgs of explosive, used normally by the insurgence. This mine is extremelly dangerous and potent.

He also admitted that the soldiers who go on mission, take risks and added that the Government is compromised on the reconstruction and help to the Afghan people. After reassuring that the militar presence in Afghanistan “is not war-like”, he stated that, thanks to the Spanish soldiers more than 20 tons of humanitarian help had been given to Afghan people.

It is especially curious that he remarked that Afghanistan is a not war-like operation, because just afterwards he added Spanish troops were “protecting the rear of the Allied troops that are fighting Taliban [Operation Achilles]. We would never be very effective if we let pass the Taliban that are fleeing from combats“.

As ever lies, and more lies…

h/t Etimologías.

Related news: Prodi backed in Afghan vote. h/t Poliblog. The most interesting thing here is the position of Berlusconi:

In previous votes on Afghanistan, he has been propped up by the centre-right opposition led by Silvio Berlusconi, which supports the deployment.

But Mr Berlusconi has become more critical – notably of the way in which the government negotiated the release of an Italian journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taleban, a deal which saw five Taleban prisoners freed in exchange.

Looks like Berlusconi had listened then to some of the most prominent Italian bloggers who were against backing Prodi because that only meant backing his [disastrous] policy.

Related posts:

About Idoia’s death: Spanish soldier killed in Afghanistan.

About Afghanistan: Problems for Prodi after Aghan Taliban freed, Italian reported freed…, Al-Qaeda amenaza a España por presencia en Afganistán, Afghanistan: last news, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2006, Some links.

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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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