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Defiant North Korea conducts nuclear test | Top News | Reuters.com

:

North Korea said it conducted an underground nuclear test on Monday, defying a warning from the U.N. Security Council and opening its crippled economy to the risk of fresh sanctions. South Korea put its troops on heightened alert after the announcement, which came just minutes before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Seoul for a visit. The move could heighten regional tension and deal a fresh foreign policy blow to President Bush ahead of mid-term elections. The White House branded the act “provocative” and said it expected the U.N. Security Council to take immediate actions. Long Pyongyang’s chief ally, China denounced the “brazen” act, urging it to avoid action that could worsen the situation, and Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the test. North Korea’s announcement pushed the dollar to an eight-month high against the yen and helped shove oil above $60 a barrel. South Korea’s won fell 1.5 percent to two-month lows and its main stock index tumbled as much as 3.6 percent.

You can read also: Washington Post:

The White House did not immediately confirm the test, but spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement: “U.S. and South Korean intelligence detected a seismic event Sunday at a suspected nuclear test site in North Korea. A North Korean nuclear test would constitute a provocative act, in defiance of the will of the international community and of our calls to refrain from actions that would aggravate tensions in northeast Asia. We expect the Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act.”

The U.S. Geological Survey registered a “seismic event” of magnitude 4.2 at 10:35 a.m. Monday local time (9:35 p.m. Sunday EDT) 240 miles northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the agency. She said the event occurred 45 miles north of the North Korean town of Kimchaek.

Russia’s defense minister said the reported test was equivalent to between 5,000 tons and 15,000 tons of TNT, the Associated Press reported. That would make the blast possibly as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in World War II, which was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, the news agency said.

USA TODAY: North Korea says it conducted succesful underground nuclear test
NYT: NKorea reports 1st nuclear arms test.
Memeorandum: US Official N Korea tested nuclear weapon.
The Guardian: Blair condemns nuclear test.

Acordding to Spanish newspaper EL MUNDO, UN will act against NKorea.

Bloggers reporting about his: Right Wing News, RightWing Nut House, Michelle Malkin, LA Shawn Barber’s, Confederate Yankee, Big Lizards, Marmot’s Hole, Scared Monkeys, Hyscience, PoliPundit, Flopping Aces,Stop the ACLU,Blue Crab Boulevard,Barcepundit,Atlas Shrugs, The Belmont Club. In the Bullpen. Blue Star Chronicles,Jihad Du Jour,Ace of Spades. Il Mango Di Treviso,Dust My Broom,Gateway Pundit,

Winds of Change writes:

The truth is that North Korea is an irrelevant bit player in this whole drama. The real player here is China. They have helped North Korea at every step, and North Korea’s regime cannot survive at all without their ongoing food and fuel aid. Kim Jong-Il’s nuclear plans may be slightly inconvenient to the Chinese – just not not inconvenient enough to derail a strategy that still promises net plusses to those pursuing it within China’s dictatorship.
[…] In other words, make it clear to the Chinese via back-channel diplomacy that anything Taiwan chooses to do re: acquiring nuclear technology is no longer of any interest to the USA until Kim’s regime is gone – and that the Taiwanese are being briefed to that effect (the US had stopped a Taiwanese nuclear effort by threatening a cutoff of all military aid). Be clear also, and make public statements that “other states in the region” now have a viable reason to respond in kind. One could also drop hints about and then refuse to deny to the Chinese that back-channel discussions have begun with South Korea and Japan that involve America offering them a set number of working nuclear weapons from US stocks as a counterweight. They can also be told more directly via diplomatic channels that the USA will also support either or both countries if they choose to pursue their own programs, meanwhile floating diplomatic “trial balloons” re: a system that gives these countries their own deterrents as a better option, because it does not produce the capacity for further manufacture and so is “less destabilizing to the region.”

I agree. As I wrote here, the real goal is Taiwan and its independence.

I have found this [fake -or not? ūüėõ -] photo in Asia Pundit:

reciprocitysmall.jpg

RECIPROCITY

You scratch my back, Ill test some missiles

To sum up…

En espa√Īol podeis leer: Ajopringue,
EXPANSI√ďN: El Consejo de Seguridad se re√ļne de urgencia para debatir sobre las pruebas nucleares de Corea del Norte.
ABC.es: Corea del Norte confirma su desaf√≠o nuclear tras el “√©xito” de su primera prueba.

Just read this piece of news: it is disgusting AND
Test raises tension on border | The World | The Australian:

THE North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two “socialist allies”.
She asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this,” recounted a relative of one soldier who was there. What happened next is testimony to the rising disgust in Chinese military ranks as Beijing posts more troops to the border amid a crisis with North Korea over its regime’s plan to stage a nuclear test.
The soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge. North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand – the soft part between thumb and forefinger – with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash. “She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village,” the soldier later told his relative. “Then they dragged her away.”

Lo que tiene que quedar muy claro es que el jugador aqu√≠ NO es Corea del Norte si no China. China, como se√Īala Winds of Change un poco m√°s arriba, ha jugado un papel determinante auydando a los norcoreanos en el √©xito de su programa nuclear. Y eso es nuestro [1] verdadero problema, porque China est√° interesada en Taiwan y de esta forma le abre un nuevo frente a USA en su defensa de la independencia de la isla, as√≠ como de Jap√≥n y Australia. De modo que al final lo que se est√° acelerando es la carrera armament√≠stica nuclear.

La √ļltima noticia relata c√≥mo mataron los soldados de Corea del Norte a una chica que se hab√≠a saltado a la valla para ir a pedir comida y su “aliado” China, se la devolvi√≥. “Chill√≥ como cuando matamos a un cerdo en mi casa del pueblo“, le dijo un soldado chino a un familiar. Y este pa√≠s tiene energ√≠a at√≥mica…. ūüė¶

[1] NOTA: NO es el problema de Zapatero, que es partidario de que China anexione Taiwan

Related posts: NKorea will test a nuclear device.

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Last Thursday Nkorea announced they were going to test their nukes, if US did not lift sanctions on them:

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a device would be detonated about 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) inside a mine near the border with China in the north of the country.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had issued instructions that the test should “not excessively rock” Mount Paektu, a nearby peak many Koreans consider sacred.

“They are more or less ready,” the source told Reuters after speaking to North Korean officials. He did not give a timetable.

Un unofficial -but very official- speaker (here is his official website “Center for Korean-American Peace“, and no, I am not joking, HT Captain’s Quarters), has warned US that war is coming to their soil in a statement that seeks to tell the world five messages:

The first message is that Kim Jong-il is the greatest of the peerless national heroes Korea has ever produced. Kim is unique in that he is the first to equip Korea with sufficient military capability to take the war all the way to the continental US.Under his leadership the DPRK has become a nuclear-weapons state with intercontinental means of delivery. Kim is certainly in the process of achieving the long-elusive goal of neutralizing the American intervention in Korean affairs and bringing together North and South Korea under the umbrella of a confederated state
Unlike all the previous wars Korea fought, a next war will be better called the American War or the DPRK-US War because the main theater will be the continental US, with major cities transformed into towering infernos. The DPRK is now the fourth-most powerful nuclear weapons state just after the US, Russia, and China.

Well, apart from the obvious menace to US, er, India, France, Pakistan, etc, are not nuclear-weaponed states, are they? NKorea is the 4th country in nuclear development in the world…

The second point is that a nuclear test will be a legitimate exercise of North Korea’s sovereign right in supreme national-security interests of the country. The sole reason for the development of nuclear weapons is more than 50 years of direct exposure to naked nuclear threats and sanctions from the US. The Kim administration seeks to commit nuclear weapons to actual use against the US in case of war, never to use them as a tool of negotiations.

The US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan and Israel conducted numerous nuclear detonation experiments in legitimate exercise of their sovereignty. There is no international convention or treaty that prohibits North Korea from conducting underground nuclear tests. No country is allowed to infringe on the sovereignty of North Korea in material breach of Chapter 2 of the UN charter, unless they are prepared to risk triggering nuclear war with North Korea.

The third message is that the nuclear-armed North Korea will be a major boon to China and Russia. Nuclear-armed, the two countries are friendless in case of war with the US. The US has nuclear-armed allies, such as the UK and France. The Americans have a network of military bases around the two countries, while they have none. The presence of a mighty nuclear weapons state in Korea should be most welcome to Russia and China.
The People’s Republic of China has every reason to welcome a nuclear-armed North Korea, whatever it may say in public. The nuclear deterrence of North Korea is a major factor in reducing US military pressure on China on the question of the independence of Taiwan.

The fourth point is that the North Korea government of Kim does not care at all whether Japan goes nuclear, or that South Korea and Australia follow suit. In the first place, those countries are practically nuclear-armed because they are under the nuclear umbrella of the US and house American nuclear bases and because Tokyo’s military spending is 10 times that of Pyongyang’s and Seoul’s defense budget is five times that of Pyongyang’s. It is too obvious that they are capable of acquiring nuclear weapons at short notice. (NOTE: The problem here is that Japan and South Korea are not in very well terms. In fact, there was a fractured reaction to a series of North Korean missile tests in July. In that incident, China and South Korea accused Japan of overreacting -H/T: L’Ombre de lOlivier-)

[…] The fifth and last point is a long, overdue farewell to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, with the Bush administration standing in the dock as prime defendant accused of sabotaging nuclear non-proliferation. Had the Americans been steadfast in upholding the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty by reducing their nuclear weapons and respecting the sovereignty and independence of the non-nuclear states, North Korea would not have felt any need to defend itself with nuclear weapons.

But the worst is yet to come:

A nuclear test by North Korea will go a long way toward emboldening anti-American states around the world to acquire nuclear weapons. There is a long line of candidate states.
It is important to note that the North Korean Foreign Ministry pledges to faithfully implement its international commitment in the field of nuclear non-proliferation as a responsible nuclear-weapons state and to prohibit nuclear transfer.

As you see, logic reasoning was just forgotten when writing those last words.

NYPost (H/T Lawhawk) publised the test could be held this same week. The Economist (H/T The Moderate Voice) says that “satellite monitoring suggests that preparations have been underway for months“, something also reported by swiss.info and Global Security Newswire (H/T: NoisyRoom.Net-).

Pyongyang can’t help but notice all the time and effort going into bribing Iran to swear off nukes: Tehran’s not only getting all the attention, the mullahs are being offered all the best bribes, too – all manner of economic and trade incentives, for starters, from the European Union.

Kim must be saying to himself: “What about me?”

I am the 4th nuclear country in the world…. ūüė¶ But this contrast with the Dear Leader’s statement some days ago:

General Kim has declared that not even a tiny concession will be made to the imperialist US invaders, our arch-enemy,” said a broadcast on North Korean state television. Kim, who never speaks himself in public, said that if the US took “revenge”, it would mean “all-out war”. “It is not empty talk for the DPRK [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to respond with revenge to any revenge by the enemy and with all-out war to an all-out war,” the TV said.

But we keep on with the NYPost:

Sure, China could cut off the $1 billion or so in aid it gives Pyongyang every year. But Beijing is deathly worried about exacerbating the grim humanitarian crisis on its border – or, worse yet, causing the regime to collapse, bringing all manner of unforeseeable chaos.

South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, meanwhile, sent a “grave warning” to North Korea. So what? Seoul has even worse worries than China about a breakdown in the North – and the centerpiece of Roh’s government has been North-South reconciliation, so he’s not likely to cut off the South’s own generous aid streams to the North.

As for the United States, well: Economic sanctions can’t do much – there is virtually nothing left to sanction. The military options – and the possibility of another Korean War – make the challenges in Iraq look like a walk in the park.

Plus, Kim knows that the Clinton administration lifted economic sanctions on India and Pakistan within six months of their nuclear tests in the spring of 1998.

In fact, US has warned NKorea of “unspecified consequences if they test the nuclear weapons” (H/T: NoisyRoom.Net).

According to Professor Shen Dingli, quoted by Newsweek:

His analysis, posted online at the Nautilus Institute, a Berkeley, Calif., geopolitical think tank (www.nautilus.org), asserts that North Korea would enhance its own national security, gain critical economic assistance and avoid American-initiated ‚Äúregime change‚ÄĚ by exploding one of the handful of A-bombs in its arsenal. He says Pyongyang has good reason to bet that none of the region‚Äôs big powers‚ÄĒthe United States, China, Russia and Japan‚ÄĒwill do more than voice strenuous objections and impose symbolic punishments. ‚ÄúIf the DPRK [North Korea] successfully carries out a nuclear test, it will be accepted as a de facto nuclear country after a period of international sanctions, as India and Pakistan were reaccepted by the United States and by other mainstream countries ‚Ķ several years after they conducted nuclear tests in 1998,‚ÄĚ he writes.

A nuclear North Korea would also be useful to China in its Taiwan policy. To be sure, a nuclear test would cause Beijing, as broker of recent multiparty negotiations to end the nuclear standoff, to lose considerable diplomatic face. But North Korea also serves to neutralize the presence of American troops in South Korea, and a nuclear North Korea would accomplish this even better. ‚ÄúThe main task now is ‚Äėopposing Taiwan independence’,‚ÄĚ he writes. ‚ÄúIn this respect, the DPRK  at least puts in check the tens of thousands of US troops in South Korea and ‚Ķ helps China divide the military threat of the US military forces in the Asia-Pacific region.‚ÄĚ

(…) Even moderation is risky; by not thwarting Pyongyang‚Äôs nuclear ambitions, he says, Washington might unwittingly compel allies Japan and South Korea to develop atomic arsenals of their own.

Looks like that Japan is going to change a bit from their prior assumptions over pacifism. The idea of having a North Korea nuclear armed can swift the population to a much more pro-war instance. In fact, Japanese Constitution’s amendment is going to be one of the prior objectives of Mr. Abe. The prior aim to revise the Constitution is  to eliminate Japan‚Äôs pacifist postwar military tradition.

China has announced they are totally unable to control NKorea (H/T Austin Bay), because the “DPRK considers its national interests to be greater than its relations with China,‚ÄĚ Mr Shen says in his remarkably frank commentary, published in a newspaper of the official China Youth League and circulated yesterday by a North Korea-focused think tank, the Nautilus Institute.

I do not know what to think of this man: in Newsweek, he says that China is interested in NKorea having nukes because of Taiwan. And here he says that China cannot stop North Korea. I personally think -not believe. considering previous activities, that China is interested in NKorea having the bomb, even when that is not very comfortable. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Latest news are that shots have been fired at the tense border between NKorea and South Korea.

“Our troops fired warning shots at the five North Korean soldiers after they climbed over the military demarcation line despite several loudspeaker warnings,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

This is not good, at all.

UPDATE: Captain’s Quarters exposes the cause of the sanctions to NKOrea:

China remained officially mum about such consequences, but told the press that only the removal of recent American sanctions would convince Kim to skip the test. These sanctions, CQ readers will recall, got imposed because of Kim’s massive counterfeiting operation that targets the US. We cut out Kim’s banking front from the international financial community, making it difficult for him to flood the market with the phony currency.

El pasado jueves Corea del Norte anunci√≥ que iba a probar sus bombas nucleares. Al parecer China se√Īal√≥ que s√≥lo dejar√≠an de hacerlo si USA levantaba las sanciones que, a d√≠a de hoy mantiene contra el pa√≠s comunista.

Pero seg√ļn el comunicado no oficial -pero muy oficial- del representante no oficial -pero muy oficial- de Corea del Norte, este pa√≠s debe anunciar al mundo los siguientes mensajes:

– Kim Jong-Il [ o sea, el “querido l√≠der”] es el m√°s grande de los m√°s nobles h√©roes que Corea del Norte ha producido. Es √ļnico porque ha permitido a Corea del Norte tener armamento nuclear. Contrariamente a todas las guerras anteriores, la nueva guerra se llamar√° la guerra norte-americana porque tendr√° lugar en suelo norte-americano, con las ciudades m√°s grandes convertidas en infiernos. Corea del Norte es la cuarta potencia nuclear del mundo despu√©s de USA, Rusia y China.

– La prueba nuclear es leg√≠tima porque es un ejercicio de su soberan√≠a para asegurar la seguridad nacional y los intereses de este pa√≠s. Ning√ļn pa√≠s puede infringir la soberan√≠a de Corea del Norte sin arriesgarse a una guerra nuclear.

– Una Corea del Norte armada nuclearmente, les conviene tanto a Rusia como a China, sea lo que sea lo que digan en p√ļblico. Con armas nucleares, los dos pa√≠ses no ser√°n amigos de USA.

РA Kim-Jong-IL no le importa que Japón o Corea del Norte o Australia también desarrollen armas nucleares.

– Quinto y √ļltimo, una despedida cari√Īosa al r√©gimen de no proliferaci√≥n nuclear, con el malvado Bush acusado de haber falseado la no-proliferaci√≥n nuclear.

Por supuesto, lo mejor es el final: dice que despu√©s de Corea del Norte ser√°n muchos los pa√≠ses anti-americanos que probar√°n las armas nucleares (Ahmadenijad????) y que “debemos hacer notar que Corea del Norte promete cumplir fielmente su compromiso internacional en el campo de la no-proliferaci√≥n nuclear como un pa√≠s nuclear responsable y prohibir las transferencias nucleares“. La l√≥gica se les olvid√≥ al escribir ese p√°rrafo…

Parece ser incluso que puede realizarse este fin de semana. Tanto China (que da un billón de dólares anuales a Corea del Norte en ayuda) como Corea del Sur, cuyo presidente ha hecho de la reconciliación con el Norte el eje de su gobierno, están preocupados. Pero Corea sabe que Clinton levantó las sanciones a Paquistán y a India pocos meses después de que hicieran sus pruebas nucleares y espera que a ella le hagan lo mismo.

Seg√ļn el Profesor Shen Dingli, citado por la revista Newsweek, ha se√Īalado que las razones de este test nuclear har√≠an que Corea del Norte incrementase su securidad nacional, ganase asistencia econ√≥mica internacional e impidiese de esta forma el programa de “cambio de r√©gimen” iniciado por USA. Corea del Norte sirve asimismo para neutralizar la presencia de tropas americanas en Corea del Sur, a lo que contribuir√≠a de manera notable Corea del Norte si fuera nuclear. “Lo m√°s importante es oponerse a la independencia de Taiwan“, escribe.

Incluso la moderación es peligrosa; como no se detiene a las ambiciones nucleares de Corea del Norte, USA estará sin querer compeliendo a los aliados Japón y Corea del Sur a desarrollar arsenales nucleares.

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From BBC:

After 9/11, US authorities demanded that airlines should provide personal passenger data for all inbound flights.

But the subsequent US-EU agreement was ruled illegal by the highest European court in May of this year. Saturday was the deadline for a new deal.

A European Commission spokesman said that a legal black hole could be created by the lack of agreement.

“There is no agreement. There is a legal vacuum as of midnight tonight,” EU Transport Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said on Saturday.

As a result, airlines refusing to provide passenger lists to the US may lose landing rights in the country, but those that do risk facing legal action under EU member states’ data protection legislation.

But Mr Todd told BBC television that attempts to resolve the deadlock would continue.

(…) However, US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told Reuters news agency that there was “absolutely no basis” to say that discussions had broken down.

“We are confident we can move forward to a mutually acceptable agreement,” he said.

He said he had been assured that European airlines would continue to provide the required passenger information and said he doubted European governments would penalise them for this.

No se ha llegado a un acuerdo entre Estados Unidos y la Uni√≥n Europea sobre la informaci√≥n que los vuelos deben remitir sobre los pasajeros a las autoridades de EEUU. El acuerdo previo al que hab√≠an llegado fue considerado por el Tribunal de Justicia de la UE como ilegal y ayer constitu√≠a el √ļltimo d√≠a de plazo para llegar a otro.

El peligro que existe es que no se sabe si esto dificultar√° el transporte a√©reo entre ambos, aunque el Secretario de Seguridad Nacional estadounidense ha se√Īalado que todav√≠a se puede llegar a un buen acuerdo y que las compa√Ī√≠as europeas le hab√≠an afirmado que continuar√≠an proveyendo dicha informaci√≥n. Tanto unos como otros dudan que los gobiernos europeos les penalicen por esto.

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Turkey and the EU

Two articles about the possibility of Turkey entering the Union. The first one, from Newsweek: Second Thoughts:

Once, Europe was a sweetshop, and Turkey was an eager kid with his face pressed to the window. Just two years ago, polls showed that more than 70 percent of Turks wanted to join the European Union, convinced that following the road to Brussels would make them richer, healthier and freer. Now, only months after long-delayed negotiations finally began, support for the EU has slipped to just 43 percent, and is falling fast.

Why? The cost and hassle of implementing the EU’s 80,000-page Acquis Communautaire‚ÄĒthe vast canon of rules and regulations on everything from air quality to the size and shape of bananas (imports must not be “abnormally bent”). A new study by the politically powerful Turkish Industry and Business Association estimates the cost of reforming Turkey’s huge agriculture sector alone at up to $76 billion over the next decade, a significant hit for a $382 billion economy. Almost every clause of the Acquis Communautaire comes with a giant bill‚ÄĒfor example, implementing European drinking-water standards will require digging up vast swaths of Turkey’s often haphazardly planned cities to replace crumbling piping.

Le Monde: For Jacques Chirac, Turkey must recognise the Armenian Genocide:

The French President Jacques Chirac has judged, on Sunday September 30th, in Erevan, that Turkey must recognise the Armenian Genocide before being able to adhere the European Union. Questioned at a Press conference if Turkey should recognise the character of genocide to the massacres of Armenians committed between 1915 and 1917 in the Ottoman Empire, he has answered that “honestly, I believe it”. “All the countries grow when the recognise their drames and errors”, he added.

Seg√ļn Newsweek, los √≠ndices de apoyo de la poblaci√≥n turca a entrar en la Uni√≥n Europea han decrecido de manera muy importante, de 70% hace dos a√Īos hasta un 43% ahora. El coste y la molestia de introducir en el pa√≠s el “acervo comunitario” se ha estimado, por ejemplo, en la agricultura, en 76 billones de d√≥lares s√≥lo en la pr√≥xima d√©cada, lo que es excesivo para una econom√≠a con un valor estimado de 382 billones de d√≥lares.

De viaje en Armenia, Jacques Chirac ha declarado que “honestamente cree” que Turqu√≠a debe reconocer el Genocidio Armenio.

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Looks like Prodi is also having problems with illegal immigration: 16.000 illegal immigrants have arrived only this year, to the Italian and little island of Lampedusa. His proposals, “ambiguous and contradictory“, are a good reflection of the several political parties which conform Italian Government nowadays. “Il Professore” has reduced from 10 to 5 years the time to grant Italian citizenship to foreigners. But this is the first step: the Social Security Minister, the Communist Paolo Ferrero, announced unilaterally a regularization which would be greater than the one Zapatero made in Spain [my goodness… another non-existent human being…].

Yesterday, Giuliano Amato, Italian Interior Minister , announced a new law. Spanish newspaper writes that it consists, basically, in abolishing the “Fini-Bossi” Act, but without any alternative measures to contain the arrival of the illegal immigrants to Italy. Yahoo News! Italy has titled their information “Amato: Sponsor per immigrati“, that is, “Amato: the immigrants’ sponsor” (via Italian blog Fard Times).

Italian Newspaper Il Corriere della Sera also writes about this: Italian immigrants will need an sponsor. According to Italian newspaper,

the Government is going to let enter in Italy only the immigrants that have taken Italian classes, a formation course for the job. Only immigrants in those lists could be admitted. BUT, instead of letting immigrants come only from countries  that would readmitting their citizens [as it is now], now this wouldn’t be necessary.

There will also be “sponsors that engage themselves financially with guarantees“. If they arrive to Italy and do not work, then these sponsors, whether associations, Chambers of Commerce, etc. would have to pay their contributions.

He also announced system of “voluntary repatriations“, which would be of a lower cost than to have them in jail.

Firstly, I think these measures are a little bit na√Įf: Does he really think they are going to return voluntarily to their countries of origin once they have arrived to El Dorado? I am not really sure. And what methods are they going to use if they are not willing to return?

Secondly, who is going to pay the guarantees of these sponsors? Italian contributor? Countries of origin? This is important to know, because of the cost to the average citizen the measure can have.

Thirdly, the idea of making the would-be immigrants take classes of Italian and to specialise in their future jobs, is a very good one. But, do they think that if people can arrive without any kind of these requirements and stay in the country, are they going to fulfill them? I mean, you want to come to Europe where jobs are very easy to find and everyone lives really well [or so they are saying to the would-be immigrants]. There are some friends of yours who have arrived here without any requirements and are working here. Remember Mohammed,  the Moroccan immigrant in Spain:

“France is a racist country. Italy, on the contrary is ideal. If you work without bothering, Police just leaves you alone. In Spain, by contrast, if you are detained, you are thrown into jail“.

If you work, whether being legal or illegal, -should be added- without bothering… I do not know, I am not very optimistic about this. And what would be the solution if instead of entering through Italy they have entered through Spain and have gone to Italy afterwards?

And lastly, what is going to say Paolo Ferrero, the regularization man, about this “restrictive” law?

Thanks to enzo, for the help with translation.

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Sarkozy in Senegal

French Interior Minister, Mr. Sarkozy, is in Senegal. Le Monde – after reminding the “drames of Ceuta et Melilla“, that is, the dramas of Ceuta and Melilla – makes clear what is the new “treaty” between France and the African country about illegal immigrants:

  1. Senegal accepts, respecting human dignity, the return of its nationals who are residing there in an irregular situation.
  2. France only obliges to help in the creation of profitable activities in Senegal, promising a sum near 2,5 million of Euros to “microprojects“.

Le Monde insists in the fact that Senegal rejected the return of the illegal immigrants who arrived at Canary Islands, because of “bad treatments“. But it forgets to add that Spain paid Senegal 8 million euros, more that three times the sum promised by French Government.

The most interesting part of the article is this one:

Ni l’Europe ni la France ne peuvent recevoir tous ceux qui r√™vent d’un eldorado, a d√©clar√© M. Sarkozy. Une ouverture g√©n√©rale des fronti√®res entra√ģnerait en peu de temps une d√©stabilisation des soci√©t√©s europ√©ennes et l’arriv√©e au pouvoir de partis x√©nophobes. Cela, personne ne le souhaite.” La visite de M. Sarkozy √† Dakar intervient au lendemain de la r√©union √† Tampere (Finlande) des ministres europ√©ens charg√©s de l’immigration, o√Ļ il avait refus√© de se rendre, mettant en cause le laxisme de la politique espagnole de r√©gularisation.

Translation:

Nor Europe nor France can receive all the people who are dreaming about El Dorado“, declared Mr. Sarkozy. “A general openning of all frontiers will cause in little time a desestabilization of European societies and the rise to power of xenophobes parties. That is what anyone wants“. The visit of Mr Sarkozy to Dakar was the day after the meeting at Tampere (Finland) of the European ministers in charge of immigration, which he did not attend, because of the soft -laxa- Spanish policy of regularization.

And the plan of Socialist Government was to reintroduce Spain in Europe, helped by France and Germany… My goodness.

Now that French Government has had to pay, Chirac has united himself to Spain (Mr. Zapatero), Portugal (Socrates), Greece (Caramanlis), Prodi (Italy), Cyprus (Papadopoulos), Malta (Gonzi), and Slovenia (Jans), to write a letter to Finnish Presidence. In it, they assure immigration problem should be reveiwed in a European level, “especially in terms of financial help and resources“. We will see the results.

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Quick links

From Le Monde:

  1. Slovak left (SMER), winner of last elections, forms a coalition with far-right extremists (SNS) and with nationalistic party (HZDS). They are excluding the Christian-democrats and the SMK (center-right) and they are going to fulfill a “leftist agenda”. SMER, affiliated to European Socialist Party, won thanks to a campaign against liberal reforms: its leader, Robert Fico, is going to increase taxes for individuals and for firms, especially for Banks and great societies and he only has promised to lower the taxes for the most necessary goods.
  2. The negotiations of Turkey’s adhesion to European Union can be in danger. And everything because of the customs duty, if Ankara does not apply it to all 25 countries and especially to Cyprus.

“This is not a menace”, has said the Finnish FM, Erkki Toumioja -wow, he is just trembling…-.

Ankara has refused to recognise the authotity of Cyprus (Nicosia) and does not authorise ships or airplanes from that country in its ports and airports.

“The end of the year is the end of the time for this”, he has added. But he has not said if that end-time is about the text’s ratification, the momment in which it should be applied or simply the end to the restriction to the ports and airports.

 

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He flew into Egypt at the start of the trip which will also take him to Ghana, South Africa and four other countries.
Deals for oil, copper, timber and other resources are expected to be discussed. Chinese manufacturers are also seeking new markets, correspondents say.
Trade between China and Africa rose to $40bn (£22bn) last year.That total has quadrupled in the last five years.
Mr Wen will also visit Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda during his visit.His trip comes at a time of growing Chinese interest in the continent.
But critics in the United States and Europe say Beijing is blocking international efforts to put pressure on what they call oppressive regimes in Sudan and Zimbabwe because of its desire for economic deals.

BBC NEWS | Africa |

It is curious he is not going to Sudan, where he has so many interests. Ehh, can it be because all Chinese interests are well protected in Sudan?

concessions_102002.jpg

You can read also Luo Minatti's post on this subject (HT: No Pasarán)

UPDATE: Go over to Causes of Interest and read UN hears of mass Darfur Killings.

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As the world rapidly shifts from an economy based on labor and industry to one driven by knowledge and innovation, Europe’s education systems aren’t keeping pace. Indeed, some seem to be slipping into virtual dysfunction. It’s well known that the continent’s underfunded and overbureaucratized universities produce too few graduates with often outdated skills‚ÄĒan obvious threat to Europe’s prosperity. Less well known is the fact that many European countries, for all their talk of social equality, foreclose opportunities for education and social advancement.
[…] A scathing report comes out this week from London’s Centre for European Reform. A “grim” educational “malaise” grips higher learning in Europe, the authors conclude. Most of its best universities are “clearly in the second division,” they say, worsened by an “exodus of academic talent.” The criticism comes on the heels of a February inspection tour by U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Vernor Mu√Īoz Villalobos, who blasted Germany for keeping many of its immigrants stuck in third-rate, dead-end schools. He could easily have said the same of France, Spain or the Netherlands, where so-called black schools have become synonymous with poverty, underachievement and violence. If that weren’t enough, a shocking recent study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that third-generation immigrants in Germany and several other countries actually do worse in school than their second-generation peers‚ÄĒan alarming trend that stands the upwardly mobile nature of immigration on its head.
[..] In the most recent global ranking of top research institutions compiled by Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, only nine European colleges made it into the top 50, the majority of them in the United Kingdom. Less than a quarter of Europe’s working-age population has a university-level degree, compared with 38 percent in the United States and 36 in Japan. Study after study, by the OECD and others, has shown high-school achievement stagnant or slipping. The problems are particularly acute for the Continent’s Big Three, drivers of Europe’s economy.
[…] At the heart of the problem are education systems that often seem stuck in another age. In France and Germany, bureaucrats in giant ministries micromanage curricula, budgets and personnel assignments. Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have retained 19th-century school systems that divide up kids as early as the age of 10 into different-level schools, all but cementing their future careers. Lower tracks, such as Germany’s Hauptschulen, offer only a rudimentary education. This relic of feudalism might have made sense for industrial societies that needed a small university-educated elite and masses of simple workers. Today, in a globalizing, flexible world, such fixed hierarchies are more out of date than ever.
[Referring to Germany] Despite 4.5 million registered unemployed, companies complain that they can’t find skilled workers‚ÄĒnot just engineers and specialists but plain-vanilla graduates with the social and learning skills to start simple on-the-job training. “The education system is sending us people who aren’t even ready to be trained,” says Labor Office chief Frank Weise. In contrast, countries like South Korea that have invested in education and raised the number of university graduates have enjoyed both higher growth and declining unemployment.
[…]Even today, the education debate is marked by absurdity and distortion. Politicians talk about creating “elite” universities, yet they refuse to allow selective admissions. After the R√ľtli School’s case became public, politicians demanded everything from salary bonuses for Hauptschule teachers to a new law making “refusal to integrate” acrime. Anything to avoid having to talk about the elephant in the middle of the room: that the system of ducational segregation is ineffective and cruel.

By contrast:

Finland, ranked by the OECD as having the world’s best education system, faced many of these same problems in the 1960s. In international tests, its students barely made the OECD average. Since then, Finland has devolved decision making from Helsinki bureaucrats to the schools themselves, setting only guidelines for what students should be able to do. Schools and teachers are monitored for quality, and constantly evolve in terms of curricula and methods. The old-fashioned sorting of kids into different-level schools has been abandoned. Now Finnish 15-year-olds not only score highest in a number of skills, but also show the least effect of class background on achievement, a key measure of meritocracy. Small wonder that Finland is today a high-tech powerhouse with high growth and low unemployment.

Conclusion:

None of these countries are having a strategic debate over where they want to be in 10 years,” says the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher. Nor do they seem willing to address the true causes of the malaise. Unless that changes, Europe’s future will be bleak indeed.

Europe’s Education Crisis РNewsweek: International Editions РMSNBC.com

The article also notes that:

visit the R√ľtli School in Berlin, where more than the walls are crumbling. Located in one of the capital’s poorest Arab-Turkish neighborhoods, a whopping 83 percent of its students don’t speak German as their mother tongue.

And then Spanish Government whose leader is Zapatero changes (again!, I do not know how many times the education system has been changed in Spain for worse) the system and issues a new law. Aznar’s law was called “Organic Act for Education’s Quality”. Zapatero’s law is called “Organic Act of Education”. See what word is missing?

Anyway it’s very interesting the fact that the 3rd generation inmigrants are doing worse that their fathers. It is another proof of the lack of sense of the inmigration policies introduced in Europe and of the real failure of multi-culturalism. If really multiculturalism was a the ideal way to integrate people, these ones would do better than their parents. But the ghettos that really builds the multiculturalism, given that even the University students do not know German, are really lowering the possibilities in life of the teenagers now in school and at university.

Another thing is that they are not investing what education is worth. The horizon for educational policies in Europe was 2010 and had two objectives:

  • Improving the quality and effectiveness of education and training systems
    in the EU.
  • Facilitating the access of all to education and training systems.
  • Opening up education and training systems to the wider world.

According to European Comission’s study (PDF):

  • In the EU, presently (2005) about 6 million young people (18-24 years olds) have left education prematurely. Reaching the European benchmark of no more than 10% early school leavers would imply that 2 million more of these young people would have continued in education.
  • At the age of 15 about 1 million out of over 5 million pupils are presently low performers in reading literacy. Reaching the European benchmark for 2010 would imply that 200.000 pupils would have to improve their performance in the field.
  • The EU would need to double the amount it invests per higher education student (i.e. an increase of nearly 10 000 euros per student and year) to match the spending level in the USA. The EU suffers from under-investment in human resources, especially in higher education. Public investment in education and training as a percentage of GDP has grown slightly since the adoption of the Lisbon strategy, and is comparable with levels in the USA (and higher than in Japan). Rates of private investment in educational institutions seem to be (however, data availability and comparability is limited) modest in most Member States compared with the leading countries in the world, especially in higher education. There is also a need to increase the efficiency of investment and ensure that it supports the development of high quality education and training systems which are both efficient and equitable.
  • During the coming 10 years, the EU needs to attract at least 1 million new qualified teachers if those who will leave the profession due to retirement should be replaced.
  • Most EU students are not taught at least two foreign languages from an early age as requested by the Barcelona 2002 European Council. At present (2003), an average of only 1.3 and 1.6 foreign languages per pupil are taught in the Member States in general lower- and upper-secondary education respectively.

Another of the problems accordng to the report is the fact that there are a lot of teachers near the age of retirement. So more will be needed in the years to come. The problem is: with so bad conditions, is there any possibility of finding people interested in being a teacher? But they have taken this possibility into account:

Main messages on teachers:

  • Considerable teacher recruitment needs during the next decade put focus on policies and initiatives to motivate older teachers to remain in the profession and to offer them continuous professional development.
  • The attractiveness of teaching is on the policy agenda in several countries. Policy objectives are directed towards improving the image and status of teaching, improving teaching‚Äôs salary competitiveness, improving employment conditions, and securing an adequate supply of teachers in all subject areas.

They are not considering one other factor: people who LIKE their job are more productive than people who dislike it. And the perspectives on this job are not precisely marvellous. Because one of the things that are not told here are the attacks on teachers: for example, in UK 90% of teachers think the problem is getting worse each day. Some have even left their jobs. Not only the agressions come from the children or teenagers, but by their parents. And schools are told to cover up these attacks. In Spain these attacks are not now rare. And there is also violence against other pupils and Internet pages giving advice as to what to do in those cases. Some teachers have even gone on strike for repeated cases of school violence. In France, the violence has reached the schools, with hald of the shool pupils confessing being subject to verbal attacks, more than 1/4 between the boys and 1/8 between the girls having been harshly beaten at school. Although the agressions to teachers don’t happen often (2.4%), the violence in school is growing. Especially the agressions of private and public goods (+40%) and the utilization of a weapon (+35%).

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The EU is planning to stage a Eurovision-style song contest and organise cake-baking competitions, under a public relations offensive celebrating the 50th birthday of the EU next year.The celebrations are part of Brussels' drive to win the public's sympathy after French and Dutch citizens voted down the EU constitution last year, according to Reuters."We have big plans to make the EU more punter-friendly," one EU official told the agency.
The campaign begins this month with the launch of a competition to find a logo and slogan for the EU's 50th birthday.In 1957, the six founding member states of the EU established its predecessor, the European Economic Community, in the Treaty of Rome.The ultimate choice for the logo and slogan will be left to citizens in a popular vote, according to a document outlining the plans.
One highlight of next year's festivities will be an EU-wide song and dance party, proposed by Belgium, modelled along the Eurovision song contest, which enjoys huge popularity."We want to show the EU can dance," says the document, with live television coverage planned across the union.But new member states in particular are reportedly unhappy with the song and dance contest idea."They feel people are being forced to dance and sing, like they were by the communists," said one EU diplomat according to Reuters.

EUobserver.com

HT: Instinct de survie.

That is what the EU needs, of course. Another eurovision contest.Are they fool or just stupid? What we need is more investment, more competitivenes AND to clarify what is going to be our future. Not another idiotic Eurovision contest.

But all they are doing is asking for new subsidies. France are Italy are asking for it because of the "crisis distillation":

The stand-off is expected just before Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, unveils her ideas for reform of EU wine subsidies. She said last month she would try to push through a “bold reform” to force the European wine sector to reduce capacity and help it regain market share from New World competitors such as Australia and Chile. The controversial system of crisis distillation, which cost the EU €180m ($233m, £123m) last year, will be one of the main reform targets.

A spokeswoman for Ms Fischer Boel said the high distillation demands made by France and Italy “merely reinforce why a radical reform is so important. It is a tool that was meant to be there for crisis but has become a depressingly regular feature of the regime over the last two years”.

Sent to 123 open trackback weekend.

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From the Washington Post:

The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on China’s military power, released this week, reveals that Beijing’s buildup has advanced well beyond what most analysts considered likely just 10 years ago. Some highlights: The new arsenal of the People’s Liberation Army includes more than 700 missiles deployed opposite Taiwan, a fleet of sophisticated diesel electric submarines, a growing nuclear submarine capability and advanced destroyers armed with lethal anti-ship cruise missiles. By making the potential cost of any U.S. intervention in the Taiwan Strait extraordinarily high, Beijing has accomplished its decade-long goal of establishing a credible military threat to Taiwan — as well as a deterrent to the United States. The question is, what next?

The report points to some answers. With a growing dependence on oil imported from the Middle East and Africa, Chinese strategists are talking about creating a blue-water navy to secure Beijing’s energy supply lines. The military may be reconsidering its nuclear “no-first-use policy” and examining ways to secure China’s territorial claims in the South China and East China seas. Simply stated, as China’s military power has grown, so too, it appears, have the strategic tasks that it may be assigned. This shouldn’t be surprising. Our own history teaches that as a nation’s power grows so do its ambitions.

So the country who jails protesters (HT Free Thoughts) and bloggers and do not respect Human Rights at all has a new arsenal … to secure its energy supply lines. And that “No more blood for oil”?

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A US company, Pandemic, is going to sell a videogame, named Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, in which a US invasion is simulated in a country ruled by a tyran with the grasp of the oil refineries and with the final objective to throw out the tyran. This has worsened even more the US-Venezuelan relationship.

The players take the place of soldiers to throw out a hungry tyran/dictator who varies the supply of Venezuelan oil, unleashing an invasion that makes the country a war place“. The simulated mission is began by a Marines’ commando to take it by a military assault.

This happens when Caracas has reinforced its alliance with Iran about the nuclear crisis. Ahmadinejah said:

“We hace a lot of common ideals and aims that unites us profoundly. And our common enemies’ position are each day less strong”.

Their common interests are so great they lack the same thing: oil refineries. As a result they are just making a new one jointly.

This came afterwards Bush said he was worried about an important erosion in democracy both in Bolivia and Venezuela.

Newsweek comments also about Ch√°vez:

Venezuelan president Hugo Ch√°vez is the new rock star of world politics. His impassioned rants against globalization, with animated poses to match, make front-page headlines almost daily. The commentariat-particularly in Europe-seems to buy Ch√°vez’s line that Latin Americans are so disenchanted by their short tryst with liberalism that they now prefer a strongman to spread the benefits of a commodity boom. The recent moves by a Ch√°vez soulmate, Evo Morales, to renationalize the energy resources of Bolivia reinforce a growing perception that Latin America is lurching to the radical left.

Read it all.

US had made arrangements to consider Lybia is fighting against terrorism. I was not the least happy about it. And at the same time Gadaffi says he is going to receive Ch√°vez. As a result, Washington is going to suspend the selling of weapons to Caracas because of its lack of collaboration with the fighting of terrorism.

So Ch√°vez is going to ask Oliver Stone to make a film about the failed coup d’√©tat that took place in April 2002. “I am sure that there are a lot of people that are not willing the truth to come out because this people is going to investigate to have the truth and is going to tell both the good and the bad that happened then”, Ch√°vez said. What? The same man who said that Castro is one of the wisest man on Earth is going to find the truth?

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From BBC:

France and Morocco have agreed to work together to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy agreed the deal with his Moroccan counterpart, Chakib Benmoussa.

Mr Sarkozy was in Morocco as part of an African tour, widely seen as a prelude to his presidential bid next year.

He has already visited Benin and Mali, where there were street protests over his tough immigration policy, designed to keep out “unskilled” foreigners.

French MPs have already backed Mr Sarkozy’s immigration bill but it can only become law after it has been passed by the Senate.

Wow! This is marvellous. I am very confident in them working together. They are just going to send more inmigrants to Spain, that’s all. From Spain Herald:

Saharan human rights activist Aminetu Haidar said yesterday in Seville that prime minister Zapatero’s support for his own Alliance of Civilizations project is “incompatible with permitting the tortures that the Moroccan government inflicts on the Saharan people.” After speaking before the Andalusian regional parliament, Haidar said that if the Spanish government does not act in favor of self-determination for the Western Sahara, “it will be responsible for the genocide and massacres that are going to begin, if they have not already…Spain and France are the two governments that support Morocco’s state terrorism against the Saharan people.”

She called Zapatero’s proposed Alliance of Civilizations “a makeup job that the administration applies to its face while it turns its back on the Saharan people, who have not received any support from this government, despite the strong support that the Spanish people have given us.” Haidar added, “Morocco does not respect the Saharans.”

Aminetu Haidar also called on Spain to accept “its historical and legal responsibility with respect to the Sahara, and recognize the crimes committed against the Saharan people.” Therefore, she said, “Spain should take a clear position on self-determination.”

I think that we are more indebted with this people that with American indigene population. While our American domination was ended because of an independence war, Saharan people were left alone after Franco’s death and Morocco, with international support or at least not much critisizing of their position, invaded their territory.

But the aggressions to Saharan people continue: you can see photos here. The problem is that most of the documents are in Spanish. Anyway,there has been arbitrary detentions made to Saharan activists since the Moroccan invasion. The problem is that with the new antiterrorist measures, they are detained as Islamists or terrorists, being none of that (someone has heard of a Saharan terrorist? ehh, … NOPE).

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From Spain Herald:

Police union spokesman Rodrigo Gavilan said yesterday that the administration canceled a flight that would have carried 90 officers to Grand Canary island in order to proceed to the deportation of 180 illegal immigrants to Mauritania and Guinea. However, those two countries were not willing to accept the deportees. Gavilan added that, as it is not possible to deport the immigrants, “all those that arrive are transported to mainland Spain, five thousand so far.”
Deputy prime minister Mar√≠a Teresa Fern√°ndez de la Vega said that due to the mass arrival of open boats carrying illegals to the Canary coasts, that all illegal immigrants would be repatriated. She also announced agreements with the illegals’ countries of origin to return them. According to Gavilan, however, reality is very different.

News24.com:

With the Canary Islands struggling to cope with a stream of would-be immigrants from Africa, the Spanish government has launched a diplomatic offensive to bring the situation under control.

On Thursday, foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said a special ambassador and a team of diplomats would begin “three to six-month” missions in Africa from Sunday. He said the diplomats would operate in Senegal, Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Niger. Almost 7 000 people have survived the maritime odyssey to reach the Canaries in makeshift vessels so far this year. Moratinos, speaking a day after Madrid called on African governments to help stem the number of arrivals, said the diplomats would “work jointly with the countries to face up to the migratory flux”.

Thursday saw dozens of more arrivals, with 57 immigrants picked up at Los Cristianos port in southern Tenerife.The immigrant hopefuls added to the 278 who landed on the island in “cayucos”, makeshift boats from Senegal and Mauritania, on Wednesday.

6 785 illegal immigrants have arrived so far

Moratinos said the Spanish cabinet would approve the “immediate” sending of an ambassador to Mali on Friday. Malians make up a large proportion of the immigrants coming to Spain. He said: “Spain will set up a bureau for the centralisation of all efforts (to deal with the immigrant issue) in sub-Saharan capitals.”

In fact they are so much that they are overflowing Canarian facilities, whatever Vice-President De La Vega says (By the way, she was proposing that Spanish people should use an “inhabitant solution of only 30 m2 while she has built for herself one of 505 m2. What a good example of equality! Just like the Chinese one I was referring to in this post).

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Even if the last post that I wrote was about Morales, I think he deserves another one. looks like he is not only accusing Spain of breaking aid promise and nationalising the oil and gas sectors but now he is also going to review the contract with the Spanish firms AENA and Abertis, united in SABSA, which is in charge of the management of Bolivian airports (link in Spanish). The workers of the firm has denounced it because, apparently, it has not done the investments at first it promised.

Even if I really do not know if they have really made the investments or not, it is somewhat similar to the nationalization of oil companies. The last news are that Morales has said Bolivia was not going to pay anything also to BBVA, who was obliged to turn over the shares in Andina (background). According to EL MUNDO, he said

there is nothing to compensate, we are not nationalising, we are just recovering what belongs to Bolivian people”

Hmm, yes of course. Now, just a bit a reasoning: if you take something without the will of his proprietor and without paying him/her its price, how on earth that action should be named? Exactly: STEALING.

But the link goes on:

Solbes [Second Vicepresident and Economy Minister] has said in Spanish Cadena Ser [left-wing] that “taking goods from someone without compensation is utterly unnaceptable. But if they are only deprivin them of the management, then we will see what is the compensation. In any case, we have to study it very carefully”.

I totally agree with Sandmonkey:

Nationalization doesn’t help Faisal, and capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s a difference in approach. Trust me when I tell you that capitalists don’t want poor people in the world, because the more people with money there is the more goods they buy and more money they make. It’s just how we see things. For example, socialists see that a good way to help poor people is to give them welfare. Capitalists disagree, because welfare doesn’t really improve the person’s life, it just helps make it more tolerable. Capitalists for example champion micro-banking and micro-financing: Lend the people money to start their own businesses and not need your charity to live. We want the people to live with dignity, and welfare checks from the government is anything but dignified, and the door is always open for its abuse. Look at China: Capitalism helped move 300 million chinese from the poverty they lived under during the days of communism. When has socialism ever done that?

It is very interesting that even Alejandro Toledo, Peruvian President, and also an Indian reasons against the nationalization:

“If you do not have clear rules for the game, capital is not
going to come. If there is no capital, there is no growth. If there is no growth, there is no employment. If there is no employment, there is no income. If there is no income, there is nothing to invest more in nutrition, health and education, which are the most powerful weapons for reducing poverty,” the Peruvian president said.

Hmm, can you please tell all this to our President Mr. Zapatero? I’m sure he hasn√ā¬īt know it yet…

So, in Spain, people are claiming for yet another boicot (Catalans are boycotting Castillian products and viceversa) against Morales.

Lastly, Barcepundit has written also about this. He reproduces a Fake photo of Morales and Spanish FM Moratinos (right). He has seen this image in Spanish Blog Zapaterías Rimadas, whose author writes the news in poetry.

In fact this image is very appropriate because looks like Spanish Administration is divided over Bolivian nationalisation: while Solbes does not agree with it and says it does not sound good:

foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said, “It’s just a change in the management of the titles.” Bolivian president Evo Morales answered Solbes, “There’s nothing to indemnify. We’re not expropriating anybody.”

I think however that the image is not correct: Morales is not punching on Moratino’s nose, but on the one of the workers and shareholders of these frims… and his own people, because of the lack of credibility, his country is going to have in the future.

But this is not all: According to Spanish blog Zetapolleces, Bolivia will also nationalize all the improductive large states. I do really believe that nationalising is not the solution at all. Firstly, they would have to examine WHY these states are improductive and provide a solution. And I expect that the proprietors are given some money in return….

You can read also DOCE DOCE comments, in which he remarks that the Leftists European MPs applauded Evo when after he said he was not going to compensate the firms. Hmm, what a wonderful world…

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