Archive for January, 2014

January 26, 2014

“Defenders of Gibraltar” meet with the “National Commitee for the Freedom of Ceuta & Melilla”

  This past weekend, members of the committee of the DoG were invited to meet with Yahya Yahya, a Moroccan Senator and President of the Committee for the Freedom of Ceuta and Melilla. This relationship has been the fruit of the committees hard work and labour to establish contacts around the world and is one of many to come.



January 23, 2014

No Human Rights in Spain for Franco’s victims

  The Spanish authorities’ refusal to address the legacy of Franco era disappearances is a betrayal of justice, Amnesty International said ahead of a key UN meeting that will take up the issue. Proposed reforms to Spain’s Criminal Code fall far short of what is required under international law on enforced disappearances.
“The Spanish government’s lack of action when it comes to disappearances is shameful,” said Ignacio Jovtis, Amnesty International’s Spain Researcher. The Spanish authorities also continue to refuse to investigate the tens of thousands of killings and disappearances during the Spanish Civil War and under the rule of Francisco Franco (1936-1975).“The government’s appalling failure to investigate Franco-era crimes is compounded by its failure to protect people from being victims of disappearances today.”

Fosas comunes en España
Enforced disappearances are a crime under international law. Spain has a duty to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances, whenever they were committed, and prosecute those responsible.
The Spanish government must take immediate steps to meet all of its obligations when it comes to enforced disappearances,” said Ignacio Jovtis.
In a submission to the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances before it scrutinizes Spain’s record in Geneva on Tuesday, Amnesty International highlights how Spain has failed to bring the definition of enforced disappearances into line with international law.
Enforced disappearances are still not listed as a specific crime either under the Criminal Code or as part of the proposed reforms.
Among other recommendations, Amnesty International calls on the Spanish authorities to:
· Investigate and prosecute crimes or offences under international law, and to assist fully with any request for cooperation they receive from foreign courts that decide to investigate these crimes.
· Take necessary measures to ensure that enforced disappearances are recognised as a specific crime under Spanish law, in line with international law.


  The UN committee is a body of independent experts who will review the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in Spain for the first time during its fifth session in November 2013.

January 19, 2014

Burgos riots leave 12 Police Injured and more than 60 citizens arrested

   Local residents in the Spanish city of Burgos have resorted to street riots to express their frustration over a reported eight million-euro revamp of the city’s main thoroughfare.burgos2013eneros-b

   During the days of violent protests, more than 60 people were arrested only in Burgos, and twelve police officers were said to have been injured. The riots have spread all over Spain’s major towns. Rioting began Friday night as residents of Burgos’ Gamonal district objected to city hall plans to redesign a street into a tree-lined boulevard with an underground car garage. The plans for the thoroughfare include decreasing the road’s size by half and taking away free parking spaces in favour of a new, underground, “pay and displaycarpark.    burgoseneros2013a

One resident, angry at the way the city’s money is being spent, said:
“Considering the era we’re living in and the debt our city has, I find the situation lamentable.”

burgos_disturbios-672xXx80   Unemployment in Spain is high as a result of the recession and austerity measures are being put in place. In the wake of this, locals in Burgos say they disagree with plunging their city even further into debt.

January 18, 2014

“We don’t want Gibraltar back” said the Spanish king in 1983…will he be able to keep that promise?

 The Monarch chosen by General Franco as his successor as Head of State, admitted in a private conversation with the then British ambassador to Madrid, Richard Parsons, that “it was not to the advantage of Spain to recover Gibraltar” newly declassified documents from the 1980s released by the Foreign Office reveal.”If it did so, King Hassan would immediately reactivate the Moroccan claim of Ceuta and Melilla,” Parsons said in a telegram he sent to the Foreign Office in London on September 7, 1983.        gibraltar

Details of the meeting were released last week by the National Archives in Kew as part of a swathe of secret government papers declassified under the 30-year rule and are likely to cause some discomfort after a year that saw Spain’s government reiterate calls for talks over sovereignty.The king had made the statements “with a burst of his usual frankness”, the ambassador said.    jc

At the time of the meeting, Spain was negotiating its entry into what was then the European Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner of the European Union.
The border between Spain and British-held Gibraltar was shut in 1969 by the Franco regime and only partially opened in 1982. Spain opened the border completely in 1985, a year before it joined the EEC.

According to the telegram, the king “accepted that the opinions of the (Gibraltarian) population must be respected” in the debate over its future — putting him at odds with the Spanish government’s position which was to press for direct talks between London and Madrid.
The king also agreed that “Gibraltar was an emotional issue and we must be sensitive towards public opinion and to the demands of national interests“, Parsons wrote.

At the time King Juan Carlos urged “confidential talks” over Gibraltar be conducted between the two foreign ministries to ensure Spain’s path into what was then the European Economic Community was not upended over the issue.

January 17, 2014

Why does Catalonia want to become independent?

Since catalans have the right to vote, catalan nationalist parties have always won every election, but nearly fourty years after the death of Franco, Catalonia is still occupied by the Spanish regime, which denies any kind of democratic solution to the conflict.

January 16, 2014

Dangers of getting sick in Madrid.

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

Black Spain

Spanish catholic priests will take decisions on palliative cares for patients in Madrid’s public hospitals. Bishops of the Spanish Catholic Church have pronounced themselves against Euthanasia and in favour of pain, loathing “Jesus’ suffering in the cross”

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January 15, 2014

Infanta Cristina charged with tax fraud and money laundering

crismantilla1 The Spanish royal family was battered by further scandal on Tuesday when the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos was named as a formal suspect in a long-running corruption inquiry.
Nevertheless, the news that Cristina herself had been charged in the case came as a surprise, not only because the court had resisted doing so for so long, but because it seemed to suggest even to this jaded country that equality before the law might actually exist. At a newsstand on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, the headline of every paper noted the event in bold face.  “I think it’s good that they’re treating her like anyone else,” says kiosk worker Angeles Sánchez. “It’s about time.”
Princess Cristina, 48, has been summoned to answer allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. The princess would be the first member of the king’s family to appear in court since the restoration of the monarchy in 1975.
The charges relate to alleged embezzlement by her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin. The former Olympic handball player and his business partner, Diego Torres, are accused of siphoning off €5.8m of public funds.The money was allegedly funnelled through their not-for-profit Instituto Nóos and their family business Aizoon, of which Cristina is co-owner.

January 14, 2014

Government deficits, Spain, Greece, Ireland: no improvements at all and default is just around the corner

Real-World Economics Review Blog

According to Eurostat, the 30% Greek quarterly deficit (second quarter 2013), which caused the Greed yearly deficit to be higher than ever, was caused by:

In 2013Q2 the Greek deficit is strongly influenced by capital transfers related to three bank recapitalisations and a bank resolution. The impact of this amounted to around 25 % of quarterly GDP.

Still wondering why Greek pensions are being cut?


The transfer was triggered by banking problems which were created by the Greek default. Greece was not the only country which transferred massive grants to the banking system:

The 2012Q4 Belgian deficit is negatively influenced by a bank recapitalisation. The 2012Q4 deficit for the Czech Republic is negatively influenced by a capital transfer in the context of the church restitution. For Portugal, the quarterly variations in the seasonally adjusted net lending (+)/ net borrowing (-) during 2012 and 2013Q1 are largely due to one-off…

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January 13, 2014

Spain: human rights tragedy

Edinburgh Eye

We will care for your women until your government doesSpain has joined Ireland in exporting part of its healthcare system abroad: from now on, a woman who needs an abortion – unless she can “prove” to the healthcare system in time that she was raped or that being pregnant will cause her serious mental or physical damage – will have to go to another country.

Unfortunately, of the main countries closest to Spain: Portugal only allows elective abortion up to 10 weeks and has a 3-day waiting period: and France allows elective abortion up to 12 weeks but usually with a 1-week waiting period. (Italy is about the same: first 90 days with 1-week wait except in cases of emergency.) It seems likely, therefore, that Spanish women who need abortions (if they can afford it) will have to take a cheap flight to the UK and will have to make use of the abortion services here. Those that can’t…

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January 12, 2014

Riots in Melilla against corruption and discrimination

  Melilla is a small arab town in the North of Africa, occupied by Spanish military forces, but with a majority of muslim population. The cause of these demostrations is the publication by the regional spanish government of the list of locals who have been selected to have a public job in the government employment programs.

Riots in Melilla

   These programs give work – maintaining gardens, cleaning plots of land, the riverbed, etc. – to those who are chosen, for six months with a salary of around 1000€. Every year only a small percentage of arab citizens are chosen, in constrast with the majority of employments, that are given to spaniards. This situation has led to a state of social confrontation in the territory.