Tag Archives | spain

Barcelona vs Madrid

The Spirit of Franco never really left the Spanish state. Sometimes it is hard to see from the outside world but in the run-up to the Catalan referendum the Spanish Government are clearly trampling over basic human rights in their efforts to prevent the referendum from even taking place. Yesterday some 100,000 pro-independence posters were seized by more…

French President Francois Hollande :”The negotiations will be conducted with the United Kingdom, not with a part of the United Kingdom”

With the UK Parliament sovereign, and Sinn Féin’s calls for a border poll dismissed as an unwelcome distraction, quite where the “very special place” Martin McGuinness thinks Northern Ireland is in isn’t entirely clear.  Nor whom he thinks he can press that “case” with in his attempt to ignore the UK-wide referendum result.  He should remember, however, that neither he more…

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Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards more…

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Jean-Claude Juncker: “[Tsipras] must explain that some of the promises upon which he was elected will not be honoured…”

As Mick has noted, at the weekend the under-pressure new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took undiplomatic aim at the governments of Spain and Portugal [But not Ireland! – Ed] in an attempt to explain the outcome of European negotiations to his Syriza party coalition. The European Commission has been quick to step in to act as a “mediator” more…

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“…the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.”

What now for “the Syriza experiment“?  The Irish Times reports that the Eurogroup of finance ministers have deemed the Greek government’s list of proposed reforms to be “sufficiently comprehensive” for a four-month extension of the Greek bailout programme which was due to expire on Saturday. In an official statement released after today’s conference call between more…

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“…complex issues cannot always be addressed via online petitions.”

Sinn Féin, and others, agitating on behalf of “the Syriza experiment” following the recent elections in Greece, has more to do with positioning to blame the current Irish Government for the likely outcome [added link] than any professed desire for a resolution in Ireland’s favour. But there are a few things to note about the rise more…

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“Sunday’s election could be a significant day for Europe…”

The campaign may have resembled a “political circus”, but Sunday’s general election in Greece could see the leftist Syriza, led by former communist Alexis Tsipras, emerge as the leading party – but in search of a partner-in-government [We’ve been there before! – Ed].  Indeed.  Although, they could still achieve a majority… In the meantime, the Irish Times highlights a more…

Woodcut by Theodor de Bry, taken from a 1580s printing of Las Casas’s “Short Account”

Commemorating a pioneering humanitarian, five centuries on

Commenting on Roger Casement’s campaigning work on behalf of the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, the author Joseph Conrad said in a letter to the Scottish politician R B Cunninghame-Graham: ‘I have always thought that some particle of Las Casas’s soul had found refuge in [Casement’s] indefatigable body.‘ Casement himself, in his pre-1916 work more…

Spanish troops mass on Catalunya’s borders…

Well,perhaps not quite, although as El Economista reports: (The) Spanish Military Association (SMA) has warned Monday that those who cooperate or allow “fracture” of Spain should “respond with all the utmost rigor” in the courts in the field of military courts by the “serious charge high treason. (Google translate gives the gist) Meanwhile in the more…

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Euro crisis: “This time it’s really, really serious…”

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is off to Greece for “a regular meeting” with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.  His first visit to Athens since June 2009.  Meanwhile, the rising cost of Spanish and Italian Government borrowing has prompted a declaration of intent from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. “To the extent that the size of these more…

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Euro crisis: “It’s politics without policy choice…”

The pressure is definitely beginning to tell on the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the G20 summit in Mexico.   No news yet from Greece, and the markets are still betting against Spain.  He may, as he claims, have a “vision of where we need to go“, or he may, as Michael White says, be more…

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Euro crisis: “These are empty, senseless phrases, an abuse of language”

In the Irish Times, Paddy Woodworth notes an all-too-familiar tale of political chutzpah in Europe [Nevermind closer to home! – Ed].  This time it’s the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and his spin on that ‘magic bullet’.  From the Irish Times report The total reversal of his oft-stated conviction that no EU money was needed by more…

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Euro crisis: “Hold your sides and laugh out loud, otherwise you’ll have to cry.”

Despite some optimistic noises overnight, it still seems more likely than not that Limbo Greece will face new elections.  As the Guardian live-blog noted earlier today The Democratic left party in Greece has said it will not back a pro-bailout government. That almost certainly means that Venizelos’s attempts to form a government coalition around agreement on the bailout more…

de Juana Chaos loses extradition appeal [in absentia]

Despite their client jumping bail in March 2010, and disappearing into the ether, lawyers acting on behalf of the convicted ETA killer, Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos, continued “with instructions” in the appeal against his extradition to Spain to face a charge of glorifying terrorism.  Two years later, and Belfast High Court has dismissed that appeal.  [Where are more…

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Euro crisis: April is the cruellest month…

Apart from all the others…  And it doesn’t matter how big your umbrella is.  BBC Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, on springtime in Europe What is being exposed is a major flaw with Mrs Merkel’s fiscal pact. It is undemocratic. It ties the hands of future governments – and that, of course, was its intention but more…

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Euro crisis: “It is nice to have a big umbrella…”

The Guardian’s Economics blog starts with an interesting observation Those who watched Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund a year ago say he played a blinder. Although he was to leave Washington under a cloud shortly afterwards, DSK impressed with his no-nonsense approach to his fellow Europeans. The IMF‘s managing more…