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Tag Archives: spain
The arguments bandied about by the government that Spains economy is on its way to recovery are in stark contrast to the statistics that are regularly released by Brussels.
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The U.S. supports granting Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia at the NATO summit in Wales in September, but there is no consensus within the allies on the issue, a senior U.S. State Department official said.
Georgians are well aware that they do not have consensus in the Alliance and that they have work to do to convince, particularly some of our western European allies, of their worthiness for the Membership Action Plan, Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said.
“We have been supporting them as they make this case directly to individual allies, she said while speaking at a hearing of European subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 10.
Nuland also said that Georgia is on track of signing the Association Agreement with the EU, which will deepen its relations with many of these same countries, so we are hopeful that will have a positive impact on how they assess its [Georgias] worthiness for MAP.
Derek Chollet, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, told the same hearing that Georgia is a terrific partner, who fights in Afghanistan along with the U.S. troops without caveats. We are supportive of the Membership Action Plan, he said. But as you know very well this is an Alliances decision, thats not a decision the United States will make alone. We work close with our Georgian partners through this process and its something that clearly will be a subject of conversation in months ahead as we lead up to the Wales summit.
U.S. officials remarks followed a question from Senator Chris Murphy, who presided over the hearing and who said that although Georgia has yet to take some serious steps before it becomes a full candidate for admission to NATO, the Membership Action Plan would have lots of hoops to jump through and would represent a very strong signal to both Russia and our allies that we are serious about keeping the opening door policy.
Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, said this week that Tbilisi has significantly intensified dialogue with some of the European states those whom he described as skeptics.
In the course of last one month Alasania traveled to Italy, Spain and Slovakia, where he met his counterparts and raised the issue of MAP, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense. He met his French counterpart in Paris in November, 2013. The Dutch Defense Minister visited Tbilisi earlier this month.
Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, met his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on April 10.
Speaking at a news conference after the meeting Steinmeier spoke about possibility of increasing substantially cooperation between Georgia and NATO through number of measures. I think that would be a milestone, he said.
The seven FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying groups are starting to take shape after a full set of qualifiers over the last week, with Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Norway and England all moving a step closer to the finals in Canada while the duels between Sweden and Scotland, and France and Finland, intensified. UEFA.com rounds up the action; the seven group winners qualify and the four runners-up with the best records against the sides finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups go into the play-offs next autumn for the one remaining UEFA berth in the expanded 24-team finals.
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The week in football: Barcelona's brand; Spain on tour; Romania's sad snake; and detonating a love bomb Brand of the week Barcelona keeping their brand ethos intact with an extended Unicef shirt deal . Offsetting the 1.5m it costs them to keep the anti-exploitation, antimodern slavery "Unicef" logo on the back of the shirts: the 96m Qatar paid to sponsor the front . Also last week: Sepp …
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Police clash with the protestors during the march to the parliament against austerity measures announced by the Spanish government in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
Summary: A small but informative OccupySF rally on February 15 was held in solidarity with the sovereignty of the people of Greece highlighting the importance of their economic situation to the Occupy community, the United States, and the world as a whole.
By Don Quijones, a freelance writer and translator based in Barcelona, Spain. His blog, Raging Bull-Shit, is a modest attempt to challenge some of the wishful thinking and scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by our political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media. Originally published at Testosterone Pit
Political corruption has become synonymous with political leadership in Spain. After 16 long months of the Brcenas affair, it is common knowledge that senior members of the current governing party operated a highly lucrative political slush fund for well over 20 years.
Everyone also knows that no matter what shady backroom shenanigans their senior political representatives get up to, they will pay no price. All crime, no punishment thats the new modus operandi at the top of Spains political establishment. As if to drill this point home, the country was treated this week to a spectacle of political hubris and impunity so farcical and obscene that it leaves no doubt in ones mind: Spain is now run by a mafia state!
It all began with a simple traffic infraction. On Thursday afternoon, at roughly 4:30 p.m. Spanish time, a unit of Madrids traffic police sighted a Toyota Verso illegally parked in a bus lane on Gran Via, one of the citys busiest thoroughfares. They pulled up alongside the vehicle and began taking down its details.
Little did they know that said vehicle belonged to Spains Iron Lady, Esperanza Aguirre, the former president of the Madrid Community and one of Spains most connected and powerful political figures. Aguirre had, in her own words, just popped out of her car to get some cash out of a nearby ATM.
When she returned to find her car surrounded by traffic wardens, the political big shot did what most big shots do in such situations: she pushed her weight around. According to a British tourist who witnessed the scene, she got increasingly agitated. After just a few minutes of questioning by the officers, Aguirre lost her patience and cool, put her car into gear, and drove off, in the process knocking over one of the officers motorbikes. As she sped along Madrids Gran Via, a police car gave chase, but when the officers inside signaled for her to pull over, she refused.
After driving all the way home, Aguirre parked her dented Toyota in the garage. When the police arrived, they were met by agents of the Civil Guard who serve as her official bodyguards all paid for with public money, of course, despite the fact that Aguirre no longer occupies a public role.
According to allegations in El Pas, the agents cautioned the police officers against pressing charges against their boss. Thankfully, the officers declined, choosing instead to report Aguirre for direct disobedience of authority.
Unfortunately for the police officers, they could not have picked a more powerful foe. As the Countess of Bornos, Grandee of Spain, Esperanza Aguirre is a distinguished member of the Spanish nobility. She is also the current president of the Madrid branch of the Popular Party (PP) and aspires to run as the citys new mayor in the next round of local elections.
Adored by the right and detested by the left, Aguirre cuts a sharply polarising figure. She is also Spanish premier Mariano Rajoys fiercest critic and rival. Indeed, before yesterdays brief moment of madness, Aguirre was considered one of the hot favourites to succeed, if not topple, Rajoy in the coming years.
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Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich suffered their first league defeat in 18 months at Augsburg, ending their record 53-game unbeaten run, while Roma kept up the pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus and Paris St Germain stayed 13 points clear in France. ENGLAND Liverpool returned to top of the Premier League on Sunday after beating West Ham United 2-1 in a physical battle decided by two Steven Gerrard penalties, after rivals Chelsea and Manchester City both won easily on Saturday. Liverpool took the lead from the spot before a battling West Ham netted a controversial equaliser when former Reds striker Andy Carroll appeared to foul visiting keeper Simon Mignolet, allowing Guy Demel to prod home
At a Glance
Millions of people around the world will continue to suffer the deadly consequences of the poorly regulated global trade in weapons until many more governments take rapid steps to bring the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) into force, Amnesty International warned a year after the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted the treaty.
On 2 April 2013, a total of 155 states voted in the UN General Assembly to adopt the ATT and 118 states have since signed the treaty, indicating their willingness to eventually bring it into their national law. But 43 of the states that supported the adoption of the treaty last year have yet to take any action whatsoever (see list below).
“Too many governments have been dragging their heels. The list of 43 absent signatures is mostly made up of countries where armed conflicts, violent repression and gun violence are more frequent, yet those states have the most to gain from the treaty. This is a major failure of political leadership,” said Brian Wood, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.
“Remarkably, Kenya, which was part of a group of states that originally called on the UN to back the ATT, has not even signed the treaty.”
Although 17 of the European Union’s 28 member states will ratify the treaty at the UN on 2 April 2014, the total will still fall far short of the 50 ratifications needed for the treaty to enter into force. Up to now, only 13 states worldwide have ratified the ATT.
The ATT has a number of rules intended to enhance human rights protection for hundreds of millions of people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the proliferation and abuse of conventional arms.
If implemented effectively and robustly, the ATT will stop the flow of weapons to countries when it is known they would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Implementing the ATT strictly will also require states to assess the risk of transferring arms to another country: states have agreed the transfer will not go forward where there is an overriding risk the weapons could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.
Several countries – Spain, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Serbia, Iceland, Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago – have declared they will implement the treaty’s human rights provisions even before it enters into force.
However, Amnesty International is concerned that some states, including EU members, appear to be continuing arms transfers to countries where there is a clear risk they will be used for serious human rights violations and abuses. For example, as recently as December 2013, the Czech Republic sent tens of thousands of firearms to Egypt’s security forces, who have killed hundreds of protesters during demonstrations following the military’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.
Poland: Legia Warszawa v KKS Lech Pozna (Saturday 15.30) Table toppers Legia, who on Monday posted their 1,000th Ekstraklasa win with a 2-1 victory at GKS Piast Gliwice, enter the ‘Derby of Poland’ four points above second-placed Lech with three games left until the top eight form a championship group for the last seven rounds.