Friday, February 18, 2011

JS: "I was a good, honest man"

"Javier Solana

The most European Spaniard of the past 30 years just picked the Charles V European Award, in recognition of his career. He follows closely what is happening in the Arab world. His phone buzzes as if he were at the forefront of European diplomacy.
PHOTO BY SILVIA GAMO: SANTI CARNERI
18/02/11 ... His phone keeps ringing: on the other side, the Secretary General of the Arab League. It's just one of many high-level contacts that the Spanish has on the agenda. Former Minister, former secretary general of NATO, to his 68 years he did not see the tree, but the forest. Yet the illusion remains intact for a dream that does not use his best times: Europe.

With the amount of awards you have received throughout your career, what has this one special? It's a lot to me because it gives me out of my office. There is only one for me that has the dimension of this, the Emperor Charlemagne, who was also a member of my family (Salvador de Madariaga). Emperor Charles V came here at the end of his life, we must claim it more from a perspective of Europe today. Do not take more than a spur to support the development of the EU.

Do you think you can talk about a wave of change in the Arab world after the events in Tunisia and Egypt?
I have the impression that it will not stop. There are three elements that I would point out of Egypt. The first is that it is a big country, 80 million people, and the Nile with demands by Ethiopia on the water. Nile agreements dating from 1921 and the water is a scarce commodity. Second, their political evolution will be crucial for the political development of Arab and Islamic world. The pattern check mark Egypt many other countries. If you find a way secular, democratic and Islamic world to integrate in a secular political structure, is also a wonderful contribution to the further development of others. Third, Egypt is a key to relations between the Arab world and Israel. There are two Arab countries which have signed peace with Israel: one is Jordania, a significant but small, and one Egypt. They still have to play that role to stabilize the conflict between the Arab world and Israel.

During this crisis has exposed a lack of leadership in the EU. Whither and how leaders are to lead? Europe will continue its path. It's a great trip, which begins after the Second World War, whose destiny is not written. We have just approved the Lisbon treaty, which was already a delay. Many problems left unsolved economic governance within the EU. Perhaps were not treated because then no idea that the crisis would be so close. We have reached the crisis almost at once we had approved the Treaty. In recent European Councils have taken important measures to save some countries.Know that you have to take measures of economic governance, not only financial, more coordinated, otherwise we could enter a phase of divergence between countries in the euro zone itself and would not be good. These decisions, and to be taken at the March summit, will be tough, but they must be.

Spain has said that Germany has been putting sticks in the wheels to Spain. Do you share that opinion? No, has no poles. It is true that the early days of the crisis, but not with Spain, with Greece rather, it took longer than was necessary to clarify the mechanics of the EU to help any country. Germany has to understand that benefits from being part of the European Union, if the euro zone. It is the world's leading exporter and exports much of the euro zone and to do so with a constant currency without devaluations, etc., will produce a great benefit and stability. Germany not only has to deal with others to do their job well, I have to admit that it does well, which benefits the others that we are, and that the more we develop, most imported from Germany and will be more exchanges.

Your successor in office, Catherine Ashton, has been widely criticized. What do you think?"She's doing well? Yes, she is doing well. Not for me to judge. She has had a difficult time, she had not to put up something that was prepared by me, she was pretty well prepared, but had to put in place, which is the European External Action Service. Already completed all, it has been a lot of energy and time. I hope that she has the skills to develop it fully.

How does the PSOE and the government? In this economic crisis so hard all parties are in government take measures difficult to understand, but necessary. If we do not take, we have no future. These are what we guarantee our future and that of those who come after. It refers to the pension reform. For example, and others to be taken.

What? Life as politics is a process of adaptation. Life has changed dramatically. In Europe a decade ago, where the G-7 could say that worked in the world, to today, where you have China, India, Brazil, which together make up nearly half the world's population. We must adapt to this new reality. We are in a more complex but not worse, is no longer unipolar. What you need to do is to govern well these poles and it is not easy.

An unemployed person can not have a vision so broad.
Of course it is very difficult to explain, but it was very difficult to explain to farmers when we go in Europe, imagine what it cost, and are so happy today. We must practice solidarity. You have to do with vision, so that the future is better served by giving good education. Today we are competing with the Chinese and solar energy. Today, solar panels could find cheaper in China than in Europe. It is a reality, and we adapt, or lose the battle.

And the Zapatero government is adapting to this reality?
What I say is irrelevant. The facts are there, has made a huge effort, has signed a partnership agreement with trade unions and employers. I think it is something that has great meaning, a message of hope that we can understand. I think that is what must be done and perhaps should have been done long ago. This political debate, media, has nothing to do with the real problems. It's time to uppercase, not lowercase.

President Zapatero ordered the Spanish Security Strategy. I handed the report to Zapatero. Not for me to determine the timing and public presentation. It is a document which, honestly, is to live up to those what are doing all the major countries of the EU. It is a thing well done, coordinating all the ministries, the actors in national life have responsibility for security.

What is your conclusion? The big change this security strategy against the strategies of defense is the security of a country is much more than the defense. And it is for everyone, not just the military. Safety is the energy arrives, do not be caught without preparing an economic crisis, which operate Internet networks. You have to have security against possible environmental disasters, climate change. There will be no wars between states in our neighborhood, but we have to help other places to any. For example, virtually all countries are on the coast of Somalia. The story line is we all have to be prepared and be aware that security is not delegable.

What about ETA? I have no more information than you have. There is no doubt that the last gasps are here. How are you going to do, how will it end, do not know. Since then it has to end with the defeat of those, not the other way.

You are the Honorary President of the Henry Dunant Center, who in the previous ETA truce was a mediator. We are now working primarily on issues of mediation, they can not mak We are working hard on issues related to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Taliban, Sri Lan
e the States, so called non-state organizations.ka, Thailand and so on. Things that states can not yet do but prepare the way for tough negotiations.
You do not work with ETA? Not at all.
You are a great friend of the vice Rubalcaba. Zapatero it happen? My opinion is irrelevant. I can say that Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba is a great politician and a great friend.
Tell me at least if you like. Now there is no reason to change. He is senior vice president, No.2 in government. He is not number one, but maybe one day he will.
What would you like to tell the history books about you?
I could care less, because I will not read them, I'll be in another world.
I'm not going to facilitate the work for those who do them.
I insist. (Thinks a few seconds). I did what I could, I was a good, honest man. But I think those things should not mean one of himself, the good thing is that what others say of oneself."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never trusted anyone who called themself good.