Friday, March 29, 2013

already there?

Manuel Barroso, the president of the EC, has told an audience in Moscow today that Russia was not informed of the Eurogroup decision to tax depositors in Cyprus "because the governments of Europe were not informed."
Barroso made the astonishing statement in his speech to the Russia-EuropeanUnion - Potential for Partnership conference: "Moving into a Partnership of Choice".
The full text of his speech follows:
Prime Minister Medvedev, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I want to thank and congratulate the Russian International Affairs Council and Igor Ivanov for organizing this conference at such a timely moment.

It is a pleasure and an honour to be here with such a distinguished audience. I recognise many friends, I cannot mention all of them, but some of them with whom I have been working very closely from Javier Solana to Wolfgang Schüssel to François Fillon, to Paavo Lipponen, to Franco Frattini, and some others I see in the audience. Some of you that have done so much over the years for the process of partnership and friendship between the European Union and Russia...."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the chair is vacant...comeback?

Catherine Ashton to step down as EU foreign policy chief by end of 2014
Catherine Ashton, high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Catherine Ashton, high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

"The European Union foreign policy chief has announced 

her intention to step down when her term in office expires at the end of 2014.

"There's no possibility of having a second term and it needs to go to someone else next … In any event, you lay the foundations but there are people who can do things with this that probably I couldn't do, so it'll be good to hand it over", Ashton told the German Marshall Fund on 16 March.

Ashton was appointed as high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the period from 1 December 2009 until the end of the current term of office of the Commission in 2014.

Ashton will be remembered for putting in place the European External Action Service (EEAS). According to the Lisbon Treaty, the EEAS is independent from other institutions, although its head is also Commission vice president. 


And this adds to assumptions that the UK’s spying apparatus is using the inexperienced Ashton to run over the EU foreign policy. Veteran EU diplomats firmly believe that Lady Ashton's deputy Cooper is acting as the EU's shadow foreign policy chief. Cooper is a close friend of the MI6 chief John Sawers"... (farmer:...and Javier Solana).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the bear awakes

Russian Navy to send permanent fleet to Mediterranean

Medvedev lambasts EU over Cyprus levy

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted the EU’s handling of theCyprus debt crisis, comparing a plan for a levy on bank deposits to measures that hurt savers under the Soviet Union.
However, Moscow has yet to offer any concrete help to the Cypriot government, which is anxiously seeking alternative ways to fund an international bailout after the island’s parliament voted against a bank deposit levy plan hatched with the eurozone.

Officials in Moscow were privately sceptical Russia would bail out Cyprus or even provide further bridging loans. Russian business leaders have made it clear they would insist on cold-eyed, commercial criteria for any investments.Mr Medvedev’s comments came as Michael Sarris, Cyprus’s finance minister, met senior Russian officials to seek aid from the Kremlin to bail out its struggling banking sector.
There was mounting concern among Cypriot officials that
Mr Sarris had failed in his mission as the government in Nicosia frantically hunted down other sources of revenue. The central bank said the banking system would remain closed until next Tuesday to avoid a bank run.
“Buying worthless equity in a bank for a billion or two. That is not going to go very far here,” said one banker.
Mr Medvedev said the eurozone’s bailout proposals risked “undermining trust in financial institutions as a whole”, and not just in Cyprus. Criticising the EU for showing the same disregard for small savers that the Soviet Union once did, the premier said if an “unprecedented” confiscation of assets in Cypriot banks went ahead, Moscow might reconsider its double taxation treaty with the island.
Of Russia’s top banks, VTB, Gazprombank, Sberbank and Alfa Group all denied they were part of negotiations to invest in financial assets in Cyprus. “Now is not the best time,” a person close to VTB said. Gazprom denied reports that it was considering investments in Cyprus offshore gas developments.
The Russian prime minister did not rule out possible support for Cyprus but said talks would continue with European Commission officials, including president José Manuel Barroso, in a pre-planned meeting in Moscow starting later on Thursday.
In the most detailed comments yet from Moscow on the bailout plan voted down by the Cyprus parliament on Tuesday, Mr Medvedev said the EU and Cyprus had acted “like an elephant in a China shop”.

Mr Medvedev also criticised the decision to freeze the Cypriot banking system, and not just withdrawals from troubled banks, warning that if this continued for any length of time it could “result in losses . . . even bury the whole banking sector of Cyprus. It will cease to exist,” he said.“All possible mistakes that could be made have been made by them,” he added. “The measure that was proposed is of a confiscation nature, and unprecedented in its character. I can’t compare it with anything but . . . decisions made by Soviet authorities . . . when they didn’t think much about the savings of their population. But we are living in the 21st century, under market economic conditions. Everybody has been insisting that ownership rights should be respected.”
Hitting out at claims led by Germany that Cyprus is widely used by Russian entities for money laundering, Mr Medvedev said “not all of them are actually trying to hide behind the special Cypriot jurisdiction, it is just a convenient form of work”.
“We have got an agreement on avoiding double taxation” with Cyprus, Mr Medvedev added. “I don’t know whether we need this agreement any more. Maybe we could pose the question of disowning this agreement after such a confiscation.”

Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis

"The spider's web: Europol goes global in the hunt for intelligence and analysis:
Part 1.1

The "angular lines" used in Europol's logo, explains the agency, are "derived from a spider's web which represents exchange of information, networking and the cooperative nature of our work."
The logo is made up of a number of pieces that "fit together like a jigsaw and symbolise our core business - analysis. The upward direction of the points in the symbol signifies speed, progress, upward movement and precision." [1]
Europol is hoping to widen its web, and has sought permission to negotiate four new cooperation agreements so that it can formalise the exchange of information, intelligence and analysis with Brazil, Georgia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ensuring "internal security" in Europe - combating organised crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling, financial fraud and property crime amongst other things - makes the need for these agreements operationally urgent, Europol argues. Documents released by the agency also show that its own strategic interests and a desire to reinforce its status as a "major player" are also behind these proposals.
While Europol is obliged to ensure adequate levels of data protection in the countries with which it makes agreements, questions have been raised by MEPs, human rights organisations and activists over the nature of European cooperation with countries where political institutions and police forces have dubious human rights records, make use of questionable and sometimes illegal practices and techniques, and have track records of corruption and political repression.
Over the next three weeks a series of articles on Statewatch News Online will examine Europol's proposed new agreements. We will start with an overview of the context in which the agency is seeking these new agreements, before moving on to examine two of the four new proposed "external partners" - Brazil and Mexico. Next week the proposed agreement with Georgia is examined, and following that, the UAE..."

read more here:

Monday, March 18, 2013

'Europe 2020'

18/03/2013 The conference and debate "Europe in 2020" was organized by Zurich Insurance in Madrid, and involved several outstanding speakersThey all gave their views on the future of the continent, both from an economic perspective, as social and political. In addition, everyone was absolutely convinced of the ability of European countries to increase their competitiveness, as key growth factor. The event, chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of Zurich in Spain, Julián López Zaballos, and Risk Director and Regional Chairman Zurich European Group, Axel P. Lehmann, featured as a keynote speaker with Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, a former member of the Governing Council of the ECB. Subsequently, there was a debate involving Wolfgang Clement, former Federal Minister of Economics of Germany, Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland, Jose Oliu, chairman of Banco Sabadell, and Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics of ESADE. Lorenzo Bini explained to the audience that "competitiveness is the driving factor of growth in Europe, and that the relationship between competitiveness and growth should be the main goal of the structural reforms in all European countries, especially the South, should be conducted. " And is that Bini repeatedly emphasized the need for strong political will, despite the high cost of insurance would. In addition, former ECB member also believed needed the patience of the markets and citizens, as governments need time to undertake these reforms. Bini was optimistic about the future of Europe, but more long term than short term. Javier Solana, who addressed the public after completion of the initial conference, added some aspects, such as the need for the European Union to continue its integration process, and spoke of sectors, such as energy, that marked political and economic agenda of the coming years. Solana also showed his optimism and that reforms and austerity policies must continueMeanwhile, José Oliu impacted on the need for structural reforms, especially in Spain, but raised other country's structural problems, such as high investment during recent years in infrastructure over the technology or innovation. Oliu also addressed areas such as Public Administration in Spain, which he described as "inefficient because of its size and complexity." Finally, Wolfgang Clement and Aleksander Kwasniewski, who closed the debate, highlighted the demographic and socio-cultural issues as some of the challenges important for Europe. Clement stated that Germany was an aging population and had to bet on education as the key to that future generations could secure a job, and so the talent will be retained in Europe. Kwasniewski, meanwhile, noted that "Europe has significant challenges, and that if we become stronger, we will conduct a deeper integration, including the countries of Eastern Europe." Ultimately, all Speakers optimistic and competitiveness saw the key factor was to make European growth as it is interrelated with efficiency and innovation. Vision coinciding with Julian Lopez Zaballos, CEO of Zurich in Spain, who said "we have a hard road ahead, especially in southern Europe, but certainly we'll get stronger and with a high level of competitiveness in the global market" .

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The blog of Javier Solana: \ "The eye and eyelid \"

"Why the blog owner "the eye and eyelid"? Marcus Aurelius said: "... I know that all I have to live as lives the eyelid with the eye ...""

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Solana donates his kidney

"I donated a kidney to a loved one"

The Socialist former minister allowed the transplant because he thinks it his duty

Javier Solana (Madrid, 1942) has always been kept in shape and their 70s still playing sports, but now in moderation and under medical supervision. On last December 11  underwent an intervention in the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona to donate a kidney "to a very dear". He didn't want to elaborate. Reserves the identity of the recipient. They were four hours in the operating room. All have passed medical examination both show that the transplant was a success.
In a gesture of thanks, the Spanish former minister has decided to explain their experience and participate in the first edition of the Transplant Run, a charity race to be held tomorrow in Barcelona with more than 2,200 enrolled, between patients and donors. The test is supported by the Catalan Society of Transplantation Josep Maria Campistrol presiding, the nephrologist who extracted the kidney.
"It was my duty to do," he explains.Before going under the knife was several months undergoing tests to assess the viability of the operation.After the summer had clear two things: "The donor would be me and when we were not going to spend all back to talk about between us," he adds that he was secretary general of NATO. Tomorrow will race together five miles off the beaches of Barcelona. "I hope to finish the race, even walking," he says.

"The donor would be me and when we were not going to spend all back to talk about it with us"
Solana wants to campaign to raise public awareness that "living donations can save many people". "Dialysis is not a drama," he says. The former Minister praises proud of the fact that Spain is a model country in organization and human generosity transplants - "No one has the network we have here" - and hopes that the incessant health cuts will not break the success. "I hope that does not happen. Be a shame to diminish the quality we have now. "
What explains this global leadership in transplantation and that, for example, Spain is a European tail development, technology or innovation? The former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy has no clear answer. "When we want to, we can. The Spanish have no gene that prevents us from doing things right, "he reasons.

"When we want to, we can. The Spanish have no gene that prevents us from doing things right "
Solana confesses: "I have long lost respect for transplantation." It was almost three years ago, when the German Foreign former Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his friend, temporarily withdrew from politics and decided that he would donate a kidney to his wife. He was then 54 years and was the chairman of the parliamentary group of the SPC and she, 48.The announcement caused a wave of solidarity and transplantation was also a success.
"That I lived very closely. So when it was my turn, he encouraged me a lot and now we are more than friends, "says Solana, who was referring to the Social Democratic rival Angela Merkel in 2009. "Neither of us expected we finished talking about these things," he adds before another confession: "I did not expect to ever leave the cover of the country for this."

 Former Secretary General of NATO, Javier Solana, 70, said he donated a kidney 'a very nice person, "writes the online edition of El Pais said onThursday. intervention took place on December 11, 2012, in Hospital Barcelona. Solana declined to give more details and disclose the identity of any transplant recipient. 

The surgery lasted four hours and all medical examinations which he subsequently did both donor and recipient indicated that the transplant was a success. 

As a sign of gratitude, former Secretary General of NATO decided to tell his experience and participate in the first edition of Transplantation Run, a running race solidarity which will take place on Sunday in Barcelona and who scored 2,200 people patients and donors.Race has permission Catalan Transplantation Society, chaired by Josep Maria Campistrol, nephrologist who has taken his kidney Javier Solana. "It was my duty," said Solana, who, a few months before it reaches the table surgeon has undergone several medical examinations to determine if it is compatible with the recipient. Solana says that, in late summer, two things he was very clear: "The donor had to be me and when it would end well, I had to mention again about it between us." 

Sunday, donor and recipient will run along a distance of five kilometers, near the beaches of Barcelona. "I hope I can finish the race, even if only on foot," said Solana, who explained that he wanted to wear an awareness campaign about Spanish society that "donation (organ, while the donor is alive) can save many people ". 

"Dialysis is not a drama," adds former Spanish dignitaries. 

Solana admits that it is not preoccupied before such issues. The situation changed almost three years ago when former German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that Solana is very good friend, retired temporarily from politics and decided to donate a kidney to his wife. At that time, Steinmeier was 54 years and was president of Social Democratic Parliamentary Group (SPD) and his wife was 48 years old. The announcement sparked a wave of solidarity, and the transplant was a success. 

"I lived at maximum intensity that period.'s Why, when it was my turn, (Steinmeier) encouraged me terribly and now we are more than friends. Neither of us imagine that we get to talk about these things" Solana told that he made a final confession: "I do not expect to occur in El Pais for it." LINK

"The kidneys, always used in the plural (kelayot), are mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. In the Pentateuch, the kidneys are cited 11 times in the detailed instructions given for the sacrificial offering of animals at the altar. Whereas those instructions were for purification ceremonies at the Temple, sacrificial offerings were made subsequently in seeking divine intervention for the relief of medical problems. In the books of the Bible that follow the Pentateuch, mostly in Jeremiah and Psalms, the human kidneys are cited figuratively as the site of temperament, emotions, prudence, vigor, and wisdom. In five instances, they are mentioned as the organs examined by God to judge an individual. They are cited either before or after but always in conjunction with the heart as mirrors of the psyche of the person examined. There is also reference to the kidneys as the site of divine punishment for misdemeanors, committed or perceived, particularly in the book of Job, whose suffering and ailments are legendary. In the first vernacular versions of the Bible in English, the translators elected to use the term “reins” instead of kidneys in differentiating the metaphoric uses of human kidneys from that of their mention as anatomic organs of sacrificial animals burned at the altar. This initial effort at linguistic purity or gentility has progressed further in recent versions of the Bible, in which the reins are now replaced by the soul or the mind. The erosion may have begun in the centuries that followed the writing of the Bible, when recognition of the kidneys as excretory organs deprived them of the ancient aura of mysterious organs hidden deep in the body but accessible to the look of God. At approximately the same time, Greek analytical philosophy argued that the brain, which is never mentioned in the Bible, was the most divine and sacred part of the body. This argument gained ground in the past century, when the functions of the brain were elucidated, and ultimately established in the 1960s, when salvaging the kidneys for transplantation necessitated a change in the definition of death as irreversible brain function. It is ironic that advances in understanding kidney function and in nephrology that made kidney transplantation feasible may have contributed, albeit indirectly, to the gradual elimination of the metaphoric mention of human kidneys in the Bible."