The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rushed a financial agreement between Turkey and Qatar through Parliament for approval ahead of his decision to turn over a $20 billion tank and pallet factory to a company run jointly by his associates and the Qatari army.
The deal, the avoidance of double taxation agreement, came just in the nick of time before the Erdoğan government presented a multibillion-dollar national tank factory on a silver platter to Turkish-Qatari armored vehicle manufacturer BMC, a company run by Ethem Sancak, a member of the MKYK executive body of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
On paper, 49.9 percent of BMC’s shares belong to the Qatari Armed Forces, while Sancak owns 25 percent and the Öztürk family (Ahmet Öztürk, Talip Öztürk and Taha Yasin Öztürk) owns 25.1 percent.
Rumor in Ankara circles has it that Erdoğan is the real owner of BMC and Sancak is merely a caretaker looking after the Turkish president’s business interests. The Öztürk family, known to have mafia links to Galip Öztürk, a convicted murderer and head of an organized crime network, is seen close to the Turkish president.
13 Spanish policemen broke into Roberto’s home at 7.30 am, took his laptop and cellphone and dragged him away. The Canary Island activist had written ”Bourbons to the Sharks” and ”I Shit on the Royals, the King and his Repressive Forces” on his Facebook page.The case comes after a long series of ‘gagging arrests’ especially of singers, rap artists, twitter critics, especially Catalan independentists, and even two puppeteers.The Tenerife activist, Roberto Mesa, not only faces the imputation of a crime of insult to the Crown but also a crime of hatred to Spanish institutions and the security bodies of the State. As Cadena SER has learned, the National Police Body (CNP) had been investigating Mesa since 2007 due to its ‘contestatory’ activity on social networks. Things looked black for Roberto, but then all the Canarian movements came to his rescue, picketing the police and then the court.Almost a hundred Canarian, Spanish and South American social and political organizations – including Podemos, Izquierda Unida and Sí Se Puede – signed a support manifesto for Roberto Mesa, which was read on Friday at a rally held at the gates of the Palace of Justice in La Laguna. Continue reading “Roberto wrote ‘Feed Royals to the Sharks’ on Facebook before his Arrest”
Nationwide strikes, led by Brazilian unions protesting against President Michel Temer’s austerity measures, crippled public transport in major cities across the country, while factories, businesses and schools remained closed.
Unions and leftwing organisations called for the general strike on Friday to oppose Temer’s plan to slash pension benefits and other austerity reforms.The strike appeared to be having greatest effect in heavily unionised parts of the economy, including transportation, schools, the post office and some hospital staff.
The CUT union estimated that at least 35 million workers went on strike. On the other hand the establishment GLOBO TV channel incredibly failed to mention the strike on its mid day news.
On the streets, police clashed with demonstrators in several cities, blocking protesters from entering airports and firing tear gas in efforts to free roadways.
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city and financial powerhouse, was worst hit by the strikes.
Police used tear gas to clear highways of protesters but bus services, the metro and trains all stopped working, bringing the city temporarily to a standstill.
Demonstrators are protesting President Temer’s austerity measures [Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]
“It is going to be the biggest strike in the history of Brazil,” said Paulo Pereira da Silva, president of trade union group Forca Sindical.
In Rio de Janeiro, protesters lit fires on a major bridge, disrupting commuter traffic, while police used tear gas to force a small crowd of protesters from outside the main bus station.
However, the city appeared to be less affected, with private businesses such as restaurants, cafes and shops opening normally.
In the capital Brasilia and in Belo Horizonte, another major city, the metro systems were completely closed down. Curitiba, the city where Brazil’s huge “Operation Car Wash” anti-corruption investigation is based, was left without bus services.
Temer has said that without severe fiscal discipline and belt tightening, Latin America’s biggest economy will not be able to exit a two-year recession.
The most controversial measure is to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 62 for women, up from 60 and 55 at present.
The government is also pushing for a liberalisation of labour laws and has succeeded in getting Congress to pass a 20-year spending freeze.
The struggle over austerity comes against a backdrop of worsening conditions for ordinary Brazilians.
The country’s economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015 and is expected to have contracted a further 3.5 percent in 2016, the most painful recession in a century.
The struggle over austerity comes against a backdrop of worsening conditions for ordinary Brazilians [Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]
The miserable economic scenario is dovetailing with the country’s worst corruption crisis in history. The “Car Wash” probe has uncovered a massive network of embezzlement and bribery at the heart of Brazil’s economic and political elite.
Eight of Temer’s ministers are under investigation and the president himself has been accused of chairing a meeting where his PMDB party negotiated a $40m bribe from the Odebrecht engineering conglomerate. Temer and his allies deny any wrongdoing.
“Temer does not even want to negotiate,” said Vagner Freitas, national president of the Central Workers Union (CUT), Brazil’s biggest labour confederation, said in a statement.
“He just wants to meet the demands of the businessmen who financed the coup precisely to end social security and legalise the exploitation of workers.”
Temer’s spokesperson Marcio de Freitas rejected the union’s criticism, saying the government was working to undo the economic damage wrought under the Workers Party government, which had the backing of the CUT.
“The inheritance of that was 13 million unemployed,” he said. “The government is carrying out reforms to change this situation, to create jobs and economic growth.”
Brazil’s Congress voted by 400 to 1 to reject an anti corruption bill signed by 2.5 million citizens, and gave themselves more immunity. Now they vote through massive cuts and sell off public assets to foreign corporations at bargain prices.
Amid massive protests, neoliberal government installed after coup aims to lock 20-year spending freeze into constitution
by Nadia Prupis, 12 Comments Brazil’s new neoliberal government has pushed through the most socially retrogressive austerity package in the world, as a United Nations official had warned on Friday, calling the proposed 20-year freeze on social spending a “radical measure, lacking in all nuance and compassion.”
Under President Michel Temer, who seized power after a coup ousted the democratically elected Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, the spending freeze will be locked into the country’s constitution.
The senate held a final vote on the measure Tuesday 13th and it was passed by the servile corrupt politicians.
In response to the news, Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, decried the bill known as PEC55.
“This is a radical measure, lacking in all nuance and compassion,” he said in a statement, calling the package an attack on the poor. “It is completely inappropriate to freeze only social expenditure and to tie the hands of all future governments for another two decades. This amendment will place Brazil in a socially retrogressive category all of its own.”
Corrupt Court to cancel Ban on Bullfighting in Catalonia
Public Killing and Torturing bulls will be legalised again in Catalunya by order of the central government. This is the latest of a series of blatantly anti Catalan orders by the Spanish Constitutional and Supreme Courts.
The Courts are politically controlled and have always supported dubious, self serving and even openly fascist proposals instigated by the far right 1% and the Catholic Church. The ban on bullfighting in Catalonia is seen as a traitorous way of asserting that ‘Catalonia is not Spain’.
Bullfighting is defined (by them) as “common cultural heritage” of Spain and can not be vetoed by a regional law, says the court, due to a clause in the Constitution which gives cultural heritage to the Central Government.
For more than nine months, Spain has existed without a traditional national government. In the face of this lack of central authority and planning, Spaniards have done ”the impossible”: they have thrived without a government.
Spanish politicians warned the people that allowing the national government to fade away could have disastrous effects. However, as the New York Times notes, “the crisis seems to have offered a glimpse of life if politicians simply stepped out of the way. For many here, it has not been all that bad.”
“No government, no thieves,” Félix Pastor, a language teacher, told the Times. Pastor said the people of Spain were better without a government because the politicians were unable to cause any more harm. Rafael Navarro, a 71-year old pharmacy owner in Madrid, told the Times that “Spain would be just fine if we got rid of most of the politicians ...” Continue reading “Spain doing Fine: There’s No Government like No Government”
Leaked Tapes Show Michel Temer’s Henchmen Led Dilma Rousseff Coup in BrazilMichel Temer and his Horrible Henchmen
#DilmaRousseff Recordings released on Monday tell the world what Brazil already knows in revealing that the political establishment orchestrated a plot to overthrow the democratically elected leader.
On Monday, Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo revealed audio recordings of a conversation between the country’s planning minister, Romero Juca, and Sergio Machado, former CEO of state-owned oil company Petrobras subsidiary Transperto, calling to oust Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as part of a bid to derail an ongoing corruption investigation under which the two are involved.
The high-ranking Juca serves as the president of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the same political party as interim leader Michel Temer and other leading impeachment figures, including deposed lower house leader Eduardo Cunha and senate leader Renan Calheiros.
Juca immediately stepped down from his government post a few hours after the recordings were released, but the ever-unraveling threads of the coup plot threaten to completely dismantle the Temer government.
The Impeachment Coup
The impeachment proceedings against Rousseff are not a matter of corruption, but rather for borrowing from the federal savings bank to preserve social welfare programs facing short-term budgetary shortfalls caused by an international recession. The effort to impeach was initially led by Eduardo Cunha, who then served as the leader of Brazil’s lower legislative chamber.
US BACKED RIGHTWING ‘COUP’ TO DESTROY AMAZON Ecocide in Brazil: new laws to devastate Amazon by Jan Rocha … via the ecologist with thanks.. Amidst the turmoil of the presidential impeachment, right wing members of Brazil’s Congress are set to quickly pass new laws that would build new roads across the Amazon, open up indigenous reserves to industrial exploitation, and … Continue reading HERE
Spanish renewables industry destroyed by proposed tax on sunshine.
Spain Privatizes The Sun: Multi Millon Dollar Penalties For Collecting Sunlight
AFTER A DELAY WHICH SERVED TO PARALYSE THE SOLAR INDUSTRY SPAIN IS GOING AHEAD. If you get caught collecting photons of sunlight for your own use you will get a fine not exceeding 30 million euros.. What the hell is going on in Spain? This is one of 100’s of crazy, often neo-fascist measures by a govt with a total majority (by default) yet drowning in corruption scandals and huge popular resistance.
They’ve already decimated the promising renewable energy sector by taxes and illegally cutting contracted subsidies, while promoting, oil, gas and fracking. What the hell? Why?
This is what we used to call a Freudian slip.. when your subconscious pops out the wrong word and you admit your crimes by mistake.
Maria Dolores, also President of Castilla meant to say ‘lift up the country (sacar)’ and instead said ‘loot and destroy the country’ (saquear.. as in ‘they sacked Troy’.)
It’s the second time she’s done it, and very timely too, because the latest scandal is that Rodrigo Rato, ex IMF President and guru of The ruling PP, is on the list of 705 elite politicians, business leaders and royals accused of stealing countless billions for nearly 40 years, and legalizing their offshore fortunes in a contrived ”fiscal amnesty”.