Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, BEYOND START II

April 11, 2010
Leave a Comment

Finally, tedious negotiations have brought forth a new disarmament agreement between the two nuclear super powers. The Obama Administration has learned that White House timetables do not necessarily tally with those of other world leaders with their own negotiating strategies.

In a similar manner as the domestic healthcare issue, the historic signing of the new START bilateral agreement in the appropriate scenario of Prague is no guarantee that said goodwill expressed by both U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvédev will lead to a nuclear non-proliferation as per the NPT  of 1968. Whereas Russia’s Duma will surely ratify the agreement, the U.S. Senate may still present objections to such arms reduction to show the Republican hawkish stance on American military supremacy.

True to say, all American Presidents from the end of the Cold War onwards have signed some sort of arms agreement with the defunct U.S.S.R. and then with Russia. The weakest link may have been during the previous Bush Administrations, where world conflicts elevated tension between these super powers.

However, one must not forget that, neither India nor Pakistan, known to possess nuclear armament, are signees of the NPT. Israel not only has remained adamant to accept said treaty but has so far refused to admit its nuclear potential. In a similar situation but in the process of turning into a nuclear power is Iran. Curiously, these four countries are close to or in the midst of the Middle East hotspot. Besides, one must take into account that both Pakistan and India have borders with another nuclear power, China. Furthermore, China is a firm supporter of yet another potential nuclear developer (North Korea) based in the Far East.

How well will the United States of America and Russia be able to handle the growing nuclear risks in these tension-loaded Middle East & Far East regions?

Under the disguise of uranium enrichment for energetic purposes, any of these states may well be in fact producing nuclear weapons. Such are IAEA suspicions on Iran and North Korea upon their refusal to undergo U.N. supervision.

A meeting called by President Obama in Washington D.C. on April 12-13 where 40 world leaders are expected to discuss the risks of nuclear power in the hands of international terrorism has failed to persuade Israel’s Netanyahu to join in said caucus although it will count with the presence of China’s President Hu Jintao.

The shadow cast by Netanyahu’s absence may not be fully enlightened by the assistance by China’s Hu.

Both Obama and Medvédev are aware that China has yet to fully agree on sanctions to be imposed on Iran by the U.N. Security Council presided by Japan during this current month. China has carefully weighed its decision based on its growing trade relations with Iran, present-day tensed bilateral economic exchange with the United States and the renewed START agreement between Americans and Russians.

On the other hand, Israel and its hawkish Prime Minister are a pain in the neck for the Obama Administration still pending a definite solution plan. Tensed relations have existed ever since Netanyahu took over with a challenging attitude towards White House demands to sit down at a negotiations table with the Palestinian Authority. Far from towing the line, Israel has permanently provoked American emissaries (Biden & Mitchell), refusing to bend down to Obama’s petition for moderation.

Will START II have meant pressing the reset button to minimise all nuclear endeavours in armament or, on the contrary, be the commencement of further underground attempts by potential and/or existing nuclear states bent on having a say on nuclear policies in the international scene?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Advertisements

JERUSALEM OR JERICHO?

March 24, 2010
Leave a Comment

“The gates of Jericho were shut tight and guarded closely because of the people of Israel. No one went out. No one came in …. Then the Lord spoke to Joshua. He said, “I have handed Jericho over to you. I have also handed its king and its fighting men over to you …..” – Joshua 6:1-2

Netanyahu’s rabid defence of Israeli rights over Jerusalem in his lightning visit to Washington D.C., remind me of Jericho and its walls.

His stubborn stance before the most powerful President of the world could be compared to Joshua’s 7-day chants around Jericho following Jehovah’s instructions.

Does he expect the walls of U.S. power to crumble down before his eyes?

Israeli’s hawk prime minister exercises his knowledge of U.S. negotiating habits in his stints as a student in said country but he may err with such tactical moves before a totally different player at the table. Barack Obama is not a standardised American political leader that may well have some surprises in store for the arrogant Jewish visitor. In the first place, no official picture was taken of this interview nor was a White House press release issued.

Netanyahu has overestimated his capability to pressure the Obama Administration, moreover after the diplomatic mess during the U.S. Vice-President’s recent visit to Israel. The provocation of the new constructions in East Jerusalem may well work against the Israelis, and the crumbling walls turn to be those of proud & arrogant Jewish Jerusalem.

No single democratic state considers Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and all embassies & legations are based in Tel-Aviv. Netanyahu’s speech before Jewish Americans just before the White House encounter was a clear provocation that President Obama was surely not willing to ignore. The pulse is on. Even allies quarrel but no small-fry state should risk the anger of its firmest sponsor.

This rather unintelligent posture has already caused a decline of Netanyahu´s popularity not only in Israel but also strengthened the EU’s rejection of the Israeli arguments to stall the recognition of a Palestinian state. If now, the Obama Administration leaves Israel on its own in its border conflicts with other Middle East powers, Israel may find itself in a true dilemma. It may be best for Israel to agree to play with a fresh deck that avoids turning Jerusalem into a 21st. century Jericho.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


ANGLO-SAXON BUCCANEER PRESS AIDS 21ST. CENTURY FINANCIAL PIRATES

February 28, 2010
2 Comments

It is no paranoia but each day that passes it becomes a more established fact that vested interests acting as 21st. century pirates are behind all the attacks on the Euro.

Ever since The Economist, Financial Times & WSJ lambasted Spain’s Prime Minister Rodríguez Zapatero last January, the markets have been watchful of the Euro and those members of the Eurogroup (Portugal, Italy, Greece & Spain)  mentioned as “PIGS”; thus commenced a well planned offensive by no less than first-line hedge funds and CDS swap holders.

By comparing Spanish economy to that of Greece, the buccaneer British & American press were preparing the groundwork to link Greece’s dilemma with Spain. Further pressure was applied at Davos, with no less that Roubini making his interested statements to cast more than a shadow of a doubt upon the unemployment burdened Spanish economy.

In truth, it is unbelievable that markets can be so naive to fall for recommendations from economists like Roubini or investors such as Soros, who are directly implicated in investments schemes of their own or act as liaisons for influential investments funds. The investment advisors with such personal investment interests will never favour the small fry unless you play within their own investment funds. Even then, Soros (Soros Fund Management) and his sort reserve the best classified information only for their “select group of friends”.

Such seems to be what was brewing in that top-level New York dinner-meeting of hedge fund promoters a month ago (February 8th.). Availing of Greece’s possible public debt default, like vulgar scavengers, all set their eyes in weakening the Euro against the U.S. Dollar, in order to rake in fabulous profits in short-selling & CDS operations (practice that caused Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy)  that would not only alter currency exchange equilibrium but likewise destabilise stock exchange markets.

In spite of said attack, the bet of a 1 to 1 ratio rate between the Euro and the U.S. Dollar has not been reached. Expected profits fell short of expectations. This can only mean that the buccaneer American & British press must press on till these financial pirates can reach their profit goal in this first quarter of 2010.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


THE HAITI TRAGEDY & POVERTY: WORLD POWERS MUST ACT NOW

January 20, 2010
Leave a Comment

New tremors in Haiti today whilst dead still litter the streets, wounded are treated in open-air installations and humanitarian relief is slowly distributed in a trickle, proves that last week’s earthquake tragedy is but the tip of the true disaster in such forsaken paradise in the Caribbean.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the American continents and one of the poorest in the world, has been plagued since its independence from France in 1804 by political instability that provoked the United States to occupy the territory from 1915 to 1934. Further U.S. military and financial support in 1954 to François Duvalier (Papa Doc) imposed upon the island a pretended dynasty with his son, Jean-Claude (Nené Doc), succeeding him in 1971. A national uprising overthrew him in 1981 but still Haiti continued to live in misery in one coup after another that brought corrupt leaders into power.

In a country where poverty is circumvented only with the funds from foreign aid and numerous NGOs operating humanitarian missions, it is understandable that the eradication of poverty has not been a priority for its successive governments. Lax government controls on the use of aid funds for development, health & educational projects have permitted the deviation of huge sums into private bank accounts of Haitian government officials.

The participation of the United Nations has not been limited to humanitarian support through its agencies but likewise had involved Blue Helmets stationed in the territory. However, it must be said that the U.N. role in Haiti has always gone along stream that of the United States and the U.N. Blue Helmet detachment was in lieu of American soldiers that were no more.

With last week’s earthquake, President Obama again compromised U.S. military forces for Haiti. The European Union headed by the Spanish Government which occupied this semester’s rotating presidency likewise acted resolutely with not too much ado and contributed towards a quick solution.

However, a new dilemma has arisen. Not taking seriously anti-American comments by Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez, the postures of French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva on U.S. troops on Haitian soil seemed out of place at a point  and time when humanitarian action was the only true concern.

Which brings me to question the handling of this situation:- Have we reached a point where the United Nations has lost authority and effectiveness to handle world crisis or major disasters?

Is protagonist role all world leaders think of or want when such situations arise or should these think first of the human tragedy?

The silent but effective actions undertaken from Spain and Spanish coordination of  the EU aids must be applauded. The quick reaction from the White House must be praised too.

It is not time for lead roles or being on front page headlines. It is time to seriously think why the developed countries have not resolved yet the poverty and misery that only ends in more misery in tragedies such as the Haitian earthquakes these days.

It is time to meditate whether the organization whose creation and charter were mean to face up to the challenges of a world in peace has failed in its objectives during this past six decades.

World leaders must decide whether the time has come to think more of justice and minimum quality of life for any human being with a new social & political order that the United Nations has been unable to provide.

Has the time arrived for a change in world governance?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


EUROPEAN UNION: FIRST SIX MONTHS OF LISBON TREATY & SPANISH PRESIDENCY

January 20, 2010
Leave a Comment

Today, Spain’s Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, presented the objectives of the EU’s first semester within the scope of the recently ratified Lisbon Treaty. His extemporaneous speech before the European Parliament was centred on the economic crisis but his explanations went on to indicate his inclination towards social policymaking.

Just a few weeks back, Rodríguez Zapatero went under fire in U.K. newspapers (The Financial Times & The Economist), seconded by Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. Whilst the WSJ editorials are tinted by the ultra-conservative influence of no less than Murdoch’s Spanish Sancho Panza, in the person of Spain’s former Prime Minister José Mª Aznar, those written by British economic experts went beyond the limits of journalistic competence in questioning Zapatero’s capabilities in a sarcastic comparison to popular British TV character, Mr. Bean.

In its fourth rotating mandate, Spain has so far lived up to expectations, with important European milestones set in each one of its presidential semesters. With a clear all-out support of the EEC, later the EU, Spain has earned its entry into the European club and has there onward led some initiatives which other members, like the United Kingdom for one, have yet to set into their agendas.

This semester is too important for the 27-Member Union to waste words in sarcasm and destructive criticism, more so when the United Kingdom has undermined EU unifying efforts in too many occasions.

As an expert in EU relations, the underlying motive of such mocking comments is certain resentment towards Spain far beyond the political scene and more focused on Spanish corporations taking over numerous British enterprises in the last few years, to name a few – Banco Santander and Iberdrola.

In spite of Spain’s high unemployment rate at the present time, never has the U.K. generated as much jobs as Spain has in the years before the outbreak of the worldwide financial crisis nor has it contained its public deficit to have Spain’s five-year surplus. In fact, Tony Blair’s apparent economic miracle was partly a well-designed accounting reengineering by no less than Gordon Brown, as narrated in detail in the book – Fantasy Island.

Furthermore, Brown’s government has again manipulated figures in order to hide from EU scrutiny state subsidies to British banks in violation of European Commission regulations. Whereas Spain has not nationalised a single bank, the U.K. has both subsidized illegally and nationalised bankrupt entities. Whilst Spain has an exemplary supervision of financial entities the U.K.’s banking system is a free-for-all that allows quite a few irregularities.

The British economy has a full decade ahead before it can say it is out of the rut even if stats show that recession may have come to an end in 2009’s last quarter. What these financial newspapers seem to forget is that whilst Spain now lingers in unemployment, its growth potential in new technologies (solar & wind energy) and innovative activities (electric cars) with renewed immigrant labour forces will launch Spain into a new cycle of competitive businesses. What has been known as the financial crisis is greatly accountable to the uncontrolled business in Wall Street and The City. All risky financial gimmicks launched by the American & British banks have brought us to where we are.

Likewise, the British press seems to resent Obama’s chummy attitude towards Spain’s Prime Minister in detriment of Gordon’s declining role. Should the Tories take over next May, 10 Downing Street may still drift further away from The White House.

Spain has a challenge to reemploy its workers but the United Kingdom has a greater challenge – to start admitting they are no longer an empire.

It’s best these newspapers think twice their words before going to press. I’ll be watching in 2020 where the United Kingdom is to be compared to an environmental conscious businesslike Spain in this coming decade.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


OBAMA’S MISSILE SHIELD SCRAPPING, A WINK TO RUSSIA

September 19, 2009
4 Comments

obamaWith the healthcare debate still smouldering in the home front and with the Pittsburgh G-20 summit around the corner, the White House announcement that scraps Bush’s missile shield scheme in Eastern Europe came both as a surprise and a relief for most Europeans.

Probably only Polish and Czech politicians could have been disappointed with the withdrawal of the multi-billion dollar scheme in their respective territories. However, it is known that Poles in border towns where said long-range missiles were to be installed breathe with relief with the announcement.

The prolonged study of the project and its final scrapping go far beyond the technical aspects reflected in the final report as yet not made public. Two important factors must have played prominently in President Obama’s decision. First, the economic crisis with its enormous pressure on public spending warrants cutbacks in all superfluous expenses; use of existing SM-3 interceptors is easily applicable to the sea-based Aegis system as early as 2011. Secondly, Russia’s permanent objection to Bush’s missile shield project has caused a tense ‘wait and see’ attitude since Obama assumed office.

It is this second reason which, on the verge of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, seems the main political card the Obama Administration wishes to include in the card pack to be played at the negotiations table on September 24-25.

anti-missileWithout really withdrawing the military menace to Iran, the USA can lure Russia into a more receptive stance towards NATO reinforcement in the Eastern European-Middle East front. Russia cannot forget that once before both Poland and the Czech Republic belonged to the extinct USSR military treaty and these former Soviet allies are now EU states and NATO members.

Furthermore, in spite of U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in the next few years, the Afghan warfront is a common ‘Achilles’ heel’ for both the USA and Russia. Where the Americans are now trapped in a frenzied battle to wipe out insurrection in Afghanistan, the extinct USSR Army (now mainly Russian) had already suffered heavy losses in the battlefields a decade ago. Russia cannot forget that then, Talibans and warlords alike, received underhanded U.S. military support.

shieldThis announcement comes at a time when President Obama must wade through deep waters both in the home front and in the international scenario. While the world watches how Obama plays his cards at the G-20 summit, American vested interests and The Establishment shall be observing how he construes his state policies affecting armament expenditures in the upcoming budget. No one can deny that the world conflicts and the arms race are a permanent source of revenue for American business groups. The Iraq and Afghanistan warfronts, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have enriched numerous entrepreneurs but mainly maintained alive multinational industries involved in aviation, armament, construction and allied services.

President Obama’s dilemma is how to push through this wink at Russia without neither bruising The Establishment’s sentiments nor upsetting vested interests back home. Needless to say, maintaining the see-saw balance may prove vital for the approval of a relatively decent healthcare law.  The USA can no longer decide at will, when the rest of the world with the EU states present at the G-20 summit, are there to have their say.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Madrid


OBAMA’S WOES FOR NEXT 100 DAYS

May 11, 2009
1 Comment

Having reached his first 100 days with an excellent rate of approval, President Obama has now to face issues both in at home and in the international scenario. No doubt that his firmness in applying economic measures in the bankrupt-threatened automobile industry and the cash-thirsty banking sector has alerted executives the nation over that he means business. However, the international scene is far from being under control and U.S. blunders in the years of the Bush Administration have mined Washington’s credibility as the world’s foremost leader.

As I already observed in previous blogs, Europe has still to see proof of Obama’s goodwill in the global international scenario and Latin America applauded at the Port-of-Spain summit without really giving the new U.S. Administration al approval of what is to come. From a rather broad and objective perspective, the start-off earned a merited approval but also showed that The White House with its new tenant has a lot of legal obstacles to overcome before he can push through relevant promises of his election campaign. Moreover, in trying to move away from his predecessor’s pathetic decisions, President Obama and his team are encountering numerous insurmountable legal of loopholes which will slow down key changes towards a more humane and accepted U.S. government.

obama-brown    If George Bush had his Waterloo in the invasion of Iraq, President Obama’s may well be the Afghanistan – Pakistan terrorist issue. True to say, the Afghanistan Taliban conflict is an inheritance of wrong U.S. strategic policies in trying to circumvent the Russian occupation in the 80’s of this arid central Asian territory. As in many other occasions, the U.S. Administration has supported rebel groups that afterwards have turned to bite their sponsor’s hand, as was the case of the Taliban entrenched in the mountains fighting off the Russian invasion. For almost a decade, Washington entrusted Pakistan’s rule to a military leader only to find that this trust did not resolve the free flow of Al Qaida terrorists through Pakistan to other countries. Today, both Pakistan and Afghanistan have turned into a tough international with the U.S. Administration scarcely supported by other western allies. The European Union flatly turned down President Obama’s request for more troops in Afghanistan and the fleeing Pakistani civilians will briefly have caused a new refugee issue similar to that of the Middle East. Where does Washington expect to turn to when none of the bordering Asian neighbours – India, Iran, and China – wish to support U.S. military plans in the region.

clinton-peres       Further complications will have to arise in the interconnection between Taliban & Palestinian Muslims, should Israel’s hard-line foreign policy towards the Palestinian Territory prevail. The negotiators’ bloc – U.S.A, European Union, United Nations & Russia – presently attempting to bring postures closer has found the recent appointment of a hawkish right-wing Israeli government a serious drawback in their efforts. Not even the recent visit of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, seems to have softened Israel’s new position. Perhaps, this is the very reason why President Obama has scheduled to address a speech on June 4th. from El Cairo to the entire Muslim world. The brief presidential stay in Turkey scarcely a month ago may have not had the desired effects as per White House strategy. The contents of said message are surely relevant enough for the U.S. President to travel twice in such a short period to practically the same region.

chavez-lula           But woes always come in a bunch and Obama’s aren’t any exception. His apparent success in winning over some Latin American leaders at the V Summit of the Americas three weeks ago has now been clouded by Chavez’s latest seizures which may in some way have been provoked by a recent OAS report about Venezuela’s democratic rating. The divided Latin American leaders have shown their lack of united criteria in recent meetings between Brazil’s Lula and his Argentinean & Paraguayan counterparts, as well as harsh disqualifications made by Bolivia’s Morales o Venezuela’s Chavez against Peru’s García. Obama may have hoped to find in Lula a spokesman for all South America, a situation that is far from reality.

Relations with Russia are newly turning icy-cold after two Canadian NATO diplomats faced spying accusations and were expelled from the Russian territory. Russian influence in the Central Asian & Middle East scenarios is quite well-known, with its pronounced pro-Iranian defence of this state’s nuclear programme. More is coming Obama’s way, not only due to tense situations to arise in Asia and Africa in the forthcoming weeks in U.S. relations with China and the Two Koreas in the offing and complications menacing in focal points of Africa.

Finally, the Obama Administration seems to be playing hide-n-seek in its future stand at the Doha Round. Protectionist statements at times and liberal free-markets speeches make U.S. partners wonder exactly if Obama speaks up from the heart or off the cuff, as he joked during the recent newspapermen’s dinner in Washington D.C.. The White House will sooner or later have to let the cat out of the bag and face up to global market reactions either way it may go on world trade and the future of WTO-sponsored talks.  

US-Gibraltar  It is interesting to observe that the new U.S.  Administration may be undergoing lack of coordination between Treasury boss, Tim Geithner and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, just to cite one example. Recently, Geithner singlehandedly signed a protocol agreement with Gibraltar’s Colonial Chief Minister, Peter Caruana, in an inappropriate state status scenario which is insulting to Spain’s decades-long claim over The Rock, a U.K. Colony retained on the basis of the 18th. century Treaty of Utrecht.

 obama-zp           Precisely, Spain is certainly a key partner in any   attempt by the  Obama Administration to open talks both in the Middle East and the Latin American scenarios. The White House team should check out its coordinates and communicate better to avoid further woes in the international scene. The U.S. Government will need all help possible from its solvent partners in Europe if it wants to resolve ticklish issues in several conflictive regions.

 

Madrid, May 11, 2009


WOMEN’S RIGHTS, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS & BERLUSCONI’S PROPAGANDA

May 9, 2009
4 Comments

 

On June 7th. all Europeans citizens with age of majority in the 27 Member States of the European Union are called to elect their representatives in the European Parliament. The waning interest amongst Europeans in EU affairs has forced the European Commission authorities to launch an institutional campaign to encourage voters to participate.

 

EU flag

In a growing organisation that has expanded to the east to recently include Bulgaria & Romania in the Union, the female population of the nearly 500 M European citizens of the EU amounts to 51% of the total 27-state census. Of said female population, only Bulgarian women have a mean childbearing age below 25 whilst the other members vary between 26 and 31, with global EU chilbearing age average as high as 29. Aside from cultural traits, a serious analysis of women’s participation in 21st. century labour has imposed a reorganisation of priorities. Thus, the conception of offspring has been relegated to second term.

If we further consider that the EPP majority in the actual European Parliament has achieved to turn down the proposal to grant a 20-week maternity leave to all working mothers in the EU, it is more than probable that women in all Member States will further delay their motherhood. From the looks of vote projections for the forthcoming June 7th. elections, the Christian Democrat & Conservative EPP bloc would revalidate its European Parliament majority even if the British Conservatives and the Czech ODS finally abandon the EPP. It is curious to observe that Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, stands out as the strongest bastion of the EPP stand in Europe. The recent consolidation of the centre-right in Italy into a single party (PDL) is sure to wipe the last traces of left-party resistance to his parliamentary supremacy both in Italy and the Italian representation at the European Parliament.

EU Parliament star

 

I have asked myself what a woman in Italy must feel when a Prime Minister denigrates the figure a woman stands for and converts her into a mere attraction. Berlusconi, with his frustrated inclusion into his party’s ticket of numerous women in the showbiz and his boisterously publicised divorce after an apparent infidelity with an 18-year-old upcoming actress, still is accepted by 2 out of every 3 Italians. If this pattern is extrapolated in different European states within the Union, one must reach the sad conclusion that we Europeans are more in favour of show than political responsibility. Furthermore, we may seem to be showing a certain macho complex in our attitude towards women’s rights such as is the case of the rejected 20-week maternity leave.

This attitude will drive us further into the socio-economic crisis we are all undergoing. The very reason given by some Euro-deputies that adding weeks of leave to new mothers is a burden business cannot sustain, falls flat on its face if one seriously considers the grave effects on medium term of the alarmingly decreasing of new babies to face Europe’s strongly aged & declining population. Will Berlusconi and his EPP gang be around to resolve the lack of young productive workers to pay off the state pension schemes in each of the 27 Member States? Will the women of Europe have abandoned their wish to motherhood, afraid to lose their jobs should they become pregnant?

Berlusconi & wife

Is this the united Europe we want? Definitely, it’s not my vision of the Europe I was told we were building way back half a century ago. I don’t intend that a few bigots and a radiant showman drive us off track. A protest vote of all those you believe in women having a dignified role in today’s European Union society is in order.

 

Madrid, May 9, 2009             


LABOUR DAY THE WORLD OVER EXCEPT IN NORTH AMERICA

May 1, 2009
3 Comments

Since  1894, May 1st. has served as commemoration  to mark workers’ gaining social rights all over the world. Curiously enough, said celebration is held in practically all nations except in the United States of America & Canada, with their own holiday set on the first Monday of September.

 

True to say that labour rights are far from reaching an equilibrium point applicable to any and all workers alike. Each state and government progresses at varying speeds of social achievements and protection for workers in the multiple entrepreneur activities at local, national & international fronts. Far from being eradicated, child labour and women’s discrimination still are practices in vigour in a great number of underdeveloped and developing countries in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Furthermore, the conquests of the Eight-hour A Day Movement that motivated the setting up of the popular May Day (Labour Day) holiday in Britain in the late 18th. Century has not erased completely long working shifts of more than 10 hours per day in developed countries, with the U.S.A. and Canada at the top.

 

Globalisation has further deepened workers’ lack of protection towards a dignified working post and even their health & welfare put in danger. The concept of free-market competitiveness has only set its aim at maximum economic profit with little concern for the means of attaining same. In consequence, it is the weaker members of the international community that bear the load of excessive working hours for minimum retributions.

 

At such times of crisis where even qualified workers are laid off  from traditionally well-paid secure jobs such as those in High-Tech industries, one must consider what is to become of this globalised work environ full of mediocre potential labour competing in unequal terms in countries with increasing unemployment. Going even a step further down, we should attempt to understand the desperate intents of Chicanos  crossing the Río Grande border into supposedly prosperous America or Africans defying the ocean in cayucos  to reach the Spanish and/or Italian coasts of the  European Promise Land.

 f047mh02

If this world in crisis is incapable of understanding that misery & hunger in underdeveloped regions of the world are nurtured with modern-day means of communication such as television & internet to keep them informed of the bounties in other hemispheres, then we have not learnt the basics of human nature and our capacity to fair out even in extreme danger. Perhaps, we may have been blinded by the privileges we have enjoyed thus far without considering that in the meantime others have suffered the backlash of our excesses in the wake of our own economic progress and status-seeking selfishness.

 

The time has come to ponder on the responsibility of each and every citizen of the world in creating a collective conscience towards a true-hearted movement aimed at equal opportunities in attaining a dignified work post and optimum social welfare coverage.

 

This is the challenge for all of us in a world in crisis in this New Millennium.

 

 

 

Madrid, May 1st. 2009      


EARTH DAY: AN ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT THREATENS NATURE

April 22, 2009
3 Comments

Almost four decades after Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. senator, launched his conscience campaign against irresponsible environmental policies worldwide and citizenry indifference, most western hemisphere governments have continued Earth Day Celebration each April 22nd. year after year since 1970. This non-government event has permitted thousands of universities to participate in an independent awareness movement that has contributed to a better understanding of the risks of human excesses in the conservation of our planet Earth.

 

earthday1

 

In the wake of the economic crisis provoked by unethical irresponsible actions both of businessmen and politicians the world over, environmental issues have attained an enormous relevance in seeking alternative activities that resolve financial mismanagement abuses. It shall be Nature’s conservation that will offer new job posts and innovative activities that break away from merely economic endeavours that have caused such calamitous socio-economic scenario.

 

President Obama’s change of heart in reference to his predecessor’s steadfast anti-Kyoto policies and the European Union’s insistence to link CO2 global production before 2020 represent a faint hope that world leaders are finally putting environmental and climate change issues at the top of their priority list. On this Earth Day Celebration, let’s cross our fingers that all changes will lead to a more solid awareness that conserving Nature is our guarantee for a better quality of living over and above any financial crisis.

 

 

Madrid, April 22, 2009     

 

 


« Previous PageNext Page »

    PRUEBA GRATIS: Google Apps for Work