Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spain Goes Socialist

What an encouraging sign for the Sanders campaign!! 

Of course, we all need be careful. Once a population starts going that way (see planet Earth, 1930s), the elite string-pullers of society crash economies and start World Wars. 

Oh, yeah, right, already in them.

"Upstart parties win wide support in Spain election" by Harold Heckle Associated Press  December 20, 2015

MADRID — A strong showing Sunday by a pair of upstart parties in Spain’s general election threatened to upend the country’s traditional two-party system, with results showing that the ruling Popular Party won the most votes but fell far short of a parliamentary majority and risked being booted from power.

Days or weeks of negotiations may be needed to determine who will govern Spain, with the new far left Podemos and business-friendly Ciudadanos parties producing shockwaves because of strong support from voters weary of the country’s political status quo.

It's a different system, but the same phenomenon.

In past elections, the Popular Party and the main opposition Socialists were the established powerhouses and needed support only from tiny Spanish parties to get a majority in Parliament when they didn’t win one from voters.

‘‘Spain has changed,’’ said Inigo Errejon, who holds the No. 2 position in Podemos. ‘‘Many people have lost their confidence in traditional parties. The two-party system has ended.’’

‘‘It looks like a Socialist government, but....’’ 


Podemos and Ciudadanos both gained strength by portraying the Popular Party and the Socialists as out-of-touch behemoths run by politicians who care more about maintaining their own power than citizens’ needs.

Is there a vaccine for this $h**???

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said he would seek an alliance to prevent a leftist coalition from taking power.

So it won't be Socialist? Or is that $ociali$t (see France and Greece)?

The nation’s economic crisis, corruption scandals, and a separatist drive in the northeastern region of Catalonia have dominated Spanish politics over the past four years.

I'm for secession wherever anyone wants; what I oppose is where nations are being deliberately broken up through subterfuge.

Rajoy has defended his handling of the economy, tried to skirt the corruption minefield, and vowed to halt the independence push....


"Parties in Spain wrestle to form a government; Election leaves doubt on which party will lead" by Raphael Minder New York Times  December 22, 2015

MADRID — The leaders of four political parties in Spain found themselves struggling Monday with the question of which party could form a government, a day after a fractious election in which support for the two establishment parties plummeted and voters flocked to two insurgent parties that might now be able to act as kingmakers.

There is that word again in the context of politics.

The governing conservative party of Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s incumbent prime minister, received the most votes Sunday, but it lost its parliamentary majority, leaving Rajoy with an uphill task to stay at the helm of either a minority or a coalition government.

But if Rajoy’s future was in limbo, so were those of his main rivals, who also failed to achieve the decisive victory they had hoped for. The election was a resounding manifestation of the political fragmentation in Spain, where mainstream parties have alternated control of the government since the restoration of democracy in the late 1970s.

Among various prospects for a possible coalition government, the only one that would ensure a parliamentary majority would be an alliance of Rajoy’s Popular Party and the opposition Socialists, led by Pedro Sánchez. Such a “grand coalition” has governed in countries like Germany but would be unprecedented for Spain.

It would also require resolving a very difficult relationship, given a heated confrontation between the parties’ leaders during the campaign. In the final televised debate before the election, Sánchez accused Rajoy of being dishonest, referring to the prime minister’s failure to take responsibility for corruption scandals, including one centered around the Popular Party’s former treasurer.

The Socialists insisted Monday that they would not facilitate another term as prime minister for Rajoy. César Luena, the secretary of the Socialists, said at a news conference that the executive committee of his party would demonstrate “prudence and responsibility” and would allow Rajoy, as leader of the party that got the most votes, to attempt to form a government. But Luena said his party would “vote no to Rajoy” when Parliament reconvenes next month.

“What came out of the ballot boxes is a monumental mess,” Bieito Rubido, editor in chief of the conservative newspaper ABC, told Spanish television Monday. “Almost everybody has lost.”

The one possible exception, Rubido and other commentators have suggested, is Podemos, which established itself Sunday as the largest antiestablishment party in Spain. Podemos was formed early last year as a far-left, antiausterity party, modeled in part on the success of Syriza, the governing party in Greece. However, Podemos failed Sunday to supplant the Socialists as Spain’s main left-leaning group.

Syriza $old out.

The leader of Citizens, Albert Rivera, forecast Monday that a minority government could run Spain by striking a series of temporary, issue-by-issue agreements with other parties, including his.

The Citizens party transformed itself last year from a regional party in Catalonia — fiercely opposed to the Catalan secessionist movement — into a national party with a probusiness economic agenda. But while Citizens also managed a breakthrough Sunday, it came in a distant fourth, with too few seats to allow Rajoy to join with it to form a center-right coalition.

That's odd. 

Also see:

Catalan separatists rally in Barcelona
Parties seeking break from Spain gain majority in Catalonia’s Parliament
Tough talks loom for Catalonia secessionists

They lost after exit polls were showing massive support?

Catalonia’s leader to continue secession effort


"A separatist win could cause a ripple of secessionist fervor across Europe. And investors cringe at the uncertainty an independence drive would create for Spain’s economy."

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, said Monday the election must result in “a new political system” in Spain. 

I truly wish them the best of luck.


RelatedSpain’s Socialist leader tapped to try to form government

Didn't someone once say give me control of the money supply and I care not who makes the laws?

"Spain received more than 29 billion euros, or $31.5 billion, of orders for its first bond sale of the year, showing that investors are shrugging off the political upheaval gripping the nation. The government was said to have sold 9 billion euros of 10-year securities in a deal that Kim Liu, a fixed-income strategist at ABN Amro NV, described as “very good.” The response bodes well for a week of heavy issuance of euro-zone debt, with Spain itself due to offer as much as 5 billion euros of bonds with maturities up to 2023 on Thursday."


Jewish scions now Spanish citizens
Spanish princess in court for tax fraud trial

Better not say anything bad about her, either:

"The law also allows for the summary expulsion of migrants caught illegally entering the country’s North African enclaves and sets hefty fines for protests outside Parliament or strategic installations."

That would be ISIS and other mad Muslims, right?

"Spanish police arrest 7 on suspicion of jihadi links to ISIS" Associated Press  February 07, 2016

MADRID — Spanish police arrested seven suspected members of a jihadi cell linked to the Islamic State group and Jabhat al-Nusra militants during raids Sunday in the eastern provinces of Valencia and Alicante and in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta.

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the cell had sent arms, bomb-making materials, and electronic equipment to Syria and Iraq in shipments disguised as humanitarian aid.

In a statement, police said the cell was well-organized by a ringleader who ran a business that enabled him to ship containers with supplies and weapons from Spanish ports to the armed groups.

The cell is suspected of also supplying funds for Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra and of money laundering. 

Or al-nUSrA.

The ringleader was contacted on several occasions urging him to supply women for combatants in Syria and Iraq to marry, ‘‘following guidelines set down by the Islamic State group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,’’ the statement said.

Baghdadi is a fraud (didn't they kill him), and we already do that. It's how we tell them we love them.

In Germany on Sunday, police searched the homes of two men suspected of being part of an extremist organization. The raids took place near the western city of Mainz.

The men are ‘‘suspected of taking part in the Syrian civil war as members of a foreign terrorist organization,’’ prosecutors said. They did not say whether they were arrested.


Also see: 

"Spanish police said the arrests of 89 Chinese and Pakistani citizens have broken up a human trafficking ring. The ring sought to smuggle Chinese people into the United States, Canada, Britain, and Ireland, with Spain used as a transit country, in collaboration with other international gangs, police said Saturday."

Related: Pulp Reality 

Looks like a waste of good food to me. 

Time to get out of Spain:

"Six people died and several others were injured after being hit by a speeding car that left the road while taking part in the Coruna Rally in northwestern Spain on Saturday evening. The accident killed four women and two men in Carral, in the region of Galicia, a police spokeswoman said. Among the injured taken to the hospital were three children. The cause of the accident is under investigation (AP)."

"Spanish police visited US couple’s house before finding body" Associated Press  January 07, 2016

MADRID — Spanish police officers visited an American couple days before they found the decomposed body of their 7-year-old son at the family’s rented apartment in the northeastern city of Girona, police said Thursday.

Police did not identify the couple or say what part of the United States they came from.

A police spokesman said officers went to the apartment on New Year’s Eve to see if the father was all right after the US Embassy contacted them, saying the man’s colleagues were concerned after not hearing from him in some time.

The spokesman said the man did not open the door but insisted that he was fine and would get in contact with the Embassy. The spokesman said the officers noticed nothing suspicious and left.

Police on Tuesday arrested the couple — a 39-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman — on suspicion of reckless homicide after they found the child’s body on a bed under several blankets at the house.

The couple lived at the apartment with the 7-year-old boy, a 12-year-old son, and a 14-year-old daughter.

The US Embassy in Madrid declined to comment.


RelatedBody found is likely missing US woman

And across the sea:

"An autopsy on the body of a US tourist found dead in western Belize has determined that she was strangled. Anne Swaney, 39, died from ‘‘asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling, and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck,’’ according to the post-mortem report. Swaney worked for Channel 7 in Chicago. Her body was discovered Friday morning floating in the Mopan River. A Guatemalan national has been questioned by police."

Related: All Choked Up Over Ashley Olsen Murder 

As predicted, the story was quickly dropped.

On paper, Italy allows abortions, but few doctors will perform them
Top Italian court details why Amanda Knox’s conviction was tossed
Rome mayor resigns amid scandal over his expenses
2,000-year-old Rome pyramid getting spotlighted
Building collapsed in Rome

Oddly, that leads us to the other side of Spain:

"Ex-CIA operative held in Portugal" Associated Press  October 09, 2015

MILAN — A former CIA operative convicted of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric as part of a renditions program has been detained in Portugal and is awaiting a decision on whether she will be turned over to Italy to serve her six-year sentence, a top Italian prosecutor said Thursday.

Sabrina De Sousa was among 26 Americans, mostly CIA agents, convicted in absentia over the kidnapping of Milan cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, in daylight from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003.

Part of the diplomatic CIA (I need a drink).

The Italian Justice Ministry did not immediately return calls seeking comment on De Sousa’s detention.

De Sousa, who had operated under diplomatic cover, was initially acquitted due to the immunity but was found guilty by Italy’s highest court in 2014.

I'll never see them or the State Department the same again.

The Indian-born De Sousa came out publicly against the US decision not to allow the American defendants to get their own lawyers near the end of their first trial, eventually winning permission to have her own counsel.

De Sousa said she was concerned about losing her freedom to travel to visit family in India.

The 26 Americans received sentences of six to nine years. Italy later pardoned the only military defendant."

The sentences were in absentia. US refused to turn them over.


Portugal’s coalition government reelected

Except if you read the article, they weren't. 

That's the banker's pre$$ for you.


"Alliance set to take power in Portugal" Associated Press  November 25, 2015

LISBON, Portugal — An anti-austerity alliance led by the moderate Socialist Party and including the Communist Party and radical left bloc is taking power in Portugal after the eurozone country’s president on Tuesday set aside fears about those parties’ economic and foreign policies.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva said on his website that he was inviting Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa to form a government, after two weeks of uncertainty over the country’s political future.

Costa’s Socialists headed an alliance of leftist lawmakers that two weeks ago unseated a center-right government that had been in power for just 11 days after the Oct. 4 election. That government had introduced spending cuts and economic reforms after Portugal’s $83 billion bailout in 2011.

The initial defeat of Costa against the outgoing government shocked the Socialists, but he nimbly turned defeat into victory by joining forces with extremists and forcing the government’s resignation in a parliamentary vote. 

I hope he has a good security detail.

Also see: 

Carrier to bring Boston-Lisbon flights to Logan Airport

Spain’s Socialist Party loses first bid to form government

Spain princess at tax fraud trial: My husband paid the bills

Delmer Berg, 100, last survivor of Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Site of 1503 shipwreck tied to Vasco da Gama found off Oman

Spain police say driver in bus crash may have fallen asleep

I must have, too; was a long night at the casino.

"Spanish police said Saturday that they broke up a drug-smuggling ring and arrested 20 people from four countries on suspicion they were using helicopters to bring hashish from Morocco into Spain. It was later discovered that the pilot was serving a prison sentence and using weekend furloughs to fly in drug hauls, officials said (AP)."

But they are keeping the terrorists out, yeap!