EU Negotiating With Honduran Coup Regime

Caroline Lucas via Socialist Unity

The military coup which took place in Honduras on 28 June this year was 2009’s first such Central American coup. Following the installation of a de facto government, the EU firmly condemned the and made it clear that all negotiations for a preferential trade pact were to be suspended until the return of the ousted President Zelaya.

I was therefore shocked to learn that the COLAT (Committee on Latin America of the EU Council) has now decided to include Honduras in the negotiations on a future Association Agreement. Along with Jean Lambert and fellow members of the Greens/EFA group, I have signed an open letter to the European Council demanding that these negotiations are not resumed.

If the General Affairs Council (GAERC) confirms the COLAT decision, it would send out completely the wrong signal; basically, that we are happy to normalise relations with an antidemocratic military-imposed government, despite the fact that no Latin American country has recognised the Honduras coup administration, with the US also freezing its budgetary and military aid.

Until democratic order under the Honduran Constitution is reinstalled, the Greens want to suspend all economic, political and diplomatic relations with the de facto government of Honduras.

Several international human rights organisations working in Honduras have reported that the human rights situation has deteriorated during recent weeks, with the de facto government refusing to accept any of President Arias’ mediation proposals. If the EU decides to return to the negotiation table with the de facto government under these circumstances, the message is that the EU does not care about human rights and democracy, for the sake of business interests in the region.

You can find your MEP’s here and contact them.

War Criminal Seeks Power

These rumours keep popping up, he should be in a jail cell not eyeing this gig. Why does NewLabour want to increase BNP-lite UKIP’s vote? Fuckwit solidarity? (nevermind the Tories who they have now made electable, Jeebus)

Tony Blair is a contender to become the first president of the EU with the full backing of the British government, the new Europe minister said today. Glenys Kinnock, in Strasbourg for the opening session of the new European parliament, said that although the former prime minister had not formally declared his candidacy, it was “certainly” the government position to support him. “I am sure they would not do it without asking him,” Lady Kinnock said. “The UK government is supporting Tony Blair’s candidature for president of the council.”

The new post is to be created under the Lisbon treaty, which will streamline the way the EU is run if it is endorsed in an Irish referendum in early October. Blair would be the first sitting president of the EU, who will be appointed by European government chiefs for a minimum of 30 months and a maximum of five years.

Italian Fascist Ally of Berlusconi Suggests Segregated Buses

 At the same time they deny asylum rights to migrants by interdicting at sea, the EU need to stop being diplomatic with the Italian fascists less they appear (and become) yet another weak body that failed to stem European fascists. Or does that interfere with their Neoliberal outlook, which will end in authoritarian capitalist corporate states, hmmm-

A proposal to introduce racial segregation on trains, trams and buses in Milan provoked an outcry from Italian opposition politicians today. The scheme was put forward by a representative of the anti-immigrant Northern League, the prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s main ally in government. Matteo Salvini, the league’s secretary in Milan, told a rally to launch his party’s European election campaign that he wanted “seats or carriages reserved for the Milanese” on local public transport.

 Dario Franceschini, leader of Italy’s biggest opposition group, the Democratic party, said: “One’s thoughts go back to the affair of Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to give up her place on the bus and inspired Martin Luther King’s struggle.” Salvini tried to downplay the row, insisting: “It was just a provocation to say the residents are now in a minority and, as such, need safeguarding.” But the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, spoke of a “worrying” increase in intolerance, while the opposition Italy of Principles party called on the government to disown the idea publicly.

 However, Berlusconi, whose government is already under attack for its immigration policies after the Italian navy returned to Libya more than 200 boat people without letting them apply for asylum, said: “Salvini himself has said it was a quip, a provocation.” The interior minister, Roberto Maroni, a Northern League member, hailed it as a “turning point” in his battle to stem the flow of immigrants through Italy’s Mediterranean islands. But the UN and human rights groups accused the government of violating international treaties to which Italy is a signatory.

 On Thursday the occupants of three boats adrift, reportedly in Maltese waters, were escorted back to the Libyan coast by Italian naval vessels. It was the first time that Libyan authorities were known to have accepted back migrants who set off from their coast. The shift appeared to reflect recent agreements between Berlusconi’s government and Libya. According to UNHCR, three-quarters of migrants who arrive in Italy by sea apply for asylum and, of those, half are recognised as genuine refugees. Maroni said that, in the latest instance, Italy was not bound to consider the asylum requests because the 227 migrants had not reached Italian waters,

 But the UN’s high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, said the operation was a “source of very serious concern”. Human Rights Watch said Libya had a terrible record in dealing with migrants, who it said were sometimes subjected to indefinite detention “in inhuman and degrading conditions”. The EU justice commissioner, Jacques Barrot, carefully avoided joining the chorus of protest. He said his department was still gathering information on the circumstances.

Stop Corporations Polluting The EU Climate Plan

We have until Tuesday Afternoon! (This post to be stickied to the top until then, normal service continues below this post) Here is an example –The Mystery Word Is: Bribery!– of the shenanigans capital has been pulling to subvert our environment in the name of short term greed for profit.

Far from the eyes of the media, elected representatives in the European Parliament are writing a climate and energy plan for our continent. As citizens, we’ve campaigned hard for a global deal to stop catastrophic global warming, and Europe’s negotiators have driven progress in international talks — but if big polluters succeed in watering down Europe’s own climate action plan, all our momentum will be lost. And that’s just what’s happening right now.

This Tuesday afternoon, European parliamentarians are gathering to finalise their proposals — but the whole plan is being undermined by industry lobbyists demanding they lock in massive “permits to pollute”, which would put emissions targets completely out of reach for 2020 and beyond. Before it’s too late, in the next 36 hours, let’s deluge representatives from our own countries with emails and phone calls — urging them not to give in to the lobbyists, and instead to put forward strong plans to build a sustainable future for our societies, showing the world the way forward.

Just click the link below to see the names and phone numbers of the representatives from your own country — we’ve added a few “talking points” you can use in your emails and phone calls:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_our_future_europe/?cl=133407517&v=2243

New Arms Race Is GO!

There’s nothing more I like to see than the military imperialist class’s eyes light up like children at Christmas as they ensure a new spectral ‘enemy’ has been marketed and they secure the funding to stay rich & powerful and build shiny things that often don’t work and when they do they mostly kill people. War! Huh, What is it good for? Lots of lots of money, say it again!

George Bush, the US president, has won backing for his controversial missile defence shield to be based in Europe, despite Russian objections. A communique that Nato leaders are to adopt during their summit in Bucharest will recognise “the substantial contribution to the protection of allies… to be provided by the US-led system”.

The communique declaring Nato’s support for the shield calls on all Nato members to explore ways in which the planned US project, to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic, can be linked with future missile shields elsewhere.

 A related US and Czech Republic deal was also reached on the stationing of a US radar in the Czech Republic to track ballistic missiles. “The radar will be linked to other US missile defence facilities in Europe and the United States,” the statement said.  The document calls on Russia to accept US and Nato offers to co-operate on the system, which will also involve 10 interceptor missiles based in Poland.

You will co-operate! As old cold war commuphobics get their oats and the future application -power tussles with China- is assured. And Sarko ponders whether to put France back in (not a difficult call) and Canada’s neo-cons pledge more backing for the war of terror, the rejection of Ukraine and Georgia was not a big thing, just a delay, they have been promised a set of hoops they must jump through to join.

Yet what threat actually exists here and now in the real world that is afflicting 20% of EU children-

Some 19 million children live in poverty in the EU, about a fifth of the bloc’s citizens below the age of 18. While Gabriele Zimmer, a German left-wing member of the European Parliament (MEP), described the statistic as “almost unbelievable”, she indicated that it would be even higher if it was expanded to include young asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. Zimmer is currently preparing an official report for the Parliament on child poverty. 

At least 8 percent of each EU country’s national income should be spent on education, Zimmer said. At present, the average for industrialised countries is 6.2 percent.  “You can’t treat poverty without looking at the questions of minimum income and minimum wages,” she added. “You always have to know what the consequences are if people are not paid enough.” 

A December 2007 ruling by the European Court of Justice which attacked minimum wages in Sweden has “thrown Europe into disarray,” he said. In that case, the court ruled in favour of Laval, a Latvian construction firm, which won a contract to build a school in Vaxholm, Sweden.

Laval withdrew from the project after it became embroiled in a bitter dispute with Swedish trade unions because it sought to pay its workers Latvian wages, which were between one-tenth and one-fifth of those paid in Sweden. According to the court, efforts by the Swedish unions to force a foreign company to negotiate on pay violated the freedom to provide services.

De Rossa said that the Laval verdict has raised fears that ‘social dumping’ — the relocation of companies to countries where they can pay lower wages — “will become the norm.

“If we have social dumping, we certainly cannot deal with child poverty,” he said.

In a study published last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) examined relative poverty among children — growing up in a household with less than half of the average national income — in 21 industrialised countries, mostly in Europe. It found that hardship was lowest in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden but highest in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Britain and the U.S. 

Hey wait a minute aren’t those the most conservative and militaristic (post and current imperial powers too!) societies, some of which were ruled by openly fascist governments in the past? So again we make our choices, shiny weapons beat human welfare everytime. And when those shiny weapons become self aware killbots and begin exterminating us we can proudly proclaim, as they coral us into the omni death kill grinder, with tears in our eyes- just a chip off the old block. Go Arms Race!

Gates Threatens His Euro Bitches

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned Sunday that the failure of the international force in Afghanistan would increase the security threat to Europe.

Gates also renewed criticism of some European allies, telling the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy that disputes within NATO over troops in Afghanistan risked turning it into a “two tier” alliance of some countries ready to fight and others refusing.

“Instability and conflict abroad have the potential to spread and strike directly at the hearts of our nations,” he told the conference.

“But I am concerned that many people on this continent may not comprehend the magnitude of the direct threat to European security,” he told the forum, where ministers and top officials from around the world also discussed Kosovo’s looming independence and Russia’s relations with the West.

“For the United States, September 11 was a galvanizing event — one that opened the American public’s eyes to dangers from distant lands.”

Distant lands? You mean client oil regimes and close friends of the President’s family and yet still no bloody invasion of Saudi Arabia, gee I guess them already being in oil deals with you has no bearing on your target choices? And countries refusing to fight? Maybe they just aren’t being promised a bigger enough slice of the spoils, the empire has to learn to share Bobby boy. Short version- Kill and steal like us and for us otherwise it would be real unfortunate if an atrocity happens in your capital cities. You bein’ all nice and white Christian types like us, huh? Fear the other, fear him I say!

And then a quick unannounced trip to Iraq, because, well the resistance there ain’t so quick to lay down for a good pillaging. While he spewed out talk of ‘progress’ in the occupation (them Eyerack sumsabitches need to do what they’re told, do we have kill another million before them Hajis get it?) a huge car bomb and-

Sunni armed groups known as Awakening Councils appear to have withdrawn their support for US forces and the Iraqi government in Diyala province.

The move has been seen as a significant blow to the US, which has hailed the groups’ work in securing towns and neighbourhoods as a rare success in increasing security in the country.

What a great trip- promoting war, threatening allies, spreading fear then sneaking into the greatest disaster ever created by your regime because if anyone knew you’d be one dead war-pimping motherfucker. How does he sleep at night? Like a baby I’m sure, these people always do.

By All That Is Holy, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tony Blair has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could mount a campaign later this year to become full-time president of the EU council, the prestigious new job characterised as “president of Europe”. Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, EU and the UN, has told friends he has made no final decision, but is increasingly willing to put himself forward for the job if it comes with real powers to intervene in defence and trade affairs. (ht2 at-Largely)

Hell NO! No fucking way! He was instrumental, one of the inner cabal that lied the US & UK into the Iraq war, not only should he not be EU president, he should be prosecuted for his war crimes. His messianic greed for power is astonishing, no wonder he was so close to Bush. Speaking of which-ish

As Bush tries to stave off disaster in Afghanistan, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, flies to London next week to talk to Gordon Brown — George Bush’s closest ally — to find a way to send more troops to Afghanistan. With UK defence minister Des Browne saying recently that Britain could be in Afghanistan for decades (http://tinyurl.com/2lhmqj), Rice will try to get Gordon Brown to commit more troops now, as a lever to get other countries to increase their deployment.

Stop the War Coalition is calling an emergency protest on Wednesday 6 February. We do not yet have details of Rice’s meetings with Gordon Brown but we anticipate that our protest will be at Downing Street, the timing to be announced as soon as her plans are known.

The army have cut basic training by half, to thirteen weeks, to get more soldiers to Afghanistan