Thousands of Romanians protesters marched through the streets and University Square in the capital, Bucharest. The protest against the government has now spread to over 40 cities in the country, demanding the resignation of the president for imposing harsh austerity measures in order to receive international loans for the nation’s slow economy.
Romania is seeing one of the largest protests in recent time. Last big revolution was in 1989 which brought down the communist regime in the country. The same University Square was the place where anti communist revolution took place, hence it keeps a great historical significant for the citizens of Romania.
Protesters hanged the dummies of President Basescu and other ministers (such as the Tourism and Regional Development Minister Elena Udrea) to demonstrate their anger towards his corrupt government and laws. So far most of the protesters and protest demonstrations have been really peaceful, except few incidences.
The editor of Cadran Politic Review and a close friend of ours, Gabriela Ionita went through the depth of the event and analyzed the situation with her experience in journalism.
In her recent article Romania – a revolution for evolution? on her blog, she explains that the protests in the country are for various reason. The anger against the government was stacking up for years and was only sparked by the resignation of Deputy Health Minister, Raed Arafat. It all started with President Basescu calling him enemy of health reform on national TV.
Arafat, a Syrian who became Romanian citizen, is the founder of advanced state of the art emergency rescue system (SMURD). The system is so sound that even some West European countries like France want to implement it.
The protests don’t focus only on the health reforms but has now has widened against the corruption and the bad governance of Basescu’s government.
The Government, in a failed attempt, tried to appease the protesters and the situation in the country with some excuses that didn’t convince the people of Romania. The heads of the government, Prime Minister and President, are maintaining a low profile and in between have mimic the protests by calling it a political game by opposition, similar to what we have been observing in India, which is in the state of peaceful protest and demonstration of public demands since early 2011 (as the country saw protest against Black Money and Corruption).
A large number of Romanian protesters are demanding for early election and change in the government, a possibility which has been rooted out by the government saying it would create dangerous precedent and economic instability. The people of Romania seem unconvinced with this, as in 2011 the amount of foreign investments in Romania fell down by 36%, 18% of Romanians have fallen below the poverty line, a poor Romanian employee now earns 159 euros achieving the lowest minimum wage in EU countries, as compared to UK ~ 967 Euros, Bulgaria ~ 233 Euros, Poland ~ 326 Euros, says Gabriela.
As Romania became ally of western bloc joining NATO and EU, the country was supposed to be benefited but didn’t experience much change. Many Romanian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq unnecessarily in the name of NATO army, though the actual war was in America’s interest.
Romanian Protesters claim that the President and his close allies have sold their country resources for the benefit of himself and richer west European countries.
A similar blame was slapped on former government of Ukraine which was considered a puppet to US and West Europe, but Ukrainians were quick to realize the destiny of their country in the hands of Pro western government. The government changed in the next election, the process to join NATO was stopped and ties with Russia were fixed. (Read More: Europe or Russia? Whom will Ukraine Choose?).
Looking at the scenario in Romania, the theory of East Europe loosing confidence in Democracy, capitalism and western powers looks even stronger. In an article posted few weeks ago (Democracy, Capitalism Loosening in Former Soviet Union, Union is Being Missed) we took example of three East European countries, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia to show that the public confidence in their economy, democracy in their country and western powers is declining. Now Romania is joining the same league, showing that governance and economy culture enforced by western countries is not working out in this region as the current ruling politicians are not much enlightened on how to lead a democratic society.
US, which claims to support the voice of the people in the name of democracy, is currently quiet and is just following the protest incidents happening in the country. As the deal of Anti Ballistic missile with Romania is on the way, US wouldn’t like the government to fall down.
It is very much similar to what happened in Egypt. Mubarak was a dictator, but at the same time an ally of US. When people marched and organized rally in protest against their Egyptian leader, US was mere a spectator. But when people came out to protest against Libyan leader Gaddaffi, NATO and European force came up with full military, monetary and medical support.
Just like conventional media, this protest event in Romania has taken over the social media as well. While Romanians are posting the updates of the events, people living in different countries are getting the real picture which is sometimes purposely not covered by mainstream media.
Facebook is full of pictures and videos from the University Square.
A commentator on our Facebook page (Join Now) says, “The generation of protest is the favorite and catchy scenario all over the world .No body is satisfied with anybody. Once the protestors are satisfied with their victory, next they start fighting amongst themselves to establish his/her (group) hegemony. This continues till a powerful group with support of Arms and Ammunition s from neighboring / interested greedy country, takes over through a massacre of human lives. This is NOT THE END. Vultures are available to exploit with slight provocation. The century of protest is on.”
Davis Wendy on RT says, “It’s a coincidence I guess that the entire globe’s developed nations are simply coming unglued. It’s funny how the collapse of economies simultaneously occurred just as a handful of “savvy businessmen” got richer than stink. Credits ruined, homes lost, jobs outsourced, medical care unattainable, currency crashes, the banks becoming consolidated into a mega corporation. All just a fluke, right? Do you think we are stupid? The party is OVER. It was devised, designed to end with them with everything and us with NOTHING. Pawn shops have never done so well. How dare men without regard for human suffering are now equipped with their very well-trained personal armies!”
Another commentator on Facebook says, “Americanism…Romanians you caught that one …part of the American bankster extortion or harvesting program…you too can now have mind numbing psychotropic drugs with little effort. Don’t stress about it and no need to protest about it….there is always Prozac. hahaha. (made in Taiwan)”
Aleahim said, “None of you know the truth about how hard is to live nowadays for the people in Romania. We have no industry, no doctors, the education system was crushed… everything is being sold to other countries for 50 cents… people can’t stand this anymore! First get informed and then comment! The protests will go on until some changes will be made, for better living conditions hopefully!”
An intellectual gentleman Dan Veliscu told RT, “In Romania – a country were almost nothing works as it should or as it’s claimed, we have one working emergency service – the SMURD. And now a good-for-nothing president tries to close it. People have sided with the SMURD, against the president who, on his second term, can’t show anything that he’s done for the country – not like he did anything tangible before being elected president when he held positions such as transports minister or mayor of Bucharest.
Now the intended closure of the SMURD is just the tip of the iceberg – the spark that ignited the masses – as there are countless reasons to protest and overthrow the regime.
WE ROMANIANS DON’T NEED THE IMF! We don’t want any money from the IMF, we don’t need to borrow and we don’t want any debts for us or for our children to pay. Previous money the IMF gave to Romania were ALL stolen, most of it by banks which sent billions outside the country just as soon as they got their bailouts, and the rest was stolen by politicians. We don’t need foreign money and foreign debt, we can make it on our own. Politicians which demand IMF money are all thieves and traitors, since they want that money for their own pockets, not for the country. Let them pay the debts, not us!”
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National Police arrests 60 people for money laundering in Majorca
In Mallorca, the National Police have dismantled a criminal organization allegedly dedicated to laundering drug money. According to preliminary investigations, those involved are alleged to have laundered more than one million euros over the last year.
At the moment, the authorities have arrested a total of 60 people for the alleged crimes of money laundering and false documentation. Although investigations are still ongoing, leading Spanish criminal lawyers have pointed to the possibility of an increase in the amount of money laundered.
In addition to this, specialists in Criminal Law and Financial Crimes such as Luis Chabaneix have pointed out that during the next few days the number of arrests could increase, both in Madrid and in Mallorca. It should be noted that of the 60 arrested, 55 were arrested on the island and the other five in the city of Madrid on Sunday, May 16.
Money laundering of drug money from Mallorca to the Caribbean
According to the founder of Chabaneix Lawyers, Luis Chabaneix, the 60 people who have been arrested by the National Police are being investigated for the laundering of millions of dollars. It is presumed that more than one million Euros from drug trafficking activities have been sent to Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, and even shipments to the United States have been registered.
In these countries, the money diverted by the criminal association has been used for the purchase of real estate and vehicles. For this reason, the National Police is in permanent collaboration with the North American, Cuban and Dominican authorities in order to dismantle the activities of this group in the different countries.
Likewise, among the main information provided by the authorities, it should be noted that more than 400,000 Euros in cash were seized from the hands of those arrested in Mallorca. Similarly, the police searches carried out on the island led to the seizure of multiple luxury items and accessories, a total of three kilos of cocaine and approximately 60 kilograms of cutting substances.
Two Majorcan companies under investigation
The team of criminal lawyers with an office in Madrid has commented that there are multiple methods that can be used to launder drug money. In the particular case of the criminal organization headed by a nationalized citizen of Cuban origin, one of the methods used to divert the money was international bank transfers.
For this purpose, the use of linked bank accounts of certain front men was a fundamental element. In addition, the case includes investigations of split money transfers through call shops.
On the other hand, through an official statement, the National Police informed that two Majorcan companies have been linked to the ongoing investigation. The reason for this is the issuing of fraudulent invoices for a value close to 200,000 euros.
Through these methods, the criminal organization has managed to launder capital inside and outside the country, legalizing large sums of money allegedly originating from drug trafficking. Undoubtedly, the arrest of the 60 people involved, including the leader of the organization, is a serious blow to the laundering of drug money in Spain.
Seasif’s Franco Favilla discusses the post-Covid economy and the price of gold
Although the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, there has been much discussion on the idea of a “post-Covid” economy, especially with the beginning of vaccination efforts in some countries. With markets throughout the world suffering the economic effects of the virus, experts have been looking towards the future –– and one of the topics that often comes up is the price of gold.
In August, the price of gold exceeded US$ 2,000 an ounce for the first time, driven by multiple factors. However, in November, advancements in Covid-19 vaccines led to a decrease in this trend, a result of the turbulent period we are going through.
“Regardless of the market volatility and the price changes that could occur over a given period of time, the fundamental fact is that the price of gold over the course of 2020 has reached an all-time high, and this, in my opinion, is very good news for the world economy,” explains Franco Favilla, founder and CEO of Seasif, a multinational company active in the extraction and trading of gold and oil.
According to Mr. Favilla, the main problem of the pre-Covid economy was the completely arbitrary nature of international finance. At one time, a ton of gold corresponded to a ton of currency, but since the 1980s, and at an impressive rate since 2000, the gap has widened enormously, so much so that today the relationship between the world’s currencies and gold is enormously unbalanced.
Total gold reserves around the world cover only 30% of currencies. This means there is nothing to cover and guarantee the value of money. In short, money has turned into a pure convention, a pure agreement between parties acting outside the market. Gold, on the contrary, guarantees democracy, because it protects savers and the market, offering an objective value for parameterizing every transaction.
“My hope, therefore, is that the crisis caused by Covid-19 will help to change finance, making it less ‘phantom’ and more linked to an objective dimension, based on gold, with obvious advantages for the real economy. Gold protects consumers, the most important component in any economic system: if you don’t have a market made up of consumers with a certain level of wealth, how can you sell? To whom? Consumer protection must come first, and gold is one of the main ways of protecting them,” states the CEO of Seasif.
Sustainability has also been at the forefront in discussions about the post-Covid world, as countries look towards establishing a more resilient global economy, one able to better withstand such events in the future –– and “green gold” may well be a part of that future. Green gold, in a sense, can be considered the “gold of the future” due to its ethical and sustainable extraction process. Seasif produces green gold, with a department entirely dedicated to green, and has allocated economic incentives to its continued production.
Even as 2020 draws to a close, the future may still look uncertain. But for those searching for greater security, gold may be one of the few certainties left.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?
There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?
Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?
Spanish cities where to live cheap and well
In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.
The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries.
In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run.
Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors.
I have already decided on the place. Now what?
Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?
Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.
To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.
And remember: a move is always a new beginning.
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