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Protests in Ukraine goes out of Control; Leaders Worldwide Slams Violence

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It was not expected for many people around the world that public will come out to the streets to protest in Ukraine against their government refusing to sign the European Union Association Agreement.

Ukraine is considered close ally of Russia with similar culture, tradition and almost similar language. However, a large part of population in Ukraine is fed up with Russian dominance and interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Bullying Ukraine using blackmailing policies is something for which this population of Ukraine hates Russia.

What Initiated Protests in Ukraine?

On 21st November 2013, Ukraine refused to sign the Association Agreement with European Union that promised better business and trade ties with rest of the European continent, but had a clause that prevented Ukraine sign similar agreement with Russia-led Customs Union. Ukraine rejected the EU deal over national security and restoring trade relations with Russia. There has been strained relations between Ukraine and Russia recently over former’s refusal to join Customs Union. Russia was relieved the day Ukraine suddenly surprised everyone in the Europe by rejecting EU deal.

Protests in Ukraine were going peaceful until recently on Saturday when around 5,000-10,000 protesters assembled in Maidan square in Kiev to demonstrate their unhappiness with the government’s decision. Everything was going normally until the police decided to crackdown on the protesters that led to violence and injuries.

A general view shows the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael's golden-domed cathedral) during a rally supporting EU integration in Kiev November 30, 2013. .(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

A general view shows the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael’s golden-domed cathedral) during a rally supporting EU integration in Kiev November 30, 2013. .(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

There is a feeling that the dirty politicians of west could have funded these protests in Ukraine. However, Ukraine was really in dilemma and it had to choose particularly one side. As the possibility of cooperation between EU-Ukraine-Russia was ruled out by the European Union which was supported by Ukraine and Russia.

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, tweeted “following events with great concern,urge to refrain from use of force against those peacefully expressing their views”. The US envoy to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, also condemned “the violence against peaceful demonstrators.”

Public in US went one more step ahead by posting a petition on the US White House website asking the US government to help “peacefully overthrow the current Government and President” of Ukraine and to hold “democratic elections for a new parliament and bring to justice all present perpetrators of state power.” The petition has already received approximately 48,000 signatures. Another petition urged US government to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian president “unless Mr Yanukovich signs the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.” This petition has already received 120,000 signatures, which is more than 100,000 signatures required for administrator to review. These were petitions with highest signatures; there are also petitions that asks for military intervention in Ukraine.

Protests in Ukraine Viktor Viktor Yanukovich reading address

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich reads his notes before the plenary session of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit on November 29, 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania.(AFP Photo / Alain Jocard)

The conditions would have been better if police had been careful not injuring and harming the protesters, such an outburst on the protesters will bring bad image to the ruling government just like how Erdogan lost his popularity all over the world during protests in Turkey this summer. This will strengthen the EU’s case. Beating own people is the worst decision ever.

“I demand that the General Prosecutor’s Office urgently provide me – and Ukrainian society – with the results of a prompt and objective investigation in order to properly punish the perpetrators,” said the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich in his address to the Ukrainian people, published on the presidential website on Saturday.

If Ukraine would have joined EU Association agreement, then probably anti EU protests in Ukraine would have initiated across the country just like it happened in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary. On the other hand, Russia would have intensified blackmailing Ukraine and playing its own kind of politics making life hard for Ukrainians. One must note that EU and NATO are still not that powerful to advice or warn Russia to stop doing from something. In August 2008, when Russia attacked Georgia, International media and politicians could do nothing more than criticising the whole event.

European Union is at the moment not in strong position economically and politically, therefore this exact moment is not good for both European Union and Ukraine to make this change. On the other hand, there is a confusion among the people over the EU deal. Romania and Bulgaria have been part of European Union, but not have access to Schengen area. This will probably be applied to Ukraine also. Europe will not suddenly become visa free. On the other hand, developed countries of west Europe are already fed up with the influx of people coming from the other parts of European Union, especially eastern. Ukrainians might receive similar treatment. With the ongoing financial problems in the entire European Union, except Germany, it is unlikely European Union will bless Ukrainians with onshore and offshore jobs.

The best deal for Ukraine should be to get European Union and Russia on the table for three-way talk and utilize the benefit of both if Ukraine has to live in an independent world without the dominance of Russia and Brussels.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Europe

National Police arrests 60 people for money laundering in Majorca

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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.

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Economy

Seasif’s Franco Favilla discusses the post-Covid economy and the price of gold

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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.

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Europe

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?

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malaga andalusia 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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