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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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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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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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Europe

Holiday in Italy: choose Florence for a break in the winter

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Florence is one of the most visited Italian cities, with over 15,4 million tourists visiting the city each year. Located in the heart of the Tuscany region, this beautiful city breathes history, life and culture among its streets. If you are looking for the perfect location for your next winter holidays, then you should look no further, Florence is the perfect destination for you.

Enjoying the best cuisine

Florence is one of the cities with the richer gastronomy in the world. From traditional Italian cuisine to exquisite wines, the food in this city have everything you may wish for in order to please your palate.  With so many options available, you may be wondering where to eat in Florence. Food critics recommend that you check out the following options during your visit to Florence: 

  • Traditional Italian cuisine: visiting Florence and not tasting original Italian cuisine would be considered blasphemous by many.  Italy has one of the most delicious gastronomies in the world, and in Florence you will be able to taste it at its finest with local ingredients. Restaurants like La Chiostrina or Il Rosmarino will allow you to rediscover Italy by its traditional food.
  • Tasting the local wine: wines from the Tuscany region are famous worldwide as the best in the market, making this region the Mecca of wine lovers. During your visit to Florence you will be able to taste those deliquescent wines in restaurants such as Olio Restaurant or Villa Pitiana Restaurant, or taste it on places dedicated exclusively to wine such as Enoteca Obsequium Firenze or L’Enoteca Sandro Soltani.
  • International cuisine: if you like international cuisine, then you are on luck. The best chefs around the globe have restaurants on Florence. This means that you will be able to taste flavours from all the world without having to leave the city. For example,  you can visit the restaurant El Inca for a taste of Peruvian food, restaurant Com Saigon for genuine Vietnamese cuisine, restaurant Ararat for Armenian and Georgian traditional food, or Dim Sum for refined Chinese cuisine. Discover the world by trying the taste of these countries’ traditional flavours.
  • Taste original gelato: gelatos are the ice cream predecessors, and they have been one of Italy’s culinary specialties for centuries . This traditional Italian cold dessert is similar to ice cream, but has less fat and less added sugar. You will be able to enjoy this amazing treat on the many gelaterias around Florence streets, such as Gelateria Edoardo or Gelateria Dei Neri.
  • Tapas and Street food: these are excellent alternatives if you are looking to make a simple meal with your family. You will be able to enjoy these small dishes in places like Italian Tapas or Rivalta Cafe.
  • Modern cuisine: you can taste the most modern and alternative cuisine in the world in Florence. Restaurants like Alla Torre De’ Rossi or Winter Garden by Caino will bring to your table the sophistication the more delicate palates crave. 

Discover Florence’s hidden gems

Florence is a city with a lot of monuments and museums to discover. However, most people that visit the city tend to focus only on the main monuments of the city, such as Campanile di Giotto or Palazzo Vecchio o della Signoria, and the restaurants near those. Because of that, if you want to experience Florence to its fullest, we recommend you rent a bike

Discovering Florence by bike will grant you access to places away from the mainstream crowds,  such as the Andrea del Sarto Museum (dedicated to this amazing Italian painter) or the beautiful Ospedale degli Innocenti (a 17th-century home for abandoned children which includes some amazing pieces of art done by renowned artists like Botticelli). These are really stunning places you would miss if you stick to the traditional tourist route, causing you a lot of regrets over the missed chance. 

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