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Is a “Deep Falange” at Work in Spain and Argentina?

General Francisco Franco and Mentor

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COMMENT: Economically beset Spain has been making aggressive moves toward British-governed Gibraltar, using that principality’s “fiscal irregularities” as justifying Spain’s posture vis a vis the nation’s “EU obligations.”

At the same time, Argentina is making angry noises again about the Falklands Islands, which they claim as their own.

Before delving into the two countries’ coordination of their efforts against Gibraltar and the Falklands, some background discussion is in order.

In a previous post, we discussed the “deep fifth column”–a fascist constellation existing over decades, rooted in the fascism of World War II and perpetuated by the political inertia inherent in powerful political/economic elites.

In the context of the “deep fifth column,” we have also spoken of the Falange, the international fascist organization based in Spain under Francisco Franco and catalyzed as a German-controlled power political entity in the run-up to the Spanish Civil War.

Applying geo-politics to their plans for world conquest, the Nazis saw Spain as the key to their plans for expansion. (See excerpts below from the description for Falange–the Secret Axis Army in the Americas by Allan Chase, as well as the text excerpts from the book itself.)

As Chase wrote: ” . . . By controlling Spain, the Nazis felt they could control both Europe and Latin America. Geographically dominating the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic and “flanking” France, Spain also wielded tremendous influence in Latin America through the strong cultural and economic ties between the Spanish and Latin American aristocracies. In addition, the profound Catholic influence in both Spain and Latin America, augmented Spanish clout in that part of the world. . . .”

Under Francisco Franco, Spain remained an overt fascist dictatorship in Europe through 1975. Although Spain was “officially” neutral during World War II, it was, in reality, an Axis non-combatant, loyal to the forces of Hitler and Mussolini that had elevated Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

Prior to, and during, World War II, Argentina was a major Reich outpost, with the most direct, profound connections to the Nazi governmental structure itself. The relationship was so profound, that members of the Argentine Nazi Party members were considered as actual members of the NSDAP! (See The Nazis Go Underground by Curt Riess and text excerpts below.)

For years, Argentina under Juan Peron and later under the junta dominated by Argentinian members of the P-2 Lodge, that country was not only overtly fascist but a major haven for Nazi expatriates and flight capital controlled by the Bormann network.

Both Franco’s Spain and its heirs and Argentina formed key aspects of what Danish journalist Henrik Kruger called “The International Fascista.”

Spain and Argentina are coordinating their efforts and this raises a number of interesting considerations, to be weighed against the very real possibility that we are looking at a “deep falange” in action:

  • Like the other PIIGS countries, Spain has experienced grinding social conditions as a result of German-dictated EU austerity in the wake of the collapse of Spanish real estate and the 2008 financial meltdown.
  • Poverty and deprivation make people more desperate.
  • Mariano Rajoy himself has been fending off corruption charges.
  • Might we be seeing a “let ’em eat nationalism/fascism/aggression gambit by Rajoy?
  • Rajoy’s rationalization for his actions concerns Spain’s “EU obligations” with regard to financial irregularities. (See text excerpts below.) Might this be German-dictated? Are we looking at a German hand in the “deep Falange glove,” so to speak?
  • Spain and Argentina are considering a coordinated effort on Gibtaltar and the Falklands. (See text excerpts below.)
  • Spain is going to sell Argentina some Mirage jets, which might menace the Falklands. (See text excerpts below.)
  • Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party evolved from Franco’s Falange. (See text excerpts below.)
  • Rajoy himself appears to have been influenced by his father, a Franco jurist. (See text excerpts below.)
  • The People’s Party does not appear to have completely cast off the fascist nature of the Falange. (See text excerpts below.)

“Spain Threatens Escalation of Gibraltar Row” by Damien McElroy; The Telegraph [UK]; 8/4/2013.

EXCERPT: Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Spain’s foreign minister, said a row over fishing rights around Gibraltar would force Madrid into new punitive measures.

The Spanish authorities have already provoked the British territory by imposing crossing restrictions at the border on successive days last week.

After long queues last week, the Foreign Office called in the senior Spanish diplomat in London who was given a dressing down.

In the wake of that meeting, Madrid said it would toughen its stance yet further.

“The party is over,” Mr Garcia-Margallo told ABC newspaper as he unveiled proposals for a €50 (£43) border crossing fee and tax investigations of thousands of Gibraltarians who own property in Spain.

Mr Garcia-Margallo said the Spanish tax authorities would investigate property owned by around 6,000 Gibraltarians in neighbouring parts of Spain, as part of its EU obligations to control “fiscal irregularities”.

Spain was also considering closing airspace to planes heading for the airport in Gibraltar and changing rules to wring taxes from online gaming companies based in Gibraltar. . . .

Spain to Take ‘All Necessary Measures’ to Defend Gibraltar Interests” by Steven Swinford and Ben Farmer; The Telegraph [UK]; 8/9/2013.

EXCERPT: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain will take “legal and proportional steps” after Britain sent a rapid reaction force of warships to visit the island’s waters.

Mr Rajoy’s comments appear to echo the language of the United Nations Charter, which uses the phrase “all necessary measures” to authorise the use of military force.

Tension between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar’s sovereignty have intensified following a row over fishing rights and the imposition of punitive border checks.

Britain is sending a force of nine vessels, led by the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious and including two frigates, to sail for the Mediterranean on Monday for the start of a four month deployment. Three of the ships, including HMS Westminsters, will actually dock in Gibraltar. . . .

“Gibraltar: Spain considers joint Diplomatic Offensive with Argentin­­­a over Falkland Islands” by Fiona Govan; The Telegraph [UK]; 8/11/2013.

EXCERPT: Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo will use a trip to Buenos Aires next month to raise the possibility of forging a joint diplomatic offensive with the South American country over the disputed territories, sources told Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

Spain’s foreign ministry was also discussing whether to take its complaints over Gibraltar to the United Nations, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

The sources did not specify whether Spain would ask the UN to back a request for Britain to give up sovereignty or just adhere to certain agreements.

It could take its petition to the Security Council or take up the matter with the UN General Assembly.

Spain is also considering the option of denouncing Gibraltar to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for its “illegal occupation” of the isthmus – the strip of land connecting the peninsula to the mainland that was not included in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. . . .

“Falklands Alert as Argentina Strikes £145 Million Deal for 20 Mirage Warplanes” by Nick Dorman ; The Mirror [UK]; 8/4/2013.

EXCERPT: Argentina has launched a new round of sabre-rattling against Britain by buying a squadron of warplanes to be based within striking distance of the Falklands, the Sunday People has revealed.

President Cristina de Kirchner – who wants the UK to hand over the disputed islands – personally agreed the £145million deal to buy 20 second-hand Mirage F1 jets from Spain.

The 1,453mph aircraft carry a fearsome array of weaponry including smart bombs.

Argentina’s move could force the Ministry of Defence to bolster Britain’s presence in the south Atlantic, even though its budget is to be slashed by £875million in 2015.

Senior officers believe Argentina could now begin a campaign of ­“pester patrols” – flights towards the Falklands to test RAF responses.

Kirchner is thought to be trying to boost her nation’s military capability in a show of strength before elections which are due in 2015.

But last night a senior RAF source said: “If the Argentines start playing games and escalate the tension, we will see more RAF aircraft being deployed to the Falklands.” . . . .

The Nazis Go Underground by Curt Riess; Doubleday, Doran and Company, LCCN 44007162; pp. 143-144.

EXCERPT: . . . . All of the more than 200,000 Argentine Nazis are members, not of an Argentine suborganization of the Nazi party, but of the German party itself, and hold membership cards signed by Robert Ley, leader of the German Workers’ Front— which means, quite obviously, that Berlin considered, and still considers, Argentina not so much an independent foreign country as a German Gau. . . .

. . . . Main points of support in the long-range Nazi strategy in Argentina are the countless German schools there. These schools have the same rights and privileges as Argentina’s. In them the children of German immigrants not only learn the German language but are taught Hitlerism pure and simple. The books used in these schools are “donated” by the German Embassy. Hitler’s picture hangs in every classroom. “Heil Hitler” is the obligatory greeting. The pupils are forbidden to speak to Jews. They are told that the Germans belong to a race superior to other races; that they have been chosen to dominate other nations; that the National Socialist culture is superior to all other cultures; that democracy is a lie; that—and this may be the most important of all—every German must stick to the National Socialist idea “whether it wins or loses.”

These schools have been in operation for ten years now. They number among their former pupils a great many of the most active Nazi agents in South America today. And the teachers do not restrict their activities to German schools. They also teach foreign languages in Argentine state schools, and thus command an influence over the cultural life of the nation from which the Nazis have profited and from which the Nazi underground will profit. All these Nazi teachers must, in fact, be regarded as full-fledged agents. So effective has been their influence that some of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens of Argentina have for some time been sending their children to German schools because, they say, the latter are so much better than the state schools. . . .

“The Spanish Government’s Delegate in Catalonia Pays Tribute to Hitler’s Soldiers”; Catalan News Agency; 5/17/2013.

EXCERPT: María de los Llanos de Luna, from the People’s Party (PP), gave a diploma of honour to a brotherhood of soldiers and supporters of the ‘Divisón Azul’, a division of Spanish volunteers who fought in the Nazi army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. De Luna is the top representative of the Spanish Government in Catalonia and she is known for her Spanish nationalism and anti-Catalan identity stance.

The ‘Blaue Division’, the 250. Infanterie-Division of Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht, represents the main collaboration between Franco’s dictatorship and Adolph Hitler, as well as the Condor Division – which bombed Gernika – and the arrest of Catalonia’s President Lluís Companys by the Gestapo. The 12 members of the brotherhood who attended the diploma ceremony were wearing the Falange uniform, which was the only party allowed during Franco’s Fascist dictatorship, created before the Spanish Civil War. This Fascist party is still legal in Spain. . . .

. . . . The ceremony was commemorating the 169th anniversary of the Guardia Civil (the Spanish Gendarmerie) and took place in one of its barracks in Greater Barcelona (in Sant Andreu de la Barca). The anniversary of the creation of the Guardia Civil, which has historically been a corps linked to Spanish centralist power and the imposition of order – sometimes brutally – had not been celebrated in Catalonia for many years. However, De Luna decided to commemorate this anniversary again in 2013, half a year after 1.5 million citizens peacefully and democratically demonstrated in Barcelona’s streets asking for Catalonia’s independence from Spain. . . .

. . . . The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party denounced the fact that the Spanish Government has given a €3,500 subsidy to this Fascist brotherhood this year. Alfred Bosch, ERC’s Spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, asked for a law banning the celebration of any event recognising people linked to the Nazi regime. . . .

“People’s Party”; Wikipedia.

EXCERPT: The People’s Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People’s Alliance (Spanish: Alianza Popular, AP), a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of the Interior and Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. The new party combined the conservative AP with several small Christian democratic and liberal parties (the party call this fusion of views Reformist centre). In 2002, Manuel Fraga received the honorary title of “Founding Chairman”. . . .

. . . . The party has its roots in the People’s Alliance founded in 9 October 1976 by former Francoist minister Manuel Fraga. Although Fraga was a member of the reformist faction of the Franco regime, he supported an extremely gradual transition to democracy. However, he badly underestimated the public’s distaste for Francoism. Additionally, while he attempted to convey a reformist image, the large number of former Francoists in the party led the public to perceive it as both reactionary and authoritarian. . . .

“Mariano Rajoy”; Wikipedia.

EXCERPT: . . . . While on the campaign trail in 2011, Rajoy published an autobiography, En Confianza (In Confidence), in which he recalled his studious and quiet youth, following a father who was climbing the ranks of Francisco Franco’s judiciary. . . .

Falange–The Secret Axis Army in the Americas by Allan Chase; (Book description and text excerpts)

EXCERPT: In 1936, Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering—one of Hitler’s top aides and the head of the Luftwaffe—observed that “Spain is the key to two continents.” Goering was enunciating a key principal of German and Nazi geopolitics. By controlling Spain, the Nazis felt they could control both Europe and Latin America. Geographically dominating the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic and “flanking” France, Spain also wielded tremendous influence in Latin America through the strong cultural and economic ties between the Spanish and Latin American aristocracies. In addition, the profound Catholic influence in both Spain and Latin America, augmented Spanish clout in that part of the world. (In FTR#532, we examined the Vatican’s involvement with fascism. The Vatican/Fascist axis was another major contributing factor to the influence of the Falange throughout the Spanish-speaking world.)

In order to utilize Span’s geopolitical influence as a tool for Nazi imperial designs, the Third Reich turned to General Wilhelm von Faupel and his Ibero-American Institute. Von Faupel was a bitter opponent of the Weimar Republic, and readily accepted the Nazis as the antidote to German democracy. Known as an “I.G. General” for his links to the I.G. Farben company, von Faupel also maintained close ties to the powerful Thyssen interests which, like Farben, were the powers that backed Hitler. (The Bush family were also closely linked to the Thyssens.) During the 1920’s, von Faupel had served as a general staff adviser to the Argentine, Brazilian and Peruvian military establishments and was famed throughout Latin America for his skills as an officer. Because of his Latin American ties and his links to the corporate interests that backed Hitler, von Faupel became the Reich’s point man for the fascist takeover of Spain and subsequent construction of a Fifth Column throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

In 1934, von Faupel assumed control of the Ibero-American Institute, an academic think tank originally founded as a legitimate scholarly institution. Under von Faupel, the organization became a front for organizing the Nazi infiltration and conquest of Spain. Rejecting royalist and Catholic sectarian rightist parties, von Faupel and the Nazis settled on the Falange as their chosen vehicle for gaining dominance over Spain. After arranging the assassination of General Jose Sanjurjo (a royalist rival for the leadership of Spain after the overthrow of the Republican government), the Germans and their Italian allies installed Franco as head of the fascist Falange.

” . . . General Jose Sanjurjo, wearing a peacock’s dream of a
uniform-the London-made gift of Adolf Hitler-boarded
a Junkers plane in Lisbon and ordered his pilot, Captain
Ansaldo, to take off for a secret landing field in Spain. But
on July 17 the old general was actually headed fo: another
landing field his Nazi comrades had chosen without his
knowledge.

A few remarks he had let slip to intimate friends in Estoril
earlier that year had, unknown to Sanjurjo, reached certain
Berlin ears. On April I 3, 1936, for instance, Sanjurjo had
complained, “They want me to start a revolution to serve
the bankers and the speculators, but I won’t do it.” Two
weeks after saying this, he made another trip to Berlin. He
remained in Germany for only a few days, and on his return
he went to work in earnest on his plans for the pending
revolt. What happened in Berlin while Sanjurjo conferred
with von Faupel is of little moment now. His fate had already
been sealed before the visit.

Very shortly after Sanjurjo’s plane took off from Lisbon,
a German time bomb planted in the baggage compartment
exploded. The blazing fragments of the Junkers monoplane
became the pyre of the Anointed Chief of the Spanish Revolution.
Jose Sanjurjo had the dubious honor of being the
first of the Nazis’ million victims of the Spanish War. . . .”

Falange; pp.20-21.

Von Faupel then proceeded to direct the construction of the “Falange Exterior” as the fascist Fifth Column movement throughout the Spanish-speaking world (including the Philippines).

Author Chase describes the Falange Exterior on page 31 of Falange:

“. . . . On the surface, von Faupel had—in the Falange Exterior—delivered to the Third Reich a remarkable network, extending from Havana to Buenos Aires, from Lima to Manila. This network, according to its creator, was capable of concerted espionage, political diversion, arms smuggling, and anything that any other Fifth Column in history had accomplished. It remained only for the Wehrmacht to give von Faupel’s instrument the tests which would determine whether the Auslands Falange had been worth all the trouble its organization had entailed. The answer was soon provided by a number of Falangists—among them one Jose del Castano. . . .”

 

Discussion

3 comments for “Is a “Deep Falange” at Work in Spain and Argentina?”

  1. Spain, being the Big Government Socialist hellhole that it is, looks like it’s about to bail out its privately owned highway operators. It’s a reminder that privatized public services can easily become too-big-to-fail privatized public services. It just comes with the territory:

    Bloomberg
    Rajoy to Rescue Highway Billionaires Who Bet on Boom
    By Esteban Duarte – Dec 5, 2013 5:17 AM CT

    Spanish taxpayers have bailed out banks and power companies. Next up are highway operators and their billionaire owners.

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government is considering a 5 billion-euro ($6.7 billion) plan to take over and guarantee the debt of about 364 miles (585 kilometers) of roads, according to two people familiar with the matter who declined to comment because no final decisions have been made.

    This is another repeat of ‘too big to fail’,” Jose Garcia Montalvo, an economics professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, said in a telephone interview. “You don’t need to worry if something goes wrong, the government will come to the rescue.”

    The roads are controlled by some of Spain’s biggest companies, including the Del Pino family’s Ferrovial SA (FER), the Koplowitz family’s Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA, Sacyr SA (SCYR) and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA, run by Real Madrid Chairman Florentino Perez. They’re entitled to the rescue through a law passed under General Francisco Franco in 1972, which stipulates that when a private highway goes bust, the state has to repay its owners for the cost of the land and the construction.

    A spokeswoman for the Public Works Ministry said the government is working on a solution that won’t affect the budget deficit and declined to give further details. Spokesmen for Ferrovial, FCC and ACS declined to comment on the plan. A spokesman for Sacyr declined to comment beyond saying it hasn’t received any compensation for its partnership with Ferrovial.

    Government Guarantees

    Under Rajoy’s plan to avoid paying compensation, the government will set up a company and give the lenders that financed the highways, including Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), first claim on its revenue, the people said. In exchange, the banks would extend the maturity of the existing 3.75 billion euros of loans to 20 years on average, they said.

    The government may provide a direct guarantee for about 1.25 billion euros of 30-year loans to cover expropriation payments to landowners that the builders never made and allow the highways’ current owners to retain 20 percent of the new company, according to the people.

    A Santander spokeswoman and a BBVA spokesman declined to comment.

    As Rajoy struggles to turn around the Spanish economy after two recessions that destroyed almost 4 million jobs, the Franco-era concession law is adding to a bailout bill for banks and the regions that already exceeds 140 billion euros. Spain’s sovereign debt totals about 775 billion euros, according to the Bank of Spain.

    Bankruptcy

    The amount of debt guaranteed by the government has increased 21-fold to 170 billion euros since the financial crisis began in 2008. That includes 23 billion euros of power industry debt the government securitized to reduce the leverage of utilities including Iberdrola SA (IBE) and Endesa SA. (ELE)

    One of the biggest beneficiaries from the highway bailout would be Ferrovial’s Radial 4, which has been run by court-appointed administrators since October 2012, when the owners sought creditor protection after traffic volume fell to a record low.

    The 60-mile R-4 stretches south from Madrid and is drawing just a fraction of the traffic forecast to justify its 2001 construction. Rajoy’s government may have to pay the concession 984 million euros, or 84 percent of total investment costs, should the government-led debt plan fail, a Feb. 4 court administration report shows.

    Franco-Era Billionaires

    Ferrovial was founded by Rafael del Pino y Moreno in 1952 to work on the country’s railways and in 1968 it won Spain’s first private highway concession, according to the company’s website. Its specialist highways unit, Cintra, now manages 26 highways in nine countries including a Toronto ring-road.

    The Del Pino family is worth at least $5.7 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Their wealth has increased by about $1 billion this year as Ferrovial’s stock gained 22 percent; they’ve collected more than 580 million euros in dividends since Spain’s economic crisis started in 2008, Bloomberg Billionaires data show. Esther Koplowitz, who controls 54 percent of Barcelona-based FCC, is worth as least $1 billion, according to the ranking.

    Tilting at Windmills

    Ferrovial’s R-4 highway connects the Spanish capital with the region of La Mancha where Don Quijote, the deluded knight from Miguel de Cervantes’s 17th century novel, tilted at windmills believing they were giants. In 10 years of operation, traffic flows have reached less than half the volume that Ferrovial forecast in its bid.

    The company missed its traffic estimates for the R-4 by an average of 50 percent between 2004 and 2007 as Spain’s economy grew at 3.6 percent pace at the peak of the boom, according to the court’s administrators report.

    Traffic volumes tended to increase by about 1.5 percent for each percentage point of economic growth before the crisis, according to Anna Matas, a professor of transport economics at Barcelona’s Autonomous University. On that basis, to meet Ferrovial’s traffic forecast by 2007, the Spanish economy would have to have been 35 percent larger, outstripping even China’s expansion since the start of the concession.

    Exaggerated Models

    “Some of the models they used were completely exaggerated,” Matas said in a Nov. 28 telephone interview. “In the end, the feasibility studies were just another bureaucratic hoop.”

    As well as missing their traffic forecasts, the cost of expropriating land for the highways set to be rescued may end up almost six times greater than their owners had projected as landowners challenged the prices they were offered through the courts. The total cost of land acquisitions for the projects is set to exceed 2.3 billion euros compared with about 400 million euros budgeted, the Public Works Ministry said.

    In the 2010 budget, the government approved subordinated loans to help concessions offset the decline in traffic and increasing expropiation costs, the Public Works Ministry spokeswoman said. Budget restrictions meant that some of the cash was never actually paid to the companies, the court documents show.

    And here’s a bit more on the owners of Ferrovial: The del Pino family.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2013, 12:08 pm
  2. Catalan’s pro-independence leaders have a three-step plan for independence and they’re sticking to it:

    Catalan leader says Spain cannot block independence vote: report

    MADRID Sun Feb 2, 2014 7:24am EST

    (Reuters) – Spain cannot block a non-binding vote on Catalan independence that could become the basis for negotiations on Catalonia’s future, the president of the northeastern region said in an interview published on Sunday.

    “If I call a consultation, not to declare the independence of Catalonia nor to break with the Spanish state, but to know the opinion of the citizens of this country, a knee-jerk anti-democratic response from Spain would be pretty bad and disgraceful in the view of the entire world,” Artur Mas told La Vanguardia, Catalonia’s leading newspaper.

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged to go to the Constitutional Tribunal to block any Catalan attempts to hold a referendum, arguing sovereignty is a matter for all of Spain to decide, but Mas said there was another possible approach.

    “It is what I call the solution tolerated by the central government. They let us hold the consultation, they don’t get involved, and afterwards we go to Madrid to negotiate,” he said.

    Over the past three years the independence movement in Catalonia has gained force, with roughly half of Catalans saying they want independence from Spain and a much bigger majority saying they should have the right to decide.

    Catalonia, which has its own language, has significant self-governing powers. But economic doldrums, public spending cuts and perceptions of unfair taxes and the concentration of power in Madrid have fed breakaway fever.

    THREE POSSIBLE STEPS

    Mas, who only became a supporter of independence four years ago, set out a three-step process for Catalonia.

    The first step of the process, taken in January, was to ask Spanish parliament to allow Catalonia to hold a referendum. Parliament, dominated by the ruling conservative People’s Party, is expected to turn down that initiative.

    The second step, Mas said, will be to hold a consultation without the express permission of the national parliament. He said the consultation would be legal under Catalonia’s autonomy statute, which defines the region’s powers.

    The Catalan government has already set a date of November 9 for a referendum – two months after an independence vote in Scotland – and has decided on a two-question formula: Do you want Catalonia to become a state? If your answer is yes, do you want this state to be independent?

    If the central government blocked a non-binding consultation, Mas set out a third step, which he said was not ideal, which would be to use the next election in Catalonia, which must be held by 2016, as a proxy vote on independence.

    Mas is not expected to rush to call early elections because his Convergence and Union political alliance, known as CiU, has lost ground in the polls, while a more radical pro-independence party, the Catalan Republican Left, or ERC, would probably win a large chunk of seats in the regional legislature.

    The Catalan president told La Vanguardia that he and members of his government had been engaged in informal talks with Rajoy’s government through December to try to find a way past the deadlock over the consultation, but that there were not any talks now.

    Rajoy has resisted pressure to engage with Mas and seek a political solution to the crisis.

    The European Union has said that Catalonia would have to re-apply to join the bloc if it broke away from Spain, a difficult road because Spain could thwart the necessary consensus to accept a new member.

    But Mas said Europe would have to respect a peaceful, democratic independence drive by Catalonia.

    The question of whether or not Catalan is going to join the EU, and especially the eurozone, following independence seems like a pretty huge question when you’re talking about creating a new sovereign nation

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 3, 2014, 12:35 pm
  3. US could topple my government and kill me: Argentina president Cristina Kirchner
    Agence France-Presse
    01 Oct 2014

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/us-could-topple-my-government-and-kill-me-argentina-president-cristina-kirchner/

    Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner charged in an emotional address that domestic and US interests were pushing to topple her government, and could even kill her.

    Domestic business interests “are trying to bring down the government, with international (US) help,” she said.

    Kirchner said that on her recent visit to Pope Francis — a fellow Argentine whose help she has sought in Argentina’s ongoing debt default row — police warned her about supposed plots against her by Islamic State activists.

    “So, if something happens to me, don’t look to the Mideast, look north” to the United States, Kirchner said at Government House.

    – Don’t believe US: Kirchner –

    Just hours after the US embassy here warned its citizens to take extra safety precautions in Argentina, an aggravated Kirchner said “when you see what has been coming out of diplomatic offices, they had better not come in here and try to sell some tall tale about ISIS trying to track me down so they can kill me.”

    The president said local soybean producers unhappy with prices, other exporters and car company executives, all were involved since they would benefit from a devaluation of the peso, which is being pushed lower by her government’s selective default.

    “Exporters who have lost money have Argentina in a vise .. so do the car company executives who tell consumers they have no inventory when they do …. What they are all waiting for is a devaluation.”

    Argentina exited recession with 0.9-percent economic growth in the second quarter, national statistics institute INDEC said Wednesday, a rare bit of good news amid the country’s new debt default.

    But with inflation estimated at more than 30 percent and the value of the peso tumbling, Latin America’s third-largest economy is still mired in a slowdown after averaging 7.8-percent annual growth from 2003 to 2011.

    Argentina is still struggling with the aftermath of a default on nearly $100 billion in debt in 2001, with the two hedge funds it labels vultures battling the country in US courts.

    But it has been blocked by US federal judge Thomas Griesa, who has ordered the country to first repay two hedge funds demanding the full $1.3 billion face value of their bonds.

    Griesa ruled Monday that Argentina was in contempt of court after it passed a law allowing the government to repay creditors in Buenos Aires or Paris — skirting the New York judge’s freeze on the bank accounts it previously used to service its debt.

    Argentina has been locked out of international financial markets since its 2001 default.

    More than 92 percent of its creditors agreed to take losses of up to 70 percent on the face value of their bonds in 2005 and 2010 to get the struggling country’s debt repayments back on track.

    But the two hedge funds, US billionaire Paul Singer’s NML Capital and US-based Aurelius Capital Management, which had bought up defaulted Argentine bonds for pennies on the dollar, refused to accept the write-down and took the country to court.

    The strategy, which stands to make them profits of up to 1,600 percent, has earned them the label “vulture funds” from Buenos Aires.

    Blocked from paying its restructured debt, Argentina missed a $539 million interest payment and entered default again on July 30.

    It is now trying to buy time until the end of the year, the expiration date for a clause in the restructuring deals that entitles all bondholders to equal treatment.

    Argentina is meanwhile lobbying to create a UN convention to prevent a minority of bondholders from scuppering struggling countries’ debt restructuring plans.

    A resolution to negotiate such a framework passed the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month.

    – Tough outlook –

    Economic analysts are forecasting the economy will shrink two percent this year, though the government is forecasting a return to economic growth of 2.8 percent in 2015.

    The end of the boom has revived the ghost of Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis, when it defaulted on $100 billion in debt and deadly riots erupted.

    That violence, in which at least 26 people were killed, led to the resignation of president Fernando de la Rua, who was replaced by Adolfo Rodriguez Saa. He resigned a week after taking office amid more unrest.

    Posted by Swamp | October 2, 2014, 7:16 am

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