Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #825 Generalissimo Francisco Franco May NOT Be So Dead, After All

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Intro­duc­tion: Years ago, come­di­an Chevy Chase intoned on Sat­ur­day Night Live’s news broad­cast par­o­dy that “Gen­er­al­lis­mo Fran­cis­co Fran­co is still dead.”

That analy­sis may not apply to his polit­i­cal lega­cy.

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.

Pro­gram High­lights: 

  • 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.)
  • The con­tin­ued hon­ors bestowed upon the Blue Divi­sion, that fought in World War Ii with the armies of Hitler.
  • Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, Fran­co’s for­mer Min­is­ter of Sport for many years, head­ed the Inter­na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tee for many years. More than half of its cur­rent mem­bers are his pro­teges and the Com­mit­tee retains his per­son­al “stamp,” so to speak.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: 

1. Years ago, come­di­an Chevy Chase intoned on Sat­ur­day Night Live’s news broad­cast par­o­dy that “Gen­er­al­lis­mo Fran­cis­co Fran­co is still dead.”

That analy­sis may not apply to his polit­i­cal lega­cy.

Spain is among the most eco­nom­i­cal­ly and social­ly beset of the South­ern Euro­zone coun­tries, with very high unem­ploy­ment, espe­cial­ly among the young.

Spain has been man­i­fest­ing an aggres­sive stance against the British ter­ri­to­ry of Gibral­tar, scape­goat­ing it (in part) for Spain’s fis­cal malaise.

Through­out the Euro­zone, the Ger­man-imposed aus­ter­i­ty doc­trine has cre­at­ed social con­di­tions fer­tile to the rise of fas­cist groups.

In addi­tion to the scape­goat­ing of eth­nic minori­ties for social ills, dire eco­nom­ic straits also facil­i­tate hyper-nationalism–both are sta­ples of the fas­cist agen­da.

It remains to be seen how much of the devel­oped world suc­cumbs to a “Let Them Eat Fas­cism (and/or Xeno­pho­bia and/or ultra Nation­al­ism)” polit­i­cal eth­ic.

In that con­text, the polit­i­cal her­itage of Mar­i­ano Rajoy and his Peo­ple’s Par­ty are impor­tant to bear in mind.

In essence, Rajoy’s PP is a vehi­cle for the polit­i­cal resus­ci­ta­tion and res­ur­rec­tion of Fran­co’s fas­cist Falange.

As can be seen in the arti­cle below, the heart­beat of Fran­co’s fas­cism remains, long after his has stopped. It is also worth remem­ber­ing that Spin was the epi­cen­ter of a Third Reich gov­ern­ment-in-exile in the post­war peri­od.

“Fran­co’s Lega­cy Rat­tles Spain” by Matt Mof­fett and David Roman; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 12/2/2013.

A series of head­line-grab­bing inci­dents in recent months has prompt­ed soul-search­ing among Spaniards over dic­ta­tor Fran­cis­co Fran­co’s endur­ing legacy—and the dis­rup­tive poten­tial for extrem­ism to flare at a time of deep eco­nom­ic dis­tress.

Over the sum­mer, sev­er­al Spaniards post­ed pic­tures of them­selves hold­ing fas­cist flags or giv­ing Nazi salutes on social-media sites. In Sep­tem­ber, a self-described fas­cist group assault­ed a cul­tur­al cen­ter in Madrid rep­re­sent­ing Cat­alo­nia, a region that was repressed by Fran­co and is now home to a grow­ing polit­i­cal move­ment seek­ing inde­pen­dence from Spain.

A week lat­er an Argen­tine judge sought the arrest of some Fran­co-era secu­ri­ty offi­cials for alleged crimes against human­i­ty. That was a marked con­trast to the pas­sive approach of Spain’s own judi­cia­ry, which has left the Fran­co regime’s abus­es unpun­ished in the inter­est of pre­serv­ing the coun­try’s peace­ful tran­si­tion to democ­ra­cy.

Now some Spaniards wor­ry that the fail­ure to thor­ough­ly con­front Spain’s author­i­tar­i­an past—what has been dubbed “the Pact of Forgetting”—has left the door open to an emer­gence of extrem­ism in a new gen­er­a­tion dev­as­tat­ed by years of eco­nom­ic cri­sis and 50% youth unem­ploy­ment.

“In these moments of cri­sis and dis­ap­point­ment with pol­i­tics, this cre­ates a Petri dish for extrem­ist move­ments, as they pro­vide sim­ple answers to com­plex prob­lems,” said Jor­di Rodriguez, pro­fes­sor of pol­i­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Navar­ra.

Este­ban Ibar­ra, pres­i­dent of a group called Move­ment Against Intol­er­ance, said Spain was expe­ri­enc­ing its worst wave of far-right extrem­ism since the mid-1990s, dur­ing a pre­vi­ous eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal cri­sis. . . .

. . . . In 1977, Spain’s par­lia­ment passed an amnesty law that pro­tect­ed offi­cials of the dic­ta­tor­ship and those involved in Civ­il War-era crimes, includ­ing sup­port­ers of anti-Fran­co forces, from pros­e­cu­tion.

Since then, many Spaniards who were sym­pa­thet­ic to Fran­co were absorbed into the con­ser­v­a­tive PP, and began to embrace more-cen­trist posi­tions. That has had the effect of drain­ing the poten­tial mem­ber­ship pool for extreme-right par­ties, ana­lysts say. . . .

. . . . But the absorp­tion of the Fran­co lega­cy into the polit­i­cal main­stream has cre­at­ed some con­tra­dic­tions that bedev­il Spain and the PP to this day.

Mon­u­ments to Fran­co and his fol­low­ers still dot the Span­ish land­scape, despite a 2007 law that prod­ded offi­cials to start remov­ing them. “This is the only coun­try where you can be a demo­c­rat with­out being an anti-fas­cist,” said Rafael Escud­ero Alday, a law pro­fes­sor at Madrid’s Car­los III Uni­ver­si­ty.

That para­dox was evi­dent in the recent flur­ry of pho­tos of young PP activists offer­ing fas­cist homages. In one of the pho­tos, a small town PP coun­cil­man posed at Fran­co’s bur­ial place hold­ing a fas­cist ban­ner. In anoth­er, a local leader of a PP youth orga­ni­za­tion is shown mak­ing a Nazi salute. . . .

2. Spain con­tin­ues to hon­or vet­er­ans of the Blue Divi­sion, which fought on the East­ern Front with Hitler’s armies.

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

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. . . .

3. Mar­i­ano Rajoy’s Peo­ple’s Par­ty evolved from Fran­co’s Falange:

“Peo­ple’s Par­ty”; Wikipedia.

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. . . .

4. One of Rajoy’s influ­ences appears to have been his father–a Fran­co-era jurist.

“Mar­i­ano Rajoy”; Wikipedia.

. . . . 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. . . .

5. An area of resid­ual Fran­co influ­ence is the Inter­na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tee, which was head­ed for many years by Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, who was Fran­co’s min­is­ter of sport. More than half of its cur­rent mem­bers are Sama­ranch pro­teges, includ­ing his son.

“Meet the IOC, Ide­al Can­di­dates for a Perp Walk” by Andrew Jen­nings; The Nation; 2.10/2014.

Remem­ber that pub­lic­i­ty shot from the Usu­al Sus­pects with Kevin Spacey in the line­up? The pho­to above is an update, snapped late last year in the board­room of the Inter­na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tee, in a mar­ble palace on the banks of Lake Gene­va. This line­up has thir­teen men, most past mid­dle age, in busi­ness suits and ties, and two women—the big cheeses expect­ing the best seats in Sochi. Dead cen­ter is the new IOC pres­i­dent, Germany’s Thomas Bach. We’ll come back to him, but for now, know that Bach, 60, was a pro­tégé of Horst Dassler, the Ger­man busi­ness­man who bribed more sports offi­cials than most of us ever heard of. Dassler’s fam­i­ly owned Adi­das and a mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny that laid out $100 mil­lion in kick­backs to acquire TV and mar­ket­ing rights to the soc­cer World Cup, the world track and field championships—and the Olympics.

At Bach’s right shoul­der is the Swiss boss of world soc­cer, Sepp Blat­ter. For decades, Blat­ter didn’t notice hefty bribes being trousered by his col­leagues in return for giv­ing World Cup con­tracts to Dassler com­pa­nies. Accused of han­dling a $1 mil­lion bribe intend­ed for Joao Have­lange, for­mer pres­i­dent of FIFA (the inter­na­tion­al soc­cer fed­er­a­tion) and doyen of the IOC, Blat­ter hired inves­ti­ga­tors who report­ed that there was a mis­un­der­stand­ing and that he was no more than “clum­sy.”

Have­lange resigned in dis­grace from the IOC in Decem­ber 2011. Blat­ter survived—despite los­ing eight of FIFA’s twen­ty-three exec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers to scan­dals in the past three years. An FBI-orga­nized crime squad, now dig­ging into FIFA’s embed­ded cor­rup­tion, has a coop­er­at­ing wit­ness in Mia­mi and prob­a­bly anoth­er in New York. Blat­ter, sched­uled to be played by Tim Roth on the big screen lat­er this year, might not make it to Sochi.

At Bach’s oth­er shoul­der is Lamine Diack from Sene­gal, pres­i­dent of the IAAF (the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions) and also on the Dassler gift list. I dis­closed these bribes for the BBC pro­gram Panora­ma in 2010, and a year lat­er the IOC rebuked Diack. But the Lords of Lau­sanne for­give and for­get, so he’s back at the heart of Olympic ide­al­ism.

Loom­ing over the diminu­tive Blat­ter, smil­ing broad­ly, dark curls tum­bling around his shoul­ders, is Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, king­mak­er for Thomas Bach. Fahad is the 50-year-old stripling of the group, a past chair of OPEC, a Kuwaiti roy­al and by far the rich­est. Com­mit­tee mem­bers seemed uncon­cerned by a 2008 US embassy cable, dis­closed by Wik­iLeaks, say­ing he was “wide­ly per­ceived as being cor­rupt.”

Next in line and anoth­er atten­tive sup­port­er of the sheik is Patrick Hick­ey, 68, who has risen from an unre­mark­able back­ground in north Dublin, his rep­u­ta­tion guard­ed by a sharp-tongued lawyer. In pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence in 1991 with one of the bribe pay­ers on the Salt Lake City Win­ter Olympics bid­ding com­mit­tee, Hick­ey revealed that some IOC mem­bers were sell­ing their votes for $100,000 to rival wannabe Olympic hosts from Nagano. At the time, he was gun­ning for mem­ber­ship in the IOC, but said noth­ing to its offi­cials. It has done him no harm that he nev­er snitched.

Hick­ey gets cozy with peo­ple many of us wouldn’t invite home to meet our loved ones. Seek­ing a wealthy patron in Europe to pay for a region­al Olympics to mir­ror the Pan-Amer­i­can Games and not find­ing any tak­ers among rep­utable lead­ers, Hick­ey turned to the pres­i­dent of the nation­al Olympic com­mit­tee of Belarus, whose day job is being Europe’s last dic­ta­tor. Ignor­ing Belarus’s unen­vi­able dop­ing record, Hick­ey pre­sent­ed the thug­gish Alexan­der Lukashenko with a plaque com­mend­ing his “Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to the Olympic Move­ment.” But Lukashenko is broke, so Hick­ey pur­sued the oil-rich pres­i­dent of the Azer­bai­jan Olympic Com­mit­tee, anoth­er head of state. A not­ed klep­to­ma­ni­ac and jail­er of reporters, Ilham Aliyev has report­ed­ly offered mil­lions to fund the event in 2015.

A step away—listen up, NHL people!—is a for­mer den­tist, René Fasel, now the Swiss boss of inter­na­tion­al hock­ey and one of the biggest cheeses in Sochi. Three years ago, the IOC’s Ethics Com­mis­sion rep­ri­mand­ed Fasel for a curi­ous deal involv­ing the pay­ment of 1.9 mil­lion Swiss francs ($2 mil­lion) by a Swiss mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny to a for­mer school pal for “advice” on acquir­ing win­ter sport con­tracts. Fasel vig­or­ous­ly denied palm­ing a slice but admit­ted “a case of poor judg­ment.” The CEO of that mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny, which obtains mas­sive con­tracts from FIFA, is Sepp Blatter’s nephew Philippe Blat­ter. The com­pa­ny uses the offices once occu­pied by the Dassler com­pa­ny.

Thomas Bach, who won a fenc­ing team gold medal at the 1976 Mon­tre­al Olympics, spent a cou­ple of years work­ing for Dassler’s quaint­ly named “inter­na­tion­al rela­tions” team. Days before the vote that ele­vat­ed Bach to Olympic lead­er­ship last Sep­tem­ber, Ger­man TV sta­tion WDR aired alle­ga­tions that Bach was involved in—or at least aware of—cheating in the years when he com­pet­ed (appar­ent­ly, if fencers held a wet glove to their elec­tric scor­ing jack­et, their oppo­nents’ strikes didn’t reg­is­ter). Bach refused to com­ment, but his spokesman denies every­thing.

On ele­va­tion to the Olympic pres­i­den­cy, Bach resigned his chair­man­ship of Ghor­fa, a Ger­man-Arab busi­ness group that empha­sizes its boy­cott of parts made in Israel to ensure its lucra­tive exports to the Arab world. An Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al offi­cial has crit­i­cized Ghorfa’s con­sid­er­able involve­ment in arms sales to the region, say­ing it is “not inter­est­ed in pro­mot­ing fun­da­men­tal human rights.”

After the pho­to line­up at IOC HQ, Bach sped to the UN and talked up the Olympic Truce, an IOC fan­ta­sy that claims its sports extrav­a­gan­za spreads world peace. Glob­al war­riors, take note that com­bat is for­bid­den off-piste dur­ing Feb­ru­ary. If this delu­sion ever came to pass, it would depress Olympic “part­ners” like Gen­er­al Elec­tric, whose engines pow­er death-deal­ing F‑16 fight­ers and Apache heli­copters.

Pres­i­dent Bach is at ease with the likes of GE. From the ear­ly 1980s, before join­ing the IOC, he lob­bied for the end of ama­teurism, the start­ing point for the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the Games. He became a favorite of for­mer IOC pres­i­dent Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, once sports min­is­ter in Franco’s Spain and a thir­ty-sev­en-year loy­al fas­cist. I attempt­ed to ask Sama­ranch why his right arm was more mus­cu­lar than his left. That got me a sev­en-year ban from IOC press con­fer­ences.

Half of the cur­rent 107 IOC members—eight of them princes or princesses—were cho­sen by Sama­ranch. His final appoint­ment was his son, Juan Anto­nio Jr. New mem­bers are ini­ti­at­ed in a bizarre cer­e­mo­ny, halfway between the style of the mob and the Masons, over­seen by the chief of pro­to­col, who used to be Pal Schmitt. He stood down as Hungary’s pres­i­dent in 2012 after being accused of pla­gia­rism and stripped of his doc­tor­ate. The IOC removed him as chief of pro­to­col, but he remains a mem­ber. The cer­e­mo­ny involves the chief of pro­to­col hold­ing a huge Olympic flag. He swings it down to waist lev­el and the ini­ti­ate, grasp­ing a cor­ner, swears he (or she) will respect “the deci­sions of the IOC, which I con­sid­er as not sub­ject to appeal on my part.”

Off-cam­era are oth­er Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­bers: France’s Guy Drut, con­vict­ed of fraud but amnestied by for­mer French Pres­i­dent Jacques Chirac; Lee Kun-hee, the Kore­an boss of Sam­sung, who was con­vict­ed of evad­ing $39 mil­lion in taxes—but Sam­sung is an Olympic spon­sor and so Lee was for­giv­en. Then there’s Russ­ian mem­ber Shamil Tarpis­chev, once Yeltsin’s ten­nis coach. He has prob­lems trav­el­ing to the Unit­ed States: for the past two US Games, in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, his visas were delayed, and then his trav­el was restrict­ed to the area of the event. In Rus­sia, Tarpis­chev has been accused of mafia associations—which he denies. It has not helped that he has been pho­tographed with Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, the Russ­ian mob­ster accused by the US gov­ern­ment of fix­ing the ice dance medal at Salt Lake City. And Princess Nora of Liechtenstein’s secre­tive fam­i­ly bank has long been the choice of tax felons and mon­ey laun­der­ers.

6. Per­haps imple­ment­ing a pol­i­cy of “let ’em eat fas­cism (or nation­al­ism),” Spain is rat­tling sabers at the tiny British ter­ri­to­ry of Gibral­tar, accus­ing it of “tax irreg­u­lar­i­ties.”

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

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. . . .

7. More about the Span­ish pres­sure on Gibral­tar:

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

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. . . .

8. Argenti­na and Spain may be join­ing forces in pres­sur­ing the UK over both Gibral­tar and the Falk­land Islands.

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

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. . . .

9. As part of the joint Spanish/Argentine pres­sure on the Falk­lands and the UK, Spain will be sell­ing Argenti­na some Mirage com­bat jets.

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

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.” . . . .

10. Argenti­na was a crit­i­cal out­post of Nazism, with Argen­tine Nazis being, in effect, mem­bers of the NSDAP–the Ger­man Nation­al­ist Social­ist Work­ers’ Par­ty.

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

. . . . 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. . . .

11. The pro­gram details analy­sis of the deci­sive role the Falange played in Ger­man and Third Reich geopol­i­tics:

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

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 for anoth­er
land­ing field his Nazi com­rades had cho­sen with­out his

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. . . .”

12. The pro­found rela­tion­ship between the post­war Nazi under­ground and the Span­ish intel­li­gence ser­vices is exem­pli­fied by the influ­ence of ODESSA king­pin Otto Sko­rzeny on the DGS. It is in this con­text that one should view Siaisa’s rela­tion­ship with Span­ish intel­li­gence. (For more about Sko­rzeny, his rela­tion­ship with the Rein­hard Gehlen spy out­fit and the post­war Nazi under­ground, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#558.)

The Great Hero­in Coup: Drugs, Intel­li­gence and Inter­na­tion­al Fas­cism; by Hen­rik Kruger; South End Press [SC]; Copy­right 1980 by South End Press; ISBN 0–89608-031–5 [paper]; p. 205.

“ . . . Gehlen sang to the tune of more than one piper, hav­ing remained in touch with the old Nazi hier­ar­chy, relo­cat­ed in Latin Amer­i­ca, whose coor­di­na­tor, Otto Sko­rzeny, was in Spain. Sko­rzeny had infil­trat­ed the Span­ish intel­li­gence agency DGS, and effec­tive­ly con­trolled it sin­gle hand­ed­ly. . . .”


8 comments for “FTR #825 Generalissimo Francisco Franco May NOT Be So Dead, After All”

  1. NOTE: Not about Spain, France instead, but rel­e­vant to the return of Euro-fas­cism. It appears that Mar­seilles has already real­ized this was a bad, bad idea. But who came up with such a crap­py idea in the first place? With the Le Pen fam­i­ly con­tin­u­al­ly doing well in the polls over the years, it is hard­ly far-fetched to con­sid­er some of their acolytes may have found their way into social ser­vices.


    French home­less forced to wear ‘yel­low tri­an­gles’

    Pub­lished: 04 Dec 2014 14:48 GMT+01:00

    The city of Mar­seille has been blast­ed for using Nazi-era tac­tics to iden­ti­fy its home­less pop­u­la­tion by issu­ing them with ID cards, adorned with a yel­low tri­an­gle. The cards detail their health issues and will be worn vis­i­bly.

    France sees steep rise in deaths of street chil­dren (27 Aug 14)
    A home­less per­son dies ‘every 20 hours’ in France (04 Mar 14)
    Home­less man lived in Paris air­port for 26 years (15 Jan 14)

    This sto­ry has been updat­ed. See below.

    Author­i­ties in France’s sec­ond-largest city have come under fire for issu­ing its home­less with ID cards that detail their health issues.

    Human rights groups and gov­ern­ment min­is­ters have slammed the “yel­low tri­an­gle cards”, com­par­ing them to the Nazi-era Star of David that was sewn onto Jew­ish people’s clothes dur­ing the Holo­caust.

    “This is scan­dalous, it’s stig­ma­tiz­ing,” Christophe Louis, pres­i­dent of the home­less char­i­ty Col­lec­tif Morts de la Rue, told The Local.

    “Wear­ing some­thing that shows the whole world what ill­ness­es you have is not only dis­crim­i­nat­ing but it also breach­es all med­ical con­fi­den­tial­i­ty,” he said, adding that the sym­bol­ism in the design of the card is out­ra­geous.

    “Being iden­ti­fied by either a star or a tri­an­gle is hor­rif­ic,” he said.

    French human rights group La Ligue des droits de l’Homme said it was trou­bled by the resem­blance “of this card and the yel­low star that the Jews had to wear dur­ing World War II.” Pres­i­dent François Hollande’s gov­ern­ment in Paris has also react­ed sharply to the ini­tia­tive.

    “I’m shocked. Forc­ing home­less peo­ple to car­ry a yel­low tri­an­gle indi­cat­ing the ill­ness­es they might have is out­ra­geous. You don’t point the fin­ger at the poor­est,” Social Affairs Min­is­ter Marisol told French dai­ly Le Parisien in an inter­view pub­lished Thurs­day.

    “You don’t write their ill­ness­es on their clothes. Med­ical con­fi­den­tial­i­ty, in par­tic­u­lar, is a fun­da­men­tal right. I want this local ini­tia­tive to be stopped,” she said.

    The card, an ini­tia­tive Mar­seille’s Town Hall and social ser­vices, iden­ti­fies the per­son with his or her pho­to, name and date of birth.

    It also spec­i­fies whether the per­son has any ill­ness­es or aller­gies. The front of the card is adorned with a yel­low tri­an­gle.

    In their defence author­i­ties say the pur­pose is to help health work­ers quick­ly come to the aid of a home­less per­son who has fall­en ill or is in need of aid.

    Over 100 of the iden­ti­fi­ca­tions have been dis­trib­uted already.

    On Wednes­day, about 100 activists and home­less peo­ple protest­ed against the ini­tia­tive out­side the city’s town hall.

    For its part Mar­seille Town Hall has been out­raged by the crit­i­cism it has endured by issu­ing “the card that saves lives”.

    In a state­ment giv­en to The Local, one of Marseille’s deputy may­ors Xavier Mery said: “I’m appalled by the absurd con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing this help card dis­trib­uted by the SAMU (social med­ical emer­gency ser­vices).

    “[The reac­tion] not only ques­tions the neces­si­ty of a scheme for home­less peo­ple but also the com­mit­ment of the city, the SAMU and vol­un­teers to come to the aid of those who need it the most”.

    Mery reject­ed the idea that the cards need to be worn vis­i­bly and say they “allow above all fire­fight­ers and care work­ers to get access to essen­tial infor­ma­tion in order to iden­ti­fy, give effi­cient help and often to save the lives of peo­ple lack­ing a social safe­ty net.”

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | December 8, 2014, 4:58 pm
  2. When I was 11yo I had a close friend of mine and my elder broth­er’s, whose father, was AP’s con­cil­lor on our city’s hall. His father, gave him (as well to all his fam­i­ly mem­bers) a card called ‘El Salvo­con­duc­to de Tejero’ (Tejero’s Safe-con­duct). It was a green and white card with a coin with Fran­co’s effi­gy. My friend told us what his father told the fam­i­ly about the card. It was giv­en to close friends of the Fran­co’s regime that were at the Tejero’s side in 1981 dur­ing his coup–in case that part of the army MIGHT try it again with more success–to iden­ti­fy the per­son with his/her name and pho­to on the card as a “regime’s friend” and some­one that “should not shoot at”. Acord­ing to my friend, a kid like our­selves, every AP mem­ber (at least in our region/province) had his own card and safe-cards for his fam­i­ly and some rel­a­tives too. This came from the AP quar­ters in Madrid. That’s the AP that lat­er on changed their name to PP. Check­ing their mem­bers back­ground and fam­i­ly ties, it is easy to know what they stand for to and why, and how, they behave.

    Posted by Charles Wipman | December 10, 2014, 2:59 am
  3. A police heli­copter in Brazil uncov­ered some­thing inter­est­ing recent­ly. The state this is in is 80% Ger­man.


    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | December 10, 2014, 9:21 am
  4. Fran­co must be spin­ning in his grave. With glee:

    Span­ish Gov­ern­ment Strips Away Protest­ing Rights
    Tues­day, 23 Decem­ber 2014 10:39 By Kevin Math­ews, Care2 | Report

    What’s a gov­ern­ment to do when the peo­ple take to the street to protest the way the coun­try is being run? A sen­si­ble gov­ern­ment would change poli­cies to appease the peo­ple it is com­mit­ted to serv­ing. Alter­nate­ly, a gov­ern­ment could take Spain’s cur­rent approach, which is to start fin­ing and arrest­ing peo­ple for protest­ing in the first place. Yes, that will solve the prob­lem!

    Spain is show­ing signs of fas­cism with its new anti-protest leg­is­la­tion nick­named the “Gag Law.” This past week, Spain’s low­er par­lia­ment okayed the law, push­ing it much clos­er to real­i­ty. Among the restric­tions cement­ed by the law, pun­ish­able by a $700–37,000 fine:

    * Hold­ing a protest with­out obtain­ing a per­mit from the gov­ern­ment first.
    * Protest­ing the day before an elec­tion.
    * Insult­ing a police offi­cer.
    * Burn­ing a flag.
    * Photographing/filming police offi­cers and shar­ing said photos/videos.
    * Protest­ing at a bank.
    * Block­ing a home fore­clo­sure
    * Assem­bling near a leg­isla­tive build­ing
    * Wear­ing hoods or masks, as they pre­vent author­i­ties from iden­ti­fy­ing you.

    That’s not all. Even peace­ful protests can be shut down if police fear that the protest could at some point “turn dis­or­der­ly” (left to the police’s dis­cre­tion, obvi­ous­ly.) Oh, and don’t even think about appeal­ing these fines in court. Peo­ple who appeal these fines will be made to pay the court costs.

    A quar­ter of Spain’s pop­u­la­tion is unem­ployed, with half of the nation’s young adults lack­ing a job. By upping the finan­cial reper­cus­sions for protest­ing, the gov­ern­ment knows it can scare away peo­ple who can’t afford to pay these tick­ets.

    Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Rajoy has pre­tend­ed that this law is meant to “pro­tect” the cit­i­zens. “One of the oblig­a­tions of the gov­ern­ment is to guar­an­tee the lib­er­ty and secu­ri­ty of all of its cit­i­zens,” Rajoy said, despite actu­al­ly tak­ing active steps to strip Spaniards of their lib­er­ties.

    The good news is that the peo­ple of Spain aren’t tak­ing the news in stride. This past week, tens of thou­sands of peo­ple in more than 30 cities gath­ered to speak out against this attack on free speech rights. They might as well take advan­tage of their abil­i­ty to protest before it’s made ille­gal, eh?


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 26, 2014, 1:39 pm
  5. His Roy­al Majesty King Felipe the VI of Spain, recent­ly vis­it­ed Ber­tels­mann (Spahr, 2014)

    Here is a quote from the Billboard.com arti­cle that quotes Ceo Thomas Rabe.

    “Rabe said in a state­ment: “King Felipe VI of Spain has shown his appre­ci­a­tion for the close ties between Ber­tels­mann and Spain with his vis­it, and we are delight­ed about this. Spain is one of Bertelsmann’s core mar­kets, and all of our divi­sions have oper­a­tions there. Spain also plays a very dis­tinct role in our growth strat­e­gy; it serves as the bridge­head for expand­ing our activ­i­ties in Latin Amer­i­ca — most of our busi­ness­es there are man­aged from Spain.” ”

    Here is the web address for the arti­cle


    Accord­ing to the Wikipedia arti­cle on King Felipe His Majesty’s father was select­ed per­son­al­ly by Gen­er­al Fran­co to take the throne, but I remem­ber dis­tinct­ly from my high school his­to­ry class his father was cred­it­ed with peace­ful­ly tran­si­tion­ing Spain to Democ­ra­cy after Fran­co’s Death.

    This vis­it maybe the King benign­ly pro­mot­ing com­merce and trade or it could be more along the lines of FTR 234 Tales From the Amber Room.

    Posted by GK | January 23, 2015, 2:47 am
  6. The offi­cial press release for the 12/2/14 vis­it to Ber­tels­mann by the King of Spain......


    Press Release | Güter­sloh, 12/02/2014

    Ber­tels­mann Hon­ored by Vis­it from His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain

    Ber­tels­mann (f. l. t. r.): His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain today vis­it­ed the inter­na­tion­al media com­pa­ny Ber­tels­mann and its own­ing fam­i­ly, the Mohns. Liz Mohn, fam­i­ly spokes­woman at the BVG, Bertelsmann’s Super­vi­so­ry Board Chair­man Christoph Mohn, and Chair­man & CEO Thomas Rabe wel­comed HM Felipe de Bor­bón y Gre­cia at mid­day today at the group’s Cor­po­rate Cen­ter in Güter­sloh. Here, the roy­al guest learned more about the com­pa­ny and its var­i­ous busi­ness­es, espe­cial­ly in Spain.

    The vis­it to Ber­tels­mann was fol­lowed by a lunch for the King and mem­bers of the Ger­man-Span­ish Busi­ness Coun­cil at Liz Mohn’s pri­vate res­i­dence. Ber­tels­mann coor­di­nates the activ­i­ties of the busi­ness coun­cil, found­ed in 2013, which works to pro­mote Ger­man-Span­ish rela­tions. North Rhine-Westphalia’s state pre­mier Han­nelore Kraft also attend­ed the lunch in Güter­sloh.

    Liz Mohn, fam­i­ly spokes­woman at the BVG, said: “The vis­it of His Majesty King Felipe VI Spain is a tremen­dous hon­or and a great priv­i­lege for our house – and it is also a very mov­ing moment for me per­son­al­ly. The vis­it under­lines the great mutu­al esteem and close ties between Spain, its roy­al fam­i­ly and Ber­tels­mann. This is a great day for our region, for Ber­tels­mann and for our fam­i­ly.”

    Christoph Mohn, Chair­man of the Super­vi­so­ry Board of Ber­tels­mann, said: “We are hon­ored and grate­ful that His Majesty King Felipe VI has cho­sen to vis­it Ber­tels­mann on his first vis­it to Ger­many as Spain’s new head of state. Spain plays a major role in the his­to­ry of our com­pa­ny. More than 50 years ago, it was the first for­eign mar­ket that Ber­tels­mann – at that time under the aegis of my father – devel­oped. Today, beyond being firm­ly root­ed in the coun­try with our busi­ness­es, we also sup­port a vari­ety of ini­tia­tives to pro­mote cul­ture in Spain.”

    Thomas Rabe, Chair­man and CEO of Ber­tels­mann, said: “King Felipe VI of Spain has shown his appre­ci­a­tion for the close ties between Ber­tels­mann and Spain with his vis­it, and we are delight­ed about this. Spain is one of Bertelsmann’s core mar­kets, and all of our divi­sions have oper­a­tions there. Spain also plays a very dis­tinct role in our growth strat­e­gy; it serves as the bridge­head for expand­ing our activ­i­ties in Latin Amer­i­ca – most of our busi­ness­es there are man­aged from Spain.”

    Fer­nan­do Car­ro, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of the Club and Direct Mar­ket­ing Busi­ness­es and Pres­i­dent Latin Amer­i­ca and Spain at Ber­tels­mann, said: “Hav­ing His Majesty King Felipe VI Spain as our guest is an immense hon­or. Besides its busi­ness activ­i­ties, Ber­tels­mann will con­tin­ue to advo­cate for social, polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and cul­tur­al issues in Spain. Since 2013, we have had a rep­re­sen­ta­tive office ded­i­cat­ed to this in Madrid, the Espa­cio Ber­tels­mann, which under­scores our company’s deep roots in Spain’s cul­tur­al and busi­ness sec­tors.“

    All of Bertelsmann’s divi­sions do busi­ness in Spain: RTL Group with Atres­me­dia and Fre­man­tle Media España among oth­ers, Pen­guin Ran­dom House Grupo Edi­to­r­i­al with renowned pub­lish­ers, Gruner + Jahr with its sub­sidiaries G + J España and Motor­press Ibéri­ca, and Arva­to with ser­vice busi­ness­es, as well as Be Print­ers with print­ing plants and the music com­pa­ny BMG with its own Span­ish branch. In all, Ber­tels­mann gen­er­ates annu­al rev­enues of around €700 mil­lion in Spain.

    Beyond the busi­ness and cul­tur­al activ­i­ties, long-stand­ing ties of friend­ship exist between the Span­ish roy­al fam­i­ly and Bertelsmann’s own­ing fam­i­ly, the Mohns. In 1998, HM Felipe de Bor­bón y Gre­cia – at the time Crown Prince – pre­sent­ed the pres­ti­gious Prince of Asturias Award to Bertelsmann’s post­war founder, Rein­hard Mohn on behalf of the roy­al fam­i­ly and in acknowl­edge­ment of Mohn’s achieve­ments in design­ing a cor­po­rate cul­ture of part­ner­ship and his com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing libraries and lit­er­a­cy in Spain. In 2006, Liz Mohn was award­ed the Span­ish Grand Cross of the Order of Civ­il Mer­it (“La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Méri­to Civ­il”) by HM Juan Car­los, then King of Spain.

    His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain’s stop at Ber­tels­mann was part of the king’s inau­gur­al vis­it to Ger­many.

    For more infor­ma­tion as well as pic­tures and TV footage on the King of Spain’s vis­it, please go to our spe­cial site at http://www.bertelsmann.com/news-and-media/specials/spain/  .

    About Ber­tels­mann
    Ber­tels­mann is an inter­na­tion­al media com­pa­ny whose core divi­sions encom­pass tele­vi­sion (RTL Group), book pub­lish­ing (Pen­guin Ran­dom House), mag­a­zine pub­lish­ing (Gruner + Jahr), ser­vices (Arva­to), and print­ing (Be Print­ers) in some 50 coun­tries. In 2013, the company’s busi­ness­es, with their more than 111,000 employ­ees, gen­er­at­ed rev­enues of €16.4 bil­lion. Ber­tels­mann stands for a com­bi­na­tion of cre­ativ­i­ty and entre­pre­neur­ship that empow­ers the cre­ation of first-rate media, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and ser­vice offer­ings to inspire peo­ple around the world and to pro­vide inno­v­a­tive solu­tions for cus­tomers.

    Posted by GK | January 25, 2015, 12:42 pm
  7. Here’s an arti­cle that high­lights one of the main rea­son the EU can’t allow Greece any sort of vic­to­ry what­so­ev­er in Greece’s attempts to sim­ply mod­er­ate its aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies while still clear­ly com­mit­ting to aus­ter­i­ty for the fore­see­able future. That “rad­i­cal” pol­i­cy MUST be opposed, not only because it would make the EU’s chief pol­i­cy mak­ers look like cru­el fanat­ics, but also because it would make the EU lead­ers in aus­ter­i­ty-strick­en coun­tries like Spain look like cru­el fools. And that can’t be allowed:

    Finan­cial Times
    Spain keeps hawk­ish eye on Greece as south­ern sol­i­dar­i­ty crum­bles

    Tobias Buck in Madrid
    Madrid has more rea­son than most to advo­cate a tough line against Athens
    Last updat­ed: Feb­ru­ary 3, 2015 3:52 pm

    The trav­el sched­ule of Greece’s new finance min­is­ter says a lot about the state of the euro­zone — and the polit­i­cal shifts cre­at­ed by sev­en years of eco­nom­ic tur­moil.

    In recent days, Yanis Varo­ufakis has held meet­ings in Paris, Lon­don and Rome where he urged lead­ers to ease the pres­sure on Greece and reduce its tow­er­ing debt bur­den. Berlin has yet to be con­firmed on his itin­er­ary — and so has Madrid.

    The omis­sion of Spain is note­wor­thy because it under­lines how the euro­zone cri­sis has turned Europe’s polit­i­cal geog­ra­phy upside down: when it comes to help­ing Greece, there will be no such thing as south­ern sol­i­dar­i­ty or periph­er­al patron­age.

    Italy and France may see mer­it in engag­ing with the new Greek lead­er­ship, if only to put pres­sure on Ger­many in the broad­er Euro­pean eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy strug­gle. But Spain has more rea­son than most to advo­cate a tough line against Athens, as do coun­tries such as Ire­land and Por­tu­gal.

    Viewed from Madrid, the polit­i­cal fault­line in the euro­zone runs not between a pros­per­ous north and a cri­sis-rid­den south, but between coun­tries that have done their eco­nom­ic home­work and those that have not.

    The Span­ish gov­ern­ment of Mar­i­ano Rajoy believes it belongs firm­ly in the for­mer camp, while Greece — and to a less­er extent Italy and France — are in the lat­ter.

    Over the past two years, Spain has styled itself as hav­ing proved that Europe’s ortho­dox response to the cri­sis works. The coun­try has had six quar­ters of eco­nom­ic growth, unem­ploy­ment is falling faster than expect­ed, and con­fi­dence and invest­ment have both start­ed flood­ing back.

    Once an eco­nom­ic bas­ket-case that came with­in a hair’s breadth of a bailout, Spain now thinks of itself as the Prus­sia of the south — aus­tere, dis­ci­plined and ready to absorb short-term eco­nom­ic pain for longer-term gains in com­pet­i­tive­ness.

    After endur­ing so many lec­tures on eco­nom­ic house­keep­ing, Span­ish lead­ers seem to rel­ish the chance to engage in fin­ger-wag­ging them­selves. “It can­not be that we change the rules just because there is a polit­i­cal change in a coun­try,” Cristóbal Mon­toro, the bud­get min­is­ter, said on Mon­day. “It would mean the col­lapse of Europe.”

    Offi­cials insist that Spain’s ini­tial response to the cri­sis — struc­tur­al reform, bud­get cuts and tax increas­es — was based on authen­tic and inde­pen­dent deci­sions tak­en in Madrid. But in sell­ing this unap­peal­ing mix to vot­ers, the Rajoy gov­ern­ment relied heav­i­ly on the argu­ment that there was sim­ply no alter­na­tive. The med­i­cine had to be tak­en, no mat­ter how bit­ter the taste.

    It is pre­cise­ly that nar­ra­tive that is now under threat from Athens. If Greece can light­en its debt load while lift­ing social spend­ing and hir­ing more pub­lic work­ers, why did not Spain get such a deal?

    With a gen­er­al elec­tion loom­ing at the end of the year, it is a ques­tion that the Span­ish gov­ern­ment would rather not see plant­ed in vot­er minds.

    Then there is the Podemos fac­tor. Unlike many oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries, Spain’s polit­i­cal sys­tem has already been trans­formed by the rise of a new anti-estab­lish­ment polit­i­cal group that looks very much like the Syriza par­ty that now rules Greece.


    Against all this, Mr Rajoy has to weigh two coun­ter­vail­ing argu­ments. The first is that push­ing Greece towards an exit from the euro­zone could have calami­tous effects on Spain’s eco­nom­ic recov­ery. The sec­ond is that the rise of Podemos has so far come large­ly at the expense of the cen­tre-left Social­ists.

    Indeed, some strate­gists in Mr Rajoy’s rul­ing Pop­u­lar par­ty are rub­bing their hands with glee at the prospect of a frag­ment­ed adver­sary and at the chance to attack the main oppo­si­tion par­ty as an unwit­ting ally of the rad­i­cal left.

    As dis­parate as all these fac­tors appear, there is a com­mon theme: Spain and like-mind­ed coun­tries on the Euro­pean periph­ery no longer feel that they are in the same boat as Greece. In Madrid, that clear­ly counts as progress. In Athens, it should be cause for deep con­cern.

    Wow, so appar­ent­ly Spain “has more rea­son than most to advo­cate a tough line against Athens, as do coun­tries such as Ire­land and Por­tu­gal.” Because if one is sub­ject to a severe beat­ing, the best response is to ensure oth­ers are also sub­ject to a beat­ing. Oh, nev­er mind, it’s because Mar­i­ano Rajoy views his aus­ter­i­ty regime as a wild suc­cess:

    Once an eco­nom­ic bas­ket-case that came with­in a hair’s breadth of a bailout, Spain now thinks of itself as the Prus­sia of the south — aus­tere, dis­ci­plined and ready to absorb short-term eco­nom­ic pain for longer-term gains in com­pet­i­tive­ness.

    That’s the aus­ter­ian line: Look at Spain’s suc­cess!

    So you have to won­der how long its going to take before Spain’s aus­ter­i­ty-sup­port­ers dis­cov­er that its self-inflict­ed eco­nom­ic pain isn’t sim­ply a short-term expe­ri­ence since Spain will lose its “com­pet­i­tive­ness” via cheap­er labor if life is allow to get bet­ter. Or rec­og­nize that the Span­ish econ­o­my is still suck­ing even when you fac­tor in the recent quar­ters of growth. Any day now. Any day:

    Busi­ness Insid­er
    Spain’s Surg­ing Growth Fig­ures Make It Europe’s Star Per­former

    Mike Bird

    Jan. 30, 2015, 3:22 AM

    Arri­ba! Span­ish GDP grew 2% in the year to Q4 2014, up 0.7% quar­ter on quar­ter.

    By any­one else’s stan­dards that might seem a lit­tle on the mod­est side. But in the euro­zone’s cur­rent cir­cum­stances, that’s excel­lent growth. Spain is the star per­former of the big four euro economies.

    Spain’s growth rate now out­strips that of not only Ger­many, but the UK, where recov­ery has been much more obvi­ous.

    Spain’s growth is a con­test­ed issue: To crit­ics of euro­zone aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies, it’s a dead cat bounce: A small recov­ery after a much deep­er reces­sion isn’t any­thing to cheer about. Unem­ploy­ment is above 23%, a Greece-like num­ber. Span­ish house prices fell by about a third after the finan­cial cri­sis, leav­ing a huge chunk of the coun­try with heavy mort­gage debt and lit­tle to show for it.

    But the coun­try is the star pupil for fans of struc­tur­al reform. It made sig­nif­i­cant labor-mar­ket reforms in 2012 to try to trim down its rigid employ­ment laws, so it is tout­ed as proof that hard (and painful) changes to inflex­i­ble eco­nom­ic sys­tems pay div­i­dends.


    Here’s Jonathan Loynes at Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics on the fig­ures (empha­sis his):

    The fig­ures con­firmed that Spain was one of the fastest grow­ing euro­zone economies last year and, with the excep­tion of Ire­land, ahead of the oth­er “periph­er­al” economies. Por­tu­gal and Greece prob­a­bly grew by around 1% in 2014 and Italy may have con­tract­ed.

    Despite that stronger growth, Spain remains one of the weak­est economies in terms of the lev­els of activ­i­ty. GDP is still almost 6% below its 2008 peak, point­ing to the exis­tence of a very large amount of spare capac­i­ty in the econ­o­my.

    This pret­ty much sum­ma­rizes the sit­u­a­tion:

    Arri­ba! Span­ish GDP grew 2% in the year to Q4 2014, up 0.7% quar­ter on quar­ter.

    By any­one else’s stan­dards that might seem a lit­tle on the mod­est side. But in the euro­zone’s cur­rent cir­cum­stances, that’s excel­lent growth. Spain is the star per­former of the big four euro economies.

    Yes, aus­ter­i­ty has so trashed the entire Euro­pean econ­o­my that Spain, with 2% annu­al growth, is the star per­former. Yay aus­ter­i­ty!

    And then there’s the fact that GDP is still almost 6% below its 2008 peak. And don’t for­get Spain’s ris­ing debt to GDP ratio. And in the lat­est offi­cial fig­ures Spain’s youth unem­ploy­ment is as high as 53.5% vs 49.9% for Greece.

    Still, Spain is clear­ly in a very dif­fer­ent cat­e­go­ry than Greece: Spain’s gov­ern­ment appar­ent­ly thinks every­thing is going great!

    In oth­er news, the Pres­i­dent of Ire­land had some thoughts on using his nation as a mod­el of aus­ter­i­ty-dri­ven suc­cess:

    Irish Times
    Irish econ­o­my ‘not an exem­plar’, says Pres­i­dent Hig­gins
    Cit­i­zens have paid ‘a very high price’, pres­i­dent tells tells Stras­bourg assem­bly

    Lara Mar­lowe

    First pub­lished: Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 18:59

    Ire­land should not be tak­en as a mod­el for oth­er coun­tries strug­gling to over­come eco­nom­ic cri­sis, Pres­i­dent Michael D Hig­gins said repeat­ed­ly on Tues­day dur­ing a day-long vis­it to the 47-mem­ber Coun­cil of Europe and the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights.

    “I don’t think the Irish Gov­ern­ment is seek­ing to give lec­tures to mem­bers of the EU or the Coun­cil of Europe,” Mr Hig­gins replied to a cor­re­spon­dent from the Chi­nese news agency Xin­hua who not­ed that Ire­land now has the high­est eco­nom­ic growth in the euro zone.

    In the ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion fol­low­ing Mr Higgins’s address to the Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly, a Turk­ish rep­re­sen­ta­tive asked what was the secret to Ireland’s suc­cess.

    “This adjust­ment has tak­en place with a huge sac­ri­fice by the peo­ple of Ire­land,” Mr Hig­gins replied, reit­er­at­ing his allu­sion to the “nar­row ver­sion of fis­cal ortho­doxy” that “seems pred­i­cat­ed on a de-peo­pled econ­o­my.”

    The Irish econ­o­my “is not a dri­ver­less car. It has cit­i­zens abroad who paid a very high price,” the Pres­i­dent con­tin­ued. “It is not appro­pri­ate to use Ire­land as some kind of exem­plar.”

    Sunday’s elec­tion in Greece brought the far left anti-aus­ter­i­ty Syriza par­ty to pow­er. Though he nev­er men­tioned Greece by name, it was writ large in Mr Higgins’s speech.

    He called on par­lia­ments “to mus­cle them­selves into this debate, and to take it back from what I regard as unac­count­able sources”. It was, he added, “a view that I share with Pope Fran­cis”.


    The pres­i­dent of Ire­land does­n’t seem near­ly as enthu­si­as­tic about the aus­ter­i­ty expe­ri­ence. That’s weird.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 3, 2015, 11:29 am
  8. Con­sid­er­ing this has been paid out since 1962, you have to won­der how much Ger­many was pay­ing out each year when there was a lot more than just 50 sur­viv­ing mem­bers and rel­a­tives:

    Ger­many is still pay­ing pen­sions for Spain’s for­mer Nazi vol­un­teers

    Writ­ten by Svati Kirsten Naru­la
    Novem­ber 05, 2015

    The Ger­man gov­ern­ment pays about €100,000 ($109,000) annu­al­ly in pen­sions to 50 sur­viv­ing mem­bers and rel­a­tives of Spain’s Blue Divi­sion, the vol­un­teer army that assist­ed Hitler’s inva­sion of Rus­sia dur­ing World War II. Law­mak­ers dis­closed this fact dur­ing recent dis­cus­sions in Bun­destag, Germany’s nation­al par­lia­ment, prompt­ed by ques­tions from left-wing min­is­ter Andrej Hunko.

    It is “a scan­dal,” Hunko told the press, “that 70 years after the war, Ger­many is still pay­ing more than €100,000 a year to Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors.” The exact fig­ure was €107,352 this year, allo­cat­ed to 41 sur­viv­ing sol­diers, eight wid­ows of for­mer sol­diers, and one orphan of a for­mer sol­dier.

    “Those peo­ple vol­un­teered to join the Ger­man fas­cists to fight on their side in the war of exter­mi­na­tion in east­ern Europe,” said Hunko. “For me it is incom­pre­hen­si­ble that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment should stick to those pay­ments when so many vic­tims of the war are still wait­ing today for their right­ful com­pen­sa­tion.”


    Accord­ing to WWII His­to­ry Mag­a­zine, the Spaniards who signed up for the Blue Divi­sion (so named for the col­or of Spain’s Fas­cist par­ty) “were prob­a­bly World War II’s most pure­ly ide­o­log­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed sol­diers.” They were recruit­ed to fight on the East­ern front only, against Sovi­et Com­mu­nism, in what some his­to­ri­ans regard as a shrewd move by Span­ish dic­ta­tor Fran­cis­co Fran­co to remain on good terms with Italy and Ger­many, which had assist­ed Fran­co dur­ing the Span­ish Civ­il War, while remain­ing “neu­tral” and avoid­ing con­flict with Allied forces. The Blue Divi­sion report­ed­ly con­sist­ed of 47,000 Span­ish vol­un­teers.

    In 1962, Ger­many and Spain agreed that Blue Divi­sion mem­bers who had been injured in com­bat, their wid­ows, and their orphans would receive pen­sions from Ger­many. In exchange, Spain would pay a stipend to wid­ows of Hitler’s Con­dor Legion.

    This isn’t the first time Germany’s dis­tri­b­u­tion of World War II pen­sions has been crit­i­cized. In 1997, the gov­ern­ment acknowl­edged that it was pay­ing war dis­abil­i­ty ben­e­fits to for­mer Nazis and even con­vict­ed war crim­i­nals.

    “In 1962, Ger­many and Spain agreed that Blue Divi­sion mem­bers who had been injured in com­bat, their wid­ows, and their orphans would receive pen­sions from Ger­many. In exchange, Spain would pay a stipend to wid­ows of Hitler’s Con­dor Legion.”
    It would be inter­est­ing to learn if Spain still pay­ing any sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the Con­dor Legion. If so, uh oh.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 19, 2015, 7:42 pm

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