Tag Archives: ECR

Vox castigates Catalonia independence aspirations

Anna van Densky from Brussels. Spain’s VOX  far-right party members came to European Parliament to condemn the aspirations of Catalans for independence. Although the congregation was impressive in numbers of attendees, there were no new elements introduced during presentations, while speakers defended the same point reflected in the name of the event – “Catalonia, a Spanish region”. Needless to add the happening was outdated in form, consisting of a series of monologues, developing the same point of view: Catalans can not aspire independence, because such a development is not foreseen in the Constitution of Kingdom of Spain. Subsequently the presentation was bias, completely ignoring counter-arguments, and omitting contemporary international law, namely right of self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter.

Javier Ortega Smith, the Secretary-General of  VOX insisted the fragmentation of nation states threatens the European Union (EU) future, attempting to construct a confrontational concept between Catalan independence as threat for the EU.

Jesus Lainzthe author of “Spain against Catalonia, a fraud history’ acted as a major ideologist, explaining at length the history binding Barcelona and Madrid, focusing mainly on the Middle Ages, and carefully avoiding modern times, in particular the second part of the XX century, when the number of sovereign states in the world has tripped, amounting to 193  members of the United Nations. 

However in spite of evident deficiencies the conference as such is a milestone for the Catalonia issue. Enrique Calvet Chambon MEP (ALDE, Spain)  admitted that there is a “parallel reality” existing in Catalonia already, and that the status quo is damaging to image of Spain, creating “animosity” across Europe. Both factors meaning that there is an understanding, although limited, that the tactic of suppression of the Catalan independence movement provoked further deterioration of the situation to detriment of Madrid.

The event was animated by a flash-mob by the employees of the European Parliament, protesting against VOX position towards feminists, and LGBT community.

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VOX party (2013) has been a staunch opponent of the federalism, promoting centralized state. Along with condemnation of the Catalan independence movement, the party is also against Basque autonomy.

The even was hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Kosma ZŁOTOWSKI (Poland, ECR).

The event caused indignation of the European Greens, regretting the admission of VOX to speak in the European Parliament: MEP Ana Miranda, characterized it as “disgrace” to the Chamber. She added the Green group attempted to prevent the VOX to take a floor, because it is “xenophobic, racist, homophobic political party that is spreading hatred”.

 

 

 

 

MEPs call Rada Dyriv to save Pokrovsk zoo animlas

The ongoing Padalko zoo (Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine) horrendous animal abuse continues to cause sharp criticism of the whole spectrum of the European political forces. The Members of the European Parliament joined an initiative of John Flack (UK, ECR) addressing an open letter to Anotolii DyrivFirst Deputy Chair of Committee on Environmental Policy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

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The Members of the European Parliament have called the Ukrainian Parliament Rada to act without delay to save the animals.

We in The European Parliament, and  I know that also my political colleagues in the United Kingdom wish to encourage Ukraine to forge closer links with the Western family of nations” John Flack MEP (UK, ECR) wrote.

“We in the west take the humane treatment of animals very seriously and would urge all in the Ukraine to follow best practice. It is not only the right thing to do but will encourage future
investment” he underlined.

 MEP (UK, ECR), who initiated the letter, regrets he can not leave for Porkovsk immediately, to accept the invitation of the animal welfare groups in Ukraine, but out of his own convictions and the wish of his electorate to monitor the situation closely, he is considering a trip to Ukraine in the nearest future to see how the situation with Padalko zoo abused animals has been resolved, and what are the conditions of the other animals in private, and public zoos.

Mr.Flack urges Mr.Dyriv and the Rada committee he chairs to use the “considerable influence to protect the vulnerable and abused animals”.

In relation to Pokrovsk zoo MEPs call Mr.Dyriv to “arrange for unrestricted access by qualified veterinarians to all animals”. But not only, due to the scale and gravity of abuse and cruelty, MEPs call for “police to investigate the fate of missing Lions and Bears”, that were listed on the zoos inventory at the beginning of November 2018 but are now missing without explanation.

“If crimes have been committed then their should be prosecutions, both to punish the perpetrators but also to encourage correct behaviour in others” the open letter continues.
There is also a request to arrange for permission to be granted for International and Ukrainian animal welfare charities to
“both visit and then to monitor the conditions at all Ukrainian zoos”.

European politicians ask Mr.Dyriv to consider  “urgently”  whether Pokrovsk zoo is a “fit and proper place” to keep animals and whether it would be in “national interest” the Padalko zoo to be closed forthwith and the animals transferred to other reputable facilities.

“With elections due shortly in Ukraine I am sure that many of your people will be closely watching the fate of these defenceless animals.
I and my colleagues would welcome the opportunity to visit you in the Ukraine and to see for ourselves the improvements you are able to bring about” the letter concludes.

The open letter was initiated (23.01.2019) and singed by the Member of the European Parliament  (MEP) John Flack MEP, who is the Vice President European Parliament Animal Welfare Intergroup, and British Conservative Spokesman for Regional Development; and Rupert Matthews MEP,  Member for the East Midlands (U.K),  at present the letter circulates in the Europarliament, collecting signatures of the politicians. 

The scandal broke out when the pictures of the animal abuse hit social media, provoking a wave of indignation in Europe, and across the globe, launching a international campaign to save Porkovsk zoo animals from Padalko zoo.

MEPs Stefan Eck, Sirpa Petiekainen, Anja Hazekamp, and legendary Brigitte Bardot have already addressed the issue, calling President Petro Porkoshenko, and Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak to save the Porkovsk  zoo animals from abuse, however in vain so far. One more lion died from hunger after the transportation to another private zoo with an ambivalent reputation, and a number of animals have vanished without trace.

All the proposals of charities to transfer animals to sanctuaries were rejected by the owner of the zoo Igor Padalko, who is hoping to recover the animals after his zoo is rebuilt from public funds.

There are around 100 animals in private zoo in Pokrovsk, owned by Mr.Padalko, who denies veterinarians and activists the access to the dying animals. A few of them have been transported to another private zoo. Mr.Padalko is supported by the Mayor of Porkovsk Ruslan Trebushkin, and the governor of the Donetsk region Olexander Kutz.

The Ukrainian activists called for a demonstration in Kiev on the 24 of January opposite the Ministry of Ecology to protest against the animal abuse, and inaction of the Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak, the petition for demanding his resignation has been circulation online, collecting the first hours two thousand signatures.

MEPs encourage EU to engage in Yemen conflict resolution

At Strasbourg  Plenary MEPs debate the latest developments in Yemen, which is facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

 

More than three years of conflict between the forces loyal to the internationally recognized government and Houthi rebels have devastated the country, leaving 22 million Yemeni people (80% of the total population) in dire need of humanitarian assistance or protection. The country is also suffering from the largest cholera outbreak ever recorded in modern history, with over one million suspected cases reported in 2017 and over 2 200 related deaths.

The war in Yemen is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran, backing Houthi rebels, and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, leading the Western-backed alliance of Arab states trying to restore the internationally-recognised government.

Throughout the civil war in Yemen, the European Parliament has called on all actors to de-escalate the conflict and to engage in UN-led peace talks and strive for political solutions. MEPs also called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to launch an initiative to impose an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia given the serious allegations that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is breaching international humanitarian law in Yemen.

“There is a need for urgent humanitarian aid”, – said MEP Sajjad KARIM  (UK, ECR) to Europe Diplomatic Magazine, however it is much more, than just assistance to starving populations required. “…Concert of international efforts is needed to put an end to this conflict and engage in peace process”, MEP concluded, sharing his vision of putting an end to the ongoing human tragedy.

 

MEPs considering vacant UK seats

The European Parliament  began to consider British seats that will be left empty post-Brexit from 2019 with Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands scooping up most initially. (Image: illustration).

Out of the 73 seats now held by Britain, 27 will be allocated to existing EU states, the parliament’s institutional affairs committee underlined, as it drew up to adjust the legislature in the five years from 2019 when Britain quits.

The remaining 46 British seats would stay vacant for now and be filled later by EU newcomers – in all likelihood from the six Western Balkan countries now knocking on the EU’s door,  or from “pan-European lists” in which citizens of one EU country can vote for a candidate from another member state.