Monday, October 28, 2013

"Spain's wealth divide [now] widest in Europe" while human rights get worse

Some three million Spaniards were living in extreme poverty — or on €307 a month — in 2012, says Spanish charity Cáritas. Photo: xornalcerto/Flickr

The gap between Spain's richest and poorest is now the widest in Europe with some three million people living in extreme poverty, a new study reveals.

Read more from the source here.

Meanwhile, the European Commission reports that human rights in Spain are "deteriorating" due to the economic “crisis.” Read more from Global Voices here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"“Beatle Jew” in the Czech Republic

The short documentary "Beatle Jew", produced by [Barcelona-based] Mozaika, written by Daniel Wagensberg and directed by Federico Szarfer, has been selected in the “Short Joy” section of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic.

The film is "a journey in search of personal identity [that# reveals a history stretching from Spain all the way to the Czech village of Batelov, whose “Wild West” heroes have found eternal rest at the local Jewish cemetery. Grandfather Moritz, whose picture inspired the film, lives on in the memory of old “Sheriff” Mirabelski – a mediator of remarkable historical moments."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The European drug industry wants to keep it's secrets

"The head of Europe's pharmaceutical industry body has threatened "a series of lawsuits" if the EU's medicines body goes ahead with its great plans to publish more of the clinical trial information it holds. 

The European Medicines Agency plans to proactively publish the Clinical Study Reports (CSRs) companies submit to it when they apply for a license. Researchers at Germany's medicines licensing body this week showed that these CSRs contain vital information about drug effectiveness and safety and that regulators and doctors need that information to make decisions about treatments.

The industry body thinks they can delay or stop the release of this information with lawsuits. We need your help to expand the AllTrials campaign and make sure the attempts to kick this into the long grass don't work."

Petition for signing here.

All Trials


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Video: a disappearing Spain - "Arribes: Everything Else is Noise"

"Zev Robinson's [short] documentary focuses on the traditonal way of life and its relationship to agriculture, food, and sustainability in the Arribes, Sayago and Abadengo regions in northwest Spain along the Duero River."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Spanish Government Complaint Box Causes Boomerang Effect

Cartoon by J.R Mora. Used with permission.
"The Spanish Minister of Employment and Social Security,Fátima Bañez, has launched a “complaint box” to combat workplace fraud.
The government is encouraging citizens to anonymously report cases of fraud committed by companies and individual workers for further investigation by the Office of Labor Inspection.

The “box” is a publicly accessible online form on the Ministry's website.

The move has sparked controversy in the blogosphere and on social networks, and created a boomerang effect against the Spanish government: the first complaints received through the new system were directed at the government itself and members of the political sphere, not at ordinary citizens as intended. 
Once again, the people have demonstrated their wit and humor while responding to government action.

The main criticism of the complaint box is that with it the government aims to make citizens into “snitches,” [or informers] creating an accusatory climate that is more like an authoritarian system than a democracy.
Critics also say that its real goal is to persecute the most vulnerable people in society instead of going after the country's wealthiest citizens tax evasion or alleviating unemployment.

The contradiction has not gone unnoticed: that those claiming to combat fraud are part of a government overwhelmed by massive corruption scandals and suspected of illegal financing of its party, the ruling People's Party (PP)."

Read more from Elena Arrontes' article on Global Voices here.