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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shame on Spain: going backwards

Ferreras cartoon on Fraga's funeral. The text says:
While it's true he overshadowed a brilliant service to
Franco embracing democracy, we must understand,
he did because he had no choice
I have been avoiding another political post for a long time, but today's news have been the straw that broke the camel's back to me. Like a frozen, black & white image, Spain has quickly gone back to the past. This is just my personal opinion.

First. On January 15th Mr. Manuel Fraga Iribarne passed away, with a pretty disturbing, incredibly depressing and completely unappropiate (public funds, aren't we in a terrible economic crisis?) pomp and fanfare for his funeral. Sure, he was a long time politician of the country, founder of PP, and almost eternal president of Galicia. But foremost, he was a fascist, a Franco's ministry (he was our, modest by comparison, Joseph Goebbels), responsible of several political murders (during Franco's dictatorship as well as in the transition towards democracy) for which he never apologized, and of course, he never was asked for responsibilities. He was the living example that Spanish democracy (he participated in the draft of our consitution) never broke with Francoism. Something that the amount of people present on the funeral (included many supposed socialists) and the media coverage has shamefully proved.
Second. Since Monday we are judging, in our Supreme Court (our highest instance), the judge Baltasar Garzón, for investigating the crimes committed by Francoism. Something that is, simply, an atrocity (and a ridiculous process, with so many faults and mistakes that is evident the whole thing is "intentional"). As any expert on human rights or international law knows, the investigation of crimes against humanity by any judge cannot, everconstitute a criminal conduct. The accusation's argument is based on the 1977 Spanish amnesty law, which does not preclude investigating crimes committed during the Civil War and the dictatorship period. This is a law that obviously contravenes Spanish obligations under international law, something that has been denounced repeatedly by the UN and several international experts. Spain has the obligation of fostering the investigation of any violation of human rights.

Third. Today Gallardón, ministry of Justice, announced major changes in pretty important laws. What a package of steps backwards. Let me summarise:
1. Everyone expected that when the PP arrived to government our current abortion law was going to be modified, but no one thought it would be with a publicized desire to go back to the legislation of 1985 (which is pathetic). The proposed PP's reform does not respond to current social reality. Not letting girls of 16/17 years wether decide or not to interrupt her pregnancy (as the law allows today) is a great injustice, because the law of patient autonomy it allows kids that age to decide about medical treatment that they receive such as chemotherapy. Therefore, the intentions of the PP does not respond to any scientific or medical criteria, only ideological/moral. Besides, the fact, with almost two years of implementation of the current abortion law is that it has decreased the number of abortions in young women, both as children under 25 years, because there have been many important prevention measures. That is, the greater access to abortion is not promoted, but has served as the girls who really need it (vast majority girls with a difficult family situation/structure) could do legally. Is quite simple. Not everyone believes in God. The country where we live is not religious (at least that's what it says in the Constitution), so laws cannot be based on it.
2. Intrinsically linked with the previous one: Minors will now be subjected to same type of criminal penalties, pending on the seriousness of the charge, that adults. Do I need to say it evidently contradicts the previous point?
A "bit" of social alarm in Madrid,
don't you think?
3. And surprisingly despicable. Our ministry of Justice has said that depending on the social alarm caused by the crime, a revisable life imprisonment sentence will be acceptable. This is atrocious. So that means Spanish justice will now be based on the media coverage the case receives? That means that channels specialised in rubbish tv (Antena3, Tele5) or in defamation (Intereconomia) will now decide someone has to be imprisoned for life? Where's the independence of the judicial system then? With that scenario, and considering the glaring social unrest, that means that Francesc Camps, Carlos Fabra, Fèlix Millet, Urdangarín, bankers, and corrupt troop, or even Pepe (don't tell me his systematic acts of violence against soccer are not causing alarm) will be sentenced for life? I doubt it.

What a shameful country is Spain

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