Saturday, April 30, 2022
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Povos da Europa e dos Estados Unidos da América:
Afastem-se todos, braços no ar, ponham-se de cócoras!
Na quarta-feira, em São Petersburgo, o Presidente russo, Vladimir Putin, ameaçou responder com ataques “relâmpago” caso haja ingerência estrangeira na Ucrânia, falando do novo míssil hipersónico de que dispõe e que tem capacidade para atingir a Europa Ocidental e até os EUA. “Usá-lo-emos se for necessário. E quero que todos o saibam”, disse. - aqui
Act. às 21:44
Guterres foi brindado com explosões na sua jornada em Kiev
O secretário-geral da ONU estava com Zelenskii quando dois mísseis disparados da Crimeia superaram as defesas antiaéreas da capital e feriram pelo menos dez pessoas. Chocado, Guterres pediu que Kiev seja “poupada”. - aqui
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
in The Economist - Apr 26th 2022
invaded Ukraine on February 24th, some former European heads of government hurried to erase their personal business links to the country. Esko Aho, Christian Kern and Matteo Renzi—one-time leaders of Finland, Austria and Italy respectively—quit prominent roles on the boards of big Russian firms. Not so Gerhard Schröder. Germany’s former chancellor has retained his seat as head of the supervisory board of Rosneft, a Russian oil giant. He is nominated to join the board of Gazprom, the state-controlled gas exporter. Since 2016 he has been chairman of Nord Stream 2, an $11bn gas pipeline that would have doubled the undersea flow of gas between Russia and Germany (Olaf Scholz, the current chancellor, pulled the plug on it in February). Why has the once-respected leader stayed close to Russia?
Mr Schröder, a politician from the Social Democratic Party (economic engine. He liberalised laws that had previously limited citizenship largely to those with German blood. And his refusal to join America’s war in Iraq was vindicated.), led Germany between 1998 and 2005. He achieved much for the country. A package of reforms implemented in the early 2000s transformed Germany from “the sick man of Europe” into its
He was also a vocal advocate of mutual dependence with Europe. It was always more popular with the than with its main rival, the centre-right Christian Democrats. But for many years German leaders across the spectrum believed in or political change through trade. Many of Germany’s (Russia “understanders”) recanted after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014—or at the very least after this year’s attack on Ukraine. Mr Schröder has not., a policy of rapprochement with the eastern bloc, including the then Soviet Union, conceived in the late 1960s by Willy Brandt, another chancellor. One element of the idea, which survived the reunification of Germany in 1990, was to bind Russia in an energy partnership of
The high-living chancellor’s enduring links to Russia are about more than stubborn adherence to a flawed ideology. Mr Schröder has earned millions from his corporate positions. He gets around $600,000 a year from Rosneft, topping up his German government pension of just over $100,000. The German state also pays nearly $500,000 a year to fund his private office. Cash appears to be his primary motivation. He has also forged a close friendship with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s German-speaking president. The pair celebrated Mr Schröder’s 60th and 70th birthdays, in Hanover and St Petersburg respectively.
Mr Schröder’s close ties with a war-mongering dictator are destroying his political legacy. He could have been remembered as one of the great chancellors of postwar Germany. As it is, he will be known as Mr Putin’s lobbyist. Saskia Esken, the ’s co-leader, has called for him to quit the party, which has begun the process to revoke his membership (though it is progressing at a snail’s pace). He resigned his honorary citizenship of Hanover, his home town, before the city could strip him of it. Borussia Dortmund, his favoured football team, cancelled his honorary membership. The official shop in Berlin has even withdrawn its red Gerhard Schröder coffee mug from sale. None of this seems likely to prick Mr Schröder’s conscience. As he told the last week, in his first interview since the invasion: “I don’t do .”
Relations with Russia
On his first official trip to Russia in late 1998, Schröder suggested that Germany was not likely to come up with more aid for the country. He also sought to detach himself from the close personal relationship that his predecessor, Helmut Kohl, had with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, saying that German-Russian relations should "develop independently of concrete political figures." Soon after, however, he cultivated close ties with Yeltsin's successor, President Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to strengthen the "strategic partnership" between Berlin and Moscow, including the opening of a gas pipeline from Russian Dan Marino-Pipelines over the Baltic Sea exclusively between Russia and Germany (see "Gazprom controversy" below). During his time in office, he visited the country five times.
Schröder was criticised in the media, and subsequently by Angela Merkel, for calling Putin a "flawless democrat" on 22 November 2004, only days before Putin prematurely congratulated Viktor Yanukovich during the Orange Revolution. In 2005, Schröder suggested at the ceremonial introduction of the Airbus A380 in Toulouse that there was still "room in the boat" of EADS for Russia.
Only a few days after his chancellorship, Schröder joined the board of directors of the Nord Stream joint venture, thus bringing about new speculations about his prior objectivity. In his memoirs Decisions: My Life in Politics, Schröder still defends his friend and political ally, and states that "it would be wrong to place excessive demands on Russia when it comes to the rate of domestic political reform and democratic development, or to judge it solely on the basis of the Chechnya conflict." Schröder's continued close connection to Vladimir Putin and his government after his chancellorship has been widely criticized in Germany.
Relations with China
During his time in office, Schröder visited China six times. He was the first Western politician to travel to Beijing and apologise after NATO jets had mistakenly bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999. In 2004, he and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao established a secure, direct telephone line. He also pressed for the lifting of the EU arms embargo on China.
After leaving public office, Schröder represented Germany at the funeral services for Boris Yeltsin in Moscow (jointly with Horst Köhler and Helmut Kohl, 2007) and Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba (jointly with Egon Krenz, 2016).
Schröder and Kurt Biedenkopf served as mediators in a conflict over privatization plans at German railway operator Deutsche Bahn; the plans eventually fell through. In 2016, he was appointed by Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel to mediate (alongside economist Bert Rürup) in a dispute between two of Germany's leading retailers, Edeka and REWE Group, over the takeover of supermarket chain Kaiser's Tengelmann.
Following the release of German activist Peter Steudtner from a Turkish prison in October 2017, German media reported that Schröder had acted as mediator in the conflict and, on the request of Gabriel, met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to secure the release. After the 2018 elections in Turkey, he represented the German government at Erdoğan's swearing-in ceremony in Ankara.
Schröder's plans after leaving office as chancellor and resigning his Bundestag seat included resuming his law practice in Berlin, writing a book, and implementing plans for twin pipelines for Gazprom, Russia's leading energy company. He was subsequently retained by the Swiss publisher Ringier AG as a consultant. Other board memberships include the following:
- Nord Stream, chairman of the Shareholders' Committee (since 2006)
- CargoBeamer, member of the advisory board
- China Investment Corporation (CIC), member of the international advisory board
- N M Rothschild & Sons, member of the European Advisory Council (since 2006)
- Herrenknecht, deputy chairman of the supervisory board (2017–2022)
- Hannover 96, chairman of the supervisory board (2016–2019)
- TNK-BP, member of the international advisory board (2009)
In addition, Schröder has held several other paid and unpaid positions since his retirement from German politics, including:
- Berggruen Institute, member of the Council for the Future of Europe and the 21st Century Council.
- Bundesliga Foundation, member of the board of trustees
- German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), member of the advisory council
- Dresden Frauenkirche, member of the board of trustees
- Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), Member
- Mädchenchor Hannover Foundation, member of the board of trustees
- Museum Berggruen, member of the international council
- German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV), honorary chairman of the board
- Wilhelm Busch Museum, chairman of the board of trustees (since 2013)
- InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government, Member
- International Willy Brandt Prize, member of the jury
Criticism and controversies
Relationship with Russian companies
As chancellor, Gerhard Schröder was a strong advocate of the Nord Stream pipeline project, which planned to supply Russian gas directly to Germany, thereby bypassing transit countries.
In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin's friend Schroeder hastily signed the deal just as he was departing the office from which he had been voted out days earlier. Within weeks, he started to oversee the project implementation himself, leading the Nord Stream AG's shareholder committee.
On 24 October 2005, just a few weeks before Schröder stepped down as chancellor, the German government guaranteed to cover 1 billion euros of the Nord Stream project cost, should Gazprom default on a loan. However, this guarantee had never been used. Soon after stepping down as chancellor, Schröder accepted Gazprom's nomination for the post of the head of the shareholders' committee of Nord Stream AG, raising questions about a potential conflict of interest.
German opposition parties expressed concern over the issue, as did the governments of countries over whose territory gas is currently pumped. In an editorial entitled Gerhard Schroeder's Sellout, the American newspaper The Washington Post also expressed sharp criticism, reflecting widening international ramifications of Schröder's new post. Democrat Tom Lantos, chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, likened Schröder to a "political prostitute" for his recent behaviour. In January 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that Schröder would join the board of the oil company TNK-BP, a joint venture between oil major BP and Russian partners.
In 2017, Russia nominated Schröder to also serve as an independent director of the board of its biggest oil producer Rosneft. At the time, Rosneft was under Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis. Schröder told Blick that he would be paid about $350,000 annually for the part-time post. His decision caused an outcry in Germany and abroad, especially in a climate of fear about any potential Russian interference in the 2017 German elections. German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized her predecessor, saying "I do not think what Mr Schröder is doing is okay".
In 2022, Schröder was nominated to the board of directors of Gazprom.
Especially as tensions between Russia and NATO mounted before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Schröder's stance as a "Putin understander" was criticized. Schröder criticized the behaviour of the western countries as "saber rattling". ARD-journalist Georg Schwarte stated that Schröder would not be any longer "a former chancellor. At best" , he would be an "ex-chancellor with a sense of money." The recent chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said "I don't want his advice."
In 2022, it was reported that Schroeder was paid nearly $1 million a year by Russian energy companies.
Defamation lawsuit (2002)
In April 2002, Schröder sued the DDP press agency for publishing an opinion of public relations consultant Sabine Schwind saying that he "would be more credible if he didn't dye his gray hair". The court decided to ban the media from suggesting that he colours his hair. The Chancellor's spokesman said: "This is not a frivolous action taken over whether he does or doesn't dye his hair, but is a serious issue regarding his word." The agency's lawyer said that they could not accept a verdict which "does not coincide with freedom of the press".
Dispute over Estonian war memorial
During a heated dispute between Russia and Estonia in May 2007 over the removal of a Soviet-era war memorial from the centre of the Estonian capital Tallinn to a military cemetery, Schröder defended the Kremlin's reaction. He remarked that Estonia had contradicted "every form of civilised behaviour". Consequently, the Estonian government cancelled a planned visit by Schröder in his function as chairman of Nord Stream AG, which promotes the petroleum pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Comments on Kosovo independence
Schröder has criticised some European countries' swift decision to recognise Kosovo as an independent state after it declared independence in February 2008. He believes the decision was taken under heavy pressure from the US government and has caused more problems, including the weakening of the so-called pro-EU forces in Serbia. In August 2008, Schröder laid the blame for the 2008 South Ossetia war squarely on Mikhail Saakashvili and "the West", hinting at American foreknowledge and refusing to criticize any aspect of Russian policy which had thus far come to light.
Comments on Crimean crisis
In March 2014, Schröder likened Russia's intervention in Crimea with NATO's intervention in Kosovo, citing both cases as violations of international law and the UN Charter. He further stated that there had been "unhappy developments" on the outskirts of the former Soviet Union since the end of the Cold War, leading Putin to develop justifiable "fears about being encircled". On 13 March 2014, an attempt by the German Green Party to ban Schröder from speaking in public about Ukraine was narrowly defeated in the European parliament. His decision to celebrate his 70th birthday party with Putin in Saint Petersburg's Yusupov Palace in late April elicited further criticism from several members of Merkel's grand coalition, including human rights spokesperson Christoph Strässer [de].
In November 2017, an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism cited his name in the list of politicians named in "Paradise Papers" allegations.
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Há seis dias ...
Saturday, April 23, 2022
A Linha da Beira Alta encerra para obras a partir de 19 de Abril, durante um período estimado de nove meses, para ser alvo de uma profunda remodelação, que inclui a substituição integral da sinalização, dos carris, travessas e balastro e a requalificação e supressão de todas as passagens de nível.
De acordo com a IP, “o encerramento integral torna-se imprescindível face às características técnicas dos trabalhos a realizar em diversos locais ao longo do troço que, pela sua elevada complexidade, seria impraticável executar mantendo a circulação ferroviária, mesmo que de forma condicionada”. Trata-se de uma abordagem diferente da ocorrida na década de 90 do século passado, quando esta linha foi modernizada sem que o tráfego ferroviário fosse interrompido. - aqui
Friday, April 22, 2022
"Aparentemente agora estamos em guerra com o mundo inteiro, como na Segunda Guerra Mundial. Toda a Europa está contra nós. Nunca gostaram da Rússia", disse Minnekaev, comandante do Distrito Central do Exército.
Miguel Sousa Tavares desabafava aqui, no Semanário Expresso da semana passada, que se sentia sufocado com os comentários contraditórios suscitados pelas suas suas posições (foram várias, evoluindo semanalmente) relativamente ao arrasamento da Ucrânia e, pateticamente, repetiu cinco vezes, entre cada parágrafo do seu texto:
- A invasão e a guerra que a Rússia levou à Ucrânia não têm justificação. Os massacres e os assassínios deliberados de civis não têm perdão.
Sousa Tavares podia ter ficado por aqui mas (sempre o mesmo renitente mas) repetiu, evoluindo nos repetidos argumentos, razões que o levavam a considerar que, se a guerra que a Rússia levou à Ucrânia não têm justificação, havia razões ... e explanava razões que, queixava-se ele, eram alvo de contraditórios sufocantes que, do seu ponto de vista, não são admissíveis num país de liberdade de expressão.
Não foi o único, houve e ainda há muitos outros, a apontar o dedo acusador aos discordantes. Condenam, sim, mas ...
Expresso Semanário deste fim-de-semana, Sousa Tavares não voltou ao
assunto, mas Francisco Mendes da Silva, que escreve ao sábado no
Público, - aqui - não deixou cair a acusação de falta de liberdade de opinião, nestes termos
Miguel Sousa Tavares sente-se sufocado por mim. Sim, parece caricato que o maior produtor de opinião livre da democracia portuguesa, talvez o jornalista mais icónico da nossa televisão e imprensa, um dos polemistas mais “lá de casa” da nossa vida colectiva em liberdade, se sinta sufocado pela opinião dos outros, mais ainda pela minha. Mas foi isso que Sousa Tavares disse na sua coluna do Expresso, onde há anos se espraia ao longo de vários milhares de caracteres semanais numa página de formato “berliner” reservada só para ele, presumivelmente sem freios editoriais, na boa velha tradição do jornal que o acolhe.
Num texto com um grito de revolta no título (“Para acabar de vez com este sufoco”), afirmou que é vítima de “uma campanha ostensiva de apelo ao silenciamento e ao linchamento moral”, e que “estamos a viver num clima de intimidação concertada sobre o pensamento como nunca vivi em 30 anos de escrita em jornais”. Palavras pesadas, essas, que Sousa Tavares dirige especialmente a dois culpados: a António Barreto e a mim.
Desconheço se António Barreto se tem reunido com outros conspiradores, em caves lúgubres e secretas, para “concertar” as estratégias de silenciamento de Miguel Sousa Tavares. Eu cá nunca fui convocado para tais urdiduras. Mas reparem: de nós, Sousa Tavares diz que recorremos à “absoluta falta de seriedade intelectual e a argumentos de puro terrorismo e delação pública”. É uma entrada a pés juntos? É. Passa-me pela cabeça que Sousa Tavares tenha escrito esta e outras coisas para me intimidar? Não. Por muito erradas que estejam, este tipo de tiradas hiperbólicas faz parte do debate normal em qualquer democracia adulta, civilizada e vibrante. A liberdade dos outros não me intimida.
Mas, afinal, pergunta o leitor desprevenido, acabado de chegar a esta minipolémica, o que é que eu fiz para que Sousa Tavares se sentisse atingido na sua liberdade de pensamento com tanta precisão e violência? Num artigo nesta coluna (com o título “Sejam adultos, assumam que querem a vitória da Rússia”), limitei-me a formular um raciocínio simples: se há pessoas que se manifestaram sempre a favor de todas as posições da Rússia sobre a Ucrânia, desde Maidan até à Crimeia; se, perante a revelação das atrocidades do seu exército, assobiam para o lado e pedem mais jornalismo do que propaganda; se defendem que se deixe de ajudar militarmente a Ucrânia para se chegar à paz; então o que essas pessoas querem é que a Rússia consiga a vitória. Não se trata de delatar ninguém. Trata-se de dizer que o debate só é útil se for totalmente claro quanto à ligação entre premissas e conclusões.
Quando compus na minha cabeça o ramalhete de autores em que baseei o artigo, não pensei propriamente em Sousa Tavares. Pensei nos subscritores dos manifestos sinuosos e sem nexo que por aí apareceram. Porém, fui agora ler ou reler o que tem escrito sobre o tema, para tentar perceber o que o terá levado a assentar a carapuça. Reparei que os factos se têm fartado de desmentir as suas opiniões e preconceitos. Até à eclosão da guerra, dizia que ela nunca aconteceria, porque a Rússia não a desejava. Agora, diz que a guerra aconteceu porque interessa aos EUA, à sua indústria militar e ao reforço da NATO.
O que tem vindo a sufocar Sousa Tavares, neste assunto, não é bem a opinião de quem quer que seja. É a própria realidade
Como se os EUA não andassem há anos a querer fugir da Europa para o Pacífico. Como se isto interessasse a um Presidente americano em ano de intercalares. Como se não estivesse profusamente documentada a ideologia imperialista que comanda o Kremlin (é preciso lembrar o ensaio de Putin em Julho último?). E como se os países da NATO não dessem provas quotidianas da sua compreensível relutância em serem arrastados para a guerra, perante a exasperação da Ucrânia.
Quando todo o mundo via já em Volodimir Zelenskii um exemplo inspirador de coragem moral, que todos os dias justificava o apoio à sua resistência, Miguel Sousa Tavares chegou ao ponto de insinuar que aquele só não se rendia porque é um vaidoso armado em Churchill. O que o tem vindo a sufocar, neste assunto, não é bem a opinião de quem quer que seja. É a própria realidade.