Home » Posts tagged 'spain'

Tag Archives: spain

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

Spain Battles Self-Combusting Manure As “Heat-Wave From Hell” Torments Europe

Spain Battles Self-Combusting Manure As “Heat-Wave From Hell” Torments Europe

Update (1240ET): Temperatures were even hotter than expected across Europe today and, as Accuweather reportsthe extreme heat wave is suspected of killing several people as it set an all-time high in France.

The highest temperature ever measured across France in the entirety of record keeping was set on Friday afternoon. Temperatures soared to 45.8 C (114.4 F) at Gallargues-le-Montueux in southeastern France, exceeding the nation’s previous all-time record high of 44.1 C (111.4 F) at Conqueyrac on Aug. 12, 2003.

In neighboring Spain, the heat has been blamed on the deaths of several elderly people as hundreds of firefighters are battling a major wildfire near Tarragona in northeastern Spain. About 10,000 acres of forest and vegetation are being threatened by the blaze, which has been described by regional government officials as one of the worst in 20 years. More than 50 people have been evacuated.

CNN reports that the fire may have been started by an “improperly managed” pile of manure that self-combusted, similar to the threat that wet hay bales pose.

Sadly, Europeans will have to wait until Monday for the start of any relief…

*  *  *

Record-breaking heat scorches central Europe as many braced Thursday for temperatures above 100 F.

Wednesday was one of the most sizzling days on record across Europe with average June temperatures and all-time temperature records broken, reported AccuWeather.

Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic recorded its highest temperatures ever during June.

Temperatures were 100.8 F at Radzyń, Poland, on Wednesday, while Coschen station (Berlin-Brandenburg) printed 101.5 F in Germany. However, temperatures in Germany didn’t surpass the 104.5 F all-time high, set in Kitzingen on August 2015.

Czech Republic, Doksany recorded 102 F, hitting an all-time high for the country that was previously set at 100.8 F at Brno-Žabovřesky in June 2000.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Now Spain proposes to go 100% renewable

Now Spain proposes to go 100% renewable

The list of countries, states, cities and towns that have announced ambitious plans to go 100% renewable continues to grow. The latest entrant is Spain, which according to the Guardian plans to switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2050 and aims to fully decarbonize the country’s economy shortly after. Evaluating the full decarbonization option is beyond the scope of a blog post, so here I give Spain the routine Energy Matters treatment to see whether it has any chance of converting its electricity sector to 100% renewables by 2050.


A couple of observations to begin with. First, Spain’s plans are set forth in a draft Climate Change and Energy Transition Law that has yet to pass Congress. The recently installed Sánchez government has a shaky hold on power and will need support from other parties to make it official. But which politician these days can resist the magic catch-phrase “100% renewables”? Even Conservative MPs in the UK are now calling for it.

Second, the data presented here are for the Spanish “Peninsula” – i.e. mainland – only. The Balearic and Canary Islands are ignored.

The table below summarizes Spain’s generation capacity at the end of 2017. The data are from the Red Eléctrica de España (REE) Statistical data of electrical system report 2017:

Two more comments are in order here. First, REE conveniently segregates generation sources into renewable and non-renewable categories as follows:

NON-RENEWABLE ENERGIES: Includes pumped storage, nuclear, fuel/gas, combined cycle, cogeneration and renewable waste.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: Includes hydro, hydro-wind, wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, biogas, biomass, marine-hydro, geothermal and renewable waste.

Segregating the results in accordance with these definitions shows that renewables supplied about a third of Spain’s electricity in 2017. It’s not clear whether distributed generation is included in REE’s numbers, but word searches for “distributed”, “embedded” and “rooftop” yielded zero hits.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spain’s Supreme Court Flip-Flops on Mortgage Ruling After Just 1 Day Amid Bank Stocks Bloodbath, Legal Shitstorm Erupts

Spain’s Supreme Court Flip-Flops on Mortgage Ruling After Just 1 Day Amid Bank Stocks Bloodbath, Legal Shitstorm Erupts

Plunging bank stocks got the Court’s attention, or something.

That was fast: Spain’s Supreme Court on Friday flip-flopped on its own ruling announced on Thursday that had sent bank stocks plunging.

It started like this: Thursday morning, Spain’s Supreme Court did something nobody was expecting. It ruled that the country’s banks must pay stamp duty on mortgage loans, which would set them back billions of euros in legal fees and compensation while heaping further pressure on their lending business. News of the ruling sent many of the banks’ shares tumbling to new lows for the year while also heaping pressure on Spain’s ten-year bonds.

“The Supreme Court states that the person who must pay the stamp duty in the public deeds of loans with mortgage guarantees is the lender, not the one who receives the loan,” the court said in a document. The court ruling on Thursday, which overturned a previous ruling in the banks’ favor earlier this year, was final, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.

But by lunchtime Friday, the court had decided to suspend the ruling in light of the acute “economic and social impact” it was having — meaning the banks were in trouble!

The chart shows the shares of Bankia, which is 90% state-owned. Following the Thursday announcement, the already beaten down shares plunged 10% at one point. The Friday flip-flop repaired some but not all of the damage:

It’s impossible to tell just how much the total compensation bill would have come to, since stamp duty varies across Spain’s regions. As many as 8 million mortgage customers would have been affected by the court ruling, said the Spanish consumer association Adicae.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spanish Yields Blow Out Amid Italy Contagion As Italian Banks Scramble For Dollar Funding

Contagion from the recent surge in Italian yields has spread, and is hitting Spanish 10Y yields which over the past 3 days have blown out from 1.65% to as high as 1.82% this morning, before paring some of the move, printing at 1.77% last which is still the highest level since October 2017.

There are also Spain-specific news that have pushed yields wider, to wit yesterday’s ruling by the nation’s Supreme Court they must pay a one-time tax of about 1% on mortgage loans that traditionally was passed to their clients. The report sent Spanish banks tumbling as much as 6.3% at Banco de Sabadell while banking giant BBVA dropped 1.8%, thanks to its larger international business that cushions the impact of the ruling.

The Supreme Court revised an earlier ruling, deciding now that the levy on documenting mortgage loans must be paid by the lenders, and since mortgages are one of the biggest businesses for domestic banks, analysts have been grappling with how big the hit to income would be. As Bloomberg notes, the sentence is one of a string from Spanish and European Union courts in recent years in favor of home buyers and at the expense of banks.

“The decision implies a severe setback for the Spanish financial system and joy for every mortgage-payer, who might get back a significant amount” of money, said Fernando Encinar, head of research at property website Idealista. In the short term, banks will likely raise their mortgage arrangement fees to compensate for their new cost, he said.

The levy is applied to the mortgage guarantee – the loan amount plus possible foreclosure costs – and could be roughly 1,500 euros ($1,728) on a 180,000-euro loan in Madrid, according to Angel Mejias, an attorney at M de Santiago Abogados in the capital.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spain: IMF Highlights Rising Risks

Spain: IMF Highlights Rising Risks

The International Monetary Fund can be criticized for many things, but its analysis of countries’ debt risk tends to be worth a read.

In this case, the International Monetary Fund has once again warned Spain of the risk of reversing reforms and increasing imbalances.

It asks to deepen in the labor reform to end structural unemployment and credible measures for the 2019 budget.

The IMF is often criticized on many sides. It is often accused of being “neoliberal” despite the fact that in almost all its recommendations aim to prevent spending cuts. It is wrongly criticized, on many occasions, for being negative on countries. It is exactly the opposite. The IMF is often too diplomatic and, above all, undemanding with governments.

A clearly diplomatic IMF has verified in its last report the important risks facing the Spanish economy. As growth slows down more quickly than expected, the risks that threaten the recovery have increased and many of the socialist government’s announcements could be counterproductive and accelerate a relapse.

In a very diplomatic but forceful way, the IMF warns about the governments’ optimistic and inflated estimates of tax revenues. No wonder, because the average error in revenue estimates for new taxes in Spain is very important, an average of 5.8 billion euro annually.

Inflated estimates are an easy trick to square budgets. Making impossible estimates of tax revenue while spending increases are very real. Then, when deficits soar, blame an external enemy.

The graph below shows the historical overestimation of tax revenues (5.8 billion euro per annum more tax revenues estimated than actually collected).

Spain: IMF Highlights Rising Risks

The Spanish Treasury Inspectors themselves have warned: “It would also be very interesting that those who speak again and again of these striking figures will provide the studies on which they are based to compare them. From previous unsubstantiated studies, inadequate and impossible proposals arise”(Tax Inspectors, January 2015).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Other Banks Are This Exposed to Turkey, Argentina, Brazil…. Emerging Markets Haunt Spanish Banks

No Other Banks Are This Exposed to Turkey, Argentina, Brazil…. Emerging Markets Haunt Spanish Banks

To diversify from the euro-debt-crisis, the biggest Spanish banks pushed deeply into Emerging Markets. Now, they’re in a new crisis. 

Almost exactly six years ago, the Spanish government requested a €100 billion bailout from the Troika (ECB, European Commission and IMF) to rescue its bankrupt savings banks, which were then merged with much larger commercial banks. Over €40 billion of the credit line was used; much of it is still unpaid. Yet Spain’s banking system could soon face a brand new crisis, this time not involving small or mid-sized savings banks but instead its alpha lenders, which are heavily exposed to emerging economies, from Argentina to Turkey and beyond.

In the case of Turkey’s financial system, Spanish banks had total exposure of $82.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Bank for International Settlements. That’s more than the combined exposure of lenders from the next three most exposed economies, France, the USA, and the UK, which reached $75 billion in the same period.

According to BIS statistics, Spanish banks’ exposure to Turkey’s economy almost quadrupled between 2015 and 2018, largely on the back of Spain’s second largest bank BBVA’s madcap purchase of roughly half of Turkey’s third largest lender, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi. Since buying its first chunk of the bank from the Turkish group Dogus and General Electric in 2010, BBVA has lost over 75% of its investment under the combined influence of Garanti’s plummeting shares and Turkey’s plunging currency.

But the biggest fear, as expressed by the ECB on August 10, is that Turkish borrowers might not be hedged against the lira’s weakness and begin to default en masse on foreign currency loans, which account for a staggering 40% of the Turkish banking sector’s assets. If that happens, the banks most exposed to Turkish debt will be hit pretty hard.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Why Are ATMs Disappearing at an Alarming Rate after a Wave of Branch Closures?

Why Are ATMs Disappearing at an Alarming Rate after a Wave of Branch Closures?

Banks are curtailing “cash services.” But why?

In Australia, banks are reducing ATMs by about 8% a year. In the UK, ATMs — or cashpoint machines, as they’re termed locally — are disappearing at a rate of around 300 per month, leaving consumers in rural areas struggling to access cash, according to a new report by the consumers’ association, Which? The rate of closures has increased sixfold in the period from November 2017 to April this year from a steady pace of 50 per month since 2015.

Banks in Spain have closed around 40% of their branches over the past ten years, on the back of unprecedented industry consolidation and cost cutting. In Barcelona, there are now less than half the number of branches there were in 2008. But it’s in small towns and villages where the impact is being felt most keenly. According to new research, by 2016 as many as 4,114 municipalities — the equivalent of 50.7% of all urban settlements — had no bank branches at all.

Banks in Spain are are also shutting down many of their ATMs. In 2017, the biggest lenders withdrew over 1,100 cash machines — around 3% of the national total. BBVA, Spain’s second biggest lender mothballed 192 ATMs (2.9% of its total stock) last year; Bankia, 301 (4.8%); Caixabank, 47 (0.5%), and Banco Sabadell 541 cash machines, the equivalent of 15% of its total stock.

This is all happening at a time when banks in Spain are making it more and more difficult to access cash from the branches that remain open. As we previously reported, Spain’s third largest lender, CaixaBank, last year launched a pilot project in Madrid aimed at limiting cash services in their branches to less than three hours a day, from 8:15 am to 11 am.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s Coming… Resource Nationalism

It’s Coming… Resource Nationalism

Early 2012 Argentina’s oil industry was controlled by Repsol, the Spanish energy giant, through YPF, its local subsidiary. By the end of the year, this was no longer the case.

By then President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner’s leftist government had nationalised the oil sector, stealing YPF with the stroke of a pen.

The experience for investors in Repsol was an elevator drop so jarring I suspect many were left with their spines sticking out the top of their heads.

We can all scoff and laugh at the poor bastards and say, “Well, what did you expect investing into yet another Latin American backwater grasping at fading socialist ideas in order to stay in power?”

And to be sure, the third world loves to dance to Marxist music, but I’ve more than a sneaky suspicion, in fact I’m pretty convinced we’re going to see it, and not just from crazy bitches south of the equator. Resource nationalism, that is.

The problem for oil companies, and indeed resource companies of many stripes, is that they have to go where the deposits happen to be. Contrast this to industries such as manufacturing, where factories can be built wherever wages are lowest, you simply can’t outsource energy production.

One Thing Leads to Another

In 2016 I wrote an article arguing that we’d see what I called the rise of the “Strong Men” where I suggested the following:

Now I could write an essay on the ramifications but let me provide you with 3 important things to watch out for:

1. Political cohesion and stability can no longer be relied upon as politics becomes inward looking with everything from trade deals to central bank swap lines being renegotiated or cancelled altogether.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Battle To Save Our Dying Soil

This camp in southern Spain is finding ways to restore degraded land

LA JUNQUERA, Spain ― In this sparsely populated region of rural Murcia in southern Spain, fields of thirsty almond trees eek sustenance out of the dusty soil and pale rocks tumble down slopes onto the sides of the road. Successive years of low rainfall have led to serious issues with water security, and some locals say increasingly mechanized farming has been detrimental to the land. This is agricultural country, but it’s clear that these are not fertile plains.

Scan the horizon quickly and you might not notice it the first time. But near a dip in the valley, something unusual is happening. Colorful yurts, compost toilets and an outdoor kitchen dot the landscape. It’s only a 12-acre plot, but it stands in stark contrast to its arid surroundings. Several species of green plants and colorful wildflowers cover the ground, and vegetable patches grow mustard leaf, spinach and broccoli. In the ponds, tadpoles swim in the shallows, and a trotter print in the mud nearby indicates a wild boar has recently stopped by for a drink. Young apple trees are blossoming, and people are digging trenches and planting potatoes.

This is Camp Altiplano, where volunteers are using simple practices such as creating ponds and loosening hard earth to return the soil to health.

“When the first tractors arrived [in the 1950s and 60s], that was a big moment for the degradation here,” says Alfonso Chico de Guzman, who owns the plot of land where Camp Altiplano is located. With machinery, most farms increased their amount of productive land by cutting down trees and shrubs, which are vital for healthy soil, the farmer says.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Return of the Euro Crisis: Italy Quakes, Rest of the World Shakes and Merkel’s Empire Breaks

Return of the Euro Crisis: Italy Quakes, Rest of the World Shakes and Merkel’s Empire Breaks

Angela Merkel, emperor of the euro crisis zoneEurope’s many fault lines are spreading once again, bringing the endless euro crisis saga back in 3-D realism. Italy gained a new anti-establishment government last week, even as Spain elected a new Socialista government that could crack Catalonia off from the rest of Spain. All of Europe fell under Trumpian trade-war sanctions and threatened their own retaliation. And Germany’s most titanic bank got downgraded to the bottom of the junk-bond B-bin.

The Italian shakeup caused US bond prices to soar (yields to drop) in a flight of capital from European bonds, yet US stock investors took this invasion of troubles from foreign shores as good enough news to end the week on a positive note. The NASDAQ especially never looked happier, though financials feared contagion. As a result, the contrast between tech stocks and financials burst upward to its highest peak since the top of the dot-com frenzy:

S&P Tech stock reach levels comparable to the last tech crisis.

While Europe’s troubles apparently sounded like great news to US stock investors, the Italian crisis caused EU bank stocks in aggregate to take one of their largest avalanches in history, ending in a one-week cliffhanger at their lowest level in two-and-a-half years. Deutsche Bank, Germany’s titan of global finance, ended looking like the spawn twin of the Lehman Brothers:

Deutsche Bank alone could trigger more than just a euro crisis

Deutsche Bank appears to be leading the way into a full blown euro crisis like Lehman Bros did in the US financial crisis.

In one week, Europe with its impossible euromess moved back into position of being the world’s chief menace. The Eurozone is a house of cards with many exits, each with their own name, as I’ve written about frequently in the past, and it’s time to pay the never-ending euro crisis some attention once again.

Quitaly looks like next Brexit in everlasting euro crisis

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This is Italy. This is not Sparta.

Nikolay Dubovsky Became Silent 1890

“European Stocks Surge Celebrating New Spanish, Italian Governments”, says a Zero Hedge headline. “Markets Breathe Easier As Italy Government Sworn In”, proclaims Reuters. And I’m thinking: these markets are crazy, and none of this will last more than a few days. Or hours. The new Italian government is not the end of a problem, it’s the beginning of many of them.

And Italy is far from the only problem. The new Spanish government will be headed by Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who manoeuvred well to oust sitting PM Rajoy, but he also recently saw the worst election result in his party’s history. Not exactly solid ground. Moreover, he needed the support of Catalan factions, and will have to reverse much of Rajoy’s actions on the Catalunya issue, including probably the release from prison of those responsible for the independence referendum.

Nor is Spain exactly economically sound. Still, it’s not in as bad a shape as Turkey and Argentina. A JPMorgan graph published at Zero Hedge says a lot, along with the commentary on it:

The chart below, courtesy of Cembalest, shows each country’s current account (x-axis), the recent change in its external borrowing (y-axis) and the return on a blended portfolio of its equity and fixed income markets (the larger the red bubble, the worse the returns have been). This outcome looks sensible given weaker Argentine and Turkish fundamentals. And while Cembalest admits that the rising dollar and rising US rates will be a challenge for the broader EM space, most will probably not face balance of payments crises similar to what is taking place in Turkey and Argentina, of which the latter is already getting an IMF bailout and the former, well… it’s only a matter of time.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy Ousted From Power; Sanchez Is New Socialist Prime Minister

As was widely expected, this morning Mariano Rajoy’s six year reign as Spain’s prime minister, ended when he become the first prime minister in Spain’s democratic history to be ousted by parliament after losing a vote of no-confidence amid a corruption scandal engulfing his Popular party. He will be replaced by the Socialist opposition leader Pedro Sánchez.

A small but sufficient majority of Spanish lawmakers was sufficient to end Rajoy’s career, voting 180 to 169 to remove the prime minister, cutting short the second term of one of Europe’s longest-serving leaders currently in power. The center-left Socialist Party had called the no-confidence vote last week and proposed its leader to replace Mr. Rajoy.

Rajoy takes his seat at Parliament before the vote of a no confidence motion in Madrid, June 1. Photo: Reuters

Quoted by the FT, in his brief final speech to parliament, Rajoy bade farewell to the country after seven years in power: “It has been an honour to leave Spain better than I found it. Thank you to all Spaniards and good luck.” The speech came after a last meal of sorts:

Mr Rajoy spent eight hours in a Madrid restaurant on Thursday afternoon instead of sitting through the first part of the parliamentary debate, but appeared composed on Friday during his resignation speech.

Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez, who becomes prime minister immediately, told lawmakers that his policy goals include bolstering social policies to address problems such as unemployment and poverty levels, both of which remain high despite Spain’s strong growth. Among Sanchez’ challenges will be managing the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy and dealing with internal problems such as the crisis in Catalonia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

After Italy… Spain Risk Soars

After Italy… Spain Risk Soars

Political risk in Europe was largely ignored in international markets because of the mirage of the so-called “Macron effect”. The ECB’s massive quantitative easing program and a perception that everything was different this time in Europe added to the illusion of growth and stability.

However, a storm was brewing and the same old problems seen throughout the years in Europe were increasing.

In Italy, the shock came with an election that brought a coalition of extreme left and extreme right populists. Disillusion with the Euro was evident in Italy for years, as the economy continued to be in stagnation while debt soared. However, international bodies, mainstream analysts, and banks preferred to ignore the risk, instead continuing to announce impossible growth estimates for the following year and science-fiction banks’ profitability improvements.

Italy’s economic problems are self-inflicted, not due to the Euro. Governments of all ideologies have consistently promoted inefficient dinosaur “national champions” and state-owned semi-ministerial corporations at the expense of small and medium enterprises, competitiveness and growth, labor market rigidities created high unemployment, while banks were incentivized to lend to obsolete and indebted state-owned companies in their disastrous empire-building acquisitions, inefficient municipalities, as well as finance bloated local and national government spending. This led to the highest Non-Performing Loan figure in Europe.

Now, the new government wants to solve a problem of high government intervention with more government intervention. The measures outlined would imply an additional deficit of some €130bn by 2020 and shoot the 2020 Deficit/GDP to 8%, according to Fidentiis.

Italy’s large debt and non-performing loans can create a much bigger problem than Greece for the EU. Because this time, the ECB has no tools to manage it. With liquidity at all-time highs and bond yields at all-time lows, there is nothing that can be done from a monetary policy perspective to contain a political crisis.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Italian Bonds Tumble, Triggering Goldman “Contagion” Level As Political Crisis Erupts In Spain

When it comes to the latest rout in Italian bonds, which has continued this morning sending the 10Y BTP yield beyond 2.40%, a level above which Morgan Stanley had predicted fresh BTP selling would emerge as a break would leave many bondholders, including domestic lenders with non-carry-adjusted losses…

… there has been just one question: when does the Italian turmoil spread to the rest of Europe?

One answer was presented yesterday by Goldman Sachs which explicitly defined the “worst-case” contagion threshold level, and said to keep a close eye on the BTP-Bund spread and specifically whether it moves beyond 200 bps.

Should spreads convincingly move above 200bp, systemic spill-overs into EMU assets and beyond would likely increase. Italian sovereign risk has stayed for the most part local so far. Indeed, the 10-year German Bund has failed to break below 50bp, and Spanish bonds have increased a meager 10bp from their lows. This is consistent with our long-standing expectation that Italy would not become a systemic event. That said, should BTP 10-year spreads head above 200bp, the spill-over effects onto other EMU sovereigns would likely intensify.

Well, as of this morning, the 200bps Bund-BTP level has been officially breached. So, if Goldman is right, it may be time to start panicking.

Ironically, almost as if on cue, just as the Italy-Germany spread was blowing out, a flashing red Bloomberg headline hit, confirming the market’s worst fears:

  • SPANISH SOCIALISTS REGISTER NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST RAJOY.

This confirmed reports overnight that Spain’s biggest opposition party, the PSOE or Socialist Party, was pushing for a no-confidence motion again Spain’s unpopular prime minister. The no-confidence call follows the National Court ruling on Thursday that former Popular Party officials had operated an illegal slush fund, as a result of which nearly 30 people were sentenced to a total of 351 years in prison.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Have We All Been Silenced?

Leonard Misonne Waterloo Place, London 1899

Let me start by saying I have nothing against the English newspaper The Guardian. They publish some good things, on a wide range of topics. But they also produce some real stinkers. And lately they seem to publish quite a few of those. On Wednesday there was an entire series of hit pieces on Julian Assange, which I wrote about in I Am Julian Assange.

And apparently they’re not done. As I said on Wednesday, the relationship between Assange and the paper has cooled considerably, after The Guardian’s initial cooperation with Wikileaks on files Assange had shared with them. But does that excuse hit pieces, personal attacks, innuendo, suggestive and tendentious writing, in bulk?

There was one more article in the hit pieces series on Wednesday:

Assange ‘Split’ Ecuador And Spain Over Catalan Independence

Julian Assange’s intervention on Catalan independence created a rift between the WikiLeaks founder and the Ecuadorian government, which has hosted Assange for nearly six years in its London embassy, the Guardian has learned. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said Assange’s support for the separatists, including a meeting in November, led to a backlash from Spain, which in turn caused deep concern within Ecuador’s government. While Assange’s role in the US presidential election has been an intense focus of US prosecutors, his involvement in Spanish politics appears to have caused Ecuador the most pain.

The Ecuadorians cut Assange’s internet connection and ended his access to visitors on 28 March, saying he had breached an agreement at the end of last year not to issue messages that might interfere with other states. Quito has been looking to find a solution to what it increasingly sees as an untenable situation: hosting one of the world’s most wanted men.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase