Spain’s Leaders Prepare “Nuclear Option” As Protesters Rage Against Independence For Catalonia

the daily stirrer

A week on from the historic Catalan Independence Referendum result opened a new front in the war between the European Union’s bureaucratic dictatorship and the general population who are coalescing behind various nationalist and secessionist movements, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia’s capital Barcelona on Sunday in what looked like a staged protest by the people of Spain against any unilateral declaration of independence by the already semi-autonomous Catalan region. According to Reuters the protests showed “how divided the region is on the issue.”

We should bear in mind of course that Reuters is a press agency and often reports only information contained in official government press releases. There are fears in Brussels and throughout European capitals among politicians who favour political integration of the twenty seven EU member states that should the Catalonia secession movement succeed it will lead to a spate of similar actions in other nations where prosperous regions are being hit by EU immigration policies and the suffocating layers of bureaucracy that are suppressing business growth and hitting living standards.

In fact the region is surprisingly united in its support for the creation of a breakaway state. Government and EU propagandists are in no hurry to admit that however.

Last Sunday, more than 90% of the 2.3 million people who voted backed secession, according to Catalan officials. But that turnout represented only 43 percent of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters as many opponents of independence stayed away. Many others were prevented from voting by the brutal tactics deployed by police in riot gear as they tried to carry out the wishes of central government by disrupting the vote.

In an interview with El Pais newspaper, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will consider taking the so-called “nuclear option” – i.e. suspending Catalonia’s autonomous status (article 155 of the Spanish constitution,) – as Catalan leaders escalate threats to declare independence from the country, which could culminate with a parliamentary announcement as soon as Monday.

Asked if he was ready to trigger article 155, Rajoy told El Pais newspaper: “ I am not ruling out anything that the law says. What I have to do is do things at the right time, which is the most important thing right now. The ideal situation would be to not have to take drastic solutions, but for that to happen there would have to be rectifications.”

Until this weekend, Rajoy has remained vague on whether he would use article 155 of the constitution which enables him to sack the regional government and call a local election.

Reverting back to a hardline stance, the conservative prime minister ruled out using mediators to resolve the crisis – something Puigdemont has said he is open to – and said the issue would not force a snap national election. The Prime Minister also added the government would “prevent any declaration of independence from materializing in anything”. “Spain will continue being Spain,” he said.

Rajoy reiterated that until the regional government abandons its intention to proclaim independence, no talks can take place.

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London’s Black Cab Drivers Take On Uber Cancer

A few blocks behind the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe theater is a place few tourists, or even Londoners, ever see. Keep going past the Tesco Express and through an unmarked driveway to reach a car park jammed with black cabs.

In the  well hidden places around London where drivers of the city’s iconic Black Cabs can have a rest, a cup of tea and a bacon sarni in a cash-only cafe fashioned from a double-wide mobile home. Open 24 hours, the Great Suffolk Street Taxi Cafe is a place for comfort food and conversation.

London cabbies are notorious for having strong opinions. About everything. These days however, Uber is a popular topic.

After Transport for London (TfL), the British capital’s transport regulator, refused on Sept. 22 to renew Uber’s license to operate, we visited the cafe to see what cabbies thought of the news. One might have expected elation, but the reality was a mix of defiance, quiet resignation and “bring it on.” To many of the drivers, Uber, which arrived in London in 2012, is destroying a proud and historic tradition that plays a vital and iconic role in the city’s life. Competition is fine, they say, but fair competition is not what this is.

Sean Paul Day, a taxi driver for 18 years, says Uber is destroying a proud and historic local culture. He's also a co-founder of a taxi-hailing app called TaxiApp.
Sean Paul Day, a taxi driver for 18 years, says Uber is destroying a proud and historic local culture. He’s also a co-founder of a taxi-hailing app called TaxiApp.

 

Drivers socialize in the patchy afternoon sun and a steady stream of cabs (officially called Hackney carriages) arrive and park at the disused gas pumps of an old service station.

There’s not a lot to capture your attention inside the spartan cafe, with its hard plastic chairs and bare tables. A TV plays Sky Sports. The menu is equally spartan: instant coffee for £1, a full English breakfast (served all day) for £5, and a selection of classic British desserts like sticky toffee pudding, jam roly-poly and spotted dick. We’re only minutes from some of London’s poshest restaurants, but this feels miles away. (The Taxi Cafe is open to the public.)

Around several of the tables, groups of cabbies enjoy their lunch with few moments of silence. It takes a while to break into the conversation at the next table, but just a brief mention of Uber wins us an invitation to sit and share a cuppa and a chinwag.

Sean Paul Day, a driver of 18 years, has the table’s center seat. Tall and animated, he speaks rapidly and gets straight to the point. “The KGB would have given their right arm to have Uber’s power,” he says while eating a large plate of fish and chips (at £9, one of the pricier dishes on the menu). Uber “is a global, heavily financed profiteer going against a local taxi trade. As big as the taxi service is in London, it’s still local.”

Uber has appealed TfL’s decision and will be allowed to operate normally during that process. On Oct. 3, the company’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who had already apologized to Londoners for “messing up,” visited London to hold talks with the city’s transit officials. In a tweet that same day, he said he was “determined to make things right in this great city!” TfL also released a statement on Tuesday characterizing the talks as “constructive” and said that more discussion would continue in the coming weeks.

The global versus local debate is hardly unique to Uber, but it exemplifies a common theme we heard over and again. None of these taxi drivers is angry at Uber’s drivers; rather, their beef is with Uber as a company. George Vyse, who’s been driving for 47 years and buying and selling used black cabs for 40 years, is outraged at how little Uber pays its drivers, describing it as “slave labor.”

Black-cab drivers are self-employed, meaning they can keep all the money they earn from fares. Uber, on the other hand, takes up to 25 percent of every fare. The company doesn’t openly speak about average earnings, but last year union GMB won a case against Uber because one driver was found to be earning less than minimum wage after the company had taken its cut. With a £2.60 flat-rate base fare for any cab ride, black-cab drivers need to pick up only three passengers an hour to earn the national minimum wage of £7.50.

It has always been the case that women felt perfectly safe riding in a licenced cab when alone. There were cases of assault but they were rare, largely because it is very difficult to qualify as a licenced cab driver and the god living that qualification brings is not lightly thrown away.  Transport for London’s main beef was Uber’s attitude to passenger safety, the company omitted to report sex crimes committed by its drivers and did not even discipline drivers whose sexual misdemeanours with female passengers were the subject of complaints. This has resulted in widespread anger, not just in London, similar situations have arisen in other European cities and Uber have already been banned in Barcelona and several German cities. There have been more reported sexual offences against cab passengers in the last two to three years by Uber drivers than by licenced cabbies in the 50 years preceding Uber’s arrival in the city.

Thirty two Uber drivers were accused of rape or sexual assault in the 2016 alone, according to freedom of information data obtained by The Sun newspaper. Earlier this year, existing fears about Uber were exacerbated when the Metropolitan Police Force accused the company of failing to report sex attacks. Now TfL has piled on, accusing Uber of being careless with Londoners’ safety by failing to institute proper background vetting.

But as with the minimum wage law and other national laws, Uber, like most silicon valley tech giants seems to have a free pass to ignore them. It may have met its match in London’s voluble cab drivers however.

Spain Set To Split As Catalonia Says ‘We Quit’

Following the brutal but inept attempts by the Spanish government to suppress Catalonia’s independence referendum last weekend, Spain’s constitutional crisis is rapidly spinning out of control. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is set to make a statement at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, after an all-party committee of the region’s parliament met to agree a decision on independence. The outcome of that meeting was a forgone conclusion and just moments before this article was posted,  CUP, the pro-secession party that is a majority in the Catalan parliament, has announced it will declared independence from Spain in plenary session on Monday, El Pais reports.

As reported last night,  Puigdemont told the BBC his government would ask the region’s parliament to declare independence when all votes from last weekend’s referendum are counted. This is a formality, despite Spanish national police using anti – riot tactics to disrupt the vote and overwhelming majority have voted for independence. The government in Madrid has offered no response except to say the vote was illegal. 

Puigdemont’s comments came on the heels of Spain’s King Felipe VI accusing secessionist leaders on Tuesday of shattering democratic principles and dividing Catalan society, as tens of thousands of Catalans took to the streets to protest against a violent police crackdown on Sunday’s vote.

Both Spain and the EU have been rocked by the Catalan vote and the violent response to it from national police, who even clashed with members of the Catalan province’s police force as they tried to protect voters from national guard officers in riot gear. Witnesses and amateur video recordings confirm batons and rubber bullets were used in efforts to stop people voting. Hundreds were injured, in scenes that brought international condemnation.

At this moment it is unclear what Madrid’s response will be if or when, Catalonia follows through on its threat to declare independence.There are a number of options but it seems likely that any move to stop the breakaway will only deepen divisions. Other spearatist movements in Andalucia, the Basque region and the Baelaric Islands are reportedly encouraged by the result of the referendum in Catalonia.

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Europe’s Bank Crisis Arrives In Germany: €29 Billion Bremen Landesbank On The Verge Of Failure

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Adolf Hitler, His Part In Our Downfall

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A thirty five thousand word book on the authoroitarian, undemocratic, bureaucratic dictatorship that is the European Union. Following the outburst of left wing hate politics following Boris Johnson’s reminder that the EU has its roots in Hitler’s Naziism, which as any intelligent person is aware is both true and very well documented. My blog colleagues and I decided to assemble this collection of our articles (with some long extracts quoted from public domain and creative commons sources) to help people misled by the REMAIN campaign into thinking the arguments are solely economic.

EU Vows To Use Powers To Block All Elected ‘Far Right’ Politicians From Power

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Armed Forces Minister: Obama ‘Woefully Ignorant’ of Threat EU Membership Poses

Referring to a statement Mr Obama made in the Telegraph on Friday in which he said: “The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it,” she responded: “Unfortunately this opinion betrays a woeful ignorance of the practical reality of the EU’s impact on our security, and the interests of the U.K. and the US.”

Euronazi Leaders Admit The Voters Are Irrelevant.

European leaders threw threats and warnings at each other at a meeting held on Saturday (24 October) as thousands of undocumented travellers continued to stream across borders into the Balkans. Saturday’s meeting was in preparation for European Union talks aimed at deciding on a course of action to tackle the crisis (Source: Reuters)…

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EU refuses to condemn poll ‘brutality’ by Spanish police

Brussels reiterates its ‘trust’ in the country’s PM and says fall-out is an ‘internal matter’

The Euronazi Bureaucratic Dictatorship in Brussels confirmed it’s support for Spain, following the global outcry at the Spanish governments brutal attempts to suppress free speech and prevent the unofficial independence referendum in the Catalonia province taking place last Sunday. An official statement from the European Commission (the unelected bureaucrats who decide EU policy) yesterday refused to condemn police officers of the naional guard for alleged brutality when they tried to stop Sunday’s independence referendum. Members of the Catalonia provincial police force were actually videoed fighting with the national guard in attempts to protect peaceful civilians who only wanted to cast their vote.

The EU said the fall-out from the contentious poll was an ‘internal matter’. This Pontias Pilate act is to be expected from the EU, the first reaction to the vote after the Spanish government had failed to prevent it taking place was a statement condenming the referendum as not being in accord with the goals and ideals of the EU. We suppose the neo – Nazi tactics use in efforts to prevent people taking part in the poll were entirely in keeping with the goals and ideals of an organization that has its roots in Nazi Germany.

The latest EU assault on all that is good and decent in Europe and its refusal to intervene and protect citizens against authoritarianism came after a day of violence in Spain’s most wealthy region where almost 900 voters and protesters were injured.

One woman said her fingers were deliberately broken by national police officers who stormed polling stations and violently dispersed voters. Video footage showed elderly independence supporters being hit in the face and women dragged by the hair as riot police enforced a Madrid decree to halt the vote.

But officials yesterday said that more than two million people cast a vote, with 90 per cent backing independence. In the wake of the violence, initial reports say the actions of the EU backed Spanish government have hardened attitudes in Catyalonia in support of a split from Spain.

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The only thing that will halt the European Union in its tracks, stop the push beyond Europe’s geographical borders and prevent EU expansion to incorporate Asian, middle eastern and north African nations is war. Unless the testicularly deficient politicians stand up to the bean counters of Brussels. That’s what they are, bean counters; not one among them is a risk taker or a person who has advanced because of their willingness to put their arse on the line.

The Hypocrisy and Snobbery Of The Remain Campaign And The Antidote

When I had to defriend a Facebook contact because she was arguing in favour of the EU, it was not simply because I support Brexit that I had become pissed of with her, it was the snobbish and condescending way she dismissed supporters of LEAVE and their case. People are entitled to their opinion on the European Union, but they should check the ‘facts’ they post in support of their arguments.

Adolf Hitler, His Part In Our Downfall

.pdf dowload
A thirty five thousand word book on the authoroitarian, undemocratic, bureaucratic dictatorship that is the European Union. Following the outburst of left wing hate politics following Boris Johnson’s reminder that the EU has its roots in Hitler’s Naziism, which as any intelligent person is aware is both true and very well documented. My blog colleagues and I decided to assemble this collection of our articles (with some long extracts quoted from public domain and creative commons sources) to help people misled by the REMAIN campaign into thinking the arguments are solely economic.

EU Vows To Use Powers To Block All Elected ‘Far Right’ Politicians From Power
… populist social conservatives are regularly topping the polls across the Europe, but have been victims of EU orchestrated stitch ups to keep them out of power and ddeny the democratic will, in France, Sweden, Holland, and now Austria – and anti-migrant populists are already in power in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Mr. Junker’s definition of “far right” is somewhat broad, noted by him previously describing Hungary’s conservative president, Viktor Orbán, as a “fascist”.

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EU’s Bureaucratic Dictatorship Is Losing The Support Of The Most Loyal Nations
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Disillusionment With EU Grows as Swedish Support Slumps By 30%
A new opinion poll carried out on support for the European Union in Sweden has produced some shock findings as a massive turnround among Swedish voters probably due to mass immigration and migrant related crime waves in cities. From being one of the most solidly pro-EU member states, Sweden now has a substantial majority against membership of the EU.

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The only thing that will halt the European Union in its tracks, stop the push beyond Europe’s geographical borders and prevent EU expansion to incorporate Asian, middle eastern and north African nations is war. Unless the testicularly deficient politicians stand up to the bean counters of Brussels. That’s what they are, bean counters; not one among them is a risk taker or a person who has advanced because of their willingness to put their arse on the line.

“If one does not understand the usefulness of the useless and the uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art. And a country where art is not understood is a country of slaves and robots….” (*Notes et Contre Notes*, p. 129) Rain and the Rhinoceros, Thomas Merton

See more: Rachael Wilson, Minds.com

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Is There A Holy Grail For Sustainable Energy Fans?

The race is on for increasingly reliable, grid-scale, quick-to-install energy storage solutions that will make the shift to all-renewable power much more realistic. In this, factors such as renewable-friendly regulation and integration of storage systems with renewable power generation capacity can tip the energy transformation scales.

California is one of the places to be if you’re a renewables fan. Its authorities have ambitious plans in this regard, eventually hoping to replace all fossil-fuel generation capacity with renewables. Wholly reliable grid-scale storage systems are crucial for this strategy, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the state.

Unfortunately, the initiative to make the 100-percent renewable plan a law fell through. Unions, worried about possible job losses, pulled their support. Legislators themselves tweaked the bill, so its goal is now to produce 100-percent greenhouse-gas-free energy. The debate about the feasibility of the plan and how fast it could become a reality continues. California is a cautionary tale for other ambitious clean energy proponents.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the battery pack are expanding. AES recently teamed up with Siemens on a joint venture, Fluence, focusing specifically on energy storage system development. Fluence will deal in AES’ Advancion and Siemens’ Siestorage platforms, the companies said, adding it will target the development of new energy storage capacity across 160 countries worldwide.

Tesla is looking in another direction. It already has the largest portfolio of completed energy storage projects globally, at 300 MWh. What it is looking for now is integrating future storage systems with wind and solar electricity producers.

When Tesla said it had won a deal for the construction of the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery storage facility in Australia, it noted that the deal involves partnering with local wind power producer, Neoen, which will supply the battery complex with electricity.

At the same time, AES is working mainly with traditional utilities to supply them with energy storage capacity, focusing on constantly improving the energy density and efficiency of its arrays. Tesla’s all-renewables focus is well documented, and now it could give it the lead in the energy storage race.

Earlier this month, Tesla closed another partnership, with wind power leader Vestas, to develop integrated wind power-energy storage solutions. The Danish company announced earlier this year that it has big plans for energy storage, with Chairman Bert Nordberg telling Reuters that the company had 3.2 billion euro (US$3.84 billion) in cash and no debt, so it could afford some good investments. So far this year, Vestas has invested in almost a dozen battery storage makers.

Energy storage, according to AES’ CEO Andres Gluski, is “the Holy Grail for renewables.” It is the key to the renewables kingdom of the future, eliminating the adverse effects of renewable power’s intermittency. Integrating this Holy Grail with the clean energy producers is the next step. Tesla and other battery makers have already made it. Yet staying with traditional utilities might not be a bad strategy either: it will be some time before renewables become the predominant energy source in the world.

Lampedusa Island: Open Boders Movement’s Gateway Of Choice For Illegal Immigrants Is ‘Collapsing’

illegal immigrants overwhelm migrant reception centre
illegal immigrants overwhelm migrant reception centre on Lampeduesa(Image source)

Lameduesa, the tiny Italian island which which lies in the Mediterranean between Italy and north Africa and was promoted by left wing propagandists as a symbol of the European Union’s “compassionate” open borders approach to the migrant crisis, after a deal was signed with globalist financier George Soros, is collapsing due to the newcomers’ behaviour, the new mayor has warned.

Following the closure of international borders by Balkan states, effectively cutting off the migrants route through Turkey and The balkans to EU nations, Lampeduesa had become the preferred point of entry to Europe for the people trafficking operations of organised crime networks making huge amounts of money from illegally transporting people to the EU. The island had been hailed internationally for its humanity and progressive governance in extending open arms to migrants from the third world, with an award-winning film portraying arrivals as living in perfect harmony with the 6,000 island residents.

The UN Peace Prize-nominated island was described in The Guardian as having become a “beacon of hope for those fighting for open-door policies”, with the globalist international community lavishing prizes on its liberal mayor Giusi Nicolini who promoted Lampedusa as a migrant-welcoming gateway to Europe. This was bollocks of course; pure left wing propaganda, around the same time as Nicolini was being booted out of office by citizens, the Italian government was closing its ports, including Lampeduesa’s tiny harbour, to refugee rescue (a.k.a. people traffickers taxi service) boats that had picked up would be illegal immigrants dumped at sea by gangsters.

The Democratic Party (PD) politician was booted out of office in June, and last weekend (16 – 17 September, 2017) the island’s new mayor Salvatore Martello, elected by a huge majority on his promise to put the interests of residents ahead of sucking up to globalists, warned that Lampedusa is “collapsing” as a result of the migrants.

Earlier this year, Breitbart London revealed that Lampedusa’s transformation into a global symbol of open borders positivity, with the capacity to hold and process almost limitless numbers of migrants before transferring them to the Italian mainland, came after Nicolini signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), a known front for Billionaire Marxist George Soros’ bid to flood Europe with migrants and thus destabilise democracies.

In it, the then-mayor agreed to let Soros’s international funding network “help strengthen Lampedusa’s capacity [to take migrants] and promote the island’s population and its guests”.

Last year, leaked OSIFE documents revealed the globalist billionaire proclaimed that mass migration to Europe should be accepted as a “new normal”, carrying with it “new opportunities” for his cash to influence immigration policies on a global scale.