Every September 11 the people of Catalonia, an independent region in northeast Spain, celebrate their “national day” — Diada — by taking the day off and parading through the streets of Barcelona. In past years the celebration was a festival used by some citizens as an excuse to get some fresh air, make some noise, and have some fun. This year, nearly one-quarter of the region’s seven million citizens used the celebration as an excuse to swarm into Barcelona to protest Spain’s austerity measures, which have raised unemployment in Catalonia — referred to locally as Catalan — to nearly 25 percent.
On September 19, the Italian Supreme Court upheld the decision of a lower court convicting 23 Americans — 22 of whom were CIA operatives — of kidnapping an Egyptian suspected of aiding al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
A story published by the New York Times reports that the defendants included “22 employees of the C.I.A. and an Air Force colonel at a United States base in Italy.” The article also lists the sentences as seven years for the 22 employees of the CIA and the Air Force colonel. The former CIA station chief in Milan, Robert Seldon Lady, was reported sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison.
A study on the effect of long-term consumption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by rats has France calling for a major investigation into GMOs. Findings from the study show evidence that there is a connection between GMO crops and tumors, as well as organ damage. The French agriculture minister is now asking European authorities to abandon the use of GMO crops, and the French government is calling for a health agency investigation.
Europe’s last dictatorship may soon go nuclear as it announces major construction of its first nuclear power plant while at the same time it is apparently aiding Communist China with its mobile launchers for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
On Thursday, September 13, the Russian-based engineering company Atomenergoproyekt told the Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) that it will commence major construction on Belarus’s first and only nuclear power plant on June 15, 2013.
The new Socialist president of France, Francois Hollande, has stated that he is planning to soak the rich in his nation even more, through a new tax rate of 75 percent on income over €1 million (about $1-1/4 million).
The decision on Wednesday by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court that clears the way for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to extend its power over the national sovereignty of the Eurozone’s member states was celebrated as a victory to save the euro.
A demolition crew used the cover of night — and police protection — to demolish a Pentecostal church in Moscow September 6, according to a European news source. Vasili Romanyuk, pastor of the Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church in eastern Moscow, told the Oslo-based Forum 18 News Service that an unidentified crew, backed by local police, arrived at the church around midnight, and by morning had disassembled most of the three-story structure. The congregation had apparently been attempting to work with government authorities to secure the legal authority to keep its building at the location, but had been beaten by a court order.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing opposition from her political allies against the European Union bailout, as they challenge her in Constitutional Court.
After 70 years of denial, new declassified documents show that the Roosevelt Administration knew — and covered up the fact — that Stalin butchered 22,000 Polish military officers.
Spain has long battled Basque separatism. That separatism may become more powerful as the Spanish economy melts. Separatism is also alive and well elsewhere in Europe — presenting an obstacle to EU integration.