Daniel Cerdà is a famous artist in Barcelona, with an incredible talent for the guitar. But moreover, he’s also a graduate in Law from the University of Barcelona in Catalonia. With a father originally from Alicante, and a mother from Switzerland, this versatile man reflected a lot on the last separatist events in Barcelona, and even wrote a short essay about it. Here is his poignant interview that takes us from his childhood to the school system the ‘Generalitat’ implemented.

I’ve always thought that political opinions are determined by our personal experiences. In my case, the way I think and behave are strongly marked by the fact that my mother is from Switzerland, my father from Alicante and I was born in Barcelona.

When I was a child living in Switzerland, some Swiss took good care of reminding me that I was just ‘a fucking Spanish migrant’. Shortly after that, when I returned to Spain and moved next to Alicante, some people just stayed focused on my Catalan origins, and I was sometimes called ‘the fucking ‘catalufo’.

The worst is that, when I came back to Barcelona, some Catalans insulted me because I used to live outside of Catalonia.

Of course, in the three cases, this verbal violence was more the exception than the rule, but what is sure is that you will always meet someone who is willing to emphasize his or her difference from the rest of the group.

At the end, since the childhood my experiences have taught me to seek a refugee in the independent Republic that my home is. I also refused to participate in any kind of nationalism. I think nationalism is by definition excluding, and highlights differences that are supposed to make a certain group better than another.

On another hand, with the passing of the years, I’ve overcome all this. I reconciled with these different origins that are integral parts of my personality. What happened to me has reinforced my trans-nationality. I know that this concept of ‘citizen of the world’ would disgust many separatists, but they should know that their concept of ‘nation’ has the same effect on me.

As Josep Pla (a famous Catalan writer and journalist in the XXth century) said:  ‘Nationalism is particularly devastator, selfish and solvent and a factor of democratic weakening, even if it defends the existence of some collective rights, it prones populism, and almost every time it is incompatible with individual rights.

If a stranger asked me how we got into such a situation, that is to say a fracture between the separatists and the pro-union, I could tell him or her the following answer.

I grew up during the democratic transition (1975-1978). I remember perfectly the day Franco died, and the two weeks of vacation they gave us in high school.

During the 40 years of Franco’s dictatorship, Spain suffered a lack of liberties, and any divergent thought could put you in jail. The basque and Catalan separatisms were silenced. Culturally, some Catalan associations intended to secretly preserve their language and their customs. The school system used to teach the point of view of the regime, glorifying the Nation and the Caudillo.

After Franco’s death in 1975, there was a general amnesty. In 1978 a constitution was redacted by jurists and by the different new political parties in Spain.

It was agreed that the new administrative system of Spain would be decentralized. Seventeen regions were created, each of them with their own political institutions. In 1979, Catalonia decided to precise its relationship with Spain with an ‘Estatut de autonomía’.

This affected my education, because when I was in high school, the classes were delivered in Spanish, and Catalan was a subject like every others. When the ‘Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya’ began its reforms, it was decided that all the subjects would be taught in Catalan, and Spanish would become a language-class.  Without any doubt, this was a tremendous change that affected all the generations from 1980.

This language immersion would become every time more important: Spanish classes were reduced from 5 hours to 3 hours, then 2. Regarding the History-Geography program, this one was also adapted. I remember the first thing I learnt was to draw the regions of Spain. My daughters started geography with the Catalonia’s map and their counties.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught the History of Catalonia when I was at school, just Spain’s one, from the Iberians to contemporary history. It is now the reverse for my children, who are learning mainly Catalonian history, and from time to time Spanish one. These are just examples highlighting that we need to find a balance for our school system.

Regarding the inhabitants of Catalonia, what we have now is a multi-faced Catalan society:

–      In the countryside, the majority of the families have really ancient Catalan roots, and the nationalistic sentiment is strong

–      In the cities (above all Barcelona and Tarragona), we have a multicultural population, Spanish people from other regions who came for work, or their children, and migrants (the majority from South America).

All of them have a different vision of the concept ‘integration’.

And that’s how we arrive to the current events: we have a divided society, and a group of politicians playing with people’s feelings, promising a paradise of wealth and happiness if independence is proclaimed. Meanwhile, specialists warn us about the potential negative effects of such a political change.

In the year 2014, the BJP sat in the Parliament with a un-precedented
thumping majority, while the opposition was whittled down to being
insignificant. The former Chief Minister of Gujarat and now the Prime
Minister of the largest democracy roared from the ramparts of the Red
Fort at Delhi. The genome of Indian politics had undergone a mutation.
Suddenly, Modi made Nehruvian socialism seem too small and tepid.
His words were emphatic and a rational persuasion to the poor, the

despaired and the destitute who now saw the main opposition party-
Congress as a giant octopus slumbering supinely, with overgrown

tentacles spread over a span of 70 years. The puissance of his diction left
the opposition with puckered faces, as he promised the people a war

against black money, corruption, inflation, women’s rights, poverty, un-
employment, farmer friendly schemes- a plethora of promises.

People swayed and even the literate class swooned under the spell. The
idea of a homogenized Hindu Rashtra was ingrained in the psyche of
the people, and it catalyzed Modi’s rise in the new savior avatar; as if he
and only he could save the nation and create a new social order. His
campaign had kick started with the saffronisation of Indian politics, and
by the time he took his oath of allegiance to the Constitution, he had the
whole nation delirious with the fever of hyper-nationalism. The
invincibility of Modi became a cliché.
Rabindranath Tagore, the legendary Nobel laureate considered
nationalism to be a passion without compassion. He even went to the
extent of calling nationalism a crude epidemic of evil. He strongly
believed in the community of a nation, and populist nationalism a threat
to the harmony of the nation.
Soon thereafter, humanity was hurtled in a fit of fury unleashed by the
Hindutva elements throughout India. Rule of law went to the winds as
India was encompassed in violence against women, against minorities-

the Dalits and more specifically the Muslims; venerating the cow and
lynching human beings based on hideous assumptions, parochial biases
and religious prejudices. The insidious indifference of the government
and its machinery jerked the people out of the illusory utopia. The
anatomy of this ‘New Democracy’ now lies exposed and bare, even
though this regime tried its best to humor the ghost framers of the
Constitution and the liberal glitterati of India.
In the political jungle amidst the power tussle polemic petti-foggery has
become the new normal to hoodwink the people. High pitched speeches

reached the crescendos of bigotry; rhetorical sermons of hyper-
nationalism created a sense of false bravado. Crafty discourse and

engineered outlooks impaired rationale, and hence the judgment; only
to leave the common-man who voted for Modi high and dry.
Henchmen, the road soldiers intoxicated by power in their communal
frenzy wounded the pluralistic ethos characteristic of mutual existence.
Well playing the egoist politics of hyper-nationalism, the jingoist media
soldiers landed in the lap of this governing regime wrangling absurd on
the TV shows, thus, strangulating the weak voices of the liberal
dissenters. These media honchos furthermore confused and
camouflaged the ineffectiveness of the government policies, yet extolled
the illusory development. The promised melodramatic ‘good days’ are
yet to arrive even when the term of this government is coming to an end.
The Bhartiya Janta Party is an extremist Hindutva ideologue, and as
such the government has a fixed stand viz a viz the internationally
accepted unresolved territorial dispute of the State of J&K. However,
their ignorance of history and the majoritarian pursuit of power
triggered off a tidal wave of anger in the disputed State. The 2018 will be
remembered as the bloodiest year ever in the history of J&K. The harsh
militaristic policy has however failed to stifle the discontent, or muzzle
the voices seeking resolution of the dispute; rather the State has
descended into the cosmos of chaos. The 14th February suicide bomber


attack on the military convoy at Lethpora, Pulwama was only a
consequence of this prevalent chaos.
Since 2014, Modi government has been consistently building the war
rhetoric against Pakistan, and Lethpora attack provided an opportunity
for the same. We almost went to war had Pakistan not returned the
forbidden fruit-Air Commodore Abhinandan. This regime has no scope
for introspection nor for a peaceful dialogue neither will it accept any
third party arbitration as suggested by Norway and Russia. The logjam
between the people of the state and the government at the centre; then
the simultaneous stalemate between India and Pakistan relations has
banished peace to an obscurity, even though a lull exists. Peace as a
paradigm does not exist.
However, pertinently in the context of the state of J&K whichever
regime comes to power in India, the dispute even if through dialogue
cannot be expected to be resolved to any ending unless all mainstream
political parties at the Centre come to a consensus that it has be resolved
through referendum/plebiscite which in the given scenario appears
improbable. The change of regime implies only softer and harsher
approach in dealing with the issue and not the actual outcome.
On a broader front the anemic policies, moral bankruptcy and narrow
bigotry of this ruling regime have legitimized injustice. And, when a
sense of injustice prevails in the society, the road to ruin opens for that
nation. So, calling the bluff! Modi’s promise of a political nirvana proved
to be a hoax.
New elections to the parliament have ensued. He promised to be a
prophet of change yet Modi’s politics is too trapped in unreason. It has
seethed into the executive organs too: the bureaucracy, the enforcement
agencies and even the judiciary. All efforts of the ruling regime were
directed to build Imperialism with the help of these organs and the
favorite crony-capitalists. The misadventure of war with Pakistan was to

protect its imperialistic designs, and logically to save its fascist face by
selling to the nation the cryptic-currency of emotions.
It is incumbent upon every government to frame policies and operate
from the notional perspective of harmony in relations whether internally
within the State or externally between different States. The power of
superiority over other nations comes not from the heavy devastative
machinery, but from a stronger economy, stable politics and a peaceful
society. Power of the people still exists. Therefore, sovereignty vests in
them and not the head of the State. He or She is merely the trustee of
such an authority entrusted by the people for the well being of the
community-nation. The very idea of India as an imperialist nation is a
farce. The sub-continent needs a liberal India and a politically stable
Pakistan; an adjuvant patron China and a progressive Afghanistan. I am
sure the respective leaders can make it happen. India chose wisely!
While the keys to PEACE lie in the hands of the people of these nations.
Let the floodgates open and let harmony usher in.

The launchers of Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems deployed to Syria have been erected, new satellite images released on Tuesday showed.

“Due to the current regional tension and the detected erection of the launchers it is possible that the mentioned activity indicates an increase of the operational level and alertness,” ImageSat said in their assessment of the images.
The camouflaging of the fourth launcher “is rare and raises question marks about the operational level of the whole battery and specifically of the covered and folded launcher,” they added.

Russia delivered the launcher, radar and command and control vehicle of the advanced surface-to-air missile system to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in early October as a response to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli airstrike on Iranian targets the previous month.

Satellite images show S-300 components deployed in Syria, February 5th, 2019. (Credit: ImageSat International [ISI])
Credit ImageSatInternational

Moscow said it would also impose electronic countermeasures over Syria’s coastline to suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory.

The incident has led to one of the lowest points in the relationship between Jerusalem and Moscow in years. Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would be heading to Moscow later in the monthto meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, their first-such official meeting since the crisis.

With the help of the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah, Assad has regained control over the majority of Syria and is rebuilding his army, focusing first on intelligence and air defense divisions which could pose a threat to Israeli aircraft.
Syrian air defenses are largely antiquated Soviet-era systems, with SA-2s, SA-5s and SA-6s, as well as the more sophisticated tactical surface-to-air missiles, such as the SA-17s and SA-22 systems. Moscow has also supplied the short-range Pantsir S-1 to the Assad regime.

The advanced S-300 would be a major upgrade to the Syrian air defenses and would pose a threat to Israeli jets on missions as the long-range missile defense system can track objects, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles, over a range of 300 kilometers.
A full battalion includes six launcher vehicles, with each vehicle carrying four missile containers for a total of 24 missiles, as well as command-and-control and long-range radar detection vehicles.

The system’s engagement radar, which can guide up to 12 missiles simultaneously, helps guide the missiles toward the target. With two missiles per target, each launcher vehicle can engage up to six targets at once.

Israel has been carrying out airstrikes in the war-torn country against Hezbollah and Iranian targets. While the number of airstrikes in Syria attributed to the Jewish state has dropped since the downing of the Russian plane, Israel has stressed that it will continue to operate when necessary.

“We are operating both against Iran and against the Syrian forces that are abetting the Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said at the end of January. “We will strike at anyone who tried to harm us. Whoever threatens to eliminate us, bears full responsibility.”


This article was found on The Jerusalem Post you can find it here https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Russian-made-S-300-missile-defense-system-active-in-Syria-579764

Interview with Frederic Encel and Emmanuel Navon, two leading geopolitical experts at the Netanya Academic College, one of the leading academic college in Israel, that plays an important role in shaping French-Israeli relations. Netanya is indeed a city with an important population originally from France. The Academic College regularly holds Geopolitical conferences with important French figures.

Link to Frederic Encel website : http://www.fredericencel.org/

Link to Emmanuel Navon website : http://navon.com/

Dear Mr. Encel, what do you think of the “Yellow Vests” in France :

Macron is constantly criticized for being low on the polls but this is a wrong analysis. Macron is still popular, he still has the same amount of people that voted for him. The last poll published in LeMonde, he would still perform 25% if the elections were today. He did 26% at the last elections.

The influence of Netanyahu is only a secondary factor. The Primary factor dictating his Iranian Policy is Saudi Arabia.

 We recently saw that Trump’s Foreign Policy was under intense pressure in the mainstream media in the US. We often have the depiction of Donald Trump being crazy. What do you think, as an expert, of his Foreign Policy? Is it coherent?

Frederic Encel :

Trump’s base is remaining the same and still supporting him no matter what.

Yes but even Fox news recently criticized him

Fox News criticism are not significant and are very different from CNN’s criticisms.

To come back to Trump Foreign Policy , before the elections Trump had announced a very strong Alliance with Russia. It didn’t work as we see now. However for China, he announced already the commercial war in his political campaign, so he is coherent with what he promised.

Regarding North Korea there was an aggressive attitude from Trump, to finally arrived to an agreement a minima, with little content. A small agreement but still an agreement.

Do you think it is a success for the American Foreign Policy?

This agreement is a big success for American allies in the region mainly South Korea but most importantly Japan.

Credit : https://newspunch.com/saudi-arabia-israel-may-set-up-joint-military-hq-says-cia-chief/

Regarding Iran, Trump threatened but he went even further in its will to modify the JCPOA agreement with Iran. His Iranian Foreign Policy is led by Saudi Arabia will to purchase 110 billions dollars worth of American military equipment. Trump is consistent and following his campaign promises. These purchases from Saudi Arabia should boost the job market in the US , especially in the Industrial sector. When we know what is the plue-value on the sale of American military equipment.

Saudi Arabia is one of the only country in the world that can buy so much American Military Equipment

When Trump come to Saudi Arabia in 2017, he doesn’t even know where his Qatar, and is not interested.  What he knows is that Saudia Arabia is key to American Industrial Success.

What about the influence of Netanyahu regarding Iran? Are you saying it’s a secondary factor?

Yex exactly the influence of Netanyahu is only a secondary factor. The Primary factor dictating his Iranian Policy is Saudi Arabia.

So if Netanyahu was not influent, why moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem? It is an extremely significative gesture, that no American President had the courage to do before despite promising it their electoral campaign.

Trump cared about Israel only during the electoral campaign. Trump was rich enough not to need support from the American Jewish community that votes democrats anyway.

American Jews besides Florida votes mostly outside the Swing States. He did it only to win the support of the Evangelical community – that didn’t even vote in mass for him-.

Since his election, he plays a lot the Jerusalem Card, and he knows in a good businessman that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that is capable and able to buy so much American Military Equipment.

Saudi Arabia is obsessed by Iran, especially since the arrival of MBS in power. Everything for Trump is good to reinforce the Sunni Axis against Iran and basically reinforces Iran’s enemies.

This way Trump Transfer his US Embassy in Jerusalem, win the support of the evanlegic community, and abroad, in support for Arab support (we cannot say there was any strong official Arab opposition in the embassy move)  for this embassy move he reinforces the sanctions to Iran. “Chapeau L’artiste” (well done).

On this question is strategy is well done or at least is coherent, not idiot.

Is there any modern Kissinger that dictates Trump his Foreign Policy, do you think Tillerson or Pompeo are the ones behind this Foreign Policy Architecture?

It is a good question, I have only one hypothesis for it, it is Trump himself. I work on it since a while and I can tell you that I don’t know anyone in the Trump administration that could be assimilated as a “Kissinger-type” adviser on Foreign Policy.

Regarding his Foreign Policy of Economic War against China?

I will not be severe against Trump Economic Policy as he was elected by Americans in order to protect his country economy.

Emmanuel Navon arriving

Mr, Navon what do you think about Trump Environmental Foreign Policy, as many young diplomats readers things its retarded and clearly a mistake.

The Environmental issue has become theologic, Trump has the right to question himself on the real causes behind Global warming.

The agreement was very badly negotiated by Obama, and he thinks that the price paid by the US is too high.

Israel Is getting closer and closer to GCC countries of Sunni states, is it a trend that is going to get stronger in the coming years or just a temporary phenomenon?

It totally depends on Iran’s attitude. As Iran is financing many proxies in the region created tensions in several countries.

The real challenge would be in Syria, where Iranian influence is growing, however, it would be limited by Russia , as Russia didn’t save Syria to give it to the Iranian.

The Russian Strategy is excellent in Syria , as they avoided sending men.


Interested in pursuing an academic career? Netanya Academic College can permit you to do that : https://www.netanya.ac.il/englishSite/AboutNetanyaAcademicCollege/Pages/NetanyaAcademicCollege.aspx

In the 21st century, the Middle East will witness a new and unalike kind of war. Despite economic pressures, ethnic and sectarian dissections, terrorism activities, religious radicalism, organized crime and environmental crisis, the likelihood of water war has escalated in recent years in the region due to the scarcity of this natural resource and due to the drought waves for decades.

Water scarceness is of boundless geopolitical significance. Nihilists and visionaries likewise are susceptible to assume that this resource has or would have profound geopolitical insinuations. Water resources are a fundamental factor for local clashes in the region, fuelled by deteriorating economic development plans in the Middle East, which would exacerbate war dynamics on that issue.

Prospects of war in the Mideast

The Arab world is 14 million square kilometers, of which 87 percent is desert. About 50 percent of renewable Arab water resources are located outside the Arab region. This is evident in the trajectory of international rivers, such as the Nile, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Studies show that the share of Arab citizens in renewable water will shrink from 1200 cubic meters annually to 400 cubic meters per capita per year by 2025. Furthermore, 15 Arab nations have fallen below water poverty line, meaning that they will not be able to meet their basic water requirements by 2025.

Water will likely be a reason of conflicts in the years to come.

Since water and food security are interrelated, and since economic, military and security aspects are of due importance for any country, a lack or absence of any of these elements would lead to either internal war or a regional war; thus, affecting the face and future of the region. In a panoramic view, the picture is becoming increasingly murkier as the Arab population continues to grow, while water resources are destroyed by armed conflicts or become scarce due to droughts which have depleted groundwater resources.

Renewable and non-renewable water resources have shrunk. This has been the case in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt; however, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been spending huge amounts of money on desalination process which would be adequate as long as oil and gas prices are high.

The Levant and Iraq have been amongst the worst affected by scarcity of rainfall and water shortages in the past two decades. Turkey insists that any agreement on sharing of the Tigris and the Euphrates water Syria and Iraq depend heavily on political harmony between the three countries. Of course, the Kurdish issue is the essence of any water deal between the three states as well as oil and gas cooperation.

Countries in charge should all sit and discuss water security for the generations to come to avert them any wars that would lead to enormous toll of deaths if conflicts break out

Shehab Al-Makahleh

The Israelis also recognize that the dearth of water resources is weakening their position strategically. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had been stressing on the interdependence of security and water. Shimon Peres, former head of the State of Israel, believes that water is more important than land, and that control of water sources makes Israel a geographically closed and independent country as no other neighboring country would dare threaten Israel’s sovereignty.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon said that in fact (the Six-Day War) began the day Israel decided to turn the Jordan River water inside Israel by diverting the branches of the river to exercise more pressure on Jordan later on and to twist the government’s arm to accept Israeli conditions and terms.

The Israelis are also cognizant of the complexity of their water crisis. The water level of the Sea of Galilee has dropped to the lowest level in a century, and the salt water infiltrates heavily into the underground crevices. Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are among the countries most forced to settle water issues and reach an understanding on sharing their water resources. Jordan is one of the countries most affected by the water crisis, and the water agreement between Amman and Tel Aviv was essential in the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement. The question here is: Will Israel respect this deal in the future?

Regional water wars

At present, many factors can lead to insecurity and be the main causes of instability and war. Religious or ethnic differences, poverty, hunger and lack of resources are the most important. The geographical distribution of water is one of the major geopolitical dimensions of natural resources. This distribution is an important factor in the ability of governments to control these assets. Political reasons of war on natural resources including water is a sufficient drive to ignite new conflicts among Middle East countries as such a valuable resource is key to prosperity and development at all levels.

Will there be a war on water in the Middle East?

In Sudan and Egypt water is a trouble and causes serious issues.

The 21st century is undergoing demographic increase in the Middle East, posing pressure on water. Economists believe that scarcity of water in the region is more threatening than anywhere else in the world. For millennia, this scarcity has played an essential role in determining political relations in the region. Ideological, religious and geopolitical differences have also been associated with water-related tensions.

Though competition over water resources in the Middle East region is very old, rivalry has intensified in recent years. To cite as an example, the Sudanese-Egyptian-Ethiopian competition over the Nile Water and the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi rivalry over the Tigris and the Euphrates water can trigger a regional war for many years.

Future of Water Security

Climate change, low rainfall and poor water resources management, and the absence of a sound economic plan for water and soil use are among the factors that will lead to increased competition for wars over this resources. Israel is also trying to control Palestinian and Lebanese water sources in order to increase water productivity. Thus, water crisis and the inability of the countries of the region to manage such a calamity would be conducive to internal conflicts, which may affect food security and other vital interests of the region, leading to further battles on water.

To conclude, the countries in charge should all sit and discuss water security for the generations to come to avert them any wars that would lead to enormous toll of deaths if conflicts break out.

This article has been written by Shehab Al-Makahleh on the website Al Arabiya English you can find it here http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/11/19/Water-geopolitics-in-the-Middle-East-.html#


Explanations of the steps to leave the EU

The European Union is an economic and political partnership recognized as a single market with a free flow of goods and people. Founded following the World War Two it involved 28 European countries to encourage cooperation and avoid war between countries trading together. Brexit is a merge between the words “Britain and Exit”. In fact, this word was used to claim the will of the UK to leave the European Union (EU).

A referendum voted on the 23 June 2016 in order to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. UK votes “to leave” won by 51.9% to 48.1%.


“Take the control back”

One of the main aims of BREXIT was to “Take the control back. Consequently an important step for the UK was to change their passport. The British government has decided to head back to its traditional blue cover. This design was abandoned in 1988, when the country adopted burgundy colour, the common feature with most other EU member states. Gemalto has been awarded the contract to supply a new generation of UK passport. The full production will be in place by early 2020.

But… What is Gemalto ?

Gemalto is an international digital security company providing in the Civil Identity domain, secure documents, identity solutions and services addressing the Governments needs. The company was founded in June 2006 by the merge of Axalto, a Dutch company and Gempus International a French company (https://www.gemalto.com/). Gemalto is an experienced and trusted company. Concerning passports production it works with over 40 countries around the world. Gemalto has already worked notably with the UK on driving licenses, Biometric Residence permits and transport cards. Gemalto has employed over 500 staff in the country since 2012.


The new passports provided by a French company: A decision that divided the country

Besides changing the colour, the new passport will be one of the most technically advanced anywhere in the world, “offering holders outstanding protection against even highly sophisticated attempts at forgery and counterfeiting notably thanks to the use of polycarbonate rather than paper for the passport data page that contains the holder’s biographic details”. (https://www.gemalto.com/govt/security-features/polycarbonate-color). Gemalto a French/Dutch company following the country’s decision to leave the European Union replaced the previous British company De La Rue, in charge of the production of the UK passports in burgundy. The decision of the government has been criticized a lot by some politicians and by the population. Indeed the goal of the BREXIT was to take control back and this decision doesn’t seem to fit well with it. Priti Patel the previous Secretary of State for International Development, even claimed ” It’s a national humiliation “. The Daily Mail has also wrote to the Britain’s ruling class: “Why do you hate our country, its history, culture and the people’s sense of identity” with a picture of the new passport “Made in France”.

Public budget or home production ? 

The Government explained that the bid of Gemalto was more interesting than the other British company bids. The Government will economize 137 million of euros compared to the previous contract with De La Rue, 400 million. Moreover, among the 600 employees working for De la Rue, already 200 are working on this passport and more than 70 jobs were created. Brexit has forced the UK to solve a complex equation :  public budget or home production? 




This subject interests you?

Have a look on the articleWhat will be Brexit Consequences on The World?” written by another Young Diplomat.

What will be Brexit Consequences on The World?








Brazil’s 2018 presidential race has officially begun. From now on, candidates are allowed to distribute advertising material and openly ask for votes. We have separated the main proposals laid out by the five candidates with the best polling numbers – as the next president will most likely be one of them. We focused on four main issues: the economic crisis, the public security crisis, health care, and education.

Not all candidates have clear proposals on how to deal with Brazil’s most pressing issues. So, if something sounds vague, it’s because the candidate hasn’t explained how he/she will achieve what is being promised. The candidates are presented in order of their performance in the most recent opinion poll. As the survey excludes former President Lula, the Workers’ Party is listed as the fifth force.
Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil’s fiscal crisis

End the fiscal deficit in 2019, turning it into a surplus by 2020;
Austerity measures and flexible currency policies;
Keep Ilan Goldfajn as the Central Bank president;
Tax cuts, made possible by attracting “new money” to Brazil, through mining projects, tourism, and increasing public security;
Slash public debt by 20 percent through privatizations, divestments, and concessions;
Simplify and unify federal taxes.

Public security

Reduce the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 years old;
End gun control laws, allowing every citizen to bear arms – including assault rifles for landowners;
Legally protect law enforcement agents who kill people during police operations;
End mechanisms to avoid unnecessary arrests. For Mr. Bolsonaro, prison overcrowding is a problem for criminals. Also ending progressive sentences and furlough policies;
End the monopoly detained by Brazilian company Taurus in gun manufacturing, opening the market to foreign players.
Classify occupations of rural properties or buildings as “acts of terrorism”;
Reinforce the role of the Armed Forces in the fight against organized crime.


Creating a Unified Patient Record;
“Freeing” the Cuban doctors who are working in remote areas under the More Doctors Program (these doctors are not paid directly, but rather by an opaque network of transactions mediated by the Cuban government). However, Mr. Bolsonaro is not clear whether he will shut down the program;
Establishing a dentistry program for pregnant women, which would “reduce premature births”;
Mr. Bolsonaro says that if the economy is doing well, fewer people will get ill.


Distance learning programs from preschool to university;
Introduce military discipline in schools, and increase the presence of military schools in the country (by 2020, there would be one in each state capital) and naming a general as Minister of Education;
Forbid teachers from expressing political opinions in class;
Invest in research at the university level;
Change the curriculum and abolish the controversial automatic approval system (which, to avoid school evasion, allows students to attend the next grade even without the grades or basic skills for it);
Mr. Bolsonaro says he’s “open to suggestions” on the issue.

Marina Silva

Marina Silva

Brazil’s fiscal crisis

Unify five federal taxes (social security taxes, value-added taxes, and taxes over goods and services) into one only tax: the Tax on Goods and Services (IBS);
Tax profits and dividends, simultaneously reducing income taxes over companies.
Raise taxes on inheritances above a threshold;
Opposing the federal spending cap;
Tax exemptions for basic products as a cash-transfer-like policy;
Cut down tax exemptions for corporations.

Public security

Ms. Silva is against reducing the age of legal responsibility and against reducing gun control laws;
Create a Unified Public Security System to integrate police forces;
Increase salaries for law enforcement agents and provide them with continuous training;
Create measures to allow petty criminals to serve alternative punishments other than jail time.


Mapping the system’s “black holes” to create a regionalized plan for distributing federal resources;
Enhancing the generic medication program (non-branded versions of brand-name drugs with expired patents that have the same active principle, the same concentration, and the same dosage), which account for more than 25 percent of all pharmaceutical sales in the country.
Stimulating healthy eating habits, including vegetarianism;
Dividing the country into 400 “health care districts” to facilitate management.


Almost doubling the number of daycare centers and universalizing infant education;
Increase salaries for teachers and provide them with continuous training;
Revoke the current administration’s education reform;
Encourage schools to operate both in the morning and afternoon (Ms. Silva, however, offers no details on how to do so);
Maintain racial and income quotas for university students in state-owned institutions.

Geraldo Alckmin

Geraldo Alckmin

Brazil’s fiscal crisis

Reinforce the federal spending cap;
Eliminate the public deficit within two years;
Unify five federal taxes (social security taxes, value-added taxes, and taxes over goods and services) into one only tax: the Value-Added Tax (IVA);
Austerity measures: public spending cuts, but no tax hikes;
Reduce income taxes on corporations to stimulate investments.

Public security

Less gun control for rural areas;
Harsher penalties for youth offenders who commit heinous crimes, raising the maximum penalty from three to eight years;
Create an intelligence agency to fight drug trafficking;
Mr. Alckmin is in favor of the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro;
National goals for reducing crime rates – curbing homicide rates to a maximum of 20 per 100,000 inhabitants;
Create a National Guard, a sort of militarized federal police force.


Charging health insurance companies for treatments made by their customers in the public healthcare system;
Creating a Unified Database for Patients;
Enhancing basic family healthcare programs (Mr. Alckmin gives no details about how to do so).


Improve Brazil’s scores on international assessment exams, such as Pisa, by 50 points, which would generate a 1 percent GDP growth;
Reform the high school system;
Alphabetization for all children by 2027;
Strengthen technical and technological programs;
Install meritocracy in the public educational system, paying bonuses for teachers whose students score better in exams.

Ciro Gomes

Ciro Gomes

Brazil’s fiscal crisis

Immediately revoke the federal spending cap;
Create the Value-Added Tax (IVA) at a “tiny” rate, combined with taxes over profits and dividends and a federal tax on inheritance;
Slash tax exemptions for corporations;
Set a cap for the money used to pay for interest on public debt. Mr. Gomes wants to “change the profile of Brazil’s debt,” regaining the markets’ trust.
Use USD 200 billion of Brazil’s international reserves to pay for 9 percent of the country’s internal debt.
Use the National Development Bank to stimulate investments, especially by the industry sector.
Use state-owned banks to actively reduce real interest rates in Brazil;

Public security

Mr. Gomes is against reducing the age of legal responsibility and against reducing gun control laws;
Create a National Public Security System, integrating police forces from municipal, state, and federal levels;
Federalize drug-related investigations, tackling money laundering strategies from drug cartels;
Invest in technology to monitor gangs;
Create a Border Police, separated from the Federal Police, to prevent drugs and weapons from entering Brazil.


Joint-effort consultations with specialty doctors, enhancing elective surgeries paid for by the public healthcare system;
While Mr. Gomes is a pro-choice politician, he avoids talking about the topic of abortions, as it could cost him millions of votes;
Creating electronic patient record databases;
Giving bonuses to hospitals that are well-evaluated for their services. A national customer relations system would be created;


Expand full-time education, with children studying in the mornings and afternoons;
Create a fund to finance education policies;
Universalize schooling for all teens and children under 17 years old;
Keep public universities free and enhance student loan policies for those who attend private institutions;
Increase the number of daycare centers (no detail on how many more, or how to do so).

Workers’ Party

Lula and Fernando Haddad

Brazil’s fiscal crisis

Revoke the federal spending cap;
Income tax exemptions for people earning less than BRL 4,770 – increasing taxes on the “super-rich”;
Make fuel taxes a municipal tax to pay for transport projects;
Overtax banks that raise interest rates;
Promote a fiscal reform to simplify bureaucracy;
Regulate the media’s economic environment to avoid property concentration;
Progressive taxes on inheritance;
Use state-owned banks to encourage investment;
Strengthen Petrobras, reinforcing local content policies.

Public security in Brazil

Federalize drug-related investigations, appointing police officers and judges to deal with the issue exclusively;
Tackle the drug crisis as a public health issue, with assistance to drug abusers and prevention programs at schools;
Create a National Plan to Reduce Homicides;
Reinforce the tracking of guns and ammunition;
Change the penal code to allow petty criminals to serve alternative punishments.

Healthcare in Brazil

Create a Unified Patient Record;
Put forward policies against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue fever and the Zika virus, among other diseases;
Increase the federal government’s responsibility for medium-complexity procedures;
Improve the regulation of third-sector organizations in the healthcare sector;
Joint-effort consultations and surgeries.

Education for Brazilians

Revoke Michel Temer’s education reform;
Defend a movement called “School with Science” in opposition to Mr. Bolsonaro’s “School without Politics” proposal;
Increase the number of places in high schools;
Universalize schooling for all teens and children under 17 years old;
Reform the careers of teachers.

Dans cet article, je veux discuter du rôle que joue le genre dans l’arène scolaire. Il est fréquent de ne regarder que les obstacles auxquels les filles doivent faire face à l’école en raison de la prédominance de l’hétéronormativité dans cet environnement; Néanmoins, je veux aussi me concentrer sur les barrières que les garçons doivent surmonter pour maintenir un comportement masculin s’ils veulent être acceptés. En effet, pour certains hommes qui affichent des attitudes généralement associées aux filles, il peut être difficile d’intégrer l’étiquette établie par l’idée commune de masculinité que l’école tend à imposer.

Tout d’abord, je pense qu’il est important de donner une définition au mot «genre» et de le distinguer du mot «sexe». D’une part, le sexe est le critère biologique, généralement accepté, à travers lequel nous identifions quelqu’un comme un homme ou une femme à sa naissance. Habituellement, les personnes sont classées dans une catégorie de sexe en fonction de leurs critères de sexe, mais il est possible que les deux ne coïncident pas. D’autre part, le genre est la conduite que nous maintenons dans la vie de tous les jours avec des activités, des conceptions normatives et des attitudes préventives appropriées à la catégorie de sexe. La conception du genre est souvent liée à la notion de sexe, et les différences biologiques sont donc associées à des attentes différentes de comportement entre la femme et l’homme. Ces différences ne sont pas essentielles mais elles sont construites par la société.

L’inégalité dans l’éducation est causée par l’hypothèse que ces distinctions sont naturelles et dépendent de la manière dont elles sont gérées. Cependant, ce n’est pas seulement une question de répartition de la justice entre les élèves, mais aussi de pouvoir, de culture, d’opportunités et de gains matériels.

Un type d’école dans lequel les différences dans l’éducation des garçons et des filles sont plus soulignés est l’école non mixte. Dans ce modèle d’éducation, il n’y a pas de possibilité de communication entre garçons et filles ou de chance de travailler ensemble. Le danger en ceci est qu’ils pourraient aboutir à la promotion du sexisme parce que lorsque les hommes et les femmes sont enseignés dans un environnement différent, ils pourraient arriver à la conclusion qu’un sexe est meilleur qu’un autre. Au lieu de cela, la coéducation conduit à un nombre plus important d’expériences pour les étudiants qui peuvent interagir les uns avec les autres et ainsi acquérir une meilleure connaissance des relations sociales.

L’Irlande est le pays d’Europe qui compte le plus grand nombre d’institutions non mixtes. En fait, 42% des étudiants de deuxième cycle y assistent, et la majorité d’entre eux sont des filles. Ce phénomène des institutions ségréguées selon le genre peut être compris à travers une perspective historique, car au XIXe siècle, de nombreuses dénominations sont nées et ont établi ce modèle d’écoles à travers l’Irlande selon le mode de pensée catholique traditionnel.

Certaines féministes ont déclaré que les écoles non mixtes pour les filles sont positives parce que les filles apprennent plus vite que les garçons et que la coéducation pourrait avoir un impact négatif sur la participation et les résultats scolaires des filles. C’est, comme je l’ai déjà mentionné, au cours du XIXe siècle, que ce type d’écoles a été mis en place, répandant la vision catholique traditionnelle des filles comme docile, innocente, polie et «bon goût». Cette influence catholique est toujours présente dans la plupart des écoles de filles modernes et les valeurs telles que la gentillesse et la docilité sont toujours partagées en tant que modèle de conduite.

Dans certaines enquêtes menées dans quatre types différents d’écoles en Irlande, il a été démontré qu’il existait certainement des différences entre les écoles de ces filles en ce qui concerne leur histoire et leurs traditions; En effet, ils étaient tous caractérisés par un contrôle et une surveillance rigoureux du comportement et de l’orientation scolaire dans les domaines social et de bienveillance.

La plupart des filles interrogées se sont plaintes de la limitation de la liberté de leur corps et de l’invasion de la vie privée causée par ces règles. Les enseignants étaient conscients de la résistance des élèves à ces règles, mais en général, ils ne les prenaient pas au sérieux. Au sein de la classe, les enseignants construisaient généralement un climat très stressant, exerçant beaucoup de pression pour obtenir de meilleurs résultats. Le niveau de perturbation était également faible en classe, et les filles devaient travailler dur.

In contrast, the values of single-sex boys’ schools are opposite and focus on strength, agility and power, and they especially applied in the sports activities. Differences are also shown in the extra-curricular activities of these schools and change for boys and girls. Music and arts are considered traditionally more important in girl’s schools while sports are more valued in boy’s schools.

The predominance of “laddish” behaviours in school could also be a hindrance to school performance for some students because they can use it as an excuse for their failure in exams and to show off the fact that they possess the hegemonic characteristics of masculinity. One explanation of this conduct, stated by Jackson, is the self-worth protection theory; which describes this department as a shield from the consequences of a lack of ability and from the implications of being accounted as “feminine”. In fact, creating an excuse for failure allows you to avoid being labelled as “stupid”. Ultimately being a “lad” is associated with doing With not doing feminine ascribed things, hanging out with mates and not working hard, which would ruin the “laddish” image.

Gender differences and also influences the choice of subjects. For example, it is typical for only boys to be suitable for technological subjects and there is a strong differentiation between the number of males and females that decide to take them up. Even where schools reinforce such stereotypes, some girls contest these labels and decide to undertake careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The low representation of girls in technological subjects could be an obstacle to them with the entrance into the job world, because they will lack the particular skills that could be relevant for some specific tasks. The school context has a significant role in the selection of subjects: school may provide specific subjects or not, may frame the choice in a particular area in a “gendered” manner, and the daily interaction between students and teachers, who give a guideline to their pupils, may also influence subject choices. For instance, girls’ schools are less likely to provide technological subjects and offer more choices in humanities.

In conclusion, I think that Kimmel’s statement: “Schools are like old-fashioned factories, and what they produce is gendered individuals, perfectly summarizes the general idea of the heteronormative school environment. Schools, thus appeared to reinforce gender stereotypes instead of promoting the equality among genders and a culture of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation differences. This is the framework in which the students spend most of their time, in which they start interacting with each other and build their identity. The education system is put in charge of the formation of the mentality of future women and men, therefore they should help students in reflecting around the stereotypes created by society and breaking through the barriers created by those labels. Unluckily, it seems that they still work the opposite way, ignoring the existence of these differences, doing little to help the students to understand themselves and reinforcing the strong division between males and females and the stereotypes correlated to them.

For now, Turkey’s college bathrooms remain gender-specific

It was a couple of years ago when one of my students suggested there should be no gender category on any official forms. My courageous student said, “Some days I feel like a man; some days a woman. Your categories aren’t sufficient for me.”

Summary⎙ Print There is strong student support for LGBTQ groups’ demands for gender-neutral bathrooms at one of Turkey’s best public colleges, but administrative and public reaction reveals deep-rooted transphobia from the least-expected corner of Turkish society.

“Trans” is an umbrella term that covers several different identities beyond the common binary definitions. People can define themselves as neither male nor female, or as a combination of both at times.

The transgender rights movement is shaking our common truths and norms.

Are you happy to use the bathrooms that match your “biological gender” assigned at the time of birth? All around the world, demands for gender-neutral bathrooms are leading to change. For example, pioneer cities in California have passed laws requiring single bathrooms to be declared gender neutral. Colleges, as centers of freedom of expression for young people, followed suit in different cities throughout the Western world.

In Turkey as well, LGBTQ groups have been struggling since 2014 to make room for gender-neutral bathrooms on campuses. In February 2016 they achieved their goal in a limited way at Istanbul’s revered Bogazici University. At the time, this did not cause a commotion in Turkey. But on June 20, Twitter users began posting that Middle East Technical University (METU) had abolished gender segregation. One user showed a sign apparently posted at the university that read, “At the request of 400+ students, all restrooms in this building have become gender-neutral.”

The very next day, the METU administration announced that despite the reports, no such request for gender-free bathrooms had been approved. But it was too late. Before the university responded, the news became a trending topic on social media. The majority of comments were quite offensive and coarse, including not only overtly explicit but also rather gross visuals and words. Some of the milder examples include the following:

“The Prostitution Department has been opened at our university now.”

Foreign colleges are making [scientific] discoveries, while METU is [concerned with] toilets …”

“METU should be destroyed and a toilet must be built in its place.”

On live TV, pro-AKP presenter Erkan Tan told his viewers, “Let’s shut down METU and establish a real university in its place.”

It’s ironic. METU is one of the best public universities in Turkey, with a commendable global reputation. Some of the world’s top colleges respect LGBTQ students and provide gender-neutral bathrooms.

On other social media platforms as well, such as Eksisozluk, a popular public information-sharing network, most commentators were against the idea for different reasons, though almost none of them had to do with the LGBTQ issue. The men were convinced they couldn’t use a bathroom with a woman in the vicinity, and the women were disgusted by the idea of using the same stalls as men of questionable hygiene. After reading 40 pages of commentary, I could not help but ask myself, “Have these people never used a toilet after the opposite gender in their homes or other spaces?”

Murat Korkmaz, an LGBTQ activist and undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology at METU, told Al-Monitor, “Even though METU may seem like a progressive college, indeed transphobia is quite persistent on its campus. To raise consciousness about the presence of trans and queer students on campus, we started a signature campaign to have one bathroom at the humanities building as gender-neutral. We finally prepared a request with 420 signatures and initiated negotiations with the administrators. They kept delaying the decision for over two months, so we said, ‘Unless you give us answer we will declare all bathrooms gender-neutral in the building.’ Our protest was presented in the press in a wrong way, so we told everyone it would be [just] one bathroom. After that, unfortunately, the chancellor’s office presented rather transphobic statements saying it disapproves of gender-neutral bathrooms. LGBTQ students and our suffering, along with the support we received from our friends, was ignored altogether.”

Korkmaz was clear about how difficult it is for gender-nonconforming students to be acknowledged or just to figure out which bathroom would be a safer place for them. The concerns and fears of LGBTQ students are quite universal: If they use the women’s bathroom they could face verbal and even physical harassment, while in the men’s bathroom it could be physical and sexual abuse. Korkmaz and several others at METU believe they are not safe, even though the campus is known as a secular and progressive domain. Why could the college administrators not assign a couple of bathrooms in each building as gender-neutral, knowing there is widespread support among the student body?

Not one academic from the humanities or social sciences came out to speak in defense of the students’ demands or the urgency of providing gender-neutral and sufficiently private bathrooms for students with disabilities or those who identify as LGBTQ. It was a sad coincidence that the Pride March scheduled for June 25 was again banned by the Istanbul Municipality. Despite the ban, hundreds marched and were brutally attacked in Istanbul.

Al-Monitor spoke with a handful of Islamists who were willing to engage in discussion. The conversation developed along these lines: “So if a few students demand halal food and a mosque in which to pray in a non-Muslim-majority country, do you think they should be accommodated?” They all answered, “Yes, of course.” So then why couldn’t there be a gender-neutral bathroom, which these Islamists would not be obliged to use — one that is optional, just like ordering halal food on an American carrier? Most of the Islamists, young and older alike, were not pleased about this part of the conversation, and finally the answer came down to the fact that religious freedom needs to be respected, but being trans is a disease. Trans people need to be in a hospital, not on a college campus, they said. Sadly, there was no tolerance, let alone acceptance, among these Islamists.

In the meantime, the Official Gazette published the news that all new schools will be required to have gender-segregated prayer and ablution rooms. When added to the skyrocketing number of religious schools, the ban on teaching evolution and the scary rise in random violence against women and children, the silence of METU academics and the suffering of LGBTQ students can be understood better.

In Turkey, authoritarianism and arbitrary bans have permeated every level of society, and the most progressive corners — college campuses, which should stand as symbols of freedom of expression — suffer the most. Turkey has become an example of how the most narrow-minded minorities have tacitly managed to have their cake and eat it too while starving others.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/turkey-gender-neutral-bathrooms-anger-islamists.html#ixzz4lIxTrhDY