segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2015
Anunciado fecho da empresa que detém jornais Sol e i
ANA HENRIQUES e JOÃO PEDRO PEREIRA 30/11/2015 - 13:09 (actualizado às 16:17) / PÚBLICO
Decisão do grupo liderado por Álvaro Sobrinho foi transmitida esta segunda-feira aos trabalhadores. Novo projecto jornalístico integrará apenas um terço dos actuais efectivos
Os accionistas do diário i e do semanário Sol decidiram encerrar a empresa detentora dos dois títulos, a Newshold, liderada pelo empresário Álvaro Sobrinho, ex-presidente do BES Angola. Em seu lugar surgirá um novo projecto jornalístico que deverá manter os títulos mas que acolherá apenas um terço dos efectivos da actual estrutura. O plano passa por despedir cerca de 120 pessoas e manter apenas 66 trabalhadores, com salários inferiores aos actuais.
A decisão foi anunciada esta segunda-feira num plenário de trabalhadores. A nova publicação incluirá uma edição diária e outra semanal, ao sábado, o que pode implicar a manutenção dos títulos de um ou de ambos os jornais, mas com um projecto totalmente reformulado. Na origem do fecho, que foi marcado para 15 de Dezembro, estão os elevados prejuízos dos dois jornais, que em 2014 foram da ordem dos 4,4 milhões de euros no Sol e dos 3,8 no i. Quer numa quer noutra empresa registavam-se já atrasos no pagamento de ordenados.
No plenário foi também anunciado que os salários de Novembro dos profissionais das duas publicações serão pagos até ao final da semana, enquanto o subsídio de Natal será entregue até à época festiva. O PÚBLICO tentou contactar com a Newshold, mas sem sucesso. A presidente em exercício do Sindicato de Jornalistas, Ana Luísa Rodrigues, já repudiou a situação e alerta os trabalhadores para que não assinem, "no calor do momento", documentos que lhes sejam apresentados e que lhes possam mais tarde vir a retirar direitos - nomeadamente autorizações que dispensem a empresa de apresentar uma caução para os créditos devidos aos trabalhadores.
"O que está a acontecer é uma machadada na diversidade da paisagem informativa em Portugal", observa Ana Luísa Rodrigues. "Não se faz um diário e um semanário com menos de 70 pessoas". Os dirigentes sindicais vão agora pedir uma reunião à administração da Newshold e outra à pessoa envolvida na manutenção dos dois títulos, o administrador executivo Mário Ramires - que irá integrar a estrutura accionista do novo projecto -, com vista à preservação dos dois jornais, assim como dos postos de trabalho, "renunciado à solução mais fácil do encerramento e do despedimento".
Os números mais recentes da Associação Portuguesa de Controlo de Tiragens (APCT), relativos ao período entre Janeiro e Agosto deste ano, indicavam que, no segmento circulação impressa, o i foi o único jornal a ter subidas entre os cinco generalistas, passando para 3969 exemplares este ano, mais 530 que em 2014 (quota de 2%). O diário tinha encerrado 2014 com uma média de circulação paga de 4118 exemplares por dia. No segmento digital, o diário conseguiu 64 vendas digitais, o triplo do conseguido no período homólogo do ano passado, que concluiu com menos de duas dezenas de assinaturas digitais.
Na circulação impressa, nos primeiros oito meses do ano, o Sol caiu dos 21.705 para os 20.015 (-7,79%). O semanário tinha fechado 2014 com uma média de vendas de 23 mil jornais por semana, o que representou uma quebra homóloga de 2,7%.
O i foi fundado em 2009 pelo grupo Lena, que o vendeu dois anos depois, tendo passado pelas mãos do empresário Jaime Antunes e do dono de uma gráfica antes de ser comprado pelo grupo de media luso-angolano. Já o Sol nasceu em 2006, tendo sido sempre dirigido pelo ex-director do Expresso José António Saraiva – que irá continuar ligado ao novo projecto, tal como a directora-adjunta do i, Ana Sá Lopes. Os seus accionistas iniciais eram o empresário de Tondela Joaquim Coimbra, o BCP, a Imosider e quatro jornalistas fundadores, entre os quais Saraiva e Ramires. Depois de uma crise financeira o semanário foi vendido, em 2009, à Newshold, que chegou a ter uma quota na Cofina, proprietária do Correio da Manhã, e a manifestar interesse na privatização da RTP.
Álvaro Sobrinho foi indiciado por branqueamento de capitais no âmbito de um inquérito do Departamento Central de Investigação e Acção Penal, tendo recentemente visto o Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa criticar a investigação e levantar-lhe um arresto de bens que havia sido decretado pelo juiz Carlos Alexandre.
Director de escola italiana cancela festividades de Natal por respeito a outras religiões / Christmas is cancelled: Italians outraged over school decision to ban festivities
|O director do instituto, Marco Parma, de 63 anos|
|O líder da Liga do Norte, o partido nacionalista da Lombardia, exigiu a demissão do director da escola, alegando que “cancelar as tradições é um favor ao terrorismo”.|
Director de escola italiana cancela festividades de Natal por respeito a outras religiões
PÚBLICO 30/11/2015 - PÚBLICO
Responsável recusa ferir susceptibilidades entre famílias de alunos que não sejam cristãs e que impeçam crianças de participar no espectáculo.
O director do Instituto Garofani de Rozzano, na província italiana de Milão, decidiu cancelar as festividades de Natal em nome do respeito das várias culturas e credos dos alunos do estabelecimento de ensino. A decisão provocou a ira dos pais e uma reacção do primeiro-ministro de Itália, que considerou que o responsável está a cometer um “erro enorme”.
Na escola, que tem cerca de mil alunos, entre turmas da primária até ao ensino secundário, perto de 20% de estudantes são de fés não cristãs, sendo que a maioria pertence a famílias que seguem o islamismo.
O director do instituto, Marco Parma, de 63 anos, decidiu que este ano o habitual concerto de Natal das crianças do primeiro ciclo seria adiado para 21 de Janeiro e passaria a ser um concerto de Inverno, sem temas com conteúdos religiosos. O responsável rejeitou a proposta de duas mães de alunos que se ofereceram para ensinar canções de Natal aos mais pequenos durante os intervalos. No entanto, considerou que as festas de Natal que cada sala costuma celebrar devem ser realizadas.
A decisão do responsável foi recebida com críticas e manifestações pela população de Rozzano, bem como no resto de Itália e mesmo do Governo. Marco Parma, citado pelos media italianos, argumenta que este tipo de iniciativas, “num ambiente multiétnico, provoca problemas”, dando como exemplo a experiência anterior. “No ano passado tivemos o concerto de Natal e alguns pais insistiram que houvesse canções de Natal. As crianças muçulmanas não cantaram, ficaram apenas paradas, absolutamente rígidas. Não é simpático ver uma criança sem cantar e a ser chamada pelos pais para sair do palco”, observou.
Parma afirmou que acredita que o “respeito pelas sensibilidades daqueles que pensam de forma diferente, têm culturas e religiões diferentes, é um passo em frente para a integração”.
O director da escola acabou por apresentar a sua demissão, sublinhando que a sua decisão contou com o apoio de professores, que discutiram a questão e consideraram que esta seria a melhor forma de lidar com as diferenças religiosas.
Marco Parma vai ser ouvido esta segunda-feira no gabinete regional de educação de Lombardia, para explicar as razões que o levaram a tomar a sua decisão. Deverá aí apresentar oficialmente a sua demissão.
O primeiro-ministro italiano, Matteo Renzi, afirmou, em declarações ao jornal Corriere della Sera, que o “Natal é muito mais importante que um director a ser provocador”. “Se ele pensa que está a promover a integração e a coexistência desta forma, parece-me que ele cometeu um erro enorme”, defendeu o chefe de Governo. “Os italianos, tanto laicos como cristão, nunca irão desistir do Natal”, rematou.
O líder da Liga do Norte, o partido nacionalista da Lombardia, exigiu a demissão do director da escola, alegando que “cancelar as tradições é um favor ao terrorismo”.
Este caso acontece dias depois de vários infantários na Toscânia terem decidido não montar a tradicional cena da natividade por recearem ofender as famílias não cristãs.
Christmas is cancelled: Italians outraged over school decision to ban festivities
PM Matteo Renzi has accused headmaster Marco Parma of being ‘provocative’ for rebranding his school’s Christmas concert and banning religious songs
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has criticised a headmaster who banned Christmas concerts and carols in his school near Milan in the name of multiculturalism.
“Christmas is much more important than a headmaster being provocative,” Renzi told Sunday’s edition of Corriere della Sera.
“If he thinks he is promoting integration and co-existence in this way, he appears to me to have made a very big mistake.”
Marco Parma, 63, prompted protests from some parents and a media outcry by deciding to postpone the annual Christmas concert for primary school pupils until January and rebrand it a “winter concert” which will not feature any religious songs.
The head of the Garofani comprehensive school in the small town of Rozzano has also confirmed saying no to two mothers who wanted to teach Christmas carols to the children during lunchbreaks.
“In a multi-ethnic environment, it causes problems,” Parma said, saying his decisions had been influenced by an unhappy experience last year.
“Last year we had a Christmas concert and some parents insisted on having carols. The Muslim children didn’t sing, they just stood there, absolutely rigid.
“It is not nice watching a child not singing, or worse, being called down from the stage by their parents.”
The school, which has primary and middle school sections, has a roll of around 1,000 pupils with an estimated one in five of non-Christian faiths, primarily Islam.
It is not clear what will happen next. Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing, anti-immigration Northern League, has called for Parma to be sacked immediately.
Parma said he is prepared to resign rather than back down and insisted he has the backing of the school’s teachers following much discussion of how to handle the sensitive issue.
The head denied press reports that he had banned crucifixes from classrooms.
Catholicism has not been Italy’s state religion since 1984. But a law dating from Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s reign requiring the presence of crucifixes in schools has never been revoked.
Europe bribes Turkey
Throwing money at Ankara won’t resolve this refugee crisis.
By GUY VERHOFSTADT 12/1/15, 5:27 AM CET
The EU-Turkey summit was far from the European Union’s finest hour.
The conclusions of the summit on Sunday were weak and mark another worrying setback in Europe’s fight to tackle its refugee crisis. Rather than put in place the concrete European response necessary to deal with the challenges we face, EU countries had hoped that a new EU-Turkey agreement could be used to help stem the flow of refugees and economic migrants arriving in Greece.
The summit committed the EU to an “initial” sum of €3 billion, to support Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey. However, it is not clear what support Turkey will provide to the refugees thanks to this money, or whether it will finally open its job market and provide schools and education to hundreds of thousands of Syrian children.
In return for our money, Turkey has agreed, starting in June 2016, to take back those migrants who are not in need of international protection, and who came to the EU through Turkish territory. If the aim is to “stem the flow,” this is a deeply flawed approach, as the number of people streaming into the EU who are not in need of international protection is extremely low.
The vast majority of people arriving are Syrians who will not be taken back by Turkey. It is thus highly unlikely that the numbers coming will be reduced. Indeed, the prime minister of Turkey stated at the post-summit press conference that he could not guarantee any reduction in the number of refugees arriving in Greece. One might therefore question the underlying logic behind the whole exercise.
* * *
It is, of course, also true that illegal migrants can only be returned to Turkey if they actually stay on Greek territory and don’t move onward. But the reality of our nonexistent or dysfunctional entry “hotspots” mean the vast majority of people who could be returned to Turkey — based on the valid Greek-Turkish readmission agreement — move on northward into other EU countries before any return can be administratively arranged.
It is time Europe takes its destiny into its own hands
Statistics from the Greek police show that while Turkey agreed to take back more than 2,300 illegal migrants this year, only eight people were returned, as the rest had left Greece. Once the illegal migrants cross the Western Balkans, they cannot be returned to Turkey as the EU-Turkey readmission agreement doesn’t apply there.
Our strategy to outsource our refugee crisis to Turkey lies in tatters. One wonders whether some of the money that will now be pledged to Turkey, in the hope of stemming the tide of refugees, could instead have been invested in the setting up of an EU border and coastguard force.
Any co-operation on migration with Turkey can only work if there is an EU border management system and a fully functioning EU migration policy, including well-funded and functional hotspots to differentiate refugees and economic migrants on the external EU border. Without this, it’s unlikely that even Turkey will make a dent in the numbers coming.
* * *
The summit also failed to bring new hope to the flailing Turkish process of accession to the EU. Its conclusions commit the EU to re-energizing the EU accession process. One new negotiating chapter will be opened, with the possibility of more next year, but there was no mention of Turkish obligations under the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, despite the despicable arrest of leading Turkish journalists last week. The words of European Council President Donald Tusk about human rights and the enlargement principles uttered after the summit were just spin, intended to hide this shameful failure.
It’s a troubling time for Europe when the only thing we can agree on is that our problems should be outsourced. Instead of outsourcing challenges, EU leaders should agree to take a much-needed leap forward and provide a genuine common European response.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has drafted a blueprint of the measures necessary to deal with the refugee crisis. We have a route out of the impasse, staring us in the face. It’s scandalous that this agenda hasn’t been taken forward. We know what needs to be done, but again EU leaders, held hostage by domestic nationalists, have proven incapable of taking the tough decisions that are necessary to deliver a European response.
It is time Europe takes its destiny into its own hands, instead of trying to pay and bribe others to provide solutions for us.
Guy Verhofstadt, European parliamentary group leader for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), was prime minister of Belgium from 1999-2008.
Turkey arrests 1,300 asylum seekers after £2bn EU border control deal
Three people smugglers held along with hundreds of Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and Iraqis after country vows to curb flow of refugees in return for aid
Patrick Kingsley and agencies
Monday 30 November 2015 18.28 GMT
Turkey has stepped up a crackdown on people smuggling, arresting 1,300 asylum seekers in a single operation just hours after the country promised to curb the flow of refugees to Greece in exchange for financial aid from the EU.
Hundreds of Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and Iraqis and three people smugglers were seized on Monday in the countryside near Ayvacık, a Turkish town north of the Greek island of Lesbos, Reuters and the Associated Press reported. According to the UN, about 425,000 people have arrived in Lesbos in smuggling boats this year, while a further 300,000 have reached other Greek islands from Turkey – leading the EU to criticise its eastern neighbour for not doing enough to police its own border.
The Ayvacık sweep is thought to be the largest single mass arrest of refugees in recent months, and follows an agreement on Sunday that saw the EU pledge to give Turkey €3bn (£2bn) in exchange for increased border patrols.
Turkey says it has detained nearly 80,000 would-be migrants since 2014 as well as over 200 major smugglers. But rarely is an operation as big and organised as Monday’s sting. Recent Guardian reporting highlighted how police turn a blind eye to the smuggling economy in Izmir, where smugglers do business a few metres from two police facilities. On the beaches near the town of Çeşme, where many leave for the Greek island of Chios, the departure points are unpoliced and accessible to all.
But the arrest of more than a thousand people in one day suggests Turkey is increasing efforts to secure its borders in response to the EU deal. Rights groups warn this development will endanger refugee lives, since those who still want to reach Europe will be forced to try riskier methods.
Melanie Ward, associate director of policy and advocacy for International Rescue Committee UK, said the agreement “is deeply concerning because it is primarily designed to obstruct the movement of those seeking refuge in the EU, which runs contrary to the EU’s basic founding principles. This deal will only make it more expensive and dangerous for those determined to continue their journey to Europe”.
Smugglers have also warned that it is impossible to completely curb such a large flow of refugees. Speaking to the Guardian before the crackdown, one smuggler in Izmir said: “It’s the Syrians who determine whether they’ll go or not. The people risking the journey from Damascus, they’re the ones who are making this happen. Anyone who wants to go will go.”
Turkey is home to more Syrian refugees than any other country, with estimates suggesting it houses between 1.8 million and 2.2 million. Most of them do not have the right to work legally – a factor cited by many refugees as a reason for leaving for Europe. One Syrian who plans to leave Turkey in the coming days said that the status quo means many Syrians work illegally to support their families – and end up being exploited by their employers.
“I worked for three months and never got paid once,” said the Syrian, who asked not to be named. “Because of this I want to leave – so that I can live in dignity.”
domingo, 29 de novembro de 2015
“Juncker was at pains to point out that the “group of the willing” was not evidence of a two-speed Europe.”
A esta frase juntar a leitura destas duas passagens:
“The cabinet is looking at the option of developing a smaller open border area made up of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria, the Telegraaf says on Wednesday. This ‘mini-Schengen’ area would work together and control its external borders more carefully, the paper says. “
“Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned that countries which fail to adequately guard Europe's borders and do not take in a fair share of refugees could find themselves outside the borders of a future "mini-Schengen" zone.
In an interview in Belgian business dailies De Tijd and L'Echo on Friday, Dijsselbloem, who is also the chair of the euro zone group of finance ministers, said the EU's passport-free Schengen zone could not work if only a few countries gave shelter to refugees.
"There are a few countries that are carrying the heaviest burden in the asylum crisis, taking in the most refugees," he told the papers, naming Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.”
É perfeitamente claro que os que pertencem ao grupo daqueles “que querem” reunidos através da iniciativa de Merkel em mini-cimeira, pensam já numa alternativa ( embora os alemães não queiram ouvir falar nisso ) exclusivamente Norte Europeia de o estabelecimento de uma zona exclusiva, denominada Mini-Schengen.
Ao acontecer, isso seria a confirmação definitiva da separação da Europa não apenas em Oeste e Leste … mas também entre Norte e Sul, confirmando definitivamente o fim da ideia da Unidade da Europa, e confirmando a sua divisão em zonas hierárquicas de superioridade e inferioridade, umas dignas de confiança tanto na perspectiva cultural e financeira … e outras inferiores e não dignas de confiança … A divisão da Europa em “clubes” e “divisões” com várias hierarquias de prestígio, efectividade e confiança.
Merkel forges new alliance on refugees
German chancellor upstages EU-Turkey summit with talks on resettling asylum-seekers.
By HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND JACOPO BARIGAZZI 11/29/15, 6:06 PM CET Updated 11/29/15, 10:15 PM CET
EU leaders agreed Sunday to give significant political and financial incentives to Turkey in exchange for its cooperation in stemming the flow of refugees from the Middle East to Europe.
The deal includes an initial payment of €3 billion from the EU to improve conditions for Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, an agreement to loosen visa restrictions on Turks traveling in Europe, and a promise from Brussels to “speed up the tempo” of negotiations on Ankara’s bid to join the EU, as European Council President Donald Tusk put it.
“We do not expect anyone to guard our borders for us,” Tusk said after the meeting between all 28 EU leaders and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. “That can and should only be done by Europeans. But we expect a major step towards changing the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow that is coming to the EU via Turkey.”
But there were divisions among some countries about how far to go in securing Turkish support in dealing with the refugee crisis, including the reopening of accession talks, as well as on how quickly asylum-seekers could be resettled from Turkey to the EU.
And the deal was partly upstaged by an effort from German Chancellor Angela Merkel — holding her own mini-summit earlier Sunday afternoon — to convince several countries to speed up implementation of a resettlement scheme for refugees from Turkey to the EU.
Merkel held talks with a breakaway group of leaders in an attempt to sideline those countries reluctant to take in asylum-seekers. She was joined by the leaders of Sweden, Finland, Austria, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Greece at the talks, held two hours before their EU counterparts arrived for the full summit.
“The aim was to bring the implementation of the EU-Turkey action plan forward,” Merkel told reporters Sunday night. “We will start with this implementation within the next days, in cooperation with the Commission. We have no time to lose.”
No figures were discussed during the meeting, Merkel said, calling it a “question to decide in the future.”
Some of the countries involved in the group were reluctant to take part in new refugee resettlement programs because they are politically unpopular, a diplomat said.
Earlier on Sunday the German newspaper FAZ reported that Merkel hoped to convince the countries to agree to the resettlement of 400,000 refugees from Turkey to Europe, a figure that none of the participants would confirm upon arrival in Brussels.
The “coalition of the willing,” as it was branded by some diplomats, has asked the European Commission to put forward a proposal before the next scheduled summit of EU leaders in mid-December for a voluntary resettlement scheme, an EU official said, adding that also other countries could take part in it.
The EU-Turkey action plan, which was presented by the European Commission in October, offers Turkey €3 billion to improve the situation of refugees.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was at the pre-summit talks, said he was “very much in favor” of the resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey to EU countries willing to accept them.
“Turkey hosts 2.5 million refugees today,” he said. “We must come to a system under which Turkey provides a maximum of border securing,” while Europe provides money and relieves part of the strain by taking some refugees. The aim would be to create “legal migration,” Juncker said.
Juncker was at pains to point out that the “group of the willing” was not evidence of a two-speed Europe.
Germany is frustrated by the lack of support for a new resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees from Turkey. At a meeting of EU ambassadors Friday, Berlin wanted a stronger commitment to resettlements in the final conclusions, the document that wraps up the decision of the summit, but its line was rejected, a diplomat said.
The final summit agreement offers to re-energize Turkey’s accession process, but makes no specific reference to any new areas of negotiation — known as chapters — being opened in Turkey’s EU accession bid, apart from one on further economic integration.
An earlier proposal to open several new areas of the accession talks, including on energy, judiciary and fundamental rights, and foreign, security and defense policy, had been taken out of the final conclusions because of objections from Cyprus, a diplomat said. The eastern Mediterranean island has blocked Turkey’s accession talks for years, citing the presence of Turkish troops in the north of the island.
During the summit Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and other leaders expressed concern over human rights issues, including the jailing of two prominent journalists in Turkey, said one EU official with knowledge of the talks.
The journalists, Cumhuriyet newspaper’s editor-in-chief Can Dundar, and the paper’s Ankara representative Erdem Gul, were charged with spying after reporting on alleged arms smuggling by Turkish security forces into Syria.
The final summit conclusions also state that €3 billion in aid that the EU will give Turkey is an “initial” payment, meaning that further financial support is likely.
European Council President Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, one of the countries most reluctant to take in refugees, warned EU states not to “be naive.”
“Let me stress that we are not re-writing the EU enlargement policy,” Tusk said. “The negotiating framework and the relevant conclusions continue to apply, including its merit-based nature and the respect for European values, also on human rights.”
This article has been updated.
Correction: Donald Tusk was prime minister of Poland. An earlier version of the story misstated his previous position.
Hans von der Burchard and Jacopo Barigazzi
A gafe de António Costa na cimeira europeia
António Costa cometeu, este domingo, uma gafe na cimeira UE-Turquia sobre migrações. Enganou-se na data da fundação da NATO e nos países fundadores da Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte.
Jornal de Notícias / 29-11-2015
"A Turquia é um velho e estratégico aliado de Portugal, nosso parceiro como membro fundador da NATO, em 1959, e, portanto, tudo o que seja o estreitamento da relação entre a UE e a Turquia é algo que importa a Portugal, e Portugal naturalmente estará empenhado em que esse relacionamento se possa estreitar", disse António Costa, à chegada à cimeira de Bruxelas, segundo um texto da agência Lusa.
Ora, a NATO foi fundada a 4 de abril de 1949 e a Turquia não foi um dos países fundadores da Aliança Atlântica, tendo aderido apenas em 1952.
A curta cimeira desta domingo, que durou cerca de três horas, visou tratar sobretudo do fortalecimento da cooperação entre o bloco europeu e a Turquia para uma melhor gestão dos fluxos migratórios, com a oficialização de um fundo de três mil milhões de euros que a União presta a Ancara em troca da sua ajuda gerir os fluxos de refugiados oriundos da Síria.
Europe goes hot Turkey
The migration crisis has thrown the EU and Ankara together. The next chapter will determine if the relationship can last.
By ERNEST MARAGALL 11/29/15, 7:00 AM CET Updated 11/30/15, 1:04 AM CET
Europe faces the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and has so far failed to come up with a fair and sustainable solution. Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, Turkey has welcomed more than 2 million Syrian refugees fleeing for their lives, making Turkey the largest refugee-hosting country in the world.
In an effort to stem the flow of refugees trying to cross into Europe, the EU has turned to Turkey in desperation. The EU hopes to finalize a deal with Turkey at Sunday’s high-level summit which will bring together the 28 EU leaders and the Prime Minister of Turkey for the first time since 2004.
But trying to outsource Europe’s refugee crisis to Turkey is not a credible long-term solution. The final deal should not only include substantial financial support to Turkey but also a shared European responsibility in tackling the issue.
While the Syrian refugee crisis has also produced an unexpected rapprochement between Turkey and the European Union, the urgency of the humanitarian crisis should not be used as a bargaining chip by either side.
Linking any migration deal to Turkey’s EU accession negotiations risks of jeopardizing the credibility of EU’s enlargement policy. One of Jean-Claude Juncker’s priorities as Commission president was that no further enlargement would take place during his mandate. A year after Juncker took office, the EU is believed to be offering new incentives in exchange for Turkey’s cooperation on the refugee crisis. These incentives include granting visa-free travel rights to Turks by 2016 — a year earlier than envisaged in the visa liberalization roadmap — and the opening of a few negotiation chapters. Almost all of these incentives are subject to political veto.
* * *
Before the refugee crisis hit Europe, Turkey’s relations with the EU were in a state of slumber. The last time a chapter was opened for negotiation, on regional policy, was November 2013. To date, only 14 of the 33 chapters that require negotiations have been opened and only one has been closed.
Enlargement negotiations with Turkey reached a technical stalemate due to political unwillingness to move forward ever since negotiations started 10 years ago, an anniversary that has gone by largely unnoticed. The failure to resolve the Cyprus issue remains one of the major stumbling blocks in Turkey’s road to EU membership. Hopefully by next spring, renewed negotiations currently taking place between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders will lead to a concrete plan to reunite the island.
As no substantial progress was achieved in the negotiations, the EU gradually lost any leverage it had to promote EU-inspired reforms that ensure respect for the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. In parallel, the Erdoğan-led AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has lost its appetite for reform, leaning towards a more authoritarian style of government.
Now, it seems, the tables have turned. As Europe needs Turkey to stem the flow of refugees, so Turkey is trying to assert greater influence over Brussels. The postponement of the Commission’s progress report on Turkey until after the November 1 snap elections is just one example.
Despite attempts to downgrade Turkey’s relationship with the EU, Turkey formally remains a candidate country for EU accession. In the eyes of the EU, Turkey should not solely be treated as a “strategic ally” with whom to cooperate in areas of shared interest — migration today; whatever new geostrategic challenge comes tomorrow — but as an aspiring candidate to membership who must comply with a set of rules and standards.
In recent years the Turkish government has taken measures that pushed the country away from meeting the EU’s Copenhagen accession criteria. The impartiality and independence of Turkey’s judiciary were deeply undermined, freedom of expression and the media repeatedly came under threat, the human rights situation in the country deteriorated sharply and hopes of a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question vanished when the ceasefire broke down in July.
The EU cannot remain silent while Turkey continues to backtrack from democracy. The new rapprochement between Brussels and Ankara presents the best chance in years to bring Turkey back into the democratic fold. The EU must re-engage with Turkey constructively and regain its transformative power through active and credible accession negotiations.
After all, ensuring that Turkey remains a stable democracy is in the EU’s best interests. Had the EU done so a decade ago, Turkey would certainly look like a different country today.
* * *
The new Turkish government also needs to prove its commitment to the EU accession process by returning to the reform agenda. Looking increasingly like its troubled neighbors, Turkey should turn to the EU as its most reliable partner in the region and strengthen its cooperation in addressing common security challenges. Turkey should act responsibly in the fight against ISIL while reaffirming its support for the efforts of the international coalition.
After regaining the majority it lost in June, Turkey’s ruling AKP should abandon its authoritarian style of government and reinstate a culture of political reconciliation between all ethnic and religious groups in the country. The process of redrafting Turkey’s current constitution, put in place after the 1980 military coup, should serve as the foundation for a renewed social contract and a consolidated democratic system.
At the same time, the EU should put pressure on Ankara to address human rights and democracy shortcomings while promoting democratization efforts by not holding the enlargement negotiations hostage to political considerations.
At present both Turkey and the EU are confronted with a choice. The EU must choose between bringing Turkey closer by demanding real reform efforts or considering the country an occasional strategic ally. In turn, Turkey must decide whether it wants to play an active role in creating a stronger and shared Europe or continue to pursue its ambition to exercise regional leadership.
Ernest Maragall is a member of the EU-Turkey Delegation, and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament.
Hundreds involved in mass brawl at Berlin refugee shelter / EU split over refugee deal as Germany leads breakaway coalition
Police arrest refugee
The disruption at the shelter was allegedly started by between 20 and 30 people and an unspecified number of arrests were made. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images
Reuters in Berlin
Hundreds involved in mass brawl at Berlin refugee shelter
Disused Tempelhof airport, home to about 800 refugees, descends into chaos as more than 100 police officers called to scene
Sunday 29 November 2015 19.38 GMT
Hundreds of refugees have been involved in a mass brawl at a Berlin shelter as lunch was being served, with more than 100 police officers called in to restore order.
The fight on Sunday underlines the difficulties Germany faces in handling hundreds of thousands of migrants. Although incidents in such centres are common, the chaos in the shelter at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airport was more violent than normal.
“There were apparently many hundreds of people involved,” a police spokesman said. An unspecified number of arrests were made.
Michael Elias, who is in charge of the shelter, said 830 people were housed at the facility and that between 20 and 30 started the disruption. “It’s the simple fact that there are a lot of young men travelling alone here. We withdrew … because the situation simply exploded. It was a complete blow-out,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday morning police were called to another shelter in Berlin, where similar violence forced 500 inhabitants to flee the building. Such scenes feed scepticism among the German public about accepting refugees. Angela Merkel’s popularity has slumped in a sign of the public’s cooling attitude towards the influx of people fleeing conflict in countries such as Syria.
Earlier this year, the German police union and women’s rights groups accused the authorities of playing down reports of sexual assault and even rape at refugee shelters because they feared a backlash against asylum seekers. Interior minister Thomas de Maizière has called on Germans to avoid succumbing to blanket suspicion of migrants, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled to Europe this year.
EU split over refugee deal as Germany leads breakaway coalition
Angela Merkel holds surprise mini-summit in Brussels with nine EU countries willing to take large numbers after meeting resistance to mandatory sharing scheme
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Monday 30 November 2015 02.07 GMT
Months of European efforts to come up with common policies on mass immigration unravelled on Sunday when Germany led a “coalition of the willing” of nine EU countries taking in most refugees from the Middle East, splitting the union formally on the issues of mandatory refugee-sharing and funding.
An unprecedented full EU summit with Turkey agreed a fragile pact aimed at stemming the flow of migrants to Europe via Turkey.
But the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, frustrated by the resistance in Europe to her policies, also convened a separate mini-summit with seven other leaders to push a fast-track deal with the Turks and to press ahead with a new policy of taking in and sharing hundreds of thousands of refugees a year directly from Turkey.
The surprise mini-summit suggested that Merkel has given up on trying to persuade her opponents, mostly in eastern Europe, to join a mandatory refugee-sharing scheme across the EU, although she is also expected to use the pro-quotas coalition to pressure the naysayers into joining later.
Merkel’s ally on the new policy, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, said of the mini-summit: “This is a meeting of those states which are prepared to take in large numbers of refugees from Turkey legally.”
But he added later that any such agreement would be voluntary and not binding, while the Dutch rejected German-led calls to resettle large numbers directly from Turkey.
The frictions triggered by the split were instantly apparent. Donald Tusk, the president of the European council who chaired the full summit with Turkey, contradicted the mainly west European emphasis on seeing Ankara as the best hope of slowing the mass migration to Europe.
“Let us not be naive. Turkey is not the only key to solving the migration crisis,” said Tusk. “The most important one is our responsibility and duty to protect our external borders. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country. I will repeat this again: without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history.”
He was referring to the 26-country free-travel zone in Europe, which is also in danger of unravelling under the strains of the migratory pressures and jihadist terrorism.
Juncker said he would come up with a system for redistributing an annual “contingent” of refugees from Turkey among the coalition of the willing countries. Reports in Berlin put the figure at 400,000.
He was expected to leave that until after the looming French regional elections for fear of boosting the chances of the anti-EU, anti-immigrant Front National of Marine Le Pen.
Earlier, Turkey promised to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for cash, visas and renewed talks on joining the EU.
The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, called it a “new beginning” for the uneasy neighbours.
A key element is €3bn (£2.11bn) in EU aid for the 2.2 million Syrians now in Turkey. The money is intended to raise their living standards and so persuade more of them to stay put rather than attempt perilous crossings to the EU via the Greek islands.
The final offer of “an initial” €3bn represents a compromise between the EU, which offered that sum over two years, and Turkey, which wanted it every year. The money will be paid out bit by bit as conditions are met, French president Francois Hollande said, leaving the total payout unclear.
“As Turkey is making an effort to take in refugees – who will not come to Europe – it’s reasonable that Turkey receive help from Europe to accommodate those refugees,” Hollande told reporters.
He added that the deal should also make it easier to check migrants arriving and keep out those who pose a threat, like Islamic State militants who struck Paris two weeks ago.
Also on offer to Ankara, which wants to revive relations with its European neighbours after years of coolness, is a “re-energised” negotiating process on Turkish membership of the EU, even if few expect it to join soon.
Many Turks could also benefit from visa-free travel to Europe’s Schengen zone within a year if Turkey meets conditions on tightening its borders in the east to Asian migrants and moves other benchmarks on reducing departures to Europe.
“Today is a historic day in our accession process to the EU,” Davutoglu told reporters on arrival. “I am grateful to all European leaders for this new beginning.”
David Cameron said: “This summit matters because we need a comprehensive solution to the migrant crisis in Europe and obviously that involves Turkey.
“Britain will continue to play our role, which is about supporting Syrian refugees in the refugee camps and in Turkey.
“In terms of the discussions this afternoon, a lot of it will be about the Schengen no borders zone that we’re not a member of. Britain in the European Union will keep our border controls, vital to our security that they are.”
After the summit, Cameron held talks with Tusk on Britain’s renegotiation with the EU. Downing Street said: “They agreed that we continue to make good progress. While some areas are more difficult than others, discussions are ongoing with member states to find solutions and agree reforms in all four areas outlined in the PM’s letter to the European Council president.
“These discussions will continue in the coming days, including with bilaterals between the PM and other European leaders in Paris tomorrow, and all EU leaders will have a substantive discussion of the UK renegotiation at next month’s European council as planned.”
O Fim de Schengen.
O Fim da Europa sem Fronteiras.
O Fim da Europa Federal.
O Retorno à Europa das Nações.
Paris, refugees, and Europe’s hard borders
Fortress Europe opened its gates this summer. The tragedy in Paris threatens to slam them shut again.
By MATT CARR 11/23/15, 5:30 AM CET Updated 11/24/15, 11:58 AM CET
This year was already set to go down as a turning point in the history of Europe’s undeclared war against illegal immigration. And now the November 13 attacks in Paris have thrown fuel on an already incendiary debate.
The unprecedented collective disobedience of migrants crossing borders en masse subjected the “fortress” model of border enforcement the EU so painstakingly constructed over the last three decades to unprecedented moral and political pressure. The chaotic and tragic consequences of Europe’s ‘managed migration’ policies have called into question the effectiveness — and the morality — of the European model, and revealed deep divisions within the European Union over how the continent should respond to what NGOs and refugee organizations have called the most serious humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Now, as a result of Islamic State’s vicious assault on the French capital, there is a real danger that these tentative openings in the ‘fortress’ model of border enforcement will be closed once again, as renewed concern with border security becomes another justification for the exclusion of people who had nothing to do with last weekend’s horrific events.
Since Germany took the decision to open its borders and receive 800,000 refugees — a gesture at odds with the entire direction of European immigration policy over the last three decades — Angela Merkel’s ‘moral imperialism’ has come under increasing criticism from Eastern European governments and from within her own party. Though other countries refused to follow Germany’s call to accept quotas of refugees, even anti-immigrant governments came under pressure this summer as solidarity with Europe’s migrants became increasingly vocal and widespread
* * *
To understand the potential repercussions of the current crisis, we need to go back 30 years to the village of Schengen, in Luxembourg, where the interior ministers of France, Germany, and the Benelux countries gathered on June 14, 1985, and signed a treaty to abolish their mutual border controls. The signatories thought of the Schengen Agreement as a giant, even utopian, step towards European unity.
Today the free movement zone that they created has expanded to include 26 countries and enables some 420 million Europeans to live and work anywhere in this common space of ‘freedom, security, and justice.’ It also allows non-European nationals with the three-month Schengen Visa to travel across the continent with the same ease.
There was always another, less utopian dimension to Schengen. Dismantling national borders within was contingent on the reinforcement of the EU’s “external” borders. Bureaucratic restrictions on legal entry were accompanied by a host of measures to prevent illegal immigration: the deployment of quasi-military forces and surveillance technologies on land and sea; the construction of physical barriers at key border hotspots; a new emphasis on immigrant detention; conveyor belt deportations; the outsourcing of Europe’s immigration controls to neighboring countries like Libya, Morocco and Ukraine — all these measures formed what would become one of the most extensive and sustained immigration enforcement programs in history.
* * *
The new Schengen borders came under political pressure as Eastern European states baulked at the EU’s attempts to resettle some 160,000 refugees across the continent, and erected new fences and barriers at their nominally open borders. Now this cornerstone of the European project has begun to crumble, as governments and rightwing populists across the continent have seized on the attacks as a justification for the re-imposition of national border controls, and the strengthening or even the closing of Europe’s external borders.
Within hours of the attacks in Paris the tone was set by Poland’s European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymanski, who declared: “The European Council’s decisions, which we criticized, on the relocation of refugees and immigrants to all EU countries are part of European law. After the tragic events of Paris we do not see the political possibility of respecting them.” In Holland, Freedom Party leader Gert Wilders has called on the government to ‘close the Dutch borders’ in order to ‘protect the Dutch people.’ In France Marine Le Pen has similarly called upon the French government to ‘take back’ control of its borders and stop accepting refugees.
The eagerness with which Europe’s populist and nationalist right and the right-wing media have seized upon the Paris attacks as a justification for dismantling Schengen and excluding refugees is unedifying, if not exactly surprising. In his address to the joint houses of Parliament at Versailles, François Hollande warned of the dangers of a return to nationalism and “the dismantling of the European Union,” should Europe prove unable to control its external borders.
Coming from the leader of one of the principal architects of the European Union, Hollande’s attempt to link border control and security to the wider question of immigration enforcement has troubling implications for Europe’s refugees, and for the future of Europe itself. From its earliest stages, the hardening of Europe’s external borders against undocumented migration was seen as an essential barrier against an array of security threats that included drugs, terrorism, sexual trafficking or disease.
These tendencies were intensified by the post 9/11 emergency, as European governments routinely linked border control to wider questions of terrorism and counter-terrorism. That borders can perform an important role in law enforcement and protecting the public is undeniable, but the notion of ‘strong’ or ‘controlled’ borders raises expectations for security that cannot be met at the border itself. Terrorists do not generally enter the countries they want to attack as asylum seekers on boats or dinghies — they are likely to cross borders legally with forged identities, their intentions well concealed.
This should be obvious, yet too often governments present their electorates with a notion of ‘control’ that would be difficult even for a totalitarian state to achieve. Too often politicians conflate security with the prevention of undocumented migration, to the point when ‘economic migrants’ and refugees are regarded as dangerous and harmful people and another form of contraband. This tendency to see immigration through the prism of security is widespread, and has frequently called Europe’s commitment to refugee protection into question.
The European Union and its member states may have been committed to refugee protection in principle, but new physical barriers, such as the towering border fences in the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco, and bureaucratic ‘paper walls’ that prevent refugees from getting on planes have made it difficult, if not impossible, for refugees to reach European territory and access this right in practice.
* * *
The grim consequences of this border regime have been evident for many years, in the horrific journeys of ‘boat-people’ across the Mediterranean and the Aegean that produced a string of appalling tragedies; in the spectacular growth of the smuggling industry and sexual trafficking networks; in the proliferation of shantytowns and camps in Calais, Italy, Greece and other countries where migrants live in legal limbo.
The past 10 months have exposed the moral and political contradictions at the heart of Europe’s migration policies. We all have heard the staggering numbers: 740,000 migrants seeking refuge in Europe; 218,000 new arrivals last month alone; and more than 2,600 people drowned in the Mediterranean and the Aegean. A majority of arrivals are Syrians and should automatically qualify for refugee protection, yet many are subjected to systematic police violence and repression in a number of European countries.
Across the continent, refugees are herded onto trains and buses, held in internment camps and left stranded at border ‘hot spots’ and migrant choke points, as borders closed and others opened. It is difficult to see how Europe’s borders can be tightened even further, without perpetuating the deaths, drownings and other tragic events that we have already seen too many of this year. A number of right-wing politicians and newspapers have cited the Syrian passport found near one of the Paris suicide bombers as a vindication of their previous reluctance to take in refugees, and a justification for excluding Syrian refugees in the future.
Such arguments are at best misguided and at worst entirely spurious and opportunistic. Not only is the authenticity of this document questionable, but it is also to some extent irrelevant. In today’s world, passports are easily bought and forged, and no amount of ‘control’ at the border can prevent that, unless certain nationalities are to be excluded completely.
It remains to be seen whether Europe is frightened enough to succumb to the populist notion of security that would exclude all Syrian refugees. Needless to say, such a course of action would have terrible consequences for a refugee population that includes many victims of ISIL.
Most refugees who manage to scale the hurdles of Europe’s borders and enter the Schengen won’t find a ‘space of freedom, security, and justice.’ Instead, they’ll live in the permanent insecurity of camps and shelters in Calais, Lesvos and other border ‘hot spots.’
We cannot allow our security fears to become a pretext to perpetuate the permanent insecurity of the men, women and children who risk and too often lose their lives while trying to cross these European borders. If we are vulnerable, they are too. ISIL knows this very well and would like nothing better than to see them turned back towards its dismal ‘caliphate’ by a cold, vengeful and paranoid Europe.
This summer the gates of Fortress Europe opened briefly. We must not compound the tragedy in Paris and allow them to be slammed shut again. If that happens, then Europe would effectively renounce the political identity that its more idealistic founders once imagined, and revert back to a handful of walled fortresses whose inhabitants were as fearful of each other as they were of the outside world. The restoration of these old borders might protect us from real and imagined threats, but if that happens the mass murderers who wrought such havoc on the streets of a peaceful city last Friday will have achieved a far greater victory than they could ever have imagined.
Matt Carr is a freelance journalist and the author of “Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against Immigration” and “The Infernal Machine: An Alternative History of Terrorism,” both published by Hurst.
sábado, 28 de novembro de 2015
Nabos para Cavaco no Camões, vaias para Costa no Carmo
MARIA LOPES 28/11/2015 - PÚBLICO
Separadas por 350 metros, na zona do Chiado, em Lisboa, duas concentrações com objectivos opostos mobilizaram várias centenas de pessoas. Umas defendendo a política de esquerda no poder, outras clamando contra o assalto de Costa ao poder. Prometem ser assim os próximos meses na política portuguesa.
O molho de nabos veio da Guarda e tinha como primeiro destino o Palácio de Belém. Serviriam para avivar a memória ao Presidente da República, “para se lembrar que deve cumprir e fazer cumprir a Constituição”. Sim, porque comer nabo faz bem à memória, insiste num cerrado sotaque beirão António Machado. Mostra uns enormes nabos ainda meios sujos de terra e com as folhas um pouco murchas de estarem toda a tarde nas mãos calejadas do agricultor de 87 anos, barrete preto de lã grossa e borla a cair sobre o ombro, casaca de xadrez com punhos, bolso e punhos com renda preta. Criados “sem adubos nem químicos”, garante António Machado, que é também o presidente da Associação Distrital dos Agricultores da Guarda há quase três décadas.
Enquanto pedia aos organizadores da concentração da CGTP no Largo de Camões, em Lisboa, para entregarem os nabos a Arménio Carlos – “é um desperdício voltarem para casa, tenho lá muitos” -, o beirão franzino dava uma lição de economia em poucos minutos. “Oitenta por cento do cereal que estamos a importar podíamos nós produzir. Não podemos produzir 100%, claro, mas fazíamos mais e importávamos menos. Mesmo que isso nos custasse mais 5 ou 10 cêntimos por quilo, fica mais barato do que comprarmos. Sabe porquê?” “Porque escusávamos de comprar”, responde um jovem da CGTP, por detrás das barreiras metálicas. “Porque tínhamos a nossa gente a trabalhar. Temos que pôr o país a produtir”, diz o idoso, de dedo em riste, mandando logo a seguir um amigo calar-se enquanto ele tenta explicar-se. “Na minha terra quando um burro fala, o outro baixa as orelhas!” E lá vai dizendo que quem se sentou na cadeira no Terreiro do Paço nestes anos todos não percebia nada de agricultura. “Essa senhora que lá esteve agora… o que aprendeu ela de agricultura no curso que fez? Ainda se a colocassem na Justiça, eu não piava. Agora… na agricultura?!?”
“Fazem-nos crer que somos um país pobrezinho… A Guarda produzia milhares de toneladas de batata; agora está tudo a monte. Temos o maior mar da Europa e temos que comprar a sardinha a 10 euros aos espanhóis”, vai enumerando. “O primeiro-ministro que começou a afundar o país é agora Presidente”, acusa António Machado enquanto espreita a ver se Arménio Carlos aparece a agradecer os nabos.
Antes, houve música e discursos. A concentração “Cumprir a Constituição, Mudar de política, Resolver os problemas dos trabalhadores e do país” foi marcada para Belém, mas o Presidente deu posse a António Costa e a CGTP mudou o local. Também se fez em Braga e no Porto. No Chiado, Arménio Carlos exultou a luta dos trabalhadores que obrigou o Presidente a dar posse a um Governo PS, mas defendeu ser preciso mais. É preciso cumprir de facto a Constituição, "revogar a legislação anti-laboral e anti-social da direita" e "mudar efectivamente de políticas". Avisou que a CGTP, os sindicatos e os trabalhadores “irão exigir respostas aos seus problemas”, colocando pressão sobre os socialistas.
No largo cheio de gente, há algumas bandeiras de Portugal e muitas vermelhas da CGTP no ar e placards com folhas A4 que dizem “Cumprir a Constituição”, “Serviços públicos sim! Privatizações não!”, “Aumento dos salários”, “Trabalho! Salários! Direitos!”; uma faixa enorme pede “1% do PIB para a cultura”. Acabaram-se as palavras de ordem que mandavam o Governo para a rua ou lhe chamavam ladrão, gatuno ou mentiroso. “Os fascistas já foram para a rua mas temos que estar com o olho aberto”, dizia um homem quando o hino nacional terminou e virava as costas ao palco improvisado na carrinha da CGTP. São quase cinco da tarde, há encontrões no Largo de Camões, no Chiado, em Lisboa, e para algumas centenas de activistas da CGTP é tempo de regressar aos autocarros que os trouxeram para mais uma concentração.
Uma coroa de flores para a democracia enlutada
Cerca de 350 metros para nascente, num largo lisboeta mais icónico do que o Camões, activistas de direita promoveram a primeira concentração contra o Governo de António Costa, apenas 48 horas depois de ser empossado. "Fraude eleitoral envergonha Portugal", "Isto não é o fim e não vai ficar assim", "Costa p'rá rua, a casa não é tua" e "Costa, golpista, tu és um vigarista", gritou-se por um megafone.
Todas as árvores do Largo do Carmo – o mesmo onde a coligação começou a sua descida do Chiado no final da campanha de Outubro - estavam ligadas por faixas vermelhas e verdes e tinham agrafada no tronco uma folha amarela com a palavra democracia. Quase toda a gente tinha uma bandeira de Portugal na mão, e contavam-se apenas duas da coligação Portugal à Frente, assim como lenços da coligação num ou noutro pescoço. No pedestal de um candeeiro estava uma coroa de flores em forma de D com uma larga fita negra. É a democracia que está de luto e a intenção de Mário Gonçalves, organizador, era enviá-la ao presidente da Assembleia da República com uma carta, mas acabaria por ser deposta à porta do convento – o mesmo que viu nascer a democracia, faz-lhe agora o luto.
Seriam quase 200 pessoas, entre quem se concentrava, em pé, junto ao chafariz do largo ou estava sentado nas esplanadas com bandeiras de Portugal ao lado e no colo. Mas mais gente era esperada: várias dezenas de bandeiras amontoavam-se junto ao chafariz. Ainda assim, Mário Gonçalves, professor de música e presidente da concelhia do CDS de Monforte, mostrava-se contente. “Os portugueses estão indignados contra a indigitação de António Costa, e não são só as pessoas de direita. Há aqui pessoas de esquerda que não concordam com o que o PS está a fazer”, garante. Tanto PSD como CDS foram contactados, diz, mas não se quiseram envolver. “Há 40 anos que a direita não saía à rua. Vamos continuar a fazê-lo até o Governo de Costa vir abaixo”, promete.
Um grupo de três amigas não tem dúvidas: o Presidente “não tinha alternativa” porque a Constituição está “desactualizada”, argumenta Margarida Leal, desempregada e antiga empresária do sector da educação, e Isabel Costa diz que Portugal parece um “país do terceiro mundo”. Contestam o “oportunismo e a sede de protagonismo” de Costa, como acusa Mafalda Seia. Estão “muito descontentes” com o rumo político – tanto que até vêm para a rua ralhar quantas vezes forem precisas - e, mais do que elogiar a direita, criticam a forma como Costa chegou ao poder. “Isto agora é só facilidades: o Governo vai dar, dar, dar, até isto estoirar por si”, diz Margarida, que gostava que Cavaco Silva “deitasse o Governo abaixo antes de sair”.
Carlos Nunes é um dos que se junta à conversa. Diz ter votado CDU “contra António Costa”. “Sinto-me espoliado”, vinca. Veio ao Carmo por ser um “espaço de liberdade, democrático” e estar contra a “fraude e a vigarice”. Tem uma teoria rebuscada: “Costa chegou ao poder no PS ajudado pela direcção do Bloco e uma parte da direcção do PCP liderada pelo João Oliveira. Isto já estava a ser cozinhado há muito. Por isso é que Jerónimo de Sousa, ligado aos conservadores do PCP que não queriam nada com o PS, não pôs os pés na tomada de posse…”