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Archive for the tag “Germany”

A Rebuttal to Friedman: There is no “lid on Africa” also addressing his misconception on Migration!

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “taking the lid off” as: “to cause something bad that was previously kept secret to be known by the public” (Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press). A writer like Thomas L. Friedman in the New York times should know this perfectly well, as he used this term in his column ‘ Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ published on the 7th August 2018. This is the reason for why I writing this. Because of two paragraphs that needs to be addressed, I will first let his words speak, before showing what the EU says about the matter. As a European, the American writer doesn’t make sense.

The key part was:

Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took. It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country” (Thomas L. Friedman – ‘Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ 07.08.2018 link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/opinion/can-i-ruin-your-dinner-party.html).

I don’t know in which world Friedman is residing, but the words of the EU, Zelesa and MPC are clearly not opening any jars of uncertainty. Yes, there been a growing amount of illegal and non-asylum seekers through the United Nations or Bilateral Organizations, which they have come from War-Zones as in the past. As the EU Member States takes their quota of refugees and asylum-seekers as a global task of helping people in need, as that cannot happen where they are or they are living in temporary shelters awaiting hopefully a helpful nation to become their guardian. However, no else is saying it is NATO fault or even the fall Qaddafi, which is the reason for crossing across the Mediterranean sea. There is more porous borders as well as the conflict in the Sahel Region that has continued. These are all reasons for the transport of refugees from the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there was never a lid to be taken of the continent.

The EU Science Hub states:

Between 2008 and 2016, the total annual number of African migrants remained stable. However, legal immigration was declining in this period, while the number of irregular arrivals and asylum claims of Africans increased. Irregular arrivals of Africans via the Mediterranean started to decline again in 2017.In Europe, the majority of African immigrants come from North Africa, with most people making the move to reunite with family members already settled in a European country” (EU Science Hub – ‘New perspectives on African migration’ 01.07.2018 link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-perspectives-african-migration).

EU Project opened more nations for Immigration:

Clearly, African immigration to Europe was marked by increasing diversification both in the number of countries sending and receiving the immigrants. Particularly remarkable was the emergence of the southern European countries, principally Italy, Portugal, and Spain, themselves longstanding emigration countries, as immigration countries. This was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of Western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. Enclosed in a new European transnational space, new identities of ethnicity and citizenship began to emerge that entailed creating both symbolic and material borders to keep away or distinguish the immigrants. The Europeanization of these countries and the rebordering of the Mediterranean that it implied required the separation and stigmatization ofimmigrants from the global South (Suarez-Navaz, 1997; Royo, 2005)” (Paul Tiyambe Zeleza – ‘Africa ‘s Contemporary Global Migrations: Patterns, Perils, and Possibilities’ P: 39, June 2010).

Migration Profile – Libya:

Despite Libya being, first and foremost, a country of immigration, the deterioration of immigrants’ conditions in the country has also made it an important country for transit migration and particularly for the many migrants trying to reach Malta and the Italian Isle of Lampedusa As to emigration patterns, Libya has never recorded significant outward migration flows. However, during the 2011 unrest, there was an upsurge of Libyan nationals fleeing the country. According, though, to the authorities in neighbouring countries, the great majority are believed to already have returned to Libya” (…) “To conclude, two considerations can be made about the impact of the Libyan crisis on international migration movements. On the one hand, Sub Saharan nationals were without any doubt the people most at risk, both in Libya and at the borders (where repatriation activities led to an impasse). On the other hand, the capacity of neighbouring African countries to manage the crisis in terms of the reception of migrants was remarkable. (IOM, 2012)” (Migration Policy Center – ‘MPC – MIGRATION PROFILE Libya, June 2013).

As we can really see, is that what Friedman is saying is wrong. The African Migration to Europe has lasted long. That is not new and has usually followed to the previous Colonizers of the ones migrating. However, with the change of he European Union, has changed that pattern, but not opened up something. The Libyan Crisis and fall of Qaddafi have had is effect. However, the results by the EU and the IOM are stating not as bad as previously stated. Also that the “illegal” are rising, but less of the direct asylum-seekers, meaning their means and ways has changed, but the end-game are more of the same. They are still fleeing from crisis and wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they doing so by the shores of Northern Africa crossing into EU Countries.

So, the taking the lid off by invading and deposing Qaddafi seems like far-fetched. That is a lie, also a relic of the past, as Friedman sounds like they opened a box with a box-opener. This was simply done with getting rid of one dictator. He seems like that is the reason for the whole transit in Libya, not the whole conflict within the continent and neither the true nature of it all. As people are doing whatever they can to get shelter and hope for the future, because the International Community isn’t reacting or caring about the oppression in their nations. They are forgotten and know they will not get help, as the Western Powers are boasting these leaders who oppress and then people want to flee from these shores.

No lid was taken, it was never a lid there to begin with? Are there a lid that was opened so that United States could have space for all the slaves in the past? Or is there a lid taken of the brain of Trump? We all, the rest of the world really want to know.

Enough of this nonsense. Peace.

A spiteful chant: Where did humanity go?

Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.

The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.

The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.

This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.

This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?

That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.

The European Council plans to move more migration management outside its borders!

The European Council in the draft note before the next general meeting. Is establishing mechanisms, which would ensure that less tries to cross the oceans to get to safe harbour in Europe. This by both giving financial aid possibly and make the Border States have settlements of asylum-seekers and whatnot.

“The European Council will also strengthen EU external instruments on migration in the context of the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in particular so as to ensure effective cooperation with countries of origin and transit. To this end, the external components of the internal, border, asylum and migration funds should include a dedicated external migration management window specifically geared towards stemming irregular migration flows” (Council of the European Union – European Council meeting (28 June 2018) – Draft conclusions -8147/18, 19.06.2018).

This is really nasty stuff, that the European Union continues to purge like this and with these methods. Actually, making sure the refugees and asylum-seekers are stationed in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and everything else bordering at sea towards Europe. There is lack of heart and with intent of shattering people’s dreams of possible refuge. That is what this is.

They are planning external migration management to stop the flow of people crossing into their borders. That means an invisible wall with functions and mechanisms stopping the ones trying to seek refuge. Just think about that, the sovereign states on the borders are bushwhacked by the EU and also most likely pushed by the funds their way as a bargain. Both parties with no consideration of the implications on the lives on the ones fleeing war-zones and civil-wars, famine or any sort of disaster that are creating all the reasons for fleeing on humanitarian grounds. Still, the EU will use these states as buffers and shield itself from people coming.

We can all see with this, the precious and deep scars, the evidence of control and also extending boundaries, just so, the ones in need cannot cross into refuge. They cannot get shelter or hope for the future, but live in oblivion, outcast in their own homeland and not welcome at the destination either. It is just a sad story of our time and the lack of compassion within the leadership of our representatives as well. Peace.

Opinion: G6+1 Dumb-ass!

What have we learned this week? That President Donald J. Trump is douche, a spoiled brat in a toy-store and not understand the G7 Summit. He the one that does stuff and makes things off on the spot. He might be able to trick foolish inbreed rural Americans, but the whole wide world; he cannot trick like that. Especially not career leaders like the ones participating in the G7 Summit in Canada.

The other nations was prepared to write a statement without Trump. The other world leaders at the summit are Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junker, Theresa May, Shinzo Abe and Giuseppe Conte. This is leaders from Germany, Canada, France, European Union, United Kingdom, Japan and Italy.

That means that Trump has insulted the world and he doesn’t care about his allies. Trump has shown it. All in his tweets and his actions. That he didn’t have the ability to sign a communique that rest was favorable of signing. Trump wanted to isolate himself, he acted like a douche, came late to meetings, came late to the G-7 and also left early. Nothing with this man shows respect of the allies. He also came with demands to other before arriving. To add another member, without any clear reason, like it was a bidding he had to do. Because he had promised his friend Vlad before the Summit.

The Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique states this concerning trade:

We acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. We recommit to the conclusions on trade of the Hamburg G20 Summit, in particular, we underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system and continue to fight protectionism. We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements. We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies” (Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique, 09.06.2018).

This part of the Communique is in direct challenge to the sudden move of Trump to impose trade-sanctions on these nations that he meet days after. That is really a bold move to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel. Certainly, the nations who got this will impose tariffs on the US produced products to counter measure. Clearly, the trade-war is created in the mind of Trump. So this will affect ordinary civilians world over and not the wealthy. They usually get away with this. Maybe, that is one of the foolish reasons for Trump passing his chance of being loyal to his allies. That he couldn’t be friendly or even be reasonable.

That is why he is isolationist and a dumb-ass, the losers isn’t the world, but United States. The US Government are really trading their favorable position and making their situation worse. The lack of tact and diplomatic spat with allies. Trump is really an insensitive lying ass-hat who should know how to carry himself. Instead he lies about Trudeau after the Summit. He is putting himself in the spotlight and acting like a TV-Star. Not as a representative of the US. That is why he is losing for himself and for his Republic.

It is weird, but instead of showing strength or greatness, he is showing weakness and lack of finesse. This was a G6 Summit with an added dumbass!

Trump, you we’re able to fool America, but your not able to fool the world. Peace.

The NRM Regime have during the FY2015/2016 fallen behind on paying out UGX 2.7 trillion!

Today I am dropping numbers that are devastating, as the numbers of debt that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) isn’t paying, show’s sufficient motives for malpractice when it comes to budgeting and the structure of payments. There are certainly not enough transparency and clear audit of the state reserves, as the State is misusing seriously amount of funds. The NRM Regime and their President should be ashamed by their record.

Emmanuel Katongole is the Head Information Technology in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in Uganda on the 12th April 2017, he dropped a document on their web-page that show’s the domestic arrears of the Republic of Uganda in the last Financial Year.

If you wonder what Domestic Arrears means: “The amount by which a government has fallen behind in its payment of interest and principal on debt to lenders within its own country” (Encyclo.co.uk). So Katongole will literately show how bad the National Resistance Movement is on paying their bills and expenditure. All the sums of this report is in Ugandan Shillings (UGX).

Like under the Office of the President and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) who itself leaves arrears in the margin of 3.8bn shillings and 8bn shillings in other payable arrears. That one part of the budget and current audit of the Office of the President as the total of verified arrears at June 2016 was 37bn shillings alone. So the Office of the President owes a lot of funds that it hasn’t paid, not only for the ISO!

The State House by the verified arrears at June 2016 was 1bn shillings. What is more unsettling is that the Pensions and Gratitude for Veterans are the sum of 183bn shillings, Survivors 315bn shillings, EXGRATIA 10bn and UNLA 26bn shillings. The Ministry of Defense by June 2016 verified arrears was 718bn shillings! So the MoD are a lax payer of their expenses and expenditure.

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs owes verified arrears by June 2016 the amount of 684bn. Shillings Court Awards unpaid by the Ministry is 203bn shillings. The Electoral Commission has growing verified arrears by June 2016 because of Unsettled penal insterest for URA in the total sum of 3.2bn shillings. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has by June 2016 billed up verified arrears by 283bn shillings.

This is just some of the government that has not paid their dues and their expenses, their salaries or pensions, even their lacking covering of funds to pay debt, either internal or external. So the National Resistance Movement are clearly running an economy and fiscal policy that isn’t healthy for the republic.

Just to drop the total sum that the Government of Uganda has failed to pay or failed payments on their debt are by June 2016 the total of 2.7 Trillions of Uganda Shillings! Which is an insane number and amount of misspent monies by the state. The strategy by the Republic to fail so miserably cannot be sustainable, as the invoices and the target to pay their debt should be the most important. Still, the NRM doesn’t seem to think so. They are surely missing steps to having a sound economy when the verified arrears are hitting 2.7 trillions by June 2016. So the Financial Year of 2015/2016, the Ugandan government failed to serve out over 2 trillion of their needed expenses!

What is troubling that the year before, the total state had not paid on their debt and failing expenses in the Financial Year of 2014/2015 as by June 2015 we’re totally 1.389 or close to 1.4 Trillion shillings. So the miss-match between FY2014/2015 and FY 2015/2016 are 1.3 Trillion shillings. So the clear picture is that the Election Year for the NRM is very, very expensive.

Just think about that… eat the bill and pound on the amount of lost monies in the system. Peace.

 

EU letter showing continued support for Energy Markets in Ukraine (13.03.2017)

CSBAG Statement: The Budget We Want 2017/18 (20.01.2017)

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Swiss Oil Companies are mixing bad blended gasoline to gain fortunes on hazardous product on the environment and health!

bad-fuel-concept-2-low-res

“African Quality” is the industry term for fuels that are destined for African markets. They are characterised primarily by their high sulphur content, though the term also refers to fuels with other low-quality aspects such as a high olefinic or aromatic content. In short, this definition of African Quality matches the type of fuels that we found at petrol stations owned by Swiss trading companies in Africa” (Public Eye, P: 100, 2016).

There are viciousness and malice attempts all over the globe, there warlords killing for selling luxurious minerals and keeping resources in their hands to sell to get ammunition. Then there are not as vicious as them, but still worth condoning; the ones that knows that they are selling an off-brand product that they are not allowed elsewhere, but selling “African Quality”, low-level gasoline with blended high toxic and filled with metals, with levels higher than sulphur, PAHs and other chemicals that can be dangerous at certain extent.

Switzerland are a prosperous and business companies that are profitable abroad, like the ones mentioned in the report of Public Eye, that shows to what extent they go to earn fortunes. As they uses both connections to various regimes; they are using connections in Netherlands to blend and mix diesel and gasoline to the African market. That would be fine if it wasn’t an inferior product, but we’re a product that could be following standards of the same quality sold in Denmark or United Kingdom, instead it filled dangerous toxins and metals that can make the air-quality lower and make the car quickly destroyed. These acts should not go unnoticed.

Mixing and making cheap Gasoline in Abidjan, Ivory Coast: 

“How was this waste produced? Every month for 16 months, between January 2006 and April 2007, Trafigura bought batches of coker naphtha created at a Mexican refinery, with the intention of turning them into blendstocks for gasoline. This coker naphtha is one of the lowest qualities of gasoline blendstocks and it is created during oil refining from the “bottom of the barrel”. It has two specificities: first, it contains very high levels of toxic substances, namely sulphur and mercaptan sulphur, and second, as a direct consequence, it is very cheap. In other words, it is an opportunity for (almost) any creative trader. “As cheap as anyone can imagine”. James McNicol, a trader from Trafigura, wrote in an email to his colleagues in December 2005, “[this] should make serious dollars”. Trafigura’s sole motivation for experimenting with the production process was profit. Company executives had estimated that buying and selling the coker naphtha would generate profit to the tune of US$7 million per cargo. But before “making serious dollars”, Trafigura had to convert the product into a suitable ingredient for African gasoline: it had to find a way to lower drastically the mercaptan sulphur content, otherwise its odour would be unbearably strong” (Public Eye, P: 17, 2016).

Abidjan – Minton Report on African Quality gasoline:

“Based on the Minton report and an internal Trafigura document we conclude that the total sulphur still in the washed naphtha was between 608 and 680 tons – equaling between 7,156 and 8,000 ppm. The Minton report noted that “the process had achieved a 47 percent reduction of the mercaptans [in the sense of transforming into other Sulphur components] and that some ended up in the aqueous waste phase and some in the oily product, but that the conversion rate was not known.“ An internal Trafigura memorandum dated 23rd September 2006 summarizes in paragraphs 1–3 how much coker naphtha was unloaded to the Probo Koala by three different vessels and the mercaptan Sulphur content of it before and after the washings: (1) 11 April 2006 M/T Seapurha: 28,829 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 1,700 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. (2) 19 May 2006 M/T Moselle: 28,130 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 2,014 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. (3) 18 June 2006 M/T Seavinha 28,284 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 1,700 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. We can make an even more precise estimation: Based on Trafigura’s reply to the BBC that gives a summary of the composition of the waste as estimated by the claimants in a group litigation case – and based on analysis of the Netherlands Forensic Institute – the total sulphur content of the waste dumped in Abidjan was around 66 tons” (Public Eye, P: 149, 2016).

Trafigura business:

“In 2015, Trafigura had revenues of US$ 14.4 billion from Africa, making the continent its second largest market after Europe. Its competitor, Vitol, also operates widely on the continent. Thought to be the world’s largest commodity trader, Vitol might be expected to give some information about its activities if only in the public interest, but the company does not disclose its annual results. Many other Swiss companies also supply fuels to Africa” (Public Eye, P: 30, 2016).

Using Oil Deposits to blend into African Quality:

“Oil depots offer the opportunity to blend petroleum products according to the fuel quality required by the country (see chapters 9 and 10). With that respect, an advisor close to the BP-Puma transaction assumed Puma Energy was, among other reasons, buying petrol stations in order “to sell surplus of dirty products in Africa.” He was not the only one. A market analyst from Petroleum Intelligence Weekly also mentioned the “compromise” in fuel quality that could occur with the arrival of the traders.13 Weak regulation on fuel quality standards (particularly for sulphur) is a crucial factor in any analysis of the economic potential of petrol stations in Africa. As we show below, many high sulphur, low-quality intermediate products are available that can be blended into “African Quality” diesel and gasoline. Playing with qualities is a lucrative strategy and nothing else than a form of regulatory arbitrage” (Public Eye, P: 31, 2016).

Republic of Congo demand of Petroleum:

“Congo’s demand for petroleum products is satisfied by two sources. The first source is the state-owned refinery, Coraf, which is run by the President’s son Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, nicknamed “Kiki”. This refinery gets its oil from the State and provides diesel and gasoline to the local market. Coraf’s dodgy deals with a Swiss front company, Philia, have been the subject of a previous report by Public Eye” (…) “Tacoma and its Congolese subsidiary X-Oil have both been paying “consulting fees” to an offshore shell company belonging to Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the Congolese President’s son and head of trading operations at SNPC, according to a 2006 Hong Kong court judgment.32 The shell company, Long Beach Limited (Anguilla), was part of a broader scheme set up by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso to syphon off part of Congo’s oil wealth to private coffers, in collusion with Denis Gokana’s AOGC” (Public Eye, P: 43, 2016).

Difference between Europe and African levels of PAHs:

“So the actual gap between the African and European samples is even wider. Indeed, a study showed that the level of PAHs contained in diesel sold in Germany had an average of 2.73 percent of mass in 2013. So Vitol’s diesel, as sold in Senegal, has more than five times more PAHs than the diesel sold in Germany. Worldwide, the average of PAH in diesel is estimated to be 3.7 percent of mass, according to CONCAWE. This is certainly lower than what we found in Africa. Only two of our samples, found at Oryx in Zambia and Trafigura in Côte d’Ivoire, are lower than the global mean” (…) “The reason why African diesel fuels have high aromatic and polyaromatic content can easily be explained: almost no sub-Saharan African country regulates them. And so the trading companies who import these fuels are tempted to use cheaper, lower quality, high aromatic blendstocks for diesel in the African markets. This tactic might have commercial advantages, but for the people and for the environment where these fuels are sold, this “blend-dumping” is a very unhealthy practice” (Public Eye, P: 55, 2016).

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Difference between Europe and African levels of sulphur:

“But if we compare the average sulphur levels in European gasoline (7 ppm) with the highest sulphur sample of gasoline from a station in Ghana belonging to UBI, a subsidiary of Puma Energy, then that discrepancy increases to a factor of 103. More generally, we found the highest levels of sulphur in Ghana and Mali. In Ghana, we found between 275 and 718 ppm sulphur in the four gasoline samples. This is within the legal limit, but the limit itself is very high (1,000 ppm), one hundred times higher than the European legal limit. Many of our samples show much higher sulphur contents than what refineries in West Africa often produce. The Tema refinery in Ghana produces an average 127 ppm gasoline” (Public Eye, P: 56, 2016).

Swiss trading in Ghana:

“In 2014, 4 of the 8 deliveries from Swiss trading companies fluctuated between 2,800 ppm and 3,200 ppm, highlighting a possible strategy to stick as close as possible to the legal limit. That same year, both Vitol and Trafigura delivered diesel with sulphur content so high that the product could not be sold at the pump. The product would have been further blended in the depot to lower its sulphur level, unless it ended up being sold off-spec (i.e. illegally) to consumers. Asked to comment about those of their cargoes containing higher sulphur content than allowed at the pump, Trafigura declined to do so while Vitol specified that it “does not comment on specific cargoes as a matter of policy.” (Public Eye, P: 75, 2016). “While the subsidies drained the public treasury, the BDCs benefited from them systemically delivering lower quality products than planned (<1,000 ppm). Indeed, our findings revealed sulphur levels in diesel that were on average much higher than 1,000 ppm both at the moment of import and at the pump. The price calculated by the government to subsidise the importers therefore didn’t correspond with the quality of products imported. In a totally legal manner, as they were respecting Ghana’s national standards, the importers profited from a system to the detriment of the government (public finances) and the consumers, not to mention Ghanaian health” (Public Eye, P: 79, 2016).

Money before People:

“Simply put, Swiss commodity trading companies put profits before anything else, even before the health of the population, while claiming, as Vivo does for instance in Côte d’Ivoire, that “it uses all the means and tools necessary to ensure the latest international standards of quality […] so that Ivorian consumers benefit from what is best in terms of fuel when going to a Shell petrol stations”. Our findings contravene these glossy CSR-statements. In a corporate video, Trafigura says that “Across Africa and other developing regions, our supply of affordable high-quality fuel products empowers local businesses.” Vivo Energy is the same, saying that “Our commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest international Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE) standards is at the heart of our business and is a key differentiator (…) in Africa.” Not to repeat a similar promise made by Oryx Energies, that “Our commitment (…) for Africa means that we take every precaution to minimise the potential impact our products and services may have on the environment.” Commenting on Oryx’s development in Mali, the chairman of the group, Jean Claude Gandur said: “This enables us to supply high-quality fuels (…) to an increasing number of clients.” The reality is quite different. Just to take Mali as an example, Oryx’s diesel in the land-locked country was the worst we found among 25 samples collected in 8 countries, with 380 times more sulphur than allowed by the European limit” (Public Eye, P: 126 , 2016).

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We can easily see how the Swiss Corporations are earning fortunes on selling lower-quality petroleum to the African market as their loose regulation and easy market are acceptable for the degraded gasoline. This indicates how the European Corporation are doing what they can to earn monies on dangerous products that would not accept on their own shores. It’s disgraceful how these “African quality” gasoline and diesel are sold in different nations around on the African Continent.

It is not only bad for the cars and for the engines. It is harmful to the environment and the people who inhale the toxins and chemicals blends that come after the use of the gasoline. This pollution is man-made toxic blend that creates more harm than good. Still, it’s a legal product and allowed to sell without any questions. As the Governments are giving way to the Oil Companies and Holding Companies that are selling these there. This should not be acceptable.

Here is just one some samples of the bad business practices, there might be even more and worse than what the Public Eye found and what other companies do on the continent. To what extent they go to earn profits without consequences. This here proves the ability these companies have to be hazardous and be rough with nature and humanity while earning high profits on low-quality products. This should be sanctioned and stopped if it matter’s what people are inhaling and the damage it does to our bodies, secondly what these toxins do to our nature and surroundings as it might be in our food, waters and pollute our air. Certainly the initial findings prove the toxins and the ways of blending are reasons for itself to stop the manufacturing process of making it in general. Especially knowing how much better by just doing it proper and follow guidelines of European laws on gasoline and diesel would harm the environment less. The people should also not get polluted and get toxins because the corporations sell them a disgraceful product.

Last remark, when some of this by blending on ships or at facilities that produce already the European Standard gasoline or diesel, it is insulting that on the same refinery that they create worse product’s to sell leftovers to a continent; because they can and will to make as much profit as they can. This is our world and it’s not ideal, therefore we have to put a lid on it so it can change! Peace.

Reference:

Public Eye – ‘Dirty Diesel – How Swiss Traders Flood Africa with Toxic Fuels’ (September 2016, Ghana)

US: Volkswagen AG published ad hoc announcement (10.01.2017)

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European Countries accept to offer tax-exemptions that benefits Europe while stifling the rest, report claims!

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“Considering the strong democratic traditions in Europe, and the fact that taxation is considered an issue of great importance to national sovereignty, it seems rather odd that the EU has taken such a negative approach to the inclusion of developing countries in the setting of global tax standards” (Eurodad, P: 33, 2016)

There are in this world, lots of greedy people and states that want to earn on their own benefit and get the little extra without the second party. That is why the European States do what they can to keep as much benefit of businesses inside their own dominion, even as the businesses are earning their profits in developing countries, this is happening with sophisticated business transactions, sweetheart-deals, letter-box companies and stashing profits into tax-havens.

The ones that doesn’t this tactic, this way of earning higher profits and getting better rates on the production; the reality is that European States has worked coherent to avoid their thieving of funds as the taxation deals and openings of the multi-national companies in Europe. So with these possibilities, there comes also the reasoning that the companies do what they can to stifle the European states in their own scheme to keep them. Certainly the countries getting a point on the dollar instead of multiple points on it; they could get a fair trade out of, but when they are tricking the businesses there, the businesses will do what they can to trick out of them too. The Businesses are not in the country out of love, they are there to earn profits and doesn’t’ care how as long as they get. So long the States are having the set-up to be used, they will use them and the citizens will wonder why the sophisticated businesses pay so little why earning fortunes, while the citizens are paying fairly high tax on the dollar.

Just take a look!

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Letter box companies:

“The setting up of letterbox companies is one of the practices used by multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes in countries where their economic activity takes place” (…) “Looking at global investment flows, it is clear that several European countries are major centres providing attractive tax regimes for letterbox companies and thus functioning as conduits for multinationals’ investments. By comparing the statistics of foreign direct investments (FDI), Dutch organisation SOMO shows that the Netherlands is by far the largest exporter of FDI in the world, ahead of much bigger economies such as the United States and China” (Eurodad, P:17, 2016).

Sweetheart deals:

“In November 2014, the LuxLeaks revelations exposed the secret world of Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) – also known as sweetheart deals – which benefited multinational corporations, in some cases with tax rates lower than 1 per cent.89” (…) “Public insight into these kinds of deals is very rare indeed, since they are kept highly confidential. In fact, the LuxLeaks revelations were followed by legal charges against the two whistleblowers, as well as one of the key journalists, who brought the story to the public. The case is still ongoing in Luxembourg (see ‘Lack of whistleblower protection’)” (…) “Other examples of problematic APAs have been highlighted by the European Commission’s state aid cases. For example, APAs played a central role in the tax arrangements between Luxembourg and Fiat, the Netherlands and Starbucks, and Apple and Ireland. In these cases, the European Commission found the tax advantages given to the multinational corporations, through APAs, to be a violation of the EU’s State Aid rules” (Eurodad, P: 19, 2016).

Tax Treaties:

“Another key concern related to tax treaties is that they often include provisions to lower – or remove – withholding taxes on cross-boundary financial flows, and thus can lead to lower tax income in the countries signing on to such treaties, including developing countries. For example, research by ActionAid shows that a tax treaty between Uganda and the Netherlands, signed in 2004, completely takes away Uganda’s right to tax certain earnings paid to owners of Ugandan companies if the owners are resident in the Netherlands” (…) “The underlying problem in the international tax system today is that multinational companies are treated as a collection of ‘separate entities’ even though in reality they function as unified firms, with subsidiaries under the central control of the parent company. In today’s system, subsidiaries of the same company are expected to trade with each other ‘at arm’s length’, as if they did not have any connection to each other” (Eurodad, P: 21-24, 2016).

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Bank Secrecy:

“In order to deal with the tax evasion and avoidance risks related to banking secrecy, some developed countries, such as the EU Member States, have agreed to start exchanging information on financial accounts automatically amongst each other” (…) “This means that, for example, the Belgian tax authorities will, automatically and on a periodic basis, receive information on any bank accounts or assets held by Belgians in other EU Member States. The aim of this automatic information exchange is to improve the efficiency of tax collection and prevent taxpayers from hiding capital or assets abroad” (Eurodad, P: 27, 2016).

Interesting findings from European Countries:

“The Austrian government is against full public country by country reporting, and even the European Commission’s proposal for partially public country by country reporting” (Eurodad, P: 41, 2016).

“Belgium generally has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, but the average reduction in developing country tax rates through these treaties is low. However, that the average does not show is that several of Belgium’s tax treaties with developing countries are ‘very restrictive’. There are also clear indications that Belgium’s tax treaties have significant negative impacts on the developing countries that sign them. A conservative estimate puts the fiscal cost to 28 developing countries at €35 million in 2012”(Eurodad, P: 41 , 2016). “The Belgian tax treaty system is also an issue of concern. A conservative estimate suggests that 28 developing countries lost €35 million in 2012 due to tax treaties with Belgium” (Eurodad, P: 57, 2016).

“The position of the Czech government on the issue of ownership transparency is ambiguous. On the one hand, the new Czech law is very restrictive in terms of access to information in the Czech beneficial ownership register (in fact, it seems that the definition of the “legitimate interest” is so narrow that in practice it will be inaccessible for the public, no matter if they have a legitimate interest or not)” (Eurodad, P: 42, 2016).

The Danish government does not support full public country by country reporting. Instead, Denmark supports the proposal from the European Commission, which would only allow the public to get a partial picture of the activities and tax payments of multinational corporations” (Eurodad, P: 42 , 2016).

“Although the French tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, France has eight ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. In total, France also has the highest number of treaties with developing countries among all countries covered by this report” (Eurodad, P: 43, 2016).

The German government has previously worked very actively against the adoption of full public country by country reporting at EU level. Germany remains very sceptical, even towards the proposal from the European Commission, which would only introduce partially public country by country reporting” (…) “Germany’s tax treaties with developing countries are a cause of concern due to the high number of very restrictive treaties. Also of concern is the fact that Germany’s total number of treaties with developing countries is significantly above average” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).

apple-double-irish-ec-opto

“Of all the countries covered by this report, the Irish tax treaties with developing countries introduce the highest average reductions on the tax rates of their developing country treaty partners. Among the Irish tax treaties with developing countries are three ’very restrictive’ treaties” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).

“Although the Italian tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, Italy and the UK are the countries that have the highest number of ’very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 45, 2016). “An Italian investigation is also ongoing into Credit Suisse Ag. The Switzerland-based group’s parent company is charged with systematically having helped 13,000 Italian clients to hide their assets of more than €14 billion abroad” (Eurodad, P: 73, 2016).

“According to the Financial Secrecy Index, Luxembourg has the highest level of financial secrecy of all the countries covered by this report (and ranks at number 6 at the global level). The government’s position on the issue of public registers of beneficial owners is unclear” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “In spite of the LuxLeaks scandal, Luxembourg has continued to issue a very high number of advance pricing agreements (or ‘sweetheart deals’) to multinational corporations – with a 50 per cent increase during the year following the scandal. This, as well as the fact that Luxembourg generally has a significant amount of indicators of aggressive tax planning, is highly concerning. Also, on the issue of financial secrecy, Luxembourg remains a high concern – currently placed as number 6 at the list of the world’s most secretive countries” (Eurodad, P: 79, 2016).

“Netherlands currently has some extremely restrictive tax treaties with developing countries, which make it difficult for those developing countries to collect taxes. Netherlands generally also has more tax treaties with developing countries, and is more aggressive in negotiating the lowering of tax rates in developing countries, than the average among the countries covered in this report. In addition, the government does not levy withholding taxes on outgoing payments to tax havens, which would be an effective anti-abuse measure that would not require lengthy treaty renegotiations” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “Leaked EU documents show that the Netherlands is attempting to undermine EU plans to tackle harmful tax practices by introducing a minimum tax rate of 10 per cent for royalties and interest payments. They reveal that the Netherlands has proposed exceptions in the plans for its patent box provision, which can reduce taxation on revenues resulting from research and development to 5 per cent. This provision, which is a key component of the Dutch tax system, would be threatened by a 10 per cent minimum rate” (Eurodad, P: 82, 2016).

bermuda-norway

“Norway has a high number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016). “Norway’s tax treaty with Benin completely prevents Benin from taxing royalty payments to Norway. This is problematic since multinational corporations can use royalty payments between subsidiaries to minimize their profits and thereby avoid taxes in the countries where they have business activities” (…) “Norway does not have a patent box. It does however have a very favourable tax regime for shipping companies, albeit in line with EU countries’ legislation. Shipping income is tax-exempt and qualifying companies instead pay a small tax based on the tonnage of its vessels” (Eurodad, P: 84, 2016).

“Poland has a significant number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016).

“Spain has on average been the second most aggressive negotiator when it comes to lowering developing country tax rates through tax treaties. Spain also has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, which gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 48, 2016). “Wealthy Spanish people have doubled their money stashed in Luxembourg (more than €13 billion) – afraid of uncertainty and looking for lower tax rates” (…) “Inside Spain, the Canary Islands (located close to the African Atlantic coast) have a special economic and tax regime that make them “one of the most profitable tax regimes in Europe”, according to PwC. A tax rate of 4 per cent for companies located there is one of the several tax benefits. Special incentives also are applied in Ceuta and Melill” (Eurodad, P: 90-91, 2016).

“Sweden has four ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).

“Together with Italy, the UK has the highest number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. On average, the UK’s tax treaties with developing countries contain relatively high reductions in developing country tax rates. The fact that the UK at the same time has the second highest number of treaties with developing countries gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).

If this isn’t eye-opening, than I don’t know, but it shows the systematic state of easy taxation to benefit big-business, the multi-national companies, so they can set-up show and get grander profits, while the states works the perks between them to settle score. The negotiations and the tax-havens gives more space for the companies to fuel money out of Europe and of the Developing Countries, which hurts all sort of government operations as the end-game is that the government doesn’t get the supposed tax-base as that flee to offshore or overseas where the taxations is lax or non-compliance with the place the business actually operates. We all should get our MPs, Senators, MEPs, Governors and all other Elected Representatives, to take action against this sophisticated thieving from the Multi-National Companies and the Representatives who opens the gates for this activity. Peace.

Reference:

EURODAD – ‘Survival of the Richest – Europe’s role in supporting an unjust global tax system 2016’ (15.11.2016).

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