19thYear of Publication | Number 999 | 23 - 29 September, 2012| € 3.50
The Prime Minister of Malta LawrenceGonzi and his Minister for Resources ,have taken New Europe to the FirstInstance Court of Brussels asking for€25.000 each on the grounds that they were offended by an interview publishedin February 27, 2012, (statements by Captain Paul Watson head of NGO “SeaShepard”), despite neither their names northeir government having been mentioned. The allegations of Paul Watson werereferring to bluefin tuna (a spieces underextinction), fished in Malta. The lawsuit was filed with the Belgian Court on 31 July and the first trial took place on 4September but the Court declared its self non-competent and we are now waiting tohear from the judiciary when and wherethe next trial will be.Following the documents given to usfrom the Court New Europe was madeaware of a letter from the Minister of resources George Pullicino sent to us on30 April 30 (via a law firm and not via thePress Office of the Maltese Embassy inBrussels). The letter was never receivedotherwise we would have published itimmediately. As we received the letter weprint it on page 10 (see also p 4 and 11).In his letter the good Minister, amongothers, says that
“the Maltese authoritiesvoluntarily, etc…
. In preparing our defenseand counter-suit, however, we found a “fis-che d’infraction (same dates referring tothe “voluntary” contingency measures of the Minister) and the relevant “mise endemeure” letter of the Commission (seepages 4 and 11) which claim the opposite,i.e.
“Malta replied to the letter of formal notice of November 30 (2007). The Maltese authorities, have recognized the failuresmentioned by the Commission.”
Since in their lawsuit against New Europe Messers Gonzi and Pullicino claimthat we did not contact them to get theiropinion before publishing the Watson inter- view (we publish in a free and democraticcountry, Belgium, and we never follow suchpractice). This time, before making thispublication, we invited Mr. Gonzi and Mr.Pullicino (directly and through theirPermanent Delegation to the EU inBrussels) to comment on the Commissionsdocuments, which contradict the statementsof the Resources minister, at the time of going to print we have not received any comment.
For the first time in its history, Georgiahas a strong opposition capable of aid-ing the complete transition to democ-racy, a senior political figue has said.In an interview with New Europe, veteran Georgian diplomat and formerForeign Minister, Tedo Japaridze, whois now the opposition Georgian DreamSecretary for International Affairs, saidthat the parliamentary elections inGeorgia on 1 October will be a test of how far the nation has travelledtowards democracy.“These are not like European elec-tions, but they are very vibrant”, said Japaridze.” It’s a typical post-sovietelection, we can talk about indepen-dence and democracy but our mind-sets are still post-soviet, so it’s also a very painful mental and psychologicaltransition.”“It’s still a system of one strong man,his inner circle, weak institutions. Inreality we’re just at the beginning of democracy, it will be a long process,indeed democracy is a never endingprocess, but this is the context weshould see the elections in.”According to the former ambassador,the current opposition, of which he is apart, is the strongest, most capable thatthe country has yet produced. He wants Georgia Dream to function aspart of a working democracy.“Elections everywhere are vibrantand noisy,” he said, “but it’s not aboutdestroying and killing each other. It’simportant for us to go through theseelections with the perspective of anewly born democracy taking its firststeps. I want to live in a country wherean opposition can win, where a govern-ment can lose, this is normal but it’snever happened in Georgia.”Meanwhile, pressure on the govern-ment has mounted over the release of a video which appears to link two seniorgovernment ministers to the death of prisoner Sergo Tetradze.Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaiaand his assistant, Megis Kardava, wereaccused on national television of involvement of the death in prison of Tetradze last year by former prisonguard, Vladimir Bedukadze, who shotthe footage. There have been opposition calls forthe resignation of Akhalaia and Kardava, while anti-torture protesters have taken tothe streets following the deployment of police to replace prison officers in jails on19 September, on the orders of PresidentMikheil Saakashvili.
‘We have the chance to move ahead as a normal, capable, state’
Gonzi & Pullicino vs. New Europe
· Page 19
Georgia: time for change
After violent protests by extremists in reaction to the"Innocence of Muslims" video, the question whetheror not YouTube should takethe video offline...
·Pages 4, 10, 11
Hillsborough came at theend of a decade when I wasintroduced to football; itspassions, its delights and itstragedies...
The Hungarian parliamenthas changed course on abill that introduces domes-tic violence to theHungarian penal code...
On 18 September,Azerbaijan’s Industry andEnergy Minister NatigAliyev said Baku is interest-ed in the Trans-Caspian gaspipeline...
A protester holds a placard during a protest against torture in prisons in Tbilisi on 20 September. The sameday, Georgia's leader appointed the ex-Soviet state's human rights ombudsman Giorgi Tugushi as prisonsminister amid continuing protests over videos showing the torture and rape of convicts. |