yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei: giugno 2011



giovedì 30 giugno 2011


30 Giugno 2011

DE RUEHSF #0123/01 0531526
P 221526Z FEB 10




E.O. 12958: N/A


SOFIA 00000123 001.2 OF 007

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Bulgaria is primarily a point of origin and
transit, and to a lesser degree destination for human trafficking.
The government continued its energetic anti-trafficking prevention
campaign and stepped up efforts in the area of victim protection.
It also passed legislation to increase punishments for traffickers
and introduced penalties for the clients of minor prostitutes and
trafficking victims. The new government has actively pursued
high-profile cases against corrupt officials, including former
ministers and agency heads. It fired several police officers
accused of aiding traffickers and arrested a high-level Interior
Ministry official in charge of migration policy for helping
trafficking groups obtain fake documents. The court sentenced two
elected local government officials charged with leading a
trafficking criminal network.

¶2. (SBU) Primary point of contact on trafficking is Political
Officer XXXXXXXXXXXX. Approximately 100 hours of staff time were
required for the completion of this report. END SUMMARY.



-- A. Several agencies, including the Prosecution Service, the
Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of
Labor and Social Policy maintain information about trafficking
trends, criminal proceedings, traffickers and victims. The National
Commission for combating trafficking in human beings (the
Commission) collects and summarizes all government-generated data,
which is generally inclusive and reliable. The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGOs also compile data on the
destination, source points, and recruitment methods compiled from
trafficking victims that they have assisted.

-- B. Bulgaria continues to be primarily an origin point for
trafficking of women and children, mostly for purposes of commercial
sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent it is a transit and
destination point for sexual exploitation of foreign victims of
trafficking. Bulgarians are also subjected to trafficking
conditions within the country. Internal trafficking, particularly
to resort areas, is primarily for sexual exploitation, and victims
are often later trafficked to Western Europe. The ratio between
external and internal trafficking for sexual exploitation is almost
equal. Bulgarian victims of sexual exploitation are traditionally
recruited from several regions of the country: victims from Sliven,
in southeast Bulgaria, are primarily trafficked to Belgium and the
Netherlands; victims from Plovdiv and Pazardzhik, in central
Bulgaria, are mostly trafficked to France, Austria, and Italy;
victims from northeast Bulgaria are mostly trafficked to Germany,
Czech Republic, and the Scandinavian countries; victims from
Blagoevgrad, in southwest Bulgaria, are usually trafficked to
Greece, Italy, and Spain. Bulgarian victims are also trafficked to
Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Turkey, Cyprus and Macedonia. NGOs
report few recent cases of Bulgarian victims trafficked outside
Europe, primarily to the U.S. and South Africa. Law enforcement
officials report that more than 80 percent of the trafficking
investigations involve sexual exploitation. However, Greece, Italy,
Spain and Great Britain are known also as destinations for labor
trafficking of Bulgarian victims.

-- C. Victims are subject to forced prostitution, physical and
psychological abuse. They are frequently limited in their movement
and face punishments for failing to comply with the traffickers'
rules. Victims are also deprived of their identity documents and
are controlled through threats against their relatives. Some
victims are forced to pay large debts or are sold to other
traffickers. Occasionally, in order to keep them dependent, victims
are given drugs, mostly heroin.

-- D. The most vulnerable populations for human trafficking are
young women between the ages of 18 and 24, low income or unemployed
persons, and those with less education and problematic family
relations. According to NGO estimates, Roma account for
approximately 15 percent of victims. Roma children are more
vulnerable to being trafficked for begging and delinquency and Roma
women are vulnerable to being trafficked for sexual exploitation.
NGOs report that female students, particularly from high-schools or
universities specializing in dance, have recently become more
vulnerable to trafficking.

-- E. Law enforcement and NGOs identify four types of traffickers:
freelancers, independent pimps (who usually control 2 to 5 victims),
partner associations (typically comprised of 2 to 9 traffickers who
control up to 7 victims each), and organized crime networks.
Freelancers and independent pimps have limited access to territories
outside Bulgaria, while partner associations and OC groups largely
control the international trafficking. Bulgarian victims are lured
by promises of profitable work, often through close friends,
acquaintances, or boyfriends. In some cases victims are recruited
through false job offers for receptionists, waitresses, models or au
pairs. Some victims directly approach the traffickers and
voluntarily accept to work as companions but are later exploited.
Occasionally victims are kidnapped, forced to pay back unreasonable
debts, or are sold by their relatives. Both Bulgarian and foreign
trafficking victims generally use genuine rather than forged
documents and cross borders legally. Victims are also moved
frequently from one place to another, avoiding detection by
authorities for undocumented stays. Children trafficked abroad
generally travel with the full consent of their parents as required
by Bulgarian border control.


-- A. The government acknowledges that human trafficking is a
problem in the country.

-- B. The Commission, which by law is comprised of deputy
ministerial level representatives of different agencies, serves as
the focal point for coordinating the government's anti-trafficking
efforts. The Commission is supported in its efforts by six local
commissions, which are located in regions identified as major source
or destination points for trafficking. In 2009, the Commission
continued its energetic prevention campaign and stepped up efforts
in the area of victim protection. On the prosecution front, the
Ministry of Interior and the Prosecution Service maintained high
rates of investigations against sex and labor traffickers.

-- C. The government's challenges to combat trafficking include an
overly formalistic judicial process, inadequate compensation for
government officials, and lingering public corruption. Different
agencies within the Ministry of Interior have the authority to
investigate trafficking cases. Some of the agencies' local branches
lack sufficient expertise or administrative capacity to handle
complex investigations. Additionally, the lack of a centralized
approach in investigating organized crime groups sometimes allows
the groups' leaders to conceal their criminal activities by
sacrificing low to mid-level accomplices.

-- D. The Commission regularly collects data from all relevant
agencies to refine its prevention campaigns and training programs.
The National Commission publishes an annual report of the
government's anti-trafficking efforts and hosts a quarterly meeting
with international donors and local NGOs. These quarterly meetings
provide a forum for sharing accomplishments and coordinating

-- E. The government has a reliable system for birth registration.
Regardless of ethnicity or social status, Bulgarian women have
traditionally chosen to give birth at hospitals providing
specialized medical care. According to latest studies 99.4 percent
of all births take place at hospitals and are registered immediately
thereafter. In 2009, the government continued to implement measures
in order to meet EU Schengen requirements. As part of this effort,
starting March 2010 the government will begin to re-register
citizens, which is necessary for the issuance of new identity
documents containing biometric data on all Bulgarian nationals.

-- F. The government generally has the capabilities to gather data
for law enforcement assessment. However, the lack of a systematic
approach and modern equipment as well as the poor administrative
capacity, especially at local level, are challenges acknowledged by
the government. In part to overcome these challenges, the
government establishment permanently functioning task forces in
2009, comprised of vetted law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
These task forces are already running at full speed and target
organized crime in a more systematic manner.


-- A. Section IX of Bulgaria's Criminal Code, which was adopted in
2002, specifically prohibits trafficking for both sexual and labor
exploitation. The law covers internal and transnational forms of
trafficking. The victims' consent is not defense to trafficking
charges under Bulgarian law, even when the victim is an adult.
Amendments adopted in April 2009 increased punishments for
traffickers. More specifically the government significantly
increased fines for traffickers and increased the minimum time of
imprisonment for internal trafficking. The law also increased the
maximum prison sentence for international traffickers, repeat
offenders, and organized crime group members. Changes to the law
introduced specific penalties for the clients of minor prostitutes
and for those who use trafficking victims for sexual abuse, forced
labor, organ removal or servitude. The Criminal Code also punishes
rape, slavery, forced prostitution and activities related to
prostitution. Trafficking is among the offenses covered by the 2005
Asset Forfeiture Law, which allows for confiscation of illegally
acquired property. Victims of trafficking can also sue for civil
damages. The exact text of section IX, article 159 is included

Art. 159a.

(1) A person who gathers, transports, hides or receives individuals
or groups of people in order to be used for vicious practice,
involuntary servitude, seizure of body organs or to be kept under
compulsory submission regardless of their consent, shall be punished
by imprisonment of two to eight years and a fine from three thousand
to twelve thousand levs.
(2) When the act under para 1 is committed:
¶1. regarding a person under eighteen years of age;
¶2. by compulsion or by deceiving the person;
¶3. by kidnapping or illegal deprivation of freedom;
¶4. by using a state of dependence;
¶5. by malfeasance;
¶6. by promising, providing or obtaining benefit,
the punishment shall be imprisonment of three to ten years and a
fine from ten thousand to twenty thousand levs.
(3) In case the act under para 1 has been committed with regards to
a pregnant woman with the purpose of selling the child, the
punishment shall be imprisonment of three to fifteen years and a
fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand levs.

Art. 159b

A person who gathers, transports, hides or receives individuals or
groups of people and transfers them through the border of the
country with the purpose under art. 159a, para 1 shall be punished
by imprisonment of three to twelve years and a fine from ten
thousand to twenty thousand levs.
(2) If the act under para 1 is committed under the conditions of
art. 159a, para 2 and 3 the punishment shall be imprisonment of five
to twelve years and a fine from twenty thousand to fifty thousand

Art. 159c.

Whoever uses a person, victim of traffic of people, for acts of
debauchery, for forced labor, for deprivation of corporal organs or
to be kept in forced obedience regardless of his consent shall be
punished by imprisonment from three to ten years and fine from ten
thousand to twenty thousand levs.

Art. 159d.

When the act under art. 159a - 159c represents a dangerous
recidivism or it has been committed by an errand or in fulfillment
of a decision of an organized criminal group the punishment shall be
imprisonment of five to fifteen years and a fine from twenty to one
hundred thousand levs, as the court can also rule confiscation of a
part or of the entire property of the offender.

-- B-C. All forms of human trafficking are equally penalized,
regardless of the form of exploitation. The punishment for
trafficking in persons is two to eight years in prison and fines up
to approximately USD 8,800 (BGN 12,000). If aggravated
circumstances exist -- e.g., a minor or kidnapping was involved --
penalties increase to three to ten years in prison and fines of up
to approximately USD 14,700 (BGN 20,000). Penalties for trafficking
persons across borders increased to three to 12 years imprisonment
and fines of up to approximately USD 14,700 (BGN 20,000). The same
increased punishment is provided for trafficking of pregnant women
for the purpose of baby selling. If the act of trafficking is
carried out in connection with an organized crime group or
constituted a serious repeat offense, penalties increase to five to
15 years imprisonment with fines of up to approximately USD 74,000
(BGN 100,000) and the possibility of forfeiture of assets. Labor
recruiters and employers who falsely entice workers or forcibly hold
them in the destination countries can be punished with up to ten
years imprisonment.

-- D. Sentences for rape range between two and eight years
imprisonment; sentences increase to between three and ten years if
the perpetrator is a repeat offender, or if the victim is underage
or a close relative. In cases where rape results in serious bodily
injury or suicide of the victim, sentences range between ten and 20

-- E. In 2009, the prosecution service investigated a total of 226
trafficking cases, 21 of which involved forced labor. Of the 226
cases, 95 were from previous years and 131 were launched in 2009.
Of the 131 newly launched investigations, 122 of them concerned
trafficking for sexual exploitation and nine dealt with labor
exploitation. In 2009, prosecutors filed indictments against two
labor traffickers, including one foreigner, and 79 sex traffickers,
including 2 foreigners. A total of 97 persons were convicted on
trafficking charges. Of the 97, 94 were sentenced for trafficking
for sexual exploitation and three for labor exploitation. Fourteen
people were convicted based on a new provision which criminalized
the use of trafficking victims for sexual abuse. Fifty-one of the
traffickers received effective sentences, 45 received suspended
sentences and one was sentenced to probation. Thirty-seven
traffickers received fines in addition to their sentences.
Offenders convicted of trafficking generally served the full
sentences mandated by the court. In some of the cases, the
prosecutors pressed multiple charges against the perpetrators, and
where there was not sufficient evidence to prove the trafficking
charges, the perpetrators were prosecuted for enticement into
prostitution. In January 2010, the police arrested six people for
sexually abusing 12 boys ages 12 to 16 years who were recruited
through the Internet. The investigation is ongoing.

-- F. The government and NGOs trained law enforcement officers on
investigating trafficking and differentiating between trafficking
victims and offenders. As part of its regular curriculum, the
National Institute of Justice, the government's magistrates'
training institution, trained 34 judges and 19 prosecutors on
organized crime issues, including human trafficking and trans-border
crimes. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) trained
60 Bulgarian labor inspectors on issues such as trafficking victim
identification, sectors most vulnerable to trafficking exploitation,
protection mechanisms, and penalization of violators. IOM also
trained 60 law enforcement officers on trafficking victim
identification and referral and migration management.

-- G. The Bulgarian government cooperated with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. The MOI
Border Police unit cooperated with counterparts in Poland, Great
Britain, Belgium and Greece. The MOI anti-organized crime unit held
17 joint investigations targeting human traffickers with law
enforcement from Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands,
Italy and Great Britain.

-- H. Bulgarian law allows extradition of both foreign nationals and
Bulgarian citizens. In 2009, the government initiated 33
extradition cases on trafficking charges. Of them, four were
against foreigners and 33 against Bulgarian nationals.

-- I. Corruption is by far Bulgaria's biggest challenge with
numerous allegations of government officials providing "no look"
protection to organized crime figures, including traffickers. The
new government, which won the July 2009 elections on an
anti-corruption platform, has made strides against corrupt
practices, including launching investigations against four former
ministers and several other high-level officials. The new
government also replaced 26 of the 28 regional police chiefs and
established permanently functioning joint police-prosecutors
investigative teams targeting major organized crime figures.

-- J. In 2008 police arrested 24 members of an organized crime group
involved in human trafficking and money laundering in the coastal
city of Varna. Three of the group's members were elected government
officials and served on the city council at the time of their
arrest. In June 2009 two of the municipal councilors, a father and
a son, plea bargained and received a three-year and one-year
effective sentences, which they are currently serving. A total of
19 members of the group plea bargained and received reduced
sentences. The trial is ongoing against one municipal councilor and
four members of the group, who refused to plea-bargain.
Additionally, nine out of eleven officers of the local
anti-organized crime unit in Vratsa were dismissed from office on
suspicion of aiding a trafficking group. In February, the
government arrested the Head of the Migration unit within the
Interior Ministry for reportedly aiding a criminal group in securing
Bulgarian identity documents for foreigners smuggled in Bulgaria.

-- K. Reporting not applicable to Bulgaria

-- L. Bulgaria does not have an identified child sex tourism
problem. However, resort areas along the Black sea coast and border
towns, especially with Greece, are destination points for internal
sexual exploitation. Trafficking victims in these areas are often
young girls between 14 and 18, who are considered children under
Bulgarian law. The Prosecution service identified 18 children
victims of sexual exploitation in 2009. In October 2009 the court
sentenced an Australian pedophile to five years and six months
imprisonment. The Australian was arrested in November 2008 for
performing acts of debauchery with three Bulgarian minors in the
coastal city of Varna and videotaping them. A Bulgarian national
was also sentenced to nine months imprisonment for aiding the
Australian to get in contact with the victims. In March 2009,
prosecutors filed in court an indictment against an Italian national
accused of pedophilia. The trial against him is ongoing. In
September 2009, police arrested a German pensioner who was
videotaping naked Bulgarian minors of Roma origin who were between
four and eight years old for an Internet pedophile forum. The
investigation against the German is ongoing as is the investigation
against national of Great Britain who was arrested on charges of
pedophilia in December 2009. Bulgarian Criminal Code has
extraterritorial coverage and Bulgarian nationals are punishable for
child abuse abroad.


-- A. The government provides victims with shelter, counseling,
medical, and legal assistance, consistent with its laws.

-- B-C. Bulgaria has six state-run children's shelters and one
adults' shelter which are accessible to victims of trafficking.
Additionally several NGO's, including Animus (Sofia), Samaritans
(Stara Zagora), SOS Families at Risk (Varna), Diva (Plovdiv), Open
Door (Pleven), and Demetra (Burgas) have care facilities and offer
legal, medical and psychological service to victims of trafficking.
The Government rents facilities to NGOs, at below market rates and
provides police protection for NGO-operated safe houses. Several
local governments, including in Varna and Pazardzhik, outsource
provision of social services to NGOs by allocating them premises and
funding. Each of the six children's shelters offers psychological
and medical assistance to victims and has the capacity to shelter
ten kids between ages six and 18 years for a period of up to six
months. The government provides an annual state allowance of 7,750
($5,000) BGN/year per child. NGOs and government agencies do not
distinguish between foreign and Bulgarian citizens in providing
assistance to trafficking victims. The Commission is finalizing
standards for minimum care that all facilities should offer to
trafficking victims.

-- D. The 2003 Anti-Trafficking Act created a special immigration
status for foreign trafficking victims who cooperate in trafficking
investigations. The status provides for full residency and
employment rights until the end of criminal proceedings. For
foreign citizen victims who choose not to cooperate in trafficking
investigations, the GOB provides ten days plus one month for
recovery before they are returned to their country of origin. The
recovery period for foreign citizen child victims is ten days plus
two months.

-- E. The government shelters children victims of trafficking for a
period of up to six months. The shelter's social workers seek to
ensure the safe return of the children to their biological families
after this period expires and, whenever necessary, to find them
accommodation in a specialized institution or a foster family.

-- F. The government has an institutionalized referral process for
children victims of trafficking and law enforcement routinely
referred children victims to the six state-run shelters. Law
enforcement referred adult victims to NGOs. In 2009, the Commission
continued to work with NGOs in a multinational project funded by the
Dutch government to develop a transnational referral mechanism. The
Commission is currently finalizing a set of standard operative
procedures under this mechanism.

-- G. In 2009, the government identified 289 victims of trafficking,
of which 44 were minors. Of the children victims, 40 were sexually
exploited and four were labor exploited. All children victims
received government-funded assistance. Of the adult victims, 213
were women and 32 were male. Of the 32 men, 28 were victims of
labor exploitation and five men were sexually exploited. 202 women
were victims of sexual exploitation and 11 were labor exploited. In
2009, IOM assisted 47 victims of trafficking, two of whom were
foreign nationals. Forty of the assisted were victims of sexual
exploitation and seven were victims of labor exploitation. Animus
NGO assisted 45 adult victims referred by law enforcement or their
sister organizations throughout Europe.

-- H. Bulgarian law enforcement, particularly border police, have
been trained on victim identification and have a system for
screening potential victims. Prostitution is not specifically
legalized in Bulgaria.

-- I. NGOs reported that victims' rights were respected, according
to international norms. Victims were generally not detained, fined,
or prosecuted for minor offenses with one notable exception
involving two Moldovan women who received a six month suspended
sentence for illegal border crossing. The two were meanwhile
referred to IOM for assistance but the charges against them were not

-- J. The government encourages victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases and provides
special status for foreign citizen victims who cooperate. Victims
can also file civil suits for material and moral damages suffered
and generally victims have unimpeded access to such redress. Victim
witnesses are permitted to obtain other employment or leave the
country pending trial proceedings. Trafficking victims who have not
been compensated through judicial process can seek redress for
material damages from a special government fund. The fund is
operated by a National Council under the Ministry of Justice which
allocates compensations from BGN 250 (approximately USD 170) to BGN
5,000 (approximately USD 3,520) to victims of a specified list of
crimes, including trafficking.

-- K. The government provides training for government officials on
identifying and assisting trafficking victims. In 2009, experts of
the Commission made presentations to Border police, school teachers,
and social workers at the children shelters. The Police Academy
under the Ministry of Interior has included human trafficking course
in its standard curriculum for police officers. The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Institute includes a module on
trafficking in its courses for junior diplomats and consular
officers as well as officers from the Ministry of Defense, the
General Staff, and the Military Academy. The officers posted to
Bulgarian embassies and consulates are taught how to recognize
trafficking victims and how to refer victims to NGOs for legal,
medical and psychological assistance. In 2009, the IOM helped
repatriate and provided social assistance to three adults and three
children who were victims of labor exploitation in Spain. All of
the victims were referred to IOM by the Bulgarian embassy in Madrid.

-- L. The Government provides medical aid, shelter, psychological,
and reintegration assistance, as well as education to children
victims of trafficking. It refers repatriated adult trafficking
victims to NGOs for legal, medical and psychological aid. The
Anti-Trafficking Act provides for repatriated Bulgarian trafficking
victims to receive the same assistance and care as trafficking
victims identified within the country.

-- M. The IOM and NGOs, including Animus, Nadia Center Foundation,
Samaritans, Diva, and SOS Families at Risk provided medical, legal,
psychological and reintegration assistance to trafficking victims.
IOM and NGOs report strong cooperation with Government officials, on
a national and local level. The government supported and protected
organization conducting awareness/prevention campaigns.


-- A. In 2009, the government organized and/or supported numerous
public awareness programs on national and local level. In October
2009, the Commission launched an Open Door campaign by opening its
office to students every Friday. In 2009, the Commission hosted 350
students who received information brochures and participated in
video screenings and discussions. The Commission also organized a
student contest for trafficking awareness presenting 50 awards for
anti-trafficking illustrations and 30 awards for best essays. The
local commission in Varna, in partnership with an employment agency
and local universities, organized a prevention campaign against
labor exploitation titled "Where are you travelling?". Experts at
the local commission in Burgas held discussions with students. The
local commission in Sliven held a charity concert under the slogan
"There is always a choice" and organized in partnership with the
local theater a prevention campaign for the visitors of the autumn
theater festival. The government also opened three information
centers under the local commissions in Varna, Burgas and

-- B. The National Border Police actively monitors airports and land
border crossings for evidence of trafficking in persons. However,
effective monitoring of immigration and emigration patterns is
hampered by visa-free travel between Bulgaria and its neighbors.

-- C. The Commission is a multi-agency body specifically tasked with
coordinating Bulgaria's anti-trafficking efforts. The Commission's
secretariat ensures effective communication between the various
agencies represented on the Commission and serves as the main point
of contact for international and local partners on trafficking
issues. Under the leadership of the Commission's secretariat, an
expert advisory group, with representatives from all member
agencies, meets regularly to address operational issues. The
Commission's secretariat also hosts quarterly meetings of a
coordination group, comprised of international donors and NGO
representatives, to advance anti-trafficking efforts.

-- D. The government adopts annually a plan of action for combating
human trafficking. The 2009 plan was approved by the Council of
Ministers in April 2009. It was developed in consultation with all
relevant government agencies, as well as NGOs and the IOM.

-- E-F. In April 2009, the government introduced penalties for the
clients of children prostitutes and also criminalized the use of
trafficking victims for sexual abuse. The government sentenced six
persons under these new provisions. As described above, Bulgarian
Criminal Code has extraterritorial coverage and applies to Bulgarian
clients of minor prostitutes abroad.


-- A. In 2009, the Bulgarian government cooperated with the
Norwegian government under a joint police cooperation project aimed
at increasing police capacity to handle trafficking cases. The
government also implemented a bilateral police project with the
Dutch government.

-- B. Bulgaria is one of four source countries, along with Albania,
Macedonia and Romania, which implements a project aimed at
developing a transnational referral mechanism for trafficking
victims. The project also promotes sharing of best practices among
the eight cooperating countries.


Greece: Back from the brink - for now

30 Giugno 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Greece has pulled itself back from the brink, by agreeing to a painful austerity package aimed at reducing the country's giant budget deficits.

On Thursday, the Parliament voted to implement those unpopular reforms. The vote set the stage for the nation to secure the final $17 billion of a $156 billion international relief package.

The latest cash infusion means Greece will be able to stave off an immediate default and pay its bills for the next three months.

But Greece is not out of the woods. The country still needs to put the unpopular reforms into practice, negotiate with creditors and privatize big public institutions.

Passage of the austerity plan "will certainly give some short-term relief to markets," said IHS Global senior economist Diego Iscaro. "But concerns about the long-term feasibility of Greece's fiscal plans still remain in place."

Greece is now expected to begin negotiations with the European Union and International Monetary Fund for another bailout, said Wolfango Piccoli, a director at the Eurasia Group in London.

The next round of emergency aid is expected to range between $172 billion and $216 billion, which would cover Greece's expenses through 2014, he said.

As with the previous deal, the new package will come with conditions. The terms are expected to include some concessions by Greece's creditors and the transfer of state assets to the private sector.

But providing more short-term support for Greece "is just kicking the can down the road," Piccoli said.

Officials in Europe are hoping to keep Greece solvent long enough to allow other troubled European nations to strengthen and put pressure on Greece to enact the painful reforms passed Wednesday.

At the same time, the European Union is working with Greece's main creditors -- French and German banks -- to roll over some of the nation's debt into longer-term bonds.

"It's unclear how that will be done, though there seems to be some willingness there," on the part of the banks, said Piccoli. "But that's just another measure to gain time, it doesn't diminish the amount of debt that Greece will be left with."

The bottom line is that Greece's ability to repay its debts remains in question.

"For all economic intents and purposes, Greece has already defaulted," said Sandeep Dahiya, professor of finance at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. "There's no way Greece can repay all the money it owes."

The big worry is that other debt-laden nations in Europe -- particularly Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain -- would be dragged down if Greece were to default in a disorderly way.

But the threat to the U.S. economy, for now, remains remote.

That's mainly because U.S. banks have relatively little Greek debt on their books and the financial markets have largely priced in Greece's fiscal problems, which have been playing out for over a year.

Nevertheless, the situation remains highly uncertain.
Greece austerity: Cure or poison?

"We're still not sure how much exposure there is," said Gus Faucher, an economist at Moody's Analytics. "There is certainly the potential for a big problem in the U.S. if Greece were to default unilaterally."

While he believes that's unlikely, Faucher said an outright default by Greece could cause a financial shock similar to the one that occurred after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.

The investment bank's implosion roiled global financial markets and caused a severe credit crisis.

Analysts say U.S. money market funds, which hold an estimated 40% of their assets in various forms of European debt, would be the most vulnerable in such a scenario.
The pain of Greece's crisis

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said last week that the central bank is looking into how exposed U.S. money market funds are to Greece. He acknowledged that the indirect exposure could be "very substantial," but sounded hopeful that the worst won't come to pass.

In addition, some U.S. investment banks and insurance companies could be on the hook if they own credit default swaps linked to European debt.

These complex derivatives, which crippled US insurance giant AIG after Lehman fell, could also yield big profits for investors betting against Europe.

However, the market for credit default swaps is opaque and analysts say it's impossible to pinpoint how exposed U.S. institutions may be to them.(da "CNN")

Bin Laden's death is not the end of terror, Napolitano says

30 Giugno 2011

Madrid -- The death of Osama bin Laden "is not the death of terrorism, unfortunately," U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN at an international security conference Thursday.

Al Qaeda has been reaching out with "English-language publications and the like," prompting an increase in the number of individual potential terrorists, she said.

U.S. counterterror strategy now includes both "widening our borders" by preventing potential terrorists abroad from boarding planes to the United States as well as dealing with "this growth of homegrown extremism," she said.

Napolitano was speaking a day after President Barack Obama's counterterror adviser outlined key points of the new strategy.

John Brennan called it "the first counterterrorism strategy that designates the homeland as a primary area of emphasis in our counterterrorism efforts."

"We are doing everything in our power to prevent another terrorist attack on our soil ... it's not enough to simply be prepared for attacks, we have to be resilient and recover quickly should an attack occur," he said.

Napolitano is in Spain to discuss terrorism and security with the interior ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.(da "CNN")

Libya's Gadhafi calls for volunteers, women answer

30 Giugno 2011

Tripoli, Libya -- Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is calling for fresh volunteers in a months-long war with rebels attempting to bring about an end to his 42-year rule -- and women of all ages are answering, CNN has learned.

Women from in and around Gadhafi's stronghold of Tripoli have been traveling south to a training facility in Bani Walid to practice with weapons, a common sight in a country where young girls receive military training in schools.

As NATO's airstrikes crossed the 100-day mark and rebels continue to fight to oust Gadhafi, he is tapping everything and everyone in his arsenal to hold on to power.

At the training facility in Bani Walid, women are training to "defend Moammar and the country," said Sgt. Faraj Ramadan, a woman who is training other women to properly handle weapons.

"They train to use it, assemble it and take it apart, and to shoot," she told CNN recently. "They were trained and got excellent scores."

At a recent graduation at the facility, 40-year-old Fatima Masoud said she liked the training. She said she left her textile job every day at 4 p.m. to train.

"I liked training and defending my country, and now I'm am training women from all ages to use weapons," she said.

It is unclear how many have answered Gadhafi's call or how many had graduated from the program at Bani Walid.

But women are fighting alongside government forces.

A woman, who did not want to identified, fresh from the frontlines, attended the graduation. She was still wearing a cannula in her wrist.

"Do not underestimate any woman in Libya, whether old or young," the woman said. "The woman is still able to perform more than you think."

Gadhafi's government claims it has handed out more than a million weapons to civilians since the uprising began. CNN cannot independently verify the claim.(da "CNN")

Gaza flotilla sabotaged, organizer says

30 Giugno 2011

Jerusalem (CNN) -- An organizer of the Gaza flotilla said Thursday that one of its ships has been sabotaged while anchored in Turkey's territorial waters.

The propeller of the Irish ship Saoirse was damaged by what one organizer says is plastic explosives, the second ship to be damaged this week ahead of a flotilla that intends to challenge Israel's maritime blockage of the Gaza strip.

The flotilla, which is expected to leave soon but has faced a series of bureaucratic and technical delays, is a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of a similar flotilla that resulted in a clash in international waters with Israeli navy commandos that killed nine people, including an American.

"We believe that plastic explosives were used to blow and weaken the propel shaft, and this would have sunk the ship in open sea," said Fintan Lane, one of the Irish boat coordinators.

Lane said the damage was similar to what happened to another flotilla boat docked in Piraeus, outside of Athens.

He called on the Greek and Turkish authorities to investigate what he called an act of terror.

CNN cannot independently verify the claim.

While Lane on Thursday did not outright blame Israel for the alleged sabotage, there have been a number of accusations by organizers about the government's effort to block its flotilla.

A spokesman for Israel's Foreign Minister said he was "not going to get inside accusations. They are vague. There is nothing behind them."

"We have not concealed our case, our arguments, our diplomatic efforts. It's all out in the open."

The Israeli military Tuesday claimed flotilla participants had threatened to kill Israeli military personnel should their boats be boarded. They allege sacks of sulphuric acid were being stockpiled on boats to be used in attacks on Israeli commandos.

Flotilla organizer Medea Benjamin dismissed the allegations as ludicrous, saying: "They see this nonviolent, rag-tag group of ships as such a threat they're using their entire propaganda apparatus, and their diplomatic and economic clout to try to stop 300 peace activists. It's pathetic."

In May 2010, the Mavi Marmara -- owned by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH -- and five other ships were on their way to Gaza with humanitarian aid and about 700 activists from various countries when the Israeli soldiers boarded it.

An independent Israeli commission, led by retired judge Yaakov Turkel, later found that the Israeli commandos "acted professionally and in a measured manner in the face of unanticipated violence" when they seized the Gaza-bound aid ship.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters Friday that she didn't think the flotilla plan for this year "is useful or productive or helpful to the people of Gaza."

"We have certainly encouraged that American citizens not participate in the flotilla," she said, "and we are urging that all precautions be taken to avoid any kind of confrontation."

Clinton's comments followed an even harsher statement by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, in which she criticized what she called "irresponsible and provocative actions that risk the safety of their passengers." (da "CNN")

Four Hezbollah members indicted in Hariri death, says source

30 Giugno 2011

Four members of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah have been indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a high-placed source in the Lebanese Army confirmed on Thursday.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments, and a U.N. source familiar with the body said the people include alleged perpetrators on the ground.

Multiple sources in the region said they include Mustafa Badreddine.

Badreddine -- who is the brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh, a former Hezbollah commander who was assassinated in Syria in 2008 -- is reported to be a member of Hezbollah's advisory council. The other names on the list are Hasan Oneisa, Salim Ayyah and Asad Sabra.

Two additional lists of indictments are expected later this summer and are expected to include the organizers and planners of the attack, the U.N. source said. The United Nations and the Lebanese Republic negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the tribunal, based at The Hague.

Many Lebanese believe the killing revolved around the controversies over Syria's role in Lebanon, occupied at the time by Syrian troops, and the Damascus government's strong political influence in Lebanon.

People believe Hariri wanted the Syrians to withdraw from Lebanon and lessen Syria's influence, and many suspect that Syria and its ally Hezbollah went after Hariri because of his stance on this issue.

Those suspected connections of Hezbollah and the Syrian government to the killing have raised tensions in the country, stoking fears of sectarian conflict erupting in the ethnically and religiously diverse nation, which endured a civil war from 1975 to 1990.

Besides being prime minister of Lebanon for 10 years between 1992 and 2004, Rafik Hariri was the driving force behind Beirut's renaissance as a Mediterranean jewel, investing in the restoration of a city center that not so long before had been the frontline in Lebanon's civil war.

Rafik Hariri was 60 when he was killed, a self-made Sunni billionaire of humble origins. His son Saad, 40, leads a political bloc known as "March 14," which includes prominent Christian leaders. The group's adversaries include Hezbollah and other factions.

Syria had thousands of troops in Lebanon and great influence in the country until mass protests after Hariri's assassination forced their withdrawal. Syria has denied any involvement in the assassination.

But six years later, the shadow cast by that day still hangs over Lebanon, which finds itself in a political crisis -- in part caused by the bitter divide over the country's special tribunal that is tasked with investigating Hariri's assassination.

Hezbollah is a political faction in Lebanon and provides social services to Shiites, but it has long been regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States and as an ally of Iran. It has had longstanding animosity toward the tribunal, based on the expectation that some of its members would be indicted as conspirators in Hariri's assassination.

The Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has accused the group's arch-enemy Israel of the assassination. The movement, which fought a war on Lebanese soil against Israel five years ago, claims the tribunal is a plot involving the United States, Israel and France. Ibrahim Mousawi, a Hezbollah media relations officer, said it had no immediate reaction to the indictments.

Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed on February 14, 2005, when a bomb went off as his motorcade passed by. Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son and a former Lebanese prime minister, said on Thursday the indictments were issued after years "of patience and waiting and a constant national struggle."

Saad Hariri called on all factions to accept Lebanon's "obligations" to the tribunal and said on Thursday "there is no excuse for anyone to escape from this responsibility."

"Today, we witness a distinctive historic moment in the life of Lebanon's political, judicial security, and ethical systems. And I feel in the beat of my heart, the embrace of all the hearts of the Lebanese who defended the cause of justice and refused to bargain on the blood of the martyrs," Saad Hariri said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Hezbollah brought down Saad Hariri's government. His replacement is Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a Sunni political independent who was backed by Hezbollah and its allies.

Nasrallah said in January that Hezbollah nominated Mikati to form "a national salvation government in which parties from across the political spectrum would take part." He disputed the view that Mikati is a Hezbollah figure. He said Mikati is a consensus candidate and "we will not lead the new government and it will not be the government of Hezbollah."

Speaking on TV on Friday, Mikati said the "delicate situation" Lebanon is experiencing "requires us to be wise" and avert civil strife. He stressed that the "indictments -- no matter what their source is -- are not sentences, and that charges need to have compelling evidence, away from any doubt, and that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

The U.N.-backed court said the indictment and accompanying arrest warrants "were transmitted to the Lebanese authorities" on Thursday. It said the announcement "follows a declaration by the Lebanese authorities that they have received a confirmed indictment."

"This is not a verdict of guilt and any accused person is presumed innocent unless his or her guilt is established at trial," the Special Tribunal said in a statement.

"At this time, the STL has no comment on the identity or identities of the person or persons named in the indictment. Indeed, Judge (Daniel) Fransen has ruled that the indictment shall remain confidential in order to assist the Lebanese authorities in fulfilling their obligations to arrest the accused."

The tribunal says arrest warrants have been submitted to the Lebanese authorities, and that they must inform the tribunal president "within 30 days after the confirmation of the indictment of the measures the state has taken to arrest the person(s) named in the indictment." (da "CNN")

Man grabs French president before being tackled by security

30 Giugno 2011

A man grabbed French President Nicolas Sarkozy by his shoulder and pulled him up against a barricade Thursday before being tackled by security officers.

The incident came as Sarkozy visited the town of Brax in southwest France.

Television footage showed the man being wrestled to the ground by four bodyguards.

The suspect, who is 32 and works at a local music school, was taken into custody and questioned by police who were already present for security reasons, a police spokesman said. He is now being held at Agen police station, the spokesman added.

Sarkozy appeared to have been seized by the shoulder of his jacket as he shook hands with members of the public lined up behind a metal security barrier in the town, near Agen.

The president was due to attend a meeting of local mayors during his visit to the Lot-et-Garonne region, according to local media reports. Earlier, he was to tour a local factory.

France sets date for presidential elections

Sarkozy, who was elected president in 2007, is expected to seek re-election next year.(da "CNN")

Syrian military raids villages; protests in Aleppo

30 Giugno 2011

Syrian tanks and helicopters opened fire and killed at least two civilians as the military advanced through a series of villages in northwestern Syria Thursday, a push that sent residents running for the hills, a villager told CNN.

"They attacked the old church," said Mohamed Smail, a farmer who fled his home and spoke to CNN from the hills around Al Bara. "We are calling on international organizations to protect our ruins. They are destroying our cultural heritage."

Syria has been engulfed by more than three months of anti-government discontent.

The crackdown on anti-government protests in the Jabal Zawiya region of Syria's Idlib province comes just days after Syrian authorities allowed a historic opposition conference to be held in the capital, Damascus.

Helicopters swept in and dropped commandos into the area from ropes Thursday morning.

Tanks and helicopters bombarded ancient Byzantine ruins in Al Bara, the site of a famous "dead city," a destination for tourists fascinated by fifth-century Byzantine churches, monasteries, and an iconic, fully intact pyramid-shaped burial chamber.

Smail also said Syrian military units attacked and destroyed the home of a local man named Mohamed Khalife, killing him and his infant son.

"His 1-year-old son, named Hasan Mohamed Khalife, was in the house and we couldn't save him," Smail said.

Smail said Syrian troops and plain-clothed shabiha militants had blocked escape routes to nearby Turkey.

CNN could not independently confirm the man's account.

The number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey each day has dropped dramatically as Syrian troops moved into border regions, after days of protests and unrest.

The Turkish prime minister's office released a statement Thursday saying that five Syrian refugees crossed the border over the last 24 hours. More than 15,000 Syrian refugees fled to Turkey to escape the government crackdown in recent weeks. Nearly a third of those refugees have voluntarily returned to Syria in recent days, according to the Turkish government.

Elsewhere, in the large city of Aleppo, 20 busloads of what an activist called "government thugs" attacked the marchers with batons and knives. The attack caused the demonstrators to disperse, and people were injured, but there was no word of deaths.

Video surfaced on the Internet of what activists say was the unrest on Bab Nasr Avenue in Aleppo, and it showed a panicked crowd fleeing down the street.

Syrian forces later intervened, pushed the "thugs" back, and a peaceful demonstration ensued, the activist said.

Another activist, contacted by telephone by CNN, separately said this street was the site of a Thursday confrontation between protesters and government forces.

Meanwhile, an American congressman who visited Syria this week and met with President Bashar al-Assad and opposition leaders said the situation is "dire."

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said he is "working to end the violence. I appealed to President Assad to remove his forces from the cities. He told me he would, and today we learned that he has begun to do just that."

"A process of national dialogue is now beginning. This process is unprecedented in Syria and should not be dismissed as mere window dressing, because until now there has been no window for people to view what democracy in Syria would look like."

He said he has talked to "many Syrians who said the overthrow of Assad without knowing who would take his place will add to the instability and make things immeasurably worse, and they want him to deliver on the reforms."

"President Assad has communicated directly to the opposition, and to me personally, that he is prepared to do that, not as a ruse to stay in power, but as a step towards the natural path to Syria's progress and development. We must be mindful however of the actions of extremists who are using this time of transition as an opportunity of cover for their own anti-democratic agenda."

Kucinich said he traveled to Syria at the request of his Arab-American constituents and not in response to an invitation from Damascus. He met with government and opposition figures, including people who had been imprisoned by the regime, and said the situation doesn't "simply involve two players: the government and the opposition."

"It is an extremely complicated and explosive condition involving, among other elements, a historically closed government with an awful human rights record, caught up in demands for democracy sweeping the region; security forces which went out of control killing innocent protesters; sectarian interests which have longed to overthrow a government which has protected religious minorities; violence against minorities; guns flowing across the borders with refugees on the move," he said.

"Too many people have already died in Syria. It is imperative to act to end further deaths." (da "CNN")


30 Giugno 2011

DE RUEHMO #2802/01 2611420
P 171420Z SEP 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002802



E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/08/2018

REF: A. MOSCOW 2759 B. MOSCOW 2183 C. MOSCOW 1385

Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle for Reasons 1.4 (b/d)


¶1. (C) In ref A, we examined questions about Deputy Prime Minister Sechin's career and reputation and discussed whether his current, more public duties, would bring him into better focus. In this cable, we look at those new duties and the possible effects Sechin may have on Russia's all-important energy sector. Sechin has long been a force in the energy sector, but despite his chairmanship of Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, he has largely operated behind the scenes. His new duties enhance Sechin's influence but also make it more visible and hence subject to greater scrutiny. Sechin has recently given support for important energy sector reforms. Of particular note are his efforts to force Gazprom to allow third-party access to its pipeline network. Echoing the debate about Sechin's political role, some observers see his embrace of reform as being driven by Russia's need for a more efficient and productive energy sector. However, other observers see Sechin as driven more by self-interest and animosity toward Gazprom. Regardless of his motivations, Sechin is the first senior Russian official to take on Gazprom publicly and this fight could either demonstrate the limits of Sechin's power or of Gazprom's influence over GOR policies. End summary.


¶2. (C) Igor Sechin has played an important role in shaping and carrying out GOR energy policies since the beginning of Prime Minister Putin's first presidential administration. However, as deputy head of Putin's Presidential Administration, few outside the inner circle knew about, let alone were able to assess, his activities. During much of Putin's first term, Sechin was so shadowy that it was joked he may not actually exist but rather was a sort of urban myth, a bogeyman, invented by the Kremlin to instill fear.

¶3. (C) Adding to this malevolent aura, most observers believe it was Sechin who engineered Yukos' demise, a signal turning point in Putin's approach to governance. These same observers also believe Sechin has orchestrated the hard-core statist and silovik opposition to foreign investment in strategic sectors, including especially oil and gas. Sechin is also widely believed to have directed oil exports towards Kremlin-favored traders like Gunvor and to have ordered oil traders to cut-off certain customers. Many also believe he was behind the downfall of Russneft's leadership and the more recent attacks on Mechel and TNK-BP. In all these reported endeavors, Sechin faced no public scrutiny or accountability.

¶4. (C) Where he has had a semi-public role, as Rosneft's chairman, other observers claim Sechin has performed more openly and more admirably. In that role, he unquestionably transformed Russia's most dismal oil company into a globally competitive state champion (albeit with Yukos' assets). He also protected Rosneft from its putative merger with Gazprom in apparent contradiction to Putin's desires. Sechin also defied Putin in choosing to partner financially with a Chinese company when their funds were needed for Rosneft's expansion even though China had been consistently rebuffed by the Kremlin during years of attempted purchases of upstream assets. Another example of Sechin's enlightened management of Rosneft that close industry observers, such as RenCap's Deputy Chairman Bob Foresman, point to was hiring Peter O'Brien, an Amcit, as Rosneft's CFO. O'Brien, with Sechin's backing has since instituted international accounting standards in the company. Sechin is also credited with listening to minority shareholders in the company; a relatively rare occurrence in corporate Russia.


¶5. (C) As Deputy Premier in charge of energy and industrial policy and head of the government's energy policy commission, Sechin's powers over the country's most important economic sector have been formalized. He has been given broad oversight over the energy sector, the foundation of strong economic growth and the source of the revenue that has strengthened the GOR both domestically and internationally. As a member of the new GOR commission to oversee foreign investment in strategic sectors, he also has an important voice in shaping Russia's investment climate.

¶6. (C) His direct influence over the energy sector is not lost on industry players. Various contacts have told us they see Sechin, who continues to be Rosneft Chairman in addition to his "day job," as the ultimate decision maker on key energy issues. Shell Russia Vice President Alf D'Souza told us recently, "there's no doubt, Sechin's in charge" when it comes to energy. Cambridge Energy Research Associates' Russia specialist John Webb agreed, telling us recently that Sechin "clearly has the lead on energy now," while acknowledging that Putin himself is also playing a more hands-on role. Chevron's lead executive XXXXXXXXXXXX also told us Sechin is the key player on energy issues, noting that it will be Sechin who decides Russia's position on CPC expansion (ref B). XXXXXXXXXXXX said he has heard that most major energy sector reforms and projects are on hold while Sechin and his team mull over Russia's long-term energy strategy.


¶7. (C) That long-term strategy is both a challenge and an opportunity for Sechin. Excessive state control and interference have hobbled Russia's oil and gas sector. Upstream investments in particular have languished even as production has stagnated and threatens to fall. With prices softening globally, Russia can ill afford to see production and exports drop. Sechin's new job and his new responsibilities give him the chance to reverse this decline through much needed reforms.

¶8. (C) To date, Sechin has been out in front on some needed energy sector reforms. He has pushed for lower oil sector taxes (ref C) and championed incentives for green-field development. With Gazprom's gas production stagnating and Russia increasingly needing to import gas from Central Asia to meet its commitments, it is Sechin who is leading the charge to spur gas production by independents and oil companies by securing third-party access (TPA) to Gazprom's pipelines. Putin has been very public about the need to move Russia toward a more value-added economy, and in his sector Sechin is working towards more refining and oil product exports and correspondingly less crude exports.

¶9. (C) The failure to reform the sector could expose Sechin to a level of public criticism from which he has been previously immune. The Carnegie Moscow Center's lead senior energy researcher, Nina Poussakova, told us recently that while Sechin "was and is behind every conflict over major assets," he will now be held more accountable for the results of these conflicts. Political Analyst Dmitri Oreshkin told us recently that Sechin would have to become more of a politician, balancing competing interests, if he is to succeed. XXXXXXXXXXXX told us that Sechin's public exposure could result in his fall from power within a year or two. "Leaders sometimes do stupid things in public," he told us, adding he believes that Sechin is in over his head -- "the long-term game is not Sechin's strong suit."


¶10. (C) In assessing Sechin's potential as a reformer, many observers question his motives. They point especially to Sechin's long rivalry with Gazprom as the real explanation for his support of third-party access to Gazprom's pipelines. Although TPA is justified by economic considerations, in this view, Sechin is not driven by a sense of duty to improve the sector but by a desire to contain Gazprom and enhance his company's fortunes. Adding another layer to this is Sechin's well-known personal animosity toward Gazprom's leadership, especially its Chairman Alexey Miller.

¶11. (C) Many contacts with whom we spoke have noted Sechin's interest in containing Gazprom. XXXXXXXXXXXX told us he believes one of Sechin's goals as Deputy Premier is "to stop the Gazprom steamroller from taking over the entire industry," and that TPA is just one tactic. Foresman told us Sechin "hates Miller," but more importantly sees Gazprom and its leadership as threats to, rather than the source of, Russia's future prosperity.

¶12. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX, however, told us he is convinced "one hundred percent that Sechin will lose this battle." Despite Oreshkin's suggestion that Sechin was put in the job because of his ability to "get things done" by the sheer power of his orders, XXXXXXXXXXXX discounts this ability in the case of TPA. According to Milov, Putin built up Gazprom as a system "immune to influence." He predicted a cadre of Gazprom officials will say TPA is not possible, citing technical and other reasons, and thus killing the idea.


¶13. (C) As is the case with his political role, the greater exposure that Sechin faces in his new duties may bring into greater focus his role in the energy sector. In that regard, Sechin's initial forays into energy sector reform efforts are laudable and necessary, and while his motivations may be suspect, reforming the sector probably requires tackling Gazprom's inefficient monopolistic practices. Entrenched state-owned monoliths such as Gazprom and Transneft are inconsistent with the dynamism needed to boost the productivity and efficiency of Russia's oil and gas sector. Presumably, Sechin has backing from Putin in this regard. (It would be the height of folly for him to tackle Gazprom without it.) Putin may have realized that Russia's energy sector is beginning to stumble and he may believe that Sechin is the man to get it back on track. Sechin may fail not because he lacks power, competency, or support but rather because those entrenched interests, especially Gazprom, are simply too powerful to reform from the outside and too corrupt to reform form within. If he does fail, it would mark the limits of Sechin's power and influence within the GOR. End Comment.


30 Giugno 2011

Appears in these articles:

DE RUEHKL #0365/01 0620647
P 030647Z MAR 06




E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/03/2016



Classified By: PolCouns Thomas F. Daughton for reasons 1.4 b, d

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: For the third time in a month, the Malaysian
government has suspended publication of a daily newspaper
that printed an image of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon. The
government-controlled New Straits Times (NST) managed to
avoid punishment, however, after it issued an "unreserved
apology" for publishing a syndicated cartoon that poked fun
at the global Prophet Muhammad caricature controversy (ref
A). Meanwhile, two of Malaysia's four free-to-air television
channels issued apologies for inadvertently broadcasting
images of Muhammad cartoons in early February. The
opposition Islamic party PAS and several religious leaders
continue to fan the cartoon flames, despite efforts by the
government and mainstream media to put the controversy behind
them. PAS tried to organize cartoon protests on March 3 in
mosques in each of Malaysia's 13 state capitals, while the
northern state of Perak's government-funded religious council
website posted an on-line poll (later withdrawn) asking
readers whether Muslims should "hunt and kill, or launch war"
against those who "insult the Prophet Muhammad." Prime
Minister Abdullah has signaled that the government will
continue to monitor media coverage of racial and religious
issues to ensure that GOM-defined constraints are not
violated. At least in the near term, editors will likely
restrict their coverage to news that is "print to fit" within
the GOM's evolving boundaries of acceptability. End Summary.

A Third Newspaper Falls Through Thin Cartoon Ice...
--------------------------------------------- ------

¶2. (C) The internal security ministry suspended publication
of the Chinese-language Berita Petang Sarawak newspaper for
two weeks starting February 26 in response to its February 4
publication of a "seditious" photo of a man reading a
newspaper in which one of the Danish cartoons was clearly
visible. Berita Petang Sarawak became the third newspaper to
have its publishing permit suspended over publication of
Prophet Muhammad cartoons. Earlier in February, the
government suspended the Chinese-language Guang Ming Daily
for two weeks for an infraction similar to that committed by
Berita Petang Sarawak, and the prime minister, acting in his
dual role as internal security minister, indefinitely
suspended publication of the Sarawak Tribune for reprinting
one of the caricatures (ref B).

... While Another Skates Around It

¶3. (C) After coming under fire for its February 20
publication of a syndicated cartoon alluding to the Danish
caricature controversy (ref A), Malaysia's second-largest
English-language daily, the New Straits Times, issued a
front-page, "unreserved apology" on February 24. Within
hours of the paper's appearance, PM Abdullah stated that the
government would take no further action against the NST,
which is owned by the ruling UMNO party. The PM's decision
to forgo action against the NST did not deter about 500
protesters from holding a protest at NST's Kuala Lumpur
offices following Friday prayers on February 24. Supporters
of PAS and of Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
waved signs and shouted slogans that referred to the NST
editors as "bastards" and agents of Israel and Singapore. In
a full-page analysis of its cartoon crisis, the NST's editors
wrote on February 25, "That is PAS. That is Keadilan. In
the name of Islam, they perform prayers and march from a holy
place carrying placards that call people bastards. What is
so Islamic about pre-judging others and slandering them
without any evidence?" PKR leaders later distanced
themselves from the demonstration, calling it "disgraceful"
and claiming they had no role in organizing it.

Offensive Cartoons Also Spotted on TV

¶4. (C) In its adroitly worded February 24 "apology," the NST
called the attention of the internal security ministry to
several television broadcasts that had aired images of the
banned Muhammad cartoons in early February. According to
media reports, all four of Malaysia's free-to-air television
channels (state-owned RTM1 and RTM2, and UMNO-controlled TV3
and NTV7) broadcast images of at least one Muhammad cartoon.
The NST's move was widely viewed as a shot at the information
minister, who led the charge against the paper's editorial
staff over its syndicated cartoon. The government is
currently reviewing the allegations and is expected to decide
soon whether any punishment of the stations is warranted.
For its part, TV3 tried to head off a reprimand by airing an
apology to its viewers on February 28 for "accidentally"
broadcasting a news segment that showed one of the
controversial images "for 13 seconds." The channel also sent
a written explanation of its actions to the energy, water and
communications ministry. NTV7 did likewise on March 1. The
two state-owned channels, RTM1 and RTM2, have not yet
acknowledged that they aired footage of a Prophet Muhammad

Other Cartoon-Related Developments

¶5. (C) The official, state-funded website of the religious
council of Perak (a large state in northern peninsular
Malaysia) recently posted an on-line, Malay-language poll
asking readers to choose the most appropriate action to be
taken against those who "insult the Prophet Muhammad." The
poll allowed readers to choose among six answers, including,
"hunt and kill them or launch war against them." The on-line
poll was pulled from the website March 2 after a disparaging
March 1 report about it by Internet-based news provider
Malaysiakini. The poll had attracted little public attention
and only about 175 "voters," 22% of whom supported the most
extreme response.

¶6. (C) PAS planned to organize further protests against the
Muhammad cartoons on March 3 at designated mosques in each of
Malaysia's 13 state capitals. An intervening decision by the
government to raise gasoline prices (ref C) changed the theme
of the protests, however, and PAS representatives told us
late March 2 that demonstrations would occur only in Kuala
Lumpur and three state capitals.


¶7. (C) Both the government and the mainstream media want to
see the end of the cartoon saga, which has absorbed
considerable time and attention here over the past month.
The "guilty" newspapers have been quickly punished and news
coverage has moved on to other issues. The TV broadcasts
that displayed the Muhammad cartoons are now more than three
weeks old; any punishment of the channels at this point will
likely be mild, swift and meted out with little fanfare. PAS
and a few Islamic religious leaders have tried to keep the
controversy on life support, mostly in a bid to rally
political support, but new issues arising daily are making
that increasingly difficult.

¶8. (C) The cartoon controversy has played out in the larger
context of a slow relaxation of press controls that began
after Abdullah Badawi took office in late 2003. In order to
build a general air of believability and be commercially
competitive -- both with each other and with the Internet --
the government-controlled media have attempted to provide
increasingly objective and complete reporting on national
stories. The public demand for higher quality news reporting
has become increasingly risky for government-controlled media
organizations to satisfy, however, since highly sensitive
racial and religious issues typically provide the subtext for
the most provocative and best-selling stories. The cartoon
controversy prompted Prime Minister Abdullah to wield one of
the government's most potent legal weapons for controlling
the media in order to signal that boundaries still exist on
press freedom when it comes to racial and religious issues.
For the near future, we expect news editors to respond by
restricting their coverage of such issues to news that's
"print to fit" within the GOM's slowly evolving notions of


30 Giugno 2011


finanza.com - Secondo ok del parlamento greco. Dopo l'approvazione delle misure di risanamento poco fa è arrivato anche l'ok alla legge di attuazione del piano quinquennale di austerity. Il provvedimento è stato approvato con 155 voti favorevoli (gli stessi della prima votazione) e 136 contrari (2 in meno rispetto a ieri). Il voto favorevole era propedeutico allo sblocco della nuova tranche di aiuti da parte di Ue e Fmi.

reuters - Piazza Affari accelera e si porta in deciso rialzo dopo l'indice Pmi Chicago oltre le attese e la notizia che il piano di austerità in Grecia ha ottenuto anche il secondo via libera del Parlamento.

L'indice FTSE/Mib, poco dopo le 16, guadagna lo 0,9% circa, portandosi oltre quota 20.000 punti, soglia che aveva superato ieri, salvo abbandonarla in tempi rapidi.

Fra i comparti in evidenza, bene soprattutto finanziari, automotive e ciclici industriali.

(LaPresse) - Apertura positiva per Wall Street, con l'indice Dow Jones che cresce dello 0,37% a 12.306,6 punti, lo S&P che sale dello 0,33% a 1.311,66 punti e il Nasdaq che mostra un rialzo dello 0,44% a 2.752,61 punti.

Radiocor - L'inflazione misurata dall'indice Nic con tabacchi (indice a 102,6) registra, secondo le stime preliminari dell'Istat, un aumento dello 0,1% rispetto a maggio 2011 e del 2,7% rispetto a giugno 2010 (era +2,6% a maggio 2011). L'aumento tendenziale e' il piu' alto dal novembre 2008: anche allora era stato registrato un +2,7 per cento.

Anche l'indice armonizzato Ipca registra un incremento congiunturale dello 0,1% mentre a livello tendenziale fa segnare un +3 per cento (incremento piu' elevato dal +3,6% di ottobre 2008). La principale spinta all'aumento dell'indice generale a giugno, osserva l'Istat, deriva dall'aumento congiunturale dell'1,1% dei prezzi dei servizi dei trasporti, che determina una netta accelerazione del loro tasso tendenziale di crescita (5,2% dal 4,2% di maggio).

(LaPresse) - Il balzo dell'inflazione "è un dato incredibile, soprattutto alla luce dell'incessante riduzione del potere di acquisto delle famiglie". Secondo l'osservatorio nazionale Federconsumatori, "non c'è affatto da rallegrarsi sul fronte dell'andamento dei consumi, che quest'anno registrerà un'ulteriore caduta stimata dell'1,5%".

L'associazione aggiunge che "nemmeno i saldi in partenza da luglio saranno in grado di risollevare questa situazione: secondo le nostre stime vi sarà infatti una ulteriore riduzione del 4-6% rispetto al crollo del 2010 (le famiglie che effettueranno acquisti a saldo saranno appena il 37%, con una spesa complessiva di 1, 285 miliardi, pari ad una spesa di 141 euro a famiglia, o ancora a 56 euro a testa".

Federconsumatori spiega che "alla crescita dei prezzi contribuiranno in maniera determinante anche le decisioni irresponsabili di Governo e Agenzia delle Dogane sull'aumento delle accise. Per non parlare delle ricadute sulle famiglie (specialmente quelle a reddito fisso), di una manovra a dir poco allucinante, che, sommata alle ricadute per i carburanti e per l'aumento delle rate dei mutui, determinerà una stangata di 927 euro annui in più per le famiglie".

Rosario Trefiletti ed Elio Lannutti, presidenti di Federconsumatori e Adusbef, sostengono che "non è possibile andare avanti in questo modo. Le risposte che i cittadini si aspettano da questo Governo sono tutt'altre. Per questo chiediamo a chi ha responsabilità di Governo di aprire gli occhi sulla situazione del Paese, di tornare alla realtà e di prendere i dovuti provvedimenti del caso, per sostenere la domanda di mercato e l'intera economia e non per affossarla ulteriormente. Senza dimenticare di disporre severi controlli e verifiche per eliminare ogni ombra di speculazione".

Radiocor - Il tribunale di Teramo ha assolto Paolo Biasi, nella veste di imprenditore del settore caldaie, dall'accusa di bancarotta per distrazione nell'ambito del processo sul fallimento della societa' Bluterma. Biasi, presidente della Fondazione Cariverona, secondo quanto risulta a Radiocor, e' stato assolto con formula piena da entrambi gli episodi a lui contestati, perche' il fatto non sussiste e perche' il fatto non costituisce reato.

Radiocor - Il numero uno di Bnp Paribas, Baudoin Prot, e' in visita nella sede milanese delle Generali. Accompagnato dall'a.d. di Bnl, la controllata italiana del gruppo francese, il banchiere transalpino e' giunto nel palazzo di piazza Cordusio attorno alle 14,30. Prot non ha rilasciato indicazioni sul motivo della visita. Nella sede delle Generali si era da poco concluso il comitato esecutivo.

(Adnkronos) - Nel comitato esecutivo delle Generali terminato intorno alle 14, dopo oltre due ore, nella sede milanese della compagnia, "si e' parlato delle strategie del gruppo". Lo riferiscono fonti vicine al consiglio, al termine della riunione.

Durante la riunione dell'esecutivo, secondo le stesse fonti non si sarebbe parlato dei conti del primo semestre poiche' non sono ancora disponibili i dati aggiornati ad oggi. Sui conti e' in agenda un Consiglio di amministrazione il prossimo 5 agosto. La joint venture con la russa Vtb 'non era all'ordine del giorno'. Riguardo a decisioni su un'eventuale svalutazione della quota detenuta in Telco, concludono le fonti, bisognera' aspettare il Consiglio. Alla riunione non era presente il vicepresidente Vincent Bollore'.

(LaPresse) - "E' da irresponsabili aver deciso di aumentare le accise sui carburanti, una stangata complessiva che inciderà per 60 euro ad autovettura, su base annua". Lo afferma il Codacons in una nota, che fa seguito ai dati Istat sull'inflazione che ha raggiunto il 2,7% a giugno e il 6,2% sui servizi relativi ai trasporti.

"Se a questo si aggiungono le misure del federalismo fiscale - prosegue il Codacons - ossia l'aliquota aggiuntiva del 3,5% sull'importo netto del premio che determinerà un aggravio medio di 25 euro a polizza, l'aumento dell'Imposta provinciale di trascrizione ed ora la tassa sui Suv, si può dire che Tremonti ha in mente una sola cosa: perseguitare e tassare gli automobilisti italiani".

(LaPresse) - Il 14 luglio chiuderanno gli impianti di rifornimento Eni, compresi self service e le stazioni in autostrada. E' quanto affermano Faib e Fegica. I gestori protestano contro la politica di prezzi del Cane a sei zampe, "di 1 centesimo superiori alla media degli altri distributori e di 10 centesimi più cari rispetto alle pompe bianche". Le pompe rimarranno chiuse dalle 12,30 del 14 luglio fino al mattino seguente.

Radiocor - 'Non faremo mai un altro aumento di capitale. Se qualcuno me lo imponesse mi dimetterei'. Lo ha assicurato il consigliere delegato del Banc o Popolare, Pier Francesco Saviotti, presentando il nuovo piano industriale agli analisti. Il piano prevede un target di core tier 1 al 7,6% nel 2013. 'Stiamo lavorando - ha spiegato Saviotti - per essere, in tempi non biblici e sicuramente ben prima dell'entrata in vigore di Basilea III, meglio posizionati rispetto a dove siamo ora'.

'Poi qualcuno dice che neanche il 7% sara' abbastanza - ha notato - ma io sono sicuro che una volta tornati alla normalita' sara' piu' che sufficiente'. Saviotti ha poi ribadito che il Banco non ha 'nessuna intenzione di convertire il bond' da un miliardo. 'Sarebbe una tragedia, una diluizione pazzesca', ha spiegato. 'Ma lo teniamo li' come buffer che vale 40 punti base. Oggi non abbiamo nessuna intenzione di convertirlo e neanche domani - ha concluso - ma comunque e' li'. Se dovesse capitare qualche disgrazia potremmo usarlo'.

Radiocor - 'Sicuramente oggi c'e' una diversa propensione rispetto al passato per snellire la struttura. Era composta da nove banche, con le decisioni gia' prese scendiamo a cinque. All'interno del consiglio di sorveglianza c'e' sicuramente un dibattito e a mio avviso una propensione per arrivare a ulteriori snellimenti della struttura'.

Lo ha indicato il consigliere delegato del Banco Popolare, Pier Francesco Saviotti, rispondendo alle domande dei giornalisti sulle possibili ulteriori razionalizzazioni in vista per il gruppo. Saviotti ha sottolineato di non poter dire, al momento, quale sara' la soluzione che efettivamente sara' adottata, ribadendo che 'c'e' un dibattito in corso, c'e' una discussione e per la prima volta c'e' una maggiore apertura'.

Non e' esclusa, quindi, nemmeno la creazione di una banca unica, con la fusione delle controllate, come gia' avvenuto per altri gruppo. 'Onestamente io penso che non sia esclusa', ha concluso Saviotti.

Radiocor - Gian Marco Moratti si sfila dalla cordata per salvare il San Raffaele. E' quanto apprende Radiocor da fonti vicine alla famiglia Moratti a poche ore d al consiglio di amministrazione della Fondazione Tabor, che gestisce l'ospedale. Inizialmente l'interesse era legato alla volonta' di sostenere l'istituzione, la struttura e il personale in un momento difficile.

Ora, con il profilarsi dei due piani di salvataggio, da una parte quello del Vaticano e dall'altra quello della cordata capeggiata da Giuseppe Rotelli, Moratti ha scelto di defilarsi dal momento che ritiene sussistano gia' vie d'uscita per il salvataggio del San Raffaele.

Dal "Corriere della Sera" - Nessun disimpegno da parte della Pirelli nel patto di sindacato di Mediobanca, che è in scadenza alla fine dell'anno. Interpellato a margine in un convegno a Roma, Marco Tronchetti Provera, presidente della Pirelli e vicepresidente di Mediobanca, ieri ha confermato l'intenzione del gruppo della Bicocca di restare nell'accordo parasociale: «Siamo soci storici» ha sottolineato. Per quanto riguarda la possibile uscita di soci esteri, tra cui Commerzbank e Santander, Tronchetti Provera si è limitato a dire: «Vedremo».

(Adnkronos) - Unicredit ha annunciato oggi che, dal prossimo 11 luglio, Francesco Salvatori entrera' a far parte di UniCredit come Responsabile Mercati per UniCredit Bank AG Milan Branch. Lavorera' a Milano a diretto riporto di TJ Lim, responsabile di UniCredit Global Markets.

Prima di entrare in UniCredit, e' stato responsabile Financial Institutional Sales di Banca Imi (gruppo Intesa), seguendo tutti gli istituti finanziari europei e del Nord America. In Banca Imi era membro del Consiglio di Amministrazione di Banca Imi Securities a New York. Entra in UniCredit con oltre 19 anni di esperienza nel mondo finanziario, tra cui diversi anni trascorsi in Barclays Capital a Londra, Abaxbank e Banca Caboto.

"Siamo lieti che Francesco guidera' le nostre operazioni Mercati Italia. Questo nuovo ruolo appena introdotto portera' maggiore focus e attenzione alle nostre attivita' per i clienti istituzionali. Francesco lavorera' a stretto contatto con i responsabili dei team prodotti globali commercio e vendita riunendo insieme tutte le attivita' per la clientela istituzionale del mercato italiano" e' il commento di TJ Lim.

(Adnkronos) - A seguito del rilascio dell'autorizzazione da parte di Banca d'Italia, sono stati messi a disposizione del pubblico, i seguenti documenti relativi alla scissione parziale del ramo d'azienda gestioni patrimoniali dei clienti private di Pioneer Investments Management S.G.R.p.A. a favore di UniCredit: progetto di scissione; bilanci al 31 dicembre 2010 di UniCredit e di Pioneer Investments Management S.G.R.p.A., assunti quali situazioni patrimoniali delle societa' partecipanti all'operazione". Gli stessi documenti sono stati pubblicati sul sito internet di UniCredit.

Radiocor - Il riassetto di Edison torna nel vivo. Negli ultimi giorni, secondo quanto risulta a Radiocor, il direttore generale di A2A, Renato Ravanelli ha dato il via a un round di consultazioni con i grandi soci dell'utility lombarda (il Comune di Milano e quello di Brescia, che detengono il 27,5% ciascuno) per concordare la strategia da adottare nel negoziato con Edf. Ravanelli, fino ad oggi, ha tenuto incontri riservati con il sindaco di Brescia, Adriano Paroli, e con il nuovo city manager del Comune di Milano, Davide Corritore. A breve e' previsto anche un meeting con il neo sindaco di Milano, Giuliano Pisapia.

Il direttore generale di A2A, mente finanziaria della ex municipalizzata, aveva gia' condotto in prima persona le trattative con i francesi, e in particolare con il loro emissario Thomas Piquemal, fino a raggiungere una bozza di accordo condiviso alla fine di febbraio. Poi lo stop imposto dal Ministero dell'Economia, preoccupato per una possibile colonizzazione transalpina di Ed ison, aveva bloccato tutto, portando a una forzata proroga dei patti fino al prossimo 15 settembre.

Con l'avvicinarsi di questa scadenza i giochi sono tuttavia destinati a riaprirsi in fretta. Ravanelli, di fatto, ha gia' incassato il via libera del Comune di Brescia a trattare con i francesi una sostanziale riproposizione dell'accordo di marzo scorso. Quest'ultimo prevedeva, per sommi capi, la salita di Edf nel capitale di Edison a ridosso del 50% e, dal punto di vista industriale, lo spacchettamento di Edipower con gli asset idroelettrici destinati a A2A, mentre Edf, a sua volta, avrebbe fatto di Edison quanto desiderato da lungo tempo, ovvero la piattaforma europea per il mercato del gas.

Questo schema di riassetto, nelle prossime settimane, dovra' ottenere anche il via libera dell'amministrazione milanese. Poi si cercheranno di riannodare con i francesi i fili di una trattativa che non si annuncia semplice e promette, ancora una volta, una conclusione in zona Cesarini.

(Adnkronos) - Parte il nuovo corso di Equitalia. Da domani debuttano tre nuovi agenti della riscossione: Equitalia Nord, Equitalia Centro ed Equitalia Sud, con sede rispettivamente a Milano, Bologna e Roma. Diventa cosi' operativa la prima tranche di operazioni societarie previste dal piano di riassetto del Gruppo, approvato dal consiglio d'amministrazione lo scorso mese di novembre, che sara' completato entro la fine di quest'anno. A regime, il piano di riorganizzazione prevede l'incorporazione di tutte le attuali 16 societa' partecipate sul territorio nei tre nuovi soggetti giuridici.

L'obiettivo del riassetto e' ottimizzare la gestione sul territorio, rendere ancora piu' uniforme il processo di riscossione e semplificare ulteriormente le relazioni con i contribuenti. Le nuove societa' si articoleranno in Direzioni regionali e Ambiti provinciali e opereranno sempre con il coordinamento e l'indirizzo della holding Equitalia SpA, cosi' come Equitalia Giustizia ed Equitalia Servizi manterranno gli attuali ambiti di competenza. Il Gruppo Equitalia ha realizzato nel corso di questi primi cinque anni di vita una lunga serie di operazioni societarie straordinarie finalizzate a ridurre la frammentazione territoriale ereditata dal precedente sistema composto da circa 40 concessionari privati.

"La partenza operativa delle tre nuove societa' rientra nel percorso avviato nel 2006 con lo storico passaggio dalla riscossione privata a quella pubblica - commenta il direttore generale del Gruppo Equitalia, Marco Cuccagna - Equitalia ha portato avanti un importante processo per uniformare le modalita' di riscossione in tutto il Paese, contribuendo all'incremento della compliance fiscale. E' un'impresa di cui siamo orgogliosi sia come dipendenti di Equitalia, sia come cittadini italiani".

(Adnkronos) - Il sostituto procuratore di Milano Luigi Orsi ha chiesto questa mattina il fallimento della societa' Norman 95, la societa' di gestione immobiliare che fa capo a Massimo Cimatti. Il giudice del tribunale fallimentare Roberto Fontana ha dato tre-quattro giorni di tempo alle parti per presentare delle memorie e la prossima settimana verra' presa la decisione sull'istanza presentata dal pm Orsi.