Daily Archives: 22 February, 2015

ISIS ante portas, and behind…

The recent beheading of Egyptian Copts working in Libya by ISIS and the subsequent air bombardment by the Egyptian air force of ISIS installations in Libya show how close the war and ISIS have come to Europe. If Syria and Iraq are considered still far from the EU heartland, Libya is only a few hundred nautical miles away from the coasts of Italy, Malta and Greece. This is too close for comfort. What can Europe do to address these emerging threats that are getting closer and closer to its soil? What it can certainly not afford to do is stay idle and wait. In this article I suggest a few measures that should at least be considered by the European leaders and the EU Institutions. One may think that such measures would move the EU closer to integration in defence and security matters, and that would probably be right, but that should not constitute a reason for panicking. On the contrary, one should start to worry about the future of a Europe facing determined enemies that stays fragmented and expects the US and others to do the heavy lifting for its security.

By Jasmina Dimitrieva

Are elections and democracy one and the same thing? Not only voters, but also elected officials sometimes confuse democracy with elections. Such mental attitude sees the internationally guaranteed right to public participation in decision-making reduced to elections. The inherent risk is that public participation in the formulation and implementation of public polices for common good, as enunciated in the constitutions of Europe, remains a philosophical concept, with the elections as a sole manifestation of democracy on the physical plan. While looking at the other side of the coin, it seems beyond imagination nowadays to have in place a democratic system of governance without first holding elections, and without a meaningful parliamentary opposition.

Paciencia Melgar, a missionary born in Equatorial Guinea, was working alongside a Spanish missionary, Miguel Pajares, treating Ebola-infected patients on the outskirts of Monrovia. Eventually, the two missionaries became infected, and their condition deteriorated rapidly. Father Pajares was repatriated to Spain for treatment in a specially conditioned airplane. He asked the Spanish authorities to take Mrs. Melgar along too. The Spanish authorities refused. Yet fate took a surprising turn…
 A few days later, Father Pajares, aged 75, died in Madrid despite all medical efforts while Mrs. Melgar miraculously recovered, and started donating her Ebola-defeating blood to save Spaniards infected with the disease.

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