International

Venezuela: is the Cold War back?

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In recent weeks, Venezuela has been going through an unprecedented crisis. The whole world  comments on the situation and take positions. Two clans have been formed: those who support Nicolas Maduro and those who support the opposition embodied by Juan Guaido. 

Venezuela tensions
Tensions in Venezuela divide countries
Source: Creative Commons

Juan Guaido, the president of the Venezuela’s parliament, is self-entitled acting president. In his view Nicolas Maduro, the current president, is responsible for the disastrous economic situation from which the country has been suffering for decades. In addition, the last elections that put  Maduro in power was considered by the international community as suspicious and with malfunctions. There are many tensions because Maduro retains the authority mainly thanks to the support of the army. 

All the countries take position about the Venezuela crisis. The country most opposed to Maduro is the United States of America. Donald Trump actively supported Juan Guaido and he congratulated those who go to the street to demonstrate their dissatisfaction. France, Europe, Brazil … some 40 countries are asking for the end of Maduro’s government.

Those who support Maduro

Some countries still support Maduro. For example, in Latin America, Cuba and Bolivia are the two great supporters of Nicolas Maduro. These are political affinities between left wing regimes to stand up to common enemy: Washington and the American imperialism. The two economic giants Russia and China support Maduro for the economic reasons. Indeed, China and Russia are the two first creditors of Venezuela. The country must pay for their debt with its oil.

None of the two presidents is ready to give up. The opposition does not exclude an American military operation to exit the crisis.

Lucas LAURIN, IEJ2C

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Lebanon: the government defies the mafia of generators

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Generator managers take advantage of the state’s inability to provide continuous electricity.

In Beyrouth, for many weeks, the Lebanese government has been dealing with violence of private electric generator owners. In fact, for a decade, their role has been to complete the amount of the electricity provided by the government, in order to enable to the population to have an all-day supply.

Two visions: the first is the general government of Lebanon who wants to support Lebanese citizens. The problem is that they pay the energy from private providers much more expensive than that supplied by the government. Many Lebanese have not the budget to buy electricity two times. Against this vision, the private electric generator owners make much money thanks to this situation and don’t want to reduce their prices.

Inspections, custodies,…, the Lebanese government do not skimp on ways to force the traders to fix meters to reduce bills of consumers. Sometimes, fixed and opaque, prices practice pull electrical expenses up. On average, the cost rises to around 300 dollars per month per household.

The estimated number of generators in the country is 7,000. They had been given time until 1st October 2018 to change the practices. Unfortunately, not enough generators owners accepted to change their habits. All of them accuse the Lebanese government of wanting to ruine the electric generator owners.

The government of Lebanon wants to break the current system and this way to destroy the mafia of generators.

 

Johana WEHBE, IEJ 3E G2

Foreign submarine confirmed on Sweden’s territory

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Sweden authorities confirmed today that a submarine was actually in the water near the capital of Stockholm. This foreign submarine was detected one month ago, after approximately one week of criss-crossing a vast expanse of water dotted with 30 000 islands. The research was interrupted, as no trace of the submarine was found.

It was not possible to state how big it was or to what country it belonged said the Swedish army, which has deployed more than two hundred men and boats, in an operation which recalled the 1980s, when URSS was regularly suspected to explore the surrounding areas of their naval bases in the Baltic sea.

The prime minister Stefan LöD9823CE9-C047-4C2A-B49A-EBCF78040A42_cx0_cy6_cw0_mw1024_s_n_r1fven said that they didn’t know who was responsible for this violation and affirmed that it was absolutely unacceptable, Sweden doesn’t want any intelligence activity in their country. He added that the country would do everything they can to strengthen their territorial integrity.

Thirty years ago, Sweden was routinely gripped with cold war panic, hunting those Russian submarines almost daily but never found a trace of them. Today, it’s the first time that the armed forces have the ability to proof the infringement of the territory.

 

Nicolas Chaaya – Leo Arthuys, IEJ 1B

The jihadists possess antiaircraft weapons

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10749490_10204993412776153_1852174469_nWe knew that Islamic state had fighters, stolen from the Syrian Army. Now we know they can shoot down aircrafts. The news worries the Western powers and particularly the United States.
Two helicopters of the Iraqi Army and a Russian helicopter were shot down by jihadists with antiaircraft weapons. It is a threat for the army but also for the airliners, now more vulnerable.
The Islamic state recently published a guide on the Internet which explains how to use some weapons. The question is « Where do they find their weapons ? »
They have been stolen from a stock of the Syrian army since 1970 and some more recent with a more advanced technology and more powerful.

Maybe made in China or Bulgaria, according to German Federal Intelligence service.
Not only on the air, for the coalition directed by the United States, it is not easy to stop the terrorists particularly in the west of Iraq.

 

By Martins Victoria, IEJ 3E

ECB has announced results concerning 130 European banks

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ECB
« Not too tough, not too lenient », is the response to the European central Bank’s stress tests on the 123 biggest European banks.

The stress tests are used to test solidarity of a bank’s balance in case of economic crises. These tests should anticipate the worst case.

Some banks have failed the tests, whereas others have been reassured. The sector is on the mend. All four UK banks passed the tests. In London, Lloyds Banking Group, have avoided narrowly the stress tests. In France, only one bank out of thirteen has failed the tests.

In Milan, two Italian banks were suspended. Greece, Cyprus and Portugal are worried.

Twenty five banks out of hundred thirty tested by the ECB, will have to submit a recovery plan.

If the bank cannot recover, taxpayers or the State, will have to contribute to save the bank concerned by the recovery plan.

 

By BELHAMSALI Saïd, IEJ 3E