~ Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke Randdebiliteit ~
~ HÉT "progressief" Orgaan Der "Hangmatsocialisten" ~ Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke & Politieke Randdebiliteit
Fatima Rafiy wint het grote hoofddoekendebat !!!!
De oplossing voor het eindeloos durende hoofddoekendebat is gevonden!
Het hoofddoek wordt een gegeerd mode-accessoire. Zoiets als de
Millet-vest een aantal jaren geleden. Dat riep toen ook al controverse
op maar in vergelijking met de hoofddoekjes was dat peanuts. Het
hoofddoek lijkt voor sommigen een soort lidkaart van Al Quaeda voor
anderen (sorry voor de vergelijking) is het de jodenster maar dan voor
onderdrukte vrouwen. Want alle moslimventen zijn natuurlijk gewelddadige
terroristen die hun (7) vrouwen slaan en verder enkel gebruiken als
broedhen. Terwijl de westerse mannen en vrouwen allemaal overtuigd zijn
van de geneugten der verlichting... Maar het debat is dus afgelopen
dank zij een Antwerpse modestyliste ...
Zelfs mannen willen ontwerpen van Antwerpse vrouwen
zondag 21 maart
Hippe hoofddoeken scoren op Parijse
ANTWERPEN - De
Antwerpse Fatima Rafiy verovert de internationale modepers met haar
hoofddoeken. 'Jonge moslima's zijn mijn doelgroep, maar tijdens de
Parijse modeweek waren ook Westerse vrouwen én mannen wild van mijn
D'Izar, letterlijk 'schoonheid van de sluier': zo heet het label van de
Antwerpse Fatima Rafiy (39) en Inge Rombouts (45). Fatima Rafiy is een
moslima die op zoek was naar hippere hoofddoeken die ook nog eens
gemakkelijk draagbaar zijn. Inge Rombouts, een ervaren rot in de
modewereld, heeft onder anderen bij Ann Demeulemeester gewerkt.
'We leerden elkaar kennen op een buurtfeest in onze straat', zegt Inge
Rombouts. 'We geraakten aan de praat en ontdekten meteen een
gemeenschappelijke passie: mode. Fatima is al jaren bezig met eigen
creaties en ze vroeg me of ik haar ontwerpen wilde bekijken. Ik was
vooral onder de indruk van haar hoofddoeken. Zo hip, dat had ik nog
nooit gezien. Ze waren ook compleet uit hun religieuze context gehaald,
dat vond ik knap. Ik zag onmiddellijk het potentieel en heb mijn job
opgegeven. Vorig jaar in april hebben we Noor D'Izar opgestart. Fatima
ontwerpt en ik hou mij bezig met de zakelijke kant.'
Gat in de
Het creatieve duo kreeg begin deze maand de kans om
naar de Parijse modeweek te trekken. 'Ik heb altijd in mijn idee
geloofd', zegt Fatima Rafiy. 'Het is het gat in de markt, want er
bestaan gewoon geen hippe hoofddoeken. Maar dat mijn ontwerpen ook in de
smaak zouden vallen bij Westerse vrouwen, dat had ik nooit gedacht. Zij
zien mijn creaties als een modeaccessoire.'
modejournalisten waren laaiend enthousiast. Volgende maand staan we op
de cover van een Duits modeblad, ook de Deense en Britse pers hebben
interesse en binnenkort prijken we in de Chinese Vogue.'
Nochtans waren Westerse vrouwen niet meteen de
doelgroep van de ontwerpster. 'Ik wilde voor mijzelf en andere jonge
moslima's hippe hoofddoeken creëren, want dat vind je gewoon niet. En de
bestaande modellen zijn dan nog eens bijzonder onhandig. Het draperen
en vastmaken met speldjes is een heel ritueel en de hoofddoek blijft
nooit goed zitten.'
een hoofddoek met ingebouwde haarband, zodat speldjes overbodig zijn. En
daarnaast hou ik mij niet in: in nepleer en nepbont, gehaakt als een
muts en sjaal in één, een sportmodel. Mijn pilotenmodel viel tijdens de
Parijse modeweek zelfs in de smaak bij mannen. Ze wilden die onder hun
motorhelm dragen. Dat vond ik echt grappig. Ik heb ook een model met
twee gleufjes om je zonnebril in vast te steken als je die op je hoofd
Voorlopig is er een webwinkel en een showroom, waar
geïnteresseerden de modellen kunnen komen passen. Fatima Rafiy ontwerpt
ook op maat. 'Voor een feestelijke gelegenheid, of gewoon een
Nu nog een échte winkel: 'Een chique boetiek.
Ik wil de Arabische Chanel worden. Mijn hoofddoeken verpak ik dan ook
in luxueuze doosjes. Ik hou me niet bezig met de politieke discussies
over een hoofddoek. Wie er één wil dragen, fijn. Wie dat niet wil, ook
fijn. Ik wil gewoon als een ontwerpster door het leven gaan, net als
alle andere ontwerpers.'
toe, we zien dit vele malen liever dan de madammen in joggingpakken
en/of leggings op de markt van Aalst...Het is inderdaad mooi en elegant
en het helpt het hoofddoek uit de taboesfeer en uit de
Deze Fatima Rafiy biedt een veel leukere
invalshoek aan dan al die grote (mannelijke) filosofen met hun groot
Want je staat er misschien niet bij stil maar
hadden de moslima's nu toevallig voor één of andere reden de naaldhak
als symbool gekozen dan had je dit soort schoen ook horen afschilderen
als typisch onderdrukkingsmiddel, tortuurinstrument zelfs van
achterlijke mannelijke godsdiensfanaten die ons allemaal de moskee
willen injagen en voor de shariarechtbanken slepen.
je wel Fatima, wij zijn dus al fan van je collectie of tenminste wat we
er van kennen. We wensen je het toe om ooit de Chanel op te volgen.
Zelfs niet de Arabische Chanel maar opvolgster tout court...doe voort en
kijk niet om ! Wat we ook leuk vinden zijn je tips voor een dresscode
waar je alle zowel dure topspullen afwisselt met H&M-artikels...mooi
mooi want van die hersenloze fashionista's en Parishiltonklonen hebben
we al genoeg in onze autochtone rangen....
voor de andere liefhebbers, hier is een linkje naar de collectie: http://noordizar.be/nl/imsar
wel mijn beste Vermeersch, benieuwd wat je daarover denkt en als er nu
inderdaad wat niet-moslima's deze trend verder zetten is het debat van
de baan...maar waarschijnlijk zijn we toch erg naïef...
Clooney drinkt de verkeerde koffie; de Nespressurestory
Iedereen kent de "glossy" reclame voor Nespresso en misschien hebben
sommige lezertjes reeds een Nespesso genuttigd in één van hun flashy
coffeeshops. Je kan over de smaak discussiëren, het schuim en weet ik
veel allemaal. Iedereen heeft gelijk. Maar er is meer om over te praten
dan mooie reclame en Hollywoodsterren met grijze slapen die Nespresso
aanprijzen. Er is nu ook een website die de arbeidsomstandigheden
aanklaagt in de fabrieken van Nestlé, zo een beetje overal ter wereld.
En voor sommigen die nog menen te moeten leuteren over hoofddoeken die
de vrouwen onderdrukken is het misschien nuttig om eens naar wat
fotootjes te kijken. Blijkbaar is het niet zo erg gesteld met het
onderdrukkende hoofddoek wel met andere onderdrukkingen en die we beter
eens zouden aanpakken...
Global Dairy Workers
Conference pledges support to Nestle workers, demands: Stop Nespressure!
Representatives of dairy workers' unions from 22
countries gathered for their second global conference on March 9-12,
2010 in Buenos Aires and Sunchales, Argentina. In sharing the
information, delegates continually cited Nestle as a company where the
abuse of trade union rights is common practice in various countries. In
conclusion, the conference declared support to all Nestle workers
currently facing pressure, and in particular to the union at Nestle
Waters in Russia and its campaign for the reinstatement of fired union
leader, Sergey Strykov.
Nestlé European Works Council Steering Committee
denounces Nespressure .
. in Indonesia, Tunisia, Russia, the UK, Hungary
While the union
at Nestlé Indonesia in Panjang, SBNIP, continues to be denied the
opportunity to exercise its right to negotiate wages and the Nestlé
Tunisia Workers Union is struggling to obtain full implementation of an
agreement which was signed by the company and the government labour
authorities in January to end an industrial dispute, unions in Europe
are experiencing pressure when exercising basic rights such as forming
unions and defending the interests of their membership.
members of the Nestlé EWC Steering Committee received an update on
ongoing disputes at a meeting on 8 March. With respect to the dispute at
Nestlé Waters in Russia (discriminatory treatment of workers who joined
the union and dismissal on spurious grounds of a union leader),
Steering Committee members agreed to generate more protest letters to
Russian management. The Nestlé trade unionists from Germany who wrote
personalised messages to the Nestlé Russia General Manager, who was
previously in management functions in Germany, agreed to follow-up with
strong replies to the vague and empty response he sent them.
the UK, Nestlé announced a nation-wide pay freeze in November, adding
that employees would, however, receive pay rises in the form of
performance-based bonuses. The UK shop stewards and their unions have
rejected this attempt to substitute discretionary wage adjustments for
collective bargaining. In the absence of meaningful negotiations
anywhere at Nestlé UK since the announcement, the unions are preparing
to ballot the membership on industrial action over this attack on the
unions' negotiating rights.
In Hungary, where Nestlé does not
negotiate wages, but a package including benefits and wages, the union
is fighting for more fairness and transparency in the system. In this
package the amount of benefits is the same for everyone, but Nestlé
distributes the wage increase component at its own discretion. Nestlé
Hungary is pressuring the union to agree to its proposed package, which
takes into account a new wage category system - which the company
intends to set up later. The union has refused to sign away the members'
interests on a blank cheque.
In Spain, negotiations for the
renewal of the collective bargaining agreement at the frozen and chilled
foods plant in Valladolid are deadlocked and Nestlé has been using
Nespressure to reach its objectives. An attempt to undermine the union
negotiating committee and collect signatures of workers in support of
the company's collective bargaining proposal has backfired: the workers
stood up to the pressure and confirmed support for their negotiating
The Nestlé EWC Steering Committee has denounced the
discriminatory treatment of trade union activists, attacks on collective
bargaining rights, attempts to subvert the collective bargaining
process and have pledged support to unions and workers in their fight
by Jacqueline Baroncini on March 12, 2010 12:20 PM
Stop Nespressure! Leafleting and press conference
part of the continuing campaign for the reinstatement of Sergei Strykov,
trade union activists distributed leaflets in front of the Nespresso
boutique in Moscow on 26 February. The boutiques manager was handed a
letter of protest against the companys constantly applied practice of
pressurizing trade union activists, a practice which has already
acquired its own name - Nespressure. However, the letter was refused, in
a typical display of Nestle arrogance and contempt for public opinion.
The outrageous dismissal of Sergei Strykov, one of
the leaders of Nestle Waters workers trade union, at the end of
January, has provoked a wave of protest both in Russia and abroad.
Nevertheless, the companys management keeps ignoring the numerous
protests which are coming from the trade unions. In Russia the company
has commissioned the task of answering the protest letters to Mr.
Tratsevsky the director of the plant who initiated the anti-union
campaign and the dismissal of Sergei Strykov. Such undisguised cynicism
with regard to the rights of workers reveals the true value of the
companys claims concerning shared value.
In the meantime, this
Nestlés actions have attracted the increasing attention of Russian
mass media and were highlighted at a press conference dedicated which
was held on 18 February at the independent press center in Moscow.
HAGUE, Netherlands The Dutch prime minister Friday denounced as
"irresponsible" a claim by a retired U.S. general that gay Dutch
soldiers were partly to blame for allowing Europe's worst massacre since
World War II.
Dutch officials, from the Cabinet to the military,
were outraged by retired Gen. John Sheehan's remarks at a Senate Armed
Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
claimed that Dutch military leaders had called the presence of gay
soldiers in the army "part of the problem" that allowed Serb forces to
overrun the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia in July 1995 and kill some
8,000 Muslim men.
Dutch troops were serving in the undermanned
U.N. peacekeeping force in Srebrenica when they were overrun by heavily
armed Serb forces, who went on to turn the surrounding countryside into
killing fields littered with mass graves.
Prime Minister Jan Peter
Balkenende called Sheehan's comments irresponsible and said at his
weekly news conference that "these remarks should never have been made."
Dutch troops homosexual or heterosexual it is way off the mark to
talk like that about people and the work they do under very difficult
circumstances," he said.
Sheehan, a former NATO commander who
retired from the military 1997, was speaking in opposition to a proposal
to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military.
said he would not take up the issue with President Barack Obama because
Sheehan is already retired.
Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop
called Sheehan's claim "damaging" and not worthy of a soldier. "I don't
want to waste any more words on it," he said.
Story continues below
van den Breemen, Dutch chief of staff at the time of the Srebrenica
genocide, called Sheehan's comments "total nonsense" and denied ever
having suggested gays in the army might have played a role in the
The Netherlands has a long history of
accepting homosexuality, and gays have long been welcome in the
country's armed forces which also allow labor unions.
of one such union, Jan Kleian, was incensed by Sheehan's comments.
man is crazy," he told Dutch radio. "It sounds hard, but I can't put it
any other way."
Waw, dit hadden we nooit
gedacht, beste Ollandse vrienden. Onze steun hebben jullie in elk
geval...en nodig deze Sheehan uit want goeie cabaretiers
worden zeldzaam! En de foto hiernaast is het vernieuwde défilé van het Ollandse leger...misschien kunnen deze eenheden de afwezige Congolese vervangen op 21 juli in Brussel????
We hebben het hier reeds een paar keer gehad over de situatie in Iran.
De massale protesten tegen het regime, de moedige studentenacties. Er
bleef echter een blinde vlek, namelijk op sociaal vlak, wat gebeurde er
in zulke dictatuur rond de werknemerseisen en globaal genomen rond de
economische situatie. We vonden een interessant artikel in Counterpunch
dat ons hierover wat meer weet te vertellen. Eigenaardig genoeg blijkt
het daar qua inhoud niet zo erg veel te verschillen van hier. De strijd
tegen de privatisering en tegen de precaire arbeidscontracten. Dit
laatste noemt men hier meestal "de flexibiliteit". Wat doodgewoon
neerkomt op tijdelijke arbeidscontracten aan de onderkant van het
laagste bestaande barema dat men ergens heeft gevonden en dat toch net
boven het minimumloon uitkomt... Maar lees dus zelf: http://www.counterpunch.org/hallinan03162010.html
March 16, 2010
How Iran's Workers Fight
Ahmadinejad's Neoliberal Cutbacks
By CONN HALLINAN
Earthquakes, like the recent Haitian and Chilean monsters,
are not subtle events: They flatten buildings, crush houses, and turn
infrastructures into concrete and steel confetti. But earthquakes can
also generate a power that remains largely unseen until a huge tsunami
rises out of the sea and obliterates a coastline.
It is a metaphor that comes to mind when Amin is talking
about the political earthquake in Iran. Amin cant use his real name,
nor can he afford to identify where he lives or works. Being an active
trade unionist in Iran is a dangerous job description. If three workers
meet they get thrown into solitary confinement, he says.
When most Americans think about the recent upheavals in
Iran, it is about marches demanding democracy and challenging the June
12 presidential election. The face of those protests is the Green
Movementso called because its supporters wear greenthat put millions
of people into the streets of Teheran and other large cities throughout
Largely unseen, and rarely reported
on, however, are thousands of strikes, slow downs and sit-ins by workers
challenging the erosion of trade union rights and the governments
drive to privatize the economy, plus instituting policies that will
impoverish tens of millions of people.
Amin, over the next few months the government will begin dismantling
$20 billion a year in subsidies for gasoline, water, electricity, rice,
flour, bus fare, and university tuition. The Iranian people made these
things, fought for these things, says Amin. They are all that is left
of the  revolution.
Along with the draconian
cutbacks in subsidies, Amin says the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
is rapidly privatizing the public sector and turning it over to his
buddies in the Revolutionary Guard. According to official government
statistics for 2008, a third of state assets have already been
privatized, the vast bulk of it under Ahmadinejad. In many ways this
dismantling of the public sector resembles the privatization plan Russia
instituted in the 1990s that ended up turning over vast sections of the
economy to oligarchs at bargain basement prices.
resistance to the cutbacks and privatization comes mainly from the
trade union movementmuch of it underground but that can be a very
perilous undertaking in Iran.
Hundreds of unionists
have been fired, threatened, or jailed under brutal conditions over the
past few years. Mansour Osanioo, president of the Teheran bus drivers
union, was recently released from solitary confinement, but only after
an international campaign led by the International Transport Workers
Federation and the Indonesian seafarers union, Kesatuan Pelaut
The International Trade Union
Confederation, Iranian unions and human rights groups have called for
the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the persecution
of trade unionists in Iran.
Men like Osanioo, bus
driver union vice-president Ebrahim Madadi, and Reza Rakhshan, a leader
of the sugar cane workers union, are either in prison or fighting to
stay free. But in spite of the efforts by the government to stamp out
unionism, strikes continue to roil Iran. According to Amin, there are
thousands of small and large labor actions.
600 workers at Bandar Abbas Refinery Development Company struck to
recover five months of unpaid wages. Over 800 workers at the Dena Rah
Sasan civil engineering company struck over the same issue, closing off
the main gates with heavy trucks. Shiraz Iran Telecommunications
Industries workers staged a sit-in at the provincial governors mansion
over back wages, and a series of rolling strikes over wage and pension
reductions paralyzed the Mobarakeh Steel Complex.
says the government is trying to undermine labor laws that are
enshrined in the constitution. Workers are guaranteed collective
bargaining rights and the right to organize. Irans labor law is one of
the most progressive in the world. And they are trying to change this.
One employer strategy is to increase the number of
temporary workers. According to Amin, temps now represent upwards of
60 to 70 percent of the workforce. They have no benefits and are
largely at the mercy of arbitrary firings and periodic layoffs. The
trade union movement is trying to organize these temps, a risky
undertaking in the current climate created by the government. We have a
police state and we cant organize ourselves, he says.
Which is why, he says, the unionists are 100 percent
behind the democratic reform movement.
moment, the reform movement appears to be on the ropes. The government
has closed over 50 newspapers and magazines, and the brutality of the
police and Basij militia largely prevented the Green Movement from
filling the streets of the nations major cities on Feb. 11, the 31st
anniversary of the revolution.
first silenced the Internetone of the Green Movements key organizing
toolsand then flooded the streets with the police and militia. Hundreds
of people were beaten, tear-gassed and arrested, and many still remain
in jail. The regime also executed two dissidents on the eve of the
demonstrations, and sentenced nine other political prisoners to death.
While the Green Movement has support in many of the
nations cities, it has not yet recruited the bulk of the Iranian people
to its banner. According to a recent poll conducted by the Program for
International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, a majority
of the population believes that Ahmadinejad won the June 12 election,
and shows no particular interest in regime change.
the same polls also reflected increasing disillusionment with the
general economic situation, and specifically with the Ministry of the
Interior. Only a little over a third supports the Ministrys policies,
and that disillusionment will almost certainly sharpen when subsides
disappear and rising prices and inflation cut yet more deeply into
peoples incomes. Unemployment is around 12 per cent, and according to
Reze Shahhabi of the Teheran Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate, many workers
must hold multiple jobs to make ends meet.
level, the Green Movement and the trade union movement are very
different creatures. The reform movement has a strong base in the middle
class and its interests are focused on democratic rights. The trade
union movement is mainly concerned with resisting privatization and the
end to subsidies. But both movements also share a considerable patch of
We are 100 percent behind the
reform movement, Amin says, because without democracy it is extremely
hard and dangerous to organize workers. And many leading reformers are
increasingly critical of the Ahmadinejads neo-liberal formulas. Former
presidential candidate and leading reform leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has
strongly criticized the cutbacks in subsidies.
Green Movement draws the attention of the international press, but as a
Feb. 15 statement by a coalition of trade unions, including bus
drivers, electrical workers, sugar refinery workers, metal workers and
the Free Assembly of Iranian Workers points out, We millions are the
producers of wealth, the wheels of production. Society moves only
because we move it. As Amin says, We have the muscle.
The stage is set for some sort of major upheavalpossibly
around the Mar. 20 New Years celebrationsbut a number of things could
derail it, including new sanctions, or the bombing if Iranian nuclear
Sanctions might let the regime off the
hook, says Amin. They could let the government claim that any
subsidies cutbacks are the result of Irans enemies. See, it is not us,
it is our enemies.
A military attack by either
the U.S. or Israel would be a disaster. That would wreck everything,
says Amin. Behind the cover of nationalism the government could crush
the opposition with impunity.
opposition never makes it disappear. It is useful to remember that the
tipping point in the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah was a
nationwide strike by workers against the National Oil Company. The
walkout shut down the pipelines and refineries.
the walls came tumbling down.
hier vinden jullie een film over
Mansour Osanloo, de vakbondsleider van de buschauffeurs die al een hele
tijd opgesloten zit in de gevangenis:
Reports from Tehran indicate that union
leaders from the bus drivers union are currently being targeted. The
group Human Rights and Democracy Activists has reported on the court
sessions for two of the Syndicate unionists on charges related to last
years Mayday gathering. In addition, the syndicate has issued a
statement on threats on Osanloos life in Karaj prison.
2, Homayoun Jaberi, a 33 years old member of the bus drivers labor
syndicate, was called into the revolutionary court on charges stemming
from his participation in the 2009 Mayday rally. He was charged with
plots against the security of the system which he and his lawyer,
Khorshidi, rejected. Judge Mohammadi, speaking with a threatening tone,
expressed remorse for not having given Mansour Osanloo a heavier
Jaberi was arrested last year before Mayday even
started. He was taken to jail and held there for three weeks. This move
comes ten months after the event and appears to be related to government
schemes against this years Mayday. Mr. Jaberi has been barred from his
job at the Tehran Vahed Bus company where he has been denied wages and
pension benefits. Following multiple petitions, he successfully won a
legal battle that allowed him to return to work, however, the company
security, which works in tandem with the Intelligence Ministry,
continues to obstruct his return. Jaberi spent some time in ward 209 of
the notorious Evin prison in 2003 during the bus drivers strikes. He
also spent a month in jail in 2007 for attending an event in Osanloos
house in his support.
Similarly, on February 26, another syndicate
member, Gholam Reza Khani was called to the court on the charges
related to the same May 1 event. His court date was postponed.
news of a string of assaults by guards in Karaj prison on Mansour
Osanloo, the Bus Syndicate Union has issued this statement:
condemn the perilous and difficult conditions Mansour Osaloo is held
According to the latest news reached to us from his
family, Osaloo who has been transferred to Karaj Rejai-Shahr jail for
unspecified reasons is incarcerated in appalling and degrading
This past week, one of the inmates has made an attempt
on his life which has luckily been averted by the vigilance of his
fellow-inmates. This, however, was not the only instance where the same
individual engaged in threats and taunts. This has caused worries for
the family, Vahed Syndicate members, and the Iranian workers community
Tehran and Municipality Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate
while condemning these acts against those imprisoned, calls for legal
protections and the prosecution of the culprits.
has been sentenced to five years in prison and he is now serving his
sentence in full at Karaj Rejai Shahr; a fact that has no precedent for
most prisoners of conscience in Iran.
Tehran and Municipality
Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate March 2010
March 16, 2010 -The
ITF reports that it has received information that Mansour Osanloo has
again been moved within Rajai Shahr prison. The latest unexplained move
to Ward 5, a ward normally reserved for drug addicts and HIV positive
inmates comes just a month after an abortive attempt to put him in
solitary confinement. Shortly afterwards he was attacked by another
inmate under suspicious circumstances. The ITF is putting the Iranian
authorities on notice that for as long as they unjustly detain Mansour
Osanloo, they are responsible for his wellbeing, and must immediately
cease putting him in danger
DW: Yesterday, the new Minimum
Wage rate was announced. What is your assessment of the rate which is
$303 (per month) for the next Iranian year?
Azim Zadeh: The
$303 rate, which is an increase of 15 percent compared to the last
year, not only will not solve any of the Iranian workers problems, but
compared to the current year rate of $260 will bring greater hunger and
destitution for the Iranian working people.
Today in Tehran, $303
does not even pay for the rent of accommdation for a 4-person family.
With $303, it may be possible only to pay rent for some periphery
locations in Tehran. With food, clothing, health, education, and other
expenses, I think the workers will face unprecedented poverty and hunger
in the coming year.
DW: Considering that even the
$260 was not paid for several months and the owed wages were postponed
for the next year, how will the new year look for workers? What effect
will this have on their lives?
Azim Zadeh: As I mentioned,
setting $303 as the minimum wage will bring unprecedented poverty for
workers. Indeed, the poverty and hunger in the coming year can not be
compared with even the last couple of years.
expected high inflation and the ending subsidies, even if the minimum
wages are paid on time, this will not take any burdens off the workers,
let alone if they are postponed for six months or one year.
mentioned, we saw during this year the same low $260 monthly rate,
which have been delayed for six months or for even a year. I dare say,
the wages for three or four million workers across Iran (especially for
those in one- or two-year projects, such as Asalouyeh, Mahshahrpor, and
others, who have had their wages delayed) ensure they face very hard
Considering the current economic situation, it is expected
that not only delays in wage payments will not be curtailed, but in the
coming year it will actually increase. In such a situation, it is
natural that absolute and unprecedented hunger will be forced on the
working class in Iran.
DW: Considering that we are in the
final days of the year and workers protests are continuing, what course
will these protests take? And if there are to be any compromises between
the state and the workers, how will that compromise be brokered?
Zadeh: I think workers protests will sharply increase in the
coming year and spread across the country. As you know, the subsidies
are expected to be cut by $20 billion. According to a report by the
Parliament Research Office, the inflation rate caused by this cut will
be 37 percent. (This is based on the inflation rate announced by the
central bank which is 11 percent in the past three months.) All the
while the government talks about a gift by raising the minimum wages
by 15 percent.
It should also be noted that the psychological
effect of cutting the subsidies will also increase the rate announced by
the Parliament Research Office. Meanwhile, based on our experience of
the Iranian economy, in the last 30 years, we have had a nominal
increase of 30 percent in the inflation rate.
With the yearly
inflation and the 37 percent cuts in subsidies recently announced, and
the addition of the psychological effects, the $303 may not even have
the buying power of todays $100.
It is natural for workers to
react to such a situation, especially with the chronic economic crisis
always at hand and constant wage arrears. The Iranian working class
shall not remain silent. Workers unrest will increase.
understanding between the state and the workers, the rate announced
today shows that the state and the employers are not at all willing to
reach an understanding with the workers. They want to force hunger and
poverty on the workers while continuing to enrich themselves. It is
natural that the conclusion of such a scenario is the widespread workers
DW: It is reported today that the government was
not even able to agree to this 15 percent increase.
Yes, that is true. The Labor Minister in last nights televised
interview discussed the 15 percent increase and the 11 percent inflation
rate. But the minister did not properly address its own labor law,
which states that workers wages are not to be based on inflation alone
but also on the expenses of a family of four.
How is it possible
to base the workers wages on this years inflation rate when the next
years inflation will be overwhelming for the workers? They are using
the inflation rate from March while next year inflation will increase by
20 to 30 percent. Meanwhile, they have completely forgotten their own
bases in the law, which is the expenses for a workers family of four.
Workers' Minimal Demands on the Occasion of the
Thirty-first Anniversary of the February 1979 Revolution
independent workers' organizations have issued a communique honoring the
thirty-first anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran. A translation
is provided below:
Thirty-one years have passed since the
February 1979 revolution. At that time millions of Iranian people, full
of hope for a better life, took to the streets in order to break the
yoke of despotism and repression. A nationwide strike lead by workers at
the National Oil Company, the vanguard of the Iranian working class,
shut down oil pipelines, ultimately tearing the despotic regime asunder.
Masses of people chanted, "Our oil workers! Our resolute leader!" Power
fell to the people.
February 11, 1979, a day that marks an end to
despotism, is a day that calls forth unforgettable memories of men and
women, young and old, who had grown tired of repression and injustice;
people embraced one another in the streets, cried out with joy, and,
with tears in their eyes, looked forward to a liberated future.
thirty-one years have passed since those glorious days full of
enchantment and rebirth. Yet today the feelings of hope, enchantment,
and glory have been transformed into nothing but misery, destitution,
unemployment, sub-poverty wages, and subsidy cuts--unbearable agony for
millions of workers and wage earners.
Life continues. The Iranian
people still have a burning desire for change. They have not lost their
hope for life, their yearning for happiness, freedom, dignity.
of democratic struggle, strikes, protests, and the campaign to
establish independent organizations on its behalf, the working class has
fought for its right to survive. Many of us now sit in jail for
attempting to organize the working class and build a better life.
these jail cells do not mark the end of the road. We millions are the
producers of wealth, the wheels of production. Society moves only
because we move it. We have at our back the historical experience of the
united and grand strike of the oil workers during the February
revolution. Relying on this experience and the power of our millions we
inspire the best and most humanistic aspirations of the 1979 revolution.
Today, after thirty-one years, we present our minimal demands and call
for immediate and unconditional realization of all of them:
recognition of independent workers organizations, the right to strikes,
to organize protests, the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and
freedom to associate with any political party.
stop to all executions, and the immediate and unconditional release of
labor and other political activists from jail.
increase of the minimum wage based on workers' input through their
representatives in general workers assemblies.
End to Subsidies
Rationalization Plan; delayed wages of workers should be immediately
paid without any excuses.
Job security for workers and all
wage earners, the end to all temporary contracts and blank signatures,
removal of all government-run organizations in the work place,
institution of new labor laws through direct participation of the
workers in their general worker assemblies.
Halt to all
firings under any circumstances. Anyone expelled, or at employment age,
must benefit from social security in line with human dignity.
End of all discriminatory laws against women and insuring full and
unconditional equality of women and men in all aspects of social,
economic, political, cultural, and family affairs.
the retired with a life of welfare, devoid of economic anxieties,
putting an end to all discriminatory payment practices, and allowing
everyone to benefit from social and medical services.
children, irrespective of their parents' economic and social status,
gender, nationality, race, and religion must be granted free and equal
educational, welfare, and health care benefits.
May 1st must be
declared a national holiday and included in the official calendar; all
legal restrictions on its celebration must be removed.
and Municipality Bus Workers Syndicate Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery
Workers Syndicate Free Assembly of Iranian Workers Kermanshah
Electrical and Metal Workers Guild
Legion of Christ Responds To Founder's Alleged
Mexico City, Mexico,
Mar 4, 2010 (CNA/EWTNews).- The Legionaries of Christ released two
statements today responding to the dramatic revelations by a woman and
her three sons who claim to be the wife and children of Fr. Marcial
Maciel. During an interview in front of a large television audience in
Mexico, Blanca Estela Lara Gutiérrez and her sons charged that Fr.
Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, led a parallel life.
The interview coincided with a visit to Mexico
made by Father Álvaro Corcuera L.C., currently the director of the
Legion of Christ.
interview, Lara Gutiérrez said that she met Fr. Maciel in 1970, when she
was 19 years old. Maciel was 56 at the time. He told her that his name
was Raúl Rivas and that he was a widower.
Though they never officially married, Lara
Gutiérrez said that Fr. Maciel had two children her and adopted a third
whom she had from a previous relationship. The children were registered
as Omar, José Raúl, y Cristian González Lara.
During the long interview, which was rebroadcast
in Spanish on Thursday by CNN for viewers in Latin America, the three
children gave intensely dramatic details about how they were sexually
abused as children by Raúl Rivas. They also spoke of how they came to
know their fathers real identity and how they reacted to the
accusations presented to the Holy See against Fr. Maciel.
At the end of the program, the González Lara
family demanded the attention both of the Legionaries and of the
In reaction to the
interview, Jim Fair, spokesman for the Legion in the United States told
CNA that he was shocked and disappointed. But the Legion wants to act
responsibly, get to the bottom of things and correct what needs to be
On Thursday, the
Legion of Christ in Mexico released two simultaneous statements through
which they expressed their pain and solidarity with Fr. Maciels alleged
family, though they neither confirmed nor denied the allegations. The
statements also revealed that Raúl González, who has been acting as the
spokesperson for the family, has previously requested $26 million from
the Legion in exchange for not breaking the story.
The first statement said that the Legionaries
share the suffering and pain of the members of the González Lara
family, understanding the difficult circumstances they have lived and
In recent years,
the Legionaries of Christ have gradually come to know, with surprise
and great sorrow, hidden aspects of the life of Fr. Maciel. We confirm
our commitment to act in truth and charity. We renew our request for
forgiveness from the affected people for all of the suffering this has
caused and for the ensuing scandal, added the statement.
The same statement made public a letter that Fr.
Carlos Skertchly, L.C. wrote to Raúl González Lara on January 12, 2010.
At this time, it is impossible for Fr. Álvaro
Corcuera to come to Mexico to meet with you as you requested, so he
asked me as his representative to be available to meet with you and
listen to you, Fr. Skertchly informed him in the letter.
Our intention as members of the congregation of
the Legionaries of Christ is to do whatever is possible to uncover the
truth about our founders life, to look for the best solutionsin a
spirit of gospel charityto the complex situations that are presenting
themselves, and to reach out pastorally to all of the people who have
suffered or who may be affected by it.
Fr. Skertchly also recounted his interaction with Raúl González
Lara, writing, On January 8 in the afternoon, I received your phone
call, in which you confirmed your request, affirming that if you give
me the money ($26 million), I will keep quiet about the truth, and you
asked for a response by January 13 at the latest, the letter continues.
In no way can we accede to
your request for money in exchange for silence. While we value all of
the pain and suffering that you have shared with us, and we deplore the
evil of scandal that may follow, we will never accept petitions of this
sort, which are also illicit. We prefer to seek and face the truth, no
matter how painful it may be, affirmed Fr. Skertchly.
In the second statement, Fr. Jesús Quirce Andrés,
L.C., rector of Anáhuac University, who was mentioned by the González
Lara family in the interview, stated that he been involved in
conversations with Raúl González at Gonzalezs request beginning on
April 18, 2008. Raúl had presented himself to the university, requesting
to speak with someone in authority.
At the beginning of October of 2008, he told me that his
father had mentioned that his will was to leave a legacy of $6 million
for Raúl, his younger brother, and his mother, said Fr. Andrés.
He never told me that he had been abused by his
father, says Fr. Andrés statement, in which he indicated that he had
never made these facts public out of respect for the privacy that Raúl
himself requested of me on various occasions.
I was ignorant of the fact that our conversations
had been recorded by Raúl. It surprises and offends me, especially
since Raúl himself had asked for complete reserve and discretion
regarding the topic, wrote Fr. Andrés.
Raúl González ceased all personal contact with Fr. Andrés in
February of 2009.
yek yek yek, de laatste dagen kunnen we duimen en vingers aflikken
vanwege de talrijke sexschandalen die onze moeder de kerk zo hard
treffen. Jarenlange tirannie en sexueel misbruik in kloosters, zangkoren
en bijna overal waar er katholieke priesters in de buurt waren. Geen
elk land ontsnapt er blijkbaar aan. De duistere middeleeuwen lijken
stilaan uitgeroeid. Mar we willen jullie één van de mooiste voorbeelden
van deze gruwel niet onthouden. Het gaat over de zogenaamde legionairs
van Christus wat zo een beetje een Rex-bijklank krijgt hier in België.
Het speelt zich echter voornamelijk af in latijns-Amerika en in de VS.
We beginnen met een kleine presentatie van de legionairs:
nieuwe paus van ze houden? Nieuwe (leken)bewegingen kijken met
argusogen naar pausverkiezing Van onze redacteur
BRUSSEL - Een
van de opmerkelijkste ontwikkelingen tijdens het pontificaat van paus
Johannes Paulus II is de hoge vlucht die nieuwe lekenbewegingen - van
Sant'Egidio tot het Legioen van Christus - hebben genomen. Zij kijken
met argusogen naar de pausverkiezing, want er staat heel wat voor ze op
het spel. Zal de nieuwe paus hun even welgezind zijn? PINKSTEREN
1998. Op het Sint-Pietersplein is het feest. Meer dan 250.000 mensen
zijn naar Rome afgezakt op uitnodiging van de paus. Zij hebben één zaak
gemeen: ze behoren allemaal tot de nieuwe lekenbewegingen die onder
Johannes Paulus II tot grote bloei zijn gekomen. ,,Die uitnodiging
betekende de erkenning van hun kerkelijke volwassenheid'', zegt Tertio
-redacteur Peter Vande Vyvere, die op die bijeenkomst aanwezig was.
Johannes Paulus ze op Pinksteren - het feest van de Heilige Geest -
bijeenriep, was ook niet toevallig. De paus erkende dat de nieuwe
bewegingen almaar meer de charismatische dimensie van de kerk
vertegenwoordigen. Dat zij de wervende, spirituele kant van de kerk
Dat de overleden paus de lekenbewegingen in zijn hart
droeg en hun alle vrijheid gaf - hun leden kregen hoge posten in het
Vaticaan - had verschillende redenen. Vande Vyvere: ,,De belangrijkste
was zeker dat hij onder de indruk was geraakt van hun wervingskracht.
Hij zag ze ook als dammen tegen de (evangelische) sekten.''
zijn die nieuwe bewegingen die luisteren naar namen als De
Arkgemeenschap, Sant'Egidio, Focolare of Comunione e Liberazione (zie
inzet) ? ,,Hoewel zij een aantal gemeenschappelijke kenmerken hebben,
zijn ze nauwelijks over één kam te scheren'', zegt Vande Vyvere. ,,Zij
verwijzen allemaal naar het Tweede Vaticaans Concilie als
inspiratiebron. Tweede gemeenschappelijke punt is dat ze allemaal
opgericht zijn door charismatische leken, Andrea Riccardi van de
Sint-Egidiusgemeenschap is zowat de bekendste. Zij beklemtonen ook
allemaal het belang van de doorleefde geloofservaring. Een sociologisch
christendom is voor de bewegingen niet voldoende.''
tegelijk zijn er grote verschillen. Bij sommige ligt de nadruk op het
sociale engagement en de dialoog met de andere godsdiensten. Daarom
worden ze eerder in de progressieve hoek gesitueerd. Sint-Egidius,
Focolare en De Ark horen daarbij. Bij andere bewegingen ligt de nadruk
meer op de katholieke stem die luid moet weerklinken in het
maatschappelijke, politieke en ethische debat. Zij zijn maatschappelijk
strakker. Comunione e Liberazione en het Legioen van Christus zijn zeker
conservatief te noemen.
En dan is er nog het Opus Dei, dat
losstaat van de bewegingen, omdat het beduidend ouder is en een
bevoorrecht statuut heeft. Maar ook Opus Dei heeft tijdens het
pontificaat een meer dan stevige voet tussen de Vaticaanse deur
gekregen. Ook voor hen staat tijdens het conclaaf veel op het spel.
inbreng van de lekenbewegingen is zeker een onderwerp van discussie'',
zegt kerkjurist Kurt Martens. ,,Krijgen we een nieuwe paus die de
lekenbewegingen evenveel ruimte en steun geeft, of wordt het iemand die
hun armslag beperkt? Daarmee hangt een volledige visie op de toekomst
van de kerk samen. Kies je voluit voor de nieuwe bewegingen, dan kies je
voor een groot stuk voor een kerk van de 'happy few'. Je aanvaardt dat
je een minderheidskerk wordt.''
Lode Aerts, rector van het
seminarie van Gent, is het daar niet mee eens. Hij staat gematigd
positief tegenover de nieuwe bewegingen. ,,Er zit kaf tussen het koren,
maar ik vind ze niet elitair. Heel wat bewegingen zijn volkser dan vele
parochies. Dat ze zo'n bloei kennen, heeft veel te maken met het feit
dat ze goed aansluiten bij de moderne mentaliteit. Zij spelen helemaal
in op het idee dat geloven een eigen keuze is.''
kardinalen die de vleugels van de lekenbewegingen willen knippen? ,,Ik
ken er geen die zich openlijk uitgesproken hebben tegen de bewegingen'',
zegt Martens. ,,Maar ik kan mij voorstellen dat zij niet allemaal even
gelukkig zijn met hun almaar groeiende wervingskracht. Bisschoppen zien
hun eigen seminaries leeglopen, terwijl Opus Dei met de priesters gaat
lopen. Opus Dei ontsnapt ook daar zijn statuut volledig aan de controle
van de plaatselijke bisschoppen.''
,,Toch kan ik mij niet
voorstellen dat een nieuwe paus de bewegingen de doodsteek zal geven'',
zegt Vande Vyvere. ,,Daarvoor zijn ze te belangrijk geworden voor de
kerk. Maar het kan best zijn dat hun invloed minder wordt. Sommige
bewegingen zoals het Legioen van Christus of de Neocatechumenale Weg
zijn niet bij iedereen even geliefd. Zij zouden wel eens meer weerstand
Het is voor hen dus zaak een paus te krijgen
die hun welgezind is. Hoe zit het met de papabili? Topfavoriet Dionigi
Tettamanzi heeft een eredoctoraat gekregen van Opus Dei, maar maakt hem
dat tot hun kandidaat? Op het conclaaf zijn in elk geval twee echte Opus
Dei-kardinalen aanwezig: Cipriani Thorne van Lima en de Spanjaard
Julian Herranz. Zij maken nauwelijks kans op de tiara.
Scola, een andere Italiaanse favoriet, leunt dan weer sterk aan bij
Comunione e Liberazione. De bijzonder invloedrijke kardinaal Martini
(emeritus van Milaan) heeft veel sympathie voor Sint-Egidius. Ennio
Antonelli van Florence en de Tsjech Miloslav Vlk sympathiseren met
Sant-Egidio en Focolare voeren de interreligieuze
dialoog hoog in het vaandel. En dat zou wel eens een aandachtspunt
kunnen worden dat onder een nieuwe paus onder druk kan komen. Een groep
kardinalen vindt namelijk dat die interreligieuze dialoog niet tot de
kernpunten van het beleid moet horen. Onder anderen kardinaal Ratzinger -
dé sterke man op het conclaaf - wordt tot die groep gerekend. Er staat
dus wel wat op het spel.
Legion of Christ is a Roman Catholic congregation
established in 1941 in Mexico by Fr. Marcial Maciel. It enjoyed the favor of Pope John Paul II. It has priests working in 22 countries,
and had 763 priests and over 1,300 seminarians as members by 2008.
Its lay movement Regnum Christi has approximately 70,000
It operates centers of education (minor seminaries, seminaries, schools
and/or universities) in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Brazil,
Ireland, France, Germany, Canada, the United States, and the
On March 31, 2009 the Legionaries of Christ and the
Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI has ordered a Vatican
investigation of the Legion of Christ. The Legion of Christ has
acknowledged that its founder fathered a child and is also responding to
claims that the founder molested seminarians. Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, said church leaders will visit
and evaluate all seminaries, schools and other institutions run by the
Marcial Maciel was born on March 10, 1920 into a devout
Catholic family during a time in which the Mexican government was
fiercely anticlerical. On June 19, 1936, Maciela
young seminarian at the timefelt called to establish a new religious
order, and in 1941, with the support of the bishop of Cuernavaca,
González Arias, he founded the Legion of Christ, which was
originally known as the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of
Sorrows. The name was changed because Maciel saw a likeness of his
missionaries in the legions of Rome. Coupled to this was also the
militancy of the Christian life found in St. Paul's letters. He received
his final inspiration concerning the name through Pope Pius XII when
the Pope quoted the Psalms when addressing a group of Legionaries:
"Sicut acies castrorum ordinata" (Like an army in battle array). Maciel
was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop González Arias in the Basilica of Our Lady of
Guadalupe in Mexico City on November 26, 1944, after which he
continued to build up the Legion and its lay companion, Regnum Christi.
Maciel was asked by Pope John Paul II
to accompany him on his visits to Mexico in 1979, 1990, and 1993, and
was appointed, also by Pope John Paul II, to the Ordinary Assembly of
the Synod of Bishops on the formation of Candidates for the Priesthood
in Actual Circumstances (1991). He has been a member of the
Interdicasterial Commission for a Just Distribution of Clergy (1991),
the IV General Conference of
Latin American Bishops (CELAM) (1992), the Synod of Bishops on
Consecrated Life and Their Mission in the Church and the World (1993),
the Synod of Bishops´ Special Assembly for America (1997) and, since
1994, a permanent consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy. The
golden anniversary of his priestly ordination was celebrated on 26
November 1994, with 57 Legionary priests ordained on the anniversary's
eve. Fr. Marcial Maciel also served as Chancellor of the Pontifical
Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, which is based in Rome.
January 2005 Maciel, at age 84, was succeeded by Álvaro Corcuera, LC, as General Director of the Legion
shortly after the reopening of a sex abuse allegation by the Vatican.
Maciel died on 30 January 2008.
In July of 2009, media in Spain
published an interview with a woman who had a child with Maciel over 20
years ago and now lives in a luxury apartment in Madrid which Maciel
purchased for her. The woman, Norma Hilda Baños, insinuates that she was
abused by Maciel as a minor and later was impregnated by him and she
bore him a daughter, Norma Hilda Rivas.
At least one source claims that Rivas is an alias that Maciel used
during his life.
day later, Mexican media reported that an attorney, José Bonilla, will
represent three of a possible total of six of Maciel's children in a
civil suit to recover Maciel's estate. The lawyer claims that there are
several properties in Mexico and around the world which Maciel owned in
his own name.
In March 2010, Bonilla announced that he would no longer represent the
three reputed children of Maciel, since one of them admitted to asking
the Legion of Christ for $26 million USD in exchange for silence. 
Members of the Legion
take vows of obedience, chastity,
They originally took a private vow of charity, which was approved by
Pope John Paul II in 1983 and repealed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 .
Their private vow of humility remains intact. The Legion's spirituality
can be described as three loves: love for Christ,
love for Mary, and love for the Church and Pope.
for Christ is, for Legionaries, a personal experience. Through the Gospel,
and the Eucharist, Legionaries come to know Christ
intimately, and love him in a passionate way by embracing him as their
model of holiness.
for Mary flows from imitating Christ; the Blessed Virgin is loved
as both Mother of the Church and of the individual Legionary's vocation.
Legionaries consecrate their spiritual and apostolic lives to her care,
and seek to take on her virtues of faith, hope, charity,
obedience, humility, and cooperation with Christ's plan of
there is Legionaries' love for Church and Pope. The Church is
loved because it is the Body of Christ, and the beginning of his Kingdom
on earth. Legionaries see the Church both as she currently stands and
as Christ wants her to be. Thus Legionaries honor her by faith, submit
to her in obedience, win souls for her through evangelization, and put
her above all other earthly things in their lives. This love of the
Church leads many in the Legion to speak of being "always in step with
the Church, neither ahead nor behind." It also explains the Legionaries'
special affection for the Pope, who is supported in his charism of
primacy and magisterium. All bishops in communion with the Roman
Pontiff, as the Apostles' successors and teachers of the Catholic Faith,
are likewise honored.
very definition of the Legion of Christ's charism and ethos and how
much of it is related to their disgraced founder's life of deception and
moral turpitude is in question pending the results of the Apostolic
Visitation due in the fall of 2009.
As a whole, the
Legion is dedicated to advancing the Church's mission in the world, and
to this end submits candidates to a rigorous formation of four
dimensions: human, spiritual, intellectual and apostolic. This formation
has caused critics to accuse the Legion of producing priests and
religious who all speak and behave in the same way. But as members of a
family receive similar upbringing, so the members of the Legion are
formed in like ways, but still respecting the freedom of the individual.
letters from Marcial Maciel to the seminarians, he describes the
loyalties a Legionary should have:
177. The first duty of a
legionary is to love and esteem the Legion. As Nuestro Padre says, it is
not a sin to love our Mother who is with all her being dedicated to the
expansion of the Kingdom of Christ. On the other hand, when we do this,
we are not laboring blindly for we have before our eyes the splendid
fruits that the Legion has produced for forty years, the formation of
its men and the radiance of its apostolates which confirm that it is
work of God and of the Church. 178. To love the Legion is to believe
in it and in all that which makes up its specific charism -
spirituality, discipline, apostolic methodology. To love the Legion is
to intimately know it, accept it in all its fullness, without reticence
or diminution. To love the Legion is to actively pledge oneself to it,
living its spirit and enriching it with the contribution of all of ones
personality. To love the Legion is to feel oneself fully realized
within it and to make it an essential part of ones own happiness.
with the family is moderated, so as to not restrict their mission,
although they are allowed a considerably more contact with their
families than religious in past centuries. If they live in the same
country as their parents, the religious and priests are permitted to
visit their families usually once a year provided it does not inhibit
their individual assignments. In addition, they are permitted to visit
for landmark anniversaries of parents and grandparents and, their
families are encouraged to visit them normally two or three times a
year. However, the novices do not go home during their two-year
novitiate, but their families may visit. The high school seminarians are
permitted to go home in the following cases:
276. During periods of summer
vacation for fifteen days. During this period the Rector and, if the
number requires it, the Vice-Rector - each accompanied by another
religious - should visit apostolics in their homes to attend to them
spiritually and to attend to the family. 277. During the Christmas
holidays for three days. However, all apostolics should celebrate
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the vocational center and should do
the same during the last day of the year. 278. For the name day or
corresponding birthday of their parents for one day. This visit will,
however, be subject to the approval of the Rector based on the
individual environment of each family. 279. For their parents
anniversary for one day. 280. For the wedding, religious profession
or priestly ordination of one of their siblings for one day. 281. On
the occasion of the death or serious illness of a parent, sibling or
grandparent for three days.
All members of the
congregation are required to write their families every two weeks, for
the high school seminarians, every week. Periodic phone calls are also
permitted: once a week for the high school seminarians, three times a
year for novices, and roughly once a month for religious and priests.
The above are the usual, but each individual case is seen with the
its founding, successive popes have expressed support for the Legion.
When Maciel visited Rome in 1946, PopePius XII expressed a keen interest in the
undertaking and gave it his personal blessing. In light of the order's
achievements, particularly in education, PopePaul VI was pleased to award it the "Decree of
Praise" in 1965. The most enthusiastic support has, however, been that
of PopeJohn Paul II, who in an address, picked out the qualities
which have made the Legion so successful:
close relationship between Maciel and Pope John Paul may have been one
of the reasons that Vatican investigation regarding sex abuse
allegations made against Fr. Maciel proceeded slowly although the first
allegations were provided to the Pope in the late 1970s.
apostolate of Legionary priests and brothers is to attend to the
spiritual needs of the members of their lay branch, Regnum Christi.
Since Legionary priests and brothers are themselves members of Regnum
Christi, often they are put in charge of directing the apostolic
Christi has many Apostolates for charitable and spiritual
welfare. It essentially does not limit itself to any one apostolate, but
each member is encouraged to work on his/her area of
a spirituality, it encourages its members to work innovatively and
systematically. Members are given the option to work on an apostolate
not associated with the Legion, a Legion-endorsed apostolate, or to
create their own apostolate which may eventually reach Legion
2006, The Legion launched a test phase of Mission Network,
in the United States. Catholic Mission Network, Inc., is the
umbrella organization which oversees and approves all Legionary-endorsed
apostolates in the US, soon to be internationally. Its purpose is to
provide both 1) structure/supervision of the apostolates, and 2) An
overview as to what the Legion/Regnum Christi does as a whole, with
brand-name-type recognition.
Vatican has ordered an apostolic visitation of the
institutions of the Legionaries of Christ following disclosures of
sexual impropriety by the order's late founder. Marcial Maciel
Degollado. The announcement of the unusual investigation was posted on
the Web site of the Legionaries of Christ March 31, 2009 along with the
text of a letter informing the Legionaries of the pope's decision. 
June 27, 2009, according to Vatican commentator, Sandro Magister,
Vatican authorities have named five bishops from five different
countries, each one in charge of investigating the Legionaries in a
particular part of the world. Their first report is due to the Holy
Father in March 2010:
Ricardo Watti Urquidi,
Bishop of Tepic, Mexico, in charge of Mexico and Central America, where
the Legion has 44 houses, 250 priests and 115-120 religious
seminarians; Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver,
in charge of the United States and Canada, where the Legion has 24
houses, 130 priests and 260 religious seminarians; Giuseppe Versaldi,
Bishop of Alessandria, in charge of Italy, Israel, the
Philippines, and South Korea, where the Legion has 16 houses, 200
priests and 420 religious seminarians. (in Italy 13, 168 and 418
respectively); Ricardo Ezzati Andrello,
Archbishop of Concepción, Chile, in charge of Chile, Argentina,
Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, where the Legion has 20 houses, 122
priests and 122 religious seminarians; Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Bishop of Bilbao, Spain, in charge of Spain, France,
Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Holland, Poland, Austria and Hungary,
where the Legion has 20 houses, 105 priest, and 160 religious
wat contoverse en een onderzoek maar eveneens een ganse website,
uiterst gedetailleerde info over allerlei horror binnen dat fameuse
legioen. Deze zeer goed gedocumenteerde site is opgericht door
voorbeeldje ze verwijzen daar naar een recent artikel in de New-York
Mexican Woman: 2 Kids With
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 3, 2010
8:45 p.m. ET
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A Mexican woman charged
Wednesday that the deceased, scandal-tainted founder of a conservative
Roman Catholic religious order led a double life and fathered two
children with her.
Blanca Lara Gutierrez said she met the Rev.
Marcial Maciel in the border city of Tijuana in the 1970s, but didn't
know he was a priest. She said he passed himself off as an employee of
an international oil company, a private investigator and a CIA agent.
The Legionaries of Christ, the order founded by Maciel, acknowledged in
February 2009 in connection with other cases that he had fathered a
daughter and molested seminarians.
During a radio interview
Wednesday, Lara Gutierrez charged that Maciel, who died in 2008 at age
87, sexually abused one of his two sons with her as well as a son she
had from a previous relationship. The sons, now adults named Jose Raul
and Omar, said the abuse went on for years.
which has been investigating the order over the earlier allegations
against Maciel, did not have any immediate comment on what Lara
Gutierrez and her sons told MVS radio Wednesday.
Mexican headquarters did not answer its phone. Jim Fair, a U.S.-based
spokesman for the Legionaries, said he didn't know anything more than
what was broadcast in Mexico about the woman, her children and Maciel.
''I'm shocked and disappointed at what I've heard,'' Fair said in a
telephone interview. ''We want to act responsibly and get to the bottom
of things and correct what needs to be corrected. We're going to be in
the process of doing that.''
The accusations could not be
independently verified. A short official biography posted on the
Legionaries' Mexico Web site did not say where Maciel might have been
posted in the 1970s, but he apparently did move around a lot.
Jason Berry, author of the book ''Vows of Silence,'' an investigation of
the claims against Maciel, said that by 1976 Maciel traveled so much
that he wasn't really based anywhere.
''He was building an
international religious order and he flew often and spent periods of
time in different countries. He moved most frequently between Mexico
City, Madrid and Rome,'' Berry said. ''He was always in Mexico for
periods of time. He would come back for events. Mexico was his financial
The accusations that Maciel lived a hitherto unknown
double life, in which the priest passed himself off as ''Jose Rivas,'' a
widower, follow a long series of allegations that he engaged in sexual
misconduct in several cities.
Lara Gutierrez said she met Maciel
when she was 19 and he was 56. She said she didn't find out his real
identity until 1997, when she saw a magazine article about previous
allegations made against him.
Asked how she was able to sustain a
relationship with a man for around two decades without realizing who he
really was, Lara Gutierrez suggested she was blinded by love.
''I never knew who I was living with, I never suspected.'' she said. ''I
loved him very much.''
Pope Benedict XVI took
the extraordinary step last March of ordering a Vatican investigation of
the Legionaries of Christ. Church leaders are visiting and evaluating
all seminaries, schools and other institutions run by the order around
After its founding by Maciel in 1941, the Legionaries
of Christ became one of the most influential and fastest-growing orders
in the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope John Paul II
championed the group, which became known for its orthodox theology,
military-style discipline, fundraising prowess and success recruiting
priests at a time when seminary enrollment was generally dismal.
The order says it has more than 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians
worldwide, along with 50,000 members of the associated lay group Regnum
Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel
Zoll in New York contributed to this report.
(Chiesa) In the thick of the storm rocking the Catholic Church on
account of the sexual abuse committed against minors by priests, an end
has come to the apostolic visit ordered by the Holy See among the
Legionaries of Christ, the congregation founded by Marcial Maciel.
Maciel case is extreme in every way. It pushes the contrast between
image and reality to exaggerated limits. Between the beatified image of
the priest founder of an ultra-orthodox, ascetical, devout religious
congregation, flourishing with vocations, some of them exemplary, and
the reality of a dissolute second life, made up of incessant violations
not only of the vows but of the commandments, of continual sinful
affairs with women, men, and minors of every age and condition, with
children and lovers all over the world, their number still unknown.
second life, that even at the moment of death appeared to sink deeper
into the sulfurous fumes. Morbid stories have leaked out about Maciel's
last days in Houston, at the end of January 2008, before his burial in
Cotija, his birthplace, in Mexico.
The apostolic visit began on
July 15, 2009. And the five bishop visitors fulfilled their mandate
halfway through this month of March, with the delivery of their report
to the Vatican authorities. They were Ricardo Watti Urquidi, bishop of
Tepic in Mexico; Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Denver; Giuseppe
Versaldi, bishop of Alessandria; Ricardo Ezzato Andrello, archbishop of
Concepción in Chile; and Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, archbishop of
It will be the Vatican authorities who decide what to
do. The three cardinals charged with the case are Tarcisio Bertone,
secretary of state, William J. Levada, prefect of the congregation for
the doctrine of the faith, and Franc Rodé, prefect of the congregation
for institutes of consecrated life.
But the last word will belong
to Benedict XVI, the most prescient of all. Even before he was elected
pope and when Maciel still had very powerful protectors in the Vatican,
Joseph Ratzinger ordered an extensive investigation of the accusations
against the founder of the Legionaries. And as pope, on May 19, 2006, he
sentenced him to "a retired life of prayer and penance."
this sentence, the congregation of the Legionaries bowed to the papal
command. But it continued to show veneration to its founding "father,"
as an "innocent victim" of false accusations.
It was only after
his death and the revelation of other scandals that the directors of the
congregation acknowledged some of their founder's sins, but without
denying the goodness of his work.
Still today, after the
eight-month apostolic visit, Maciel's successor as director general of
the congregation, Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, and vicar general Luis Garza
Medina who were also for decades, especially the latter of them, very
close collaborators of the founder show no intention of leaving their
command. And neither do any of the other high and mid-level directors,
central or peripheral.
Their defense is that they were always
unaware of Maciel's second life, and that their fidelity to the Church
and to the pope, in addition to their leadership experience, are the
best guarantees for the congregation's continuity.
5, in "L'Osservatore Romano," Fr. Luis Garza Medina, unruffled,
published an article describing the "virtuous life" of the ideal priest.
He who more than anyone else lived side by side with Maciel, knowing
all his secrets and managing his money, and who always held him up as a
But that the current leaders of the Legionaries should be
left at the head of the congregation is entirely unlikely. The more
probable decision is that the Holy See will appoint a fully empowered
commissioner of its own, and will set the guidelines for a thorough
reform, including the replacement of the current leaders.
rebuilding from the ground up a congregation still deeply influenced by
its disgraced founder will be an arduous enterprise.
seminarians who until very recently were steeped in the writings
attributed to Maciel will have difficulty finding new sources of
inspiration, not generic but specific to their order. The current
leaders of the congregation aren't helping, either. On the contrary. One
of Maciel's former personal secretaries, Fr. Felipe Castro, together
with other priests of the Legion, has worked in recent months to select
from among the founder's many letters a group of letters to be "saved"
for the future, to keep a positive image of Maciel alive.
dependence of the Legionaries on Maciel was and for many still is
absolute. There wasn't a shred of daily life that escaped the rules he
dictated. Absurdly exacting rules. Which prescribed, for example, how to
sit at the table, how to use a napkin, how to swallow, how to eat
chicken without using one's hands, how to debone a fish.
But this was
nothing compared to the control exercised over consciences. The handbook
for the examination of conscience at the end of the day was 332 pages
long, with thousands of questions.
And then there were and are
the statutes properly speaking. Much more extensive and detailed than
those provided to the bishops of the dioceses in which the Legionaries
have their houses. The five visitors went through a lot of trouble to
obtain the statutes in their entirety.
From the statutes one
gathers that in addition to the three classical vows of religious
orders, of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Legionaries were bound
by two other vows plus a third called "of fidelity and charity" for
the select members of the congregation which prohibited any kind of
criticism and at the same time required telling the superiors about
confreres seen violating the ban.
These extra vows were supposed
to have been removed by order of the Holy See, in 2007. But the rank and
file of the Legionaries do not seem to have been notified of this
The boundary between the spirit of obedience and the
spirit of subjection is not always clear in the congregation founded by
Among the Legionaries, the competition encouraged by the
rules is to see who can make the most proselytes. And the novice
immediately enters a collective machine that completely absorbs his
individuality. Everything is meticulously overseen and regulated, in a
thicket of limitations. From personal mail to reading material, from
visits to travel.
Over the eight months of the apostolic visit,
this control was relaxed only in part. Some priests told the visitors
about the things they believed were wrong. Others have left the
congregation and been incardinated into the diocesan clergy. Others have
continued to defend Maciel's legacy. Others feel lost. Still others,
finally, have faith in the rebuilding on new foundations of a religious
congregation that is part of their lives and that they continue to love.
an never ending story
en by the way: het Vaticaan heeft eveneens een onderzoek bevolen naar de verschijningen in ons favoriete bedevaartsoord Medjugorje...
lijkt wel of er een ganse "business" ontstaat rond de "privacypolitiek"
van de "smart meters" we citeren een soort "best of" uit deze
The Smart Grid market may be bigger than the
What Could Detailed & Specific Power
Usage Information Reveal? Do you have children? Do you leave
them at home alone? What hours do you work? Do you come
home after bars close for the night? Do you have an alarm system
and is it armed? When do you usually bathe? Do you cook
your meals in the microwave or on the stove? Are you a restless
sleeper? How frequently do you wash your clothing?
Smart Grid is Here. United States 8.3 million smart meters
have already been installed in the United States. This number is
projected to increase to 52 million by 2012. The U.S. Federal
Government has allocated $4.5 billion in federal stimulus funds for
Smart Grid projects.
Canada North American utilities are
expected to spend $10.75 billion on Smart Grid infrastructure. The
Government of Ontario is committed to installing smart meters in all
homes and businesses by the end of 2010. Toronto Hydro has instituted
a program in which residential customers can sell distributed
generation back onto the grid.
Germany Yello Strom was the
first European utility to grant consumers access to Google PowerMeter.
Yello is now teaming with Cisco to install in-home energy management
devices. Italy 85% of homes have smart meters installed. This
is the highest penetration rate in Europe. France is second with only
25%. Netherlands April 2009 -First Chamber declined to pass a
bill which would require the installation of smart meters in
residences. Chamber cited privacy issues as the measure may violate
the right to privacy in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Government has announced plans to install a smart meter in every home
in England by 2020. However, the Department for Energy and Climate
Change (DECC) has expressed privacy concerns about smart meters in its
impact assessment. There is scope for monitoring of
vulnerable householders by health authorities or social services. European
Union The European Parliament passed the 3rdEnergy Package in April
2009 which proposed that 80% of electricity customers have smart meters
Het wordt dus zeer duidelijk "big brother is
watching you" en als je dan nog de pech hebt om wat marginaal te zijn
slaagt men er zelfs nog in iedereen te doen geloven dat men aan sociaal
dienstbetoon doet wanneer ergens een soort "braindoctor" bepaalde
zwakke categorieën zal monitoren...dit opent ware horrorperspectieven... Maar
we laten jullie ongebreidelde fantasie haar werk doen...
huidige trotse eigenaars van zonnepanelen zullen poeten opletten want
het zal gedaan zijn met de terugdraaiende meterkes die de verbruikte
elektriciteit aanrekenen minus de elektriciteit geleverd aan het net,
allebei tegen het zelfde tarief....fini, gedaan. Het zal de producenten
toelaten je elektriciteit te kopen tegen ridicule prijzen en jullie
geleverde elektriciteit duur te verkopen. Met andere woorden ik geef je
één eurcent voor je overschot die ik aan je buur tegen 1 euro verkoop
als groene energie. Bovendien kan de distributienetbeheerder je gewoon
afsluiten en dus beletten op het net te injecteren op de moment dat de
vraag te laag ligt. Dit zijn slechts twee voorbeelden die aantonen
dat de grootste winnaars niet de consumenten zijn maar maar de
leveranciers en de distributeurs...toevallig twee categorieën die nooit
een cent zullen bijdragen aan de betaling van de kost van de slimme
meterkes....alleen de verbruiker draait op voor de meerkost en hij heeft
er uiteindelijk het minste baat bij...
Dat waren nog eens tijden...Urbanus II en het vileine ras!
Waar wij ons dol aan ergeren is van die idiote beslissingen die dan nog
veel idiotere polemieken opleveren. Neem nu de uitnodiging van onze
minister van oorlog onze eigenste Crembo aan, het Congolese leger om
hier deel te nemen aan ons nationale défilé om hun eigenste 50 jarige
onafhankelijkheid te vieren. Zeg nu zelf: kan het nog kolonialer? We
kunnen ons al zo de nette uniformen met veel klatergoud inbeelden van de
troep uitverkoren elitesoldaten met relaties die met Crembo-air naar
hier worden gevlogen om voor de Bwana Kitoko II de Pruisische paradepas
te mogen tonen. Liefst nog met witte handschoenen want dat contrasteert
leuk met hun zwarte huid... En zonder te willen veralgemenen, maar we
hebben toch enkele bedenkingen op hun manier van "oorlogvoeren" in hun
oorlogszones. Niet dat we ons broederland het recht betwisten om vreemde
gewapende invallers d'r uit te schoppen maar wel de manier waarop dat
gebeurt. Heeft weinig te maken met de strategie van een geregeld leger
maar veel meer met het wangedrag van ongeregelde bendes. Een gewapende
groep die geen soldij ontvangt slaat aan het muiten. Dat weten we hier
al een paar eeuwen en daarvan hebben we in deze contreien wel de
gevolgen mogen meemaken. Nu is het ginder in de buurt van de grote meren
vroeger waren de Zuidelijke Nederlanden ook zo een gebrandschat gebied. We
zien dus echt niet in waarom we zulke luitjes over de kasseien
tegenover het Warandepark moeten hoeren stappen. Wij stellen voor dat
ook de Congolese luchtmacht deelneemt aan het luchtvaartdefilé. Dat zou
pas lachen worden. Crem-air en de Congolese luchtmacht met hun tricolore
rookpotten...Dit wens ik enkel life op scherm te volgen vanuit een
ondergrondse schuilkelder ergens in ons omringend buurland. Want die dag
is ons nationale luchtruim de gevaarlijkste plek van onze planeet. En
om verder te gaan met non-events willen we een pleziertje gunnen aan
alle islamofobe lezertjes. En gezien ons steeds groter wordend aantal
Ollandse lezers moeten er dat inmiddels heel wat zijn als we de opiniepeilingen mogen geloven. Vandaag geven we
jullie de toespraak van Urbanus II, de paus die opriep tot de heilige
oorlog en kruistocht en die Pieter de Kluizenaar zo erg begeesterde dat die elke man
die naar de hemel wou uiteindelijk naar ginder stuurde. Onze goeie
medeblogger met vettig bruin randje Tafelspringer (http://www.bloggen.be/tafelspringer/) verwees daar ook al naar toen hij het had over geert Wilders en enkele
uitspraken van Hirsi Ali. Al zien we niet meteen zelf een verband
tussen de 11de eeuw en de 21ste. Maar dat moeten jullie nu even
uitzoeken of er inderdaad een overeenkomst is. Weet dat er geen enkel
origineel document bestaat met deze toespraak en dat we het enkel hebben
via zogenaamde apocriefe geschriften ...en lees nu zelf
mee en lig niet meteen in een deuk. Het heeft immers aan ontelbare brave
mensen het leven gekost. Diegenen die aan de kant van Urbanus vochten
konden dan nog tenminste rekenen op een volle aflaat maar of de
tegenstander en " vilein ras" ooit in hun maagdenparadijs van martelaren
zijn terecht gekomen, daar koesteren we nogal wat twijfel over: maar nu
dus naar Urbanus den tweede
brethren: Urged by necessity, I, Urban, by the permission of God chief
bishop and prelate over the whole world, have come into these parts as
an ambassador with a divine admonition to you, the servants of God. I
hoped to find you as faithful and as zealous in the service of God as I
had supposed you to be. But if there is in you any deformity or
crookedness contrary to God's law, with divine help I will do my best to
remove it. For God has put you as stewards over his family to minister
to it. Happy indeed will you be if he finds you faithful in your
stewardship. You are called shepherds; see that you do not act as
hirelings. But be true shepherds, with your crooks always in your hands.
Do not go to sleep, but guard on all sides the flock committed to you.
For if through your carelessness or negligence a wolf carries away one
of your sheep, you will surely lose the reward laid up for you with God.
And after you have been bitterly scourged with remorse for your
faults-, you will be fiercely overwhelmed in hell, the abode of death.
For according to the gospel you are the salt of the earth [Matt. 5:13].
But if you fall short in your duty, how, it may be asked, can it be
salted? O how great the need of salting! It is indeed necessary for you
to correct with the salt of wisdom this foolish people which is so
devoted to the pleasures of this -world, lest the Lord, when He may wish
to speak to them, find them putrefied by their sins unsalted and
stinking. For if He, shall find worms, that is, sins, In them, because
you have been negligent in your duty, He will command them as worthless
to be thrown into the abyss of unclean things. And because you cannot
restore to Him His great loss, He will surely condemn you and drive you
from His loving presence. But the man who applies this salt should be
prudent, provident, modest, learned, peaceable, watchful, pious, just,
equitable, and pure. For how can the ignorant teach others? How can the
licentious make others modest? And how can the impure make others pure?
If anyone hates peace, how can he make others peaceable ? Or if anyone
has soiled his hands with baseness, how can he cleanse the impurities of
another? We read also that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall
into the ditch [Matt. 15:14]. But first correct yourselves, in order
that, free from blame , you may be able to correct those who are subject
to you. If you wish to be the friends of God, gladly do the things
which you know will please Him. You must especially let all matters that
pertain to the church be controlled by the law of the church. And be
careful that simony does not take root among you, lest both those who
buy and those who sell [church offices] be beaten with the scourges of
the Lord through narrow streets and driven into the place of destruction
and confusion. Keep the church and the clergy in all its grades
entirely free from the secular power. See that the tithes that belong to
God are faithfully paid from all the produce of the land; let them not
be sold or withheld. If anyone seizes a bishop let him be treated as an
outlaw. If anyone seizes or robs monks, or clergymen, or nuns, or their
servants, or pilgrims, or merchants, let him be anathema [that is,
cursed]. Let robbers and incendiaries and all their accomplices be
expelled from the church and anthematized. If a man who does not give a
part of his goods as alms is punished with the damnation of hell, how
should he be punished who robs another of his goods? For thus it
happened to the rich man in the gospel [Luke 16:19]; he was not punished
because he had stolen the goods of another, but because he had not used
well the things which were his. "You have seen for a long time the
great disorder in the world caused by these crimes. It is so bad in some
of your provinces, I am told, and you are so weak in the administration
of justice, that one can hardly go along the road by day or night
without being attacked by robbers; and whether at home or abroad one is
in danger of being despoiled either by force or fraud. Therefore it is
necessary to reenact the truce, as it is commonly called, which was
proclaimed a long time ago by our holy fathers. I exhort and demand that
you, each, try hard to have the truce kept in your diocese. And if
anyone shall be led by his cupidity or arrogance to break this truce, by
the authority of God and with the sanction of this council he shall be
After these and
various other matters had been attended to, all who were present, clergy
and people, gave thanks to God and agreed to the pope's proposition.
They all faithfully promised to keep the decrees. Then the pope said
that in another part of the world Christianity was suffering from a
state of affairs that was worse than the one just mentioned. He
"Although, O sons
of God, you have promised more firmly than ever to keep the peace among
yourselves and to preserve the rights of the church, there remains still
an important work for you to do. Freshly quickened by the divine
correction, you must apply the strength of your righteousness to another
matter which concerns you as well as God. For your brethren who live in
the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give
them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you
have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered
the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of
the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St.
George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those
Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed
and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the
empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impurity,
the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this
account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to
publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank,
foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those
Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends.
I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are
absent. Moreover, Christ commands it."
"All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in
battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I
grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a
disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should
conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made
glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord
overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian
religion! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private
warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with
victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who
for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who
have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a
proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as
mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who
have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a
double honor. Behold! on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on
that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his
friends. Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands
and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and
spring comes, let hem eagerly set out on the way with God as their
Bongars, Gesta Dei
per Francos, 1, pp. 382 f., trans in Oliver J. Thatcher, and Edgar
Holmes McNeal, eds., A Source Book for Medieval History, (New York:
Scribners, 1905), 513-17
de sossen hebben eindelijk weer een goed idee...de single buyer
We hebben reeds tussen twee lijntjes door vermeld dat de SP-a een
energieplan heeft. Ze hadden al eerder ééntje. Nog niet zo heel lang
geleden trouwens en waaraan we ons groen en blauw geërgerd hebben. Laten
we dus beginnen met de versie die onze wrevel heeft opgewekt:
Ambitieus energieplan essentieel voor durfplan
Submitted by admin on
Fri, 04/24/2009 - 08:47
Op 23 april stelde sp.a haar durfplan
voor. Het plan is volgens voorzitster Caroline Gennez een antwoord op de
crisis en moet de economie van de toekomst creëren.
De crisis is
te groot om ze met halve maatregelen op te lossen. Er is de laatste tijd
te veel gepraat en te vaak gewacht. Het is tijd voor daden. Ons
programma telt meer dan 100 paginas en 500 concrete voorstellen, aldus
Caroline Gennez. Maar er is zelfs nog meer nodig. Want we zitten
midden in de zwaarste economische crisis van ons leven. We hebben echt
een hyperactieve regering nodig, die de handen uit de mouwen steekt. Nu
sp.a vindt dat de Vlaamse regering de eerste jaren van de
volgende legislatuur echt moet investeren in infrastructuur, in een
energie-arme economie, in mensen en in solidariteit. Samen met het weer
betrouwbaar maken van banken kan Vlaanderen zo een nieuwe start nemen.
belangrijk onderdeel van het durfplan gaat over een ambitieus en
duurzaam energiebeleid. We staan voor een gigantische uitdaging op het
vlak van energieconsumptie en productie. We moeten tegelijkertijd de
overgang naar een lage koolstoffeneconomie maken, onafhankelijker worden
in onze energievoorziening op Europees vlak en een concurrentiële markt
creëren. En dat alles zonder dat het licht uitgaat, of de prijzen
onaanvaardbaar snel stijgen. Iedereen weet dat. Er zijn al veel
maatregelen genomen. Maar de vooruitgang is te traag.
versnellen. Niet langer achterop lopen in de EU, maar voorop. Onze
ambitie is om tegen 2020:
onze achterstand in
energie-efficiëntie van woningen te hebben ingehaald en beter geïsoleerd
te zijn dan de Europese landen die zuidelijker van ons liggen,
huishoudens van elektriciteit uit alternatieve bronnen te voorzien en
slimste elektriciteitsnet van de hele EU te hebben.
en zal ons bovendien extra jobs opleveren. En het zorgt voor innovatie
in een groeisector.
De goedkoopste en schoonste energie is degene
die je niet verbruikt. Met alle premies en fiscale aftrekken die er nu
al zijn, is het rendement van investeringen in energiebesparing
gegarandeerd. Toch zijn er vandaag 800.000 woningen zonder dakisolatie.
Veel mensen zien de isolatiewerken niet onmiddellijk zitten, beschikken
niet over voldoende geld om de kosten voor te schieten, kennen geen
goede aannemer of zien op tegen het papierwerk. Daarom stellen wij voor
dat de netbeheerders, die elektriciteit en gas in huis brengen, vanaf nu
ook de isolatie meebrengen. Het energiebedrijf maakt een bestek op,
zoekt een aannemer en prefinanciert de werken. Het bedrijf sluit een
akkoord met de steden en gemeenten. Die zetten de bouwmaatschappijen aan
de slag om, alles samen, 80.000 huizen per jaar te isoleren. Zo is de
klus in 2020 geklaard.
Eens het dak geïsoleerd is, wordt het de
moeite waard om er zonnepanelen op te zetten. Ondanks de fiscale aftrek,
de groene stroomcertificaten en de premies, plaatsen mensen relatief
weinig zonnepanelen. Het initiële investeringsbedrag schrikt mensen af,
of maakt het hen onmogelijk. Wij willen mensen een renteloze lening
aanbieden, die ze terugbetalen op het ritme van hun fiscale aftrekken,
hun opbrengst uit groene stroomcertificaten en hun besparingen op de
elektriciteitsfactuur. Concreet stellen we voor dat mensen die gebruik
maken van de renteloze lening na drie jaar, dus nadat ze hun fiscale
aftrek krijgen, een eerste schijf terugbetalen. Mensen die niet in
aanmerking komen voor een belastingvermindering, betalen deze schijf
niet terug. Voor hen is dit voorschot een verworven Vlaamse premie. De
rest van de lening wordt afgelost over tien jaar of meer.
huishoudens te voorzien van elektriciteit uit hernieuwbare energie en
om de Europese doelstellingen te halen, ontwikkelen we windenergie uit
de Noordzee. Nu staan er zes windmolens in de Noordzee. Er is plaats
voor meer dan 600. Het goede nieuws is dat we de stappen kennen om van
de huidige zes naar 600 windmolens te gaan: we zorgen voor een
ondersteunend vergunningsbeleid, we verplichten Elia om een stopcontact
in de Noordzee te leggen en we waarborgen als Vlaamse overheid de
financiering van de parken. Met een durfbeleid hebben we in 2015 het
equivalent van Doel I in de Noordzee staan. Bovendien baten drie nieuwe
spelers op de Belgische energiemarkt dit uit. Qua tewerkstelling mogen
we deze innovatie niet onderschatten: er komen nieuwe, vaak
arbeidsintensieve niches in de sectoren van onder meer de bouw, de
baggeraars en de metaalindustrie, die ons toelaten kennis te ontwikkelen
en te exporteren.
We denken beter nu al verder dan ons stukje
Noordzee groot is. Iets verderop, tussen Schotland, Nederland,
Denemarken en Noorwegen, waar nu de olieboorplatforms liggen, ligt een
enorme kans om windmolenparken te bouwen. We kunnen die verbinden tot
een NoordzeeRing. Zon Ring van windmolenparken, zoals uitgetekend in
het Masterplan Zeekracht van het architectenbureau van Rem Koolhaas, het
OMA, kan even veel energie opwekken als de olievelden in de Golfstaten
en Europa voor 2050 grotendeels energieonafhankelijk maken. Vlaanderen
kan hierin participeren, industrieel én politiek. De Noordzeering kan de
definitieve omslag betekenen van fossiele naar hernieuwbare energie in
Europa. En ze kan een symbool worden van Europese samenwerking. Van een
Europese visie op de toekomst. Van een Europa van oplossingen. Van een
Europa van jobs met toekomst.
Investeren in hernieuwbare
energieproductie is één zaak. Deze ook inpassen in het
elektriciteitsnetwerk is nog iets anders. Gezinnen, landbouwers, scholen
en KMOs kunnen met hernieuwbare energie-installaties of
(micro)warmtekrachtkoppeling grotendeels zelf hun stroom en warmte
produceren. Ze kunnen met het net overschotten en tekorten
uitwisselen. Het elektriciteitsnet kan evolueren van een net dat stroom
transporteert van enkele grote centrales naar duizenden afnemers, naar
een internetstructuur waar gebruikers ook energie aan kunnen
toevoegen. Slimme meters laten toestellen (bijvoorbeeld
warmtekrachtkoppelingsinstallaties) op momenten van piekvraag energie
opwekken en in dalperiodes stroom afnemen (van wasmachines,
diepvriezen, plug-in hybride wagens, ). De uitbouw van een duurzaam
netwerk veronderstelt een volgehouden inspanning. Er zijn momenteel al
lokale pilootprojecten gepland om expertise met slimme meters op te
bouwen. We streven naar de veralgemening van intelligente elektronische
meters voor 2020.
Het zal weinig lezertjes verwonderen dat we
dit soort apekool dus NIET lusten. Een voorbeeldje? Neem hun uiterst
domme omschrijving van "intelligente meters": Slimme meters laten
toestellen (bijvoorbeeld warmtekrachtkoppelingsinstallaties) op momenten
van piekvraag energie opwekken en in dalperiodes stroom afnemen (van
wasmachines, diepvriezen, plug-in hybride wagens, )....Indien
morgen zo een slim meterke in mijn kelder tijdens een dalperiode stroom
van mijn wasmachine afneemt of een wamtekrachtkopplingsinstallatie
opstart bij een piekmoment, dan valt te vrezen dat we binnen de kortste
keer met zijn allen gezellig rond kaarslicht en walmende houtvuren onze
sateekes zullen moeten opeten.... Idem dito met dat
zonnepaneelgeleuter en groenestroomcertificaten. Onze lezertjes hebben
de vorige bijdrage immers kunnen lezen dat zelfs de CREG al dat
gesubsidieer begint te gortig te vinden dus ... Laat staan dat het
studiebureau van Rem Koolhaas de onderzeese kabelverbindingen tussen de
windmolenparken gaat uitwerken...dat gedoe met die Noordzeestekker werkt
al lang op onze zwakke zenuwen. Niet dat we tegen die onderlinge
verbindingen zijn, die komen er zeker en vast. anders hebben die
windmolenparken immers totaal geen nut. Als je al die parkjes
afzonderlijk laat werken kan je beter meteen je eigen stront omzetten in
een biogasinstallatie. Zal je immers sneller aan elektriciteit komen.
Maar of zo een gereputeerd bureau als Koolhaas de nodige expertise in
huis heeft om hoogspanningsposten, -kabels en -lijnen uit te tekenen
hebben we toch wat twijfels over. Zo een onderlinge verbinding komt er
dus en dan kan je daar heel wat mee aanvangen met die windmolenparken
maar we zullen de trendy SP.a'erkes meteen geruststellen: Rem Koolhaas
zullen dat niet verwezenlijken ùmaar intussen weten we dat jullie Rem
Koolhaas dus kennen. Proficiat!
(Belga) Sp.a wil een radicale hervorming van de
energiemarkt. Niet alleen moet tegen 2020 een vijfde van de stroom uit
hernieuwbare bronnen komen, ook de prijs moet omlaag en de facturen
transparanter. Om de elektriciteit goedkoper te maken, moet de overheid
opnieuw meer gaan wegen op de energievoorziening. Het sp.a-energieplan
is maandag goedgekeurd op het partijbestuur.
"Een zekere toegang tot voldoende energie tegen een
betaalbare prijs staat voor ons centraal", zegt voorzitster Caroline
Gennez. "Om tot dit doel te komen, moeten we resoluut kiezen voor de
massale productie van hernieuwbare energie in eigen land. Daarnaast
moeten we af van de dominantie van één speler op de energiemarkt." De
partij pleit voor een aankoopcentrale die alle elektriciteit opkoopt die
afkomstig is van kerncentrales, windturbineparken op zee en
steenkoolcentrales. De centrale zal de stroom aankopen aan
productieprijs en die daarna op de markt brengen. "Nu weegt GdF Suez
teveel op onze prijszetting. Daardoor is onze elektriciteit de vierde
duurste van Europa", argumenteert Gennez. Andere spelers naast de
kernenergie, offshore windprojecten en steenkoolcentrales kunnen volgens
Johan Vande Lanotte vrijwillig aansluiten. Hij denkt daarbij aan de
gassector. Om tot 20 procent stroom uit hernieuwbare bronnen te komen,
is een nieuw windplan nodig en moet een tweede locatie voor windturbines
op zee worden afgebakend. De introductie van de elektrische wagen moet
worden versneld door de installatie van oplaadpunten te stimuleren. Door
de consumentenfacturen progressief te maken, wil de sp.a de kleine,
zuinige consument beschermen en belonen. De facturen moeten ook
transparanter worden. (LEE)
Zozo, de kampioenen van de
liberalisering van de energiesector -weet je nog het afschaffen van het
controlecomité????- hebben het warm water terug uitgevonden: "de
overheid moet opnieuw gaan wegen op de energievoorziening". Het is niks
te vroeg hé, beste sossewieten. Eerst de ganse boel liberaliseren om de
prijzen te laten zakken....ze zijn nog nooit zo snel gestegen en dat was
perfect voorspeld door een aantal mensen en organisaties maar sommige
proffen wisten beter en dan hebben we het niet over in ongenade gevallen
proffen! Maar het idee van de aankoopcentrale die alle stroom
centraal aankoopt zint ons wel. Het is wel geen uitvinding van deze
rooie vriendjes. Dit principe heet "single buyer" en ondermeer de Creg
publiceerde daarover reeds een behoorlijk interessant document: http://belgischenergierecht.blogspot.com/2009/09/kernenergie-en-single-buyer.html
in de nieuwsbrief van Febielec van 23/6/2009 vonden we dit:
Magnette wil single buyer voor nucleaire productie Minister
Magnette wil de verlenging van de levensduur van de kerncentrales
koppelen aan de invoering van een enige aankoper van hun geproduceerde
elektriciteit. Dit monopsonie zou een overheidsbedrijf worden dat de
nucleaire productie tegen cost+ zou aankopen en verder verkopen tegen
voorwaarden onder de marktprijs, maar met een marge die zou worden
geherinvesteerd in de ontwikkeling van nieuwe productie-eenheden
(thermische centrales, hernieuwbare energie-opwekking en WKK).
de mosterd zijn ze niet erg ver gaan zoeken allen hebben ze het wat
uitgebreid tot de andere soorten elektriciteit. Niet alleen de
Asian, African, and Eastern European countries freeing up their electricity
markets are preserving an artificial monopoly over the wholesale
trading of electricity even after the vertically integrated national
power company is unbundled. Evidence so far suggests that this single-buyer
model has major disadvantages in developing countries: it invites
corruption, weakens payment discipline, and imposes large contingent
liabilities on the government. These disadvantages in most cases
overshadow the higher short-term costs of a bilateral contracts model
where generators contract with customers.
moesten ze even
kritisch zijn over de geliberaliseerde markt dan zouden we dit stukje al
wat aandachtiger lezen...maar we begrijpen dat iemand die ooit nog in
een centraal planbureau in Hongarije heeft gewerkt zo een dingen durft
te denken. Alleen verhoogt zo een artikel niet echt de geloofwaardigheid
van deze toch al wat gewantrouwde instelling...
Many countries are restructuring their electric power
industries (EPIs) from regulated monopolies to a competitive
electricity market. Competition is expected to increase productivity and
decrease production costs and the price of electricity. Countries are
at different stages of the restructuring process, and the process is not
finished in any country.
In spite of a
wide variety of possible structures, four main electricity market
models can be distinguished.
Model 1: Regulated natural monopoly (no competition).
This is a vertically integrated company comprising all spheres of
electricity production, transmission, distribution, and sale.
Model 2: Single buyer (purchasing agency, monopsony).
Competition is only among producers.
Model 3: Competition in the wholesale market.
Model 4: Competition in the wholesale and retail
Models 1, 3 and 4 are
more popular and better studied. Meanwhile the single buyer model is
perhaps the most interesting from the consumer viewpoint.
The variations of the electricity market are not
perfect and differ from other markets. This is as a result of the fact
that EPI is a complicated technologically unified electric power system
(EPS). The main properties of an EPS and its influence on electricity
markets are considered in the next section.
Properties of EPSs and Electricity Markets
EPSs have a number of well-known features:
a particular role of electricity
in the economy and society; the damage caused by sudden interruption of
power supply is many times larger than the cost of electricity
it is impossible to
store electricity on a sufficiently large scale
the necessity to provide the balance of power demand
and supply at every current moment
inevitable emergencies of power and electric equipment
that make it necessary to reserve (backup) generating capacities and
electric ties in EPS.
features influence electricity markets to a great extent. However, there
are even more important properties of EPSs in this respect.
Specialized transport of electricity (by wires) that
limitations (local character) of the market; only those consumers and
producers who are directly connected to an EPS and via electric ties
with sufficient transfer capability can be a part of the market; there
are no world electricity market and prices
participation of only existing (operating) power plants
in the market
(physical) barrier for new power producers (NPPs) to enter the market.
Change in the daily, weekly and seasonal load of
EPS consumers leads to
the need to expand generation capacities according to
the maximum yearly load of the EPS (taking into account reserves); at
other periods of the year, power plants will be underloaded and have
lower income that might be insufficient to recover investment
the economic expediency to have within the EPS power
plants of different types to meet base, peak, and semipeak loads; these
plants are the most efficient in their load curve zones and differ in
their economic indices (specific capital investments, production costs)
the expediency to optimize the structure of generation
capacities of the EPS (shares of different power plant types)
the formation of marginal prices in the competitive
wholesale market (Models 3 and 4) that correspond to the cost of the
least-efficient power plants required for the current power supply (to
the marginal cost of the marginal unit); marginal prices are much higher
than regulated prices (tariffs) in Models 1 and 2.
Additionally, this property of the EPS is the reason
for organization of the spot electricity market, which is absent
in the other markets. In the original conceptions of EPI restructuring,
the spot market was supposed to send signals for generation capacity
expansion. But the experience and the subsequent studies show that it is
not able to provide such signals. The spot market reflects only the
current situation, and its signals are too late and unstable to provide
timely (and the more so optimal) generation expansion.
Restructuring and Consumerism: Single
perspective in this regulation series is based on the plan for the
Siberian market. This article brings forward another discussion of
industrial organization. The laws and regulations at the federal and
state level to establish competitive markets are under review and
continuous attacks. Many have questioned when deregulation will arrive.
Others question why competition has failed. Recent workshops by the
American Public Power Association (APPA) have shown the range of
analysis and the many false assumptions to justify each side. As noted
in the this article on restructuring in Siberia, there are several
models of industrial organization.
Figure A. Industrial organization structure with
major cash flows.
The single buyer market, at first review, seems to
be similar to the California (CA) market established by the independent
system operator (ISO). The CA ISO organizational model is shown in
Figure A. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizes the
industry operation when business extends beyond the state. The State of
California Public Utility Commission (PUC) is in charge of authorizing
(regulating) Industry operation within the state. The independently
owned utilities (IOUs) are separated into different companies under an
umbrella or holding company. The municipal power agencies (MUNIES),
cooperative power companies (COOPs), and independent power producers
(IPPs) interact with and pay the CA ISO's operating expenses. The IOUs
in California with the majority of the assets include Pacific Gas and
Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is one of the municipal
agencies. There are many participants as one can determine by examining
the FERC-required documents supplied by the CA ISO. The question brought
forward at this time is the structure of the auction. The English
auction assumes that the seller is paying for the auctioneer when the
buyers are bidding to purchase. Similarly, the assumption when the buyer
is paying the auctioneer is that the sellers are bidding. In the
figure, examine the following cash flows within the U.S. market
The cash flows
within the holding company are not shown, but there are three
alternative cash flows to pay for the operation of the CA ISO. The
primary protector of the customer in the previously microregulated
environment is the state PUC. The first level of responsibility for an
IOU company is the stockholder. The holding company is restricted in the
information exchanged between the wholly owned subsidiaries but has the
right to direct the subsidiaries for maximum profit. This organization
is reminiscent of the vertically organized IOU before the reorganization
of the electric utility industry. The operating expenses of the CA ISO
are paid by the IOU company, the municipals, the COOPs, and the IPPs.
This organization should be compared with the organization recommended
in this article exploring an independent buying agent for the customer,
paid for by the customer. One should also consider the inherent
difference between the IOUs and the municipals and coops who consider
their customers as the shareholders.
Gerald B. Sheblé Associate Editor,
High capital-intensity and long time of
construction of power plants and some transmissions causes
impossibility of a quick
elimination of power shortage, if it has occurred in the market for some
reasons; many years are required for commissioning (designing and
construction) of new power plants (three to five years and more
depending on their type); the shortage can be avoided only if its
occurrence is not allowed, therefore timely development planning is
moreover, if a power plant
is constructed by a private investor (in Models 3 and 4), then about
ten years after the power plant commissioning the investment will need
to be paid back. Hence, the private investor should know the EPS
expansion conditions and, first of all, the wholesale market prices for
the period of about 1520 years. Clearly, such information will be very
uncertain and this creates a high financial risk for the investor and
raises an interest on capital at which he will make a decision to
The development of
EPS implies successive (one by one) construction of new power plants and
transmissions. This EPS property leads to an important feature of a
competitive electricity market (Models 3 and 4). Every new power plant
apart from its production cost will have an investment component
required for investment recovery. Therefore, a price that an NPP can
offer to the wholesale market will be higher than the price offered by
an operating plant of the same kind. Thus, there will be a difference (a
"gap") between the electricity cost (and prices) of operating power
plants and the prices required for attraction of investments in new power
plants. Such a gap creates an economic (price) barrier for NPPs to
enter the market.
economies of scale, i.e., the effect of a decrease in costs of
production, transmission, and distribution of electricity (and its
price) at an increase in the total capacity of EPS. This property of
EPSs is conditioned by a number of factors that work with increasing EPS
of necessary capacity reserves
of economic indexes of EPS as a whole due to technological progress in
any sphere (production, transmission or distribution of electricity)
optimization of generation capacity structure,
electric networks, and operating conditions of EPS as a whole<
decrease in the share of administrative expenditures
with growth of companies.
factors led to formation of modern EPSs and were the reasons for
creating natural monopolies in EPI in the first half of the 20th
century. The EPI transition from a free market that had existed earlier
to the regulated monopoly resulted in a decrease in electricity prices.
This effect was achieved in both respects: operation and development of
EPSs. In the sphere of EPS operation, the prices were reduced from
marginal costs in the free market to average costs in the regulated
monopoly. In the sphere of EPS development, the investment component of
electricity prices became lower due to the change in mechanisms of
financing new power plant construction.
Within current EPI restructuring (the return to a competitive market),
the positive economies of scale starts to decrease (in Model 2) or is
even lost completely (in Models 3 and 4). In particular, the well-known
effect of EPS interconnection, consisting of the reduction of necessary
generating capacities with intersystem tie construction, cannot be
realized in the competitive wholesale markets. The spheres of
electricity generation and transmission are separated, investment in the
intertie should be made by network companies but the effect (investment
savings) is in the generation sphere. It becomes impossible to
substantiate the financial effectiveness of the intersystem tie.
It can be seen that EPS properties listed are
reflected differently in different electricity market models. However,
on the whole they testify to the imperfection of electricity markets. A
monopolistic nature of the market in Models 1 and 2 is obvious and the
state regulation is therefore necessary. In Models 3 and 4, power
producers conserve market power to create capacity shortage and raise
prices in the wholesale market by the cessation of new power plants
construction. Electricity production is, in this case, restricted by the
maximum possible production of existing power plants, and capacity
shortage will occur while power demand continues to grow. The economic
barrier for the new producers mentioned above fosters such market power.
A Single Buyer Electricity Market
A single buyer market model (Figure 1) differs from
the regulated monopoly in the division of generation sphere into several
financially independent power generation companies (PGCs) that begin to
compete with one another for electricity supply to the common
purchasing agency. NPPs can also appear. Spheres of electricity
transmission, distribution, and sale remain vertically integrated within
one company that is a monopolist relative to consumers as before.
Naturally the activity of this purchasing agency, and in particular the
setting the prices of electricity bought from producers and sold to
consumers, should be regulated by the state (as in Model 1). The agency
is also responsible for uninterrupted supply of electricity to
It is supposed that the
purchasing agency buys electricity from PGSs according to long-term
contracts at fixed prices, terms, and conditions of supply. Contracts
with operating (existing) producers are concluded for a period of two to
four years. The prices are set individually for each producer at a
level close to its production costs (including a "normal" profit).
Contracts with new producers, envisaging construction of new power
plants, are made for a term of 1015 years that has to be sufficient for
the investment payback. Electricity prices are established at a higher
level because of the necessity to recover investments.
These facts create some favorable opportunities and
circumstances. First, the surplus generation capacities cause the
competing producers to offer prices as low as possible, i.e., the
benefit of competition is realized. At the same time, with the contracts
for several years power producers will have an incentive and time to
lower production costs for gaining higher profit.
Second, there is a chance to eliminate capacity (and
energy) shortage. The purchasing agency responsible for reliable power
supply to consumers will plan generation expansion on its territory in
advance (as in Model 1): it will forecast power demand, draw up future
balances of capacity and energy, etc. It may conclude long-term
contracts (for 1015 years) with PGCs or new producers for additional
supply of electricity (from new power plants), if needed. The investor
thereby will recover investments with guarantee (similar to the
situation with regulated monopoly). The guaranteed investment recovery
transfers the risk to the consumer (as in the case of monopoly), on the
one hand, but decreases the capital value (the interest rate), on the
For the purchasing
agency as a whole, different producers' prices will be averaged by
analogy with the regulated monopoly. The higher prices in contracts on
power supply from new power plants will also be averaged. Thus the
single buyer market can ensure a low tariff level for final consumers.
At the same time a benefit of competition among power producers is
realized in the market. And with the proper state regulation, the single
buyer market should gradually decrease production costs and prices for
final consumers of electricity as compared to the regulated monopoly.
This is its advantage over the latter.
In a microeconomic sense, the single buyer market is a
monopsony that is advantageous for buyers (consumers). The latter are
in a privileged position relative to producers (in contrast with
monopoly market). In the regulated single buyer electricity market,
producer's prices are averaged (similar to the regulated monopoly) that
provides a low tariff level for final consumers. In principle it can be
even lower than in the regulated monopoly due to competition among
Certain Items Important
for Models Comparison
electricity models, it is necessary to take into account certain
First, competition is a
driving force of the market economy. It results in the fall of costs
and finally of prices (especially in the markets with perfect
But it is very
important to distinguish who will benefit from the competition
effectproducers or consumers (buyers)as their interests are
contradictory. The effect for consumers may only be in the decrease of
prices. If prices do not decrease or moreover do increase, there is no
effect for consumers, and all the effect from competition falls to
producer's lot. This is precisely what happens in electricity market
Models 3 and 4 where marginal wholesale prices are formed.
In principle, both producers and consumers should
benefit from the effect. It means that a certain compromise between the
interests of producers and consumers has to be reached.
Second, the organization of competition in an
electricity market is reasonable only if the effect expected from
competition is higher than the expenditures to be spent on market
infrastructure and negative consequences for consumers from competitive
market functioning. Therefore it is necessary to economically compare
the expected effect with expenditures and consequences. Certainly this
is not an easy matter. But it should be made to the extent possible.
Third, shares of costs in different spheres of EPI
are approximately as follows:
electricity generation: 5060%
electricity transportation and distribution (regulated
monopolistic spheres): 4045%
Therefore, the main
effect from competition can be obtained in the generation sphere. And
this is implemented in the single buyer market.
An effect from competition in retail markets may be
very small, and it is doubtful that it will be higher than the expenses
on market infrastructure and maintenance of a great number of new
state regulation of power company activities and electricity tariffs is
necessary in the following:
vertically integrated monopolies (Model 1)
single buyer market (Model 2)
competitive markets (Models 3 and 4)
spheres of transmission and distribution of
electricity (monopolistic ones)
spheres during the periods of capacity shortage or temporary absence of
conditions for competition.
Thus state regulation is inevitable to a larger or lesser extent in all
electricity markets. During the periods of capacity (or electricity)
shortage in competitive markets, it should be similar to the regulation
in Models 1 and 2. Therefore the state regulation has to be the subject
for permanent improvement and perfection.
The need for the state regulation in single buyer
market should be considered as an advantage rather than disadvantage.
Disadvantages of Competitive Markets
With the creation of a competitive wholesale market
(Model 3), many buyers (distribution-sale companies start to compete
with one another (in addition to competition among producers). The
competition among buyers (consumers finally)
does not lower production costs,
i.e., does not increase production efficiency (as it is at competition
position of buyers in the market and improves the position of producers
results factually in the rise of wholesale prices up
to marginal costs of a marginal unit, thus causing damage to consumers
and bringing super profits (producers' surplus) to producers. Marginal
wholesale prices are usually 3040% higher than the regulated tariffs
set at the level of average costs (in Model 1 and 2).
Therefore, the competitive wholesale market is
profitable only for producers and absolutely not profitable for
electricity consumers. Producers obtain not only the entire effect from
competition in the generation sphere but also "producers' surplus." For
consumers, on the contrary, there is no effect from competition and
moreover the price rise causes direct damage, as compared with the
single buyer market.
There are many
other disadvantages of competitive wholesale market against a single
of economies of scale
of reliability (for example, system emergencies in the United States,
Canada, and Western Europe in 2003)
difficulties with generation expansion due to the
economic (price) barrier for new producers to enter the market
increase of administrative and overhead expenditures
of very many new companies.
effect from the organization of retail markets (Model 4) is highly
questionable. The share of costs in the sale sphere is very small.
Meanwhile, the creation of many sale companies will lead to the need of
rather complicated and expensive systems to register and check
electricity sold by different companies. Besides, administrative and
other expenditures of these companies will appear. The comparison of all
these additional expenditures with possible effect from competition in
the sphere of sale is very unlikely to be in favor of the latter.
Certain events have been observed in the last three to five years that
are interesting for this article.
First, developed countries such as France and Japan (and also many
states of the United States) still operate vertically integrated
monopolies (Model 1). This implies that EPI restructuring is not a
countries have restrained the restructuring process in the single buyer
market. This model was implemented in South Korea in 2001 and still
exists there. Transition to a competitive wholesale market, originally
planned for 2003, was postponed for an uncertain period. An especially
successful single buyer market is in China where EPI is developing at a
pace never seen before.
several countries that moved to competitive electricity markets (Models 3
and 4) went through severe system emergencies or EPI crises. The
emergencies noted in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe were
at least partly caused by EPI restructuring. The same can be said of the
Moscow emergency in May 2005.
Quite significant is the situation in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
Capacity or electricity shortages followed by price rises have appeared
there recently and governments have restored price regulation. With
generation divided into many PGCs, a kind of single buyer market turns
out to be there.
Competitive electricity markets (Models 3 and 4) are
quite disadvantageous for consumers as compared with regulated markets
(Models 1 and 2). The main shortcoming of the competitive wholesale
market is the formation of marginal equilibrium prices that are much
higher than regulated tariffs. It results in direct damage for consumers
and in huge profits for producers. In this case, competitive markets
are profitable only for the power producers.
The other shortcomings of EPI competitive markets are
the loss of positive economies
generation expansion that may lead to capacity shortage and to an
additional price rise
administrative and overhead expenditures
deterioration of power supply reliability.
In the end, these factors also increase production
costs and electricity prices, i.e., are unfavorable for consumers.
The single buyer electricity market (Model 2) has
advantages over both the regulated monopoly (Model 1) and competitive
markets (Models 3 and 4). With proper state regulation, electricity
tariffs for consumers in the single buyer market can be lower than in
the regulated monopoly due to competition among producers. The
advantages of the single buyer market over competitive markets were
listed above. Therefore, the single buyer market is the best one for
The interest of
consumers' side embraces the interests of the whole economy and society
(excluding power producers). Naturally, states and governments should
first take care of consumers' interests and correspondingly choose or
adjust the conception of EPI restructuring.
For Further Reading
S. Hunt and G. Shuttleworth, Competition and Choice in Electricity. Chichester,
UK: Wiley, 1996.
L.J. De Vries,
"Securing the public interest in electricity generation market,"
Ph.D.dissertation, Dept. of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft
Univ. of Technol., the Netherlands, 2004.
L.S. Belyaev, "The need for a regulation of generation
capacity development in a competitive electricity market," in Proc.
Int. Conf. 2005 IEEE St . Petersburg Power Tech, St. Petersburg,
Russia, June 2730, 2005, p. 8.
L.S. Belyaev and S.V. Podkovalnikov, The Electricity Market: Problems
of Generating Capacity Expansion (in Russian). Novosibirsk,
"Nauka," 2004 .
C.R. McConnell and
S.L Brue, Economics: Principles, Problems and Policies, 14th ed.
Boston, Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1999.
D.N. Hyman, Modern Microeconomics: Analysis and Applications,
vol. II. Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1988.
S. Fischer, R. Dornbusch, and R. Schmalensee. Economics, 2nd ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988.
Rudnick, L.A. Borrso, C. Skerk and A. Blanko, "South American reform
lessons," IEEE Power Energy Mag., vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 4959, 2005.
Lev S. Belyaev is chief researcher and
head of laboratory at the Energy Systems (ESI) of the Russian Academy of
Sciences, Irkutsk. His fields of interest cover development, modeling
and optimization of various energy systems and assessment of energy