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While some are recognized for their world peace effort…

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on October 11, 2008

Today Brazil, among other countries in the G20 team, is discussing with industrialized G7 countries what has to be done to rescue the financial industry. It is very interesting to see how difficult is to the countries to put their different perspectives together.

The French finance minister, Christine Lagarde has said yesterday: “Don’t imagine that we’ll have a harmonized response that will be the same for everybody because you can’t apply the same method to different market situations.”

Japan is concerned about damage the financial crisis not of its own making (italic is ours) can provoke in its industry and, consequently, in its biggest banks that heavily lend to industry. Italia asks for a tougher plan or they will not sign it.

Germany is reluctant, fearing that an agreement to nationalize banks would end up bailing out the banks of its neighbors. Britain demands coordinated guarantees and waves to other countries deposits (hey, come here, trust me, and come to our British-style guarantee of loans…).

Outside G7 or G20, the same conflicts. Inside USA, McCain starts the campaign “Chicago way” denouncing bad partners of Obama, as terrorists leader, another corrupted person and so on, with the alert: “There’s more you need to know”. Are them trying to overcome crisis with another one? Inside Italy, a politic criticizes Berlusconi telling that the crisis is not a “disco” where he can say jokes.

Blogs are full of comments of ordinary people, in the same tune as London: “Why should we pay for their crisis?”, “I told you so”. Now the State will pay the bill which means that we, the people, will pay the bill with our taxes, while all this time just banks had profits. In Brazil, bloggers are criticizing Lula’s speech: go for a big Christmas shopping, my people.

All these scenes, initiatives, words and people should stop for a while and look to other side, other scenes, not so glamorous and poorly announced by media, but most important than these, in two steps.

First: we should change our position from critics to respect and support. What about the Japanese traditional salutation to start this change?

Second: we would have to listen to the men that are being celebrated this week for their work on peace among nations.

The first one is Kofi Annan that received Westfalia Peace Prize in German and that also received Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. His words: international financial markets are guided by an old-fashioned system that must be changed.

The other is the Former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, who has worked to end conflicts in troubled spots around the world for more than three decades, and that won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. He had an important role helping to resolve disputes involving delicate matters of ethnicity, religion and race. After knowing about his indication as 2008 Nobel Peace Prize he said: “I hope this… tells about our society and what is important to us.”

Many have been said about peace.

Now it is time to remember the actions, plans and words of those who performed peace through all these years of neo-liberal policies, in order to bring harmony to the mind of the people that led our countries economy and decide about the money energy flow in the world.

1st picture: Luke McGregor/Reuters. “Demonstrators clashed with police in the financial district of London on Friday” (on New York TImes article from Oct 10th, 2008).

2st picture: Takeo Nakazono, center, president of Yamato Life Insurance, at a conference Fryday in Tokyo. Kyoto, via Reuters. (on New York Times article from Oct 10h, 2008).

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Holy Week

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on March 21, 2008

seville.jpgThousands of  people participate these days in the moving religious processions, remembering Christ´s suffer carrying the cross. I was looking to Seville (picture at the side of this post) religious movement this week and started reflecting on the diplomatic conflicts Brazil and Spain are facing these last weeks because of the deported Brazilian students from Spain, as they were not accepted by the Spain´s custom procedures.  

Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that Spanish people cannot eat the whole cake, all the time, meaning that they are buying a lot of business in Brazil and should care about building a relationship too, and not just profits. Spain is the 2nd biggest investor in Brazil – 1,6 billion dollars invested up to August 2007. The recent behavior of the king of Spain with Venezuela´s President, telling him: “Por que no te callas?” (“Why don´t you shut up?”) in a public debate, does not favour Spain ceremonial in Latin America. 

This is not the real issue however. Brazilians and Spanish people are just now carrying decorative floats adorned with statues of Jesus carrying the cross through the streets. By doing this, they are  making a public demonstration of karuna, compassion, the desire to free all beings from suffering. Is all that just a rethoric? I would prefer to quote Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S.: “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

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