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Independence Day Argentina - J u l 0 9

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic (Spanish: República Argentina [reˈpuβlika aɾxenˈtina]), is a country in South America, bordered by Chile to the west and south, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast. Argentina claims sovereignty over Antarctica, the Falkland Islands (Spanish:Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The country is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, its capital and largest city. It is the eighth-largest country in the world by land area and the largest among Spanishspeaking nations. Argentina is a founding member of the United Nations, Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations, theOrganization of Ibero-American States, the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization, and is one of the G-15 and G-20 major economies. A recognised middle power, Argentina is Latin America's third-largest economy, with a "very high" rating on the Human development index. Within Latin America, Argentina has the fifth highest nominal GDP per capita and the highest in purchasing power terms. Analysts have argued that the country has a "foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods", and it is classed by investors as middle emerging economy.


Early history and colonial period:

The earliest evidence of humans in Argentina dates from 11,000 BC and was found in Patagonia. These finds were of the Diaguitas, Huarpes, and Sanavirones indigenous peoples, among others. The Inca Empire, under the rule of Sapa-Inca Pachacutec, invaded and conquered present-day north-western Argentina in 1480, a military feat led by his son Túpac Inca Yupanqui. The local tribes were defeated and integrated into a region called Collasuyu. Others, such as the Sanavirones, Lule-Tonocoté, and Comechingones, resisted the Incas and remained independent from them. The Guaraní developed a culture based on yuca, sweet potato, and yerba mate. The central and southern areas were dominated by nomadic cultures, the most populous among them being the Mapuches. TheAtacaman settlement of Tastil in the north had an estimated population of 2,000 people, the highest populated area in pre-Columbian Argentina. The first European explorer, Juan Díaz de Solís, arrived to the Río de la Plata in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Buenos Aires was established in 1536 but was destroyed by natives. The city was established again in 1580. The colonization of modern Argentina came from 3 different directions: from Paraguay, establishing the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, from Peru and from Chile. Buenos Aires became the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, with territories from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Buenos Aires and Montevideo resisted two ill-fated British invasions in 1806 and 1807. The The Libertator, José de San resistance was headed both times by the FrenchSantiago de Liniers, who Martín would become viceroy through popular support. The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment and the example of the Atlantic Revolutions generated criticism to the Absolute monarchy. The overthrow of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII during the Peninsular War created great concern in the Americas, so many cities deposed the monarchic authorities and appointed new ones, working under the new political ideas. This started the Spanish American wars of independence across the continent. Buenos Aires deposed the viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros in 1810, during the May Revolution.

Independence and civil wars:

The May Revolution began the Argentine War of Independence between patriots androyalists. The Primera Junta, the new government in Buenos Aires, sent military campaigns to Córdoba, Upper Peru and Paraguay, and supported the rebellions at the Banda Oriental. The military campaigns were defeated, so Buenos Aires signed an armistice with Montevideo. Paraguay stayed Non-interventionist during the remainder of the conflict, Upper Peru defeated further military campaigns, and the Banda Oriental would be captured by William Brown during renewed hostilities. The national organization, either under acentralized government located in Buenos Aires or as a federation, began the Argentine Civil Wars as well, with the conflicts of Buenos Aires and José Gervasio Artigas. The Argentine Declaration of Independence was issued by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816.Martín Miguel de Güemes kept royalists at bay on the North, while José de San Martín made the Crossing of the Andes, securing the independence of Chile. With the Chilean navy at his disposal he then took the fight to the royalist stronghold of Lima. San Martín's military campaigns complemented those of Simón Bolívarin Gran Colombia and led to the independent's victory in the Spanish American wars of independence. The 1820 Battle of Cepeda, fought between the Centralists and the Federalists, resulted in the end of the centralized national authority. A new centralist constitution was enacted in 1826, during the War with Brazil, and Bernardino Rivadavia was appointed the firstPresident of Argentina. It was rejected by the provinces, forcing Rivadavia to resign. The new governor Manuel Dorrego was deposed and executed by Juan Lavalle, which exacerbated the civil war. Juan Manuel de Rosas organized the resistance against Lavalle and restored the deposed authorities. The provinces then reorganized themselves as a loose confederation of provinces that lacked a common head of state. They would instead delegate some important powers to the governor of Buenos Aires Province, such as debt payment or the management of international relations. Juan Manuel de Rosas ruled from 1829 to 1832, and from 1835 to 1852. During his first term he convened the Federal pact and defeated the Unitarian League. After 1835 he received the "Sum of public power". He faced several a French blockade from 1838 to 1840, the War of the Confederation in the north, an Anglo-French blockade from 1845 to 1850, and the Corrientes province revolt. Rosas remained undefeated during this series of conflicts and prevented further loss of national territory. His refusal to enact a national constitution, pursuant to the Federal pact, led to Entre Ríos governor Justo José de Urquiza to turn against Rosas and sanction the Constitution of Argentina of 1853. Rejecting it, Buenos Aires seceded from the Confederation and became the State of Buenos Aires. The war between both lasted nearly a decade, and ended with the victory of Buenos Aires at the battle of Pavón. Buenos Aires rejoined the Confederation, and Bartolomé Mitre was elected the first president of the unified country in 1862. He began Argentine War of Independence military campaigns against both the remaining federals in Argentina, the whites from Uruguay, and Paraguay. The War of the Triple Alliance, in alliance with Uruguay and Brazil, left over 300,000 dead and devastated Paraguay. Unable to influence the election of later presidents, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Nicolás Avellaneda followed him. Albeit unitarians, they were not from Buenos Aires, and had conflicts with him. Mitre attempted twice to secede Buenos Aires from the country once more, but failed. Avellaneda federalized Buenos Aires, after defeating a final failed attempt to secede it. Since the colonial times, huge territories were under the control of indigenous peoples. All governments since then attempted in some way to stay in good terms, kill them, or push them to ever farther frontiers. The final conflict was the Conquest of the Desert, waged byJulio Argentino Roca. With this military operation, Argentina seized the control of the Patagonia.

Rise of Peronism:

The bases of modern Argentina were established by the Generation of '80, a political movement that opposed Mitre and sought to industrialize the country. A wave of European immigration led to the strengthening of a cohesive state, the development of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention of Argentine society and economy. The country emerged as one of the ten richest countries in the world, benefiting from an agricultural export-led economy as well as British and French investment. Driven by immigration and decreasing mortality the Argentine population grew fivefold and the economy 15fold. However, the National Autonomist Party (PAN) could not meet its original goals of industrialization, and the country stayed as a pre-industrial society. President Juárez Celman faced an economic crisis that generated popular discontent and the Revolution of the Park in 1890, led by the Civic Union. With the resignation of Mitre, the Civic Union became the Radical Civic Union (UCR). Although the Coup d'état failed, Celman resigned from the presidency, starting the decline of the PAN. Conservative élites dominated Argentine politics until 1912, when President Roque Sáenz Peña enacted universal male suffrage and the secret ballot. This allowed the UCR to win the country's first free elections in 1916. President Hipólito Yrigoyen enacted social and Belgrano, economic reforms and extended assistance to family farmers and small businesses. Ar- Manuel he took part in the gentina stayed neutral during World War I. The second administration of Yrigoyen faced a huge economic crisis, influenced by the Argentine Wars of international Great Depression. The military made a coup d'état and ousted him from Independence and power, which began the Infamous Decade. José Félix Uriburu led the military rule for created the Flag of two years.Agustín Pedro Justo was elected with electoral fraud, and signed the RocaRunciman Treaty.Roberto María Ortiz and Ramón Castillo stayed neutral during World Argentina War II. Britain supported the Argentine neutrality, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States requested all of South America to join the Allied Nations. Castillo was finally deposed by theRevolution of '43, a new military coup that wanted to end the electoral fraud of the last decade. Argentina declared war to the Axis Powers a month before the end of World War II in Europe. The minister of welfare of the military, Juan Perón, became highly popular among workers. He was fired and jailed, but a massive demonstration forced his liberation. Perón ran for the presidency in 1946, and won by 53,1%. Juan Perón created a political movement known as Peronism. Taking advantage of the import substitution industrialization and the European devastation left by the immediate aftermath of World War II, he nationalized strategic industries and services, improved wages and working conditions, paid the full external debt and achieved nearly full employment. The economy, however, began to decline in 1950. Perón intensified censorship as well as repression: 110 publications were shuttered, and numerous opposition figures were imprisoned and tortured. His wife Eva Perón was highly popular and played a central political role, mostly through the Eva Perón Foundation and the Female Peronist Party, as women's suffrage was granted in 1947. However, her declining health did not allow her to run for the vice-presidency in 1951, and she died of cancer the following year. The military began to plot against Perón in 1955, andbombed the Plaza de Mayo in an ill-fated attempt to kill him. A few months later, Perón resigned during a new military coup, which established the Revolución Libertadora. Perón left the country, and finally settled in Spain.

The Dirty War:

Pedro Eugenio Aramburu proscribed Peronism and banned all manifestations of it. Peronism, however, did not disappear, as Peronists kept being organized in informal associations. The 1949 amendment of the Constitution was repealed, restoring the one of 1853; but the elections for the Constituent Assembly obtained a majority of blank votes because of the Peronist proscription.Arturo Frondizi from the UCR became popular by opposing the military rule, and got elected in the following elections. The military, however, was reluctant to allow Peronism to influence the new government, and allowed him to take power on condition he stayed aligned with them. The military frequently interfered on behalf of conservative, agrarian interests however, and the results were mixed. His policies encouraged investment to make the country self-sufficient in energy and industry, helping reverse a chronic trade deficit for Argentina. His efforts to stay on good terms with both Peronists and the military, without fully supporting either one, earned him the distrust and rejection of both. Frondizi lifted the Peronist proscription, leading to a Peronist victory in several provinces, rejected by the military. A new coup ousted him from power, but a swift reaction by José María Guido (president of the Senate) applied the laws related to power vacuums and became president instead of the military. The elections were repealed and Peronism proscribed again. Arturo Illia was elected in 1963 but, despite prosperity, his attempts to include Peronists in the political process resulted in the armed forces retaking power in a coup in 1966. The Argentine Revolution, the new military government, sought to rule in Argentina indefinitely. The new military Junta appointed Juan Carlos Onganía as president. He closed the Congress, banned all political parties and dismantled all student unions and many worker unions. Popular discontent led to two massive protests, the Cordobazo in Córdoba and the Rosariazo in Rosario. Onganía was replaced by Roberto M. Levingston, and shortly after there was a huge political commotion with the kidnapping and execution of the former de facto president Aramburu. The crime was committed by the Montoneros, who, along with the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP), began Guerrilla warfare against the military, the Dirty War. Levingston was then replaced byAlejandro Agustín Lanusse, who began negotiations to return to democracy and end the proscription of Peronism. Initially, he sought to allow Peronism but not the return of Juan Perón himself (who was living in Spain) with an agreement stipulating presidential candidates reside in Argentina as of 25 August. Thus, the Peronist candidate was not Perón but Héctor José Cámpora, who won the elections by the 49.59%. The return of Peronism to power saw violent disputes between its internal factions: right-wing union leaders and left-wing youth from montoneros. The return of Perón to the country generated an armed conflict, the Ezeiza massacre. Overwhelmed by political violence, Cámpora and his vice-president resigned, promoting new elections so Perón could become president. Perón was elected, with his wife Isabel as vice-president, but before taking office the Montoneros murdered the union leader José Ignacio Rucci, with close ties to Perón. Perón expelled them from Plaza de Mayo and from the party, and they became once again a clandestine organization. José López Rega organized the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance(AAA) to fight against them and the ERP. Perón died shortly after, and his wife took office. The AAA maintained operations against the guerrillas, which increased their power. TheOperativo Independencia stopped an attempt to capture and secede territories of Tucumán. A decree ordered the military to "annihilate the subversion". The military made another coup d'état, in March 1976. The National Reorganization Process closed the Congress, removed the members of the Supreme Court, and banned political parties, unions, student unions, etc. It also intensified measures against ERP and Montoneros, who had kidnapped and murdered people almost weekly since 1970. The military resorted to the forced disappearance of suspected members of the guerrillas, and began to prevail in the war. The losses of Montoneros by the end of 1976 were near 2000. The Junta tried to increase its popularity with theBeagle conflict and the 1978 FIFA World Cup. As of 1977, the ERP was completely defeated. Montoneros was severely weakened, but launched a massive counterattack in 1979. It was defeated, ending the guerrilla threat, but the military Junta stayed in government.Leopoldo Galtieri launched the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de Malvinas), attempting to recover the islands, but he was defeated by the United Kingdom within two months. Galtieri left the government because of the military defeat, and Reynaldo Bignone began to organize the transition to democratic rule, with the free elections in 1983.

Contemporary era:

In the 1983 electoral campaign Alfonsín called to national unity, restoration of democratic rule and prosecution of the responsibles of the dirty war. He established the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) to investigate the forced disappearances. The CONADEP generated a report detailing 340 centers of illegal detentions and 8961 forced disappearenced. The 1985 Trial of the Juntas sentenced all the heads of government of those years. Alfonsín aimed then to the military of lower ranks, but the discontent among the military and the risk of a new coup increased. To please them, he issued the full stop law, which established a deadline for new trials. This did not work as intended, and the Carapintadas mutinied, forcing the law of Due Obedience that exempted the military that followed orders from superior ranks. This lowered the public support Cristina Fernández incumbent president of to the government, as well as an economic crisis that the Argentine Nation since 2007 led to an hyperinflation. The Peronist Carlos Menem won the 1989 elections, but huge riots caused by the economic crisis forced Alfonsín to resign, handing government to Menem. Carlos Menem led a change in Peronism, which declined its usual politics and embraced neoliberalism instead. A fixed exchange rateestablished in 1991, the dismantling of protectionist barriers, business regulations and several privatizations normalized the economy for a time. His victories at the 1991 and 1993 elections led to the 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution, which allowed him to run for a second term. He was reelected, but the economy began to decline in 1996, with higher unemployment and recession. He lost the 1997 elections, and the UCR returned to the presidency in the 1999 elections. President Fernando de la Rúa sought to change the political style of Menem, but kept his economic plan regardless of the growing recession. He appointed Domingo Cavallo, who had already been minister of economy during the presidency of Menem. The social discontent led to the appearance of piqueteros and huge blank votes in the 2001 legislative elections. A huge capital flight was responded to with a freezing of bank accounts, generating further discontent. Several riots in the country led the president to establish astate of emergency, received with more popular protests. The huge riots in December finally forced De la Rúa to resign. Eduardo Duhalde was appointed president by the Legislative Assembly, and derogated the fixed exchange rate established by Menem. The economic crisis began to end by the late 2002, under the management of the minister of Economy Roberto Lavagna. The death of two piqueteros caused a political scandal that forced Duhalde to call to elections earlier. Carlos Menem got the majority of the votes, followed by Néstor Kirchner. Kirchner was largely unknown by the people, but would maintain Lavagna as minister. However, Menem declined to run for the required ballotage, which made Kirchner the new president. Following the economic policies laid by Duhalde and Lavagna, Kirchner ended the economic crisis, getting fiscal and trade surpluses. However, he distanced from Duhalde once getting to power. He promoted as well the reopening of judicial actions against the crimes of the Dirty War. During his administration, Argentina restructured its defaulted debt with a steep discount (about 66%) on most bonds, paid off debts with the International Monetary Fund and nationalized some previously privatized enterprises. He did not run for a reelection, promoting instead the candidacy of his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The presidency of Cristina Kirchner began with a conflict with the agricultural sector, caused by an attempt to increase the taxes over exports. The conflict was taken to the Congress, and vice-president Julio Cobos gave an unexpected tie-breaking vote against the bill. The government waged severalcontroversies with the press, limiting the freedom of speech. On 15 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the second country in the Southern Hemisphere to legalize same-sex marriage. Néstor Kirchner died in 2010, and Cristina Fernández was reelected in 2011.

HM Hassan II's Birthday Morocco - Jul 09

HM King Hassan II (Arabic: ‫يناثلا نسحلا‬‎, class. pron. (a)l-ḥasan aṯṯānī, dial. (Mar.) el-ḥasan ett(s)âni); July 9, 1929 – July 23, 1999) was King of Morocco from 1961 until his death in 1999. He was the eldest son of Mohammed V, Sultan, then King of Morocco (1909–1961) and his wife Lalla Abla bint Tahar (1909–1992).


Youth and education:

King Hassan was educated at the Imperial College at Rabat and earned a law degree from the University of Bordeaux. He was exiled to Corsica by French authorities on 20 August 1953, together with his father Sultan Mohammed V. They were transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Prince Moulay Hassan acted as his father's political advisor during the exile. Mohammed V and his family returned from exile on 16 November 1955. Prince Moulay Hassan participated in the February 1956 negotiations for Morocco's independence with his father, who later appointed him Chief of Staff of the newly founded Royal Armed Forces in April 1956. In the unrest of the same year, he led army contingents battling rebels in the mountains of the Rif. Mohammed V changed the title of the Moroccan sovereign from Sultan to King in 1957. Hassan was proclaimed Crown Prince on 19 July 1957, and became King on 26 February 1961, after his father's death. U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Yost saw King Mohammed V hours before his death and was among those who suspected that Hassan II had a hand in his father's sudden death.


Hassan's conservative rule, one characterized by a poor human rights record,strengthened the Alaouite dynasty. In Morocco's first constitution of 1963, Hassan II reaffirmed Morocco's choice of a multi-party political system, the only one in the Maghreb. The constitution gave the King large powers he eventually used to strengthen his rule, which provoked strong political protest from the UNFP and the Istiqlal parties that formed the backbone of the opposition. In 1965, Hassan dissolved Parliament and ruled directly, although he did not abolish the mechanisms of parliamentary democracy. When elections were eventually held, they were mostly rigged in favor of loyal parties. This caused severe discontent among the opposition, and protest demonstrations and riots challenged the King's rule. In the early 1970s, King Hassan survived two assassination attempts. The first, in 1971, was coup d'état attempt allegedly supported byLibya, organized by General Madbouh and Colonel Ababou and carried out by cadets during a function at the King's summer palace inRabat during his forty-second birthday party. Important guests, including the Belgian Ambassador Marcel Dupert, were placed underhouse arrest, and the King himself was taken to a small pavilion. Rabat's main radio station was taken over by the rebels and broadcastpropaganda stating that the King had been murdered and a republic founded. The coup ended the same day when royalist troops took over the palace in combat against the rebels. On August 16, 1972, during a second attempt, four F-5 military jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon the King's Boeing 727while he was traveling back to Rabat from France, many bullets hit the fuselage but they failed to bring the plane down. Eight people were killed when the jets strafed the awaiting reception dignitaries. General Mohamed Oufkir, Morocco's defense minister, was the man behind the coup and was officially declared to have committed suicide after the attack. His body, however, was found with several bullet wounds. In the Cold War era, Hassan II allied Morocco with the West generally, and with the United States in particular. There were close and continuing ties between Hassan II's government and the CIA, who helped to reorganize Morocco's security forces in 1960. Hassan served as a back channel between the Arab world and Israel, facilitating early negotiations between them. This was made possible due to the presence in Israel of a large Moroccan Jewish community. During his reign, Morocco recovered the Spanish-controlled area of Ifni in 1969, and military seized two thirds of Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) through the "Green March" in 1975. The latter issue continues to dominate Moroccan foreign policy to this day. Relations withAlgeria have deteriorated sharply due to the Western Sahara affair, as well as due to Moroccan claims on Algerian territory (Tindouf and Bechar), which unleashed the brief 1963 Sand War. Relations with Mauritania were tense too, as Morocco only recognized it as a sovereign country in 1969, nearly a decade after Mauritania's independence, because of Moroccan claims on the country (see Great Morocco). Economically, Hassan II adopted a market-based economy, where agriculture, tourism, andphosphates mining industries played a major role. The period from the 1960s to the late 1980s was labelled as the "years of lead" and saw thousands of dissidents jailed, killed, exiled or forcibly disappeared. King Hassan II had extended many parliamentary functions by the early 1990s and released hundreds of political prisoners in 1991, and allowed the Alternance, where the opposition assumed power, for the first time in the Arab World. He set up a Royal Council for Human Rights to look into allegations of abuse by the State.

Death of El Cid Spain - Jul 10

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1043 – July 10, 1099), known as El Cid Campeador, "The lord-master of military arts"), was a Castilian nobleman, military leader, and diplomat. Exiled from the court of the Spanish EmperorAlfonso VI of León and Castile, El Cid went on to command a Moorish force consisting ofMuladis, Berbers, Arabs and Malians, under Yusuf al-Mu'taman ibn Hud, Moorish king of the northeast Al-Andalus city of Zaragoza, and his successor, Al-Mustein II. After the Christian defeat at the Battle of Sagrajas in 1086, El Cid was recalled to service by Alfonso VI, and commanded a combined Christian and Moorish army, which he used to create his own fiefdom in the Moorish Mediterranean coastal city of Valencia. Rodrigo Díaz was educated in the royal court of Castile and became the alférez, the chief general, of Alfonso VI, and his most valuable asset in the fight against the Moors. He was the subject of the oldest extant Spanish epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid.

Death El Cid and his wife Jimena Díaz lived peacefully in Valencia for five years until the Almoravids besieged the city. El

Cid died June 10, 1099. The cause of death is commonly accepted to be a combination of sorrow for the loss of his only son in 1098, and the increasing impact of the siege on famine and living standards more generally. Valencia was captured by Masdali on May 5, 1102 and it did not become a Christian city again for over 125 years. Jimena fled to Burgos, Castile, in 1101. She rode in with her retinue and the body of El Cid. Originally buried in Castile in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, his body now lies at the center of the Burgos Cathedral. After his demise, but still during the siege of Valencia, legend holds that Jimena ordered that the corpse of El Cid be fitted with his armor and set atop his horse Babieca, to bolster the morale of his troops. In several variations of the story, the dead Rodrigo and his knights win a thundering charge against Valencia's besiegers, resulting in a war-islost-but-battle-is-won catharsis for generations of Christian Spaniards to follow. It is believed that the legend originated shortly after Jimena entered Burgos, and that it is derived from the manner in which Jimena's procession rode into Burgos, i.e. alongside her deceased husband.

Flemish Community Holiday Belgium - Jul 11

The Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium, also known as the Flemish Community Day, is celebrated every year on 11 July in remembrance for the Battle of Golden Spurs or Guldensporenslag and is observed only by the Flemish Community of Belgium.

History In 1302 the French king Philip IV sent an army to punish the Flem-

ish citizens of Bruges, who earlier that year rebelled against the king and attacked the French governor of Flanders (the so-called Good Friday of Bruges). The French army was composed of about 2,500 knights and squires, supported by about 5,500 infantry. The Flemish, in contrast, fielded a town militia force of 9,000 consisting solely of infantrymen. The two forces clashed on July 11 in an open field outside the Flemish city of Kortrijk and the battle ended with the overwhelming victory of the Flemish militia. The commander of the French army, Robert II of Artois was surrounded and killed on the battlefield. At least a thousand French cavaliers were also killed in the battle and the large number of the golden spurs collected from the field gave the battle its name. The battle was romanticised in 1838 by Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience in his book De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (English: The Lion of Flanders).

Declaration Following the establishment of the three cultural and linguistic communities of Belgium in 1970, the Dutch Cultural

Community (as it was known then) enacted a law on 6 July 1973, which prescribes the flag, the anthem and the day of the Dutch Cultural Community. Ever since then the Day of the Flemish community is observed in Flanders. Private employers are not required to award a day's holiday; however the institutions of the Flemish Government and public employers observe this holiday.

World Population Day Worldwide - Jul 11

World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world's population reached five billion people. The world population on the 20th anniversary of Five Billion Day, July 11, 2007, was estimated to have been 6,727,551,263.

Battle of Boyne - Jul 12 Ireland, U.K.

The Battle of the Boyne (Irish: Cath na Bóinne, IPA: was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones – the Catholic King James and the Protestant King William (who had deposed James in 1688) – across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland. The battle, won by William, was a turning point in James' unsuccessful attempt to regain the crown and ultimately helped ensure the continuation of Protestant supremacy in Ireland. Ironically, some contemporary historians have speculated that William's campaign may have been funded, at least in part, by Pope Alexander VIII as part of a shared hostility with William to Louis XIV of France, who at the time was attempting to establish dominance in Europe and to whom James was an ally. The battle took place on 1 July 1690 in the "old style" (Julian) calendar. This was equivalent to 11 July in the "new style" (Gregorian) calendar, although today its commemoration is held on 12 July. William's forces defeated James' army of mostly raw recruits. The symbolic importance of this battle has made it one of the best-known battles in British–Irish history and it is a key part of the folklore for the Orange Order. Its commemoration today is principally by the Orange Institution.

Background The battle is seen as the decisive encounter in a war that was primarily about James's attempt to regain the thrones

of England and Scotland, resulting from The seven immortal gentlemen'sinvitation to William and James' daughter, Mary, to take the throne. It is especially remembered as a crucial moment in the struggle between Irish Protestant and Catholic interests. In an Irish context, however, the war was a sectarian and ethnic conflict, in many ways a re-run of the Irish Confederate Wars of 50 years earlier. For the Jacobites, the war was fought for Irish sovereignty, religious toleration for Catholicism, and land ownership. The Catholic upper classes had lost almost all their lands after Cromwell's conquest, as well as the right to hold public office, practise their religion, and sit in the Irish Parliament. They saw the Catholic King James as a means of redressing these grievances and securing the autonomy of Ireland from England. To these ends, under Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnel, they had raised an army to restore James after the Glorious Revolution. By 1690, they controlled all of Ireland except for the province of Ulster. Most of James II's troops at the Boyne were Irish Catholics. Conversely, for the Williamites, the war was about maintaining Protestant and English rule in Ireland. They feared for their lives and their property if James and his Catholic supporters were to rule Ireland. In particular, they dreaded a repeat of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, which had been marked by widespread killings. For these reasons, Protestants fought en masse for William III. Many Williamite troops at the Boyne, including their very effective irregular cavalry, were Protestants from Ulster, who called themselves "Inniskillingers" and were referred to by contemporaries as "Scots-Irish".

Opposing forces Commanders:

The opposing armies in the battle were led by the Roman Catholic King James II of England, Scotland, and Ireland and opposing him, his nephew and son-in-law, the Protestant King William III ("William of Orange") who had deposed James the previous year. James's supporters controlled much of Ireland and the Irish Parliament. James also enjoyed the support of his cousin, Louis XIV, who did not want to see a hostile monarch on the throne of England. Louis sent 6,000 French troops to Ireland to support the Irish Jacobites. William was alreadyStadtholder of the Netherlands and was able to call on Dutch and allied troops from Europe as well as England and Scotland. James was a seasoned officer who had proven his bravery when fighting for his brother — King Charles II — in Europe, notably at the Battle of the Dunes (1658). However, recent historians have noted that he was prone to panicking under pressure and making rash decisions, possibly due to the onset of the dementia which would overtake him completely in later years. William, although a seasoned commander was hardly one of history's great generals and had yet to win a major battle. Many of his battles ended in stalemates, prompting at least one modern historian to argue that William lacked an ability to manage armies in the thick of conflict. William's success against the French had been reliant upon tactical manoeuvres and good diplomacy rather than force. His diplomacy had assembled the League of Augsburg, a multi-national coalition formed to resist French aggression in Europe. From William's point William III ("William of Orof view, his takeover of power in England and the ensuing campaign in Ireland ange") was just another front in the war against King Louis XIV. King of England, Scotland James II's subordinate commanders were Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrcon- and Ireland, Stadtholder in nell, who was Lord Deputy of Ireland and James's most powerful supporter the Netherlands in Ireland; and the French general Lauzun. William's second-in-command was the Duke of Schomberg, a 75-year-old professional soldier. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Schomberg had formerly been a Marshal of France, but, being a Huguenot, was compelled to leave France in 1685 because of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.


The Williamite army at the Boyne was about 36,000 strong, composed of troops from many countries. Around 20,000 troops had been in Ireland since 1689, commanded by Schomberg. William himself arrived with another 16,000 in June 1690. William's troops were generally far better trained and equipped than James's. The best Williamite infantry were from Denmark and the Netherlands, professional soldiers equipped with the latest flintlock muskets. There was also a large contingent of French Huguenot troops fighting with the Williamites. William did not have a high opinion of his English and Scottish troops, with the exception of the Ulster Protestant irregulars who had held Ulster in the previous year. The English and Scottish troops were felt to be politically unreliable, since James had been their legitimate monarch up to a year before. Moreover, they had only been raised recently and had seen little battle action. The Jacobites were 23,500 strong. James had several regiments of French troops, but most of his manpower was provided by Irish Catholics. The Jacobites' Irish cavalry, who were recruited from among the dispossessed Irish gentry, proved themselves to be high calibre troops during the course of the battle. However, the Irish infantry, predominantly peasants who had been pressed into service, were not trained soldiers. They had been hastily trained, poorly equipped, and only a minority of them had functional muskets. In fact, some of them carried only farm implements such as scythes at the Boyne. On top of that, the Jacobite infantry who actually had firearms were all equipped with the obsolete matchlock musket.

The battle

William had landed in Carrickfergus in Ulster on 14 June 1690 and marched south to take Dublin. James chose to place his line of defence on the River Boyne, around 30 miles (48 km) from Dublin. The Williamites reached the Boyne on 29 June. The day before the battle, William himself had a narrow escape when he was wounded in the shoulder by Jacobite artillery while surveying the fords over which his troops would cross the Boyne. The battle itself was fought on 1 July for control of a ford on the Boyne near Drogheda, about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) NW of the hamlet of Oldbridge (and about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) WNW of the modern Boyne River Bridge). William sent about a quarter of his men to cross the river at Roughgrange, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) west of Donore and about 6 miles (9.7 km) SW of Oldbridge. The Duke of Schomberg's son, Meinhardt, led this crossing, which Irish dragoons in picquet under Neil O'Neill unsuccessfully opposed. James, an inexperienced general, thought that he might be outflanked and sent half his troops, along with most of his artillery, to counter this move. What neither side had realized was that there was a deep, swampy ravine at Roughgrange. Because of this ravine, the opposing forces there could not engage each other, but literally sat out the battle. The Williamite forces went on a long detour march which, later in the day, almost saw them cut off the Jacobite retreat at the village of Naul. At the main ford near Oldbridge, William's infantry led by the elite Dutch Blue Guards forced their way across the river, using their superior firepower to slowly drive back the enemy foot-soldiers, but were pinned down when the James VII and II Jacobite cavalry counter-attacked. Having secured the village of Oldbridge, some Williamite infantry tried to hold off successive cavalry attacks with dis- Deposed King of England, ciplined volley fire, but were scattered and driven into the river, with the ex- Scotland and Ireland, by ception of the Blue Guards. William's second-in-command, the Duke of Godfrey Kneller, 1684 Schomberg, and George Walker were killed in this phase of the battle. The Williamites were not able to resume their advance until their own horsemen managed to cross the river and, after being badly mauled, managed to hold off the Jacobite cavalry until they retired and regrouped at Donore, where they once again put up stiff resistance before retiring. The Jacobites retired in good order. William had a chance to trap them as they retreated across the River Nanny at Duleek, but his troops were held up by a successful rear-guard action. The casualty figures of the battle were quite low for a battle of such a scale—of the 50,000 or so participants, about 2,000 died. Although three-quarters of them were Jacobites, William's army had far more wounded. At the time most of the casualties of battles tended to be inflicted in the pursuit of an already-beaten enemy; this did not happen at the Boyne, as the counter-attacks of the skilled Jacobite cavalry screened the retreat of the rest of their army. The Jacobites were badly demoralised by the order to retreat, which lost them the battle. Many of the Irish infantrymen deserted. The Williamites triumphantly marched into Dublin two days after the battle. The Jacobite army abandoned the city and marched to Limerick, behind the River Shannon, where they were unsuccessfully besieged. After his defeat James did not stay in Dublin, but rode with a small escort to Duncannon and returned to exile in France, even though his army left the field relatively unscathed. James's loss of nerve and speedy exit from the battlefield enraged his Irish supporters, who fought on until the Treaty of Limerick in 1691; he was derisively nicknamed Seamus a' chaca ("James the shit") in Irish.


The battle was overshadowed in its time in England by the defeat of an Anglo-Dutch fleet by the French two days later at the Battle of Beachy Head, a far more serious event in the short term; only on the continent was the Boyne treated as an important victory. Its importance lay in the fact that it was the first proper victory for the League of Augsburg, the first-ever alliance between the Vatican and Protestant countries. Thus the victory motivated more nations to join the alliance and in effect ended the fear of a French conquest of Europe. The Boyne was not without strategic significance for both England and Ireland, however. It marked the end of James's hope of regaining his throne by military means and probably assured the triumph of the Glori- Battle of the Boyne between James II and ous Revolution. In Scotland, news of this defeat si- William III, 11 July 1690, Jan van Huchtenlenced theHighlanders in supporting the Jacobite Rising temporarily, which Bonnie Dundee had led. In burg. Ireland, the Boyne fully assured the Jacobites of how they could successfully resist William. But it was a general victory for William, and is still celebrated by the ProtestantOrange Order on the Twelfth of July. The treaty of Limerick was written first and was very generous to Catholics, because they were an incredible annoyance to the throne. It allowed most land owners to keep their land so long as they swore allegiance to William of Orange. It also said that James could take a certain number of his soldiers and go back to France. However, Protestants in England were annoyed with this kind treatment towards the Catholics, especially when they were gaining strength and money. Because of this, the penal laws were introduced. These laws included banning Catholics from owning weapons, reducing their land, and prohibiting them from working in the legal profession.

Commemoration of the battle

Originally, Irish Protestants commemorated the Battle of Aughrim on 12 July (old style, equivalent to 23 July new style), symbolising their victory in the Williamite war in Ireland. At Aughrim, which took place a year after the Boyne, the Jacobite army was destroyed, deciding the war in the Williamites' favour. The Boyne, which in the old Julian calendar, took place on 1 July, was treated as less important, third after Aughrim and the anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 on 23 October. What was celebrated on "The Twelfth" was not William's "victory over Popery at the Battle of the Boyne", but the extermination of the elite of the Catholic Irish at Aughrim, thereby ending the fear of having to surrender the planted lands. In 1752, the Gregorian calendar was adopted in Ireland, which erroneously placed the Boyne on 12 July instead of Aughrim (the correct equivalent date was 11 July, as the difference between the calendars for the year in question, 1690, was not 11 days but only 10 days). However, even after this date, "The Twelfth" still commemorated Aughrim. But after the Orange Order was founded in 1795 amid sectarian violence in Armagh, the focus of parades on 12 July switched to the Battle of the Boyne. Usually the dates before the introduction of the calendar on 14 September 1752 are mapped in English language histories directly onto the Julian dates without shifting them by 10 or 11 days. Being suspicious of anything with Papist connotations, however, rather than shift the anniversary of the Boyne to the new 1 July or celebrate the new anniversary of Aughrim, the Orangemen continued to march on 12 July which was (erroneously) thought to have marked the battle of the Boyne in New Style dates. Despite this, there are also smaller parades and demonstrations on 1 July, the date which maps the old style date of the Boyne to the new style in the usual manner and which also commemorate the heavy losses of the 36th (Ulster) Division on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. The memory of the battle also has resonance among Irish nationalists. Most Irish people see the battle as a major step on the road to the complete British colonisation of Ireland. In 1923, IRA members blew up a large monument to the battle on the battlefield site on the Boyne and destroyed a statue of William III in 1929 that stood outside Trinity College, Dublin in the centre of the Irish capital.

"The Twelfth" in Great Britain and Ireland today:

Constitution Day Palau - Jul 09

Palau adopted its constitution in 1981 and establish a government based on the goveernment of the USA. Since 1359, 137 Presidents have governed Palau.

History Palau was settled by people who landed there for

over 3000 years. During the 15th century, Spain took dominion over the land and took the land under their control. In 1977, democracy was restored to Palau. The Republic of Palau is a scattered group of islands in the westernmost part of Micronesia. The country’s territory includes some 340 islands east of the Philippines that stretch out over an area 125 miles in length. The total land area of the islands is 170 square miles. Babeldaob, the largest island, covers 153 square miles. With the entry into force of the Compact of Free Association with the United States. Palau was the last Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands territories to gain its independence. Under the Compact, the U.S. will remain responsible for Palau’s defense for 50 years. Otherwise, Palau is a sovereign nation and conducts its own foreign relations. Since independence, Palau has established diplomatic relations with a number of nations, including many of its Pacific neighbors. Palau was admitted to the United Nations on December 15, 1994, and has since joined several other international organizations.

Celebrations The Palau Arts Festival falls on July 9, Constitution Day. Palau is a country rich in tradition and culture. Today, many

sites of cultural or historical importance remain intact, reminding modern Palauans of a past long ago, while reinforcing the culture and tradition for future generations. Probably the most noticeable aspect of Palauan culture is the people’s connection with the sea. Traditionally, it was the duty of the family to go to sea to harvest fish and battle against enemy villages. As the sea was the source of their livelihood, men developed a close relationship with the waters of Palau, becoming versant in the currents and the phases of the moon and the behavior of the fish they sought to put on the table. Palauans are a highly sociable people. Traditionally, history, lore and knowledge were passed down through the generations orally as there was no written language until the late 1800′s. Palauans still practice that traditional method, and at the end of the day, one can often find pockets of Palauans excitingly engaged in the telling of the stories of the more recent past.

Independence Day Bahamas - Jul 10

The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets. It is located in theAtlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States (nearest to the state ofFlorida). Its land area is 13,939 km2 (5,382 sq mi), with a population of 353,658. Its capital is Nassau. Geographically, the Bahamas lie in the same island chain as Cuba, Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands; the designation of Bahamas refers normally to the Commonwealth and not the geographic chain. Originally inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 to 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera. The Bahamas became a Crown Colony in 1718 when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans moved to the Bahamas and set up a plantation economy. The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 and many Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Slavery itself was abolished in 1834 and the descendants form the majority of the Bahamas's population today. In terms of GDP per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere (following the United States and Canada).


Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola andCuba around the 11th century AD. These people came to be known as theLucayans. There were an estimated 30,000+ Lucayans at the time of Columbus's arrival in 1492. Christopher Columbus's first landfall in the New World was on an island named San Salvador (known to the Lucayans as Guanahani), which some researchers believe to be present-day San Salvador Island, (also known as Watling's Island) in the southeastern Bahamas. An alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge based on Columbus's log. Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive. On the landfall island, Columbus made first contact with the Lucayans and exchanged goods with them. The Lucayans throughout the Bahamas were wiped out as a result of Spanish forced migration of the population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour there, and exposure to diseases to which they had no immunity. The smallpox that ravaged the Taino Indians after Columbus's arrival wiped out half of the population in what is now The Bahamas. It is generally assumed that the islands were uninhabited by Europeans until the mid-17th century. However, recent research suggests that there may have been attempts to settle the islands by groups from Spain, France, and Britain, as well as by other Amerindians. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers migrated from Bermuda. These English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They later settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers resorted to salvaged goods from wrecks. In 1670 King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas, who rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, tax, appointing governors, and administering the country. In 1684 Spain's corsair Juan de Alcon raided the capital, Charles Town (later renamed Nassau), and in 1703 a joint Franco-Spanish expedition briefly occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession.

18th century:

During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. To restore orderly government, The Bahamas were made a British crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers, who, after a difficult struggle, succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, Rogers led local militia to drive off a Spanish attack. During the American War of Independence, the islands were a target for American naval forces under the command of CommodoreEzekial Hopkins. The capital of Nassau on the island of New Providence was occupied by US Marines for a fortnight. In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau, and the city surrendered without a fight. After American independence, some 7,300 Loyalists and their slaves moved to the Bahamas from New York, Florida, and the Carolinas. These Loyalists established plantations on several islands and became a political force in the capital. The small population became mostly African from this point on. The British abolished the slave trade in 1807, which led to the forced settlement on Bahamian islands of thousands of Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy. Slavery itself was finally abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.

20th century:

Modern political development began after the Second World War. The first political parties were formed in the 1950s and the British made the islands internally self-governing in 1964, with Sir Roland Symonette of the United Bahamian Party as the first premier. The fourth James Bond film Thunderball was partly filmed in 1965 in Nassau. In 1967, Sir Lynden Pindling of the Progressive Liberal Party became the first black premier of the colony, and in 1968 the title was changed to prime minister. In 1973, The Bahamas became fully independent, but retained membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Sir Milo Butler was appointed the first Bahamian governor-general (the representative of Queen Elizabeth II) shortly after independence. Based on the twin pillars of tourism and offshore finance, the Bahamian economy has prospered since the 1950s. However, there remain significant challenges in areas such as education, health care, housing, international narcotics trafficking and illegal immigration from Haiti. The College of The Bahamas is the national higher education/tertiary system. Offering baccalaureate, masters and associate degrees, COB has three campuses and teaching and research centres throughout The Bahamas. The College is in the process of becoming The University of The Bahamas as early as 2012.

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Swedish: Victoria, Sveriges kronprinsessa, hertiginna av Västergötland, Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée; born 14 July 1977) is the heiressapparent to the Swedish throne. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Sweden's fourth queen regnant (after Margaret, Christina andUlrika Eleonora) and first since 1720.

Early life

Victoria was born on 14 July 1977 in Stockholm, Sweden, and is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and German-born Queen Silvia (née Sommerlath). She is a member of theRoyal House of Bernadotte. Born as a Princess of Sweden, she was designated Crown Princess in 1979 (SFS 1979:932) ahead of her younger brother. Her first place in succession formally went into effect on 1 January 1980 with the parliamentary change to the Act of Succession that introduced equal primogeniture. Victoria is currently the only female heirapparent in the world (though there are several females who are heiresses-apparent of an heir-apparent) and is usually styled HRH The Crown Princess. Through her father, a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria is also in the line of succession to the British and other Commonwealth thrones, being currently 205th in the line. Her given names honour various relatives. Her first name comes primarily from her great-great-grandmother, Victoria of Baden, the queen-consort of Sweden as wife of King Gustaf V. The same name also glorifies her (twice-over paternally) greatgreat-great-grandmother,Victoria of the United Kingdom. Her other names honour her great-aunt Ingrid of Denmark; her maternal grandmother, the Brazilian Alice Sommerlath (née de Toledo); and her ancestor Désirée Clary, the queen-consort of Charles XIV John and a former fiancée ofNapoleon I of France. She was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 27 September 1977. Her godparents are King Harald V of Norway, her maternal uncle, Ralf Sommerlath, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and her aunt Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld. Victoria is also godmother to a number of royal children, most of them future heirs including Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands and Prince Christian of Denmark, as well as Princess Eléonore of Belgium.


Victoria attended a state elementary school (Ålstensskolan) and Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, graduating in 1996. She next studied for a year (1996/97) at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest atAngers in France, and in the fall term of 1997 participated in a special program following the work of the Parliament of Sweden. During the years 1998 to 2000, Victoria resided in the United States, where she studied various subjects at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. In May 1999 she was an intern at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. In 2000, she studied conflict resolution and international peacekeeping at the Swedish National Defence College(Försvarshögskolan). Victoria followed the Swedish presidency of the European Union and completed a study program at the Government Offices (Rosenbad) in 2001. During spring semester 2002, Victoria completed a study program with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and in June and September was an intern at the United Nations in New York; in the fall she was an intern at the Swedish Trade Council's offices in Berlin and Paris. In 2003, Victoria's education continued with visits to Swedish businesses, a study and intern program in agriculture and forestry, as well as completion of the basic soldier training at SWEDINT (the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre). In 2004, Victoria continued with visits to Swedish businesses, and that fall she continued with courses in political science, international relations and conflict resolution at the Swedish National Defence College. In 2005, she continued with private tutored studies in society-related subjects as well as some courses at the University of Stockholm. In 2006, Victoria enrolled in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Diplomat Program, running from September 2006 to June 2007. The program is a training program for young future diplomats and gives an insight to the ministry's work, Swedish foreign and security policies and Sweden's relations with the rest of the world. The education entails lectures, seminars, group work and visits to authorities and institutions. In 2007, Victoria studied French privately and held an internship at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union. In June 2009, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Uppsala University.

Change in status

She was made Crown Princess and heir apparent on 1 January 1980 by the change made in 1979 to the Act of Succession of 1810 (Successionsordningen). This constitutional reform meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child without regard to sex. This not only made Victoria the first heiress apparent to the Swedish throne, but also made her the first female in the line of succession. The retroactive constitutional change was apparently not supported by her father, who favoured his son as heir-apparent because he was born as such, a view that has been commented on in the media. When she became heiress, she also was made titular Duchess of Västergötland, which is one of the historical provinces of Sweden. Prior to this constitutional change, the heir-apparent to the throne was her younger brother, the then-Crown Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. He is now third in line to the throne, behind the Crown Princess's daughter. She also has a younger sister, Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.

Declaration of majority Victoria's declaration of majority took place in the Hall of State at the Royal

Palace of Stockholm on 14 July 1995. As of the day she turned 18, she is allowed to act as Head of State when her father is not in the country. Victoria made her first public speech on this occasion. Crown Princess Victoria on Located on its usual dais in the background was the same silver throne that the National Day of Sweher father used at his enthronement, still in symbolic use since 1650. Later, the Royal Family took part in the annual public celebration on Öland of den, 2006 her birthday, called Victoria Day.

Royal duties

As heir apparent to the throne, Victoria is a working member of the Swedish Royal Family with her own agenda of official engagements, and she holds a significant supportive role to her father. Victoria attends the regular Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the King, and steps in as a temporary regent (Riksföreståndare) when needed. Victoria also takes part in the regular official dinners hosted by the King and Queen, state visits to Sweden, high level and official visits from foreign dignitaries, the opening of the Riksdag (Parliament), celebrations of the Swedish National Day and the annual Nobel Prize festivities. Victoria has made many official trips abroad as a representative of Sweden. Her first major official visit on her own was to Japan in 2001, where she promoted Swedish tourism, design, music, gastronomy and environmental sustainability during the "Swedish Style" event. That same year, Victoria also travelled to the West Coast of the United States, where she participated in the celebrations of the Nobelcentenary. In 2002, she paid official visits to Kosovo where she visited Camp Victoria, the United States, Spain, Uganda and Ethiopia. In 2003, she made official visits to Egypt and the United States. In early 2004, she paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, as a part of a large official business delegation from Sweden, and in October 2004, she travelled to Hungary. In January 2005, Victoria made a long official visit to Australia, promoting Swedish Style and businesses, and in April she visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to follow aid work and become informed about the work in the aftermath of the tsunami. In April 2005, Victoria made an official visit to Japan where she visited the Expo 2005 in Aichi, laid the foundation for a new IKEA store in Yokohama together with Princess Takamado and met with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Sayako Kuroda. In June 2005, Victoria travelled to Turkey on an official visit where she participated in the Swedish Business Seminar and Sweden Day celebrations in Ankara during a historic visit, which was organised by the Swedish Embassy in Ankara and Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul. Victoria also visited the historic sights such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia. This was the first official Royal visit from Sweden to Turkey since 1934. In September 2005, she made an official visit to China. In March 2006, Victoria made an official visit to Brazil where she followed the Volvo Ocean Race and visited projects supported by the World Childhood Foundation, such as the Abrigo Rainha Sílvia. In December, she paid a four-day official visit to Paris where she attended a French-Swedish soirée arranged by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Embassy, during which she also awarded the Prix d’Excellence 2006. The visit to Paris also included events with the Swedish Club in Paris, attendance at a church service in the Sofia Church (the Swedish church in Paris), a study visit to the OECD headquarters and meetings with the Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría, the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD, Gun-Britt Andersson, and other senior officials. She also attended a gala dinner hosted by La Fondation Pour L’Enfance at Versailles. State visits, in which she has participated in Sweden are Austria 1997, South Africa 1999, France 2000, Germany 2003, Jordan 2003,Latvia 2005, Malaysia 2005, Republic of Botswana 2006, China 2007, Brazil 2007, Bulgaria 2007; abroad Finland 1996 (her first),Belgium 2001, Finland 2003, Iceland 2004, Denmark 2007.

The Crown Princess's household

Crown Princess Victoria was given her own household in October 2004. The Crown Princess's household is headed by the Marshal of the Court. The Crown Princess's household’s task is to coordinate the official engagements of The Crown Princess.

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund was set up in 1997 and is run as a part of Radiohjälpen, the fundraising branch of Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio. The fund’s aim is to provide support for leisure and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses. Applications can be addressed to the fund year round and the use of grants can cover everything from compensations to assistants at recreational trips to leisure activities such as horseback riding, skiing, wheelchair floorball, camps and outings. Every summer, Sveriges Television carries out fundraising drives for the fund via messages on television, these are especially concentrated around the Swedish national holiday on 6 June and the Crown Princess's birthday, Victoriadagen, on 14 July. On the Crown Princess's birthday, when a long televised entertainment program is aired from Borgholm where the people and the Royal Familycelebrate Victoria, the public is also able to call in and donate money at the same time as they compete for prizes. The Crown Princess Victoria Fund’s means mainly derive from donations by the public, but large companies such as Arla Foods, Swedbank and AB Svenska Returpack are constant sponsor partners. Additional support comes from The Association of Swedish Bakers & Confectioners who every year arrange a national “princess cake week” during which the participating cafés and bakeries give 2,50 SEK per sold princess pastry and 10 SEK per sold princess cake to the fund. The result of this fund-raising drive is usually presented to Victoria herself on her name day on 12 March every year; in 2007, the total amount was 200,000 SEK. Congratulatory and memorial cards are also issued by Radiohjälpen benefitting the fund, a simple way to pay respects and do a good deed in one act. In 2006, The Crown Princess Victoria Fund raised a total of 5,5 million SEK. Every year Victoria visits one or several clubs or projects that have been granted money. These visits are not announced via the official royal diary but kept private, instead Sveriges Television often accompanies her and airs short programs from these visits at some time during the year.

Personal life Though Victoria had long refused to discuss her private life, she had

frequently been the object of press speculation regarding purported romances. Only two men were confirmed as her boyfriends. Both Crown Princess Victoria at Skultuna of those relationships lasted for a considerable length of time. Messingsbruk with the managing Victoria’s first such boyfriend was Daniel Collert. They socialized in director Viktor Blomqvist the same circles, went to the same school and were already friends when their romance developed in the mid-1990s. When Victoria moved to the United States in 1998 to study and recover from her eating disorders, Collert moved with her across the Atlantic and settled in New York. In September 2000, Victoria's relationship with Collert was confirmed in an interview with her at Expo 2000, and later by thenDirector of the Press and Information Department at the Royal Court Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg. They broke up in 2001. In May 2002, Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Victoria had a new boyfriend, her personal trainer at Master Training, Daniel Westling. When the news broke and the media turned its attention on him, it was obvious that he did not like being in the public eye. Once Westling was photographed crossing a street against a red light in order to avoid a camera. In July 2002, Victoria and he were pictured kissing for the first time at a birthday party for Caroline Kreuger, a close friend of Victoria's. In a popular personal report called Tre dagar med Victoria, which profiled her work during a three-day period that aired on TV4 in December 2004, Victoria commented on criticism directed at Westling, “Many unfair things are written. I understand that there is speculation, but some day justice will be done there, too.” Victoria also gave her opinion that happiness is important, and that these days it is not so much about background and pedigree but about two people who have to live with each other. She said that if they are not happy and comfortable with each other, it is impossible to do a good job. During her April 2005 visit to Expo 2005 in Nagakute, Victoria was interviewed by Mikio Yikuma of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Yikuma brought up the subject of royals marrying commoners, to which the princess responded, "I think the general idea with the Swedes is that the modern way is to marry someone you love, not necessarily based on where she or he comes from." Though she did not mention Westling by name, Victoria did admit, "There is someone in my life", but that marriage was not on her mind then. The interview was conducted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo and published in the paper on 18 April 2005.


Swedish media have often speculated about upcoming engagements and marriages for Victoria. On 24 February 2009, rumours that wedding plans were imminent became particularly intense preceding an information council between the King and Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt. Under the terms of the Swedish Act of Succession, the government, if requested by the King, must approve a marriage of a Prince or Princess of Sweden. Otherwise, the prince or princess loses his or her right to the throne. Later that day, it was confirmed that permission had been granted and that Victoria would marry Daniel Westling in the summer of 2010. The wedding date was set in Stockholm Cathedral for 19 June 2010, the 34th anniversary of her parents' marriage.


The wedding took place on 19 June 2010. More than 1200 guests including royalty and statesmen from various countries were invited to the wedding ceremony which took place at Stockholm Cathedral. After the wedding the new- The Duke and Duchess of lyweds were driven through Stockholm in a coach and then rowed in the Västergötland after their antique royal barge Vasaorden to the royal castle where the wedding banquet wedding in June 2010 was held. On the evening before the wedding, there was a gala concert dedicated to the couple in the Stockholm Concert Hall (where the Nobel Prizes are handed out). More than half a million Swedes waved with Swedish flags and cheered the couple from in their cortege, from the church to the castle. The popularity of the monarchy exploded after the wedding, and a SIFO showed that more than 70% of the Swedes supported the monarchy and only 16% wanted to abandon it. Following their wedding the Duchess and Duke of Västergötland moved to Haga Palace.


On 17 August 2011 the Swedish royal court announced that Crown Princess Victoria was pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in March 2012. At 4:26 am on 23 February 2012, Victoria gave birth to a baby girl, measuring 51 cm long (20 inches) and 3,280 grams (7 pounds, 3 ounces). The newborn is second-in-line to the Swedish throne. Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland (Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden). •


In 1996, it was established that Victoria suffered from anorexia, it was however not confirmed until the next year. Already at that time she was getting professional help, but given her public position in Sweden it was getting increasingly difficult to handle the situation. Victoria had planned to study at Uppsala University, but after intense media speculation and public discussion when pictures of an evidently too slim Victoria in sleeveless dresses at the Order of the Innocence’s ball and the gala dinner for the incoming state visit from Austria surfaced in April 1997, the Royal Court decided to confirm what was feared. After a press release from the Royal Court announced that Victoria had eating disorders in November 1997, plans changed for her and she moved to the United States where she received professional help and studied at Yale University. By making this drastic decision, Victoria lived an anonymous life while getting professional help and recovering without having to worry about media speculations or if people were recognizing her on the streets. In an interview with Björn Carlgren for SVT2 in June 1999, Victoria said, “It was a really hard time. This kind of illness is hard, not only for the individual but for the surroundings. Today I’m fine.” In November 2002, the book “Victoria, Victoria!” came out, speaking further about her eating disorder. Victoria said: “I felt like an accelerating train, going right down... during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was... I, Victoria, didn’t exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me”. She further said that “What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I’m feeling well and with the insights I’ve acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else”.

Titles, styles, and honours Titles and styles:

• • •

14 July 1977 – 31 December 1979: Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Sweden 1 January 1980 – 9 January 1980: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden 9 January 1980 – present: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergöt land

Swedish honours:

• •

Member with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim (14 July 1995) HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal (30 April 1996)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (2001) Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (2007) Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of Stara Planina Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant (14 July 1995) Estonia: Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, First Class (11 September 1995) Estonia: Order of the White Star, First Class (18 January 2011) Finland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose (1996) France: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit Germany : Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2003) Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour (21 May 2008) Iceland: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon (7 September 2004) Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum Jordan: Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Renaissance (2003) Latvia : Grand Officer of the Order of the Three Stars (2005) Lithuania: Commander's Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (21 No vember 1995) Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau (April 2008) Malaysia: Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (1995) Norway: Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav (1995) Romania: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania (2008)

Foreign honours:

The Battle of the Boyne remains a controversial topic today, especially in Northern Ireland, where some Protestants remember it as the great victory over Catholics that resulted in the sovereignty of Parliament and the Protestant monarchy. In recent decades, "The Twelfth" has often been marked by confrontations, as members of the Orange Order attempt to celebrate the date by marching past or through what they see as their traditional route. Some of these areas, however, now have a nationalist majority who object to marches passing through what they see as their areas. This change is mainly due to natural population migrations, whereby rural Irish Catholics, who comprise most but not all of the nationalist community in Northern Ireland, have moved to major cities to be closer to potential employers. Each side thus dresses up the disputes in terms of the other's alleged attempts to repress them; Nationalists still see Orange Order marches as provocative attempts to "show who is boss", whilst Unionists insist that they have a right to "walk the Queen's highway" and see any attempt to deny them the right to walk through traditional routes used for centuries as a move to marginalise them and restrict their freedom to celebrate their mainly Protestant identity earned in the Glorious Revolution settlement. Since the start of The Troubles, the celebrations of the battle have been seen as playing a critical role in the awareness of those involved in the unionist/nationalist tensions in Northern Ireland.

• • • •

The site of the Battle of the Boyne sprawls over a wide area west of the town of Drogheda. In the County Development Plan for 2000, Meath County Council rezoned the land at the eastern edge of Oldbridge, at the site of the main Williamite crossing, to residential status. A subsequent planning application for a development of over 700 houses was granted by Meath County Council and this was appealed by local historians to An Bord Pleanala. In March 2008 after an extremely long appeal process, An Bord Pleanala approved permission for this development to proceed. However, due to the current economic climate in Ireland, no work has yet started on this development. The current Interpretive Centre dedicated to informing tourists and other visitors about the battle is about 1-mile (1.6 km) to the west of the main crossing point. This facility was redeveloped in 2008 and is now open for tourists. The battle's other main combat areas (at Duleek, Donore and Plattin – along the Jacobite line of retreat) are marked with tourist information signs. On 4 April 2007 in a sign of improving relations between unionist and nationalist groups, the newly-elected First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Reverend Ian Paisley, was invited to visit the battle site by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern later in the year. Following the invitation, Paisley commented that "such a visit would help to demonstrate how far we have come when we can celebrate and learn from the past so the next generation more clearly understands." On 10 May the visit took place, and Paisley presented the Taoiseach with a Jacobite musket in return for Ahern's gift at the St Andrews talks of a walnut bowl made from a tree from the site. A new tree was also planted in the grounds of Oldbridge House by the two politicians to mark the occasion.

Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally calledLa Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue inParis in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests.

Bastille Day International - Jul 14

The battlefield today:

Independence Day Kiribati - Jul 12


Hassan died of natural causes in his birth town at the age of 70 on 23 July 1999. A national funeral service was held for him in at Rabat, Morocco, with some 40 heads of state in attendance. He was buried in the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat. The coffin of King Hassan II, carried by King Mohamed VI, his brother Prince Moulay Rachid and his cousin Moulay Hicham, was covered with a green fabric, in which the first prayer of Islam, "There is no god but Allah", is inscribed in golden letters.

Crown Princess' Birthday Sweden - Jul 14

Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011), and the island nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Lineat its easternmost point. The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of "Gilberts", derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. The capital of South Tarawa consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.


Early history:

The area now called Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since sometime between 3000 BC and AD 1300. The area was not isolated; invaders fromTonga, Samoa, and Fiji later introducedPolynesian and Melanesian cultural aspects, respectively. Intermarriage tended to blur cultural differences and resulted in a significant degree of cultural homogenisation.

Colonial era:

The islands were first sighted by British and American ships in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The main island chain was named the Gilbert Islands in 1820 by a Russian admiral, Adam von Krusenstern, and French captain Louis Duperrey, after a British captain named Thomas Gilbert, who crossed the archipelago in 1788 when sailing from Australia to China. From the early 19th century, Western whalers, merchant vessels and slave traders visited the islands, introducing diseases and firearms. The first British settlers arrived in 1837. In 1892 the Gilbert Islands consented to become a British protectorate together with the nearby Ellice Islands. They were administered by the Western Pacific High Commission based in Fiji. Together they became the crown colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916. Christmas Island (or Kiritimati) became part of the colony in 1919 and the Phoenix Islands were added in 1937. Sir Arthur Grimble was a cadet administrative officer based at Tarawa (1913-1919) and became Resident Commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1926. Tarawa Atoll and others of the Gilbert group were occupied by Japan during World War II. Tarawa was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in US Marine Corps history. Marines landed in November 1943; the Battle of Tarawa was fought at Kiribati's former capital Betioon Tarawa Atoll. Some of the islands of Kiribati, especially in the remote Line Islands, were formerly used by the United States and United Kingdom fornuclear weapons testing including hydrogen bombs in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Independence to present day:

The Gilbert and Ellice Islands gained self-rule in 1971, and were separated in 1975 and granted internal self-government by Britain. In 1978 the Ellice Islands became the independent nation of Tuvalu. The Gilbert Islands became independent as Kiribati on 12 July 1979. Although the indigenous Gilbertese language name for the Gilbert Islands proper is "Tungaru", the new state chose the name "Kiribati", the Gilbertese rendition of "Gilberts", as an equivalent of the former colony to acknowledge the inclusion of Banaba, the Line Islands, and the Phoenix Islands, which were never considered part of the Gilberts chain. In the Treaty of Tarawa, signed shortly after independence and ratified in 1983, the United States relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix Islands and those of the Line Islands that are part of Kiribati territory. Overcrowding has been a problem. In 1988 it was announced that 4,700 residents of the main island group would be resettled onto less-populated islands. Teburoro Tito was elected president in 1994. Kiribati's 1995 act of moving the international date line far to the east to encompass the Line Islands group, so that it would no longer be divided by the date line, courted controversy. The move, which fulfilled one of President Tito's campaign promises, was intended to allow businesses all across the expansive nation to keep the same business week. This also enabled Kiribati to become the first country to see the dawn of the third millennium, an event of significance for tourism. Tito was reelected in 1998. Kiribati gained UN membership in 1999. In 2002 Kiribati passed a controversial law enabling the government to shut down newspapers. The legislation followed the launching of Kiribati's first successful nongovernment-run newspaper. President Tito was reelected in 2003, but was removed from office in March 2003 by a no-confidence vote and replaced by a Council of State. Anote Tong of the opposition party Boutokaan Te Koaua was elected to succeed Tito in July 2003. He was re-elected in 2007. In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees. Kiribati is expected to be the first country in which all land territory disappears due to global climate change. In June 2008, the Kiribati president Anote Tongsaid that the country has reached "the point of no return"; he added: "To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that." As sea levels continue to rise, the government of Kiribati is negotiating a deal with Fiji to evacuate the entire population to areas of Fiji that the Kiribati government would buy. The area of Fiji proposed for resettlement is the second largest Fijian island of Vanua Levu. The mass migration is expected to include younger, skilled workers first, and then the rest of the population would follow over a period of years.

Emmeline Pankhurst Day U.K. - Jul 14

Emmeline Pankhurst (born Emmeline Goulden) (15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement which helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back." She was widely criticized for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognized as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. Born Emmeline Goulden and raised in Moss Side, Manchester, England by politically active parents, Pankhurst was introduced at the age of 8 to the women's suffrage movement. Although her parents encouraged her to prepare herself for life as a wife and mother, she attended the École Normale de Neuilly in Paris. In 1878 she married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister 24 years her senior known for supporting women's right to vote; they had five children over the next ten years. He also supported her activities outside the home, and she quickly became involved with the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for women. When that organization broke apart, she attempted to join the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie but was initially refused membership by the local branch of the Party on account of her sex. She also worked as a Poor Law Guardian and was shocked by the harsh conditions she encountered in Manchester workhouses. After her husband died in 1898, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union(WSPU), an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to "deeds, not words."The group placed itself separately from – and often in opposition to – political parties. The group quickly became infamous when its members smashed windows and assaultedpolice officers. Pankhurst, her daughters, and other WSPU activists were sentenced to repeated prison sentences, where they staged hunger strikes to secure better conditions. As Pankhurst's oldest daughter Christabel took the helm of the WSPU, antagonism between the group and the government grew. Eventually arson became a common tactic among WSPU members, and more moderate organisations spoke out against the Pankhurst family. In 1913 several prominent individuals left the WSPU, among them Pankhurst's daughters Adela and Sylvia. The family rift was never healed. With the advent of the First World War, Emmeline and Christabel called an immediate halt to militant suffrage activism in support of theBritish government's stand against the "German Peril." They urged women to aid industrial production and encouraged young men to fight. In 1918 the Representation of the People Act granted votes to women over the age of 30. Pankhurst transformed the WSPU machinery into the Women's Party, which was dedicated to promoting women's equality in public life. In her later years she became concerned with what she perceived as the menace posed by Bolshevism and – unhappy with the political alternatives – joined theConservative Party. She died in 1928 and was commemorated two years later with a statue in London's Victoria Tower Gardens.

Statehood Day Montenegro Jul 13

Statehood Day (Montenegrin: Dan državnosti) is a holiday that occurs every year on July 13 in Montenegro to commemorate the day in 1878 on which the Berlin Congress recognized Montenegro as the twenty-seventh independent state in the world, and that in 1941 the Montenegrins staged an uprising against the Nazi occupiers and sided with the partisan communist movement. Statehood Day is not to be confused with Montenegro's Independence Day, which is held each year on May 21 in honor of the 2006plebiscite that indicated that 55,5% of Montenegrins were in favor of becoming a sovereign nation.

Events and traditions of the day The parade opens with cadets from the École Polytech-

nique, Saint-Cyr, École Navale, and so forth, then other infantry troops, then motorized troops; aircraft of the Patrouille de France aerobatics team fly above. In recent times, it has become customary to invite units from France's allies to the parade; in 2004 during the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, British troops (the band of the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Grenadier Guards and King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery) led the Bastille Day parade in Paris for the first time, with the Red Arrows flying overhead. In 2007 the German 26th Airborne Brigade led the march followed by British Royal Marines. The president used to give an interview to members of the press, discussing the situation of the country, recent events and projects for the future. Nicolas Sarkozy, elected president in 2007, chose not to give it. The President also holds a garden partyat the Palais de l'Elysée. Article 17 of the Constitution of France gives the President the authority to pardoncriminals and, since 1991, the President has pardoned many petty offenders (mainly traffic offences) on 14 July. In 2007, former President Sarkozy declined to continue the practice.


The storming of the Bastille:

On 19 May 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General to hear their grievances. The deputies of the Third Estate representing the common people (the two others were theCatholic Church and nobility) decided to break away and form a National Assembly. On 20 June the deputies of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, swearing not to separate until a constitution had been established. They were gradually joined by delegates of the other estates; Louis XVI started to recognize their validity on 27 June. The assembly renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and began to function as a legislature and to draft a constitution. In the wake of the 11 July dismissal of Jacques Necker, the people of Paris, fearful that they and their representatives would be attacked by the royal military, and seeking to gain ammunition and gunpowder for the general populace, stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris which had often held people jailed on the basis of lettres de cachet, arbitrary royal indictments that could not be appealed. Besides holding a large cache of ammunition and gunpowder, the Bastille had been known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government, and was thus a symbol of the absolutism of the monarchy. As it happened, at the time of the siege in July 1789 there were only seven inmates, none of great political significance. When the crowd—eventually reinforced by mutinous gardes françaises—proved a fair match for the fort's defenders, Governor de Launay, the commander of the Bastille, capitulated and opened the gates to avoid a mutual massacre. However, possibly because of a misunderstanding, fighting resumed. Ninety-eight attackers and just one defender died Horseman of the French Republican in the actual fighting, but in the aftermath, de Launay and Guard during the 2007 military parade on seven other defenders were killed, as was the 'prévôt des the Champs-Élysées. marchands' (roughly, mayor) Jacques de Flesselles. Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, on 4 August feudalism was abolished and on 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaimed.

The Fête de la Fédération:

The Fête de la Fédération on the 14 July 1790 was a huge feast and official event to celebrate the uprising of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France and what people considered the happy conclusion of the French Revolution. The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was at the time far outside Paris. The place had been transformed on a voluntary basis by the population of Paris itself, in what was recalled as the Journée des brouettes ("Wheelbarrow Day"). A mass was celebrated by Talleyrand, bishop of Autun. The popular General Lafayette, as captain of the National Guard of Paris and confidant of the king, took his oath to the constitution, followed by the King Louis XVI. After the end of the official celebration, the day ended in a huge four-day popular feast and people celebrated with fireworks, as well as fine wine and running naked through the streets in order to display their great freedom.

Origin of the present celebration:

On 30 June 1878, a feast had been arranged in Paris by official decision to honour the French Republic (the event was commemorated in a painting by Claude Monet). On 14 July 1879, another feast took place, with a semi-official aspect; the events of the day included a reception in the Chamber of Deputies, organised and presided over by Léon Gambetta, a military review in Longchamp, and a Republican Feast in the Pré Catelan.All through France, as Le Figaro wrote on the 16th, "people feasted much to honour the Bastille". On 21 May 1880, Benjamin Raspail proposed a law to have "the Republic choose the 14 July as a yearly national holiday". The Assembly voted in favour of the proposal on 21 May and 8 June. The Senate approved on it 27 and 29 June, favouring 14 July against 4 August (honouring the end of the feudal system on 4 August 1789). The law was made official on 6 July 1880, and the Ministry of the Interior recommended to Prefects that the day should be "celebrated with all the brilliance that the local resources allow". Indeed, the celebrations of the new holiday in 1880 were particularly magnificent. In the debate leading up to the adoption of the holiday, Henri Martin, chairman of the French Senate, addressed that chamber on 29 June 1880. "Do not forget that behind this 14 July, where victory of the new era over the ancien régime was bought by fighting, do not forget that after the day of 14 July 1789, there was the day of 14 July 1790. ... This [latter] day cannot be blamed for having shed a drop of blood, for having divided the country. It was the consecration of the unity of France. ... If some of you might have scruples against the first 14 July, they certainly hold none against the second. Whatever difference which might part us, something hovers over them, it is the great images of national unity, which we all desire, for which we would all stand, willing to die if necessary."

Bastille Day Military Parade:

The Bastille Day Military Parade is the French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880. While previously held elsewhere within or near the capital city, since 1918 it has been held on the Champs-Elysées, with the evident agreement of the Allies as represented in the Versailles Peace Conference, and with the exception of the period of German occupation from 1940 to 1944. The parade passes down the ChampsElysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand. This is a popular event inFrance, broadcast on French TV, and is the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe. In some years, invited detachments of foreign troops take part in the parade and foreign statesmen attend as guests. Smaller military parades are held in French garrison towns, including Toulon and Belfort, with local troops.

Bastille Day celebrations in other countries

• Belgium • Liège celebrates the Bastille Day each year since the end of the First World War, as Liège was decorated by the Légion d'Honneur for its unexpected resistance during the Battle of Liège. • Hungary • Budapest's two-day celebration is sponsored by the Institut de France. • South Africa • Franschhoek's week-end festival has been celebrated for the last 15 years. (Franschhoek, or 'French Corner,' is situated in the Western Cape.) • United Kingdom • London has a large French contingent, and celebrates Bastille Day at various locations including Bat tersea Park. • United States o Over 50 U.S. cities conduct annual celebrations • Baltimore has a large Bastille Day celebration each year at Petit Louis in the Roland Park area of Bal timore City. • Boston has a celebration annually, hosted by the French Cultural Center for over 35 years. Recently, the celebration took place in The Liberty Hotel, a former city jail converted into a boutique hotel, though more often the festivities occur in Boston'sBack Bay neighborhood, near the Cultural Center's head quarters. The celebration typically includes francophone musical performers, dancing, and French cui sine. • Chicago has hosted a variety of Bastille Day celebrations in a number of locations in the city, including Navy Pier and Oz Park. The recent incarnations have been sponsored in part by the Chicago branch of the French-American Chamber of Commerce and by the French Consulate-General in Chicago. • Houston has a celebration at La Colombe d'Or Hotel. It is hosted by the Consulate General of France in Houston, The French Alliance, the French-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts. • Milwaukee's four-day street festival begins with a "Storming of the Bastille" with a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower. • Minneapolis has a celebration in Uptown with wine, French food, pastries, a flea market, circus per formers and bands. Also in the Twin Cities area, the local chapter of the Alliance Française has hosted an annual event for years at varying locations with a competition for the "Best Baguette of the Twin Cities." • Montgomery, Ohio has a celebration with wine, beer, local restaurants' fare, pastries, games and bands. • New Orleans has multiple celebrations, the largest in the historic French Quarter. • New York City has numerous Bastille Day celebrations each July, including Bastille Day on 60th Street hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française between Fifth and Lexington Avenues on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Bastille Day on Smith Street in Brooklyn, and Bastille Day in Tribeca. The Em pire State Building is illuminated in blue, white and red. • Orlando has a boutique Bastille Day street festival that began in 2009 in the Audubon Park Garden Dis trict and involves champagne, wine, music, petanque, artists, and street performers. • Philadelphia's Bastille Day, held at Eastern State Penitentiary, involves Marie Antoinette throwing locally manufactured pastries at the Parisian militia, as well as a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille. • San Francisco has a large celebration in the downtown historic French quarter. • Seattle's Bastille Day Celebration, held at the Seattle Center, involves performances, picnics, wine and shopping.

The Meeting of János Martonyi and Minister of State at the German Federal FO Michael Link

Independence Day Sao Tome & Principe - Jul 12

São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 mi), respectively, off the northwestern coast ofGabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. São Tomé, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honour ofSaint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who arrived at the island on his feast day. With a population of 163,000 (2010), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African country (the Seychelles being the smallest). It is the smallest country in the world in terms of population that is not a former British overseas territory, a former United Statestrusteeship, or one of the European microstates. It is also the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.


The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited before the arrival of thePortuguese sometime around 1470. The islands were discovered by João de Santarémand Pedro Escobar and bore his name until the 20th century. Portuguese navigators explored the islands and decided that they would be good locations for bases to trade with the mainland. The dates of discovery are sometimes given as December 21 (St Thomas's Day), 1471 for São Tomé, and January 17 (St Anthony's Day), 1472 for Príncipe, though other sources give different nearby years. Príncipe was initially named Santo Antão ("Saint Anthony"), changing its name in 1502 to Ilha do Príncipe ("Prince's Island"), in reference to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid. The first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. Príncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement. Attracting settlers proved difficult, however, and most of the earliest inhabitants were "undesirables" sent from Portugal, mostly Jews. In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture, especially the growing ofsugar. The cultivation of sugar was a labour-intensive process and the Portuguese began to import large numbers of slaves from the mainland. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa's foremost exporter of sugar. São Tomé and Príncipe were taken over and administered by the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573, respectively. However, superior sugar colonies in the Western Hemisphere began to hurt the islands. The large slave population also proved difficult to control, with Portugal unable to invest many resources in the effort. Sugar cultivation thus declined over the next 100 years, and by the mid-17th century, the economy of São Tomé had changed. It was now primarily a transit point for ships engaged in the slave tradebetween the West and continental Africa. In the early 19th century, two new cash crops, coffee and cocoa, were introduced. The rich volcanic soils proved well suited to the new cash crop industry, and soon extensive plantations (known as "roças"), owned by Portuguese companies or absentee landlords, occupied almost all of the good farmland. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world's largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country's most important crop. The roças system, which gave the plantation managers a high degree of authority, led to abuses against the African farm workers. Although Portugal officially abolished slavery in 1876, the practice of forced paid labor continued. Scientific American Magazine documented in words and pictures the continued use of slaves in São Tomé in their March 13, 1897 issue. In the early 20th century, an internationally publicized controversy arose over charges that Angolan contract workers were being subjected to forced labor and unsatisfactory working conditions. Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. This "Batepá Massacre" remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, and its anniversary is officially observed by the government. By the late 1950s, when other emerging nations across the African Continent were demanding independence, a small group of São Toméans had formed the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP), which eventually established its base in nearby Gabon. Picking up momentum in the 1960s, events moved quickly after the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in April 1974. The new Portuguese regime was committed to the dissolution of its overseas colonies; in November 1974, their representatives met with the MLSTP in Algiers and worked out an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty. After a period of transitional government, São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence on July 12, 1975, choosing as the first president the MLSTP Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa. In 1990, São Tomé became one of the first African countries to embrace democratic reform, and changes to the constitution — the legalization of opposition political parties — led to elections in 1991 that were nonviolent, free, and transparent. Miguel Trovoada, a former prime minister who had been in exile since 1986, returned as an independent candidate and was elected president. Trovoada was re-elected in São Tomé's second multi-party presidential election in 1996. The Party of Democratic Convergence (PCD) overtook the MLSTP to take a majority of seats in the National Assembly, with the MLSTP becoming an important and vocal minority party. Municipal elections followed in late 1992, in which the MLSTP came back to win a majority of seats on five of seven regional councils. In early legislative elections in October 1994, the MLSTP won a plurality of seats in the Assembly. It regained an outright majority of seats in the November 1998 elections. The Government of São Tomé fully functions under a multi-party system. Presidential elections were held in July 2001. The candidate backed by the Independent Democratic Action party, Fradique de Menezes, was elected in the first round and inaugurated on September 3. Parliamentary elections were held in March 2002. For the next four years, a series of short-lived opposition-led governments were formed. The army seized power for one week in July 2003, complaining of corruption and that forthcoming oil revenues would not be divided fairly. An accord was negotiated under which President de Menezes was returned to office. The cohabitation period ended in March 2006, when a pro-presidential coalition won enough seats in National Assembly elections to form and head a new government. In the 30 July 2006 presidential election, Fradique de Menezes easily won a second five-year term in office, defeating two other candidates Patrice Trovoada (son of former President Miguel Trovoada) and independent Nilo Guimarães. Local elections, the first since 1992, took place on 27 August 2006 and were dominated by members of the ruling coalition. On February 12, 2009, there was an attempted coup d'état to overthrow President Fradique de Menezes. The coup plotters were imprisoned, but later received a pardon from President de Menezes.

The B a la t on H ighla nds is t he c ount r y 's m os t popula r N a t iona l Pa r k (Online 05 Jul) From now on, National Parks will be able to sell their w n o branded products may and supplement their income through ecotourism activities. Minister for Rural Development S á n d o r Fazekas announced the amendment of the photo: Barnabás Korbély of deed foundation of the national parks during his visit to the Balaton Highlands National Park. One the of u n i q u e summer spectacles of the area is the flowering of the lavender fields, which the Minister i n v i t e d everyone to visit during his tour of photo: Barnabás Korbély the country's treasures. Our national parks are of international standard, but are still suffinot ciently well known, and so the Minof ister Rural Development a s h launched a campaign to promote our national parks. This year, Minister Sándor photo: József Vers Fazekas will visitors. be visiting all ten of our na- Hungary's first protected contional parks and the Balaton servation area was estabHighlands is the thirds stop in lished on the Tihany his series of high profile visits. peninsula in 1952. It covers The old lavender fields that an area of 1562 hectares, of spring into flower at around which 195 hectares are spethis time of year on the Tihany cially protected. In addition to peninsula are a unique treas- the Balaton Highlands region, ure, a real rarity. The planting the 57 thousand hectare Naof lavender was begun in tional Park also includes the 1924 on the south-facing side area known as Little Balaton. of Apáti hill, and the lavender This is one of the country's oil produced here was famous most significant and frethroughout Europe, surpass- quently visited touristic areas, ing the quality of French plan- an area with a unique array of tation. The Lavender House our country's natural beauty. opened last year in Tihany Its greatest attraction and the within the territory of the Bal- treasure that makes it famous aton Highlands National Park, is Lake Balaton. Many of its offering local products to its unique natural sights, such as

the volcanic buttes, are the result of erratic volcanic activthat ity occurred millions of years ago. NaThe tional Park, which covers a 115km wide s w a t h e the along northern of bank Lake Balaton from the T i h a n y Peninsula to Little Balaton includes parts of five remajor gions. The sunshine, magnified and yet still by tamed the lake surthe face, marshland areas, the plains and valleys, as well as the volcanic soils and the water have brought rise to a rich variety of plant and animal life in the a r e a . Unique aniand mals plants life in tiny habitats throughout the area and several species of specially protected plants enjoy safe a haven: the extremely rare Notholaena fern, the bird'sprimeye r o s e , Ophrys orchids, the Sword Lily – 200 over and plant hundred animal

several species. The volcanic basalt hills form a unique landscape with their characteristic shape. The Tihany Csúcs (Summit) Hill, the White bank of the Tihany peninsula, the hot spring vents, sinkholes and caves are all well known. The constructed environment and the cultural landscape are also special; Hungarians and tourists have only recently discovered the treasures that the area offers in addition to the bathing areas of Lake Balaton.

Parliament insists; red star is a totalitarian symbol (Online 03 Jul) Parliam e n t adopted a decision on Monday in which it expresses its disagreement with the Strasbourg verdict passed in the red star lawsuit, and insists on sanctioning the use of symbols of totalitarian regimes. Based on decithe the sion, damages and legal costs of the amount of EUR 6,400 payable by the Hungarian State under the verdict will be paid from the aid provided for political parties from the central budget, and Parliament also decided that in any further instances in which the European Court of Human Rights may find Hungary culpable for the prohibition of the use of the symbols of totalitarian regimes, political parties will cover the damages payable in the future. With its decision, Parliament confirmed the Government’s position, based on which Hungary does not agree with the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights passed in the Fratanolo vs. Hungary case and continues to insist on the prohibition of of totalitarian symbols regimes as the relevant provision of the Criminal Code serves to protect democratic society and human dignity and is necessary and reasonable to uphold this provision also with regard to the country’s historical past. According to the Hungarian position, the red star is not only the symbol of the international workers’ movement in Hungary but has also become the symbol of a totalitarian

system in Hungary’s tragic history following World War II which was characterised by an ideology and practice that served to justify the mass violation of fundamental human rights and the forceful seizure and exercise of power. The displaying or wearing of the five-pointed red star represented and continues to represent, also at present, identification with the communist ideology and the promotion of that ideology. These tragic events in the past affected large sections of the Hungarian population and the symbols of communism, the red star in particular, induce fear and disturbing memories in many members of society. János Fratanolo sported a five-pointed red star, approximately two centimetres in diameter, on his jacket lapel at a trade union event in Pécs on 1 May 2004. He was interviewed by local television, and consequently, the red star was in full display for viewers to see. On account of this, criminal proceedings were brought against János Fratanolo in 2007 and he was reprimanded. He, however, took his case to the Strasbourg court which found the Hungarian court’s negative judgment unlawful. The Court of Human Rights established

in its verdict Hunthat viogary lated János Fratanolo’s right to the freedom of expression in breach of Article 10 of the human rights convention, and obliged the Hungarian State to pay EUR 4,000 in damages EUR and in 2,400 legal costs. HunThe garian State submitted an appeal against the verdict on 1 February 2012 and stated its case by pointing out that as the wearing or displaying of the five-pointed red star is punishable in Hungary (this forms part of the Criminal Code and was also confirmed by the Constitutional Court), Parliament must adopt a decision on the implementation of the verdict. According to the Hungarian legal rule, the wearing or displaying of the five-pointed red star represents identification with and the promotion of the totalitarian ideologies that characterise communist dictatorship. The relevant decision of the Constitutional Court lays down that it represents the protection of democratic society, and is therefore not unconstitutional, if the State prohibits certain specific practices related to the use of the of totalitarian symbols regimes. The Hungarian rule does not stand alone in Europe; the use of the symbols of dictatorship is punishable, inter alia, in Austria, France, Germany and Romania. The court’s verdict that became final and non-appealable in March obliged the Hungarian State to pay the said damages by 8 June.

The Wallenberg Exhibition and the Holocust Educational Programme were a great success (Online 03 Jul) The Hungarian Wallenberg Exhibition and the Educational ProHolocaust gramme were warmly and apprereceived at the ciatively conference organized by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF) held in Belgium on 28 June 2012, Deputy Secretary of State Gergely Prőhle declared in a statement. The conference highlighted the particular importance of a speech

delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2012 at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. The Deputy Secretary of State also explained that the Holocaust Educational Programme had been elaborated in partnership with the Zachor Foundation of Budapest and the American Shoa Institute, and was based on the recollections of Holocaust victims, as well as of Wallenberg’s friends and colleagues.

The head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Mark Weitzman, reported on the current situation in Hungary, which, according to Gergely Prőhle, provided a balanced picture. He also underlined that the meeting was especially important due to the need for a common educational method on the Holocaust. While the ITF has no right to sanction, it dedicates particular attention to national educational programmes.

Viktor Orbán's letter to Joseph Crowley and his colleagues (Online 03 Jul) The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to The Honorable Congressman Joseph Crowley and his colleagues in a letter responding to the former’s concerns about growing antiSemitism in Hungary. He highlighted that human rights

and dignity are of particular importance to the government, and asked the United States of America to provide support for its efforts to overcome extremist forces in Hungary. The focal point of Hungarian anti-Semitism is constituted by an anti-Semitic news portal that

carries out its activities using a US-based server facility. The Hungarian government would, therefore, greatly appreciate any assistance in terminating anti-Semitic provocation targeting Hungary.

The B a la t on H ighla nds is t he c ount r y 's m os t popula r N a t iona l Pa r k (Online 03 Jul) "The accomplishments of the past five decades prove that the Common Agricultural Policy is one of the European Union's most successful, strongest and most efficient community achievements. One of our priority interests is the suitable development of the CAP for the period 2014-2020", stated Minister for Agriculture Sándor Fazekas at the conference organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the CAP. The meeting entitled CAP Reform 2014-2020 – Agricultural Economy Challenges and held at the Ministry of Rural Development was welcomed in a letter by EU Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Development Dacian Cioloș. Participants at the large-scale conference organised to mark the 50-year anniversary searched primarily for the solution to the issue of what the Common Agricultural Policy should be like during the next, 7-year cycle after 2014, during the planning of which the member states and European Union institutions also determine the distribution of available resources. The European Commission published its detailed recommendations for the CAP last autumn, which the Council and European Parliament are still debating. They must come to an agreement by the end of 2012 and certainly no later than early 2013, so that the legislation package may come into force on January 1, 2014. In his message, Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloș stressed that discussions on the future of the CAP have entered a crucial phase, and this will be the most significant agricultural policy reform wince the accession of Hungary and the 11 other new member states. Dacian Cioloș pointed out that the Commission's recommendations are aimed at a more sustainable policy, the more equitable distribution of direct support payments, the retention and perfection of market tools, the increased flexibility of rural development policy, incentives for innovation, and cooperation between producers. The Commissioner stressed that the uniform internal market which includes some 500 million consumers requires common regulations and conditions, but it must be possible for this community to take national and local specificities into consideration in a flexible manner. In his speech, Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas drew attention to the fact that it is an outstanding achievement of the Hungarian presidency that we succeeded in defending the Common Agricultural Policy so that farmers may also receive support in the future. The Minister reminded those present that certain member states wanted to abolish the CAP or significantly reduce its budget. The Common Agricultural Policy is of decisive importance for our country, and it is essential that the interests of the new member states, including Hungary, be sufficiently represented in the new CAP from 2014. The Minister made it clear that although farmers are the ones who receive support, it is consumers who are the main beneficiaries, since without support food would be more expensive. "Hungary and its rural areas require a strong and diverse agriculture in which a primary role is played by family farms, and which is characterised by the balance between animal husbandry and crop production, locally produced goods and sustainable farming. CAP priorities, which may be regarded as European strategic

endeavours, are in harmony with the objectives of the National Rural Strategy and the Ignác Darányi Plan", emphasised Sándor Fazekas. In her speech, State Secretary for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Enikő Győri stressed that 98 percent of European Union resources enter the country via cohesion policy and the CAP. Hungary is receiving Euro 33 billion in European Union financing during the period 2007-2013, and pays Euro 8 billion, meaning our balance is positive. A fundamental goal, she added, is that European Union resources entering Hungary should not decrease within the upcoming budgetary period, and that we be able to utilize them in such a way that permanently facilitates the development of the country. The State Secretary called it worrying that a decrease is expected in the funds available to Hungary for cohesion policy, and that in fact member states who are net payers are calling for further reductions. She emphasised that the Hungarian negotiation delegation must continue to be successful and effective, and that is important to achieve compromises that are in line with Hungary's goals. In is speech, State Secretary for the Agricultural Economy György Czerván talked about the details of the First Pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and direct support issues that affect Hungary. While praising the importance of the CAP, the State Secretary drew attention to the fact that according to plans, Hungary is expected to have available HUF 500 billion for agricultural and rural development support, 80 percent of which originates from the European Union resources. The total budget of the CAP is some Euro 400 million, some three-quarters of which are put towards Pillar I, the direct support payments. "Hungary's status is expected to remain roughly the same following the more equitable distribution of resources between member states. The State Secretary explained that according to the draft legislation, the direct support system will be significantly restructured. It will include both compulsory elements and optional voluntary elements that may be chosen by the member states, and a simplified support construction will be developed for small farms. An important new element will be "greening", and according to the Commissions recommendations 30 percent of direct support payments are conditional to environmentally friendly farming. Hungary agrees in principal with the proposals, but views the 30 percent ratio as too high and would like a solution that means fewer administrative and monitoring burdens", said the State Secretary. "The European Commission's recommendations on the CAP are in harmony with two important objectives of Hungarian agricultural policy: small-scale producers will be able to receive support payments within the framework of a simplified system, and incentives for young farmers. However, with regard to support payments they may be provided with, it is objectionable that the maximum area of land eligible would be 25 hectares in Hungary, and so we would only be able to pay out a small fraction of available resources to young farmers who are just starting out. In the interests of the better utilization of this support opportunity, we stand in favour of abolishing the area limitations", announced the State Secretary. State Secretary for Rural De-

velopment Zsolt V. Németh opened his speech with the words of George Orwell: "After fifty years everyone has the face he deserves". "The personified Common Agricultural Policy is mature and strong-featured, but needs renewal. We can expect several important changes in rural development policy from 2014," pointed out the State Secretary. "Contrary to current practices, the various funs will belong to a Join Strategic Framework, which provides opportunities for the coordination of various programmes and for co-financing from several funds. In the interests of flexibility the axis-like division of the rural development programme will be terminated and instead member states may chose from a package of 20 measures. LEADER organisations will be given a greater role and communitybased local developments will become more common. Hungarian local governments will also have more responsibilities and shall be able to develop complex county development concepts". Zsolt V. Németh announced that the Ministry would be launching a priority programme for the preparation and elaboration of a European Union cofinanced rural development programme and fisheries operational programme for the period 2014-2020. "The document related to this has already been accepted by Head of the Ministry Sándor Fazekas", announced the State Secretary. Fidesz MP Sándor Font, president of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture reminded those present that the level of support of Hungarian farmers would only reach that of older member states next year. This competitive disadvantage must not be repeated and so we must work together and cooperate with all those affected in Hungary to ensure that the reform of the CAP will in no way cause a disadvantage to Hungarian producers and Hungary's current, favourable position may be retained. Rebeka Szabó, member of parliament for the Lehet Más a Politika Party ("Politics can be Different", LMP) explained that "the current draft of the CAP favours large farms, does not hinder the decrease in the number of family-run farms and provides hardly any incentives for sustainable farming. The LMP supports the inclusion of more funding in the policy's 2nd, rural development pillar, even if this means a reduction for Pillar I (direct payments). According to the party, area-based support should be replaced by job-based support. The Member of Parliament stressed that the Hungarian standpoint must be reviewed: greening criteria must not be weakened. István Jakab, President of the National Association of Hungarian Farmers' Societies and Cooperatives (MAGOSZ), presented the organisation' objectives. It is the firm standpoint of MAGOSZ that ordered land ownership conditions, strong producer integration, more cooperatives, comprehensive market regulation and new risk management tools are required. It is essential that producers, processors and rural developers work together in a suitable chamber system. Tamás Nagy, President of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives and Producers (MOSZ) emphasised that the current concept of the CAP is in line with Hungarian interests, stressing: "Hungary's natural conditions are excellent, its traditions are unique, and we must exploit these."

(Online 06 ForJul) eign Minister János Martonyi received Minof ister State at the German Federal Foreign Office Michael Link, who paid a courtesy call to the Minister 3, July Mr 2012. Link visited B u d a p e s t Photo: MFA for the first time in his new capacity. The parties discussed the challenges the European Union faces, the tasks and the action lines of the upcoming period, with special regard to the decisions of the European Council of June 28-29,

2012. Therefore, significant emphasis was given to the economic and financial consolidation of the EU and the Euro zone. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister and his guest reviewed the situation and integration perspectives of the Western Balkans.

The politician of the Free Democratic Party negotiated European political issues with Minister of State for EU Affairs Enikő Győri, who had invited him to Budapest. In the framework of his v i s i t , Michael Link conalso sulted with State Secretary responsible for Foreign Affairs and Economy Péter Szíjjártó and Chief Advisor on European Policy and External Economic Relations Péter Gottfried in the Prime Minister’s Office.

EU-IMF talks may already begin in July (Online 06 Jul) 90% of Hungarian Parliament in voted of favour modifying the Central Bank Act, announced M i h á l y Varga, the Minister in charge of IMF Talks on Friday. The minister explained the that most imporeletant ments of the proposal were retained. With regards to further details, he put forward that according to the amended text, the number of external members cannot exceed twice the number of internal ones and the Central Bank shall be entitled to publish or limit access to information concerning the use of reserves. Equally important is that the new law has integrated the provisions of the Labour Code that came into force on January 1. Mihály Varga underlined that the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Mone-

tary Fund have assessed the amendments and all three have also approved them, meaning any obstacles to starting negotiations have been removed. Therefore, this day is a cornerstone in creating stability and renewing Hungarian economic policy, he added. The European Commission has approved the convergence programme and accepted the deficit of below 3% for the period 2012-13; ECOFIN suspended the freezing of cohesion funds for Hungary on June 22. After passing the amendments to the Central Bank Act, the next step will be voting on next

y e a r ’ s budget. It is therefore apparent that we are moving foracward cording to a scenario that serves stability and renewal, he said. When asked about a possible date for the start of negotiations, Mihály V a r g a replied that the process will be made up of both official and unofficial phases. Either phase is likely to already begin in July. Spokesperson of the European Commission Olivier Bailly said the European Union welcomed the amendments to the Central Bank Act and announced that both the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund were ready to kick off loan negotiations with Hungary. He also added that the EU-IMF delegation would arrive in Budapest on July 17 and following the entry into force of the newly amended act, "talks may begin soon ".

The European Union needs Central Europe (Online 06 Jul) The European U n i o n needs Central Europe, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, J á n o s Martonyi, said in a speech on T h u r s d a y. He also added that the region should ass u m e greater responsibility in becoming a new source of economic growth for Europe. Martonyi gave a lecture at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences alongside his Polish counterpart, Radoslaw Sikorski, who arrived in Hungary to mark the occasion of Poland taking over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Four (V4) on July 1. Martonyi said that although the future of the European Union is hotly debated, what is beyond doubt is that economic and monetary union, as well as Europe's global role, should be strengthened. "We have reached the point of no return," Martonyi said, adding that the European Union should emerge from the crisis as a stronger and

more united alliance. "Central Europe's future lies at the centre of Europe, not on its periphery. If the Visegrad countries want to take part in decision-making about themselves, they should sooner or later join the Euro zone and catch up with the centre in all respects," he said. Martonyi noted that in recent decades the Visegrad countries had established very strong links in infrastructure, transport and energy supply. Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski said the V4 was a successful and constantly developing forum of cooperation. The four nations –The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – should never forget that their strength

comes from their unity. He added that the region is no longer a problem to be tackled, but an indispensable contributor to common success. Sikorski recalled that the Hungarian and Poli s h presidency played a signi fi cant role in managing the European crisis and also underlined that the EU Member States themselves had contributed to the development of V4 countries through subsidies provided for investment. Among the Polish V4 presidency's priorities, Sikorski mentioned security, global issues, strengthened ties with Eastern neighbours, energy supply and cooperation in making use of nuclear energy. The Polish minister said that the Visegrad Four should take an active part in resolving the crisis of the Euro zone, and step up in a joint manner to retain cohesion funds for the financial framework for 2014– 2020.

With Remembrance Against Oblivion (Online 05 The Jul) representatives of the Hungarian Defence Forces, a military delegation from the US Embassy in Budapest the and World War II American and British Military Heritage Association held joint (photo: Péter Snoj) a wreath-laycereing in mony Szigliget on S a t u r d a y, June 30. On the hill of the settlement near Lake Balaton, US and Hungarian war memorials keep the alive memory of the soldiers who fell in World War II. US (photo: Péter Snoj) The monument commemorates tional Cooperation, the solthe crew of a B-24 bomber diers of the Hungarian Dethat crashed in the area on fence Forces, Col. Curtis S. June 30, 1944, whereas the Milam, the military attaché of Hungarian memorial site the US Embassy in Budapest commemorates the soldiers and an NCO of the US Navy, killed in action of the Hungar- as well as WWII American ian Royal Army (Magyar Kirá- military traditionalists (re-enactors) laid the wreaths in the lyi Honvédség). Col. Zoltán Bali, the Deputy sweltering heat. Head of the Ministry of De- The participants stressed that fence Department for Interna- the joint wreath-laying has an-

other important mess a g e b e y o n d commemor a t i o n , which is that we must remember the soldiers killed in action regardless of their nationality because they made the supreme sacrifice by giving their life in the war. the After wreaths were laid, a trumpeter played first the HungarLast ian Post, then the American one. Balázs Balthe assa, of mayor Szigliget also has been highly instrumental in organizthe ing wreath-laying ceremony. The mayor’s office has renovated the military memorial that had been demolished by unknown perpetrators, thereby creating a deserved venue for the Saturday event. After the wreath-laying ceremony the organizers told us that from now on they want to hold the commemorative event every year.

Péter Szijjártó has been appointed head of eight joint cooperation committees (Online 04 Jul) At the projoint posal of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for National E c o n o m y, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán appointed State Secfor retary Foreign Afand fairs External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó as the head of eight bilateral economic intercommittees governmental with effect from 2 July 2012. Péter Szijjártó chairs the Hungarian section of the Hungar-

Hungarianian-Turkish, Kuwaiti, Hungarian-AzerbaiHungarian-Serbian, jani, Hungarian-Vietnamese, Hungarian-Macedonian and HunJoint garian-Montenegrin

Economic Cooperation Committees. new The chair would like the work of the joint economic committees to contribute ever to greater sucin cess opening up topolicy wards the East and in strengthening regional cooperation with neighbouring countries, as well as in solidifying the country's leading role in supporting the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

Parliament has passed amendments to judicial laws (Online 04 Jul) In response to the remarks the of V e n i c e Commission, Parliament has passed the amendments of the on laws courts on M o n d a y. The amendments serve to make the administration of jusand tice courts more specific, more effective and more transparent, and reinforce the monitoring powers of the National Judicial Council over the President of the National Judicial Office in the area of central administration. With the passage of the Act on the Organisation and Administration of Courts and the Act on the Status and Remuneration of Judges, Parliament created a sophisticated legal framework for the standardised, reliable and timely operation of the administration of justice in Hungary, in observance of Hungary’s Law. The Fundamental amendments now approved did not alter this framework. By virtue of the further clarification of the court laws and the integration of supplementary rules, the administration of justice becomes more effective and transparent; addithe monitoring tionally, powers of the National Judicial Council over the President of the National Judicial Office have also been reinforced in the area of central administration. The Hungarian legislation introduced effective as of 1 January 2012 may be classified into the category of “administration by autonomous court agencies that are independent of the executive power”, similar to the practices of several other European countries. The amendments passed on Monday delegate some of the administrative duties of the President of the National Judicial Office (NJO) to the competence of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and provide further monitoring powers for the NJC in addition to those that already exist. The amendments also serve to enhance the transparency of operations by allowing the Chief Prosecutor, the Chair of the Hungarian Bar Association and the Chair of the Hungarian Chamber of Civil Law Notaries to attend the meetings of the NJC in a consulting capacity, in addition to the Chair of the NJO and the minister responsible for justice.

The amendments now approved also provide an appeal procedure against the results of job applications invited for judicial posts; applicants may submit an appeal to the court of public administration and labour, as part of which the court of public administration and labour verifies the fulfilment of the conditions of appointment and the job application conditions. For the event of the cessation of a court or the reduction of its competence or area of jurisdiction, the law prescribes that the President of the NJO offer a range of judicial posts to the judges awaiting transfer who may choose from among these. At the same time, the relevant amendment abolishes the circumstance giving rise to exemption that is applicable to the event of the refusal of the judicial post offered, and consequently, the transfer of a judge cannot under any circumstances result in the cessation of the judge’s service relationship. The relevant rules have also been clarified in connection with the appointment of courts. The Government and Parliament decided on the development and reinforcement of the new judicial system within the framework of Hungary’s constitutional reorganisation and in the spirit of Hungary’s new Fundamental Law that entered into force on 1 January 2012. The new law reinforced the independence of the administration of justice and created a reasonable judicial structure. At the same time, the judicial reform makes available the necessary resources and statutory environment for courts for the timely administration of justice. The development of the concept was preceded by a series of conferences organised by the Association of Hungarian Judges with some 1,600 members and their summary findings; other court leaders and the representatives of the other branches of the administration of justice (lawyers, notaries) were also consulted.

The revision of the operation of the judicial system was inevitable as it became obvious that the model introduced by virtue of the 1997 judicial reform did not live up to expectations. F o r m e r l y, main the custodian of the adminisof tration courts was the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) which usually met once monthly but was unable to meet its obligation to adopt timely decisions. This prevented the resolution of situations that required immediate attention and hindered the operation of the system. The President of the National Council for the Administration of Justice was simultaneously the President of the Supreme Court; however, both offices are full-time jobs, and it was difficult to reconcile the administrative duties of the President of the NCAJ with the professional role of the President of the Supreme Court. The members of the NCAJ fulfilled their duties in that capacity in addition to their respective offices held elsewhere and were therefore not sufficiently prepared for the performance of the tasks posed by the over-extended powers of the NCAJ. At the same time, the judge members of the NCAJ were usually selected from among court leaders, in respect of whom the NCAJ itself was competent to exercise monitoring powers and the employer’s rights. Consequently, court leaders effectively monitored themselves and only exercised control over their respective courts. The President of the NCAJ was in charge of the Office of the NCAJ, however, only indirectly, via the office manager. As a result, the Office often did not function as an agency of the NCAJ but as an independent factor and, due to this indirect supervision, failed to fulfil its preparatory and executive duties to the required standards. Naturally, these problems also affected the very essence of the activities of court, the administration of justice and its timeliness. The new legislation will put an end to the situation where legal proceedings often went on for years; in fact, it was not infrequent that it took ten years to close a case. This shook the people’s faith and trust in the administration of justice.

Inc r e a s e d pr ot e c t ion for c hildr e n’s int e r e s t s in t he jus tic e s y s t e m (Online 03 Jul) On Tuesday Minister of Public Administration and Justice T i b o r Navracsics spoke at a conference of his ministry’s Childfriendly Justice System Working Group, when he called for further emphasis on the needs of children when training judges. One of the major successes of the 2011 Hungarian EU presidency was approval of a directive aimed at harmonisation of sentences for sex crimes committed against

children. Thus greater protection for children has been created in the legal sphere. The Ministry of Justice has declared 2012 the year for creation of a child-friendly justice system, and in this spirit the Government has introduced a number of measures

a n d amended legislation. A more childcentred justice system will help children overcome the trauma of the crimes comm i t t e d against them, without adding to the trauma in the course of administrative pro-

cedures. The setting up of interview and witness rooms specifically designed for children is part of the programme, as are several amendments to the Criminal Code for the protection of children.

F a r e w e l l t o M i l i t a r y A t t a c h é s (Online 03 Jul) „We are saying goodbye to our excellent comrades who have done very much in the field of military diplomacy to enable the a r m e d forces of their countries and the Hungarian Defence Forces to (photo: Mária Krasznai-Nehrebeczky) fulfill their mission and be able to protect ones who have served the altheir homelands against all liance between our nations and kinds of challenges to security”, the comradeship between the Defence Minister Csaba two armed forces. They have Hende said in the evening of helped with resolving innumerThursday, June 28 at the able problems, removing innuobstacles and farewell ceremony of the Croa- merable tian, Serbian, French and US establishing the proper conmilitary attachés accredited to nections. Through their work, they have served Hungary and Budapest. Speaking at the farewell cere- the Hungarian nation.” mony held in the courtyard of The Minister of Defence the MoD Military History Insti- pointed out that we have to imtute and Museum, Csaba plement rationalization in many Hende thanked the military at- areas due to the crisis sweeptachés accredited to Budapest ing across the globe. In times – who are going to continue like this, it is especially importheir service elsewhere – on tant “that the lack of financial behalf of the Ministry of De- resources should be compenfence, the Hungarian Defence sated by human virtues, better Forces and the MoD Defence organization and more work, because the service must not Staff. He stressed that “they are the suffer injury. In times like this, military diplomacy has special

importance”, the Minister stressed. C s a b a H e n d e thanked defence attachés Col. D a r k o K e r e s a (Croatia); Col. Alexis Merdaci (France); Lt.Col. Marko Novakovic (Serbia) and Col. Robert Duggleby (USA) as well as Lt.Col. Edward Bellem, US Deputy Air Attaché for their work done over the last three or four years in the interest of developing and strengthening the relations between the ministries and the armed forces. Speaking on behalf of the colleagues and the leaving ones, Darko Keresa, the doyen of the attachés said thanks for the correct and friendly partnership. He highlighted the several-year support they received from the MoD Department for International Cooperation and the assistance of military units and commanders during the programs and visits. The new doyen of the attachés, Spanish defence attaché Col. Jacinto Romero also said farewell to the leaving colleagues.

HUNGARY IMF loan is aimed at improving Hungary’s position, PM (Online 06 Jul) The IMF loan is aimed at improving Hungary’s position, rather than helpher ing survive, s a i d P r i m e Minister O r b a n Viktor in his Friday interview the on regular morning s h o w called 180 Minutes (MR1 Kossuth, Hungarian public radio). Viktor Orban emphasized that the IMF loan is needed to improve Hungary’s position rather than to help it survive. He also said that the government would not involve itself in discussions on the extension of the planned transaction tax covering central bank lending. Orban said disputes on the extended transaction tax – a source of revenue for the government's job protection action plan – would no doubt continue, but the government would not get involved in them because it needs to respect the independence of the Hungarian National Bank, and to allow it to act accordingly. "Whether it transfers the burden, or whether it imposes it onto the banks or pays it itself, the government cannot participate in this debate," Orban said. He added that the transaction tax must be paid by all the actors involved, and the central bank cannot constitute an exception.

Negotiations can begin After the Hungarian Parliament passed amendments to the central bank law today – after the interview of the Minister, the Prime spokesperson for the EuroCommission anpean nounced that the EU-IMF delegation would arrive in Budapest in connection with loan negotiations on 17 July. The 10-point Job Protection Action Plan leads to stabilization With regards to the timing of the plan, Orban said that the Hungarian government first had to wait for Brussels to repeal unfair penalties. He also added that “over the past two years Hungary has had to step up to push through its economic policy and we were threatened with the freezing of EU funds. Now a new era is upon us.” Orban said that both the action plan and the social tax reduction were expected to stabilize existing jobs rather than to create new ones. He emphasized the need to support unqualified workers since he thinks they still enjoy less prestige than they should, and added that “this

is an important of goal the action plan”. He a l s o noted that those with revenue less of than six million forints per year can choose flat-rate taxation with effect from January 1. With regards to an investment boosting scheme, to which the government will return in the autumn, Orban suggested that “The Minister for the Economy, György Matolcsy, has quite a few more plans in his drawer”. When asked about how far the government would go to push through its action plan Orban showed a willingness to modify it if European economic politics took a different turn. The budget should ensure both predictability and flexibility next year’s Regarding budget, the Prime Minister emphasized two factors: predictability and flexibility. Of the latter he said: “God alone knows when an immediate reaction will be necessitated from our side due to an unpredictable event in the Eurozone.” He underlined that the main budget figures will have to be retained, but that within the internal structure of the budget an adequate and flexible reserve fund should be ensured. Finally, he added that each budget area will receive more money than it had in the past.

Conference on the diplomatic strength of Hungarian culture (Online 06 Jul) A professional conference was held on Thursday at the Budapest Balassi Bálint Institute responsible for coordinating the work of Hungarian cultural institutes abroad. The conference was attended by the representatives of Hungarian cultural diplomacy and the directors of Hungarian instiabroad. The tutes Government was represented by Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics. The event commemorates the history of Hungarian cultural diplomacy on the occasion of the fact that the Parliament Hungarian passed the Collegium Hungaricum law, the legislation that laid the foundations for the network of Hungarian cultural diplomacy operating world-wide, precisely 85

years ago. Thanks to this, there are Hungarian cultural institutes today in the United States, India, Egypt and 16 countries in Europe, and before the end of this governmental cycle, the Hungarian cultural institute may open its doors in Beijing and, according to plans, new Hungarian cultural institutes may start their operation in Croatia, Serbia and Romania. Pál Hatos, Director General of the institute said that, depending on the availability of funds, they would also like to open towards the Near East, the Arabic countries; it would be equally important, however, to have a Hungarian cultural institute in Israel, the country with the largest Hungarian diasporic community. At the event, Deputy Prime

Minister, Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics said that it is with the voice of culture and science that Hungary may best prove that a nation is able to stand up. Hungarian cultural institutes abroad do not only communicate the treasures of Hungarian culture; they are the “radiation of the Hungarian nation”, and it would therefore be important to reinforce this system of institutions. He highlighted that Hungarian diplomacy made good use of the country’s cultural and academic prestige already 85 years ago and disthe country’s covered resources inherent in its intellectual life and the strength that stems from culture, language, science and communal existence.

Anti-corruption codes of ethics prepared based on international experiences (Online 06 Jul) The development of a public service code of ethics began as part of the Preventive Anti-Corruption Programme in Public Administration approved by the Government in March. The Ministry also relies on the experience of experts from the OECD in the making of the code. The experts of the international organisation held a seminar under the title Codes of Ethics in Practice at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice on Thursday. At the event, experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shared international experiences with Hungarian civil servants responsible for the preparation of codes of ethics and their implementation in practice. Attendees of the seminar had the opportunity to learn about international best practices in the introduction and practical implementation of codes of ethics and the key problems

in the application of codes of ethics. The participants of the workshop will make recommendations regarding the proposed local rules and guidelines with a view to the local and international practices and experiences and will integrate the conclusions drawn into the green book containing the foundations of the codes of ethics. Upon the passage of its Preventive Anti-Corruption Programme in Public A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , ( inistry-of-public-administration-and-justice/news/govtlaunches-2-year-anti-graft-pr ogramme) the Government decided in April on the drafting of codes of ethics for the training of those working in public administration as part of the programme. The goal is to reinforce the “immunity” of public administration, state administration and government agencies against corruption by also relying on the ethical training of those work-

ing in the public services sector. The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice and the OECD entered into a cooperation agreement for supporting the implementation of the Magyary Zoltán Public AdDevelopment ministration Programme ( news/the-hungarian-programme-for-development-ofpublic-administration-can-bean-international-model) in March. Pursuant to the agreement, the Ministry maintains an ongoing professional dialogue with the international organisation in five areas; one of these is the fight against corruption. The OECD provides advice within the framework of the programme with a view to international best practices, thereby helping the Government with the implementation of its reforms.

Legal dispute with AES definitively decided in favour of Hungary (Online 06 Jul) An award was adopted by ICSID*, World Bank’s dispute resolution forum, in favour of Hungary on 29 June, 2012 in an investment protection dispute started by AES Summit and AES Tisza. The committee that heard the case closed the invalidation proceedings by upholding the September 2010 award of the ICSID arbitration tribunal, which ruled that Hungary had not violated the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty by regulating power plant prices. On completion of the invalidation proceedings, the case was definitively decided in favour of Hungary. It is considered as an especially great success that, in agreement with the Hungarian motion, the committee hearing the case ordered AES to reimburse the defendant also for the Hungarian legal costs. AES Tisza Erőmű Kft. and its

owner, AES Summit Generation Ltd. started litigation against the Hungarian State before the international arbitration tribunal seated in Washington. In their position by regulating power plant prices in 2006, Hungary violated the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. In the plaintiffs’ opinion the company’s investments had been injured because the regulated prices were considerably lower than those fixed in the agreement concluded in 2001 between AES Tisza and MVM Zrt. In the justification of the award adopted by the international tribunal in September 2010 it was highlighted that none of the measures taken by Hungary in relation to the price control violated the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. The tribunal found all claims made by AES Summit Generation Ltd., including plain-

tiff’s indemnification claim exceeding USD 30 million, unsubstantiated and dismissed them. *ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) is a special international arbitration tribunal of World Bank, set up for resolving legal disputes between states and investors. It was established by the so-called Washington Treaty signed in 1965, for judging international investment protection cases. As the number of investment protection cases started directly by investors increased in the past two decades, ICSID has become the most influential forum for the resolution of investment protection disputes. Its awards are considered to have an effect equal to those of the highest court of every state that has signed a contract with the tribunal.

Hungary declares its intention to join the Open Government Partnership (Online 05 Jul) As part of the Government’s anti-corruption programme, Hungary will join the Open Government Partnership, an initiative conceived in the spirit of international cooperation that now operates in more than fifty countries, and thereby makes a number of pledges to fight corruption and to implement a more transparent system of public administration. Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics will forward the Government’s declaration of intent to the organisation in July. The purpose of the international initiative launched in 2011 is to reinforce the commitment of the participating countries to the promotion of more transparent governmental operations. The Open Government Declaration was, in the first round, signed by eight countries in September 2011 (United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of South Africa and the Philippines), and another 47 states have joined the scheme since. At present, the OGP provides an approved inter-state framework for publicity and transparency on the international scene, and this is why it is important for Hungary to join. International experiences confirm that a transparent system of public administration that is in full public view is accompanied by higher performance indicators which indirectly serve to promote the enhancement of the given country’s economic and social competitiveness and the faith of citizens in public administration. Accession to the partnership forms part of the Government’s preventive anti-corruption programme which the Government approved in March this year; as a result, Hungary has a governmentlevel strategy and action plan for the prevention of corruption in public administration

for the first time since the change of regime. The purpose of the programme is to reinforce the “immunity” of the State against corruption so that public administration, state administration and government agencies are sufficiently equipped for the fight against corruption. The programme primarily aims to prevent corruption in public administration and partly in certain public services. By declaring its intent to seek admission to the partnership, the Government also uses this opportunity to express its commitment to these goals and agrees to draft an open government action plan covering a period of two years by mid-October this year in which the Government identifies further voluntary undertakings to be implemented in addition to the anti-corruption measures adopted to date. These measures may include the extended availability of government information, the more active involvement of citizens in the decision-making process, the development of public administration and public services, the development and wider use of new technologies designed to serve openness and accountability and raising awareness of public service ethics. Since its entry into office, the Government has implemented the most intensive series of measures of the past twenty years as organised corruption left unpunished in previous years and those who turned a blind eye to it play a major role in the development of the country’s economic and financial situation and the general depreciation of morals and trust. Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics signed asimilar declaration for the promotion of the coordinated and effective cooperation of state agencies in Hungary in the fight against corruption with László Domokos, President

of the State Audit Office, András Baka, President of the Supreme Court and Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt last November. In the first year of government, in September 2010, Hungary joined the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) which came into being as an initiative of the UN, Interpol, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the State of Austria. Parliament created a law on the protection of the nation’s assets, and the new Penal Code to enter into force in July 2013 will introduce further firm rules for the protection of fairness in public life. The Government has made the public procurement legislation substantially more stringent, thereby putting an end to the untenable practice under previous socialist governments, in the wake of which billions of forints were misappropriated due to the shortcomings and loopholes of the public procurement system. Thanks to the new public procurement law, Hungary has, uniquely in the European Union, disqualified off-shore businesses with an unclear proprietary background from public procurement proceedings. In consequence of this measure, incomes generated in Hungary cannot be channelled out to foreign tax havens in an uncontrolled manner. According to the new rules, for instance, a company that fails to fully disclose its proprietary structure cannot be awarded public procurements. The novel features introduced in the new public procurement law are, in a number of instances, parallel to the goals of the EU directives currently in the making. Consequently, Hungary created a progressive legal rule that is fully compatible with the laws of the EU and is exemplary also by international standards.

Local Governments gain help in preparing local Equal Opportunities Programmes (Online 05 Jul) An Equal Opportunities Programme will be one of the entry conditions for any settlement taking part in competitive domestic- and EU-financed tender schemes. For the preparation of such programmes local governresponse to ments—in requests from them—were granted an extension to the deadline, now 1 July 2013, due to the newly accepted amendment to the Act regulating this issue. Compared to the previous formula, a new element has been installed into the system: professional help will be granted, free of charge, in the preparation of appropriate Equal Opportunities Programmes through an equal opportunities mentoring network established by the Türr István Training and Research Institute (TTRI) [Hungarian: Türr István Képző és Kutató Intézet, TKKI], which is the background institute of the State Secretariat for Social Inclusion, Ministry of Human Resources. On the basis of the Act on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities, local governments

accept a local Equal Opportunities Programme for up to 5 years, and may be granted tender subsidies only if they have an appropriate and operative Equal Opportunities Programme. The shift in the original deadline in the Act from 1 November 2012 became necessary because in the range of public services that most affects the target groups (e.g. public education, healthcare) the ongoing changes in the persons of the maintainers mean the scope of duties for local governments are also changing, which has an influence on the long-term preparation of action plans (five-years in length), and the precise definition of the measures in question. With this—in response to the request from local government bodies— the new deadline, 1 July 2013, has been indicated in the recently published amendment. The local Equal Opportunities Programme is prepared and supervised by the appointed civil servants of the local government authority. In the preparation and supervision of their programmes local governments may now

request the expert service and preparatory courses provided by the TTRI, free of charge, through the equal opportunities mentoring network. The training courses are due to be launched this autumn, and to be realized in a number of stages. In the local Equal Opportunities Programme, the local government authorities prepare an analysis of current social, educational, employment, healthcare and housing status of disadvantaged groups in society—and in the community—and create an action plan for the complex management of these problems. The local governments prepare their programmes within a framework of harmonized principles in order to follow and monitor in an appropriate manner at a national level the change in status of the target groups (those living in extreme poverty, the Roma, elderly people, women and handicapped people) and the completed or ongoing measures. The local governments publish their programmes and send them to the TTRI. The Institute publishes each program on its website.

Prime Minister Orban’s greetings to former PM Gyula Horn (Online 05 Jul) Dear Prime Minister, All leaders sworn to serve the public have a duty to express their appreciation for the achievements of their predecessors, because promoting the nation

is only possible through cooperation, with successive generations joining forces. We are, first of all, Hungarians, and pursue the nation's prosperity through our faith and with the best of our knowledge; therefore

the things that connect us will always outnumber any divisions. Let me join your family, relatives and friends in wishing you good health. I wish you a happy 80th birthday.

Job protection action plan aimed at assisting elderly, young and unskilled people and cutting red tape for Hungarian small enterprises (Online 05 Jul) The government is set to launch a 10-point job protection action plan which aims to improve the situation of disadvantaged employees,

jobseekers and enterprises. The primary objective of this package of measures is to create and preserve existing jobs as one of the keys to the eco-

nomic growth of Hungary. The budgetary resources required for the action plan will be provided by the financial transaction duty.

Opening Speech on the Conference on Democracy and Human Rights 2012 (Online 06 Jul) Today we are glad to find some common ideas, common convictions, common values. One of the basic messages of this conference is of course that there is an inseparable link between democracy and human rights. These two things are connected, they are able to bind: there is no democracy without full respect of human rights, and there is no respect of human rights and dignity without well-functioning, stable democracy. It was in this spirit that a series of CODE conferences were launched last year, in parallel with the opening of the Lantos Institute. We are very grateful to the ICDT, and personally to President Gyarmati, for launching this initiative with a series of such conferences. One of the major events was the opening of the Tom Lantos Institute. As most of you know very well, the Institute carries the name of the great Hungarian American Congressman, Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. legislature. Tom, who founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, was a staunch defender of the principle of human rights. It is therefore important to invoke his legacy when addressing a wide range of issues, such as the role of Europe in promoting democracy, human rights and multiculturalism, combatting prejudices and enhancing conflict prevention. Those issues and the underlying values are all the more relevant these days, as we unfortunately witness many incidents in Europe and around the world that involve inciting hatred against minority groups, including but not limited to anti-Semitism, discrimination against the Roma, or attacks against members of national and religious minorities. I would just like to invoke that even a couple of days ago we discussed this issue in the Foreign Affairs Council, the issue of atrocities or violence against religious minorities, including Christian minorities, in some of the countries. It is my belief that we should pursue a more coordinated approach among democracies, in Europe, across the Atlantic and elsewhere in the world, when addressing these challenges before the danger of extremism becomes even more serious. The Hungarian Government

is aware that our country and our nation are not immune either in the face of this challenge. I strongly believe, however, that the voices of extremism, undoubtedly present also in Hungary, are marginalized by the majority public opinion. I can confirm that all these elements are and will be addressed with the strongest determination by the country. Political decision-makers in Hungary consider religious or ethnic minorities as an integral and valuable part of Hungarian culture and society and they are committed to stand up for the minorities’ protection. I fully share the views of our President of the Republic, János Áder, in this respect – let me quote him: “We should make it clear once and for all, that no one should feel they have the right to insult, humiliate, threaten or exclude anyone on the grounds of religion, origin, culture or national identity.” In that spirit we not only fight and condemn extremist incidents, whenever and in whichever form they might occur, but we intend to use all the means, including the legal instruments, at our disposal, always of course within the limits of democracy and the rule of law. We will prevent further incidents, and if they are not prevented, we shall apply the law, including prosecution of those responsible. The legal instruments at our disposal have been substantially strengthened, widened and enhanced in the last two years and are and will be implemented with full severeness and determination. Ladies and Gentlemen, The CODE conference this year is dedicated to the commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat whose legacy continues to strengthen our belief in universal human values and in the capacity of man to remain righteous in the face of inhumanity. The fate of this courageous rescuer encapsulates the tragedy of the 20th century: Wallenberg fought against a dictatorship and consequently disappeared in the prisons of another totalitarian power. As most of you are aware, the Hungarian government honours the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wallenberg with a year-long series of commemorative events organized both in Hungary and beyond. Exhibitions are arranged in many countries across the world. I myself

opened some of those exhibitions: one in Skopje, one in Buenos Aires, and one in Brasilia. And these events go on. A very important event will take place in the upcoming weeks in Israel, hopefully with the participation of the President of Hungary. By commemorating the man, we also recall an inhuman chapter of the history of our country when the Hungarian State was weighed on the scales and found wanting. Therefore, it is the conviction of the Hungarian government that it is of crucial importance to unveil our past and learn from its lessons. Let me highlight at this point one particular program of the Centennial: the Wallenberg High School competition. It is important to emphasize that more than 110 high schools applied for the competition from all around Hungary. These young students took their time to study in great detail the horrors of the Second World War and the Holocaust, and at the same time, to discover the deeds and heroism of the rescuers. While remembering an era of darkness filled with tragedy for all Hungarians indeed, it is nonetheless reassuring to note that through his person, Wallenberg himself is, to this day, binding several countries together: Sweden, Hungary, Israel, the United States and indeed, all mankind. All these countries cooperate in many areas of promoting democracy and human rights, and of course in preserving and commemorating the legacy of Wallenberg. While historical remembrance has an important role in educating younger generations, we also pursue a forward-looking approach to promoting the legacy of both Wallenberg and Tom Lantos. It is undoubtedly our duty to face the past, never forget the crimes that have been committed and to shoulder one another’s pain. My most sincere hope is, however, that if we are able to take all these steps, we will also be able to forgive one another one day. The rescuers dared to stand up for universal values under any circumstances. I believe that this conference, which I hope will be followed by many similar events organized by the ICDT and the Lantos Institute, will serve as yet another contribution to promoting democracy and human rights in our time. I thank you for your attention.

79 Issue | Zarb-e-Jamhoor e-Newspaper | 08-14 Jul, 2012  

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