Archive for Spain
A former Canberra embassy worker has spoken of her “betrayal” by her former employers, the Spanish government, which is accused of refusing to hand over years worth of superannuation payments. Another former worker for the Spanish government in Australia says she has been left disabled by cancer but without vital disability cover because of the consulate’s failure to pay her super. The two women are now taking legal action against their former employer, looking to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid super, interest and penalties. But the Spanish government has defended itself, claiming its two former employees were covered by their home country’s social welfare system during the periods in question and their current claim was an attempt to “double-dip”. Canberra grandmother Esperanza Poveda had two stints as a secretary at the embassy of Spain in Canberra between 1986 and 1998, and from 2004 until 2014. In 2012, she secured an order from the ATO for the embassy to pay her unpaid super for the second period she worked there, but she says her former bosses refused to pay her for her first stint. Ms Poveda is claiming damages of $68,000, which includes $32,000 in unpaid superannuation for 1992-1998 and penalty interest. Melbourne woman Miren Itziar Urbieta worked at Spain’s consulate in the Victorian capital for 18 years until 2011 and says she was not any paid any superannuation at all. According to her lawyers, the consulate’s failure to pay her superannuation, left her ineligible for total and permanent disability cover through her VicSuper fund and she is battling tonsil cancer which has left her permanently disabled since 2015. Ms Urbieta is seeking damages of $131,000 including $54,000 in unpaid superannuation, $62,000 in penalty interest, and $15,000 for the TPD benefit that she would have been entitled to if super payments had been made into her VicSuper account. But a spokesman for the Spanish embassy indicated it would be defending the claims, saying the women were covered by the Spanish social security system during the period in question and were therefore not entitled to payments under the Australian system.
Liberian officials say “a crook” in Spain has sold Liberia’s embassy there at over US$1m, but Spanish government have already seized proceeds of the sale and were trying to return the buyer’s money and give back Liberia its foreign mission property. Liberia’s Justice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Federick D.Cherue said the dealer sold the embassy over US$1m, and Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara said the sale of the embassy did not link any Liberian. Without naming the buyer, Minister Kamara said the dealer actually sold the property to a man, but said further it has become a courtcase. Justice Minister Frederick Cherue said “this property was sold by a crook” who is in such habit … of causing confusion in Europe. The Justice Minister added that the alleged embassy seller forged the signatures of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice in the process. The Liberian Attorney General said the suspect sold the embassy over US$1 million; but the government of Spain was trying to get the money to give it back to the buyer of the property.
Spain has opened a Brexit desk in its London embassy. The special desk is designed to resolve doubts concerning the effects of the UK’s divorce from the EU on Spaniards living in Britain and Northern Ireland. A Foreign Ministry statement today said the desk will provide information on issues such as residence permits, health care, pensions, education and grants. Some 132,000 Spaniards are registered as living in the UK and Northern Ireland, while more than two million visited in 2015.
Sudan’s police have announced the arrest of the alleged killer of a Spanish diplomat, who was found stabbed to death at his home in Khartoum last week dismissing any political or terrorist motives behind the incident. Emiliano Garcia, who headed the Spanish embassy’s visa section in Khartoum was found stabbed to death in his apartment in the affluent Garden City neighbourhood of the Sudanese capital on Monday morning. Sudan’s interior ministry said in a statement on Monday that the 61-year-old diplomat had worked in the country for three years, pointing that a special team from the criminal investigation unit was assigned to lead investigations. Khartoum police chief, Mohamed Ahmed Ali, said in a press conference that the alleged killer, who is a university student, visited the slain diplomat more than 20 times during the last six months. The police chief added that the suspect left the capital for Gazira state on the following day of the crime. He said that some of the slain diplomat’s belongings including 2 mobile phones and an iPad device were found in the possession of the perpetrator, underscoring the suspect immediately confessed to committing the crime. He further stressed there were no political, terrorist or organised motives behind the killing of the Spanish diplomat, adding it was an individual criminal act. In statements to the official news agency SUNA, Spanish ambassador to Khartoum, Juan González-Barba Pera, expressed deep satisfaction with the arrest of the killer and thanked the police.
A Spanish diplomat has been found dead in his apartment in the affluent Garden City neighborhood of the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Sudan’s interior ministry said in a statement that the diplomat was apparently stabbed to death. “The 61-years old official headed the Spanish embassy’s visa section and had worked in the country for three years”, the statement said.A maid who worked at the apartment found the body and reported the death early on Monday morning. Sudan’s foreign ministry identified the diplomat as Emiliano Garcia in a separate statement. It described the diplomat’s death as a “regrettable incident” and underscored that the government is firmly committed to protecting all foreign diplomats in Sudan. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation confirmed “with regret” the death of their diplomat adding that they remain in contact with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, police and judicial authorities who are leading the investigation. Earlier this year Russia’s consul and his wife have been stabbed in Khartoum outside the embassy’s gates by a man from the Central African Republic (CAR). According to the Sudanese police, the attacker mistakenly thought that the couple belonged to one of the western countries that sent troops to CAR recently.
A former police officer went on trial Wednesday charged in the deaths of 37 people more than three decades ago when the Spanish Embassy burned down during this Central American nation’s bloody civil conflict. Pedro Garcia Arredondo, the 69-year-old former special investigations chief for the Sixth Commando of the National Police, is accused of homicide and crimes against humanity for allegedly ordering officers to keep anyone from leaving the diplomatic mission as it burned on Jan. 31, 1980. Protesters from Indian, student, peasant, labor and other groups had taken over the embassy to call attention to massacres during the 1960-96 civil war. Police surrounded and sealed the facility. When the fire broke out, Arredondo “ordered police agents under his command to destroy windows with the only intention of causing the death of those inside because they were considered internal enemies,” prosecutor Hilda Pineda said. “The people inside were screaming in pain because they were burning.” Arredondo declined to testify but proclaimed his innocence in brief remarks. Former Spanish Ambassador Maximo Cajal y Lopez, who survived the fire, died earlier this year. However, he left testimony that will be presented at the trial along with the accounts of at least 23 other witnesses.
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Minister Peiris said that the growing strength of the bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and Spain is indicated by the decision of the Spanish Cabinet to establish a Spanish Embassy in Colombo. Spain’s Foreign Minister, in response to a request by his Sri Lankan counterpart, agreed to assist with regard to the expansion of Sri Lanka’s trade relations, especially in the field of cinnamon and other spices trade, with countries in Latin America with which Spain enjoys strong ties.