L’otto aprile si terranno in Ungheria le elezioni politiche per il rinnovo del parlamento.
«Opinion polls shows Fidesz, Mr Orban’s party, is on course to win a huge victory in the election. A rolling average of opinion polls ahead of the contest shows his party on over 50 per cent of the vote, which would give them a majority. Polling in second place on 17 per cent is Jobbik, an extreme far-right party, while the centre-left social democrats trial in third position on around 12 per cent»
«At least part of the new law would require a two-thirds majority in the parliament to pass because it affects the “basic law” of the country’s constitution»
Sotto la condizione che le attuali prospezioni elettorali siano corrette, il Fidesz potrebbe ottenere la maggioranza dei deputati, forse anche in numero tale da poter da solo varare leggi costituzionali.
Nel caso della legge sulle ngo di Mr Soros però sembrerebbe ragionevole prospettare anche il voto favorevole del Jobbik, che apporterebbe un surplus del 17% del totale dei deputati eletti.
Di conseguenza, sembrerebbe essere ragionevole prospettare che la legge sulle ngo possa essere approvata in tempi rapidi.
In questa maniera l’Ungheria assumerebbe le posizioni prese da tempo da quasi tutto il resto del mondo civile. E nessuno potrebbe negare che i risultati delle urne non siano espressione democratica.
Solo l’attuale dirigenza pro tempore dell’Unione Europea persiste nell’ideologia liberal e socialista, anche se negli ultimi tempi l’Elettorato ha voltato loro le spalle. Ora come ora, l’Italia è uno dei pochi paesi rimasti con governo ideologico, e verosimilmente il 4 marzo potrebbe esserci un cambio della guardia, allineando così anche l’Italia ai principi fondamentali della società civile mondiale.
In questo contesto si colloca l’ultima iniziativa di Mr Orban in materia.
«Last year, the Orban government introduced a measure requiring NGOs that get money from abroad to register with the state, raising alarm in the EU and United States.»
«The European Commission said last year it was taking Budapest to the EU’s top court over its NGO laws as well as a higher education law that targets the Central European University in Budapest founded by Soros»
«Hungary’s nationalist government introduced legislation that would empower the interior minister to ban non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support migration and pose a “national security risk”.»
«The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration»
«NGOs that sponsor, organize or support the entry or stay of third-country citizens on Hungarian territory via a safe third country to extend international protection … qualify as organizations supporting migration»
«Such activity – including campaigning, advocacy, recruiting volunteers, producing information booklets – would have to be approved by the interior minister, who could deny permission if he saw a “national security risk”.»
«Orban’s message, championing conservative Christian beliefs and rejecting multiculturalism, has gone down well with Hungarian voters and his Fidesz party is expected to secure a third straight term in a general election»
«Activists who organize or support migration could also face restraining orders preventing them from approaching the EU’s external borders in Hungary»
* * * * * * *
Ogni cosa richiede i suoi tempi.
L’ideologia liberal e quella del socialismo non attraggono più gli Elettori: solo per citare qualche numero, il partito socialista francese si aggira attorno al 6% e la socialdemocrazia tedesca è crollata al 15%,
La dirigenza dell’Unione Europea è ancora sua strenua sostenitrice, ma anche per essa si avvicinano scadenze elettorali che sembrerebbero esserle non favorevoli. Già adesso la gestione del Consiglio di Europa appare del tutto problematica, e la Germania è tuttora senza governo. Ed anche qualora prendesse corpo la riedizione della Große Koalition il potere reale di Frau Merkel sarebbe solo il fantasma di quello che fu un tempo.
Ancora qualche anno di tempo, e la devoluzione del socialismo dovrebbe essere arrivata in porto.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s nationalist government introduced legislation that would empower the interior minister to ban non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support migration and pose a “national security risk”.
The bill, submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, is a key part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign targeting U.S. financier George Soros whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.
The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros.
Hungary and Poland are both under nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Union leadership in Brussels over their perceived authoritarian drift deviating from EU standards on democracy and rule of law.
But Orban’s message, championing conservative Christian beliefs and rejecting multiculturalism, has gone down well with Hungarian voters and his Fidesz party is expected to secure a third straight term in a general election due on April 8.
The bill says that NGOs that “sponsor, organize or support the entry or stay of third-country citizens on Hungarian territory via a safe third country to extend international protection … qualify as organizations supporting migration”.
Such activity – including campaigning, advocacy, recruiting volunteers, producing information booklets – would have to be approved by the interior minister, who could deny permission if he saw a “national security risk”.
If an NGO continued with such activity, Hungarian prosecutors could act to withdraw the NGO’s tax number, essentially paralyzing them, slap them with heavy fines and ultimately dissolve them.
Organizations that support migration will have to pay tax on the foreign funding or assets they receive, the bill says, with a possible exemption on funding that serves humanitarian goals.
Activists who organize or support migration could also face restraining orders preventing them from approaching the EU’s external borders in Hungary.
Orban has been embroiled in an escalating “Stop Soros” feud with the 87-year-old Hungarian-born Jew, waging a billboard and media campaign asserting that he would “settle millions from Africa and the Middle East”.
Soros has rejected the campaign against him as “distortions and lies” meant to create a false external enemy.
Pro-government media reported earlier that the new legislation could lead to a ban on Soros, who has U.S. and Hungarian citizenship, entering the country.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an NGO that has been providing support for the legal and human rights of various groups including asylum seekers and prisoners since 1994, said the bill was unacceptable and served political goals.
“(Its goal) is to stigmatize certain civil organizations that the government does not like… and to distance them from society, and in the end make their operation impossible,” the committee, which receives a major chunk of its funding from Soros, said in a statement.
Poland, Hungary and other ex-communist eastern member states of the EU have all pushed a strong anti-immigrant stance, even though the number of asylum seekers who want to stay in these countries are very few compared to western European countries.
Last year, the Orban government introduced a measure requiring NGOs that get money from abroad to register with the state, raising alarm in the EU and United States.
The European Commission said last year it was taking Budapest to the EU’s top court over its NGO laws as well as a higher education law that targets the Central European University in Budapest founded by Soros.
Viktor Orban’s government unveils policy ahead of country’s general election.
The right-wing populist Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has outlined plans for a new law that would give it the power to ban civil society groups that help immigrants and refugees.
The measure is one of the planks in Mr Orban’s drive against US financier George Soros, who has been the target of a state-backed national hate campaign because of his funding of liberal projects.
The law defines organisations that helps migrants as any NGOs that “sponsor, organise or otherwise support a third-country national’s entry or stay in Hungary via a safe third country in order to ensure international protection”.
Hungary’s interior minister, the equivalent of its Home Secretary, would have to grant approval and a permit for any such organisation to operate, and could prevent them from doing any work on “national security” grounds.
The definition in the law covers organisations that do legal work, campaign, distributing information or recruiting volunteers with the aim of helping foreign nationals.
The new law would also require NGOs that did gain approval to pay a special 25 per cent tax on any international funding aimed at helping migrants and refugees.
Under the bill, activists for NGOs could also be issued with restraining orders to prevent them from going near Hungary’s borders, in order to hinder their work.
International NGOs condemned the new bill, which was introduced to the Hungarian Parliament ahead of elections to be held on 8 April this year.
“This law would give the government carte blanche to target NGOs on the flimsiest of pretexts,” Gauri van Gulik, Europe director of Amnesty International said.
“In reality, these proposals have nothing to do with protecting national security or borders, and everything with muzzling those who work to assist people in need and dare to raise their voices.
“We call on Hungary to withdraw this bill, and it is high time for EU leaders, who have watched on the sidelines as Hungary crossed red line after red line, to finally take concrete action to stop this assault on civil society.”
Mr Orban has campaigned heavily on the issue of immigration to Hungary and claimed that the law will prevent the giving up of “national independence” and hinder politicians who he claimed wanted to “transform Hungary into an immigrant country”.
Opinion polls shows Fidesz, Mr Orban’s party, is on course to win a huge victory in the election. A rolling average of opinion polls ahead of the contest shows his party on over 50 per cent of the vote, which would give them a majority. Polling in second place on 17 per cent is Jobbik, an extreme far-right party, while the centre-left social democrats trial in third position on around 12 per cent.
At least part of the new law would require a two-thirds majority in the parliament to pass because it affects the “basic law” of the country’s constitution.
«The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality»
Avaaz è una organizzazione che conta 47 milioni di membri in 194 paesi del mondo.
«Avaaz è la comunità che si crea intorno a una campagna che porta i cittadini dentro ai processi decisionali in tutto il mondo.
Avaaz esiste solo da 5 anni, ma è già diventata la rete di pressione politica online più grande e più efficace del mondo. The Guardian
Avaaz, che significa “voce” in diverse lingue europee, mediorientali e asiatiche, è stata lanciata nel 2007 con una semplice missione democratica: organizzare i cittadini di tutte le nazioni per ridurre la distanza tra il mondo che abbiamo e il mondo che la maggior parte delle persone, in ogni luogo del mondo, vorrebbe.
Avaaz dà la possibilità a milioni di persone, ognuna con la sua storia, di impegnarsi su questioni urgenti di carattere globale e nazionale, dalla corruzione alla povertà ai conflitti e al cambiamento climatico. Il nostro modello di organizzazione su internet permette a migliaia di azioni individuali, non importanta quanto piccole, di combinarsi rapidamente in una potente forza collettiva. (Leggi dei nostri risultati sulla pagina In evidenza.)
La comunità di Avaaz agisce in 15 lingue grazie a un team di professionisti sparsi per il mondo e a migliaia di volontari. La nostra azione (firmando petizioni, finanziando campagne di comunicazione e azioni sul campo, inviando e-mail e facendo pressione sui governi, organizzando proteste ‘offline’, per le strade e nelle piazze e altri eventi) vuole far sì che il punto di vista e i valori dei cittadini in tutto il mondo influiscano sulle decisioni che riguardano tutti noi.» [Avaaz]
«Avaaz è un’organizzazione non governativa internazionale istituita nel 2007 a New York che promuove attivismo su tematiche quali il cambiamento climatico, i diritti umani, i diritti degli animali, la corruzione, la povertà e i conflitti. La sua missione dichiarata è quella di permettere che i processi decisionali di portata globale vengano influenzati dall’opinione pubblica. L’organizzazione opera in quindici lingue diverse, e conta, stando al sito ufficiale, più di 43 milioni di membri iscritti in 194 paesi.
Essendo una comunità on-line, i membri effettivi sono considerati gli iscritti al sito. I membri della community possono essere definiti “attivi” dal momento in cui, via web, partecipano, sottoscrivono e diffondono le attività dell’associazione. L’associazione utilizza anche l’attività “concreta” di alcuni membri che agiscono nella vita reale (per esempio la consegna di petizioni direttamente ai referenti politici) e si avvale di alcuni membri stipendiati che sono direttamente assunti dalla Fondazione “Avaaz.org”, con sede a New York» [Fonte]
«Avaaz.org è stata cofondata da Res Publica, una “comunità di professionisti del settore pubblico con l’obiettivo di promuovere il buon governo, partecipazione civica e una democrazia deliberativa”, e MoveOn.org, un gruppo non-profit americano di pressione verso politiche progressiste. È stata anche sostenuta dall’Unione Internazionale degli Impiegati di Servizio (SEIU) e GetUp!, una organizzazione non-profit australiana di campagne.
Tra i fondatori ci sono Ricken Patel, Tom Pravda, l’ex parlamentare della Virginia Tom Perriello, il direttore esecutivo di MoveOn.org Eli Pariser, l’imprenditore australiano progressista David Madden, Jeremy Heimans (cofondatore di Purpose.com), e Andrea Woodhouse. Il direttivo è composto da Ricken Patel (presidente), Tom Pravda (segretario), Eli Pariser (presidente del direttivo), e Ben Brandzel (tesoriere).
Il presidente, fondatore e direttore esecutivo di Avaaz è il Canadese-britannico Ricken Patel. Ha studiato Politica, Filosofia e Economia al Balliol College, Università di Oxford. Ha ricevuto un master in Politiche Pubbliche dall’Università di Harvard. Ha lavorato per l’International Crisis Group in diversi paesi nel mondo, inclusi Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan e Afghanistan, dove, ha dichiarato “ha imparato a portare le forze ribelli ai tavoli di negoziato, a monitorare le elezioni (di nascosto), e a ridare fiducia a un sistema politico un tempo corrotto e a capire quando le forze straniere venivano manipolate.” È tornato negli USA e ha fatto il volontario per MoveOn.org, dove ha imparato come usare gli strumenti online per l’attivismo.
Una inchiesta pubblicata su “Off Guardian” on line del 18 giugno 2015 ha messo in rilievo come sia “Res Publica” che “Move on” – ossìa le organizzazioni che hanno dato vita ad Avaaz – hanno certamente avuto Soros tra i loro cospicui finanziatori. Lo stesso articolo analizza le biografie dei fondatori e mette in guardia sulla insufficiente trasparenza dell’organizzazione.» [Fonte]
«$20 million? That’s a lot of generosity right there. But yes, the money is definitely rolling in. In an article from 2012, Empire Strikes Black links to Avaaz’s 990 form for 2010, which demonstrates an annual income from “contributions and grants” of $4,767,187 in 2009, and almost half as much again in 2010. Similar returns from 2012-13 show figures of $11,611,547 and $14,545,459 respectively.» [Fonte]
«Res Publica is a bit hard to pin down. Their Wiki link leads nowhere now, and their URL is dead. There seems to be nothing much about them online that adds more information than the brief summary offered by Avaaz, but NGO Monitor tells us they: “received grants totaling $250,000 from the Soros Open Society Institute in 2008.”» [Fonte]
«Moveon.org are easier to trace. Their website is still active. They are a Democratic party front group, currently campaigning against GMO salmon, the Confederate flag, Greek austerity and numerous other things, many of which seem eminently reasonable. According to the WaPo they received $1.6 million from “George Soros and his wife” back in 2004.» [Fonte]
«The International Crisis Group has George Soros as a “trustee” (my how that man gets around). Other trustees include Wes Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, several retired state department officials, ambassadors, diplomats and prime ministers.» [Fonte]
«Tom Perriello, the second name on Avaaz’s list of individual founders is a “United States State Department official”, and a lawyer, who “served one term as a U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 5th congressional district.” He is also a member of the Democratic Party. He formerly served as President and CEO of Center for American Progress Action Fund and Counselor for Policy at Center for American Progress» [Fonte]
«Avaaz was co-founded in 2007 by “Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org.” The former received grants totaling $250,000 from the Soros Open Society Institute in 2008. The latter received a $1.46 million grant from George Soros in 2004. Res Publica describes Avaaz.org as its “primary current project.”
According to a 2007 ABC News report on Avaaz.org’s call for the firing of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, Avaaz.org is a “global advocacy group funded by philanthropist and financier George Soros, MoveOn.org and the labor group SEIU.”
According to the 2009 Form 990 (page 87) filed by the Open Society Foundations, OSF gave $600,000 to Avaaz.org via New York-based Res Publica; $300,000 for “general support to Avaaz.org” and $300,000 for “Avaaz.org’s work on climate change.”
A check into OSF 990s for 2010 or 2011 show no grants for Avaaz nor Res Publica. According to its 2011 990, Avaaz.org’s total revenue for that year was $7,519,028. Avaaz.org claims it is “wholly member-funded.” Avaaz does not publish a detailed list of donors on its website or 990 forms, and therefore this claim cannot be verified independently.
Avaaz.org is active in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Its 2011 campaign “Palestine: the time is now,” was aimed at pressuring the UK, France, and Germany to support a Palestinian bid for recognition. The petition and accompanying video titled “Middle East Peace – The Real Story” promotes the Palestinian narrative. In 2007 Avaaz.org launched a petition calling to “End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now” demanding an end to the “blockade and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and “ensure the free flow of supplies by land, sea or air.”
Sono in molti ad aver ricevuto la seguente e-mail.
«Cari avaaziani in tutta Italia,
quasi nessuno sembra essersene accorto, ma secondo gli ultimi sondaggi alla coalizione Berlusconi-Salvini-Meloni mancherebbero solo 5 seggi per avere la maggioranza al Senato e 20 per quella alla Camera!
Ma c’è un modo per fermarli — strappargli per pochi voti i seggi più incerti.
In tutta Italia, ci sono almeno 25 collegi in cui basta che poche centinaia di noi decidano di votare per il candidato con più possibilità di battere quello dell’estrema destra per cambiare l’esito delle elezioni nazionali! Questo perché in ogni collegio chi prende più voti va direttamente in Parlamento!
Questa battaglia è veramente importante! Siamo di fronte a candidati di estrema destra che credono che la “razza bianca” debba essere “protetta”, che l’omosessualità sia una malattia o che organizzano manifestazioni per togliere diritti alle donne e alle famiglie. Possiamo fermarli… assieme!
Clicca qui sotto per sapere se il tuo seggio è in bilico e chi è il candidato che ha maggiori possibilità di vincere:
In alcuni collegi il candidato favorito è del Movimento 5 stelle, in altri del Partito Democratico o di Più Europa. La campagna di Avaaz non sostiene nessuna coalizione o partito ma ha l’unico obiettivo di evitare che partiti estremisti arrivino al governo del Paese. Clicca per farci sapere se nel tuo seggio pensi o meno di votare il candidato che può fermare questa coalizione dell’odio.
E se non vivi in una delle zone più in bilico, sicuramente hai degli amici a cui queste informazioni potrebbero essere utili! In quel caso, condividi con loro la pagina e informali di questa campagna. La nuova legge elettorale ha introdotto dei candidati per ogni circoscrizione, ma pochissimi elettori sanno quali sono e ancora di meno quali hanno reali possibilità di essere eletti.
I membri di Avaaz supportano partiti molto diversi tra loro. Dal Partito Democratico al Movimento 5 Stelle, da +Europa a Liberi e Uguali o Potere al Popolo e molti altri. Ma sono uniti nel rifiuto dell’estrema destra violenta e razzista. E la maggior parte vuole unirsi e fermare l’ascesa al potere di questa coalizione dell’odio.
Non tutti saranno disposti a cambiare le loro intenzioni di voto. Ed è giusto così. Ma basta che poche centinaia di noi in ogni collegio si uniscano per sconfiggere l’estrema destra, e possiamo farcela.»
* * * * * * *
«alla coalizione Berlusconi-Salvini-Meloni mancherebbero solo 5 seggi per avere la maggioranza …. Siamo di fronte a candidati di estrema destra che credono che la “razza bianca” debba essere “protetta”, che l’omosessualità sia una malattia o che organizzano manifestazioni per togliere diritti alle donne e alle famiglie»
Riportiamo in fotocopia la pagina 25, da cui si evince come la sola Oxfam Italia abbia percepito fondi pubblici per 14,678,668 euro.
Ossia, in altri termini, il Contribuente paga le tasse, lo stato le percepisce e con queste finanzia, inter alias, anche questa ngo.
Si faccia attenzione!
Mentre il denaro pubblico è sottoposto ad un qualcosa che potrebbe vagamente assomigliare ad un qualche controllo della spesa, le spese delle ngo non sono controllabili da parte del pubblico che ha ‘donato‘. La ngo ne dispone a piacere.
Per esempio, donne e champagne, per non parlare del resto.
Con stipendi da capogiro, nemmeno che i dipendenti delle ngo fossero il Governatore della banca centrale europea.
Guardate nel bilancio gli accontonamenti per il Tfr. Ma il bilancio della Oxfam UK è quasi cento volte maggiore. Non parliamo poi della gestione a livello mondiale.
«Far too many people are looking for reasons not to give to charity or not to support the UK devoting 0.7 per cent of its national income to the world’s poorest people. We must show that we will not accept corruption in foreign aid. The resignation of deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence will not be enough.
If we want to be sure that the organisation will reform and rebuild itself, and not damage the reputation of aid and development work permanently, then the Government has to cut off its funding. The replacement of deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence with another boss will not guarantee changes in behaviour thousands of miles away.
Thus, there should be an immediate announcement that the £32m a year Oxfam currently receives will be wound down in an orderly fashion.»
«Mordaunt said the government would cut its funding for the charity unless executives could prove in a meeting with her on Monday that they had the moral leadership for it to continue. Oxfam received nearly £32m from the government in the last financial year.»
«European commission may withhold £29m grant as charity faces statutory inquiry in UK.
Oxfam could lose £29m in European funding because of its handling of sexual misconduct by senior staff in Haiti and Chad, officials in Brussels have said.
The European commission, which provided almost as much funding as the UK government last year, said: “We are ready to review and if needed cease funding any partner who is not living up to the required high ethical standards.”»
Mr Soros, con la fattiva collaborazione dei governi liberal e socialisti, ha montato un ingegnoso sistema. Le sue ngo ricevono immani quantità di denaro da parte delle pubbliche amministrazioni compiacenti ed amiche, che da quel momento ne perdono il controllo. La sola branca inglese della International Development Association ha percepito dal Governo di Sua Maestà 1.1 miliardi di sterline.
Ma ad Haiti sono arrivati fondi per poche decine di milioni di dollari.
Sembrerebbe essere lecito domandarsi dove sia finito il resto di tutto quel denaro pubblico.
Le ultime rivelazioni provengono da una ex dipendente, Helen Evans, che ha parlato di casi di «sesso in cambio di aiuti umanitari»
È bufera su Oxfam: mentre si allarga lo scandalo sugli abusi sessuali (è la «punta dell’iceberg», accusa l’ex ministro britannico per lo Sviluppo Internazionale), il presidente di Oxfam International finisce in manette per un caso di sospetta corruzione in Guatemala. Episodi non legati tra di loro, ma che danno il senso della crisi in una delle organizzazioni umanitarie più grandi e rispettate a mondo.
Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight, presidente di Oxfam International dal 2015 ed ex ministro dell’Economia nel governo guatemalteco, è stato arrestato insieme all’ex presidente del Paese, Álvaro Colom, nell’ambito di un’inchiesta sull’appropriazione di fondi pubblici destinati a progetti di infrastrutture. Da Londra, Oxfam International ha fatto sapere che Fuentes Knight «ha assicurato di aver pienamente collaborato con le indagini e si dice certo di non aver trasgredito consapevolmente a regole o procedure». Ma la notizia ha messo ulteriormente in imbarazzo Oxfam, ed è immediatamente rimbalzata nel Regno, dove lo scandalo non accenna a fermarsi. Anzi. Rischia di toccare anche l’amministratore delegato (era o meno a conoscenza dei presunti abusi?) e mette a rischio 32 milioni di sterline in finanziamenti pubblici.
Le ultime rivelazioni provengono da una ex dipendente, Helen Evans, che ha parlato di casi di «sesso in cambio di aiuti umanitari». Ha denunciato tra gli altri un presunto caso di stupro di un’operatrice umanitaria da parte di un collega nel Sudan del Sud, e un’aggressione ad una giovane volontaria da parte di un commesso in uno dei tanti negozi di beneficenza nel Regno Unito. La Evans è stata a capo del dipartimento che gestisce presunti casi di abusi e comportamenti impropri dei dipendenti dal 2012 al 2015. «Chi era ai vertici e conosceva il problema non ha agito», accusa in un’intervista a Channel 4. E punta il dito verso l’ad Mark Goldring, accusato di aver cancellato una riunione da lei richiesta per discutere casi di molestie. Per ora Goldring resiste, e promette di «ricostruire la fiducia perduta», ma la testa della sua vice, Penny Lawrence, è già caduta.
Lo scandalo è esploso venerdì scorso con rivelazioni del Times su festini a luci rosse e sfruttamento della prostituzione ad Haiti dopo il terremoto del 2010. Oxfam ha mandato nel Paese devastato dal sisma centinaia di operatori umanitari e raccolto fondi a favore della popolazione, ma è accusata di non aver reagito in maniera sufficientemente robusta e di aver nascosto gli abusi alle autorità. Lo scandalo ha scosso il Paese: la Oxfam impiega migliaia di persone e l’anno scorso ha raccolto qualcosa come 200 milioni di sterline tra donazioni e vendite di vestiti e oggetti di seconda mano. Il governo indaga, e lo scandalo potrebbe allargarsi ad altre Ong. «Non è un caso isolato», ha detto l’ex ministro Priti Patel. «È la punta dell’iceberg. Nel settore degli aiuti umanitari c’è il rifiuto di affrontare il problema».
Dopo Russia, Cina, India ed Ungheria, a forte richiesta della società civile anche la Polonia si appresta a rinunciare all’onore di ospitare le ong di Mr Soros, che tanto si danno da fare a finanziare perl rovesciare i legittimi governi che le hanno accolte, ed a trasformare i cittadini in atei attivi, nonché, ovviamente, in sessualmente pervertiti.
«Poland’s Law and Justice government wants to clean up the country’s civic sector, but NGOs fear a crackdown is coming»
«Prime minister Beata Szydlo has announced the opening of a “national centre for the development of civic society,” which will set priorities and oversee the financing of charities by public means»
«The government has already prepared a bill, which has not yet been published on the parliament’s website. Authorities said they would consult the text with NGOs»
«Szydlo told reporters last week that a reform was needed because “billions of zlotys… go to foundations which are subordinate to the politics of previous ruling regimes»
«Ordo Iuris is a religious fundamentalist think tank which recently tried to push through a blanket ban on safe and legal abortions»
«NGOs are also under pressure as Poland’s public broadcasters …. have been staging a defamation campaign to portray them as acting against Polish interests»
«accusing the groups of wanting to flood Europe with Muslim refugees and transform “Christian” nations into multicultural stews of left-wing globalism»
* * * * * * * *
«Soros has publicly stated he does not believe in God»
«Many who worked for him said they think he believes he is a god with the right to reshape the world in his image»
«The Polish government wants to stop the distribution of Norwegian money flowing into Poland coming from Soros’ funded Batory Foundation, which manages over 800 million euros with a target of overthrowing the Polish government by 2020»
«Since 2014, the Batory Foundation has distributed some 130 million zlotys (around 31.7 million euros) to various associations and organizations within Poland to change the government.»
«this includes organizations for the promotion of “parliamentary democracy”, but only if it agrees with Soros’ agenda»
«Soros is trying to defeat Catholic values in Poland which are supported by the population and government»
«The situation escalated as the EU reelected Poland’s Donald Tusk against Poland’s.»
Poland’s Law and Justice government wants to clean up the country’s civic sector, but NGOs fear a crackdown is coming.
Prime minister Beata Szydlo has announced the opening of a “national centre for the development of civic society,” which will set priorities and oversee the financing of charities by public means.
The government has already prepared a bill, which has not yet been published on the parliament’s website. Authorities said they would consult the text with NGOs, who say they are still waiting for the opportunity.
According to a leaked draft, however, the centre will administer all public funding going to civil society. It will open its doors early next year, with Szydlo to appoint the director.
Szydlo told reporters last week that a reform was needed because “billions of zlotys… go to foundations which are subordinate to the politics of previous ruling regimes.” She didn’t specify to whom she was referring.
Ewa Kulik-Bielinska, a leading human rights campaigner, told EUobserver that the reform was likely a pretext to transfer public money to pro-government groups.
“Law and Justice lost power in 2007 because they hadn’t realised the value of media and NGOs. In the decade since, they have been building up an alternative civil society, which helped them to power,” said Kulik-Bielinska, who directs the Warsaw-based Stefan Batory Foundation, named after a 16th-century king of Poland.
She said the government was subverting civic society through sponsoring their own organisations and presenting them as representative of society at large.
“One could say that organisations such as Solidarni 2010 or Ordo Iuris are civil society, because they engage many people in their actions. But they aren’t civic in terms of values,” Kulik-Bielinska said.
Solidarni 2010 promotes conspiracies around the 2010 aeroplane crash that killed then-president Lech Kaczynski and a hundred other well-known figures. The association has a side project for monitoring elections, but only contests the ones that PiS loses.
Ordo Iuris is a religious fundamentalist think tank which recently tried to push through a blanket ban on safe and legal abortions. Its chairman, Aleksander Stepkowski, was deputy foreign minister in the PiS government until August.
“Democracy consists of being open to others; allowing for differing opinions,” Kulik-Bielinska added.
She said the government will likely put pressure on their counterparts in Norway, one of the largest donors to civic life in Poland.
Oslo and Warsaw are currently negotiating an €809 million scheme for initiatives aiming to reduce social and economic disparities in Poland.
Batory has played a key role in previous rounds of the cooperation, administering a €37 million fund allotted to Poland for 2009-2014.
Kulik-Bielinska fears the government will try to use the opportunity to try and hijack the Norway grants for their own agenda.
“The Norway grants are a problem, because a lot of money is at stake, and it’s going to ‘wrong’ priorities,” she said.
Some of the money goes to watchdog activities and projects against discrimination and hate crime, which has been deemed special priorities for Poland.
“These funds are crucial. Almost nobody else is funding such initiatives in Poland,” Kulik-Bielinska said.
Norway’s mission to the EU told EUobserver the next operator “will be selected by an open tender process”.
It said the administering body will have to be “independent of government, have regranting experience and knowledge of the sector.”
But in the end, Norway will have to seek approval for its choice of administrating body with the Polish government, which will likely want the role to be filled by its national centre.
BUDAPEST — Emboldened by encouraging signals from the Trump administration, populist leaders across Central and Eastern Europe are mounting simultaneous crackdowns on nongovernmental organizations, once protected by Washington, that promote open government, aid refugees and often serve as checks on authoritarian governments.
In Hungary, where the movement has reached a fever pitch, supporters of Prime Minister Viktor Orban are vilifying “foreign-funded” N.G.O.s — especially those succored by George Soros, the liberal American billionaire — and accusing the groups of wanting to flood Europe with Muslim refugees and transform “Christian” nations into multicultural stews of left-wing globalism. Earlier this week, Zoltan Kovacs, Mr. Orban’s chief international spokesman, described the organizations as “foreign agents financed by foreign money.”
Macedonia’s former autocratic prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, has called for a “de-Sorosization” of society, labeling opponents “Soros-oids” and inspiring a “Stop Operation Soros” movement in January. Poland’s governing party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, says Soros-funded groups want “societies without identity,” and backs fresh efforts to regulate them. In Romania, where hundreds of thousands of anticorruption protesters took to the streets in recent weeks, the leader of the governing party charged that Mr. Soros “financed evil” and has vowed to defeat him. Similar efforts have begun or accelerated in Serbia, Slovakia and Bulgaria since Mr. Trump’s victory.
“These organizations must be pushed back with all available tools,” Szilard Nemeth, vice chairman of Hungary’s governing Fidesz party, told journalists. “I think they must be swept out, and now I believe the international conditions are right for this with the election of a new president.”
For more than a half-century, as Europe first struggled from the ashes of World War II and then shrugged off its Soviet shackles, American-backed nongovernmental organizations have been active across Europe, often called upon to explain the West’s style of democratic capitalism to people who have known neither. Their presence often annoyed the Continent’s more authoritarian-minded leaders, who regard many of the groups to be irritants at best, and threats at worst.
Traditionally, United States administrations of both parties have promoted the spread of democracy and stubbornly defended these advocacy groups. But Mr. Trump has said he will not press America’s political system on other countries and has embraced some of Europe’s far-right leaders. He also has criticized the European Union and made disparaging remarks about some democratic principles — including his frequent criticism of the news media.
For populist leaders like Mr. Orban, who has steadily steered Hungary toward so-called illiberal democracy, this new tone from the White House is regarded as a major opportunity.
“They see it as a historical moment,” said Jozsef Peter Martin, executive director of Transparency International’s Hungary branch. “The geopolitical situation has changed.”
For years, populist and authoritarian governments have been targeting “foreign-funded” organizations in many parts of the world, from China to India, and especially in Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia. Similar talk was common in Central and Eastern Europe, but now governments in Hungary and elsewhere are pushing beyond political speeches to propose legislation.
“Orban has talked about the Trump era being a new international opportunity for Hungary,” said Marta Pardavi, co-founder of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which gets about 30 percent of its funding from Soros-backed foundations. “He said it was a gift to us.”
Gergely Gulyas, a vice president of Hungary’s governing party, agreed that Mr. Trump’s victory had created a geopolitical climate more attractive to Hungary’s current leaders, but he cautioned against seeing that as the decisive reason for the crackdown.
“I think we would have done this even if Hillary Clinton had won,” he said.
He and other supporters of the Hungarian government say the outcry by civil society is a vast overreaction to what is simply a common-sense attempt to force the organizations to be more “transparent” — effectively turning the language of the advocacy groups against them.
In Hungary, governing party officials first began criticizing foreign-funded N.G.O.s in 2013. The following year, state investigators targeted organizations that received money from the Norway Grants, which the Scandinavian nation uses to promote social and economic equality in the formerly communist East. Agents raided the Budapest offices of three organizations and demanded documentation from dozens of others. But the investigators’ final report, released last fall, found no serious infringements of Hungarian law, and no charges were leveled.
But shortly after Mr. Trump’s election, Fidesz leaders immediately renewed their attacks on “foreign-funded” N.G.O.s, as the new villains were groups sponsored by Mr. Soros, while also proposing new legislative restrictions. Fidesz officials have not unveiled their proposals but say they intend to create a registry of such organizations and force them to disclose their financial details. Some officials have proposed forcing local N.G.O. leaders to disclose their personal finances.
“It is only about transparency,” Mr. Gulyas said. “This is a debate that is taking place around the world. An important debate about the future of democracy.”
But advocacy groups say it is more about harassment and intimidation. Stefania Kapronczay, executive director of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, which gets over half its funding from Soros-backed organizations, said Hungarian officials were “testing the waters” to see “what they can get away with.” New restrictions would have a “chilling effect,” she said.
“Some small N.G.O.s just quit,” she said. “The willingness of people to cooperate with us decreases.”
Born in Budapest in 1930, Mr. Soros and his Jewish family survived the Nazi occupation with false identity papers. He eventually became a Wall Street financier and ultimately made billions through his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management. He established the Open Society Foundations as an umbrella group for his philanthropy and has given more than $12 billion to date. His philanthropic work promotes democracy, government accountability and freedom of expression — and, he has said, is driven by his memories of life under the Nazis.
“You couldn’t come up with a better enemy figure today,” said Jan Orlovsky, director of the Slovak branch of the Open Society Foundations. “George Soros brings up all of the stereotypes we have lived with all our lives — about Jews, bankers and, in Slovakia, also about Hungarians.”
Chris Stone, the president of the Open Society Foundations, described the governmental crackdowns as “a campaign by government leaders who are impatient with the institutions of democracy.”
Macedonia, struggling to form a new government in the debris of a two-year political crisis, has taken perhaps the most forceful anti-Soros stance. The Stop Operation Soros campaign pushes the idea that international pressure — from N.G.O.s and Western governments — forced the recent fall of the right-wing government of Mr. Gruevski, who hopes to return to power.
“We believe that, in these murky times, it is really important to take away the mask of the so-called civic organizations and to clearly reveal their political goals and actions, as well as their financing,” said Nenad Mirchevski, a founder of the movement.
In Poland, against a flare-up of anti-Soros statements, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said her government intended to create a new body to coordinate state funding for all nongovernmental organizations. In Slovakia, a far-right-wing party proposed forcing “foreign-funded” N.G.O.s to register with the government. That effort did not succeed, but that did little to slow the tide of anti-Soros speech.
“Demonic forces of evil, represented by Soros, the Clintons, the Bush family and others, have not come to terms with losing the election, so they keep attacking Trump and want to get rid of him,” said a recent article in Hlavne Spravy, a right-wing Slovak daily.
From the moment Romania’s nominally socialist party was returned to power in December, its populist leader, Liviu Dragnea, has pressed for more control over N.G.O.s. “I have something against Mr. Soros,” Mr. Dragnea said in a late January interview. In Bulgaria, both Mr. Soros and organizations that defend human rights have come under attack. A local newspaper, shortly after Mr. Trump’s victory, described Mr. Soros as a “liberal terrorist.” In Serbia, local right-wing and pro-Russian publications have linked Mr. Soros to the Rothschilds, highlighted his Jewishness and described his efforts as an “anti-Trump radical movement.”
“And we are only at the start of the story,” said Laszlo Majtenyi, director of the Eotvos Karoly Institute in Budapest, a Soros-founded organization, and a left-wing coalition candidate for president in April. Once the government has stigmatized the groups as “foreign-funded,” he said, future crackdowns will be easier.
And there is always the chance that authoritarian governments will feel emboldened enough to simply toss out the offending organizations.
“This is where European democratic values will be defended,” said Goran Buldioski, director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe. “In Hungary and Poland, not in Western Europe. Democracy is more than just the ballot box, and it is more than something that happens every four years.”
– Warsaw-based Batory Foundation fears it will lose financing
– Hungary already seeking to shut Soros-founded university
A Polish non-profit group financed by George Soros is bracing for government efforts to curb its work, the latest attack on the billionaire’s civil-society activities in eastern Europe.
The Warsaw-based Batory Foundation, responsible for distributing some of the 809.3 million euros ($882 million) Norway plans to give Poland by 2021 to reduce economic and social disparities, is afraid it will be starved of funding. Poland wants the chunk that’s earmarked for building civic society to be managed by a state-run entity, Deputy Prime Minster Piotr Glinski said last month. Norway requires the cash to be handed out by an independent body.
The move would mark a new assault on Soros in the region after the government in his birthplace of Hungary sought to shut down a university he finances in Budapest. Poland’s ruling party has clashed with the European Union over rule of law, with leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski repeatedly praising Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for pursuing his country’s interests inside the EU. Orban, whose nation has also gone after Norwegian grants, himself advocates “illiberal” democracy.
“Like in Hungary, there’s a plan to cut off public funding to organizations that the government doesn’t feel comfortable with and force them to curb or shut activity,” Batory Foundation Director Ewa Kulik-Bielinska told Bloomberg News this week by phone. “Like in other areas, the government is trying to divide society so non-governmental organizations that protect human rights are portrayed as enemies.”
No. 1 Beneficiary
Batory has been in charge of allocating the Norwegian funds since 2014, doling out more than 130 million zloty ($34 million) to 667 groups. They range from non-government organizations promoting democracy, gender equality and LGBT rights to church-linked charities. Since taking power in 2015, the Law & Justice party has sought to re-instill traditional Catholic values, some of which are at odds with policies of progressive groups.
In the run up to negotiations with Norway, Batory and several other NGO’s came under attack from the government-run public media for promoting “controversial projects,” a claim rejected by Kulik-Bielinska. In 2014, Hungary also clashed with Norway over how the oil-rich nation’s grants are distributed.
“Dozens of projects run by watchdog groups check on hospitals and courts, and their funding must be independent from the government to avoid the temptation of being politicized,” she said.
Poland is the biggest European recipient of Norwegian aid. The Nordic nation’s EU affairs minister, Frank Bakke Jensen, said time is needed reach an agreement that’s good for both parties. “The regulatory requirements are that fund operators in the recipient countries should have a good knowledge of the civil sector in the country, be independent of the authorities and have experience with fund distribution,” he told Bloomberg.
“Negotiations are ongoing at the civil-servant level, and we’re working to find solutions that are acceptable to both parties,” Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ane Lunde said.
It’s too early to discuss which institution will manage the cash, according to Polish Deputy Development Minister Pawel Chorazy. “Poland wants access to the civic-society funds to be broad-based, so potential beneficiaries from all areas of the country can participate,” he said by email.
The Polish government wants to stop the distribution of Norwegian money flowing into Poland coming from Soros’ funded Batory Foundation, which manages over 800 million euros with a target of overthrowing the Polish government by 2020. Since 2014, the Batory Foundation has distributed some 130 million zlotys (around 31.7 million euros) to various associations and organizations within Poland to change the government. According to Bloomberg, this includes organizations for the promotion of “parliamentary democracy”, but only if it agrees with Soros’ agenda.
Effectively, Soros is trying to defeat Catholic values in Poland which are supported by the population and government.
Norway is refusing to stop Soros’ agenda being implemented against Poland from inside Norway. Meanwhile, Poland and the head of the EU have been is a battle rejecting the EU policies on refugees and Brussel’s totalitarian position where he has even told Poland to accept the refugees or get out of the EU. The main concern is that the Polish government wants to determine its own future and security. The situation escalated as the EU reelected Poland’s Donald Tusk against Poland’s.
Poland should exit the EU and strike its own trade deal with the USA. Many US companies have established back-office operations there in Krakow including New York Banks. It is a very beautiful city on its own besides being a quiet place for back-office operations. I have enjoyed my travels there. Poland has well educated students, fluent in English, and they are free from the Euro. If Poland were to adopt the Euro, there are numerous companies that have expressed they would have to leave Poland or cease any further expansion under such conditions.
Soros has publicly stated he does not believe in God. Many who worked for him said they think he believes he is a god with the right to reshape the world in his image.
So have many throughout history and they are responsible for the murder of countless millions. Money does not give you the right to fund revolutions to recast the world in your image.
«Mike Bloomberg began his career in 1966 at Salomon Brothers, after graduating from Harvard Business School and Johns Hopkins University. After being let go from the firm in 1981, he began Bloomberg L.P., an information technology start-up that is now a multi-billion dollar global data and media company that connects influential decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people, and ideas. Bloomberg L.P.’s great strength – quickly and accurately delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology – is at the core of everything the company does. With more than 19,000 employees in nearly 200 offices, it delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.»
«The success of Bloomberg L.P. has provided Mike Bloomberg with the resources and experience to pursue philanthropy in a more meaningful way than he ever could have imagined when he wrote that first $5 check. Mike Bloomberg has often said: “The thing about great wealth is that you can’t take it with you.” That’s why he plans to give his away. He created Bloomberg Philanthropies to encompass all of his charitable giving activities, including his personal giving, corporate giving, and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ unique data-driven approach to global change grows out of his experience as an entrepreneur and a champion of innovation.
In addition to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ five areas of focus – public health, arts and culture, the environment, education and government innovation – Mike Bloomberg has continued to support projects of great importance to him, including his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, where he served as the chairman of the board of trustees from 1996-2001. To date, he has contributed more than $1 billion to Johns Hopkins. The university’s School of Hygiene and Public Health – the largest public health facility in the U.S. – is now the Bloomberg School of Public Health in recognition of Mike Bloomberg’s commitment and support. Mike Bloomberg also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions that are taking action on urgent national and international issues, and in 2014 was appointed to be the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.»
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La legge indiana sulle ogn è molto chiara.
«Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can be set up under various Indian laws. ….
Societies Registration Act, 1860 is a central act for registering not-for-profit organisations. Almost all the states in India have adopted (with modifications, if any) the central Act for creating state level authorities for registering various types of not-for-profit entities. According to the act any seven persons who subscribe to the Memorandum of Association (MOA) can register a society. The memorandum should include names of the society, its objectives, its names, addresses and occupations of the members subscribing to it as well as the first governing body to be constituted on registration.
Conferring of corporate personality to associations that promote cultural and charitable objectives, but exempting them from the operation of some cumbersome requirements (which are essentially for regulation of business bodies but are difficult for compliance by non-profit companies), are the noteworthy features that are provided under the companies act, 2013. ….
According to section 25(1) (Companies Act, 1956): “Where it is proved to the satisfaction. of the Central Government that an association is about to be formed as a limited company for promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity or any other useful objectives, intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objectives, and to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members, the Central Government may, by license, l direct that the association may be registered as a company with limited liability, without addition to its name of the word “Limited” or the words “Private Limited”.
Intelligence Bureau, in a report accused “foreign-funded” NGOs of “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments” by sponsoring agitations against nuclear and coal-fired power plants and anti-GMO agitation across the country. The NGOs, are said to be working through a network of local organisations to negatively impact GDP growth by 2–3%. The report says,
A significant number of Indian NGOs funded by donors based in US, UK, Germany and Netherlands have been noticed to be using people-centric issues to create an environment, which lends itself to stalling development projects….
In April 2015, the Government of India shared a list of over 42,000 NGOs with Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to check suspicious foreign funding amid the crackdown on some top international donors for flouting the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2011. These 42,273 NGOs were put under watch after intelligence reports claimed that several charity organisations are diverting funds for purposes other than the permitted use of foreign contribution.
Following the enquiry, permits of about 8,875 NGOs have been revoked for a variety of reasons ranging from non-filing of returns or non-compliance with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).» [Fonte]
Riassumendo, l’India ha già revocato il permesso a 8,875 ong, in gran parte finanziate da Stati Uniti, Regno Unito ed Olanda. Agivano in contrasto alle direttive del governo.
Una menzione speciale la ong Greenpeace. Ecco la motivazione della proibizione ad agire sul suolo indiano.
«It alleged that Greenpeace was leading a “massive effort to take down India’s coal-fired power plant and coal mining activity” by using foreign funds to “create protest movements under ‘Coal Network’ umbrella at prominent coal block and coal-fired power plant locations in India”. The Intelligence Bureau said the foreign NGOs and their Indian arms were serving as tools to advance Western foreign policy interests. “Greenpeace aims to fundamentally change the dynamics of India’s energy mix by disrupting and weakening the relationship between key players,” the IB report said.» [Fonte]
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«India has been investigating how Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, funds local non-profit groups for anti-tobacco lobbying, government documents show, making it the latest foreign non-government organization to come under scrutiny»
«they were acting against India’s national interests»
Tranne che nell’Occidente, in quello ancora liberal democratico, nel resto del mondo le ogn sono ritenute essere strumenti politici partigiani e faziosi, e son quindi trattate alla stregua di organizzazioni criminali, cosa che spesso corrisponde al vero, specie poi dal punto di vista fiscale
L’Occidente liberal e le sue ong sta avviandosi mestamente al tramonto così ben preconizzato da Spengler, mentre l’Oriente, i Brics Plus stanno crescendo ogni giorno che passa.
Ancora un po’ di tempo, ed anche l’Occidente dovrà adeguarsi ed adottare le leggi cinesi, indiane, per non dire quelle russe, sulle ong.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has been investigating how Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, funds local non-profit groups for anti-tobacco lobbying, government documents show, making it the latest foreign non-government organization to come under scrutiny.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has since 2014 tightened surveillance of non-profit groups, saying they were acting against India’s national interests. Thousands of foreign-funded charities’ licenses have been canceled for misreporting donations.
Critics, however, say the government has used the foreign funding law as a tool to silence non-profit groups which have raised concerns about the social costs of India’s rapid economic development.
The intelligence wing of India’s home ministry last year drafted a note on Bloomberg Philanthropies, raising concerns that the foundation was running a campaign to “target” Indian tobacco businesses and “aggressively” lobby against the sector.
Though the three-page note, reviewed by Reuters, said the Bloomberg initiative’s “claimed intention to free India of tobacco cannot be faulted” given the known risks from tobacco, it highlighted the sector’s importance, noting it brings in nearly $5 billion in annual revenue for governments, and provides a livelihood for millions of people.
“Foreign interests making foreign contributions … for purposes of lobbying against an established economic activity raises multiple concerns,” the note said, including, it said, an “adverse economic impact” on 35 million people.
The June 3, 2016 note, marked “SECRET” and circulated to top government officials, including in Modi’s office, has not previously been reported. The probe continued until at least April this year, another government document showed.
Rebecca Carriero, a spokeswoman for Michael Bloomberg and New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies, declined to comment as they were unaware of any investigation.
A home ministry spokesman said “queries which relate to security agencies cannot be answered.” Modi’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The ministry’s note was one of the factors behind the rejection of a foreign funding license renewal of at least one Bloomberg-funded India charity last October, said a senior government official aware of the investigation.
Michael Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest people and a former New York City Mayor, has committed nearly $1 billion to support global tobacco control efforts. One of his focus countries is India, where tobacco kills 900,000 people a year.
Other than funding Indian NGOs, Bloomberg’s charity has in the past worked on improving road safety and supported federal tobacco-control efforts. In 2015, Modi called Michael Bloomberg a “friend”, and the two agreed on working together on India’s ambitious plan to build so-called smart cities.
BIGGER WARNINGS, DIFFERENT VIEWS
The home ministry note said the Bloomberg charity successfully lobbied for the introduction of bigger health warnings on cigarette packs, “contrary” to the recommendations of a parliamentary panel.
While the panel called for the size of warnings to be more than doubled to 50 percent of a pack’s surface area, the health ministry sought a higher figure of 85 percent. Despite protests from India’s $10 billion cigarette industry, the Supreme Court last year ordered manufacturers to follow the more stringent health ministry rules.
That, the note said, was the first of the three-phase Bloomberg campaign targeting India’s tobacco industry. It did not explain how exactly the Bloomberg charity lobbied.
While the note mirrored some of India’s tobacco lobby’s positions – such as how anti-smoking policies could adversely impact farmers – the government official said the investigation was not done at the behest of the industry.
“Anti-tobacco lobby wants to kill revenue generating activities,” the official said.
A health ministry official, however, said: “We don’t see tobacco as an economic activity.” He added that the health ministry was unaware of the home ministry’s note on Bloomberg Philanthropies.
India has stepped up scrutiny of NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
In 2015, the home ministry put the Ford Foundation on a watch list and suspended Greenpeace India’s FCRA license, drawing criticism from the United States.
Earlier this year, the government banned foreign funding for the Public Health Foundation of India, a group backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, saying it used foreign donations to “lobby” for tobacco-control policy issues, “which is prohibited under FCRA.”
In the Bloomberg case, the home ministry note included a chart showing how funds flowed from Bloomberg Philanthropies to its partner, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which was then funding five local FCRA-registered NGOs. These NGOs, the note said, were being used by the Bloomberg charity for “anti-tobacco lobbying activities.”
The FCRA license of at least one of them – the Institute of Public Health (IPH) Bengaluru – was not renewed in October, in part due to the home ministry’s note, the government official said.
The IPH said it was told by the home ministry that its license was not being renewed on the basis of a “field agency report”, but no details were given. It was unaware of the investigation on Bloomberg Philanthropies.
In April, the home ministry wrote to the federal health ministry, citing an “inquiry into foreign funding” for lobbying to change laws in India. The letter, seen by Reuters, mentioned the Bloomberg initiative and directed the health ministry to report on anti-tobacco lobbying by foreign donors in other countries where tobacco is widely used.
The health ministry has not yet sent that report, another government official said. The health ministry did not respond to questions.