- The Guardian
- Issue #2042
GERMANY: Air traffic came to a virtual standstill on the 17th February with around 2340 flights cancelled. The strike affected almost 300,000 passengers. Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa had to cancel more than 1300 flights. “There is still a catastrophic shortage among ground handling workers – travellers clearly felt it last summer,” said Christine Behle, deputy chairwoman of the trade union Verdi: “To change the situation, they must be given an attractive wage increase,” she added. Staff shortages caused by job cuts during the pandemic and various strike actions affected the entire aviation industry in Europe last summer and led to an international travel chaos with thousands of cancellations. It could be even worse this summer.
ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, CHILE, and MEXICO issued a joint communiqué condemning “the decision of the government of Israel to legalise nine outposts and build 10,000 housing units in existing settlements in the West Bank.” These are “unilateral measures contrary to international law and UN Security Council resolutions.” The signatory nations expressed their “opposition to any action that would compromise the viability of the two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine can share secure and internationally recognised borders while respecting the legitimate aspirations of both peoples to live in peace.” The communiqué also called on Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from acts that encourage further escalation of violence while urging the resumption of negotiations to reach a peaceful solution.
SPAIN: The “grain deal” announced in July 2022 was presented as a scheme to avoid famine in parts of Africa and Asia. After months of accusing Russia of blocking the Ukrainian ports and preventing the grain shipments, an agreement was reached for exporting grain from both Russia and Ukraine via special corridors in the Black Sea. However, the grain from Ukraine miraculously turned up mainly in EU countries and Türkiye. The EU countries received 6.4 million tons of Ukrainian grain; 43 per cent wheat, 29 per cent corn. Only 15 per cent of the exports ended up in the countries at risk of famine. So – 6.4 million tons went to the EU and Türkiye, Ethiopia got 167,000 tons, and Sudan 65,000 tons. Spain got almost half of the Ukrainian wheat and corn – an estimated 2.9 million tons which was used to feed the pigs to produce world-famous jamon, according to an investigation by the Austrian outlet eXXpress.
TÜRKIYE: “Armenia sent us 100 tons of humanitarian assistance and anticipated its intention to provide additional aid … it behaves like a brother country by reaching out at a time of difficulty,” Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister said. Türkiye and Armenia agreed to speed up the negotiation process to open a common border. The border remained closed for at least 30 years in the wake of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh.
A team of 32 medial professionals from Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Contingent arrived in Türkiye on 12th February to contribute to saving lives and helping in recovery for victims of the devastating earthquake there.