A diplomatic point of view about the European issues


MADRID – The girl of the photo is Carmen María Aríñez Sanjines. She is 27 years old and she is from Bolivia. She came to Spain to study Sociology in the Universidad de Salamanca. Then she moved to The Hague and studied a University’s Master in the International Institute of Social Studies. Nowadays, she works in the Bolivian Embassy in The Netherlands (The Hague), but she is not the ambassador. She and her team are working in regaining rights for Bolivia to access to the sea. I knew her the first time I was on the Netherlands and in that moment, I knew she had a very interesting life. That is why I decided to interview her last week.

Lately, Europe is living an outpouring of speculation and troubles. From United Kingdom to Russia, I have asked her about all the current issues taking place in this area, especially in the Union.

And regarding with the Union we have started to talk about Ireland. Ireland, one of the most catholic States in the world approved same-sex marriages by referendum. Aríñez said that it was a clear example of the change that European society was suffering. Europeans, especially young Europeans were becoming more tolerant and they wanted to live in a free society. European society is advancing, even more in the Western European States.

With this situation in the EU, the United Kingdom is going to celebrate a referendum to decide if they will continue being part of the Union or not. Carmen María said the decision would affect the state itself, the whole continent, even the United States of America. It could change the future of the Union and of the UK. If the UK decided to leave the EU, Scotland would have a referendum regarding its membership to the United Kingdom or to the European Union. And the UK could establish similar relationships as those who have nowadays with the Union, but with the US.

Moreover –she said- there were more and more European people voting parties against the Union in all member States. So, the dream of creating a Federal European State is increasingly more difficult.

After that, we decided to talk about Jihadism. Carmen said that she was a little worried but she trusted on European security and defence forces. They were acting hard against this threat, Jihadist would not succeed. The rest of the Muslims not even support what they are doing. Terrorism would never succeed. And –she added- what Europeans could not do is to think Jihadism is the same that Islam. Islam is a religion, Muslims are not terrorists, Jihadists are. We should not take measures against Islam here in Europe.

When talking about Ukraine, she thinks the most important issue here is Russia. She said Russia was developing a very aggressive foreign policy. They were constantly increasing the amounts of money that are invested in the weapon industry. It seemed like Russia wanted to reestablish the former USSR one way or another. But there is a very important danger we can see here. In this kind of conflicts, the main battle is disputed between Russia –itself or with its allies- and Western countries. Does not it ring you a bell? Thus the Cold War started the last century.

Moreover, she wanted to talk more about Putin and his domestic policy plans. She said Russia was in crisis and Putin is wasting money in defence when there was not any war involving them. It seemed like something is failing.

Another controverting issue that is taking place nowadays is the relations between Greece and Germany. Carmen does not consider Syriza as a radical party. She said this party represented the Greek population. Greeks felt humiliated by Germany, their situation had been horrible, people had been suffering a terrible crisis they had not provoked, and Germany and their banks submitted them. I did not think Greece deserves being bailed out of the Eurozone, and far less of the Union.

Finally, I asked her about the possible migration quota plan that Europarliament is trying to establish. She guesses the Parliament is not going to pass the law. There are many countries that did not want that plan, so they were going to vote no. She thinks the plan could work, but maybe it was necessary a fairer redistribution of quotas.

by Jose A. Villacorta


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