“Europe is definitely at the heart of our business, so whatever happens in Europe is critical for every country”

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By Marine SUDAN

For my studies’ framework, I needed to interview someone related to my region, Europe. On May, 23th, François Rameau gave me an appointment in his office in Madrid. What about him?

For years, he has been travelling around the globe for his job: Singapore to Mumbai, Hong-Kong to Paris. Few months ago, he had the opportunity to take the general manager of the Spanish branch of the Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, based in the center of Madrid. It is a subsidiary of the French Company. They are dealing with the largest Spanish companies as well as the largest financial institutions as a global client. Not only helping those companies in Spain but also worldwide throughout the rest of their network.

For me it was interesting to interview someone link to my region, with a international background and that have an opinion of his country even if he does not live in it and also about the European Union.

As a French citizen and a European one, the main questions of this interview were to know his points of view about Europe and what happened lately. I wrote this article in a manner to have first his opinion about French election that took place one month ago and their consequences, and then about Europe.

Firstly, I asked him if he did follow the news in Europe. While smiling at me, his response was very clear:

“No choice, I mean Europe is definitely at the heart of our business, so whatever happens in Europe is critical for every country, including Spain”.

Even if he is currently living in Madrid for the next few years, his situation didn’t prevent him from voting for its next President, here in Madrid, as a concern citizen.

So, what about France? My first question was direct: was he satisfied with all the candidates for this presidential election ? Although the company did not have a specific candidate, he could not speak on their behalf. For Rameau, he is quite satisfied with the final outcome of the election because the alternative, if Marine Le pen was elected, it could have been extremely dangerous for the activity. Macron is “everybody’s hope” to make France stronger. Even if there is a lot of waiting for France to adjust with the realities of Europe and those of the world.

My next concern was his thoughts about the younger being a part of Europe. As we seen during the election, lots of them were supporting Melenchon. He understands why many people supported him because young people feel that they don’t necessary belong to the European economy as it is today. But as he said

those are people that have only a short view on the economic reality. They don’t necessarily understand the global environment that we are in”.

If France were to implemented Melenchon’s reforms, it would automatically loose her competitiveness and a lot of jobs would disappear in the process. He thinks that people have a cast of vote of protests because they are not happy with the situation (unemployment is mostly one of the main problems brought during an election and a big concern In French society).

Moreover, this election showed the growth of the populism. Marine Le Pen won a lot of supporters during this election which had not occurred since 2002. For the first turn, she had reached over 21,30%, 3% less than Macron and had won over Melenchon, who didn’t make it to 20% of the voters.

Even if François Rameau don’t have an objective idea on the growth of the populism, he thinks that Europe has reached probably the pic of the populist votes in France. it reflects the fact that many people don’t think they belong to the global economy and don’t necessarily understand it. But in the case of Le Pen, she has targeted the weakest of voters. He means the unemployed people, many of them potentially unemployable, because they have not been properly trained and didn’t adjust to the new reality of the economy. Therefore, Le Pen is promising a kind of a dream as an old France like it was used to be forty or fifty years ago for those people when they were young. It could have been marvelous but it is strictly impossible. Marine Le Pen has no clue on the economy reality shown before the Second turn during a debate.

Thirdly, for years, European Union has weakened and this has not improved with the Brexit. Thanks to the French election happened this year, it will probably be stronger. Many people were concerned about the European project losing its steam. Now that France emerges stronger and is confirming its European commitment together with the support of Germany, the General Manager says that it is “a good opportunity and opening to make it better”. Even if we know that not all countries will agree with those new projects as a common defense, tax system and other things that are not in the current EU treaty. The next thing will be to see if other countries want to be in the same coalition or independent.

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Even if Brexit happened this year, France and Italy almost did. It is still a continue treat because for many years the European Union has benefit more or less to its citizens. For him, EU still benefits to the citizen but those ones are no longer obvious, it is more complicated. It is seen as a huge administration with many problems. Therefore, people think that they have lost a bit of control.  Its shows a strong signal that people want a change. EU has itself understood that it needs to change its ways to process, leave back more power to nations and only get involve in what is important, not being perceive as a substitute for a nation here citizens belong.

After a few minutes exchanging, he finished with this quote:

“I am quite confident that we are coming out of a difficult period, the global economic environment is now stronger, so it will help people to realize that finally the European Union is not that bad. And depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiation, if and it is my own feeling, that if UK suffers after exiting the EU, then people will think again”.

 

Interview with Emilio Butragueño

Over the pass hundred years, our society have been enjoying one of the simplest but very exercising sport. But it was in the mid of the twenty century that soccer became more and more popular in our houses. It is clear that this sport moves all kind of people, from China to Peru, we found that this incredible sport have been changing our environment. Adding to this, soccer is a sport that every social class in our time it’s been affected because of it. But it has been clear, that not every player and not every team can reach all our universe. Real Madrid F.C is a soccer team founded in 1902 (115 years) in one of the most charming sector of Madrid (Castellana) with the purpose of representing the values and the image of the capital of Spain. In 2016, Real Madrid F.C is considered by the Forbes magazine as “the most valuable soccer team in the world” , meaning that this team is completely backed up with a big amount of capital. For these reason, I’ve choose to interview a person who has been part of the Real Madrid Team and inside the directives in order to know how does the Real Madrid franchise has been reliable in the international community and How can a sport institution is working for the future of our society. Emilio Butragueño is the sport vice-president, the director of the institutional relations of Real Madrid and one of the General directors of the Real Madrid School in the Universidad Europea, he is a legend in the field and is a famous image of the club.

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Emilio Butragueño, Sport vice-president and director of the institutional relations of Real Madrid F.C

In first place, as Real Madrid commercial image have been real important through the history, an institution like Real Madrid needed to create a strong and reliable moral values to inspire their community. As the interviewer was explaining, sports are a mechanism in order to take care about your health as in the same time a good way to interact with your society.   For these reason, this institution wanted to focus in showing that the spirit of the sports is highly important in our modern society in which technology has taken a big part of our society with more negatives impacts. It was also important for the club to create a responsible image with professionals in health, communications and commerce to bring to the people positives lifestyles.

Institutions like Real Madrid who have a great economic power are capable to affect all our international community as they work in the five continents and are now days one of the most famous and international franchise. Creating a lifestyle in the lives of the fans is highly important for the government and politics, is here in which we can clear see the impact of external actors who are not governmental and have a big influence in our world.

In second place, as a principal member in the program of the UEM and also a big important member of the Real Madrid Foundation, he has a very strong idea for the future of Spain and the impact of Real Madrid in the world. Right now, Real Madrid Humanitarian Foundation program works in several countries with economic, political and social crisis, where from the point of view of the interviewer, sports are the only mechanism of bringing a happy time to the children affected by the wrong decisions of governments. He argues

the importance of been presence in for example, African countries where mostly all the children know about Real Madrid and they don’t even know about their human rights. Also, during the time that the children are able to assist to this programs, they are teaching them values of having a healthy life with sports.

Analysing this answer, it is very important for real Madrid to act like a humanitarian institution as it will create a huge impact in the responsibility in the future society, as they have been stablishing an impact in all generations, it shows how essential sports are for human health. In the same way, they are working with children, who are the most affected because of the certain situations in every state.

In conclusion, there are very important actors in our international society, that not all the people are capable to recognize. Real Madrid is an important institution in our modern society who creates a huge impact in our youngest generations, it is very important to notice the responsible work that directives like Emilio are doing in order to project a better world for those who are in this present having various difficulties. It is important to create in our governments more economic profit for sports and have a better relation with institutions that are changing our world.

 

Carlos Salgado

Interview with Luis Videgaray Caso, secretary of Mexico’s foreign relations.

 

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In this project, I’ve decided to interview Luis Videgaray Caso. He is the secretary of Mexico’s foreign relations since 2017, before this position, He was a politician as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary party of his country. For that reason, I thought that He could answer my questions with criterion about the actual situation in North America, especially in Mexico and the United States. Among all my questions, the main topic was about Trump and his relationship with Mexico and the Mexicans, and how that relationship could affect Mexico’s economy in one way or another. Not just their economy, also their future as a country.

Luis Videgaray, firstable said that said that the economy in Mexico has obviously fallen down since Donald Trump got into the presidency of the United States because of his new policies, which go directly against Latin American countries and that are protectionist. This basically means that He wants a total isolation, Trump does not want to belong or be a part of something bigger (some institution) that makes this world, our world, more globalized. That is why He is against the European Union for example. He had always been in favor and supporting the Brexit in this case.

Well, going back to the Mexican economy, I have underlined these words of Luis V.: “The protectionist threats of the new American president will decrease the PIB (Producto lnterno Bruto) of the country into a 1% by 2017”. He also gave some examples of why this isolation policy will affect Mexico: “I want to let you know that the most part of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S., and at list 5 million of jobs depend on the trade with Mexico. But the most shocking fact is that before Donald Trump was selected the president, both countries, U.S. and Mexico, used to trade more than $1.4 billion in goods each day”.

With his words, We assume that Mexico’s economy, and not just their economy, also the most part of Latin American countries, has fallen and decreased with intensity since the new mandate in the White House.

Now that We have talked about Donald Trump’s isolation policy, I would like to share some of the words that Luis Videgaray gave me about the construction of the wall, one of the most protectionist ideas of Trump. Luis Videgaray seemed very convinced on that the wall would never be built because in United States, as He said, the balance of power between the president and the senate with its different cameras is very strong, so that law of constructing the wall would never pass the approval of the senate in his own opinion.

Luis Videgaray Caso also indicated that the own idea of building it is crazy and has a lack of common sense because the wall between Mexico and U.S.A. would put thousands of lives in danger, it would not be efficient against the Drug trafficking and it would also damage the environment for reasons that I’m not going to name right now.

As We see here, Luis V. has exposed his ideas and answers very clearly by supporting them with data and facts that everyone can find on the Internet, but lets see now what his future perspective of the situation and his description of Trump’s first 100 days is.

According to the president’s first 100 days, the interviewed added that these 100 days are not enough time to evaluate what He had done and what He will do in the near future. In his opinion, Trump has screwed up in some decisions like: firing the director of the FBI James Comey, cutting economical aid to not developed countries, trying to switch the Obamacare, etc… But as He said before, this does not mean that He will not accomplish merits or good actions that will create a better atmosphere around his administration. He also added that these first 100 days made evidence on that Trump had not political experience and that this was a sample of that. But hopefully, Luis Videgaray said that things will change and that these past errors from Trump will turn into at list better decisions.

To finish up with my interview, I’ve asked him about his future perspective of the situation in North America. He didn’t want to be overwhelming with his thoughts, but his inner voice tells him than Trump will be destitute soon or later but before his 4 years of presidency for sure. His arguments were that the republican is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and that is something that is not liked by the republicans in the congress. Luis V. says that republicans are nervous about that and also adds that none of them really knows what kind of policies Trump supports. He said: “They (the republicans) would rather see the predictable, christian and conservative Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, as the new president”.

 Isidro González Vázquez

 

The current status of Mexico around the world.

 

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This interview was held on June 5, 2017, in which we made a telephone appointment with Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Izquierdo, who is in charge of: Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Mexican Embassy. This telephone interview was based on a series of questions of the current Mexican and around the current situation and problems within North America, since it is the sector of countries that we have been working during the quarter in the subject of Observatory.

Firstly, the first question that he decides to make to the Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Embassy of Mexico on the possible construction of the wall and what may affect Mexican society. The first question was already “complicated”, since the main theme of the question, the wall, is something even as the interviewee, is something that is not yet real and something very complicated for Mexico. The interviewee, whose main position is the relations of his country with the United States and Canada, shows his disagreement with the possible construction of the wall. He believes that it is something that will affect both countries in the economic sphere, since it does not count every day, millions of transport movements are carried out between both countries and this wall makes it very difficult to enter and exit in each one of them, for What Mr. Cabañas Izquierdo, believes that this wall alone would bring conflicts and a “rupture” of ties between both countries. He believes that it is not a good decision of Donald Trump, with which he is not very conformable with his form of politics, and hopes that he does not take a corporal for the good of the Mexican citizens and also, of the American citizens.

In the second place, the most complicated question on the subject of the wall. A simple and direct question to the quality of the interviewee knew me to answer with certainty and security. The question was based on what was created and built this wall in a short or long term. Mr. Cabañas Izquierdo answered with the clarity that the construction of this wall was going to be very complicated and not as early as with the always “direct” Donald Trump, since the plan that has, the interviewee tells us, is that this wall Sea Funded by the Mexican citizens themselves and is something like the Mexican citizens and not even the president of the country, Enrique Peña Nieto, shares; In fact, the interviewee comments on a series of disagreements that have been seen between the two presidents. The interviewee ends this block of questions with a statement that calls into question the theme of the wall: “We will see what happens to the wall and with the insistence of Donald Trump.” This statement, we show that today it is difficult to know if it really is something that will be fulfilled since it has many people and much of the American society that is not in favor of this increase.

In the last place, I asked a series of questions about the state of Mexico as a country and with Enrique Peña Nieto at the front. In the first place, Mr. Cabañas Izquierdo, tells us that at present, with one of his last years (such as the increase in the price of gasoline in the country), led the royal president to find himself in a more complicated situation, Arriving To catalog a society divided around the thinking about the Mexican president. The interviewee, on the other hand, has succeeded with the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, reaching a reduction in large numbers of the unemployed in the country, the concept that has faced a growth of poverty and inequality inside Mexico, which has made the society of the country is in the situation, a normal circumstance, stresses the interviewee.

To conclude, the interviewee shows great expectations of the future for Mexico as a country, knowing that it will be a complicated road both inside and outside its borders.We are faced with a complicated future but always eager to face it, to continue to grow as a country and to promote an improvement in society and society.

Very grateful for being able to “steal” you for a few minutes in order to get to know Mexico and its current situation. A pleasure to be able to access a country with a lot of road and the caliber of Mexico, a very important country within America and the world itself. A country which has many open fronts and hopefully, can solve or liby in the best way possible for the country and its citizens.

A country with great expectations of the future and with an uncertain future around the presidency. What will purify the future with United States?

 

Interview with D. Manuel María Lejarreta Lobo, current Secretary General of the Institution Consejo España-EE.UU.

MR. LEJARRETA

(Source: Transdoc )

Last May 22th I had the honour of interviewing Mr. Lejarreta, the current Secretary General of the Institution Consejo España-EE.UU. I began the interview asking about President Trump and the events that have influenced his election, as well as, commenting if the presidency might be too big for him.

Mr. Lejarreta answered saying that there are two main factors that could explain his victory. The first one is that many people from deep rural America have not benefited from the latest US governments and globalization has hurt them. They have wanted to give a mandate of disruptive power with a new president from a non-traditional political class who has a different mentality.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was a worn out candidate. “A lady who was already very damaged by the establishment” he said. Trump was a hope for those Americans who felt abandoned.

Other factors, like the rise of nationalism, as it is currently happening in Europe with Brexit or the fear of terrorist attacks, have determined his victory. One third of the crimes committed in the United States are by illegal immigrants, a very negative figure against immigration. A speech against immigration or in favour of highly controlled immigration is always welcomed by voters. Trump has exaggerated a lot on the terrorist issue. For Lejarreta, Trump’s messages are simple, populist and very basic, convincing large masses to vote him. Many of his promises made Trump win many followers.

On the question of whether Trump is prepared to be president, the secretary arguments that his profile is effectively not the most suitable to lead the United States seen so far, but the important part is the result.

Mr Manuel gave me an example in the economic area. The American stock market is increasing and the US economy goes quite well which means there is some confidence in Trump’s economic factors. Also many companies have reacted well in his protectionist proposals.

In addition, although the United States has a presidential system in which the president commands, there are some state control devices to help moderate. In that sense, although the work of the president is very important, not all foreign and domestic politics of the country are directed by him. In principle at the intellectual level, he has enough potential. We have to see his personal impulses and his way of leading companies. Being president is something very difficult but Mr Lejarreta puts his trust in Trump and in the possibility that he could be a successful president.

Then, we talked about some of Trump’s promises. We touched on the theme of his desire for the country to leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Mr. Lejarreta remarked that Trump is a protectionist and prefers bilateral agreements than multilaterals. He prefers negotiating directly with a country, face to face. The secretary added that we used to have multilateralism with Obama and, under his point of view, he prefers this system.

Regarding the US’ influence in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Lejarreta completely agrees that the United States will not lose power in the area, because in his opinion, the Asia-Pacific region is the most important region for the United States and will continue to be.

He explained that the US has plans to make his fleet more present and has begun to establish trade agreements with Japan and South Korea. Consequently, he was sure that leaving the TPP will not entail a withdrawal from the area.

Of course, for China, it is very helpful that the agreement does not enter into force because apart from commercial, it also implied a regional political agreement of the countries and the less presence of the United States in the area, the more benefits China.

Once we talked about Trump’s relations with Asia, we started talking about relations with Europe, as well as talking about the relationship with Spain.

As with Asia, Mr. Lejarreta stated that relations with Europe would follow the same bilateral system. Trump does not want to negotiate with the European Union, but with countries separately.

Perhaps, Trump is not interested in negotiating with the EU, but the secretary thinks that Trump knows the transatlantic relationship is fundamental. He do not think it will even lower the level of relations in the military, security, defence … it may be a major change in the way of negotiating bilateral agreements, but it is difficult because the EU made a compromise in a community agreement and it will not be easy to negotiate separately.

Focusing on Spain, Mr. Lejarreta remarked that we are bound to be the little one and have good relations with the big one. Spain have to get along with the American government and its president, whoever.

Obviously, for Spain it would have been much easier with Hillary Clinton as President. First, because she has come to Spain many times, and secondly because her vice president, Tim Kaine, who is a friend of Spain, precisely presides over the forum Spain- U.S.A. of which the foundation Consejo España-EE.UU. is part. Spain has had to start from scratch with the new republican administration.

Spain is a good partner for the States. In terms of security, the bases of Rota and Morón are essential for security in the Mediterranean and as a platform for deployment in Africa and the Middle East, therefore we have very important elements that make the United States interested to get along with Spain.

As with all other countries, Mr. Lejarreta summarised that Spain cannot accept everything because we have our principles and we are part of the EU. But he thinks the relations do not have to be bad, much less, and of course our government will strive to get along. Only time could show the future actions of Trump and its movements in the international order.

                                                                                                       Laura Cañibano Ponce de León

Maria Angeles R., an economist in paradise

“Philippines is a dream land, with many futures dreams”

The person interviewed is Maria Angeles R, She is an economist working in the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. When I contacted her, it was for a simple reason and it is none other than the interest that unleashes the economy of this incredible country, which despite having a great internal inequality in terms of wealth, is a country very slightly exploited and with a number of opportunities yet to be explored. I want to highlight an anecdote that arose during the interview, this was from the person while answering one of my questions, the phone rang and she had to answer it; once she had finished with it she said “excuse me for this interruption, but I will reward you by answering an extra question, “as she smiled a knowing smile.”

My first question was perhaps a little direct, but I wanted to see where I could lead the interview and where not. The question was: in the event of a possible conflict, between the US and North Korea, would the Philippines enter US support? The answer was quick and concise, and this was non another that: “Apologies but this question I can not answer you for internal reasons”; but by her gesture, I noticed preoccupation if this situation came to be real.

As a second question, I chose not to change the subject and I insisted again, but from a more general point of view. First, how is the conflict between North Korea and the US affecting the economy in the Philippines? Her reply was more extensive than that of the previous question, but she did not throw herself into the pool as far as I’d hoped. She told me that the Philippines had always shown a cordial relationship with the US and with the previous US president (Barak Obama), common goals and ties had been approached, but now it has been deteriorated a little by the Statements of the current president, Mr. Trump, even by his rejection of the free trade agreement.

Now was the time to have to change the dynamics of the questions, because I was not going to get anything else on the previous subject. I asked about the kind of foreign policy being carried out by President Rodrigo Duterte. She let out a sigh of relief, smiled, and began to tell me that the Philippines is part of ASEAN, which is the Southeast Asian Nations Organization, which is made up of 10 countries, and whose common goal is to create three pillars of Cooperation for 2020: Economy, politics and culture and social. Although this date has been advanced, this group forms alliances with other countries such as New Zealand, Japan, Australia, India and South Korea. However, the Philippines is also part of other agreements, the most notable of which is free trade, although it is currently in negotiations for the controversial president’s policy against drug trafficking.

Taking advantage of the last issue from the previous question, I asked her about her own opinion on the choice of action taken by the president for the fight against drug trafficking. She stared at me, and she answered me in a lower, faint voice, but I commented that she was in agreement with the chosen plans but not with some of the methods that are being applied, since these, in most cases, do not respect human rights.

Lastly, I asked her how she thought about the future prospects of the Philippine’s economy. She was hopeful when she told me that the economy was on the rise (GDP increase> 7% per year) and that the president, Duterte, was doing a great job and has some very good ideas. Some of these include tax reform as well as improved tax collection, increased prosecution of corruption, improvements in foreign investment policies and improvements in social protection.

In conclusion, I am quite comfortable with the way the interview went, even though I was not able to get information on a subject as complex as the conflict in the USA and North Korea. What I have made clear is that the Philippines is struggling to improve and they are very clear how to do it, although sometimes the ways are not appropriate according to humans rights.

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Héctor Hernández Torremocha

“Now, I don’t have to talk about ETA”

Some weeks ago, I did an interview for my old-school colleagues, and I decided to talk about this interview because this person is one of the most famous and interesting journalist in Madrid, this person is Manuel Marlasca.

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Manuel Marlasca began in this craft of journalism when he was 19 and he has been informing the Spanish society for 30 years. An experience that allows you to talk about the problems and challenges of this profession. Nowadays, he has a section in “La sexta” called “Expediente Marlasca”, which covers international current topics.

Furthermore, he became a journalist to inform about things that happen and to go to the place where they are happening, so he never thought he would end up in television because he has spent almost his entire career in the print media.

As he mentions, in his opinion what he likes the most is to tell stories, things that happen to people around the world. When he was in the newspaper where he worked with his father, he saw the reporters that were coming from distant locations, such as Arturo Pérez Reverte, who then came from the Lebanon War or any other place, and was greatly fascinated, so he decided to start writing on paper, and then go on to TV and radio.

The events that were happening back then, are far different than those of today. For example, Manuel Marlasca covered in the year 1988 current political news. In Spain, it was impossible to talk about organized crime, financial engineering or computer-related crime. So, he spoke for years of the terrorism of ETA. Now he declares “I don’t have to talk about it”, but he has to learn about jihadism and other forms of violence to be able to narrate this events to others. Manuel Marlasca highlights education, and the importance of being updated.

IMG_7874He makes a point on specialization in journalism because as he said, it is necessary these days “if a journalist is working in the European council, he has to know the relation between countries, the power that this council has, etc.”. Europe should be mention for the liberty and security that it has, and which other countries don’t. Despite the relevant issues occurring today in Europe, such as the migration crisis, or the problem with terrorism from ISIS, in Europe, here, you have the feeling of being secure, for example you can go for a walk at night, knowing, you are not going to be in danger.

One of the main questions I asked was about the great challenges international journalism has today which are, the defence of gender equality in the profession or the greater commitment in the defence of civil rights. He answered using the USA as an example, where journalism has been the main tool in the defence of civil rights; in the 50`s, they exposed injustice, revealing the real facts of things that happened.

Moreover, about international equality, as he said, he was directed by Susanna Griso, Julia Otero (Onda Cero). Most of the directors he has had, are women. Although, a large percentage of his editors are men.

Manuel Marlasca admitted that he has been fortunate enough to be able to work in all the media.

Victoria Pérez-Rubín.