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Spanish mayor hailed as modern-day Robin Hood

A Left-wing mayor of a small town in Andalusia has become a modern-day Robin Hood, organizing robbing raids on local supermarkets to feed the poor of his community.
Spanish Mayor Hailed as Modern-Day Robin Hood
Aug 11, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the left-wing mayor of a small town in Andalusia, has been organizing raids on local supermarkets to feed the poor.

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By Fiona Govan

A left-wing mayor of a small town in Andalusia has become a modern-day Robin Hood, organizing robbing raids on local supermarkets to feed the poor of his community.

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo has, over the past week, led several raids on supermarkets around the town of Marinaleda, near Seville in southern Spain, arguing that "someone has to do something so that families can eat."

Sanchez, 53, an avowed communist with a bushy gray beard who has been mayor for 33 years and a member for the regional parliament of Andalusia for the United Left party (IU), did not take part in the raids themselves but stood outside the supermarkets directing his "comrades" over a megaphone.

At one Carrefour supermarket on Tuesday around a dozen carts were filled with staples such as milk, sugar, oil, pasta, before being wheeled through the checkout without payment.

Another similar looting, at a Mercadona in the neighboring town of Ecija occurred later the same day and Sanchez vowed the raids would continue.

"There are people who simply don't have enough to eat," explained Sanchez, describing the raids as a symbolic and peaceful reaction to the government's handling of the economic crisis.

"We've decided to expropriate basic foodstuffs and give them to the soup kitchens, which are struggling to provide for everyone because demand has increased."

The major political parties have condemned the raids, which come at a time when Spain is grappling with deep austerity cuts and a nationwide unemployment of nearly 25 percent.

In the Andalusia region, where the collapse of the construction industry has hit particularly hard, the unemployment rate has soared to nearly 34 percent.

Five people have been arrested for taking part in the raids but police have not arrested Sanchez because of his position as regional MP. Instead, he has been asked to give a statement in front of an investigating magistrate.
Par7262419

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo (C), mayor of Marinaleda and member of the regional Andalusian parliament representing the United Left (IU) party, talks with activists on August 8, 2012, east of Sevilla, between the towns of Osuna and Ecija. (Cristina Quicler / AFP / Getty Images )
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Civil Guards on Friday also moved in to dismantle a protest camp on the grounds of a vast estate owned by Spain's Defense ministry where Sanchez was sleeping out with more than a hundred members of the Andalusia Workers' Syndicate (SAT).

The protestors took over the finca of Las Turquillas, a 3,000-acre farm near the town of Osuna, two weeks ago, demanding a more equal distribution of land in Andalucia, which has a tradition of large private landholdings.

Under the slogan "The land for those who work it!" a call to arms dating from before the Spanish Civil War, activists had taken over unused farmland on the estate and planted vegetables inviting unemployment workers across the region to join their self-sufficient community.

At one Carrefour supermarket on Tuesday, around a dozen carts were filled with staples such as milk, sugar, oil, pasta, before being wheeled through the checkout without payment.

Sanchez labeled the dismantling of the camp by authorities as "heavyhanded" and a "sign of the return of fascism."

Sanchez's actions have led him to be dubbed in the nation's press as "the Robin Hood of Spain" and "the revolutionary of Andalusia."

Marinaleda, a town of 3,000 residents run by Sanchez since 1979, has attracted people from across Spain to join its farming cooperative and municipal housing program.

to read the article published first on telegraph.uk August 10, 2012, click on

 link to www.thedailybeast.com

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Not Robin Hood 22.Aug.2012 09:49

Not at all

He is just a socialist thief stealing shit from productive people and giving it to the parasites. What is going to happen when other people's money and food runs out and this socialist thief cant steal anymore? Socialist stupidity on display and about to fail again in a big way.

To Not At All 22.Aug.2012 10:45

Tracy Mapes

Until it's You ...Poor.

Yes Robin Hood 22.Aug.2012 10:55

Den Mark, Vancouver WA

And I suppose that capitalism IS working? It is NOT working, & anything said to the contrary is bullshit, & the proof is out there for all to see, starting with stupid selfish greedy callous bankers. Capitalism is dead, & its zombies are eating everyone's flesh.

"Investing, not Betting" 22.Aug.2012 11:44

www.finance-watch.org marc1seed@yahoo.com

You can download the 67-page "Investing, not Betting" April 2012 from www.finance-watch.org!

Who are the senior bankers calling for separation?

26 July 2012: Here is a list of senior bankers and key industry figures calling for the complete separation of retail from investment banks. Some, such as former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, have reversed their previous opposition in what the Financial Times has dubbed an "epic conversion". They join the chorus of commentators calling for simple, structural reform that goes beyond the US's Volcker and UK's Vickers proposals. Some of the more notable names are below. To read Finance Watch's proposals on the structural reform of banks, see our submission to the Liikanen Group.

Sandy Weill, former CEO Citigroup and principle driver behind repeal of Glass-Steagall

"What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that's not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that's not too big to fail."
25 July 2012, CNBC

Mike Mayo, the star bank analyst of CLSA (Crédit Agricole Group) in New York:

"For the most part these big, clumsy, do-everything banks are cheaper than their more-focused regional counterparts. One bank analyst, Mike Mayo of CLSA, on Wednesday suggested that Morgan Stanley might be worth up to $32 a share — it currently trades at about $13 — if it were split into smaller parts."
26 July 2012, The Huffington Post

Andrea Leadsom, British Conservative MP and former senior banker at Barclays

"The issue of a complete separation of retail and investment banking should also return to the agenda. It is right that the government should be the ultimate guarantor of retail deposits but that guarantee should not extend to high-risk transactions."
20 July 2012, www.andrealeadsom.com

Nikolaus von Bomhard, CEO of Munich Re

"Ich bin Anhänger des Trennbankensystems"

Translation: "I'm a fan of a separated banking system"
17 July 2012, Der Spiegel

Luigi Zingales, professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

"Over the last couple of years, however, I have revised my views and I have become convinced of the case for a mandatory separation."
10 June 2012, Financial Times

Sir Martin Taylor, former CEO of Barclays

"I had observed similar things going on elsewhere, and I decided that it was neither safe nor sensible to have trading businesses mixed up in a retail and commercial banking group. Vastly more evidence has since accumulated in favour of this argument. Aligning public and private interests has proved impossible, and so in the crisis taxpayers suffered as well as shareholders – exactly the problem that the Vickers proposals address."

"In October 1998, I put to the Barclays board –some ways of thinking about disentangling the two businesses. They seemed not to want to know. In those circumstances, I told Andrew Buxton, my chairman, I could not stay much longer."
8 July 2012, Financial Times

Liam Halligan, chief economist at Prosperity Capital Management and Daily Telegraph economics columnist

"A Glass-Steagall split needs to happen and someone needs to get it done. There really is no alternative."
7 July 2012, Daily Telegraph

Peter Hambro, chairman of Petropavlosk and scion of Hambros Bank family

"They should never have been together and now they should be split, completely."
6 July 2012, Evening Standard

Lord (Paul) Myners, former British Labour MP and City Minister, former CEO Gartmore Group

"We need to go to what is known as a Glass-Steagall model, which is a complete separation ... "
4 July 2012, Channel 4 News

Financial Times editorial

"We are now ready to go further. For all the diversification benefits, the cultural tensions between investment and retail banking can only be resolved by totally separating the two, on formal Glass-Steagall-style lines."
3 July 2012, ft.com

Terry Smith, CEO Tullet Prebon

"The UK and the US must enact a Glass-Steagall Act and separate retail and investment banks. The only people who seem to have lobbied against such separation are bankers. Why are we listening to them?"
1 July 2012, Guardian

Philip Purcell, former chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley

"Breaking these companies into separate businesses would double to triple the shareholder value of each institution"
25 June 2012 WSJ, 27 June 2012 Bloomberg

Walter B Jones Jr, Republican, US Representative for North Carolina

"The two worst votes I made in the 18 years I've been in Congress were, the Iraq war, which was very unnecessary and the repeal of Glass-Steagall... isn't it time to have a discussion and a debate about the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall?"
25 June 2012, Larouchepac, 26 June 2012, American Banker

Christophe Nijdam, former CEO of a French bank in the US and bank analyst at AlphaValue (ranked "Best Independent Research Firm" in France by Thomson Reuters - Extel, June 2012):

"L'option Glass Steagall s'avère ainsi être la meilleure pour toutes les parties prenantes, à l'exception des dirigeants de banque et des traders" (... ) "Il s'agit d'une opportunité historique permettant de réconcilier l'intérêt privé des actionnaires avec l'intérêt général"

Translation : "Glass Steagall is the best solution for all stakeholders, except bank top management and bank traders." (... ) "This is a historic opportunity to reconcile shareholder private interests with the public interest",
14 June 2012, L'Agéfi

David Komansky, former CEO of Merrill Lynch

"Unfortunately, I was one of the people who led the charge to try to get Glass-Steagall repealed. ... I regret those activities and wish we hadn't done that."
5 May 2012, Bloomberg video

Jérôme Cazes, former CEO of French Credit insurer Coface and former member of the executive board of Natixis Bank

"Dans tous les autres secteurs d'activité, on dit qu'il vaut mieux être sur un seul métier. Or cette règle serait fausse - mais alors pour quelle raison ? - dans la finance. J'attends toujours des arguments convaincants en faveur des synergies entre la banque de marché et la banque de détail ! En réalité, ces deux univers n'ont rien à voir entre eux, que ce soit en termes de gestion du temps, des motivations, de rémunérations. Entre le banquier de marché et le banquier de détail, c'est bien plus que de l'incompréhension, du mépris"

Translation: "In any other industry, it is considered best to focus on a specific business area. Yet this rule is said to be false in the finance sector - I wonder for what reason! I am still waiting to hear convincing arguments regarding synergies between investment and retail banking. In fact, capital market banking and retail banking have nothing in common: time horizon, incentives and compensation are totally different, and their mutual misunderstanding is close to mutual contempt."
2 February 2012, Le Nouvel Economiste

Jean Peyrelevade, former CEO of universal bank Credit Lyonnais, head of Banco Leonardo in France :

"Cette idée de 'ring-fencing' est excellente s'il s'agit d'une étape intermédiaire. A terme, je plaide pour une séparation complète des activités de détail des activités d'investissement [... ] Si on s'interdit d'aller plus loin [que le cantonnement], on s'expose à la réapparition, sous une forme inattendue, des problèmes de contagion des risques entre banque d'investissement et banque de detail"

Translation: "Ring-fencing is an excellent idea if it's an intermediary step. In my view, the final objective should be to completely separate retail and investment banking activities [... ] If we shy away from this, we will be exposed to a resurgence of risk contagion from investment to retail banking through new, unexpected channels."
11 January 2012, La Tribune

John Reed, former Citigroup chairman

"There is no societal benefit from integrating them [investment and retail banks]"
December 2011, Financial World

Stanislas Yassukovich, former chairman Merrill Lynch Europe

"The megabank business model is indefensible"
24 November 2011, CSFI "Views on Vickers"

Lord (Nigel) Lawson, former British Conservative MP and chancellor during "big bang" (the UK's period of rapid deregulation in the 1980s)

"... investment bank taking risks on the back of the taxpayer guarantee is a great scandal. I myself would have liked to see a complete separation between retail banking and investment banking."
11 April 2011, BBC

Sir Brian Pitman, former LloydsTSB chairman

"The arguments in favour [of Glass-Steagall] are compelling"
24 October 2009, Daily Telegraph

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England

"There are those who claim that such proposals [for full separation] are impractical. It is hard to see why."
20 October 2009, speech

Uwe Fröhlich, President of the Association of German mutual banks

"Steuerzahler sollten nicht für potenzielle Risiken spekulativer Kapitalmarktgeschäfte gerade stehen", sagte Uwe Fröhlich, Präsident des Bundesverbands der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken (bvr) der Zeitung "Die Welt". Insofern könne man "über die Trennung von Investmentbanking und Kundengeschäft durchaus nachdenken".

Translation: "Taxpayers should not be held responsible for the potential risks of speculative financial market transactions", said Uwe Fröhlich, President of the Association of German mutual banks. Insofar it seems fair to him "to think about separating investment banking from commercial banking".
18 October 2011, DEUTSCHLAND today

http://www.finance-watch.org
www.progressive-economics.ca

Nope, Not Robin Hood 22.Aug.2012 14:38

not at all

To: Den. Yes, you arrogant thing, capitalism is the only system that has allowed those on the bottom to get to the top, that is a irrefutable fact no matter how much bullshit you spout to the contrary. Yes, the proof that capitalism is working is apparent in every aspect of American society, and no it's not dead. No one is so blind as those that refuse to see, and that is you Den Mark.

To Tracy Mapes: Flash for you Tracy, I am poor, but I work every day and have for the last 45 years at whatever it took to get by, never depending on someone else to pay my way. Wanna see poor, then go to Haiti, or the Sudan and compare that poor to the American poor with 50 inch TV's, automobiles and plenty of food to eat supplied of course by taxpayers like me.

BTW Robin Hood took the money back from the tax collectors and returned it to the people who earned it, he didn't steal from shopkeepers and dry goods stores like the Spanish socialist mayor did.

Wrong! 22.Aug.2012 17:28

Den Mark, Vancouver

Pretentious idiotic apologists can throw out as much vomit as they like. It does not change the FACT that there is NOT room at the top for everybody. Capitalism keeps most people on the bottom. Proof is clearly out there, not only in slums of usa but in slums of the world, where over a billion live, or try to. Capitalism sucks. It sucks blood from men, women, & children, as it destroys the planet.

Absolutely Wrong 23.Aug.2012 08:05

not at all

So, you say that there isn't room at the top for everyone under capitalism, eh. Well, what do you classify as top, Den? Is it the Musks, Gates, Buffet, Soros and Jobs top? If so, then yep you are right, there isn't room for everyone there. But unlike communism and socialism which has plenty of room at the bottom for everyone and absolutely guarantees that you will stay there, capitalism provides a means to climb the economic ladder to the respective top in many, many different fields for those millions and millions of Americans who have the ambition and drive to do so. You are flat ass wrong and I suspect that you know it but are so brainwashed by your socialist ideology that you call truth vomit. If anyone is pretentious here, it's you dude, with your ignorant statements gleaned from your own version of facts that don't stand up to scrutiny by anyone with even a grain of common sense. Stating bullshit like "Capitalism keeps most people on the bottom" as a fact, does not make it a fact. It is just another baldfaced lie from a brainwashed socialist apologist.

Absolutely Wrong 23.Aug.2012 10:06

not at all

So, you say that there isn't room at the top for everyone under capitalism, eh. Well, what do you classify as top, Den? Is it the Musks, Gates, Buffet, Soros and Jobs top? If so, then yep you are right, there isn't room for everyone there. But unlike communism and socialism which has plenty of room at the bottom for everyone and absolutely guarantees that you will stay there, capitalism provides a means to climb the economic ladder to the respective top in many, many different fields for those millions and millions of Americans who have the ambition and drive to do so. You are flat ass wrong and I suspect that you know it but are so brainwashed by your socialist ideology that you call truth vomit. If anyone is pretentious here, it's you dude, with your ignorant statements gleaned from your own version of facts that don't stand up to scrutiny by anyone with even a grain of common sense. Stating bullshit like "Capitalism keeps most people on the bottom" as a fact, does not make it a fact. It is just another baldfaced lie from a brainwashed socialist apologist.