It’s almost always the same argument. Or excuse. Governments joining the accelerating global trend of restricting civil society at home like to claim that they are protecting their country against meddling “foreign powers”. No one has to like, or agree, with that point of view in order to take it seriously, and perhaps even to see the onslaught as an opportunity. As the saying goes, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
The Panama papers affair, just like with the previous Lux leaks or Snowden revelations, once again confirm the importance of the role of whistleblowers in defending public interest. Whistleblowers are at the centre of events as never before, holding governments and corporations to account for illegal activity, corruption, abuse in care and environmental damage, and often risking their careers and lives.
Ana José Varela-González | Chief Investment Officer , Fundación Barrié
Galicia is a peripheral region in the north-west of Spain, a coastal area and the destination for pilgrims on the route known as the Way of Saint James. Over the past eleven centuries the route has became an important axis for trade and for the dissemination of knowledge among the pilgrims travelling it and the towns it traverses. Galicia, as many other regions in the developed world, faces three intertwined challenges: an ageing population, a high rate of unemployment (around 18 percent) and high production costs which hinder competition with other regions and Spain’s competitiveness with other countries. High unemployment is compounded by a 24 percent income gap faced by Galician women.
Small and medium-sized foundations (with assets, say, below 600 million euros) face a particular set of issues in maximising their investment returns while minimising their investment risks. Three obvious difficulties come to mind…