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Spain

Sign Of The Times: Trophy Killing Of Protected Spanish Wolf

This eternal battle in Spain in not just between man and nature, but among humans. The freshly slain body of a still bleeding wolf was found hanging from a signpost along a highway in northern Spain last weekend, reigniting the debate over the killings of the protected species, reports El País.

Here is a photograph that has been circulating on Spanish websites in the past few days:

Two other dead wolves were found in a parking lot in the Spanish region of Asturias late last week. The grim discoveries have swung the spotlight once again onto the tug-o-war between ecologists trying to protect the species and farmers who say the animals are a danger to their livestock. Restrictions on hunting and other conservation efforts since the 1970s have helped bring the Iberian wolf back from the brink of extinction, but the species remains officially listed as vulnerable.

The environmental division of Spain's State Attorney's office said it would investigate the killings, a decision that came after the World Wildlife Fund had written to the State Attorney's office to denounce "a situation of impunity that creates social alarm."

The last census counted 38 wolf packs living in Asturias. Twenty-nine individual animals in the region were culled in the past year to manage the population, out of a legal maximum of 45.

Manuel Calvo, who heads the principality's National Resources Department, told El País that the man-nature balance can be tricky to maintain. "Farmers say we don't cull enough wolves," he says. For environmentalists we cull too many."


By L. Finch

Worldcrunch iQ contributor network.

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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