Spaniards urge Norway veto / News / The Foreigner

Spaniards urge Norway veto. VALENCIA/STAVANGER (Updated): 33 MEPs send Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg a letter supporting over 12,000 Spanish sailors as anti-government demonstrations continue. “We’re going to be asking people to boycott all imported Norwegian goods in support of our protest against Norway, both when nationwide broadcast television station laSexta comes to see us, and at the rally,” Long Hope Association spokesperson Alberto Paz Viñas tells The Foreigner by phone. He makes his comments prior to this week’s demonstration by Long Hope and unions in Madrid regarding the long-running dispute over taxes.

spain, sailors, pension, tax, norway, ships



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



News Article

LATEST:

Spaniards urge Norway veto

Published on Thursday, 22nd January, 2015 at 06:40 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 22nd January 2015 at 15:33.

VALENCIA/STAVANGER (Updated): 33 MEPs send Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg a letter supporting over 12,000 Spanish sailors as anti-government demonstrations continue.

Protestors in Madrid
People protesting against Norway in the Spanish capital. This picture is from their first demonstration.Protestors in Madrid
Photo: Angela Sepulveda/Long Hope Association


“We’re going to be asking people to boycott all imported Norwegian goods in support of our protest against Norway, both when nationwide broadcast television station laSexta comes to see us, and at the rally,” Long Hope Association spokesperson Alberto Paz Viñas tells The Foreigner by phone.

He makes his comments prior to this week’s demonstration by Long Hope and unions in Madrid regarding the long-running dispute over taxes.

The matter involves some 12,000 Spanish seamen who worked for the Norwegian Merchant Fleet between 1950 and 1994.

“All Norwegian products”

Their protest is the second against Norway since representatives journeyed to Oslo last year to speak with Norwegian and Spanish officials.

The planned two-hour demonstration will depart from La Plaza del Callao in the centre of the capital and end in La Puerta del Sol.

Boycott photo, Long Hope Association
Boycott photo, Long Hope Association
From the Association's Facebook page“The boycott we’re calling for applies to all Norwegian products. Fresh cod from Norway arrives daily in the supermarkets in Galicia,” says Mr Viñas. “Salmon is sold too.”

A letter signed by 33 MEPs backing the Spanish sailors’ case was sent from Brussels to Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg at the beginning of this month.

In it, the MEPs demand that the Norwegian Government enforces Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the coordination of social security systems.

“Under the Regulation, which specifies that in the case of the sailors who have paid contributions to Norway before 1994, this country must respect the transitional provisions set out in the new simplified Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004,” they state in the letter, a copy of which The Foreigner has.

MEPs also point out the Regulation’s Article 87, paragraph 4 says that “any benefit which has not been awarded or which has been suspended by reason of nationality or place of residence of the person concerned shall, at the request of that person, be provided or resumed with effect from the date of application of this Regulation in the Member State concerned, provided that the rights for which benefits were previously provided have not given rise to a lump-sum settlement.”

Received

The Spanish sailors paid taxes to Norway whilst working on the vessels, but were not domiciled in the Scandinavian country. The Association claims Norway owes them some EUR 520m.

Long Hope Association meeting
Long Hope Association meeting
From the Association's Facebook pageRegulation (EC) No. 883/2004 lays down the general principles regarding the coordination of social security rights of persons moving within the EEA countries (EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein).

“The aim of Regulation 883/2004 is to coordinate the EEA countries’ and Switzerland’s  social security systems, so that EEA nationals who move within the EEA have their social security entitlements protected as if they had remained in the one EEA State during the course of their working lives,” it is stated. More about the rule can be read here.

Communications advisor at the Norwegian Prime Minister’s Office, Rune Alstadsæter, confirms they received the MEPs’ letter on 8th January. It was forwarded to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

The European parliamentarians ask the Norwegian government acts to enforce the Regulation “and solve the unfair situation in which these thousands of workers and their families are.”

“Also in compliance with Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004, we ask you to establish a bilateral agreement with the Spanish government to solve the current situation of defenselessness suffered by these sailors.”

“Closely examined”

The Long Hope Association warns they will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Luxembourg if no accord is forthcoming. Moreover, the monthly demonstrations will continue until the matter is settled.

“We’ve [also] got a couple of meetings with the European Transport Workers’ Federation in Brussels scheduled for next month,” Alberto Paz Viñas concludes.

The Foreigner asked Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment this week.

Communications advisor Veslemøy Lothe Salvesen writes in an email, Thursday, that "this matter has been examined closely, i.e. by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament (PETI) and the Norwegian Parliamentary Ombudsman.”

“The Norwegian Prime Minister has recently received a request from several Members of the European Parliament asking the Norwegian Government to enforce the Regulation 883/2004 for this group of Spanish seafarers.  The request is in process in the Norwegian Government at the time.”

“So far, there is no indication that Norway has misinterpreted its international obligations concerning social insurance coverage,” Ms Salvesen states.



Published on Thursday, 22nd January, 2015 at 06:40 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 22nd January 2015 at 15:33.

This post has the following tags: spain, sailors, pension, tax, norway, ships.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!