Nota: El post original es troba a la pàgina Boycottnovell
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: Spain is being taken over by foreign agenda and corporations, according to an unnamed source
Microsoft hopes to do in Spain what Bill Gates did in France and in Finland over a year ago (and in Portugal less than a year ago). Microsoft is losing ground to Free software. It routinely sends the über-lobbyist [1, 2, 3, 4] Bill Gates to bypass technical decision-makers and strike predatory deals which do not account for the desire and welfare of the affected population (victims).
Here is a report that was sent to us from a reader in Spain this morning.
This is a big and long one. Let me introduce some economic background:
As you know, Spain is being hit especially hard by the current economic crash. Due to the country’s reliance on the building and real estate businesses and due to rampant speculation, there has been created an enormous speculative/corruption bubble that has just burst, leading to the highest rate of unemployment in the EU.
Prime minister Zapatero has been trying to implement urgent measures and to boost public expenditure in order to alleviate the effects of this crisis. He announced plans to change the economic growth model from real estate and speculation (”the economy of the brick,” as we’ll call it here) to one of R&D, IT business, etc. One of his proposals was just announced a couple of weeks ago and it is to bring “a laptop per child” (kind of) to the Spanish school students, subsidising a laptop for each child of the fifth grade (12 years old) (a total of 400,000 or 500,000 units).
There is a document describing most these behind-the-scenes deals and the characteristics of this operation. The situation seems dismal.
It will provide Microsoft Windows pre-loaded HP mini-laptops manufactured in Portugal by a big OEM (Same as the Magalhaes program of the Intel OLPC rival) and these will be serviced by the computing division of “El Corte Ingles” (The Spanish equivalent to Harrod’s — very expensive department stores), leading to an unnecessary and very, very high expenditure, none of which will benefit the local economies (El Corte Ingles is one of the largest enterprises in the country, with a labor policy similar to that of Walmart, i.e. it harasses labor unions, and never gets criticised in the mainstream press for fear of losing the expensive ad campaigns the enterprise inserts constantly in all the major Newspapers, Magazines and Radio and TV channels).
The educational contents (with DRM!!!) would be awarded to Grupo Santillana, the biggest educational books publisher, and part of the corporation Prisa Group, which is the owner of the biggest newspaper in the country “El Pais”, as well as many editorials and several of the country’s biggest Radio (Ser, 40) and TV (Canal+, Cuatro) channels.
It all reminds me of the recent Chilean-Microsoft debacle.
This measure has immediately been contested for its lack of planning and lack of any public tender by many consumer associations, retail vendor associations, teacher associations, and FLOSS associations around the country.
As you know there have already been several very successful educational projects involving FLOSS and GNU/Linux in many regions of the country (Madrid, Extremadura, Andalucia, Catalonia, Valencia, Canary Islands), involving specially-tailored GNU/Linux distributions prepared for education and for different regional languages (Spanish, Catalonian, Valencian), most of which are varieties of Debian or (Edu)Buntu:
Now, guess what? Mrs. and Mr. Gates will be meeting with Spanish prime minister tomorrow (Tuesday, May 25th)
Supposedly in order to talk about development projects in Africa jointly with the B&M Gates Foundation, but I’m sure, he will be there to make sure the Linux projects get abandoned and instead the Spanish students get addicted to Microsoft’s (and its partners’) products, thus securing not only the calculated 50 million euros in software licences it will cost the government, but a whole new generation of captive customers (along with the teachers and the educational system nationwide, and associated support/software contracts with MCPs and ISVs). At the same time it eliminates one of the “rotten apples” that could serve of example for other European countries willing to empower their educational systems with GNU/Linux and FLOSS.
Speculation: Top it maybe with some tax exemptions following the Irish (Microsoft’s European Tax Heaven) model, so MSFT can help Zapatero (being a total technological and computer illiterate, and ill-advised by lobbyists as most of politicians) with the “growth model change”???
And in exchange for what? Well, Joe Biden, who is leading a crusade to defend US media and entertainment industry and to obtain legislation similar to the French HADOPI, met recently with Zapatero and there has been an attempt to pass an EU-wide law that would allow national governments to impose their own “HADOPIs” with the typical excuse for the angered citizens “…we have no choice: the EU commands that we do this”.
Also, the US secretary of transport Ray Lahood will be visiting Zapatero next Saturday in order to look at high-speed trains and infrastructure: Many construction enterprises that are rapidly getting into deadline to pay their billionaire debts with the big banks (Santander Bank, BBVA and others would lose millions in their balance, should these deadlines expire and they would have to re-structure their balances, publicly acknowledging loses and losing many good ratings in the international stock markets) and are badly needing new contracts are expecting to be awarded contracts to build the railway infrastructures in the US (these are very big fishes of the Spanish stock exchange IBEX35 index, that many people suspect financed the political parties and campaigns in exchange for public works and building concessions by the governments: Ferrovial, ACS, Sacyr, Acciona…) and also there is the train builder Talgo…
As you always say: Follow the money…