December 19, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Swazi King Tells People to Work Harder

Posted in: Swaziland

King Mswati III of Swaziland reportedly told his people that instead of protesting the country’s poor economy, they ought to “work harder and sacrifice more”. This coming from a King who lives a lavish lifestyle while most Swazis struggle financially.

King Mswati III 203x300 Swazi King Tells People to Work Harder

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/FILE

“It helps no one to go to the streets and cause disruption in times when the country is buckling under the pressure of the economic downturn,” Mswati told the state-run Observer newspaper.

“We need to work even harder and sacrifice even more today for a better tomorrow. The storms shall pass for sure.”

On Friday, thousands of public workers took to the streets to demonstrate against reports that the government was looking to cut salaries and jobs.

The secretary general of the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union, Vincent Dlamini told AFP the King’s call was laughable.

“This is a system just for the elite and the royal family and as long as it is in place there is no way we are going to heal the economic wounds we are suffering from at the moment,” he said.

Swaziland is facing pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to organize its finances in order to qualify for much needed international loans.

At the same time, Business Week, reported on Thursday that King Mswati received a pay increase of 24 percent.

“The anger will help speed up the process of change,” said Dlamini, “We’ve seen the people of Tunisia and Egypt. They are essentially monarchies too. That can happen here as long as people consistently mobilize.”

Sources: AFP, Business Week

 

Irish President Lunches With Spanish Royals

Posted in: Spain

Ireland Spain 300x216 Irish President Lunches With Spanish Royals

REUTERS/Andrea Comas

The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, made her first official visit to Spain Monday. She is there to solidify ties between the two countries.

The Spanish royal family welcomed Mrs. McAleese and her husband, Martin, at Zarzuela Palace. After posing for the media, the royals and the Irish couple had lunch together.

With Spain being Ireland’s eighth-largest trading partner, its President is keen to stress that the Irish economy is “open for business” during her visit.

Both Spain and Ireland were hit hard during the global economic downturn. Spain is experiencing 20 percent unemployment while Irish banks needed to be bailed out.

Source: Irish Times

 

Joachim, Marie & Family in Greenland

Posted in: Denmark

Since Friday, Denmark’s Prince Joachim, his wife Marie, and his two eldest sons, Princes Nikolai and Felix, have been touring Greenland. The Danish territory invited the couple there as part of their 2008 wedding present, and now Joachim and Marie are finally making use of it.

Joachim Marie Greenland 300x207 Joachim, Marie & Family in Greenland

Martin Hills / IMAGE LEAVED

“It’s a bit like our second honeymoon.  Just even better because we have the boys,” Princess Marie told the Danish press.

One of the first things the family did was visit a museum in the town of Ilulissat. There, Nikolai and Felix, ages 11 and 8, experienced eating whale blubber and dried fish.

Ilulissat’s ice fjord was recently admitted to UNESCO, which Marie is patron of Denmark’s version. She told the media she was looking forward to seeing the fjord.

Another activity the family did was travel by a sleigh driven by dogs to Isefjorden, all while wearing sealskin outfits.

The family will stay in Greenland until Wednesday.

Sources: JV.dk, Billed Bladet