Monthly Archives: March 2015

Why not seriously thinking of non-profit business in Veneto?

By Beppe Mauro

At a time of economic and employment crisis like the one we are experiencing now, the protection of the quality of life, both at personal and social level, we have reached cannot be disjointed from the development of all business and employment opportunities, looking for new areas of intervention and borrowing virtuous models that already exist in other countries.

The hard realization that the crisis we are experiencing is not one of the “usual” cyclical crises we had been used to when facing a mismatch between market demand and offer or between real and speculative economy has now definitely dropped from specialist desks onto the table of lay families. This is a systemic crisis that will not resolve for those – either common people or companies – who will unable to live in new markets, finding the right place and manner to use most of their talents.

One area still too neglected in entrepreneurial and employment terms is the so called “third sector” or non-profit sector, comprising all those activities marked by social scopes that go beyond but do not exclude the simple dynamics of profit as a business principle.

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Social enterprise, unlike the traditional business for profit, motivates its existence with the pursuit of socially useful objectives, e.g. to protect health, environment, architectural and artistic heritage, the promotion of cultural activities, sports, welfare. This however does not prevent social enterprise from operating through principles of economic logics that ensure its sustainability through the achievement of incomes and a fair remuneration of its employees.

In this context, Anglo-Saxon Countries and those influenced by Calvinist culture are much more ahead than Mediterranean countries. This may be due to a preconception, strictly Catholic, that being money the “Devil’s dung”, it is incompatible with the objective of “doing good”, which in Catholic countries often becomes synonymous with “volunteering” in accordance with the principle that a good action is either unselfish or it is not good.

In the Christian Protestant West, instead, and more than elsewhere, the idea that you can do actions which are noble and useful for others or the community has also been combined with the allowance that you can do it as a profession, which is earning your honest living as well. These different approaches have generated different legislative contexts, of course: more open and rich of opportunities in Northern Europe and in the USA, more restrictive and less favorable to social entrepreneurship in Mediterranean countries. Yet even in the latter, in most recent times and under the pressure of the crisis of the State’s social welfare, they have introduced new rules that allow to combine business and enterprise for purposes of public interest and social utility. The different historical direction above described has left a gap between countries advanced in social entrepreneurship and those who have a smaller number of business activities in this field, and often less capitalized and with less employees. But having to face similar levels of demand for social-utility services, e.g. health and socio-cultural services, sport and recreational activities, caring assistance etc. such a gap (made worse by the crisis of traditional providers such as the State or the Church) represents an important opportunity for business and employment. This is valid both for those wishing to practice within their country both for those who would rather join international or transnational projects to benefit from regulations and funding resources of other countries.
Before concluding, I’d also like to point out that social entrepreneurship fills a role of substitute for providers of social welfare and so it is often rewarded with favorable treatments like tax reduction and often the lifting of costs of labor through tax benefits and contributions. Other reasons to decide to go happily for “good actions production”.

Dr Giuseppe Mauro
Chartered Accountant & Surveyor Consultant for non-profit business and social enterprise  at national and international level
VA Charge’ d’Affairs for UK and Argentina

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The Rise of Independentism in South Brasil

HOW SHOULD THE RESULTS OF RECENT ELECTIONS IN BRASIL AFFECT INDEPENDENTISM IN PARANA’ AND RIO GRANDE DO SUL.
AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE FROM OUR VA OFFICER PEDRO PORTO FROM STATE OF PARANA’ (BRASIL)

On 26th October 2014, Brazil’s presidential elections took place.

Brazilians elections are separated in turns – the election can be resolved in the first one, but it is possible to happen a second turn if no candidate achieve 50%+1 of the electors.

After a very unusual first turn, the two most voted candidates went to dispute for presidential run. They were Dilma Roussef and Aécio Neves. Dilma Roussef is a left-wing leader from Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers Party – which I will refer as PT).

Aécio Neves is central- right-wing (but commonly considered as a soft left-wing). Governor of Minas Gerais (one of the 27 Brazilian’s states), he comes from a family with long tradition in Brazilian’s politics and he is a person who is emerging as very hard against to PT.

Roussef was trying to win her second mandate, and Neves was trying to consolidate a serious opposition for the government and an almost-liberal option for people.

From a moral point of view, it sounded rather pathetic, with PT making tough accusations from the beginning of the elections (often personal accusations), and Neves making rather more political accusations to PT, pointing at how that party was governing for a socialist revolution, how it was sending great amount of money to Cuba, how it was supporting openly Chavism, how it worked as a criminal organization, and how much damage PT caused to Brazilian’s economy. Someone who votes on PT would say that Neves played equally unfairly.

A few things are needed to be said about PT, so that it can be understood how the general situation has become after the elections:

PT is assumed to be socialist party, created in the early 80’s by a Brazilian elite, with the objective to spread socialism. It posed a hard agenda on the needs of social welfare of Brazil, and showed a historical ability to make that happen. At the same time, PT was softer towards bankers and did not look exactly like an opposition to the “New World Order”. Nowadays, PT is often in middle of accusations for financial frauds, and keep its political objectives closely related to those of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chaves. Also some PT’s leaders were arrested and convicted by the Supreme Court in the past. Sadly the party is now so strong that it practically controls the Supreme Court: The leaders who were condemned are now free.

PT is one of the Brazilian’s parties that joined São Paulo Forum. São Paulo Forum is an international-Latin-American organization that was created with the objective of turning South America in a new kind of Soviet Union. Lula and Fidel Castro were the founders of this organization, which is closely related, and financed, by a drug cartel (e.g. the FARC). At this point in time, their plan is close to success, and Brazil has a major role because most of the money comes from Brazilian’s tax payers and Brazilian’s drugs consumers.

The whole scenario is even more complex and it involves all the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. The Bank of the BRICS seems to be an easy way to finance non-public objectives on the world. Although this is illegal from a Brazilian legislation’s perspective, PT doesn’t care, and Brazil media care even less. The only ones who care are us, people, who do not have enough knowledge, instruments, and resources to do something. The Workers Party project is turning Brazil in a huge engine for a centralized socialist dictatorship. Interestingly, PT supporters usually claim they hate United States and globalization, but at the same time their leaders seem to sleep rather happily with them.

In summary, PT won October elections (48% to Neves – 52% to Roussef) and with Roussef re-elected, so PT, São Paulo Forum and the socialist agenda will continue.

Luckily Aécio Neves exposed PT plans to national level. The direct effect of this is that PT and the socialist aims of São Paulo Forum (not the São Paulo Forum itself) have been exposed.

And now let’s come to the effects of all this on independentism in the southern states Well, if the election was in the south of Brazil (the area with highest tax revenue), Neves would have certainly won. Not surprisingly, a day after the elections separatism was the major subject in the agenda. Separatist groups in Facebook grew up almost 300% in the last couple of years. Separatism, despite being often silenced by major media, by educational lobbies and by politicians, it is now one of the main topics in the news.

Hashtag #OSulÉOMeuPaís (The South is My Country) was one the most used on Twitter on the day after elections. Liberals, lots of conservatives, some clergy leaders, and even military spokesmen adopted secessionist option as a plausible one. Even with an impeachment option (Brazilian election system was at least doubtful), people seemed more enthusiastic with separatism.

The impeachment option is gaining much more strength now that Petrobras (a huge brazilian public enterprise) has failed and has been accused of plenty of crimes. Thousands of people marched for Roussef’s impeachment, even if this is not mentioned by media.

In the eyes of the leaders of O Sul É O Meu País, a independentist movement that was founded in 1992, this enthusiasm is no so solid yet, and so they are trying not to mix the Cause with the results of Brasil’s recent elections.

However, the new support has been so strong that O Sul É O Meu País is now growing bigger and bigger. Academics, industrials, politicians, police chiefs, and even military have been supporting our Cause. Many still do, even if others who had publicly admitted their support have stopped, probably under pressure by media and politicians. At least in the Internet, Brazil is still divided in two or more countries, as it was before October elections.

It’s too early to say if this will have a significant impact on independentist targets .

Aware of this PT is now planning to crack down on Internet lively independentist groups, by proposing to regulate social medias.

Unfortunately, like in many other countries, media and government go side-by-side in Brasil and they don’t see independentism as a good option.

In order to gain more representation, we may need to create more than one independentist movement. There’s only one here in Parana’, which is strong enough. Another one is growing in São Paulo and is consolidating. I think we need more groups to be able to achieve the level of political representation they have in Quebec, for example.

Pedro Porto, VA Officer for State of Parana’ (Brasil)

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