06 June 2010

Trend: Enemies of democracy have become stronger due to economic crisis, says Aznar

On 27 May 2010, the Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch awarded its first Guardian of Freedom Award to the conservative former Spanish Prime Minister, José Maria Aznar:


In his acceptance speech, titled "Leadership on the World Stage", Aznar said: "There is a widespread feeling of crisis and confusion in the face of some new and complex phenomena. Old problems have not disappeared and yet new ones are arising. [...] In my view, they are the economic crisis, the threats to global security and the challenges to democracy and human rights worldwide. I firmly believe that the three of them are interconnected and that all of them have in common the fact that liberal democracy is at stake. [...] It should not come as a surprise if the enemies of free and open societies take advantage of this situation. It is not by chance that those who oppose the free-market economy end up criticizing the principles and values that underpin liberal democracy. The authoritarian forces and the enemies of democracy have become stronger in the last year and half. Our current crisis emboldens the enemies of freedom; emboldens those who do not believe in liberty, market economy, democracy or equality [...]. It is also worrisome to see the growing alliance of authoritarian regimes and theocratic tyrannies around the world. We should pay more attention to what is going on in Latin America, where old dictatorships and their new disciples are taking advantage of our weaknesses to advance on their populist and socialist agendas."

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