The Pope and the European Parliament as hostages

The plan to seize the European Parliament during a speech by Pope Benedict XVI, to coerce the European Commission into spending € 650 000 million on health care and the alleviation of hunger.

Amsterdam, 27 maart 2006

Josep Borrell Fontelles, President

petition to the European Parliament:
the Parliament and Pope as hostages

On 28 October 2005, I presented three non-negotiable demands to the European Commission, in the form of an ultimatum expiring on 15 December 2005. These demands are:

The ultimatum has expired, and these demands have not been met.

Previously, on 18 May 2005, I had informed the European Union anti-terrorism coordinator, Gijs de Vries, of my proposal to seize the members of the European Parliament as hostages, and with them Pope Benedict XVI, to enforce compliance with the ultimatum. On religious grounds, the Pope ought not to object to being taken hostage for this purpose, since it would save the lives of millions of others. In reality, the Catholic Church has always supported the right of democratic western governments to abandon the non-western poor, and would object to any attempt to save their lives by force. The European Parliament has no underlying ethic of sacrifice - but if its members were honest, they would recognise that they have abandoned millions to die, and that it is morally justifiable to seize them as hostages. They are not an innocent third party.

Gijs de Vries raised no objection to this proposal, neither in his official capacity, nor personally as an ex-member of the European Parliament.

On 28 October 2005, I again informed Gijs de Vries of my proposal to seize the members of the European Parliament as hostages, during a speech to the Parliament by the Pope, to coerce the European Commission into meeting the three demands. I also informed the office of Commissioner Frattini, and Europol director Max-Peter Ratzel. None of them raised any objection to this proposal.

Accordingly, I petition the European Parliament to convene a special session for the purpose of being taken hostage, with the goal of coercing the European Commission into compliance with the ultimatum, thereby saving the lives of millions of innocent people. I petition the European Parliament to invite Pope Benedict XVI to address that session, so that he too can be taken hostage for that purpose. I request the President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell Fontelles, to inform me of the date on which the Pope will address the Parliament.

Paul Treanor

Ethics of the ultimatum to the European Commission

The ultimatum to the European Commission was sent in October 2005. In a covering letter to the office of Franco Frattini - European Commissioner for Justice and responsible for anti-terrorism policy - I explained the three demands and their ethical basis.

Amsterdam, 28 oktober 2005

Lorenzo Salazar, European Commission
BERL 12/408
Wetstraat 200
B - 1049 Brussel

the Pope and the European Parliament as hostages

In previous letters (to Gijs de Vries and others), I explained the general ethical justifications for terrorism in liberal-democratic polities, such as the member states of the European Union. They apply to the European Union itself, and its organs, although it is not a state. The justifications are:

As I explained earlier, all four aspects justify coercion of liberal-democratic entities (states and the EU), to supply food and medical treatment to those who acutely need them. This letter describes three specific demands to the European Commission: to end avoidable excess maternal mortality, to end hunger, and to provide preventative and curative medical treatment (at western European standards), to all HIV-infected persons. In all cases the demands refer to persons outside the EU and the OECD member states, on the assumption that richer states are capable, and morally obliged, to meet these standards for their own resident population (including illegal immigrants). I submitted the three demands to the European Commission itself, as the executive of the European Union, in the form of an ultimatum.

The demands are just and good, and failure to comply justifies terrorist action, to coerce the European Union to guarantee food and medical treatment, in cases of acute need. I have already informed Gijs de Vries about the form of that coercion. If the ultimatum is not met, I will submit to the European Parliament a petition, requesting that Pope Benedict be invited to address the Parliament, and that it approve a hostage-taking during that speech. The purpose of the proposed hostage-taking is to coerce the European Union to meet the three demands. In all three cases, meeting the demands involves huge transfer taxation, in excess of the current EU budget, but well within EU Gross Product. Some reduction in living standards within the EU will result. The reason that the EU and its member states refuse to provide such funding is, as I explained earlier, an effect of democracy. The electorate does not want to give the national wealth to the African poor, and in a democracy the electorate determines policy. Neither starving people, nor sick mothers and their babies, nor untreated AIDS patients, can legally enforce a claim to help from the EU or its member states, so the rule of law will not save them either. Coercion of the EU - terrorism in the official definition - is the only way to save millions of lives.

The first demand relates to maternal mortality (and infant mortality). The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) published, in the State of World Population Report 2004, statistics on maternal mortality inequalities. The ratio between maternal deaths, per 100 000 live births, in Europe and in sub-Saharan Africa, is 24 to 920, a factor of 38. (For the EU alone, that ratio would be higher). The 'lifetime risk of maternal death' is 1 in 2400 in Europe, but 1 in 16 in sub-Saharan Africa. A woman is therefore 150 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth, simply because health care is worse. This is, according to UNFPA, "the highest differential of any public health indicator monitored by WHO" - and it is entirely due to differing health care standards. Almost all maternal mortality, about 500 000 lives, would be prevented, if the health care standards of western Europe applied globally. The demand is that the European Union guarantees, and if necessary provides, health care in pregnancy to EU standards, and infant health care to EU standards, for all inhabitants of non-OECD non-EU territories, and allocates an initial sum of € 100 000 million for that purpose.

The second demand relates to global hunger and malnutrition. October 16th was World Hunger Day, and new statistics on hunger were issued by the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP). About 6 million people have died of hunger already this year, in most cases deliberately left to starve by the European Union and its member states, which could have saved their lives, and choose not to. The number of chronically hungry people is rising, with about 850 million people hungry. The World Food Programme estimates that chronic hunger kills about 25,000 people every day. For comparison, the average extermination rate in Auschwitz II-Birkenau averaged around 700 over the entire period of its operation. At the peak of the extermination campaign against European Jews, in 1942, about 3 million people were murdered in less than a year: about 9 000 per day on average.

The democratically elected governments of the European Union refuse, and have always refused, to guarantee the lives of those dying of hunger, either by direct aid or other means. The European Commission has always adhered to this policy, following the policy of the member states. Additionally, the European Commission promotes the building of fences - comparable to the perimeter fences of the extermination camps - to prevent hungry people from reaching food supplies and medical care in the European Union. The European Commission deliberately refuses to provide food aid to approximately 100 million hungry children who have, according to the World Food Programme, no source of assistance. It refuses all aid to an estimated 15 million pregnant women and nursing mothers, who suffer hunger but receive no assistance at all. In each of these cases, the European Union explicitly chooses the option of starvation, resulting in many cases in death, and explicitly refuses to admit the dying to the European Union, for medical treatment which would save their lives. Given avoidable mass death by starvation, obstructing access to food and medical care is comparable with Nazi extermination policies, which also used starvation as a means of extermination. In rejecting my demand to end hunger, the Commission will simply formally confirm that the policy of starvation is deliberate. The demand is, that the European Union guarantees that no person will suffer hunger, and provides all necessary resources to implement that guarantee in non-OECD non-EU territories, either through sufficient direct aid, or any other form of aid, benefit, or transfer; and allocates an initial sum of € 400 000 million for that purpose.

The third demand relates to the AIDS pandemic (in sub-Saharan Africa the disease is becoming endemic). The 2004 statistical update from UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) estimates around 40 million infected persons, 4 to 6 million new cases in 2004, and around 3 million deaths. Two-thirds of all infected persons, and three-quarters of all infected women, are in sub-Saharan Africa. Treatment rates are very low: according to the report "nine out of every ten people who need antiretroviral treatment - the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa - are not receiving it." This low level of coverage is entirely attributable to lack of resources, and it alone would lead to an estimated 5 or 6 million deaths in 2005 and 2006. The recent (October 2005) UNAIDS/UNICEF report United for Children estimates that "globally 15 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, more than 12 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Less than 10 per cent of these children are currently receiving public support and services." Again this has no medical cause: UNAIDS notes that "there is currently a huge funding gap in the available global resources." The lack of resources is caused by the decision not to allocate the resources, by (among others) the European Union. The demand is that the European Union guarantees medical treatment (to western European standards) to all persons infected with HIV and their children, and provides all necessary resources to implement that guarantee in non-OECD non-EU territories, and allocates an initial sum of € 150 000 million for that purpose.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with these demands, they are 100% morally acceptable and justifiable. It would be entirely wrong for you to oppose them, even if they were enforced by threat and coercion. It it those who abandon millions of people to die in miserable circumstances - the European Commission and the European Parliament - who deserve all moral condemnation. I therefore request you not to obstruct the ultimatum in any way, and not to obstruct any use of force which might be necessary to ensure compliance with the three demands.

Paul Treanor

Gijs de Vries, European Union anti-terrorism coordinator
DAC Peter Clarke, head of counter-terrorism, Metropolitan Police, London
Max-Peter Ratzel, Director, Europol
M. van Erve, national anti-terrorism prosecutor, Netherlands
W. van Gemert, Netherlands Security Service AIVD
Koen Dassen, Belgian Security Service
Lorenzo Salazar, cabinet of Franco Frattini, European Commission