Santander, March 27, 2015
Good afternoon, Mrs. President, Board members, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Maria de Lluc Bagur from Delàs and speak as a member of the Center Delàs for Peace Studies on behalf of the unarmed Banco Santander campaign. I speak on behalf of dozens of shareholders who have transferred 47,576 shares to the unarmed Banco Santander campaign to raise my voice today in this forum. We urge you, on your behalf, to modify the bank’s policy of controversial investments.
Lady Botin this is the first time you sit at a General Meeting of Shareholders of Banco Santander as president. So we want you to get to know us, and remind you that year after year we have profiled in this forum and the media, and to the shareholders of the company and society in general the controversial investments of this bank.
Banco Santander supports undisputably some very controversial projects. This is what we’re going to remember and we hope to explain why the help and investment of your entity is threatening thousands of lives.One of these is the Jaitapur Project in India, whose complaint has been written by the BankTrack organization, which brings together more than 200 NGOs worldwide. Jaitapur is under the responsibility of the French nuclear company Areva, due to an agreement with the Nuclear Energy Cooperative India.
You have participated in the syndicate AREVA with 500 million euros credit. Their destination, the construction of nuclear reactors which generate energy from uranium and plutonium. However, according to reports from activists, including Vaishali Pati, the actual bet happens to be part of greater Asian nuclear escalation. Both the Indian government and entities involved in the project have confirmed that the construction of the world’s largest nuclear power plant is directly related to the fact that neighboring countries possessing nuclear weapons.
The use of nuclear threats may have terrible consequences for millions of people. Mrs. Botín, are you aware that this participation in the project can contribute to global nuclear escalation? Do you agree, Mrs. Botín, that your investment is dedicated to the manufacture of nuclear weapons? As president of Banco Santander, you will have to answer these questions.
We also report to you, once again, the proposed dams on the Madeira River in Brazil. We talked about this issue before the Shareholders’ Meeting in 2008 and 2009. As you know, the construction of dams in the Amazon rainforest can alter the habitat of indigenous communities, threatening their survival. In addition, extractive companies and attracts further immigration, colonization and logging to these areas.
In response to numerous protests by NGOs such as Survival International, Banco Santander said in March 2011 have withdrawn the financial support to the construction of dams in Jirau and Santo Antonio. However, a few months later he retracted and acknowledged that continued driving these two controversial buildings. We want to know, Mrs. Booty, if today Banco Santander continues to fund both dams. What is your current situation? Does Banco Santander willing to respect the rights of indigenous peoples?
Mrs. Botin do your shareholders and customers know that their savings contribute decisively to the arms business? You know that some communities have their rights overwhelmed by large companies with financial support from Banco Santander? There is a chance for change Mrs. Botín. Seize it and make a difference.