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被诅咒的瑙鲁:腐败、无能和音乐剧 (无评论)
2018-09-13 后羿A射日 3964 16 1  


Corruption, incompetence and a musical: Nauru's cursed history

被诅咒的瑙鲁:腐败、无能和音乐剧 



The once-wealthy island now barely survives on income from Australia’s detention regime and is pinning its economic hopes on undersea mining

曾经富裕的岛国,现在靠澳大利亚移民拘留制度勉强维持生计,并将未来经济的希望寄托在海底矿产上。

Nauru is banking on fields of mineral-rich smooth brown rocks about the size of a potato that lie on the sea floor around the tiny island as the possible saviour of its fragile economy.

瑙鲁周围的海床上分布着富含矿物质的棕色光滑岩石,这些岩石有土豆大小,未来这些岩石可能成为瑙鲁脆弱经济的救星。

For the island nation of just 10,000 people, financial viability has been a pressing problem since the exhaustion of its rich phosphate deposits in the 1970s.

人口仅1万的瑙鲁自从上世纪70年代磷酸盐矿枯竭以来,财务状况一直比较紧张。

The nodules that lie 4km below the sea might be the answer. They are rich in the metals that are essential for the clean-energy industry: nickel, cobalt and manganese.

深藏于海底4公里的矿物结核可能为瑙鲁提供解决方案。这些结核富含镍、钴和锰等对清洁能源行业来说至关重要的金属。

The deep-sea mining venture needed to tap the resource is being led by a Canadian company, DeepGreen, which is run by an Australian entrepreneur, Gerard Barron, and backed by mining giant Glencore and shipping company Maersck. It is in the exploration phase but results are promising and it hopes to begin mining in 2025.

开采这些能源的深海采矿企业的领头企业是加拿大深绿公司,这家公司的经营者是澳大利亚企业家杰拉德•巴伦,企业背后有矿业巨头嘉能可和航运公司马士基的支持。目前仍处于勘探阶段,但是勘探结果比较乐观,预计2025年能够实现开采。

For Nauru it will be just in time.

这对瑙鲁来说简直是及时雨。

At the moment Nauru’s main industry could perhaps be described as misery and suffering, courtesy of Australia’s offshore detention policies. Since 2013, when the offshore detention and processing centre reopened, Australia has been providing about two-thirds of Nauru’s GDP of $170m by way of direct aid, visa fees and payments to the government for hosting the refugees.

目前,澳大利亚的离岸移民拘留政策,瑙鲁做起来相当痛苦和煎熬。2013年瑙鲁的国内生产总值为1.7亿美元,正是这一年瑙鲁离岸难民拘留和处理中心重新开放,澳大利亚对瑙鲁的直接援助、签证和支付收容难民的费用加起来占瑙鲁GDP的三分之二。

But with hundreds of refugees sent to Nauru being resettled in the US and others moved to Australia, that industry is winding down, posing a new economic challenge for the troubled island nation.

可以由于数以百计原本应该送往瑙鲁的难民,开始在美国定居,其他人搬到了澳大利亚,这个行业正在逐渐萎缩,这给这个陷入经济困境的岛国带来了新的挑战。

The story of tiny Nauru, once one of the wealthiest states per capita in the world, is a tale of rapacious colonialism, epic mismanagement, and avarice.

小国瑙鲁,这个曾经世界上人均财富最高的国家之一,充满了掠夺的殖民主义、史诗般的管理不善和贪婪的故事。

Australia, New Zealand and Britain had nearly exhausted the viable deposits of phosphate by 1968 when Australia granted Nauru sovereignty, leaving behind one of the world’s worst environmental disasters.

1968年澳大利亚给予瑙鲁主权国家的时候,澳大利亚、新西兰和英国等几乎采光了岛上的磷酸盐,而给瑙鲁留下的是世界上最严重的环境灾难。

It might look like a Pacific island paradise but, thanks to phosphate mining, its interior is a moonscape of jagged limestone pinnacles unfit for agriculture or even building.

瑙鲁原本是一座太平洋上面的天堂岛国,可是由于磷矿的开采,小岛表面像遍布参差不齐石灰岩石柱的月球,不再适合农业甚至建筑。



There was talk in 1963 and again in 1970 of moving the 10,000 inhabitants to an island off Queensland, which the Nauruans opposed. Instead, the islanders have soldiered on as one of the smallest and most geographically isolated nations.

1963和1970年曾经有过传言要将瑙鲁上万名居民迁移到昆士兰附近的一座小岛上,不过瑙鲁人对此强烈反对。瑙鲁目前是全球地理上最小和最孤立的国家之一。

The royalties from phosphate accumulated in a trust by the Nauruans – worth A$1.7bn at its peak – were squandered in the years following independence.

瑙鲁将销售磷酸盐的收入存入信托基金,最多的时候达到了17亿美元,不过瑙鲁独立后没几年这些资金就被挥霍殆尽。

By 2002, Nauru had stopped paying its loans, which had blown out thanks to the duation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. GE Capital, which was owed US$239m on mortgaged properties, sent in the receivers.

到2002年,瑙鲁停止了偿还贷款,因为多亏了澳元兑美元贬值,瑙鲁的欠款没有了。通用金融拥有瑙鲁239万美元的抵押,成为了瑙鲁资产的接收人。

The assets, which included the 50-storey Nauru House in Collins Street, Melbourne, the Downtowner Motel in Carlton and the Mercure Hotel in Sydney, are long gone.

墨尔本柯林斯街一栋 50层的住宅、卡尔顿的市中心汽车旅馆,悉尼的美居酒店,这些原本是瑙鲁资产,不过这些地方早就易主了。

A series of corrupt and incompetent governments found extravagant and spectacular ways to lose the country’s wealth, including, notoriously, funding a disastrous West End musical based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci.

几界腐败无能政府通过奢侈、引人注目的方式来花光了国家的财富,其中最臭名昭著的是投资了一部以莱昂纳多•达•芬奇为原型的音乐剧。
Nauru spent years in desperate penury as the country ran out of money. Its central bank went broke, its real estate overseas was repossessed, its planes seized from airport runways.

国家钱用完之后,瑙鲁多年来一直处于赤贫状态。中央银行破产,海外房产被收回,飞机被没收。

As the financial crisis engulfed the island, it turned to exploiting its sovereignty. During the 1990s it transformed into a money-laundering haven selling banking licences and passports, including diplomatic passports, which confer immunity. Customers included the Russian mafia and al-Qaida.

金融危机席卷该国时,国家只能出卖自己的主权。上世纪90年代,瑙鲁成为了洗钱天堂,出售银行执照和护照,包括拥有外交豁免权的护照。客户包括俄罗斯黑手党和基地组织。

An estimated $70bn in Russian mafia money went through Nauru’s banks in 1998 alone.

仅1998年,流入瑙鲁银行的俄罗斯黑手党资金就有约700亿美元。

In 2002, the US treasury designated Nauru as a money-laundering state, alongside Ukraine, and imposed tough sanctions rivalling those slapped on Iraq.

2002年,美国财政部将瑙鲁和乌克兰列为洗钱国家,瑙鲁因为帮助伊拉克洗钱收到了美国的严厉制裁。

“Nauru is notorious for permitting the establishment of offshore banks with no physical presence in Nauru or in any other country,” the US treasury said. “These banks maintain no banking records that Nauru or any other jurisdiction can review. The evidence indicates that the entities that obtain these offshore banking licenses are subject to cursory and wholly inadequate review by the country’s officials and lack any credible ongoing supervision.”

美国财政部表示:“瑙鲁以为其他国家没有实体的企业设立离岸银行而臭名昭著。这些银行在瑙鲁或任何司法管辖区没有任何可审查银行记录。证据表明,获得离岸银行牌照的实体只受到粗略而不充分的审查,同时还缺乏有效的长期监管。”

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body that works to eliminate tax havens, has been working with Nauru to walk back from its foray into the wild west of finance.

致力于消除避税天堂的全球机构:金融行动特别工作组一直在与瑙鲁合作,帮助其从涉足金融蛮荒的西部地区中脱身。

By 2004 Nauru had passed anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws and the offshore banking sector seems to have disappeared as fast as it arrived.

2004年,瑙鲁通过了反洗钱和恐怖主义金融法,离岸银行业似乎一夜之间消失了。

As of 2012, when the FATF reviewed Nauru, there were only 59 corporations registered under Nauru law, with a number of those pending for being struck off the registry. Fewer than five corporations per year have been registered over the past five years. In the past 10 years no new trust company licences have been issued, although 15 unit trusts have been formed under the 11 existing unit trust licences.

截至2012年,金融行动特别工作组对瑙鲁进行审查,依法注册公司只有59家,其中很多公司处于等待注册状态。过去五年里,瑙鲁每年注册的公司不到五家。在过去10年,虽然在现有11个企业受到了信托牌照,并成立了15个单位信托,但瑙鲁一份新信托公司牌照都没有发出。



However, it remains a secretive destination and learning anything about Nauru’s corporate sector remains difficult. There is no corporations registry online, and websites advertising tax havens still list Nauru as an option.

然而,瑙鲁仍是洗钱者的秘密目的地,要了解瑙鲁企业仍然很困难。瑙鲁的企业不实行网上注册制度,网站广告仍把瑙鲁宣传为避税天堂。

In 2016, Westpac pulled out of providing banking on Nauru, citing concerns about compliance with international money-laundering regulations in a letter to customers. The only bank on the island is the Bendigo Bank, which opened in 2015.

2016年,西太平洋银行退出了瑙鲁,在致客户的信中写道:银行要遵守国际洗钱规定。2015年开业的本迪戈银行成了岛上唯一的银行。

A few weeks ago the finance minister, David Adeang, announced that Nauru was fully compliant with the European Commission’s tax and financial security regulations, and had been removed from its grey list, although the EU has not yet published a formal statement.

几周前,财政部长戴维•阿迪昂宣布,瑙鲁完全遵守欧盟委员会的税收和金融安全规定,虽然欧盟还没有发表正式声明,但是已经将瑙鲁从灰色名单中删除。

“Since the election of the Waqa government in 2013 we have worked very hard to lift Nauru’s international reputation, which was damaged over so many years by many former administrations due to greed and corruption,” Adeang said at an EU international tax seminar in Fiji last month.

“由于前政府的贪婪和腐败,瑙鲁的国际声誉收到了严重损害,2013年瓦卡政府当选后,我们一直在努力提升瑙鲁的国际声誉”阿迪昂在上个月在斐济举行的欧盟国际税务研讨会上说。

Nauru’s economy has also improved since 2013, thanks to one industry: refugee detention and processing for Australia.

2013年以来,瑙鲁的经济状况也有所改善,这都要归功于一个行业:为澳大利亚提供难民拘留和处理。

The first Nauru offshore detention experiment began in 2001, after the Tampa crisis. This was the catalyst for Australia to set up the camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

2001年“坦帕危机"后,瑙鲁建立了第一家海外难民拘留中心。这次危机之后,澳大利亚开始在瑙鲁和巴布亚新几内亚建立难民营。

It ran until 2007. The camp was bedevilled by problems: overcrowded tents and a shortage of water were the most pressing. Slowly it was established that, overwhelmingly, those who had come by boat were not “queue jumpers” or criminals or terrorists but rather people fleeing genuine persecution and who were owed protection. Most were resettled, and mostly in Australia.

一直到2007年。难民营一直面临着各种各样的问题:最紧迫的是拥挤的居住环境和水资源的匮乏。慢慢地大多数人认识到,那些坐船过来的难民、罪犯和恐怖分子并不应该是“插队者”,真正的插队者是那些从真正迫害中逃离的人,他们才是最需要保护的。难民营的大多数人被重新安置,其中很大一部分被安置在澳大利亚。

Nauru’s second iteration as an isle of detention, instituted by a Labor government and carried on with unswerving determination by the current Liberal-National Coalition government, began in 2012.

瑙鲁再一次成为难民安置岛是2012年,这是工党政府一手操持,当前自由党-国家联合政府坚定不移地执行。

The problems are undiminished. But the second Nauru detention regime, now formally replaced with a resettlement program on the island, has been kept carefully hidden. Foreign journalists – save for a handful of selected reporters – are forbidden entry to the island.

然而,问题依然存在。但是瑙鲁第二次的难民拘留制度,现在已经被岛上重新安置项目取代,并且对外保密。外国记者,除了少数被选中,一律禁止进入该岛。

The financial cost has been enormous. In 2017 a Senate committee was told Australia’s offshore immigration detention program – Nauru and Manus – had cost the federal government at least $5bn since 2012.

工程耗资巨大。2017年,澳大利参议院委员会了解到,2012年以来澳大利亚联邦政府在瑙鲁和马努斯离岸移民拘留项目上至少花费了50亿美元。

Only part of that flowed to the economies of Nauru and PNG, as many of the functions needed to keep the reprocessing centres running – maintenance, garrisoning, legal assistance, welfare and health services – are provided by fly-in-fly-out Australian firms.

然而这些资金只有部分进入了瑙鲁和巴布亚新几内亚的经济,其余大部分都被用来维持管理中心的运转:维护、驻军、法律援助、福利和卫生服务,这些服务都是飞进飞出的澳大利亚公司提供的。

But there are benefits. The Nauru government is paid resettlement fees, reimbursements towards the cost of its public services, jobs for locals and increased economic activity.

不过也带来了一些好处。瑙鲁政府收到了澳大利亚支付的安置费,这些费用可以支付公共服务,难民拘留可以为当地人提供工作机会,并增加当地的经济活力。



That now raises the difficult question of what happens when Australia leaves.

那么棘手的问题出现了,如果澳大利亚取消这个项目,瑙鲁该怎么办。

The dependence of Nauru on Australia and its offshore detention policies is revealed in Nauru’s own budget papers for 2018-19. Australia is responsible for directly providing at least two-thirds of Nauru’s revenue, which last year was $167m. It reported a balanced budget in 2017-18, spending all but a tiny sliver.

瑙鲁2018-2019年预算书披露了该国对澳大利亚及其海外难民拘留政策的依赖。去年澳大利亚向瑙鲁支付了1.67亿美元,相当于瑙鲁收入的三分之二。2017-18年度结算的账目显示,这些费用几乎全部用在了项目时,留给瑙鲁的只有一小部分。

Australian aid makes up a big share: $26m in 2018-19 , even as Australia has sought to prune its aid spending overall. This is despite the Department of Foreign Affairs’ own assessments for 2016-17 that the core programs in education and health are failing to meet benchmarks. The assessment on health slipped from amber to red.

澳大利亚援助占瑙鲁征收收入的很大部分:尽管澳大利亚一直在寻求削减援助支出,但是2018-19年的澳对瑙鲁的援助金额将达到2600万美元。尽管如此,美国外交部2016-17年的评估显示,瑙鲁教育和卫生的核心项目仍未能达到基准要求。健康评估也从琥珀色变成了红色。

But there are also big licks of money coming from visa resettlement fees ($21m), reimbursements to Nauru’s department of justice and border control ($8.2m), and fees to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre corporation ($14m), which provides local staff.

还有大量收入来自签证安置费(2100万美元),对瑙鲁司法部和边境控制部门的资金补偿(820万美元),以及向为当地员工提供服务的瑙鲁地区加工中心公司支付的费用(1400万美元)。

Australians coming and going from the island have breathed new life into Nauru Airlines, the only way to reach the island, while port charges are up and a major upgrade of the port, funded by the Asian Development Bank and Australia, is under way.

由于飞机是到瑙鲁的唯一方式,来来往往的澳大利亚人为瑙鲁航空公司注入了新的活力,瑙鲁港口的费用也在上升,而由亚洲开发银行和澳大利亚资助的港口大规模升级正在进行中。

Government spending has tracked up at the same pace as revenue, leaving the island vulnerable to a sudden change in circumstance.

政府支出已经追上了收入的速度,这样瑙鲁更容易受到突发事件的影响。

The Nauru government knows that the boom is coming to an end.

瑙鲁政府明白经济繁荣马上就结束了。

“Uncertainty remains regarding the numbers of refugees remaining on the island and the operation of the regional processing centre,” the budget papers say. It is forecasting a 3% contraction this financial year.

预算书指出:“考虑到留在岛上的难民人数和地区加工中心,仍然存在不确定性。”预计本财年将收缩3%。

In the short term, Nauru might get a bigger slice of the pie as Australian companies leave and hand over to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre Corporation in October.
But after that the future is precarious.

10月份,澳大利亚企业会撤离,并将相关工程移交给瑙鲁地区加工中心公司,短期内瑙鲁可能会从中得到更大的份额。
不过未来却有太多不确定性。

Most of the utilities, mining and even the shops and supermarket are controlled by Nauruan state government companies that did not file financial statements in time for the budget papers, so it’s hard to say what shape they are in.

大部分的公用事业、采矿、甚至商店和超市都是由瑙鲁国有企业控制,这些企业没有及时提交财务报表,所以很难评估这些企业的经营状况。

Eigigu, which runs the supermarkets, hotels and shops, is in dispute over its hotel in the Marshall Islands, which is closed.

Eigigu经营着超市、酒店和商店,其在马绍尔群岛经营的酒店发生了纠纷,目前该酒店已关闭。

Mining of remnant phosphate deposits has slowed to a dribble. Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation (NRC), which took over mining operations in the last few years, is handing it back to Ronphos, the government-owned phosphate company, from July 1.

残留的磷酸盐矿床的开采已经寥寥无几。过去几年里瑙鲁复原公司逐渐接管了采矿业,从7月1日起将其交还给国有磷酸盐公司Ronphos。

In 2018-19 it is budgeting on making just $22m from phosphate but will spend $27.5m mining it, the budget papers say. The deficit is being funded by a loan from the Taiwanese government and only a quarter of the new equipment needed has been purchased.

预算书称,2018-19年,瑙鲁将从磷酸盐中获得2200万美元,不过开发费用则高达2750万美元。这其中的赤字要靠台湾政府提供的贷款来填补,到目前为止瑙鲁只购入了四分之一的设备。

With little phosphate left, this appears to amount to shuffling of the deckchairs on the Titanic.

瑙鲁的磷酸盐所剩无几,这么做完全是舍本逐末。

As for rehabilitation of the island, the progress has been glacial.

至于岛屿的重建,进展非常缓慢。

The NRC was set up after a financial settlement in 1993 by Australia of $135m in belated recognition of the environmental disaster it had wreaked on the island.

1993年,终于意识到自己给岛屿带来的环境灾难,澳大利亚出资1.35亿美元的与瑙鲁达成财政和解,成立了瑙鲁修复公司。

NRC originally had a target of rehabilitating 400 hectares at the rate of 20 ha a year, but so far it has only rehabilitated a small area known as pit 6, which is being used as the site of the jail.

瑙鲁修复公司的最初目标是以每年20公顷的速度恢复400公顷的土地,但到目前为止,只修复了被称为“六号坑”的小区域,该地区被用作监狱。

The $135m appears to be gone. The budget papers say NRC’s balance sheet shows “a deficit in net worth” and that “future (donor and or Nauru government) external funding will be required for the NRC future work.”

预算书称,1.35亿美元基本已经花光了。瑙鲁修复公司的资产负债表是“净值赤字”,而“未来(捐助者和瑙鲁政府)将需要外部资金来管理瑙鲁修复公司。”

Meanwhile, Nauru is running out of land.

与此同时,瑙鲁的土地就要耗光了。

The other big earner in recent years has been fishing. The government earned $43.14m last financial year in fees paid by foreign-flagged vessels to undertake what is called “purse seine fishing”. This involves putting out several kilometres of net in a circle, which is then closed from the bottom with a drawstring, trapping tuna and other species.

近年瑙鲁另一个财政来源是捕鱼业。去年,政府向悬挂外国国旗“围网捕捞”的船只收取了4314万美元的费用。这种捕捞方法是将布置在几公里范围内的渔网围成一个圈,然后用拉绳将金枪鱼等从底部直接兜起来。

The Nauru government has recently invested in two Korean-flagged tuna boats in an effort to secure a bigger cut of the fishing industry.

为了保住捕鱼业更大的份额,瑙鲁政府最近投资了两艘悬挂韩国国旗的金枪渔船。

The DeepGreen undersea mining project will need to be balanced with protecting these marine resources.

深绿公司在进行海底开采的同时还要保护海洋资源。

DeepGreen has undertaken three exploration voyages and plans four more. It says the resource has proved very promising, with high concentrations of the mineral-rich nodules on the seafloor at a depth of 4km. It plans to begin commercial mining in 2025.

深绿公司已经进行了三次钻探,未来还将进行四次旅行勘探。据报道,这种资源非常有前途,海底富含矿物质结晶,深度四公里。该公司计划在2025年开始商业开采。

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, is hopeful the venture will bring great benefits.

瑙鲁总统巴伦•瓦卡希望该企业可以为瑙鲁带来巨大收益。

“My government continues to look for other revenue sources for Nauru. Not just now, for the future. This venture with DeepGreen will ensure that our revenue will be well diversified for our children and their children well into the future,” Waqa said after the company reported that it had found significant resources in the territory around Nauru.

深绿公司的报告称在瑙鲁发现大量矿产能源后,瓦卡说:“政府将继续为瑙鲁寻找其他收入来源。不只是为了眼前,也为了将来。与深绿公司合作将确保瑙鲁的收入,将来会为我们子孙后代提供多样化的服务。”

DeepGreen’s Gerard Barron said under the agreement with Nauru, the company will pay royalties of “tens of millions” a year and make a significant contribution to the island’s GDP.

深绿公司控制人杰拉德•巴伦说,根据与瑙鲁的协议,该公司每年将支付“数千万”的特许使用费,这将对瑙鲁的GDP做出重大贡献。

The company is already offering training and job opportunities to Naruans on its exploration voyages. Barron believes undersea mining for minerals could be as transformative for the Pacific as oil was for the Middle East.

公司为了勘探航线,已经开始培训瑙鲁人,并为他们提供工作机会。巴伦认为,海底采矿对太平洋地区的影响可能会像石油对中东的影响一样。

“They’re the metals we need to build electric vehicle batteries, to build renewable energy storage, to build electricity-generating windmills and solar panels. At DeepGreen we call them metals for our future,” he said.

“在电动汽车电池、可再生能源存储、发电风车和太阳能电池板行业,这些金属必不可少的。我们称之为未来金属。”他说。

But undersea mining is controversial. The Solwarra project, being undertaken by Nautilus Minerals off the coast of PNG, involves excavating and crushing up volcanic vents on the seafloor and then pumping the rubble to the surface. It’s been opposed by local communities and environmental groups.

但是海底采矿也存在争议。巴布亚新几内亚海岸的鹦鹉螺矿业公司承建的Solwarra工程,包括挖掘和摧毁海底的火山喷口,然后将碎石泵到海面上。这遭到了当地社区和环保组织的反对。

Barron says mining nodules has far less impact: the loose nodules are vacuumed up and pumped to the surface, with the residual water then pumped back down to avoid disturbing ocean temperatures.

巴伦说,矿产结核对环境的影响要小得多:矿产结核的结构松散,可以用泵通过真空吸到海洋,再用泵把剩余的水输回去,这样就可以避免扰乱海洋温度。

In anticipation of the end of the detention centre business, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand and the Asian Development Bank have also begun paying into the Nauru Intergenerational Trust Fund, a sovereign wealth fund being managed by a board of donor representatives and Australian accounting firms.

由于担忧未来澳大利亚难民收容项目终止,澳大利亚、台湾、新西兰和亚洲开发银行开始向瑙鲁代际信托基金支付费用,该基金是由捐赠机构代表和澳大利亚会计师事务所管理的主权财富基金。

Its proceeds, currently $56m, cannot be spent until it builds to a critical mass. Nauru will make contributions, depending on its income each year.

目前的收益为5600万美元,除非达到临界质量,否则不能使用。瑙鲁将根据年收入情况,向里面存钱。

The Guardian put detailed questions to the Nauru government but it did not respond.

《卫报》向瑙鲁政府咨询了一些详细问题,不过没有收到回应。
 
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