Global Post: The Balkanization of Europe? ‘Europe’s rising tide of nationalism swept over Belgium on Sunday when separatists seeking independence for the country’s Dutch-speaking north surged in local elections to take power in city halls across the region. “This is a point of no return in our history,” Bart De Wever, leader of the New Flemish Alliance, told cheering supporters after his election as mayor in this historic seaport. “The Flemish have chosen change and we are going to continue on that path.”’
Market Watch: Euro crisis fosters secession, not solidarity. ‘Germany is setting a bad example to Catalonia, Flanders and even Venice, as Berlin’s resistance to bailing out euro-zone countries in southern Europe is fanning the flames of secession throughout the continent. Just as Germany resists financial solidarity with other members of the monetary union, these rich regions in Spain, Belgium and Italy say they are tired of seeing their prosperity siphoned off to poorer regions in their countries.’
International Business Times: Tip Of The Iceberg: French Police Arrest Albanian Heroin Traffickers, But Balkan Criminal Gangs Tighten Grip Across Europe. ‘French police have smashed a “huge” Albanian/Kosovar heroin smuggling ring and arrested 42 people in eastern France and Germany. “It has become more and more difficult to distinguish clearly between terrorist groups and organized crime units, since their tactics increasingly overlap,” said the United Nations. “The world is seeing the birth of a new hybrid of ‘organized crime — terrorist organizations,’ and it is imperative to sever the connection between crime, drugs and terrorism now.”’
New Europe: Qatar investments in France are not driven by religion. ‘According to France 24, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right party National Front, accused Qatar intention to invest in the area, as a political mean to promote Islamism in France. “The massive investments which it has made in suburbs are made because of the very high proportion of Muslims who are in the French suburbs,” far-right leader said.’
JPost: ‘Good Jew’ 3rd most popular in French Tweets. ‘A French nonprofit said it was considering making complaints against some Twitter users following an explosion of French-language anti-Semitic messages, JTA learned Monday.
SOS Racisme, a Paris-based anti-discrimination organization, made the statement on its website after the phrase UnBonJuif on October 10, became the third most popular hashtag among French Twitter users. Literally meaning “a good Jew,” it served thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”’
Chicago Tribune: Early Lombardy election adds to Italy’s political turbulence. ‘Italy’s richest and most populous region will go to the polls soon after a spreading graft scandal claimed its parliament, its governor said, adding a new element of political instability months ahead of a national election. Lombardy governor Roberto Formigoni dissolved the regional legislature on Tuesday following the arrest of a member of his center-right administration for allegedly buying votes from the Calabrian mafia. After losing the support of his main ally, the separatist Northern League party, at the weekend, he said he would call new elections very soon, possibly within 45 days.’
Bt.no: Gay political u-turn. Siv Jensen’s Norwegian Progress Party has turned on their current policy, saying yes to gay marriage and adoption. The motive for this move is thought to allow the Progress Party to be a credible government partner. It now only remains for Siv Jensen to publicly support the proposal.