News from Western Europe, Tuesday 28th May 2013

EUROPE

Video – BBC News: EU ends arms embargo on Syria rebel. ‘European Union foreign ministers have said they will not renew an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, due to expire on Saturday.

But there was no immediate decision to send arms to Syrian rebels and all other sanctions remained in force, the EU foreign policy chief said.

The decision came after lengthy talks among divided ministers in Brussels.’

Comment – LSE EUROPP Blog: Immigrant children in schools have a near-zero effect on the educational achievement of native born children. ‘In a time of austerity and rising unemployment across Europe, immigration has become an increasingly hot topic. One concern, frequently brought up by the media is that the presence of immigrant children in schools may reduce the educational outcomes of native children. Using data from the Netherlands, Asako Ohinata and Jan C. van Ours have taken an in-depth look at whether or not this is actually the case. They find that, after controlling for differences within schools, that the educational achievement of native children is almost completely unaffected by the presence of immigrant children.’

JP: ADL unhappy with anti-Semitism parley speakers. ‘Officials from Hungary, Ireland and Greece should not have been invited to give opening speeches at Tuesday’s Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Foxman, who is in Israel for the international gathering convened under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry, said that while the foreign officials “needed to be invited,” he was “uncomfortable with them keynoting the conference.”

Comment – Y Net News: Expert: Islam taking over, Europe soon to be unrecognizable. ‘According to Dr. Mordechai Kedar, European softening, together with demographics, is leading to ‘abysmal’ change. Dr. Avika Libman: Riots start with preachers demanding Muslim state

The murder of a soldier in London, the stabbing of a soldier in Paris and the violent outbreak in Sweden – Europe’s alarm clock has been ringing once again over the past week. The negative birthrate compared to the increase in Muslims, the heavy unemployment and the social-religious isolation of European immigrants are all back on the agenda.

“Europe has lost its will to live as Europe,” said Mideast expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar to Ynet. “It is gathered into museums, into history. If the leaders will not put an end to immigration, we will soon be hearing the death throes of the continent as we know it.”

Even if it is somewhat demagogic to attempt to bind the three events from the past few days in different European sites under “Islamic extremism,” and even if the rage sparks in the weaker classes of immigrants, it is hard to ignore the basic facts. Behind these events are African immigrants from Islamic countries.

Dr. Zvika Libman studies the effects of the Muslim minority in Europe in light of the radical Islam on European countries. When he sees the reality, he said, there is no alternative interpretation for the events. “There is no doubt that the unemployment and the economic hardships lead to rioting, as happened in France. And yes, there is a disadvantage compared to the European bourgeois, but this is not solely bitterness due to the economic situation – because there is unemployment among youngsters who are not Muslim, like in Spain for example’

BELGIUM

Translated from Dutch – De Standaard: Vlaams Belang start campaign à la Thatcher.The Vlaams Belang party performs the next month a major campaign against what the party calls the milking of the Flemish government. Under the heading ‘milked enough, give us our money back! ” The party opposes the high stakes of tax money for immigration, the EU and the euro, the transfers to Wallonia – not coincidentally, the Vlaams Belang classic themes – and the rescue of the banks.’

FRANCE

Translated from French – Libération: Homophobic communitarianism. ‘In no country in the world, after the marriage for same-sex couples adopted the conservative mobilization will put so much energy to denounce democratic rule as the French far right. If the movement now exceeds the termination of the Taubira law should not forget that what unites the Tea Party hex is first and foremost anti-gay sentiment.The founding act of “protest generation for all”, to quote a great conservative newspaper, is the denial of same-sex families.

For a long time, every advanced rights, these same media and ideologues did not hesitate to threaten gay communitarianism, disintegrator Republican tissue. However, faced with the organization of a vocal minority based on the denial of rights to some citizens, no one refers to communitarianism homophobic. First, it is a minority.Contrary to popular belief by some media reports that the Taubira law divide the French, opposing equal rights for LGBT people are a minority. A large majority is in favor of marriage (67%) and if the opinion of the adoption fell from 53% to 49% this is due to the confusion, fueled by an irresponsible opposition between adoption and surrogacy LDCs . And let us remember that nearly three quarters of French (72%) think that the protests against the marriage law for all must stop.’

Translated from French – Le Monde: Holland criticized the use of the vocabulary of resistance by anti-gay marriage. ‘”The words still have meaning. They need to give their meaning ” , said Francois Hollande , Monday, May 27, on the sidelines of an anniversary of the seventieth anniversary of the creation of the CNR (National Council of Resistance ceremony ), referring to the lexical field used by some of the most radical opponents of marriage for all . The French Spring was especially called for “resistance” against the “Taubira law,” denouncing parties “collaborators.”

“The resistance was compared to Nazism, the Occupation. Collaboration, it was the French who were with the occupant. And fascism, Nazism, dictatorship, it is a time which is fortunately past ” , said the president. He answered, alongside seven resistant, including Daniel Cordier , questions from high school students Buffon Paris .’

Four new arrests in the case Merah. ‘Four people were arrested and placed in custody in connection with the case Merah , said a police source. Two people were arrested in Toulouse and two in Paris, as part of the investigation on the possible complicity allegedly received Mohammed Merah . They were arrested in the morning by the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate and SRPJ Toulouse, it was the same source.

For several months, many people of the environment of Mohamed Merah were arrested, mainly in the Toulouse region, before being released . So far, only two men were indicted: the elder brother of killer scooter, Abdelkader Merah for “complicity in murder”, and more recently Mohamed Mounir M., 25 years for complicity in the theft of scooter and Association conspiracy.

Imprisoned in the prison of Health, Mr. Mohamed Mounir will be reheard by the judge Christophe Tessier June 17 He denies all the facts and “strongly condemns the actions of Merah” , according to his lawyer, M e Alexandre Parra-Brugui era.’

UPI: Police close to identifying suspect who stabbed French soldier. ‘French authorities said they are making progress in identifying the person responsible for stabbing a French soldier in Paris.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Monday told the TV station Canal+ that anti-terrorist investigators have “serious leads” on the identity of the person who stabbed French soldier Cedric Cordier in the neck while he was patrolling an underground shopping center and transport hub near Paris with two colleagues, Radio France Internationale reported.’

GERMANY

Deutsche Welle: Germany’s Integration Summit meets with criticism. ‘Immigrant groups are critical as Chancellor Merkel’s Integration Summit meets for the sixth time. They want to see the institution making a concrete difference.

When the sixth round in the Integration Summit kicks off on Tuesday (28.05.2013) in Berlin, Aydan Özoguz’s expectations will be limited.

“They won’t say much wrong – but it won’t do much good either,” she says. Özoguz is integration spokeswoman of the main German opposition party, the Social Democrats, and she’ll be present when migrants’ organizations, churches and businesses meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel at her invitation to talk about the integration of people with an immigrant background. “It will be a pleasant afternoon tea party,” she adds.

This year’s main issue is access to employment, and the meeting will also be drawing up its conclusions about the National Action Plan for Integration – an ambitious project started last year. Under the plan, the participants committed themselves to 400 measures to promote integration with projects such as language and integration courses.’

The Washington Post: German town which once drew neo-Nazi pilgrims turns to immigrants to secure its future. ‘A small town in Germany that once was a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis is now welcoming jobless foreigners with open arms.

A dozen Spaniards affected by record unemployment in their home country have made their way last year to Wunsiedel on the German-Czech border. The town, nestled in the north Bavarian hills mountains, was best known as the burial place of Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, drawing annual far-right marches until authorities put a stop to them in 2005.

Now Wunsiedel has become an example of how the jobless of southern Europe can be helped to find work in the north, where low birthrates and continued economic prosperity have created a labor shortage.

Wunsiedel needs to recruit outsiders because the town’s population is shrinking — just 9,500 live here now. The town wants to grow again and needs to reach at least 10,000 inhabitants to turn the downward trend around.’

ITALY

Press TV: Taliban claims killing five Italian troops in Afghanistan.

Reuters: Suspicious powder, political threats sent to Italian papers. ‘An envelope containing a suspicious white powder and threats to President Giorgio Napolitano and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi was sent to the Milan headquarters of major newspaper Corriere della Sera on Monday, a police spokesman said.

He said another envelope containing a grey powder was sent to the Milan offices of Il Giornale, a daily owned by the Berlusconi family. Il Giornale made no mention of any threats.

According to Corriere della Sera, a short message in the envelope said “Berlusconi and Giorgio Napolitano will be killed. Traitor to the homeland”. The message was signed by the “Armed Group for the Defence of the People”, Corriere said.’

THE NETHERLANDS

Translated from Dutch – Volkskrant: PVV major consumer motions of no confidence.Of the forty motions of no confidence in the last twenty years there were eighteen of the PVV. Other parties to jump much more economical with the instrument and should (on average) at most once every five years the toughest motion. Christian Union leader Arie Slob warned recently that the arm bone can be overuse. It did not stop there of the PVV shortly thereafter to serve. Again in’

Three quarters Dutch Muslims find Syria-goers heroes.By an overwhelming majority (73 percent) of the Muslims, the Syria-goers even seen as heroes. Native Dutch are absolutely agree with this view. No 70 percent can not agree with such heroism. , according to a study Motivactioncommissioned by the NCRV television What always performed. Motivaction only the largest and most affected by the conflict groups of Muslims, Moroccan and Turkish Dutch, plumbed – so no Muslim Surinamese and Indonesians. To make a comparison, pure native converts from the representative sample filtered. Most Muslims believe that potential Syria-goers a free hand should be placed in the way. They do not want them to be preventively arrested and prosecuted’

SWEDEN

The Guardian: Sweden punishes its rioters and its police very differently. ‘The riots that have raged in the suburbs of Stockholm for the past week were triggered by an incident in Husby, north of Stockholm, last Monday evening, when the police brutally shot and killed a man in his own house and in front his wife. According to the police, the man had been wielding a knife and threatening them[…]

The incident might have worked as a trigger for the riots that followed, but it was certainly not an isolated instance of police brutality in contemporary Swedish society. The recent debate on the controversial government-initiated Reva project – an attempt to accelerate the deportation of illegal immigrants – has exposed the brutal and illegal methods used by law enforcement agencies, mainly against non-white Swedes.

Harassment and racial profiling of non-white Swedes has become increasingly normal police work. Only last week, a Swede of African origin was refused entry at a local club in Malmö for the simple reason that he was wearing traditional African clothes. The police picked him up soon after – in the process of his arrest, he broke his arm and was locked up in a cell for almost six hours without being able to seek medical help.

There are many more examples of the law enforcement agencies using excessive violence against socially excluded groups and enjoying impunity. Police investigations into such cases have often ended with officers being let off the hook, creating a sense of frustration for victims of police brutality.’

Reuters: Riots put Sweden’s open-door immigration policy in spotlight. ‘Sweden’s worst riots in years might benefit a far-right party in elections next year if scenes of immigrants burning cars and smashing up buildings cause voters to rethink their traditional welcome to foreigners.

Even before the week of riots in the poorer neighborhoods of Stockholm, immigration had become a hot political issue, as the number of asylum seekers reached record levels.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party shot to third place in polls earlier this year and the riots could help them secure more political clout at 2014 elections.

The riots, where many youths torched cars and threw stones at police and rescue services, happened as violent attacks on soldiers in Britain and France, blamed on Islamist militants, raised urgent questions about intolerance and integration.’

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