News from Western Europe, Monday 3rd June 2013

AUSTRIA

Translated from German – Die Presse: Skinhead Report: Freedom Party announces parliamentary inquiry.With incomprehension FPÖ General Secretary Harald Vilimsky on Friday responded that the prosecution Wiener Neustadt won the case against Ed Moschitz inciting reactivation and falsification of evidence related to the set “On the Scene” skinhead reportage.

After this method can be set only with the approval of the Justice Department, the Freedom Party will bring a corresponding parliamentary question,” Vilimsky announced in a press release. dispute between the FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache and Moschitz took a good three years.’

DENMARK

The Nordic Page: Breivik Sympathizer Sentenced to Suspended Prison. ’43-year-old was questioned by Danish police on 25 July 2011, after he had posted a message on Breivik’s Facebook page at 5:43 at the night of 23 July: “We love you, Anders Breivik. Hang on, hail and kill manowar. ”

According to VG, the man changed the time of the message so it would look like it was sent before the bomb went off in the government quarter.

This way, he incorrectly tried to become a part of the terrorist case, and thus incurred an investigation. The man risked up to two years in prison for this attempt, but the court sentenced him to the 60-day suspended prison as the crime happened long time ago.

43-year-old was also charged with threats against the two prosecutors Inga Bejer Engh and Svein Holden, who brought the case to court against Anders Behring Breivik.’

FINLAND

Yle: Soini buys ad to slam gov’t. ‘The front page of Sunday’s print edition of Finland’s largest circulation daily, Helsingin Sanomat, carried a paid message by Finns Party leader Timo Soini. In a text addressed “to the Finnish people”, Soini implies that documents relating to guarantees Finland received from Greece in return for bailout loans were kept secret on purpose.’

FRANCE

BBC News: French far-right leader loses immunity, faces charges. ‘French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, could face criminal charges for inciting racism, the BBC has learnt.

The French authorities opened a case against Mrs Le Pen in 2011 after she likened the sight of Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

As a European Parliament member (MEP), she enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

However, this protection was removed by a European parliamentary committee in a secret vote this week.’

Video – JN1: Jews and Gypsies tackle discrimination of ROMA in France. ‘The French Union of Gypsy Associations and France’s Jewish umbrella group came together for an evening of music and cinema, aimed at challenging the stereotypes that discriminate against the Roma community.  

Fighting prejudice through music. This was the aim of a meeting between representatives of France’s Jewish and Gypsy organizations, Gypsies and Jews bound by a common history of persecution.’

Interview – Translated from French – Le Monde: The radicalization in mosques has become almost impossible.

Mohamed Ali Adraoui, researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) in Paris, an expert on Islam, replace the path of Alexander D, who admitted assaulting a soldier, in a broader context radicalization of young Muslims fringe. It also points to the difficulty of the Muslim “community” to prevent the drift of these individuals. He has published From Gulf to the suburbs, the global Salafism (PUF) and is co-author of Suburbs of the Republic with Gilles Kepel (Gallimard, 2012)’

A UMP deputy prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred. ‘”The thugs are certainly the descendants of slaves, they have their excuses # Taubira will give compensation ” The tweet Johann Sebastian Vialatte dated May 13 continues to stir.

After having suffered vehement criticism, deleted the tweet and expressed regret, it is now being sued by a group for “incitement to racial hatred” for the tweet making a parallel between the descendants of slaves and the thugs responsible for the violence May 13 Day Paris Saint-Germain at the Trocadero.’

Translated from French – Libération: New indictment in the case Merah. ‘New indictment in the case Merah. Arrested Tuesday in Toulouse, Mr. Fattah, 30, father of Algerian nationality, was imprisoned in the prison of Fleury-Merogis Saturday after 96 hours of custody. He was indicted for “complicity in murder” and for “concealment of theft, acquisition and disposal of weapons in relation to a terrorist enterprise” and “conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism.”

Investigators suspect that they provided at least two weapons Mohamed Merah. During his hearing before the judge, Mr. Fattah reportedly admitted provided in February 2012 Uzi submachine gun used by the killer scooter in the murder of three children and a teacher at the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah March 19 2012 in Toulouse. He also sold the bulletproof vest worn by the killer scooter during the siege of his apartment by the Raid.’

RUVR: French soldier’s attacker charged under terrorism guidelines. ‘The attackers of a French soldier in Paris who, was patrolling the district of La Defense, have been charged with terrorism related crimes. The suspects are being accused of “attempted murder while related to a terrorist group.”

In the near future the court must also make a decision about the future of 22-year-old young man who may be temporarily held in custody or released on bail.’

GERMANY

Deutsche Welle: NSU murders trigger debate about structural racism. ‘The NSU trial in Munich hopes to shed light on rightwing terrorism from a legal perspective; and there are political investigation committees. But many say more is needed – a whole new debate about racism in Germany.

According to prosecutors, the members of the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), the Nazi terror trio that went on a nation-wide killing spree between the years 2000 and 2006, murdered their victims “to achieve their racist goals, i.e. kill people solely because of their non-German origin.”

The trial against the surviving suspects is now underway. But for a long time, as the investigation was ongoing, the German authorities found it difficult to consider the possibility that the murders of nine men of Turkish and Greek origin and a German policewoman could have been racially motivated. That becomes clear when reading testimonies given by victims’ relatives, and when you look at what has come to light about the actual investigation process.’

Translated from German – Der Spiegel: Anti-Semitism among Catholics: Bishop angered by jokes about Jews at the seminary. ‘A “happy and blessed summer semester” it should be, so it had wished his young theologians few weeks ago the Würzburg seminary. But the peace in the historic house in the center of the university town, it is for the time being then. “We have the feeling of standing in front of a precipice,” says Herbert Baumann, rector of the seminary.

For more than 400 years, priests are trained in the seminary, now the house is fighting for his reputation. It’s about the accusation of anti-Semitic and right-wing incidents under part of the students. He had therefore recently spent “many sleepless nights,” says Baumann.’

NORWAY

Al Jazeera: Norway upholds convictions over al-Qaeda plot. ‘Norway’s highest court has upheld guilty convictions against two men involved in a 2010 al-Qaeda plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

Last year, a local court sentenced Mikael Davud to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.

A third defendant was acquitted of terrorism charges but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives.

Investigators say the plot was linked to the same al-Qaeda planners behind thwarted attacks against the New York subway system and a shopping centre in Manchester, England, in 2009.’

SPAIN

Video – JN1: Multicultural crossroads in Spain’s Toledo. ‘Spain has a long history of different cultures crossing paths, and here in Toledo we have one building where we can see Christian, Jewish and Arabic lives coming together.

What do this building’s basement, the art that adorns its walls, and the current owners of the building have in common? Well apart from sharing the space, the answer is almost nothing, which is in fact the beauty of the situation. All of this is housed in the restaurant “The Judería”, or Jewish quarters in English, whose owner Angel explained how the distinct cultures contributed to a building that became more than the sum of its parts.’

Reuters: Basque peace group dissolves, says it’s no longer needed. ‘A peace movement set up 28 years ago to counter the violence of the Basque militant group ETA formally dissolved on Saturday, saying that it had achieved its objective now that ETA has laid down its arms.

Three hundred people congregated for a minute’s silence in Bilbao’s Circular Square, the scene of A Gesture for Peace’s first protest, when 200 people gathered in silence to protest the murder of four people by ETA in 1985.

ETA laid down weapons in October 2011 after four decades of armed struggle for independence for Basque lands in Spain and southern France that resulted in more than 800 deaths.

Those who gathered on Saturday included representatives of all the region’s political parties as well as members of the movement. They released dozens of white balloons shaped like doves under grey skies in Bilbao.’

SWEDEN

Video – JN1: Sweden looks at implications of riots. ‘The mayor of Sweden’s capital Stockholm has held a press conference in a bid to ease concerns over the city’s safety following several nights of riots by angry youths.

The civil unrest started on May 19. Bands of youths, mostly from immigrant backgrounds, have set cars ablaze and caused damage to buildings in some of Stockholm’s suburbs. However Mayor Sten Nordin assured people that the unrest which only been occurring at night has not affected the city’s normal operations.

The unrest has shocked the usually peaceful nation, and could be the first of many problems for the Scandinavian country facing an increasingly heavy immigration burden. The Social Democrat Party, a far-right anti-immigration party that has roots in the neo-Nazi movement, has blamed the problem on the government’s ‘irresponsible immigration policies.

The areas affected by the unrest have been mostly immigrant neighbourhoods with a lower education level, and higher than average unemployment rate.’

Scancomark: How The Swedish Far Right Party, Sweden Democrats Leader Became The Highest Paid Politician In Sweden. ‘The head of the Swedish far right party has emerged the best-paid politician in the country with much of the pay coming from taxpayers, which includes those his hard anti immigration, anti EU and racist rhetoric are attacking.

The Swedish taxpayers who are made up of immigrants working in the healthcare, hospitality and cleaning, among others are paying the far right leader to popularize is racist and far rights ideas and make their lives in Sweden miserable.

Swedish television in one of its political programs that reviewed parliamentary parties and how they pay their leaders show that there is a growing discontent within Sweden Democrats as it turns out that the part leadership has become more money hungry than what their party espouse.

Sweden Democrats is one of the smallest parties in the Swedish parliament in terms of number of members. This has not stopped the party secretary Björn Söder and party leader Jimmie Åkesson to become two of Sweden’s best-paid politicians. Some authorities see skilful leadership, manipulation, and boldness in attaining this feat.’

Searchlight: Far-right party seeks to capitalise on riots in Sweden. ‘Sweden is trying desperately to put last week’s riots in Stockholm behind it, and in the past week the capital has remained relatively quiet. But the questions raised by the unrest in the wealthy Nordic country have refused to go away.

A parliamentary debate on Friday, called at the instigation of the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) party, provided a taster of an issue likely to feature in the next year leading to a general election in September 2014.

“What we have seen in the past few weeks and is still going on is not only horrible and appalling but also the clearest sign of a gigantic political failure,” said Jimmie Akesson, head of the SD, now the third-largest political party in the country.

The answer, he declared, was for child benefits to be withdrawn from the parents of any rioters.’

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