News from Western Europe, Thursday 6th June 2013

EUROPE

EU Observer: EU countries working on new laws against would-be jihadists. ‘EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator de Kerchove has said member states are creating new criminal penalties for Europeans who go to fight in holy wars. “We have to make sure that the 27 member states have … a specific offence of going abroad for jihad,” he told press on Wednesday’

EU elections could usher in nationalist and anti-EU radicals. ‘The 2014 European Parliament election may suffer from a low turnout and see a strong mobilisation of voters in favour of radical nationalist and anti-EU parties, Gallup Europe predicts on the basis of a new survey.

The elections could result in a drastic change in the landscape of European democracy, the pollster said when “EU Election 2014 countdown: One year to go” in Brussels on Wednesday (5 June).’

FRANCE

Comment – LSE EUROPP Blog: France’s Front National and Front de Gauche are both labelled as populist. But they are far from two sides of the same coin.’In recent years, France has seen a rise of parties that have been branded as ‘populist’ by media and academics. But what is populism, and is it necessarily a bad thing? Philippe Marlière argues that, in France, the concept of populism is an ambivalent one, often used by those in the mainstream to brand those who disagree as demagogues. Ultimately, its use has led to the conflation of two very differently oriented parties, the far-right Front National, and the radical left Front de Gauche.’

Translated from French – Le Figaro: A student fatally attacked by skinheads. “The fascist horror just kill in the middle of Paris.” The Left Party has announced the attack on Wednesday night in the heart of Paris, a left-wing activist 18 years, Mr. Clement, by skinheads. The victim was in the night in a state of brain death in the Pitié Salpêtrière. The young man was “violently knocked to the ground by a group of several right-wing extremists, obviously the JNR Group (Nationalist Revolutionary Youth).”The young man was from Brest and were studying at Sciences Po, adds movement Antifascist Action-Paris Suburbs .’

The Local: French far-right as popular as major parties. ‘The survey revealed that the far-right National Front, the governing Socialist party, and the main centre-right opposition UMP were neck-and-neck on exactly 21 percent each of public support.

Public opinion firm Ifop, along with right-leaning weekly magazine Valeurs Actuelles asked respondents to choose from a series of party lists, with specific named leaders, “if the European elections were to take place next Sunday.”

Some 21 percent chose the Socialist Party, led by Party President Harlem Désir, the same percentage of support given to both the UMP, led by Jean-François Copé and the National Front, led by Marine Le Pen.

Just nine percent chose the ‘Front de gauche’ (Leftist Front), led by 2012 presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.’

Translated from French – Le Monde: Mariton separated from his close collaborator of the extreme right. ‘The deputy UMP Hervé Mariton announced that he would part with one of his colleagues in the National Assembly, Jeanne Pavard, which Mediapart revealed she had links with the far right , including Facebook .

“M me Pavard will cease its functions in accordance with the rules of labor law. (…) She had recently expressed to me her desire to leave . I do not remember, ” said the deputy of the Drôme which was one of the leaders of the protest of gay marriage in his party.

In its investigation , Mediapart reveals that associate member’s posted on her Facebook page since modified her sympathies for websites or right-wing movements.’

The fight against terrorism she goes through the arms or the right? ‘In May 2013, Parliament focused on two reports on the French intelligence services.The first concerns the legal framework of their action, while the second analyzes the operation “in the monitoring and surveillance of armed radical movements.” And as the two bear claw MP Jean-Jacques Urvoas, there is a little one in the other. In reading these documents, moreover very interesting (which can be found here andhere ), it remains an open question: Should give to employees who fight against terrorism extra-judicial powers?’

GERMANY

Deutsche Welle: Defendant at neo-Nazi murder trial describes subculture of hate. ‘A key witness at Germany’s neo-Nazi murder trial in Munich has described a subculture of hate behind fatal attacks on mainly Turkish shop proprietors during his teenage years some 15 years ago.

Carsten S, whose name was withheld under German privacy guidelines, was questioned in court on Wednesday about his experiences in the far-right scene in eastern Germany before he disavowed neo-Nazi views.’

Translated from German – Süddeutsche: Fatal error in NSU investigation. ‘The Bavarian investigators seems to have made a serious error in finding the right terrorists from the National Socialist Underground (NSU). In the investigation committee of the Parliament, the witness Beate K. on Wednesday accused the police of having not taken seriously their statement and later puts in the log. “It is not what should not be. The feeling I had,” she told the committee. A police official, who also testified on Wednesday accepted the facts.

The NSU from Nuremberg had the alleged murderer Böhnhardt Uwe and Uwe Mundlos seen on the day of the murder of the owner takeaways Ismail Yasar with bicycles near the crime scene in 2005. If questioned by the police, they had the two men recognized on surveillance videos from Cologne, where they detonated a bomb a year earlier before Turkish commercial premises. Also on this video they were seen with bicycles.

The connection of the series of murders of foreign small business owners to the terrorist act in Cologne had the investigators can lead to track potential terrorists right much earlier. Although the witness provided the evidence of a link and the investigators then stuck in a dead end, the “bike lane” was further neglected.

The 46-year-old said in the committee, to be been sure to have the men recognized. You have the officials said at the time. “I am sure that they look like the two men I have seen in Nuremberg”

But the police had doubted their information again and again and it., On the ground that it was “just a guess”, rejected, clearly record their statement in the minutes There was merely noted that they were “pretty sure” is. Almost half a year later, has once again presented their recordings, post-processed photos this time, where they have found according to the protocol only “a certain similarity.” This meant that the track was not seriously pursued.’

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