News from Western Europe, Tuesday 4th June 2013

AUSTRIA

Translated from German – Die Presse: FPÖ politician beaten. ‘Vienna Favorites several FPÖ functionaries have become victims of attacks in recent days. On Saturday, a district councilor was beaten when leaving the tram, even in building an information booth there was a last attack. For the incidents were “apparently politically motivated violent offenders” responsible to FP-chairman Heinz-Christian road was convinced on Monday in a press release.

According to police information, the incident took place at a station of the tram line 6 on weekends. The 38-year-old district councilor was of an unknown male person – reflected from behind and attacks with kicks – which apparently was traveling with several boys. After the attack, the perpetrator fled on foot, according to police. The woman suffered injuries to the arm and the face and was taken to a hospital. Currently, the background of the incident to be tested. Witnesses could not be traced so far, they said to the police.’

FRANCE

CNN: Legacy of the ‘father’ of France’s modern extreme right. ‘As 4.00 pm struck on May 21, a man walked to the high altar in Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, placed a sealed letter on it, then killed himself with a single pistol shot to the head. Such was the final act of Dominique Venner, a 78-year-old former far-right activist and leading ideologue. Prior to this gruesomely theatrical suicide, carried out while some 1,500 visitors milled around the cathedral, Venner’s was not a name that would have resonated much in French public consciousness. But in his day, he was one of the most notorious opponents of the French Republic, its core values of “liberté, égalité, fraternité,” and its institutions.

Venner’s resume offers a tour through some of the most radical extreme right-wing political and intellectual circles in post-war France. The son of a militant pro-fascist father, he first came to prominence as an opponent of France’s return to democracy under the Fourth Republic and a diehard defender of French Algeria, engaging in violent activism and enlisting to fight as a volunteer paratrooper in the Algerian War. Having served a prison sentence for his role in the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS) that waged a campaign of terror against President de Gaulle’s policy of Algerian self-determination, he went on to lead the ideological renewal of the French nationalist right in response to the new world order taking shape with decolonization and the Cold War in the 1960s.’

Translated from French – Le Figaro: Merah case: the third man jailed says he knew nothing‘The alleged accomplices Mohamed Merah , author of killing between 11 and 19 March 2012, in Toulouse and Montauban are flushed out one by one by the police and imprisoned. After Abdelkader, the elder brother of the killer, and Mohamed Mounir Meskine , suspected of providing a scooter for the movement of criminal investigators arrested, last week, a third man . This is Fattah Malki, 30 years old and would have provided a gun and a bulletproof vest.

Saturday jailed and indicted for complicity in murder, he would have delivered a 9mm Uzi submachine gun, used during the attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse and in which Mohamed Merah murdered three children and a teacher . It would also have provided a bulletproof vest, the same one that the killer was wearing when he was shot by police during an exchange of gunfire after the attack on his home .

During his long custody Fattah Malki has acknowledged having given the submachine gun and protective clothing, but, according to his lawyer, Christian Etelin, he knew nothing of the plans of Mohamed Merah. Nothing surprising about that, said the latter, describing the context of city, inseparable from Merah case.’

Comment – LSE EUROPP Blog: Anti-Hollande sentiments have fuelled the popularity of France’s Manif pour Tous movement. ‘In May, France signed gay marriage into law, a move that was met with mass protests from the right wing Manif pour Tous movement. How has this movement met with such success in a country that is predominantly tolerant in sexual matters? John Gaffney argues that the movement’s success has fed on the negative sentiment towards the French President, François Hollande, and fears from the far right that gay marriage legislation could lead to even more dramatic social and cultural changes. He writes that the Manif pour Tous’ followers may yet flock to Marine Le Pen’s far right Front National, which will cause further headaches for an already beleaguered Hollande.’

The New York Times: Treatment Still Harsh for Roma in France. ‘In the last three weeks alone, the French police have dismantled Roma encampments in Saint-Denis, just outside Paris, and along the Var River west of Nice. In Lyon, 200 Roma were temporarily housed in a gymnasium when someone set fire to their squat in a disused factory, killing two women and a 12-year-old.

President François Hollande’s Socialist government came into office a year ago promising a better deal for the Roma, also known as Gypsies, an end to the shantytowns and the rehousing and integration of those displaced. But like other promises, including a return to economic growth, reality has been a recalcitrant political partner.

Having criticized the previous center-right government of Nicolas Sarkozy for being careless with individual rights and flirting with the anti-immigrant far right, the Hollande government has done little to change policy toward the Roma. The interior minister, Manuel Valls, who has been praised for his organizational ability and toughness, has expelled at least as many non-French Roma as his predecessor and continues to order the police to dismantle illegal camps and shantytowns, without rehousing most of those displaced.’

GERMANY

IBT: Solingen: 20 Years After Neo-Nazis Killed Five Turkish Girls, Integration In Germany Remains Elusive. ‘Between 1988 and 1992, Germany endured a wave of violent assaults on immigrants, leading to the banning of neo-Nazi groups the year prior to Solingen. Nonetheless, by May 1993, in response to growing unease over large numbers of immigrants and asylum-seekers already in the country, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, passed a law to restrict the entry of refugees.

Now, two decades later, the influx of immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers continues to create stress and conflict across Western Europe, exacerbated by the economic climate on the continent. But Germany, given the shadows of the Third Reich, appears to be willing to acknowledge that immigration and integration has been extremely painful and difficult.

Last week, German and Turkish officials, including Integration Minister Maria Bohmer and Turkey Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, attended a 20th-anniversary memorial ceremony in Solingen. At the memorial, Bohmer declared: “We will not cease in the fight against right-wing extremism and racism.”[…]

However, as Germany’s Deutsche-Welle news agency reported, xenophobia remains pervasive in Solingen, where the victimized Turkish family, the Gencs, still reside. Another Turkish resident of Solingen, Secil Cakici, who has lived in Germany for 46 years, told DW: “It could have been me. [But] you can’t live in fear for long,” referring to the arson attack.

Such killings of foreigners in Germany have not ended. Indeed, German media has been covering the trial of three members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU), who allegedly murdered 10 people – mostly Turks and Greeks – over a decade-long bloodletting.’

Translated from German – Der Spiegel: Hitler salute: charges against Jonathan Meese. ‘He provokes happy with runes and swastikas, Jonathan Meese is now threatening consequences for his dealings with Nazi symbols: The Hesse prosecutor issued charges against the Berlin artist because he publicly raised his hand to the Hitler salute.’

Translated from German – Zeit Online: The Three Lives of Carsten S. ‘The defendant makes an effort to make it to the court right. Carsten S. wants to healing as possible to get out of what he is accused of: to murder. Maybe he does not understand himself how he could get into because, in this incredible series of crimes alleged right-wing terrorists.

He understood, however, that it is about damage limitation for him in the process. The co-defendants Beate Zschäpe, Ralf good life and André E. silent on the allegations, Carsten S. has chosen a strategy the greatest openness. Also Holger G., who sits a few seats next page wants to talk from the next meeting on Tuesday. Since both have testified in the police interrogations, they are the Nazi scene as a traitor. For both it is an attempt to save as much as possible of what they have outside of this scene. Carsten S. And this is more than any of the other defendants . His life number two.’

An Islamist who scares. ‘This Monday, the trial of Emrah E. (25)  starts in Wuppertal. The Attorney General alleges that the German Turk had disturbed the public peace with the fictitious notice of violent actions. Emrah E. should have listened to one or two terrorist organizations that operate far from each other. According to Attorney General in early 2010, he traveled from Germany to the terrorist stronghold of Waziristan and joined al-Qaeda, then he moved in early 2011 to faraway Somalia, the Shabaab militia. It is allied with al-Qaeda and wants to establish a theocracy in the East African country. For both organizations, the German Turk is said to have also fought and killed. The Attorney E. throws before he took part in attacks on Pakistani troops, as well as Ethiopian forces in Somalia to support the transitional government.

With the Federal E. telephoned three times in November 2010. Detail he reported two supposedly imminent attacks in Germany, including one by suicide bombers in the Bundestag, and another planned attack in Pakistan. As the German authorities had other evidence of actions of Al-Qaeda, they took the call seriously.

The Islamist, only feigned knowledge, investigators say. In their view, it was E.’s aim  to create fear. And he wanted to achieve with the telephone calls that the BKA help to bring the pregnant wife and son from Waziristan to Germany. The Islamist,  also demanded money. That E. wanted to leave the terrorist scene itself, preclude investigators. He had only changed the location and had traveled with the blessing of Al-Qaeda in Somalia.’

ITALY

Gazzetta del Sud: Northern League MEP ejected from EFD for black minister slur. ‘ario Borghezio, a member of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League in the European Parliament, was kicked out of the Eurosceptics’ caucus on Monday for racist remarks against Italy’s first black minister.

The expulsion, proposed by co-chairman Nigel Farage, was approved by a majority of more than two-thirds of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group. Last month Borghezio publicly said he was sorry if he caused offence to Cecile Kyenge after he triggered a widespread outcry with his remarks about the integration minister.’

THE NETHERLANDS

Dutch News: Dutch Turks show support for Turkish anti-government protestors. ‘Several hundred people have taken part in demonstrations in Amsterdam and The Hague, calling for support for the ‘Occupy Taksim’ protesters in Turkey.

The movement, which started last week as a peaceful sit-in protest in response to the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul, has turned into a nationwide protest demanding the resignation of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In Amsterdam, protesters gathered at Amsterdam’s city centre Beursplein. The crowd included Turkish immigrants, students, artists and activists as well as Dutch people, who had set up a Facebook group called ‘Dutch support for Taksim occupy!!’.

Calling on the Turkish government to resign, the group in Amsterdam sang songs and chanted slogans in several languages such as ‘shoulder to shoulder against fascism’ and ‘everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance’.’

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