Western Europe Tracker 08.10.12

Comment – The New York Times: Catalonia may be the catalyst for a renewed wave of separatism in the European Union, with Scotland and Flanders not far behind. ‘The great paradox of the European Union, which is built on the concept of shared sovereignty, is that it lowers the stakes for regions to push for independence. While a post-national European Union may be emerging out of the euro zone crisis, with a drive for more fiscal union and more centralized control over national budgets and banks, the crisis has accelerated calls for independence from member countries’ richer regions, angry at having to finance poorer neighbours.’


Al Jazeera: French police crack down on terror suspects. Jeremy Sidney, 33, has been ‘shot dead by French police in a nationwide crackdown on terror suspects that made 11 arrests, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. Molins said the man, killed on Saturday in an exchange of fire in Strasbourg, was linked to an attack on a Jewish store last month. He was a “delinquent who had converted to radical Islam” and his fingerprints were found on the remains of a grenade thrown into the kosher grocery store in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, Molins told a press conference.’

Time World: French Anti-Terror Raids Leave Extremist Suspect Dead. ‘French special forces shot and killed suspect Islamist extremist Oct. 6 in an exchange of gunfire during a dawn raid in the eastern city of Strasbourg. The action was as part of a daybreak series of sweeps targeting alleged Salafist radicals, the fatal Strasbourg raid is known to have been part of a coordinated series of moves on suspected extremists. Those raids occurred in Nice, Cannes, and locations around Paris, resulting in the arrest of 10 people.’


The Voice of Russia: Arrests at German Neo-nazi march. ‘On Saturday, October 6, more than a hundred left-wing activists were arrested in the German city of Göppingen, in the south of the country after trying to disrupt an authorized march by neo-nazis, according to reports from the local police. The demonstration was proceeding peacefully until antifascist counter-demonstrators began to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at the neo-nazis.’


Agl: Northern League senator says “autonomy must be seized”. ‘Speaking at a party rally in Venice, Northern League Senator Roberto Calderoli said today. “If we are not given Euro-regions, they must give us statehood. Autonomy is something to be seized”. Calderoli also emphasized that Euro-regions “are sacrosanct. It is also sacrosanct that citizens should be permitted to decide to merge with other regions and work. It is the people who must decide on their own autonomy and we want to vote on our own homeland.’

RT: Venitian protesters demand independence from Rome. ‘Protesters have gathered in front of the central government in Veneto, Italy to demand an immediate referendum on the region’s independence from Rome. The reason is mainly economic, according to the rally’s organizer. Demonstrators are presenting the local government with a resolution which demands an immediate referendum for the region to become its own country. The new territory would include Venice, the surrounding region of Veneto, and parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.’


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