News from Western Europe, Monday 22nd April 2013

EUROPE

Translated from French – Le Monde: In Europe, terrorism returns to the agenda. ‘After the outcome of the attack Boston , European counterterrorism officials and political authorities will deliver the first plane various issues such as control of the Internet, the fight against radicalization of young slip apparently well integrated to radical theories or the constitution of any file of air passengers (PNR, passenger name record ).

The American episode is added, in fact, the current concern of various member states: the presence in Syria , probably alongside the extremist Islamic groups, hundreds of young fighters’ s left Europe . The fact that the attack on the arrival of the Boston Marathon is the work of two young people of Chechen origin who has lived long in the United States obviously recalls the London bombings in July 2005, committed by Muslim youths UK.’

BELGIUM

Flanders News: Young Muslims don’t feel accepted. ‘A survey of several hundred young Muslims has found that many don’t feel accepted by Belgian society. The survey was carried out by the daily ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’. Although 93% of those questioned are Belgian nationals, only a small minority consider themselves to be Belgian or Flemish.

As in 2005, ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ surveyed both Muslim and non-Muslim youngsters in Antwerp, Mechelen, Turnhout (all Antwerp Province) and Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders). Despite the efforts made by the government in the field of integration and anti-discrimination policy, the overwhelming majority of the youngsters still feel that they are not accepted by society at large.’

Brussels homeless recruited for Syria. ‘The Mayor of the Brussels borough of Schaarbeek, Bernard Clerfayt, has introduced a ban on food hand-outs to the homeless in the Brussels North Station. Mr Clerfayt intervened following complaints about the fact that the organisation that was organising free hot meals for the homeless was also recruiting people to go and fight in the Syrian civil war.’

FINLAND

Yle: Finns Party aims to lead in opinion polls. ‘Finns Party chair Timo Soini said that the party is poised to become the country’s largest political force. Soini said with half the current administration’s term behind, the nationalistic party has remained true to its principles and held on to elector support.’

 

FRANCE

Video – France 24: French family arrives in Paris after hostage ordeal. ‘A French family, including four young children, that was taken hostage in February by Islamists in Cameroon arrived back in France early Saturday morning, where they were greeted by French President François Hollande.’

Translated from French – Le Monde: Homophobic assault in Nice. ‘A gay couple was attacked leaving a nightclub in Nice Saturday, April 20 by three strangers who had arrested a “Hey gays” before hitting kicking. The Police confirmed the attack but gave no details[...]

Police have conducted two homosexuals to the hospital where they did not get ITT, said Jean-Marie Pottier , Secretary General of the Centre LGBT Riviera, according to which victims have filed a complaint against X Sunday evening . “In this story, homophobia is not perhaps the origin of the attack, but she was involved. This is an opportunity that makes the thief,” said Mr. Pottier, specifying both homosexuals had “the impression of having been followed “when they leave the nightclub.” It’s been four attacks “homophobic” within 15 days “in France,” it’s huge ” lamented the activist.’

Huffington Post: French Anti-Gay Attack: Four Suspects Detained In Lille Bar Incident. ‘Four people have been detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack at a Lille gay bar, the Interior Ministry said Thursday, amid nationwide tensions over a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

Several other people were detained in Paris late Wednesday after a protest against gay marriage that ended with some demonstrators fighting police and damaging cars along the Champs-Elysees avenue.’

The Telegraph: France split over François Hollande’s divisive gay marriage bill. ‘As night fell on Paris on Thursday, it was difficult to decide where the danger was greatest: outside the walls of French parliament as anti-riot police lobbed teargas to contain radical protesters, or inside the National Assembly as a furious debate over gay marriage and adoption erupted into fisticuffs.’

GERMANY

Deutsche Welle: Merkel as Hitler? ‘Angela Merkel is increasingly being depicted as a Nazi in other EU countries – as a new Hitler. Does that mean that Europe’s political culture has failed?

It all began in Greece. About three years ago, angry Athenians took to the streets in protest, and one of their banners showed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an SS uniform. Since then, there has been no end to the Nazi comparisons. Merkel’s strict austerity measures in the euro crisis cemented Germany’s power in Europe in the eyes of many protesters, reminding them of the occupation during the Second World War.’

NSU trial lottery: ‘The fairest method of all’. ‘A Munich court will reallocate press passes for the neo-Nazi NSU terror cell trial accused of killing 10 people, eight with Turkish heritage. Turkish media had previously not received any seats in the courtroom[...]

Now, of the 50 seats of the reserved for journalists, 10 will be reserved for “German-language media based abroad and foreign-language media.” Four of these 10 spots will go to Turkish publications, one to a Greek outlet and to another reporting in Persian. Domestic German media will be allocated 35 places. The remaining five spots are reserved for German and international wire service news agencies.

The places within the categories will now be doled out by a lottery, rather than the “first come, first served” method.’

Translated from German – Die Welt: The quality of the video is too bad. ‘Boston has brought his bombers to the track. Which have so far failed in Bonn, the German security authorities. On 10 December 2012 had put on track 1 of the Bonn Hauptbahnhof an explosive device hidden in a blue sports bag a stranger. Fortunately, the bomb did not explode, the former capital narrowly escaped a terrorist attack.

For the past five months, the investigators of the unit “BAO pocket” are from the Federal Criminal Investigation (BKA) on the hunt for the mysterious culprit with the blue sports bag. Surveillance cameras had filmed a bearded man wearing knit hat, black sports pants and gloves in a McDonald’s restaurant and the Bonn Central Station. The cameras on the platform itself recorded on any images.

Experts analyzed the BKA in recent weeks, the few video recordings again intensively. The result is rather poor’

Press TV: Germany to grant asylum to 100 MKO terrorists. ‘The German Interior Ministry confirmed the initiation of the processes required for granting asylum to the MKO terrorists. The ministry said it is being examined whether the MKO members are qualified to receive visas.

One hundred members of the terrorist group, who have been expelled from Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, situated in Iraq’s Diyala province, are currently based in Camp Liberty, a former United States military installation in Baghdad.

The members of the MKO have assassinated thousands of civilians in different Iranian cities over the past years.’

German police destroys suspicious letter sent to president. ‘German police has detonated a suspicious-looking letter addressed to the country’s President Joachim Gauck’s office, an official spokesman says.

The unnamed presidential spokesman said the package was destroyed Friday in a controlled explosion on the premises of the presidential palace, after a sample of a substance found in the envelope was taken to be tested [...]

The Federal Criminal Police Office later confirmed that the substance was an explosive grade material.

According to German newspaper Die Welt, the retrieved powder was identified as highly explosive and easily detonated Hexamethylene triperoxide diamin (HMTD).’

Translated from German – Süddeutsche: The large Agitator. ‘He compares the Koran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”: Michael Stürzenberger rushes against Islam and a mosque project in Munich. It does not bother him that his party “Freedom” in Bavaria is considered unconstitutional. Visit to a frightening demonstration.’

Translated from German – Zeit Online: Apple confirmed as national chairman of the NPD. ‘The federal party of the extreme right NPD has Holger Apfel confirmed as national chairman. The Saxon State Parliament ‘s NPD leader since 2011 . He tried to make the party look moderate outward. His deputies of the Party Udo Pastörs, Karl Richter and Frank Schwerdt were chosen according to a release.

The two-day national convention of right-wing extremists in Weinheim near Mannheim was accompanied by protests. An alliance of parties and associations gathered again Sunday morning for a rally: According to the police were 400 counter-demonstrators on the ground, the situation was peaceful. Already on Saturday about 250 people were demonstrating. The police closed the gathering at a pub in the village with a large contingent from Sulzbach.’

The Local: Neo-Nazi NPD party ‘weak and in tatters’. ‘Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party is holding its national conference this weekend – on Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Facing an attempt to have it banned, an expert believes financial strains, internal conflicts and dwindling support are already crippling the far-right extremists.’

ITALY

The Guardian: Beppe Grillo attacks Italian president’s re-election. ‘The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, has criticised the re-election of President Giorgio Napolitano as a desperate attempt to retain power by a discredited establishment[...]

Talks on the formation of a new administration are expected to resume in the coming week, with the parties under pressure from Napolitano to reach a deal.’

Reuters: Election of Italy president opens door to new government. ‘The re-election of Italy’s president has raised the prospect of an end to the two months of political stalemate that have followed the general election, with a move to form a government foreseen within days.

A broad agreement between traditional political groups on the left and right to re-elect Giorgio Napolitano handed the 87-year-old the leverage to pressure opposing parties to form a government or face a snap election.

The February election split parliament between the center-left, the center-right, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, requiring at least two of them to forge an alliance to create a workable majority in parliament.

“It’s clear that within the week an agreement on a government will be reached,” said Rocco Buttiglione, a high-ranking member of the centrist Civic Choice group led by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti. “Napolitano is very strong right now and the parties are rather impotent.”‘

THE NETHERLANDS

The Foreigner: Breivik counsel publishes trial memoirs. ‘Geir Lippestad, who defended convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, has published his memoirs.

In the Aschehoug-released book about the case, ‘Det vi kan stå for’ (What We Represent), Lippestad talks about the dilemma of representing the man responsible for the worst peacetime atrocity in Norway since WWII.  Breivik had asked for Lippestad by name.’

Translated from Dutch – Volkskrant: Dutch jihadists stay in luxurious suburb Aleppo. ‘Dutch and other foreign jihadists in Syria housed in luxurious villas on the outskirts of Aleppo. They receive a monthly salary, training, and must remain in service for one year. Say that parents Syriëgangers who have spoken, their sons as well as a telephone Syrian liaison in Aleppo.’

Shooting in schools rare in Netherlands. ‘Dozens of schools in Leiden Monday closing the doors to a threat on the Internet. Shooters violent and fatal come to schools in the Netherlands hardly.

SPAIN

The Guardian: Spanish anarchists send Catholics explosive packages containing vibrators. ‘An anarchist group in Spain has been sending bombs to prominent Roman Catholics, hiding the explosives inside packages containing vibrators.

At least two such mini-bombs have been sent by a group that calls itself the Anticlerical Pro Sex Toys Group, according to Spain’s state-owned EFE news agency. One device exploded at a postal sorting office, slightly injuring the woman who was handling the package.

“Please accept our apologies,” the group said in an email apparently sent to an anarchist website at the beginning of last month. “Next time we won’t fail.”

The group targeted the Roman Catholic archbishop of Pamplona, Francisco Pérez, and the headteacher of a private school belonging to the ultra-conservative Legionnaires of Christ movement in Madrid.

The archbishop told EFE that he vaguely recalled police taking away a suspicious package containing powder. “We didn’t give it much importance, but later it was said to be a bomb,” he said.’

SWEDEN

JTA: Ikea pulls ad from Swedish anti-Semitic blog. ‘Ikea is investigating how its online advertisement banner came to be placed on a Swedish anti-Semitic blog, a spokesperson for the furniture giant said.

“We have stopped all advertising for this package pending an investigation into what happened,” Sara Paulsson, a press officer for the Swedish home design and furniture giant told the local daily Aftonbladet on Saturday.

Aftonbladet found ads for several companies, including Ikea and Western Union, on a Swedish blog called the “Gothic team,” which features anti-Semitic and other racist texts. It recently featured an interview with a leader of a Swedish Nazi movement. In another article, Jewish-Swedish journalist Anita Goldman is described as “a super Jewess” who promotes “ideas that will benefit the Jewish elite clan’s own purposes and achievements” with “ethno-centric chauvinism that shines like the cold steel of a camp guard.”‘

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