News from Western Europe, Wednesday 15th May 2013


New Europe: Political institutions ‘losing legitimacy’ to extremists. ‘European politicians need to recover “democratic legitimisation” of the economic crisis if the rise of extremists is to be quelled, a high-level conference has been told.

Speaking at the conference Right-wing Extremism and Hate Crime: Minorities Under Pressure in Europe and Beyond, in Oslo on 14 May, Ralf Melzer from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung institute in Berlin, said there “is no one single reason, or no one single solution” to the rise of extremism in Europe – although many would agree that it the economic crisis – but, however it is defined, extremism is on the rise in Europe.

Some of this, such as with the Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary, is overtly fascist, with borrowed clothes and tactics from the heyday of the Nazi Party; others, such as The Danish People’s Party and the Swedish Democrats, are more tricky to define. Elsewhere, such as Italy and the Netherlands, mainstream parties have allowed those further to the right to prop-up their governments, yet remained outside the categorisation of extremist, despite allowing those parties to influence top-level policy.’


Translated from German – Die Presse: Tyrolean: FPÖ boss Hauser delivers Party leadership. ‘After the defeat in the regional elections Hauser takes the hat – “free will”. He is no longer a candidate country at the extraordinary party congress in October.

The head of the Tyrolean Freedom, Gerald Hauser, takes place in October by the party leadership back. He had decided “voluntarily” to on for 19 No longer scheduled to run October Extraordinary National Congress, Hauser said in a press release on Tuesday.

The Executive Board of the Tyrolean Freedom Party had Monday night for hours about the consequences of defeat in the regional elections on 28 April advice. After the FPÖ had remained in Tirol far below expectations, which were last expression of discontent within the party became louder.

The FPÖ had lost 3.07 percentage points in the choice and ended up with 9.34 percent of the votes in fifth place after the first list is encountered “forward Tyrol”. In parliament, the Freedom Party will be represented by four but still mandates.’


Translated from Dutch – De Standaard: Headscarf accepted by Islam teachers. ‘Islamic schools may not require teachers to wear in the classroom during the lesson. Their headscarf At the same time the schools may not prohibit the wearing of it elsewhere in the school. According to a decision of the Council of State, writes La Dernière Heure Wednesday.

The State Council required Grâce-Hollogne to change. Its terms The municipality must delete the provision that Islam teachers required to wear during class and not elsewhere in the premises of the school. Their headscarf in the classroom This is according to La Dernière Heure a final decision generally valid in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels.

The Council of State is of the opinion that Islam teachers are not bound by the duty of neutrality, just as those of other recognized religions. The Council also states that “wearing any sign of religious belief, including clothing, is inherent in the education of recognized religions and is not limited to the hours and the premises which is being taught.”‘


Translated from French – Le Figaro: Yannick Noah attacks Marine Le Pen for defamation. ‘The accused is not there, the complainant either. After a media jousting television delivered by intermediaries, it is the lawyers Yannick Noah and Marine Le Pen who crossed swords Tuesday afternoon before the court of the 17th Criminal Chamber of the court of Paris. Since March 9, 2012, the singer accused the president of the National Front had “seriously damaged his honor, his reputation and his image” by publicly taking defamatory in a television Canal +, including calling it ” tax exile “with” money stashed abroad. “ ”Instead of paying taxes in France, this gentleman can give moral lessons, lessons of charity and sharing while, he does not share anything, his money is stashed and that in fact not benefit the poor French, I find it deplorable, “then told Marine Le Pen.’

France 24: ’Carlos the Jackal’ appeals life sentence in Paris court. ‘Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, best known by his moniker ‘Carlos the Jackal,’ returned to a Paris court on Monday to appeal against his 2011 conviction for a string of deadly bombings in France during the early 1980s.

The trial kicked off with Ramirez appearing without his defence lawyers, explaining that because Venezuela has ceased to pay his legal fees, he can no longer afford counsel. Speaking in French, he informed the court, “I have forbidden my lawyers from defending me,” and requested a court appointed attorney.

“This is not [an act] against the court… I have no intention of sabotaging the trial,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez was found guilty in 2011 of orchestrating four attacks on French soil between 1982 and 1983, which claimed the lives of 11 people and injured more than 100 others. Already serving life for triple murder at the time, Ramirez was slapped with a second consecutive life sentence.’

France’s most wanted jihadist flies home. ‘A French marine-turned-jihadist from Brittany was flown into Paris on Tuesday morning after being captured by French forces in the Malian city of Timbuktu. Gilles Le Guen, who goes by the name of Abdel Jelil, was initially suspected of taking part in an attack on the Algerian In Amenas gas plant in January. But his involvement in the deadly hostage crisis has since been ruled out.

Believed to have joined Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) after moving to Mali with his family, 58-year-old Le Guen said in October he was following in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden.’

Translated from Dutch – Volkskrant: More attacks on gay men in France.Homosexuals have become much more common in France in 2012, the victim of abuse and other forms of violence than in the previous year.Especially in the last quarter of last year there was a sharp increase, reported the organization SOS Homophobie Tuesday in its annual report.She thinks that the increase late last year related to the debate on the legalization of gay marriage in the French parliament.’


Deutsche Welle: Investigators into neo-nazi NSU killings accused of ‘shameful failure‘. ‘The head of a German parliamentary committee assigned with finding out what went wrong during the investigations, Social Democrat Sebastian Edathy, submitted an interim report on Monday, with his final paper due this summer.

Edathy spoke of a “peerless failure” in the case of the NSU investigation, “a shameful failure with many varying causes.” He said, however, that there was no indication that the state covered for or supported the group, but criticized the intelligence agencies for underestimating the threat of right-wing extremism and for failing to convey its findings more publicly.

After asking witnesses about the shredding of potentially pertinent files in Cologne in November 2011, while the NSU was uncovered by chance following a botched bank robbery, Edathy admitted he had hit a dead end. It was not possible to ascertain whether the papers were trashed out of “pure stupidity” or out of a desire to conceal their contents, he said: “That will have to remain open.”
Edathy’s committee is scheduled to file its full report before the September federal elections, although parliamentary investigations into the open questions might continue after the ballot.’

The Telegraph: Suspected Somali pirates’ accountant arrested in Germany. ‘German police have announced the arrest of a man who acted as the book-keeper for a gang which hijacked a German-owned oil tanker off the coast of Oman three years ago.

Authorities said the suspect, a Somali national who entered Germany illegally, has “partially confessed” to his role in the crime.

In a statement, police in Lower Saxony said the suspect was responsible for keeping the ship supplied with food, as well as “book-keeping, which was the basis for the fair distribution of ransom money between the pirates.”’

Translated from German – Der Spiegel: Judgment of the Constitutional Court: Federal money must pay to NPD. ‘Success for the NPD before the Federal Constitutional Court: The Bundestag must initially pay the outstanding payments from the extreme right of the party financing. The judged the judges in an urgent decision. 

In March 2009, President of the Bundestag had Norbert Lammert (CDU) found “inaccuracies” in the amount of 1.25 million euros in the annual report of the NPD in 2007. Thus, revenues were not reported as required or explained. In addition, there were inconsistencies in the financial statements.Accordance with the provisions of the Political Parties Act, the federal government demanded by the NPD pay a fine equal to double, ie 2.5 million euros.

The Federal Administrative Court had confirmed this in December in principle. A portion of the errors but still have the NPD explained during the hearing conclusively. This would Bundestag President Lammert still need to consider. Therefore, the Leipzig judges put the penalty to 1.27 million euros down.’


CNN: Italian Federation incurs Blatter wrath over Roma racism sanction. ‘The head of world football’s global governing body has criticized Italian soccer for not cracking down hard enough on a team whose fans racially abused an opposition player.

Sunday’s goalless draw between AC Milan and Roma at the San Siro stadium was brought to a halt for several minutes after visiting fans directed abuse at home striker Mario Balotelli.

The Italian Federation fined Roma $65,000, which prompted a forthright response from Blatter.

“What is surprising and is not understandable for me, is that the disciplinary committee of the Italian Football Federation has taken a decision, not even 24 hours after the event, by just imposing a fine,” Blatter told FIFA’s official website.

“They have not made any investigation of what happened. And just to give a pecuniary sanction is not valid, that is not acceptable.

“You will always find money. What is $65,000 for such an incident? I’m not happy and I will call the Italian Federation. That’s not a way to deal with such matters.”‘


Translated from Spanish – El Pais: Deportment started in Ondarroa Ertzainta to stop Urtza . ‘The Basque police started deployment around seven this morning in the Municipality Biscay Ondarroa to proceed with the arrest of Urtza Alkort, sentenced to five years by the High Court as a collaborator of ETA, and that since last Friday is sheltered by hundreds of people who have formed a popular wall by a camp to avoid the enforcement of the warrant. Leaders and supporters of the left wing nationalists, as well as the mayor of the town and other union representatives have joined this movement on a rainy morning and tense calm[...]

The mobilization was similar to last month in the Boulevard de San Sebastián of dozens of youths who tried for several days to prevent the arrest of six of the eight members of Segi, also convicted for their collaboration with terrorism and finally were arrested by the Basque police.’

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