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European Union: Positive News

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IndraD
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 18 Aug 2017 18:54

secularism in full flow in Barcelon where massive rally with people chanting 'we are not afriad' etc being taken out..BBC & CNN drooling over it.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 18 Aug 2017 21:24

Suspects in Spain's deadly twin terror attacks were preparing an even bigger assault but were thwarted in their plans and forced to act in a "more rudimentary" way, police said on Friday.
Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street on Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
"They were preparing one or several attacks in Barcelona and an explosion in Alcanar stopped this as they no longer had the material they needed to carry out attacks of an even bigger scope," he told reporters.
He was referring to a blast in a house in the town of Alcanar on Wednesday evening. Police believe the explosion, which killed one person and injured seven others, was caused an attempt to make explosive devices.
Trapero said that after this, the suspects - who formed part of a cell - allegedly went on to commit "more rudimentary" attacks.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 18 Aug 2017 21:25

Another day in Europe

at least one killed in knife terror attack in Turku city of Finland
Finland police shoot man after multiple stabbings in city of Turku
Man arrested as people advised to stay away from city centre and local media report at least one person dead https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... y-of-turku

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby sanjaykumar » 18 Aug 2017 21:37

On some days, Pakistan is safer than Europe.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 18 Aug 2017 22:03

Finland aabadi is about 6 million with Christian dominance. Outsiders have started settling in since 2014 only.
Finland since then has accepted 300000 refugees who seem to be enough to wreck havoc.
Country doesn;t give citizenship unless you are born to a Finnish parent.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 18 Aug 2017 22:34

Image
armed police on streets of Finland
3 dead so far
One knife wielding man still on loose

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby prahaar » 19 Aug 2017 00:20

IndraD wrote:Finland aabadi is about 6 million with Christian dominance. Outsiders have started settling in since 2014 only.
Finland since then has accepted 300000 refugees who seem to be enough to wreck havoc.
Country doesn;t give citizenship unless you are born to a Finnish parent.


A minor nitpick, citizenship can be obtained via naturalization.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby prahaar » 19 Aug 2017 00:21

IndraD wrote:armed police on streets of Finland
3 dead so far
One knife wielding man still on loose


Source? Did someone with stab wounds die? Earlier it was 2 dead.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 19 Aug 2017 00:39

prahaar wrote:
IndraD wrote:armed police on streets of Finland
3 dead so far
One knife wielding man still on loose


Source? Did someone with stab wounds die? Earlier it was 2 dead.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/worl ... 123656.cms

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 19 Aug 2017 00:42

prahaar wrote:
IndraD wrote:Finland aabadi is about 6 million with Christian dominance. Outsiders have started settling in since 2014 only.
Finland since then has accepted 300000 refugees who seem to be enough to wreck havoc.
Country doesn;t give citizenship unless you are born to a Finnish parent.


A minor nitpick, citizenship can be obtained via naturalization.

yes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_nationality_law

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 19 Aug 2017 00:55

One Killed in Stabbing in Western Germany, Attacker on The Run
The police said they were hunting for one or more assailants, but could not immediately provide more information about the circumstances of the attack.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby pankajs » 27 Aug 2017 21:50

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/ ... s-4816413/
Death toll from Spain attacks rises to 16, say local officials
The number of people killed in twin vehicle attacks in Spain last week rose to 16 on Sunday, local authorities in Barcelona said. “This morning a 51-year-old German woman died after being treated in a critical condition in hospital,” said a statement from the region’s civil defence. The attacks on Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona and in the seaside resort of Cambrils left around 120 wounded. The woman who died on Sunday was hurt when a man ploughed a van through crowds of tourists on Spain’s most famous street on August 17 — an attack that was claimed by the Islamic State group.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 27 Aug 2017 22:01

apparently African migrants have beaten a Polish partner to unconsciousness then gangraped his wife. In Italy. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/08 ... rape-wife/

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby UlanBatori » 27 Aug 2017 22:08

sanjaykumar wrote:On some days, Pakistan is safer than Europe.

That's when their "team" is playing overseas. :mrgreen:

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Sep 2017 23:33

Oui! Egalite, Fraternite, Racisme!

white tourists have been given priority during evacuations.. St. Martin resident Johana Soudiagom was disturbed to find herself among a tiny handful of non-whites evacuated on a boat to nearby Guadeloupe after Hurricane Irma ravaged her island. "It's selective. Excuse me, but we saw only mainlanders," she told Guadeloupe 1ere television, visibly shaken. "That's a way of saying, 'I'm sorry, only whites. There are only whites on the boat.'" It's common practice for tourists to be evacuated first from disaster zones for practical reasons, as they are staying in hotels and not in their homes, and tend to have fewer resources such as food and vehicles. The French prime minister insisted Monday {as his nose lengthened} that the only people being prioritized are the most vulnerable. Yet Soudiagom and other witnesses told Guadeloupe 1ere that the boat they took Friday carried tourists, including Americans, to safety but left many St. Martin residents behind, including needy mothers and children. On Monday, France's Representative Council of Black Associations wrote to the government asking for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the Irma recovery, amid concerns that those evacuated weren't "necessarily the most in distress." "In my eyes, Irma is for the French Antilles what Hurricane Katrina was for Louisiana in the U.S. — an exposer of racial and social inequalities," the group's spokesman, Louis-Georges Tin, told The Associated Press.....
The island of St. Martin — divided in the 17th century into the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten — measures just 87 square kilometers (34 square miles). Its 80,000 residents are a vibrant ethnic mix descended mainly from Africa, Europe and Asia. The two sides of the island share a creole language that draws heavily on English vocabulary.The French part of St. Martin is similar to other French holdings in the Caribbean in that its white minority is generally wealthier than its black majority. Because France bans the collection of data on race, there are no statistics to show how much wealthier.

..after slavery was abolished in 1848, Tin said, "there were no reparations for the slaves, only for the slave owners," so the former slaves won freedom but remained destitute. "The economy is now based on tourism but it is still poor. The wages are significantly lower than the mainland France." The government isn't the only one being accused of racial bias in the wake of the storm. Giraud said French television reports on the devastation focused disproportionately on white people.
"When I saw the pictures I was shocked," Giraud said. "In the coverage I saw, the victims were mostly white tourists, or white French mainlanders. But the poorest are always the first victims."

Irma hit St. Martin on Wednesday, killing at least nine people on the French part of the island and damaging a majority of its buildings. The following day looters were seen hauling food, water and televisions from shops, and videos featuring predominantly black people raiding shops circulated online. Some took to social media to blame the thieving on non-whites, and characterizing the white evacuees as innocents escaping the chaos. Tin said the island's poorer residents were doing what they had to after an ineffective government response. "What some call theft, others call survival," he said. "When the state doesn't do its job, it's normal that the poorest do what's necessary to survive." "In Florida there were more than 1 million evacuated, and France says that with four days' notice they couldn't evacuate a much smaller number," Tin said. "The question must be asked, does it have to do with racism?" {er.... Florida has roads to the interior..}

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 24 Sep 2017 21:37

Counting in progress in Germany after poll is over. Merkel likely to become Chancellor. Though AfD far right party with anti muslim anti immigration stance likely to make breakthrough into parliament as well.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 24 Sep 2017 22:35

Merkels party has won enough vote share to be in power again, 34%.
New arrival is far right AfD w 13% vote share.

added later:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been re-elected for a fourth term in federal elections
Her conservative CDU/CSU alliance has won 32.5% of the vote, remaining the largest party in Germany's parliament, according to the ARD poll.
Its coalition partner, the social democratic SPD, has gained 20%.
Meanwhile, the AfD, a right-wing nationalist, anti-Islam party, was on track to win 13.5%, emerging as Germany's third-strongest party.
Addressing supporters, Mrs Merkel said she hoped for a "better result" and talked about "extraordinary challenges".
She added that she would listen to the "concerns and anxieties" of AfD voters in other to regain them.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 24 Sep 2017 23:34

any takes on why Merkel got re elected in spite of millions refugee allowed in?

added later
She did bring her party a loss of 8% of the vote, which is worst proportion of the vote since 1949.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby JE Menon » 25 Sep 2017 00:05

CDU people are too loyal to the party to go for SPD, on the one hand, and those that were not shifted to AfD.

The results are remarkably like those of the recent elections in the Netherlands from the perspective of the right wing. Much stronger position in the politics of the country as a whole, but not enough to swing into power.

But the trendline is clear across continental Europe, for those who care to see it. This 13.5% gain for the AfD is pretty dramatic. It suggests that a substantial chunk of Germans have come to view Islam (I don't think there will be the subtle differentiation with Islamism here) in a rather hostile light. How this will play out remains to be seen, but we can all expect tougher statements from the non-AfD politicians in power, and some real measures as well in the years ahead.

The virtue signallers in our neck of the woods on the other hand are losing an audience...

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 25 Sep 2017 14:08

Shockwaves through Brussels as Merkels wings clipped: Reuters
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Cheers from Angela Merkel’s conservative allies in Brussels at her re-election on Sunday belie wider unease at how the German chancellor will deal with an awkward new coalition and a surge in support for the far-right.

“With Angela Merkel, Germany remains the strong and reliable partner in Europe,” tweeted Manfred Weber, a Merkel ally who leads the biggest party bloc in the European Parliament.

But one source in the European People’s Party saw trouble ahead in her need to replace her battered Social Democrat “grand coalition” partners with an alliance of both the left-leaning Greens and the resurgent, economically hawkish liberals of the FDP.

“Things worked very smoothly with the socialists,” the EPP source said. “Now, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The broad expectation is for a “Jamaica” coalition -- the country’s flag comprises the three parties’ colors.

Martin Selmayr, German chief-of-staff to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, sent a tweet consisting only of three flags: Jamaica’s green, yellow and black flanked by two blue EU banners -- a reflection of hope in Brussels of continued EU commitment from Berlin that some fear may now be problematic.

One casualty of Merkel’s weakness may be a rapid move to deepen integration of the euro zone along lines that new French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to outline on Tuesday.

People at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters celebrate the CDU's victory in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin,

Those plans, as with reform proposals floated this month by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, may run into increased scepticism in Berlin, where many are wary of what they see as more demands for German bailouts of states like Greece.

Resistance may come both from Merkel’s Christian Democrats, spooked by the surge on their right flank, where Alternative for Germany (AfD) entered parliament as the third biggest party, and from the Free Democrats (FDP), whose leader Christian Lindner ruled out Germany contributing to a shared euro zone budget.

The liberal leader in the European Parliament, committed federalist and former Belgian premier Guy Verhofstadt, said he hoped for a “pro-European” coalition to push EU integration.

The FDP leader in the EU legislature, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, said it was “an open-minded, pro-European party”.


The European Greens’ German co-chair Reinhard Butikofer said his party wanted to strengthen the European Union, “making use of the window of opportunity that exists ... between Paris, Brussels and Berlin”. He was referring to a keynote speech by Juncker 10 days ago in which the EU chief executive said anti-EU populists were in retreat and called for deeper EU integration.

But Guntram Wolff, the German director of the Brussels think-tank Bruegel, questioned Juncker’s thinking. He forecast a rightward shift in Germany due to the AfD and resistance from the FDP that would stymie Macron and Juncker’s grand visions.

“Populism definitely not dead,” Wolff tweeted. “Juncker speech completely miscalculated the situation.”

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 25 Sep 2017 14:30

German elections: Far-right wins MPs for first time in half a century
AfD has entered Parliament, with Merkel set to return as Chancellor

"Deutchland,Deutschland,uber alles..." A splendid performance by nationalist,patriotic Germans,fed up of the tsunami of Islamic immigrants,many of whom have gone on mass rape rampages against German women,covered up by the German govt. of "Angel Merkel",who wanted a million+ ME and African refugees to flood her country (permanently) at the expense of the German people who've lived there from time immemorial. THis was very much on the cards and hurrah for the electoral result.

A far-right party has won seats in the German parliament for the first time in half a century, in an election that saw Angela Merkel returned as chancellor for the fourth contest straight.

The German chancellor pledged to address the concerns of people who voted for the anti-Muslim and anti-immigration AfD after initial results showed it winning 13.5 per cent of the vote – at the higher end of what was expected.

Meanwhile, the centre-left SPD – the current coalition partners of Ms Merkel’s CDU and a titan of German politics for 150 years – have hit a historic low of just 20 per cent, the social democratic party’s worst showing since the Second World War.

Angela Merkel says she will listen to far-right AfD voters concerns :rotfl:
Small parties in general did well in the election and were all up on their 2013 results, with the the liberal FDP re-entering the Bundestag with 10.5 per cent of the vote, the Greens on 9.5 per cent, and the left-wing Die Linke on 9 per cent. Turnout and voter participation also appears to have climbed since the previous election, which was held in 2013.

SPD leader Martin Schulz immediately ruled out going back into coalition with Ms Merkel, leaving the Chancellor likely to go into coalition with the liberals and the Greens – the so called “Jamaica Coalition” because the colour of the parties matches the country’s flag yellow, black, and green flag.

Such a coalition has not been formed at German national level before – though it does sometimes occur in Germany’s state parliaments, such as in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein where it currently operates.

Ms Merkel could alternatively try to form a minority government if she is unable to secure the formal backing of other parties – with coalition negotiations expected to take weeks or even months.

The result is a huge blow for Mr Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament who became SPD leader earlier this year and once hoped to unseat Ms Merkel from the Bundeskanzleramt. His appointment as leader in March saw the SPD spike in the polls, but his honeymoon quickly faded.

Speaking after exit polls were released, Ms Schulz attacked “right-wing extremism” of the AfD and told supporters assembled in Berlin: “What is depressing for us tonight is the result of the AfD.

“For the first time with them there will be far-right representation in the Bundestag.”

Martin Schulz, the SPD leader, suffered a terrible defeat (Getty Images)
One of the largest cheers of the night from Mr Schulz’s address was his announcement that he would drop the coalition with Ms Merkel – a pact that has cause rifts within the SPD. Mr Schulz himself did not serve as a minister in the government, he says, because he wanted to replace Ms Merkel as chancellor.

In a speech following the exit poll, Ms Merkel attacked “illicit migration” and said “internal and domestic security” would be one of the focuses of coming months – an apparent nod to the AfD’s priorities.

She told assembled CDU supporters: “We got where we wanted to be, we wanted to be the strongest power. It is down to us to form a government, and against us, no government can be formed.

“After 12 years of being responsible for the government, the result we had today is really not something you can take for granted. Naturally, there’s a challenge facing us for the future, and that is that the AfD has made it into parliament.

“We will have to win back those who voted for the AfD by solving their problems, by taking on board their concerns – their fears in some cases – but also by demonstrating good policymaking.

Angela Merkel pledged to assuage AfD voters fears and win them back (Getty Images)
“In recent months we have fought for a Germany that we want to live in well, and now we need to set the course to ensure that in five and ten years’ time it’s still the case.”

Alexander Gauland, the lead candidate for the AfD said: “The government, whatever it will look like, should get ready for tough times. We’ll chase them. We’ll take back our country and our people.”

The campaign was dominated by the AfD’s messaging on the refugee crisis and Muslims in particular, with the party’s anti-Islam posters littered all over German cities and towns.

The closest the Bundestag has come to having far-right MPs since the Second World War was the Deutsche Rechtspartei, or German Right Party, a hard-right national conservative outfit that attracted former Nazis and won five seats in the 1949 federal election. It lost those seats at the next election.

Other than the AfD, the most notorious contemporary German far-right party is the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). The NPD has previously won scattered representation in local state parliaments but has failed to ever win any seats in the Bundestag.

The AfD was founded in 2013 as an anti-euro party, when it won 4.7 per cent of the vote in that year’s federal elections, narrowly missing the 5 per cent threshold for winning seats in the Bundestag. It has since taken a more explicitly anti-immigration and anti-Islam stance and seen its popularity grow – pledging to ban mosques, minarets and face veils. The party says it wants to take Angela Merkel to court for accepting refugees and campaigned under the explicit slogan “Islam is not a part of Germany”.

The party previously sat in the same European Parliament group as the British Conservative Party – the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) – but it was expelled after signing a cooperation agreement with the Austrian Freedom Party, a far-right populist outfit.

Early seat projections suggest that the CDU will hold 218 MPs in the coming session of the Bundestag, and the SPD 138.
The AfD is set to take 88, the FDP 69, the Left 58 and the Greens 60.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 64796.html

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 28 Sep 2017 14:14

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... f-the-east
Is Germany's election result 'the revenge of the East'?
In eastern Germany, voters who flocked to rightwing AfD hark back to an era when local people were better off and there were no refugees

Peter Hampel, right, with other AFD supporters in the back room of a former petrol station
Peter Hampel, right, with other AFD supporters in the back room of his former petrol station in Oppach, Germany. Photograph: Christian Jungeblodt for the Guardian

Thursday 28 September 2017 08.00 BST Last modified on Thursday 28 September 2017 08.41 BST
Two days after a historic vote saw an overtly nationalist party enter the German parliament for the first time in more than five decades, a group of over-60s vent their grievances over lunchtime beers and cigarettes in the smoky back room of a dry petrol station on the border between the German state of Saxony and the Czech Republic.

The German government is throwing cash at refugees “while native pensioners can’t afford to buy a new pair of glasses”, they complain. Putin is Europe’s “only guarantor of peace”, they argue, and Germany is still “under occupation” by America.

A retired lorry driver with a handlebar moustache cites a joke he read in the tabloid Bild, which says that in the wake of Sunday’s federal elections, Angela Merkel should consider handing Saxony to the Czechs in exchange for some of their toxic waste. “Let’s have it,” he shouts. “We’ll become Sudeten Germans again.”

Oppach lies in the new heartland of Germany’s far-right upstarts, part of a cluster of five villages in the district of Görlitz where Alternative für Deutschland won more than 44% of the vote on Sunday.

With 12.6% of the national vote, the AfD will be the third-strongest force in the next Bundestag, but in Saxony the party is already top: 27% of voters cast their ballot for the party that wants to hold a referendum on leaving the eurozone, ban burqas and minarets, and have Merkel prosecuted for her decision to open Germany’s borders to refugees in 2015.


AfD candidate Tino Chrupalla, a painter-decorator who won one of his party’s three direct mandates in Oppach’s local constituency, unseated the regional secretary of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, an MP with 15 years’ experience. Daily newspaper Taz described Sunday’s result as “the revenge of the East”, a slogan that resonated with pensioners of Oppach, many of whom said they had switched to the AfD because they felt let down by the traditional parties.

Peter Hampel, the petrol-station owner, used to do a roaring trade when Saxony was still part of the former East Germany. But when walls started to crumble, things took a turn for the worse.

As the border opened to the west, in came large petrol-station chains offering competitive prices. When the EU expanded eastwards in 2004, drivers simply filled up their tanks down the road in the Czech Republic, where a litre of petrol is 20 cents cheaper.

Eventually Hampel had to file for insolvency, but a pension of €400 a month was not enough to pay off his debts. He now sells newspapers, tobacco and alcohol instead of petrol.

“I lost all trust in the government,” said the 66-year-old, who describes himself as a “working pensioner”. “They promised us it would take 20 years to adjust wages and pensions, and look where we are now.”

No one around here is really poor. Some people simply can't get off their arses, and they blame everyone but themselves
Jenny Sachser, Oppach resident
But not everyone in the village agrees that AfD voters have legitimate economic concerns. “No one around here is really poor as such,” said Jenny Sachser, one of two young mothers pushing a pram down the road just a few metres from the petrol station. “Some people here simply can’t get off their arses, and they end up blaming everyone but themselves for it.”

Sachser and her friend Susanne Starke, both in their early 30s, were born in Oppach but left to study and work elsewhere: decisions that follow a broader demographic trend. Between 1989 and 2001, 1.2 million people emigrated from east Germany to west Germany; the largest group were young women between 20 and 35.

“If you go to a nightclub here, it’s four men to every woman,” said Starke, who recently moved back to the area. A 2007 study cited higher male-to-female ratios in parts of the former East than in the Finnish Arctic circle, suggesting that East German men, 26% of whom voted AfD, have above all been left behind in a demographic sense.

Far from struggling, Saxony’s GDP grew last year by 2.7%, faster than any other German state. The AfD also came second in parts of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the country’s economic powerhouses.

A short drive outside Oppach also belies one common complaint voiced inside Hampel’s makeshift beerhall that roads here are “worse than they are in Romania”. Streets and facades in the surrounding villages are tidy, kerbs lined with shining Audis and BMWs. At a logistics factory in Oppach, the owner said the only struggle was to find new staff.

The nearby city of Görlitz, where the AfD also came out top, has been preened with the help of federal funds and private donations: its majestic baroque and renaissance exteriors were used as the backdrop to Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yet some locals feel Görlitz’s wealth is just that, an expensive facade.

Görlitz town centre
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Görlitz is a town of pretty facades but the AfD came out top among voters here, who complain ‘you still have people sleeping on the street’. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images
“They’ve built all these pretty offices,” said shaven-headed fortysomething Heiko, drinking a beer outside a kiosk on Lutherplatz square and pointing at the renovated facades around him, “and yet you still have people sleeping on the street”. He would not say which party had got his vote, though he suggested that he found some of the AfD’s rhetoric “went too far”.

Adjusting state pensions between east and west Germany has been a priority project for the outgoing labour minister, Andrea Nahles, and some economists argue that they now tilt unfairly in favour of pensioners in what was once the GDR. But as with many things, many of those living in the former East Germany feel that statistics don’t tell the full story.


Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis usually comes top of the reasons why voters in Saxony rooted for the AfD, even though the number of people with multicultural backgrounds living in the state is lower than elsewhere. But they are afraid of radical Islam and the terror attacks they have read about in the news and on “alternative media”, in spite of the poor broadband coverage in the area.

“We voted AfD so we don’t get any refugees in the first place,” explained one person inside Hampel’s beerhall. “Once you’ve got weeds, they are hard to get rid of. So you make sure they don’t grow to start with.”

While the GDR had loan worker schemes similar to those in the west, they were limited to socialist “brother states” and mainly involved migrants from non-Muslim backgrounds such as Vietnam, Cuba or Mozambique.

Gargaria Paramjit Singh, employee at the Taj Mahal in Oppach
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Gargaria Paramjit Singh, employee at the Taj Mahal in Oppach: ‘If you stick to the rules, Germans respect you’. Photograph: Christian Jungeblodt for the Guardian
In Oppach, even the local kebab shop is called Taj Mahal. Gargaria Paramjit Singh, 37, who works there, came to Europe from India as an economic migrant in 1998, and ended up in a local asylum seekers’ centre even though he had tried to get to Italy.

Having spent years living under threat of deportation, Singh is now married to a local and says he, too, would be critical of refugee shelters being built next to their children’s school. “Germans hate it when people don’t behave,” he said. “But if you stick to the rules, they respect you.”

Once he got to vote in Germany, he said, he might even consider voting for the AfD, though he hoped they would “not tar all people with the same brush”.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 30 Sep 2017 13:04

Boris Johnson,"BoJo" to Brits,has done it again,putting his foot into his mouth reciting a Kipling poem when visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma.
However,BoJo speaks from the heart and is a far more humane politico than Machiavellian Bliar,liar to the core,boring like the Moron-of-Cam ,and of Stalinist tendencies like Gordon Brown.As for May,she has little imagination and is trying to be an ersatz version of Mrs. T. At least with BoJo as PM,you're going to have a rollicking time ,enjoying his gaffes and banana-skin incidents,equally entertaining but infinitely not as dangerous as the occupant of Trump House threatening the world with nuclear war! More strength to BoJo's arm,legs and mouth,may he continue to entertain us.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... mar-temple
Boris Johnson caught on camera reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple
Foreign secretary’s impromptu recital of colonial-era poem was so embarrassing the UK ambassador was forced to stop him

Robert Booth
Saturday 30 September 2017 00.00 BST
The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January.

Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in the capital Yangon, when he started uttering the opening verse to The Road to Mandalay, including the line: “The temple bells they say/ Come you back you English soldier.”

Kipling’s poem captures the nostalgia of a retired serviceman looking back on his colonial service and a Burmese girl he kissed. Britain colonised Myanmar from 1824 to 1948 and fought three wars in the 19th century, suppressing widespread resistance.


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Johnson’s impromptu recital was so embarrassing that the UK ambassador to Myanmar, Andrew Patrick, was forced to stop him. The incident was captured by a film crew for Channel 4 and will form part of a documentary to be broadcast on Sunday about the fitness of the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip to become prime minister.

The previously unbroadcast footage shows the diplomat managing to halt Johnson before he could get to the line about a “Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud/ Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd” – a reference to the Buddha.

The gaffe came on the first visit to Myanmar by a British foreign secretary in five years. He had taken part in a ritual involving pouring water over a golden statue of what he described as “a very big guinea pig”, when he approached a 42-tonne bell, rang it with a wooden stick and spontaneously started reciting Kipling’s poem.

A visibly tense ambassador stood by as Johnson continued: “The wind is in the palm trees and the temple bells they say ...” Then Patrick reminded him: “You’re on mic,” adding: “Probably not a good idea...”

“What?” Johnson replied. “The Road to Mandalay?”

“No,” said the ambassador sternly. “Not appropriate.”

“No?” replied Johnson looking down at his mobile phone. “Good stuff.”

“It is stunning he would do this there,” said Mark Farmaner, director of the Burma Campaign UK. “There is a sensitivity about British colonialism and it is something that people in Burma are still resentful about. British colonial times were seen as a humiliation and an insult.

“It shows an incredible lack of understanding especially now we are seeing the impact of Buddhist nationalism, especially in Rakine state [where Rohingya muslims have been been the subject of violent persecution].”

Kipling hardly knew Myanmar at all and only travelled there for three days in his 20s, but his poems and short stories about the place helped forge the image of the country in the imagination of colonial Britain.

Rushanara Ali, the Labour MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on democracy in Myanmar, said: “I can think of a long list of reasons why Boris Johnson isn’t fit to be prime minister. This can be added to that list.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to comment.

Maugh Bo Bo, a Burmese doctoral student in London whose family campaigned alongside Myanmar’s current leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said offence could be taken because the poem talks about kissing a girl, something that would be frowned on in the context of a temple.

Later in the documentary, titled Blond Ambition, Jacob Rees-Mogg describes Johnson as “a colossus on the political stage” and former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell says he is “impossible to dislike”.

It captures multiple awkward moments in Johnson’s career at the Foreign Office. In Ankara in September 2016 it shows him being asked whether he would apologise for writing a crude limerick about the Turkish president which included the line that he had “sowed his wild oats with the help of a goat”. :rotfl: An initially shifty-looking Johnson rallied and replied with typical bluster that “nobody has seen fit to raise it”.

In London last year he stood alongside former US secretary of state John Kerry and was asked about describing Hillary Clinton as looking “like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”. :rotfl:

It shows him insulting European leaders in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory as he complained about the “winge-o-rama” that greeted Trump’s win, and shows how Downing Street had to disown his remarks on Saudi Arabia in Rome – that it was puppeteering and playing proxy wars in the region.

He is also seen comparing President Hollande of France to a wartime prison guard who wants to “administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, in the manner of some world war two movie” :rotfl: .


PS:KIpling was a creature of Empire,where Brits were brought up from childhood brainwashed that they were superior beings meant to rule the world.For many of his (now distasteful remarks in many of his writings),he was abrilliant author,poet and scribe,also giving us the classic characters like KIm, Mowgli and his lovable animal friends in the Jungle Book. Gunga Din,etc.
Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
etc.
One must view Kipling and his writings in the context of his birth and time,the Day of the British Raj.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby ashish raval » 30 Sep 2017 16:58

Can we have SAARC observers to confirm that right of Catalan guys to vote for their future with Spain is indeed allowed by "free and democratic EU"

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/29/554600959/spanish-government-working-to-stop-independence-vote-in-catalonia

Where are EU courts who gives ruling on matter of every Tom dick and Harry cases..

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 30 Sep 2017 20:07

Catalonia referendum tomorrow..
100s of Spanish police swoop to prevent voting.

why Catalonia wants referendum
The roots of Catalan statehood

The first Catalan county emerged on the map of Europe in 798 and was located between Charlemagne's Frankish Kingdom and al-Andalus. The legend of Catalonia's birth was preserved in the manuscripts of that era.

According to the legend, a powerful knight called Otgher Cathalo arrived from the north with nine other knights and conquered Barcelona, which was under the rule of the Goths. The knights repopulated the city and created a political system that later transformed into a kingdom which took the name of its founder, Cathalo.

In 1137, the Kingdom of Catalonia and the Kingdom of Aragon to the south united under the crown of Aragon, though Catalan autonomy remained intact. And in 1479, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united through the marriage of their Catholic monarchs, marking the beginning of the Kingdom of Spain. However, the union was only dynastical at the time - each kingdom was entitled to maintain its own autonomy, traditions, laws, and institutions.

In addition to legends and written historical records about the Catalan people, there are places that, to this day, stand as a proof of their long history, including the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, where the remains of the first Catalan count rest.

Persecution of the Catalonian nation

The Catalan people endured attempts of assimilation for centuries, but their persecution peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the middle of one of Europe's most devastating conflicts, the Religious Wars, Portugal declared its independence from Spain and Catalonia was left fragmented as a result of this conflict. After the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed between France and Spain in 1659, Northern Catalonia was annexed by the Kingdom of France, while Southern Catalonia remained part of the Kingdom of Spain.

The legal persecution of Catalan language and culture in this era began in Northern Catalonia because France wanted the population living in their new territories to speak French. Louis XIV banned the use of Catalan in education, public administration and in religious celebrations.

In the other Catalan-speaking territories the widespread persecution of the Catalan language and culture began in 1716 with the enactment of the so-called Nueva Planta Decrees, a package of laws passed by Philip V after he succeeded the Spanish Imperial throne following a battle known as the Siege of Barcelona.

In Spain, the persecution of the Catalan nation and the Catalan language continued long after Philip's reign. In 1896, the General Directory of Post Offices and Telegraphs in Spain issued a circular banning the use of the Catalan language in telephone calls. In 1900, the Spanish government enacted provisions that made teaching in Catalan illegal.

But the tides turned in favour of the Catalan people in 1931 when the Second Spanish Republic's constitution recognised Catalonia as a nation and Catalan as an official language of the republic. But this accommodating attitude did not last long, and after General Francisco Franco led the Nationalists to victory in the Spanish Civil War everything changed. One of Franco's main goals was to annihilate Catalan aspirations for independence and he decided to achieve this through repression. In 1940, Catalan leader Lluis Companys was assassinated by Franco's dictatorship. Catalonia's dream of recognition and independence was once again silenced.

However, when democracy was reinstated in Spain in 1978, everything changed again and Catalonia swiftly received the status of Autonomous Community in 1982. But this was just a temporary solution and the problem remains.

According to UNESCO, today Catalan is the most widely used regional or minority language in Europe, with between seven and 10 million speakers in Spain, France and Sardinia. So, the Catalan language and identity is alive and well, but the Spanish state still refuses to discuss the Catalan issue in parliament and does not allow the Catalan people to determine their own destiny.

The government of Catalonia proposed to hold an independence referendum on October 1. However, the Constitutional Court of Spain decided that the Parliament of Catalonia does not have the right to hold such a vote. The Spanish Supreme Court is looking for ways to prosecute anyone who is officially participating in referendum preparations, yet Catalans are determined to have their say.

Given the situation, the Catalan regional government decided to disobey the court's decision, as they stressed the necessity for Catalonia's bid for independence to come to a democratic conclusion.

So, can Catalonia become an independent European nation? The answer is "yes". It has a historic right to independence. And Catalonia can be an independent nation without having any problems or hostilities with its Spanish neighbour, with whom it shares a bloodline and strong friendship.

"
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 29441.html

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby sanjaykumar » 30 Sep 2017 21:27

Excuse Boris Johnson, he's English.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 01 Oct 2017 20:24

"Patas" not "tapas" in Bar-celona! The fireworks have begun early as Madrid uses the stick to beat the Catalans with,trying to prevent a pro-independence vote from going through. Bad method as it has forgotten decades of struggle against ETA. Great day for the EU too as it begins to fragment. The Ottoman Sultan has also enjoyed the fun,driving his dagger home,saying that Turkey now doesn't need EU membership after sealing the S-400 ABM deal with Russia. Catalan pride will be massively wounded by Madrid's tactless methods. The great European project already shaken after Brexit,now in further trouble.Is Europe returning to its historic nationalist identities,ascerbated by the hordes of Muslim refugees invading their nations,carrying with them their barbaric behaviour and sectarian religious practices?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 76681.html
Hundreds injured as Spanish riot police try to stop referendum voters in Catalonia
The deputy prime minister praised the actions of the Spanish police who used batons and rubber bullets to control crowds of voters


Natasha Salmon
More than 300 people have been injured in clashes between riot police and voters during the Catalonia independence referendum, Catalan officials have said.

Spanish police used batons and rubber bullets to remove people from polling stations across the region as thousands turned out to vote on independence.

Clashes were seen in Barcelona, the region's capital, and other districts while police seized ballot boxes and smashed their way in to polling centres.

READ MORE
Internet outage halts voting in Catalonia independence referendum
Catalans occupy polling stations to protect vote against crackdown
Catalonia firefighters form human shield to protect voters from police
Catalan president attacks Spain's 'unjustified' referendum violence
Around 38 people were originally reported as being injured but this has now risen to 'more than 300' hurt in the violence.

Spain's Interior Ministry said 11 police officers were injured wgile 'fulfilling judicial orders' to prevent the referendum from taking place.

The ministry tweeted that the injured included nine National Police officers and two Civil Guard agents.

The regional leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, has accused Spanish authorities of using “unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible” violence in its crackdown on the region's independence referendum.

However Spanish deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, praised the actions of Spanish police in preventing the independence referendum from going ahead

She slammed the “absolute irresponsibility” of the Catalan regional government in holding the vote had been compensated for by the professionalism of the Spanish security forces, she told reporters.

“They have complied with the orders of justice. They have acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way. They have always sought to protect rights and liberties,” she said.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby rsingh » 01 Oct 2017 22:17

Spanish civil war again?

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 02 Oct 2017 01:29

there seem to have been two terrorist attacks today
-One in France where a man shouting AoA killed two by knife https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... in-station
- One in Canada where another terrorist used car as weapon in Edmonton http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/01/ameri ... index.html

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 02 Oct 2017 02:05

In another important development today Catalonia referendum could not be held. Spanish police swooped in 100s and battered independent voters, breaking heads of many. Several hurt and referendum postponed.
Outrage on in leftist media.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Yagnasri » 02 Oct 2017 05:07

What about Basque people. They are also having similar demand and fighting for independence from Spain for decades. Now they also will have a go at this.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Yagnasri » 02 Oct 2017 10:31


IndraD
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby IndraD » 03 Oct 2017 02:00

WHy Italy has not been attacked by IS yet https://www.economist.com/news/europe/2 ... tterrorism

the most colourful explanation for the Italian exception is that Italy’s mafias have quietly deterred jihadists from gaining a toehold. The defect of that idea, says Arturo Varvelli of the Milan-based Institute for International Political Studies, a think-tank, is that Italy’s mobsters exert greater control in the south, whereas a sizeable majority of its Muslims live in the north.

“To some extent, it is the Mafia,” says a senior law-enforcement official. “But not in the way most people mean.” The fight against Italy’s formidably organised criminals has given its police a wealth of experience in monitoring tightly knit target groups. It was enhanced by the campaign to subdue the left- and right-wing terrorists who wrought havoc in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. Organised crime and terrorism have also encouraged judges to take a more expansive attitude than in other European countries to issuing warrants for wiretaps and particularly to the electronic surveillance of suspects’ conversations. Italy’s recent history may also explain its hardline approach to apologists for terrorism.

On September 24th, when a Boeing 737 took off from Bologna airport bound for Tirana, the capital of Albania, it carried the 209th person to be expelled from Italy since the start of 2015 for reasons of “religious extremism”. The 22-year-old Muslim had been released from custody a day earlier, after being arrested for trying to persuade worshippers not to enter a church. He had been under constant police scrutiny since first being detained in 2016.

But, as Italian law-enforcement agents readily concede, they have fewer suspects to monitor than their French and British counterparts, and that is only partly because large numbers have been deported. The number of IS “foreign fighters” from each European country offers a guide to radicalisation. A study for the American National Bureau of Economic Research, using figures from 2014-15, found only 87 foreign fighters from Italy, compared with 760 from Britain and perhaps 2,500 from France (all three countries have similar populations). That, argues Mr Varvelli, is for two reasons. First, few of Italy’s Muslim immigrants belong to the second generation, which is the most susceptible to radicalisation (0.3% of Italian residents are second-generation immigrants of non-EU origin, against 3% in Britain and 3.9% in France). Second, Italy has no Muslim ghettos like the French banlieues.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 03 Oct 2017 10:43

More positive news from the EU.Catalonia has voted overwhelmingly to be an independent state.The moron in Madrid,the current head honcho of Espana,denies that a referendum has been held! Talk about idiots cretins and morons. he should've simply not interfered,sent no riot forces,whose behaviour has now infuriated even those in Catalonia against independence to now want it.The Spanish parliament could've simply said that the ref. ws illegal ,unconstitutional and invalid.QED. AFter the Ramblas ISIS Islamic terror attack and the way in which the heavy hand of Madrid was seen in the poll,the die appears to be fiormly cast for Catalonia to one day become an independent state or at very least part of a Spanish confederation-the best way forward for Madrid,to give it max. eco freedom but hold onto defence and foreign affairs.DEcades of fighting ETA should've taught the Spanish a lesson,but they appear not to have learnt anything.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 77676.html
Catalan independence referendum: Region votes overwhelmingly for secession from Spain
Results announced hours after Spanish Prime Minister says 'there was no referendum'


Catalonia has overwhelmingly voted for independence from Spain, with 90 per cent of over two million votes counted saying "yes", the regional government has said.

According to voting figures issued early on Monday morning, 90.9 per cent of the votes now counted, or 2,020,144 were in favour of independence, and 7.87 per cent, just 176,565, were against.

The regional government spokesman, Jordi Turull, said 15,000 votes were still due to be counted and that total voting figures remain incomplete and provisional because a much larger number, an estimated 770,000, are either inaccessible or lost after some polling stations were closed and ballot boxes were seized by police.

READ MORE
‘Catalonia has won the right to statehood’, says region’s President
Catalan firefighters attacked by Spanish police as they shield voters
Hundreds injured as Spanish riot police try to stop Catalonia voters

“There have been enormous difficulties, but the vote has happened and we’ve gone from ‘votarem’ [we will vote] to ‘hem votat’ [voting has happened.]”; Mr Turull said.

“We will respect the mandate which the citizens have given us,” regional Vice President Oriol Junqueras said.

Even before the figures were made public, Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont had already hinted strongly at a potential unilateral declaration of independence when he promised the results of the referendum will be sent to Catalonia’s parliament within the next few days.
As the results of town after town in Catalonia came through, the pro-independence vote in the referendum looked on track for a landslide victory.

Catalan firefighters protect public against police in Barcelona
In Girona, a nationalist stronghold and the first of Catalonia’s four provincial capitals to declare its vote, the pro-independence vote was 27, 786 votes in favour of secession out of a total of 29, 717 votes cast, whilst only 1,086 voted to remain in Spain.

With a narrow separatist majority in power in the regional parliament, it is hard to see how Mr Puigdemont’s promise to act on these results would not increase the possibility of a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

A UDI has already been promised by several nationalist politicians should the referendum deliver a majority in favour of secession. Catalonia’s referendum law also foresees a UDI by the regional parliament of Catalonia if there is a majority.

“With this day of hope and suffering, Catalonia has earned the right to be an independent state,” Mr

Spain's crackdown on Catalonia independence 'boosting its support'
Puigdemont insisted in a televised speech on Sunday night.

However, the Spanish government has said repeatedly it does not recognise the referendum, let alone its results. Outside Catalonia in the rest of Spain, some segments of the media and politicians argue that the referendum infringed basic electoral regulations, whilst the country’s constitutional court already declared it illegal.

On Sunday Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez’ echoed Spanish Premier Mariano’s Rajoy’s rejection of the referendum, and Mr Rajoy stated categorically that “there was no referendum, just a pretext of one.”

But the Catalan nationalists were having none of that on Sunday night, with Mr Puigdemont arguing that “millions of people have spoken loud and clear, and we have the right to decide our future.”

Late into the night huge crowds formed in the Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona, spreading into sidestreets to listen to Mr Puigdemont’s speech on a giant TV screen. In central squares across smaller cities in Catalonia many pro-referendum supporters followed the results and speeches, cheering as the votes in favour of secession came through, while cars adorned with Catalan flags weaved through the streets honking their horns.

Meanwhile Catalan government figures say the total number of people requiring hospital treatment following violent clashes with police has now risen to 844.

Two people are seriously injured, one a 70-year-old man who suffered a heart attack, and the other a young person who was hit in the eye by a rubber bullet.

Catalonia independence referendum: Riot police clash with voters
New Ministry of Interior figures have also raised the number of police hurt in the standoffs and clashes to 33.

In Madrid, Mariano Rajoy has called for an all-party meeting to discuss Catalonia on Monday, while a general strike has been called by trade unions in Catalonia from Tuesday onwards. Much media attention, too, both in Spain and abroad, will now focus on how the Catalan parliament handles the referendum results.

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 03 Oct 2017 12:03

The Catalan chieftain is going to call for his regional parliament to ratify the referendum vote for independence,giving legitimacy to its demands for independence. The Spanish govt.,EU and UN have to get into the act fast if they want a peaceful political settlement.Handled asininely,this crisis could lead to the future unravelling of many EU states like Britain,where the Scottish nation is on the cusp of independence esp. after Brexit.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... dependence
Catalan leader calls for mediation with Spain over independence
Carles Puigdemont says EU ‘cannot look the other way’ after almost 900 were injured in referendum crackdown

Ripples from Catalan referendum could extend beyond Spain

Spain's national police flee station after protesters rally outside – video

Sam Jones and Stephen Burgen in Barcelona
Monday 2 October 2017
The Catalan president has called for international help in tackling its independence dispute with Spain, saying Europe cannot continue to ignore the issue after almost 900 people were injured during the police crackdown on the referendum.

“The European commission must encourage international mediation,” Carles Puigdemont said on Monday. “It cannot look the other way any longer.”


After the Catalan referendum: what happens next?

At least 893 people and 33 police officers were reported to have been hurt on Sunday after riot police stormed polling stations, dragging out voters and firing rubber bullets into crowds.

Puigdemont’s government has claimed that 90% of those who took part voted for independence, but the Catalan leader’s call for mediation could suggest a shift in strategy as he had previously said that independence would be declared within 48 hours of a victory for the yes campaign.

Puigdemont said on Sunday night that the referendum results would be put before the regional parliament “where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum”.

The European commission has so far declined to intervene in what it has described as an internal Spanish matter and has urged both sides to “move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue”.

In a statement, it said: “Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of prime minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.”

A statement from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he had backed the “constitutional unity of Spain” in a telephone call with Rajoy.

Much of Catalonia was brought to a standstill for 10 minutes at midday on Monday in protest at the police violence.

Squares were occupied and roads blocked as crowds chanted “Independence!”. The Barcelona metro stopped briefly and the Plaça Sant Jaume, the seat of the Barcelona city council and the Catalan government, was packed with protesters.

Jordi Cuixart, the leader of the pro-independence group Òmnium Cultural, told the crowd that a general strike called for Tuesday was “the best response the Catalan people can make to the attacks on us yesterday and in recent weeks”.

FC Barcelona said it would take part in the strike, adding that it would close its headquarters and that none of its professional or youth teams would train.

The police operation was criticised by the UN high commissioner for human rights, who said he had been “very disturbed” by the violence in Catalonia.

“With hundreds of people reported injured, I urge the Spanish authorities to ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said. “Police responses must at all times be proportionate and necessary.”

Hussein asked Spain to immediately accept requests for UN human rights monitors to visit the country.

Puigdemont urged the Spanish government to withdraw the national police and Guardia Civil officers who had been deployed to prevent the referendum. He also announced that his government would create a commission to examine human rights violations.

A spokesman for the Catalan government said 2.26 million Catalans – 43% of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters – had taken part in the referendum, which was staged in defiance of the Spanish government, the country’s constitutional court and the Catalan high court. He said 90% had opted for independence, with nearly 8% of voters against; the rest of the ballots were blank or void.

The Catalan government had not set a minimum threshold for turnout in the election, arguing the vote would be binding regardless of the level of participation.

In a symbolic referendum held in Catalonia three years ago, 80% of voters backed independence, with 2.3 million of the region’s 5.4 million eligible voters taking part.

The Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal said on Monday he felt like crying after the vote. Nadal, a national hero who condemned the referendum before it was held, told a press conference in Beijing before the start of the Chinese Open: “I want to cry when I see a country where we have known how to co-exist and be a good example to the rest of the world get to a situation like this.

Rafael Nadal at a press conference in Beijing. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Although millions of Catalans managed to cast their ballots on Sunday, others were forcibly stopped from voting as schools housing ballot boxes were raided by police acting on the orders of the Catalan high court. The Spanish government defended its response and said the police had been acting to defend the constitution and Spanish democracy.

Rajoy thanked the police for acting with “firmness and serenity” as they attempted to halt the poll. “Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia,” he said on Sunday night. “The rule of law remains in force with all its strength. We are the government of Spain and I am the head of the government of Spain and I accepted my responsibility.”

The prime minister met the leaders of Spanish opposition parties on Monday afternoon to discuss the worst territorial crisis the country has faced since its return to democracy four decades ago.

Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Spanish socialist party, said he had told Rajoy of his disapproval over the police operation and asked him to work with other parties to find a political solution to the Catalan question and to open urgent negotiations with Puigdemont.

The Scottish government has meanwhile urged Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary, to ask the Spanish government to “enter immediately into a genuine dialogue with the Catalans” and avoid further violence repression of pro-independence voters in Catalonia.

Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s external affairs secretary, wrote to Johnson on Monday urging him to “send a strong message to Spain to desist from using force against its own citizens” by unequivocally condemning the violence seen on Sunday.

Despite campaigning for a fresh Scottish independence vote, SNP ministers in Edinburgh have stopped short of backing Catalan independence for diplomatic reasons, in part to avoid setting a precedent where other countries might interfere in a further Scottish referendum.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and Severin Carrell in Edinburgh

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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 03 Oct 2017 15:11

An Ear to the Ground

Disclaimer: What I am putting down is opinion, albeit second hand drawn from a close group of Spanish/ Catalan-Spanish friends.

While Catalan independence has been simmering for quite some time. From Franco's time Catalunya, especially Barcelona has drawn economic immigrants from rest of Spain. During Franco's time the efforts to suppress a separate Catalan identity in favour of a stronger Spanish identity, left behind lingering bad feelings. The real reason for the last few year's of protests has been perceived economic deprivation. As the pie has shrunk, so has the squabble over resources. And this has been given the flavour of a Catalan identity being deprived. Though the fact is Catalunya, generates more wealth than the central government pays it back, many Catalans are OK with it. The flavour of Catalan independence has always been stronger in smaller cities/towns outside Barcelona, where the receding economic fortune has built up a sense of deprivation. Yet, many also acknowledge that in a Federal setup this kind of give and take happens.

But what happened on Sunday, has shocked many people. People who were fence sitters, non-keen on independence are suddenly questioning their choices. No one wants the struggle to morph into ETA-Basque, but status quo is also not acceptable. Today's strike is something that would not have seemed possible a year ago. And then I hear my friends who range from expats, college teachers, programmers, hotel staff argue strongly. Last evenings conversations were not good.

While my heart feels for the pain of Catalunya, I see a dangerous precedent here. Scottish Referendum, Catalan Referendum, how long before we hear calls for a referendum in JAK?

FWIW, my humble € 0.02

Philip
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 03 Oct 2017 19:16

There are similarities and important differences.The princely states joined the Ind. union.J&K is from time to time being disturbed by external forces.Pak,who lust after it and tried thrice waging war against India.With a quiet humbled Pal J&K will be a most prosperous state in India relying on tourism alone.Catalonia and Scotland are itching to get free of the central yoke of Madrid and London,who've been suppressing their identity as well.

Philip
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2017 12:44

The Spanish PM has given the Catalonians 5 days to withdraw (and surrender in fact) their independence demand.The Spanish gvot. is in fact trying to curtail the pwoers of Catalunya from this report.Trouble ahead methinks.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 95321.html
Spain to display show of unity in Madrid with biggest National Day celebrations for years
Spain's request for clarification from Catalonia is actually a big step towards taking away the region's powers


Alasdair Fotheringham Madrid 18 hours
A Catalan separatist flag hangs from a balcony in Barcelona Reuters
Spain celebrates its National Day on Thursday with its traditional series of military parades. As he watches the troops march by, Premier Mariano Rajoy – who took a small but significant step towards direct intervention by Madrid in Catalonia on Wednesday – could well be forgiven for wondering where the country’s biggest political crisis in decades is now heading.

On Wednesday the normally cautious Mr Rajoy himself reacted swiftly to regional Premier Carles Puigdemont’s declaration of independence for Catalonia on Tuesday evening. Independence which, confusingly, was suspended in the same speech a mere six seconds later.

Mr Rajoy called an emergency meeting of his cabinet ministers at 9am sharp on Wednesday and did not even wait to address parliament in the afternoon to announce the first, key, legal steps his government would now take towards possible direct intervention in Catalonia by Madrid.

READ MORE
Catalonia pulls back from brink over independence and calls for talks
As is required by Spanish legislation before article 155 of the country’s constitution - which allows the state to take control of Catalonia’s internal affairs – can take effect, Mr Rajoy said he would be sending a request to Mr Puigdemont to confirm if he had indeed, declared independence.

Mr Rajoy set a deadline of Monday 16 October for Catalonia to respond to the request. “This call seeks to offer citizens the clarity and security that a question of such importance requires,” Mr Rajoy added, who also later rejected Mr Puigdemont’s latest request for more negotiations, whilst accusing him of “sowing confusion”.

His decision to move towards the unprecedented application of article 155 may well fuel fears of civil strife in Catalonia, but there is a much broader degree of support for his actions in the rest of Spain.

Spain’s fourth largest party, Ciudadanos, has been pushing for article 155 to be applied for several days, but more importantly Mr Rajoy has now gained the backing of Spain’s main opposition party leader, Socialist Pedro Sánchez. “We also need Mr Puigdemont to make it clear, in no uncertain terms, what happened in parliament yesterday,” Mr Sanchez insisted.

Mr Sánchez appears to have extracted an agreement from Mr Rajoy to form a commission on changing Spain’s Constitution in return. But the six months involved in putting that commission in motion, and Mr Sánchez immediate rejection of the possibility of any reformed legislation allowing for a binding referendum on self-determination – as the Catalans have demanded – make it unlikely to have any impact on Spain’s current political crisis.

Mainstream Spain’s top two political figures are not the only ones seemingly uncertain as to the exact meaning of Mr. Puigdemont’s rambling, half-hour speech to Catalan parliament on Tuesday evening.

In Catalonia, Mr Puigdemont’s declaration of independence followed by its instant suspension was greeted with a mixture of boos and stony silence by the 30,000 or so pro-secession supporters outside Parliament on Wednesday, as well as no small degree of incomprehension.

As one well-placed source in the Catalan nationalist camp told The Independent on Wednesday, “Firstly it was a pretty flat speech, with no real sense of epic or drama. It was like somebody was reading a mortgage agreement, not declaring a new state had been born.”

“But what it’s really provoked is a widespread sense of confusion, because right now no-one has all the pieces in the puzzle to know what’s going on inside the Catalan govern and people aren’t reacting as you’d expect, either.”

“Not even the CUP” – the radical left-wing party that are the most hard-line independentistas of Mr Puigdemont’s allies – “seemed to be as disappointed by the lack of a clear declaration as they might have been. It’s like they know something the rest of us don’t.”

There is speculation that the Mr Puigdemont’s future response to Madrid’s demands for clarification on independence will be couched in deliberately vague terms. This would both deflect accusations that the nationalists are responsible for a possible implementation of article 155, and maintain their image as the weaker, picked-on, side in any ongoing appeals for international mediation.

Meanwhile – and it is hard not to see an indirect link to the Catalan separatist threat - grassroots Spain seems to be building up for its national holiday, which coincides with Armed Forces Day, with more enthusiasm than other years. In recent weeks, just like during a soccer World Cup, the sight of larger Spanish flags hanging the balconies of flats in cities and towns across the country has become a much more familiar one.

Although representatives of Spain’s Armed Forces have flatly denied any connection with ongoing political events, this year the military marches have been extended in size in Madrid, and will, for the first time in seven years, be held in one of the city’s most emblematic avenues, the Paseo de la Castellana. For the first time in over 30 years, too, units from Spain’s national police are expected to take part in the processions.

However, it almost goes without saying that Catalonia’s regional premier, already missing from last year’s rainsoaked celebrations in Madrid, will not be present in the VIPs tribunal today, either.

Philip
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2017 14:17

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/10/f ... -in-spain/
Franco’s fascism is alive and kicking in Spain
Jake Wallis Simons

Demonstrators give the fascist salute during a protest against the independence of Catalonia on October 7, 2017 in Madrid, Spain (Photo: Getty)
Jake Wallis Simons
10 October 2017

The conservative case against Catalonia’s separatist narrative
Diego Zuluaga
Barcelona

After the demonstration in Barcelona on Sunday, I happened to walk past the city’s main police station. A unionist crowd had gathered to praise the officers who had so brutally suppressed the Catalan referendum the previous week. Wrapped in Spanish flags, they were chanting Viva España and throwing flowers. Then they started performing the Nazi salute.

I hung around to report on it (a video that I shot on my phone was retweeted many thousands of times). The fascists, I realised, had based themselves in a pub next door. I went in, filming on my GoPro, and saw police drinking with far-Right thugs, smiling as they were serenaded with Sieg Heils.

Later, a masked activist tried to burn a Catalan flag. This time, however, a skinhead spotted me filming and I almost had my head kicked in (as another journalist had earlier that day). Again, no intervention from the cops.

Far-right activists hand-in-glove with police: it’s hard to think of a clearer illustration of the rude health of fascism in modern Spain. For this was not just a one-off. In recent decades, Francoism has been viewed with a blind eye by the Spanish state, which has harnessed it for political advantage.

Understanding this begins with Franco’s deathbed. One peaceful night in November 1975, at the age of 82, El Generalísimo breathed his last. He had presided over concentration camps, ordered the murder of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, installed a regime of state terror and brainwashing, ordered the mass kidnap of the children of his opponents, yet he had clinched a natural death as a free man. Worse than that: the levers of power were still tight in his pale and cooling fist.

It is true that by the Seventies, the regime was declining and had begun to be seen as outdated. But not for Franco the cyanide capsule in the Berlin bunker. Not for him the summary execution outside the Villa Belmonte. The Germans and Italians learned the hard way that fascism ends in humiliation, but the Spanish strongman was never beaten. Consequently, although Spain soon transitioned to democracy, a reckoning with its fascist past never followed.

Such a reckoning has been dodged ever since by Madrid, for the sake of political expediency. Parliamentary attempts to retrospectively delegitimise the Franco years have been blocked by the ruling Partido Popular (PP). As a result, although not praised in schools, Francoism remains in the official annals of the national story.

In 2007, the Law of Historical Memory – an attempt to formally acknowledge Franco’s victims and limit public adulation of him – was passed by the then-Socialist government. But its impact was limited. It did not, for example, stop the former minister and MEP Jaime Mayor Oreja from describing Spain’s fascist experiment as ‘an extraordinarily peaceful period’.

His nostalgia was not unusual. Franco brought death and repression, but also stability and rising living standards. When seen from the economic doldrums that Spain finds itself in today, some harbour the unarticulated belief that the fascist years were the golden ones.

Even today, symbols of dictatorship are still intact. Churches still display the yoke and arrows, Spain’s answer to the swastika. Streets remain named after Franco’s henchmen, and few visitors could forget the monstrous, 500 foot cross that marks El Caudillo’s resting place.

As in architecture, so in parliament. Spain’s political DNA includes potent strains of fascism. The original incarnation of the PP, the Alianza Popular, was founded by one of Franco’s former ministers. Unsurprising, perhaps, that it has been so reluctant to condemn both the dictator and nationalist street violence.

A vivid example of this came on Monday, when anti-Catalonia thugs rampaged through Valencia, beating up passers by and performing the Nazi salute in massed ranks. One nationalist pensioner threw a cup of hot tea in a journalist’s face. When the dust settled, the only party to fail to condemn the violence was – you guessed it – the PP, which is in charge of the country.

Last year, when a journalist asked Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, whether it was ‘reasonable that thousands of Spanish citizens still don’t know where their grandfathers are buried,’ he replied: ‘I’m not sure that what you’re saying is true, nor that the government could do anything about it.’ In this, Rajoy was echoing the sentiments of former prime minister José María Aznar, who famously said, ‘let us not disturb their graves or throw their bones over our heads.’

Which brings us to Catalonia, where the political exploitation of Spain’s history is most vivid, and where many bones lie buried.

Under Franco, Catalan language and culture were banned, and aspirations of independence repressed. Franco maintained this stance up until his death. Just eight months before the dictator shuffled off his mortal coil, a young Catalan revolutionary anarchist, Salvador Puig Antich, had his coil shuffled off for him by a State executioner armed with a garrotte. The killing took place at the notorious La Model prison, which was located about a mile from where those thugs were Sieg Heiling on Sunday.

Rajoy has no more desire to see Catalonia break away than had Franco. Not only would it risk depriving Spain of a fifth of its economic output and a quarter of its exports, but secession would seriously undermine the country’s identity – and the government’s authority.

If push came to shove, Madrid has vowed to impose direct rule on Catalonia. If this came to pass, the full winds of popular nationalism would be needed in Rajoy’s sails. Thus, the government’s recent rhetoric has conjured Spain’s bold, fascist past.

Extraordinarily, on Monday, the PP’s spokesman, Pablo Casado, warned that if the Catalonian president dared to declare independence, he could ‘end up like’ Lluís Companys – a Catalonian leader executed by Franco in 1940.

Almost no Madrid official has condemned the police brutality which the world witnessed last week. Spanish loyalists have continually praised the police. Moderate patriots – the overwhelming majority – ascribe the violence to a few bad apples, exaggerated by Catalan propagandists. But the radicals haven’t bothered with the exegesis. After all, there is nothing a fascist relishes more than the sight of a jackbooted policeman beating up a granny with a baton.

Which returns us to the police station in Barcelona. On Sunday night, when the black-clad officers smirked at the Sieg Heil, with Catalan blood fresh on their boots, this was Spain’s Janus-faced politics in microcosm. Fascism has been allowed to flourish in the shadow side of a European liberal democracy. Or to put it another way, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is not dead.

Jake Wallis Simons is Associate Global Editor at the Daily Mail Online

UlanBatori
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Re: European Union: Positive News

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Oct 2017 01:06

ppl are asleep at PeeAref or what? Biggest news of the times: Oirope Increases Number of Members!!

Madrid swiftly responded to the vote by dissolving the Catalan parliament and dismissing Carles Puigdemont as president of Catalonia and his entire government. Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, announced that regional elections would be held in December and said the unprecedented act of imposing direct rule on the regional was needed to "recover normality". The national police may be deployed to bring Catalonia under Madrid's control. The shock decision to declare independence poses potentially the greatest threat to the EU's unity since Brexit, and is likely to fuel support for separatist movements in Ireland, Scotland and the Basque Country.
"[The EU] doesn't need any more cracks, more splits ... we shouldn't insert ourselves into what is an internal debate for Spain, but I wouldn't want the European Union to consist of 95 member states in the future," warned Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, on Friday evening.
The crisis marks the first time that a region within an EU member state has broken away from the bloc, though movements demanding more independence exist in several countries.


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