Posts tagged europe
Posts tagged europe
Totally worth the read …
In this video, Ukraine Internal Affairs Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko said protesters in the country were “warned about criminal responsibility” but “didn’t listen.” In a message released Thursday, Zakharchenko said 29 police officers suffered gunshot wounds and that the “opposition provoked all this violence.” He said the police would “do all they can to keep law and peace.” In the U.S., the White House said it was outraged by the continuing violence, but had reached no decision on whether to impose sanctions, even as the European Union announced it would sanction members of the government involved in political violence, including freezing assets and banning travel. Credit: MVD Ukraine
Thursday proved to be the worst day of violence so far in the rebellion against the Ukraine government. One doctor affiliated with the protesters estimatied the number of people killed at 70, many from sniper rounds shot by soldiers from the buildings around the Maidan, the Kiev square where the worst clashes have played out. At least 500 were injured.
Kiev in flames: 15 photos of deadly clashes. Opposition leaders call on president to stand down; death toll in Ukrainian protests reaches at least two.
In Ukraine, police and protesters continue to clash, as this video from Sunday shows. Today, Russia accused the European Union of meddling in Ukrainian affairs and fomenting the continuing violence. Ukraine’s current anti-government movement, involving camps in central Kiev, began in protest at President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision in November to renege on a landmark treaty with the EU. Credit: YouTube/TIG Media
Money and Politics - Turkey’s Vicious Circle
Turkey has lost its equilibrium. Inflation of 7.8 percent and political turmoil have international investors running scared. A strong government needs to step in (via Reuters)
Yahya Khedr has travelled for more than two years, through five countries and with six forged passports to get his family from the war-ravaged Syrian city of Homs to Europe.
"People make it to Melilla hoping to find Europe," said Khedr, who before his country’s war owned a successful European truck-parts import business. "But here, it’s an open-air jail."
Armed guards and razor wire lining the 12-km (7.5-mile) frontier around the town have long discouraged Africans fleeing poverty and conflict from seeing Melilla as a gateway to Europe, 180 km (110 miles) away across open water.
But desperation has driven hundred of Syrians like Khedr to brave long journeys - and Moroccan crime gangs that prey on migrants - to fetch up at the gates, turning the port town of 80,000 into a new pressure point for waves of destitute people struggling to reach the safety and prosperity of Europe.
As the United Nations marked International Migrants Day on December 18, 2013 drawing attention to governments’ obligations toward people on the move, European Union leaders were preparing for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday that is likely to approve tougher ways to keep immigrants out. Before an EU summit in October more than 360 people drowned within sight of Lampedusa, an Italian island off Tunisia that has long been a magnet for migrants.
The EU found over 72,000 people entering the bloc illegally last year, including a fivefold rise in Syrians, to 8,000.
While the likes of Yahya Khedr managed to sneak his family into the town, and so to its hostel for refugees, by using fake passports, hundreds of less well-off people, mostly Africans from south of the Sahara, camp outside, looking for a chance.
"In our countries, we live with less than one dollar a day," said Serge, 30, from Cameroon, who has been surviving on the hillside outside Melilla for months. "Africa needs to be fixed if the immigration is to slow down. If nothing is done, it will only increase."
Spain, where more than one worker in four is out of a job, has responded by reinforcing Melilla’s 6-metre (20-foot) border fence with razor wire. That drew criticism from human rights groups when migrants trying to climb over it were left slashed and hanging on the barrier.
Yahya Khedr is despairing of ever getting there, however.
Three years ago, Khedr, now 43, was living well from his business importing European truck parts to Syria. He would spend several months a year in Murcia, in southern Spain, where he also owned a bar and ran his trading business. He travelled elsewhere in Europe, too, taking his family to Disneyland in Paris or visiting a daughter who lives in Italy.
Now, much of his home city of Homs is rubble. Some of the first bombing of the civil war in 2011 destroyed his house and Khedr joined a Syrian refugee exodus now 2.3 million strong.
Holding a Spanish residence permit for himself only, he and the family flew and drove via Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Algeria to Morocco. There he bought forged Moroccan passports for his wife and children to get them into Melilla in mid-October under Spanish rules that allow entry to Moroccans living nearby. Typically, Syrian refugees say, Moroccan gangs charge $1,500 or more for a passport. Khedr did not say what he paid.
His family now live with about 900 other migrants in the low-rise compound that forms Melilla’s immigration holding center - designed to house little more than half that number.
He himself saves money by living for $12 a day in a hotel in the nearby Moroccan town of Nador. Using his Spanish permit, he is able to travel every week to visit his family in Melilla.
With no sign of being allowed to cross over to the Spanish mainland, however, Khedr now wonders whether he might even start heading back home: “It’s a catastrophe,” he said. “The Europeans say they’re weeping for Syria but it’s all fake.” — Read More
Photos by Juan Medina/Reuters
There are many ways to create iconic moments during protest movements, but perhaps none is as reliable—as fraught with symbolism—as toppling a statue.
On Sunday, as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev in the largest anti-government demonstrations since the country’s 2004 Orange Revolution, protesters did just that—tearing down an 11-foot-high statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin with a steel wire, smashing the monument with sledgehammers, and then carrying off prized pieces of the sculpture.
The massive “Euromaidan” protests, which have been roiling Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an EU trade deal in late November in an apparent effort to move the country away from Europe and toward Russia, are led in part by the right-wing, nationalist Svoboda party, which gleefully reported its involvement in the toppling of the Lenin statue (predictably, members of the country’s Communist Party are fuming about the incident).
And today we no longer fight to become Europe, we fight to remain Ukraine
After police used brutal force to disperse week-long anti-government protests in Kyiv on November 30, protesters have returned to the streets in greater numbers and are demanding the government’s resignation.
Madrid | November 10, 2013
The sixth day of the garbage collectors strike
Street cleaners and garbage collectors who work in the city’s public parks walked off the job in a strike called by trade unions to contest the planned layoff of more than 1,000 workers. Madrid’s municipal cleaning companies, which have service supply contracts with the city authorities, employ some 6,000 staff.
Unions are angered over plans by companies that provide cleaners for the city’s streets and public gardens to slash 1,135 jobs out of a total of around 7,000 and cut their salaries by up to 40 percent. The companies had already laid off 350 workers in August. "There is a massive following. This conflict will go on for a while. There are no talks," said a spokesman for the UGT labour union.
Photos by Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP
Italy’s infamous Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of the ruling coalition on Saturday, effectively leaving Europe’s third-largest economy in chaos.
But in a move that may give Prime Minister Enrico Letta a chance to save his government, some 20 senators may create a new group to keep Letta’s parliament power in tact.
With Italy falling behind in its efforts to bring the budget deficit under European Union limits and youth unemployment at nearly 40 percent, the prolonged wrangling between the parties has blocked efforts to reform the economy, after two years of recession.
Photo: Upper house of parliament in Rome. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito
And now, the protests need one thing: persistence. It is the most difficult thing. Look at all those lighter explosions of discontent in the recent years. These dudes in power know the tactics – they are waiting. They are waiting like mad people. Forgive my stupid comparison, but the protests seem to be like love and they have the same phases – height, culmination and dying away. At the moment they are waiting for you to go at the seaside. Their hopes are in your Friday evening, your mountain, your tents and beaches. They are waiting for you to fall in love…
After 27 days of anti-government protests in Bulgaria, the leadership of this Eastern European country has so far made no changes.
The mass protests, which began on June 14, 2013 after the appointment of a controversial deputy, Delyan Peevski, to head the Bulgarian National Security agency, have steadily grown in the number of citizens joining the daily demonstrations in the streets of the capital Sofia and other cities. Although Peevski immediately resigned from the position, protesters are asking that the newly formed government, elected in May of this year, to step down and major reforms in several sectors be made.
On Sunday, July 7, the number of protesters in the streets of the Bulgarian capital was unprecedented, as tens of thousands of citizens marched in the streets, again demanding the resignation of the current regime. The ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, with the allied ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) by their side, refused to relinquish power despite the protests, which specifically call for more transparency and less corruption in government, action against organised crime, and an end to the “rule of oligarchy”.
“Police officers came to the door and said ‘All blacks out, all blacks out,’” Tupac told me as he recalled how police officers forced him and other black and Asian passengers out of a bus in central Athens for an identity check in early February. After pulling him off the bus, the police held Tupac, a Guinean registered asylum seeker, for approximately 10 hours to check his legal status in Greece.
Tupac is one of the tens of thousands of people who have been stopped, searched, and detained by the police under Operation Xenios Zeus—an epic-scale sweep operation to crack down on irregular immigration that began almost a year ago. Whoever christened the operation has a bad sense of humor: Xenios Zeus was the ancient Greek god of hospitality.
While researching police practices under Operation Xenios Zeus, I heard many disturbing accounts of clear targeting by the police on the basis of race or ethnicity during identity checks. The number of people stopped and detained is mind-boggling.
In the first seven months, the police rounded up almost 85,000 foreigners and took them to police stations to verify their documents. Of these, fewer than 6 percent were then arrested for unlawful entry and stay in the country. The fact that such a small percentage were actually found to be in Greece unlawfully suggests ethnic profiling and arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
Photo: Police detain individuals assumed to be migrants in central Athens, on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Between August 4, 2012, and February 22, 2013, Greek police detained almost 85,000 people of foreign origin on the streets of Athens to check their identification papers and legal status. © 2012 Associated Press/Thanassis Stavrakis
Protesters shout slogans during an anti-government protest on June 24, 2013 in the center of Sofia. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people have joined the rallies in Sofia every evening since June 14 — just four months after demonstrations prompted the resignation of the last government in the European Union’s poorest country.
[Credit : Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images]