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The war on terror has displaced millions – this is the true cause of Europe’s refugee crisis

Desperate refugees crammed into cockle-shell boats landing on the shingle beaches of the south Kent coast are easily portrayed as invaders. Anti-immigrant demonstrators were exploiting such fears last weekend as they blockaded the main highway into Dover Port in order “to protect Britain’s borders”. Meanwhile, the home secretary, Priti Patel, blames the French for not doing enough to stop the flow of refugees across the Channel.

Refugees attract much attention on the last highly visible stages of their journeys between France and Britain. But there is absurdly little interest in why they endure such hardships, risking detention or death.

There is an instinctive assumption in the west that it is perfectly natural for people to flee their own failed states (the failure supposedly brought on by self-inflicted violence and corruption) to seek refuge in the better-run, safer and more prosperous countries.

But what we are really seeing in those pathetic half-swamped rubber boats bobbing up and down in the Channel are the thin end of the wedge of a vast exodus of people brought about by military intervention by the US and its allies. As a result of their “global war on terror”, launched following the al-Qaeda attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, no less than 37 million people have been displaced from their homes, according to a revelatory report published this week by Brown University.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/911-anniversary-war-terror-al-qaeda-iraq-syria-refugees-us-europe-b421989.html

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2020 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Un accordo storico e una sfida per l’Europa

Comunque la si pensi il 21 luglio il Consiglio europeo ha raggiunto un accordo di portata storica, perché per la prima volta l’Unione europea ha deciso di indebitarsi in modo consistente per finanziare dei trasferimenti tra i suoi stati membri. Una decisione simile era impensabile fino a pochi mesi fa. I 27 capi di stato e di governo dell’Unione hanno dato il via libera al cosiddetto recovery fund, un pacchetto di aiuti (390 miliardi per i sussidi, 360 miliardi per i prestiti) da destinare alla ripresa delle economie europee più colpite dalla pandemia di covid-19. Questi soldi si aggiungono al programma Sure (cento miliardi per finanziare misure di cassa integrazione), ai prestiti alle aziende della Banca europea degli investimenti (duecento miliardi) e alla linea di credito per il settore sanitario del Meccanismo europeo di stabilità (240 miliardi), senza contare gli oltre mille miliardi di euro che la Banca centrale europea (Bce) intende usare per comprare titoli di stato attraverso il Pandemic emergency purchase programm (Pepp).

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/alessandro-lubello/2020/07/21/accordo-recovery-fund-europa-italia

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2020 in Economy, European Union

 

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What black America means to Europe

In September 1963, in Llansteffan, Wales, a stained-glass artist named John Petts was listening to the radio when he heard the news that four black girls had been murdered in a bombing while at Sunday school at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

The news moved Petts, who was white and British, deeply. “Naturally, as a father, I was horrified by the death of the children,” said Petts, in a recording archived by London’s Imperial War Museum. “As a craftsman in a meticulous craft, I was horrified by the smashing of all those [stained-glass] windows. And I thought to myself, my word, what can we do about this?”

Petts decided to employ his skills as an artist in an act of solidarity. “An idea doesn’t exist unless you do something about it,” he said. “Thought has no real living meaning unless it’s followed by action of some kind.”

With the help of the editor of Wales’s leading newspaper, the Western Mail, he launched an appeal for funds to replace the Alabama church’s stained-glass window. “I’m going to ask no one to give more than half a crown,” he told Petts. “We don’t want some rich man as a gesture paying for the whole window. We want it to be given by the people of Wales.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/11/what-black-america-means-to-europe-protests-racism-george-floyd

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2020 in Reportages

 

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A Chronicle of a Lost Decade Foretold

To exorcise my worst fears about the coming decade, I chose to write a bleak chronicle of it. If, by December 2030, developments have invalidated it, I hope such dreary prognoses will have played a part by spurring us to appropriate action.

Before our pandemic-induced lockdowns, politics seemed to be a game. Political parties behaved like sports teams having good or bad days, scoring points that propelled them up a league table that, at season’s end, determined who would form a government and then do next to nothing.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic stripped away the veneer of indifference to reveal the political reality: some people do have the power to tell the rest of us what to do. Lenin’s description of politics as “who does what to whom” seemed more apt than ever.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bleak-preliminary-history-of-2020s-by-yanis-varoufakis-2020-05

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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The ‘Terrible Moral Choice’ of Reopening

Ever since Emmanuel Macron declared France “at war” with the coronavirus, the entire country has been under home confinement, with residents allowed outside only for urgent needs. So when the government announced a gradual reopening of some businesses and schools starting in May, a deep confusion set in.Ever since they imposed lockdowns weeks ago, governments across Europe have taken away individual liberties and kept citizens in their homes to save lives. Now a subtle shift is happening, in which confinement orders are giving way to a reopening that ultimately places more responsibility on individuals. Governments will still communicate public-health directives and decide how and when to reopen businesses and schools, but millions of people will have to make millions of small and large decisions about how to go about their daily life—balancing their own risk tolerance, mental health, and need for income.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/04/france-europe-reopen-coronavirus-pandemic/610789/

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Orbán cruza la raya

Los poderes extraordinarios indefinidos de los que se dotó el lunes el primer ministro húngaro, Viktor Orbán, atacan aspectos fundamentales del Estado de derecho y colocan a su país ante una peligrosa perspectiva autoritaria pretendidamente justificada por la emergencia derivada de la crisis del coronavirus. El mandatario ultraderechista podrá gobernar por tiempo indefinido mediante decretos leyes sin ningún tipo de control parlamentario. Esto prácticamente anula al poder Legislativo, cuyas dos principales funciones en una democracia son precisamente la elaboración y aprobación de leyes y el control al Ejecutivo. Además, podrán ser condenados a hasta cinco años de prisión los periodistas que publiquen informaciones “que obstruyan o eviten la protección eficaz de la población”, una formulación ambigua susceptible de toda clase de abusos, según han denunciado observatorios de defensa de los derechos civiles.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/03/31/opinion/1585668846_199952.html

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2020 in European Union

 

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Germany Must Abandon Its Rejection of Eurobonds

Eurobonds, German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured eight years ago at the height of the euro crisis, will not exist “for as long as I live.” Last week, during a video summit of European Union leaders, southern EU member states were again brushed off just as brusquely when the idea of eurobonds was once again raised as a way of shielding their economies from the impact of the corona pandemic. German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier spoke disparagingly of a “phantom debate.”

Either Germany’s leaders do not grasp what they are so carelessly dismissing. Or they are choosing not to grasp it out of fear that the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) might exploit aid for European neighbors for its propaganda. Ultimately, it was the bitter debate over aid for Greece during the euro crisis that led to the AfD’s founding in 2013.

Rather than truthfully telling the German people that there is no alternative to eurobonds in a crisis like this, Merkel’s government is instead suggesting there is something rotten about these bonds. That in the end, they would have to be paid for by hard-working German taxpayers because the Italians have allegedly never been particularly good at handling money. The chancellor has resorted to this narrative so often that any concession to the Spaniards and the Italians would seem like a defeat. She never should have let it get this far – if for no other reason than compassion and solidarity. The impact of the corona pandemic has led to a human and medical tragedy in Italy and Spain – not least because of the strict austerity measures imposed on them by Brussels. It is not because they lived beyond their means.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/germany-must-abandon-its-rejection-of-eurobonds-a-e5f7c467-dcf6-48fd-b4e0-71e1b84e315e

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2020 in European Union

 

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The EU Watches as Hungary Kills Democracy

The coronavirus has proved a great boon to the world’s authoritarians. From the imposition of border closures to the utilization of mass digital surveillance, moves that may have once been classed as dangerous expansions of state power are now being lauded as necessary steps in the global effort to curb a pandemic. Extraordinary times, it has been collectively agreed, call for extraordinary measures.

But there is a line between using emergency powers and outright authoritarianism—one that Hungary has undoubtedly crossed. With this week’s passage of a law effectively removing any oversight and silencing any criticism of the Hungarian government, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can now rule by decree for an indefinite period of time. That such an erosion of democracy could happen openly in the heart of Europe has caused an uproar, with many questioning what, if anything, the European Union can do to stop one of its own from undermining the very values that underpin the bloc.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/04/europe-hungary-viktor-orban-coronavirus-covid19-democracy/609313/

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2020 in European Union

 

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Paid to Stay Home: Europe’s Safety Net Could Ease Toll of Coronavirus

Keeping your salary while caring for a quarantined child. Exercising the right to not work if you are afraid of getting ill. Sick-leave pay for up to six months.

Europe is sometimes considered a home of overly generous social policies. But as countries around the world scramble to control the deadly coronavirus outbreak, some analysts say those social programs and protective labor rules could serve as a powerful vaccine against the virus’s feared economic toll: recession.

Europe’s universal health care systems, for example, help bolster the economy by supporting consumer spending in the midst of a serious outbreak, because people aren’t worried about getting a big bill if they get sick.

“I would be more concerned in the U.S. what the cost would be,” said Ángel Talavera, an economist at Oxford Economics in London. “For Europeans, that is not a consideration we have in mind.”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2020 in European Union

 

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A Lesbo finisce l’Europa

È il “lunedì puro” a Lesbo, la fine del carnevale per gli ortodossi: è festa, non si lavora, si organizzano dei picnic con la famiglia, si mangia pane azzimo e si fanno volare degli aquiloni colorati. Ai bordi delle strade di Mitilene, il capoluogo dell’isola, gli ambulanti vendono pesci volanti di carta, soli colorati con le code, ma a fianco dei venditori camminano dei militari in mimetica con i mitra spianati e i cani al guinzaglio che pattugliano le strade e le spiagge. Sull’isola, che nel 2015 ha accolto migliaia di profughi siriani, l’atmosfera è cupa.

Le auto della polizia sono ferme a ogni angolo e gruppi di autoproclamati vigilantes bloccano le auto dirette al centro di detenzione di Moria. Gruppi di uomini vestiti di nero prendono a sassate gli operatori umanitari e i giornalisti, distruggono le loro macchine prese a noleggio che riconoscono dalla targa, aggrediscono i profughi che si muovono ormai solo in gruppo. Secondo gli attivisti, si tratta di militanti vicini ad Alba dorata, la formazione di estrema destra che insieme agli abitanti dell’isola da settimane protesta contro la costruzione di nuovi centri di detenzione a Lesbo.

https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/annalisa-camilli/2020/03/03/lesbo-naufragio-migranti-turchia

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2020 in European Union

 

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