Tag Archives: EU

Perché le ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo sono sotto attacco

Nel fine settimana del 15 e 16 aprile sono state soccorse al largo della Libia 8.300 persone in 55 diverse operazioni condotte dalle navi delle organizzazioni non governative e dalle navi militari, i soccorsi sono stati coordinati dalla centrale operativa della guardia costiera di Roma. L’aumento degli arrivi è in parte da attribuire al miglioramento delle condizioni del mare, tuttavia ha riacceso le polemiche che negli ultimi mesi hanno coinvolto le organizzazioni umanitarie che si occupano di soccorrere i migranti nel Mediterraneo. Il leader della Lega nord Matteo Salvini ha minacciato di “denunciare il governo italiano” per aver soccorso migliaia di persone al largo della Libia. Anche il leader dei cinquestelle Beppe Grillo sul suo blog ha parlato “del ruolo oscuro delle ong”.

Source: Perché le ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo sono sotto attacco  – Annalisa Camilli – Internazionale

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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in European Union


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Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor – that’s what Trump and Brexit are about

Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it. Today, the value is freedom. Freedom is a word that powerful people use to shut down thought.When thinktanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean. Freedom for some, they suggest, means freedom for all. In certain cases, this is true. You can exercise freedom of thought, for instance, without harming others. In other cases, one person’s freedom is another’s captivity.

Source: Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor – that’s what Trump and Brexit are about | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Economy, Europe, European Union


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We cannot deal with Islamist terrorism alone. Using security as a Brexit bargaining chip is a dangerous game

This is Theresa May in her Article 50 letter on a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU: “In security terms, a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.” Then we had Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, talking about Britain’s contribution to Europol: “If we left, we would take our information with us.”

And this is Alex Younger, the head of MI6, in his first public speech three months ago addressing the issue of Brexit and security: “The need for the deepest cooperation can only grow. And I am determined that MI6 remains a ready and highly effective partner, just as the UK is and will be. These partnerships save lives in all our countries.”

Whose views should the people of this country, a week after the Westminster attack, believe offers greater protection against terrorism? The chief of the intelligence service? Or politicians trying to use public safety as a bargaining tool?

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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Europe, European Union


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Why the system will still win

The term ‘anti-systemic movements’ was commonly used 25 years ago (1) to characterise forces on the left in revolt against capitalism. Today, it has not lost relevance in the West, but its meaning has changed. The movements of revolt that have multiplied over the past decade no longer rebel against capitalism, but neoliberalism — deregulated financial flows, privatised services and escalating social inequality, that specific variant of the reign of capital set in place in Europe and America since the 1980s. The resultant economic and political order has been accepted all but indistinguishably by governments of the centre-right and centre-left, in accordance with the central tenet of la pensée unique, Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’. Two kinds of movement are now arrayed against this system; the established order stigmatises them, whether from the right or left, as the menace of populism.

Source: Why the system will still win, by Perry Anderson (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, March 2017)

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in European Union



Brexit unleashed an English nationalism that has damaged the union with Scotland for good

Brexit is English nationalism made flesh, but the English underrate its destructive potential as a form of communal identity. Concepts like “nationalism” and “self-determination” have traditionally been seen as something that happens to foreigners. An English failing today is an inability to recognise the egocentricity implicit in such nationalism and the extent to which it alienates and invites confrontation with other nations in the British Isles and beyond.

A classic example of this blindness to the consequences of this new type of nationalism came this week when Theresa May denounced Nicola Sturgeon for “playing politics with the future of our country” in demanding a second referendum on Scottish independence. This immediately begs the question about the nature and location of this “country” to which such uncritical loyalty is due. If the state in question is the UK, then why do the advocates of Brexit ignore the opposition – and take for granted the compliance – of Scotland and Northern Ireland in leaving the EU?

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Europe, European Union


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Theresa May is dragging the UK under. This time Scotland must cut the rope

Here is the question the people of Scotland will face in the next independence referendum: when England falls out of the boat like a block of concrete, do you want your foot tied to it?It would be foolish to deny that there are risks in leaving the United Kingdom. Scotland’s economy is weak, not least because it has failed to wean itself off North Sea oil. There are major questions, not yet resolved, about the currency it would use; its trading relationship with the rump of the UK; and its association with the European Union, which it’s likely to try to rejoin.

Source: Theresa May is dragging the UK under. This time Scotland must cut the rope | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Europe


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The hijab ruling is a ban on Muslim women

This week’s decision by the European court of justice to allow the hijab to be banned in the workplace is yet another sign of the continent’s obsession with how Muslim women dress.

The ruling states that the hijab can be banned only as part of a policy barring all religious and political symbols – and so framed in a way that doesn’t directly target Muslim women. Indeed, the Conference of European Rabbis was outraged, saying that the ruling sent a clear message that Europe’s faith communities were no longer welcome – and a number of religious communities, including Sikhs, will be affected.

Source: The hijab ruling is a ban on Muslim women | Iman Amrani | Opinion | The Guardian

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in European Union


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Why Europe fails to learn

As Benjamin Franklin remarked, ‘Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools learn in no other.’ He was brilliant enough to invent the lightning conductor but could not predict the formation of the European Union, where no one learns by experience.When consulted directly, Europe’s peoples reject free trade, yet the European parliament has just approved a new free trade agreement, with Canada. Its principal measures will be applied right away, whether or not it is ratified by national parliaments. Even hardened fools should have been enlightened by the case of Greece: since May 2010 it has been bled almost dry by the drastic remedies prescribed by the Eurogroup, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, and is close to yet another default. Dirty syringes are being used to inject its bruised flesh, while the German right decides whether to throw Greece out of the eurozone hospital. And there is more. Welfare budgets are under pressure in several EU member states, which are trying to outdo each other in finding imaginative ways to pay the unemployed less and stop giving medical treatment to foreigners. Yet everyone seems to agree that defence spending should be increased in response to the ‘Russian threat’, though Russia’s defence budget is less than a tenth of the US’s.

Source: Why Europe fails to learn, by Serge Halimi (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, March 2017)

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Posted by on March 8, 2017 in European Union



Europe’s migration trade with Egypt

Long before the advent of the “migration crisis,” Italy signed a series of deals with Libya’s Colonel Muammar Qadhafi designed to stop thousands of mostly African migrants from reaching the shores of Europe.Between 2006 and 2011, Qadhafi took billions in development money and, in return, enforced Europe’s borders. Tens of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants were held in detention facilities where human rights groups reported physical abuse, torture and, in some cases, the use of lethal force.

Source: Europe’s migration trade with Egypt | MadaMasr

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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Africa, European Union


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Who speaks for Muslims? The Saudis, the Turks or the Germans?

The reaction to Donald Trump’s executive order to ban refugees and Muslims from seven countries has been unprecedented. Flash crowds descended on JFK and Dulles international airports on Saturday. When the New York Taxi Drivers Association held an hour-long protest at Trump’s ban, and Uber attempted to profit from it by turning off their surge price, a campaign was launched to delete the Uber app from phones.Demonstrations erupted in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, New York and Washington. Britain’s prime minister Theresa May hardly had time to unpack her bags from her trip to Washington, than she found that her newly formed “special relationship” with Trump had turned into a domestic political liability. On a cold Monday evening, thousands of protesters jammed Whitehall outside Downing Street. A petition calling for Trump’s state visit to Britain to be cancelled has already got 1m signatures.

Source: Who speaks for Muslims? The Saudis, the Turks or the Germans? | Middle East Eye

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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Middle East, North America


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