Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2015

Alexis Tsipras, the far-left leader of the Syriza party in Greece, is poised become prime minister after his party came in first in today’s election with 36% of the vote. One of the main planks in his platform was to terminate the country’s hated austerity program. If he makes good on his promise, the future of the Eurozone may be in doubt.

In other news, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assertive foreign policy is being blamed for provoking the Islamic State and thereby causing the execution of one of the two Japanese hostages held by ISIS.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Papa Whiskey, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Chinese Shares Plunge Over Fears That the Real Estate Bubble Will Burst
» ECB Bond-Buying ‘Brings Risks’: Weidmann
» Italian Year-on-Year Exports Up 1.7% in November
» Italian Retail Sales Up for First Time in 7 Months
» Italy: Low Inflation Benefits Poorer Households in 2014, ISTAT Says
» Italy: Banks Not Lending to Small, Mid-Sized Business, Study
» Italy ‘Attractive Market Again’ Says Bank of America CEO
» Jobs: Spain Unemployment Reaches 23.7% in Fourth Quarter
» Slovenia: Businesses Worried About Swiss Franc Shock
» New Psychiatric Diagnosis Targets “Internet Conspiracy Theorists”
» Woman Injured While Trying to Pet Black Bear
Europe and the EU
» Alexis Tsipras, Greek ‘Che Guevara’ on the Brink of Power
» Anti-Muslim Rallies ‘Hurt Germany’s Image’
» Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?
» France: Hollande: ‘Big Business Must Help Fight Terror’
» German Anti-Islam Rally Draws Smaller Crowds Following Leader’s Resignation
» Germany: Numbers Drop as PEGIDA Rally Returns to Dresden
» Greek Election: ‘The Hour of the Left Has Come. Hope Has Arrived’
» ‘Italy Tarnished by Corruption’ Says Supreme Court President
» Italy: ‘Every AMA Contract Rigged’ Says Court
» Italy: ER Workers Nationwide Protest Overcrowding, Funding Cuts
» Saxony’s Premier Tillich Says Islam is Not Part of Germany
» Sweden Mulls Ticket Controls for Jihadis
» Sweden: World’s First Limousine Snowplough for Hire
» Thousands Join Anti-Islam Rally as Germany Worries About Image
» Ukraine: New Practical Guide Helps SMEs Exporting to the EU
» Unicredit to Strengthen Its Position in Central Europe
» Floods Have Cost Bosnia 15% of GDP, World Bank Report Shows
» Kosovo Police Fire Tear Gas in Protests Against Serb Minister
North Africa
» Egypt Orders Retrial of 152 Jailed Islamists
» Four Years After Egypt Revolt, Jails Clogged With Activists
» Photo Gallery: Protests, Clashes Mark Fourth Anniversary of Egypt’s Revolution
Israel and the Palestinians
» Palestinians March Against Charlie Hebdo Cartoon
» Thousands of Palestinians Protest Charlie Hebdo Mohammad Cartoon
Middle East
» Germany Halts Arms Exports to Saudis
» Iraq: ‘Islamic State’ Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Orders Female Genital Mutilation of Two Million Girls
» King Abdullah, the Timid Saudi Reformer, Is Dead
» Saudi Dialogue Centre Harshly Criticised for Not Condemning Flogging of Blogger Badawi
» The Secret World of ISIS Training Camps — Ruled by Sacred Texts and the Sword
South Asia
» Myanmar: Burmese Army Rapes, Tortures and Kills Two Christian Kachin Teachers
Far East
» 30 Filipino Police Commandos Killed in Clash With Rebels
» ISIL Hostage Murder: Japan’s New Foreign Policy Blamed
» Soccer: Chinese Magnate Janlin Buys 20% Atletico Madrid
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Boko Haram Attacks Northeastern Nigerian City, Dozens Killed
Latin America
» Obama Administration Intervened in Argentine Probe of Iranian Leader, Jewish Center Bombing
» Forcing Diversity on Rural France
Culture Wars
» Sweden’s First LGBT Pool Makes a Loud Splash
» Christians in Muslim Lands. Blessed Are the Persecuted

Chinese Shares Plunge Over Fears That the Real Estate Bubble Will Burst

China’s security watchdog cracked down on the country’s largest brokerage firms. The Shanghai Composite Index drops 7.7 per cent, its biggest loss since 2008. China’s second exchange, the Shenzhen Composite Index, also falls by 3.41 per cent. The property market is also in major trouble as one of its main players fails to meet interest payments.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — Chinese shares had their worst plunge since 2008. Benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 7.71 per cent after falling by 8.5 per cent during the afternoon trading session. The Shenzhen Composite Index also lost 3.41 per cent.

The loss follows the decision by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to punish three top brokerages for illegal activities in their margin business.

China’s securities regulator made the announcement late on Friday when trading had already ended, in the vain hope that it would not disrupt the markets too much.

When trading resumed today, the market hit hard the three brokerages guilty of having illegally rolled over margin trading contracts. One decided to raise its minimum asset requirements on margin clients from 300,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan.

For domestic and foreign analysts, the regulatory crackdown on margin financing spooked investors, causing Chinese share to nosedive. Insurance companies and banks also suffered major losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) experienced its steepest drop since June 2008 when Citic Securities Co., Haitong Securities Co., and Guotai Junan lost big after the China Securities Regulatory Commission suspended them last Friday from opening new margin-trading accounts for three months due to irregularities.

The regulator punished nine other brokerages for offences, including allowing unqualified investors to open margin finance and securities lending accounts.

On the same day, the China Banking Regulatory Commission banned banks from lending to companies that borrow to invest in equities, bonds, futures and derivatives.

Regulators may have been concerned that stock gains, partly driven by margin financing, were too rapid, this according to Hao Hong, a strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong cited by Bloomberg.

In fact, between the end of June and 13 January, outstanding margin loans had surged from about 400 billion yuan to 1.08 trillion yuan (US$ 174 billion).

Similarly, the Shanghai Composite jumped by 67 per cent in the past year as investors, big and small, piled into the market.

Even Citic and Haitong had recently announced plans for share sales to fund an expansion of businesses.

Hence, regulators became “concerned that shares” had “run too hard, too fast,” Hao said. “They want a measured increase in the stock market.

For Pauline Dan, from the Hong Kong-based head of Greater China equities at Pictet Asset Management Ltd., “China is trying to rein in over-bullishness in the stock market as moves have been exaggerated”.

The property market has also come under closer scrutiny. For the first time, a major investment holding company, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd, missed interest payments worth US$ 23 million.

Although the amount might appear to be small, it could be a sign that China’s property market is near collapse. Real estate in fact represents about 16 per cent of economic growth. At the same time, Kaisa’s failure to meet its obligations reflects a broader problem: political protection.

The firm itself has been linked to a Communist official that is currently under investigation for bribery, a problem that has ballooned over the past decade as the authorities tolerated corruption and applied little regulatory oversight in order to maintain high levels of employment and investments.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

ECB Bond-Buying ‘Brings Risks’: Weidmann

The head of Germany’s central bank on Saturday voiced his “scepticism” about the ECB’s decision to launch a trillion-euro bond-buying programme in a bid to ward off deflation and boost the eurozone economy.

Weidmann is a member of the the European Central Bank’s council of governors that approved of the stimulus plan known as quantitative easing (QE) but he did not agree with the decision announced on Thursday.

“Buying sovereign debt, in a single currency union, is not like any other (monetary) tool. It brings risks,” Weidmann told the paper.

Critics, particularly in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, complain that the QE is a licence to print money to get governments out of debt and will lessen pressure for reform.

The ECB plan to buy 60 billion euros ($69 billion) of public and private sector bonds per month from March through September 2016 will mean that the central banks of eurozone countries will be “among the states’ biggest creditors”, Weidmann said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Year-on-Year Exports Up 1.7% in November

Imports stable compared to Nov 2013, trade surplus 3.5 bn euros

(ANSA) — Rome, January 20 — Italian exports increased by 1.7% in November with respect to the same month in 2013 but fell by 1.1% over October, national statistics agency Istat said Tuesday.

Imports into recession-hit Italy in November were down 0,1% on the previous month but on an annual basis remained substantially unchanged. Istat said Italy had a trade surplus of 3.5 billion euros in November, 500 million euros more than in the same month in 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Retail Sales Up for First Time in 7 Months

0.1% rise in November with respect to October

(ANSA) — Rome, January 22 — Italian retail sales increased for the first time in seven months in November, when they registered a 0.1% rise with respect to October, Istat said Thursday. A 0.2% increase in food sales helped drag the figure into positive territory, the national statistics agency said.

Istat added, however, that retail sales were down 2.3% in November compared to the same month in 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Low Inflation Benefits Poorer Households in 2014, ISTAT Says

Statistics bureau reveals impact of inflation based on spending

(ANSA) — Rome, January 23 — Overall inflation went from +1.3% in 2013 to +0.2% in 2014, benefiting households with lower spending capacity, Italian statistics bureau Istat said on Friday in its Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) report.

The report divides households into five spending classes, and said slowing inflation was “more marked” in the lowest spending class (from +1.3% in 2013 to zero in 2014) compared to those with higher purchasing power (from +1.2% in 2013 to +0.4% in 2014).

Istat said that in 2014, price decreases affected fuel and food most, two categories which have a “more than double” impact on households with lower spending when compared to the impact on those with higher spending.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Banks Not Lending to Small, Mid-Sized Business, Study

Confcommercio says credit made too costly

(ANSA) — Rome, January 20 — The Italian banking system has failed to extend enough credit to the country’s small and medium-sized businesses, according to a report released Tuesday by business group Confcommercio. It calculates that since 2010, some 97 billion euros in credit could have been used by businesses but was not available, or offered only at unaffordable interest rates, in some cases up to 15%. The report comes as Premier Matteo Renzi’s cabinet debates significant changes to ownership rules at some Italian banks.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy ‘Attractive Market Again’ Says Bank of America CEO

‘Renzi reforms positive investor signal’ Moynihan tells Corriere

(ANSA) — Rome, January 22 — At least one American banker is setting eyes on investment opportunities in Italy, Corriere della Sera paper reported Thursday.

“Your country…has become an attractive market again,” Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan told the Milan-based paper after a meeting with Premier Matteo Renzi at the World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Switzerland.

“A strong dollar will help,” the banker said.

“Prime Minister Renzi and I discussed ways to favor such investments,” said Moynihan, adding his bank will act as “global coordinator” for the privatization of Italy’s public post office, Poste Italiane SpA.

Renzi’s reforms “are what Italy needs to kick start (its economy),” the banker went on.

“This is a positive signal for investors”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Jobs: Spain Unemployment Reaches 23.7% in Fourth Quarter

Previous estimates forecast a 23.5% decrease

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JAN 22 — Unemployment was surprisingly on the rise in Spain in the fourth quarter of 2014. The number of jobless people reached the figure of 5,457,700 with an increase of 30,100 units, 23.7% instead of the previous 23.67%, the National Statistics Institute reported.

The Institute also added that during the course of the year the number of jobless people decreased by 477,900 units, with respect to 2013, marking a 2.5% employment increase, the first since 2007 when the crisis began. Estimates forecast a decrease of unemployment to 23.5% in the third quarter of last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Businesses Worried About Swiss Franc Shock

Loans totalling 794 million euros, mainly real estate

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — Slovenia’s citizens and businesses received Swiss franc loans amounting to about 794 million euro. Most of this amount (743 million euros) consists of loans which cover the purchase of real estates. These data were released by the Slovenian Central Bank, after the Swiss National Bank scrapped its three-year-old cap on the franc against the euro on Thursday.

However, this amount is much lower than the sum received shortly before the financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009, when the Swiss franc loans to Slovenian citizens amounted to 1.4 billion euros . The decrease in the value credit started to occur from 2011 onwards.

The unexpected decision of the Swiss National Bank has created a lot of panic in the Slovenian financial world due to the increase in loan installments, since abandoning the cap against the euro resulted in an increase of the Swiss currency’s value by about 20% . The Slovenian consumers’ association (SPA) has therefore asked the Finance Minister Dusan Mramor to take the measures which are necessary to protect Slovenian debtors.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Psychiatric Diagnosis Targets “Internet Conspiracy Theorists”

The Obama administration has a new partner in crime and it is the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The APA created the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th Edition) which was recently adopted. DSM 5 is highly controversial and has sparked outrage from the mental health practitioners. As many of these practitioners point out, the new DSM-V makes a pathology out of simple and normal behaviors such as grieving for the loss of a loved one.

This constitutes a new subjective approach in diagnosing of mental illness in that it promises to end free speech and any form of political dissent. The federal government has already declared anyone who opposes its unconstitutional policies as having “political paranoia,” which is now diagnosed as a type of mental illness.

Particularly disturbing is that the new manual targets internet users and conspiracy theorists. If someone is judged, by some vague set of criteria, to spend too much time on the internet, they could be judged to be mentally ill and ineligible to own a gun.

[VERY bad juju. Sounds as though they’re moving toward the old Soviet model of declaring dissidents to be mentally ill and incarcerating them. Moreover, conspiracy theories can turn out to be true. Remember the Tuskegee Experiment? The Vietnam-era CIA’s complicity in the Southeast Asia opium trade? Both stories were too far-fetched to be true — till it turned out they were. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Woman Injured While Trying to Pet Black Bear

DADE CITY, Fla. — A woman was injured when she tried to pet a 400-pound black bear in its enclosure at a wildlife sanctuary here Friday.

Virginia Riggs was flown to Tampa General Hospital with a severe arm injury, authorities say.

Mary Arche, a co-owner of Wildlife Haven Rehab, was giving a tour to Riggs, who was planning to adopt two birds, when the woman stuck her arm in the cage of a bear named Abner, who attacked her.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Alexis Tsipras, Greek ‘Che Guevara’ on the Brink of Power

Athens (AFP) — Alexis Tsipras, whose Syriza party won the Greek general election for the first time in its history on Sunday, is set to become the country’s first radical left-wing prime minister, and the youngest in over 150 years.

He brings to the job a burning passion to dump the austerity policies that his party says have brought a “humanitarian crisis” to Greece.

“Greece is turning a page, leaving behind disastrous austerity… and five years of humiliation,” Tsipras told a jubilant crowd of supporters in central Athens after his party won a clear victory.

With over 60 percent of ballots accounted for, Syriza had over 36 percent of the vote.

That may not be enough to secure the 151 seats required for an outright majority in the 300-seat parliament, meaning Syriza will likely need to find a coalition partner.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Anti-Muslim Rallies ‘Hurt Germany’s Image’

Hours before a new rally in Dresden by the Islamophobic PEGIDA movement on Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the group’s anti-Muslim sentiments were harming the nation’s image.

“At home we under-estimate the damage that PEGIDA’s xenophobic and racist slogans and placards have already had,” Steinmeier said in an interview with

“Whether we want it or not, the world is watching Germany with great attention,” Steinmeier continued, saying that scrutiny makes “it all the more important that we say clearly and strongly that PEGIDA does not speak in Germany’s name.”

Germany’s top diplomat warned he was “incessantly being asked about” the apparent surge in anti-Muslim sentiment by his foreign peers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?

by Daniel Pipes

Instead of no-go zones, I propose semi-autonomous sectors, a term that emphasizes their indistinct and non-geographic nature — thus permitting a more accurate discussion of what is, arguably, West Europe’s most acute problem.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Hollande: ‘Big Business Must Help Fight Terror’

On his first visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday, French president François Hollande told the corporate world it must play its part in fighting terrorism. “There will be no prosperity without security,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Anti-Islam Rally Draws Smaller Crowds Following Leader’s Resignation

DRESDEN, Germany — A group protesting against the perceived “Islamization of the West” mustered fewer supporters than previously, with police in the eastern city of Dresden estimating that about 17,300 people took part in the demonstration Sunday.

It was the group’s first march since co-founder Lutz Bachmann resigned Wednesday, after German media published Facebook messages in which he called refugees “dirty” and posed as Adolf Hitler.

The group, which calls itself Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, says it isn’t racist and has condemned Bachmann’s comments about refugees.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: Numbers Drop as PEGIDA Rally Returns to Dresden

Several thousand people have joined a march organized by anti-Islamization group PEGIDA in the German city of Dresden. But numbers were down compared with a record attendance almost two weeks ago.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greek Election: ‘The Hour of the Left Has Come. Hope Has Arrived’

It was a euphoric moment and it was a long time in the making. When it erupted, at approximately 7.15pm, it exploded with a bang.

“The hour of the left has come. The hour of the left has come. Hope has finally arrived.”

By 9pm on Sunday, when the radical party’s ascent to power had been wholeheartedly confirmed, so many had poured into Klafthmonos Square — the crowd working its way up and then spilling out from under the ornate neoclassical premises of Athens’ university building — it was impossible to keep count.

“Happiness is a wonderful thing,” said Efi Athinaiou, her eyes misting a little. “Especially when there has been so much misery and it comes on a wave of hope.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Italy Tarnished by Corruption’ Says Supreme Court President

Giorgio Santacroce inaugurates Cassation Court term

(ANSA) — Rome, January 23 — Italy’s supreme Court of Cassation term opened on Friday with an appeal by First President Giorgio Santacroce for a “stable” political environment, warning that “Italy is tarnished by corruption,” ANSA sources said.

Santacroce, referring to last year’s Expo corruption scandal and December arrests linked to organized crime in Rome’s city government, said they “shed a disconcerting light on the capacity of criminal organizations to infiltrate institutions and the economy”.

The first president of Italy’s highest appeals court called for an end to “no cost” judicial reform, and said filters were needed in the appeals process or the court could face collapse, citing that the current court backlog alone would take 3 years and four months to complete.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Every AMA Contract Rigged’ Says Court

Alleged Rome mob member Buzzi ‘a menace to society’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 19 — Every single public tender offer at Rome public waste management company AMA was rigged, according to judges who upheld the pretrial detention of Rome mafia suspect Salvatore Buzzi and former AMA general manager, Giovanni Fiscon. The two were jailed as part of a wide-ranging probe into an alleged Rome mafia ring led by former rightwing terrorist and gangster Massimo Carminati and involving businessmen and elected officials, including former center-right mayor Gianni Alemanno.

Prosecutors say Buzzi was Carminati’s right-hand man and go-between, connecting the gangster with the politicians.

“Corruption reached its maximum expression at AMA, polluting every single tender offer,” the court wrote.

Buzzi himself is “a menace to public institutions and to society at every level,” the judges wrote.

They cited “his capacity to infiltrate the political, entrepreneurial and economic sectors with the complicity of Carminati, exploiting the latter’s criminal fame and corrupting public officials”.

Buzzi was so driven he went so far as to “exploit migrants and asylum seekers,” the judges said.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando in December ordered Italy’s tough ‘41-bis’ maximum security prison regime for Carminati, whose crime syndicate allegedly muscled in on profitable city contracts in construction, waste management, parks maintenance, and immigrant and refugee reception centers (CIEs).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ER Workers Nationwide Protest Overcrowding, Funding Cuts

Over 65,000 patients daily, some just to save money, group says

(ANSA) — Rome, January 23 — Emergency room health workers across Italy took to the streets in protest on Friday, some even lying on stretchers and donning oxygen masks, to raise awareness of ER overcrowding, ANSA sources said.

The event, which took place in several Italian cities including Rome, Naples, Florence, Milan and Bari, was organized by labor union CGIL.

According to the group, Italian ERs admit 65,000 patients a day, one-third of whom are “inappropriate” and some of whom visit the ER to avoid more costly diagnostic exams and analyses elsewhere.

“The burden of paying for a ticket (the public health system’s co-pay) has become impossible for a large majority of the population, and the ER is seen as a place where one can do all sorts of exams all together, without paying anything. This creates overcrowding for those who have a real need,” said Massimo Cozza, secretary for CGIL’s doctors union, speaking from a demonstration outside Rome’s San Camillo Hospital.

Cozza also cited the problem of “super heavy” public healthcare spending cuts, totaling 31 billion euros between 2011 and 2015.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Saxony’s Premier Tillich Says Islam is Not Part of Germany

The premier of the eastern German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, says he disagrees with Chancellor Merkel on the status of Islam in Germany. But he says he wants more immigrants in his state.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden Mulls Ticket Controls for Jihadis

Sweden could introduce controls over airline ticket sales and border crossings as part of a new anti-terror strategy aimed at preventing citizens going abroad to fight for extremist groups.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: World’s First Limousine Snowplough for Hire

A businessman in central Sweden is advertising what he claims is the world’s first Hummer limousine snowplough for hire on Blocket, Sweden’s version of eBay.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Thousands Join Anti-Islam Rally as Germany Worries About Image

Thousands of people joined a march by the German anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, the group’s first rally since threats surfaced against the group and its leader resigned over “Hitler” photos.

The new demonstration in Dresden came after Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier voiced concern that the group’s anti-Muslim sentiments were harming Germany’s image.

Police estimated that 17,000 people had turned up for the rally.

Many carried signs saying “They don’t do anything, they move here and they deal”, “For a sovereign country”, “Honest people, get up at last” and “Thank you Pegida”…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Ukraine: New Practical Guide Helps SMEs Exporting to the EU

Tombinski,who starts to adapt will be better prepared to compete

(ANSA) — BRUSSELS, JANUARY 20 — The EU Delegation in Ukraine has released a new ‘Basic Handbook on Business Internationalisation and Entry to European Union Markets’, published in Ukrainian and available for download as a PDF or free printed copies on request by email.

The brochure presents detailed information for Ukrainian SMEs and responds to key questions from exporters such as ‘What are the primary steps to enter the European and international markets?’ and others frequently asked questions.

“(Ukrainian) business complying with the EU rules will become successful on European market and also will be better prepared to compete on global scale. Those who start their own adaptation to the new realities earlier, will later champion (Ukrainian) exports to the EU”, said EU Head of Delegation to Ukraine, Jan Tombinski.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Unicredit to Strengthen Its Position in Central Europe

Over 30% of Group’s revenue from area, regional manager says

(ANSA) — VIENNA — Central Europe, as the region with the most dynamic economies in the continent, guarantees one third of Unicredit Group’s overall revenue. “We want to further reinforce our leadership position”, said the regional manager of the Italian banking group, Gianni Franco Papa, speaking at the Euromoney Forum in Vienna, the industry’s leading event in Central and Eastern Europe. In line with the top observers, the Unicredit study on Central and Eastern Europe (covering countries from Slovenia to Russia) forecasts an average GDP growth of 2.5% regardless the drop of oil price, the Ukrainian crisis and the European deflation. Unicredit considers the New Europe area an indispensable priority — “sort of like China but more simple and more easy to reach” for the Italian companies. There are 5.400 Italian companies already present in the region with a turnover exceeding EUR 2.5 million — five times more than in China.

Meanwhile, the export of Italian goods towards New Europe is worth six times more than in China, while it exceeds the export towards Germany in terms of volume. In some countries the Bank is already present as the market leader, while in others it aims to advance through targeted acquisitions. Papa said that evaluations would be made on a case by case basis, with particular outlook on the groups which are present but not branched out in the area, which could decide to leave. Unsolved credits remain one of the region’s major problems: according to the analysis they will amount to 13.7% of total, with Ukraine (34%), Serbia (23%), and Russia (21%) topping the list. Meanwhile, commercial loans will continue to grow with +12.4% in Central and Eastern Europe and +3.5% in South East Europe, according to Unicredit study.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Floods Have Cost Bosnia 15% of GDP, World Bank Report Shows

Damage in Serbia 4.7% GDP

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — The May 2014 floods have cost Bosnia and Herzegovina around 15% of GDP, while the damage and lost outputs amount to 4.7% of GDP in Serbia, according to the World Bank’s South East Europe Regular Economic Report. Devastating flooding brought the economy of South East Europe to a standstill in 2014, with growth of only 0.2%.

Amongst the region’s countries, Macedonia (3.3%) and Albania (2.1%) are the only ones to have shown signs of robust recovery, primarily thanks to the growth of export. Serbia is estimated to have contracted in 2014 for a third time since the global crisis (-2%), and Bosnia and Herzegovina is stagnating with 0.4%.

Economic growth rates in Kosovo (2.5%) and Montenegro (1.5%) are estimated to have moderated in 2014. According to the report, the region is expected to recover modestly in 2015, with growth expected to average at 1.3%. While a weak recovery is likely in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.5%) and Serbia (-0.5%), the rest of the region is expected to grow by over 3 percent in 2015, reaching 3.8 percent in Macedonia, 3.4% in Montenegro and 3% in Albania and Kosovo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kosovo Police Fire Tear Gas in Protests Against Serb Minister

Police in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse groups of stone-throwing protesters Saturday as thousands took to the streets of Pristina to demand the dismissal of a Serb minister accused of insulting the ethnic Albanian majority.

The clashes erupted at the end of a rally in the capital at which some 7,000 people, according to police, called on the government to fire Labour and Social Welfare Minister Aleksandar Jablanovic, one of three Serb ministers in Prime Minister Isa Mustafa’s cabinet.

Around a hundred demonstrators threw stones, smashing several windows of the government building and of nearby cafes and restaurants, before dispersing, an AFP correspondent saw. Three policemen were injured in the unrest, police said.

Jablanovic sparked outrage two weeks ago when he called a group of ethnic Albanians “savages” for trying to prevent Serb pilgrims from visiting a monastery in western Kosovo on Orthodox Christmas. The group had claimed “war criminals” were among the pilgrims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt Orders Retrial of 152 Jailed Islamists

An Egyptian appeals court Saturday ordered a retrial of 152 Islamists, including 37 sentenced to death in a mass trial that had sparked international outrage, judicial officials said.

Last March, a lower court in the southern province of Minya sentenced to death 529 Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, including the 152 who were in custody, for attacking a police station and killing an officer in August 2013.

The lower court later commuted the death sentences to life in prison in the case of 492 defendants, while 37 were ordered sent to the gallows.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Four Years After Egypt Revolt, Jails Clogged With Activists

Zyad el-Elaimy was among millions who rallied to overthrow Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but four years later he is visiting some of them who are now in jail while the ousted strongman edges closer to release from prison.

The jubilation that had marked Mubarak’s toppling — a key event of the 2011 Arab Spring — is dead, and activists say an even more autocratic regime now rules the most populous Arab country.

Since he deposed Mubarak’s successor, Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013, former army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been accused by activists of having installed a more repressive regime.

But Sisi, who won more than 90 percent of votes against a socialist opponent in last year’s election, enjoys widespread support among Egyptians weary of political and economic turmoil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Photo Gallery: Protests, Clashes Mark Fourth Anniversary of Egypt’s Revolution

Clashes erupt between security forces and protesters marking the fourth anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution on Sunday

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Palestinians March Against Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

Thousands of Palestinians marched Saturday in the West Bank in protest over the latest cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Answering calls by the Liberation Party, an Islamist group, demonstrators rallied in the cities of Ramallah and Hebron, some carrying banners expressing faith in Islam and others wearing black headbands calling for the establishment of a Muslim caliphate, AFP photographers said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Thousands of Palestinians Protest Charlie Hebdo Mohammad Cartoon

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) — Thousands of Palestinians rallied in the occupied West Bank on Saturday to protest against the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Simultaneous demonstrations were held in the cities of Ramallah and Hebron less than three weeks after Islamist gunmen shot dead 12 people in the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, which has repeatedly featured cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

The magazine returned to the newsstands the following week with a cartoon of the prophet on its front page.

“France is the mother of terrorism. America is the mother of terrorism,” the protesters chanted. They carried black-and-white banners which read “There is only one God and Mohammad is his messenger.”

The protests were called by the Islamist Tahrir Party, which advocates the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Muslim countries.

[“The Islamist Tahrir Party,” AKA Hizb-ut-Tahrir. This is the same outfit that ginned up the worldwide demos over the Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006 — including the ones in London that had signs with such slogans as, “Behead those who insult Islam!” “Europe, you will pay! Your 9/11 is on its way!” “Freedom go to hell!” and the ones in Nigeria that morphed into anti-Christian pogroms that left dozens of churches burnt and hundreds dead. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Germany Halts Arms Exports to Saudis

Germany has decided to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of “instability in the region,” German daily Bild reported on Sunday.

Weapons orders from Saudi Arabia have either been “rejected, pure and simple,” or deferred for further consideration, the newspaper said, adding that the information has not been officially confirmed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq: ‘Islamic State’ Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Orders Female Genital Mutilation of Two Million Girls

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham has asked all families around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to circumcise their daughters or face severe punishment.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-declared Islamic State, has ordered the female genital mutilation of two million Iraqi girls to “distance them from debauchery and immorality”.

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect four million women and girls, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva by video from Irbil.


Civil rights activist Asil Jamal said: “When ISIS was first arriving in Mosul, people were warmly welcoming them, but as a result of ISIS’ horrendous wishes, especially forced female circumcision, it is becoming clear for people that these ISIS militants don’t know anything else except torture.

“Now, people in Mosul believe that their decisions are dangerous, especially female circumcision. They believe that it is a violation against their rights,” journalist Saad Qasm commented.

[“The most unkindest cut … “ — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

King Abdullah, the Timid Saudi Reformer, Is Dead

He is succeeded by his half-brother Salman. The Crown Prince is Moqren. Ambiguous relations with the United States, but also with China. Proponent of a peace plan for Israel and Palestine, but opposed to the Arab spring. His meeting with Benedict XVI. Supporter of the opponents of Bashar Assad and Iran’s enemy. The Wahhabi kingdom must defend itself against al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died last night at o’clock (local time), after a few weeks in the hospital with pneumonia. The sovereign was 90 years old (his exact date of birth is unknown). The Royal House announced that his funeral and burial will take place today, after Islamic prayers in the afternoon. It also announced that his successor is his half-brother Abdullah Salman, 79, and that the crown prince is Moqren, 69.

Abdullah ascended to the throne in 2005 upon the death of King Fahd, but in fact reigned since ‘95, due to his stepbrother’s poor health.

Among the first to pay tribute to the memory of the deceased king was US President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande.

The news of the death of Abdullah has caused little surprise: he was ill for years and often spent periods in hospital. Analysts view him as a cautious reformer of the dynasty and Saudi society. During his reign, in the only country in the world that does not allow women to drive a car, he granted them the opportunity to vote in municipal elections. He also reduced the influence of the religious police (muttawa) in the private lives of the Saudis. He also worked for peace between Israel and Palestine, proposing in 2002 a comprehensive peace plan between the Arab countries and Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. The plan was thwarted by the United States and categorically refused by Israel.

After 9/11, relations with the US faltered, since most of the terrorists involved in the attack on the Twin Towers were Saudis. Abdullah tried to maintain relations with the United States, but in 2003, with the international invasion of Iraq, he would not grant US aircraft permission to have a base in Saudi Arabia. In 2009 he stepped up relations with China, which has become the main customer of the oil rich kingdom. But in 2011 he bought weapons from the US for nearly34 billion US dollars.

In 2007, a year after the Regensburg speech, critical of the violence in Islam, the Saudi King became the first in history to meet with a Pope, Benedict XVI.

With the outbreak of the Arab Spring, for fear of seeing the end of his reign, he used military force against the riots in the country and in neighboring countries (see Bahrain) and poured more than 130 billion US dollars into the domestic economy to appease popular discontent. At the same time he has curbed the press freedom and launched an anti-terrorism law that allows security forces to arrest anyone suspected of criminal actions for at least six months.

Saudi Arabia is home to the two most important holy places of Islam, Mecca and Medina, popular places of pilgrimage. During his reign, Abdullah also had to fight the Iranian influence on the Muslim world. In Syria, the Kingdom also continues to fund the fundamentalist opponents of Bashar Assad, while Iran supports the latter.

Home to Wahhabi Islam, the most fundamentalist and combative form of Islam, Saudi Arabia is facing the threat of al Qaeda in the Islamic peninsula and those of the Islamic State on the border with Iraq. Both radical groups count supporters in the Kingdom.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Saudi Dialogue Centre Harshly Criticised for Not Condemning Flogging of Blogger Badawi

The centre, named after Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, opened in 2012. It continues to be silent on the fate of a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for having “offended Islam.” Last November, Patriarch Sako criticised Muslim leaders for their excessive “silence” on the issue of violence against Iraq’s Christians and Yazidi minorities.

Vienna (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Austria’s chancellor Werner Faymann threatened to withdraw support for a Saudi-financed religious dialogue centre unless it condemns the public flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

“An inter-religious dialogue centre that remains silent when it is time to speak out clearly for human rights is not worthy of being called a dialogue centre. It is a silence centre,” Faymann told an Austrian radio station.

“It cannot possibly be that we have a centre in Austria with the title ‘inter-religious dialogue’ while at the same time someone who actually engages in this is in prison and fearing for his life,” the chancellor added.

Badawi launched a blog along with activist Suad Al-Shammari, as a forum for debate. The two called for an end to the all-pervasive influence of religion on the lives of Saudi citizens, targeting the action of the religious police and some Sharia-inspired rulings.

Last May, a court in Jeddah sentenced Badawi to ten years in prison, a thousand lashes and a fine of US$ 265,000. He was convicted for the crime of creating a “liberal” blog and “insulting Islam.”

This month he received 50 lashes as the first instalment of 20 weekly floggings. Last week, he avoided the second round of floggings on medical grounds.

Named after Saudi king, the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) opened in Vienna in 2012, in the presence of many religious and political figures.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Card Jean- Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, were present at the event.

This is not the first time that KAICIID and its backers have applied a double standard, insisting on dialogue abroad whilst saying nothing about repression at home, in Saudi Arabia.

In this specific case, the centre responded by condemning all forms of violence, but did not say anything specific about Badawi.

It is unclear whether the Austrian authorities will close the centre or only withdraw their financial support.

Last November, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Sako, held a conference at the centre, asking Muslim authorities to condemn violence against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq.

In his address, the patriarch also criticised Muslim leaders for their excessive “silence”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

The Secret World of ISIS Training Camps — Ruled by Sacred Texts and the Sword

Little is known about what goes on inside training camps run by Isis in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria — particularly its religious component. The Isis ideology is generally viewed as identical to al-Qaida’s or the Saudi version of Salafism — adherence to fundamental Islamic tenets — and so there does not seem to be a serious effort to study it more closely. There is also a tendency to play down the role of religious ideology as a recruitment tool, since the motives of many Isis members have little to do with religion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Myanmar: Burmese Army Rapes, Tortures and Kills Two Christian Kachin Teachers

The violence took place in the village of Shabuk-Kaunghka, Shan State. In their 20s, the two teaching volunteers had come to the village to provide education to locals. Revenge for clashes between regular army units and rebels appears to be the reason for the incident. Burma’s Churches condemn the crime, noting the work Christian volunteers do in the field of education.

Yangon (AsiaNews) — The Burmese army tortured, raped and killed two teaching volunteers from the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC). The violence took place on Monday in the village of Shabuk-Kaunghka, Mungbaw Township, Shan State (northeastern Myanmar).

According to preliminary reports, troops from a Light Infantry battalion were responsible for the violence, which occurred after Burmese army units and local rebels recently clashed in Kachin State. Soldiers tortured and gang-raped the two Christian teaching volunteers before brutally killing them out of revenge.

The two victims, both in their 20s, hailed from the village of Wine Maw, in Kachin State, northern Myanmar, an area where thousands of people continue to flee violence, attacked because of their ethnicity.

Their bodies have been brought to Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, where their funeral is set for tomorrow led by the KBC, which had sent the two women to a remote area in Shan State, to teach village children.

In many areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, there are few public school teachers. Christian associations, including Catholic ones, tend to fill the educational gap through relentless and tireless work of volunteers.

The Kachin Baptist community slammed the murder of its teachers, who sacrificed their lives to provide am education and a better life to people often forgotten by the authorities and the central government.

In a final farewell to the two young victims, hundreds of people gathered in prayer to honour their selfless work.

Meanwhile, local eyewitnesses said that the army has threatened people, warning them not to mention what happened or else their homes could be torched and destroyed.

On condition of anonymity, Kachin Christian sources told AsiaNews that Christian Churches have been involved in education in Burma “since the 19th century”.

Christian Volunteers “have never refused to go into remote areas, among the most marginalised people,” even when civil strife raged.

“Many sacrificed their lives for the mission,” the sources said, “but never before had two teachers been raped and killed.”

“Today local Churches suffered a great offence,” they added, “and have to raise their voice and demand greater protection.”

Myanmar is home to more than 135 ethnic groups, who have always had to struggle to find a peaceful modus vivendi, especially with the central government, which is dominated by majority ethnic Burmese.

In the past, the country’s military junta used an iron fist against the Shan and Kachin people, in their respective states, which are located on Myanmar’s northern border with China.

The latest round of fighting broke out in June 2011 after 17 years of relative calm with dozens of civilians casualties and at least 200,000 people forcibly displaced.

Last August, local bishops made an appeal for peace, calling for a lasting solution to the conflict.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

30 Filipino Police Commandos Killed in Clash With Rebels

MANILA, Philippines — More than 30 police commandos were killed in a clash with Muslim insurgents Sunday in the southern Philippines in the biggest single-day combat loss for Philippine forces in many years, officials said.

The commandos had entered the far-flung village of Tukanalipao at dawn looking for a top terror suspect, but had a “misencounter” with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other insurgents, Mayor Tahirudin Benzar Ampatuan of Mamasapano town told The Associated Press by telephone.

Other insurgents in the area later joined in fighting the outnumbered police forces, the mayor said.

The Moro group signed a peace deal with the government last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIL Hostage Murder: Japan’s New Foreign Policy Blamed

Japan’s new assertive foreign policy drive is being blamed for the ISIL hostage crisis.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing criticism that a recent Middle East visit may have been read as a sign of provocation by the Islamic State militant group.

Angry protesters gathered in Tokyo on Sunday night following the release of a video purportedly showing the killing of Haruna Yukawa, one of the two Japanese hostages taken captive in Syria.

“A picture that we believe shows the murder of Haruka Yukawa has been distributed. We are analysing the validity of this image and unfortunately at this point, we believe it is highly likely to be valid,” Abe told Japanese TV.

He said the hostage crisis was an “extremely painful situation”.

Attention is now focused on efforts to save the other hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Soccer: Chinese Magnate Janlin Buys 20% Atletico Madrid

China’s Wanda Group acquires stake in Atletico Madrid soccer club

(ANSAmed) — MADRID- Chinese magnate Wang Janlin, who owns the Wanda group and is considered one of China’s richest men, has bought a 20% stake in Atletico Madrid for 45 million euros.

The agreement, according to club sources quoted by Marca, was signed at a luxury hotel of the Chinese entrepreneur in Beijing by the president and managing director of the club, Enrique Cerezo and Miguel Angel Gil Marin, and by Zhang Lin, president of the cultural branch of the Wanda group, at the presence of Wang Jianlin.

The entrepreneur, who bought in March last year the historic building Espaa, in Plaza de Espaa in Madrid for 200 million euros, is listed by Forbes as the fourth richest man in China with an estimated fortune of 13.2 billion dollars. With his new position as stakeholder in the club of ‘colchoneros’, the position of managing director Miguel Angel Gil Marin will go down to 52% while president Cerezo will keep 20%.

The Chinese investor has signed a cooperation accord for the development of soccer in China, under the Project Wanda, which promotes soccer among Chinese children so they can play in the junior teams of Atletico Madrid.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Boko Haram Attacks Northeastern Nigerian City, Dozens Killed

In fierce fighting Sunday that killed more than 200 combatants, Nigerian troops clashed with Islamic extremists who attacked Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria, from three fronts.

At the same time the insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages some 125 miles to the south in Adamawa state, slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children, according to Vandu Kainu and other escaping survivors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Administration Intervened in Argentine Probe of Iranian Leader, Jewish Center Bombing

Special to

LONDON — The United States pressed Argentina to end its investigation of Iranian complicity in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in which nearly 100 people were killed.

Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama urged Argentina on several occasions to either stop or limit the investigation into the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires. The sources said the U.S. appeals marked one of the demands by Iran for a reconciliation with Washington.

“Argentina had hard evidence against at least one Iranian leader, which prevented him from traveling abroad,” a source said.

A key Iranian suspect was identified as Ali Akhbar Velayati, foreign minister from 1981 until 1987, and deemed close to supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Velayati has been on the official wanted list of Interpol since 2007 and a subject of an international arrest warrant by Argentina…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Forcing Diversity on Rural France

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced his solution to the problem of ghettos: spread the immigrants around in the rural areas!

A typical left-wing, socialist, republican, diabolical, “final solution” to the problem of those pesky Frenchmen who still live in safer areas of the country.

This is similar to our ingenious idea of “busing” pupils from bad areas into good schools in order to destroy the good schools, turn them into bad schools, and thus achieve the dream of equality!!!

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden’s First LGBT Pool Makes a Loud Splash

The first swimming pool in Sweden designed for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is making waves in the Swedish media, ahead of its official opening next week.

The public swimming pool, which is in the suburb of Sundbyberg, has created new changing rooms with individual cubicles, designed to be used by Stockholm’s gay and transgender community.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Christians in Muslim Lands. Blessed Are the Persecuted

“They are left alone and undefended like the Jews,” charges an authoritative rabbi. Under the illusion that this will facilitate peace with the Muslims. A survey of the situation described by an Israeli Jesuit expert

by Sandro Magister

ROME, January 20, 2015 — The journey of Pope Francis to Asia has left behind his memorable words on the massacres in Paris, when he demonstrated that he understood the violent reaction of those who see their faith insulted and derided: “If a friend uses a curse word against my mama, he’s going to get punched! It’s normal! It’s normal!”

These words of his echoed around the world and were music to the ears of much of the Muslim world, which sympathizes with the murder of the impious illustrators of “Charlie Hebdo.”…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2015


    Open Hearts, Open Borders Posted on January 9, 2015 by Tino

    Writing in American right magazine National Review about Swedish immigration policy, unfortunately, behind a pay wall. Open Hearts, Open Borders, Immigration Chaos brings down Sweden’s libertarian Right:
    …”Reinfeldt’s party, Moderaterna, once offered a more moderate immigration platform, but its libertarian wing has since gained control of immigration policy. The party has now followed its open-borders ideals to their logical conclusion. Reinfeldt himself appears to be a true believer in the libertarian open-borders ideology. In one speech to Middle Eastern immigrants, he declared that “the fundamentally Swedish is merely barbarism. The rest of development has come from abroad.”

    Following his defeat, Reinfeldt has become even more open-hearted in his political philosophy, raising eyebrows both in Sweden and abroad. In one widely ridiculed interview, dismissing the strains that record levels of immigration have put on the country’s economy and social fabric, he offered this analysis:

    What does the word “enough” mean? Is Sweden full? Is the Nordic region full? Are we too many people? We are 25 million people living in the North. I often fly over the Swedish countryside. I would recommend more people to do the same. There are endless fields and forests. There’s as much space as you can imagine. Those who claim that the country is full, they must demonstrate where it is full.

    Reinfeldt recently questioned the right of Sweden to enforce its borders, bizarrely suggesting that ethnic Swedes also tend to be recently arrived immigrants:

    What is Sweden as a country? Is this nation owned by those who have lived here for four generations, or by those who invent some borders? Or is this an open country made up of people who arrive here, in midlife, perhaps born in another country? And it is what they make of Sweden that is Sweden.

    For the record, Swedes who arrived four generations ago are trivially few. Sweden was historically an isolated country, hardly one recently populated by immigrants. The ancestors of most ethnic Swedes have lived there for hundreds or even thousands of years. Until recently, this indisputable fact made it difficult even for Marxists to question the moral legitimacy of Sweden and its borders. Today, elderly Swedes who literally participated in building the country are forced to listen to the political leader of the Right deny their historical legitimacy. As a Kurd, I am particularly sensitive to attempts to use revisionist history to delegitimize a people.

    The bipartisan consensus on immigration in Sweden did not produce successful policy. The ironclad cartel merely allowed the elite to override the marketplace of ideas and pursue a course that has so far proven disastrous. This holds lessons for Americans as well as for Swedes. The conservative establishment in the United States increasingly consists of “Davos men,” who identify more with elites in other countries than with domestic non-elites. Their interests and values increasingly differ from those of the people who have delegated power to them and elevated them to office. This makes elite collusion a real danger to the popular legitimacy of the institutions of representative democracy, a problem that is not limited to the immigration issue.”

    • “Du gamla, du fria,….” You old, you free….. So go the words of the Swedish national anthem.
      But Sweden, according to former PM Reinfeldt is not old–only a few generations; and free? Hardly, it is actually being given away to so called ‘immigrant’ trash who have no work ethic and no intention to integrate, indeed their intention is to impose their own barbaric religion and social mores on the Swedes, (and every other country they have infested) and if the Swedes don’t like it “they should be deported” according to a mouthy Pakistani woman, a member of the Swedish government, no less.
      Having travelled many times through the “endless fields and forests” of Sweden back when I lived in Norway in the ’50’s, I remember it as a very pleasant place with friendly honest people, but those memories are grossly at odds with the horrific accounts I’m now hearing from Göteborg, Stockholm and Malmö to name only three cities.
      I listened, slack-jawed, to the lunatic ramblings of Fredrik Reinfeldt and wondered how this country, the land of Nobel, Strindberg, Linnaeus, ABBA and so many others could possibly install this unspeakably stupid man as Prime Minister, and last December actually vote for more of the same!
      But then Europe follows, Sweden is just perhaps the worst.

  2. “The Parisian extremists who murdered 17 people in a series of attacks including the Charlie Hebdo massacre should not be called ‘terrorists’, a senior BBC executive has said. Tarik Kafala, who runs BBC Arabic, said the term ‘terrorist’ was too ‘loaded’ and ‘value-laden’ to describe Said and Cherif Kouachi and their accomplice Amedy Coulibaly. ” Read more:
    Something tells me if we are ever going to emerge from government imposed Compulsory Muslim its going to take very powerful communication that is not of the BBC or PC kind.

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