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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 2 August 2010

The global reach of neo-Nazis

From Israel to India, Taiwan and Chile … far-right groups are spreading

Israel In 2008, four suspects were charged with neo-Nazi activities. They were members of a gang called Patrol 35 which targeted other minorities and desecrated synagogues. Some of the gang were Soviet immigrants who refused to accept their Jewish ancestry.

Chile Patria Nueva Sociedad (New Fatherland Society) is a well-organised neo-Nazi group in Chile. Its leaders claim to adhere to Nazi economic and labour principles but say the group is against xenophobia, racism and discrimination.

Russia Neo-Nazi gangs such as the White Wolves have resorted to lethal violence to get across their message of white supremacy. Gang members were jailed this year after several central Asian migrants were attacked and killed in Moscow's back streets.

Taiwan In 2007 university students formed the National Socialism Association. The group claimed to have 800 members and a spokesperson said: "We want to study Hitler's good points, not study his massacres."

India A growing trend for Hitler memorabilia in India has caused shock. One publisher claims to have sold more than 100,000 copies of Mein Kampf (left) to Indians in the last 10 years. Some Indians have claimed to be inspired by Hitler's "discipline and patriotism".

The Guardian


A minority VVD CDA cabinet supported by the PVV will give the anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders a lot of influence on government policy, academics and politicians say in Saturday's NRC. The three party leaders are expected to start talks next week on drawing up right-wing policy which the PVV will support from outside government. Wilders has already said he will continue to speak his mind about Islam and expects tough policy on integration, immigration and public safety in return for his backing.

Wim Voermans, professor of constitutional law at the University of Leiden said the PVV has everything to gain with a minority cabinet. 'Wilders wins a lot of time. He lets it be seen that he wants to take responsibility for government,' Voermans told the NRC. 'But he can always walk away and say 'they really don't want me. I have done everything I could.' And politicial scientist Marcel Boogers said the VVD and CDA will be very dependent on the PVV which will have a disproportionate influence on the cabinet. 'Wilders does not have to supply any ministers and get his hands dirty but he can hold hostage and blackmail the VVD and CDA,' Boogers said. A minority VVD and CDA cabinet which looks for support from different parties depending on the policy would be a preferable option, he said.

MPs are concerned as well. 'Wilders will not be in the cabinet, but he will be the real prime minister,' said Labour MP Sharon Dijksma. 'Wilders has got Verhagen and Rutte on a lead. He doesn't carry the risk of the talks collapsing but has all the power,' said Boris van Ham of the D66 Liberal party. André Rouvoet, deputy prime minister in the outgoing government and leader of the orthodox ChristenUnie, was blunt. 'If Wilders' preference really is for a minority government, that would seem to me to be every reason not to do it,' he told the paper.

Dutch News


The European Union was today accused of "turning a blind eye" as countries across Europe carried out a wave of expulsions and introduced new legislation targeting the Roma. Human rights groups criticised the EU for failing to address the real issues driving Europe's largest ethnic minority to migrate in the first place and for choosing not to upbraid countries for breaking both domestic and EU laws in their treatment of them. The criticism came after France announced it would round up and expel illegal Roma immigrants and destroy hundreds of their encampments. Elsewhere, it emerged that the city of Copenhagen had requested Danish government assistance to deport up to 400 Roma, and that Swedish police had expelled Roma in breach of its own and EU laws. In Belgium a caravan of 700 Roma has been chased out of Flanders and forced to set up camp in French-speaking Wallonia in the south. Italy, which in 2008 declared a state of emergency due to the presence of Roma, and evicted thousands of them, mainly to Romania and Bulgaria, is continuing to implement the policy to this day. Germany is in the process of repatriating thousands of Roma children and adolescents to Kosovo, despite warnings they will face discrimination, appalling living conditions, lack of access to education as well as language problems, because many of them were born in Germany and do not speak Serbian or Albanian.

In eastern European countries that are EU members, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, accounts are rife of widespread discrimination against Roma, including physical attacks. Amnesty International said the EU had "turned a blind eye" to what it called a "serious breach of human rights" towards Europe's Roma, who are roughly estimated to number about 16 million. "There is a clear and systemic programme of EU governments targeting Roma," said Anneliese Baldaccini, a lawyer at Amnesty's EU office. The Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), which monitors the situation of Roma in Europe, called on the EU to be "much more forthright" in pointing out to member states "the clear requirements of the free movement law". "Poverty, discrimination and a whole host of things make life unbearable for Roma in their countries of origin," said the ERRC's executive director, Robert Kushen. "We would welcome strong EU involvement to address some of these issues," he said.

The campaign groups were responding to the European Commission's insistence this week that the issue was one for individual states to handle. "When it comes to Roma and the possibility of expelling them, this is up to the member states to deal with – in this case France – and for them to decide how they are going to implement the law," said Matthew Newman, spokesman for the European justice commissioner, Viviane Reding. French president Nicholas Sarkozy was this week accused of pursuing a "xenophobic" and "discriminatory" crackdown on the country's 400,000 Travellers, Gypsies and Roma – most of whom have French citizenship. Interior minister Brice Hortefeux announced new measures including the dismantling of about 300 encampments and the "quasi-immediate" expulsion to Romania or Bulgaria of Roma with a criminal record.

Amnesty said the EU should penalise countries that have persistently failed to uphold the human rights of Roma. Among the harshest measures applicable under the charter of fundamental rights that came into force with the Lisbon treaty last year is the withdrawal of voting rights, or even expulsion from the union. "The EU under the Lisbon Treaty...has the responsibility to address human rights within the 27 member states," said Amnesty's executive officer for legal affairs in the European Union, Susanna Mehtonen. Campaign groups say the EU's failure to intervene calls into question its commitment to the Charter of Fundamental Rights that came into force with the passage of the Lisbon Treaty last year, and was heralded as a "new dawn" for human rights in Europe. They have accused Brussels of cowardice when it comes to the Roma. While the commission has no competence to defend gay rights, either, it has frequently been ready to criticise homophobic legislation in eastern Europe – largely, it is believed, because gay rights are well established in western European countries, unlike the rights of Roma.



The Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Alliance agreed to form a government with the support of the  anti-immigrant Freedom Party, creating the Netherlands’ first minority Cabinet since World War II. The “parties accept each other’s differing opinions” on the characterization of Islam, the parties said in a joint statement. “However, there’s a lot of common ground: making the Netherlands stronger, safer and wealthier is a common goal and starting point.” The three parties said the Freedom Party will support parts of a government agreement to be negotiated between the Liberal Party, or VVD, and the Christian Democratic Alliance, or CDA, while the latter two take into account wishes of the Freedom Party. The “willingness” of the Freedom Party, or PVV, to support budget cuts will be linked to agreements on issues including immigration, integration and public safety, the parties said. It took six weeks and three rounds of talks to reach the agreement following the June 9 election. The Liberal Party and Christian Democrats, with a combined 52 seats in the lower house of parliament, will rely on the Freedom Party’s 24 lawmakers to gain the smallest possible majority in the 150-seat parliament.

“We’ve concluded we see possibilities for a government with CDA and VVD with support from the PVV,” Liberal Party leader Mark Rutte told reporters in The Hague. The coalition will offer power for the Freedom Party, whose representation more than doubled in the elections, and the Christian Democrats of outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who lost half their support. “It may work out,” said Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party, which seeks to ban new mosques, curb immigration, cut development aid and reduce European Union influence. “The negotiations are yet to start, but if it does work, that would be great for the Netherlands. I am very happy this offers chances in the Netherlands to make political cooperation happen on the right side,” he told reporters in The Hague. Wilders, 47, receives police protection around the clock and faces trial in the Netherlands on charges of inciting hatred in his 2008 film “Fitna,” in which he calls on Muslims to rip out “hate-preaching” verses from the Koran.

Austerity measures are the most important issue on political leaders’ agenda, with the Netherlands, the fifth- largest economy in the euro region, needing to narrow its budget deficit from a forecast 6.3 percent of gross domestic product this year to 3 percent by 2013 to meet EU rules. Wilders’ Freedom Party will support an 18 billion-euro ($23 billion) cut in the government budget, Dutch public broadcaster NOS quoted him as saying on its website. Queen Beatrix last week asked Ruud Lubbers, a three-time prime minister, to broker talks among the parties to form a coalition backed by a majority in parliament following the election. Lubbers will speak with leaders of the other political parties on Aug. 2 before reporting back to the Queen on the proposed minority Cabinet, the government information service said in an e-mailed statement. Yesterday’s agreement is “surprising in the sense that Lubbers was asked to investigate the possibilities of forming a majority Cabinet,” Labor Party leader Job Cohen told NOS radio. “Our country needs a stable majority Cabinet in this difficult economic situation.” The Queen’s adviser should consider other majority backed options first, in accordance with his task, Cohen said.



Newspapers report today (Fri) that the former FPÖ MP disagreed with the party’s decision to team up with  former members of the Carinthian department of the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). Hundreds of BZÖ Carinthia members formed the Carinthian Freedom Party (FPK) earlier this year. The new group now cooperates with the FPÖ on a federal level. Scrinzi, 92, is considered an influential spearhead of far-right movements in Austria. The former member of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) has caused controversy with statements proving his extremist mindset for decades. His surprising retirement as honorary chairman of the FPÖ – which garnered 17.5 per cent in the 2008 general election – is expected to worsen the volatile situation the party is currently in.

Things have not gone too well for the third-strongest party in the federal parliament so far this year. Leader Heinz-Christian Strache has come under fire from several high-ranking FPÖ officials for nominating Barbara Rosenkranz as the party’s presidential candidate. The ultra-conservative mother-of-ten garnered a paltry 15 per cent of the overall vote in the April ballot won by incumbent President Heinz Fischer, a former Social Democratic (SPÖ) president of the federal parliament. Political analysts claimed ahead of the election the FPÖ would have fared better nominating Strache as such a step would have helped it to increase in popularity despite his non-existent chances of winning the election.

Rumour has it that Strache actually opposed the nomination of Rosenkranz, but was pressed by influential party board members to pick her. It will be a "make or break" autumn for the party headed by late BZÖ founder Jörg Haider as Styrians (26 September) and Viennese (10 October) head to the polls. The FPÖ is expected to gain in both ballots after poor showings in the 2005 provincial elections which took place months after its federal ministers left to join Haider’s new party. Strache admitted wanting to become mayor of Vienna someday, with the federal chancellorship to follow. Election experts have however claimed the FPÖ might do less well than expected in upcoming elections if it continues to focus solely on aggressive campaigning against "criminal immigrants".

Austrian Times

Sarkozy accused of pandering to far-right (france)

The French opposition has accused president Nicolas Sarkozy of abandoning republican principles and pandering to the far-right after he used a major speech to make a link between immigration and crime.

Mr Sarkozy’s strongly-worded speech last Friday in Grenoble, where riots broke out last month after a suspected armed robber was killed by police during a shoot-out, was marked by tough rhetoric and proposals that have provoked fury on the left.

Speaking of a “war” against criminality, the president suggested that French citizenship should be withdrawn from anyone of foreign origin who threatened the life of a police officer.

He also called for longer prison sentences for violent crimes and a law to allow for electronic tags to be automatically applied to repeat offenders for several years after their release from jail.

In breaking a mainstream taboo by drawing a connection between crime and immigration, Mr Sarkozy was accused of appealing to far-right National Front (FN) voters and trying to distract the public from the government’s problems.

Socialist party leader Martine Aubry said Mr Sarkozy’s comments represented “one further step in rhetorical excess” and “an anti-republican drift which damages France and its values”.

She suggested the government’s toughening language was the result of “panic” over its failures on economic and social policy as well as on crime. Mr Sarkozy’s approval ratings, at 32 per cent, are near their lowest level since he became president in 2007.

“Mr Le Pen and his daughter need no longer say a thing – their double is speaking for them,” said the prominent Green Party figure Noël Mamère, referring to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the FN, and his daughter Marine.

Socialist Pierre Moscovici said Mr Sarkozy, by dividing Frenchmen into different categories, was “killing the Republican sentiment”, while the Human Rights League said the “nauseating” debate evoked the worst refrains in French history, “those of the 1930s, aimed at stirring up hatred against foreigners.”

For her part, Marine Le Pen said the president had “officially confirmed” that there was a criminal element among some groups of immigrants, “a truth the FN has been persecuted for saying for three decades”.

Just days before his speech in Grenoble, Mr Sarkozy – who made his national reputation as a tough interior minister – called for a change to France’s immigration laws to make it easier to expel members of the Roma community who were in France illegally. He has said hundreds of illegal encampments will be dismantled by police over the coming months.

Faced with uproar from the left, however, interior minister Brice Hortefeux yesterday stood firmly behind the president’s speech.

In an interview with Le Parisien , Mr Hortefeux suggested the government could go further than Mr Sarkozy suggested by withdrawing citizenship from French men of foreign origin who commit crimes other than threatening a police officer.

The minister brushed off the criticism, saying: “When we must adapt to or confront new difficulties, we don’t hesitate to do so. We’re waging a war against insecurity. We’re on the side of the victims and we have but a single enemy: the crooks who make honest people’s lives a misery.”

Irish Times