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24 Chasa - Bulgaria | 23/11/2015

Border controls won't save us from enemy within

At their meeting in Brussels on Friday the EU interior and justice ministers agreed on a counterterrorism package that includes tighter controls on the EU's external borders, also for EU citizens. The daily 24 Chasa doubts the measures will help: "Are we seriously supposed to believe that this will discourage the terrorists? As we saw after the attacks in Paris, many of them had legitimate French and Belgian passports. They were citizens of Schengen countries! The problem of the rich EU countries isn't the open borders. The problem is that for the last few decades they have been letting in migrant workers from Islamic countries without sufficient controls. Clearly they haven't been able to integrate them properly." (23/11/2015)

L'Orient le Jour - Lebanon | 21/11/2015

Global perspectives: Books rather than bombs against terror

The reactions to the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut should not be limited to military measures, the Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour writes: "Fighting the IS is good. Stopping it from growing larger is better. Giving reasons to live to those who let themselves be persuaded that the best thing to do is kill themselves is better still. The combined defence budgets of the top ten world powers amount to more than one trillion dollars per year. That's a 1 followed by twelve zeros. And, as the laureate of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace [Kailash Satyarthi] so fittingly put it, what if we invest part of this budget into parachuting books instead of weapons? Deploy teachers rather than soldiers? What if, instead of creating more orphans, we tried to find families for those who have lost everything? And what if, instead of playing the sorcerer's apprentice and letting the broom do all the cleaning, we finally decide to clean things up ourselves? (21/11/2015)

Avvenire - Italy | 24/11/2015

Dangers of drone war underestimated

Four former US Air Force drone pilots have written an open letter to US President Obama, the US secretary of defence and the CIA chief warning that drone wars promote the recruitment of new terrorists and destabilise the world. The use of drones is counterproductive, the Catholic daily Avvenire concurs: "In addition to armed conflict, war strategy has always been also about conquering hearts and minds. In other words, those waging the war have always relied on communication and in many cases on propaganda to show their motivation in the conflict in a positive light, hoping that this will secure them the population's support. But the use of drones, which dehumanises the already brutal practice of war, is currently making it very difficult to conquer hearts and minds." (24/11/2015)

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 24/11/2015

Anti-IS alliance could pull Nato apart

The collaboration between Paris and Moscow in the fight against the IS in Syria could pose major problems for the Nato alliance, the conservative-liberal daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments: "The most recent developments could be the acid test for Nato, particularly if Washington and Ankara pursue contradictory alliance policies or if France moves too close to Russia for its partners' liking. The Eastern European Nato states in particular are critical of close collaboration with Moscow. The annexation of Crimea is still a fact, as is the occupation of other areas in Ukraine by Russian-supported rebels." (24/11/2015)

Le Temps - Switzerland | 20/11/2015

No alternative to Merkel's clout in Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in power for ten years as of Sunday. Although the chancellor has repeatedly come under fire for her leading role in Europe, Germany's position of strength is above all due to the weakness of its European partners, the liberal daily Le Temps believes: "It's not because it's obsessed with power that Germany has taken the initiative, but by default. Berlin's European partners urged it to shoulder added responsibilities long ago. Now Germany is doing just that - simply because it has no choice: it's the only power in a position to act. France has been stagnating for too long, Britain is distancing itself, Italy is divided, Poland is applying the brakes, Spain is falling apart. ... Germany's power is to a certain extent the result of the weakness of its neighbours. And that is why Angela Merkel will increasingly have to take on the role of Europe's leader." (20/11/2015)

Jyllands-Posten - Denmark | 23/11/2015

Danes should vote for more EU cooperation

On December 3 the Danes will vote in a referendum on whether the country should abandon its opt-out on European Union justice rules. Denmark negotiated four such opt-outs with the EU several years ago. The liberal daily Jyllands-Posten recommends voting for the opt-out to be scrapped: "Developments have shown that the Danish opt-out on EU justice rules doesn't make sense because it is cumbersome and limits our influence in this area. … When one opts for international cooperation there are always certain tensions one would like to dispel. The same applies for cooperation on justice in the EU and being a member of Europol. Not all aspects of such cooperation are attractive. But regardless of which way the EU goes in other areas it's clear that crime is increasingly transcending national borders. … A yes on December 3 is the most sensible response." (23/11/2015)

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | 23/11/2015

Protest against PiS revives democracy movement

In protest against the country's new national-conservative PiS government, a Polish IT expert has founded a virtual committee on Facebook for the defence of democracy. By Sunday the group already had 25,000 members. The liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza is delighted: "This is a sign that our society's immune system still functions. The last elections saw protests and the founding of anti-system parties because the government, politicians and state had done too little. And now the immune system is reacting to the excess of power created by the PiS. True, this isn't a mass movement, however the resistance is very active - as always in Poland. Our society's democratic movements have gone to sleep in recent years, but now they are reawakening." (23/11/2015)

La Tribune - France | 20/11/2015

How France can end the terror

France can't win the war against terrorism with air strikes against IS positions in Syria, the liberal daily La Tribune argues: "The war can be stopped if we can prevent what the IS wants, namely the 'Lebanonisation' of French society and a civil war in our cities and our suburbs waged falsely in the name of Islam. We can win the war if we can solve the problems that induce radicalised French 20-year-olds to shoot at other French citizens without regard for their age, sex or origin and to hate everything that makes our society what it is: our secular, open and cosmopolitan integration model, our free and tolerant way of life, our bars, our bistros, our concert halls and stadiums. This is not a war between civilisations but a war for civilisation. Which is why it is a good thing that the COP21 [climate conference] in Paris has not been cancelled." (20/11/2015)

Večer - Slovenia | 21/11/2015

"Mini Schengen" and other signs of decay

In view of the refugee crisis the Dutch government has called for the creation of a "mini Schengen" zone in which passport-free travel would only be possible in a core group made up of the Benelux countries, Germany and Austria. The process of crumbling European solidarity is unstoppable, the liberal daily Večer fears: "The next serious escalation of the situation that Europe's elite fails to bring under control will trigger a serious discussion about a mini Schengen. Behind closed doors the discussions have already begun - as have the discussions about a mini Eurozone without problematic member states. These debates must be taken seriously because the EU has been stumbling from one crisis to the next for seven years now and each new crisis is worse than the last." (21/11/2015)

Deutschlandfunk - Germany | 22/11/2015

Blackout in Crimea highlights instability

Much of Crimea was left without electricity on Sunday when several transmission towers were blown up. According to russian news reports, Ukrainian nationalists and Crimean Tartars carried out the attacks. The blackout puts a spotlight on instability in the region, the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk writes: "President Poroshenko is treading on increasingly thin ice. ... Radical groups believe they have the right to take matters into their own hands. In their eyes Poroshenko's strategy of negotiating a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Russia has failed. ... But when the lights went out on the peninsula last night, it also put a spotlight on Russia's annexation of Crimea. In one and a half years Moscow has still not managed to make the peninsula independent from the Ukrainian mainland, even though it had promised the inhabitants of Crimea that it would do just that." (22/11/2015)

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