Revista de prensa | 24/04/2015



EU raises refugee rescue budget


The EU heads of state and government agreed on Thursday to triple the funds for search and rescue operations to nine million euros per month, and to crack down on human smugglers in the Mediterranean. The traffickers are in for hard times, some commentators note. But if refugees drown it's not the fault of smugglers but of the EU's isolationist policy, others argue.

taz - Alemania

Smugglers aren't the real enemy

Military operations against smugglers won't stem the flow of people trying to cross the Mediterranean, the left-leaning daily taz writes: "Smugglers obey the law of demand and supply. The demand for crossings to Europe is great - and because the EU is increasingly limiting the possibilities to do this the smugglers' black market is thriving. ... People will keep on fleeing as long as that's their only chance for a future. Humanitarian visas that open up legal channels to the EU would take away the smuggler's business base so that their market shrinks. That would be a more sensible investment than putting the resources into Frontex. The EU is ostensibly interested in stopping the smugglers, but its real enemy remains the refugees. To talk of rescue in this context is cynical: the refugees aren't dying because of the smugglers but because of the EU's increasingly militarised isolationist policy." (24/04/2015)

Der Standard - Austria

Nothing new in refugee policy

Aside from the willingness to support the transit states and the countries of origin almost nothing new came out of the special summit, the left-liberal daily Der Standard complains: "In the context of millions of people who have had to flee their homes, the idea of coordinating the distribution of asylum seekers in the 28 member states in a 'pilot project' sounds almost like a mockery. It's not without reason that the UN yesterday called on Europe to accept more refugees. The only thing the leaders could really agree on was that no further refugees should drown in the Mediterranean. Organised smugglers who demand thousands of euros from would-be migrants before sending them to their deaths are in for hard times. And that's a good thing. Some countries want to provide military help in tracking them down. But aside from that, everything will remain pretty much the same." (24/04/2015)

La Stampa - Italia

EU remains hostage to national interests

As with the euro crisis the EU remains hostage to national interests, the liberal daily La Stampa laments in view of the results of the special summit on refugee policy: "Once again Europe has agreed, under the pressure of a tragedy, on limited measures instead of sweeping reform. But without the horror of the drowned migrants breathing down their backs the governments of the individual EU states wouldn't have agreed on anything. They would have gone on as usual, shirking their responsibility and passing it on to others. The problems of the Union are all down to this vacillation between inaction and belated or inadequate intervention. An intervention that also creates new problems instead of improving the situation. That's how it was with the euro crisis and that's how it is in the Ukraine crisis. And the EU is now reacting in the same way to the overcrowded refugee boats that are sinking in the Mediterranean." (24/04/2015)

Večernji List - Croacia

Europe must not make compromises

Europe continues to avoid taking clear decisions on the refugee issue, the conservative daily Večernji List criticises: "We have to decide on a basic, radical solution. Either we follow the advice of Pope Francis and become radical Christians, show solidarity, take in refugees and share what we have with them unconditionally. Or we isolate ourselves and erect walls of barbed wire, as the US has done to Mexico and Israel to Palestine. If we take the latter approach, the European values that have prevailed until now will have to be redefined. But there is no third path. All compromises between these extremes will only wash up thousands of corpses on our shores." (24/04/2015)


Lidové noviny Blog - La República Checa

Don't take criticism of Ankara too far

The mass murder of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was without doubt genocide, but unlike with the Holocaust, making its denial a punishable offence makes no sense, the conservative daily Lidové noviny believes: "The Holocaust was prepared ideologically. The Nuremberg Laws defined the scope of the victims. After that came the expropriation of the Jews and the Night of Broken Glass. Then after the 'final solution' was agreed on in Wannsee, it was carried out bureaucratically and on an industrial level. No other genocide is comparable. ... With all due respect for the millions of victims of the Armenian genocide, the victims of the Khmer Rouge and the murdered Tutsis, unlike the Jews these groups are no longer specifically targeted. ... And despite all the criticism of Turkey, this state no longer represents an existential threat for the Armenians. ... We can demand of Turkey that it works through and deals with the murders committed 100 years ago - including in its schoolbooks. But it would be going too far to demand that denying the Armenian genocide be made a punishable offence like denying Auschwitz." (24/04/2015)

Libération - Francia

Genocide highlights danger of nationalism

French President François Hollande will take part in the commemorative ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide in the Armenian capital Yerevan. The ceremony should also send a political message, the left-liberal daily Libération comments: "The history of the ethnic massacres committed under the leadership of the Young Turks starting in 1915 - the first genocide of the century - shows once again the historic threat posed by an ideology that is undergoing a renaissance in the Europe of 2015: nationalism. When Enver Pasha and his accomplices in crime replaced the multicultural Ottoman Empire with a nationalist Turkish vision, the Armenians were quickly identified as a foreign body, ostracised and subjected to cruel torture, just as the Jews of Europe and the Tutsis of Rwanda would be in entirely different circumstances. Fanaticism about national identity leads to the worst possible consequences. This lesson of history must remain firmly in the minds of Europeans." (23/04/2015)

The Daily Mail - Gran Bretaña

British parties silent on EU and immigration

The UK's general election takes place in just two weeks' time yet all of the parties without exception have avoided the most biggest issues, the EU and immigration, the conservative Daily Mail criticises: "The unaccountable, unelected, fraud-ridden EU - which makes a mockery of our right to rule ourselves, continues to strangle businesses with red-tape, wastes billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and prevents us from controlling our borders - has been totally ignored. And, of course, most egregiously, immigration - the subject that dare not speak its name, but which, for years, has topped the electorate's list of concerns - has been all but air-brushed from the election." (23/04/2015)

Gość Niedzielny - Polonia

Warsaw obeys Juncker

Poland approved an eight billion euro contribution to the EU investment fund EFSI on Tuesday. The money comes from the very state funding institutions that will manage the money, which has been earmarked for projects in Poland. Why is the distribution of these funds so complicated? asks Stefan Sękowski of the Catholic web portal Gość Niedzielny: "These institutions are supposed to promote the Polish economy anyway. That's what they're there for. ... So what's this all about? No one really knows. But something tells me that it's mainly about pinning the blame on EFIS if things go wrong. Another explanation could be that Poland was simply trying to cosy up to Brussels by backing an idea by Juncker, who is kind of the 'prime minister of the Union'. This second option actually seems more likely in view of the Polish government's stance." (24/04/2015)

Delo - Eslovenia

Everyone loses out in the Patria case

Slovenia's constitutional court has ruled that the trial over the purchase of Finnish Patria tanks is to be reopened. The court has repealed the verdicts that found ex-prime minister and two other defendants guilty of bribery on the grounds that the evidence used in the trial wasn't clear enough. The left-liberal daily Delo fears that the case will never be resolved: "The Patria case has always been polemic. This ruling by the constitutional court won't change that. The case still hasn't been concluded after ten years. It was complicated, but it shouldn't have come to this. In the end the worst will happen: the case will come under the statute of limitations. The three defendants won't be able to prove that they didn't act corruptly. The judiciary won't be able to prove that they did. That means there'll be no winners here." (24/04/2015)

Deutsche Welle - Bulgaria

EU monitoring good for Bulgaria

The Bulgarian MEPs of the ruling conservative party Gerb and the socialist BSP are pushing in the EU Parliament for the EU's monitoring of their country to be abolished. Bulgaria needs monitoring precisely because its politicians don't like it, the Bulgarian service of Germany international broadcaster Deutsche Welle counters: "These MEPs are representatives of the parties that bear most of the blame for Bulgaria's dreadful situation. The fact that the monitoring bothers them and that they describe it as 'ineffective' shows that it serves to foil their plans, and that's the way it should be. The monitoring process is not in their interest but in that of Bulgarian society, and therefore should even be intensified." (23/04/2015)


Berlingske - Dinamarca

Fight against Google and Gazprom justified

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager is right to challenge the monopoly positions of Google and Gazprom in Europe, the conservative daily Berlingske applauds: "This struggle is currently one of the most important in Europe. The EU's decision to liberalise the energy market must be backed. However we must not tolerate the Russian power game in which one country is played off against another. It is essential for free competition and the principles on which the EU and the single market are built that the formation of monopolies and the abuse of a dominant position are countered. For that reason the Commission must also ensure that sufficient resources and personnel are made available to demonstrate authority." (24/04/2015)

Lietuvos Žinios - Lituania

Putin ignoring Russia's economic crisis

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev admitted on Tuesday before the Russian parliament that the country's economy is in a worse state than ever before. Vladimir Putin, however, refuses to acknowledge this, political analyst Vytautas Dumbliauskas notes with concern in the conservative daily Lietuvos žinios: "Medvedev said things that completely contradicted what the president said [on April 16 in a televised call-in session]. The prime minister has thus pretty much dismissed Putin's economic optimism. According to Medvedev the crisis is a major one and by no means short term. ... He named the price the country has already paid for Crimea and added that there's still a lot to come for Russia on that count. ... Putin, however, still won't listen to these warnings. He's probably obsessed with the idea of forcing the leaders of the West to sit down at the negotiating table and divide the world into spheres of influence - like the Yalta and Potsdam agreements did." (24/04/2015)

The Irish Times - Irlanda

Airline mergers stifle competition

Ireland's government has been negotiating with the International Airlines Group (IAG) for several weeks over the sale of its shares in the state-run airline Aer Lingus. The mergers in Europe's aviation industry are detrimental to consumers, the left-liberal daily The Irish Times warns: "In a worst case scenario, the ongoing consolidation of the European airline market has the potential to create three regional monopolies, with the Lufthansa group taking the east, Air France/KLM taking the centre and IAG taking the western coastal European market. ... EU lawmakers need to revisit European competition law to ensure it is robust enough to deal with the new market situation emerging and, where necessary, update the law to make it fit for purpose and then strongly enforce it to keep the aviation market open to real competition." (23/04/2015)


Diena - Letonia

Don't lump all Russians together on May 9

The celebrations on May 9 marking the anniversary of the end of World War II remain controversial in Latvia. Every year hundreds of Russians celebrate the liberation from National Socialism while for Latvians the day marks the start of a second occupation. But this year in particular they should display level-headedness and tolerance, the liberal daily Diena advises: "Latvians must finally adopt a rational approach and refrain from lumping all Russians together on May 9. There are Russians who can't stand Latvia, and who demonstrate an occupation mentality on that day. But there are also Russians who get together on May 9 to celebrate the end of the war and feel a sense of community. It's up to the security forces, not the civil population, to deal with the former. And to criticise the latter for taking part in the celebrations on the grounds that they're making a show of their affiliation with the 'occupiers' is simply wrong. The geopolitical situation today is so tense that we can't allow ourselves to deepen the rift." (23/04/2015)

De Telegraaf - Holanda

Disrespectful treatment of MH17 victims

A Dutch pathologist working with the team identifying the victims of flight MH17 was fired on Thursday after showing photographs of the dead at a public lecture. That doesn't go far enough, the centre-right daily De Telegraaf writes: "Even behind closed doors and within the close circle of experts this photographic material shouldn't be used. Arguing that the body parts shown weren't recognisable is a cheap excuse. The whole affair is made worse by the fact that the relatives of the victims weren't informed. As long as the investigation continues and the identification process isn't concluded these pictures shouldn't be shown at any meetings or lectures. ... The relatives are right to be angry and shocked at the lack of respect with which state agencies are handling this extremely sensitive material." (24/04/2015)

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