Przegląd prasy | 02/03/2015



Mourning over death of Kremlin critic Nemtsov


Following the murder of Boris Nemtsov tens of thousands took part in a march in memory of the Russian opposition politician in Moscow on Sunday. The Kremlin critic was shot dead in the centre of Moscow on Friday. Commentators write that Putin is morally responsible for Nemtsov's murder and see hopes of a democratic future for Russia fading.

Tages-Anzeiger - Szwajcaria

Killing buries opposition's hopes

The last hopes for change in Russia have died along with Boris Nemtsov, the left-liberal daily Tages-Anzeiger writes commenting on Sunday's rally: "The demonstrators didn't want to be intimidated by the mind control of the Putin regime. But their chants proposed no solutions or demands. Rather, the march had an air of overwhelming sadness to it. Not only because it was a commemoration march for Nemtsov, but also because many demonstrators have had to bury their hopes that Russia would change somewhat for the better in the years to come. Many elderly people were among the demonstrators, people who after the fall of the Soviet Union believed that Russia was facing a new, free and more democratic future. For them, the once aspiring young politician Nemtsov was a beacon of hope until the end. His death now confirms what they've known for a long time: there is no alternative for Russia." (02/03/2015)

Polityka Online - Polska

Putin morally responsible

Russian President Vladimir Putin may not have ordered Nemtsov's murder but he bears moral responsibility for it because a human life means nothing to him, Adam Szostkiewicz writes in the left-liberal portal Polityka Online: "Putin's command echelon has ignored the statements made by Western politicians and media about the crime. And the majority of Russians who support Putin have heard nothing about them because they don't speak any Western languages. Moreover they're not interested in what people in the West believe. They live in their Russian world and aren't scared by any crimes - like Putin himself. ... I don't believe that the Kremlin directly ordered Nemtsov's execution. But Putin's style of ruling has created the climate that makes a crime like this possible." (02/03/2015)

Lidové noviny - Czechy

Russians should follow Nemtsov's example

Placards with the words "Je suis Boris - we are all Nemtsov" have been placed at the scene of the crime in Moscow. But there is little evidence of this in today's Russia, the conservative daily Lidové noviny writes: "This statement is a huge exaggeration. If every Russian were indeed a Boris Nemtsov the country would be very different from what it is now. Because then the Russians would have to start thinking about how to change the country. They would have to reflect on the roots of the current crisis - on the sanctions, the capital flights and on 'Putin's senseless aggression against Ukraine'. That was how Nemtsov put it in his last interview a few hours before he was murdered. In Russia not very many people agree with this view, never mind everybody." (02/03/2015)

The Sunday Times - Wielka Brytania

Light may never be shed on the murder

Like the murders of other Russian critics of the Kremlin the killing of Boris Nemtsov will never be solved, the conservative Sunday Times fears: "President Putin has said he will take personal control of the investigation into the murder of one of his bravest and most persuasive political enemies, which is like putting a fox in charge of the chicken coop. The head of the country's investigations committee is already steering the inquiry away from any Kremlin involvement by saying the motive may have been to destabilise Russia. Mr Nemtsov was the kind of politician Russia needed, and still needs. ... Mr Nemtsov is dead; a brave man who deserved better. We may never know who pulled the trigger." (01/03/2015)

Der Standard - Austria

Kremlin turns on the propaganda machine

With its propaganda machinery the Kremlin is purposely distorting the background to the murder of Boris Nemtsov, the left-liberal daily Der Standard writes: "A large-scale disinformation campaign that includes the activation of hundreds of Twitter accounts programmed to repeat the same two sentences: 'Nemtsov was killed by the Ukrainians. He reportedly stole a Ukrainian guy's girlfriend.' As absurd as that may sound, the goal is not plausibility. As insiders revealed even before the Ukraine crisis started, the Kremlin's media strategy is to create a climate in which no one believes anything any more, in which people think anything is possible and are therefore open to crazy conspiracy theories, not just in Russia but also in the West." (02/03/2015)


Postimees - Estonia

Estonia's new government won't be stable

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas's Reform Party won Sunday's parliamentary elections, but failed to attain an absolute majority together with the Social Democratic Party. The Estonian Centre Party, popular among the country's Russian minority, has come in second. Forming a government won't be easy, the liberal daily Postimees predicts: "In view of the complex choreography of the upcoming coalition talks in the current international situation, Taavi Rõivas's victory seems an empty one, and it's entirely possible that the next government won't last four years. The formula for the next coalition is Reform Party + Free Party [in parliament for the first time] + X, with X most likely standing for the Social Democrats. Such a result was foreseeable in a political landscape in which the Reform Party and the Centre Party fight each other, but at the same time need each other for their power struggles." (02/03/2015)

Milliyet - Turcja

Peace process strengthens Kurdish party

The jailed head of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, has called on his supporters to put down their arms and set terms for a peace agreement. The HDP party, which has close ties with the Kurds, announced Öcalan's statement at a joint press conference with the governing AKP on Saturday. This step will help the HDP to enter parliament after this June's elections, the conservative daily Milliyet believes: "Since this weekend the HDP has a new image: as an opposition party that doesn't just complain but also gets results. The best example is the ten negotiation points announced on Saturday, followed by yesterday's statement that the party will seek several changes to the security package. With these moves the HDP has presented itself as a candidate that will not only address the Kurdish question, but will also do its utmost to seek solutions to the democratic problems in this country. ... With a clever election campaign and candidates who break with the party's image in the west of Turkey as a 'Kurdish party', the HDP will be able to clear the ten percent hurdle." (02/03/2015)

Novi List - Chorwacja

EU energy strategy hard to implement

The EU Commission presented its energy strategy last week. At last the Commission has recognised the key priorities, the left-liberal daily Novi List writes, but anticipates difficulties in the strategy's implementation: "Instead of concerning itself with the curve of the banana and the wattage of vacuum cleaners, the new Commission has decided to address strategic questions. ... However the energy question is of strategic importance for every single member country. And for that reason it's certain that every country will fight to retain control over energy decisions and refuse to cede partial energy sovereignty to Brussels. Once again Hungary, which opposes the Commission's desire to supervise intergovernmental arrangements with non-EU countries such as Russia, will lead the way here. In addition the energy policies of individual EU states are as different as the countries themselves. Germany, for example, is trying to get rid of its nuclear plants, while France is proud of covering three quarters of its energy needs with nuclear power." (02/03/2015)


El País - Hiszpania

The world must strike deal with Iran and Syria, Lluís Bassets urges

The fight against the Islamic State presents the international community with a dilemma like the one it faced during the Second World War, namely that of joining forces with one dictatorship to fight another, Lluís Bassets observes in his blog for the left-liberal daily El País: "First of all the Islamic States' killing spree in Syria and Iraq must be stopped. Also for security reasons. ... The defeat of the Islamic State requires a pact with the Iran of the ayatollahs and Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship. This is the plain and hard truth. ... Like in the tragic Europe of the 1930s when the democracies had to choose between Hitler and Stalin, now they must once again choose between two unbearable evils. ... The absolute, imminent and existential threat is the terrorist caliphate. We must make our choice, or let's say choose to do things in the right order, one after another, rather than not doing anything while pretending to do everything. Action must be taken." (02/03/2015)


Magyar Hírlap - Węgry

Buda-Cash scandal raises questions

The Hungarian financial supervisory authority closed down the brokering firm Buda-Cash last week amidst suspicions that it had embezzled several hundred million euros. According to the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) Buda-Cash has been cooking its books for 15 years. The conservative daily Magyar Hírlap is surprised that the underhand dealings at Buda-Cash went undetected for so long: "The case of Buda-Cash is 'crass' in three ways. Firstly, a financial service provider that was considered transparent and not only had large capital reserves, but also a nationwide network of more than 10,000 customers has been exposed as corrupt. On top of that Buda-Cash successfully organised the stock markets launches of several companies. The latter is a key factor in that transparency is required for stock market launches. Secondly, its customers aren't just simple savers but powerful clients. ... Thirdly, how could a financial services provider get away with abuses of this huge scale? (01/03/2015)


Pohjalainen - Finlandia

Disabled punk musicians bring tolerance to ESC

The punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikas name day) whose four members have disabilities on Saturday won the competition to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Vienna in May. The band could help send a message for more tolerance in Europe, the liberal daily Pohjalainen hopes: " Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät shows that great things are possible also for people with disabilities. ... Punk originated as a protest against society. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät continues this tradition in an unprecedented way. They don't just sing about disabled rock musicians but are themselves the protagonists. ... Disability issues are often marginalised in public debate. Finland's representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest are already doing great work and promoting true tolerance in Europe." (02/03/2015)

La Croix - Francja

IS wants to erase non-Muslim history

With the destruction of archeological treasures in Mosul last week by the terrorist IS militia an entire chapter of cultural history is in acute danger, the Catholic daily La Croix fears: "Should one really be so upset that statues are being destroyed when at the same time the kidnapping of Assyrian Christians by IS Islamists fails to provoke a similar outcry? The answer is: yes, one should, because it is a grave offence to destroy an entire cultural heritage. ... But the real goal is to eradicate every trace of non-Muslim civilisation and wipe away everything that existed before the founding of Islam in the 7th century. This totalitarian desire is also what motivates the IS's crimes against religious minorities, and above all Christians. ... In this way 2,000 years of the history of mankind could disappear from history. The violence against people and the destruction of stone artefacts have the same tragic inspiration." (02/03/2015)


Financial Times - Wielka Brytania

Jihadi brides not a terrorist threat

Three Muslim schoolgirls from London travelled to Istanbul last Tuesday with the goal, according to Scotland Yard, of joining the Islamic State militants. But the so-called jihadi brides don't really pose a terrorist threat, the conservative Financial Times explains: "The phenomenon of jihadi brides is exacerbating European anxiety about radicalisation and the role of social media, and alienation in Muslim communities. For counter-terrorism officials, though, the threat is not as great as with male migrants. That's because Isis is not interested in training girls as fighters. Some are recruited into the police, a few may take up arms. But while the militants twist minds and promote adventure, the message to women is clear: their place is at home not on the battlefield." (25/02/2015)

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Niemcy

Terrorist threat in Germany not to be underestimated

The police in Bremen carried out a counter-terrorist operation with heavily armed security forces on Saturday, acting on suspicions of plans for an Islamist terrorist attack. However information according to which Salafists were in possession of heavy weapons was not confirmed. The left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung praises the work of the police: "So far Germany has been spared terrorist attacks of a scale like that in Paris, partly through pure luck that bombs failed to explode, but above all because of the police's good work. ... As unwise as it is to say that a major attack is inevitable, it's just as unwise to underestimate the danger. The debate often sounds as if the threat only existed in the heads of law and order fanatics. One example is the rejection of data retention laws that would allow the police to trace back with whom a suspect has had phone conversations or email correspondence for several months. But also in the case of the NSU killers, that kind of information would have been useful." (02/03/2015)

24 Chasa - Bułgaria

Bulgarians are Europe's new slaves

Some 600,000 Bulgarians, roughly a quarter of Bulgaria's working population, earn less than 200 euros per month despite working full-time, the country's trade union association announced on Friday. This is modern slavery, the daily 24 Chasa writes in dismay: "Working day in, day out and still not having enough money at the end of the month to pay for food, electricity and heating: that is the very definition of slavery. These 600,000 people are Europe's new slaves. They don't live in poverty because they're lazy or uneducated, but because their work is only worth a few cents to their bosses. And while they sink further into poverty, their employers are making fortunes for themselves. This cannot go on forever. ... Salaries in Bulgaria must be put on a par with those in the rest of Europe. Only in that way can Europe's modern slaves become citizens with the same rights as the rest of the EU." (28/02/2015)