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Simoner, Michael

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Der Standard - Austria | 09/07/2014

Europe still building its fortress

The EU's interior ministers convened at an informal meeting on Tuesday to discuss a new joint European refugee policy, and rejected the Italian call for more help with the reception of refugees. Despite all its big promises Europe continues to seal itself off, the left-liberal daily Der Standard criticises: "Rome's 'Mare Nostrum' initiative for rescuing refugees from overfilled boats won't receive any support from the EU's Frontex agency for financial reasons. [Austria's] Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner surprised everyone this time with a proposal for Europe-wide resettlement schemes. In simple terms that would mean that the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees would select people in need of protection in the crisis countries, who would then be given refuge and resettled in the EU. However this legal form of refuge would slam the door permanently on people who flee war and persecution on their own initiative. So in fact it would represent another brick in the wall of the fortress."

Der Standard - Austria | 18/10/2011

Austria must help abuse victims

In Austria cases of child abuse and forced prostitution at a Viennese children's home called Schloss Wilhelminenberg were made public on the weekend. The crimes at the home, which was closed in 1977, were committed 40 years ago and therefore fall under the statute of limitations. This has triggered a debate about the statutory period of limitation. According to the liberal daily Der Standard the victims don't need such a discussion but would benefit more from the establishment of a central support scheme for victims of abuse: "The rekindled debate about statutory periods of limitation in penal law proves how helpless the policymakers are here. In the case of sexual crimes this statute of limitations was extended by many years. ... Apart from the financial compensation abused and sexually exploited victims need respect and approval. Regardless of whether the crime took place in state, church or other types of institution, a central help support scheme would prevent some victims from having to chase from pillar to post to get help."

Der Standard - Austria | 08/01/2010

Terrorism investigators collect senseless data

What can tougher security measures like full body scanners at airports actually achieve? Austrian daily Der Standard asks: "Without questioning the importance of security-related measures we should nonetheless take a closer look at the chunks that have been taken out of our civil liberties in recent years - and how silent their advocates have become. Computer searches and bugging operations were perceived as almost scandalous back in 1997. But after the 9/11 attacks the idea that those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear gained acceptance. Yet what do the tightened controls achieve, apart from an accumulation of meaningless data? In the case of the would-be bomber from Nigeria: nothing whatsoever. His parents had warned the authorities but they were probably busy looking for a pin in the haystack of data."

Der Standard - Austria | 21/12/2006

Holocaust denier David Irving freed from prison

An Austrian court of appeals agreed to allow convicted British Holocaust denier David Irving to serve the remainder of his jail sentence on probation. Irving has been released and wants to travel to Britain. Michael Simoner criticises the decision because, after his trial and conviction, Irving had repeated his doubts about the Third Reich's organised mass extermination of Jewish people. "Maybe we should just be happy to be rid of this icon to Holocaust deniers. The unexpected (and controversial) mitigation of the sentence leaves a bad aftertaste. Austria's Holocaust denial law is in danger of being undermined by lenient sentencing. Hitler salutes and the Horst-Wessel song have become harmless crimes. In future it will be more difficult to apply laws against the reactivation of Nazi activities in Austria."

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