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Home / Press review / Archive / Press review | 02/07/2007



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Terrorist alarm in the UK

Terrorist alarm in the UK


Just a few days after Britain's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown assumed office, a burning car crashed into Glasgow's airport terminal and two car bombs were defused in London. The UK is at its highest state of alert. Europe fears further terrorist attacks. » more

With articles from the following publications:
Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia, Aftonbladet - Sweden, The Irish Times - Ireland, The Independent - United Kingdom, Le Temps - Switzerland

Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia

"The attacks were mainly intended to put the new prime minister, Gordon Brown, to the test - to see whether he would let himself be intimidated and withdraw his troops from Iraq and Afghanistan," writes Tomáš Němeček on the subject of the failed terrorist attacks in Great Britain. "But there's no point deluding ourselves: the Islamists would attack the West even if there were no war in Iraq. They have plenty of other reasons, such as its support of Israel or Europe's 'ungodliness'." He adds that the radicals find it amusing that the West constantly blames its own foreign policy for the attacks. "The objective is a different one entirely: to build a revolutionary Islamic state that will change the whole world." (02/07/2007)

Aftonbladet - Sweden

Joakim Jakobsson praises new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reaction to the terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow: "To counter violence with violence and restrict rights would be to adopt the terrorists' logic. The bombs were intended to prompt Great Britain and international politics to take a harder line with terrorists. Nothing could serve the purpose of fundamentalists and terrorists better than a Europe that adopts Bush's policies. Brown, on the other hand, appears to be reacting calmly to the attacks. There's no sign of an overreaction along American lines. Back in 2005 the British response to the London bombings was also above all one of openness and respect for human rights." (02/07/2007)

The Irish Times - Ireland

The Irish daily devotes its editorial to the UK attacks and writes, "terrorism, it seems, is the price we have to pay for an open society, the price that comes with rightly putting first the freedoms to move, to associate, to speak as the defining priorities of our society. It's not just that such values are anathema to Islamist terrorists, but that there is a perception they do make their apprehension that much more difficult. There is already talk in Britain of new [anti-terror laws], but the danger is that succumbing to such temptations may undermine precisely that which democrats are trying to defend. ... New PM Gordon Brown correctly went out of his way to stress that such attacks were no more a reflection of the Muslim community's values than of those of the majority ... [and that] the challenge of Islamist terrorism was a 'long-term and sustained' one involving a broader conflict of values and he spoke of a long term battle 'for hearts and minds'. The truth is that both statements are true". (02/07/2007)

The Independent - United Kingdom

"As they wake up to news of the foiled car-bomb attack on Glasgow Airport, I know what millions of my compatriots will be saying ...: 'What's wrong with these crazed Muslims?' ... What these aggrieved Britons don't realise is that exactly the same conversations are taking place in most Muslim households too", writes Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Speaking as a British Muslim, she continues, "when bloodthirsty Islamicists strike, we experience a collective intensification of our attachment to Britain. ... Sane, ordinary British Muslims are even less forgiving of such nihilists, whose barbarism undermines our fundamental right to belong to this country as absolute equals. These are hobby terrorists with screwdrivers and screwed heads; they appropriate legitimate concerns, turn them into excuses on their own violent reality shows, sure to be broadcast again and again on screens around the world." (02/07/2007)

Le Temps - Switzerland

According to Richard Werly, the EU is caught up in questions raised by the failed British attacks. "Portugal, which this Sunday took over the presidency of the EU for six months, finds itself ... at the centre of a tornado. The extension of the domains of judicial and police co-operation is part of the 'mandate' that the 27 gave, during the recent summit in Brussels, to the future Intergovernmental Conference (CIG) which must produce a 'corrected' European Treaty. This subject is that much more sensitive for Lisbon because the United Kingdom had, in Brussels, insisted on different exemptions in this matter. The Eurosceptic Gordon Brown ... thus finds himself confronted by this new menace. One lesson has already been learned: the security of the 500 million citizens of the 27 member countries is due, more and more, in the fields of prevention as well as repression, to the development of a European police jurisdiction, the only thing capable of responding to the free circulation of people". (02/07/2007)


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El País - Spain

Sunny Singh praises the Salman Rushdie's literary achievement

Instead of entering the lively debate provoked by the knighting of Salman Rushdie, Indian writer Sunny Singh pays homage to his literary talent. "Mr. Rushdie's pen seems to have grown blunt as his social appearances take precedence. His success continues to be more important and more durable than any fatwa or controversy: Salman Rushdie's greatest achievement was to blast open the hallowed portals of writing in English for a whole generation of writers from the former colonies. And he did that to the sound of joyous - albeit at times, sly - laughter, with luminous prose that thrilled and delighted. If he never puts down a single word on paper ever again, his oeuvre is worthy of respect. For that alone, his knighthood (and any other honour) is well deserved. And it is the most appropriate response to the religious loons who demand his head!" (29/06/2007)

The Guardian - United Kingdom

Madeleine Buntling considers Brown's faith

The columnist Madeleine Bunting notes "new British PM Gordon Brown government was going to be about two things - competence and serious moral purpose. He is the third consecutive Labour leader to put religion at the heart of his politics, and it's not just a matter of leaders. Yet again, there are enough believers in Brown's cabinet for a decent prayer group. It's a curious phenomenon that at a time when Christianity continues its steady decline in this country, religion has re-emerged as a central inspiration of political rhetoric - not as the flash-in-the-pan aberration of one individual but now well established as a convention of the centre ground, acknowledged by the Cameron as much as by Labour. This strange afterlife of religious belief must be pretty galling to secularists and humanists." (02/07/2007)


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Rzeczpospolita - Poland

A Cold War between the US and Russia?

US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin are currently discussing contentious issues such as the US missile shield and Kosovo at Bush's summer residence. "Putin has gone back to playing the games of the former Soviet leaders: pushing around pawns on the global chessboard. This is the only kind of game where the Kremlin really feels in control," comments Marek Magierowski, who says the scenario reminds him of the summits during the Cold War. "We're not only talking here about two global players bickering about imposing sanctions on Iraq and the future of Kosovo. It's becoming increasingly clear that the US and Russia are reverting to the role of military opponents... Only a few years ago we put the sabre-rattling behind us. But now that the Russian army has been modernised and its budget is growing and Russian hackers are attacking Estonian systems, Putin's threats have acquired a different tone." (02/07/2007)

Le Monde - France

The EU response to illegal immigration

"A thousand questions arise", writes Catherine Simon in her analysis of what she considers Europe's police-only response to illegal immigration: the creation of 'rapid border intervention teams' to apply the Frontex program. "Will there be, for example, representatives from the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to take requests for asylum? What type of recourse will migrants have, in a case of a violation of the 'norms of international protection'? What will we do with 'economic migrants'? Where will we put these undesirables - what poor land, where the notion of rule of law is a mirage and the respect for others is uncertain? Of this, the proposition adopted in Brussels says nothing. ... A few tears, and the swing of a truncheon: do the rich countries of Europe have nothing else to offer to those who knock on their door?" (02/07/2007)


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ABC - Spain

Spain fears Nicolas Sarkozy's economic patriotism

"During the last European summit, new French president Nicolas Sarkozy surprised his peers by demanding that the maintenance of free competition at the heart of the European market be eliminated from the economic objectives of the EU", recalls the daily. "Sarkozy's message must be taken seriously in the light of what has happened these last weeks with the Spanish company Sacyr's takeover bid of the French Eiffage and that country's regulatory authority's manoeuvres to prevent it. If this marks the beginning of a nationalist-interventionist offensive in the French economy, European authorities would have to intervene as soon as possible to alert France that this is precisely the opposite course than that which leads to employment growth and economic rebound". (02/07/2007)


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Die Welt - Germany

Doping confessions in Germany

Following a series of doping confessions in Germany's professional cycling scene, Jörg Jaksche, a top German cyclist, has now given a detailed account of his own doping in the German weekly Der Spiegel. Jörg Winterfeldt comments: "Thanks to his statements the task of clearing up this murky business can now begin. One after another, the stars have been banned from competition for two years running, but Jaksche, who is no better than the rest, is to be allowed to compete against the remaining weaker competitors as soon as 2008. If Jaksche's confession is to serve any practical purpose he and any imitators must be stopped. The swamp can only be drained if this business is deprived of its essential lubricant: money. In particular television, but also all other media, should cancel their reporting on the upcoming Tour de France so that sponsors lose interest. If cycling is to survive as a sport there should be no profit to be made from it for the time being - neither from cheating nor from exposing the cheats." (02/07/2007)

Le Soir - Belgium

The Tour de France approaches professional wrestling

The reports and confessions of doping in the world of cycling are multiplying in the lead-up to the Tour de France. "Cycling is drowning in doubt and suspicion. Cycling? The riders, owners, doctors, sponsors, race organisers and journalists", responds Thierry Fiorilli. German cyclist Jörg Jaksche admits to having taken EPO in an interview published Monday in the daily Spiegel. "In several days, ... the biggest sporting fraud will start again. To stem the tide of suspicion, to save such a popular sport, to prevent more human dramas, the Tour, without being cancelled pure and simple, can no longer be presented as a heroic epic until the clean-up is completed. Instead, [it could be presented as] an attraction which is at the base commercial. Or as a show, staged in its entirety, just like professional wrestling." (02/07/2007)


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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland

New names on the list of former NSDAP members

Joachim Güntner comments on a report in the Germany weekly "Focus" according to which Martin Walser, Dieter Hildebrandt and Siegfried Lenz joined the Nazi party (NSDAP) in 1944. "The appetite for sarcastic questions is involuntarily growing in proportion to the list of names of intellectuals who were members of the Nazi party but never mentioned the fact themselves. Proof that they either became members of the party or at least applied for membership has been provided over the past few years by historians Martin Broszat and Fritz Fischer, literary scientists Peter Wapnewski, Walter Jens and Walter Höllerer and literary critic Friedrich Sieburg... An interesting aspect is the chronology of the revelations. The first targets were big names in politics and finance, then came academics and now it's the authors' turn. So the research has fanned out to include 'non-state elements'." (02/07/2007)

Revista 22 - Romania

Romanian cartoons highlight the cracks in the world order

The works of Romanian cartoonist Dan Perjovschi are on show at the New York Museum of Modern Art until August and at the internationally renowned Venice Biennale art exhibition. Filon Morar writes about the artist: "Dan Perjovschi's inspiration is marked by the kind of intellectual curiosity which can only be experienced beyond the world of television. At the same time he expresses his views on the social and political problems of our times, unlike many other intellectuals who only criticise from the point of view of observers. Perjovschi, on the other hand, mixes with his countrymen and takes a genuine interest in what's happening in Romania. Ironically, it's the absurdity of the communist regime that has shaped his deep desire to reveal the truth. There was a time when jokes were used to reveal the truths about the regime. Today, Perjovschi's drawings serve as an outlet; they highlight the cracks in the world order." (02/07/2007)

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland

The culture of the prefab building

In post-communist Poland, modern buildings were regarded as the ugly legacy of communist times. Only gradually did an awareness of their cultural-historical value develop. A new exhibition which opened last week in the Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art is testimony to this new understanding. "Enough time has passed for research into the true value and significance of this legacy to be objective," Anna Cymer quotes one of the curators of the exhibition as saying, and comments: "The exhibition shows how the organised life of the housing estates consisting of prefabricated blocks of flats influenced Polish culture... It demonstrates how these 'cement deserts' acted as a melting pot from which artistic ideas emerged and are still emerging today. However, the sponsors' lack of willingness to have their logos placed in the context of the exhibition is proof that the negative stereotype of the prefab still prevails." (30/06/2007)

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