Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120326

Financial Crisis
»Greece: Small Companies Cut Salaries by 20%
»Fort Collins Welcomes New Islamic Center …
Europe and the EU
»Antisemitic Statements at a Jewish School in Brussels
»For French Muslims, This Horror Only Makes Matters Worse
»France: Sarkozy Says Qatar’s Influential Muslim Cleric Not Welcome in France
»France: In Rouen: A Teacher Calls for a Minute’s Silence — for Merah
»Italy: 89-Year-Old May be Indicted for WWII Massacre
»Spain: 10 Years Disqualification for Wasting Administrators
»Spain: President of Cannabis Consumer Group Arrested
»UK: Al-Qaeda Plotting Cyanide Attack at Games
Middle East
»Dubai Top Cop Sees Gulf Islamist Plot
»Jordan Islamists Against Corruption, No to Gov’t Propaganda
»S. Arabia: Male Assistant Selling Lingerie, 600 Shops Close
»UAE: Dubai Police Chief: Muslim Brotherhood Wants to Overthrow Gulf Leaders
South Asia
»India: Intra-Community Clash at Mosque in Saidabad
Australia — Pacific
»Queensland Election: Update
»Humanitarian Asylum Requests to Italy Highest in EU

Financial Crisis

Greece: Small Companies Cut Salaries by 20%

15,000 workers in 3,200 businesses have already been hit

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — The labor market in Greece is undergoing a huge shift after the reduction of the minimum wage, with many companies proceeding to salary cuts by up to 20% since February 14 through individual contracts with their employees, as daily Kathimerini reports quoting data collected by the Labor Inspectors’ Squad. Figures show that at 45 businesses employing over 50 people there were new contracts with an average salary decline of 20.094%. Within just one month from the application of the law providing for a 22% reduction in the minimum wage, as agreed with the country’s creditors, there have been no fewer than 45 new corporate contracts in Athens and Thessaloniki, while in the preceding four-month period, from October to February, there had only been 65 new contracts throughout the country. Since February 14, 3,231 small enterprises, employing fewer than five people, have submitted details of their employees’ individual contracts with an average salary drop of 20.63%. These reductions concern some 15,000 workers. Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry is to present Parliament with a regulation that will reward businesses that are consistent in paying their social security contributions: from early October they will get a 5% reduction in their contributions to social security funds.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Fort Collins Welcomes New Islamic Center …

A new Fort Collins Islamic Center broke ground Saturday to the thunderous applause of about 200 local Muslims and the blessings of community members alike. “Our church has been looking forward to having them as a neighbor,” said Rev. Hal Chorpenning, the senior minister at Plymouth Congregational Church positioned less than one block away from the center’s location on Prospect Road between Shields and Whitcomb streets. “ … I welcome them warmly to the neighborhood.” The facilities will replace the city’s current Islamic Center situated near the CSU campus’ northeast corner on Peterson Street, which will likely become a daycare center or other source of revenue for the new center. Jared Woodrow, president of the university’s Muslim Student Association, said the area’s Islamic community had outgrown their decades-old mosque and decided to construct a new one with additional features. Upon final completion, it will include a prayer hall, library, school, gym and meeting rooms for local Muslims and interested community members. “You can be there all day,” Woodrow said.

According to those interviewed, the reactions non-Muslim Fort Collins residents have had to the center’s construction have been generally positive. “As a whole, I’ve been very pleased with the reaction and the reception that we’ve gotten here in Fort Collins,” said Shakir Muhammad, a local engineer and active participant at the center. Woodrow explained that all but one city official approved of the facility’s construction. Muhammad pointed out that State Representative John Kefalas (D-52), who is part of the city’s delegation to the state legislature, wrote a letter in support of the new Islamic Center. “Fort Collins is a community that prides itself on being inclusive, and this is a religion that many people subscribe to,” Kefalas said. “ … There are students that come (to CSU) from countries in the Middle East, and I think that this is just another way to be welcoming and to be inclusive.”

But Fort Collins Jihad, a self-described awareness organization that regards the community’s Islamic Center as dangerously radical, sees the new facilities’ construction as a victory for extremist Muslims and a detriment to the city. Muhammad is aware of FCJ. “It’s not a group. It’s just one person with a website,” he said. “His (the website creator) claims are not very factual … “ Requests for comments from FCJ were not returned.

Despite being in the good graces of the overwhelming majority of the city, fundraising for the project has been difficult, Woodrow said. He explained that most of the center’s attendees are visiting CSU scholars from foreign nations who have little incentive to donate money to a facility they’re only going to use for three years. “ … A lot of the people don’t have an investment into this city,” he said. To compensate, Fort Collins Muslims have gone city-to-city across Colorado to stop at various mosques and ask those in attendance for financial donations to pay for the new center’s construction. And while the fundraising process still has yet to be completed, those in charge of the project have insisted on not sacrificing principles to satisfy financial needs. The center rejected a donation from the son of Saudi Arabia’s treasurer, wanting to avoid questionable associations, Woodrow said.

The new facility’s construction will take place in two phases. The first involves the creation of a prayer hall, library and meeting rooms and is scheduled to be completed by December. The second will add on a school and a gym when enough funds are raised.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Antisemitic Statements at a Jewish School in Brussels

Brussels — At around 15:40, four individuals of Arab-Muslim origin arrived at the door of the Athenaeum Maimonides in Anderlecht and tried to pull the door to enter multiple times. The security services of the school intervened and were joined by police officers on site. When checking on individuals, one of them said, “I do not care to touch the door of s*** dirty Jew.” A complaint was filed with the police. The four individuals are illegal in Belgium.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

For French Muslims, This Horror Only Makes Matters Worse

by Nabila Ramdani

Images of armed police milling around the flat of a “neutralised” Muslim of Algerian descent will be welcomed by France’s increasingly right-wing political class. As would-be presidents campaign tirelessly towards an election starting next month, they will stress the need to seek out and destroy young men like Mohamed Merah. The 23-year-old “troubled-housing-estate’“kid turned jihad warrior had a truly dismal life record. It covered almost every manifestation of alienated immigrant angst, from petty crime, through to indoctrination in prison, right up to murderous terrorism.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, has already set the bar in clichéd scare-mongering by saying that French children of all faiths need “protection” from “fundamentalists” like Merah. The implication, of course, is that there are plenty more like him in the so-called banlieues — the vast housing projects on the outskirts of major cities like Toulouse and Paris. It was while growing up in one that Merah is said to have become exposed to Islamic extremism, at one stage even marching around the grey tower blocks holding a sword while shouting “al-Qa’ida!” It is a pathetic, cartoon-look image, but the kind that has sadly gained increasing credibility over the past few years, as Nicolas Sarkozy’s government has lurched determinedly to the right. Claude Guéant, the President’s notoriously combative Interior Minister who presided over Merah’s death, last year described the growing number of Muslims in France as a “problem”. There are now some six million in the country compared to a few hundred thousand when the Republic became a secular one in 1905. Both Sarkozy and Guéant have regularly highlighted every perceived “problem” associated with Muslims, including burqa-wearing, eating halal meat, and praying in the street because of a lack of mosques.

Behind all of these day-to-day issues is the growing and even more divisive implication that ordinary Muslims are not only anti-social and undesirable, but directly linked to global terrorism. One of the main reasons offered for a burqa ban, for example, was to stop radicals using the garments to hide bombs underneath, and to disguise their identities. Centrist presidential candidate François Bayrou was among those who described the formulation of such theories as “poisonous”, while even Gilles Bernheim, France’s grand rabbi, admitted: “It’s often difficult to be a Muslim in France. This difficulty is worse today in this unhealthy climate, aggravated by talk that divides rather than unites.”

Extremist rhetoric underpinned by policies designed to stigmatise will attract disillusioned nationalist voters in the race for the Elysée Palace, but they ignore the real problems facing Muslim communities in modern France: those of discrimination and underachievement. Yes, there are thousands of young men with the same Algerian background as Mohamed Merah, but that does not make them all murderous criminals. Many are the sons of immigrants forced to leave a North African country crippled by 132 years of colonial exploitation. It is now exactly half-a-century since the end of the Algerian War of Independence — one in which up to 1.5 million died and which opened huge divisions between aggrieved survivors. The legacy of hatred between expats forced to return to France and the Algerian economic migrants who joined them burns with a uniquely Gallic ferocity.

Such discord was exacerbated by Mr Sarkozy last month when he said that France would “not repent” for what went on during the war, even though close to 2.5 million Algerians live in the Republic today. They not only form the largest Muslim community, but for the most part still live in those marginalised urban estates which rose out of their forebears’ refugee camps. Life has traditionally been hard for all French Muslims, but the kind of images which have been coming out of Toulouse over the past fortnight will make it even worse.

Nabila Ramdani is a Paris-born journalist of Algerian descent who regularly writes about French politics and Islamic affairs

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Sarkozy Says Qatar’s Influential Muslim Cleric Not Welcome in France

Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric Yousuf Al Qaradawi not welcome in France

Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday that influential Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric Yousuf Al Qaradawi was not welcome in France. Egyptian-born Qaradawi, 86, has been invited to visit next month by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF). “I told the emir of Qatar himself that this gentleman was not welcome in the territory of the French Republic,” Sarkozy told France Info radio. Qaradawi, who hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera satellite television, backed Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition. He had been due to attend the UOIF congress at Le Bourget near Paris on April 6 alongside renowned Egyptian preacher Mahmoud Al Masri. “I said that a certain number of people, who have been invited to this congress and who maintain or who would like to take positions that are incompatible with the republican ideal, would not be welcome,” Sarkozy said. Qaradawi, who has close ties with the leadership of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, left the country in the 1960s after being imprisoned. He is accused of having made anti-Semitic and homophobic statements and was banned from entering Britain in 2008. He has been banned from entering the United States since 1999.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: In Rouen: A Teacher Calls for a Minute’s Silence — for Merah

Here is a quite remarkable story, from Rouen in Normandy:

Fifteen students, in the final year of the Lycee Gustave Flaubert in Rouen, walked out of their classroom Friday morning, March 23, shortly after 8 am, after their English teacher asked them to observe a minute of silence in memory of the killer of Toulouse, Mohamed Merah, who she described as a “victim.” According to students, who immediately wrote a letter to the headteacher , they alerted Rectorate of Rouen, that this certified teacher had claimed that the link with al-Qaeda was “invented by the media and Sarko.” Only a half dozen students who were “taken aback” remained in the classroom, “wanting to know why she had behaved in this way”, according to the testimony of a student. One told us she would be excused at the end of the conversation. “She said she was not well and would perhaps take time off,” he added.

The letter of protest by students is here.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italy: 89-Year-Old May be Indicted for WWII Massacre

Ex-corporal executed ‘117 Italian officers’ says prosecutor

(ANSA) — Rome, March 20 — A Rome military prosecutor on Tuesday called for the indictment of an 89-year-old former German officer for alleged involvement in the massacre of thousands of Italian soldiers on the Greek island of Cephalonia in World War II.

The suspect, ex-corporal Alfred Stork, should be called to trial for ordering the execution of “at least 117 Italian officers” after they surrendered, said Rome Prosecutor Marco De Paolis, who claimed to have material evidence for his case.

Among his evidence is an alleged 2005 confession in which he told German prosecutors he was a member of one of the two execution platoons. The incident was just one episode amid a much larger massacre which came after the 1943 armistice between Italy and the Allies that instructed Italian troops to switch sides.

After news of the September 8 armistice filtered across to the island on September 14, 1943, General Antonio Gandin told each of his men in the Acqui division to follow his own conscience and choose between three alternatives: fight on alongside the Germans, surrender his weapons, or keep them and resist German attacks.

Over the next eight days, 1,300 men died in battle, 5,155 were shot after being taken prisoner, and 3,000 drowned when a ship carrying them to Nazi concentration camps sank.

The bodies of 200 men were tossed down a well, from which they were only recovered and sent back home a few months before former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi’s visit in 2001.

To the outrage of Italy, a German court cleared then 86-year-old former lieutenant Otmar Muhlhauser of war-crime charges in 2006.

Deceased in 2009, he was believed to be the last survivor of the Werhmacht regiment which carried out the massacre, and he reportedly admitted he had personally ordered the execution of hundreds of soldiers including General Gandin.

The incident forms the backdrop to the best-selling 1994 novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which became a film in 2001 starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain: 10 Years Disqualification for Wasting Administrators

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MARCH 23 — Public administrators who falsify or hide data on the deficit and figures regarding the wages of directors of local governments will be disqualified from holding public offices for ten years. The measure is part of a bill for more transparency and access to public information which was approved in today’s cabinet meeting. It was presented in the press conference that followed the meeting, by Vice Premier Soraya Sanz de Santamaria. The vice premier called it one of the most important regulations in the political programme of the Mariano Rajoy government. The government bill includes a code of good governance with sanctions in case of violations. It forces politicians and public managers to inform taxpayers about the use of their money, following a similar initiative taken in the United States and in other European countries. Politicians and managers in the public sector can be suspended for hiding bills or accounts, for not handing over requested documentation, for surpassing the public deficit limit and for wasting tax money, which will be seen as a crime. Public administrations must be transparent about the way they spend public money. The government will open an internet portal for transparency, on which subsidies, data regarding public tenders and the salaries of public sector managers will be published. The portal is scheduled to be ready by this summer, when the bill is expected to have completed its examination in parliament. As soon as the regulation comes into force, public officials must respond to any request by citizens for information about the management of public funds within one month.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain: President of Cannabis Consumer Group Arrested

Promoted crisis-tackling marijuana plant project in Rasquera

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MARCH 23 — Catalan police have arrested the head of the Barcelona association of cannabis consumers (ABCDA), which has promoted the controversial scheme to plant marijuana in the town of Rasquera (Tarragona). Local police sources quoted by the media today say that the man was arrested on drug-trafficking charges. Four other members of the association were also charged with the same crime. During the operation, police also raided one of the offices managed by consumer group in the Barceloneta area of Barcelona, seizing 1.3 kilos of marijuana, weighing equipment and 2,000 euros in cash. At the time on the office, which was later taken over by police, a dozen people smoking or waiting to buy the drug were on the premises.

On March 1, the Catalan town of Rasquera approved the sale of state-owned land to the ABCDA association, which has 5,000 members, to plant a “cannabis cultivation for recreational and therapeutic purposes”, in exchange for the creation of forty jobs in an attempt to cancel the 1.3 million euros of deficit in the town’s coffers. The decision brought provoked intervention by the Catalan regional government, which said that such a plantation would violate Article 368 of the penal code, which bans cultivation, treatment and trafficking of drugs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UK: Al-Qaeda Plotting Cyanide Attack at Games

Web fanatics target Olympics

AL-QAEDA fanatics are plotting a deadly cyanide poison attack on the London Olympics, a Sun investigation has found.

Extremists on a website with links to the terror group have posted detailed instructions on how to cause carnage at this summer’s Games.

The chilling online plot was uncovered as two convicted al-Qaeda terrorists were released early from jail and put back on the streets ahead of the Olympics.

And the specific nature of the “cyanide slaughter” web posts suggest they should be taken seriously by the security services.

An extremist who called himself Abu Hija Ansari said the poison should be mixed with a handcream that would enable it to be absorbed through the skin.

He wrote in Arabic: “Through skin: 1 — cyanide, 2 — skin cream. Mix the ingredients. The skin cream will open the pores in the skin and speed up the absorption and effectiveness of the poison.”

He said plotters should wear “medical gloves” when producing the lethal mixture.

A second extremist said on the website: “It is a good idea and you need to plan well.”

She added chillingly under a logo of the 2012 Games: “It’s time to prepare for the event, as once again they are interfering with innocent Muslims.”

Our investigator used a false identity to access the website which has 17,000 members worldwide and known links to six al—Qaeda terrorists.

He said: “There is a contingent using this site who want to strike at the Games. The explicit nature of what is being said would indicate more than just sabre-rattling but a wish to do real harm to the event and the people at it.”

Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the all-party homeland security group, said: “I hope the individuals are identified so action can be taken. Those who believe there is no terrorist threat are living in cloud cuckoo land.”…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Dubai Top Cop Sees Gulf Islamist Plot

KUWAIT: The Muslim Brotherhood, the main Islamist force that emerged after the Arab Spring, is plotting to take over Gulf states, Dubai’s police chief said in remarks reported yesterday. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan said he had his reasons to claim that the “Brotherhood was plotting to change the regimes in the Gulf”, in an interview published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas. “My sources say the next step is to make Gulf governments (their ruling families) figurehead bodies only without actual ruling. The start will be in Kuwait in 2013 and in other Gulf states in 2016,” he said.

Khalfan has been involved in a tit-for-tat controversy with the Brotherhood after he threatened earlier this month to arrest cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, a leading Brotherhood figure, for criticising the United Arab Emirates for deporting Syrian protesters. The police chief said he based his information on “leaks” from Western intelligence agencies and said this “had been known to us”. “If these leaks from Western intelligence were to be correct, by 2016 all Gulf rulers” will be just figureheads with no actual power, Khalfan said. “I am warning Gulf states about these groups.”

All of the six oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf have been governed for centuries by ruling families that dominate almost every aspect of life and who have the final say on almost everything. These states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — together sit on more than 40 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and around a fifth of its natural gas. Khalfan said the alleged plot will begin in Kuwait because “it is ready more than any other Gulf state… this is a strategy”. Sunni Islamists made an impressive show in a Feb 2 snap election in Kuwait, securing more than 20 seats in the 50-member parliament. — AFP

           — Hat tip: RR[Return to headlines]

Jordan Islamists Against Corruption, No to Gov’t Propaganda

Rally to ask for concrete reforms

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN — Hundreds of Islamist leads activists rallied in downtown Amman Friday against what they say lack of genuine drive to eradicate corruption in the kingdom.

Security forces were mobilized to prevent clashes with pro-regime groups that arrived in the scene to disrupt protests.

Leaders from the Islamist movement spearheaded the rally, which kicked off from king Hussein mosque in down town Amman after Friday prayer.

“We are tired of hearing about elections and reform, while no action is being taken against corruption. The whole nation is demanding genuine reforms, not media prooganda by authorities,” Salem Falahat, former overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told ANSA during the protest.

Minor clashes took place between security forces and protesters, but nobody was injured. Islamist leaders said authorities lack genuine policies to fight corruption.

The government has recently come under fire from the opposition for what has been seen as a deliberate attempt to impede investigation into a number of high profile corruption cases that involve ministers and influential businessmen.

The aid-dependent kingdom is struggling with its worst economic meltdown in decades amid lack of job opportunities and foreign investment.

Activists say the sale of state assets over the past years has enriched the country’s business and political elite but has done little to help the poor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

S. Arabia: Male Assistant Selling Lingerie, 600 Shops Close

Wave of inspections checking enforcement of male staff ban

(ANSAmed) — DOHA, MARCH 22 — Six hundred underwear stores have been shut down in Saudi Arabia for breaking a law that forbids male staff from being hired, while 30 others have been given a deadline of 2 weeks to take on exclusively female members of staff. The news has been reported today in the Gulf press. A Saudi law approved in June last year not only forbids men from working as assistants in underwear and cosmetics shops, but also forbids men from even having access to the stores, meaning that men are unable to buy underwear for women. Women hired will also have to wear the hijab, which is traditional dress in Saudi Arabia and in a number of Gulf states, and consists of a long black tunic and a veil covering the head.

The Saudi Employment Minister has sent a number of inspectors to check that the law is being enforced and has suspended the approval of male assistants who had been working in underwear and cosmetics shops. A similar regulation had been discussed by the Qatari government after controversy in the Emirate over women’s unease at being served by men as they purchased underwear. In the end, the country opted for a gradual substitution of men by female staff when new assistants are hired.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UAE: Dubai Police Chief: Muslim Brotherhood Wants to Overthrow Gulf Leaders

The head of Dubai police has openly accused the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab Spring winners, of plotting to overthrow the Arab Gulf monarchies. “The Muslim Brotherhood, the force that has emerged from the Arab Spring, plotting regime change in the Gulf,” General Dhahi Khalfane was quoted in an interview published Sunday by the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas.

“My sources say that the next step is to make the Gulf ruling families powerless. This will begin with Kuwait in 2013 and end in 2016 with other countries,” he said, ensuring that this information came partly from Western intelligence services. Note that the Islamists won the parliamentary elections held February 2nd in Kuwait, capturing 23 of 50 parliamentary seats. Earlier this month, General Khalfane threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the influential Qatar-based Sunni cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi for criticizing the decision of the Emirati authorities to expel the Syrians who demonstrated in Dubai without permission. They protested against the Syrian regime. Khalfane said he had warned the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait) against the Muslim Brotherhood.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Intra-Community Clash at Mosque in Saidabad

HYDERABAD: Police resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse two clashing groups of the same community at Saidabad in the old city during prayer time on Sunday. According to the police, a group of people belonging to the dominant sect went to the Ahmadiya mosque and asked the devotees to stop their prayers. An argument ensued which led to stone-throwing on business establishments in the vicinity. Saidabad police inspector K Narsing said that some locals abused the people present at the mosque saying that they were not Muslims and told them to immediately stop the prayers. They distributed some pamphlets which those inside the mosque found objectionable. The agitated devotees tried to push out the miscreants and a scuffle ensued between the two groups. In the melee both the groups hurled stones on each other but no one was injured. Police alerted higher officials who rushed special teams to the place to defuse the situation. Meanwhile, some Muslim organisations lodged a complaint with the police on the issue. Mohammed Arshad Ali Quasmi, state general secretary of Majlis Tahfuz Khatam Nuwwat Trust, alleged that Ahmadiyas distributed blasphemous printed material at the mosque. Majlish Bachao Thareek also lodged a complaint making a similar charge.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Queensland Election: Update

[This is news analysis by our Perth correspondent Anne-Kit. The news story itself is at the link.]

I noticed an item on the Queensland State Election in the newsfeed today. Let me update you on the results:

Out of an 89-seat parliament the winning LNP (Liberal National Party: in Queensland our two conservative parties, the National Party (country party) and the Liberal Party have amalgamated) is set to win 75 seats and Labor 6 (yes, that’s six!) seats. This means that officially Labor no longer counts as a political party in Queensland and will not get public funding for its electorate offices, staff etc. Apparently they will have to rely on the new Government’s mercy in this matter.

In most seats the swing towards LNP and away from Labor was in double digits. This is pretty exceptional in itself, but in many seats the swing was 20+ points!

It was a bloodbath, and it was very sweet to see! And it is clear for all (except the usual suspects) to see that this is a very strong message to the Federal Gillard government that they are next, come the Federal election in 2013.

The above link was the most recent I could find, and they are still counting, but the latest news is (former) Premier Anna Bligh did not win her seat and has left Parliament.

           — Hat tip: Anne-Kit[Return to headlines]


Humanitarian Asylum Requests to Italy Highest in EU

Applicants total 301,000 in all of Europe

(ANSA) — Brussels, March 23 — Italy had the highest number of humanitarian-motivated asylum requests in 2011 out of the 27 EU nations, according to a report released on Friday by the European Union’s statistics bureau Eurostat. The highest number of overall requests was in France with 56,300 applicants, followed by Germany with 53,300, then Italy with 34,100 in 2011.

A total of 301,000 asylum applicants were registered in the 27 EU countries in 2011 compared to 259,000 in 2010, and 90% were new applications, 10% repeat. In all of the 27 EU countries in 2011, 75% of first-time applicants were rejected, 12% were granted refugee status, 9% subsidiary protection and 4% authorization to remain for humanitarian reasons.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Malcolm Smith said...

Anna Bligh did win her seat, but she has now decided to quit Parliament, so there will have to be a by-election. At the last count, Labor had 7 seats.