The E.U. Commission has already written to the Polish government asking how its new media law will work with EU rules on media freedom. Schulz described the government’s actions as a “dangerous Putinisation of European politics”, while Oettinger suggested Poland should be put under rule of law supervision, legislation designed to deal with “systemic threats” to EU values. Responding to the criticism, Poland’s government summoned Germany’s ambassador for talks and warned Brussels not to interfere in its affairs on the basis of “biased and politically engaged” reports. The defence minister Antoni Macierewicz went further, saying Poland would not be lectured by Germany “on democracy and freedom”, while his colleague, justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro, wrote an open letter to Oettinger alluding to the Nazi occupation of Poland. “Such words, said by a German politician, cause the worst of connotations among Poles,” Ziobro wrote. “Also in me. I’m a grandson of a Polish officer, who during World War II fought in the underground National Army with ‘German supervision’.”
Monday, January 18, 2016
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
France's government is embroiled in a row over the repatriation of a Kosovo Roma schoolgirl, who was removed from her school bus.
The 15-year-old, Leonarda Dibrani, was expelled along with her parents and five siblings after they lost their battle for asylum in France.
When the order was enacted, she was on a school field trip and was removed in view of the other children.
Leonarda told French radio she was being denied education in Kosovo.
She said she wanted to return to France to finish school.
The government is conducting an inquiry into how the case was handled.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told parliament that if a mistake had been made, the family could return to France to have its situation reassessed in respect of French "laws, practices and values".
His Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, defended the expulsion. Last month he declared Roma people incompatible with the French way of life.
Mr Valls is voted France's favourite politician in opinion polls but he has been strongly criticised by human rights campaigners and figures within his own party for his strident comments.
Critics accuse President Francois Hollande's administration of following the hard line on the Roma taken by his conservative predecessor as president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The new row has deepened the rift within the ruling left on how to tackle the issue, the BBC's Christian Fraser reports from Paris.
Friday, September 13, 2013
The Guardian.uk - Jeremy Browne, the Crime Prevention Minister, said opening Britain’s borders to eastern Europeans was in Britain’s foreign policy interests and good for the economy. He accused his ministerial colleagues of a “serious oversight” by not consulting him on a mobile billboard campaign organized by his department to encourage illegal migrants to return home.
From January 1 2014 Romanian and Bulgarian migrants will have free access to Britain’s labour market following the lifting of travel restrictions put in place when their countries joined the EU in 2007. It means that, like British holiday-makers, they will be able to move around the European continent without showing their passports. The Government has not released any estimate of how many will come because previous studies have been so inaccurate. Romanian and Bulgarian diplomats say 35,000 people are likely to come in 2014. Asked whether Liberal Democrats would be “enthusiastic” about their arrival, Mr Browne told the New Statesman: “They’re only complying with the same rules as British people who live in Spain or have holiday houses in France, or who work in Germany.”
He said he was part of an “unfashionable minority” that “embraces the opportunities of globalisation” and does not regret the opening of Britain’s labour markets to workers from Poland and other eastern European countries in 2004. The move had improved Britain’s diplomatic relationships, he said. “I don’t think there was a mistake. It was transformational in terms of Britain’s relationship with countries like Poland. “It was in our foreign policy interest but, at a much more direct, micro level, there are a lot of employers in my constituency who are full of praise for the contribution that Poles have made to their businesses and the economy more generally.” He acknowledged the incoming migrants had put pressure on public services but said "If you look at the overall ledger, the positives outweigh the negatives." He said he said the mobile billboards, which told illegal migrants they faced arrest unless they “go home”, sent out a poor signal. “I was not consulted beforehand, neither was Nick Clegg, and that is a serious oversight.” He added: “The debate about immigration should be conducted in a tone that is civilised and humane, rather than pandering to the least attractive elements in the human sprit.” There are 683,000 workers from Poland and other former communist countries in Britain, the majority of whom have arrived since 2004. Studies suggest around 800,000 British nationals live in Spain and 250,000 in France. Mr Browne's comments come ahead of the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference in Glasgow.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
False memories of events that never happened have been implanted into the brains of mice in research that could pave the way for memory implant technology like that seen in the movie Total Recall.
Japanese and American neuroscientists, working at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have successfully planted false memories in the brains of mice, according to research published in the journal Science. They also found that many of the traces of the implanted memories detected by scientists in the mice’s brains are indistinguishable from those of authentic memories of real events.
“Whether it’s a false or genuine memory, the brain’s neural mechanism underlying the recall of the memory is the same,” Susumu Tonegawa, one of the study’s authors and the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at MIT said in a press release.
The movie Total Recall begins with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger believes he is a construction worker going for a memory implant “holiday” — paying for the recollection of a vacation to be implanted is cheaper than the real thing.
When the procedure goes wrong he finds he is actually someone else: His whole life is a false memory implant; and he’s really a secret agent. In the research, Tonagawa’s team used a technique known as optogenetics, which allows the fine control of individual brain cells by genetic manipulation.The scientists engineered mouse cells in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, believed to be the place where memories are formed. The engineered cells produce a protein called channelrhodopsin which activates the neurological functions of brain cells when exposed to blue light.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Almost four years into the debt crisis – and with bailout loans due to end next May – creditors have become increasingly impatient with the slow pace of progress in streamlining the 800,000 strong public sector. Almost all the approximately 130,000 Greeks who have left the service have been retirees – in sharp contrast to the private sector where job losses have soared.
In a move adding to pressure on the governing coalition, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, will visit the country on Thursday. Greece has received €240bn in emergency rescue funds, the biggest bailout in history, since the eruption of the crisis in late 2009. By the end of the year its debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to reach 180%. Last week, after a round of frequently fraught negotiations between the country and visiting Troika chiefs, eurozone finance ministers agreed to disburse an additional €8.1bn vital to paying salaries and pensions. But the conditions attached have raised fears that the crisis-hit nation is being pushed too far. Last month the conservative-dominated administration almost collapsed after Samaras attempted to cut the public payroll by shutting down the state broadcaster, ERT, overnight.
In the upheaval that followed the small Democratic Left party abruptly withdrew its support leaving the coalition with 155 seats in the 300-seat house. Commentators questioned the wisdom of inflicting further austerity on a nation where more than 1.3 million are out of work, salaries have been cut by an average 25%, and poverty has been imposed on more than a third of the entire population. "I can understand, in principle, where the Troika is coming from and the pressure the government is under but the timing is very unfortunate," said Dr Thanos Dokos, director general of Eliamep, Greece's leading thinktank. "If they had done this two years ago it might have been acceptable but not now."
Under the scheme some 25,000 public employees will be placed on reduced wages in a so-called "mobility pool" by the end of the year. They will then have eight months to find work in another department or lose their jobs altogether. A further 15,000 dismissals will be made in 2014. Critics argue that entire institutions – including the municipal police who patrol the streets of an increasingly crime-ridden capital – will be abolished in the process. "Instead of only looking at the numbers, both the Troika and the government should also look at the social and political consequences of laying off so many," Dokos added. "There's a time to pick battles and it's definitely not now."
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Telling people that they can lose their deposits, even possibly below guaranteed amount (100,000 euros), which later was retracted, had not been a mistake. Firstly people realized and got used to the idea that such thing was no longer unthinkable. Secondly, by hitting deposits above 100,000 euros with up to 40% (or even maybe up to 60%) tax, it was made clear that such hit can be very hard indeed. Not some 6.75% or 9.9% as originally mooted: so now it is matter for the 'financial markets' to extend their target, below 100,000 euros. It is indeed a very primitive piece of social engineering and coaching people for the forthcoming loss. It is preparing psychologically all countries in Europe for the next step of the largest heist in history: direct and hard targeting of people's deposits. There is also a rather ironic twist in the events in Cyprus. It has been widely reported that many billions of euros held in banks in Cyprus came from all sorts of dodgy businesses (Russia?). There is even a whispering subliminal propaganda designed to make it easier to accept this new phase of the largest heist in history. The message is that there is nothing wrong in stealing money from the thieves.
Technically what happened there was that the billions of euros in cash deposited in Cyprus was used to redeem for a lot of toxic waste of the financial institutions (it is called 'making investments' in a financial language, with depositors cash). So, as expected, those who had cash ended up with nothing and those who held (and are still generating) zillions of toxic waste, got another tranche of their heist. The largest heist in history continues. Now...if it is true, as it is widely rumored, that many billions of euros of mafia money have been kept in Cyprus and now something like 40% or even 60% are going to be lost, one could wonder whether European politicians, central bankers, who drive this process, e.g. finance ministers, or some other decision makers, even lower down the chain, are going to sleep comfortably. Or are they going to think more about their own and their families safety? Is mafia going to accept such multibillion euros loss? Or would they plan to teach a lesson in order to get their money back, to get a compensation for the current 'inconvenience' and mess and to make sure such a thing is unthinkable in the future. Mafia starts wars when there is big money at stake. And in Cyprus some powerful groups lost billions of euros. Therefore we can also look forward to listen to some interesting news. Don't be surprised.