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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 23 May 2010


Russia plans to fingerprint, photograph and license migrant workers in a bid to shrink the “shadow economy” and boost tax revenue, the government’s official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper said. The new rules will apply to about 1.2 million of the estimated 3 million foreigners who work as nannies, builders, drivers, cooks and other jobs classified as “temporary” by the Federal Migration Service, the newspaper said today. Such workers will have to buy licenses good for between one and three months, while so-called highly skilled workers, mainly those who earn more than 2 million rubles ($64,000) a year, will be excluded from the new requirements. President Dmitry Medvedev is seeking to turn Russia into a “white-collar” country, Vladislav Surkov, Kremlin first deputy chief of staff, said in March. One million skilled-job vacancies went unfilled in Russia last year because of a lack of qualified workers, the World Bank said in a report in March. At the same time, because of a shrinking labor force, Russia will need 12 million immigrant workers within 20 years, the bank said. While cracking down on foreign laborers, Russia plans to make life easier for workers who are better educated and skilled to help lure investment from abroad. The government wants to react quickly to “painful points” flagged by investors, Deputy Economy Minister Stanislav Voskresensky told reporters in Moscow on May 7. One way to do that is to relax visa requirements for “highly skilled” workers, Voskresensky said.
The Business Week


It was supposed to be the first gay pride parade ever organised in Slovakia to support the empowerment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. But the parade planned for downtown Bratislava was cancelled after neo-Nazi groups attacked the march on May 22. The organizers explained that Slovakia’s police were unable to secure the safety of those attending. Members of the neo-Nazi group Slovenská Pospolitos attacked the participants at a pre-parade rally for LGBT rights. A tear gas canister thrown by one of the approximately 80 neo-Nazis interrupted the rally, attended by 500 people, while the extremists also were throwing eggs at the participants, the Sme daily reported. Two rally participants who were carrying a rainbow flag, the symbol of the parade, were attacked by the neo-Nazis at Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava. They attacked the flag barriers with their fists in the face, the SITA newswire reported. The rally and parade had been announced long in advance and observers said that the police had enough time to prepare for the security and safety of the parade participants. “Instead of the parade of pride, Slovakia has experienced a day of shame,” wrote Sme’s deputy editor-in-chief Lukáš Fila in his commentary suggesting that the attack by the neo-Nazis against the participants shows a failure by the state.

Fila states that if the state was unable to secure order at an event which had been announced months in advance and about which all media had been reporting and to which foreign diplomats had confirmed their presence, then in what other areas are the police incapable of securing public order? The event was intended to remind society of how diverse and colourful humankind is – hence the rainbow has become the symbol of gay parades all around the world. In Slovakia, Rainbow Pride was organised by the Queer Leaders’ Forum civic association, an informal group named Queers, and other civic groups. The organizers expressed regret that the police were unable to secure the planned path of the parade. The history of gay pride marches goes back to the Stonewall riots of 1969 when gay people in New York protested against raids made by police on local gay bars. Since then, a parade in New York to commemorate those events has taken place every year – and the tradition of gay pride parades has spread around the world. The organisers of Bratislava’s Pride event had said they hoped that the rally and parade would provide space not only for people with different sexual orientations, but also for all others who appreciate the values of an open society and support the concept of universal human rights.

The Slovak Spectator


Marine le Pen tried her best to flee her father and politics, she says, oppressed by the infamy of her inheritance, which followed her everywhere. But now she is widely expected to succeed Jean-Marie Le Pen as leader of the National Front, the persistent far-right party preaching French purity and exceptionalism, opposing immigration and the European Union, and which she wants to bring into the media age. More and more, she is the face of the party in television debates and national campaigning. “It’s amazing to see how destiny can mock you sometimes,” she said in a long interview at the party’s new headquarters, set incongruously in this Communist-run Parisian suburb. “I find myself there, in politics, when most of my life I tried to escape from that.” She sees herself as having a destiny now, if not one so lofty as that of the party’s emblem, Joan of Arc, chosen by Mr. Le Pen as a symbol of French sanctity and resistance to invaders. With her father, 81, set to retire early next year, Ms. Le Pen, 41, intends to carry the banner of the National Front into the 21st century, fighting a new host of enemies — including Islam — that supposedly threaten holy France. It is hard to see Marine Le Pen as a victim, but the National Front thrives on the sense of victimhood of its voters, who see a noble people trampled by supranational forces, impoverished by globalization and overrun by immigrants, many of them Muslim. But her own childhood, she says, was a misery. The youngest of three daughters of a reviled politician who happily pressed buttons of xenophobia, anxiety and anti-Semitism, Marine often found herself ostracized. Her left-leaning teachers despised her; she wanted a lawyer’s career, but again, she says, the widespread hatred of her father interfered. “No one wanted to have as an associate Marine Le Pen — it was simply seen as professional suicide,” she wrote in a 2006 autobiography, “À Contre Flots” (“Against the Current”). “Things were never insignificant. Never easy. We remained the daughters of Le Pen, and people would tend to make us feel guilty, always.”

But today she speaks of her decision to take up her father’s mantle as a kind of destiny, or sometimes as a kind of communicable disease. “Politics is a virus you never recover from,” she said. “It can be dormant, but in the end it always comes back, and the only way you can cure it is never to catch it.” She grew up with the disease, she said. “My father gave me that virus, this passion for the others. I was born and raised with politics, ate politics, slept politics. I tried to escape from it because I wanted to have my own job, but in the end it was the only thing that thrilled me.” It also nearly killed her. In 1976, when she was 8, her family’s house was blown up. The event scarred her, she said. “At that time, there wasn’t any psychological first aid. It was a bombing, and when it happened, I suddenly realized the dangers weighing on me, on my father, on my family.” Another shock was her parents’ divorce eight years later, when her mother, Pierrette, moved to America with her father’s biographer and demanded alimony. “Let her clean houses,” Mr. Le Pen said, and then Pierrette Le Pen posed for Playboy, wearing only an apron and wielding not a banner, but a mop. Marine Le Pen described her mother’s photospread as having “the effect of a steamroller on me,” and her parents’ feud as “a descent into hell.” But she is hardly the first person to turn childhood misfortune and isolation into politics, and she speaks with an eloquent forcefulness markedly different from her father’s more folksy style. Tall, blond and telegenic, she is the party’s “executive vice president for training, communication and propaganda”; she has been an elected member of the European Parliament since 2004. Twice divorced, she has three children: a daughter, nearly 12, and 11-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. While she is in a relationship, she keeps her private life to herself.

With her father she is respectful, referring to him as “the president” or by his full name. For Jean-Yves Camus, a political scientist at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques, her father is an impediment to her efforts to change the party. “It’s a burden, and she probably can’t get rid of it until he dies,” Mr. Camus said. She does not share her father’s anti-Semitism or deny the Holocaust, Mr. Camus said. But like Gianfranco Fini of Italy, who moved away from neo-Fascism, she will at some point need to make a speech breaking with “all those neo-Nazis on the fringe of the National Front,” he said. “She really wants to play a role in French politics,” Mr. Camus said. “It’s been said that Le Pen is content to be an outsider with media attention, but I really think she’s different. She wants to be part of a coalition someday on the French conservative right.” She is part of a younger generation that did not know World War II or the colonial wars her father fought in. “She incarnates a younger generation; she wants to ‘déringardiser’ the party,” or make it less tacky, said Nonna Mayer, a political scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research. “She does not embody the same extreme right as her father,” Ms. Mayer told the newspaper Libération, but attracts a more traditional voter, hurt by globalization and industrial decline.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has tried to absorb the National Front’s voters as the single candidate of the right, taking tough stands against the full facial veil, for instance, and restricting immigration. In this way, said Simon Serfaty, a European scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, “the National Front corrupts the larger parties” and forces them rightward. Ms. Mayer thinks the party has lost some of its support recently. But Mr. Camus said, “They’re not going away,” noting that many who voted for Mr. Sarkozy in 2007 returned to the National Front in the regional elections. Ms. Le Pen shares her father’s core beliefs. Immigration should stop and citizenship by birthplace should not be automatic, she said, proposing “a deterrence policy; we must deter people who want to immigrate.” She favors a “French first” policy for benefits. France erred terribly by trying to integrate immigrants rather than assimilating them, she said. “When you go see French people of immigrant descent in the suburbs and ask, ‘Are you French?’ he says, ‘No, I’m a Muslim,’ and that’s a problem.” Foreigners must “blend in with the national community because we are an old civilization,” Ms. Le Pen said. “There has been a withdrawal into non-French identities because we sapped French nationality of its content,” she said. “So how can someone be proud? We spend all our lives saying, ‘We are bastards, colonizers, slavery promoters.’ ” As for the European Union, she predicted, “Like the Soviet empire in its time, this E.U. empire will collapse.” Asked about her hopes for her children, Ms. Le Pen softened for a moment, but just a moment, then gave a speech. “I want them to inherit a country with an untouched cultural heritage, to accomplish what everyone wants: have a family, live safely, build a patrimony, do a job that will allow them to live decently and pass on their own heritage.” France has given much to civilization, she said, sounding much like Mr. Sarkozy. “There is something special about France,” she said. “If the French model disappears, it would be a loss for the entire world.”

NY Times