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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.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Race-row German banker quits post

A German banker at the centre of a row over comments he made about immigration and race has agreed to stand down, the country's Central Bank has announced.

Thilo Sarrazin, a board member of the Bundesbank, will leave his post at the end of this month.

He has said that Jews "share a particular gene" and has accused Muslims of failing to integrate.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was among several leaders who called for his removal from the board.

Mr Sarrazin, in his book entitled Germany Abolishes Itself, says that Muslim immigrants are a drain on German society.

"Most of the cultural and economic problems are concentrated in a group of the five to six million immigrants from Muslim countries," he stated in the book.

The issue has proved divisive in Germany, with right-wing groups claiming his views vindicate their own stances.

But advocates of improving integration say he has made it harder to hold an objective debate by polarising opinion and obscuring the facts.

Mrs Merkel's office said his controversial remarks were damaging the reputation of the Bundesbank.

And in a brief statement on Thursday, the Central Bank said: "With a view to the public discussions, both sides agreed to end their work together at the end of the month."

BBC News

French 'anti-Gypsy policy' denounced by European parliament

Liberal resolution with 337 majority rebukes Nicolas Sarkozy for deporting Roma and destroying their camps
Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused by the European parliament of stirring up racism through his anti-Gypsy campaign in a highly unusual vote against a leading EU country that has humiliated the centre-right dominating the politics of Europe.

A parliament resolution denouncing the French government's policy of deporting Roma families and demolishing their encampments was carried by a much bigger majority than expected – a vote of 337 to 245, bringing an uncommon victory for the centre-left and liberals in a chamber dominated by conservatives.

The resolution carried by the parliament also strongly criticised the European commission, which polices observance of European law, for appeasing the French and "failing to do its job".

The motion was proposed by social democrats, liberals, Greens and the hard left, and demanded an instant halt to the expulsions in France.

An opposing resolution from the centre-right European People's party, grouping Christian democrats and conservatives including Sarkozy's UMP, failed to criticise the French policy and was defeated.

Eric Besson, the French immigration minister, who was in Romania today pressing Bucharest to do more to integrate its large Roma/Gypsy minority, dismissed the parliament's attack. Paris would not bow to its "political diktat", he announced. "France has taken no specific measures against the Roma," he said.

Last month French police expelled 977 Roma, mostly to Romania, and demolished 128 camps, according to official French figures. The Gypsies from Romania are EU citizens and enjoy the right of freedom of movement in the union.

The French policy's contradictions were highlighted by the case of three Roma from Romania expelled from northern France. They received a deportation order, crossed the border into Belgium, walked a few metres, then turned around and legally walked back into France under the watching eyes of a French official.

"This is to demonstrate the absurdity of French government policy on the Roma," said their lawyers, Clément Norbert and Antoine Berthe.

The European parliament resolution is non-binding, purely a verbal rebuke. But it represents a big blow to French prestige, not least because the parliament sits in France, in Strasbourg. It is rare for the parliament to single out a big founding member of the EU for such a reprimand.

The result of the vote was also a fiasco for the centre-right EPP, the strongest caucus in the parliament representing Angela Merkel's Christian democrats from Germany, Silvio Berlusconi's deputies from Italy and Sarkozy's own UMP MEPs.

The voting figures indicated that many conservatives are deeply uneasy about the French policies, which have also split the Sarkozy cabinet and been denounced by the UN and the Vatican and the United Nations.

The parliament said it was "deeply concerned at the inflammatory and openly discriminatory rhetoric that has characterised political discourse during the repatriations of Roma, lending credibility to racist statements and the actions of extreme rightwing groups".

It accused the European commission of doing too little too late in considering whether France was breaking EU freedom of movement laws and anti-discrimination rules. "This places the commission under renewed pressure to begin legal action against the French authorities for failing to respect the rule of law in the way it has been targeting the Roma as an ethnic group," said Claude Moraes, the Labour MEP who helped draft the resolution.

In Paris on Monday, the European commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, and Sarkozy reached a truce on the Roma row, agreeing to play the matter down. "I've avoided entering the debate about France because it is not my role," Barroso said. "The subject is extremely politicised." He added, in reference to Jean-Marie Le Pen's far-right National Front party: "It's a mistake to say that freedom of movement must be absolute. Doing that, you'll create plenty of Le Pens."

The Guardian

Koran burning on or off?


Barack Obama yesterday warned a pastor his plan to burn copies of the Koran would spark bloodshed across the globe.

The US president urged Terry Jones not to go ahead with his bonfire in protest at Muslim extremists on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 - fearing it will boost recruitment for terror groups and put US troops in Afghanistan at even more risk.

And Interpol warned if the controversial stunt is put into action, innocent people could be killed in revenge terror attacks throughout the world.

Mr Obama said: "This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.

"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan.

"It could increase the recruitment of individuals willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities.

"I hope he understands that what he is proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans."

Interpol added: "If the proposed Koran burning goes ahead there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow."

Muslims are said to be planning a number of protests across the world, including one in London, over Jones' book burning. There were angry demos in Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday where rampaging protestors burned US flags.

Nato spokesman James Judge warned the Koran burning stunt is "precisely the kind of activity the Taliban uses to fuel their propaganda efforts".

Daily Mirror