Welcome to the Black & Asian News, European Edition! If you have missed the UK Edition, you can find it below in the United Kingdom section.
Minoritised communities in Europe are still accused of “taking our jobs” or are treated as suspects or criminals. In the UK, the Home Office is accused of “shocking miscarriage of justice” in the English test scandal. European citizens, whether they are Black, Asian, White or ‘mixed’ also find themselves stranded abroad due to “misleading messaging from the Home Office on EU settlement”.
France has launched a new body which aims to “reshape Islam”, but critics say President Emmanuel Macron is actually trying to gain right-wing support, as the new Forum of Islam includes influential Muslim figures handpicked by the government. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has just issued a statement and a report (in French) denouncing the escalation of attacks against Muslims and civil society organisations who work against racism and anti-Muslim hatred in France.
As for Switzerland, it has rejected a ban on Nazi symbols and salutes. The country’s Federal Council says that the focus should be on prevention rather than punitive action.
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GENERAL EUROPEAN NEWS
“If only ageing Europe had taken the easy option of more immigration”, Fondation Robert Schuman, Policy Paper, 8 February 2022
“It seems extraordinary three-quarters of a century after the Treaty of Rome was signed, and almost 30 years since the European Union’s ‘Big Bang’ enlargement, that a major common problem should so consistently fail to find a common solution. Yet that is the fate of immigration policies in Europe.”
‘They’re taking our jobs’—really?, Social Europe, 7 February 2022
“It is widely believed that migrants have displaced indigenous workers in Europe. Widely believed, but false.”
The sixth AU-EU summit: partners in therapy?, EUObserver, 8 February 2022
There is never a shortage of bombastic declarations, full of good intentions and commitments, at high-level events. According to French president Emmanuel Macron, the upcoming EU-Africa Union (AU) summit – organised under the French EU and Senegalese AU presidencies – will “completely overhaul” the partnership.
France pushes ‘European way of life’ amid Macron re-election bid, EUObserver, 9 February 2022
“France has doubled down on EU action against Islamist radicalisation, in a test of European appetite for French president Emmanuel Macron’s domestic politics. “Jihadist terrorism remains the most widespread and deadly phenomenon within the member states of the European Union,” the French EU presidency said in proposals on “Countering Radicalisation“, which were sent to EU states on 1 February and seen by EUobserver.”
Refugees welcome here—protests across Europe, Socialist Worker, 8 February 2022
“Protests to remember refugees drowned, missing and trapped in camps while trying to reach Europe took place across the continent last Sunday. They were called by the Abolish Frontex group. Activists held actions in Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Morocco and Greece.”
Europe can no longer ignore the far-right ideas governing France and attacks on civil society, ENAR, 14 February 2022
“ENAR issues a statement denouncing the escalation of attacks against Muslims and civil society organisations who work against racism and anti-Muslim hatred in France.” Read the Report here (in French).
France elections 2022: Who is voting for far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour?, Middle East Eye. 13 February 2022
“During his first big rally, in December 2021, Zemmour said he was ready to reply to two “fears” that “haunt the French”: the “decline” of the nation and the so-called “Islamisation of France”. France doesn’t formally keep ethnicity or religion statistics… Estimates say that of France’s 67 million or so inhabitants, three to four million are Muslim. Nonetheless, Zemmour’s message seems to be resonating in a country where Muslims have for years been the subject of discrimination and racism. Last year, in a poll for Le Monde, two-thirds of respondents agreed that “Islam is a danger for France and the Republic”. Zemmour is currently polling at around 14 percent.”
France launches new body aiming to reshape Islam, Deutsche Welle, 5 February 2022
“Dozens of influential Muslim figures were handpicked by the government to take part in the new Forum of Islam. Critics say it is an attempt by French President Emmanuel Macron to gain right-wing support.”
German police blames victim after racist attack in Berlin, Yenisafak.com, 10 February 2022
“Turkish girl, 17, assaulted, subjected to racial slurs but police blamed her for provoking row, violating mask requirement.”
Attackers vandalise mosque with Nazi swastika in Germany, TRT World, 10 February 2022
“Muslim group seeks protection and end to attacks on places of worship in Dortmund city in North Rhine-Westphalia state. Separately, authorities admit Berlin police falsely accused a young girl during their probe of a racist attack on her.”
Undocumented and still unvaxxed in Greece, VoxEurop, 10 February 2022
“Poultry farms are emblematic of the situation of undocumented migrants in Greece: despite the risk of contagion, many undocumented workers do not get vaccinated for fear of being deported. A law to fix the issue has been delayed, reveals an investigation by Lighthouse Reports and Efimerida ton Synktaton.”
Anti-racism campaigners deliver hate crime petition to justice minister, Longford Leader, 10 February 2022
“Anti-racism campaigners have urged the Oireachtas to speed up the enactment of hate crime legislation. The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) and the Coalition Against Hate Crime Ireland (CAHC) delivered signatures from their Love Not Hate Campaign to Minister of Justice Helen McEntee at Leinster House on Thursday.”
Migrant electrocuted on top of train traveling from Italy to France, InfoMigrants, 3 February 2022
“The man is not the only person electrocuted on top of a train, attempting to reach France undetected, in the southwestern border area between Italy and France in recent years. Several migrants have reportedly died this way, among them a young man from Bangladesh who was just 17 years old.”
Odemira’s ‘greenhouse slaves’ stage protest against working conditions, Portugal Resident, 13 February 2022
“The people who work for Sudoberry (almost invariably workers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Morocco and occasionally Bulgaria) sign contracts which promise them €6.22 per hour, reports SIC…The conditions of immigrant workers have been notorious for years (click here). But they came to a head during the Covid crisis when Odemira became a ‘centre of infection’ by dint of the fact that agricultural workers were living in such unhygienic and impoverished conditions (click here). The prime minister and president became involved, and there are now protocols in place to see the situation change, although it appears to be doing so very slowly (click here).”
Russians give bananas to Black foreign students and call them ‘monkeys’ in video, France24, 9 February 2022
“A video that has been circulating in Russia and abroad since late January showing racism against foreign students at a Moscow university has sparked outrage. Foreign students have raised concerns about discrimination for years in Russia, where tens of thousands of Africans have come to study. Our Observer, a Congolese student at the university where the video was filmed, told us about the everyday racism he is victim to.”
In Spain’s Lanzarote island, political bickering keeps 400 migrants in cramped conditions, El Pais, 25 January 2022
“Police note people are being kept in an overcrowded facility with no showers even though there is a brand new €2.1 million center sitting empty nearby.”
Switzerland rules on swastika ban, RT, 11 February 2022
“Despite pressure from politicians and Jewish groups, Switzerland’s Federal Council refuses to ban Nazi symbols…Switzerland’s neighbors maintain much tougher policies on Nazi symbols. Germany and Austria prohibit the display of such icons, with offenders in both countries facing fines or prison sentences. France bans the display of Nazi flags, uniforms and insignia in public, along with the symbols of other criminal groups.”
Swiss government aims to cut welfare benefits paid to some foreigners, LeNews, 31 January 2022
“In response to rising welfare costs, Switzerland’s Federal Council has put forward a proposal to cut the amounts paid to non-EU immigrants in Switzerland, reported RTS.”
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