In view of the tougher security measures in Europe after the Paris terror attacks, the press asks how much freedom states can sacrifice in the name of security? While some commentators warn against tighter controls, others see people’s fear of surveillance as a joke.
So apparently this morning Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, has announced that security gates will be built to access Thalys trains:
The recent spate of terror attacks around the world have given Israel an opportunity to showcase its military and intelligence capabilities—and to further crack down on Palestinians.
A report published on Tuesday (24 November) by CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development, documents an emerging trend amongst member states to divert aid budgets from sustainable development to domestic costs associated with hosting refugees and asylum seekers.
Stockholm wants to dramatically decrease the influx of asylum seekers coming into the country. Sweden will observe minimum standards for asylum policies under EU law and international rules, the government announced on Tuesday (24 November).
New border controls in the Western Balkans are leaving refugees stranded behind barbed wire as temperatures start to plunge, and aid agencies warned that the clampdown would lead to a rise in smuggling.
Public life has ground to a halt in Brussels after the city was put on the highest terror alert on Saturday. Sixteen people were arrested in raids on Sunday night. The Belgian government is doing the right thing by taking no chances, some commentators write. Others lament that the terrorists have achieved their goal of spreading a climate of fear and panic.
The European Council decided to cancel the majority of non-essential meetings scheduled to take place today (23 November) and the European Commission encouraged its staff to work from home, in what appears to be a capitulation to a terror threat, which has transformed Brussels into a ghost city.
A ‘mea culpa’ emerged from the emergency meeting on security matters on Friday (20 November), as EU member states acknowledged they did not use all the tools at their disposal to address the terrorist threats.
The Syrian passport found on one of the Paris attackers turns out to be a fake. The Egyptian one Le Point thought belonged to another turns out to belong to a bystander. The only attacker for whom we have a positive identification so far is a Frenchman. There are a couple of possible readings for this – it’s possible that a home-grown terrorist who went to Syria used the fake document to return discreetly, that a terrorist who entered the EU as a refugee used a fake document because they came from Daesh country, where valid ones are not issued, or that the attackers wanted to label their act as a blow struck in the Syrian war, or alternatively, that they wanted to smear the refugees. Mike Giglio, of Buzzfeed, was early with this one.