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European Journal 07.11.12 | 21:30 - 22:00 UTC

Northern Ireland: The willingness to use violence is on the increase again

Topic People walk past a mural in the largely Protestant area of the Shankill Road area of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday Sept. 26, 2005. Disarmament officials presented a confidential report Monday to the British and Irish governments detailing the Irish Republican Army's recent secret handover of its weapons stockpiles, a long-elusive goal of Northern Ireland peacemaking. (ddp images/AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Northern Ireland: The willingness to use violence is on the increase again

Topic 2. foto für kahlschlag in den rumänischen karpaten / umweltmagazin 24.3. - foto: keno verseck. Illegal-abgeholzter-Wald-Ghimes-Faget-Ostrumänien.jpg

Romania: Clearcutting in the Carpathians

Topic Bilder von Bymedia. Auf allen Bildern ist die Protestaktion der Opposition in Minsk, Belarus zu sehen.
Miliz zeigt, wie Minsker Militz U-Bahn Zugänge zum Stadtzentrum gesperrt hat.

Lithuania: Belarusian Soldier Seeks Asylum

Topic Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, speaks to supporters during a pre-election rally at the northern port city of Thessaloniki Greece, on Sunday, June 10 2012. Reeling from a vicious financial crisis that has cost them pensions and jobs, Greeks have been turning away in droves from the mainstream politicians they feel have let them down. Golden Dawn, whose prominent members have expressed admiration for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, won nearly 7 percent of the vote in May 6 elections and 21 seats in the 300-member parliament.(Foto:Nicolas Giakoumidis/AP/dapd)

Greece: Violence against Foreigners

The peace process in Northern Ireland is coming under increasing pressure. Militant splinter groups have evidently united to form a new breakaway IRA. They are also said to be responsible for the murder of a Protestant prison guard who was a member of the Orange Order. Politicians from all parties are now warning of a new spiral of violence.

Topics

Northern Ireland: The willingness to use violence is on the increase again

The peace process in Northern Ireland could be facing a setback.

The willingness to resort to violence is increasing among both Protestants and Catholics. Many Protestants in Northern Ireland consider themselves the losers in the peace process. They have had to give up privileges and share power with Catholic parties. Protestants are giving vent to their anger with new marches. But the economic crisis is also driving many people to join radical Catholic groups. IRA splinter groups have joined together and are already threatening terrorist attacks.

Romania: Clearcutting in the Carpathians

Entire forests are being illegally cut down in Romania. Lax forestry policies are facilitating the deforestation. Residents have to cope with more frequent flooding.

The forests used to store rainwater. Now it floods into villages. After the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, a third of the forests in the Carpathians became private property. The owners even deforested protected areas or sold them to timber companies. Reforestation seldom if ever takes place. The clearcutting has now taken on Mafia-like proportions.

Lithuania: Belarusian Soldier Seeks Asylum

Stepan Zakharchenko belonged to Belarus's special forces. But he fled to Lithuania because he refused to sign documents committing himself to shoot at civilians.

Belarus's special forces aren't squeamish. When the country's regime takes action against opposition demonstrators, it usually sends in special military units. A member of those forces deserted and fled to Lithuania to ask for asylum. According to his own information, he had been supposed to sign a form in Belarus giving his consent to using force against civilians opposed to the government in emergency situations. Belarus has requested his extradition from Lithuania, where he has yet to be recognized as a political refugee. He now fears deportation.

Greece: Violence against Foreigners

Greek cities are seeing increasing incidents of violence against foreigners. In immigrant districts, many people are afraid of leaving their homes.

They're frightened of forces from the right-wing extremist party Golden Dawn: black-clad men who patrol after dusk on their motorcycles, targeting foreigners. In the past three months, aid organizations have registered more than 500 such attacks. None of the perpetrators were arrested.