"What's New? How Is the World Treating You?"
Table of Contents for the Fourth Quarter of 2013
Get ready for New Year's revelry!
PBS stations around the country will be carrying the New Year’s Day concert of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on Wednesday, 1 January at 2.30 pm, EST (1.30 pm, CST), which will repeat at 8.00 pm, EST (7.00 pm, CST). Check local listings for details and http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/from-vienna-the-new-years-celebration-2014/about-the-concert/1952/. The conductor will be Daniel Barenboim, and Julie Andrews will host the event. A video of the 2013 concert, with commentary in German, is available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDnR3vRk1aU. Get ready to follow the Austrian tradition and clap with the audience as the orchestra plays the closing piece, "The Radetzky March," by the older Johann Strauss.
I wish you along with your family and friends all the best for 2014!
May this new year be better and brighter than any!
Despite the current lack of attention to Ukraine in the Western media, events show that the protests against the regime still are strong. President Victor Yanukovych has threatened to take action against the supporters of the protesters in the state bureaucracy in the western regions of the country. Many have shown their defiance by taking unpaid leave, and the mayor of Lviv stated that the police there may defend demonstrators against the military, should Yanukovych decide on a crackdown. On 25 December, several men dragged the investigative journalist, Tetyana Chornovol, from her car and severely beat her. Finally, it was revealed that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has compiled a list of individuals who are banned from entering the country because they have supported the anti-government demonstrators. The names on the list are unknown, but one list that a legislator proposed had three dozen names, including a large number of Georgians because of their support of the protests. See http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-leader-warns-defiant-regions-amid-protests-144811885.html; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25515838; and http://rt.com/news/ukraine-security-entry-ban-783/.
Instead of the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Independence Square in Kyiv, the protesters this last weekend numbered only 50,000. It seems as though President Victor Yanukovych’s strategy is to ignore the protesters in hopes that the stalemate with them will end, and his plan seems to be working. See http://euobserver.com/tickers/122592.
Russian authorities have amnestied the two imprisoned Pussy Riot members and one of the 28 Greenpeace activists. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was amnestied earlier and who had traveled to Germany after his release, has applied for a Swiss visa. See http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/23/256478469/their-release-is-just-a-pr-stunt-pussy-riot-member-says; http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mikhail-khodorkovsky-applies-for-swiss-visa/2013/12/24/0e6caab2-6cdb-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html?tid=hpModule_04941f10-8a79-11e2-98d9-3012c1cd8d1e; and http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/world/europe/russian-amnesty-now-includes-greenpeace-case.html?_r=0.
The Russian dissident, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is a free man and now is in Germany, where his ailing mother will receive medical treatment. There is no indication as to whether he will return to Russia or live outside the country. On his website, Khodorkovsky indicated that he had asked for the pardon for family reasons but that his request did not discuss the issue of guilt or innocence. The other amnesties President Vladimir Putin promised will come into effect in future days as repressive measures against those resisting his rule continue. Putin’s desire is to eliminate the most potentially embarrassing publicity in anticipation of the Olympic games at Sochi.
See the previous report on the amnesties here as well as http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25475649 and http://www.khodorkovsky.com/featured-articles/khodorkovskys-first-message-in-freedom/.
Since President Yanukovych reached various economic agreements with Russia and abandoned the notion of an association agreement with the European Union, there has been little news about the Maidan protests in Kyiv, named after Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, the location of the demonstrations. Still, Ukrainians meet in the bitter cold, determined to defy Yanukovych, who has vowed not to use force against his own people. Such a stalemate is not newsworthy, and the lack of foreign media attention could have a dampening effect on Ukrainian desires to brave the cold winter winds to support the cause for liberty. Certainly, that must be part of Yanukovych’s strategy to diffuse the situation.
EU statesmen are helping to draw attention away from Ukraine. On 20 December, at a summit of European leaders, one after another expressed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and washed their hands of Yanukovych, who has proven incapable of negotiating in good faith. They have kept the path open for an association agreement with Ukraine, but they have no illusions that regime change in Kyiv must come first. Those Ukrainians who are frozen by the cold and the political climate in their country only can take heart that the EU appears ready to impose sanctions on Ukraine, should Yanukovych turn to violence. Sanctions, however, merely are another form of stalemate.
Three is no way of telling how the protests in Ukraine will end. The pressure on the authorities can be so great that Yanukovych and his associates resign. That was the scenario in Georgia. The protesters may grow weary and dissipate. After some time, when the West has forgotten about Maidan, Yanukovych can order a crackdown, knowing that the negative exposure in the foreign media would be brief. That way, the situation in Ukraine might end like the failed protests in Russia, when Vladimir Putin was reelected, or in Belarus, when demonstrators attempted to remove Europe’s proverbial “last dictator.” A recent report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (see reference below) reviews those possibilities and leaves the question open for consideration.
There are several certainties at this point. One is that Yanukovych has moved Ukraine closer to Russia. Second, Russian financial support for Ukraine will keep the country in the Russian orbit, demonstrating the sensitivity Russia has about losing its influence over its buffer zone with Central and Western Europe. Finally, it is apparent that playing the Russian card for Yanukovych is a matter of personal gain if reports are true that Putin granted protection to him and his family. These facts combine to indicate that Yanukovych will weather the crisis, just as non-democratic forces have in Belarus and Russia. Much will depend on the resolve of the Maidan demonstrators and whether they can garner the support they need at home and abroad to continue putting pressure on Yanukovych. The media’s abandonment of Ukraine is disheartening.
In a study for the American Historical Association, half of the recent doctoral graduates between 1998 and 2009 have tenure-track or tenured positions. The study, which examined the career of 2500 individuals, also found that those who attended prestigious institutions were more likely to find employment in academia than those who studied at other institutions. Approximately a quarter of the graduates are in non-tenured teaching positions, and roughly a quarter of the graduates are employed outside academia.
The statistics are as follows:
It is clear from the study that while not all graduates with doctorates have tenure-track positions at universities, they are not flipping burgers. Although an advanced degree in history provides a pathway to academia, it also gives students skills that are valuable for a variety of employers.
In early December, the European Union fined several global banks $2.3 billion for fixing benchmark interest rates. Among the banks fined were JP Morgan and Citigroup in the United States. Two banks, Barclays and UBS, avoided fines because they cooperated with authorities. See http://news.yahoo.com/eu-fines-global-banks-2-3-bln-market-122035474--finance.html and http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/04/news/companies/libor-europe-fines/.
Vladimir Putin announced a series of amnesties that he will approve in the near future. He intends to release the two jailed members of Pussy Riot several months before they complete serving their sentence for having staged a protest performance inside a Russian Orthodox church. He also will release 30 environmentalists from a Greenpeace ship that was in the Russian Arctic. Finally, he will release Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of Yukos Oil, who was arrested in 2003 and who has been serving a prison sentence for corruption. Before his arrest, Khodorkovsky had criticized Putin for abandoning liberal reforms, and he is regarded as Russia’s most prominent political prisoner.
Putin’s amnesty of these and other prisoners is an effort to improve Russia’s image in advance of the February 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Located on the Black Sea close to Georgia, Sochi has a relatively warm climate, and the construction of the expensive Olympic facilities has been controversial, even though they will provide the area with a permanent luxury resort. A major concern was that there might not be enough snow at Sochi, one of the warmest areas in Russia, but experts do not believe this to be a problem. Should a snow shortage occur, authorities have stored snow in the mountains and have snow-making machines. Nevertheless, Olympic organizers must be hoping that Putin’s thaw does not inspire Ded Moroz, the Slavic Grandfather Frost.
See http://news.yahoo.com/putin-amnesty-free-punk-band-duo-despite-39-122135552.html; http://news.yahoo.com/putin-pardon-jailed-tycoon-khodorkovsky-123355074--finance.html; http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-says-sochi-is-ready-to-host-the-winter-olympics-beginning-feb-7/2013/10/17/97f31620-3664-11e3-89db-8002ba99b894_story.html; http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579248452175999202; and http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-says-he-will-pardon-yukos-oil-tycoon-mikhail-khodorkovsky/2013/12/19/e48aca1c-68b6-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html.
Talks between the European Union and Ukraine ceased when the EU representative in charge of enlargement and Czech diplomat, Štefan Füle, became frustrated with President Yanukovich, especially when the latter threatened to prosecute those Ukrainians who drafted the original association agreement with the EU. On 17 December, Yanukovich visited Russia and negotiated several deals. Most important, Russia has agreed to purchase $15 billion of Ukrainian debt and has agreed to cut the price of natural gas from approximately $400 per 1000 cubic meters to $268.50 per 1000 cubic meters. As expected, there was no mention of Ukraine signing a customs agreement with Russia, a move which would infuriate Ukrainian protesters.
See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122483; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/world/europe/unease-as-an-opposition-party-stands-out-in-ukraines-protests.html; and http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/us-ukraine-idUSBRE9BF11U20131217.
Angela Merkel has crafted a new Grand Coalition between her party, the Christian Democratic Union-Christian Socialist Union (CDU-CSU), and the Social Democratic party (SPD). Today, the Bundestag confirmed the government, which has 504 out of 631 seats in the lower house. See http://euobserver.com/political/122474 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25413519.
As approximately 200,000 protesters crowded Independence Square in Kyiv, a European Union representative indicated that discussions with Ukrainian authorities about signing an association pact with the EU again have stalled. The Ukrainian government claims that the EU is not providing enough of a financial incentive to close the deal. Meanwhile, President Victor Yanukovich of Ukraine is preparing to meet with president Vladimir Putin of Russia on Tuesday, and there are rumors that he will sign a trade deal with Russia at that time. See http://news.yahoo.com/ukrainian-opposition-presses-massive-rally-112911184.html.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tests students throughout the world in its Program for International Student Assessment. Among 15-year old students in 2012, the United States did poorly in mathematics (placing 36 out of 65), reading (placing 24 out of 65), and science (placing 28 out of 65). Shanghai was in first place across the board, and the top four countries in all three categories were Asian. Among the top ten in math, reading, and science, Asian countries dominated: Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, and Vietnam. Several Western countries appeared only a few times: Finland, Estonia, Ireland, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Liechtenstein.
The federal website for the PISA is http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/, and the results are at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2014024. The AP report is at http://news.yahoo.com/teens-asia-dominate-global-test-us-stagnant-160339072.html.
John Stewart on The Daily Show made fun of America’s poor performance at the expense of Slovakia, which outperformed the US in mathematics, scoring 482 to the US 481 (Shanghai had 613 and the world average was 494). Stewart remarked, “I always feel bad for whatever country is just above America on these lists because, invariably, that country is used as a standard for just how far we have fallen as a people.” He got laughs when he said that the Slovaks eat their own vomit, their president is a cow, and their main export is farts. Reaction from the Slovak community has been harsh, although some have understood that Stewart actually was making fun of the US, not Slovakia. Stewart also made fun of the CNN report that showed the US placement in math, reading, and science by grouping of scores because the graphic CNN used showed the US position in science as 21th instead of 21st.
To watch Sewart’s segment, see http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-10-2013/american-horrible-story. A report on the incident (in Slovak) is at http://www.topky.sk/cl/10/1371532/Utok-na-Slovakov-v-USA--Totalne-zosmiesnenie-v-priamom-prenose--ake-ste-este-nevideli-. The headline reads “Attack against Slovakia in the United States.”
Proposed legislation that has a good chance of passing in Croatia would allow gay couples to register their partnerships and to inherit property, but it would not allow them to adopt children or marry. On 1 December, a majority of Croatians voted against allowing gay marriage, which now is constitutionally illegal in the country. See http://news.yahoo.com/croatian-govt-proposes-rights-gays-133725552.html.
Approximately 30 Serbs from Northern Kosovo blocked a border crossing with Serbia on 14 December to protest the customs fees that Kosovo and Serbia established in an agreement that the European Union brokered. The funds resulting from the fees benefit Northern Kosovo, but the protesters object to the fees as a symbol of the separation of the region from Serbia. See http://news.yahoo.com/serbs-block-northern-kosovo-border-crossing-140300405.html.
The European Union is offering additional funds for Ukraine to sign an association agreement with the EU, but it is insisting that President Victor Yanukovych conducts round table talks with the opposition leading the protests, which have gathered hundreds of thousands in Kyiv. On Friday, 13 December, Yanukovych offered an amnesty for arrested protesters, a proposal that may ease tensions but does not meet all the protesters’ demands, such as the resignation of the government and signing the EU association agreement.
The Swedish economist, Anders Åslund, has explained, in an article for Foreign Affairs, how those around Yanukovych are profiting as the protests continue. High interest rates keep currency in the banks and put the inflation rate at zero, but because credit is expensive, businesses find it difficult to operate. Furthermore, the political crisis further undervalues businesses. Yanukovych’s associates, known as the Family (Ukrainian: Familia), are able to purchase these businesses. One example of the interconnections the politicians have with the economy is that the mother of Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Serhiy Arbuzov, is the CEO of a bank that Yanukovych’s son happens to own. Furthermore, corruption exists on a grand scale. For example, the government purchases natural gas produced in Ukraine at slightly more than $50 per 1000 cubic meters and sells it at a low rate to others, who then resell it at a much higher rate. Because the Family continues to make profits from its dealings, the government shuns the reforms the EU and the International Monetary Fund have demanded. Åslund fears economic ruin, including a bank run, which will fuel further political unrest.
See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122455 and http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-president-proposes-protester-amnesty-133356007.html. Åslund’s article in Foreign Affairs is at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/26/the_basket_case#sthash.VSmXiYmo.dpbs.
Catherine Ashton, the high representative for foreign and security affairs for the European Union, has reported that Victor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, promised to sign the association agreement with the EU. She questioned his credibility, however, stating “I merely tell you that that’s what he’s been saying.” The Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, expressed an interest in an additional €20 billion for signing the agreement, beyond what the EU has promised in aid. Ashton’s reply was: “This is not about bids for this country . . . This is not a decision about ‘Oh, here's x amount of money if only you'll sign.’ We're not interested in that.” Signing the EU association agreement is one of the demands of the protesters in Kyiv. There also is concern that Yanukovych will commit to a customs agreement with Russia during an upcoming visit to Moscow, effectively killing any sort of agreement with the EU and fueling more intense protests. See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122444 and http://news.yahoo.com/eu-39-ashton-yanukovych-wants-sign-eu-deal-084457887.html.
The Romanian legislature passed a measure that removed members of both houses of parliament, the president, and lawyers from the list of public officials, thereby making them exempt from accusations of corruption. The president criticized the measure and promised to return it to the legislature. See http://euobserver.com/justice/122424.
Documents from Edward Snowden reveal that Sweden signed an agreement in 1954 with the United States along with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to exchange information, especially that garnered through monitoring communications. Such an arrangement continues today. Based on information the Swedes had gathered, they predicted the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia when the US did not expect it. Sweden was officially neutral during the cold war, and Swedish officials claim that such an arrangement was necessary at the time and remains crucial for the country’s defense. For the same reason, it had to be top secret. See http://www.thelocal.se/20131209/secret-cold-war-treaty-confirms-sweden-was-never-neutral.
After meeting with three of Ukraine’s presidents, current president, Viktor Yanukovych, reportedly stated that he would release the protesters who were not involved in violence. The main opposition leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, responded that Yanukovych’s concessions do not go far enough. The protesters are demanding the government’s resignation, a new government that will sign the EU association agreement, the release of all protesters in custody, and the punishment of police who perpetrated violence against peaceful demonstrators.
In the early morning of 11 December, police cleared some of the streets leading to Independence Square. The protesters still held the square and the city administration building, and they iced the steps to the entrance to discourage the police from attempting to take the building. The minister of the inter then announced that the police no longer will disperse the peaceful crowd, and the police withdrew. It is not clear whether his statements indicate a change in heart among the authorities, a division within their ranks, or a tactic to lull the protesters into the false belief that they have achieved a victory. The events in the early hours of 11 December occurred as Catherine Ashton, the high representative for foreign affairs and security for the European Union, is in Kyiv to meet with President Yanukovych.
This posting is based on AP reports at http://news.yahoo.com/kravchuk-yanukovych-seek-protesters-39-release-131836301.html; http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-39-leader-makes-offer-critics-no-deal-204524778.html; http://news.yahoo.com/police-clash-protesters-ukrainian-capital-023310385.html; http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/western-envoys-kiev-hoping-defuse-crisis-21158718 and http://euobserver.com/foreign/122431.
A time line of the recent problems in Ukraine is available at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/10/world/europe/ukraine-timeline.html?_r=0.
The standoff in Ukraine between the government and protesters continues, and the solution remains as unpredictable as the actions of the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych. While protests in Kyiv continue, riot police raided the offices of the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, confiscating computers. The authorities also have questioned several opposition leaders. Meanwhile, President Yanukovych is to met with Ukraine’s past three presidents and Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief. The government also demanded that protesters leave the city administration building they are occupying, but they refuse to do so. More details are at http://news.yahoo.com/riot-police-storm-opposition-offices-ukraine-173222492.html.
On Sunday, 8 December, approximately a half million people gathered in another Euromaidan, the ongoing protests against the government on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, that is, Independence Square, in Kyiv. Nearby, protesters toppled a statue of V. I. Lenin and smashed it, while chanting “Glory to Ukraine.” See http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-sees-largest-anti-govt-protest-since-2004-165822325.html.
Given that this protest is larger than the crowds that brought about the Orange Revolution in 2004-2005 and the fact that the recent protests have taken place without police or military interference, aside from the violence of 1 December, it is possible that the current regime will not withstand the popular pressure. The leaders of Ukraine’s opposition continue to express their willingness to negotiate, but their position steadily increases, lessening the pressure on them to compromise.
Three events help revive the possibility that Ukraine will sign an association agreement with the European Union. First, negotiators from Ukraine have come to Brussels to negotiate new terms for an association agreement that would provide Ukraine with up to €10 billion for development. Second, the EU no longer is insisting that Ukraine release its former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, from prison. Finally, EU action has saved Ukraine’s role as a transit for natural gas destined for the EU in light of Russian efforts to bypass the country. The European Commission has deemed that the agreements creating the South Stream Pipeline through the Balkans does not meet EU law and cannot be built. Russia demanded exclusive use of the line, which is against EU regulations. Furthermore, the plan does not meet the EU requirement for separating the production and distribution of energy supplies. See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122374.
Meanwhile, protests in Ukraine continue. Three former Ukrainian presidents have expressed their solidarity with the protesters and have condemned the 1 December crackdown and other violence against the demonstrators. An American diplomat, Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs who substituted for the American secretary of state, John Kerry, during a meeting in Kyiv of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe told protest leaders that they should negotiate with the authorities. Although the demonstrators want the government to resign and early elections for the president, there is no constitutional provision for the latter, and they may have to settle for allowing President Viktor F. Yanukovich to complete his term in office and run for reelection. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25216727 and http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/world/europe/ukraine-protests.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0.
A Ukrainian journalist, Anna Kotaleichuk has written a description of the nature of the protests in Kyiv for New Eastern Europe. She characterizes them as turning from mere demonstrations to becoming a revolutionary movement. She estimated the crowd on 1 December to be 700,000. See http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1056.
Protests in Ukraine resumed after a no-confidence vote against the government on 3 December failed in the legislature. The prime minister, Mykola Azarov, noted that he will negotiate with the protesters but warned that “we have extended our hand to you, but if we encounter a fist, I will be frank, we have enough force.” Protests resumed after the vote failed, and protesters hold several government buildings. See http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-opposition-fails-force-govt-vote-134926477.html.
Ukraine is hosting the meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe in Kiev, and is being snubbed. Catherine Ashton, the EU high representative on foreign and security affairs, will not attend the meeting because she has another engagement, and is sending another diplomat in her place. The American secretary of state, John Kerry, openly stated that he will not attend the meeting because Ukraine has not signed the EU association agreement and has used force against protesters. He will travel to Moldova, which signed an association agreement just days ago in Vilnius, Lithuania. Some sources speculate about whether the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, may reverse course and sign the association agreement in the near future. See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122346. Given his propensity to shift course abruptly, anything is possible.
In earlier news, it is unlikely, according to EU sources, that the EU will impose sanctions against Ukraine for the brutal Saturday, 30 November, crackdown against protesters. The US, EU, and NATO have condemned the assault. See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122301.
The journalist Michael J. Trotten has authored an article based on his first-hand observations of Cuba for World Affairs. In many respects, the world he describes with respect to police surveillance is comparable to the situation that existed in Eastern Europe before the 1989 candlelight revolutions. Unfortunately, he did not reveal how he was able to get his notes and photographs out of Cuba because he claimed that he might need to use that same method some time in the future. The article is available at http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/welcome-cuba.
Born on 19 May 1909 and now 104 years old, Sir Nicholas Winton was responsible for transporting 669 children in 1938 from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, now the Czech Republic, to Britain. Most of them were Jewish, and many of their parents died in the Holocaust. Winton, who had a career in finance, kept his humanitarian work a secret, but his wife discovered information in 1988 about the Prague rescue in their attic. Children from Berlin and Vienna also benefitted from Winton’s efforts. Winton, whose family converted from Judaism to Christianity, has received a number of honors, and a statue to him stands at the Wilson Train Station in Prague. A BBC clip from 1988 with Winton and some of the children he saved is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_nFuJAF5F0.
The Czech country and western singer, Pavel Bobek, died on 20 November after a long illness. Trained as an architect, he began his singing career in the early 1960s with the rock group Olympic before devoting the remainder of his career to country music. He sang Czech versions of famous songs from Kenny Rogers, Lou Reed, John Denver, and Johnny Cash, whom he met in 1978. See http://www.radio.cz/en/section/special/tribute-to-pavel-bobek-part-1 and http://www.radio.cz/en/section/special/tribute-to-pavel-bobek-part-2.
In Slovak local elections of 23 November, Marian Kotleba (born 1977) of the People’s Party–Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) won 55.5 percent of the votes to lead the Banska Bystrica region. Kotleba is known for his racist statements, targeting the Roma in particular, along with his desire to pull Slovakia out of NATO and the eurozone. He wants more independence for Slovakia in the European Union. A former secondary school teacher, Kotleba also has worn fascist uniforms and has demonstrated in support of the clerico-fascist Slovak state that was in existence during the Second World War. It is likely that Kotleba won largely because of poor voter turnout and voter apathy, which favored the well-mobilized far right voters. The political party that won the most votes in the election throughout the country was the ruling Smer-Social Democracy party.
See http://spectator.sme.sk/articles/view/52146/2/updated_five_remaining_regional_leaders_elected_extremist_wins_in_banska_bystrica.html; https://www.google.com/search?q=clerico-fascist&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb; and http://www.ibtimes.com/marian-kotleba-slovakias-new-neo-nazi-governor-only-latest-right-wing-extremists-emerging-eastern.
The EU summit with Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova took place on 28-29 November in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the shadow of the Ukranian refusal to participate in the meeting and to sign an association and trade agreement with the EU. Georgia and Moldova initialed association and trade agreements with the EU, and the Lithuanian president, Dalia Grybauskaite, stated on 29 November that she expects that the parties will sign those documents in the autumn of next year. Azerbaijan signed an agreement to liberalize certain types of visa applications for entry into the EU. Armenia also was to take part in the summit, but it announced in early September that it joined Russia’s customs union instead because of economic pressure from Russia. An earlier post on this website about Armenia is here.
On the statement from Grybauskaite, see http://euobserver.com/tickers/122294. On corruption in Moldova, see http://euobserver.com/foreign/122157. See also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25134682.
On 21 November, the Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, announced that the country would not sign an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union because of concerns about the country’s security and its lost revenue due to Russian bans, essentially boycotts of Ukrainian products. The International Monetary Fund immediately warned that the country’s hopes of gaining a $10-$15 million line of credit the country requires to service its debt is in jeopardy; however, Azarov subsequently blamed the IMF that it refused to help Ukraine financially, which is why the country had to scrap the EU treaty and improve relations with Russia. An additional problem, and likely the most important, is that the EU continues to pressure Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, to liberalize the country and to free the jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.
Several EU leaders criticized the Ukrainian leadership for its decision. Furthermore, the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, stated that he would tell President Putin to stop bullying neighboring countries when the two have their next summit.
After the 21 November announcement, Tymoshenko called for protests against the government’s decision not to sign the EU agreement, which came at the same time the Ukrainian parliament voted not to allow her to travel to Germany for treatment of a back ailment. Less than a week later, on 26 November, Tymoshenko announced that she would begin a hunger strike, her third since entering prison in August 2011, until President Yanukovych respects the wishes of the people and signs the treaty. Protests in Kyiv began immediately after the government rejected the EU treaty, with at least 50,000 taking to the streets the day after the announcement. The number of protesters mounted over the days, and on 1 December, 300,000 protesters clashed with police. Journalists throughout the world, including some in Russia, like Open Democracy, signed a petition condemning the violence the Ukrainian police are using against the protesters.
Information for this post came from: http://euobserver.com/foreign/122190; http://euobserver.com/foreign/122201; http://euobserver.com/tickers/122206; http://euobserver.com/tickers/122204; http://euobserver.com/foreign/122235; http://euobserver.com/foreign/122292; http://euobserver.com/foreign/122299; http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2013/1125/Pro-Europe-Ukrainians-march-as-Kiev-balances-Moscow-and-Brussels-video; http://www.dw.de/ukraine-police-crack-down-on-anti-government-pro-europe-protests-in-kyiv/a-17263033; http://news.yahoo.com/anti-govt-mass-rally-ukraine-turns-violent-191906466.html; and http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/editors-of-opendemocracy-russia/in-defence-of-freedom-of-expression. See also http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1046 and http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1049.
An earlier post on this website about the possibility that Ukraine will not sign the agreement with the EU is located here.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ended in Warsaw, Poland, with an agreement on 24 November to limit the increase in the global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The next meeting will be in 2015 in Paris. The participants also decided to create the Warsaw International Mechanism, which will assist less-developed countries in coping with rising ocean levels, droughts and desertification, as well as floods. Critics claim that the agreement did not go far enough to prevent ecological disaster. See http://euobserver.com/environment/122213.
In a 65-34 vote on 1 December, Croatians decided to amend their constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The ban received the full support of the Roman Catholic Church. See http://news.yahoo.com/croatians-vote-against-same-sex-marriage-192741473.html.
The Turkish deputy prime minister wants to turn Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque, and the proposal has brought condemnation by Greece. The Byzantine church, once the seat of the patriarch, was converted to a mosque after the fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 to the Turks. The structure became a museum in 1935, during the presidency of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. See http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-greece-feud-over-hagia-sophia-184603662.html.
Democracy Now! has interviewed the director of the film Hannah Arendt (2012), Margarethe von Trotta, and the lead actress, Barbara Sukowa. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), the German-Jewish writer and political theorist, fled to France from Germany when the Nazis were in power and landed in a concentration camp after the fall of France. She escaped and managed to get to the United States. She spent her remaining years studying totalitarianism and anti-Semitism. Von Trotta also directed Rosa Luxemburg (1986), a film about the socialist leader who was of Polish birth and who was murdered when the Freikorps put down the Bolshevik-style revolution she helped lead in 1919 Berlin. The interview is at http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/26/hannah_arendt_revisits_fiery_debate_over.
In May 2014, Dr. Daniel E. Miller will lead “The Second World War in Western and Central Europe,” another tour in cooperation with Aura-Prague Travel Agency in the Czech Republic. This will be Dr. Miller’s ninth tour to Europe that brings together members of the public from throughout the US as well as both undergraduate and graduate students to explore various parts of Europe.
The Second World War tour will begin on 9 May (8 May departure from the US) and conclude on 23 May 2014. It will begin with four nights of springtime in Paris. From there, it will proceed to the beaches of Normandy, which will be in the final preparations for the 6 June celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. There will be stops in Amiens, France, and Aachen, Germany, where there will be enough time to visit the historic cathedrals of those two cities before departing for two nights in Cologne, Germany. Next, there will be three nights in Berlin. Finally, there will be a stopover in Dresden before the tour reaches its last destination, Prague, Czech Republic.
Throughout the tour, Dr. Miller will describe various historical aspects of the Second World War. Ing. Lenka Kocková, the tour organizer with her vast knowledge of European history and culture, will accompany the group as a technical tour guide. Transportation between Paris and Prague will be by private coach. The price of the tour is $3495 plus airfare, certain meals, and incidentals. The cost of a single supplement is $785. Ms. Kocková will make arrangements for anyone who wishes to extend their stay beyond the last day of the tour with a visit to Vienna, Austria. For more information, contact Dr. Miller at email@example.com or click here.
Three scholars, Tim Haughton (University of Birmingham, UK), Tereza Novotná (Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium), and Kevin Deegan-Krause, (Wayne State University), have written an excellent assessment of the recent Czech elections for The Washington Post. The authors explain the shift in voter loyalty and how the major parties faced defeats, including the Social Democrats, who are working to construct a multi-party coalition. The article is available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/10/30/the-czech-paradox-did-the-winner-lose-and-the-losers-win/. The posting for the election on this web site is here.
An art student, Jerzy Szumczyk, installed a sculpture he titled “Komm Frau” (Come Woman) without a permit in Gdańsk, Poland. His placed his work, which depicted a Soviet soldier about to rape a German woman of the city, then known as Danzig, next to the T-34 tank that stands as a memorial to the Soviets who had liberated the city at the end of the Second World War. The authorities removed the sculpture and questioned Szumczyk, but the Russians nonetheless protested. Alexander J. Motyl considers the question of which memorials are appropriate for the war and which memorials never have been erected in an article at http://worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alexander-j-motyl/questioning-war-monuments?utm_source=World%20Affairs%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=5977a39b01-Blog_Bachrach_Kara_Murza_Motyl_10_28_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f83b38c5c7-5977a39b01-230304977.
In the days following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989, the Czech sculptor, David Černý, painted the Soviet tank of Prague’s World War II monument pink. The authorities restored its proper color, and Černý again painted it pink. Eventually, to stop the Soviet protests, the authorities removed the tank and placed it in the military museum (this author saw the pink tank in the museum storage area shortly after it had been removed from its pedestal). Černý’s action and Szumczyk’s have much in common.
As the United Nations climate summate takes place in Poland, amidst protests from those who want to push the negotiators to take meaningful steps to protect the environment, Warsaw also is hosting a meeting of the World Coal Association. Furthermore, the Poles have announced that coal will be the major fuel for Poland until at least 2060. See http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/18/polish_govt_draws_heat_for_embracing.
Another issue involving coal faces the Lausitz region of Saxony and Brandenburg, Germany, which has a significant population of Lusatian Sorbs, a West Slavic people. The Swedish firm Vattenfall, is strip mining brown coal in the area and wants to expand significantly its operations. Despite the fact that many would lose their homes in preparation for the extraction process and the fact that brown coal is a notorious polluter, it appears that Vattenfall will succeed in their efforts because the firm is essential to the local economy. See the Spiegel Online article at http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/energy-giant-vattenfall-presses-on-with-coal-mine-expansion-plans-a-930828.html.
The journalist Filip Mazurczak considers the support that the writer and philosopher, Albert Camus (1913-1960), gave to the Hungarians during and after the 1956 uprising in an article available at http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1016.
Americans, on the whole, work longer than Europeans, but Europeans, generally, are more productive. The key, it seems, is that a relaxed worker is a productive worker, although other factors, such as universal health care that relieves Europeans of the burdens of medical bills and strong regulations regarding salaries and working conditions, contribute to increased worker contentment and translate to greater productivity. An article by Cristina Maza in PolicyMic outlines the Slow Movement that originated in Italy and has spread throughout Europe. Read it at http://www.policymic.com/articles/73081/what-overworked-millennials-can-learn-from-europe-s-laid-back-lifestyle.
As of 13 November, it appears that the European Union may not sign an association and free trade treaty with Ukraine. Not only has Ukraine not released the former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, for medical treatment in Germany, but it now has charged her lawyer with what may be a trumped-up charge of domestic violence that carries a three-year prison sentence. In another example of the concerns about Ukraine, 14 reporters left their position at the Ukrainian edition of Forbes because management attempted to put an end to their investigation of an ally of the country’s president. Nevertheless, the negotiators from the EU Parliament, Patrick Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski, have agreed to continue their efforts until 19 November. Furthermore, the EU negotiators are attempting to supply Ukraine with natural gas to offset any interruption in Russian gas that is designed to pressure Ukraine to align its policies with Moscow. Some of that gas may originate in Russia and arrive in Western Europe through other channels, and Moscow is warning against such a “reverse flow” to Ukraine (Europe receives approximately a quarter of its natural gas from Russia). Diplomats and EU negotiators assume that any decision about concluding agreements on Ukraine will take place at the last minute before or even during the 27 November Vilnius, Lithuania, summit between EU and East European states. Finally, in an announcement on 19 November, the Ukrainian parliament has decided to delay until 21 November a vote about releasing Tymoshenko.
See http://euobserver.com/foreign/122088, http://news.yahoo.com/14-ukraine-reporters-quit-over-censorship-concerns-131512320--finance.html, http://euobserver.com/tickers/122102, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303531204579205600389012202, http://euobserver.com/foreign/122153, and http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-stalls-decision-tymoshenko-release-094621803.html,
An assessment of the situation as of the beginning of November from the CEO of the Kyiv Post, Jakub Parusinski, is available at http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1010. Although not specifically on the topic of Ukraine, an article by Tom Yeager, a senior fellow at the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, considers the options the United States has regarding NATO and EU expansion in the direction of Russia in the light of the fears of the Kremlin in http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1018.
A Reformed Church in Hungary unveiled a bust of Admiral Miklós Horthy, the regent of Hungary between the two world wars and for much of the Second World War. The Church is conducting an investigation into the matter because Horthy was responsible for anti-Semitic laws and has received praise from the radical-right Jobbik party. See http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2013/11/05/hungarian-bishop-alarmed-by-nazi-allys-monument/?KEYWORDS=history.
Much information is available about the 1,406 pieces by famous artists that the Nazis looted and that were discovered recently in a Munich apartment. The latest information is that the German authorities knew about the collection for nearly two years but were conducting an investigation. They only revealed details about the paintings when the press obtained some information about them. An article about the case and selective images of the art work are available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/16/german-government-art_n_4287739.html. Also see http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2013/11/12/the-uses-of-nazi-degenerate-art/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en.
On 29 October, the ninetieth anniversary of the republic, Turkey opened an 8.5-mile long tunnel under the Bosphorus linking Asia and Europe. The tunnel was the brainchild of Sultan Abdul-Medjid (1823-1861, reigned 1839-1861), who ushered in the Tanzimat reforms. See http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Oct-29/236167-turkey-fulfils-sultans-dream-with-opening-of-bosphorus-tunnel.ashx#axzz2kyI9LWg0.
The Romanian government has decided not to grant permission for a gold mining operation that environmentalists and others protested. See http://euobserver.com/tickers/122065. For an earlier posting about this issue, click here.
The European Commission has agreed to grant Moldovans visa-free travel in the European Union. Georgia and Ukraine are still in the process of arranging visa-free travel with the EU. See http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1085_en.htm and http://euobserver.com/foreign/122095.
Normally, a posting about the passing of a popular musician would not appear on this site, but Lou Reed played a small role in the collapse of communism in Central Europe. The late Czech playwright, dissident, and president, Václav Havel, introduced Reed’s music to a Czech group known as the Plastic People of the Universe. The arrest of the band members angered dissidents, including Havel. Their Charter 77 demanded that the state respect human rights, propelled Havel’s reputation, and facilitated his election to the presidency of Czechoslovakia in late 1989. See http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/10/27/how_lou_reed_helped_bring_down_communism_in_eastern_europe.html.
A number of incidents of violence marred last weekend’s local elections in Kosovo, which puts into jeopardy Kosovo’s ability to deepen its integration with the European Union. See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/world/europe/violence-mars-election-in-kosovo.html. An earlier article about the elections is at http://news.yahoo.com/kosovo-local-elections-test-relations-serbia-220918256.html.
An analysis of the rise and repression of the Greek extremist party, Golden Dawn, is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-elizabeth-h-prodromou/crackdown-or-breakdown-gr_b_4096624.html. The authors are Elizabeth H. Prodromou, with the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, and Alexandros K. Kyrou, at Salem State University.
The Austrian composer, Georg Friedrich Haas, has joined the faculty at Columbia University. Haas is noted for his spectral music, a sample of which is his “Violin Concerto” that is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqneV9s245s. For more information about Haas, see http://chronicle.com/article/Austrian-Composer-Follows-His/142639/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en.
Authorities are unearthing a mass grave near Prijedor in Bosnia that has more than 380 bodies. It is from the 1992-1995 civil war and contains the remains of Bosniak and Croat men, women, and children. See http://news.yahoo.com/bosnia-digging-could-biggest-mass-grave-183152020.html.
http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/962.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10349867/Last-stretch-of-Hitlers-motorway-to-disappear.html.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBzmR7QZ2k0. See the Youtube caption for additional information.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, the candidate for the Georgian Dream party, also the party of the prime minister, won the presidential election of 27 October with 64 percent of the vote. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24696261. Meanwhile, Georgian Dream is talking about trying its opponent and the outgoing president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and the European Union has urged Georgia not to use the courts to conduct its political battles. See http://euobserver.com/foreign/121943.
Poland’s first non-communist prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, died on 28 October. Originally a Catholic deputy in the Polish Sejm who cooperated with the Polish communists, Mazowiecki became an opponent of the regime in 1976. In 1981, when Poland came under martial law, he was arrested and spent a year in prison. He was heavily involved in the round table discussions of 1989 that helped remove the communists from power. His government lasted from 1989 to 1991. See http://news.yahoo.com/polands-first-post-communist-pm-mazowiecki-dies-083333660.html and http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/1003.
Social Democrats: 20.4% (50 seats)
ANO 2011: 18.6% (47 seats)
Communists: 14.9% (33 seats)
TOP 09: 11.9% (26 seats)
Civic Democrats (ODS): 7.6% (16 seats)
Dawn: 6.9% (14 seats)
Christian Democrats: 6.77% (14 seats)
The Social Democrats were expected to win the elections, but they hoped for a stronger victory. Their leader, Bohuslav Sobotka, will negotiate to form a coalition government as head of the largest party, although he claims that he will not cooperate with the parties from the last cabinet, ODS and TOP 09. ANO 2011 is a new party that the wealthy businessman Andrej Babiš established to ferret out corruption. The Communists’ gain was a result of the disgust the voters have with the politics, poor leadership, and corruption with the main parties. TOP 09 is the party of the politician Karel Schwarzenberg, who unsuccessfully ran in the last presidential election. Given the scandals surrounding ODS, it is not surprising that they did not do well in the election, but the extent of their loss was shocking. ODS had been one of the country’s strongest parties after the fall of communism and was the party of the former president, Václav Klaus, who recently recommended that people do not vote for the party. The Christian Democrats did not get into the parliament in the last election and have returned with as many seats as Dawn, the party of the Czech-Japanese businessman and senator Tomio Okamura.
Several parties did not get into the parliament, including the Greens, although they won enough votes to compete in local elections. Another group that did not make it into the legislature, which has a 5 percent threshold, is the Citizens’ Rights–Zemanites, which the president, Miloš Zeman, had established before becoming president.
See http://www.rozhlas.cz/zpravy/politika/_zprava/volby-vyhrala-cssd-tesne-pred-ano-zacinaji-uvahy-o-koalicich--1273319 (in Czech) and other reports from Radio Prague.http://news.yahoo.com/czech-communists-eye-share-power-next-vote-135151782.html and http://www.rferl.org/content/czech-elections-communists/25145714.html.
New Eastern Europe has posted an interview with two of the candidates: Burjanadze and Bakradze that is available at http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/992.http://news.yahoo.com/poland-archbishop-slammed-over-sex-abuse-comments-061800772.html.http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ct24/svet/247209-dalsi-uspech-cechu-objevili-hrob-doktora-sepseskafancha/ (the text is in Czech). See also http://news.yahoo.com/dig-unearths-4-000-old-tomb-doctor-pharaohs-171253242.html. Recently, Czech archaeologists made an important discovery in Iraq, information about which is here.http://www.rozhlas.cz/zpravy/domaciekonomika/_zprava/amazon-otevre-logisticka-centra-v-praze-a-v-brne-praci-v-nich-najdou-4000-lidi--1271808.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24602474.
The minister of health, unhappy with the message the president sent to the citizens, including the children, noted in jest that the president’s drinking also is not extreme: six glasses of wine a day and two shots of hard alcohol. In fact, Zeman is to limit his intake of alcohol and food as well as his smoking because he has type 2 diabetes, news that recently came to light.
One cannot know, of course, if Zeman was serious because he has a reputation for unusual jokes. His story about lighting up in the White House in front of George Bush, for example, is here. Nevertheless, Czechs are beginning to ask what Zeman will recommend to children when he visits a distillery.
See http://www.novinky.cz/domaci/316400-at-deti-pockaji-s-kourenim-do-27-let-pak-to-bude-bez-rizika-doporucil-zeman.html; and http://zpravy.ihned.cz/c1-60363900-holcat-o-zemanovi-sest-sklenicek-vina-a-tri-panaky-neni-extremni-piti (both in Czech).here and here.
Photo credit: Photo Credit: Tomáš Krist, Lidové noviny
See http://www.themercury.com.au/news/world/david-cerny-artwork-makes-obscene-gesture-to-czech-president-days-before-elections/story-fnj3ty5y-1226744119447; http://www.lidovky.cz/vzkaz-komunistum-a-zemanovi-opilemu-moci-pisi-o-cernem-za-hranicemi-11q-/zpravy-svet.aspx?c=A131022_134547_ln_zahranici_msl; and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24607870.http://news.yahoo.com/violence-during-gay-pride-march-montenegro-111521994.html.http://news.yahoo.com/italian-military-court-convicts-ex-nazi-153900070.html.
The European Commission has decided to support granting Albania candidate status, a decision the governments of all the EU member states must make. Final membership, however, will require that the Albanians not only adopt the acquis communautaire but also make progress in the areas of fighting corruption and organized crime, implementing judiciary and administrative reform, and guaranteeing human rights. See http://euobserver.com/news/121805. As of 17 October, the "Annual Enlargement Report" mentioned in the EUObserver article is not on the European Commission's website.
Angela Merkel's CDU-CSU has concluded unsuccessful talks about forming a coalition government with the Greens because of the latter party's demands regarding higher taxes, immigration, arms exports, and energy. Now, negotiations are beginning with the Social Democrats, who desire a federal minimum wage. The CDU-CSU is resisting higher taxes and increased debt, but a compromise with the SPD could result in a left-right grand coalition. See http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ifRAreV1WKV82Xex20r7Qc6PtfLg?docId=8fd0073d-d0f2-45aa-84c6-852176c73d80&hl=en.
Another environmental concern in Romania is over a Canadian company, Gabriel Resources, that will begin gold and silver mining operations northwest of Bucharest in the Carpathian Mountains. The process will use cyanide to extract the ore. Those opposing the operation fear that it could lead to another disaster like the one in 2000 at a mine near Baia Mare that resulted in cyanide flowing into the Someş, Tisza, and Danube River, creating an ecological disaster not only in Romania but also in Hungary and what then was Yugoslavia. See http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-gold-mine-project-in-romania-could-go-to-referendum-1.1384332.http://news.yahoo.com/russia-court-decides-not-imprison-navalny-085124381.html.http://euobserver.com/foreign/121802.http://www.denik.cz/plzensky-kraj/archeologove-z-plzne-objevili-dosud-nezname-zanikle-mesto-v-iraku-20131015.html.http://gma.yahoo.com/notorious-nazi-erich-priebke-causes-uproar-even-death-150530022--abc-news-topstories.html.http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/snowdens-father-arrives-in-moscow/2013/10/10/ec4f6c32-3182-11e3-ad00-ec4c6b31cbed_story.html.http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/czech-brewer-budvar-claims-victory-in-budweiser-trademark-battle-over-anheuser-busch-in-italy/2013/10/08/8599b6e6-2ffc-11e3-9ddd-bdd3022f66ee_story.html.http://euobserver.com/foreign/121701.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24196493.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24314319, http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/07/business/greeces-golden-dawn-firebrand-right-wingers/index.html?hpt=hp_c1, and http://euobserver.com/justice/121586. The posting on this site about the murder is at http://www.centraleuropeanobserver.com/-what-s-new-how-is-the-world-treating-you-3q2013#TOC-Greeks-Investigate-Golden-Dawn-25-September-2013-UPDATE---26-September-2013.