If you made to the second episode, congratulations. You now joined a select group of people that are hungry for new, honest and intelligent content about something that directly affects their lives: Politics.
In this first episode we will talk about Terrorism, more specifically about Terrorism in the European Union and what measures are being taken to fight this treat, the Nutella Riot in France and the Davos World Economic Forum.
The European Parliament live streamed a Q&A last Tuesday at 6PM with Natalie Griesbeck, Chair of Parliament new Terrorism committee.
Who is Natalie Griesbeck? She is French, from the Democratic Party and Chair of the Special Terrorism Committee since September 2017.
The committee was created with an expiration date, and will only exist for 1 year. Which is good, because we shouldn’t be spending taxpayers money in this ridiculous meeting and I will explain why in a moment. But According to Miss Griesbeck and I quote, "the objective of the committee is to evaluate how to tackle deficiencies in this area. Asure that People live in an area of freedom, security, and justice.”
Before she worked for the Budget Committee, the Delegation for relations with Mercosur (which is the most useless EU inspired economic block) and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. None of them remotely related to terrorism, humanitarian crisis or homeland security. She is a very skilled politician but maybe the least qualified person to preside the TERR (Terrorism Committee).
Democratic Party (Movement Democrate) is a center, which self-proclaim as a Social-Liberalism.
In 2016, a total of 142 failed, foiled and completed attacks were reported by eight EU Member States. More than half (76) of them were reported by the United Kingdom. France reported 23 attacks, Italy 17, Spain 10, Greece 6, Germany 5, Belgium 4 and the Netherlands 1 attack. In total 142 victims died in terrorist attacks, and 379 were injured in the EU.
So, What is the parliament doing?
According to the European Parliament, the EU is working on 5 fronts:
- Widening rules to clamp down on foreign fighters and lone wolves. – whatever that means.
- Criminalizing preparatory acts, including travel, training, and recruitment. – This one is a wonderful idea, but how do we prove preparatory acts? And how the justice system will adapt to that? The terrorists that attacked Paris in 2015 are going to trial only this year, 2018!!
- Systematic checks on all persons crossing EU external borders. - The Truth is that the EU is not even capable of tracking people after they entered the EU, the proof is that 10 thousand underage migrants are missing inside the EU territory.
- Creation of a New committee focused on preventing Terrorist attacks – in other words, the creation of another fancy meeting that is paid by the state members and your taxes.
- Revamp of anti-money laundering rules – I totally agree with this one, the economic factor is very important to prevent terrorist attacks and we have to stop the source of money, but lately, the lonely wolves or radicalized European citizens are founded by small local crimes and drugs and not a worldwide laundry money operation. This hardly addresses this issue, but fighting and tightening the rules over money and cash flow are easier than investing in Police Intelligence to fight small crimes.
If you still don't have enough arguments, I have more numbers for you:
- Although there was a large number of terrorist attacks not connected with jihadism, the latter accounts for the most serious forms of terrorist activity as nearly all reported fatalities and most of the casualties.
- Explosives were used in 40% of the attacks and women and young adults, and even children, are playing increasingly operational roles in committing terrorist activities independently in the EU.
- Arrests: 1002 persons were arrested for terrorist offenses in 2016. Most arrests were related to jihadist terrorism, for which the number rose for the third consecutive year: 395 in 2014, 687 in 2015 and 718 in 2016.
- Terrorism financing: 40% of terrorist plots in Europe are believed to be at least partly financed through crime, especially drug dealing, theft, robberies, the sale of counterfeit goods, loan fraud, and burglaries.
- Women and children: Women have increasingly assumed more operational roles in jihadist terrorist activities, as have minors and young adults. One in four (26%) of the arrestees in 2016 were women, a significant increase compared to 2015 (18%). In addition, the United Kingdom reported an increase in the number of women, families, and minors engaging in the conflict in Syria/Iraq, and the Netherlands reported that more 40 children (age 0-12 years) have traveled to Syria and Iraq.
- Online propaganda: The quantity of Islamic State propaganda decreased in 2016 due to lower production rates and the containment of dissemination. After a peak in mid-2015, the number of new videos produced by the Islamic State slowly decreased. In the second half of 2016, the frequency of new releases dropped even further. As the volume of Islamic State propaganda diminished, al-Qaeda and its affiliates attempted to take advantage of the situation and increased their efforts to reach new audiences.
- Social networks: Jihadist groups have demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of how social networks operate and have launched well-organized social media campaigns to recruit followers and to promote or glorify acts of terrorism and violent extremism.
It is important to remember, that not only religious extremists commit terrorist attacks. In Europe we also have the following treats:
- Ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism: 99 foiled, failed and completed attacks carried out were labeled as ethnic-nationalist and separatist terrorism. Mostly Dissident Republican groups in Northern Ireland.
- Left-wing and anarchist terrorism: The numbers of attacks of left-wing and anarchist terrorists increased in 2016 compared to 2015. 27 attacks were carried out and EU Member State authorities arrested 31 people. Italy, Greece, and Spain were the only EU Member States to experience left-wing and anarchist terrorist attacks.
In the end, I think the live stream to address the issues of Terrorism in the EU was a fiasco. The Parliament is working and tacking the wrong issues and you can see it not only in the counter-arguments I used but in most of the comments during the live stream:
Arjan van Houwelingen Maybe some fences and actual border control might help. Oh wait, that’s what Hungary did and was condemned for it by the EU.
Carl Moore Too little, too late - slamming the stable door long after the horse is bolted! And so much for democracy, I made a reasonable comment on a thread earlier today and it was removed. As a long-standing supporter of Europe, I find it difficult to abide this sort of censorship.
To wrap things up, because we have to move on to the next topics, What to expect from the Special Committee?
In my opinion absolutely nothing.
Our second Topic today is the Nutella Riots in France. Basically, a discount on Nutella has led to violent scenes in a chain of French supermarkets, as shoppers jostled to grab a bargain on the sweet spread. Intermarché supermarkets offered a 70% discount on Nutella, bringing the price down from €4.50 (£3.90) to €1.40.
Why I brought this topic this week because I think this is just Barbarian. I have many French friends, and I love them very much, but you know that France is going down as a nation when they start fighting over Italian dessert.
This is not the first time French people fight over food. As I recall from my history classes, Marie Antoinette made a very unfortunate comment about how people without bread should eat Brioches right before the French Revolution - If you are curious, this story is partially true, and maybe I can tell you why all the next time.
Davos – The annual World Economic Forum.
President Trump broke with precedent by delivering a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying that “America First is not America Alone”. "After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth, he said. "The stock market is smashing one record after another and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election. The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America... America is open for business."
Before anything else, Trump was definitely the star of this year’s World Economic Forum. If you search for Davos on Google, you will only see news about Donald Trump. His speech was just like everyone else’s, a pitch to CEO’s and billionaires who are decision makers in the economic scenario, but everything that Trump does is over published by the media.
Did Trump say anything special? No, but the only thing you will hear is that he is putting America First, which by the way is what Europe has done in the past 50 years.
That is all for today, Thank you for reading and listening.
And remember: You can join the conversation here on my website leaving a comment on this page, or you can message me on Twitter @WordsbyFabio to be featured in one of the episodes.
See you guys next week!