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Sat Sep 21, 2019, 09:23 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1. Czech President Tells Serbia He Will Seek To Withdraw Kosovo Recognition

Czech President Milos Zeman says he would like his country to withdraw its recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign nation.

Speaking during a September 11 visit to Belgrade, Zeman said he would discuss the move with Czech lawmakers.

"The Hague tribunal recently issued news where it expressed suspicion about the war crimes of Kosovo representatives, and I think the prime minister resigned because of this. Let me say a personal opinion that a war crimes-led state should not be located in the community of democratic countries,” Zeman said.


2. 'The men who plundered Europe': bankers on trial for siphoning €60bn

They have been called “the men who plundered Europe”: a group of cowboy traders, seasoned tax lawyers and mathematical whizz kids who are alleged to have conspired in the heart of the City of London to siphon at least €60bn in taxpayers’ money from the state coffers of several EU countries.

In Britain, the so-called “cum-ex” scandal, named after the complex derivatives juggling act employed, gained little attention amid the frenzied debate around the UK’s departure from the European Union when the fraud scheme was discovered in 2017.


The financial rewards were breathtaking: for the five years in which Shields practised cum-ex trades through Gibraltar-based investment vehicle Ballance Capital, his personal income amounted to €12m. In 2010 Shields and his wife managed to purchase a £9.7m mansion on Chelsea’s Egerton Crescent, followed by a €6m Edwardian terrace on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin’s most expensive residential street.


3. Bulgarian Authorities Break Up Illegal Kidney Transplant Group

Bulgarian authorities say they have broken up an organized criminal group that recruited impoverished Bulgarians to sell their kidneys for transplants.

Special Prosecutor Dimitar Petrov said on September 13 that three men and a woman were charged with recruiting kidney donors and putting them in contact with transplant recipients.

Petrov said the transplants were carried out in a hospital in neighboring Turkey and that the donors were provided with forged documents showing the kidney donor and recipient were relatives.

Prosecutors said at least five people had received transplants under the criminal scheme since February 2019.


4. A Warrior Shaman And A Disputed Mayor: Russia's Buryatia Is A Region On Edge

From the arrest of an anti-Kremlin shaman and protests over a disputed election that were brutally put down by police to the arrests of local activists -- at least one allied with the opposition politician Aleksei Navalny -- signs of public discontent are on the rise in the often-overlooked Russian region of Buryatia.

The protests in this corner of Siberia were sparked by the detention earlier this month of supporters of Aleksandr Gabyshev, a shaman trekking since March across the country to Moscow on a self-appointed mission to drive the "demon" President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin.

But they gathered pace after a pro-Kremlin candidate won the mayoral election of Ulan-Ude, the regional capital, on September 8 amid claims of blatant vote rigging. The subsequent police crackdown on protesters only fueled the outrage, even prompting one National Guard officer to issue an appeal to colleagues not to use force against peaceful protesters in a video that went viral.


Gabyshev, who describes himself as a "warrior shaman," has been trekking across Russia on foot pulling a two-wheeled cart loaded with his meager personal effects after setting out from the Far Eastern city of Yakutsk in March. He says he is heading for Moscow to, according to conflicting accounts, either expel Putin from office or exorcise a demon inside the Russian leader.


5. Austria to grant citizenship to descendants of victims of Nazism

Descendants of victims of Nazism who fled the country under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich will now be eligible for citizenship under a new law voted on Thursday by Austria's parliament.

So far only Holocaust survivors themselves could obtain Austrian nationality.

MPs voted by a broad majority for new legislation proposed by Sebastian Kurz's conservative-far-right coalition government before it was deposed in a corruption scandal in May.

Under the new law, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who fled the Nazis can apply for citizenship.


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Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen (Original post)
rpannier Sep 2019 OP
Hortensis Sep 2019 #1

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 10:40 AM

1. That anti- "demon Putin" warrior shaman should set up a gofundme.

Thanks, RPannier. I've read that historically Austria's been among the most antisemitic nations, so this sounds especially positive.

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