Riots in Eastern Ukraine spark concerns in Germany
The East Ukrainian city Donetsk: Pro-Russian demonstrators proclaim the “Sovereign People’s Republic”. According to the online magazine Spiegel the demonstrators intend to declare independence from the government of Kiev. They also demanded a referendum and called for Russian assistance.
Berlin is concerned by the recent actions of Moscow. The Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a pull-out away from the Ukrainian borders. The German government spokesman, Steffen Seibert says: “This has obviously not happened yet. One can be disappointed, one must be disappointed.” Meanwhile Chancellor Angela Merkel does not doubt the promise of Putin.
The Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for caution while talking about the riots in the Eastern part of Ukraine: “So far we cannot see a complete change of the situation. But I am not totally clear on what actually happens in the Eastern-Ukraine right now.”
The right-wing party NPD seeks to clean up after de-selection of candidate
The chief of the federal state Hamburg, Thomas Wulff, has been deselected by Germany’s right-wing party NPD (National Party of Germany) after he called himself a National Socialist on a Party Conference. The official justification is: Wulff has “repeatedly and fatally breached with the principles of the party.”
Wulff, acknowledged his mistake saying: “Yes, I named myself a National Socialist in an introduction speech. People must know where I come from and what I am.” Due to the accusation of sedition Wulff is previously convicted.
Wulff’s statement is more than inconvenient for the NPD – in the following weeks the Federal Constitutional Law will decide, due to the abandonment motion of the Federal Council, if the NPD-ideology shows an affinity with the NSDAP party, which was the solely tolerated party during the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler in Germany. After the first motion in 2003 the current motion is considered much more detailed and based on facts.
Organised crime – The Italian mafia
German and Italian investigators analysed and released documents that show more than 1,200 alleged members, sympathisers and supporters of the Italian mafia live in Germany. According to Spiegel the so-called “Ndrangheta”, which mainly operates in South and West, is particularly powerful.
Despite of the fact that a large figure exists the documents show that members and supporters are spread all over Germany, although there are less in the Northern and Eastern parts. The utilised data derives from documents obtained from the Federal Criminal Agency, the Italian anti-mafia authorities and several prosecutions in Germany.
Immigrant language courses to be scrapped
Unemployed immigrants have struggled to improve their employment opportunities through the impact of language courses. Despite the government’s announcement to extend the promotion, it seems the project has ended and a succession program is not in sight.
On 1 April, the Federal Office for migration and refugees (BAMF) informed, amongst others, the regional employment agencies that immigrants cannot expect an approval of further German courses in the near future.
Focul Online announced: The addressees of the letters hoped for an April Fool but the authorities are serious about the promotion stop. The reason: No more money. Therefore, new courses are only planned for 2015.
The programme was seen as successful despite it being scrapped. From 2007 to 2013 about 120,000 people with a migrant background have been supported. The Federal Employment Agency considers the programme as enormously important. After all it is not only about a pure language course but also about occupational abilities. According to a spokesman the agency now seeks for “compensation options”. By then the managers of job agencies must find alternative solutions to promote their customers with migrant background.
By Maria Wokurka
Pictures: Alan Denney (Ukraine protest), Olli (NPD protest), Chewstroke (Godfather)