Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Spanish Doctors Say No to Barbarism

  • September 06, 2012
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Throughout the crisis of the last four years, too many European governments have shown a depressing willingness to target and stigmatize some of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in society as a distraction from their own failings.

Whether it’s disabled ‘benefit scroungers’, asylum seekers, ‘illegal immigrants’ or simply immigrants per se, this process of victimization and stigmatization invariably depicts certain groups as parasitical intruders,   usurpers of national privilege, and a drain on the public purse.

On the one hand such depictions provide a pretext for punitive exclusionary measures that uphold the exclusive rights and...

A New Kind of Barbarism: the Non-People of Patras

  • June 21, 2012
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I have just read a copy of the  so-far unpublished report* by the German NGO Pro-Asyl and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) on police brutality towards undocumented migrants in the port-city of Patras in Greece.   It makes grim and often sickening reading. Patras is one of the main exit points in Greece for...

Asturias Burning

  • June 12, 2012
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CELEBRATIONS are always premature in the manic depressive world of the eurozone, and Spain’s conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy should have known better than to present Sunday’s bailout deal as a victory.    

By Monday evening German politicians were disputing his claim that the deal came with no strings attached, and insisting that the...

Greek fascist behaves like a fascist

  • June 08, 2012
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Yesterday’s attack on two Greek female MPs by Ilias Kasidiaris, the spokesman for the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi, (Golden Dawn) party,  on a national talk show, has presented the Greek public with a moment that will be difficult to ignore.

The clip of the encounter has now gone viral and it makes astonishing viewing.  ...

Anarchy in Europe

  • May 31, 2012
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AS EUROPE slowly asphyxiates in the grip of the financial markets, an old yet familiar figure from the not-so-distant past has re-entered the landscape of crisis – the anarchist as class avenger and agent of violent mayhem.

Anarchists or groups calling themselves anarchists have played a sporadic role in street protests and...

Spain’s Year of Miracles

  • May 20, 2012
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For the last ten days I’ve been leading walking groups around the fabulously beautiful mountains of northern Majorca.  This is only my second visit to the island  since I came here in 1992, when I was still living in Barcelona.

For Spain -and Europe, 1992 was a year in which the “end of history” narratives that...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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