Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Market-Assisted Suicide

  • December 19, 2011
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There’s a very sad but telling piece in today’s Guardian about the rise in suicide in Greece in the last few years – a rise that appears to be a direct cause of the economic crisis.   Three years ago, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in Europe at 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, in a country where suicides are refused funeral rites by the Orthodox Church.

Statistics from the Greek ministry of health now suggest that these figures have almost doubled, and that more Greeks are killing themselves than in any other country on the...

The death of Christa Wolf

  • December 03, 2011
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The German writer Christa Wolf died this week, aged 82.   For much of her career she was known as an East German writer of course.   During the Cold War she wasn’t pro-Western enough to be considered a dissident, but she was too individual and idiosyncratic to fit within the...

Europe’s ‘multicultural problem’

  • July 21, 2011
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Multiculturalism is a concept that is often criticized – and rarely defined – by both mainstream conservatives and the extreme right.    But definitions are  usually less important than the visceral condemnations of a corrupting liberal ‘ideology’ that is supposedly paving the way for the downfall of ‘our’ national and cultural identity...

The non-people of Igoumenitsa

  • June 21, 2011
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Amid all the media attention directed towards the Greek debt crisis and the potential collapse of the eurozone that may result, little attention has been paid to the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants who are effectively trapped in Greece without any possibility of achieving legal status.

For the last few years now, the Greek-Turkish border...

Barbarians

  • June 16, 2011
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In the course of writing my book about borders and migration I’ve visited a lot of great European cities, including some that I’d never been to before, like Bratislava, Warsaw, Lublin, Brescia, and – strange as it may seem – Rome, where I am now.   It’s a vibrant and magnificent city, in which...

Los Indignados

  • May 21, 2011
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Astonishing events are unfolding in Spain, where anti-austerity protests have been taking place across the country  on the eve of regional and local elections. 20,000 people have turned the Puerta del Sol in Madrid into a mini Tahrir Square.

Last week there were protests in more than fifty cities, in what appears to be a spontaneous...

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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