• Delhi protests against citizenship law escalate as death toll rises to 24

    Protests in India’s capital New Delhi against a new controversial law escalated on the second day, with the death toll rising to 24. Among those who have been killed in the violence are also police officers.

    Authorities deployed tear gas, as protesters hurled stones and set vehicles, a gasoline pump and a mosque in Ashok Nagar on fire. More than 200 people have been treated in hospital, mostly from bullet injuries, but also from acid burns, stabbings and wounds from beatings and stone pelting.

    On Wednesday, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s highest elected official, tweeted that police were “unable to control situation and instil confidence”, and requested that the military be called in and a curfew imposed in affected areas.

    The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) allows citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who illegally migrated to India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It, however, does not allow citizenship for Muslims, and was therefore dubbed “anti-Muslim”.

    The violent protests cast shadow on US president Donald Trump’s visit to India, aimed at deepening bilateral ties. He met with India’s PM Narendra Modi, who offered the law as part of his government’s nationalist program.

    “Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy”, Modi tweeted.

  • La Corte suprema indiana non blocca la controversa legge sulla cittadinanza

    La Corte Suprema indiana si è rifiutata di applicare una nuova e controversa legge sulla cittadinanza, proposta dal primo ministro Narendra Modi, come parte del programma nazionalista del suo governo.

    Il Paese da dicembre, quando è stata approvata la legge sulla modifica della cittadinanza, è lacerato da forti proteste, seguite da coprifuoco. Il provvedimento contestato consente la cittadinanza ad indù, sikh, buddisti, giainisti, parsi e cristiani che sono emigrati illegalmente in India dall’Afghanistan, dal Bangladesh e dal Pakistan ma non consente la cittadinanza ai musulmani.

    Molti firmatari hanno sollecitato il tribunale a rinviare l’applicazione della legge ma la Corte suprema,  invece di sospendere la norma, ha chiesto al governo di rispondere entro un mese alle 143 petizioni che ne contestano la validità. La decisione ha suscitato rabbia e indignazione, con le fazioni più critiche che hanno invitato il governo a dimostrare la volontà concreta di cercare una soluzione giudiziaria in materia.

    Dal Congresso hanno fatto sapere che la questione sarà discussa a breve perché “una giustizia ritardata è una giustizia negata ed è necessaria perciò una soluzione rapida”.

  • I Paesi Bassi si attivano per consentire la doppia cittadinanza entro il 2019

    Il governo olandese sta  rivedendo la legge sulla nazionalità del Paese per consentire la doppia cittadinanza entro la primavera del 2019.

    Secondo il ministro della Giustizia Mark Harbers, il piano è quello di ampliare i criteri dei Paesi Bassi per la doppia nazionalità. Al momento, i cittadini olandesi naturalizzati devono rinunciare alla nazionalità del loro paese di origine, a meno che non siano sposati con un cittadino olandese. I Paesi Bassi stanno seguendo i passi di una legislazione simile che è stata approvata in Germania visto che la maggior parte degli Stati membri dell’UE si prepara alla Brexit.

    La nuova legge consentirà ai migranti di prima generazione nei Paesi Bassi di essere titolari di più passaporti, una mossa che interesserebbe 87.000 cittadini britannici di prima e seconda generazione residenti nei Paesi Bassi. Allo stesso tempo, i figli dei cittadini olandesi che vivono all’estero non saranno costretti a fare una scelta reciprocamente esclusiva sulla loro nazionalità.

    Circa 100.000 cittadini olandesi residenti nel Regno Unito potrebbero far perdere ai loro figli l’accesso alla cittadinanza dell’UE se la riforma completa riguardante la doppia nazionalità non fosse attiva prima o immediatamente dopo l’entrata in vigore della Brexit nel marzo 2019. Il governo olandese spera di riuscire a completare la riforma durante il periodo di transizione del Regno Unito dall’Unione europea che dovrebbe terminare a dicembre 2020.

  • Swedish Democrats go after dual citizenship

    The nationalist and Eurosceptic Swedish Democrats (SD) are still on course for a strong result on the forthcoming legislative elections of Sunday, September 9.

    Opposition to migration is still at the heart of their political message.

    State of Play

    In 2014 the SD secured just under 13%. All polls suggest they are now well into double digits; a poll by Sentio published on August 30 suggests they were, in fact, leading with 24%, ahead of the ruling Social Democrats. However, that poll stands alone.

    In a poll of polls published by the public broadcaster Sveriges Radio on Wednesday, the Sweden Democrats appear to be losing some ground, mainly to the benefit of smaller parties. They poll an average of 17,7%, which would bring them at third place, below the centre-right Moderates and the incumbent Social Democrats.

    The Christian Democrats and the Liberals are reaping some of the benefits. Political analysts suggest that this may be a tactical turn of conservative voters who want to ensure that an ideologically cohesive centre-right alliance – rather than a German-style Red-Blue coalition – can be formed.

    Centre-right parties currently poll at a combined 38,9%, that is, an 8 points lead from the ruling coalition and a whisker below the majority required to form a government.

    But the Sweden Democrats, who had been polling as high as 25 per cent in some reports, have shrunk for four months in a row and are on 17.7 per cent, a whisker below the centre-right Moderate Party.

    Dual Citizenship

    The SD has traditionally raised the flag of anti-immigration rhetoric, as polarisation tends to hurt smaller parties and boost their electoral results.

    This campaign has been no different, with SD calling for an end to dual citizenship. Although there is no database detailing how many Swedes are dual nationals, there have been 750,000 naturalisations since 2000.

    Sweden’s population is 9,9 million people.

    SD stand alone on this matter, which is a problem that goes beyond immigration and is causing friction with the indigenous Finnish national minority. The ruling Social Democrats have endorsed the debate with gusto, launching the “Don’t Touch My Citizenship” campaign.

    Pressed on the matter, the Sweden Democrats are now talking about the possibility of “exceptions” for people who have citizenship in another Nordic country.

    Blurred clarity of message

    SD has been eager to take off the neo-Nazi stain off their political brand. Their 39-year-old leader, Jimmie Akesson,” chants slogans like “no racists on our streets,” according to a DW report.

    The incumbent Social Democrats frequently recall the party’s neo-Nazi past, referring to SD as “a neo-fascist single-issue party,” although the party’s leadership often suggests that being anti-immigration should not be equated to Nazism. They are vehement in their opposition to multiculturalism but insist their opposition is not racially motivated and proclaim their affinity to other conservative parties in Europe.

    However, the party does trace its roots in the Keep Sweden Swedish movement disbanded in 1986 and refounded as SD in 1988. Many of the party’s historical leaders were members of the Waffen SS.

    Akesson claims that the party has been reformed since he took over in 2005 and proclaimed himself in opposition to racism and xenophobia. Still, the Expressen newspaper and the Expo magazine have published features on at least eight SD candidates that have been members of the Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance movement until as recently as 2016.


  • Britons dash to become German before Brexit

    BERLIN (Reuters) – Driven by the prospect of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union next year, the number of British passport holders who became German citizens jumped by 162 percent last year, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday.

    Nearly 7,500 Britons acquired German citizenship last year. This follows a 361 percent rise in 2016, bringing the total for the two years to around 10,400. This is more than double the number of Britons who became Germans in the 15 years from 2000.

    “A link to Brexit is obvious,” said the Office, adding Britons were the second biggest group to be granted German citizenship last year after nearly 15,000 Turks.

    With no Brexit deal yet in sight, despite a leaving date of March 2019, many Britons are worried they will lose the right to live and work in Europe’s biggest economy, which is enjoying an unusually long period of growth and record low unemployment.

    Britons usually need to have lived in Germany for eight years to qualify. Applications take more than six months to process and Britons can take up dual citizenship while Britain is still an EU member.

    Overall, the number of people becoming German rose by 1.7 percent last year to 112,200, the highest level since 2013.

    Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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