British newspapers covered many international issues, including Europe’s treatment of immigrants and a new book that caused a political and social uproar in France.
We start with the opinion page in the Guardian newspaper and an article by Apostolis Fotiades, an immigration researcher, titled “Brutality against migrants has become normal at the borders of the European Union.”
The writer says that the 2016 agreement between the European Union and Turkey, and the closure of the Western Balkan route, led to a reduction in the massive flow of Syrian refugees to Europe. But the story did not end there. In the years that followed, Europe’s “stubbornness” on the issue of mass immigration led European Union member states to regain control of their borders through “the use of violent force and violating the law.”
The author argues that the EU’s external border control device is now a mixture of informal methods designed to bypass EU rules. He says the European Commission hardly supervises what is actually going on.
He says that violence prevails at the external borders of the European Union, noting that acts such as stalking, beatings, torture, expulsion and racial prejudice are almost systematic policies in the police’s dealings with migrants and refugees.
By 2016, he adds, Hungary had already put in place a system of transit zones operating outside the scope of European Union law. Migrants and asylum seekers were traced, returned to designated areas, denied food, and in many cases expelled without due process.
The writer says that there have been allegations of organized violence and repulsions by the Croatian border police. And after a complaint from within the border police about orders from superiors to carry out illegal actions, in March /In March 2019, an investigation has been opened.
In the Mediterranean, he adds, the Italian and Maltese authorities have tightened the use of the rules of international maritime law to the point that they are recruiting fleets of private ships to participate in efforts to curb migration across the central Mediterranean.
He says that this year Greece has come under heavy criticism for its irregular expulsions of thousands of migrants from its territorial and maritime borders to Turkey.
Attempts to contain a second wave
We move to the Daily Mail newspaper and a report on Britain’s attempts to prevent the outbreak of a second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The newspaper quoted a senior British official as saying that the offices that began to open within two weeks could be closed if the new measure to prevent the gathering of more than six people failed to reduce the cases of infection with the Coronavirus.
Senior government sources told the newspaper that it takes two weeks to determine whether the ban on gatherings of seven or more people has succeeded in reducing injuries, adding that more closure measures may be required if this is not the case.
The newspaper says that closing offices, to which employees have begun to return to a limited rate, will lead to more losses for bars, cafes and restaurants, which have begun to recover slightly after months of complete closure.
The newspaper says that a survey concluded that more than half of workers said they never expected to return to work five days a week in the office.
A new report also found that 58 percent of workers said they felt more productive as a result of working from home.
“I hate men”
We turn to the Guardian newspaper and a report by Kim Welcher, her correspondent in Paris, entitled “We must have the right not to love men: a French writer at the heart of a literary storm.”
When Pauline Armang, an aspiring French writer and novelist, published a treatise on men’s hatred, she expected to sell at most a few hundred copies among friends and readers of her blog.
Instead, the threat by a government official to take legal action to ban her book, claiming that it incites hatred and discrimination against men, immediately made the book the focus of attention and it sold thousands of copies.
The author says the 96-page book begins with a quote from the biography of American poet Sylvia Plath, in which she says, “The problem was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way.”
The book explores whether women have a good reason to hate men. In it Armang says, “I am married to a great man who really supports my writing. But I generally do not trust men that I do not know.”
“I just don’t trust them. This doesn’t come from personal experience as much as it comes from being an activist in a feminist organization that has helped victims of rape and sexual assault for several years. I can tell the fact that the majority of the attackers are men,” Armang says in her book.
She added, “We should absolutely have the right not to love them. I realize that this sounds like a violent feeling, but I feel very strongly that we should be allowed not to love them as a whole and to exclude some men.”