Round-up of news stories from across the EU 22.7.16

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

BELGIUM: Brussels terrorist scare finished - suspicious person was student doing research (Flanders News, link): "The Muntplein and surrounding streets in central Brussels were evacuated for most of the afternoon. This happened after a suspicious-looking person had been spotted in the area. On a particularly hot day, a man was seen wearing a long coat with wires coming out from underneath. However, after several hours of red alert, the suspect turned out to be a student measuring radiation and air waves. This also explains the belt and wiring system he was carrying on his body."


Bulgaria MPs Seek Ban on Foreign Preachers (Balkan Insight, link): "Foreign citizens will be banned from preaching in Bulgaria, as well as preaching in any other language other than Bulgarian, according to changes to the Religious Denominations Act, filed by the nationalist coalition the Patriotic Front on Thursday.

The draft amendments, ostensibly aimed at protecting Bulgaria’s religious denominations from “foreign influence”, also foresee banning foreign organizations, companies and citizens from providing funding or donating to Bulgarian religious denominations."

Denmark sent sensitive health data to Chinese by mistake (Reuters, link): "Sensitive health information about almost the entire population of Denmark ended up in the wrong hands when a letter by mistake was sent to a Chinese visa office in Copenhagen, the Danish Data Protection Agency said on Wednesday.

The incident happened when two unencrypted CDs containing the data was sent last year by the Serum Institute, a public enterprise under the Danish health ministry, in an envelope to the country's statistics office.

However, the envelope ended up instead at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in Copenhagen, a few hundred meters from the statistics office."

EU: Visegrad Group plans joint proposal on EU reforms (Radio Poland, link): "The Visegrad Group – which groups the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – is to present its proposals at an informal EU summit in the Slovak capital Bratislava on 16 September.

The prime minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, said on Thursday that details of the proposals are to be worked out at meeting of the Visegrad Group in Poland in late August and early September.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said British voters’ recent decision in a referendum to leave the EU was a "warning signal" that should trigger debate on reforming EU institutions."

French youth who died in police custody had ‘serious infection’ (France 24, link): "Violence erupted in the northern suburbs of Paris for a third night in a row on Thursday, with 15 cars set ablaze by residents furious over the death of a young man in police custody.

The unrest began on Tuesday night after it emerged that Adama Traore, 24, had died shortly after being arrested in the town of Beaumont-sur-Oise.

Authorities said an autopsy revealed he was suffering from a serious infection at the time of his death and that his body showed few signs of violence."

POLAND: Armenian-born Pole who 'looked like a terrorist' taken off flight (Radio Poland, link): "A 26-year-old Polish national of Armenian origin was removed from a plane in the coastal city of Gdansk after a fellow passenger was alarmed by the man’s ethnic appearance, Radio Gdansk reports."

UK: Cautious welcome given to 'Hillsborough law' pledge (Bradford Telegraph & Argus, link): "KEIGHLEY businessman Trevor Hicks, whose two teenage daughters were killed in the Hillsborough football disaster, has given a cautious welcome to a Government pledge to make senior police officers accountable after they have retired.

The commitment to introduce a so-called "Hillsborough law," which would allow officers to face disciplinary proceedings in the "most serious misconduct cases" years after they have left the force, came during the second reading in the House of Lords of the Policing and Crime Bill.

A Government spokesman said it could not be right that a police officer who knew they were to face a serious complaint could avoid being held to account by resigning or retiring."

UK: Broken pledge: Children to be sent back to immigration detention (, link): "One of the Coalition government’s first - and best - policies was to end the detention of children in immigration removal centres. But now it looks like May’s government is about to reverse that process.

A written ministerial statement today announced the closure of Cedars, a removal centre for families run by the charity Barnardo’s. Instead, the people who would have been sent there will be moved to a “discrete unit” at Tinsley House removal centre, near Gatwick.

Discrete or not, the children of those families will be back in an immigration detention centre."

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error