March 20th, 2013

the Dutch would like the European High Court to Render a Decision

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/03/20/raad-van-state-vraagt-europa-om-hulp-hoe-weet-je-of-iemand-homo-is/

As near as I can tell, the Netherlands, like other European countries, will give residence permits to asylum seekers who say they need to leave their oppressive country of origin because they are gay. This is not a joke -- they are leaving places that execute people who are openly homosexual.

However, it does present a conundrum: if someone wants to go to Europe for economic reasons, but cannot gain entry on that basis, but _can_ gain entry by saying, I'm gay and will be persecuted if I am forced to return home, does one have to take them at their word (the Dutch have a fantastic phrase for this that appears in the article: "moet je iemand dan op zijn of haar blauwe ogen geloven?") and, if you want to pursue supporting evidence, what kind of evidence is or is not acceptable? The Vrije Universiteit did some research regarding how other countries handle this (summary in the article), and at the end of the article is a list of sample questions asked to determine whether the asylum seeker is telling the truth.

The court is expected to rule on 11 April. I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to finding out how this turns out.

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/03/20/raad-van-state-vraagt-europa-om-hulp-hoe-weet-je-of-iemand-homo-is/

Some possibly NSFW images embedded in there.

Also, kinda disturbing what immigration departments are engaging in.

Cyprus in the news

I've been saying that the Russians ought to be bailing out Cyprus, but I didn't think it would really happen. Then, in the course of my Read Dutch Newspaper(s), I found this:

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/03/20/cyprus-we-hebben-een-nieuw-reddingsplan/

Really? Citing AP. Hmmm. Google news found me these:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/20/cyprus_seeks_russian_rescue_eu_threatens_to_cut_off_country.html

which isn't really about the Plan B, but _is_ downright fascinating in a conspiracy theory sort of way,
and this:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0320/377458-cyprus-bailout/

Which is about the Plan B rumors.

The next few days should be interesting.

ETA: This is good coverage, with context from the Iceland negotiations, the gas fields, why Russian money is in Cypriot banks in the first place (and how Russians gaining further control of Cyprus would make it less desirable for that purpose), etc.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/20/us-eurozone-cyprus-geopolitics-insight-idUSBRE92J11N20130320