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Tragedy And Trouble: The Earthquake, Counter-terrorism, Fresh Conflict In The Balkans

  • April 9th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

laquila.JPGeu-flag-site.pngFunerals are now taking place for hundreds of victims of the earthquake in Italy; police make counter-terrorist raids i n England, and political demonstrations go on unabated in Moldova.


Aftershocks from Monday’s earthquake focused on l’Aquila in Italy generated renewed fear and hampered relief work, as the confirmed death toll from the tragedy rose to 270, (see euaustralia, Tragedy and Bespoiled Beauty – l’Aquila, 7.4.09).

Of the many driven out into the open and looking for aid, 28 000 are believed to have had their homes destroyed.

The first funerals of victims have taken place.


Twelve men have been arrested in a counter-terrorist operation at Liverpool, Manchester and two other locations in North-west England.

The police arrested one suspect in front of startled students on a Liverpool university campus.

The raids are believed to have taken place in the day-time, instead of at the usual early-morning hour for such actions, due to a bungle on the part of a senior police officer.

He was photographed earlier, holding a briefing document marked “Secret”, and presumably readable, while calling at Number 10 Downing Street.

As the incident developed, criticism of the Old Bill continued in the United Kingdom, over the death of a protestor during the recent G20 demonstrations, in London; he suffered a heart attack after being pushed to the ground by police.


NATO signalled some concern over the problems of small, poor Moldova, bordering on, close to one of its newer member states, Romania.

Disturbances around the national parliament in the capital, Chisinau, following disputed elections (5.4.09) which saw the communist party retain power, raised the spectre of one more niche of trouble in the Balkans.

The North Atlantic alliance, after several forays into former Yugoslavia, mostly in  peace-keeping roles, took on two new Balkans members last week, Albania and Croatia, (see euaustralia, Fresh Afghan Moves as NATO Expands, 2.9.09).

On Wednesday (8.4.09) it called for a peaceful solution to the trouble in Moldova and “urged all parties to refrain from violence and provocation.”