Extra! 'Wounded' Tsipras Carries On Despite Syriza Schism

"Wounded, He Continues Until Further Notice," writes left-leaning Greek daily Efimerida ton Syntakton on the front-page headline of its Thursday edition after the Greek parliament approved a package of tough measures leading a third bailout deal.

The he in question is Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who won a bittersweet approval late Wednesday of the package as 38 parliament members from his governing Syriza party voted against the deal, including former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the Speaker of Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou, who called the measures "social genocide."

A weakened Tsipras is expected to reshuffle his cabinet to remove dissident members, but Reuters reports that the prime minister has no plans to resign.

The austerity bill, which includes an increase in sales tax and a pensions shakeup, was passed as anarchist protesters clashed with police forces in what is the most serious violence in the Greek capital in the past two years.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Efimerida ton Syntakton ("The Newspaper of Journalists") is an independent left-wing newspaper that was founded in 2011 by members of the bankrupt Eleftherotypia.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

Dutch Cities Have Been Secretly Probing Mosques Since 2013

Revelations of a nationally funded clandestine operation within 10 municipalities in the Netherlands to keep tabs on mosques and Muslim organizations after a rise in radicalization eight years ago.

The Nasser mosque in Veenendaal, one of the mosques reportedly surveilled

Meike Eijsberg

At least ten Dutch towns and cities have secretly used a private agency to probe mosques and other local religious organizations, Amsterdam-based daily het NRC reports in an exclusive investigation.

The clandestine operation — funded by NCTV, the National Security Services, the Netherlands' leading counter-terrorism agency — was prompted by the social unrest and uncertainty following multiple terror attacks in 2013, and a rise in Islamic radicalization.

The NCTV, which advises and financially supports municipalities in countering radicalization, put the municipalities in touch with Nuance by Training and Advice (Nuance door Trainingen en Advies, NTA), a private research agency based in Deventer, Netherlands. Among the institutions targeted by the investigations, which came at a cost of circa 500,000 euros, were the Al Mouahidin mosque in the central Dutch town of Ede, and the Nasser mosque east of the city of Utrecht, according to NRC.

Photo of people standing on prayer mats inside a Dutch mosque

Praying inside a Dutch mosque.


Broken trust in Islamic community

Unlike public officials, the private agency can enter the mosques to clandestinely research the situation. In this case, the agents observed activity, talk to visitors, administrators, and religious leaders, and investigated what they do and say on social media.

All findings then wound up in a secret report which includes personal details about what the administrators and teachers studied, who their relatives are, with whom they argued, and how often they had contact with authorities in foreign countries, like Morocco.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.

It is unclear whether the practice is legal, which is why several members of the Dutch Parliament are now demanding clarification from the outgoing Minister of Justice and Security, Ferd Grapperhaus, who is said to be involved.

"The ease with which the government violates (fundamental) rights when it comes to Islam or Muslims is shocking," Stephan van Baarle, member of the leftist party DENK, told De Volkskrant, another Dutch newspaper.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed. Hassan Saidi, director of one of the mosques investigated, said that the relationship with the local municipality had been good. "This puts a huge dent in the trust I'd had in the municipality," he told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!