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Germany

Why The Far Right Has Flourished In Scandinavia

Analysis: After the deadly Norway attacks carried out in the name of fanatical conservative ideology, it is time for Northern Europe to take stock of its increasingly extreme views on the political right: from rabid defense of Danish cartoons to the rise

Mourners in Oslo (Jørund Myhre)
Mourners in Oslo (Jørund Myhre)
Gunnar Herrmann

OSLO - Is Anders Behring Breivik a lone madman or a terrorist? We are unlikely ever to understand what goes on in the head of a man who kills kids with dum-dum bullets. However, we must conclude from Breivik's manifesto that he himself saw the murders as a political act. And for that reason the attacks are going to have political consequences, regardless of the results of his court-assigned psychological evaluation.

The Breivik manifesto posted on the Internet is full of references to the so-called "Islam debate." Many of the points are familiar: they've been widely written about, and discussed, also by political parties. This is not to say that right-wing politicians and publicists, to whose views much of the material in the manifesto can be traced, are in any way directly responsible for the crimes. Words don't kill – but they can add up to a dangerous view of the world, and spur vile actions. Breivik found enough raw material in Scandinavian political debate to craft a 1,500-page justification of his mass killings. We must use that fact as a catalyst for reflection on Northern Europe's political climate.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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