News in Europe

Hello again, EuroNews!

EUROPE ““ (BBC) Chelsea are into the final of the Champions League after surviving John Terry’s red card to seal a remarkable victory over Barcelona. Earlier in the week, Barcelona’s Fernando Torres had said “the best team does not always win.” His words proved gloriously prophetic for England’s last men standing in Europe as they fought tooth and nail to scrap their way past the defending champions and into the final in Munich on May 19. That it was Torres who scored the goal after being so maligned during his time as Stamford Bridge made for the perfect ending to a famous night for Roberto di Matteo’s side. Several factors gave Chelsea hope heading into the second leg: their last three visits to the Nou Camp had each ended in draws, Real Madrid had torched the myth of Barca’s home invincibility on Saturday, and the Blues brought with them the protection of Didier Drogba’s first-leg winner. It was a result that owed a lot to a moment of guile from Ramires, but more to a display of guts from the Brazilian and his teammates after John Terry’s needless dismissal for driving a knee into the back of Alexis Sanchez off the ball. The only sour note for the London side is that suspensions mean they will have to do without Ramires, Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, and Raul Meireles in Munich.

THE NETHERLANDS ““ (BBC) A day after the fall of his government, Dutch PM Mark Rutte has urged MPs to react “responsibly” to the serious economic problems facing the country. His minority government collapsed over last-minute disagreements about finding billions of euros in austerity cuts. “The economy is flagging, employment is under pressure, and national debt grows faster than we can afford,” he said. He said he expected a general election to take place on September 12th, rather than before the summer recess. “That does most justice to the differing views in the chamber,” he said. A number of political parties have called for a snap election at the end of June, but Mr. Rutte said there was no majority for an earlier poll and the cabinet would make a final decision on Friday. Despite fears of an impact on investors, the Netherlands raised 2bn euros at a bond auction on Tuesday. The Dutch government had been looking to raise between 1.5 and 2.5 bn euros ($3.2bn). When news of the government’s imminent collapse emerged over the weekend, economists predicted that the cost of Dutch borrowing would rise and the country would lose its triple-A status, following in the footsteps of France and Austria. One agency, Moody’s, said on Monday night that the fall of the government was a “credit-negative,” but added that the Netherlands had a stable outlook and was in “a position of relative strength.”

NORWAY ““ (BBC) Anders Behring Breivik called the police to surrender, but then decided to carry on killing “till I die” when they failed to return his call, he has told his trial in Oslo. He said his plan was to kill as many people as possible. Breivik told the court he had made an impromptu call to the police with the intention of surrendering. The police did not call him back, he said. He added that he was thinking: “I will carry on until I die.” He said he had tried to spare some of the young people caught up in the killings on Utoeya island who he thought were under 16. Breivik has admitted the Oslo bombing and island shootings that killed 77. The trial will decide whether he is sane. A state psychiatric commission requested further clarification on the second of two psychiatric reports, which concluded he was sane and accountable for his actions. The first report found him legally insane. Breivik said he would do “anything to prevent” committal to a psychiatric hospital. Earlier, he said he had “lost absolutely everything” on July 22, 2011, all his family and friends, therefore he understood the loss he imposed on others. He said the killings were “a small barbarian act to prevent a larger barbarian act.” In July last year, Breivik set off a car bomb near government buildings in Oslo, killing eight, and then massacred 69 participants in a Labour Party youth camp on the nearby island of Utoeya.

SPAIN ““ (BBC) Spanish police have broken up a gang trying to smuggle Iranian migrants into Britain via the Canary Islands, arresting 22 people. The migrants, charged up to 20,000 euros for the journey, were transported by air or overland by lorry and in luggage compartments of buses. Once in the Canaries, usually the islands of Tenerife or Fuerteventura, they would fly to Britain, police said. Fake passports were found at the home of the alleged ringleader, they added. The Spanish authorities launched their investigation in February, with the arrest of a suspect attempting to board a flight from Tenerife to the UK with forged identification, reports say. The UK Border Agency was also involved in the case. Thirteen people are said to have been arrested in Tenerife, three in Fuerteventura, and six in Madrid. While many gang members, including the alleged leader, were based in Spain, others were reportedly scattered abroad in Iran, Greece, Switzerland, and Germany. Spanish people said the smugglers had referred to the migrants as cattle or sheep and instructed them how they should act on arrival in Britain. Discounts were given for children while those aged under two were said to have been allowed free passage.

UKRAINE ““ (BBC) Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister serving a prison sentence for abuse of office, has reportedly gone on a hunger strike. Her fast began on Friday, lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko told Interfax news agency, speaking outside the walls of her prison in the eastern city of Kharkiv. She is serving seven years in prison for abuse of office, a conviction which caused dismay in the West. Reports say she has been suffering back pain for months. Mr. Vlasenko was quoted by Interfax as saying Tymoshenko was protesting against “what is happening in the country and what is happening to her in prison.” She had, he said, suffered bruising to her arms and stomach as a result of being moved from the prison to a hospital on Friday. The lawyer denied his client had refused to allow doctors to examine her but he added that she had been put in hospital against her will. She is currently unable to get out of her bed, he said. There was no immediate confirmation of Tymoshenko’s hunger strike from the prison authorities.

By Caitlin

25 years old. Proud Michigander. Lover of Scandinavia, feminism, the Detroit Tigers, and perusing unaffordable real estate.

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