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70 refugees dead in small truck on Austrian roadside

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 pm, August 28th, 2015 - 107 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, colonialism, disaster, im/migration, poverty, sustainability, uncategorized, war - Tags: ,

The EU has been in the midst of a severe “refugee crisis” for over a year now. Some say it is the worst it has been since WWII.

That the authorities were not immediately able to release the actual death toll from this instance of human trafficking, said to also include children, suggests how grisly the scene was. death truck 2

The badly decomposed remains were discovered on Thursday morning on Austria’s A4 motorway between Neusiedl and Parndorf. The truck had been abandoned on the hard shoulder of the road near Parndorf. It had apparently been there since Wednesday. The refugees, who appeared to have suffocated, died before they entered Austria, police said.

Hans Peter Doskozil, head of police in the district of Burgenland, said there were at least 20 dead but that the death toll could rise to 40 or 50. The state of the bodies made establishing an exact figure difficult. The identities were also not known, he said.

Sadly, updates suggest that the death toll from this incident is more like 70. Crammed into the back of that small truck. This horrific story forms the latest episode in the countless thousands upon thousands of refugees who have died in 2015 trying to flee to the EU from disrupted and war torn countries like Syria, Iraq, and Libya. The UN estimates that just Libya itself has more than 400,000 internally displaced people due to the ongoing disintegration of that country. The number in Syria is in the millions.

RT reports:

It comes amid a worsening migrant crisis in Europe, with tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa – primarily Syria – trying to make their way to Europe’s borderless Schengen zone.

More than 28,300 people applied for refugee protection in Austria in the first half of 2015.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian prime minister’s chief of staff says the number of migrants trying to reach western Europe through Hungary could reach 300,000 by the end of the year.

No wonder many of these dispossessed and desperate people are looking to flee to the ‘paradise’ that the EU represents. Germany may settle as many as 800,000 refugees over the next year. But that only scratches the magnitude of the issue.

In this recent video taken on the frontiers of the EU, hundreds of refugees push past armed police at the Greece/Macedonian border. There will be more to come.

Serbia is another country overloaded with refugees trying to get to the EU via Hungary, and is using Russian help to set up temporary encampments for them. Serbia Hungary

The bitter irony is that EU and NATO members have been instrumental in the destruction or destabilisation of many of the countries that large numbers of refugees are now fleeing from.

The western political/military class which signed off on the decisions to take down Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad, etc. are now having to deal with the long term consequences of those imperial actions arriving, almost literally, on their own door step.

Economic repression, climate change, and further wars/regime change of empire will only make these tragic refugee incidents worse, and lend credence to the radical (fascist) right in Europe.

Donald Trump will not be the only one expressing the need to start building ‘Great Walls‘ to keep the unwashed masses of foreigners out.

We are entering a time when the human cost of ‘pretend and extend’ in order to maintain the elite’s version of Business As Usual is rapidly climbing.

107 comments on “70 refugees dead in small truck on Austrian roadside”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Thanks CV. With climate change it is only going to get worse …

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Cheers MS. The thing I struggle with is – how do we get ahead of the curve? All I see the rulership class doing is a lot of knee jerk reactivity, and of course political platitudes. Germany is actual doing a lot of substantial things to settle refugees but internally they are stretched to the limit socially and politically on the issue. Plus it might help if they stopped their country being used as a staging area for attacks on various African and Middle East countries…

      • miravox 1.1.1

        A good summary CV. Although I wouldn’t give any gold stars to Russia – there’s a sphere of influence struggle between the EU and Russia going on right now and Serbia and Russia have been very good friends for a long time. Co-incidentally a Balkans conference began in Vienna with the breaking news of the death of these refugees.

        As well as Germany doing its bit, so have a few other countries including Sweden and Austria. Given these countries are neutral, and Sweden outside the EU, it’s a bit harsh using the NATO/EU tag to damn the whole of Europe (not that I don’t agree there is a fair bit of culpability from some, and for a variety of reasons). For example [Freedom Fries] France was famously not part of the coalition of the willing in Iraq but did intervene in Libya; Poland refuses to take refugees while the Poles have been a massive part of the East to West migration and understand their economic value in receiving countries; Germany and Romania (maybe others) have military bases that are involved in NATO missions; Hungary and Macedonia build a fences – surely adding to the ‘attraction’ for refugees being smuggled into Europe via vehicles rather than walking into Western Europe as so many others do.

        The Austrian government is, similar to Merkel, very supportive of refugees finding refuge in Europe. The Austrian Interior Minister’s statement [in German] is an indication of this position:

        Minister Johanna Mikl-Inne said at a news conference late Friday morning in Eisenstadt, concern and sympathy for the dead and their families are too little. It is a matter [of allowing] refugees from war and crisis zones to have a “legal way into Europe”.

        The problem is of course, as you’ve stated, is that many countries are not willing to take refugees. Despite widespread support for ‘doing something’, in Austria, the FPŐ far-right rhetoric is attracting big numbers with its popularity over 30% in the upcoming local elections. This is not helped by the main refugee camp, Traiskirchen, being completely over-stretched with more than 4,500 people when it was only built for 1,000. Conditions are terrible (privately run – very un-Viennese- but that’s another story) and patience is seeping away.

        My scorn is for members of the ‘coalition of the willing’ including the UK, US and Australia who readily intervened militarily in the Middle-East but refuse to be part of the humanitarian effort. A friend pointed out to me that in the UK – even in the left-wing press – that people trying to reach Europe are invariably called ‘migrants’ rather than ‘refugees’ whereas here in Austria they are called ‘refugees’ (Flüchtlinge) rather than immigrants (e.g. ausländers) – even in the local freebie newspapers at the u-bahn stops – and have rights based on that, no question.

        I also have a special fury for that son of a refugee, the NZ Prime Minister. He wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for sanctuary from war for his mother. 750 per year in NZ and he finds that acceptable! Pfft!

        Anyway – must up and close my window [*feeling harsh and useless] – there is a small sit-in down the road at the administrative police station (where we see lines of people down the footpath on Monday mornings waiting to receive their papers) by a refugee family who have lost their residency and travel rights. We spoke with them last weekend and asked what the problem is – they say they don’t know why they have been disenfranchised – the whole system seems overwhelmed right now.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Thanks miravox for your comment which embodies a much more local and up close perspective…

        • Foreigne waka 1.1.1.2

          Vielen Dank fuer Ihre Perspektive auf Neutralitaet. Niemand ausserhalb der westlich European Laender kann die katastrophale Situation wirklich verstehen.
          Many thanks for providing an unbiased perspective. Seems that there is no one outside of the west European countries truly able to understand the catastrophic situation.

        • D'Esterre 1.1.1.3

          @Miravox: “My scorn is for members of the ‘coalition of the willing’ including the UK, US and Australia who readily intervened militarily in the Middle-East but refuse to be part of the humanitarian effort. A friend pointed out to me that in the UK – even in the left-wing press – that people trying to reach Europe are invariably called ‘migrants’ rather than ‘refugees’ whereas here in Austria they are called ‘refugees’ (Flüchtlinge) rather than immigrants (e.g. ausländers) – even in the local freebie newspapers at the u-bahn stops – and have rights based on that, no question.

          I also have a special fury for that son of a refugee, the NZ Prime Minister. He wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for sanctuary from war for his mother. 750 per year in NZ and he finds that acceptable! Pfft!”

          Oh, I do so agree with you. I heard on the radio today some White House apparatchik urging Europe to do more for the refugees flooding into Europe. The sheer, barefaced, bloody cheek of it! When Uncle Sam and his merry band are directly responsible for the godawful mess that is the Middle East, and they either try to duck the consequences, or lecture Europeans.

          We have relatives in Austria and Germany; I do understand that citizens there must be feeling overwhelmed about now. I think it’s heroic of their governments to take in as many as they have; no surprises, though, that there’ll be a bit of pushback from some sectors of society. We in NZ are in no position to criticise that pushback; we’ll never have hundreds of thousands of desperate people pouring across our border, as we’ve been seeing recently.

          And your assessment of our pusillanimous PM is spot-on. God’s truth, one’d think he of all people would have a bit of empathy, given his background! But no… We in this family also have reason to be thankful for the post-War refugee resettlement programme, and we’re infuriated by his attitude. This country doesn’t have clean hands in respect of the Middle East: we need to be doing our share and more of the heavy lifting in respect of the refugees flooding into Europe.

    • McLuckster 1.2

      Absolutely MS. Indeed it’s already been argued that climate change was a contributing factor to the current conflict.

      “Added to all the other stressors, climate change helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict,”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/climate-change-key-in-syrian-conflict–and-it-will-trigger-more-war-in-future-10081163.html

  2. desperate people doing desperate things to survive – escaping from war and suffering – and they die in this way – 70 people in that truck – fucken unbelievable – this is the future, this is the present, this is our legacy – yeah build the walls, build the defenses, build the barricades and watch as they get torn down – no wonder we are so fascinated by zombies – head shot works – get practicing all those that want to bunker down.

  3. maui 3

    This is when you have to be thankful you live in NZ – the middle of nowhere and late to be occupied. The world is far too over populated right now, bought on by our ability to use fossil fuels.

    Apparently you can see the Haiti / Dominican Republic border from space because on the Haitian side they have chopped all the trees down because of the ballooning population. This is what happens when you breach carrying capacity, and when we lose the advantage of using cheap oil to feed people we’ve got even more serious problems.

    • weka 3.1

      Yep, and if we want to be ethical about it, population degrowth needs to start at home. NZ could limit its internal population growth and increase numbers of refugees and still maintain a stable population. That this is not even remotely likely says much about our position in the world too.

      • miravox 3.1.1

        Yup. Not many are looking for an international solution to lots of young people in some places and many not-so-young elsewhere

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/23/baby-crisis-europe-brink-depopulation-disaster

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Yes – but with population growth rates so uneven over different countries and cultures, wherever one group achieves a useful reduction, inevitably another moves in to occupy the space and resources freed up. Border controls are only a temporary, partial measure in the face of the kind of chaos, desperation and tragedy we see here.

          Ultimately these are issues at a global scale, and will only ever find solutions when all nations respond in unity.

          • miravox 3.1.1.1.1

            No buts about it Red –

            Ultimately these are issues at a global scale, and will only ever find solutions when all nations respond in unity.

            That’s pretty much the point, although I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with a few countries taking the lead

            But across huge swaths of the European Union, longstanding communities are disappearing and the social burden on the young is becoming unsustainable. Meanwhile, in Kos, Lampedusa and on the Hungarian border, tens of thousands plead to be allowed in.

            Where there is a will, a solution can arise to benefit all [while someone in the UK checks on their software programme being written by the young Egyptian programmer].

          • weka 3.1.1.1.2

            “Border controls are only a temporary, partial measure in the face of the kind of chaos, desperation and tragedy we see here.

            Ultimately these are issues at a global scale, and will only ever find solutions when all nations respond in unity.”

            What’s more doable and likely? The countries of the world figuring out how to do a non-fascist global govt, or NZ taking responsibility for its own population ethically and showcasing that to the world?

      • Pat 3.1.2

        that idea may have some merit Weka…the question it raises however is how does one limit internal population growth?

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          Education, awareness raising, political lobbying, encouragement, incentives. Ultimately though we need to look at this in the context of AGW and PO and the physical world. How many people can a land base sustain? Would we look at that nationally or by island or by region? A big chunk of our emissions in NZ are due to transporting food around the counry, so if we were to eat local, should the population also be managed locally?

        • Lara 3.1.2.2

          It’s happened already quite naturally. Our current birth rate is 2.05 live births per woman. Just below replacement rate of 2.1.

          Generally if you allow women to control their fertility, to make those decisions for themselves, they do. “Enforcement” is not necessary. Access to contraception, education on how to use it, and respect to make their own decisions will do the job.

          • Pat 3.1.2.2.1

            am aware it is occuring in some nations for a couple of different reasons, education, fertility control,financial pressures etc and one child policy in China, but it not the case in NZ and most of the world and is a slow developing consequence of ,in general advanced economies with a reasonable degree of educational opportunity and human rights. Consequently I dont see that as a timely solution for the problems currently presenting. Many of our problems can be directly related to excessive population and one way or another this will be resolved…the question is how? and will it be controlled or not?
            If it is to be controlled then what mechanism can be employed that is 1) widely acceptable 2) equitable 3) enforceable 4) dosnt create insurmountable unintended consequences and finally 5) occurs in the required time frame.
            If uncontrolled then god(s) help us all.

            • Pat 3.1.2.2.1.1

              and all the while remembering this runs in direct contradiction to the worlds current economic model of increasing demand and growth.

            • Lara 3.1.2.2.1.2

              You may be under the impression that there are plenty of “third world” countries who still have high birth rates. That was true when I went to school (decades ago) and it’s what I, my generation and the generation before me were taught, but it’s not true now.

              Hans Rosling is brilliant, so watch this TED talk to see why global population will peak soon, and see his stats on birth rates.

              The problem I have with any “enforcement” of controlling population is it is invariably used as a blunt instrument by the state that women bear. And it’s completely unnecessary.

              Maybe have a read of something like “A Mother’s Ordeal” by Steven W Mosher. It gives an account of how China’s one child policy is enforced. And it’s not pretty for women who bear the biggest burden of it. Actually, it’s quite horrific.

              I’d much rather we trust women to make good decisions on their own fertility. Because every time they have access to affordable (or better, free) contraception choices that work for them, and education on how to use it, and yes also access to safe abortion when they feel the need, women will control their fertility.

              And it’s not just a difference between GDP and overall education that makes a difference to birth rates. Otherwise some oil rich countries would have much lower birth rates than they do. No. I think at the end of the day it’s respect. Respecting women can make choices that determine their fertility and futures. Talk of “enforcement” is opposite to respecting women to make those decisions for themselves.

              • Pat

                It is an impression significantly supported by the data…take a look at the projections for africa and the sub continent. Like you I would like women (although I would suggest it is not a burden that should be placed solely on women) to make good decisions on fertility but submit the following for consideration…
                “Walter Greiling projected in the 1950s that world population would reach a peak of about nine billion, in the 21st century, and then stop growing after a readjustment of the Third World and a sanitation of the tropics.[10] Recent extrapolations from available figures for population growth show that the population of Earth will stop increasing around 2070.[11]”
                …do you believe we have 50 plus years available to allow the existing trend to take effect? I would suggest that all the evidence points to a time frame somewhat more immediate.

  4. weston 4

    wy not suggest to china that they take more refugees after all they have 60 mil empty flats ive been thinking along the lines of a world unerversity somewhere a dispossesed person could go and reinvent themself get an education a city built especially to cater for homeless peoples that they would run themselves for the most part .maybe china couid donate the bricks australia the land nz the medical training perhaps america and the uk the money since their interferance caused a lot of this mess the homeless and the stateless need a place they can belong to

    • ropata 4.1

      Australia?! hahahahahahahaa

      • weston 4.1.1

        well u may laugh still thered be some hope if the complete idiot abott was got rid of .australia has plenty of land and i guess similar in nature to that where a lot of escapees /migrants/refugees come from .ethnicly they are very diverse and as is fun to remind them they were kindof forcibly settled themselves ! would it not be better to create a whole new city/country for these people than to have to be rescuing them from the ocean constantly or building more higher longer fences in a vain attempt to keep them in/out ?hundreds of millions have been spent arround the globe already on barriers borders and border police its an impossibe delusional strategy doomed to fail .if we cant stop wars if we cant solve religious intolerance and inequality then at least we could provide a home and some hope for the victims.note i dont mean another concentration camp i mean a free slf governing brand new world univercity for the poor and disposessed.

  5. Mike the Savage One 5

    “The western political/military class which signed off on the decisions to take down Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad, etc. are now having to deal with the long term consequences of those imperial actions arriving, almost literally, on their own door step.”

    Sorry Colonial Viper, but that is partly nonsense what you are writing there.

    Yes, it may be true for Iraq, but Gaddafi and his regime were already under internal pressure when the US and I believe also French got involved with some air bombarding. Assad faced pressure from within also, with mass protests. While Assad saw his regime under pressure, he started sending secret service, army and police out, to deal to protesters, and we know the rest, with the armed insurgency, that got totally out of hand, once IS and Al Nusra got involved, alongside many other armed groups, many now fighting each other AND the Assad regime.

    And what about the sectarian divides in Iraq, that existed before and after Saddam? What about the war in Yemen, who is involved there, the Europeans???

    Have you forgotten the Arab Spring movement? That created “unrest” that regimes tried to suppress, and sadly too many regimes (e.g. in Egypt) succeeded.

    What is scandalous though is the lack of coordination within the EU. There the 28 or so member states have as many different immigration and refugee policies, and as they have never worked on bringing these in line, and apply them across the EU, refugees now flow in the tens of thousands to the states perceived as being both more “humane” and also economically better off, such as Germany, Austria, Sweden and the UK.

    Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia and so are rather uncooperative, and even the British, and they look after themselves first, are building fences and do other things to keep people out. The first mentioned states are like Macedonia and Greece rather just transit routes.

    This incident with 71 dead found in an abandoned truck on that motorway is a tragedy and scandal, but it is also the work of greedy, irresponsible people traders, who make good money from their criminal activities.

    But what really gets me worked up here is the disgusting conduct by the New Zealand government, stubbornly sticking to the low refugee intake per annum, and also simply ignoring the tragedies unfolding in Europe and other places. Where is New Zealand’s action and humanitarian support, I ask?

    Even most in the population seem indifferent, and busy living their consumerist life, and self indulgences, that who can afford the latter. It is more head in the sand stuff, that I see all around me, in little NZ Aotearoa. It is easy pointing the finger at the Europeans, who admittedly have questions to answer, and to get their acts together. Maybe New Zealand and Australia do their bit also?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      bullshit.

      western military actions led directly to the power vacuums and chaos inside Syria, Iraq and Libya today. Tyrants ran those countries, but secular ones not interested in militant jihadism.

      now things are a hundred times worse in each country. in Iraq and Syria both ISIS and Al Qaeda before that were direct creations of the west, particularly the US between 2001 and 2004 in Iraq, and 2011 to 2012 in Syria.

      the EU is reaping what it sowed in being party to that.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        It is necessary to see behind what Mike the Savage says about the causes of the present degradations causing citizen flight. What destabilising machinations have been going on for decades caused by western interests, and double dealing, corrupt payoffs and bribery to politicians and leaders?

        Then military intervention, what harm has that done? What good? Was there a right time and the timing was missed?

        And the faults of the west when they leave damage and death behind them result in extra fuel in the emotional landscape. Then as they try to intervene again, they become everyone’s enemy. The little good some might do, is overwhelmed by the surrounding degrading effects of war. The west has made a pig’s muddle in their areas of conflict.

        And the ugly behaviour of the western military with their malicious weapons as in using depleted uranium, setting up generations of ill health. They have despoiled agricultural land in areas with sensitive growing conditions, drought prone, and with the effects of climate change enhancing this problem. Climate change brought about principally by ‘advanced’ countries which do not want to recognise, monitor, take remedial action and alter their own destructive behaviour.
        edited

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          Here is a link to the ‘dust lady’ from the plane attack on the USA from people who are sick of the USA sponsoring violence and attacks in their own country.
          This woman amazingly survived by running downstairs from the 81st floor to the ground by stairs against the command from her manager. (Reminescent of the Ballantynes fire in Christchurch. Work and Safety should have some template for this type of danger.)
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/282536/%27dust-lady%27-from-9-11-dies-of-cancer

          She has now died at 42 from stomach cancer after having suffered from a virtual breakdown which she treated with alcohol and lost custody of her two children. But she had gained sobriety and the family relationship again before she died.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            It is necessary to see behind what Mike the Savage says about the causes of the present degradations causing citizen flight. What destabilising machinations have been going on for decades caused by western interests, and double dealing, corrupt payoffs and bribery to politicians and leaders?

            The west has been fucking around with the Middle East at will since even before Sikes Picot, the Balfour declaration and the Shah of Iran.

            • Mike the Savage One 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, true, but you go on about “the west”, while we can count the nations responsible on one hand, I bet. Collective guilt for “the west” now, is it?

              Other imperial powers of past ages did also cause a lot of grief, so did the Mongols with their raid through Central Asia into Europe, so did the Aztecs with their blood and human sacrifice cult, so did endless other regimes over history.

              Perhaps it pays to be a bit more precise about who is actually responsible, for what, and to what degree? I just cannot “warm” to your collective blame game toward the “EU” and “the west”, sorry.

              • Colonial Viper

                The western power elite; the top 0.001% who actually call the shots, and the 1% who explicitly or implicitly support them in doing so.

      • Mike the Savage One 5.1.2

        How can you lump the whole EU together, and blame them collectively, when it was largely the result of former colonial powers like Britain and France who redrew the border-lines (Sykes Picot and such, for memory), and that goes back about a century. Yes, nations got their independence, and yes, it was largely first monarchies, corrupt other regimes, then demagogues and also revolutionary nationalists (e.g. Nasser) who took over the reign in various countries, within largely colonial borders.

        Surely those countries had some chance to regain their controls, after independence, and also plan for the future, to develop their own resources and so, within some limits of course, given “investment” by various western businesses, particularly in the petroleum sector.

        But with all that, and besides of all the faults of the past, it is bizarre how you throw blanket blame to the whole EU and their governments, for what is happening in places such as Syria. Of course Bush and his idiot march into Iraq has a lot of blame to carry, with the US military and the business forces behind it, wanting to deal to Saddam.

        But there are also very powerful forces at play, that have NOT been created and supported by “the West”. Since when were Al Qaeda in Iraq, the same in in Yemen, and since when were such and ISIS the forces that were assisted by “the west”?

        Truth is they tried to fight and suppress these extremists and terrorists, but they failed, like they did fail fighting other forces in Vietnam and elsewhere. Now what came out of Vietnam, a similar situation as in Iraq or Syria? What happened to other places where the US, French or so stuffed up? Were they turned into decapitating and bombing maniacs, creating endless breaches of human rights and crimes of wars, of ethnic cleansing.

        There is a heck of a lot of sectarianism that still exists in the Mid East, and the Sunni and Shia extremists both are working over-time to create the world as they want it. Surely we cannot blame “the west” for all of this.

        Add the population growth rates, only sustainable by some cross subsidising of otherwise failed economies, by the wealthier oil rich nations in the region, and it has been a disaster in the making for decades.

      • Wayne 5.1.3

        In Syria, the main role of the US and NATO has been to do nothing. Assad has waged a brutal war against the Syrian people knowing the West would not intervene.

        So Colonial Viper, as much as it does not suit your typically anti-US narrative, in this case the facts are against you.

        In fact many would argue the failure of the West to act has actually contributed to the Syrian disaster. I was certainly one of those.

        It can be argued that early and effective Western intervention on the side of the anti-govt forces would have lead to the downfall of Assad and ISIS never coming to the fore. It is probably now to late to intervene effectively, though there will be contrary views on that, given that Assad is weaker than 3 years ago, but toppling Assad now might deliver the whole of Syria to ISIS.

        Of course the argument for early intervention does imply that a post Assad Syria would have worked out better than post Gaddafi Lybia. There was at least in the early days a greater cohesion of the rebel groups, but once it was obvious the Western support would at best be paltry, they went their separate ways.

        But it is hard to imagine that the situation would be worse than the present.

        • Bill 5.1.3.1

          Remind me again Wayne of the precise initial make-up of what ‘the West’ dubbed ‘The Syrian Free’ army.

          And then remind me of the logistical support western governments provided to that conglomeration of disparate entities.

          Then explain to me why western governments have just recently backed Turkey – who have been supporting the daesh against the fighters in the Autonomous Regions of N. Syria – instead of supporting the fighters in the Autonomous Regions who have a proven combat record against the daesh.

          And then, when you’ve done all that, maybe you can outline what ‘the West’ hopes will be achieved by Turkey’s bombing of the PKK in Iraq.

          Cheers.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.2

          Wayne have you not seen the analysis reports indicating that the senior ranks of ISIS is made up of disgruntled but very capable senior Saddam era officers who were fired by the US during the first year of Bremer’s takeover of Iraq…

          Whoops.

          • Wayne 5.1.3.2.1

            CV,

            You will notice that I did not refer to Iraq. On that issue it can be properly said that the current situation does have its origins in the US led invasion of 2003.

            But your item is specifically about Syria. And the origins of that is essentially internal, the Syrian manifestation of the Arab Spring, which also had indigenous origins.

            The very limited support of the Syrian rebels was enough to prolong the civil war, but not enough to defeat Assad. If one is going to support insurgents you have to do enough to actually succeed or else you should not do anything. The prolonged civil war has led directly to the current crisis.

            Mind you the assistance given the the Libyan rebels was enough to be decisive in overthrowing Gaddaffi. But that also shows the limits of western intervention. It was not possible to build a genuine alternative government, notwithstanding multiple elections. Ultimately the Libyans are going to have to work it out, and if the current turmoil goes on long enough, they will choose a Sisi solution.

            Perhaps it is not surprising the Egyptian middle class class decided that a military strongman was better than democracy, given how well that had worked out in Libya and Iraq.

            I am sure you will blame the Sisi coup on the US, but to me it has looked like the US was playing catchup. Unless you believe the CIA runs an alternative foreign policy directly contrary to that of the Obama administration (which I guess you do).

            In short, other than Iraq and Libya, the current turmoil in the Middle East has its immediate origins in the Arab Spring, and the reactions of the various dictators to it.

            Even in Libya it was primarily an indigenous movement that was then supported by much of NATO – and you may recall the US came in after being led there by France and the UK.

            • Pascals bookie 5.1.3.2.1.1

              Wayne, the tow are linked.

              Perhaps you missed the fact that right through the Iraq civil war Syria was a main destination point for Baathist and other Sunni refugees?

              ISIS didn;t get a foothold there by accident. The attraction of jihadist groups isn;t by accident. Those forces are battle hardened by Iraq, so when

              Syria kicked off, they hit the ground running. You can spout nonsense about how ‘maybe if we did something earlier’ til the cows come home, but the reason the west didn’t do anything was that the anti-Assad forces were already hevaily weighted towards AQ and ISIS like groups. The ‘moderate’ opposition was weak, they had numbers, but couldn’t compete with the battle hardened militants. If we had gone in, those forces would have lost anyway.

              The ideas being floatred were air support, a no fly zone, and some training and logistics. No one was suggesting deploying the couple of hundred thousand troops that *might* have been effective. And that chances for success were always slim.

              What matters is what gets done. Have you noticed that the team Key signed us up to is now turning a blind eye to what Turkey is doing to the Kurds? I seem to recall the plighht of the Kurds was the big emotional flag people were flying when show baoting about ‘doing something’ a couple of years ago. Gone very fucking quiet now though. As predicted, the plight of the Kurds was just being used for propaganda. The desires of Turkey and other regional powers will always outrank the Kurds in western capitials, so the push for ‘oh lets’ support the moderates’ was also doomed given actual geo-political realities in westerm capitals.

        • D'Esterre 5.1.3.3

          @ Wayne: “… as much as it does not suit your typically anti-US narrative…..”

          Please, just stop already with this anti-US schtick! It’s intellectually lazy: make an argument of substance, rather than throwing that debate-ending epithet around. It’s not worthy of you.

          “It can be argued that early and effective Western intervention on the side of the anti-govt forces would have lead to the downfall of Assad and ISIS never coming to the fore.”

          It can be argued, but it’s a fallacy. There is a causal chain linking the rise of IS and the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq: the West isn’t welcome in that part of the world, and for good reason. Even if it had been possible for the West to intervene early, it’s wildly implausible to claim that such intervention could have been effective. What on earth would that have looked like?

          Consider the sort of polity Syria was before the uprising. Syria under the Alawites was a secular state, in which women could drive cars and go about with their hair uncovered. Other religious minorities aren’t – or weren’t, until IS and the other jihadists came along – persecuted, but allowed to practise their faith. Contrast that with the plight of women and religious minorities in the US client state Saudi Arabia. So: you’re suggesting that Western powers ought to have intervened to assist jihadists to overthrow a secular head of state, dictator or not? That’d go well, I’m sure.

          The uprising against the Assad regime certainly began with street protests, but it morphed so rapidly into a jihad that it’s questionable whether there ever were any moderates. If there were, it’s likely they fled across the border very early in the conflict. It’s just not possible that the West could have intervened before that happened.

          Dreadful as the situation is now, we cannot know how much worse it would have been, had the West attempted to intervene; just that it would have been worse.

      • Foreign waka 5.1.4

        To CV – again, you have absolutely no idea about Europe. What is the depth of your history knowledge?

  6. Tory 6

    Bullshit CV.
    On the 28 August 2011 the Standard posted a story on the Arab Spring and argued that “…the Arab uprising is linked to global price spikes…” (as reported the Guardian).
    Not quite as sexy as the “Axis of evil lead by Bush and Blair”.
    Further more, the refugees you are seeing are economic migrants, some who have paid in excess of $US10K, the real tefugees are the 2 million stuck in Lebanon etc.
    I am writing this as I travel north through Italy and I can assure you that 90% of the migrants I have seen are aged in their 20’s and are not on the bones of their arses.

    • locus 6.1

      Ahh Tory – Did you notice a lot of brown or black people in their 20s in Italy and assume that they were ‘migrants’?

      Your ‘assurance’ that the people you saw were ‘migrants’ is based on what? Deep conversations with them?….. or were they wearing a sticker on their foreheads which said ‘migrant’?

      There are plenty of Italians who are brown or black and in their 20s – who were born Italian.

      No doubt you did see some migrants, but my guess is you probably also saw refugees from Libya but quickly jumped to your own prejudiced and ignorant judgment.

      Italy by the way is not the route that by far the greatest number of refugees follow from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq….

      What in your expert opinion made the ‘90%’ look like a migrants as opposed to the ‘10%’ refugee?

    • miravox 6.2

      “I am writing this as I travel north through Italy

      I think you’re a bit lost Tory – the Balkans isn’t Italy

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34039968

      1.8 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Tory.
      http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/09/syria-refugees-4-million-people-flee-crisis-deepens

      Do you really think they’re in a place where they can all stay? If you couldn’t go home and were stuck in a dire no-man’s land and had the means to move on, wouldn’t you?

    • joe90 6.3

      90% of the migrants I have seen are aged in their 20’s and are not on the bones of their arses.

      As my forefathers did, and most likely yours, young people leave in search of a new life.

      /

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        So are you ultimately arguing for the dismantling of all nation-state border controls?

        Just let all people migrate wherever and whenever they want – as they were pretty much able to in the time of our forefathers?

        • joe90 6.3.1.1

          So are you ultimately arguing for the dismantling of all nation-state border controls?

          As part of policy to manage orderly movement and settlement, ultimately, yes, or build one of these around Western Europe.

          • RedLogix 6.3.1.1.1

            joe

            I don’t mind you making that case. It’s good that you are happy to say it out loud.

            Of course it does come with a whole bunch of other political worms and ramifications that have to be talked about as well.

            But in essence, if you are going to dismantle the nation-state, then either you establish an effective global governance or you contemplate a completely different world than the one we have known.

          • marty mars 6.3.1.1.2

            I agree with you joe – the old way won’t work in the new environment we face – time we face up to that before it’s too late – oops already is damn it.

  7. vto 7

    God there must be some horrific shit being dealt to the middle east for all these poor people to run like this…

    Also makes me wonder what they know about what is coming in the middle east…… with so many on the run do they see much much worse to come yet? Do they see an apocalypse? Do they see current war as just the beginning? Do they see nuc1ear detonations in the near future?

    What do they see that makes them run so?

    I do not believe it is merely the current situation – it is more. They see much much more.

    What is coming?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Also makes me wonder what they know about what is coming in the middle east…… with so many on the run do they see much much worse to come yet? Do they see an apocalypse?

      For many people who lived in the Iraq/Syria/Libya, apocalypse has already come and they are living in hell every day, whether under ISIS rule or that of armed gangs of thugs.

      We are incredibly privileged to be so far away from it.

      Just like someone living in Davenport wondering what all the fuss is about child poverty. Surely those people should just get their act together?

    • Molly 7.2

      Issues regarding access to water are going to make leaving the only option for many as well.

      The US series “Years of Living Dangerously” outlined the loss of sustainable traditional farming families, when the drought was ongoing and not alleviated in any way by government. There are communities who are shooting each other over access to well water. This is going to be replicated in many “dry” countries, that have their access to water reduced by others closer to water sources.

      To me, it is the “perfect storm” – the obvious manifestation when the cost of all the short-term economic, political, environmental and socially bad decisions AND interventions are coming home to roost.

      At least we need to consider and confront the idea that if our lifestyle and consumer choices are dispossessing communities overseas, that this is a natural progression – they will look for somewhere else to live.

      Despite our distance – we play a decided part in this disruption and chaos.

  8. amy 8

    Perhaps it’s about time the ultra wealthy Arab nations started to shoulder some of the burden. They have certainly aided and abetted and in many cases actively participated militarily in causing this crisis. And, with many of the refugees, they share similar ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious bases. Somehow it’s always the Christian west that the bleaters expect to accept sole responsibility for everything. I don’t think I have ever heard in NZ a call for Muslim nations to pull their load.

    Somehow the bleats always are for the West do more. And much of this crisis dates back over a century. Try reading Pillars of Wisdom , by Lawrence (as in he of Arabia). Lawrence identified much of these problems and predicted this kind of ongoing crisis back then.

    A section of NZ’ers are painfully ignorant of the world. The illusion of learning and knowledge. A little learning and tge web are a dangerous combination.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      So far I haven’t read any comments from you amy that indicate a way forward. It seems that you refer to the past which is useful background, but then you go off into blaming and emotional language such as ‘bleats’. And the ultra-wealthy Arabs and some westerners are joined at the hip-pocket. No use in just pointing fingers at them and not see our own connectivity.

      You can’t view everything through the wrong end of the telescope and tell yourself that you know more than we other ‘painfully ignorant’ NZs. We are all painfully ignorant on how to manage our world and ourselves better, and only thinking about it and taking responsible action will help, after the responsible thought is done.

      • amy 8.1.1

        My way forward, in part, would be to pressure , via the UN, the rich Arab countries to shoulder more of the burden. Agree, they are variously joined at the hip pocket with the west and other national blocks, but that does not excuse us not placing pressure on them to do the right thing.

        Other than that, very difficult. Sure NZ can take more refugees but that only helps a tiny minority and not solve the problem.

        This migrant and refugee problem is shaping up to be the single biggest issue of our time. A way forward is very hard. I honestly believe it is beyond the scope of any European country or the likes of NZ to make any material difference. Only the likes of the Gulf states have the political influence and resources to truly change things.

        Thank you for you constructive opinion. Truly appreciate!

      • amy 8.1.2

        My reason for always bringing in the history or wider world view is not to try and score points. It is because I believe if the US had done this, for example, maybe this crisis would have been somewhat different.

        And I apologize if it may sound I think I am superior, but when I get idiots like on here last week telling me my country of birth china, is peaceful, I truly despair. Do they not know that we lost 30M in the 1950s, more millions in 1960s, all from our own corrupt leaders?

        Even now in my homeland, xinjiang, Muslims (the majority) are forbidden by law to have beards, a part of their beliefs. So I despair at times! But digress I am sorry

        • greywarshark 8.1.2.1

          @amy
          Thank you for your reply. I understand and appreciate the special knowledge your background gives you. I have started to take more interest in China. I notice how China has tried to deflate its population bubble with the one child policy. But that has resulted in a huge imbalance in gender. So no quick answer to population.

          Then there are the results of trying to modernise from Emperors to a republic.
          And to prevent being swamped by western colonisation and Japanese invasion.
          China has lived through the excesses of historical change. And now it seems to have determined to go through an industrial revolution in a matter of decades that Britain experienced over a century or so. If only the leaders could take time out for a cup of tea. Do you remember David Lange our past PM saying that when fast changes were made here?

          Do you think the UN has any power? I believe it is necessary but I think it is lacking in oxygen as the saying goes. I don’t know what it can do against the sheiks of the Middle East.

          • amy 8.1.2.1.1

            Not really know too much about Lange. I have been here almost ten years so still learning.
            No UN has little power (saw that with rwanda). But if nz raised in UN makes HUGE statement which is good I think.
            Yes you should and nzers should learn a lot more about china. It is very big and very diverse. Did yiu know for example Mao could not even speak Mandarin? He needed interpreters to speak with most chinese people!
            The USA is nothing compared to what our leaders did to their own nation. And even now away in many rural places the one child policy still means forced abortion. Force as in arrest and force.

            • greywarshark 8.1.2.1.1.1

              @amy
              This is how I see China. China has had some big famines in the past. Also has been invaded by other nations and has had civil war, greater than what has happened in the USA and not so long ago. The USA has plenty of things to feel ashamed of and is without the excuse of the tragedies and difficulties that China has faced.

              And the Chinese population would have been growing exponentially. So the leaders used their power over the people, sent them to work on farms and stopped them forming relationships until they were in their twenties, then they took the one-child hard line. If they had allowed two, it would have saved much pain and anguish and cruelty. If communism was to be honestly tried, then the people should have had a say.

              Mao must have spoken Cantonese then, if not Mandarin. I understand that Mandarin was more the language of scholars and leaders. Was Mao then from the peasant class?

              I am not sure if NZ under this government has any real moral fibre. It wanted to get on the Security Council because it makes the politicians and leaders feel important. But I am always surprised to hear of anything worthwhile that they have done. But I would like to feel that surprise, often, so I hope they show that I am very, very wrong.

              • amy

                No. Mao speak Hunan, 3rd language of China, but way behind Mandarin which is way most common language. Most Chinese they speak Mandarin. Many languages in China. One government but many countries if that makes sense.
                Most Chinese in NZ speak Cantonese but young ones also know Mandarin.

  9. locus 9

    CV – an incredibly important topic – the refugee crisis is huge – they’re coming from war-torn regions where most have lost everything and the choice is leave or live in constant fear and despair

    You rightly point to the involvement of EU and NATO members in the destabilisation and wars. But irrespective of which of these nations did or didn’t help to cause or fuel the wars it’s the responsibility of all civilised nations to help these millions find a safe place to live.

    Since the immediate route is through the Balkans to the EU, it’s along this route that the aid, organisation and resources must be focused – and much much more than what’s getting there right now

    The scale of the human tragedy on their doorstep has rocked the sensibilities of Austrians. It’s been easy for many to sympathise – but at arms length – when there is another and yet another awful piece of news about refugees drowning in the Mediterranean.

    The discovery of decaying bodies in a chicken truck brutally communicates the desperation that is driving people to go to any length to flee to a place of freedom

  10. johnm 10

    CV is 100% right! The U$ and its Nato allies have created hell n the Middle East from which the refugees are fleeing 🙁

    ” Look, for example, at the hordes of refugees from America’s invasions and bombings of seven countries who are currently overrunning Europe. The huge inflows of peoples from America’s massive slaughter of populations in seven countries, enabled by the Europeans themselves, is causing political consternation in Europe and the revival of far-right political parties. Today, for example, neo-nazis shouted down German Chancellor Merkel, who tried to make a speech asking for compassion for refugees.

    But, of course, Merkel herself is responsible for the refugee problem that is destabilizing Europe. Without Germany as Washington’s two-bit punk puppet state, a non-entity devoid of sovereignty, a non-country, a mere vassal, an outpost of the Empire, ruled from Washington, America could not be conducting the illegal wars that are producing the hordes of refugees that are over-taxing Europe’s ability to accept refugees and encouraging neo-nazi parties.

    The corrupt European and American press present the refugee problem as if it has nothing whatsoever to do with America’s war crimes against seven countries. I mean, really, why should peoples flee countries when America is bringing them “freedom and democracy?”

    The illegal Egyptian military dictatorship that overthrew on Washington’s orders the first democratically elected government in Egyptian history has issued an edict prohibiting journalists from contradicting the military dictatorship. In brief, the dictatorship installed by Washington has outlawed facts.

    Washington rejected the government that the Egyptian people elected, because it appeared that the democratically elected government would have a foreign policy that was at least partially independent of Washington’s. Remember, according to the neocons who, together with Israel, control US foreign policy, countries with independent foreign policies, such as Iran, Russia, and China, are America’s “greatest threats.”

    The Egyptian military thugs, following Washington’s orders, have more or less eliminated all of the leadership of the political party that was democratically elected. The party was called the Muslim Brotherhood. In the presstitute Western media, the political party was described more or less as al Qaeda, and how are the ignorant, brainwashed, and propagandized Americans to know any difference? Certainly neither “their” government nor the presstitute media will ever tell them.

    With the military dictatorship’s edict, independent news reporting no longer exists in Egypt. Washington is pleased and rewards the dictatorship with bags full of money paid by the hapless and helpless American taxpayers.

    Like all illegal wars exclusively pulled off by NATO, the one against Libya has triggered mass murder. Reports from human rights organizations show that the United States, NATO and their vassal “rebels” committed the worst possible war crimes, culminating in the cold-blooded murder of Muammar Qaddafi. Interviews conducted with victims and witnesses in Tripoli, Zawiya, Sibrata, Khoms, Zliten, Misrata and Sirte Tawergha give ample proof that NATO deliberately bombed civilian targets, causing numerous deaths and injuries. This included schools, hospitals, government buildings, food stores and homes. The rebels meanwhile indulged in systematic torture, abuse and revenge killings among Gaddafi sympathizers, while “Black” immigrants were literally butchered.

    But the Western media and official war mongers maintain a total silence about these facts since they do not fit into their hypocritical justification for the war, particularly the transparent lie that it was waged for the protection of civilian populations. It is estimated that at least 60,000 people were killed by the NATO attacks while many more were wounded. NATO admits to having carried out in six months some 26,000 missions with 9,600 attacks during which thousands of tons of bombs were dropped. ”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/08/25/western-democracy-endangered-species-way-extinction-paul-craig-roberts/

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/08/26/neo-need-paul-craig-roberts/

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/02/the-war-crimes-of-nato-in-libya/

    • johnm 10.1

      More about Neocon Warshington and its Empire of Chaos

      ” Since American neocons emerged in the 1980s, they have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a global economic crisis. ”

      ” But the chaos that these neocons and liberal interventionists inflict on the world – often justified by claims about “democracy promotion” and “human rights” – typically ends up creating conditions of far greater horror than the meddling was meant to stop.

      For instance, the Islamic State butchers and their former parent organization, Al Qaeda, are transforming Iraq and Syria into blood-soaked killing fields. But the neocons and liberal hawks still think the higher priority was and is to eliminate the relatively stable and prosperous dictatorships of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. ”

      ” There is always a fixation about getting rid of some designated “bad guy” even if the result is some “far-worse guys.” This has been a pattern repeated over and over again, from Libya to Sudan/South Sudan to Ukraine/Russia to Venezuela (just to name a few). In such cases, we see the neocons/liberal hawks release a flood of propaganda against some unpleasant target (Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi/Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir/Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych/Russia’s Vladimir Putin/Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or Nicolas Maduro) followed by demands for “regime change” or at least punishing economic sanctions. ”

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article42728.htm

      AS Afewknowthetruth used to lament in this blog: it’s depressing and incredible how illinformed and insousciant the majority of its commentators are! 🙁

      Goes with New Zealand’s La La land msm and its infotainment news!

    • johnm 10.2

      Don’t forget before under Gadaffi Cameron and Sarkozy and Nato aka Warshington destroyed Libya it was the most prosperous nation in Africa.

      7 Reasons why the West wanted Gaddafi dead

      1. Gaddafi wouldn’t bow down to the Rothschild central reserve banking cartel.

      2. Gadaffi Proposed $400 million African Satellite – gadaffi alone came up with $300 million for this project.

      For those ask whats the big deal in it, it’s really a huge set back for European western countries, because they get paid by Africa every year $500 million per year in rent for the services European satellite provides to Africa.
      Africa being self sufficient is definitely a set back for western economy.

      3. AMF: African Monetary Fund – No more borrowing from Rothschild Central Bank for African countries, AMF was planned to produce its own currency for Africa, backed by Gold standard.
      Interest free.

      4. Libya’s $300 Billion Gold reserves.

      5. Libya sits on Africa’s largest oil and natural gas reserves.

      6. Gadaffi planned to free the entire African continent from the clutches of Western imperialism.

      7. Libya’s Blue gold – Libya’s priceless water basins.

      * In Libya there are four major underground basins, these being the Kufra basin, the Sirt basin, the Morzuk basin and the Hamada basin, the first three of which contain combined reserves of 35,000 cubic kilometres of water. These vast reserves offer almost unlimited amounts of water for the Libyan people. *In the 1960s during oil exploration deep in the southern Libyan desert, vast reservoirs of high quality water were discovered in the form of aquifers. * thus Gadaffi, started the construction for the Phase I of the $25 Billion “Great Man made River Project” in 1984.

      The Great Man-Made River (GMR) is a network of pipes that supplies water from the Sahara Desert in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. It is the world’s largest irrigation project
      As of now, almost all three phases has been finished by the Libyan administration .

      It carries more than five million cubic metres of water per day across the desert to coastal areas, vastly increasing the amount of arable land. The cost of one cubic meter of water equals 35 cents. The cubic meter of desalinized water is $3.75. Scientists estimate the amount of water to be equivalent to the flow of 200 years of water in the Nile River.

      Here is the $70 trillion Blue Gold in Libya, that caught the most attention and Love of Bankers.

      http://pkpolitics.com/discuss/topic/7-reasons-why-the-west-wanted-gaddafi-dead

      Now? Chaos and refugees fleeing and ISIS has taken over Sirte and its not the West’s fault?

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Gawdammit i didn’t know about the “blue gold” wealth that Libya had.

        They screwed Gaddafi over bad. Tony Blair was in the middle of organising that.

        Thanks johnm.

    • Foreign waka 10.3

      You might not want to hear this but time has run out of propaganda speeches and political hick hacks. It is time to act constructively to solve that potentially 2x the euro zone population is about to embark onto the continent. Do you really think that this will be a bloodless transition not affecting the rest of the world and consequently NZ?
      Time to stop the rhetoric and start to act in a human and constructive way. Have allowance for more refugees into NZ. Be a world citizen.

      • locus 10.3.1

        thank you Foreign waka for making this abundantly clear!

        …. i hope people in NZ (and the world) who can make a difference read this, seriously take note and “start to act in a human and constructive way”

    • locus 10.4

      just listen to yourself…

      this post is about the atrocious realities faced by refugees and an opportunity for us wherever we come from to start joining together across nations to look for solutions.

      irrespective of whether there is some truth or not in your venom, now is not the time for aggressive rhetoric

      …. and imo this kind of ‘hate the other side’ political rant really isn’t the right way to go

  11. locus 11

    Quoting from RT is as good a way as any of communicating this tragic story, but let’s not forget that RT is a Russian state-funded media network

    Russia and Serbia have their own skeletons, and Russia is more than a little motivated to paint the EU and NATO in an unfavourable light, given their regional power struggle

    It’s not only the “western political/military class” that are responsible for these wars

    And while EU/NATO may have led the assaults on Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad – it was these despotic tyrants who created the preconditions, enslaving and murdering their people – and which their henchmen and dynasties would have continued in an endless cycle

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And while EU/NATO may have led the assaults on Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad – it was these despotic tyrants who created the preconditions, enslaving and murdering their people – and which their henchmen and dynasties would have continued in an endless cycle

      I agree.

      Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad had vicious secret police which would disappear hundreds or even thousands of people a year in politically motivated killings, torture and repression.

      BUT

      They also had highly organised secular states, women in higher education, social services, advanced universities, socialised healthcare and social welfare systems.

      Western actions have now destroyed all of that and killed around 2,000,000 Iraqi civilians, displaced 1,000,000 Syrians, and left almost half a million Libyans homeless.

      So when you do the killing math, none of this western intervention was about mercy helping the poor people living under tyrannical rule, and all of it was about getting rid of rulers that no longer suited the goals of western empire.

      As for Russia and Serbia yes they are old mates.

      • locus 11.1.1

        CV big apology – and hopefully correction of the possible inference – if my highlighting your phrase:
        …… “western political/military class” came across as any kind of implicit support for those who “signed off on the decisions to take down Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad”

        “when you do the killing math”….. in these 6 words you have captured the grim outcome of all militaristic solutions

        i think now is one of those moments in time when there’s a chance to challenge the political propogandists and to shift their obsession with the blame game to a demand for solutions

        it’s a moment to ask our political leaders everywhere what will each and every of them will do

    • greywarshark 11.2

      @locus
      You refer to the regimes treatment of people being ongoing if left. But the pragmatic person or political group have to consider how they can best improve the situation. Or will they make it worse. Going in gung-ho all fired up with no thought of possible failure isi so irresponsible, bad planning. And leaving decisions to armed forces is irresponsible. You know that is all they know, they won’t veer to preferring diplomatic recipes.

      • locus 11.2.1

        yes i agree – but much more so than that –

        war is not just ‘irresponsible’….

        ‘pragmatic’ is not a word i’d use if i were a victim on the receiving end of a totalitarian dictatorship… there were many many refugees from these evil regimes before the wars – but only a stark raving idiot would argue that war provides a better solution

        The choice of war or ‘pragmatic’ diplomacy?

        clearly diplomacy it’s the lesser of 2 evils, but the immediate focus must now be on the way the wealthy peaceful world is going to work together to help these people

        And….imo, help (and diplomacy) doesn’t begin well with the political diatribe and blame of armchair warriors, nor with the framing of media that represent hugely vested interests

        • greywarshark 11.2.1.1

          @locus
          I agree – how can these people be helped? Into homes in new countries, and what can be done in their old homes in their own countries. The world now must show concern for these poor people as we did for the Jews after WW2.

          Enabling a bunch of mercenaries to be incensed and assemble under the banner of religion, which they pay lip service to, was a crime against the world. Can that be turned round somehow? It will go on even after an uneasy peace is reached, if it can be, for another generation with uprisings and killings which will have to be addressed with as little violence as possible.
          .
          There are people sitting around before deciding how and why to go to war, and viewing it as an action with consequences, some of which will advantage them or disadvantage them and whether it will be a proxy attack on another country which is unfriendly to them but connected to the target country. The sick behaviour of the armchair warriors is beyond understanding, but getting into groupthink and power moves and financial effects and it being a warning to others, loom more massively than the inevitable deaths, maiming, displacement and devastation.

          Being pragmatic about it would be an upward move by such automatons.

          • locus 11.2.1.1.1

            indeed..

            but the biggest issue right now is the need for politicians and diplomats to build on the public’s revulsion and shocked awareness of the refugees’ plight – to show compassion, respect and willingness to personally (and as a nation) help those who are running from their nightmares

            politics and diplomacy to address the root causes are also crucial – but right now these are rapidly descending into a pit that is inflamed and incensed by psychopathic and sociopathic acts of war, and by the ever increasing cacophany of patriotism, racism, protectionism, xenophobia, ideology, religion, blame and retribution

    • johnm 11.3

      Hi locus. Your an apologist for western war crimes:

      RT as a rep for truth and integrity far greater than Western presstitute media which is wholly given over to propaganda.

      There was no power struggle until Warshington overthrew democatic Ukraine!

      The western political/military class must take the lion’s share of the blame they’re the ones who bombed these countries back to the stone age.

      No “may” about it Nato and Warshinton led the assaults, first by funding fifth columns in some instances.

      Iraq and Libya were advanced stable countries before being bombed and irradiated by depleted uranium warheads. Iraq was created by western intervention post ww1 it took a dictator to keeps its diverse culture together: Shias Sunnis and kurds.

      Former US Iraq vets have condemned the invasion as a crime themselves.

      Why are you and apologist for these atrocities?

      • locus 11.3.1

        johnm: “Hi locus. Your an apologist for western war crimes”

        i take that as a personal insult and i’m deeply offended

        how dare you make that kind of judgement about another person based on one comment in a blog

        if my comment came across as condoning the perpetrators of war because i question the slant of reporting in the RT, that was definitely not my intent…

        living in and adjacent to countries at war has shaped my life –

  12. Every single head of state involved in the current illegal wars of aggression and that includes John Key should be taken to a war crime tribunal a la Nuhrenberg and tried for war crimes. The wars in Afghanistan, Libys, Syria, Iraq and Yemen are illegal wars of aggression and these poor people are as much victims of those as the people shot, beheaded or otherwise killed in these god forsaken wars.

    • Wayne 12.1

      I guess you had better indict every single national head of state vis a vis Afghanistan. You clearly have forgotten about the 9/11 and the UN resolutions.

      And in Yemen, blame the Saudis. Libya and Syria, blame the insurgents, they stated both, and in the case of Syria have had precious little support from the West.

      But of course actually looking at the what has actually happened hardly suits your narrative.

    • Chooky 12.2

      +100 travellerev

      …and those countries which have created the refugee crisis in the first place eg USA, Israel (warmongering in the Middle East and influence on USA; and Israel now wants to attack Iran!), France (Sarkozy attack on Libya) , Britain ( Cameron attack on Libya, Iraq), ..should take responsibility for taking in the refugees to their bosoms….!these countries and their leaders must be held responsable and accountible for the refugee crisis

  13. Treetop 13

    Globally every country needs to take a quota. A figure of 10% more than what is taken annually would be a good start.

  14. The bitter irony is that EU and NATO members have been instrumental in the destruction or destabilisation of many of the countries that large numbers of refugees are now fleeing from.

    Of course it’s all our fault. Those happy-go-lucky foreigners haven’t the gumption to try and overthrow a dictatorship or start a civil war unless more capable westerners put them up to it, so it must have been us, right?

    • weka 14.1

      I think you might be confused about what instrumental means in that context.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.1

        He means that the dictators of these countries would have quickly and successfully repressed attempts to overthrow them if western governments had just left them to get on with torturing and murdering whomever they had to in the name of “stability.” In this, he has much in common with conservatives in both the west and the Middle East.

        It’s a contemptible view. The American and British governments were “instrumental” in the century of instability and terror that resulted from the overthrow of the monarchy in France, and the French government had earlier been instrumental in the decades of insurrection, war and genocide that resulted from revolution in the American colonies – by CV’s logic, it would be better if the United States was still under British rule and France still had a guy who could say “L’etat, c’est moi” – so much displacement, destruction and murder could have been avoided by maintaining that “stability.”

    • Further to the above: the governments that genuinely have been “instrumental in the destruction or destabilisation of many of the countries that large numbers of refugees are now fleeing from” are members of neither the EU nor NATO (nor even what you might call “the west,” for that matter). Without the efforts of China and the Soviet Union, sorry I mean the Russian Federation, the UN would have dealt to Assad years ago and he’d be waiting his turn at the Hague right now instead of generating fresh waves of refugees. For obvious reasons, the last thing either of those governments want is UN endorsement of popular uprisings against repressive regimes.

  15. Gabby 15

    The best solution is to fix Syria etc rather than trying to soak up the mess. The best place to house the refugees is in their own homes.

    • miravox 15.1

      “the mess”?

      You mean the people?

      I really don’t want to believe you thoughtfully wrote that comment.

      See also Sabine’s (16 – below) link re ‘the great migrations’. (google translate is your friend)

      • Gabby 15.1.1

        Yes, the people, the overflow. It’s unfair for the West to profit from the influx of talent and skill. These people can do great work at home. All the West has to do is to remove what is chasing them out.

        • Foreign waka 15.1.1.1

          I am truly looking forward for you to clean up the “mess” in the countries the people have decided to flee from. Once this is done, the fair labor to get these countries back on track will be really valued and everybody will be happy…
          I can see the Tui board now…

        • miravox 15.1.1.2

          “All the West has to do is to remove what is chasing them out.”

          In the meantime…

  16. Mike the Savage One 17

    The refugee drama that is unfolding is sad and shocking, and while some of these that manage to reach Europe may have had savings to spend, most will have spent their whole livelihoods, to get out of misery.

    Even Helen Clark described in an interview on The Nation today, how she met refugees in Jordan or Turkey, who escaped the war in Syria and had already spent two to three years there, living in tents, freezing cold and wet in winter.

    People will only bear such suffering for a while, and then those that still have some means, they will try to leave such camps, as that is a dreadful situation to live in.

    Those are the increasing numbers of refugees that represent the bulk of the people moving up to Europe.

    While there are some sympathetic people ready and willing to help, there they are faced with this kind of stuff also:
    https://news.vice.com/article/31-police-officers-injured-as-anti-immigrant-protesters-riot-in-germany

    In the meantime IS dream of their Caliphate, and have ample “living space” left behind by the people they drove out.

    What is the solution, I wonder, first human help is needed, but more will need to be done, to stop the causes at the source.

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  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
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    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago