Best columns: Europe
Fox News is wrong about migrants
Gustaf Tronarp Aftonbladet
Fox News fed Donald Trump a festering pile of lies about Sweden, said Gustaf Tronarp. During a campaign-style rally in Florida last week, Trump mentioned what happened “last night in Sweden” as he recited a list of terrorist attacks in Europe that he blamed on Muslim migrants. We Swedes were mystified, because precisely nothing had happened in Sweden. Turns out the president had watched a Tucker Carlson segment on Fox News the previous night about the supposed soaring crime rate in Sweden since we began accepting migrants on a large scale in 2011. The segment, based on a sensationalist documentary by a rightwing filmmaker, was “full of sweeping claims, exaggerations, and outright falsehoods.” The show claimed that gun violence and rape have increased, when actually those violent crimes, like all violent crime in Sweden, occur at about the same rate as in 2005—and at a much lower one, by the way, than in the U.S. Homicides here are still all but unheard of. In fact, the biggest surge in lawlessness associated with asylum seekers has been a rise in attacks on refugee centers by right-wing vigilantes. Fox News, like the rest of the U.S. and U.K. right-wing press, wants to paint Sweden as menaced by criminal migrants because it fits with their xenophobic agenda. But that story just doesn’t fit the facts.
Why not cash in on antiquities?
Notis Papadopoulos To Vima
No wonder Greece is broke—it turns up its nose at free money, said Notis Papadopoulos. The Greek government rejected a request last week from Italian fashion brand Gucci to stage a 15-minute catwalk show at the Parthenon. “The unique cultural character of the Acropolis monuments is inconsistent with this sort of event,” the Archaeological Council said in a snippy little statement. Of course, this is the same council that is only too happy to abandon our ancient sites “to the mercy of the weather and looters.” It simply doesn’t have enough money to preserve everything. Even the island of Delos, fabled birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis and one of the most important World Heritage Sites we have, lacked a single guard against looters until recently. Gucci was willing to pay more than $2 million for its brief use of Athens’ ancient temple, money that “could have paid the annual salary of 100 guards” for important sites. And the fashion show would have provided priceless free publicity. “National pride and dignity are all very well, but it is far more important to protect the ruins we inherited from our ancestors.” These sites “belong not only to us but also to humanity,” and we have “a sacred duty to preserve them.”