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Weekly News from Fyksland

Coverage and translation provided by Vaijskä Radio

Sunday, 22 June, 2003

New book may tarnish Fyksland's WWII 'Good Samaritan' image

NIEKOPENHAAG, Jølantä (AP) - Researcher Ina Lieberstein shocked Fyksians in her new book "Death Ship Fraulina" published yesterday. Lieberstein had dug up a blemish on our history that had nearly been forgotten: during the Second World War, no less than a hundred Jews were sent to Germany to concentration camps, and Fyksland came very close to turn away a ship-full of Jewish refugees from the Continent. This revelation may well tarnish Fyksland's image during the war and the so-called "Underground Internment" that has been widely believed responsible in saving the lives of an estimate of 106,000 war refugees. Lieberstein puts the blame mostly on Nazis sympathisers and collaborators, some of whom are still at large whilst some can not be easily prosecuted because they are now living in a different country. Full story...

Monday, 23 June, 2003

U.S. authorities to block HVT acquisition

CHICAGO, U.S.A (AP) - The plans of HVT subsidiary Lab-Tech to acquire its competitor in the adhesive labelstock business, American company MECtak, have been thwarted by U.S. authorities. HVT has been informed by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division that it intends to block the acquisition by filing a civil antitrust lawsuit in Chicago. The reasoning for the action is that the prices of adhesives would rise after the acquisition. The U.S. authorities have also initiated an investigation into a possible cartel in the adhesive labelstock industry. The decision to block the deal came as a surprise to HVT, and Lab-Tech President Sid Kalio commented that he is disappointed. The company is considering whether or not to fight the decision. Full story...

Niekopenhaag mayoral candidates bring new promises

NIEKOPENHAAG, Jølantä (AP) - With less than four months away from municipal election, Niekopenhaag mayoral candidates are gearing up their campaigns to draw voters in what appears to be a tight race so far. Contesting the mayoral post for the country's largest city, five candidates are leading the most recent opinion polls, with Marti Horne currently gathering the most support. Horne promises better transit funding and plans to fast track waterfront revitalisation projects. Perhaps coinciding with the GayFest week, mayoral candidate Jön Milit promises to bring more cultural festivals to draw more visitors such as an official gay pride celebration in Niekopenhaag. Full story...

Tuesday, 24 June, 2003

EU Commissioner commends Finland's EU policies

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Märgot Søndstrom, Fyksland's EU Commissioner for the Environment, praises Finland's initiative in the EU. "That is why Finland is listened to. I think that Finland has a stronger commitment to the EU than Fyksland", Søndstrom commented on Monday. Sønstrom laments the fact that many Fyksians still feel the EU is quite distant. For example, current opinion polls show that the majority of Fyksians oppose the euro. "This is a question of Fyksland's role in the Europe of the future. Will we be listened to as carefully if we voluntarily reject the symbol of economic integration?" The Commissioner continued that such a decision would mean that Fyksland would not want to fully participate in developing the economy, which would have a political price. Full story...

Wednesday, 25 June, 2003

U.S., EU sign terrorism pacts

WASHINGTON D.C., U.S.A. (VKK) - The United States and the European Union signed agreements Wednesday that could prove central in international efforts to combat terrorism and stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. and European leaders also vowed to pressure North Korea and Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. President George W. Bush has said the two countries present "proliferation challenges." After meetings with the European delegation, Bush announced, "We signed new agreements to increase our legal cooperation in the war on terror and to speed the extradition of terrorists. Part of the goal behind the meeting was to mend fences damaged by the Iraq war. European nations were deeply divided over the issue, and relations with the United States were tested. Fyksland's prime minister said the relationship between Europe and the United States is intact. Full story...

Thursday, 26 June, 2003

Nearly 450 illegal immigrants lands at Fyksian ports last year

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Last year almost 450 people attempted to enter Fyksland illegally were stopped at Fyksian points of entry. Whilst some have been caught hiding on ships or inside freight containers, between 15 and 20 people are arrested each year for trying to land on shores in places not designated as official ports. Most who try to enter Finland illegally are from the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Africa. Fyksland accounts for a very small share of the total number of people trying to enter the European Union illegally. Last year about 72,000 people were stopped at the external borders of the EU. Two thirds of them were caught at sea - mainly the Mediterranean. According to various estimates, about half a million illegal immigrants successfully enter the EU each year. Full story...

Friday, 27 June, 2003

Kvetlen to put forward as World Heritage site

KAANSÄ (VKK) - The Kvetlen Region, a group of archipelogo of the shores of northern Viske, is seen as biologically and geographically unique on the planet. The archipelogo is home to numerous rare marine species of the north atlantic due to its unique geography. The ducal government of Viske, and the Regional Council of Norsti-Reindvik would like to have the region placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, and they hope that the three-year Geonat research project will boost the World Heritage initiative. The Kvetlen archipelogo is already under considerable conservation effort as a national park, but local governments still see the current designition insufficient to protect the archipelago's fragile ecosystem. Full story...

Saturday, 28 June, 2003

Kaansä braces for GayFest weekend

KAANSÄ (AP) - The Kaansä Capital Region gears up for the largest cultural festival in the country this weekend as over a million tourists are expected and billions of tourist revenues will be injected into the local economy. The annual celebration has surpassed Midsummer Day as the largest cultural event in Fyksland for the second year now, and boasts the largest gay and lesbian pride festival in Europe. Major hotels in the capital area seem not to be affected by the recent SARS crisis, most of them have been booked to full capacity. "It's a good sign. It's Saturday and we have only received a handful of cancellations," said Mariana Tourin, hotel manager at the Marriott in downtown Pohjoinøkaansä, just stone throw away from the capital's vibrant gay village. Full story...


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