Left MEPs: Tougher security is false solution to terrorism problem

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 MEPs of the United European Left (GUE/NGL) have questioned whether Commission and Council plans for EU anti-terrorism measures in the Paris terrorist attacks will do anything to tackle the real origins of terrorism. In a European Parliament debate, Cornelia Ernst of Germany’s Die Linke (The Left) asked Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who has been given responsibility for combatting terrorism, if he really believed that the more police cars and heavily armed soldiers patrolling our streets were creating more security.

Referring to the expansion of the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for airline passengers, she asked: "Are we preventing further attacks by strengthening border controls or by having 5-year data retention for PNR? We are only chasing a spectre and that's not going to help. Terrorism is being generated in countries such as Iraq, where the Sunni population is humiliated, and is being promoted by Saudi Arabia," she said. "As a first step we should ensure that there are no further arms exports to these areas. In Europe, terrorism is generated where there is a lack of inclusion, something every member state is failing on. We need an honest debate and dialogue on anti-Islamism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and marginalisation, and not more restrictions."

Barbara Spinelli, of Italy’s Lista Tsipras-L'Altra Europa (Tsipras List-The Other Europe) warned against the risks of introducing new emergency legislation. She said that "some EU institutions and member states are envisaging new tough measures: internet monitoring, restrictions on movement in the Schengen area and PNR being retained for disproportionately long periods. PNR has already been rejected by the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. Moreover, many of these measures have been tried before, yet they didn't help prevent the attacks in Paris."