Weekly Highlight: 29.01.2008


Study: Danes most fearful of Islam

A new report warns against a lack of dialogue and a widening gap between Islam and the West.
Danes are among the most critical of Islam, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Some 79 percent of Danes responded in a poll that they considered more interaction with the Muslim world as a threat.
The worry was shared by a large majority in other European countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, where up to 67 percent of the population feared more Western interaction with Muslim communities.
The message of the report was clear: there was a widening gap between the West and Islam.
‘There is an alarmingly low optimism regarding dialogue between the two worlds,’ said Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, to Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
The WEF had conducted surveys in 21 countries (half of which were Muslim) throughout 2007. And the general picture was one of distrust.
The Danes’ and other Europeans’ views on interaction with the Islamic world as a threat was, according to the report, due to a ‘growing fear’ of the ‘Islamic threat’ against their European identities.
This assumption was based on ‘increased immigration from predominantly Muslim regions’ the report said.

Finland: in the wave of anti-smoking across Europe…

Survey: Clear Majority Would Permit Balcony Smoking
Published 28.01.2008, 07.43

A majority of Finns don’t want their housing associations interfering with the practice of smoking on private balconies. The finding was reported in an online survey by the daily Aamulehti.
70 percent of the respondents said they’d prefer if their housing associations did not intervene in cases of balcony smoking. Just 20 percent would prohibit smoking on balconies.
The Aamulehti survey was conducted last week by the research firm Taloustutkimus, and received responses from 1,003 persons. The survey’s margin of error was 3.1 percentage points with a 95 percent level of reliability.

Netherlands: well, definitely this phenomenon is not confined in Netherlands only 😛

Politician is least valued profession
Monday 28 January 2008

Politicians are the least valued professional group by the population at large, according to research by Blauw Research in Monday’s Telegraaf.
Politicians scored a value rating of just 5.1. Nurses and fire fighters scored highest with 8.3. Police officers (7.0) and soldiers (6.7) came in the middle of the value rating.
Of note are the relatively low scores for managers (5.6) and top sports men and women (6.2).


EU opposition record high
First published: 28 Jan 2008, 12:44

A new public opinion poll indicates that more Norwegians than ever are opposed to joining the European Union (EU).
The poll, conducted by Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), measured would-be voter response to a proposed application for EU membership in January.
Fully 54.3 percent of those responding said they would vote against seeking EU membership, while 34.6 percent said they would vote in favour of EU membership. Just over 11 percent said they were undecided.
Norwegians have narrowly turned down EU membership twice, and the current poll indicates opposition has grown.
The country’s current left-center coalition government, which includes the most vehemently anti-EU party, the Center Party, has decided that it won’t raise the issue of EU membership during this parliamentary period.


More Swedes attempt suicide
Published: 28 Jan 08 08:59 CET

The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up.
The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attempted suicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group.
A total of 140,000 people (~1.53% of total population) were admitted to hospital in 2006 for ‘deliberate self-destructive action’, the official term used in medical registers for suicide attempts. Overdoses of tablets were most common.
The number of people who succeeded in killing themselves also increased, particularly among women aged 15-24. Some 8.4 women per 100,000 in the 15-24 age group committed suicide in 2006, the highest figure since 1979, according to official records.
“This is a terrible development, and we have no scientific studies that explain why, although the social climate is tougher these days,” Professor Britta Alin Åkerman at the Karolinska Institute’s Institution for Suicide Prevention told Svenska Dagbladet.

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