Scandals, resignations and massacres: Europe in 2011

2011 in Europe was marked by Norway’s Utoya massacre, the Dominique   Straus-Khan affair, the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi and rumblings of   discontent towards Vladimir Putin.

Telegraph UK

Perhaps the most shocking event of 2011 was   the massacre carried out by Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old   anti-Islamic fanatic, in July in Oslo. The 32-year-old far-Right   extremist killed 77 people when he detonated a bomb in the Norwegian capital   and went on a shooting rampage on the island of Utoya. At his first open   court appearance in November, he claimed to be the commander of a resistance   movement fighting the spread of Islam in Europe. A   psychiatric evaluation found him criminally insane, which if upheld   by the courts means he will end up in compulsory psychiatric care instead of   prison.

The Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, was rarely out of the headlines in   2011. In February, a British court upheld Sweden’s right to extradite   Assange, but the Australian whistleblower successfully appealed the case, allowing   him to stay in the UK for the rest of the year.

The focus on Sweden continued with the publication of The   Reluctant Monarch, a biography of King Carl XVI Gustaf, which   alleged that he had attended a string of sex-parties hosted by a Serbian   underworld figure. In August, the Swedish royal family received rather more   cheery news, when Crown Princess Victoria announced she was pregnant.

France was shaken by a scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former head   of the International Monetary Fund and a strong contender for the French   presidency, who was accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a New York   hotel in May. He was initially charged with attempted rape after the maid,   Nafissatou Diallo, alleged he attacked her and forced her to perform oral   sex. But New York prosecutors dropped the charges after they said they lost   confidence in Diallo’s account. The affair badly damaged Strauss-Kahn’s   reputation, and other scandals – including   allegations by Tristane Banon, a French writer that he sexually   assaulted her during a 2003 interview – effectively ended his political   career.

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Categories: Europe, Norway

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