Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Questioning the Nature of Truth

by Laura Thu Apr 6th, 2006 at 06:25:17 PM EST

The question of the Armenian genocide in relation to Freedom of speech in Turkey was extensively discussed in Eurotrib already. As a result we all know about Orhan Pamuk and his case and the European Parliament's decision to recognize as genocide the extermination of around 1.5 million civilian Armenians in Turkey (the Ottoman Empire at the time) in 1915.

My contribution to this nearly exhausted topic will be just to bring to your attention Ararat. Ararat is a 2002 Canadian drama - Atom Egoyan's most ambitious film to date. The director skillfully recreates the scene of systematic slaughter of more than 1 million Armenian citizens of Turkey by their own government. (Moreover, words alone are not enough sometimes to make you grasp the real importance of certain facts and events. Engaging our other senses can be useful as well). I know Turkish nationalists consider the movie propaganda. But while showing the stories of so many characters, Egoyan allows the obvious topic of the movie - the genocide - to actually become a background to more abstract issues: the way history defines individuals and communities, the destructive effect of denial and the distortions created when history is turned into narrative fiction.

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Mobilizing the Full Potential

by Laura Fri Mar 3rd, 2006 at 04:19:36 AM EST

The share of the young population in Europe is disturbingly decreasing.

In 2004, the population aged up to 14 years made up 16.5 % of the total population compared with 18.8 % in 1993. The population aged 15 to 24 years had a share of 12.7 % (2004) as against 14.5 % (1993).

From 1993 to 2004, the share of the population aged over 50 years increased all over the EU. The share of the age group 65 to 79 years rose from 10.9 % of the total population in 1993 to 12.5 % in 2004.

The reasons for this phenomenon are both financial and cultural.

There are fewer and later marriages, more marital breakdowns and a rise in births outside marriage. In 2003, there were only 5 marriages per 1 000 inhabitants in the EU compared with almost 8 in 1970. The average age at which people first get married has increased: for men, from 26 years in 1980 to over 30 today, and for women from 23 to 28 years. The proportion of divorces is estimated at 15 % for marriages entered into in 1960, and at around 30 % for those entered into in 1985.

In Sweden, more than half (56 %) of the children born in 2003 had unmarried parents.

The total fertility rate that allows comparison between the fertility of a population in different reporting years, decreased from 2.7 in 1965 to below 1.5 in 1995 where it has remained since.

From the front page ~ whataboutbob

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