Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Some 25,000 people attended his funeral, countless books have been written about him, a bridge was named in his honour and now the spectre of Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider is dominating a regional election in Austria.
“A campaign with the tragically deceased Haider”; “A dead man is spearheading us”; “And above all, the spectre of Joerg Haider” read newspaper headlines. (Photo: Joerg Haider, May 10, 2005 /Miro Kuzmanovic)
Both of Austria’s far-right parties are staking their claim to Haider’s legacy in an election in the Alpine Province of Carinthia where he was governor for more than a decade.
“Carinthia is going HIS way,” proclaim the posters of Haider’s former Freedom Party. Freedom says Haider achieved his greatest successes when heading the party.
Many developing countries are mired in dated bureaucratic practice and tangled in red tape, but of all of them, Iraq can perhaps least afford to see its crucial post-war development suffocated under mounds of paperwork.
What hangs in the balance is nothing less than whether oil-rich Iraq can emerge from years of war as a prosperous, democratic and secure state — or whether it sinks back into the bloodshed that almost tore it apart.
A love of official stamps, seals and documents in triplicate is by no means only an Iraqi phenomenon. Receiving shipments at Cairo airport, for example, involves one queue to buy a ticket, another to receive it and a third to get it laminated.
As soon as my plane landed in Baghdad airport earlier this month, I was struck by how much appeared to have changed since I left in March after more than three years’ reporting in Iraq.
Flights were landing from across the Middle East — Beirut, Amman, Damascus and Dubai — bringing many Iraqis back home after the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Iraq’s leaders have overcome many hurdles in their struggle to rebuild their country after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003. But agreeing on the fate of the “ethnic tinderbox” of oil-producing Kirkuk is a particularly testing one.
Why has Kirkuk proven to be such an obstacle? For many, settling its fate seems to be an easy task.