Spain’s December 20 General Elections: start of a new historical cycle

Being able to foster ‘real’ change in favour of the oppressed while, at the same time, responding to their need for security would be a great achievement for any political entity. Español

The conservatives emerged ahead of the Socialists as the strongest party in the country’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, but Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost his absolute majority. The third and fourth positions were taken by the left-wing Podemos and the liberal Ciudadanos. The country is now completely ungovernable, some commentators write. For others the result is a step towards more democracy.

Uncertainty rules in Spain after messy election outcome

Uncertainty rules in Spain after messy election outcome


Divided Spain faces coalition struggle

Spain’s political parties face a struggle to form a stable government after a historic election that broke the traditional two-party dominance.
Spain PM Rajoy’s party loses majority

Spain’s governing Popular Party wins most seats in the general election but loses its majority and must now try to form a coalition.
Podemos: radical blueprint for democratic reform

Iglesias’ party proposes a radical opening up of the state through citizen participation in decision-making, and administration as a weapon against oligarchic power.

Carolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, Ada Colau at Caja MagicaCarolina Bescansa, Pablo Iglesias, Ada Colau at Caja Magica, Madrid. December 13, 2015. Demotix/Jorge Gonzalez. All rigths reserved.Arguably the flagship policy of Podemos in this election campaign is not the proposal for a guaranteed basic income of 600 euros, nor is it the progressive raising of the minimum wage to 800 euros, but the introduction of a recall referendum, in the case of a breaching of the electoral contract.

VIDEO: Photos celebrate Swedish dads

Photographer Johan Bävman profiled 45 dads in Sweden, arguably the most father-friendly country in the world.
VIDEO: Inside the Bataclan: Survivors’ stories

Six people remember the Bataclan concert hall attacks
Is far-right rise in German city an echo of the past?

MAIN FOCUS: EU to boost border protection | 16/12/2015

The EU Commission wants to expand Frontex and give it a stronger mandate. It presented its plans on Tuesday in Strasbourg. In future the agency will be able to deploy border protection forces even against the will of individual member states. Some commentators see the strengthening of this body as long overdue. For others the goal of sealing Europe off is an illusion.

The US Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate on Wednesday for the first time in almost ten years. It now lies between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. Europe will benefit from the turnaround, some commentators believe. Others fear that the global economy is still too vulnerable to make the move worthwhile.

Banksy mural in Calais shows Steve Jobs

Graffiti artist Banksy creates a new artwork in the so-called Jungle refugee camp in Calais depicting the late founder of Apple as a migrant.

Spain election: Taking back Barcelona’s apartments

Radical activists seek to take housing back for the people

Trump v Le Pen: In their own words

US and French right-wingers in their own words

The top management at German carmaker Volkswagen reported on the state of the company’s internal investigations into the emissions scandal on Thursday and announced plans to foster a new business culture. Nothing but a failed PR stunt, some commentators write. Others praise the company for dealing openly with the crisis.

Integrated education in Europe: privilege or right?

This international human rights day, the deep-rooted stereotype that implies that Romani families do not value education contributes substantially to a general lack of awareness in working to ensure equality in education for all.

International Romani Day in Baia Mare, Romania. International Romani Day in Baia Mare, Romania. Demotix/Diana Topan. All rights reserved.“I am proud that my son is graduating from high school this year. There are few Roma children in our community who finish high school. If my boy had had an education where he was separated from other (non-Roma) children, he would no longer be in school now, he would hardly have finished eighth grade. He would have been a child without an education.”

MAIN FOCUS: Political centre wrestling with Le Pen | 08/12/2015

France’s Socialist Party plans to withdraw its candidates in three regions for Sunday’s second round of the regional elections in a bid to strengthen the conservatives and prevent another victory for the Front National. An alliance between conservatives and Socialists would send the wrong signal to voters, some commentators criticise. Others believe such a step is the only way to stop the rise of the far right.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2015. Merkel has shown strong leadership during the euro, Ukraineand refugee crises, the magazine wrote explaining its decision. The chancellor’s commitment to Western values is exemplary, some commentators observe. Others take the view that she has misjudged the refugee crisis.

Angela Merkel is the first woman to win TIME Person of the Year in 29 years


After a 29-year wait TIME magazine finally named a woman as Person of the Year: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is highly dependent on imported energy. Oil and natural gas are mostly imported and supply can be disrupted by conflicts or political instability, as seen in Ukraine.

Leading US politicians have harshly condemned would-be Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s demands for a ban on Muslims entering the US. Commentators are dismayed to see Trump still mobilising voters despite his discriminatory discourse and fear his remarks play into the hands of terrorists.

Spain heads to its most unpredictable election in decades

Spain heads to its most unpredictable election in decades

Paris COP21: the worst deal in the history of global climate negotiations

The role of technology in solving the climate change challenge was completely ignored by world leaders at the Paris conference.

Climate protesters in Paris, December 12, 2015.Climate protesters in Paris, December 12, 2015. Demotix/ Jo Syz. All rights reserved.Not long before the start of the Paris COP21 climate change talks, whose intended aim was to produce a comprehensive strategy for addressing and hopefully solving the “unchecked climate change” problem, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a study that is so shocking it should have made world leaders and delegates attending the conference lose sleep at night.

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