How can a government with the best economic record in Europe be humiliated at the polls by a Euroskeptic, nationalistic, and economically illiterate opposition – one deemed unelectable only a year ago? That is the question many Poles, and friends of Poland, are now asking, following the defeat of the Civic Platform government.
The national conservative opposition party PiS won the parliamentary elections in Poland by a large margin on Sunday. Exit poll shows the party’s candidate Beata Szydlo took around 39 percent of the vote, meaning it will be able to govern on its own if this result is confirmed. The outcome testifies to popular discontent that is spreading across Europe, some commentators warn. Others believe Berlin and Paris will be obliged to cooperate with the government in Warsaw.
Liberal democracy in Europe is under threat once more. This time, however, the threat comes from within the European elite. What can be done to remedy this situation?
‘Intolerance as an ideology’. 2014 protest against fascism and French far right leader Marine Le Pen in Brussels. Aurore Belot/Demotix. All rights reserved.If one believes the international media, then the “refugee crisis” is pushing Europe further and further into the hands of the far right. As refugee centres burn and tens of thousands of people demonstrate against an alleged “Muslim invasion”, far right parties across Europe are at record highs in opinion polls and are winning in local and national elections.
Political corruption has played a key role in Greece’s economic crisis. But national governments still refuse to take determined measures to tackle it.
Could Scottish ‘yes’ voters deprive the eurosceptics of victory in the EU referendum?
Alex Salmond meets EU citizens in Scotland to affirm Scotland’s place in the EU, September 2014. Demotix/ Ken Jack. All rights reserved.Much of the debate on how Scotland will vote in the EU referendum has focused on whether a Scottish ‘yes’ and an English ‘no’ might trigger a second independence referendum – with England leaving the EU and Scotland staying in as a new member state.
The FT wrote yesterday how the European Commissioners Janez Potočnik (then with the Environment portfolio) and Antonio Tajani (then with the Industry portfolio) both knew in 2013 about potential differences between car emissions in real conditions and in lab tests. “There are widespread concerns that performance [of cars] has been tailored tightly to compliance with the test cycle in disregard of the dramatic increase in emissions outside that narrow scope,” Potocnik wrote in a letter the FT has seen.
Spain would be irrevocably changed if Catalonia secedes. Therefore this should be a choice not just for the Catalan people, but for all Spanish people.
Demotix/Sarai Rua Fargues. All rights reserved.”We have a democratic mandate,” said Artur Mas, the Catalonian leader, after the regional election on September 27. Separatist parties had won a majority of seats in the Catalonian parliament in the election they had promoted as a plebiscite on secession from the rest of Spain.
The numbers speak for themselves: Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party have lost a great deal of public confidence due to their handling of the refugee crisis.
It is often argued that the EU progresses through crises, because they focus minds on the overwhelming need for further integration. But such breakthroughs require at least four ingredients, all of which are currently missing.
Hungary’s decision to close its border with Croatia to an influx of migrants has caused a reshaping of the flow of migrants in Eastern Europe through the Balkans, resulting in a backlog as the countries try to cope with the continual flow of humanity over borders. As migrants traveled from Serbia westward into Croatia, significant stalling was found as Slovenia said it will only take in 2,500 people a day, stranding thousands along the route