[Discussion] European Political Landscape

There are three elections occurring over the coming year that are of huge importance. They are:

Italian Constitutional Referendum - 04/12/16
French Presidential Election - 1st Round 23/04/17, 2nd Round 07/05/17
German Federal Election - 22/10/17

This thread is to discuss the political realities, results and fallout around these elections. The scope is broad but try to keep the post relevant to the elections referenced above.

Edit - Updated thread title

Sparhawk wrote:

The treaty of Marrakesh is going to be 'interesting' to understate it.
Open borders already back firing like crazy. Now we are welcoming more and
more immigration. While our immigration laws in The Netherlands aren't even
being used anymore. Flood gates were already open, now even more.
News is being repressed greatly about towns and cities unable to cope with this
influx. Not just the immigration part, that one is the easiest.
More the rape, theft and violence coming with it.

This is the plot of “Camp of the Saints”, largely regarded as one of the most racist books ever written. A book of fiction.

I don’t believe you that any of this is happening.

DSGamer wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:

The treaty of Marrakesh is going to be 'interesting' to understate it.
Open borders already back firing like crazy. Now we are welcoming more and
more immigration. While our immigration laws in The Netherlands aren't even
being used anymore. Flood gates were already open, now even more.
News is being repressed greatly about towns and cities unable to cope with this
influx. Not just the immigration part, that one is the easiest.
More the rape, theft and violence coming with it.

This is the plot of “Camp of the Saints”, largely regarded as one of the most racist books ever written. A book of fiction.

I don’t believe you that any of this is happening.

I certainly believe that it's reported to be happening in some of the press.

I also believe that I haven't got a goddamn clue about anything that's happening in The Netherlands.

I don’t doubt that there are violent crimes committed by immigrants. I’m suspicious of news that tries to claim the crime rate is significantly higher amongst refugees and immigrants.

Of course I have no idea what’s happening there as well, except that there’s a steady anti-immigrant drumbeat sweeping the entire planet, pushed by forces that want to destabilize Western alliances and democracies.

I'm not sure I'd call fascist propaganda "casual racism."

Jonman wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:

The treaty of Marrakesh is going to be 'interesting' to understate it.
Open borders already back firing like crazy. Now we are welcoming more and
more immigration. While our immigration laws in The Netherlands aren't even
being used anymore. Flood gates were already open, now even more.
News is being repressed greatly about towns and cities unable to cope with this
influx. Not just the immigration part, that one is the easiest.
More the rape, theft and violence coming with it.

This is the plot of “Camp of the Saints”, largely regarded as one of the most racist books ever written. A book of fiction.

I don’t believe you that any of this is happening.

I certainly believe that it's reported to be happening in some of the press.

I also believe that I haven't got a goddamn clue about anything that's happening in The Netherlands.

When I was in the Netherlands several years ago, I got to have a wonderful conversation over coffee and beer with a member of their home guard.

She said these statements were mostly just lies and/or gross exaggerations perpetuated by very racist members of their society. Which she found remarkable due to how racist Dutch culture can be. (Her words, not mine.)

It is certainly a belief held by a large share of people in most of Europe these days. Of course talking about open borders in Europe these days is fairly silly, considering how EU, and each individual member state, has tried to close their borders in recent years. Influx of new refugees/immigrants has gone waaay down compared to 2015 - though still quite a bit higher than the years before as far as I know.

As for any truth in the crime rate claims, I doubt there is an easy true/false answer.
I think it very much depend on what you are looking for.
Statistics from my own country says that immigrants and refugees themselves have low crimerates - even lower than 'natives'. One reason might be that even those who might 'normally' get into criminal acts are more careful, while trying to get asylum.
But then when you look at children of immigrants or refugees, the crime rate increases sharply. One question is whether that crime rate increase comes from the fact that they are immigrants/have different culture etc. or due to social status, younger age, where you live (such as cities vs. rural) etc.
I'm pretty damn sure most (though not all) of the difference in crime rates can be explained through the latter.
Another question is, are crime overall actually going up, or could it be that some criminal groups just getting replaced by other groups (some of which happens to be descendents of immigrants). If crime rates are not going up with increased immigration, then magically getting rid of all immigrants in a country, seems unlikely to lead to lower crime rates.
Afaik, crime rates are falling overall pretty much everywhere in Europe.
In Denmark it seems like some of the older criminal gangs ('biker gangs' are getting replaced by immigrant (or rather, descendents) gangs. But again, it looks like a replacement, overall crime doesnt seem to go up, and if those immigrant criminals weren't here, the biker gangs would just have kept their place instead.
Of course, we won't truly know if the current influx of immigrants lead to increased crime rates in their descendents, for the next 15-20 years. I wouldn't exactly expect it.

Of course the differentiation might not matter much for those not wanting to see any immigrants/refugees - and in a way they would be right. It would be silly not to acknowledge the higher crime rates from descendents of immigrants/refugees, no matter the reasonable explanations. It is always something we should try to combat, just like we try to reduce crime committed by everyone else.

Where it gets truly sad is; the racist parties in Europe (and everywhere else I assume) seems fairly uninterested in actually lowering crime rates. Because they feed off it. Otherwise they would clearly support increasing education, living standards and what not.

Shadout hits the nail on the head. There have been some incidents that have been reported, but none on the scale that would warrant such remarks. It's the same kind of racist fear mongering I hear when talking vaccines. People will say "suuuuure, you want us to get vaccinated, but what about all those migrants bringing in diseases?" It's sickening, really. And completely bogus, because they're typically the first in line to get vaccines. They've seen the damage those diseases can do, and are all too eager to get the protection vaccines offer.

But yeah, this kind of talk is consistent with what Sparhawk has posted in the past, unfortunately, and pretty much drive by posting.

Eleima wrote:

But yeah, this kind of talk is consistent with what Sparhawk has posted in the past, unfortunately, and pretty much drive by posting.

Agreed

TheGameguru wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:

The treaty of Marrakesh is going to be 'interesting' to understate it.
Open borders already back firing like crazy. Now we are welcoming more and
more immigration. While our immigration laws in The Netherlands aren't even
being used anymore. Flood gates were already open, now even more.
News is being repressed greatly about towns and cities unable to cope with this
influx. Not just the immigration part, that one is the easiest.
More the rape, theft and violence coming with it.

I’m confused why the casual racism here wasn’t addressed? How is this ok?

Typical and two likes even. Wow.
Calling something racism, doesn't make it racism. The numbers are out there, the data
is out there. Just read up on it. It's really no big secret or hidden agenda.
People's suffering is real and getting worse. But yeah, lets just dismiss this as racism
and call up on the moderators to shut me up. Classy.....

Sparhawk wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:

The treaty of Marrakesh is going to be 'interesting' to understate it.
Open borders already back firing like crazy. Now we are welcoming more and
more immigration. While our immigration laws in The Netherlands aren't even
being used anymore. Flood gates were already open, now even more.
News is being repressed greatly about towns and cities unable to cope with this
influx. Not just the immigration part, that one is the easiest.
More the rape, theft and violence coming with it.

I’m confused why the casual racism here wasn’t addressed? How is this ok?

Typical and two likes even. Wow.
Calling something racism, doesn't make it racism. The numbers are out there, the data
is out there. Just read up on it. It's really no big secret or hidden agenda.
People's suffering is real and getting worse. But yeah, lets just dismiss this as racism
and call up on the moderators to shut me up. Classy.....

It's not your first time being called out for posting racist "data" that ultimately came from extremely biased sources.

It's a different sound than the main stream media. Is that bad and racist right away?
Maybe I should chatter along with the propoganda that has taken a hold here.

Why bother, I will retire from this thread and stay away from the people that think
I'm racist. You couldn't be further from the truth and so judgmental. But that's your problem
down the line. Not mine.

I've tried to show an insight and counter view. Not here to be bashed down.

Ciao.

*mod*

Addressing some things in PM.

*mod*

Sparhawk will be taking a break from this section of the site, so don't expect further replies.

The Rough Year Ahead for France

What’s next for France after the autumn revolt of the Yellow Vests? President Macron has already made significant concessions to the protesters, including an extra 100 euros a month for those earning the 1500-euro per month minimum wage and suspension of a surtax on many pensioners. Thus far he’s been rewarded with continued unrest (66,000 Yellow Vests marched on December 15, down by about half from the week before, while on December 22 the number decreased to about 30,000) and a significant jump in the polls for Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Rassemblement National, whom he defeated to win the presidency in 2017. Le Pen’s party now leads Macron’s 24 percent to 18 percent ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019. Those elections now promise to be not only a referendum on Macron’s presidency but an indication of whether the French people support their president’s vision of a strong European Union as France’s best ally in maintaining its generous welfare state.

Interesting to read of the latest state hacking attack on Germany...

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ge...

Some commentators are suggesting it was the far-right rather than the Kremlin as no files of the AfD where released.

Cant say I agree with this after last years fake news attacks in East Germany by Russian bots before local elections.

Ukrainian church gains independence from Russia

https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/0...

Hmm, can't see Putin taking this one lying down given how much he relies on the church for support outside major urban areas.

News today of a possible first female Premier in Sweden...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...

110 days without a formal Government, once again proportional representation FTW.

Well as long as it keeps out the numpty's on both far left and right out of power its liveable I suppose.

And Also...

And in relation to Shadouts post on crime rates a story popped up today on the doubling of gun ownership in Germany with similar increases in Belgium as well.

It should be noted that many of the German licences where for non-lethal weapons (classed as small arms) such as Alarm Pistols.

what an odd concept ?, a blank gun as a defensive device.

"Schreckschusswaffen". Honestly I have no idea if the sound is easily distinguishable from a real pustol, but if one went off in my vicinity, I wouldn't stick around either way.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

"Schreckschusswaffen". Honestly I have no idea if the sound is easily distinguishable from a real pistol, but if one went off in my vicinity, I wouldn't stick around either way.

Jeem wrote:

News today of a possible first female Premier in Sweden...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...

110 days without a formal Government, once again proportional representation FTW..

Yet so much preferable to the alternatives

I imagine Swedish parties will adjust soon enough. Someone is going to try to get some of those SD voters.

Jeem wrote:

Interesting to read of the latest state hacking attack on Germany...

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ge...

Some commentators are suggesting it was the far-right rather than the Kremlin as no files of the AfD where released.

Cant say I agree with this after last years fake news attacks in East Germany by Russian bots before local elections.

I stand corrected, turns out its was one of those lone gunman on the grassy knoll numpty's/doing it for the kicks types.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g...

.
Meanwhile in other German news today....
.

AfD MP assaulted.

https://www.ft.com/content/d0a22022-...

This comes after a bomb attack on AfD offices in Borna with other offices being vandalized as well.

:I Hmm, does it not occur to the idiots responsible that this plays to the AfD narrative and will only garner more support not less.

One of the only times that "both siderism" works, is in accepting that very stupid people are everywhere :/
I mean, there might come a time where violence is the only response to far-right groups. But Germany isn't there yet, not even close. Now it just makes things worse.

Agreed...sadly.

.
Anyway...
.
News today of the EU big two moving forward with the signing on the 22nd in Aachen of a new treaty between France and Germany.

https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/...

So stabilizing the EU from within or an iron fist in a velvet glove which no other EU country can stand against in the future ?.

Spain today with the news that Vox (Far-Right Party) has agreed to support a Conservative coalition in Andalusia ending 40 years of Socialist rule in the region.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/w...

Jeem wrote:

Agreed...sadly.

.
Anyway...
.
News today of the EU big two moving forward with the signing on the 22nd in Aachen of a new treaty between France and Germany.

https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/...

So stabilizing the EU from within or an iron fist in a velvet glove which no other EU country can stand against in the future ?.

Does neither. Care to elaborate how you see either of those being possible outcomes?

Well firstly I see a continued intertwining of France and Germany as providing a financial base with German money and France bringing its military strength (its Naval strength last year overtook the UK's), this gives weight to any course of action F&G might want to push for in the EU.

Britain was the only real dissenting voice for a long time, most other EU states follow F&G's lead,though Poland may be economically and militarily strong enough in the future to lead an eastern EU block but for now what they say goes.

Good for political and economic stability perhaps for the northern block, but as EuroMed countries are experiencing not so helpful for them.

Anyway....

Polish story today with the news of the arrest of a Huawei worker on espionage charges.

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...

Now just at the tale end of last year British Telecom announced (after a much publicized and rare warning from the head of MI6) that Huawei tech would not be used in its country wide 5G network (its also removing Huawei tech from its 3G and4g networks as well).

This also comes after a warning last week from German business leaders to their government of China's continuing abuse of copyright and outright theft of tech by their often state controlled companies.

:I Probably the only thing I can agree with Trump on is his economic attacks on China, almost as powerful as the US but with zero oversite or regulation.

America may have been a sleeping tiger, but China is a Dragon we should all be wary of.

Jeem wrote:

Well firstly I see a continued intertwining of France and Germany as providing a financial base with German money and France bringing its military strength (its Naval strength last year overtook the UK's), this gives weight to any course of action F&G might want to push for in the EU.

Germany's economic strength certainly makes it influential but France's military? How do you think France's military gives it influence over other Member States? Not saying France isn't important and the Franco-German axis isn't vital to the stability of the EU but I'm not sure I follow you with the military power argument.

Britain has the largest military in Europe. Doesn't do them much good dealing with the EU27, does it?

Jeem wrote:

Britain was the only real dissenting voice for a long time, most other EU states follow F&G's lead,though Poland may be economically and militarily strong enough in the future to lead an eastern EU block but for now what they say goes.

France and Germany are regularly forced to backpedal. The line that the rest of us just follow France's and Germany's lead is a British media invention that holds no water. What actually happens is Member States align along interests and try to get blocking minorities so they can effect the discussions at Council level. So, Ireland has a few alliances on the go at any one time to ensure our interests are protected. Some of our alliance's include France and/or Germany. Some don't.

France and Germany can decide what they like. They are sovereign nations. Things is, on their own, they don't have enough voting power at Council level so they have to work with everyone else.

Anyway, the bi-lateral treaty above seems to be really related to seats on the Security Council in the UN. Probably an attempt to get Climate Change on the agenda there, if I were to guess.

Jeem wrote:

Good for political and economic stability perhaps for the northern block, but as EuroMed countries are experiencing not so helpful for them.

We had a similar discussion a few month ago. Put simply, I don't buy that narrative. It's just another in one of a long line of blaming Brussels when things go bad and claiming all the credit when they go well. Perhaps there are factors that hold back certain countries but I've struggled to have them explained to me.

For example, Spain, as part of it's deal to have it's banks recapitalised agreed to reform it's labour market. And it's showing dividends. There is a similar story in Portugal.

Italy and Greece can either choose to believe that the Northern European countries are out to make them poor or they can face up to the systemic issues within their own control. Given Liga Nord/M5S climbdown with their budget, I suspect they know the answer but are prepared to blame immigrants and Brussels for their problems.

Jeem wrote:

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...

Now just at the tale end of last year British Telecom announced (after a much publicized and rare warning from the head of MI6) that Huawei tech would not be used in its country wide 5G network (its also removing Huawei tech from its 3G and4g networks as well).

This also comes after a warning last week from German business leaders to their government of China's continuing abuse of copyright and outright theft of tech by their often state controlled companies.

:I Probably the only thing I can agree with Trump on is his economic attacks on China, almost as powerful as the US but with zero oversite or regulation.

America may have been a sleeping tiger, but China is a Dragon we should all be wary of.

Totally agree with you. This is quite the worrying development. And there is also The New Silk Road being developed by China. Now, they are within their rights to use their wealth how they see fit and the Chinese are economically aggressive if they are anything. But it's foolish to assume they are benign.

From my perspective, seeing as Trump is anti-NATO, China is threatening our security and Putin is, well, Putin, I'm amazed that there are people opposed to policies such as PESCO. I know it's rooted in the "EU Army" scare story but it seems many are taking the taboo head on.

This topic pops up in "Neutral but not really neutral" Ireland regularly now. Trump has certainly scared the horses.

Jeem wrote:

Spain today with the news that Vox (Far-Right Party) has agreed to support a Conservative coalition in Andalusia ending 40 years of Socialist rule in the region.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/w...

It actually appears what has happened is that PSOE made the calculation that they could smear PP and Cs with Vox. They still remain the largest party in the region and could have formed a majority but chose not to. Vox of course played their part by pushing the Overton window with their nonsense and now PP and Cs have to defend claims that they are not homophobic and against domestic violence. Cs in particular badly miscalculated.

Games with games

Axon wrote:

Germany's economic strength certainly makes it influential but France's military? How do you think France's military gives it influence over other Member States? Not saying France isn't important and the Franco-German axis isn't vital to the stability of the EU but I'm not sure I follow you with the military power argument.

If EU needs to rely more on its own military (relying on UK about anything these days doesn't seem smart) that could give France much more influence in how EU is shaped in the future.
To be fair, what matters more is likely the will to influence EU. Macron clearly wants to shape EU in his image, so if he against all odds manage to stay as president for more than one period, France will try to that. If Le Pen wins... well, nothing probably matters anymore at that point.

Axon wrote:
Jeem wrote:

Good for political and economic stability perhaps for the northern block, but as EuroMed countries are experiencing not so helpful for them.

We had a similar discussion a few month ago. Put simply, I don't buy that narrative. It's just another in one of a long line of blaming Brussels when things go bad and claiming all the credit when they go well. Perhaps there are factors that hold back certain countries but I've struggled to have them explained to me.

Yeah, most certainly agreed.
I think EU did hurt southern Europe to some degree, but it was not by demanding reforms in those countries - which was, and still is, needed. But rather expecting the same of the northern countries, when it wasn't particularly necessary, which could only result in less export opportunities for everyone in a time of economic crisis. If anything, it might have made sense for those countries to further increase spending to reduce the impact of the crisis.