[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

WizKid wrote:

Isn’t that also the name of the cult in Elders Scrolls: Oblivion?

That was the Mythic Dawn, the Golden Dawn is a British occult society of magicians and alchemists. Didn’t realize they moved into politics as well.

I read about them in Time magazine.

ruhk wrote:
WizKid wrote:

Isn’t that also the name of the cult in Elders Scrolls: Oblivion?

That was the Mythic Dawn, the Golden Dawn is a British occult society of magicians and alchemists. Didn’t realize they moved into politics as well. :P

So...close enough?

Revealed: The Explosive Secret Recording That Shows How Russia Tried To Funnel Millions To The “European Trump”

Six men sat down for a business meeting on the morning of October 18 last year, amid the hubbub and marble-columned opulence of Moscow’s iconic Metropol Hotel, to discuss plans for a “great alliance.”

A century earlier, the grand institution was the scene of events that helped change the face of Europe and the world: Czarist forces fought from inside the hotel as they tried and failed to hold the Bolsheviks back from the Kremlin in 1917, and it was here, in suite 217, that the first Soviet Constitution was drafted after the revolution succeeded.

The six men — three Russians, three Italians — gathered beneath the spectacular painted glass ceiling in the hotel lobby last October had their eyes on history too. Their nominal purpose was an oil deal; their real goal was to undermine liberal democracies and shape a new, nationalist Europe aligned with Moscow.

BuzzFeed News has obtained an explosive audio recording of the Metropol meeting in which a close aide of Europe’s most powerful far-right leader — Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini — and the other five men can be heard negotiating the terms of a deal to covertly channel tens of millions of dollars of Russian oil money to Salvini’s Lega party.

The recording reveals the elaborate lengths the two sides were willing to go to conceal the fact that the true beneficiary of the deal would be Salvini’s party — a breach of Italian electoral law, which bans political parties from accepting large foreign donations — despite the comfort with which he and Europe’s other far-right leaders publicly parade their pro-Kremlin political sympathies.

“We want to change Europe,” said longtime Salvini aide Gianluca Savoini — who dined alongside Vladimir Putin at a government banquet to celebrate the Russian president’s visit to Rome last week. “A new Europe has to be close to Russia as before because we want to have our sovereignty,” he continued over the clinking of coffee cups and buzz of conversation around the lobby.

As well as releasing excerpts of the Metropol tape — the existence of which is being revealed for the first time today — BuzzFeed News is also publishing a transcript of the entire recording.

Prederick wrote:

Revealed: The Explosive Secret Recording That Shows How Russia Tried To Funnel Millions To The “European Trump”

Their nominal purpose was an oil deal; their real goal was to undermine liberal democracies and shape a new, nationalist Europe aligned with Moscow.

BuzzFeed News has obtained an explosive audio recording of the Metropol meeting in which a close aide of Europe’s most powerful far-right leader — Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini — and the other five men can be heard negotiating the terms of a deal to covertly channel tens of millions of dollars of Russian oil money to Salvini’s Lega party.

If this stands up to scrutiny, it should be interesting to see how it develops. First Austria, now Italy? It's no secret that the Russians "groom" certain politicians.

The German AfD is known to be pretty cosy with Russia. Would love to see Orban found out as well, but somehow I doubt it would hurt him too much.

They need to find evidence that Soros funded Orban

Hah. But of course. Is he part of the Trump curse of always having done what you attack others on.

Are we seriously doubting how these parties are funded at this point?

So, Ursula von der Leyen or as she seems to be commonly known as, VDL is set to be locked in for Commission President. AUs_TBirD, thoughts? First German to get the job. Very outspoken on common defence policy and harmonising corporate tax, which are politically fraught.

It remains to be seen how the Parliament reacts to none of it's candidates getting the job with VDL even acknowledging this fact. There will be pounds of flesh extracted at all sides, I expect. Good to see Climate Change being one of those issues.

Anyway, this is classic European politics. Pure horse trading over the next few months.

I honestly haven't followed her enough over the years to have much of an opinion. News here reports her as a compromise candidate to get the more right-wing governments (Hungary, Italy, etc) on board. As defense minister I remember liking some things I heard done during her tenure (don't ask me what they were...I'd have to look them up), but lately there have been numerous scandals over there regarding questionable contract awards and massive cost overruns (google news for: Gorch Fock). On many of these it's uncertain how involved she was. That's up to the investigations to find out now.

Permafrost thaw sparks fear of 'gold rush' for mammoth ivory

I appreciate these stories that give me something completely new to be infuriated and depressed by.