[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

Better get that sh*t ready for Nov. 4th...

Prederick wrote:

Is this a tipping point for Belarus? Dunno, but this is definitely the biggest challenge Lukashenko has seen to his rule in ages. If there's any reason to be pessimistic, however, it's that he's in good with Putin, I believe, and if Putin wants him in power, he's staying in power.

Putin says he could send police to Belarus if necessary

Mr Putin said Russia had an obligation to help Belarus with its security under the two countries' close alliance, and he stressed the deep cultural, ethnic and linguistic ties between the two nations.

He said the new reserve force would not go into Belarus unless "extremist elements using political slogans as cover cross a certain boundary and start armed robbery, setting fire to cars, houses, banks, try to seize government buildings and so forth".

He added that "on the whole, though, the situation now is levelling out".

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Mr Putin was using the idea of restoring control in Belarus to hide a hostile breach of international law.

He said the plan must immediately be withdrawn.

Russia and Belarus are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, made up of a number of post-Soviet countries.

The two nations formed a union in 1996 that promoted greater integration as well as guaranteeing citizens the right to work and reside freely in both countries.

So Lukashenko stays in power, then.

LeapingGnome wrote:
Axon wrote:

Busy week but wanted to close the loop on this summit as it's significant.

The EU’s leaders have agreed on a €750bn covid-19 recovery package

It seems short-sighted to take on bond payments for the next 38 years. What are they going to do when the next crisis comes in the next decade?

It is also surprising the EC is taking on the huge debt. What happens when a country leaves the EU, like Britain did. Does their 'portion' of the debt just transfer to the other states that are still members?

Ok, very long story short here is the ECB is prepared to backstop the Euro and the fiscal framework is in place to protect it in the future. So it doesn't matter anymore. Perhaps it's not ideal but as long as the Dollar and Yen are in a worse state it doesn't really matter. Better yet, European bonds, especially German, are now some of the safest places to put your money. Much like T-bills and the Dollar, it's not in investors interest to attack the Euro now.

I could expand greatly on this but that's the rough outline of the thinking in the Eurozone and other EU members (who are technically in the Eurozone but don't use the Euro) born out of the Cyprus bail-in to a large part. The fall out of that bail-in was seen elsewhere but that's a whole other can of worms.

The really major point is the Commission now can raise it's own revenue and give monies directly to member states as grants. These will be through the current prism of structural and regional development funds. To me this is the game changer. The initial thinking is that these will go into areas like transport, power and comms but I'm sure that will change.

As for paying for it if you are exiting, Britain has a bill that it has to pay to cover it's commitments to the EU. Same will apply to any other state seeking to leave. It'll just be bigger in future. Sure, they could leave without paying but Britain found out that's not really an option.

Prederick wrote:

So Lukashenko stays in power, then.

For now.

This isn't Brexit, and it's coronavirus, but not, but anyway:

Boris appears to be floundering.

Others writing in the same magazine put it more idiosyncratically. “What on earth happened to the freedom-loving, twinkly-eyed, Rabelaisian character I voted for? Oliver Hardy has left the stage, replaced by Oliver Cromwell,” said columnist Toby Young, complaining of a “lack of engagement with the detail”.

Russian editor dies after setting herself on fire

A Russian news editor has died after setting herself on fire in front of an interior ministry office in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod.

Irina Slavina earlier wrote on Facebook: "I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death."

Authorities confirmed her body had been found with severe burns.

Slavina said on Thursday police had searched her flat looking for materials related to the pro-democracy group Open Russia. Computers and data were seized.

Footage has emerged apparently showing the moment she set herself on fire on a bench in Gorky Street, where the interior ministry in Nizhny Novgorod is situated.

In the video, a man is seen running to a woman to help extinguish the flames. She repeatedly pushes him back as he tries to use his coat to stop the fire, before she eventually falls to the ground.

Russia's Investigative Committee confirmed that Irina Slavina, who leaves behind a husband and daughter, had died but denied any connection to a search of the journalist's flat.

Meanwhile, in Greece....

A court verdict in Athens with ramifications for the far right across Europe has been met with jubilation in Greece and internationally after judges ruled the neo-fascist Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation in disguise.

Tens of thousands people who had converged near the heavily guarded court complex in Athens in anticipation of the judgment roared in excitement as the news emerged. Many broke into spontaneous applause and punched the air as it became clear that the three-member tribunal had found the far-right group guilty of operating a gang of hit squads bent on eliminating perceived enemies.

“It’s official. Golden Dawn is over. The conviction is overwhelming,” said Petros Constantinou, a leading anti-racism activist. “The mood here today is resonant of the celebrations we saw with the liberation of Athens from the Nazis. It’s a great day.”

Wrapping up a trial that began in April 2015, the presiding judge, Maria Lepenioti, said the court had concluded that seven of Golden Dawn’s 18 former MPs, including the party founder, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, had led the deadly organisation. The rest were found culpable of participating in the gang.

Prederick wrote:

Meanwhile, in Greece....

A court verdict in Athens with ramifications for the far right across Europe has been met with jubilation in Greece and internationally after judges ruled the neo-fascist Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation in disguise.

Tens of thousands people who had converged near the heavily guarded court complex in Athens in anticipation of the judgment roared in excitement as the news emerged. Many broke into spontaneous applause and punched the air as it became clear that the three-member tribunal had found the far-right group guilty of operating a gang of hit squads bent on eliminating perceived enemies.

“It’s official. Golden Dawn is over. The conviction is overwhelming,” said Petros Constantinou, a leading anti-racism activist. “The mood here today is resonant of the celebrations we saw with the liberation of Athens from the Nazis. It’s a great day.”

Wrapping up a trial that began in April 2015, the presiding judge, Maria Lepenioti, said the court had concluded that seven of Golden Dawn’s 18 former MPs, including the party founder, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, had led the deadly organisation. The rest were found culpable of participating in the gang.

I always got them mixed up with the Asian Dawn.

Sweden to increase military spending by 40% as tension with Russia grows

Sweden will increase military spending by about 40% in the next five years and double the number of people conscripted into its armed forces as it aims to strengthen its defence amid growing tensions with Russia, the government has said.

The country, which is not a member of Nato but enjoys close ties with the alliance, ran down its military forces after the cold war to save money.

“We have a situation where the Russian side is willing to use military means to achieve political goals,” the defence minister, Peter Hultqvist, told reporters on Thursday. “Based on that, we have a new geopolitical security situation to deal with.” He said the new proposals would mean an increase in the military budget of 27.5bn Swedish kronor ($3.10bn) by 2025.

Prederick wrote:

Sweden to increase military spending by 40% as tension with Russia grows

Sweden will increase military spending by about 40% in the next five years and double the number of people conscripted into its armed forces as it aims to strengthen its defence amid growing tensions with Russia, the government has said.

The country, which is not a member of Nato but enjoys close ties with the alliance, ran down its military forces after the cold war to save money.

“We have a situation where the Russian side is willing to use military means to achieve political goals,” the defence minister, Peter Hultqvist, told reporters on Thursday. “Based on that, we have a new geopolitical security situation to deal with.” He said the new proposals would mean an increase in the military budget of 27.5bn Swedish kronor ($3.10bn) by 2025.

They haven't been Draken their feet. Russian fighter jocks will be Gripen their sticks a little more tightly now.

In Russia the puns torture you!

And so little effect (not that protests against lockdowns should have an effect!)


This is so sickening.

I mean... I had this exact discussion in Slack last night. This isn't exactly new. We've had sporadic killings like this for YEARS. The translation is also all kinds of wrong, I'm surprised at the BBC: throat cut out is not the same as a beheading.
This happened two weeks ago. I mean, just check the wiki page on terrorism in France, this basically happens every other month.

Eleima wrote:

I mean... I had this exact discussion in Slack last night. This isn't exactly new. We've had sporadic killings like this for YEARS. The translation is also all kinds of wrong, I'm surprised at the BBC: throat cut out is not the same as a beheading.
This happened two weeks ago. I mean, just check the wiki page on terrorism in France, this basically happens every other month.

How do you feel about Macron's response? Personally I'm liking the connection he makes between combating Islamism and the defence of separation of state and church. I would like it even more if he made it clear Islamism is the same as domestic white nationalist terrorism, in the same breath. It's a very fine line to thread though and could very easily tip over into Islamophobia.

I have previously made it abundantly clear that I am no fan of Macron. However, I do believe as has been said that no ground should be given to terrorism, and as you have said, it would be great if he would come out and say that there should be a zero tolerance policy as well for domestic white nationalist terrorism. However, that does purse a certain number of complications for him because he relies on a lot of far right voters.
And many members of his police forces are guilty of it (pictures were released of a congress rate flag in a caserne, living quarters for gendarmes).

Eleima wrote:

However, that does purse a certain number of complications for him because he relies on a lot of far right voters.

Doesn't Front National have the far-right voters secured?

Yes, but when the second rolls around, their votes go to Macron most often than not.

WHAT A F**KIN' WEEK

Vladimir Putin 'will quit as Russian President in January amid fears he has Parkinson's disease', Moscow sources claim

This is from the Daily Mail and the NY Post also had it, so a shaker of salt, but nevertheless.

If all of this is true, then...

Gotta make sure you have your blanket pardon all set before you leave office.

Trump's already trying to figure out how to manage that.

I know, family values politician as a closeted gay is a cliché to the point of being pernicious, but boy...

Hungarian MEP, who co-wrote the controversial new Hungarian constitution defining marriage as between man and woman, busted at illegal gay gang bang lockdown party.

IMAGE(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rc8k_D3yYoE/Tw4IyOKMysI/AAAAAAAAAls/awgasVzJMfA/s320/Stephen-Colbert-Popcorn.gif)

As you can imagine, this has caused quite a ruckus back home.

And with a backpack full of E no less. Know your enemy I guess?

I swear to Christ, like 50% of these f*cking dudes DEFINE the phrase "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

On the other hand, given his proclivities, I'm not sure even a same-sex marriage in his eyes would be in any sense traditional. (But yeah, I guess when airports are open again I'll go tapping my foot at stalls in red states to see if any politicians pop up.)