Europe

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind

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A Kosovo-Serbia land swap would be peaceful ethnic cleansing. But at least it would bring peace. Charles A. Kupchan * The New York Times The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss — refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country’s ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the… A breakthrough may now be in the making. ... Read More »

German spy chief passed info to AfD: report

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Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, allegedly passed on sensitive data from a report to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Ben Knight DW The spy chief has already faced calls to resign. The relationship between Germany’s domestic spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) came under renewed scrutiny on Thursday, when it was revealed that the head of the domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had passed on ... Read More »

Danish left veering right on immigration

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Mandatory language lessons, tougher sentences for ghetto crimes, buildings demolished. Integration — by force. By NAOMI O’LEARY Politico COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s right-wing government might once have expected pushback from the left-wing opposition when it introduced a controversial new integration policy. No longer. A recent government proposal, to be finalized by parliament in the fall, would target the country’s so-called ghetto neighborhoods with a series of sanctions and incentives. The intention is to bring immigrant communities fully into Danish society — by ... Read More »

80 Moderate Tory MPs Hold Talks To Fight Back Against ‘Shrill’ Right-Wingers

Conservative backbench MP Nicky Morgan, gives an interview to an AFP journalist in her office in central London on January 24, 2017.
One of Theresa May's harshest backbench critics said Tuesday she would not block start of Brexit negotiations in parliament, but warned the prime minister should not expect a free ride. "This is the start of a process that's going to take several years," former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, a Conservative MP who has campaigned to retain strong ties to the European Union, told AFP. / AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by ALICE RITCHIE        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Meeting comes amid rumours of Brexiteer coup against Theresa May. Ned Simons HuffPost Around 80 Conservative MPs from the moderate wing of the party held talks in Westminster on Wednesday evening as part of a fight back against their right-wing colleagues. Last night, 50 MPs from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s hardline Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) met in parliament and reportedly openly discussed staging a coup against Theresa May. HuffPost UK understands this evening’s gathering included pro-Brexit Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Education ... Read More »

Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia – why it’s too early to speak of contagion in emerging markets

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Turkey, Indonesia and Argentina have all seen their currencies experience huge drops in recent months. Similarly, stocks in India, South Africa, Mexico and others have taken a hit. Alain Naef The Conversation Emerging markets across the board have been under pressure since the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates in June. Governments and companies had borrowed in dollars when interest rates were low and the dollar was weak. Now the dollar is strong and interest rates are rising. And research ... Read More »

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing

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Russia has spent the last several years aggressively advocating for the rights of Russian minorities abroad, and in particular for the “protection” of the Russian language. Guzel Yusupova The Conversation Whenever a country takes any step that can be construed as suppressing or marginalising Russian speakers, the Kremlin is quick to respond in the most strident of tones. In October 2017, when Latvia’s government made Latvian the default language of education, Sergey Zheleznyak, the member of Russia’s State Duma Committee ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

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The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

Sweden election: yes, the far right made gains, but we’re not falling apart

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Sweden is recovering after a very tense election night. The centre-right and the centre-left blocs have effectively secured very similar shares of the vote, but neither have come away with quite enough leverage to form a strong government alone. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten The Conversation The far-right Sweden Democrats, a niche party campaigning on a nationalist agenda, registered its highest electoral score to date. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

Sweden heads for political deadlock as Sweden Democrats surge

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Stockholm: Sweden is heading for a hung parliament after an election that saw the popularity of the nationalist Sweden Democrats surge, as one of Europe’s most liberal nations turns right amid fears over… Johan Sennero and Helena Soderpalm Reuters WAtoday Far-right parties have made spectacular gains throughout Europe in recent years amid growing anxiety over national identity and the effects of globalisation and immigration following armed conflict in the… In Sweden, an influx of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 – the most in ... Read More »

Quinquepartite meeting of Energy Ministers: “The Balkans are the next energy hub”

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Initiative to showcase the Balkans as an energy hub for the wider region are expected to be taken in the near future with the aim of, creating a single energy market in SE Europe, among other things. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna The quinquepartite meeting held on the sidelines of the Southeast Europe Energy Forum, organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in the framework of the 83rd… All sides share common objectives, including the need for further interconnection of infrastructure and ... Read More »

The cost of Sweden’s silent consensus culture

NYKOPING, SWEDEN - SEPTEMBER 07: An SD flag seen during a political rally for the right wing Sweden Democrats party, campaigns at Traffens Outdoors Theater ahead of the Swedish general election on September 7, 2018 in Nykoping, Sweden. The election will be held on September 9, 2018.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Mainstream parties’ failure to break taboos on crime and immigration has empowered country’s far right. Tino Sanandaji Politico STOCKHOLM — Swedish elections are rarely exciting or unpredictable events. This year, things are looking rather different. The rise of the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats has put the taboo subjects of crime and immigration front and center in the campaign, forcing the mainstream parties to reckon with their failure to address the issues — and the connection between them — amid an unmistakable rise in crime and gang ... Read More »

SNP deputy insists independence movement ‘in great health’

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The independence movement is in “great health,” according to SNP depute leader Keith Brown after the party’s biggest ever national assembly meeting. The Scotsman Around 500 SNP members met in Edinburgh on Sunday at a policy development forum to debate a new economic blueprint for independence. The party is holding a series of events to gather views on the findings of the Growth Commission, published in… National assemblies have already been held in Ayr and Aviemore ahead of the SNP’s ... Read More »

Brexit racist? UK is Europe’s ‘ONLY member’ not to have anti-immigrant party in parliament

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BRITAIN has the most positive view of immigration in the European Union despite claims on the Continent that the Brexit vote was fuelled by racism and xenophobia, Dan Hannan has declared. Harvey Gavin Express Much of the bloc now sees the UK as “intolerant, introverted and unwelcoming” to Europeans – but in fact the opposite is true, the leading Brexiteer said. Mr Hannan said the British electorate has rejected populist, anti-immigrant politics and is the only EU member to not have a ... Read More »

Fresh Brexit row over UK’s Johnson ‘suicide vest’ jibe

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Britain’s ruling Conservative party was locked in a new row over Brexit on Sept. 9 after Boris Johnson said the government’s strategy put the country in a “suicide vest”, with Brussels holding the… LONDON-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The former foreign minister’s remarks ramp up his criticism of Prime Minister TheresaMay‘s approach to leaving the European Union, amid speculation he is positioning to replace her. Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson repeated that May‘s plan to follow EU rules on trade in goods after Brexit — a plan over which he ... Read More »

EU weighs new sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya

Supporters of detained Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo march during a rally in Yangon demanding for their release on September 1, 2018. - The two Reuters journalists in Myanmar accused of breaking a state secrets law while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims face verdict on September 3. (Photo by - / AFP)        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions could target top officials or businesses linked to country’s military. Simon Marks Politico Several EU countries are considering expanding sanctions against Myanmar in the wake of calls from the United Nations for senior military officials from the country to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya population. The EU has already placed sanctions — including a travel ban and asset freezes — on seven senior officials accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. But mounting evidence of human rights violations — ... Read More »