Europe

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

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

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

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

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”

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

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’

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

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

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

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 »

Ashes to ashes: Britons follow David Bowie in choosing direct cremations

Demand for simpler services grows as tastes change and cost of lavish funerals increases Rupert Jones The Guardian The “cost of dying” is continuing to rise, figures out next week are expected to show. But the good news for those on a tight budget, or who simply don’t want a big fuss made, is that the cost of the very… “Direct cremation” is a low-cost, no-frills option where there is no funeral service and mourners aren’t present. In its most ... Read More »

How Brexit has revived controversy over the Elgin Marbles in Britain

The Parthenon Sculptures have been the subject of debate for more than 200 years. With Theresa May scurrying around the EU trying to deliver Brexit, Greece is quite right to probe the possibility of bringing the treasures home. Dominic Selwood Independent It seems unlikely that several hundred tonnes of marble from Mount Pentelicus near Athens could have a significant role to play in Brexit. But, following a letter from the Greek government to Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, that is exactly what is now happening. Lydia ... Read More »

Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War

This is Washington’s chance to repair ties with Ankara to counter Moscow and Damascus. Gabriel White and Bogdan Belei The National Interest At the beginning of August, the Syrian military planes flew over the northwestern province of Idlib and dropped leaflets urging residents to surrender and threatening military action. It was the latest example of how Bashar al-Assad and his forces have ignored de-escalation agreements and continue a full-scale offensive against their opposition. The city of Idlib—the only majoropposition-held territory left ... Read More »

Foreign Influence in the Balkans

The Balkans have always been fertile ground for foreign interests. Political intrigue in the region sparked the First World War and nationalist struggles after the dissolution of Yugoslavia filled world headlines in the 1990’s. Krithika Varagur Pulitzer Center It was in the latter period, and specifically during the Bosnian War, that the door was opened to substantial investment from the Middle East. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran helped countries like Bosnia and Kosovo reconstruct their infrastructure, schools, and places of ... Read More »

Ending Child Marriage in the United Kingdom

Hypocrisy Undermines UK pledge to Fight Child Marriage Overseas Heather Barr HRW This week Pauline Latham, a Conservative MP, introduced a bill to ban marriage before the age of 18 in England and Wales. She has support from across the political spectrum for an effort that is long overdue. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, children aged 16 and 17 can marry with their parents’ permission. In Scotland, the minimum age of marriage is 16, with no parental permission required. ... Read More »

How the Far Right Conquered Sweden

A bastion of social democracy, the country refused to deal with the realities of mass immigration. Jochen Bittner The New York Times STOCKHOLM — To understand why Sweden, a bastion of social democracy, might end up with a far-right party in government after national elections on Sunday, you need to take a walk with Ahmed Abdirahman. An American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdirahman grew up and now lives in ... Read More »