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Addie
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#1

Post by Addie »

Note: Thread title has changed



[link]Associated Press,http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/worl ... e/9576263/[/link]





Far right, Euroskeptics make big gains in EU vote

BRUSSELS (AP) — The far right and Euroskeptics made sweeping gains in European Parliament elections Sunday, according to exit polls, signaling a major political shift toward parties that want to slash the powers of the European Union or abolish it altogether.

Polls in recent days had predicted that Euroskeptics could snag as many as a third of the seats in the EU's 751-seat legislature in the vote ending Sunday.

One of the most significant winners appeared to be France's far-right National Front. Two polling companies said the party, led by Marine Le Pen, was the outright winner in France with one-quarter of the popular vote. ...

Voters in 21 of the European Union's 28 nations voted Sunday. The other seven countries had already voted in a sprawling exercise of democracy that began Thursday in Britain and the Netherlands.

The results — official returns were expected later Sunday and into Monday — will help determine the bloc's future leaders and course. They could herald changes in EU policy in areas ranging from border control and immigration to a new trade and investment agreement being negotiated with the United States.



Adding:

[link]BBC News,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27567744[/link]: UKIP surge in early Euro election results

[link]WaPo,http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/ant ... story.html[/link]: Anti-establishment parties claim big wins in European parliamentary vote
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Roboe
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#2

Post by Roboe »

I hate it when the press uses the term "Euroskeptic" to describe most of these parties. The fact is, if given the choice tomorrow, most of them would gladly say 'Bye, bye EU" and pack up and leave. That's not skepticism, that's hostility.Then again, credit to said parties' press department and spin doctors, for hoodwinking your average joe voter into not understanding this...

rosy
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#3

Post by rosy »

Turnout was low so it may be that only those who felt very strongly* voted. However, I feel very depressed about the rise of UKIP and other far-right parties here - though I was pleased to see that the vile Nick Griffin of the BNP lost his European seat. I hope his trustee in bankruptcy takes all/most of his leaving bonus.I'd like to think that the gains by anti-EU and anti-immigration parties here and in France, and by the far-left in Greece, is more of a reaction by an electorate to the main parties' lack of connection with the electorate rather than an actual shift to the extremists. Last time the BNP had this surge of support which wasn't repeated this time, so it may be that UKIP experiences a similar lack of support next time. I hope so, as I really don't want to see us sleepwalk into the 1930s. When I looked at the European news this morning, the top two stories were the gains for the far right and the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels. :roll: Now is not a good time in parts of Europe to be an ethnic minority or to have foreign ancestors. Or a woman, or gay. It's really quite worrying.Where I live (East Midlands UK) we had 1 UKIP, 2 Tories, 1 Labour and 1 LibDem MEPs prior to this election, now we have 2 UKIP, 2 Tories and 1 Labour. The Greens beat the LibDems into 5th place, but didn't manage enough votes for an MEP.*either for the extremists, or to keep them out. Or people like me who always vote no matter what, as a matter of conscience.Quick explanation for those outside the UK:UKIP - UK Independence Party. Far right, anti immigration, anti European Union. Similar to the Teabaggers. Led by a posh white man with a flair for publicity. No MPs in national government, but a fair few councillors in local government and a big share of the MEPs from the UK.Conservative (Tory) - right wing, but about where the Democratic party in the USA stands. Led by a posh white man with a plastic face. Currently in a coalition government with the LibDems. Split on the EU, though many of their anti-EU members have defected to UKIP.LibDems (Liberal Democrats) - Centrist party, so a little to the political left of the Democratic party. Used to be the repository for protest votes, now in a coalition government with the Tories. Broke many manifesto promises once in power, particularly on education so completely lost the powerful student vote. Led by a posh white man who used to be seen as 'one of us' and is now seen as an embarrassment. Very fervently pro-EU.Labour - used to be left wing and the party of the working class but was dragged to the right by Tony Blair and at one point was to the right of the LibDems. Since then is trying to re-establish left wing credentials a bit by wooing the working class vote. Led by a relatively posh white man (he went to the same 11-18 school as me in London!) with a total lack of personality. Mostly pro-EU. Sizeable minority in national government.BNP - British National Party. Unreconstructed racists and Nazis. Rabble rousers and anti-everything. Not to be confused with the Welsh Nationalists (Plaid Cymru) or the Scottish Nationalists (SNP), who both tend to be much further towards the left wing, except when it comes to their dislike of the English. Both PC and SNP are pro-European Union.

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#4

Post by Addie »

Thanks, Rosy :hug:








Adding:





[link]Associated Press,http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eur ... story.html[/link]: After anti-EU parties surge, what’s ahead?
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#5

Post by Roboe »

Denmark basically acts as a single district as far as the candidates goes, with the inevitable result that a 'charismatic' (I find him and his rhetoric revolting) far right candidate has gained so many personal votes, that he now stands to drag 3 unknowns (to the point that one of them has all of 197 personal votes) with him to Brussels.





The MEP count at the moment is (Gains/losses in brackets):


Danish People's Party (Far right populist, will say anything to gain votes as they don't have to deliver on them, since noone want them in a position to govern): 4 (+2)


Social Democrats (Main government party, traditional working class party, has had some very rough years in government due to their coalition partners): 3 (-1)


Venstre, Liberal Party (Venstre means left, but these days they're mainly centre-right, main opposition party) 2 (-1)


Socialist People's Party (Further to the left than Social Democrats, were coalition partners until January of this year, when their members finally had enough with the policies that were being pursued) : 1 (-1)


Conservative People's Party (Minority opposition party, have been bleeding voters for decades now, but had a popular candidate. Mainly the party of big business): 1


People's Movement against the EU (Far-far left. Essentially a coalition that collects the members of the old communist parties and Euro-hostiles from the other parties): 1


Social Liberal Party (Centre-left, main government coalition partner. Insists on tight economic policy, which has led to conflict with the two other coalition partners) : 1 (+1)


Liberal Alliance (Classic libertarian party. Has had some bonkers members*, but have managed to lose most of them over the past couple of years) : 0





* My favourite of the bunch was a big business owner, who proposed that Denmark should experiment with 0% tax rates in one of our regions. Said region just happened to be where all of his businesses were located... :roll:




Edit: For all the votes the EU hostile parties got, it's worth noting that 2/3 of the voters voted for the Unified Patent Court, ie. they voted to give the EU more control...

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#6

Post by Addie »

[link]BBC News,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27579235[/link]





EU election: Merkel vows economic boost to counter Eurosceptic gains





German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the surge in support for far right and Eurosceptic parties in the EU elections as "regrettable", saying the response must be to boost the economy. ...





Mrs Merkel - whose conservative Christian Democratic Union won a comfortable 35% of the vote in Germany - said it was now up to the established parties of Europe to win voters back.





"The best way is to focus on improving competitiveness, on growth and creating jobs. This is the best answer to the disappointed people who voted in a way we didn't wish for," she said.





In France, where the far right anti-immigration Front National stormed to victory with a preliminary 25% of the vote, Socialist President Francois Hollande held an urgent meeting with his cabinet on Monday.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#7

Post by Addie »

[link]AFP,http://news.yahoo.com/european-parliame ... 37890.html[/link]





European Parliament set to usher in first neo-Nazis





Brussels (AFP) - Though no stranger to controversy or diatribe, the European Parliament is set to usher in its first fully-fledged neo-Nazi members, from Germany and Greece.





With around 300,000 votes at Sunday's European elections the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) is expected to claim one of the country's 96 seats in the new Parliament, in a historical ground-breaker. A recent change in German electoral laws, scrapping all minimum thresholds, paved the way for the march into parliament of the NPD, which has 6,000 members. It describes itself as "national socialist," just like Germany's Nazis in the 1930s, and is openly xenophobic and anti-semitic so a group of German regional governments have tried to have it banned for propagating racism.





Meanwhile, with almost all ballots counted in Greece, the neo-Nazi "Golden Dawn" party is claiming over nine percent of the vote, which would net it three seats in the 751-member Parliament. Golden Dawn was founded in the 1980s by Nikos Michaloliakos, an open admirer of Adolf Hitler. In 2012, Michaloliakos publicly denied the responsibility of Nazis in the mass-murder of six million Jews. By harnessing resentment over EU-driven austerity measures imposed on Greece, Golden Dawn ran third in the European vote held on Sunday, behind the Coalition of the Radical Left and the centre-right New Democracy Party.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#8

Post by mimi »

Yeah! I saw this come down my twitter feed this morning:@theferocity: I repeat: Germany just elected a NEO-NAZI to parliament. [/break1]buzzfeed.com/paulhamilos/do-the-european-elections-signal-the-end-of-the-eu-as-we-kno?sub=3280569_3013924]http://www.buzzfeed.com/paulhamilos/do- ... 69_3013924 . :-?

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#9

Post by rosy »

We're doomed.

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#10

Post by Addie »

[link]BBC News,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27955695[/link]





PM to call 'unprecedented' vote on Juncker EU appointment





David Cameron will call for a vote from fellow EU leaders on the next European Commission president if there is an attempt to rubber-stamp Jean-Claude Juncker in the role.





Mr Cameron opposes the ex-Luxembourg PM, whom he sees as preventing EU reforms, and will demand a vote at a summit next week.





But correspondents say it looks likely Mr Juncker will get the job. ...





The row over Mr Juncker hit the headlines a few weeks ago when Mr Cameron reportedly warned the UK could leave the EU if Mr Juncker became president of the European Commission - the body which drafts EU laws. ...





But under new rules, they must now take into account the results of the recent European Parliament elections. Those elections returned a centre-right majority, and Mr Juncker is the centre-right's candidate for the post.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#11

Post by Addie »

[link]EU Observer,http://euobserver.com/news/125280[/link]





One month to go: Scots confident of keeping EU membership





With one month to go until Scotland’s referendum on independence from the UK on 18 September, polls indicate the Yes side is gaining ground.





A new survey by ICM published on Monday (18 August) showed the pro-independence Yes campaign has closed the gap on the No side by two points over the past month, even though voters would still back continued UK membership by 55 percent to 45 percent.





The poll also found that 64 percent of Scots expect an independent Scotland to be re-admitted to the EU, while just 15 percent think it would be excluded.





At the same time, the proportion of Scots who think their country should be part of the EU is getting smaller: 50 percent said Scotland should stay in the club, while 31 percent said it should leave - a sharp rise in eurosceptic sentiment. The claim that Scotland would have to formally re-apply to join the EU, facing a drawn out and uncertain accession process, has been one of the main arguments used by the No campaign.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#12

Post by Addie »

Bloomberg Swedish Opposition Ousts Government Without Gaining Majority Sweden’s Social Democratic-led opposition looks poised to rule as a minority government after a surge in support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats sets the largest Nordic economy up for a hung parliament. The three-party opposition is poised to win 44.8 percent, versus 39.7 percent for the four-party government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, according to an exit poll by state broadcaster SVT. The Sweden Democrats won support from 10.5 percent, which would make it the third largest. The result, if borne out by the final count, marks an end to eight years of rule by Reinfeldt’s conservative-led coalition, which has cut taxes and scaled back some benefits programs. The Social Democrats and their allies say the measures have eroded Sweden’s welfare system, arguing the policies failed to tackle Scandinavia’s highest unemployment. ... The Social Democrats plan to reverse almost one-third of Reinfeldt’s roughly 130 billion kronor ($18.3 billion) in tax cuts. They plan to spend the money on education, more public sector jobs and more generous jobless and sick-leave benefits.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#13

Post by Roboe »

Could be a potential pyrrhic victory. The left-leaning coalition stands at at a 160 seats, the right-leaning 142, and the vitriolic Swedish Democrats (far right populist party, but likes to appeal to the common worker) have gained 47 seats. Either coalition needs 175 votes for an overall majority.

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#14

Post by Princess foofypants »

I have been very interested in the election in Scotland tomorrow. Will they or won't they? So far all the polls I have seen are too close to call.

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#15

Post by Foggy »

It's a big step, and it looks like a mistake to me, but if they pass it there's no going back. I'm expecting it to pass narrowly, but I'm not placing any bets.
For more information, read it again.

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Roboe
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#16

Post by Roboe »

In any case, the damage was already done the second the British government agreed to hold the referendum. Anything barring a crushing defeat (and we're talking in the region 90% voting no, which would never happen) would have been more ammo for Salmond to press for further referendums until he got the desired result. And no matter the outcome tomorrow, it's going to be so close that, should the referendum fail, Salmond will be pushing for a new referendum very, very soon. And even if it does pass, I predict a mess. Salmond has been promising a host of things that an independent Scotland will never be able to afford, and the British government are going to be pretty uptight about what they'll let Scotland keep as far as natural resources, industry, etc. goes. They've already stated that Scotland keeping the British pound is a no-go, and there's been more than one hint that they'll veto any application from Scotland to join the EU (which requires the agreement of all existing members states). Having said all that, the British government really has dropped the ball on this. They started out by running a scare campaign (ie. No pound, no Queen, no EU, no nothing), and only recently have they started sucking up to the Scottish people by offering them sweet deals if they stay in the union. And then there are those that see the bright side of it, with former PM John Major pointing out that if Scotland votes for independence, Labour is going to lose so many MP's that they'll find it very difficult to regain a majority if the House of Commons.

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#17

Post by Dolly »

Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano Resigns

Premier Renzi Loses An Ally

ROME—Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who led the country through one of its stormiest political periods, resigned on Wednesday, opening a phase of political uncertainty that will test the strength of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi ‘s young government and its reform efforts.

The early end of Mr. Napolitano’s unprecedented second term deprives Mr. Renzi of a crucial ally in his battle to push institutional and economic changes for a country that suffers from poor competitiveness and is locked in a triple-dip recession—its most prolonged since World War II. Mr. Napolitano has often helped prod Italy’s quarrelsome parties into supporting Mr. Renzi’s ambitious plans. These include a much-needed new electoral law and a constitutional overhaul aimed at making Italy’s cumbersome legislative process more efficient.

The next president—who will be elected by both chambers of parliament and regional representatives in a lengthy procedure, starting with the first vote on Jan. 29—will determine the future of Mr. Renzi’s government and the outcome of his reformist push.

The Italian president was once considered a largely ceremonial figure whose main tasks included nominating the prime minister and dissolving parliament. This has changed in recent years, with Mr. Napolitano playing a key role in steering the Italian political scene since 2011, when Italy was almost pushed to the center of the eurozone crisis amid spiraling borrowing costs and prolonged political instability. <SNIP>







http://www.wsj.com/articles/italys-pres ... 1421230269



Italian President Napolitano departs, setting challenge for Renzi

(Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano handed in his resignation as head of state on Wednesday, leaving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with the politically delicate task of finding a successor.

The 89-year-old Napolitano, widely respected outside Italy as a guarantor of stability during the euro zone crisis, had always been expected to step down before the end of his second term in office because of his advanced age.

With elections in Greece later this month and the European Central Bank under growing pressure to take unprecedented steps to fight the risk of deflation, the change adds to an increasingly uncertain climate in the euro zone.

Italy is struggling to emerge from years of recession and the government faces hurdles to its economic and constitutional reform agenda. <SNIP>







http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/ ... W320150114





(I couldn't find another thread. Please move this, if needed.)
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#18

Post by SueDB »

This is great, Thanks.
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#19

Post by Addie »

New York Times









Greeks Vote in Election Seen as Referendum on Austerity



ATHENS — Greeks streamed to the polls on Sunday in a pivotal election that was expected to usher in the first anti-austerity government in Europe, reflecting years of economic hardship, raising questions about Greece’s place in the continent’s currency union and leaving financial markets on edge.



The left-wing Syriza party, led by a young firebrand, Alexis Tsipras, reached election day with small but consistent leads over the governing center-right New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in pre-election opinion polls as people stood in lines to vote across the nation.



“Democracy will return to Greece,” Mr. Tsipras, 40, said as he cast his ballot at an Athens voting center , surrounded by a phalanx of cameras. “The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity.”



After years of belt-tightening imposed by Greece’s creditors, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Mr. Tsipras has surged to popularity with pledges to repudiate many of the conditions attached to a bailout worth 240 billion euro, or about $270 billion, that many Greeks blame for worsening their lives and deepening an already devastating five-year recession.









Also, a Paul Krugman column this week.



Much Too Responsible






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#20

Post by Addie »

Bloomberg













Syriza Defeats Samaras to Win Greek Election: Exit Poll





Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party defeated Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy to place first in Greek elections, an exit poll showed, amid a backlash against years of budget cuts demanded by international creditors.



Tsipras’s Coalition of the Radical Left, known by its Greek acronym, took between 35.5 percent and 39.5 percent compared with 23 percent to 27 percent for New Democracy in Sunday’s election, according to the exit poll on state-run Nerit TV. To Potami, a party formed less than a year ago that’s a potential Syriza coalition partner, tied for third place with the far-right Golden Dawn party on 6.4 percent to 8 percent.



The projected result may be enough for Syriza to govern without need of a coalition partner and hands Tsipras an overwhelming mandate to confront Greece’s program of austerity imposed in return for pledges of 240 billion euros ($269 billion) in aid since May 2010. The challenge for Tsipras is to strike a balance between keeping his election pledges including a writedown of Greek debt and avoiding what Samaras repeatedly warned was the risk of an accidental exit from the euro.



Tsipras, speaking after casting his vote Sunday in the central Athens district of Kipseli, pledged tough negotiations leading to Greece’s “return to Europe.” The election will determine if Greece can “assert itself in Europe as the people deserve,” he said.






"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#21

Post by Addie »

WaPo













Leftist Syriza party set to win Greek vote, setting up showdown with Europe ...



And yet, there are also millions across the continent who will be watching with profound apprehension. If Tsipras and his Syriza party triumph Sunday, it will set the stage for an epic showdown pitting his anti-austerity insurgency against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other titans of the European policy establishment.



The already-shredded Greek economy will hang in the balance. But so, too, will the future of the currency union at the core of Europe’s economy, as well as the political consensus that has guided the continent through a troubled and still-fragile recovery from a historic recession. ...



The party has ridden a wave of voter exasperation among Greeks fed up after five years of extreme austerity that left the country with 25 percent unemployment and 3 million people living at or below the poverty line. And while the current center-right government was able to eliminate the annual deficit through deep cuts in public spending, public debt remains at a crippling 175 percent of gross domestic product. ...



Syriza’s rise has been mirrored by the emergence of other far-left players in Europe, including in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. All have spoken out against austerity and have been rewarded with rising popularity.






"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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#22

Post by Roboe »

This should be fun. And I don't mean that in a fun-fun way :-?

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#23

Post by Addie »

Definitely a show to watch.
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#24

Post by Roboe »

I just wonder what this'll mean for the attempt by the previous government to try and rein overall in corruption and the general relaxed attitude to things like paying taxes.

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#25

Post by Addie »

Telegraph











Greece must bow to austerity or go bust, says EU





Eurozone finance ministers will on Monday threaten an end to negotiations on debt relief for Greece unless its new radical Left government promises to honour all existing austerity agreements.

Eurozone officials are convinced that the EU holds all the trump cards in the coming clash with Greece's leader-in-waiting, Alexis Tsipras, including the nuclear option of letting Greek banks collapse. They believe Mr Tsipras knows his weakness.

The hardline approach will be sugared with offers of flexibility on the detail of austerity measures, and a move to allow Greece more time to meet an end of February deadline for renewal of key EU loans that are keeping the country’s economy afloat.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs meetings of the Eurogroup, will set out a strategy aimed at playing for time by drawing Syriza into months of talks in the expectation that Mr Tsipras will back down.

“There’s certain wriggle room to negotiate, to talk about the form of the adjustment programme,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine at the weekend. “But just to ask for a credit without having to meet conditions - that won’t work.”






"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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