All posts tagged: Society and culture

Who votes for the European far right? And why? – POLITICO

Who votes for the European far right? And why? – POLITICO

[ad_1] As recent national elections in several European countries have shown, far-right voters no longer fit the stereotype of the angry, old white man, but now often include women, young people and even migrants. In this episode we unpack what drives voters to abandon the mainstream and more traditional party loyalties for the far right, and how poverty, or fear of it, motivates typical supporters of the AfD in Germany, Geert Wilder’s PVV in the Netherlands, or Chega in Portugal. Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by POLITICO reporters Hanne Cokelaere, James Angelos and Aitor Hernandez-Morales, who were recently dispatched to countries where far-right parties are gaining ground ahead of June’s European election. Later on we have a fascinating conversation with Catherine de Vries, professor of political science and dean of international affairs at Bocconi University in Milan. Her research focuses on how economic hardship and problems with public services such as schools, health care or transport can fuel the far right. Further reading: Germany’s far-right believers blame spy claims on ‘witch hunt’ by James Angelos …

Attacks on German politicians stir memories of Nazi past – POLITICO

Attacks on German politicians stir memories of Nazi past – POLITICO

[ad_1] Last week, Matthias Ecke, a politician with the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and member of European Parliament, was hanging campaign posters for the upcoming European Union election in the eastern German city of Dresden when he was allegedly approached by a group of four young men and pummeled. Ecke suffered fractures to his cheekbone and eye socket, among other injuries, and was hospitalized. In the same part of Dresden that evening, the group of youths also allegedly attacked a Greens campaigner. One of the attackers punched him twice in the face, and after the victim fell to the ground, the attackers repeatedly kicked him, according to witnesses. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls. This past Tuesday evening in Dresden, local Greens candidate Yvonne Mosler was out with a television crew putting up campaign posters when a man pushed her aside, ripped down the posters, and a young woman spat on her. Additional attacks this week — including one on the former mayor …

Frans Timmermans tried to destroy European farming, says Italian agriculture minister – POLITICO

Frans Timmermans tried to destroy European farming, says Italian agriculture minister – POLITICO

[ad_1] “And maybe they arrive through my ports as they once did and maybe I can rebuild an economic force that I can’t build with my country’s strength alone,” he mused. “I don’t think Timmermans is crazy. I think he coldly calculated in the interest of the Netherlands and not in the interest of Europe.” A spokesperson for Timmermans, who stood down last August to run in national elections, declined to comment on the Italian farm minister’s broadside. Lollobrigida doubled down on his claims in an interview with POLITICO. “If you reduce internal production, Europe’s food would be imported through Rotterdam,” he insisted, shaking his head as he munched Roman cheese. “It’s what happened from the 1600s to the 1750s in Europe, when the Netherlands became an empire with the East India company.” “Some things aren’t coincidences.” The bizarre statement was merely the latest by Lollobrigida, who was in Parma to open the CIBUS food fair, Italy’s largest agricultural show. His opening speech rambled from the birth of Italian food in the first millennium to the culinary …

In the safe hands of Sweden, here comes Eurovision 2024 – POLITICO

In the safe hands of Sweden, here comes Eurovision 2024 – POLITICO

[ad_1] The ESC now takes a full week to unfold, with two semifinals, set to be held today and Thursday, before a grand final is broadcast worldwide on Saturday, May 11. Just like last year, 37 countries will take part, with 26 competitors due to participate in the final. And just like last year, there’s been intense debate in the run-up to the competition about the dividing lines between music, art and politics. But unlike last year, no clear favorite has yet emerged during rehearsals. Bookmaker Paddy Power currently has Croatia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Italy and the Netherlands with the shortest odds to win. Croatian singer-songwriter Marko Purišić, known as Baby Lasagna, is representing with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim,” an ethno-dance banger with Balkan Adam Ant vibes. Switzerland, meanwhile, seems to have finally learnt its lesson after what feels like a decade of boring ballads and sent Nemo with “the Code” — a number with a lot of dramatic strings that could work very well with the right staging. Ukraine has sent alyona alyona & Jerry …

Georgian parliament backs ‘Russia-style’ foreign agent law despite major protests – POLITICO

Georgian parliament backs ‘Russia-style’ foreign agent law despite major protests – POLITICO

[ad_1] While Ivanishvili devoted his speech to calling out the enemies attacking Georgia, he didn’t namecheck Russia, even though Moscow occupies 20 percent of Georgian territories, backing local proxies in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He also vowed that the United National Movement, Georgia’s largest bloc of opposition MPs, would face “harsh political and legal judgment” following nationwide elections in October. Brussels has said tackling political polarization is a critical requirement for Georgia to one day achieve EU membership. “A free, independent and sovereign Georgia, a member of the EU, a united and undivided Georgia,” Ivanishvili said. “This is our Georgian dream, which we will definitely achieve together.” Although thousands attended the pro-government demonstration, critics say their presence is not representative of how many Georgians feel. “Georgian Dream has a lot of administrative powers that they are abusing and there’s evidence of that. They are threatening people that if they wouldn’t join their support to demonstrations they’d lose their jobs,” said Tinatin Akhvlediani, a Georgian analyst with the Brussels-based Center for European …

Georgia deploys tear gas, water cannon against pro-EU protesters amid ‘Russian law’ outcry – POLITICO

Georgia deploys tear gas, water cannon against pro-EU protesters amid ‘Russian law’ outcry – POLITICO

[ad_1] “I’m here to protest because this isn’t the way Georgia should go,” said Marte, a 19-year-old student in the crowd outside the parliament. “We want to go the European way, we want to be part of Europe, and this law is absolutely opposite what we want.”  Georgia’s Interior Ministry issued a statement Tuesday evening demanding protesters move away from the gates around the parliament building ‘‘to ensure the safe movement of MPs and staff” and “avoid artificial escalation of events.” Police started beating up protesters including women and teenagers during dispersal in Tbilisi! #NoToRussianLaw pic.twitter.com/K34mjzC33o — Nodar Rukhadze (@xonoda) April 30, 2024 The violence marks a sharp escalation after weeks of public demonstrations opposing the ruling Georgian Dream party’s proposals to require NGOs, campaign groups and media outlets to register as “foreign agents” if they receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad. The measures were initially proposed last year, but were dropped amid widespread public outcry and criticism from abroad in which comparisons were drawn with rules introduced by Russia to …

Strong intellectual property is critical to competitive edge – POLITICO

Strong intellectual property is critical to competitive edge – POLITICO

[ad_1] It is encouraging to see that the European Commission has charged former Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to prepare a report on Europe’s declining competitiveness, particularly in relation to the U.S. and China, and provide options on how to reverse the trend. As an industry, we echo the call by European heads of state for a new European Competitiveness Deal. As an industry, we echo the call by European heads of state for a new European Competitiveness Deal. Considering the sector contributes more to the positive EU trade balance than any other, a dedicated health and life sciences strategy should be an integral part of the EU’s industrial strategy. Such a move would send a hugely positive and much-needed signal to global investors that Europe wants to compete for research, development and manufacturing investment. It could turn around Europe’s fortunes that have seen not only a 25 percent drop in Europe’s global share of R&D investment in the past two decades, but also a steady decline in its clinical trial activity. China and the U.S. …

Georgia not ready for EU, says ruling party – POLITICO

Georgia not ready for EU, says ruling party – POLITICO

[ad_1] “If we are told that tomorrow we will become a member of the EU, then it will be possible to very easily cancel it, revise, transform or adopt a new one,” Garibashvili said. At the same time, he claimed that “there is no consensus a country can become a member of the EU today” because the bloc “is not ready for enlargement and it will take time and these next steps depend on many things.” The EU has told Georgia the proposals, which have brought thousands onto the streets in protest in recent weeks, are incompatible with European values and should be withdrawn, while Washington branded the “Kremlin-inspired” legislation as an attack on civil society. When the European Commission granted Georgia candidate status last year, it set out specific steps needed for the South Caucasus country to be admitted as a full member, including tackling political polarization and strengthening human rights protections. According to the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, passing the foreign agent law, as well as the government’s new proposals cracking down …

US slams Georgia’s ‘Kremlin-inspired’ foreign agent bill – POLITICO

US slams Georgia’s ‘Kremlin-inspired’ foreign agent bill – POLITICO

[ad_1] The rules would require NGOs, campaign groups and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as agents of “foreign influence.” If adopted, Miller said, the measures “could limit freedom of expression, stigmatize organizations that deliver these benefits to the citizens of Georgia, and impede independent media organizations working to provide Georgians with access to high quality information.” The overall effect would be to undermine civil society, he concluded. On Wednesday the bill, introduced by the governing Georgian Dream party, took another step toward becoming law by passing first reading in parliament. Thousands protested on the streets of the capital Tbilisi, condemning the bill as a “Russian law” and waving EU flags, before being forcibly cleared by riot police. Speaking to POLITICO last week, a European Commission spokesperson called on the government to withdraw the measures. Last year’s decision to grant candidate status to the South Caucasus country, the official said, had been taken on the understanding that several subsequent steps would be taken by Tbilisi, including “ensuring freedom of assembly and expression and to …