Blog

BLOG | An unexpected change is sweeping through Angola

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Credit: Eu sou João Lourenço / Flickr

He was internationally dismissed as an unwilling to change “loyal party soldier”. But after serving 100 days in office, João Lourenço, Angola’s new president, is busy purging the state apparatus of the ruling family. The daughter of the president, her banks and her phone company – or: How a regime change in Angola may affect Portugal through the accumulated wealth and the investments of the African country’s former presidential family.

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BLOG | The overlooked past of the ‘next PM of Greece’

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Kyriakos Mitsotakis // credits: flickr/Nea Dimokratia

The current leader of the Greek opposition, New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is odds-on favourite to become the next Greek prime minister. Both German and US media have dubbed him a “star of the people” offering Greece “a glimmer of hope”. A sworn reformist, he slams nepotism and corruption. And yet that international praise ignores hard facts – such as the inclusion of his spouse in the Paradise Papers or his personal involvement in the biggest corruption scandal of the last 30 years in Greece.

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The EU Parliament opens the way for a Defence Commissioner and pushes states to find €76 bn for weapons

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European Defence Agency, Black Blade 2016, © Fischer Maximilian / Flickr

The resolution to be adopted next week in Strasbourg is a major step towards further militarisation of the EU. For the first time ever, the European Parliament makes the case for the creation of a Commission Directorate General (DG)-Defence. Rapporteur Michael Gahler is also the head of Kangaroo, a lobby group promoting security and defence imperatives in the EU institutions for decades.

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BLOG: A good chance to fight (PiS) propaganda in Poland

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Photo: Woijciech Cieśla / July 2017, Warsaw, Plac Krasinskich (Krasinskis Square). Picture taken by the author during a protest after the Polish Parliament passed a bill giving the government the power to force all Supreme Court judges into retirement.

The politics of Poland’s ruling party “Law and Justice” (PiS) nowadays promote allies as unpredictable as Trump; as politically marginal as Orbán, and as troublesome as Erdoğan. The freedom of the press has begun to suffer in countries that once seemed to be young and growing or well-established democracies. We, the journalists, need to wake up.

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BLOG: Italy, G7 member and third world country

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Italy is the second market for automation in Europe with a trade surplus in the industrial machinery sector of €38,4bn.

Italy is the EU laggard in terms of productivity, but at the same time it retains a strong performance in manufacturing, registering the third best trade surplus in Europe. How can this paradox be explained? What are the roots of these problems and where is the potency of the country concentrated? Italian journalist Maria Maggiore of Investigate Europe gives her vision of the Bel Paese.

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BLOG: How Portugal manages to square the circle

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Jeronimo de Sousa (Communist Party), Antonio Costa (Socialist, Primeminister) and Catarina Martins (Bloquo Esquerda) // Source: Geringonça

Portugal used to be the former poster child of the EU crisis countries. Now it has a new left government which opposes austerity – and became a role model for European socialists. How did this happen?

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BLOG: The Italian Dilemma

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Will he soon be waving Good-bye? Mario Renzi connected his future to the outcome of the Referendum at 4th of december. Photo: Flickr/European Council

Italians will soon have to make a difficult decision in a crucial referendum, the consequences of which risk changing the face of Italy and Europe. Its a choice between bad and worse, because populism in on the rise.

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BLOG: The king’s speech and the queen’s echo

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The Norwegian royal family itself has a complex immigration background. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The royal court

The governments of Denmark and Norway are competing in making their public the most timid in Europe. In both countries the immigration debate has changed, slowly but surely, first in Denmark, then in Norway. It’s become poisonous. It is increasingly about identity – what it means to be Danish, what it means to be Norwegian – in contrast to “the others” who are not, even if they might be living in the country. Norway is lagging a bit. We have King Harald.

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BLOG: How Brussels is obstructing the prosecution of corruption cases in Greece

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And it's not just Greece. Portugal and Italy, beware! Reforms on the way.

From the Commission’s spokesperson to the president of Eurogroup himself, a crowd of EU officials have been trying to block Greek judges from doing their jobs. As for the new privatization fund, board members and experts, from top to bottom, can commit crimes as they please: By law, no judge can investigate them, no court can try them.

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BLOG: Poles apart

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Bread and salt - the traditional Polish welcoming gesture.

Throughout history, Poles have known migration. In recent history, they were refugees themselves. Poles were less islamophobic than other Europeans for a long time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. But last year they elected a government that closes its doors on refugees, Muslims in particular, and which rejects a common European relocation system for people in need.
What happened to Polish generosity?

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