The Yellow Vests have dominated the headlines in France and internationally for a while now, challenging President Macron, but also the journalists who are covering the movement. We all have seen the images of violent protests, but who are the aggressors and who are the victims? Are we ourselves too fast to judge the protestors and their motives? French freelance journalist Jordan Pouille draws a more differentiated picture than you might expect.
A clichéd image of an old enemy is once again stalking Europe’s corridors of power: the yellow peril. According to briefings by ministerial and security sources, China’s communists want to use the network technology of the Huawei corporation to infiltrate European communication systems. Picture: "IT Security Schloss vor Crypto-Hintergrund - SW" by Christoph Scholz, available at his Flickr profile, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
Image: Le Petit Journal. Greece and Macedonia were pressured by the US, NATO and the EU to sign a deal that most people in both countries reject. And yet, according to the narrative adopted by western media it was solely Russia who “meddled”, “orchestrated”, “agressed”. Evidence on the ground shows a much more mixed and disturbing reality.
BY INGEBORG ELIASSEN Both the public and politicians have expressed anger at the systematic exploitation of truck drivers working in international transport as exposed by Investigate Europe and others. This outrage has now produced political action.Investigate Europe’s latest project, 'sweatshops on wheels', has exposed the most basic factor in the business model of international transport: increasingly cheaper drivers. Truck drivers are indispensable for societies to function. In spite of that, those who transport goods between Western European countries have wages that are a fraction of the minimum pay in the countries where they work and face conditions that could constitute [...]
Photograph: Christos Loufopoulos / Flickr. Launching a spin campaign on three fronts (Brussels, Italy, Greece) the EU Commission argued that since 2010 not only were there no cuts in Greece’s firefighting budget but on the contrary spending for the firefighters’ service actually increased. However, a simple fact-check of the official data tells a completely different story: From the outset of the Greek crisis until today
Photograph: Theophilos Papadopoulos / Flickr. In the end, the ministers and commissioners spoke as if they were good Europeans again. "It’s done," confirmed Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno, currently chairman of the Eurogroup. "With our solidarity it was successful,” said his German colleague Olaf Scholz, and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that "Europe should be proud of its common currency". But the staging was all bluff. In truth, there is nothing to celebrate.
BY HARALD SCHUMANN How much nationalist blindness can politics tolerate before it becomes completely irrational? Politicians of the grand coalition in Germany are demonstrating the urgency of this question. The starting point is the annually recurring statistics of the German Federal Employment Agency. In 2017, around 343 million euros in child benefits were paid to families whose children live in other countries while their parents are working in Germany. This affected a total of 249 473 children in Poland, Romania, Canada, Croatia and a good dozen other countries. The right-wing populists of the “Alternative für Deutschland“ (AfD) use these [...]
BY DREW SULLIVAN, Editor of OCCPR Investigate Europe stands with OCCRP in the defense of journalism. That’s why we are cross-posting this article, written by Drew Sullivan, editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and initially published by OCCRP. Drew was working closely with Jan Kuciak, the 28 year old Solvak investigative reporter murdered last February. The article is republished with the permission of OCCRP. The cold-blooded murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was also a cold slap across the face of modern Europe. That the public watchdogs — the beloved members of a profession that is sometimes more reviled [...]
BY HARALD SCHUMANN There’s no doubt that there are some very good people working for the European Union. One of them is Emily O’Reilly, the EU’s Ombudsman. With diligence and tenacity, the Irishwoman has been fighting for years for transparency and accountability in European institutions. Whether it’s the infiltration of the European Commission by lobbyists, the exploitation of interns in the foreign service or European Central Bank head, Mario Draghi’s questionable membership of a finance industry lobby club, O’ Reilly calls out abuses of power by name and fights on behalf of citizens. Rights undermined Now, she has started against [...]
BY LENART J. KUČIĆ Labour market reform in Slovenia, designed to boost entrepreneurship and jobs, is condemning thousands of people to near poverty through precarious working conditions. An analysis by Investigate Europe’s media partner Pod črto. In a drive towards entrepreneurship following Europe’s economic slump, workers have been encouraged to take up EU-funded incentives for self-employment, so-called sole-proprietorship, allowing many to trade a degree of job security and social welfare provision for lower taxes and support starting their own businesses. But in too many cases the scheme has turned sour, with some sign-ups pulling out and employers evidently taking advantage of [...]