World watch – Tuesday

Monday GMT


For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

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  1. Missy

     /  24th October 2017

    So, after almost 2 months out of the loop in all but the most superficial way – and a weekend recovering from family visit (i.e.: doing nothing), I am finally trying to get up to date with all that has been happening beyond the headlines.

    So a quick round up of the last couple of days:

    1. Czech elections were held at the weekend, as expected the billionaire Eurosceptic Andrej Babis won. Babis is described as the Czech Donald Trump, despite having been in politics longer and serving as Finance Minister. Like a lot of other countries in Europe Czech Republic has a form of proportional representation, Babis’s party (ANO) won approximately 30% of the vote, nearly 3 times that of the closest competitor (there are a record 9 parties in the lower house after the election). Despite the low proportion, and the potential difficulty Babis may have in finding coalition partners, the President has said he intends to announce Babis as the new Prime Minister. Babis has insisted they are pro-European and will fight for the Czech Republic’s interests in Brussels, but it does mean that Brussels will potentially have to contend with the Czech Republic joining forces with Poland and Hungary to cause the EU more problems.

    2. Spain have said they will impose direct control in Catalonia and suspend the Catalonian Government, and making Catalonia’s institutions answerable to Spanish Ministries. Catalonia are preparing to defy Spain’s decree as the situation in Catalonia deteriorates further. I haven’t been following this too closely to be honest, but the situation appears to be getting worse rather than better. It is complicated, and steeped in a lot of history. There is an expectation (again) that Catalonia may declare independence, also there has been an offer from French Catalonia for the Catalonian Government to set up a Government in exile over the border in France. How this will be handled by the French Government (and EU) will be interesting, and could also be the make or break of the situation.

    3. Brexit negotiations came to a stand still as the EU took 90 seconds to vote against a motion to move negotiations forward to the actual trade deal. Theresa May and the UK Government are preparing for a no deal scenario where they crash out of the EU with no deal on any issue in place, and resort to WTO rules for trade. This will mean the EU receive no payment and it will also mean the UK will have to have a deal with Ireland regarding the border with Northern Ireland (though to be fair the UK have said they do not want a hard border with Ireland), and it will leave 100,000’s UK citizens in the EU in limbo as the EU refuse to agree to any deal over the treatment of expats. The EU are not happy with the offer of payment made by the UK (20billion pounds), nor are they happy the UK refuse to have the European Court of Justice retain jurisdiction over EU citizens in the UK post Brexit. Essentially the EU are not negotiating, but demanding and refusing to move past the point at which the UK are not caving into their demands. The UK have said – and re-iterated – that they are prepared to drop out of the EU with no deal. The latest is that tonight Theresa May has issued a fresh threat to the EU that the UK will leave with no trade deal unless new arrangements are in place by next summer.

  2. sorethumb

     /  24th October 2017

    London now more dangerous than New York City, crime stats suggest

    Political correctness dictates only seeing the most positive outcomes. All else is xenophobia and racism.


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