World watch – Friday

Wednesday GMT


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


  1. Missy

     /  8th December 2017

    The leader of the SPD party in Germany, Martin Shulz, today addressed the Party Conference. The SPD were the party in coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU party in the prior to the election, and they got a reduced number of seats this time around and initially said they would not go into coalition with the CDU, however, they have entered into talks with the CDU, and in his speech today Shulz said that they should be open ended talks, but that they cannot go on indefinitely. He is expected to be the Vice Chancellor if the talks succeed.

    Despite some time spent on domestic matters the part of his speech that has garnered much attention, and created some disquiet, is when he spoke about the EU. He said that he would like to see a United States of Europe by 2025, and that any member state that does not ratify the treaty for it will automatically leave the EU.

  2. God help them!

  3. Missy

     /  8th December 2017

    Tens of Thousands of Catalans travelled to Brussels today to hold a protest in support of Carles Puigdemont. The Catalans feel that the EU has abandoned them, and that they have been ignored by the EU.

    On Monday Spain dropped the European arrest warrant for Puigdemont, but he remains in exile in Belgium. I am not sure if they have withdrawn charges in Spain against him though.

  4. Effectively seeking the dissolution of nation states and throwing anyone who doesn’t submit to his dictate out has its historical precedents among Germans.

    • Missy

       /  8th December 2017

      Indeed. And pointed out by many in Britain.

      If anything this statement by Shulz has consolidated the views of those who voted leave, and many have been saying that this confirms they made the right decision.

      This was also one of the issues brought up constantly by the Leave campaign during the referendum and rubbished by the Remain side saying that wasn’t the plan at all.

  5. Missy

     /  8th December 2017

    A leak from the Irish Government says that the UK and Ireland are close to a deal on the border issue, it could be a matter of hours.

    Not sure if this is another situation like Monday where the UK Govt and Irish Govt came up with a deal without talking to Northern Ireland and the Irish Government jumped the gun on announcing it, or if this is a genuine case of being close to a deal with Northern Ireland involved in the negotiations, time will tell.

    This feeds into a statement from Brussels that said that Donald Tusk (EU co-President) will make a statement tomorrow morning at 0750 Brussels time (0650 GMT) on Brexit.

    Fingers crossed for some more leaks from the EU to help stem the anticipation. The EU have been pretty sieve like over the last few months, though this will be the one time they aren’t.

  6. Blazer

     /  8th December 2017

    I heard the leak was from the..British..side.

    • Missy

       /  8th December 2017

      You heard wrong, it was the Irish PM that leaked the information on a possible deal on Monday – and the details of the deal.

      This issue is politically helpful for the Irish PM, and it suited his political survival to leak the information then portray Britain as backing out when the deal did not happen. His stance has increased his popularity in Ireland and boosted his polling numbers considerably – he is playing to the Nationalist sector at home.

  7. Missy

     /  8th December 2017

    The EU today have escalated their legal action against Member states Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The EU is taking the three countries to the European Court of Justice over their refusal to relocate refugees as per the decision of 2015. The decision was forced through by the EU despite objections from some member states.

    Since the introduction of the Relocation system Hungary has not taken – or pledged to take – any refugees, Poland has not taken any since December 2015, and the Czech Republic has not taken any since August 2016.

    Not the best move from the EU, they are really not having the best year from a PR perspective. The perceived punishment of the UK for leaving, taking member states to court, and the failure to intervene in Catalonia have all dented the EU’s image within Europe, this coupled with the terror attacks over the last year or two, has resulted in reducing support for the EU which manifested in the increased vote share of far right eurosceptic parties across Europe.

  8. Missy

     /  8th December 2017

    It is starting to look like Christmas, the Trafalgar Tree is up. Every year since WWII the Government of Norway have sent the UK a Christmas tree to say thank you for saving them from the Germans, it is erected in Trafalgar Square and they do a big deal about turning the lights on with Christmas Carols and the Norwegian Ambassador, and a Westminster Council Representative etc. The tree itself, whilst tall, is pretty scrawny looking, and to be honest I don’t find the lights that impressive on it, but it is considered to the official start of Christmas in London – well by some anyway. On a side note, the Woolwich tree was lit last weekend, it looks good, and it is cool that when I come home from work all the lights look really great.

    • Missy

       /  9th December 2017

      Just a quick note to the person who down voted this. I totally agree, the tree is pathetic and doesn’t deserve any upticks. For what should be the centre of London’s Christmas celebrations, the tree they put in Trafalgar Square is not very worthy, it looks like some lame kindergarten kid tree.