Author Archives: Europe correspondent

Baudet leading in Dutch exit polls

Dutch ‘Forum for Democracy’ party, led by Thierry Baudet (36), scores 15% of votes, challenging the incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte, according to exit polls. Nationalist, promoting “Dutch first” slogan, he made a revolution in politics, overturning politically correct cultural relativism, and is set to ascend further, gaining impressive number of votes in European elections in the Netherlands on 23 of May.

Baudet, who imposed himself “the most important intellectual in the Netherlands” in a 2016 tweet, emphasizes “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He blames immigration for the decline of Christian, European civilization and wants the Netherlands to leave the European Union.

Forum for Democracy party came in first in provincial elections in March, ahead of Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal).

Baudet has drawn support largely from the Freedom party of his right-wing competitor Geert Wilders, another Eurosceptic best known for his campaign against Islam,  who is polling near a decade low of 5%. The decline blamed to lack of openness of the party to the newcomers, and personal authoritarian style of Wilders, who runs it as CEO of an enterprise.

 

Brexit deal chances fade away

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s final attempt to save has failed after her offer of a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements could not win over either opposition lawmakers or members of in her own party.

May proposed the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and a package of trading arrangements with the EU as incentives to what she called the only way to guarantee orderly departure scenario.

However she position did not receive warm welcome in Westminster, lawmakers both Conservative and Labour opposed Withdrawal Agreement Bill legislation which frames the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Leading Labour Jeremy Corbyn made clear his party would not be backing the Withdrawal Bill and described May’s government as “too weak, too divided to get this country out of the mess that they have created”.

UN criticizes Salvini opposition to illegal migration

The United Nations confirmed their human rights experts have reiterated criticism expressed in a letter sent to Italy over the government’s proposal for a new decree on security.

The aim of the Italian new legislation is to build on the security-and-migration decree that was approved last year and drafted by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini,  focus on stemming illegal migration and human trafficing. The UN said that the proposed decree would result in NGO-run ships fined for every person picked up at sea and transported to Italian territory, and vessels risking the loss of their licences.

The UN experts said that if the decree is approved and comes into force, it would undermine the human rights of asylum seekers and the victims of torture. The UN position is firmly based on core Refugee Convention (1951), dating the colonial era, when there was no single free state in Africa, and the population was a half of European. However, in spite of the drastic change of the context the UN experts continue to use the Convention without any adaptation to contemporary realities.
The right to life and the principle of non-refoulement should always prevail over national legislation or other measures purportedly adopted in the name of national security,” the experts said in a letter to the Italian Government.

We urge authorities to stop endangering the lives of migrants, including asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in persons, by invoking the fight against traffickers…This approach is misleading and is not in line with both general international law and international human rights law”, the letter said.
Instead, restrictive migration policies contribute to exacerbating migrants’ vulnerabilities and only serve to increase trafficking in persons“.

“The United Nations is full of bureaucrats rooting for mass immigration”, Salvini said after the UN criticised his proposed security package for fining illegal migrant transporters.
Minister and MPs elected by the Italians decide on the security and happiness of the Italians,” he said.
Unknown bureaucrats who are fans of mass immigration do not,” he added.

 

 

Farage Brexit party leads Eurosceptics

The European Parliament election in the UK on May 23 is expected to demonstrate the polarization of views over Brexit, with strongly Eurosceptic and Eurocentric parties. (Image above: European Parliament, Strasbourg, France).

The pro-Brexit voters are largely expected to support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. Among the Remainers the vote will be splintered between several strongly Eurocentric parties: the Liberal Democrats, Change UK and the Green Party.

The United Kingdom is divided into 12 electoral regions – nine in England, and one each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In total it will elect 73 Members of the European Parliament (MEP).

Parties submit a list of candidates for each region, and voters select a party rather than an individual candidate. As the seats are allocated to a party, they in turn allocate them to candidates starting from the top of their list.

Britain is taking part in the elections because it delayed the date of its exit from the EU, but its MEPs will leave the parliament when Brexit happens. If the UK has left the EU by the end of June, the MEPs will not take up their seats.

Italy accepts imposed by Sea-Watch migrants

Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini said that children and those with malaise on Sea-Watch vessel were permitted to enter Italy,but the absolute ban remains on the Sea Watch 3 against entering our territorial waters.”

Italy has allowed migrant families rescued at sea by the NGO group Sea-Watch, transporting illegal migrants from Libyan coasts to Europe, to be transferred to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, but is refusing landfall to others.

Sea-Watch says the 18 migrants taken to Lampedusa were mostly families and an injured woman. However, according tot he Sea-Watch there are still migrants, remaining on board, they call them “guests” in a blunt denial of the reality, of illegal migration.

Previously Matteo Salvini reiterated that his government will not allow any of NGO’s search-and-rescue ships to dock. The statement has been made after a vessel exploited by Sea-Watch collected 65 migrants off the Libyan coast this week.

First they were in Libyan waters, then in Maltese waters,” Salvini underlined.
Putting the lives of the migrants on board at risk,  they want to reach Italy at all costs” he continued. “These people are not rescuers, they are human traffickers and they will be treated as such”.
Italy’s ports are closed and will remain closed for traffickers of human beings“, the Minister concluded.

AMENDED: On Sunday the smuggles has celebrated one more victory: all the illegal migrants from Libya were hosted in Italy.

OSCE records ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk

In Donetsk region, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMrecorded more ceasefire violations, however, fewer explosions (about 110), compared with the previous reporting period (about 150 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at southerly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), in areas south of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in areas south-east of Donetsk city centre. (Image above: illustration).

In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 670), compared with the previous reporting period (30 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including about 600 explosions, were recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).”

The Ukrainian army has shelled the positions of the militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) six times over the past 24 hours, the LPR defense ministry reported.

The shelling targeted the areas of Pervomaisk, the urban-type settlement of Frunze, the villages of Zhelobok and Smeloye,” the LuganskInformCenter news agency quoted a spokesman for the LPR people’s militia as saying.

According to the spokesman, the fire was conducted from mortars.

The Contact Group’s security subgroup agreed to declare a new ‘spring’ ceasefire in Donbass on March 7. It entered into force from the midnight of March 8 according to Kiev time. However, the Ukrainian military broke the truce just five minutes after it had taken effect.

Taiwan endorses same-sex marriage

Taiwan’s legislature passed a law allowing same-sex marriage, a first for Asia. The vote allows same-sex couples full legal marriage rights, including in areas such as taxes, insurance and child custody. Taiwan‘s Constitutional Court in May last year said that the constitution allows same-sex marriages and gave parliament two years to adjust laws accordingly. Taiwan’s acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships began in the 1990s when leaders in today’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party championed the cause to help Taiwan stand out in Asia as an open society.

Despite the spread of same-sex marriage in a few regions since 2001, gay and lesbian couples are permitted to marry in only about two dozen of the world’s nearly 200 countries.

The bill will be signed into law by President Tsai Ing-wen before the deadline of May 24 set by the Constitutional Court.

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