September 26, 2023

Europe’s ‘mini-Trumps’ survived his fall. Now they’re hoping for his comeback | Paul Taylor

From Orbán in Hungary to Fico in Slovakia, populists are looking to a Trump win to boost their power in the EUWhen Donald Trump lost the White House in 2020, Europe’s strongmen, populists and climate change deniers lost a powerful ally and a protector. Yet most of Europe’s mini-Trumps have survived his fall, his denial of defeat and the storming of Congress by his supporters, and are now hoping that a comeback for the Republican frontrunner in next year’s US presidential election will put fresh wind in their own sails.In his four years in office, Trump described the European Union as a “foe” and Nato as “obsolete”. He had earlier openly applauded the UK’s vote for Brexit and encouraged other countries to follow suit. He pulled the United States out of global agreements to fight climate change, tore up arms control treaties, slapped tariffs on his allies and picked fights with Germany over trade and defence spending. And he rolled out the red carpet for the populist leaders of Poland and Hungary just as they were defying EU censure over moves to snuff out judicial independence, civil rights and media pluralism.Paul Taylor is a senior fellow of the Friends of Europe thinktankDo you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here. Continue reading...
September 25, 2023

Paddles and medals: canoe slalom world championships – photo essay

More than 300 of the world’s top canoeists and kayakers from five continents headed to Lee Valley, on the outskirts of north London, to compete on the white water rapidsThe Canoe Slalom World Championship returned to the Lee Valley White Water Centre in London last week for the first time since 2015. The venue was originally built for the 2012 London Olympic Games and many of this year’s competitors say the Games inspired them to pick up a paddle for the first time.Tadeusz Kuchno of Poland battles with Ondrej Tunka of the Czech Republic as they practise kayak cross technique on the Legacy Loop during the final day of practice (top) Jonny Dickson of Great Britain waits to weigh his boat at boat (above). Lea Baldoni of Canada in action and Iris Sommernes of Norway gets into trouble getting through a gate on the Olympic Course during the final day of practice (below). Continue reading...
September 24, 2023

Russia-Ukraine war live: Russian-installed head of region in Donetsk imposes five-hour curfew and bans assemblies and rallies

Civilians forbidden from being on streets and public places from 11pm until 4am, with mass events bannedWhat we know on day 578 of the invasionVolodymyr Zelenskiy met top US financiers – including Mike Bloomberg – during his visit to the US. According to Reuters, they discussed investment and the reconstruction of Ukraine during this meeting.A Ukrainian drone has struck an administrative building in Russia’s Kursk oblast, the regional governor Roman Starovoit said on Telegram – on Kursk City Day. Continue reading...
September 21, 2023

The Guardian view on Europe’s politics: volatile and drifting rightwards

New research exposes the growing influence of the radical right on more mainstream forces. A counteroffensive is overdueThe taxation of property in the eastern German state of Thuringia would normally be a subject of strictly local concern. But last week a vote to cut stamp duty in the regional parliament in Erfurt made national headlines. Ignoring a cross-party taboo on collaborating with the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party, local Christian Democrats and liberals co-opted its support to force the measure through. Loud condemnation duly followed. But with the AfD running second in national polls, there are grounds for fearing that this will not be the last occasion on which the cordon sanitaire surrounding the party is breached.The Thuringia vote is just one sign of changing and volatile times in European politics, as the radical right expands its influence on the mainstream. New PopuList research by 100 political scientists in 31 countries, reported in our new digital Europe edition, finds that almost one-third of Europeans voted for anti-establishment parties in national elections held last year. Half of that number voted for the far right, which is increasing its vote share among these disaffected voters most rapidly. Illiberal, nationalist parties hold power in Italy, Hungary and Poland. They have a share of it in Finland and Sweden and anti-establishment forces have every chance of acquiring it in forthcoming elections in the Netherlands and Slovakia. Austria’s Freedom party, ostracised at the time of its emergence in the 1990s, is well ahead in the polls, with elections due next year. Continue reading...
September 21, 2023

Poland says it will stop sending weapons to Ukraine

It comes after a deepening dispute over Ukrainian grain exports.
September 21, 2023

Poland’s ruling party pivots away from Ukraine in attempt to shore up votes

PiS party is hoping to gain traction before 15 October election despite strong anti-Russian sentimentTo hear the Polish president compare Ukraine to a drowning person and the Ukrainian president describe Poland as acting in Moscow’s interests will come as a shock to many.Poland was one of the few western countries that had an ambassador who stayed in Kyiv through the first days of the Russian invasion, and its president, Andrzej Duda, has been a frequent visitor to the Ukrainian capital. Continue reading...
September 21, 2023

Rightwing extremist views increasingly widespread in Germany, study finds

Findings show 8% of population have extremist attitudes, while 16.5% accused Jewish people of wanting to ‘take advantage’ of Nazi pastEurope live – latest updatesRightwing extremist and anti-democratic attitudes are becoming increasingly widespread in Germany, according to a study examining the public’s political views.Commissioned by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is closely affiliated with the Social Democratic party, the study showed that 8% of the population had a distinctly rightwing extremist view of the world, a rise of between 5% and 6% on previous studies, while the “centre middle” was becoming “ever more receptive to misanthropic positions”. Continue reading...
September 21, 2023

Poland will no longer send weapons to Ukraine, says PM, as grain dispute escalates

Comments by Polish PM follow Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s accusation that some in Europe are in effect aiding Russia Russia-Ukraine war – latest news updatesPoland, one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies, has announced an end to its arms transfers to the country, a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Warsaw of playing into Russia’s hands by banning Ukrainian grain imports.Poland is one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers and has been one of the loudest cheerleaders for the Ukrainian cause since the full-scale invasion began last February, but relations have soured over recent days amid the growing row over grain. Continue reading...
September 20, 2023

Russia-Ukraine war live: Zelenskiy says UN ‘ineffective’ in defending borders and should do more

Ukraine’s president addressed UN security council; Poland summons Ukraine ambassador over Zelenskiy’s grain comments commentsWhat we know on day 574 of the invasionZelenskiy at security council – live updatesInterfax in Russia is reporting that a Su-34 bomber crashed in the Voronezh region during a training flight. Voronezh borders the partially occupied Ukrainian region of Luhansk. The pilots are reported to have ejected.The all clear has been sounded in Kherson. Continue reading...
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