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POLITICS

Deutsche Welle - Bulgaria | 23/04/2015

EU monitoring good for Bulgaria

The Bulgarian MEPs of the ruling conservative party Gerb and the socialist BSP are pushing in the EU Parliament for the EU's monitoring of their country to be abolished. Bulgaria needs monitoring precisely because its politicians don't like it, the Bulgarian service of Germany international broadcaster Deutsche Welle counters: "These MEPs are representatives of the parties that bear most of the blame for Bulgaria's dreadful situation. The fact that the monitoring bothers them and that they describe it as 'ineffective' shows that it serves to foil their plans, and that's the way it should be. The monitoring process is not in their interest but in that of Bulgarian society, and therefore should even be intensified." (23/04/2015)

Lidové noviny Blog - Czech Republic | 24/04/2015

Don't take criticism of Ankara too far

The mass murder of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was without doubt genocide, but unlike with the Holocaust, making its denial a punishable offence makes no sense, the conservative daily Lidové noviny believes: "The Holocaust was prepared ideologically. The Nuremberg Laws defined the scope of the victims. After that came the expropriation of the Jews and the Night of Broken Glass. Then after the 'final solution' was agreed on in Wannsee, it was carried out bureaucratically and on an industrial level. No other genocide is comparable. ... With all due respect for the millions of victims of the Armenian genocide, the victims of the Khmer Rouge and the murdered Tutsis, unlike the Jews these groups are no longer specifically targeted. ... And despite all the criticism of Turkey, this state no longer represents an existential threat for the Armenians. ... We can demand of Turkey that it works through and deals with the murders committed 100 years ago - including in its schoolbooks. But it would be going too far to demand that denying the Armenian genocide be made a punishable offence like denying Auschwitz." (24/04/2015)

Delo - Slovenia | 24/04/2015

Everyone loses out in the Patria case

Slovenia's constitutional court has ruled that the trial over the purchase of Finnish Patria tanks is to be reopened. The court has repealed the verdicts that found ex-prime minister and two other defendants guilty of bribery on the grounds that the evidence used in the trial wasn't clear enough. The left-liberal daily Delo fears that the case will never be resolved: "The Patria case has always been polemic. This ruling by the constitutional court won't change that. The case still hasn't been concluded after ten years. It was complicated, but it shouldn't have come to this. In the end the worst will happen: the case will come under the statute of limitations. The three defendants won't be able to prove that they didn't act corruptly. The judiciary won't be able to prove that they did. That means there'll be no winners here." (24/04/2015)

Gość Niedzielny - Poland | 24/04/2015

Warsaw obeys Juncker

Poland approved an eight billion euro contribution to the EU investment fund EFSI on Tuesday. The money comes from the very state funding institutions that will manage the money, which has been earmarked for projects in Poland. Why is the distribution of these funds so complicated? asks Stefan Sękowski of the Catholic web portal Gość Niedzielny: "These institutions are supposed to promote the Polish economy anyway. That's what they're there for. ... So what's this all about? No one really knows. But something tells me that it's mainly about pinning the blame on EFIS if things go wrong. Another explanation could be that Poland was simply trying to cosy up to Brussels by backing an idea by Juncker, who is kind of the 'prime minister of the Union'. This second option actually seems more likely in view of the Polish government's stance." (24/04/2015)

Libération - France | 23/04/2015

Genocide highlights danger of nationalism

French President François Hollande will take part in the commemorative ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide in the Armenian capital Yerevan. The ceremony should also send a political message, the left-liberal daily Libération comments: "The history of the ethnic massacres committed under the leadership of the Young Turks starting in 1915 - the first genocide of the century - shows once again the historic threat posed by an ideology that is undergoing a renaissance in the Europe of 2015: nationalism. When Enver Pasha and his accomplices in crime replaced the multicultural Ottoman Empire with a nationalist Turkish vision, the Armenians were quickly identified as a foreign body, ostracised and subjected to cruel torture, just as the Jews of Europe and the Tutsis of Rwanda would be in entirely different circumstances. Fanaticism about national identity leads to the worst possible consequences. This lesson of history must remain firmly in the minds of Europeans." (23/04/2015)

The Daily Mail - United Kingdom | 23/04/2015

British parties silent on EU and immigration

The UK's general election takes place in just two weeks' time yet all of the parties without exception have avoided the most biggest issues, the EU and immigration, the conservative Daily Mail criticises: "The unaccountable, unelected, fraud-ridden EU - which makes a mockery of our right to rule ourselves, continues to strangle businesses with red-tape, wastes billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and prevents us from controlling our borders - has been totally ignored. And, of course, most egregiously, immigration - the subject that dare not speak its name, but which, for years, has topped the electorate's list of concerns - has been all but air-brushed from the election." (23/04/2015)

Reflex - Czech Republic | 23/04/2015

Humane treatment of refugees is cruel

The EU heads of state and government plan to discuss potential solutions to the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean today at their special summit in Brussels. Europe must do all it can to improve living conditions in the countries of origin, otherwise only two options will be open, the liberal weekly paper Reflex warns: "The first: Europe opens its doors to all and sundry. There's room enough, so we could share the wealth we have in abundance. ... The second: all migrants without exception are sent back home, regardless of whether they reach Europe's shores or are fished out of the water. On the coasts of Italy or Malta they would be given dry clothes, medical care and enough food to last a week. Cases would not be examined individually. When they get home they would spread the news that you can't get to Europe by boat. That's cruel? Inhuman? Well, is it any less inhuman when hundreds die trying?" (23/04/2015)

The Independent - United Kingdom | 22/04/2015

British Greens have missed their chance

Two and a half weeks before the British general elections, the Green Party has dropped from eleven to five percent in opinion polls. They've failed to put their main cause, environmental protection, on the political agenda, the left-liberal daily The Independent comments: "In a crowded market, a political party has to have one big idea that it can push to the centre of the debate and by which it is immediately defined. The SNP has Scottish home rule. Ukip has immigration. In the past, the Lib Dems had opposition to the Iraq war and to tuition fees - though not any more. The Green Party has a big idea - concern for the environment - but failed to get it on to the mainstream political agenda. It is almost as if it did not try. ... This election was their biggest opportunity. They have squandered it." (22/04/2015)

The Malta Independent - Malta | 22/04/2015

Improve distribution of migrants within EU

At the EU special summit on refugee policy taking place today in Brussels the northern member states must be called upon to do more, the liberal-conservative daily The Malta Independent writes: "Let us be clear, the EU, up to now, has not only failed its Southern members, but it has also failed humanity. ... The 10-point plan still refers to voluntary burden sharing, but it is absolutely clear that more needs to be done by other member states in this regard. The sad reality of it all is that many migrants still end up going north anyway, once their applications are processed and approved. Refusing to take them in only exacerbates their own problems because it feeds the desire within migrants to make it north even more." (22/04/2015)

eldiario.es - Spain | 22/04/2015

Ciudadanos saves capitalism using technocracy

Despite its generally conservative and centralist profile the Ciudadanos party, which is rapidly gaining support in Spain's polls, doesn't fit into the conventional right-left scheme. This indecision could help it conquer the political centre, the left-leaning website eldiario.es explains: "One of the advantages of Ciudadanos' vagueness is that the centre ground and undogmatic moderation can be very appealing to the average voter. Above all at a time when its main competitors [PP and PSOE] in that segment are in particularly bad shape. Moreover technocracy can be used as a new ideological reference to offer an alternative to the inefficiency caused by corruption. The logic behind this could be formulated as follows: politics generates a capitalism of intertwined interests, and only technocracy can save capitalism from itself." (22/04/2015)


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