• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Europe under extreme duress

Randy Daytona

I want rock n roll - yes I do.
pilot
Super Moderator
So this is really weird.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...eo-nazi-network-army-bundeswehr-a7714721.html

There might be a neo-Nazi plot within the German military. A German lieutenant planned to carry out a terror attack while posing as a refugee. Honestly, this is (ironically) the last country I would have expected this to happen in.
Just saw a similar article in Foreign Policy. Interesting note: That affects the Bundeswehr: East Germany makes up one-fifth of the country’s population, but accounts for one-third of military recruits.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/01...-nazi-problem-extremism-right-wing-terrorism/
 

Randy Daytona

I want rock n roll - yes I do.
pilot
Super Moderator
Presidential election day in France. Macron vs Le Pen - neither of which are from the traditional 2 strongest parties - Macron is heavily favored. Strange to us that the 577 members of the National Assembly are not elected until July.

(Information on that is here: http://www.politico.eu/article/the-...t-parliament-2017-le-pen-macron-fillon-hamon/ )


Good article from the Washington Post.
In French election, voters face a choice that mirrors the West’s new divide

If anything, the French campaign has solidified the new fracture lines in modern politics, which bear little relation to the relatively modest differences marking the old left-right divide. Instead, the choice voters face on Sunday illustrates the profound new chasm in the West: between those who favor open, globalized societies and others who prefer closed, nationalized ones.

“What’s the common ground between Macron and Le Pen? There is none. What we’re seeing is historic: a choice between two completely different modes of organizing a society,” said Madani Cheurfa, a professor of politics at Paris’s Sciences Po.

Sounds familiar...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...a0ae1940305_story.html?utm_term=.446a28c563d6
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The Post said:
If anything, the French campaign has solidified the new fracture lines in modern politics, which bear little relation to the relatively modest differences marking the old left-right divide. Instead, the choice voters face on Sunday illustrates the profound new chasm in the West: between those who favor open, globalized societies and others who prefer closed, nationalized ones.
 

Caesium

Blue is my favorite color
Huge win for Macron, he beats Le Pen by about 65% to 35%. Seems like the right-populist surge may have hit a sandbar in Europe with this result and the previous one in Austria.
 

Caesium

Blue is my favorite color
Le Pen getting 35% of the vote seems pretty significant
Yes and no. On one hand, Le Pen did much better than her father did in 2002, the last time FN made it to the second round--he only got 18%. So from that standpoint it is quite an accomplishment.

On the other hand, in the context of Brexit, Trump, and controversy over migrants, one might have expected more from the French far-right. If the result holds, Le Pen will have actually underpreformed her polls by quite a bit.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Huge win for Macron, he beats Le Pen by about 65% to 35%. Seems like the right-populist surge may have hit a sandbar in Europe with this result and the previous one in Austria.
Le Pen getting 35% of the vote seems pretty significant
From what I've heard, Le Pen getting as much of the vote as she did - and the FN candidate even making it to the runoff in the first place - is pretty significant. It'd be sort of like if the Green or Libertarian candidate won multiple states in a US general election. Some pundits are thinking Le Pen never really expected to win this year, but is hoping Macron has a rough term and then she's set up to run hard against him in 2023.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
From what I've heard, Le Pen getting as much of the vote as she did - and the FN candidate even making it to the runoff in the first place - is pretty significant. It'd be sort of like if the Green or Libertarian candidate won multiple states in a US general election. Some pundits are thinking Le Pen never really expected to win this year, but is hoping Macron has a rough term and then she's set up to run hard against him in 2023.
I'd go with what Caesium already said:

A far-right candidate getting ~33.9% of the vote in a modern Western democracy is notable but I think fact she made it to the second round along with a political neophyte says more about the poor state of the main French political parties and a lack of a unifying 'left' candidate than broader support for her and her party. Even with Le Pen's success the National Front still remains a tiny party with little real power or heft when looking at its representation in the French parliament, only 4 seats out of 925, and other local and regional offices in France. They do have significant representation in the Euro Parliament because of anemic voter turnout but that is like a 9th place trophy, doesn't mean much at all in the real world.

Edit: It is interesting that Le Pen increased her first-round vote percentage this year (21.3%) by only 3.4% more than her first round total in 2012 (17.9%).
 
Last edited:

Randy Daytona

I want rock n roll - yes I do.
pilot
Super Moderator
Well, the 2nd and final round was a clear cut choice. However for the electorate as a whole, Canada's Globe and Mail had an interesting description of the breakdown into 4 quadrants:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/after-macrons-win-france-is-divided-in-four/article34915063/

Huge win for Macron, he beats Le Pen by about 65% to 35%. Seems like the right-populist surge may have hit a sandbar in Europe with this result and the previous one in Austria.
The Austrian, Dutch and French election all showed similar characteristics of the traditional center-left/center-right parties losing ground (and not even making it into the last round in Austria and France) while the far right and far left, while not always winning, continue to strengthen. Michel Houellebecq's novel "Submission" released a few years ago uses this very scenario of the 2017 French election being a springboard for the future. (good novel) The exception to this appears to be the UK, where since the success of BREXIT, UKIP has imploded due to infighting and the Tories moving somewhat to the right.

Meanwhile, another European election coming up later this year is in the Czech Republic. Not sure if anyone saw it last week, but

Czech Leader, in Power Struggle With Rival, Offers Resignation
The Czech Republic’s prime minister offered his resignation on Tuesday, saying he could no longer work with his finance minister and political rival, a populist billionaire whose party is favored in elections set for October.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/world/europe/czech-republic-sobotka-resignation.html?_r=0
 

Randy Daytona

I want rock n roll - yes I do.
pilot
Super Moderator
A recent (March 2017) presentation from the Naval War College on Russian Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Strategies. Well worth the hour. Good take on the Russians building the Nordstream and Nordstream 2 pipelines to avoid transit through Eastern Europe and Ukraine and thus directly to Germany - but the speaker failed to mention the Poles looking hard at importing US liquefied natural gas to reduce energy dependence on Russia.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...o-eastern-europe-as-poland-avoids-russian-gas

http://www.lnglawblog.com/2017/04/cheniere-to-ship-sabine-pass-lng-to-poland/

 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
...but the speaker failed to mention the Poles looking hard at importing US liquefied natural gas to reduce energy dependence on Russia.
Because it might not be all that practical, natural gas is a lot harder to ship by ship than oil and the price can vary from location to location. Good idea? Maybe, but implementing it will be harder than many seem to think.
 
Last edited: