according to the BBC, matteo salvini, leader of italy’s far right pary the league (previously known as the northern league) and italy’s current interior minister, has shut italy’s ports to a migrant Rescue ship run by a non profit organization. the ship, carrying more than 600 people is primarily filled with children who have been rescued at sea. the spanish government has offered to accept the migrants to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
Archive for the ‘populist political parties european union’ Category
the new government will be sworn in on friday. now march on rome. but does italy follow greece with its populist government and right wing thugs in the streets?
the us-based blog the daily beast has the answer. telling the italians how to think. apparently his crowds in italy are much smaller than in radical switzerland. in the former he attracted 50 biz people, in the latter 1500. given that steve bannon the ex-trump adviser is unemployed and borderline homeless, we suspect he and his booking agent are getting hefty fees.
the proposed prime minister giuseppe conte put forward by the far right party the league and the 5 star movement in italy has resigned. last week, conte was accused of embellishing his resume by claiming amongst many things of having studied at new york university, when apparently he had only had written permission to use their library. president sergio matterella has vetoed the 2 party’s choice for finance minister–a euroseceptic who advocates italy leaving the euro. it looks like new elections might be on the horizon.
yesterday the new austrian chancellor, 31-year-old sebastian kurz from the center-right FPOe party held one of his first official press conferences as austria’s chancellor. alongside him was his vice-chancellor, hans-christian strache (aka HC strache) from the far-right FPOe party. kurz announced that the government was closing the loophole on european union migrants taking advantage of austria’s family friendly child benefits (Kindergeld) program that offers 300 EUR per month per child as an encouragement for austrian women to squeeze out more children. apparently one of the unintended consequences has seen an increase in people from the former USSR countries moving to the tiny alpine country with a population of around 8.4M, take a low paying job and collect child benefits for their kids located in a country where the median monthly income can be as low as 400 – 500 EUR per month before taxes. apparently this so-called abuse was a concern for brexiteers as well. according to chancellor kurz austria will save over 100M EUR per year by closing this loophole. while HC strache claims the savings are more like 140M EUR. there is always a question of once these savings accrue, what will the country do with it? kurz has asserted that the savings will be used to help those who are financially vulnerable in austria.
during the press conference, kurz let the strache announce the more controversial side of their plans. which included strache defending his announcement that he’d like to place refugee in barracks (presumably in military ones) and give them curfews. kurz addressed a question from the media regarding new plans for austria’s unemployment insurance. he said that his aim is to allow those who have paid in the longest, to be able to draw from the program the longest, which would benefit older workers who might be unemployed. below are 2 videos. 1 is yesterday’s press conference. 2 is a video documentary about the rise of the populist right in austria.
according to the bbc website, carles puigdemont, the former president of catalonia who left spain last week immediately after the regional parliament declared independence from spain. puigdemont and his fellow parliamentarians have been charged with sedition, rebellion (and a few other crimes). never in our lifetime did we think that the head of state of a western country would be charged with sedition.
according to the bbc 54% of catalans disapprove of the catalan parliament’s declaration of independence. 52% are in favor of dissolving parliament and holding new elections. a few weeks ago this later number stood at 46%. since the illegal referrendum held in september. *this post has been updated*
detailing the possibility of madrid triggering article 155 of the spanish constitution–suspending catalan autonomy and article 116–putting the territory under siege and giving madrid emergency powers. he also mentions the possibilty of trying government officials if the referrendum takes place..