Italy’s new populist government-in-waiting resigned on May 28 after its choice of a eurosceptic finance minister was rejected by the country’s pro-EU president — who instead asked an unelected technocrat to form a pro-EU government.
The political wrangling ends a bid by Italy’s two anti-establishment parties — the left-leaning Five Star Movement (M5S) and the center-right League (Lega) — to form a populist coalition government, which would have been the first of its kind in Europe.
The political situation reflects the stranglehold on power wielded by the pro-EU establishment, which is evidently determined to preserve economic austerity at the expense of democracy.
Italian president Sergio Mattarella refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake.”
In his latest book, “Like a Nightmare and a Dream” (Come un incubo e come un sogno), Savona called the euro a “German cage” and warned that “we need to prepare a plan B to get out of the euro if necessary… the other alternative is to end up like Greece.”
via Italy’s Pro-EU President Flouts Voters
When Turkey and Israel decided to normalize their badly strained ties in December 2016, after more than six years of downgraded diplomatic relations, the first thing they did, as the protocol dictates, was to appoint ambassadors to each other’s capital. With a theoretical new chapter opening in troubled relations, Turkey and Israel appointed two prominent career diplomats, Kemal Ökem and Eitan Na’eh, respectively.
This author’s pessimistic guess at the time was: “The diplomats may be willing, but with (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan’s persistent Islamist ideological pursuits, they would seem to have only a slim chance of succeeding”. In essence, Erdoğan had pragmatically agreed to shake hands with Israel, but his ideological hostility to the Jewish state and his ideological love affair with Hamas had not disappeared.
After less than a year and a half, the Turkish and Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Ankara are once again ambassador-less. The loveless date has turned into a tussle.
“A crime against humanity,” Turkish prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, shouted after clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters caused the deaths of dozens of demonstrators. Erdoğan described the incidents as a “genocide” and Israel as a “terrorist state.” “No matter from what side, whether from the United States or Israel, I curse this humanitarian plight, this genocide,” he said. Then what would naturally happen happened.
via Turkey and Israel: From Loveless to Fracas
The Danish Parliament has passed a ban on Islamic full-face veils in public spaces. The new law, sponsored by Denmark’s center-right government, and backed by the Social Democrats and the Danish People’s Party, was passed on May 31 by 75 votes to 30.
As of August 1, anyone found wearing a burka (which covers the entire face) or a niqab (which covers the entire face except for the eyes) in public in Denmark will be subject to a fine of 1,000 Danish kroner (€135; $157); repeat offenders could be fined 10,000 Danish kroner.
In addition, anyone found to be requiring a person through force or threats to wear garments that cover the face could be fined or face up to two years in prison.
Denmark becomes the sixth European country to enact such a ban, after France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Austria. Bavaria in Germany, Catalonia in Spain and Ticino in Switzerland also have imposed regional burka bans, while Norway has tabled a law to ban burkas in public schools. The bans seemingly seek to restrict the proliferating expression of political Islam in Europe.
via Denmark Approves Burka Ban