Europarl: Tajani in Salvini’s shadow…

With Matteo SALVINI, MEP, leaving the European Parliament (EP) to lead one of the key economies of the European Union as a prime minister, the EU Institutions face one more set back. However in this particular case with Lega Nord chair ascendance, an extra turmoil is left behind in the Europarliament. 

The incumbent president of the EP Antonio Tajani lost his bid for premiership in Italy, after a short involvement in election at the side of Silvio Berlusconi, his former boss and powerful friend. Many ask, if the EU institution head should demonstrate such a passionate involvement in national politics, ready to ditch his office in Brussels for a glimpse of hope to become a national leader, to succumb to magnetic powers of the Eternal City…

However one can’t step into the same waters twice, Tajani returned to Brussels ‘on his shield’. An initial concept to ‘civilize’ far right Lega Nord in alliance with Forza Italia is in tatters –  it is Salvini, who surfaced as a victor, returning to European Parliament “with his shield”.

And now… There is the ‘loser’ of EP president from a  party, which scored so low in the elections; roughly half of Italy is in Eurosceptic camp, and another congregation which he treated like a nuisance ascended to command. Tajani compromised himself, demonstrating his EU office is his ‘second to best choice’  to his own detriment, and what a disservice to declining European project! Vanitas vanitatum!

#RoadToBrexit as a daydream

Undoubtedly the Manson House speech of the Prime Minister Theresa May has many virtues, offering constructive proposals for Article 50 agreement.  In general it is also attempts to appeal to common sense of the EU leaders, and is reflecting an intense search for the best possible new formula for matching interests of both parties, instead of fitting into old EU dogmas of ‘four freedoms’. May’s vision of the basis of post-Brexit engagement is orientated towards future: robotics and artificial intelligence, the new technologies and most of all the British genius, which brought the nation to the forefront of the Digital Revolution. But can this dazzling and dynamic new engagement attract Brussels?..

If we agree on the leading role of the “outstanding individuals” in sculpturing history, and take a close-up on European Union protagonists influencing Brexit negotiations, we’ll see that they function in totally different modus operandi than the looking forward British PM. The European Commission president (the ‘Prime Minister of Europe’) Jean-Claude Juncker is concerned with keeping the EU project intact in its original form, repeatedly referring to the forefathers – Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet who resurrected Europe from the ashes of the WWII on entirely new basis. Devoting his life to the ideas of the United States of Europe, Juncker’s major preoccupation is the risk of Brexit provoking a collapse of the entire 70 years old architecture, erected gradually after the European Coal and Steel Community united in 1950 in order to secure lasting peace.

Ideologically Juncker faces similar problems in dealing with Brexit as the Pope, who faced unpleasant news from a rebellious English King, rejecting to acknowledge his authority, and thus pay tribute to the Holy See. Juncker’s preoccupation is not to let the heresy to spread, subsequently the creation of a new ‘dynamic and vibrant’ engagement with London would be detrimental to the original project, showing to the other member-states, that life outside the EU can be so much better than inside.

In this case May’ appeal to embrace together the wonders of Digital Revolution falls on deaf ears: Juncker, as usual, is looking backward, contemplating ashes of the WWII. Keeping in mind the origins of the European project, the protection of its ‘sacred’ four freedoms from British ‘heresy’ becomes paramount. Allowing the new engagement to be a success means to give in to those, who ‘betrayed’ the great idea of Schuman, and  ‘tricked’ Britons into the trap of leave vote – an unthinkable compromise for such a ‘guardian’ of the EU Treaties as Jean-Claude Juncker.

In this context one can not exclude the ‘no-deal’ scenario, when the UK faces Brexting on WTO rules. Anyway, when dealing with dogmatics, it would be useful to keep an ace up the sleeve:)

 

The Cheat La Tour

EU Visa-free for Russians

Offering Russians unilateral visa-free to the EU – is one of the major proposals of the Alliance of European Liberals and Democrats announced at a year conference on EU-Russia relations #EURussia, taking place on the third anniversary of Boris Nemtsov assassination.

The move is meant in ‘immediate and unconditional’ support of the civil society, experiencing difficulty of alienation from Europe, while regular Russians increasingly perceive the EU as an antagonistic power, especially after confrontation with the negative consequences of the EU Enlargement policy, leading to conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine.

“The biggest mistake on our behalf towards the West is that we trusted you too much,” President Vladimir Putin said. He underlined that the West, in their turn, made an unforgivable mistake – abused this trust.

Would the visa-free enhance exchanges, people-to-people contacts and heal the profound mistrust Russians feel towards the West? While Donetsk and Lugansk are under siege, and Russian children go to school risking being shot by shelling of Ukrainian army, while so-called ‘Syrian opposition’, supported by European, kills Russian pilots on counter-terrorist missions, – while the bloodshed is going on, it will be rather simplistic to consider that visa-free would restore the harmony. Although had it ever existed in relations between Europe and Russia?..

Children Donbass

Image: citizens’ journalism ‘Killed children of Donbass’

 

 

 

II Brexit referendum as gambling addicion

Anna van Densky, OPINION

A hint of a possibility of II Brexit referendum made by one of the most prominent Leave EU campaigners, the Member of the European Parliament, Nigel Farage made headlines worldwide, however the possibility  of the second plebiscite is just hypothetical.

Any genuine public vote has element of risk, and Prime minister Theresa May knows it from her own experience of nearly lost snap elections, reportedly ill-advised by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. She was aiming at confirming her authority in leading nation through Brexit, her stated reason was to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, but she achieved a poor result of losing majority, facing perspective of ‘hung’ parliament.

After the snap elections unexpected failure May would hardly try her luck the second time calling for referendum on Brexit, gambling her political future. In case LeaveEU wins the second referendum, May as a figure of a compromise, and a former ‘Remainer’ won’t be able to keep a grip on power, and the Brexit hardliners would sweep away May’ government – a blend of ‘moderate’ Brexiteers (read ‘converted Remainers’) like Prime Minister herself, and genuine Brexiteers receiving ministerial portfolios in exchange of toning down.

The II Brexit referendum is not only a ‘Russian roulette’ for Theresa May, and her government, but even more so for the EU. If one recalls the experience of the II Irish referendum, as a model of  a clever managing an exercise of ‘direct democracy’, one forgets that in Irish case there was no alternative. The Republic of Ireland was the only member state to hold a referendum on Lisbon Treaty, and without second referendum the situation could not move on for the entire EU block, unlike the case of Brexit led by PM May, who has already accepted lion’s share of Brussels claims.

The gambling risks are not affordable for the EU in decline, struggling against rapidly rising Eurosceptic parties. The moral damages can be dramatic, however the financial could be devastating . Till now for PM May offered the EU a generous ‘allowance’, and transition period with unclear end date. In case of the II ‘yes’ to Brexit vote, the ‘hardliners’ will not leave a penny to Brussels bureaucrats, neither will they take the “poisonous pill’ of Brexit deal.  In short, the addiction to gambling may invite catastrophe for both the EU as a fragilized block and the UK incumbent Government. Above it all, Theresa May as a Remainer heading Brexit is too precious interlocutor for the EU to risk to lose.

Ne quid nimis 🙂

 

Iran: Mogherini as ‘guardian’ of Obama legacy

Even after 20 slain protesters in Iran, the European Union top diplomat Federica Mogherini did not break her silence. After days of growing unrest, the European External Actions Service (EEAS) press person tweeted a carefully worded neutral line about monitoring the situation, and an ambivalent “being in touch” with the Iranian authorities. What about? Does the European diplomacy express “concerns” about killings, or demands to “restrain from violence”?

Where is the usual ‘eloquence’ of the 3 611 strong European diplomacy body?

In contrast to many other cases the European diplomats do not write the appropriate: “the EU strongly condemns the continued systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights” in Iran. Neither does EU diplomacy express support to Iranian people, raising in discontent with the oppressive regime of Ayatollahs… There is no enthusiasm even slightly reminiscent of embracing Arab Spring or Maidan revolution in Ukraine. The neutrality of the EU diplomacy in case of the cause of Iranian people  is close to autism.

However a glance to into Mogherini’s record explains it all. An adept of political Islam, claiming it belongs to Europe, EU High Representative stretched her efforts to build an amiable dialogue with the Ayatollahs to an extend visible to everyone – the wearing of veil, a religious symbol of submission of a woman to a man, appalling to all those believing in gender equality, enshrined among top European values.

Mogherini pink veil

The camouflage or masquerade, as some insisted,  pleasing  of the very same clerics who defend Medieval executions by lapidation, was aimed at reaching the notorious multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, the one Mogherini defends with ‘teeth and claws’ as an ‘achievement’ of the EU diplomacy she leads; and the highlight of the legacy of Obama administration, Obama perceived as a political ally of the EU, on contrary to Trump, regarded as a foe of Brussels bureaucracy.

Image: social media.

Mogherni Obama

The nuclear deal, promoted by the EU,  giving oxygen to ayatollahs by removing international sanctions, has been widely criticised  during the presidential election campaign in 2016 by Donald Trump pledged to throw it out.

The ongoing protests of Iranian people threaten the powers of Iranian clerics, thus partners of  the nuclear deal Mogherini protects: the cause of freedom and democracy of Iranians sacrificed in preservation of a political legacy. The choice of dead silence of Mogherini confirming the EU diplomacy is a self-serving politicised clan defending their own interests at cost of promotion of  freedom and democracy worldwide. Meanwhile far away from people and their needs, EU de facto minister of foreign affairs Mogherini enjoys visit to Cuba to her Communist friends. Finale of the scene! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ab absurdo: Puigdemont as asylum-seeker

Anna van Densky, OPINION The circulating in mainstream media hypothesis of President of Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont escapade to Brussels in search of political asylum can’t be regarded otherwise as absurd.

First, if politicians have to flee Spain because of dissent, it will mean that Kingdom of Spain is not a democracy. (Political dissident from Span? Hmmm… It reminds me of something…)

Second, it would mean that organising plebiscite is a criminal activity, which will provoke a confrontation with the United Nations, being in contradiction with the most sacred part of international law – the human rights.

Third, the attack on human rights will torpedo the work of entire EU External Actions Service, discrediting their efforts to improve human rights situation outside the bloc.

Forth, it will reinforce the public sympathy for Catalans, and raise criticism against the European institutions for not respecting their own engagements, and principles. So many citizens will ignore the next elections to the European Parliament, which will be a blow to the EU credibility. Imagine if only 20% of Europeans come to drop ballots for EU?..

So there are some reasons for which Carles Puigdemont will be never charged for organising a plebiscite, and never arrested.

Unfortunately, the crisis government of prime minister Mariano Rajoy created will continue, however the EU can not afford to let it rub off its own image and activities, subsequently the EU will not allow Puigdemont to become Europe’s Nelson Mandela. The Brussels has many faults, but giving in to Madrid in human rights abuse means to agree to look like a theatre of absurd – a suicidal move for an already shaken by Brexit project. Ab absurdo!

 

#Catalonia: Madrid bankruptcy and EU27 insolvency

Anna van Densky, OPINION. The failure of Mariano Rajoy government to manage the political crisis in Catalonia, demonstrates the absence of real arguments to convince Catalans to stay in Kingdom of Spain, if  they had valuable reasons, we would have heard about them, and there would be no need to break fingers of voters to prevent them from dropping a ballot. It is time to admit: ‘The King is naked!’.

The UK government had a lot to offer to Scotland, so they were not afraid of a comprehensive discussion pointing at advantages for staying together. The Scottish referendum was a genuine democratic exercise of respect of right to self-determination. As a result the reason won over emotions, and seductive illusions.

On contrary, Madrid has no other arguments than to refer to the ‘law’, the Spanish politicians don’t want to change, and Constitution as if carved in stone. No one viable cultural or economic reason articulated, because they would be a pitfall of Spain: Catalonia has surpassed in all fields, and does not need to bow to Rajoy to ensure high living standards of their people, but it is Spain to lose the richest region of the Kingdom.

However those, who think about economy as a driving force of Catalan independence movement, are wrong, because it is strong national identity, that clashes with the Spanish dogma of superiority on grounds of historic ‘lineage’. It has been a long time, that Barcelona became a star among planet’s most prolific cities – one of the top 10 most visited tourist destinations in the world. The opulent cultural past and present converted Catalonia into a magnet for the artists, and Mecca of the art-pilgrims. But also students, attracted to Barcelona universities, and international schools, with UB as the leading education body of the country. In short, it is in realm of ideal that Catalans have taken the lead.

The  achievements of Catalans required a different kind of framework with Madrid, Spanish political class was reluctant to grant, responding with a riot police, leading to Rajoy’s  moral bankruptcy. The was hardly any newspaper’s front page in the world, without condemning decision to use force against peaceful Catalan plebiscite. The public opinion condemned Rajoy’s government choice of violence, but not the EU, referring to the issue as an internal matter of Spain. The failure of protection of Catalans as EU citizens, which is ‘legally’ central to the bloc, enshrined in all Treaties, means EU insolvency in issues of human rights. This betrayal of Catalan people by Brussels, opens the door to leave the EU without a regret.

By any means the in #EU27 Catalans will be donors, but not recipients, sharing their wealth with new member-states, the perspective which could be regarded in the framework of respect and recognition of Catalonia’s achievements, but not keeping them as subordinate second class citizens, risking to get their heads crushed if raising them. Ignoring the injustice, committed towards Catalans, the EU is a insolvent as a ‘Union of values’, applied selectively, and inconsistently. Praising  Kosovo ‘sui generis’, and Kiev’s Maidan revolution right to sculpture history, the EU suddenly switched to the ‘rule of law’ repertoire for Catalans when it suited its goals.

The hard work of Spanish police batons did it’s job, winning millions of friends of Catalonia all over the globe. There is no reason to fear unknown future, with Spanish banks leaving Barcelona in haste – there will be many of those eager to occupy the liberated spaces. Catalans won in people’s hearts, and there is no need to waste time  looking for fairness from the EU apparatchiks, because they are people who create history, not political chameleons in Brussels. #ViscaCatalunyaLliure!