EU Parliament opens with protests

Mar 2012
57,873
39,432
New Hampshire
#1
The European Parliament has re-opened in Strasbourg with an anti-EU protest by the UK's Brexit Party and a demonstration by Catalan nationalists whose MEPs are barred.

As outgoing speaker Antonio Tajani convened the new session, MEPs rose for the EU's anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, accompanied by a saxophone quartet. But not everyone stood, and anti-EU MEPs from the UK's Brexit Party turned their backs on the rendition. "Rising to your feet is a matter of respect," said Mr Tajani. "It does not mean that you necessarily share the views of the European Union. Even when you listen to the anthem of another country you rise to your feet."

Hundreds of Catalan demonstrators protested that three separatist figures were unable to take their seats, as inside the chamber fellow MEPs placed photos of the missing members on their desks. Irish Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy warned that the parliament's credibility would be undermined if it did not stand up for the voters of Catalonia.

Protests mark opening of European Parliament
 
Likes: The Man
Mar 2012
57,873
39,432
New Hampshire
#2
More issues..

After three days of horse trading, the German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen was lined up to take this post. Her nomination -- which came out of the blue -- is a near-perfect illustration of the problems facing a Europe rocked by populism and a general distrust of the establishment. The majority of the center-left bloc in parliament is livid that their first choice, the Dutch Labour politician Franz Timmermans, was so quickly swept aside by the 28 EU leaders. He was not the only qualified candidate to be brushed off: The candidacy of the former favorite, Germany's Manfred Weber, also fell apart

Charitably, Leyen is seen as an unusual choice. One of Leyen's only publicly-known European policies is her support of a European army, something Macron badly wants to lead the charge on. Her perceived weakness on European politics also allows Macron to take a larger role on the European stage, an opportunity he has been keen to grasp as his popularity in France fluctuates.

As populists and anti-establishment parties dig their heels in over the next five years, things are not about to get any easier for the European institutions that embody everything so many on the continent despise.

New-look Europe is having a nightmare first week - CNN
 
Likes: The Man

Similar Discussions