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 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 

by Fran on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 01:54:43 PM EST
EUobserver / Gloves come off in EU election campaigns

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU election campaigning is beginning to get ugly, with legal challenges over media abuses launched in France and Italy and personal attacks on senior political figures in Austria and Spain.

The Italian Radical Party - affiliated with the liberal group in the EU legislature - has asked the OSCE for an "immediate inquiry" into alleged violations of media freedom in the EU campaign.

The political fighting is getting dirty

The Radicals say voters are badly informed about their options, with only 3 percent of Italians aware about which parties are running and with candidates allegedly forced to pay for access to TV shows.

The Radicals note that international watchdog Freedom House has degraded Italy from "free" to "partially free" in the area of press. Italian centre-right prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi is also being linked to a corporate lawyer accused of bribery and perjury.

by Fran on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 01:59:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It "gets ugly" because someone is trying to defends its rights against the Berlusconi media machine? Was it not ugly when Berlusconi captured all the media and used all the combined instruments of State and Mediavest to deny decent coverage to opponents?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:03:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Gloves come off in EU election campaigns
Spanish MEP Jaime Mayor Oreja, who tops the centre-right voting list in the country, has been forced to defend his work rate, saying he spends his time in Brussels crafting his party's internal strategy. According to registers, the deputy has not spoken in an EU plenary session since November 2007.
And he only did so to respond to a guest speech by Zapatero.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 05:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Mark Mardell's Euroblog

"Not Berlin! I want to avoid Berlin!" I hissed at my producer, who was on the phone to a colleague in the German capital, arranging a piece for later this week on the Greens' impact or otherwise on national and European politics.

This was not out of personal aversion towards Berlin: indeed it is probably my favourite European capital, at least of those unblessed by sunshine and the spirit of the South. It is stimulating, moving and lively. It is just that as a reporter I like to get outside the capital cities whenever possible.

There are many reasons why it is not always possible. They are where you find the main politicians, academics and think-tanks clustered together. It costs more and takes more time to get out of the big city.

by Fran on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 02:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interview with Dirk Verhofstadt, brother of the former prime minister.

nrc.nl - International - European elections 2009 - 'Europe risks becoming a footnote in history'

In the run-up to the European elections, what issues are being debated in Belgium?

"On Sunday June 7, the Belgium people will not only vote in European elections, but also in regional elections. Inevitably, the latter is getting the most attention. This dual vote clearly influences the campaigns being waged by the various candidates for the European parliament. We find that little attention is given to substance, to the most pressing issues in Europe, to the different conceptions of Europe. There is a strong movement that plays on fear and uncertainty among people about the outcome of the financial crisis. What will happen with my savings? Will I be able to keep my job? Can I keep up with my mortgage? But in the answers that politicians give, we clearly see an increase in nationalist and protectionist sentiments.

A key issue in European politics is market ideology, especially with the financial crisis. In Belgium, is there debate about whether the market ideology of Brussels needs to be amended?

"There is some discussion about market ideology, but this is certainly not a big topic. There is a widespread feeling that we have seen too much deregulation. But in my personal opinion, I think many people who voice this criticism wrongly equate liberalism with neo-liberalism. Adam Smith wrote that a market without regulations will not function correctly. What we need is more of this kind of liberalism, with a market that offers space for creativity, and with a social system that offers protection if things go wrong.

"Many people now understand that if you follow the neo-liberalist line and become a market fundamentalist, you will get the financial abuses that have come to light in the last months. Greed is an important factor in liberalist theory, and we should be able to control it by forcing people to accept the consequences if they insist on high risk-taking: you can win a lot, you can loose a lot."

by Nomad on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 05:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How common are his views in Belgium?  And is he involved directly in politics?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 11:30:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's almost funny. American Conservatives had switched from France to Belgium as an European caricature. For example,

Liberal Views, Belgian Brains (Jonah Goldberg, NRO)

by das monde on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:54:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You owe me five minutes of my life that I just wasted on that drivel.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's introduction to

Modern Conservative Intellectuals 101

I hope these comments will provide better reading 102.

by das monde on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure I even understand his point, other than Europeans and liberals are just fascists. I think he was trying to say that people who mock people who say the above are fascists themselves. Oh, and Europe is "liberal-fascistically" evil.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:08:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you do understand his point.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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