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 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 

by Fran on Fri May 15th, 2009 at 11:04:37 AM EST
EP09: Challenging "I ain't bothered" « Vive l'Europe
The world is confronted with three crises: The economic crisis; the energy crisis; and the impact of climate change. All are intertwined and their caurse and effects are reciprocal, according to Jeremy Rifkin, the American author of The European Dream. Recently in Prague he passed a stark message that we must take on the move towards a low carbon society within the next decade or risk "the end of civilization as we know it".
So challenges are enormous and it falls within the remit of the next European Parliament to deal with a fair share of them. Against such a back drop, why is the sentiment I ain't bothered leading in the polls prior to the 5-7 June vote?
by Fran on Fri May 15th, 2009 at 11:25:30 AM EST
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A Northern Perspective » Blog Archive » Not helpful

In an interview with the Swedish Daily Dagens Industri, the Swedish Prime Minister Mr. Reinfeldt says (my translation) that "the voters are rational, they realize that the EU election is not (as) decisive for their everyday life and for the future." He continues to say that there is a "tremendous difference" between national parliamentary elections and elections to the EP since the EP "has no influence on formation of government or influence" [?]

This is a remarkable statement from the leader of the country that is next in turn for the Presidency. The Czech Presidency was an unmitigated disaster.  The statement by the Swedish Prime Minister makes us wonder if the Swedish one will be any better.  And does he really believe that the EP "is not (as) decisive for [the voters' ] everyday life and for the future"? At best this is irresponsible, at worst it reflects a tremendous lack of understanding of how the EU works.

by Fran on Fri May 15th, 2009 at 11:28:13 AM EST
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EUobserver / Slovakia struggles to avoid lowest EU vote turn-out again

EUOBSERVER / BRATISLAVA - An African-born singer, a fitness trainer and an ex-hockey star MEP are trying to scoop Slovak votes in the upcoming elections, while officials struggle to prevent a repeat of 2004, when Slovakia had the lowest turn-out ever recorded in the EU assembly's history.

"Many Slovaks know me as a comedian but they do not know that I speak six languages and graduated from university," is Ibrahim Maiga's reply to widespread incredulity over his election bid with a minor, left-wing party.

Voting: does optimism or cynicism motivate Slovak absentees?

Now a Slovak citizen commonly known as "Ibi," he was born in Mali and came to the former Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s as a university student, before quickly becoming famous as a singer and actor.

Ibi says that if he is elected, Slovakia - often criticised in Brussels for its testy relations with Hungary and its treatment of Hungarian and Roma minorities - would prove "its citizens are neither nationalists nor racists."

by Fran on Fri May 15th, 2009 at 11:54:55 AM EST
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