Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bjinse on Sat Oct 14th, 2017 at 08:02:34 PM EST
The Finnish Model - Foreign Affairs

Each year, several of Finland's top athletes join the Finnish Defence Forces as conscripts. So do music stars, who could similarly try to be exempted. Though the FDF--like most armed forces--exempts would-be conscripts only for health-related reasons, in many countries young men fake illnesses in order to avoid service. And young star athletes and artists would, one might think, have a good reason to avoid the draft, as their careers could suffer irreparably from a year away from the limelight. (Next year's cohort of conscripts will include one of the country's biggest pop stars, Robin, who will enter the navy.)

Indeed, as Granlund's and Robin's enlistments show, the FDF has managed a feat that other armed forces could learn from: it has made itself an attractive destination for conscripts and professional troops alike. This helps explain why the armed forces routinely have more applicants than openings for noncommissioned officer positions. According to a May Eurobarometer poll, 95 percent of Finns trust their army, a higher rate than anywhere else in the European Union. (In Germany, 66 percent trust the army; across the EU, the average is 75 percent.)

Granlund and many other Finns may consider conscription a patriotic duty, but militaries cannot count on citizens' love of country to fill their ranks. Consider the case of Russia: even though a June poll found that 87 percent of the country's citizens support President Vladimir Putin's handling of foreign affairs, only around 37 percent of its young men perform military service, which in theory is mandatory for everyone.

The appeal of Finland's military extends beyond patriotism and depends partly on its willingness to listen to its soldiers. In 2002, the FDF introduced a system that tracks and evaluates soldiers' and officers' experiences. "It has changed how we treat our soldiers and how soldiers view the FDF," said Brigadier General Jukka Sonninen, the FDF's head of training.

by Bjinse on Sat Oct 14th, 2017 at 08:06:40 PM EST
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Macron seeks to disrupt European politics ahead of 2019 EU elections - Euractiv
Coalition or solo ride? After Macron's tour of France, the upcoming European parliamentary elections in 2019 have provided a new impetus to REM, the president's party.

This vote takes places every five years in all countries of the bloc. And since 1976, three large parties or "groups", as they're called in Brussels, dominate the assembly: the European People's Party (EPP), the European Socialist & Democratic party (S&D), and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

The latter, closer to Macron's REM, hasn't received any formal application from REM.

"Formally, they haven't yet become part of any European group," said Didrik de Schaetzen, communication director for ALDE.

On paper, political relations are quite real: Macron is close to Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel and his Luxembourg counterpart, Xavier Bettel - whose parties are both affiliated with ALDE.

During the presidential campaign, REM's alliance with centrist political party MODEM - itself a member of ALDE group - had strengthened the links between Macron and Guy Verhofstadt's group.

But the affiliation is far from certain. "Regarding ALDE, [affiliation] will not happen automatically. We are more progressive than liberal. We want to speak with everyone," said Arnaud Leroy, one of REM's directors.

"For the 2019 elections, we want to disrupt the European political game like we did in France. We are more inclined towards creating something ex nihilo," he explained.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 12:09:28 PM EST
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"We are more progressive than liberal", which is why we are busy totally dismantling workers' rights, reducing tax on wealthiest people and bending backwards to get mega bankers to come.

Truly in up is down territory.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 08:13:25 AM EST
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Like Hollande was the French Zapatero (look at what they did to the PS on both sides of the Pyrenees), Macron is apparently aiming at the French Blair position; not a reassuring thought.
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 06:48:47 PM EST
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Der Standard
Auch nach der Auszählung der Stimmkarten bleibt Tirol bei einem "Nein" für eine Bewerbung für Olympische Winterspiele 2026. Das Ergebnis habe sich durch die 29.030 ausgezählten Stimmkarten nur geringfügig geändert und liege jetzt bei 46,75 Prozent für "Ja" und 53,25 für "Nein" (zuvor: 46,65 "Ja" und 53,35 "Nein"), teilte Landeswahlleiter Josef Liener das vorläufige Endergebnis am Montag mit. - derstandard.at/2000066054063/Tiroler-Klein-Gemeinden-fuer-Winterspiele-2026.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 07:19:45 AM EST
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The Independent
Britain should engage its 'Blitz spirit' for the Brexit process and "stay calm and carry on" despite challenges ahead, a leading economist has said.

Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said there was a "bumpy road ahead" but urged Britain to remember Winston Churchill and government efforts to raise morale during the Second World War.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 04:22:04 PM EST
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It's always WWII and Churchill with these people.

But, of course, it was the working classes who suffered and starved during WWII. Food in restaurants was carefully kept off ration, and so the well off could feast well every night. The land owners, or at least the grandsons of the ones from WWII, have no memory of struggle or privation. that was what poor people were for.

Let there be no mistake. WWII was shit for the working classes, those who weren't put in harm's way were over-worked and starved. Their homes were bombed and not replaced for over a decade.

the 50s were a miserable time of economic mis-management as the relics of Empire clung pointlessly and expensively to their fading dreams of past glory. Huge opportunities in re-building civil infrastructure were squandered as we retained a military to manage empire even as it melted away and then chased the chimera of standing militarily co-equal with USA and USSR.

And now, the f..wits, having wasted every opportunity handed them for the last 70 years, they want to go back and rattle the bones yet again. History repeats, once as tragedy, the second time as farce. But what happens at the 3rd and 4th time of asking?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 07:38:54 PM EST
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With the rich in control, what else would you expect in a psaudo-democracy?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 03:16:56 PM EST
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Some call it "meme."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Oct 21st, 2017 at 03:47:23 PM EST
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Christian Lindner: CDU must not get the finance ministry - Politico
The leader of Germany's Free Democrats (FDP), Christian Lindner, said he does not want Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble's conservative CDU party to head the finance ministry again.

Lindner said in an interview published Tuesday he would be on board with a new finance minister from the Green party, his own party, or even Merkel's sister party, the CSU.

"Anything would be better than keeping the chancellery and the finance ministry in the hands of the CDU," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

He added that the combination of Schäuble as finance minister and Merkel as chancellor for the past eight years has not "proven to be successful."

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 07:51:58 PM EST
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Der mutmaßliche Schweizer Spion Daniel M. kommt im Prozess um das Ausspähen der nordrhein-westfälischen Steuerbehörden voraussichtlich mit einer Bewährungsstrafe davon. Dafür muss der 54-Jährige aber ein umfassendes Geständnis ablegen und detailliert schildern, was mit zehntausenden Euro geschah, die er für die ihm vorgeworfene Spionagetätigkeit erhalten haben soll. ,,Oberste Bedingung sind glaubhafte Angaben", sagte der Vorsitzende Richter am Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt, Josef Bill, am Mittwoch. Dann könne er mit einer Bewährungsstrafe von anderthalb bis zwei Jahren sowie einer Geldauflage davonkommen. Die Höchststrafe für die M. vorgeworfene geheimdienstliche Tätigkeit beträgt fünf Jahre Gefängnis
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 03:02:32 PM EST
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The EMF is back. I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined 2012.

"the most sceptic countries"? Ouch!
Toes of the EP are back in the spotlight, too. Note also the roll call inset, true to heritage language "accountability".
Finally the European Prosecutor's Office Is Born

The regulation was also made possible with the obligatory consent of the European Parliament, where 456 voted in favour, 115 against and 60 abstained.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 21st, 2017 at 07:38:43 PM EST
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