Posted by Netizen 24 Worldwide On 2:15 AM
Why Hungary and Poland are turning âilliberalâ
Viktor OrbÃ¡n, prime minister of Hungary, speaks at a political party conference in October 2012. Photo credit: European Peopleâs Party
Analysis: Western Europe has looked on with mounting bewilderment and exasperation over the past few years at the political trajectory of Hungary, Poland and several other former communist states. Countries that, since 1989, were committed to common European values, including liberal democracy, respect for human rights a nd the rule of law, are now implementing an altogether different political model. The perceived interests of the ânationâ are taking centre stage and governments are subject to far fewer checks and balances.
Hungaryâs prime minister, Viktor OrbÃ¡n, was once a fiery student leader and champion of liberalism. Now he preaches the virtues of âilliberal democracyâ. OrbÃ¡n routinely portrays himself as the defender of âChristian valuesâ that, in his view, are threatened by globalisation, mass immigration and the supposedly sinister machinations of international business leaders. George Soros, the Hungarian-born financier and philanthropist has become a particular target of baseless attacks.
In Poland, the ruling Law and Justice Party has assumed political control over state-funded radio and television. By July 2016, 164 journalists and news anchors had either resigned or been dismissed. In December 2017, the governmentâs continuing efforts to curb the indep endence of the judiciary prompted the EU Commission to formally declare that there is âa clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Polandâ.
In the same month, the EU launched infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary for failing to take appropriate steps to resettle limited numbers of asylum seekers, in accordance with decisions previously taken by member states.
Some months earlier, the European Court of Justice dismissed cases brought by Slovakia and Hungary in which the latter had sought to argue that the EUâs scheme for the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers was unlawful. In characteristically robust language, Hungaryâs serially undiplomatic foreign minister, PÃ©ter SzijjÃ¡rtÃ³, described the judgement as âoutrageous and irresponsibleâ.
A number of ex-communist states, particularly Hungary and Poland, have rejected an ideology founded on individualism, human rights, economic transparency and multicultu ralism. They are turning instead towards an alternative social, political and economic model in which the cultivation of âtraditional valuesâ and distinct national identities is of paramount ideological importance. The new model is also frequently characterised by widespread, often systematic corruption and an increasingly authoritarian political culture.
Winners and losers
The reasons for this shift lie both in the communist and pre-communist past. Following the collapse of communist governments in 1989, little thought seems to have been given to the troublesome historical baggage that these societies would have to contend with in effecting a successful transition to liberal democracy. There seems to have been an unspoken assumption that the removal of the communist apparatus of repression would be largely sufficient to allow western values, such as liberal democracy and respect for human rights, to flourish.
Yet, with the exception of the former Czechosl ovakia, there had been little sustained experience of genuine democracy in the region prior to the establishment of communist regimes following World War II. Even before the imposition of communism, Poland, Hungary and Romania, along with most other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, were heirs to a repressive and overwhelmingly authoritarian political culture.
This may go some way towards explaining the relative ease with which Hungaryâs Fidesz government, for example, has been able to undermine democratic checks and balances without eliciting more vigorous or sustained opposition from the general public. As the powers of Hungaryâs constitutional court were drastically curtailed and public broadcasting increasingly treated as a government mouthpiece, there was little real sense among ordinary voters of anything important having been lost.
Central and Eastern Europeâs predominant historical experience as victims, rather than beneficiaries, of colonialism m ay help to explain the regionâs resistance to admitting non-European asylum seekers. As identified by IstvÃ¡n BibÃ³ in The Misery of the Small States of Eastern Europe, published shortly after World War II, there is an enduring sense among the peoples of the region of having had to fight for independence and even for the preservation of national identities during a succession of alien occupations, whether Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian or Prussian.
This overwhelmingly traumatic historical experience has been compounded by almost a half century of Soviet domination as well as subjection to Nazi German tyranny during the Second World War. None of this has helped to foster openness to other cultures, let alone a willingness to embrace multiculturalism as experienced in many countries in Western Europe.
Economic factors, particularly the plight of many pensioners and of other economically vulnerable sections of central and eastern European societies, have also contributed t o the current political climate. The establishment of market economies in the region created clear winners and losers in countries such as Poland.
These societies are now far less egalitarian than under communism. While a new class of businessmen, lawyers and media personalities can indulge their taste for expensive foreign holidays and luxurious German automobiles, there is widespread poverty. In particular, residents of many rural areas and of towns and cities that have been ravaged by deindustrialisation are struggling.
As Jacques Rupnik, a former adviser to Czech president Vaclav Havel, recently observed: âthe âdecouplingâ of liberalism and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe has a lot to do with the post-1989 confusion, and indeed collusion, between political and economic liberalismâ. Rupnik poses the question: âDoes this explain why Central Europe travelled from (economic) neo-liberalism to (political) illiberalism?â
The answer, at least in part, must be âyesâ.
Stephen I Pogany, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Warwick.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Related newsEU launches sanctions procedure against Poland Minister welcomes ECJ ruling on Hungary & Poland Asselborn criticises Hungary & Poland Polish ambassador criticis es Lux. government Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland
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Philippines: Tropical Storm Tembin/Vinta - Rapid Assessment Report (January 2018)
08 Jan 2018 Philippines: Tropical Storm Tembin/Vinta - Rapid Assessment Report (January 2018) Reportfrom Save the Children Published on 05 Jan 2018 â" View Original Download PDF (1.93 MB)
Date(s) of Assessment: 28-31 December 2017
Name and Location of Site(s) Assessed:
Lanao del Sur, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
Lanao del Norte, Region X
On 20 December, the Low Pressure Area in northeast Mindanao, Philippines has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named by the Philippine state weather bureau as Vinta (with international name: Tembin). Vinta/Tembin intensified and has developed into a Tropical Storm category as it moved towards the landmass of Mindanao. It was reclassified into Severe Tropical Storm before making landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental at around 1:45am on 22 December. It traversed Mindanao and crossed provinces westward and exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 8am on 24 December.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that a total of 161,628 families or 767,994 persons were affected in 1,131 barangays/villages in eight regions.(1) As of 30 December 2017, the government is still validating the 163 reported deaths (64 in Region IX, 75 in Region X, and 24 in ARMM) and another 163 persons missing. Most of the dead and missing were reported in the hardest-hit provinces of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Norte. The provincial provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur declared the entire province under the state of calamity. Meanwhile, four municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte; one municipality in Zamboanga del Sur, one municipality in Zamboanga Sibugay, and three municipalities in Palawan declared their town under the state of calamity.
TS Tembin has dumped a massive amount of rainfall that triggered widespread flooding, flashfloods, and mudslide in provinces it crossed including the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte. The flashflood and mudslide swept away houses and belongings including learning essentials; caused heavy damage to schools, barangay halls, child development centers, and health centers; damaged water pipelines and water intake boxes; washed out agricultural crops such as corn, coconut, and rice; and instantly killed livestock such as cows, horses, and goats. Childrenâs behavior changed after typhoon â" they would cry after hearing heavy rainfall on the roof or howling winds, or ar e restless at night.
TS Tembin has triggered major needs on education, child protection, water, sanitation, and hygiene; food security and livelihood; and disaster preparedness at the school and community level. It is should be highlighted also that most of the schools affected in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte are schools hosting internally displaced children due to the Marawi City Conflict and Displacement. The challenging situation created by the conflict and displacement has become more challenging now that school facilities and equipment were damaged by TS Tembin.
Providing immediate assistance to the severely-affected schools and community would be life-saving and would lessen the risk of families to negative coping mechanism such as pulling out the children from schooling due to lack or absence of money, trafficking, child labor, recruitment to armed groups, or violence against children and women.
Save the Children can build on our existing humanita rian response to the Marawi Conflict and Displacement to make sure that children have access to education, protection, and development. Partnerships built between the Department of Education and civil society organizations can optimize the work we do for children.
From the areas surveyed, Munai and Salvador in Lanao del Norte; and Madalum, Madamba, and Bacolod Kalawi in Lanao del Sur province are being recommended for interventions on education, child protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), non-food items (NFIs), and food security and livelihood.
The recommendation is made on the basis of lack of access to immediate support due to impassable bridge and roads, scale and extent of damaged to schools and houses, number of affected families, and long-term needs of the affected schools and community to build their capacity and mitigate the impact of hazards in the future.
Primary countryPhilippines Tropical Cyclone Tembin - Dec 2017
- Food and Nutrition
- Logistics and Telecommunications
- Protection and Human Rights
- Shelter and Non-Food Items
- Water Sanitation Hygiene
- Land Slide
- Tropical Cyclone
ISL 2017-18: Delhi Dynamos' Miguel Angel Portugal rues individual mistakes and set-piece vulnerability
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ISL 2017-18: Delhi Dynamos' Miguel Angel Portugal rues individual mistakes and set-piece vulnerability
The coach of the beleaguered outfit felt that his system is working but individual mistakes have cost Delhi Dynamos...
Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal feels that his team's struggles in the Indian Super League (ISL) season is down to vulnerability in set-pieces and individual mistakes from his players.
The former Real Madrid player asserted that his methods are working but errors have let the team down.
"We have had two problems so far - in defence and in attack. We have had a lot of opportunities to score but we have not done so. We play well in midfield but the defence has a problem," he said ahead of Delhi Dynamos' away tie against Chennaiyin FC.
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"The problem in defence is our setpiece defending. Chennaiyin FC will try to exploit that weakness. But we will try to defend well. The teams have been scoring from our own mistakes rather than their skill.
"We are trying to rectify this situation."
The 62-year-old went on to defend his methods at the capital-based club and pointed out that silly errors have let the team down.
"It is a bad Christmas for me. It is not nice when you lose six matches on a trot. But I think the team played well during these games.
"I think our system is good and if our players play well, we will win. The success of the system depends on the players. If all players played well, you will win," re-asserted Portugal.Article continues below
He expressed hope that Delhi will put an end to their losing streak on Sunday against Chennaiyin FC and backed his players to come good.
"Chennaiyin are playing for the first position but we are going for a win. I think my team will play well and we have confidence in ourselves," he said. "Probably, we might bring in some different players (for the Sunday game).
"This game is a must-win for us after the losses. When you win five or six times, it is possible that you might win the next game. It is also possible that you might win the next game after losing five or six games."Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal
Posted by Netizen 24 Worldwide On 2:14 AM
President says Romania won't move embassy to Jerusalem
Romania wonât make any decision on moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until progress in the Middle East peace process is achieved, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Friday.
The two state officials talked about the status of Jerusalem and the recent UN resolution on the United Statesâ decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
The Israeli PM thanked Iohannis for Romaniaâs âabstainâ vote on the United Nationsâ resolution calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The resolution says that any decisions regarding the status of the city are ânull and voidâ and must be cancelled. It also urges UN member states to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
The resolution was approved by 128 states, with 35 absta ining and nine others voting against. Romania was among the countries that abstained.
Romaniaâs official position is that Jerusalem is a central theme in the peace negotiations and the cityâs status should be decided after a direct agreement is reached between the parties involved. Romania also considers that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs a durable solution by implementing the âtwo-state solutionâ, Israel and Palestine, which would coexist in peace. Palestineâs Embassy to Bucharest saluted the Romaniaâs position on this issue.
After US president Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, some Romanian politicians rushed to say that Romania should consider doing the same. Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), was one of them.
Media: Romania, among countries that could move embassies to Jerusalem
[email protected]Source: Google News Romania | Netizen 24 Romania
Posted by Netizen 24 Worldwide On 2:14 AM
Russia 'simulated full-scale war' against Nato, says military commander
Russian war games held last September âsimulated a large-scale military attack against Natoâ, the commander of the Estonian Defence Forces has claimed.
Riho Terras confirmed Natoâs fears that the Zapad (or âWestâ) exercises were used to simulate a conflict with the US-led alliance and show off Russiaâs ability to amass large numbers of troops at extremely short notice in the event of a conflict.
The drills â" which were held in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and its Kaliningrad outpost between 14 and 20 September last year â" depicted a fictional scenario concerned with attacks by militants, according to Russiaâs defence ministry.Royal Navy tracks Russian warship through North Sea on Christmas Day
But in an interview with Germanyâs top-selling newspaper, Bild, Mr Terras said: âLet me be clear: with the exercise Zapad 2017, Russia simulated a large-scale military attack against Nato.
âIt was not targeted towards the Baltic states only, as it was a theatre-wide series of exercises spanning from high North to the Black Sea.â
He added: âThe scale and extent of the entire exercise was far greater than officially stated.â
Instead of being a âpurely defensiveâ exercise, as Russia claimed, Zapad was used to simulate a âfull-scale conventional war against Nato in Europeâ, the newspaper previously reported, citing two analysts from a western intelligence service.
The report claimed the drills involved far more troops than the 12,700 that Russiaâs defence ministry claimed took part.
Another 12,000 Russian soldiers took part in exercises in regions ânear the Estonian bordersâ, and more than 10,000 in the area near the north of Finland and Norway, the sources said.
World news in pictures
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Under the Vienna document, a Cold War-era treaty that sets out rules for military exercises, war games numbering more than 13,000 troops should be open to observers who can fly over the drills and talk to soldiers. Nato sent one expert to a visitor day in Russia and two to a visitor day in Belarus.
The intelligence analysts also told the paper the drill rehearsed a âshock campaignâ against Nato countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, but also Poland and the non-Nato states of Sweden and Finland.
It practised âneutralising or taking under control air fields and harboursâ in the Baltic states, as well as simulating bombings of âcritical infrastructureâ such as âair fields, harbours, energy suppliesâ in western Europe.
âThe num ber of troops participating in the exercises significantly exceeded the number announced before the exercise â" the scenario was a different one and the geographical scope was larger than previously announced,â Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said at the time.
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