In the German federal elections of 2017, the far-right AFD became the third strongest force in German politics, with 12.6% of the vote. The far-left Linke clocked in at 9.5% which was a slight improvement to their 2013 result.
The scandal surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica once again raised serious concerns about data security and the legitimacy of political campaign practices. In the midst of heated discussion and requests for something to be done, the greatest question remains whether any law or political initiative has the capacity to effectively curb the power of data and social media companies.
While the Skripal case is still shrouded in mystery, its aftermath has rallied Britain behind the prime minister Theresa May, whose mandate has been rocky and controversial ever since Brexit took off in 2016. Although the scandal might lead to more pro-EU politics in the country, leaving PM with wider maneuvering space in domestic political arena, it is also setting up a new trap for troubled British leader, exposing the UK’s diplomatic weakness on the international scene.
After five months of talks between the parties of Germany, a governing coalition has finally been agreed upon — another grand compromise between the two largest forces in German politics, the Social Democratic SPD and the Christian Democratic CDU. The election in September 2017 dealt catastrophic losses to both of these parties, thereby apparently sending a clear signal that the policies of the previous grand coalition of SPD and CDU were no longer wanted.
A long-running dispute at Haringey Council over a large-scale private housing development, the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), has ended with the resignation of Labour’s highest-ranking female councillor, Claire Kober. Kober’s political lineage extends back to the New Labour years. The HDV is highly reminiscent of a Blair/Brown-era Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal, with the council selling off 1,400 homes to private developer Lendlease for £2 billion, who plan to build 6,400 new homes, the vast majority of which will be sold on the open market.
Last week, as the world was marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, the governments of Poland and Israel found themselves in the middle of a diplomatic row. The night before the memorial of one of the worst crimes in the history, the strongest Polish political party, Law and Justice (PiS), approved a controversial law banning the definition of Auschwitz and Birkenau as “Polish concentration camps.”
Theresa May has been forced to make a public response to growing speculation that unrest within the Conservative Party will bring about a vote of no confidence in the near future. The prime minister arrived in China and told journalists that she is “not a quitter” and will go on to fight in the next general election, in 2022. Her comments come after a number of recent public statements from MPs expressing varying degrees of doubt over her leadership of the party.
Figures released recently show that up to 100,000 patients have been left waiting in ambulances outside hospitals for at least half an hour so far this winter in Britain, due to overcrowding in A&E departments, with many among them waiting over an hour. Following the cancellation of thousands of non-urgent operations earlier this month, these figures highlight the extent of the problems faced by the National Health Service. Though winter is typically the most testing time of year for the NHS, the scale of this years’ issues has been largely unprecedented.
At least 300,000 people attended the rally in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to protest the deal that would resolve a 26-year-old conflict between Athens and Skopje: does Macedonia have the right to use the name of a Greek province in its official country name? Greek and Macedonian officials are in intense negotiations, mediated by the United Nations, and the possible breakthrough comes at a time of geopolitical storm in the Balkan region.