In a recent address to scores of enthusiastic fans at his huge palace in Ankara, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared himself ‘shepherd’ of the nation, citing in Arabic from the Prophet of Islam. For Erdogan’s ardent supporters, Turkey is a rising Muslim powerhouse under his strong leadership. Ankara’s traditional alliance with the West is only an impediment to Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman expansionism abroad and sultan-type dominance at home.
On November 13, the Republic of Moldova, a member of the EaP (EU’s Eastern Partnership), and EU member state Bulgaria held final second round presidential elections, with Russia-friendly candidates emerging victorious in both instances.
In this important book, “If it is midnight in Europe,” published in French, Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs since 2014, anticipates the ways by which Europe will avoid being destroyed by various waves of nationalism and populism in its member countries. He warns against undermining the European project and conveys a sense of urgency.
Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has produced worldwide bewilderment. Some of this may prove justified, depending on how Trump performs. But in part it is a reaction to the way we Americans conduct our election campaigns – the oceans of money, the media’s overweening role and the tested and proved tactics of “going negative”.
A week after Donald Trump’s upset victory, U.S. President Barack Obama is traveling to Greece, in the first stop of his last European trip of his Presidency. During his largely symbolic visit, President Obama is planning to deliver a legacy speech from the birthplace of democracy. He is expected to make an impassioned case for the merits of democracy, European unity and security, and regional stability; at a time when all three are being tested by the rise of extremist parties and rhetoric. Although he is expected to repeat these themes during his second stop in Germany, given that Greece is faced with the extra challenges of a debilitating economic crisis and an historic influx of migrants and refugees, President Obama’s stop in Athens is a particularly welcome sign of support to the country.
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