France's Baupin sexual harassment case leaves bitter taste

  • 10 May 2016
Denis Baupin attending a session of questions to the government at the French National Assembly in Paris (December 2015) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Denis Baupin is married to French Housing Minister Emmanuelle Cosse

Hard not to feel depressed and disenchanted by the allegations of sexual harassment now swirling around Denis Baupin, the deputy speaker of the French assembly who resigned on Monday.

Depressed because it appears to be proof once again of the sexual arrogance of so many French males, especially in politics. If you thought that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Socialist presidential hopeful brought down by a string of sex scandals, represented a dying breed, then you may have to think again.

Disenchanted because, whatever the facts in the case, there are serious questions about how and why the affair has suddenly come to light.

The French Greens, or to give their full name Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV), are a party divided on just about every issue that affects them.


Allegations against Denis Baupin

'Sexual harassment' politician quits in France


Read full article France's Baupin sexual harassment case leaves bitter taste

Poland in row with historians over landmark war museum

  • 5 May 2016
Architectural visualisation shows how the World War Two Museum in Gdansk, Poland, is projected to look after its completion Image copyright AP
Image caption The museum is still being built, and is scheduled to open early in 2017 (Pic: computer visualisation)

Nearly 200 North American and European historians and other academics have written in protest against a plan by Poland's conservative government to abandon a new World War Two museum because of its global perspective on the war.

The government wants the events of 1939-45 to be presented from a narrower Polish perspective.

Read full article Poland in row with historians over landmark war museum

Migrant crisis: Has EU found solution for flawed asylum rule?

  • 5 May 2016
Migrants disembark from their boat on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey. File photo Image copyright AP
Image caption Greece has been struggling to accommodate many thousands of migrants arriving from Turkey

Since the start of the migration crisis, the flaws in the EU's asylum policy have been exposed and heavily criticised.

The problem has been a mechanism known as the Dublin Regulation, which dictates that refugees seek asylum in the first EU country they enter.

Read full article Migrant crisis: Has EU found solution for flawed asylum rule?

Brussels attacks: Why Europe missed warning signs

  • 24 March 2016
Soldiers check a vehicle entering Brussels airport (24 March 2016) Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Brussels bombings exposed the vulnerability of publicly accessible places in airports, metro stations and other transport hubs

Europe now knows it is facing a network of inter-linked cells of violent extremists on a scale it has never had to deal with before.

"It is more extensive perhaps than we first feared," admitted Europol Director Rob Wainwright, in an interview with the BBC.

Read full article Brussels attacks: Why Europe missed warning signs

EU-Turkey migrant deal: A Herculean task

  • 18 March 2016
A toddler of a migrant family holds a baby bottle with milk at a makeshift camp in Idomeni, Greece. Photo: 18 March 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption Thousands of migrants are currently living in a makeshift camp in Idomeni, Greece, in squalid conditions

A deal has been done, but - in the words of Jean-Claude Juncker - implementing it will be a Herculean task.

"It is the biggest challenge the EU has ever faced," he said.

Read full article EU-Turkey migrant deal: A Herculean task

French Socialist government's rifts laid bare by Aubry attack

  • 26 February 2016
Martine Aubry and Francois Hollande Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lille Mayor Martine Aubry has been annoyed by several policies of President Hollande's government

"Sometimes there are truths which are disagreeable to articulate, but the time has come. Enough is enough."

So begins a devastating attack published in Le Monde this week against the government of President Francois Hollande.

Read full article French Socialist government's rifts laid bare by Aubry attack

Greeks stage 'necktie revolt' in fight for their pensions

  • 5 February 2016
Strikers in Athens Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Greece's main private and public trade unions joined the strike over the government's pension plans

Much of Greece ground to a halt on Thursday in a general strike billed the biggest yet by trade union leaders.

Schools stayed closed, some hospitals were reduced to emergency services and public transport only functioned to bring people to and from protest actions.

Read full article Greeks stage 'necktie revolt' in fight for their pensions

German leader Seehofer's Putin visit stokes outcry in Berlin

  • 4 February 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin (r) receives Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer (L) at his Nowo-Ogariowo residence near Moscow, Russia (3 Feb) Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Bavarian premier (L) said he hoped to add a little confidence and normality to a "difficult political climate"

One of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's key political allies has ruffled feathers at home by meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence in Moscow.

Amid fears that the Russian leader is seeking to destabilise the European Union, the visit of Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer, known for his hardline stance on refugees and international sanctions, could do more to undermine rather than boost the Berlin government.

Read full article German leader Seehofer's Putin visit stokes outcry in Berlin

Is EU's Schengen border-free dream at an end?

  • 27 January 2016
Migrants walk through thick mud as they cross the Macedonia-Serbia border in the southern Serbia (27 January 2016) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Countries that have seen the most arrivals do not want numbers to soar again this year

The ability of Europeans to travel freely the length and breadth of their continent, from Bordeaux to Bratislava, Stockholm to Sicily, has been hailed as "Europe's biggest achievement". But is it an achievement in peril?

No matter whether it's for work or pleasure, study or sunshine, whether it's people or products flowing east and west, north and south, freedom of movement is the lifeblood of Europe's union.

Read full article Is EU's Schengen border-free dream at an end?

Russia steps into Berlin 'rape' storm claiming German cover-up

  • 27 January 2016
Demonstrators outside the German chancellery in Berlin (23 January 2016) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Demonstrators held placards saying "our children are in danger" outside the chancellor's office on Saturday

The alleged rape of a 13-year-old Russian-speaking girl in Berlin, supposedly by asylum-seekers, has fuelled anti-migrant protests from Germany's large Russian community.

But the outrage was sparked by Russia's media propaganda machine. And now the Kremlin is stepping in.

Read full article Russia steps into Berlin 'rape' storm claiming German cover-up