Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 6 June 2009

European Parliament elections - 6 Jun - day 3

Voting in the elections for the European Parliament is taking place today in 6 countries:

Cyprus
Czech Republic (*)
Italy (+)
Latvia
Malta
Slovakia


(*) Second day of voting in the Czech Republic.
(+) Voting continues tomorrow in Italy


Cyprus - The Cyprus News Agency has information about voter profiles and other relevant information here. Some facts about the Cyprus are in the European Parliament website here. Will the two parts of Cyprus ever be reunited? Despite the apparent willingness of the parties to talk, their genuine commitment to this eventuality is not clear - see here and here. The incentive for Cyprus (i.e. the southern 'Greek' part which is currently an EU member) to progress these talks is not all that great in my view - they already have what they want as I wrote at the time the country became an EU member, here and here. Should the divided Cyprus ever have been permitted to join the EU under the cobbled-together 'solution' of five years ago? I have no definite answer although I tend to believe the answer should have been 'no', but we are where we are.

Czech Republic - Read about voting in the Czech Republic here. Some facts about the Czech Republic are in the European Parliament website here. The Euronews website has updates about the voting in the Czech Republic here.

Italy - Like the Czech Republic, Italy holds its European Parliament elections over two days, although not the same two days. The country's parlous economic and unemployment situation, not to mention domestic political controversy involving the personal life of its Prime Minister are, together with worries about immigration, the hot topics of interest to Italian voters. Some facts about Italy are in the European Parliament website here.

Latvia - Latvia faces tough economic problems just now and its currency is decidedly weak; it's believed that the reprecussions could adversely affect other eastern European countries, too. The rise of the 'Russophone' parties, following the anti-Russian policies enacted soon after independence, is likely to change the political complexion of the country in the longer term, too. See also here. Some facts about Latvia are in the European Parliament website here.

Malta - The Times of Malta has some information about numbers of eligible voters in this tiny country. Some facts about Malta are in the European Parliament website here.

Slovakia - A survey in May indicated that Slovaks may once again be those least-interested in taking part in the European Parliament elections as only 12 per cent of voters indicated they were sure to vote. As in several other eastern European countries, hate-crimes against their gypsy population are a particular problem in Slovakia, 'whipped-up' by 'right-wing'(~) political parties. Some facts about Slovakia are in the European Parliament website here.

(~) Such parties are often characterised as 'right wing', but close examination of their policies usually reveals them to be, in actual fact, extreme 'left wing' political parties, however much the more moderate left wing parties object to such an analysis; the same considerations apply to some extremist political parties in western Europe (e.g. the BNP in the UK, or most notoriously the German National Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP) of the 1930s and the 1940s).

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