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News from across Europe

NATO activating its response force, for the first time in its history.


A couple of excerpts from the above:

View attachment 381936

View attachment 381937

* mods* does it make sense to give the Ukrainian invasion its own thread at this point?
I'm getting an Error 404 with your link
 
I'm getting an Error 404 with your link

I found a new link, which I am posting here, (it works for now)

I will also edit the original post:

 
Macron has lost his parliamentary majority in the French elections.

He still has a plurality, but would require at least 44 additional reliable votes to get anything passed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61859881

Macron's team seems quite unhappy, with some calling the fragmentation of the legislature unprecedented.

His closest ideological partners would be the UDI (republicans) which would be France's traditional, mainstream right-wing party.

They have 64 members. However, that party's leader seems to have a very strong animus towards Macron.

After that, you could look to the NUPES; which is a coalition of the traditional Socialist Party in France, along with the Greens and a few others.
They have over 120 members. But they are certainly not ideological traveling companions of Macron.

After that you have the 'far right' who I assume/hope Macron wouldn't touch and then a smattering of smaller groups.
 
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France has more problems.............they have a rather similar issue to California.............an increasing shortage of freshwater across many regions.

France is now in the midst of its longest and most severe drought since record-keeping began in 1958.

Rainfall was 84% below normal in July of this year, which makes it the second driest month (of any month) since 1958.


How serious is it? From the article:

1659722587726.png


and

1659722622220.png
 
France has more problems.............they have a rather similar issue to California.............an increasing shortage of freshwater across many regions.

France is now in the midst of its longest and most severe drought since record-keeping began in 1958.

Rainfall was 84% below normal in July of this year, which makes it the second driest month (of any month) since 1958.


How serious is it? From the article:

View attachment 418230

and

View attachment 418231

You know.. if all these droughts keep happening we may not need to worry about the melting of the polar ice caps as much. The drop in water levels across the globe due to drought would likely be balanced out by the arctic ice melting.

That being said, I am not saying climate change is a good thing.
 
You know.. if all these droughts keep happening we may not need to worry about the melting of the polar ice caps as much. The drop in water levels across the globe due to drought would likely be balanced out by the arctic ice melting.

That being said, I am not saying climate change is a good thing.

Its a good deal more complex than that; you have to consider where the water is on Earth vs where the people are; at what elevation, and at what level of salinity and the attendant impacts of that on drinking-water supply for humans, animals and plants alike, as well as the sustainability of seafood.

Beyond all that subject to impacts on temperatures, the atmosphere may hold greater moisture and may exhibit greater volatility.
 
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France's heatwave and attendant water shortages continue to worsen.

Aside from significant declines in agricultural production and water restrictions affecting much of the nation...............well........

Have a look at the Loire River.... France's longest river.....

View attachment 419567

From: https://www.thelocal.fr/20220811/in-pictures-french-drought-intensifies-loire-dries-up/

The Rhine is almost dried up too.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-to-crisis-level-as-europe-thirsts-for-energy

This could have a knock-off next year as well. Most of the snow and ice melts from the Alps drains into the rivers in the spring. If they are already this low, there is a good chance they won't be as high next year.

It's a shame really, I recall in 2006 when I went to Hungary the Danube was flooding in Budapest. There was so much water it burst the banks, it was almost a regular occurrence there. In recent years, the Danube has not overflowed as regularly.

I think it was 2003 when my Grandmother went back, that the Danube was extremely low in Budapest. They actually found WW2 vehicles, bombs and other relics of the Siege of Budapest there. They even found parts of the old bridges that the Nazis blew up!
 
Italy is heading into elections on Sept 25th.

As polls currently stand, Italy seems likely to pick its first female PM; but hold the progressive cheers..........she leads a formerly openly-fascist party on the right.


From the article:

1663053097281.png
 
The economic problems of Europe, exacerbated by the energy crisis, are only going to make all of this worse.
 
Italy just elected their first far-right leader since Mussolini. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.



There is a general trend towards 'outsiders' and 'strong men' in much of Europe.

This is unfortunate, if predictable.

We've seen this in France, the U.K, Hungary, Poland and more.

In respect of Italy it has some comparatively unique problems all its own.

Its financial picture is problematic, both for the state and its banking sector; its demographically challenged, its had a long history of short-lived, unstable governments...........

Its also got a very distinct north-south dichotomy. The north is Italy's traditional heavy industry and productive economic power. It was never Germany, but this 1/2 of the country has generated much of Italy's wealth and rising standard of living post WWII.

Meanwhile, the south of Italy feels much as did decades ago, relatively smaller population centres, more agrarian and small-scale business based vs heavy industry/commerce, and is, effectively a net drag on Italy's economic performance.

The south feels a lot like Greece did 15 years ago......too many retirees, early retirees and people who aren't all that busy........very reliant on state support.

This creates a very real friction between north and south in Italy contributing to its problems w/stable government.

Italy is also beset by levels of overt corruption that just would not be tolerated in contemporary Canadian society. We have plenty of corruption here, but very little is of the overt, here's a bribe to the tax inspector variety, where in Italy these types of things remain common.


Between that and successive governments unwilling or unable to tackle the country's challenges with frank honesty.

From addressing corruption, to modernizing the south, to better accepting immigration to raising retirement age, Italy has managed to avoid or band-aid more problems than it has solved.

****

Important to say, much of the above was true 30 years ago, but when Europe as a whole was on the rise, as was 'The West', a lot of structural problems were masked by relative prosperity.

Too low a retirement age doesn't hurt when the population is relatively young; but the pain grows as the population ages; and the age of 5% annualized growth largely passes.

Canada has some of the same issues as Europe (as does the U.S.) successive governments have favoured big business and global trade at the expense of their workforces and populations, particularly the lower-skilled.

The distinction in the U.S. and Canada has largely been greater acceptance of immigrants has offset some of the demographic challenges, and economies that were a bit leaner to begin with have been somewhat more adaptable than those of southern Europe in particular.

But we too have increasingly restive parts of our population who are struggling and we must be mindful to address this before it becomes a larger problem.
 
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Meanwhile, in Germany............

An apparent coup plot and raids and arrests involving 3,000 police.

 


Been keeping an eye on this one for a while as I believe there is a concerted Russian effort to stir up trouble elsewhere in Europe. Serbia would of course get obliterated by NATO again and neither side really wants a conflict. Nevertheless, nationalism and the need to avoid appearing weak can always lead to unintended consequences and escalation.
 

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