After the first round of voting last Sunday, the French electorate decided to send independent candidate Emmanuel Macron (23.8 percent) and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen (21.6 percent) to the next round of voting on May 7th.
Opponents of Le Pen’s radical policies are now calling for a gathering of the so-called “Front Républicain,” the Republican Front.
Inspired by the name of Le Pen’s National Front, the Republican Front gathers those who reject the rampant nationalist positions of the French far-right, which they consider contrary to the “Republican spirit.”
While not an established party in itself, the Republican Front represents a coalition of different parties in the République against a particularly unpopular candidate like Marine Le Pen.
Continue reading in FEE
In about two years, the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union, and commentators around the continent are speculating about which country will be next. In Western Europe eyes are on France and the Netherlands, as both have strong Euroskeptic movements, bolstered by anti-immigration parties. But to identify the larger but creeping threat to the EU, you need to look east.
One country facing a rising tide of Euroskepticism is the Czech Republic. Anti-immigration sentiment has surged in the Central European state ever since it joined the EU in 2004.
About two thirds of Czech people oppose taking in refugees, and a 2015 poll found that 94 percent favor closing the borders completely. Czech politicians have capitalized on these sentiments, with a growing number of politicians running under an “anti-immigration” banner.
Continue reading in Newsweek
Since January 2017, France requires all cigarette packs to be sold in plain packaging — they all come in the same green-ish colour, only a neutral font lets the consumer identify the different brands. The government’s anti-tobacco fanaticism costs the taxpayer a fortune.
It sounded a bit like Paris had Stockholm Syndrome when the papers announced “the government is buying 100 million euros worth of cigarettes off of French tobacconists”. These coloured packs which were delivered to the tobacconists before the law and make a up a total amount of 15 million packs of cigarettes, or a 36-hour tobacco consumption of the entire country. With a total weight of 250 tons, an astounding number of old, coloured packs, complete with brand name, will be prohibited soon.
Read more at Freedom Today Network
“F**k it, we’ll do it live!”
Bill O’Reilly’s iconic moment as a peeved host of “Inside Edition,” mixed with his more recent habit of dominating the ratings at Fox News, seem unusual in Europe. Here, TV, especially shows about politics and culture, attempts to maintain a facade of earnestness. Apart from the UK’s “Prime Minister’s Questions,” the weekly shouty session of witty jokes and sassy remarks between the government and the opposition, European politics is usually something you skip on the channels. Even diehard fans of the spotlight are unable to avoid yawning at the banality of political “entertainment.”
The reason for this is simple: many stations are publicly owned, and those that aren’t still tend to remain apolitical. In Germany, privately owned TV stations have only existed since 1984, with state-owned channels ARD and ZDF covering almost the entirety of political news broadcasting. Public stations make up 45 percent of the market there. In France, among the top five stations, two (23.1 percent of the market share) are owned publicly, while three (34.5 percent of the market share) are in private hands
Continue reading at RARE Politics
Risen eyebrows, perplexed faces: some visitors at The Society Club on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch, London looked slightly confused at the sight of the city’s very first Nanny Store on April 20. For one day only, the student group Students for Liberty and the Consumer Choice Center took on themselves to ridicule the creeping interventionist nature of what is often referred to as the Nanny State: the overregulation of people’s habits.
Chocolate bars, cans of soda, crisps: all plain packaged and covered in warning labels such as “Chocolate seriously increases your risk of obesity,” the products sold at the student’s Nanny Store surely come off as patronizing. “I wouldn’t want to live in country where this would be real,” says one customer.
“It was our goal to start the Nanny State Store in London to mock the increasing level of lifestyle regulations being passed by all levels of government. Students For Liberty has done this successfully around the world, and we wanted to bring the fight to the UK,” says Alex Christakou, local coordinator with Students For Liberty
Read more at the Daily Caller