Germany has been a rare success story in Europe. The lesson? Resist populism, move fast — and spend big.
After the apocalyptic scenes of bushfires in Australia – more evidence, according to one historian, we’ve entered the Pyrocene, the “Age of Fire” – flash flooding has come to parts of the country’s east and west coasts. Byron Bay, a popular holiday destination about 750 kilometres north of Sydney, got almost 300 millimetres of rain in 24 hours.
The passion of old green radicalism and the pragmatism of contemporary, inclusive German politics could help Europe find a way to face the problem of climate change.
Indian-American pianist Vijay Iyer on a Michael Jackson classic
From Polish film-maker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Bleu.”
Eclectic Afro-American trumpeter, band leader, Miles Davis — “Spanish Key”
Afro-American pianist, Robert Glasper, live at the Blue Note, Milano
From Taiwanese film-maker Hou Hsiao-hsien
From Russian film-maker, Andrei Tarkovsky — fire scene from “The Mirror”. The sequence of long shots depicting the burning house. Pay attention to the use of natural elements, and how they interact – water and fire.
Franco-Flemish Belgian singer, Axelle Red
The Great Fire: Richard Ford in Conversation with Australian novelist Shirley Hazzard
The growing success of Alternative for Germany is not only a result of Angela Merkel’s compassionate response to the migrant crisis, but old east-west wounds that are yet to heal
The European migration battle reminds us that “should” is a word we probably shouldn’t use in politics and government. It tends to be a reality denier. Long before the current European political crisis, with Bavaria’s CSU party this week bringing coalition government in Germany to the verge of collapse, the rest of Europe should have better helped Germany with the wave of a million refugees that arrived here in 2015-16.
Is Angela Merkel the master coalition builder? Or perhaps the conservative German Chancellor is just the luckiest politician in Europe at the moment.
Exhaustive media coverage of Donald Trump’s large, highly selective tax cut has highlighted a regrettable aspect of the Paradise Papers, which detailed how some of the planet’s richest individuals and companies avoided payment of billions of dollars in tax by using offshore tax havens.
With the consequences becoming clearer, the Brexit brain-buster must be sewing the seeds of doubt among some monarchist Australians, including those former Prime Ministers who variously backed and congratulated the Brits for choosing to go it alone in last year’s Brexit referendum.
Perhaps the biggest international lesson to be drawn from the German election results is that many liberals, reformists and conservatives — so people from across the political spectrum — should be modifying their discourse on Germany, its chancellor and above all, populism.
With Germany facing elections on September 24, here’s a clue to the nation as it is, how it’s travelling, adapting – its fit in the world, when the most powerful and oldest democracies, the United States and Britain, have taken a resolutely populist turn. With a 13– to 17-percentage-point lead in opinion polling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opened national borders to a staggering one-million refugees, looks set to be re-elected for a fourth consecutive term.
The shorthand on June parliamentary elections in Europe looks like this: newly-elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, 350 seats; British prime minister, Theresa May, minus 12 seats.
Does the French presidential election, after the American one, confirm Friedrich Nietzsche’s assertion that “every profound spirit needs a mask”? The shallow spirit, by contrast, is usually plain to see and can be found on American reality television.