This week we discuss Spain’s love of standing on rakes, politically speaking. The first snap election of the year has been called and boy howdy is it terrible. Also, do we have some nonsense for you?

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Nonsense Section

So the “EU copyright directive” is going to a final parliament vote - www.theverge.com

As usual Julia Reda sums up the current state more succinctly than I could - thejuliareda.eu

According to Bernd Riegert at DW these aren’t so bad (www.dw.com )

“In Russia, China, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, to name just a few countries, many forms of content are blocked by the state, and users are also partially monitored online. Compared to this, the EU’s attempts to protect copyrighted material seem rather modest.”

Yeah…

This opinion seems to stem from a misunderstanding of how the current system doesn’t work. Content ID from YouTube already incorrectly flags up non copyrightable material as infringement. Don’t get me started on the female nipple bans. Upload filters are not moving the responsibility from the “users” to the platforms. It’s making sure the platforms are more restrictive places for their users for the vampire like copyright controlling industries.

Coming soon, French Ambassador to Italy

Apparently a week and a bit is enough to teach those pesky Italians a lesson (www.politico.eu )

French foreign minister: “the return of our ambassador will be done very soon.”

Orban’s thoughts on fucking

Hungary’s populist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has promised that women who have four or more children will never pay income tax again, in a move aimed at boosting the country’s population.

“In all of Europe there are fewer and fewer children, and the answer of the west to this is migration,” said Orbán in his annual state of the nation address on Sunday. “They want as many migrants to enter as there are missing kids, so that the numbers will add up. We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender.”

www.theguardian.com

Ukraine Deports Russia-Aligned Priest, Strips Citizenship, In Church Rift

Ukraine has taken the extraordinary step of deporting a senior cleric of the Moscow-aligned Orthodox Church and stripping him of his citizenship, marking a political escalation in the historic rift that has shaken the Eastern Orthodox world and further raised tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.

www.rferl.org

Be warned of RFE though, it keeps talking about how it’s a Russian plot, which is just repeating Poroshenkos campaign points without criticism.

God thinks you should join the Euro

Priests are to be assigned to help inform Romanian citizens about entering the eurozone, according to a National Plan to Adopt the Euro Currency prepared by the government in Bucharest in the autumn and last week released to the public. This religious-political communication strategy will begin some 12 months prior to the official joining of the single currency date set by the Romanian government for 2024. euobserver.com

Previously, the Agriculture Ministry turned to the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is highly trusted in villages, on two other occasions, namely to convince farmers to join producer associations and cooperatives, and to access EU funds.

The plan for euro adoption includes a campaign to inform the general public about the currency change. The campaign is to kick off about one year before the official target for the euro adoption, namely 2024.

Last week, the Government announced 2024 as a firm euro adoption deadline.

www.romania-insider.com

EFDD is gone! Long live this new group “of like-minded people”

www.politico.eu


Topic 1

Why govern when you could have another election?

So Spain is having an election again! On Wednesday Sanchez held an emergency after his budget was rejected by both the right wing parties and the Catalonian separatists (www.dw.com )

No way to keep everyone happy

The convergence of protests against Sanchez’s soft approach on the separatist movements (see last week’s pod) and the separatists being angry that Sanchez wasn’t giving them formal talks to hold votes meaning his softish approach really hasn’t worked - despite it probably being the smart move (www.politico.eu )

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday called a snap election for 28 April. Sanchez’s announcement came after his minority government suffered a defeat in parliament on its 2019 budget plan, with Catalan pro-independence MPs and centre-right opposition rejecting the proposal. The Socialist PM has been in power since June 2018. It will be the third time Spaniards are asked to elect a new parliament since December 2015.

euobserver.com

The polls as they currently stand pollofpolls.eu

Is this a good idea?

No… it’s looking like Vox (the super fun party) could be get 11% of the vote according to El País (elpais.com. )This could make them king makers and bring a PP+Ciudadanos coalition into power (just)

Another 2015 and 2016

The 2015 election was the most fractured parliament since the 70s and they had to do it again. The 2016 result was pretty similar but due to internal squabbling with the PSOE (en.wikipedia.org )Sanchez was temporally not in charge and effectively Rajoy was able to form a minority government.

This time could be similar but Vox will probably get some serious seats and Podemos is somewhat crumbling

Let’s not forget the trial

The trial for the 12 people (mostly former Catalan government elected officials) is on as of this week. Their approach has partially been to pretend the prosecutors aren’t there and argue it’s a political trial (www.theguardian.com. )Which I mean, Germany not extraditing their leader on the grounds that “rebellion” isn’t a crime lends some support to that. This is expected to go on for several months - meaning it will cover the whole election campaign