Europe can no longer "completely depend" on the US and UK following the election of President Trump and Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.Mrs Merkel said she wanted friendly relations with both countries as well as Russia but Europeans had to "take their destiny into their own hands".Her comments come after Mr Trump refused to re-commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal at the G7 summit.Mrs Merkel is on the campaign trail ahead of elections in September."The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days," Mrs Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany.The relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron had to be a priority, Mrs Merkel said, adding: "We Europeans have to take our destiny into our own hands." Trump team flummoxed by European quirks What future for the Atlantic alliance? On Saturday, the German leader had described climate change talks at the G7 … [Read more...] about Merkel: Europe ‘can no longer rely on allies’ after Trump and Brexit
Looking at the photos, one could mistake the sea of lights in Budapest for a festive holiday event. The people who gathered in Hungary's capital Sunday night weren't holding candles, however, but smartphones. And their message is political, not religious. They are demanding Prime Minister Viktor Orban take back a law that allows companies to ask their employees to work 400 hours overtime per year. Since the measure was passed in parliament last Wednesday, more and more people have been protesting what has been called a "slave law." In some cases, the rallies were overshadowed by violence. The protests on Sunday started off peaceful, but police later resorted to teargas again. With around 10,000 or even 15,000 participants, Sunday's rally was the biggest event so far in a series of protests the likes of which Hungary hasn't seen during Orban's eight years in power. France is experiencing similar unrest with the "yellow vest" protests. Is the climate in Europe's streets growing more … [Read more...] about France, Hungary, Serbia: Is half of Europe protesting?
Tens of thousands of nationalist demonstrators marched through Warsaw at the weekend to mark Poland’s independence day, throwing red-smoke bombs and carrying banners with slogans such as “white Europe of brotherly nations”. Police estimated 60,000 people took part in Saturday’s event, in what experts say was one of the biggest gathering of far-right activists in Europe in recent years. Demonstrators with faces covered chanted “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!” The march organised by far-right groups in Poland is an annual event originally to mark Poland’s independence in 1918. But according to Nick Lowles, from UK anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, it has become an important rallying point for international far-right groups. “The numbers attending this year seem to be bigger and, while not everyone on the march is a far-right activist or fascist, it is undoubtedly becoming more significant and is acting as a … [Read more...] about ‘White Europe’: 60,000 nationalists march on Poland’s independence day
Politicians on the right have welcomed a ruling by the EU’s highest court that allows companies to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, as a long-awaited legal judgment ricocheted into the French and Dutch election campaigns. In its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work, the European court of justice in Luxembourg ruled the garments could be banned, but only as part of a general policy barring all religious and political symbols. Nor can customers simply demand workers remove headscarves if the company has no policy barring religious symbols, the court ruled on Tuesday. The long-awaited ruling came on the eve of Dutch elections, where Muslim immigration has been a contentious issue. In France, where the race to succeed President François Hollande remains wide open, politicians on the right seized on the issue. François Fillon, the presidential candidate who has taken a hardline stance on Islam’s place in France, … [Read more...] about Europe’s right hails EU court’s workplace headscarf ban ruling
The European Union’s highest court has ruled that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols. It comes as part of a ruling on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work. “An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the court said in a statement. We asked for your views on this, and heard from a wide range of people across Europe. Here are a selection of your responses. Faiza Hassan, 33: ‘I am a European Muslim and my headscarf is also an integral part of me’ This ruling clearly sends a message to faith communities in Europe. The message is that we are no longer welcome. In a complex globalised world, many of us already struggle with our sense of belonging, our definition of home and who we are. Many of us are cross-cultural, multilingual and have been to some extent influenced by multiple cultures during … [Read more...] about ‘Faith communities are not welcome in Europe’: views on the headscarf ban ruling