Dutch campaigning gets dirty.
There’s a general election in the Netherlands next week and although there’s little chance of it making waves across Europe - it’s suddenly livened up Dutch public life. Dreary campaign manifestos have given way to good old fashioned personality politics and slinging matches.
To ban or not to ban. Germany’s far right.
Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party held a convention last weekend that sparked debate in Germany about whether or not to try to ban them. It was tried and failed 3 years ago. The whole plan was grounded when it came to light that some of the intelligence agents who’d infiltrated the party undercover had got a little too into character and were actually involved in provoking some of ban-able behavior. Now, many politicians in Germany want to muzzle the party, but are asking if a ban is useful or realistic?
How much tolerance for the intolerant? Sweden’s democratic dilemma.
Far right political parties are making their presence felt in many parts of Europe - even in the ”liberal” heartland of Scandinavia. Recent elections in Sweden have given the country’s far right party, the Sweden Democrats, some unwelcome power, especially if you’re an asylum seeker.
It’s “up up and away” for Europe’s big aeroplane-maker Airbus this week - their new A380 super jumbo has taken off from France on its first round-the-world test flights. But Airbus’s staff and suppliers are worried about the future. The finished planes are being delivered up to two years late because of production problems. This week, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, went to Toulouse, in southern France, promising he wouldn’t let Airbus down.
In the Second World War the Polish capital, Warsaw, was all but flattened - rebuilding the old town was the largest renovation project in the history of Europe. The Poles are obviously keen on monopolising this sort of title because they’ve just started the next biggest project of this kind. Lodz is Poland’s second largest city but isn’t usually on tourists’ to-do lists. But it might be now - the town’s Manufaktura complex has had a huge makeover.