Tag Archives: ELECTIONS

Corruption “mask” scandal unfolds in Germany

Several politicians from the ruling alliance of German parties — the CDU / CSU — have found themselves at the center of a scandal over the purchase of protective masks.

The most high-profile case was the case of the Bundestag deputy (since 2002) from the Christian Social Union Georg Nuslein, who collected 660 thousand euros for lobbying a mask manufacturer, writes, in particular, Spiegel.

The politician, according to the publication, participated in the ordering of FFP2 masks by government agencies. Nuslein announced last Friday that he would resign as deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group and would not run for the Bundestag again. At the moment, the Munich prosecutor’s office is investigating suspicions of corruption.

Christian Democratic Union MP Nicholas Lebel also used his position to lobby a Chinese mask manufacturer, for which he received a commission of 250 thousand euros (12 euro cents for each mask). He, as reported by the ARD TV channel, has also announced his resignation.

In general, as it turned out, almost two dozen “union” parliamentarians at various levels lobbied for the interests of suppliers for the federal government or campaigned for companies, for which they received a certain reward.

The leaders of the CDU parliamentary group in the Bundestag Ralph Brinkhaus and the regional group of the CSU Alexander Dobrindt sharply condemned the behavior of their parliamentary colleagues in a letter quoted by Business Insider.

“The receipt by MPs of cash payments for mediation in the supply of medical protective equipment in the fight against the pandemic causes our complete misunderstanding and severe condemnation,” they wrote.

The leaders of the faction noted that such behavior damages the reputation of the political force and is unacceptable.

Let us remind you that parliamentary elections are to be held in Germany at the end of September this year.

According to a poll by the YouGov Sociological Institute, only 26% of respondents are in favor of maintaining quarantine restrictions, and 9% are in favor of strengthening them. At the same time, 43% consider the restrictions introduced in the country to be too strict, and 17% support the complete abolition of all restrictions.

Elections postponed in Finland due to coronavirus

In Finland, the Ministry of Justice has decided to postpone the municipal elections scheduled for April 18 to the summer due to the worsening situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country.

Reported by Yle.

It is noted that all parties, with the exception of the True Finns, supported the postponement of the elections.

“This is a great solution that will undoubtedly reduce infectiousness, and the coronavirus situation will be better in June than it is now. Campaigning and outdoor voting are more comfortable in the summer,” said election manager Matti Hilly.

He noted that the postponement of the elections will make it possible to prepare more thoroughly for them and to vaccinate members of election commissions.

Hilly also believes that the postponement of the elections will allow vaccinating of election officials.

We will remind, earlier the government of Finland announced an emergency mode and started talking about the possibility of restricting movement.

We also reported that a completely new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in Finland, which simultaneously shares the properties of strains previously found in the UK and South Africa.

EU extended sanctions against Belarus

The EU does not exclude that in the near future they will consider the possibility of introducing new sanctions restrictions against certain persons in Belarus.

The European Union has extended for one year until February 28, 2022, sanctions against representatives of the leadership and business of Belarus, including Alexander Lukashenko. This was stated on Thursday, February 25, in the EU resolution.

The sanctions have been extended against those people who, according to the EU, are responsible for falsifying the results of the presidential elections and brutally suppressing protests in the republic.

For this period, the sanctions against a number of Belarusian enterprises and businessmen “supporting Lukashenko’s regime” were also extended, according to a statement published on the website of the EU Council.

EU sanctions operate against 88 people, including Alexander Lukashenko. The restrictions include an asset freeze and a ban on entry to the EU. In addition, EU citizens and companies are prohibited from providing any funds to those on the sanctions list.

At the same time, the European Union stated that they did not see any changes in the situation in Belarus, and allowed the introduction of new sanctions against the republic.

Let us remind you that earlier the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announced a temporary loss. She spoke about the strategy of the opposition forces in Belarus ahead of her visit to Switzerland.

It was also reported that Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Russia and Belarus confirm the level of strategic partnership and alliance, Putin said.

In the French Lyon because of the school menu, there was a political scandal

The menu for schoolchildren in the city of Lyon was the cause of a major political scandal in France.

It all started when the mayor of Lyon, Gregory Doucet, representing the Green Party, announced that during the COVID‐19 coronavirus pandemic, all schools in the city will have only one menu: vegetarian.

This caused the indignation of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country Gerald Darmanen. “This is an unacceptable insult to our farmers and butchers. Often, many children in France only have the opportunity to eat meat in the school cafeteria, “ the minister said. In his opinion, there is an “unacceptable attempt to impose an ideology” in Lyon.

The deputy from the party “Forward, Republic” in power, Bruno Bonnel, also criticized the innovation.

“We need to make sure that these small “temporary” measures to prevent the meat from entering canteens do not lead to veganism imposed from above,” the politician said.

In turn, the French Ministry of Agriculture intends to look into this situation and find out the motives for the mayor’s decision.

The Mayor’s office of Lyon explained that during the pandemic, it is easier for them to offer children a single menu. In addition, the vegetarian option, according to Doucet, is suitable for all children, regardless of caste and religion. In particular, the mayor’s office explained that before the pandemic, canteens offered several menus for elections and about half of the children chose a vegetarian set.

Lyon is one of the main gastronomic centers of France. It is known, in particular, for its meat dishes.

When are schools and universities going back to school?

In many European countries even after the Christmas break, schools and universities remained fully or partially closed for quarantine. Decisions about the start date and extent of the resumption of full-time classes are made spontaneously — depending on the current infectious situation. Many observers are outraged by the authorities’ current treatment of children and young people.

Children are the last thing on people’s minds

The way schoolchildren are being treated during this crisis is outrageous, says The Observer:

“If the effects of Covid in most cases do not directly affect children’s health, children will still have to face the worst long-term effects of the pandemic. The results of students being out of school for months, combined with the financial impact of the coronary crisis, will be felt most strongly by children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This will have long-term consequences for their economic, physical, and psychological well-being. Yet the government has done little to prevent such a situation. Instead, the authorities have made it extremely difficult for teachers to adapt to the situation, issuing methodologies with vague content and making difficult decisions at the very last moment. »

For purely political reasons

The fact that schools are still operating in Hungary is not at all due to the authorities’ concern for children, Nepszava notes:

“When making certain decisions, our authorities only consider what risks they might pose in terms of the popularity of these very authorities in the eyes of the population. … Kindergartens and schools are not closed only because such a move would be met with hostility by parents and employers, that is, business. And then the economy would suffer … Responsible and complex expert decisions are out of the question here: we are dealing with decisions of an exclusively political nature.”

The smallest ones are burdened with the heaviest of burdens

The new restrictions will once again hit children especially hard,” says Handelsblatt:

“While schools and kindergartens are closed, adults have to travel daily in crowded buses, streetcars, and electric trains to work — to office space, where there are also piles of people. In her latest decree, Merkel and the heads of the state governments, addressing the population, have again decided only to make a non-binding request to work remotely if possible. The government notes, however, that it is not always easy to switch to the home office. And that is quite remarkable because when it comes to schools, no one is outraged by the fact that distance learning is a pain in the ass. One can only speculate as to why the authorities are once again throwing the brunt of the crisis on the children. The simplest explanation seems to be that unlike adults, children do not protest at the top of their voices. And they don’t go to the elections either.

There is simply no alternative

This Wednesday, the Irish government intends to decide whether to close schools for quarantine until the end of January. As The Irish Independent notes, this measure is unlikely to be avoided:

“In terms of epidemic protection, schools are not a particular risk area, as Health Minister Norma Foley said during her meeting with Opposition MPs. The only problem is the consequences of the decision not to stop face-to-face schooling and how the disease will migrate from one household to another — with children returning home after school. School employee unions are also increasingly concerned about the safety of their members. It makes no sense to go against them-especially after the work that educators in Ireland have done in the past year.”