In the Czech Republic, voters now seem to have put an end to the corrupt rule of Prime Minister Babis. It is unclear to what extent the revelations about his outer palace on the Côte d’Azur contributed to his fall; it would then be the only direct political consequence to date of the Pandora Papers , which once again exposed the tax avoidance practices of top criminals, top bankers, top artists and top politicians worldwide. This has not yet led to consequences elsewhere, not even in the Netherlands.
Babis’ defeat is one of the few bright spots for Europe in recent weeks. In three areas her impotence has become very embarrassingly clear. First of all, there is the escalation of the Poland problem: can and will Brussels finally be able to put Warsaw under control, where it was not possible before with Budapest?
Then, secondly, there is the explosive rise in gas prices with Putin at the helm due to a lack of acceptable alternatives – hello Groningen! – resulting in a European dependence on Russia, which the Kremlin is grateful for. It now wants to quickly push through the opening of Nordstream, which sidelines Ukraine, before a new German foreign minister from the FDP or the Greens can prevent it. After all, both not-so-small parties, now the Kingmakers of the next Chancellor, are much more critical of this than the two old people’s parties of the hitherto ruling Grand Coalition Merkel IV.
Both are also much more critical of China, which, in anxious efforts to avoid the growing global conflict between Washington and Beijing, has hitherto been eager to befriend Berlin over the sales figures of its own car industry. Incidentally, it is not the only European country that now prefers lucrative trade to security in the future, and tries as long as possible not to face its geopolitical dimension. That also applies to Nordstream, by the way.
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