Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label Europe

The Infant Industry Argument And Its Relevance For Industrial Policy In The European Union

Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany (photo by VW_Werk_Altes_Heizkraftwerk.jpg: Richard Bartz derivative work: Diliff via Wikimedia Commons) A white paper released by the British government in 2017 described the United Kingdom as an " open, liberal market economy ", whose foundation lies in "the power of the competitive market - competition, open financial markets, and the profit motive". Despite recognizing the government's "strategic power and leadership role" in developing and disseminating technologies and industries, the white paper rejected protectionism and equated industrial policy mostly with Research and Development (R&D), education and infrastructure. Nowadays there is a widespread belief that countries develop because of "free market" . Therefore, economically poorer regions, such as Greece, southern Italy or Portugal, are responsible for their own poverty, either because of their cultural shortcomings,

Austrian EU Lawmaker Apologizes For Racist Facebook Post Calling For A Complete Ban On Immigration From Africa

European Parliament (photo by David Iliff. CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) Austrian EU lawmaker Claudia Schmidt has apologized for publishing a racist Facebook post  claiming that "African and Muslim culture" are incompatible with European culture, and calling for a complete ban on African immigrants. Schmidt is a member of the ruling Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei; ÖVP) and a lawmaker in the European Union parliament.  In the controversial post, which has now been deleted, Schmidt wrote : "One can read it daily in the press, and I have experienced it myself in refugee camps and while monitoring elections. Neither African nor Muslim culture are compatible with our culture." Schmidt argued that "Africans" and "Muslims" cannot be integrated into European societies and their immigration must be stopped altogether. "I view arbitrary mass migration from places that have alien cultures (kulturfremden

This Map Shows Racial Bias In Europe

A survey shows that the majority of white Europeans associate faces of black people with negative ideas.  According to a study by Harvard's Project Implicit , based on scores for 288,076 white Europeans, collected between 2002 and 2015, most white people in European countries have an implicit racial bias towards black individuals.  The above map illustrates the average Implicit Association Test (IAT) score for each country. The redder the colour, the more widespread is racial bias.  The test shows that white Europeans are faster to associate Blackness with negative concepts such as "Bad" and "Evil", and slower to associate it with positive ideas such as "Good" and "Nice", revealing implicit attitudes and automatic associations in people's minds.  Although the levels of racial bias vary across the continent, no European country received a score below zero, which indicates a positive attitude towards black people. 

Poland Wants To Take In More Immigrant Labour From The Philippines - Because Of Their Catholic Faith

Poland is considering taking in more immigrant labour. The ruling right-wing Law and Justice party , however, wants to open up the country only to Christian workers.  Poland is one of Europe's most anti-immigrant countries. A survey released last December by the Polish Centre for Public Opinion Research (CBOS) showed that 63% of respondents did not want to receive refugees, while only 33% were in favour. The Polish government has refused to accept any refugees under the quota system set by the European Commission. The anti-immigration sentiment of the majority of the Polish population is directed mostly against Muslims.  Embed from Getty Images Although it refuses to take in refugees, Poland suffers from a severe labour shortage  and is in desperate need of foreign workers to sustain economic development. According to a survey conducted in January by Work Service SA, half of Polish companies cannot fill vacancies, and almost two-thirds of public-sector employers are s

Rome's Beggar Problem

Whenever I walk along via Marsala towards Rome's Termini train station, I see a middle-aged black man sitting in front of a church. He wears shabby clothes, and his left leg is wrapped in bandages that make it look as if his foot had been amputated. It appears as if he does nothing all day except for asking people for money.  One afternoon, as I was passing by that church, the man, after having received a coin from a tall, blond tourist, suddenly - and perhaps believing that no one was watching him - took off his bandages, revealing a perfectly intact, healthy foot.  As I drew closer to him, our eyes met. I smiled and shook my head disapprovingly. He, too, smiled, and I believe to have discerned a hint of embarrassment, if not shame, on his face.  Rome has a serious problem with people roaming around the city and asking for money. To be fair, this does not concern only immigrants, but also locals. Recently I bumped into a guy from Naples who claimed to be a member

A New Life, A New Blog - From Asia To Europe

Spanish steps, Rome (By 2pi.pl, via Wikimedia Commons) In 2012 I started 'My New Life In Asia' as a personal blog revolving around my every day experiences in Taiwan. During the first two years of this blog's existence, I published hundreds of articles - some personal, others about culture and history - and I found that blogging is a wonderful way of systematizing the process of understanding a foreign country, of sharing thoughts with people from all over the world.  In 2014, however, I gradually lost my commitment to blogging. My father got ill and almost a year later he passed away. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Worries, anxiety and stress have made made it impossible for me to blog the way I used to.  Between 2012 and early 2014 I was curious and carefree. I loved to read books about Taiwan and East Asia, combine that knowledge with my personal experiences, and then provide on this blog my own perspective and analysis. Since my fat

What Greece Wants

As a European, I am just a detached observer of Asian affairs. But when it comes to the destiny of the European Union, I feel I am personally involved. Although this is a blog about Asia, I cannot ignore what is happening in Europe, and I want to write a few words about it.  On the statement he published this morning on his own blog , Greece's former Minister of Finance, Jiannis Varoufakis , explained that what the Greek government wants is simply: an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms They are not asking for their debt to be written off, as some media has argued; they just want their debt to be sustainable. As Varoufakis said in one interview (as I can speak Greek, I am following the actual debates in Greece), he thinks that the austerity policies of the troika are not viable for Greece , because they hinder growth and create a situation of instability that makes the recovery of Greece imp

While Europe Destroys Itself, China Hopes That Greece Will Stay In The Eurozone

In a speech delivered at the University of Zurich on September 19, 1946, Winston Churchill called for the rebirth of the pan-European idea. This "noble continent”, he said, was “the home of all the great parent races of the Western world, the foundation of Christian faith and ethics, the origin of most of the culture, arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modern times”; and yet, it was from this great continent that a series of nationalistic movements had originated, which had plunged the whole world into the most catastrophic wars.  Europe, however glorious its past, lay now in ruins. Its economy had been devastated. Millions of displaced men and women marched homewards from battlefields, concentration and labour camps. Prisoners of war languished in captivity. Fallen soldiers left widows and orphans behind. Divided by hatred, impoverished by war, shocked by the unprecedented cruelty it had unleashed upon itself, Europe's prospects were bleak. Was it ever goi