Europe

A COVID-19 blog by Green Left's European correspondent Dick Nichols, who is based in Barcelona.

Death is touching everyone in Britain with fatalities from COVID-19 running at nearly a thousand a day, writes Derek Wall. So why is Prime Minister Boris Johnson still popular?

 

Major threats to public health, living standards and political freedoms underpin Prime Minister Boris Johnson's response to COVID-19, write Neil Faulkner and Phil Hearse.

Stuck at home in precautionary quarantine in Abruzzo, central Italy, Daniele Fulvi writes people are organising flash mobs and virtual gatherings to prevent isolation and maintain a sense of community.

Whenever supporters of Catalan sovereignty and independence have been asked to travel far from home to champion their country’s democratic rights, they have always rallied to the cause, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

In the aftermath of the recent racist attacks in Hanau, Green Left spoke with Sibylle Kaczorek, an anti-racist activist based in Berlin, about its impacts on recent election results in Hamburg and the campaign against the far right.

British politics continues to be chaotic and uncertain. This might appear a surprising judgement, considering that: Boris Johnson’s government has a majority of 80 seats, the first time since the 1980s that the Conservatives have been able to rule without serious parliamentary challenge; and Britain left the European Union on January 31, apparently ending a saga that split first the Conservative Party and then the entire country.

Yet, beneath the surface, politics remains in flux, argues Derek Wall.

The past few months in Italian politics have been intense: The rise of Las Sardinas (the Sardines movement), the crisis in the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the regional elections held on January 26 all indicate the political balance could be changing.

Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega (League) lost the election in Emilia-Romagna (a key region in northern Italy) and national polls now indicate a slightly lower approval rating for the party, writes Daniele Fulvi.

By the narrowest of margins (167 votes to 165 with 18 abstentions), the 350-seat Spanish Congress invested a coalition government of the social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and the more radical Unidas Podemos (UP) on January 7.

No Spanish prime minister has ever been elected by so low and so close a vote: eight of the parliament’s eighteen parties voted in favour, eight against and two abstained.

The British Labour Party has promised to “kick-start a housing revolution” as it unveiled its election manifesto, including commitments that would bring about Britain’s biggest public housing construction program for decades.

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