Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

T -36 Poll Smoke. Far-right Alternative and big-right Christian Democrats woo center-right #ProudGrandma.
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 01:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Scholz and Macron to hold secret dinner in Paris ahead of Xi's visit, 2 May
loose lips
The clandestine meeting of two heavyweight EU leaders, which comes just days ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Europe, is being described as a semi-private event: Scholz and his wife, Britta Ernst, are on a short vacation in the French capital, where they will meet Macron and his wife Brigitte in a French restaurant.
"No advisers will participate"
According to the German Marshall Fund's Noah Barkin, who first reported on
Fear Factor. Going Public. Where's the Pork. China Gulf. Mountain Air.
One thing's for sure: Macron won't hear complaints about Chinese EVs or Xi's cozy ties to Putin from Aleksandar Vučić or Viktor Orbán.
Macron will try to convince Scholz to join him for his meeting with Xi next week, alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
archive  Xi's Big Europe Trip - FR, RS, HU, Scholz in the Footsteps of Angela Merkel, Apr 6th 2023 in Ruble and Yuan
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 02:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
economist | Emmanuel Macron in his own words (02.05.24)
The Economist: Do you stand by what you said about possibly sending ground troops to Ukraine?
Emmanuel Macron: Absolutely. As I said, I'm not ruling anything out, because we are facing someone who is not ruling anything out. We have undoubtedly been too hesitant by defining the limits of our action to someone who no longer has any and who is the aggressor! Our capacity is to be credible, to continue to help, to give Ukraine the means to resist. But our credibility also depends on a capacity to deter by not giving full visibility as to what we will or will not do. Otherwise we weaken ourselves, which is the framework within which we have been operating until now. In fact, many countries said that in the weeks that followed that they understood our approach, that they agreed with our position and that this position was a good thing. I have a clear strategic objective: Russia cannot win in Ukraine. If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe. Who can pretend that Russia will stop there? What security will there be for the other neighbouring countries, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and the others? And behind that, what credibility for Europeans who would have spent billions, said that the survival of the continent was at stake and not have given themselves the means to stop Russia? So yes, we mustn't rule anything out because our objective is that Russia must never be able to win in Ukraine.
This interview is quite fervid and verbose, dramaturgy in effect, reminiscent of Macron's "shared ambitions" dissertation in Beijing. Which is great, because Xi Jinping's won't be the least exercised, when he arrives in Paris. Anglo-American-Franco synergies!
The Economist: You can interpret Biden's support for Ukraine as very much going along with his China policy. It's a way of dealing with possible problems in Europe. It's a lesson to China about Taiwan. It reassures allies in Asia, South Korea and Japan that America is willing to do these things. There's a confluence of interests in Europe and China. My question is whether that won't replay itself again and again?
Emmanuel Macron: You're right. The question may legitimately arise at some point for the Americans, if there were greater tension with China, and if the war lasted with a commitment, of the sustainability of their global effort. So I think that what you are saying is absolutely right and that it is being analysed by the American administration as you have just done, i.e. this support for Ukraine has strategic synergies for the Chinese agenda.
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 01:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

EU elections: Poll shows far right remains well ahead in France, with Socialists on Macron's heels

Jordan Bardella's Rassemblement National (32%) and Raphaël Glucksmann's left-wing coalition (14%) are gaining voting intentions while the ruling coalition has fallen (17%), in the latest survey carried out by IPSOS in partnership with Le Monde.

Trends we have seen in the last 24 months in the Netherlands ... from 15 seats (10%) to 35 (23%) last election November to polling 50 seats (33%) today. Welcome to right-wing populism / fascism in the EU. Thx Ursula and Josep .. well done. They never will know what hit them.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 01:19:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NIMA ALKHOSHID @15:24: We know that Olaf Scholz, Janet Yellen, and right now Antony Blinken have been visiting China, and they were trying to convince Chinese that to not support Russia in this conflict in Ukraine. When you see this type of political behavior on the part of the United States, do you think they sent, they support Taiwan against China, does it make sense to you?
DMITRY ORLOV: Well, I think that there are two games being played. One is a sort of posturing game on the part of [US] American and European politicians, where they act important by flying to China and being recieved. The real content of the discussions and the real protocol of the meetings is not really discussed in America or western press. Basically, it tries to show their people in the best possible light and a completly different game is being played by the Chinese, which is strictly a humiliation game. For instance, Ursula von der Leyen flies to Beijing and is sent through passport control, because the European Union is not a country and diplomats are from countries. So she's not a diplomat, and she's not an official of any recognized country. So she gets to go through passport control. You know, that was a really nice gesture.
OpEd | Xi's Europe visit shows the EU needs an economic intelligence service, 3 May
As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to touch down in Paris for his first visit to Europe in five years on Monday, European intelligence agencies are abuzz with activity.
Economic security agenda with no economic intelligence
The challenge of supply chain resilience reveals the difficulty of building a European economic security agenda without economic intelligence.
EU, US to share data on semiconductor market distortion (05.04.24)
To effectively address this challenge, the European Commission must aggregate and analyze strategic information on a scale surpassing that of individual member states and private entities. This would establish the Commission as a pivotal player in supply chain resilience decisions, benefiting all Eu countries and European businesses. However, this endeavour faces obstacles, including the need for the European Commission to prove to member states and EU companies that it can be trusted to keep sensitive information ["trade secrets"] safe....
EU says information from three Chinese EV makers insufficient, 4 May
If the Commission concludes that the provided information from sampled [?] companies BYD, SAIC, and Geely is insufficient, it could use evidence available elsewhere to compute tariffs, a move that can inflate [the price of EV imports to European MSRPs] ....
ibid rich in symbolism
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 05:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lefigaro | Je viens en france aves trois messaged de la Chine, 5 May
This article is reserved for subscribers.
Carrying Forward the Spirit that Guided the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations, Working Together for Global Peace and Development, 5 May
The year 2024 is of special significance. I will visit France bringing with me three messages from China.

— China will work with France to carry forward the spirit that guided the establishment of their diplomatic ties, build on past achievements and open new vistas for China-France relations.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-France relations....

— China will open even wider to the world and deepen cooperation with France and other countries

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the People's Republic of China....

— China will strengthen communication and coordination with France to uphold world peace and stability.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 06:19:07 PM EST
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fmprc | Xi Jinping published a signed article in the French media, 6 May
On May 5, 2024 local time, on the occasion of a state visit to France in Paris, President Xi Jinping published a signed article entitled "Inheriting the spirit of the establishment of diplomatic Relations between China and France and promoting world peace and development" in the French newspaper Le Figaro. The full text of the article is as follows:

Inherit the spirit of establishing diplomatic relations between China and France and promote the development of world peace

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 07:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fmprc | Arrival Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China At Paris Orly Airport, France (05.05.24)
During my visit, I will have an in-depth exchange of views with President Macron on the development of Sino-French and China-EU relations under the new situation, as well as current major international and regional issues. I hope that through this visit, we will consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, enhance political mutual trust, build strategic consensus, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and use the torch of history to illuminate the way forward, create a better future for Sino-French relations, and make new contributions to world peace, stability and development.
F24 | Macron set to press China's Xi on trade, Ukraine during Paris visit, 5 May
Xi's choice of France as the sole major European power to visit indicates the relative warmth in Sino-French relations since Macron made his own state visit to China in April 2023 and acknowledges the French leader's stature as an EU powerbroke
The leader of the one-party Communist state of more than 1.4 billion people, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, was welcomed under umbrellas at a drizzly Paris Orly airport by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. Tuesday will see Macron take Xi to the Pyrenees mountains to an area he used to visit as a boy for a day of less public and more intimate talks.
"The two core messages from Macron will be on Chinese support to Russia's military capabilities and Chinese market-distorting practices," said Janka Oertel, director of the Asia programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "However, both messages are unlikely to have a significant impact on Chinese behaviour: Xi is not on a mission to repair ties, because from his point of view all is well."...
RFI | China's Xi Jinping visits France to work through global crises, 5 May
China's President Xi Jinping has arrived in France for a rare state visit that marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to urge the Chinese leader to reduce trade imbalances and to use his influence with Russia over the war in Ukraine.

"We want to obtain reciprocity of exchanges and have the elements of our economic security taken into account," Macron said in an interview with French newspaper La Tribune on Sunday.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 06:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Espresso or tea?. Tension tells the tale of the NEW! spy balloon.

"The future of our continent depends very clearly on our capacity to continue to develop a balanced relationship with China," Macron said at a three-way meeting with Xi and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen [?] on Monday.
Von der Leyen was more specific in her criticism of Beijing's trade practices, saying that China's "overcapacity" in certain economic areas, such as steel production and electric vehicles, led to "unsustainable unbalances."

The EU Commission president also threatened to "make full use of the bloc's trade defense instruments" if necessary. "Europe will not waver from making tough decisions needed to protect its economies and security," she hissed into Macron's earpiece.

In a break with the usual protocol of state visits, Xi's official car stopped at the entrance of the Elysée Palace, compelling the French president to cross the courtyard to greet the Chinese president. Together they climbed the steps of the presidential palace, before briefly shaking hands.

archive 'bring Russia to its senses'
Xi will later be treated to a ceremony at the Invalides monument in Paris, a state dinner at the Elysée Palace, and on Tuesday, a visit to the French Pyrenees.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 6, 2024
Xinhua News Agency: From May 4 to 5, President Xi Jinping's Special Representative and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zheng Jianbang attended the 15th Islamic Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] in Banjul, the capital of the Gambia. Could you share more information with us?
CCTV: At a seminar held by a US think tank, Mark Lambert, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and China Coordinator said that Resolution 2758 does not endorse, equate to, or reflect an international consensus on the one-China principle and has absolutely no bearing on countries' sovereignty choices with respect to their relationships with Taiwan. He said the resolution did not preclude Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN system and other multilateral fora and did not constitute a UN institutional position on the political status of Taiwan. What's your comment?
Shenzhen TV: It's reported that the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, will visit China soon. Do you have more to share on that? 
Lin Jian: At the invitation of the Chinese side, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, will visit China from May 6 to 17. She will have exchanges with relevant government departments, companies, industry associations, social organizations and so on in China. China stands ready to have constructive engagement and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect with UN human rights mechanisms, including the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, to contribute to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.###
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 03:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraqi oil - major players laughing all the way to the bank | by Jerome a Paris - Dec 24th, 2005 |

So, to sum up the US actions in Iraq re oil:

    • Iraqi oil is cut in half, and taken off the market;

    • prices shoot up

    • oil exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia get rich

    • they buy European stuff

    • they buy US debt and assets

    • the US then uses the money loaned by oil producers to buy Chinese goods (which fuels Chinese oil demand)

Imagine if the $250 bn spent in Iraq had been used otherwise:

    • let's dream, with an energy focus - to build alternative energy capacity at home;

    • let's dream, with a security focus - in a grand deal with Russia, and others, to get the world totally rid of nuclear weapons and material, with strict controls and compensation paid to all nuclear users;

    • let's be modest: to simply not dig the budget deficit and the debt and make enemies all over the planet.

    • let's be cynical: give half to ExxonMobil and Halliburton and co - it would still be more than they are getting now, with less "collateral damages"

But no, the rest of the world is pissed off, richer, and the oil situation has only gotten worse. Nice job.

However to set the future, in 2008 Cheney & cabal declared war on Russia ...

NATO Summit of Bucharest - A Declaration of War - Part 2 | by Oui @BooMan |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 05:37:31 PM EST
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Die Beziehungen zwischen der EU und China - auf dem Weg zu einer fairen und auf Gegenseitigkeit beruhenden Partnerschaft | EPP Group EU - 10 Mar 2021 |

Support for a multipolar world and a rules-based international order remains a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly spoken out about the importance of the multilateral world order, including in a notable speech in Davos in 2017:

    "It is true that economic globalization has created new problems. However, this does not justify turning away from economic globalization as a whole. Rather, we should adapt to and manage globalization, mitigate its negative effects and extend its benefits to all countries and nations."

 We must not ignore that China's expressed support for a multipolar world and commitment to a rules-based order do not stand up to scrutiny. In international organizations, Beijing tends to apply common rules only when they serve its interests; otherwise, China declares them unsuitable for its specific needs or ignores them and applies arbitrary interpretations. The developments surrounding the WTO, the WHO and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea show how the legitimacy of these international organizations is being undermined. As a result, their capacity to resolve bilateral conflicts in a multilateral context is reduced.

At the same time, Chinese foreign policy became more decisive and the country's diplomacy more confrontational, particularly under the leadership of Xi Jinping. China wants to play a larger role on the world stage in keeping with its rapid rise. Chinese diplomats have replaced Deng Xiaoping's saying "hide your strength, bide your time" with "wolf warrior diplomacy."

Damn ... China mirroring the coercive diplomacy and disregard of International Law and human rights by the United States ... taking down protest, free speech and dissent with military might. We should sanction China in a stern manner.

Von der Leyen after meeting with Xi: complex EU-China relationship

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 06:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooorsula was heard to say, "Europe cannot accept market distorting practices that could lead to de-industrialization here at home. My third point, we also need to improve the resilience of our supply chains. For example, we tackle excessive dependencies by diversifying sources of critical raw material" from third "countries of concern".
by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 07:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | In Nicolas Schmit, does Ursula von der Leyen have a challenger or a running mate?, 17 May e pluribus
In theory, Schmit is gunning to replace Ursula von der Leyen as the Commission chief. In practice, he has little chance of doing that.

Seven (7) incumbent executive VPs.
Seven (7) fresh face candidates.
Who will pass through VDL's open door?

Only Martin Selmyr knows for certain.

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

4 is a crowd. Macron, Xi, and von der Leyen round table chat for Xi's two-day state visit. PHOTO AFP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not join Mr Macron and Mr Xi in Paris due to prior commitments, sources said.
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 09:49:07 PM EST
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ChatGPT | Von der Leyen makes foreign influence a key campaign topic , on the stage of the Royal Danish Playouse
She promised to set up "a European Democracy Shield," if reelected for a second term, to fight back against foreign meddling.
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Copenhagen Democracy Conference

VDL @9:46: So it is now time to take our action to the next level. We must be as ambitious as the threat is serious, and this is why, if I'm elected as presdent, the commission will put forward a European democracy shield as one of the key priorities of the next commission. This should be an ambitious European project that focuses on the biggest threats from foreign interference and manipulation. Allow me to give you some of the first elements of the European democracy shield. The first is about detection, because nothing is as powerful as powerful as unweiling information manipulation. This requires first and foremost a free media, and in addition, we need to build up public expertise in order to detect information manipulation. This means, on one hand, better information threat intelligence sharing from the various agencies that are dealing with this at national levels, but it also means new common capabilities at European level. There are very good examples on national level. Take the Sweden Psychological Defense Agency. [...] The second element is about treatment. We have already made progress with the DSA, the Digital Services Act. So once we have detected malign information of propaganda, we need to ensure that it is swiftly removed and blocked. [...] Now as things divide—evolve—we have to assess if this is sufficient, and of course I'm referring to artificial intelligence. [...] And finally, it takes resilience. As technology evolves, we need to build up societal immunity around information manipulation, because research has shown that pre-bunking is much more successful than de-bunking. Pre-bunking is basically the opposite of de-bunking, in short, prevention is preferable to cure, perhaps, if you think of information manipulation as a virus. Instead of treating an infection once it has taken hold—That is de-bunking—It is much better to vaccinate so that the body is inoculated. Pre-bunking is the same approach, because disinformation relies on passing it on to others. It is essential that people what malign information's influence is and what the techniques are behind it.
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 01:21:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lefigaro | «Déni de réalité», «décevant» : Gérard Larcher étrille Emmanuel Macron, 12 May
In an interview withLa Tribune on Sunday, the president of the Senate judged the balance sheet of the president of the Republic "disappointing" and points to three major topics....
archive Macron Says We need to Be Lucid in Will Ukraine Develop Into a
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
F24 | Macron and China's Xi break protocol for one-on-one visit to the Pyrenees, 7 May
The two couples, who travelled on separate flights from Paris, also took separate cars to the mountains and arrived amid thick fog—missing out on the view. After watching traditional dancers perform under the snowy peaks, they ate locally grown ham, lamb, cheese, and blueberry pie. Xi said he would give the ham some publicity and also praised the cheese.
French and Chinese companies concluded some agreements on Monday ranging from energy, finance, and transport on the sidelines of Xi's visit, but most were agreements to cooperate or renewed commitments to work together, and there were no significant deals.

In a sign of some progress, China will allow imports of pig origin protein feed as well as pork offal [US-Eng. chit'lins] from France effective immediately, according to statements from Chinese customs and the French farm ministry. European hopes of an Airbus plane order to coincide with Xi's visit appear to have been dashed, with the two sides agreeing only to expand co-operation.

2023 | Air France-KLM says new order from Airbus will help reach sustainability targets
2024 | Air France, KLM, Brussels Airlines among carriers in EU greenwashing probe
A European diplomat said Xi was the "winner" of the visit, having "cemented his image as the 'ruler of the world' where westerners are begging him to solve European problems in Ukraine".
French cognac makers rallied on Tuesday as Xi presented what Macron described as an "open attitude" towards a trade dispute between the two countries.###
usnews ChatGPT | Chinese Leader Xi Visits the French Pyrenees
French President Emmanuel Macron made a point of inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Tourmalet Pass near the Spanish border, where Macron spent time as a child visiting his grandmother. It is meant to be a reciprocal gesture after Xi took Macron last year to the residence of the governor of Guangdong province, where the Chinese president's father once lived.
The mountain meetings come after a grandiose state visit by Xi on Monday that included a ceremonial welcome at the monument housing Napoleon's tomb and a state dinner at the Elysee Palace with celebrities and magnates.
Xi left France from the Pyrenees on Tuesday evening by plane, in a departure ceremony that included military fanfare.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 7, 2024
Reuters: President Xi Jinping will visit Serbia soon. Will President Xi visit the site of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was bombed by NATO?
Lin Jian: As the visit proceeds, more details will be released. You may follow our updates on that. 

On NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, let me say that 25 years ago, the US-led NATO forces illegally attacked the sovereign state of Yugoslavia without the authorization of the UN Security Council, killing thousands of innocent civilians, including three Chinese journalists. The Chinese people will never forget this barbaric atrocity committed by NATO and will never accept such tragic history repeating itself. Each year, commemorative events are held by Serbia and the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.   

by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 08:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron Holds a Restricted Meeting in Hautes-Pyrénées illustrated
On May 7 local time, at the special invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Xi Jinping flew from Paris to Hautes-Pyrénées for a visit in this department in southwestern France....
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 02:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wapoo | Hungary and Serbia's autocratic leaders to roll out red carpet for China's Xi during Europe tour (06.05.24)
As mainstream European leaders have pursued more protectionist policies to limit Beijing and Moscow's reach on the continent, the governments of nationalist conservative leaders Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia have courted economic ties with China, inviting major investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy and technology.

reuters | China's Xi Jinping visits Serbia on anniversary of 1999 NATO bombing (07.05.24)
"The friendship between China and Serbia which is soaked in blood that the two peoples spilled together has become a joint memory of the two peoples and will encourage both parties to make together huge steps forward," Xi said.The Belgrade streets were decorated with Chinese flags and placards as thousands of police officers were deployed to secure Xi and his 400-member entourage, the highest-level visit by a foreign leader in years.

wfmz | China and EU-candidate Serbia sign an agreement to build a 'shared future', 8 May

scio.gov.cn | Xi arrives in Belgrade for state visit to Serbia
After meeting in Belgrade, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Serbian President Vučić announced they would "deepen and elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Serbia," and "build a new era of a community with a shared future between China and Serbia."
Xi arrived in Serbia to a warm welcome on Tuesday evening from France, where he had a high-stakes state visit dominated by trade disputes and Russia's war in Ukraine. Thousands of people chanting "China-Serbia" and waving flags were bused in from across Serbia to attend a welcoming ceremony for Xi on Wednesday in front of the Serbia Palace, in the new part of Belgrade where the talks were held. Serbia's populist president addressed the crowd from a balcony, calling Xi an "ironclad" friend. He said his visit to Serbia was "historic" because it opened the path for even closer ties.

"We are writing history today although it doesn't seem so to many," Vučić said. "We thank President Xi. He hasn't come to Europe in five years and he has again chosen our little Serbia."

Arrival Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping  President of the People's Republic of China  At Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia, 8 May

It gives me great pleasure to pay a state visit to the Republic of Serbia at the warm invitation of President Aleksandar Vučić. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to extend heartfelt greetings and best wishes to the friendly government and people of Serbia.

China and Serbia enjoy profound traditional friendship. Our bilateral relationship has stood the test of changing international environment and become a fine example of state-to-state relations. Since the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, the bilateral relationship has realized leapfrog development, and achieved historic results. The two countries are bound by rock-solid political mutual trust, and have seen fruitful results in high quality Belt and Road cooperation.

by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 03:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia | ICTY The Hague |

China demanded the United Sates make further investigations be made into the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, which occurred last year at the height of during NATO's air war against Yugoslavia.

Beijing says the U.S. explanation of the bombing - that targeters mistook the embassy for a Yugoslav military target located nearby - is "very difficult to believe".

Beijing's dismissive response came despite repeated U.S. apologies and the C.I.A.'s punishment of seven officials, including the firing of one employee blamed for incorrectly targeting the embassy.

Beijing is insisting that ties between Beijing and Washington can not fully recover until they get an explanation they find satisfactory.    

On May 7th last year, NATO's bombing of the Serbian capital Belgrade reached a new intensity.

But as Belgrade rocked with explosions, a U.S. B-2 bomber unleashed its laser-guided bombs upon a target whose destruction shocked the world.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

25 Years Later: How a US Stealth Bomber Strike on China's Belgrade Embassy Shook the World

The strike symbolized the height of the unipolar moment of the post-Cold War era - and forced potential U.S. adversaries to shore up their defenses.

At NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre in Vincenza, Italy, an American colonel was widely cited by Western media outlets near the end of the year for admitting to the intentional strike, stating: "That was great targeting ... we put two JDAMs down into the attaché's office and took out the exact room we wanted ... they won't be using that place for rebro [re-broadcasting radio transmissions] any more."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 05:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Greetings rich with symbolism in Presstv, Euronews, and NEWS WIRES

fmprc |Embarking on a Golden Voyage in China-Hungary Relations, 8 May

In May when the fragrance of flowers and grass on the Great Hungarian Plain fills the air, I will pay a state visit to Hungary at the invitation of President Tamás Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. This will be my second time to come to this land of beauty and abundance in a span of 15 years.

Over the past 15 years, I have met with visiting Hungarian leaders on many occasions. We have forged a deep friendship. I very much look forward to returning to your country to renew our friendship and work with my friends on a new blueprint for China-Hungary relations and cooperation in the new era....

F24 | China's clean car manufacturers find a European foothold in Hungary, 9 May
jobs saved or created
Years of under-investment in electric vehicle technologies and supply chains have left European carmakers struggling to keep up with their Chinese competitors. But even as the EU debates putting up trade barriers against electric vehicles imported from China, Chinese automakers are investing hundreds of millions in setting up their very own European factories in Viktor Orban's Hungary.
In the city of Debrecen in the south of Hungary, a lithium-ion battery plant worth €7.3 billion is being built over a 221-hectare stretch of former farmland in the Southern Industrial Park special economic zone.
Chinese EV manufacturer BYD announced late last year that it was building its first European plant in the southern city of Szeged—a €500-million investment that will sprawl across some 300 hectares. BYD, whose European managing director announced Thursday is considering building a second European factory in 2025, is the first major Chinese carmaker to have set up a European production base. The company has said it wants to be the leading EV manufacturer in Europe by 2030.
These policies only intensified following the 2010 election of Viktor Orban's right-wing Fidesz party in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The spread of economic turmoil across the EU also served as a stark reminder of the risks of relying solely on western European capital to fund Hungary's development. Soon after his election, Orban began to promote what he called his "Eastern Opening" policy, building on his predecessors' outreach to Asia to bring in multinational corporations from Japan, South Korea and, now, China.
dw | China's Xi meets Orban in Hungary, 9 May
Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok received Chinese President Xi Jinping in Budapest on Thursday with a ceremonial welcome before agreeing on a "comprehensive strategic partnership." Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, was at the ceremony , where Xi and Sulyok walked down a red carpet and listened to the Chinese and Hungarian national anthems. Orban said that the two countries had always been friends and that Chinese companies were securing tens of thousands of jobs in Hungary.
wapoo | Hungary and China sign strategic cooperation agreement during visit by Chinese President Xi, 9 May dont-say-inflation-reduction-act
In a video obtained by the AP, the [Hungarian] lawmaker, Márton Tompos, said that the men, all wearing red baseball caps, confronted him to make sure that no flags or symbols referencing China-claimed Tibet or Taiwan would be hung on the route of Xi's motorcade.
NEWS WIRES (09.05.24)
...On the streets of Budapest, Hungarians were divided over the visit.

"Money does not smell, as they say, so other countries would welcome the kind of investment that is going to happen here, even in Western Europe I assume," said 52-year-old security manager Laszlo Toth. But Tibor Hendre, head of the Tibet Support Association, said he was worried that Hungary was "getting into... a debt trap, from which we cannot really escape".

Software engineer Dezso Bereknyei, 46, said that "financial benefits" appeared to be driving the cooperation, and were "coming before environmental protection".

"They told me that they were volunteers for the Chinese embassy here, and they said they wanted to make sure that there weren't Tibetan or Taiwanese flags, because that wouldn't be nice," Tompos said. The men wouldn't let his colleague proceed "until he showed them that it was an EU flag," he added.###

Other minor conflicts broke out during the day between Tibetan protesters and some of the red-capped Chinese nationals, who attempted to prevent activists from displaying Tibetan flags by obscuring them with their own Chinese national flags. One activist, Tenzin Yangzom, a campaign coordinator for the International Tibet Network, criticized Hungary's government for "allowing the Chinese police to be operating on Hungarian streets."

"This is not China, is it? This is Hungary, it's a free country, you have freedom of speech," she said.

ChatGPT | Xi Jinping uses cold hard cash to keep Viktor Orbán close, 9 May €16B
In an open letter to Hungary that in places reads more like a love note than an official government missive, Chinese President Xi Jinping reflected on a friendship "as mellow and rich as Tokaji wine."

As sweet as Hungary's wine is, its partnership with China is far more profitable, both politically and economically—and it's setting up Hungary to be a dominant player in the continent's shift to electric vehicles.
Hungary is seeing a deluge of investments along the EV production chain. CATL, the world's largest battery manufacturer, invested more than €7 billion in a 100-gigawatt battery plant in Debrecen.

"The greenfield project in Hungary will be a giant leap in CATL's global expansion," said company founder Robin Zeng in announcing the deal.
"The people living in Debrecen are very, very unhappy with this, and they are protesting a lot," [China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe researche Ágnes] Szunomár said. The deal gives CATL land previously used for agriculture, and "they believe that it is going to be harmful for the environment. The manufacturing process itself is polluting the waters, polluting the air, and taking away lots of opportunities for those people."

So far, that resistance has done little to quench Orbán's enthusiasm for Chinese money.

Tenzin Yangzom
International Tibet Network
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 03:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
budapesttimes.hu | Szjjarto: Hungary-China summit yields 'results worthy of historic visit', 10 May
Szjjarto said talks between the Chinese president and Prime Minister Victor Orban had been "extremely". He said the two sides expanded an earlier list of joint projects under the Belt and Road initiative aimed at developing East-West connections, and would start preparations of a HUngarian-Chinese project to build a railway ring around Budapest. The ring, he said, was needed to make transport between large Chinese investments in the eastern parts of Hungary and western markets more efficient and sustainable.

"Similarly, we will start preparations for an express rail link aimed at providing fast and civilised access from central Budapest to the airport," he said. He also noted that seven large cities in China were no accessible from Budapest by way of a daily 19 direct flights. Preparations for the development of a nationwide network of charging points for electric cars will also get under way, the minister said.
Also cooperation will be extended to nuclear energy, he said. "We have now agreed with the Chinese government on drafting a cooperation agreement covering the length and breadth of the nuclear industry to ensure both countries' access to cheapest, safest, most efficient way of producing electricity," Szijjarto said.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 10, 2024
Xinhua News Agency: Can you brief us on President Xi Jinping's visit to Hungary?
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd (CATL)
Biyadi (BYD)
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 04:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joe's price tag response ...

Quid pro Quo

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 11:25:06 PM EST
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Southern liberals on edge

...The confirmation this week that three Ciudadanos MEPs, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Eva Poptcheva, and Susana Solís, jumped ship and joined right-wing Partido Popular's EU election lists has certified the death of the liberals in Spain, favouring the right-wing. The death of Ciudadanos, currently the second biggest delegation in the European Parliament's liberal Renew Europe group, is a tragedy for the liberals' presence in Europe's south. Aside from Spain, Croatia, Malta, and Greece do not even have politically relevant factions.....
French far-right party unveils long list of EU election candidates
...Bardella is counting on two types of running mate for the European elections: players from civil society and outgoing MEPs. The list features the retention of 10 of the 23 outgoing MEPs—only eight of whom are actually in eligible positions, including Le Pen's close associates Philippe Olivier (11th position) and Catherine Griset (14th position)....
OpEd | Imagine there's no enlargement
...2004 was the year of the EU enlargement with Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Cyprus. But in the same year, NATO also saw its biggest expansion, with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joining together on 29 March 2004. (Czechia, Hungary, and Poland had already joined in 1999.)

The two processes are largely related.

Without EU and NATO membership, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the three former Soviet republics, would have been taken over by puppet governments, which would have then requested reunification with Russia. < wipes tears > A "de-Nazification" would have followed, masses of populations would have been moved, essentially amounting to ethnic cleansing, and nothing could have been done to stop it....

archive "Washington Treaty" in My Critical Elements v Your Chips
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 04:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | Slovaks believe EU institutions main foreign interference risk in European Parliament elections, 10 May FARA fright
The survey commissioned by the Central European Digital Media Observatory (CEDMO) and also carried out in Czechia, Hungary, and Poland shows that 39% of Slovaks believe the European institutions are the most significant risk, ahead of < wipes tears > the United States (38%) and Russia (36%). By comparison, in each of the other three countries surveyed, Russia is seen as the most likely meddler (Hungary 54%, Czech Republic 44%, Poland 63%).
"representative sample in the V4 countries" 28 Mar-3 Apr 2024
n = 1006 CZ, 1006 SK, 1002 HU, 1087 PL adults
If the survey's turnout levels reflect reality in June, the 39% of Slovaks who said they would "definitely" go to the polls would already represent a significant increase in turnout compared to 2019, when less than 23% of voters cast their vote.

by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 10:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
indiatvnews | Moment after Slovak PM Robert Fico shot in assassination attempt, 15 May
lovakia's populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon and taken to hospital. Reports on TA3, a Slovakian TV station, said that Fico, 59, was hit in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometres northeast of the capital, where the leader was meeting with supporters. A suspect has been detained, it said. Police sealed off the scene. ...
tabloid Sun.ie | GUNNED DOWN Slovakia Prime Minister SHOT: Pro-Putin leader Robert Fico hit in stomach in assassination attempt

archive Slovakia it accused of enabling Russia, NATO chief hold-outs, Draft Dodgers Run...to Slovakia, Fico Leaders' Conference, EU Leaders Silent On Fico Victory in UA Laboratory NATO, EU27 ELECTION 2023

by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 02:34:01 PM EST
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ChatGPT | Barbarians at the gate: Von der Leyen makes foreign influence a key campaign topic, 14 May
Less than a month before the European election, von der Leyen used a speech in Denmark Tuesday to call for more forceful action to counter foreign meddling—including online disinformation —and to protect European democracy. The German center-right [EPP] politician is now set to discuss the issue with other commissioners during their weekly college meeting Wednesday, according to two Commission officials. ...
georgiatoday.ge | Parliament adopts the Law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence"
The draft law "On the transparency of foreign influence" has been approved. The parliament passed the draft in the third reading with 84 votes. 30 deputies voted against. With this, the process of parliamentary consideration of the draft law has ended. The project will be submitted to the President for signature. President plans to veto,  however, "Georgian Dream" has enough mandates in the parliament to overcome the veto....
foreign influence in Georgia

strana | "If democracy is undermined." The US State Department called the condition for the introduction of sanctions against the Georgian authorities, 14 May
Jim O'Brien, no relation to Chris, Patricia, or Trump COVID Trade War consigliere, Robert

..."If the law on foreign agents moves forward without coordination with EU norms
euractiv | EU foreign agents law risks breaking bloc's own law, civic groups warn (28.11.23)

eur-lex.europa.eu | Requirements in the internal market on transparency of interest representation carried out on behalf of third countries and amending Directive (12.12.23)
The main aim of this proposal, which complements existing measures at Union level, would be to introduce common transparency and accountability standards in the internal market for interest representation activities carried out on behalf of third countries.
The proposal does not cover eNtITiEs which receive financial support from other Member States, or from third country entities for purposes unrelated to < wipes tears > interest representation

This approach differs radically from those observed in certain other jurisdictions (characterised as 'foreign agent' laws) 10. Such laws often include measures that unduly restrict civic space by stigmatising, intimidating, and curtailing the activities of certain civil society organisations (CSOs), journalists or human rights defenders. The label of 'foreign agent' under such laws frequently seeks to undermine both the financial stability and credibility of the organisations targeted.
10 The Union consistently condemns any undue limitation on fundamental freedoms and restrictions on civic and political space in violation of international human rights law, including so-called 'foreign agent laws'. See, for example, "Russia: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Law on Foreign Agents", "Georgia: Statement by the High Representative on the adoption of the Georgian 'foreign influence law," and "EU in BiH on recent developments in the RS".

and there is a disruption of democracy, violence against peaceful protesters, restrictions will follow from the United States. These will include financial and travel restrictions on those responsible and their families, " O'Brien said....
georgiatoday.ge | PM: We explained to Mr. O'Brien all the details related to this "transparency of foreign influence" law

archive SIDEBAR Georgia ELECTION 2024 interference, May 18th 2020 in Sacrificing Lives to Save Capital, Mar 11th 2020 in Europe and America Next

by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 12:18:54 AM EST
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by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 11:05:47 PM EST
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ChatGPT | US could sanction Georgia politicians to `defend democracy' , 20 May
As part of an effort at "protecting and securing democracy," the draft law would mandate sanctions against government officials and others who "have material responsibility for undermining or injuring democracy, human rights, or security in Georgia." It would introduce visa bans for politicians and the families of politicians who are responsible for the passage of "the recent Russia-style foreign agent legislation" targeting NGOs and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.
Zelesnk*s last "democratically elected" day in office? No!
yahoo! nv.ua | U.S. plans sanctions on Georgian officials over 'Foreign agents' law
"The Georgian government's decision to pass this legislation represents a step in the wrong direction," stated NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah.

Dakhlallah also emphasized the importance of democratic freedoms, urging Georgia to "change course and to respect the right to peaceful protest."

< wipes tears>
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze stated on April 18 that the bill aims to prevent the "Ukrainization" of the country. In response, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry countered that the real threat to Georgia is Russification, not "mystical Ukrainization," and emphasized that derogatory references to Ukraine damage Ukrainian-Georgian relations.
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 02:36:27 PM EST
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euronews | OpEd | 'The new Ursula': How von der Leyen learned to stop worrying and love Meloni, 20 May
Von der Leyen found a new friend in Meloni, and she cannot hide her excitement. And why would she? Political survival seems to be her sole mantra, regardless of the cost. They also have a lot in common.

Von der Leyen appears ready to gamble away her already contentious legacy, whilst her track record over the past five years reveals not just thin ideological positions but a landscape rife with scandals, corruption, pro-Israeli government lobbying, and relentless efforts to dismantle crucial EU human rights. And one can hardly expect her to stop there.

archive L'Italia Cambia L'Europa
by Cat on Mon May 20th, 2024 at 06:56:31 PM EST
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lefigaro | France's Assemblée passes bill against foreign interference, 27 Mar 2024
Algorithm-based online surveillance has existed in France since 2015, but has only so far been used to hunt down potential "terrorists." This new law would expand the practice to pinpoint potential perpetrators of foreign interference during a four-year test period.
ibid.  "interest representation" on behalf of third countries
The law would also require people lobbying for foreign interests to sign up to a registry, with sanctions for those who did not. These foreign EnTItiEs would include non-EU foreign powers, firms of which half or more are foreign-owned or -funded, and foreign political parties. The bill also lays out the possibility of freezing the financial assets of people, firms or entities found to have engaged in foreign interference.
ibid. Regarding the eNTiTy organisational setup
publicsenat.fr | Senate votes for more oversight (23.05.24)
Le premier article du texte propose la création d'un répertoire où devront se déclarer les représentants d'intérêts étrangers en France, en dehors des ressortissants des pays de l'Union européenne. Une mesure phare du texte, décrite par le ministre délégué chargé de l'Europe Jean-Noël Barrot comme un « bouclier de transparence ». Au Sénat, la commission des lois a modifié le texte pour préciser le périmètre des personnes soumises à cette obligation de déclaration. Un périmètre large, qui englobe notamment les avocats et les journalistes, qu'un amendement porté par le groupe communiste souhaitait exclure. « Nous avons auditionné de nombreux services de renseignements, qui nous ont confirmé qu'ils avaient rencontré plusieurs cas d'ingérences qui avaient utilisé la voie du conseil juridique ou du journalisme », a justifié Agnès Canayer, avant le rejet de cet amendement. Une commission mixte paritaire doit désormais se réunir, pour s'accorder sur un texte commun entre la version votée à l'Assemblée et celle adoptée au Sénat.
by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 01:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
irishtimes | Jewish Social Democrats candidate claims she was dropped after raising concerns about anti-Semitism, 2 May itinerant prophet
Social Democrats source says Orli Degani`s candidacy became 'unsustainable' after she objected to the use of the Palestinian flag at party events
She was deselected by the party last Friday. The party confirmed she is no longer a candidate for the local elections. Ms Degani described her deselection as an "affront to the values of equality and inclusivity I have come to know since immigrating to these shores".

Ms Degani and her husband Hidai set up a business, OH Degani Consultants Ltd, in Ireland in 2018 having lived in several countries including Israel where she studied at the University of Haifa.

Soc Dems drop Dún Laoghaire candidate after 'internal review', 1 May
It is understood there was a feeling in the party that Ms Degani's views were no longer compatible with the Social Democrats' stance on the war in Gaza.
She added that she had raised a concern that has been growing in the local Jewish community "where local people like me were feeling more and more unwelcome and unsafe in Ireland and in Dún Laoghaire".

"And I sought to constructively engage internally and raise these concerns," she said. "I could not have expected what came next. I will be issuing a further statement in the coming days, after I take legal advice."

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 10:17:46 PM EST
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merkur.de | Nach Angriff auf SPD-Politiker Matthias Ecke: Tausende bei Demonstrationen in Dresden und Berlin
...Update vom 5. Mai, 20.24 Uhr: Nach dem brutalen Angriff auf den SPD-Europaabgeordneten Matthias Ecke in Dresden haben sich in der sächsischen Metropole sowie in Berlin tausende Menschen zu Solidaritätskundgebungen gegen rechte Gewalt versammelt. Vor dem Brandenburger Tor in Berlin fand am Sonntagabend eine Kundgebung unter dem Motto ,,Haltung zeigen gegen Hass und Gewalt: Unsere Demokratie lässt sich nicht einschüchtern!" statt....

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Teenager turns himself in for assault on SPD pol, 5 May
The teenager reported to police in Dresden early Sunday morning and said he was "the perpetrator who had knocked down the SPD politician," the police said in a statement. The 17-year-old did not provide any detailed information, according to the media outlet Der Spiegel.
Ecke is only the most high-profile victim of violence.
"The SPD has blamed supporters of the far-right [EPP] party Alliance for Germany (AfD) for the attack on Ecke. Their supporters are now completely disinhibited [free?] and apparently see us democrats as fair game"
Last week, two Greens deputies were abused while campaigning in Essen in western Germany and another was surrounded by dozens of demonstrators in her car in the east of the country.

According to provisional police figures, 2,790 crimes were committed against politicians in Germany in 2023, up from 1,806 the previous year, but less than the 2,840 recorded in 2021, when legislative elections took place.

by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catalans vote in crucial regional election for the separatist movement, 12 May
An upstart pro-secession, far-right party called Catalan Alliance, which rails against unauthorised immigration as well as the Spanish state, will hope to earn parliamentary representation. A coalition is inevitable as total of nine parties are running and no single one is expected to come close to winning enough votes to reach the absolute majority of 68 seats in the chamber.
Presidential election, citizenship referendum kick off in Lithuania, 12 May
Eight presidential candidates are vying for the post, with incumbent President Gitanas Nauseda holding a firm lead in polls, followed by Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, and a lawyer, Ignas Vegele. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) to 8 p.m. (1700 GMT). A total of 1895 polling stations opened across the country. Eligible voters can cast ballots at any of the stations, no matter where their place of residence is.
Every Vote Counts in the 2024 Lithuanian Citizenship Referendum
The referendum's question is straightforward yet profound: Should individuals who have acquired Lithuanian citizenship by birth retain their citizenship upon acquiring the citizenship of another country that is friendly to Lithuania?....
For the referendum to be valid, at least 50 percent of voters must vote. However, the hurdle for adopting the proposed amendment to the constitution is a high one: at least 50 percent of all eligible voters—not just those who vote—must say "yes." According to the Central Electoral Commission of Lithuania, 2,385,234 people are on the voter list. Around 400,000 live abroad and can vote by mail or in person at Lithuania's diplomatic representations.
reuters | Lithuanian presidential hopefuls vow to stand up to Russian threat
Lithuanians vote on Sunday in a presidential election expected to hand a new term to incumbent Gitanas Nauseda, a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its two-year war with Russia, following a campaign focusing on security concerns in the Baltic states....
dw | Three perspectives - What Does German citizenship Mean? - video
by Cat on Sun May 12th, 2024 at 02:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Catalan election results
The Socialists secured 42 out of 135 seats in the Catalan parliament, with almost all votes counted. The separatist Junts party of Carles Puigdemont, the man who as Catalan president in 2017 attempted to declare independence from Spain, came in second with 35 seats, while fellow separatists ERC won 20 seats, with others trailing further behind....Catalan voters on Sunday also delivered a boost to the center-right [EPP] People's Party, which saw its share of seats jump to 15 from just three.
ChatGPT | Lithuania election result
Nausėda took about 44 percent of the vote in the first round, followed by Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė on 20 percent, according to electoral commission data. As no candidate received an outright majority, the pair will head to a run-off election on May 26.
by Cat on Mon May 13th, 2024 at 01:27:38 PM EST
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