July 11, 2016 |
PARIS - These days, there is one overriding issue on the minds of the French. It isn't Brexit. Nor is it whether France will copy Britain and Frexit the European Union. Pas du tout . What is fixating the French is whether their national soccer team will beat Portugal in the final of the Euro 2016 championship tournament. Raucous celebrations for France's semifinal win over Germany went on most of Thursday night outside the Paris apartment where I'm staying. The national team, with its "Black, Blanc, Beur" (black, white, and Arab)
July 5, 2016 |
Given their arrogance, pomposity, and habitual absurdities, it is hard not to feel a certain satisfaction with the comeuppance that Brexit has delivered to the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats in Brussels. Nonetheless, we would do well to refrain from smug condescension. Unity is not easy. What began in 1951 as a six-member European Coal and Steel Community was grounded in a larger conception of a united Europe born from the ashes of World War II. Seven decades into the postwar era, Britain wants out and the EU is facing an existential crisis.
July 4, 2016
Britain's vote to leave the European Union was greeted in the kingdom and its former colonies by more than a few facile comparisons to a 240-year-old revolution. "The Brexit referendum is akin to our own Declaration of Independence," former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin enthused. The leader of the far-right UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, said the vote would "go down in history as our independence day. " Especially from a Philadelphian's perspective, such analogies, if followed to their absurd conclusion, suggest London and other major English cities had better gird for occupation.
July 4, 2016 |
BERLIN - Shortly before the Brexit vote, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine ran a cover story that urged the Brits: "Please don't go. " For Germans, long the most loyal supporters of the European Union, it was unthinkable that the British would leave them. After the Brexit shock, Der Spiegel has a new plea: "If we don't become more passionate about the European Union, we will lose it," writes columnist Stefan Kuzmany. There is widespread agreement that the future of a united Europe will be decided more by emotions than facts.
July 2, 2016
ISSUE | BREXIT U.S. voters can learn from Britain's fear We in the United States should take note of the reaction in Britain since its vote to withdraw from the European Union ("EU urges Britain to make quick exit," Sunday). Many who voted to leave expressed remorse. It would seem that far too many voted on an emotional rather than a rational basis. In the cold, clear light of day, "Leave" voters realized their choice had been based on emotion and xenophobia. Rational thought did not seem to factor in for these voters.
July 2, 2016 |
BERLIN - Should anyone require further proof that the promises of populists are worthless, they need only watch the latest psychodrama in London. Boris Johnson, the ex-London mayor and mop-haired Donald Trump clone who led the Conservative Party's "Leave" faction, just dropped his bid to become Britain's next prime minister. This was almost as shocking as the voters' decision to leave the European Union, since Johnson was the face of the Brexit campaign. But every glowing promise Johnson made before the Brexit vote has been walked back since by leading Brexiteers.
June 30, 2016 |
DRESDEN, Germany - About 2,000 Germans gathered in the market square in this elegant old town to denounce Angela Merkel as a traitor - and to cheer Britain on for deciding to leave the European Union. They were taking part in the regular Monday demonstrations of Pegida, the German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. The Pegida crowd was waving the banners of Germany and the free state of Saxony along with signs saying "Thank you, Brexit. " I asked a group of middle-aged men in polo shirts, slacks, and sandals, all workers in a machinery plant, why they were there.
June 29, 2016
Elites are in trouble. High levels of immigration are destabilizing our democracies. Politicians who put their short-term political interests over their countries' needs reap the whirlwind - for themselves but, more importantly, for their nations. Citizens who live in the economically ailing peripheries of wealthy nations are in revolt against well-off and cosmopolitan metropolitan areas. Older voters lock in decisions that young voters reject. Traditional political parties on the left and right are being torn asunder.
June 28, 2016 |
Remember Y2K? Banks and governments worried the date-time software conversion at the start of the millennium would blow out the global computer network. After spending extra on upgrades - and driving survivalists to stockpile dried food and bottled water - the world moved forward, mostly unscathed. That's about what Hank Smith, boss at $6.5-billion-asset Haverford Trust Co. expects of "Brexit," Friday's vote by English voters to leave the European Union. (Their Scottish and Northern Irish partners in the United Kingdom voted to stay, raising the prospect of a U.K. breakup.)
June 27, 2016
LONDON - How fitting. As the Brits cast a stunning vote to quit the European Union, Donald Trump was opening a luxury golf course in Scotland and crowing that Britain did "a great thing. " This historic victory for the British Brexiteers is part of a nationalist trend that is gripping Europe and has spread across the Atlantic. The leader of the "Leave" campaign, the blond, mop-haired Boris Johnson, is a bombastic Trump clone who defied his Conservative Party's leader, Prime Minister David Cameron.