6 November 2018   Leave a comment

The Pew Research Center has some interesting results from a poll it conducted in several European countries.  The questions related to the degree of openness to Muslims and Jews and the extent to which citizens regarded their societies as superior to other societies.  The poll found a rather sharp divide between western and eastern European societies:

“The continental divide in attitudes and values can be extreme in some cases. For example, in nearly every Central and Eastern European country polled, fewer than half of adults say they would be willing to accept Muslims into their family; in nearly every Western European country surveyed, more than half say they would accept a Muslim into their family. A similar divide emerges between Central/Eastern Europe and Western Europe with regard to accepting Jews into one’s family.”

The poll found similar splits on the issues of gay rights, abortion, and the role of religion.  The study is fascinating.

Eastern Europeans are more likely to regard their culture as superior to others


French President Macron is on a tour of World War I battle sites, honoring the centenary of the Armistice agreement that ended the war.  While on tour, he called for the creation of a “real European army” saying that “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”  European states have toyed with the idea of creating a unified European army for a number of years, but those plans have always floundered over the question of how to integrate such an army into the overall NATO framework.  The US has usually been opposed to the force, but it is not clear how the current US Administration views the possibility.  Macron no longer believes that the US is a reliable security partner:  “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”

Photograph revealing the trenches from the battle of the Somme, 100 years after the battle


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India has 14 of the top 15 most polluted cities in the world.  Fall is always bad in Indian cities:  farmers burn the stubble from their fields and the Diwali festival is always accompanied by fireworks that contribute to polluted air.  The pollution is a serious health hazard, but it also has serious economic consequences.  According to NDTV: “By the World Bank’s calculations, health-care fees and productivity losses from pollution cost India as much as 8.5 percent of GDP. At its current size of $2.6 trillion that works out to about $221 billion every year.”  India has made significant progress in developing alternative sources of energy, but its progress in that area lags far behind the efforts to curtail pollution.



Posted November 6, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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