Opinion: the rotten fringe of Europe | Opinion | ABnews24

Thu, February 27, 2020
Opinion: the rotten fringe of Europe
Miranda Green: The EU has been attempting to take action against member states that seem to have an imperfect understanding of free societies — democracy and the rule of law, for example. But the victory of Viktor Orban in Hungary’s election at the weekend is another reminder of how hard it is becoming to deal with the fringes of Europe. Gideon Rachman writes that the authoritarian rot threatens the bloc’s claim to be a community of values.
Hungary is joined in Gideon’s list of worrisome governments or states undermined by corruption by Poland, Malta, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. Meanwhile Austria and Italy have far-right parties sharing power or within grasping distance of it, and Spain may succumb to the temptation of jailing non-violent, elected politicians — never a good look.
This is no covert argument for abandoning the EU, Gideon explains, but rather a plea to notice that these authoritarian instincts and corrupt tendencies need determined curbing before the rot really sets in.
Building on the Belfast peace deal: 
Janan Ganash argues that the guile and “earthly political craft” displayed during the Good Friday Agreement are sorely needed to strike a Brexit deal. Today’s negotiators should make a study of the messiness and evasions necessary to satisfy all sides during those high stakes talks 20 years ago.
Making Facebook pay: 
Brittany Kaiser writes that “Facebookistan” is so large and powerful as to resemble a nation ruled by a kleptocratic regime — the former director at Cambridge Analytica believes the company should start to recognise its users as owners of their data and pay them for it.
Trump is right to hit out at China:
Peter Navarro offers a staunch defence of Donald Trump’s embrace of a trade war. The director of trade and industrial policy for the president believes the US economic future is at risk from protectionist “China’s assault on American technology and IP”.
Miranda Green was in the FT newsroom for a number of years, as both a UK and world news editor, and has been the paper’s education and political correspondent. She helped found The Day to assist schools teaching current affairs to teenagers, and worked for the Liberal Democrat party in the House of Commons from 1995 to 2000.
Source: Financial Times
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