French Guiana, in South America, seeks more autonomy from France Protests in the second-poorest of France’s overseas departments enter their fifth week OF ALL the voters fuming about neglect by out-of-touch politicians in distant Paris, the people of French Guiana have perhaps the strongest case. It is the second-poorest of France’s five overseas departments (DOMs).... Continue Reading →
Scattered across the globe, thousands of miles away from the mainland, France's overseas departments are often sidelined by the country's politicians - except during the run-up to presidential elections. In November, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, visited Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, then French Guiana in the Caribbean in December. The same month... Continue Reading →
Since visiting Istanbul during the June election last year, I've been closely following developments in Turkey. I decided to make a podcast about the Turkish elections for SOAS Radio's regional spotlight series. I got in touch with Hişyar Özsoy, an MP for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and Gamon McLellan, former head of the... Continue Reading →
There's more, however, to influence in the EU than flexing a bit of high-ranking muscle. We also need to have the odd regular fonctionnaire roaming around the Berlaymont singing 'Rule Britannia!'
We don't get free tea and coffee in the Commission, tax payers will be delighted to know. Thus the queue for the coffee machines, where thoroughly unappetising coffee is only 30 cent, is normally very long. Recently when bracing myself to pretend the shot size café au lait I was purchasing was equal to if... Continue Reading →
In recompense for Cameron's diplomatic incompetence, Farage's smug grin, Blair's diplomatic incompetence and smug grin, the Battle of Waterloo, the Spanish Armada, Henry VIII calling Anne of Cleve's ugly, and pretty much everything else since William the Conqueror, Brits in Brussels are frequently subjected to 'words' such as 'planification', 'conditionalities' and 'comitology'.
Italy's 'score' is announced on a big screen in front of us and a roar of applause and whooping erupts from the Italians in the crowd, followed by a cacophony of chinking glasses. The Italians are bizarrely celebrating their voting turnout at the election party. In the Brussels euro bubble the European elections are barely... Continue Reading →