Weekly Digest: March 11

Juha Sipila, the former Prime Minister of Poland (photo by Estonian Presidency, accessed via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-2.0

Juha Sipila, the former Prime Minister of Poland (photo by Estonian Presidency, accessed via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-2.0

Economics

Theresa May’s Brexit proposal rejected again

After the U.K. House of Commons rejected PM May’s first deal in January, Theresa May went back to Brussels to renegotiate it with the European Commission. Despite the additional concessions made by the E.U., British MPs rejected the proposal by the margin of 149 votes. With only 17 days left until the predetermined Brexit date, the Parliament will now vote whether to extend Article 50 and negotiate again or leave the European Union without any formal agreement via the so-called “hard Brexit”.

Germany’s controversy about arms exports

The pressure put on Germany by its closest allies, France and Britain, has been gradually growing due to Angela Merkel’s controversial decisions on exporting arms parts produced in German factories without which French and British equipment cannot work. After Germany stopped exports to Saudi Arabia last November, Britain’s $13.3bn deal with the Saudis was threatened as the jets they were supposed to sell required German components. Similarly, some French helicopters became unusable as they lacked German replacement parts.

Politics

Germany to strip dual national militia fighters of citizenship

The Trump administration recently proposed taking away the citizenship of American ISIS fighters - and Germany proposed doing something similar. Well, with a few caveats. The revocation of citizenship would only apply to dual citizens (to prevent statelessness) and to those over the age of 18. More broadly, this measure fits into the world’s attempts to figure out what to do with the remnants of ISIS as it fades off the world stage.

Finland's government resigns over failed healthcare reform

The headline says it all. Finland, with its aging population and generous health benefits, needed reforms to its healthcare system to make it more fiscally sound. The government failed, so the entire Finnish cabinet resigned with a month leading up to elections. Republicans in the United States will likely look at this episode with glee as proof of the demerits of a universal health care system, the major policy proposal of the “Berniecrat” wing of the Democratic Party.

Culture/Society

Denmark has been called the best country for women. But a new report says it has a ‘pervasive rape culture’

Denmark has recently been deemed one of the best countries in the world for women amongst the necessary and relevant push for gender equality in Europe. However, Amnesty International recently came out with a report that exposes a pervasive rape culture in Denmark, heightened by the justice system’s negligence to administer convictions. Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s secretary general, explained that the rape laws in Denmark are out of date and do not hold up to international standards.

New Festival of European Theatre Celebrates the Influence of Europe on UK Culture

The Actors Centre and Voila! Europe announced a festival entitled A Piece of the Continent, which will go up at The Actor’s Centre’s Tristan Bates Theatre, as a way for artists from all across Europe to come together, especially as the UK plans to leave the EU. The festival will feature theatre from artists from Italy, Poland, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Austria, and Spain, based both in the UK and abroad.