The EU has its share of “lit­tle” er­do­gans and trumps

The Baltic Times - - OUR COMMENTARY - The Baltic Times ed­i­tor-in-chief linas@baltic­times.com

As ed­i­tor, I never usu­ally tell our com­men­ta­tors and an­a­lysts what topic to dis­cuss. Yet some themes seem to be of spe­cial affin­ity to some. You got it right: one of them is Don­ald Trump, the US Pres­i­dent! Karlis Streips, a Lat­vian jour­nal­ist of US de­scent, re­minds us in his com­men­tary on page 2 that Lat­vian Pres­i­dent Rai­monds Ve­jo­nis re­ceived re­cently a let­ter from Don­ald Trump, in which the US leader not only vowed the United States’ un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for the Baltic States, but also ad­mit­ted be­ing a fan of the New York Knicks bas­ket­ball team, which on its ros­ter, has a Lat­vian break­out star, Kristaps Porzingis, who has, by the way, posted very good re­sults dur­ing his two sea­sons, even though the team it­self has not done so well. Frankly, it’s hard to be­lieve the Pres­i­dent him­self has scrib­bled the neatly knit­ted thoughts, yet the at­ten­tion is heart-sooth­ing amid the geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions. How­ever, vit­ri­olic Streips hits at Trump al­ready in the first lines: (I’d rather) I pre­fer to call him (Trump) the em­peror of Trump­is­tan for all of his airs and gaudi­ness… On the in­ter­na­tional front of an­a­lyt­ics, Trump has seem­ingly got­ten a rel­a­tively lit­tle break, with many of the Euro­pean an­a­lysts tak­ing up the topic of the near­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in France over the past few weeks and the new far-reach­ing pow­ers of the Turk­ish Pres­i­dent, Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan. Nev­er­the­less, the EU has its share of “lit­tle er­do­gans and trumps” – the com­men­tary on page 14 by Sła­womir Sier­akowski, founder of the Kry­tyka Poli­ty­czna move­ment and Di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Ad­vanced Study in War­saw, points out ex­actly that. “So far, Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­bán and Pol­ish Law and Jus­tice (PIS) Party Chair­man Jarosław Kaczyński’s “il­lib­eral” coun­ter­rev­o­lu­tion has meant crack­ing down on the in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary, pub­lic me­dia, and... But now it is ap­par­ent that even the mil­i­tary may be brought un­der the con­trol of a sin­gle po­lit­i­cal party. In Poland, the PIS is car­ry­ing out a rev­o­lu­tion­ary re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the army, the likes of which have not been seen since the im­po­si­tion of com­mu­nist rule,” pos­tu­lates the Pol­ish an­a­lyst. Theresa May, the UK PM, has drawn this week lime­light af­ter hint­ing she will seek an early par­lia­men­tary elec­tion later this year, although the term ends just in 2020. The de­ci­sion may have caught off guard even the keen­est in­sid­ers of Lon­don pol­i­tics, and Britain’s en­voy to Latvia Sarah Cow­ley, too. Pressed on Brexit’s po­ten­tial fall­out to the Lat­vian émi­gré UK com­mu­nity, she as­sured The Baltic Times on page 4 it will not ill-af­fect any hard worker in any way. Not sure whether politi­cians can al­ways be trusted though. Even when they talk of lov­ing the team with a player from Latvia.

Linas Jegele­vi­cius

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