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