Friday, 15 September 2017

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Should Germans stop speaking English in Berlin?

A rising star in Merkel's CDU party has criticized Germans in Berlin for speaking too much English, calling them "elitist hipsters". Is he right to say the omnipresence of English in Berlin is exclusionary?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Juncker's Wallonia bypass could save Brexit

Next week the Commission is expected to outline a plan in which governments will no longer have veto power over most EU trade deals. It could be a game-changer for the Brexit negotiations.

One year ago, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepared to board a plane tp Brussels to sign a landmark free trade deal with the European Union, he had a bone to pick with some fellow Francophones 4km to the south of the EU capital.

The deal was done and all 28 EU national governments had agreed to it. But the tiny region of Wallonia, the French-speaking, politically far-left Southern part of Belgium, was threatening to wield a veto. A region of 3.5 million people was about to unilaterally kill the trade deal agreed by the other 509 million. 

The premier of Wallonia asked Trudeau to cancel the visit, saying it would be a "provocation" to do so while Wallonia had not yet given its assent. The Canadian PM cancelled his flight, but he was not pleased. "If, in a week or two, we see that Europe is unable to sign a progressive trade agreement with a country like Canada, well then with whom will Europe do business in the years to come?" he asked.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Fake Brexit: Is Britain heading for pseudo-independence from the EU?

On this week's podcast, we look at issues of national pride. Would a 'fake Brexit' be enough to satisfy British yearning for a feeling of sovereignty? And as the German election nears, what does a recent uproar about the use of English in Berlin say about the changing nature of German politics?