On 2 December, Slovenians elected a new president, the former centre-left Prime Minister, Borut Pahor. The participation was extremely low and reached only 41.5%. Whereas the turnout at the elections hit a record low, participation in social protests has been very strong. Low election turnout and strong social protest signal deep discontent with political representatives and the social situation. Joachim Becker reports.
A worsening social situation and radicalised neo-liberal policies form the background to social mobilisation. There have been powerful demonstrations against austerity not only in the capital Ljubljana, but also in small towns. In some towns, particularly Maribor, corruption was a major topic of protests as well. The right-wing Prime Minister Janez is a highly polarising figure. He attempts to utilize the crisis for radicalising neo-liberal policies ...
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.