Populist, xenophobic, and eurosceptic movements are raising across the Old Continent. There is at least one far-right party for each European country. Some of these are big and significant, while others are not. So what are these parties and where are they?
In the Czech Republic, we have gone through four decades of central planning of prices of practically everything. And the result? Either the price has been set too high and surpluses have been accumulated, or too low, and the television in the evening informed the audience about shortages of underwear and toilet paper.
The narrative of the whole debate is not about freedom, but about the right to travel. Probably not all people should have the right to live wherever they want, but everyone should have the freedom to try it. And, after all, data show that immigrants are beneficial to the economy.
The 90% of the 2.2 million people that took part in Catalonia’s referendum voted for the independence of the region. Only 7.8% voted against it. But the most relevant data is that only the 42.2% of the 5.3 million people entitled to vote went to the polls.
Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, came in first in the German national election. However, this is not a great victory because what’s important here is that for the first time in post-World War 2 history, an extreme right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), came in third in the national election, getting around 13% of the votes.
Spain is facing nowadays crucial issues for the national integrity. Approximately 40,000 people have taken to the streets in Barcelona after Guardia Civil has arrested 14 people in the offices of the Catalan government, some of whom are senior officials, like Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs.
In order to help fund the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, the medical device tax was implemented in the U.S. at the beginning of 2013. It is a 2.3% excise tax on medical equipment such as heart valves, manufactured hip joints, pacemakers, etc. The tax has received bipartisan criticism for its negative effect on the medical devices industry.
Gross domestic product is undoubtedly a useful indicator of how the economy is performing. It shows one aspect of the economy that can be used to interpret a general level of “health.” However, while GDP is comparable to a simple doctor’s check-up, it isn’t as in-depth as a yearly physical.
In social sciences, extremism is defined so vaguely that anybody can hide anything behind it. Anything can be outside the “mainstream”. However, if status quo is the mainstream, well – who is not an extremist then? Extremes simply do not meet, and to be an extreme defender of morality cannot be punishable.
Equally promising is that many politicians have clearly understood what clever solutions are: connecting the already existing services, using of the current state of knowledge, putting pressure on solutions implemented through open online platforms, encouraging interactions with citizens, among others.