tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 147 Al Jazeera May 28, 2019 2:32pm-3:01pm +03
declaration of independence say police were sent to intimidate serbs. politicians in iraq's semi autonomous kurdish region have elected a former prime minister and ensure that zani as their new president his uncle masoud barzani last tell the presidency the post was suspended after a failed independence referendum in 2017 at least 2 people have been killed in a stabbing attack in japan a group of schoolchildren was targeted in calif saki stabbed himself and died in the hospital. number is ill at least 40 prisoners have been killed in fighting in 4 different jails inmates were found dead in jails in amazon a state police say the violence is gang related security reinforcements have been dispatched or the headlines keep it on al-jazeera story is next.
the far right makes gains in the european parliament elections but not the clean sweep some feared as pro e.u. parties are still the majority or the results mean for nationalists in the divided parliament this is inside story. hello and welcome to this special inside story from london i'm barbara sero a record number of voters across europe have dealt a blow to traditional centrist politics with far right parties making significant gains in the parliament elections
a surgeon support from liberal and green parties means that pro e.u. politicians will still be the majority in the $751.00 seat parliament but far right and nationalist wins in italy france britain and poland if you're a skeptic parties control of a quarter of the seats for the 1st time the far right gains were less than expected they may still upset the balance of power in the e.u. parliament now finds itself more fragmented than ever before will bring in our guests in just a moment 1st though the passion butler has more from paris the face of europe's parliament is changing the traditional power blocs of the center right and center left that has dominated for decades lost seats as populous greens and liberal say for the 1st time. yes. the 1st elections in 1979 of the european parliament to 2 classical parties socialist and conservatives will no longer
have a majority. nationalism and fears over immigration fueled gains for populous parties in france hungry and italy where matteo sell vinnie's far right policy won more than 30 percent of the vote. in it not only is the league the 1st party in italy but marine le pen is the 1st party in france in the u.k. in order for august 1st so it's 3 france england it's the sign of a europe that is changing green parties in several countries celebrated their best e.u. election results highlighting concern among some voters in the climate change after ending people all across europe want to form a peaceful europe together we haven't just got a great result in germany but as it stands in ireland and the netherlands in austria all across europe the greens are strong. the election results reflect a growing political trend in the east 28 member states people are increasingly rejecting establishment traditional mainstream parties and supporting alternatives
and floating for courses the center right european peoples party remains the largest bloc in the e.u. parliament but with no majority it'll be forced to seek support to form a pro e.u. coalition there is no ability there recent no stable maturity without the e.p. and that's why the e.p.a. is ready for compromise ready for talks to each other but the have to work together that is our main. the european project was created after world war 2 to ensure that rivalries between countries would never again result in conflict while these elections show that politically europe is more fragmented than ever pro e.u. parties. still retain a majority suggesting that although some voters may be questioning the european union most still believe in it natasha butler al-jazeera paris.
let's go now to our guests joining me here in the studio is nina shake she is an author and political commentator and she's worked on a number of european political campaigns and elections tony travers for fessor at the school of public policy at the london school of economics and joining us from berlin thorsten benner is the co-founder and director of the global public policy institute welcome to you all nina if i can just start with you of course we now have the results of the elections there hasn't been the surge that perhaps people were expecting of the far right but what do you make of it in general do you sense a shift in european politics there are several top lines from the elections the 1st is of course the populist surge that was the narrative going in because that is indeed what happened 5 years ago and that seems to have been a lloyds and that was always going to be the case because the picture that's emerging in my view is a bigger fragmentation big losers last night where
a lot of the kind of traditional center right and center left parties true for germany true for france and also new parties doing really really well doing much better than projected and we're talking about the liberals and the greens so you for have fragmentation and this almost you know the obsession or with the narrative that the far right would hijack all the votes has not been true they're still a force but we've seen a lot of votes also in the center left of the on the left of the political spectrum . will focus on breaks it a little later because it is a slightly different dynamic but of course for we saw in the u.k. was the epitome of that the centrist party is absolutely enraging support can they recover and what do you think was behind it what is true what happened in the a was a far greater collapse of the traditional. part is if you look at the the new european parliament they'll still be a big block of sort of center left socialist in a big block of center right type part parties and still split broadly left right
5050 but in the in britain yesterday 1st day when the voting took place the conservative collapsed to under 10 percent this is one of the great parties of european politics that existed in different forms for 150 or more years there haven't been a result as bad as that nothing like it's you know of the commentators of thought about the worst result since 832 but the truth is there's nothing like it in history now the labor party didn't do much better they are the main opposition party and their vote share was again terribly low in the 2 together can barely muster a quarter of the electorate that's the way of looking at it so this is a remarkable change of course it's an election which takes place on the proportional representation which is not the way we do general elections so some of these voters might go back but it is a big shift in and it's a big change in british politics for sure let's focus now on the german the politics we can go to berlin and speak to at thorston benner who joins us from
there it was then that the german results actually were some of the 1st ones to come in or the projections anyway and we saw there that angular merkel's coalition partners certainly did very badly she sort of managed to hang in and the if the the far right party didn't do as well as some people were predicting what do you make of those results because germany of course is key to the e.u. the biggest country within it 96 members in the european parliament. look like in most other european countries the pro european forces still have a vast majority in germany if you add them up but the landscape is fragmenting and that's a trend in many european countries in germany you see the demise not just of the social democrats but also of merkel's party the christian democratic union if you take voters under the age of 60 most of them actually voted for the green party and voters under the age of 3033 percent made the greens the strongest party is only if you take in pensioners the c.d.u.
managed to come on on top you have an urban rural fragmentation the greens were strongest in the big cities and you have an east west fragmentation the if he didn't do particularly well 1 in the west but it did extremely well in many states in the east it came in strongest in sex and he with 25 percent and in another state in brandenburg it became strongest party and was 2nd strongest in all the other states and these 3 of these states will have local elections so it's deeply entrenched and successful in these so it's a very mixed picture you see in germany and that's the also the picture in europe because there is no green surge across the continent in italy the green party has 2 percent and it's a significant european country in portugal spain in some of the nordic countries in the netherlands the social democrats actually doing fairly well so it's a very mixed and fragmented picture of course people like me want it to be a little less fragmented he started a new coalition to replace the n.f.
group in the parliament marine le pen is part of 8 what are the chances the think of being able to unite a lot of the far right parties within europe to really create a solid block in parliament. think. he will certainly try to be the leader of a nationalist movement and maybe mr orbán the prime minister hungry that has 13 seats in the parliament is quite significant we'll join him in that and a few others but let's not forget that 1st of all the scared of ben and salvini the far right bloc in the european union actually drove many centrist voters to the polls we saw busy an increase in the participation in the european election that was quite significant and let's not forget that there are huge divides within the nationalist bloc somebody like mr sodini doesn't care at all about european budget roles in the rules in the euro zone whereas his austrian allies for example
really want these budget rules to be upheld there's divides on who should take migrants and so on so that's sort of the not underestimate the problems that the far right will will have to act as a cohesive form they are very cohesive in terms of acting as partners but to actually advance an agenda that will be far far more difficult for them any to shake it perhaps numbers wise it and do as well as some people were predicting but it is hugely symbolic isn't it when you see le pen beat mccrone when the whole campaign had been very much almost a personal thing between them too and their different ideals when you see some of the effectively become almost a de facto prime minister in italy and then the brics vote yeah i think when it comes to the far right kind of populist party salvini is clearly the biggest winner on the european continent when it comes to le pen i think we're looking at a slightly different picture it was a blow for mark on that he didn't win but actually he didn't lose as badly as some
were thinking and then actually did worse this time around than she did in 2014 it's really interesting to see how far less you know has shifted in 2014 they were saying you know it was. an earthquake they want 25 percent of the vote and they say we are going to enter the european parliament we're going to build this nationalist bloc and we're going to destroy the european union from within fost forward 5 years down the line and. has changed now they're saying you know they don't want to leave the euro they don't want facts that they don't want france leave the e.u. and they want to reform the european union from within so some wind has been knocked out of her sails when it comes to fire in the u.k. that's a completely different story because of course this is a national story evolving entirely around brics that huge night for him although even though he just started his breakfast party 2 months ago you know this is largely 2.0 he already had the infrastructure in place but it was a huge win for him he is claiming victory saying this shows that the country wants
the hardest form of brecht's that or no deal back that but actually what the u.k. result really shows is that this is the country divided straight down the middle remain and leave really really polarizing between those 2 of course a lot of people think that europe itself is polarized we spoke about mcallen and he was that ledge to obviously but as usual on the yellow vest movement as well for the past few months with mccrone damaged certainly under pressure not just from marine le pen with michael 7 having announced that she's stepping down so she's still there for a while but can't really i suppose continue the european project who steps in for them well i think that it's really interesting to look at the kind of factions in the european parliament and the greens the liberals the center right grouping the center left grouping they're all broadly pro european so even though there are nationalist populist parties in the european parliament the bigger she seat share is pro european so mccall even though he might have suffered
a defeat at home and it might make his domestic agenda more difficult it doesn't really change too much on the european level the questions the big questions of eurozone integration that berlin and paris. they're always vying over continue as before i don't think this european election really changes that i think that we are going to continue to see more of the same essentially and actually because the greens and liberals have done so well the beginning of much more details sophisticated conversations on things like climate change is especially because this seems to have been a huge issue for young voters this is going to be something that's going to come to the fore in the future thorsten benner in berlin or merkel obviously damaged or certainly or coalition damaged by these results how is she fairing within germany and as a figurehead of europe do you think in a with the next parliament. americal is faring very well she has
a very high approval rate still and the majority of voters are still not tired tired of her she made a conscious decision not to have any appearances in germany during the election campaign because she said like it's for her successor as party. come combo or to do the campaigning that may have actually contributed to the fairly poor showing of the christian democrats merkel is not necessarily the most spent of all forces in german politics at least her likely successors don't look more energetic and dynamic. tony travers in that small with port that that we watched before we started chatting with some at this a v. me who obviously very proud and very happy at his results a saying that you know that he had done well in italy that marine le pen and then well in france that nigel farage obviously had done well in england as as he said and in fairness those are 3 really of the 4 biggest countries in the e.u.
how similar or different do you seen the movements are between the brics that party and the general and marine le pen sylviane a lot of the of the far right leaders and you clearly have some things in common that they are insurgent movements against the establishment in the country that he's seen or can be portrayed as being out of touch and in need of a kicking really a political version of kicking. beyond that of course i mean nigel farage within u.k. politics is very careful to stay as far as possible with inside the political mainstream the reason that ukip his former party has done very badly in these european elections and in the local elections that took place in the recently is that it has become to be seen to be extreme and people won't vote for it anymore all of those votes and more have gone to the brics it party now i know that in both france and italy the parties those parties the marine le pen and salvini have been perhaps
a little bit more comfortable at. encouraging voters from the extremes of their country's politics and farage is very careful not to do that so he can now portray his party as a potential replacement for the conservatives not saying that will happen but he's definitely trying to give that impression so he he takes great care to stay inside the political mainstream most of the time obviously immigration is a key issue for survival of pena most of the far right parties and even far as yourself though has often used it for political purposes perhaps less since the referendum and the whole mess in the u.k. of not being able to leave but he did also use that tactic didn't he he did and famously in front of a post that was used very heavily during by his campaign during the breaks it campaign back in 2016 but it's worth remembering that in the u.k. immigration as in this year has fallen away since the referendum it was a bigot's you in the referendum that triggered the difficulties the u.k.
political system is now having but actually subsequently it's fallen away as an issue so it's much less salient and much less likely to drive people and now the issue is not about that it's about just delivering bracks it and a particular kind of bracks so it's the whole debate's moved on at me and it really what this election in the u.k. was all about was and it was almost like another referee. and i'm on having a referendum absolutely and i can tell you that i don't see the light at the end of the tunnel i don't see when politics in this country is not going to be about bricks that we have to look at a few years ago before the referendum was held when europe was an issue that really wasn't very important to voters and now given that what's happened here in the past few years it has become the issue it is the lens through which everything is seen and indeed it is absolutely paralyzed government government is able to start talking about other things looking at other things you know ministers often say
would like stop talking about brakes and tried to do other things but that indeed looks impossible and given the current predicament the british government has then it looks set likely to continue and it might even get worse a lot of people say and in a way it was that the price of vote was the 1st in the populous wave because it actually came months even before the election of donald trump how much do you think the breaks a vote here had an impact on the rest of europe well i think there the argument can be made that there's been some kind of bracks that dividend in europe because indeed when bracks it happened you know not nigel farage was out saying this would be the start of the dominoes falling you know one after the other all the other european countries would be lining up to leave the european union following the example set by fars and ukip and indeed that has not happened it is really important to look at the nuances of the kind of populist wave in europe and even though you can broadly draw comparisons saying things like immigration drive them in the context of the european countries this is largely to do with non even the
gratian to do with asylum seekers and refugees whereas in the united kingdom it was about free movement of people so even though i think has said that he would lead this populist revolution what's come to pass now is that the populace have not done as well as perhaps predicted so there are comparisons but i think that you have to . really careful to look at each country individually because there are big differences as well toss the better back to you in berlin a lot of people will complain even people that do vote pro e.u. will complain that the e.u. isn't quite working right now that it's seen as too remote that it's not helping some of the countries or people in the way that it should and there's always a lot of talk of reform that's where all the populace say they're going to reform it from within if you want to reform the e.u. and i think i'll ask all of my guests this question what reform do you think the e.u. needs to undertake. and 1st of all they need support asians at the national level
that don't just take the credit for the good things that happen nationally and put all the blame to the you level that's the trend we've been seeing and that has given you a bad name you need national politicians that actually explain also the virtues of the us then i think you need trans nationalists what we've seen in this european parliament election is that mostly national issues still dominated the debates and shaped the outcomes if you had transnational truly transnational parties and listen i think that could make a difference toward a real true european conversation on the issues and that's where we could be going on in terms of just muddling through which you'll see a lot in the coming years the fact that the liberals and the green party will play an important role in the negotiations on the next commission and what the parliament is all about in terms of its program i think it will be quite healthy to put some environmental issues front and center as nina has hinted at the climate crisis but also to shape up on tech not technological and digital issues where the
traditional forces such as in the case of the corporate directive very much seemed like dinosaurs and that also contributed to the bad rap that the us had with with some borders tony travers you think there's any kind of reform to the e.u. could have undertaken or perhaps been a bit more flexible in the original negotiations david cameron before the referendum that might have changed the vote of the earth 2 issues buried in that question one is you know could something more been offered to david cameron which could have just made it a 5248 vote the other way and the answer to that clearly is yes it would have been possible had had a different set of negotiations there because he sions ended differently so i think it on to your broad question i think from within within the united kingdom the e.u. the parliament commission the institutions do seem very to. stint is not just a matter of the channel and they are seen as bureaucratic and distant so i think
that whatever happens in the future of britain's relationship with the the more that people in the u.k. can come to understand what the e.u. does for them and the good things that it can do as well as all the things that people find very hard to understand because they're behind closed doors the better it's just even people who are in favor of the member who is a big euro skeptic so you want to try and make make sure that people have a kind of objective understanding of what the institution is doing what it does for them a long way from brussels nina following on to tony's point about it being distant isn't that an issue of language because of course we have to go to the parliament any european institution everything is translated it's hard to relate to someone that doesn't speak in your language you know translations of only go so far so do you think the issue of the e.u. feeling this tent is insurmountable to certain extent i would say yes i mean these
are 28 countries perhaps 27 soon to be all with their own distinct histories identities and many times people feel far more affiliated to local or national politicians than a kind of idea of a pan-european demos and that has traditionally been something that's plagued the european union since its inception so it's very interesting to see that the turnout in these elections is actually been the highest i think it's been in 20 years right here so it's really interesting 50 percent though if you are saying which is not great compared to national action so i think that is something that the european union is always going to be struggling with so the way forward for the european union is i think that it does need to do a much better job of explaining what the tremendous achievements are like the single market as we've still from the referendum here nobody really knows the difference between the single market or the customs union and it has to reach it has to invest more in issues of the future and in particular research and development. because your current become an open air museum of the world will have
to see if and how it manages that to reform with the next problem in the next few years thank you very much taller guests need to shake tony travers and thorsten a banner and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is a.j. inside story for me barbara sarah and the whole team here i forget. my.
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