Turkish elections, anti-Zionist bank freeze, Schengen neophytes

Turkish elections, anti-Zionist bank freeze, Schengen neophytes
Опубликовано: Wednesday, 03 April 2024 16:21

Editor’s note: In the spirit of diversifying and experimentation, we’ve partnered with the reporters behind the Euroscopic podcast, who will be bringing a weekly conversational analysis of the top EU stories, coupled with interviews with some of EUobserver’s reporters on the stories we’ve published. I’ll let the kind hosts, Martin Gak and William Glucroft, take it from here:

Very little happens quickly in the European Union. How much Germany has to do with that may be more correlation than causation, though the parallel is strong. For a coalition government that came into power at the end of 2021 "daring more progress," it has taken more than half its term to do what many similar countries have already done. Pot is, finally, more or less legal. Whatever the political, economic, and social repercussions now, it will be a relief to stop hearing about every step of the tortured legislative process that was required to pass a fairly mild reform.

Germany must be smoking something, though, because a major state-backed bank thought it was a good idea to freeze the assets of an anti-Zionist Jewish peace organisation. It’s a highly unusual move that sounds like a past Germany — and Sparkasse, the bank, has been rather tight-lipped as to why it did so. Theories abound, however, and the incident dovetails with the bigger silencing campaign the German state and its affiliated institutions have waged against Israel critics. The chair of Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East joins us to discuss the situation.

Otherwise, there are local Turkish elections to discuss. And Bulgaria and Romania join the Schengen club. Mostly, anyway. Plus, what "Pfizergate" tells us about the European Commission and its leader, Ursula von der Leyen.

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