What's New(s)

WHAT’S NEW(S) – 30/10/2020

WHAT’S NEW(S) – 30/10/2020

What´s New(s)? La revue de presse anglophone – Erik Ruiz Martín & Nadine Vermeulen

This weekly broadcast series presents you the European news from different angles and perspectives. Which events and developments have made the news, and how? Each week we take a closer look at one event that dominated this week’s news, and quickly discuss other topics that made the headlines in various countries across the continent.

Topic of this week:  the ‘diplomatic riot’ that followed the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty. Did Erdogan’s insults grab the headlines?

You'll find the script below:

Last week we noticed how various newspapers across the Union made the connection between the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in France and the ongoing threat of jihadism and radical Islam. How have they picked up on the ‘diplomatic riot’ between Macron and Erdogan that followed this week?

Macron and Erdogan at the brink of war” was the title published in the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad this Wednesday. Journalist Kristof Simoens explains it’s not the first time that Erdogan and Macron clash, referring to disputes over Turkey’s role in Syria and Libya, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and oil exploitations in the Mediterranean. This time however, attacks have become more personal, he says. EU observer wrote Erdogan launched “a string of headline-grabbing insults” against the French president, who was described as being a mentally ill person that should be checked up.

Politico cited foreign policy chief Borrell who tweeted that ‘Erdogan’s words’ are unacceptable. What other reactions were quoted by the press?

The Spanish newspaper El Confidencial was also citing Borrell, thereby adding the words of Charles Michel, who said that Turkey was provoking the EU, and those of Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz who signalled that Turkey is further away from the EU than it has ever been before. Dutch newspaper NRC quoted Prime Minister Mark Rutte that said that his message to Erdogan was ‘very simple’."With France, the Netherlands continues to stand firm on the EU's common values.'. He thereby responded to the fact that Erdogan had filed a complaint against Dutch right-wing politician Wilders earlier this week, after the latter posted a cartoon of Erdogan with the words ‘terrorist’.

And how have they reported on the boycott of French products and rallies organised across the world as a reaction to Macron’s statements?

Spanish newspaper El País describes how statements are “unleashing a wave of protest in Muslim countries”. According to Patrick Wintour the Guardian, the French president has become a hate figure in Islamic world. German Newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung states that the Islamic world is reacting with outrage to Macron’s words, with French products being subject of a boycott from Qatar to Iran and Pakistan. Shamil Shams argues in Deutsche Welle that Erdogan and Khan have no right to talk about "Islamophobia" when their governments show no respect to people of other faiths”. According to Alan Crawford in Bloomberg not all Muslim states seem quite as keen to rush to judgment as others, while France’s strategic importance to the Gulf means a wider boycott is unlikely.

Besides this diplomatic conflict, which other events made the news in Europe this week, starting with Spain?

Not surprisingly, this week, ABC, El País, La Vanguardia and El Mundo have included in their front pages the restrictions announced by the government to stop the spread of the virus. Latin America was also quite present in the Spanish newspapers this week. El País displayed on its front page on Tuesday the excitement in the streets of Chile after the historic referendum by which the current constitution, written in the era of the dictator Pinochet, was buried to give way to a new one that will be designed by democratically elected citizens. Other than that, the arrival to the Spanish territory of Leopoldo López, a Venezuelan opposition leader was also a widely mentioned topic.

What about the Italian press, I guess less coverage of the issues in Latin America?

No trace of Latin American politics in the Italian headlines indeed. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 is also the hot-topic in the Italian press, mentioning the brutal protests against the new governmental measures that started in Naples and have spread to other cities in the country. Collectives of artists, tourism, HORECA and event sectors led the protests against the uncertainty that these measures will bring to their sectors. The newspaper La Repubblica has also been very critical of these measures, labelling the measures as a "lockdown to free time".

What about the German press ?

Apart from anti-lockdown protests, German newspapers also paid attention to climate policies, citing President Frank-Walter Steinmeiner, who was stressing that even COVID-19 is taking over the agenda, we should not forget about climate change. Foreign events that made the news in Germany, were, besides the disputes between France and Turkey, the ongoing protests in Thailand and the controversial stay of the Thai King, who loves to spend time in Germany. “A lot of time” according to Der Spiegel, that askes: “Is he actually carrying out his duties from Bavaria?” Besides Thailand, the German press also paid attention to protests against anti-abortion policies in Poland, and ongoing violent conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Cameroon.

Crédits photo: Pixabay