European Views | Alexander Lukashenko’s latest gambit was too outrageous for European policymakers to ignore. The EU rushed to react after the Belarusian dictator scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Ryanair flight between Athens and Vilnius to arrest dissident journalist Roman Pratasevich, banning Belarus-flagged carriers from European airspace and plotting a fresh round of sanctions. European policymakers have roundly condemned the abuse which Minsk subjects its detained opposition figures to—but unfortunately, they have not been as swift to fight for the rights of political prisoners in other parts of the world.Read More
Hans-George Betz (Via Fair Observer) | There is an unwritten rule in politics: If you are incompetent, at least you should not be corrupt. It seems nobody ever informed the German Christian Democrats that this was the way of things. How else to explain why Christian Democratic MPs thought it was perfectly fine to take advantage of Germany’s COVID-19 crisis to line their own pockets? In German, we have a word, “Raffzahn,” to refer to somebody who cannot get enough, never satisfied with what they have. In the concrete case, a member of the German Bundestag from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) pocketed €250,000 ($298,000) in commissions for brokering a deal involving the procurement of FFP2 face masks by the federal and the state governments.