Hey Davos, we have some issues down here!

While Global elites mingle on the top of the Swiss Alps at the World Economic Forum and misbehave at men-only charity dinners in London, many parts of Europe face neo-nazis and nationalist rhetoric from populist politicians. 

Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
Hey Davos, we have some issues down here! - NewsMavens
By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mass media outlets paying attention to Europe have spent the week writing about

... the impending presidential elections in the Czech Republic, where incumbent Miloš Zeman, said to be a "Putin fan," faces off with Jiří Drahoš, his liberal, pro-EU rival. 

... the brilliant Financial Times investigation by two women journalists who went undercover as hostesses to an all male, black-tie charity event in London, and revealed the groping and harassment that was (and probably always has been) on the menu.

... the end of a four-month-long impasse in building a governing coalition in Germany.

... and, of course, the maniacal geopolitical chest thumping of the global elite gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos where, despite the continued focus on economic policy and industry, the environment and education are thankfully also getting some attention.

Meanwhile, in the rest of Europe (as reported on Newsmavens)...

It’s a been a week of renewed efforts at using immigration to scare electorates into a nationalistic huddle.

The specter of the Nazi party has raised its ugly head, not once, but twice.

  • A top candidate in regional elections in Austria was discovered to own a Nazi song book featuring lyrics glorifying the murder of Jews.
  • Polish television aired a shocking documentary revealing the activities of Polish neo-nazi groups whose members may even have links to the ruling party.

And finally, on a note that we here at Newsmavens like to refer to as "Covfefe" (a typo that Trump made in a tweet that almost broke the internet last year):

  • the EU’s youngest head of government, Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, wowed us with his heroic stand for the rights of the rich to live free of the ugly persecution of hate speech. Discover the schooling of this politician via a viral hashtag that just won’t stop.

In the space between Davos (1560 meters above sea level) and most of us down below, there are many socio-economic layers. Some have been hardened into concrete conflict by historical pressure, others are being heated up politically and fanned by the ghosts of history.

As the world's leaders meet in the thin air of that lofty resort town, I hope the weather and their minds are clear enough to see the complexity of Central Europe's present. Because if the play of current circumstance continues without intervention the effects will rock the continent, Davos included. 


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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