Global Crisis Watch 281


You are invited to join us for Global Crisis Watch 281, on Friday, June 28th at 10:00 BST.


The highlighted topics will include:

Macron warns against the far left and far right ahead of elections, and Conservatives in the UK are set to lose

French President Emmanuel Macron warned voters against choosing the far right or the hard left in the upcoming parliamentary elections, arguing that their divisive policies could lead to political conflict and civil war. Macron criticised the far-right National Rally and the hard-left France Unbowed for their approaches to real problems, which he believes would increase societal divisions. He emphasised the importance of avoiding extremism and called for unity. In the UK, the general election campaign has been marked by scandals and dramatic events. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a snap election, surprising the nation. The opposition Labour Party is poised for a significant victory, while the Conservative Party is facing a potential collapse. Despite the lively campaign, major systemic issues like economic struggles, healthcare crises, and social service shortages remain unaddressed by both main parties, leading to public disillusionment.


Kenya is rocked by violent demonstrations following economic failures


At least 22 people were killed in protests against President William Ruto's administration in Kenya, following the passing of a controversial finance bill aimed at addressing the country's massive $80 billion debt burden. The protests, primarily led by young people, were initially focused on preventing the president from signing the bill but have since escalated, with calls for Ruto to step down. Demonstrations turned violent, with protesters breaking into parliament, vandalizing the interior, and setting parts of the complex on fire. Ruto, who initially responded with a tough stance by deploying the military and condemning the protests as "violence and anarchy," later withdrew the bill following significant public pressure. Despite this concession, protests are set to continue, driven by deep-seated dissatisfaction over economic issues and high living costs. Kenya's economy is struggling with high unemployment, inflation, and a depreciating currency, making debt servicing increasingly expensive and fueling public outrage. The clashes have drawn international concern, with calls for calm from various nations and human rights organizations criticizing the excessive use of force by the police. The situation remains tense, with further demonstrations planned as the government grapples with economic challenges and widespread public discontent.


The EU formally starts negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova


Formal negotiations for European Union membership began for Ukraine and Moldova, marking a significant milestone amid ongoing regional tensions. Ukraine's accession talks were initiated at an intergovernmental conference in Luxembourg, emphasizing a historic shift towards Europe amidst continued conflict with Russia over Crimea. Moldova followed suit shortly thereafter, reflecting their shared aspirations and challenges in aligning with EU standards. Both nations, having applied for membership shortly after Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, face a lengthy process involving 35 policy areas of alignment, from economic regulations to judicial rights and security measures. Despite substantial EU financial support and political backing, hurdles include internal reforms, geopolitical complexities, and potential opposition from member states like Hungary, impacting the timeline for eventual accession, possibly spanning over a decade. Meanwhile the Russian president continues to demand concessions from Ukraine, such as a neutral and non aligned status for the country, as a condition for peace.


The first presidential debate between Trump and Biden puts the elections front and center


The upcoming debate between Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race is seen as a pivotal moment offering a rare opportunity to influence a tightly contested election. Scheduled earlier than usual, this debate is crucial amidst a sparse calendar of events that could significantly alter the electoral landscape. With both candidates enjoying near-universal name recognition, strategists agree that this debate presents a critical juncture for them to influence voter perceptions and consolidate support. For Biden, addressing concerns about his age and mental acuity will be crucial, aiming to reassure voters of his capability to lead. His strategy likely focuses on highlighting Trump's perceived threats to democracy and emphasizing his administration's economic progress. Conversely, Trump aims to capitalize on his advantage in polls regarding trust on key issues like the economy and immigration, contrasting his record with Biden's and addressing character concerns to appeal to independent and swing voters. The debate's format, including muted microphones and no live audience, may favor Biden by preventing Trump from dominating with interruptions but also requires both to present themselves effectively in a controlled setting. However, historical trends suggest debates rarely produce substantial shifts in voter preferences, and Trump's resilience through controversies and legal challenges underscores the challenge of significantly altering the race's trajectory through this single event, despite its anticipated significance.


Plus, all the stories that are catching our attention wherever we live in the world. Feel free to join us and add your voice to the conversation.