I’ve been unpacking the results of the recently released Eurobarometer survey with a focus on Malta lately. It is full of interesting trends, which are likely to translate into policy decisions about development aid. These are the most interesting findings:
Respondents who experience the most difficulty in paying bills are generally less positive about development aid issues and the least likely to agree providing financial assistance to developing countries is an effective way to address irregular migration (61% vs. 68%-71%). They are also the least likely to be personally involved in helping developing countries by donations, volunteering or ethical shopping (33% vs. 39%-50%). Note that the lower limit of the less financially challenged individuals is very close.
Apart from France, which caused quite a bit of turmoil in its former colonies, which now receive development aid, the least enthusiastic Europeans when it comes to aid live in Central and Eastern Europe. Residents in the Baltic States are among the least likely to say that tackling poverty in developing countries should be a priority of the EU – among rich countries, Dutch residents rank the lowest by this parameter.
After 70 years of rule and a long illness, King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Thursday. He has witnessed 19 coup attempts and a multitude of electoral swings. Educated in Switzerland, the king was fond of arts and deeply interested in the welfare of his subjects, whom he supported through various Royal Projects. These are celebrated by various UN agencies, as Thailand has become a ‘development success‘ during his rule.
I continue blogging about my recent trip to Cyprus: all posts can be found using this tag. This post is inspired by my considerations as to where to put Cyprus on my travel map. It’s beyond geographical Europe, but South Cyprus is in the EU, so I categorized it as Europe. Still, traveling there made me think about the position of Cyprus in relation to its Middle Eastern neighbors.
It is always interesting to compare events. Last year the Baltic Pride, the annual march for LGBT rights, held in the Baltic capitals on a rotating basis, aroused many discussions in Lithuania, but when it takes place in the other Baltic capitals, we usually only see a photo or two. This year I had a chance to report from a similar demonstration in Budapest. The leading Lithuanian news portal Delfi published my article with photos.
Are multiple languages in public space an issue? Not in many countries. But in Lithuania there is an ongoing battle over some buses and street signs, which, in addition to Lithuanian, give translations in Polish. A law in Lithuania obliges all public signs (streets, institutions, etc.) to be in Lithuanian. The mainstream interpretation is that this implies they have to be in Lithuanian only.
I have already written (the editors sort of spiced up my text :)) about the controversy of names and public signs. As someone who has been to Novi Sad, where most institutions indicate their names in some six languages, I am surprised, to say the least, at how offended people feel about signs in Polish in the regions where the Polish minority is large or even dominant. Delfi, the most popular news portal, reports on an investigation which they started after a reader sent photos of signs in Polish. The municipality did not wish to explain why they have not been enforcing the law on one and the only language. Continue reading →
Lietuviškas vertimas bus vėliau. I write this in English because I want to show it to my international friends as well, and it’s not on the Wonderland blog because here I can embed youtube. All of this is based on what I blogged about, links that I bookmarked, tweeted or posted.
Let’s start with the video of the year. It doesn’t need to be dedicated a song: Continue reading →
Some Israeli friends invited me to visit an unrecognised village in Ramleh, where they took part in an artistic protest. They told me that the families that live there were expelled from their original villages after the Independence of Israel was announced and in a period of rather lawless situation many Arab residents were forced to leave their homes. Many of them did not stay in Israel at all.