I like / I dislike
Week 29 [20230527-20230602]


Every Monday, the Research Trainees of the CERESE assess the news of the previous week. You can read their opinions below:


I like the news that Norway is considering the case of providing asylum to a Russian former mercenary. Andrei Medvedev claims to have deserted Russia’s Wagner mercenary force and is seeking asylum in Norway while providing information on Wagner to the authorities. His asylum request is now leading Norway to decide a case that pits the country’s humanitarian ethos against the national security policy and solidarity with Ukraine. Activists state that giving safe haven to Russians and especially mercenaries like Medvedev fails to hold Russians accountable for the invasion. In any case, whatever Norway decides will set a precedent for the future.



I like the direct involvement of Western leaders in the conflicts in northern Kosovo. Kosovo is rocked by tension due to the newly elected mayors of Albanian origin in four Serb-majority municipalities in the country. In particular, during the second European Political Community meeting in Chişinău, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the European Union urged Serbia and Kosovo to agree on holding new elections in order to normalize the situation. Following these requests, the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, has openly stated that a new election is legally permitted and that he is willing to consider this request.



I dislike the news that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured another five-year term as Turkey’s President. Despite winning 52.16% of the votes, his triumph is accompanied by the continuous decline of the Turkish lira, which fell to a new low. Over the past decade, the lira has lost 90% of its value against the dollar, contributing to massive inflation, which has broadly impoverished the populace. Market predictions suggest that Turkey’s economic woes may worsen due to President Erdogan’s unconventional views on interest rates and monetary policy. Economists’ calls for reform have been falling on deaf ears, with the future of the Turkish economy appearing to be bleak.



I dislike the news that the threat of terrorist attacks in the Netherlands has increased in recent months. According to the Dutch counterterrorism agency, NCTV, there are growing indications that Jihadist groups are planning potential attacks across Europe, including the Netherlands. The overall threat level has remained at level three on a five-point scale. The domestic jihadist movement remains the main source of the terrorist threat to the Netherlands, although repressive measures on the part of the authorities and the lack of ‘mobilization issues’ have rendered the movement stagnant and relatively inactive.



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