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Geopolitics

Pro-Europe Parties Win Dutch Election, Extremists Lose Out

DE TELEGRAAF (The Netherlands), BBC NEWS, THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Worldcrunch

AMSTERDAM - Two Dutch centrist parties have secured an absolute parliamentary majority between them in Wednesday’s elections, reports The Guardian.

VVD, the party of liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte, claimed victory with 41 seats, two more than center-left rivals Labor, which won 39.

According to BBC News, Dutch Liberal and Labor politicians are now expected to form a fractious coalition government tasked with implementing unpopular austerity measures.

While both parties are pro-EU, they have opposed polices on social and fiscal policy.

Dierderik Samson, the new Labor Party leader, has warned the Liberals that he would bargain hard in coalition talks.

Samson has advocated tax raises and public spending increase to create jobs, while Rutte’s policy echoes German Chancellor Angel Merkel's plans of strictly adhering to austerity measures to reduce the country’s deficit.

Coalition talks are officially due to begin next week, reports De Telegraaf.

The election was disastrous for Eurosceptic parties. The anti-immigrant Freedom Party of Geert Wilders won only 15 seats, well down on its previous 24.

The far-left Socialist Party, opposed to austerity and euro zone bailout, also secured 15 seats - the same score as in 2010.

The election was called after the Freedom Party withdrew its support to Mr Rutte and refused to approve budget cuts six months ago.

The official result of the election in the euro zone’s fifth largest economy will be confirmed next Monday.

Source: De Telegraaf

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Green Or Gone

Tracking The Asian Fishing "Armada" That Sucks Up Tons Of Seafood Off Argentina's Coast

A brightly-lit flotilla of fishing ships has reappeared in international waters off the southern coast of Argentina as it has annually in recent years for an "industrial harvest" of thousands of tons of fish and shellfish.

Photo of dozens of crab traps

An estimated 500 boats gather annually off the coast of Patagonia

Claudio Andrade

BUENOS AIRES — The 'floating city' of industrial fishing boats has returned, lighting up a long stretch of the South Pacific.

Recently visible off the coast of southern Argentina, aerial photographs showed the well-lit armada of some 500 vessels, parked 201 miles offshore from Comodoro Rivadavia in the province of Chubut. The fleet had arrived for its vast seasonal haul of sea 'products,' confirming its annual return to harvest squid, cod and shellfish on a scale that activists have called an environmental blitzkrieg.

In principle the ships are fishing just outside Argentina's exclusive Economic Zone, though it's widely known that this kind of apparent "industrial harvest" does not respect the territorial line, entering Argentine waters for one reason or another.

For some years now, activists and organizations like Greenpeace have repeatedly denounced industrial-style fishing as exhausting marine resources worldwide and badly affecting regional fauna, even if the fishing outfits technically manage to evade any crackdown by staying in or near international waters.

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