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Germany

The Hidden Fallout From Germany's Sudden Nuclear Shutdown

Editorial: In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany has been decided so quickly, and with so little thought, that it skirts the edges of democratic legitimacy.

Isar nuclear plant Unterahrain, Germany (bagalute)
Isar nuclear plant Unterahrain, Germany (bagalute)
Thomas Schmid

BERLIN - The biggest advantage of democracy is the possibility of getting rid of governments you don't like in a peaceful way. That doesn't sound like much. Yet it sums up all the wisdom and beauty at the core of a democratic system. In a democracy, you can say A, but you can also say B, just as you can rely on the assumption that nothing has to last forever. Everything can be changed, amended, courses reversed. In short, the very life and soul of democracy is that there are always other options.

Germany's federal government is now abusing that basic rule in a scandalous way. There can be no doubt that the country needs to be looking at a smart mix of different energy sources for the future, and that developing viable alternatives to atomic power is an urgent necessity. Yet the manner in which the federal government has rushed to its decision to put a definitive stop to the use of nuclear energy by 2022 runs counter to all rules of democratic procedure.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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