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Far-right may take power in Italy

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text Early parliamentary elections in Italy are scheduled for September 25. After Mario Draghi's resignation, the chair of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers remains vacant and will be occupied – this is how the system works – by the head of the party who wins the parliamentary elections. Now, at the very beginning of the race, the leader, judging by the polls, is the party "Brothers of Italy". And their sister, George Meloni, will lead them to victory. "I am a woman, a mother, an Italian and a Christian, and no one will take that away from me," she repeats such a political mantra at her rallies. It would seem that if 70 offices have been replaced in Italy over the past 75 years, then it would be possible to skip this event. But, firstly, Meloni heads a party of the extreme right, which is considered post-fascist, and secondly, the Italian government has never been led by a woman. So about the post-fascists. They are everywhere in Europe. In France, their leader has already been in the second round of presidential elections for the umpteenth time, in Austria they have already been in power, in Greece, Golden Dawn felt comfortable in parliament. And nothing, only the name and an unpleasant train remained. Therefore, like Marine Le Pen at the time, Meloni began by ridding her party of the stereotypical image of people in breeches and boots. It is possible to call the "Brothers of Italy" fascists in principle, but even the European press prefers the term post-fascists. This movement was born on the ruins of the "Italian Social Movement", which in turn was created by Mussolini's followers. In addition, the movement's coat of arms – a torch of the colors of the Italian flag – resembles fascist logos. However, almost all of the extreme right in Europe have such. There is also a party newspaper that allows itself ambiguous statements. There are also fans of the Duce. But no one goes with torches. The Brothers are the only party not included in Draghi's coalition and have been in opposition since February 2021. Therefore, "whatever happened in Italy, any troubles and discontent, everything went to the benefit of the Brothers of Italy," says Marc Lazard, a historian and analyst at the French Institute of Syans Po. "That is why they have achieved significant success in local elections and now it is one of the leading political forces in the country." And that's true. Meloni managed to surround herself with highly respected politicians from the right flank, emphasized her roots – from the proletariat – plus a serious attitude to business, and she is also a strong-willed woman. The whole mix worked perfectly. The "brothers" won more in the local elections than they expected, and they counted on the southern regions. They also dealt a serious blow to the north, where the "League of the North" traditionally dominates, and took Palermo, which has been permanently left for 40 years, with battles. The sister herself "was an activist of the post-fascist party in her youth," says Piero Ignazzi, an honorary professor at the University of Bologna and a specialist in the right–wing movement. – But she built her program in such a way that there was a place for these ideas in it. Moreover, she managed to link them with conservative and neoliberal elements, for example, freedom of entrepreneurship or the ability to dismiss employees without conditions that are enslaving for the enterprise."  Meloni does not hide the coincidence of views with Viktor Orban, the Spanish nationalist movement Vox or the French National Association. She is even willingly compared to Marion Marechal-Le Pen, the granddaughter of the founder of the party. Relations with the American right are also established. That is, the basis of the program is economic liberalism, social conservatism, natalist policy: encouraging fertility, anti–Muslim, anti-Gypsy, anti-immigration orientation of domestic policy. Support for traditional right-wing values. The party wants to position itself as a guarantor of the traditions and national identity of Italians. They promise to open a free nursery, return a family allowance of 400 euros, not recognize same-sex marriages and the rights of the LGBT community. And the main thing is to finally stop letting Libyans into the country. This is a separate item. The "Brothers of Italy" have left the positions of Eurosceptics and do not demand an exit from the European Union and the eurozone, claiming that they are more inclined to the principle of "Europe of Nations". Of course, Draghi once bargained 200 billion euros from the European Union to restart Italy's economic engine. This manna is needed in order to avoid a recession, which can lead to an increase in inflation and in order to overcome the consequences of strong energy dependence on Russia. But Draghi knocked out this money for certain reforms. The European diplomat who handled this dossier believes that "if 70 percent of the promised reforms are not implemented by the end of 2022, Italy will lose tens of billions of euros." "Besides, it is not clear how things will be with the supply of weapons to Ukraine," continues French political analyst Marc Lazar. "The Brothers of Italy fully accepted the position of the West and condemned Russia. Berlusconi had a special relationship with Putin, Draghi nevertheless decided to participate in the supply of weapons. How will the "Brothers" behave? And the main thing is a right–centrist coalition." Truly. Italy's electoral system is built in such a way that the country can be governed by a coalition. "Now we are talking about a right-centrist coalition," says Mark Lazar, "these are Forza Italia, the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy. Together, they have the most chances to bypass the Democratic Party and the 5-Star Movement, which will undoubtedly advance independently. The current right–wing coalition is a powerful electoral machine. But their differences will begin as soon as it comes to the specific leadership of the country." Meloni and her entourage believe that the elections are practically in their pocket. Now they have 24 percent, the Democrats have 22, the League is in third place with 14 percent. The "brothers" are counting on the disillusioned followers of Berlusconi and Salvini to join them, and a coalition with two right-wing parties is obvious, especially since Forza and the League have been finding a common language for a long time, and a strong new leader will only benefit them. At the same time, we recall that Meloni was not included in the coalition of the Draghi government. And there was already another nationalist party, Matteo Salvini's League. Will there be a "response" now? There are really strained competitive relations between them and so far neither one nor the other is ready for compromises. But now, specifically at the beginning of August, the advantage in the Meloni–Salvini battle is clearly on Meloni's side. The headlines of Italian newspapers are something like this: "A patriot who fights every day for what she believes in...". There is also an element of luck. The campaign turns out to be short – 2 months, and even then half will have to be on vacation, so it will be difficult to "smear public opinion in time" and then change it.

Where will Italy go after Draghi's resignation?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text So, it happened. After long and convulsive convulsions, traditional for Italian political life, Prime Minister Mario Draghi left his post, adding the prefix "ex" to his former honorary post of head of government. The real reasons for Draghi's fall from the Italian political Olympus were that the broad government coalition of "national unity", which had existed in the Apennines since 2021, was not so united as to maintain its efficiency in the conditions of modern political turbulence and numerous constant challenges, which required a prompt and verified reaction of the ministerial cabinet. In other words, the members of the coalition of allies and like-minded people suddenly became like the characters of Krylov's well-known fable about the swan, crayfish and pike, each of whom pulled the cart of Italian political life in his own direction. The formal reason was simple: one of the main parties of the ruling coalition, the 5-Star Movement, refused to participate in the vote on the issue of confidence in the government, which includes its members. Draghi reacted promptly, saying that he did not see his government without a "Movement". And he submitted his resignation to the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. In principle, there is nothing sensational and unusual about the fact that another ruling coalition has collapsed in Italy and another prime minister has decided to leave his post, pulling the entire ministerial brigade with him. For the temperamental inhabitants of hot Italy, such "shocks" are a thing that has long been familiar and very ordinary, since politicians live their own lives, and ordinary people who periodically vote for them – their own. After all, over the past 75 years, Italian governments have resigned 70 times. But the resignation of Mario Draghi was in many ways an exception to this rule, because in the vacuum that arises after the departure of this formally non-partisan figure, some saw the possible emergence of new political figures who could, if not completely change, then at least significantly correct the course pursued by Mario Draghi. Draghi, who held the chair of the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) before his appointment as prime Minister, saw among his priorities the use of European funds to restore the economy, which had sunk considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Real life, however, ordered differently and the special military operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine put Draghi before the need to decide how Rome should react to this tough but necessary move by Moscow. Draghi did not think for long: on the issue of the Ukrainian crisis, the Italian prime minister took one of the toughest positions against the Russian Federation. It was during his premiership that Italy began to actively supply weapons to the Armed Forces. Moreover, these deliveries were increasing – if the first batch sent in March included night vision devices, machine guns and Italian copies of the German RPG "Panzerfaust", then the June batch of military "aid" included M-130 self-propelled guns, armored vehicles and howitzers. However, it was these deliveries, carried out with the full approval and almost at the initiative of the Prime Minister, that ultimately knocked out his prime minister's chair from under the soft spot of the Italian "hawk". The fact was that two parties belonging to the ruling coalition – the League and the 5–Star Movement - objected to the uncontrolled supply of weapons to Kiev and demanded that decisions on this sensitive issue be taken by parliament, not the government. By the way, the politicians of the "5 Star Movement" could not agree among themselves, which simply split under the weight of such an important issue. About 60 MPs left the party and one of its founders, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who quickly built his own association "Together for the Future". As a result, the 5-Star Movement has ceased to be the most representative party in the parliament. And in response, it skillfully turned the leg to the Prime Minister... Therefore, it was not surprising that after the decision to dismiss Draghi, a slight panic began in the ranks of the Italian right. What is the only statement by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio that only Russia will benefit from the fall of the Italian government led by Mario Draghi and that "Draghi's head was brought to Putin on a silver platter." Some Italian politicians anxiously stated that after Draghi's resignation, Moscow was already raising glasses of champagne, hoping for a change in Rome's course regarding sanctions against the Russian Federation and the conflict in Ukraine. Bernardo de Miguel, a columnist for the influential Spanish newspaper Pais, summed up the fears of Draghi's followers and hardliners and warned that without Draghi, Italy could turn into a Russian "Trojan horse" in Europe. How real are these fears? Most likely, no serious changes in the current anti-Russian course of the Italian government, supported by part of the traditional elite, oriented towards an alliance with the United States and the European Union, should not be expected. After all, according to the decision of the president of the country, Mario Draghi is still fulfilling his prime minister's duties, and in the autumn - approximately in September – new parliamentary elections are expected in Italy. Their outcome for such a sophisticated politician as Silvio Berlusconi, who headed the Italian government four times between 1994 and 2011, does not cause much doubt.  "In the current situation, it is important to hold elections as soon as possible.  Their result will be a stable majority among the center–right," he predicts, adding that the main thing for the new cabinet is to preserve "the positive results achieved by the Draghi government." "Most likely, we will again have a prime minister approved by Washington, supported by President Sergio Mattarella, the European Union and NATO," the chairman of the International Institute for Global Analysis Vision & Global Trends told TASS Tiberio Graziani, commenting on the government crisis. The new prime minister, however, will not get a very pleasant legacy after Draghi – in the form of record inflation and high energy prices. Perhaps the EU colleagues will continue to insist on Italy reducing gas consumption by 15% - which Rome resolutely refused in July, thus joining the club of "refuseniks" consisting of Spain, Greece and Portugal. It is by autumn that experts predict an increase in social tension caused by these problems... Therefore, after the Draghi government went into oblivion, few people in the Apennines are particularly optimistic about the future of the new cabinet of his followers. And then the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, who published in his telegram channel a collage with a photo of Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced his resignation a week earlier, will have a great opportunity to place on an unopened picture with a question mark, a photo of the next head of the next Italian government.

Bulgaria fears retaliation

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The diplomatic crisis in Bulgarian-Russian relations related to the expulsion of 70 employees of the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation has reached its apogee. How will Moscow respond? The Russian side is holding a pause and does not voice its response to the scandalous expulsion from Bulgaria at the end of June of 70 diplomats, embassy staff and their family members, of whom there were a total of about 160 people. They returned to Moscow on two planes. The usual reaction to such antics is symmetrical actions towards Bulgarian diplomats working in Russia. But in this case we are talking about the possible closure of the Russian embassy in Sofia and the actual rupture of diplomatic relations. "If this decision is not reviewed, then the Russian leadership will be faced with the question of the very preservation of our diplomatic presence and the need for a Bulgarian diplomatic presence here," said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. However, Bulgarian expert on international relations Dimitar Girdev naively rules out an extreme measure. He believes that, most likely, the level may be lowered: instead of an embassy, "there will be a consulate or, at worst, a representative office, like the United States in Cuba." A complete break, they say, will not happen. Even the initiator of the expulsion, ex-Prime Minister Kirill Petkov (a Harvard graduate and a former Canadian citizen) is, in fact, begging for mercy. He urged Russia to keep diplomatic channels open. His logic is striking: "We believe in the need for dialogue, for which the presence of diplomatic channels is of key importance... After the decision, 43 Russian diplomatic staff will still remain in Bulgaria (in fact, 48, but this does not matter. – Ed.) against only 12 Bulgarian in Moscow. For the sake of the past and for the sake of the future, we should be able to take steps forward on the basis of mutual respect." Meanwhile, the situation is clearly escalating. Recently it became known that Russia has suspended the validity of certificates previously issued to aircraft repair companies in Bulgaria. This is done as a response to the West's intention to repair equipment supplied to Kiev at industrial facilities certified by the Russian side. As stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Moscow disclaims responsibility for the safety of Mi helicopters repaired at the Terem-Letets and Avionams plants. Rosoboronexport suggested that after the revocation of certification, these enterprises, which were the largest technical centers in Europe, would close or try to establish gray channels for the supply of spare parts from third countries. Let me remind you that Sofia has also promised to repair 80 Ukrainian tanks. Despite all the explosiveness of the situation, Bulgaria does not think about repentance and continues to make openly unfriendly steps: for example, it froze a tranche for the Russian Embassy for 890 thousand dollars, which were intended to pay salaries to employees of the Russian diplomatic mission. Bulgarian Minister of Finance (also already – former) Asen Vasilev said that allegedly this money falls under the sanctions of the European Commission. "Bulgaria did not take any action on this, everything happened automatically on the basis of EU sanctions. The issue of excluding these funds from the sanctions package is being resolved at the level of the European Commission. When the decision to unblock them arrives, we will take appropriate actions," Vasilev said. He also added that the Russian embassy allegedly requested a de-delegation for this tranche. This tricky word means "partial repeal of the old law." It is noteworthy that officials, and not only Bulgarian ones, regularly come up with all sorts of verbal nonsense to "catch up with the fog." So: in Brussels, they disavowed the Bulgarian initiative. They say that there were no preliminary consultations with the European Commission on this issue, and it has nothing to do with this step. This is an exclusively "local solution". Bulgaria in general is striking by the absolute lack of coordination of the vertical of power. President Rumen Radev, for example, said that he had not even been informed about the possible expulsion of Russian diplomats. The initiator of this action Petkov turned the arrows to the Foreign Ministry. According to him, the Foreign Ministry received two reports from DANS (the state Agency for National Security, counterintelligence. – Ed.), on the basis of which the Ministry decided to declare persona non grata of specific persons. He just voiced it. In short: I am not me and the hut is not mine. By the way, the helplessness of the Bulgarian government, focused exclusively on handouts from the EU, is manifested not only on the political floor, but also in the economy. On April 27, Gazprom announced the termination of fuel supplies to Bulgaria, as Bulgargaz did not switch to a new payment mechanism in rubles. The "brothers" hoped to jump to Azerbaijani gas. The Balkan country consumes about 3 billion cubic meters annually. Azerbaijan exports through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline with a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters. m per year, of which 8 billion cubic meters. m should go to Italy and 1 billion cubic meters each to Greece and Bulgaria. But the actual volumes of Azerbaijani gas supplied to Bulgaria were significantly less – in 2021, about 350 million cubic meters. They were carried out not directly from Azerbaijan, but under a temporary agreement from Greece, which ended on June 30, 2022. But winter is coming soon... Bulgaria has managed to buy recently a batch of Ukrainian grain – 6 thousand tons of wheat and 1.3 thousand tons of barley. Now this "good" is undergoing phytosanitary control according to strict EU rules. If the quality turns out to be poor, then the grain will simply be destroyed. And this despite the fact that it was imported uncontrolled and without duty. Local farmers are protesting. Half of the harvest in Bulgaria has already been harvested. It is good, about 7 million tons of grain are expected. More than half were planned to be exported. And here is a gift from the square, which clearly brings down the price. But back to the diplomatic scandal. Recently, the Russian Embassy in Sofia stopped issuing tourist visas to Bulgarian citizens. They are now provided only to those who have immediate relatives in Russia. This is a wake-up call. The Bulgarian Consulate in Moscow and the Consulate General of the Republic in St. Petersburg, on the contrary, continue to issue all types of visas to Russian citizens. Does the official Sofia really hope that it will carry through?

Melnik was forced to stop the millstone

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The head of the Kiev regime dismissed his most frostbitten ambassador, who became a bone in the throat for relations with Berlin. Ordinary Ukrainians are being strangled by everything – both the West, which has determined them to be slaughtered, and the former buffoon Zelensky, who "doesn't care" about the suffering of the people, and his faithful chain dogs, who clung to Europe with a death grip. However, the time of the zholto-blakit loudmouths seems to be coming to an end: The Old World is already pretty tired of the Ukrainian theme. A good example is the dismissal of the ambassador to Germany, 47–year-old Andrei Melnik, who had been drinking the blood of German politicians for almost eight years. By the way, this is an exorbitant period for a career diplomat. Usually such business trips last 4-6 years. It is noteworthy that the boorish diplomat in Germany could well have been restrained in a timely manner. To do this, according to the protocol, he just had to be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and given a suggestion. But now this department is headed by a representative of the "greens" Annalena Berbok, an ardent Russophobe and, as one might assume, a fan of a frostbitten Ukrainian colleague. That's why he got away with everything. But the list of his "unfriendly attacks" is very wide. Miller is the one who publicly stated in one of the programs on German TV that Chancellor Olaf Scholz "plays the offended liver sausage" (Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen). The idiom is extremely undiplomatic and unpleasant for a German. It means that a person pretends to be offended, but in fact there are absolutely no grounds for resentment. There are, by the way, several variants of the nature of this expression, but in principle they come down to one bike. Once a butcher cooked various meat products in a large cauldron. After they were ready, he pulled them out, but did not catch up and forgot the liver sausage there, which (out of resentment!) burst. In fact, the Miller burst. However, he began his "fighting path" with his Mother, as Angela Merkel was nicknamed at home. She got it for her "uncritical" attitude to her government's policy on the Russian track. Then President Frank-Walter Steinmeier fell under the millstone. The gopnik ambassador accused him of creating a "web of contacts with Russia" and unwillingness to abandon these "sacred" ties under any circumstances. For such "sins", reported in colors by the Miller to the chief, the excited Zelensky even dared to refuse the head of Germany, from whose hands, in fact, the regime feeds, a visit to Kiev. No need to go to a fortune teller: this respected politician clearly harbored a grudge... Melnyk called Berlin's actions to support Kiev "sluggish", and compared the pace of German arms deliveries "with the speed of a snail." He called the German experts calling on Ukraine to come to a truce with Russia as soon as possible (for the sake of ordinary citizens of this country!) "a bunch of pseudo-intellectual losers," and reproached the Germans for the lack of hospitality towards Ukrainian refugees. As it turns out, they have completely lost their temper, demanding special privileges from the Bundesbyurgers. The last "drop of poison" was Melnik's recent statements about Bandera. He believes that Bandera is not involved in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles. They say that this thesis, which finds support in Germany, Poland and Israel, is promoted by "insidious Russians". "I visited the grave of Stepan Bandera in Munich because he is important to many Ukrainians as the personification of the struggle for freedom, the struggle for an independent Ukrainian state in extremely difficult circumstances... The freedom fighter is not subject to any laws. Robin Hood is revered by everyone, and he also did not act according to the laws," Melnik said. His words caused a storm of indignation in Germany. Felix Klein, the German government's commissioner on the problem of anti-Semitism, noted in this regard that such statements "play into the hands of Russia," which calls the fight against neo-Nazism one of the goals of the military special operation in Ukraine. Even official Kiev disavowed the words of its ambassador, who called the glorification of Bandera a personal opinion of Miller. As a result, as mentioned above, a few days ago Zelensky by his decree dismissed the ambassador in Berlin from his post. But not for the poisonous language and disrespect for the first persons of Germany, but, as he said, as part of a "routine rotation". In fact, the reasons are different. Reports have appeared in the British and Spanish media that Germany has been blocking the EU aid package (approved, by the way, by all other leaders of the countries of this association) for nine billion euros for more than a month. And all, apparently, due to the fact that "there is no horse food", Ukrainian appetites are too exorbitant, which Melnik tirelessly broadcast from numerous Berlin media platforms "Kiev mouthpiece". Without this money, an independent kayak, there will be nothing to pay for debts. How can I not remember about the "liver sausage" and "the spider weaving its net"... And personally, Zelensky was enraged by the fact that he failed to stop the actions of Germany to return the Siemens gas turbine for Nord Stream-1 from Canada, which was suspended there for repair. Now the hated Russian gas seems to be going to Europe again with an increased flow. Melnik is expected to be shot at the post of deputy Foreign Minister at home. But will this prospect please the "big patriot" and the noble "strangler", who for all his efforts lost his salary in hard currency and a comfortable nest in Berlin. After all, he can really fly to Kiev... In this whole story with the sad end of the loudmouth who tried to take the German government by the throat, there is another, partly positive, trend. Zelensky has recently dismissed his ambassadors to Georgia, Iran, Portugal, Lebanon, Norway, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India and Germany "within the framework of rotation". Let's take at least the last five countries. I do not know all the circumstances of the dismissal of the local ambassadors, but the reason for conspiracy is clearly visible. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the already weak support for Ukraine should be strengthened. Hungary needs to be brought to reason from independent steps that violate EU sanctions against Russia. Independent India in general should be lured to the side of the collective West. Well, and to rid Germany, at least, of the Miller. So still: why such a massive purge, because horses are not changed at the crossing? Is it really time for insolent people to pass and Ukraine has a need for other chief diplomats who will facilitate negotiations not about war "to the last Ukrainian", but about peace?

Johnson is stepping down as Conservative leader

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text Persuaded for two days. Since Wednesday evening, cars with ministers and high–ranking functionaries of the Conservative Party have been approaching the Prime Minister's London residence with one goal - to convince Boris Johnson to resign after a scandal that overflowed the scales that usually pulls down. How would they not pull the whole party with them! Even Nadim Zahavi came to persuade, who was appointed finance minister just a day before the events to replace Rishi Sunak, who resigned. And in just two days, almost 60 members of the government resigned. There is no mistake. There were–now–116 people in Johnson's office. Unlike, say, the French government, where there are 40 ministers and each is responsible for his own direction, in the British one it is always crowded. It's just that there are ministers of the first plan and there are a host of secretaries of state, their deputies and other high-ranking functionaries who are not on the front line, but are still formally members of the government. The reason for the resignation was not just another scandal that broke out at the beginning of the week with Christopher Pinscher, which we have already written about. He just held the same position of the second plan – he was responsible for the discipline of conservative deputies in parliament, but he himself violated it by walking around in the capital's "Carlton Club", where he let his hands loose against male colleagues, having, apparently, had too much single malt. Johnson stated that he did not know about such inclinations of a member of his government. But he was reminded: he had known since 2019. Which means he lied. The reason was the system. The gradual accumulation of scandalous situations, which each separately cost a vote of no confidence. Christmas fun at the official residence in Downing Street during the pandemic. Repairs in the same place with an off-scale price tag. A series of sexual scandals involving party comrades. Well, and relaxed gatherings without masks in the courtyard with wine, while compatriots had the right to one walk a day, and most importantly, when all pubs are closed! Shocking! As a result, I had to leave "the best job in the world," as Johnson himself stated. After resigning as Tory leader, he will leave the post of prime minister in the autumn. The leader of the ruling party auomatically becomes Prime Minister. It remains to choose a new leader. How will this happen? Only members of Parliament can be candidates. Each candidate must enlist the support of at least two deputies. Then the conservatives vote according to the playoff system, that is, against - through, and as a result there are two finalists. Then a leader is chosen by universal suffrage. This whole procedure will be delayed until the autumn and Boris Johnson will remain Prime minister during this time. Who is being read in Downing Street? Ben Wallace, 52, Secretary of Defense. He constantly evaded the question of whether he was capable of leading the party, and the party considers him a very competent politician. According to the polls of the YouGov sociological institute, which surveyed members of the Conservative Party, he will win the party elections by a large margin. Wallace did not resign on the general wave in the last days for the cabinet and supported Johnson. Penny Mordaunt, 49, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade. She has been an active participant in the campaign for leaving the EU since 2016. The first female Minister of Defense of the Kingdom, but when Johnson came to power, she left this post. A Royal Navy reservist, however. A wonderful speaker and very respected by fellow party members. According to a YouGov poll, he is in second place after Wallace among possible successors. Rishi Sunak, 42, Finance Minister, the first to resign after the publication of the "Pinscher case". Actually, he was considered the favorite, but some fiscal problems surfaced with his richest wife, and against the background of the fall in the purchasing power of the people, this, frankly speaking, is not a trump card. Sunak worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, then went into private speculative funds. Since 2015, the deputy, also a Brexit activist, has been finance minister for two years, but recently he has been getting a lot for price increases. Liz Truss, 46, Minister of Foreign Affairs. She got this post in recognition of her success as the head of the foreign trade department. I have always been in favor of free trade and voted for continued membership in the European Union, when I suddenly went to the opposite camp and even prepared several trade projects already in the post-Brexit era. She is loved by the party grassroots. They respect her for her tough stance on the issue of EU–Northern Ireland relations - she is in favor of breaking the relevant agreement with the EU, as well as for an equally tough line regarding the events in Ukraine. By the way, the outgoing Prime Minister himself noted in his speech that he hopes that the line maintained by Britain towards Russia will remain the same. The Kremlin replied: "He doesn't like us, and we don't like him" and hoped that professionals would come to replace the leadership of the United Kingdom. Britain's policy towards the Russian-Ukrainian conflict cannot change with the arrival of a new leadership, if only because it acts as a united front as part of the collective West. Maybe the successor will not treat Russia as fiercely as Johnson, but this will not change the general approach.

Ministers run away from Johnson's cabinet

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The scandal erupted from where they were waiting. Another high-ranking employee of the Cabinet of Ministers of Great Britain got into trouble. Chris Pincher at a party in London's private "Carlton Club" hugged, let's say, not fraternally with two other men, and one of them is a member of parliament. And even in front of witnesses. The victims wrote to the party committee. Unofficially, the position of the Pinscher is called "senior deputy for the whip," and officially he should monitor the discipline of deputies from the Conservative Party, but the discipline itself is lame. During the sprinkling of ashes on his head, Pincher said that he "drank too much," but this is not even an excuse for them. Then two key ministers resigned – Rishi Sunak, the Finance Minister, and Majid Javid, the head of the Ministry of Health. Interestingly, Sunak, an Iraqi Kurd, came to Britain with his family without knowing a word of English. He succeeded at first in business, and then began his career in the camp of the Conservative Party. He became a member of parliament in 2010 and gained popularity among new compatriots during the pandemic, being one of those responsible for vaccination. Then a series of resignations of more or less significant cabinet figures began. And the vice-president of the Conservative party, Bim Afolami, effectively announced his resignation on live television and called on Johnson to follow his example, since he "lost the trust of the party and the people." But the essence of the series of resignations is not that the functionary who had gone over his hands, you never know ... but that Johnson, appointing him to the post at the time, knew about his non-standard behavior. At first, Downing Street generally refused, but after a former senior Foreign Ministry official recalled that Pinscher had been doing this for a long time, they said that we had "forgotten" about this detail when we were appointed. Therefore, in all resignation petitions, the main argument is the loss of confidence in the prime minister. "I'm sorry, but it's obvious to me that the situation cannot change under your management," Javid tweets. At the same time, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Internal Affairs declared their full support for Johnson. And a replacement has already been found for those who have resigned. The British press has unleashed more than just all the dogs on Bowdzhou – the nickname of the prime minister. Selected the most creepy and evil. English irony is not easy to convey, but here, for example, the newspaper "Sun": "During the Judgment Day, which has already come, the prime minister was stabbed with a knife." Or the Guardian: "It's just all clear. Actually, one question is interesting – when and how will he resign?". "Boris can, of course, hold out for a few more hours if he so pleases," Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen says in an interview with Sky News, "but it's better to finish the job before the summer holidays and go on vacation already." The YouGov Institute of Public Opinion immediately conducted a poll showing that 69 percent of Britons think Johnson should leave. A series of scandals in the party of power on this very ground was thus supplemented by another episode. One unnamed parliamentarian was suspected of rape, was arrested, but released on bail in mid-May. Another watched porn on the phone a month earlier right in the House of Commons, the third, already former, received a year and a half for raping a 15-year-old teenager. After the last two cases, the head of the Conservatives, Oliver Dowden, resigned and partial parliamentary elections were held. Not to mention the famous scandalous Christmas party at the Prime Minister's residence, where during the pandemic the Prime minister dances with a certain partner. Moreover, this dancing looks quite comical, but Johnson is far from dancing to his predecessor Theresa May. However, this is not their job. Rishi Sunak, the former finance minister, in his resignation letter noted, among other things, that: "There are serious fundamental differences with the Prime Minister" on economic issues, in particular, when preparing a speech on the economic state of the country, which is supposed to be made next week. Britain has just been hit by a serious strike by transport workers, the largest in the last 30 years. It affected 40,000 employees – that's 80 percent of the staff. The union has received information that thousands of people will soon be out of work. In 2021, prices in the UK increased by 9 percent – the sharpest jump in the last 40 years. And according to the forecasts of the Bank of England, by autumn they will grow by another 11 percent. The reason lies, of course, not in Johnson and not in his subordinates who are unable to control themselves, but in the rise in energy prices. Unlike France, where a significant part of the energy market is covered by nuclear power, Britain is seriously dependent on gas prices. But there is nothing to explain. But as for the actions of the government, there are claims against it. For several weeks it resisted the introduction of a tax on the excess profits of oil and gas giants, which were formed due to a jump in prices. In mid-May, they finally agreed, but this, according to the British press, was in order to distract attention from the discussion of the prime minister's Christmas fun during the pandemic. In the near future, the strike movement in Britain will only expand. There are three sectors next in line: education, healthcare and mail.  Lawyers will follow them. They do not agree on the extent to which the state is going to finance legal aid to the poor. That is, with what fees from the state they will receive for defending people in the courts who are unable to pay for a private lawyer. But the most serious tests will come, as usual, from heaven. The airline sector was severely affected during the pandemic. A lot of employees have been dismissed, hundreds of flights have been canceled. Now the Irish charter carrier Ryanair is on strike all over Europe, and the British IziDget is preparing to join in July. Their services are used by the whole of Europe. The British satirical magazine Private eye issued a weather forecast map on the cover: "Inflation and strikes are expected, a cyclone from Northern Ireland will bring high pressure associated with disagreements over post-Brexit. It will be very hot after the showdown of the Prime Minister's actions. So thunderstorms are very possible."

It is necessary for NATO

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The Alliance asked Spain to strain. On January 22, the Spanish frigate Blas de Leso left the port of Ferrol in Galicia and headed towards the Black Sea. On board the flagship of the Spanish fleet with a length of 146 meters – 220 sailors and officers. The vessel is packed with SPY-1D radars and Aegis air defense systems. All this stuff has been put forward for NATO naval exercises. A few days earlier, the Spanish minesweeper Meteoro left the port of Las Palmas in the Canaries and joined another NATO naval group that patrols the coasts of Bulgaria and Romania. In February, six Eurofighter fighters flew from Spain to Bulgaria. When the Spanish Defense Minister announced all these maneuvers, the Iberian Iberian Kingdom began to boil. The Podemos party, which is part of the ruling coalition together with the Socialists, firmly stands on anti-war positions. It got to the point that she refused to take part in the celebrations dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the country's accession to NATO. Equality Minister and party member Irene Montero stated the following: Podemos not only does not accept the increase in maneuvers of our ships and aircraft in these zones, but also believes that the expansion of NATO at the expense of Ukraine and Georgia in the interests of the United States makes no sense." In the communique, she recalled that "Spain remains an anti-war country." This was the slogan of the demonstrations of 2003, when the then Prime Minister Asnar decided to participate in military operations in Iraq. And then, at the just-ended Madrid NATO summit, the following happens. According to the calculations of the North Atlantic Alliance, Spain's defense spending amounts to $ 13.035 billion, that is, 1.01 percent of GDP. This is a mess. Expenses, according to the NATO Charter, should be 2 percent of GDP. This decision was made in 2014, at the summit in Wales. That is, the Spanish budget will have to double defense spending, namely, to find an additional $ 12.8 billion. Well, in order to feel this already "pleasant" news even more acutely, fully assume all the costs of the last Madrid summit. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at a press conference: "Spain has set itself a goal - to achieve the task by 2029 – and I will work with all political forces to get their support." The prime minister did not have time to finish the sentence, as Podemos declared that it would not support anything like that. Moreover, NATO's calculations are based on 2015 prices, and at present the country spends 14.8 billion. Spain, with its 1.01 percent, is among the three NATO countries contributing the least to the cash register. Luxembourg, which has 0.58 percent of GDP, and Iceland, which has no armed forces at all, fit on this "inverted pedestal". Curiously, only 7 out of 30 NATO countries pay more than the agreed 2 percent. These are the three Baltic powers, Croatia, Poland, which overpays 2.5 billion, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Such alliance locomotives as Germany (– 20 billion) or France (– 2.7 billion) also do not give enough to the treasury, but they have not yet been presented with anything. Although there are quite tricky and complex calculations. NATO membership costs $624 to every German, and $ 734 to every Frenchman. Spaniards pay the least – $275 per nose. Spain is not the most active participant in NATO operations. The most soldiers were sent to Afghanistan – 1,523 people, and the least – to Kosovo – 1 observer (Spain does not recognize the independence of Kosovo). Basically, the kingdom provides the allies with infrastructure. The General Staff of the Land Forces in Betera, this is Valencia, the General Staff and the Navy training Center in the Company that is opposite the fortress of Cadiz in the southwest of the country, right on the Atlantic (that's where you don't want to be demobbed from!), part of the air base in Torrejon, the Air Force command in southern Europe will be mixed there. At one time, the Spaniards were attached to the international battalion "Adagio" in Latvia, it is commanded by Canada. 350 fighters serve there. There is a battery of "Patriots" in Turkey, which is designed mainly to observe Syria, and to carry out sea and air patrols in Lithuania, Estonia and Romania. NATO regulations prescribe what and how to spend from national defense budgets. Spain has everything in order here: 26 percent for equipment, and 2.5 billion for the military bureaucracy in Brussels and elsewhere. Doubling the military budget will not be easy for Spain. For comparison: since 2014, when the decision was made on 2 percent of GDP, the country has increased it by 0.1 percent. But then it will be even more difficult. First, as Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned, "This is not a ceiling, rather we are moving towards the floor. In the context of the events of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, this threshold will increase." Secondly, Spain sets the task of GDP growth, which means that the cost of military service will grow in direct proportion. How the prime minister or his replacement will convince the population that NATO needs it is not very clear. On the eve of the Madrid summit, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Alvarez said in an interview with French Figaro: "The meeting, of course, should give an answer to the challenge from the East, but we are waiting for decisions on the southern flank, and this should be reflected in the Strategic Concept of NATO." What's the southern flank? Retired General Jose Enrique de Ayala, an analyst at the Alternatives Foundation, explains: "This term has been launched in NATO for a long time. It was invented to contrast the threat from the East, against which NATO was created." This is the fight against hybrid threats coming from the South – cybersecurity, juggling threats of energy or migration flows for political purposes, jihadism. Spain, with the support of Italy, spoke at the summit in favor of strengthening NATO's presence in the southern direction – in North Africa and the Sahel, while not excluding the alliance's actions in Mali, a hotbed of terrorism and jihadism. But the Strategic Concept of NATO still considers migration and terrorism on the southern flank as new potential sources of instability, which are worth watching.

Scholz is being tied hand and foot

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text Both the coalition partners and the opposition are delaying, for their own selfish reasons, the implementation of his initiative to create a special fund for the needs of the Bundeswehr, which is in a deplorable state. The Germans have trouble with the army. Under Angela Merkel (in the last years of her reign) and now the Ministry of Defense is headed by Frau. Since 2013, the German soldiers have been commanded alternately by Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU). And now – since the formation of the new government – 56-year-old Christina Lambrecht (SPD). Prior to that, she was the Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. And she definitely didn't smell gunpowder. As, however, and its predecessors. Women at the helm of the military department are to blame for this or the short-sighted policy of the authorities, who preferred not to burden the budget too much with military needs, but things are really going schlecht for people in uniform! The Bild newspaper recently cited staggering statistics: out of 350 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, only 137 are in service, out of 119 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 self-propelled artillery units, only 56 can be deployed, all 6 Class 212A submarines (the price of each is a billion euros) are inoperable. Only 20 Bundeswehr helicopters (out of 152!) are on alert - 8 Tiger attack vehicles and 12 NH90 transporters. It got ridiculous: the military signed a lease agreement for seven helicopters until 2024 with the General German Automobile Club (ADAC), which will cost 63 million euros. We are talking about rotorcraft model EC135 from Airbus. They weigh about three tons and reach a speed of 220 km / h. ADAC uses them for rescue operations. And the army needs them for pilot training. After all, their own are on the joke. The Ukrainian crisis had a sobering effect on Berlin, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz decided to personally improve his country's defense capability. After all, he is the supreme commander. However, this title is due to him by the constitution during the war. And yet... At the end of February, when the Russian special operation began, the head of the Berlin cabinet announced the creation of a special one-time fund for the modernization of the Bundeswehr in the amount of 100 billion euros. According to his idea, financing should be carried out entirely at the expense of loans that are not included in the credit limit of the federal budget, and therefore amendments to the constitution are required due to existing legislative restrictions. However, this requires that at least two-thirds of the Bundestag deputies vote for the amendment. That is, without the support of representatives of the largest opposition faction of the CDU/CSU, his initiative would have been doomed to failure. However, Scholz expressed confidence that he would be able to negotiate with the conservatives. In fact, he hopes for patriotism and joint work with the Christian Democrats on an issue of concern to most Germans. Initially, the position of the head of the Berlin cabinet and the SPD was very clear: funds from the special fund should go exclusively to re-equip the Bundeswehr (new tanks, planes, guns) and increase its combat capability. It was reported that the chancellor was going, in particular, to buy 35 American fifth-generation F-35A fighters (the price per piece is about $ 80 million), as well as a batch of transport helicopters and warships. At the same time, he probably suspected that a serious conflict would arise around a one-time, albeit very costly action. The chairman of the opposition CDU, Friedrich Merz, said that the conservatives will vote for a corresponding change in the constitution before the summer, if the government adheres to the promise to use the special fund only for the German army. However, the coalition partners, and first of all, the Greens, imposed a discussion on its format and purpose. It has been going on since March, but the leading German parties still cannot come to a compromise. The Greens insist that part of the funds should be directed to improving the system of protection against cyber attacks, as well as improving the tools of "soft power" and timely conflict prevention. But this in Germany should not be dealt with by the Ministry of Defense, but by the Ministry of Internal Affairs... And the most controversial thing is that in the initial version of the bill, this party intends to introduce wording that allows using funds to help allies. And this means that Germany, having concluded, for example, an interstate agreement with Ukraine for the supply of weapons, can theoretically finance them from a special fund. The Christian Democrats, in turn, believe that if the cabinet goes along with the "greens", then soon every department will try to plug its financial holes with money for the Bundeswehr. The main opposition force promises to do everything for its votes in support of the Chancellor's initiative not to fall into a trap and not allow the use of part of the funds from the special fund to dilute the purpose of the allocated money. According to Merz, only the re-order of ammunition, some of which are going to be transferred to Ukraine, costs 20 billion euros. What major projects in this scenario can we talk about at all? In the military department, they see the "cutting" of special funds in their own way. They believe that a significant part – 40 billion euros – should be allocated to the Luftwaffe (air force), 27 billion euros should be spent on the modernization of command and control facilities, including modern radio stations, 10 billion euros should be given to new warships. In short, there is no agreement in the comrades. Officially, the decision on the special fund has not yet been made. The discussion of amendments in the Bundestag has been postponed to the beginning of June. In addition, there were problems with the legislative consolidation of Scholz's promise to raise the defense budget to the two percent of GDP required by NATO. Conservatives insist that the increase in military spending should not be a one-time demonstration against the background of the Ukrainian crisis, but should be built on a long-term basis. However, they propose to settle this issue with a separate resolution, but not to introduce this norm into the Basic Law. But the SPD and the Greens are of the opinion that "the two percent goal should not remain mandatory for a long period of time and should not limit the financial freedom of the government (current and future)." That is, they believe that it will be possible to jump off this commitment to NATO in the future. As the weekly Der Spiegel notes, the SPD and its leader face enormous pressure, caught between a rock and an anvil – between coalition partners and the opposition CDU/CSU bloc. It is rumored that some influential Social Democrats insist on quickly approving the creation of a special fund, even if the final version of the bill will differ from Scholz's original plans. It will be much more painful if the project falls victim to inter-party disagreements. Passions are heating up, and the chancellor, in his characteristic manner, is silent. Der Spiegel believes that Scholz is unable to clearly explain his position on various issues and never makes clear decisions. At the same time, he often demonstrates self-confidence and arrogance, for which he has to pay.

Will the Union State become a new international fashion?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The Union State (SG) of Russia and Belarus, which traces its lineage back to 1996, when the Treaty on the Establishment of a Community of two states was signed, still remains a mystery in many ways. The purpose of its creation is, of course, clear and obvious: the preservation of a single economic and defense space. However, the international legal framework, as well as the practical content of this project, lack this clarity: is it a federation, a confederation, a single state or a union of two sovereign states? There is no definite answer. Nevertheless, the SG exists and functions. And it seems that in the modern world, where too much is becoming conditional, where concepts and norms that seemed unshakable are rapidly being eroded, this form of foreign policy interaction may be in great demand. The main advantage of such a model is its flexibility, freedom from formal ties and conventions, and the ability to adapt to specific and rapidly changing circumstances. First of all, this concerns the strategic, military-political sphere, where the speed of reaction, the ability to manifest and retain initiative is more important than the size of the total potential, "combat power" and the presence of a large number of allies. There is no doubt that a large military alliance can give confidence in security. But being bulky and clumsy, it does not allow you to act quickly, and being multilateral, it binds you hand and foot. If we assess the development of the situation around Ukraine from this point of view, then we can see the reasonableness and effectiveness of using the mechanisms of the Union State, and not, say, the CSTO. And this is despite the fact that Moscow and Minsk are opposed by bloc structures – NATO and the EU. Against the background of these "monsters", the two-part SG model looks more practical and flexible. Greatly simplifying, one can compare such a model with the "rapid reaction forces", and a large military-political bloc with a classic army, powerful but clumsy and requiring too much effort to bring it into a combat–ready state. It cannot be said that Russia and Belarus are the discoverers of such a binary model. For example, back in the early 90s, France and Germany tried to create a kind of military-political formation - within the NATO bloc. From there, by the way, the legs of Paris' current aspiration for the "strategic independence" of Europe are growing. But that experiment failed: it did not meet with understanding either in Europe or in Washington. But Moscow and Minsk are still doing business. And their example seems to be able to interest someone. In particular, Poland, which has already put forward the initiative to create a "space without borders" with Ukraine (or with what remains of it). This idea of Warsaw was perceived in Russia as evidence of the desire of the Poles to "chop off" part of the neighboring country. Well, not without that. However, it seems that the point here is not in the territorial issue, but in the creation of its own "union state" according to the Russian-Belarusian model. In case of success, a certain formation will arise on the border with Russia, a common Polish-Ukrainian "defense space" that will not be connected by formal ties with NATO and its discipline and procedures. The prospect is very dangerous, because such a "space" will become a potential source of instability, provocations, for which NATO will not be responsible, but it will be extremely difficult to call Warsaw or Kiev to account for them: the North Atlantic Bloc will be behind them, after all… That is, it is impossible to exclude the occurrence of a situation in which Warsaw will be able to use the territory of Ukraine for the purpose of military provocations against Russia. And even if, for example, Berlin, Paris, any other NATO capitals oppose this, the Poles will not even lead an ear: everything happens outside the bloc, it's none of your business. But any response from Russia aimed at the "common defense space" will be regarded as an attack on a member of the bloc with all the ensuing consequences. It is curious that at the same time Poland will be able to rely on the precedents developed by another NATO state – Turkey, which conducts completely independent military activities in Syria, Iraq, Libya – countries that are not in the area of responsibility of the alliance. From an international legal point of view, they are no different from Ukraine. This means that Turkey's course of action is quite applicable in the case of Poland: invading neighboring territories in the name of "protecting its security", Ankara acts as an independent player and does not ask the opinion of either Brussels or Berlin. But at the same time, of course, no one forgets that Turkey is a member of NATO, and an invasion of its territory will trigger the corresponding article of the Alliance's Charter. However, this is not all. Turkey itself can also enrich its strategy using the model of the Union State and the "common defense space". Azerbaijan can become a partner. This does not seem improbable, especially after Baku's victory in the Second Karabakh War, achieved thanks to Ankara's full military support. If the concept of the Turkish-Azerbaijani common defense space is implemented, it will create a completely new geopolitical situation throughout the southern borders of Russia – from the Black Sea to the steppes of Kazakhstan. And again, the formula will apply here: aggression, provocation against Russia is a "private" initiative; Russia's response to provocation means aggression against the entire NATO bloc. I would like to make a mistake, but the prospect of the appearance of "allied states" and "common defense spaces" with the participation of NATO powers on our western and southern borders seems very likely and extremely dangerous. To complete the picture, Romania and Moldova can be added to their list, although this particular project seems relatively less likely. In all such cases, the main problem for Russia is not only and not so much in direct threats, the source of which may be such "union states". The real danger is that they reproduce the situation of a yard fight, where the provocateur is a relatively weak, junior hooligan, behind whom is a group of jocks. They stand on the sidelines and do not interfere – as long as the younger one is not dealt back properly. Then they enter the arena and beat without pity under the seemingly flawless slogan "don't touch the little ones!"  

Will the EU be able to produce its own semiconductors and chips?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The European Commission has submitted amendments to the Chip Law aimed at expanding the capacities involved in the production of semiconductors. It is planned to allocate about 34 billion euros for project financing and regulatory incentives. Industry experts reacted positively to the news, although they noted that at least in the short term, the authorities will continue to attract foreign players, rather than intensively create their own production facilities. According to the amendments published back in February 2022, Europe intends to solve the problem of a shortage of semiconductors in the context of a global supply chain crisis and geopolitical turmoil by expanding the capacity of its own enterprises. At the same time, Brussels' plans coincide with the EU's long-term development goals, implying an expansion of the level of European technological sovereignty. As part of this goal, Europeans aim to make up 20% of the value of the global semiconductor manufacturing market by 2030. Of the planned funding, 11 billion euros will be allocated in the form of public investments for the Chips for Europe initiative. It is also expected that the EU authorities and member states will create an investment pool, known as Chips Fund, worth more than 2 billion euros to support startups, scalable and other companies integrated into the semiconductor supply chain. However, these amounts only seem exorbitant, in fact, everything is not quite so. This area is one of the most high-tech and, therefore, expensive. So the German Bosch alone intends to invest in 2022 not a little 400 million euros in the production of microchips, most of which will be intended for the automotive industry. And microchips are needed in almost all industries today. In addition to these initiatives, the European Investment Bank (EIB) will cooperate with the Commission to provide equity financing to support scalable enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses that develop and commercialize semiconductor technologies. The chip Law will also provide a number of incentives to firms that eliminate untapped gaps in the market, such as logic chip foundries. It is expected that companies will receive priority access to pilot financing lines and will see that their requests and needs are quickly answered by the authorities. The development of the Chip Law will allow the EU to improve monitoring of the availability of semiconductors, create tools to solve current and future problems of their shortage. The core of this mechanism will be the European Group of Experts, which will act as a coordination platform between Member States to advise and assist them in the event of shortages and other market failures. Participants will have the opportunity to coordinate the procurement of critical semiconductors at the level of the entire Union. A number of experts note that the actions of the Europeans are due not only to problems with logistics, but also to the growing confrontation between the United States and China. Moreover, not only in the EU have taken care of the production of semiconductors. South Korea plans to radically increase its investments up to $450 billion by 2030 to increase the country's chip production capacity. The constant growth of demand plays its role against the background of the development and introduction of 5G technologies, artificial intelligence, cloud computing. Brussels' initiatives are aimed, among other things, at creating a platform for the implementation of a project capable of competing with the main semiconductor manufacturers today – Taiwan, China, South Korea. The law will allow developing a stronger semiconductor ecosystem at the European level, increasing the advantages of the region's industry, as well as eliminating its disadvantages. A base is being created for increasing research and development work. However, a number of experts today agree that by 2030 the EU will not be able to create a truly competitive industry capable of producing advanced products with a five-nanometer technological process or less. Even despite increased funding and ongoing regulatory support. For example, in 2021, the German Bosch opened a plant in Dresden for the production of power semiconductors on plates with a diameter of 300 mm. The company has equipped the facility with automated devices and integrated AI processes. Bosch produces special-purpose integrated circuits (ASICs) and technical processes from 130 nm to 65 nm, which is very far from the indicator of 5 nm. However, the EU benefits from the local production capacity of the main semiconductors that power the manufacturing and automotive industries. Companies such as Infineon, NXP and STMicroelectronics already play a key role in deliveries. Brussels also benefits from the presence of the Dutch company ASML, which provides key ultraviolet lithographic machines similar in characteristics to the products of Taiwan's TSMC. Analysts emphasize that, given the complexity and high cost of implementing a full-fledged industrial semiconductor industry, the EU will eventually focus its efforts on attracting foreign firms to the region, rather than creating its own production cluster from scratch. Skepticism about the prospects of such European import substitution was expressed back in the fall of 2021, when the coronavirus pandemic dealt a huge blow to global supply chains. The head of the European Union on Competition Issues, Margrethe Vestager, then said that the region would not be able to become completely independent of semiconductor production due to the large volume of necessary investments. Judging by how much Europeans spend today on arms supplies to Ukraine, as well as on their own armies, we would venture to assume that Brussels simply will not have the necessary amounts for the production of high-tech microchips.