French Elections, Brexit Negotiations, Ukrainian Pride: The Weekend Behind, the Week Ahead
What you might have missed in the past few days, and what to watch in the days to come.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party — which has only been in existence for roughly a year — won a sound majority in parliamentary elections this Sunday. His mandate, though, could be marred by historically low turnout of about 42 percent. Still, now he is in a position to push through the legislature both much-needed economic reforms and his vision of a stronger Europe.
And that comes just in time for Brexit negotiations, which officially began on Monday. British Prime Minister Theresa May walked in weakened not only be her recent electoral gamble — she lost her majority in the June 8 snap elections she herself decided to hold — but by the fallout from the fire at Grenfell Tower in London. At last count, 79 are believed dead.
On Monday, leaving the Finsbury Park mosque near which worshippers were attacked on Sunday, May was heckled with a call of “Mrs. May — how can you be so quick today?,” a reference to how long it took her to meet the victims of Grenfell Tower.
Less violent news this weekend came from Ukraine. Thousands in Kiev marched for LGBTQ pride. Violent counter-activists did try to interrupt the parade, but were stopped by the police, who were out in full force to protect the safety of those marching and observing. “I am very satisfied with the work of law enforcement,” Anastasiya Deyeva, Ukraine’s deputy interior minister, told RFE/RL, adding, “We have come here for human rights, we have come here for equality, and it really is great.”
Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, is expected to meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday in Washington.
Trump, for his part, spent the weekend at Camp David, which he described on Twitter as “a very special place.” On Monday, the administration will be dealing with the escalating possibility of a wider crisis in Syria, after a U.S. Navy F-18 shot down a Syrian Su-22 bomber near Raqqa, which prompted Russian threats of reprisal.
Photo credit: Molly Riley -Pool/Getty Images