Platinum Jubilee in the UK
For the first time in the UK, a monarch celebrated her platinum jubilee at the beginning
of June. Queen Elizabeth II, 96 y.o, came to the throne in February 1952 after the
sudden death of her father George VI. In the UK, the official celebrations lasted four
days, but many celebrations took place elsewhere in the Commonwealth, such as in
Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In the British tradition, the Queen reviewed the
troops and received many letters of congratulations from foreign heads of state.
Her reign is one of the longest in world history, only surpassed by that of the French
king Louis XIV (1643-1715), which lasted 72 years, if the regency period (1643-1661) is
Kiev hit again by Russian strikes
Russia claimed to have struck the Ukrainian capital with missiles, after a relative lull, as
Kiev had not been hit since April. The strikes were aimed at armored vehicles
supplied to Ukraine by several Eastern European countries for its defense, so
that they could not be used against Russia. Despite the sanctions and international aid,
the military situation of the Ukrainian forces is increasingly precarious, while there are
fears that the conflict will become bogged down as in the Donbass. Europe is now more
cautious in its support for Ukraine, and a military engagement by NATO does not seem
to be on the agenda for the moment.
The impact of the sanctions seems to be backfiring on Europe, as Russia increasingly
turns to China. Inflation in Europe is still very high and the energy issue is struggling to be resolved, especially in Germany, which is being forced to reopen its coal-fired power
stations as a result of its nuclear phase-out and the drop in Russian gas supplies.
In addition, two British mercenaries working for Ukraine were captured and sentenced
to death by the authorities of the Russian-backed separatist republic of Donetsk.
Political earthquake in France
The June 2022 parliamentary elections in France led to an almost unprecedented
situation in this very presidential regime : the presidential coalition did not obtain an
absolute majority in the National Assembly and will therefore have to deal with the
different political formations to govern. Several parties and coalitions made a
spectacular breakthrough in these elections, notably Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement
National, often accused of populism, and the Nouvelle Union Populaire Écologique et
Sociale, a coalition of left-wing and ecologist parties, which obtained 89 and 131 MPs
After a first mandate marked by a violent deterioration of the social climate, this new
mandate of President Macron promises to be complicated to say the least. Some
reforms, notably the pension reform, will certainly be difficult to implement.
A dissolution of the National Assembly in one year is not unlikely.
Governmental impasse in Bulgaria
The centrist government of Kirill Petkov was overthrown by the National Assembly after
a motion of no confidence, after one of the four parties in the governing coalition
walked out. Bulgaria, which has been plagued by political instability since the 2021
parliamentary elections, has seen its third government fail in less than a year.
The Balkan country, which has been an EU member since 2007, faces major
development problems and remains the poorest country in the EU.