Let it be summer
Vacation time is over and the world leaders show up again. What a bore!Neyka Krasteva
Great Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May put on her dancing shoes to bob up and down in a Cape Town school. Even her most vocal critics could hardly put her in a more awkward spot. She indeed became a laughing stock to the world. However, what May said for the record was even funnier: “Today I set out a new bold ambition. Before 2022, I would like to make Britain the leading foreign investor in Africa among the G7 states.” It seems that alongside the Brexit drama, Mrs May has overlooked the fact that Africa already has a leading investor, and it is not the UK but quite another former empire - China.
The Chinese are not dancing in Africa, they are building roads, industrial zones and skyscrapers. Within the coming three years, China will invest additional $60 billion in the development of the African economy, said Chinese President Xi Jinping during a China-Africa summit held in Beijing on 3 September. That is enough to say about the new ambitions of the UK PM.
At the end of the summer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured Africa as well. There was no dancing. However, her visit was just a foray full of empty promises and flashy smiles. The topic was “very emotional” - coping with migration. Just like Theresa May, Merkel said, although in different words, that “we don't have to be mere onlookers who do not try to interfere when human traffickers trade in people. We have to provide conditions that will enable people to work here, in Africa.” To this, the prime minister of Senegal, Macky Sall, responded that he wanted Europe to facilitate the movement of migrants from Africa. Were their messages lost in translation, or not?
And while Germany and Great Britain are waging a 'war of words' in the name of Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron took a bike ride in Copenhagen, as they do in France. Obviously enjoying the ride, Macron smilingly insisted that Europe should take more responsibility for their own defence instead of relying on the US. It was a hint to the Danes who wrestled out the right for their country not to take part in key EU policies, defence including. Their decision was a result of three referendums, and they will hardly change their mind on the issue. They like bicycles and do not like war. Thus, Macron as well failed to make a meaningful start in the new political season.
As far as the US are concerned, let's see where American President Donald Trump is in this situation? Well, he is at home. But the guy is mad - at Google, Facebook, Twitter, CNN and all other media who dare criticise him. The list is long and changing, so we apologise if it is not complete. The bad news is that his war with the media will for sure break him. Those who pick a fight with the media never win.
For instance, his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin has no such problems. At the beginning of the political season he took a short vacation. This time no extreme sports were involved. He just went picking mushrooms somewhere in Siberia in the company of Sergey Shoygu, the minister of defence, and Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, fed information to the journalists on time, along with the relevant photos, and all media outlets informed their audiences about all they needed to know. That is how it's done. And what's more, the Russian audience is in for a special programme of the Kremlin-controlled Russia-1 channel, titled “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.” and on air every Sunday for one hour.
We have nearly missed one more leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. His first recommendation during this political season was to scrap daylight saving time. Europe will stick to summer time. And this is not the decision of the Brussels' bureaucracy. No! The citizens of the EU opted for it themselves, shows the unprecedented referendum organised by the Commission. “Millions of people responded and they all share the opinion that in the future the daylight saving time will have to be changed. And we will fulfil this,” Juncker said. Of course, he did not specify that further consultations are due, as well as debates in the national parliaments and EU institutions, and if final decision is to be taken, it will be the task of the next Commission. So, what then? Let it be summer!