This week, potential trade war with US is brewing, Italy’s election results make for interesting viewing, and International Women’s Day shows women’s rights are accruing.
After US Presidential toddler Donald Trump announced plans to slap global tariffs on steel and aluminium, the EU responded with its own proposal: 25 percent tariffs on around $3.5 billion of imports from the US.
The European Union is considering applying 25% tariffs on around $3.5 billion of imports from the U.S. in retaliation if Trump carries out his plan to apply global duties to steel and aluminum, EU sources tell Reuters. https://t.co/MAzEHFlCJ2
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 2, 2018
Specific products include Harley Davidson motorcycles, Kentucky bourbon and Levi’s jeans. Karthik Sankaran noted it was all the ingredients of a male mid-life crisis.
a) I was asked for narrative, not an explanation 😉 b) Levi's, Harley's and Bourbon are a skirmish in a sitzkrieg, not a full-on trade war, I guess. Someone already did this, but this is a bit like 20 Years Crisis meets Male Midlife Crisis.
— Karthik Sankaran (@RajaKorman) March 5, 2018
Or maybe the EU just wants to ban Bruce Springsteen, suggested Jeremy Cook.
*EU IS SAID TO MULL TARIFFS ON U.S. STEEL, DENIM, BOURBON
Basically they are banning Bruce Springsteen
— WorldFirst (@World_First) March 6, 2018
Theresa May warned Trump not to start a trade war.
— John Ashcroft (@jkaonline) March 5, 2018
But she’s in no position to take the moral high ground, said Diane James, because the EU operates almost 13,000 tariffs.
The #EU operates almost 13,000 tariffs (plus 5,000 non tariff barriers). Bit rich for Theresa May (or any other EU leader for that matter) to try and take the moral higher ground against Trump
— Diane James MEP (@DianeJamesMEP) March 4, 2018
Trump said trade wars are “good and easy to win.” Donald Tusk retorted they “are bad and easy to lose.”
President Trump said: ‘trade wars are good and easy to win’. But the truth is trade wars are bad and easy to lose. EU’s goal is to keep world trade alive and if necessary to protect European by proportionate responses.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 7, 2018
And Jean-Claude Juncker thought it was all incredibly stupid…
John Oliver about Trump's trade tariffs plans and Juncker's reply – @LastWeekTonight
— Pablo Pérez 🇪🇺 (@PabloPerezA) March 5, 2018
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, doesn’t buy Trump’s “national security” explantion calling it “economic protectionism in disguise.”
Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom blasted President Trump's national security reasoning as economic protectionism in "disguise."https://t.co/5AMQHz4YjS
— News Dingo (@NewsDingo) March 7, 2018
But she can troll with the best of them – she wore a biker jacket for the Harley Davidson tariff announcement.
Nice touch – EU's Malmstroem wears biker jacket for the Harley tariffs announcement pic.twitter.com/yqXJoKluHs
— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) March 7, 2018
Someone – Wrangler – is making the most of the news of potential EU tariffs on Levi’s jeans said Berlaymonster.
Someone's making the most of the news of potential EU tariffs on Levi's jeans… pic.twitter.com/7m9V6zcQcD
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) March 7, 2018
And City A.M. came up with this gem of a headline: Hit the Chevy with a Levy, tax your whiskey and rye.
Earlier this week, Italy’s election ended with the 5-Star movement narrowly losing to the centre-right coalition led by former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.
The Latest: Exit poll shows center-right coalition with slight edge over anti-establishment 5-Star Movement in the Italian election. https://t.co/WEVaqyJosF
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 4, 2018
Exit polls in Italy's election suggest no party will win a majority, but a center-right coalition led by ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi could have the most seats in parliament https://t.co/WJv3iwAtWb pic.twitter.com/q3MnBJXcd7
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 5, 2018
No party won a majority, but the real winner was populism, according to The Economist.
With most of the votes from Italy’s general election counted, it is clear that populism has won https://t.co/BaTG5k0OdH
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) March 5, 2018
The results prompted the hashtag #ItalyIsOver from some distressed Italians.
— Roberto Bastone (@roberto_bastone) March 6, 2018
Calvin Casino said it was like Brexit and Trump all over again.
Interesting hashtag #italyisover It was like Brexit & Trump all over again. It's real shame that far right party Northern League won the votes by gaining seats in the Italian parliament. Just like AFD gain seats in Bundestag in Germany. #ItalyElection2018 #ItalianElections 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/MD8As5P7pH
— Calvin Casino (@calvincasino) March 7, 2018
And while a rumour circulated that Italy was the latest country to have Russia meddle in its election, Sam Knight suggested that the new Italian PM would be the nefarious Nintendo character Wario.
Bad news folks….Russia meddled in Italy's election and well, this is the new Italian Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/AKowMD8Wym
— REVIVED Transit, Gloria! (@samknight_one) March 4, 2018
Finally, Thursday was International Women’s Day and, much like Valentine’s Day, every marketer on the planet saw it as an opportunity to hawk their wares.
Spoof account Martini Seltzermayr tweeted: Stand by for a dreary day of 28 Commissioners separately straining to show some tenuous link between their portfolio and International Women’s Day.
Stand by for a dreary day of 28 Commissioners separately straining to show some tenuous link between their portfolio and #IWD2018
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) March 8, 2018
However it was good timing for the appointment of Catherine de Bolle as head of Europol.
Listen to Catherine de Bolle⤵ the next Executive Director of @Europol on:
▶ her experience as a woman in the police &
▶ why more women leaders are needed in the police and security forces.#TimeIsNow for a gender-equal 🌍!#iwd2018 #pressforprogress pic.twitter.com/aEgufse5KE
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) March 8, 2018
Apparently NATO also has more women in leadership than ever before.
NATO has more women in leadership positions than ever before! #IWD2018
— NATO (@NATO) March 8, 2018
The marvellous Brussels Binders were out and about promoting the project.
— The Brussels Binder (@bxlbinder) March 7, 2018
And a group of Irish citizens in Brussels are also hosting an event to support women’s abortion rights in Ireland.
Some of us concerned Irish citizens are getting together in Brussels to host this next month. Please share, donate, come along! #repealthe8th #repeal8bxl #hometovote https://t.co/ybtp6BbjXl pic.twitter.com/0Na0UU0KdT
— Jennifer Baker (@BrusselsGeek) February 26, 2018
Elsewhere however, Spanish train workers went on strike over inequality.
The trains in Spain fail mainly for disdain (of women’s contribution): Many trains cancelled as workers prepare to strike to highlight gender inequalities on #IWD2018 https://t.co/21R7m6vOuE pic.twitter.com/yLm7n4owEK
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) March 8, 2018
Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of “mansplaining”… although many were quick to point out her hypocrisy!
Theresa May accuses Jeremy Corbyn of "mansplaining" before defending Saudi Arabia's treatment of women. I think we've reached peak faux-feminisim #PMQs
— Daniel Blake's Vest #RJCOB (@WarmongerHodges) March 7, 2018
Jesus, @theresa_may attempting to use the term mansplaining.
A woman who still refuses to ratify the Istanbul Convention to protect women from domestic violence no less.
— Josh Funnell (@SocialistSki) March 7, 2018
And in Brussels, a female artist, Deborah de Robertis, was forcibly dragged from the stage at TEDxBrussels during a performance on censorship.
— TEDxBrussels (@TEDxBrussels) March 5, 2018
My irony meter just exploded said Sofie Verhalle.
My irony meter just exploded. A man drags @D_derobertis, a female artist, from stage whilst she is performing on censorship, during a slot announced as focussing on girl power, at an event discussing the ideas in the dystopian novel #BraveNewWorld. #TEDxBrussels
— Sofie Verhalle (@lamazone) March 5, 2018
On the other hand, Brussels also saw the first conviction under its 2014 sexism law.
Anti-sexism law in Belgium 🇧🇪
This is the first time the law has been enacted since its creation in 2014.https://t.co/ejPAPY3AzT
— Brussels Express (@ExpressBrussels) March 7, 2018
A man who verbally abused a female police officer was fined €3,000.
First conviction under sexism law for Belgian who insulted officer
Man who verbally abused police officer fined €3,000 under law criminalising sexism in public #Bruxelles #Brussels #sexism https://t.co/OIuj4yvFia pic.twitter.com/QKpj84DWmI
— The Marquis de Shard (@ernstgraf) March 6, 2018
This week we are supported by GSMA. Check out their tweets about how the mobile industry is ready to deliver on 5G and the gigabit society.
"The #mobile industry is ready to deliver on #5G and the #gigabitsociety but the fact of the matter is that we just can’t do it on our own" says @afke1, VP and Head of @GSMAEurope. "It’s up to the regulators and policymakers to make 5G a reality in #Europe."#Thisweek #MWC18 https://t.co/mHq7n8RTAy
— GSMAEurope (@GSMAEurope) March 2, 2018
Join me again next week for more wisecracks and comebacks in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere and send in your suggestions using the hashtag #EUTweets.