Press Review March 25th 2014 looks at why younger Germans have turned off from traditional party politics. The article notes that the decline in youth and overall voter participation is “also apparent when it comes to voter turnout for European Parliament elections: In 1979 nearly 63 percent of voters in the bloc cast ballots. In 2009 only around 43 percent voted in a much-enlarged EU with many more countries.” While this is a worry trend, especially among the less well-educated and well-off in society, the article shows that many young people remain engaged through alternative avenues for social and political activism such as volunteering with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

How are the ups and downs of the European Union’s housing market affecting the Europe’s financial health and consumption levels, asks, in a video report this week. The report covers two sets of countries in the European Union in this context: Those, where supply outstrips demand (i.e. Spain and Ireland) and those where demand outstrips supply (i.e. the United Kingdom and France), with an in-depth investigation of the former “Celtic Tiger”, Ireland.

The Italian city of Venice declares independence from Italy in a referendum; in cyberspace that is. covers Venice’s non-binding online referrendum. Pro-independence, Lega Nord-affiliated Venetian activists are said to have worked with Scottish, Catalonian, and Basque self-determination activists for the poll which overwhelmingly – a majority of 89 percent in favor – voted for independence. The vote comes at a time when many prosperous regions in Europe consider greater autonomy or outright independence from larger nation-states and in the same week as Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation in a very controversial referendum.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a deal whereby Japanese highly enriched weapons-grade uranium and plutonium would be transferred to the United States for conversion to more “proliferation resistant forms”. The deal was announced at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, reports, at the Hague. As negotiations over Iran’s controversial nuclear program progress, and in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nuclear security is once again high on the global international security agenda.

Abe and Obama at the opening session of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague. Photo courtesy of Voice of America.

In the Press Review section of the GovFaces blog you will find regular updates on important social, political, and economic issues of the day. Items presented here and in the Analysis & Opinion sections do not necessarily reflect the views of GovFaces.