Week in Review (25th – 30th March)
“No turning back” for the UK as Brexit officially begins
After the Brexit bill enabling UK’s Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was passed in the British Parliament, on Wednesday Theresa May proceeded to the writing of a letter in which her country’s decision to leave the EU was formally presented. The message was received by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, on the same day.
The next important milestone on the Brexit timeline is the start of the actual negotiations between Britain and the member states of the EU, which is scheduled to take place in May or June. The discussions are expected to finish in the autumn of 2018, when voting on any deal achieved by then will begin. Article 50 stipulates a period of two years in which an agreement must be reached. In case the latter does not happen, and no extension is unanimously granted by the member states of the EU, the UK will automatically leave the Union.
bill (bɪl) = (hier) Gesetzesvorlage
to enable (ɪˈneɪbl) = ermöglichen
to trigger (ˈtrɪɡə(r)) = auslösen
to pass (pɑːs) sth = (hier) etw verabschieden
to proceed (prəˈsiːd) to sth = zu etw übergehen
milestone (ˈmaɪlstəʊn) = Meilenstein
timeline (ˈtaɪmlaɪn) = Zeitachse
to schedule (ˈskedʒuːl) sth = etw ins Programm einstellen
deal (diːl) = Abkommen
to achieve (əˈtʃiːv) sth = etw erzielen
to stipulate (ˈstɪpjuleɪt) = vorschreiben
extension (ɪkˈstenʃn) = Verlängerung
unanimously (juˈnænɪməsli) = einstimmig
to grant (ɡrɑːnt) sth = gewähren
Merkel’s CDU victorious in first election of the year
© Michael Kappeler/dpa
On Sunday, voters in Saarland were the first to go to the polling stations in the 2017 German federal elections. CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, celebrated a clear victory after winning 40.7% of the votes, up 5.5% from the previous Bundestag elections. Although more had been expected from the SPD under the leadership of new party chairman Martin Schulz, it could only achieve a percentage of 29.6%. Among the losers of the Saarland elections were also the Greens, who surprisingly failed to meet the 5% mark required to enter Parliament. On the other hand, with 6.2%, the far-right party AfD managed to secure enough votes in order to make it to the Bundestag for the first time.
The results of this first electoral test cast doubt on the so-called Schulz-effect which had been very visible in opinion polls prior to the Saarland election. CDU’s popular Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will continue to lead the regional government in coalition with the SPD. The next elections will be held in Schleswig-Holstein, on 7th May.
polling station (ˈpəʊlɪŋ steɪʃn) = Wahllokal
chairman (ˈtʃeəmən) = Vorsitzender
to secure (sɪˈkjʊə(r)) = sichern
to cast doubt (kɑːst daʊt) on sth = in Frage stellen
opinion poll (əˈpɪnjən pəʊlz) = Meinungsumfrage
prior (ˈpraɪə(r)) to sth = vor etw
The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications continue
This week was the fifth of the 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminaries which will determine the countries that will compete on the biggest stage of international football next year in Russia. Matches took place in all six confederations: Africa, Asia, Europe, North, Central America and Carribean, Oceania and South America, providing some surprising results. After defeating Chile 1-0 on 23rd March, vice world champion Argentina lost 0-2 to Bolivia three days later, while Bulgaria unexpectedly beat the Netherlands, which was absent from last year’s European Championship and seems to be experiencing serious difficulties, with the score of 2-0.
Other results worth mentioning are Brazil’s spectacular win 4-1 in Uruguay, Belgium’s draw 1-1 with Greece and Germany’s victory 4-1 against Azerbaijan. At the moment, Germany is leading group C of the European preliminaries with 15 points after the maximum number of wins possible so far, followed by Northern Ireland (10 points) and Czech Republic (8 points).
preliminaries (prɪˈlɪmɪnəriz) = Vorrunde
to provide (prəˈvaɪd) = (hier) für etwas sorgen
to experience difficulties = Schwierigkeiten haben
draw (drɔː) = Unentschieden
The end of the ski jumping season
With the three traditional ski flying events in Planica, Slovenia, the ski jumping season has come to an end. It was an extremely exciting World Cup edition, as no clear winner emerged until the very end. The final part of the season saw a very tight race between Austria’s Stefan Kraft and Poland’s Kamil Stoch, who both showed good, consistent form during the World Cup. However, Kraft proved to be unbeatable in the final competitions, winning both individual events in Planica and securing the overall Word Cup victory. He also won the small crystal globe after finishing first in the overall ski flying ranking. It was an extremely successful season for the 23-year-old Austrian, as he also became world champion on both the normal and the large hill and won the newly introduced Raw Air tournament.
The World Cup podium was completed by Kamil Stoch and Daniel Andre Tande, while the silver and bronze medals in ski flying were taken by Andreas Wellinger and Kamil Stoch, respectively. After being crowned world champions in the team event in Lahti, Finland, the Polish athletes celebrated another first, winning the Nations’ Cup ahead of Austria and Germany.
to emerge (iˈmɜːdʒ) = hervorgehen
race (reɪs) = Wettlauf
consistent (kənˈsɪstənt) = konstant
to secure (sɪˈkjʊə(r)) = sichern
overall (ˌəʊvərˈɔːl) = gesamt
ranking (ˈræŋkɪŋ) = Klassifizierung
hill (hɪl) = (hier) (Skisprung)schanze
to crown (kraʊn) = krönen