Oh boy, what a year!
In the UK, a never-ending political crisis in full crescendo throughout the year.
In Greece, a complete turnaround: politics, economy and society are making a new start.
In the world, China’s true face unmasked by the Hong Kong protesters.
Last but not least, in the global agenda, climate change takes on a glorious position; yet, it remains fluffy in words and void in actions. Nobel prize winners, heads of state, experts ring the alarm, but does anyone listen in this buzzy news world?
Here are the visual recollections of the year that marked us the most. We hope you will enjoy them!
In 2019, the UK experienced one of its most politically turbulent years in history.
The “B” word dominated the unending political debate, tested the resilience of Britain’s political institutions and exhausted the patience of British citizens.
In 2019, UK ‘s two dominant political parties went through cruel ‘stress-tests’; For now, it looks like the Conservatives passed and Labour failed. Labour and the Conservatives have been ruling the country for decades: The Conservatives were in power uninterruptedly for 18 years -from 1979 to 1997, Labour for 12 years -from 1997 to 2010 and the Conservatives again since 2010 – forming coalition governments in the last couple of years.
Even though the UK general elections took place in the midst of Christmas festivities, almost the same percentage of voters showed up at the polls as in the 2017 elections (67% vs 68%). The 2019 electoral results crashed the ‘red wall’ in the North and in Wales, regions traditionally won by Labour candidates for decades. Boris’ simple message ‘get Brexit done’ was enough to do the trick.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and leader of the Conservative Party, scored one of the country’s most dramatic electoral victories in decades. His campaign strategy was based on a single promise: “get Brexit done.”
In the 2019 general election, the Labour party faced the worst result since 1935.. A major personal defeat for Jeremy Corbyn but equally, for the politics the Labour party represents. As former prime minister Tony Blair said, Labour “let our country down” at the general election.
Boris Johnson’s promise ‘Get Brexit done’ proved easy to make; is it going to be easy to keep? Can Britain get ready for Brexit or will it simply bear its consequences?
Clouds move away. Following the July national elections, optimism returns, and a change of spirit prevails in Greek society. It remains to be seen whether the new spirit will also lead to tangible results.
In-out. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the newly elected Prime Minister of Greece and leader of the ‘New Democracy’ party walks out former Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, leader of ‘Syriza’ and becomes the new resident of Maximou Mansion. Young politicians leading old-minded parties. Will they manage to transform Greece?
Tourism is vital to public finances in Greece and has immense opportunities for further growth. With over 27million tourists visiting the country in 2019, the industry generates around 25% of GDP. Tourism-related jobs are for the first time projected to exceed one million, or 25% of the country’s labour market this year.
Hong Kong’s youth against the Chinese giant. A demonstrator at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building, where protesters forced their way in. Thousands of protesters marched in Hong Kong on what was the 22nd anniversary of the former colony’s handover from Britain to China.
People march in the streets of Hong Kong to protest a controversial extradition bill. Critics feared the bill would allow citizens to be sent across the border into mainland China. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the bill on September 4, but she refused to give ground on protesters’ four other demands, which include greater democracy for the city and an independent commission into police conduct.
CO2 emissions: “We have to behave like our house is on fire, because it is,” a phrase often said by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg…. A difficult task in developed and developing economies as, even the most efficient modern economy needs to contend with significant energy demand. It is essential to move away from using conventional fossil fuel power to electricity generated from renewable sources.
Water pollution: “Because we are terrestrial creatures we haven’t really thought about the health of the oceans. We’ve considered it as this place that is so big we can never really damage it that badly.” Juli Berwald, ocean scientist.
Deforestation: This year was marked by the burned Amazon rainforest in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state. Every year, farmers in the Amazon clear out areas so their cattle can graze. But this year’s fires were way up over last year, and that has raised concern about what it means for the health of the planet.
Jelly fish: Pollution and climate change are allowing them to take over and choke the oceans. Jellyfish reproduce well in warmer waters and polluted areas because they need less oxygen than other sea life. The growth worldwide of jellyfish populations — at the expense of other marine life like fish — is a warning about the effects that pollution and climate change are having on the health of the oceans.
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