The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 30 August 2016

Image: Markus Schreiber/PA Images

Right now?

The rise of the right has been one of the most concerning trends across Europe in the past year, from the UK’s Brexit vote to the growing popularity of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. German voters had until recently shown little appetite for right-wing parties but that could change in the run-up to next year’s general election. Commentators and party-political analysts will be watching on nervously this weekend when the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern heads to the polls to elect its local government. Polls done by state broadcaster ZDF last week put the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party at 21 per cent, just behind chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (at 22 per cent) and a few points behind the centre-left Social Democratic Party (at 28). Although in third place, the rapid rise of Frauke Petry’s anti-immigrant party has been alarming – the outcome of this weekend’s vote will tell us just how alarmed we need to be.

Image: IZAFS

Fair point

“The future is in Izmir,” or so say the signs that have fluttered all weekend over the most liberal Turkish city on the Aegean Sea. As old as the Republic itself, the Izmir International Fair was the tradeshow that started it all: planting newly founded modern Turkey on the industrialist map and later giving traders from both sides of the Second World War a neutral and pointedly glamorous space in which to show off their wares. This edition of the fair has happened against the backdrop of ongoing strife in the country but it’s a reminder that Turkish entrepreneurial clout can weather the storm. With big showings from the likes of construction giant Folkart and manufacturer Vestel, which recently unveiled its own smartphone, there’s an emphasis on Turkish innovation throughout. But the fair still trades on its star-studded heyday – a previous mayor once remarked that it simply wasn’t for the “riff-raff”.

Image: Kiefer

Crash landing

The ripple effects of the terror attacks that rocked Europe this summer – paired with the uncertainty following Brexit – are being felt across the board and have had a particular impact on the airline industry. After posting predictions of unit revenue falls between 8 and 9 per cent in the second half of the year, Germany’s leading airline Lufthansa is going ahead with cost-cutting measures to maintain profits. Its efforts include reducing the number of flights – such as its route from Munich to Sao Paulo, come October – and on growing its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings. On the bright side, last week’s cabin-crew vote for an unprecedented pay and pensions deal, which concluded the longest strike in the airline’s history, offered some much-needed relief – although talks with the pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit have yet to resume.

Image: Harvard Art Museums

Bauhaus party

After the Nazi shutdown many of the Bauhaus alumni ended up at Harvard – and it was there that Germany’s most eminent design school’s first US exhibition started back in 1919. It’s fitting then that the athenaeum has now become a beacon for Bauhaus enthusiasts: about 32,000 digitised artefacts, from paintings and drawings to photos, sculptures and sketches have been released on the university’s online catalogue. The enormous wealth of material charts the school’s Weimar-era and beyond. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, émigré and chair of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, collected many of the pieces from within the alumni network. With rare works by Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius himself to be discovered on the Harvard website, you’ll find it hard to resist a brilliant Bauhaus binge.

From Monocle 24

James Cadbury

Two centuries ago John Cadbury set up a small chocolate business in the English city of Birmingham and grew it into one of the world’s most famous chocolate empires. His descendant James Cadbury is following in the family footsteps, having launched his brand Love Cocoa in January. But it wasn’t always written in the stars that chocolate was his future. James shares his story.

From Monocle Films

Japanese bars

Pull up a pew to discover classic Japanese bars with soothing lighting, knowledgeable and immaculately turned-out bar staff and loyal clientele.

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