Don Murray

Eye on Europe

A well-travelled former CBC reporter and documentary maker, Don Murray is a freelance writer and translator based in London and Paris.

Latest from Don Murray


Czech Republic provides cautionary tale as once-promising COVID-19 situation spirals out of control

After becoming the poster child of Europe with the lowest number of cases as a percentage of population in the European Union, the Czech Republic now leads the world in new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, according to the World Health Organization.

Hungary's Viktor Orbán and Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski defy the EU even as their countries profit from it

Poland and Hungary belong to the European Union and profit from it, but their leaders' ideas on democracy and the rule of law, principles their countries agreed to uphold when joining in 2004, are far from those endorsed by EU leaders in Brussels.

How an elite family's decades-old secret sparked a reckoning about sexual abuse in France

Sexual abuse within families had long been a problem France failed to confront. That appears to have changed recently with the release of a book that exposed a dark and decades-old secret of a prominent French family.

Forget Brexit — the EU is trying to put out a fire in the east

In an act of retaliation over criticism of their national politics, Hungary and Poland have threatened to veto the European Union's massive budget, which would provide grants to countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, writes Don Murray.

How the legal troubles of a former French president could be a blueprint for Trump's

Donald Trump is reputed not to read much, and he certainly won’t want to read about the trial of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former right-wing French president. Sarkozy’s troubles after leaving office in 2012 hint at a blueprint for the outgoing U.S. president’s legal future. 

As terrorism trial unfolds in Paris, France confronts its problem with Islamist extremism

When French President Emmanuel Macron spoke recently about Islamist extremism, the timing was no accident, coming as it did during the first major terrorism trial in Paris after multiple attacks in the past few years that left more than 230 dead, Don Murray writes.

In France, the pandemic deepens the political divide as death toll continues to rise

In France, where more than 30,000 people with COVID-19 have died, the pandemic has become political. The national government in Paris decreed on Wednesday that, as of Saturday, all cafés, restaurants and bars in the Marseille-Aix-en-Provence region would have to close to help avoid another lockdown.

South of France sees fortunes decline as COVID-19 keeps foreign tourists away

In the south of France, tourism accounts for 13 per cent of the region's economy, but much of that will be lost this year due to the pandemic. As the industry struggles, the big business of harvesting fruit from the fields continues — often on the backs of foreign workers, many from South America.

Nathan Law's escape from Hong Kong shows the pain of political exile: Don Murray

The decision by Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law to leave his home to agitate against China from abroad is a reminder that political exile has a long and complicated history, writes Don Murray.

Angela Merkel takes her cue from Alexander Hamilton to overhaul the European Union

Driven by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the EU is proposing to borrow billions and give it to member states. For the first time in EU history, two-thirds of the money would be grants — not loans — that the recipient countries wouldn't have to repay.