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MAIN FOCUS: The search for financial alternatives | 01/10/2008

After the US House of Representatives’ unexpected rejection of a 700 billion dollar bailout plan, Europe is reappraising the balance of power on the international financial market. Until now Europe has been too reliant on American economic competence, commentators say. Talk now focuses on structural change, new regulatory systems and even a UK accession to the Eurozone.

EU defence ministers draw lessons from Georgia crisis

Defence ministers of the 27-member bloc are meeting today (1 October) in the French resort town of Deauville, the same day as the launch of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM).

EU energy and climate policy: two years on

"There is still some way to go" to translate the progress made by EU energy policy in recent years into "efficient policy responses," writes Jørgen Henningsen, senior advisor on energy and environmental issues at the European Policy Centre (EPC).

MAIN FOCUS: What can be saved? | 30/09/2008

Following the bank crash in the US, the financial crisis has now struck home in Europe. Financial rescue packages in the billions have been announced by several European states to save ailing banks from bankruptcy. Europe’s press discusses possible solutions to the crisis.

Brussels to scrutinise EU bank bail-outs despite crisis

After a black weekend that saw three national bail-outs to save Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance group Fortis, British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley (B&B) and German Hypo Real Estate, Brussels warned that there would be no leniency in its approach to state intervention despite the spreading crisis.

Interview: US seeking EU help to close Guantanamo

The European Union has been engaging in in-depth discussions with the United States over the last three years to harbour prisoners detained in the controversial US Guantanamo centre in Cuba, EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove revealed in an exclusive interview with EurActiv.

EU security research seeks respect of civil liberties

Europe needs to strike the right balance between enhancing security and preserving civil liberties, stressed politicians on the occasion of the third European conference to showcase concrete applications of security research for citizens.

Microcredit: European utopia ?

By Matthew Pagett

Over the past several years in Europe, a growing number of key players and initiatives have been trying to use microprojects to re-establish people who are excluded from the financial system. Analysis

Europe Speculates on End of US Empire

By GulfStreamBlues

Watching the live coverage of the US house floor Monday night in Paris was a truly surreal experience. On my cable system I get both French and British news station, and every station from both countries was carrying live minute-by-minute coverage of the vote on the bailout package, waiting in suspense and watching the vote tally. When the bill didn’t pass, there was absolute panic over here. The news anchors were absolutely shocked, as were the commentators.

Participative democracy – European civic days

By Mauro Morabito

When young activist associations met up in September 2008 at La Rochelle, democracy and engagement proved to be further slices of the ‘Eutopia’ cake

Austrian election commentary from Daily Telegraph

By Edward Lucas

From the outside, it looks at best distasteful; at worst, downright sinister. Three Austrians out of 10 voted for far-Right parties in Sunday’s parliamentary election.
Nobody with a sense of history can fail to hear echoes of jackboots on pavements, and catch the whiff of burning synagogues.
Jörg Haider, leader of the populist Alliance for Austria’s Future, has described the SS as patriots and downplays the Holocaust. Heinz-Christian Strache, the thuggish leader of the Freedom Party [party affiliations transposed in the original piece by editing error, sorry EL] has associated with neo-Nazis in the past, and ran an unprecedentedly virulent campaign against immigrants and foreigners.

Competitive guarantees

By P O Neill on Economics and demography

One of the diagnoses of why the Great Depression was so bad is that countries engaged in “competitive devaluation” — weakening their exchange rates to make exports cheaper, but when all try to do this, no one gains, and confidence runs out.  One wonders today if Ireland has created a new version of this risk with the dramatic government announcement that it is providing a public guarantee to all liabilities of banks with their HQs in the Republic of Ireland.  That means every debt that these banks to have to anyone: to their depositors, interbank lenders, and bondholders.

European Governments Rescue Another Failing Bank

By Edward Cody and Mary Jordan

PARIS, Sept. 30 — The French and Belgian governments stepped in to rescue another failing European bank Tuesday as the turmoil that began on Wall Street continued rippling across the globe.

Europe: between pragmatism and utopia

By Igor Caldeira

Dutch, French, Irish – synonymous with ‘eurosceptic’? Does ‘No’ mean ‘No Europe’, ‘No to Europe’ or ‘No to this Europe’? What other Europe could there be if there is just one geographical, political, historical and cultural reality?

Too soon to be smug

The critics are circling

THE minute-by-minute European news coverage from Washington of lawmakers’ votes on a financial bailout plan on Monday reinforced the sense that the world is holding its collective breath to see how the Americans get themselves out of this mess.

[Comment] In defence of Anglo-Saxon capitalism

E
urope and Russia: do’s and don’ts, Katinka Barysch

The headlines about the conflict in the Caucasus in August 2008 have been replaced by news about collapsing financial markets. But the questions raised by the Georgia-Russia war remain high on the agenda of diplomats and international organisations. The European Union has deployed 300 observers to monitor the scheduled withdrawal of Russian troops from the buffer-zones within Georgia proper after 1 October 2008. But for the EU, the fallout of the war of 8-12 August is much greater – which Russian forces have occupied since the end of the main hostilities – is an opportunity to examine the role of the EU in this critical region. What kind of role can and should the union play to contribute to stability and growth in this volatile region just beyond its borders? And what must it do to be taken seriously by a newly assertive Russia?

The Polish-Lithuanian Tandem

Ryan R. Miller: Poland and Lithuania can play an important role in advancing U.S. priorities in the "New East Europe."

A week of mourning in Finland

Surely the shootings in Finland last week escaped nobody’s attention. I was shocked when I realised that this is the second time in less than a year that a young Finnish man decided to slaughter his class mates. Most European media have covered the incident, and many people viewed the video clip on YouTube where Matti Saari fired a gun towards the camera and then said “you will die next”. Interestingly enough, it seems that a large part of all media reporting does not focus on the innocent victims but on the “madman”.

Kosovo and the Muslim world by HAJRUDIN SOMUN

The Islamic world — a term that I use cautiously and with reservations — is being divided once again over an issue that should be considered “Islamic” enough to deserve its unanimous support. It is the cause of Kosovo at the United Nations.

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