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New EU Visa Code affects millions

by Grahnlaw

On 5 April 2010 the new EU Visa Code became applicable, concerning short-stay visas (for 90 days). The Visa Code affects third-country nationals, who want to travel to the 22 EU states and the three non-EU members of the Schengen area, without internal border controls. More than 10 million visas were issued in 2008.

Soros warns Europe of disintegration

from FT.com – World, Europe
The Euro-zone area and wider European Union is now ‘on the brink’ of disintegration unless Germany steps up and provides loans at below-market rates to Greece, George Soros, the hedge fund manager, has warned

European officials agree on loan terms for Greece

from Wash Post Europe by Howard Schneider

European officials agreed Sunday to make as much as $40 billion in below-market-rate loans available to Greece, hoping to allay fears about a possible economic collapse in the country.

[Eurovision 2010] Semi Final Two Preview and Predictions

from Stephen Spillane by Stephen

Freedom to travel: Schengen long-stay visas

by Grahnlaw

Third-country nationals legally residing in the Schengen area on the basis of a long-stay visa have been unable to travel to other member states during their stay or to transit through the territories of other (EU) member states when returning to their home country.

Angela Calling

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

Angela Merkel is a Chemist. In her doctoral thesis – entitled ?Untersuchung des Mechanismus von Zerfallsreaktionen mit einfachem Bindungsbruch und Berechnung ihrer Geschwindigkeitskonstanten auf der Grundlage quantenchemischer und statistischer Methoden? – she demonstrated herself to be a thoroughgoing expert when it comes to analysing the speed of disintegration of chemical compounds once the bonds which hold them together are weakened. Unfortunately she is now having to apply all this acquired expertise and know-how in a determined attempt to avoid the break up and falling apart, not of a highly complex chemical substance, but of an even more complex economic and political one, and the bonds which are the focus of all her attention right now are not chemical, but financial and social.

“What’s left of the euro?”

by Open Europe blog team

This question is asked on today’s frontpage of Germany?s leading financial daily Handelsblatt, against the backdrop of a 50 euro note going up in flames (see picture).

MAIN FOCUS: Poland’s realignment | 13/04/2010

from euro|topics

Following the accidental death of President Lech Kaczy?ski, the speaker of the Polish parliament Bronis?aw Komorowski has taken over the affairs of state as acting president. In the eyes of the press this gives the ruling party of which Komorowski is a member enormous power, while the Kaczy?skis’ opposition party faces difficult times.

MAIN FOCUS: Hungary swerves to the right | 12/04/2010

from euro|topics

The right-wing conservative Alliance of Young Democrats (Fidesz) easily won Hungary’s parliamentary elections on Sunday in Hungary with 52.7 percent of the vote. The governing Socialists only managed to obtain 19.3 percent. The right-wing extremist Jobbik party entered parliament for the first time having gained 16.7 percent. While some commentators see the Right’s victory as the beginning of a new era in Hungary others fear a rude awakening.

After the Election Disaster ? The Future of the Left in Hungary

from Social Europe Journal by Carl Rowlands

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. This phrase keeps springing to mind following the first round of the Hungarian elections on Sunday. The right-wing opposition swept to power in all but one of the 176 constituencies. To put this in perspective, if a first-past-the-post system were used, the Socialist Party (MSZP) would only have 1 MP, out of 176. This does not look like a strong basis for recovery. The right-wing will be able to change the constitution and create a political map of their own making.

Behind the grieving faces is a thriving nation | Edward Lucas – Times Online

by Edward Lucas

Behind the grieving faces is a thriving nation | Edward Lucas – Times Online

Here is my take on the Kaczynski plane crash from this morning’s London Times

The Times
April 12, 2010
Behind the grieving faces is a thriving nation
The spotlight on Poland today will burn increasingly brightly in the coming years
Edward Lucas

Lactose intolerance

from FP Passport by Andrew Swift

A Greek man has taken umbrage over the use of his face on Swedish containers of Turkish yoghurt. The offended party is not interested in reconciliation, either: he has sued Lindahls, the dairy company that puts out the item, for almost $7 million.

Greek man sues over being ‘Turkish yoghurt model’

A Greek man is suing a dairy in Sweden for $6.9m for using his image on pots of Turkish-style yoghurt, Swedish media report.

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