2011-01-21 Ben Ali has used Europe’s prejudices

Today, The German news outlet Frankfurter Rundschau reported on some comments made by Jebali Hamadi. Hamadi was the leader of the Islamic party Al-Nahdha just prior to the fall of the Ben Ali government of Tunisia. In the brief interview, Jebali Hamadi is reported to have said:

Tunisia and the world: roots of turmoil, Paul Rogers

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Paul Rogers

Across north Africa and the middle east, ruling elites watch the popular insurrection in Tunisia with concern and even fear. There are already some indications that the uprising there is emboldening oppositions elsewhere, not least in Egypt and Algeria.

Early Lessons from the Tunisian Revolution

from EFF.org Updates by eva

Last week’s post about the increasingly draconian and desperate measures the Tunisian government was taking to censor bloggers, journalists, and activists online was rapidly made irrelevant by subsequent events. Over the next few days, Tunisian dictator El Abidine Ben Ali promised not to run for re-election in 2014, then offered widespread reforms, including freedom of expression on the Internet, and finally stepped down from power and fled the country. The steps that EFF called on Facebook, Google, and Yahoo to take in order to protect the privacy and safety of their Tunisian users soon lost their urgency. For now, Tunisians are experiencing unprecedented freedom online after years of extensive government filtering and censorship of websites.

Tuning into Tunisia

from tabsir.net by dvarisco

The recent revolution in Tunisia has exploded across the blogosphere, with pundits talking about a popular tsunami that may promote democracy out of the ashes of a lifelong dictatorship. In yesterday?s New York Times, Roger Cohen provided an optimistic view from his journalistic perch in Tunis: ?These are heady days in the Arab world?s fragile democratic bridgehead.? Cohen, and others, are wondering aloud if Tunisia can become the new Turkey, a more or less secular democracy in which the ?Islamists? are moderate members of a political mosaic. If so, then he warns that the ?tired refrain of all the Arab despots that they are the only bulwark against the jihadists will be seen for the self-serving lie it has become.?

How Facebook Kept The Tunisian Revolution Alive

from All Facebook by Nick O’Neill


While the stories behind the recent revolution in Tunisia are just beginning to trickle out, an article posted in The Atlantic today explains how Facebook came to realize the Tunisian government had hacked all their citizen?s Facebook accounts.

EUROPE: Berlusconi?s Private Diplomacy

from Project Syndicate by Fabrizio Tassinari, Arnold Cassola
EUROPE: Berlusconi?s Private Diplomacy The trouble with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi goes far beyond his rococo personal life. Indeed, the real problem is his corporate empire, which ranges from media and publishing to insurance and advertising, can conceivably affect key foreign-policy issues, undermining Italy’s trustworthiness ? and Europe’s.

Constitution, democracy and rule of law: Hungary is more than a diversion for Europe

by Grahnlaw

Despite prime minister Viktor Orban spoiling for a fight against critics of his government agenda, the blog of the Hungarian presidency of the EU Council understandably wants to calm down the heated debate diverting attention from the ?big issues? the EU is facing.

A rocky start for France’s new foreign minister

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus

from Open Europe blog by Open Europe blog team


Lofty plans for aligning France’s and Germany’s economic policies are nothing new. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is particularly excited about the idea.

French politics in the balance? – the Le Pen Effect 50, Matthew Moran

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Matthew Moran

Last Saturday, Jean Marie Le Pen bid farewell to the Front National (FN). In an emotional speech the charismatic leader stepped down from a position he has held for nearly four decades. And his successor? His daughter Marine. Jean Marie Le Pen has long prepared the youngest of his daughters for this role as the leading figure of the French far-right, claiming that Marine would reinvigorate a party which has seen a steady decrease in popularity in recent years.

The Second Eastern Partnership Summit under the Hungarian Presidency

from Ideas on Europe by Jaanika Erne

Facing the end of January already, I feel a bit obliged to say something about the Hungarian Presidency Programme that leads the EU until 30th of June 2011. The key events and keywords are:

The second Eastern Partnership Summit (EaP Summit) is taking place in Hungary in May 2011, targeting the EU Member States and six partner States (Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belorus) with the aim to strengthen the EU?s political and economic relations with the six former Soviet Republics. Link: http://www.eu2011.hu/eastern-partnership

Irish Government in Flux

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric

The situation in Ireland is changing quite rapidly: after the motion of confidence and the resignation of Brian Cowen as leader of Fianna Fáil but not as Taoiseach, the coalition Green Party yesterday pulled out of government.

Irish fiscal crisis still lingers in the wings

from FT.com – World, Europe
The country’s financial woes have been temporarily eclipsed by political infighting that saw the junior partners of the Fianna Fáil-led government quit the coalition

It is right to resist Islamophobia in Britain, Stuart Weir

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Stuart Weir

I don?t often agree with Baroness Warsi, but her warnings about the penetration of Islamophobia – ?crossing the threshold of middle class respectability? – are timely. There is a very creepy example of this process in a post by one David Green, director of Civitas, on the ConservativeHome blog. A cosy enough title that ? ConservativeHome! ? conjuring up just the sort of respectable middle class domain that Warsi fears is being infiltrated by prejudice.

MAIN FOCUS: Belgians want to finally have a government | 24/01/2011

from euro|topics

More than 30,000 people demonstrated in Brussels on Sunday in a move to get Belgium’s bickering politicians to finally form a government. Since the elections in June the parties have been negotiating without result. The press welcomes the protest and says politicians should take this as a warning.

Is the EU interfering with regionalism in the South?

from Ideas on Europe by multilateralism

Since the end of the cold war and in the course of globalisation, a wave of ?New Regionalism? gave rise to the birth and revival of several regional organisations in various parts of the world. It is conspicuous that many of them were created among developing countries in the southern hemisphere (e.g. ASEAN, ECOWAS, COMESA, Mercosur, and SADC). All of them have put a strong focus on regional economic cooperation as a measure for socio-economic prosperity and it seems as if they aim to emulate the success of their older ?father figure?, the European Union. However, the preconditions for successful regional market integration in the South are allegedly less promising compared to the more economically interdependent and developed northern hemisphere, particularly Europe. Nevertheless, these new regional organisations have come into existence and have showed considerable dynamics.

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