French elections: what normal stands for?, Nilüfer Göle

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Nilüfer Göle
The vote for Hollande is not so much as a radical desire for change as a possibly illusory desire to go back to the pre-crisis period. The socialists, however, have also opened up a new alternative approach to the economy. But ?racism from above? has led the way on this historic fight over what is normal.

MAIN FOCUS: Athens gets money despite government crisis | 10/05/2012

from euro|topics
The socialist party Pasok will be the third party to be given a mandate to form a government in Greece today, Thursday. Despite the unclear governmental situation, Athens will receive another instalment from the euro crisis fund, however one billion euros short of the sum originally earmarked for the country. This will be a last warning, some commentators write, while others call for Greece’s immediate exit from the Eurozone.

 

Greece?s 2012 elections: what message to Europe?

from Public Affairs 2.0 by fhbrussels

Rarely do citizens vote not on the basis of right or left but right or wrong:  and Greeks consider the tough austerity measures plain wrong.

Italy?s elections, austerity, and the European Social Model, Andrea Teti

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Andrea Teti
The message that seems to emanate from local elections in Italy as well as the other European polls of the last weekend is a resounding mistrust in and repudiation of ruling politicians, their methods, and their policies ? austerity first and foremost. Traditional parties should beware the costs of ignoring it.

 

European Oratory

from Ideas on Europe by Martin Holterman
It is my habit, each Europe Day, to go back to what Robert Schuman actually said 62 years ago. I find it is one of the few pieces of true oratory in recent European history, as well as oddly prescient about the subsequent development of the Union:

Germany?s choice: higher inflation or sovereign defaults

by Centre for European Reform
By Simon Tilford

The battle lines are hardening. More and more eurozone governments are calling for the ECB to loosen monetary policy, for example by directly purchasing government debt in an attempt to bring down borrowing costs and arrest their slide into slump. For its part, the German government and the Bundesbank are calling for the ECB to exit the currently loose strategy, fearing a surge of inflation in Germany. But higher German inflation is the inevitable flipside of a strategy that places the full cost of adjustment on the struggling economies. It is also indispensable if the crisis-hit economies are to rebalance and avoid insolvency. Higher inflation presents formidable political challenges for Germany, but the alternative is a wave of national defaults, culminating in either a fully-fledged transfer union or a collapse of the currency union.

The EU’s Roma role, Martin Kovats

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Martin Kovats
Roma communities are facing a hostile environment in numerous European states. The European Commission needs to strike a fine balance between promoting change and allowing states to tackle this situation themselves.

 

Greece in complete denial: The failure of the political system

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou
I have been ruminating recently on the key questions that divide Greek society over the economic crisis; the issues that raise controversy among political parties; the actual steps that need to be made for the country to finally move from here to there; from near disintegration, to a stable state where the common good will prevail over short-sighted party politics. What I have realized is that the core issues have not been addressed, in any comprehensive sense. Instead the debates are confined within sterile exchanges of competing slogans and other attention-getting devices, which lack content. Not a single party has ever presented a coherent strategy of the steps to be followed henceforth. I am not speaking of any particular orientation, pro-memorandum or anti-memorandum, pro-EU or anti-EU, neoliberal or socialist etc. I am referring to the complete absence of any viable proposals to the Greek people, of feasible alternatives.

The buck passing continues in Greece

by Open Europe blog team

The political situation in Greece following Sunday’s elections is getting even messier. Following the failure of conservative New Democracy to even begin a serious discussion about forming a government (negotiations lasted all of six hours), the Radical Left (SYRIZA) yesterday also threw in the towel. The “dream” of a leftist Coalition government had failed,said SYRIZA’s leader Alexis Tsipras, but added that his party had nonetheless forced Europe to reconsider the Greek bailout package (perhaps a bit premature).

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