Over one hundred thousand supporters of the left-leaning party Podemos demonstrated on Saturday in Madrid in a “March for Change”. Syriza and Podemos have the potential to channel indignation into constructive politics, some commentators write. Others fear a rise of left-wing populism.

 

Inquest into the 2006 nuclear-poisoning of ex-Russian spy continues with Alexander Litivenko’s wife testifying.
Embattled Pegida heads for Austria

Austrian Pegida nationalists to hold first march in Vienna
France strikes an optimistic tone

Still reeling from January’s attacks, soul-searching is under way for a more inclusive – and hopeful – France.

How can independent media survive across Europe? EurActiv releases six recommendations in January 2015 for a more effective EU strategy towards media and the fourth estate.

Merkel condemns Ukraine fighting

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban rule out sending arms to Ukraine and call for peace, Nick Thorpe reports.
Greek bailout ‘troika’ may go – EU

The European Commission says the controversial EU-IMF troika supervising Greek finances could be replaced.
Osborne warns of Greece ‘risk’

George Osborne warns the standoff between Greece and the eurozone “is fast becoming the biggest risk to the global economy”.
The art of smuggling in Belarus

Russian cigarettes - Igor Golovniov - Demotix.jpgIn Belarus, smuggling is a fine art, and, unlike stealing, morally acceptable.

 

It is Belarus’s fate to be located between two economic blocs – Russia and the EU. While the country’s eastern border is largely symbolic – all the more so since the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) treaty came into force on 1 January – the absence of any integration projects, and the failure of Minsk to establish strong ties with the EU has ensured that its border to the west remains very much intact.

Cast your mind back to November.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the new European Commission president,was being pummeled by the European Parliament after a leak revealed widespread tax avoidance in Luxembourg while he was prime minister of the Grand Duchy.

Yanis Varoufakis: cometh the man?

A look at Yanis Varoufakis’ journey from maverick economist to Greece’s finance minister – as told through his contributions to openDemocracy.

The illusion of transparency in the EU: defence industry influence in Brussels

The goals and interests of the European Union and the defence industry are increasingly converging. Why?

EADS Talarion - European drone model. Graham Tiller/Flickr. All rights reserved.

Greece and the unlearned lesson of 1990

The EU might have predicted Syriza’s overwhelming victory. After all, wasn’t this the great unlearned lesson from the experience of east-central Europe over the last 25 years?

Syriza logo

Europe’s thriving xenophobia

The radical right has already moved from the margins to the front stage of national politics. Europe’s future depends on whether it will be allowed to remain and thrive in the mainstream.

Jobbik flags, Hungary

 

Greece and common political sense

– Forget economics, politics is key to understanding the Eurozone

The cries of the Grexit criers lately have mostly been a repetition of an earlier discourse: in February 2012 Citi’s economists Willem Buiters and Ebrahim Rahbari coined the term “Grexit,” by July 2012 estimating its likelihood to 90%. Cheered on by the media, economists have taken over the debate of the Eurozone which is why much of it has been such a futile exercise: it is not economics, which ties the Eurozone together but the political determination of its leaders to make the euro work. With political will likelihood of any exit is 0. Ergo, Grexit is as unlikely now as it has always been in spite of the EU brinkmanship. One route Greece seems to be exploring is a tried and tested one: the “bisque clause” from 1946.

Britain’s clout in the European Union is weakening, just when plans for a capital markets union present a “golden opportunity” for London’s financial sector, UK lawmakers said on Monday (2 February).

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