Pirates of the European Union

Only when we approach gender equality mainstreaming in a more strategic way can we claim that gender equality is a fundamental principle of European Union Common Security and Defence Policy missions.

Against the backdrop of the debt dispute with Greece, François Hollande has spoken out in favour of a Eurozone government. This would require its own budget and parliamentary control, he wrote in a column published on Sunday. The French president’s proposal is aimed at curbing Berlin’s influence, say a number of commentators. Others see in it the danger of increasing Europe’s democracy deficit.

Could there be political contagion from Greece?

Could there be political contagion from Greece?

As the dust settles following the latest agreement between Greece and its creditors it is worth stepping back and examining what it, along with Syriza’s time in office so far, might mean for other peripheral countries and other rising populist parties in Europe. Raoul Ruparel looks at the potential for political contagion.

What next for Germany’s AfD party?

German Eurosceptic party looks to future without ex-leader
Germany, Greece, and the Future of Europe

Germany’s demands have brought Greece to the point of near-collapse, with potentially disastrous consequences for Greece, Europe, and Germany’s global reputation. Maintaining a peaceful and prosperous Europe is Germany’s most vital responsibility; but it is surely its most vital national interest as well.

VIDEO: Greece swallows bitter reform pill

The Greek parliament approves a second set of reforms which will allow the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras to begin negotiations on a new bailout deal with his country’s creditors.

Faced with a deep economic crisis at home, at least 11,000 Greek companies have found a safe haven in neighbouring low-wage Bulgaria – the poorest member of the European Union.

25 years after reunification, the old German-German border is still recognisable in many aspects of life, according to a new study on the state of German unity.Tagesspiegel reports.

German Eurosceptic to lead new party

German anti-euro economist Bernd Lucke founds a new party after being ousted by the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) that he set up.

This Monday a rise in VAT will increase the price of many consumer goods in Greece. The step is part of the austerity package that the parliament last week agreed to implement in return for fresh financial aid. Some commentators criticise that politicians are openly distancing themselves from the reforms and further radicalising the population. Others find it ludicrous that Athens is supposed to pretend it is embarking on this course of its own free will.

The Brussels diktat: and what followed

Alexis Tsipras maintained that his mandate was both to remain in the euro zoneand to refuse austerity measures – a demand for a new Europe therefore. The authors explain why they believe that he won the battle on the question of principle, even if he lost the war that ensued, and ponder the implications for Europe. (Long: 9,000 words) Deutsch.

Right to housing in Spain: What have the Romans ever done for us?

Should we say thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands? I must admit we were not sure how to start the report Evicted Rights: Right to Housing and Mortgage Evictions in Spain, published by Amnesty International – Spain on 23 June 2015 (see here in Spanish).download (1)According to judicial statistics, there have been nearly 600,000 foreclosure procedures since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. Luckily, not all of them have ended up in an eviction, neither do all affect first homes. So, if not all, how many then? If we check the data from the National Statistics Institute and the Bank of Spain, we will get some information about the number of households and first homes that have gone through a mortgage foreclosure since 2012. Yet, not even then we’ll have the full picture. It may seem strange, but to this day there are not yet official statistics about the number of people who have lost their home because they couldn’t keep paying back their debt to the bank.


A brief history of the European future

The sooner Europe gets used to a future without the nation-state, the better, writes Robert Menasse. Amnesia about what the unification project originally meant is causing a catastrophic lack of imagination about where it is heading.

The parliaments in Berlin and Vienna will vote today on the start to negotiations of a new bailout package for Greece. On Thursday the EU finance ministers agreed on a bridging loan for Athens until mid-August. While some commentators urge all EU countries to show solidarity with the crisis country, others point out that aid should not flow from poor countries to richer ones.


Greece exposes European divisions

Greek debt crisis exposes Franco-German divide
Germany’s demographic challenge

Germany is by no means an unstoppable juggernaut, and the re-erection of trade barriers across the continent and a return to a strong Deutschmark would ravage the economy.

Outside the German Embassy in London, July 15, 2015.Outside the German Embassy in London, July 15, 2015. Demotix/ Roland Ravenhill. All rights reserved.The recent history of the Greek crisis has conclusively demonstrated that Germany runs Europe. Although the Teutonic nation neither desires nor wields complete and unchallenged mastery, Berlin can impose its will on its European partners when the country feels its vital interests are at stake.


The French National Assembly was the first national parliament to vote on the Greek debt deal on Wednesday 15 June. MPs accepted the agreement by 412 votes to 69. EurActiv France reports.


Merkel criticised over crying refugee

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is criticised for her treatment of a young refugee from Lebanon who had been threatened with deportation.

Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the head of France’s ruling Socialists and a close ally of President François Hollande, issued an open letter to the German people today (16 July) urging them to re-think their place in Europe.


The parliament in Athens approved on Wednesday night the austerity measuresagreed to in Brussels – albeit without a government majority. In the meantime the IMF has demanded debt relief for Greece. Billions in new debts won’t help get the country out of its crisis, some commentators write. Others praise the parliament’s decision and urge Athens to use the time gained to implement reforms.


Greece’s parliament passed sweeping austerity measures demanded by lenders to open talks on a new bailout package early Thursday (16 July), but dozens of hardliners in the ruling Syriza party deserted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.


“We are not anti-Greeks”: the need for a return of solidarity to eastern Europe

“Greece hasn’t even dreamt about what Slovakia had to go through, what does it mean to carry out real reforms and have real privatization.”  – Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia.

“What now for Greece? What now for the left?”

Logics of financial capital are all the more powerful blended with cultural logics. From now on, do Greeks need to keep their “orientalist radar” active wherever they go?

Padua for Greek people, July 3, 2015Padua for Greek people, July 3, 2015. Demotix/Ferdinando Piezza. All rights reserved.It has been a very dark week for Greece, and for Europe too. A week where our hopes for an alternative European Union violently collapsed, giving way to a dystopian present that for most Greeks, after five years of brutally imposed austerity is all the more unbearable.

Some harsh truths for Germans, Greeks, and Europeans

As Greek-German antipathy threatens to tear Europe apart, a committed European – and Greek-German – challenges each of his nations’ stubborn provincialisms to offer a vision for European reconciliation.

The Hellenic Parliament in Athens, designed by German architect Friedrich von Gartner. Wikimedia. Public domain.As the existential tug of war between Greece and its creditors moves into its hair-raising end game, its hard for me not to feel like I’m being squeezed by the knot in the middle. I’m Greek-German: my mother, the German, is from outside of Düsseldorf, while my father, the Greek, was raised in Athens by parents who moved from Crete to the capital in their 20s.

Shortly after SYRIZA’s electoral victory last January, I wrote on this blog that SYRIZA’s positions showed that they did not understand European Union (EU) politics. They were proposing changes to Greece’s bailout programme, which they did not have the bargaining power to negotiate successfully.


German muscle threatens European solidarity

Does German muscle threaten European solidarity?
Eurozone backs Greek bridging loan

Eurozone finance ministers agree to give Greece a €7bn (£5bn) “bridge” loan from an EU-wide fund to keep its finances running, subject to approval from the EU Council.

European Union officials defused a row with London on Wednesday (15 July), in which efforts to keep Greece in the eurozone risked fuelling demands in Britain to quit the EU altogether.


Strategic ignorance of Germany’s debt history in Europe serves a rational and self-interested goal for the Troika when it comes to Greece.


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