German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has put forward proposals for reforming the European Commission. According to media reports he wants to strip it of powers such as budget supervision and antitrust monitoring and transfer them to other authorities. While some commentators see a politically independent economic administration as unrealistic others say the proposals could convince Britain to stay in the EU.

Greek shares plunge as market reopens

The main Athens stock index, the Athex, plunges by 22.87% on Monday as trading resumes after a five-week closure.

Schaeuble’s recent ideas are not likely to fly, but the controversy over the role of the Commission is only a part of a bigger debate in Europe: the dispute over what the future European Union should look like, write Stratfor’s analysts.

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy

Since Greek voters rejected Troika rule by a landslide, the Hellenic citizenry presents a threat far greater than the government it elected. It must be punished.

Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker in press conference after EU summit on Greece.Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker in press conference after EU summit on Greece.Demotix/Sander de Wilde. All rights reserved.

Greece’s ruling Syriza movement backed a call on Thursday (30 July) from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to hold an emergency party congress as he seeks to assert his control over rebel lawmakers balking at new bailout talks.

Prime Minister Tsipras requests extraordinary congress in September amid a deepening rift within ruling party.

In the last two nights alone, more than 3,000 people apparently tried to enter the UK via the Channel Tunnel from Calais. Another young man died in the attempt on Tuesday night. The countries of Europe must finally start cooperating on the refugee problem, some commentators urge. Others stress that the problem can only be resolved through a crackdown operation off Libya’s coast.

Spanish parties play power games over Greek bailout

Crisis in Greece resonates in Spain’s political rivalry

The Greek crisis has strained nerves on the eurozone debt market, but unlike four years ago there has been no contagion of financial uncertainty across the single currency bloc.


Can Britain be at ease in a European Union that is increasingly focused on the euro and its troubles? Britain’s eurosceptics think not. The eurozone’s many problems require it to integrate more closely, and that will be bad for Britain, they say, since the euro countries will start to act as a bloc and manipulate EU institutions for their own benefit. Therefore Britain should quit this euro-centric club and negotiate a new and looser bilateral relationship with the EU.David Cameron’s government has begun technical talks with its partners on reforms to the EU, prior to an in-or-out referendum. His officials say that though arguments over EU migrants’ access to benefits will generate more political heat, the relationship between the eurozone and the wider EU is the most important substantive problem. Both George Osborne, the chancellor, and many business leaders see this issue as a priority.
The Cyprus solution: gas, guarantees and grassroots

For the first time since 2004 there seems to be hope for a solution to the Cyprus problem. What are the impediments for the negotiations and how can they be overcome now?


Creditors in Greece for bailout talks

Negotiators from Greece’s creditors have begun arriving in Athens to start discussions on a third multi-billion euro bailout deal.

Experts from the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF are expected in Athens on Friday for talks on a third bailout package. Envoys from the ESM bailout organisation will also be attending. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has no choice but to sit down at the table with the Troika again, some commentators say. Others think he will be forced to call new elections very soon.


Varoufakis – a new kind of politics?

Varoufakis is an exception to the norm precisely because he really believes in representative democracy.

Yanis Varoufakis. Demotix/spirofoto. All rights reserved.Over the past few months the world has witnessed the short career of a Greek government vainly endeavouring to uphold an anti-austerity platform against the implacable power of the Eurozone’s financial institutions. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Minister for Finance, was a central player in this drama. Interestingly, this political maverick did not play his part to the standard script. The distinctive characteristics of Varoufakis’ mode and purpose in politics are both troubling as regards what they tells us about the norms of contemporary politics, and fascinating as a possible paradigm for a new type of politics in the age of twitter and the blog.


Greece’s Imperfect Imperative

The latest deal between Greece and its creditors is far from perfect, particularly because its emphasis on fiscal targets risks undermining structural reforms. But the deal can – and must – serve as the basis for saving Greece and the eurozone.


The EU states have agreed to take in 55.000 refugees who are currently located in Italy and Greece. The EU Commission originally proposed obligatory quotas for the resettlement of 60,000 people. The European press is debating how best to integrate the refugees in the various countries.

Europe’s enemy is not the Greek crisis

A single currency implies a federal state, like the US or Brazil. The Greek crisis confronts Europe with its future. Português

To achieve anything in politics, including changing the rules, you have to master ‘the art of the possible,’ as conservative German statesman Otto von Bismarck famously said, rather than merely trumpet ‘the truth.’


The Netherlands’ disgrace: racism and police brutality

A disturbing trend in the Netherlands towards more intense forms of racial profiling is converging with increasingly frequent and violent forms of police repression against minorities.

A man wearing a t-shirt commemorating Mitch Henriquez. Demotix/Jaap Arriens. All rights reserved.A man wearing a t-shirt commemorating Mitch Henriquez. Demotix/Jaap Arriens. All rights reserved.Despite the murder of Aruban-born Mitch Henriquezby police late last June in The Hague, the Netherlands has largely been ignored by the international press.

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