Take a look at this set of interactive maps in the Global Business section of the New York Times — Debt Rising in Europe.
Is Large-Scale Tax Evasion One Cause of Greek Financial Problems? Their GDP Indicates the Government of Greece Should Not Have Money Problems: Analysis of GDP in Euro Area States
We, Europeans from other EU member states, may not care who wins the elections in the United Kingdom but we will be affected anyway.
The gutter press (well, the Daily Telegraph: so the gutter in question is presumably attached firmly to the eaves of a rather nice vicarage somewhere in Buckinghamshire) has made much of the fact that Gordon Brown is an “unelected prime minister” – i.e. he hasn’t yet fought and won a general election as party leader. The fact that he’s attempting to do so now should have answered that point – it hasn’t – but it’s interesting to note that this isn’t exactly a rarity in British politics.
The spread of democratic elections around the world after the end of the cold war was accompanied by the spread of election monitoring. The practice of allowing the quantity of Xs or numbers on the ballot papers to decide who should be in government is such a fragile way of taking decisions that it needs to be shored by external scrutiny. Any former dictatorship that wanted to become accepted as democratic had to prove that it had truly adopted the new way of doing politics.
The last act of Gordon Brown has surely arrived. A gruelling election campaign fighting on two fronts. Three years of leading a disunited, unpopular government. Thirteen years in office and a culmination of mistakes made and enemies created.
Gordon Brown is as well as being the Prime Minister for the last three years and a senior Labour politician for more than two decades, a prolific writer who has ‘written’ and ‘produced’ more than a dozen books under his name.
The European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, is one of the more candid people in Brussels (he infamously once referred to the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende as “a mix between Harry Potter and a rigid bourgeois without charisma” – a comment which didn’t go down particularly well in the Netherlands for understandeable reasons).
New Congressional draft legislation outlining online and offline privacy rules has been released.
Stephanie Clifford at the New York Times writes in Privacy Bill Finally in Draft, as Both Sides Weigh In:
“A long-awaited draft of a Congressional bill would push American privacy legislation closer to the strict rules that the European Union uses, and would extend privacy protections both on the Internet and offline.”
Need we say that EU privacy law is years ahead of the USA? Whatever legislation the USA adopts, it is bound to be too weak by European standards.
Jo Biden gave a 30 minutes speech in the European Parliament today.
Most of it was charming Brussels, Europe and the European Parliament, mixed with statements supporting human rights, privacy, peace and individual freedoms. But all this was intertwined with the obligatory “triple axis” as @martiadroher put it: “Security, Security, and Security”.
from Julien Frisch
Three people were killed on Wednesday in Athens after a peaceful demonstration against the Greek austerity programme staged by tens of thousands of protesters turned violent. The government is not the right target for the people’s anger, writes the press, calling for greater commitment to a common Europe in these desperate times.
By Patricia H. Kushlis
At last, some common sense. After months of foot-dragging, the German government announced it would help bail out the Greeks contributing its a part – as the EU’s largest economy – to an international loan package rather than let this southeastern European country go bankrupt. The Merkel government finally admitted that allowing a Greek default could severely damage the euro as well as, therefore, Germany’s own economic health.
Greece’s woes and the neighbours
May 6th 2010
From The Economist print edition
The region may share in some of Greece’s pain
AVERTING a meltdown in Greece, at least temporarily, is good news for that country’s fragile ex-communist neighbours. Their big worry is Greek-owned banks, which account for as much as a quarter of banking assets in Bulgaria, some 15% in Romania and a tenth in Serbia. These institutions have been facing potential runs by depositors, as worries have grown over Greece’s solvency and thus over the Greek banks.
I’m on the other side of the world at the moment, with limited web/computer access (writing this on a combination of a mobile phone and a computer with a Japanese keyboard and operating system, so likely to be more typo-ridden and less coherent than I’d like), hence even less from me than usual. But this deserves to be noted:
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America are landmarks in human history. They attest to the continental vision and the political will of the Founding Fathers.
Still in the 21st century, Europeans cannot escape the example set by the innovative Americans at the end of the 18th century. For some visionaries the USA has been an inspiration. For others, tribal instincts are paramount, and they vehemently reject everything beyond classic international cooperation, even when sovereignty is turning into an empty shell.
In the previous Grahnlaw blog post My Europe Week: Why language rights and multilingualism?, we found good reasons for both linguistic rights for EU citizens and for learning foreign languages (multilingualism).
Unpaid interns, taxes, recycling, the parliament in Strasbourg…you name it, our contributors from across the cafebabel.com network have something to say about what irks them most about Europe. 9 May marks sixty years since the Schuman declaration was signed, when it was agreed that France, Germany and others would work together as a federation
One reason why the eurozone is sliding into ever deeper trouble is because its political and bureaucratic elites do not like, do not understand and have no wish to understand financial markets. This is an attitude embedded in European history and culture. Think of the 1793 Law of the General Maximum, an arbitrary attempt to fix prices at the height of the French Revolution. Or thin
The EU must choose between becoming either a global “agent of change” or preparing “for a managed decline into irrelevance,” according to a report from the group of ‘wise men’ led by senior statesman Felipe González, seen by EurActiv.
After weeks of controversy on how to bail-out Greece, Paris and Berlin sought to paper their differences in a joint letter, tabling common proposals on reforming the single currency ahead of an extraordinary eurozone summit to take place in Brussels today (7 May).