live blogging from the Copenhagen protests and…

more from the EU agenda…Our neighbor, Greece is having real economic problems, aftermath of Berlusconi attack and more…

Reclaim Power Cop15

Danish police abuse climate-change demonstrators

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Zoran sez, “Earlier this week (12th Dec), a massive, peaceful protest of 100,000 people — the largest demonstration for climate justice in world history — was met with a heavy-handed response by the Danish police. Thousands of riot police swarmed the march route, blocked off streets surrounding large groups of protestors, and arrested almost 1,000 people. Arrestees were cuffed and forced to sit in rows for hours, as the temperatures dipped below freezing; numerous people urinated on themselves after being denied use of toilets.”


Dispatch from Copenhagen: Demands for Climate Justice

from Global Voices Online by Saffah Faroog

An estimated 100,000 people took to the streets of Copenhagen on Saturday and marched from Christiansborg Slotsplads to Bella Center ? a distance of six kilometers ? demanding climate justice. In one of the strongest messages ever sent to world leaders to be serious and make a ?real deal? in the negotiations going on at United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15), people from different countries marched in the cold winter weather of Copenhagen.

Swiss way no longer a sure route to harmony

from – World, Europe
The country evoked prosperity, centuries-old stability and admirable social and linguistic harmony, but Switzerland’s image has faded and the world has become a harsher place

EU’s Muslims ‘prefer mixed areas’

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Most of Europe’s Muslims want to live in mixed communities, not segregated neighbourhoods, a survey of 11 cities says.

‘Civil unrest’ warning as Copenhagen draws to a close

Civil unrest and human rights litigation cases are likely to increase in the coming years unless heads of state and government show political leadership to stop climate change, said Mary Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Irish president, in an interview with EurActiv.

MAIN FOCUS: The final phase in Copenhagen | 16/12/2009

from euro|topics

The key phase of the climate conference in Copenhagen has begun. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has called on rich and poor countries to reach an agreement on Tuesday. It is hoped that by Friday 113 heads of state and government will have negotiated an ambitious climate deal. But European commentators see little chance of success.

Race to save climate talks

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Climate negotiators work overnight in Copenhagen to try to rescue a deal and end a rift between rich and poor countries.

Escambray: Chaos, Frictions Mark Copenhagen Summit

For the complete report from Escambray click on this linkThe final phase of the UN Summit on Climate Change started with chaos and disorder at the Bella Center entrance, with sessions still characterized by strong North-South disputes. Never-ending lines terribly upset another group of delegates, NGOs, guests and journalists who had to line up for up to three hours out in the open, with temperatures below zero degree. The sort of Gordian knot outside the congress palace obstructed the entry of over 500 people who were trying to legalize their accreditations, as well as others who simply needed to take part in the meeting. The group of African nations today accused developed ones and the COP15 Danish chairmanship of wanting to kill the Kyoto Protocol, thus causing an immediate reaction among green associations in Bella Center.

Greece moves on costs and corruption

from – World, Europe
The Athens stock market lost 1.2 per cent in early trading as investors absorbed news of the Greek government’s plan to reduce the country’s budget deficit

Greece to do ‘what it takes’ to regain trust

from – World, Europe
George Papaconstantinou, the Greek finance minister, tells the Financial Times that Greece will do whatever it takes to get its deficit under control and begin the long task of rebuilding credibility with financial markets

A Short Political History Of Modern Greece

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

Greek Governments Since 1963

Europe Needs Action Not Words From The Greek Finance Minister

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

?Today our biggest deficit is that of credibility.In the last years Greece lost all traces of credibility, which is why international institutions, partners want to see actions.? Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou

The Euro: rewarding bad behaviour

by Open Europe blog team

There has been no shortage of stories recently about the troubles looming in Eurozone countries Greece and Spain. These problems have now prompted Angela Merkel to call for direct EU intervention in the economic and social policies of highly indebted countries in the Eurozone, thereby marking a highly significant shift in German policy.

Throwing the rule book at Greece

from – World, Europe
The process may be opaque, but EU leaders ? and government bond investors ? have pushed Athens closer to a credible strategy for bringing its deficit back under control

Berlusconi assault fuels political tensions

from – World, Europe
Italy has been convulsed and divided by a debate over whether a climate of hate is dominating politics and, if so, who is responsible

After Berlusconi attack, Italy on dangerous road

by Dave Keating

MAIN FOCUS: A blow to the face of Italy | 15/12/2009

from euro|topics

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is in hospital with face wounds after being attacked by a mentally ill man during a rally in Milan. The attack has launched a broad discussion about Italy’s poisoned political climate.

In pictures

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi felled by Milan assault

Bloody nose

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
How Italian politics became a contact sport

Merkel’s coup: Uwe Corsepius will become the next Secretary General of the EU Council

by Julien Frisch

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the German Uwe Corsepius will become the next Secretary General of the Council of the European Union.

Corsepius, who was mentioned as a candidate among others, has been confirmed by the heads of state and government at the European Council meeting on Friday, following agreements made on 19 November as Jean Quatremer knows. He will take over from Pierre de Boissieu in 1 1/2 years, as Angela Merkel informed at a press conference after the summit on Friday.

Domain names: internet puts accent on EU languages

from by Sarah Truesdale

Typing ??????.eu ( in Bulgarian) into an internet search bar is now possible. Special or non Latin characters can be used when using addresses ending with .eu. Many more nationalities will be able to express themselves on the net

Europe’s road to a new Jerusalem

from – World, Europe
The EU’s new policy statement on Israel and Palestine is pretty good. Now Europe needs to use it ? and the money poured into Palestine ? as the basis for real change, writes Chris Patten

So What?s It All About, Costas?

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

All the recent critical attention which has been directed towards Greece of late might seem surprising to some (or part of a global anti-PIGS conspiracy, to others) since, on the face of it, the Greek economy had managed over the last decade to appear to be something of a success story. Indeed the economy clock-up a more than respectable growth rate, and the countryeven seemed to be well on the road to economic convergence with its richer neighbours, with GDP growing at and average annual rate of around 4.25% between 2000 and 2007, as compared with a 2% average for the euro area as a whole.

Greece: Riots and Police Brutality Commemorate Teenager’s Death

from Global Voices Online by Asteris Masouras

Riots broke out in Athens and Thessaloniki on December 5-6, during memorial gatherings for a 15-year old named Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by police on December 6 last year. Immediately after his death in 2008, Athens was consumed by riots and public protests that lasted for several days.

Thessaloniki 2009 #griots 6/12/2009 by apasPhoto by apas

Power shift: decoding Copenhagen

This post attempts to see beyond the Climate change emotional ?layer? and tries identifying the basic mechanics at stake in Copenhagen talks.

Swedish EU Council presidency: Effective and professional

by Grahnlaw

The Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (Sieps) has published its customary mid-term review of the presidency of the Council of the European Union. Normally, these reports are written by experts in the presidency country, but this time Sieps engaged a number of experienced European presidency watchers, offering the reader a variety of viewpoints from past and future presidency capitals.

The Spanish EU Presidency


Spain takes on the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency at a defining moment for the bloc, marked by the first steps of the Union’s first-ever permanent president and foreign affairs chief and efforts to lift Europe out of its worst recession in decades.

EU tips from the author of ‘Europe for dummies’

French MEP Sylvie Goulard, who recently won a prize for her book ‘Europe for dummies’, says opinion leaders in Europe are misguided about the EU and are too preoccupied with “trivial” national issues to take an interest in greater common projects.

Lawmaker: EU held back by ‘trivial’ communications

“A common platitude is to state that EU elites are pro-European while the citizens aren’t,” argues French MEP Sylvie Goulard, who recently won a prize for her book, ‘Europe for dummies’. In an interview with EurActiv, she explains that the opposite tends to be true, with opinion leaders more preoccupied with “trivial” matters than citizens.

New EU Guidelines on international humanitarian law

by Grahnlaw

The Council of the European Union explains the meaning of international humanitarian law:

Should Politicians Use Twitter?

from Stephen Spillane

Two recent events should be highlighted to any politician thinking of using twitter to further their electoral prospects. These two stories do serve as maybe a warning, before the commit.

Euroblog round-up #2

from Stephen Spillane

Heres another round up of issues making the rounds in the eurobloggerosphere at the moment, with thanks to

Could I talk to the Commissioner, please?!

by Julien Frisch

Citizen-to-institutions communication still looks like a quasi-impossibility at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, and there where it happens you see mixed results – but still results on which basis we can continue working.

Margot Wallström?s blogging testament

by Grahnlaw

Margot Wallström, Commission Vice-President in charge of institutional relations and communication strategy, has written her final (?) blog post (15 December 2009).

The post was suitably headlined Blogging, and Wallström used it to sum up nearly five years as a blogger, as well as the emergence of a European blogosphere featuring individual blogs, multi-contributor blogs and newspaper blogs.

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