The financial ministers of the Eurozone countries have not as it turns out presented a concrete bailout plan for Greece, but merely agreed at the beginning of the week on “technical modalities” for the approval of such a plan. The Eurozone countries lack a strong leadership, say some commentators, while others see progress and call for still more cooperation.
The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Germany?s Bielefeld university spoke to 8,000 Europeans about attitudes towards migration, religion and minority groups. Half of respondents said there are too many immigrants in their home country and 43 percent said homosexuals should not have equal rights.
The results of the first ballot of the French regional elections put the Socialists in the lead with 29 percent of the vote, with the governing conservative UMP trailing behind at 26 percent. European commentators say the French want an end to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s actionism and cast a worried look at the low election turnout and the success of the extreme right.
Most political commentators concur that social democratic parties have been in decline over the past ten years or so. Is social democracy historically doomed? Is this terminal decline or simply a bit of a rough patch? We have been here before: in the 1920s, Communism was looking forward to a bright future and social democracy seemed destined for extinction. This gloomy prospect re-surfaced again in the 1940s and 1950s, when Communist parties in several European countries (notably France, Italy and Greece) took the ascendancy over weakened social democratic forces. Some spoke again of the death of social democracy in the aftermath of May ?68. In the 1969 presidential election in France, Gaston Defferre, the socialist candidate, received a mere 5% of the votes, lagging considerably behind Jacques Duclos of the French Communist Party (21%). Each time, the most pessimistic predictions turned out to be wrong: each time social democratic parties in Europe proved to be extremely resilient and bounced back.
from Julien Frisch
I have made some fun of Europe 2020 and I think that is what this strategy deserves.