Friday will be remembered as the day the euro needed rescuing. Sure it is Greece that has asked to be bailed out but it was still a day that the architects of the single currency had never envisaged. For when it came to it, there were no plans to save a euro member in trouble.
LONDON — European and International Monetary Fund negotiators were racing Friday to hash out a $60 billion rescue package for Greece after its prime minister, who called his country a “sinking ship,” put out an urgent call for help to prevent a national default.
The five-party coalition government of Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has collapsed in the wake of a language dispute between Flemish and Walloons. Commentators question Belgium’s right to exist in view of the groups’ unwillingness to compromise and the renewed government crisis.
Earlier we linked to the English version of the Communication, which had been published. We have now been able to locate French and German language versions of the European Union?s Stockholm Programme Action Plan for justice and home affairs (JHA) 2010-2014. Thus, the three working languages of the European Commission are covered, but we still miss the text of COM(2010) 171 final in 20 official EU languages.
from Julien Frisch
The European Federation of Journalists is mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore. Take what? What they see as favoritism shown by the European Union governments of other cultural ventures, like music, dance, and arts, over journalism.
from The Immanent Frame by Jocelyne Cesari
Negotiations began in Greece on Wednesday over financial aid for the highly indebted country. Commentators say Athens can only avoid state bankruptcy by requesting an emergency loan from the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Writing in Sunday?s New York Times, Robert Kaplan writes one of those geopolitical big-think pieces capable of launching a thousand blog posts. He argues that Greece?s current predicament, and by extension that of Italy, Portugal, and Spain lies in its position on the Mediterranean and in the type of land in contrast to northwestern Europe which was less conducive to oligarchical land-owning patterns. Religion then formed a crucial overlay on geography ?
from FT.com – World, Europe
The future of the Eurozone is decidedly hanging in the balance at the moment. As I said earlier in the week, the problem isn?t a simple question economics anymore: everything now is all about credibility, about who does what, and when, and how everyone else reacts. As the crisis trundles on and on, news that Greek bond spreads have hit ever higher post European Monetary Union records has become such a regular event that the process now seems almost a monotonous one. However, what happened on what we could now call this week?s Greek ?Black Thursday? certainly marked a new, and more worrying milestone in the ever evolving crisis. The news this morning that Greece has demanded the activation of the EU-IMF loan – news which apparently took even the EU Commission itself by surprise it seems – only adds to the general sense of confusion that abounds.
John Kornblum, a former American ambassador who has lived for nearly four decades around Germany, responds to the many articles that question Germany’s commitment to the European Union:
by Julien Frisch
Until 14 June 2010, the European Commission is holding a “Consultation on how to strengthen the rights stemming from Union Citizenship“.
Winners and losers
Apr 22nd 2010
Normal politics, and hard questions, loom in Poland
IN THE churches of Warsaw and other Polish cities, the funerals continue but questions are looming. Why were so many of the country?s top brass on the plane that crashed on April 10th, killing President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others, including some of the country?s brightest and best military officers? Some of the relatives are, privately, furious. They say that their menfolk were ordered to travel to the Katyn memorial service as a backdrop for the launch of Mr Kaczynski?s re-election campaign.