Eurozone burns, British and Hungarian elections, another roundup…

well, in the end EU will take care of Greek crisis, they have to but for the moment, things getting chaotic in euroland…

Greek crisis starts hitting other eurozone countries

from by frederic

Fears that a planned rescue of Greece could stall and extend the financial crisis to other euro zone countries seemed to materialise Wednesday (28 April) as rating agencies downgraded Portugal and Spain, hitting European markets.

MAIN FOCUS: The threat of bankruptcy looms over the Eurozone | 29/04/2010

from euro|topics

After the meeting of the ECB and the IMF with the German government on Wednesday new plans have been tabled for the Greek rescue package. While the country’s financial needs are currently estimated at 100 to 150 billion euros, Germany has yet to put a figure on how much it is willing to pay. But further hesitation risks plunging the Eurozone into bankruptcy, warns Europe’s press.

Open Letter to European Policymakers: The Greek Crisis is a European Crisis and needs European Solutions

from Social Europe Journal by SEJ

EU leaders struggle to contain eurozone crisis

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
European Council president announces emergency summit amid fears that Greece’s economic problems could spread to other eurozone countries.

The unsustainability feedback loop

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by P O Neill

From the outside looking in, someone trying to figure out exactly why Standard and Poor?s downgraded Greece and Spain ? the former to below investment grade ? has only the press releases to go on.  And from each, it seems clear that the downgrades are driven by the forecasts for GDP, nominal and real.

Athens faces big taboo on debt

from – World, Europe
Investors and economists are starting to look at just when Greece might seek to extend the maturity of its debt in a restructuring or simply stop paying

EU to set up anti-cybercrime body

from – Headline News

UK election: ask your candidates if they’ll repeal the Digital Economy Act

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

The UK election is upon us and the UK Open Rights Group has produced a quick and easy form that you can use to email your candidates and ask if they’ll vote to repeal the odious Digital Economy Act, which was crammed through Parliament without full debate.

British Identity and the Legacy of Empire, Andy Mycock

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Andy Mycock

The ?politics of Britishness? and related constitutional matters have not ? as yet – played strongly in the general election either in manifestos or during campaigning, though all the main parties of the Union agree that further powers be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This would not be surprising but for considerable time and effort invested by Gordon Brown, David Cameron and others in engaging in such debates over recent years. The term ?Britishness? is absent from all UK party manifestos except for the Democratic Unionist Party. Although the Liberal Democrats identified fairness as ?an essential British value?, identity politics is generally not considered to be a vote winner.

Calling European bloggers: Spread the word about My Europe Week

by Grahnlaw

The editors of invite bloggers to participate in a blog carnival, by presenting their visions for the future of Europe between 3 May and Europe Day 9 May 2010, in the language of their choice.

UK House of Commons Library Note: The European Union: a guide to terminology, procedures and sources (Standard Note SN/IA/3689; last updated 24 March 2010; 14 pages; authors Vaughne Miller and Emma Clark)

New blog on the European Court of Human Rights

by Julien Frisch

There is a new euroblog out there: Strasbourg Observers.

It is written by legal academics from the faculty of law in Ghent who want to cover the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

EC Multilingualism News ? Can you say Eyjafjallajoekull?

from The Global Language Monitor by admin

Bailout plan

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Greece’s financial rescue deal inches forward

Greek bail-out provokes backlash in Germany

from – World, Europe
The financial rescue for Greece has stirred up a political debate in Germany on the eve of a state election, with criticism of the government both from opposition leftwing Social Democrats and liberal and conservative partners in the ruling coalition

Greek fire turns to Spanish fever

from – World, Europe
Fears that Greek debt crisis will spread to other eurozone nations intensified on Wednesday when Spain suffered a debt downgrade from Standard & Poor’s, sending the euro to fresh lows against the dollar

MAIN FOCUS: Merkel’s manoeuvres in Greek rescue | 27/04/2010

from euro|topics

The German government wants to decide in the coming days whether and under what conditions it will help Greece surmount its financial crisis. The European press considers this a dangerous delay tactic serving the interests of the governing coalition’s electoral strategy, and says all of Europe will end up paying a high price for it.

Socialists routed by Fidesz in Hungary election

from – World, Europe
Hungary’s centre-right opposition Fidesz party last night completed the most emphatic electoral victory since the fall of communism by claiming an unprecedented…

Voters give ‘revolutionary’ victory to Hungary?s centre-right

from by Georgi

Hungary’s next prime minister, Viktor Orban, said on 25 April that voters had carried out a “revolution” by giving his party two thirds of the seats in parliament to rebuild Hungary after a near financial collapse.

MAIN FOCUS: Viktor Orbán has free rein to rule | 26/04/2010

from euro|topics

The centre-right conservative Fidesz party achieved a two-thirds majority in the second round of Hungary’s parliamentary elections on Sunday. While some commentators say that with his absolute majority future premier Viktor Orbán will do the country harm, others say he should first be given a chance.

What would a Lib Dem government do about Ian Bailey?

by Open Europe blog team

The Lib Dems’ recent rise is rightly leading to closer scrutiny of the party’s policies. Their support for the UK entering the euro, was correctly described as “folly” by the Sunday Times. If it wasn’t right to join the euro when the UK was experiencing higher growth in comparison to the eurozone, and if you’re willing to admit that the current eurozone interest rates would have hurt the UK’s recovery (as Clegg has recently), then when would it ever be right to join? The Lib Dems’ answer, “In the long-term”, is simply not good enough from a party that wants to govern the country.

Gordon Brown?s gaffe and the rise of mediated politics

from media/anthropology by John Postill

Gordon Brown?s gaffe earlier today when he was caught on microphone describing a member of the public he had just met as a ?bigoted woman? reminded me of John Thompson?s discussion of politics in the era of mediated interaction in his book, The Media and Modernity (Polity, 1995). Brown is not alone:

UK Election in Videos

from Stephen Spillane
Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

While procrastinating I cam across some really interesting youtube videos concerning the UK Election. So I decided to post a few of them.

A “European Code of conduct for lobbying”?

by Julien Frisch

Just stumbled upon this press release informing that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted in favour of a recommendation to set up a European Code of Conduct for Lobbyists today.

EU Civilian Crisis Management: The Record So Far

Source: RAND Corporation

The European Union has been deploying civilians in conflict and postconflict stabilization missions since 2003, and the scope of civilian missions is likely to increase in the future. This volume offers a general overview and assessment of the EU?s civilian operations to date, as well as a more in-depth look at the two missions in which the EU has worked alongside NATO: the EU police-training mission in Afghanistan and the integrated rule of law mission in Kosovo. The author concludes with a discussion of the main policy implications for the United States and Europe.

UK & EU: Justice issues in Europe (Introduction)

by Grahnlaw

One of the relatively rare assessments of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) in the European Union published after the Stockholm Programme and before the adoption of the implementing Action Plan is:

Future of Hungarian Left Hangs in Balance After Election Debacle

from Social Europe Journal by Gabor Gyori

For weeks prior to the election one of the dominant questions was whether the so-called Warsaw Express would hit the governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) at full speed, or whether, rather than eviscerating the Socialists completely, the voters would leave them some chance for revival. The Warsaw Express referred to the Polish voters? decision to not only oust the incumbent post-communists in 2005, but to annihilate the party so thoroughly that its comeback into power is unlikely in the foreseeable future, if ever.

Contagion Turns East

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

Well, I don?t know how many other people have noticed, but the Hungarian forint has been having rather a hard time of it over the past few days. The currency was down by as much 1.3 percent against the euro at one point today, today making the two-day intraday loss 3.6 percent, and this according to Bloomberg, was the biggest such fall since March last year. The Polish zloty also has weakend slightly, and fell by 0.1 percent to 3.9333 against the euro today while the Czech koruna gained 0.1 percent to 25.582 against the euro. At the same time the cost of credit default swaps on Hungarian debt rose 23.5 basis points to 240. Now virtually all currencies associated with the euro have been having a hard time of it in recent days, but what matters is the magnitude of the pressure being felt in each case, and Hungary here has been unlucky enough to have entered a period of political uncertainty at just the time when the level of market nervousness is higher than normal. There is another problem too. Over 85% of Hungarian home mortgages are not in forints, they are not even in euros, they are in Swiss francs, and the CHF has risen sharply against the euro since the start of the year. So unfortunately Hungarians don?t even benefit from the euros woes.

Stockholm Programme Action Plan now in 21 EU languages

by Grahnlaw

Earlier we have noted the publication in three languages ? English, French and German ? of the proposed Action Plan implementing the European Union?s Stockholm Programme in justice and home affairs (JHA):

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