In the Netherlands, like in Belgium, the formation of a new cabinet is underway. In these small, but ultracomplex coalition countries, it takes weeks and weeks to form governments. Cabinet formation is a giant Sudoku puzzle.
Nicholas Sarkozy seems to be indulging in the time-honored European tradition of cracking down on Gypsies for political gain:
The deportations, scheduled to start Thursday, follow the dismantling of 51 illegal camps?set up by Roma of eastern origin and by other Gypsies, including French citizens?over the past three weeks. Around 700 of the people expelled from their camps who were staying in France illegally will be flown home to Central and Eastern Europe, he said….
The French government is flying 79 Roma to Romania today, Thursday. By the end of August roughly 700 people are to be deported to their countries of origin. The deportation of the Roma diverts attention from France’s integration deficit and serves primarily the interests of President Nicolas Sarkozy, writes Europe’s press.
from EUobserver.com – Headline News
Nowadays in France, like in Africa, when politicians need a boost in popularity or want to cast a wider political net, they make an appeal into the most primal instincts of the voters: ethnic identity. The approval rate of French president Sarkozy has gone from 67% in July of 2007 to less than 27% in July 2010, according to the blog sarkononmerci.fr, citing 9 opinion polls from independent media sources. The blog adds the following analysis after the latest surveys [fr]:
Germany’s recovery played a key role in the second quarter in raising the growth rate in the Eurozone to its highest level in three years. But it is too early for euphoria because the German economy is too dependent on exports, writes Europe’s press.
There was a time when progressive economists derided the ?Washington Consensus?, that infamous combination of deflationary fiscal policy, deregulation and privatisation which the Fund and the Bank exported to developing countries for decades with such poor results. The Washington consensus, it will be recalled, came into being when Ronald Reagan cleaned out the progressive element at 1818 H Street and replaced it with people like Ann Krueger who famously dismissed the public sector as inefficient and rent-seeking. The Asian countries, led by Japan, commissioned a report challenging right-wing orthodoxy about the need to shrink the state, and a major debate ensued about the importance of state-led industrialisation strategy; South Korea and China are good examples of how the ?developmental state? can boost growth.
The free movement of goods, persons, services and capital has been popular in England, at least when headed towards the European Continent, but the free flow of thoughts less so in the reverse direction, if threatening to enrich Britain.
The Council of Europe (CoE) has published a small and convenient booklet with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as amended by the provisions of Protocol No. 14 which entered into force on 1 June 2010.
Conor Slowey (Eurocentric) drew my attention to the campaign for the Party of European Socialists (PES), to which he dedicated a thoughtful post on The European Citizen blog: PES primaries and a Parliamentary EU.
French police have cleared forty illegal Roma settlements in the past two weeks. Around 700 people are to be deported to their home countries of Romania and Bulgaria. Commentators criticise France’s inefficient Roma policy, which they say damages the country’s reputation.
One of the few silly season issues to make waves during summer recess in Brussels has been the preliminary announcement by the EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski that he will present a few options for an EU tax in September, as reported by Financial Times Deutschland on 9 August 2010 (in German).