from EUobserver.com – Headline News
Here’s Italian President Silvio Berlusconi’s underaged girl scandal #4,080:
At the heart of it all is a Moroccan girl nicknamed Ruby, who turned 18 on Monday, but was still a minor last May when she was held in a police station in Milan, accused of theft until Mr. Berlusconi called and demanded she be released, Italian newspapers reported.
It is rather striking, at first sight, to note how much the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the Chinese Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo have in common. Both threaten the political and ideological status quo of their countries; both have been legally prosecuted by their nation states for their public pronouncements; both speak in the name of democracy; both have received significant ideological and economic support from abroad; both have had their personal lives severely disrupted as a result of their public statements; and both are seen widely as martyrs for free speech. These similarities mark them out as men who at this moment have caught the pulse of the planetary transformations taking place in the practice of liberal democracy as a form of politics, social mobilisation and ambition.
It was a busy week in the European Union. The heads of state or government were in the limelight, because the summits or meetings of the institution called the European Council are at the centre of media attention, although a fair amount of the reporting in national media has been through the prism of domestic politics. (Nowhere is this clearer than in the United Kingdom, with perpetual political and media pressure to leave no veto unused.)
An interesting new paper by German think tank Centrum für Europäische Politik has listed “Five hard rules for a hard Euro”. It sums up some of the ideas on how to save the euro, currently floating around Germany.
Here they are:
Control Orders – what’s Britain’s problem with the evidence? Is there a US connection, Anthony Barnett
We’ll carry a longer post on the very important Control Order controversy now underway in Britain, summed up calmly and well in today’s Guardian leader and Sunder Katwala discusses the politics in Next Left and there’s a strong post by the new Conservative Dominic Raab in the Telegraph.
Spain?s statistics office continue to issue worryingly confusing press releases. The latest example is one published in connection with the quarterly labour force survey which came out last Friday.
Now the data the INE assemble in their report is very interesting, and as many observe, the complete survey gives far more reliable data about the state of the labour market than the monthly labour office signings do.
The coalition is engaged in making a number of constitutional changes that may have far-reaching consequences for the British state. In the past, new governments generally trod carefully in altering the way the UK is governed. This approach changed with the first New Labour government of 1997-2001, which drove through very rapidly a set of major reforms that (before it got to power) experts had said would take a decade or more to implement. At the same time the Blair government refused to offer any overall synthesis of how they might be connected ? any constitutional strategy.