Euro roundup: Greek crisis + the acquittal of Geert Wilders and more…

A protester in front of the Greeck parliament during a rally against the new austerity package. Reuters

VIDEO: Greek crisis dominates EU summit

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The threat of a Greek debt default undermining the euro is overshadowing the European Union summit in Brussels.

What’s the worst case scenario for Greece?

from FP Passport by Kelsey Suemnicht

Greece defaulting on cash owed to companies

from Blogactiv by garyfinnegan
Fears that Greece could default on its debt tops the EU agenda because it puts the balance sheets of a dozen German and French banks in peril. But Greece has already defaulted on its debts to companies.
What is default? EU leaders have been trying to find a way around the fact that Greece cannot meet its debt commitments.

A second bailout to Greece is a waste of time and effort

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou

VIDEO: Inside the ‘offices’ of Athens protest camp

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Tim Willcox is in Athens talking to protesters who have set up camp outside the Greek parliament building to demonstrate against more austerity measures

Special Guest Contribution: A simple, repellent plan for Greece

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by admin
Ed: At this critical moment for the European project, we have the honour to present a special guest contribution from Norman Strong, who has agreed in the light of the extreme circumstances we are facing to finally resume the occasional series of posts he began here in 2002. Like Duke Nukem Forever and the Stone Roses? second album, it?s been a while.
The first thing to note is that there is, despite appearances, no urgency. Once one has accepted the fact that a restructuring of Greek debt will be needed, then it is no longer the case that ?kicking the can down the road? will ?only make things worse in the long run?.

UK-EU asylum “row”: smoke and mirrors?

by Open Europe blog team
The British press preview of today and tomorrow’s summit has been partly dominated by an expected “row” between Cameron and the EU over a Commission proposal to water down rules on asylum. The fact that this has been covered in almost every paper from The Sun to The Guardian suggests it is a story that the communications folks in Downing Street wanted us to read. The question is why?

Does the acquittal of Geert Wilders signal a changing Netherlands?

from FP Passport by Robert Zeliger

Greece?s exit from the eurozone: a poisoned chalice , Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos
In times like these not making a big mistake is half a battle won.
What unites the right-wing current Mayor of London, the Guardian?s economics editor and a London-based Marxist ? One correct answer is their vehement support for Greece?s exit from the eurozone. Johnson even calls it, ?the greatest gift to the Greeks?.  However, what is remarkable is the fact that they are much less vocal about the implications of this move for the people they purport to care for, i.e. the inhabitants of Greece.

Greece is no Lehman Brothers

by Open Europe blog team
Oven on Guardian Comment is Free, we argue that “The narrative now cemented in the public imagination that Greece could be the ‘next Lehman Brothers‘ is, for the most part, largely overblown.”

Greek protest in Syntagma Square: in between post-politics and Real Democracy , Paulina Tambakaki

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Paulina Tambakaki
Syntagma Square is a political response to a highly polarised political establishment that has repeatedly failed in recent years to meet the demands of the body politic.
Within the past few days much debate has been stirred about the protests in Syntagma Square in Athens. Partly out of fear for their impact on the Eurozone, and partly out of interest in the peculiar figure of ?the indignant?, who both challenges and practices politics, the Greek protests capturing the attention of the European public sphere, have been greeted as much with scepticism as with enthusiasm.

Geert Wilders: Not Guilty

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric
Geert Wilders, the leader of the PVV party in the Netherlands (Partij voor de Vrijheid or Party for Freedom) has been found not guilty of hate speech and discrimination. The court action wasn’t one the public prosecuter wanted to take – it was only after civil society groups challenged the public prosecuter’s refusal to take Wilders to court was the complaint lodged. The result was a strange case where the prosecuters didn’t really want Wilders to be found guilty, and the danger of the PVV benefiting from the case.

Geert Wilders and Dutch democracy, Cas Mudde

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Cas Mudde
A court in the Netherlands has found the influential politician Geert Wilders innocent of charges of fomenting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. The decision is a challenge both to the rule of law and to Dutch politicians, says Cas Mudde.

Where exactly are the Europarties?

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric
The Europarties are supposed to be forums for political debate and participation in the EU – that’s very much the theory, anyway. So during the Euro crisis (and particularly during today’s summit), what have the Europarties been up to?

Why sectarian fight persists in Northern Ireland, Robin Wilson

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Robin Wilson
This week has seen sectarian rioting between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast. Why does violence continue in Northern Ireland?
Why is there still violence in Northern Ireland? This week severe sectarian rioting has broken out between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland?s capital city Belfast, which escalated to shooting. The BBC reported:

Finland in Europe: Katainen government roundup

by Grahnlaw
Here are a number of blog posts I have written from a European angle about the formation of the new government in Finland. The roundup takes us up to pre-visit views ahead of the first bilateral trips of prime minister Jyrki Katainen to neighbouring Sweden and Estonia, Monday 27 June 2011.

Red Lights Flashing For Eurozone Growth

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
The June Flash PMI reports, which were out on Thursday, make do not make agreeable reading, in the sense that while the French and German economies both continued to expand during the month, their rate of expansion, and in particular in the leading manufacturing sector, seems to have dropped sharply, and for the second month running. In contrast, the economies on the Eurozone periphery moved closed to outright contraction. All in all the survey results only add to concerns about the global recovery which came into focus after the May PMI results (see my To QE3 or Not to QE3).

Nine Reasons Why Spain?s Economy Is More Different Than You Think!

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
Spain, as those 1990s tourist brochures used to tell us, is different. And it certainly shouldn?t be confused with Greece. Even a cursory look at the most basic of maps should satisfy any doubts we might be harbouring in that regard. But being different is not the same thing as being economically sound. Which is what Societe Generale?s Klaus Baader has just tried to argue in a recent research note: ?The Spanish bond market was hit hard in the wake of the quantum leap in the Greece crisis. But fundamentally the case for Spain remains strong?.

The Hungarian model of democracy, András Palatitz

from open Democracy News Analysis – by András Palatitz
The Fidesz party claimed it would reverse diminishing trust toward politicians. But did the Hungarian people, or the international community, fully understand what was being promised?
The President of the Republic Pál Schmitt gave his blessing to the new constitution of Hungary on Easter Monday. The ceremony, apart from manifesting the government’s choice of religious and nationalist symbolism, laid down the cornerstone of the new model of Hungarian democracy. The Fidesz-KDNP government has intentionally abandoned Hungary?s social and political heritage, breaking with a political consensus shared by most Hungarian political forces since the democratic transition of 1989.

Why Germany needs a strategy on withdrawal from the EU, Roderick Parkes

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Roderick Parkes
It is taboo for Berlin of course, but a German strategy for EU withdrawal could actually be good for European cooperation.
EU treaties declare themselves valid for an ?unlimited period?. In a previous, sunnier age, this was interpreted to mean that the EU and the process of ever-closer European integration were permanent fixtures. That interpretation now has more than a whiff of hubris about it. It?s not just that political integration has stumbled in the wake of recent financial and immigration crises. Back in 2009 the EU?s Lisbon Treaty gave member states scope to make their disgruntlement felt in a fairly fundamental way. It set a landmark precedent by giving member governments an explicit right to EU-withdrawal (Article 50). Two years later, it seems European integration is to be ?unlimited? only in the sense that there is no fixed date for it to stop.

True challenge of a European demos, David Marquand

from open Democracy News Analysis – by David Marquand
José Ignacio Torreblanca accuses Europe?s politicians of having comprehensively failed in speaking to or for Europe. But there is a deeper reason for this failure, shared by politicians and people alike, which is an inability to see beyond a hopelessly outmoded West-East dichotomy

Myths and facts on the EU budget: The EU Commission doesn?t understand politics

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz
The EU Commission has produced a website on ?Myths and facts? about the EU budget.
Now while some of the myths and facts corrections are just simple detail provisions, others are misleading, simple spin or, what I think, a misunderstanding of politics. The Commission tries to make this a ?myth vs facts? issue, but it shows the Commission self-definition of a non-political body. As if everything EU was about technical details, sums and percentages and not a political debate about what is right or wrong.

Understanding Germany

from Atlantic Review
The Wall Street Journal published a special feature on Germany (via: Daniel Florian), which is very positive about our economy and fair in its analysis of our foreign policy. The feature even includes reading tips on how to best to understand Germany from Chancellor Merkel and two foreign policy experts. All books are great and highly recommended, I have not read Günter de Bruyn’s book though.

European Council Res Gestae (SGP & EU2020)

y Grahnlaw
The European Council 23 to 24 June 2011 was supposed to be the grand finale of the first European Semester, spiced with the Euro Plus Pact, so what did the heads of state or government leave posterity?

The ‘Res Gestae’ web pages record the deeds of our secular leaders with regard to economic policy:

Committed to implementing reforms

Youngsters Finally Raise Their Voices: NO to Police Brutality!

from Blogactiv by mladiinfo
Author: Ivana Srdikj
Since June 6, 2011 up until today, youngsters in Macedonia have been asking themselves whether they live in a safe place. After young Martin Neskovski was killed by a police representative, Macedonian citizens gathered to speak out against police brutality and to ask for justice. Once news were spread via Twitter and Facebook, mainly young people embarked on a protest parade through the city streets in Skopje to peacefully express their indignation. Similar rallies have been held in Veles, Prilep and Bitola.

Tymoshenko trial can be a bomb for the EU-Ukraine relations

from Blogactiv by anatoliymartsynovski
At the end of past week former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko went on the trial. She is accused of abusing power while signing the 2009 gas agreements with Russia and can be sentenced for 7-10 years of imprisonment.

Raising Energy Efficiency in the EU

from Blogactiv by Eberhard Rhein
The EU is the most advanced  part of the world in terms of energy efficiency. But there remains a substantial potential for improving its  record beyond past achievements. Following the guidelines established by the European Council in February  2011 and the  Commission policy paper of March 2011 the Commission has submitted  a draft directive on June 22nd with detailed proposals on how to  reduce EU  energy consumption by 368 Mtoe until 2020 through    improved energy efficiency. The draft directive calls upon member states to take action in four main areas:

MAIN FOCUS: IMF selects European Lagarde | 29/06/2011

from euro|topics
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday unanimously elected the Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde as its new managing director. She takes over from her compatriot Dominique Strauss-Khan, who resigned over charges of attempted rape. While some commentators see the appointment as confirming Europe’s might, others see Lagarde as a stop-gap administrator.

Live blog: EU super wednesday

by Open Europe blog team
Today is a hectic day for those of obsessed with EU affairs. A crucial vote in the Greek parliament, determining whether the country will receive the next tranche of the first EU bailout (and qualify for a second one), will (eventually) be followed by an announcement from the Commission on the size and shape of the EU’s long-term budget (from 2014 and onwards).

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