The new order in the systemic Euro crisis

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou


If things stay as they are then we will reach a dead end that will signal the start of the collapse of the euro and of everything that took decades to build. Image Source: The Telegra

‘Swift action needed for Greece’

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet calls for swift action from eurozone leaders to help Greece.


London riots arrests reach 2,000

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

The number of people arrested over rioting and looting in London earlier this month passes 2,000, the Metropolitan Police reveal.


Will the riots alter how Britain perceives its Muslim communities?, Tehmina Kazi

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Tehmina Kazi

The riots and their aftermath invoked both shame and pride in England. Many members of the Islamic and other minority faith communities were praised for their bravery and dignity. But will this change the English public’s attitude towards Muslims?


Blow for European origins theory

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

A recent idea that most European men can trace their ancestry to early farmers from the Near East has been dealt a blow in a new study.


Euro politicians ‘ignore markets’

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

European politicians are criticised for ignoring the markets by Sharon Bowles, chair of the European Parliament’s economic and monetary committee.


Eurozone issues collateral and honesty

by Grahnlaw

The Finnish government has (admittedly, because of domestic political weakness) consistently demanded collateral for the second bail-out of Greece. This precondition was, somewhat obscurely, recognised by the eurozone summit 21 July 2011.


MAIN FOCUS: Europe seeks ways out of the crisis | 25/08/2011

from euro|topics

Europe is highly indebted, fears of recession and a drop in prosperity are rife. Commentators see the French austerity plan passed on Wednesday and the Spanish debt cap as approaches that other countries would also do well to adopt.


Eurozone: Juncker and Rostowski in European Parliament

by Grahnlaw

For the first blog post we found texts with main points: Eurozone: Trichet and Rehn in European Parliament.


The second part proved trickier.

The French left and 2012, Patrice de Beer

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Patrice de Beer

The ending of the legal case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves France?s socialists still looking for a strategy – and a candidate – able to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. They have a tough legacy to overcome, says Patrice de Beer.


UK media seems to have forgotten there?s an election happening in Denmark

from Jon Worth

Norway: The Lesbian Couple who Saved 40 Teenagers

from Global Voices Online by Solana Larsen

U.S. gay rights blog Talk About Equality explain what compelled them to write a hugely popular post earlier this week calling attention to a lesbian married couple who rescued 40 teenagers during the massacre on Utøya island in Norway last week.


United Kingdom: #BlameTheMuslims Twitter Hashtag Spins out of Context

by Gilad Lotan

Sanum Ghafoor, who goes by the Twitter handle @Strange_Sanum, is a 19-year old Muslim student in the UK. Aggravated at how Muslims were immediately accused for any act of violence, especially following last week’s Oslo attacks, Sanum let out steam by tweeting with the hashtag #blamethemuslims. With dash of satire and lots of sarcasm, Sanum posted the following tweets:


Poland: The State of Reading

by Anna Gotowska

A few weeks ago, a new social campaign – Reading in Poland – was launched by one of Poland’s largest daily newspapers, Gazeta Wyborcza, due to the fact that reading rates in Poland are very low: a report published by the Polish National Library states that 56 percent of the Polish people don’t read books at all – and are also incapable of reading texts longer than 3 pages. A huge debate has started on the reading culture in Poland and the reasons for the crisis it is facing.


Redefining the Transatlantic Relationship?Europe’s Paradoxical Pacifism

from RAND: Commentary by RAND Staff

While Europeans dislike a ubiquitous America which is always ready to prove its power, they seem to dislike an isolationist America even more, writes Jeremy Ghez.


Questions and Answers on the Eurobond ? Full analysis

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou

Poland: Smolensk Report Blames Both Polish and Russian Sides

by Katarzyna Odrozek
On July 29, Poland presented its final report (available for download in Polish, English and Russian) on the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, in which 96 people died, including the then president of Poland Lech Kaczynski. While putting the major blame on the Polish pilot’s error, the report also pointed at the fault of the defective lighting at Smolensk airport and the Russian air controllers, who misinformed the crew about the altitude. Poland’s Defence Minister Bogdan Klich stepped down [pl] in the wake of the report.

FISCHER: Europe?s Sovereignty Crisis

from Project Syndicate by Joschka Fischer
FISCHER: Europe?s Sovereignty Crisis More than ever, the EU must combine greater stability, financial transfers, and mutual solidarity in order to avoid collapsing under the weight of the ongoing sovereign-debt crisis. If EU member states’ leaders do not even try, their defeat ? and that of Europe ? is certain.

Spain?s High Risk Election Process

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
As Mr Zapatero put it on Saturday, when he announced the date of Spain?s general election, the decision ?is in the country?s interest? since from now on there will be certainty, and ?certainty is stability?. While it is quite possible that almost all of Spain?s politicians shared this sentiment, and welcomed the bringing forward of the election date, they may very well be the only ones to do so. Certainty is undoubtedly a strong positive, but when the only thing about your country which people can be certain of is the election date, then maybe on balance you won?t have gained much.

A Hungarian Waltz On The Wild Side

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
The Hungarian government?s much publicised unorthodox plans to cut the country?s public debt level has been attracting a lot of attention of late, both from the media and from the rating agencies. Some observers have been quite positively impressed. Fitch Ratings, for example, raised their outlook on Hungary?s sovereign credit rating in early June from negative to stable, citing government plans to reduce what is currently the largest accumulated public debt among the European Union?s eastern members. Others, however, continue to have their doubts. Moody?s, for example, has decided to maintain a negative outlook on the country?s due to concerns about the general trend in government policy, and the possibility of slippage with deficit objectives. Either way, these are changes within very defined margins, since at the end of the dat Fitch currently still rates Hungary at BBB- and Moody?s at Baa3, in both cases these ratings amount to the lowest investment grades.

Britain and France: Why Germany matters

from Ideas on Europe by European Geostrategy
By Luis Simón

Fact check: the EU and the ECHR

by Open Europe blog team
It’s always interesting to observe instances when those who try to occupy the high ground on Europe, claiming to know the facts about the EU, get the facts wrong. Here’s an example:

MAIN FOCUS: Orbán wants political revenge | 03/08/2011

from euro|topics
Hungary’s right-wing conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wants to sue his three social-liberal predecessors over the sharp rise in the country’s public debt between 2002 and 2010. That is political justice, the press comments, and calls on the EU to call a halt to Orbán’s authoritarianism.

Digital access to EU information 30 years ago

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz
I just stumbled over a nice academic publication presented quite exactly 30 years, in June 1981
This article titled ?A practical introduction to sources of information about the European Communities? by Giancarlo Pau (an Italian working at the Commission representation in the UK; Source (pdf)) covers ways to get information about the European Communities, including computerised ways.

GROS: From Pain to Gain on the EU Frontier

from Project Syndicate by Daniel Gros
GROS: From Pain to Gain on the EU Frontier Governments in the eurozone?s periphery, including Spain and Italy, now face a dilemma: they must undertake structural reforms to increase their long-term potential growth, but at the cost of even greater short-term pain. The debt crisis will end only when they have shown that they have understood this and accepted the inevitable sacrifices.

The EU: The real sick man of Europe?

from Eurozine articles by Therese Kaufmann, Ivan Krastev, Claus Offe, Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann, Martin M. Simecka
Democratic deficit, enlargement fatigue and ever more rescue funds: is there still a future for a common Europe? In a discussion in Eurozine’s series “Europe talks to Europe”, prominent intellectuals diagnosed causes for the current malaise of the EU.

Europe?s Leaders are in this Crisis Together ? They may as well Admit it

from Ideas on Europe by euro-thoughts
Last week, I discussed the latest response by European leaders to the Eurozone debt crisis, which emerged from the European Council summit of 21st July. Since then, much coverage of the crisis has continued to evaluate the impact of the deal reached there on the situation in Greece and other peripheral countries, as well as the wider Eurozone and the European Union (EU) as a whole. Opinions have ranged from unimpressed to negative about the latest deal and its potential as a long-term solution, and onlookers have already started asking when the next bail out might come and what it might entail. With regard to the wider EU, questions are being asked about how those states outside the currency union and/or opposed to deeper integration will react if, as increasingly appears necessary, much deeper integration takes place amongst Eurozone states. The need for some form of debt mutualisation, for instance in the shape of common Eurobonds, is widely discussed and the Commission is expected to propose such a measure this autumn. Although opinion is divided over whether this would require Treaty change, the German Chancellor argues that it would, and this is an experience most will not want to revisit so soon after the fraught process of gaining union-wide approval for the Lisbon Treaty, which only came into force in late 2009.

Eurozone crisis: Can contagion to Italy be arrested?

by Centre for European Reform
by Philip Whyte

Ever since the EU and the IMF ?bailed out? Greece in May last year, the eurozone has fought a desperate rear-guard battle to stem contagion to other countries ? with little success. Ireland and Portugal have since been bailed out, and Cyprus could be next. The most disquieting development, however, has been incipient contagion to larger economies like Spain and Italy. Unless this contagion is arrested, the eurozone could face a potentially terminal crisis. For the past year, the Spanish government has been battling valiantly to persuade financial markets that it will not be the next domino in the chain. But the change in sentiment towards Italy has been more recent ? and is perhaps more alarming. What explains it?

Barroso calls for end to eurozone contagion

by Grahnlaw
When the eurozone is marching towards more sustainable deficits, why did the bond markets suddenly pounce on Cyprus, Italy and Spain?

Their public deficits are far from new. The structural weaknesses and the resulting lack of competitiveness of these Mediterranean countries are notorius ? and age old old problems they will ultimately have to confront and overcome.

MAIN FOCUS: Debt crisis unsettles financial markets | 05/08/2011

from euro|topics
Fears of an escalation of the debt crisis in Europe and the US caused a sharp fall in share prices on stock markets across world on Thursday. Among other things it was the call of EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso to further expand the euro bailout fund that triggered the panic. This is no solution, the press concludes and calls for the introduction of eurobonds and a European Finance Ministry.

Could the ECB actually perform QE even if it wanted to?

by Open Europe blog team
Given the stock market free fall and bond market turbulence we?re seeing, the question over whether the ECB could actually embark on an effective round of Quantitative Easing (QE) has become a pertinent one. We?re not so sure it could (leaving aside the broader questions over how effective QE would be in any case [see US economy for details]).

The eurozone crisis: Markets, governments and voters

by Open Europe blog team

Below are some thoughts on the ongoing crisis that we sent out a while ago:

Fears over the eurozone debt crisis have sent markets into free fall over the last few days, and although recently announced US employment data may give markets some short-term reprieve, these fears are likely to continue. At the heart of this crisis is one simple, but yet politically hugely complicated problem: the eurozone is left without a lender of last resort. EU leaders agreed on 21 July that the eurozone bailout fund ? the EFSF ? rather than the European Central Bank, should have the mandate to act as the backstop and provide cash for struggling governments and banks. However, they did not equip the EFSF with the necessary cash to do so, due to political constraints, leading to huge uncertainty on the markets with EU leaders sending out mixed signals. Therefore, the deal may in fact have made things worse in the short-term.

The anatomy of a story about the European Parliament and body scanners

from Jon Worth by Jon

Confronting ?extremisms?: the cautious way forward from the Norwegian tragedy, Vidhya Ramalingam

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Vidhya Ramalingam

It is too easy to brand terrorists with labels. We need to consider, in depth, the reasons behind people?s actions – remembering that psychology can play as much of a role as ideology
Commenters have treated the terror attacks in Norway on July 22 as symbolic of the threat, and future implications, of the rise of radical right political parties in Europe. Though the shocking event certainly challenges the idea that extremism from the right is only a minor security threat, there still remains confusion over the identity of that ?threat?, and how it might be countered.

MAIN FOCUS: Fears of a new financial crash | 08/08/2011

from euro|topics
The rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded the US’s credit rating, sparking global fears of a further stock market crash. The press blames the ultra-conservative Tea Party for the loss of the AAA rating and doubts politicians deal effectively with the crisis.

Compare and contrast Franco-German positions on larger bailout fund

by Open Europe blog team
The WSJ noted earlier today that, barely 12 hours after the European Central Bank signalled it was prepared to wade into the Spanish and Italian bond markets, providing some temporary respite to global stock markets and reducing borrowing costs for these beleaguered governments, German politics has already dampened hopes that the eurozone might have a bigger pot of money to stem the financial tide.

Eurozone powers and limits (Updated)

by Grahnlaw

Admittedly, the decisions by the governments of Italy and Spain and the the consequent interventions by the European Central Bank in the secondary bond markets brought relief to these Mediterranean countries. The president of the European Council welcomed the decisions:

MAIN FOCUS: ECB becomes bad bank | 09/08/2011

from euro|topics
The European Central Bank (ECB) bought Italian and Spanish bonds worth several billion euros on Monday in a bid to lower the interest on borrowing in both countries. The move makes the ECB a bad bank for debt-ridden states and will increase pressure on stable euro countries as well, writes the press.

The irrationality of the EU will go down in history ? Evaluating the Euro crisis

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou

The current systemic crisis of the euro has brought to the surface, apart from the numerous structural flaws in the architecture of the euro, the kind of logic that permeates EU policy-making

Germany leading eurozone and EU reform?

by Grahnlaw
Could Germany lead reform to take the right decisions at the right level, in a democratic manner? As Hamilton wrote, ?the means ought to be proportioned to the end?, but powers needed for the eurozone and the European Union should be based on their citizens.

The country of humor is ? Germany!

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Kantoos
As an economics blogger, I am not an expert on international humor, but today?s sad news got me thinking. Germans insist ? mostly unsuccessfully ? that ?German humor? is not the least bit oxymoronic, the rest of the world just doesn?t seem to understand it. Which is why the prejudice will probably live on.

Demands for collaterals show lack of a collective spirit ? This endangers the Euro

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou

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