Eurosphere roundup: Danish Presidency, state of Hungary,

Danish Presidency Press Trip

from Jon Worth by Jon

Sometimes unexpected doors open thanks to blogging, and next week is one of those circumstances. I am spending four days (Monday-Thursday) in Copenhagen on theDanish Presidency Press Trip.

Growth and jobs: Denmark’s EU Council presidency

by Grahnlaw
Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and the rest of the Danish government presented the presidency programme Friday:


GROS: The Decline and Fall of the Euro?

from Project Syndicate by Daniel Gros
GROS: The Decline and Fall of the Euro? Great empires rarely succumb to outside attacks. But they often crumble under the weight of internal dissent ? a vulnerability that seems to apply to the eurozone as well.

The euro crisis

from Nosemonkey’s EUtopia by nosemonkey
Site?s still screwed (some kind of issue in the database, by the look of things ? a legacy of this place having been around too long), but thought I?d try and cobble something together, what with 2011 ? with just 11 posts ? being the quietest year on this blog since I started it in 2003.

The New Scapegoats of Europe –

by Turkish Digest
The New Scapegoats of Europe

…Governments throughout Europe have struggled for the last half-century to expand their notion of citizenship. Muslims who came from North Africa and Turkey as workers in the 1960s and early 1970s were expected to go home eventually. But they stayed and built families in Europe. Today, their children and grandchildren are still defined as second- and third-generation immigrants rather than as Belgian, French or German..

Eurozone Crisis: 2011 Citizen Media Responses

from Global Voices Online by Paola D’Orazio
This page is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.
The year 2011 will be remembered for the European debt crisis and its impact on the global economy, but also for its hard consequences on everyday life. The crisis began in 2007 and is without precedent in post-war economic history. Europe is living its darkest economic days since the 1930s.

Eurozone, the Unraveling (II): EU/euro support collapses across entire continent

from Blogactiv by craigjameswilly


EU counter-terrorism policy and fundamental rights

from Blogactiv by Europe of Human Rights


The BBC becomes a propaganda voice for the Monnet Myth

from Blogactiv by David
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)  is now broadcasting a Monnet-propaganda view of Europe. Its emphasis on Monnet the initiator of everything European is not only false but its anti-British tone is likely to turn the younger generation off Europe. Monnet is shown as ignoring the British concerns. Yet he seemingly controls the French, US and German governments and turns them around his little finger. This is  ridiculous ? Monnet was a minor civil servant in France in 1950 with few staff.  It is also a dangerous policy to broadcast counterfeit history to the British population but also to many others who listen to the radio. The Monnet myth is one reason why is Europe in such a mess with its democracy.


Structural funds and crocodile tears, Iannis Carras

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Iannis Carras
Misdirected EU aid has strengthened rent-seeking elements in the Greek economy and fostered political clientelism, writes Iannis Carras. Instead of learning from mistakes, current EU/IMF policy favours construction and privatization of state land, enabled through a legal sleight of hand. Quite apart from the environmental risks, this is counterproductive in economic terms

About Credit Rating Agencies and the root of the crisis in Europe

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou
Credit Rating Agencies have a central role in the crisis of the Euro. Their downgrades are much feared by European policy-makers who are trying to cope with the mounting pressures on their single currency and its constituent member-states. Over the years of the crisis these downgrades are considered among the primary sources of the negative dynamics against sovereigns who were experiencing serious debt crises. Greece was the first to experience a series of consequent credit downgrades, eventually becoming unable to raise money from the international bond markets, thus coming to the need of a bailout mechanism, to prevent an official bankruptcy. Ireland and Portugal had a similar fate. Currently bigger Euro member-states, such as Italy and France (and not only) are also threatened by such downgrades. The approach much of the European leadership and the intelligentsia has held vis a vis Credit Rating Agencies, is that their actions are either suspicious or biased, certainly not reflecting the truth of what actually is the case in the European interior. Before commenting on the ?official? position I need to present a few facts about these credit Rating Agencies, their role and the way they were treated prior to the crash of 2008 by almost all governments and institutions.


Poland: compensations for length of proceedings released from taxation

from Blogactiv by Europe of Human Rights

On 16th December 2011, Polish Supreme Administrative Court declared that ?amounts of money? paid for undue length of civil or criminal proceedings should be exempted from taxation. Those amounts are paid on the basis of special law of 2004 on complaint on excessive length of proceeding (skarga na przewlek?o?? post?powania). Tax authorities had unclear approach to amounts of money adjudicated on the basis of said law. In some cases they treated them as an additional profit and requested payment of taxes. In some other cases they took into consideration their compensatory nature for negligence of courts and declared that awarded ?amounts of money? should be exempted from taxation.

Disappearing democracy in the middle of the EU

from Blogactiv by Europe of Human Rights


Hungary for change

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric
Last year when Hungary was taking over the rotating Council presidency, the Fidesz government was bringing in a controversial media law which we launched a blogging action over. Though the law was revised after discussions with the EU, EU law in the area is mostly market-based. This time around the independence of the Hungarian Central Bank is under threat and is the source of a dispute between Hungary and the IMF:


Greek default and Greek debt restructuring in 2012

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou
Greece has been at the epicenter of the crisis in Europe, ever since May 2010 when the country lost market access and received the first bailout, worth 110 billion euro, under the troika (EU-IMF-ECB) programme. Though the crisis in Europe is systemic, i.e. it is caused by the structural flaws of the euro architecture and the malignancies of the European banking sector, coupled with the ill advised policies exercised at national and supranational levels; Greece is considered by many as one of the main sources of trouble in Europe. The country, which accounts for approximately 2% of aggregate Eurozone GDP, is seen as the ?Lehman Brothers? of Europe, as the entity that has to be bailed out at all costs in order to avoid a ?calamitous? domino effect that will see a series of bank failures across major European economies and will provide the grounds for further uncertainty regarding the capacity of the EU to deal with its own issues. Based on the entirely wrong assumption that a default of Greece would reverberate across the globe with unpleasant results for everyone, policy-makers considered it wise to use productive resources to prevent the natural failure from occurring.

MAIN FOCUS: Hungary threatened by bankruptcy | 06/01/2012

from euro|topics
The forint fell to a record low while the yield on Hungarian government bonds peaked on Thursday as a result of the controversy over the independence of Hungary’s central bank. The EU and IMF should only grant the country loans if it revokes its contentious reforms, some commentators write, while for others the only option is for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to stand down.

From Here To Eternity, Hungarian Style

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
Hungary?s unofficial ambassador to the IMF,Tamás Fellegi, is reportedly facing a ?terrible atmosphere? after his arrival in Washington on an exploratory mission whose objective is to open up communication about a new financial lifeline for the country. Frankly, given the recent record of relations between the two institions involved it isn?t hard to understand why. Leaving aside the long list of recent grievances, it was Hungary who decided to walk away from the IMF in the first place, suggesting it could manage quite well on its own, thank you very much, so the Washington based lender is now hardly likely to welcome the country back as some sort of long lost prodigal son.

The Orbarony of Hungary

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric
This weekend saw, rightly, a wave of stories about Hungary (see yesterday’s Week in Bloggingportal for some blog articles). The new constitution came in for a strong attack by the Party of European Socialists president Sergei Stanishev:


The Draft Euro Fiscal Pact: Pretty Bad News for Cameron…

by Open Europe blog team


Will the euro crack in 2012? It’ll be turbulent but probably not…

by Open Europe blog team
In a blog post for the Telegraph, we ask this simple and yet brutally complicated question. This is what we argue:

The euro and an ancient divide , V. Nick Pay

from open Democracy News Analysis – by V. Nick Pay
The coming months could leave an indelible mark not only on the very economic subsistence of many western states but also at a deeper level on an ancient philosophical debate between republicanism and liberalism.
As the euro celebrated its tenth anniversary on January the first, the world appears to be entering into a new era of socio-political arrangements affecting socio-economic and political provisions across the globe. A gloomy forecast has been predicted in nearly all cross-border new-year messages in continental Europe, while the UK seems to be conveying a more upbeat message based on its hopes for the preservation of the mechanisms of the status quo.

Eurotroll Cameron

by Grahnlaw
UK prime minister David Cameron ?has promised to do “everything possible” to stop other EU states discussing the single market without the UK? (BBC News UK Politics).

According to the Open Europe blog the EU institutions are ?all over the draft proposal? for an international treaty for a reinforced economic union. The signatories of the treaty will work towards “deeper integration in the internal market”.


What Sarkozy says about peace in Europe is nonsense

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou

Eurozone take-over, Julian Rose

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Julian Rose
Poland’s premier is ready to lead Poland into a new servitude to corporate greed
As most Polish citizens can hardly fail to notice, Europe is experiencing a time of growing economic turmoil. So much so, that leaders of Eurozone countries are now desperately searching for ways to prop up their tottering national economies as well as to maintain commitments to what is termed ‘monetary union’ ? the Eurozone holy grail.


MAIN FOCUS: Europe divided over Tobin tax | 09/01/2012

from euro|topics
French President Nicolas Sarkozy sparked a debate over the financial transaction tax when he announced on Friday that he would introduce the Tobin tax unilaterally if necessary. On Sunday the UK said it would not levy the tax unless if was introduced globally. The press writes that introducing the tax in a single country makes no sense and is merely an electoral tactic, although Cameron’s stubborn refusal could cost Europeans dearly.

Where were you when Europe fell apart?, Per Wirtén

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Per Wirtén
Too many Europeans have too long avoided the question of Europe. To prevent the EU from turning into a “post-democratic regime of bureaucrats”, intellectuals need to stop mumbling and take their and our fear of Europe seriously


Analysis: Exit of Greece from the euro is collective suicide

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou
Exponentially more are the voices calling for an exit of Greece from the euro as a panacea to the maladies of the country and the difficulties the eurozone is facing, allegedly because of Greece. Among them are key figures of the business/investor community such as George Soros, prolific economists such as Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman, or the latest ?pop-star? of the field Nouriel Roubini; and of course a diverse europhobic spectrum of Greek political powers that wish to reconstitute the national currency, the drachma, either because that is ?patriotic?, or it is ?social?. They tell us that exit from the euro and reconstitution of the drachma will repatriate monetary policy powers, thus allowing Greece to depreciate its currency in order to become much more ?competitive?, thus inflating its way out of the crisis, so that the Greek people will have to ?suffer less?. Such rhetoric is both theoretically and empirically completely detached from reality as it sees only one side of the much broader issue, namely that of Greek exports.

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