Mr. Sarkozy begins the week with a downgraded country rating… A Eurosphere roundup

France top AAA credit rating lost

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
France loses a top AAA credit rating as nine eurozone governments are downgraded by Standard & Poor’s prompting markets to fall.

Sarkozy braced for political impact of downgrade

from – World, Europe
There is no escaping the stigma of France being knocked out of the elite ranking of the top-rating nations

EU criticises ratings downgrade

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The EU’s top economic official hits out at a decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the credit ratings of nine eurozone countries.


Friday the thirteenth in the eurozone?

by Open Europe blog team
Over on the Telegraph blog, we look at today’s euro developments:
It all looked so good in euroland after a market rally and successful Italian and Spanish bond auctions this week. However, on Friday the eurozone crisis again took a turn for the worse. Standard & Poor’s ? the increasingly unpopular credit rating agency ? is set to downgrade France and Austria from their AAA ratings. At the same time talks broke down over what losses banks and other bondholders will be forced to accept when Greece writes down its massive debt, injecting another huge dose of uncertainty into the euro mix.


EU Council presidency of Denmark in the media 1/2

by Grahnlaw
After a look at media reporting about the Danish presidency of the Council of the European Union, the euroblogger Jon Worth pronounced ?perhaps not stellar, but at least there is some online discussion about the Press Trip and the launch of the Presidency?.

EU Council presidency of Denmark in the media 2/2

by Grahnlaw
Jon Worth’s earlier as well as his two latest blog posts (here and here) about his press trip to Denmark and the launch of the Danish presidency of the Council of the European Union offer both his personal impressions and references to media. He has also actively taken part in the Twitter discussion under the hashtag #eu2012dk(although many tagged tweets seem to disappear into a black hole, here as elsewhere).


Europeana: Culture on the go

from Docuticker
Source: Europeana Professional From Overview: Internet use via mobile phone and tablet offers a different user experience from the desk-bound PC. This is not just a growing platform: mobile user interface designs are beginning to influence the look and feel of desktops: the tail wagging the dog. Mobile devices are […]


Is Austria the new Finland?

by Centre for European Reform
by Katinka Barysch

In August 2010, a newly elected Slovak government refused to contribute to the first Greek bail-out. A year later, the rising popularity of the anti-euro True Finns pushed the Finnish government to demand that Greece should put up collateral in return for new loans. Which eurozone country will be next in line to hold up a bail-out package or veto new rules? Austria could be a good candidate.

Europe and democracy-promotion: making good , Jacqueline Hale

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Jacqueline Hale
The Arab uprisings of 2011 are provoking the European Union into a rethink of its approach to encouraging democracy in its neighbourhood. A European Endowment for Democracy with a new kind of mandate could be at the centre, says Jacqueline Hale

Italy: racism and risk, Judith Sunderland

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Judith Sunderland
The refusal of Italy’s official agencies to acknowledge the extent of racist crime in the country reinforces the damage inflicted on its victims, says Judith Sunderland.

The Basque and Corsican menace

from FP Passport by Blake Hounshell

Pool/Getty Images

Think separatist violence in Europe is a thing of the past? Think again.
Europol, the police arm of the European Union, today released its first Terrorism Situation and Trend Report. It makes for interesting reading. The 44-page report reviews and analyzes terrorist attacks and terrorism-related arrests in 2006 within EU member states. Nearly 500 attacks took place in the EU in 2006, most of them small incidents with limited damage. Of these, the vast majority?424 attacks?were carried out by Basque and Corsican separatist movements in France and Spain. Another 55 attacks were pulled off by left-wing and anarchist terrorists, whose focus was Greece, Italy, Spain, and Germany.


The real effects of the artificially low interest rates of Italy and Spain

from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou
In their latest bond auctions Italy and Spain enjoyed interest rates that were well below the expected levels. Some might rush to conclude that this is a clear-cut sign that confidence in the euro area has been restored and growth will soon be back on track, effectively killing off the crisis. Nothing could be farther from the truth nonetheless, given a series of events that run in parallel to the bond auctions, which suggest that the lower interest rates are artificial, certainly not created by the forces of the market or the restoration of confidence.

“Europe” is a Dirty Word in the United States

from Joerg Wolf
Mitt Romney’s Anti-European rhetoric is stronger than the Anti-American statements by leading German politicians in the last few election campaigns. Romney seems to assume that Republican voters are so stupid, uninformed and Anti-European that he can get their votes with scaremongering.

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