Eurosphere roundup: “Record unemployment in Europe…

MAIN FOCUS: Record unemployment in Europe | 26/04/2013

from euro|topics

According to figures published on Thursday, for the first time more than six million people are currently out of work in Spain, and France also has record unemployment, surpassing a 1997 peak. Commentators fear the ongoing crisis will provoke a rebellion of the masses and say German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s austerity course is partially to blame for the record unemployment levels.


Italy’s political situation: hubris and nemesis in slow motion

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Carlo Ungaro

The concept of a “grand coalition” in Italy is unlikely to work due to a history of distrust between the two main parties, and the emergence of Beppe Grillo’s Five Stars Movement as a considerable political force.


Italy must prepare for elections, and fast

In a country where a comedian presents a serious threat, the message of protest must be heard and acted upon, writes Bill Emmott



Europe?s political scandals feed disorder

Public outrage and despair derive not only from joblessness and the erosion of the welfare state, but also from the chronic misbehaviour of political parties


Italy: the equivocal calm between storms

from open Democracy News Analysis – by James Walston

After several candidates failed to be elected to the presidency, the Italian parliament gave an unprecedented second mandate to Giorgio Napolitano, the 87-year-old incumbent. Will this be enough to get Italy out of its political jam?


Iceland heads for huge ?swing election?

from – World, Europe

Dissatisfied Icelanders are set to change the party they voted for, polls suggest, as they grapple with the consequences of the financial crisis


Europol: Sharp rise in EU terror attacks and deaths in 2012 (News)



Data shortfall clouds EU buildings efficiency assessment (News)



European austerity: Turn or TINA?

by Centre for European Reform

Will European governments reverse the austerity course that has done so much to damage their already enfeebled economies? With the revelation of mathematical errors in the work of two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff ? who had claimed to show that economic growth falls off a cliff once a country?s ratio of debt to GDP reaches 90 per cent ? another of the intellectual underpinnings for the current strategy has been swept away. As foreseen by the majority of mainstream economists, eurozone countries? debt positions continue to worsen rapidly despite wrenching austerity and there is no sign of a rebound in consumer and business confidence. Mass unemployment and chronically weak business investment is waking people up to the folly of synchronised austerity in a depressed economy, hastening what President Barroso has termed (in an unguarded moment) the ?political limits of austerity?. Everything argues for a change of course, but it could be slow in coming.


Should Poland join the euro zone ?

from Ideas on Europe by mateusz

The European Union is shrinking since 2009 due to its euro zone crisis recently followed by Cyprus. Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy proved failure of the euro zone during the crisis. However, there are countries in the Old Continent that announced their will to endorse the euro, Poland is one of them.



EU recommends opening negotiations on Serbia’s entry after Kosovo deal

from Hurriyet Daily News

The European Commission on Monday recommended opening negotiations on Serbia’s entry into the EU.


Documentary on hidden victims of Greek austerity that’s crowdfunded, free & CC-licensed

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow


France and Spain miss deficit goals, EU to focus on growth

from Hurriyet Daily News

Despite the overall economic outlook that shows an improvement in eurozone, France and Spain missed.


Greece: #BloodStrawberries Boycott Over Migrant Workers? Shooting

from Global Voices Online by Jasmina Babic

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

Supervisors shot and injured dozens of undocumented migrant workers from Bangladesh in the strawberry farms of southwestern Nea Manolada for demanding months of owed wages, the latest incident in a country where antipathy toward immigrants is on the rise.


Dalligate scandal deepens in Brussels

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric



EUObserver is reporting that a confidential and highly damaging report on OLAF?s conduct of the investigation into allegations of corruption against Health Commissioner Dalli – by OLAF’s own supervisors – has been sent to the European Parliament.


EU flag over Prague Castle

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Jan Hornát

Milos Zeman, the new president of the Czech Republic, has clearly distanced himself from the Eurosceptic views of his predecessor. Yet, a recent standoff with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows unexpected tension over foreign policy might be just around the corner.


“The UK Economy In Three Charts” by Simon Wren-Lewis

from Social Europe Journal by Simon Wren-Lewis

It is a measure of the state we are in that the latest quarterly growth number for the UK, at 0.3% (1.2% annual rate) for 2013Q1, should be regarded as a political plus for the Chancellor. [See postscript at end.] So here is the first chart:


UKIP, the Lernaean Hydra of British politics

from Jon Worth by Jon



Reexamining the Cypriot bailout numbers. Again.

from Brussels Blog by Peter Spiegel



Victory in campaign for EU deal on transparency in the extractive sector

from Blogactiv by oxfameu

Catherine Olier, Policy Advisor at Oxfam?s EU Office, reflects on a hard-fought victory that will force oil, gas, mining and logging companies to come clean on their finances in the developing world. The European Parliament and EU member states are expected to give their final green light to the agreement in the coming months, bringing EU legislation in line with the US Dodd-Frank Act.


Sorry but UK defence policy is largely untouched by EU membership

fy Open Europe blog team

Talking about EU military co-operation is always a good way to generate a heated debate, and we expect that the Guardian interview with German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière will be no exception. Maizière said:


MAIN FOCUS: Serbia’s chances of joining EU increase | 23/04/2013

from euro|topics

The EU Commission recommended on Monday that the member states commence accession negotiations with Serbia. Belgrade reached an agreement with Kosovo on Friday over the status of the Serbian minority in northern Kosovo. Commentators commend Brussels for its diplomatic skill in reaching an agreement between the squabblers, but warn against a premature start to the negotiations.


China and the EU model

from Blogactiv by Florian Pantazi

For almost two years now I have avoided dealing on my blog with China?s spats with Japan, its tensions with ASEAN partners or its apparent inability to reign in the excesses of  its obstreperous North Korean protégé.


MAIN FOCUS: Italy pins its hopes on Napolitano | 22/04/2013

from euro|topics

Italy’s re-elected President Giorgio Napolitano intends to clarify today, Monday, how he plans to get the country out of its current political crisis. On Saturday he received the support of almost all of the major parties after five votes failed to give any of their candidates a majority. Some commentators view Napolitano’s election as the end of a nightmare. For others, the botched presidential elections have only deepened political rifts in the country.


Austerity in Europe? Tighten the military belt

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Frank Slijper

Five years into the economic crisis in Europe and the elephant in the room is the role of military spending in causing and perpetuating the economic crisis. As social infrastructure is slashed, spending on weapon systems has hardly been reduced. Part one of two essays on military spending and the EU crisis.



Should Germany Exit the Euro?

from Project Syndicate by Hans-Werner Sinn

Those who advocate the creation of Eurobonds do not not recognize the real nature of the monetary union’s problems. The ongoing financial crisis is merely a symptom of the eurozone?s underlying malady: its southern members? loss of competitiveness.


Europe needs more than monetary innovation

The central bank?s measures should boost credit supply but governments and enterprises must introduce structural reforms, says Yves Mersch



Not everyone in François Hollande’s party cares about Franco-German diplomacy…

from Open Europe blog


Q&A: Iceland parliamentary elections

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

Q&A on the election set to shake up Icelandic politics


Britain’s ‘tough choices’: a call for a new approach to welfare

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Deborah PadfieldAt the Citizens Advice Bureau the real Thatcher legacy can be seen every day: social disengagement, indifference and injustice. It is Thatcherism that needs burying.


When politics strike back: the end of the Icelandic constitutional experiment?

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Giulia Dessi

A wave of enthusiasm took Icelanders through the 2012 referendum after the 2008 crash, once the widely-praised ‘crowd-sourced’ constitution appeared to be within reach. But Icelanders? hopes seem to be evaporating in the haze of this week-end’s parliamentary elections.


History according to Gove: what is England teaching its children?

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Joseph Richardson

Michael Gove’s plans for the history curriculum have sparked a war over what should be taught to English children. Criticised as ‘shallow’ and ‘patriotic’, praised as taking on the ‘left-wing bias’ of previous teaching, this is a battle not only over British history, but its present and future.


The Peace of Ultrecht: why Britain is forgetting

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Andrew C. Thompson

Three hundred years ago, Britain signed a peace treaty that concluded a quarter of a century of warfare, cemented her place as a world power and secured the constitutional monarchy. That the UK doesn’t commemorate this speaks volumes about its relationship to Europe.


MAIN FOCUS: Letta to end deadlock in Italy | 25/04/2013

from euro|topics

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Wednesday tasked the deputy leader of the Social Democrats, Enrico Letta, with forming a government. The prime minister designate plans to begin talks for the formation of a broad coalition today, Thursday. Some commentators hope Letta will oppose Germany’s austerity policy. Others fear that the marriage of convenience between Left and Right will only last a few months.


Who governs in Britain?s new corporate state?

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Stephen Wilks

This month sees the launch of Stephen Wilks? new book The Political Power of the Business Corporation. Here he discusses the causes and consequences of business corporations entering government, explaining that, with this privilege, must come accountability.


Cultural differences in EU projects? Part IV. The Netherlands

from Blogactiv by europamedia

The EU as a power-diffuser

from Ideas on Europe by PoliticsatSurrey

Fighting my prejudices, I went to a seminar about CFSP yesterday. In my defence, I was a) tired and b) knew that both speakers would be well worth it. And indeed they were.


Draft EU PNR Directive voted down at Committee Stage

from The European Citizen by Eurocentric

The LIBE Committee of the European Parliament has shot down the draft Passenger Name Record Directive by a vote of 30-25, with the Liberal, Green and left wing groups voting against and the conservative groups for the draft law. The Directive concerned the collection of the information passengers give to airlines when booking a flight by law enforcement authorities (in the form of national “Passenger Information Units (PIUs)” that would analyse the data and pass on information to other law enforcement authorities). The data would be collected to fight terrorism and serious crime, and is a key plank of the Commission’s counter-terrorism strategy.


French Politics: Europe: Collapse of Confidence in the EU

from – Today’s posts

The figures are eloquent:Depuis le début de la crise, la confiance en l’Union européenne (UE) a dégringolé de 32 points en France, 49 en Allemagne, 52 en Italie, 98 en Espagne, 44 en Pologne et 36 au Royaume-Uni.Le plus fr..


Switzerland imposes quotas on EU migrants

from – World, Europe

Curbs on rising numbers of European citizens seeking to work there threatens to open up another front in the Alpine republic?s array of disputes with the EU


Is France under attack in Africa?

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition

Is France now under attack in Africa?


The accidental truth of austerity Europe

from – World, Europe

Implacable voter outrage has led to José Manuel Barroso?s concerns about the eurozone?s belt-tightening, says Peter Spiegel


Italy’s new Prime Minister: Pro-EU integration, anti-austerity?

by Open Europe blog team

We’ve detected strong demand for a quick profile on Enrico Letta, who has just been appointed Italy’s new Prime Minister. With the debate raging over the wisdom or otherwise of German-style fiscal discipline in the eurozone, the big question is: is Letta against austerity? Here’s a short bio:


Profile: Enrico Letta

from – World, Europe

After weeks of political deadlock the Democrats? centre-left moderate has emerged as a candidate acceptable to all sides in the new ?grand coalition?



How the Italian left ceased to exist

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Michele Barbero

The election of the new President of the Republic ended up in a mess for the Democratic Party, devastating both its cohesion and political capital. Is this the end of the road for an united Italian left?


Bavarian politicians, Bulgarian politics

from Ideas on Europe by bulgarianperspective

Tina Schivatcheva

The Political Choices of the Bulgarian Center-Right

?We will put an end to the populism of the Left? ? with this firm promise Tsvetan Tsvetanov, former Bulgarian Minister of the Interior, and current deputy-president of the party ?Citizens of European Development for Bulgaria? (abbreviated in Bulgarian as GERB), addressed the Brussels politicians [1].


MAIN FOCUS: France adopts same-sex marriage | 24/04/2013

from euro|topics

The French National Assembly passed the controversial law on same-sex marriage on Tuesday, after which several thousand demonstrators once again came out in protest. The government fuelled the bitter protest with its lack of transparency, some commentators write. Others challenge the opponents to accept same-sex marriage as a minority right.

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