Eurosphere agenda: rise of The Podemos, clashes in Brussels, Luxembourg and tax evasion…

The extraordinary rise of Podemos, Spain’s eight-month-old protest party, continues. A new Metroscopia poll for El País, released on Sunday, showed that the party would win a Spanish general election, if held today, with 27.7% of votes. The Socialist Party would finish second on 26.2%, followed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular on 20.2% – less than half the 44.6% the party won in the November 2011 general election.

Brussels protest ends in clashes

Belgian police use tear gas and water cannon against anti-austerity protesters in Brussels after a 100,000-strong march by workers.

VIDEO: Violent clashes at Brussels protest

Clashes erupt between Belgian police and anti-austerity protesters in central Brussels after a largely peaceful march by about 100,000 workers

In an attempt to bridge cultural differences and break down national stereotypes among young people, Berlin and Athens have decided to establish a Greek-German Youth Institute. EurActiv Greece reports from Germany.

Where is civil society in the EU’s new Maritime Security Strategy?

The new EU ‘Maritime Security Strategy’ neglects civil society and raises concerns over fundamental rights.

German Navy Ship FGS HamburgGerman Navy Ship FGS Hamburg. Some rights reserved.

International media revealed on Thursday that Luxembourg’s government has helped hundreds of companies to avoid taxes. Commentators call for a common European policy in the fight against tax evasion and the resignation of European Commission President and former prime minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker

The Democratic Party in the United States suffered a crushing defeat in midterm elections on Tuesday. The Republicans won the majority of seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. That will weaken Obama and lead to a standstill on domestic and foreign policy, some commentators believe. Others see the Republicans’ strength as a new opportunity

No job because of Irish ‘alcoholism’

A teacher from the Republic of Ireland is told by an agency that she has been rejected for a job in South Korea due to the “alcoholism nature” of Irish people

Cultural differences in working arrangements, and the use of office space, lead to different levels of satisfaction among Europe’s workforce. The Dutch are the happiest, while the French are the least satisfied.EurActiv France reports.

Catalonia vs Spain: a clash of two debates

Patrice de Beer’s article on Catalan independence went viral. With just days to go until the vote, we look at some of the interesting questions raised by the author and you also in the comments.

A human chain for the independence of Catalonia from Spain, September 2013. Karl Burkhof/Demotix. All rights reserved.


The European Commission has considerably lowered its growth forecast for the Eurozone. A noticeable improvement is unlikely before 2016, the Commission announced on Tuesday. The economic outlook once more highlights how forced austerity is ruining Europe’s economy, some commentators criticise. Others call on Europe’s problem states to stop complaining about cuts and implement the necessary reforms

A Greek programme for Greece

Greece is currently negotiating its exit from the various programmes and ‘bailouts’ with its European and international creditors. Greece is still too weak to stand on its own, financially. But the problem is not the debt level alone, which is manageable over the short term because debt servicing costs are relatively low. The main issue is how to make Greece a prospering economy within the euro, after an epic economic depression and in the face of waning public support for further reforms. The country’s growth prospects will ultimately determine how much of Greece’s debt will get repaid. Of course, European policy-makers and the IMF could continue to muddle through, and Greece is unable to force them to change course. But with a crucial presidential election looming in early 2015 that could end the current government’s term and bring Syriza, the far-left party, to power, it is time to take stock. The Greek programmes had severe shortcomings that proved costly, both in terms of economic damage and in terms of popular legitimacy. What is needed is Greek ownership of further reforms, and a focus on long  term economic growth.


On 9 November, Catalans will vote in an “unofficial” referendum for independence. Just how did it come to this?

Nationalist leader Artur Mas addresses his supporters. Demotix/Matthias Oesterle. All rights reserved.

France threatened by civil strife

Disaffection with mainstream politics in France help the far right

Almost 25% of the EU’s population, or 122.6 million people, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday (4 November).

Each year the EU’s Court of Auditors issues its opinion on the EU’s spending and each year it is the same – “material errors” amounting to billions of euros probably misspent.

First of all, let’s get the usual caveats out of the way – the auditors have signed off the accounts, which means that they are a reliable picture of EU revenue and spending. However, there remain significant errors in how the money was spent.

British townsfolk will burn an effigy of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso this evening, as part of their Guy Fawkes Night celebrations

Poland’s New Golden Age

Though the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 did not bring about the perpetual peace and prosperity that some imagined, it did set in motion some true success stories. One of the most impressive is Poland’s rise as a political and economic heavyweight in Europe

Europe’s Energy Essentials

As global developments challenge European values, welfare, and security, EU leaders must focus on building a new energy system that ensures a secure supply, competitive pricing, and ecological sustainability. The good news is that a framework to facilitate this initiative is already emerging.

Google, Amazon, and Apple are among the least transparent multinationals in the world, worse than Russian state-owned energy companies Gazprom, and Rosneft, according to a report published today (5 November) by anti-corruption campaigners.

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