The Netherlands, a mere 10 years behind the UK, seems eager to catch up. Twin pressures of authoritarianism from above and neoliberalism from below make it necessary to develop the democratic alternative put forward by the movement for a new university.
Maagdenhuis occupation, Amsterdam, February 27,2015. Guido van Nispen/Flickr. Some rights reserved.It has been two weeks since the first occupation of the Bungehuis, one of the main buildings of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The more recent occupation of UvA’s Senate House – the Maagdenhuis which was famously occupied back in 1969 –
The German government on Wednesday dismissed demands by the Greek prime minister for reparations for Nazi crimes committed during World War II. Speaking to the the Greek parliament on Tuesday, Tsipras had called for billions of euros in compensation. The Greek leader is once more going way out on a limb in the debt crisis, some commentators complain. Others praise Tsipras for holding up the mirror of history to Germany.
Iceland yesterday (12 March) announced it was dropping its bid to join the European Union, in line with pledges made by its Eurosceptic government after its election two years ago.
EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker complained Friday (13 March) about a lack of progress in talks on Greece’s bailout, but insisted there was no chance of a failure that could drive the country out of the eurozone.
Mr. Schäuble remains convinced that the peoples of Europe have given a mandate for financial austerity, which is favored by the German government. What gives Mr. Schäuble such certainty?
As we approach yet another climate summit this November, the question is: how can we reverse the continuing climate catastrophe over the next quarter-century?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel narrowly averted a far bigger rebellion last month on Greece’s bailout extension among her conservatives, many more of whom would have voted ‘Nein’ but for her finance minister’s powers of persuasion, lawmakers said.
The Home Office says that asylum seeker Aderonke Apata can’t be a lesbian as she has had children with a man. The new Solidarity with Aderonke Tumblr project tells a different story.
“Growth theory was invented to provide a systematic way to talk about and to compare equilibrium paths for the economy. In that task it succeeded reasonably well. In doing so, however, it failed to come to grips adequately with an equally important and interesting problem: the right way to deal with deviations from equilibrium growth……..if one looks at substantial more-than-quarterly departures from equilibrium growth……….. it is impossible to believe that the equilibrium growth path itself is unaffected by the short- to medium-run experience…….So a simultaneous analysis of trend and fluctuations really does involve an integration of long-run and short-run, or equilibrium and disequilibrium. “
Robert Solow, Nobel Acceptance Speech
With his proposal to create an EU army Jean-Claude Juncker has kicked off a debate about the Union’s security policy. The Commission president called on the weekend for the formation of a joint army in response to threats above all from Russia. Only as a single entity can Europe defend its values, some commentators concur. For others, strengthening Nato would be a more sensible reaction to Moscow’s power politics.
The finance ministers of the Eurozone will discuss Greece’s new reform proposals today, Monday. Sources close to the German government described the proposals as inadequate on the weekend. Some commentators call on Athens to stick to the rules and present concrete reforms. Others believe the country can only get back on its feet after a Grexit.
The ECB will launch its large-scale bond-buying progrramme on Monday. ECB chief Mario Draghi confirmed on Thursday that Greek bonds wouldn’t be included for the time being. The bank is smothering the Greek economy with this policy, some commentators criticise. Others argue that the ECB should never buy the bonds of a bankrupt state.
Despite the agreement with its creditors, the Greek government has questioned the repayment of government bonds and once again tabled the option of a debt cut. Athens’ irresponsible behaviour will have it thrown out of the Eurozone, some commentators fear. Others believe Greece is simply a good negotiator.
Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?
A new low for German-Greek relations?
Yesterday’s threat by Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos of the Independent Greeks to ‘flood’ Europe with refugees including potential IS members has arguably brought German-Greek relations to a new low.
The outcome of the Greek game depends on how Syriza sees itself in two possible futures: “Exit” or “Buckle”
Spain: A four-party country?
In light of the extraordinary rise of Podemos, it has been clear for some time that the next Spanish general elections will put an end to the country’s traditional two-party system. But the recent poll surge of another contender, the centrist party Ciudadanos, suggests Spain may be on course to become a four-party country. Our Southern Europe expert Vincenzo Scarpetta introduces Ciudadanos and looks at the potential implications of its ‘irruption’ on the Spanish national political scene.
Both in Cyprus and Iceland foreign funds flowed into the islands, in the end forcing the government to make use of extreme measures when the tide turned. These measures are normally called ‘capital controls’ which in these two cases hides the fact that the measures used are fundamentally different in all but name. In Iceland, the controls contain the effect of lacking foreign currency, effectively a balance of payment problem – in Cyprus, the controls were a way of defending banks against bank run, i.e. preventing depositors to move funds freely.
The basic tenets of Germany’s foreign policy – close partnership with France within a united Europe and a strong transatlantic alliance in terms of both security and economic cooperation – have withstood the test of time. But now Germany must address three key challenges: crisis management, the changing global order, and its position within Europe.
The Austrian parliament on Wednesday passed reforms to its Islam law, redefining the rights and obligations of Muslims living in the country. Among other things the law bans funding for Muslim communities from abroad. Vienna is attempting to establish a local brand of Islam, some commentators write approvingly. Others criticise the law for casting a shadow of suspicion over all Muslims.
The Eurozone’s finance ministers approved Athens’ reform programme on Tuesday. After the decision the creditors held out the prospect of extending the bailout payments until the end of June but demanded improvements to the proposals. For some commentators Greece has capitulated. Others write that the government now has a unique opportunity to reform the country.
The EU Commission on Wednesday reached its decision on the budgets of the member states. France will have until 2017 to deal with its problems, but still faces deficit proceedins, while Italy and Belgium have avoided such proceedings. Finally the EU has distanced itself from the strict austerity policy, some commentators write in approval. Others criticise Europe for double standards regarding crisis states.
Some European Union countries which withdrew their ambassadors from Syria are saying privately it is time for more communication with Damascus, even though Britain and France oppose it, diplomats said.
There are many ways to study the European Parliament. Votewatch.eu analyses roll call votes. Integritywatch.eu looks into side activities and side incomes of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). And political scientists study the European Parliament’s gender balance and many other topics that are of interest to wider or more limited audiences.
Greece secured a four-month extension of its financial rescue on Tuesday (24 February) when its eurozone partners approved a reform plan that backed down on key leftist measures and promised that spending to alleviate social distress would not derail its budget.
The opportunities and temptations of a newcomer among Germany’s political parties.
After the victory of the pro-Western Reform Party in Sunday’s national elections Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas is in talks with four parties about forming a government. He has ruled out a coalition with the Centre Party, which is widely regarded as pro-Russian and came second in the election. Commentators attribute the Centre Party’s good results to the social situation in the country and warn the government not to ignore the concerns of ethnic Russians.
Experts of the EU Commission, ECB and IMF will assess the list of reforms presented by the Greek government today, Tuesday. The euro finance ministers will then decide this afternoon whether to approve further bailout payments. But the devil is in the detail as regards the implementation of the reforms, commentators warn, and observe that Greece is worse off after the compromisewith its creditors than before.
Syriza’s worst capitulation so far?
It has now been confirmed that the Greek parliament will not get a formal vote on the extension of the financial assistance agreement with the Eurozone. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel asks whether this is another sign of Syriza moving from its election commitments – in this case democracy and transparency.
Yanis Varoufakis has said that he does not intend to back down from his rather high “red lines”. European leaders, and especially German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, are currently exploring just how true that is.