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Keyword: europeanunion

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  • Cameron looks to shield Britain from euro breakup

    05/16/2012 9:31:13 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed May 16, 2012 7:04pm EDT | Matt Falloon
    Prime Minister David Cameron will promise on Thursday to do whatever is needed to protect Britain's economy and banks from a breakup of the eurozone, and will urge leaders of the single currency bloc to "sort out its problems". Cameron's remarks, in a speech to business leaders in northwest England, are likely to irritate European leaders trying to keep the eurozone intact as Greece prepares for a new election and struggles to cope with its debt crisis. Britain's Conservative-led coalition has long blamed its own economic woes on the turbulence in Europe, its main trading partner, though critics say Cameron's...
  • Debt crisis: Greek euro exit looms closer as banks crumble

    05/16/2012 2:04:01 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 10 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/16/2012 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    A tsunami of capital flight from Greece threatens to overwhelm the authorities, forcing the country out of the euro before fresh elections in June. Economists warned that the Greek financial system could crumble within weeks or days unless the European Central Bank steps up support. President Karolos Papoulias told party leaders that banks had lost €700m in withdrawals on Monday alone as citizens rush to pre-empt capital controls and a much-feared return to the Drachma. He cited central bank warnings that "great fear" might soon escalate to panic. The leaked details lend credence to claims that capital flight by both...
  • Germany: Police officer speaks out about attack by 600 armed Muslims.

    05/16/2012 1:32:18 PM PDT · by yank in the UK · 7 replies
    Jihadwatch ^ | Nicolai Sennels
    Would anybody accept similar attacks and aggressiveness from the Right or Left wing protesters? These groups are also constantly provoked. Soccer fans, too. There are plenty of football fans who have an almost religious respect for their club. But Muslims are always forgiven for their violence.
  • Greeks withdraw $894 million in a day: Is this beginning of a run on banks?

    05/16/2012 9:18:05 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    MSNBC ^ | 05/16/2012 | Alastair Jamieson
    The country's economy is in a meltdown, raising fears that Greece will exit the Euro Zone completely and default on its huge pile of debt. Political leaders in Athens were due to discuss an emergency government Wednesday to deal with a possible run on banks as it emerged Greeks withdrew almost $900 million in a single day, fearing their country could crash out of the euro currency by the end of the week. An interim government would take the country through to new elections on June 17, triggered by the collapse on Tuesday of talks to form a coalition between...
  • 'Get rid of your Greek euros': Holiday company rebuffed over scaremongering euro warning

    05/15/2012 10:42:07 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | PUBLISHED: 07:45 EST, 15 May 2012 | UPDATED: 08:38 EST, 15 May 2012 | Travelmail Reporter
    An online travel company has advised worried holidaymakers to 'get rid' of their Greek euros in case the crisis-hit country leaves the single currency. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded for the first time that Greece could be forced to quit the euro, DialAFlight warned travelers that their Greek euro notes could become worthless. However, while some experts predict that Greece could leave the single currency within weeks, there has been no official acknowledgement that their euro notes would become worthless. The blog post on the company's website—which has since been removed—was advising Britons to check the origin of their...
  • Operation Self-Deceit: New Documents Shine Light on Euro Birth Defects

    05/15/2012 10:19:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | 05/08/2012 | Sven Böll, Christian Reiermann, Michael Sauga and Klaus Wiegrefe
    … Documents from the Kohl administration, kept confidential until now, indicate that the euro's founding fathers were well aware of its deficits. And that they pushed ahead with the project regardless. In response to a request by Spiegel, the German government has, for the first time, released hundreds of pages of documents from 1994 to 1998 on the introduction of the euro and the inclusion of Italy in the eurozone. They include reports from the German embassy in Rome, internal government memos and letters, and hand-written minutes of the chancellor's meetings. The documents prove what was only assumed until now:...
  • European Union forces attack pirate targets on Somali shore

    05/15/2012 4:20:19 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 19 replies
    CNN ^ | May 15th, 2012
    European Union naval forces on Tuesday struck Somali pirate targets on the coast of the country in the first raids by the European force on the Somali mainland. “We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates’ efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows," Rear Adm. Duncan Potts, operational commander of the force, said in a statement. Several pirate attack skiffs, the small boats pirates use to attack merchant vessels in the open ocean, were destroyed in the raid, said Timo Lange, media officer at the...
  • Appetiser cost of Greek exit is €155bn for Germany, France: trillions for meat course

    05/15/2012 1:23:23 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 10 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/15/2012 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    The Germans must abolish themselves Eric Dor's team at the IESEG School of Management in Lille has put together a table on the direct costs to Germany and France if Greece is pushed out of the euro. These assume that relations between Europe and Greece break down in acrimony, with a full-fledged "stuff-you" default on euro liabilities. It assumes a drachma devaluation of 50pc. They conclude: The total losses could reach €66.4bn for France and €89.8bn for Germany. These are upper bounds, but even in the case of a partial default, the losses would be huge. Assuming that the new...
  • EU ponders ‘losing Ukraine to Russia’

    05/15/2012 11:20:50 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 33 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 15 May 2012
    EU ministers held an animated discussion in Brussels yesterday (14 May), evaluating the risks of “losing Ukraine to Russia” if too much pressure is put on the country over the treatment of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Meeting over lunch to discuss Ukraine, the Union’s foreign ministers failed to adopt common positions, but agreed that more should be done to work with civil society in Ukraine to defuse a loss of confidence in the country’s European perspective. Diplomatic sources said ministers spoke openly about the risk that a tough line on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich would push the country...
  • EU takes aim at Israeli settlement products

    05/15/2012 11:06:01 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 2012.05.15 @ 09:22 | Andrew Rettman
    EU foreign ministers have "warned" Israel that they will take a tougher approach to exports originating in illegal settlements on Palestinian land. The ministers in a statement on Monday (14 May) detailing Israel's long-term campaign to expropriate Palestinian farmers in the fertile West Bank said: "The EU and its member states reaffirm their commitment to fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products." Under current EU law, settlement products are excluded from preferential import tariffs granted in the 12-year-old EU-Israel association agreement. Israel is obliged to indicate the originating postcode of each shipment,...
  • (EU Commissioner Cecila) Malmström: Europe "too cowardly" to confront homophobia

    05/15/2012 10:50:20 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 2012.05.15 @ 18:58 | Philip Ebels
    EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said Europe is "too cowardly" to stand up to mounting homophobia. "I must say that what is going on now, in recent years, makes me quite scared. We hear ... homophobic speeches and reports of violence against LGBTI people. What we are witnessing is not a society [moving] towards openness and tolerance. It is rather the opposite," she said at an event in Brussels on Tuesday (15 May), on the eve of the international day against homophobia on 17 May. "The main problem is the lack of people standing up for the values...
  • Greek president proposes a government of technocrats (after voting to end technocracy?!?)

    05/14/2012 1:14:32 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 14, 2012 | 12:56 pm | Anthee Carassava
    In the latest twist to Greece’s lingering political crisis, President Karolos Papoulias on Monday proposed a government of technocrats to stave off a repeat round of elections that could jeopardize the country’s fate in terms of the shared European currency. Papoulias pitched the proposal as coalition talks looked doomed and fears heightened that the political deadlock gripping Greece for a second week was setting up the cash-strapped country for a possible exit from the Eurozone, the 17 nations that use the euro. Stock markets across Europe were sharply down Monday morning. “The talks will continue tomorrow ... with the participation...
  • Eurozone finance ministers to meet amid Greek and Spanish crises

    05/14/2012 12:06:13 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 7:04AM BST 14 May 2012 | Andrew Trotman
    Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels today amid Greek political chaos and fears over the health of Spain's banking sector. Ministers from the 17 countries that make up the EuroGroup are to convene at 4pm GMT for talks that one senior EU official told the Wall Street Journal would be "very political". Events will be dominated by the ongoing problems in Greece, which once again failed to form a coalition government on Sunday. Talks in the country will continue today, but reportedly without Alexis Tsipras, the leader of far-left party Syriza. He has said he wants to keep Greece...
  • (EU-appointed PM Mario) Monti warns of tears in Italy's social fabric

    05/13/2012 11:24:01 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Reuters ^ | Sun May 13, 2012 2:56pm EDT | (Reporting By Gavin Jones; Editing by Maria Golovnina)
    Italy's social fabric is being torn by recession and tensions are growing among its citizens, Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Sunday. Speaking to a group of students in the central Italian town of Arezzo, Monti urged Italians to stick together and "not give up" in the face of a shrinking economy and rising unemployment. Monti's technocrat government has imposed painful austerity measures since taking office last year, and in recent days ministers have responded to calls from politicians and the media to show more compassion for the plight of ordinary Italians. "The country is now marked by profound social...
  • 'Unique' EU research project to help detect social problems

    05/12/2012 10:43:30 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 08.05.12 @ 11:56 (May 8) | Philip Ebels
    A new pan-European research project is aiming to connect the archives of Europe’s many libraries, universities and other public institutions in the hope of gaining a better understanding of how society is evolving. "Researchers will be able to access all those different archives from behind a single computer," says Steven Krauwer, linguistics researcher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and coordinator of the Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure—or CLARIN. Thanks to advanced language recognition technology, they will be able to carry out complicated searches and include things like emotional indicators. “Not only will you be able to search for...
  • EU should keep out of innovation's way, Wikipedia founder says

    05/12/2012 10:37:20 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 08.05.12 @ 19:57 (May 8) | Philip Ebels
    To encourage innovation in Europe, policymakers should just keep out of the way, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said. "I agree with the idea of streamlining and simplification. The only thing is that I would be much more extreme," he told EUobserver on Tuesday (8 May) on the sidelines of a conference in Brussels on EU innovation policy organized by global accounting firm Ernst & Young. "The most important thing that Europe needs to do to spur innovation is to eliminate barriers," he added. "To make it easier for investors and entrepreneurs to start businesses and to make it easier...
  • Obama: EU failed to take 'decisive steps' in crisis

    05/12/2012 3:12:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 11 May 2012 | (EurActiv.com with Reuters)
    US President Barack Obama said on Thursday (10 May) that Europe was still in a difficult place economically in part because it did not take some of the steps the United States did. These had included a large-scale fiscal stimulus program and aggressive action by the Federal Reverve, the US central bank. Addressing about 70 people at a fundraiser in Seattle, Obama said Europe's troubles were among the factors that could affect US growth, also mentioning high gasoline prices as a potential economic drag. "We've still got headwinds. Europe is still … in a difficult state, partly because they didn't...
  • MEPs criticize behavior of (European) low-cost airlines

    05/12/2012 1:15:39 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    European Voice ^ | 10.05.2012 / 15:11 CET (May 10) | Dave Keating
    MEPs today (10 May) voted to condemn low-cost airlines, such as Easyjet and Ryanair, for “aggressive business practices” that hurt the regional airports they operate out of. MEPs said such behavior breaches EU competition law. The resolution, drafted by Philip Bradbourn, a UK Conservative MEP, says that excessive booking fees and hand-luggage restrictions are discouraging travelers from buying goods in smaller regional airports. The resolution calls on the European Commission and member states to impose caps on charges for excess baggage, and for a common upper weight limit to be set. …
  • Euro Parity With the Dollar? US, China Better Watch Out

    05/11/2012 11:55:39 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    Financial Times via CNBC ^ | Saturday, 12 May 2012 | 1:56 AM ET | Henny Sender
    The situation in the eurozone has become so bleak that it is giving rise to the most improbable rumors. The latest to make the rounds of European hedge fund managers suggests that the euro will be tied to the dollar at close to parity, a dramatic fall from its current level of just under $1.30 and one that would involve the printing of hundreds of billions of euros. However unlikely, the speculation is an indication of Europe’s plight in a world with little growth and every government looking at exports as a way to grow. A cheap currency giving an...
  • 'CLUB MED' SOCIALISM SEALS EUROPE'S FATE

    05/11/2012 4:51:49 AM PDT · by lward99 · 9 replies
    Times247 ^ | 05/11/12 | Jeff Kuhner
    The European Union is about to crack up. Its disintegration is now inevitable. This is the real meaning of recent elections in France and Greece. French voters decided to oust President Nicolas Sarkozy, choosing the Socialist Party’s candidate Francois Hollande. The result was predictable, and in some ways deserved. The conservative incumbent came to power in 2007 promising economic reform, overhauling France’s bloated welfare state and cracking down on illegal immigrants. Instead, Mr. Sarkozy piled up record deficits, imposed massive tax hikes and oversaw the loss of France’s triple-A credit rating. The French economy became subservient to Germany, dependent upon...
  • Chinese sovereign wealth fund stops buying European government debt

    05/10/2012 11:29:16 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 6:49PM BST 10 May 2012 | Louise Armitstead
    The eurozone has lost a crucial lifeline as China's biggest sovereign wealth fund said it no longer wanted to buy European government debt. Amid resurgent political and financial crisis in Spain and Greece, Gao Ziqing, head of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), said the $440-billion (£273 billion) fund was "looking at opportunities in Europe" but added: "We don't want to buy any government bonds." Eurozone leaders have tried to attract investors from Asia to help mop up excess sovereign debt. Both China and Japan have been supportive in the past, in part because Europe is one of their biggest export...
  • Greek turmoil deepens Europe's debt crisis

    05/10/2012 4:28:26 PM PDT · by John W · 7 replies
    msnbc.com ^ | May 10, 2012 | John W. Schoen
    The deepening political turmoil in Greece has begun reverberating throughout the global financial markets as Athens’ failure to form a government last weekend threatens to further undermine the battered European economy and banking system. Two years after European leaders began engineering a bailout for the debt-laden Greek government in return for deep spending cuts, the grand plan to cement the widening cracks in Europe’s common currency appears to have collapsed. There is no Plan B. "Greece is an unguided missile launched from the middle of the eurozone," said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. “How, when and where...
  • (EU) Commission calls for 'third industrial revolution'

    05/09/2012 8:38:21 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 09 May 2012
    Following the election of French socialist President François Hollande, the European Commission has tacked firmly towards the growth agenda and called for a new industrial revolution for Europe. After an anti-austerity backlash by voters in Greece and France on Sunday (6 May), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy called yesterday (8 May) an informal summit of EU leaders for May 23 to discuss the growth agenda. The informal dinner on May 23 will lay the ground for another meeting on June 28-29 when leaders are to take formal decisions on their growth and budget consolidation strategy. "The debate of consolidation...
  • MEPs divided on whether to punish EU agencies

    05/09/2012 3:44:36 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 09.05.12 @ 18:09 | Valentina Pop
    MEPs on Thursday (10 May) are to vote whether to punish three EU agencies for having used public money for questionable purposes and for tolerating conflicts of interest in top management. Political considerations and intense lobbying may change the outcome of the vote, however."There is a lot of lobbying around these agencies. People from the industries and agencies are very powerful and they talk to some of my colleagues," Romanian center-right MEP Monica Macovei told journalists on Tuesday. In charge of looking at how 24 independent EU agencies are spending their budget, Macovei, a long-standing anti-corruption campaigner, has recommended for...
  • Corruption report highlights political party funding in EU countries

    05/09/2012 3:23:23 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 09.05.12 @ 18:15 (May 9) | Nikolaj Nielsen
    European nations are not doing enough to fight corruption and bribery, according to an annual report released on Wednesday (9 May) by the Council of Europe (CoE). In the EU alone, corruption costs an estimated €120 billion annually. The CoE's group of states against corruption (GRECO), which acts as a peer review system producing reports and recommendations on different aspects of each member's efforts to fight corruption, says members need to increase transparency of political funding. In April, GRECO requested Italy to clean up its act, citing a gross lack of transparency throughout its party funding structure. "The control performed...
  • Cameron says Euro needs single government: report

    05/08/2012 11:44:25 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 25 replies
    Reuters ^ | Tue May 8, 2012 10:17pm EDT | (Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Christopher Wilson)
    A successful eurozone requires a single government if it is to work properly, British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday. "There's nowhere in the world that has a single currency without having more of a single government," Cameron told Britain's Daily Mail. "Making sense of the euro for me would mean that those eurozone countries would have to have much more coordinated economic policy, much more coordinated debt policy," he said. Cameron, who opted out of a new European economic pact late last year, advocated Britain's position outside the euro and its ability "to do...
  • EU tells defiant Iran it "must" suspend atom activity

    05/07/2012 5:19:29 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon May 7, 2012 2:29pm EDT | Fredrik Dahl and Justyna Pawlak
    The European Union told Iran on Monday it must suspend uranium enrichment, a few days after the Islamic state ruled out doing just that, as Tehran and the West engaged in diplomatic shadow-boxing ahead of nuclear talks this month. The United States called on Iran to take "urgent practical steps" to build confidence during negotiations with world powers on Tehran's nuclear program, which Washington and its allies suspect is a bid to develop an atomic bomb capability. Iran, attending an international conference in Vienna alongside its Western foes, for its part accused the United States of supporting Israel's atomic activities....
  • French and Greek elections 'have overthrown Angela Merkel as dominant force'

    05/07/2012 4:58:49 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 32 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 3:53PM BST 07 May 2012 | Our Foreign Staff
    French and Greek elections have overthrown Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, as the dominant force in European politics, newspapers in Germany have concluded. "The hour of the extremists," warned Handelsblatt, Germany's financial newspaper, predicting that the defeat of pro-EU austerity parties in Greek elections will bring "an unparalleled political upheaval". … In an editorial, the newspaper warned that Greece could bring "political chaos" to Europe. … Writing about their French neighbors, Süddeutsche Zeitung says: "Goodbye election campaign—bonjour reality." … Die Welt sees the French and Greek vote as interlinked, spelling "the rejection of Merkel's system in Europe". In an editorial,...
  • Germany says renegotiating EU pact “not possible”

    05/07/2012 4:35:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 05/07/2012 | (AFP)
    The German government on Monday ruled out reworking the European Union's fiscal pact despite calls to do so by French president-elect François Hollande. "It is not possible to renegotiate the fiscal pact," government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference. He noted that 25 of the 27 EU member states had already signed the accord imposing strict budgetary discipline in March after major wrangling. Hollande has called for a shift in strategy toward more growth-oriented measures including more public spending. But Seibert said Merkel would not accept "deficit spending" to feed economic expansion, and believed in "growth through structural...
  • Stock futures hit after European elections

    05/06/2012 6:29:24 PM PDT · by Libloather · 17 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 5/06/12
    Stock futures hit after European electionsReuters – 1 hr 29 mins ago NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock index futures fell after Greek voters trounced ruling parties in elections on Sunday, a result that put the country's future in the euro zone at risk, and as Socialist candidate Francois Hollande won the French presidency. S&P 500 futures were down 12.3 points at 1,350.20 at 7:35 p.m. EDT (2335 GMT), suggesting a fall of about 1 percent when the U.S. stock market opens on Monday.
  • EU's Olli Rehn signals end of 'Merkozy' austerity drive

    05/05/2012 10:56:16 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 6 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/5/2012 | Emily Gosden
    The European Union's top economic official has called for a new European investment pact, in the latest sign Brussels is preparing to reconcile Angela Merkel's austerity drive with the growth agenda of French presidential favourite François Hollande. Olli Rehn - European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, made the call in a speech on "restoring growth in Europe", on the eve of Sunday's French presidential election. Mr Hollande remains favourite to oust Nicolas Sarkozy, curtailing the "Merkozy" partnership that has so far steered Europe's drive for austerity. Officials are preparing for Mr Hollande...
  • EU: Just how dangerous is the socialist hand-grenade Francois Hollande?

    05/05/2012 5:37:35 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 12 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/5/2012 | Louise Armitstead
    Despite Nicolas Sarkozy’s “rottweiler” performance in the televised debate on Wednesday, the pollsters are still convinced that by Sunday night France will have a new president. Mr Hollande has also called for the role of the ECB to be expanded, allowing it to lend directly to the sinner states Mr Sarkozy had pledged to “decimate” François Hollande but the “soft socialist” stood firm. Barring a volte face by more than 1.5m French voters, the Élysée Palace will have its first socialist incumbent for 30 years. Mr Hollande has pledged to spend €20bn (£16.2bn), lower the retirement age, and raise taxes...
  • Greece: 'Totalitarian ideologies on the rise among young Greek voters'

    05/05/2012 3:39:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | Friday, May 4, 2012 | Jannis Papadimitriou, ed. by Nicole Goebel
    In the elections on May 6, the main political parties in Greece are expecting major losses. The protest parties who are against austerity cuts may well profit from that. Manolis Mavrommatis is a textbook election candidate: in the 1980s he was already a well-known face on Greek televion as a sports reporter. His rapid delivery on live broadcasts endeared him among football fans and earned him the nickname "Manolo." Later Mavrommatis gained political experience as a member of the European Parliament in Brussels. Now, Mavrommatis is running as a candidate for New Democracy (ND), Greece's major conservative party, in the...
  • Child-proof the Internet or face regulation, warns EU Commission

    05/05/2012 1:59:38 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 03.05.12 @ 17:52 (May 3) | Benjamin Fox
    The European Commission has threatened to table a comprehensive set of child internet safety rules if the software industry fails to self-regulate to protect children online. Unveiling its "European strategy for a better internet for children' on Wednesday (2 May), the Commission said that with 75% of children regularly accessing the web, targeted measures were needed to protect them online and improve digital literacy. Among its proposals, the EU executive has called on the IT industry to draw-up an EU-wide mechanism allowing children to report harmful content, age-appropriate privacy settings, and make stricter use of age rating to prevent children...
  • Europe faces 3 national elections on 'Super Sunday'

    05/05/2012 1:51:47 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 04 May 2012 | Georgi Gotev, Marie Herbet, Smiljana Vukojčić, Yannis Roubatis
    On Sunday (6 May), the French will elect a new president, the Greeks will hold general elections, and EU hopeful Serbia will designate their new president, Parliament and local authorities. The stakes appear high not only for the individual countries concerned but also for Europe as a whole. In France, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing likely defeat against Socialist contender François Hollande, who has a comfortable lead of at least five percentage points in several opinion polls. A debate between the two contenders on Wednesday night, watched live by more than a third of the electorate, was seen as...
  • From Merkozy to Merkonti after the French poll?

    05/05/2012 1:42:09 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 04 May 2012
    If François Hollande wins the French presidential elections on Sunday, Italy can help forge a rebalancing of the Franco-German couple, especially after Angela Merkel yesterday (3 May) said Europe needs “political courage and creativity rather than billions of euro,” reports EurActiv Italy. “It is important that we break with the idea that growth always costs a lot of money and must be the result of expensive stimulus programs,” Merkel said in an interview due to be published on Wednesday in Hamburg’s Abendblatt newspaper. She added that the eurozone’s recovery would depend on rebuilding national finances as well as structural reforms...
  • (European Central Bank president Mario) Draghi: Euro countries to lose even more sovereignty

    05/04/2012 1:18:51 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 04.05.12 @ 07:13 | Valentina Pop
    European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi has urged eurozone leaders to come up with a 10-year target for the common currency, saying they should accept more transfer of powers if they truly want a fiscal union. Held exceptionally in Barcelona instead of the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, the monthly meeting of eurozone's central bank governing council on Thursday (3 May) was an opportunity for Draghi to explain what he meant last week when he said a "growth compact" is needed along with the deficit-cutting measures taken by most governments. "There is absolutely no contradiction between a growth compact and...
  • Greek elections to usher in anti-bailout parties

    05/04/2012 1:07:35 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 04.05.12 @ 09:29 (May 4) | Valentina Pop
    Greece's two main parties are set for heavy losses in Sunday's (6 May) elections, with anti-bailout groups on the extreme left and right to enter parliament for the first time, raising again the prospect of an exit from the eurozone. Public anger at the austerity measures linked to the second, €130-billion-strong bailout package could translate into a new Parliament unable to form a ruling coalition and a new round of elections being called in the next months. Observers expect the ruling center-right New Democracy and the center-left Pasok parties to come in first and second, but it is unclear whether...
  • EU seeks US help to fight cyber criminals

    05/04/2012 12:54:36 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 02.05.12 @ 18:23 (May 5) | Nikolaj Nielsen
    The EU wants to work closer with the United States' Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to help plug gaps on protection against cyber crime—a sector worth €388 billion a year in illegal revenue worldwide. "To overcome this growing global threat, EU-US cooperation is not a choice, but a necessity," EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmström told US officials and policy experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday (2 May). "I am convinced that in the coming months and years we will be able to report back to our citizens on many...
  • Eurozone unemployment hits new record

    05/03/2012 8:48:10 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 02.05.12 @ 15:43 | Honor Mahony
    There was more grim news for the 17-nation eurozone on Wednesday (2 May) as new figures showed that the unemployment rate reached 10.9 percent in March with a further 169,000 people losing their jobs compared to February. The figure—translating into 17.4 million looking for work in the eurozone and the highest rate since the euro's introduction in 1999—is up from 10.8 percent in February of this year and 9.9 percent in March 2011. The highest jobless rate was recorded in Spain—currently battling for a sharp reduction in its budget deficit—at 24.1 percent, followed by bailout countries Greece (21.7 percent in...
  • [Former Pres.] Yulia Tymoshenko: Germany threatens to block EU-Ukraine trade deal

    05/02/2012 11:55:49 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 2 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/2/2012 | Tom Parfitt, Moscow and Bruno Waterfield
    Germany has warned it could block a political and trade deal between the European Union and Ukraine if there is no resolution to the growing furore over alleged maltreatment of Yulia Tymoshenko. Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister said on Wednesday that Berlin was prepared to scupper Kiev’s “association agreement” with the EU if Mrs Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s former prime minister, is not allowed adequate medical care. “We Germans say it cannot be ratified if conditions for the rule of law are not also clearly kept to,” he said in a television interview. The comments came as Austria and Holland announced...
  • Permit glut sparks talk of ‘carbon central bank’ (in EU)

    05/02/2012 11:43:31 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 02 May 2012 | EurActiv.com with Reuters
    Analysts say that any one-off EU clearing of the massive glut of carbon permits now clogging the Emissions Trading System (ETS) is likely to lead to a ‘central bank' or other policy tool to manage future imbalances. But the European Commission is cautious about entrenching such a mechanism in the ETS, which is the bloc's chief weapon to fight climate change. Figures released today (2 May) show that 254 million carbon offsets worth around €2.6 billion were used in 2011, an 85% increase on 2010, despite statistics showing that the EU emissions continue to fall, due to recession. Companies are...
  • Yalta summit divides Europe, again

    05/02/2012 11:38:01 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 02 May 2012
    A summit of the presidents of Central European countries due in Yalta, Ukraine, on 11-12 May, will be attended by some EU leaders and boycotted by others, EurActiv has learned. Ironically, Yalta is a symbol of the division of Europe during the Cold War, following the February 1945 meeting there between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. At least four EU countries will boycott the Black Sea resort meeting. German media reported on 26 April that the country's new President Joachim Gauck canceled a trip to Ukraine this month amid worries about the health of imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Then Czech...
  • Brussels to push for EU-wide minimum wage

    05/02/2012 11:33:58 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 17 April 2012
    The European Commission will propose tomorrow (18 April) introducing a minimum salary in countries like Germany where it does not exist yet, and raise wages where they are considered too low, according to a draft seen by EurActiv. Having a job is not a recipe against poverty in Europe. Indeed, more than 8% of European workers live with salaries that keep them below the poverty threshold, EU figures show. “The risk of in-work poverty is high, particularly in countries with uneven earnings distribution and low minimum wages, among people with temporary contracts and in low work intensity and single parent...
  • Analysis: Nicolas Sarkozy's miracle is nowhere to be seen at Paris debate

    05/02/2012 4:57:32 PM PDT · by Cincinna · 27 replies
    The Telegraph UK ^ | 5/3/12 | Benedict Brogan, Paris
    Nicolas Sarkozy needed a miracle last night to head off a defeat that looks increasingly inevitable. A marathon, at times violent debate with Francois Hollande was his chance to knock the challenger off his increasingly confident stride. But despite some brutal exchanges, he failed to produce a killer blow. Twenty million people were expected to tune in for a contest that lasted nearly three hours and was broadcast on all networks. It was a real debate, the presenters reduced to mute timekeepers as the candidates knocked spots off each other. There was no quarter given. Mr Sarkozy called his opponent...
  • Parliament paves way for EU human rights 'czar'

    05/02/2012 11:30:19 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 19 April 2012
    The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly yesterday (18 April) to change the future direction of the EU's human rights policy and pave the way for a new position of "human rights czar". The report's author, British Labour MEP Richard Howitt (Socialists & Democrats), said the EU had finally "filled the gap" with the United States and would no longer lack the authority to make its case heard whenever human rights are violated across the globe—be it in Iraq, Syria or Burma. "Europe was negotiating improved trade terms with Gaddafi just four weeks before we started dropping bombs on him, and it...
  • 'Lay down the red flag and serve France' Nicolas Sarkozy tells his country's militant unions

    05/01/2012 7:53:39 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 15 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/1/2012 | Henry Samuel in Paris
    Nicolas Sarkozy told his country's militant unions to "lay down the red flag and serve France" yesterday as he used his final mass rally before Sunday's presidential vote to counter the traditional May Day show of force by the Left. Despite polls suggesting François Hollande is heading for a clear victory in Sunday's run-off, Mr Sarkozy gave a defiant performance in front of the Eiffel Tower, warning France of the consequences of voting for a Socialist presidency. Warning that the Left was stuck in an outdated class war that pits "workers against bosses", Mr Sarkozy told an estimated crowd of...
  • Salafists Attack German Police at Far-Right Rally

    05/01/2012 6:07:55 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    Radical Islamists attacked police in the western German city of Solingen on Tuesday in protest of a far-right demonstration where anti-Islamic cartoons had been put on display. Some 30 Salafists were arrested after injuring three police officers and a passerby by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners, police said. Pro NRW, categorized as an extremist right-wing group by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, had staged a demonstration near a Salafist mosque in Solingen. The violence erupted when Pro NRW demonstrators showed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. One of his drawings was among...
  • As Europe's Most Pathological Liar Departs, Questions About Europe's Band-Aid Union Reemerge

    05/01/2012 6:11:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Zero Hedge ^ | 04/30/2012 20:28 -0400 | Tyler Durden
    We doubt many tears will be shed over the now official departure of Europe's most embarrassing political figurehead: the head of the Euro-area finance ministers, one Jean-Claude Juncker, whose presence did more documented damage to the credibility of Europe than... well, we would say virtually anyone else, but then again since everyone else in the European pantheon is a shining example of DSM IV-level sociopathology, we are kinda stuck. But anyway: Juncker is finally gone; "he’s tired of Franco-German interference in managing the region’s debt crisis." And while the decision was known for a while, the ultimate catalyst is rather...
  • Is Europe Sailing on the Titanic?

    05/01/2012 2:34:38 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 10 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | May 1, 2012 | Pat Buchanan
    U.S. growth in the first quarter fell to 2.2 percent, a disappointment. But in Europe, that news would have caused general rejoicing. For consider the gathering crisis on the old continent. With negative growth now for six months, Britain has fallen back into recession. "I don't think we're anywhere near halfway through the eurozone crisis," said Prime Minister David Cameron this weekend. Romania's government fell last week. The Czech government barely survived a vote of no confidence. In the capital cities of both countries, tens of thousands have angrily protested the new austerity. The Dutch government also fell last week,...