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Archives by Tag 'European Union'
A World Record for Chutzpah
URI AVNERY
I DON’T know if the Guinness Book of World Records has a special section for Chutzpah. If it does not, it should. That’s the one competition where we might take home a few gold medals. The first one would surely go to Binyamin Netanyahu. ...
Back to a Feudal Europe
SERGE HALIMI
Are the economic policies needed to maintain the euro still compatible with democracy? Greece’s state broadcaster was established after the fall of the military dictatorship. Last month the Greek government (which is implementing EU injunctions) decided to shut it down ...
Wrecking the Welfare State in Secret
DAVID CRONIN
A golden staircase greets guests to De Warande, an exclusive club in central Brussels.  Built in the late eighteenth century, this mansion was acquired in 1907 by François Empain, a banker who helped his royal chum Leopold II loot the Congo.  With its historical associ...
The US and the Euro Crisis
MARK WEISBROT
The eurozone recession is now the longest on record for the single currency area, according to official statistics released last week, as the economy shrank again in the first quarter of this year. A comparison with the U.S. economy may shed some light on how such a profo...
Will EU Sanctions Once Again Target the Civilian Population of Syria?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut. Under withering pressure from Washington and the UK, the European Union, is meeting this week to decide whether to increase the pressure on the Syrian public by repealing the March 2011 arms embargo that was intended to prohibit arms shipments to S...
Eminent Europeans: Drop the Oslo Peace Process
PETER BELMONT
What we’re doing in the Middle East isn’t working. In fact, it’s making things worse. That’s the upshot of a letter from a group of 19 prominent Europeans to the E.U.’s top foreign policy official, Lady Catherine Ashton. The former officials, drawing on ...
Eurozone in Crisis
TOM McNAMARA
“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” – Robert Graves, I Claudius Rennes, France. Things are bad in the European Union (EU). Just how bad you ask? They are so bad that the unelected ...
Wall Street’s Role in the Crisis in Cyprus
ROB URIE
Recent events in Cyprus, the seizure of bank deposits to affect bailouts of large private banks and the implementation of capital controls to limit the rate at which remaining bank deposits can be moved out of the country, suggest the global banking crisis widely presente...
The Insanity of Austerity
TOM McNAMARA
Nightmare and insanity are akin. Mysterious and involuntary states that skew and distort objective reality One wakens from nightmare. From insanity there is no awakening. “Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machin...
A Brief History of Superpowers
WILLIAM BLUM
From the Congress of Vienna of 1815 to the Congress of Berlin in 1878 to the “Allies” invasion of Russia in 1918 to the formation of what became the European Union in the 1950s, the great powers of Europe and the world have gotten together in grand meeting hal...
The New Tyros of the Eurozone
DEAN BAKER
The eurozone crisis countries still have not developed a workable strategy for countering the policies being imposed by the troika — the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF and the European Union. Their main problem is not profligate government spending, as fans of dat...
A Nobel Laureate on the Degeneration of the Peace Prize
MAIREAD MAGUIRE
Belfast. Alfred Nobel was a visionary who believed in a demilitarized peaceful world.  In his Will he left his Nobel peace prize to those who would work for ‘fraternity among nations’,’abolition or reduction of standing armies’, and ‘holding and...
Nobel Rot
BINOY KAMPMARK
Melbourne. One wonders whether having a peace prize makes an assumption about redundancy and diminishment in advance. Ever year, the arguments seem to mount.  This year, the choice of the European Union being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize struck ...
An Immodest Proposal for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee
DIANA JOHNSTONE and JEAN BRICMONT
The Norwegian parliamentarians have just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.  Now, Norway is one of the few Western European countries that does not belong to the EU.  So we suspect that the Norwegians’ modesty held them back from nominating the org...
Canada’s Free Trade Debacle
MURRAY DOBBIN
Stephen Harper’s no-longer-secret agenda to implement a revolution from the right and dismantle Canada has one major impediment that must really stick in his craw. He is constrained in what he can do by the constitutional division of powers which gives the provinces so ...
Why We Still Need the Council of Europe
FABIO LIBERTI
The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, is probably Europe’s most misunderstood organisation. Even well-informed people confuse it with the European Council — the periodic gathering of European Union (EU) heads of state or government — and with the Council of th...
The Euro is Not in Trouble; the People Are
VINCENT NAVARRO
One of the phrases frequently written in economic circles in the United States (and to a lesser degree in Europe) is “the Euro is going to collapse.” Those who repeat that phrase over and over again do not seem to know how the Euro was established, by whom, and for wh...
How Far is the ECB Really Prepared to Go to Save the Euro?
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Re-reading Mr Draghi’s market-moving remarks earlier this week, one gains a sense that the European Central Bank chief recognizes that the ECB has a banking run on their hand. Most market participants have understandably focused on Mr Draghi’s pledge that the ...
Austerity, Growth and Germany’s Europe Policy
JENNY O'CONNOR
A major qualm many have with the Fiscal Compact is the implication underlying it that sensible and frugal wealthy European countries such as Germany must get the irresponsible and spendthrift indebted countries to sign up to a set of guarantees before handing them more mo...
Why None of Europe’s Attempts to Save Itself Will Work
XIMENA ORTIZ
Even if the Greek and other European publics are seen capitulating to the whims of elites for the moment, that deference will probably not last. The Greek people appear to have been spooked into falling into line, by the barest margin, with a bailout package. But througho...
How the Euro Might be Derailed
MARSHALL AUERBACK
The European financial officials are preparing their policy package to deal with the current crisis for the meeting scheduled next week. It is not clear whether any of the proposals will be able to stop the ongoing bank run. Here are some of the rumored proposals: ...
The Euro and the Parthenon
BINOY KAMPMARK
The atmosphere on the hills of the Acropolis after the Sunday elections has an immemorial flavour, scented with a certain resignation.  Grape vines cascade over the restaurants of Minissikleous street with tempting promise.  The bouzouki players gather with ease and laz...
Caution Wins the Day in Greece
PATRICK COCKBURN
The Greek election produced a knife-edge result yesterday, with the establishment parties snatching victory in a narrow race. “The Greek people voted today to stay on the European course and remain in the eurozone … there will be no more adventures, Greece&...
The Dow of the G20
VIJAY PRASHAD
In quick succession, the World Leaders shall gather, first at Los Cabos (Mexico) for the G20 summit and then at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Frantic discussions are being held by the sherpas, the bureaucrats whose task...
Economic Karma in Greece?
R. G. DAVIS
If the Greeks with some effort and success will say No to austerity then Syriza and Tsipras might have a good handle on the Banks and the EU. The Banks are necessarily caught in the grip of fright. and their own contradictions — they may have to bail out Greece. If ...
Europe Moves Closer to Banktatorship
MIKE WHITNEY
Yields on 10-year Treasuries plunged to a record-low 1.56 percent on Thursday morning as panicky investors stormed out of European financial assets into German and U.S. government bonds.  Deteriorating credit conditions, a flurry of ratings downgrades, and bank runs ...
Another One Bites the Dust
MARSHALL AUERBACK
It might seem strange to invoke Freddie Mercury and Queen in the context of the eurozone, but it’s the first thought that springs to mind, as Brussels and the increasingly hapless ECB, continue to mismanage their way to financial and economic catastrophe. Yesterday, the...
Greece and Our Illusions
SAMIR SONTI
While it may be premature to speculate on the legacy left by the various social upheavals that have occurred since early-2011, the electoral tide sweeping across Europe offers additional evidence that something fundamental is happening. In Greece and France, vote...
Failing Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“Austerity has failed because Greek society has been destroyed, the production base has been dissolved. Our country has been in a deep recession for five consecutive years. This has never happened in Europe in peacetime.” –Alexis Tsipr...
Graveyard Humor in Belgrade
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Paris Since graveyard humor is a Serbian specialty, it seems appropriate that Serbs just played a little joke on everybody by electing a former undertaker as President. In the May 20 runoff, affable former funeral home manager Tomislav Nikolic won s...
The Age of Competing Nationalities
PATRICK COCKBURN
The crises in Europe and the Middle East are very different but they are beginning to cross-infect each other, creating a general mood of uncertainty and fear. In the Middle East, the Arab Spring was at first seen as wholly positive, as dictatorships and police states tum...
Why America is Doomed to One Disaster After Another
GABRIEL KOLKO
Both Europe and the United States confront great crises; while they are different in certain regards they have important similarities too.  America’s crisis is both military and economic; they are interrelated because America has a huge deficit, in large part be...
We’re All Greeks Now
ROB URIE
One of the joys of being American is that every new day is a clean slate—no history, no memories, no experiences, a complete blank. This may help explain why our national conversations serve their intended purposes while being entirely content-free. Newsflash to self-de...
Austerity Backlash
JACK RANDOM
The countries that are doing very well in Europe are the Scandinavian countries. Denmark is different from Sweden, Sweden is different from Norway – but they all have strong social protection and they are all growing. The argument ...
As the Mutiny Spreads, It’s Clear: Europeans Have Had Enough!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Watch Europe tip left and right as voters rise in fury against the austerity menu that’s been bringing them to utter ruin. In Holland, the right-wing Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders brought down the governing coalition on Monday bellowing his defiance for the  ̶...
The Meaning of “Austerity Measures”
MIKE WHITNEY
The eurozone is slipping into a recession that could have been avoided. Had policymakers provided fiscal support for stricken countries in the South and guarantees on their government bonds, (as the USG does for US Treasuries) then their economies could have continued t...
Disillusion With the Euro and Europe
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Democratic elections in the NATO member states serve one clear purpose. They contribute to the self-satisfaction concerning “our values” needed to justify military intervention in the imperfect internal affairs of other countries.  But do the citizens really decide p...
No Exit in EU
JEFFREY SOMMERS
Peter Praet, Chief Economist of the European Central Bank, defended the ECB’s policies at Levy Institute’s annual Minsky meeting at the Ford Foundation this past week in New York that. In his remarks, he retreaded the EU’s wheels with the same rhetoric of inflation ...
What Could Have Happened in Spain
VICENTE NAVARRO
There are some misconceptions that exist about Spain among large sectors of the progressive community in the United States.  Partially this is a result of the very poor coverage that exists about Europe in general and about Spain in particular in the press in the U.S.  ...
Saudi Arabia’s Free Pass
SERGE HALIMI
Saudi Arabia’s record is no better than Iran’s when it comes to respect for human rights. Yet the international community always manages to overlook the Wahhabi monarchy. Could this be connected with Saudi Arabia’s status as top oil-producing country and trusted all...
Greece Throws in the Towel, Bows to German Jackboot
PATRICK COCKBURN
Greeks expect to agree a deal with the Eurozone leaders today, Monday, that will cede much of their country’s independence. Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everythin...
The Turkish Riddle
PATRICK COCKBURN
Istanbul In the tea houses of Istanbul the mood is generally optimistic as customers listen to the news of the European economic crisis. “Turkey doesn’t need Europe,” says one tea drinker. “Look at Greece – it was inside th...
Will Turkey Join Sick Men of Europe?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Are the Turks seeing the Ottoman Empire reborn or are they going to be the next victims of economic chaos in Europe and political turmoil in the Middle East? Is Turkey about to pay a price for the overconfidence bred by a decade that brought it triumphant success while it...
GMO’s Move Out
IGNACIO CHAPELA
This week BASF announced that it is moving its GMOs out of Europe. Will the English-speaking media lose its nerve and write about it? Based on past experience, my wager goes to the habitual policy of silence, and I expect that the news will continue all but unrecorded in ...
Vulture Funds Profit Off Greek Misery
NICK DEARDEN
The hamstrung negotiations over a new Greek bail-out recommence tomorrow with little sign of resolution. As the Greek economy suffers from rapidly rising unemployment and debt levels, and its people experience rises in rates of suicide, murder and HIV, big profits still s...
The $600 Billion Ripoff
MIKE WHITNEY
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is either a liar or a fool.  Either way, he should be canned immediately before he dumps more money into an EU banking system sinkhole. What’s all the fuss about? Here’s a clip from Bloomberg that explains...
Draghi’s Real Goal in the Eurozone
MIKE WHITNEY
Imagine if your banker offered to lend you a $150,000 to make up for the money that you’d lost on your home since the housing bubble burst in 2006. And, let’s say, he agreed to lend you this money for 3 years at rock-bottom rates of 1 percent provided that you...
The ECB’s High Wire Act
DEAN BAKER
At this point the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is almost getting boring. We’ve seen the same script played out over and over with country after country. The basic story is the markets begin a run on the debt of a country: Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain etc. The...
Greece in Chaos
NOËLLE BURGI
“Who knows what tomorrow will bring?” people ask in Athens, Salonika and right across Greece. There’s a sense of collective imprisonment, individual uncertainty and impending catastrophe. Yet Greece has had a turbulent history, and the Greeks have always...
Why Euro Plan Is Doomed to Fail
GABRIEL KOLKO
There are extremely important differences between this decade and the period after the First World War and through the early 1930s. The most crucial is that no fascist or Communist or revolutionary threats exist now if the great economic powers do not meet the econ...