looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Brussels”

The War Against Islamic Terror After Paris

The vacuums left by the United States have benefited the most violent and sectarian elements of the region, fueling civil conflict and allowing the Islamic State to expand its territorial reach. Although al Qaeda in Iraq was defeated, the failure to address the country’s underlying issues allowed IS — the son of AQI — to emerge.

Read Here – The National Interest

Forget Cyprus, The Real Savings Robbery Is In Britain

There are many reasons that the fate of Cyprus is being followed so closely in Britain. One is sympathy for those who are about to pay the price for the sins of a banking sector that was at one point seven times the size of the island’s economy. Another is shock at how the island, to which Britain granted independence just 53 years ago, now finds itself caught between Berlin, Moscow and Brussels. But the real lesson of Cyprus can be applied closer to home: when governments run out of money, they come after other people’s. Everyone is looking at Cyprus and asking: how safe are my savings?

Read Here – The Spectator

Harsh Cyprus bailout terms set unwelcome precedent

One thing that everyone can agree on in Brussels is that Cyprus is a minnow in the European fish pond, accounting for less than 0.5 per cent of the euro zone economy. In the words of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, the island is “not systemically important”.

Read Here – The National

Marginalising Europe

An unintended consequence of the current economic and political crises in Europe has been the completion of the continent’s decolonisation, commenced in the middle of the 20th century. As the gross domestic products of developing countries continue to grow, while many crisis-stricken EU economies are contracting, some of the formerly colonised nations, alongside China, are actively purchasing the assets that are being privatised in Europe.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

A €1Tn Scandal Or Money Well Spent: Where Does The EU Budget Go?

In the otherwise ugly EU quarter in Brussels, something of a building boom is going on. There’s the €300m (£241m)-plus being spent to convert an art deco pile into a palace fit for a European president. In a nearby park another €100m makeover is creating the European parliament‘s version of the continent’s postwar history. That’s after the parliament splashed out another €20m just down the street to create a multimedia tribute to itself last year, the Parliamentarium visitors’ centre.

Austerity Europe? Not at the European Union‘s Brussels HQ. While budgets, public spending, and civil service staffing levels are being slashed from Portugal to Poland, Greece to Great Britain, to be one of the 56,000 EU eurocrats is to escape most of the pain felt in almost every country in the union.

Read Here – The Guardian

The Time-Bomb At The Heart Of Europe

THE threat of the euro’s collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week (see article). But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.

The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President François Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when François Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.

Read Here – The Economist

Facing Austerity, Europe’s Bureaucrats Chafe

Workers protesting austerity on the streets of southern Europe weren’t to know it, but earlier this month there was also a strike at the heart of the European Union – by bureaucrats fighting possible cuts.

For an increasing number of Europeans, cuts in Brussels are what is needed.

The European capital has told member states to reduce spending, but as millions in Spain, Portugal and Greece feel the pain in pay, pensions, and social services, people are looking to the centre and finding what looks like fat.

Read Here – Reuters

European Central Bank Should Open Its Chamber of Secrets

The European Central Bank wields more power now than at any point in its 14-year history. If it wants to use that power responsibly, it needs to be a lot more open with the people whose well-being it aims to ensure.

Thanks in large part to its lead role in fighting the euro area’s festering debt crisis, the ECB is taking on vast new duties. It has become a lender of last resort, supporting governments in their battles with skeptical markets. It will soon supervise the entire currency union’s banking system. All this comes on top of its regular job as maker of monetary policy for the 17 countries that use the euro.

Read Here – Bloomberg

U.S. Military In Jordan, Eyes On Syria Chemical Weapons

A team of U.S. military planners is in Jordan to help the government grapple with Syrian refugees, bolster its military capabilities and prepare for any trouble with its chemical weapons stockpiles, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.

“We have been working with Jordan for a period of time now … on a number of the issues that have developed as a result of what’s happened in Syria,” Panetta told a news conference in Brussels.

Read Here – Reuters

Every Move By The Egyptian President Has Been Carefully Calibrated To Avoid Controversy

A few months before Egypt’s presidential election in June, one of the country’s leading businessmen quipped that it would take a crazy man to want to lead the Arab world’s most populous country. It made sense to be cynical at that time. No one knew where Egypt was heading or what a military hungry for power had in mind for the future. It was not even clear what the job description of the president would be. Less than three months into that job, however, Mohammed Mursi is defying the sceptics.

Read Here – Gulf News

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: