Wed May 25th, 2011 at 05:46:11 AM EST
An article in the Canadian Globe and Mail points out that large centre-left parties - recently the Canadian Liberals, but also the French Socialists, Irish Fianna Fail, Dutch Labour, German CDU and SPD, and Spanish Socialists - have all been suffering electoral setbacks.
Tue Nov 16th, 2010 at 06:39:34 AM EST
Why should Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and maybe later Spain and Italy be tortured like this?
It might take a year or two to exit the euro, but I now believe it would be better for these five to exit rather than lay waste their economies and social programs in futile attempts to be able to borrow money they can't print.
Arguably the Baltic states, too, should have exited the ERM rather than suffer double-digit unemployment as they are doing now. Nor does the expansion of the euro in 2014-15 seem to be a good idea.
Monetary union is not feasible without fiscal union, which in turns requires political union, which has been stalled for most of the past decade (since the introduction of the euro, probably not coincidentally).
A core rump of France, Germany, Benelux, Austria, and Finland may be all that is practical to stay in the euro in the long term.
Wed May 5th, 2010 at 06:46:34 PM EST
The austerity measures being forced on Greece are awful. Even worse, they will not work. Lower wages mean lower demand, which will only depress government revenues, which will add to Greece's deficit.
Nor can a deficit of Greece's size be eliminated by taxing the wealthy alone. Not if only the wealthy of Greece are targeted.
There is an easier way - devalue the currency. Oh, yeah - Greece doesn't have a currency. Why not?
Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 05:13:53 AM EST
The meme all over the English-language press, at least, is the "historic drubbing" of the center-left parties. This is taken as a near-universal trend.
But unless I'm missing something, it's not really what actually happened. Most media coverage seems to be considering these events as a 'snapshot' and not looking at longer-term trends.
From the diaries - Nomad
Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 02:27:30 PM EST
No serious observer can deny that French foreign policy played a role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
For years, France had backed the régime of President Juvenal Habyarimana's Hutu-dominated MRND party, even after evidence mounted that French-trained Rwandan soldiers had carried out pogroms and massacres against the country's Tutsi minority.
Why would they do this? Rwanda carries no particular economic importance for France or anyone else; it is tiny, landlocked, and poor.
The answer lies in one word: language.
Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 12:48:23 PM EST
So now we hear that up to 15,000 UN troops will be heading into Lebanon. Two thousand from France, three thousand from Italy, yay us. Israel will be kept safe from a few kidnappings and rockets. Lebanon will be kept safe from Israel. And Hezbollah watch out! the wrath of the EU will be upon you.
Is this an example of the new, robust, EU foreign policy? A Europe no longer afraid of force, able to step in while its American rival is tied down in an endless war?
No, it is not. It brings home to me all that is ugly about Europe - its legacy of colonialism, racism, and exploitation. This is a continent that once enslaved the world. It today may have progressive welfare states and humane labour markets, but the old, darker instincts are still there.
Thu Nov 3rd, 2005 at 03:04:10 PM EST
There have now been seven days of riots in the Paris banlieues. Seven.
The Los Angeles riots of 1992 lasted less than four days. The 1965 Watts riots were six days. The UK's Brixton riots of 1981 were three days.
Things like this are not supposed to happen in Europe. The USA is the harsh, laissez-faire society with a permanent underclass; Europe's more generous social programs are supposed to prevent inequality and hatreds from taking root. But obviously this equation has failed. France has an underclass, despite decades of étatisme.
It is easy for leftists to point the blame at France's centre-right government, to posturing between Sarkozy and de Villepin. That doesn't explain why the riots broke out. Nor does it explain how to either stop them in the short term or ease the long-term fissures that led to them.