Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:17:40 PM EST
Finnish islands cause headache for EU treaty approval - EUobserver

The Finnish autonomous Aland Islands are causing headaches for the Finnish government by demanding certain concessions from Helsinki in return for ratifying the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

The local government in the capital Mariehamn has said it will ratify the bloc's latest institutional rule book only if it gets the nod for four demands, with the vote in the Aland 30-member strong parliament expected in the autumn.

The 27,000 Alanders have had their own flag since 1954

The minister responsible for the islands, former MEP Astrid Thors, visited Aland on Monday (11 August) but only offered some good news on one of the demands - Aland will get some sort of speaking rights within the EU.

She did not offer any concessions on Aland's request for a seat in the European Parliament or participation in the council of ministers' work (where EU member states are represented) on a role in controlling "subsidiarity," the EU principle that power should, where possible, be used a local levels.

by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:20:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This has been going for a couple of years now. What exactly were to happen if Åland rejected the treaty (the Finnish parliament has already voted to ratify it) seems to be unclear. The former president of the Finnish supreme court, Leif Sévon, even suggested Åland could end up completely outside of EU if it rejected the treaty (Ålandstidningen ). That was perceived as bit of a threat in some Åland quarters; former Åland member of the Finnish parliament and prime minister of the Åland government Roger Jansson even going so far as suggesting that the perception that the autonomy is being trampled upon would lead to significantly increased support for the separatist party Future of Åland, which received about 8% of the votes in the last election.

Ultimately it's not likely that the Lagting (the Åland parliament) will reject the treaty, but of course the Åland government will attempt to get every concession they can out of the negotiations. It was never a realistic proposition that Åland would get a seat in the EU parliament, unless it would be in addition to the seats Finland already has.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World is becoming more and more interesting every day...
Kosovo anyone?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 11:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Parliament ceiling collapses - EUobserver

Although languishing in the middle of summer holidays, there was some activity in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week when part of the ceiling of the main plenary room collapsed.

Last Thursday (7 August), the ceiling of the main hemicycle where up to 785 euro-deputies from the 27 member states assemble to vote on EU laws partially caved in two takes.

The website www.strastv.com distributed photos of the collapsed ceiling on Monday

French news agency AFP reported that the first part came crashing down around 18.00 CET and another part followed just over four hours later at 22.36 CET.

by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:22:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
partially caved in two takes

"caved in two takes"? Huh?

And I feel a PN coming on, since these people should know how to write better than this: "partially" is the opposite of "impartially". The word they want is "partly".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 04:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not what the Webster tells me.

partially - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

1archaic : in a biased manner : with partiality2: to some extent : in some degree

As in 'partial collapse', I guess?

Or is that just US English?

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 05:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it can be used to mean "partly". It's just a bugbear of mine (ie I don't think it's good usage).

BTW, I just heard a French sovereignist MEP explain the collapse by successive enlargements of the EU, leading to the cobbling together of a larger chamber...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 01:29:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Main Entry:
Middle English parcial, from Late Latin partialis, from Latin part-, pars part
14th century
1 : of or relating to a part rather than the whole : not general or total 2 : inclined to favor one party more than the other : biased 3 : markedly fond of someone or something --used with to

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 05:59:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The adjective "partial" can have this sense, no doubt. But "partly" is a much clearer adverb than "partially". Occam's Razor.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 01:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over in the OT...
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 05:53:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Member states drag feet on European digital library - EUobserver

The European Commission has urged member states to step up efforts to make Europe's cultural heritage available to citizens at a mouse click.

Plans for a European digital library containing books, paintings, music, film and photographs are already underway but progress on making works digitally available has been slow with funding problems and lack of technical know-how dragging the ambitious project down.

One problematic issue includes what to do about orphan works

According to commission figures, European libraries contain over 2.5 billion books but only around 1 percent of archival material has been made available online.

EU media commissioner Viviane Reding said the online library would "enable a Czech student to browse the British library without going to London, or an Irish art lover to get close to the Mona Lisa without queuing at the Louvre."

by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish PM says U.S. shield deal seems nearer - Yahoo! News

WARSAW (Reuters) - The conflict between Russia and Georgia, which shocked capitals and markets with its speed and ferocity, may help Poland and the United States finally reach a deal on deploying a U.S. anti-missile system on Polish soil, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.


Tusk said the latest signs from Washington indicated the United States was now ready to meet his demands for enhanced military cooperation with Poland in return for consent to host parts of the installation.

"I will not announce a success before the ink is dry but the information we are getting makes the acceptance of my government's demands by the U.S. more probable than only a few weeks ago," Tusk told a news conference.

Tusk spoke as the West tried to firm up a ceasefire to end days of fighting between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia, which battered the region, forced nearly 100,000 people from their homes and killed nearly 2,000.

by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hah! I think this more fits into the special focus section: this seems meta-communication between the superpowers via an intermediary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:36:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because as we have just recently learned, provoking Russia, for seemingly little else than the sake of provoking Russia, is an extremely good idea. The correct response is always to exacerbate the problem.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 05:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least until November.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 06:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, h-o-w convenient!!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 08:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me so confused. Me thought missile system only have use with Iran threat. What does Russia or Georgia have to do with this?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 02:21:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The missile system is Simpson's Comedy Diplomacy. It doesn't work, it wouldn't do anything useful  if it did, and even as an anti-Russian weapon it's strategically useless.

You might as well have a diplomatic fight about a lawnmower.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 06:44:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alistair Darling scrambles to end mortgage drought

Measures to revive the dormant housing market by increasing the supply of mortgage lending are being planned by ministers, The Times has learnt.

Alistair Darling is poised to intervene to help banks and building societies to secure more finance to grant new mortgages. The likely move comes after the virtual drying-up last year of the mortgage-backed securities market, which had become a crucial source of mortgage lending.

New figures yesterday indicated that house prices were continuing to tumble, with homebuying activity having sunk to the lowest levels for four decades.

The Chancellor is expected to order an extension of the Bank of England's emergency £50 billion special liquidity scheme introduced this year to help to ease intense funding strains on banks triggered by the credit crisis.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 01:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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