Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:02:23 PM EST
This WEEK in the European Union - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / WEEKLY AGENDA (30 March to 5 April) - Barack Obama's first visit to Europe as US president and the world's first big attempt to jointly address the financial crisis - the "London Summit" - will dominate the coming week, putting Brussels far into the background.

The US leader arrives in the UK capital on Wednesday (1 April) for a reception at Buckingham Palace and dinner at No. 10 Downing Street with the other leaders of the G20 countries plus Spain, the Netherlands and Thailand.

Will Barack Obama still get a warm welcome six months into the financial crisis?

The summit proper on Thursday is expected to produce a broadly-worded declaration on global financial regulation, with swipes at hedge funds and tax havens. It is also set to increase IMF resources and push forward IMF voting rights reforms. Some analysts predict a surprise on restarting the Doha round of world trade talks.

The EU delegation - the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the European Commission and the Czech EU presidency - may try to sell the bloc's template for financial regulation, the "Larosiere Report," unveiled earlier this month.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:05:04 PM EST
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EU Aims to Present United Front at G20 Summit | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 30.03.2009
After refining its economic positions at a recent summit, the EU seems ready to present a united front at the upcoming G20 talks in London. But some issues are still being fought over within the 27-member bloc. 

At a summit in Brussels on March 20, the EU member states agreed on an extra 75 billion euros ($101.5 billion) for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as a further 25 billion euros in emergency credit for Eastern Europe. With that, the union appeared to have aligned the position it would take at the upcoming G20 summit in London on April 2.

Going by the words of French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the latest EU summit, it would seem that the European Union is marching to London in step as one unit.

"Everyone agrees on tax havens and a blacklist, on hedge funds and executive pay, on clear balancing rules for banks and the need for regulation," Sarkozy said.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:05:22 PM EST
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A Summit at the Abyss: Can the G-20 Save the World? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

All eyes are on London this week as leaders from the world's leading economies gather to find a way out of the growing financial crisis. But tensions are growing between the US, Europe and China, and a common course has so far proven elusive.

It is an important test for the new US president. During his campaign, Barack Obama promised fundamental change, pledged to steer a determined course in combating the global economic crisis and said he would seek greater international cooperation. It was, he said, to be a "New Deal."

This week, an important international summit meeting is about to begin, and the time has come for Obama to demonstrate that he can deliver on his promises. At their meeting in London, the representatives of the world's leading industrialized nations will discuss the global recession, a financial industry in disarray and a sharp drop in world trade.

At issue is the steepest economic downturn in decades, and everyone is waiting to see what the new man in Washington will do. Will he be responsive to the Europeans' insistence on a new global financial order? Or will he focus instead on stimulating growth in his own country?

The president who determined the fate of the London Monetary and Economic Conference in 1933, at the height of the world economic crisis, was Franklin D. Roosevelt. His eventual decision to distance himself from the conference aggravated the global trade wars and deepened the Great Depression.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:19:19 PM EST
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Either it's divided, or it's on the wrong position...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 07:09:57 AM EST
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Bonn Conference to Set Agenda for New UN Climate Deal | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 29.03.2009
The UN's climate chief urged industrialized countries to lead the way on controlling climate change as a new round of UN talks aimed at replacing the Kyoto Protocol got underway in Bonn on Sunday, March 29. 

Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  UN climate chief Yvo de Boer

Around 2,600 delegates from 175 countries gathered in the former German capital over the weekend for the first of several meetings ahead of December's Copenhagen summit, at which new global targets on emissions are to be set ahead of the 2012 expiry of the Kyoto agreement.

The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement on stabilizing the output of greenhouse gases, entered into force in 2005.

Yvo De Boer, who heads climate change initiatives at the United Nations, said developing countries would only agree to a new climate pact if industrialized nations set clear targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Additionally, those nations have to be prepared to offer financial support to poorer countries.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:05:41 PM EST
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France 24 | Djukanovic's pro-EU ruling party claims victory | France 24
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's For A European Montenegro' coalition claimed a landslide victory in Sunday's general elections. Djukanovic vowed to navigate the economic crisis and bring his country closer to EU and NATO membership.

REUTERS - Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic claimed victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday, saying voters had backed his plans for EU entry talks.
Djukanovic's For A European Montenegro coalition was set to win 49 of the 81 seats in parliament, according to a preliminary count by pollster Strategic Marketing and the Podgorica-based CEMI election monitors.
"Voters have clearly opted to vote for a safe life, for economic prosperity and a European future," Djukanovic, flanked by ministers and senior politicians, told hundreds of cheering party activists in the government building in central Podgorica.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:08:27 PM EST
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Djukanovic - gangster in power for life!
They never die...
However he is not alone...look at Berlusconi for example.
Not to mention USA "dynasties"...
At least Djukanovic has beautiful little country with gorgeous piece of coast and just a few hundred thousand blind citizens to lead.Lucky bastard!He made a deal on time...Karadzic was to late...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 11:38:02 PM EST
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France 24 | Ruling party leads, but fails to sweep local polls | France 24
Turkey's ruling AK Party is leading in local elections, but PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party failed to win the key Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, as well as the secularist stronghold of Izmir, amid a nationwide slide in support.

REUTERS - Turkey's ruling AK Party won local elections on Sunday but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, hurt by a weak economy, fell short of a sweeping victory that would have smoothed the way for reforms in the EU candidate.


The AK Party was unable to win the city of Diyarbakir, the largest in the Kurdish southeast, and several other key cities, including Izmir. The secularist opposition also made inroads in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, and in the capital Ankara.


The vote, the first time the Islamist-rooted AK Party had suffered a slide in support since it swept to power in 2002, took place against a backdrop of record unemployment and a worsening economy. Turkey's once booming economy has been severely hit by the global economic crisis.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:08:44 PM EST
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Turkey's Governing Party Wins City Races - NYTimes.com

ISTANBUL -- The governing party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won a narrow victory in nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, preliminary results showed, but registered declines in a number of major cities.

By late evening, the CNN-Turk news channel was reporting that Mr. Erdogan's party, Justice and Development, led with 39.13 percent of the vote, while the main opposition, the Republican People's Party, had 22.83 percent, and the nationalist People's Action Party had 16.22 percent.

The elections were seen as a referendum on the performance of Turkey's politicians, in particular that of Mr. Erdogan, a former Islamist who has pressed for Turkey's membership in the European Union.

Early results seemed to send a message: Mr. Erdogan's party was winning by much narrower margins than in 2007, when it garnered 47 percent of the vote. Many attributed the decline to the economic downturn and to allegations of widespread corruption among members.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:15:49 PM EST
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reforms in the EU candidate.

The way the media labels foreign politicians (our friend or our enemy) so casually never fails to impress me. It's discreet, persistent, and it shapes news very much.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 07:11:21 AM EST
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Lazy thinking, rubbish reporting.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 07:12:53 AM EST
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NATO reaches out to online audience - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Four days ahead of its 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg and Kehl, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has launched a web campaign aimed at raising awareness among young people on what it describes its commitment to providing peace and security.

NATO troops in Kosovo. The military alliance wants to reach out to youngsters

"After 60 years, NATO is changing its communication strategy. It is the first time that we run a web-only campaign, with three videos aimed at reaching a wider audience, especially the younger generation," Jean-Francois Bureau, NATO's assistant secretary-general for public diplomacy told journalists on Monday (30 March).

The acronym NATO was generally well known, even among youngsters, but what is not so much known is what the organisation was actually dealing with, Mr Bureau said.

The campaign includes three videos suggesting how thin the line between safety and violence is.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:09:35 PM EST
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There are ads for NATO in the metro here in Washington DC. stormy is supposed to take some pictures...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 07:12:05 AM EST
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France, Germany remain cool on EU enlargement - EUobserver

EU foreign ministers meeting on Saturday (28 March) sought to reassure western Balkan countries on their EU future, but the bloc's heavyweights, France and Germany, reaffirmed their reluctance to accept further enlargement so long as the EU's own institutional future is in limbo.

"Clearly there will be no enlargement if there is no Lisbon treaty. Everybody knows it, so why not say it?" French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner was reported as saying by Reuters after the informal foreign ministers meeting in Hluboka Nad Vltavou in the Czech Republic.

The meeting took place in Hluboka Castle, a 13th-century mansion in southern Bohemia which once belonged to Mr Schwarzenberg's family

The Lisbon treaty was designed to make the bloc more efficient in the aftermath of the two latest enlargements to 12 new countries, in 2004 and 2007.

It has still to be fully ratified by four EU countries - Ireland, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic - in order to enter into force, following its rejection by Irish voters in June last year.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:10:31 PM EST
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Extreme Right gains ground as Ukraine falls into crisis - Telegraph
Europe's economic crisis has allowed the extreme right in Ukraine to capitalise on the turmoil engulfing the former Soviet republic.

An unexpected regional election victory by a previously marginal ultra-nationalist party is among a string of developments in Ukraine that threaten to fulfil the worst fears of G20 leaders as they gather for their summit in London.

Lacking the protection of European Union membership, Ukraine has few of the safeguards that prevent its Western neighbours from falling into ruin.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:13:04 PM EST
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From Mania to Mistrust: Europe's Obama Euphoria Wanes - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Europe was ecstatic when Barack Obama got elected, but the enthusiasm has dampened since he took office in January. On the eve of his first visit to Europe as president, some here are wondering how seriously he takes the Continent.

Some skepticism has crept in to European feelings about US President Barack Obama. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the new director of policy planning at the US State Department, was sitting on the stage at a conference on trans-Atlantic relations in Brussels. "Europe has a phone number," she said, and there was a satisfied murmuring of approval among her mainly European audience. Everyone remembers the famous remark by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who complained in the 1970s that he didn't know who to call when he wanted to talk to Europe.

But when the moderator asked Slaughter if she had that number on her, she was evidently caught off guard. "I have three," she replied. The hall erupted into loud laughter.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:14:09 PM EST
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Merkel Is Ready to Greet, and Then Resist, Obama - NYTimes.com

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, an avowed friend of the United States and the leader of the European Union's biggest economy, is diplomatic about the coming visit by President Obama. But she is clear that she is not about to give ground on new stimulus spending, stressing the need to maintain fiscal discipline even as she professes to want to work closely with the new American president. Skip to next paragraph Maurice Weiss/Ostkreuz, for The New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Berlin. She will meet with President Obama several times this week.

Speaking in her modern concrete-and-glass Chancellery building last week, she underscored the points of drama that may well delineate the three summit meetings during Mr. Obama's first trans-Atlantic trip since he was elected.

"International policy is, for all the friendship and commonality, always also about representing the interests of one's own country," Mrs. Merkel said in an interview with The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune.

At each summit meeting over the next week, Mr. Obama will find Mrs. Merkel, who first met him on his campaign trip in Europe last summer, across the table.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:15:13 PM EST
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That's a really pathetic article about whiny entitlement. This is written as if the US cavalry will ride over the hill to save us because they're like some global superman who does good just cos they like to. No, they do this when it's in their interest and for no other reason. We are economic allies and we are economic competitors.

The US is grown up enough to recognise that and behaves accordingly. Can european thinking emerge from the kindergarten please ? We will be of most use to the world when we take responsibility for ourselves and stop waiting for permission to breathe from across the Atlantic.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:45:47 PM EST
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BBC NEWS | Europe | Hungary parties back Bajnai as PM

Hungary's former junior coalition partners, the Free Democrats, have finally approved the ruling Socialists' nominee to replace PM Ferenc Gyurcsany.

Economy Minister Gordon Bajnai, a non-aligned technocrat, must now be formally nominated for the post at the Socialists' party conference on Sunday.

The Free Democrats had earlier rejected at least four other Socialist nominees.

Mr Gyurcsany announced this month that he would resign, saying he considered himself a hindrance to further reforms.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:17:35 PM EST
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God I love Bach. Just divine music... really just divine.
by vladimir on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 03:06:59 PM EST
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The anti-mafia reporter and anchorman, Pino Maniaci, will be tried next May 8th for practicing the profession of journalist without a license. Pino Maniaci runs the family television station Telejato in Partinico, Sicily, in the province of Palermo. He is well known for his outspoken campaigns against major mafia figures in the area. He has received death menaces, has been sued for libel and was beaten up last year by a mafia boss's son. Nevertheless he went on air within hours with a swollen face.

The present incrimination recalls that in Italy one must belong to the Order of Journalists in order to write about or report current events- a state of affairs that may sound strange to foreign ears. Maniaci has declared he never had time to bother taking the examination to become a lawful journalist. He has, besides, been nominated an honorary journalist for his outstanding and courageous reporting.

It is eloquent that in an area with a heavy mafia presence a reporter can be charged with a continuous "criminal design" to abusively report facts and events. All the more so when those same events may never have been reported were it not for Pino Maniaci.

Maniaci's case is not the only case of libel suits brought against reporters and bloggers in Italy for doing their job with civic passion.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 06:03:12 PM EST
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Italy is one country where I wouldn't like to live today...news are horrific and the fact that Italy is in Europe (and EU)and this is happening is appealing...
On the other hand Italy in my youth has been so lovable...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 11:55:19 PM EST
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of course I was about to say appalling...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 11:59:42 PM EST
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Sort of like I feel about the USA, (version with appalling.)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 12:12:26 AM EST
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Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed | UK news | The Guardian

The government is backing a project to install a "communication box" in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe, the Guardian can reveal.

Under the proposals, vehicles will emit a constant "heartbeat" revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. The EU officials behind the plan believe it will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. A consortium of manufacturers has indicated that the router device could be installed in all new cars as early as 2013.

However, privacy campaigners warned last night that a European-wide car tracking system would create a system of almost total road surveillance.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 08:36:43 PM EST
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Oh my God...I wouldn't believe things that I am about to see in my life time...
Am I just getting old or this world is really such a mess as I see it?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 12:03:01 AM EST
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It's the pre-EU election silly season in the UK :-)

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 02:27:15 AM EST
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Yup, stand by for the EU preparing to demand straight bananas and banning british sausages. Oh, and banning the pint for beer in the pub.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 06:10:26 AM EST
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AFP: EU defends three-year golden parachute

The European Commission on Monday defended its golden parachute system for former commissioners, under which they can get up to 65 percent of their salary for three years after leaving their post.

The European Commission "applies the rules which have been agreed by the EU member states," said commission spokeswoman Valerie Rampi.

The system is similar to those used in other international organisations, she added.
The system has come under fire in the media and from organisations such as the British eurosceptic Open Europe think-tank.

Open Europe has voiced outrage that former EU commissioners Peter Mandelson and Franco Frattini would continue to receive sizeable monthly sums even though they went straight into national government cabinet posts after quitting.

"Taxpayers around Europe, whose pensions have been swallowed up in the recession, will rightly question why they are footing such an enormous bill for a handful of remote officials who they never voted for in the first place," Open Europe analyst Sarah Gaskell said.

"It is a topsy-turvy world when an unelected EU official is earning the same wage as the democratically elected president of the United States."

by Magnifico on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 12:12:46 AM EST
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See afew's recent deconstruction of this story here

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 07:13:48 AM EST
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Le Monde Diplo
The fascination with Sarkozy is a product of the emptiness of French political life: a dearth of ideas gives way to the dominance of personalities. Reconsidering the role of Sarkozy is the first step towards understanding what is politically possible in France today.

Substitute Obama and it still makes sense.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 08:37:39 AM EST
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