Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The new geopolitics of Turkey, Syria, and the West

Kemal Kirişci
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brookings Institute

As the turmoil in Syria enters its seventh year, its adverse geopolitical consequences stretch far beyond the Middle East. Developments in Syria have affected Turkey, too. Before the Arab Spring, Turkey was a rising star in its neighborhood, but has become a troubled nation in the years since. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is increasingly cited as a model for authoritarians around the region and the world, and if tensions between Turkey and the West lead to a fracture, more adverse geopolitical consequences could follow.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Why Europe's Central Bank Shouldn't Worry About the Euro

Instead, it should focus on increasing flexibility in the conduct of monetary policy.
By Ferdinando Giugliano
8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EEST

The European Central Bank has spent much of this decade convincing markets that the euro is irreversible. It is therefore mildly ironic that policy makers in Frankfurt may be in trouble because of the sudden return of confidence in the single currency.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests


The New York Times

ATHENS — After years of struggling under austerity imposed by European partners and a chilly shoulder from the United States, Greece has embraced the advances of China, its most ardent and geopolitically ambitious suitor.

While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off, not only economically but also by apparently giving China a political foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe.

Last summer, Greece helped stop the European Union from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. This June, Athens prevented the bloc from condemning China’s human rights record. Days later it opposed tougher screening of Chinese investments in Europe.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

‘Brexit’ Fuels Feeling in Scotland That Time Is Right for Independence


LONDON — Scotland’s nationalists wasted no time: Just minutes after the country’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, called on Monday for a new independence referendum, a website went live asking people to show their support on Twitter and donate to the campaign.

By Tuesday morning, 204,345 pounds, or about $249,000 — more than a fifth of the £1 million target — had been raised; pro-independence banners in Scotland’s blue-and-white colors had gone up across the country; and celebrities were offering support, including the actor Alan Cumming, who shared a Twitter post by Ms. Sturgeon, with the comment “It’s showtime!”

It was an early glimpse of the Scottish nationalists’ formidable campaign machine, evidently little diminished since the last referendum, in 2014. Support for independence rose from about 27 percent at the start of that campaign to 45 percent at the final count.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

As Ties With U.S. Cool, Europeans Look to Forge Other Alliances


The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The weather, and her reception here, were far colder than when she visited last summer during the Obama administration, but Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign minister, made it clear that she can handle a chill in the air.

“I think we are entering into a different phase of our relationship,” Ms. Mogherini said Friday in a 30-minute interview, adding, “A more transactional approach means Europeans will be more transactional, and we will base our approach on our interests.”

But Ms. Mogherini said she had received important reassurances from top administration officials on the Iran nuclear deal and on Russian sanctions.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Europe’s threat list includes jihadists, Russia — and Donald Trump

By Ishaan Tharoor February 2 at 1:00 AM
Want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know?

The Washington Post

Nothing illustrates the crisis facing the world order more than a letter circulated this week by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. Tusk's message, addressed to the leaders of the European Union's member states, pointed to the other Donald, describing the Trump administration as one of the potential "external" threats facing Europe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Economic imbalances risk 'destabilising' euro zone: ECB's Draghi

Mon Sep 26, 2016 | 5:11pm EDT


Economic imbalances within the euro zone risk destabilising the currency bloc, top European Central Bank officials said on Monday, stressing the responsibility of governments to help boost growth while respecting EU rules.

ECB President Mario Draghi and board member Benoit Coeure also acknowledged the limitations of the ECB's ultra-expansionary policy of low interest rates and money printing.

"In our Economic and Monetary Union, in particular, the economic governance framework is essential to avoid imbalances that would eventually risk destabilising the euro area," Draghi told a European parliamentary committee in Brussels.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Number Of Refugees Arriving In Greece Drops Dramatically

Only 80 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece over a 24-hour period this week, compared to an average of 1,150 per day in mid-March.
 04/12/2016 06:55 pm ET
The Huffington Post

Danae Leivada
Reporter, The Huffington Post

ATHENS, Greece — Fewer than 100 migrants and refugees crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece over a 24-hour span Monday and Tuesday, a dramatic drop from the number of arrivals earlier this year. The declining numbers could fuel hope that an agreement between Turkey and the European Union to stem the flow of migrants to Greece is starting to have an effect.

Just 80 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece from Monday morning to 9 a.m. Tuesday, compared to an average of 1,150 per day in mid-March, before the implementation of the agreement, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Quandary for Europe: Fighting a War on ISIS Within Its Borders

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The New York Times

LONDON — When the United States declared war on Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks, American leaders took the fight to the militant group’s hide-outs in Afghanistan, a faraway and failing state, with an invasion and occupation.

But for Europe’s leaders, who now consider themselves at war with the Islamic State after large-scale terrorist attacks at home, the challenge is more complicated: The enemy’s hide-outs are ghettoized parts of Paris, Brussels and other European cities that amount to mini failed states inside their own borders.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

European Union Grapples With Plan to Return Migrants From Greece to Turkey

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The New York Times

BRUSSELS — European leaders edged closer early on Friday to a deal to return asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey despite a host of legal, political and moral issues raised by their latest effort to quell the migrant crisis.

The common stance agreed by the European Union’s 28 national leaders still needs the approval of Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. He flew here late Thursday for face-to-face talks on Friday.

Those negotiations will revolve around what incentives to grant Turkey, which is not a European Union member, in return for Turkey’s taking on the job of housing more of the migrants while they wait for word on whether they qualify for resettlement in Western Europe.

“We need to put all our efforts into achieving an agreement with Turkey,” Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, told an early morning news conference. “These will be negotiations that will certainly be anything but easy,” she warned.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Refugee crisis: Macedonia tells Germany they've 'completely failed'

Macedonia is 'paying for the mistakes of the EU' says President Ivanov, as his country seals its border with Greece
Charlotte Beale

The Independent

Macedonia’s President has told Germany "your country has completely failed" in its security response to the refugee crisis.

While praising the "humanity" of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policy, President Gjorge Ivanov said "the security situation has been entirely ignored" in an interview with German newspaper Bild.

Authorities in Macedonia, which is not a European Union member state, have seized 9,000 forged or stolen passports from refugees.

But Macedonian offers to share intelligence and data on alleged jihadists have been rejected by Europe, Mr Ivanov said.

"We were told: we cannot cooperate with you; you are a third party country."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

E.U. Woos Turkey for Refugee Help, Ignoring Rights Crackdown

MARCH 8, 2016

The New York Times

ISTANBUL — The contrast was jarring: Just days after the police broke into the offices of an opposition newspaper using tear gas and water cannons, Turkey’s prime minister was greeted in Brussels with offers of billions in aid, visa-free travel for Turks in Europe and renewed prospects for joining the European Union.

The juxtaposition highlighted the conundrum Europe faces as it seeks solutions to its worst refugee crisis since World War II. To win Turkey’s desperately needed assistance in stemming the flow of migrants to the Continent, European officials seem prepared to ignore what critics say is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s steady march toward authoritarianism.

It is a moment of European weakness that the Turkish leadership seems keen to capitalize on. As Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Brussels this week, he upped the ante, asking for more financial aid than was previously negotiated and demanding visa-free travel by June, while offering to take back some migrants who had crossed into Europe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Turkey Places Conditions on E.U. for Migrant Help

MARCH 7, 2016
The New York Times

BRUSSELS — Turkey surprised European Union leaders on Monday by hitting them with a new set of demands if it is to help stem the flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq and other migrants seeking to enter Europe.

Leaders assessed the demands at an emergency summit meeting in Brussels, where Turkey’s prime minister asked for billions of euros in new assistance, easier access to visas for Turks to go to Europe and the dramatic acceleration of talks on Turkey’s membership in the bloc, a discussion that has languished for years.

The toughening of the Turkish position underscored Ankara’s apparent attempt to win more support from Europe if it is going to be expected to protect the bloc from hundreds of thousands of new asylum seekers.

But after a long day of negotiations that stretched into the early hours of Tuesday, the European leaders had made only partial progress, with many of them still assessing the terms. Even so, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said leaders would meet again in Brussels on March 18.

Syria refugee crisis: Turkey and EU agree outline of 'one in, one out' deal Angela Merkel describes Turkish proposal as a ‘breakthrough’ but says time needed to agree final details

The Guardian

European leaders said early on Tuesday morning that they had reached the outlines for a possible deal with Ankara to return thousands of refugees to Turkey and were hopeful a full agreement could be reached at a summit next week.

Analysis One in, one out – the EU's simplistic answer to the refugee crisis
The proposal that Europe will resettle every Syrian that Turkey allows in from Greece is morally and legally complex
 Read more
Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, outlined proposals to resettle one Syrian refugee in Europe for every Syrian returned to Turkey from the Greek islands.

Friday, March 4, 2016

European Commission Proposes EU Aid for Migrants Stuck in Greece

Tensions have flared at border with Macedonia as a result of border restrictions in the Balkans and Austria

The Wall Street Journal

Updated March 2, 2016 11:58 a.m. ET
BRUSSELS—The European Commission proposed the creation of a €700-million ($760 million) humanitarian assistance program, mostly to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants stuck in Greece as the main route into Europe becomes increasingly cut off.

The program, announced Wednesday, would follow a model so far used only in conflict zones, with the commission providing the funding to the United Nations’ refugee agency and other groups, which would then carry out aid efforts including setting up emergency tents and handing out aid.

Tensions have flared over the past few days at Greece’s border with Macedonia as a result of border restrictions put in place by Austria and Balkan countries last month.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

EU presses Greece over migrants, weighs Schengen threat

Wed Dec 2, 2015 6:37pm EST Related: WORLD, GREECE, MIGRANT CRISIS

Greece hit back on Wednesday at threats from some EU states to suspend it from the Schengen zone of open border travel because of its failure to control large numbers of migrants entering Europe.

Some central European officials, most prominently Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, have suggested excluding Greece from Schengen. Diplomats and European Union officials say some governments have raised the possibility informally but it would be a largely symbolic move, with little impact on migration.

"It is not said officially, but there is pressure," Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told reporters, denying a Financial Times report on Wednesday that Athens had, among other things, refused an EU offer of devices designed to share the identity data of incoming migrants around the bloc.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The euro area's uninspiring recovery

Sep 2nd 2015, 13:29 BY P.W. | LONDON

EARLIER this year, a genuine revival in the euro area appeared to be under way. European equity markets were buoyant and consumers had become more confident. The recovery, which had been faltering and feeble since the spring of 2013, looked set to accelerate. That bout of optimism has proved fleeting and there is now increasing doubt about whether the euro area can pull itself out of a rut of low inflation and sluggish growth. The European Central Bank (ECB) is not expected to act on September 3rd when its governing council meets. But it may well indicate a preparedness to provide more stimulus, if necessary.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The EU and Whose Army?

MAR 12, 2015 5:03 AM EDT

By The Editors


Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has correctly identified a serious problem: Europe's military and diplomatic ineptitude, most prominently on display in its weak and disorganized response to the crisis in Ukraine. Unfortunately, his proposed solution -- an EU military force -- is unworkable, impolitic and unwise.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Real Social Challenge Is Kickstarting Growth

19/01/2015 by George Pagoulatos

It is impossible to meaningfully address Europe’s social challenges for the present, medium and longer term without addressing the central challenge of economic growth. We are now in a situation where adverse longer-term trends are nested in a highly unfavourable current and medium-term economic environment.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A workable euro zone fitness regime

February 17, 2014 @ 9:42 am

By Hugo Dixon
The euro zone has gone from the emergency room to rehab. As often with patients, the question is how to maintain a stiff exercise regime now the immediate danger is over.

Germany has an idea. At December’s summit, it got the rest of the zone to agree in principle to what are called “partnerships for growth, jobs and competitiveness”. The idea is that governments will sign contracts committing them to do things like reform their labour markets, liberalise product markets and improve the efficiency of their public sectors. Countries such as Greece and Cyprus, which are already in bailout programmes, wouldn’t be covered.