Region Archives: EU

Sinn Fein pull another ‘reverse ferret’ on welfare reform (oh yeah, and Syriza)…

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 15.37.11

So what have Gerry Adams and the megalomaniacal (and, let it be said, commercially successful) demagogically simplifying former editor of The Sun Kelvin McKenzie got in common? They are/were both aficionados of the Reverse Ferret. Wikipedia describes it thusly: …used predominantly within the British media to describe a sudden reversal in an organisation’s editorial line more…

Ukraine Crisis: the folly of false historical analogies

The ceasefire in Ukraine seems to be sort of holding. No one, however, seems terribly optimistic that peace is going to come. Certainly there is no sign of the displaced refugees returning home. The conflict has repeatedly been portrayed as a binary good vs. bad situation analogous to the most simplistic of cowboy films by more…

“it looks like they were repeatedly blocked from accessing vital pieces of evidence or pursuing certain suspects…”

The Guardian and Observer’s Berlin correspondent, Kate Connolly, reports on the campaign for justice by the family of Heidi Hazell, the 26-year-old German wife of a British army sergeant, murdered by the Provisional IRA outside her married quarters in Unna-Massen, a Dortmund suburb, on 7 September 1989.  From the Guardian report The following day the IRA claimed more…

In the teeth of an election is Germany finally relenting on domestic austerity?

So, having finally balanced its own budget in 2014, Schaeuble finally seems ready to start re-investing in Germany’s ‘crumbling’ infrastructure: German federal government said on Tuesday that it would spend an additional 5 billion euros (about 5.59 billion U.S. dollars) in the next three years to help local communities improve infrastructure and boost investment. The more…

Jean-Claude Juncker: “[Tsipras] must explain that some of the promises upon which he was elected will not be honoured…”

EU flag

As Mick has noted, at the weekend the under-pressure new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took undiplomatic aim at the governments of Spain and Portugal [But not Ireland! – Ed] in an attempt to explain the outcome of European negotiations to his Syriza party coalition. The European Commission has been quick to step in to act as a “mediator” more…

“…the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.”

EU flag

What now for “the Syriza experiment“?  The Irish Times reports that the Eurogroup of finance ministers have deemed the Greek government’s list of proposed reforms to be “sufficiently comprehensive” for a four-month extension of the Greek bailout programme which was due to expire on Saturday. In an official statement released after today’s conference call between more…

Is Eurozone membership slowly strangling the Greek economy?

In these digital days it is far easier to foment a revolution than it is to find the means to sustain one. That may or may not been the the Greek Syriza party has to learn in the coming weeks. Hanging hard against German based technocrats may yet pull off some important concessions, but without cash more…

“…complex issues cannot always be addressed via online petitions.”

EU flag

Sinn Féin, and others, agitating on behalf of “the Syriza experiment” following the recent elections in Greece, has more to do with positioning to blame the current Irish Government for the likely outcome [added link] than any professed desire for a resolution in Ireland’s favour. But there are a few things to note about the rise more…

Never use memory (or lack thereof) to justify cruelty: Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

20150127 HMD Keep Memory Alive

For the Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, in cooperation with the Institute of Conflict Research, held a seminar event: “The Ethnics of Memory and Community Recovery”. The speakers were Daniel Greenberg and Lord Alderdice, chaired by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin. Lord Alderdice provided a distinction more…

“Sunday’s election could be a significant day for Europe…”

EU flag

The campaign may have resembled a “political circus”, but Sunday’s general election in Greece could see the leftist Syriza, led by former communist Alexis Tsipras, emerge as the leading party – but in search of a partner-in-government [We’ve been there before! – Ed].  Indeed.  Although, they could still achieve a majority… In the meantime, the Irish Times highlights a more…

Can the next EU regulation guarantee data protection for all?

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream One of the points made by Tim Hughes in our OpenGovNI DigitalLunch was the need for protection of data for citizens. This discussion on European Data Rights, goes live shortly… You can joinin the NI Open Government Network at tinyurl.com/OpenGovNI

MoU to allow joint exercises between British and Irish Armies…

And it’s worth noting that after the first member of the PSNI was engaged by An Garda Siochana, Simon Coveney and Michael Fallon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which as Michael Fisher notes… The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be followed by the drafting of a three-year Action Plan that will contain more…

Thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo murders

This blog is purely a personal view (somewhat confessional) but I wondered if I was alone in it: The attacks on Charlie Hebdo were utterly appalling. The idea of terrorists attacking innocent defenceless people making a satirical cartoon is dreadful: a gross perversion of any decent religion or ideology. So why is it then that more…

Open Society at a crossroads in France

Je-suis-Charlie

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo, followed by the targeting of Parisian Jews has laid the frail state of France’s ‘Open Society’ bare for all to see. Jewish businesses and synagogues are staying closed for their own safety and the far right Front National is, ironically, poised to benefit from an attack on free speech. The more…