Region Archives: EU

Greek Referendum: “a chunk of undecided voters to fight over.”

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Via the Guardian’s Greece crisis blog.   Another wrinkle for the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, and those agitating on their behalf, to contemplate ahead of the controversial, and confused, on/off/on 5 July referendum in Greece. GPO poll Yes 47.1% No 43.2% Undecided 6.3% (via @euro2day_gr) #Greferendum #Greece #politics pic.twitter.com/xJRr3K2uAC — MacroPolis (@MacroPolis_gr) July 1, 2015

“In both camps the eurozone crisis is met with a hint of relish…”

Rafael Behr in the Guardian is worth reading on so many levels… There is blame enough for everyone. Alexis Tsipras’s promise to the Greek people of euro membership without austerity was dishonest. Other European leaders were constrained by their own democratic obligations. There are citizens from Ireland to Latvia who have already swallowed bitter reforming more…

Ireland has missed a glorious chance on Greece

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on France has said it will keep up efforts to reach a deal. France has also maintained that the biggest critics of Greece are the other smaller countries. This brings Ireland into the spotlight. Has the government really been politically clever in how it has handled the Greek crisis? Ireland more…

Greece: bitter pills & ill-wills

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Of the grand, ambitious projects embarked-upon on the European continent over the last three decades two highly visible examples were recalled today in Brussels: football’s Champions League and the Single European Currency. Whatever they have in common there is one crucial difference in joining either of these prestigious clubs, in the Euro one can gain more…

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

Greek Referendum Question 5 July 2015

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at more…

More Greek gamesmanship…

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With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing more…

Bees contribute more to the UK economy than the Royal Family

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Here’s a story to bring a smile to our Nationalist readers faces. According to research conducted by the University of Reading, Bees contribute more to the UK economy than the Royal Family. They found that bees contribute £651 million to the UK economy a year, £150 million more than the Royal Family brings in through more…

European Nature Directives may be the best tool we have to protect NI’s natural environment

Colum Delaney, Conservation Officer, Policy Advocacy RSPB NI. Just before Christmas I wrote an article for Slugger on the unprecedented cuts to the Department of the Environment’s budget, and in turn, the devastating affect that this would have across the environmental sector with the removal of the Natural Heritage Grants Programme. Whilst the exact ramifications more…

What Ireland needs is “a return to economics as skillful means…”

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Two related pieces from the Irish Times worth sharing. Both under Mark Hennessey’s byline. First this from his interview with Joe Stiglitz… Politicians today offer meagre fare to voters, he says, despondently: “Most government ministers (throughout the world) are middlemen in ideas. They are looking for packaging for simplistic ideas.” For the last few years, more…

IMF to Tsipras: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

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After more of the familiar lies and misdirection yesterday, there were some optimistic noises from Brussels last night as the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met on the side-lines of the EU-Latin America summit.  They were short-lived. Having tried to play the International Monetary Fund, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, last week, the game more…

Northern Ireland & TTIP: Is it Deal or No Deal?

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While nowhere does acronyms like Brussels, one four-letter word has had everyone talking: TTIP, and now in public conscience like few others before it. For clarification TTIP stands for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is basically Brussels-speak for Free Trade treaty between the USA and all 28 EU countries. Free trade is nothing new more…

FAI Still Not Convincing over €5M FIFA Pay-Out

Sepp Blatter (Kremlin.ru; CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons).

The Republic of Ireland football team extended their unbeaten run versus England to over 30 years with a friendly match draw in Dublin last Sunday. Thankfully, the affair was uneventful off the field and there was no repeat of the riotous scenes witnessed in the stands when the two teams last met on Irish soil back more…

Thoughts on the Danish TV series ‘1864’

BBC4 has been showing the Danish TV series ‘1864’ recently; the final two episodes were broadcast on Saturday night. The series began by recalling the First Schleswig War against the Prussians and which Denmark ‘won’, though the main action was centred around the Second Schleswig war in 1864—in which the Danes were comprehensively, humiliatingly defeated by more…

“Greece is joining a fairly exclusive club…”

Which ‘club’, exactly, remains to be seen…  If you’ve been having trouble following the twists and turns and lies and misdirection of the on-going Greek financial crisis [Join the club! – Ed] *ahem*  Perhaps some notes on Greece’s Syriza-led Government’s latest reverse-ferret decision to delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and more…

Bloc Rockin’ Beats – how Scandinavia became the dominant force at the Eurovision Song Contest

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With parties bitterly divided over Europe, a voting system widely considered unfair, and tactical voting skewing the outcome, it’s clearly that time of year again. The 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Vienna following Conchita Wurst’s victory last year in Copenhagen with Rise Like A Phoenix. This year Sweden is the favourite more…

Look over there…a view of the UK election from Ireland

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am no expert on politics outside of Ireland.  I watch elections in other countries in a disinterested fashion.  The systems are strange and I find it gives you an insight into just how bizarre politics can look when you are not involved.  The UK more…