Region Archives: EU

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

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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.”

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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

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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…”

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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

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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…

Why blasphemy (in numbers) is better

Blasphemy gets a bad name. In Northern Ireland I’ve heard children being admonished for blaspheming when they ‘take god’s name in vain’. But, of course, referencing Jesus (as an expletive) loses its impact when most people do it. The more something happens, the less shocking it is. But blasphemy – when people make a conscious more…

A measured media response to the Charlie Hebdo atrocity

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I utterly condemn the individuals who today attacked and killed innocent civilians at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris today. It is horrific and unprovoked and I would if the opportunity presented, would happily press the “on” button for their electric chairs. Also, I am an atheist. I would like you to keep that in more…

“The brinkmanship that seems inescapable on such occasions has become self-indulgent and self-important too”

The Guardian’s editorial on the Stormont House Agreement has some pertinent things to note about Northern Ireland’s latest deal.  Although, if, as they claim, “the glass is half-full” it is also, by definition, half-empty.  From the Guardian editorial The talks came very close, after 11 weeks of discussion, to falling apart, as earlier efforts under the more…

Joseph Ruane on ‘Ireland’s Crises: North-South Intersections': From the Taming of the Celtic Tiger to the Rise of Sinn Fein in the Republic

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Professor Joseph Ruane, Visiting Professor of Sociology at University College Dublin and Professor Emeritus University College Cork, presented the 25th John Whyte Memorial Lecture last week at Queen’s on ‘Ireland’s Crises: North-South Intersections.’ Ruane’s wide-ranging talk focused primarily on crises in the Republic of Ireland. Ruane described the Republic as a ‘multiple interface periphery’ because more…