Tag Archives | EU

“I think it is somewhat contemptuous.”

It’s difficult to argue with Jeffrey Dudgeon’s comments on the Office of the Northern Ireland First and Deputy First Minister last minute compliance with an FoI request – 320 days after the application was made, and one day before a judicial review hearing into the delay was due to begin.  From the BBC report Jeffrey Dudgeon had more…

Corporation tax: put us out of our misery

The Financial Times (£) carries a blunt warning from Bombardier, Northern Ireland’s largest employer, that it will lose its ability to invest in the province unless the end of regional aid at the behest of the EU is offset by a cut in corporation tax. This gets down to the bottom line after years of more…

Nobel Peace Prize 2012: “What next? An Oscar for Van Rompuy…”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has done it again…  This time they have decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU).  *shakes head* As a sceptical Ambrose Evans-Pritchard notes at the Telegraph blog The EU’s high priests draw on a caricature version of history that must be challenged. more…

Euro crisis: “This time it’s really, really serious…”

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European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is off to Greece for “a regular meeting” with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.  His first visit to Athens since June 2009.  Meanwhile, the rising cost of Spanish and Italian Government borrowing has prompted a declaration of intent from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. “To the extent that the size of these more…

Laois counterfeiting trial collapses

The Dublin Special Criminal Court trial of four men arrested at the scene of an underground bunker in County Laois in 2010, after what Europol described as “a major investigation into one of the most sophisticated money counterfeiting set-ups uncovered in Europe to date”, has collapsed after the prosecution counsel entered a nolle prosequi – a decision more…

Bovine TB and badgers: “This approach has not been tried anywhere else…”

The different approaches of the various administrations in the UK and Ireland to attempting to eradicate bovine tuberculosis [TB] in wild animals, specifically badgers, are worth noting.  They are all in response to the EU Directive 64/432/EEC which, as the Welsh adminstration’s website notes, “requires Member States to provide plans showing how they will eradicate bovine TB in cattle.” more…

“it is in the public interest to know the type of information that the Ministers were taking into account”

Here’s a little referendum related snippet from Scotland.  The Scottish government is reportedly “surprised” at a recent ruling by the country’s Freedom of Information Commissioner. In response to a request by Labour MEP Catherine Stihler on 30 May last year, the Scottish government had refused to confirm or deny whether it had received legal advice on more…

Euro crisis: “Welcome to Europe’s endless debt saga.”

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I haven’t posted an update on the euro crisis for a while, and this European Diary piece by Arthur Beesley in the Irish Times might help explain why. Welcome to Europe’s endless debt saga. Sunshine is a rare enough commodity in cloudy Brussels – and a downpour follows any glorious spell. The hunch must be, however, that more…

Euro crisis: “It’s politics without policy choice…”

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The pressure is definitely beginning to tell on the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the G20 summit in Mexico.   No news yet from Greece, and the markets are still betting against Spain.  He may, as he claims, have a “vision of where we need to go“, or he may, as Michael White says, be more…

“all participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not an official capacity…”

Zoom on Michael Noonan

As the Irish Times noted at the weekend, the Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has been providing written answers to the Dáil about his trip to Chantilly, and his attendance at the 2012 Bilderberg Meeting.  Here’s his 13 June written answer on “Official Travel” Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan):   I attended the Bilderberg meeting more…

“The JHA Council’s approach of 7 June represents a slap in the face of parliamentary democracy”

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If the euro crisis wasn’t enough of a concern for supporters of the European Project, the attempted reform of Schengen is causing another headache.  The European Parliament has now suspended co-operation with the European Council on five draft bills connected to border security “until a satisfactory outcome is achieved on Schengen governance.” The Conference of Presidents also decided to more…

Euro crisis: “I am not sure whether the urgency of this is fully understood in all the capitals”

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It would be fair to say that there remains a difference in opinion of the correct response to the euro crisis.   The BBC quotes European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. European governments need to agree urgently on steps to forge a closer union because of the eurozone’s “systemic problem”, the head of the European Commission more…

Euro crisis: “These are empty, senseless phrases, an abuse of language”

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In the Irish Times, Paddy Woodworth notes an all-too-familiar tale of political chutzpah in Europe [Nevermind closer to home! – Ed].  This time it’s the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and his spin on that ‘magic bullet’.  From the Irish Times report The total reversal of his oft-stated conviction that no EU money was needed by more…

Euro crisis: “A fiat currency backed by heterogeneous sovereigns is irremediably fragile…”

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The Financial Times’ chief economics commentator Martin Wolf was at the Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly this year too.  And on his return, as spotted by the Guardian’s eurozone crisis live-blog today, he has had this to say. How much pain can the countries under stress endure? Nobody knows. What would happen if a country left the eurozone? Nobody more…

Euro crisis: “Europe’s common currency is its formative element.”

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The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has a plan.  Or, at least, a timetable. Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference in St Petersburg, Russia that, by the next summit of EU leaders at the end of June, he and three other EU officials would present “the main building blocks for this deepened economic more…

Spoilt Vote of the Day

Spoilt vote of the day. #euref on Twitpic

As spotted by the Guardian Eurozone crisis live blog. John McGuirk @john_mcguirk Spoilt vote of the day. #eureftwitpic.com/9rjkab Let’s see if the embed works.

Bilderberg 2012: “Are you here for the brunch?”

The Guardian’s Charlie Skelton is in Chantilly, Virginia, ahead of the, whisper it, annual Bilderberg conference – “a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced”.  As he says at the Big G’s US News blog Everything’s set. The hotel is being primped and hoovered, the security is more…

Euro crisis: “Rome wasn’t built in a day and it didn’t fall in a day either…”

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The eurozone crisis rumbles on, its democratic deficit intact, and Ireland’s Fiscal Treaty referendum approaches.  Time, then, for historian Michael Wood to go looking for some historical references… The British historian Gildas (c 500-570) in his diatribe against contemporary rulers in the early 500s, looking back over the story of the Fall of Roman Britain, more…