Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


Cyprus: So what happens next?

Tue 19 March 2013, 9:01pm
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Tweet The Guardian’s still live-blogging, for now, in the aftermath of Cyprus’ parliament’s rejection of an, albeit amended, EU/IMF cunning plan bail-out which included the public seizure levying of €5.8billion from private depositors in Cypriot banks – 36 votes against, 19 abstentions, none in favour.  The paper’s economics editor, Larry Elliot, answers the title question …there are really only […] more »

Italy: “Unless of course all polls and projections so far turn out to be wrong …”

Mon 25 February 2013, 5:13pm
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Tweet They’re still counting the votes in Italy…  But the early projections are contradicting exit polls predicting, as the Guardian reported, “strong support for alliance led by Pier Luigi Bersani’s Democratic party and bloody nose for Mario Monti”.  Not contradicting the bloody nose for the Borg Mario Monti, that is.  But Silvio Berlusoni’s centre-right alliance seems to […] more »

Italy: “History risks repeating itself…”

Fri 22 February 2013, 3:58pm
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Tweet The BBC’s Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt has been looking to Italy ahead of a general election brought 2 months early after Silvio Berlusconi’s party withdrew support for Mario Monti’s technocratic government – voting begins on Sunday.  The FT notes that Strong, stable government will be needed to continue the reform process put in place by […] more »

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

Fri 12 October 2012, 8:12pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Thu 26 July 2012, 2:55pm
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Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Thu 12 July 2012, 4:39pm
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Tweet 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, […] more »

Breakthrough on Ireland’s bank debt?

Fri 29 June 2012, 6:02am

Tweet This looks like a breakthrough on the Republic’s bank debt problem: According to a statement issued at 4am (Irish time), eurozone leaders pledged to “examine the situation of the Irish financial sector with the view of further improving the sustainability of the well-performing adjustment programme.” more »

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

Tue 19 June 2012, 2:55pm
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Tweet 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, […] more »

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

Mon 18 June 2012, 6:41pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Thu 14 June 2012, 6:42pm
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Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Wed 13 June 2012, 3:59pm
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Tweet 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 […] more »

Now Show Eurozone analogy: “Not the Englishman, they had a row about spicy food so he refused to come”

Tue 12 June 2012, 2:34pm

Tweet listen to ‘Now Show on the Eurozone crisis’ on Audioboo If the Eurozone crisis consistently confounds you, here’s a great extended analogy from this week’s Now Show on BBC Radio Four… It breaks off before the end, but it is great nonetheless… more »

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

Tue 12 June 2012, 12:32pm
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Tweet 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 […] more »

Spanish deal no magic bullet for Ireland after all

Mon 11 June 2012, 12:31pm

Tweet The debate on the implications for the Irish bailout is hotting up and is well covered in the Irish Times. Instead of setting a precedent for better terms, the paper argues that deal offered to Madrid actually reduces the chances of renegotiating it, and exposes the difference in treatment between large and small members […] more »

So why can’t Ireland get a Spanish deal?

Sun 10 June 2012, 12:12am

Tweet  It’s the obvious question isn’t ? Here it is posed by Stephen Kinsella in The Irish Economy Spain’s banks are getting a series of loans. Hooray. The rather vague Eurogroup statement on Spain is here. It’s being reported that Spain will require up to 100 billion euro for its banks, which will be added to […] more »

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

Wed 6 June 2012, 10:05pm
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Tweet 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? […] more »

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

Mon 4 June 2012, 5:32pm
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Tweet 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 […] more »

Fiscal Compact Referendum: A comment round up…

Sat 2 June 2012, 1:00pm

Tweet Is a class based politics emerging? Jason O’Mahony seems to think so. Complaints that it was the middle class and rural voters wot one it against the poorer classes is part of a limiting contempt that some sections of Irish politics have for the people who always broker political power in the Irish state. […] more »

Bilderberg 2012: “Like a corporate cross between Santa Claus and a big friendly squid.”

Fri 1 June 2012, 9:44pm

Tweet It’s just as well that Ireland said ‘Yes’ to the Fiscal Treaty.  I can only imagine the embarrassed silences Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, would have experienced this weekend if the result had gone the other way.  Where is Michael?  He’s in the US.  Virginia, since you ask.  In Chantilly.  At the 60th annual […] more »

Spoilt Vote of the Day

Fri 1 June 2012, 2:29pm

Tweet As spotted by the Guardian Eurozone crisis live blog. John McGuirk @john_mcguirk Spoilt vote of the day. Let’s see if the embed works. more »

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