“I don’t know what to say..”

Yesterday a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) had an exchange of views with US Ambassador William Kennard on EU-US Trade relations. Joe Higgins, Irish Socialist Party MEP, confronted the American Ambassador over his country’s trading relationship with Israel: Is trade still a value-free activity that must not involve human rights and other rights? Or what has significantly changed in the new administration? And if something has significantly changed, why does your administration still continue to … Read more

Euro crisis: A Straight-Jacket to Impose Austerity on European Peoples

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Policy, recently held a joint press conference with President José Manuel Durão Barroso on Reinforced economic policy cooperation in Europe where he again flagged their desire to have more input into National budgets: The Lisbon Treaty provides plenty of room for progress through a better and full use of the existing economic policy instruments, and through revised and new secondary legislation, where needed. In particular, article 136 on economic policy coordination enables … Read more

Euro crisis: “We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.”

In the Irish Times, Arthur Beesley identifies “one of the fundamental dilemmas in political leadership” being faced by eurozone politicians caught in a manifestation of  “the political trilemma of the world economy” This presents a cocktail of nasty choices for EU leaders, many of whom seem more comfortable in the local arena than in the European amphitheatre. Previously, they were free to do as they pleased in a currency system that did not hold debt-addiction to be any great sin. Now, national … Read more

Britain’s Wizard of Oz election…

It struck me the other day that, in Britain at least, we’re witnessing something of a Wizard of Oz election… Now please forgive the crude charaterisations here, it’s certainly not intended to wound or make light of profoundly serious matters, but it seems to me that the three party leaders roughly approximate to the characters of scarecrow, the tinman and the cowardly lion… So for starters, you have Gordon Brown as the lion wishing he had the nerve… Then Nick … Read more

Greece hammered by the markets

Constantin Gurdgiev interprets the 2 year Greek bond yields – This is it, folks. No where else to run. Greek interest on public debt would swallow over 19 percent of their GDP annually! Ouch! FWIW, that is almost half what a normal country would take in tax revenues, being used to meet unproductive interest payments.. In The Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that the ECB will have to intervene soon and begin purchasing sovereign government debt. The European Central Bank may … Read more

Does the DUP want to pull out of the European Union?

Interesting piece from Jonathan Isaby yesterday at Conservative Home, which points out that the Better Off Out group, which favours British withdrawal from the European Union, had 15 MPs as members. Of which no fewer than 8 out of the DUPs nine MPs constituted more than half its parliamentary members. As Jonathan points out, that’s not exactly what it says in the party’s manifesto… In the section about international affairs, it merely states that: “too many powers have been ceded by … Read more