EU crisis: “the question is whether all this can be kept under control.”

EU leaders will discuss the proposed revision of the Schengen agreement at a summit next month, as prompted by France and Italy – although the Guardian reported that, at a meeting of EU interior ministers, “15 of the 22 EU states which had signed up to Schengen supported the move, with only four resisting”. Meanwhile, the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, has written a strongly worded letter to the Danish prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, warning against the Danish Government’s proposals to unilaterally re-introduce …

Read more…

Robert Peston: “it will be squeaky bum time in government buildings all over Europe.”

The BBC’s business editor, and still everyone’s hero, Robert Peston, identifies the reasons why Europe continues to prescribe medication, rather than opting for untested, and risky, surgery.  At least for now.  From the Peston’s Picks blog There seem to be three reasons. First, in Germany, it is apparently politically more acceptable to provide rescue finance to Greece directly than to rescue German banks that foolishly and greedily bought Greek debt for its relatively high yield. Second, a Greek debt restructuring would …

Read more…

“border control and Schengen governance need to be strengthened to prevent irregular migration”

In the Irish Times Arthur Beesley reports on the European Commission’s recommendations following France and Italy’s call for reform of the Schengen Agreement.  From the Irish Times Formal legislative proposals to revise the Schengen system are likely within the next two months, according a communique on migration [Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström] issued yesterday. Her paper also calls for the relaxation in emergency situations of the rules under which applications for asylum must be processed in the EU country of first …

Read more…

“Civilised Europeans could indeed transcend boundaries – but the ‘barbarians’ would be kept resolutely beyond them.”

In the Irish Times Arthur Beesley suggests that the outcome of any review of the Schengen Agreement, as recently called for by France and Italy, will lead to tighter controls of external EU borders – at a time when non-EU countries, particularly in northern Africa,  face increasing civil unrest.  From the Irish Times report …temporary [internal EU] border controls can already be introduced under the existing regime. All that is required to waive the rules for 30 days is the declaration of a “serious threat” …

Read more…

Euro crisis: “the EU is setting itself up for failure”

In a lengthy article posted at Crooked Timber, John Quiggin and Henry Farrell argue that By concentrating on its economic problems but ignoring their political consequences, the EU is setting itself up for failure. The case for austerity does not make sense. And if the EU fails to deal with the political fallout of its own institutional weaknesses, it is going to collapse. No political body can force voters to repeatedly shoulder the costs of adjustment on their own and expect …

Read more…

Six Nations 2011 – Final Weekend

OK – Wales are 42 points behind England on goal difference with one game to go. So we need you to win by 41 and beat France in Paris to win the Championship. Stranger things have happened. But. Not. Often. So…Trimble and Sexton back. Zulus? Rorke’s Drift? – what’s Liam Toland on about? Come on Ireland, fix bayonets . . . “At one hundred yards! Volley fire, present! Aim! Fire!” Gatland loves George North (in for Shane). On the video: …

Read more…

Six Nations 2011 – weekend 4….

OK, it’s the big one and we have home advantage. Ireland, Just, Maybe.from the Irish Times. Gwyn thinks we’ll do it.From the Western Mail. Hooky pretty damn cool…from the BBC. At least Gatland isn’t making mischief – Nullify the ball carriers. Oh, and btw Bangladesh have beaten England. Laughed Out Loud! Update from the The Independent: Barry John could spot a gap the size of a mouse hole. So when he was sitting outside the Old Arcade pub in Cardiff’s …

Read more…

Six nations 2011 -weekend 3

So it’s: Italy v Wales and England v France tomorrow and Scotland v Ireland on Sunday. bbc has piles of stuff. Ireland hoping for space. Fragile France.Hmmm…we’ll see… Hooky at centre… For what it’s worth I can’t see France conceding 3 tries against England… DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Six Nations 2011 – Week 2.

OK, we have: England v Italy and Scotland v Wales today. Tomorrow Ireland host France. Plenty on the BBC. The Guardian makes Scotland favourites. Murrayfield is not a nice place when confidence is low….some of us have nightmares about 1951 (from British Pathe – a nice site..). …7 joint leaders of our prediction contest btw. As to Ireland..it’s a moment of truth according to the Irish Times. Enjoy. DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Roubini: “In A Few Days Time, There Might Not Be A Eurozone For Us To Discuss”

Via Business Insider – Reuters blogger – Felix Salmon writes up a Nouriel Roubini panel on “The Eurozone: Still One for All and All for One?” Nouriel, of course, takes that kind of thinking to its logical conclusion, and kicked off the panel by announcing that it was just in time: “in a few days,” he said, “there might not be a eurozone for us to discuss.” There’s no way that Greece can implement the 10% spending cut it needs …

Read more…