Europe

Vital Signs: Turkey shows the economic pain of global democratic backsliding

As American baseball legend Yogi Berra once supposedly quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Three years ago the crisis was in Greece, now it’s Turkey. Richard Holden The Conversation Another European summer and another European economic crisis. It’s tempting to say that being in Europe is all the two situations have in common. Greece’s population is a little over 10 million; Turkey’s is nearly 80 million. Greece’s troubles were triggered by out-of-control government debt; Turkey’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is ... Read More »

Most Europeans still believe in Europe – new study suggests

In the ongoing chaos and confusion of Britain’s departure from the EU, news that many UK constituencies are shifting from being leavers to remainers offers the opportunity to look at the Brexit debate from an unusual viewpoint: do citizens consider the EU as something more than just an… Simone Baglioni The Conversation The current Brexit debate focuses mainly on economic considerations, as if the only thing worth reflecting on at the end of a 45-year marriage – just like the ... Read More »

Erdoğan, Trump, and the Strongman Politics Devastating Turkey’s Economy

The usually bustling open market in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul was half full on Sunday. Shop owners had increased their prices twenty per cent over the past two weeks. Fariba Nawa The New Yorker The cost of a package of eggs had risen by fifty per cent in a week; the price of bananas imported from Latin America had doubled. Aynur Keskin, a homemaker with two school-aged children, bought a few items and shook her head, dismayed at the ... Read More »

Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance. Βy Bruno Maçães FP Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries. The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about ... Read More »

America is Addicted to Sanctions

Ukraine is a good case study in the ineffectiveness of sanctions. The best way to think about the role of sanctions in American foreign policy is to regard it as an addiction. Nicolai N. Petro The National Interest Think about it. The inability to change the behavior of even the most rinky-dink nations must be enormously frustrating to those at the helm of the world’s lone superpower. This leads, not surprisingly, to the search for ways to assuage this sense ... Read More »

Poland’s Duda vetoes change to European Parliament voting rules

Critics say planned change would have resulted in just two parties being able to win seats in next year’s European election. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico WARSAW — Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday refused to sign into law a change to the way the country elects members of the European Parliament, which critics say would have squeezed out all but the largest parties. The proposed change — which he said would have raised the election threshold to over 16 percent — is going ... Read More »

Genoa bridge collapse: maintaining these structures is a constant battle against traffic and decay

As rescue workers look for survivors in the concrete rubble that used to be part of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italian authorities are starting their investigation into the possible causes behind this… Marios Chryssanthopoulos The Conversation It is too early to determine what may have caused the catastrophic collapse of more than 100 metres of the multi-span, cable-stayed suspension bridge, completed just over 50 years ago. But it’s important to understand that bridge engineering does not end when construction ... Read More »

How Crete changed the course of World War Two

The Cretan Resistance caused significant damage to German morale and is likely one of the reasons why Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was unsuccessful. Jessica Bateman BBC Our car pulled up a dusty track next to a grove of olive trees. My guide, Stelios Tripalitakis, got out and started briskly walking in between their gnarled trunks, stopping every couple of metres to investigate objects he spotted on the ground. I followed, desperately trying to keep up in the heavy ... Read More »

Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Turkey

Readers criticize Turkey’s president (who wrote an Op-Ed article for The Times) for his increasingly autocratic and theocratic rule. The New York Times To the Editor: Re “Tensions Mount Between Ankara and Washington” (front page, Aug. 11): Let me get this straight. Last year President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looked on while his thuggish bodyguards assaulted American citizens peacefully protesting in Washington, and President Trump did nothing. This year, Mr. Erdogan ordered the Turkish military into northern Syria to attack and… ... Read More »

Kathy Sheridan: Imagine if Boris Johnson is right about the burqa?

Dogwhistle signal sent not by hack or clown but by former foreign secretary Kathy Sheridan The Irish Times Watching Boris Johnson offer mugs of tea to door-stepping journalists outside his country home was the latest in a series of “shoot me now” modern political vignettes. This was not about something jolly like an extra-marital fling or some private fetish. His comparison of burqa-wearing women’s appearance to letterboxes and bank robbers had become the number-one story in Britain. It may surprise ... Read More »

Constitution must align with values of Markievicz, not de Valera

De Valera excluded women from politics and relegated them to domestic sphere Sonja Tiernan The Irish Times Sinn Féin were arguably the biggest victors of the 1918 British general election. Their triumph included the election of Constance Markievicz, the first elected female MP. In line with Sinn Féin policy, elected members refused their seats in the House of Commons but instead formed the first Dáil Éireann in 1919. On her release from prison, Markievicz returned to Ireland and to her ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Rubbish to energy as Sweden wages war on waste with incinerators

Sweden has become the darling of the press when it comes to waste management. Articles claim Sweden “recycles nearly all of its waste” and in doing so “generates electricity and heating”. Foreign Correspondent – By Craig Reucassel ABC As I’ve made a bit of a habit of going around looking in people’s bins, I’m constantly being told we should be more like Sweden and make our waste useful. And when Australia was struck by the so-called China recycling crisis recently, it ... Read More »

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »

Why Turkey’s Lira Crisis Matters Outside Turkey

Investors are fretting about emerging markets again. Turkey is the front-burner concern at the moment, but what really is getting people’s attention is the prospect that the financial problems there could spread to other fast-growing but risky countries. By Matt Phillips The New York Times If history is any indication, that has the potential to quickly turn a local crisis into a global one. Or maybe not. What’s happening in Turkey? Over the last week the value of the Turkish ... Read More »

Trump Is the First President to Get Turkey Right

Good riddance to the so-called strategic relationship between Washington and Ankara. Steven A. Cook FP Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published an op-ed in the New York Times outlining his country’s grievances toward the United States. The Turkish leader raised valid concerns about U.S. policy that genuinely vex Turkish leaders and citizens alike. Yet Erdogan only told half the story, leaving his readers to believe that Washington has victimized a reliable ally and partner. The United States has long had ... Read More »