Europe

Greece was never bailed out – it remains locked in an EU debtor’s prison

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Punitive conditions attached to the ‘rescue’ package mean the Greek financial tragedy may never end Yanis Varoufakis The Guardian Over the past week, the world’s media have been proclaiming the successful completion of the Greek financial rescue programme mounted in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Headlines celebrated the end of Greece’s bailout, even the termination of austerity. Buoyant reports from ground zero of the eurozone crisis portrayed Europe’s eight-year long Greek intervention as a paradigm ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit ‘could lead to break up of UK’

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Former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause the United Kingdom itself to collapse. Angus Howarth The Scotsman The ex-Belgian prime Minister told the Observer that crashing out without a deal was “an existential threat to the UK itself”. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she will decide whether to call for a second Scottish independence referendum by the end of this year. Van Rompuy believes a… No-deal Brexit… Read More »

Ankara Tries Turkish Cypriot Journalist for Criticizing Turkey

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A veteran journalist in Europe’s last divided city, Nicosia, has been targeted and intimidated by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for criticizing Turkey’s actions in Cyprus and elsewhere in the region. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute Şener Levent, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-language daily newspaper, Afrika, in Cyprus, has been charged with crimes by Turkish prosecutors in Ankara. The charges concern the January 21 front page of the newspaper, which criticized Turkey’s invasion of the Syrian city of Afrin as well as ... Read More »

Is China Repeating Germany’s World War I Mistakes?

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Channeling his inner Kaiser Wilhelm, Xi calls on China’s navy to “aim for the top ranks in the world… John Maurer The National Interest Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military.” At a recent show of Chinese naval might in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping called for China to acquire a world-class navy, declaring to the assembled officers and crews that there has never been a… This demonstration of ... Read More »

Seafood diplomacy? Erdogan invites ‘dearest friend’ Putin to meet at fish restaurant

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan may soon be discussing the S-400 anti-air systems deal while eating fish or lobsters, as Putin has been reminded of an arrangement to meet at a… * RT An invitation from Erdogan, delivered to Putin by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Friday, said: “Your dearest friend, Mr. Erdogan, has asked to convene his greetings and best wishes, he is hoping for your visit to Istanbul in the near future. You have ... Read More »

Pope Francis in Ireland draws 600,000 people amid protests

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Although his visit will draw vast crowds, Ireland is no longer the Catholic stronghold it once was. His visit will be marked by abuse protests that would have been unthinkable at Pope John Paul II’s visit. Ralf Sotscheck DW Pope Francis is coming to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, and the Emerald Isle has come down with Pope fever. A large part of central Dublin has been cordoned off, and 600,000 people are expected at the papal Mass ... Read More »

Turkey police fire tear gas at mothers’ protest

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Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have forcefully broken up a regular protest by mothers remembering relatives who disappeared during violence in the 1990s. BBC Officers used water cannon and tear gas and detained about 50 people, including veteran protester Emine Ocak, said to be in her 80s. The group, called the Saturday Mothers, have met in central Istanbul since 1995 and this was to be their 700th protest. Rights groups condemned the crackdown. It was “shameful, cruel treatment ... Read More »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

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Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

Egypt joins with EU to protect water security

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CAIRO — Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Mohamed Abdel Aty announced in a July 24 press release that an agreement had been reached with the European Union (EU) to finance an irrigation-development project and improve the… Ayah Aman Al-Monitor The Egyptian government has been seeking to expand cooperation with international partners to address the threats to Egyptian water security. Egypt suffers from water scarcity, with a water deficit of 20 billion cubic meters (16.2 million acre feet) a year. The government has… Egypt joins ... Read More »

Greek Casino Project Considers Pitches From U.S. Companies

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Greece is undergoing a potentially country-defining construction project. America’s largest gambling operators want to be a part of it. Ryan Batler gambling Four leading U.S. companies are among a group of five meeting with Greek officials in the coming weeks to discuss the lone license to open a mammoth new casino in the country, according to a report from Ekathimerini, an international edition of the… These companies will discuss investment terms and demands from the Hellenic Gaming Commission, which is ... Read More »

Greece’s “Bailout” Was a Disaster for Greece

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Some bailout that turned out to be. The European Stability Mechanism disbursed its final tranche of loans to the Greek government on Aug. 6. On Aug. 20, the program officially ended, although the loans are not expected to be fully repaid for another half-century. Matthew C. Klein Barron’s If their purpose was to support the Greek economy, the emergency loans must be considered a failure. Since 2008, the economy has shrunk by a quarter, and more than 400,000 Greeks have ... Read More »

Bunga bunga Britain

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May gestures as she delivers a keynote speech on Brexit at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on July 20, 2018. - With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March. (Photo by Charles McQuillan / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHARLES MCQUILLAN/AFP/Getty Images)

UK politics are looking distinctly Mediterranean. Erik Jones Politico BOLOGNA, Italy — Which country is hot in the summer, good at football and a political basket case? Italy? No, Britain (OK, England in the football). There was a time, not too long ago, when British politics was decisive and Italian politics was fractious. Things have changed. In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May is suffering the slings and arrows of warring factions within her… Her government relies on a tenuous confidence and ... Read More »

The Turkish Currency Crisis And What It Can Teach Us

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Turkey’s currency turmoil follows a well-known scenario. It is one more case in the long series of financial crises that afflict the international monetary system. Antony Mueller Seeking Alpha Just over the past two-and-half-decades, international markets experienced the crisis of the British pound (1992), the Mexican and Argentinean currency crises (1994), the East Asia currency turmoil (1997), and the collapse of the… In 2007, the liquidity-driven housing boom in the United States began to falter and Lehman Brothers filed for ... Read More »

Germany Declares Independence From America

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Also, Germany is once again the world-champion exporter. Richard Palmer theTrumpet German’s foreign minister declared independence from the United States this week. Europe, he said, should form a “counterweight” to the U.S., opposing America whenever it “crosses red lines.” Writing in Germany’s Handlesblatt newspaper, he warned that Germany couldn’t be this counterweight alone. “The main goal of our foreign policy is therefore to build a sovereign, strong Europe,” he wrote. He called for European independence in practical ways; he wants ... Read More »

Putin and Erdoğan Knock Again at Merkel’s Door

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Sanctions force the two autocrats to negotiate with Germany over Syria. By Josué Michels theTrumpet Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey and Russia are warming up again. For several years, these relationships have been frosty. Reuters reported last week “But now, a diplomatic firework erupted” (Trumpet translation throughout). German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three hour discussion on August 18. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planned for September. Ahead of the meeting ... Read More »

The Ally That Isn’t

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Almost two years ago, the American Presbyterian minister Andrew Brunson was taken hostage by the Turkish government. The Editors Weekly Standard The charges against him—“political or military espionage” and “support for a terrorist group”—are absurd. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen extradited from the United States—he holds a paranoid grudge against Gülen, whom he blames for a coup attempt in 2016—and erroneously thought the… President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both paid ... Read More »