Monday, 29 September 2008

Blogs : 29th September

Bail-outs all around. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
Ségolène's new look. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
New developments in France? Helen, EUReferendum (en)
A puzzling development. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
EU to investigate Bradford and Bingley bail out. 29th September, Irony Too (en)

Happy Families Russian Style. Edward Hugh,A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Russia seems to have been hit by some sort of “perfect-storm trifecta” in the shape of falling oil prices, a back reaction to Moscow’s “go it alone” attitude to Georgia’s two separatist regions, and economic overheating on the back of the global oil boom and the rising consumer and corporate credit growth in the Russian economy itself ...
... Basically Russia is suffering from some sort of modern variant of what is colloquially known as the “Dutch disease”. Revenue generated by the recent sharp oil and commodities boom has served to accelerate the Russian economy way beyond its real short term capacity - bringing home the impact of the underlying demographic challenge in the shape of labour shortages produced by many years of very low fertility and exceptionally poor health among Russia’s male over-50 male population ...

L'euro, un bouclier discret, trop discret. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ... Le tsunami financier parti des États-Unis en août 2007 n’en finit pas d’ébranler le monde avec une violence inouïe. L’Europe est particulièrement exposée, l’interpénétration des deux principales économies mondiales étant forte. Mais il faut imaginer ce qui se passerait si le bouclier de l’euro n’existait pas ...
... L’Europe l’a expérimenté lors des grandes crises monétaires des années 92-93 qui l’ont plongé dans la récession. Selon Michel Sapin, alors ministre socialiste des finances, cette crise a sans doute coûté à la France près d’un million de chômeurs supplémentaire

We'll Always Have Paris. Eurosoc 3, EuroSoc (en)
" ... But French president Nicolas Sarkozy has a fervent belief that there needs to be a change in the landscape. In a rare outbreak of agreement with Paris's Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanöe, he has already enrolled Richard Rogers’ firm of British architects, amongst other prestigious non-French consultants, to ponder and perhaps draw up blueprints for a new and improved Paris ..."

A Good Season For France. Eurosoc 2, EuroSoc (en)
" .. The French are traditionally glum (well, more glum than usual) at this time of year ... Yet France is on something of a roll, internationally. In Nicolas Sarkozy, they have, until the US election at least, one of the world's most visible statesmen. France's state electricity "champion" has just agreed to buy British Energy, the UK's biggest power producer, in a deal which even the British government's supporters are saying will "keep the lights on" in Perfidious Albion. And finally, Anglo-Saxon government responses to market turmoil suggests to some that maybe the French were right about international finance all along ...
... Also, concentrating on only a few factors doesn't give the entire picture, as the French have always been keen to point out when their GDP per capita is compared unfavorably with that of the US, or when its universities are ranked far below Harvard and Yale.
France has had a bad few years, and its own system has proved unable to share the enviable lifestyle of its middle classes with the unemployed inhabitants of the housing estates. Longer-term problems related to pensions (and the like) still plague France, though the wider global crisis has drawn attention away from these ..."

" ... Psyche and reliability - SNCF is a national treasure, while British trains are a national disaster, and related to that the perceived lack of reliability of British trains ..."

EU budget committee criticises EU agencies. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... NOTES WITH CONCERN the general findings of the Court that the audited decentralised agencies do not plan their activities adequately nor, for most of them, have at their disposal sound tools for monitoring their activities, and that the reporting of the activities and the evaluation of the results need to be improved."

Adjusting to a non-European world. Open Europe Blog (en)
" ... Now more than ever, Europeans inhabit a non-European world. There is no choice but to adjust to that and safeguard, as quickly and soberly as we can, what is left of Europe's role in global politics and economics." Menon touches on a key failing in the thinking of much of the European political class - the idea that Europe's rapidly declining power can be remedied by closer institutional centralisation ...
... In the broad sweep of history, Europe's period of dominance was short - 200 years at most. This ascendance was achieved as a result of complex factors that are hotly debated amongst historians. But there are two key points to note. First, Europe may be weak now, but it was relatively much weaker in the past (as recently as 1700, Qing China and Mughal India each represented a little less than 25 per cent of world GDP). Second, Europe's meteoric rise was achieved not through the centralisation of power, but through technical, fiscal, political and cultural innovation amongst diverse nation states ..."

" ... The renewal of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine will simply maintain the formal status quo. I’m not sure that we can interpret an automatic treaty renewal as a “positive development.” ..."

No comments: