Thursday, 16 October 2008

Blogs : 16th October (en)

Vers un monde hétérogène et multipolaire. Quel rôle doit jouer l’UE dans la future gouvernance mondiale ? Monique Saby, (fr)
La crise financière réchauffe le climat. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
What would Marx say? Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
They live on a different planet … Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Who needs the EU? Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Who is it that the UK and Spain intend to invade ? BruceMcF, European Tribune (en)
Eluned Morgan to stand down; Labour is losing the wrong MEPs. Jon Worth, Euroblog (en)
Brown using the EU to dig the UK out of a hole. Jon Worth, Euroblog (en)

Busy on the BrugesGroupBlog Helen, EUReferendum (en)

Now Serbia Adds Its Name To Those In The IMF Sick Ward. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... So, to be clear, Serbia is not an “emergency case”, like Hungary for example - although it should be noted that the Hungarian government are stating that they are not an emergency case like Iceland, who are themselves not an emergency case, like Ukraine, for example, who are in no way to be considered as being in need of support in the way in which, let us say, Latvia is. And Latvia according to Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis is not any kind of case at all, and certainly not one to be compared with Serbia ..."

Another Great Depression? Katinka Barysh, Centre for European Reform (en)
" ... observers have drawn parallels between the current economic crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s. However, the stock market collapse of 1929 did not directly cause what turned out to be the deepest and most prolonged recession of modern times, ultimately ending in the Second World War. The blame lies with misguided macro-economic policies and protectionist reactions, such as the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariff of June 1930, which contributed to a collapse in international trade ...
... Surveys show that support for free trade among Europeans has been in decline for a couple of years, as people have become more concerned about globalisation, and in particular the rise of China. But overall, Europeans still hold rather benign views on international trade: over 80 per cent of Germans, French, Italians, Poles and Spaniards think that growing trade ties are, on balance, good for their country. Remarkably, in the traditionally more liberal UK the share is lower, at 77 per cent, and in the US barely over half, according to a Pew Global Attitudes Survey published earlier this year ...
... Most European countries trade more with their EU neighbours than with the rest of the world. Intra-EU trade is governed by the strict rules of the acquis, which does not allow any tariff or non-tariff barriers. The current recession will weaken EU countries’ commitment to state-aid rules, competition policy, as well as the liberalisation of services sectors and network industries such as energy. But the economic downturn would have to become truly catastrophic for trade barriers to re-appear within the EU ... "

Clochemerle-sur-Vistule and Clochemerle-sur-Vistule (suite). Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" ... Depuis la défaite électorale du PiS, le parti des jumeaux, à l’automne 2007, la Présidence de la République s’est érigée en fortin défensif afin d’empêcher Tusk de gouverner. En particulier, Lech Kaczynski tente de s’arroger des pouvoirs de représentation sur la scène internationale que la Constitution ne semble pas lui conférer ...
... 83 % des Polonais affirment avoir honte de ce conflit, selon des sondages publiés aujourd’hui, et 63 % donnent raison au premier ministre contre 26 % au Président ...
... « On n’allait quand même pas fiche dehors un chef d’État », soupire un fonctionnaire européen. Alors qu’il n’avait pas été accrédité par son gouvernement, Lech Kaczynski, le Président de la République polonaise, a donc été autorisé à pénétrer dans le bâtiment du Conseil européen en compagnie de ses conseillers et de ses porte-flingues. Pour ce faire, et pour la première fois depuis 1952, un chef d’État a été accrédité directement par le Conseil des ministres européens … "

The man who knows? Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... Nout Wellink : ... This crisis is no different. Weakness in fundamental underwriting principles, among other factors, was a key contributor to asset quality problems. So was poor risk management, which at some firms allowed the build-up of massive risk concentrations across the firm that further compounded already shaky asset quality. Some banks were caught completely unaware by concentrations to subprime loans that they had in their loan portfolios. Others did not fully understand their full exposure to subprime mortgages, particularly when they purchased an exposure that contained dozens of other exposures – I am of course referring here to CDOs of ABS. Poor asset quality and risk concentrations are at the heart of the turmoil involving subprime mortgages which has led to the exceptional uncertainty and volatility that we see today. These problems have been further compounded by uncertainties relating to valuation practices ..."

Brown and Bretton Woods. Ironies Too (en)
" ... As this blog pointed out over the past several days, in the UK the plan by the duo of Scottish schemers involved nothing more sophisticated than a huge transfer of English taxpayer funds across the border to prop up two failed Scottish institutions (with an added pinch of confusion involving Lloyds to allow the BBC and other tame media to misreport the operation) ..."

Watch out Cowen, angry MEPs are after you. Open Europe Blog (en)
" ... According to the Irish Times Spanish MEP Íñigo Méndez de Vigo yesterday demanded the resignation of Irish PM Brian Cowen ..."

Populism and democracy in Eastern Europe. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
" ... In the end however, populism has its limits, and Rupnik argues that the EU has ways to restrain its worst manifestations. He cites the marginalization of Wolfgang Schüssel coalition government for including Haider’s far-right Austrian Freedom Party, which is an indication that “the EU framework can help to marginalize radical populists and absorb the more moderate ones ... The existence of the EU itself is enough to calm fears of resurgent populist and nationalist movements. Thus, Rupnik’s conclusion is that “Europe is less vulnerable than other regions facing democratic regression.” ..."

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