Monday, 17 November 2008

Blogs : 17th November

A Friday night out in Europe. Tobias Schwarz, A Fistful of Euros (en)

Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt on Europe and the financial crisis. Guy La Roche, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Russia and China particularly, but India as well, let no opportunity pass to show the world that they are a force to be reckoned with. The question is, though, whether Europe will be able, or willing, to play a part in this multipolar concert. ‘Able’ it most certainly should be, but ‘willing’ is another matter. Europe continues to suffer from cold feet ..."

Inflation Is Dead In Spain, Fasten Up Your Seat Belts For A Sharp Dose Of Deflation. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... But this slowdown in annual inflation isn’t the important point, the big news, and the part most analysts seem to be missing, is that the price index peaked in June (as can be seen in the chart below, and whether you measure on the Spain general index or the EU HICP), since which time it has been falling, and from now on (barring the slight possibly of a minor “blip”) it looks like it is going to be downhill all the way ..."

Odd Moments in Political Economy. Doug Merrill, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... I’m beginning to think that our neighborhood grocery store here in Tbilisi could be an interesting source of stories about the politics and economics in the Second World. The tastiest corn chips come from Turkey, the cooking oil brands are almost all Russian (though with relations being what they are, I don’t know if the products themselves come directly from the neighbor to the north), the peanut butter from China looks too suspect to buy, and a fair amount of the pasta is Italian Barilla ..."

Jean-Pierre Jouyet quitte le gouvernement. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
"... Surtout, l’équipe élyséenne montre un autisme préoccupant à l’égard de l’Allemagne : seul un conseiller technique parle allemand et personne, dans l’entourage de Sarkozy ne connaît ce pays. Alors qu’à Berlin, toute l’équipe européenne de la Chancelière parle français, d’où un certain ressentiment à l’égard de Paris.
Autant dire que tout plaide pour un remplacement rapide de Jouyet par une personnalité d’envergure. L’idéal serait même qu’elle accède enfin au rang de ministre de plein exercice pour ne plus dépendre d’un quai d’Orsay rétif à à l'idée de partager ses prérogatives avec « Bruxelles ». On pourrait même imaginer que ladite personnalité parle allemand, mais il ne faut pas trop rêver quand même… "

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