The walls are going up all over Europe; we shall not see them lowered in our lifetime. The dream of "ever-closer union," and the eventual merging of nations into a United States of Europe, is over. From the white cliffs of Dover in the west, where David Cameron refused to follow Brussels's orders to grant welfare payments to working migrants, to the east, where Hungary's border with Romania is marked with razor wire; from Athens in the Mediterranean south, where a populist government mocks Germany, the architect of the union's fiscal policy, to Stockholm in the Baltic north, where the government has closed its borders to immigrants: The European Union has not only stalled on the road to union—it is coming apart.
Here isRead more
Across the Middle East, there is concern about the nuclear deal with Iran. By releasing frozen assets and removing economic sanctions, the deal seems to facilitate renewed aggression. Won’t that encourage more violence from Iranian terror proxies, like Hezbollah and Hamas? The international community is preparing its response.Read more
Flushed with the success of its five-year effort to restore prosperity to Greece, Brussels’ eurocrats have turned their attention to Italy, and ruled that the country’s famous buffalo mozzarella need not be made with fresh milk: powdered milk will do just fine. So Italy will have to repeal a 1974 law that bans the use of powdered and condensed milk in cheese, reports the Financial Times.Read more
The vote in Greece is running 60 percent “No” on the terms of its creditors. The same experts who had been predicting a close vote will now explain why it was a runaway in favor of … well, who knows. But count on the usual confident voices to sort it all out.Read more
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will not find a home in France. The French government has announced today it will not grant asylum to the fugitive.
"France has received the letter from Mr Assange. A closer examination shows that given the legal elements and the material situation of Mr. Assange, France can not act on its request. The situation of Mr Assange presents no immediate danger. He is also the subject of a European arrest warrant," the French government writes in a statement released by the Elysee Palace.Read more
We have been hearing, for so long now, that the end is nigh in the crisis of the Greek economy that it is hard to take another such warning seriously. The problem of Greece, like so many others, seems to have no end, no resolution and, even, no point. Unless, that is, you are a citizen of Greece. Then it is your life.Read more
There is an important difference between European and American appetites, in addition to those for fast foods: risk taking. “Investments in Start-Ups Pick Up Pace,” reports the New York Times after surveying the high-tech financing scene here in America. “Europe Struggles to Foster a Startup Culture,” reports the Wall Street Journal. It seems that in contrast with “multiple rounds of fund-raising [in the U.S.] in months, rather than years,” Europeans are “valuing prudence … and leisure time over flamboyant risk-taking.”Read more
Springtime in the Mediterranean: The skies are clear, the waters are calm, and the migrants are drowning. In 2014, the U.S. Border Patrol estimated that 307 people died while being smuggled into the United States from Mexico. So far this year, more than 1,650 people have drowned as they attempted to cross Europe’s most porous and dangerous border, the Mediterranean. In 2014, the Border Patrol “rescued” 509 migrants along the Mexican border.Read more
Bill de Blasio is trying to insert himself into the foreign policy arena. The New York City mayor, more specifically, has commented on the deaths of refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
"Drowning deaths off Libya are a man-made tragedy. EU must get serious about tackling the problem at the root and caring for those at home," de Blasio says on Twitter.
Drowning deaths off Libya are a man-made tragedy. EU must get serious about tackling the problem at the root and caring for those at home.Read more
Eight days after a meeting on a potential free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union last month, two congressmen introduced a bill to influence the process and help prevent economic discrimination against Israel. Called the “U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act” the bill is an effort to counter the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which is lamentably popular in Europe.Read more
Today is the sixth anniversary of Hillary Clinton's reset with Russia. That's when Clinton physically gave her Russian counterpart a "reset" button (though, in fact, she got the translation wrong):Read more
Former Texas governor Rick Perry is taking on Russian president Vladimir Putin. The possible presidential candidate says that the "peace and security of the world" depends on how America deals with Russia.
Here's what Perry recommends doing to counter Putin's recent aggression:Read more
Vice President Biden spent about a day and a half in Belgium in early February to meet with various European leaders, but his entourage, security team and other delegation members required up to 209 rooms for up to three weeks surrounding the visit.Read more
In Athens in mid-January, two weeks before the election that would make 40-year-old engineer Alexis Tsipras Greece’s new prime minister, a bunch of cleaning ladies explained to me why they planned to vote for his party, the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza, for its Greek acronym). We met where they had lived, at least part of the time, for the past 16 months: among tents on the sidewalk in front of the economics ministry in downtown Athens.Read more
Vice President Joe Biden is in Europe today where how spoke out against Vladimir Putin's aggression toward Ukraine.
"Ukraine is fighting for its very survival right now. Russia continues to escalate the conflict by sending mercenaries and tanks and as we euphemistically say in the United States, Little Green Men, without patches in, and very sophisticated special operation soldiers," Biden said at the European Council building in Brussels.Read more
The European Parliament has called for the dismemberment of Google, the French want “les Gafa,” as they call Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, reined in, EU regulators are under pressure to get tough with the Americans. And the leaders of Silicon Valley’s non-tax-paying, privacy-invading, dominant tech firms, to use EU descriptives, are surprised. They shouldn’t be.Read more
Only 12 years ago, the Republic of Turkey was correctly seen as the model of a pro-Western Muslim state, and a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. A strong military bond with the Pentagon undergirded broader economic and cultural ties with Americans. And then, starting with the 2002 elections that brought the Justice and Development party (AKP) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first as prime minister and now as president, to power, Turkey dramatically changed course.Read more
When it comes to military actions, President Obama likes to declare the end of wars, regardless of whether America’s opponents agree that is the case. When it comes to economic wars, he has no need to declare an end, no need for unilateral disarmament, because he never engages in the first place. Indeed, he does all he can to make our adversaries’ task easier by spiking any guns we might have before they can be fired by Congress, his trade union friends, or other aggrieved parties.Read more
In the late 17th century, times were tough in Scotland. The Stuarts, the Scots’ royal family, had been tossed off the throne of England for a second time, and the country had been excluded from the burgeoning English system of international trade regulated by the Navigation Acts. Even the climate was more miserable than usual: these were the worst years of northern Europe’s “little ice age.”Read more
This week’s referendum on Scottish independence may seem like an obscure, perhaps even Ruritanian quarrel to many Americans, but it has profound implications not just for the U.K. and Europe but also for the United States.Read more
Vladimir Putin’s efforts to establish hegemony over Ukraine may now have reached a decisive point both for the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and for the NATO alliance. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko warned on August 30 that Russia’s invasion of his country and extensive aid to pro-Moscow separatists could soon “reach the point of no return,” becoming a generalized conflict. German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that “the situation is increasingly getting out of control.”Read more
In my quest to write an article about my family vacation to Turkey and thereby write off part of the cost, I came up with an observation I deemed worthy of David Brooks or Malcolm Gladwell. It turned out to be dead wrong.Read more
A time bomb does not have to be elegant; it just has to be lethal, primed, and in the right place when the moment comes. Britain’s next general election is set for May 7, 2015. That is likely the day when David Cameron will pay the full price for failing to have defused the revolt on his right.Read more
Reverberating through the chattering classes of Europe and America is the recent triumph of Nigel Farage’s U.K. Independence party (UKIP) in the European parliament elections. UKIP bested both Labour and the Tories not only in England but also in Wales and Scotland. The victory might be explained away by low turnout, but that apathy itself is commentary on the EU’s unpopularity.Read more
In the curious pantomime that is the EU parliament, the French politician Joseph Daul is a star. He’s the president of the European People’s party (the principal center-right bloc in the parliament), an apparatchik with impeccable EU establishment credentials. He has euro-federalist beliefs, a funding scandal in his past, and a willingness to warn that Brussels is all that stands between the continent and a reversion to its warring ways. He’s also a little twitchy about the elections to the EU parliament later this month.Read more
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