Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Sweden Rules the EU

by someone Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 04:55:39 AM EST

[Yesterday], a small country in northern Europe [took] charge of the large and unwieldy European Union. Our protagonist is the bold (and bald) Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister or Sweden, and his merry band of ministers and assorted political lackeys. Will he succeed, and what constitutes success in the European presidential ring? Will he increase the prestige of our small country? Ah, yes, and what will he actually attempt to accomplish while in charge?

(photo and logo courtesy of se2009.eu, the official site of the presidency)

promoted by Nomad

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The Anglo Disease -- An ET comment thread

by someone Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 10:38:53 AM EST


Someone please take this subthread and make a diary out of it! :-)

Your wish is my command! (Is this what you meant?)

From the comment thread attached to the story: What the Economist hates about Europe in two sentences

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Big Button Day -- LIVE

by someone Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 02:57:42 AM EST

Welcome to big button day at CERN. The beams are ready and waiting. Impatient protons bunched together before the ride of their life in the greatest particle amusement park happy fun land. (Don't tell them we'll eventually want to smash them together and turn them from matter to energy. They may stop cooperating.)

Turn on time should be 09:30, and I will try to follow events as they occur. And post gratuitous pictures I pull from the CERN system. And pretend that something is actually happening, and that it is not just an amphitheatre filled with spectators.

An amphitheatre that is filling up quite well at the moment. Looks like we get a good turnout. Okay, no pics. Seems other people had the same idea as I and the CERN multimedia server is overloaded. Darn.

Live blogging from the LHC - afew

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LTD: Proprety prices and loans in Sweden

by someone Thu Aug 28th, 2008 at 12:04:25 PM EST

A small collection of articles about some possible concerns in the Swedish property market.

Många är högt belånadeMany with high loans
För tolv år sedan, 1996, låg den rörliga boräntan kring 9-10 procent. Och tidigare var den ännu högre. Men om räntorna stiger till den nivån i dag skulle det få helt andra effekter än i mitten av 1990-talet.Twelve years ago, in 1996, the variable mortgage interest rate was around 9-10%. And earlier it had been even higher. If interest rates were to increase to that level today it would have completely different effect than in the middle of the nineties.

Oooo. That sounds ominous. I wonder how the Swedish mortgage and property situation looks right now?

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TribExt v0.1234

by someone Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 11:17:01 AM EST

Yes! It's a new version of TribExt. Some fixes are provided for old features, and a few new ones are introduced. Mostly, however, it has been updated for Firefox 3.0. I will not be around much tonight, so enjoy in my absence. Any bugs will be dealt with starting from tomorrow.

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Socratic Economics XI: Demographics

by someone Sun Jun 29th, 2008 at 08:44:25 AM EST

Written in the spirit of the Socratic Economics Series

From the June 26th Salon:

The Future of American Power
But Europe has one crucial disadvantage. Or, to put it more accurately, the United States has one crucial advantage over Europe and most of the developed world. The United States is demographically vibrant. Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, estimates that the U.S. population will increase by 65 million by 2030, whereas Europe's population will remain "virtually stagnant." Europe, Eberstadt notes, "will by that time have more than twice as many seniors older than 65 than children under 15, with drastic implications for future aging. (Fewer children now means fewer workers later.)

My first reaction was my usual frustration that the need for fresh young babies are taken for granted, and that the finite carrying capacity of the earth seems to be taken into account nowhere.

But on a second examination, there is something else potentially amiss here. Children and the old have one thing in common. They are not economically productive, and they require resources for their survival. Yet, somehow, the old are in this type of article considered only a burden, and the young, only a benefit in terms of future workers. Yet, right now, they both need nourishment and care, and give nothing (of economic value) in return. Thus it would seem, to me, naively, that perhaps fewer children to support would make the numerous aging more affordable. Sure, they will provide fewer workers later, but at that point we would expect even fewer children. In effect, the two 'parasitic' age groups would balance each other out. So, what would the demographics of a shrinking population look like?

Promoted by DoDo

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Multi-lingual ET?

by someone Thu May 15th, 2008 at 11:51:04 AM EST

I have from time to time though about the problem of creating a mulit-lingual community blog, and have some ideas on what some requirements of such a platform ought to be. First, I think a hybrid machine/person translation system is a must. We cannot expect to hand translate every comment, and one can often get a sense of what it should be from the machine version. A machine version should initially be generated for all contributions, and improvements should then be user submitted for diaries and substantial comments. The key, I think, is a true multi-lingual community blog. As in, users with different languages should be reading the same material, and responding to each other's comments. If all we manage to create are parallel language communities with the occasional cross over diary, it is in my opinion a failure. Given this, how might a multi-lingual interface work?

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TribExt v0.123

by someone Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 at 08:22:47 AM EST

We have a new version of TribExt. With some new features, and with some bugs fixed.

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Sweden Politik - economic policy and the welfare state

by someone Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 09:25:43 AM EST

Time to drag up some articles from the Swedish press form a few weeks ago, that I found infuriating during this past weekend of much coughing and sneezing.

Svenska Dagbladet - Debatt - "Reinfeldts falskhet ett historiskt svek"
25 November, 2007
"Reinfeldt's dishonesty a historic betrayal"
November 25, 2007
Mona Sahlin till våldsamt angrepp mot statsministern: Han leder en regering som konsekvent och medvetet försöker vilseleda sina väljare. Mona Sahlin in a violent attack on the prime minister: He leads a government that is consistently and consciously trying to mislead its voters.

This is the beginning of the introductory paragrap (by the paper, Svenska Dagbladet) to a debate article by Mona Sahlin, the opposition leader. Sounds juicy, no? A violent attack by the opposition! Accusation of betrayal and outright lying to the voters? Where might this go?

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Of version numbering and convergence

by someone Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 05:37:28 AM EST

Most software indulges in version numbering along an unbounded trajectory. It seems that those applications can endure an almost endless progression of added features for the next release. It seems quite in line with the neoliberal consensus that better is always more, in an ever increasing amount. The alternative is to use a convergent version numbering:

Donald Knuth has specified that TeX's version number converges to π, therefore version 3.1415 is only the fourth minor revision after version 3. The next minor revision will be version 3.14159. Similarly, MetaFont's version number converges to e (2.7182818284...).
Somehow, the tendency of the dominant software releases to use unbounded version numbering seems symptomatic of the neoliberal pathology that will not recognize the convergent nature of maturing technologies, in an effort to encourage consumption of ever 'new' products.

This is just to introduce the latest version of the Firefox extension [UPDATE new file with some bug-fixes + DoDo's button][UPDATE2 lets try again...] TribExt, which I started a while a go. Update [2007-9-24 12:28:47 by DoDo]: Now also downloadable from ET.

A nifty browser extension to enhance your ET experience — promoted by Migeru

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Pointless melodrama on a tree stump

by someone Sat May 26th, 2007 at 03:55:16 AM EST

A tree I never saw, was sawed, and left a stump.

from the diaries ~ whataboutbob

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EU consultation on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

by someone Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 05:17:17 AM EST

EU consultations. Questionnaires. We have been through this before. Mostly they present us with wonderful opportunities to answer sequences of questions structured to manufacture consent for neoliberal market ideas.

So, is it worthwhile to spend a lot of time on these things? Probably not. It might however be worthwhile to spend some time answering, and in particular, providing text that more fully addresses what we preserve as the main point in the free answer boxes, as well as possibly making a fuzz about the process... See EU Energy Green Paper Consultation for past efforts...

Here's a new one anyway:
Energy - New and Renewable Energies - Intelligent Energy for Europe (Deadline: 13 May 2007)

from the diaries, with small edits. --Jérôme

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Political gossip from Sweden

by someone Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:08:30 AM EST

From yesterday's Open Thread, Starvid:

Breaking news:

During his entire career as PM, Swedish former PM Göran Persson (1996-2007) was regularly interviewed by the journalist Eric Fichtelius, who has made it all into a 4 hour documentary. Persson is extremely frank as the show was promised to be aired only after his retirement as PM.

The first part of four was aired tonight and I just watched it. The funniest thing from a European presepective is what he says about the day when the EMU treaty was signed.

It's funny, this is true. I watched it and ended up doing a transcription/translation into English of some parts for a few of my friends. Here it is for you. I have to get back to work, so no commentary from me at this point. Enjoy!

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Falling into a black hole

by someone Wed Mar 14th, 2007 at 11:44:30 AM EST

This story begins a few weeks back, when I was sitting here in front of this very same computer, reading this very same Eurotrib. There were some comments in various diaries that I though added up to something interesting. As I began my work of copy-paste I quickly grew annoyed. First, copy some text, then slap it in a block quote and provide a link with the author name. These several steps ought to be done by the computer, not me! This is true as well when getting material from other web sites, except then we'd like to link to the main site, and not to as specific content marker as in a comment. Well, we are here, the Word Wide Internet 2.0 is here, Firefox is here, and all the infrastructure to define ones own functionality is in place. Thus my choice was made, and I began what I can only describe as a thrilling fall into the Black Hole that is xul, javascript, and the Document Object Model.

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Vernier -- Ph0t0s

by someone Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 05:33:08 AM EST

whataboutbob issued the following appeal yesterday:

So ...this is a request...even a plea...for any of you who are so inclined to please feel encouraged to submit an article, or a photojournal, or anything of this sort.

Well, you asked for it, you get it. I have dusted off some of my pictures of a walk along the Rhône in Vernier, Switzerland. Hope you like big buildings!

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French election + Swedish media

by someone Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 10:26:42 AM EST

As I know that we just can't get enough of the upcoming French presidential elections I thought I'd do a quick rundown on how the campaign so far has been covered in the Swedish media. I found it rather instructive. It seems like the Swedish media has largely completely internalised the inevitability of neoliberal economics. On several occasions the frustrated Swedish journalists note how French politicians seem to fail to grasp how the future is here, it's reform or die, and France should really think of the rest of Europe and get on with it already.

Worth noting for those who think that Social Democracy in the Swedish manner is a good thing: I think, that in Sweden even the Social Democrats have come to terms with the inevitabilities of the market and the neoliberal policies it demands. There is no other option worth talking about, and France is seen as simply backwards. I see this as a strong reason to be very wary of the 'Scandinavian model'. It is not really all that left anymore.

Disclaimer: I give no guarantee that these articles are in fact representational of Swedish coverage of the French presidential elections. I did some searching of major Swedish newspapers, and grabbed some stuff that was interesting, or seemed to be reoccuring. Below are brief summaries of the main points I found.

I think the French elections might offer us a very nice opportunity to do a comparison of media across Europe. A kind of snapshot of the European media landscape, in other words. So, let me encourage others to take a look at how the media of some other nation covers this. Do they all (as I suspect) recycle the same ideas and the same narratives?

From the diaries -- whataboutbob

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Sexual rights of the disabled

by someone Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 10:53:18 AM EST

Today, Aftonbladet, a Swedish evening newspaper, has two articles about the sexual needs and rights of disabled persons. The question is: Should the government provide the severely disabled who might have a very hard time to ever find a sexual partner "the normal way" with access to sex workers? Should there be a state-run prostitution service for the disabled?

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Amsterdam and the Wrath of God

by someone Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 08:37:51 AM EST

The wrath of God was upon Amsterdam these past few days, coinciding with my visit of the city with a friend. Determined to give the place a bit of a walk-about anyway, we braved the brisk winds that occasionally made walking upright difficult, taking refuge every few hours in a coffeeshop. The consumption options at these establishments offered a fine enhancement of the sense of drama the occasion of the storm provided.

See the wrath below - from the diaries -- whataboutbob

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formatting a comment thread

by someone Fri Jan 5th, 2007 at 05:28:51 PM EST

This is a test of formatting for comment re-presentation. In this case using a table. Go look at this for why.
Update [2007-1-6 9:43:38 by someone]:Now with parent links and a new look. And, thanks for taking an interest in this little formatting game. But, feel free to unrecommend this diary. It doesn't really have any, um, content. I need it to play with the various display possibilities, but let's not pretend that it's adding interesting content to the site.

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Elections in Sweden

by someone Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:03:42 AM EST

I have been following the election campaign in Sweden through online newspaper articles. As I mention in a comment somewhere, my distaste quickly grew stronger than my interest. This is in other words a rant about the Swedish elections and the issues discussed in the campaign.

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