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

The UK's slide into despair

by tyronen Mon Mar 25th, 2019 at 08:25:06 AM EST

When I was a kid, they used to tell stories of Britain in the seventies, supposedly a union-crazed hellhole of the three-day week, garbage piling up in Leicester Square, going cap in hand to the IMF...

Yet it seems to me that the UK in 2019, not 1979, is the place in crisis. The stench of decay is in the air.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Read more... (36 comments, 671 words in story)

Should I vote for Brexit?

by tyronen Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 at 03:49:02 PM EST

Last year I vowed to vote in favour of Brexit. I just could not stomach the EU anymore, and still can't.

Now find myself getting cold feet. There was the death of Jo Cox. And other issues. This article from Jacobin magazine offers a powerful left-wing case for Remain:

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Read more... (38 comments, 627 words in story)

I'm done with the EU

by tyronen Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 05:58:47 PM EST

I've changed my mind. I will be voting for the UK to leave the EU.

Whatever deal the UK Conservatives negotiate will only make matters worse.

I think leftists across Europe worthy of the name should transform themselves into Eurosceptic parties. The euro is an abomination. It must be abolished and national currencies restored. The Maastricht Treaty should be repealed.

These policies are nothing more than attempts to force ordoliberal policies across the continent. The EU is a thuggish, vicious oligarchy and I want no part of it anymore.

Further analysis and good discussions in the comment section - Bjinse

Comments >> (228 comments)

Why is the SPD part of this?

by tyronen Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 05:57:11 AM EST

I can't read German and thus know little about this country's politics.

Germans want to believe the crisis is the Greeks' fault. I get it. I also get why a conservative party like the CDU would pander to that. But I see no daylight between the CDU and the SPD.

Whereas if you look at the French PS, the consistent pattern appears to me that the French government is trying to restrain German intransigence.  Generally failing at that (as at much else) but at least trying. Most of this is done in private while a united front is presented publicly, but the cracks are clearly visible.

There is no sign of this with the SPD. A SPD government would be as harsh on Greece as the CDU has been. Again, I get why the CDU would like Syriza to be removed from power, but why on earth would the SPD want that?

Why is the SPD taking such a hardline position? I really don't understand.

Comments >> (143 comments)

Why did the big centrist parties go down the drain?

by tyronen Wed May 25th, 2011 at 05:46:11 AM EST

An article in the Canadian Globe and Mail points out that large centre-left parties - recently the Canadian Liberals, but also the French Socialists, Irish Fianna Fail, Dutch Labour, German CDU and SPD, and Spanish Socialists - have all been suffering electoral setbacks.

Read more... (51 comments, 681 words in story)

Is the euro really worth it?

by tyronen Tue Nov 16th, 2010 at 06:39:34 AM EST

Why should Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and maybe later Spain and Italy be tortured like this?

It might take a year or two to exit the euro, but I now believe it would be better for these five to exit rather than lay waste their economies and social programs in futile attempts to be able to borrow money they can't print.

Arguably the Baltic states, too, should have exited the ERM rather than suffer double-digit unemployment as they are doing now.  Nor does the expansion of the euro in 2014-15 seem to be a good idea.

Monetary union is not feasible without fiscal union, which in turns requires political union, which has been stalled for most of the past decade (since the introduction of the euro, probably not coincidentally).

A core rump of France, Germany, Benelux, Austria, and Finland may be all that is practical to stay in the euro in the long term.

Comments >> (111 comments)

What is the point of the euro?

by tyronen Wed May 5th, 2010 at 06:46:34 PM EST

The austerity measures being forced on Greece are awful.  Even worse, they will not work.  Lower wages mean lower demand, which will only depress government revenues, which will add to Greece's deficit.

Nor can a deficit of Greece's size be eliminated by taxing the wealthy alone.  Not if only the wealthy of Greece are targeted.  

There is an easier way - devalue the currency.  Oh, yeah - Greece doesn't have a currency.  Why not?

Read more... (70 comments, 459 words in story)

This election was not a massive shift to the right

by tyronen Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 05:13:53 AM EST

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

The meme all over the English-language press, at least, is the "historic drubbing" of the center-left parties.  This is taken as a near-universal trend.

But unless I'm missing something, it's not really what actually happened.  Most media coverage seems to be considering these events as a 'snapshot' and not looking at longer-term trends.

From the diaries - Nomad

Read more... (61 comments, 615 words in story)

The hypocrisy of France

by tyronen Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 02:27:30 PM EST

No serious observer can deny that French foreign policy played a role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.  

For years, France had backed the régime of President Juvenal Habyarimana's Hutu-dominated MRND party, even after evidence mounted that French-trained Rwandan soldiers had carried out pogroms and massacres against the country's Tutsi minority.

Why would they do this?  Rwanda carries no particular economic importance for France or anyone else; it is tiny, landlocked, and poor.

The answer lies in one word: language.

Read more... (7 comments, 772 words in story)

Europe's naked hypocrisy

by tyronen Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 12:48:23 PM EST

So now we hear that up to 15,000 UN troops will be heading into Lebanon.  Two thousand from France, three thousand from Italy, yay us.  Israel will be kept safe from a few kidnappings and rockets.  Lebanon will be kept safe from Israel.  And Hezbollah watch out!  the wrath of the EU will be upon you.

Is this an example of the new, robust, EU foreign policy?  A Europe no longer afraid of force, able to step in while its American rival is tied down in an endless war?

No, it is not.  It brings home to me all that is ugly about Europe - its legacy of colonialism, racism, and exploitation.  This is a continent that once enslaved the world.  It today may have progressive welfare states and humane labour markets, but the old, darker instincts are still there.

Read more... (30 comments, 544 words in story)

Crisis of French society - and the left

by tyronen Thu Nov 3rd, 2005 at 03:04:10 PM EST

There have now been seven days of riots in the Paris banlieues.  Seven.

The Los Angeles riots of 1992 lasted less than four days.  The 1965 Watts riots were six days.  The UK's Brixton riots of 1981 were three days.

Things like this are not supposed to happen in Europe.  The USA is the harsh, laissez-faire society with a permanent underclass; Europe's more generous social programs are supposed to prevent inequality and hatreds from taking root.  But obviously this equation has failed.  France has an underclass, despite decades of étatisme.

It is easy for leftists to point the blame at France's centre-right government, to posturing between Sarkozy and de Villepin.  That doesn't explain why the riots broke out.  Nor does it explain how to either stop them in the short term or ease the long-term fissures that led to them.

Read more... (68 comments, 453 words in story)

News and Views

 5 - 11 August 2019

by Bjinse - Aug 5, 228 comments

Your take on this week's news

 29 July - 4 August 2019

by Bjinse - Jul 29, 97 comments

Your take on this week's news

 August Thread

by Bjinse - Aug 5, 24 comments

Summer is only the unfulfilled thread of spring

 July Thread

by Bjinse - Jul 9, 26 comments

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast threads

Occasional Series
Click for full list