“See over there that’s 163 kilometres to my new place, I meant, the Berlaymont,” |
AFP PHOTO / HENNING KAISER / GERMANY OUT
SENIor EdItorIAl tEAM
K ostis Geropoulos(Energy & Russian Affairs)firstname.lastname@example.orgCillian Donnelly (EU Affairs)email@example.comAndy Carling (EU Affairs)firstname.lastname@example.orgAriti Alamanou (Legal Affairs)email@example.comLouise Kissa (Fashion)firstname.lastname@example.orgAlexandra Coronakis (Columnist)email@example.com
ExEcutIvE lAyout producEr
SubScrIptIoNS & dIStrIbutIoN
firstname.lastname@example.orgSubscriptions are available worldwide
New Europe is a privately ownedindependent publication, and is notsubsidised or financed in any wayby any EU institution or other entity.
Av. de Tervuren/Tervurenlaan 96,1040 Brussels, Belgium Tel. +32 2 5390039Fax +32 2 email@example.com
publIShErSbruSSElS NEwS AGENcy Sprl
Avenue de Tervueren 961040 Etterbeek Belgium Tel. +32 2 firstname.lastname@example.org
SignedContributionsexpresssolelytheviewsofthewritersanddonotnecessarily reflecttheopinionofthenewspaper.NEis printedonrecycledpaper.
© 2013 New Europe all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any formby any means, electronic or otherwise, without express permission. The Publishers accept no liability for third party views published, nor damage caused by reading, viewing or using our content. All information is correct at the time of going to print, we accept no liabilities for consequent changes.
N E W E U R O P E
I S S N N u m b e r : 1 1 0 6 - 8 2 9 9
Evian’s waters ran a plenty 10 years ago as the G8took place in tis vicinity and with its thrist quench-ing taste Europe and the world gathered to not only share a joke but announce emergence from stagna-tion and into growth later in the same year. Mirror-ing some events playing out currently the Germansalso held their Socialist Party congress where Ger-hart Schroeder was voted with 90% of the votes as being the leader of the SPD. The Swiss pushed formore aid, and the Ukrainians were battling their way into the World Trade Organisation. Telling is thesmiling face of Tony Blair centre in the main pictureand the bottom left article on the beginnings of rec-onciliation between the US and Russia despite dif-ferences on Iraq…
n e 1 0 Y e A R S A GO
Jeroen Dijsselbloem didn’t have a good time of it when he vis-ited the European Parliament on 7 May. He was there ostensibly to talk about the loan to Cyprus, why it was necessary, what les-sons could we take from it, that sort of thing, instead, much to thechagrin of MEPs, he broadened the discussion. The Eurogrouppresident wanted to talk about austerity.Not that Dijsselbloem would use that term – “I prefer to call it ‘fis-cal discipline’” – but, he believes, prudent finances are the basisfor a sound economic future. The problem is, the policy isn’t aspopular as it once was; not just in the expressions of anger fromcitizens across Europe, but also from politicians who have decid-ed that austerity is no longer a viable vote winner.The recently-elected Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has warned that Europe faces “death” by austerity, but managed tosound a bit more subdued on the subject when visiting some key European capitals as part of a whistle-stop tour he undertook shortly after assuming office at the end of April; while it is truethat talk is turning away from austerity and more towards growth,caution still prevails. Both sides have learned to accommodateeach other somewhat. When Letta met with European Com-mission President Jose Manuel Barroso, an austerity advocate, aspart of the tour, both agreed there were merits in each other’s ap-proach. The commission president, as with Economic and Mon-etary Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn, has softened his stance of late regarding austerity, but hasn’t abandoned it altogether. EvenLatvia, the poster-child for austerity having managed to turnaround its economy through a programme of fiscal discipline, in-sists it will only continue the policy by simultaneously maintain-ing a fair social model.There are holdouts; Finland, Germany and the Netherlands(where Dijsselbloem is finance minister). With federal electionsin Germany in the autumn, there is unlikely to be a policy changethere, but with the prospect of a grand coalition of centre-rightand centre-left, which could include a social democratic financeminister, a loosening of policy may be ushered in. After that, theEuropean Parliament elections need to be fought.The financial crisis initially benefitted the right. Parties affiliated with the European People’s Party (EPP) largely increased theirrepresentation in the European Parliament in the 2009 elections.The crisis also took two centre-left prime ministers, José LuísRodríguez Zapatero in Spain and George Papandreou in Greece.Since then, the left has seen a bit of an upswing, in Italy andFrance, for example, and also in Malta and Ireland (although themain centre-left party, Labour, has seen a recent decline in for-tunes). However, a major assault on the European Parliament isdifficult to predict; the political landscape is becoming ever morefractured. Across Europe there has been an upswing in votes to nationalist,populist and anti-EU parties, ranging from the far right to the farleft. Others, primarily comedian Bepe Grillo’s Five Star Movementin Italy, and also the United Kingdom Independence Party, are rev-elling in the spanner they have thrown in the works. These partiesare deriving their votes from a general anger and dissatisfaction with the current political system; it is beyond the normal protest. Austerity, of course, is one of the major drivers of this discontent. When told by Jeroen Dijsselbloem that she should be defending,not attacking, EU economic policy, French Liberal MEP SylvieGoulard responded by saying that she “cannot carry the elector-ate on the back of your policy.” It was a cutting truth.
The year of livingdangerously