Michael Berendt's blog

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It’s almost exactly 12 months since Britain saw the formation of the first coalition government for 70 years, as David Cameron and Nick Clegg brought together the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in a joint administration committed to tackling the massive economic crisis facing the country in the wake of the credit crisis. Coalition politics… » read more

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The political pressures are building as we approach the next reform of Europe’s common agricultural policy. The European Commission will finalise its detailed proposals for the future of the CAP in the summer, with a view to decisions in 2012. Of course the budget issue already looms large, with President Sarkozy insisting that the EU… » read more

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“But always at my back I hear / Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near” wrote the English poet Andrew Marvell in the seventeenth century, when trying to persuade his coy mistress to be more accommodating. Marvell’s lines sum up rather well the sense of foreboding in the European Union at the start of 2011 as policy… » read more

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See amid the winter snow! For the second year running Eurostar services from London to Paris and Brussels have been hit by the weather. This time last year freezing snow in the drive motors stopped the trains for three days; this year thousands of frozen passengers have been queuing at the Gare du Nord and… » read more

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Merkel and Sarkozy have spoken! Forget about euro-bonds. Forget about increasing the emergency funding launched last May. Europe’s leaders, when they meet in Brussels next Thursday, will face a stark reality: the limits of eurozone support have been determined, at least for now, following the Franco-German summit in Freiburg. Economic growth combined with budget restraint… » read more

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The eurozone will never be the same again – and nor will Europe as a whole. The scale of the crisis which has hit the single currency area in recent weeks is transforming the European Union. It looks as if the first victim is the European social model, as governments slash and burn, reducing public… » read more

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Storm clouds loom once again over the eurozone. Interest rates on Portuguese, Irish and Greek government bonds are continuing to rise. Ten-year bond yields for Ireland reached a record 7.75 per cent on Monday, while for Portugal they were 6.67 per cent. The ECB started buying bonds again after several weeks’ abstention. There was some… » read more

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The big cuts in Britain’s defence capabilities announced in London earlier this week will have far-reaching consequences for European defence policy. The decision of Britain’s coalition government to reduce defence spending by 8 per cent over the next four years condemns the UK to closer co-operation with European allies, and especially with France. British Prime… » read more

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We’re all Europeans now!

We’re all Europeans now! At least when it comes to the Ryder Cup – the biennial golf competition between the United States and Europe. The European team triumphed on the final day by a nail-biting 14½ points to 13½ . Spot the flags in the victory picture! And note José Manuel Barroso’s proud message of… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt