Michael Berendt's blog

Since the eurozone crisis first erupted three years ago it has largely been seen as Europe’s problem. It has now become a global emergency. This crisis is “scaring the world” says President Obama, whose Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visited Europe twice in a week to meet European finance ministers and who has demanded speedy action… » read more

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People may have questioned Chancellor Angela Merkel’s commitment to the European Union over recent years, but there is no denying the pivotal role which she is playing in defence of the euro. What a desperate battle she has to fight! The trouble is that her own battalions are deeply sceptical of her campaign. The misgivings… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

A game-changer: that’s how Christine Lagarde, new boss of the IMF, described last week’s eurozone crisis summit, which agreed revised bail-out terms for Greece and far-reaching new capabilities for EU financial institutions, virtually creating a European Monetary Fund. There is no doubt that the decisions taken in Brussels on July 23 2011 opened a new… » read more

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Europe is blind to its longer-term interests in defence and foreign affairs, claim two speeches in London this week. Former NATO Secretary General George Robertson and Douglas Alexander, foreign affairs spokesman for the British Labour Party, both castigate the failure of European policy-makers to look ahead and prepare for impending dangers. US Defense Secretary Robert… » read more

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Greece must choose the road of change or the road of catastrophe: that was how Greek prime minister George Papandreou described the two options facing the Greek people before Wednesday’s austerity vote in the Athens parliament. Parliament’s approval, by 155 votes to 138 with five abstentions, marked a first step. More must follow as implementing… » read more

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Driving across the rolling farming country of northern and central France, as my wife and I have just done, you might think that French arable farmers have never had it so good. Grain prices are high and the landscape as far as the eye can see is bright yellow with rapeseed and brilliant green with… » read more

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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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Fears of a new wave of immigration are stalking western Europe. The row between France and Italy is symptomatic of the tensions. Today’s meeting between President Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi was intended to calm the situation, and an agreement was reached to modify Schengen to allow for “exceptional circumstances”, but France is the clear demandeur… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt