A slow couple of days before the holidays, but we remain unconcerned about our readership as we know the Euro institutions about which we like to concern ourselves will remain firmly shuttered for this period. We also are amused, as even though we have failed to keep a tight rein on productivity with regards this site, we have a core readership who are endlessly seeking footage of the Brazilian-Italian Thais Souza Wigger. Having written briefly about her in the past (and we would be the first to admit it was a tangential reference at best merely to assuage some sort of desire to see attractive women on the site), she has now become something of a focus of searches directed towards us. So we could not resist repeating the experiment, this time in full motion:
We are extraordinarily relieved to see that the image of the industrious Euro-worker is to be further burnished by the European Parliament’s vote to force Britain to remove its opt-out from the EU’s weekly limit on working hours. In these hard economic times, it is clearly the moment to leap forwards and place constraints upon working hours, especially when there are no aggressively industrializing third world nations eagerly stepping forwards to fill our shoes. It also rather amusing to see how contorted British politics have become over this, with Labour MEPs going against Gordo to axe the measure – oh the joy of intra-Labour politics, has nothing been learned from the Tories example?
We suppose there is an interesting comparison to be made here with the American auto-worker, who has recognized that their jobs are about evaporate and is consequently trying to do something about it to save things (we also love the UAW chief’s name). How long till that happens in fair Europa we wonder?
Maybe not the Euros in question - but amusing nonetheless
As promised we are trying to be less erratic, and we also couldn’t help ourselves in sharing this rather too intimate picture of Frank-Walter S cozying up to someone we have to admit we did not know (but turned out to be prominent Israeli poet Amos Oz). We can only guess the good minister is enjoying his private reading….
We apologize once again to our limited readership for our continuing inability to maintain this website with any regularity. We promise we are going to get better – please continue to pop by and you will see…
In part we have been awakened as a result of this charming story in Der Spiegel English: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,596705,00.html – where an aptly named Free Democrat has suggested that Berlin’s bottle collectors should retrain their efforts on capturing rodents loose in city for which they could be paid the princely sum of a Euro.
We think this seems an excellent solution to the credit crunch – let’s hope more of Europe’s politicians come up with equally ingenious festive ideas.
So we are very bad at updating this. We accept that. However, as we said, we are going to be good and keep it going this time – so keep stopping by! Unfortunately, we have been rather horrendously occupied with other things to keep this updated. No matter, we did come across this hilarious video of Sarko post-meeting with Putin. A good thing to kick start the week that Sarko makes his first trip to Russia. Keep an eye on this space and we will provide some comment later in the week.
Well, it finally happened, the endlessly optimistic Mark Leonard (with the support of über-democrat George Soros) got his wish and established the European Council on Foreign Relations (it can be found here: www.ecfr.eu and amusingly, here: www.onevoiceforeurope.eu). Unlike others, we have always basically found Leonard an interesting proposition (though cannot help but agree with this excellent review of his slightly reductive book Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century). However, we have been rather baffled by the endless drive to remind us that this is truly Europe’s (and by Europe we mean the EU as an institution/entity/federation…well, you understand) first think tank. We always felt that those charming people at the EU-ISS, and CEPS (to name the two that immediately spring to mind – others (though this of course is optimistically predicated on the assumption that anyone is reading us) will undoubtedly be offended by their omission and we apologize in advance) might be slightly miffed by that. Maybe their multiple locations makes them truly European in some new way?
Still, they are here and that is that. Well, we must admit a certain irritation at the fact that they choose to publish everything in a rather aggressive capitalized style. I guess they are SHOUTING to get their point across – we have always thought Europe should talk more loudly, but to do it all the time would seem to turn us into lunatics (maybe this reflects the personalities in the buildings?). To be even cattier, we are not entirely sure that we are persuaded by the ruthlessly trendy retro-ish looking aspect that they have decided to adopt.
No matter, this is a big day, we suppose. They have assembled a mixture of known and unknown entities to people this institution (and we see that the enthusiastically pro-European Brits seem to dominate the staff roster). We look forward to seeing what they produce. We may even try to comment on some of their pages, so please keep your eyes open (though again, we return to our earlier optimism).
Russia and the European Union have been having some difficulties, and as a European, naturally our perspective falls on this side of the curtain. This does not make us naturally Russophobic, though of late certain behaviour on the Russian part has begun to concern us (also a recent visit to the nation was extraordinary for the vision of decrepitude that we saw all around us). Unfortunately, we return here to discover that as it turns out it wasn’t just the physical infrastructure that was questionable, but the democratic one too. While we are sure that all sorts of rational reasons as to why it is acceptable that President Putin can stay on and become Prime Minister Putin (well, his excellent shape for starters, we suppose), it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth we feel. Fortunately, he has laid out rigorous conditions under which he will serve: “first, the United Russia must win the December 2 elections and second, the new President must be a decent, competent and contemporary man.” Well, that clears any doubts we had up.
For truly unbiased coverage of what is happening in today’s Neo-Russia, we highly recommend RussiaToday’s truly noteworthy coverage. With allies like these….