On Tuesday negotiations of the “Doha round” being held in Geneva by representatives of the world’s major trading nations, under the rubric of the World Trade Organization (WTO), resulted in a break-up of the meeting with failure to reach any new agreement. Olivier le Bussy, writing for the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique, tackles the question remaining on all observers’ lips: And Now What Do We Do? (more…)
The issue of that proposed European Constitution – remember that thing? – simply will not go away, probably because it is said to be essential to ensure that the EU can continue to function after that 67% expansion (15 expanding by 10) that is due to happen on the upcoming May 1. Indeed, we’ve already passed the point at which it is inevitable that, even in the best-case scenario, that Constitution won’t be fully adopted and in-place until some time after the EU has expanded to 25. Fortunately, as The Economist recently reported (subscription required), some signs have arisen recently to give hope that that agreement over the Constitution and its adoption will happen sooner rather than later.
“Fortunately”? Actually, it’s useful to keep in mind the fact that the whole constitutional process is not just a matter of smoothing out the potholes and bumps along the way to a common goal everyone can agree is worth attaining. No, some folks out there just wish the whole thing would be canned, once and for all. Among these is in fact The Economist, which last June supplemented its article on Where to File Europe’s new constitution (subscription required) with a starkly eloquent cover-illustration (at least in its European edition): a filled-to-overflowing trash can. But The Economist is the English-language press, of course; and you rather look mainly to EuroSavant for the foreign-language press (although long-time readers will know that I dip into the British press on occasion).
No problem: There’s plenty of anti-EuroConstitution rhetoric there, too, especially if you want to be lazy (OK, I admit it) and head straight to the tried-and-true anti-Euro talking-shop as the housewife heads out for cuts of meat to her local butcher-shop. I refer here, of course, to Le Monde Diplomatique, the monthly sister publication to the leading French daily Le Monde. (more…)
Did you catch the latest news about the Pentagon shutting out from eligibility for those big rebuilding contracts in Iraq all those countries that didn’t support the war, like France, Germany, and Russia? (For the protection of the essential security interests of the United States, natch!) Hoo-hah! Suckaaaz! Did those jackal-states really expect that they could step back and let the American troops and their various allied homies go in and put their rears on the line to lay down some hurt, and then just show up afterwards to earn some big green cleaning up the mess?
(Of course, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to hit them with this tough new reality just before the Prez was scheduled to give them a call asking them to forgive the Iraqi debt they hold. Josh Marshall feels that there really should be some official in place to coordinate things between Washington’s various diplomatic and security agencies so that embarrassing things like this don’t happen – something perhaps like a “National Security Advisor”?)
Ah, but remember that you are now in EuroSavant territory, my friend, which means that you get to hear from the other side. Are the French gnashing their unhygienic teeth in frustration? Are the Germans crying into their beer? I’ve got time to check out the one (France); stay tuned to this site to see if I also squeeze in the other. (more…)