Tagged Brussels

by Evangelos Areteos

From the ashes of this ethical debris of the European civilization and the European project that were born after the Second World War and in reaction to all the ignominies of that past, the nation-state and its populist hubris are emerging as the big winners.

Brussels attacked

In recent months and years we have got used to witnessing attacks on Brussels, the city symbolizing the centre of the European Union that national leaders in government and opposition love to criticize for everything that goes wrong or is unpopular on the European continent. Today, though, 22 March 2016, it was not a metaphoric but a coordinated literal attack on the city of Brussels that dominated the headlines…

The hideous and deplorable attacks in Paris on November 13th have unleashed a wave of fear throughout Europe triggering the lockdown of the Belgian capital Brussels. The clocks were pointing at 1am on Friday 20th, when the Belgian government decided to raise the terror alert to its maximum, 4 out of 4, due to a “serious and imminent” threat similar to the tragic events in Paris claimed by the Islamic State, “with multiples attacks in different places,” said the Belgian prime minister Charles Michel.

Citizen Correspondent

By Deniz Torcu

As of July the 13th, following tense negotiations, Eurozone leaders have reached an agreement for the new Greek bailout. A few days ago, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed an austerity plan which was nearly identical to the very one that the Greek people vetoed in the July 5th referendum. The Greek proposal includes strict measures like a unified VAT rate of 23%, elimination of discounts on islands, incrementation and/or adjustment of corporate income and property tax rates, abolition of subsidies for farmers, introduction of penalties for early retirement, privatization of state-owned companies, etc.

The heads of state and government of the Eurozone met on 22 June in Brussels to attempt to find an agreement on the continuation of Greece’s bailout. A sense of urgency accompanied the summit, resulting from the imminence of a potential Greek default and a run on deposits in Greek banks. At the conclusion of the Summit, President of the European Commission Juncker stated that he was “convinced that we will come to a final agreement this week, because we have to.” In anticipation of the Summit, Greece submitted a final proposal containing new measures for addressing its economic and financial situation, which were discussed by the finance ministers of the Eurogroup prior to the Summit

In this first “letter from America” I make a series of critical comparisons between New York and Brussels in an attempt to distil the best of both worlds, and hopefully infuse what is missing from one to the other. For Europe, which is the focus of this publication, this would mean less parochialism and more ambition for the future at individual and collective levels; more client orientation and more flexibility in employment conditions, while keeping an overall guaranteed social safety net that is the jewel of the “European model”; more openness to other cultures and influences, notably those from other EU countries but also beyond; much more openness towards and investment in new ideas, innovation and creativity; and an overall more optimistic attitude and can-do spirit…

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