Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Papadopoulos Claimed Trump Campaign Approved Russia Meeting

By Greg Farrell , David Voreacos , and Henry Meyer
1 Νοεμβρίου 2017, 12:29 π.μ. EET Updated on 1 Νοεμβρίου 2017, 3:45 π.μ. EET
Plan to include top aides ‘approved by our side,’ he wrote
Ex-adviser’s claim unsubstantiated; no sign meeting took place

Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos made a significant claim in an email: Top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Xi Jinping's ‘New Era’ China a new era for the world?

Carrie Gracie
China editor

As Mr Xi declares China ready "to move towards centre stage in the world", it's not clear whether his mission to control will help or hinder him.

Officially no reason was given for barring the BBC, Financial Times, Economist, New York Times and Guardian, but unofficially journalists were told that their reporting was to blame. Another sign of Xi's determination to control the message at home and abroad.


BBC

Monday, September 25, 2017

Like Germany’s Social Democrats, left-wing parties are losing ground across Europe

By Rick Noack September 25 at 3:19 AM

The Washington Post

BERLIN — The 2017 German election fits at least three bigger trends. There was Merkel who convinced Germans to grant her a fourth term in office, reaffirming her position as the preferred choice in the center. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) joined a number of other far-right parties across Europe in gaining seats in parliament for the first time, becoming the most likely choice of those drawn to the political side-lines on the right.

And then there was the Social Democratic Party (SPD) which suffered a humiliating defeat, in yet another indication of the challenges some traditional left-wing groups across the continent are facing.

Denmark’s Social Democrats were ousted by a center-right coalition headed by the mainstream Venstre party in 2015. In Austria, the Social Democrats are similarly facing record-losses in upcoming elections, and France’s Socialist Party remains in a deep crisis following its defeat earlier this year.

The decline of Europe’s social democrats is closely associated with the rise of the far-right, experts said.

In Germany, core issues usually believed to play into the hands of the Social Democrats, such as social justice and fair wages, have become less of a concern over the last four years. Instead, immigration and security are now some of the most dominating topics.

“The core competencies of the Social Democrats currently don't really play a big role,” said Timo Lochocki, a political researcher with the German Marshall Fund, an American think tank.

“The last year really did mark a collapse of the social democrats across Europe, as the immigration debate gained momentum,” agreed Tarik Abou-Chadi, a researcher at Humboldt University in Berlin. “Many European social democratic parties are quite divided on the issue of immigration, which is why they are refraining from discussing it,” he said.

As the social democrats mostly remained silent, many voters shifted either to right-wing populist parties or to more outspoken parties on the left.

Other trends, such as a growing number of higher education graduates and a shift away from traditional industries has further eroded social democrats’ support base. Despite that process having dragged on for decades, the social democrats were still able to win elections in the past, however. Prior to the Merkel era, Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder achieved victories with record margins over the conservatives only a little more than a decade ago.

In Great Britain, the Labour Party still appears to be able to make significant gains even today, as it showed during general elections in June. Their unexpected rise in the polls may not be a sign of a social democratic revival more generally, however.

“The momentum created by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union makes Britain a special case which is hard to compare. The U.K.’s electoral system also clearly favors the biggest parties — which makes it distinct from many other European nations,” said researcher Abou-Chadi.

“It also probably has to do with the fact that Theresa May is so deeply unpopular among many in Britain. Of course, Germany’s Merkel is in a far different position,” he said. 68 percent of Germans stated in a recent Gallup poll, conducted prior to Sunday’s vote, that they were satisfied with Merkel’s leadership.

Yet, only a little more than 30 percent of the population ended up voting for her party, the CDU, and Bavaria’s CSU.

Instead of voting for the mainstream alternative, the SPD, some of them chose the far-right instead.

At a leftist protest against the far-right on Sunday evening, hundreds encircled the AfD’s election party location near the Alexanderplatz in central Berlin. “All of Berlin hates the AfD,” some protesters were shouting, as others held up posters with slogans such as “Not my party.”

Responses by protesters here reflected the dilemma the Social Democrats are now in. “I just hope that the response of mainstream politicians to today’s result won’t be a shift toward the right. Simply adopting the same policy positions won’t solve the problem,” said 29-year old designer Henrik Dagedorn. Elsewhere in Europe, some social democratic parties have experimented with adopting more anti-immigration positions, but faced a backlash by its urban and young supporters.

There was uncertainty among the protesters about how to stop the rise of the far-right instead, however.

“I fear that they might stay in parliament longer than we expect, because there won’t be any imminent solution for the problems that got them elected in the first place,” said Martina Schnepka, 51, a nurse.

For Germany's Social Democrats, there does not appear be any imminent solution, either.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Comey: White House lied about me, FBI


The Washington Post

By Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima and Ed O'Keefe June 8 at 8:38 PM
Former FBI director James B. Comey on Thursday used a dramatic appearance before a national audience to sharply criticize the character of the president, accusing Trump of firing him over the Russia investigation and then misleading the public about the reasons for the dismissal.

Trump and his team, Comey said, told “lies, plain and simple,” about him and the FBI in an effort to cover up the real reason for his sudden sacking last month. Comey said that after one particularly odd private meeting with the president, he feared Trump “might lie” about the conversation, prompting him to begin taking careful notes after each encounter.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Did Donald Trump brief the Russians?



Another scandal in the Oval Office—and it’s a big one


The Economist

Democracy in America
May 16th 2017by J.A. | WASHINGTON, DC

DONALD TRUMP‘S decision to sack James Comey as FBI director on May 9th seemed to many like a defining moment in his chaotic early stab at governing. Even some Republicans wondered whether it could spell the beginning of an early end to Mr Trump’s crisis-ridden presidency. But already that looks like last week’s story—following claims, first published by the Washington Post on May 15th, that Mr Trump divulged highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to Washington, DC, in the Oval Office.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Brexit Bulletin: What Can By-Elections Tell Us About Brexit?Bre


Labour is facing a stiff challenge in its traditional heartlands.
by David Goodman
23 February 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg

Voters in Copeland and Stoke Central take center stage today in by-elections that will have an impact beyond the borders of the two constituencies.

Both districts have traditionally elected Labour MPs but voted for Brexit, putting it firmly on the agenda during the campaigns, alongside more granular local issues. That, coupled with timing of the polls and the positions of the parties involved, mean they matter more than the average by-election, according to Bloomberg’s Robert Hutton.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Greece’s Response to its Resurgent Debt Crisis: Prosecute the Statistician

Andreas Georgiou, who became Athens’s statistics chief in 2010 to fix data fraud, now faces repeated accusations he manipulated figures to help impose austerity programs

By MARCUS WALKER
Feb. 6, 2017 10:53 a.m. ET
38 COMMENTS
ATHENS—Greece is struggling under its austerity regime and new questions are mounting as to whether it can satisfy its bailout terms. Some people in high places know just whom to blame—a statistician in rural Maryland.

Before Greece’s debt crisis, its governments manipulated statistics and masked the size of budget deficits, waste and patronage. The statistician, Andreas Georgiou, moved from the U.S. to become Greece’s first independent head of statistics in 2010. The European Union certified he subsequently fixed the omissions and reported the deficit in full.

On the contrary, Mr. Georgiou’s foes claim, he manipulated the deficit figures as part of a plot to force severe austerity on Greece under the 2010 bailout “Memorandum” imposed by the EU and International Monetary Fund.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Britain’s excruciating embrace of Donald Trump shows how little independence it has gained from Brexit

The Economist
27-1-2017
Leaving the European Union means the country has less, not more, control over its circumstances

THERESA MAY’S private opinion of Donald Trump goes unrecorded, but she is surely not a natural fan. Before Mr Trump’s election the prime minister called his remarks on Muslims “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”. Fiona Hill, one of her powerful chiefs of staff, declared him a “chump” and Nick Timothy, the other, tweeted: “As a Tory I don’t want any ‘reaching out’ to Trump.” Mrs May flannelled in a television interview on January 22nd when asked about the president’s treatment of women, his disregard for NATO and his protectionism. In temperament the two leaders could hardly be less alike: one brash and operatic, the other cautious and meticulous. So expect the prime minister’s visit to the White House on January 27th to be a study in awkwardness: the mother superior dropping in on the Playboy Mansion.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trump to Unveil Plans for Mexico Border Wall and Limiting Refugees' Entry


by Margaret Talev  and Nick Wadhams
25 January 2017, 6:28 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg


President Donald Trump plans to unveil actions on national security starting Wednesday that are expected to include steps toward building a wall on the Mexican border and limiting refugee inflows to the U.S., moving to fulfill key promises he made during his election campaign.

“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!” the president wrote Tuesday night in a message on his personal Twitter feed.

The announcement on the border wall is expected during a Wednesday afternoon visit by the president to the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that has primary jurisdiction over securing the border and would carry out most of the other immigration-related steps that Trump talked about in his run for office.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A complex relationship with China could temper Trump’s tough talk on jobs, trade


THE HANDOFF | The foreign policy challenges President-elect Donald Trump will inherit and how he might approach them.

By Anne Gearan January 14 at 3:43 PM
Donald Trump talked tough on China during his presidential run, blaming the country for the loss of American jobs, lobbing accusations of unfair currency manipulation or hostile trade practices, and suggesting that the United States levy enormous tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Look at what China is doing to our country,” Trump said in September, during a presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“They’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China,” he added. “We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Euro-Area Economy Ended Year With Fastest Growth Since 2011

by Carolynn Look
4 January 2017, 11:00 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg

The euro-area economy finished 2016 with the strongest momentum in more than 5 1/2 years, bolstering the region as it heads into a year of political uncertainty.

A composite Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 54.4 in December from 53.9 in November, IHS Markit said on Wednesday. That’s the highest in 67 months and above a Dec. 15 estimate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Political Risks Leave Euro-Pound Analysts Most Divided on Record

by Anooja Debnath  and Charlotte Ryan
20 - 12 - 2016, 9:54 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg

For analysts trying to plot the course of the pound against the euro in 2017, the key decision is judging which side of the English Channel will see greater political turbulence.

Strategists are trying to pinpoint whether the U.K.’s exit process from the European Union or the rise of populism in the rest of Europe carries the bigger risk. The dichotomy is evident in Bloomberg’s survey of currency analysts, where the range between the highest and lowest year-end forecasts for euro-sterling is the widest going into a new year since at least 2006.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

As Brexit approaches, signs of a gathering economic storm for Britain


The Washington Post

By Griff Witte December 13 at 5:16 PM
LONDON — From a modest office in a small town in northeastern England, Elliott Peckett’s family stocked the world with costumes.

Billowy white Marilyn Monroe dresses. Red velvet Santa caps. Rhinestone-studded Elvis jumpsuits.

They were shipped out by the millions to 42 countries across the globe, and they brought the profits of countless Halloween parties, Carnival parades and Christmas wonderlands back home to England.

But thanks to Brexit, not anymore. After 122 years, Peckett’s costume company, Smiffys, is moving its headquarters to the Netherlands.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rex Tillerson’s Company, Exxon, Has Billions at Stake Over Sanctions on Russia

By ANDREW E. KRAMER and CLIFFORD KRAUSSDEC. 12, 2016

The New York Times

MOSCOW — Now that President-elect Donald J. Trump has chosen Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to be the next secretary of state, the giant oil company stands to make some major gains as well: It has billions of dollars in deals that can go forward only if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia.

As head of America’s largest oil company, Mr. Tillerson has earned a friendship award from Russia and voiced skepticism about American sanctions that have halted some of Exxon Mobil’s biggest projects in the country.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Βερολίνο: "Οι εξαγγελίες Τσίπρα δεν συζητήθηκαν στο Eurogroup"

Άγνοια των παροχών Τσίπρα είχε το γερμανικό υπουργείο Οικονομικών και το Eurogroup. Ως επικοινωνιακή φυγή προς τα εμπρός λόγω των εσωπολιτικών πιέσεων βλέπουν γερμανοί αρθρογράφοι τις χριστουγεννιάτικες παροχές του.


deutsche welle

Ούτε το γερμανικό υπουργείο των Οικονομικών, αλλά ούτε και το Eurogroup γνώριζε για τις χθεσινοβραδινές εξαγγελίες του έλληνα πρωθυπουργού σχετικά με τις παροχές προς τους χαμηλοσυνταξιούχους και το πάγωμα του ΦΠΑ στα νησιά των Αιγαίου με μεγάλη προσφυγική ροή. Σε ερώτησηπου απηύθυνε η Deutsche Welle προς την εκπρόσωπο του γερμανικού υπουργείου Οικονομικών, εάν είχε γνώση των εξαγγελιών Τσίπρα το υπουργείο της, η Φρεντερίκε φον Τιζενχάουζεν μας απάντησε ως εξής: «Όχι, το θέμα δεν συζητήθηκε ούτε και στο Eurogroup της περασμένης Δευτέρας. Αλλά είναι υπόθεση των θεσμών να αξιολογούν τέτοιου είδους μέτρα».
Ο γερμανικός τύπος κάνει αναφορά στο αιφνιδιαστικό, όπως το χαρακτηρίζει, διάγγελμα του έλληνα πρωθυπουργού προς τον ελληνικό λαό με παροχές προς τους συνταξιούχους και τους κατοίκους νησιών με πολλούς πρόσφυγες. Ορισμένοι αρθρογράφοι εκφράζουν έκπληξη για αυτήν την κίνηση του κ. Τσίπρα σε μια κρίσιμη περίοδο έντονων αντιπαραθέσεων και αγώνα δρόμου προκειμένου να κλείσει η δεύτερη αξιολόγηση.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Give Greece Credit, Even Just for Treading Water


25DEC 6, 2016 1:23 AM EST
By
Mark Gilbert
Bloomberg

Here are two things I'll bet most people don't know about Greece. The country's just-appointed minister of economy and development, Dimitri Papadimitriou, was lured away from his position as head of the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College in America. He's not a member of the ruling Syriza party. And the man appointed secretary general for public revenue in January is Giorgos Pitsillis, a professional tax lawyer. He's not a party member, either.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Latest, Greatest Threat to the Euro: Populism

Elections and referendums in the year ahead pose a far different challenge from the financial crisis of recent years

The Wall Street Journal

By GREG IP
Updated Nov. 30, 2016 11:32 a.m. ET


The euro has survived sovereign default, recessions, banking crises and bailouts. It may not survive populism.

In the coming year, the eurozone will host at least five elections or referendums that could bring a populist, euroskeptic party to power. In effect, the common currency is about to play multiple rounds of Russian roulette.

The populist threat is qualitatively different from the financial crisis that first erupted in Greece in 2009 and eventually engulfed half the region. In that case, what worried private investors was that a country, or its banks, would default on its debt and be forced to leave the euro. Investors fled, driving interest rates sky-high and plunging the continent into recession.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump nominates two prominent GOP women: DeVos as education secretary, Haley as U.N. ambassador


The Washington Post

By Jerry Markon, Robert Costa and Emma Brown November 23 at 4:08 PM

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday selected two prominent Republican women for Cabinet-level positions, adding diversity to an inner circle that was already coming under fire for being composed mostly of white men.

In a potentially controversial choice, Trump intends to nominate billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos for education secretary, turning to a conservative activist who has forcefully pushed for private school voucher programs. Her nomination is expected to face strong opposition from public school advocates, who oppose her efforts to funnel taxpayer dollars from public to private and religious schools.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obama Urges Europe to Address Its Debt Crisis

Leaders should favor growth over austerity in response to rising populism, president says

The Washington Post

By CAROL E. LEE and  NEKTARIA STAMOULI
Updated Nov. 15, 2016 12:14 p.m. ET
123 COMMENTS
ATHENS—President Barack Obama urged Europe to resolve lingering issues from its debt crisis, saying on Tuesday that leaders should favor growth over austerity, as part of their response to the rising populism in Western countries exemplified by the election of Donald Trump.
Mr. Obama made the appeal after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said it is time for Greece to receive significant debt relief from Europe.

Obama Keeps Hope Alive for Crisis-Ridden Greece

Bloomberg

 Marcus Bensasson

 Eleni Chrepa

16-11-2017

When a U.S. president last visited Greece, the economy was booming, Athens had been awarded the Olympics and the country was preparing to join the euro.
That was in 1999, and as Barack Obama gives his keynote speech on Wednesday defending democracy in its birthplace, the spotlight will inevitably fall on Greece’s deterioration. Its journey to the brink of bankruptcy, dragging down financial markets worldwide, was among the defining international events of Obama’s eight years in office and few places better show the ensuing forces of populism that ultimately brought in Donald Trump to replace him.