Tag: Greece

Brexit Watch – from the “European” Perspective

3 October 2016


Brexit Watch – from the “European” Perspective


Britain in the eyes of a Frenchman

You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to identify that the English are different.

As an Englishman I am the first to admit it. We simply don’t walk, talk, interact, consume, love, hate, or think like “Europeans”.

As a nation, our focus and our heart is not and has never been “European”. Historically our power and influence in the world was not made, or for that matter maintained in Europe, but derived from pillage, plunder, colonialism, and a Naval force that was second to none. Many things have changed especially in the last 50 years – we no longer have an Empire, we have tempered (somewhat) our tendency to pillage and plunder, and we no longer dominate the seas. All that has remained consistent is that we are still not in any sense of the word “European”.

It is fair to say that the rest of Europe don’t always get this. Many look at the English with bemusement and a wry shake of the head. One European who did “get” the English was the French President Charles De Gaulle.

In 1963 De Gaulle commented (at the time he was exercising France’s veto effectively rejecting the UK’s application to join the European Economic Community):

“England in effect is insular. She is maritime. She is linked through he interactions, her market and her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions.”

In other words, it isn’t just the English Channel that separates the United Kingdom from the rest of mainland Europe. In the simplest of terms British DNA has never been “European”. Read more…

In Europe: Greek PM sings in tune, now must hit the hard notes

3 September 2012

Greece looking to make “first step is to regain credibility.”

When Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the euro zone’s finance ministers, arrived in Athens last week, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras ran down red-carpeted steps to envelope him in a warm embrace. Read more…

In Europe: Merkel Allies Signal Greece Concessions Before Samaras Visit

21 August 2012

One hand can’t clap right? “Signs of an easing in Germany’s resistance to granting Greece more room.”

Concessions are possible for Greece so long as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras shows a willingness to meet the main targets set out in his country’s bailout program, a senior lawmaker with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said. Read more…

In Europe: Spain feels debt heat, Greece way off bailout terms

25 July 2012

To say the least, “Greece…remains a powder keg.”

Spain paid the second highest yield on short-term debt since the birth of the euro at an auction on Tuesday, and EU officials said Greece had little hope of meeting the terms of its bailout, casting fresh doubt on its future in the euro zone. Read more…

In Europe: Germany warns Italy over euro zone crisis

13 June 2012

When the paymaster speaks, you better listen!

Germany told Italians on Wednesday they must accept Prime Minister Mario Monti’s tough economic measures to avoid becoming the next victim of the euro zone debt crisis after a bailout for Spain’s banks failed to calm markets. Read more…

The Weekly Report: A Summary of Europe’s Situation

11 June 2012

We mentioned in an earlier post that this coming ‘summer’ is going to be far from relaxed.

The global outlook continues to deteriorate daily. Within the last 4 days, economic data for the world’s key economies has been dismal, particularly employment and manufacturing data in China and the U.S. which have both been in a downtrend over the past 2 months. However, Europe is currently what is causing the most volatility and fear in markets globally.

The European crisis continues to rage unabated as the E.U. leadership does not take concrete action to resolve many of the underlying issues; partially because they have exhausted many of their options, and partially because the scale and scope of the multiple sovereign debt and banking crises is unprecedented. Read more…