Σάββατο, 14 Μαΐου 2016

Time to End the Greek Debt Tragedy

It’s the season when Greece’s continuing debt saga approaches what has now become a familiar summer climax, with citizens protesting austerity cuts and international creditors squabbling over the terms of loans. It’s time to exit this cycle and face reality: Without relief, Greece’s economy will never recover, with repercussions the European Union can ill afford.

Last July, the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to accept a raft of austerity measures imposed by international creditors in order to receive a bailout. This has taken a toll, and around a quarter of the population is unemployed.

EU policy towards Russia increases Euroscepticism

The EU policy toward Russia and Ukraine is increasing Euroscepticism within national electorates. France and the Netherlands have shown just how the respective opposition to the current sanctions regime and the integration of Ukraine may lead to stronger anti-EU sentiments in Western Europe.
EU policy towards Russia increases Euroscepticism
Recent developments highlight the growing rift between western European electorates and the European Union (EU) policy toward Russia, and Ukraine. Since 2014, the EU has been engaged in a far-reaching power play against Moscow. This led, among other measures, to the implementation of a sanctions regime against Russia and the push for ever closer ties with Kiev. This EU policy has generated backlashes in national economies and led to the rise of a specific euro-sceptic narrative forged on the opposition between national interests and EU priorities regarding Russia.

EU Energy: Only Adversaries To Choose From

Currently, less than half of the EU’s gas demand is met by domestic production. The rest is imported, mainly from Norway (36 percent), Russia (41 percent) and Algeria (10 percent). In recent years, LNG, or liquefied natural gas, has accounted for around 10 percent of the imports, with most of them coming from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria.
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Although there are ISIS groupings in Algeria, the gas installations seem now secured. The last major attack on a gas facility in Algeria happened in 2013; 132 foreign nationals were taken hostage. The inevitable European military intervention in Libya will force Jihadists to move to Algeria and Niger. In Algeria, they will endanger gas installations and in Niger, they pose a risk to Areva’s Uranium mine in Arlit. Arlit provides a big chunk of uranium for France’s nuclear plants, which produce 75 percent of French electricity.

Pentagon: Chinese Military Modernization Enters “New Phase”

Pentagon: Chinese Military Modernization Enters “New Phase”
China’s decades-long military modernization “entered a new phase” last year under the aggressive leadership of President Xi Jinping, a new Pentagon report on Beijing’s military capabilities said today. The “sweeping transformation” includes making the formerly mass army a nimbler, more balanced force that is acquiring the kind of expeditionary capabilities the U.S. military already enjoys.