Europe/Middle East

  • Cyprus Bailout: Centre Of A Power Struggle Over Natural Gas?

    Cyprus Bailout: Centre Of A Power Struggle Over Natural Gas?

    If government estimates are accurate, Cyprus may be sitting on an amazing 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – enough to cover 40 percent of the European Union’s gas supplies. The complication however comes in that Russia, a strong ally of Cyprus, is already Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas; and neither Russia nor the European Union are willing to give up their “pawn” in an ongoing energy struggle.

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  • Cyprus Bailout: The Death Of National Sovereignty?

    Cyprus Bailout: The Death Of National Sovereignty?

    At less than 0.25 percent of the eurozone's GDP, Cyprus’s economy has long been thought to be too small to pose a systemic threat to the region. Yet, with its latest bailout package, agreed upon by EU officials on Saturday, the tiny nation is now at the centre of an existential storm: where countries are surrendering their sovereignty in favour of solvency.

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  • Will Europe’s Austerity Lead To Another Great Depression?: Dan Steinbock

    Will Europe’s Austerity Lead To Another Great Depression?: Dan Steinbock

    Until recently, Brussels has supported primarily front­load austerity measures. When President Hoover tried similar policies in 1930s America, a severe recession morphed into a devastating Great Depression. Is Europe following in the footprints?

    On Monday (11 March), the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, urged the EU leaders to stay the course on debt reduction and economic overhauls.

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  • The Comedian Cometh: Why Beppe Grillo’s Success Is No Laughing Matter

    The Comedian Cometh: Why Beppe Grillo’s Success Is No Laughing Matter

    On Sunday, Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement announced its intentions to lead Italy's next government, though it reiterated that it would not agree to any alliances. Throughout his campaign, Grillo has successfully articulated the angst of the well-educated, yet under-employed or unemployed; but can his rhetoric now turn into something more substantial for Italy?

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  • Will Europe’s Unemployment Crisis Spark A Return For Fascism? : George Friedman

    Will Europe’s Unemployment Crisis Spark A Return For Fascism? : George Friedman

    Fascism had its roots in Europe, during the 1920s and 1930s, in massive economic failures in which the financial elites failed to recognize the political consequences of unemployment. While history may not repeat itself so neatly, the emergence of new political parties speaking for the unemployed and the newly poor could lead to governments who enclose their economies from the world and manage their performance through directive and manipulation.

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  • Russia’s Return To The Middle East: Rebirth Of A Superpower?

    Russia’s Return To The Middle East: Rebirth Of A Superpower?

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s saw Russian embark on a strategic retreat from the Middle East, with a dramatic decline in both its presence and influence. But recent events, particularly in Syria and Libya, suggest that Russia may be regaining its past standing – not just in the region, but also as a major global player.

    Russia is back. President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power. He is making his stand in Syria.

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  • Europe’s Austerity ‘Cure’ Will Never Work: Joseph Stiglitz

    Europe’s Austerity ‘Cure’ Will Never Work: Joseph Stiglitz

    While Europe’s leaders shy away from the word, the reality is that much of the European Union is in depression. Indeed, it will now take a decade or more to recover from the losses incurred by misguided austerity policies – a process that may eventually force Europe to let the euro die in order to save itself.

    NEW YORK – The outcome of the Italian elections should send a clear message to Europe’s leaders: the austerity policies that they have pursued are being rejected by voters.

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  • Moody’s Blues: Why The UK Downgrade Is Meaningless

    Moody’s Blues - Why The UK Downgrade Was Meaningless: Marc Chandler

    Last Friday, the U.K. lost its much-treasured AAA rating, after Moody’s downgraded its sovereign debt on the back of poor economic growth forecasts. But while the timing of the downgrade was surprising, the move itself was long anticipated – and is unlikely to see the government, nor investors, change their opinions for the future.

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  • A New Era For Russia’s Energy Strategy?

    A New Era For Russia’s Energy Strategy?

    Russia presently holds the world's largest proven reserves of natural gas and continually alternates with Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer. Throughout history, the country's energy sector periodically has strengthened and weakened. Managing this cycle has been a centerpiece of Russia's domestic and foreign policy since czarist times. This historical burden now rests on Vladimir Putin's regime.

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  • Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap?: Mohamed El-Erian

    Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap?: Mohamed El-Erian

    In the past, a growing gap between what Egypt’s governing elites delivered and the population’s legitimate aspirations would have been addressed by imposing further repression. The new Egypt will not allow this. The empowerment of ordinary Egyptians has fundamentally changed things. Egypt’s political elites do not have unlimited time, and current economic trends are making the need to act increasingly urgent.

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