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Archives for Germany

Coming to terms with the past

The causes of World War II are complex but certain facts are clear. In 1939, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Germany and the Soviet Union then invaded their respective sides of Poland, dividing the country between them. But contrast what Angela… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

German Constitutional Court, ratification of Lisbon Treaty The German Constitutional Court cleared the way for German ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, subject to legislation being adopted requiring parliamentary approval of EU decisions which affect core German state competences. The government plans to present the necessary bill for a first reading in August and a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The columnist, Gwynne Dyer, has drawn my attention to an article, written by Colonel Sergei Kovalev, Director of the scientific research department at the Institute of Military History. It is entitled “Fictions and Falsifications in Evaluating the USSR’s Role On the Eve of the Second World War.” Kovalev asserts that the Poles, not the Germans,… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Jacques Delors, in Alternatives Economiques, has produced an absorbing analysis of the current problems facing European integration. He rightly attributes the lack of interest in Europe of public opinion to the fading of memory as to the original aims of reconciliation, solidarity, freedom and the end to war. He identifies three reasons for the lack… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I have hitherto refrained from commenting on the ‘Bishop Richard Williamson affair’, but the resignation from the CDU of Werner Münch, former Saxe-Anhalt minister-president, accusing Angela Merkel of humiliating the Pope, cannot pass without comment. The Vatican has the right to decided that unity of the Catholic church came before reversing the decision to readmit… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The G 20 talks take place in Washington on 15 November. The EU extraordinary summit agreed on 7 November a set of principles that should guide future talks on the reform of the global financial architecture. President Sarkozy stated afterwards that the world will have to get used to it that the EU now speaks… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The European Parliament has decided to award its prestigious Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights activist held since December 2007 for posting articles online and giving interviews to foreign journalists. I do not question the breach of human rights by Beijing but do question whether this will help obtain Hu Jia’s release.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Solidarité

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I still believe that a key quality of the European Union was ‘solidarité’ (a better word in French than English). With the ‘dog-eat-dog’ behaviour of the financial sector, was it too much to hope that EU leaders would set a good example? The market would have so much more confidence if… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Barack Obama goes home

Kuwait – Afghanistan – Iraq – Jordan – Israel – West Bank – Berlin – Paris – London, was the Barack Obama itinerary for the past week. The ‘celebrity tour’ element was a great success. However, the tour was part of his American electoral campaign, and the degree of its success will be seen in… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Philip Stephens in his, a little unkind, article in today’s Financial Times, rightly emphasizes the need to have a European Council President who commands recognition and respect in Washington, Moscow, Delhi and Beijing. He believes that Angela Merkel qualifies on every count (see post of 6 February) but recognises that she prefers to remain as… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick