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Welcome President Barack Obama! The world’s spotlight is now on a White House of hope and not one of fear. But we all have to wait and see. The biggest doubt remains over Obama’s lack of experience. Simon Serfaty’s short interview in this week’s Le Point offers, an interesting, and in my view, perceptive perspective.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The real WMDs: small arms

‘Weapons of mass destruction” usually refer to nuclear, chemical and biological arms. Such WMDs have claimed comparatively few lives. The real WMDs are small arms, particularly in Africa, have resulted in millions of deaths. Europe and China are both huge exporters of small arms. Control and monitoring is ineffective. People are killed, injured, raped, and… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The Sarkozy factor

We all knew that when trying to second guess the French President, we would be dealing with a “known unknown”. Which Sarkozy would we meet on any issue: the dynamic, highly intelligent and focused one or the egotistical, overbearing impetuous one? So far, so very good. His leadership on the financial meltdown has been excellent;… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I was amazed to read about hours-long queues outside polling booths set up for early voting in 46 of the 50 American states ahead of the 4 November election day. Voter’s intentions could normally be influenced by what happens between now and 4 November. Substantial numbers of early voters are predicted. This could be a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Europe’s hour is coming?

President Bush, Nicolas Sarkozy (current EU President) and EU Commission President Manuel Barroso, met at Camp David on 18 October to discuss the continued coordination of steps needed to solve the crisis in today’s global economy. They agreed to reach out to other world leaders with the idea of beginning a series of summits on… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

What a difference a weekend makes! Doom and gloom replaced by broad grins at yesterdays EU summit. One week ago, the financial markets were close to implosion. Enter EU Euro heads of government/state on white horses led by the unlikely figure of the UK prime minister and a brilliantly successful Sunday at l’Eysée. Remarkably, its… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

(borrowing the style of Le Point) En hausse Gordon Brown – Extraordinary success in influencing Euro and American leaders Nicolas Sarkozy – Successfully drove EU leaders to agree EU package Manuel José Barroso – Sarkozy seems to have changed attitude towards him. Invited to Camp David with Sarkozy Dominique Strauss-Kah – His stark warning influenced… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

No-one could write the script of the financial meltdown drama that continues to unfold. The story so far: The US $700bn bail-out did not stabilise the stock markets. The UK came up with a far more ambitious rescue plan, and at £500bn one commensurately much larger than the American equivalent, taking into account the relative… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I asked a young French official at the Commission, a socialist, whose views I value, his reactions to my post of 4 October on Financial meltdown post-Congress. Here is his response: – I’m torn between radicalism (the system is rotten, let it die) and cynical pragmatism (that’s capitalism, you can try to tame it, you… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

That inveterate diplomat, Hans Blix, said during an European Policy Centre debate with Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh on “Iran and non-proliferation” that the worst a diplomat can inflict on another country is humiliation. Humiliation is precisely what Western policy has inflicted on China (18-20th centuries), Iran (20th & 21st centuries), Russia (since 1989) and the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick