Stories written by Julio Godoy
Julio Godoy, born in Guatemala and based in Berlin, covers European affairs, especially those related to corruption, environmental and scientific issues. Julio has more than 30 years of experience, and has won international recognition for his work, including the Hellman-Hammett human rights award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting Online by the U.S. Society of Professional Journalists, and the Online Journalism Award for Enterprise Journalism by the Online News Association and the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, as co-author of the investigative reports “Making a Killing: The Business of War” and “The Water Barons: The Privatisation of Water Services”.

Europe Dithering on Tobin Tax

Despite the grave financial and sovereign debt crisis sweeping the region, the European Union has once again failed to reach unanimous approval of a proposition made by its executive body, the European Commission (EC), to tax financial transactions in order to reduce speculation and increase state revenues.

Asylum Seekers Protest in Silence

Terrible images are filtering in from the German Bavarian city of Wuerzburg, where one woman and six men have sewn their mouths shut, threading fishing wire through their lips to symbolise a point of no return in their hunger strike.

Germany’s Energy Revolution Hits Potholes

When the German government decided last year to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, following the catastrophe at the Fukushima power plant in Japan, it was clear that the process would require extraordinary effort, not only in further developing alternative energy sources, especially renewables, but also in upgrading the country-wide electricity grid.

Climate Change and Family Planning – Twin Issues for LDCs

The reproductive rights agenda, from improving women’s access to education to systematic family planning to reducing birth rates and combating poverty, has become a cornerstone of most industrialised nations’ development policies toward the least developed countries (LDCs), comprised primarily of sub-Saharan African states.

Industrialised Countries Under Critical Spotlight at U.N. Meet

The latest session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place May 15-25 in the former German capital Bonn, is the perfect opportunity to reaffirm the enormous and growing body of scientific expertise on policies to tackle global warming.

Rio+20: European Parliament Absent in Sustainability Summit

The decision by the European Parliament (EP) to renounce its participation in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next month on the grounds that hotel costs are exorbitant has provoked sharp criticism from civil society organisations.

Greek, French Elections Sound Death Knell for Austerity

The voting out of conservative governments in France and Greece this weekend heralds the end of harsh European austerity programmes and ushers in an era of new economic, investment, and social policies aimed at restoring growth and employment across the continent.

Massive Theft of Developing World’s Farmland

The mass acquisition or lease of arable land in developing countries, especially in Africa, by foreign investors – a practice aggravated by the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007 – has reached record highs, according to several new studies.

Europe Loses Billions to Tax Evasion

Swiss banks are facing prosecution in several European countries, accused of complicity in tax evasion and money laundering schemes, especially with French, German, and wealthy Greek citizens.

European NGOs Put IFIs Under Microscope

European civil society organisations continue to demand that international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund apply the same standards of transparency and accountability to their internal affairs that they demand for governments across the world.

Europe’s Austerity Programme Spawns ‘Lost Generation’

The recent dramatic rise of youth unemployment across Europe – particularly in the Mediterranean member countries of the Eurozone most affected by the sovereign debt crisis and so-called ‘remedial’ austerity programmes – indicates that the continent is sacrificing its future on the altar of short-term budget consolidation.

European Left Backs Hollande in United Front Against Austerity

Practically all European Social Democratic and Socialist parties are supporting the French presidential candidate François Hollande in the upcoming elections, in the hope that his likely triumph against incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy will create enough continental momentum to put an end to the present Conservative-inspired social and economic austerity policies.

Public Water Management Services Need “Committed Citizens”

The trend of privatisation and commercialisation of water services, which set in in the 1980s and continued throughout the 1990s, has come to a halt due to the process’ own failures, and has given rise to a return of those services into efficient public management, according to a new book.

Antibiotics Toughen Bacteria on German Farms

The recent death of five prematurely born children in the northern German city Bremen as a result of infections acquired in the hospital has strengthened fears among environmental and health experts that massive use of antibiotics in industrial livestock farming is creating extremely resistant bacteria.

Can Europe Derail the Shale Gas Express?

Following numerous warnings issued by geologists, health scientists and environmental experts throughout the United States, Europe is now well aware of the high ecological and health risks associated with the exploitation of shale gas fields.

Europe Fears a Summer Attack on Iran

The appeals to Israel by numerous European diplomats attending the Munich security conference last weekend have led to growing concern that Israeli plans to attack Iran are imminent.

GERMANY: While Some Waste, Others Feast

Shortly before midnight last Saturday, Alexander, a 24-year-old law student, stepped out of his small apartment in Hamburg and set off for a jaunt around the local supermarkets to pilfer their garbage containers.

EUROPE: Berlin Urged to End Austerity Measures

Bolstered by Germany’s strong economy, Berlin has become the unofficial capital of the battered European monetary union.

Q&A: Tuna Fisheries Must Make Short-Term Sacrifices

For the last ten years, environmentalists and marine biologists have repeatedly warned that the world’s tuna populations, and particularly bluefin tuna, are being overfished to the verge of extinction.

Marine biologist María José Juan Jordá at the Honolulu Fish Auction. - Angkana Rawichutiwan

Tuna Fisheries Must Make Short-Term Sacrifices

Countries involved in tuna fishing should remember that in exchange for having access to these resources, they also have the responsibility to manage them properly, says Spanish researcher María José Juan Jordá in this interview.

Collateral Damage From Fukushima Hits Europe

Several leading European electricity providers and nuclear power plant constructors now count as part of the collateral damage caused by the tsunami that destroyed the Japanese nuclear power plant of Fukushima last March.

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