Maliha looks confident in a café in Athens as she tells the story of her journey from Afghanistan to Europe. But as she starts recounting how a smuggler assaulted her in Turkey two years ago, she pauses, looking the other way and fiddling with her loose hair.
As Europe braces for an unusual winter due to a global energy crisis, Greece is embarking on one of Europe's most ambitious energy projects by connecting its electricity grid to Egypt's.
The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.
Just over a month ago, Greek citizens were asked to go to the polls for a referendum that posed the country with an unprecedented existential dilemma and challenged the EU with the possibility of its collapse.
In recommendations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of July, the German Council of Economic Experts outlined
how a weak member country could leave the Eurozone and called for strengthening the European monetary union.
"A serious political and social crisis will sweep through the euro countries if they do not decide to strengthen the integration of their economies. The euro zone crisis did not begin with the Greek crisis, but was manifested much earlier, when a monetary union was created without economic and fiscal union in the context of a financial sector drugged on debt and speculation.”
The decisive result of the Greek referendum held Jul. 5, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected (61.3 to 38.7 percent) the terms of an international bailout, has opened a new chapter not only for the future of Greece, but also in terms of the essence of the European Union itself.
Human rights groups are calling for a sustainable solution to the migrant crisis in Europe, especially following the dismantling of refugee camps in Paris and Calais, France, over the past two weeks.
Only 50 years of Cold War (and the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany) can possibly explain the strange political power of the United States over Europe.
The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).
Debt restructuring is a component of crisis management and resolution, and needs to be treated in the context of the current economic conjuncture and vulnerabilities.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
The world is clearly splitting into two parallel worlds, with each going their own way, in what we could call the ‘Acapulco paradox’.
At last, on Tuesday Feb. 24, the Eurogroup (of eurozone finance ministers) approved the Greek government’s commitment to a programme of reforms in return for extending the country’s bailout deal.
The European Union should not be afraid of the leftist opposition party Syriza winning the Greek election, but see it as a chance to rediscover its founding principle - the social dimension that created it and without which it cannot survive.
A sit-in protest by Syrian refugees on Syntagma Square opposite the Greek parliament in the heart of Athens has turned into a demonstration of the stalemate faced by both Greek as well as European immigration policy.
After the Italian sea search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum at a cost of nine million euros a month, through which the Italian Navy has rescued nearly 100,000 migrants – although perhaps up to 3,000 have died – from the Mediterranean since October 2013, Europe is now presenting its new face in the Mediterranean.
The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.
Plans by the Greek government to sell companies that handle the key resources of energy and water face serious obstacles and its policy to offer investors exceptional privileges in an effort to boost interest in privatisation is coming under strong pressure.
The evolution of immigration and border control policy in Greece and its interdependence with European funding suggests an agenda which has been decided above national legislatures with strong coordination between European political actors and economic interests, while ignoring the human suffering it produces.