An unusual combination, but a persuasive argument. Over at Daily Kos.
Given that I was asked about Nader on German radio yesterday, it’s worth a look at this left-of-the-aisle site to see why he won’t have an impact on this year’s presidential election in the US. If Europe has to put up with a second Bush term, it won’t be Nader’s doing.
Throughout the recent Balkan wars, Macedonia was the shoe that stubbornly refused to fall. Wars in Bosnia, in Kosovo did not spread to Macedonia. The blockade imposed by Greece in the early years of independence did not rise to open conflict. Latent Bulgarian claims were amicable resolved. Chaos in Albania did not become contagion. Many reasons account for Macedonia’s relative good fortune, and capable leadership is certainly one of them. Now the country’s president has crashed into a hillside in Bosnia.
At present, Macedonia is doing something that no state in Western Europe has managed: running a state while accommodating a minority population that is (estimates vary) between one quarter and one third of the total. Good luck to them, and I hope that Trajkovski’s successor can stay the course.
Interestingly, the fallen president was a convert to Methodism and a former theology student. It’s an interesting twist on questions of church, state and laicism.
The EU is now officially a player in this year’s US elections: After talks in Washington failed, Pascal Lamy, the EU trade commissioner, has confirmed that progressive trade sanctions to counteract illegal US export tax breaks will be imposed from March 1st on.
After a stopover in Chicago, where he once again urged to keep more than an eye on the current Dollar weakness and Euro area interest rates (transcript in English | .doc), Gerhard Schroeder is having lunch with GW Bush today in order to further mend relations after the two leaders’ bitter disagreement over Iraq.
Downing Street says – A new weblog reporting the official briefings made by the British Prime Minister’s office
The Boston Globe has uncovered the (truly) European roots of J.F. Kerry. Sueddeutsche Zeitung picks the subject up… “I hope you don’t write that Kerry was a Sudeten-German…” (in German).
OK I’m on a roll, so I’m going to stick my neck out. This slide in the Italian confidence index apparently surprised the ‘experts’. Well it shouldn’t have surprised Fistful readers who have been following what I have been saying. Clearly these confidence indexes are not the last word in sliced bread. But they do mean something, and Germany’s Ifo index just turned in another bad reading too.
Ever since Parmalat, I have been asking one simple question: will Italy ever grow again? Of course, the simple answer is possibly it will: never say never. But will it ever get back to vigorous growth: this I doubt. I am even half asking myself if we will see positive numbers in more than say 50% of the forthcoming quaters. Remember, if my demographic thesis has any predictive power it should be precisely here in Italy that the Titanic starts to take in water. Parmalat was simply the iceberg. Of course my thesis could always be wrong. Any takers?
Mischievous Constructions – a new blog from Michael Brooke, brother of The Virtual Stoa‘s Chris
Confident of victory in the March 14th election, Russian President Putin has declared the resignation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet