Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you who’ve been reading, commenting on and linking to FOE for the last few months. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you so I trust you will all have an enjoyable 2004.

So, to get the FOE year off to a good start, what are your predictions for what might happen in Europe in 2004?

I’m predicting that the Irish presidency (which begins today) will make progress on the Constitutional talks, though maybe not on the Constitution itself (at least on the Giscard D’Estaing version) and also that in June’s elections, the EPP will remain the largest grouping in the Parliament, but the biggest growth will be in the smaller groupings and independent/non-aligned members.

5 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. I was much pleased to see this in the news on New Year’s day:

    “Gerhard Schroeder, the German Chancellor, has received an unprecedented invitation to ceremonies next June marking the 60th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in occupied France, the French have confirmed.” – at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1-948833,00.html

    We may trust that discrete inquiries will already have been made through the usual diplomatic channels as to whether the invitation will be welcome and hope that Gerhard Schroeder will be able to accept and attend.

    A vivid childhood memory is of being awakened early by my father, at about 6 o’clock, on the morning of 6 June 1944 to watch the war planes, fighters, bombers, transports and gliders, flying low over south London on their way to the Normandy beaches. Of course, we didn’t know, for sure, it was Normandy the planes were flying to, but from the noise and the number of planes, it was fairly evident that this was the impending invasion of mainland Europe we had expected for so long.

    It was weeks after D-Day that a V1 Flying Bomb, the precursor of present cruise missiles, landed at one end of the road where I lived then. Some more weeks on and a V2 rocket, a ballistic missile, landed at the other end of the road. It is perhaps experiences like that which make some of us especially cautious about wishing war on anyone.

    I should like to be able to predict that 2004 will be a peaceful year in world affairs but I know it won’t be.

  2. The euro will hit $1.38 before gradually falling to $1.17 by year’s end. Conservative pundits will applaud George W. Bush for this unprecedented “strengthening of the dollar.”

  3. Things will more or less stay pretty much the same as they are, except in areas where they don’t

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