France

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Syria: tell me what your legal basis is and I’ll tell you who you are

In their approach to bombing Syria, the different major powers are by no means pursuing the same strategic or political ends, or even justifying themselves on the same legal basis. The latest is Russia, which has been accused by the US of ‘throwing gasoline on the fire’. Although one [...]

Few lights in the darkness: The Future of the Euro by Matthijs and Blyth

This an extraordinary book on the Euro and its future paths. It is an absolute must-read because it brings together some of the top scholars in the field who, as a team led by Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth, achieve something unusual in the literature: to analyse the multifaceted [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Bad is better than worst, but Europe has lost out in the endeavour

The Eurozone, and by extension the EU, has avoided a serious trip-up with Greece, although the danger is by no means past on what will be a long and difficult road ahead, at a very high cost to the Greeks and to the European project itself. Nevertheless, the third [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Goodbye to an ever closer EU, or perhaps not?

The Maastricht Treaty (1992) enshrined a formula that was to be repeated in all subsequent basic EU documents: to move towards ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’. David Cameron wants the principle to be removed the next time the treaties are reformed and, in a reverse [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Ukraine: the peace hiding behind the ceasefire

If consolidating a ceasefire in the eastern Ukraine will be difficult, making peace will be even more so. Nevertheless, although there are elements for a stable peace in what was negotiated at Minsk, it remains to be seen if, not Russia, but the government in Kiev –and the Ukrainian [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Charlie Hebdo: more questions than (provisional) answers

Why France now? Because France is where Charlie Hebdo and its Muhammad cartoons were published. Also, it is the most secular (but not necessarily the least religious) and most republican country in Europe. It is the society with the largest number of Muslims in the EU. It is taking [...]

How much Spanish sovereign debt does China hold?

After years trying to find out the currency composition of China’s foreign reserves portfolio (a topic mired in the outmost secrecy), I thought finding out who holds Spanish sovereign debt would be an easier job. Not least because we Europeans tend to think or at least pretend we are [...]

The “Bleu Marine” failure

The recent elections to the European Parliament have left even worse sensations for traditional parties than expected. Right-wing anti-EU parties have won in France, Britain and Denmark. Overall, Eurosceptic and Europhobe parties have gained over 20% of the seats in the Parliament and they now have political momentum. The [...]

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