The Pedigree of the “Horsewich”

The Pedigree of the “Horsewich”

Conn Hallinan began a recent Focal Points post titled The Sunset of the “Celtic Tiger” Led to the Dawn of the “Horsewich”: “As the Great Horsemeat Crisis continues to spread—“gallops” is the verb favored by the European...

The Two Europes

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. The subtitle of Benjamin Disraeli’s novel Sybil, about Britain of the mid-19th century, refers to the “two nations” of rich...
Serbia’s Strategic Ambiguity and the EU

Serbia’s Strategic Ambiguity and the EU

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. Serbia this week adopted new guidelines for its talks with Kosovo. As usual, the Serbian parliament declared that it would never recognize the...

Bulgarians Wear Their Pessimism as a Badge

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. Bulgarians are proud to be pessimistic. Many of the people that I recently interviewed in the country spoke with pride of the various polls...
European Parliament Supports Robin Hood Tax in Landslide Vote

European Parliament Supports Robin Hood Tax in Landslide Vote

Under pressure to address a massive deficit, legislators voted overwhelmingly this week in favor of a tax on financial speculation. This really happened, I swear. OK, it was in Europe, not the United States. But it could happen here—and it should. The vote in...
What Happened to Europe?

What Happened to Europe?

Back in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the countries of East-Central Europe all had a common vision. They wanted to join the Europe Community. Some wanted to join immediately; others wanted to join eventually. After half a century yoked to the Soviet Union,...

The Idea of Europe

Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com. John is currently traveling in Eastern Europe and observing its transformations since 1989. HANKYOREH — Back in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the countries of East-Central Europe all had a common vision. They wanted...
The Risky Business of Eating in America

The Risky Business of Eating in America

Long before human beings decoded the human genome or split the atom, they discovered that arsenic is very good at killing things. The ancient Romans prized it as a murder weapon because it could be mixed into food or drink without altering its color, taste, or smell....
European Victory on Taxing Speculation

European Victory on Taxing Speculation

Cross-Posted with the Huffington Post European campaigners for a financial transaction tax have done some awfully goofy things over the past three years. At one French demonstration, they stripped down to their skivvies to emphasize the small size of the tax (0.1% on...
European Tax on Financial Transactions Gains Support

European Tax on Financial Transactions Gains Support

The leaders of France and Germany may have their differences on the big question of the day — stimulus versus austerity. But they do agree on one thing — taxing financial transactions. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was hot on the idea of a small...
Europe’s Dilemma: Immigration and the Arab Spring

Europe’s Dilemma: Immigration and the Arab Spring

Much of the West voiced great support for the Arab Spring. However, the European Union in particular soon curbed its enthusiastic reaction when residents of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) began streaming into Europe after turmoil from the Arab Spring left...
The End of Austerity in Europe?

The End of Austerity in Europe?

A few months ago, when Occupy movements bloomed across Europe, the absence of any similar uprising in France appeared to be an anomaly in a country infamous for its people’s propensity to take the streets. One explanation was that the presidential election was...
Irish Try to Wriggle Free of Mother Merkel’s Hair Shirt of Debt

Irish Try to Wriggle Free of Mother Merkel’s Hair Shirt of Debt

Someone has pinched the heart of St. Lawrence O’Toole, and thereby hangs a typical Irish tale filled with metaphors, parallels, and some pretty serious weirdness. Who done it? The suspects are many and varied. Could the heist from Dublin’s Christ Church...
Germany’s Social Democrats and the European Crisis

Germany’s Social Democrats and the European Crisis

Germany towers over Europe like a colossus. Its economy is the biggest in the European Union, accounting for 20 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product. While most of Europe’s economies are stagnating, Germany’s will have grown by some 2.9 percent...