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Angela Merkel in The Land of Smiles

Angela Merkel in The Land of Smiles

Germany’s elections are over. The winners and losers are clear, and the political landscape has changed profoundly. The real drama, however, occurred not among the country’s main parties but on the boundaries of the political spectrum. Chancellor Angela Merkel is celebrating a landslide victory, with her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) having fallen just short of […]

Riding for Erasmus

Riding for Erasmus

A dozen sturdy bikes whirr past on the sun-scorched path that weaves through the floodplains forest of the Lobau, just east of Vienna. The group say they are a “moving megaphone” for a more integrated Europe. Sprouting from the luggage-carriers above their rear wheels, the bikes sport small flags that wag in the wind, giving […]

The Winding Road to Transparency

The Winding Road to Transparency

At a recent gallery opening, the host turned to his companions: “Transparency is a good thing, but not always the truth. The truth is what we see.” He wasn’t speaking about politics, of course, but about art. Still the statement resonated. While the EU thinks that opening up all bank account information will be a […]

France’s German Mirror

France’s German Mirror

NEWS ANALYSIS:  Berlin’s Tegel Airport, which still greets most of the passengers arriving in the capital of Europe’s leading economic power, is outdated and provincial. The opening of Schönefeld Airport, transformed into an international hub, has been delayed for more than a year for technical reasons (a somewhat reassuring challenge to Germany’s reputation for efficiency). […]

Rebekka Bakken: Genuss Factor

Rebekka Bakken: Genuss Factor

Rebekka Bakken is enjoying a lovely spring day in one of her favorite places, the beautiful wine valleys of the Wachau. As she strolls up to a café by the Danube with friends, a bewildered old man spots this tall, radiant, uninhibited woman with long, flowing hair and large sunglasses as she walks by and […]

Politics at Budapest museum

Ruling party Fidesz favourite Julia Fabény was appointed director of the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, fueling criticism that Viktor Orbàn’s conservative government is biased against opponents of the country’s increasingly patriotic cultural policy. Unlike former director Barnabás Bencsik, the 59-year old Fabény has stated that it is not the task of a museum director to […]

The Erosion of Europe

The Erosion of Europe

Just weeks ago, the worst of the financial crisis in Europe seemed to be over. Stability seemed to be returning. But appearances proved to be deceptive. A minor problem (at least in scale) like Cyprus, when combined with an almost unbelievable degree of incompetence among the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the […]

Germany most influential

Germany is viewed as the country with the “most positive influence” in the world, according to the BBC’s annual Country Ratings Poll. Interviewing 26,000 people from 25 countries by phone or face-to-face between December 2012 and April 2013, subjects were asked by GlobeScan/PIPA (Program on International Policy Attitudes) to rate 16 countries and the European […]

Should Germany Exit the Euro?

Should Germany Exit the Euro?

Last summer, financier George Soros urged Germany to agree to the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, calling on the country to “lead or leave.” Now he says that Germany should exit the euro if it continues to block the introduction of eurobonds. Soros is playing with fire. Leaving the eurozone is precisely what the […]

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