• A bit of deadlock, then a deal

    By on June 29, 2012
    By Carlo Peano Good news, wethinks, from the European Council summit. The leaders of the euro area have asked the Council to create a single supervisory mechanism by the end of 2012 – involving the ECB – for banks in the euro area. That way, the ESM will be able to recapitalise banks directly.
  • Not a hope in Hades for Greek reforms?

    By on June 29, 2012
    By Aris Kokkinos No president present, some harsh exchanges in the press and a decline in trust in Greece has meant that there’s not a hope in Hades for Greece implementing scheduled reforms. This is what the Phoenician princess could tell the Olympian god Zeus, if he were present at the European Council on 28 and 29 June. The latest developments in the Greek crisis have tragicomic overtones.
  • Getting distracted: Babel chats to Arab journos at the summit

    By on June 29, 2012
    By Cristina Mariani While all eyes were on the European Cup match and all ears were listening to the press conference given, unexpectedly, by President Van Rompuy and President Barroso at 11pm, Cafebabel was having an interesting discussion with two journalists from the Arab press about democracy and the EU's relations with the Arab world.
  • Emergency exit, or business as usual?

    By on June 28, 2012
    By Cristina Mariani Will the euro survive the sovereign debt crisis? Long negotiations and press conferences in the small hours, followed by the usual non-conclusions. At least we've got the football. Cafebabel is attending the council summit today, and the euro is in jeopardy and on the agenda for the umpteenth time. The question remains: will the euro survive the sovereign debt crisis?
  • Germany and eurobonds all'italiana

    By on June 28, 2012
    By Carlo Peano and Sean O Dubhghaill The Italians want results, and not just football ones. They're looking for concrete measures, which they believe ought to be taken by the European Council tonight. Italians have barely been struck by the financial crisis and they're still looking for concrete measures, which they believe ought to be taken by the European Council tonight.
  • How good fences make good neighbours

    By on June 28, 2012
    By Séan O'Dubhghaill Pedestrians are being herded away from Schuman roundabout today by police, who have begun to place barriers between the citizenry and their elected representatives meeting in the European Council.
  • Monti: “From now on, the EU sits on a rock”

    By on Jan. 31, 2012
    By Matteo Adduci Presenting the freshly reached agreement on a fiscal pact ratified by 25 EU member states (everyone except the UK – same old story - and the Czech Republic – due to “different problems in relation to the possible adoption of the agreement”), Italian PM Mario Monti stated that Italy had had significant impact in the achievement of this “very good and successful result”.
  • Fashion-forward female leaders to make it right

    By on Jan. 30, 2012
    By Cristina Mariani I am here with my little bag to collect a bit of money’ said IMF head Christine Lagarde in Davos recently, proferring her big LV handbag. It's big, but is it big enough? And is anyone going to offer to fill it for her? ‘I am here with my little bag to collect a bit of money’. This is not a quote from the ruthless and cynical Myranda from ‘The Devil wears Prada’.
  • Youth employment pivotal to growth

    By on Jan. 30, 2012
    By Julie Kavanagh The Party of European Socialists have dismissed as ¨empty proposals¨ a new EU draft paper detailling measures to tackle youth unemployment. With the issue expected to be high on the agenda at today´s informal summit, politicians and policy-makers alike are eager to emphasise youth employment as pivotal to growth.
  • How a Romanian Gold Rush is like unprotected sex

    By on Nov. 21, 2011
    By Andreea-Elena Serban At the edge of the European Union in the Carpathian mountains lies a slice of precious history. It's about to be wiped off the face of the earth using dangerous cyanide-based technology, to get at the precious gold underneath. It has serious repercussions for tourism, the environment and democracy in the European Union. But forget all that. We've got gold!