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Stan Smith / June 08,2020

Brussels urged to factor in tricky Brexit possibility to recovery programs

Brussels urged to factor in tricky Brexit possibility to recovery programs

EU member states which includes Ireland are urging Brussels to get into account the shock of a hard Brexit in addition to the pandemic in its response to the bloc’s gravest postwar financial slump.

Diplomats from Eire and Belgium have said in current discussions addressing the bloc’s spending plan and €750bn recovery fund that they could be doubly strike by the UK’s no-deal departure from the EU and the financial fallout from the pandemic.

Their interventions are complicating currently fraught discussions over the bloc’s co-ordinated response to the devastating influence of limits executed to fight the spread of the sickness. The eurozone is predicted to shrink 8.7 for each cent this yr — a report postwar recession.

Eire and Belgium rank amongst the economies that would be tough hit by a unexpected disruption to trade with the United kingdom in 2021. The prospect of a no-deal Brexit has arrive into view as talks in between the two sides have stalled in latest weeks. The British isles is owing to leave the bloc on December 31 and the British government has insisted it will not look for a negotiating extension. 

Considering that March, Uk and EU negotiators have led four rounds of talks that have resulted in small progress. With 6 months to go until eventually Britain’s Brexit changeover interval expires, there are developing issues more than a messy no-offer departure.


Predicted contraction in the eurozone this calendar year, a report postwar recession

Stan Smith / December 16,2019

Commentary: Making the Anglosphere Great Again

by Conrad Black


The greatest significance in last week’s decisive and seminal British election is the victory it contains for the solidarity of the English-speaking peoples and the strength, coherence, and legitimacy of what Europeans frequently refer to as the Anglo-Saxons.

Of course, broadly, the English-speaking advanced democracies have much in common with Western Europe, and to a slightly reduced degree with Eastern Europe and westernized nations in other regions, most conspicuously Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, the Emirates, and parts of Latin America.

But the substantial detachment of the United Kingdom from an integrated Europe so it may retain the primacy of the political institutions and the legal system it has developed over many centuries, and align itself, implicitly, more closely to its senior Commonwealth associates, Canada and Australia, as well as to its sometime senior partner in the modern world’s greatest crises, the United States, is a geostrategic development of the first importance.

In the evolution of the balance of power between nations and alliances, it ranks with the unification of the German Empire by Bismarck in 1871 upon Prussia’s defeat of France, which immediately made Germany the most powerful country in Europe and produced the close alliance of Great Britain, France, and Russia—countries which had more often been hostile to each other.

Stan Smith / November 30,2019

NATO Readies a 70th Birthday Party, With Low-Key Celebrations


BRUSSELS — For an anniversary bash, the guests are unusually anxious.

The leaders of NATO are traveling to London this week to commemorate the alliance’s 70th birthday — but they will do so at a carefully crafted, foreshortened gathering, not at a full-blown summit meeting.

The low-key celebration seems intended to avoid more awkward comments from President Trump, who nearly blew apart the last summit meeting in Brussels in July 2018, musing about quitting the alliance and walking out in the middle of a statement by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Normally, the 70th anniversary, like the 50th, would have been held in Washington, where the alliance’s founding treaty was signed, with three days of pomp, substance and a White House dinner. But given Mr. Trump’s unpredictability and his doubts about the alliance, NATO countries decided to have only a foreign ministers’ meeting in Washington on the actual anniversary, in April.

Despite some misgivings, including from Berlin, this session in London was added because Britain wanted to prove that it still mattered in trans-Atlantic security, particularly with its withdrawal from the European Union looming, said Jonathan Eyal, assistant director of the Royal United Services Institute, a defense research institution based in London.

According to Mr. Eyal, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, also thought that some event should take place in Europe to mark the occasion.

“There were serious misgivings,” Mr. Eyal said. “After all, at the venerable age of 70, usually one birthday party is sufficient.”

Stan Smith / November 30,2019

Thousands Evacuated as Typhoon Kammuri Nears the Philippines


More than 43,000 people have been evacuated and schools in six provinces have suspended classes as the eastern islands of the Philippines braced for Typhoon Kammuri to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday.

The storm, packing wind gusts as high as 115 miles per hour, was barreling toward the Philippines on Monday with its eye 220 miles east of the city of Virac on the island province of Catanduanes, the national weather agency said.

The typhoon is poised to strike the Philippines just after President Rodrigo Duterte, joined by the politician and boxing star Manny Pacquiao, presided over the opening of the Southeast Asian Games, a biannual sports event that draws top athletes from 11 Southeast Asian nations.

The Games are scheduled to run through Dec. 11, and organizers have said that the typhoon may cause the cancellation of outdoor events on the island of Luzon in the country’s north. This year’s Games have been touted as the biggest yet, with more than 8,000 athletes competing and hundreds of millions of television viewers expected to tune in from around the region.

Heavy rains were expected in Manila and populous cities nearby, and disaster agencies have stockpiled food and medicine. The authorities have yet to issue mandatory evacuation orders, saying that all evacuations so far were pre-emptive. Residents were asked to check local weather advisories and government social media accounts as the typhoon continued to move toward landfall.

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