Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

but the girls in Saudi are happy

September 30, 2011

Women in Saudi will have the right to vote and to run as candidates in future local elections. Good news? I couldn’t argue that this is the beginning of the ‘Saudi Spring’, as it seems that the winter there is still too long….

In China….the girls are not happy…

September 30, 2011

In China  a TV talent show,  ‘Happy Girl’,  was just recently shut down by the government as it allowed viewers to vote for the winner and therefore it promoted democratic values. So interesting!

Being exposed to decision-making procedures, exercising the right to vote and participatory behaviours are likely to make the Chinese people demanding more and more….happiness. So sad -for the government- to be happy in China!

‘B’ for Beijing but not …for Brussels

September 22, 2011

Nouriel Roubini in yesterday’s FT argued that Greece should both default and exit the eurozone.

Martin Wolf today in the same paper states that ‘..once the taboo is broken, the possibility of exit must be examined‘.

Greece is not the only passenger on the Eurozone’s boat…and the boat is sinking. I am not sure if the boat lacks a good captain but certainly something is going wrong with its compass…the orientation system does not seem to have worked so far.

And for those ones who wonder whether China can provide the much needed compass I am just providing Yao Yang‘s words in today’s FT:

As seen from Beijing, the euro is a European affair. And the Europeans will have to correct their own mistakes.

 

Europe, History and (Ir)responsibility

March 29, 2011

Since the very start, Europe has been on the wrong side of the Arab uprisings.

Prospect Magazine raises the following question. Europe: on the wrong side of history?

My points:

  • Is Europe well prepared to restore order in Libya?
  • Is the EU well prepared to stabilise the unstable?
  • Is UK making a serious effort to lead the way proving that it still matters in the international scene?
  • Is France making an effort to prove that EU is not just a Franco-German diktat?
  • Is the British and French collective action in Libya a sign that EU is about rising ‘groups’ within the ‘Group’?
  • Does Europe has a solid history understanding (and memory)? (It is said that when you do not remember history, you tend to repeat the mistakes of the past…..)

Anarchism vs.Vandalism

March 29, 2011

I was in the West End Saturday night. I was scared, I felt insecure, lovely London’s centre was totally chaotic. Police, ambulances, demonstrators, music, noise, smashed windows, empty shops, sad banks…and the helicopter in the sky reminded of an ongoing action….the danger was still somewhere…

I read the news, I read the comments and reports and what attracted my attention was the interchangeable use of the terms ‘Anarchism’ and ‘Vandalism’. I agree, of course, that the quest of Alternatives is not reflected upon all the hostile actions that took place on Saturday but I am wondering: Since when has ‘Anarchism’ become a synonym for ‘Vandalism’?

R2P but how?

March 1, 2011
According to the Economist (latest issue February 26-March 4 2011) Europe must do more to support the Arab democracy, or, the struggle for Arab democracy. Should Europe, now, just now, express any kind of responsibility to protect and help the Arab struggles for freedom and democracy?
History repeats itself. R2P or the Responsibility to Protect raises so many questions about the How, Who, When to help and  how exactly to restore the order.
I don’t know if Europe can take such a responsibility now, it would be though a good chance for Lady Ashton to make her name more memorable.
But I think I am going to agree with Gideon Rachman in the FT today. The external assistance may help in short term. But in long term stability and peace  in the region should be chosen, determined and protected by ordinary citizens and not by outside powers.

short visit, shorter hope

March 1, 2011

I spent some days in Athens/Greece last week and -believe me- 5 days were enough to realise the disappointment of the people, the anger, the lack of hope, the need to react against a system that put Greece in an economic abyss. Needless to say that the most of the people I talked to, recognised the fact that all of ‘us’, each of us, somehow, contributed to this crisis.

I came to ask myself: ‘Is it more than an economic/political crisis? Is it about a Greek mentality crisis’?

According article in the Financial Times on Monday, 28th February (under the title ‘Greece’s struggles’):

Changing Greece’s mentalities and attitudes to the state is a task that will last an entire generation, beyond the political lifetime of George Papandreou, the prime minister.

So, is there any hope? I am afraid I am going to ask this question again and again in the future. Nevertheless, the FT article expressed a reserved but clear  optimism under one condition: that the Greek prime minister  soldiers on the reforms. (It continues also claiming that on his present record, he would deserve to win any forthcoming elections).

My mind welcomes the acceleration of the reforming process, my heart though -after my short visit- is torn by all the suffering I was able to spot…..


Egypt back online

February 3, 2011

Facebook and Twitter are now available and the four major Egyptian internet service providers are back in business‘ as BBC reports.

The ‘weapons’ are back, revolution can go on, the power of the Net turned out to be stronger than the ‘Power’ itself.

 

Hungary and democracy

January 30, 2011

Since 1st January 2011 Hungary holds the presidency of the European Union for 6 months. Hungary is supposed to be the model member state and promote the image of the EU as a whole. In December 2010 the government passed a new media legislation that places print, broadcast and online media under the supervision of a new authority powerful to impose fines for violating ‘public interest, public morals or order’ .

Is the freedom of speech likely to become a victim? Let’s hope that the new implementations will be watched closely by Brussels and that we will not talk about traumatized liberal values in an EU country that is supposed to lead the way for six months….

 

(Re)order Marxism

January 30, 2011

In these days that we certainly have moved ‘from the triumph of global capitalism to its crisis in barely a decade’, I am so looking forward to reading the book I just ordered: How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism by Eric Hobsbawn. Does he make a case for the need to read or re-read Karl Marx now? Let’s see……