Germany to re-invent its security position in Europe and a chaotic world

At the Munich Security Conference of last week, the hottest criticism for the Grand Coalition agreement of Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, coming from within and without the country was about not spending enough on armaments and security. The American Defense Secretary Jim Mattis focused on that Germany must spend 2% of GDP on defense, […]

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

The EU budget will be the main topic of the EU summit which will be held in Brussels on Friday. The leaders of the 27 member states have to deal with the annual gap that UK will leave after Brexit occurs ensuring that the priorities set for the Union will be adequately funded. According to […]

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

The center right and center left German mainstream political parties agreed yesterday evening to form a new grand coalition government. It will be the third time since 2005 the two Christian parties and the socialists jointly govern their country. The socialists will control the Finance, Foreign and Labor ministries, with Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic […]

Healthcare for refugees: a necessary symbiosis of medicine and politics

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Janatana Karunakumar, a 3rd year medical student at Georg-August-University in Göttingen, Germany. Ms Karunakumar is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and does not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European […]

‘Safe Eurobonds’: a new trick to betray the south euro area countries

All along the years after the 2008-2010 financial crisis, which in the European Union took the form banking/government debt breakdowns starting with Greece, there were cries for the creation of a solid Eurozone. In every respect, these calls amounted to demands that super prosperous Germany accepts some degree of risk-sharing with the rest of the […]

Trump reshapes the Middle East at the expenses of Europe

Trump’s completely unwarranted aggressiveness towards the rest of the world took a violent thrust this week. His vice President Mike Pence speaking at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, announced a speed-up of the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The move is now to be completed before the end of next […]

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

Donald Trump, the American President, is to deliver the closing speech at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of 23-26 January in Davos, which as usually is set in the unsullied Alpine landscape. Perhaps, he has something new to say about how America sees Europe. Most probably though, he is simply to repeat his […]

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Last Thursday this newspaper came out with a lead story about European countries having problems producing viable governments. The article was entitled “Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?” It seems conformist Germany answers this question in the negative. According to an opinion poll published this week and reported by […]

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

The migration crisis has been long plaguing Europe but the year passed revealed that the situation is getting better and better with arrivals and deaths to be decreased to a great extent. According to IOM, the UN Migration Agency, 171.635 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during 2017 compared to the 363.504 arrivals in […]

Erdogan’s Turkey in dire straits for flip flop policies in the Middle East

Last week a US federal court convicted Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive of Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank. This is a major financial institution of this country, controlled directly by the government. Attila found guilty on five accounts, for evading the American sanctions imposed on Iran. Most of those punitive measures were lifted in April 2015, in […]

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

With the Italian elections set for 4 March and anticipated to produce a hang parliament, four out of the five bigger European countries will be in political limbo for a good part, if not for the entire new year 2018. France is the only exception in this Euro-plague of political uncertainty. In some cases the […]

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

This newspaper had predicted that Europe’s extreme right wing, almost fascist political parties, unable to deliver their phoney promises after reaching government posts, will try to play the aggressive chauvinism card. Old Continet’s’s nations have paid dearly in the past millennia for jingoism and chauvinist violence. However, after many decades of peace in Europe and […]

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

It was two days ago, on the anniversary of the International migration day, when the United Nations urged everyone to contribute to make migration safer in the world. The EU leaders gathered on December 14-15 in Brussels to discuss among others how to tackle refugee crisis. The key point which created disagreements was the letter from the […]

Draghi keeps the euro cheap, helps debt refinancing, recapitalization of banks and growth

Last Thursday, the European Central Bank decided to keep flooding the Eurozone with hundreds of billions, despite strong objections coming from the frugal German-Dutch duo. Mario Draghi was adamant about that. It’s interesting to follow his response to a journalist’s remark, who reminded him that the “Dutch Central Bank President Klaas Knot said in a […]

Is Germany’s political landscape becoming a breeding ground for extremism?

Last Week, the German center left Social Democratic Party (SPD) decided to cooperate once more with the country’s conservatives, the Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister Christian Social Union. They are to negotiate the formation of a grand coalition government, understandably under Chancellor Angela Merkel. This development may now seem the only mathematically possible […]

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

It was last Thursday when the European Parliament together with the Council and the Commission agreed to enhance the car testing system by providing extra checks to the cars that are or will be placed in the market based on the proposal of the European Commission made on January 2016. Despite the fact that this […]

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

At the end of last week, Rex Tillerson, the US State Department Secretary was intentionally undermined by President Donald Trump. This surprise move from the White House came only hours after the former gave an “’ironclad’ promise of U.S. support to its oldest allies in Europe”. To undercut this pledge, the White House leaked information […]

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

This week, the countdown starts for Britain to offer final answers, about the three Brexit prerequisites: the divorce alimony, the future of the 4.5 million European citizens who work on the wrong side of the English Channel and the Irish border. Only then will Brussels pass to the second phase of the talks, to discuss […]

A long German political winter is on the way

Germany enters into a long period of political uncertainty. The ‘Grand Coalition’ of the conservatives (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union) and the Social Democrats of SPD, which can offer a stable government, may take months to form. Then, even after fashioned, it will not function without friction, as  used to be the standard for Germany. […]

Germany not famous for easy way outs from political stalemates

And now ‘Frau Bundeskanzlerin’ what? The truth is though whatever the future holds for the German political landscape, is no good. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s failure last weekend to form a government, with a viable parliamentary majority has irreparably stained the so far pristine scenery of the country’s politico-economic affairs. The unsuccessful attempts to convince liberal […]

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) concluded last Saturday in Bonn but little progress was achieved and everyone is now awaiting next year’s negotiations in Poland where a rule book for the Paris agreement has to be finalised. All member states should reconsider their emission cuts upwards via […]

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

It may be true that the world is tired watching Britain being completely confused about choosing the way to exit from the European Union. Yet, the almost schizo division plaguing the Brits and their political elites alike still paralyzes to this date the divorce negotiations. Countries to be most affected by Brexit like Holland are […]

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

Andrej Babis, a media magnate and second wealthier Czech leading his anti-immigration, nationalist and populist ANO party, won last Sunday’s election, with around 30% of the vote. He is to become the next Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Babis did that on an anti-systemic Trump-like ticket. He was recently implicated in a tax fraud […]

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

President Abraham Lincoln has said “when someone says it’s a matter of principles not money, then it’s a matter of money”. This famous saying was flagrantly confirmed last week in Brussels, when the 27 EU leaders – with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron prominent amongst them – made it clear to Theresa May she has […]

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

The immigration crisis of 2015 in Europe exposed the hollowness of the political system of the new millennium in the Old Continent, anguishing to cover the huge social cavities the economic neo-liberalism has created. Unfortunately, economic neo-liberalism didn’t lead to political liberalism, but instead to chauvinism, xenophobia and the insurgence of the extreme right wing […]

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

The EU leaders meet tomorrow in Brussels in a two-day summit where the relations with Turkey and particularly the accession procedure is going to be one of the main topics. The European Commission has been supporting the freezing of the EU membership talks as Jean Claude Juncker condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on political […]

Trump’s pounding of Iran less harsh than expected, leaves arrangement open

Trump did again what he has been good at. This time he pounded the non-nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran. To be reminded, this was the P5+1 nations (US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) agreement of 2015 with Iran , by which the latter country accepted to stop its nuclear program and be duly inspected […]

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Tories, the governing party of Britain is falling apart, being deeply divided about the kind of Brexit their country should pursue. It’s not the disastrous political circumstances of Prime Minister Theresa May that blocks the negotiations with the European Union, but the chaos dividing the hard Brexiteers from their colleagues preferring a smooth partition […]

German political spillovers: ECB’s Draghi resists first attacks by AfD

Last Monday, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, speaking at the Economic Committee of the European Parliament had the opportunity to test the grounds and familiarize himself with the nature of political climate he may come across after the German elections. He had a heated exchange with the head of the AfD group […]

Elections results: Austerity’s black to prevail in the new multicolored German government

During the past ten years, Germany has become a politically boring country and yesterday’s election is not going to change that, despite the loss of around one million votes for the Chancellor’s party. Angela Merkel’s win came to none’s surprise and the results permit her to embark on a fourth term in the top job. […]