Commentaries

Should he stay or should he go? Miliband ponders

By Paul Taylor
November 9, 2009

OUKTP-UK-IRAN-NUCLEAR-BRITAINShould he stay or should he go?

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband could be Europe’s first foreign minister in all but name, with one of the most influential jobs in shaping the place of the 27-nation bloc on the world stage, if he is willing to risk leaving British politics for the next five years. That’s a big if.

Turkey’s EU bid fades with little drama

By Paul Taylor
October 15, 2009

turkarmeniaTurkey’s bid to join the European Union is fading away with surprisingly little drama because investors no longer see the prospect of accession as an essential policy anchor.

Third person spells trouble in politicians

By Paul Taylor
October 8, 2009

nixonOUKTP-UK-ITALY-BERLUSCONIBeware of politicians who speak about themselves in the third person. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are paranoid. But it is usually an indicator of some kind of trouble.

Sarkozy looks to stash some cash under the mattress

By Paul Taylor
September 30, 2009

nainOn the face of it, France’s 2010 budget is just what the G20 doctor ordered. No early withdrawal of economic stimulus spending. Allowing the welfare system’s ”automatic stabilisers” to absorb the shock of the economic crisis. No raising of taxes or slashing of public spending until growth returns. A small shift away from tax on business towards taxation of carbon.

SPD debacle shows agony of European centre-left

By Paul Taylor
September 28, 2009

sozisIt was a black night for Germany’s Social Democrats. Their catastrophic general election score of just 23 percent was by far the worst since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949. It was more than 11 points worse than their result in 2005, and nearly 6 points worse than their poorest post-war showing in 1953.(Picture shows party activists at SPD headquarters watching first exit polls on television)

West raises stakes over Iran nuclear programme

By Paul Taylor
September 25, 2009

big-3President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain have deliberately raised the stakes in the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme by dramatising the disclosure that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant. Their shoulder-to-shoulder statements of resolve, less than a week before Iran opens talks with six major powers in Geneva, raised more questions than they answer.

“Tobin tax” gaining ground in Europe

By Paul Taylor
September 21, 2009

No longer just a hopeless cause for anti-capitalist activists, the idea of a global tax on financial transactions is gaining ground in Europe.

Forget about bankers’ bonuses

September 17, 2009

Bank bonuses have been a red herring of the financial crisis, repeatedly deflecting attention from deeper problems. So it is disappointing that the leaders of the G20 nations propose to squander yet more time on the subject in Pittsburgh.

Gifts for all on Barroso’s Christmas tree

By Paul Taylor
September 15, 2009

danybozo-epJose Manuel Barroso’s pitch to the European Parliament for a confirmation vote on Wednesday was like a Christmas tree, with gifts for everyone.

German Opel aid tests EU rules

By Paul Taylor
September 15, 2009

opel-logosThe credibility of the European Union’s single market and state aid rules is at stake over Germany’s selective offer of taxpayers’ money to preserve Opel factories and jobs on its soil.