It’s not often that Finland takes the lead in calling for better trans-Atlantic ties, but as the Nordic country’s energetic foreign minister might say: there’s a first time for everything.
Global News Journal
When it comes to further sanctions on Iran, the clock is ticking relentlessly, even if those leading the drive — the United States, Britain, Germany and France — are giving little away in terms of timing or what might be targeted under any new, U.N.-agreed package.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos recalled this week that it had been said of the previous U.S. administration that what American diplomacy needed was “regime change”. Europeans, meanwhile, he said, simply needed “a regime”.
Euro zone finance ministers have failed to pick the next vice president of the European Central Bank, partly because they are not sure how to do it under the European Union’s new Lisbon treaty. The treaty, which came into force in December, gives the euro area finance ministers — the Eurogroup — legal status and is supposed to simplify decision-making in the 27-nation bloc. But the 16 euro zone ministers decided to ask lawyers how to choose a successor to ECB Vice-President Lucas Papademos, delaying the decision until February, one diplomat said. Vitor Constancio and Yves Mersch, central bank chiefs of Portugal and Luxembourg respectively, are running, as is Peter Praet of Belgium’s central bank.