BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Thousands upon thousands of people, great and small, met Nelson Mandela, and as a correspondent in South Africa from 1997-2000, I was fortunate to be among them.
During his presidency and in the early years of his retirement from office, Mandela made a point of meeting as many of the people who beat a path to his door as possible.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Next May’s elections to the European Parliament promise to be among the most closely watched since the 1970s, with many in Europe expected to show their frustration with the economic crisis by voting for anti-EU or protest parties.
While that analysis has become the received wisdom, political experts are less convinced, suggesting that while there may be an increase in protest votes, it’s unlikely to be anywhere near as large as some have predicted.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International inspectors from the EU and IMF have called off a planned visit to Greece next week, officials told Reuters on Friday, a move that marks a new low in relations between the parties and could delay aid payments to Athens.
The decision to postpone the visit may be an attempt by the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund – together known as the ‘troika’ – to bring Athens to heel as frustration grows over Greece’s failure to complete the reforms it has promised in return for aid.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders will come face-to-face with Viktor Yanukovich on Thursday for the first time since the Ukrainian president spurned their offer of a free-trade deal and decided to seek closer ties with Russia instead.
In a meeting that promises to be one of the frostier moments of political theatre this year, Yanukovich plans to attend a dinner in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to honor the Eastern Partnership, the EU’s four-year-old program of outreach to former Soviet states.
BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) – The European Union expressed strong disapproval on Monday over Russia’s pressure on Ukraine to reject an EU trade deal, while police fired tear gas at pro-Europe protesters in the former Soviet republic’s capital, Kiev.
Ukraine had been expected to sign a far-reaching trade and political association agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius on Friday. But it suddenly announced last week it had decided to seek closer trade relations with Moscow instead.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone states are considering cheap loans to member governments as an incentive to carry out economic reforms by sweetening the short-term pain, an EU document showed, introducing a discussion on fiscal transfers.
The proposal did not specify how exactly the loans could be financed, mentioning only a European Commission idea from March that it could be either through direct contributions from governments or through designating a new revenue source.
BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Euro zone states are
considering cheap loans to member governments as an incentive to
carry out economic reforms by sweetening the short-term pain, an
EU document showed, introducing a discussion on fiscal
The proposal did not specify how exactly the loans could be
financed, mentioning only a European Commission idea from March
that it could be either through direct contributions from
governments or through designating a new revenue source.
BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) – In post-Soviet Europe, Russia
looks to have won a decisive victory by convincing Ukraine to
reject a trade deal with the European Union and deepen ties with
But the EU has reason to breathe a sigh of relief, too.
Once any sense of rejection or thwarted ambition passes, the
reality remains that taking Ukraine under its wing, a highly
indebted country of 46 million people stricken by corruption and
unpredictable politics, could have proven a costly and difficult
burden for the EU, at least in the short-term.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials are considering a range of options to keep alive plans for Ukraine to sign an EU free-trade agreement at a summit in Vilnius on November 29, despite President Viktor Yanukovich’s failure to deliver on his commitments so far.
While Ukraine still has 10 days to meet calls for judicial reforms and other steps – including a resolution in the case of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko – time is rapidly running out, and contingency plans are taking shape.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – As Israel looks warily west in the hope that the United States has its back in any conflict with Iran, it might do well to glance north and consider its relations with Europe too.
Over the past four years, ties between the European Union and Israel have grown increasingly fractious, with Brussels seldom missing an opportunity to lambaste Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for building settlements on occupied Palestinian land and restricting access to large portions of the West Bank.