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4/30/07

BBC NEWS: Turkish PM makes appeal for unity

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Turkish PM makes appeal for unity

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appealed for national unity in the row that has erupted over the disputed election of a new president.Mr Erdogan's ruling Islamist-rooted AK party has put forward Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for president. But the army has hinted it may block him.

As many as one million people marched through Istanbul on Sunday, opposing Mr Gul. They were supporters of Turkey's secular values.

The president is traditionally a key upholder of the country's separation of religion and state. Mr Gul has Islamist roots, and his wife wears the headscarf, which is very controversial in Turkey and banned from universities and public offices.

Turkey's currency and stock market have tumbled amid fears the army may intervene, which could undermine the country's attempts to join the European Union.

'Chron.com: Europe on 5 Dollars a Day' Turns 50

For the complete report in Houston Chronicle click on this link

Europe on 5 Dollars a Day' Turns 50 | Chron.com - BETH J. HARPAZ

On the 50th anniversary of the book's publication, Frommer is still being credited with helping to change leisure travel by showing average Americans that they could afford a trip to Europe. And while the dollar-a-day series is finally ending this year after selling millions of copies, the Frommer brand remains strong, with a new series from Arthur's daughter Pauline carrying on the tradition.

EU-Digest : "Turkey in trouble: An APK viewpoint on Turkey's political environment"


For the complete report by Mr. Berzeg in TODAY'S ZAMAN click on this link

"Turkey in trouble: An APK viewpoint on Turkey's political environment"

Mr. Berzeg who is a lawyer writes in Todays Zaman: "The events in Turkey dating back to the 1960 military coup prove that the biggest obstacle in Turkey membership to the EU has been the lack of civil control over the military. If the same pattern continues in Turkey, not only will Turkey lose the right to become a member of the European Union, an endeavor of Turkey’s since 1856, it will also lose its stance as a party in the European political arena." Note EU-Digest: "Zaman Today is one of the Turkish newspapers favorable to the policies of the ruling APK political party which wants a stronger Muslim identification and a gradual breakup of the established secular foundation of the Turkish Republic. The secular foundation is guaranteed in the constitution of the country and supported by the majority of the Turkish population. However, political opposition parties seem unable to form a common front against the APK to avoid potential political turmoil and military intervention in Turkey. The only way out of this critical situation seems to be that a political compromise is reached between the APK and opposition parties by selecting a presidential candidate who can get bipartisan support. The EU should help the Turkish government in reaching such a compromise."

Reuters AlertNet - Today's EU-U.S. summit in Washington DC to call for 'urgent' climate action - by Noah Barkin


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In today's EU-U.S. summit in Washington DC to call for 'urgent' climate action - by Noah Barkin

The European Union and United States will agree at a summit on Monday that climate change is a central challenge that requires "urgent, sustained global action," according to a draft statement seen by Reuters. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, making her first trip to Washington since assuming the presidency of the EU, hopes the joint statement will lay the groundwork for a broader deal on combating global warming at a June G8 summit she will host in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm.

The Independent: At last, German self-discipline is paying off - as the Spanish economic fiesta ends- by Hamish McRae


For the complete report in the Independent Online Edition click on this link

At last, German self-discipline is paying off - as the Spanish fiesta ends - by Hamish McRae

The tortoise is catching up with the hare. The continental European economy as a whole is growing strongly at last, with Germany in particular experiencing its fastest growth since 2000. Yet Spain, until recently the fastest-growing of the large European economies, is now falling back, and its property market is in serious trouble. What's up?

The message for Germany is that five years of cold turkey has worked. While it is not likely to become an especially vibrant economy for all sorts of reasons, including demography, it has offset the disadvantage of going into the eurozone at too high an exchange rate and having to experience too high interest rates. What about Spain? There, the reverse has happened. It went into the eurozone with an undervalued currency and, in contrast to the German experience, that has been compounded by a long period of negative real interest rates. When money cheap, people tend to borrow it. When they have borrowed it they tend to buy something with it. That, plus an influx of buyers from other European countries, including Britain, has led to an extraordinary property boom. Spain, with a population of 40 million, is building more homes than France, Germany and Italy put together, and their combined population is 201 million.But now the property boom there is coming to an end with rising eurozone interest rates.

Meanwhile there is a certain biblical morality about the way the single currency has affected the different economies. The wise and prudent Germans are being rewarded and the more profligate Spaniards punished. It is more fun, of course, to be in Spain, but the eurozone is not about fun, and the Spanish party is drawing to a close.

4/29/07

Automobile.com :Will Fiat's 500 Come to America? - by Justin Couture


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Will Fiat's 500 Come to America? - by Justin Couture

Fiat's little bundle of joy, the new 500 is making waves in a big way. It hasn'teven been launched in its home market yet, but nevertheless the hype of this modernized classic is so strong, it's predicted to sell out completely in its first year of production – much like what happened with the New Beetle and the reborn MINI when they first arrived. Retro looks aside, the 500 will be like any other micro-sized city car that occupies the stratum underneath the B-segment. That means that Fiat's baby is a true baby by our standards, smaller than the Yaris, Fit and Aveo. While we relish the opportunity of revitalized classics, what's really interesting in this case is that Fiat is contemplating reviving itself in America with this car!

Rockford Register Star: European wind power companies grow in U.S. - by Alan Siebel


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European wind power companies grow in U.S. - by Alan Siebel

New worries about the environment, technology advances and tax break extensions are empowering European wind energy companies to try their luck in the United States.

The U.S. has led the world in installing new wind turbines for the past two years, but it still ranks behind Germany and slightly below Spain in wind power production, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

EUBusiness.com: Europe willing to 'support change' in Cuba

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Europe willing to 'support change' in Cuba

The European Union is "willing to support change" in Cuba, a Spanish newspaper quoted German Foreign Minister and current EU president Frank-Walter Steinmeier as saying on Sunday.Steinmeier told Catalan daily El Periodico the issue of future EU relations with Cuba would be raised at the next Council of the European Union meeting. Spain, which has spearheaded efforts to revive EU-Cuba relations hurt by Havana's jailing of 75 dissidents in 2003, decided to renew its ties with the island earlier this month.

America's war on tourists - by Peter Huck

For the complete report in the NZ Herald click on this linkAmerica's war on tourists - by Peter Huck

In a recent poll of international travellers, commissioned by Discover America Partnership, a coalition of US tourist organisations, 70 per cent of respondents said they feared US officials more than terrorists or criminals. Another 66 per cent worried they would be detained for some minor blunder, such as wrongly filling out an official form or being mistaken for a terrorist, while 55 per cent say officials are "rude."

"We are citizens of a country regarded as one of the closest allies the US has," frequent British visitor Ian Jeffrey told the Orlando Sentinel last November. "Yet on arrival we are treated like suspects in a criminal investigation and made to feel very unwelcome."

Scotsman.com News - Turkey's Gul defies army and protests - Osman Orsel

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Turkey's Gul defies army and protests - Osman Orsel

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul refused on Sunday to withdraw from Turkey's presidential vote, defying pressure from the army and calls from hundreds of thousands of demonstrators worried about his Islamist past.

The protesters, waving red and white Turkish flags and anti-government placards at an Istanbul rally, denounced Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Gul as a threat to Turkey's secular order separating state and religion, and they praised the army.

American.com: The Birth of The New “Europeans” — by David Dabscheck

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The Birth of The New “Europeans” — by David Dabscheck

Americans have long been dismissive of a concerted European identity, probably best captured by Kissinger’s biting comment, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” Of course the recent “No” votes on a European constitution only reinforced the view that the EU is little more than a collection of (weakly) united economies. The prospect that the bickering states of the Old World would ever be able to forge a “United States of Europe,” despite George Washington himself believing that it would one day be so, was seen as unfeasible if not downright fanciful.

The incessant focus on political and economic factors overlooks the slower moving—but much more powerful—forces of culture and identity.

Identity is more than legislation, but institutional changes since 1992 are quickly, although quietly, facilitating the emergence of Generation E, young people who are comfortable working across the EU, identify themselves as European, and believe that there are European values—often in contrast to perceived American ones. As an inherently social construct, identity can just as easily be fashioned from opposing something as from rallying around something (just ask a Canadian).

MRT.com.mk- Division of Europe on "old" and "new" outdated

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Division of Europe on "old" and "new" outdated

Some of the countries most hostile to the U.S. invasion of Iraq are now keenest on closer transatlantic cooperation, while some of Washington's allies in the war are now the most skeptical, an opinion poll published on Wednesday showed. The transatlantic opinion survey for Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation suggested the distinction drawn in 2003 by then U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld between an "old Europe" led by France and Germany, and a "new Europe" spanning the ex-communist central European countries is no longer valid.

Atlantic Free Press : Why Sarkozy Really Is to Be Feared - by Patricia Alessandrini

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Why Sarkozy Really Is to Be Feared - by Patricia Alessandrini

"Leftists abroad who do not recognize the dangers posed by Sarkozy’s candidacy, the extreme fringe elements that he represents, the violence of his discourse, and the real damage that he has already achieved in France, are guilty of looking away while racist, anti-democratic ideology becomes legitimized and carried out on a national and European level. The international left could, on the other hand, play a very useful role: remind French voters, especially Bayrou supporters who may be seduced by Sarkozy’s liberalism, that a Sarkozy victory on May 6 will be a giant step to realizing at least one of LePen’s dreams: the total isolation of France from the world. All the better for Sarkozy, who will have his hands full with dismantling the social system and waging permanent war against the urban suburbs."

Stabroek News: Growing sense that Caribbean-EU negotiations may be in trouble - by David Jessop

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Growing sense that Caribbean-EU negotiations may be in trouble - by David Jessop

"If the EU is to be believed, and no new agreement is in place the Caribbean and other regions of the ACP will lose their preferential trade access, making all ACP trade with Europe subject to the significantly less beneficial generalised scheme of preferences (GSP). Practically this could mean that tariff free exports from the Caribbean to Europe would cease, some long term investors would disinvest, the EU would have contradicted its own legally binding commitments that the ACP should be no worse off as a result of the EPA negotiation and customs chaos would reign.

American Chronicle: European Manichaeism, the End of Turkey, and the Subversion of Europe - by Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

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European Manichaeism, the End of Turkey, and the Subversion of Europe - by Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

In an earlier article concerning the 50-year celebration of European treaties and reunification efforts, we characterized European establishments as Manichaean in terms of contents and form, predicting a total failure in the ill-conceived and malignantly-executed patchwork of grandeur and arrogance. The recent developments in Turkey, the first turn of the presidential vote, the General Staff statement, and the aberrational stand European authorities have taken corroborate our verdict. This Europe has no future.

The quasi-analphabetic thugs of Erdogan intend to turn the illuminated, laic, secular and republican Turkey, built with great sacrifice and unique vision by Kemal Ataturk and his followers, to a bogus-Islamic realm of vulgar barbarism that will end up in an obscurantist, backward theocracy like Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

4/28/07

Telegraph: Most Britons want looser ties to Europe

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Most Britons want looser ties to Europe

An overwhelming majority of people want a referendum on Britain's relationship with Europe and the possibility of "loosening" ties. A new poll has found that 69 per cent of Britons would like to vote on the proposal that the UK should have a looser relationship with Europe, maintaining free trade and co-operation on common policies, but opting out of political and economic integration.

TechNewsWorld: Global WiFi Hotspot Locator

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Global WiFi Hotspot Locator

Wondering where to find the nearest publicly available WiFi Internet access? WiFi Hotspot Locator is a global directory of more than 100,000 locations offering WiFi Internet access in 26 countries.

Canada.com: France's Royal and Bayrou join forces in debate

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France's Royal and Bayrou join forces in debate

It was billed as a debate, but the congenial meeting Saturday between Socialist Segolene Royal and the French legislator she defeated in France's presidential primary was aimed more at their common rival: Nicolas Sarkozy.

Both Royal and Bayrou insisted that the old left-right face-off is no longer working and won't solve France's problems, which include a stagnant economy, unrest in immigrant-heavy housing projects and a fading voice in global affairs.

The Guardian: Mismanaging missile defence

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Mismanaging missile defence

Missile defence has suddenly emerged as a divisive issue in Europe. Rather than enhancing European security, the Bush administration's plan to deploy elements of a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic threatens to increase strains with Russia and deepen divisions with America's European allies, particularly those in eastern Europe, where support for US polices has been strongest.The growing opposition to the US missile defence deployment is rooted in the way in which America has managed - or rather mismanaged - the presentation of its deployment plans.

Government of Sweden: Swedish-German cooperation concerning the automotive industry

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Swedish-German cooperation concerning the automotive industry

Sweden and Germany are to set up an expert group to study what must be done to create a joint European and US automotive market. Inter-ownership back and forth across the Atlantic and US problems with the car industry's lack of profitability mean that an interest should exist, writes Minister for Foreign Trade Sten Tolgfors.

Canada.com: France's presidential election becomes a test of personalities - by Angela Doland


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France's presidential election becomes a test of personalities - by Angela Doland

As France's heated presidential election rushes into a climactic final week of campaigning, the debate Friday between Socialist Segolene Royal and her conservative challenger Nicolas Sarkozy became one of personality, not their different recipes for reviving France. Royal, struggling in her quest to become the country's first woman president, is working to make their May 6 runoff a referendum on the character of the pugnacious and blunt former interior minister, whose platform of economic reforms and tough measures against crime and immigration scare many in the opposing camp.

It's a cold calculation and a political gamble by Royal, as she tries to pull in a disparate arc of voters from far leftists to the millions of moderate voters who chose third-place candidate Francois Bayrou in the first round and who hold the key to the runoff.

The Boston Globe: Europe's summerlike spring raising spirits, and anxieties - by James Kanter

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Europe's summerlike spring raising spirits, and anxieties - by James Kanter

Café owners with outdoor terraces are among those who have been taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather across many parts of Western Europe. Evelyne Nataf, 56, whose restaurant serves crepes, has been earning several hundred extra euros at lunchtime by squeezing tables and chairs into a sunny alcove.

"I've never seen such good weather so early," said Nataf, who barely had time to pause to chat while hurriedly setting tables Thursday morning. The conditions "probably are a bad thing for the planet, but they're definitely a good thing for us," she said.

Reuters Business News: EU's Barroso: strong euro sign of strong economy - MSN Money

Reuters Business News: EU's Barroso: strong euro sign of strong economy - MSN Money

"EU's Barroso: strong euro sign of strong economy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A strong euro is a sign of a robust European economy and not a cause for concern, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday.

"We don't consider the euro too strong," Barroso told reporters following a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, "A strong currency is a good thing, it's a signal of confidence in the European economy.""

Turkish Military Issues Threat as Voting Is Derailed - New York Times

Turkish Military Issues Threat as Voting Is Derailed - New York Times

"Turkish Military Issues Threat as Voting Is Derailed

ANKARA, Turkey, Saturday, April 28 — A revolt by Turkey’s secular opposition on Friday derailed the first round of voting on a presidential candidate with a background in political Islam, and in a harsh warning, the military hinted that it might act against the government if it strayed too far from secularism.

The growing tension over the candidate, Abdullah Gul, a close ally of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has brought Turkey to a defining moment. Since Mr. Gul’s emergence as the sole candidate for president, a powerful post chosen by parliamentary vote, the country’s opposition and military have warned that his selection would bring an end to the era of secular modernism that began with the Ataturk revolution in 1923. "

4/27/07

Expatica: EU lawmakers warn against neglecting civil rights in US-relations

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EU lawmakers warn against neglecting civil rights in US-relations

Leading European Union lawmakers on Wednesday demanded to make human rights a basic part of EU-US relations, warning the EU against a focus on boosting economic ties only. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) made their comments days before a summit in Washington which is expected to be a litmus test for transatlantic relations.

icWales - France: Presidential candidate suggests troop withdrawal

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France: Presidential candidate suggests troop withdrawal

French presidential front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy said that if elected he would contemplate pulling France's troops out of Afghanistan.

Outlining his stance on key foreign policy issues yesterday, he also denounced the United States’ refusal to cap carbon emissions and proposed taxing imports from China because it too has refused to limit greenhouse gases.

Expatica: Europe: A dead horse worth beating

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Europe: A dead horse worth beating

There's no denying that united Europe's present is looking grim, at least from a French point of view. Turkey is still fuming over France's slap in the form of a law forbidding anyone to deny that the Turks practiced genocide of the Armenians during WWI.

Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has outright rejected the possibility of Turkey's entry into the Union. I'd bet much of France would have liked to shut out Bulgaria and Romania too, but it was too late. President Jacques Chirac was forced to welcome them on January 1 as "fellow European citizens", returned to the bosom of their historical "family". But if they are part of the family, they are the cousins that no one really wants to invite to Christmas dinner.

Want the American dream? Europe is your best bet

icWales

"Want the American dream? Europe is your best bet

Apr 27 2007

by David Williamson, Western Mail


EUROPE is the best place to live the American dream, claims one of the Continent’s leading economists.

Paul de Grauwe, an academic who advises the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, denies that generous social programmes must be sacrificed in pursuit of economic growth.

The Scandinavian economies, he believes, prove that in a globalised world it is possible to combine strong social provision with economic competitiveness."

European leaders eye Sarkozy partnership - MSN Money

MSN Money

"European leaders eye Sarkozy partnership

Nicolas Sarkozy may still have work to do to win the French presidency but he has already secured the unspoken support of Berlin, Brussels and London.

To leaders in Europe's big power centres, Mr Sarkozy may be an abrasive Gaullist, but he is best placed to bring a reformed France back into the political mainstream, making him the fourth member of a powerful group of Atlanticist European Union modernisers."

4/26/07

Sarkozy: If we accept Turkey in EU will have to accept Lebanon & Israel | Ya Libnan | Lebanon News Live from Beirut

Sarkozy: Lebanon & Israel | Ya Libnan | Lebanon News Live from Beirut:

"Sarkozy: If we accept Turkey in EU will have to accept Lebanon & Israel

Paris - French presidential contender Nikolas Sarkozy said in a letter which was sent to the Armenian Foundations Coordination Council “Let me tell you the truth: I am against Turkish EU membership,”."

EUobserver.com: Copyright deal clears way for European Digital Library - by Lisbeth Kirk

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Copyright deal clears way for European Digital Library - by Lisbeth Kirk

An EU expert group on digital libraries has agreed to a basic model for handling copyrights for digitalised cultural publications in libraries.

The break-through deal is part of the European Digital Library initiative, launched in June 2005, to preserve European cultural and scientific heritage and make it available online in closed networks.

Iran, EU head for nuclear middle ground in Turkey

Taipei Times - archives

"Iran, EU head for nuclear middle ground in Turkey

AFP, ANKARA
Thursday, Apr 26, 2007, Page 1

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Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani arrived in Turkey yesterday for two days of talks on the Iranian nuclear program with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The Iranian official told reporters the talks with Solana aimed to evaluate new ideas that might be put on the table to end the stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the agency said.

Stressing that he did not know what sort of proposals might be made, Larijani refused to forecast the outcome of the Ankara talks."

4/25/07

Channelnewsasia.com:Business confidence surges as Germany boosts growth outlook

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Business confidence surges as Germany boosts growth outlook

Business confidence in Germany continued to climb in April as the booming German economy, the biggest in the 13-country eurozone, was bolstered by international investment, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Boston.com: Fusion Muslim chic hits Europe's streets

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Fusion Muslim chic hits Europe's streets.

Clad in skinny jeans, wrap dresses and carefully sculpted headscarves, a generation of young Muslim women is making its mark on Europe's urban street culture, and influencing mainstream fashion.

The daughters of migrants to Europe from Turkey or the Maghreb, these girls say they are as conscious of style as of Islamic dress codes -- and want to fuse contemporary chic with elements of their religious and ethnic background.

rabble.ca: The leadership of Europe in the balance - by Duncan Cameron

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The leadership of Europe in the balance

Ségolène Royal represents the strengthening of the European social model, and resistance to neo-liberal globalization. As President of France she could block Tony Blair, who is not going to be around for much longer, and find allies within Europe to balance off Angela Merkel.

Despite his party affiliation, Nicholas Sarkozy is more neo-liberal than Gaullist. His European perspective has been shaped by Davos, Switzerland, and the World Economic Forum, the staging grounds for corporate globalization. He is not a noted student of the superior economic performance of the Scandinavian welfare states.

4/24/07

Amtonline: Malaysia's First Long-Haul Budget Airline to Buy 10 Airbus A330s

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Malaysia's First Long-Haul Budget Airline to Buy 10 Airbus A330s

Malaysia_AirAsia X, Malaysia's first long-haul budget carrier, signed a deal Monday to buy 10 Airbus A330s as the company pushed with plans to start flying later this year to Europe and China.

The agreement for the A330-300 wide-bodied aircraft includes a firm order for 10 jetliners and an option to buy five more at a later date, said the statement by Fly Asian Xpress, or FAX, the operator of AirAsia X.

Public-cio: Denmark, Netherlands Lead OECD in Broadband Penetration

For the complete report in public-cio click on this link

Denmark, Netherlands Lead OECD in Broadband Penetration

Over the past year, said the OECD in a release, the number of broadband subscribers in the OECD increased 26 percent from 157 million in December 2005 to 197 million in December 2006. This growth increased broadband penetration rates in the OECD from 13.5 in December 2005 to 16.9 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants one year later.

The strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year comes from Denmark and the Netherlands.

Open Democracy: France’s choice: the Bayrou factor - by Patrice de Beer

For the full report in openDemocracy click on this link

France’s choice: the Bayrou factor - by Patrice de Beer

A first glance suggests that French politics is "back to normal" and that voters have once again opted for a traditional right-left duel: "Sarko" vs "Ségo". But in reality, neither champion of these respective currents fits the perception of those far from the indecipherable intricacies of French politics.

Interfax:Europe will pay for the deployment of U.S. missile defense system - Baluyevsky

For the complete report in Interfax click on this link

Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Yury Baluyevsky has warned Europeans that they will have to pay a heavy price for the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

"In my opinion, today not only the military, but also the majority of Europeans understand that they are becoming hostages in a game the United States is playing, when the bets are made overseas and the Europeans will have to pay," the general said at a briefing on Tuesday in Moscow.

Does Energy Policy of the EU Need Correction?

Turkish Weekly Opinion:

"Does Energy Policy of the EU Need Correction?
Rovshan Ibrahimov

Monday , 23 April 2007

This commentary is from USAK's Energy Review Newsletter
http://www.turkishweekly.net/energy
To subscribe email to energyreview@turkishweekly.net
EU Enlargement and the ongoing integration process within the organization, forcing it to increase activity in the field of energy policy. In this case, one of the key points is to provide alternative ways for the supply of oil and gas to the markets of the EU."

European Union Constitution - where is it now?

workpermit.com

"European Union Constitution - where is it now?

23 April 2007

At the end of last month, the European Union celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Treaty of Rome was signed on 25 March 1957, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), originally only six nations. More nations joined over the years, in large part to establish cooperative trade agreements to become more economically competitive."

European Union foreign ministers decide sanctions against Iran

Arab Monitor - Sito di informazione dal mondo arabo

"European Union foreign ministers decide sanctions against Iran
Luxembourg, 23 April - A group of European Union foreign ministers, headed by German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, decided to tighten sanctions against Iran targeting individuals and entities involved in Iran's uranium enrichment and military programs. The EU ministers passed a regulation freezing the assets and imposing a travel ban on some fifteen senior Iranian officials and eight entities; furthermore, a full weapons embargo, aimed at curbing progress of the Iranian missile program, was imposed on the Iranian government. "

4/23/07

EiTB24: Barclays to buy Netherlands' ABN for euro67 billion

For the complete report from EiTB2 click on this linkBarclays to buy Netherlands' ABN for euro67 billion

Barclays PLC said Monday it agreed to buy the Netherlands' ABN Amro Holding NV for euro67 billion ($91.16 billion) in the largest ever takeover in banking history.

The merger will create a bank headquartered in Amsterdam with 47 mln customers worldwide. The combined entity expects to save euro3.5 billion annually by 2010. 12,800 jobs will be trimmed from a work force of 217,000.

DutchNews.nl - Netherlands popular refugee destination

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Netherlands popular refugee destination

The Netherlands is one of the few European countries where the number of asylum applications was higher last year than in 2005, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday. In total, 14,500 people requested asylum here, an increase of some 2,000, making the Netherlands the fifth most popular destination for refugees.

In Europe as a whole, 200,000 people applied for refugee status in 2006, the lowest level in 20 years.

People's Daily Online -- Woman-in-the-news: Segolene Royal, contender of the Elysee

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Woman-in-the-news: Segolene Royal, contender of the Elysee

Segolene Royal is set to face off with right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of the French presidential poll. If elected, she would become the first woman French head of state in history. Following is a brief introduction to her life and career.

Christian Today – International Consultation Challenges Protestant Churches in Europe - by Jennifer Gold

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International Consultation Challenges Protestant Churches in Europe -Jennifer Gold

The Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and the Evangelical Academy in the Rhineland have hosted an international consultation on social challenges for Protestant churches in Europe. The CPCE said that the meeting, which took place from 18 to 20 April, marked the start of a study phase that will initially last one year.

IHT: EU welcomes poor showing of far-right Le Pen in French elections

For the complete report in the International Herald Tribune click on this link

Germany, holder of the European Union presidency, on Monday welcomed the poor showing of far right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in the first round of the French presidential elections.

"I'm quite satisfied that the more radical groups, like Le Pen, have fallen behind very clearly," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on arrival at an EU foreign ministers meeting.

The moderate Voice: The Dutch Way or the Highway - by Michael van der Galien

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The Dutch Way or the Highway - by Michael van der Galien

A Belgian auto parts supplier who has forbidden his employees to speak another language than Dutch (Flemish)while at work. If they ignore the rule, they can be fired.

The employees who are most upset with this rule are from Turkish origin: they believe that the new rule is aimed against them and they have asked a union to intervene. Geert Vermote added: “”It’s really nothing other than other rules we have, such as a ban on smoking.”

4/22/07

TimesOnLine: Madonna (Ségolène Royal) versus ‘the Madman’ (Sarkozy) as France prepares for change-- by Matthew Campbell

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Madonna(Ségolène Royal) versus ‘the Madman’ (Sarkozy) as France prepares for change-News- by Matthew Campbell

An icon of the European left, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the visiting Spanish leader, was in a dark suit and open-neck shirt. Ségolène Royal, the French socialist “Madonna” and presidential contender, wore white. They were made for each other.

“We’re going to win,” chanted youthful supporters with the volume of a crowd at a football match. Occasionally Zapatero and Royal whispered to each other as they went up the aisle to the stage: love was in the air and Toulouse, the “pink city”, was under its spell.

deseretnews.com: Americans are still exploring Europe — and venturing into its exotic areas - by Beth J.Harpaz

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Americans are still exploring Europe — and venturing into its exotic areas - by Beth J.Harpaz

Sure, air travel is a hassle. And no, the U.S. dollar doesn't go very far in Paris or London. But none of that is keeping Americans away from Europe. More tourists are exploring the charms of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Nearly 13 million Americans visited Europe in 2006, a 4 percent increase from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Commerce Department's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. The European Travel Commission expects those numbers will increase another 2 or 3 percent this year.

SFGate: Europe sailings plentiful, pricey - by Ed Perkins

For the complete eport from SFGate click on this link

Europe sailings plentiful, pricey - by Ed Perkins

Cruising isn't just for the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico anymore. This year, you'll see a big increase in the number of Europe-based cruise ships sailing to European, North African and Middle Eastern destinations. You'll also see more sailings from different U.S. ports. All in all, the variety of choices has never been greater. And, at least on the mass-market lines, cruising will remain one of the best vacation values travelers will find anywhere.

French Elections: European Union and Political Mal-contents

The Canadian National Newspaper

"French Elections: European Union and Political Mal-contents

by Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

This weekend, France will go to the polls to elect a new President in closely contested elections, which could go into the second rounds. The issues range from immigration to social policies that will benefit the lower strata of French society. Alliances might prove useful but the configurations are not yet clear."

Merkel is waiting for a new friend in Paris

Jurnalo

"Merkel is waiting for a new friend in Paris
Sunday 22 April 2007 04:06

German's European Union presidency under the lead of Angela Merkel has started crucial exploratory talks to solve the EU's constitutional crisis.
In the process, the German chancellor has given France a wide berth as she wants to avoid the impression of trying to influence the upcoming French presidential elections. "

EU to say May 16 if Cyprus and Malta can join the euro

China Post - Taiwan Business,World Business:

"EU to say May 16 if Cyprus and Malta can join the euro

2007/4/22
BERLIN (AP)


The European Union's executive office will announce on May 16 whether Cyprus and Malta can join the euro currency next year, the European Commission's top economy official said Saturday.

The European Central Bank is also likely to give its view close to that date, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters."

4/21/07

M&C: EU's Mandelson calls for "unity" on ties with Russia -

For the complete report from M&C click on this link

EU's Mandelson calls for "unity" on ties with Russia

The European Union's trade chief Peter Mandelson on Friday warned of a new low in the bloc's relations with energy- rich Russia and called for unity in the EU's dealings with Moscow.

Speaking at a conference in Bologna, Italy, Mandelson said the current state of EU-Russia ties contained a 'level of misunderstanding or even mistrust we have not seen since the end of the Cold War.'

OIKOTIMES.COM : 2007 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST - May 12, 2007

For the complete report from the OIKOTIMES.COM click on this link

2007 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST - May 12, 2007

More and more parties are underway across Europe. The latest news come from the Netherlands and Greece. Here is the necessary information for those interesting to attend. Eurofans and people generally interested in the contest often grab this chance to get to know each other, enjoy the Eurovision fever before the contest and prepare themselves for the hot nights of the semifinal and the final.

The Sun Online - French elections kick off

For the complete report in The Sun Online click on this link

French elections kick off

Voters on two tiny islands off north-east Canada have kicked off France’s decisive presidential elections today.

In total about 1 million French nationals living in overseas territories, and in the Americas and French Polynesia, are eligible to cast their ballots a day early in a move intended to encourage a high turnout.

Finding faith in the EU Constitution

The Muslim News

"Finding faith in the EU Constitution

21-04-2007

By Emma Wynne

What roles does Christianity have in the EU constitution? It's an issue that divides member states down the middle as they work towards ratification.

When she took over the rotating EU Presidency in January this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared it her aim to revive the EU constitution, but she also opened another can of worms, reviving the debate on whether to mention Europe's Christian heritage in the proposed constitution. "

Reuters.com: Europe gets US fillip in bid to tame euro - by Paul Carrel and Jan Strupczewski

For the complete report from Reuters.com click on this link

European finance ministers got help from Washington on Saturday in their endeavours to prevent the euro's rise getting out of hand. In an interview transcript released overnight, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he believed in a strong dollar -- confirming a line Europe had been striving to convey to currency markets where the euro keeps rising versus the dollar and yen.

The comment plugged a hole in the message European officials made during two days of talks in Berlin on Friday and Saturday, namely that financial markets risked getting burned in exchange rate bets that are driving the euro to record levels against the dollar and the Japanese yen.

AsiaMedia :: TURKEY: 10 held over murders at Christian publisher

For the complete report from AsiaMedia click on this link

TURKEY: 10 held over murders at Christian publisher

Turkish police have detained 10 suspects in the gruesome murder of three people at a publishing house that distributed bibles and Christian literature, officials said yesterday. The killings on Wednesday in the eastern city of Malatya had shocked the country, which is bidding for European Union membership.

The three victims, one of them a German, were found tied to chairs with their throats slit at the Zirve publishing house that had received threats for dealing in Christian literature.

4/20/07

EU agrees on plans for racism rules

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - Europe/World

"EU agrees on plans for racism rules
Published: Friday, 20 April, 2007, 12:55 PM Doha Time

LUXEMBOURG: European Union justice ministers agreed yesterday on new rules to criminalise racism and xenophobia, EU diplomats said, but details of the agreement remained unclear.
The hard-fought deal seemed at risk after the Baltic states demanded to include making the denial of Stalinist atrocities a crime.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia had insisted on making illegal the condoning, denial or trivialisation of crimes against humanity committed under the Soviet regime led by Joseph Stalin."

EU agrees it should be a crime to deny the Holocaust

The Boston Globe

"EU agrees it should be a crime to deny the Holocaust
But draft rapped as watered down

By Dan Bilefsky, International Herald Tribune | April 20, 2007

BRUSSELS -- The European Union approved legislation yesterday that would make denying the Holocaust punishable by jail sentences, but would give countries across the 27-member bloc the option of not enforcing the law if such a prohibition did not exist in their own laws."

4/19/07

London Free Press- Keep right,U.K. drivers reminded in France

For the complete report from the London Free Press click on this link

Keep right,U.K. drivers reminded in France

Police in a small town in Normandy are trying to educate British tourists and expatriates about which side of the road they should drive on.

The town of Flers is decked with English-language posters that read: "For your safety, keep right on French roads."

Express Travel World: Norway to host first-ever eco-tourism conference in May

For the complete report click in Express TravelWorld click on this link

Norway to host first-ever eco-tourism conference in May

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Ecotourism Norway and The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will organise the first-ever Global Eco-tourism Conference in Oslo, Norway from May 14 -16, 2007. TIES will be partnering with a national or regional eco-tourism association for this conference every five years starting 2007.

Jamaica Gleaner - Poland, Ukraine to host 2012 Euro Championship

For the complete report from the Jamaica Gleaner click on this link

Poland, Ukraine to host 2012 Euro Championship

European Soccer may have just taken its biggest gamble. The 2012 European Championship is going behind the old Iron Curtain to Poland and Ukraine - without even one of the 12 proposed venues completed.

"Within five years we will build a new country," Ukraine soccer federation president Hrihoriy Surkis said yesterday after the joint bid won the right to host the tournament. "We won't have a better opportunity to do so."

4/18/07

Evening Times: Uk Drugs Problem Worst In Europe

For the complete report from from the Evening Times click on this link

Uk Drugs Problem Worst In Europe

The UK has the highest level of problem drug use and the second highest level of drug-related deaths in Europe, a report claims today. Despite successive governments' attempts to control the demand for and supply of illegal drugs, drug policy appears to have had "minimal" impact on the overall level of use in the UK, according to its authors.

The report, by experts Professor Peter Reuter of Maryland University in the US and Alex Stevens of the European Institute of Social Services at Kent University, has been commissioned for today's launch of the independent UK Drug Policy Commission.

The Guardian: A girl on each knee - paparazzi pictures make Berlusconi sweat -- by John Hooper

For the complete report in the Guardian Unlimited click on this link

A girl on each knee - paparazzi pictures make Berlusconi sweat -- by John Hooper

Silvio Berlusconi's famously stormy marriage looked as though it was heading back into choppy waters yesterday, two months after his wife humiliated him into a public apology for flirting with TV showgirls.

An Italian magazine announced it was to publish photographs of the media tycoon relaxing with no less than five young women at his Sardinian villa. In one picture he is shown with a girl on each knee. In others, he is seen walking hand in hand with one or more of his ladies guests.

The New York Sun/Bloomberg: Record Amounts Being Wagered On Outcome of French Election - April 18, 2007 - The New York Sun


For the complete report from the The New York Sun/Bloomberg click on this link

Record Amounts Being Wagered On Outcome of French Election

Speculators have made Nicolas Sarkozy the favorite in the French presidential election as British bookmakers take in record wagers on the campaign.

"There is much more cover of the French elections this time," William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said. " Segolene Royal has brought something to the election that wasn't there before, like Hillary Clinton does for the U.S."

AGORAVOX - French elections - a mini roundup


For the complete report from the AGORAVOX click on this link

French elections - a mini roundup

The clock’s ticking, it’s still very tight, and deals are being proposed left, right and centre, important issues are being avoided, and the English language press is struggling to explain it all (and sometimes being deconstructed in the process - even the usually reliable Economist and Financial Times).

One of the best roundups of the current standing I’ve seen is over at Deutsche Welle, which stresses again just how utterly unpredictable the whole situation is (once again, a reminder: as many as 42% of French voters have supposedly not made up their minds, and polling for French elections is in addition extremely unreliable - making Nicholas Sarkozy’s apparent 3 to 6 point lead over Segolene Royal, and her 5 to 6 point lead over Francois Bayrou, well within the margin for error.

EU-Digest: As American as Apple Pie - Is the EU-US Relationship on the rocks? - by Rick Morren


A special EU-Digest report

As American As Apple Pie - Is the EU-US Relationship on the rocks? - by Rick Morren

An American TV commentator on the US Fox Network was questioning why Europeans had so little gratitude for the Americans, who as he said, "did so much for Europe. Europeans copy everything we have and do, fast-food, music and clothes, but they are always critical of us, what is wrong with them?"

The American TV commentator was obviously mixing apples with pears? Europeans have no problem at all with American culture, or for that matter anyone else in the world, just as there is no problem with European culture. An angry French student can throw stones at the US ambassador's car in Paris, wearing Levi's Jeans, while an American college student could burn the EU flag on a US campus, carrying a Gucci bag. Both products are now made in China by the way. No, you can't mix the politics with the culture. The Hamburger and the Frankfurter both came from Europe and today are considered just as American as American Apple pie, another German import. Even Europe's favorite composers, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky have become universal cultural property. The issue in Europe and other parts of the world is really about the American economic and political policy of the US administration - "our way is the only way". That is, unless all the polls in the world are wrong, or just considered "street chatter" ?

Most European leaders: Merkel (Germany), Gordon Brown/Tony Blair (Britain), Balkenende (the Netherlands), Vaclav Klaus (Czech Republic), Rasmussen(Denmark), Persson (Sweden), Prodi (Italy), Zapatero (Spain) and quite a few others are "middle of the road". They stand for a mix of more market controlled economies, less social welfare, less taxes, better regulated universal healthcare, and far reaching public/private sector controlled environmental standards. As individuals these political leaders are pragmatic, moderately nationalistic, pro-European, and do not believe in unilateral action. They are willing to listen to America, but also willing to question or disagree with them. They all believe, like many of us, in the transatlantic alliance between Europe and the US, a pillar of world democracy.

However, in order to be a good partner in any kind of alliance, European politicians need to finally agree on a workable EU Constitution, which has a solid political foundation, is more inclusive, less elitist, more independent, and provides for more assertiveness for the EU on the international scene. It will make Europe a stronger partner in any alliance, including the one with the Americans.

As for Europe's continuing relationship with America? In a way we envy America's directness, and love them, regardless of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and all those other neo-cons roaming the world on behalf of America. We know their days are numbered and that they will eventually end up in history as just another product of corporate, populist and religious fanatism gone out of control. So don't worry, happy days could be here gain soon in the relationship between Europe and America.

IHT: Council of Europe leader says U.S. anti-missile shield could damage European unity

For the complete report in the International Herald Tribune click on this link

Council of Europe leader says U.S. anti-missile shield could damage European unity

"The proposals to base part of the U.S. anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic risk creating new tensions," Dutch Senator Rene van der Linden said in a speech to the human rights watchdog's Parliamentary Assembly, which he chairs. "We need reconciliation, not confrontation — that is the historical lesson of the Cold War and the 50 years' success of the EU."

Medical News Today: Guns In Homes Strongly Associated With Higher Rates Of Suicide

For the complete report from Medical News Today click on this link

Guns In Homes Strongly Associated With Higher Rates Of Suicide

The association between firearm ownership and suicide was due to higher gun-related suicides; non-gun-related suicide rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership. Also, suicide attempts using firearms, which constitute just 5% of all fatal and non-fatal attempts, are highly lethal--more than 90% of all suicidal acts by firearm are fatal. By comparison, individuals who use drugs to attempt suicide, which constitute 75% of all attempts, die in the attempt less than 3% of the time.

Suicide ranks as one of the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S.; among persons less than 45 years old, it is one of the top three causes of death. In 2004, more than half of the 32,439 Americans who committed suicide used a firearm.

4/17/07

Jurnalo: Americans say Germany is important US partner, but positives lag

For the complete report in Jurnalo click on this link

Americans say Germany is important US partner, but positives lag

Americans rate Germany as the fourth most important international partner of the United States, after Britain, Canada and Japan, according to a study released Tuesday.

The results, released by the German embassy in Washington, showed a continuing low level of perception that US-German relations are "excellent" - from 20 per cent in September 2001 to 4 per cent during 2003 as the US started pushing for the invasion of Iraq to a current 5 per cent in February this year.

Monday Morning: Candidate in the French presidential election Ségolène Royal: The continuity of France’s commitment to Lebanon


For the complete report in Monday Morning click on this link

Candidate in the French presidential election Ségolène Royal: The continuity of France’s commitment to Lebanon

"France can and must propose, without arrogance and without a complex, new ideas for a globalization which is accepted but also regulated for the benefit of all, a multilateralism based on law, a true co-development in harmony with environmental excellence.

On the so called "clash of civilizations" Segolene Royal noted:" The “clash of civilizations” is a slogan brandished by extremists of both sides who want to do everything to aggravate a confrontation which they regard as inevitable. Their efforts in this direction prove justly the artificial dimension of such a “clash”, which does not rest on any concrete basis. I am much more at home with the theme of the “dialogue of civilizations”, and I have followed with very great interest the initiative undertaken by the Spanish and Turkish prime ministers under the name of the “alliance of civilizations.The special and privileged character of the relationship between France and the Arab world, based on millions of individual contacts, experiences and shared memories. For example, I take account of all that my country owes in terms of cultural outreach to the Franco-Lebanese community, which is completely at ease in the two cultures and the two languages. I will be faithful to France’s commitments in that part of the world so dear to our hearts and so sensitive for the security of us all.I will, if elected, attach a special importance to the settlement of the most painful conflicts of our time, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict"

European Design Engineer : Use of composites in aircrafts set to grow

Eurofighter 70% composite materials used


For the complete report from the European Design Engineer click on this linkUse of composites in aircrafts set to grow

State-of-the-art fighter aircraft already make extensive use of composites. On the Eurofighter Typhoon, for example, over 70percent of the aircraft shell is comprised of carbon-fibre composite (CFC), namely the outer fuselage, wings (including in-board flaperons) and rudder. In addition, a significant proportion of the structural members are also constructed from CFC. The Typhoon’s radome has a complex layered glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) structure that is manufactured using high-accuracy automated processes.

Few people would predict that commercial airliners will make such extensive use of composites, though some believe that composites could well account for up to 50percent of the weight of future aircraft. Meanwhile, the AirbusA380 is said to be approximately 25percent composite by weight.

Times Online: New grand design for Europe is doomed to fail – again- Europhiles have been far too complacent and unquestioning - by Alan Milburn

For the complete report from the TimesOnline click on this link

New grand design for Europe is doomed to fail – again-Europhiles have been far too complacent and unquestioning - by Alan Milburn

Europe is on the verge of repeating history rather than learning from it.Pro-Europeans usually point the finger of blame for such public ambivalence at external influences. The media are a favourite target — and of course sections of the press have waged an unrelentingly negative campaign against Europe. The blame game also fingers governments for failing to win over public opinion — and in the UK members of Tony Blair’s Government could have done more to make a consistent case for Europe. But these explanations are excuses: a soft comfort blanket that merely induces complacency.

Unaccountable decision-making no longer works in an era when the public is far more informed and inquiring. The new democratic thirst that exists among citizens requires from the EU a more modern modus operandi.

Computing.co..uk: Firefox use in Europe nears 25 per cent - Iain Thomson

For the complete report from Computing.co.uk click on this link

Firefox use in Europe nears 25 per cent - Iain Thomson

Use of the open source Firefox browser in Europe has grown five per cent in the past 12 months, and is approaching 50 per cent in some countries. French web analyst firm XiTi reported that European use of the browser has risen to 24.1 per cent, up from 19.4 per cent last year. In Finland the rate is over 41 per cent. Overall, eastern Europe is leading Firefox use in the West.

The launch of Firefox 2.0 provided a big boost, according to the analysts, which Microsoft failed to match with Internet Explorer 7.

ITPro: Europe key target for Indian offshore growth - by Maggie Holand

For the complete report in ITPro click on this link

Europe key target for Indian offshore growth - by Maggie Holland

Businesses in continental Europe have now woken up to the benefits of global outsourcing deals and are starting to follow the leads set by the UK and US in their fondness for offshore outsourcing.

Indian service providers in particular have recognised this new interest and have set their sights on these geographies as key areas for growth, according to Gartner which is discussing the pros and cons of the global delivery of IT at its Outsourcing and IT Services Summit in London this week.

4/16/07

Smarter Travel: What's new with Europe's top low-fare carriers? - by Jessica Labrencis


For the complete repport from SmarterTravel.com click on this link

What's new with Europe's top low-fare carriers? - by Jessica Labrencis

"It's no secret that flying Europe's no-frills, low-fare airlines is a popular—and cheap—way to get around the Continent (and not just for the student crowd, either). The demand is such that more than 45 carriers have sprouted up to serve Europe. With the peak summer travel season just around the corner, now's a good time for a refresher on Europe's most popular low-fare carriers, and a look at what's new with each."

New York Magazine: European Sex Text Messaging becomes The Latest Technology Fad For Hooking Up in America -- by Em and Lo

For the complete report from the New York Magazine click on this link

European Sex Text Messaging becomes The Latest Technology Fad For Hooking Up in America-by Em and Lo-by Em and Lo

It was only a matter of time before New Yorkers started getting hot and heavy via text message. We’re a little late to the game (those cheeky Europeans, masters of hand-to-phone coordination, have enjoyed the sexual benefits of texting for years). But all it took was a catchy moniker—you gotta love “sex messaging”—and a little time for people to develop thumb dexterity while drunk. “I use text messaging to schedule all my booty calls,” says Deborah, 27, a publicist. “It usually takes about ten messages until we’re on our way to meet.” It doesn’t stop there. “We continue to text-message until the door of my place or his is opened and we connect. We even send BlackBerrys from the elevator.” Texting as foreplay: ideal for the busy urban booty caller."

Telegraph.co.uk: Gazprom flexes its muscles in Europe - Sylvia Pfeifer

For the complete report from the Telegraph.co.uk click on this link

Gazprom flexes its muscles in Europe - Sylvia Pfeifer

The Russian state-owned gas giant that provides a quarter of Europe's gas needs, is to make its first foray into electricity generation in continental Europe in a move that underlines the scale of its ambitions in the West.

The company plans to build a combined cycle gas turbine station in Germany to supply industrial customers and trade power in what will be one of its first major projects outside Russia. It has teamed up with Soteg, Luxembourg's main power supplier, to build the €400m plant in the eastern German town of Eisenhüttenstadt. The plant will generate 800MW from 2010 but the two companies still need to get approval to build it.

Forbes.com: UK, Netherlands want EU constitution reworked as 'amending treaty'


For the complete report in Forbes.com click on this link

UK, Netherlands want EU constitution reworked as 'amending treaty'

UK, Netherlands want EU constitution reworked as 'amending treaty'

Britain and the Netherlands believe the stalled EU constitution can be revived if it is reworked as an 'amending treaty', said UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. 'I think what the Dutch and the British are saying is that it is important we go back to the idea of a conventional treaty where the idea is to make Europe more effective, (and to) work more effectively because we now have a Europe of 27 rather than 15,' Blair told a press conference. Note EU-Digest: this is only a workable idea if it remains a Constitution and is not reworded and renamed an amended treaty. The actual constitution has already been ratified by 18 of the 27 EU member countries and to accept Britains new proposal would mean that the majority of EU members whould now have to join a small minority of EU member states in watering down the constitution. Europe Must not become politically weaker than it already is.

New York Post: Iraq's Maliki walks a tightrope

For the complete report in the New York Post click on this link

Iraq's Maliki walks a tightrope

A FEW months ago, Wash ington circles saw Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as "Tehran's man" in Baghdad. Today, Tehran circles label him "Washington's man" in Baghdad. Maliki's government has the unenviable task of keeping the Americans in, when they don't want to stay - and the Iranians out, when they want to come in.

Some Americans blame Maliki for doing nothing to hasten the departure of U.S. troops, for not decreeing a blanket pardon of Baathists (regardless of what they did during four decades of despotic domination), and for rejecting federal schemes that could lead to the disintegration of the Iraqi state. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) recently called Maliki "too pro-Arab." In plain language, that means he emphasizes the Arab identity of the majority of Iraqi peoples - rather than their sectarian affiliation, as Tehran would prefer.

BBC NEWS: UK companies 'dominating Europe'

For the complete report from the BBC NEWS click on this link

UK companies 'dominating Europe'

Of the 750 top European firms, UK-based businesses were responsible for more than a third of Europe's total profits. But, UK firms believe it is harder to start and grow a business now than when Labour came to power in 1997, a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) report said.

4/15/07

ANA: Greece FM's interview: 'Politicians have no gender'

Dora Bakoyannis, Greece FM


For the complete report in ANA click on this link

Greece FM's interview: 'Politicians have no gender'

"Did you at the beginning feel any awkwardness? Is it really hard to be a woman when you have political authority," journalist Antonio Ferrari asked in his opening question, to receive the reply from Bakoyannis that "No. Perhaps in the past it was like that, but today things have changed. Besides, I have always been of the conviction that politicians, like angels, have no gender".

To a question on how many Greeks acknowledged that she had the ability of vision, for example, given her encouragement of Turkey's EU course, Bakoyannis explained: "My 'yes' (to Turkey's eventual EU membership) is conditional. I don't believe that the problem lies in the fact that Turkey is a large Muslim country. I consider the crucial point to be Turkey's sharing of the common principles and values. When, in 10, 15 or 20 years' time Turkey will have made all the necessary steps, there will be no problems in its becoming accepted into the great European family. Finally, the reforms process (in Turkey) has slowed down. But, we all have the duty to encourage Ankara to proceed more quickly and more decisively".

Chicago Tribune - Airbus is pushing its redesigned A350 XWB as it goes after 60-plane order from US Airways - by Julie Johnsson


For the complete report in the Chicago Tribune click on this link

Airbus is pushing its redesigned A350 XWB as it goes after 60-plane order from US Airways - by Julie Johnsson

US Airways is about to place one of the largest aircraft orders made by any U.S. carrier since the industry collapsed in 2001, a decision critically important to the future of Airbus SAS as it tries to catch up with Boeing Co. The carrier's choice for its 60-airplane purchase will be closely watched by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines, all of which are expected to buy planes over the next two years as their finances strengthen.

US Airways is the first major airline to pit the hot-selling 787 Dreamliner manufactured by Chicago-based Boeing against Airbus' new midsize jet, the A350 XWB.

The Moscow Times.com: To Be Taken Seriously, Wolfowitz Has to Go

For the complete report from the Financial Times/Moscow Times click on this link

To Be Taken Seriously, Wolfowitz Has to Go

Should Paul Wolfowitz leave the World Bank? The answer to that question is yes. Will Wolfowitz leave? The answer to that question is murkier. The United States gave Wolfowitz the job and it will decide whether he will stay. U.S. President George W. Bush will hate to abandon a loyal henchman. He should do so, nonetheless.

Loyalty is indeed a virtue. But loyalty is not the overriding virtue. The United States needs to perceive its true interests in having an effective and credible bank. It needs also to preserve its own credibility as a campaigner for good governance. Wolfowitz now needs to go if the aim of his presidency at the World Bank is to survive. The choice is as simple and stark as that.

MarketWatch: Wolfowitz plans to weather storm at World Bank - by Greg Robb

For the complete report in the MarketWatch click on this link

Wolfowitz plans to weather storm at World Bank - by Greg Robb

Paul Wolfowitz, the president of the World Bank, said Sunday he intends to remain at the helm of the bank despite the recent storm over his handling of a female friend's promotion and salary.
"I believe in the mission of this organization and I believe I can carry it out," Wolfowitz told a press conference Sunday, where he was asked repeatedly if he had the credibility necessary to run the bank.

In an extraordinary scene at World Bank headquarters on Thursday, World Bank staffers heckled Wolfowitz by shouting "resign" as he attempted to apologize for his handling of the issue.

EIR: Cheney Still Pressing for Iran War, If Not Removed - by Jeffrey Steinberg

For the complete report from the EIR click on this link

Cheney Still Pressing for Iran War, If Not Removed - by Jeffrey Steinberg

If there was any doubt that Vice President Dick Cheney still presides over a powerful war party faction inside the Bush White House that is committed to engineering a military confrontation with Iran, Tuesday's meeting of the President's key foreign and national security advisors proved the point.

If Vice President Cheney has his way, the United States will be in a shooting war with Iran—a war that the U.S. military and intelligence establishment strongly oppose, and that powerful voices within the British Establishment are also now attacking as dangerous folly.

Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg: Airbus may land order for 100 jets


Chicago Trtibune/Bloomberg

Airbus may land order for 100 jets

Airbus SAS could secure a 100-plane order, valued at $24 billion at list prices, for its newest twin-aisle model from Emirates after developing a wider body and more efficient wing, the Middle Eastern airline says. "There was a canyon" between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, President Tim Clark said Tuesday after reviewing the A350's design at the planemaker's headquarters. "That gap has closed. Airbus listened."

Development of the new 250- to 350-seat model, dubbed XWB, was approved in December.

Nicolas Sarkozy: Le petit homme furieux - "the small angry man"- by John Lichfield


For the complete report from the Independent Online click on this link

Le petit homme furieux - by John Lichfield

In the green depths of rural Normandy, the posters of the 12 presidential candidates grin from the official billboards. Only one poster has been defaced: that of Nicolas Sarkozy.In the concrete entrails of the Paris suburbs, the same 12 faces grin from the same posters. Only one poster has been defaced: that of Nicolas Sarkozy.

If you go to a Sarkozy rally, you see an angry little man in a dark suit. He talks well. He sometimes talks sense. But he always seems to be angry. He is angry with the way France has been governed for 25 years. He is angry with his opponents. He is angry with bureaucracy, angry with criminals, angry with Beijing, Washington and Brussels.

Sarkozy is a teetotaller who binges on chocolate and sweets and runs 6km most mornings. To meet him is like meeting an over-active nine year-old. He finds it physically irksome to stay still. The French say they want an active president. They are not so sure they want a hyperactive one. It is Sarkozy's determination to be seen to be a Man of Action that leads him to errors of judgement.France needs a courageous man (or woman) to move things forward but also one capable of projecting a sense of steadiness and fairness. Sarkozy may or may not have the courage. Even many people on the centre-right doubt his capacity to generate calm.

novinite.com: EU Eases Visa Requirements on 3 Balkan Countries


For the complete report from novinite.com click on this link

EU Eases Visa Requirements on 3 Balkan Countries

The European Union signed on Friday an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro on visa facilitation, making it easier for the citizens of the three western Balkan countries to acquire EU visas.

Macedonia, which has completed talks, and Serbia, who is in the final stages of negotiation, are expected to sign similar agreements in the near future.

Indystar.com: Going to Europe? Here are some ideas

Beautiful old Dutch city of Maastricht, where the historic Maastricht EU Treaty was signed on February 7, 1992 that initiated the road to political and economic and monetary union of the EU (photo EU-Digest)


For the complete report from IndyStar.com click on this link

Going to Europe? Here are some ideas

If you'll be among the masses from the U.S. sampling culture, cuisine and countryside in Europe this spring or summer, here are some events to consider:Go to www.visiteurope.com or click on this link

4/14/07

Bloomberg.com: Wolfowitz bites the dust:: Weakened, as U.K., Germany, France, Decline to Offer Support - by Simon Kennedy and William McQuillen

Wolfowitz-on the way out?


Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

Wolfowitz bites the dust: Weakened, as U.K., Germany Decline to Offer Support - by Simon Kennedy and William McQuillen

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's hold on his job weakened as the U.K. and Germany declined to join the U.S. in backing him. Wolfowitz has ``damaged the bank,'' Hilary Benn, the U.K. development secretary, said today. His German counterpart, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, said he must ``decide for himself whether he can continue to fulfill his duties credibly.''

Nancy Birdsall, who runs the Washington-based Center for Global Development and is a former director of policy research at the bank, said on her Web log that Wolfowitz should quit because he ``has become a distraction not a leader at a moment when leadership is sorely needed.''

IHT: IMF'S Europe director forecasts strong growth for the continent

For the complete report from the International Herald Tribune click on this link

IMF'S Europe director forecasts strong growth for the continent

Europe's economy is set for robust growth this year and next, the director of the International Monetary Fund's European department said Saturday.

Michael Deppler said structural reforms that have been implemented in European countries may help the European economy surprise analysts on the upside. "I think that people underestimate the extent that reforms have paid off," he said at the IMF's spring meeting.

EuroNews : Huge pro-secularism rally in Turkey


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Huge pro-secularism rally in Turkey

n a massive demonstration in support of secularism in Turkey hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in a rally Ankara. It was organised by a group opposed to the nomination of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for president. His AK party has its roots in Islam and many in the country worry its official secular status would be undermined if he were to become head of state. Turkey, which is a candidate for EU membership, is predominently Muslim but state and religion are strictly separated.

Tens of thousands of people were bussed into the capital from across the nation to attend what was one of the biggest gatherings in Turkey in recent years. Note EU-Digest: "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk shaped the destiny of a nation which was alone and dying. He gave it a new future. Under his progressive nationalist leadership his country broke free from its passive, inward-looking and parochial and religious conservatism, ingrained through long centuries of habit, and from the defeatism and apathy engendered by the inexorable decline of its imperial power. Aiming to replace the image of Turkey as ' the Sick Man of Europe ' with that of a dynamic and self-renewing non-imperialist country capable of winning the respect of its more advanced European neighbours, he led his country out of the Middle Ages into the twentieth century in a couple of decades. He achieved this through a co-ordinated series of sweeping reforms, all directed towards the creation in Turkey of a western-style democracy. These changes were so drastic that it is impossible to conceive that anyone could have brought them about if he had not been, like Mustafa Kemal, a national hero twice over as a result of his leadership at Gallipoli and his single-handed master minding of the Turkish War of Independence, which ended with the departure of all foreign armies from Turkish soil.

In February 1937 he had the following six principles written into Article Two of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic:
1. Republicanism
2. Nationalism
3. Populism
4. Revolutionism
5. Secularism
6. Etatism

The first four principles provide the basis for the new political life of the country, and the last two lay down the guidelines for his reforms.


Secularism is one of the cornerstones of the Turkish political system. Any change in this structure will not only mean a danger to the survival of a free and independent Turkish Democratic Republic, but it will also impact on Europe's established secular societies. Secularism is one of the cornerstones of the Turkish political system. Any change in this structure will not only mean a danger to the survival of a free and independent Turkish Democratic Republic, but it will also impact on Europe's established secular societies. All of us in the EU can take an example of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who created this great democratic and secular country. We must help to preserve Turkey, not bring it down. (EU-Digest) "

BBC NEWS: Turkey's secularism 'threatened' - by Sarah Rainsford


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Turkey's secularism 'threatened' - by Sarah Rainsford

Turkey's outgoing president has warned the country's secular system faces its greatest threat since the founding of the republic in 1923.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said attempts to bring religion into politics were stirring social tensions. His comments come as Turkey prepares for elections which could see the current religious-minded prime minister becoming president if he stands.The outgoing President Sezer also lashed out at unnamed foreign forces, saying democratisation efforts, including steps to reduce the political role of the military, were a threat to the established order. He said any challenge to Turkey's strict secular system was not a step forward to a moderate Muslim state, but a step backwards towards radical Islam.

Associated Press of Pakistan - Rail link with Europe through Iran on cards: Sheikh Rashid

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Rail link with Europe through Iran on cards: Sheikh Rashid Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here Saturday said that the government was considering to link Pakistan with Europe through Iran by rail.

Talking to newsmen after addressing a gathering of station masters and labourers of Pakistan Railway, the Minister said he would visit Iran next month to sort out the issue.

He said at the moment some 300 trains are operating while out of these only three or four are running into loss. These will be halted, he added.

4/13/07

VOA News - Virgin Group Founder Commits Billions of Dollars to Help Environment - by Kane Farabaugh

Richard Branson - chairman of the Virgin Group


For the complete report in the VOA News click on this link

Virgin Group Founder Commits Billions of Dollars to Help Environment - by Kane Farabaugh

Richard Branson sits on the top-ten list of the United Kingdom's richest citizens, with an estimated wealth of roughly eight billion dollars. As the company he founded -- Virgin Group -- tries to expand its airline operations into the United States, Branson is committing billions of dollars of the company's future profits to developing renewable energy.

In February, Branson announced the Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million prize for the person who develops a working solution to remove greenhouse gases from the Earth's atmosphere. "To devise a way of removing greenhouse gases, at least the equivalent of one billion tons of carbon per year -- hopefully much more, and you will have the satisfaction of saving thousands of species and possibly even mankind itself."

Brandon Sun Online: Air Transat adds 16th wide-body jet to its fleet with new Airbus plane


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Air Transat adds 16th wide-body jet to its fleet with new Airbus plane

Air Transat, a holiday travel airline owned by Montreal-based tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. (TSX:TRZ.B), is expanding the size of its fleet to 16 wide-body jets, with the addition of a new Airbus A310-300 plane.

Air Transat operates 12 A310s, which carry 259 passengers, as well as four Airbus A330s with up to 363 seats. The bigger fleet will be used to expand Air Transat and Transat Holidays operations from Canada to Europe, the company said.

Halifax Live - Eurofighter Typhoon Jets Over Dartmouth Canada Last Saturday - Why? - by D.L. McCracken

Eurofighters above Canada
For the complete report in Halifax Live click on this link

Eurofighter Typhoon Jets Over Dartmouth Canada Last Saturday - Why? - by D.L. McCracken

The RAF fighter jets over Darthmouth flying in formation alongside a fairly large and also unrecognizable 747-like aircraft, were in fact "Eurofighter Typhoons" a delta strike fighter aircraft which was designed and built by several European aerospace manufacturers. There are at least 114 Eurofighters in current operation in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany. In 2006 Saudi Arabia ordered 72 of them. There are no Eurofighters in North America. Eurofighter Typhoons are considered to be state-of-the-art in fighter aircraft and boast classified stealth features.

The many eyewitnesses to this event were unsettled and more than a few were fearful of this spectacle in the sky and for good reason considering the state of the world right now."

Telegraph.UK: Super-euro may spark a currency war while French battle the ECB - by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


For the complete report in the Telegraph click on this link

Super-euro may spark a currency war while French battle the ECB - by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Global currencies are going through a major realignment as Europe takes over as the engine of world growth and the US starts to trip, setting off an exodus from dollar assets.The global system is not adjusting in an orderly fashion because Asia's main currencies are fixed or managed, leaving Europe to bear the full brunt of the dollar slide. The Chinese yuan tracks the dollar, while the yen has depreciated by more than 60pc against the euro since 2001, the result is near-zero rates in Japan.

Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB's president, gave a virtual guarantee that interest rates would be raised again to 4pc in June, narrowing the yield gap with the US. "I would not say today anything aimed at changing expectations for the month of June," he said.

IHT: French candidate Bayrou says Europe should solve Mideast woes, not the U.S.

For the complete report from the International Herald Tribune click on this link

French candidate Bayrou says Europe should solve Mideast woes, not the U.S.

CHATELAIN, France: "The gentleman farmer who is shaking up France's presidential race sought Wednesday to carve out a foreign policy agenda leaning heavily on Europe — not the United States — to tackle international terrorism and Middle East peace. Francois Bayrou wants to break up France's left-right political divide and rethink the way French companies hire. Asked how he would reconcile Paris and Washington after the chill following Chirac's fierce opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Bayrou looked to the future. "I do not doubt that there will soon be a new administration" in Washington, he said. Socialist rival Segolene Royal, who opinion polls show leading Bayrou by several percentage points, also voiced her opposition to the Bush administration on Wednesday. Speaking at a rally in the northeastern city of Metz, Royal pledged that if she is elected, "France will retain its autonomy and judgment vis-a-vis the United States of America."

France24: France's Sarkozy moving closer to far-right leader Le Pen - by Rory Mulholland


For the complete report in France24 click on this link

France's Sarkozy moving closer to far-right leader Le Pen - by Rory Mulholland

The call by a top Sarkozy advisor for the introduction of proportional representation in parliamentary elections was the latest proof that Sarkozy has been "seeking to move closer to the National Front," said the centrist presidential candidate Francois Bayrou. Proportional representation would make it easier for smaller parties such as Le Pen's National Front to enter parliament, in which under the current first-past-the-post system they fail to get any seats. Sarkozy, who has broken with outgoing President Jacques Chirac's policy of freezing out the National Front, will take pole position in the first round of voting on April 22 and has a good chance of winning the decisive second round two weeks later, opinion polls say.

Prague Daily MOnitor: Debunking the myth of "Eastern Europe"

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Debunking the myth of "Eastern Europe"

"Prague and Wenceslas Square, which is really a big avenue, are symbols of the economic progress that the Czech Republic has made since the overthrow of Communism in 1989. But here is the rub: The Czechs have shaken off the material deprivation that accompanied Communism, but they can't get seem to get rid of the labels."

In these Times: Biofuels: Promise or Peril? -- by David Moberg

Ethanol Plant
For the complete report from In These Times click on this link

Biofuels: Promise or Peril? -- by David Moberg

Biofuels: Promise or Peril? -- by David Moberg

When Matt Hawkinson started growing corn in the rich farmland of western Illinois nearly a decade ago, he sold the grain for $2 a bushel, 50 cents less than the cost him to produce it. Recently, buyers have been paying him $4.35 a bushel. It’s a welcome profit—even if it raises the cost of the hogs he feeds—and eliminates his need for government subsides.

Biofuels—energy sources produced from dedicated crops and agricultural waste—have suddenly won wide support. The biofuel craze has been fueled by high oil prices, Mideast political turmoil, global warming fears, concern about low agricultural prices and high government subsidies, and the prospect of making money on the next big thing. Biofuels seem to promise a quick fix for worries about oil prices and supplies without the need for major technological changes. Is oil for the auto-industrial complex too expensive or fraught with problems? Just fill ‘er up with biofuels.

But skeptics—on both the left and the right, including many environmentalists—argue that biofuels can’t solve the world’s energy problems. What’s more, they argue, the biofuel solution threatens both the environment and the world’s poor. In Mexico, the doubling of global ethanol production and quadrupling of biodiesel production in the past five years has led to protests over high prices for corn tortillas. And in Southeast Asia and Latin America it has raised concerns that rainforests are being cleared to cultivate crops for fuel.

Evening News 24 - Europe looks to Norwich for green inspiration - by DOMINIC CHESSUM

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Europe looks to Norwich for green inspiration - by DOMINIC CHESSUM

The city's environmental credentials have been lauded throughout the UK for some time but now countries across Europe are looking to Norwich for green inspiration.

Norwich boasts more green councillors than anywhere else in the UK and has a plethora of environmental campaign groups including direct action group Rising Tide and Norwich Friends of the Earth. Adrian Ramsay, leader of the Green Party in Norwich was one of those interviewed. He said: "Norwich is also good in terms of campaigning on environmental issues and in terms of quality of life but there are also areas where there is a long way to go. We need to improve recycling facilities, which the council has agreed to do, and we need to require housing developers to build more energy efficient housing."

4/12/07

CafeBabel.com: Hannover trade fair: 'catch the future with Turkey' - by Nabeelah Shabbir and Judith Argila Blanco


For the complete report in the CafeBabel.com click on this link

Hannover trade fair: 'catch the future with Turkey' - by Nabeelah Shabbir and Judith Argila Blanco

Incumbent Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Hannover technology trade fair, which takes place April 16-20. His German visit takes place on the same day that his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development (AKP) party releases the names of its presidential candidates for the upcoming May elections in Turkey (his own candidacy remains unofficial).

Martin Klein, the trade fair’s press officer, describes the timing of Erdogan’s visit as 'not so coincidental.’ For one, the trade fair is held in April of every year, whilst Turkey was first discussed as a partner country candidate by German governmental institutions more than two years ago. 'Of course, over the last three years, Turkey itself has undergone a lot of political discussion,' he comments. 'It’s one of the most important countries in and for Europe, with one of the brightest futures.'

The reforms imposed on Turkey for negotiations to be successful have caused businesses, privatisations and trade with the EU to flourish. Wolf Ruthart Born, the German ambassador in Ankara, assures that direct inversions of his country in Turkey have led to a growth of 20% in the past year. Germany is not only an important import country for Turkey, but also its best buyer (14% of exports), according to statistics from the 2006 Institute of Foreign Trade.

German politician Aydan Özoğuz. The migration policy spokeswoman for the Social Democratic (SDP) party in Hamburg co-founded the now-defunct German-Turkish programme for the private, independent Körber Foundation based in Hamburg. She describes Brussels’ attitude towards Turkey as 'theatrical', and acknowledges the recent silence on the theme during Germany’s EU presidency. Culturally, she also slams the fact that Europeans are 'poorly informed'.