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EU Leaders' Rejection Of “Multiculturalism” Aimed At Far-Right Demagogues (4/1)

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  • “The multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and be happy about one another, has utterly failed.”— German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October 2010.
  •  “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have... failed to provide a vision of society to which [minorities] feel they want to belong.” — British Prime Minister David Cameron in February 2011.
  •  “Multiculturalism is a failure. The truth is that in our democracies, we cared too much about the identity of the migrant and not sufficiently about the identity of the country that welcomed him.” — French President Nicholas Sarkozy in February 2011.

This remarkable convergence in the timing and shifts in the public stances of major conservative European leaders stems from a common motive –“protecting your right flank” in a era where popular discontent with the effects Muslim migration in Germany, Britain and France has reached the boiling point, according to a well-informed article in Foreign Policy Magazine.

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EU Leaders Claim “Grand Bargain,” With Loose Ends -- Will Bond Markets Share This Confident View? (3/25)

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Concluding their two-day summit meeting, EU leaders said that they had achieved consensus a set of measures to tackle the eurozone crisis – including better ways to handle any assault on the euro via the acutely beleaguered economy of Portugal.

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EU Summit Seeks "Grand Bargain" on Euro: Will New Pact Convince Markets? (3/23)

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The EU summit meeting on March 24-5 has been billed for months as a crucial moment, a deadline for the European Union leaders to sign off on a long-promised grand bargain to shore up the credibility of the euro. The ambitions of the summit are twofold: to consolidate the ultimate solvency of weaker member states saddled with crushing sovereign-debt loads and also to put in place new rules aimed at preventing similar crises in future. Success depends on a central trade-off: Germany and its prosperous EU neighbors, including France, will pledge more funds for bail-out loans in exchange for eurozone-wide acceptance of measures promoting fiscal convergence and movement toward common economic governance.

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Sarkozy Played Crucial Role In Catalyzing International Action at UN On Libya (3/18)

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As a U.S. Senator put it about the U.S. approach to Libya: “One test in foreign policy: at least be as bold as the French; unfortunately, we’re failing that test.” Part of a small Washington cohort of critics crying outrage about U.S. inaction, that jibe from Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican on the Armed Services Committee, came on Wednesday. By the next day, the Obama administration had joined  France, Britain and some other EU countries,  together with the Arab League and the Organization of African Unity, in pushing for a no-fly zone. The potential resolution, when it finally materialized, included even more aggressive military measures against the Libyan regime, possibly including covert help to Libyan rebels on the ground. That emerging diplomatic front succeeded in obtaining approval from the UN Security Council, of a much stronger resolution on Libya than most diplomats even a few hours earlier believed possible.

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Libya: New Scenario Seems to Exclude Ground Intervention by EU or U.S. (3/16)

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As Moammar Gaddafi threatened fierce retribution against rebels in Benghazi, the Obama administration executed a dramatic policy shift toward the Libya, swinging behind a European-led push for a Security Council resolution authorizing international action to protect Libyans against Gaddafi loyalists.

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Struggle for Control of the Internet: Is U.S. Government Seeking Increased Role? (3/9)

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Dramatized most recently by the liberation movements in North Africa, the importance of a free Internet has been heavily emphasized by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Much less noticed, however, is a back stage drama, played out in part in a meeting in early March in Brussels, where governments, led by the U.S., sought to gain power over key technical Internet levers.

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Crucial EU Summits on Eurozone. Bid to Convince Markets Now and in Future. (3/9)

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This month is supposed to mark a turning point for the euro.  Two EU summit meetings on bolstering the euro and the eurozone will happen in Brussels -- the first this Friday March 11 and the second, more important one on March 25. This week, fresh urgency was added to the crisis and the EU’s ability to restore confidence when the markets raised the interest rates being charged Portugal for its government bonds on March 9 to an all-time high that Lisbon admits is “unsustainable” as the price of rolling over its sovereign debt.

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In Bolstering Euro, EU Should Concentrate on Banks, Not on National Bail-Outs (3/04)

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Ahead of two summit meetings this month to bolster EU economic governance and strengthen confidence in the euro, attention has focused mainly on greater fiscal discipline by member states. An alternative insight – that the most immediate danger lies in under-capitalized banks in many eurozone countries – comes from U.S. economist Barry Eichengreen, a professor at University of California, Berkeley, who has followed the single currency closely for a long time.
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“No Fly Zone” Over Libya Is Premature Talk, But Preparations Are Timely Now (3/03)

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A flurry of calls for a “no fly zone” in Libya is premature.  The idea, however appealing as a measure to deprive the Libyan leader of airpower against civilian rebels, immediately encountered objections from Western military commanders, starting with those in the U.S.

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Libya's Impact on EU? A Key Issue Is Refugees Now -- and Migration Later (3/03)

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The most tangible international action so far in the Libyan crisis has taken the form of EU nations’ evacuation flights to lift civilians out of the strife zone and border refuges. These flights have come mainly from the UK and France, and are now supplemented by U.S. military aircraft ordered to this mission by President Obama on March 3.

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EU Balks on Energy Efficiency Amid Trans-Atlantic Priority on Growth (3/01)

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The zeal for ever-tougher controls on carbon emissions seems to be seeping away in Europe, too – a trend measuring a dramatic U.S. shift away from cap-and-trade and carbon ceilings under the Obama administration.

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