China Pledges to Help EU on Debt and Investment (6/30)

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was welcomed with open arms on a trip to three EU states on a four-day trip beginning on June 25 that involved visits to Hungary, Britain and – on a larger scale – Germany. The theme of his European swing was a “new chapter” in China’s relations with Europe, apparently signaling a change in the longstanding Chinese attitude of dismissing the EU as a significant international player.

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Europe Agrees With U.S. on Afghan Mission: Time to Start Pulling Troops (6/23)

In Europe, President Obama’s declaration on Afghanistan that the tide of war has turned and that American troops be steadily withdrawn was met with enthusiasm – and no dissent – both from countries that have contributed heavily to the war effort and to those, such as Germany, that have been reluctant partners in the campaign.

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Political Failures of Greece's Democracy May Doom Economic Future (6/20)

With Athens’ new debt bail-out hanging in the balance this week, the economic situation -- even for a comparatively small EU country such as Greece – could hardly be more dire. Even now, however, the country’s overall accounts might be susceptible to a recovery via a combination of international help and Greek commitment. But a growing threat to that formula for success is the increasingly obvious failure of Greece’s political class. After years of shirking responsibilities for the country's long-term future, Greek leaders may be unable at this point to rally the nation to face a major crisis.

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Croatia’s Progress to EU Should Encourage Other Balkan States (6/16)

Croatia passed a crucial hurdle in its pursuit of EU membership when the European Commission gave formal approval June 10 to its accession application. Endorsement by EU heads of state is now considered only a formality, and Croatia’s tentative entry date is July 1, 2013.

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E.coli Epidemic: Germany Today, U.S. Tomorrow (6/10)

The E.coli epidemic in Germany has scared people across Europe: more than 30 are dead (more than in the nuclear accident in Japan) and up to 3,000 people are sick; restaurants have posted signs explaining that they are not serving vegetables (even tomatoes in sandwiches); consumers are frightened about eating fresh vegetables, even from organic growers; farmers and businesses have lost crops worth of hundreds of millions of euros and the health authorities face a mystery that they have been slow to solve.

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U.S. Lambasts European Allies for Failing NATO (6/10)

In strong terms of condemnation rarely heard from a U.S. secretary of defense, Robert Gates chose his last appearance at a NATO ministerial conference to admonish the European allies that their failure to maintain their military has put at risk the U.S. commitment to the transatlantic alliance. 

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Trichet Says Eurozone Will Need a “Finance Ministry” (6/9)

In a valedictory speech before leaving the European Central Bank in October at the end of his eight-year term, Jean-Claude Trichet called for the creation – eventually – of a central finance ministry for the eurozone with powers to intervene in the budgetary and economic decisions of member states.

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Lagarde Broadening Support to Head IMF (6/9)

Christine Lagarde, France’s minister of finance, seems set to emerge as the leading candidate for the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, succeeding Dominique Strauss-Kahn, himself a former French Finance Minister. Formal nominations for the post are due on Friday, June 10.

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Why Merkel Is Getting Red-Carpet Welcome in Washington (6/6)

The Obama administration is extending an exceptionally warm reception to Chancellor Angela Merkel even though she recently opposed Washington on Libya and on so many economic issues. Why?

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Rising Backlash Against EU Austerity (6/6)

As the eurozone debt crisis mounts and spreads, the austerity policies put in place by the worst-hit European countries are taking a political toll that could limit leaders’ decisions in their ultimate choices about Europe’s future.
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