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EU VOWS TO PURSUE PIRATES ON SHORE IN SOMALIA (March 30)

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By William Marmon

Escalating the fight against Somali-based maritime pirates, the EU has announced that its naval task force (EUNAVFOR) will expand operations to “include Somalia’s coastal territory and internal waters” – taking the anti-piracy campaign on land for the first time.

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NINA ERSMAN—SPOKESPERSON EXTRAORDINAIRE FOR SWEDISH EMBASSY (3/30)

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By Michael Mosettig, Foreign Editor, PBS News Hour

Considering that there are nearly 180 embassies clamoring for attention in Washington, it takes some special talent and skill for press attaches and counselors from middle and small nations to make distracted journalists and officials to pay them much mind.

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OBAMA OFFICIALS SEE EUROZONE PROGRESS AND PRAISE ECB LIQUIDITY (3/21)

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By European Affairs

Top U.S. financial officials said Wednesday that Europe has made significant progress in surmounting the eurozone crisis. In testimony to Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expressed cautious optomism about the eurozone outlook and praised the European Central Bank (ECB) for its efforts to inject liquidity into the banking system to maintain financial flows.

Their testimony was the first top level public statement from the Obama administration on the crisis since the EU’s most recent steps to prevent debt default, especially in Greece. According to the New York Times, Geithner said that the European situation is far less worrisome than in late 2011, but still remains a threat to global recovery and to the U.S. economic outlook.

 

By European Affairs

 
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STAKES RISE IN FIGHT OVER EU AIRLINES EMISSION FEES (3/12)

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Fresh on the heels of the announcement last week that China was threatening to cancel orders for 9 billion euros worth of orders for Airbus jetliners, seven of Europe’s leading aviation companies have joined forces this week to formally oppose the European Union’s tax on airline emissions designed to combat global warming.

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IRISH REFERENDUM ON EU FISCAL PACT COULD CAUSE COMPLICATIONS (3/5)

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All but two (the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic) of the twenty seven EU member states signed the new fiscal compact on 2 March. This inter-governmental agreement, aiming to prevent  a recurrence of the serious debt woes that have plagued Europe, will come into effect once it is ratified by 12 of the 17 states of the Eurozone, as most are expected to do via their respective parliaments.

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LATVIA VOTES “NO” ON RUSSIAN AS SECOND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (3/2)

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By Zachary Laven, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

The voting outcome was a resounding “no” – as widely predicted. So what is the background on this peculiar referendum, a reminder of the continuing tension between the Balkans and post-Soviet Russia. With more than 70% turnout, the vote against promoting Russian as the nation’s second official language was 75 percent and reflected the ethnic and linguistic divide between Latvian and Russian speakers. Said a relieved President Andris Berzins, “The vote on a second state language endangered one of the most sacred foundations of the Constitution: the state language.”

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