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Battle of Gallipoli — 100 Years Later (04/14)

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By Michael D. Mosettig, former PBS News Hour Foreign Editor and Adjunct at SAIS

From thousands of miles they came, the Australian miners and sheepherders, the New Zealand shop assistants and carpenters, to a Turkish peninsula, then barely known to them, but that would become their defining national myth--Gallipoli. And now, a hundred years on from the April 25, 1915, pre-dawn amphibious landing, Australians and New Zealanders from the Antipodes, across Asia, to Turkey and Europe and to 13 U.S. cities will observe an anniversary wrapped in solemnity and intense emotion.

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Farewell to Ina Ginsburg and Arnaud de Borchgrave (03/16)

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mosettig sm-285x255By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

  When I was traveling for six weeks out of Washington, there was only one event in the city I genuinely felt I had missed ---the music-filled, Kennedy Center memorial farewell for Ina Ginsburg. Sadly, I was back in time for the commemoration of the life of Arnaud de Borchgrave. Beyond living long, celebrated and more than full lives, these two Europeans emerged from a shared experience -- the deadliest human-made catastrophe in history, Europe's descent into barbarism and the Second World War --to be pitched on to Anglo-Saxon shores and eventually to Washington.

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German Foreign Minister calls for strategic patience (03/12)

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By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour 

Reflecting his country's increasingly pivotal role in the world's major crises, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier can count on a full house when he makes an address in Washington. And with his increasingly visible role comes increasingly direct talk to his American interlocutors and audiences on issues from Ukraine to Iran.

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Turkey’s Exclusion from TTIP Sours Relations with EU and U.S. (3/09)

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brianbeary-august2011By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for EuroPolitics

“If there is no interest, any relationship will come to an end.” A stark warning from Turkey's EU affairs minister, Volkan Bozkir, on a trip in February to Washington, acknowledging the drift in Turkey's relations with its European Union and United States. Having spent decades trying to ensconce itself in the transatlantic community, joining NATO in 1952 and entering a customs union with the EU in 1996, Turkey's westward alignment is witnessing a reversal. The immediate cause of anxiety for Bozkir was the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the biggest ever bilateral free trade pact, under negotiation since summer 2013, and from which Turkey is excluded since it is not in the EU.

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Maestro Mario at His ‘Chest Thumping Best’: ECB Purchases of Public Debt Begin March 9 (3/09)

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spellmanBy James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications, LLC

The European Central Bank announced last week it will begin buying €60 billion ($66.49 billion) of government and private bonds on Monday (March 9) in its most intensive effort yet to avert a deflationary spiral and jumpstart economic growth. 

European stock markets immediately rallied to close at their highest levels since November 2007, the start of the financial crisis, as inflation expectations rose and the euro slipped to an 11 and ½ year low.

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Reprieve as Athens Renegotiates Debt Terms with Troika (2/25)

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spellmanBy James David Spellman

Eurozone finance ministers extended Greece’s bailout package for four months on Tuesday (February 24) after accepting “reforms” proposed by Athens that are less onerous than what Brussels had originally imposed but more pragmatic than those the ruling Syriza party had just campaigned on.

"The three institutions agreed to start the process with this," Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, referring to the list of commitments Greece would make in obtaining the extension. "They thought it was a serious enough list and all the countries have just agreed with that in the meeting so we can start."

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Grexit Unlikely but Leftist Party to Press for New Debt Terms after Taking Office (1/27)

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spellmanBy James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

An astounding victory by the populist, leftist Syriza (συριζα) party Sunday, larger than polls had been predicting, calls into question the ability of Brussels, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank to continue demanding "austerity" programs aimed at reducing onerous government debt believed to be constraining Eurozone growth.

Winning 149 seats in Parliament, two short of a ruling majority, Syriza formed a coalition with a small, right-wing party, the Independent Greeks (Anel), which also opposes austerity, the media reported. The new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said the "mandate" calls on him to negotiate "a new viable solution… for Greece and Europe" with Greece's European partners. The IMF and the European Commission have lent Greece €240 billion euros ($270 billion) since 2010 after Athens committed to reforms. Repayments are due as early as March.

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Ruble Rout and Financial Market Volatility - Pneumonia Ahead for Europe? (12/29)

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spellmanBy James David Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

If Russia catches the flu, will Europe suffer pneumonia?

As the ruble plummeted in value just before Christmas, a new wave of volatility swept through Europe’s financial markets, underscoring the complex, deep interdependence of EU member-countries with Russia.

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European Parliament Lends Support for Palestinian Statehood (12/17)

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brianbeary-august2011By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics Magazine

In a non-binding but important symbolic move, the European Parliament on December 17 voted to support recognizing Palestine as an independent state that goes “hand-in-hand with the development of peace talks.” The resolution was approved by a large majority, with 498 MEPs in favour, 88 against and 111 abstaining. It was a compromise text, one that allowed the five political groups who jointly crafted it to each put their own spin on the outcome. Thus, the center-right European People’s Party, Parliament’s largest group, which has qualms about moving hastily to bestow statehood, said the vote “clearly rejected the unconditional recognition separate from the peace negotiations.” By contrast, keen to ride the current pro-recognition wave, the center-left Socialists and Democrats group said it “reflects the initiative for Palestinian recognition that is sweeping parliaments across Europe.” The centrist Liberals and Democrats group described the vote as “a step forward towards the recognition of Palestine.”

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New Year, New Central Bank Measures to Promote EU Growth?: Investors Anxious for Bold Decisions as Concerns Shift to Oil Price Collapse, China’s Slowdown, the Russia’s Tailspin, Looming Eurozone Triple-Dip Recession (12/17)

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spellmanBy James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

When Europe’s financial markets open in the New Year, investors will be looking for any signs indicating whether the European Central Bank will broaden and deepen measures to stimulate an economy that cannot throttle into high speed to outrace the mounting risks of Eurozone deflation.

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Perspectives: The Rise of “The Left” in German State of Thuringia (11/4)

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By Markus Ziener,  Berlin writer and former Handelsblatt Correspondent in Washington, DC

Sometimes local events can tell you quite a lot about national politics. That's why current events in the German state of Thuringia, located in the former East Germany,   should get our attention. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany a local state will have a prime minister from the party “Die Linke”, The Left, which is the successor party to the former SED, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The SED was the East German equivalent of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But unlike the East German state that dissolved in 1990, the party remained – after having changed its name a few times. Later this month, it is all but certain that the head of “Die Linke”,  Bodo Ramelow, will be elected prime minister of Thuringia – with the help from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party.

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“Bond Vigilantes” Approve ECB-EBA Stressing Euro Banks (10/28)

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By J. Paul Horne, Independent International Market Economist

Bond markets reacted very positively to the most comprehensive and rigorous assessment ever of EU and Euro zone banks published on Oct. 26. Barring surprises on European budgetary policies later this week, the report by the European Central Bank (ECB) and European Banking Authority (EBA) on the health of European banks is likely to boost confidence not only of financial markets but that of the overall economy. If the passing grade on Europe’s banking system contributes to improved consumption and capital spending, recent worries about deflation could be attenuated.

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Europe’s Banking Union: ‘Game Changing’ ECB Oversight Starts November 4 (10/24)

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By James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

Envisioned as a bulwark against another “systemic” banking crisis, the European Central Bank will become the Eurozone’s single banking supervisor on November 4.  This framework gives ECB wide-ranging powers, including direct supervision of the 120 largest banks in 18 countries that together hold most of the Eurozone banking assets.[1]

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EU Parliament Sends Slovenian Pick Home in Commissioner Vetting Process (10/17)

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By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics

The upset in the European Parliament hearings on the new EU Commissioner-designates was its outright rejection of Slovenia’s nominee, former Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek. After giving a poor performance during her three-hour grilling on October 6 for the energy union portfolio, Bratusek lost the parliamentary committee vote two days later by an embarrassingly large margin: 13 votes for, 112 against. She refused to go quietly, venting anger at what she felt was a setup and being especially bitter that many fellow Slovenians threw her to the wolves as she saw it.   But ultimately resignation was her only option. Slovenia moved swiftly to nominate Violeta Bulc, a recently-appointed minister, to replace her.

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ECB Unveils Asset Buying Program in Balancing Act to Energize EU Economy (10/9)

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By James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

Leaving interest rates unchanged, the European Central Bank said last week that it would buy government bonds and other assets for at least two years in hopes of increasing bank lending to businesses and thereby stimulate growth.  Left unanswered were questions about the size of these initiatives and whether additional measures, “quantitative easing,” would be launched soon, as inflation in Eurozone countries remains stubbornly low and a new phase of recession takes hold.

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A Social Media First—Presidential War Threats via Twitter (8/8)

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By Armen V. Sahakyan

In what will go down in cyber history as a social media first— president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev threatened Armenia and Nagorono-Karabakh Republics with resurgence of war via Twitter. Screen shot of actual message is below:

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Transatlantic Trends 2014: What Does It Tell Us about Poland? (9/15)

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By Marcin Bylica, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

As a Polish graduate student with a strong interest in transatlantic relations I was particularly interested in results from Poland in the recent Transatlantic Trends survey, a yearly poll conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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New Poll on Scottish Independence Referendum Shakes Britain (9/10)

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By European Affairs

The referendum on Scottish independence from Great Britain scheduled for September 18, has been one of the most intensely polled, with over 90 “scientific” polls conducted since the vote was scheduled two years ago.   And until this past weekend every poll showed the “no” vote (against independence) prevailing, although in recent weeks the margin of “no” lead has narrowed.

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Jumpstarting the Eurozone: Maestro Draghi’s New Ouverture (9/8)

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By James David Spellman, Principal Strategic Communications LLC.

The European Central Bank last week (September 4) unexpectedly lowered interests rates again and pushed bank deposit rates slightly more deeply into negative territory, as low inflation, weak growth, and sluggish lending to businesses suggested the Eurozone’s recovery was “losing momentum,” President Mario Draghi said. While the rate cuts grabbed the headlines, more significant are two new initiatives Draghi also unveiled to pump money into the region’s economy. Immediately afterward, the euro tumbled, bond yields fell, and stocks rallied.

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The War of the Roses—The French Government Reshuffles (8/28)

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By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Chairman of The European Institute, Writing from Paris

The symbol of the French socialist party is a rose, with each group on the left claiming to be personified by the rose. But recent political events demonstrate that several roses do not always make a bouquet.

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