Belgium on sale on eBay, what to do with the political limbo?

This is great stuff.

Someone was selling Belgium on eBay according to Yahoo!News (thanks Peter). The announcement said:

“For Sale: Belgium, a Kingdom in three parts … free premium: the king and his court (costs not included). “

Supposedly the person behind wanted to attract attention and prove that Belgium was a country worth a decent amount of cash. When it reached 10 million euros, it was taken off by the webmasters. Continue reading “Belgium on sale on eBay, what to do with the political limbo?”

Slovenia: the only way ahead is nuclear

So easy to reduce the CO2 emissions. The answer of the Slovenian government is: more nuclear. Today it joined the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, under the leadership of the US.

It’s true that the recent EU Energy debates have seen a revival of the pro & contra nuclear energy groups, but the stand of the Slovenian government seems simplistic. It looks like the only serious method of reducing CO2 emissions and thus complying with the new CO2 reduction committments of the EU, is nuclear. It also seems that the only new source of energy that Slovenia will seriously consider is another nuclear reactor alongside the current one in Krško. Although scientific comments point to the fact that there is not enough cold water to cool the plant…there is almost no debate on renewables or alternative sources of energy. The only wind-energy project, was a flop. Continue reading “Slovenia: the only way ahead is nuclear”

Slovenia: update on Presidential elections & what does Peterle do as an MEP?

The Slovenian Presidential campaign is well underway, but it’s quite remote from the main public discussions. The relations with Croatia (now went suddenly quite silent), the “SOVA affair”, the Ministers leaving (or being encouraged to leave), high inflation and discussions with the retail sector…all of these issues are of course more interesting than a campaign among basically 3 men contesting for a merely “representational role”. Continue reading “Slovenia: update on Presidential elections & what does Peterle do as an MEP?”

Poland: against a “European Day against the Death Penalty”?

After some worrying reports come out from Amnesty International for Poland, I’m still amazed that political brothers, sorry, leaders in this country still have doubts about the death penalty. One of the Kaczyñskis has suggested that perhaps Poland could introduce death penalty again. On the top, the country is reported as increasingly homophobic along with anti-abortion sentiments rising. There are also some reports about the degeneration of democracy. And the witch-hunting extended well beyond the case of Geremek, now appears to be targeting politically unpleasant enemies. Charges of corruption and similar. We have seen it before. Continue reading “Poland: against a “European Day against the Death Penalty”?”

UK and the new Reform Treaty: the same as ever…Monster Treaty on the horizon

There is a good comment by Jon Worth about the paper published by the FCO in the UK. He rightly points out that the position of the UK government is hopelessly defensive and there is little courage in the debate on the new EU Reform Treaty. But of course, there is a lot of British pragmatism behind. Continue reading “UK and the new Reform Treaty: the same as ever…Monster Treaty on the horizon”

Gorenje follow-up: you really start wondering…

So, this is not yet the ending of a funny story that we experienced with the company Gorenje. I wrote previously how our fridge in Brussels broke down and what the reaction of the local Gorenje business point in Belgium was. I have to admit that after I wrote to their PR centre and the director directly, we at least got a reply…but the story got a very funny turn today. Continue reading “Gorenje follow-up: you really start wondering…”

What autumn for the EU?

I have been around Brussels for long enough to remember how it feels around the EU institutions’ corridors on the first days of September. All the pending things start moving. The EP goes immediatelly into a plenary, the Commission starts getting questions again and has to work on the autumn package of reports and initiatives. The Council starts with the meeting of permanent representatives and the regular monthly Foreign Ministers reunions, known under an overly complicated abbreviation GAERC, are again on the schedule. Then comes the October informal EU top leaders summit, which repeats formally in December. In between there is all the budgetary debate for the year 2008 to be closed. And one Presidency (Portugal) ends on December 31st and another (Slovenia) starts on January 1st. But let’s have a look at few political issues the EU will mostly be busy with this autumn. Of course, selection is purely personal. Continue reading “What autumn for the EU?”