EU Presidencies and private sponsors

I came accross an interesting element of the new Portuguese (PT) EU Presidency website. Besides the fact that a nice framework was obviously let be run by someone with a certain lack of taste (see selection of pictures), there is for me a bizzare presentation of private sponsors.

The PT EU Presidency website lists the following “official sponsors”: Audi, Vodafone, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Galp Energia, Grupo Sumol, Delta Cafes and SIVA (Grupo SAG). I have to admit I have never spent lots of time thinking about this, but I thought that the Presidency is somehow the opportunity to promot national industries during the numerous meetings that the Presidency hosts in the home country. In the case of PT this seems not to be the case. Continue reading “EU Presidencies and private sponsors”

Pahor finally goes for the right thing

So, Borut Pahor, the President of the Social Democrats (SD), has finally made the choice that could cricially influence the outcome of the next parliamentary elections in Slovenia (coming up in autumn 2008). Following the party leadership advice, he will not stand for the President of the Republic, but rather lead the party at the next parliamentary elections. Continue reading “Pahor finally goes for the right thing”

EU: immigration stories…just don’t blame the EU

More of too-familiar pictures of illegal immigrants seem to fill the newspaper pages recently. As IHT reports, there has been a nasty accident when no EU country wanted to send a ship to save 27 men from Africa floating in the middle of the sea. But note, no EU COUNTRY.

There is one paragraph I love in particular:

“Malta, Spain and Italy, meantime, complain that the EU’s external border control agency, Frontex, has not dispatched enough planes and rescue boats to help them cope with the influx of migrants.” Continue reading “EU: immigration stories…just don’t blame the EU”

LDS: Getting the first female president?

There are some positive moves among the Liberal Democrats. The party will witness in June first properly contested internal elections. The first surprise candidate is, at least to me and my sources, completely unknown. Katarina Kresal, the deputy director of the Law Firm owned and run by Miro Senica, announced her candidacy. He appears quite genuinely Liberal, at least from her professional background and friends. At least on the surface a welcome move towards a more Liberal LDS, to where the party belongs and has the chance to make a difference. Continue reading “LDS: Getting the first female president?”

Slovenia: an update on political chaos

I simply cannot follow all the stories that are currently developing back in Slovenia. Among the corridors of power these seem to be decisive times that will produce winners and losers of the next elections. Or at least so my political feelings tell me.

First is the affair with the secret services – SOVA. The government launched an inquiry into how special funds were spent and published few extracts out of which the media published a plane ticket supposedly paid for the travel of an alternative doctor from India (just how bizzare does this sound?!). Continue reading “Slovenia: an update on political chaos”

Slovenia: How to brand everything good as European

One of the most common things you will notice on Slovenian TV, if you happen to understand it, is how often politicians compare everything to some mystical “Europeanâ€? standard . Mostly, Europe is used of course as a benchmark and something we have to uphold as saint. Of course, Western Europe to be precise, not to be confused with Romania or similar savage places where corruption reigns… Continue reading “Slovenia: How to brand everything good as European”