Ukraine’s and Russia’s leaders have reached a preliminary agreement on a price for gas supplies this winter but Kiev may need international help to pay. Poroshenko met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Milan last Friday to discuss the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern regions, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting Kiev government forces. As we remember Russia cut off gas supply to Ukraine in mid-June following more than two years of dispute on the price. Russia said Ukraine had to pay off large debts for previously-supplied gas before it would resume supply.
Brussels could levy a penalty charge of £42.5 million a month on Britain after David Cameron refused yesterday to pay an extra £1.7 billion contribution demanded by the EU. Speaking at the close of a two-day meeting of the European Council, a flushed prime minister described the levy as “completely unacceptable”.
This is my message to those Hungarian politicains who think that the EU is sometimes “against Budapest”. No, it is not always easy to be an EU member state, sometimes you have to fight to defend your interest.
Juncker won fewer votes than his Portuguese predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso did for the previous commission, but this is not bad news. Let us be honest, the Portugese was a boring chief.
Juncker had risked missing his start date after parliament forced him to reshuffle his team following weeks of gruelling confirmation hearings, but the final members made it through on Monday.
Juncker added that the European Union must do more on issues such as the west Africa Ebola outbreak and the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, although he made no mention of the crisis in Ukraine, which has raised tensions with Russia.
The Commission – a strange but powerful government – includes one member from each of the 28 nations in the EU, a bloc that covers more than 500 million people and taken together represents the world’s biggest economy, including a Hungarian, Tibor Navracsics.
Juncker has appointed Dutch former foreign minister Frans Timmermans as his “right hand man” to oversee reforms to the Brussels bureaucracy, a daring challenge. Other key members include Italy’s Federica Mogherini as foreign affairs chief, France’s former finance minister Pierre Moscovici in the economic affairs role, Britain’s Jonathan Hill as head of financial services, and Spain’s Miguel Arias Canete as energy chief.
The situation is heating up on the Turkish border. What is really going on? Coalition aircraft now appeared to be targeting a single location, which is probably the last neighbourhood in the town held by IS after its strength was degraded by heavy strikes on Tuesday. The battle for Kobane is regarded as a major test of whether the coalition’s air campaign can push back IS in Syria.
More than 160,000 people have fled the predominantly Kurdish town in the face of the IS advance which is absolutely worrying. What will happen to them? How will this effect Turkey? For me this crisis again shows that we are never ready to handle a such a difficult situation in time.
Mr Tirole’s work is not extraordinary, ha says something which we all experience in everyday life. Corporate giants such as Apple or Google compete, but in a way that has little to do with the classic economic model of many producers and many customers trading an identical product. Their prices may be free to the consumer, while their competition on new technology often leads to at least temporary dominance of a market. How to regulate such companies : this ithe real challenge.
The news from Mr. Tirole is that both crises “originated” in loose supervision in the case of the global financial crisis, and loose government supervision is the run-up to the euro crisis.
Finally. I had sleepless nights. But why did they not issue a statement about his operation? The answer is simple. they do things their way. And you have to understand them, if you want to cooperate with them.
Recently I had the pleasure to visit Helsinki, where I spent three years as a diplomat. What did I learnt there? Among others: how to work together. One of the most exciting examples is the Team Finland. Here is a short summary. It would be interesting for Hungarian experts to study the text. Continue reading
Our skandinavian friend has already published a very interesting general oveview on Finland’s foreign policy emphasized on Finland’s appearance and possibilities for foreign enquirers and on the prospects of social media and social networking in the international relations.
Please find below the whole text. (English versione)
Hong Kong, as the British media rightly says, is the goose that lays the golden eggs for China. The ruling Communist party allows Britain’s former colony a degree of freedom denied to other parts of China because of its status as a financial centre. No less importantly, the families of many leading communists have luxurious properties and huge investments in Hong Kong. This is why the party has no wish to repeat the brutal military crackdown of Tiananmen Square in 1989. But for a strange reason the political leadership in Beijing seems to show strength instead of cooperation. After spending some years in China, I suppose that this is their character. Build a Great Wall.