Romania’s capital, like many of its Eastern European counterparts, has endured and interpreted the rush to privatize and rebuild. The result is a vibrant capital that includes 19thcentury architectural masterpieces gargantuan Communist-era buildings, and 21st century malls.
Does China pose a threat or provide an opportunity for Europe? The Old Continent has been asking itself this question for years, but it has yet to come up with an answer. And it’s hardly likely to find one now, seeing as how the global financial crisis has upset the applecart even for Eastern prospects of growth and development, let alone Western ones.
Lengthy negotiations are underway between two astute merchants who will do anything to cheat one another. The vendor (Greece) does not want to sell off its goods while at the same time it is trying to avoid them being seized and the buyer (Turkey) is trying to hide its conquering ambitions.
The lights go out in the Nova Gorica’s casino; their gaudy signs remind one of the fleeting dream of an economic boom that never really took off in Slovenia. Even the queues of Italian cars in line to cross the border have dwindled. The economic crisis lands Slovenia in a chaos that has now become political.
Viktor Orbàn has changed the constitution, abolished freedom of the press and challenges requests made by the ECB but Europe doesn’t apply sanctions against him, nor does Brussels seem to worry about his politics too much. Just a few isolated voices have called for action.
France has to face up to the fury of redundant workers, students and the fears of the middle classes. Hollande displays great aplomb and wants to project an image of a leader firmly at the helm. The African missions by French troops also help to portray the idea of a strong and resolute country.
Land given to farmers, fair rents, ‘redistribution’ of groceries. For over 30 years, Mayor Sánchez Gordillo has been fighting on the barricades, leading a small town in Southern Spain towards utopia. There is no unemployment here; farmers, office employees and blue-collar workers all earn the same wage; decisions are made through direct participation and social equity is seen as the way to survive the crisis.
Ambitious Ankara is eager to bring the West back to the bargaining table with Iran to avert what could be a catastrophic military engagement. At the same time, it has its hands full dealing with the Syrian calamity, which is closer to home and shows no signs of stabilizing.
A letter from the underworld, from a hole dug out beneath hundreds of metres of rock and coal. It’s June. Josè Antonio Perez and six other comrades have been holed up in a tunnel of the Santa Cruz del Sil mine for three weeks. They send word to say, “We’ll only come out when the government has given us an answer”.
Many young people see Europe as above all offering an opportunity to move to other countries and change their perspective. Thousands of Spaniards, Greeks and Italians are migrating north in the hope of a brighter future. This migration wave – for many an opportunity but for others a necessity, not a choice – could affect the current structure of various countries.
A year ago it was a country receiving immigrants, rich and prosperous. Now the Irish are emigrating once more, like a century ago. They choose Australia, a rich continent still full of dreams. They are ready for anything in order to survive, even work as a lollypop person holding signs on the street. Mary works on George Street holding a sign that says “Slow down”.