The seven plus decades of twists and turns in the "special relationship" between the United States and United Kingdom have long been fodder for commentary between London and Washington. But it has taken the British referendum on its membership in the European Union to demonstrate that the sometimes mythologized U.S.-U.K. bonds still run as strong or stronger than ever in Washington's think tanks.
An unconventional 74 year-old, who sports a gold earring and large lizard tattoo on his right wrist, Thessaloniki’s dynamic mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, sat down with European Affairs this week to speak about his philosophy of government and hopes for a renaissance in Greece’s second largest city.
Europe cannot escape its history. It needs to digest it.
It is in this spirit that a group of 30 eminent historians from seventeen European countries and different schools of thought recently met at the College des Bernardins, a foundation close to Notre Dame de Paris, to present their research and launch a dialogue on the commonalities that lie at the core of a European consciousness. It is a consciousness that is increasingly discussed, despite, or perhaps because of, the many criticisms leveled at the European Union.
Just as the French economy started giving signs of recovery, albeit belatedly, spectacular demonstrations and strikes have hit the country, paralyzing significant parts of transportation systems including roads, subway (RATP), rail (SNCF) and air (Air France), as well as oil depots and EDF nuclear plants. Some of the demonstrations have been violent, destroying numerous stores and brutally attacking people, including police. Normal daily activities have been disturbed. Sometimes, it is impossible to find fuel in gas stations because refineries paralyzed by the strikers did not deliver their products. Metro and trains stopped providing regular services. This chaotic situation is taking place on the eve of the UEFA 2016 European Soccer Championship scheduled to bring one million visiting fans to France. And this on top of continuing concerns about terrorist attacks.
Greece faces another summer of deadlines for enormous debt repayments. Fifteen different obligations, totaling more than €15 billion ($16.78 billion), are due between June and mid-September, with Treasury bill holders owed the largest amounts, a combined €12.4 billion ($13.86 billion). Treasuries had been Greece’s main source of short-term funding until Europe and the IMF provided credit through a series of bailout programs.
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