Author: Ignatios Economakos

A Pole, a German, a Frenchmen, and a Swiss meet in a bar, or was it a Swiss, a French, a German, and a Slovak, I forgot. However, what otherwise sounded like the beginning of a quirky joke was in fact an informal luncheon by some of the brightest analysts of the European Union in early December last year. Nationalities aside, the topic of the lunch was, of course, the Ukraine. The basic question was simple, Are We at War? Will Russia win? What’s the consequence for Europe if Russia wins? What is the European Union willingness to defend the…

Read More

Reciprocal access to military bases and training facilities to be granted in clear break from diplomatic rupture over failed submarine deal Australia and France have promised to grant “enhanced” access to each other’s military bases and training facilities in a clear break from their post-Aukus blues. Under a “roadmap” signed on Monday, France will gain increased access to Australian defence facilities, while the two sides will also carry out more complex joint military training activities and increase the sharing of intelligence. In return, Australia will gain more access to French defence facilities across the Indo-Pacific region. The document says this allow “a more…

Read More

Copenhagen (13/11 – 37.5) When Ranil Wickremesinghe took over as Sri Lanka’s president in July after a popular uprising ousted his predecessor, the South Asian island nation was engulfed in its worst economic meltdown in 75 years. Since then, President Wickremesinghe has managed to a keep a lid on mass protests, improve supplies of essentials and on Monday, secured a nearly $3 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that opens the door to restructuring about $58 billion of debt and receive funding from other lenders. He has done that despite a deeply unpopular government, his own party commanding just one…

Read More
EU

British newspaper The Guardian has removed from its website a 21-year-old message written by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, after it was shared several million times on social media Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” began being shared on TikTok on Tuesday, sparking a fierce debate about US backing for Israel in its current war against Hamas. Bin Laden was the mastermind of the September 11 attacks 22 years ago that killed nearly 3,000 people by crashing passenger jets into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. The White House sharply criticized the online phenomenon and TikTok said…

Read More

Frankfurt (3/12 – 12) The relatively rapid cohesion of disparate nations, historically competitive or even at war with one another, into the European Union came about in part because of the ongoing threat from the Soviet Union. The specter of a tank invasion from Warsaw Pact nations, today forgotten, was such a reality that the German government kept a major portion of its gold bullion across the Atlantic. The USSR, an ally in World War II after being double-crossed by Hitler – remember the “Non-Aggression Pact signed in Moscow by von Ribbentrop and Molotov – was soon appraised as a…

Read More

The German Bundestag will discuss draft laws to ‘combat antisemitism’ by enforcing residents to support “Israel’s right to exist”. Germany’s parliament is set to discuss draft laws that condition obtaining citizenship on recognising Israel’s right to exist. The Bundestag said that an 80-minute debate on Friday would discuss two draft laws that propose imposing strict penalties for alleged antisemitic expression and making citizenship conditional on recognising Israel and keeping clear of criticising it. The laws, submitted by the Christian Democratic Party’s (CDU) parliamentary group, were described as a bid to combat antisemitism amid rising tension in the country following Israel’s war on Gaza.…

Read More

As Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó announces, half of the budget will be used to build 170 new high-capacity charging stations along the busiest roads in the next two and a half years. The other 30 billion forints will be used to give companies such as sole traders, taxi and car-sharing providers the opportunity to buy electric vehicles at a “discounted price”. Both components of the subsidy thus have a budget of 78 million euros each. At 170 HPCs, this corresponds to a subsidy of just over 458,000 euros per station, although it is not specified whether a “station”…

Read More

Due to open next spring, the shop will offer a selection of ready-to-wear and accessories for women and men, as well as childrenswear, body care and interiors items. It will also feature an Arket café which will be developed and led by acclaimed Swedish chef Martin Berg. Pernilla Wohlfahrt, managing director of Arket, said: “We are beyond excited to announce this upcoming store opening in Milan and finally entering the Italian market with a physical space. “For me, Milan is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, which makes it one of our most anticipated openings so far. We can’t wait to…

Read More

Moon Surgical today announced the successful completion of the first 10 laparoscopic surgeries with its Maestro system in France.The procedures — bariatric and abdominal surgery procedures — took place at the Arnault Tzanck Institute in Nice, France. Laparoscopic surgeons Dr. Benjamin Cadière and Dr. Georges Debs performed them. According to a news release, the procedures mark the expansion of the hospital’s bariatric practice. Maestro’s first commercial procedures in France follow last month’s first U.S. clinical cases with an initial version of Maestro in Jacksonville, Florida. Moon Surgical says the latest development marks the first use of a new, commercially ready…

Read More

Cambodia has urged France to accelerate the construction of the National Vocational School in Tourism (VST) which aims to strengthen skillsets and streamline service deliveries in the sector. The matter came up for discussion during a meeting between Sok Soken, the Minister of Tourism, and Jacques Pellet, Ambassador of France to Cambodia. The meeting held at the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) was also attended by representatives from the French Development Agency (AFD) which is responsible for establishing the first international standard tourism schools in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville province. During the meeting, Soken informed Pellet about the strategic initiative of…

Read More