WBEZ | European Union http://www.wbez.org/tags/european-union Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Craig Wright: Don't just blame the Greeks for their debt crisis http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/craig-wright-dont-just-blame-greeks-their-debt-crisis-99687 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Greek%20Debt%20%28ap.Thanassis%20Stavrakis%29.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 209px; " title="A woman passes in front of chart with the stock prices at the Greek Stock Exchange in Athens, Monday, May 7, 2012. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)" />There&#39;s a big debt crisis going on in Greece right now, one that so few people really understand that <em>This American Life</em> even teamed up with <em>Planet Money<a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/455/continental-breakup"> </a></em><a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/455/continental-breakup">for a whole episode to explain it</a>.</p><p>But you can skip that hour (sorry <em>TAL</em>!) because screenwriter and playwright Craig Wright&nbsp;has a shorter explanation of what&#39;s happened in Europe. And, he&#39;s aiming for German Chancellor Angela Merkel: &quot;It&#39;s not that you can&#39;t blame the Greeks. But don&#39;t you have to acknowledge, Angela, the forces that you fed into their current insufficiencies, especially since they have so much to do with you?&quot; Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>So I wanted to talk today about the Greek debt crisis. When I looked at the news this week </em><em>&ndash;</em><em> and I don&#39;t look at the news that often, so this is really big </em><em>&ndash;</em><em> I noticed that the Germans had decided that the best way to deal with the current economic paranoia in Europe was to throw the Greeks out of the European Union.</em></p><p><em>Which many of you probably don&#39;t know, and so I looked it up: In <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/greece/index.html">a summary on the </a></em><a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/greece/index.html">New York Times</a><em><a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/greece/index.html"> website</a> provided by Peter Poulos, the genesis of the Greek debt crisis was that they sort of binged on debt for the past decade and then in 2009 it all fell apart. And then the EU constructed two giant bailouts, when then created a bunch of internal unrest inside of Greece which then took the government down, so now the people of Greece no longer want to do the bailouts that the EU arranged, and so the Germans decided that the best thing to do was to kick them out.</em></p><p><em>This whole summary of the situation was written, I think, by Peter Poulos. It&#39;s not credited to him, but its sitting next to a picture of him next to a slideshow link where you can see all the cool vintage stuff hes bought in Athens while he&#39;s been stationed there.</em></p><p><em>Now you have to really appreciate </em><em>&ndash;</em><em> or hate </em><em>&ndash;</em><em> the irony or lack thereof of the </em>New York Times<em>, to put his sort-of shopping spree link next to his account of a giant economic global disaster. That being said, no one appreciates an amphora more than me so...Opa!</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 31 May 2012 10:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/craig-wright-dont-just-blame-greeks-their-debt-crisis-99687 Are Turkey and Africa the keys to Europe's future? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gul.jpg" title="Turkish President Abdullah Gul, center, poses with President Barack Obama, right, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as he arrives at the NATO Summit. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this past weekend&#39;s NATO summit and has been blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Today, Price looks at how Western Europe made a historic bet, choosing Greece, Italy and Spain over Turkey and Africa -- and how that bet came up short.</em></p><p>In 2009, I was at a symposium in Chicago given by the <a href="http://urbanaffairsassociation.org/">Urban Affairs Association</a>. One part of the event discussed Mediterranean cities. Many lecturers and breakout sessions covered cities such as Barcelona, Naples and Athens.</p><p>Barcelona was noted for its diversity and rich cultural heritage as a result of its African roots. Spain has a Moorish tradition that clearly influenced its architectural heritage. Spanish trade with Africa, and especially the East, was one of many reasons for its past wealth and glory.</p><p>For Naples, the presenter demonstrated how its seaport was one of Italy&rsquo;s busiest, and how, for prosperity sake, the Italians should consider reorienting towards the South once more. When Italy faced south, like Spain, it knew great prosperity. Then there was Athens. Although much discussion centered on modern Athens, the presenter did not deny its ancient links to Africa, via Egypt, for centuries, if not millennia, and how Greece historically shared riches with Asia Minor.</p><p>This week I saw an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2HPc9WPgYg">address</a> sponsored by the <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/">Chicago Council on Global Affairs</a>. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in town for the NATO summit, was the guest speaker. His talk was quite optimistic:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Despite many global economic risks, the Turkish economy rests on sturdy macro foundations . . . [it has] an economy with strong public finances, sustainable debt dynamics, a sound banking system, functional credit markets. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, which are now at the post-revolutionary stage of institutionalizing the change, Turkey is their most active partner. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>In Africa alone, we will have 34 embassies by the end of this year, whereas we had only 12 in 2009.</em></p><p>Greece has been idealized as the cultural, philosophical and historical bedrock of Western civilization. This emotional connection had to score extra points in Greece&rsquo;s bid for European Union membership. Turkey, on the other hand, has lobbied for membership since 1959, but the Turks were perceived as too big, too poor, too Muslim or too &ldquo;other&rdquo; to join the EU.</p><p>Now look at Spain, Italy and Greece, all of which ignored their former southern Mediterranean or African trading partners. They are in financial dire straits and represent the weakest economic links of the European Union. Compare them to Turkey, a NATO member, denied admission to the EU club. It embraced its African Mediterranean relationships and now emerges as an economic model for Europe.</p><p>Any regrets, EU?</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Fri, 25 May 2012 10:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 A return to European tribalism? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/turkey china.jpg" title="Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing in April. China’s and Turkey’s growing geopolitical influence is challenging Western European and American hegemony. (AP/Vincent Thian)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this weekend&#39;s NATO summit and will blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Here, Price observes a new form of European tribalism that may accelerate the</em><em> paradigm shift of</em><em> geopolitical hegemony from the West to the East:</em></p><p>What exists to halt the disintegration of the European Union other than NATO and U.S. patronage?</p><p>As the EU Summit commences Wednesday in Brussels, two of Europe&rsquo;s economic hegemons, France and Germany, did not have their traditional mini-summit ahead of the big meeting. New French President Francois Hollande instead chose to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Paris. But if the European Union is to have a future, its mission must look beyond &ldquo;Smart Defense&rdquo; and a &ldquo;Missile Shield&rdquo; and be an organization that unifies its members.</p><p>European history was once described to me as &ldquo;one tribal region battling another tribal region.&rdquo; But there was a respite once: the economic expansion in the Americas, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonial unification. This respite unified tribal Europe and sent old world battles to be fought abroad. But in today&rsquo;s post-colonial world, there is no frontier and Europe may be heading back to the tribalism of its past.</p><p>Trends indicate a Europe and America in economic decline. By contrast, Europe&rsquo;s old colonies &ndash;&nbsp; Africa and Asia &ndash; are slowly realizing the wealth of their human capital and natural resources.&nbsp;While these former colonies rise, the European Union has become a contradiction in terms. It can&rsquo;t agree on its boundaries, it can&rsquo;t agree on its members and it won&rsquo;t even pay for its own defense.</p><p>There may be cracks in the wall. In an impassioned plea before the EU Parliament earlier this month, British representative Nigel Farage compared the EU to the Titanic hitting the iceberg. He warned of mass civil unrest, revolution and the re-emergence of Nazism. Farage fears economic disaster could be imminent unless Europe abandons integration. Nigel, a known Euro-skeptic, has been accused of being alarmist. But this time, his comments found resonance with common citizens and became viral on the web. The most iconic moment of his speech came as Farage pointed to the EU&rsquo;s blue flag and said, &quot;I owe no allegiance to that flag, and nor do most of the people in Europe either.&quot;</p><p>Greece&rsquo;s neo-fascist party won seven to eight percent of the vote in recent elections and the country can&rsquo;t seem to form a new coalition government. Neo-fascists and left-wing parties want Greece to follow the British example and return to its sovereign currency, the Drachma. Governments in Spain and other neighbors near economic collapse hear increased cries for a return to sovereign currency. Most troubling is a parallel trend; neo-tribalism fed by increased anti-immigrant fervor.</p><p>Britain&rsquo;s neighbors accused it of &ldquo;tribalism&rdquo; when the country decided to not abandon the British Pound for the Euro. If Europe doesn&rsquo;t get its house in order, the continent will return to tribalism. Past European tribalism was based on human and natural exploitation. The next time around, we don&rsquo;t know.</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 May 2012 10:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 E.U. ban limits U.S. access to death penalty drugs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/eu-ban-limits-us-access-death-penalty-drugs-95691 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/death2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Though the European Union is staunchly against the death penalty, it's been in the business of selling death penalty technology to the U.S. for the past two years. But that all changed a few weeks ago, when the E.U. signed legislation making it illegal to export certain death penalty drugs -- like sodium thiopental and pentobarbital -- to America.</p><p>The U.S. ranks among the highest worldwide in its rates of execution, along with North Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China. And with the U.S. already suffering from a shortage in lethal injection drugs, the E.U. just made it a lot more complicated to execute in America.</p><p><a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/sandrababcock/" target="_blank">Sandra Babcock</a> is the clinical director at the <a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/humanrights/" target="_blank">Center for International Human Rights</a> at Northwestern Law School and runs a website called <a href="http://%20http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/" target="_blank">Death Penalty Worldwide</a>. Sandra also helped push for the E.U.’s recent legislation. She joins us to explain how the ban might impact those sentenced to death in the United States.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/eu-ban-limits-us-access-death-penalty-drugs-95691 U.N., E.U. presidency step up pressure to reunite Cyprus http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/un-eu-presidency-step-pressure-reunite-cyprus-95688 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/cyprus2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Compared to other seemingly intractable political struggles, the one between Turkish and Greek Cypriots has received little attention in the last few years. But that’s about to change.</p><p>This summer, the Greek Cypriots are poised to take over the rotating E.U. presidency. In reaction, Turkey is threatening to freeze ties with the E.U. if Cyprus assumes control without a deal to reunify the island. The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey took over the northern part of the island in response to a Greek military coup that aimed to make the island a part of Greece.</p><p>Recently, the United Nations has stepped up efforts to move the two parties toward reunification. In the next few days, Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders will meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss a possible deal.</p><p>Endy Zemenides, the executive director of the <a href="http://www.hellenicleaders.com/" target="_blank">Hellenic American Leadership Council</a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> what these latest developments might mean for Cyprus.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/un-eu-presidency-step-pressure-reunite-cyprus-95688 As EU’s woes continue, aspiring members in the Balkans struggle to find their place http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-09/eu%E2%80%99s-woes-continue-aspiring-members-balkans-struggle-find-their-place-94 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-08/eu1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Members of the Euro zone reached an agreement late last night that would tighten financial regulations and force fiscal discipline. The landmark shift in economic policy is the latest response to the European economic crisis.</p><p>As EU members attend to their financial mess, one aspect that’s getting little attention is what this all means for nations in the Western Balkans: Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and Kosovo. The prospect of EU accession for these countries has started the process of bringing the Balkans together again after long war.</p><p>But with the EU’s richer nations losing patience with current members such as Greece, Spain and Italy, the integration of the poorer Balkan countries seems less certain, despite the region's significant reforms.</p><p><a href="http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/staff/field/europe/marko-prelec.aspx" target="_blank">Marco Prelec</a>, the director of the International Crisis Group's Balkans Project, provides analysis.</p></p> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 18:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-09/eu%E2%80%99s-woes-continue-aspiring-members-balkans-struggle-find-their-place-94 Vocational training vs. college education: Lessons from Europe http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/vocation1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanks to the feverish coverage of the European debt crisis, we know that Germany is the economic engine that’s kept the Eurozone afloat. The Germans attribute their success in large part to their dual education system. At a young age, schoolchildren go on tracks that determine whether they’ll receive vocational training to prepare them for employment or go to university.</p><p>While the system provides little flexibility, it does deliver on jobs. Germany, as well as Switzerland and Austria — which have similar education models — have the lowest youth unemployment figures in Europe. Young people in countries like France and the U.K., which put a greater emphasis on college degrees, fare much worse. In the U.S., youth unemployment is double that of adults.</p><p><a href="http://www.pepperculpepper.net/" target="_blank">Pepper Culpepper</a>, a political science professor at the European University Institute in Florence and editor of the book <a href="http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=CulpepperGerman" target="_blank"><em>The German Skills Machine</em></a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> what the U.S. can learn from foreign educational models.</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 How Germany went from 'sick man' of Europe to economic miracle http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-13/how-germany-went-sick-man-europe-economic-miracle-93117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-13/german3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the 1990s, the U.S. was enjoying the fruits of a technology boom. The era created the first generation of Internet titans, from AOL to Yahoo. Unemployment hovered at around five percent. And U.S. consumers couldn’t stop consuming.</p><p>Back then, the Anglo press thumbed its nose at Germany for being the “sick man” of Europe. Having recently reunified with the much poorer East, the Germans struggled with inflexible labor laws, uncompetitive wages, and high rates of long-term unemployment.</p><p>Fast forward to the present, and the situation looks very different. The global recession has exposed the vulnerabilities of the all-mighty American consumer. Unemployment at home is at nine percent. Meanwhile, despite high taxes and high wages, Germany is the world’s second largest exporter. And the fate of European Union rests largely in the hands of Chancellor Angela Merkel.</p><p>To help us understand this reversal of fortune, we speak with <a href="http://www.gov.harvard.edu/people/faculty/peter-hall" target="_blank">Peter Hall</a>, a professor of European studies at Harvard University and co-editor of the book <a href="http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199247752.do" target="_blank">Varieties of Captialism: The Foundations of Comparative Advantage</a>. He sheds light on the structural and cultural differences between the American and Germany economies.</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 15:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-13/how-germany-went-sick-man-europe-economic-miracle-93117 As Western markets crash, a new world order is setting in, says Chicago economist http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-15/western-markets-crash-new-world-order-setting-says-chicago-economist-920 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-15/greece2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The European Union is in crisis, with many debating whether Greece, with its crippling level of debt, should even remain in the EU. In the United States, <a href="http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb11-157.html" target="_blank">new figures</a> from the Census Bureau reveal that nearly one in six people was living in poverty last year, painful proof of the recession’s debilitating impact on Americans.</p><p>We discuss the jittery markets and the current economic climate with David Hale, founding chairman of the Winnetka, IL-based firm <a href="http://www.davidhaleweb.com/" target="_blank">David Hale Global Economics</a>. He manages assets for companies in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and has frequently testified before Congress on international economic policy.</p><p>For David, the chaos of today may eventually give way to the equality of tomorrow. With European and American markets sinking, he believes we may be on the cusp of a new and more egalitarian world order, led by the dynamic emerging markets once known as the “third world.”</p></p> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-15/western-markets-crash-new-world-order-setting-says-chicago-economist-920 Former IMF official says Greece should default and drop the Euro http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/former-imf-official-says-greece-should-default-and-drop-euro-88838 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/greece1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Eurozone finance ministers and economists from around the world now argue over the best solution to Greece’s spiraling economic crisis. Some want more rigorous austerity measures, while others believe Greece should default on its debt and abandon the Euro. <a href="http://www.aei.org/scholar/72" target="_blank">Desmond Lachman</a>, former deputy director at the International Monetary Fund in its Policy Development and Review Department, tells us why he favors the latter. Desmond is now Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent article on the Greek debt crisis is <a href="http://www.american.com/archive/2011/july/a-tale-of-a-euro-exit-foretold" target="_blank">“A Tale of a Euro Exit Foretold”</a> in <em>The American</em>.</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 16:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/former-imf-official-says-greece-should-default-and-drop-euro-88838