Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Central Europe

A few days ago while seeing the hundreds of refugees from the Middle East flock on Greek ferries, buses, taxis and trains in their drive north to the Macedonian border, I recalled a 20-page seminar paper I was required to write on the question of frontiers at Sciences po Toulouse. The year was 2010, just… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

After more than four years of misguided austerity policies, the sharp economic downturn is about to claim its latest victims – Europe’s democracies. During the sovereign debt crisis, politicians in office – regardless of party ideology – have been forced to resort to hugely unpopular budget cuts and to increase taxes for the middle and… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The Defense Strategic Review (DSR) released by the Pentagon on the 5th of January 2012 summarises the Obama Administration’s geopolitical agenda and strategic priorities. From it, experts can discern which country is considered the new enemy of the USA, although President Obama’s speech on the occasion does not mention China by name. In France, the… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Hungary bucks austerity trend

In 1956 the Hungarians rose in revolt against the excesses of Soviet communism. During the 1980’s, the Hungarian society was already making the transition to what we now call the post-Soviet era and its communist politicians opened the country’s borders to East German refugees fleeing to the West . These days, Viktor Orban and his… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

US: “reset of the reset”

Whilst the German and French leaders have initiated at Deauville the resetting of their countries’ relationship with Russia, the United States is, according to Robert Kagan, in the process of “resetting the reset”. In a Washington Post article on the subject published on October 1st (“America: once engaged, now ready to lead”), Kagan claims that… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Frustration to the max

Georgi’s blog has drawn my attention to the letter written to President Obama by a group of ex-presidents and opinion leaders from Central Europe. That letter refuses to be digested. Had I been a more emotional kind of guy, I’d be in tears. As it turns out, it’s played havoc with my stomach. The letter… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The Intractable Mr Klaus

The 2nd of October Yes-vote from Ireland is overshadowed by Mr Klaus’ constant refusal to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, against better advice from most Czech parliamentarians. The tactics he used in avoiding to put his signature on the document are mind-boggling, to say the least. Contesting the treaty twice before the Czech Constitutional Court… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

US: A Farewell to Arms

The Obama Administration’s decision to scrap the infamous missile shield in Europe has to be considered one of its most important foreign policy decisions to date. Almost immediately, premier Putin of Russia has called it “just and courageous” and has promised to abandon plans to place Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. Chancellor Merkel and president Sarkozy… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

No later than last week, the Hungarian and Romanian prime ministers have both asked the EU officials to speed up their respective countries’ accession to the eurozone. After years of neglecting structural reforms in favour of stimulating domestic consumption, these countries, Poland and the Czech Republic are particularly hard hit in the current crisis. Their… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi