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Tag Archives: Europe

Flying by the seat of your pants

Last week, the Sunday Independent front page carried a Ryanair story. Michael O’Leary addressed a conference on innovation, the newspaper reported, where he outlined how the European Commission invited him to Brussels, but refused to pay for his flight because it was booked through Ryanair. And he said he was told “there is a ban […]

An Open Letter to Libertas

Dear Declan, I know you’re not going away. Or if you do, you will return after another ‘provocation’ to run for the Dáil or, – heaven help us – the Áras. Either way, we can be sure of one thing. Votes like this aren’t going away either. There will be new treaties, as Europe evolves. […]

Unvictory

Some arguments made on both sides of the Lisbon treaty debate are false. Some are true. Some are unprovable either way. And a large number of arguments are irrelevant. Take what was credited as a winning argument last time: ‘Save Our Commissioner: Vote No’. As it turns out, once Ireland voted No, the EU suddenly […]

He’s Back

Declan Ganley has re-entered the fray. The news – announced sideways in a Wall Street Journal interview – contradicts his vow to quit if he didn’t win a seat in the Euro elections. As recently as mid-August, Ganley repeated his promise in a series of twitter posts. Asked if he planned to get involved in […]

That Lisbon Non-Event

I arrived at Heathrow last night to find someone reading an Irish Independent front page announcing that a ‘Cowen-Brown rift deals blow to key Lisbon talks’. Happily, the impasse (which didn’t even make the inside pages in any British paper I read) was resolved, and the EU agreed a statement that says, in effect, that […]

Unbundling Internet Explorer: Living In a World Of Choices?

A decade after it insisted that it couldn’t be done in front of a US federal judge, Microsoft has decided to unbundle Internet Explorer from its operating system. From October, when Windows 7 hits the shelves, customers in Europe can install the browser of their choice. At least, that’s the hype. The EU commissioners are […]

Just One Ireland

Fianna Fáil has the support of one in five voters, if the latest Irish Times poll is to be believed. Labour are three points ahead of them, and Fine Gael lead the pack with 36%. Independents are supported by one in ten, Sinn Féin by one in twelve, and the Greens by only 3%, a […]

Euorvoting

Declan Ganley must be wondering where it all went wrong. A year ago, Libertas seemed unstoppable. But it’s a party in name only, without grassroots membership, unable even to supply a copy of its constitution (I know, I asked). Libertas is in trouble. Caroline Simons is statistically invisible in Dublin, Ray O’Malley barely registers in […]

Check Sums

As part of my job, I read too many government reports. Most of them are available online and can be downloaded without charge. Downloads are generally in PDF format, though occasionally a press release or speech is available only as a Microsoft DOC (I haven’t encountered the newer DOCX format yet). Checking document properties, it’s […]

Pork Barrel Politics

The EU member States agreed in principle when negotiating in 2000 ‘to reduce the size of the Commission once the Union reached 27 countries. This was in recognition of the reality that there would be insufficient portfolios to go around.’ But now, Commission president Manuel Barroso now says that he would personally support holding on […]