europe

September 21, 2010

The main danger for the EU today is not the fall in the euro exchange rate or the growing budget deficit of “problematic” member-states but the deepening internal split in the public opinion and the growing nationalist moods.

It is arguably modern Europe's flagship ideal: the freedom to move across borders and seek a better life elsewhere. But in the Europe of Nicolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi, and others, the privilege has its limits -- and its paradoxes. Effectively excluded, it seems, is the one group singly most identified with a nomadic and peripatetic existence: the continent's 10 million-strong Romany population.

European approval remains high at 78 percent, but that’s down from 83 percent last year — a reflection, the report suggests, of discontent with Washington’s resolve to continue the fight in Afghanistan...

Under mounting political pressure, some countries are now balking at the mega-price tags of lofty regional cooperation projects such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), home to the "Big Bang Machine" that sprawls for miles across this complex straddling the picturesque border of Switzerland and France.

Cheerleaders donned black leggings and white T-shirts for a world championship basketball match between Iran and the United States in Istanbul on Wednesday to respect cultural sensitivities...Patrick Baumann, secretary-general of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), said "special arrangements" had been made with the dancers' dress on Wednesday.

The game will take players through the hallways of European Parliament offices in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. As is the tradition in such pastimes, players can use their avatars to do everything from choosing flowers and furniture to debating the effects of climate change.

The US debate over the so-called ground zero mosque in New York tracks similar fights that have taken place in European capitals in recent years over national identity and the impact of growing Muslim populations.

Despite not being European Union citizens...Switzerland comes out top in the European Mindset study by the Spanish bank BBVA as the nation with the highest percentage of citizens for whom European and national identities are of equal importance.

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