Daily Archives: May 17, 2010

Gideon Rachman

With the enactment of the Lisbon treaty late last year, some European leaders allowed themselves to dream of a new world order – one in which the European Union was finally recognised as a global superpower, to rank alongside the US and China.

In the past few weeks, Europe has certainly got the world’s attention – but not in the way that it had hoped. Rather than admiring the EU for its dynamism and power, the rest of the world is watching the unfolding economic crisis in Europe with fascination and horror. Observing the struggle to save the euro from Washington or Beijing is a bit like watching a car crash on the other side of the road. It is bad enough being a spectator – but there is the added fear that you will be hit by flying debris. Read more

Gideon Rachman

A week of political and economic turmoil across the European continent has left British politics looking more European; and European politics looking more British.

Britain now has the type of coalition government that seems perfectly normal in Germany, Italy or the Netherlands, but which is deeply alien to the UK’s tradition of adversarial politics and strong one-party government. Meanwhile, the debt crisis in the eurozone has created a political and economic atmosphere reminiscent of Britain during the heyday of Thatcherism: riots in the streets in Athens; a confrontation with public-sector workers in Spain; a Eurosceptic backlash in Germany led by populist tabloid newspapers. Read more