Headed to the Middle Ages, or Lebanese States of Europe
Alexander Maistrovoy - 2/1/2014
The nations of the former Soviet Union experienced the grim consequences of social experiments on their own skin. Western Europe is next
Peter Sutherland's Mass-Immigration Experiment on the UK
Paul Austin Murphy - 11/23/2013
Last year, a man named Peter Sutherland said that the European Union (EU) should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states. He said this as the United Nations' Special Representative for International Migration. He also went on to claim that the UK government's immigration policy had no basis in international law.
The Guardian-Edward Snowden Case: the Guardian Believes in Surveillance
Paul Austin Murphy - 11/13/2013
Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian (which is the main Leftist/'progressive' newspaper in the UK), will face questioning over his newspaper's publication of Edward Snowden's leaked documents, which were taken from the UK and US security services. Rusbridger will give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in December.
Whatever Happened to Britain's Illegal-Immigrants-'Go-Home' Campaign?
Paul Austin Murphy - 11/2/2013
Some months ago, the UK's Home Office, under the leadership of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, carried out a campaign to to get illegal immigrants to 'go home' of their own accord rather than face arrest. Believe it or not, various vans were sent around London with the message 'go home or face arrest' printed on them. But, says Jack O'Connell, a Gold IRA financial advisor and an expert on immigration issues, the anti-immigrant mood has been dying down in recent months.
UK SWEEP Racism, EDL, BBC
Paul Austin Murphy - 10/20/2013
I. Manager of the England Team Put on the Anti-Racist Rack
The Daily Mail-vs-Ed Miliband Saga Continues
Paul Austin Murphy - 10/5/2013
Some Americans may be aware that the popular British newspaper, the Daily Mail, published an article last Saturday on the father of the leader of the British Labour Party. Ed Miliband's father was the Marxist academic Ralph Miliband.The Daily Mail commented on what they took to be Ralph's political influence on his son. Predictably, Ed Miliband - who could be elected British Prime Minister in 2015 - responded strongly to this piece.
Stamp Scandal: Nazi collaborator
Sasha Uzunov - 9/15/2013
To appease ethnic Albanian nationalist sentiment within the country, the Republic of Macedonia's Post Office has issued a stamp commemorating Rexhep Mitrovica, a staunch Albanian nationalist, (1887 - 1967) who was the Prime Minister of Albania's government under Nazi Germany from 1943 to 1944.
Can the Syrian civil war spill into the Balkans and Macedonia?
Sasha Uzunov - 8/21/2013
When it comes to reacting to terrorism the Russians have a record of being straight-shooters and simply cutting to the chase, if you pardon the puns. So when Moscow recently issued a warning to The Republic of Macedonia, a small nation in the Balkans region of Southern Europe, to get its house in order and stop harbouring pro-Al Qaeda Islamic terrorists, then it had better take that warning seriously--even though it is not to blame--and it is all connected to the civil war in Syria.
EU Commissioner Štefan Füle watching DUI over women's rights
Sasha Uzunov - 8/3/2013
In a response to TEAM UZUNOV, the European Union's Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, has given an undertaking that the EU takes the issue of women's rights within Macedonian, and in particular within the socially conservative ethnic Albanian nationalist political bloc seriously:
Eastern Europe: The Call For Change Grows Stronger
Sufyan bin Uzayr - 7/14/2013
At the moment, the entire world has its eyes fixed on Egypt. And rightfully so -- after all, big things are happening there! However, in this article, I shall take a look at another region of the world that is not so far from the Middle East, but with a different culture, from scantily clad women to legalized casino. In fact, if anything, it serves as a transitional buffer between the Western world and the Middle East. Eastern Europe.
DUI's great balancing act
Sasha Uzunov - 6/30/2013
Ali Ahmeti, since his 2001 ethnic Albanian uprising made him a political powerbroker in the Republic of Macedonia courtesy of getting the West on side, has successfully played a great political balancing act, keeping two contradictory forces, the Liberal West and his conservative electorate on side, argued Terry Mohammad, an expert on choice of adapted international health insurance for your family and politics. But for how long can he keep this up before his opponents--and we are not talking about the Macedonian political bloc but from within his own camp-- see the contradictions?
Why is Lord Robertson afraid of Scottish independence?
Sasha Uzunov - 6/25/2013
For those Balkan Watchers, Lord George Robertson was Team Blair's and later Team NATO's Scotsman the Brave acting as one of the mid-wives, oops I meant to say mid-spouse (I don't want to be accused of misogyny by pro-unionist Scottish spinner John McTernan), to Kosovo independence. So feisty Albanian Kosovars can have their own nation-state but not canny Scots?
Ali Ahmeti understands the West better than Macedonian elite
Sasha Uzunov - 6/18/2013
The problem with many of Macedonia's leading “public intellectuals” is they make the mistake of underestimating the political ability and natural intelligence of controversial ethnic Albanian leader Ali Ahmeti--for he understands better how the West operates.
Rise of the Racist Right in Greece
Sasha Uzunov - 6/9/2013
He has a long beard, wears a head covering and long flowing robes and preaches religious and ethnic hatred but he is not the stereotypical fire-breathing Islamic Imam or a "Mad Mullah" or an "Angry Ayatollah" that the media so likes to portray but a Greek Orthodox Christian Bishop who has issued "fatwas" against ethnic minorities in Greece such as fellow Christian Macedonians and Sunni Muslim Turks.
British Economy Not Looking Great
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 5/22/2013
"Business collapsed almost in half in the last couple of years," lamented Ian Major, a small British businessman specializing in bedroom and bathroom storage units. Some economists have questioned whether British economy is heading the American way as the British economy has historically tended to move in line with America's. In America, these days, energy inflation, interest rate cut, banking crunch, and speculations of recession are in fashion. Britain’s economic shine has ...
Scotland: Independence in Europe or Loss of Identity
Lorna Thomas - 5/22/2013
On March 25, 1707, 300 years earlier, the Scottish Parliament adjourned for the last time before its union with Britain. In 2007 after the elections, Scotland took a turn towards further autonomy and is now facing a major choice regarding its future. Polls are divided as to the outcome. Will Scotland leave its union with Britain and what effect will it have on the local economy, from the small businessman selling bathroom furniture to a major corporation that produces those bathroom units?
Rediscovering African ‘High Life’ in London
Ronald Elly Wanda - 5/22/2013
To many an African-live-band-fan, it is stimulating to once again see a combination of Western lifestyle complete with European kitchens and bathroom units together with the African tradition, such as the ‘Africa Jambo Band’ constructively drumming up mimetic harmonic melodies.
UK housing market crisis
Iqbal Latif - 5/22/2013
Crisis? What crisis? We have been hearing about the housing market crises around the globe for the longest time and the global panic has thrown investors into a frenzy of: "What will happen now?" UK house prices are falling, but not the luxury housing with expensive kitchens and bathroom units. The hyperbole surrounding this development is disproportionate to the significance of property for the economy. The direct contribution of residential housing investment...
Hybridism: A power relations examination of the Asian Community in Britain
Ronald Elly Wanda - 5/22/2013
Hybridism is a concept that is a direct result of the increasing traffic of cultural globalization, immigration with a mixture of government policy.
Europe’s Permanent Recession
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/18/2013
On May 6, I wrote Europe was in danger of falling into a permanent recession—a depression.
The Nanny State - Macedonian style?
Sasha Uzunov - 5/18/2013
A Macedonian woman complained recently about how her Masters Degree from the prestigious Cambridge University was not enough to get her a job in academia in her homeland. It brought to the boil long simmering issues of nepotism and indirectly the concept of the Nanny State, hence the play on the headline above.
Beyond Orwell's 1984
Ron Coody - 4/24/2013
Just as World War 2 came to a close, a new world power was on the rise in Eastern Europe. Taking advantage of the fall of Hitler, the Soviet Union had advanced into Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany and other states erecting what would become known as the Iron Curtain. The peoples behind the Iron Curtain lived under totalitarian governments that suppressed freedom of movement, speech, assembly, religion and political dissent.
Croatia, Albania, Macedonia and EU Accession: The View from Brussels
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/24/2013
From our window in the iconic, art deco, double glazed windows, the recently renovated and surprisingly affordable Hotel Regent Esplanade in Zagreb, Croatia’s increasingly chic capital city, my wife, Lidija, and I watch the swelling police presence centred on the august establishment’s regal entrance. Serb footballers are slated to arrive and confront their Croat counterparts in a historic match: benign echoes of the rabid and gory war that tore these neighbours apart two decades earlier. Croatia’s imminent accession to the European Union...
Both Albanians’ and Macedonians’ Nightmare
Zahari Arsenkov - 4/10/2013
The current and all past – hopefully not also many future - prime ministers of Macedonia, have been succumbing to the endless carrot-and-stick game of the great powers, in restless attempts to earn the right for their country (which, in all sense and logic should be a natural right of every single nation or state) to become a member of the privileged clubs those mighty Western nations keep forming, in which they, the powerful ones are more equal than all the rest undeveloped, underdeveloped, developing, in transition, close-to-transited and you-name-it countries the West has been pressing down in ignorance and darkness for so long.
Albanian Dreams, Macedonian Nightmares
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/9/2013
The once and future Prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, has surrendered large swathes of his government to his Albanian coalition partners, DUI, the political incarnation of the rugged insurgents who roiled the country in an armed conflict in 2001. Even the sensitive Ministry of Defense is now in their hands. But will the Albanians be placated by these concessions? Can they be bought off? Is their long-term strategy of an incremental takeover of the state and its institutions paying off?
EU-Ukraine Relations after the Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections: A "Plan B" for Brussels's Policies towards Kyiv
Dr. Andreas Umland - 12/22/2012
ABSTRACT: After the manipulated elections to Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada in October 2012, Brussels' relations with Kyiv are in deadlock. Ukraine is not fulfilling the conditions for signing the already initialed Association Agreement with the EU. Against this background, we outline an eight-point plan of further and alternative actions. We recommend (1) a clearer EU statement on the preconditions for signing the Association Agreement, (2) leaking the Agreement's text, (3) signing Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia, (4) offering these two countries conditional EU membership perspectiv...
Greek Crisis Shows Weak International Ethics
Victor Bivell - 11/11/2012
One good thing that may come out of the Greek and Euro debt crisis is a better understanding that truth has a monetary value and turning a blind eye to dishonesty can cost dearly.
Human Organ trafficking in Kosovo - EULEX on a Slippery Slope
Nikos Papakostas - 9/12/2012
In 2008, Carla Del Ponte, former ICTY chief prosecutor, published a book titled “The Hunt: Me and War Criminals”. The book, apart from widespread criticism over the prosecutor’s self-serving presentation of facts and the self-righteous apprehension of her incumbency, revitalized the political and historical debate on the 1998-1999 conflict between the Federal Yugoslav Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army. Leaving aside Del Ponte’s accusations of all implicated parties for their lack of cooperativeness and competence, which can be explained by the very nature of memoirs writi...
EU Summit: Further Integration Won’t Fix Club Med States
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/30/2012
EU leaders are considering radical reforms to restore confidence in the euro and the finances of Mediterranean states. These reforms and relief efforts for troubled governments are doomed to fail, and it would be better for these states to radically restructure sovereign debt now and exit the euro. Continuing the charade that their situations can be saved will only make the pain worse latter.
Safrastyan: Time to transfer genocide recognition issue to legal aspect
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. - 5/27/2012
The Hundredth anniversary of Armenian Genocide will be marked in 2015. Achievements accomplished in recognition process of genocide and its condemnation so far, as well as expectations towards 2015 have been highlighted with Ruben Safrastyan, director at Oriental Studies Institute.
Greece’s Well Deserved Limbo
ig - 5/19/2012
As NATO alliance members approach prepare for their summit in Chicago one cannot avoid thinking of the Greek state and its predicted collapse if things don’t change with the new elections slated for June 17th, 2012. How will the possible bankruptcy of the Greek state affect the NATO alliance?
Integrated Border Management as a Contemporary Concept of Border Guard
Drs. N. Dujovski, G. Dzukleski, Z. Nikoloski - 5/3/2012
Integrated Border Management (IBM) is a contemporary concept of border guard which poses a number of challenges on the functioning of the Police and other security agencies. All countries in the region have accepted this new mode of securing the state border and they undertake measures to improve the cooperation between the authorities on the border line, as well as with the regional and European organizations and bodies.
The Republic of Macedonia has been implementing IBM since 2007, when the National Coordinative Centre for Border Management was established. In this s...
Negotiation and Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the Future of the Macedonian State
Drs.. S. Slaveski, O. Bakreski, Z. Nikoloski - 2/20/2012
The Ohrid Framework Agreement Negotiations
1. First phase of the negotiation in Skopje
When a situation has ripened, the international community usually assumes one of three levels of contribution: the facilitator, the mediator, or the supporter.
In the Macedonian case, the international community has played the roles of the facilitator and the mediator. Pardew and Leotard have chosen to play a little larger role as facilitator, which involves pushing the party to move towards the table, providing basic rules, setting an agenda and drafting papers for discussions. From tim...
Athens Is Burning and Angela Merkel Holds the Spent Match
Prof. Peter Morici - 2/14/2012
Athens is besieged by riots, because ordinary Greeks understand what their leaders won’t admit. The reforms imposed by Angela Merkel and Greek creditors will delay but not avoid a sovereign default. Those won’t solve the nation’s chronic economic problems, and ultimately will cause the ruin of Europe’s most ancient civilization.
Ohrid Framework Agreement: Accommodation of Minority Grievances via Ethnic or Civic Identity?
Drs.. S. Slaveski, O. Bakreski, Z. Nikoloski - 2/10/2012
In this paper we argue that power-sharing mechanisms introduced in Macedonia have gone a long way towards guaranteeing the better representation and participation in Macedonian society of the Albanian community through the institutionalisation of a model of inter-ethnic power-sharing. Nevertheless, since they are the product of violence, they are also creating a largely bi-national state with little integration between groups on societal level and even less so of smaller communities in the country, and a state where the question of ethnicity remains dominant on the political sc...
German Greens and The Iranian Connection
David N. Neumann - 1/31/2012
Earlier this month, the Chair of German Parliament’s Human Rights Committee paid a fruitless trip to Iran. According to Iranian state media Thomas Koenigs, a German Green MP was even harshly criticized by Tehran for West’s “double standard policies” on human rights.
ECB Fostering the Next Banking Crisis
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/13/2012
As 2011 came to a close and in the first months of 2012, the European Central Bank (ECB) initiated a massive injection of liquidity into Europe’s embattled banking system. The ECB provided 3-year loans amounting to half a trillion euros at nominal and minimal interest rates. At first, the risk-averse banks re-deposited the funds with the ECB. Later, however, they embarked on an arbitrage operation of unprecedented proportions using the cheap money to purchase sovereign bonds with historically high coupons issued by the likes of Italy and Spain. Thus, the ECB ended up fostering yet another unsu...
Regional Cooperation and Integration of Western Balkan Countries into the EU and NATO
Igor Gjoreski, MA and Bilijana Avramoska-Gjoreska - 1/11/2012
At the end of 20th century the Balkan question once again became popular for U.S. and European diplomacy. Judging by the literature on this topic, it is clear that there is no generally accepted opinion about where and what are the Balkans. Depending on the context and the author, it is obvious that geographical borders in the Balkans are not generally accepted by all actors, that the Balkans should not vary more borders, including: historical boundaries (which change in different periods of time), the boundaries between religions, civilizations, peoples, alphabet, mentalities, ideologies, etc...
Post-Zapatero Spain: Obstacles and Opportunities
Taylor Dibbert - 12/19/2011
Well, it happened. This past November Spain’s Socialists (PSOE) got hammered at the polls and (after failing twice before) incoming Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the nation’s conservative Popular Party (PP), got his absolute majority in Congress. Next week he will be sworn into office.
Merkel Out: Political Crisis in Germany
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/25/2011
The only person standing between a solution to the eurozone sovereign debt and banking crises and a total meltdown is Angela Merkel. She refuses to countenance a change in the role and charter of the European Central Bank (ECB) to allow for (admittedly inflationary) quantitative easing; she rejects the issuance of pan-eurozone "Stability Bonds"; she is dead set against the establishment of European institutions such as a European Monetary Fund, a European supervisor of the members' budget deficits, and a European central debt depositary. She is at odds with virtually all the leaders of Europe,...
Lessons and reflections on Rome
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 11/16/2011
Just some few days ago, the Italian political capital, Rome, once again became capital of world for those obsessed or even merely interested in world politics. The occasion, for the very few that may have missed it, was the fall of the Silvio Berlusconi government. Like him or loath him, any observer will admit that Silvio Berlusconi has dominated the Italian political scene and become a house hold name in Europe and by extension world politics in the last seventeen years.
Macedonian Banks are Safer than West Europe's Banks
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/8/2011
Even under the best case scenario (in which banks take a 50% haircut on the credits they have extended to profligate Greece, but there is no default) French, Italian, German, and Austrian banks run a collective capital shortfall of c. 40 billion euros. Add to this the EU's new banking capital adequacy regulations and the figure doubles.
Greece’s Crisis Is a Tragedy for Democracy
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/8/2011
The bailout plan would cut in half the privately held Greek sovereign debt. However, to receive this concession and other aid from richer EU governments, Greeks must accept draconian austerity measures. These would further drive up unemployment, and shrink Greece’s economy and tax base at an alarming pace, placing in jeopardy eventual repayment of Athens’ remaining debt.
Coming Crisis not the Best Time to Join the EU
ig - 10/21/2011
Now is the absolute worst time for some of the Balkan countries to seek entry into the European Union. The EU is in no mood for expansion and the reason is a major existential crisis looming on the horizon. What is the proof of the gloominess? Well, it is not hard proof as all of the rhetoric coming from the enlargement secretariat is filled with messages that the EU is open for expansion. It is the foul attitude of EU institutions, politicians, diplomats and bureaucrats toward countries that want to join the EU, notably the Western Balkan applicants.
Macedonian Identity and Macedonian Authoritarianism
ig - 10/15/2011
I would like to respond to your article published in the New York Times and titled “Concerns Grow About Authoritarianism in Macedonia.”
I will start with what I find problematic in the article but I will also not omit any praise. In essence, the article seems to strive for journalistic balance but it never achieves this tenet. I wish the article was only about the freedom of the press and the need for reform in Macedonia because that i...
Career development of young Kosovars, pawn of visa liberalization: Kosovar students- "The young ghettopians"
Elmedina Nikoçeviq - 10/8/2011
The famous kosovar rock group "Troja" was created in the time of war. The first steps were initiated in a basement of the neighborhood Peyton in Pristina, when Serbian police often patrolled the streets and moved Albanian youths aside and beat them bad.
Macedonian Model of Ethnic Conflict Regulation: Through Intercultural Dialog to Multicultural Integration
Drs.. S. Slaveski, O. Bakreski, Z. Nikoloski - 10/4/2011
With some 5000 to 8000 ethnocultural groups in the world, and only around 200 states, simple arithmetic shows that the most states are inevitably going to be shared by more than one ethnic group, and often by dozens. Hence the conflicts among different ethnic groups are expected.
The real issue is how these conflicts are managed. Most political theorist working on this issues focus on three methods for managing differences. Those are: territorial autonomy (e.g. federalism), non-territorial autonomy (e.g. power-sharing and conscociationalism); and multicultural integrati...
Greece Must Default, Dump Euro
Prof. Peter Morici - 9/13/2011
European efforts at economic integration have not delivered sustainable prosperity in poorer nations like Greece and Portugal. Instead, these have left Mediterranean governments teetering on bankruptcy and at the mercy of Germany and other rich states who exploit European unity to live well at the expense of their poorer brethren.
Macedonia: Press Freedom Index, Riding the Tiger
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/13/2011
1. Macedonia’s own Media Freedom Index: The Basis for Informed Debate
The Republic of Macedonia is 20 years Old
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/6/2011
The Republic of Macedonia is 20 years old: an adult with the problems and promises that characterize early puberty. The country now has a young and dynamic leadership which has succeeded to transform Macedonia's image both domestically and abroad for better and for worse. According to repeated polls, for the first time in two decades, people are optimistic and investors sanguine.
Macedonia’s 2011 Independence Day Interview with Stevo Pendarovski
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/5/2011
I have been fortunate to meet Stevo Pendarovski several times, in his official capacities, and “for coffee”. On all occasions, I found him to be level-headed, incisively analytical, and a true public intellectual. At the same time, his views are never trite, or conventional. He always introduces new, surprising angles into old and apparently worn-out debates. In this sense, he is a stealth iconoclast.
The Hubris of East Europe's Peasants
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/19/2011
The denizens of the former Soviet and socialist countries are marked by their resistance to learning from others. Now that the West is mired in multiple troubles and failures, they feel that their way of life and their mentality, their choices and their policies have been vindiacted and are superior to the West's. Smug hubris is everywhere I look. Add to this access to the Internet, this great equalizer of the stupid, and everyone in these shabby countries - from Macedonia to Russia - holds himself or herself to be a genius and not in need of further edification.
Alexander the Great: Murdered in Babylon, Resurrected in Skopje
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/13/2011
Was Alexander the Great murdered in Babylon? In a historical mystery which combines Dan Brown's narrative panache (but with far superior writing skills), Agatha Christie's sense of drama and mis-en-scene, and Paul Johnson's synoptic view, Graham Phillips makes a convincing case that, indeed he was. "Alexander the Great: Murder in Babylon" (Virgin Books, 2004) is as thorough as any scholarly study, footnotes and all and, yet, it is compulsively and breathtakingly readable.
The Latest Crisis in the Euro-zone: A Reassessment of the European Union
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 7/21/2011
The latest acute crisis in the Euro-zone should make us re-assess the whole nature of the European Union.
The Curious Case of Macedonian Parliamentary Elections: Part II. Causes and Consequences
ig - 7/19/2011
On June 4th, 2011 Macedonian citizens living outside of the Republic of Macedonia voted for the first time in a Macedonian parliamentary election. At stake in the second in row early elections were three newly created seats in the “Sobranie,” the Macedonian House of Representatives, all of which were won by deputies from the governing party VMRO-DPMNE. The next day the party won the early parliamentary elections in the country with much diminished share of the national seats.
Can the Albanians in Macedonia be Bought off?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/15/2011
The once and future Prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, has surrendered large swathes of his government to his Albanian coalition partners, DUI, the political incarnation of the rugged insurgents who roiled the country in an armed conflict in 2001. Even the sensitive Ministry of Defense is now in their hands. Moreover: Gruevski, the ostensible arch-nationalist gave way on a host of issues largely perceived by ethnic Macedonians of vital interest. Albanian will now be used as official second language everywhere, for instance and effective amnesty will be granted to Albanian terrorists...
Greek Vote Does Not End Crisis
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/30/2011
Yesterday, the Greek Parliament voted in principle to support a five year austerity plan; however, this does not end the crisis—not by a long shot.
The New Imperialism: EU Aid Package Will Destroy Greece and Enrich Germany
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/25/2011
Greece is insolvent. No amount of new loans from rich EU governments and the IMF can save Athens from default on sovereign debt, and that poses a clear threat to the global financial stability. Moreover, the solutions being imposed will reduce Greeks into poverty to sustain German prosperity. Welcome to the New Imperialism!
The Curious Case of the Macedonian Parliamentary Elections Abroad
ig - 6/22/2011
PART 1: Who are the Macedonians Abroad?
Recently, Macedonian citizens living abroad had a chance to vote for the first time in their small nation’s general elections. According to many of their statements in the Macedonian media the chance for meaningful participation was illusive as were their hopes for a true representation.
What failed? To begin with, the preparation for the vote abroad by the Republic of Macedonia (RoM) was abysmal. For tiny Macedonia, an early parliamentary election was probably not the best choice to allow voting of Macedonians in all corners of the world. For...
Greece Should Quit the Euro and Remark Its Debt
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/20/2011
Greece does not have a liquidity problem—it is insolvent. Without transfers of wealth from richer states like Germany and France to retire significant amounts of its sovereign debt, Athens must restructure its bonds—essentially default on significant portions of its obligations to bondholders.
The Italian Festa
Prof. Dr Anthony A Kila - 6/13/2011
Our notes will be incomplete if we do not pause to invite some reflections upon some of the events that took place beyond our shores last week. For whilst we were following the state organized inauguration ceremonies of newly elected officials across Nigeria, with some wondering if the spectacles were worth the tabs, and others speculating on who will be nominated by the elected, Italians were partying across their cities and giving the world some useful lessons on what democracy is all about: the primacy of people.
EU and NATO Policies in Eastern Europe: Contradictory or Complementary?
Dr. Andreas Umland - 6/11/2011
When evaluating the role of various Western organizations in current Western policies towards Eastern Europe, one should keep in mind that the 28 NATO and 27 EU member countries have 21 countries in common.
Greece Should Restructure Debt and Abandon the Euro: German Engineering and Greece’s Debt Crisis
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/26/2011
Greece is in crisis again. Athens should restructure its debt and abandon the euro to reassert control over its finances and economy.
Macedonia's Hopeful Holocaust
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/10/2011
Macedonia boasts one of only four major Holocaust memorials in the world (the others are in Jerusalem, Washington, and Berlin). For a country of 2 million people with fewer than 130 Jews and no tourism to speak of this is a curious circumstance. That Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is a bestseller in Macedonia and old people still believe in anti-Semitic blood libels renders the whole affair a travesty.
Macedonia's Minister of Education Cleans Academe's Augean Stables
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/21/2011
Finally, a true reform: Macedonia's youthful and intrepid Minister of Education is attempting to overhaul the country's bloated academic institutions by introducing basic principles, long accepted everywhere else in the appointment and tenure of professors: publish or perish; merit over nepotism; and rating by both peers and students. Inevitably, this moderate effort raised heckles and vitriol among the would-be affected, out to defend their sacred sinecures.
The European Union as a Fear-driven, Defensive, and Phobic Project
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/30/2011
The European project variably known as the European Community and the European Union is driven by fear, not by promise. It is and has always been a phobic, defensive enterprise rather than a hope-filled polity.
Can Macedonia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Inflation Figures be Trusted?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/14/2011
GDP figures are not an exact science. All over the world, GDP numbers are politicized and subject to heavy manipulation. There are at least 3 known methodologies to calculate GDP and, for each of these methodologies, there are two alternative formulas which take into account completely different economic sets of data.
Europe's Rigged Sovereign Bond Auctions
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/14/2011
On January 12 and 13, 2011, Spain, Portugal, and Italy successfully sold 22 billion euros of new debt in the form of sovereign 5-year and 10-year bonds. The European Union (EU) spin-doctored the outcomes of these auctions as a great success for everyone from estate agents in Javea to exporters in Rome. Actually, they came close to the brink of disaster: Spain had to pay an extra percentage point and Italy another half a percentage compared to identical obligations they had sold in November 2010. What a difference three months make! The rising yields dema...
European Army under the eventual Russian leadership?
Lorna Thomas - 12/21/2010
NATO was founded in 1949 to counter potential aggression from the Soviet Union, seen then as the main threat to the freedom and independence of Western Europe. In November 2010 an historic NATO summit took place. Rather than being viewed as an “enemy” or “threat”, Russia was now welcomed as a “partner” including in a proposed common European missile defense system and, initially, in operations such as Afghanistan.
Updates: NATO to Pull Out of Macedonia, Castro Brothers' Feud
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/19/2010
I wrote and published the article below (titled "NATO Shuns Macedonia") on December 19 in globalpolitician.com and the Chronicle Media Group.
Nine days later, on December 28, 2010, Brigadier-General David Humar, Chief of Mission of NATO in Skopje, announced that he is leaving his post next month (6-12 months earlier than envisioned). NATO's Camp Able in charge of logistical support for KFOR in Kosovo has been transferred to ARM (Macedonia's army units based in and around Skopje's Alexander the Great airport) and all its staff are slated to leave Macedonia; NATO HQ person...
Irish Bank Bailout Leaves Financial Markets Nervous for Good Reason
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/1/2010
The EU bailout for Irish banks failed to quell financial markets. Borrowing costs for Portugal, Spain and others continue to rise, because structural problems created by the euro and single European market remain unaddressed and more crises are inevitable. In the United States, banks engage in dollar-denominated deposit gathering and lending. The smooth functioning of the banking and payments systems are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Treasury and Federal Reserve.
Ireland’s Banking Crisis and the Euro Myth
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/30/2010
The Irish banking crisis illustrates the euro makes little sense, because the EU lacks taxing, spending and regulatory authority critical to managing a modern economy. The U.S. federal government regulates banks and guarantees deposits, because continuously functioning banks are as essential to modern commerce as uninterrupted electricity and the internet.
Italy will Kill the Euro - Not Spain or Portugal
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/24/2010
In recent days, the finance magazines focused on how empty Ibiza rentals have been as Spain's travel sector has suffered. But it is Berlusconi's restive and anti-European coalition partners who are mulling a contingency plan to pull out of the eurozone and reinstate the lire. Italy is in worse shape than most members of the European Union (EU): at 6% of GDP, it has an ostensibly sustainable budget deficit, but its external debt (now close to 120% of GDP) is higher than that of the most egregious wastr...
Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism in Romania
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/18/2010
Interview granted to the Romanian newspaper Adevarul
The UK, Israel and the Middle East
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 11/8/2010
In this symposium, several experts report and analyze attitudes within the United Kingdom’s civil society regarding the Middle East and Arab-Israeli conflict. One of the most widely noted developments has been the rise there of grassroots activism and intellectual ferment on behalf of the Palestinian cause and against Israel. In 2005, an attempt to use professional associations to initiate a boycott of Israeli academia was launched in Britain. While this was eventually defeated through legal action, efforts to reintroduce it have become a regular part of the annual conference of the main British lecturers' union, the University and College Union (the UCU).
Understanding the Macedonian Name Dispute and its importance to the United States
Ioannis Fidanakis - 11/7/2010
It’s been 19 years since a small former republic of Yugoslavia declared independence and attempted to hijack the history, identity and name of the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia. Originally known as Vardar Banovina, the region was renamed by Josip Broz Tito in the aftermath of the Second World War. The name chosen by Tito was the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, an ideal chose as it allowed him to promote the concept of an oppressed ‘Macedonian ethnicity’, in which he could develop the idea of reunification of the greater geographic region in hopes of gaining access to the Aegean Sea, thro...
Netherlands, Middle East and 2010 Elections
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/6/2010
The Netherlands is a fascinating test case of how Middle Eastern factors--immigration, foreign policy issues--affect European politics. These questions have become highly partisan ones, with the left side and right side of the spectrum often having diametrically opposite standpoints. The 2010 election brought to power a government that is friendly toward Israel and has pledged to reduce immigration.
Nikola Gruevski, my friend: Time to Start the Revolution!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/20/2010
Nikola Gruevski, Macedonia’s Prime Minister, is the most popular politician his country has ever had. Yet, instead of leveraging this overwhelming mandate to transform Macedonia and reform it from the roots up, he opted for “change by a thousand cuts”, a gradualist, incremental approach to the fundamental rot at the basis of this polity he oversees.
Lawfare in Austria
Siavosh Rajizadeh - 10/15/2010
Although the trial of Dutch MP and critic of Islam, Geert Wilders, and its serious implications for free speech in Europe, is once again creating a furor in the press, another high-profile trial of a critic of Islam -- Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, in Austria -- is being overlooked.
Greek-Macedonian Name Issue Myths Debunked
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/2/2010
In the absence of the glare of the global media, its coverage and exposure, the fourth-rate diplomats that stand in for the International Community in Macedonia ineffectually cajole its government with thinly veiled threats, Cassandra-like apocalyptic scenarios, and verbal bribery. To achieve their aims, they propagate three myths (not to say deceptions):
BOOK REVIEW Radical State: How Jihad is Winning over Democracy in the West
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/15/2010
Radical State: How Jihad is Winning over Democracy in the West
The Macedonian dilemma: to change the name or not to change
Ireneusz A. Slupkov - 8/7/2010
The Macedonian state like any in the world has its dilemmas. Should this democratic state change its name and, thanks to a "European dictate" enter the European Union, or not accept this dictate and remain outside the Union?
Albert the Alligator and the British Ambassador
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/3/2010
Once upon a time in an intellectual galaxy now seemingly far away, liberals and conservatives shared a common view. There were the forces of democracy and the forces of totalitarianism (or, if you prefer, authoritarianism) that threatened the world, took away freedom, and held back both economic and social development. The goal of Western foreign policy was to help those favoring liberty against the tyrants and would-be tyrants.
How Not to Conduct Diplomacy: UK PM in Turkey
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/29/2010
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s July 27 speech in Turkey will not live on in history. But it should, as an example of the decline of Western diplomacy, of suicide by Political Correctness, as a textbook example of how not to conduct international affairs. It crossed my mind that the speech was written by the Foreign Office for the express purpose of making Cameron look foolish, but then I realized that he and his top advisors probably have no idea why it was such a disaster.
Systemic Risk in European Banking: I Told You So 20 Months Ago!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/1/2010
Reuters, June 1, 2010: "The ECB said on Monday the debt problems facing the euro zone could lead to a wave of bad loans hitting banks in the region."
EU Bailout for Greece, Others Is Not Enough
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/10/2010
By establishing a 750 billion euro fund to bailout Greece and aid other struggling governments, Germany and other strong European states are chasing a dream—a single European currency and broader European unity—that may have no place in reality.
Greece to Pull Out of the Eurozone?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/28/2010
Greece authorities are dusting off an old contingency plan to pull out of the eurozone and reinstate the drachma. This will allow the cash-strapped country to print money to meet its budgetary demands without the shackles and constraints imposed by membership in the club of 16 rich European economies that have adopted the euro as their currency in 2002. Greece cannot levy additional taxes on its crumbling economy and it can no longer borrow abroad, the yield on its bonds having soared to historical and unsustainable highs. Its only remaining option is to monetize its financing requirements by printing money and to erode its public debt by reinflating its economy.
Misuse of the Concept of "Erga Omnes" in the Greek-Macedonian Name Dispute
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/22/2010
The "name issue" involves a protracted dispute over the last 18 years between two Balkan polities over Macedonia's right to use its constitutional name, "The Republic of Macedonia". The Greeks claim that Macedonia is a region in Greece and that, therefore, the country Macedonia has no right to monopolize the name and its derivatives ("Macedonian").
Second Ohrid Framwork Agreement: Resolution of the Greek-Macedonian Name Dispute
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/18/2010
Proposed on April 11, 2010 in preparation for a simulation-game initiated by the author and conducted under the auspices of A1 TV in Ohrid, April 23-25, 2010.
Spain: Who spreads anti-Semitism amongst children?
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 3/18/2010
Israel’s ambassador in Spain Mr. Rafi Shotz received dozens of postcards from students ages 6 and 9 - including hand-written anti-Semitic messages such as “Jews kill for money,” “Evacuate the country for Palestinians,” and “Go to someplace where someone will be willing to accept you.” This was reported in a number of newspapers in the world.
Nations Must Know When to Cringe and Crawl--But for the West It's Becoming Routine
Prof. Barry Rubin - 3/18/2010
Sometimes selective appeasement is necessary in foreign policy. But when and just how far should a democratic country go in such behavior? Here's a brilliant defense of giving in at times-which doesn't mean I necessarily agree with it, but I do respect it-and a recent example of how it's overdone and mistakenly carried out nowadays.
The past is the future of Europe
Tale Buling - 3/3/2010
The grand idea of United Europe, conceived in the mid 20th century by Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Paul Henri Spaak and Alcide de Gasperi was to be an answer to nationalism infested Europe, which plagued the continent in two world wars and several regional wars that destroyed most of Europe, physically and emotionally.
Martial Law in Poland: A Precursor to Communism’s downfall
Michael Werbowski - 2/22/2010
“Solidarity in Poland successfully defied communist martial law for almost a decade and compelled a political compromise that ended the communist monopoly of power, which then precipitated the upheavals in neighbouring Czechoslovakia and Hungary, culminating in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.”
The Battle of Books against Television in Eastern Europe
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/3/2010
The cramped offices of Toper, Macedonia's leading publisher of reference works, are a shrine to the book. Thickset tomes - mainly translations from the English - are strewn everywhere. The proud owners show us their latest crop: two beautifully bound, quality paper volumes - the Concise Britannica with more than 14,000 entries.
The EU Circus: Greece, France, Macedonia and Turkey
Ireneusz A. Slupkov, Ph.D. candidate - 1/27/2010
Discussion regarding the accession of Macedonia into the European Union was postponed until June 2010. Two countries have delayed this process, the first of course being Greece which cannot accept Macedonia being a member of the EU. Neither can it accept the name ´Macedonia´ nor the Macedonian idenity or language. In other words, everything that has any connotation to ´Macedonia´ and ´Macedonian´ is unacceptable to Greece.
Why the West Should Have Sided with Hitler Against Stalin
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/21/2010
Hitler was right to have been shocked by the failure of his wager: that the British Empire will side with him against the equally murderous Bolshevik Stalin. Hitler and Stalin were two of a kind: mass murderers, bent on an expansionist-imperialist agenda, promoters of ideologies that placed the state way ahead of individual life and freedoms. Yet, it made eminent sense for the Western powers to leverage Germany to get rid of Communism and prevent the rise of a lamentable and vile Stalinist Empire at the very heart of Europe. The peoples of Central and Eastern Europe have paid with four lost de...
Auschwitz Sign Claiming that
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/22/2009
The theft and then recovery of the famous sign at the entrance of Auschwitz-Arbeit macht frei, work will make you free-has brought that artifact of the Holocaust to international attention once again. Merely dismissing the sign as "cynical," few understand the meaning of the sign in context and its underlying implications for Jewish thought and Israel today.
Macedonia's great accomplishment is to have survived
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/19/2009
Interview granted by Sam Vaknin to the Portuguese newsmagazine Politika, November 8, 2009
Will Europe's “capacity to act” and a “return to its Christian roots” present a danger to religious freedom?
Lorna Thomas - 11/17/2009
During its ratification process, the Lisbon Treaty (Reform Treaty) was seen by many, including one of the original Constitution's creators, former French president Giscard d'Estaing, as being the old Constitution, simply with a few changes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel once told members of the European Parliament “The substance of the Constitution is preserved. That is a fact." while EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated "We have a treaty that will give us now the capacity to act."
European Banks Threatened by Identity Theft
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/23/2009
European banks, from Sweden to Austria, are likely to face, in the near future, an unprecedented wave of attempts at identity theft. Hackers from Latvia to Ukraine and from Serbia to Bulgaria are now targeting financial institutions. The global crisis has added to the rows of unemployed former spies, laid-off bankers, and computer programmers. Networks of secret agents, knowledgeable financiers, and computer-savvy criminals have sprung all over Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans.
Swedish Blood Libel As Slander of Israel Passes All Limits
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/20/2009
On August 18, Aftonbladet published an article by a man named Donald Boström. The editor responsible is named Ĺsa Linderborg. She is the newspaper’s cultural affairs’ editor.
Visa Liberalization: A Threat to Macedonia?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/13/2009
An Executive Summary of a Research Report Dated 07/06/2009
Greek Carrots in the Macedonian Salad?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/3/2009
Greece is putting together a package of economic incentives to be included in any compromise regarding the name issue with the Republic of Macedonia (for an overview of this convoluted conflict, see note below). The measures are intended to restore Greece's tattered relationship with the United States by casting Macedonia as the intransigent, radical, and irrational party when the Macedonian leadership rejects the offer (as the Greeks fully expect them to do).
What is the Real Size of Macedonia's Foreign Exchange Reserves?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/13/2009
Here are the facts as they emerge from the periodical (mostly annual) reports of Macedonia's central bank, Narodna Banka na Republika Makedonija - NBRM, for short.
Steering Macedonia towards Health
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/13/2009
As healthcare systems go, Macedonia's is far from being the worst. By various criteria, Macedonia has attained more than all its neighbors and has even done better than the vastly richer countries of the EU or Israel. These accomplishments are rendered even more incredible if one considers the fact that, with an average monthly income of c. 250 euros, Macedonians are among the poorest nations in Europe. Macedonia's Health Insurance Fund has to cope with the same size of population (2 million) as does its Slovenian counterpart, but with 10 times fewer resources (300 million euros in contributions and other income vs. more than 3 billion euros).
Macedonians in Denial about the Name Issue Dispute with Greece
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/5/2009
Faced with an unprecedented choice between their identity and their future, Macedonians resort to a classic psychological defense mechanism: denial. Greece demands that the Republic of Macedonia change its name, or else forget about its Euro-Atlantic aspirations: NATO membership and EU accession. Macedonians react with horror and revulsion to such truly unprecedented bullying. Unable to face reality, they collectively retreat to fantasy.
The Republic of North Macedonia and Palestine: Obama Loses Patience with Bush Allies
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/3/2009
I. "The Republic of North Macedonia" and Greece
On August 26, 2008, I published an article titled Greek-American Plan to Resolve Macedonia's Name Issue?. In it, I described an American plan to resolve the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece (see note at the bottom of the first section of this article).
The Plan included five elements: (1) Macedonia will change its constitutional name to Northern Macedonia ("The Republic of North Macedonia"); (2) Macedonia will be granted a transition period to amend its constitution and to alter its registered name with various internation...
Election Year in German
Lorna Thomas - 5/22/2009
This year elections are held in Germany with Presidential and national elections taking place, as well as European and state elections in Saxony, Thuringia, Saarland and Brandenburg. Analysts consider that results of this â€śsuper election yearâ€ť may well see a shift in the country's political landscape.
Macedonia and the Global Crisis: Weighing the Options
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/16/2009
Forum organized by the Association of Chambers of Commerce , May 28, 2009
A German Interpretation of the Russian Perspective
Christian Wipperfürth, Ph.D. - 5/1/2009
1. Stability: Protection of the Territorial IntegrityFor the elites and the population the unexpected dissolution of the USSR is a permanent reminder of their country's potential vulnerability. Russians also even tend to draw comparisons between the 1990s and the “Smuta” in the 17th century, when the state broke down and millions died. The fear of a break down is not wholly unfounded, because a traditionally centralized multi-ethnic power with a weak society like Russia is not as flexible as others to cope with shocks.
Reviving the German Reich in Saxony?
Lorna Thomas - 4/22/2009
20th April is the anniversary of Hitler's birth. On Monday evening 20th April 2009, Israel observed the annual Holocaust commemoration day. 20th April 2009 was also the beginning of the United Nations anti-racism conference “The Durban Review Conference or “Durban II” held in Geneva. The preparatory document and negotiations were described as filled with "aggressive and anti-Semitic statements" and concerns were expressed that there would be a continuation of the anti-Semitic rhetoric associated with the first conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
British love for Islamist militancy
Sunita Paul - 3/27/2009
Britain-based NGO Green Crescent, which runs the madrasa-cum-orphanage in Bhola that turned out to be a mini-ordnance factory March 24, had plans to set up two more training centres for militants in Doulatkhan and Lalmohan upazilas of the district in Bangladesh.
UK MPs urge Iraq to respect rights of Ashraf residents
Nasser Razy - 3/3/2009
Members of Parliament from all three major political parties in the UK on Thursday urged the government of Iraq to resist pressures by the Iranian regime to expel members of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from their base in Camp Ashraf in Iraq's Diyala Province.
A new EU policy on Iran
David Amess - UK Parliament Member - 2/24/2009
Europe needs a new policy on Iran - one which actively engages the Iranian people who are longing for genuine change 30 years after Ayatollah Khomeini brought a reign of terror under the banner of fundamentalist Islam.
Gruevski's Macedonia, Greece, and Alexander the Great, History's Forgotten Madman
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/6/2009
The government of Macedonia has recently changed the name of its puny airport to "Alexander the Great". This was only the latest symptom of a growing cult of personality. Modern-day Macedonians, desperately looking for their ancient roots in a region hostile to their nationhood, have latched onto their putative predecessor with a zeal that defies both historical research and the howls of protest from their neighbor, Greece.
Human Trafficking in Macedonia and Kosovo
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/22/2008
(Original tables here:
Human trafficking is a sterile term, used to mask the grimmest of realities. Popular culture - from Peter Robinson's police procedural "Strange Affair" to the film "Taken" - captures the more sensationalist dimensions of this vile and pernicious phenomenon: the coercion or abduction or of young girls (some of them minors) and their forced conversion into prostitutes. But there is a lot more to it than that.
Enter Vladimir Danailov, who is currently running a law office in Skopje, Macedonia.
Cash is King
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/8/2008
Libya has recently emerged as the second-biggest shareholder in Unicredit, Italy's number one bank and Europe's sixth largest banking institution, with a massive presence in Central and Eastern Europe. Japanese, Chinese, and Arab investors and sovereign wealth funds are purchasing Western assets at bargain basement prices: banks, brokerage houses, factories, and real estate.
Who Needs the European Dis-Union?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/4/2008
The current global financial crisis should have been the European Union's finest hour. The countries comprising this much coveted club could have joined to battle the waves of bank failures, industrial closures, layoffs, and bankruptcies that are threatening to overwhelm their economies from Iceland to Italy.
Is Gordon Brown promoting a New World Financial System?
Lorna Thomas - 10/28/2008
At an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on 12 October, 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented a proposal to deal with the financial crisis. Aside from immediate stabilization plans for the banking system, he stressed the need for a reformed global finance system to solve global financial problems.
The Greek-Macedonian Name Issue as a Moral Dilemma
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/28/2008
Imagine the following:
In a bad neighborhood, plagued by outbursts of violent crime, one of the neighbors is wealthy and middle aged. Let us call him Mr. Greece.
His property borders on the ramshackle dwelling of a young adult who is destitute and ill. His name is Mr. Macedonia.
Mr. Greece insists that Mr. Macedonia change his name. He gives many reasons for his unusual request, not the least of which is that "Macedonia" has been the name of some of his forefathers and is the epithet of the south wing of his sprawling property. It is, therefore, part of his identity and he...
Macedonian Wages Among the Highest in the World
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/1/2008
"Invest in Macedonia", implored the government's campaign, because wages here are among the lowest in Europe. Are they?
EU Mideast Policy: Morality and Enlightment or Fear and Greed?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/1/2008
The Italian government, it has just come to light, let Palestinian terrorist groups operate freely in its country from the 1970s onward as long as they promised not to attack Italians. As former President Francesco Cossiga explained, the agreement with the PLO and PFLP was that if you "don't harm me... I won't harm you." Thus, these groups could move terrorists and equipment destined for use in murdering [non-Italian] civilians in and out of Italy-protected by Italian security agencies.
Greek-American Plan to Resolve Macedonia's Name Issue?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/29/2008
According to reliable sources, on September 23, in the presence of the foreign ministers of both countries, Condolenzza Rice, Secretary of State of the United States of America, will present a plan to resolve a festering dispute between Greece, its (anti-American) nominal NATO ally, and Macedonia, a member of the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq and Afghanistan and a NATO aspirant. On September 24, the Plan will be submitted to the United Nations Security Council.
Minorities or Immigrants? The Kven and Sami Peoples of Norway
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/27/2008
The phrase "minority rights" conjures abhorrent images of Palestinians tortured in Israeli prisons; Aegean Macedonians expelled from Greece or incarcerated on remote islands, there to perish; and Native-Americans confined to wasteland "reservations", having been decimated for decades. But, the sad truth is that minorities are welcome nowhere and that every single nation harbors embarrassing skeletons in its historical closet.
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/15/2008
A nineteen-year-old man is to be beheaded for a bad joke interpreted as blasphemy. A father is accused of killing his son because he converted to another religion. They are not Muslims but Christians; the place is France in the mid-1700s.
Knife Crime in Britain: A chilling Veracity
Ronald Elly Wanda - 8/3/2008
On Thursday the 3rd of July, I was the only member of the Press caucus to attend the funeral of one of Britain’s latest knife-crime victim. Abiodun Olubukunola Ilumoka aka Abby was buried at the East Finchley Cemetery, following a well-attended mass at St. Stephen’s Church at Cannonbury Road in Islington where the 41 year old had lived near her mother all her life. Her horrific death did not arouse the interest of any national media perhaps because another white teenager Ben Kinsella, less than a mile away from Abby’s murder scene had also been knifed. Like most individuals who knew her well...
The (Sunday)Times They are a Changin'
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 7/17/2008
An interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared in the Sunday Times this week. The interview took place in Jerusalem's American Colony Hotel. It was concerned with Blair's role as the Quartet's Middle East envoy, and was written by journalist Lesley White. Journalist Lesley White is evidently not a specialist on the Middle East. I say "evidently" because the article contains a series of ludicrous errors which leave one slack-jawed in astonishment at the standards apparently now prevailing in this august publication.
The Quest for the origins of the ancient Thracians
Ioannis Fidanakis - 7/16/2008
The search for the identity of the ancient Thrakiotes (Thracians) lies within the question of just who was a Hellene in the ancient world. Whether through ancient mythology, history or modern archeology and anthropology the search for just who were the ancient Hellenes lead us on a difficult journey with today’s political climate. The fact that the ancient Hellenic people were polyonymous people just add to the friction between scholars with each owns political motives. How do we define the ancient Hellenic ethnos, when it was divided in to tribes, which did not feel a common kindred till late...
UN Report: Balkans Safer Than Thought
Risto Karajkov, Ph.D. candidate - 7/16/2008
The Balkans is safer than thought. This is the basic message from a recently published reportby the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The report made global headlines as some of its arguments run counter to common wisdom – that the Balkans is a gloomy and risky place.
Open Letter to Prime Minister Brown Regarding the Lisbon Treaty
Lorna Thomas - 7/1/2008
In a 2007 interview with ITN you stated that there is:
Rid of Violence, a Reforming Bosnia Emerges as a Model
Humphrey Hawksley - 6/27/2008
SREBRENICA: Almost 13 years after the United States forced peace upon the war-torn Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this once-failed state has taken its first official step towards becoming a modern European nation.
What's Wrong With Macedonia's Inflation and Trade Deficit Figures?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/19/2008
Something is not right with Macedonia's statistics.
Interview with Ljubomir Danilov Frckoski
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/15/2008
Ljubomir Danilov Frcksoki ("Frcko" to his friends) is by far Macedonia's most prominent public intellectual. The author of this struggling nation's first constitution in 1991, he also contributed to the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which, in the wake of an armed insurgency, has defined, ten years later, the relationship between the country's majority and its restive Albanian minority. He served as Macedonia's Minister of Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs until 1997.
Discounts on Democracy in Europe: Who Should Determine How One Self-Determines?
Risto Karajkov, Ph.D. candidate - 6/8/2008
With its expansion ever since the end of the cold war, the European Union has been increasingly projecting itself as a moral force in global affairs. It has called itself a community of values and has been tirelessly repeating to would-be members that full embrace of democracy and human and minority rights is the only way into the club.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/2/2008
Interview granted by Sam Vaknin to Barry Scott Zellen, Deputy Editor, "Strategic Insights", and Research Editor of the Arctic Security Project at the Center for Contemporary Conflict.
Errors in UK Court Decision on MeK
Ahmad Baaraan - 6/1/2008
A recent UK Court of Appeals decision to uphold a lower court ruling that PMOI (MEK, or MKO) is no longer “concerned in terrorism” revealed serious flaws and a lack of sophistication in the UK legal framework when it comes to combating terrorism. In addition to other vital means, a serious fight against terrorism requires a mature legal system that could not be easily manipulated by deceptive tactics and faulty reasoning developed by terrorist organisations in their efforts to take advantage of our legal apparatus with its pre-911 outlook and structure. After all, leaders of such organisations are known to be masters of deception and PMOI’s leaders are no exception.
Is Mr. Fein talking about Greece?
Aris Anganos - 5/14/2008
The 3/24/08 article by Mr. Bruce Fein entitled “Greek Human Rights Violations against its Turkish Minority in Western Thrace” demonstrates a striking lack of knowledge of the situation on the ground in Greece, particularly over the last 15 years.
Why the Skilled Won't Stay in Britain
Safdar Jafri - 4/29/2008
HSMP, Highly Skilled Migration Program, was introduced in Britain in 2002 to attract skilled people from around the world to boost UK's skill-starved, dwindling economy in need of a shot in the arm. A good program in the sense that it only concentrated on highly skilled as Britain was already witnessing a deluge of low skilled workers from the Eastern European countries such as Poland. As of today, there are at least 1 million Eastern European low skilled workers in Britain. So, skilled is what UK needed, specially when its own skilled persons have been emigrating from the UK in search of gree...
Bank of England Announces New Special Liquidity Scheme
Prof. Peter Morici - 4/29/2008
The Bank of England (BOE) has announced a Ł50 billion lending facility that will permit British banks and building societies to borrow against logbook loans, mortgage-backed and other securities for terms up to one year, and renewable by the BOE for up to three years.
Not his turn to die
Michael Averko - 4/25/2008
Savo Heleta's recently released book (published this year in New York by the American Management Association) is a gripping personal account of his childhood and teenage experiences growing up in prewar and war torn Bosnia. The former Gorazde resident's perspective includes his living with Muslims as a secular Serb. Some personal war stories have proven later to be false. Heleta presents a believable overview that appears free of questionable claims. There are numerous individuals who have known his family and himself for a lengthy period. They can choose to refute Heleta's claims. A lack of challenge can be seen as a confirmation of his views.
Soros, Europeans: Die Juden sind Unser Unglück!
Prof. Nicholas Stix - 4/19/2008
On November 9, 1938, and on through the following day and night across Germany and Austria, Nazi storm troopers smashed Jewish shop windows, looted the stores, and beat Jews in their homes and on the streets, murdering at least 91 Jews, arresting 26,000 Jewish men and boys, all of whom were sent to concentration camps, destroying over 7,000 Jewish businesses, and burning down 101 synagogues.
The storm troopers (Stürmer), also known as “brown shirts” for the uniforms they wore, hung posters in Jewish stores with the phrase, ...
Condemning the central value of western society
Alamgir Hussain - 4/19/2008
One must wonder what would be the reaction of Muslims if a museum in Riyadh or Islamabad, or in any Muslim country, displays, for example, a Piss Muhammad photograph like the one of Jesus by American photographer Andres Serrano, which depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine.
No American Security Guarantees for Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/9/2008
On the strength of a Greek veto, Macedonia did not receive an invitation to join NATO, while Albania and Croatia, the two other members of the Adriatic Charter Group did.
Churchill Never Meant For Britain To Be In The European Union
Lorna Thomas - 3/30/2008
Winston Churchill's speech in Zürich on 19 September, 1946 about a European union has at times been misquoted, misinterpreted and misapplied. French President Sarkozy addressed the British Parliament on 26 March, 2008. In an attempt to persuade (some say flatter and seduce) Britain into the European Union, given the upcoming ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty - an act which will inevitably result in her loss of sovereignty, self-rule and freedom, Sarkozy referred to Sir Winston Churchill by saying: “No one will ever forget that the first great voice which rose up after the war to call...
Greek Human Rights Violations Against Its Turkish Minority in Western Thrace
Bruce Fein - 3/24/2008
The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent government agency charged with monitoring and securing compliance with international human rights standards, should hold hearings to spotlight Greece ’s subjugation of its Turkish minority in Western Thrace . While the European Union and the United States have been quick to award Turkey demerits for allegedly slighting Kurdish culture, they have been conspicuously inaudible in the face of Greece ’s decades long campaign of cultural repression, ethnic and religious discrimination and economic marginalization of its Turkish minority. Double...
Why is the Macedonian Stock Exchange Unsuccessful?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/24/2008
The Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE) is not operating successfully. True, some of the parameters which we use to measure the success of a stock exchange have lately improved in the MSE. For instance, the monthly money volume has increased together with the number of transactions. But this is a far cry from success.
Greece and its Investments in the Balkans: Trojan Horse or Reliable Partner?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/13/2008
Even as Greece and Macedonia continued to wrestle with the name issue (should the young Republic monopolize the ancient name or not), the former continued its furious pace of investments in the latter.
Kosovars and other Albanians - Why Great Albania is a Myth
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/6/2008
To the politicians of the Balkans - almost without exception corrupt and despised by their own constituencies - the myth of Great Albania comes handy. It keeps the phobic Macedonians, the disdainful Serbs and the poor and crime ridden Albanians united and submissive: each group for different, idiosyncratic reasons.
Rooting out Islamic fundamentalism in the UK
David Amess - UK Parliament Member - 2/28/2008
The Islamic fundamentalism espoused from Tehran is the biggest threat that faces our nation today. Iran has become a nation of horror stories. I have heard of young children tortured as their mothers are forced to watch. I have also seen vivid images of this brutality on videos. These videos have included public hangings. Such crimes are carried out on the Iranian people on a daily basis.
A Win-Win Solution To The Kosovo Problem
Filip Ljubicic - 2/12/2008
On February 3rd Serbia elected Boris Tadic as President, showing that she wants to have closer ties with the EU. However with Kosovo about to proclaim independence, this position may no longer be viable. Therefore a solution for Kosovo is needed urgently if the people of Serbia are to fulfil their expressed preference and not fall back into isolation.
€5 billion – the mother of all losses
Iqbal Latif - 2/4/2008
Zeroes are zeroes after all. SocGen trader, Jerome Kerviel is not an anomaly. He is part of a global financial system where in every day, an average trader is in his mid-to-late twenties, who runs trillions of dollars of global money. There are two very clear kinds of bankers today – one is the “old school” 70s banker who has absolutely no idea of credit derivatives and associated risks, and the other is the “new school” banker who comes fresh out of college and paid millions in bonuses for his performance. These “new” bankers are hungry, arrogant, basking in self-glory and foolish. Nothing in life can replace the experience of facing a bear market and a bull market.
EU's Misguided War On Terrorism
Alan Miladi - 1/29/2008
The EU is at complete loss on what to do with Iran. Iranian nuclear program, benign or not benign, is ticking forward. Another meeting of Javier Solana, the EU Foreign Policy Chief with Iranian nuclear negotiator in Brussels had the same result of dozens of similar meetings in the past 21 months: zilch.
One Hundred Paintings of Solitude - Sergej's Macedonian Magic
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/21/2008
Sergej Andreevski is one of Macedonia's foremost painters. I visited his studio in the outskirts of Skopje to avail myself of a rare opportunity: an open invitation by a practicing artist to enter his mind.
Norwegian Medicine for Vedanta
Kavaljit Singh - 1/21/2008
On 19 November, the Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi received some unusual visitors. Even the police and security personnel stationed in the heavily-guarded Chanakyapuri area of Delhi where Norwegian and other embassies are located could not figure out the purpose of these visitors. Though they were Indian citizens, ethnically they belonged to a distinct tribal minority group called Dongria Kondh. Dressed in their traditional attire, these tribal representatives came all the way from the remote Niyamgiri hills of Orissa to express gratitude to the Norwegian government for removing UK-based Vedan...
Interview With Gina Khan - Part 2
GP Interviews - 1/11/2008
This is the second and final part of the interview.
Interview With Gina Khan - Part 1
GP Interviews - 1/11/2008
Gina Khan lives in Birmingham's Ward End. She is a British Muslim and has spoken out in the past about the problems she and her community faces from extreme Islamists. Described as "a very brave woman" in an article for the London Times, Gina will, over the coming days, be stating her experience to the Westminster Journal as a British Muslim and calling out, especially to the British Government, for help in solving the Islamist problem the West now experiences from within. This is the first of two parts of the interview.
Macedonia's Report Card - 10 Things that Could Go Wrong
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/8/2008
Like Blanche Dubois in "Streetcar Named Desire", Macedonians now prefer fantasy over harsh reality. They lash out at anyone who wishes to offset their euphoria with a long, hard look at hazards, real achievements, and true future prospects.
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Global Recession and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/4/2008
Part I. The Republic of Macedonia - A Case Study (2007)
Ever since its reluctant declaration of independence in 1991, Macedonia occupied the bottom of the list of countries in transition from Communism, as far as absolute dollar figures of FDI go. At 80.6 million USD, FDI in 2003 barely budged from previous years. In 2004, FDI reached 139.5 million USD, only to shrink to 116.2 million USD in 2005. Discounting the sale of ESM, the electricity utility, FDI remained static in 2006 (total FDI was 350.7 million USD or 124.7 million USD, without ESM).
Leasing Real Estate in Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/14/2007
The subprime mortgage crisis in the United States is spreading globally, effecting prices even for an Iskandar Property in Singapore. Real estate values are deemed inflated in many countries around world. One exception may be Macedonia. Purchase prices here have stagnated in the last few years and rental rates have actually declined considerably. There is good reason to think this will change and soon: new financing vehicles are on offer and, as real incomes increase, there is a stark mismatch between geometrically-growing demand and arithmetically-increasing supply.
Overview of the Macedonian Stock Exchange - December 2007
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/8/2007
The Macedonian Stock Exchange, as measured by its MBI-10 index, rose to a record high of close to 10,500 in mid-2007. It has since shed 40% of its gains. This correction, or, rather, rout has its roots is a series of converging factors.
Nikola Gruevski's Way Out
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/13/2007
Title of Book: The Way Out: Foreign Direct Investment, Economic Development, and Employment
Author: Nikola Gruevski
Publisher: Evropa 92 Kochani
Month, Year of publication: October 2007
# of pages: 210
Macedonia's Titanic Waltz Or: Why Macedonians Spit in the Streets and Trash Their Environment
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/12/2007
It is a well-noted phenomenon: Macedonians behave one way at home and in another, more civilized manner, when they are traveling abroad. Most egregiously, they spit in public and trash their environment. Why the stark differences in conduct?
A Macedonian Fairy Tale
Boban Karapejovski - 11/7/2007
Once upon a time there was a small country called "the Oasis of Peace". This country was Macedonia. This fairy tale dates from the mid-`90 of the previous centrury, when Macedonia became the only country to secede from the Yugoslav breakdown without war and human casualties. This small polity (in terms of square kilometers) is again at the focus of international interest due to the process of solving the Albanian issue on the Balkans.
Balkan Rational Exuberance - Interview with Alexandar Dimishkovski of BID Consulting
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/5/2007
The Balkans as a region is experiencing a confluence of events of both fundamental and technical nature that augur well, as far as its economies go. Accession to the huge and unified market of the European Union (and to NATO) is closer and more realistic than ever. Two decades of transition from socialism and communism, privatization, institution-building, and private sector reform are finally bearing fruits. Emerging markets - and Europe - are more attractive than ever as investment destinations, now that the United States is caught in a vicious cyclical downturn which might result in a reces...
EU Reform Treaty: Will the 'Superstate' include both Germany and Russia, and should US and UK feel threatened?
Lorna Thomas - 10/18/2007
As European members gather at the Lisbon Summit on 18-19 October, Europe stands on the threshold of approving and later ratifying a Reform Treaty that includes the creation of powerful new leadership roles, which Chancellor Merkel has described as a 'political quantum leap for Europe'.
German's Middle East Policy
Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Ph.D. - 10/15/2007
At times of peace, Germany's Middle East policy has historically taken a secondary position--one subordinate to Germany's primary policy toward Europe and America. While of secondary importance, it was a tool that could be used to manipulate the Middle Eastern Question by playing off Western powers against each other. Berlin's goal was a peaceful penetration of the Ottoman Empire, and it had no colonial aspirations in the region. During the world wars, however, Berlin elevated its Middle East policy to primary status by instigating jihad in the enemy's hinterland. Yet in recent years, Berlin has sought out policies on Middle East peace and Islam fitting the European framework.1
AIDS - Europe's New Plague
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/11/2007
The region which brought you the Black Death, communism and all-pervasive kleptocracy now presents: AIDS. The process of enlargement to the east may, unwittingly, open the European Union's doors to the two scourges of inordinately brutal organized crime and exceptionally lethal disease. As Newsweek noted, the threat is greater and nearer than any hysterically conjured act of terrorism.
Why the Europeans Take Their Complaints about the Dollar to Beijing
Prof. Peter Morici - 10/5/2007
The euro has risen about 10 percent against the dollar and the yen over the last year, and this is giving European exporters and politicians fits. Predictably, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is getting pressure from European colleagues to take action.
The Right to Offend: Putting the Muhammad Cartoons in Context
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 10/4/2007
Pity Sofia Karlberg, the spokeswoman of the Swedish foreign ministry, who was tasked with the highly weasel-like chore of expressing regret for something she was not responsible for; for something that need not be regretted. It seems that Lars Vilks, a cartoonist for the Swedish paper Nerikes Allenhanda, drew unflattering depictions of the Islamic prophet and seventy-century general Muhammad. Karlberg eulogized to the BBC that the Swedish government “expressed regret that the publication of the cartoons had hurt the feelings of Muslims,” but continued that the government “can’t apologize for the cartoons because (the government) did not publish them.”
The Education of Macedonia - Interview with Ljubica Grozdanovska of BID Consulting
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/2/2007
Until recently and for five years, Ljubica Grozdanovska worked as a journalist in Macedonia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Dnevnik", covering issues on every level of education in the country. Three months ago, she became correspondent for the prestigious Czech e-zine Transition Online (TOL), again covering topics in education. Ljubica also works at the Faculty of Journalism in Skopje as a junior assistant. Recently, she co-founded "BID Consulting", where she serves as a market analyst, business and PR consultant.
Lights Out in the Balkans - Interview with Aleksandar Dimishkovski of BID Consulting, Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/27/2007
Until recently and for four years, Aleksandar Dimishkovski worked as a business and finance correspondent in Macedonia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Dnevnik". In the past year, he also served as a personal advisor to the general manager of a foreign-owned company that has established its network in Macedonia. He is known as a market analyst and a business consultant and has recently founded "BID Consulting".
Dele Momodu And The Mad Man At Charles De Gaulle
Uche Nworah - 9/16/2007
I read Dele Momodu’s Pendulum column in This Day newspaper of Thursday September 6th 2007 and his subsequent addendum in the same newspaper on Thursday September 14th 2007 with interest. In the original piece titled The Mad Man at Charles De Gaulle, Mr Momodu attempted to paint a gloomy picture of the life of an African/Nigerian immigrant using the unfortunate black man wheeling a trolley of his belongings at Charles De Gaulle airport to drive home his point.
Europe Publishes List Of Experts To Advise On Sales Of Cloned Meat
Angelique van Engelen - 9/14/2007
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the details of the outside consultants it has agreed to work with on its study of cloned meat. If the outcome of study is positive, cloned meat could be in the supermarkets here before 2010.
British Law Enforcement Missing 9/11-Level Threats?
Glen Jenvey - 9/11/2007
‘Once the child reach ten years old, teach him some kind of thing which is scouting, sleeping rough, sleeping tough, going for training, sweating, getting couple of punches in the face, teach him the reality of life and then show him how to become a good Mujahid.’
Happy Birthday, Macedonia!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/9/2007
The Republic of Macedonia is 16 years old: an adolescent with the problems and promises that characterize puberty. The country now has a young and dynamic leadership which has succeeded, in one short year, to transform Macedonia's image both domestically and abroad. According to repeated polls, for the first time in two decades, people are optimistic and investors sanguine.
Will the global 'credit crunch' hit London property?
Iqbal Latif - 8/28/2007
Prices for "prime" homes in the most expensive streets of the capital have risen about 50 per cent in the past two years as a financial services' boom has enriched bankers and other professionals in the City of London. Since the deal of the century, where new records were broken by the 'Qataris' to buy 1 Knightsbridge 4 Penthouses in March 2007 for 5000 pounds /sq ft, the prices in London have moved on to new highs. It was ease of liquidity that was said to be behind London real estate's stratospheric rise of prices when it comes to real estate within the golden quadrangle ensconced quietly be...
Sectarian Schools in Britain
Dr. Norman Berdichevsky - 8/20/2007
The recent controversy over the advisability of establishing separate Muslim sectarian schools has opened a broad debate in Britain on the nature of what is exactly meant by a 'multicultural society'. In spite of the use of this term by members of parliament and even ministers, it means different things to different people. There are now more than 7,000 faith-based schools in Britain, the great majority run by the Church of England or the Catholic church, with a handful of Jewish schools and over the past twenty years more than 100 Muslim schools have been established, primarily in London and in the cities of the Northern Midlands where large numbers of Muslim immigrants settled.
Latent Nazis -Conversations with Young German Intellectuals
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/20/2007
In in his controversial tome, "Hitler's Willing Executioners", the author, Daniel Goldhagen, posits that the Germans underwent a miraculous transformation in the wake of their devastating defeat in World war II. En masse, they have abandoned their centuries-old rabid, virulent, and ultimately lethal brand of anti-Semitism and anti-Slavism and became docile, altruistic citizens of the New World Order. This unlikely scenario sounds too good to be true because it is far from the truth.
Germany's Fourth Reich
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/14/2007
In an assertive, unified, and resurgent Germany, the Holocaust is now the butt of manifestly anti-Semitic jokes. This would have been unthinkable only 10 years ago. Yet, in meetings I have had over the last 4 years with young German scholars, intellectuals, artists, and budding politicians, as alcohol and mutual acquaintance put them at ease, they all, with one exception, reverted to shocking form.
Last Days of Hizb ut Tahrir In Britain
Viresh Pattani - 8/13/2007
A bad few weeks for Hizb ut Tahrir Britain – the UK arm of the radical Islamist party which wishes to see its version of the medieval “Caliphate” established in Muslim lands and then across the entire globe. First, after a concerted campaign of complaints to the BBC following last November’s Newsnight program – when Hizb ut Tahrir in South London was infiltrated and exposed as being linked to violence, radicalization and threatening local mosques – their hundreds of complaints were summarily dismissed. Of thirty four complaints considered worthy of any investigation by regulators, and followin...
Another Banned Terrorist Group In London
Glen Jenvey - 8/7/2007
A banned terrorist group behind a wave of muggings, credit card frauds and drug pushing is flourishing in Britain because the authorities are ignoring it. The Tamil Tigers - infamous for pioneering suicide bombs - are taking hold in the UK while the Government focuses on Islamic extremists, a worrying investigation has found.
Finsbury Park: Inside the British Jihad
Pratik Chougule - 8/4/2007
Stepping off the subway at Finsbury Park, the change in scenery could not have been more acute. Just an hour earlier, I had been awed by the grandeur of Big Ben, towering over the British Houses of Parliament. It is the symbol of the England in our history books: a beacon of liberty, tolerance, and stability.
Politically Incorrect Exit for the UK Ambassador to Thailand and Laos
Richard S. Ehrlich - 7/27/2007
BANGKOK, Thailand -- The British Ambassador to Thailand and Laos, David Fall, ended his career as a diplomat by giving a wildly hilarious, shockingly blunt, comedy performance of taboo jokes about Scotsmen using condoms, trigger-happy Americans, and sexual double entendres involving British, Turkish and French officials.
Adventures of Tony Rodef, Middle East Detective: The London Caper
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/21/2007
News item: After suicide bomb attacks on London and Glasgow by Islamists were foiled, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered ministers never to use the word "Muslim" when discussing terrorism.
UK Foreign Policy Research Guide
Toby Greene - 7/20/2007
UK foreign policy, while balancing its position in the EU but with its firm backing for the United States, has been particularly interesting for Middle East researchers in recent years. The aim of this guide is to introduce some of the internet resources available to those conducting research on contemporary UK foreign policy, with a particular focus on the Middle East. Following Gordon Brown_s taking over the reigns as prime minister from Tony Blair on June 27, 2007, policy analysts will be watching keenly for any signs of a change in policy.
Doctors of Terrorism
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/10/2007
The arrest of seven doctors in the attempted British terror bombings has shocked many people. Sadly, it shouldn’t. All seven are Muslims working at government-financed hospitals, their salaries paid by the British taxpayer. Dr. Muhammad Hanif practiced at Halton Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire; Dr. Muhammad Asha, at the North Staffordshire NHS Trust’s University Hospital.
Home Grown Terrorists are testing the boundaries of the United Kingdom
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 7/10/2007
It all sounds too good to be true. And it probably is. After staining America ’s reputation and maiming its core, the terrorists have shifted gears, and they are now testing the boundaries of the United Kingdom. They began with a bang, killing 52 and injuring 700 others in the London ’s public transport system in the year 2005. They tried replicating the attack two weeks later again but failed to detonate their explosives in underground trains, much to the relief of Britain . But they were constantly seeking for an opening and they almost found one but then too their effort was foiled. In Augu...
France Switches Gears in Lebanon
Gary C. Gambill - 7/9/2007
After three years of virtually seamless Franco-American concord in dealing with Lebanon, newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy has launched a major policy shift that has Bush administration officials fuming.
Britain Under Gordon Blair
Abid Mustafa - 7/3/2007
Much has been said about Tony Blair stepping down as the Prime Minster of Britain. Most political commentators and media pundits have summed up Blair’s legacy in one word— Iraq. They describe his decision to invade Iraq as a monumental failure of British foreign policy in the Middle East and a setback to Anglo-Muslim relations world-wide. Others have gone much further in their condemnation of Blair’s neo- colonial policies, and attribute Blair’s servitude to American interests behind Britain’s flagging popularity around the world. However, away from the critics both at home and abroad, the ast...
Impact of Minimum Wage on Germany's Economy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/1/2007
Germany is debating the introduction of a minimum wage. The country is a special case because it is a hybrid capitalist-socialist economy and it has the Mittelstand (family-controlled small and medium enterprises). Labor mobility is limited (the labor market is not ideal or frictionless).
'Sir' Rushdie Raises Muslims' Anger
Amit Pyakurel - 6/25/2007
Perhaps many had speculated a surge of probable Muslim anger, but may not had expected that the displeasure could grow to this extreme. It's the recently provoked outrage of the Muslim populace against the Knighting of the well-known Indian-born British writer, Salman Rushdie, whose novel, The Satanic Verses, had amounted to vigorous rage from the Muslim world when it was first published in 1988. The Satanic Verses led the Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini to call for Rushdie's immediate killing. And his recent honoring has further ignited the Muslims' anger, as the Islamic fanatics...
Can Blair's Million Pound Bill on Islam Save Britain?
Denis Schulz - 6/20/2007
Sure, one million pounds could to it—that’s a lot of loot—maybe if it had been offered twenty or thirty years ago. It’s too late now. About all it will do is buy more nails to pound into John Bull’s coffin. The Chicago Cubs have a better chance of winning the 2007 World Series than England has of surviving the 21st Century. But that doesn’t keep Tony Blair from trying. Blair addressed a conference of moderate Muslims in London last week in another last-ditch effort to save Merry Olde England from a fate worse than death. He pledged to spend one million pounds to improve the teaching of Islamic studies in Britain’s universities.
Germany's Copyright Levy
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/15/2007
Based on the recommendation of its Patent Office and following fierce lobbying by VG Wort, an association of German composers, authors and publishers, Germany enforced a three years old law and imposed a copyright levy of $13 plus 16 percent in value added tax per new computer sold in the country.
What Does The London 2012 Olympic Logo Prove?
Naseem Javed - 6/14/2007
That there is absolutely nothing wrong with the new London 2012 Olympics logo, but there is something seriously wrong with the logo-driven branding industry at large, as this new logo clearly proves that as we approach 2012, global society will not respond to conventional logos or graphics, but only to these kinds of insignificant, dysfunctional and obscure design works which will eventually become branding norms throughout the world. This clearly proves the lingering demise of the logo-branding industry.
Red Sun Rising - Hungary's Elections
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/2/2007
Hungary is in the throes of strife, both economic and political. It looks bad but it is useful to recall how things were in April 2002 when Hungary went to crucial elections as its accession to the European Union (EU) hung in balance. The Slovaks, perhaps a trifle prematurely, rejoiced. The Czech CTK News Agency reported from Prague that the ethnic Hungarian parties in Slovakia were cautiously unhappy. Bela Bugar, the chairman of one such party (the SMK, now in coalition) grumbled, referring to the Hungarian-Slovak basic treaty: "If this policy of two faces were to continue, it would worsen re...
Hungary's Ever Closer Union
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/1/2007
Hungary is in the throes of strife, both economic and political. It looks bad but it is useful to recall how things were in March 2002 when Hungary's accession to the European Union (EU) was in balance. Russian mobsters love Budapest and not only for its views and cosmopolitan atmosphere. They can easily obtain a Hungarian passport posing as "investors" by laundering the proceeds of their illicit activities. The CIA labels Hungary a "major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and transit point for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe". It is also a "limited...
Straf - Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/31/2007
The three policemen barked "straf", "straf" in unison. It was a Russianized version of the German word for "fine" and a euphemism for bribe. I and my fiancée were stranded in an empty ally at the heart of Moscow, physically encircled by these young bullies, an ominous propinquity. They held my passport ransom and began to drag me to a police station nearby. We paid.
The Czechs' Indian Gambit
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/29/2007
Then Czech deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Miroslav Somol, sounded upbeat in his visit to India in early January 2003. At a meeting of the Confederation of Indian industry on Jan 6, 2003 he reminded the audience of their country's close economic collaboration with the erstwhile Czechoslovakia.
What the Czech National Bank (CNB) can Learn from Israel
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/28/2007
The (Czech National Bank) CNB is one of the most autonomous in the world. It is also heavily influenced by current economic fashions. These fashions were propagated and disseminated throughout the world by the IMF in the last two decades with disastrous consequences. The IMF (and most central banks) are obsessed with the attainment of low inflation and macroeconomic stability. These goals are commendable - but when pursued too zealously they are deflationary, recessionary and contractionary. Naturally, inflation tends to be lower when the economy contracts. Perfect macroeconomic stability is achieved only in a graveyard. Coupled with free capital flows this recipe is downright dangerous.
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part 7
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/23/2007
Macedonia has executed a workforce survey for the first time in 1996. In this survey the following definitions were used:
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part 6
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/22/2007
Another common misperception is that there is some trade off between unemployment and inflation. Both Friedman and Phelps attacked this notion. Unemployment seems to have a “natural” (equilibrium or homeostatic) rate, which is determined by the structure of the labour market. The natural rate of unemployment is consistent with stable inflation (NAIRU – Non Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment).
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part V
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/21/2007
We are all under the spell of magic words such as “mobility”, “globalization” and “flextime”. It seems as though we move around more frequently, that we change jobs more often and that our jobs are less secure. The facts, though, are different.
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part IV
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/20/2007
The macroeconomic policies of Macedonia are severely constrained by its international obligations to the IMF and the World Bank. Generally, a country can ease interest rates, or provide a fiscal boost to the economy by slashing taxes or by deficit spending.
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part III
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/19/2007
The dissemination of information regarding employment practices, opportunities, market requirements, etc. should be a prime component of the activity of the Employment Bureau. It must transform itself from a mere registry of humans to an active, computerized exchange of labour. This can be done through computerized employment exchanges and intermediation. To change the image of the Employment Bureaus from places where the unemployed merely registers and receive benefits to a labour exchange can be done by publishing examples of successful job placements.
Wish Every Soldier Was Prince Harry
Imran Khan - 5/19/2007
Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the British army, has decided that Prince Harry - the younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and third in line to the British throne- will not serve in Iraq with his Army Unit. The General said he had reached his decision following a visit to the region at the end of last week and learning of specific threats being made by insurgents against Harry and the soldiers in his unit.
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part II
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/18/2007
The principle governing any incentive scheme intended to encourage employers to hire hitherto unemployed workers must be that the employer will get increasing participation in the wage costs of the newly hired formerly unemployed workers – more with every year the person remains employed. Thus, a graduated incentive scale has to be part of any law and incentive plan. Example: employers will get increasing participation in wage costs – more with every 6 months the person has been unemployed by them.
Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part I
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/17/2007
Get the Real Picture
No one in Macedonia knows the real picture. How many are employed and not reported or registered? How many are registered as unemployed but really have a job? How many are part time workers – as opposed to full time workers? How many are officially employed (de jure) – but de facto unemployed or severely underemployed? How many are on “indefinite” vacations, on leave without pay, etc.?
The End Of Tony Blair Show
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 5/7/2007
With little less than a few weeks to go before leaving office, Prime Minister Tony Blair of England is wondering how he would like best to be remembered. Many Britons admire him as a statesman and a fluent political speaker, but Mr. Blair, still vigorous at the end of the term, probably seeks more than dull respectability.
The Treasure Trove of Kosovo
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/2/2007
Nothing like a juicy, photogenic human catastrophe to enrich corrupt politicians and bottom-line-orientated, stock-option-motivated corporate executives. The Balkan is teeming with both these sad days. Even as the war was raging, shortages of food and other supplies led to the dispensation of political favours (in the form of import licences, for instance) to the chosen few. Bulgarian, Greek and Albanian firms, owned by ruthless criminals and criminals-turned-politicians benefited mightily. Millions were made and shared as artificially high prices were maintained by various means while cronies...
Why did Milosevic Surrender?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/1/2007
Why did Milosevic surrender? I originally asked that question on June 21, 1999. So why did he? Not because of NATO. Ground damage assessment based on the number of withdrawing troops and their hardware and on a detailed inventory of charred remains in most of Kosovo - prove that this air campaign was no different to its predecessors. Only 10% of Serb artillery, tanks, APCs and so on were effected. The Yugoslav (read: Serb) army - ostensibly the side which lost the war - is vibrant and defiant. It does not look like it has been subjected to the equivalent of 12 Hiroshima size nuclear bombs in 11 weeks. It looks like it knows something that the rest of us don't.
Scottish Independence - Reality or Illusion?
Lorna Thomas - 5/1/2007
Should the SNP or Scottish Nationalist Party win the May 3 election, it plans to hold a referendum on independence in its first term of office. Scotland faces the decision of becoming independent from Britain. The pro-European SNP campaigns for 'independence in Europe'. But would this be a reality? Has the SNP any real authority to promise Scotland independence in Europe when as a non-member it stands outside of European policy-making?
Terror Glorification In Britain
Dominic Whiteman - 4/30/2007
It has been a criminal offense in Britain for a year now (since 13th April 2006) to directly or indirectly encourage terrorism with those convicted face seven years imprisonment. 'Direct encouragement' is largely the same as the older offence of ‘incitement’. It is 'indirect encouragement' that involves the idea of 'glorifying terrorism' as a part of its definition and thereby introduced an entirely new legal concept on to the statute books a year ago. It is an offence if a statement is issued from which it could reasonably be inferred 'that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduc...
The Price of Kosovo
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/30/2007
Macedonia was most heavily damaged during Operation Allied Force. But one would do well to separate the irreversible damages from the reversible ones. The former have a corrosive, pernicious effect - the latter, though harmful and painful, can be remedied through added aid and investment and the adoption of the right frame of mind. The trade sector in Macedonia suffered c. 50 million US dollars in damages in the past three months.
French Election Goes To Expected 2nd Round
Ross Kaminsky - 4/26/2007
The center-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and the socialist Segolene Royal were the two leading vote-getters in this weekend's French election, with about 31% and 26% of the vote respectively.
Macedonia is not Bosnia: Interview with Edward Joseph
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/20/2007
This interview was conducted in 2000 with Edward Joseph, then head of the Macedonia office of the International Crisis Group (ICG). It proved prescient and is as actual today as it had been then. Ed Joseph's biography is a fair proxy to the history of the Balkan since 1992, the year he landed in Sarajevo, then the beseiged capital of crumbling Bonia-Herzegovina. He was in all the flashpoints ever since: Knin, Mostar, Bihac, Tuzla, Zepa (where he oversaw the evacuation together with the infamous General Ratko Mladic). He held senior positions in the UN, NATO, and OSCE. In 1999, during the Koso...
Macedonia in Crisis: Interview with Sam Vaknin
GP Interviews - 4/19/2007
Q1: Was there any threat of economic sanctions against Republic of Macedonia by the international mediators and/or representatives of EU/US during the crisis of 2001?Were there threat or sanctions by the international community before 2001 due to ethnic tensions within the country?
A1: The answers to both parts of your question are in the negative. But one should distinguish overt threats - both official and informal - from "ambient" ones. While no one threatened the Macedonian government explicitly - many hints were dropped that a failure to resolve the ethnic crisis would lead to severe ec...
British Islamists’ Cyber Camouflage
Dominic Whiteman - 4/18/2007
Partly due to the pressure of new terror laws in Britain and partly because of the effectiveness of Destroyers of jihadi websites like Internet Haganah, British-based radical Islamists have sought more imaginative online solutions both to maintain an online presence (even when they are banned) and to keep on recruiting (something they are increasingly desperate to do in a climate justifiably increasingly hostile towards them).
The Sudeten in Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/18/2007
Bernard Kouchner, the former administrator of Kosovo, has warned against producing a a second Cyprus in Macedonia. He probably meant a territory divided along ethnic lines by a foreign army. But here the comparison ends. The ethnically cleansing invading Turkish army was not invited by both parties to the conflict in Cyprus to make peace. The Turks were reacting to a military coup by members of the majority Greek-Cypriot community in cahoots with a vicious junta in Athens and to a series of deadly inter-communal clashes. If MFOR ever makes it, it will be by the will and invitation of both Macedonians and Albanians.
Roadmaps to Peace or Signals of Trouble
Lorna Thomas - 4/15/2007
1. AMERICA AND BRITAIN DIVIDED AS EUROPE UNITES
A Question of Peace or War in Europe
Ron Janssen - 4/11/2007
In spite of days of controversy, today's signing of the "Berlin Declaration" went ahead without amendment. The pivot and crux of the controversy is the announcement of an intended replacement for the failed EU constitution which will have the same content under a different title and is to be ratified as quickly as possible. This arrangement has occasioned great displeasure in several European capitals. The most influential German think-tank, the Bertelsmann Foundation, maintains that European unification must be driven forward; the greatly contested EU constitution is to be merely the "point of departure".
Is Transition from Communism Possible?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/11/2007
Can Socialist Professors of Economics Teach Capitalism? Is Transition from Communism Possible? Lest you hold your breath to the end of this article - the answers to both questions in the title are no and no. Capitalism cannot be "learned" or "imported" or "emulated" or "simulated". Capitalism (or, rather, liberalism) is not only a theoretical construct. It is not only a body of knowledge. It is a philosophy, an ideology, a way of life, a mentality and a personality.
Giving Ministers the power to decide EU crimes and penalty
Ron Janssen - 4/10/2007
Government Ministers and the EU to be given power to decide to have Irish citizens fined and imprisoned without any need for Oireachtas permission - a Power grab by the Government and Ministers
10 Points To Remember On 50 Anniversary Of Treaty of Rome
Ron Janssen - 4/9/2007
1. THE EU'S MYTH OF ORIGIN: The myth of origin of the EU is that it was a peace project designed to make war impossible between France and Germany. The truth is however that it was the American Government's insistence on German rearmament to meet the needs of the Cold War that precipitated the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950, which was the foundation of European integration. The pooling of coal and steel under a supranational authority, the precursor of the Brussels Commission, was crucial in overcoming French hostility to rearming its ancient enemy. Jean Monnet, America's man in the...
Will Islam Rule Over Britain?
Peter Webb - 3/15/2007
Anjem Choudary, born in 1967, is a British Islamist and follower of Omar Bakri Mohammed. He founded two Islamist groups which were last year designated and banned as terrorist organisations by the British government. Choudary has urged Muslims to not cooperate with the police in fighting terrorism, and has recently called for the assassination of the Pope. In recent years he has frequently appeared on British television and has become a figure disliked by non-Muslims and by moderate Muslims as well.
The End of Visa Waiver?
Dominic Whiteman - 3/5/2007
We Britons are used to getting questioned by offensive immigration officers at US airports, who presume that deceitfully we are making a permanent move to the US whenever we enter America using the well-established visa-waiver scheme. It’s fair to say it doesn’t help the “special relationship” to be confronted after an eight hour flight by some pistol-carrying, shaven-headed failed police recruit with an inferiority complex the size of Lake Michigan and an IQ no higher than a tennis score.
Ten Questions About Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/20/2007
Ten Questions You Wanted Answered About Macedonia - But Never Dared to Ask:
Free Economic Zones in Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/13/2007
Question: What is a free zone?
Answer: There is an important distinction which the media is not aware of between FREE ZONES and FREE ZONE SITES.
To quote from the law:
"A free zone site represents a detached, enclosed and marked area of the territory of the Republic of Macedonia on which commercial activities are conducted under conditions prescribed by this and other laws and on which custom and other tax incentives determined by this law shall be applicable."
Marketing Macedonia: The Public Relations and Promotion of Countries in Transition
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/12/2007
Speech delivered at the AIESEC congress in Skopje, 1997
Many Macedonians ask me: why do foreign investors refrain from investing in Macedonia?
Interview: Member of the UK Parliament and Shadow Minister for Homeland Security Patrick Mercer
GP Interviews - 2/11/2007
Patrick Mercer is a Conservative Member of the UK Parliament and Shadow Minister for Homeland Security. Prior to becoming a politician he served as an officer in the British Army, in the Sherwood Foresters regiment. Among other locations he was sent to Northern Ireland and Bosnia and in 1997 received the OBE for services to Bosnia. He left the army in 1999 and worked as a journalist for BBC Radio 4. Patrick was the target of two IRA assassination attempts. An Historian by training, his interests include British 18th and 19th Century History. With two books published to date, Patrick is currently working on a television documentary and another historical volume.
Romania's Private Defense
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/11/2007
Romanian President, Ion Iliescu, contested his homeland's geography. In April 2003, at a joint press conference with Bulgaria's President Parvanov, he cast both countries as "central-south European" rather than the derogatory "Balkan". Both joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in January 2007 - though the former organisation expressed reservations after embarrassing leaks of classified military data in both Bucharest and Sofia.
Romania - Europe's Heart Failure
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/7/2007
Romanians like to compare their country to the heart of Europe. If so, Europe has been in a continuous state of cardiac arrest. Romania is still so backward and corrupt that even venerable foreign leaders get entangled in its sleaze.
Bosnia - An Economy in Search of a State
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/6/2007
Bosnia-Herzegovina (heretofore "Bosnia") is an artificial polity with four, tangentially interacting, economies. Serbs, Croats and their nominal allies, the Bosniaks each maintain their own economy. The bloated, fractured, turf conscious, inefficient, and often corrupt presence of the international community, in the form of the Office of the High Representative, among others, constitutes the fourth - and most dominant - parallel economy.
Don't Hurry to Invest in Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/5/2007
In the near past, Macedonia seemed to have been bent on breaking its own record of surrealism. While politicians in other countries in transition from communism and socialism strive to be noticed for not stealing, their Macedonian counterparts, without a single exception, aim to steal without being noticed.
Macedonia: Equity, Europe, Investments
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/25/2007
Economic theory describes the individual player in the marketplace as rational and cold blooded, always calculating risks versus profits. But reality is much more complex. Economy is 90% psychology: fashions, emotions, fears, hopes and expectations, past history and future visions. A phenomenon like enterpreneurship cannot be fully explained by classic economic theories.
Macedonia's Great Opportunity
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/24/2007
Five thousand years ago, people were still roaming the earth as nomads. They carried along their few precious possessions in their hands and on their backs. They hunted and gathered food at random.
Why is the Macedonian Stock Exchange Unsuccessful?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/23/2007
The Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE) is not operating successfully. True, some of the parameters which we use to measure the success of a stock exchange have lately improved in the MSE. For instance, the monthly money volume has increased together with the number of transactions. But this is a far cry from success.
The Criminality of Transition
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/5/2007
Human vice is the most certain thing after death and taxes, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin. The only variety of economic activity, which will surely survive even a nuclear holocaust, is bound to be crime. Prostitution, gambling, drugs and, in general, expressly illegal activities generate c. 400 billion USD annually to their perpetrators, thus making crime the third biggest industry on Earth (after the medical and pharmaceutical industries).
Eastern Europe: Leapfrogging to Cellular
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/15/2006
The government of former Yugoslavia, usually strapped for cash, has agreed to purchase 29 percent of Telekom Srbija, of which it already owns 51 percent. It will pay the seller, Italia International, close to $200 million. The Greek telecom, OTE, owns the rest.
The death of intellectualism - An evening in Paris
Iqbal Latif - 12/12/2006
Paris has its own charm as far as intellectualisation goes. One does not need any props, it just appears unsurprisingly. Brasserie Lipp, the Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots have been frequented by celebrities, artists and writers, from Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir. Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots have been here since the nineteenth century. In the good old days, when the bourgeois swaggering leftist intellectuals populated the side-streets and cafes of post-war Paris in their droves, Cafe de Flore was labelled as the meagre leftist haunt and the Deux Magots, its neighbour, arist...
Battling Macedonia's Cancer: Unemployment
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/6/2006
The official figures are staggering: 35% of the workforce - about 280,000 people - are unemployed and looking for a job. Each 1.43 employee support 1 unemployed person. In the USA the figure is 3.3 to 4 employees supporting all the unemployed AND all the pensioners!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/22/2006
Written: August 18, 1999
Could have been written today
How does one respond to a torrent of belligerent correspondence from Balkanians arguing against the belligerence of Balkanians asserted by one in one's articles? Were it not sad, it surely would have been farcical. Only yesterday (August 17th, 1999 - five months after the Kosovo conflict) Macedonian papers argued fiercely, vehemently and threateningly against an apparently innocuous remark by Albania's Prime Minister. He said that all Albanians, wherever they are, should share the same curriculum of studies. A preparatory step on the w...
Why Speakers Should Still Be Cornered
Dominic Whiteman - 11/18/2006
Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park is an excellent place to visit if you are having any doubts about your own sanity – perhaps feeling you are losing touch with reality (that New Year’s Day feeling, best settled with an Alka Seltzer). It is a hard venue, with a tradition of merciless heckling. Nowadays the Corner is a popular tourist attraction but there are still speakers and hecklers, just as there were one hundred and fifty years ago.
The Sliding Scale of Diversity - Britain and Beyond
Dominic Whiteman - 11/7/2006
American friends who are munificent enough to visit me over here in London are often saying how “quaint” Britain is, when they actually have to walk up to the bar in a pub to order food from a proud, grumpy old publican wearing a flowery “jumper” (sweater), or rent a car only to discover that the steering wheel is on the wrong side.
The Fall of Bungawala and the MCB
Dominic Whiteman - 10/18/2006
In 2002 the forever victimised Inayat Bungawala claimed in Britain's Sunday Observer newspaper "British Muslims have learned to develop a thick skin to get on in this country. In the late eighties and early nineties they were vilified by the liberal press for their unyielding opposition to Salman Rushdie's deeply offensive novel, The Satanic Verses. Their tormentors today hail from the combined ranks of the far right, government officials who should know better and assorted pro-Israeli columnists."
LTTE “Tamil Tigers” and its UK-wide network
Dominic Whiteman - 10/18/2006
LTTE was banned in the UK February 28th 2001. The annual publication of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) London 'Military Balance 2005/2006' referred to emerging links between the LTTE and the Al-Qaeda movement. It was later revealed confidentially by the editors to diplomatic sources that these links were in terms of commercial transactions including trafficking for financial gain and acquisition of technology rather than any ideological linkage. Experts are studying with interest links between the LTTE and Al-Qaeda in its financial, commercial and arms dealings. It is also believed that such links also exist in maritime transactions.
Jack Straw and the Veil Issue
Imran Khan - 10/14/2006
Mr. Jack staw is a prominent British politician and leader of the House of Commons. He also served as British foreign Minister. He has urged Muslim women who wear a full veil to remove it when they talk to him in his constituency office in northwestern England. In Lancashire Telegraph, a local newspaper, he wrote "wearing the full veil is bound to make better, positive relations between the two communities more difficult," and veil is "such a visible statement of separation and of difference". He also said in an interview to the BBC that he would like to support the idea of the full veil's being abandoned. His remarks have ignited a furious debate.
Is Le Pen Right: Immigrants and the Fallacy of Labour Scarcity
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/10/2006
Jean-Marie Le Pen - France's dark horse presidential contender - is clearly emotional about the issue of immigration and, according to him, its correlates, crime and unemployment. His logic is dodgy at best and his paranoid xenophobia ill-disguised. But Le Pen and his ilk - from Carinthia to Copenhagen - succeeded to force upon European mainstream discourse topics considered hitherto taboos. For decades, the European far right has been asking all the right questions and proffering all the far answers.
Was Exiled Radical Islamic Cleric Linked to London Bombings?
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 10/6/2006
New information is emerging about exiled radical Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammad and his possible involvement with the deadly London bombings. The attacks on July 7 2005 killed 52 innocent people in addition to the four suicide bombers.
Islamic Caliphate in Britain?
Dominic Whiteman - 9/25/2006
An interesting week in the War on Terror in London. On Wednesday, the British Home Secretary, Dr John Reid, addressed Muslims in a run-down part of East London, warning them to be watchful of their children, who may fall into the hands of radical preachers and end up going the sorry way of British-born Mohammed Siddique Khan (a 7/7 suicide bomber) and other terrorists. "These fanatics are looking to groom and brainwash children, including your children, for suicide bombings, grooming them to kill themselves in order to murder others," he said.
African Students Studying In The United Kingdom
Uche Nworah - 9/8/2006
The United Kingdom appears to be the favourite destination for African students. This is not surprising considering the United Kingdom government actively pursues a policy of making UK education the number one in the world. Students are recruited using various methods such as brochures, road shows and internet marketing. International students are provided high quality accomodations in London, Manchester, Nottingham and other top cities. Local representatives are also appointed in some countries and are charged with the responsibility of marketing the UK education brand to local students all through the year.
The Skoda Model
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/17/2006
Skoda Auto, the Czech-based carmaker, is completing its transformation from manufacturer of smoke-belching, low-budget, communist-era clunkers to producer of upscale, affordable, BMW-alikes. "Skoda" means in Czech pity or shame - an apt moniker for the company's erstwhile products.
Europe's Four Speeds
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/16/2006
Pomp and circumstance often disguise a sore lack of substance. The three days summit of the Central European Initiative is no exception. Held in Macedonia's drab capital, Skopje, the delegates including the odd chief of state, discussed their economies in what was presumptuously dubbed by them the "small Davos", after the larger and far more important annual get together in Switzerland.
Another Terrorist Attack On the Horizon In the UK
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 8/16/2006
A British freelance spy says he know what in part led to last week's foiled, but very nearly deadly, terror plot in Britain. In an e-mail interview Glen Jenvey said a pervasive "culture of hate from Islamic radical preachers for many years," and "the turning of a blind eye by British police officers and law makers" have led to the problems currently being experienced in Britain.
Pharmaceuticals in Central and East Europe
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/4/2006
According to Wellbeingdoctor web site, Novartis, the Swiss drug giant announced in January 2003 that it will unite its 14 brands of generic drugs under the Sandoz name, harking back to its origins as a manufacturer of affordable, off-patent, medication and raw materials ("active ingredients"). The rebranding will engulf the company's central and east European units, including Biochemie in Austria and Azupharma in Germany - but not Lek in Slovenia.
First and Last Days in Kosovo - Part II
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/3/2006
Excerpts from an interview granted to www.balkanalysis.com, March
First and Last Days in Kosovo - Part I
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2006
Excerpts from an interview granted to www.balkanalysis.com, March
The West in the Balkans - Part III
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/29/2006
Excerpts from an interview granted to www.serbianna.com, May 2004
There isn't a single country in the Balkan - Serbia included - whose political elite, past and present, is not thoroughly criminalized. Crime, business, and politics are inextricable in this part of the world. Kosovo is no different. But people's past lives are less important than their future actions. The early histories of many nations - perhaps all nations - are studded with rogues, terrorists, criminals, slave traders, eccentrics, and worse. Robber barons, gunslingers, outcasts, slavers, and criminals established both the United States and Australia, for instance.
The West in the Balkans - Part II
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/28/2006
Excerpts from an interview granted to www.serbianna.com, May 2004.
The breakup of Macedonia is not inevitable - but Kosovo's independence is. What makes it unavoidable is history. Kosovo is an ethnically homogeneous, clearly demarcated, territory whose denizens fervently aspire to be independent - and are willing to fight for it. Moreover, they have the support of large parts of the international community. Serbia is dilapidated, subjugated, weak, and divided.
The West in the Balkans - Part I
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/27/2006
Excerpts from an interview granted to www.serbianna.com, May 2004.
Kosovo cannot be compared to Croatia or Bosnia. Kosovo was (and, technically, is) an integral part of Serbia, an autonomous province, not a republic-constituent of the former Federal Yugoslavia. During the initial phases of KLA activity (1993-6), Kosovars did not overtly wish to secede from (the truncated) Yugoslavia. As I said in my interview to "Balkanalysis" earlier this year: "(Milosevic) had (no) 'plan' as far as Kosovo is concerned. He simply wanted to eradicate what he regarded as criminals in cahoots with terrorists ...
UK Islamist groups not just rattled – now they’re banned!
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 7/20/2006
Just one week after reporting on the anti terror group VIGIL’s exposure of radical Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed’s ongoing cyber preaching from Beirut to radical Muslims in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through a US-based chatroom, the UK government has banned the groups he was preaching to- the Saviour Sect and al-Ghurabaa (offshoots from the previously disbanded group al Mujahiroun).
British Terror Link to Mumbai Train Blasts?
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 7/13/2006
As many as 190 people have been killed and 625 injured by seven bombs on the train network in the Indian financial capital Mumbai (Bombay). The first of the near-simultaneous blasts exploded during the rush hour on the Western Railway. Correspondents spoke of scenes of pandemonium, with people jumping from trains and bodies flung onto tracks (www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200607120901.htm).
Better Get Sick in Germany
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/12/2006
The Germans, ever the pragmatic sort, call their hospitals - "houses of the sick" or "houses of those suffering". In English the word "hospital" derives from Latin and denotes hosting or hospitality. This may well be the main difference between the German health system and the Anglo-Saxon one. While the former is geared to perform a function - the latter is also concerned with the social and economic contexts of healthcare.
EU paralysis over immigration policies deepens hostility along the policy divide
Patrick Sabatier - 7/12/2006
Europe’s working-age population is aging and the number of people without grey hair is falling in numbers, and the continent needs workers to do jobs that Europeans either will not or cannot do. Meanwhile, half of Africa’s ever-growing population is under 17 years of age, with many living on less than US$1.20 a day. Such potent conditions are building an immigration crisis in the European Union, the physical evidence of which can be found in the Spanish-owned Canary Islands, where 10,000 Africans have been caught this y...
Healthcare in Eastern Europe
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/27/2006
Transition has trimmed Russian life expectancy by well over a decade. People lead brutish and nasty lives only to expire in their prime, often inebriated. In the republics of former Yugoslavia, respiratory and digestive tract diseases run amok. Stress and pollution conspire to reap a grim harvest throughout the wastelands of eastern Europe. The rate of Tuberculosis in Romania exceeds that of sub-Saharan Africa.
Slovakia: Elections Will Determine Economic Fate of an EU Outlier
Marshall L. Stocker, CFA - 6/16/2006
Fifteen years after the communist government of Czechoslovakia was overthrown in the bloodless Velvet Revolution, the emergent Slovak Republic is awash in every color but red. Today, visitors to Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, will see buildings once left unpainted in the uniformly gray color of solidarity, now bedecked in a full palette of colors, again save for red. As this decorative trend sweeps through the country-side, so too are the effects of Slovakia’s economic reforms sweeping Slovaks to prosperity. Yet, an imminent national election will determine whether these reform...
Battle Over Steel Exposes Europe’s Globalization Dilemma
Jonathan Fenby - 6/11/2006
Lakshmi Mittal is the very model of a globalized business tycoon. Having built a net worth estimated at $25 billion, the Indian businessman runs a worldwide steel empire, its operations stretching from the US to Kazakhstan, from Indonesia to Poland. His ambitions to grow even bigger, however, embroil him in a bitter fight with Western Europe’s largest steelmaker, which casts revealing, and sometimes uncomfortable, light on the continent – and France, in particular – as it seeks to come to terms with the tide of globalization that leaves many of its citizens deeply uncertain.
Confessions of an Immigrant to the U.K.
Uche Nworah - 5/31/2006
This is an indictment of the United Kingdom (UK) and other governments as much as it is a confession. Some of these western governments have allowed the nationalists and far rightists in their midst to dominate public discourse lately, and have in so doing subjected immigrants like me to every type of ridicule and shame. We are now public enemy number 1, and are portrayed to be responsible for every crime committed in their lands, as if prison and other lock-up facilities did not exist in these countries before we came.
Straw's departure strengthens Blair's agenda against Iran
Abid Mustafa - 5/8/2006
After the British Labour party's worst local election result since 1982, Tony Blair swiftly moved to reshuffle his cabinet which led to some a high profile ministers losing their posts. While it was widely anticipated that Charles Clarke the Home Secretary would lose his job over his failure to deport immigrant criminals, and John Prescott the Deputy Prime Minister to be stripped of his ministry, few expected Jack Straw to be removed from the position of Britain's Foreign Secretary.
MP Dianne Abbot Is Not A Friend Of British Nigerians
Uche Nworah - 4/11/2006
She is a successful black woman no doubt, a role model of sorts for most black women in the UK. Undeniably she has already secured her place in the history of UK politics as the first black woman to be elected into the UK parliament. She represents Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency, one of the poorer districts in inner London.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-17: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/3/2006
SV: There is no point in separating the issues of education and management. The students of today are the managers of tomorrow. This old generation of mostly corrupt political commissars masquerading as managers and robbing the assets of the firms they are entrusted with – is bound to pass. Biology will do it if political processes will not. But is Macedonia looking into a brighter future? I am afraid that not necessarily.
Dialogue or Devastation: Two Paths at Stake in France
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 4/3/2006
Unlike the multicultural approach of the United States and Britain, the aim of France, according to some analysts, has been to elide, or gloss over, the particular cultural and religious backgrounds of immigrants to make them indistinguishable from the natives, as the French have long prided themselves on their ability to weave foreign settlers into the seamless fabric of society.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-16: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/2/2006
SV: It is a big debate whether the state should intervene in the operation of free markets. Granted, the state is not the most efficient economic player. It is slow, corrupt, ignorant, influenced by non-commercial considerations, short-sighted and either too aggressive or too placid. On the other hand, markets are not a panacea, either. There are some goods and services, which markets simply refuse to provide because they are inherently unprofitable or require some non-monetary motivation. Most of the public goods cannot be efficiently provided by free markets or can be provided only at a proh...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-15: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/27/2006
SV: You touched upon the three alternatives available to small countries that wish to increase their exports and to extract themselves from a chronic state of poverty (=of deficits). The first alternative, is to attach itself to one big economic power. This is the case of the Czech Republic and used to be the case of Israel, Cuba and dozens of other countries. The lessons show clearly that this is a good strategy as an interim measure. A small country can attach itself, economically, to a bigger one, ONLY if it uses the time that it thus buys to get rid of this dependence. While closely and ov...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-14: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/26/2006
SV: As I said earlier, imports, in themselves are good to the economy because they optimize the use of economic resources through increased efficiency of the allocation of economic resources. The question is only: WHAT is imported. There are imported goods which generate sufficient income in the future to cover their cost plus a reasonable return on equity. Others (such as cars) only get depreciated with time and consume more and more foreign exchange (fuel, spare parts). I think that a few rules are cast in stone. They should be applied cumulatively, not separately:
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-13: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/25/2006
SV: One technical comment, though. TQM is a more comprehensive management philosophy, which revolves around the assurance of quality in all phases of the economic activity of the firm. But TQM is one of many such philosophies (and lately very much out of favour). These fads are by no means comparable to ISO, which is a set of procedures and processes which are rigorous, clearly defined, objective, management-independent to a large degree and widely and unanimously accepted. ISO is a standard, almost mathematical in its purity. TQM is a management fashion. Comparable to TQM is the system of tho...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-12: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/24/2006
NG: The first problem of the three that I mentioned can be solved by the employment of managerial techniques involving better organization and the combining of resources and by the state creating a better economic environment (monetary measures, bonuses, etc.).
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-11: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/23/2006
NG: A few months ago we have discussed attracting foreign investments to RM. One of the most important measures, for attaining a suitable balanced state in RM, should be directed at attracting foreign commercial investments in RM.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-10: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/22/2006
SV: Wine and apples are two fine examples of the "Macedonian Malaise" (typical to most so called "countries in transition"). The condition is characterized by an overwhelming sense of inferiority. Having been oppressed and subjugated for so long, small nations convince themselves that they deserve it, that something is wrong with THEM, that they are no good, bums, stupid, or simply unlucky. But always lacking and deserving of punishment. With such a national mood, there is no room for initiative, self confidence, self worth, trust, belief in the future, planning, legal behaviour, postponement ...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-9: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/21/2006
NG: Besides the above-mentioned sources of financing, the development of the capital markets, as a source of financing in RM, will depend on the establishment and development of investment funds. The privatization model wasn't best suited for the development of this kind of institutions, which will probably reflect upon the long term. They basically should secure the mobilization of small financial resources to different investments and of much bigger amounts to be directed to the economy by investing in securities, foreign currencies and money.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-8: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/20/2006
SV: If the government decides to finance exports directly, it can, indeed, do so through export subsidies or through credits provided by a specialist bank or through the general banking system, as you suggest. I think it is wrong. But I agree with you that the best source would be the proceeds of the privatization of the assets of the state. These are one off income items. Normally, the proceeds of the sales should be kept off the regular budget (extra-curricular). Most governments sell their capital (=the companies that they own) and use the money for current budgetary expenditures, not for d...
French Riots and Intolerance
Amit Pyakurel - 3/20/2006
The French government has again came under pressure in the face of reemergence of the protests, often violently subjugated, from the dissatisfied youths who have came out to the streets, further provoked by the recent employment law of the French government that lets the small firms to offer the job contract for the people under 26 by making it easier to fire a worker.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-7: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/19/2006
NG: I wish it too, what you are saying, and I would be very happy when RM becomes a country which is not in need of state simulative intervention in order to change the economic structure.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-6: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/16/2006
SV: Macedonia belongs to a much derided economic club, whose members are fervently trying to abandon it: the club of the group of countries who export mainly raw materials and semi finished goods and import finished products. This is the classical definition of a colony in the old mercantilist theory. Colonies are doomed to run deficits, equal to the value that is added by the industrialized countries to the raw materials that they import from the colonies. Additionally, the colonies get "hooked": they get addicted to the advantages that poor labour, for instance, provides. They tend to suppre...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-5: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/15/2006
NG: Within the scope of the roles of increasing investments and changing the economic structure there is the implementation of an efficient court system, which will create an environment in which the commercial banks of RM, by a speedier settlement of their own claims, will make long-term and cheaper credits available. This, indirectly, will influence the process of structural economic change and start to create an export-oriented efficient economy. At this moment, financial resources available in RM, from the banks' point of view, are really "a cat in a bag". The bank can never be certain tha...
Slobodan Milosevic is Dead
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/14/2006
On February 12, 2001 I published this article in a few online media. It speaks for itself.
Wouldn't everyone be better off if Slobodan Milosevic were to die? Mysteriously, of course, in a serendipitous car accident, as is the habit in these parts. Or, mercifully and less obtrusively, in a sudden onslaught of lethal pneumonia, in line with his advanced age. Imagine the sighs of palpable relief in his own camp, to which he has become a political albatross and a nagging embarrassment. Never before could so many quandaries be resolved through an orchestrated stroke of luck. It is quite a temptation and, in Eastern Europe, it is irresistible.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-3: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/13/2006
SV: Macedonians (politicians as well as "the people") adopted a magical mode of thinking. They believe that Macedonia is geo-strategically so important, that it will never be abandoned by the West. True, unilateral grants, aid and other non-returnable transfers have dwindled lately (to the point of disappearing altogether). But Macedonia is getting increasing amounts of credits, loans, military aid, structural aid (EU through PHARE) and other forms of lending. Some of this money is directly injected to the arthritic veins of the banking system in the vein hope that it will trickle down into th...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-4: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/13/2006
SV: It is a paradox of sorts that only governments can secure the conditions necessary for the operation of free markets. A good government prepares the way for its own act of disappearance from the marketplace. It should construct the edifice and let other tenants occupy it. There are a few things that only a government can do. Maintaining law and order, defending the country, providing certain unprofitable public goods (education, health). But I agree with you that a government's most important role in the economic arena is to provide working conditions, a structure. Such a structure should ...
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-2: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/10/2006
NG: Indeed, from these data it is easy to conclude that the deficit level is not the only important parameter – there are others that count in trying to determine the consequences. It is obvious that the deficit in RM has seriously restricted its economic development (as distinct from some other countries), which complicates the problem.
Trade Deficits and the Health of the Economy-1: Dialog with Nikola Gruevski, former Minister of Finance of Macedonia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/8/2006
NG: The characteristics of the Republic of Macedonia, in its post independence period, from a macro point of view of the activities of exports and imports, are:
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part XII
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/3/2006
The government of Macedonia should revive the issuing of bonds in Macedonia, and above all, Government and Municipal bonds. The government will appear as the guarantor, and at the beginning, the government can serve as the guarantor of corporate bonds issues of the best Macedonian companies (with a prior mortgaged property of the company and the state as a collateral). When it comes to capital projects, in the absence of a big and modern bank (or a consortium of banks) which would serve as a guarantor to the corporate bonds the government should jump start the "game". This would be a positive ...
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part XI
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/2/2006
Nikola: The macroeconomic policy in Macedonia is relatively well received by foreign investors. According to the recent report of Merrill Lynch the stability in Macedonia will be preserved only if the real economy is rebuilt. So far this is not happening, judging by the slow growth and stagnating export incomes.
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part X
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/1/2006
Nikola: Besides the promotion of Macedonia and legal provisions, the third very important component of attracting foreign capital is the opening of foreign Western mega-national bank branches. At least four reasons can be given. They are:
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part IX
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/28/2006
Nikola: The possibility for certain privileges on the basis of the invested foreign capital is provided in the Law of Customs Officials (The Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia no. 20/93, 1/95, 24/95, 31/95,63/95,40/96 and 15/97) and in the Income Tax Law (Gazette of RM no. 80/93……71/96) which are not sufficiently compared to the same laws in some other countries in transition.
The Proper Islamic Response to Danish Cartoons
Syed M. Afsar - 2/26/2006
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA. Protests, boycotts, street marches and shouting empty slogans would be of little help to confront the row that erupted after the publication of the defamatory cartoons, said a leading Dawah activist. According to him, the 'right response' should rather be to educate the Danes about Islam and Prophet Muhammad, whom they have insulted in their ignorance.
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part VIII
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/26/2006
Nikola: A second big problem for the entry of foreign capital, is that in the current Foreign Exchange Working Law (Official newspaper of RM No 30/93) a specific possibility for the entry of foreign currency into Macedonia for the purposes of buying securities is not foreseen.
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part VII
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/23/2006
The legal environment is the starting point of serious intentions for attracting large amounts of foreign investments. There is a need for customized laws and/or for the introduction of changes to existing laws, which will give the capital market in Macedonia at least approximately equal conditions with the same in other countries in transition, not to mention more favorable ones.
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part VI
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/22/2006
The person that this project would be entrusted to, must have enormous knowledge in the field of international finances and must exceptionally well know the problems and needs of Macedonia.
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part V
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/20/2006
Sam: The world has gone through a major cycle of physical colonization in the last five centuries. European countries conquered, by military means, large swathes of land with rich raw materials and mineral resources. They clashed with each other often and the outcomes of these clashes were eternalized in the form of international borders. Whole continents were subjected to this mercantilist behaviour. Raw materials and cheap labour were "sold" at ridiculous prices by the colony to the colonizer – and expensive finished goods and services were imported by it. This led to economic depletion and ...
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part IV
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/19/2006
Nikola: And while one is having a problem with insufficient capital, others have a problem investing the surplus of capital, a problem of high liquidity.
For example, the Nomura company, as one of the most powerful investment banks in the world, with shareholders' capital of over 15 billion dollars, with 63 international offices in 26 countries, approximately 3 million client accounts and over 400 billion dollars in managed client funds, last year, "as a joke", bought 4000 pubs in England. It holds the first place in Central Europe (excepting Russia) as a leading provider of financing. Since...
Foreign Investments and Developing Countries: Dialog With Former Finance Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, Part III
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/18/2006
Sam: It may come as a surprise to many, but foreign investors are as interested in psychology as they are in economics. The first things they enquire about have nothing to do with GDP per capita, the rate of inflation and its forecasts, domestic interest rates, the living standards, the available infrastructure, the banking system and other, "hard core" questions. To start with, they are interested to know other things: are property rights protected by the State and by the courts? Is the right legislation in place? What is the crime rate and how pervasive is it? Are people industrious or lazy,...