More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse

by Rashmee

Posted on May 21, 2020


Some say there’s “18% more union”. That’s what Bloomberg opined anyway. It said that the decision by Germany’s Angela Merkel to join France’s Emmanuel Macron in backing a 500-billion euro European Commission lending facility is a very big deal. It doesn’t mean there will be a United States of Europe any time soon, but the fiscal union … Continue reading “More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse”

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Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2019 / The National


Tomorrow, European officials will vote to confirm the new European Commission. If all goes well, the executive arm of the European bloc will begin its five-year term by the end of the week, just a few days before Nato’s 70th anniversary summit in London. The sequence of events throws into relief three key policy challenges … Continue reading “Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading”

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Lords and Ladies of Misrule in a year of tumult

by Rashmee

Posted on December 29, 2018


Was 2018 an especially bad year for good governance? Leonid Bershdisky seems to think so in an insightful piece for Bloomberg. He writes, “Surely, 2018 saw a staggering number of countries woefully misruled by the worst crop of world leaders in recent memory.” His list starts with the person you might expect – US President … Continue reading “Lords and Ladies of Misrule in a year of tumult”

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Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2018


  It was striking that Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban declared that his country took as a duty the need to “protect Europe”. Mr Orban said this after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on July 5. As for Mrs Merkel, she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she spoke about Europe’s obligation … Continue reading “Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?”

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A European Monetary Fund? Europe’s answer to Trump’s tormenting?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 11, 2018


The German Chancellor is thinking of a European Monetary Fund (EMF), ie “greater independence within Europe from the International Monetary Fund.” This is not a boring exercise in economic blue-skies thinking. And this is not a knee-jerk response to Donald Trump’s extraordinary behaviour at the G6+1 summit in Canada when the US president treated allies … Continue reading “A European Monetary Fund? Europe’s answer to Trump’s tormenting?”

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Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2017


Every year-ender ends on an uncertain note. The space-time continuum demands nothing less. Pay attention to the tone of all those web listicles, newspaper box items, editorials and year-ender features. They’re not definitive. How can they be? How can you measure events in a finite amount of time when time is not finite for all … Continue reading “Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum”

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Good actions can be bad politics as Germany shows

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Until late on No­vember 19, no one really thought that being a Good Samaritan would make for bad poli­tics. Would a leader who acted humanely be unjustly rewarded with political perdition? Then, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s seven-week attempts to cobble together a governing coalition fell apart. And the unspoken truth became clear: Good actions are … Continue reading “Good actions can be bad politics as Germany shows”

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This Fourth of July, America has a message in its inbox from much of the world

by Rashmee

Posted on July 4, 2017


It started three days after the Pew Research Centre poll that showed Donald Trump’s startling global unpopularity. Germany’s Angela Merkel slammed isolationism, protectionism and climate change denialism without mentioning President Trump by name. Members of Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union cheered when Mr Trump’s Commerce Secretary’s speech was cut off for going too long. Future delights … Continue reading “This Fourth of July, America has a message in its inbox from much of the world”

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Is Mrs Merkel really silly enough to hint she only invited Ivanka as a strategic route to dad?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 26, 2017


If German chancellor Angela Merkel invited Ivanka Trump to Berlin’s women’s summit as a strategic act of diplomacy, it’s rather careless of her to let her thinking become widely known. I’m not sure how smart it is to let everyone – including your target – know that you’re being emollient and flattering only for insanely … Continue reading “Is Mrs Merkel really silly enough to hint she only invited Ivanka as a strategic route to dad?”

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In Germany, the Syrian baby ‘Angela Merkel’: How and why she’s not got asylum status

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2016


The Washington Post headline was eye-catching enough. but was it really true? “Syrian baby named ‘Angela Merkel’ refused asylum in Germany”, said the headline. The story described the gratitude felt by a Syrian couple towards the German chancellor for providing them sanctuary. When the Syrian woman gave birth to a girl at a hospital that … Continue reading “In Germany, the Syrian baby ‘Angela Merkel’: How and why she’s not got asylum status”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK