Never waste a good crisis – especially when it comes to green energy

by Rashmee

Posted on May 30, 2020 / The Focus


On 26 May, French president Emmanuel Macron launched an €8 billion plan to rescue the French car industry, even as he sought to turn his country into Europe’s biggest producer of electric and hybrid vehicles. It was a bold move to both invest in growth and intensify the fight against climate change via green energy. … Continue reading “Never waste a good crisis – especially when it comes to green energy”

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Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences

by Rashmee

Posted on May 22, 2020


In Turkey, baklava-makers were deemed essential workers during the coronavirus lockdown because Turks like to eat the layered, flaky pastry, moistened with syrup and sprinkled with nuts at all times. Belgium allowed its friteries to stay open even as it closed down other commercial activities because it deemed the sidewalk stands that serve up French … Continue reading “Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences”

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Remember when face-coverings were considered dangerous

by Rashmee

Posted on April 1, 2020


Developments in Austria are rich in irony. On March 30, it decided to join several European countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bosnia-Herzegovina) in making it compulsory to wear a face mask outside the home. But in 2017, a legal ban on clothing that covers the face was adopted by the Austrian parliament. That was … Continue reading “Remember when face-coverings were considered dangerous”

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When it comes to peace, is the EU really a great power?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 21, 2020 / The National


Even before he became the European Union’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, suggested that Europe should speak the “language of power”. And German foreign minister Heiko Maas called for a “strong and sovereign Europe”, which could be a bigger player on the world stage through a proposed European Security Council. It is fitting, then, … Continue reading “When it comes to peace, is the EU really a great power?”

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New year, same old issues as Macron pursues reform agenda and French unions push for war

by Rashmee

Posted on January 3, 2020


New year, same old issues. France’s president promised on new year’s eve that he would go ahead with plans to reform the pension system and the unions bristled and said they would continue with the strikes that now enter their fifth week. The wave of street protests are exceedingly strange. For starters, they began with … Continue reading “New year, same old issues as Macron pursues reform agenda and French unions push for war”

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France wants to be primus inter pares in Europe despite a junked nominee for commissioner

by Rashmee

Posted on October 15, 2019


Two recent developments indicate the internal political flux within the European Union and the jostling underway for the role of primus inter pares (first among equals). Today, North Macedonia and Albania met EU ministers in the hope of starting talks to join the bloc. Paris is opposed. This, on account of the usual scepticism about … Continue reading “France wants to be primus inter pares in Europe despite a junked nominee for commissioner”

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Forecast from the 1776 French Revolution: ‘The present order is the disorder of the future’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 22, 2018


I was very struck by philosopher Srecko Horvat’s observations on the Yellow Vests protests in France. He spoke to Jacobin, the left-wing magazine based in New York, alongside Pamela Anderson, the former model and star of Baywatch. [Ms Anderson, by the way, was very articulate and passionate about Europe’s political problems and the rise of … Continue reading “Forecast from the 1776 French Revolution: ‘The present order is the disorder of the future’”

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Paying people to reduce their carbon footprint could be the answer to climate change

by Rashmee

Posted on December 19, 2018 / The National


In a depressing coincidence, the gilets jaunes protests were raging in France when diplomats from nearly 200 countries assembled in Katowice, Poland, to write a common rulebook on climate-friendly policies. What the COP24 summit eventually produced isn’t legally binding, but it does present a way to make the 2015 Paris Agreement operational. The snowballing French … Continue reading “Paying people to reduce their carbon footprint could be the answer to climate change”

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In France’s Yellow Vest protests, President Emmanuel Macron faces a problem without a defined purpose or prescription

by Rashmee

Posted on December 14, 2018 / First Post


Will there be a fifth straight weekend of street protests in Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, Dijon, Toulouse, and other French cities? No one knows but France cannot afford further shows of public anger by the gilets jaunes or yellow vests, a leaderless, faceless group united only by the colour of their vests and a … Continue reading “In France’s Yellow Vest protests, President Emmanuel Macron faces a problem without a defined purpose or prescription”

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The tapestry of Macron’s active diplomacy – more than Bayeux and Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2018


They’re calling it gesture diplomacy, French president Emmanuel Macron’s instinctive use of ceremonial events, symbolic gifts, history-laden references and pageantry reminiscent of times past to deal with foreign countries. Consider this: Ahead of Mr Macron’s arrival in Britain on Thursday, January 18, it was made known that he would loan it the Bayeux tapestry. That would … Continue reading “The tapestry of Macron’s active diplomacy – more than Bayeux and Britain”

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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