YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE

Unemployment has always been present in every country, varying always depending on the country in which it is given and the epoch. Youth unemployment has usually been quite low as this new generations are educated to be the best qualified in order to improve and develop our society. However, since the economic crisis harshly hitted Europe, unemployment has gone off, specially the youth unemployment, reaching scandalous and alarming numbers in almost every country of Europe in comparison with the previous situation before the crisis.

The last European elections results should be a turning point for the next European common policies. Population is frustrated and what we have just seen is something that would happen any other place after suffering a huge economic crisis and not seeing short-term reUntitledcovery signals. Although population has little to do with what has happened, Many Spanish people complain about their invidious employment situation and saying that this is a problem in whole Europe. Which in fact, most of the regions which have the highest rates are located in Spain, like Ceuta, las Canarias or Andalucía. But if you have a closer look on the data from April 2014 you can easily see that most of the concerned countries are only in the South or East of Europe. In contrast to this, for instance, Denmark´s unemployment rate reclines 12,4 percent and Austria has only a number of 9,5 percent. Moreover Germany plays a special part in this comparison: With 7,9 percent, it is the country with the lowest rate in the whole EU, although there are many foreigner coming from Southern Europe to work there. It has obvious reasons – a good political system, a high-quality education system and open-minded enterprises. As the level of education is very high in Germany the companies are exposed to hire young and innovative people who just finished their degree.

I think that we complain easily and we prefer to have “bad” solutions that only cover the surface of the problem and be satisfied with that rather than waiting and solving the problem deeply; and rivals feed the anger of citizens with this poor arguments. What is clear is that the EU needs to be renewed; we have to change all bad mechanism that were not working before and prevent new economic catastrophes and I think the next years can be a good time for Europe as a whole, people quickly will calm down their opinions if economic incomes come in their homes. If the European parliament and commission do proper changes and new policies, as they promised, the competitiveness of the Union will increase and so, the competitiveness of each member. We have all necessary tools, means, minds and opportunities, just let’s do it using common sense and thinking that the well-being of one is the well-being of all us at the end. Youth unemployment will decrease in the next years, as some has estimated. Spain will be one of the countries that will notice that, young graduated will not have to move abroad in order to find a job, good quality workers are offering their skills to others, they will be now able to offer them to their own country

As a conclusion, even though unemployment rates are quite high, the situation will be improving in the next few years, recovering from the terrible consequences of the crisis and lowering the youth unemployment by letting place to new generations to accede to qualified jobs.

INTERVIEW TO LUCINDA TAYLOR

At the time when I had to make an interview to someone who had to do with the region I have to study, I contacted with an individual I personally knew from the North of France. I thought that it could be a good idea to interview him as he has lived there for almost all his life, until he came to Spain about a couple of years ago. However, something happened and this promising interview could not be carried out, as the interviewee for some reasons was not able to do it.

 

Then, I decided to get in touch with an English girl I met some years ago, as I thought that not only the point of view of someone older could be interesting, but the one of someone about my age would be quite interesting, as the perspective might not be the same as those who are more experienced in life.

 

Lucinda Taylor is an English girl native from Chatham who I met some years ago through an exchange program that lasted one week at her Town, and another week at mine. She is currently studying law at the Canterbury Christ Church University at Canterbury. I chosed her for the interview as her point of view might be interesting regarding the current situation about some issues.

 

After a long time without being in contact with her, we catched up on our lives, and then, I started asking her some general questions.

 

First, I started the interview asking for her thoughts about their special currency; the pound. She thinks that the fact of opening to the common European currency, the Euro, could benefit at some point the country as it would approach Great Britain to the resto f the European countries and would make it easier the country’s relations with the resto f the EU in the globalized World we are living, though it would supose at a cultural lever for the inhabitants, the change of currency. The Pound is not only a solid system at an economic level but it takes part in its national culture and history.

 

United Kingdom’s monarchy as I found quite interesting what just happened at Spain with the King’s abdication. She undoubtly started answering without any problems with her personal opinion. She said that England’s monarchy is a solid and stable institution not only at good times, but also at bad ones, which is against the political parties which have problems to reach an agreement of the different ideals which each party has. Also, she said that the image of the monarch is an important fact at the time of relating with other regions such as the islamic countries whose mentallity is quite different from European countries. She explained it with an example: “For instance, it is not the same for an Arab sheik to reach an agreement with a monarch than with a simple minister, as the monarch in England represents the head of the main religion; the Church.”

 

Then, as a related question, I asked her about the abdication of the Spanish King, Juan Carlos I. She told me that in England the monarchy plays a very important role, but she can understand the strikes that were placed in Spain nowadays because by her point of view, the King has a very important role as a diplomat as he has a lot of contacts all over the world, but this does not mean that the Spanish population has to maintain his whole family. Thus, the Spanish people, as part of the democratic regime that they are living, deserve a referendum even this referendum is not vinculative. But they deserve to be asked about this issue.

 

As last question, I asked her about her opinion of the big empire that Britain was with all its colonies and what Britain means to the world nowadays. She answered me that Britain is nowadays is one of the most powerful countries in Europe, and even it does not belong to the Euro, this fact makes them strong as they do not have to share the common debt of Europe that was established between the north and the south, and they can apply their own measures with this crisis.

 

As a conclusion, we can argue that Great Britain even it is not the great superpower with all of its colonies, we can say that it is still very important because they are a quite strategic point in the international trade and they still have their huge influence and strength in Europe because of the history, currency and economy.

 

By Leyre Hornedo Clavijo

All Europe looks at Spain

On monday 1st of June and after four decades of reign, the Spanish King, Rey Juan Carlos I, abdicated. It was shocking when the Spanish first priminister, Mariano Rajoy, called a press conference which he did not give any hint of what he was going to announce. When everyone was paying him attention he stated that the King gave him the responsability to announce to the population that he was going to abdicate. When that happened, all Europe looked at Spain.

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When Angela Merkel got told that the Spanish King abdicated, she couldn’t stop giving good comments about him. She stated the importance of the King in the transition to democracy and the good relations with Germany due to very constructive and deep conversations with the monarch. Hours before, her speaker, Steffen Seibert, stated that Merkel appreciated the King alot and hopes the best for him.

French newspapers have, as well, been following the latest news about the Spanish king’s abdication. Le Monde has reported in an objective way the facts and the reasons that made it happen. It also announced that Hollande and the King maintained a conversation the same day, in which the French President showed his support to him and the rest of the royal family defining King Juan Carlos as the “personification of the Spanish democracy process, who guided his country through the way of civil and political rights” (François Hollande, 2 Jun.) Some French opinion articles suggest that Spanish population reaction has been of surprise by the new but then, quickly assimilated and defined as a “normal decision” due to the king’s age and royal family’ scandals and they show their support to his son, Prince Felipe, next Spanish King.

The day after the abdication, the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, called the King to show his personal best wishes and to remember him his “deep and ancient” relations with Italy, the country where the King was born. As Merkel also did, he stated the great importance that he had in the Spanish transition.

The English prime minister, David Cameron, stated that the Spanish King has and always will be a very good friend of England. In addition, the British population are convinced that the Queen will not give up and abdicate eventhough a part of the population would be in favour of it. Some assurements about the the continuing reign of Elizabeth were made by the Queen’s cousin, the Hon Margaret Rhodes or even David Cameron, who said that he is sure that she will not abdicate in favour of his son Charles.

Diversity within ‘The Six’

European Elections have brought some shocking results; the increase in popularity of far-right parties in many countries and the uncertain future and direction of the EU.

The first few European Parliament elections Germany‘s voter participation reached good results: in 1979 it reached up to 65,7% turnout – while it decreased strongly in the last two elections: 2004 only 43% and 2009 up to 43,27%.
In the European elections (25th of May 2014) the German turnout increased up to 47,9% and the CDU won again in cooperation with the CSU reaching 36,3%, followed by SPD with 27,4% and GRÜNE with 10,5%.

The critical AfD party also reached 7%, achieving 7 seats in the European Parliament.

The right-wing and radical parties in Germany gathered a few votes, obtaining only 1 seat, however in some other European countries like France and UK it seems to be a big day for them.

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Picture retrieved from: http://tinyurl.com/lkwk2pa

The latest results made in France about the next 2014 european elections showed that only 39% of the population was going to participate. Due to the economic crisis, the number of eurosceptics is increasing in this country, bringing for the first time, a victory for far-right parties in the elections. The National Fron (NF) leaded by Marine Le Pen, described as an anti-immigration and eurosceptic party won with a 25,4% of votes while the other two important ones, UMP a centre-right party achieved 21% and the Socialist party (PS) 14,5%.

The failures of Hollande’s political program and the economic crisis that Europe is suffering right now has made right-wing parties lead the first positions on the electoral lists and have strengthened population’s national and protectionist values, rejecting so, any european future project.

The rest pro-european countries suggest that if the results are these ones, an isolated France would be devastating for european economic and social prosperity.

Currently, the 3 predominant parties in Italy are Forza Italia, Partito Democratica and Five Star Movement.

According to a pole made by “Metapolls” between the 2nd the 9th of May, Forza Italia, lead by Silvio Berlusconi, would obtain between 18,2-20.5%, many less points than Partito Democratico, which the poll gives a prediction of between 30,6-33,4%. Five Star Movement, lead by Beppe Grillo, would between 25-27,6%, many more than the oldest party in Italy, Forza Italia. The Final results at the European elections in Italy have been quite similar as the polls have shown through the past days.

Partito Democratico won the elections with a remarkable difference in comparison with the rest, obtaining 40,8%, followed by Five Star Movement with 21,15% and Forza Italia with 16,8%.

These European elections are the first elections held under the Treaty of Lisbon of 2009, which in article 14 points out that the now elected European Parliament is going to elect the next President of the European Commission. [Responsible for the executive organ of the EU.]

Closing the European Parliament elections of 2014, there is only one question left:

Who is going to be the next President of the European Commission?

Racism and nationalism strike again in Europe

With all the problems that are receantly happening all over Europe, nationalist groups are appearing and gaining more and more importance all over the European geography. Groups such as Golden Dawn in Greece are gaining a lot of importance in Greece and many small nationalist parties of different countries have them as a role model.

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picture: the guardian / ap / Nikolas Giakoumidis

As everyone knows, the European elections are going to be held this sunday and surprisingly, the Greek government will allow Golden Dawn to participate in the European Elections although their leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos is in prison due to allegations of him being a member of a criminal organization.As we may think this is a crazy action by the Greek government, Golden Dawn has atleast one representative in each region of their country which can tell us that they are the real winners of the past Greek elections.

As Golden Dawn, the new uprising French nationalist party, National Front, lead by Marine Le Pen, has gained importance after the economic crisis that hit the Eurozone in 2008. In the past French local elections, their support has increased to a 32% in the whole country. This is a controversial fact due to how hard and severe Le Pen’s words are; “we are free to welcome, or not welcome, those who want to come”. With that quote, we can see that non-immigration policies, xenophobia and euroscepticism are the main characteristics of this political party, which defends nationalism and protectionism as well.

According to “Barómetro del Real Instituto Elcano”, the way of thinking of Le Pen has also hit Spain, as the number of Spanish citizens that see ilegal immigration as a threat, has increased. The survey collected data which showed that 21% of the people that got surveyd give more importance to this issue than to changing the domestic and foreign economical policies.

Nationalism does not only happen within countries in the Eurozone, this movement has hit the British Islands aswell. Experts expect that the right United Kingdom Independent Party, UKIP, with its chairman Nigel Farage is going to get around 30 percent of the votes as surveys indicate that the UKIP could become the most powerful party on the island. Their campaign comprises a poster which show the British flag burning because of Brussels with slogans like “Take back control of our country”. His party is completely against the EU and wants the discharge of Great Britain as well as no more immigrants.

Switzerland, the country that has gone the furthest with nationalists ideas, in a bid to restart the negotiations with the European Union after they got frozen due to their immigration policy, will grant Croatian workers to enter their labour market. Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and is a major trading partner, European Union fundamental policies such as free movement of people and Jobs within its borders have been accepted by Switzerland under a pact with Brussels.

Cleaved parties in the European Union due to Ukraine conflict

Last Sunday Pro-Russian achieved their personal breakthrough: Eighty-nine percent of the population voted in favour of the self-rule for Eastern Ukraine by the referendum vote. This result as well as the way of voting reboils the Ukraine issue ones more inasmuch as the European Union is not acclaiming this vote and wants to declare more sanctions which cause cleaved parties between its members.

 

The so called third level of sanctions – wide-ranging economic sanctions – are intended to weaken Putin, as Europeans have ruled out the use of military means and use sanctions as their most powerful weapon. But in fact this can only be effective when all the members agree on them unanimously. Levels one and two were no problem because they were primarily symbolic acts – but the latest sanctions would have a strong effect on Russia and therefore also on the economies of the EU members.

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Picture:alliance / dpa / Anthony Picore

 

This leads to a splitting of the EU into different parties. Because in the last few months, countries such as Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden have publicly stated that they will support Ukraine with their military use of force. Raimonda Murmokaite, Lithuania’s United Nations envoy and Olivier Maes, her Luxembourg counterpart defended Ukraines’ right to use force if needed against pro-Russian separatists at an UN Security Council meeting on the 13th April in New York. Also Carl Blidt, Sweden’s foreign minister announced via Twitter: “If illegal armed groups took over police stations and local government offices in Sweden we would use all our instruments to restore order.”

 

On the other hand, the European Parliamentarian, Rebecca Harms, said that she agrees with the paths that the EU is following. She suggested more sanctions to Russia but she is totally against the use of military means from the EU for solving Ukraine’s crisis. Nevertheless the German foreign minister warned that the Ukraine is close to war as Ukrainian troops clashed with pro-Russian separatists a few days ago: “The bloody pictures have shown us that we are just a few steps away from a military confrontation”. As Germany and France are taking the middle position, they don’t want sanctions. But if Putin goes on destabilizing Ukraine, they will support measures. The French president Hollande has no negative attitude towards Russia and its president Putin. He wants to keep their relation of interest stabile.

 

Moreover especially the countries in Southern Europe are afraid of economic costs of a trade boycott. Spain tries to act neutral in this conflict. The Spanish foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, as well as the Italian one, Federica Mogherini, gave importance to restart the conversations in Geneva in order to get national peace in Ukraine and to keep working with Russia to stop this conflict. Garcia-Margallo states that Spain is in favour of the international legality and therefore condemns the separation of Crimea. He explained that Spain fully supports their NATO and EU allies. Additionally Mogherini expressed her hope that the Ukrainian presidential elections on May 25, should allow Ukraine to reform their constitution.