from Hurriyet Daily News
European data protection agencies intend to take action against the US..
from FT.com – World, Europe
US tech group warned it could face ‘repressive action’ before the summer over its failure to radically change controversial data protection policies
In response to the scandal over horsemeat being sold as beef, the states of the EU plan to take a decision on the introduction of Europe-wide genetic tests on beef products this Friday. Horsemeat has been detected in frozen foods in several states in recent days. Commentators say “Horsegate” has revealed a new breach of consumer trust by the greedy food industry and call for more controls and greater transparency.
by Open Europe blog team
Election season means scandal season in Italian politics. Less than two weeks to go to the elections, and a number of scandals are surfacing on the Italian peninsula (not entirely coincidental we think) which could undercut support for the ‘establishment’ parties in particular – and possible give comedian-cum-politican Beppe Grillo a boost.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by Alex Sakalis
2013 is set to be an important year for both the Catholic Church, which elects a new pope, and Croatia, which will become the 28th member of the EU. These two entities share a long history, with the former wielding significant, yet often ignored, influence on political life in the latter.
from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Brent Whelan
Let’s forget about the Pope’s retirement, OK? Not that it doesn’t have huge implications for the theology of the Church and the role of future tenants of St. Peter’s see, but none of that is an electoral matter. And please, let’s pay no further attention to the antics of Silvio Berlusconi, that bad little boy who wants all our attention, all the time. Just ignore him. Let’s notice instead where the Italian electoral campaign is really happening, where it has always been happening, and where in the aftermath of next Sunday’s vote all the political action will be concentrated. Let’s look at the wonderful triangulation between Pier Luigi Bersani, Nichi Vendola, and Mario Monti.
from Brussels Blog by Joshua Chaffin
from open Democracy News Analysis – by James Walston
As the Italian elections draw closer, all contestants have taken their places for the final straight. Yet, the final outcome of the race is as uncertain as ever.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by Dimitris Dalakoglou
The rise of Golden Dawn as a political force on the streets of Athens has provided the Greek state the opportunity to adopt a xenophobic agenda and forcefully eliminate threats to government austerity. The detention and torture of migrant groups and political opponents in the city, seriously call into question the future credibility of Greek democracy.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by James Koranyi
Romania is a country of attraction and danger for the British. Today it’s contaminated slaughterhouses and the threat of a new influx of immigrants. But this discourse plays into a historical narrative that can be traced to the Nineteenth Century, Count Dracula and further back into the mists of time.
from FT.com – World, Europe
Italians go to the polls on February 24 and 25. Examine the challenge the country’s next government will face with this interactive graphic
from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
Spain’s political leaders are in cheerful, almost jubilant, mood at the moment. Economy minister Luis de Guindos, speaking in Davos, declared the tide had turned, and forecast that the Spanish economy would return to growth in the second half of 2013.
The conservative Nikos Anastasiades won the first round of the presidential elections in Cyprus on Sunday, but fell short of an absolute majority. Anastasiades, who is in favour of a rescue package for his country, will run against the leftist Stavros Malas in a run off vote on February 24. Some commentators fear a win for Anastasiades would mean subjecting Cypriots to the troika’s austerity dictates. Others feel the bailout package could be used to apply pressure for a solution to the Cyprus conflict.