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Weekend Of Assurances: Security, Royalty …

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

vice-president-usa.jpg  hollande-vive-timbuktu.jpg queen-beatrix-resize.jpgOn the weekend: Vice President Joe Biden said at Munich, 2.2.13, that Europe remained America’s first concern, outside its own borders;  President Francois Hollande was away, in Timbuktu, receiving thanks for French intervention in the fighting in Mali; and Queen Juliana, abdicating, promised her many admirers she was not giving in to the burdens of life.

America to the Europeans

The newly re-elected Vice President carried the message to the Munich Security Conference, an annual event started in 1962 by leading figures, retired and active, from the German foreign service; now drawing foreign ministers and other high level representatives from 70 countries.

Mr Biden, 60, said “Europe is the cornerstone of US engagement with the rest of the world. Maintaining our capabilities is what enables us to advance our common global agenda. That’s just one reason why a strong and capable Europe is profoundly in America’s interest and, I might add, in the world’s interest.”

France to Mali

hollande-timbuktu.jpgPresident Francois Hollande was cheered by the crowds on Saturday in the fabled city of Timbuktu, in Mali, regained by national and French troops from extremist Islamic insurgents five days before.

The operation advanced the counter-offensive by an international African force, and the French, since 11.1.13, to regain towns occupied by the insurgency throughout the North of the country.

See EUAustralia Online, “Algeria-Mali: Bloodshed and fright …”, 20.1.13.

The President was called a “saviour” and heard complaints of an ascetic occupation driving to the level of bans on music and dancing.

Queen Juliana to the Netherlands

willem-maxima.jpg“I’m not standing down because public service is too heavy for me, but because of the belief that responsibility for our country should be in the hands of a new generation,” Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands said on television before her 75th birthday, on Thursday.

“It is with the greatest confidence that on April 30 of this year I will pass on the kingship to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Maxima are entirely ready for their future tasks.”

Dutch news media noted the Queen has faced trials, from a heavy workload of state visits supporting the national interest, to the accident faced by her second son, Prince Fiso, on the ski-slopes last March, leaving him in a coma.

She represents the “bicycle monarchies” of Northern Europe; preserving protocol, exercising very little state power, but generating great interest among the public, through ritualistic marriages, and marriages to commoners, the occasional scandal, and sometimes moral leadership.

Queen Juliana has spoken out for tolerance in a multi-cultural society, at a time when radical politics on the right wing was making gains on anti-immigration platform.

She inherited the throne after a similar abdication by her mother, Queen Juliana in 1980, in the wake of a period of embarrassment over financial scandals being sheeted home to the father, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

Prince Willem, 45, the successor in 2013, married to Princess Maxima, formerly from Argentina, will be the first male sovereign for more than 100 years.

He has done advanced studies in water management, appropriate knowledge for a well-paced Dutchman.

The Dutch Constitution, still referring to the monarch as “King”, will describe him, together with the democratically elected cabinet, as part of the government; while it also rules that as sovereign, despite any private views, he will be unable to disagree with what the rest of the government decides – responsibility resting with the cabinet Ministers.


Rukmini Callimachi, AP, “French President Visits Mali to Cheers of Support”, World Time, NY, 2.2.13., (3.2.13),

Euronews, Lyon-Scully, “Joe Biden balms US-European relations”, 2.2.13., (3.2.13).

Merle David Kellerhals Jr., “Biden Addresses Europe, Iran, Syria in Munich Security Speech”, IIP Digital, State Department – USA. Washington, 2.2.13., (3.2.13).

Le Monde, Paris, “François Hollande, héros de Tombouctou ‘libérée’” (Francois Hollande, hero of ‘liberated’ Timbuktu), 2.2.13., (3.2.13). |

Charles Onians, “Dutch Queen Beatrix to abdicate in favour of son”, AFP, Paris, 29.1.13., (3.2.13).

Radio Netherlands, Hilversum, “Time to relax – at last – for Dutch Queen Beatrix”, 30.1.13., (3.2.13).

Pictures  wikipedia,