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Ukraine War: three decades after the Cold War, back to open conflict

  • February 25th, 2022
  • Posted by EU Australia

There was a spurious relief in the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February: no more need for pretending, or false diplomacy, even no need for talk about rights and wrongs.

It is back to the raw power days, Russian tanks in Budapest in 1956, then again in Prague in 1968. Attempts at political reform and opening to the West came to that.

… Read More »

Trump out: Weekend “good riddance” celebrations in USA

  • November 13th, 2020
  • Posted by EU Australia

The change in America came inconveniently for Australians, but handily for journalists preparing peak-hour morning newscasts.

By 5 am Sydney and Melbourne time on Sunday the traditional chief outlet for verified results, Associated Press (AP), after giving the Democratic Party candidates, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the state of Pennsylvania, posted their electoral college vote to 290 – clear of the 270 needed to win. … Read More »

Updating Europe: can the latest deal overcome set-backs of the last decade?

  • July 27th, 2020
  • Posted by EU Australia

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, came out of the European Union summit last week all smiles, saying the deal just reached on eventually getting over CORVID-19 was an “historic” game-changer.

It had set up spending forthwith of 750-billion (A$1230-bilion) to repair and re-start the European economy, an act proclaimed by Macron as signalling strong unity, the emergence of not only an economic union, but political and strategic – “sovereign, unified, democratic”. … Read More »

Last efforts in Brussels to help the British get out of Europe?

  • April 17th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The European Union Heads of Government, week ending 12 April, had good reason to throw the British out so they could get on with important business concerning their joint future.

As Lee Duffield reports, they took over, telling the United Kingdom to finally make a plan for leaving the EU and ruling on a timetable for that — to 31 October. … Read More »

Notre Dame: “A deep wound … can be healed”

  • April 16th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The extensive destruction by fire of Notre Dame Cathedral marks a turning-point after close to a millennium of spiritual affirmation and cultural pride — beckoning revival and a new beginning.

As the Cathedral burned on Tuesday morning Australian time Lee Duffield wrote this reflection on some of the meanings of an event that will touch the life of millions. … Read More »

“Brexit” log-jam in London: new plans, same problem

  • March 29th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The British parliament has voted to extend the deadline for seceding from Europe from Friday until mid-April – but has failed to vote for a consensus on what to do.

Lee Duffield says he stopped making a straw-poll of Australian observers after getting a very early consistency of comments: “silly pommie parliament”, “incompetent mob”, and so on.

In this up-date he says there is surprise and exasperation in Europe also. … Read More »

Dealing in Billions: Tough trade talks with European negotiators who broke the Brits over “Brexit”

  • February 14th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

Things have come to a push-and-shove stage in talks between Europe and Australia over trade – with the EU’s head man in agriculture taking a tough position in Australia this week.

Lee Duffield caught up with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development (equivalent to a federal minister), Phil Hogan (picture), and members of his negotiating team on the Gold Coast.

He says European Union officials who got the British in a tight corner over their secession from Europe – committing them to pay Brussels €39-billion (A$62.09) – aren’t backward putting their own interests forward. … Read More »

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