Who’s been meddling in Macedonia? Not only who you think


BY NIKOLAS LEONTOPOULOS Greece and Macedonia were pressured by the US, NATO and the EU to sign a deal that most people in both countries reject. And yet, according to the narrative adopted by western media it was solely Russia who “meddled”, “orchestrated”, “agressed”. Evidence on the ground shows a much more mixed and disturbing reality. For more than a quarter of a century the Macedonia name issue has been arguably one of the most incomprehensible (and – yes! - boring) issues in Europe. Until suddenly it turned into a plot combining characters from le Carré Cold War [...]

Who’s been meddling in Macedonia? Not only who you think2018-12-16T22:29:10+00:00

Outrage triggers political action against exploitation of truck drivers


BY INGEBORG ELIASSEN Both the public and politicians have expressed anger at the systematic exploitation of truck drivers working in international transport as exposed by Investigate Europe and others. This outrage has now produced political action.Investigate Europe’s latest project, 'sweatshops on wheels', has exposed the most basic factor in the business model of international transport: increasingly cheaper drivers. Truck drivers are indispensable for societies to function. In spite of that, those who transport goods between Western European countries have wages that are a fraction of the minimum pay in the countries where they work and face conditions that could constitute [...]

Outrage triggers political action against exploitation of truck drivers2018-11-15T00:27:26+00:00

The EU Commission’s hubris over the Greek wildfires


BY NIKOLAS LEONTOPOULOS Launching a spin campaign on three fronts (Brussels, Italy, Greece) the EU Commission argued that since 2010 not only were there no cuts in Greece’s firefighting budget but on the contrary spending for the firefighters’ service actually increased. However, a simple fact-check of the official data tells a completely different story: From the outset of the Greek crisis until today the fire service suffered cuts in total of 600 million (is starting from the 2011 budget) to one billion euros (from the 2010 budget), but this has not stopped the Commission officials from continuing to spread [...]

The EU Commission’s hubris over the Greek wildfires2018-09-22T19:58:37+00:00

The euro crisis is far from over: What the EU could have learned from Greece – but didn’t


BY HARALD SCHUMANN In the end, the ministers and commissioners spoke as if they were good Europeans again.It was, according Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Monetary Union "a historic day for the eurozone" and he added that "the crisis is now behind us.”"It’s done," confirmed Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno, currently chairman of the Eurogroup. "With our solidarity it was successful,” said his German colleague Olaf Scholz, and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that "Europe should be proud of its common currency".With such collective self-praise the eurozone leaders recently celebrated the end of their crisis programme for over-indebted Greece (it [...]

The euro crisis is far from over: What the EU could have learned from Greece – but didn’t2018-08-21T09:57:55+00:00

The child benefit lie: How the German government serves the populists


BY HARALD SCHUMANN How much nationalist blindness can politics tolerate before it becomes completely irrational? Politicians of the grand coalition in Germany are demonstrating the urgency of this question. The starting point is the annually recurring statistics of the German Federal Employment Agency. In 2017, around 343 million euros in child benefits were paid to families whose children live in other countries while their parents are working in Germany. This affected a total of 249 473 children in Poland, Romania, Canada, Croatia and a good dozen other countries. The right-wing populists of the “Alternative für Deutschland“ (AfD) use these [...]

The child benefit lie: How the German government serves the populists2018-06-10T13:49:53+00:00

Jan’s and Daphne’s Laws: How to Stop the Murder of Journalists


BY DREW SULLIVAN, Editor of OCCPR Investigate Europe stands with OCCRP in the defense of journalism. That’s why we are cross-posting this article, written by Drew Sullivan, editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and initially published by OCCRP. Drew was working closely with Jan Kuciak, the 28 year old Solvak investigative reporter murdered last February. The article is republished with the permission of OCCRP. The cold-blooded murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was also a cold slap across the face of modern Europe. That the public watchdogs — the beloved members of a profession that is sometimes more reviled [...]

Jan’s and Daphne’s Laws: How to Stop the Murder of Journalists2018-05-21T10:28:21+00:00

Legislation in the “Black Box“ of the EU Council – where secrecy feeds mistrust


BY HARALD SCHUMANN There’s no doubt that there are some very good people working for the European Union. One of them is Emily O’Reilly, the EU’s Ombudsman. With diligence and tenacity, the Irishwoman has been fighting for years for transparency and accountability in European institutions. Whether it’s the infiltration of the European Commission by lobbyists, the exploitation of interns in the foreign service or European Central Bank head, Mario Draghi’s questionable membership of a finance industry lobby club, O’ Reilly calls out abuses of power by name and fights on behalf of citizens. Rights undermined  Now, she has started against [...]

Legislation in the “Black Box“ of the EU Council – where secrecy feeds mistrust2018-08-20T22:45:41+00:00

Working on the edge of poverty: Slovenia’s self-inflicted wound over labour market reform


BY LENART J. KUČIĆ Labour market reform in Slovenia, designed to boost entrepreneurship and jobs, is condemning thousands of people to near poverty through precarious working conditions. An analysis by Investigate Europe’s media partner Pod črto. In a drive towards entrepreneurship following Europe’s economic slump, workers have been encouraged to take up EU-funded incentives for self-employment, so-called sole-proprietorship, allowing many to trade a degree of job security and social welfare provision for lower taxes and support starting their own businesses. But in too many cases the scheme has turned sour, with some sign-ups pulling out and employers evidently taking advantage of [...]

Working on the edge of poverty: Slovenia’s self-inflicted wound over labour market reform2018-05-21T10:29:44+00:00

An unexpected change is sweeping through Angola


BY PAULO PENA He was internationally dismissed as an unwilling to change “loyal party soldier”. But after serving 100 days in office, João Lourenço, Angola’s new president, is busy purging the state apparatus of the ruling family. The daughter of the former president, her banks and her phone company – or: how a regime change in Angola may affect Portugal through the accumulated wealth and the investments of the African country’s former presidential family. Three months can be a long time in politics. Angola’s new president João Lourenço – the 52 year old former Defense Minister with a made-in-the-Soviet-Union [...]

An unexpected change is sweeping through Angola2018-05-21T10:30:10+00:00
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