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Demetz, Jean-Michel

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Blog Circumnavigatio - France | 23/01/2013

Spain can't afford a war of secession

The Catalan regional parliament passed a symbolic declaration of sovereignty on Wednesday. The move further paves the way for Catalan independence. These power games with Barcelona come at a very inopportune moment for Madrid, Jean-Michel Demetz writes in his blog Circumnavigatio: "The central government is crushed under the weight of its mission to restructure public finances, stimulate economic growth and put an end to political corruption. Saddled with all this, how is it supposed to deal calmly with the issue of Catalan independence? Naturally the Catalan parliamentarians have called for 'dialogue with the Spanish state' and promise a democratic debate that respects Europe's values. But in practice? At the same time, however, the IMF has just affirmed that 2013 will pan out even worse than 2012 for the Spanish, who are already struggling with a recession. Under such circumstances, can Spain afford the luxury of an institutional crisis and a war of secession?"

Blog Circumnavigatio - France | 16/04/2012

End of grace period for Spain's monarchy

The accident suffered by the Spanish King Juan Carlos I during an elephant hunt in Botswana has sparked a debate in Spain about how the monarch's trip to Africa was financed. The crisis-ridden Spanish are no longer willing to spare their royal family from criticism, writes Jean-Michel Demetz in his blog Circumnavigatio: "For a long time the Spanish monarchy was protected by self-censorship on the part of the media and the two large political parties. Friends of the king - rich magnates who occasionally ran afoul of the judiciary or generous Arab despots - had no need to fear such debates. Those days are now over. Stricken by the crisis and disgusted by the rampant corruption when the economy was thriving, Spain now demands transparency. The Spanish may still feel a little indulgent towards their king. But it will be another thing altogether for Felipe, Prince of Asturias and future king. And he is well aware of this."

Blog Circumnavigatio - France | 28/02/2012

Constitutional Council overturns genocide law

The French law making it a crime to deny the genocide of the Armenians is anti-constitutional and violates freedom of speech, the French Constitutional Council ruled in Paris on Tuesday. This verdict means the controversial law against which Turkey had vehemently protested cannot take effect. Jean-Michel Demetz voices his approval on his blog Circumnavigatio: "A fundamental right - in this case freedom of expression - should not be ignored just to flatter a social lobby group. The Council's decision honours the parliamentarians of both chambers who had the courage to oppose the dictates of their parliamentary groups and the president [and to convoke the Constitutional Council]. And the decision serves to remind Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan - a populist who is increasingly tempted to tighten his own grip on power - that the constitutional state has everything to gain when wise people deliver judgement on a law that troubles those of good conscience, regardless of their political orientation. French democracy has functioned well."

L'Express - France | 14/12/2006

Can Europe still expand?

"The entry into the EU of Romania and Bulgaria is posing more questions than it is bringing cause for celebration", considers Jean-Michel Demetz. "Confirmed on September 26th by the Commission, following an enthusiastic report, this extension of the European club is almost being done under wraps. The parliaments of the 25 States ratified one after the other, this double arrival with remarkable discretion. As if the Chiefs of State and EU officials felt a bit ashamed. ... Because the Bulgarian and Romanian profiles are not good. These countries do not fulfil the criteria demanded. Corruption, the struggle against organised crime, the functioning of the justice systems, food safety, and border control: progress in all these domains is judged by experts hastened by Brussels to be 'limited' compared to fixed objectives. Basically it is insufficient. Public service is not up to the standard of Union States."

Le Vif / L'Express - Belgium | 14/06/2006

European borders under pressure

"Over the next few weeks, a European fleet of warships, planes and helicopters will be patrolling the international waters off the coasts of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde," Jean-Michel Demetz reports in the weekly. The move comes as Europeans attempt to intercept boatloads of illegal immigrants trying to reach the Canary Islands. "After Malta, the Canaries have now become one of the smugglers' objectives. And the weak link in Europe's border. ... Beyond a common border-control policy, demographic decline means that Europe has to make a concerted effort to re-examine its immigration policy as a whole. ... Keeping Europe's frontiers protected is a necessary condition for the Union's security. But it is not enough."

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