Berlusconi jailed for four years – but he held up eurozone recovery for almost as long

The news that ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud has been greeted with almost universal glee.

The king of bunga bunga avoided paying taxes on the rights that Mediaset, his television company, paid for American films, an Italian court ruled this afternoon.

But Berlusconi’s real crime in the eyes of his fellow eurozone leaders was the way he held hostage any attempts to solve the sovereign debt crisis for many months.

Privately, officials from eurozone governments…

This is one of my blog posts for European Voice. Please click here to continue reading.

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The relationship between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is involved in a deep, complex and potentially corrosive relationship with the European Union over the response to the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis. While the IMF has helped shape policy, thrown cash at the deepening problem and provided a useful channel for bail-outs by the backdoor, long-term involvement poses its own risks.

Read the article on this blog,

click here for the PDF of my analysis written for European Voice, January 26, 2012,

or click here to read on the European Voice website.

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G20 in Cannes: Nothing short of a disaster for the EU

When, 24 hours behind schedule, José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy gave a joint press conference at last week’s G20 meeting, they had all the appearance of rabbits caught in the glare of headlights.

A world-changing event such as the eurozone sovereign-debt crisis can transform politicians into titans, or can reduce them to flotsam, tossed on the tide of events, powerless, directionless, and hopeless.

Read the article on this blog,

click here for the PDF of my comment piece in European Voice, 10 November, 2011,

or click her to read it on the European Voice website.

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