Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Greece says no

  • May 09, 2012
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The markets aren’t happy with the Greek election results, and who can blame them?   For the last four years it has been taken for granted that the Greeks would put up without whatever was done to them in order to bring them into line with an extremist and ideologically-driven concept of “austerity” that has destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

To say that there has been scant regard for the social consequences of this process would be something of an understatement. Throughout these dismal four years, the EU/ECB/IMF troika has...

Au Revoir Sarko

  • May 07, 2012
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Even by the dismal standards set by so many European rightwing governments in the last decade or so, Nicolas Sarkozy was a uniquely repellent politician.  Brash, vulgar, ostentatious, ruthless and arrogant, his appetite for power was untempered by any moral scruples.

This was a man who, according to the investigative journalism website  Mediapart,  received 50 million...

Spain as Metaphor

Spain as Metaphor

  • April 29, 2012
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The Spanish  city of Ciudad Real isn’t the most obvious tourist destination.  Situated in the province of La Mancha 115 miles from Madrid, it has a population of 74,000 and few attractions beyond its associations with Spain’s most famous literary character.

In 2003 however,  a private company named CR Aeropuertos began to attract investment for a...

Discussing Breivik

  • April 17, 2012
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Yesterday I appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service programme World Have Your Say to debate the Breivik trial, which is still available here.   The programme was an interesting format; it’s basically an open discussion with only light chairing from the presenter, involving participants from various countries who speak to each...

The Lonesome Death of Dimitris Chrystoulas

The Lonesome Death of Dimitris Chrystoulas

  • April 07, 2012
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Today the funeral of Dimitris Chrystoulas,  the  77-year-old pensioner who shot himself in Syntagma Square on Wednesday in front of the Greek parliament, will take place in Athens.   In a suicide note found at his apartment, the retired pharmacist reportedly wrote:

I find no other solution than a dignified end before I start searching through...

Death in the Mediterranean

  • March 29, 2012
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The Guardian reports today on the Council of Europe’s nine-month investigation into the terrible incident which took place in May last year, when 72 African migrants sail left Tripoli harbour in a packed dinghy en route for Europe.   The boat’s engine cut out and it spent two weeks adrift, even though its passengers...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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