< SWITCH ME >
Dear Europeans. We, the editorial team of E&M, have an urgent matter to discuss with you.
E&M is an independent transnational media outlet that was created as a student project back in 2007/8 by a bunch of heady graduates that knew no boundaries in Europe. They were driven by a firm belief that an inclusive pan-European civil society, based on unbiased dialogue and freedom of expression, is possible. Over the last nine years we have been on the lookout for bits and pieces that can explain the European “psyche” through a more personal lense and we have largely succeeded. In recent months, however, we have been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the incoming news, which have somehow stopped making sense. We are struggling with a persistent feeling of unease: at the direction Europe is taking, at the prevailing political wind globally, and with our seeming inability to find reasonable solutions. Please find below our thoughts, fears and a call for action, we would very much want you to take part in.
Photo courtesy of doppeldenk-spiele
Still can't get enough of European austerity politics? Not afraid of a delicate financial situation in your own living room? Then, "€uro Crisis" might be just the right board game for you! In the wake of the latest Greek crisis, the spotlight has once again been cast on the European financial crisis. E&M author Julia Schulte shares her experience in playing the recently developed board game "€uro Crisis" and explores how it depicts these troubled times.
I just bought the Spanish national football team at a give-away price. When the government had to privatise some of their most valuable possessions, my bank struck gold. Simon has a good run, too: as a major bonds holder of a highly indebted Ireland, his bank expects a nice dividend at the end of the year – unless I stop it.
I rearrange my tokens and think about which card to play next. This is by far the happiest I have ever been about the financial crisis. Simon smiles. He is one of a group of five students who developed "€uro Crisis", the board game which sometimes is so painfully close to reality that it leaves the winner with an uneasy feeling. Still, a lot of people seem eager to gain the title "Best Euro Crisis Gambling Bank". A crowd funding campaign to produce the game on a larger scale finished on 19 July, and provided the five of them with over 15,800 € – a lot more than the necessary 13,400 €, a goal they had already reached six days before the campaign’s official ending.
After watching the coverage of Libya over the last days, it might be time to have a closer look at Europe's crisis response. As previously outlined in this blog, the response to secure the EU borders was to keep all those who suffer out. This seemed already somewhat strange. Still, I wonder if there's appropriate coordination between European capitals.
Those who contribute to Wikipedia's 2011 Libyan Protests article have done a superb job in bringing together the different reactions by the various states throughout the world, among them the rescue efforts by the European Union. In that respect, it is quite remarkable that at least five EU nations – Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Greece – have all sent aeroplanes (and a ship in the case of Greece and the UK) to Libya to evacuate its own and other EU citizens.
Given the fact that the Maltese airport is just one hour's flight away from Tipoli, its makes you wonder why there is not one central "shuttle" that is constantly getting citizens out of Libya to Malta and from there throughout the EU. Without having any more than the publicly available knowledge, to me this would seem to be a truly European approach that ensures that EU citizens are extracted from Libya on a regular basis. It would also be cost-efficient and show a united European response.
IN 38 DAYS