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The paper clip

18.02.2013 / 10:43 CET
A round-up of the international press on Monday, 18 February.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, writes in the Financial Times that Europe's budget deal is flawed. I cannot and will not accept what amount to unbalanced budgets, he writes. Slovenia's Delo and Romania's Adevarul are among the papers that look at the test that the EU budget faces in the European Parliament.

Nicos Anastasiades, the centre-right candidate aiming to succeed President Demetris Christofias of Cyprus, failed to win an outright majority in yesterday's election and will go into a run-off against communist Stavros Malas next weekend, writes Kathimerini.

France's Le Figaro previews today's presidential elections in Armenia and considers the impact of the Armenian diaspora.
Philipp Rösler, Germany's economy minister, wants a sweeping free-trade deal between the EU and the US, and opposes the idea of exempting certain topics from the talks, as demanded by France and southern European countries, writes Der Spiegel.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has an interview with Jens Weidmann, the head of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, following a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Moscow this weekend. Weidmann warns that monetary policy  – increasingly witnessed around the world – is “not a panacea”. “I am concerned with the general tendency of questioning central bank independence,” Weidmann says.

Britain's environment minister has asked the UK's Food Standards Agency to investigate claims that the government was warned two years ago that potentially harmful horsemeat could enter the food chain. The Guardian has more.

The EU will soon make it easier to test out new drugs on humans, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The paper says that the planned regulation, aimed at encouraging the medical industry, has hardly been noticed yet. The newspaper says that medical ethicists now worry that safeguards will now be lower for studies on humans than for those on animals.

The UK's minister for work and pensions says the UK is “locked in a fight” with the EU over restricting access to benefits, the Guardian writes. Iain Ducan Smith, a former leader of the Conservative party, wants some EU citizens to be entitled to benefits only if they have been resident in the UK for at least a year, as opposed to the current three months.

A commentator in the Financial Times writes that US President Barack Obama is right to resist the Syria hawks. The president's lack of diplomatic creativity, rather than his sense of caution, is his real Achilles heel. Spain's La Vanguardia looks at the debate within the EU about whether to lift the arms embargo on Syria. The Czech daily Lidové noviny explores reports that Iran is sending fighters to support the Syrian regime.

A commentator in the UK's Independent writes that the West, after shouting about human-rights abuses in Sri Lanka three years ago, is now arming the regime. No matter how much red tape we put in place, we have no control over how such weaponry is used, he writes.

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek explains in the UK's Guardian why free-market fundamentalists think 2013 will be the best year ever. As communists once did, today's capitalists blame any failures on their system being ‘impurely' applied, he writes.

A Guardian commentator looks at the political plight of the British prime minister, David Cameron. Desperate to be loved, Cameron can only flounder, he writes, arguing that the Conservatives are not meant to be the nice party, but, rather, the competent party.

A commentator in Spain's El País argues that the European Union should seize the economic crisis to promote better governance in countries with economic and structural problems. 

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes that the 72 million Swiss francs (€58m) compensation that pharma giant Novartis intends to pay its departing chief executive, Daniel Vasella, has caused an uproar just ahead of a referendum on executives' bonuses.

© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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