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The paper clip

18.01.2013 / 09:45 CET
A round-up of the international news on Friday, 18 January.

The hostage crisis in Algeria – and the possibility that a seemingly unilateral action by the Algerian army to release them has left many dead – is the dominant story around Europe. Courrier International looks at the broader crisis in which Algeria finds itself. A commentator in the UK's Guardian writes that the violent end to this stand-off is only the start of a new chapter in the country's savage history. The Guardian says that because of the crisis in Algeria, David Cameron, the UK's prime minister, has cancelled today's speech on his vision for the UK's future position within the EU.

France's Le Monde examines Germany's view of France' military intervention in Mali. A commentator in the UK's Independent argues that Mali is not a global conflict and does not require a global response. The notion of a global threat from a revived al-Qaeda should be familiar by now; it is the same flawed reasoning the led the US to launch its “war against terror”.

The Greek parliament has voted to start investigations into former foreign minister George Papaconstantinou over allegations that he tampered with a list of potential tax evaders, to remove the names of relative. Kathimerini has a report.

Hungary wants to tax the foreign-held assets of its citizens, France's Le Monde writes.

Lidové noviny reports on the televised debate between the two remaining candidates for the Czech presidency, Karel Schwarzenberg and Miloš Zeman. It writes that Zeman, a former prime minister, spent the evening on the offensive, while Schwarzeberg, the current foreign minister, was composed and adroit in his answers.

Le Monde looks at the efforts to resolve the problems in Serbia's relationship with Kosovo – and at a monument in Kosovo that is undermining efforts. Switzerland's Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes that Serbia is showing a new pragmatism.

A Russian activist, Alexander Dolmatov, has been found dead in the Netherlands, the Financial Times writes. Dolmatov fled Russia and was under investigation for alleged involvement in violence at a protest against Vladimir Putin on the eve of his inauguration as president.

If Germany's businesses were to abandon old habits, then diehards elsewhere in Europe would have nowhere to hide on the issue of women in senior managment, writes a commentator in the Financial Times.

Commentators in the Financial Times write that one important adjustment to US legislation would solve the problem of banks that are too big to fail.

In the UK's Independent, a commentator argues why US presidents should be allowed to run for a third term. There are compelling reasons why two four-year terms may not be enough for a competent and popular US president today, she writes.

Greece's parliament has voted to investigate Giorgos Papaconstantinou, a former finance minister, over allegations that he may have tinkered with a list of alleged tax evaders, writes Kathimerini. Parliament also voted that the commission of inquiry should probe neither Evangelos Venizelos, Papaconstantinou's successor, nor George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos, former prime ministers.

Talks in Brussels last night between Ivica Daèiæ, Serbia's prime minister, and his opposite number from Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, have taken place in a positive atmosphere, writes Koha ditore.

Israel's right-wing bloc will take 63% of seats in parliament in next week's general election, according to a poll by Haaretz.

Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations secretary-general, has apologised for the inclusion of a Serb nationalist song in a New Year's concert at the UN, writes Blic. But Vuk Jeremiæ, the president of the UN General Assembly and a former Serbian foreign minister, attacked those who took offence for trying to "distort the meaning" of the song, a battle hymn of Serbian nationalists during the second world war and again in the 1990s.

© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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