Australia’s familiar past

A dip into Australia’s history, seen through the eyes of a foreigner, is revealing. The pragmatism and egalitarianism so closely associated with Australia today are certainly not an invention of our times. Australia has obviously changed over the past 140 years, but perhaps not quite as much as we think. [...]

The cult of Australian property

The theory of an Australian housing market bubble shows all signs of a proper religion. There are rituals like the recurring publication of house price indices. There are miracles when house prices rise despite interest rate hikes. Then there are true believers in the theory that Australian house prices are not in any way exaggerated. And finally there are heretics who take great pleasure in questioning just that. [...]

A necessary shock

Australia's abandonment by Britain was the salutary shock that this country needed. Britain may have sought to profit from its turn to Europe, but it was Australia that gained most from it. [...]

Болезненото сбогуване на Европа – поглед отвън

Европа е континент в криза. Финансовите проблеми на много европейски държави станаха очевидни, когато през май 2010 г. Гърция едва се спаси от фалит. Оттогава се появиха много неприятни данни за държавните финанси в Европа, които оказват натиск върху единната европейска валута - еврото. [...]

Civil society did not drown in the floods

The floods that have hit Queensland and parts of Victoria and NSW are a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions. The loss of life and livelihoods, the damage to households and businesses are gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. But amid the chaos and sadness, there is at least some reason for celebration. In dealing with the crisis, Australians have shown character. [...]

Belgium’s debt bomb is ticking

Belgium is famous for its waffles, chocolates and beers. But it seems that the country is no longer content with just culinary recognition. Belgians are now chasing a veritable world record: they want to be the country with the longest post-election negotiations. [...]

A crisis eating away at Europe’s freedom

Europe’s moral credibility hangs in the balance after Hungary enacted a law to limit press freedom. As Hungary also happens to hold the rotating EU presidency for the first six months of 2011, this is more than just an acute embarrassment for the EU. It calls into question the very foundations the European project is built on. [...]

Estonia should have listenened to Marx

Other European countries could learn a thing or two from both Estonia’s previous economic reforms and its tough but successful austerity policies. If Europe became a bit more like its latest eurozone member, everyone would be a winner. But does this sound even remotely likely? [...]