Alexis Tsipras is head of Greece's radical left-wing alliance, Syriza, which came second in the May 6 elections. His party is hoping to take over after fresh elections in June, when he has vowed to reject austerity measures and work towards growth and justice instead. DW: Various heads of government in the eurozone insist that Greece must stick to the agreements which were the conditions under which it received the loans. If you were to be in a position to form a government, how would you justify approaching them and demanding new negotiations? Alexis Tsipras: The cornerstone of European politics is democracy, not austerity. We should all respect that. If a people corrects defective policies by means of an election, the partners in the agreement have to sit down with the people's new representatives - in this case, those of the Greek people - and examine what went wrong. The mistake should be corrected and things put back on track. The way the conservative - or rather, the leading … [Read more...] about ‘The program that has been used in Greece has failed’
Why products fail
There were plenty of pamphlets touting environmental concerns and banners proclaiming green credentials at the Frankfurt Auto Show which ended last month. But German carmaker Volkswagen said Tuesday, Oct. 9, it intended to put its money where its mouth is regarding promises to cut carbon dioxide emissions by meeting consumer demand for cars with better gas mileage. "The environment is a topic of discussion in our society and we do not think it is going to come in like a wave then roll back away, as it has in the past," VW spokesman Andreas Meurer said. Still, no one at VW expects the company's single-cylinder car in development, which would require one liter of gas to travel 100 kilometers -- the equivalent of 238 miles per US gallon -- to be a record breaker in sales terms, CEO Martin Winterkorn. The car, whose body will be made primarily of plastic and magnesium, will only reach a maximum speed of 120 kilometer per hour (75 mph). "People taking this car on the autobahn should … [Read more...] about VW’s Planned High-Mileage Car Likely a Niche Product
My trip to Cannes doesn't begin with glamour, but with bureaucracy and the obligatory accreditation process in the Grand Palais du Festival. My badge bares a small yellow dot. If it were white, the "carte blanche" would guarantee star status, no waits and guaranteed seating. As it turns out, yellow means I only have to wait 30 minutes in line. In my first screening, I encounter director Emmanuelle Bercot, who is there for her role in the in-competition film "Mon Roi." She plays a woman who ponders a failed relationship while she is recovering from a ski accident. She goes through a painful healing process, told retrospectively. The film is a tour de force that depicts the ups and downs of human love. The latest picture by Norwegian director Joachim Trier is somewhat more subtle and scenic, yet less emotion. "Louder than Bombs" is his first English-language production and features Isabele Huppert in the role of a war photographer. After years of shifting between crisis regions and … [Read more...] about Cannes: Who should win and why Germany is left out
Mark Blyth is professor of International Political Economy at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is currently working on a new book that questions the political and economic sustainability of liberal democracies, called "The End of the Liberal World?" The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 introduced three new concepts to the public: Moral Hazard, Systemic Risk, and Too Big To Fail. The first was well-known but misunderstood, the second wasn't supposed to exist but did, and the third has helped morph the legacy of the 2008 banking crisis, the explosion of government debt across Europe, into a secondary banking crisis with a pernicious twist that is perhaps the real lesson of Lehman. Before the 2008 crisis, 30 years of "markets-are-good" thinking produced an understanding of the economy where agents with rational expectations reacted to "the fundamentals" to produce efficient market outcomes. Armed with such ideas, regulatory authorities let banks regulate themselves. … [Read more...] about Greece, Lehman, and the politics of Too Big To Fail
Milk is watered down or laced with fertilizers, bleach or detergent to give it a frothy appearance, apples are sprayed with chemicals to appear rosier, oils are contaminated with non-edible oils, fresh tea leaves mixed with waste tea, sweets are contaminated with caustic soda - the ways of adulterating food seem endless. According to a recent report released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), 13 percent of all food in the country - especially meat, fruit and vegetables - fails to meet safety standards. The consequences for the health of India's 1.2 billion people are potentially fatal, with adulterated food being responsible for all sorts of health problems, ranging from upset stomachs to cancer. 'We've lost control' "The worst thing for me is that we normal citizens don't even know what we are eating," says one resident of the capital New Delhi. "The media never tell us that there is adulterated food, although we do hear about raids. We've lost control of … [Read more...] about Over 10 percent of Indian food fails the safety test
Emmanuel Feys leaves the tractor running as he comes in from his potato field for a quick chat. He singlehandedly runs his family’s 160-hectare farm just east of Brussels. He doesn't have much time for small talk, but he does have his opinions about Europe's farm subsidies. "European family farms will disappear with the cutting of subsidies," Feys told Deutsche Welle. "You will have the big farms who are able to go against the world market, but farmers such as I won't be able to make it. That's for sure." Yet Feys also stands to gain from proposed changes to the bloc's subsidies regime. Right now his potato field is surrounded by a wide swathe of grass and weeds, which form a ring around the plot, and this appears to be just the kind of farm that EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos would like to promote. Greening the CAP Farm subsidies are supposed to help promote a European rural idyll Of all the measures contained in last week's proposed EU budget for … [Read more...] about EU fails to please with greener farm subsidies
A dam holding back wastewater from the Germano iron ore mine near the city of Mariana in Minas Gerais state burst Thursday. Television footage showed a torrent of red muck several hundred meters long that had swamped houses and destroyed roofs in the touristic city of more than 50,000 people. "The situation is grim. It is dark. There is a lot of mud," Fire Chief Adao Severino Junior said. "There is no way to survive under that material." The neighboring village of Bento Rodrigues was completely buried, the chief added. At least 17 people have reportedly been killed. More than 40 people are still missing. Others sat on roofs awaiting rescue as the muck enveloped residential streets. The dam had been holding tailings, a mining waste product of metal filings, water and occasionally toxic chemicals. It was located near the Gualaxo do Norte River, adding to fears of contaminating waterways. Mine owner Samarco, which is a international joint venture between Brazil's Vale and Australia's … [Read more...] about Mine dam fails in Brazil unleashing torrent of toxic sludge
The announcement at the end of April that Canberra had chosen to spend A$50 billion ($38 billion) on submarines made by French contractor DCNS clearly caught the Japanese government by surprise, understandable given that ministers and the media had expressed absolute certainty that the Japanese bid, based on its Soryu class of vessels, held an "insurmountable lead" over the rival proposals. The depth of that disappointment was voiced by Gen Nakatani, the Japanese defense minister, who told reporters in Tokyo, "I want to seek an explanation of why [the Japanese bid] was not chosen and have the findings reflected [in future export proposals]." Much of the blame for the Japanese bid's failure has been directed toward the apparent change of heart in Canberra, where Malcolm Turnbull went back on the supposed "gentlemen's agreement" that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believed he had with Tony Abbott - who stepped down as Australian leader in September 2015 - to purchase the … [Read more...] about Can Japan’s defense firms bounce back from failed Australia sub bid?
During her two-day India visit (May 26-27), German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is expected to hold talks with top Indian officials, including her counterpart Manohar Parrikar, and push for a stronger bilateral defense cooperation and being part of the "Make in India" initiative designed to boost foreign investment. Media reports also suggest that Germany, which has been in a "strategic partnership" with India since 2001, will be making a strong pitch to take part in developing underwater platforms for submarines following the decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to indigenously manufacture six more conventional submarines. German shipbuilding giant ThyssenKrupp Marine System has one of the world's most experienced submarine-making shipyards. Von der Leyen's visit comes as India is set to wrap up negotiations with France over the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. Analysts argue that both events are reflective of a trend that has been developing over past … [Read more...] about Deterrence and power projection – Why India remains a major arms importer
Schalke have had a strong academy system for many years. Four of the players in Germany's squad for the 2016 European Championship made their first-team debut with the Royal Blues, and two more have made their competitive debuts in World Cup qualifiers since. But despite their productive footballer-making machine, Schalke have struggled to achieve what their fans have been aching for - a return to the Champions League. This year, they are farther from their goal than they were last season, and it is becoming harder to entice their academy products to stick around without European football. Sead Kolasinac looks to be the latest homegrown talent to look for Champions League football elsewhere. According to widespread media reports, he'll join Arsenal, moving to the London club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season. Some reports suggest Arsenal has offered him more than twice the wages Schalke put on the table, but his decision to leave … [Read more...] about Opinion: If Schalke won’t invest for their own youngsters, why should they stay?