Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Tag Archives: Spain

Morocco uses migratory pressure to force Spain and the EU to give in to the Sahara

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We experienced an unprecedented crisis at Spain’s southern border last week. On the 17th and 18th, nearly 8,000 people entered Ceuta through the border breakwaters in the face of the passivity and even cooperation of the Moroccan authorities. This attitude on the part of the Moroccan authorities has surprised some people, given the role of […]

Nation-building. Participant observation, June 2015.

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A text I published elsewhere over two years ago. Read it again against the backdrop of this week’s news, found it still valid.   It is not every day that a researcher has the opportunity to be the eye-witness of a nation in the making. Sunday evening 7 June 2015, at the intersection between Avinguda […]

Catalonia: Headlong into the unknown.

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Come October, something with high political voltage will happen in Catalonia and, therefore, in Spain. The main question is that nobody knows exactly what will be. The Catalan Government is strongly committed to holding a referendum on Catalan independence, while the Spanish central government is just as strongly committed to preventing anyone from taking part […]

Jealous of Spain

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Looking south from France in December 2015, how can you not be jealous of Spain? Sure, there’s no need to be envious of the weather, the wine and the beaches. We’ve had more than a fair share of these, too. There is also no reason to minimise the pressing problems of Spanish society, starting with […]

Right to housing in Spain: What have the Romans ever done for us?

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Should we say thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands? I must admit we were not sure how to start the report Evicted Rights: Right to Housing and Mortgage Evictions in Spain, published by Amnesty International – Spain on 23 June 2015 (see here in Spanish). According to judicial statistics, there have been nearly […]

Debate Surrounding the Full-Face Veil: France, Belgium and Spain

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In my first post, I commented on the Spanish Supreme Court’s (SSC) ruling regarding the burqa and niqab in Spain. I would like to pay special attention to the approach taken by the French and Belgian Constitutional Courts, and how this differs from the SSC. The French Constitutional Court (FCC), on 5 March 2013, and […]

And the Debate About the Full-Face Veil Continues in Spain…

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Last February, the “Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña” (TSJC) suspended the municipal ordinance of Reus (Catalonia), which prohibited individuals from fully covering their faces in public spaces. The TSJC referred to the ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court (SSC), which concluded that it is not legitimate for a municipality to ban a fundamental right […]

Don’t write-off Greece – or Europe

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Never trust experts. It was experts who said the Titanic couldn’t sink. It sunk. Two years ago experts said that Greece would sink and would have to leave the Euro.  It hasn’t – and it didn’t. In July 2012 Ireland’s ‘Independent’ newspaper reported that experts predicted a 90% chance that Greece would leave the Eurozone […]

Home and Dry? Home and Away would be closer

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Dr Simon Usherwood Yesterday’s elections in Greece and France might be seen as a vindication of what little strategy European leaders have presented to date: the former’s confirmation of New Democracy suggesting a desire to engage with the bailout agenda; the latter opening up the way for a new growth agenda. No more big challenges […]