La Treizième Étoile: 14/11/10 - 21/11/10 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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When is a bailout not a bailout? Answer: when it’s a loan…

Friday, 19 November 2010
The UK media have all week been talking about the EU-IMF package due to be presented to Ireland as a ‘bailout’ but let’s talk about it for what it is: a loan, and a vitally important one at that.

The Irish government have repeatedly denied they need financial help (and to some extent these denials are credible), but they only have the money to keep up with repayments on its colossal borrowing to finance its debt until next year and then what will happen? ...

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A 'true test of her freedom' as Parliament set to invite Aung San Suu Kyi to Europe

Wednesday, 17 November 2010
It was a truly remarkable sight watching the release of Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi after more than 15 years of house arrest. It felt like I was watching history being made – although in truth she should not have been held by the Military Junta at all.

Her release, conveniently shortly after an election in the country Burma - the country's first for 20 years which has since been condemned by international observers as "a joke", "a complete sham" and "riddled with ballot rigging and corruption" – apparently has no conditions attached.

But here it seems Europe is set to really test if she is indeed “free” as she looks set to be invited to address the European Parliament and receive the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought she was awarded twenty years ago in absentia.

It was the Parliament’s Socialists and Democrat group who made the first noises to invite Ms Suu Kyi, but considering the widespread messages issued by Western and European countries feting her release, support from other political groups should not be too far away.

The Belgian S&D vice-president Véronique de Keyser said in a statement that "the European Parliament awarded Aung San Suu Kyi its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 [and] it is high time that she was able to come and collect it.

"The military junta in Rangoon needs to go far beyond releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest,” she said. “She must be free to pursue her political beliefs and she must be free to travel from and return to her country without hindrance.

Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.