Press Review March 21st 2014

Welcome to the Press Review section of the GovFaces blog! Here you will find regular updates on important social, political, and economic issues of the day. Items in the Press Review and Analysis & Opinion sections do not necessarily reflect the views of GovFaces.

 

The European Union has signed the core elements of a landmark political association agreement with Ukraine today, writes reuters.com. This will be followed by a free-trade agreement which will be signed once Ukraine has held presidential elections on 25 May 2014. According to Reuters, Kiev will have to meet “obligations that come with EU political association, including instituting changes to the rule of law and justice, and adopting business and environmental standards that will require hard work and long-term investment to meet.” Could the association and free-trade agreements lead to a deepening of the Ukrainian Crisis?

In light of the events of the Ukrainian Crisis, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta is calling for a Trans-Atlantic Union on wsj.com which would more profoundly integrate North American and the European Union. Ponta argues that: “The endgame of this solution is an Atlantic economic superpower, which would wield unprecedented capacity to impart and withstand economic losses relative to the rest of the world, whose hard security would be guaranteed by NATO.”

Theguardian.com reports that the social networking and micro-blogging website Twitter has been blocked in by the government in E.U. aspirant Turkey. This is seen as being part of the escalating conflict between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Hizmet or Güllen Movement. Erdogan has also threatened to shut down Facebook and YouTube. Responding to his international critics, Erdogan declared that: “The international community can say this, can say that. I don’t care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is.”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has broken his silence over corruption allegations in a “strongly worded open-letter” to be published in Le Figaro, reports france24.com. The letter in part reads:

“For the past two years, I have stuck with my decision remain silent and retire. Yet I believe that it is my duty today to break this silence. If I do so, it is because the sacred principles of our Republic have been trampled with an as-yet-unknown violence and unprecedented lack of scruples.”

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