Chief European Commentator, The Wall Street Journal. Britisher. Where there is discord, may I bring harmony.

Draghi’s Dangerous German Stand-Off — I've written a number of columns over the last two months on the growing rift between Mario Draghi and Germany, for example here and here. Now Reuters has published a detailed report that provides plenty of fresh color on the deteriorating relationship, not least between the European Central Bank president and Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany's Bundesbank, which is said to be "totally rotten, broken beyond repair."

Europas neue Krise geht auf das Konto der Politik

The Eurozone’s Problems are Based in Politics — Some say the euro crisis is back; others argue that it never really went away. A gloomy forecast from the International Monetary Fund suggesting a 40% chance of a slide back into recession and a flurry of weak data pointing to a faltering recovery, particularly in Germany, have spooked the market.

France’s Dodgy Budgetary Arithmetic — Brussels can breathe a sigh of relief. A crisis has been averted. Harmony has been restored. France has submitted a draft budget for scrutiny by the European Commission as required under the eurozone's Fiscal Pact-and what's more, it is fully compliant with the rules.

French Bravado Being Put to the Test in Eurozone — Behind the scenes at the International Monetary Fund's annual meetings in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, the fiercest arguments concerned France's refusal to respect the eurozone fiscal rules set less than three years ago. This is shaping up to be a defining ideological confrontation with profound long-term consequences for the whole of Europe.

The Riddle of Europe’s Capital Markets Union — When the going gets tough, the European Union gets going on a big new integration project. Faced with weak growth, high employment and rising debts in many countries, the latest buzz in Brussels is a "capital markets union."

Stop Bashing Lord Hill — Many predicted that Jonathan Hill would face a tough time persuading the European Parliament to back his nomination as a European Union commissioner. And it turns out they were right. But it is not Mr. Hill's lobbying past, or his alleged sympathies for the City of London, or his supposedly suspect loyalties as a member of the euroskeptic British Conservative party that have put a question mark over his appointment.

Fringe Parties Unleash a Political Earthquake — Something extraordinary is going on in European politics. The populist rebellion that saw fringe parties secure almost 25% of the seats in the European Parliament in May elections appears to be accelerating, rather than abating as some had predicted.

David Cameron's Pledge to Scotland Is Unbreakable — For much of Britain, the events of the past few weeks came as a profound shock. Most Britons had taken it for granted that the U.K. was an island of stability in a troubled continent. Many spent the past five years predicting the imminent collapse of the eurozone.

Scotland Opens a Can of Worms — In the end, the vote was decisive. Scotland has opted by a margin of 55% to 45% to keep the pound, keep the queen and stay in the European Union. They did so by voting to remain in the United Kingdom, although Scottish First Minister Alec Salmond had assured them that they could have all these things by voting for independence.
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Oct 25, 2014

RT @ShreeyaSinha: Exclusive: James Foley, among 23 hostages, was waterboarded & tortured the most. Horrific backstory by @rcallimachi http:…

Oct 25, 2014

@michaelsteen I meant Berlin as in wider German opinion which might not have guessed the subtlety of his argument...

Oct 24, 2014

RT @tonyblairoffice: TB says: the Telegraph story does not represent my view. Ed Miliband and the Labour Party can and will win the next election.

Oct 24, 2014

RT @BBCNewsnight: Garry Kasparov: "A lot of people are resenting the comparison between Putin and Adolf Hitler but I think this comparison is fair" #newsnight

Oct 24, 2014

Quite RT @traynorbrussels: 'This is our country he is messing with. What on earth does Mr Cameron think he is up to?'…

Oct 24, 2014

@michaelsteen quite. They won't have seen the text in Berlin either...

Oct 24, 2014

RT @iankatz1000: .@Kasparov63: "Putin is quite a savvy geopolitical poker player. Some people call it chess but it’s not chess. He’s just good at bluffing"

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