Oscillando fedeltà

Square in BratislavaPolls suggest that most Slovaks do not want to contribute to the eurozone bailout fund

The eurozone crisis and need to bail out Greece has been fuelling resentment in other European countries including Slovakia, a nation that was originally very much in favour of joining the European Union.

The man at Volkswagen gave the official company line on euro membershipwhy the euro was good for Slovakia, why it encouraged investment.

But Vladimir Machalik could not resist chipping in with his own personal feelings.

Volkswagen is the biggest exporting company in the country, and for us it’s really important to have the euro. The elimination of exchange volatility allows us to make long term plans, without this up and down of the Slovak crown.

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"Inizio Citazione

Durante il periodo comunista, è stato davvero difficile viaggio ... ora posso viaggiare giro per l'Europa "

Citazione
Vladimir Machalik
Il portavoce di Volkswagen

E poi il signor Machalik sorrise il sorriso di un uomo che è nato nell'ambito di un sistema sovietico dominato.

“Durante il periodo comunista, è stato davvero difficile viaggiare ... ora posso viaggiare giro per l'Europa. Io non devo cambiare i soldi per tutto il tempo. E 'la libertà.”

C'è stato un tempo in cui questo tipo di euro-entusiasmo era universale in Slovacchia.

Questo paese è utilizzato per essere poveri, per essere considerata un'economia di seconda classe anche all'interno del blocco orientale.

Poi la Slovacchia è stata invitata ad aderire all'euro in 2009, prima del suo rivale più ricco della Repubblica Ceca, in vista del suo vicino Ungheria, e davanti a grandi paesi come la Polonia.

Volkswagen worker polishing carVolkswagen is Slovakia’s biggest exporting firm and being a part of the eurozone helps its growth

We felt proud,” said Maria, a pensioner living in the centre of the Slovak capital, Bratislava. “At last we had a good currency.

But Maria is not happy about what euro-membership now entails.

All eurozone members will be asked to contribute to the European Financial Stability Facility, to help countries that risk bankruptcycountries like Greece, or perhaps Spain or Portugal.

Yet Slovakia is still listed as the second-poorest country in the eurozone.

Maria said she did not see why she and other Slovaks should effectively be handing over money to people who have wealthier lives than she can dream of.

People in Slovakia have been through a very hard time since 1989.

A lot of industries disappeared, because capitalism did not need them. Our unemployment rate was high, and well-educated people could not find work.

And after all this we went through, we are told to give money to Greece because they are in a bad situation. We are not in a good situation either.

Maria is not alone.

Polls suggest that the majority of Slovaks do not want their country to contribute to the bailout fund.

And they have support in Parliament from the MP Jozef Kollor, a leading light in the Freedom and Solidarity Party.

We also have an austerity programme, in Slovakia,” ha detto.

We are cutting public sector wages, we are increasing some consumer taxes… and to then lend money to peripheral economies like Greece? The majority of people will never agree to that.

Cafe in central BratislavaMany Slovaks initially viewed the euro as asaviour”, said one economic commentator

Jozef Kollor is unhappy too about the latest proposals from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

They have suggested eurozone countries should agree to more coordination of their budgets, and of fiscal policy generally.

It’s a step towards being the United States of Europe,” he warned.

Mr Kollar’s views may go down well with the Slovak public, but they are certainly not the view of the government, in which his party serves as a coalition partner.

Anzi, both the largest party in the ruling coalition, and the main opposition party have indicated they will support contributions to the bail-out fund.

There is no alternative,” said Slovakia’s foreign minister Mikulas Dzurinda. “We joined a club, so now we are speaking about protection of our common currency, about the future of the club.

But Mr Dzurinda is angry at Greece and other countries that have allowed their deficits to balloon out of all control.

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"Inizio Citazione

Mikulas Dzurinda

We want to be loyal to members of the club we joined”

Citazione
Mikulas Dzurinda
Slovakia foreign minister

He blames European officials who allowed it to happen without punishing Greece for breaching eurozone rules. Yet he insisted this was not the time to let such backsliding nations go to the wall.

We want to be loyal to members of the club we joined.

Despite all these troubles, Slovaks seem to have no real regrets about joining the European Union, or indeed the euro.

They will complain bitterly about the restrictions and requirements it now entails, but then glow with pride the next minute, and talk delightedly about how they now use the same currency, the same notes and coins as a country like Germany.

If all this sounds just a little contradictory, then we should not be surprised, according to Juraj Karpis, from Bratislava’s Institute of Economic and Social Studies.

Juraj Karpis argued that his fellow countrymen’s attitude to the euro was never rational in the first place.

We had our own currency crisis in 98,” ha detto. “So people viewed the euro as a saviour… it was a religion. The people who were against the euro were viewed as traitors.

Mr Karpis smiled at the thought of this past foolishness, as he sees it.

Now people see all the problems of the euro, they see that European politicians are not saints. This euro religion is getting huge cracks.

The World Tonight is broadcast weekdays on BBC Radio 4 a 22:00 BST.


Solo sulla strada…

Così, what gives?

The idea for these ladies seems to be to ‘get out and travel when you want’! While 27-year-old actor Ira Dubey’s waiting to jet set off on a November-December Grecia getaway with her pals, actor and single girl Shahana Goswami recently went to live la vida loca in Spain! “The place is known for its good-looking men, tantalising food and breathtaking landscapeI loved my getaway,” lei dice.

Sumitra Senapaty, who presents the concept of single girl travelling with her club WOW (Women On Wanderlust), says more women are finding it increasingly convenient to travel this way. Since the inception of her travel club, she’s brought together at least 10,000 donne. “The requests to see more places just keep growing,” she declares.

Giramondo safari

Se le destinazioni sono calde, gli itinerari sono più calde e progettisti come Senapaty assicurarsi che le donne hanno uno scoppio meno le loro famiglie e metà migliori. Pubblicità professionale Rishika Kumar, 30, voleva crogiolarsi dalle piazze d'Italia. “Ero uno studente di storia troppo, così ho voluto visitare e lo scorso dicembre, L'ho fatto così solo. Forse farò Grecia quest'anno,” che riflette.

L'elenco delle cose da fare è un versatile, così come pianificatori Shah effettivamente costruire la cucina e degustazioni di vino in donne viaggi di viaggio. Consulente Komal Lath rivela come la sua recente agenda di viaggio è stato “folle”. Dice, “Il mio amico di scuola e ho programmato un viaggio ragazza perché troviamo divertente zaino in spalla e il tempo necessario per esplorare per conto nostro. Abbiamo preso per la Francia, Monaco e in Italia e le cose di cui godono sul nostro tempo. I’d like to go do this again.

Superiore 5 women-friendly destinations

– Vancouver

Istanbul

– Hanoi

Singapore

Austin

[email protected] timesgroup.com


Creta guida turistica

Perché andare?

"Megalónisos", il "Grande Isola", is the Greek moniker for Crete and indeed it is almost a country in itself. Notato come la culla della civiltà minoica durante il secondo millennio aC, Creta ha da allora - secondo le parole dello scrittore britannico Saki - "più storia di quanto prodotto si può consumare a livello locale".

Oggi produce anche un surplus di beni alimentari a causa della più lunga stagione in crescita in Grecia. E una delle più lunghe stagioni di beach-lounging pure; spiagge della costa nord-tendono ad essere lunga e sabbiosa se un po 'esposto, mentre altri tendono ad essere più brevi ma più appartata.

Quando andare?

Le stagioni nel sud di Creta si estende a fine ottobre. Per le tariffe scontate, un servizio migliore taverna e tempo moderato, metà maggio a fine giugno, e tutti di Settembre, sono i periodi migliori; nei mesi di luglio e agosto tutto è perfettamente funzionante, e il mare accuratamente riscaldato, ma avrete i conti con le folle e sia di calore intenso o il Meltemi, il famigerato vento da nord che a buffet spiagge di tutto il pomeriggio. The best winter options is Réthymno on Crete.

Come arrivare

In aereo da oltreoceano

Creta ha tre aeroporti: da ovest a est, Haniá, Iráklio (Heraklion) e Sitía. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) vola a Heraklion (Iraklio) da Gatwick, Bristol e Manchester e di Chania (Hania) mentre Jet2 (www.jet2.com) offre servizi di Heralkion (Iraklio) from Blackpool and Leeds Bradford.Aegean Airlines, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Monarch and FlytoAir also fly to Crete from several Uk airports.

Con l'aria da dentro la Grecia

Athens is linked to all eight islands except Hydra and Pátmos by up to 11 voli giornalieri su entrambi Olimpico (www.olympicair.com, come 801 8010101) o Egeo (www.aegeanair.com, come 801 1120000), though frequencies will reduce if their proposed merger is approved by the EU in early 2011.

La coppia ha anche attualmente forniscono voli da Salonicco a Iráklio, Rodi a Sitia (orientale di Creta) o Iráklio, mentre Sky Express (www.skyexpress.gr) offer links from Iráklio to several other Greek islands, ma le loro regole sul bagaglio sono severe e lo spazio per il bagaglio a mano inesistente.

Trasferimenti: Dall'aeroporto di Chania, circa sei autobus al giorno fanno servizio per e dalla città ma un taxi (€20) è una opzione più probabile; da Iráklio, un autobus pubblico va in città fino al 11, altrimenti un taxi (€15); Sitia ha solo link di taxi (€ 8).

I traghetti fanno scalo a Kíssamos (dal Peloponneso; www.lane.gr), Haniá (da Atene; www.anek.gr), Iráklio (da Atene, Santorini e Rodi; www.anek.gr e www.minoan.gr) e Sitía (da Rodi su Anek). A Iráklion (l'unico porto cretese di scalo per le crociere, grazie a Cnosso vicine) e Sitía, la città è una passeggiata nell'entroterra moderata; la porta per Haniá è Soúda, circa sei miglia ad est (autobus di linea o 10 € di taxi in città). Nessun porto cretese ha qualunque comfort o informazioni disponibili rilevanti.

Dal mare in Grecia

The most useful companies, all with online booking facility, serve the following routes:

Blue Star (www.bluestarferries.gr) offers fast services between Piraeus and Iráklio and Haniá. Anek (www.anek.gr) runs regular services from Piraeus regularly to Crete (Iráklio, Haniá and Sitía), while Hellenic Seaways (www.hellenicseaway.gr) links Santoríni with Iráklio induring the Summer season.

Come muoversi

Trasporti pubblici: Gli autobus (www.bus-service-crete-ktel.com) lungo la costa nord tra le città principali sono frequenti, ma scarse voce attraverso le colline e la costa sud.

Taxi: Questi sono abbondanti, prendere fino a quattro passeggeri ciascuno, con il costo così condiviso ridotto a quasi quello di un biglietto dell'autobus.

Walking: Creta fa un ottimo primavera / autunno destinazione escursione, con percorsi di trekking riconosciuti concentrate in di Haniá Lefka Ori (White Mountains); Loraine Wilson è l'alta montagna di Creta (Cicerone, £14) è la guida definitiva.

Gran parte di essa descrive lunga distanza sentiero E4, che attraversa l'isola da un capo all'altro ad altitudini che vanno dal litorale di alta montagna - attendere almeno un mese per l'intero percorso.

Noleggio auto: A Creta, questo può essere costoso, soprattutto su spec a arrivi dell'aeroporto. Dei siti consolidatore, www.auto-europe.co.uk e www.comparecarrentals.co.uk sono tra i migliori per la prenotazione anticipata.

Utili per il viaggio

Contatti essenziali:

UK Ambasciata, Ploutarhou 1, 106 75 Atene: come 210 7272 600, http://ukingreece.fco.gov.uk/en/
L'Ufficio del Turismo Nazionale Greco (www.visitgreece.gr) ha uffici nel Regno Unito a 4 Conduit Street, London W1S 2DJ (come 020 7495 9300)
Ambulanza 166
Urbano vigili del fuoco 199
Incendi di boschi 199
Polizia 100

Nozioni di base

Valuta: euro
Codice telefonico: 0030
Differenza di fuso orario: + 2
I tempi di volo: da 3 ore (Londra a Corfù) a 4 ore (Scozia per Rodi).

Galateo locale e suggerimenti

Mikro ýpno (pisolino, 3-5pm) è obbligatorio per legge 'di tranquillità.

Il dress code è casual, ma pantaloncini sugli uomini, tranne nei pressi della spiaggia è dig infra.

Abitudini di guida locali lasciano molto a desiderare - attenzione soprattutto di persone che emergono dal lato-strade senza fermarsi, trundling nel mezzo della strada e sorpasso spericolato.

Mangiare fuori, ottenere un assortimento di mezedes (antipasti) condividere, piuttosto che di rete costose per ogni commensale. Bulk (HYMA) vino (dal quarto-, metà- o full chilo) è più conveniente che in bottiglia e di solito potabile. In caso di dubbio, iniziare con un quarto e ordinare una bibita, che rende anche il vino più dure quaffable.

Bollette a barre possono mordere: Mentre spese di copertura sono rari, beers cost €4.50–5, cocktails €7–8. L'unico bilancio tipple può essere un'isola rakí o Tsipouro terraferma in una piccola caraffa.


Anarchici e statalisti in Grecia?

Posta Raccomandata

Washington giornalisti o redattori post Raccomandare questo commento o un lettore di posta.


Scegliere il giusto polizza di assicurazione di viaggio

With summer kicking off in Europe the strong Australian dollar, there has never been a better time for Australians to travel overseas.

Con questo in mente, it seems Australian travellers seem to spend a lot of time seeking the best deals for their overseas flight accommodation but often ignore travel insurance which can be seen as unnecessary, not to mention expensive. With travel now taking us further afield, travel insurance needs to encompass more than just lost luggage. All travellers should ensure they have the most appropriate insurance for their needs, before they leave the country.

To assist in this endeavour, the travelinsurancequotes.com.au website provides a free and simple cost comparison tool that allows consumers to compare the price of various popular Travel Insurance products on offer. All travellers are encouraged to consider the following points when deciding on their insurance needs:

1. A TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL

According to the Australian Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), 1,200 Australians are hospitalised overseas every year*. Overseas hospital bills can be crippling.

Australian travellers should make sure that their travel insurance covers their medical expenses in the specific countries they are visiting as medical costs can differ dramatically from one region of the world to another. In Southeast Asia for instance, daily hospitalisation costs can often exceed $800* and if you need to be medically evacuated from the United States, you could be looking at over $75,000. Some cases have been closer to $300,000*.

Aussies should also be wary of stomach nasties that plague so many travelers every year. A newspaper in the UK reported that almost one in four British travelers experienced food poisoning when holidaying in Spain, with Greece, Turkey and Egypt also rating high**. A case of ‘Bali Belly’ can be particularly nasty, especially when you consider DFAT has handled medical evacuations from Indonesia costing in excess of $60,000*.

2. SAFETY ON THE ROADS

Road safety is a major issue for travelling Aussies, especially for those not used to driving on the other side of the road! The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently released figures that showed British tourists are more likely to be killed in Thailand than any other destination.

Thai law states safety helmets must be worn when driving motorcycles, but according to the FCO this is widely ignored, and contributes to the high number of deaths each year. In media 38 people a day die in motorcycle accidents in Thailand***. If the worst does happen, insurance will save your family having to cover the costs to bring your remains home. Tuttavia, some vehicles are not roadworthy, unregistered and cannot legally be driven on a public road. This could invalidate your travel insurance policy.

3. ADVENTURE TRAVEL

A bungee jump or sky dive may be high on our things to do in a lifetime list, but most generic policies won’t cover you for injury if they occur when taking part in such activities. Make sure you check what’s covered in your insurance policy so you can unleash your inner daredevil, safe in the knowledge the experience won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

4. PROTECTING YOUR VALUABLES

Travellers should always be aware of their personal belongings, particolarmente, in countries where pick-pocketing is common. Brazil is highlighted on the DFAT website as a hotspot for mobile phone cloning; imagine how difficult it is to replace your handset while on holiday.

Also certain policies limit cover for expensive items such as cameras, laptops and/or jewellery which may have a per-item limit. Make sure you clarify this with your insurer.

It is vital for travellers to understand that if they don’t have insurance, they will be personally liable for all unforeseen costs. Don’t risk yours or your family’s finances for the sake of a once off premium. While some traditional insurance companies could be deemed expensive, by taking a few minutes to compare all policies available using comparison tools such as travelinsurancequotes.com.au, you could halve the cost of buying cover.

The message from DAFT is clear – “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. Don’t subscribe to the ‘it’ll never happen to me’ myth.

For further details: Travelinsurancequotes.com.au oppure 1300 782 066


L'UE può essere salvato?

States of disunion

REUTERS / Yiorgos Karahalis

Fino a poco tempo, la piccola città tedesca di Guben era meglio noto a chi conosceva affatto, per due cose. Con solo il fiume Neisse stretto separa dalla città polacca di Gubin, è una delle poche dove tedeschi e polacchi vivono così vicini. Quella, e Guben è anche il luogo dove l'anatomista Gunther von Hagens controverso, famoso per le sue esposizioni museali senza pelle cadaveri umani seduti ai tavoli da poker, istituire una fabbrica di sei anni fa per curare e preservare cadaveri.

Ora il sindaco di Guben, Klaus-Dieter Hübner, ha scattare campanelli d'allarme in Europa, chiamando per i controlli di frontiera da mettere in atto per fermare "criminali" polacchi dal saccheggio imprese tedesche. Da 2007, quando la Polonia ha aderito alla zona Schengen, un'area di viaggio senza frontiere costituito da 25 Paesi europei, Germans and Poles have freely criss-crossed into each other’s countries to shop, dine and work. With his call for security checks at the border, Hübner has challenged one of the pillars of modern Europe: the free movement of people and goods between nations.

Taken on its own, the border squabble in Guben is a seemingly minor concern, but it comes as the twin forces of economic stagnation and surging nationalism threaten to tear Europe apart. Even as European leaders struggle to halt the spread of the debt crisis—a task that they increasingly appear unable to handle—a wider backlash against European integration poses an existential crisis for the continent. Europe is failing, both economically and politically, leading to the question: can it be saved, or is Europe destined for the embalming slab in Guben?

The most immediate threat to Europe is the infectious debt crisis, which some argue will inevitably lead to the collapse of the euro currency zone.

After decades of unsparing social programs, not to mention bank bailouts and stimulus measures, many European nations are saddled with massive debt loads and deep deficits. Of those known unflatteringly as the PIIGS—Portugal, Italia, Irlanda, Greece and Spain—the Greeks are in the worst shape by far, with debt levels forecast to rise to 1.6 times the size of the economy in 2011. As investors lost faith in Greece’s ability to repay its debts last year, interest rates skyrocketed, driving up the country’s borrowing costs and pushing it closer to default. One bailout followed, then another in July of this year, bringing the total rescue bill to $360 miliardo. Rather than assure skittish investors the crisis was in hand, the focus immediately shifted to the debt problems facing bigger nations like Spain and even Italy, the world’s seventh-largest economy.

The European Central Bank is fighting back by aggressively buying up the debt of struggling countries in a bid to suppress rising interest rates. At best that’s a stopgap measure, anche se. Nor is a bailout for Italy on the table. The total cost to rescue Italy and Spain has been pegged at $1.4 trilioni. And so governments have been forced to take a slash-and-burn approach to their budgets. At an emergency cabinet meeting in Italy on Aug. 12, the government agreed to a US$65-billion plan to eradicate the country’s deficit by 2013. “Our hearts are bleeding,” said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Yet austerity alone will only force European economies into a vicious cycle of spending cuts, tax increases, recessions and riots, says Cardiff University economist Patrick Minford. The only long-term solution to revive growth, dice, is for the most indebted nations in Europe, including Spain and Italy, to give up the euro currency. “It will be messy and it will be painful, but they don’t have a choice,"Dice. “Otherwise these countries will remain basket cases into which money has to be shovelled.”

Often when countries are faced with hopeless insolvency, they devalue their currencies to make their exports more attractive. Since the PIIGS are tethered to the euro, that option isn’t available. Minford argues that most of the countries in Southern Europe are likely to default whether they stick with the euro or not, so they’re better off controlling their own currencies. Dopo tutto, one of the advantages of adopting the euro in the first place was the promise of low interest rates that came with being part of a large monetary union. Now that investors are demanding a risk premium, in the form of higher interest rates, before they’ll even touch Greek, Spanish and Italian debt, the euro has lost much of its appeal. “If you’re paying high interest rates inside the euro, you might as well leave and re-establish your economy with a properly valued currency,” says Minford.

No one is exactly sure how such a process would unfold. There are no written rules to address how a country would exit the eurozone. Nel frattempo, the crisis has put the expansion of the eurozone, beyond the current 17 member nations, in doubt. Several Eastern European countries that were once eager prospects for adopting the euro, like the Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia, have signalled they may have more to lose than to gain by giving up their national currencies.

It’s often said the EU is like a bicycle: it must move forward or else it will topple over. As the crisis over the euro spreads, the bicycle has all but come to a crashing halt and is tilting dangerously to the side.

As bad as the continent’s debt woes are, Europhiles are even more concerned about the cracks appearing in the most fundamental element of modern Europe: unrestricted movement. While the call by Guben’s mayor for border controls has fallen on deaf ears in Berlin, in other parts of Europe barriers are already going up. Denmark re-established checks at its land border with Germany and at its bridges and seaports in July with the stated goal of stopping illegal immigrants and criminals who have breached the outer edges of Europe’s border-free zone. Under the Schengen agreement, signed in 1985 and of which Denmark is a signatory, members can only impose controls at inner borders on a temporary basis “in the event of a serious threat to public order or national security.” No such threat exists, yet customs officials have been pulling over random cars. Justifying the new restrictions, Danish Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen alleged: “We have seen too many examples of violence, break-ins and brutal criminality committed by perpetrators who have crossed the borders.”

The changes are mostly symbolic. Passports still won’t be required, and not all incoming cars are stopped. But this hasn’t softened their emotional impact. Even those who bristle at the European Union’s sclerotic bureaucracy will often concede it’s nice to be able to so easily move from country to country within the union. Ora, Denmark’s new controls reverse a long-running European move toward open frontiers.

The reaction from the rest of Europe has been quick and hostile. Germany’s minister for justice and the EU, Jörg-Uwe Hahn, urged Germans to vacation in Poland or Austria rather than Denmark. Danish tourism agencies, which usually profit from renting summer cottages to Germans, have reported cancellations and complaints.

Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, describes Denmark’s decision as part of a broader “re-nationalization of political life that is sweeping Europe.” It’s driven, dice, by continent-wide concerns about immigration, la crisi del debito, and a lack of leadership from traditional EU powerhouses, in particolare la Germania. “The borders of EU member states are effectively coming back to life,"Dice. “The developments of the last three to five years raise very troubling questions about the project of European integration. Per la prima volta, it is reasonable to question whether Europe has reached its high-water mark and will either go no further, or will slide in reverse.”

The first signs of trouble for European integration didn’t start with the economic crisis. Kupchan points to failed referendums in France and the Netherlands in 2005, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected the European constitution. Yet the debt crisis has exposed the limits of European togetherness and put member nations on a collision course in ways not seen in decades. In Germania, resentment is growing at the prospect of more bailouts for spendthrift Mediterranean Europe. All'inizio di quest'anno, the German newspaper Bild published a photo of a Greek banner that labelled German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy “Nazis,” complete with the yellow stars of the EU flag rearranged into a swastika. The headline blared: “We pay—still we are abused!” Meanwhile, a new survey in the Netherlands found the majority of Dutch (54 percento) want Greece ejected from the EU rather than continue the bailouts. Fully 60 per cent of respondents said the Netherlands “should stop lending money to other eurozone countries now.”

The grinding recession in parts of Europe has even led to outright protectionism. With Spain’s unemployment rate at 21 percento, more than twice the EU average, the government sought to protect its labour market by banning Romanians from looking for work there. (Romania joined the EU in 2007.) In mid-August, the EU Employment Commission approved the curb on Romanian workers until at least the end of 2012. While the ban doesn’t impact Romanians already living in Spain, the move opened the door to further restrictions and extensions.

The problem—at least for those who favour the “ever closer union” advocated in the 1957 European Economic Community Treaty—is that the process of European integration has always been an elitist project. Most citizens of European countries ignored it. But now the EU has become politicized, and in many circles unpopular. “What’s so troubling right now is that the trend lines are toward re-nationalization, and no major politician is doing anything about it,” says Kupchan. “Politicians are being led by the public, rather than vice versa. And the European street is growing increasingly anti-Europe.”

That sentiment is reflected in the polls. Europe’s far right has enjoyed an electoral resurgence in recent years. In France, polls suggest Marine Le Pen, the daughter of the far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, may make it into the second round of voting during next year’s presidential election. The Swedish Democrats took 20 seats last year, entering parliament for the first time (decked out in pastoral national costumes), while in April, True Finn leapt from obscurity to become Finland’s third-largest party. It’s all part of what Edmund Stoiber, a former Bavarian politician, has called a “renaissance of nationalism.”

Even in Greece the crisis has spawned a backlash from the hard right. All'inizio di questo mese, hundreds of rampaging fascists, clad in black and wielding clubs, took to the streets and attacked dark-skinned immigrants.

As rising right-wing populism continues to spread, it is likely to lead to even thicker borders. Italy says it is overwhelmed by refugees from North Africa and wants help from other members of the union. Countries such as Germany and France counter that asylum seekers arriving in Italy simply pass through on their way north. All'inizio di quest'anno, Italy issued temporary residency permits to refugees from Tunisia so that they could travel within Europe, and move on somewhere else. France responded by reinstituting controls on its border with Italy, trapping the Tunisians there.

Piece by piece the European political and economic experiment is failing. Putting it back together will be a monumental if not impossible task, says Minford. Yet the cost of failure will be the final end of Europe as an economic power. “The sad thing about this crumbling of the European dream is that there will be a revival of economic nationalism,"Dice. “You can’t separate the different bits of this whole experiment in union. If one part goes, the rest will be chipped away at until it’s a patchwork of countries that are increasingly less relevant to the global economy.”


Lost in the Odyssey

So sing to me, Ho pregato la Musa un Venerdì sera di maggio, oppure, ehi, sai cosa? Basta inviarmi un autobus interurbani - ho devo uscire di qui.

“Here” was the seaside town of Neapoli, at the southeastern end of the Peloponnesian peninsula of Grecia, dove quasi due settimane di-island hopping dalla costa turca attraverso il Mar Egeo erano venuti a una battuta d'arresto improvvisa e esasperante. Da Cape Meleas - l'ultima posizione Odysseus si è riconosciuto prima del Vento Nord lo ha guidato nelle terre mostro cavalcato del mito - tutto quello che dovevo fare era hop un autobus o due per il porto di Patrasso, e da lì un traghetto potrebbe prendere me, finalmente, a Itaca, il luogo Odisseo chiamato a casa.

In Neapoli, tuttavia, non c'erano autobus fino al mattino, e ho avuto altra scelta che passare la notte in questo allegro, se assonnato, città di mare. Anche un giorno o due prima, Non avrei mentalità. Infatti, per il precedente 10 giorni sarei stato felice dai capricci di orari degli autobus e dei traghetti. Ma avrei dovuto volare a casa a New York da Atene in due giorni, e ora questo ritardo era insopportabile.

Come ho stordito delusione con ouzo in un ristorante del lungomare, Ho notato qualcosa di insolito sul marciapiede davanti a me: un Biciclo, una di quelle biciclette del 19 ° secolo con un enorme ruota anteriore e una posteriore piccola. Il proprietario, si è scoperto, era Jim, un 20-qualcosa di parrucchiere da Atene che era seduto vicino con la sua ragazza, Chara, un insegnante. Erano una coppia dolce, hipsters definite, e ho sorriso quando mi hanno chiesto, come aveva praticamente ogni greco che ho incontrato nel mio viaggio, come mi piacerebbe liquidata qui.

“I’ve come from Troy,” I said, “and I’m trying to get to Ithaca. Come Ulisse: nessuna mappa, senza guida, nessun percorso, no Internet, no hotel reservations.”

Inizia così una storia che avevo raccontato, e aggiungendo, ever since I’d begun my Odyssey in Turchia outside the city of Canakkale, dove Troia si trovava e, a partire dal tardo 19 ° secolo, dissotterrato.

Ma Troy non era dove volevo indugiare. Era, per me e Odisseo, un punto di partenza. Il mio piano non era di seguire esatto percorso del protagonista - si estendeva, alcuni dicono, fino Gibilterra, ed era mitica in ogni caso - ma inciampare le sue orme e cercare di avere un assaggio nella sua psiche, come ha provato e non è riuscito e ancora una volta ha cercato di raggiungere Itaca, una mera 350 km di distanza in linea d'aria, al largo della costa occidentale della Grecia.

O forse questo è il modo sbagliato di metterlo. Per Odisseo non ha psiche, non nella moderna, senso letterario. Una delle opere fondanti della letteratura occidentale può essere un racconto di viaggio di perdersi, ma a parte l'immagine del cuore spezzato Ulisse piange sulle rive dell'isola di Calipso, Homer ritrae raramente disconnessione del suo eroe e la disperazione.

Come ci si sente lostness, Volevo sapere, soprattutto in Grecia, dove gli spazi solitari tra le isole di massima e vuoti sono bilanciate da una reputazione senza pari per l'ospitalità? Così, con 11 giorni per il viaggio - Odysseus ha preso 10 anni, ma mia moglie, Giovanni, è meno paziente del suo Penelope - ho lasciato Troy scoprire.

Immediatamente, Ho incontrato l'incertezza. Diverse isole greche - Limnos, Lesbo, Chios - si trovano vicino alla Turchia, ma nessuno era sicuro di quando, o se, traghetti erano in esecuzione. E questo era anche prima che le misure di austerità della Grecia hanno spinto i blocchi dei porti, scioperi transito e manifestazioni a volte violente a Atene. (I traghetti, tuttavia, hanno mantenuto in esecuzione.) L'ufficio del turismo Canakkale suggerito un autobus di tre ore a sud di Ayvalik, dove potrei trovare un traghetto a Lesbo, e se questo non ha funzionato, Potrei andare più a sud, a Izmir, presunta città natale di Omero stesso, e ottenere il traghetto per Chios. Così, mentre Odisseo aveva navigato a nord con la sua 12 navi nere a razziare le terre dei Ciconi, Sono andato da un'altra parte.

A differenza di Ulisse, Sono stato fortunato. In Ayvalik, una bella città turca con un miscuglio di vecchie strade al centro, traghetti partivano per Lesbos.

La corsa di due ore doveva essere un tipico. All'interno della nave, il cui arredamento accogliente non era stato aggiornato in un paio di decenni, circa 100 famiglie, coppie e gruppi di amici per lo più tenuti a se stessi, spuntini a base di dolci confezionati per il viaggio. Questo è stato un traghetto modesto; altro, larger ones would have free Wi-Fi and show reruns of “Friends” dubbed into Greek. Fuori era più eccitante: l'acqua piatta e scintillante di luce dorata ore, piccole barche a vela e battelli da pesca crociera vicino a riva, piccole isole staglia dal sole al tramonto.

MATT GROSS, the former Frugal Traveler, writes the “Getting Lost” series for the Travel section. He is writing a book about independent travel, to be published by Da Capo Press.