Journal 1 - The Alpha
ENDING THE C R I SI I
NEWS ROUNDUP Oscar Stenbom and Evanthia Kasiora sample the best of the week’s news. Sandy’s Aftermath
US Elections Loom Large
The slow pace of restoration after the destruc-
The impact on next week’s US election of New
tion caused by Hurricane Sandy that lashed the
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg deciding to en-
East Coast of the United States on Monday night
dorse Barack Obama after Storm Sandy, citing
has caused tempers to rise. The power and petrol
the President’s climate change policy and its re-
shortages caused by the largest Atlantic hurricane
lation to the storm, as well as recent job figures
on record has seen fights break out at petrol sta-
are unclear. With both Mitt Romney and Barack
tions and power may not return to some affected
Obama suspending campaigning during the storm
areas for another week.
whilst neck and neck in the polls, Tuesday’s election promises to be a close call. Whoever wins can
Syrian Rebels Faced with War Crime Accusations
expect a tough challenge from the start with stag-
28 soldiers of the Syrian army were murdered
nant budget negotiations threatening to enforce
yesterday, 1st November, close to Saraqeb, in the
massive automatic spending cuts in January.
province of Idlib. The murders were recorded in a video linked to militiamen that oppose the Syrian
Trick-or-treaters Given Cocaine in Oldham, UK
regime and was spread by international television
In a most peculiar event, two people have been
networks.T he footage shows gunmen beating and
arrested after bags with cocaine were handed to
shooting a group of prisoners who were cowering
children on Wednesday evening. The children dis-
on the floor. The killings were condemned by Am-
covered bags containing the drug in their trick-or-
nesty International and Human Rights Watch.
treat bags. It is understood that the cocaine was THE bought for personal use and accidentially ended up in sweets’ box.
En d in g th e C ri si s
Dearest delegates, You might have realised that what you are holding in your hands is different to the standard EYP magazines or newspapers that you are used to form your National or Regional Session. And indeed, it is. In addition to three bigger issues, the media team will prepare three journals each focusing on a different aspect of our theme â€œEnding the Crisisâ€?. With these journals, we want to help you reach a better understanding of the crisis, capture how we, the participants from all over Europe, are affected by it, comprehend how we got here, and finally introduce and question possible solutions. Just like any other media team product, the journals will be produced by the journalists; they will capture your opinions, answer your questions and sum-up your discussions. We aim to create a platform for you to learn about and debate the current crisis. In the first journal, which you are currently holding in your hands, the articles mainly focus on how the crisis affected different European countries and you personally. Do we understand the difference between the banking and the financial crisis? How are different countries handling the crisis? Why should we, the young people of Europe, care about it? The second journal will sum-up the debate about how the crisis has affected us, while also introducing the new topic of trying to explain why Europe is in a situation of crisis. We will be debating questions like, whose fault it is and if it could have been prevented. In the third journal we will then tackle concrete solutions for how to solve the current crisis. These are all questions we cannot wait to debate with you during the upcoming days. We, EYPers, pride ourselves for the diversity of our organisation, both in terms of culture and different opinions. This is a unique opportunity to debate the probably most important topic of our times, and take this debate one step further fully exploiting our different backgrounds and experiences. We are certain that with your help and ideas we will be able to capture and reflect the diversity of opinions about the biggest challenge Europe is facing at the moment. So get ready to think deeply, question harshly, comment passionately and share all of this with us! Yours,
Amsterdam Media Team
COPING WITH A CRISIS The
Europe to the core. We are left to pick up the pieces, but the question remains: Who is to blame? Where responsibility lies is a contested issue across the EU. In exploring this, Sílvia Susach and Rónán O’Connor reflect on how the values of each European country shape our reaction to the crisis. financial crisis has shaken
ands up, this is a robbery!” has become a
the public are so unwilling to protest has allowed
catch-phrase of Spanish rioters, underly-
the government to take advantage of them. The
ing the people’s perception that the government is
right to protest is one the Irish are unwilling to
the robber and the citizens the victims. The gen-
eral feeling of the population is that they are in the European spotlight for a crisis for which they
Other countries have a different perspective. Ger-
are not to blame. The situation continues to wors-
many is in one way removed from the financial
en, as the financial crisis pushes Catalonia, one of
woes of Ireland, Greece and Spain. Yet it is also
the richest regions in Spain, to seek independence
tasked with rescuing their European neighbours,
with more eagerness than ever.
evidently causing high. The southern European countries feel that Germany is collaborating with
In Greece, reactions are comparably strong. Greek
the EU in a programme of suffocating austerity.
people are outraged by their situation and the
This pragmatic approach is necessary in the Ger-
feeling of helplessness is shared. Many Greeks see
mans’ eyes, as they see no other way to overcome
the EU as the source of all hardship and suggest
the debt. For them it is a matter of balancing the
that they would be better without it or the Euro.
books as efficiently as possible. Those paying the
Some others are willing to recognise that their
cost are more concerned with the burden it places
own political system is partly to blame. Politi-
on the shoulders of ordinary citizens.
cal scepticism is widespread in Greece. A Greek EYPer recently posted on Facebook: “Democracy
The perspectives are understandably varied; how-
was born in Greece. Then it grew up, left and went
ever, what is surprising is that even countries in
to study in the West.”
similar situations present a wide spectrum of responses. The culture and values of each state have
Although Ireland is equally suffering financially,
a significant impact on the public reaction to a
protest has been rather rare. The Irish are prone
crisis. In the end what matters is how you move
to be conservative when it comes to polit-
forward from a crisis. In China, there is one word
ical dissent. Protests and rioting are
for crisis and opportunity. This may be something
frowned upon, and they seek a
that European countries should seek to share, to
more peaceful resolution. Many
become stronger and move forward with hope.
would argue that the fact that 3 The Alpha
LOST GENERATION For most of us it will be a while before we will seek employment and have to pay our own bills. Tuna Dökmeci thus asks why the youth – already now – should care about the current crisis. he lost generation. That was how we were re-
job market? These are questions that many young
ferred to by many newspaper headlines during
Europeans are currently asking themselves, often
the last year. However, for once it was not about
in a situation in which their families are no longer
complaining about the de-politicisation of today’s
able to support them financially.
youth, nor was it a critical remarks on our social
Many also claim that the crisis will probably not
media consumption. Instead they addressed Eu-
be solved in a short period of time and is likely to
rope’s economic crisis and how it will most likely
continue affecting our chances of getting a job and
affect the youth of today. So why is it that relevant
our lifestyle in the long-term. Patrick Artus of the
to us, and what’s more, why is it more relevant
French bank Natixis, says that “It is illusionary to
than any other political issue?
say that it will soon be over. The current system
Firstly, the crisis has led to a major increase in the
will have to be reversed, and that takes possibly
youth unemployment rates; currently stabilising
up to 20 years”, according to Artus. This state-
at just over 20% in the Eurozone. The numbers
ment implies that our adult lives, naturally affect-
are worrying, but its effects on everyday life even
ing our way of living and working, are likely to be
more: think about how many young and well-edu-
greatly affected but what is happening at this very
cated people you know are struggling to find a job.
Do you think that you nonetheless have the same
Needless to say that this problem is our problem,
chances of getting a job, as you did before 2008?
and it matters very little where we are from, what
Will you decide on your major depending on your
kind of education we have received and what our
interest, or on your chances of getting employed?
social status is. Unless we realise this, and take
Can you confidently say that the education you are
ownership of solving the crisis, we will indeed be
receiving will distinguish you from others in the
the lost generation of Europe.
April: Greece, Spain, Ireland and France ordered to reduce their budget deficit
January: Major Irish banks nationalised due to insolvency
December: Greece admits to debt of €330 billion
June: Euro closes at lowest against dollar since 2006
July: EU “Stress Tests” on financial institutions reveal 7 institutions are capital insolvent
THE PRESS IN CRISIS Out of bounds of the Eurozone, THE Crisis is essentially affecting everyone. How differently is it affecting us and, more tangibly, how is the Media report-ing about it? Panaghiotis P. Kalaïdhopoulos and Stefan Zoričić attempt to reveal the… truth!
hile we tend to see our own misery rather than others’, taking a good look at what
is happening in other people’s lives is potentially a means to put things into perspective. Have you ever thought what Europe in crisis looks like beyond your doorstep and your daily (national) news? Let’s sneak peak at the crisis and its side effects around Europe a little bit. Bailing out the nearly bankrupt Euro counterparts is one of Berlin’s major problems, and at the same time that the South is facing severe financial cur-tails and tremendous changes in the citizens’ everyday reality. When was the last time that people opted for jumping off their balconies due to a non-viable life?
November: EU & IMF agree to €85 billion bailout pack2011 age for Ireland
On the other hand, states historically experiencing long periods of diverse crises do not notice the Euro crisis as something new. Focusing on the life in the ex-Yugoslavian countries, people see no difference in life before and after 2009. In fact, there hardly is any. In other words, while Hellenes are the Betrüger in der Euro-Familie, the de-ceivers in the Euro family, for part of the German press, the austere German is the omnipresent mean guard for part of the Hellenic press and the one way or another always badly affected Balkans continue to awkwardly observe the tension. Little note; the insolvency issues are still there, not all Greeks are poor, lazy and miserable Euro cousins and the average mean German is virtually non-existent. Indeed, it’s astounding how the same thing is communicated in million differ-ent ways. Are we just lacking a spherically informed European society, is it only national Media conveying chaotic messages for domestic use or different mentalities lead to tremendously different approaches to the same topic? Nothing and all of it together! We cannot control it, whatever it is. Nonethe-less, we can altogether – for all of us together – become conscious, hope, act and get on.
May: Eurozone and IMF approve €78 billion bailout package for Portugal
July: Second Greek bailout: €109 billion package agreed
February: European Finance Ministers create the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent fund of €500 billion as a lender of last resort
January: EU Fiscal Pact is signed: UK and Czech Republic abstain 5 The Alpha
FACTS & FIGURES High
expectations, high numbers. If you do not know
71th International Session of the European Youth Parliament in Amsterdam really is, take a look at these impressive figures that Maximilian Kiehn, Dmitry Vyskrebentsev And CĂŠlia Pocelin compiled for you. how big the
Time to bring breakfast to all cottages -
Average amount of sleep per night -
Whatâ€™sApp messages per day during the last months
shopping carts full of e.g.
Text text text text text text
46 cottages in de Emdhof
markers, 15 package of spaghetti,
AMSTERDAM 2012 can you imagine working on a project for over two years whilte studying or working full tome? raising aroung
and then spend it on organ-
ising an event for mostly complete strangers?
imagine beling able to fill several days, weeks, months in a row with nothing but
20 rolls of tape,
Journos 7 The Alpha
ncouraging a conversation – that is the goal of the Media Team of the International Session in Amsterdam. We have been planning many ways to achieve this goal, to get each and everyone of you interested in the topic. Since every conversation needs encouragement we wanted to quickly introduce ourselves and give you a tease of what lies ahead. You have just read our first journal and there are two more to come. This is an experiment that has never been tried before in EYP and its success – or failure – ultimately depends on you. It is our dream that all our media output will provide the basis for a great debate, either in G.A. or elsewhere in the session. We have thus come up with many more ways to bring you content. There will not only be newspapers and videos, but there will also be polls, a website and endless opportunities for you to share your opinions and ideas, so get excited!
Lastly, we have a final goal. Once Imagine will have been sung and we all have left the canals and flatlands of Amsterdam, we do not want the conversation to stop. It would make the session if we could see delegates still debating, still forming opinions and still questioning each other long after November 2012. Our advice is to look online, there is a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed to use. This is only a short overview of what we have planned for you all. There are 18 of us primed and ready to get this conversation flowing, we can only hope that you are ready, dear delegates. Talk to you all later, Amsterdam Media Team