October 7th, 2013
05:52 PM ET

What I'm reading: Europe's fragile politics

By Fareed Zakaria

“Amid what the guidebooks call the ‘stylish and opulent’ surroundings of the Albergo hotel in Beirut, a Western diplomat was briefing journalists. The room was all Persian rugs and wing-backed chairs. Waiters hovered. The official was his government’s main conduit to the Syrian rebels,” writes Paul Wood in The Spectator. “I asked him what percentage of the rebels western countries could support: what percentage were not jihadis, not committing human rights abuses, looting or kidnapping – and were militarily effective?”

“There was a silence. Finally, he said: ‘Thirty percent.’ It was a devastating admission. Then he paused and said he had been considering only the first three criteria. Adding in military effectiveness, you would have to say the West could support only 10 percent.”


“While Europe’s economy is making a slow, small improvement (with exceptions in the south), its politics are becoming much more fragile,” writes John Lloyd for Reuters. “Most economists say that the crisis can only be fully remedied by taking more powers into a powerful Euro-center, one that’s fiscal, financial, macro-economic, and thus political. Brussels believes it must be done: but no national government, even Germany’s, believes it could deliver popular approval for the move. The crisis is already forcing integration, yet causing citizens to recoil from the EU. That’s the central contradiction of Europe, stark and grim.”

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. ✠RZ✠

    Ola Maraka! We're on our way to Penguin Island. Can you paint a picture of verbal diarrhea ?................. Bueno!!

    October 8, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • ✠RZ✠

      Now that's more like it guys! Hope you got a chuckle. Thank you.

      October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  2. Patrick Lewis

    every week lister to your podcast: but there's a problem this week. Can you get your tech guys to look at the header and change it? My android reader is confused...treats both this week and last week as the same episode. Thanks

    October 8, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  3. j. von hettlingen

    Angela Merkel has to form a new government, mostly likely with the Social Democrats. This coalition would be tough for her to stick to her previous EU-policies. The EU is watching closely, what emerges in Berlin.

    October 9, 2013 at 8:34 am |

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