Tag Archives: Greece

Inequalities might lead to an end of the Eurozone


The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 showed that the time for much closer, stronger European bonds had grown near. Hopes for a peaceful and prosperous future were higher than ever, among both leaders and citizens. This led to the signing of the Maastricht treaty, which formally established the European Union in 1993 and created much of its economic structure and institutions – including setting in motion the process of adopting a common currency, the euro.

The eurozone structure

The basic idea behind the structure of the Euro was that self-regulating markets would ensure prosperity across the Eurozone as long as:

  • Inflation was kept in check by the European Central Bank
  • Member States had fiscal discipline, keeping their public deficits and public debt low

For these purposes, the European Central Bank was given a sole mandate to hit a 2% inflation target – regardless of patterns of unemployment and economic activity across the Eurozone. Unlike other Central Banks such as the US Federal Reserve, its mandate does not include ensuring price stability and guaranteeing full employment. Only the former is within the realm of its mandate.

Similarly, the Stability and Growth Pact required member states to ensure that their public deficit was kept below 3% of their national income (GDP) and their public debt did not exceed 60% of GDP.

The crisis

Since the 2008 crisis, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Commission, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, along with other statistics institutions within the European Trade Union Confederation, have all agreed on this fact: In recent decades, social inequalities have increased significantly across Europe. And not only in Greece or Spain: the situation is the same in Sweden and Germany. In the past twenty-five years Swedish society has experienced a considerable growth in inequality; according to the OECD, between 1985 and 2008 the country recorded the highest growth of income poverty among industrialized countries.

After its implementation, the euro fairly quickly became the second most important currency in the world, but as of 2015, it has failed to supplant the U.S. dollar at the top of the world’s monetary heap.  Continue reading Inequalities might lead to an end of the Eurozone

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A selection of the best wines in the Eastern Mediterranean.


(Une sélection des meilleurs vins en Méditerranée de l’Est)

  • Greece

Agiorgitiko: This grape produces lush, velvety reds with black-cherry flavors.

Agiorgitiko, which is the most widely planted grape in Greece, is most easily comparable to Cabernet Sauvignon, as it has similar dark fruit flavors of prunes and plums, and the same heavy tannins that dry your mouth out and beg for the wine to be drunk alongside meat. It’s also due to this similarity that you can often find the two grapes blended together. It’s a powerful and bold red wine that fans of this style will love, which is what makes it go so well with the heavier meat dishes.

  • Turkey

Öküzgözü: is a grape variety and a Turkish wine produced from this grape. “It’s called ‘bull’s eye’ because it’s a big, round, dark grape.

The grape is one of the two native grape varieties of Elazığ province, located on the Anatolian plateau at the north of the Taurus Mountains. Öküzgözü makes bright, fruit-driven red wines. These grapes make a full-bodied, intense red wine that marries well with food and can benefit from time spent in cellar.

  • Lebanon

Ixsir red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon Variety):Plenty of fruit with licquorice on the finish – and yet, it is dry with elegance, enveloped in fine, soft oak, and finishing very long.

This (unusual) red blend of Caladoc, Syrah, Tempranillo made with the help of St-Emilion’s Hubert de Boüard (of Château Angélus) from vines grown at an altitude of 1,000 metres is refined and elegant, a pronounced streak of freshness giving verve and definition to the blackcurrant fruit, while the tannins are polished to a fine sheen. 90/100: The Wine Gang

  • Egypt

According to the Oxford Companion to Wine, today Egypt produces about half a million gallons of wine a year (about as much as England). This is a remarkable amount of wine, especially considering that 75% of Egypt’s population are (mostly) non-drinking Muslims.

There are only a very few modern Egyptian wines in production. Egypt’s climate is simply too hot and dry to support viticulture on any scale. Although vines are famously fond of dry conditions, they need a certain amount of water for respiration and photosynthesis. Beyond that, water makes up a significant part of the grapes which are, after all, the entire point of viticulture. The famously fertile Nile Delta (one of the world’s largest river deltas) is the only part of Egypt where viticulture is a practical enterprise. The delta is formed as the Nile River fans out before draining into the Mediterranean. It stretches westwards along the coast from Port Said to Alexandria (home of the Muscat of Alexandria grape), and thus benefits from the cooling effects of the nearby sea.

Grand Marquis: This wine needs food like red meats because of its power.

Sometimes sweet or simple red , smooth, easy, middle of the road, clear, vanilla, silky, short finish, well integrated, diluted like a Crystal Light packet, blackberry jam, Egyptian version of table wine, low sugar, low tannins.

  • Cyprus

Marathevtiko: its grapes can give rich wines with soft tannins and aromas of cherries and black chocolate. With proper care it offers an excellent wine with great body, intense color and a pleasant bouquet. The characteristics of this wine rank it among the most high-quality varieties of our country with prospects of development. Specifically, it is characterized by a scent of freshly cut grass, vanilla, berries and wood.

Maratheftiko does not have hermaphrodite flowers like many cultivated grape varieties and requires co-planting with other varieties in order to achieve fertilisation and fruit development. This exceptional variety was grown amongst other grape varieties and was used in winemaking only to improve the colour and body of wines made from the local Mavro. Maratheftiko still represents only 3% of cultivated vineyards on the island but has become extremely popular among Cypriot winemakers and wine enthusiasts.

  • Palestine

Taybeh wine.(source)

Nadim Khoury, a Palestinian who is known for establishing Taybeh Brewery, has also opened a winery in the West Bank Christian majority village of Taybeh. Using 21 indigenous varieties of grapes, the wines produced were quick to gain visitors’ praise.Khoury admits that Israeli restrictions has made it difficult to do business, his shipments for example, including his wine-making equipment, have been delayed because of Israeli checkpoint inspections.The family behind the wine and beer says they are carrying out “peaceful resistance” by investing in their homeland and staying put.A wine festival is now held annually in the town.

Nadim Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, elegant and complex wine that exhibits flavors of local spices and ripe cherry. Its equilibrated acidity and persistent tannins allow this wine to age effortlessly for years. Nadim Merlot is a well-balanced, medium-bodied and aromatic wine. The nose and palate exhibit intense aromas of fresh herbs combined with hints of cherry and a background of earth. Its maturity and smooth tannins allows for immediate enjoyment of this wine.