‘While the single currency needs to be strengthened, this may not be politically feasible. Macroeconomists such as Yanis Varoufakis bring a new politics to bear on this question.’ Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg

‘The success of macroeconomists such as Varoufakis will be judged by the precedents they set in inspiring others over that longer(...)

‘Angela Merkel has seemed this week to be deeply informed by the realist school of international relations when she repeatedly insisted there is no military solution to that conflict but only a political and diplomatic one.’ Above, German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the presidential residence in Minsk on February 11th. AFP PHOTO /HO / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS-SERVICE/ MYKOLA LAZARENKO

Merkel is correct: it would be illogical to arm Ukraine without being willing to go to war

‘Other governments will recognise the imperative to fulfil a democratic mandate. They may also understand Tsipras’s argument that the alternative to dealing with radical left governments is to deal with far right ones.’ above, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (front row centre) and members of his government after the first meeting of the new cabinet in the parliament building in Athens. Photograph: REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Alexis Tsipras’s European internationalism can be a material factor if it encourages support for similar policies in forthcoming (...)

 British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Stormont House with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister of State Seán Sherlock. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

The East-West dynamic was clearly visible in the just-concluded Northern negotiations

‘Water becomes a symbol of more general disenchantment with the political system and how it works.’ Above, an anti water charges protest march, in O’Connell Street, Dublin, earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Compared to the scale and intensity of protest movements in Greece, Iceland, Spain, Italy or France the Irish ones have undoubted(...)

‘Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian profile has been sharply ratcheted up this year, pursuing critics and opponents into an expanding gulag of political prisons.’  Above, Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, at the Kremlin in Moscow, this week. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

World View: It seems better to preserve an analytical detachment, rather than plumping for either camp on the assumption that a ne(...)

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones

Opinion: Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones proposed a constitutional convention on the UK’s future

‘Led by Pablo Iglesias,  Podemus draws substantial support from the young unemployed, precariat graduates, participants in the associated Indignados social movement and from a much wider constituency disgusted with the corruption scandals afflicting the two main parties.’   Photograph: REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Opinion: ‘According to economist Guy Standing, this precariat is recruited from working class, migrants, ethnic minorities and th(...)

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