Sunday, 4 December 2011

Memos from Member States

Belgium: A government is in place

On December 1st it finally became reality: after 18 months of talks, protests and demonstrations the Belgian politicians seem to have solved the political deadlock in the country. 

Six parties with enough combined Parliament seats managed to reach common ground and agreed Elio Di Rupo to be sworn in as prime minister on Monday. That is if no new problems arise. 

On Friday thousands of protestors marched in the streets of Brussels against the budget cuts that will be forced through next year to get the country’s deficit below three percent of GDP.

Germany: Mass evacuation after bomb discovery

The German town of Koblenz was on red alert on Sunday after the discovery of a 1.8 tons heavy bomb in the river Rhine.

More than 45,000 people were evacuated, which makes it the biggest evacuation since the Second World War.

The bomb was discovered only because of low water levels in the Rhine. The bomb is believed to have been dropped by British air force during the war. Another smaller bomb was found at the same time. Both bombs were disarmed later on Sunday.

Spain: Is Europe getting bigger?

It’s been over a month since an underwater volcano started erupting just south of the Canary Island El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands. Scientists believe that a new island or an extension to the existing one is in the making.

The spectacular sight has drawn thousands of camera crews to the spot to see what’s going on. Not everyone is excited, though.

The residents in the town closest to the eruption are leaving because of the many small earthquakes, and many restaurants, bars and hotels have shut down as the tourists keep away too, threatening locals on their livelihood.