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Sir, Regarding ‘Parliament backs 20-week maternity leave‘: Europe’s leaders must use Thursday’s EU summit to fight against the introduction of new laws on maternity leave, voted on by MEPs last week, that will increase maternity leave from the current EU minimum of 14 weeks to 20 weeks, all of which will be on compulsory full… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘Treaty change debate divides EU foreign ministers‘: In its present state the Lisbon Treaty explicits forbids any form of financial solidarity between eurozone member states. This ‘original sin’ must be erased to guarantee the survival of the euro. The treaty must therefore be revised. Such revisions are consubstantial with the evolving nature of… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘Bio-economy poses new competitiveness challenges for Europe‘: Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has highlighted an area where the EU is missing out compared to other countries – particularly the USA. It need not do so, for it actually needs to address it through a different emphasis. Firstly, the EU should seriously consider removing the… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘Barroso drops financial taxes from draft G20 wish-list‘: It is shocking to see the European Commission backtracking from pushing for financial taxes to be on the agenda at the forthcoming G20 summit in Seoul in November. A global bank tax to help poor people survive the economic and climate crisis must be urgently… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘EU to push patent-free eGovernment’: When discussing eGovernment and interoperability, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often overlooked. The fact is that innovative SMEs such as mine play a role that is at least as important as any of the so-called ‘software giants’. Effective eGovernment requires innovative, tailored and flexible solutions. European SMEs… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘Public to vote for ‘worst EU lobbyists’‘: The worst EU lobbyists are probably national treasuries when seeking to preserve their prerogatives at any cost to common EU interest. Sorry, that’s less sexy than Goldman Sachs but perhaps more to the point. Jean-Guy Giraud UEF FRANCE

Sir, Regarding ‘France calls on Turkey to fight human trafficking‘: The European Commission estimates that nowadays at least 4.5 million illegal economic immigrants live in EU member states. Almost 500,000 people are arrested every year throughout the European Union. They are usually illegal economic immigrants looking for a better life in a democratic territory. Many… » read more

Nobel: Is activism peace?

Sir, Regarding ‘Why the Nobel Peace Prize should go to Liu Jiabao‘ Alfred Nobel’s will for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize was clear, explicit and unambiguous: to reward “…the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for… » read more