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Economy

Cold Winter Ahead? Fukushima Fallout Deepens Europe's Russian Gas Dependency

This coming winter may become a test for Europe's energy supply. For European countries that have counted on importing energy from German nuclear reactors, which are now slated for closure following the Fukushima disaster, Russian gas imports gro

Near Karskoye Sea, where Russian natural gas starts it's journey to Western Europe. (akulis2)
Near Karskoye Sea, where Russian natural gas starts it's journey to Western Europe. (akulis2)

Almost eight months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, energy remains a sector fraught with tension. In its annual energy report published this week, the Capgemini European Observer warned of the risk of not being able to secure sufficient supplies in the coming winter months.

The closure of several of its nuclear reactors has led Germany to increase imports of electricity from neighboring countries, with as many as 2,000-plus megawatts (MW) imported daily from France. "During periods of peak demand, however, France has imported electricity from Germany, something which will no longer be possible in the future," according to the report. This poses a real threat to the continuity of electricity supply during the upcoming winter months of 2011-2012."

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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