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Bye Bye Euro: Why A Joint Currency Makes No More Sense

Time to get rid of these?
Time to get rid of these?
Andres Rueda
Michael Fabricius

BERLIN - Last week it became clear that, as regards the euro, political Europe has overstepped the limits of its power. The joint statement by France's President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that "Germany and France are deeply committed to the integrity of the Eurozone and are determined to do everything to protect the Eurozone" was little more than an act of desperation.

By the third sentence of that statement -- which urged Eurozone members and European institutions to "comply with their obligations, each in their own area of competence" -- it was already apparent how far apart perceptions of the crisis are now in the individual euro countries, including France and Germany.

These are the death throes of a joint euro diplomacy. Any agreement is merely on the surface, while powerful centrifugal forces are at work beneath it. And these forces are getting stronger. On one day, European Central Bank (ECB) boss Mario Draghi announced the prospect of further help for the countries facing severe austerity measures, only to have German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble send a different message the following day.

Greece is asking for more time, as daily news of Athens's failures has German politicians now openly talking about shutting Greece out of the Eurozone. Spain wants Germany to give it money. And of course nobody can agree on instruments: bonds, direct or indirect? Direct help for the banks? More austerity measures?

The German government has a minority position on the ECB board although that picture changes somewhat if one includes Eastern European EU members. A deep split is forming between the North and the South, and it's only a question of time before the partners reach that moment when they look into each other's eyes and admit: This isn't working anymore.

During the 11 years of the euro's existence, the economic spaces in the North and the South haven't enhanced each other - they've just grown further and further apart. Under conditions like that, a joint currency just doesn't make any sense.

Read the article in German in Die Welt.

Photo: Andres Rueda

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New Study Finds High Levels Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination In Buddhism

We tend to think of Buddhism as a religion devoid of commandments, and therefore generally more accepting than others. The author, an Australian researcher — and "genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist" themself — suggests that it is far from being the case.

Photo of a Buddhist monk in a Cambodia temple, walking away from the camera

Some Buddhist spaces can be highly heteronormative and show lack of understanding toward the LGBTQ+ community

Stephen Kerry

More than half of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ Buddhists feel reluctant to “come out” to their Buddhist communities and nearly one in six have been told directly that being LGBTQIA+ isn’t in keeping with the Buddha’s teachings.

These are some of the findings from my research looking at the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in Australia.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

I’m a genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist myself and I was curious about others’ experiences in Australia since there has been no research done on our community before. So, in 2020, I surveyed 82 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and have since followed this up with 29 face-to-face interviews.

Some people may think Buddhism would be quite accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. There are, after all, no religious laws, commandments or punishments in Buddhism. My research indicates, however, this is not always true.

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