Movies from across the EU

Ever felt like the only movies playing at your local theater comes mostly from your own country and hollywood ? You want to discover the art and culture from other European Countries ?

If you are looking for a list of movies from other EU countries that are of interest, search no more, here is the annual list of movies shown at the Annual European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Center in Chicago. You can obviously also look at the lists from previous years.

If you know where to see or buy the movies listed there , please share with us, so european culture can spread.


The story of the eurozone crisis

In one of their usual great piece of reporting, the Planet Money and This American Life team together for a one hour show on the history and story of the eurozone and the ongoing crisis.

Go and listen to it ! [here]


Don’t worry, everything is going according to plan

The euro crisis and everything related: do not worry, it is all going according to plan. At least, that what I read on a eurosceptic blog post reacting to one of my post. The comments by the owner of the blog says :

the Euro was set up deliberately to have a series of crisis, in order to give an excuse to facilitate political union

So, do not be afraid: since the Maastricht treaty in 1992, our democratically elected leaders have playing with our economies in order to get «more Europe»… Hopefully, this strategic crisis has a secret solution that will be used once the citizens fold to «full EU integration». The only problem in that game is that people might notice the secret goal of the euro-dictators and may not accept the «giant leap towards» integration… The precisely prepare scheme is «all coming undone».

Note that despite this diabolic plan, the «the Euro is flawed, everything about it is flawed»; but apparently, it’s all on purpose.


One year of € vs. $ data

For one year, I have collected the euro/dollar exchange rate data, via the yahoo finance API. After those twelve months, here are some data crushing points :

One year after

The first point in my data set is 1.394400 $/€, the latest is 1.357997 ; a difference of 0.0364 or -2.61 %. Quite a loss, even if, were it not for the recent drop, the balance of up and down would have been null.

Data analysis

Over the year, the average exchange rate was 1.392 $/€, with a dispersion of 0.045, a dispersion that is spilling on the lower side (negative skewness).

If we look at the spread of each value around each day average, the standard deviation is 0.0032 dollar/euro, with a slight tendency to go to the lower values (negative skewness again). One might try to fit a gaussian distribution (pointed line), with a correct but not perfect outcome : the distribution is broader at larger values and tighter at the center.

The day to day change in the daily average value is zero in average, but is clearly skewed to the negative, hence a regular drop in exchange rate during the year. 

Furthermore, the day to day change is often greater than the daily dispersion of data, this implies that the natural variation during the day are smaller than global variation over several days. Without surprise, there is a correlation between large daily variation and large day to day change in value, but with only a 6% correlation coefficient.

If you wish to investigate this data yourself, you can find the data set here – the format is “%m/%d/%Y %f” with first the date, second the euro/dollar exchange rate. 


[Review] Pas d’Europe aujourd’hui, sans Europe hier

Lorsqu’il s’agit de l’enracinement de l’Union Européenne dans le passé, il ne s’agit pas seulement de regarder très loin en arrière, mais aussi juste quelques dizaines d’années avant l’établissement de l’UE.

Pour cela, je vous conseil “Une tombe au creux des nuages” un essai de l’européen convaincu Jorge Semprun.

Cet ouvrage qui est en réalité une collection de discours et conférences données par l’auteur durant les dernière décennies ancre l’idée européenne dans l’Histoire du 20ème siècle et dans la philosophie.


[Review] Cours d’Histoire

Si les questions sur l’avenir de l’Europe peuvent se poser, il est également important de regarder vers l’arrière et de connaître l’Histoire qui a conduit au continent Européen tel que nous le connaissions maintenant. Un des piliers de cette histoire est l’héritage Greco-Romain, lequel aurait sans doute été fondamentalement différent si une certaine personne n’avait pas existé.

Pascal nous dit que si son Nez avait été plus court, la face du monde en serait changé [ref], en tout cas, si Cléopatre VII, n’avait pas régné sur l’Égypte aux environs de 50 av. J.C., le monde méditerranéen aurait été différent.

Pour aller au delà de Shakespeare et Elizabeth Taylor, je vous invite donc à lire “Cleopatra, a life“, une biographie rédigée par Stacy Schiff et qui raconte avec clarté et  précision comment le monde Romain, Grec et méditerranéen a prit la forme qu’il avait il y a deux mille ans.


European Budget: The president doesn’t say anything

In the perspective of the series of posts on the European Budget, I submitted a question to Council President Herman von Rompuy, viw the website  AskThePresident.eu, of which I already told you about.

The original text of my question is the following:

The Parliament just backed the Commission position on the EU budget, which clearly opposites the wishes of many prominent voices at the Council. As council Pres., how do you think the budget should evolve in the future ?

Mr von Rompuy answered the question in the following video:

As you can see, the answer is very lite (less than 30 secondes dedicated to the answer) and the opinion of Mr von Rompuy, the object of my question, is just: «I will work for the budget that will serves the financial needs of the Union and its citizens».

Let’s be optimist and interpret this as a support by the Council President to a budget that gives the Union the means of its actions.