Davos Newbies Home

All alone?  

Tom Friedman is usually essential reading in The New York Times, but I do find his perspective distorted at times. “I hate to say this, but except for the good old Brits, we’re all alone.”

Is that really so? From a European perspective, it certainly seems wrong, given how the Germans have been forthright in offering assistance as well. And given that Gerhard Schroder governs as head of a red-green coalition, he has risked alienating a good portion of his traditional supporters by his stance.

I do agree, however, with Tom’s conclusion. “Unlike the free-riders in our coalition, these young Americans know that Sept. 11 is our holy day � the first day in a just war to preserve our free, multi-religious, democratic society. And I don’t really care if that war coincides with Ramadan, Christmas, Hanukkah or the Buddha’s birthday � the most respectful and spiritual thing we can do now is fight it until justice is done.”

Hannibal, we need you  

The horrific fire in the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland evokes grim memories for millions of Europeans who have travelled through this and other trans-Alpine tunnels. It’s now clear that a rail solution will have to be found, to replace the road haulage across the Alps.

It’s extraordinary that in the 21st century, a major economy, Italy, can be largely cut off from commerce because of its reliance on a handful of tunnels through the mountains.

One thought on “Davos Newbies Home

  1. Jerome Camus

    What is so extraordinary? Consider the data. Italy has the same population as France, but only about 60% of the territory. Of that territory, 60% is mountainous (The same as Switzerland, France’s figure is about 15%); worse yet, some estimations indicate only 30% is conducive to feeding the population. The whole northern rim of Italy are the Alps, thus a dependancy on tunnels under mountains for imp/exp trade (Switzerland has all those valleys & gflat lans in the North that give open direction to Germany & France…).

    First the Mt. Blanc disaster, now San Gottardo… Major throttle…

    The good part of all this is that finally governments will push to have rail transit for lorry loads. On a European scale. And for once the Swiss will be 110% behind the initiative.


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