contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
The 'other'
NEWS FEATURE 1
Is President Trump on the brink of a new Watergate?
NEWS FEATURE 2
Playing with Greek fire
DIGEST AMERICAS
No Trump bump for Twitter’s profits
DIGEST EUROPE
Fed up with taking the flak, Brussels launches a revamp
DIGEST EUROPE
Martin Schulz’s bid to topple Merkel hits turbulence
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Did Kim Jong-un order his own half-brother’s assassination?
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Kim’s missiles pose a major foreign policy challenge for Trump
DIGEST AFRICA
Former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor phones allies from UK prison
DIGEST AFRICA
The resignation of a general shines further light on the atrocities in South Sudan
DIGEST AFRICA
Armyworms and drought threaten millions of people in southern and eastern Africa
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Siege, chemical weapons and misinformation: How Assad broke Aleppo
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Is the two-state solution dead and buried?
THE PICTURE
Basking in a purifying golden glow
GOOD NEWS
Testing for Ebola in 15 mins
Malaysian aid for Rohingyas arrives in Bangladesh
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
People in numbers
IN SCIENCE
De-extinction: Not such a mammoth task?
IN MEDICINE
Why are we so bad at remembering details?
IN TECHNOLOGY
A white dwarf star contains the building blocks for life
roadsandkingdoms.com
The Friendliest Border - Roads & Kingdoms
foreignpolicy.com
The Blackwater of Jihad
africanarguments.org
The Strong Breed: The rise and fall of Africa’s great literary leaders | African Arguments

EU citizens can now take the troika to court over austerity measures

Greece's Debt
See 33 more
People stage a protest in Athens against the Greek government’s austerity policy on September 16.
Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
People stage a protest in Athens against the Greek government’s austerity policy on September 16.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that EU citizens in crisis-hit countries have a right to sue the troika if they believe their fundamental rights have been violated by austerity, EurActiv reports.
H as the troika infringed EU citizens’ fundamental rights through its insistence on austerity measures in crisis-hit countries? It’s a question that seems set to be analysed in ever greater detail and may lead to claims being made against the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, after the ECJ ruled that citizens are entitled to sue the troika.
The Luxembourg-based court’s decision was based on the banking crisis that hit Cyprus in 2013. At the time, the troika and the Cypriot government agreed to a restructuring, which involved uninsured deposits of over €100,000 being used to recapitalise the Bank of Cyprus. In return, the embattled country received a bailout from the European Stability Mechanism.
As a result, some investors lost a large amount of money and then decided to sue the Commission and the ECB for damages. Although the ECJ’s judges dismissed the case as they ruled that stabilising the banking system served the common good of the EU, they added that bringing damages against the troika is possible in principle, if someone’s fundamental rights have been breached.
Green MEP Sven Giegold said it was a “breakthrough for the protection of fundamental rights” and announced that he would endeavour to support any citizens looking to seek compensation from the troika. Giegold added that people who have been affected in countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus finally have legal means by which to have their cases heard.
[This is] a landmark for the protection of fundamental rights. The judges opened the door to damage claims against austerity measures in countries such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus, where individual and social rights are affected... From our side we will support people who want to file legal cases.”
Sven Giegold , German Green MEP
German jurist Andreas Fischer-Lescano told Spiegel Online that possible action could be brought by Greek citizens on account of the so-called Memorandum of Understanding which has affected the way in which prescription drugs are co-financed. He suggested that anyone who has struggled to access necessary medicines as a result would be eligible to make a claim.
However, Fischer-Lescano warned that the ECJ’s decision is not a blank cheque for everyone and anyone to bring a case against the troika. Although it is now possible to intervene in extreme cases, the plaintiff will still have to clearly show that their fundamental rights have been sufficiently violated. Even then, the Court would have to judge on a case by case basis whether the public interest outweighed their individual needs.
EurActiv
21 September 2016 - last edited 21 September 2016