Isabelle Kumar


Last quote by Isabelle Kumar

Viviane Reding, there are five proposals on the table to tackle the many crises Europe is facing…. Do you think the future of the euro is secure? And finally if we look to your Europe of the future and we look at levels of integration – zero being no integration at all, five being maximum – where would you place your future Europe. Immigration is obviously a major issue for you, and one that is causing a lot of difficulties for the EU. What is your point of view?
Mar 22 2017
Isabelle Kumar has been quoted 175 times. The one recent article where Isabelle Kumar has been quoted is What future for Europe?. Most recently, Isabelle Kumar was quoted as having said, “How would that actually tackle the economic crisis Europe is facing because you are not necessarily going to get everybody on board?”.
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Isabelle Kumar quotes

There are going to be crucial meetings coming up on the future of Europe, the European Commission President has put some proposals on the table. Do they provide a valid blueprint for the future? So do you feel as a small county, Slovenia if the multi-speed option is taken up – you are going to be forgotten about – your voice is not going to be heard? So the Treaty of Rome celebrations are just around the corner. What kind of image do you think the leaders there are going to portray if you imagine that family photo at the end?

In terms of defence, if we look to this future Europe, how would that work, do you encourage the idea of a European army?

Would you propose kicking out countries that don't adhere to your vision?

Justice and fundamental rights issues are very close to your heart, but those kind of rights are being battered in many parts of Europe….

Europe and the EU in particular have an image problem. The institutions are often seen as out of touch, is that a representative picture of Europe?

Ok, and then just finally, where does Europe fit into all of this, because obviously Europe is entering even more uncertain times.

So there are also big changes on the horizon as you're well aware, we've got a potential pull back from globalisation, it is something we're hearing about a lot here in Davos. How concerned are you about that?

What about Donald Trump then, how do you think he is going to affect the car industry, because he has been quite vocal in that respect.

One of your ways of relaxation, and it is quite well publicised, is Pokemon Go – what has got you hooked, why do you enjoy it?

Is it sensible to be building these barriers to stop people coming in, who are in desperate need?

Do you fear a knock on effect and other countries might leave?

But Russia does not like the fact that there are these troop build-ups on its border in Nordic countries but also in Eastern Europe – do you think there is a certain amount of provocation there?

You share a short border with Russia. You have recently agreed to have US troops stationed in your country and that seems to have sparked a certain amount of displeasure in Moscow….

We often hear that to get into a position like yours, Prime Minister, you have to work twice as hard as your male counterparts and really fight for your position- has that been your experience?

You have built a fence between yourselves and Russia – it is one of the many fences going up these days – that's to curb immigration… It has been deemed to be successful in some circles because immigration has been cut by 95 percent.

Ironically it was your integration minister who created a bit of a furore, because she stated that new arrivals should be very clear on the fact that people around them will be eating pork and drinking alcohol. It just struck me that at ministerial level that seemed a simplistic approach to what is quite a complex issue – what do you think?

Anti-immigration sentiment was in part what fuelled in Britain the vote to leave the EU, the Brexit vote. Now as Britain goes forward in this – and it has become quite entangled in this – they do look to the Norwegian model. You don't think that's necessarily going to be the right model for Britain?

High levels of education are obviously associated to greater tolerance of diversity and pluralism, so what are you doing to educate Norwegians to be more welcoming to refugees? Because we often ask refugees to integrate, but we also need to have populations who welcome them.

We've seen that there have been attempts with the Taliban to negotiate with them. Do you ever see a point where we could negotiate with the Islamic State (ISIL)?

Given the gains that ISIL is making, do you get the impression that we are in this for the long run?

But how is that possible? Because if we look at this network, we look at these groups that have hidden themselves – you're dealing with an invisible enemy at times, acting beneath the radar, able to make bombs at home….

When there is a clamping down on Syria and Iraq and the stronghold there, will this group then lash out in its global network, in Europe for example, as just happened recently?

If Syria and Iraq are anything to go by, one can't help but assume that terrorists like a vacuum. And if we see this hot bed of terrorism in Brussels, in Belgium – which is by many accounts a dysfunctional state at the moment – would that seem a coincidence to you that this group have embedded themselves there?

You've talked of a many pronged attack on this group. Given the likelihood that that is going to be quite difficult to put into place at least in the short term, what would you advise military leaders to do?

Were you frustrated when you were in your post (as coordinator for global coalition to combat ISIL) with a lack of intelligence sharing on this issue?

If we look at traditional forms of warfare, say, if a decisive offensive was launched against the caliphate what impact then would that have upon this global network that you were describing?

If we look at your book 'A horse walks into a bar' the protagonist Dovalé is at once a very moral character, a humanist, yet on the other has quite a grotesque side, he shows an ugly side to the world. Does he embody your own contradictory feelings towards Israel?

There are a lot of EU-bashing movements, political groupings, on the right but also on the left, what makes DiEM25 different?

Christiana Figueres, many thanks for being with us. My first question, why do you think this climate deal is going to work?

Meanwhile, while people are getting richer, Europe is struggling with its economic crisis and, most recently, is facing the major challenge of the migration crisis. If we look at this in purely economic terms, do you see migration as a benefit or a burden to the European economy?

There has been talk that a possible default in Greece could time with Brexit, the referendum in the United Kingdom on leaving the EU. Some at the IMF have allegedly said that would a disaster. What is your take on that?

In terms of trying to achieve more, if we look at Greece, Greece seems to be trouble again and there have been leaks that the IMF has said that bringing Greece to the brink might help push negotiations through. I know you have said that is nonsense, but how close are you to an agreement because it seems pretty far off?

The IMF has been sounding the alarm bells on that, saying there is a risk of derailment of the global economy. How at risk are we of a 2008-style financial crisis?

We are here in Frankfurt, which is the home of the European Central Bank (ECB). And if we continue looking at the European crisis, ECB President Mario Draghi has said he is going to fire everything he can at this crisis to get Europe back on track, but we can't help but get the impression that he is running out of ammunition.

Finally. As you carry out what is a very stressful job, you are facing a trial. You stand accused of negligence in a 400 million euro payout to French businessman Bernard Tapie. But what would like to know is – how does this affect your functions, particularly now as you have entered your second term in office?

So, if we skip to the other side of the pond, the US is in the throes of its election campaigning – and recently a risk analysis firm put Donald Trump in terms of threats, basically on the same level as jhadists. So in terms of the global economy, who does the global economy prefer in the White House – Donald Trump or presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton?

That's brings me to the subject of terrorism then. Because that is really a global blight and some people, I think including yourself, will say that this is blowback for US terrorist policy around the world. How far is the US and its allies responsible for what we're seeing now in terms of the terrorist attacks around the world?

The world in 2015 seems a very unsettled place but if we take a big picture view do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the general state of play?

So Portugal should have its debt written off, Spain should have its debt written off…?

If we look at the situation in Europe though, there's also another interesting phenomenon that's taking place. We're seeing Greece moving towards the East, potentially, with the Syriza government. We're also seeing Podemos, which is gaining power in Spain, also in Hungary. Do you see that there is a potential for Europe to start shirting and aligning itself more with Russian interests?

You describe the US as the leading terrorist state. Where does Europe fit into that picture then?

In terms of nuclear war we see the prospect of this Iran deal has reached a preliminary agreement. Does that provide you with a glimmer of hope that the world could potentially be a safer place?

But then what about all the other European countries…?

You mentioned the US and Israel in terms of Iran. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obviously doesn't want the Iran nuclear deal to work, and he says….

Let's look at the environmental issues, we have asked our social media audience to send in questions and we have hordes of questions. We received this question from Enoa Agoli who asks, when you look at this issue of the environment and you look at it through a philosopher's lens, what do you think about climate change?

Ángel Gurría, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said here in Davos that an ECB stimulus package could really give Europe a shove in the right direction, economically speaking. Your take on that?

You live in Britain at the moment. How do you see the difference in the two countries, is there a difference in the way they treat their Muslim communities?

Do you think it's one of the objectives of the terrorists to create this division, to create this Islamophobia and thus engender more radicalisation?

Is Islam being interpreted in an increasingly violent way? There is a very frightening strand of the religion that is developing. Do you think that is here to stay?

Some are also pointing to a failure in the integration process in France.

Relations between Russia and NATO appear to be in free fall, with the alliance boosting its presence in Eastern Europe and Moscow denying it aims to destabilise the region.

What about the corrupting influence of so much money though? How could one then actually curb that, bring that under some sort of control?

You speak of him in the present tense. He's very much with you at all times?

Which brings me to a question from a young guy, Jean Louis Fanel Doulos. And he asks: 'How does one become a great boxer?

And then we'll end with a question from El Moussadak Chadad who says 'at last, are you at peace with yourself?

You're doing a lot of things. You're also a boxing promoter now, which I think is something you didn't expect you would do.

I look forward to seeing Addicted to Chaos. But I know the Undisputed Truth and you talk about the extreme highs and the extreme lows. For our audience, could you pinpoint a couple of scenes that are particularly poignant for you?

So would you say that now in your new life – if we can put it into your past life and your new life – you're as passionate about what you're doing now?

Is one of the reasons you went into promotion because you missed that world?

We've asked our online audience to send in questions, and we've been flooded with questions. And we received a question from someone who goes by the name of Adriel Moodley. He asks – and I think it's a question a lot of people are asking – 'Why did you turn to stand up comedy?'. I know it's not all comedy, you talk about some of the hard parts of your life, but how did you get there?

I'd like to bring in some of these other voices again, of our online audience, and going back to sport. This is someone called Mattu who asks 'who gave you your most memorable punch of all time?

If we can look back at some of the more difficult times in your life, you had phenomenal success, you've also very openly battled drug addiction. Do you feel you've managed to unleash yourself from that, that those days are over?

You said something so interesting in your autobiography. You spoke of your time in prison, and I quote you here. You said 'it turned out to be a blessing'. What lessons do you carry from that time with you now?

How do you measure your success? Because in the olden days it was how many people you knocked out. You were phenomenally successful. Now is success important to you and how would you measure it?

How did you learn that lesson? Was there a turning point where you just kind of had some sort of epiphany or realisation or did it come slowly, bit by bit.

Would you have him as one of the most special people in your life?

I've read your autobiography and I've watched your show, you had to leave some parts out. Could there ever be an Undisputed Truth part two?

What makes you good on the stage? Is it your experience as a boxer, which means it translates itself well on the stage?

And there's so much money associated with sport. Now, you're on the front line of that, you earned so much. Do you think that's necessarily a good thing? Do you think the figures should go down or is it right?

What do you miss the most about that life then, the old days?

Well, we all know about your love for Cus D'Amato, your boxing manager and trainer. How much of him is in you when you're doing this?

There are also likely to be questions over reform at the of UN, amid growing frustration at the veto power of the security council 5 permanent members who stand accused of using that power to block key security issues to protect their own interests.

In what could be a worrying sign of things to come, leaders of three out of the four most polluting nations China, India and Russia will not be attending the climate summit.

You've just got back from a tour of Africa, publicising your new book about the continent 'My Black Stars'. What would you like to tell the children of Africa?

Discrimination as we have already said, doesn't stop with the colour of someone's skin, it is also a discrimination against poor people. So turning to the World Cup in Brazil, I'd like to ask you, can spending so much on a sporting event be justified?

The rise of the National Front in France could be a sign that the French are becoming more racist or more afraid of immigrants. Do you ever think, right I'm leaving France?

The World Cup victory in 1998 was, of course, a sporting victory but also a social one, your rainbow team was recognised for being well integrated, so 20 years later, what is it like now?

But now, after the European elections, we see a very different society in France… don't we?

And finally I'll just finish of with a question from Tommy Aditya who asks 'Who was your favourite player when you were a child?' And I'll add the question, and who's your favourite player today?

Exactly on that point we have a question from someone called Arthur Eld, who asks if you think FIFA and UEFA are doing enough to combat racism in the stadiums?

I have a question from Chrétien Wemby, who asks if you plan to train a football team one day?

You mentioned your football career, and we asked our social media fans to send questions in for you, and we got one from someone called Glody Morinio, who asks whether you suffered racial discrimination when you played for France?

And now a question from Samer Chaloub, who asks how policies and reforms can help in the fight against racistm. You were very critical of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, do you think François Hollande is doing better?

You don't think there is more racism in football stadiums than there was 10 or 15 years ago?

Which brings me to your comic book 'Our History'. It's really meant to try and make children understand that there aren't different races, that we're all part of the human race, but is it also meant as an internal psychological journey to try and understand and take responsibility for what happened when you were young, and all that?

So as I'm sure you can believe, we received lots of questions about the World Cup and about the French team. So I've chosen a question from Baba Bah, who asks what do you think about Samir Nasri not being selected for the team?

And when you talk to young Africans, does this message get through?

Was there a key moment for you, when you said to yourself, When I finish playing football, I'm going to start this campaign against racism?

So if you had a magic wand… would you like to be there playing with the French team?

You really think that this is not part of human nature, this fear of other people?

Why didn't you take part in those talks? You had the opportunity to do so. This was also a question we received from Adil Ishaque Abbasi on Twitter, he said why did you keep yourself out of the dialogue? This would have added weight to the process.

So how can you negotiate with them then? How can you have these peace talks?

There has been a military operation against the Taliban with the end of peace efforts – marking an end to those peace efforts – after the Taliban admitted that they had the insurgency, to the extremism. So you don't support this operation at the moment?

Ok, you've also said, and correct me if I'm wrong, that if the Pakistani government was to withdraw its support for the US war on terror, was to stop US Malala in the head, the teenage girl who was trying to basically support kids trying to have an education, girl children have an education. They want to, they do want to impose Sharia law, certain groups do want to impose Sharia law.

But I think the point that you have more weight is an important one….

How worried should we be in Europe of Pakistani militants coming over here, to Europe, to western countries and fighting their Jihad on our territory?

So, should they have just carried on? You think they should've just carried on regardless?

President, many thanks for joining us on the programme. Your visit to Davos is historic: it's your first visit to Europe as a head of state; the first visit of an Iranian president to the World Economic Forum in 10 years. You are coming here after many years of mistrust and you are meeting world leaders in business and politics: what are you saying to them?

What's your gut feeling though, do you think there will be commitment at the EU level?

Well, you say Bangladesh and other countries, but this agreement only implicates Bangladesh. Why didn't you get retailers to sign up to an agreement in all of the countries they operate in?

But the big ones, like Walmart and Gap, aren't on board….

So, Europe is Bangladesh's main trading partner, and Europe has said it's going to take appropriate action. What are you going to be doing to make sure action does take place at the EU level?

The US National Retail Federation has said that the agreement you have worked upon lacks, and I quote here 'common sense'. This is particularly problematic for the US, what do you say to that?

If you are talking about life and death then, it could be argued that you've been quite intransigent in the negotiation process. Wouldn't it have been better to get a bit of a broader coalition of retailers on board, and be more acquiescent to their demands?

Let's go to our first question, which comes from France.

Phillip, we are in the grips of a recession, consumers are asking for cheaper and cheaper goods, we've already seen another factory collapse in Cambodia. Do you think you can ensure such a disaster doesn't happen again?

So you've had some big names signing up – H&M, Calvin Klein, Primark, Carrefour – but some notable absences. Who are they?

My name is Tessa Waite and I'm from the UK. The EU has said it will do more to improve labour standards in Bangladesh – will the pledge become reality?

And just finally – because the family isn't really entirely devoid of controversy – there's a lot of debate about how much the royal family earns, and the new king will earn something like 850,000 euros a year. That seems rather excessive in these times of austerity.

And finally, what about names? I mean we don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but what's your bet?

And has Willem Alexander shaped up his act? Because at one point he was known as 'Prince Pils', because of his penchant for beer and a good time.

That's a good question because on the one hand we've got Queen Beatrix in the Netherlands whose popularity is at an all-time high and on the other hand you've got King Juan Carlos of Spain whose popularity is plummeting, and he's not thinking, is he (not yet at least) of abdicating? Should King Juan Carlos be taking a leaf out of Queen Beatrix's book?

OK, we're going to go now to our final question.

So we're back to the massive corruption scandal which has embroiled the royal family in Spain. And I suppose the question is, is there a way out? How is this going to play out?

How do you think they'll be able to shield their baby?

And just briefly now, there's going to be this new transparency law, it looks like a new transparency law is going to be passed in Spain. Has the royal family, the wider royal family, got anything to worry about?

And when it comes to image, let's remember that Queen Beatrix has done an awful lot to improve her image. When she was married, protesters threw smoke bombs, partly because she was getting married to a man who had been part of the Hitler Youth. How did she turn her image around so successfully?

We know the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty', but the royal family has very much distanced itself from Princess Cristina's husband, Inaki, so has the die been cast?

Well, some here in Davos argue that the spectre of a referendum in Britain brings yet more uncertainty. Others fear complacency and welcome the chance to renegotiate a more competitive view.

In an apparent show of anti-EU sentiment, some leaders have chosen to stay away, among them the conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron – a decision seen as a bid to placate his increasingly eurosceptic party.

Amid an acute economic crisis, growing social unrest, increasing division between member states, the EU could appear a dubious choice. Following the controversial decision to award the peace prize to President Obama in 2009, some warn the Nobel committee is skating on thin ice.

Before the summit in Davos, one of the big issues, and it's moving so quickly now, was rating agencies and their downgrade of several European countries. How credible are the rating agencies in your opinion, because they have made some colossal mistakes in the past?

Another fact that has been debated is a smaller eurozone, a eurozone, for example, without Greece. Do you think that is something that can be envisaged?

That discipline obviously involves austerity, but when you have austerity, it seems difficult to have growth. Do you foresee austerity and growth working together?

Pascal Lamy, thank you very much for joining us on euronews. The eurozone crisis is being examined from every angle here, its problems blamed on a myriad of factors. You are a former European Trade Commissioner, so that's an area you know well. Is there a clear-cut solution.

Preparations are taking place behind me on Palace Square for a massive cocktail party. In this tight-knit community the Prince sent each of the Monaco nationals a personal invitation to attend. The reception will take place just an hour or so after the civil wedding. The prince and his new bride are expected to mingle with the crowds.

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