The European Council meeting in which EU leaders will attempt to reach an agreement on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 began in Brussels on November 22 and EU leaders continue in their struggle to find common ground to set a budget.

At the meeting of the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on November 19, a group of 27 European foreign ministers issued a statement that read: "The EU considers [the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition] legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people."

A Spanish theater owner is protesting the VAT increase on his tickets to 21 percent by offering carrots for sale, which are subject only to a VAT of 4 percent, and giving purchasers free admission.

Across Europe this week, an unprecedented and well-coordinated series of transnational mass strikes and protests led largely by Big Labor took to the streets in major European capitals and cities to demand an end to so-called “austerity” policies — mostly government spending cuts. In many cases, the massive demonstrations turned violent.

Analysts, however, say the seemingly spontaneous chaos may actually have been orchestrated by forces behind the scenes. Indeed, much of the media focus was on the relatively new phenomenon of so-called “pan-European” action, with labor leaders and activists framing the conflict as a regional European Union struggle rather than separate national efforts to influence domestic policy.

In a move toward religious toleration which would not be seen in a Muslim-majority nation, the government of Hamburg, Germany, has now reached an accord with its Muslim communities giving official standing to their religious holidays and permitting adherents of their beliefs to teach religion in the schools.