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Old 14th May 2012, 10:02   #1181 (permalink)
KAG
 
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Stuckgear: well, perhaps, hence my desapointment? Honnestly I have been more desapointed on that matter on jetblast than when actually travelling in UK, which gives me some hope...

Hellsbrink:
Quote:
So Belgium's "austerity plan" means nothing in this, neither does Italy's, or Portugal's? Ooh, what about the German "austerity plan" announced by Merkel in 2010 (the biggest wave of cuts since the end on WWII), and what about the Dutch Government collapse over their "austerity plans"?
Are you mixing the UK austery plan with the German one? Are you confused?

From your own link:
Quote:
United Kingdom: The UK has announced the biggest cuts in state spending since World War II. The plan is to save 83 billion pounds. This will be done by cutting 490,000 public sector jobs, implementing a council tax-freeze, raising the capital gains tax on investments, raising the retirement age to 66, and increasing the VAT rates by 2.5 percent (to 20 percent); most governmental department spending will be reduced by 25 percent, including a year-long freeze on the Queen’s budget (the Civil List).
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Old 14th May 2012, 10:22   #1182 (permalink)
 
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ahh now if you want disappointment and unfulfilled potential, the UK is probably the world leader.

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Old 14th May 2012, 10:24   #1183 (permalink)
 
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How much would we save if all the MPs got sacked?
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Old 14th May 2012, 10:49   #1184 (permalink)
 
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Ah, you can't do that Norm, because then they'd sit around all day doing nothing at public expense.

Oh. Hang about . . . .
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Old 14th May 2012, 10:50   #1185 (permalink)
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On this subject, Mr Hollande has announced he will cut his president salary (and all the ministers one) by 30%, like said earlier by Alpineskier.
That's not a lot of money, but it sures shows a good example and a nice leadership.


On Europe. Hollande wants to renegotiate the terms of the European Fiscal Stability Treaty signed in December by 25 of the 27 EU member states. The Socialist candidate says that the pact needs to be expanded beyond fiscal discipline and debt ceilings to include provisions about promoting economic growth. On this point, he echoes elements of the Obama administration’s view in insisting that that fiscal discipline must be accompanied by at least some measure of stimulus and investment. Otherwise, austerity measures alone will stifle growth and cause a downward economic spiral that deepens the economic crisis. Hollande has pledged to balance France’s national budget by 2017 (thus complying with the eurozone’s new “golden rule” of balanced national budgets), but he has also said that he wants to see changes in the mandate of the European Central Bank – presumably to enable it to go beyond curbing inflation and include fighting unemployment.

What form would a treaty “renegotiation” take? Hollande has talked about rewriting “some clauses” of the text. In Brussels, EU officials would prefer to see a treaty “addendum “ in the form of a separate statement or an additional “protocol” on growth that could be adopted without impeding the ratification process of the treaty itself.
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Old 14th May 2012, 10:56   #1186 (permalink)
 
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Yer cant do that Mr Norm! who would look after the interests of the rich and powerful if we did that?
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Old 14th May 2012, 11:03   #1187 (permalink)
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Hollande: a socialist or a centrist pragmatic?






Within a week of being sworn in as president of France, François Hollande will attend his first EU summit at a dinner in Brussels.

The 23 May event, called by the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, has been organised specifically to size Hollande up, and to suggest that he is already making an impact.

Hollande will already have had his first meeting with Angela Merkel in Berlin, at which they will have tussled over austerity and growth policies in Europe and sought a compromise.

Both are centrist pragmatists, which suggests, but does not guarantee, a readiness to strike a deal. From Blair to Cameron to Obama to Mario Monti in Italy, it would be difficult to find a western leader who is not a centrist pragmatist. But bottom lines, national interests and acute policy differences remain.

As Europe wrestles with its great predicament, Hollande faces charges that he is a "dangerous" tax-and-spend Keynesian out to reverse the fiscal and monetarist rigour of the Germans and trick them into pooling eurozone debt by issuing eurobonds. Crisis sorted.

To judge by his aides, his programme and his statements, however, Hollande is nothing of the kind.

The French would like eurobonds, if they could get them. But with Berlin saying nein for the foreseeable future – though without ruling them out, eventually – Paris is not pushing.

Michel Sapin, Hollande's key economics aide and possible finance minister, told German diplomats in Paris eurobonds were not the answer to the euro crisis, especially if a big enough firewall was in place in the form of the eurozone's bailout fund.

"On eurobonds, Sapin was clearly sceptical," said a memo to Berlin from the German embassy in Paris, obtained by the Guardian.

Sapin also ruled out big spending programmes: in attempting to reform the French economy, Hollande would opt for supply-side measures of the kind Berlin advocates every day.

"It's absolutely essential to generate growth, but this can only be done through supply-side measures and no longer through state spending programmes," the Hollande team told the German diplomats.

Hollande has outlined four policy areas in his push to restart Europe's growth engine: increasing the role of the European Investment Bank, using the EU budget to try to combat recession, using both these vehicles to underwrite big infrastructure projects on a European scale – broadband, green technology, railways and the like – and allowing the eurozone's permanent bailout fund to operate as a bank so that it can tap funds from the European Central Bank.

Of these four, only the latter is very contentious; it is stiffly opposed by the Germans. On the other three: the European commission has been making similar arguments for the past year, and a deal on European "project bonds", using EIB or EU structural funds or both, looks likely at a summit at the end of June.

Such a deal would allow Hollande to claim that his growth agenda is delivering something, while enabling Merkel to emphasise that her "fiscal pact" compelling budgetary rigour across the eurozone is sacrosanct.

Hollande is not so much challenging the content of the fiscal pact as arguing it needs to be augmented by an explicit commitment to growth policies. Besides, almost all the new powers in the fiscal pact became EU law through separate legislation last December, and the French are not remotely suggesting that the laws be repealed.

The main exception here is the fiscal pact's "golden rule" on balanced budgets and national debt ceilings, which Berlin says should be effected through amendments to national constitutions and policed by the European court of justice. Hollande opposes the court's role.

The looming attempt to reach a consensus on broader eurozone fiscal union and economic policy-making, however, could yet be derailed by the crisis du jour – Greece.

While Berlin and Brussels insist Athens must abide by the punishing terms of its European bailout, it is unclear where Hollande stands if the issue goes hypercritical in the weeks and months ahead.
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Old 14th May 2012, 11:15   #1188 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAG View Post
while UK is emplementing a huge austerity plan that has the opposite wanted effect: it actually does increase the debt faster.
Not entirely fair.

It was never the intention of the UK government to begin reducing the national debt from the day they took power; the plan is simply to reduce the rate at which it’s increasing (the fact that we need a ‘huge austerity plan’ to do this is testament to just how effectively the previous government screwed our finances). In fact the government have always been quite open about the fact that it will take several years just to balance the books, and that the debt will continue to increase in the meantime. So the increasing debt was always part of the plan. (The timeframe over which this occurs, on the other hand, seems to be a moveable feast).
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Old 14th May 2012, 11:58   #1189 (permalink)
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Andy S:
Let's hope it was part of the plan and that it will be a winning decision for the long term.

The fact I was seing it coming (see my discussion here with stuckgear one year ago) doesn't make me optimistic...

Why not being a bit smoother with the austerity? If the debt had increased less in 2012, it couldn't hurt much, right? Now that UK is in recession, how not fearing it was all wrong and now there might be a risk to spirale down between austerity, recession, and debt that is increasing faster?
Why not being pragmatic and finding an honest balance between the 3 factors above?

In Greece, austerity made the GDP to drop by 15%, I don't see it as a success, keeping in mind the debt has increased dramatically over the same period of time.

Austerity has to be coupled with some other mesures, like in Argentina in the 90s. Lower the currency, boost the industry, or both.
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Old 14th May 2012, 12:00   #1190 (permalink)
 
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Lower the currency,
A bit tricky in the eurozone, n'est ce pas?
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Old 14th May 2012, 12:16   #1191 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Sapin also ruled out big spending programmes: in attempting to reform the French economy, Hollande would opt for supply-side measures of the kind Berlin advocates every day.

"It's absolutely essential to generate growth, but this can only be done through supply-side measures and no longer through state spending programmes," the Hollande team told the German diplomats.
So he tells the electorate that he will create 60,000 new police posts and reduce the minimum pension age by two years and then his aide tells the international press there will be no
Quote:
big spending programmes
and growth will
Quote:
only be done through supply-side measures and no longer through state spending
This is what I truly loathe and detest about politicians of all parties: they are now so blatant in their lies that they are apparently accepting that the only prohibition is not to tell directly contradictory lies in the same statement. Apparently if you tell them at different times, it's ok and then you can bluff how you were misunderstood etc.

As far as I recall (didn't follow in great detail) all Hollande's very big spending commitments -such as those cited above - were on the spending side, other headline grabbers like the 75% tax on E 1million + salaries will bring in peanuts.

Conclusion: A right-of-centre lieing shit has been replaced by a left-of-centre (probably ) lieing shit

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 14th May 2012 at 12:18.
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Old 14th May 2012, 12:18   #1192 (permalink)
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MagnusP:
I believe Andy S was speaking about UK.
UK is not in Eurozone, so what's the point of not taking advantage of being inside Eurozone like France and Germany when not using the supposed freedom of economic actions given by the fact of being outside of eurozone?

And other way to ask the same question would be, seeing what's happening right now in UK, what is the advantage not being part of Eurozone for Great Britain?


Alpine skier: that's why I supported Bayrou on this website.

I believe Hollande is a centrist pragmatic, which makes him twist reality to be elected: he won't increase the spendings as much as he promised. At least I hope.
We need a balance between savings and spendings to avoid recession and meanwhile to avoid the annual deficit to go out of control.

He still has a point when he says austerity alone is not an option.


Aside: 60000 police? It was not supposed to be 60000 teachers?

Last edited by KAG; 14th May 2012 at 12:25.
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Old 14th May 2012, 12:29   #1193 (permalink)
 
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@KAG

Quote:
seeing what's happening right now in UK, what is the advantage not being part of Eurozone for Great Britain
?

1) Not paying for Greek bailout ( except first £ 7 billion bah )
2) Hopely will not be involved directly in any mad kamikaze schemes cooked up in Brussels to save the Greeks/Euro: obviously a failure will affect everyone.
3) Freedom to adopt best financial policies for our particular situation. Whether Government has intelligence to recognise them is another question.

KAG I have to say without trying to score any points against anybody, that I consider Brussels to be so crazed that they would do ANYTHING to save the Euro. My comparisons here go towards Hitler and his mad schemes to avoid defeat: NO surrender, sacrifice another army ( small country ).

Read today that van Rompuy said that all solutions for this crisis must include "more Europe". Just demented !!

KAG

Sure. Was teachers not police but I'm sure you see that my point is the spending not the area it is allocated to.
Quote:
He still has a point when he says austerity alone is not an option.
Of course he does and I'm sure all politicians would agree. The problem is that none of them are capable of creating anything other than very modest growth and that only when global conditions are favourable.

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 14th May 2012 at 12:35.
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Old 14th May 2012, 12:50   #1194 (permalink)
 
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Hollande will be visiting a lame-duck Merkel on 23rd May. Any more German local election results like the past two and she will have to change her path if she wants to stay in power.

Oooh, what am I saying ? IF ??

Could there really exist a politician who would rather "do what is good for the country", instead of "do what is necessary to stay in power ?"

Naughty OFSO !
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Old 14th May 2012, 14:49   #1195 (permalink)


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I had the most respect for UK and its political institutions. The french bashing coming from this country has been a source of disapointment I admit.
???

Sheesh, you don't know that it's our national sport????

rule 1 = The French are always wrong
rule 2 = see rule 1

simple, see?
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Old 14th May 2012, 14:57   #1196 (permalink)
 
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Hellsbrink: I have a hard time to say there is an austerity plan in France knowingly that right now more than 50% of the GDP goes to public services (one of the highest rate in the world), it is for me the exact opposite of a political austerity.
A lot of effort could be done: there is a lot of margin, not sure that it's going to happen with the new president.
However, overall, despite high public spendings, despite that during the crisis there were no salary cut for civil servants, the debt, even if huge, is much more under control than in UK, and France has been in recession since 2007 much less than UK while UK is emplementing a huge austerity plan that has the opposite wanted effect: it actually does increase the debt faster.

So I believe Mr Hollande has a point: austerity alone in Europe doesn't work.
Forgetting that growth is vital could be deadly for some countries...
This is the thing, KAG, public debt and spending MUST be cut before you can start on the business tax cutbacks to stimulate growth. Pissing taxpayers' money away on grandioze schemes will never help, they just circulate the same debt and end up costing the taxpayer more (and that means either higher taxes or more public debt) whilst some businessmen get richer. Making it more attractive for businesses to expand, or start up, by cutting certain taxes/contributions will encourage growth, but the problem is that there isn't any money left to do that unless you raise other taxes or borrow the money!

Therefore you have to get public debt under control first. That is what they are trying in the UK, but there's no "quick fix" as the issues that have caused the whole situation in the UK are still actually there (bad PPP deals, contracts that are completely tied into the whims of the contractor so it costs more to cancel than it does to complete the contract, ongoing "projects" which are all screwed up due to the inability to plan or price things properly (I've been involved in projects like that. Jubilee Line Extension was a cracker of an example, so was the Trident programme and the less we say about A90 the better), interference by those who should be kept out of the process leading to major changes, etc) are still there so they have to try and work around that mess as well. So it takes time for the effects to trickle through.


As far as France goes, their "not an austerity plan" involves getting the budget balanced by 2016, more "not cuts" to save another €7billion over the next two year and provisions for the effects of the changes in pensions due to the retirement age going up to 62. That's pretty much a "plan", you have to admit it.


Now, one last thing and I think we actually agree on something!

Yup, public sector pay. Of course they haven't dropped their wages, they're all in it for themselves (hence the bit about Hollande maybe exposed as a hypocrite earlier). They're like that everywhere. Take here, for an example. With great fanfare, Di Rupo announced that politicians were going to have a tiny (as far as they're salary goes) pay cut. Then someone else did the maths and kinda tore into him with the small matter of that 2% "cut" effectively being an 8% "raise". They didn't change it. Snouts in the trough, the lot of them. They should be shot.
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Old 14th May 2012, 18:24   #1197 (permalink)
 
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@OFSO

Quote:
Any more German local election results like the past two and she will have to change her path if she wants to stay in power.
If you read the German papers, you will see that the defeat was not due to international policies and in fact facing down those who want more German cash is noted as being one of her most popular policies ( 70% +). Caving in there is likely to bring about heavier defeats.

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 14th May 2012 at 18:26.
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Old 14th May 2012, 19:26   #1198 (permalink)
 
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Not paying for Greek bailout ( except first £ 7 billion bah )
lets just put that into perspective.. that's £1 for every man, woman and child on the face of the planet..

or

... the equivalent of the entire population of the world stumping up £1 for the first 7 billion, instead being shouldered by a tiny island with an economy up the proverbial creek and its own problems to face up to.


Quote:
This is the thing, KAG, public debt and spending MUST be cut before you can start on the business tax cutbacks to stimulate growth. Pissing taxpayers' money away on grandioze schemes will never help
yep, so continually propping up the euro is making the problems worse for all.

Last edited by stuckgear; 14th May 2012 at 19:31.
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Old 14th May 2012, 20:05   #1199 (permalink)
 
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If you read the German papers

Indeed yes, Alpine, and also the German acquaintances who tell me they are fed up with being deprived of funds where they live (in the former West Germany) as it's all being spent in subsidies (in the former East Germany).

So 22 years after the reunification of Germany, money is STILL being shifted from west to east.

What does this tell us about political and financial unification, I wonder....
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Old 14th May 2012, 20:30   #1200 (permalink)
 
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Eurozone industrial production falls, boosting recession fears - Telegraph

Quote:
Industrial output in the eurozone tumbled unexpectedly in March making it almost certain that Eurostat will tomorrow say the 17-member states have returned to recession.
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