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radeng
12th Dec 2013, 17:10
Nobel prize winning economist changes his mind...

Dismantle the euro, says Nobel-winning economist who once backed currency union - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10512678/Dismantle-the-euro-says-Nobel-winning-economist-who-once-backed-currency-union.html)


Interesting!

The SSK
12th Dec 2013, 17:16
An hour's drive from my front door will take me to three different eurozone countries, where I can spend the coins in my pocket and compare the price of bread and beer. I like the euro.

Flap 5
12th Dec 2013, 17:44
An hour's drive from my front door will take me to three different eurozone countries, where I can spend the coins in my pocket and compare the price of bread and beer. I like the euro.

How nice for you. :rolleyes:

Unfortunately there are many millions for whom the Euro is not good. The interest rates set in Frankfurt are just not right for their countries.

So glad you are happy in your blinkered view.

OFSO
12th Dec 2013, 18:01
Less than a year to go to Europe's first Civil War for a long time. Madrid will win, the Catalans will lose, and Brussels will wring its collective hands - far too late of course. And you can imagine what that will do to the EU and the euro.

MADRID - The president of Spain's regional government of Catalonia said Thursday he wants to hold an independence referendum on Nov. 9, 2014, but the Spanish government immediately said no.

Artur Mas announced in the Catalan capital Barcelona that the referendum would ask the region's voters if they want Catalonia to be a state and, if so, should it be independent.

Spain's Constitution says only the central government in Madrid can call a referendum, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy recently rejected a request by President Artur Mas to allow one. The government has not said what it might do to prevent a ballot.

Capetonian
12th Dec 2013, 18:04
An hour's drive from my front door will take me to three different eurozone countries, where I can spend the coins in my pocket and compare the price of bread and beer. I like the euro. That incredibly superficial viewpoint only looks at the convenience of a common means of payment. It completely ignores the multiple and major disadvantages of attempting to impose common fiscal and financial criteria on hugely disparate economies. It is, demonstrably, a disaster.

I can compare the price of bread, beer, cars, houses, hookers, fuel, and anything else I choose in my head by having a rough idea of rates of exchange. That is an ability which children growing up in the Eurodisasterzone will lose. As someone who travels internationally more than most, I have no use for the Euro other than that it enables me to carry fewer different currencies and thus a smaller wallet. Many of the promised benefits have not materialised, for example cheques in Euros are still not freely negotiable across borders with in the Eurodisasterzone (and I do know that cheques are fast becoming redundant.). Nor is it easy for someone living in, for example, Spain, to open and freely use a bank account in the Netherlands.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
12th Dec 2013, 18:09
If it doesn't work, it will fail apart in its own sweet time.

OFSO
12th Dec 2013, 18:24
Nor is it easy for someone living in, for example, Spain, to open and freely use a bank account in the Netherlands.

And it is completely impossible for someone living in Spain to open a bank account in France - I tried. Oh, and ever tried using a Spanish credit card to pay a French autoroute toll or a parking fee ? Ha ha.

Capetonian
12th Dec 2013, 18:46
And it is completely impossible for someone living in Spain to open a bank account in FranceWhy would one wish to do so? The service in French banks is even more abysmal than in Spanish ones, hard as that may be to imagine. At least the Spanish are pleasant about being incompetent and inefficient.

radeng
12th Dec 2013, 19:02
IF we assume that Sir Christopher Pissarides is correct - and his qualifications suggest that many people feel that he is - it does seem to me that he is taking a broad long term view rather than the ease of using the same coins to buy a beer in different countries. I found the Germany is in general, cheaper than France or Denmark or the Netherlands: the Czech Republic is even cheaper. Eire, on the other hand is way up there in the cost of things. So with a common currency, people either end up with great disparities in pay or great disparities in cost of living. Then there's social benefits to consider...

So may be he is right this time, even if he was wrong before.

Capetonian
12th Dec 2013, 19:22
Price comparisons between countries, even within a common currency zone, are of no value unless they take into account the levels of direct and indirect taxation and other salary deductions, in order to arrive at a disposable income figure.

If Klaus lives in Germany and is salaried at €50k per annum he may keep, at the end of the year, €35,000, or 70%.

If Pierre has the misfortune to be tax resident in the Soviet Republic of France, and self-employed, and falls into the communists' jealousy tax (ISF) level, he may find that out of the €50,000 he makes, he pays €30,000 in tax and social charges. He also will, as self-employed, have to make contingency for the plethora of back-dated charges he will be hit with in year 3. So he retains 40% of what he earns.

Now, which costs more? A €30 meal in Frankfurt am Main or a €20 meal in Paris? Or a €60,000 Audi in Germany or a €40,000 Renault in France (specially given that the latter will cost far more in repairs and depreciation over the years.)

toffeez
12th Dec 2013, 19:57
"Ever tried using a Spanish credit card to pay a French autoroute toll?"

No problem OFSO, nor for UK or most EU issued cards.

Cards where the 'point of sale' checks the bank balance before authorising don't work.

Such as Visa 'Electron'.

Straighten Up
12th Dec 2013, 20:07
I found the Germany is in general, cheaper than France or Denmark or the Netherlands: the Czech Republic is even cheaper. Eire, on the other hand is way up there in the cost of things. So with a common currency, people either end up with great disparities in pay or great disparities in cost of living. .

Just a point of order but Czech is not eurozone. They nearly joined a couple of years ago but smartly withdrew from that aim as Italy, Greece et al. collapsed around them. Their currency (Koruna or Crowns to us) has held firm against most major currencies for the 8 years I've been visiting regularly (mrs SU is Czech).

Someone far better versed in economics than I am responded to my suggestion that Germany must be getting fed up with the whole mess with the counter idea that they were happy to prop it up using money that they were borrowing for close to 0% and lending back out to the failing economies at much higher levels. This person suggested that when the time is right for them, they will withdraw and the currency will collapse. I don't know if there is merit in this idea.

ExXB
12th Dec 2013, 20:20
I think he's taking the Piss ...

Capetonian
12th Dec 2013, 20:35
Don't you mean taking the Eurine?

Lonewolf_50
12th Dec 2013, 20:41
Artur Mas
Would his name, rendered in English, be Arthur More or Arthur Moore? :confused:
@ SU Germany ... were happy to prop it up using money that they were borrowing for close to 0% and lending back out to the failing economies at much higher levels. This person suggested that when the time is right for them, they will withdraw and the currency will collapse. I don't know if there is merit in this idea.
Insofar as the Euro ... I'll wager there is some merit to that idea.
It is my understanding (or maybe misunderstanding) that the Euro is the child of the Bundesbank and a few Eurocrats in Brussels ... and we know who between them have actual leverage.

It appears to me that the state of play is as follows:

The Bundesbank giveth, and the Bundesbank taketh away.

OFSO
12th Dec 2013, 20:58
Would his name, rendered in English, be Arthur More ?

Yes, but it might also be rendered Arthur Farmhouse.

Re using a Spanish credit card in France: mine doesn't work in French multi story car parks when I push it in the machine, but does when the French attendent takes the card from me and (with many histrionic sighs and eye rollings) inserts it to show me how easy it all is.

Shack37
12th Dec 2013, 23:20
"An hour's drive from my front door will take me to three different eurozone countries, where I can spend the coins in my pocket and compare the price of bread and beer. I like the euro."




How dare you have an opinion, you've upset Flap5 and Cape now you awful person SSK http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/boohoo.gif

cattletruck
13th Dec 2013, 01:00
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Supranational_European_Bodies-en.svg/500px-Supranational_European_Bodies-en.svg.png

Simples!

onetrack
13th Dec 2013, 03:15
"Nobel-prize-winning" and "economist", used in the same sentence, is enough to make any sensible person back away, holding out a cross.

These so-called "economic experts" and "respected monetarists" have been guessing their way through economic ideas since the 1800's. No country has ever benefited from their monetary ideas.

The essence of all of todays economic travails comes back to one thing. No longer does any currency in the world have any set value, backed by a tangible, un-inflatable product such as a certain quantity of gold.

These so-called "experts" state that a currency that is "floated" and which can be "traded" on "currency markets", has much more benefit than one with a fixed value.

The lie behind this idea, is that this system merely transfers great power and wealth to those financiers who operate the currency trading system - while the country whose currency is being traded, loses out.

Let me pose this question (which has never been raised by any economist).

Why is it, that in order to trade commercially, we MUST, by law, utilise a system of perpetually-set Weights and Measures - that can never be deviated from - and whereby, if deviation occcurs, then traders are charged and fined heavily??

However, when it comes to currency (also a medium of trade and exchange that needs to be permanently fixed, to avoid rorting and shortchanging) - there is no requirement for a set value, to eliminate shortchanging and outright robbery??

I'm reminded of a famous statement from several decades ago, that goes along the lines of ...

"There's 300 leading economists that tell us that gold is a barbarous relic, that has no place in a modern monetary system. The problem lies in that they only have to convince 3 billion people, that they're right ... " :)

MG23
13th Dec 2013, 03:25
However, when it comes to currency (also a medium of trade and exchange that needs to be permanently fixed, to avoid rorting and shortchanging) - there is no requirement for a set value, to eliminate shortchanging and outright robbery??

Because mostly private sector scammers make money from fake weights and measures, whereas government scammers make money from debasing the currency; as they always have, just look at how much the precious metal content of Roman money declined as the Empire needed to pay for more 'bread and circuses'.

tdracer
13th Dec 2013, 04:48
How many still use cash for transactions of more than a few Euros/Dollars/Francs/Pounds? The only real advantage of a common currency is to make it easy for people who can't do basic math (or use the calculator on their phone)....

Meanwhile the disadvantages are massive - helping keep much of the Eurozone in economic doldrums for the last 5 years. When a national economy is weak, devaluation of the currency has been the preferred solution for the last 100 years - but something the Euro prevents.

I was in Paris a couple years ago, on vacation with my wife and her Swiss sister and her hubby. We tried to purchase Paris subway passes at the automated machines - it wouldn't accept my US cards, nor our relatives Swiss or German issued credit cards http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/worry.gif! We had to wait in a queue for nearly an hour to purchase said passes with the same credit cards that the machines refused - we were told when we finally got through the queue that only French CCs were honored by the automated machines http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gif . So, given Germany is part of the Euro Union, and yet their German CC wasn't "good enough" for the French machines, tell me again about the advantages of a 'common currency' :ugh:

One of the smartest things the Brits have done since WWII is to reject the Euro. The sooner the rest of Europe figures that out, they better off they will be http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/bah.gif

ExXB
13th Dec 2013, 08:27
The only other real advantage to a common currency is that you don't have to pay thieving bankers 3-5% (or more) of every cross border transaction. Their risk for GBP-EUR transaction, for example, is nil but they have to have their pound (irony intended) of flesh.

I see that Iceland actually sent some of their bankers to prison for their crimes, much better idea than larger bonuses for the rest of the world.

cattletruck
13th Dec 2013, 08:53
ExXB, I believe it used to be worse because the currency was changed to US dollar first then from US Dollar to the new currency. Double dipping.

I should have been a banker.

Georgeablelovehowindia
13th Dec 2013, 10:05
"Ever tried using a Spanish credit card to pay a French autoroute toll?"

No problem OFSO, nor for UK or most EU issued cards.

Cards where the 'point of sale' checks the bank balance before authorising don't work.

Such as Visa 'Electron'.

You could get a télépéage transponder, of course. For those of you who retort "Only available if you have a French bank account!" then Google 'understanding the concept of telepeage' for information.

Especially useful for British right-hand drive cars, non?

The SSK
13th Dec 2013, 10:43
Shack37: How dare you have an opinion, you've upset Flap5 and Cape now you awful person SSK

I am overcome with remorse. :{ :{

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I transferred a substantial sum to an account in another eurozone country and it cost me ... nothing.

A couple of months ago I paid a Sterling cheque for £125 into my account and was credited with £102.

As ever, the loudest anti-Euro sentiments come from people who don't actually live in the Eurozone. But then, they would probably blame their ingrowing toenails on 'Brussels'.

Capetonian
13th Dec 2013, 11:19
As ever, the loudest anti-Euro sentiments come from people who don't actually live in the Eurozone. But then, they would probably blame their ingrowing toenails on 'Brussels'.
Do you have some magical insight into where other posters 'live', or work, or spend periods of their time? Or is this just a sweeping assumption meant to belittle those whose views oppose your own?

Now, about my ingrowing toenails. In terms of EU directive 419/BU/6/LL/SH/1T, I wish to ask whether I am entitled to compensation.

The SSK
13th Dec 2013, 11:48
Or is this just a sweeping assumption meant to belittle those whose views oppose your own?

It's a technique I am learning from some of the world's greatest practicioners of that particular art, right here on JB :)

wiggy
13th Dec 2013, 12:07
Many of the promised benefits have not materialised, for example cheques in Euros are still not freely negotiable across borders with in the Eurodisasterzone (and I do know that cheques are fast becoming redundant.). Nor is it easy for someone living in, for example, Spain, to open and freely use a bank account in the Netherlands.

Agreed, doing anything financial "cross border" but within the EU is still a right royal PITA....

Oh, yes......"I do know that cheques are fast becoming redundant". As a frequent user of French supermarkets I have to say the sooner the better..;) Why do I always get the wrong line :uhoh:

OFSO
13th Dec 2013, 12:35
Only available if you have a French bank account!

I have one - for Spain. Very useful. But only available from a Spanish bank and payable via a Spanish bank account by direct debit.

It would have been so nice if the 'authorities' designed one that would work in both countries. Come to that it would have been so nice of the Spanish designers had made a TAV/TGV train that also worked across the border in France. Or that we had uniform driving laws, or a European postage system, or......

Living very near the Spanish/French border and crossing it several times a month to both work and play, I can tell you: this wretched EU hasn't brought us a single advantage.

vulcanised
13th Dec 2013, 12:42
The only time I use cash these days is to lend the supermarket a Pound coin for the use of their trolley.

ATNotts
13th Dec 2013, 12:56
this wretched EU hasn't brought us a single advantage.

I beg to differ.

Free movement of people - allow me, if I so wish and can be bothered to learn a foreign language, to work in any other EU state. (though of course the UK would dearly love an opt out)

Unhindered crossing of Schengen borders. (UK got an opt out on that one too).

Working time directive preventing employers using employees as slaves (UK had a partial opt out on that one).

The Euro - making intra EU trade, not to mention tourism, much simpler and less financially risky. (UK won't partake in that).

Forces mobile phone providers not to stitch up EU citizens with excessive roaming charges (Heck - UK signed up to that one!!).

Cross border enforcement of road traffic fines (UK's opted out of that one too!).

Sorry it ain't perfect, but you can't say it's done nothing good. just a shame that the UK can't be bothered to take part fully!

Capetonian
13th Dec 2013, 12:56
The EU/Euro has a couple of advantages.

+ I can carry a smaller wallet when travelling and don't get confused with different currencies and exhange rates.
- On the other hand, I rather enjoyed that, it added to the romance and fun of travelling and was a mathematical challenge. When I first came to Europe my colleagues and I would swap hundreds Belgian Francs and Greek Drachma for thousands of Escudos and Pesetas, and Frog Francs and Guilders between ourselves at the drop of a hat.

+ We can cross umpteen borders without even slowing down and travel by air without showing a passport.
- So can criminals, hookers, drug dealers, scammers, people traffickers, money launderers, illegal aliens, asylum seekers and the other riffraff of the universe.

I'd rather to back to the old ways.

arcniz
13th Dec 2013, 14:03
Lack of politically an financially straightforward Euro mechanisms to quietly and regularly adjust for inevitable disparities in productivity, graft, & luck in the various participating nation states seems a serious prominent flaw in day-to-day Euro ops; unlimited cross-national migration is tantamount to guaranteed collapse of existing social order in many cultures; and inability to run deficits in trade likely will make only the richest richer. Negotiation & flexibility among members possibly may bridge short-term crises, but lack of any prearranged methods and means to correct fundamental raw edges seems to doom the Euro to an uncertain and unstable future, eventually killing off some nations or simply dragging them as unwelcome baggage baggage in unhappy trail.

airship
13th Dec 2013, 15:07
Replace the Euro (why not also US$ and GBP£ also), with Bitcoin instead...?! :}

Sallyann1234
13th Dec 2013, 17:38
I just Googled "Death of the Euro" and it offered me 196,000,000 links.
Some newspapers have announced its imminent demise at regular intervals for years, but it's still there.
I don't think it will happen.

flying lid
13th Dec 2013, 17:59
http://communityofliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/09-19-euro-joke.jpg

Capetonian
13th Dec 2013, 18:05
I have been reliably informed by someone who knows everything about everything that Greek and Cyprus Euro notes and coins are about to become worthless. The notes have the prefix Y and G respectively.

I pass this piece of utterly useless and incorrect information on for what it's worth - nothing other than entertainment value!

I do not believe in the future of the Euro, it is utterly flawed in both concept and execution, but I know full well that the ECB backing will not allow the notes of a certain country to become worthless. At least ..... maybe I should go and start checking my stash!

OFSO
13th Dec 2013, 18:55
Many Germans will only accept German euro notes (prefix X) and coins (reverse side German eagle), believe that ALL the others will become worthless.

As leading German politicians called for Greece to be kicked out of the single currency, attention began to focus on what had previously been unthinkable - what would happen to euro notes and coins if the single currency broke apart?

Hans-Peter Friedrich, leader of the conservative Christian Social Union, said Greece should 'seriously consider leaving the eurozone'.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is still backing a multi-billion bailout for Greece, but opinion in her country is sharply divided, with many calling for Greece to be given the elbow, or more dramatically for Germany to quit the euro.

It might be thought that such a plan was impossible with billions of euros in circulation across the eurozone.

But the speculation has led to wild rumours, ...... and equally uncorroborated reports that some shopkeepers in Germany are rejecting euros issued in Greece.

An old report of course but will probably become valid again when Greece asks for the bailout mark IV next year. (Is it IV or V ? I've lost count).

El Grifo
13th Dec 2013, 19:03
I remember well the mongers of doom predicting the total collapse of the euro last year.

Wonder which stone they are hiding under now.

Wishfull thinking I reckon ;)

El G.

LGS6753
13th Dec 2013, 19:17
I remember well the mongers of doom predicting the total collapse of the euro last year.

Wonder which stone they are hiding under now.

The euro would have collapsed in 2011 under normal circumstances. The EU Kommission decided to save it, and did so at the expense of millions of now-unemployed Spaniards, Greeks, Irish and Portugese. To think that these people were prepared to sacrifice the life chances of so many of their compatriots for a mere currency beggars belief.

Unfortunately the perpetrators of this crime against humanity aren't hiding under a stone, they are living it up at our expense in Brussels. [email protected]:mad:

El Grifo
13th Dec 2013, 19:23
Either way up, the Euro is still with us and in a better state than it was 12 months ago !

El G.

OFSO
13th Dec 2013, 19:24
Had an interesting chat with a German friend today - he's a retired German civil servant and said that although living in Spain most of the year he MUST remain tax-resident in Germany or he will lose a sizeable part of his German Civil Service pension, which is paid 100% on the condition he "is resident in Germany".

So we are all one happy EU, living where we choose in equal countries, eh ?

OFSO
13th Dec 2013, 19:27
the Euro is still with us and in a better state than it was 12 months ago !

In the same way in which a dying man may be kept alive with oxygen and medicines. As has been written here many time, it's only due to the billions of OUR money that's been pumped into it by Brussels....

German money, of course: my German friend I quoted above had a word or two to say about the reduction in quality of life in Germany because of that.

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 00:36
In the same way in which a dying man may be kept alive with oxygen and medicines
The late Nelson Mandela should have been allowed to slip away in dignity many months ago. The corrupt thugs of the ANC kept him on life support as long as they could for their own motives.

The Euro ........... is on life support. Very expensive life support too, as it suits the corrupt self-serving politicians.

Seldomfitforpurpose
14th Dec 2013, 00:40
The late Nelson Mandela should have been allowed to slip away in dignity many months ago. The corrupt thugs of the ANC kept him on life support as long as they could for their own motives.


Verifiable links if you would :ok:

500N
14th Dec 2013, 00:45
SFFP

I was going to ask the same question.

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 00:47
Do you believe what you read in the press? Do you seriously think that the ANC controlled press in South Africa would state that they kept him alive artificially? So what does the source have to be to be 'verifiable' for you?

Maybe you've not been following affairs down there for the last few months.

You've challenged my contention. Prove me wrong.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 01:15
The Euro ........... is on life support. Very expensive life support too, as it suits the corrupt self-serving politicians.

Still here, still breathing. Come back to me 12 months from now.

Wrong then, wrong now.

El.G,

dubbleyew eight
14th Dec 2013, 01:25
the problem with the euro is one that even I can see.

if you have a poorly performing economy the corrective mechanism is to devalue the currency.

the use of the euro as a common currency doesnt allow that corrective mechanism so you have to have all the interference in lifestyles, brussels are ruining our way of life, interference to try to make each country perform identically.

the question for europe is whether the old money changing headaches outweigh the current lifestyle changing headaches. :E:E:E

radeng
14th Dec 2013, 09:03
> brussels are ruining our way of life, interference to try to make each country perform identically.<


Any one who has HAD to deal Commission people in Brussels on technical matters is more than likely to have found total technical incompetence with everything looked at from the viewpoint of equal access and technical neutrality while wanting standardisation. Plus the fact that so many of them have qualifications in subjects which bear no relationship at all to the area in which they are ineffectively legislating.

I am even more glad that I have retired......

B Fraser
14th Dec 2013, 09:21
"Still here, still breathing. Come back to me 12 months from now.

Wrong then, wrong now."


Only because of the German life support machine. The moment they flick the switch, it's game over.


There isn't a single responsible country that has said that the day the joined the Euro was a good day for them. The countries that make up the PIGS group (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) have been gorging themselves at the trough and now are looking for the next handout. Thankfully, the Irish have got the balls to recognise their mistakes and put measures in place to restore their economy.


I still can't believe that Estonia joined when it was obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse that the Euro was holed below the waterline.


http://traderscommunity.com/images/newspost_images/estonia_joins_the_euro.jpg

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 11:41
Only because of the German life support machine. The moment they flick the switch, it's game over.


Same old,same old !!

Was that not last year´s bogey man ??

El G.

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 11:43
The feeling in Iceland :

http://icelandnews.is/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/nei_takk.jpg

ATNotts
14th Dec 2013, 11:53
Many Germans will only accept German euro notes (prefix X) and coins (reverse side German eagle), believe that ALL the others will become worthless.

Never have I read such abject rubbish! Go into any German supermarket and hand over Euro notes and they don't check each one, not do they check the coins for German eagles. Same goes for restaurants, petrol stations etc. In a country where cash is king and cards comparatively underused that speaks volumes.

British commentators constantly look for the next reason for the Euro's demise, yet consistently it remains strong against Sterling and the US Dollar.

As for the "professor" that made the statements that began this thread, he is Greek - at least Greek judging from his surname and if there's one thing that the Greeks are totally incapable of doing is running an economy - as we have all seen (to our considerable cost) over the last few years!

OFSO
14th Dec 2013, 13:41
Believe it or not, some years ago when in Germany I wanted to buy some artwork (by Hundertwasser if you are interested) the gallery refused to accept either my VISA or my Mastercard on the grounds, not that the purchase exceeded the daily limit, but that the cards were issue by non-German banks. I had to pop over to the sparkasse opposite and withdraw the amount in cash.

I think it all depends where you are in Germany.

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 13:51
Years ago when I was at University in Salamanca I went to a supermarket and tried to pay with a non-Spanish VISA card. Because of the high incidence of fraud in Spain, it is standard practice when you pay by credit card, that they ask for some identity document. I showed her my Spanish residence permit, which has always been adequate before, even in the same supermarket. But this bimbo had a different idea, and couldn't understand why I had a non-Spanish credit card and a Spanish residence permit. I told her that although I live in Spain my salary is paid elsewhere and therefore I use another credit card. Then she said that only Spanish credit cards are valid in Spain.

How do you argue against that type of ignorance? I thought the banks would be interested to hear her point of view on that one, and tried to explain to her that the VISA symbol on a credit card was an international symbol of recognition. Unfortunately while I was doing this, in order to reinforce my argument I showed her my other VISA cards - she saw the Spanish one and wanted to know why I didn't pay with that. My error was telling her that I didn't have funds in my Spanish account to cover it. This made her even more suspicious. Then, just as I expected her to call the Guardia Civil to arrest me, her shift replacement arrived. She handed the new girl my credit card and the slip for the purchases, the new girl ran the card through the machine, didn't even ask me for identity document, and that was that!

Credit cards are not widely accepted in Germany even to this day. A couple of years ago I stayed in a hotel in a village near Frankfurt and when I went to settle the bill, they would only take cash. It wasn't a little B&B, but a proper hotel.

onetrack
14th Dec 2013, 14:04
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Germany even to this day. A couple of years ago I stayed in a hotel in a village near Frankfurt and when I went to settle the bill, they would only take cash. It wasn't a little B&B, but a proper hotel.

Capetonian - I have found the same attitude when touring many other EU countries - however, I was left with the nagging suspicion that dealing in cash only is a favoured tax-avoidance measure.
Just because the place is a "proper hotel" doesn't make them any less likely to be tax-dodgers.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 14:10
No idea how long ago that was capetonian, but for the last 20 years I have been regularly using my RBS card and my residencia if required and never had a problem of any sort.

El G.

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 14:16
It was about 18 years ago, and it was an isolated experience. Never before or since have I had a problem in Spain with credit cards, other than my card being 'cloned' and large sums of cash drawn from my account prior to the Madrid train bombings. The odd thing was that the fraudsters were able to draw more from my account in a single transaction than my daily limit, and the bank refused to explain how this was possible.

As far as tax avoidance is connected with the use of cash, this is the way people will go when unfair and punitive levels of tax are imposed. As they say : "I have this friend who ....."

500N
14th Dec 2013, 14:19
Cape

Did you get the money back ?

B Fraser
14th Dec 2013, 14:56
It may well be last year's bogey man El Grif, but the same finger is on the same button. Hardly a ringing endorsement is it ? I sincerely hope that uncle Fritz continues to bail out the lion's share of the EU deficit however I see no evidence to contradict the view that the Euro has been anything other than the greatest legislated fiscal folly of the modern era.

OFSO
14th Dec 2013, 15:13
my residencia

You have a residencia ? Wow. Not available to EU nationals for many years, an edict of "Brussels".

I show a UK ID card, a very good quality issue of "private enterprise" (I won't call it a fake as all the details on it are true including the photo) and it ¡s accepted everywhere.

Sallyann1234
14th Dec 2013, 15:17
It's getting rather boring to hear the same voices predicting the Euro's imminent failure, year after year after year.
I don't suppose next year will be any different, or the year after that.
But do carry on, if it makes you happy. This isn't the season to spoil anyone's fun. :E

Capetonian
14th Dec 2013, 15:27
It's getting rather boring to hear the same voices predicting the Euro's imminent failure, year after year after year.It's not about 'predicting' it's more about stating what a fundamentally flawed and unworkable system it is. So many people refuse to see the flaws and only look at the benefits, which it undoubtedly has. Whether it will fail or not remains to be seen, but it is being kept going only at enormous and incremental expense in both financial and human terms.

Nor do those opposed to the Euro 'wish' for its demise. Many of us are exposed to it in various ways and its failure will probably cost us dearly. Wishing for its demise would be like turkeys wishing for Christmas.

And to 500N, yes I did get the money back, very swiftly and in full. The bank acknowledged that there was no negligence or complicity on my part.

B Fraser
14th Dec 2013, 15:48
It's also rather boring watching the Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and Greeks continually sitting on their thumbs doing fark all to pull themselves out of their own cack. Ireland on the other hand have demonstrated that they have a backbone and are prepared to do the hard yards to sort themselves out. The Euro can still theoretically work but is dependent on the worst performers developing a work ethic. I've checked the ski forecast for hell and it isn't looking good.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 16:22
You have a residencia ? Wow. Not available to EU nationals for many years, an edict of "Brussels".

Certainly do OFSO, both in paper and card form.

Did they take yours away for being a bad boy or something :ok:

El G.

OFSO
14th Dec 2013, 17:02
The Residencia ID card was ruled inapplicable to EU citizens residing in Spain a few years ago, after the EU ruled it "unfair" to foreigners in Spain. You cannot get one if you are an EU citizen - I know, I tried to renew mine in 2006. This is not a rumour: I have it in writing from the Policia in Girona. The law states that foreign EU residents in Spain shall identify themselves by presentation of their own national ID documents. Non-EU citizens can still get the Residencia.

The only document now available is the green form which shows you have registered in Spain as a foreign resident - and this carries the warning: NOT TO BE USED FOR IDENTIFICATION. I can't quote the number as I renounced mine and no longer have it - but it is this one:

Article 2: Attendance and registration on the Central Register of Foreign Nationals
Applications for registration as residents by the nationals mentioned in Article 1 shall comply with the provisions of sections 5 and 6 of Article 7 of Royal Decree 240/2007, of 16 February 2007.
Applications will be filed in person in the Immigration Office of the province where they intend to reside or in the relevant Police Station.
If the application for registration does not meet the necessary requirements for it to be processed, the interested person will be required to correct any faults or attach the obligatory documents within a period of ten days and he will be informed that, if he does not do this, it will be assumed that he has abandoned his application, by reasoned decision, which does not exhaust the administrative procedure and which may be appealed against.
The certificate will be issued immediately, once compliance with the corresponding requirements has been confirmed. This certificate will give the name, nationality and address of the registered person, his foreign national identity number and the date of registration.

Correction: the "Tarjeta" is still issued to EU citizens working in Spain.....sorry but everyone I know is either pensioned or working illegally !

OFSO
14th Dec 2013, 17:35
As a slight thread drift, I wonder if there are any statistics comparing how much the government of Spain collected in income tax BEFORE the stringent new tax laws were imposed at Germany's request, sorry, the EU's request, with afterwards.

My impression is that the change in the law drove one heck of a lot of people out of legitimate and into unregistered work. And many of those signed on as unemployed.

I wonder if when the crisis ends (assuming it will one day) these people will bother to go back to registered employment and start paying tax again ? Shouldn't think so. Once you've had a taste of freedom......

A German friend told me yesterday how much better German workers in the lower end of the wage scale are if they just give up working and sign on under Hartz 4, so it's not just Spain where this is happening.

ORAC
15th Dec 2013, 10:02
I FORCONI (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/366334/i-forconi-andrew-stuttaford)

El Grifo
15th Dec 2013, 12:33
Correction: the "Tarjeta" is still issued to EU citizens working in Spain

That probably solves it then OFSO :ok:

El G.

Ozzy
15th Dec 2013, 12:54
If the Euro had a vagina I would love to fcuk it :)

Ozzy

Andy_S
16th Dec 2013, 10:21
It's also rather boring watching the Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and Greeks continually sitting on their thumbs doing fark all to pull themselves out of their own cack. Ireland on the other hand have demonstrated that they have a backbone and are prepared to do the hard yards to sort themselves out. The Euro can still theoretically work but is dependent on the worst performers developing a work ethic. I've checked the ski forecast for hell and it isn't looking good.

The funny thing is that while they’re not, by any means, out of the woods, there’s evidence that the so called PIGS are getting on top of things. Spain has just reported its first quarter of economic growth for a couple of years, Portugal has had several quarters of growth, and Ireland have already turned things round. I think even the Greek economy is expected to return to growth soon.

Meanwhile, Germany has a problem with a rapidly ageing population, is running a deficit, and the SPD’s price for entering a coalition with Merkel is to reverse some of the reforms that their own party introduced when in power; the minimum wage is to increase and centralized wage bargaining is to be introduced, for example.

I read a newspaper article this weekend that suggested our perception of some of the Eurozone economies should be re-assessed; Germany is becoming the new France, newly competitive Spain is becoming the new Germany, and basket case France is becoming the new Spain…….

ukc_mike
16th Dec 2013, 11:42
however, I was left with the nagging suspicion that dealing in cash only is a favoured tax-avoidance measure.

It is also a way to avoid paying for a card reader, extra phone or network connection and a non-trivial %age of your income to the bank.

El Grifo
16th Dec 2013, 13:49
Interesting that you should point that out Andy S. As with the Scottish question,many around here prefer to believe what the believe rather than studying the facts.

El G.

OFSO
16th Dec 2013, 14:36
Re Germany: I have a few German friends down here, without exception all intelligent retired blokes who used to run their own businesses or were medical professionals or academic professors, all keep up with German news, all have contacts back in Germany, and who are all without exception very pessimistic about Germany's economic future.

In addition to the excellent points made by Andy S., there is a general feeling in Germany that Germany has been betrayed by M. Hollande at the steering wheel of France.

(I also have French friends, and they don't even want to discuss the future of France under that gentleman).

Capetonian
19th Dec 2013, 21:44
The EU is in denial over the euro - its failed currency - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10527976/The-EU-is-in-denial-over-the-euro-its-failed-currency.html)

arcniz
20th Dec 2013, 02:59
The EU is in denial over the euro - its failed currency - Telegraph

Very much on point, Cape.

Odd thing is that, having named the problem, the wordmongers at Telegraph do not go on to suggest the obvious solution to this whole mess.

OFSO
20th Dec 2013, 18:02
Rarely has the economic gulf that separates the English-speaking world and continental Europe looked quite as wide as it does today. While much of the eurozone remains mired in an economic funk, Britain and America are recovering fast, with rising demand and near record levels of private-sector job creation.

As if the last, crisis-ridden three years haven’t already given Europe’s policy elite enough to think about, this juxtaposition in fortunes must surely have awoken them to the truth: monetary union isn’t working. Unfortunately, the reality is that euroland continues to stumble blindly from one botched response to another, neither able to reconfigure the single currency in a more sustainable form nor enact the sort of measures that might give it a credible future.

This week’s blueprint for a banking union is only the latest example. Even in Brussels, they struggled to call it a job well done; this was meant to be the most significant leap forward for European integration since the launch of the euro itself, but in the event it was just another messy compromise.
Overly complicated and chronically underfunded, it fails some of the most basic tests for any credible banking union. Decisions on whether to wind up failing banks remain subject to national veto; more crucially still, there is no agreement on collective responsibility for the costs.

At some stage in the future, these things are meant to fall into place, but Europe really doesn’t have the luxury of time. Even major economies such as France, Italy and Spain are right on the edge of social and political fracture. The euro offers no plausible path back to growth, yet they cannot or will not give up on it.

Not that these failings should be cause for triumph in Britain and America. Europe’s tragedy is Britain’s misfortune, forcing the UK artificially to support demand via the palliative of extreme forms of monetary stimulus to avoid the same fate. This can work for a while, but eventually Britain needs to rebalance its economy away from consumption to trade and investment.
European leaders tend to console themselves with the thought that the UK’s economic recovery is therefore just a conjuring trick, which cannot last. Even so, they can no longer ignore the contrast. Their own forced march to ever closer union seems to have resulted only in policy paralysis and economic ruin. By pursuing their own solutions outside the madhouse of eurozone integration, Britain and America seem to have kickstarted growth.

El Grifo
20th Dec 2013, 18:50
Concise and well put OFSO !

One can only hope for, the sake of all, that you are proved to be wrong !

Feliz Navidad to you and yours.

Los Grifos x

alicopter
20th Dec 2013, 20:49
Well, for every article in FT or any other paper, you can find an article in another paper that says exactly the contrary, just like the rating agencies, they have NO credibility at all, it is proven every day. (they did not even see the last crisis coming... idiots). Just look at the rate France is borrowing at TODAY! never been so low.... All this scaremongering is total bullshyte... How much do you want to bet that after xmas, just like after the Olympics economy will either flop or the building bubble artificially restarted will burst. Time to think of another completely different system, we are wasting our time with the one in place. Stop being manipulated by a few foxes, use your head, not your nose following crooks.


a reminder... forget the second half of the video, it is a bit of advertising
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdyQd6Xks7A

El Grifo
21st Dec 2013, 14:00
Interesting if not a tad dramatic alicopter !

It certainly helps me understand however, why the English Establishment is quaking in it's boot's about the possibility of a Scottish seperation.

El G.

Sallyann1234
21st Dec 2013, 15:04
quaking in its boots <spurious apostrophes excised> Really? The English Establishment is against it for very sound reasons, but I haven't detected much quaking.

El Grifo
21st Dec 2013, 15:17
Then re-tune your sensors deary :ok:

Shi**ing itself might be more accurate though :ok:

(apologies for previous over-apostraphaying) :{

El G

alicopter
21st Dec 2013, 15:52
Well, this is why I said forget the second half... nevertheless, these are all verifiable numbers and historycally accurate so, scaremongering or not, just think five minutes and draw your own conclusions....

Sallyann1234
21st Dec 2013, 19:34
Then re-tune your sensors <spurious patronising excised> My sensors have been active very close to Westminster just lately, and the general attitude they have received is that a break would be extremely sad rather than frightening.

And yours have been where?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
21st Dec 2013, 19:52
George Osborne in 2010 reckoned the UK would be out of deficit by 2015 - five years away. He's just announced it will be out of deficit in 2018 - five years away.
Jam tomorrow.

radeng
21st Dec 2013, 21:26
No Fox - jam the day AFTER tomorrow!

Fox3WheresMyBanana
21st Dec 2013, 21:42
Oh dear......:(

http://voyageriii.wikispaces.com/file/view/TheDayAfterTomorrow_WallPapers03.jpg/126755557/TheDayAfterTomorrow_WallPapers03.jpg

Shack37
21st Dec 2013, 23:29
It certainly helps me understand however, why the English Establishment is quaking in it's boot's about the possibility of a Scottish seperation.


quaking in its boots <spurious apostrophes excised>


Did the apostrophe in "it's" require excising?

Just asking;)

Sallyann1234
22nd Dec 2013, 10:21
Yes.

Just answerin' http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/tongue.gif

It's not Its | Its not It's (http://www.its-not-its.info/)

El Grifo
22nd Dec 2013, 12:23
She´s right ya know !!!

El G.

Shack37
22nd Dec 2013, 16:50
Yes.
Just answerin' http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/tongue.gif



I most humbly thank you for your answer. It's most enlightening:O

baggersup
22nd Dec 2013, 18:28
While everybody is looking into the direction of the Euro and the health of the international reserve currency, the US Dollar, Bitcoin is making inroads.

This week the CEO of overstock.com said he is going to begin accepting Bitcoin on his web site.

By most accounts, Bitcoin is a small flash in the pan with only 21 million or so units out there for trading.

But some wise wag said.........every central bank in the world needs to wake up and small the coffee...because the day Amazon begins accepting Bitcoin.............:}:}:}

Perhaps a long way off. But the dollar and Euro don't need any more destabilizers--they are struggling enough already!

El Grifo
22nd Dec 2013, 18:41
Has there ever been any truth in the rumour that the dollar would like to see the demise of the euro, if you get my drift ??

El G.

arcniz
24th Dec 2013, 09:46
El Grifo asks:
Has there ever been any truth in the rumour that the dollar would like to see the demise of the euro, if you get my drift ??

The Dollar has significant problems on its own merits, but Structural problems with the Euro have some potential to flip the whole Reserve-Currency iceberg, putting all reserve currencies under stress vs durable commodities and tangible productive assets.

By way of hedging some risk of dollar weakness, many of the most profitable US corporations trading internationally have created substantial non-dollar asset pools that seem destined to remain permanently offshore from the USA, thereby ideally staying mostly free of US taxation, and acting as a reserve pool of "hot" money that can bounce around among speculative currency plays when not being used to finance production operations. This is a tremendous and potentially permanent loss from the US economy that substantially weakens recent and future GDP prospects.

The USA exported its manufacturing economy in the 70's thru 00's and then bugged its domestic consumer economy with bank and private and government-driven financial frauds and misrepresentations that substantially and perhaps permanently reduced internal velocities and multipliers for the basic US economy to a semi-depression level that likely defies easy changing.

Papier mache might help illustrate the prospective US economic situation: Splice a copy of the painfully slumping desperate fiscal and consumer decade of the 1930's in USA atop a copy of the postwar-slump recalcitrant 1950s era and the politically-inflated-beyond-comprehension 1970's, stir in a hundred million new old folks and cripples and ten or thirty million slowly assimilating immigrants of mostly illegal sorts with as much special-interest policy dithering as possible, so that the sum of it all is a very long, arid, navel-gazing walk through fiscal pain, political disorder, and economic senescence in the domestic US economy even while US nameplate companies are growing and capturing massive global markets and banking vast profits and wealth offshore.

Bitcoins don't matter much next to what 70 years of careless crooked politics have already done to sabotage the economic future of the USA.