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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 17th Jul 2019, 09:04
  #4161 (permalink)  
 
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Location: West Wiltshire, UK
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Not just online retail. I'm having to switch banks because of this EU nonsense, as my current bank is implementing the EU SCA rule on logging in to online banking, not just purcahses, and they have chosen not to allow the use of card readers.

As a consequence, and because we cannot get a mobile signal here (which means we don't bother to have anything other than simple voice/text emergency phones, kept in our cars usually) we will be unable to access online banking at all after September. I started the process to switch accounts yesterday, and went in to my old bank to tell them why I was leaving them, and ask that they pass my reasons for doing so up the chain. The young lady I spoke to seemed amazed that we weren't able to access a mobile signal, which I guess sums up the way the decision makers probably think. It just doesn't occur to them that not everyone has 24/7 connectivity, for them living in their urban bubbles.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 09:12
  #4162 (permalink)  
 
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Since >95% of the population is covered by mobile phones, would it not be more accurate to say that you live in a rural bubble?

edit: EE now covers 99% of the population at 4G

Last edited by Sallyann1234; 17th Jul 2019 at 11:05.
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Old 30th Jul 2019, 20:54
  #4163 (permalink)  
 
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As an outside observer, I am not sure what to make of this article on the latest EU personnel changes (at the upper echelons) . London Review of Books blog is the source. Some of the comments under this article allege that this criticism is coming from "left wing" sources or "Left wing populist" sources. If one of you all who is familiar with the EU's processes could offer a critique of this criticism of the EU process for personnel change/appointment/consensus, it would be helpful for my understanding.

Thanks for any insights that you can offer. I figure that some of you who are close this issue can more sense of it than I can.
Europe’s Ancien Régime Returns
Anton Jäger and David Adler (26 July LRB)
That's the head line, or rather, the hook that caught my interest. This is the text of the article.
On 2 July, after three days of negotiations, the European Council *– formed of the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of the European Union – emerged from their boardroom in Brussels to announce the names of the EU’s next top technocrats. The high offices of the EU – including the presidencies of the European Commission, European Council and European Central Bank – had been vacant since the European Parliamentary elections in late May.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, was nominated for the job at the ECB; Charles Michel, a former prime minister of Belgium, for head of the Council; the Spanish minister Josep Borrell for foreign envoy; and Ursula von der Leyen, a former minister in the German government, for head of the Commission. Until last week, her candidacy was pending approval from the European Parliament, which – among its very limited powers – can choose to accept or reject the Council’s nomination. It accepted.

The EU has been plagued by its democratic shortcomings since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. {Italics Mine: this seems to be the start of the criticisms in this article. LW}
Five years ago – at the height of Europe’s political crisis, with movements for leaving the EU mounting across the continent – attempts were made to remedy the democratic deficit by introducing a system of ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ or ‘prime candidates’ for the presidency of the Commission. Each party in the European Parliament would be able to put forward a Spitzenkandidat for the presidency of the Commission, and the Council would give serious consideration to the Spitzenkandidat of the party that won most seats in the Parliamentary election.

The authority of this informal arrangement has always been in dispute, with a significant section of Eastern member states contesting its necessity. Still, the procedure was a minor but hopeful step towards greater democracy in the EU. In the course of this year’s campaign, the Spitzenprocess provoked a healthy, if partial, debate among candidates seeking to replace Jean-Claude Juncker at the head of the Commission.

It now looks as if Juncker will be the first and last of the Commission presidents to be elected through the Spitzensystem. In the course of this month’s negotiations, Merkel and Macron compromised in the face of Eastern European pressure and ditched Spitzen altogether. Instead, they fortified the grip of national governments – France and Germany, above all – on European decision-making. Von der Leyen was nobody’s Spitzenkandidat.

To say that von der Leyen was ‘nominated’ by the Council and then ‘elected’ by the Parliament is a stretch. It may be more accurate to say the EU’s new leaders were ‘coronated’, much like after a papal conclave. They weren’t put to a public test, but selected in an atmosphere of intergovernmental informality.

All of this can be justified procedurally: Merkel’s conservative grouping clings on to its majority in the European Parliament, and both Merkel and Macron have a democratic mandate from their national voting publics.

Still, it doesn’t look good – and not only from the Spitzen perspective. The CVs of the nominees suggest the EU is at an advanced stage of institutional rot. {Italics Mine}
As managing director of the IMF, Lagarde was convicted of negligence in 2009, but served no prison time and left with no criminal record (Macron, running for president soon afterwards, said this was ‘unacceptable’). Borrell was fined for insider trading last year, and was forced to step down as president of the European University Institute in 2012 when it came to light that a Spanish energy company was quietly paying him €300,000 a year to lobby on its behalf. As Germany’s defence minister, von der Leyen bumbled from crisis to controversy; criminal investigations are currently underway in her department related to the improper use of outside consultants. Michel, for his part, has never made clear his plans for the Council post and lost the confidence of the Belgian parliament last year.

No matter: the ugly bunch march on. At the press conference that followed the Brussels negotiations, the summit chairman and outgoing president of the Council, Donald Tusk, praised the nominations as a step forward for the EU. Their gender balance, he argued, signalled progress. (‘After all,’ he bizarrely added, ‘Europe is a woman.’) The following Monday, factions in the European Parliament known for their Euroscepticism – the Five Star Movement, Law and Justice, the Tories – narrowly voted for von der Leyen. Labour, too, in a creative interpretation of its ‘remain, reform and rebel’ strategy, gave its assent. And in the end, powered by pledges of support from the ‘big two’ Europarties – the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) – von der Leyen passed.

Some commentators have tried to explain the sudden rise of populist movements by suggesting that we are living through democracy’s ‘midlife crisis’, a period of political angst that will give way to acceptance. Others claim that we have advanced to a ‘post-democratic’ era, in which the institutions of democracy have exhausted their use completely. The politics of the European Union, however, look increasingly pre-democratic. {Italics Mine. LW} In this new Ancien Régime – much as in the old one – officials condemn petty theft while absolving themselves of more serious crimes. Countries that wish to join the EU are instructed to scrub their institutions of corruption before they can even be considered for accession. Without the slightest hesitation, however, the EU now promotes candidates with a clear record of kickbacks and other dirty deals, as long as they are already senior members of the political class.

For European progressives, these appointments at least have the benefit of clarifying the stakes. Populism might have been a convenient bugbear to European leaders in a time of acute crisis fighting. That time is over. Sovereign indifference now seems to hold sway. A coherent strategy is required to match this pre-democratic moment, one that focuses first and foremost on re-opening channels of citizen representation. Because when it comes to the EU, nothing is more revolutionary than asking for a little democratic reform.
As an aside: I think I recall that Lagarde moved into the IMF's head chair after its former leader got caught in a pecadillio in New York City involvind a maid.
t is unclear to me what bad practices she'd been involved with at IMF that is referred to in this article. Was it before she was moved into the leadership, or after?
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 07:34
  #4164 (permalink)  
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This looks like a mess. What happens when the far right start performing “citizen’s arrests” and those opposed to 5hem pile in to them on the street?

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-...ble-burqa-ban/
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 09:48
  #4165 (permalink)  
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Excellent review, looks worth buying.

https://www.ft.com/content/d0a07d82-...6-a4640c9feebb

Spain: After the Fall
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Old 8th Aug 2019, 08:59
  #4166 (permalink)  
 
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Fears that Europe’s largest economy is on the brink of recession have intensified after figures showed that industrial output in Germany fell by more than expected in June.

Economists warned that official GDP figures that are due next week were likely to show that the economy had contracted in the second quarter of the year.

Industrial production dropped by 1.5 per cent in the month, according to the national statistics office. Economists had forecast a decline of only 0.4 per cent.

“The plunge in production is scary,” Alexander Krüger, an economist at Bankhaus Lampe, said. “The longer this continues, the more likely it is that other sectors will be dragged into this.” He added that a recession in the manufacturing sector was likely to continue because of the trade dispute between China and the United States.

A downturn is being felt across Europe and is affecting most manufacturing sectors, bar pharmaceuticals and food and beverages.

Output in Germany’s automotive sector in July fell at the sharpest rate since the financial crisis, a survey of 8,000 companies by IHS Markit revealed. Sharp falls also were seen in the metals and mining, chemicals, industrial goods and technology equipment industries.

The German economy contracted in the third quarter of last year, then recorded zero growth in the fourth, narrowly avoiding recession. During 2018 the German economy grew by only 1.4 per cent, its weakest performance in five years. Although growth rebounded to 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, many economists are predicting that next week’s GDP figures will show a contraction.

The German government expects the economy to grow by 0.5 per cent this year and by 1.5 per cent next year. Economists said that these rates were likely to be trimmed if the downturn in manufacturing continued.

Carsten Brzeski, chief economist for Germany at ING, said: “We would characterise today’s report as devastating, with no silver lining. Today’s data also shows we should prepare for contraction in the German economy in the second quarter, unless exports bring an unexpected surprise on Friday.”

Although factory orders rose more quickly than expected, the economy ministry said that slowing global demand, trade disputes and Brexit uncertainty were taking their toll.

The downturn also is being felt in construction, which suffered its sharpest fall in new orders since 2014 in July, according to the IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index for the sector.

Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, said: “The 1.5 per cent fall in German industrial production in June kills off any hopes that the strong orders data marked the beginning of a recovery.

“Business surveys uniformly point to a further contraction in July, so things look set to get worse rather than better.”

From The Times, 8 Aug
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Old 8th Aug 2019, 09:38
  #4167 (permalink)  
 
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He added that a recession in the manufacturing sector was likely to continue because of the trade dispute between China and the United States.
It's not just Germany that is affected by the dispute.
If China and the US continue to fight on trade it's going to lead to a world recession.
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Old 8th Aug 2019, 09:50
  #4168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 View Post
It's not just Germany that is affected by the dispute.
If China and the US continue to fight on trade it's going to lead to a world recession.
Deutsche Bank, Italian debt. Things are going to get a lot worse before anything gets better.

Correct. Recession is coming worldwide. It makes no sense for a lose-lose BREXIT. I would guess there are many influential people working behind the scenes to ensure that BOTH sides can claim they haven't had to back down on their demands.

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Old 14th Aug 2019, 19:58
  #4169 (permalink)  
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https://news.sky.com/story/bond-mark...risis-11785293

Shares slump as bond markets flash warning signals not seen since financial crisis

https://www.theguardian.com/business...recession-grow

Markets spiral downwards on fears of German recession
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 20:09
  #4170 (permalink)  
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I didn’t know that........

”In 1991, the Soviet government held the first and the last referendum in its 70-year-long history. The people of the Soviet republics were asked whether they “considered necessary the preservation of the USSR”, and 77% responded positively.

Needless to say, that plebiscite did little to stop the Soviet Union disintegrating later that year.”........
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 16:51
  #4171 (permalink)  
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Cooied from the military forum. A slightly, insensitive shale we say, torch-lit march past for the German defence minister in Strasbourg, en-route Brussels.......

The sands of time never cease..
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