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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 17th Jun 2012, 19:31
  #1541 (permalink)  
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Maleficos non patieris vivere !
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 21:56
  #1542 (permalink)  
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Daniel Hannan: Greece wants the euro but doesn't want the austerity. How much longer can this go on?

No one wanted this outcome. Greece has repeated itself, only more emphatically, declining to give any party a majority. There had been some hope in Europe's palaces and chancelleries that the two old parties, PASOK (corporatist Left) and New Democracy (corporatist Right), might form a pro-bailout coalition, but PASOK now says it won't join any coalition without SYRIZA (populist Left), which in turn says it won't join any government that accepts the EU's cuts package. If no coalition is possible, what next? A third election? A fourth?

The odd thing is that, in policy terms, the parties are closer together than you might think. Foreign media have defined the election as a contest between pro-austerity parties (PASOK and ND) and anti-austerity parties (everyone else). But a glance at the party manifestoes reveals that they are all, in varying degrees, anti-austerity. PASOK and ND say they want to renegotiate the bailout terms, slow the cuts, introduce more generous unemployment benefit and, in the case of ND, cut taxes.

Indeed, ND has the worst record of all: it ran up the deficit in the first place, lied about it, and then voted against every attempt by the Papandreou government to tackle the problem which it had created, while simultaneously insisting that Greece must remain in the euro at all costs. The chief difference between the three big parties is that ND proposes tax cuts which, while desirable in principle, are hardly a way to cut the deficit in the short term. All of which makes it hard to believe that an ND-led government, even if one could be cobbled together, would deliver the cuts programme which Brussels demands.

Greece is in denial. It rejects austerity, but insists on keeping the euro. All the main parties duly parroted what the voters wanted to hear, making for a fantasy election, a make-believe election, a fingers-in-my-ears-I-can't-hear-you election. The only list which was honest about the necessary cuts – a coalition of three liberal parties – failed to gain a single seat.

Will the rest of the EU now lose patience? Will its governments risk the unmanaged default they have so struggled to avoid these past three years? I doubt it. After all, they have only themselves to blame. For thirty years, Greece has been subsidised, indulged and encouraged to look to Brussels for all its solutions. Now, faced with what they see as a problem of the EU's making, Greeks understandably shrug their shoulders and expect Brussels to sort things out for them. And you know what? Given the way the EU has behaved to date, they might just be right.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 08:41
  #1543 (permalink)  
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Boris Johnson on the Eurozone, Greece and the wheely-suitace. Damn but we need this man as PM.

Dithering Europe is heading for the democratic dark ages
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 10:41
  #1544 (permalink)  
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Paul Krugman: Greece as Victim
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 10:54
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ORAC, a good article from Paul Krugman .
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 12:04
  #1546 (permalink)  
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I was cavorting my way into the local town today when I saw in front of me a German car. There are quite a lot of those around these parts but this one was ever so slightly different. Tucked into the rear right hand corner was one of those silly little flag badges that people put on their cars to show, either that they have a summer house somewhere or that one of the people in the car is a citizen of that place. It often illustrates either financial stupidity or a mixed marriage. I expect one is forbidden, under some EU rules or regulation, from pointing out that such might demonstrate both.
This particular little flag was composed of horizontal blue and white stripes. Underneath all the finery was written the name of the country. I murmured it to myself and was reminded of destiny and the Delphic oracle. The country name is Alas.

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Old 18th Jun 2012, 12:09
  #1547 (permalink)  
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Greek agony drags on as Asphyxiation Bloc wins

..............This is what Professor Vanis Varoufakis from Athens University has to say about the Troika policies (via Naked Capitalism):
"Consider what they are telling the Greek people: They are saying that Greece, to remain in the Eurozone, must,

(a) carry on borrowing from the EFSF at 4% (and thus adding to Greece’s public debt) in order to pay the ECB (which will be making a 20% profit from these payments, courtesy of the fact that it had previously bought Greece’s bonds at a 20% to 30% discount)

(b) reduce public spending by 12 billion euros in order to be ‘allowed’ to borrow for the benefit of bolstering the ECB’s profits from these transactions involving bankrupt Greece.

If the Devil wanted to guarantee that Greece is pushed out of the Eurozone, he and his evil handmaidens could not make up the above, satanic, scenario. Meanwhile, the same happens in Spain, where the government is forced to borrow money (at nearly 7%) it can hardly raise in order to shore up banks that are borrowing from the ECB (at 1%) to lend to the Spanish government (at 7%) so that the latter can… bail them out. Not even the sickest of minds could make this up!"
Indeed, you couldn’t make it up.

What the Greek election means for the eurozone debt crisis


.........................The authorities are running out of hope and bereft of ideas. Every plan involves getting the French and Germans to pay everyone else's debts. The sheer lack of imagination, the stubborn refusal to engage with or propose any option other than more and more and more bailouts until the thing goes pop, suggests that ultimate disorderly collapse is now more likely than not.

- That path would destroy the euro – the French would have to withdraw because they can't afford it and the Germans would withdraw because tomorrow's Germans wouldn't be prepared to do it. There is, however, still a way out. Each country, each bank, each corporation, each household must be responsible for its own debts. If, at the last, we can still remember this fundamental principle, we can still escape.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 12:54
  #1548 (permalink)  
 
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indeed ORAC. i you have to wonder if these 'great, brilliant' minds are just engaged in a mission to create the biggest economic destruction in human history. All the 'corrective actions' that have been taken have just been more than deepening the damage and making eurogeddon bigger.

Perhaps that's it; As a point to prove their own might they are deliberatley turning a crisis into a catastrophic event.

There is, however, still a way out. Each country, each bank, each corporation, each household must be responsible for its own debts. If, at the last, we can still remember this fundamental principle, we can still escape.
That horse has bolted. the problem is the amount of money, the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions that have been thrown into a black hole, will still leave a debt crisis behind.

the only way to liken the fiscal management of the euro is like a gambler putting everything have and everything they will ever own, thier trust funds, future earnings at the spin of wheel. they lost and they keep borrowing, keep loosing, keep borrowing more and loosing more.. the time to step away from the table was a couple of years ago.

no matter if the gambler has a big win the debts are too great, now the casino is getting worried at the level of debts these clowns have racked up.

Last edited by stuckgear; 18th Jun 2012 at 12:55.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 12:59
  #1549 (permalink)  
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There are a lot of German cars here right now with mini flagpoles attached to the rear windows, flying German Bundesrepublik flags. I believe there is some form of European football competition under way right now and that these merry fellows think by 'flying the flag' they are supporting their country. For quite different reasons some of them leaving the local bars late at night often find a boot-shaped imprint in the door when they return to their Audis, VWs or Opels.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 13:07
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There are a lot of German cars here right now with mini flagpoles attached to the rear windows, flying German Bundesrepublik flags. I believe there is some form of European football competition under way right now and that these merry fellows think by 'flying the flag' they are supporting their country. For quite different reasons some of them leaving the local bars late at night often find a boot-shaped imprint in the door when they return to their Audis, VWs or Opels.
If members of the resistance are caught, no doubt they will be sent away for politikal re-education.

Last edited by stuckgear; 18th Jun 2012 at 13:08.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 15:14
  #1551 (permalink)  
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Got to love the first paragraph, there's nothing as nasty as left-wingers falling out..........

New Statesman: With the rise of SYRIZA and Golden Dawn, Greece's status quo has been forever altered

I am grateful to expert Louise Mensch, who once had a Greek Salad from Waitrose, for analysing the result of yesterday’s election so that I can grasp it. She said: "When push comes to shove, the Greek people voted for austerity and sanity. Are you listening, Labour?" Obviously I cannot compete with this sort of [email protected] analysis, which would reduce Shakespeare’s Othello to "interracial marriages just don’t work". But try, I must..................
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 17:16
  #1552 (permalink)  
 
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The EU

Whilst I appreciate that middle of the road and well balanced argument are not the forte of this community of Jet Blast, I am wondering what others think.

In the EU we have an organisation that cannot balance its books (not been audited for years) that can't decide where it wants to live, so spends vast amounts of money moving between Brussells and Strasbourg twice a year, that is fundamentally corrupt, wastes vast sums of money in wrting new laws that are hard to interprate (see the new rules on trailers behind vans) whose currency model is faling apart before our eyes, and that we pay millions a day into for what I personally perceive as no real benefit.

Keeping all this in mind is it time that we had a vote on remaining in this shower?
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 17:19
  #1553 (permalink)  
 
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YES it most certainly is!
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 17:30
  #1554 (permalink)  
 
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In the EU we have an organisation that cannot balance its books (not been audited for years)
Just to clarify it has been audited, however not one set of accounts has ever been signed off due to accounting 'inconsistencies' for the past 16 years or is it 17 years now ?
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 18:47
  #1555 (permalink)  
 
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It needs a ground up review and then it needs fixing ( I don't mean fixing as in fixing it to be an even bigger gravy train than it is now). After that, maybe it would be worth remaining in but ONLY if it remains a trading partnership as it was supposed to be before Germany and France thought they could do by stealth what they failed to do by conquest, ie rule Europe.

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Old 18th Jun 2012, 19:13
  #1556 (permalink)  
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Whilst I appreciate that middle of the road and well balanced argument are not the forte of this community
is it time that we had a vote on remaining in this shower?
So, are you in favour of us staying in or not?

Our membership does at least afford us some fringe benefits. For instance it give us an opportunity to lecture the Germans and French from on high at the thrice-monthly summits (or so it seems) about what a terrible mess they've got themselves into and how they really should sort themselves out, and that if only they'd listened to us in the 1990s they wouldn't have gotten into such a pickle in the first place.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 04:16
  #1557 (permalink)  
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More and more the tone of all the articles is one of despair....

G20: don't expect any solutions from the international junketing in Mexico

........
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has welcomed the outcome of the Greek election, but it must have been through gritted teeth. In fact, New Democracy's narrow victory is the worst possible outcome for Berlin. What a relief that Greece has voted to remain in the euro, German policymakers profess in public. Not, they mutter as an aside.

There's virtually no politician in Greece who thinks the austerity of the bailout programme a price worth paying for membership of the euro; they all want to renegotiate the terms to some degree. The choice made by Greeks was therefore not one of in or out of the euro, but between the outright confrontation pledged by the radical left and the guerrilla warfare of renegotiation promised by the New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras. This is scarcely going to help matters from a German perspective. Many policymakers in Berlin and Frankfurt were privately hoping for a confrontational outcome, for once the Greeks had voted for defenestration, this would at least have brought matters to a head and focused minds on saving the rest of the eurozone. As it is, the misery of Greece's membership persists, a kind of death by a thousand cuts, rather than the short, sharp execution which would have followed the election of Greece's motorcycling Marxist, Alexis Tsipras. Berlin had hoped to cut the millstone of Greece loose; unhappily for Germany, it remains.

This has in turn focused attention back on the real epicentre of the crisis – Spain and Italy, for which Greece is no more than a "mis en bouche". With spreads on Spanish bonds now higher than those of Ireland, a fully fledged sovereign rescue - as opposed to the misjudged bailout-lite of last week's €100bn for bank recapitalisation – can only be a matter of weeks away. Can Europe afford such a rescue? If City estimates of a bailout package worth around €300bn, on top of the €100bn already agreed for the banks, are correct, then possibly, just about. Assuming around half the money is put up by the International Monetary Fund (leaving the UK on the hook for eventual, catastrophic losses along with everyone else), the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) has just about sufficient to cope. But if, as seems likely, Italy follows close behind, then it's going to be blown away. In any case, it's not clear that the EFSF and its successor body, the European Stability Mechanism (please do try to keep up here), could actually fund these bailouts in the markets. There comes a point where even with the cross guarantees of other, more solvent, eurozone participants, are insufficient to make the markets lend. As it is, we are faced with the logical absurdity of Italy helping to cross guarantee the funds for a Spanish bailout from a facility it may soon have to draw on itself. Any publisher presented with such a ridiculous plot would bin the whole thing as too incredible even for fiction.

One possible solution to these contortions would be for the European Central Bank to relieve the pressure with heavy purchases of sovereign bonds, acting as any other central bank would in these circumstances as lender of last resort. This is the straw du jour that everyone is now clutching at. But still fixated by the Maginot Line of inflation, the ECB will for the time being have no truck with such supposed sovereign debt magnetisation. Meanwhile, the ECB president, Mario Draghi, spends his time working away on a "road map" for fiscal and political union in the hope that once markets see a blue print for eventual debt mutualisation, they will calm down and the crisis will abate. An ECB president who by day says he cannot perform a fiscal function is by night actively engaged in trying to design the mother of all fiscal solutions. Again, it would be hard to make this stuff up.

With Europe threatening to derail his plans for re-election, President Barack Obama is in increasingly desperate mood. Sort it out, says an ever more impatient G20, but answer comes there none. To Americans, the solution is simple. Put a large enough sum of money on the table, and the crisis will go away. The institutional and political difficulties of burden sharing in a monetary union of 17, fiscally sovereign nations go largely unappreciated. Germans would rather go down in flames than be made liable for somebody else's debts. The Americans don't seem to understand this...........

Last edited by ORAC; 19th Jun 2012 at 04:19.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 04:30
  #1558 (permalink)  
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Grauniad: Markets call eurozone's bluff on Spain

And, hey, guess, what, there's nothing wrong in the Eurozone, it's those **** Anglo-Saxons again....

G20 summit: Barroso blames eurozone crisis on US banks

..........The opening day of the G20 summit was threatening to deteriorate into a fractious row between eurozone countries and other non-European members of the G20, notably the US, as EU commission president José Manuel Barroso insisted the origins of the eurozone crisis lay in the unorthodox policies of American capitalism.

As Europe's leaders came under intense pressure to act decisively to cure the euro's ills, and a campaign gathered pace to relax some of the austerity programmes laying waste to countries with unsustainable debt levels, Barroso said Europe had not come to the G20 summit in Mexico to receive lessons on how to handle the economy. Asked by a Canadian journalist: "Why should North Americans risk their assets to help Europe?" he replied: "Frankly, we are not here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.

"This crisis was not originated in Europe … seeing as you mention North America, this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market.".............
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 06:45
  #1559 (permalink)  
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In his college days Barroso was one of the leaders of the Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers/Revolutionary Movement of the Portuguese Proletariat, a Maoist group. Barroso proves himself a worthy long term Maoist doctrinarian. It is a misfortune that the USA even allows him into the country. He is much reviled in Portugal for his extreme left political views. He guides the EU to its own destruction. Herman van Rompuy, the long term president of the EU council stands in disagreement but in awe of Barroso whose bullying tactics have remarkably gone unnoticed in the coming conflagration that will represent the finest example of the destructive power of socialism since the National Socialists last took office in Europe.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 08:26
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Debt crisis: Spain on brink of a global bail-out - Telegraph

Spain pleads for ECB rescue as bond markets slam shut - Telegraph

Debt crisis: Greek government will be forced to seek third bail-out - Telegraph

Further clear proof of the success of the EU and the single currency!
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