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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by Fred G on Mon Dec 5 21:53:40 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 5 21:09:49 2011.


your pal,

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by SMAZ on Mon Dec 5 22:06:03 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 5 21:09:49 2011.

The future is here.

Tanz Olog!!


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Mon Dec 5 23:10:16 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 5 21:09:49 2011.

In fact, many people are more annoyed with the French, “who are like us”, than with the allegedly feckless southern Europeans, who have a “different mentality”.

So we're honorary white people now?

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Mon Dec 5 23:12:16 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Mon Dec 5 23:10:16 2011.

Honorary? Hell ... we're talking "real deal" here. :)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Tue Dec 6 00:24:30 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by SelkirkTMO on Mon Dec 5 23:12:16 2011.

Honorary? Hell ... we're talking "real deal" here. :)

To think, some French ancestry makes me whiter than LuchAAA. :-)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue Dec 6 00:27:52 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germans unaffected by crisis, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Tue Dec 6 00:24:30 2011.

Indeed ... at least for those who care about that stuff anyway. :)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany forges "imperial system", wipes out national democracies

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 6 20:15:44 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

They're trying to downplay stuff like "Now Europe will speak German" and other such "unfortunate" quotes of ecstasy out of the elite politicians.

An Imperial System


German government advisors and commentators are warning Berlin against manifesting too triumphantly the openly erupting German domination over the EU that has become apparent through the Euro crisis. "Misconstrued" statements such as, from now on "Europe will speak German," could provoke hostility abroad. Germany must appear "conscious of its power," while exercising in its comportment "modesty and discretion," to avoid provoking resistance. After all, according to a commentary in a major daily, in countries such as France or Great Britain, who lost to Germany in the power struggles, "national pride was hurt." The remarks, euphemized as "hurt pride," were criticisms of the German austerity dictate that not only causes serious social upheavals but is even characterized as economically disastrous. Other EU countries see only slight possibilities of influencing Berlin's actions, seen as a crash course. According to government circles in Paris, "Germany dominates everything."

The Euro Junta

German government advisors' current warnings are in response to criticism of Berlin's financial policy dictate that is growing louder in numerous EU countries. Major protests are growing, particularly in Greece, against the EU "Troika," that is supposed to supervise the implementation of the Greek national budget. "We are witnessing a pan-European putsch," wrote a business journal "O Kosmos tou Ependiti." The "Euro Junta" is putting into question the nucleus of the country's very existence, its sovereignty, its democracy, and the conditions for its citizens to survive." Enraged Greeks are repeatedly recalling the period when their country was under Berlin's control — under Nazi occupation. Powerful forces in Italy are also voicing their anger, where German refusal to buy large quantities of state bonds from indebted countries or to allow the implementation of Eurobonds is mainly being criticized. "The way Germany is running the EU, is becoming increasingly alarming," according to "La Repubblica." The "Corriere della Sera" writes, "Berlin's attitude risks becoming a dilemma that will burden the monetary unity and threaten to destroy it."1

The End of National Democracies

Countries — particularly Greece — which are already deeply suffering under the German austerity dictate, are by far not the only ones publicly criticizing Berlin. This is evident from an article appearing last week in the Paris daily "Le Monde," quoting several incumbent and former French ministers. "The Germans are dominating everything," according to a heavyweight in government circles; "one has to wait for their decisions without having any influence on what will happen."2 Quai d'Orsay (the foreign ministry) is warning against Germany seeking hegemonic rule by wanting to apportion EU votes, not only on the basis of population size, but even — in the bodies of the European Central Bank — based on economic power — under the motto: whoever falls behind economically, will have much less say in future decisions. According to former French Foreign Minister, Hubert Védrine, it cannot be permitted that soon everything will be decided "Germanic-Deutsch." The budget dictates imposed by Berlin and Brussels on indebted countries signal "the end of national democracies," complained a conservative French parliamentarian.

Crash Course in being a Leading Power

Berlin's erupting triumphant feeling that Europe has finally become malleable is not only obvious in its politicians' expressions ("Now Europe will speak German"3), but also in commentaries of influential dailies. For example, criticism in France and many other EU countries concerning Berlin's adamant persistence in imposing its controversial finance policy agenda is responded to by alleging that there is "a contagion of Germanophobia," because "the dumb Germans insist on maintaining a couple of principles of monetary stability." "If the situation were not so earnest," one could "chuckle." Germany is "in the process" of becoming a "leading power" — "that, … which the USA represents for the world." "Our new enormous power" is provoking "rejection and resentment." The reason, for example in France and Great Britain, is "a cocktail of hurt national pride" and "uneasiness over the fact that there is an elephant in the midst of Europe that the crisis is forcing to develop its full power potential." The German daily, "Die Welt" formulates a résumé of the EU's crisis policy: "the Germans are taking a crash course in being a leading power."4

Power Conscious

But government advisors and commentators are counseling Berlin to avoid triumphantly flaunting its erupting power. For this current situation, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) has republished a text for debate on its web page that had first appeared back in 2002. The author wrote, nearly ten years ago, that the EU is going through a transformation process. To a growing extent, it resembles "a modern imperial system … comprised of a relatively strong hub … and concentric incorporated or more loosely attached circular zones depending on their amount of say or dependency." EU institutions in Brussels and "the leading EU core countries" determine the hub.5 Germany — without a doubt an EU core country — must be conscious of its power, without alienating the dependent countries on Europe's periphery. "Modest discretion on the one hand and power-conscious determination on the other" delineate the path between "two precipices along which German foreign policy must demonstrate stability, if it wants both long-term success and credibility."

"We've had that Before"

Currently, commentators in the media are picking up on this advice. "Leading not ruling" was the title of yesterday's editorial 6 in the influential Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "As the largest and economically most powerful country," according to the editorial, "Germany has a particular responsibility to hold this thing together." Therefore, Berlin's interests must be asserted and the rest of the EU countries, integrated. Berlin was particularly appreciative, when the Polish foreign minister appeared in the DGAP on Tuesday and declared, "I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity."7 This reference should be taken up, to establish a somewhat soft, but uncontested hegemony. Triumph should not be too openly expressed, because it would only provoke resistance. Berlin should resist the "temptation of unilateralism and a superior attitude, because this could quickly lead to the formation of opposing camps." Conscious of history, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warns: "We've had that before."8
  1. La crainte de l'"Europe allemande" resurgit chez les dirigeants français; www.lemonde.fr 24.11.2011
  2. see also Now German will be Spoken
  3. Ungeliebte Deutsche; www.welt.de 29.11.2011
  4. Gunther Hellmann: Der "deutsche Weg". Eine außenpolitische Gratwanderung, Internationale Politik 9/2002
  5. Führen, nicht herrschen; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 30.11.2011
  6. Sikorski: "Deutschland ist Europas unverzichtbare Nation"; www.euractiv.de 30.11.2011
  7. Führen, nicht herrschen; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 30.11.2011

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France)

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 7 02:15:55 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany forges "imperial system", wipes out national democracies, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 6 20:15:44 2011.

Der Spiegel

A Controversial Paragon

Europe Shudders at Germany's New-Found Power

Germany, admired and envied for its economic success, has become a model for Europe in the debt crisis. The Continent is becoming more German as countries get serious about fiscal discipline. But the nation's new dominance is also stirring resentment, and old anti-German sentiments are returning. By SPIEGEL Staff

A French tricolor fluttering on a video screen provides the grand backdrop for Nicolas Sarkozy, who is about to take to the stage to talk sabout the euro crisis. The flag is huge, almost as if the organizers were attempting to allay any doubts that the speaker really is the French president rather than a mere emissary of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

When Sarkozy appeared in front of his supporters in Toulon last Thursday, he spoke of the "fear that France could lose control of its own destiny." His dramatic words were an appeal to French national pride, but his response to those fears was anything other than nationalist: "France and Germany have decided to unite their fate," he announced. So-called "convergence" — greater alignment of the two countries — was the only way out of the crisis.

There is no doubt which country wants to align itself with which. Later that day, one of his advisers said Sarkozy wanted "supply-oriented economic policies and debt reduction modeled on those of Gerhard Schröder," Merkel's predecessor. In his speech, the president even announced a "jobs summit" between employers and unions just like the one initiated by then-Chancellor Schröder six years ago.

The very next day the French daily newspaper Libération ran an article under the headline "A President Modeled on the Germans," which claimed "If you closed your eyes, you could hear Merkel speaking" during Sarkozy's speech.

During a televised interview back in early November, Sarkozy uttered almost unimaginable words for a French president: "All my efforts are directed towards adapting France to a system that works. The German system."

Speaking in Toulon, Sarkozy condemned the long-established French policy of buying economic growth by simply borrowing more. He said France could only overcome the current crisis through "work, effort, and controlled spending," objectives that sounded eerily German. Fortunately the tricolor was still fluttering, and the event closed with a rendition of the Marseillaise.

In these days of crisis in Europe, the "German model" has become something of a magic formula. Like it or not, the dusty, dry Germans now seem to hold the key to European salvation.

From 'Sick Man of Europe' to Paragon

How has it come to this? For a long time, Germany wasn't regarded as a model state. The nation has been plagued by guilt since World War II and by economic stagnation since the late 1980s. The Germans saw themselves surrounded by neighbors who seemed to be doing things better: The Scandinavians had their welfare state, the French their family-friendly policies, the Brits had their service industry, and countries to the east had lower taxes. As recently as 2002 Newsweek dubbed Germany "the sick man of Europe," calling it a country hit by economic strife and unsure about its place in the world.

And yet suddenly, Germany is being held up as a shining example for everyone else. It is almost the only country in the Eurozone that the markets still trust. It is almost the only one that has a history of carrying out far-reaching structural reforms. Almost overnight, Germany has become the de facto center of Europe.

After the war, the French and the British sought to bind Germany into a united Europe to prevent it from ever becoming the dominant force in Europe again. But now its economic strength has made it the region's natural leader for the first time since 1945, although neither the Germans nor the continent's other citizens seem comfortable with this state of affairs yet.

As a result, Germany's dominance in Europe has brought forth a paradox. As admiration for its economic successes has grown, so too has increasing criticism of the way it is handling its role as the leading force. Not only does it appear to have done everything right on its own. It is also the country that — still — refuses to consider saving the 17-member eurozone by printing money or issuing eurobonds. It is also forcing others to adopt its cost-cutting recipes.

In this, it is becoming clear that Angela Merkel isn't the only person who wants to reshape Europe in Germany's image. The chancellor has become less inhibited about expressing her determination to revamp Europe — but many countries have already decided for themselves that Europe must follow Germany's example if the common currency is to be saved.

Europe Becoming More German

Europe's Germanization can be seen all over the continent. In Italy, for example, the popular playboy Silvio Berlusconi has been replaced by a government of bland technocrats who appear to have consciously distanced themselves from any hint of being laissez-faire or Mediterranean. The new prime minister, Mario Monti, has been talking about introducing tough austerity measures ever since he took office a month ago. Monti himself is so down-to-earth and conservative that his fellow countrymen call him "more German than the Germans." Even the Italian media — for instance the Sunday evening TV program Report — has taken to listing everything the Germans do better: Their waste-recycling systems, their competitiveness and their education system.

In Spain, the outgoing Socialist Premier José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has cut public-sector salaries and welfare payments. But just like German labor-market reformer Gerhard Schröder before him, Zapatero has been voted out of office. His successor, Mariano Rajoy, has already pledged to bring the country's national debt down to 4.4 percent of GDP in 2012, exactly as Merkel has demanded.

Greece, which is demanding drastic belt-tightening from its citizens, is the most reluctant to Germanize, not least because this would be more painful than in any other Eurozone country. Since November, a 30-man EU team known as the Task Force and headed by a German, Horst Reichenbach, has been teaching Greek civil servants how to survey land, run real estate registers and levy property tax. That hasn't exactly reduced the animosity the local population feels towards Germans.

Nevertheless, politicians and the media in virtually every European country have for months been discussing German idiosyncrasies like its dual (theory- and practice-based) vocational training system and the social partnership between employers and unions, both of which have helped the country attain its current leadership. Everyone is keen to copy the best elements of the German system.

French Angst

Nowhere is Germany as threatening to the national psyche as in France. For weeks now, the main focus of public debate has been why the Germans are doing so well and the French so badly. Day after day, the newspapers almost obsessively compare the two countries. "The German Europe" was the headline of a recent article in business magazine Challenges; an expression of wonder and dread alike.

When French auto manufacturing group PSA, whose brands include Peugeot and Citroën, announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs a month ago, viewers of the evening news in France were treated to a graphic that dealt another blow to their national pride: This showed that PSA's production numbers have stagnated over the last 10 years while those of German competitor Volkswagen have risen sharply.

Economist Jean Peyrelevade recently published a book ('France: A State in Crisis') on this very issue. The book is essentially an instruction manual detailing how France could become more like Germany. Peyrelevade's conclusion is devastating: German companies are financially strong, French ones deeply indebted. Germany has been more rigorous in raising the retirement age than neighboring France, whose citizens have a mandated 35-hour work week. German salaries and wages have risen at a lower rate than productivity, while the opposite is true in France. "We in France have increased our national debt time and time again because the Germans enabled us to get such cheap loans," Peyrelevade says. "Germany has therefore bankrolled our demise."

France's national debt now stands at 85 percent of GDP, and the country is poised to lose its triple-A credit rating. This is another reason why Sarkozy is at pains to chain his country to Germany, its historic rival. In the past, France was always proud of its combination of Mediterranean lifestyle and north European economic performance. Now Sarkozy warns of the danger of "being dragged down by countries in the south."

A year-and-a-half ago, Christine Lagarde who was French finance minister at the time, criticized German wage-dumping practices. Today Ms. Lagarde heads the International Monetary Fund, and nobody wants to hear such talk. It has become fashionable to admire the German model. Centrist presidential candidate François Bayrou has written a book in which he demands Schröderesque reforms, and even Socialist Party candidate François Hollande praises attempts to cut non-wage costs.

But are the French and other Europeans really prepared to implement tough social reforms, extend their working week and make other changes to their pension system? Do they really know what it means for every single person if their state is forbidden from spending more than it collects?

Admired and Vilified

Throughout Europe, wherever austerity measures have been either announced or already implemented, Germany has been or is being blamed for it. After all, it is the Germans who are demanding these reforms. Very quickly, praise is being replaced by criticism that Chancellor Merkel is meddling in the domestic policies of other countries.

This is the flipside of Germany's dominance in Europe. The right-wing Spanish daily newspaper ABC recently wrote about the alleged "Germanization of Europe," and a journalist commented that Germany was in the process of "winning World War III: the money war." Many in Spain were appalled by the wording of a telegram the German chancellor sent to Mariano Rajoy to congratulate him on his election victory.

"Dear Mr. Rajoy," she had written in the message, which the left-leaning newspaper Publico quoted from both in German and in translation. Now that he had been given had a clear mandate, Merkel said, Rajoy should "rapidly" take the necessary steps. If, as seems likely, the text was leaked by someone close to the prime minister-designate, it was a shrewd move indeed, for the Spanish now have someone to blame for their suffering.

And so the specter of the ugly German has raised its head once more. In Greece, swastikas made out of the stars of the European Union flag have long been a popular motif at demonstrations, not to mention pictures of the German chancellor in a kind of SS uniform.

'Fourth Reich'

Georgios Trangas, one of Greece's best-known journalists, said his country had become "a German protectorate of the Fourth Reich in southern Europe." Anti-German sentiments are a key ingredient of his nightly talk show. He currently wishes his viewers a "Merry German Christmas" as marching music plays in the background.

Meanwhile Italian television is depicting Chancellor Merkel wearing a Kaiser-era spiked helmet, and even prominent politicians such as Frenchman Arnaud Montebourg, the rising star of the left wing of the French Socialist Party, no longer have any qualms about ridiculing the "German model" with all the demagogical tools at their disposal: "The issue of German nationalism is returning through the Bismarckian policies championed by Mrs. Merkel," Montebourg said last week. He said France must stand up to Germany and defend its values against what he called "German dictates."

Montebourg's was heavily criticized for his words, even from within his own party, but the closer Sarkozy aligns himself with Merkel, the louder people in France can be expected to voice criticism of Germany.

The government in Berlin has been helpless in the face of such animosity from abroad. "It really is dramatic that all the positive capital we amassed over the decades is being destroyed in a matter of months," a high-ranking government official said. There wasn't much Germany could do about it, he added. Germany's ambassadors throughout the EU have been instructed to spell out the German position more clearly and to nurture contacts with the foreign media.

The German government knows such PR work can only have a limited impact. Officials in chancellery, Merkel's office, say the most important thing right now is to stand side by side with France to avoid creating the impression that Germany is dominating Europe.

Merkel the Teacher

Holding the reins of economic and political power in Europe is a new experience for Germany, but Angela Merkel isn't just being criticized because she is calling the shots in Europe. She is also being accused of taking a one-sided view of Germany's leadership role — of interpreting it simply as a kind of educational project.

She doesn't seem to have any other solutions up her sleeve, nor does she instill trust or promise salvation. She demands a great deal without saying where the path will lead. Many countries therefore find themselves wishing for more guidance from Germany rather than less.

Ironically enough, these also include Poland, the country which for a long time most feared a resurgent Germany. Last week Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski gave a remarkable speech in Berlin in which he described the collapse of the euro zone as "the greatest threat for Poland's security and well-being."

Just five years ago, Sikorski said the German-Russian agreement over a Baltic Sea pipeline reminded him of Hitler's pact with Stalin in 1939. Now he says, "I'm less worried about Germany's power than about its failure to act. It has become Europe's essential nation. It must not fail in its leadership. Rather than dominate, it must lead the reform process."

Few countries have gained more from EU membership than Poland. Its economy boomed even during the global financial crisis of 2009. "Poland wants to become the France of the east," says Waldemar Czachur of the Center for International Relations.

Poland's moderate Prime Minister Donald Tusk is almost falling over himself to be a model student. Thanks to this, Poland is already doing what many others must also eventually accomplish: It is eagerly cutting costs, it has written a debt ceiling into its constitution and is now even raising its retirement age. And in spite of the crisis, Warsaw still plans to adopt the euro in four years' time.

If Nicolas Sarkozy isn't careful, Tusk will soon replace him as Angela Merkel's new favorite.


Translated from the German by Jan Liebelt

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France)

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Wed Dec 7 03:10:39 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France), posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 7 02:15:55 2011.

And you thought they were going to have time to come marching into King-of-Prussia. :)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France)

Posted by AlM on Wed Dec 7 08:38:10 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France), posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 7 02:15:55 2011.

Germany may be the single biggest power in Europe, but it ahs no power to run the place. Any united Europe needs concurrence from France and the bunch of small economically healthy nations like the Netherlands.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France)

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Wed Dec 7 16:06:35 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany's power alarms the rest of the EUEUEUEUEU (especially France), posted by AlM on Wed Dec 7 08:38:10 2011.

Actually, they're all starting to get QUITE pissed at Merkel ... there's also some unreported psychology behind this too - the Germans are pissed that they had to eat the costs of absorbing East Germany years ago by themselves and that's why they're so crazy about putting everybody else through it now. But since they're overdoing it here, it's causing a continent-wide re-evaluation of what's in this for the rest of them. Should be interesting times ahead for Germany.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU to use "legal trick" to sidestep treaty referendum

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 7 21:57:04 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

EU Observer

Van Rompuy: EU could avoid full treaty change via legal trick

2011.12.07 @ 09:26
By Leigh Phillips
BRUSSELS — The European Union may be able to winkle out of the fraught process of a full treaty change via a clever legal trick, EU Council President Herman van Rompuy has suggested.

According to a two-page report from the Belgian EU chief submitted to national capitals on Tuesday (6 December), by amending a protocol attached to the Lisbon Treaty rather than changing the treaty itself, the lengthy and politically uncertain path of referendums and ratification by national parliaments can be avoided entirely.

Instead, so long as EU leaders unanimously back a redrafting of a single protocol, the changes can be achieved almost instantly, following consultations with the European Central Bank and the European Parliament, both of which would be formalities.

The article (Art. 126) in the treaty that deals with excessive deficits is fleshed out in a protocol attached to the legal text of the document but which remains separate from the treaty itself.

This article also gives the premiers and presidents the ability to change the attached protocol without having to go through the normal procedures associated with a treaty change.

The EU rulebook normally requires that ahead of any treaty change, a full intergovernmental convention be convened, involving national governments and the European Parliament, which last week issued a demand that any treaty change pushing through advanced economic integration be accompanied by deepening democratic controls at the EU level.

Some states, such as Ireland, would likely have to hold referendums over any further transfer of powers to the EU.

Dublin is still smarting from an unexpected defeat in its 2007 referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, a defeat that was overturned the following year after the country was forced to re-run the referendum.

The Irish government is convinced that another such referendum would be lost decisively in the current economic-political climate and at a time when the country has in effect abandoned sovereignty over fiscal policy to the EU and the IMF.

Polls put opposition to a fresh treaty change on 48 percent in the country against 27 percent in favor.

Whether Van Rompuy's trick will be sufficient to avoid triggering a referendum in the country remains an open question, depending on the scale of transfer of existing powers.

Some of the changes envisaged dovetail with those outlined in the past few days by France and Germany that push for deeper economic integration in the eurozone.

Under the plan, the European Commission would be given the power to impose austerity directly on bailout nations. Those states that flouted debt and deficit rules potentially could have their voting rights in the Council suspended.

Member states would also introduce "golden rules" requiring balanced budgets into national legislation.

The eurozone's rescue fund would be awarded a bank license in order to borrow from the ECB and labor laws, while pension systems and other social protections would steadily be harmonized.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he will veto any new treaty if he does not win protections for the City of London, the British financial district.

"As long as we get those, then [a] treaty can go ahead. If we can't get those, it won't," he told the Press Association newswire in an interview.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU European Investment Bank takes "climate cash" and buys fossil fuelss

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Dec 8 17:47:05 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

EU hypocrisy and AGW schadenfreude all in one. (No, it's not Limbaugh-related at all.)


EIB accused of financing fossil fuels with climate cash

Arthur Neslen
Published 08 December 2011
The European Investment Bank has been accused of funding the fossil fuel industry with €16 billion of loans since 2007, more than that stumped up for any other energy source.

According to numbers crunched by the environmental pressure group Bankwatch in a report published today (8 December), in the same period, renewables received €13 billion of funding, and transmission lines €12.6 billion.

“Such considerable support for fossil fuels undermines the EU climate goals which the EIB is supposed to promote, according to its mission,” Piotr Trzaskowski, one of the report’s authors, told EurActiv.

The EIB has a mandate to fund coal and gas projects — specifically where an emissions reduction additional to that which would have happened anyway can be demonstrated — but Bankwatch says the bank has interpreted this imperative increasingly liberally.

Between 2007 and 2011, the Bankwatch report found that the EIB’s energy investments in fossil fuels actually increased from €2.8 billion to €5 billion.

The EIB replied saying it does not understand how how Bankwatch came to that conclusion. “We’re not quite sure how they arrived at these figures,” EIB spokesman Nicholas Antonovics told EurActiv.

“When Bankwatch talk about ‘fossil fuels’, they are mainly referring to EIB support for gas infrastructure and power stations,” he said.

It would have been more “illustrative” to look at the number of EIB projects financed, he argued, as they demonstrated a greater allocation of staff resources to renewables and electricity projects.

Slimmer support for alternative energy

But while the EIB figures he provided disputed the specific Bankwatch numbers, they also confirmed the group’s core finding: that since a new energy policy was adopted in 2007, more EIB lending had gone to gas, oil and coal than to renewables, albeit with slimmer margins.

Fossil fuel fields, power stations and infrastructure received €15 billion compared to €14.8 billion for renewables, the EIB figures show.

Trzaskowski acknowledged that EIB lending for renewables had increased, but “the positive impact of renewables loans is largely jeopardized by the massive — and growing — investments in fossil fuels made by the bank in the same period,” he said.

The €1.8 billion the EIB says it lent to coal and lignite power stations represented one of the lowest sectoral figures, but included controversial projects such as the Sostanj plant in Slovenia.

Car controversy

Auto industry investments are another contested lending area singled out by Bankwatch in their report.

Almost three quarters of the EIB’s €9.4 billion research funds between 2008 and 2010 were “consumed” by grants to help the car industry meet mandatory EU targets — rather than innovative clean technology investments, according to the Prague-based organization's report, “Carbon Rising”.

The EIB maintains that all car finance under the ECTF (European Climate Transport Facility) had “an element of electric mobility” involved.

But according to the Bankwatch database, which EurActiv has seen, €450 million in EIB loans went to electric car development in 2010, compared with €2.99 billion of loans to the automobile sector as a whole.

In 2008 and 2009, the figures were equally stark with €800 million in loans for electric car development, compared to €3.9 billion for the automotive sector.

“The degree to which one can call a project truly innovative is subjective,” Antonovics said. “We are confident at least a quarter of ECTF projects can be classified in this way.”

The ECTF mission statement says that its money should be targeted on “innovation in the areas of emissions reduction and energy efficiency in the European transport industry.”

It forms the pool from which the bank’s research and development funds are drawn.

Auto bailout?

But the €9.4 billion figure represents 20% of the bank’s overall €47 billion budget and the investments were “the equivalent of the US bailout for the American car industry at the time of its breakdown in 2008,” the report claims.

The only difference was that “in Europe, it was dressed up in a ‘green’ suit,” it says.

The EIB denies the “bailout” charge, claiming lending was linked to emissions reductions by car manufacturers. These are mandated under EU fuel efficiency legislation.

But Antonovics conceded that the car industry had warned that their research budgets would have been cut without the monies.

“This would have meant Europe lost highly-skilled jobs in the middle of a recession, and the new more efficient engine technologies now being brought to market would have arrived later, with a corresponding negative knock-on effect on emissions,” he said.

Bankwatch, though, argues that the EIB has departed from its mandate in being “demand” rather than “policy”-driven.

“The EIB is an EU institution whose mission is to further the long-term objectives of the European Union,” Anna Roggenbuck, the EIB coordinator for Bankwatch, said. “It is indeed an EU policy goal to lower engine emissions, but these loans were merely for complying with current legislation.”

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU becomes "hostile" to Britain after treaty veto

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:03:16 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

The EU's true nature on display . . . again. Obey Germany or else. Decide whether you're "for or against (us)" (funny how it's good when one entity says it but not another one).

Daily Telegraph

EU treaty: Britain now faces a Europe that is becoming hostile

By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels
6:27PM GMT 10 Dec 2011
Britain faces a wave of hostile legislation battered through the European Union by a new "Euro-Plus" bloc dominated by France and Germany as senior figures call for the British to be driven out of Europe.

David Cameron's refusal to unconditionally agree to a eurozone "stability union" treaty has polarized relations between Britain and EU at a time when the economic crisis has sharpened European power struggles.

As attitudes harden, senior European politicians and officials are warning that the Prime Minister's stand will have severe consequences for Britain.

Martin Schulz, the German MEP who will become the president of the European Parliament early next year, predicted that Britain could be forced to quit the EU.

"I doubt in the long term whether Britain will stay in the EU," he said.

"The EU can, if necessary, do without Britain, but Britain would have more difficulty without the EU."

In a sign that Anglo-German relations are at a new low, the point was echoed by Gunther Krichbaum, the chairman of the Bundestag's powerful EU committee, a political ally of Angela Merkel.

"The Treaty of Lisbon explicitly opens the possibility of a country's withdrawal," he said. "The British must now decide whether they are for or against Europe."

Der Spiegel predicted that as British applause died away, Cameron would quickly be put to the test as the EU bit back. "He has completely isolated his country on the European stage — and many in his country applaud him for it. But he will soon have to prove that London still has clout in the EU," the popular magazine warned.

A headline in the establishment French newspaper Le Monde warned that a "27-member Europe is finished" after Cameron's veto of a new EU treaty to fix the eurozone debt crisis.

The newspaper called the decision "a choice with major consequences, that will bring about the emergence of a two-speed Europe, from which the UK may be increasingly excluded by core eurozone countries guided for better or for worse by Germany and France."

Le Figaro, the newspaper closest to Nicolas Sarkozy, trumpeted a "new era of isolation" for Britain. Its website poll asking "does the UK still have a place in Europe?" quickly attracted 40,000 respondents and 81 percent answered "Non".

Elmar Brok, a senior German Christian Democrat MEP close to Chancellor Merkel, said the EU "must now marginalize Britain, so that the country comes to feel its loss of influence".

Britain will quickly face new challenges from monthly summits of the Euro-Plus bloc, starting with meetings of the 17 eurozone members and rising to councils of up to 25 as more countries join.

The summits — beginning early in 2012 — will be entirely closed to Britain and will have an agenda far wider than the action needed to enforce the fiscal rules that underpin the euro.

British officials are deeply concerned that the meetings will be taking decisions on areas of economic policy that are enforceable by the EU.

"A decision taken by the Euro-Plus summit is a fait accompli for the EU. If the Euro-Plus decides, that will be translated into an EU decision via its inbuilt qualified majority," said a source. "Britain won't have a chance to influence EU decisions on economic, social and employment legislation that overrides its national law."

A Franco-German letter, signed by the German Chancellor and French President last week, will act as the program of the new Euro-Plus summits and makes chilling reading for Britain.

"We need to foster growth through greater competitiveness as well as greater convergence of economic policies," it notes.

"To these aims, a new common legal framework should be established to allowing for faster progress in specific areas such as financial regulation, labor markets, convergence and harmonization of corporate tax base and creation of a financial transaction tax."

European officials and diplomats have noted that the Euro-Plus, with its inbuilt EU majority, will be able to effectively take decisions on financial services.

"Cameron sank the treaty talks with a demand for protections for the City of London. The resulting grouping will be a battering ram to force through EU decisions, taken by QMV (qualified majority voting). It's ironic really," said a diplomat.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the leader of the Green MEPs in the European Parliament, which has "co-decision" powers over EU financial services legislation, has called for an offensive against the City.

"Now, we must put pressure on the British and force them, by implementing tough regulations on financial markets, to decide if they want out of the EU or if they want to stay inside," he told Der Spiegel.

Britain's greatest hope is that referendums or tensions between France and Germany will tear the new Euro-Plus grouping apart before it can inflict serious damage on the economy.

Although a Euro-Plus intergovernmental treaty could agree to take more notice of the European Commission, it cannot give the EU executive more power to veto tax and spending plans.

Chancellor Merkel wanted eurozone "fiscal discipline" via treaty change between all 27 countries because then the EU has the power to automatically enforce and override national parliaments.

President Sarkozy preferred the inter-governmental Euro-Plus approach for exactly the opposite reason, France does not want a Frankfurt dominated EU overriding the Republic's fiscal sovereignty. He won and the French victory will be a source of serious Franco-German tension.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the leader of Germany's Social Democrat opposition, has attacked Merkel for bowing to the French and agreeing a "fiasco".

"Automatic sanctions have not been decided; other agreements will be legally challenged. This is not the signal that Europe urgently needed to give in the current situation," he said.

Growing popular hostility to the EU across Europe might come to Britain's aid. Democratic obstacles to the Euro-Plus treaty are beginning to materialize in Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Denmark, while parliamentary opposition in Finland, Latvia and the Czech Republic may also sink the deal.

Lucinda Creighton, the Irish Europe minister, admitted that it was a "toss-up" as to whether a referendum would be held in Ireland, which has rejected previous treaties and is suffering under a savage EU-IMF imposed austerity program. "I would say it's 50-50 and we will be looking at the detail over the next couple of weeks," she said.

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Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis "tactical fight"

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:12:11 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

I'd say that the President's impression of European leadership might have declined some, recently.

New York Times

Euro Crisis Pits Germany and U.S. in Tactical Fight

Published: December 10, 2011
BERLIN — Even as European leaders put together their latest response to the euro crisis last week, a German-American clash over how best to manage a vast financial crisis and put the world economy back on a sound footing was set in stark relief.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany defied skeptics and laid the groundwork for a deeper union that she said rights the mistakes of the euro’s birth and puts integration on a stable path for the long term. In the process, she forced German fiscal discipline on Europe as the prescription for the ills that afflict the region.

Yet even as the cogs of the European agreement were being fitted into place, President Obama issued his sharpest warning yet about the German-led solution. He said the focus on long-term political and economic change was well and good, but emphasized that failure to react quickly and strongly enough to market forces threatened the euro’s survival in the coming months.

At the heart of the debate is the question of how far governments must bend to the power of markets. Mr. Obama sees retaining the stability of markets and the confidence of investors as a primary goal of government and a prerequisite for achieving any major changes in public policy. Mrs. Merkel views the financial industry with profound skepticism and argues, in almost moralistic fashion, that real change is impossible unless lenders and borrowers pay a high price for their mistakes.

“It’s a battle of ideas,” said Almut Möller, a European Union expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations. “There is a different understanding of how to set up a sustainable economy in a globalizing world. Here there is a major rift.”

It will be difficult to know for weeks, or maybe even months, which approach is right. But it is clear that the stakes are high, with the health of the world economy, the European Union and perhaps Mr. Obama’s presidential hopes hanging in the balance. Economists have fretted for months that forcing austerity plans on Europe’s troubled economies — while a good long-term solution — could lead to deep recessions in the short term, compromising any chance for effective change.

On a political level, Mrs. Merkel could look back on last week’s meeting of leaders in Brussels and declare, “We have succeeded.” Where her mentor, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, failed, Mrs. Merkel managed to push through more easily enforceable oversight of government spending that would allow the European Commission the right to review national budgets and object to those that violate agreed-upon debt limits.

Initial market reaction to the Brussels meeting was positive, but that has happened before as deal after deal has been struck between European leaders. Skeptics say that, economically, Mrs. Merkel, the hard-line austerity queen of Europe, has won a hollow victory, one that will fall apart like every other solution that was proclaimed as lasting but proved to be fleeting.

“If the new arrangement turns out to be too toothless to enforce the rules, we’ll be back to square one,” said Thomas Klau, a political analyst and head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Just ahead of Mrs. Merkel’s unexpectedly robust success, Mr. Obama issued his unheeded warning from across the Atlantic. “There’s a short-term crisis that has to be resolved,” he said, “to make sure that markets have confidence that Europe stands behind the euro.”

Mr. Obama is fiercely proud of the record he achieved in keeping not just the United States but also the entire world out of an acute financial meltdown after 2008, presiding over enormous stimulus spending in tandem with unrestrained support from the Federal Reserve. The president and his allies now say that in doing so, they may well have prevented the world from falling into another Great Depression.

By ignoring the short-term threat, American officials say, Mrs. Merkel is unwittingly courting the very threat they so narrowly managed to keep at bay. Strong governments can borrow cheaply, mainstream economists on both sides of the Atlantic argue, and have an obligation to intervene more aggressively than they would normally to make up for the slump in private demand.

Germans are staunchly opposed to any solution that involves greater debt, but even more so to policies that might court inflation, their historic obsession. Policy makers in Berlin and at the Bundesbank headquarters in Frankfurt have urged restraint on the part of the European Central Bank, insisting it should not buy up too many bonds from heavily indebted eurozone countries.

“We will save the euro. We have to save the euro. We have the biggest resources and the biggest interest. But we will hearken fiscal probity,” said Josef Joffe, publisher of the German weekly Die Zeit, describing the German position. “We will not sacrifice our memories.”

The Obama team argues that with recession on the horizon for Europe, the threat of inflation is low and the real threat is a great depression. Administration officials, and many economists, argue that Germany is remembering the wrong crisis — it should be focused on a repeat of the deflation and contraction of the 1930s, not a repeat of the hyperinflation of the ’20s.

Americans take a far more accommodating approach to the problem of moral hazard than Germans do. The time for a reckoning is after financial stability has been restored, Americans say; otherwise, it is ordinary people, not the rich, who suffer most in a downturn.

President Obama, of course, faces re-election and sees the crisis in Europe as one of the biggest threats to his chances, as it could tip the American economy back into recession if austerity worsens the slump there. German officials are well aware of that and complain privately that electoral results are Mr. Obama’s chief concern.

The Germans, for their part, seem almost to welcome the collapse of market confidence: without the rising pressure from markets, Silvio Berlusconi would not have resigned as prime minister of Italy. And without the incentive of fear, most European partners would have been more reluctant to give Brussels oversight authority over national budgets — and the right to impose sanctions for violators.

“The Germans had a strategic insight or advantage to let the crisis get to the threshold within the European Union necessary for France to be willing to hand over the kind of sovereignty the country has always resisted,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “You could say that the crisis has either been the wake-up call or the tool that Germany has used to beat them into submission.”

Many Germans also view the Anglo-American infatuation with the financial industry as the root of the West’s decline in competitiveness with the rising East. Big banks create and exploit bubbles, requiring huge bailouts, they say, without creating sustainable growth. Meanwhile, German exports will set a record this year, breaching the €1 trillion mark, or roughly $1.3 trillion, for the first time.

But Mrs. Merkel’s strategy remains highly risky. A year ago she had miscalculated when she insisted that any bailout had to include the private sector’s chipping in with the public sector, a requirement included in the Greek rescue. The markets punished Italy and Spain for that stance, and it was dropped last week at the Brussels gathering.

Mr. Obama was worried enough to send his Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, to ring the alarm bells all over the Continent ahead of the summit. But the other members of the eurozone swallowed their reservations and moved ahead with Friday’s agreement because their rising financing costs left them little choice but to follow Germany’s lead.

“The countries that had resisted these kinds of moves in the past are under so much pressure currently that they see it’s necessary to regain credibility,” said Jürgen Matthes, senior economist at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

In the end, Mrs. Merkel’s view clearly won out over Mr. Obama’s. “Merkel is calling the tune and writing the notes,” said Mr. Joffe, the publisher of Die Zeit.

Whether Mrs. Merkel’s strategy works is a question that markets will begin to ask on Monday, whether she likes it or not.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU becomes ''hostile'' to Britain after treaty veto

Posted by Dan on Mon Dec 12 13:15:15 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU becomes "hostile" to Britain after treaty veto, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:03:16 2011.

"Growing popular hostility to the EU across Europe might come to Britain's aid. Democratic obstacles to the Euro-Plus treaty are beginning to materialize in Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Denmark, while parliamentary opposition in Finland, Latvia and the Czech Republic may also sink the deal."

Britain may just be ahead of the pack in opposition to the treaty.

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Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight''

Posted by Dan on Mon Dec 12 13:21:20 2011, in response to Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis "tactical fight", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:12:11 2011.

"Mr. Obama sees retaining the stability of markets and the confidence of investors as a primary goal of government and a prerequisite for achieving any major changes in public policy."

What! What! Can't be the same Obama we know. Now, Bill Clinton believed in stable markets.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:28:25 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

This oughta get all the anti-death-penalty libs on here excited. (Why the blazes did Hospira stop making it?!?)

Der Spiegel

Death Penalty Opposition

EU Set to Ban Export of Drug Used in US Executions

States in the US have long been having difficulty gaining access to a drug used in lethal injection cocktails. A new European Union regulation will make it even harder. As of the end of this week, EU pharmaceutical companies will no longer be allowed to export thiopental for use in executions.

Ever since January, when the Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Hospira elected to stop making a key ingredient in the lethal injection cocktail used by several US states to execute death-row inmates, the United States has been searching for alternative suppliers. As of Friday, obtaining the drug from the European Union will become much more difficult.

According to a report published Monday in the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, a new European Union regulation set to go into effect at the end of this week will prohibit the export of some barbituric acids unless a special permit has been issued. Among those chemicals on the list is the anesthetic thiopental, which is used broadly in the US for executions.

When announcing its decision to cease production of thiopental, Hospira cited the drug's use in lethal injection cocktails as the primary reason. Numerous executions in the US have had to be postponed due to shortages of the chemical as a result of the company's decision. Simply replacing it with something else is not immediately possible due to the complicated process with which chemicals are approved for inclusion in lethal injection cocktails. As a result, many states have spent months searching for new suppliers abroad.

A Significant Supporter

In June, Germany's Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler, who was health minister at the time, said he was asked by then-US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to help in the search for new suppliers of thiopental. "I noted the request, and declined," Rösler reported saying in response. He also wrote to German pharmaceutical companies asking them not to sell the chemical in the US.

The Süddeutsche reports that Rösler was a significant supporter of the new EU regulation.

Just two weeks ago, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Naari AG, which produces sodium thiopental in India, complained that Nebraska had illegitimately obtained a supply via a middleman. Naari CEO Prithi Kochhar wrote a letter to Nebraska's Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican as well as to the state attorney general saying he is opposed to the use of the drug in lethal injections.

"I am shocked and appalled by this news," Kochar wrote in the letter, which was first reported on by the Lincoln Journal Star. "I am writing to request that the thiopental which was wrongfully diverted ... to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services be returned immediately to its rightful owners, that is, that it be returned to us at Naari."

In April, Indian pharmaceutical company Kayem Pharmaceutical Pvt. Ltd. halted sales of the drug for use in death penalty cocktails. The Danish company Lundbeck followed suit in June.

cgh — with wire reports

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Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight''

Posted by AlM on Mon Dec 12 14:14:52 2011, in response to Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis "tactical fight", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:12:11 2011.

Are you aware that Merkel is taking the Republican line on fiscal and monetary policy?

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Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight''

Posted by danD124 on Mon Dec 12 14:22:19 2011, in response to Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight'', posted by AlM on Mon Dec 12 14:14:52 2011.

do you think he cares? a few months ago he sided with a Marxist after the Marxist criticized the EU.

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Re: EU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA

Posted by vfrt on Mon Dec 12 14:26:23 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:28:25 2011.

It's their choice not to export but this may help bring back the electric chair or the gas chamber. I hope.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA

Posted by danD124 on Mon Dec 12 14:29:55 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:28:25 2011.


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Re: EU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA

Posted by RockParkMan on Mon Dec 12 16:42:50 2011, in response to Re: EU to ban export of lethal-injection sedative (thiopental) to USA, posted by vfrt on Mon Dec 12 14:26:23 2011.


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Re: More on EUEUEUEUEU and Germany's power over it

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 20:34:41 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany forges "imperial system", wipes out national democracies, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 6 20:15:44 2011.


Franco-British Alarm of 1989 Comes True as Merkel Calls EU Shots

By Leon Mangasarian
Dec 7, 2011 6:01 PM GMT-0500
In 1989, France’s François Mitterrand and Britain’s Margaret Thatcher maneuvered to block German reunification. Their concerns that the expanded nation would prove an irresistible force are now coming to pass.

As Europe’s financial crisis intensifies after two years and with €1.1 trillion ($1.5 trillion) of short- and long-term euro-area government debt due in 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has forced French President Nicolas Sarkozy into retreat and left U.K. Premier David Cameron on the sidelines.

Berlin’s dominance has shaken the Franco-German equilibrium at the heart of the post-World War II balance of power. Debt contagion and slumping growth have driven French borrowing costs to a euro-era record against Germany. The result may be a remade political map with even Poland, invaded by Adolf Hitler in 1939, calling for a stronger German role.

“We are an unwilling leader,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to Britain and the U.S. and now chairman of the Munich Security Conference, said in an interview. “We have been trying for 50 years not to lead. Germany will have to grow up now. It’s new and there will be a learning curve and mistakes will be made.”

Merkel is heading into a European Union summit starting tonight in Brussels with a debt-crisis blueprint that emphasizes German priorities of more forceful policing of budgets and moves toward a fiscal union with a minimal role for the European Central Bank. Sarkozy backed it and won concessions to water down some German demands, while giving up France’s aim to bring the ECB to the forefront of the fight.

‘Rivals or Partners’

“What’s right on one side of the Rhine is right on the other side of the Rhine,” Sarkozy said, referring to the 1,320-kilometer (820-mile) waterway that forms much of their border. “History and geography have made France and Germany rivals or partners,” he said in a Dec. 1 speech in Toulon, France.

The nations fought three wars between 1870 and 1945, and after World War II, their leaders pushed European integration to prevent a fourth from ever occurring.

The first step in creating today’s 27-nation EU was the European Coal and Steel Community, set up in 1951 to ensure joint control of the resources of war and make armed conflict “materially impossible,” according to Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister and an architect of European unity.

Yet four decades later, German unification being forged on the Berlin Wall’s rubble was a bridge too far for Mitterrand and Thatcher, according to a previously classified letter describing a Jan. 20, 1990, meeting of the two leaders in Paris, written by Thatcher’s private secretary, Charles Powell and posted on the Margaret Thatcher Foundation’s website.

Thatcher’s ‘Problem’

“This would confront us all with a major problem,” Thatcher was quoted as saying. Mitterrand said West German “agents” were agitating in the east for unity and “Germany could if it wished achieve reunification, bring Austria into the European Community and even regain other territories which it had lost as a result of the war. They might make even more ground than had Hitler.”

Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who guided the two Germanys to unity, complained in his memoirs that Mitterrand played a “double game” on unification and that the French leader felt he didn’t need to express opposition in the belief that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev would never allow it to happen.

“I didn’t realize it at the time: Mitterrand and Margaret Thatcher were betting that Gorbachev would never accept a united Germany in NATO,” according to Kohl’s 2009 book, Vom Mauerfall zur Wiedervereinigung (From the Fall of the Wall to Reunification). “They totally deluded themselves.”

Mitterrand’s Concerns

Underscoring the intensity of Mitterrand’s doubts, the memo quoted him saying the prospect of unity had turned Germans into “the ‘bad’ Germans they used to be” and “they were behaving with a certain brutality.”

Kohl did agree to give up the Deutsche mark over public opposition as France sought to contain Germany in a political and monetary straitjacket. The Maastricht Treaty, two years after German unity in 1992, mapped the path toward monetary union. The euro was established in 1999 and bank notes and coins came into circulation in 2002.

Mitterrand opposed the creation of a “mark zone,” Hubert Vedrine, his spokesman at the time of unification and subsequently foreign minister, said in an interview.

German economic growth has picked up steam since 2009, outpacing France. Germany, with a population of 82 million compared with France’s 65 million, expanded 3.6 percent last year compared with France’s 1.4 percent.

France ‘Marginalized’

“One of the most profound consequences of the euro crisis is that France has almost been marginalized,” Gary Smith, executive director of the American Academy in Berlin, said in an interview. “The model of Franco-German balance of power has become obsolete and Germany and others have to rethink the EU.”

The German ascent has sparked grumbling throughout Europe and revived invective in countries such as Greece where some politicians compared German demands for austerity to a Nazi past.

“There’s a lot of resentment, just look at the swastika caricatures in Greece,” said Ischinger, who was also a deputy German foreign minister.

Sarkozy has been criticized by political opponents for giving in to Merkel’s policies. “It’s Merkel who decides and Sarkozy who follows,” said Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party presidential candidate who polls show would beat the incumbent in France’s May 2012 elections.

Arnaud Montebourg, a Socialist lawmaker, said Merkel’s policies were a “German diktat in the eurozone.”

The hand wringing may be most pronounced in Germany as nationalist sentiment seeps into the political mainstream.

German Spoken

Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc leader in parliament, Volker Kauder, hailed what he said is the new European acceptance of the Chancellor’s debt-crisis prescriptions.

“All of a sudden, German is being spoken in Europe,” Kauder said in a speech at a CDU party congress in Leipzig on Nov. 15. “Not the language, but in accepting the instruments that Angela Merkel fought for so long — and with success.”

That sparked a backlash with former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt saying such comments fuel doubts on the “reliability” of German policies.

“Damaging German national muscle-flexing” has been a characteristic of the Merkel coalition, Schmidt, 92, who led West Germany from 1974 to 1982, said in a speech on Dec. 4 to his opposition Social Democratic Party in Berlin.

Still, Merkel, 57, has leaned on Sarkozy, 56, to build bridges, even if he is becoming the junior partner.

“We went from Franco-German parity to a German dominance,” France’s Vedrine said. “But this situation is embarrassing Germany a little bit; it is seeking therefore the Franco-German couple to shun any finger pointing.”

Sarkozy ‘Frantic’

Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, said that Sarkozy is “frantically” seeking to position himself as close to Merkel as possible.

“The bond yield spread shows that markets understand what we already knew politically: There’s no more equality between Berlin and Paris,” Erixon said in an interview. The terms of Franco-German relations are now dictated by Germany.”

The extra yield demanded to lend to AAA rated France for 10 years instead of Germany reached 200 basis points on Nov. 17, the widest since 1990. The risk premium is now around 110 basis points. French borrowing costs are about a full percentage point above the top-rated U.K.

For her part, Merkel, in a speech to parliament in Berlin on Dec. 2, rejected claims that Germany is dictating policy.

“It’s absurd to say that Germany wants to dominate Europe in any way,” Merkel said.

Export Machine

Concerns of German hegemony come as the nation, the world’s second-biggest exporter after China, turns away from Europe as a source of growth.

German exports in 2011 will probably rise 12 percent and breach the €1 trillion level for the first time as demand from emerging markets offsets waning sales in Europe, the BGA Exporters and Wholesalers said on Nov. 29.

Porsche SE’s biggest market is the U.S. China, its No. 2, is about to overtake sales in America.

In contrast, French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG)’s home market is its biggest, with 29 percent of its unit sales in the first half of this year, compared with 12 percent in China and none in the U.S.

Bernard de Montferrand, who served as French ambassador to Germany from 2007 to 2011, said France has lost momentum and “a great share of its competitiveness.”

‘Universal Rule’

“Is Germany imposing its discipline on its partners?” Montferrand said in a telephone interview. “So be it. Is economic common sense a German product or a bad thing? No, it’s a universal rule. And European nations, including France, had departed from good management.”

The sea change from the French stance in the run-up to the 1990 German reunification is reflected elsewhere in Europe as geopolitics take a back seat to solving the debt crisis. Take Poland, where the German invasion in 1939 triggered the British and French declaration of war against the Nazis.

As Germany reunified, Poland feared Kohl wouldn’t recognize the Oder-Neisse Line — the post-war border between Germany and Poland — and that Germany might make claims on its former territories now part of Poland, including Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia. Kohl confirmed the Oder-Neisse line and formally gave up any possibility of such claims in 1990.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has urged Germany to play a bigger role in saving the euro.

Polish Reversal

“I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say this, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear its inactivity,” Sikorski said in a Nov. 28 speech in Berlin. “You have become Europe’s indispensable nation. You may not fail to lead: not dominate, but to lead in reform.”

Russia too, wants Germany to “take a leadership role in Europe,” said Sergei Karaganov, head of the Moscow-based Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

“Despite our differences with the Europeans, the EU has been the most comfortable partner for Russia in its centuries of history,” Karaganov said in an interview. “Now, unless Germany saves it, we will face a new threat from Europe as a factor of instability.”

Horst Teltschik, who served as Kohl’s deputy chief of staff and helped negotiate German unification, agrees.

“All EU states know that Germany is the strongest member in the bloc,” he said in a telephone interview. “As a German, I would never talk about a leadership role in the EU. Everybody knows that. So there’s no need to talk about being the biggest or the strongest or whatever. Germany just must do it.”

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Re: More on EUEUEUEUEU and Germany's power over it

Posted by SMAZ on Mon Dec 12 23:35:20 2011, in response to Re: More on EUEUEUEUEU and Germany's power over it, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 20:34:41 2011.


This is a dream come true.
It's why I opposed the EU Constitution (the 2004 Treaty of Rome) at the time.

It wasn't the right time yet.
NOW is the time.

Monetary discipline, sozial-market values, industrial strength plus fiscal and regulatory harmonization will be the Law of the Continent and to an extent of the world.

They've successfully made the weak self-destroy and then picked up the pieces on their own terms.

It was an almost identical financial and monetary series of events that led to the demise of the Article of Confederation and the birth of a strong and empowered federal national government in the USA.

Protectionism and EU-wide immigration policy is next.

I made these predictions to some of my Europhile and Euroskepics friends quite some time ago and they thought it was far-fetched either way.

I knew what was coming.
It was so obvious.

Angela Merkel.....second best world leader on the scene today!

I love it when a plan comes together.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU plots revenge on Britain after treaty veto

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 13 02:10:57 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU becomes ''hostile'' to Britain after treaty veto, posted by Dan on Mon Dec 12 13:15:15 2011.

Doesn't look like it. Hungary made a few hems and haws and then fell into line like good little vassals.

Here's part deux already. They're getting vicious over in Brussels. Don't know what about the social market economy makes one self-righteous, really . . . must be the same thing that makes communists self-righteous too.

Daily Express

EU Plots Revenge Against Britain

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
By Macer Hall, Political Editor
Britain last night faced a revenge attack for David Cameron’s EU snub when a senior Brussels bureaucrat promised a new deluge of damaging red tape on UK business.

European economics commissioner Olli Rehn insisted that the EU could override the Prime Minister’s veto to slap more regulation on the City of London.

And he vowed that Brussels would ignore Cameron’s bid to protect British finance and British jobs.

Finnish-born Rehn said: “If this move was intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations in the City from being regulated, that is not going to happen. We must all draw lessons from the financial crisis and that goes for the financial sector as well.”

In a further threat, the commissioner added: “The UK’s excessive deficit and debt will be the subject of surveillance like other member states, even if the enforcement mechanism mostly applies to the euro-area member states.”

His remarks were being seen last night as the opening salvo in a new offensive by Brussels chiefs to isolate and bully Britain as punishment for Cameron’s defiant stand against a further EU power grab.

And they provoked outrage among Tory MPs last night following fears that more EU tax and regulation on the City could cost up to 500,000 jobs across the UK.

Conservative MP Douglas Carswell said: “This unelected commissioner has helpfully reminded us exactly why we need to be outside the new fiscal union. Britain needs to be outside the EU, like Switzerland, to keep our banks and other financial institutions outside the clutches of bureaucrats like Mr. Rehn. If he is such an economic genius, why is the continent that he helps to preside over heading down a debt vortex? He should be worrying about his own math, not ours.”

Stephen Booth, of the Euro-skeptic think tank Open Europe, said: “The threat of EU regulation on the City of London remains. The British Government must continue to push to prevent any further unnecessary and unwanted regulation from Brussels.”

Rehn yesterday spoke of his “regret” that Britain was refusing to join the new “fiscal union” economic bloc championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Prime Minister used Britain’s veto at a summit in Brussels to reject EU treaty changes to give Brussels sweeping new economic powers that could hit the City. He was given a massive cheer by Tory MPs at Westminster yesterday for his stand.

But Rehn said: “I regret very much that the United Kingdom was not willing to join the new fiscal compact, as much for the sake of Europe and its crisis response as for the sake of British citizens and their perspectives.”

He went on: “We want a strong and constructive Britain in Europe, and we want Britain to be at the center of Europe and not on the sidelines.”

Rehn was announcing the coming into force tomorrow of a so-called “six-pack” of tougher economic monitoring and surveillance on all European economies that the British Government has backed.

The commissioner went on to claim that the new “fiscal compact” agreed between the other 26 members of the EU but excluding Britain was “a major milestone in Europe’s economic governance”.

And he insisted that bypassing Britain’s veto would be “bold, effective and legally viable”.

He went on: “Of course, we would rather have had a treaty of 27 and not only 26. I regret that we could not, but we now have this fiscal compact of 26, which marks another step in the economic discipline of the European Union.”

Cameron had claimed that the deal without the UK lacked the necessary authority of EU institutional backing, including the Commission to implement the new measures and the European Court of Justice to enforce them.

But Rehn insisted: “I am happy that the role of the institutions was recognized and reinforced. The speculation of some media that the treaty is not enforceable is unfounded. The result we got at the summit was better than some suggested — bold, effective and legally viable.”

Further concerns of more meddling from Brussels were raised yesterday when business chiefs hit out at plans to slap new regulations on the pensions industry.

A survey by the Confederation of British Industry and financial firm Towers Watson found widespread fears among firms that the red tape would massively increase costs and damage job creation.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of businesses interviewed in the survey were concerned about greater restriction on pension fund deficits in an overhaul being planned by the EU.

Katja Hall, chief policy director of the CBI, said: “Businesses remain committed to providing good-quality pensions to help their workforce plan for retirement, and understand the benefits this brings the company as well as its staff. But employers’ big concern about defined benefit pensions is no longer just around rising contributions. Large and unpredictable liabilities are also harming firms’ ability both to attract investment to grow the business or to restructure to cope with difficult times. What is completely unacceptable is Brussels’ plan to impose further costs on firms operating defined benefit pensions at a time like this, when the protection in place has already proven itself during the economic crisis. We have told the EU, trade unions have told the EU, the pension funds have told the EU. So far they have refused to listen.”

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Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight''

Posted by Newkirk Images on Tue Dec 13 19:07:14 2011, in response to Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis "tactical fight", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:12:11 2011.

Now, he's really pissed !

Bill Newkirk

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Re: Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis ''tactical fight''

Posted by RockParkMan on Tue Dec 13 19:13:38 2011, in response to Obama vs. Germany in EUEUEUEUEU financial crisis "tactical fight", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:12:11 2011.

Therefore, you must agree with this statement:
"Mr. Obama is fiercely proud of the record he achieved in keeping not just the United States but also the entire world out of an acute financial meltdown after 2008, presiding over enormous stimulus spending in tandem with unrestrained support from the Federal Reserve. The president and his allies now say that in doing so, they may well have prevented the world from falling into another Great Depression."

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 13 22:56:57 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU becomes "hostile" to Britain after treaty veto, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Dec 12 13:03:16 2011.

Really showing how spiteful they are.

EU Observer

Britain's EU rebate called into question

13.12.11 @ 12:14
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — The largest party in the European Parliament, the center-right European People's Party, has said Britain's annual rebate from the EU should be reconsidered following London's "selfish" behavior at last week's summit.

"I believe that the British rebate should be put into question. Our taxpayers' money should be used for things other than rewarding selfish and nationalistic attitudes," said EPP leader Joseph Daul, referring to London's decision last week to block full-blown treaty change to tighten fiscal rules.

The UK rebate — which has assumed totemic status in the British public's imagination — sees London get back billions of euros each year (about £5 billion) from the EU budget, a concession won by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s to balance what the UK pays into EU coffers.

Shrill debate about the merits of the rebate is a fixture of discussions preceding each of the seven-year EU budget cycles. Normally shrugged off by Britain, the forthcoming money debate for the 2014-2021 period is different because MEPs for the first time have the right to approve the budget.

Tuesday's plenary debate saw MEPs unleash much of the pent-up anger about what many politicians in Brussels see as Britain's permanently lukewarm view of the EU.

"We cannot allow ourselves to be blackmailed. I think it was a good signal to send," Martin Schulz, leader of the Socialists and Democrats said. Guy Verhofstaft, his liberal counterpart, said: "You only walk away if you are sure the others will come after you."

The UK's decision not to allow full treaty change resulted in all other member states pledging to construct an intergovernmental treaty instead — meant to be signed by March.

But this route is fraught with legal and political challenges — not least over how the treaty should be drawn up, what should be in it, its implications for democracy and how it should be enforced.

MEPs, having being informed that they will be "associated" with the process, are already angling for a greater role.

"The European Parliament has to be the third equal partner alongside the commission and the Council. If not, I can only recommend to the European Parliament not to take any further step in this process," Schulz said during the debate.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso devoted much of his speech to assuring MEPs that EU institutions will continue to play a major role in the new set-up, with some EU officials concerned that the fiscal pact will operate beyond Brussels' control and with new institutions.

"The agreement will not replace Union institutions and procedures but on the contrary build on them. The commission will do all it can so that this agreement is legally safe and institutionally acceptable," said Barroso, noting that we would try and get most of the proposed changes agreed under normal EU law.

Barroso compromise blocked

Barroso also indicated his frustration with the outcome of the summit by revealing that he had tabled a compromise to try and get London on board.

"In search of compromise, I tabled a clause providing, in the EU treaties, that any measures adopted by the Council and applying to the euro area only, must not undermine the internal market including in financial services. Unfortunately this compromise proved impossible," Barroso said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has argued since the summit that he took the steps he did to protect the City of London, Europe's largest financial services sector.

Although the majority of MEPs were critical of the summit's intergovernmental outcome, some said it was inevitable.

"Where we are now is a result of the misleading "ever closer union" and "one-size-fits-all" doctrine," said Czech deputy Jan Zahradil of the anti-federalist European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Nigel Farage, a prominent euroskeptic, believes that while Cameron "gained no concessions whatsoever" from his veto move, he has opened the debate in Britain about EU membership as a whole.

"Cameron does not know what he has unleashed," said Farage.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue Dec 13 23:07:20 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 13 22:56:57 2011.

Ah yes ... the righties of course ... your kinda people.

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Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) German society "poisoned" by bigotry, says scientist

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 14 17:11:02 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany forges "imperial system", wipes out national democracies, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 6 20:15:44 2011.

Der Spiegel

Discrimination Swells

'German Society is Poisoned'

Social scientist Wilhelm Heitmeyer has been publishing studies on German attitudes for a decade. In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses his latest results, which show that Germans' relationship to minorities and the disadvantaged has become increasingly hostile.

SPIEGEL: Professor Heitmeyer, you have been studying the condition of the Germans for the last 10 years. How are we doing?

Heitmeyer: Not very well. The growing social divide is corroding the sense of community, and society is poisoned. Social disintegration is dangerous, especially for disadvantaged groups. Substantial segments of society believe that they are more valuable than others. Only those who achieve something, who are useful and efficient, count for something.

SPIEGEL: Hasn't that always been the case?

Heitmeyer: Yes, but the principle of rationality, which has its place in the economy, has increasingly permeated our thinking, finding its way into living rooms, schools and social relationships. This application of economic principles to the valuation of human beings is inhumane. Immigrants, the homeless, the long-term unemployed, the disabled, all of these people are worth less than others according to these standards.

SPIEGEL: Is this really worse in Germany than elsewhere?

Heitmeyer: Status-based thinking is also widespread in Germany. This sets off a spiral of devaluation, especially in times of crisis. Someone who is afraid of moving down in the world, or is worried about being rendered useless tomorrow, is more likely to denigrate weaker people, to prove to himself that there is still someone below him on the ladder.

SPIEGEL: In your study, you measure the temperature curve of society with the somewhat cumbersome concept of "group-specific misanthropy." Why so complicated?

Heitmeyer: Racism is certainly easier to grasp, but it isn't just people with foreign roots who are discriminated against in our society. The long-term unemployed, the homeless and the disabled are also devalued. If you belong to one of these disadvantaged groups, your chances of becoming integrated and recognized are very poor.

SPIEGEL: Who are these people with such hostile attitudes?

Heitmeyer: We tend to focus on young people, some of whom are violent and make the headlines. But it's the older people, those 60 and up, who have particularly hostile attitudes. This has consequences.

SPIEGEL: Are grandma and grandpa teaching their grandchildren to hate foreigners?

Heitmeyer: The attitudes of the older generation are indeed transferred to young people in many cases, because older people have a lot of credibility among young people. This has to be carefully analyzed against the background of an aging society. Youth programs don't do any good, either.

SPIEGEL: The special aspect of your study is the long observation period. How have we developed in the last 10 years?

Heitmeyer: It isn't uniform. But society is more divided today than it was 10 years ago. Xenophobia, racism and the denigration of the long-term unemployed are on the rise once again, especially after the crises that began in 2008. Some 92 percent of society believes that the rich are getting richer and the poor even poorer.

SPIEGEL: Germany has just discovered that it is home to active right-wing terrorism. Were these individuals outside of society?

Heitmeyer: I'm appalled that many, especially in the political establishment, act as if we were dealing with a few outsiders in an otherwise intact and humane society. But it isn't quite that easy to distinguish between good and evil. The terrorists (Uwe) Böhnhardt, (Uwe) Mundlos and (Beate) Zschäpe derived their justification for committing acts of violence from a reservoir of misanthropic attitudes in society.

SPIEGEL: A reservoir? Can misanthropy be accumulated?

Heitmeyer: The acceptance of violence and the willingness to commit violent acts among people with right-wing populist views increased by 16 percent from 2010 to 2011. This is everything but good news for social climate.

SPIEGEL: How many people in Germany sympathize with the right-wing populists?

Heitmeyer: About 10 percent of society has thoroughly right-wing views.

SPIEGEL: How did you determine that?

Heitmeyer: We confronted 2,000 people with the following statements: "To preserve law and order, we have to crack down on outsiders and troublemakers. I sometimes feel like a stranger in my own country, because of the many Muslims in Germany. Many Jews are trying to use Germany's Nazi past to secure benefits today and make the Germans pay for it." According to our criteria, a person who clearly agrees with six of these types of statements has right-wing populist views. In doing this, we are already applying a very strict standard.

SPIEGEL: What has changed in the last 10 years for a foreigner living in Germany?

Heitmeyer: He lives in a society that has skeptical to hostile opinions about Muslims, in particular. More than 50 percent of people surveyed today say that they would have a big problem moving into an area where many Muslims live. This is an increase of 6 percent in the last seven years.

SPIEGEL: The debate over Thilo Sarrazin and his controversial book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany Does Itself In"), has shown that many members of the educated classes also hate foreigners. Doesn't education protect against xenophobia?

Heitmeyer: Education is generally a safe buffer. But we have noticed that this buffer is disappearing. Many of those attending Mr. Sarrazin's readings were middle-class people in loden coats. We use the term "crude middle-class outlook" in this context. It is the contempt for those who are seeking to improve their social status.

SPIEGEL: What triggers a misanthropic mood in the country?

Heitmeyer: There are signal events, like Sept. 11, 2001, the introduction of the Hartz IV (welfare reforms) and the economic crisis. Such events unnerve people. One reaction is to denigrate the weaker members of society. But the gradual processes are also dangerous, because they are not the subject of debates, like disorientation, the economic attitudes I mentioned earlier and, most of all, the deflation of democracy.

SPIEGEL: Don't we live in a vital democracy anymore?

Heitmeyer: Our democracy is a functioning shell, as evidenced by low voter turnout. Our numbers show that many people have already given up. They no longer have any expectations of politics.

SPIEGEL: Our impression is that democracy is actually quite vital. In Stuttgart and elsewhere, citizens are demanding more of a say. In Frankfurt, people are sleeping in tents to protest capitalism. This isn't exactly a deflation of democracy.

Heitmeyer: Vitality and protests are indeed in evidence wherever there are emotionally exploitable events. But these are exceptions. Normally the people who really have a reason to protest lack the strength to do so. The fears of social decline and unemployment are destructive and crippling to people.

SPIEGEL: But economic output is growing and unemployment is decreasing. Germans seem to be doing rather well, despite the financial and debt crisis.

Heitmeyer: We are doing well, compared to the Greeks, the Spaniards and the Italians. That's comforting. But many things are also suppressed. In our surveys, people point out that even though society is not doing well, things are just fine in their personal lives. People tend to build a positive image of themselves to avoid being overrun by social uncertainty.

SPIEGEL: Isn't it possible that people really are doing well?

Heitmeyer: Our numbers show that people are very fearful of social decline and ostracism.

SPIEGEL: If your numbers actually reflect the truth, how could the divide in society be closed again?

Heitmeyer: We have to improve social equality and the equality of all people. Equality is just as important to human society as emotional and physical integrity.

SPIEGEL: What constitutes the value of a human being?

Heitmeyer: That's the €100,000-euro question. In a humane society, it is important that those sitting at the top of the ladder are treated the same as those at the bottom. Can someone at the bottom live a life of dignity? In Germany, human dignity is a supposedly untouchable value, but unfortunately that's not at all true anymore.

SPIEGEL: How do elites treat the weak?

Heitmeyer: Significant segments the elites and higher earners are increasingly withdrawing from a mutually supportive society. They claim the privileges of the establishment, and they fight against a minimum wage, the wealth tax and the inheritance tax, even though the policies of redistribution have been in their favor for years. This is class warfare from above. It shows that the core standards of this society are in great jeopardy. Some 64 percent of society believes that striving for justice is pointless. Solidarity and fairness, values that are vital to the cohesion of a society, are being eroded.

SPIEGEL: And this can be blamed on the "authoritarian capitalism" you write about?

Heitmeyer: Capital has been able to impose its maxims without obstruction for years. Social integration is not on the list of interests. Instead, the entrepreneurial self is in demand. This maxim has now penetrated into the way people think.

SPIEGEL: But even the publisher of the center-right daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frank Schirrmacher, writes that the left could very well be right this time.

Heitmeyer: The ship can't be turned around that quickly. Neo-liberal concepts have found their way into everyday life and are being used as weapons against disadvantaged groups. This pattern of thinking will not be thrown into disarray suddenly just because elites are realizing that things are threatening to blow up in their faces.

SPIEGEL: The results of your research paint such a dark picture of our country that one could very well believe that Germany is on the verge of revolution.

Heitmeyer: We don't want to be too pessimistic. We use scientific tools to combat whitewashing and indifference. I do not recognize a potential for unrest in Germany at the moment. Instead, I suspect that apathy and disorientation are on the rise. This is not a good sign for our country. On the whole, we lack any kind of vision on how things are to continue.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU's diplomats say that the "Jewish state" is *too Jewish*

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Dec 16 13:51:45 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Wonder if the SHJs can counter this one factually. The EU's solution? Have the EU in the country "monitor(ing)" what goes on (basically, hand over Israeli sovereignty to the EU one piece at a time).

EU Observer

EU diplomats: 'Jewish state' is becoming too Jewish

16.12.2011 @ 18:07
By Andrew Rettman
BRUSSELS — EU countries have raised a red flag over Israel's treatment of its Arab minority in a complaint that touches the heart of its identity as a "Jewish state."

The deputy heads of EU embassies in Tel Aviv put forward their concerns in a 27-page-long internal report sent to the European Exernal Action Service (EEAS) earlier this month.

The contents were first revealed by Israeli daily Haaretz on Friday (16 December) morning. EUobserver has also seen the "Conclusions" and the "Recommendations" parts of the paper.

The Conclusions were endorsed by all 27 member states. The Recommendations were cut from the final draft because some EU countries objected to the content.

"We should see Israel's treatment of its minorities as a core issue, not second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We should support the vision for Israel of its founders: Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people, in which all its citizens have equal opportunities and are treated equally under law," the conclusions say.

"In our dialogue with the government of Israel ... we should emphasize that addressing inequality within Israel is integral to Israel's long-term stability," they add.

"We should make the following points clear ... that we do not believe that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state should detract in any way from the vision of equality for all its citizens enshrined in its founding documents; that it is in the interests of all Israelis to demonstrate that Israel is not only Jewish and democratic, but tolerant and inclusive."

The controversial recommendations make 16 points.

One idea is to nominate a "lead EU country" to monitor "potentially discriminatory draft legislation" and to "agree that approval at the second reading of such legislation (in the Knesset) should trigger an EU démarche."

They also suggest "high-level EU visitors see the Israeli Arab community and its leadership when they visit." They add that EU countries should "lobby" the Israeli government to employ at least 10 percent Israeli Arabs in its civil service and to promote Arabic teaching in schools.

'Shared values'

EU foreign relations spokeswoman Maja Kocjanic told this website the report is authentic.

"It was prepared for us in order to reflect how we might engage constructively with government and non-government interlocutors in Israel when dealing with an issue identified in the EU-Israeli Action Plan (a 2005 bilateral treaty) as a shared value — the rights of minorities," she said.

Arab Israelis make up 1.2 million of the country's 7.5 million population but have a much higher birth rate than Jews. Another 4.3 million Arabs live in Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Mohammad Darawshe, an Arab Israeli activist for the Jersualem-and-New-York-based NGO the Abraham Fund, told EUobserver Israeli laws give "some level of de jure protection" to Arab citizens' rights. But he said "de facto" discrimination is widening the economic gap between Arabs and Jews.

He added that right-wing Jewish groups are steering the country "downhill" in terms of civil liberties: "Israel's charter says it is 'Jewish' and 'democratic' but some Jews are trying to change the definition to make Jewishness the dominant factor."

Darawshe described a new law passed in March — the Selection Committee Bill, which bans Arabs from buying or renting land in some 500 municipalities — as "ethnic cleansing."

"My family has lived in the same small town (Iksal) for 28 generations and I am never going to leave it for the sake of giving the Jews a 'pure' homeland."

'Irresponsible language'

For his part, Mark Regev, the spokesman of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said any talk of "ethnic cleansing" is "rubbish, rubbish ... no one is being thrown out of their homes, so to use this kind of language is irresponsible."

"I think Israeli Arabs enjoy full rights within a multi-party democracy with full separation of powers. Where else in the Middle east do Arabs have full freedom of speech, freedom of association?" he noted.

Asked by EUobserver about the rights of Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, Regev said "that is a whole different issue."

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU's new treaty to take only 9 countries to ratify

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Dec 16 14:36:27 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Pseudodemocracy at work. Their claim that any country that doesn't sign up to the new treaty won't be bound by it is fallacious. If we had the kind of centralization they're calling for, how inefficient would we be?

EU Observer

New treaty in force when 9 countries have ratified

16.12.2011 @ 18:19
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — The first draft of a new treaty meant to tighten economic governance in eurozone countries was circulated Friday (16 December) with the aim to have the text finalized by January and coming into force once nine countries have ratified it.

The ratification threshold would allow the treaty to go into place even if some euro states — such as Ireland, which may have to hold a referendum — are having problems getting domestic approval.

A euro country that rejected the treaty after it had already come into place will not be bound by it.

"If you go into the political aspect, I don't think it will be a very comfortable situation," said one EU official dealing with the issue.

Non-euro countries, who agree to sign up to the treaty, will be bound by the agreement as soon as they take on the single currency, but can put in place some of the details immediately.

Containing just 14 articles, the text obliges those that have ratified it to introduce into their constitutions a balanced-budget rule. The treaty also says that those countries that are in excessive deficit will have to submit "economic partnership plans" to the commission and council.

Sanctions will also be more automatic for fiscal miscreants while the text says that major economic policy reforms should be coordinated at the euro level.

It also makes what is seen as an oblique reference to tax harmonization — a bugbear of countries such as Slovakia — by saying that countries "where appropriate and necessary" will use a fast-track integration process known as "enhanced cooperation."

"We put into the legal form the elements of substance that were contained in the statement of the 9 December (EU summit). We did nothing more. We did nothing less," said the EU official.

Negotiations on the text will start next week in the euro working group — which brings together senior treasury officials from across the member states.

Following the UK's refusal to allow full-blown treaty change, the pact is an intergovernmental treaty for the 17 euro states plus up to nine of the non-euro countries who have all indicated they will attempt to come on board.

But in a bid to draw a line under the potentially damaging rift between London and the rest of member states, all 27 countries will be at the negotiation table, although London will only have observer status.

The next negotiating meeting is set for the first week of January while the officials are hoping the text will be finalized by the end of January, and signed in March.

A treaty with bite?

By opting to go the international treaty route, negotiators are hemmed in by the fact that they are not allowed to alter the EU treaty in any way.

The same situation has raised legal questions about the legal capacity of the European Commission and European Court of Justice to enforce its provisions. This issue has exercised the finest legal minds in Brussels in the days since last week's summit.

The draft contains only vague language asking the treaty members to "undertake" to support proposals by the commission if they are in excessive deficit.

The European Court will judge whether the balanced budget rule has been properly transposed into national law.

Meanwhile member states would have to take each other to the European court — a politically awkward idea — if they considered that the excessive deficit rules were being broken.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Dec 16 17:50:57 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Nov 27 18:51:43 2011.

10 is too many. It should be four: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Or maybe six: Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Dec 16 18:06:34 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 13 22:56:57 2011.

Nigel Farage, a prominent euroskeptic

Whose splinter group are now an irrelevance in the polls, because most of his supporters now agree with the Prime Minister. Oh, and he has a silly French-sounding name.

In case there's any doubt about how I feel about my Prime Minister standing up to the Frogs:

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members

Posted by AlM on Fri Dec 16 18:33:42 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members, posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Dec 16 17:50:57 2011.

It should be four: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

OK, now you'll really get Olog started on Das Vierte Reich again.

(Don't forget to include Elsasz and Lothringen.)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members

Posted by Dan Lawrence on Sat Dec 17 13:28:58 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Germany wants to shrink eurozone down to 10 members, posted by AlM on Fri Dec 16 18:33:42 2011.

I'm beginning to believe that Olog is really a NAZI in a troll's costume.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Dec 17 14:44:16 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate, posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Dec 16 18:06:34 2011.

Whose splinter group are now an irrelevance in the polls, because most of his supporters now agree with the Prime Minister

No, it's more like the other way around. They certainly don't agree with the PM's stance of remaining part of the EU. One thing is for sure, now—if you use that veto against the EU (meaning Germany) in any way now, you get instantly marginalized.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate

Posted by RockParkMan on Sat Dec 17 14:46:15 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU going after Britain's rebate, posted by Olog-hai on Sat Dec 17 14:44:16 2011.

Ok. However, we do not live in Britain or Europe. What in the wide world of sports do you propose we do about this situation?

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets "quiet bailout" from US Fed . . . ?

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Dec 17 15:36:45 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Zero Hedge

Did The Fed Quietly Bail Out A Bank On Tuesday?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2011 11:48 -0500
Over the past month we have been closely documenting a major funding squeeze in the all important shadow economy - the "synthetic liquidity" conduit which far more than traditional sources of cash, has become all important for proper bank functioning over the past decade. Courtesy of adverse development in Europe, one by one various components of this unregulated funding scheme have become frozen necessitating the first of many central bank interventions on November 30 to provide liquidity to global banks, primarily to offset such shadow conduits as locked up commercial paper, repo and money markets. Logically, as noted over a week ago, European banks scrambled to obtain cheap dollars by borrowing over $50 billion from the Fed, and plug dollar shortfalls. Yet as all band aid measures designed to offset a broken liquidity equilibrium fail eventually, it was only a matter of time before we saw a direct bail out by the Fed of one or more banks in the aftermath of the November 30 global "bailout." Sure enough, we have our first clue that "something" happened in the week ending Wednesday December 14 that involved an upgrade of the Fed's indirect (and thus untargeted) bailout of global banks, to a focused, and very much targeted rescue of one (or more) banks. And with some additional diligence, it may be possible to narrow down the date of an actual bank bailout: Tuesday, December 13.

Exhibit A — Reserve Bank Credit

Two years ago, when discussing the transition of the world to one coordinated, centrally-planned regime we said that the only financial statement of any importance, updated weekly, is the Fed's H.4.1, or the "Factors Affecting Reserve Balances" which traces that flow of "last resort" cash from the Fed to the various organization that make up the reserve bank, primary dealer, and various other financial entities under the Fed's Lender of Last Resort umbrella. Simply said, anything abnormal in this weekly report of "flow and stock" (a simplistic distinction where the Fed is far more focused on what the absolute level of reserve numbers is, whereas Zero Hedge and the market believe it is the "flow", or marginal change, that determines, artificially, asset prices) would confirm our speculations that the Fed has stepped into into its now traditional role of bailing out the world.

The first thing that caught our attention was the all-important total reserve bank credit — the most important big picture metric announced by the Fed on a weekly basis. As the chart below shows, after having plateaued with the End of QE2, and remaining stable during the duration of the "sterilized" Operation Twist (as it should), in the week ended December 14, total reserve credit soared by a whopping $81 billion or the most since May 27, 2009 when the Fed was actively undergoing the early stages of QE1 damage control.

So what was the reason for this huge jump in reserve credit? Two things — on one hand we had the already long-ago telegraphed increase in Fed liquidity swap lines by over $50 billion, or from $2.3 to $54.3 billion to be exact. However that does not explain the remainder. So where did the other $30 billion in credit expansion come from?

Exhibit B — The Plot Thickens: First Net MBS Bulk Purchase Since QE1

It appears that in addition to reverting to such an "old school" QE1 global bailout mechanism as FX swap lines, the Fed also did something it had not done in a long time, or since QE1 to be exact: it bought a boatload of Mortgage Backed Securities, an act it last engaged in on a net basis back on August 11, 2010, which in turn was a delayed settlement of an earlier purchase. As a reminder, the Fed's balance sheet settles any MBS purchases on the mid-month update so while the big spikes in the chart below between January and July 2010 are indicative of broad MBS purchases by the Fed under the auspices of QE1, when it was out purchasing a total of $1.25 trillion in MBS in hopes of lowering mortgage rates and stimulating housing, and thus employment (something it failed at miserably), in the mid-month week just ended, the Fed bought, and settled concurrently, an unprecedented $31 billion in MBS.

Obviously, a $31 billion jump in settled MBS purchases is notable considering the pattern of previous MBS net flows since August 2010. But under what auspices did the Fed go ahead and buy this whopping amount of Mortgage debt? And why?

As New York Fed itself tells us:

Agency MBS Tentative Purchase Amounts and Historical Operational Results

The Desk’s tentative agency MBS purchase amounts associated with the reinvestment of principal payments from agency debt and agency MBS in agency MBS are shown in the table below. The numbers listed are subject to change, should the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) choose to alter its guidance to the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the New York Fed during the monthly period or if market conditions warrant. The amounts listed are approximately equal to the amount of principal payments from agency debt and agency MBS expected to be received over the monthly period, adjusted for any variations from prior periods, as described more fully in the FAQs.

In addition, in order to ensure the transparency of its agency MBS transactions, the Desk will publish historical operational results, including information on the transaction prices in individual operations, at the end of each monthly period.
Specifically, in the period between December 13 and January 12, the Fed had permission to buy, wait for it, $30 billion.

And yet, there is a discrepancy as in a subpage detailing gross and net purchases the Fed reveals only $7.550 billion in net MBS purchases for the week ended December 14.

So obviously, while the temporal matching is still not precisely clear, what is clear is that in the week ended Wednesday, The Fed provided a whopping $81 billion in additional reserve credit between FX swaps and MBS purchases, the latter having no other purpose than to release even more liquidity to banks which have simply converted one illiquid security, into another: cash. This answers the important question of "why" the Fed did what it did. It is also unclear whether this outlier transaction was demand driven or forced by the Fed. All that will be confirmed once we get the official breakdown of MBS POMO on January 13. Incidentally, here is what typical MBS purchases and sales look like on a monthly basis (Excel table).

While these two balance sheet outliers would have in themselves made for curious observations, if insufficient to draw any particular conclusions, it is Exhibit C that puts things into perspective.

Exhibit C — Average Discount Window Borrowings

When the Fed updates its H.4.1 every Thursday at 4:30 pm, it provides two sets of data: an average over the period, and a period end number. And if one was looking to find a flashing red light within Bernanke's book, which has always without fail been a big change in Discount Window borrowings (either Primary, Secondary or Seasonal Facility), looking at the period end number would have shown nothing out of the ordinary: there was a modest $42 million borrowed from the Primary Credit Discount Window facility on the day ending December 14, Wednesday, far less than previous 2011 outliers. However, things rapidly change when one observes the average usage of the Discount Window for the past week.

The result is as follows: a $393 million surge in average borrowings:

And since we know that of the 7 days that make up the average period, one can be eliminated (as there was no borrowings on Wednesday), the implication is that on one day in the week ended December 14, the Fed lent out up to a whopping $2.5 billion (as the $393mm is an average 6 day number) to a bank in the form of last recourse cash via the Discount Window.

Confirming just this speculation is Barclays' Joseph Abate:

After months of virtually no use of the Fed’s discount window, borrowing jumped to an average of $400m/day in the week through Wednesday. The Fed reports only the weekly average of daily borrowing and the daily amount outstanding on Wednesday. From these figures, we estimate that on one day last week, total discount window borrowing reached $2.5bn. Of course, the same $400m/day weekly average could have been achieved with a bank borrowing $900mn on Friday. It is unclear what prompted this pick-up in borrowing from the Fed. There was neither a spike in the fed funds rate nor any disruption in the repo market, so we are a bit puzzled. Of course, under Dodd-Frank, the borrowing bank’s name will be released – after two years.

Yes, the name of the bank that received what amounts to a Fed bailout will be released in two years, but no, we disagree that there was no disruption in the Repo Market. Perhaps Joseph forgets that the Fed lends out Discount Window cash to "eligible" entities out of Europe... where the repo market is in total collapse and wholesale disarray.

Furthermore, the borrowing was from the Primary Credit facility, or that reserved for stable banks, not Secondary Facility eligible names which have to pay an addition 50 bps in punitive interest. And since the bulk of Primary Credit eligible banks domestically already are swimming in $1.6 trillion in fungible excess reserves (which is the reason why discount window borrowings have been so modest ever since QE1 unleashed a liquidity tsunami for the bank, which serves no other reason than to plug capital shortfalls — it certainly is not being lent out) it is obvious that the Fed is now back to its old job of bailing out banks. And not just any banks — European banks.

Some appropriate reminders from the Fed on the "lender of last resort" discount window use:

Terms & Features

To access the Discount Window, eligible depository institutions first must execute the necessary documentation and pledge collateral to the Federal Reserve.

Primary Credit
Secondary Credit
Above the FOMC's target for the federal funds rate.Primary credit rate plus 50 basis points

OvernightShort-term, usually overnight. Can be extended for a longer term if such credit would facilitate a timely return to reliance on market funding or an orderly resolution of a failing institution, subject to statutory requirements (FDICIA restrictions).

Depository institutions in generally sound financial condition; same as eligibility for daylight credit.Depository institutions that do not qualify for primary credit.

Generally no restrictions.
May be used to fund sales of federal funds.
As a backup source of funding on a very short-term basis, or to facilitate an orderly resolution of serious financial difficulties.

Ordinarily no questions asked.Reserve Banks will collect information necessary to confirm that borrowing is consistent with regulatory requirements.


Depository institutions to which the law grants access to the Discount Window and which the Federal Reserve deems generally sound are eligible to obtain primary credit. Reserve Banks determine eligibility on an ongoing basis using supervisory ratings and capitalization data; supplementary information, when available, may also be used.

Examination Rating
(CAMELS or equivalent)
Eligible for
1, 2, or 3
Adequately or well capitalized
Primary credit

4 or 5
Secondary credit

Less than adequately capitalized
Secondary credit

Common Borrowing Situations

The new Discount Window programs offer an enhanced opportunity for eligible depository institutions seeking an efficient solution to meet unexpected, short-term funding needs.

Likely Situations for Borrowing Primary Credit
Generally, there are no restrictions on borrowers’ use of primary credit. Here are some examples of common borrowing situations:
  • Tight money markets or undue market volatility
  • Preventing an overnight overdraft
  • Meeting a need for backup funding, including a short-term liquidity demand that may arise from unexpected deposit withdrawals or a spike in loan demand
  • Arbitrage opportunities


We know two things with certainty: In the week ended December 13 (14th excluded) one or more banks, most likely European, borrowed up to $2.5 billion from the Fed's Primary Credit Discount Window. And since US banks are drowning in dollar-based liquidity, any need to approach the Discount Window now, in the context of trillions of Excess Reserves, carries with its exponentially greater stigmata than it ever did during Lehman days. Also, in the week ended December 14, the Fed did a mid-month settlement of $31 billion in MBS purchases — a transaction which allowed a Primary Dealer to source critical liquidity, based on $30 billion in buyback authorization granted for the period beginning December 13. What we do not know for fact is whether the $30 billion in MBS purchases was completed on Tuesday or Wednesday, and whether this is a delayed settlement for previous purchases, although due to the mid-month settlement process, it is possible that any transaction could have settled immediately. And for those seeking a specific "bank bailout" date, the 13th looks quite reasonable: it was the first day when an MBS purchase was permitted and it was the last day when a bulk Discount Window loan could have been performed.

But wouldn't the market learn of even a hushed European bailout? And wouldn't there be a massive sell-off if it became clear that exactly two weeks after the Fed's coordinated broad bailout of European banks, it had to engage in another, far more politically tenuous bailout, this time via a $2.5 billion free money loan to a cash scrambling bank? Well, if the news was leaked at 2 pm on Tuesday, it sure would explain the market reaction...

So while much of the presented above is circumstantial, perhaps the next time Congress is debating with Ben Bernanke just how good it is for the US taxpayers to bail out European banks, someone can ask him just who it was that the Fed once again bailed out the week of December 14. Because America obviously does not have enough problems of its own...

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU's diplomats say that the ''Jewish state'' is *too Jewish*

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 20 14:49:06 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU's diplomats say that the "Jewish state" is *too Jewish*, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Dec 16 13:51:45 2011.

Hmm; guess this headline was just too scary.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets ripped by Ryanair CEO

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 20 14:51:15 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets ripped by Ryanair CEO

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Tue Dec 20 14:53:26 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets ripped by Ryanair CEO, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 20 14:51:15 2011.

Huh, whatever happened to Skybus anyway?

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets ripped by Ryanair CEO

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Dec 20 15:18:44 2011, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU gets ripped by Ryanair CEO, posted by Osmosis Jones on Tue Dec 20 14:53:26 2011.

They were troubled right from the beginning. Their founding CEO resigned before the first revenue flight left the ground. Ultimately they blamed rising fuel costs and all the other increases of cost of doing business thanks to the bad economy.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU is biggest threat to US recovery

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Dec 28 00:29:12 2011, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

AP via Pocono Record

Analysts: Europe is biggest threat to U.S. recovery

Growth will improve, though jobs won't, economists predict

AP Economics Writers
December 27, 2011
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy will grow faster in 2012 — if it isn't knocked off track by upheavals in Europe, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.

Unemployment will barely fall from the current 8.6 percent rate, though, by the time President Barack Obama runs for re-election in November, the economists say.

The three dozen private, corporate and academic economists expect the economy to grow 2.4 percent next year. In 2011, it likely grew less than 2 percent.

The year is ending on an upswing. The economy has generated at least 100,000 new jobs for five months in a row — the longest such streak since 2006.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has dropped to the lowest level since April 2008. The trend suggests that layoffs have all but stopped and hiring could pick up.

And the economy avoided a setback when Obama signed legislation Friday extending a Social Security tax cut that was to expire at year's end. But Congress could agree only on a two-month extension.

The economists surveyed Dec. 14-20 expect the country to create 177,000 jobs a month through Election Day 2012. That would be up from an average 132,000 jobs a month so far in 2011.

Outside shock

Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital, says the U.S. economy remains vulnerable to an outside shock. A big threat is the risk that Europe's debt crisis will trigger a worldwide credit freeze like the one that hit Wall Street in late 2008.

A shock to the U.S. economy, he says, might not be as dangerous if it were growing at a healthier 4 percent to 5 percent annual pace. But when growth is stuck at 2 percent or 3 percent, a major global crisis could stall job creation and raise unemployment.

Beyond Europe, troubles in other areas could also upset the U.S. economy next year, the economists say. Congressional gridlock ahead of the 2012 elections and unforeseen global events, like this year's Arab Spring protests, could slow the U.S. economy. Three economists said rising nuclear tensions with Iran are a concern.

Even without an outside jolt, the economists expect barely enough job creation in 2012 to stay ahead of population growth and the return of discouraged workers into the labor force.

"I just don't know if it's going to be enough to bring the unemployment rate down," says Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers.

The AP economists expect the unemployment rate to be stuck at a recession-level 8.4 percent when voters go to the polls in November. Unemployment was 8.6 percent in November.

A majority (56 percent) of the economists say the economy will get a lift from Federal Reserve policies. The Fed has said it plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero through at least mid-2013 if the economy remains weak. The central bank also has begun a campaign to try to push down mortgage rates and other long-term interest rates through next June.

Withstand high oil prices

Those surveyed also think the economy is strong enough to withstand higher oil prices. At near $100 a barrel, oil prices are up 10 percent from a year ago. But only two of the economists AP surveyed expect the higher prices to slow the economy "a lot."

The economists expect the European economy to shrink 0.5 percent in 2011 — and fall into a recession. Europe is slowing as heavily indebted countries slash spending and banks exposed to government debt curtain lending.

Among the gravest fears is that a major country like Italy will default on its debt, wiping out some banks with large holdings of European government bonds. A worldwide credit crunch like the one that followed the 2008 failure of Lehman Bros could follow.

Twenty-one of the economists listed Europe as a threat to the U.S. economy next year.

"If it were a big enough downturn, given the size of Europe, it could bring the world economy down into recession," says Allen Sinai, president of Decision Economics.

But overall, the economists see only an 18 percent chance that Europe's debt troubles will cause a recession in the United States.

The economists are divided over which one step European policymakers should take now to bolster the 17-country eurozone.

More than one-fourth say the European Central Bank should aggressively try to lower the borrowing costs of the Italian and Spanish governments by buying their bonds.

Nearly one-fifth say European countries should jointly issue "Eurobonds" to help finance weaker countries.

And 17 percent say European governments should slash spending.

Still, the economists expect European policymakers to find a way to prevent the crisis from escalating into a global financial panic.

"Europe appears to be the only real impediment to keeping this recovery from happening," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economics.

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EUEUEUEUEU threatens "war" with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 8 18:27:30 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU Crisis leads to technocracy rewriting rules in EUEUEUEUEUEU, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Nov 14 23:13:46 2011.

Of course, they try to frame it in terms of Britain making such a declaration, but that's BS since they were the first to use the term "war".

Sunday Express


Sunday January 8, 2012
By Ted Jeory
DAVID Cameron has three weeks to decide whether to bless a new eurozone treaty or use Britain’s veto and place the country in a “very grave position”, a senior observer warned last night.

Peter Ludlow, president of the European Strategy Forum think tank, said Germany and France are confident they will secure a deal to save the long‑term future of the euro by the end of this month.

That would mean tougher financial rules for members of the eurozone and the use of existing EU institutions to enforce them, a move Cameron has indicated is a step too far.

However, veteran EU analyst Ludlow said one “very senior member” of the European Council had told him that if Britain were to try to block the deal it would be “tantamount to a declaration of war”.

He said: “If Cameron is stupid enough to try and block the use of the institutions it would be a very, very dramatic development which could only have grave consequences in terms of Britain’s own interests. It would be his nuclear weapon and that’s why all the messages I get from various people give the impression he will not do that.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy want a new “fiscal compact” that commits countries to running a balanced budget. They want the rules enshrined in EU law so that sanctions can be levied on any member breaching them. That would mean a bigger role for the European Court of Justice and unelected European Commission, which would also have a larger say on the single market, not just matters relating to the euro.

Cameron said on Friday he would be against such a development, but Ludlow, who lectures around the world on EU affairs, told the Sunday Express: “The Germans and the French are absolutely serious. They are confident they can get the political agreement on this treaty by the end of this month and they will go ahead. I don’t think for a moment that Britain will join this scheme within 50 years, let alone five. However, I don’t think there is much that Cameron can do. I don’t think there is any intention of the Germans or French or anyone else of pushing Britain out of the EU, but there is nevertheless a realistic assessment that the British may edge themselves out or at least redefine their position in such a basic way that they are to all intents and purposes in another category of membership.”

Ludlow also questioned the description of Cameron’s “veto” at talks in Brussels last month. He said: “He didn’t veto; the negotiations were terminated by his partners who could see he had no negotiating position.”

A leaked version of the draft fiscal compact reveals that countries will “agree on a stronger coordination of economic policies, involving an enhanced governance to foster fiscal discipline and deeper integration in the internal market as well as stronger growth”.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty

Posted by RockParkMan on Sun Jan 8 18:30:42 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU threatens "war" with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 8 18:27:30 2012.

Cameron's a jackass. He's going to sink the world economy in the name of British pride. I think to is time to make the UK an international zone.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 8 18:37:28 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty, posted by RockParkMan on Sun Jan 8 18:30:42 2012.

He's not in control of the European Central Bank, so he doesn't have the tools to sink the world economy.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Sun Jan 8 18:39:58 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU threatens "war" with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 8 18:27:30 2012.

So now "think tanks" govern? You mean like STRATFOR? LOL

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty

Posted by RockParkMan on Sun Jan 8 18:56:03 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU threatens ''war'' with Britain if another veto is cast against treaty, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 8 18:37:28 2012.

thank the Lord.

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