Home · Maps · About

Home > OTChat

[ Post a New Response | Return to the Index ]

[1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10>> : Last

< Previous Page  

Page 7 of 24

Next Page >  

(901220)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 02:16:32 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by Olog-hai on Thu Jan 19 21:03:21 2012.

Confront it, how? Mass raids against the perps? You're assuming it's organized, but perhaps it isn't.

(901221)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 02:31:50 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 02:16:32 2012.

He wants all of OT to muster in the courtyard and prepare to head off to battle while he kicks back in his La-Z-Boy and sips his pina colonic.

(901222)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 20 03:01:16 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 02:16:32 2012.

Don't be silly. This is the same country that's looking to ban Shechita, or did you forget?

(901226)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by WMATAGMOAGH on Fri Jan 20 03:53:59 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 02:31:50 2012.

Heaven forbid Olog leave his bunker and see what goes on in the real world...

(901227)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 04:09:12 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by WMATAGMOAGH on Fri Jan 20 03:53:59 2012.

I dunno about you, but *I* feel a whole lot safer if he stays down there. :)

(901274)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 09:29:00 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 20 03:01:16 2012.

The ban affected ALL ritual slaughter which allegedly causes unnecessary suffering for the animal, including halal. Apparently, though, the Muslims largely didn't care if the animal was stunned first. Be that as it may, the ban has already been rejected once the Socialist and Liberal parties decided against it. So much for the organized government anti-Semitism.


(901275)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 09:38:27 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 02:31:50 2012.

No thanks, I've got a La-Z-Boy of my own to keep company 8-).


(901278)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 20 10:06:38 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 09:29:00 2012.

Be that as it may, the ban has already been rejected once the Socialist and Liberal parties decided against it

No, their Senate decided to compromise on the bill. And that was after US politicians from the House of Representatives put pressure on them. The bill has overwhelming support in the lower house.

Either way, don't expect any veto of the EU's designs on Jerusalem out of the Netherlands. And if they do, remember that the veto is utterly meaningless in the face of what happened to the UK after they vetoed giving more powers to Brussels over the matter of financial control.

(901362)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 18:34:46 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by 3-9 on Fri Jan 20 09:38:27 2012.

And I'll bet yours still has the lever arm on it. He smoked his. :)

(902320)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU becoming more intolerant, more racist

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 23 13:25:12 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

EU Observer

EU becoming less tolerant, NGO says

2012.01.23 @ 10:52
By Andrew Rettman
BRUSSELS — Racist mobs in Greece and Hungary, mistreatment of Roma, Arab migrants and Muslim terrorist suspects and a feeble reaction by EU institutions point to a worrying right-wing shift inside the European Union, according to US-based NGO Human Rights Watch.

The most shocking racist attack in Europe last year saw Norwegian Anders Breivik kill 77 people in what he called a campaign to stop the continent being taken over by Islam.

In less-well documented incidents, a far-right mob in Greece in May stormed a Pakistani suburb, hospitalizing 25 people, some with stab wounds. In April in Hungary, the Red Cross evacuated 277 Roma because right-wing vigilantes held military-type drills beside their homes.

The Human Rights Watch report pulls no punches in linking the extreme cases to bad leadership by EU governments.

It said the Breivik attack "[echoed] what has increasingly become mainstream debate in Europe" and "highlighted the dangers of unchecked intolerance" in countries such as France, which banned the Muslim veil, and the Netherlands, whose courts gave far-right politician Geert Wilders special "latitude" to voice anti-Islamic ideas.

The report named and shamed nine EU member states — France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK — as displaying a swing toward right-wing politics on issues ranging from asylum seekers to gay rights.

France and Italy continued to expel Roma in a campaign of "discriminatory targeting" accompanied by "racist and xenophobic political discourse."

Greece and Italy failed on several counts in their reaction to the sharp increase in mostly African and Arab migrants.

Greece is still holding "migrants and asylum seekers, including women and families with children ... in inhumane conditions" and has done little to clear a backlog of 38,000 asylum appeals. Italy kicked out some 60 percent of the Tunisians who came to seek shelter from the Arab Spring. In once incident the Italian navy intercepted a boat carrying 100 people and put them back on a Tunisian vessel "in what appeared to be an unlawful pushback."

The NGO also raised the alarm over the culture of policing inside the Union.

It noted reports of "excessive and indiscriminate police" violence in Greece and Spain's handling of anti-austerity protests and in Spain's dispersal of an anti-Vatican rally. It also highlighted the way France, Germany, Spain and the UK hold mostly Muslim terrorist suspects without trial, deny them normal access to lawyers and send or try to send them back to countries where they risk torture.

It accused the EU institutions of not doing enough to stop the trend.

"The European Commission failed to pursue vigorously its duty to enforce fundamental rights, dropping proceedings against Hungary over its media law and France over Roma expulsions, and suspending proceedings against Greece on its dysfunctional asylum and migration system despite continuing problems," it said.

"Unless the commission finds more courage, the downward slide on rights inside the EU looks set to continue," the NGO's Benjamin Ward added in a statement.

"The net result of human rights developments in Europe causes great concern ... Without concerted government action, the next generation of Europeans may see human rights as an optional extra rather than a core value."


(902377)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU becoming more intolerant, more racist

Posted by italianstallion on Mon Jan 23 15:01:59 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU becoming more intolerant, more racist, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 23 13:25:12 2012.

You should fit right in.

(902483)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 23 19:46:02 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

EurActiv

UK faces deepening isolation

Published 23 January 2012

The latest draft of the fiscal compact to be discussed today (23 January) and tomorrow by European finance ministers increases the isolation of Britain by excluding London from taking part in euro summits and rejecting the UK’s objections over the new role of the Court of Justice.

After the first agreement on the fiscal compact, EU diplomats scrambled for weeks over the issue of the participation of member states to the newly institutionalized euro summits, which the new treaty says will be held “at least twice a year”.

The most radical option on the table was to exclude non-eurozone members from the summits. A milder possibility discussed by diplomats was to include non-eurozone countries as observers.

“I have nothing against giving the status of observers to non-eurozone members,” a senior diplomat said recently.

The deal reached on Thursday evening (19 January) and outlined in the latest draft says that non-eurozone countries will be invited “when appropriate and at least once a year” to euro summits. In other words, countries like Poland or Sweden will have the right to participate at least to half the summits held in a year, and potentially to all of them.

However, an important clause is attached to this provision. Only countries that “have ratified this treaty” will be able to claim their right to participate to euro summits, reads the latest draft of the fiscal compact. In other words: No ratification, no participation. Britain, which is still the only country to oppose the new treaty, will likely face deepening isolation.

EU Court to impose fines for excessive deficit

Moreover, the latest draft does not take into account Britain’s complaints against the new role attributed to the European Court of Justice by the fiscal compact.

The UK had claimed that since the compact is an international agreement and not an EU treaty, the Court of Justice should not have any role for its enforcement.

But diplomats rejected these arguments and confirmed that the Court will have a role in the last stage of infringement procedures for excessive deficit against a member state.

The new procedure will be triggered when countries' deficit go over 0.5% of the GDP. The existing stability and growth pact sets instead a ceiling at 3% for the deficit to GDP ratio and without any sanctions for the countries that do not respect it.

The role of the Court of Justice goes even further. In case a member state does not comply with a judicial ruling on excessive deficit, judges in Luxembourg “may impose on it a lump sum or a penalty payment appropriate in the circumstances and that shall not exceed 0.1 percent of its gross domestic product,” reads the draft text.

Parliament president

When it comes to participation at euro summits, the president of the European Parliament will also have something to complain about.

Indeed, the latest draft of the fiscal compact says that “the president of the European Parliament may be invited to be heard.” Nothing more. The EP president participates regularly in EU summits, but in euro summits he would need to be invited.

Diplomats struck this deal the same week as the Parliament elected its new president. Martin Schulz will likely have another argument to criticize the compact, which has already attracted sharp dissent from MEPs for the limited changes it brings to the functioning of the European Union.

Indeed, the compact mostly replicates what already exists in the realm of European economic governance.

Parliament’s understanding of decisions taken at euro summits should be guaranteed through regular reports issued after each meeting, the draft says.

The president of the European Commission will be a permanent member of the euro summits. The president of the European Central Bank will be invited according to the circumstances.


(902496)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU It's EUEUEUEUEU or USSR for eastern Europe.

Posted by RockParkMan on Mon Jan 23 20:37:44 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

That's the choice. EU or Russia. Putin is waiting.

(902542)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by SMAZ on Mon Jan 23 22:44:31 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 23 19:46:02 2012.

UK faces deepening isolation

Good.



(902604)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by SLRT on Tue Jan 24 06:00:26 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 23 19:46:02 2012.

It's a sign of weakness in the EU. In the face of British resistance, they're trying to double down on control.

We have always been at war with Eurasia. Always.

(902605)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue Jan 24 06:01:47 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by SLRT on Tue Jan 24 06:00:26 2012.

Heh. But really, we're really only at war with ourselves. Isn't it time to put a bullet in the world's Ologs and just move on? :)

(902606)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by SLRT on Tue Jan 24 06:06:45 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue Jan 24 06:01:47 2012.

Europe is not ourselves. They are a different community of interest than the U.S. The only time they like the English-speaking countries is when they want us to be the military wing of their political wing.

Interesting how much more quickly they could isolate Britain than Iran.

(902689)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by 3-9 on Tue Jan 24 13:52:26 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by SLRT on Tue Jan 24 06:06:45 2012.

Britain doesn't export enough oil.

(902765)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue Jan 24 17:43:11 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU further isolating UK, exposing EU hypocrisy, posted by SLRT on Tue Jan 24 06:06:45 2012.

No surprise there though ...

(902988)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU appoints crook to run bailout fund

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Jan 25 00:01:48 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Well, they're all crooks, but this one actually had to resign, he was so bad. The current appointed PM of Italy was part of his Commission. Like the fox guarding the henhouse, or (like the Tory MEP said) Dracula running the bloodbank.

EU Observer

Tainted official brought back to raise money for EU bailouts

24.01.12 @ 13:00
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — Jacques Santer, a ghost from the most ignominious time in the European Commission's history, was on Monday (23 January) evening appointed to head fund-raising for the EU's new bailout fund.

A former Luxembourg prime minister, Jacques Santer gained notoriety for presiding over a weak commission, which resigned en masse in 1999 amid allegations of corruption.

An independent panel at the time noted that "it is difficult to find anyone who has even the slightest sense of responsibility" in his institution.

Fellow Luxembourger Jean-Claude Juncker, who chaired the meeting of finance ministers which announced the decision, said that Santer had "served both Europe and his country the best way possible."

Santer's job will be to head up a Special Purpose Investment Vehicle (SPIV), designed to boost the firepower of the EU €440 billion temporary bail-out fund, the EFSF, in case big economies like Italy or Spain go down the path of Greece.

The SPIV is to sell debt to private firms and sovereign wealth funds and the proceeds are to be funneled to struggling EU countries.

The whole set-up already has an image problem — EU efforts to get countries like Brazil and China on board have attracted little interest.

But Juncker on Monday dismissed the idea that Santer's background will make matters worse, asking journalists to "revisit the notes (they) may have" about Santer's work as commission president.

For his part, economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn ventured a soccer-based joke.

"If you refer to the fall of the Santer commission in March 1999, I can take full responsibility for that. I was then head of cabinet for (Finnish) commissioner Liikkanen and I recall that in September 1998 the cabinets dared to beat the journalists in the final of the commission football tournament. Three to One. The journalists never forgave us and that led to the fall of the Santer commission in the winter of 1998/1999. I take full responsibility for this," he said.

The Santer appointment is already proving to be a gift to EU critics.

"Putting Jacques Santer in charge of fundraising is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank," British Conservative MEP Martin Callanan said in an emailed statement.


The Santer affair was prompted by a commission whistleblower who sent a report to MEPs.

A so-called Committee of Independent Experts later questioned the general culture in the commission. It doled out the harshest criticism on science commissioner Edith Cresson, a French woman who hired her dentist as an advisor. The dentist earned over €100,000 for two years' work during which he produced 24 pages of notes deemed to be of no value.

Santer's refusal to take responsibility and to resign along with Cresson escalated the crisis, ending in the mass resignation of all 20 commissioners — also including Italy's current leader Mario Monti — shortly afterward.


(903364)

view threaded

Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*)

Posted by Dan Lawrence on Thu Jan 26 13:46:14 2012, in response to Re: Now *Jerusalem* (EUEUEUEUEU threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Jan 20 04:09:12 2012.

See, I said look up Olog-Hai and you find out it's the name of a Third Earth Troll.

(903453)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU blowing money on *asteroid shield*

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Jan 26 18:48:47 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Aha, so that's what they need the carbon taxes and financial taxes for.

Der Spiegel

01/26/2012
Collision Course

Europe Developing Asteroid Shield

By Christoph Seidler

A new consortium of EU researchers is exploring options for dealing with an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Plenty of ideas are already on the table, such as deflection with projectiles or explosives and using gravity to pull it off course. But the project's complexity and costs are problematic.

Next week, the Earth's residents can once again play the popular game of "What if?" What if a hunk of cosmic rock is out there on a collision course with Earth? At the moment, an asteroid labeled "(433) Eros" is rushing toward our planet on a course that will bring it relatively close, at least on a cosmic scale.

On the one hand, the chunk of rock — measuring 30 by 13 by 13 kilometers (19 by 8 by 8 miles) — is approaching Earth closer than any asteroid of this size has for a long time. But on the other, it is currently following a circular path far beyond the moon's orbit.

Many people might shudder to think of these silent giants. But then they will go on about their daily business, forgetting all about (433) Eros and others. After all, in statistical terms, the chances of an asteroid that size hitting the Earth are still rather slim.

Nevertheless, there are still some people who remain focused on this threat. Among them are Alan Harris and his colleagues at a newly formed consortium working on behalf of the European Union to develop "mitigation" strategies against potential cosmic killers. Harris, a planetary scientist at the German Aerospace Center's Berlin-based Institute of Planetary Research, is leading the three-year NEOShield project, with "NEO" being the acronym for "near-Earth object."

The scientists know that Earth has suffered asteroid strikes over the course of its history. A number of gigantic craters attest to these impacts, including the Barringer Crater in Arizona, the Nördlinger Ries in southern Germany and the Manicouagan Reservoir in Canada.

Many Asteroids Still Unknown

But how can we protect ourselves against such a massive asteroid? From studying images taken by the "Wise" infrared telescope, NASA estimates there are over 980 asteroids with diameters of at least one kilometer in length. In addition, there are around 19,500 mid-sized examples, with diameters between 100-meters and one-kilometer long, most of which are still undiscovered.

Of course, that's not to mention the countless smaller rocks that could still cause devastation on a more local scale. In the coming years, experts say, asteroid databases will be bursting with new observational data. And some of these space rocks, they warn, might one day pose a danger to us.

In response to these worries, the European Commission recently decided to invest €4 million ($5.3 million) in the NEOShield project. An additional €1.8 million will come from scientific institutions and industry partners. Within three years' time, the experts hope to draw up a blueprint for a test mission. If it can find a financial backer, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the mission could be launched as early as 2020.

In reality, however, a host of ideas have already been proposed for how to deal with an approaching asteroid. For example, there's the "kinetic impactor" idea, which envisions using a massive projective to knock an asteroid off course. And there's the "gravity tractor" idea, which entails having a small probe hover near the asteroid and use its gravitational traction to deflect it from its Earth-bound course. Some have even proposed an approach to the problem that would involve launching an all-out attack with nuclear missiles.

"Of course, a lot of things have already been proposed," Harris says. "But, so far, most of them have come from a single institution, perhaps even from a single person. So it has been hard to pursue them." The new project aims to systematically investigate all of the mitigation methods that have already been proposed. "That will take place on paper and in lab experiments, since we don't have the money to do more than that," says Wolfram Lork, who handles the involvement of Astrium, a subsidiary of the European aerospace giant EADS, in the project.

Funding Low for the "Don Quixote" Program

Astrium has two teams working on potential designs for a "kinetic impactor." Company experts have already tinkered with ideas for this kind of spacecraft on behalf of the ESA. But, owing to funding shortfalls, the so-called "Don Quixote" mission study program has never made it past the drawing-board phase.

While the Europeans are back to working on a plan for a cosmic silver bullet of last resort, a team from the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute, based in Mountain View, California, are exploring the concept of the "gravity tractor." In this case, a small probe would be brought into precise position to hover near the asteroid. Its mass would gradually provide "gravity traction to produce the required deflection" that would take the asteroid out of its collision course with Earth. However, the whole process could last years, if not perhaps even decades.

On the other hand, it could be quicker — though a bit more rudimentary — to use another option under consideration: warding off an asteroid with targeted explosive charges. Harris, the project head, calls this so-called "blast deflection" alternative the "final, desperate approach." Russian experts at TsNIIMash, the engineering division of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) that develops things such as long-range ballistic missiles and air defense missiles, will also be involved in researching this idea as part of the larger NEOShield project.

"We would like to present plans for a feasible, affordable mission. We want to show the world it can be done," Harris says. He adds, however, that it has yet to be determined whether the ultimate proposal will be for a gravity tractor or a kinetic impactor. It could even turn out to be a combination of the two, he says. But one thing is clear: There will be no tests using nuclear explosives.

Indeed, a number of international bodies will have to deal with the issue of potentially using nuclear devices to keep an asteroid from slamming into Earth. "That's not a matter that Europe can decide on for itself. In this case, the world has to be sitting at the table," says Lork, the Astrium official. Even the United Nations has already put the matter on its agenda, but nobody is counting on seeing an agreement made anytime soon.

In the meantime, researchers are working hard to find out whatever they can about our cosmic escorts. For example, NASA plans to launch its "OSIRIS-REx" probe in 2016 to pay a visit to the asteroid "1999 RQ36." If everything goes according to plan, the probe will return to Earth seven years later with up to two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of sample material in its hold.

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are also toying with the idea of launching an asteroid mission, even though it only entails observation. But the "AsteroidFinder" mission currently lacks an affordable launcher for the undertaking.


(903704)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 27 18:19:37 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Believe it

A Europe-Iran War

By MARK A. HELLER
Published: January 25, 2012
TEL AVIV — This week, the European Union went to war against Iran. There was no formal declaration, of course, nor even any undeclared use of military force. But the E.U. decision to place an embargo on Iranian oil imports, ban new contracts, and freeze Iranian Central Bank assets is effectively an act of war and may very well result in the military hostilities that sanctions are meant to forestall.

Oil exports account for over 50 percent of Iranian government revenue and about 80 percent of its hard currency earnings. And the E.U., as a bloc, is Iran’s second-largest customer, taking about a quarter of Iranian exports. Consequently, unless other customers neutralize E.U. actions by stepping up their own purchases from Iran — and indications from China, Japan and South Korea suggest that this is unlikely to be the case — the E.U. decision, coupled with existing American measures, will come close to imposing the “crippling sanctions” that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton threatened but could not deliver without European cooperation.

If that turns out to be the case, then the Iranian regime, already coping with high inflation and a rapidly depreciating currency, will feel constrained to react. One possibility is that it will capitulate and essentially dismantle its nuclear weapons program. That is obviously the outcome that Europeans and others hope sanctions (or even the credible threat of sanctions) will bring about.

But it is at least as likely that Iran, feeling trapped, will lash out in a desperate attempt to frighten the Europeans into backing down or at least introduce so much hysteria into the oil market that price spikes will allow it to earn the same revenue from a reduced volume of exports.

One form this might take would be an attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has already threatened to do. But that is probably beyond Iran’s capacity for very long and would in any case also shut down Iran’s own ability to export to whatever markets it manages to retain.

Far less complicated would be sabotage or rocket attacks on refineries, pipelines and other facilities in places like Abqaiq and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. These might be carried out as “false flag” operations by local Shiite insurgents concentrated in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, but nobody would be fooled and the risks of escalation to large-scale conflict with Iran would be significant.

In this scenario, the military confrontation that many Europeans have sought to avoid will become unavoidable, even if Iranian decision makers do not delude themselves into thinking that they would ultimately prevail.

Before such courses of action are discounted as unrealistic scare-mongering or dismissed on grounds that they would be self-defeating, it might be worth recalling that Imperial Japan did not attack the United States because it was physically attacked by the United States but rather because it was being economically squeezed (as Iran may well be squeezed now) to the point where it felt that war was preferable to slow-motion strangulation. And it made no difference that many Japanese military leaders, including Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, chief planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor, believed that Japan’s ultimate defeat was foreordained.

It is difficult to imagine that the E.U. members who adopted the decision on sanctions are unaware of this possible dynamic. Indeed, the very fact that British and French warships accompanied the U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln on its passage through the Straits and back into the Gulf — in brazen defiance of Iranian warnings — imply the opposite: that E.U. governments, especially the two with the greatest force projection capabilities, are perfectly cognizant of the possible consequences and are prepared to deal with them.

And that suggests that the European Union, notwithstanding its economic travails, is experiencing its own “spring” in foreign and defense policy and that those who tended in the past to dismiss it as a flaccid talking shop capable of little more than vacuous posturing now need to carry out a fundamental reassessment.


(903710)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by RockParkMan on Fri Jan 27 18:23:23 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 27 18:19:37 2012.

GO EU, KILL IRAN.

(903716)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by ClearAspect on Fri Jan 27 18:27:47 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 27 18:19:37 2012.

25%... when China accounts for a lot more... That just means more oil for China.

(903726)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by orange blossom special on Fri Jan 27 20:20:42 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT, posted by ClearAspect on Fri Jan 27 18:27:47 2012.

Unless if EU sanctions mean that China's demand went up, it doesn't work that way. Oil isn't done via 'sharing'.

(903727)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by orange blossom special on Fri Jan 27 20:23:00 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 27 18:19:37 2012.

I don't like the article. Must be the typical nyslimes, but their analysis of giving Iran only childish actions see insulting. To me and Iran.

I don't get the freetime that I'd like to think about this and come up with a prediction as of yet, but that was overly simplistic. We still got the situation going on in north africa sudan and syria.

Don't forget the oil problems going on in Muslim Sudan, and Muslim Nigeria right now.

(903744)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT

Posted by AlM on Fri Jan 27 22:36:52 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU just went to *war* with Iran, according to NYT, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jan 27 18:19:37 2012.

Not according to the NY Times. From an opinion piece by an op-ed contributor to the Times.


(903971)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU BBC catches on to Germany causing worldwide debt crisis

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 29 13:08:52 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU crunch time in EUEUEUEUEUEU, posted by RockParkMan on Tue Nov 15 20:32:51 2011.

AmeriKa has bigger problems than those idiots

Our problems stem from imitating those "idiots", and exposing our banking system to them. Or maybe they're not idiots, but malevolent?

Yes, it really is BBC News

29 January 2012 | Last updated at 00:34 ET

Did Germany sow the seeds of the eurozone debt crisis?

By Allan Little
BBC News

Who is to blame for starting the current crisis in the eurozone? Greece? Italy? The real answer may lie further north.

It was not the behavior of the eurozone's southern members that first plunged the single currency into crisis.

There was, from the beginning, a way for the EU to police the economies of member states by following the rules that had been laid down for the single currency in the Maastricht Treaty.

It was called the Stability and Growth Pact, and it was not Italy or Greece that torpedoed it — it was Germany.

In 2003, France and Germany had both overspent, and their budget deficits had exceeded the 3% of GDP limit to which they were legally bound.

'Told to shut up'

The Commission — then led by the former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi — had the power to fine them.

But the finance ministers of what was then the 15 eurozone member countries gathered in Brussels and voted the Commission down.

They voted to let France and Germany off.

They voted not to enforce the rules they had signed up to and which were designed to protect the stability of the single currency.


Britain's then-Chancellor, Gordon Brown — still at this stage committing sterling to its love affair with prudence — voted with the French and German position.

The EU is often criticized for the power wielded by the unelected and allegedly unaccountable European Commission.

On this vital and, as it would turn out, pivotal occasion, the Commission ran up against something much more powerful — the combined will of the democratically elected governments.

"Clearly," Romano Prodi told me, "I had not enough power. I tried and they [the finance ministers] told me to shut up."

Jacques Lafitte was a young French finance ministry official seconded to Brussels in the 1990s to help construct the single currency.

He said the technocrats working on the project knew that some central mechanism was needed to make sure member governments complied with the rules.

"We made a number of suggestions to the member states at the time," says Lafitte. "But these were all rejected, because they would have involved transferring sovereignty from national governments to Brussels or maybe Frankfurt. We knew deep inside. Again we could not say so publicly. We were mere technocrats. We were supposed to shut up and listen to the member states who, almost by definition, knew better. I was convinced it was not enough."

Maastricht 'gravely undermined'

Sir John Grant was Britain's ambassador to the EU at the meeting of finance ministers.

"The credibility of the Commission and the readiness of the members states to accept the authority of the Commission as the independent enforcer of the Maastricht criteria was obviously gravely undermined," he says.

It was also a signal to everyone else in Europe.

"The view was that, okay, if the big boys won't adhere and impose discipline on themselves, they're going to be more relaxed in enforcing the treaty [on us]," recalls the former Deputy Finance Minister for Greece, Peter Doukas.

"I mean, no-one can impose sanctions on Germany and France. They are the European superpowers. So they won't adhere. The pressure was simply not there," Doukas adds.

Europe is wise after the event. The power the nations retained to police their own budgets — which, as we now know, included the power, in some cases, to cook the books — is being stripped away.

Governments in the eurozone will, in future, be required to submit their budgets in advance to Brussels for approval.

But how long before national populations revolt, in the name of democracy?

From Helsinki to Athens, revolt is already stirring — and often it is shot through with anti-German sentiment.

"Germany is the locomotive of pain for other people's problems," says Peter Doukas. "It will ask to have a much bigger say in what's happening in Greece and Italy and Spain. The center of gravity of Europe is rapidly moving towards Berlin," he added. "In the fiscal union, they will be the ones dictating the terms, with France as a junior partner."

The historical resonance of a powerful Germany throwing its weight around in Europe spooks the Germans themselves. They do not seek, and do not want, leadership in Europe. But leadership has been thrust upon them.

In November, in a powerful speech in Berlin, Polish Foreign Minister Radislav Sikorski appealed to Germany to act.

"I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is," said Sikorski.

"I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity."

It was as though he was saying "we've got over the Nazi nightmare; so should you."

The unfolding paradox is this: that a process that was motivated 20 years ago by a desire to Europeanize Germany looks likely to have precisely the opposite effect.

Much of Europe will now be required to Germanize its economic governance.


(903972)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU BBC catches on to Germany causing worldwide debt crisis

Posted by RockParkMan on Sun Jan 29 13:12:33 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU BBC catches on to Germany causing worldwide debt crisis, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Jan 29 13:08:52 2012.

Anyone who gives a fuck about the UK ought to be dragged off to the funny farm. They're irrelevant and their destructive influence is not missed by any sane person.

(904166)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU considering "budget czar" to run Greece's economy

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 30 15:03:42 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

EU Observer

EU leaders differ on special budget tsar for Greece

2012.01.30 @ 16:15
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — EU leaders arriving in Brussels for a summit Monday (30 January) have given a mixed response to Germany's radical idea to have an EU commissioner take over Greece's fiscal policy, with Chancellor Merkel saying she hoped to avoid a "controversial" discussion in favor of a "successful" one.

Berlin's proposal to see have a Greece-designated commissioner with a "veto right against budget decisions not in line with the set budgetary targets" dominated journalists' questions ahead of the summit, supposed to be focusing on growth and putting the finishing touches on a fiscal discipline treaty.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was among the most supportive of the idea. He said he understood Germany's "frustration", noting that Greeks "do not deliver on the reforms that they have promised others. The experience is you need help from outside when you need to make tough reforms."

His Finnish counterpart Jyrki Katainen was more nuanced saying: "It is very natural that countries who help Greece need more information about what is happening in Greece. We just have to find a suitable compromise for Greece that is suitable for our principles and satisfies our need for additional information."

Others were more skeptical.

Luxembourg prime minister Jean Claude Juncker objected to having a commissioner specifically tasked with keeping debt-ridden Greece in line.

"I don't think this German proposal should be dedicated to Greece. I am strongly against imposing a commissioner with that mission only to Greece."

Austria, normally in the camp that takes a hard line on fiscal sinners, shared the same concerns as Luxembourg.

"Greece has to stick to its commitments, but we do not think it's a good idea to send a special commissioner just for Greece. It would be better if the European Commission continued its monitoring it does for all (bailout) program countries," said Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Berlin's controversial idea, revealed by the Financial Times over the week, has sparked fury in Greece, which has already undergone a series of tough austerity measures in return for EU-IMF money.

For her part, Chancellor Merkel, who is under pressure from backbenchers and her liberal coalition partners to be as tough as possible on Greece, struck a less combative tone than the original leaked proposals. However, she did not back down from the idea.

"I think we have to have a discussion on how to help Greece; not a controversy, but something that is successful for the people of Greece."

Treaty

The German leader was confident that last minute difficulties on the Berlin-pushed fiscal discipline treaty would also be solved, although the small document — currently in its fifth draft — has drawn increasing criticism for being too focused on balanced budgets while offering nothing on growth.

"The last questions we will also get clarified," said Merkel.

The latest draft softens wording on the balanced budget and altered an article so that fine money from misbehaving euro countries will continue to go to the eurozone bailout fund, but fines from non-euro countries will go to the general EU budget.

However, there is still continued controversy over when non-euro countries should be invited to euro summits. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are seeking more inclusive language than to date.

Meanwhile the main topic of the summit is supposed to be growth and tackling unemployment. But leaders have had little concrete to offer on this front.

Going into the summit, Merkel said member states would compare laws on employment to find out who is having the most success.

A European Commission plan to redirect €82 billion of EU funds towards growth and jobs policies has been criticized by experts as being too little and too vague.


(905321)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU ''budget czar'' to run Greece's economy—Farage refers to as "Gauleiter"

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 3 19:59:00 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU considering "budget czar" to run Greece's economy, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Jan 30 15:03:42 2012.

Of course, now that the "President" of Europarl is German, he shuts off Farage's mike.

The Local

UK euroskeptic sparks uproar with Nazi jibe

Published: 2 Feb 12 10:16 CET
A euroskeptic British MEP provoked the German head of the European Parliament chairman to cut off his microphone after comparing Germany’s proposed plans for Greece's finances to the Nazi occupation of the country.

The move by parliament president Martin Schulz prompted Nigel Farage to storm out of the Brussels chamber on Wednesday.

Farage, who heads the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) likened Germany’s proposal for EU control of Greece’s public spending to placing it under control of a "Gauleiter" — a Nazi administrator in charge of a region during the Third Reich.

His microphone was eventually turned off by Schulz, a German Social Democrat, at which point Farage "had no option but to walk out of the chamber in disgust," his spokesman said in a statement.

The comment provoked uproar, especially among German MEPs, with Green Party representative Reinhard Bütikofer accusing the UKIP leader of spreading, "hatred in the European Parliament" and "hatred between European peoples."

Farage later said he was only repeating a word being used in the British media.



Right-winger Farage told the room, "we have German newspapers slagging off the Greeks for being lazy and useless, slagging off the Italians for being cowards and we have Italian and Greek newspapers depicting leading figures in Germany wearing Nazi uniforms."

He then said he thought their plan "must have been a joke."

Farage criticized a German proposal for EU control of Greek public spending that was shot down at an EU summit over the weekend. He told the room that Athens was already "practically an EU colony," and that their proposal was "a huge mistake."

The UKIP party does not support Britain being a member of the European Union, and if newly appointed president Schulz decides to take punitive action against Farage, he could face a fine.

"Schulz is not entitled to comment on the content of a speech made by an MEP," said Farage who has lodged a formal complaint against Schulz.


(905418)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU calling for sports players to wear EUEUEUEU flag on their jerseys

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 4 03:07:19 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Quite a bit of resistance to that in some corners.

BBC News

2 February 2012 | Last updated at 11:49 ET

Euro MPs back call for sports shirts to feature EU flag

The European Parliament has voted to back a call for national sports teams to wear the EU flag on their shirts.

It also endorsed a plan for the EU flag to be flown at major international sporting events in Europe, but neither of the measures would be compulsory.

Both ideas are contained in a report that also urges action against doping, hooliganism, match-fixing and shady deals by players' agents.

The recommendations will now be considered by the European Commission.

The vote was passed by 550 votes to 73, with seven abstentions.

British Conservative MEPs voiced concern that the new measures might offend loyal fans and interfere with professional sport.

'Artificial European identity'

Emma McClarkin, the party's spokesperson on sport and culture in the European Parliament, said the EU flag proposal was "outrageous and unnecessary".

"Sport has a special place in my country, and our national teams form a key part of our identities and heritage," she told the parliament. "The EU cannot impose an artificial European identity on us by forcing our athletes to wear its emblem."

The party objected when Speaker Martin Schulz refused to allow MEPs to vote on individual clauses in the report "in the interests of efficiency".

Irish Fianna Fáil MEP Liam Aylward said the dispute over the EU flag should not overshadow the report's other provisions. He commended the report as a "strong framework to create a European sports policy that is based on social inclusion and enhancing sport in Europe".


(907311)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution)

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 10 16:48:30 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.



Yesterday's "Democratia" newspaper.

(907482)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution)

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 11 18:52:32 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution), posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 10 16:48:30 2012.

BTW, Νταχαου is pronounced "Dachau".

(907487)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution)

Posted by RockParkMan on Sat Feb 11 18:58:32 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution), posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 10 16:48:30 2012.

The Greeks signed the treaty. What do you propose the US does about this?

(909058)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into "Protectorate" by Germany's orders

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 15 05:34:46 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU (Godwin's Law is the constitution), posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 10 16:48:30 2012.

German-Foreign-Policy.com

Protectorate-Like

2012/02/13

Last night, under strong popular protests, the Greek parliament accepted the latest "austerity package," that the German government had promoted in the form of an ultimatum. This "austerity package" will lead to a 20 percent cut in private revenue and the minimum wage, therefore also in the public sector wages, which are dependent on the minimum wage. One hundred fifty thousand government employees will be laid off. Criticism of Berlin has become sharper because of its efforts to transform Athens into a de facto EU finance protectorate, using so-called austerity commissioners. Demonstrators burned German flags; Greek parliamentarians have announced an initiative to remind that German World War II reparations are still outstanding. Since 1945, the Federal Republic of Germany has consistently refused not only to pay reparations, but also Nazi debts, even those undisputed by the German Reichsbank at the end of the war. These would amount to more than €3 billion today. However, the debate continues in the German capital about the suspension of democracy in Greece.

Protests against Berlin

Berlin's brutal austerity dictate and the German media's ongoing rabble-rousing anti-Greek ("bankrupt Greeks") propaganda has enflamed Greek protests against Germany for quite some time. Last summer, Greek demonstrators chanted "Germany out of the EU!", and displayed "Merkel = Nazi" banners at rallies. EU flags with a swastika in the center were occasionally seen. The memory that this is not the first time that Berlin has dictated Athens's policies, has recently been accompanied by references to Nazi rule in occupied Europe. Last week demonstrators outside of the Greek parliamentary building again chanted "Nazis Out!" while burning a German flag. Trade unionists also occupied the Athenian offices used by the German Horst Reichenbach and his "task force Greece," monitoring Athens's austerity measures, in the name of the EU Commission. These protests against Berlin's hegemonic dictate are defamed in the German media simply as "anti-German propaganda."

Old Debts

A few days ago, a group of twenty-eight Greek parliamentarians, from various parties, reacted to Berlin's persistent pressure by tabling a resolution, calling on the parliament to debate Nazi Germany's plunder of Greece, which has never received indemnities. The indemnities not only refer to reparations in general, but also to the compulsory loans to the Reichsbank's clearing account. Shortly before the end of World War II, Nazi bankers were still in possession of Greek assets worth 476 million Reichsmark, which has never been repaid by the Federal Republic of Germany. According to experts, this would today amount to €3.4 billion with interests included. Greece is not the only country that has waived Germany's old Nazi debts without receiving anything in return. As the economist Albrecht Ritschl, who teaches at the London School of Economics, confirmed, Nazi Germany's unpaid debts to its wartime adversaries would today range between €700 billion and €1.4 trillion with interests included, depending on the method of calculation.1 This does not even include the reparations for war damages.

Debt Cancellation

Because of the Federal Republic of Germany's longstanding policy of refusal, even totally indisputable Nazi debts have never been paid. Bonn scored a decisive success in 1953 with the so-called London Debt Agreement, achieving a gigantic debt cancellation, in the framework of which Greece also waived its former occupier's enormous debts. That agreement permitted the Federal Republic of Germany the expunction of enormous debts, created both before and since World War II. The agreement also stipulated that the question of the payment of Nazi debts and reparations would first be solved with a peace treaty concluded with a "reunited" Germany. "(The Federal Republic of) Germany has been in a very good position ever since, even as other Europeans were forced to endure the burdens of World War II and the consequences of the German occupation," says the economist Ritschl. This has made the resurgence of the "greatest debt transgressor of the 20th Century," namely, Germany, possible.2

Payment Refused

After its rise, becoming the European hegemonic power, it can be absolutely excluded that Germany would consider payment of Nazi debts or even negotiation of reparations. The 1990 "Four plus Two Treaty" was not conceived to be a peace treaty, but rather to serve "in place of a peace treaty," thereby allowing Bonn to avoid negotiations on reparations and the payment of Nazi debts. Ritschl explains the reluctance to initiate legal action to force reparations by the fact that many countries had hoped to prosper within the EU. "In 1990, there was a choice: either to initiate legal action for reparations — with an uncertain outcome — or to pursue a successful model of European cooperation." They decided on the latter.3 So as not to jeopardize its cooperation with the German hegemonic power, the Greek government even decided to prevent the implementation of a 2000 Areopagus' court decision, which would have granted Greek victims of Nazi massacres the right to claim reparations from Germany.4 It is unknown whether there is a correlation between Germany's vote in favor of Athens' having access to the Eurozone and Athens' renunciation of insistence on reparations. Since then, the International Court of Justice in The Hague has rejected Nazi victims' lawsuits against the German government as "invalid."5 Berlin, in any case, is rejecting payment on any sort of reparations, declaring that "65 years after the end of the war and after Germany's decades of peaceful, trusting and fruitful cooperation with the international community, including NATO and EU partner Greece, the question of reparations is no longer justified."6

Peaceful, Trusting

The harsh austerity dictate, imposed by Germany on its creditor, is today part of this "peaceful, trusting and fruitful cooperation." It has been imposed against the explicit wishes of most EU states, which warn that these measures would drive Greece over the cliff. The Greek economy has in fact been in a freefall,7 yet Germany continues to impose even more austerity measures. These include 15 to 20 percent cuts in wages in the private sector, drastic cuts in the minimum wage and therefore in the public sector wages, which are dependent on the minimum wage. 150,000 government employees will lose their jobs; relative to the size of the population, this would be tantamount to 1.2 million employees in Germany. Berlin's attempt to turn its "partner Greece" — to whom it still owes the money the Nazis had robbed — into an EU financial protectorate,8, failed a few days ago because of the resolute resistance of several EU member states. But diplomats in Brussels are already talking of "protectorate-like conditions" for Athens.9

Expertocracy

Occasional voices of premonition are also heard in Germany. The President of the German Constitutional Court, Andreas Vosskuhle, recently pointed out that budgetary rights, which practically have long since ceased to exist in Greece, are "central elements of a people's democratic decision making process." "The elected parliamentarians" must therefore "maintain control over fundamental budgetary policy decisions." "European state commissioners and European economic regimes with wide-ranging powers over national budgets" are "not harmless, from the standpoint of democracy." Vosskuhle warned that, "expertocracy," as it is already being practiced in Greece and Italy and is being discussed for use in other countries,10 is known to be "the counter-model to parliamentarism." "It would be tragic and downright disastrous, if we lose democracy along the road to salvaging the Euro and more integration."11
  1. "Wie Reichskanzler Brüning in der Weimarer Republik"; www.faz.net 06.02.2012
  2. "Germany Was Biggest Debt Transgressor of 20th Century"; www.spiegel.de 21.06.2011
  3. "Wie Reichskanzler Brüning in der Weimarer Republik"; www.faz.net 06.02.2012
  4. see also Germany - sacrosanct
  5. see also Kapitulation des Rechts
  6. Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 17/709, 11.02.2010
  7. see also Europa: Am Rande des Abgrunds, aber deutsch
  8. see also Ein klein wenig Diktatur (II)
  9. "Protektoratsähnliche Zustände": Schon jetzt wachen Deutsche über Athen; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 30.01.2012
  10. see also A Bit of Dictatorship, Dare Less Democracy and Alte Dämonen
  11. Andreas Voßkuhle: Über die Demokratie in Europa; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 09.02.2012



(909064)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into ''Protectorate'' by Germany's orders

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Wed Feb 15 05:46:54 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into "Protectorate" by Germany's orders, posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 15 05:34:46 2012.

Will you relax? How many times have I told you over the past few years that the EU would fuck it all up and it'd be on Germany? And that the EU would be a self-curing problem IF they fucked it up? Look ...



(909081)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into ''Protectorate'' by Germany's orders

Posted by AlM on Wed Feb 15 07:35:30 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into "Protectorate" by Germany's orders, posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 15 05:34:46 2012.

Nothing prevents the Greek government from saying screw you, we're going bankrupt instead. For whatever reasons, they are bowing to the wishes of their creditors. That's no different than it's ever been. Creditors have power.



(910095)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU agencies mismanage their budgets

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 16 23:03:25 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Let's see how long this "Court of Auditors" stays in existence now.

EU Observer

Auditor: EU agencies mismanaging their budgets

16.02.12 @ 19:19
By Valentina Pop
BRUSSELS — A report by the European Court of Auditors has found problems in the way the EU's 31 agencies manage their budgets. The findings are likely to fuel the debate about the usefulness of the bodies in a time of austerity.

The report — sent on Wednesday (15 February) to the European Parliament and seen by EUobserver — analyzes the costs, financial management and "operational efficiency" of 22 out of the EU's 31 autonomous agencies.

The agencies do studies on issues ranging from drug addiction to trademark registration and police cooperation. They are an object of national pride and hotly contested negotiations between member states when it comes to deciding on their seat.

In its introduction, the report notes dryly that "the first two agencies were created in 1975" and that 10 more were formed in the 1990s "after a considerable gap." The process sped up in the past 10 years, when 19 more were set up.

As most of the bodies' budgets are based on EU subsidies, the Court of Auditors looked at their book-keeping practices and found that "increased vigilance is required in respect to the establishment of an agency's budget."

Eleven out of the 22 surveyed could not properly account for half the expenses they filed in 2010, the auditors found.

"A low degree of correspondence between accruals [justifications] and carry-forwards [planned expenditures] may indicate that an agency is committing budget unrelated to the budgetary year or is experiencing delays in the implementation of its budget. Eleven agencies show a correspondence, in 2010, of accruals versus carry-forwards of less than 50 percent," the report says.

Another problem are the large "management boards" of some agencies — normally comprising around 30 representatives of member states, the European Commission, industry stakeholders and observers.

Three agencies mainly dealing with social and labor-related studies employ 84 members each on their respective management boards, as each country sends one government representative and two more representing employers and workers.

The agencies in question are the Thessaloniki-based European Center for Development of Vocational Training in Europe, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin and the Agency for Safety and Health at Work based in Bilbao, Spain. Their management boards only met once or twice each year.

The auditors' report noted that "the board should meet sufficiently regularly to discharge its duties effectively" and "should not be so large as to be unwieldy."

All 31 agencies except two are subject to the European Parliament (EP) budgetary control. MEPs in 2010 already refused to sign off the accounts of a police training agency which used EU funds to purchase furniture, cars and mobile phones for personal use.

"The competent institutions may wish to consider whether all agencies, including self-financed agencies, should be subject to discharge by the EP, since their assets and liabilities comprise part of the balance sheet of the EU," the auditors say.

One of the agencies not under the scrutiny of MEPs is the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM), which is self-financing because it cashes in on the creation of EU trademarks. "Nearly 50 percent of the total amount of cash [of EU agencies] is held by OHIM. Considerable annual surpluses have been recorded by the agency over successive years, leading to a surplus, in 2010, of €495 million," the report notes.

On its website, the Alicante-based agency says it is a "non-profit" organization with an annual income of "over €180 million." The surpluses it ran also benefited from good interest rates, the report shows: 4.7 percent in 2008, 1.5 percent in 2009 and 1.1 percent in 2010.

"It is scandalous that at a time when governments are struggling to borrow money at high costs, these agencies do not return anything to the EU budget. It is as if they are living in a parallel world, untouched by the economic crisis," Romanian center-right MEP Monica Macovei, who will draft the parliament's position on signing off the accounts of each agency, told EUobserver.

A former justice minister and anti-corruption campaigner, Macovei said she will not recommend to sign off the accounts of several agencies, as she is appalled by the lack of transparency and accountability found in certain quarters.

In one example, the director of the London-based European Medicines Agency, Thomas Lonngren, quit his job in December 2010 and announced only a few days later he was going to take up a job for a pharmaceuticals company whose products he was authorising in his previous job.

Macovei's report will also call on the European Commission to carry out an evaluation of all agencies by 15 July "in order to detect occurrences of unnecessary or overlapping activities and to analyze the merger of some of the agencies."

The auditor's report comes shortly after Belgian euroskeptic MEP Derk Jan Eppink wrote a stinging analysis of how two other mini-institutions — the Brussels-based Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) — spend their money.

He noted that their budgets have ballooned by 50 percent in the past eight years, with around 50 officials in each body earning more than €123,000 a year.

The average cost of an EESC opinion in 2010 weighed in at €660,000 each even though they have little noticeable impact on EU policy.

The president of the Liberal group in CoR, Flo Lucas, responded in a letter to EUobserver saying the budget increases are "challenged constantly."

She noted that CoR increases democratic accountability by giving a voice to municipal officials in the EU capital. "Democracy is difficult to build and secure. It takes time, effort and yes, money. Is it possible to quantify the return that citizens get from the money invested in democracy?" she said.


(910104)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU Emissions Trading Failing—now they wanna tax the world

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 16 23:30:55 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Der Spiegel

02/15/2012
Hot Air

The EU's Emissions Trading System Isn't Working

By Alexander Jung

Emissions trading, the European Union hoped, would limit the release of harmful greenhouse gases. But it isn't working. The price for emissions certificates has plunged, a development that is actually making coal more attractive than renewable energy.

In the perfect world of economic liberals, every commodity has its price. Limited supply makes goods more expensive and vice versa. That's how markets work — at least in theory.

In practice, things often look different, and this is especially true when it comes to emissions trading, a business subject to a very different mechanism: laws dictated by the European Union.

Economists have generally praised the trading scheme as a nearly ideal instrument for reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions. In this system, businesses purchase pollution permits, with prices determined according to supply and demand, in an efficient and self-regulating process. Companies that invest in environmentally friendly technology need to buy fewer certificates, or may even have some left over to sell.

But for the last half year, prices for CO2 certificates have dropped almost continuously, decreasing by about half, to around €8 ($10.60) per metric ton. Not even the closure of eight German nuclear power plants in 2011, and the resulting increase in demand for coal power, has done much to lastingly reverse the trend.

Michael Kröhnert, an emissions trader in Berlin, refers to the plunging prices as a slaughter. And he fully expects it to continue. "The spiral is spinning downward," he says.

'The System Isn't Working'

Analysts at Swiss bank UBS even go so far as to warn that this creeping decline could escalate into a true crash. "The trading system isn't working," is their scathing conclusion. The emissions trading system, once so highly acclaimed, seems to be producing nothing more than hot air.

The EU is alarmed. The European Parliament's Industry Committee plans to vote later this month on whether Brussels should reduce the number of carbon certificates it provides. A vote in favor would see the EU auctioning off 1.4 billion fewer credits than planned during the next trading period from 2013 to 2020. The cut of roughly 8 percent, it is hoped, will push prices back up.

Yet this type of market intervention reveals the system's central design flaw: Politicians determine the total amount of CO2 that industry in the EU may emit, a limit that applies years into the future, without any way to know how the economy — and thus the demand for trading certificates — will develop during that period.

Five years ago, when Europe was experiencing an economic boom, Brussels was generous in providing businesses with free certificates for the trading period from 2008 to 2012; companies were forced to buy only a small portion of their emissions credits. But soon afterwards, many businesses were forced to scale down production as the financial crisis, and then the debt crisis, took hold in Europe. Germany consumed less energy — 4.8 percent less in 2011 — and industry as a whole required a lower number of certificates than expected.

Steel company Salzgitter AG, for example, ended up with a surplus of around 7.5 million certificates between 2008 and 2010, according to a study by British environmental organization Sandbag, while ThyssenKrupp's surplus amounted to about 6 million. Far from being an additional cost factor, say critics, emissions trading has become a source of income for such companies.

Losing Purpose and Incentive

Companies can sell their certificates, or they can stockpile them to be used during the next trading period. The fatal flaw is that this glut of certificates not only depresses prices, it also reduces the incentive to invest in modern energy technology.

With the certificates so cheap, generating power from environmentally harmful fuels becomes even more of a good deal than usual — which explains why brown coal consumption increased by nearly 4 percent in 2011, bucking the general trend.

Even more paradoxical, CO2 prices are so low partly because of the billions Germany spends on renewable energy. This decreases the demand, and with it the price, for emissions certificates. That in turn allows coal, a notorious danger to the climate, to be more competitive. In other words, emissions trading isn't stopping climate change, but actually speeding it up.

It's also putting Germany's finance minister in a tight spot. Wolfgang Schäuble of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) planned to use revenue from the sale of certificates to establish, by 2015, a fund that would finance projects in thermal insulation and other areas. Schäuble's team assumed a price of €17 per certificate when making their calculations. But with certificates now being traded at €10 below that price, the project could come up short by billions of euros.

Bit by bit, the business of emissions certificates is losing its purpose and incentive. In hindsight, it's clear that introducing a CO2 tax — another alternative discussed initially — would have been more feasible and more effective. Another option would have been to establish limits and then tighten them every year. A battle raging between the EU and the rest of the world over the decision to require airlines flying to or from Europe to purchase carbon certificates is not exactly generating extra support for emissions trading. For the EU, at this point, it's become purely a matter of saving its prestigious project.

Shortly before Christmas last year, the European Parliament's Environment Committee voted to reduce by 1.4 billion the number of certificates sold. If the Industry Committee, the European Parliament as a whole and the Council of the European Union now follow that recommendation, it will serve as a clear signal that something many people have feared for years has come to pass: From now on, Brussels plans to play the role of a central bank, issuing and collecting emissions certificates as it pleases. Should it do so, the EU would run the risk of its timing being perpetually out of step. And the market forces that were originally meant to establish appropriate prices would be on the outside looking in.

Translated from the German by Ella Ornstein


(910116)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU won't "repatriate" laws/powers back to member states

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 17 00:19:25 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

The word "repatriate" is a bit abused here, since it usually refers to persons. The EU's all about centralization anyhow.

EU Observer

Cameron idea to repatriate EU laws is 'complete non-starter'

13.02.12 @ 23:17
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — British Prime Minister David Cameron's aim to 'repatriate' some EU social laws has been deemed as "complete non-starter" by the European Commissioner in charge of the dossier.

In a strongly worded address to a trade union audience in London on Monday (13 February), EU social affairs commissioner Laszlo Andor also took Britain to task for promulgating stereotypes, its dislike of employment legislation and the assumption that it can cherrypick EU laws.

Andor noted that EU laws which have been agreed by governments and parliament — as social laws are — are binding on all member states.

If Britain wanted to be exempt from social and employment laws, the treaty would have to be changed — itself requiring the agreement of all 27 countries.

"I therefore think it is clear that repatriating social policy competence is a non-starter — legally, socially and politically," said the commissioner.

His rebuke goes against the heart of a policy announced by Cameron in order to keep his euroskeptic backbenchers on board when it comes to London's EU policy.

In return for not holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, Cameron promised to repatriate social laws and a sovereignty bill was later passed promising a referendum if significant powers are handed over to the EU in future.

Andor's speech also defends in detail laws that attract the most ire in the UK — rules for temporary workers and rules capping the working week at 48 hours.

The last two were among those singled out by Cameron at a speech at last month's World Economic Forum as "making life harder."

The Hungarian official, one of the few center-left commissioners, also takes aim at what he reckons is Britain's extraordinary affection for a deregulated market.

He speaks of the "widespread — though not universal — and seemingly unreasoning belief in the primacy of the market in the governance of the economy. I find it curious that the unbridled power of the market should be viewed so positively."

Apparently intent on raising all the bugbears that EU officials can occasionally be heard to mutter about the UK (widely regarded as the most recalcitrant member of the Union), Andor also says he wants to "debunk the myth" of "unelected Brussels bureaucrats" — a familiar refrain in some of the UK's newspapers.

"May I take the opportunity to debunk a myth frequently heard here in the UK — that 'unelected Brussels bureaucrats' dictate EU health and safety at work legislation. I often muse at the term 'unelected bureaucrats' — as if many bureaucrats were elected! It also fudges the issue of accountability, which has nothing to do with being elected."

Andor's broadside comes at complicated time in London's relations with Brussels. At a summit in December, Cameron blocked other member states from going ahead with full-blown treaty change. They opted for an intergovernmental pact instead, excluding the UK.


(910173)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states

Posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 08:51:05 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU won't "repatriate" laws/powers back to member states, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 17 00:19:25 2012.

Moral: Don't give up your sovereignty to any larger organization; you'll never see it again.

(910181)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states

Posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 09:02:08 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states, posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 08:51:05 2012.

If they kick Britain out (or they leave) the EU, it will be another coffin nail in the union.

(910227)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 17 11:51:34 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states, posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 09:02:08 2012.

Nah. Germany's got all the allies it needs now.

(910309)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states

Posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 14:24:31 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 17 11:51:34 2012.

Hello, New Order.

(910376)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states

Posted by SMAZ on Fri Feb 17 20:52:18 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU won't ''repatriate'' laws/powers back to member states, posted by SLRT on Fri Feb 17 14:24:31 2012.

Hello, New Order.

Salve



(910450)

view threaded

EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their "callous cruelty"

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 02:29:56 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Daily Telegraph

The callous cruelty of the EU is destroying Greece, a once-proud country

Britain should play its part to end this Greek tragedy by standing up for the underdog.

By Peter Oborne
8:44PM GMT 15 Feb 2012
For all of my adult life, support for the European Union has been seen as the mark of a civilized, reasonable and above all compassionate politician. It has guaranteed him or her access to leader columns, TV studios, lavish expense accounts and overseas trips.

The reason for this special treatment is that the British establishment has tended to view the EU as perhaps a little incompetent and corrupt, but certainly benign and generally a force for good in a troubled world. This attitude is becoming harder and harder to sustain, as this partnership of nations is suddenly starting to look very nasty indeed: a brutal oppressor that is scornful of democracy, national identity and the livelihoods of ordinary people.

The turning point may have come this week with the latest intervention by Brussels: bureaucrats are threatening to bankrupt an entire country unless opposition parties promise to support the EU-backed austerity plan.

Let’s put the Greek problem in its proper perspective. Britain’s Great Depression in the Thirties has become part of our national myth. It was the era of soup kitchens, mass unemployment and the Jarrow March, immortalized in George Orwell’s wonderful novels and still remembered in Labour Party rhetoric.

Yet the fall in national output during the Depression — from peak to trough — was never more than 10 percent. In Greece, gross domestic product is already down about 13 percent since 2008, and according to experts is likely to fall a further 7 percent by the end of this year. In other words, by this Christmas, Greece’s depression will have been twice as deep as the infamous economic catastrophe that struck Britain 80 years ago.

Yet all the evidence suggests that the European elite could not give a damn. Earlier this week Olli Rehn, the EU’s top economist, warned of “devastating consequences” if Greece defaults. The context of his comments suggests, however, that he was thinking just as much of the devastating consequences that would flow for the rest of Europe, rather than for the Greeks themselves.

Another official was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that Germany, Finland and the Netherlands are “losing patience” with Greece, with apparently not even a passing thought for the real victims of this increasingly horrific saga. Though the euro-elite seems not to care, life in Greece, the home of European civilization, has become unbearable.

Perhaps 100,000 businesses have folded, and many more are collapsing. Suicides are sharply up, homicides have reportedly doubled, with tens of thousands being made homeless. Life in the rural areas, which are returning to barter, is bearable. In the towns it is harsh and for minorities — above all the Albanians, who have no rights and have long taken the jobs Greeks did not want — it is terrifying.

This is only the start, however. Matters will get much worse over the coming months, and this social and moral disaster has already started to spread to other southern European countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain. It is not just families that are suffering — Greek institutions are being torn to shreds. Unlike Britain amid the economic devastation of the Thirties, Greece cannot look back towards centuries of more or less stable parliamentary democracy. It is scarcely a generation since the country emerged from a military dictatorship and, with parts of the country now lawless, sinister forces are once again on the rise. Only last autumn, extremist parties accounted for about 30 percent of the popular vote. Now the hard Left and hard Right stand at about 50 percent and surging. It must be said that this disenchantment with democracy has been fanned by the EU’s own meddling, and in particular its imposition of Lucas Papademos as a puppet prime minister.

Late last year I was sharply criticized, and indeed removed from a Newsnight studio by a very chilly producer, after I called Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio, a European Union spokesman, “that idiot from Brussels”. Well-intentioned intermediaries have since gone out of their way to assure me that Mr. Altafaj-Tardio is an intelligent and also a charming man. I have no powerful reason to doubt this, and it should furthermore be borne in mind that he is simply the mouthpiece and paid hireling for Mr. Rehn, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner I mentioned earlier.

But looking back at that Newsnight appearance, it is clear that my remarks were far too generous, and I would like to explain myself more fully, and with greater force. Idiocy is, of course, an important part of the problem in Brussels, explaining many of the errors of judgment and basic competence over the past few years. But what is more striking by far is the sheer callousness and inhumanity of EU commissioners such as Mr. Rehn, as they preside over a Brussels regime that is in the course of destroying what used to be a proud, famous and reasonably well-functioning country.

In these terrible circumstances, how can the British liberal Left, which claims to place such value on compassion and decency, continue to support the EU? I am old enough to recall their rhetoric when Margaret Thatcher was driving through her monetarist policies as a response to the recession of the early Eighties. Many of the attacks were incredibly personal and vicious. The British prime minister (who, of course, was later to warn so presciently against monetary union) was accused of lacking any kind of compassion or humanity. Yet the loss of economic output during the 1979-82 recession was scarcely 6 percent, less than a third of the scale of the depression now being suffered by the unfortunate Greeks. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, just over half of where Greece is now.

The reality is that Margaret Thatcher was an infinitely more compassionate and pragmatic figure than Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio’s boss Olli Rehn and his appalling associates. She would never have destroyed an entire nation on the back of an economic dogma.

One of the basic truths of politics is that the Left is far more oblivious to human suffering than the Right. The Left always speaks the language of compassion, but rarely means it. It favors ends over means. The crushing of Greece, and the bankruptcy of her citizens, is of little consequence if it serves the greater good of monetary union.

Nevertheless, for more than a generation, politicians such as Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Nick Clegg and David Miliband have used their sympathy for the aims and aspirations of the European Union as a badge of decency. Now it ties them to a bankruptcy machine that is wiping out jobs, wealth and — potentially — democracy itself.

The presence of the Lib Dems, fervent euro supporters, as part of the Coalition, has become a problem. It can no longer be morally right for Britain to support the European single currency, a catastrophic experiment that is inflicting human devastation on such a scale. Britain has historically stood up for the underdog, but shamefully, George Osborne has steadily lent his support to the eurozone.

Thus far only one British political leader, UKIP’s Nigel Farrage, has had the clarity of purpose to state the obvious — that Greece must be allowed to default and devalue. Leaving all other considerations to one side, humanity alone should press David Cameron into splitting with Brussels and belatedly coming to the rescue of Greece.


(910458)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU agencies mismanage their budgets—especially two big ones

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 03:18:09 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU agencies mismanage their budgets, posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 16 23:03:25 2012.

. . . those being the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (the latter is a very insidious propaganda machine).

EU Observer

Two EU bodies spending money like no tomorrow

08.02.12 @ 09:21
By Derk Jan Eppink
BRUSSELS — In these times of austerity when the EU Council, European Commission and the European Parliament are making efforts to cut costs, there are two EU bodies operating under the radar whose budgets have been increasing in an unchallenged way: the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR).

In May 2011 the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EESC in particular to implement a "comprehensive spending review" and "identify possible savings" — but still their budgets rise.

The budgetary control committee of the European Parliament challenged the secretaries general of the EESC and CoR — Martin Westlake and Gerhard Stahl — who once again failed to provide any concrete proposals on how savings might be made.

The figures speak for themselves.

Over the last eight years, the budgets of the EESC and CoR will have increased by some 50 percent, reaching €130 million and €86.5 million, respectively. There are around 50 officials at each committee with a minimum salary of €123.890 and six officials at each committee earning over €180,000 — more than the Dutch or UK prime minister.

Over half of the EESC's and the CoR's annual budgets are devoted to their members' expenses, travel costs and staff salaries and pensions.

In 2010, the 344 EESC members produced 181 opinions, which when divided with the annual budget means each opinion came at an average cost of €660,000, while no information is made available regarding how these opinions influenced legislation. If they did so at all.

Average travel expenses per member were €49,000, while a scheme whereby members receive 'lump sums' per meeting attended — without the need to prove they actually incurred the expenses — will still be in use until 2015. Why not now? The EESC remains elusive.

The main mandate of both committees is to "engage participation" from citizens. But there are many indications that neither committee is successful in this.

Many EU commentators over the last 20 years have questioned the impact of the EESC on the policy process. The CoR claims to provide "institutional representation" for all the EU's areas and regions. But the regional interests are already represented by the governments of the Member States, while many of Europe's regions have their own representations in Brussels.

And as far as outreach is concerned, the EESC and CoR websites account for 0.35 percent and 0.27 percent, respectively of total visitors to the europa.eu domain.

The EESC's own figures show an average of 31,472 unique users per month. By way of comparison, the website of London-based fundraising company JustGiving is accessed by over 2.5 million unique users per month.

The two EU committees do not fare any better on utilizing social media, having fewer Facebook 'likes' or Twitter users than they do staff.

When challenged about these figures, Stahl simply responded that the CoR "cannot be there for direct contact with every citizen," while Westlake referred to the vice-president for communication of the EESC as being "extremely active" on Twitter.

I leave it to readers to decide for themselves whether having 556 Twitter followers qualifies as being "extremely active" in engaging participation from Europe's 500 million citizens.

There have already been calls for closer scrutiny of the EESC and CoR, and even their abolition, but so far to no avail.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the recently elected Danish leader and a former MEP, called for the abolition of both in 2003, stressing that they were "too costly" and were "not adding sufficient value".

Her recommendation was evidently ignored, given the enhanced roles (and budgets) the two committees received in the Lisbon Treaty.

In January 2011, an initial draft of a position paper by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) called for the abolition of both bodies. But then, following pressure from ALDE members in the CoR, the published version of the paper recommended a restructuring instead.

The European Parliament has a duty to challenge the two committees on their budget increases and to provide scrutiny and transparency. Once the issue is out in the open, we may finally have to demand a merger of the EESC and CoR into a more cost-effective body, or indeed, as the current Prime Minister of Denmark and rotating president of the EU Council once proposed, their complete abolition.

The author is a Belgian MEP and vice president of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the EU parliament.


(910459)

view threaded

Re: EUEUEUEUEU agencies mismanage their budgets—especially two big ones

Posted by RockParkMan on Sat Feb 18 06:55:16 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU agencies mismanage their budgets—especially two big ones, posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 03:18:09 2012.

Can't you see NO ONE GIVES A SHIT.

[1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10>> : Last

< Previous Page  

Page 7 of 24

Next Page >  


[ Return to the Message Index ]