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(910460)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their ''callous cruelty''

Posted by Fred G on Sat Feb 18 07:00:44 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their "callous cruelty", posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 02:29:56 2012.

Wow the guy who wrote that is just as cranial-rectal as you are.

your pal,
Fred

(910481)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their ''callous cruelty''

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Sat Feb 18 08:53:56 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their ''callous cruelty'', posted by Fred G on Sat Feb 18 07:00:44 2012.

And even better is the way that the "journalist" is so obsessed with bold type. Burning that much ink can make the publisher bleed. :)

(910500)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their ''callous cruelty''

Posted by AlM on Sat Feb 18 09:37:42 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their "callous cruelty", posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 02:29:56 2012.

Those damn Europeans are acting just like right wing Americans.

Go back 4 years and substitute "General Motors" for "Greece".



(910586)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their ''callous cruelty''

Posted by SMAZ on Sat Feb 18 13:26:30 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU destroying Greece with their "callous cruelty", posted by Olog-hai on Sat Feb 18 02:29:56 2012.

So the British Right now supports unrestrained government spending and Keynesian economics instead?

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.

You mean thay don't support the equivalent of the fixed Gold Standard that Teabaggers love so much.

Britain has historically stood up for the underdog, but shamefully, George Osborne has steadily lent his support to the eurozone.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

So what stopping them from helping them out?

Arren't these the same British that wanted to shake down Iceland but Iceland thankfully told them to go fuck themselves instead?



(912182)

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EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 22 23:42:03 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

This is even more callous; loan and debt repayment has to take precedence even over infrastructure?

Financial Times

Last updated: February 21, 2012 3:29 pm

Eurozone agrees second Greek bailout

By Peter Spiegel and Alex Barker in Brussels
Eurozone finance ministers reached a long-delayed €130-billion second bailout for Greece early on Tuesday after strong-arming private holders of Greek bonds to take even deeper losses than they had accepted last month. . . .

Both Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the eurogroup of finance ministers, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, stressed that Greece still had to live up to a series of “prior actions” by the end of the month before eurozone governments or the IMF can sign off on the new program.

In addition, the bailout comes with tough terms, including a permanent team of monitors in Greece to ensure Athens lives up to the terms of the bailout deal and an escrow account which Greece will ensure always holds three months-worth of debt payments. The escrow account will be temporary, however, and Athens has agreed to change its constitution to make debt repayment the top priority in government spending. . . .


(912183)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Wed Feb 22 23:45:31 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution, posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 22 23:42:03 2012.

Read New York State's constitution sometime.

(912190)

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EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 00:44:44 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Der Spiegel

02/21/2012
Averting the Next Greece

Portugal Needs More Money To Stay Afloat

By Christoph Pauly

With its massive austerity measures, Portugal has become the poster child of the troika of the EU, ECB and IMF. But the country is still stuck in a deep recession and it is unclear how it will return to growth. It may need to rely on European loans for years to come.

Nothing is sacred to Pedro Passos Coelho, not even Carnival. Portugal's prime minister expects government employees at their desks and working on Entrudo, the traditional high point of the country's Carnival celebrations, which falls on this Tuesday.

This is "not the time to talk about tradition," the conservative head of state has commanded those of his citizens who see the move as an attack on their culture. Rather, he says, they should stop "whining" about austerity measures. It's time, the prime minister adds, to break free of old structures and to change "lazy and sometimes self-involved patterns of behavior."

Fans of Carnival celebrations are not the only ones affected — churchgoers and nationalists will have to make bitter sacrifices as well. In response to this national state of emergency, the Portuguese government plans to do away with four public holidays. Corpus Christi and Assumption are to be crossed off the calendar without a replacement, and public holidays celebrating Portugal's first republic and the 1640 end to its union with Spain will no longer be commemorated.

Fears of Default

This readiness to make sacrifices comes as welcome news to the so-called troika, made up of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), whose officials are currently in Lisbon to evaluate the country's reform program. The troika hadn't even asked for such drastic measures, and their austerity watchdogs' findings are sure to be positive. In recent months, the Portuguese government has also implemented brutal tax hikes and cut pensions and unemployment benefits.

All this makes Portugal a poster child for austerity measures in the eyes of Brussels and Berlin. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble went so far last week as to promise his Portuguese counterpart Vítor Gaspar additional aid, even though the international community has already provided the country with €78 billion ($101 billion) worth of support. "If there would be a necessity for an adjustment of the Portugal (program), we would be ready to do that," Schäuble told Gaspar, who dutifully expressed his thanks. The exchange, caught by a camera crew, quickly became a popular video clip on YouTube.

But does Portugal really have a better chance of avoiding bankruptcy than Greece does? Or is the country simply the next domino destined to fall in the course of the euro crisis?

Financial markets take a far more critical view of Portugal than does the troika. They are assuming there is a 71 percent probability that the country will default within the next five years, as reflected in insurance premiums on Portuguese government bonds — so-called credit default swaps — in early February. Deutsche Bank writes that market participants expect that "leading European politicians' assurances notwithstanding, the private sector will become involved in the case of Lisbon as well, or a debt default may even occur."

Collapsing Demand

The €78 billion in aid is enough to last until September 2013, since Portugal has also managed, thanks to the European bailout, to place some short-term bonds on the market. Still, the moment of truth won't be long in coming. "Emergency plans, in case Portugal is not able to return to the capital market, need to be specified soon and in a credible fashion," major Swiss bank Credit Suisse says.

For now, Portugal finds itself in a deep recession. As a result of the government's drastic austerity measures, most people have considerably less money at their disposal than they had before. With domestic demand collapsing, unemployment has risen to record levels. Last year, 30 percent fewer cars were sold in Portugal.

At least 200,000 people marched through the streets of Lisbon on Feb. 11, starting in three different areas of the city and converging on the centrally located Praça do Comércio on the Tagus River. "No to inequality, no to impoverishment," they shouted.

Just as in demonstrations that have taken place in Greece, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a favorite subject of their signs. One showed the chancellor as a dominatrix, forcing a naked Prime Minister Coelho to his knees.

Competitive on the Global Market

Rogério Hortelão is one person who hasn't lost his optimism despite all the problems. "We're good at improvising," says the president of auto parts supplier Incompol. Hortelão, a former mechanic with the Portuguese Air Force, started his business 25 years ago with a lathe and three men. Now, 350 employees at his factory in Samora Correia use heavy equipment to stamp out metal components for BMW and other customers. In 2009, the last time that demand within the automotive industry collapsed, Hortelão took the same approach to fighting the crisis as many mid-sized German companies did. He didn't fire a single employee, but instead gave them further training. It enabled him to fulfill a personal dream. Incompol now uses high-tech equipment to weld together individual components for aircraft manufacturers such as Embraer in Brazil and Pilatus in Switzerland.

Most of Hortelão's products go to buyers in other countries, and even his domestic customers are subsidiaries of international corporations. This allows the company to remain independent of the government's austerity programs.

Unlike Greece, Portugal certainly has competitive companies capable of succeeding on the global market. Europe's largest and most modern paper factory, for example, is located near the Portuguese port city of Setúbal.

Portugal has gradually overtaken Scandinavia when it comes to producing high quality copy paper. "Each year we sell each person in Germany at least 500 sheets of paper for photocopying," Hermano Mendonça, marketing director for Portucel, says in fluent English. Portucel, a publicly traded company that is majority owned by a single Portuguese family, exported nearly €1.5 billion worth of paper in 2011.

The reason behind this success is the large eucalyptus forests that now grow in Portugal. Conservationists take a critical view of these monocultures, but the trees' long fibers provide good raw material for paper. Portucel owns 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of woodland and also buys timber from thousands of private landowners. The hunger for raw material is so great that the company has plans for additional timber plantations in the former Portuguese colonies Mozambique and Brazil.

Too High Costs

Export-oriented industries are the ones still doing good business here in this country at the far southwestern corner of Europe. When Portugal joined the EU in 1986, several German corporations became heavily involved here, before the advent of strong competition from locations in Eastern Europe and Asia. Portugal is still benefiting from investments made during that period.

Volkswagen, for example, has 3,600 employees producing its Sharan minivan, as well as its Eos and Scirocco models, at its facility near Setúbal. Production increased by a third last year, with almost 100 percent of vehicles destined for export. German engineering and electronics company Bosch also has several thousand employees in Portugal and runs Europe's largest manufacturing facility for car radios in Braga in northern Portugal. The company's thermotechnology subsidiary is even based in Portugal.

In more recent years, though, German companies have stopped making major investments in Portugal. The country is certainly a competitive location, because salaries haven't risen nearly as much as in Greece, but transportation costs for the 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) trip to the periphery of Europe are so high, and local markets so small, that in recent years most companies have preferred to relocate to Asia.

Subsidies from Brussels, meanwhile, meant that many Portuguese citizens felt little incentive to pursue their own ventures. German Chancellor Merkel had sharp criticism for costly bridges and tunnels constructed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, whose governor managed to rack up €6 billion in public debt. The highways around Lisbon are also among the best in Europe.

Part 2: The Oranges that Are Too Expensive to Pick

The troika's inspectors have also discovered that agrarian Portugal imports €2.5 billion more agricultural products than it exports. The inspectors plan to address this issue in meetings with the Portuguese government this week. Those familiar with agriculture don't find the situation surprising. Many fields lie fallow because it was easier to collect subsidies for olive trees than to actually harvest the olives. The Algarve region has a bafflingly high number of orange trees bursting with fruit. Farmers lament that harvesting the oranges is no longer profitable, now that hiring the Romanians who used to pick the fruit has grown so expensive.

Even the tourism industry has collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis. With the British pound so weak, many of the English tourists who usually blanket the Algarve's beaches have elected to stay at home. German tourists, meanwhile, have been scared off by 12-story concrete blocks in Algarve cities such as Portimão. Built in the days of easy money a few years ago, these buildings now wait in vain for buyers.

Seemingly socially-beneficial policies on the part of the government have actually contributed to the country's plight, for example by preventing rents from rising in line with inflation decades ago. The result is that many Lisbon residents still pay €50 a month in rent, but live in buildings that are falling into disrepair. In many Portuguese cities, property owners have started simply nailing their windows shut, rather than renting out the apartments.

With new rental contracts almost impossible to obtain, young people looking to move out of their parents' homes were forced to put themselves deeply into debt buying their own homes. That wasn't a problem in the days of the economic boom, when Portuguese banks were happy to make loans that even covered more than the purchase price of a house. "They asked me if wanted to go on vacation as well," remembers single mother Paula Dias.

Exporting the Educated

Now, the banks themselves are struggling to survive, and they're increasing pressure on those borrowers who are still able to pay. Dias, who is German-Portuguese and works at auto parts supplier Incompol, teaches German at various language institutes to help make ends meet.

There's no shortage of demand for language courses, and many of Dias' students have in fact left Portugal for Germany. Ever since the crisis began, well-educated university graduates have become the country's new export.

Alexandre de Sousa Carvalho, a gentle and good-looking revolutionary with dark hair, was prompted to think about the issue after more and more of his friends moved away. Last year, Carvalho and a few others used Facebook to mobilize nearly 500,000 demonstrators under the slogan "geração à rasca," or "desperate generation."

Young people are the ones most affected by Portuguese laws that are meant to benefit society but in reality do anything but. Job protection laws covering normal employment contracts are extensive, with employers required to pay their employees a severance package even when a temporary contract expires. The result is the widespread use of so-called "recibos verdes," or "green receipts." Meant as a method of contracting freelancers, this system has become a way to deny full-time employees their rights. Young people are required to pay social security contributions, but without themselves benefiting from the system. They can't claim Christmas bonuses or vacation pay, and of course can be fired without notice.

Carvalho says he believes nine out of 10 university graduates are scraping by this way. He cites a Portuguese saying: "The mustard has reached the nose." In other words, they've had enough.

But clearly the mustard has not yet risen far enough. Lisbon hasn't had any of Athens' burning barricades, and Carvalho himself doesn't believe in the "tabula rasa of the revolution." Instead, he wants to get his Ph.D. in political science first.

Grasp on Reality

This forbearance and solid grasp on reality have proved Portugal's greatest strengths in the crisis. In the country's last elections, 85 percent of voters chose parties that support Coelho's reform policies. Most people in Portugal are aware that they were living well beyond their means and are willing to cut back, even if that's not easy in a country where the average annual salary, before taxes, is €17,000.

Disposable income is expected to drop by a further 6 percent this year, thanks to tax increases and pay cuts for civil servants. This is not exactly the ideal environment in which to achieve a growth rate of at least 2 percent, the figure that will be necessary for Portugal to overcome the crisis.

Because of these conditions, the troika's inspectors, who plan to present their latest progress report next week, won't demand any new austerity measures. The inspectors, led by Jürgen Kröger from Germany, will instead call for structural reforms aimed at making Portugal competitive. The country still imports far more goods than it produces, just as Greece does.

In addition, extensive deregulation of the job market is meant to give young people a chance. Reforms are also planned for the justice system — with 1.5 million cases pending, judges have simply given up. Rental laws need to be changed in such a way that landlords no longer board up their properties. The commission also wants to know why dockworkers in Portugal, a country that has always depended on its sea routes, earn considerably more than their counterparts in other European port cities such as Hamburg or Rotterdam.

Still, it will be a while before these structural reforms have an effect. One internal European Commission estimate suggests Portugal won't be able to regain the confidence of the capital markets until 2015 or 2016. That would mean the EU and IMF would still need to cough up an additional €25 billion, by the most conservative estimate.

But Portugal can be stubborn too. Lisbon, Porto and a number of other cities have decided their employees are allowed to celebrate Carnival this year — despite the crisis.

Translated from the German by Ella Ornstein


(912213)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next

Posted by JayMan on Thu Feb 23 08:47:36 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next, posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 00:44:44 2012.

It'll be something if the P.I.I.G.S. bring down the world.

(912231)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution

Posted by SMAZ on Thu Feb 23 11:05:56 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution, posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 22 23:42:03 2012.

I've read that one before:

14th Amendment

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.


(912232)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next

Posted by SMAZ on Thu Feb 23 11:07:10 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next, posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 00:44:44 2012.

So now you don't like GOP economic polices anymore?

(912316)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Thu Feb 23 16:10:08 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU forcing Greece to rewrite its constitution, posted by SMAZ on Thu Feb 23 11:05:56 2012.

Somebody needs to carve that into Boehner's gavel. :)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Thu Feb 23 16:10:43 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU may stick it to Portugal next, posted by SMAZ on Thu Feb 23 11:07:10 2012.

He won't be happy until he's Chancellor. :)

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EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 22:57:46 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Some "civil-rights activist" this fellow Joachim Gauck is . . . he's actually a holocaust-minimizer who praised Thilo Sarrazin, and he made some statements about Poland's borders that indicate a desire to re-annex old Prussia.

The Consensus President

2012/02/21
An extreme right-wing journal is celebrating the agreement on Joachim Gauck as the next German president. Whereas the outgoing president Christian Wulff made headlines with "platitudes about Germany being 'a multi-ethnic republic'," Gauck's "statements were sober," for example on the question of "migration," praised the ultra-rightwing weekly "Junge Freiheit." Gauck had in fact expressed his approbation of Thilo Sarrazin, the SPD politician, known for his racist statements against "Turks and Arabs." The next German president also raised eyebrows when he spoke out on the question of the German-Polish border, the resettlement of ethnic Germans and the Shoah. He considers that the "excessive exaltation" of the "German Judeocide to become something unique," sometimes begins to take on a quasi-religious "dimension of absoluteness," which he says must be rejected. In about four weeks, with the votes of the parliamentarians of nearly all of the parties in the Bundestag, Joachim Gauck is supposed to be elected the eleventh president of the Federal Republic of Germany — with a cross-party consensus.

Cross-Party Consensus

Since the resignation of German President Christian Wulff, almost all of the parties represented in the German Bundestag have agreed to elect Joachim Gauck, the Protestant pastor and former director of the Commission for the Stasi Archives, to be Wulff's successor. When the Federal Assembly is convened, March 18, in Berlin's Reichstag to decide on the next German President, Gauck can count on 90 percent of the votes. The future German president will differ in a number of aspects from his predecessor, who resigned last week.

Political Correctness: Disliked

Diametrically contrary to Christian Wulff, his predecessor, Gauck joined in the debate on the racist theses of the social democrat, Thilo Sarrazin. In his book published in the fall of 2010, Sarrazin ranted against "Turks and Arabs." He contended that the migrants in the German lower classes are very costly to the German state and of little value. Wulff contradicted this anti-Muslim agitation, which was causing an uproar, in his October 3, 2010 German Unification Day speech, with the observation that Islam is part of Germany. He even began his resignation statement by admitting that it is "a matter of great concern to him" that everyone "who lives here with us in Germany" should feel "at home" in the republic — "regardless of his or her origins."1 Gauck, on the other hand, contended that Sarrazin "showed courage." "He publicly addressed a problem that exists in the society more directly than the politicians." From this success, "the political class" could learn that "their politically correct way of talking" does not come across to the majority in this society.2

Archive the Question of Guilt

Gauck is best known as the one who combats "totalitarian systems." The next German president applies this label to the racist political approach of the extreme right as well as to the egalitarian communist ideas of the left, placing the Nazi system, with its crimes against humanity almost on the same level as the socialist countries, including the GDR. He is quoted saying that there are similarities "in the effects of state terrorist rule on the population."3 Gauck was one of the initial signers of a June 3, 2008 "Prague Declaration" that affirms, among other things, that there are "substantial similarities between Nazism and Communism," in terms of their "crimes against humanity."4 This "Prague Declaration" has been sharply criticized by Jewish associations for its relativizing the crimes against humanity committed during the Shoah. "Certain circles of East Europeans have developed a sort of 'Holocaust envy'," Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, is quoted saying, "they would love to have the crimes of communism prosecuted as severely as those of the Nazis." However, they seek to establish an entirely disproportionate equation that only leads to exonerating the Germans, "because when everyone is guilty, no-one is guilty."5 The "whole question can then be archived."

The "Holocaust Religion"

As a matter of fact, back in 2006, Germany's future president had already publicly announced his conspicuous position on the Shoah, saying that he sees "a tendency toward sanctifying the Holocaust," as seen "through the German Judeocide being exalted to a uniqueness that surpasses rationality and analysis."6 Evidently "certain milieus in post-religious circles are in search of the dimension of absoluteness, in search of the element of trembling in the face of the unspeakable." But this "trembling" could also have been provoked by "the absolute evil" and is "paradoxically of psychological benefit." The German far right also makes reference to the allegation that the commemoration of the Shoah contains religious elements. When, in early 2009, a bishop of the Catholic Society of Saint Pius X, was strongly criticized in public for having put the Holocaust into question, the ultra-rightwing weekly, Junge Freiheit, wrote that "currently the mightiest demon" is "the civil religion, in which Auschwitz replaces God," the Holocaust "has been stripped of its concreteness and its context" and "heaved to the realm of an enigma, necessitating priestly mediation."7 Soon thereafter, an author in another far-rightwing media organ declared, in reference to criticism of anti-Semitic tendencies in the Catholic Church,8 that he considers it "questionable" that "the head of the Catholic Church should be expected to make a kowtow to the negative shrine, the Holocaust."9 That author is a member of the editorial board of a journal, officially published under the auspices of the Bundeswehr University in Munich. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.10)

Wannsee Conference and Stasi Headquarters

Gauck grabbed the spotlight once again in one of his more recent public statements, liable to put strain on German-Polish relations. Gauck wrote, in regards to the GDR's 1950 recognition of Poland's western borders that "the communists," by "approving the westward relocation of Poland and, by the same token, the loss of the German eastern territories" had merely given in to "Stalin's territorial demands." "The indigenous as well as the resettled consider the loss of the homeland a great injustice that the communists have even cemented, when, in 1950, they recognized the Oder-Neisse Border as the new German-Polish national border."11 Just a few years ago, during the uproar over Erika Steinbach, president of the League of Expellees (BdV), and her plans to establish a "Center against Expulsions," which was strongly criticized by Poland, Gauck officially took Steinbach's side. Berlin, "where one finds various 'Topographies of Terror,' such as the Wannsee Conference, the Stasi Headquarters, and the former seats of brown and red despotic governments," is an appropriate site for a "Center against Expulsions."12

Mature Germany

Gauck repeatedly declared, "the Germans" would be well advised to change their way of dealing with their country's history. "I ask myself how much longer do we Germans intend to nurture our culture of chagrin," he argued in the fall 2010.13 When, in 2006, he was asked in an interview if today "the majority of Germans" are "mature" enough to turn toward their own victims, toward patriotism," he answered "this is my opinion."14 The consensus candidate, who will soon be named President, is looked upon with sympathy also by circles on the far right. "Contrary to the platitudes of a 'multi-ethnic republic,' with which [former President] Wulff played down the pressing problems of immigration and integration of foreigners, Gauck is known for his sober remarks,"15 writes the extreme rightwing weekly, Junge Freiheit: "Wulff's overdue resignation and Gauck's designation as the next president" are "two positive political decisions."
  1. Rücktrittserklärung. Schloss Bellevue, 17. Februar 2012
  2. Gauck attestiert Sarrazin "Mut"; www.tagesspiegel.de 30.12.2010. See also Herrschaftsreserve
  3. Daniela Dahn: Gespalten statt versöhnt; www.sueddeutsche.de 10.06.2010
  4. Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism. June 3, 2008
  5. Vergangenheitsbewältigung - nein danke; WDR 5, 21.08.2011
  6. Joachim Gauck: Welche Erinnerungen braucht Europa? www.robert-bosch-stiftung.de
  7. Thorsten Hinz: Der Super-Vatikan; www.jungefreiheit.de 13.02.2009
  8. see also The Pope and the Anti-Semites, Die Antithese zur Moderne (I) and Die Antithese zur Moderne (II)
  9. Larsen Kempf: Holocaust-Religion? www.blauenarzisse.de 12.05.2009
  10. see also Eingeschränkte Demokratie
  11. Stéphane Courtois et al.: Das Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus. Unterdrückung, Verbrechen und Terror, München 1998
  12. www.z-g-v.de
  13. "Mutige Politiker ziehe ich vor"; www.sueddeutsche.de 30.09.2010
  14. Gauck: Erinnerung an Vertreibung leugnet nicht den Nazi-Terror; www.dradio.de 31.08.2006
  15. Dieter Stein: Joachim Gauck wird ein guter Bundespräsident; www.jungefreiheit.de 19.02.2012



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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Thu Feb 23 23:07:26 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 22:57:46 2012.

But you support right wing causes and now you don't?

Wow ...

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 07:40:17 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 22:57:46 2012.

There is always going to be an element of fascism in Germany. Its in their culture and their language. I absolutely detest Germans. I detest their language and I want to spit every time I hear some blonde-haired tourist speaking it.

They started two wars and this numbnut sounds like he wants to start another. This time, Germany will be permanently split up.

Any Jew who lives in Germany is out of his fucking skull and is looking for trouble.

(912579)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Fred G on Fri Feb 24 07:48:19 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 07:40:17 2012.

Good post.

your pal,
Fred

(912580)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by GP38/R42 Chris on Fri Feb 24 08:03:26 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Fred G on Fri Feb 24 07:48:19 2012.



(912581)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 08:11:25 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Fred G on Fri Feb 24 07:48:19 2012.

And I say all this despite Germany being a solid supporter of Israel.

(912582)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by GP38/R42 Chris on Fri Feb 24 08:16:32 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 08:11:25 2012.

I think he's messing with you.

(912583)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by AlM on Fri Feb 24 08:28:30 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Olog-hai on Thu Feb 23 22:57:46 2012.

OK, Olog, you've hit on something. Unless these quotes are fabrications (which is always possible with your sources), Germany's political parties are showing extraordinarily poor judgment in picking this guy.



(912615)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 11:37:18 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by GP38/R42 Chris on Fri Feb 24 08:16:32 2012.

Who is?

(912616)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 11:38:51 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by AlM on Fri Feb 24 08:28:30 2012.

"Germany's political parties are showing extraordinarily poor judgment in picking this guy."

No - they are just reverting to the "Deutschland Uber Alles" mindset that is interwoven into every German's psyche.



(912625)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 12:07:31 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 08:11:25 2012.

They aren't a supporter. They've got half their population believing that the IDF are just like the SS, FCOL.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 12:37:22 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 12:07:31 2012.

Yes, but the German government isn't against them. At least - not yet.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 12:51:30 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by AlM on Fri Feb 24 08:28:30 2012.

Unless these quotes are fabrications (which is always possible with your sources)

Nobody's ever proven any fabrication, and nobody's been able to undermine my sources; all they can do is attack them with invective and rhetoric. The NYT, OTOH, makes no bones about their utter bias.

Germany's political parties are showing extraordinarily poor judgment in picking this guy

That's certainly one way to look at it. Either way, it's quite deliberate on their part. The mainstream media will certainly doggedly insist that Gauck's a "human rights activist" simply because the German press and political establishment says so, though.

I advise you to view this as a turning point in history, as I suspect it will prove to be. Italy, Austria and Hungary among other EU countries have openly embraced their fascist elements; now Germany goes public with the same.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 14:16:34 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 12:37:22 2012.

You haven't been paying attention.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by SMAZ on Fri Feb 24 14:27:01 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 07:40:17 2012.

I absolutely detest Germans.



Any Jew who lives in Germany is out of his fucking skull and is looking for trouble.


Yet you defend American conservatives.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by Fred G on Fri Feb 24 14:29:32 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 11:37:18 2012.

I am, who else.

your pal,
Fred

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EUEUEUEUEU airline emissions charges may lead to airline trade war

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 14:41:35 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Der Speigel

02/24/2012
Airline Trade War?

Global Opposition Grows against EU Emissions Law

By Aaron Wiener

The rest of the world is furious at the EU's plan to impose emissions fees on airlines flying to Europe. This week, representatives of almost two dozen countries met in Moscow to sign a joint protest. Some say that a trade war may be imminent.

A European Union law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from airlines traveling to and from Europe has drawn a joint protest from 23 non-EU countries and sparked talk of a global trade war.

The law incorporates the aviation industry into Europe's emissions trading scheme and requires airlines to pay for their greenhouse-gas emissions by obtaining special permits. Eight-five percent of the permits are being given away for free; the other 15 percent are initially expected to add about $2 to the cost of a trans-Atlantic flight.

But for representatives of 23 countries who convened in Moscow on Wednesday, the price is too high.

The United States, China, Japan, Russia and India were among the signatories of the so-called Moscow Joint Declaration, in which they registered their disapproval and agreed to coordinate punitive measures against European airlines in retaliation, such as taxes on airlines that fly into or over their countries.

Some of the countries are also considering banning their national airlines from participating in the emissions trading scheme at all. The Chinese government has already imposed such a ban. Airlines that do not comply will face fines from the EU beginning in April 2013; if they fail to pay, they could be denied permission to fly to the EU.

Global Instead of Regional

Still, the Moscow declaration did not call for a formal complaint to the United Nations and dropped some of the more aggressive proposals from an earlier draft, such as a commonly worded letter to the EU expressing the states' refusal to comply and a reopening of existing trade agreements in other sectors.

Airlines, which have opposed Europe's unilateral action on airline emissions regulation, cheered the declaration.

Lufthansa spokesman Peter Schneckenleitner, like other airline representatives, insists that any such regulations need to be global rather than regional. "At the end of this process, it looks like the European airlines will be the big losers," Schneckenleitner said. "In general, Lufthansa's not against an emissions law. But it has to be competitively neutral."

But defenders of the EU program say calls for global action are disingenuous, given that no global regulations are forthcoming.

"Of course our preferred option has always been a global agreement," Isaac Valero-Ladrón, the spokesman for the European Climate Commission in Brussels, said. "No one is against a global agreement. But let's be frank. What's been the willingness to get a global agreement? Nonexistent."

He added, "Our question to these Moscow participants is: What is your constructive alternative?"

Perry Flint, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, an industry trade group, contested the notion that action isn't being taken on a global scale.

"The fact of the matter is, progress is being made at ICAO," the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization, he said. "Maybe it's not as fast a process as some people would like, but it's the process."

Valero-Ladrón believes that the Moscow declaration and the talk of retaliatory measures are just "a form of pressure against the EU to see if we will cave." The threat of non-compliance, he says, is undermined by the fact that all of these countries, including China, are already complying: All airlines that fly into Europe have submitted their company data to an office in Germany as required by the program.

'Very Limited'

The financial impact of the EU law is also not as severe as it might have been. In the past six months, the price of carbon emissions permits has plunged by about half due to oversupply. As a result, the cost passed on by airlines to passengers on, say, a flight from Frankfurt to Beijing is expected to be just under €2 ($2.68).

Still, Flint argues that the costs to airlines add up. In 2012, he estimates, the cost to the industry will be €900 million; by 2020, the annual price tag will be €2.8 billion. "It's a hit," he said. "This is an industry that doesn't earn a lot of money in the good years."

The reactions around the globe have been fierce — hyperbolic, according to defenders of the law.

"The fallout could hit the domestic consumers hard since the number of European flights landing and flying from India could be reduced and the cost of tickets could increase exponentially," reported the Times of India, which described the Moscow declaration as a "decision to launch an all-out trade war against EU airlines."

Valero-Ladrón disputes this characterization of the Moscow agreement. "This declaration is not about trade wars at all," he said. "It's very limited."

If the EU law remains in place, the European Commission estimates that it will reduce airline emissions of carbon dioxide by 183 million metric tons by 2020 — a drop of 46 percent compared to what emissions would be without the law. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the aviation industry is currently responsible for about 3.5 percent of human-caused global warming.


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EUEUEUEUEU accusing Israel of planning to "demolish" Area C "renewable" electricity generators

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 15:39:12 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU to undermine Area C (threatening Israel over ''land grab'' of *Israeli land*), posted by Olog-hai on Wed Jan 18 01:31:20 2012.

Still an open question as to why the EU is undermining Israeli control of a negotiated Israel-controlled area under the Oslo Accords. Nobody's taking the EU to task over violating those accords though; still an act of war.

EurActiv

Israel set to demolish EU-funded renewables projects

Arthur Neslen
Published 24 February 2012
Six EU-funded wind and solar energy projects which provide electricity for 600 West Bank Palestinians have been put on a ‘demolition list’ by Israel, allegedly in response to an EU heads of mission report which called for laws to prevent the financing of settlements.

West Bank project managers say the ‘stop work’ orders served against the projects are "a first step to almost automatic demolition".

Elad Orian, the co-founder of Comet-ME, which oversaw the renewables projects on the ground, said that 400 people would be left completely without electricity if the demolition plan went ahead, but one village would still have access to an expensive, noisy and gas-guzzling diesel generator.

“The people will be left without light or the ability to charge cellphones, which is the only means of communication there,” he said over the phone from the West Bank.

“You will have no refrigerators, which are crucial for the economic sustainability of farming communities, and women will be reburdened with a lot of very gender-specific manual labor.”

In all, the initiative backed by Comet-ME and the German group Medico International has built 15 solar plants and hybrid systems electrifying villages with a combined population of some 1,500 people.

In one village facing renewable energy demolition, Shaab al-Buttum, two wind turbines and 40 solar panels currently supply 40-60 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle discussed the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak during a recent visit, a Germany foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

“The German government together with its EU partners is watching the situation in ‘Area C’ very attentively,” the official told EurActiv.

“The government is concerned about the ‘stop work’ orders for energy systems that have been financed with German funds,” she added.

‘Area C’

Area C is a canton under full Israeli control, comprising some 60% of the West Bank and — beyond the West Bank Wall — all of Israel’s settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

Palestinians need permits to build in this region, but a study by the Israeli group Peace Now found that between 2000 and 2007, 94% of their applications were turned down.

EU sources say that the permitting regime seems aimed at encouraging Palestinian migration to Area’s A and B. “That is what everyone tells you when you go there,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It seems obvious but politically speaking, it is very sensitive.”

The region, spanning the Dead Sea, Judean Desert and Jordan Valley, is under-developed and the German Foreign Office provided around €300,000 for the six hybrid wind and solar energy projects, which serve poor villages in the South Hebron Hills.

The last of the energy projects was completed in September 2011, but in January, Israel’s Civil Liaison Administration, which oversees the occupied territories, announced that they had to stop work as they did not have the correct permits.

Confidential report

Some EU diplomats — and many non-governmental groups — see a link in the timing with a confidential report by the EU’s top regional diplomats into settlement building and house demolitions in Area C. It called on the Commission to draft legislation “to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity.”

Less than two weeks after the report was leaked, notices were served on clean energy projects in Haribat al-Nabi, Shaab al-Butum, Qawawis and Wadi al-Shesh.

“It is not just the Germans that were slapped in the face but the whole EU,” said Tsafrir Cohen, a spokesman for Medico International, one of the partner organizations behind the project. “That was their answer to the Area C report.”

EU diplomats say that more generally, Israeli settlement activity and house demolitions in Area C are increasing at an unprecedented speed but with the renewables projects, “we are particularly concerned because it is EU-funded infrastructure,” one told EurActiv.

“We expect that there will be pressure put by the Germans to have this stopped, even if it is only a drop in the ocean of this whole process,” the source said. “Action is necessary.”

Positions:

The EU Representative in Jerusalem, John Gatt-Ruter, sent EurActiv a statement, saying: “The EU is following closely the developments in Area C, which makes up about 60% of the West Bank area. We have expressed several times our regret over the demolitions of houses and structures there. Representatives of the EU and the member states visited many locations in area C and we are in direct contact with the local communities. As an EU, we are calling on Israel to review its policy and planning system in order to allow for the socio-economic development of the Palestinian communities.”

Deborah Casalin, a policy officer for the Christian charity coalition CIDSE said: “In the face of displacement caused by Israeli occupation policies, European aid to Area C of the West Bank is helping Palestinians to remain in their homes and access water, electricity and other basic facilities, which is their right. Demolition of aid projects is against the Geneva Conventions and a direct obstruction of the EU’s aid. The EU must do all it can to stop demolitions, to make sure that its aid has an impact and that international law is respected.”


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Feb 24 16:15:03 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Mitch45 on Fri Feb 24 12:37:22 2012.

Trolling Olog like that ... tsk-tsk. :)

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . .

Posted by GP38/R42 Chris on Fri Feb 24 18:30:35 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU—Germany's next president looks like trouble . . ., posted by Fred G on Fri Feb 24 14:29:32 2012.

:)

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EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

Zero Hedge

Greece’s Lenders Have The Right To Seize National Gold Reserves

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/23/2012 08:59 -0500

Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,776.50, EUR 1,334.41, and GBP 1,130.45 per ounce.

Yesterday's AM fix was USD 1,754.75, EUR 1,325.04, and GBP 1,116.32 per ounce.

Spot gold hit a 3 month high of $1,781.40/oz yesterday rising for the third day in a row. Gold has consolidated on those gains in Asia and Europe.

Gold broke through resistance at $1,763/oz around 1800 GMT yesterday and in minutes quickly surged to $1,770/oz and then over $1,780/oz.

With recent resistance breached at $1,763/oz, gold could reach the psychological resistance of $1,800/oz very shortly - we are only 1.3% below that level now.

All major currencies fell against gold yesterday and the Japanese yen and British pound both took a pummeling and were more down 2% down against gold.

Gold is again signaling in advance coming fiscal issues in the UK and Japan. In February alone, the yen is down a substantial 7% against gold and in the last 7 weeks since the start of 2012, the yen has fallen a whopping 15.5% against gold.

Yen gold strength is a precursor to the coming Japanese fiscal crisis. It likely also signals that gold is soon to break out in dollars and other currencies.

Global equity markets are showing jitters after disappointing economic data out of Europe and China and the threats by Russia’s Foreign Minister over Iran, leading to concerns that a serious confrontation is possible. Conflict in the region will of course send investors towards the safe havens of gold and silver bullion.

The US existing home sales were smaller than expected in January and this contributed to the weakness in equity markets. There is also continuing concern that the latest Greek debt package has not addressed Greece’s deep structural challenges.

The current economic environment is good for gold. As long as governments continue to print money in an attempt to pull us out of this downturn, gold will continue to shine.

The New York Times reports that Greece’s lenders may have the right to seize the Bank of Greece’s gold reserves.

“Ms. Katseli, an economist who was labor minister in the government of George Papandreou until she left in a cabinet reshuffle last June, was also upset that Greece’s lenders will have the right to seize the gold reserves in the Bank of Greece under the terms of the new deal.”

The Reuters Global Gold Forum confirms that in the small print of the Greek “bailout” is a provision for the creditors to seize Greek national gold reserves. Reuters correspondents in Athens have not got confirmation that this is the case so they are, as ever, working hard to pin that down.

Greece owns just some 100 tonnes of gold. According to IMF data, for some reason over the last few months Greece has bought and sold the odd 1,000 ounce lot of its gold bullion reserves. A Reuters correspondent notes that “these amounts are so tiny that it could well be a rounding issue, rather than holdings really rising or falling.”

While many market participants would expect that Greece’s gold reserves would be on the table in the debt agreement, it is the somewhat covert and untransparent way that this is being done that is of concern to Greeks and to people who believe in the rule of law.

Recent months have seen many senior German government officials calling for so-called “PIIGS” nations gold reserves to be used as collateral. Such as Angela Merkel’s budget speaker and his opposition counterpart who urged Portugal to consider selling their gold.

Norbert Barthle, Germany’s governing coalition budget speaker and his counterpart Carsten Schneider from the Social Democrats, the biggest opposition party, urged Portugal to consider selling some of its gold reserves to ease its debt problems. They called for a review of Portugal’s request for financial aid to include gold and other potential asset sales.

The Irish Times reported in November that EU finance ministers’ discussed a wider strategy by the ECB to sound out the possibility of gaining control over the gold reserves of the eurozone’s central banks.

Senior German politician, Gunther Krichbaum, a lawmaker in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition and Chairman of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union of the German Bundestag has proposed late last year that Italy sell its sizable gold reserves in order to lower its debt.

Gold’s importance as debt and third party risk free collateral and as the ultimate form of money is increasing by the day.

While Greece’s gold reserves are very small, Greece’s creditors and senior German and EU financial officials clearly understand the value and monetary and strategic importance of Greece and the other heavily indebted European nations gold reserves.


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Feb 24 19:23:33 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012.

"New York Slimes reports" ... LOL

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:28:04 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012.

Rachel Donadio is writing the truth over at the New York Times . . . so I have to wonder how long they'll keep her around. Couldn't be until they have elections in Greece (which have been recently "postponed" of late; sounds like the same as SEPTA "postponing" their trolley services on routes 23 and 56 and the MBTA "postponing" the A Watertown and E Arborway on the Green Line) . . .

Growing Air of Concern in Greece Over New Bailout

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: February 21, 2012
ATHENS — Even as the European Union signed off Tuesday on a sweeping new arrangement to help avert a Greek default and stabilize the euro, many people here on the streets saw no end to their country’s woes.

“They don’t want to kill us but keep us down on our knees so we can keep paying them indefinitely,” said Eva Kyriadou, 55, as she stood in a square in downtown Athens where the smell of tear gas and the smashed façades from last week’s violent riots still lingered.

Indeed, the deal was reached amid a growing air of stalemate and concern. Greece’s foreign lenders expressed doubts that the new austerity measures the Greek Parliament passed last week — including a 22 percent cut to the private-sector benchmark minimum wage — would actually be carried out, at least before early national elections as soon as April.

Others are concerned that in the fine print of the 400-plus-page document — which Parliament members had a weekend to read and sign — Greece relinquished fundamental parts of its sovereignty to its foreign lenders, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“This is the first time ever that a European and probably an O.E.C.D. state abdicates its rights of immunity over all its assets to its lenders,”
said Louka Katseli, an independent member of Parliament who previously represented the Socialist Party, using the abbreviation for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. She was one of several independents who joined 43 lawmakers from the two largest parties in voting against the loan agreement.

Ms. Katseli, an economist who was labor minister in the government of George Papandreou until she left in a cabinet reshuffle last June, was also upset that Greece’s lenders will have the right to seize the gold reserves in the Bank of Greece under the terms of the new deal, and that future bonds issued will be governed by English law and in Luxembourg courts, conditions more favorable to creditors.

While their country’s fate is being decided in abstract, high-level negotiations in Brussels, Berlin and Paris as much as in Athens, many Greeks said they had begun to feel that the debt writedown and new loan is aimed at saving the banks more than the country and its citizens.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos defended the new debt agreement, calling it “the most significant deal in Greece’s postwar history” and asserting that it had “averted a nightmare scenario.”

Under the terms of the deal, Greece’s private lenders will agree to write down €100 billion of Greek public debt and take a loss of more than 70 percent in exchange for longer-term bonds. “I wonder what would be happening today in Greece, in the eurozone and in the global economy if a deal had not been reached, what prospects there would be for banks, for savings, for the wages of Greeks,” Mr. Venizelos said.

But many Greeks were not buying it. “In my simple mind, it seems crazy,” said Dionysius Tsoukalas, 35, as he served customers at a downtown Athens coffee bar. “They took off €100 billion, but now we took a new loan for €130 billion. Why would we do that? It’s crazy.”

Mr. Tsoukalas said he had a master’s degree in industrial product design but worked in the coffee bar five days a week to make ends meet. He said he earned around €700 a month, or about $927, and could barely get by, with his mortgage and new tax increases.

He was upset that Greek politicians had not followed through on their plans to make structural changes. “In two years they haven’t done anything,” he said. “They didn’t open the closed professions, they didn’t touch the cartels,” he added, referring to the powerful groups that control the import of consumer goods in Greece’s import-driven economy.

Privately, Greek and European officials said they did not believe that Greece’s increasingly weak political class would have the will or the time to carry out the new austerity measures, which they say require complex legal expertise and cooperation among ministries in a state that lags in administrative capacity.

Parliament already approved the measures in principle and is expected to pass specific implementation bills before the end of the month, even amid growing concern among Parliament members that the measures will push the country further into recession. At the same time, politicians are fighting for what little political capital they have left after two years of austerity has drained them of popular support.

Growing political instability is another wild card affecting Greece’s public finances. Opinion polls say that the center-right New Democracy party is leading in the polls, but that combined, left-wing parties that are opposed to the loan agreement also have significant support.

On Tuesday, Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, who has been pushing for elections and is the front-runner to become the next prime minister, said the new agreement “eliminates the risk of bankruptcy for the country, secures its prospects within Europe, creates the possibility for debt to become sustainable, and opens the road for elections.”

Niki Kitsantonis and Dimitris Bounias contributed reporting.


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by ClearAspect on Fri Feb 24 19:30:36 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012.

Greece should Default... its the only right answer... the short term problems will be easier to deal with than the long term ones that Greece would deal with by sticking with the Euro.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by RockParkMan on Fri Feb 24 19:34:38 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:28:04 2012.

Waaah, Waaah, WHAAAT THE FUCK CAN THE UNITED STATES DO ABOUT THIS SHIT!?!?!?


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(EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 20:17:59 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012.

Remember the old joke about "you'd all be speaking German" . . . ? If something like this doesn't encapsulate the imperialism that's happening there, I don't know what does. (It didn't help the Jews to know German.)

EU Observer

Greeks queue up to learn German

2012.02.24 @ 09:22
By Honor Mahony
BRUSSELS — The two-year long eurozone crisis has taken its toll on political relations between debtor Athens and creditor Berlin but Greeks are voting with their feet — the number of Greeks learning German has shot up over the last year.

The German language Institute in Athens has seen the number of Greeks signing on for courses rise by 23 percent compared to this time last year — or 450 students compared to around 370 for the same semester in 2011.

"We do connect it to the crisis," Ulrike Drissner, deputy head of the Goethe Institute in Athens, tells this website, adding: "They are desperately trying to find better opportunities in the labor market whether it be in Greece or abroad. It does not actually necessarily mean that people want to leave immediately but many play with that thought."

"It's not just the Goethe Institute, there are many private schools in Athens as well who have a rise in numbers," she notes.

The jump in statistics comes as economic data show that the German economy continues to be robust, with a 3 percent growth in 2011 and an employment rate of 6.8 percent, its lowest for over 20 years.

By contrast, Greece's economy will have shrunk by 17 percent between 2009 and the end of this year while unemployment is at around 18 percent, a figure that rises to 48 percent when it comes to the country's youth.

"The people who come to us are getting younger," says Drissner. "Our main playing field used to be younger to middle-aged people, from the age of 30 onwards. Now we see it is more and more in the mid-20s — students who are just finished university and are trying to get onto the labor market. They assume they will have better chances with more languages."

At first sight the figures appear counterintuitive. Germany and Greece are the central players in the eurozone debt drama that has seen Athens have to ask for two bailouts, funded to the greatest extent by Berlin.

Germany and others have demanded a shopping list of austerity measures in return for the bailouts. Popular media on both sides have added fuel to the flames. Some Greek newspapers have depicted German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform while German newspapers suggest Greeks are lazy.

But Drissner says the apparent xenophobic sentiment is mainly media-driven.

"Most of what is happening is happening in the media. Of course you walk along media stands and you see Angela Merkel in an SS uniform and maybe even decorated with the famous mustache. There is definitely a sensation that the Germans don't like the Greeks and that they don't want to support them, but personally I haven't had any bad encounters. I openly read my German newspaper and magazine on public transport."

She also suggests that Greeks simply want to get on with improving their lot rather than discussing who is to blame for the economic crisis. "It is hard for us to find now a class that wants to let a journalist in," she says, referring to the number of media requests for footage of German-learning Greeks. "They don't want to talk about this."

Janis Emmanouilidis from the European Policy Center think-tank in Brussels backs up Drissner's analysis.

"If you talk to young Greeks. They are longing for a job. They want to show that they can be productive. But they are not able to because of the high level of unemployment and five years of recession," he says.

"Despite the anger that you can see in Greece, a lot of young Greeks, when they leave their country, opt for Germany. They think this is a country that has potential."


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Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German

Posted by ClearAspect on Fri Feb 24 20:25:32 2012, in response to (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 20:17:59 2012.

"But Drissner says the apparent xenophobic sentiment is mainly media-driven.

"Most of what is happening is happening in the media. Of course you walk along media stands and you see Angela Merkel in an SS uniform and maybe even decorated with the famous mustache. There is definitely a sensation that the Germans don't like the Greeks and that they don't want to support them, but personally I haven't had any bad encounters. I openly read my German newspaper and magazine on public transport."

She also suggests that Greeks simply want to get on with improving their lot rather than discussing who is to blame for the economic crisis. "It is hard for us to find now a class that wants to let a journalist in," she says, referring to the number of media requests for footage of German-learning Greeks. "They don't want to talk about this."

Thank you...

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Feb 24 20:26:43 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:28:04 2012.

but keep us down on our knees so we can keep paying them indefinitely

Sure, Greece can default and then try and cover their government budget without borrowing. We'll see how long that lasts when their banks are collapsing and their economy melts into that of a *real* third world country. FWIW, the real solution would have been for the EU to simply paper over Greece's debt payments with additional aid along with some budget cuts, but no elected government in the Eurozone would survive the scrutiny of seeing their tax dollars going to a somewhat corrupt Orthodox country on the periphery of the EU that perpetually overspent. Otherwise, the other solution is to put a gun to the head of the ECB and tell them to inflate, but the Germans have a massive distaste for inflation, something that I've seen first hand from my German friend.

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Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Feb 24 20:38:54 2012, in response to Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German, posted by ClearAspect on Fri Feb 24 20:25:32 2012.

Meanwhile, the most popular foreign language courses are Mandarin. Go figger. :)

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Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Feb 24 20:39:20 2012, in response to Re: (EUEUEUEUEU) Greeks lining up to learn German, posted by SelkirkTMO on Fri Feb 24 20:38:54 2012.

Should have qualified that with "around here" ...

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by RockParkMan on Fri Feb 24 20:46:12 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Feb 24 20:26:43 2012.

"but the Germans have a massive distaste for inflation"
Can't really blame them. I still have my stamp album with its 1923 German postage stamps with denominations like RM 50 Million. I also recall the photos of grocery shoppers pushing wheelbarrows full of R-Marks to buy dinner.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Feb 24 21:24:25 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by RockParkMan on Fri Feb 24 20:46:12 2012.

Can't really blame them.

My German friend has the haunting stories of the pre-war and post-war from her mother and grandmother to scare her into anti-fascist and anti-inflation positions. We tend to get into arguments about this topic as she feels the Greeks should default, while I argue that the ECB should just print money and paper over the problem.

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Re: EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves

Posted by AlM on Fri Feb 24 21:55:16 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU now seizing Greece's gold reserves, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Feb 24 19:18:37 2012.

Hey, if I borrowed money and pledged my net worth as collateral, and didn't pay up, banks would be seizing my gold reserves too, if I had any.



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EUEUEUEUEU's democracy on the edge of the abyss

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Feb 26 23:55:41 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

The Commentator

Feb 27, 2012

European democracy is on the edge of the abyss

It’s been moving this way for some time, but now Europe’s leaders are going to have to answer a simple question on democracy: For, or against?

By Robin Shepherd

It’s often the little details casually slipped into the coverage that give the game away. Try this from today’s BBC report on the EU’s latest destined-for-certain-failure bailout deal for Greece:
Opinion polls suggest that the two parties in the coalition, which currently dominate parliament, are facing huge losses at the next election, scheduled for April. Parties on the far left and far right, which are set to make big gains, are opposed to the bailout deal.
So, fascists and communists are set to make inroads as the center-right and center-left parties of Europe discredit themselves by their dogged commitment to a set of suicidal policies concocted in Brussels? Well I never.

“Predictable, and predicted”, as the euroskeptics are now fond of saying: the hollowing out of European democracy has been leading us in this direction for years.

But the more you look into it the worse it gets. George Tzogopoulos, of the Bodossakis Foundation think tank, was quoted in the Irish Independent last week as saying: "In my view, the election (in April) will be postponed because of EU pressure.” All quite casual and unremarkable. A leading Greek analyst just thinks the EU will ban a general election.

And it’s certainly plausible. Remember the words of the (obviously unelected) European Council president, Herman van Rompuy, in November? Speaking after calls in Italy for a general election, he said: “This country needs reforms, not elections.”

As The Commentator said at the time:
It’s jaw-dropping stuff. It’s like thinking you’re having a nightmare only for it to dawn on you that this is actually happening.
Few democracies have been more damaged in Europe than Ireland, which was twice in the last decade forced to vote again after rejecting EU treaties in referendums. On the planned new Fiscal Union, a recent Red C poll for the country’s Sunday Business Post suggested that 72 percent of Irish citizens want a referendum, 21 percent don‘t and seven percent registered no opinion.

But the government, if it can, will ignore them.

And there’s more. Here’s what the same paper said in an editorial: “...in our view, a referendum campaign would risk creating significant economic and financial instability and, were the electorate to vote No, this instability would increase rapidly, costing jobs and threatening investment. In our current economic predicament, this is the last thing we need.”

Mainstream newspapers as well as leading politicians are now starting to talk about the “dangers” of what we used to consider the normal process of ensuring democratic legitimacy. Isn’t it up to the Irish and Italians to decide what is in their interests? Apparently not.

But then again, that right was not accorded to the French or the Dutch when they voted against the European Constitution. This time they weren’t forced to vote again: they were simply ignored and got the same thing, which was rather transparently repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty.

As I said at the time, to ignore a referendum is actually worse than to rig it. When you rig an election you still show respect for the principle that the “winning side” must at least be seen to get the most votes.

But really, the most important issue is not the blatant opposition of many of the EU’s leading lights and their supporters to respecting the need for elections or the results when they don’t like them, it’s the increasingly obvious incompatibility between democracy itself and the neo-imperial model of European integration which the continent is rapidly adopting.

It only takes a little consideration of how much of the current European edifice could exist if it had been constructed on the consent of the governed. The euro? Not on your life. German voters consistently told pollsters they didn’t want it. So, that’s the euro gone.

The legal-political basis on which the entire project is currently constructed, the Lisbon Treaty? No, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland rejected it in referendums and several others would probably have done the same had they been given the chance: Britain certainly. So that’s the Lisbon Treaty gone too. I could go on.

The situation is more serious than it looks. For example, billed as “a first step towards more European coherence”, it has just been announced that Germany and France are looking to “harmonize” their corporate tax rates next year. The European Commission is pushing to extend that to every single member state. Put that notion with what we’ve already got in the European project and what Brussels plans us to have and you really start wondering what will soon be the point of elections at all.

What, after all, will people actually be able to vote on? Fiscal policy? No; that will be a supranational decision in which your country’s electorate will not have the decisive say. Tax policy? No, for the same reason. Monetary policy? It’s true that most countries operate independent central banks, but if you’re outside the euro, your elected government can at least appoint the governor and set the policy parameters. Not so if you’re in the euro, whose eventual membership for most countries is compulsory.

Foreign policy? No; again the ambition is for supranational consensus to rule the day. Border and immigration policy? No, especially not if you’re in the Schengen zone where you don’t even have a clue who is coming through your borders.


So, again, what are you going to vote on? Education? Cultural matters? Well, only as long as you don’t do something which contravenes laws for which ultimate authority resides in the European courts.

We’re not there yet. But that’s the way the leading forces in European politics want to take us.

And, in the absence of a European demos — a shared sense of destiny buttressed by common media, a common language to read and watch the media in, pan-European political parties, identical national interests, et cetera — what that will spell is nothing less than the end of the democratic era in modern Europe.

This, by the way, is not a matter of opinion. You either understand what democracy is and what it entails, or you do not.

But there is one very important issue that most certainly is a matter of opinion: Are you for democracy or against it? Depressingly, shockingly, almost unbelievably, that is the question that modern Europe now has to answer.


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Re: EUEUEUEUEU's democracy on the edge of the abyss

Posted by RockParkMan on Mon Feb 27 05:15:25 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU's democracy on the edge of the abyss, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Feb 26 23:55:41 2012.

Not My Problem




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EUEUEUEUEU turns national governments into EU institutions

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed Feb 29 02:16:13 2012, in response to EUEUEUEUEU Olog, posted by RockParkMan on Sat Nov 12 14:58:17 2011.

State governments aren't federal institutions. If they were, the USA would not be the USA anymore.

Europa.eu

Brussels, 27 February 2012 Speech by President Herman Van Rompuy to the Interparliamentary Committee meeting on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination

Brussels, 27 February 2012
It is a pleasure to say a few words at this important event. Your gathering here today and tomorrow is itself a sign of the changing times. It shows the growing interweaving of European and national politics.

In the old days, exaggerating just slightly, the European Community used to exist on one planet, and national politics on six, nine, twelve, fifteen other planets. This is over now. The debt crisis, difficult and painful as it is, brings home the fact that the Union is us. Right here and now, in everyone's daily life. Europe is not a great abstract idea for the future, no it is our daily experience!

Our interdependence is more clear than ever, and so is co-responsibility. Co-responsibility of the governments and institutions, to overcome the crisis. Co-responsibility also, of national parliaments.

Since the start of the Greek crisis, the events forced such momentous decisions upon us that national leaders had to step in, together.

Via national leaders and governments, national parliaments have also become more implicated than ever in the day-to-day business of the Eurozone. Just think only of the negotiations of the most recent Greek package. National tax payers' money was and is at stake. Given the relatively limited size of the central European budget, this was the only instrument available.

And all the while the European institutions play their essential role. The European Parliament was decisive in keeping its line in the discussions on the six-pack. There is no zero-sum game here.

Decisions by one national parliament — be it in Germany or Ireland, in Slovakia or Portugal — are watched all over Europe. Maybe not formally speaking, but at least politically speaking, all national parliaments have become, in a way, European institutions.

This is political interdependence:
the decisions of one affect all. Fiscal irresponsibility put the Eurozone in danger. A lack of solidarity could have produced the same result. Debtor and creditor countries have to work together. And in general, the economy of non-Eurozone countries also depends on the Eurozone. We carry a common project, especially those in the Eurozone, even if the choices are made nationally. Forgetting this in our actions undermines the common good.

How did this come about? Some would say dismissively that national leaders have only acted for the European good under the pressure of events, not out of inner conviction. Well, the pressure of events can be very effective too. Ideas can guide men; hard facts teach them. When I say the crisis put Europe’s national leaders face to face with co-responsibility, two reasons spring to mind why it fell upon them, personally.

First of all, as I said: there is a lot of money at stake. The public debt crisis, like the banking crisis in 2008, requires taxpayers’ money (albeit also in loans and guarantees). Given that the central EU budget is relatively small (ca. 1 percent of GDP), the EU institutions as such cannot act decisively on their own. It is therefore essential for the Member States to step in. And the amounts are such — €500 billion, or more than 5 percent of the GDP of the Eurozone that within countries the decision can only be taken at the highest political level. Many prime ministers would prefer this issue to stay in the hands of their Finance Minister… Yet the need for national money is simply a fact.

Secondly: in times of crisis, we reach the limits of institutions built on attributed competences. When we enter uncharted territory and new rules have to be set, the European Council, bringing the 27 country leaders, the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council around the table, is well placed to play its part.

Not everybody is satisfied by this situation. Some political actors feel side-lined. Some say the traditional "Community method" is abandoned. I have a more nuanced view. Over the past two years, we have worked to make sure that Europe’s institutions can deal with this new interdependence. And even if we had to use in part the “intergovernmental” road…, the work we have been doing has actually — and paradoxically — resulted in stronger central institutions.

The Commission has received unprecedented supervisory power. The Court of Justice will control the transposition of the debt brake. The European Parliament was decisive in designing the new budgetary and macro-economic surveillance, the so-called "six-pack", which is the backbone of the whole enterprise.

In the three major recent efforts by the Union to give itself a better economic governance — the Task Force which I chaired on economic governance, the Euro Plus Pact, the Fiscal Compact — I worked hard together with the Commission to bring the results within the normal EU framework.

When it comes to budget policies, everybody now acknowledges these are a matter of common interest. We have worked to align legislation and practice on this principle. The division of labor in this field is subtle. Member States set the ceiling on debt and deficit together, at the Union level, and they decide individually how to raise money and spend it.

Within this division of labor, the national parliaments keep their budgetary sovereignty, at least as long as national policies do not threaten the financial stability of the whole. To prevent that, countries in excessive deficit will conclude a 'contract' with the Commission to bring down the deficit below the 3 percent ceiling.

Nevertheless there is some uneasiness among national politicians about the EU’s new tasks. Yet recent events show that each and every part of national political life can take on a European dimension! Every national MP should therefore take an interest in talking to fellow parliamentarians in Strasbourg and in other member states — a member of the Bundestag can only gain from speaking with, let's say, Italian or Slovenian colleagues — and vice-versa!

The new Fiscal Treaty introduces meetings of the budget committees of national parliaments with the European Parliament. Even if this forum does not take decisions, it is important as a forum of exchange, as an eye-opener.

In my feeling it is in everybody's interest — also that of the European Parliament — that this forum works. As an outsider, I sometimes have the impression that the EP and the national parliaments live in different worlds: the one always pushing for more integration, the others focusing on domestic issues and pulling the brakes. That is why it is important to understand each other's perspective!

This year is the second time the European Semester is in place. But it has already been much strengthened since last year. The basic calendar remains the same: from the Commission's Annual Growth Survey (this time already in November 2011), via the National Reform Programs and others, to the June European Council which closes it.

But along this process, our tools have been strengthened, in particular thanks to the entry into force of the so-called "six-pack" for budgetary and macro-economic oversight. I should like to underline that this doesn't apply to the same extent to non-Eurozone-members; for them the new sanctions do not apply.

As you know, the Commission is now monitoring the budgetary cycles, giving its opinion on the draft budgets, allowing you, the national parliaments, to better dialogue with your own government.

In the framework of the European Semester, the Commission also assesses macro-economic policies (beyond fiscal issues). For instance, it recently decided to do extra reporting on imbalances for 12 countries, including countries with surpluses on the balance of payments (Sweden, Denmark). The Council can make recommendations to Member States to correct imbalances; when these are not followed, sanctions will ensue.

Now, once again, this new way of working reflects the new political reality of Europe after the crisis: the awareness that what happens in one country affects its neighbors, especially within the Eurozone. This can be about budget deficit, but also about economic reforms, for instance on the labor market, having a major impact on the rest of the Union. The Commission and other euro area Member States have to be consulted before adoption of any major fiscal or economic policy reform with potential spill-over effects, so as to allow for an assessment of possible impact on the euro area as a whole.

Here the old slogan of the three musketeers applies: "All for One; One for All!" It is the responsibility of the parliaments to adapt themselves to this situation.

Sometimes people say we take decisions behind closed doors. I do not think any government or any board of directors would take vital decisions with the cameras running...But we do take these decisions having listened very carefully to all points of view.

In meetings of the European Council, one feels the presence around the table of all the parliaments which you represent. Not only do we listen to the President of the European Parliament at the beginning of each of our meetings — a Parliament to which one of our colleagues, President Barroso, is directly accountable. Many national leaders, in our discussions, refer to the position of their parliament, to defend specific amendments.

In that respect I sometimes have the impression that I am the only one in the room without a parliament! As a long-time elected politician, and a former President of a national parliament, I miss this dearly! I do have voters of course, but they are only 27 — 27 electors all democratically elected themselves!

Sixty years of integration has taught us that Europe is not built by dissolving Member States, but by infusing them ever more deeply. A slow process which sometimes gets a sudden push. In this crisis we have reached a whole new level of cooperation, a sort of European home affairs. "Europe is domestic policy."

And that is why it is so important to have dialogues like the one of today.


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

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Wed Feb 29 08:22:50 2012, in response to Re: EUEUEUEUEU turning Greece into ''Protectorate'' by Germany's orders, posted by AlM on Wed Feb 15 07:35:30 2012.

Maybe it will change when they can no longer pay the army. Those colonels certainly have form.

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

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Wed Feb 29 08:27:04 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.

And the country most screwed by this is... Greece!

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