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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:39:40 PM EST
EUobserver / Rolling general strike hits France

Massive demonstrations and a rolling strike have hit France in the biggest protest yet against the government's attempt to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62, although Paris insists it will not be moved.

With 3.5 million taking part in the rallies and marches across the country, according to organisers, it beats the 2 million that in 1995 forced a retreat over a similar move and ultimately led to the fall of the government.

Police put the figures at 1.23 million, although in Marseilles, a police union actually attacked the estimate as false, while some police joined the protests in the capital.

Half the flights at Orly Airport and a third of flights at Charles de Gaulle Airport were cancelled. Two thirds of high-speed trains were stilled, although Eurostar reported that its Paris-London service has been uninterrupted.

The country's largest oil port, Fos-Lavera, has been closed for 15 days as a result of industrial action.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:46:30 PM EST
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Sarkozy stands firm as pension protests escalate - Europe, World - The Independent

President Nicolas Sarkozy could face the greatest challenge of his presidency in the next few days as a month-old protest against pension reform swells towards outright confrontation.

More than 3 million demonstrators - one in 20 of all French people - marched yesterday against the President's plans to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62. Tens of thousands of students joined the marches for the first time, threatening to radicalise the protests and broaden them into a rebellion against a deeply unpopular presidency.

Militant union branches in the railway and oil-refining industries were pushing last night for a showdown with Mr Sarkozy, who has made reform of the loss-making state pension system the make-or-break issue of his final 20 months in office.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:47:19 PM EST
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Strike spreads, Marseilles blocked | Presseurop - English
"The demonstration," headlines Libération after the fourth day of protests against the pension reforms in France. Somewhere between 1,230,000 (according to the police) and 3.5 million people (according to unions) took to the streets, including a great many high school and university students. The strike is to continue in certain sectors, including the port of Marseille that supplies six big oil refineries in the south of France. "The strikes are now renewable," reports Libération. "Under the umbrella of a majority-opinion movement, the most determined union activists, although a minority, are trying to block public transport and petrol deliveries. Invented in 1995 at the time of the Juppé reform [also of pensions], the `strike by proxy' is back." More protests are planned, moreover, but the government has let it be known that it will not backtrack on its decision to raise the retirement age to 62.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:20:14 PM EST
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Ryanair ditches Marseille base in row over pay | Reuters

(Reuters) - Irish airline Ryanair said on Wednesday it would close its only French base at Marseille Airport from January next year following a dispute with French authorities over how its workers are paid.

Europe's biggest low-cost carrier effectively treats the 200 pilots and cabin crew it has working in Marseille as Irish employees -- receiving their pay from Ireland and paying their tax and social insurance contributions to Ireland.

Should read: France ditches Ryanair.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:48:25 PM EST
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As someone noted, how can Ryanair claim at the same time that (i) Marseilles will lose jobs and that (ii) it is perfectly legal to use Irish employment contracts. Or are the jobs counted twice?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 03:16:36 AM EST
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You expect logic from Michael O'Leary?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:40:37 AM EST
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No - just PR.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 07:58:51 AM EST
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Call for tougher oil-drilling safety checks, but no ban | European Voice
Commission stops short of calling for a ban on building new platforms.

The European Commission wants oil companies to face more stringent safety and financial barriers before they can get permits for offshore drilling, but has stopped short of calling for a ban on building new platforms.

Günther Oettinger, the European commissioner for energy, today (13 October) said: "Safety is non-negotiable. We have to make sure that a disaster similar to the one in the Gulf of Mexico will never happen in European waters."

He promised that the first-ever EU legislative proposals on oil platforms would be published next year. These would require companies to prove that they have funds to cover the costs of environmental damage in the event of an accident, and to demonstrate that their technical equipment meets the highest-possible standards. The Commission would also like to set up an independent panel of experts to oversee national authorities, to `regulate the regulators', he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:56:02 PM EST
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France to miss EU deadline on Roma | EurActiv
As it appears that France will miss the 15 October deadline given by the European Commission to prove the legality of its Roma expulsions policy, the EU executive will make its case "stronger" against Paris, EU officials told EurActiv.

 Two days ahead of the deadline set by the Commission, Paris had reportedly "not done much" to abide by the requests. "It's unrealistic that relevant measures will be notified by the deadline," said a Commission source.

France was asked to provide by 15 October the text of a draft law aimed at transposing into national law those elements of a directive on the free movement of EU citizens that are not currently part of French legislation, as exposed by the Roma row between Brussels and Paris (see 'Background').

In a letter seen by EurActiv which EU Justice and Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding sent to the French government at the end of September, she clearly requests the transposition of Articles 27 and 28 of the directive.

These articles regulate expulsions of EU citizens from a member state different from the one of origin, and set out citizens' rights to protect them from expulsions.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:59:08 PM EST
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Extreme Opinions: Right-Wing Attitudes On the Rise in Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

A new study has revealed that far-right attitudes are deeply rooted in German society. One-third of Germans would send foreigners home if there weren't enough jobs, while one-sixth think Jews have too much influence.

"Germany is in serious danger of being overrun by foreigners." It's a sentence one would expect to find on an election poster for Germany's far-right NPD party. As it happens, it's a view that is held by over one-third of the German population -- a new survey has revealed that 35.6 percent of Germans agree with the statement.

Additionally, more than 30 percent think that "foreigners come to take advantage of the welfare state" and that when jobs are scarce foreigners should be sent "back to their own country." More than one-tenth would like a "Führer" -- the survey deliberately used the German word for "leader" that is associated with Adolf Hitler -- who would govern the country "with a firm hand" for the benefit of all.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:09:47 PM EST
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They keep forgetting that foreigners are their citizens now and that they are working and paying taxes to the state...So it's OK for foreigners to come and work and build their country when they are needed and when times are bad they would send them " home"...except that they do not have a home any more other then home in Germany. But who cares...
I am not surprised...I expect this to happen everywhere ...absolutely everywhere...and it's happening ...USA , EU, Australia, Canada...as things are becoming worse...The easier way is " blame it on immigrants". I do understand that EU (and others) is overcrowded with immigrants...but it was your policy guys...and you had to choose back then ...either you'll have large and speedy growth and have to take immigrants ( with all the consequences) or have a slow unimpressive growth and live your traditional lives as it goes. You wanted to lead...now you have it. But it is going to get ugly I am sure...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 07:26:20 PM EST
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I do understand that EU (and others) is overcrowded with immigrants...
WTF are you talking about?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 07:50:07 PM EST
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No, I mean it.
"Overcrowded" is definitely not right word, so what I meant and that is fact that there are a lot of Africans, Asians and people from other continents that immigrated in EU lately (last few decades). Until recently I would say East Europeans too but they are now EU members. Even they are not welcomed to "immigrate" in western part of EU as we see.
Immigrants obviously were needed at the time but now when things are not rosy quite a few western Europeans would like to "send them home".
I do not know numbers (if anybody knows them) I tried to find it on internet but failed. Numbers may not look like much but still I believe that there was significant immigration to EU at least last decade (or longer).
As for Australia it's unbelievable but Brits that came here consider themselves like only real Australians...everybody else is immigrant for them except Aborigines who are not even mentioned in constitution...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 08:53:30 AM EST
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the problem that arise when this topic is discussed is that the word "immigrant" is ill defined and so different people mean different things.

To take the example of the UK. white immigrants, such as poles etc who come from within europe are generally accepted the moment they speak english well and their children are instantly unequivocally British. However, coloured immigrants are always immigrants and their offspring are considered to be immigrants down the generations until such time as they are invisibly inter-married with white people.

So, who is an immigrant ? The pole who arrived yesterday, or the 3rd or 4th generation British Asian ? In popular culture it would be the British asian.

People talk about the british and their thousand years of undiluted british bloodline. Except of course that this british bloodline was principally Viking and german/celtic. Then we added a dash of french with the Norman invasion. Then over the years we have had Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Flemish, more French, Chinese, then during the war we took in refugees from all over europe (although shamefully few jewish) and then afterwards we have commonwealth Asian and African.

So we have an absolutely undiluted English bloodline (apart from all the immigrants).

the discussion about immigration is utterly flawed until you define who you mean, which invariably means revealing who you're prejudiced against. Yet most people are unwilling to admit to blatant racism, so they talk about their culture being swamped as Enoch Powell did in his notorious "Rivers of blood" speech and which thatcher approvingly alluded to a decade later.

What they never understood was that not everybody shared their prejudice and not all people view immigrants so negatively. In short they underestimated the generosity and humanity of the British people, the very people they venerated for their warlike behaviour when it suited them.

And that's the problem with it. It's a subject shot through with dishonesty and it's difficult to discuss.  

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 09:49:25 AM EST
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I think that's Australia you're thinking of. I'm pretty sure if you look around you'll be able to find a few.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:56:02 AM EST
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and it's happening ...USA , EU, Australia, Canada...as things are becoming worse...The easier way is " blame it on immigrants"

I'm sure the aborigines do

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 09:30:01 AM EST
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More than one-tenth would like a "Führer" ...

I'm available, and will do kids' parties on weekends.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 08:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moscow scores against Brussels again | Presseurop - English

"In the muted but high-stakes war between the EU and Russia to control the gas pipelines from Central Asia to Europe, Moscow has just racked up another point against Brussels," writes La Tribune. Wintershall, a German subsidiary of the chemical colossus BASF, is about to sign on to the South Stream project. "This is another hard knock for Nabucco, the rival gas pipeline project backed by the EU, which was to bypass Russia in transporting gas from Central Asia." According to the French financial daily, "the advent of a German company will end up discrediting this $25bn-plus (€18bn-plus) project". Initiated by Russia's Gazprom, South Stream is backed by the Italian oil and gas utility ENI. In the spring of 2010, the two corporations bolstered the project's European credentials by both pledging to transfer 10% of theirs stakes to the French utility EDF.

Nabucco, on the other hand, appears increasingly unconvincing, adds the French daily, for want of sufficient natural gas reserves to justify its construction. Gazprom has in fact "methodically drained the Central Asian gas reserves by clinching multiple long-term purchase contracts in the region, thereby reducing by as much the volumes that Nabucco could carry". As Pierre Noël, an energy specialist at Cambridge University, explains to La Tribune, "By announcing the construction of the gas pipeline even before securing the gas reserves, Brussels killed the project."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:22:25 PM EST
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It would not be a "defeat for the EU" if stupid commentators had not put so much importance on a pipeline that makes no sense and cannot be built (that would be Nabucco) - and if our politicians had not listened to these and given their grand theories so much publicity.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 03:18:57 AM EST
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True. The problem is that the commentators did that (and will continue, probably), and our politicians did in fact listen. So it is a defeat for the EU, which backed the wrong horse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:48:50 AM EST
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VDM Fuck My Life
Aujourd'hui, je suis agent d'accueil dans une gare SNCF de la banlieue parisienne. Me faire engueuler par un client un jour de grève n'a rien d'exceptionnel. Mais me faire engueuler parce que je ne fais PAS grève, c'est troublant. VDMToday, I am a ticket seller in an SNCF train station in the Paris suburbs. Getting shouted at by a customer on a strike day is not exceptional. But getting shouted at because I'm NOT on strike, that's troubling. FML

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:19:58 AM EST
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The Independent [UK] Serbia face Uefa ban after night of violence in Genoa
Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Body will decide on punishment on 28 October, and has several sanctions available, ranging from a large fine to disqualification from competitions in progress and/or exclusion from future competitions. Group C leaders Italy are also likely to be awarded a 3-0 walkover victory.

Reports from Serbia yesterday said the riot was an orchestrated demonstration of political violence designed to destabilise the pro-Western government and alienate the country from the rest of Europe.

The drug baron Darko Saric, who is on the run, was allegedly behind the ugly scenes that included thugs fighting with riot police and throwing flares on to the pitch, one of which nearly hit the Italy goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 09:28:01 AM EST
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