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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:20:24 AM EST
EUobserver / Voting begins for EU 'worst lobbying' award

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Voting has begun for the 'Worst EU lobbying awards 2010' - an initiative drawing attention to companies that reportedly use underhand techniques to influence the direction of EU legislation.

Attending the opening press conference in Brussels on Wednesday (13 October), Danish centre-left MEP Dan Jorgensen said it was time to introduce a new authorisation procedure and code of conduct for the estimated 15,000 lobbyists that operate in the EU capital, with severe penalties for those that break the code.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:30:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU states and MEPs clash over international talks

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Member states are considering taking the EU Parliament to court if it does not back down on demands for new powers on EU foreign policy and international agreements, EUobserver has learnt.

Ambassadors representing member states at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (13 October) signaled their discontent over an inter-institutional agreement between the European Commission and the EU legislature which may give fresh powers to euro-deputies, especially when it comes to international negotiations on behalf of the EU.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:32:05 AM EST
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EUobserver / Nato ministers agree to 'cut fat'
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Nato defence ministers on Thursday (14 October) agreed to plans put forward by secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen to "cut fat" by reducing the number of headquarters and staff. The money saved is to be used for new capabilities such as cyber defence and an anti-ballistic missile shield.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany backs NATO plan for missile-defense shield | World | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Germany has expressed its approval for an anti-missile system proposed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a summit of member countries' defense and foreign ministers.

 

The 28-nation military alliance gathered Thursday in Brussels to discuss its new 10-year strategy designed to usher in a new era with a new orientation. Top of the agenda was a nuclear-missile shield to protect Europe and North America.

 

"We believe that, on substance, the missile shield is a good idea," German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters ahead of the meeting.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:38:04 AM EST
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Shield against whose missiles ?

Iran's 500 mile fire crackers ? N Korea's inner city ballistic missile ?

Or Martians ?

We're going through a recession guys, now is not hte time for recreating cold War fantasies

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the work were done in countries that are in recession, that would constitute a stimulus for those economies. The last thing needed is for most of the work to go to Germany. Call it "Anti-Missile Keynsianism".  :-)

But, of course, most of the work will end up in the countries that need it least, possibly excepting the UK. And presuming that the work is done in Europe. The USA could certainly use the work. It fits the economic function provided by capital spending: people are employed building things that are not immediately consumed. Not to say that it wouldn't be even better were similar sums spent on infrastructure that people would actually use.

But if they pay for it by firing government workers, then they have just replaced one kind of non-consumption oriented production with another. But politics and spin trumps all.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem with what you propose is that military spending is an economic dead end in that the product provides zero added value to the economy (even if you sell it abroad). It is simply dead weight economically.

If you build trade goods or infrastructure these assets multiply their value, weapons systems may direct tax dollars into the pockets of citizens in the same way as any other govt project, but at the end nothing is added to the economy.

So military spend adds mass not energy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:09:19 AM EST
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Depends. Part of the money for the missile shield goes to solve interesting technical puzzles that may further down lead to useful stuff. Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:50:35 AM EST
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I never claimed that military production resulted in useful things, other than military advantage. But, because that production is not consumed in a normal sense, it has the same effect, in a macro sense, as capital spending -- i.e. you are paying people for production that will not be consumed. They will spend their wages on things that are consumed. That helps the larger economy, which is largely based on production of goods and services for immediate consumption. See THE GREAT SLUMP OF 1930 by Keynes and do the little arithmetical calculation he suggests.

This used to be more effective, before consumer goods manufacturing was exported to low labor cost countries, but it would still help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using the military spending to "help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy" is all good from a very narrow perspective.

broadening the horizon a bit, that same money could be used to fund all manner of civilization-enhancing technologies and projects, including even the arts.  with far more payback.

humanity ain't gonna advance while it keeps funding old-school death. 'specially not as the oceans die off, and the nutrient-depleted topsoil washes away.

if i had 1/100th of amurka's military budget to spend for ten years, we'd have floating windmills producing hydrogen being deployed around the world in year 11.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaďs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am certainly not advocating 'Military Keynesianism', only noting what its effects are on the economy. It would be much better to have the same money put into just about any long term social capital good.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

But they do them both at the same time. The classic Reagan get what you give motif: finance both Iran and Iraq to kill each other, hiding the addicted wife while buying and selling drugs to finance munitions prohibited by Congress, spend massive amounts of money for carriers, battleships and planes while kicking off the faux dream of missile defense.

27 years later they still have failures with beacon-blaring targets.

The only spin-off so far is a good laugh or two from the one or two comedians keeping track.

Happy Cuban Missile Crisis Anniversary.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - US urges allies to endorse missile shield

AFP - The United States urged NATO allies Thursday to invest in a missile shield and avoid deep cuts in military budgets at a rare meeting of foreign and defence ministers clouded by the war in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates made the plea, echoed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, amid French reservations about the system.

"The studies have been done, the data are well-known and the affordability is clear," Gates told alliance ministers. "It is time for a decision."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:48:17 AM EST
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yea, cos firing a few secretaries is gonna pay for a missile shield.

these guys grew up molly-coddled on the comforts of Cold War Welfare and they can't let go. they are still in the mentality of inventing fantastical threats and getting a budget to come up with some stupid hardware to counter it. it never mattered that none of it ever worked cos the problem wasn't there anyway.

It's time to let go guys, we can't afford you anymore.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's time to let go guys, we can't afford you anymore.

Remember that old TV ad phrase "There's always room for Jello"? Well there's always megabucks for the military/industrial complex, and lobbyist bribes will make it happen.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:57:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Polish minister steps out of race for EU foreign affairs job

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Poland's junior minister for EU affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, has pulled out of the competition to become one of Catherine Ashton's top deputies.

The news was broken by Polish press agency PAP on Wednesday (13 October) citing "senior diplomatic sources."

Mr Dowgielewicz is said to have stepped aside in order to boost the chances of another Polish candidate, Maciej Popowski, to get the post of deputy secretary general in the European External Action Service (EEAS) and to concentrate on running the Polish EU presidency in late 2011.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Roma expulsion orders called into question by lawyers

At dawn on August 14, seventy Roma were evicted from the house in which they were squatting in the city of Montreuil, just south of Paris. Fourteen men were separated from their wives and children and placed into police custody. As evening neared, the men left the police station after each had been handed an official document: an Obligation to Leave the French Territory (OQTF), a month's notice to pack their bags.

The document clearly states the reason for their expulsion: they've lived in France for over three months, have insufficient financial resources to stay and no family obligations in the country. In accordance with European law, this gives France sufficient reason to demand their departure.

The group's lawyers, Helene Clement and Guillaume Traynard, think otherwise. The documents issued to the 14 Roma families are identical, save the blank space where their names and dates of birth were filled in by hand. Clearly, Clement and Traynard, argue, French authorities have failed to check the status of each of the Roma.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely these OQTFs are at least as valid as the typical foreclosure paperwork used in US residential mortgage foreclosures.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Unions call for new protests Oct. 19 as strikes continue for third day
French unions called for another day of strikes and protests to take place on October 19 over plans to raise the retirement age as an ongoing open-ended strike disrupted services and transport for a third day on Thursday.

"Union organisations ask the senators not to adopt this unfair reform," they said in a statement after Paris talks on their next move in a showdown with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has refused to back down on the flagship reform of his term.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 01:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Basel III is bad news for emerging economies
... as Basel III staggers towards the finishing line at November's Group of 20 leading economies meeting in Seoul, it has become clear that the needs of emerging markets have been ignored. 2004's Basel II proved fiendishly difficult to apply in conditions where even large corporations lack credit ratings; where the data to build credit scoring systems barely exists; and where there are few institutional investors who might actually read public disclosures. Far from fixing this, Basel III makes it even worse.
...
Basel III poses two fundamental challenges for emerging markets. The first concerns deadlines. After the banking industry stoked fears that Basel III's requirement to raise more capital could choke off nascent economic recovery, an Augustinian compromise was reached... As a result, implementation is now stretched until the end of this decade.

Yet emerging markets need to operate on a different timetable... However, Basel III's transition period means that no emerging economy is likely to want to be the first mover. Bankers in developing countries will argue with some justification that they should not be disadvantaged relative to competitors in advanced economies.

The second challenge is whether it makes sense for emerging market banks to be more highly capitalised and liquid than those in wealthier countries... But, as the tier 1 ratio rises, should emerging economies ratchet up their own requirements just to maintain an emerging market premium?



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:29:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Banks May Escape Capital Surcharge as Global Talks Founder - Bloomberg
Leaders of the world's largest economies, divided over how to curb risk-taking by their biggest banks, will likely fail to agree on a capital surcharge.

Instead, the Financial Stability Board, which is weighing measures to prevent such institutions from causing another economic crisis, will recommend a range of options without setting a level of extra capital to be imposed globally, said members of the group who declined to be identified because the discussions are private. The FSB will meet in Seoul next week.

The fissures running through the group are similar to those that split the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision when it considered tighter capital requirements for all banks this year. Germany, France and Japan are resisting a surcharge for big lenders, as are lobbyists for those firms, while the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland advocate the approach, members say. That camp agreed to soften some of the Basel capital rules with the understanding that more would be done to restrain the largest banks through the FSB.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Companies / Rail - French tensions rise over German trains
France's transport minister has stepped up his government's opposition to Eurostar's planned €600m order for German-built trains, saying that only trains built by France's Alstom could use the Channel tunnel.

Dominique Bussereau's remarks to LCI Television are likely to increase European Commission concern over France's stance over the order, announced on October 7, for 10 new Velaro high-speed trains from Germany's Siemens.

Eurostar, controlled by SNCF, France's state-owned train operator, is the first SNCF affiliate to order high-speed trains from a manufacturer other than Alstom, France's national champion.

Mr Bussereau repeated claims rejected by the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission and Eurostar that Siemens' trains would represent a safety risk. Eurostar's decision to opt for Siemens trains was "null and void", he said. "Since the beginning we have told the management of Eurotunnel, which manages the tunnel, and Eurostar, which operates it . . . that material other than Alstom material cannot be used," he went on. He added, however, that it was not a question of Alstom and other manufacturers, but that only Alstom trains currently met the safety rules.

Eurostar said it was confident it had chosen the best train for its customers. "We intend to proceed as planned," it said.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I listened to a debate about this on the radio. The basis for the safety issues is that the Alstom trains are built so that the train can be stopped such that the exit doors align with the tunnels emergency exits, and that passengers can get from all cars to each exit. The german trains are shorter and don't have the passages so that passengers are forced to walk out of the train and feel through the smoke to get to the exits...

Don't know any more subtle details than that.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:09:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I thought as well. But does this have anything to do with who makes them? Is there some reason why you can't run a longer train with Siemens cars, or are they confusing two issues?

Of course, there's also the additional problem of what happens if a door comes off a German train in the tunnel...

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree; I don't think it is a matter of exactly who makes them, just that they are to be made to a certain specification and only one maker is doing it that way. The confusion is at the reporter's end.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:11:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian.
But today, more than 60 years after he gave it a name, and nearly two decades after construction was begun, the Gotthard Base tunnel (GBT) will finally be completed.

At 57km (35 miles), it will be the longest railway tunnel in the world and will cut the journey time from Zurich to Milan by 60 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. With high-speed trains running at near ground level through the towering Gotthard massif, both passengers and freight will - just as Gruner predicted - be carried through the mountains in under two hours.

[...]

This afternoon, in the presence of the Swiss transport minister, Moritz Leuenberger, and the virtual presence of his EU counterparts, watching the ceremony via a video-link to Luxembourg, a giant drilling machine called Sissi will bore through the final centimetres of rock to connect both ends of the tunnel.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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