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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:41:19 PM EST
Greece debates austerity bill as Germany demands action | Europe | DW.DE | 12.02.2012

Greek lawmakers have begun debating a deeply unpopular austerity bill, with a decision expected later Sunday. Germany's finance minister has warned Greece must take firm action in order to remain in the eurozone.

Chaotic scenes marred a crucial Greek parliamentary debate on Sunday as lawmakers looked set to endorse a deeply unpopular austerity bill. Amid fiery exchanges and loud interruptions one Communist Party deputy hurled the pages of the deeply unpopular bill on the floor of the chamber.

Addressing parliament, however, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos warned that "if the law is not passed, the country will go bankrupt."

The 300-seat parliament had to come to a decision by midnight, he said, "because come Monday morning, banking and financial markets must get the message that Greece can and will survive."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek crisis: thousands join protests as MPs debate bailout deal | World news | The Guardian

Police fired teargas at protesters outside the Greek parliament as MPs began debating the deeply unpopular bailout deal setting out €3.3bn in wage, pension and job cuts as the price of a €130bn (£108bn) rescue package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Thousands of protesters gathered in the square outside the national assembly building in Athens, but the demonstrations quickly turned ugly, with the crowds facing off against an estimated 6,000 riot police.

Parliamentarians are expected to approve the deal. Greece needs the rescue package - the country's second since 2010 - before 20 March to meet debt repayments of €14.5bn. But the bill has stirred anger on the streets and turmoil within the Greek coalition government.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, it's a done deal.

The Greek Parliament has acted.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most catastrophic thing is that everybody involved knows this is a dishonest process.

Austerity doesn't work, this has been demonstrated time and time again. It makes the restoration of the Greek economy less likely, not just in the long term, but in the short term as well.

The bailout funds make the situation worse, not better. So we have a spiral of decline that leaves a wasteland in its wake, that will drag more countries into the whirlpool, simply because central bankers will not admit that they have the wrong solution.

Everybody involved knows this. But they do it anyway and I think it's because the truth is electorally disastrous for the carpetbaggers who've been peddling the lie in the countries which enforce the decisions.

Greece died that Merkel might win re-election

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calls for tolerance aim to eclipse right-wing Dresden marches | Germany | DW.DE | 12.02.2012

While up to 2,000 right-wing extremists are expected to march in Dresden on the 67th anniversary of the city's destruction, even more people are planning to protest against the demonstration. Police have called for calm.[...]

In 1998, far-right and neo-Nazi groups staged their demonstrations on the anniversary of the city's destruction to deny German war guilt and the Holocaust. What started with less than 100 participants grew into mass demonstrations with some 6,500 neo-Nazis taking part in the 2011 protest that was billed as a "funeral march." The city said it expects between 1,000 and 2,000 people this year to take part in the march.

The people of Dresden, as well as many people from outside the city, have organized large-scale protests against the annual far-right marches. In 2011, some 15,000 people took part in sit-ins, and formed human chains to obstruct the march's path.

Police and protesters clashed in 2010 and 2011

Police forcibly removed the protesters to allow the far-right groups, including skinheads and neo-Nazis, access to the city. From the state's point of view, the sit-ins represented criminal obstruction of an officially authorized demonstration.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For France's blighted north, a Green path out of crisis - FRENCH POLITICS - FRANCE 24

Eva Joly, the Green candidate in France's forthcoming presidential election, sought to breathe new life into her faltering presidential campaign on Saturday as she unveiled her programme in the northern town of Roubaix.

The Norwegian-born former magistrate, whose campaign has been dogged by rumours of sedition within her party's ranks, picked the impoverished former industrial hub near the border with Belgium to present a green platform with a strong social agenda.

Her 67-page programme, which includes plans for a 70% tax on France's wealthiest and more benefits for the poorest, positions her clearly to the left of the frontrunner, Socialist candidate François Hollande.

Joly, 68, was under pressure to bring a new focus to an erratic campaign marked by a number of controversial remarks - including her suggestion that Muslim and Jewish feasts be granted national holiday status - and knee-jerk reactions by right-wing opponents, who have repeatedly questioned her French credentials.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RBS bankers arrested in tax fraud investigation | Business | The Guardian

Bankers from the Royal Bank of Scotland have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged tax fraud.

Four current employees and one former employee of the Edinburgh-based bank were arrested at their homes across London and the home counties on Wednesday, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said.

HMRC said the allegations related to the financial affairs of the individuals rather than the activity of the bank.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would they bother to defraud the HMRC ? We all know that if bankers go and ask nicely, their taxes will be waived.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:35:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly avalanche hits Kosovo as freeze grips Europe - WEATHER - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Nine people were killed when an avalanche hit the village of Restelica in southern Kosovo, officials said on Sunday, adding to more than 500 killed in snow and bitter cold across Europe in the past two weeks.

In Poland, the interior ministry said 20 people had died in the past 24 hours because of the freezing weather, bringing the toll there so far this year to at least 100. A spokeswoman said the latest victims froze to death or were suffocated or killed by fires due to defective or improvised heaters.

The Kosovo avalanche enveloped about 15 houses on Saturday but only two were occupied at the time.

One person was missing and a girl aged about six was found alive late on Saturday after residents and emergency services helped dig out the houses. She was taken to hospital.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkmen leader set for victory in one-sided election - TURKMENISTAN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Turkmenistan votes on Sunday in a one-sided election certain to extend the rule of President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov over a Central Asian country holding 4 percent of global gas reserves, which rights groups rank among the world's most repressive.

Berdymukhamedov, a 54-year-old qualified dentist, is also prime minister, commander of the armed forces and chairman of the only political party in Turkmenistan. His word is final in the former Soviet republic, which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Few citizens recognise anyone on the ballot paper other than the president, whose portrait - smiling and dressed in business suit and tie - can be found in parks, streets, offices and hotel lobbies across the desert nation of 5.5 million people.

Icy roads and frosts greeted the first trickle of voters who made their way to polling stations in Ashgabat, the country's showpiece capital. Piped music filled the air along the city's fountain-lined avenues as the sun came up.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tories fear row over health bill may 'retoxify' party on NHS | Politics | The Observer

David Cameron's government is not trusted on the NHS by two-thirds of the country, in a sign that the furore over proposed reforms is "retoxifying" the Conservative brand.

A new poll today reveals the extent of the damage being inflicted on the Tory party by the controversial bill being pushed forward by health secretary Andrew Lansley. It shows that 62% of voters do not trust ministers on the health service, nearly double the 34% who say they do. Among Tory voters, nearly a quarter (24%) said they did not now trust their own government to handle the NHS, a belief shared by 59% of Liberal Democrat voters.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the health union Unison, follows reports that three cabinet ministers supported an editorial on the influential Conservative Home website last week describing the NHS bill as "potentially fatal to the Conservative party's electoral prospects".

The prime minister has remained steadfast in his support of Lansley's reforms, but fears are growing in Tory ranks that the government's attachment to the health and social care bill, which would further open up the NHS to private providers, means their party will take the blame for any future problems in the NHS. Some within the party have dubbed it the government's "poll tax", the policy that proved so damaging to Margaret Thatcher's last government.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron facing serial rebellion from Thatcher's ministers in the Lords | Alastair Campbell

One of the frustrating things about a programme like Question Time is that you can do all sorts of research but unless the right question or moment comes up, it might be wasted. The great thing about a blog is that nothing need be wasted.

When I was researching Shirley Williams' `talk the talk but don't vote the vote' record in the Lords, I came across a fascinating pattern, which for some reason the mainstream media do not seem onto.

In the House of Lords, there is a seeming permanent rebellion going on from some of the big names of the Thatcher era. If my calculations are correct, the league table looks something like this

Tony Newton has rebelled 13 times. Geoffrey Howe 12. Michael Forsyth 8. Norman Lamont 5. Nigel Lawson and Leon Brittan 4. Norman Tebbit 3



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have to research this, was Norman Tebbit one of my board members? why does that name ring my feeble bell?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all the bells ringing for me are scary ones :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was he with Thatcher when the Howden nuclear cooling plant factory was turned into making windmills? 198X? Checked the Howden site, they don't even list board members.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
83 to 85 he was secretary of state for trade and industry, so you would assume that he would be doing that sort of thing then.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:10:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
34% is the rough percent of the people who voted for the Tories in the last election.  Tories are trying to institute policy without a majority, or even strong plurality, support.  

Recipe for political death by 10,000 by-elections.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bizzarely Simon Hughes, a senior Lib dem was on tv this morning saying that Lansley should be allowed to bring his changes through and then should be sacked. afterwards. a worst of both worlds situation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simon Hughes is in the running for the Nadine Dorries crazy-frothing-at-the-mouth-hypocrite award. The man is a serial idiot and if I was a Lib Dem supporter I'd be actively engaged in attempting to have him chained to a wall in a basement of Westminster and then bricked in.

He's the only LD I think is hatefully contemptible

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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