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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 03:20:27 PM EST
Bosnia marks 20th anniversary of independence | News | DW.DE | 01.03.2012

Bosnia's Muslim and Croat leaders have commemorated 20 years of independence from Yugoslavia, while a boycott from Bosnian Serbs outlined the country's deep ethnic divisions.

Bosnia and Herzegovina marked its 20th anniversary since independence from the former Yugoslavia at a ceremony in Sarajevo on Thursday, although a large portion of the ethnically-divided country refused to recognize the holiday.

The semi-autonomous Muslim-Croat Federation is the only region in the country to celebrate independence, while the Serb-majority Republika Srpska boycotts the day. Milorad Dodik, president of the Republika Srpska, called it a "completely normal workday," highlighting the ethnic divisions that still run deep in the country.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:04:13 PM EST
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EU summit to avoid contentious issues | EurActiv

A "no thrill" EU summit starting today (1 March) will avoid several contentious issues against the background of the French election campaign. Instead, leaders are poised to give speeches about "growth",  congratulate themselves for the re-election of Herman Van Rompuy as Council president and sign the 'fiscal compact' treaty.

As a senior EU diplomat described it, this was shaping up to be the first "quiet, normal" summit since the world economic crisis broke in 2008.

However, he admitted that it was difficult to judge whether this was a "return to normalcy", or if leaders had decided that contentious issues should be swept under the carpet.

Leaders are expected to speak about growth, which according to an EU diplomat is the new mantra after EU countries exhausted their fiscal policy resources.

Commission President José Manuel Barroso is expected to deliver the message that the EU needs to invest in order to get out of the crisis.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:10:47 PM EST
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EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU leaders meet on economy, Schengen and Serbia

BRUSSELS - A two-day EU summit starts Thursday evening (1 March) in Brussels with EU leaders set to look at statistics showing where each country stands in terms of public deficit, labour taxes and retirement ages.

A discussion paper prepared by EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy, and seen by EUobserver, lists several 'priority' measures aimed at countering the recession in many member states in 2012.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:20:39 PM EST
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Germany to tackle skills shortage with 'Blue Card' | Business | DW.DE | 01.03.2012

The German Parliament has held its first debate on a government draft bill, which is geared towards luring more foreign, non-EU workers into Germany. Holders of a so-called Blue Card would face fewer restrictions.

What the Green Card is for the United States of America, the Blue Card is meant to be for Europe. A guideline from the European Commission dating back to 2009 stipulates that skilled workers from non-EU nations should have similar regulations as to their residence status than foreign workers in the US.

The German government has been dragging its feet on implementing the Blue Card, maybe because many still don't see Germany as an immigration country.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:12:40 PM EST
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Merkel meets the people in townhall talk | Germany | DW.DE | 01.03.2012

It was - almost - a first for Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a "townhall meeting" Germans were given the chance to offer suggestions for a better society. The format worked, but the substance was lacking.

The small eastern German town of Erfurt became the laboratory for a new experiment in German democracy on Wednesday. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team arrived by helicopter from Berlin, accompanied by dozens of correspondents - though they got stuck in a train for 90 minutes.

And it even looked as though some of the décor from the German parliament had been transported from the capital - the beautiful, baroque, white-and-gold Kaisersaal in Erfurt's old town had been decked out with the dull, gray and blue color scheme of the Bundestag.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:14:15 PM EST
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The format worked, but the substance was lacking.

For a definition of "work" tha doesn't include "substance"?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 03:17:45 AM EST
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Sort of like the Erfurt Union. Offer the trappings of consultation all the better to hoodwink the people.

Oh I'd better not try to draw any parallels between the Erfurt Union shambles and the European Council. It would end badly.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 04:11:44 AM EST
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EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / 'Grey mouse' EU president picked for second term

BRUSSELS - Herman Van Rompuy, the Haiku-writing, self-styled "grey mouse" of European politics, has been elected to a second term as head of the European Council, with his understated style credited with keeping the "show on the road" during the ongoing eurozone crisis.

With little ado, and early on in the EU leader's meeting beginning Thursday evening (1 March), the former Belgian prime minister - unchallenged - was tasked with carrying on for a further two and a half years.

"Very honoured that all European Council members have decided to ask me to continue as European Council President for a 2nd mandate," Van Rompuy tweeted after the result.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:17:36 PM EST
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They reapointed Barroso, they reappoint van Rompuy, they slowly chip away at the "community method" and make all decision-making "intergovernmental".

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 03:17:04 AM EST
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EUobserver.com / News In Brief / Sarkozy arrives late to EU summit
French President Sarkozy arrived late to an EU summit in Brussels after getting held up by protestors at an election rally in Bayonne, south west France. He took refuge in a bar to get away from the dozens of young demonstrators.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:18:15 PM EST
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Yes, I do that a lot myself

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:46:39 AM EST
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EUobserver.com / Let's talk about EU / Over 2 million say No to anti-counterfeit treaty
Two and a half million people signed a petition this week urging the European Parliament to say 'no' to the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, Acta. The multinational treaty - which among other things aims to protect artists' rights to remuneration - has been met with protests all over the European Union. According to critics, the agreement will result in censorship of the internet and restrict access to life-saving medicines in developing countries.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:19:10 PM EST
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The Local - Government confirms new breathalyzer law

The French government announced officially on Thursday that all cars must carry a single-use breathalyzer kit from July 1st.

The move, which has been widely reported for some time, was made official in a decree on February 28th and published on Thursday.

"Every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an unused and immediately available breathlyzer," said the decree, published in the official gazette ("Journal Officiel de la République Française").

Transport ministry officials told The Local that the rule would apply equally to vehicles from outside France.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:28:15 PM EST
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Is this a joke ? I wouldn't even know where to get one

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:47:54 AM EST
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A friendly policeman will sell you one for €10. Cheaper than the fine.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 05:07:52 AM EST
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The Local - Government confirms new breathalyzer law

A fine of €11 ($15) will be charged to anyone not carrying the breathalyzer kit, but police have been told to start fining only from November 1st.

The new law is the latest attempt to reduce France's road accident rate.

Around 4,000 people died on French roads in 2011, a very slight improvement on the figure for the year before.

Drink driving is believed to be responsible for one in three road deaths.

The government hopes having a kit in the car will allow people to test themselves and to give them the means to test others if they suspect they are over the limit.

Except if you used it to check if anyones sober enough to drive, you won't have an unused kit anymore, will you?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:55:57 AM EST
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Teachers don't work hard enough, says Sarkozy - FRANCE 24

Sarkozy gave a key speech this week saying teachers should work longer hours to earn more - but Libération says they've got hold of his speech text, and he missed a sentence - where he'd planned to partially reverse his policy of only replacing half of all teachers who retire.

Le Figaro says teachers don't work long enough hours anyway - while Le Monde says Sarkozy feels comfortable attacking them, as they don't plan to vote for him anyway.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 04:34:02 PM EST
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they have 2 weeks off this month, and 2 weeks off next month.

they get every Wednesday off -  there is no school for most students in France on Wednesday.

so I think he's got a point -  a lot of French people think so.

now, some teachers are underpaid -  like primary school teachers, who only make about 1300 € a month.  that's not much.

by stevesim on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 05:46:49 PM EST
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School holidays should be decreased? Or teacher's salaries should be decreased?

Obviously, people envy teachers their holidays. It's only human. But nobody I know envies them their working conditions.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 04:18:26 AM EST
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Another moron who thinks teachers only work when in the classroom.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 06:38:56 PM EST
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Yes, we've got one of those heading the UK's department of education at the moment.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:50:19 AM EST
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So Sarkozy wants to emulate the USA in terms of how well-educated its students are?  There's a lofty goal.

'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 Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 03:13:10 AM EST
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El Pais: Europa se obceca con la austeridad
Merkel insiste en que hay que firmar el Tratado fiscal antes de poder generar crecimiento

Europa ha jugado este jueves a las grandes palabras en una cumbre que servirá para consagrar la austeridad en los tratados y que viene a ilegalizar el keynesianismo, con la imposición de prohibir los déficits en las constituciones. Hasta aquí los hechos. Todo lo demás es retórica: los mandatarios europeos se han empeñado en un cambio de tono para tratar de convencer a la ciudadanía -y puede que a los mercados--de que los recortes no son la única obsesión en una eurozona muy maltratada por la crisis fiscal, pero que también va de cabeza hacia una recaída en la recesión.

"Lo primero que hay que hacer es firmar el tratado fiscal. Lo segundo es ver cómo generar crecimiento", ha dicho la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel. Ese es el orden. Y "lo segundo" queda para más adelante: el Eurogrupo previo a la reunión de jefes de Estado y de Gobierno ha pospuesto una vez más la entrega del dinero del rescate para Grecia y su crisis interminable, y apenas ha debatido el llamamiento de España a flexibilizar los objetivos de déficit para evitar que el exceso de tijera acabe en un descosido para algunos países.

Europe's dogged pursuit of austerity
Merkel insists on the need to sign the Fiscal Treaty before being able to generate growth

Europa has played the big-word game this Thursday in a Summit which will serve to consacrate austerity in the treaties and to outlaw Keynesianism, with the imposition of constitutional deficit bans. Those are the facts, the rest is rhetoric: European rulers went to pains to change their tone to try to convince the citizenry ---and maybe the markets--- that cuts are not the only obsession in a Eurozone battered by the fiscal crisis, but which is also diving head first into a renewed recession.

"The first think that must be done is to sign the fiscal treaty. The second is to see how to generate growth", said the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. That's the sequence. And "the second" is left for later: the Eurogroup before the summit of heads of stete and government has postponed once more the disbursement of the rescue moneys for Greece and its neverending crisis, and has barely debated Spain's plea to make the deficit goals more flexible to prevent a scissor abuse ending up leaving some countries naked.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 05:07:53 PM EST
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That's it: I give myself until the end of 2013 to flee Europe.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 05:08:31 PM EST
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Consider moving to Colorado Springs. We are a Keynesian paradise--as long as you count defense spending as a Keynesian stimulus...

Nice weather and scenery, too.

by asdf on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 10:53:58 PM EST
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No, move to Germany. they're getting all of europe's money so you might as well be on the receiving end. If I didn't have a responsibility to my parents right now, I'd go tomorrow

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 02:52:24 AM EST
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Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: The fiscal treaty is already collapsing in Spain
Mariano Rajoy gets no sympathy from the EU summit over his request to re-examine the Spanish deficit target for 2012; the EU fears that the credibility of the new fiscal rules would be at stake if one were to grant an early exemption; Frekerik Reinfelt and Jyrki Katainen say it would send a completely wrong signal to loosen the target right now; Luis de Guindos, Spanish economy minister, also got a hostile response from the ECB and from Olli Rehn, and there was no support from other finance ministers; lack of support means that Spain now faces the choice of a 4.1% budget adjustment this year, or whether to overshoot; Rajoy said he would produce a budget that was "sensible", indicating that he is ready to break the target; debate raises huge questions about the credibility and feasibility of the EU's new fiscal rules; EU summit gave a conditional approval to the Greek bailout, but delayed a final decision until the IMF rules over the implementation of the recently approved measures; summit approved the sweeteners for the bond swap, and the funds to recapitalise the Greek banking system; a final decision is due March 9; ISDA has ruled that there will be no CDS trigger for now;ruling on concerns whether PSI and the redenomination of ECB bond holdings constituted a credit event; FT Alphaville said the decision was also influenced by a wish to secure a successful outcome of the bond swap; decision to increase the size of the ESM is now likely to be taken at the end of March; Reuters Breakingviews says Jens Weidmann may be more dangerous to the ECB than Axel Weber after his request to securitise Germany's Target 2 claims; Mark Schieritz says securitising is pointless, as it would still depend on the country's co-operation in delivering the promised assets; James Saft says the LTRO has no effect on Portugal, which is heading for slow default; two Italian mayors, meanwhile, have given up their salaries as a sign of solidarity with Greece.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 03:13:41 AM EST
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