Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 10 December

by DoDo Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 03:46:14 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1901 - the first awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics (to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen), Chemistry (to Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff), Physiology or Medicine (to Emil Adolf von Behring), Literature (to Sully Prudhomme), and Peace (to Henry Dunant).

More here

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and off course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • SPECIAL FOCUS - will be up only for special events and topics, as occasion warrants.

I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
 EUROPE 



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:10:17 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / UK left out as 26 EU countries to draft new treaty

BRUSSELS - A group of 26 EU member states is to forge ahead with an intergovernmental agreement on tightening economic governance in the eurozone, following a stormy summit in Brussels that saw the UK sidelined after it overplayed its hand.

All 17 euro countries as well as nine of the non-euro countries have said they will make a pact outside the current EU treaty, although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark and Bulgaria say they need to seek parliamentary approval of the move first. Only the UK has refused to join.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treaty change: What the Parliament thinks | EurActiv
Political groups in the European Parliament are widely sceptical of a Franco-German push for a treaty change, arguing it will do little to solve the eurozone crisis in the near term. EurActiv has compiled the views of the Assembly's main political groups.

...Martin Schultz, president of the the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D):

"I am against a treaty change and this is not only the Social Democrats saying it - all groups in the European Parliament, I repeat, all groups in the European Parliament will send [Parliament President Jerzy] Buzek tomorrow to the council's meeting with the message that we are against a treaty change, because it is not necessary.

..."I think what we need are decisions about the role of the European Central Bank. Is the ECB for some member states in the eurozone a kind of lender of last resort? In my eyes, yes, but we should confirm it. We should secondly decide how far-reaching the measures taken by the ECB could be.

..."To propose budgetary discipline exclusively, by ideological reasons, without the necessary measures on the side - especially investment in growth - makes no sense and that is why what is on the table is unbalanced. If the eurozone collapsed it would be a disaster. I think that whatever we do, we must have a goal: to keep Europe united."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treaty change: What the Parliament thinks | EurActiv

Guy Verhofstadt, president, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE):

..."The ECB role should be buttressed, as intervention in the past has been crucial, but they should take that decision independently rather than be told what to do by governments. The European Commission should clearly be in the driving seat, both in proposing the package of measures and in enforcing them as we insisted during 6-pack negotiations. There can be no future for an intergovernmental Union.

"Eurobonds should not be dismissed out of hand but the options should be examined carefully. ... The Union should establish a system of common issuance of bonds that mutualise in a progressive and partial way eurozone debt up to a maximum of 60% of GDP with differentiated interest rates within this range.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:12:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treaty change: What the Parliament thinks | EurActiv

Green group's co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit:

..."In order to stanch the sovereign debt crisis, until a more durable, treaty-based solution can be implemented, EU leaders need to finally support the only short-term solution at hand: the backstop of the European Central Bank.

"The European Central Bank has been playing the role of lender of last resort to the private sector for a long time. It is also already de facto playing this role for eurozone sovereigns to some extent.

..."The failed intergovernmental approach, which so far has only delivered damaging pro-cyclical austerity and brought the euro to the brink, must be jettisoned. This implies tasking the European Commission with the economic governance of the euro, while providing for commensurate democratic oversight by the European Parliament and Council.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:13:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Germans have to realize that a central bank has to provide liquidity' | World | Deutsche Welle | 09.12.2011
Last year's Nobel laureate for economics tells Deutsche Welle that Germany must accept that the ECB has to act as a lender of last resort. But Dale Mortensen also supports Berlin's quest for fiscal unity.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Federalists want 'people agora' to decide EU future | EurActiv

Participants in a 'shadow summit' hosted yesterday (8 December) by the federalist Spinelli Group said they were "fed up" with the secretive political deals of EU leaders and called for a convention to map out a new vision for Europe.

The shadow summit denounced the Franco-German `directoire' and the two nation's initiative to cobble together a European treaty outside the EU framework.

Instead, it advocated a convention of representatives from the European and national parliaments, the Commission, civic organisations and heads of state.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Stop criticising Merkel, Danish PM says
BRUSSELS - With Denmark taking over the EU presidency in January PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said she will fight to make sure that fellow non-eurozone countries are involved in all discussions concerning the internal market, as the eurozone crisis drives a potentially major wedge between those in and outside the single currency.

"I have no problems understanding that the 17 need to discuss certain things themselves. I think that is natural. But when we are discussing things that concern the internal market, we should all 27 be around the table," she told EUobserver ahead of a key summit of EU leaders.

...The Danish premier refused to criticise Berlin's leadership in the crisis, despite the fact that Germany's approach has raised hackles in some quarters both on substance and style.

"Anyone who criticises Chancellor Merkel for taking too much responsibility would have to see the opposite situation where Germany did not take that kind of responsibility," she said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:13:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Hungary: UK is alone in staying out of new EU Treaty

BRUSSELS - Hungary has been "completely misunderstood" on its position on the new EU treaty amid reports it will boycott the agreement together with the UK, the country's EU affairs minister said on Friday (9 December).

Preliminary conclusions drafted in the early hours of Friday suggested that Hungary and Britain were the only countries rejecting the agreement on strengthening fiscal rules via a new treaty. But Budapest has said it simply wants to first consult its parliament - just as Bulgaria, the Czech republic, Denmark and Sweden - in a line to be enshrined in the final summit conclusions.

Hungarian media reports that the "being misunderstood" line is only for the public, and PM Viktor Orbán actually changed his position from Thursday to Friday. The interesting part is that the Orbán government put a debt brake into Hungary's new constitution, too, but now wants to delay it taking effect until 2016...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
John Lichfield: Cameron has played a poor hand badly - John Lichfield - Commentators - The Independent
Britain's future? Proud isolation: like the Cayman Islands, but without the weather

Britain is not leaving the European Union, just yet. But the EU may already have abandoned Britain. The fog of the Battle of Brussels, 8-9 December 2011, is still clearing. But psychologically and politically a Rubicon has been crossed, both in Brussels and in London.

The Prime Minister has played a poor hand very badly. He has put Britain into a position of deep isolation within the EU which even Mrs Thatcher in her "money-back" days skilfully avoided. He has given the circling sharks of the Eurosceptic backbenchers and press a taste of blood which could rapidly turn into a feeding frenzy.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:16:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of comment in the Independent and Guardian is critical.

The rest of the media seems to be in party mood with the Express and Mail putting out the decorations to celebrate our imminent exit from the EU. Next stop: the British Empire

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 08:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Next stop: the British Empire

cameron's political philosophy aside, he is doing europe a favour by butting out. britain's banks owe 4-5 times UK GDP, and the city is the main conduit for ponzi financing imported from geithnerville into yurp. not that we didn't teach them the tricks, lol.

have you read the diary on dkos about bank of santander and their lovely techniques for debt repos? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/09/1043726/-Banco-Santander:-The-epitome-of-bankster-evil?via= spotlight  

opus dei, a proto-european phenomenon, doing god's wet work over there in the New World. born to flagellate, flagellate they will... we have enough corruption of our own on the continent, why not let the brits sort out their problems?

until the city's shenanigans are exposed and regulated, then europe has a hard enough job sorting itself without britain's default risk added to the soup.

once they run out of bandaids for british bankstering bluffs, then cameron will eat his words, and his voters will get what they wanted, an england without the EU to blame for everything wrong in the world.

blair split his trousers trying to straddle the paradox of being half in and half out of the EU!

most folks i talk to in italy have totally lost respect for britain's caginess, trying to have the eurobennies yet always balking at true solidarity.

it's not surprising call me dave wants out, after doing so much to sabotage the project! mission undermine accomplished...

things will go a lot better for the EU without more of the city's poison funny money, we have enough of our own anyway, especially if we keep 'marking to merkel'! sure frankfurt and paris will be more accountable? maybe...

gordon brown sold half of britain's gold... without the cancer that is the city sapping its talent and hollowing out its capital, england could build a real recovery. until then, it's better that she cleans up her own mess without further trojan horseplay cross channel. want unbridled robber capitalism and water cannon for crowd control?

how fitting to now watch the tories sundering under the pressure of all the hypocritical positions they take, couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of conmen.

and please can we stop seeing hague talking about iran? he's scary when he puffs up all bristle and gristle, more than blunkett, straw and reid in the good old days when we had a lefty† govt in GB.

†splutter... choke.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 09:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With The City having generated debt seven times the UK's GDP almost ANY change in the negative direction will ensure a collapse and only continual, profitable growth of that debt will allow the status quo to continue. Cameron and Osborne's austerity program ensures that the UK's GDP will shrink but only part of The City's loans are to domestic entities. Unfortunately, the US GDP is starting to contract again, Europe is starting to contract, China is starting to contract and the mother of all depressions is looming. It is likely to hit the UK particularly hard, so everything learned about personal survival during the '30s is particularly apt just now. Just don't expect any 'Keynesian' solutions until the UK gets a change of governments.

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 Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 12:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bye Bye Britain: The European Union's New Face - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
The European Union on Thursday night dropped the hypocrisy. No longer is harmony the overriding goal. That, though, means that Great Britain may no longer have a place at the table. London must decide whether it wants to remain part of Europe or not.

Europe on Friday awoke to a changed world. The European idea as we know it is in the process of dissolving into thin air. The monumental postwar project of a peacefully unified continent where all member states hold hands in friendship collapsed overnight.

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); The European Union has divided itself in the face of crisis. On the one side is the common currency union, which is following the Franco-German desire to grow together as a way to finally get the euro crisis under control.

And more on the topic from the SPIEGEL:

'Cameron Is a Coward': European Politicians Slam British EU Veto - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Following David Cameron's veto of EU treaty reform, there is plenty of frustration in Europe over Britain's stubborn attitude in the battle against the debt crisis. Prominent members of the European Parliament have strongly criticized the British prime minister and sent him a clear message: Europe doesn't need you.

Britain vs. the EU 26: The Man Who Said No to Europe - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

British Prime Minister David Cameron has completely isolated his country on the European stage -- and many in his country applaud him for it. But he will soon have to prove that London still has clout in the EU, and that his no to fiscal union wasn't just a bone thrown to euroskeptic conservatives.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFP: UK Press jubilant at EU treaty veto

"The Day He Put Britain First" cheered the Daily Mail, after the prime minister blocked Franco-German attempts to enshrine new budget rules into a modified EU treaty during an all-night summit in Brussels.

"Mr Cameron?s courage and leadership yesterday show that, while desiring a strong relationship with our EU partners, Britain can still control her own destiny," it said in an editorial.

Warning that "the battle is only just beginning", the paper said: "There is now a wonderful opportunity for Britain gradually to loosen itself from the shackles of a statist, over-regulated, anti-democratic, corrupt EU."

The Daily Express, which has long been campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, was also jubilant, splashing with: "Britain Close to EU Exit".

The Sun joined the approval wagon, putting a picture of Cameron dressed as wartime leader Winston Churchill on its front page with the defiant headline "Up Eurs -- Bulldog PM sticks up for Britain".

The Daily Telegraph said the prime minister "stands as lone man of Europe" -- and made clear that this was a good thing.

by Bernard on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 04:47:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron gave Merkozy and the rest of the European Council a convenient way to divert public attention away from their latest attempt to usurp democratic structures.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 06:09:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unity dearly bought - Die Zeit/Presseurop (English)
Without doubt, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have taken a big step nearer their goal of a fiscal union. But at what price? Britain remains outside it. The salvation or the disintegration of the Union is now approaching.

Was this the night the euro was saved? Or will those ten hours go down in history as the meeting that broke the EU? In any event, the heads of government of the 27 EU countries could hardly have set the stage for the ongoing finale of Operation Save the Euro any more dramatically.

Before the actual meeting on Thursday evening, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron had already got together in a threesome: the Briton, that much was certain, would play in a major role in the coming hours. What followed was a hard, sometimes very hard struggle before the French President, shortly after five in the morning, came out to announce the outcome of the all-night negotiations.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:21:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mixed Dutch reactions to euro deal | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

There have been mixed reactions from Dutch political parties to the euro accord reached at the European Union summit in Brussels.

The conservative VVD and Christian Democrats, members of the minority governing coalition, have come out broadly in favour of the deal, while the major opposition parties have criticised it as being weak. Opposition Labour MP Ronald Plasterk:

"Labour's bitterly disappointed. It looks like the government leaders have been unable to rise to the challenge. In fact, you could say the European Union is now split. There are partial agreements on budget discipline and the emergency fund and absolutely no agreements on reining in the financial sector."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Statesman - The EU treaty is a disaster for the left
Stop crowing about Cameron - this is just the latest attack on European democracy.

Stop your crowing about Cameron leaving Britain marginalised, lefties. The proposed EU treaty is perhaps the biggest catastrophe to befall the European left since World War II.

Sounds like semi-deranged hyperbole? Consider this. As Paul Mason has written, "by enshrining in national and international law the need for balanced budgets and near-zero structural deficits, the eurozone has outlawed expansionary fiscal policy."

Read that last bit carefully. Left-wing governments of all hues will be effectively banned by this treaty. If the French or German left return to power in the near future (and they are in a good position to do so), it will be illegal for them to respond to the global economic catastrophe with anything but austerity. An economic stimulus is forbidden -- because the treaty has buried Keynesianism.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Statesman - The EU treaty is a disaster for the left
Francois Hollande -- the Socialist candidate for the French Presidency -- has already spoken out against a treaty cooked up by Europe's overwhelmingly right-of-centre governments. If we're going to listen to European leaders, Hollande is a sounder bet than avowed right-wingers like Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so fast. If the treaty change comes at all, it will come in two years or so. If the Left returns to power after government change in France and Germany, the whole thing may be stopped (though that's a hard bet if "the Left" will be led by uninspiring triangulators). If that happens, the Right will simply use the reversal for its rhetoric in opposition. (I am thinking lately that the constitutional debt brakes, too, will be violated at will by any government but it will be right-wing ones that will use the debt brakes to decry the policy of left-wing ones.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 06:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After 30 years, City of London loses Brussels | New Europe

Britain has become sub-marginal following the EU Summit of 9 December, which reshaped the geo-economic direction of the European continent with the acceleration of fiscal union, a process that will include reinforced regulation and supervision at a European level.

The attempts by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the City of London to block financial supervision and the strengthening of the Eurozone have failed dramatically and have left the United Kingdom isolated and trailing behind developments. The new situation brings to a close the 30 years of undisputed British domination of Europe's finances, which intensified in the past decade and blocked the European Union from advancing towards a European system for banking supervision, which if it had been introduced a decade ago would have largely prevented the present Eurozone crisis.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:49:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IF TRUE, this will, by itself, lead to a collapse of The City's financial bubble, which will likely bring down the rest of the existing world financial system. We might have to stumble through a burning landscape, but, at least, much of what created the mess will be smoke and ash. That would be better than having the depression and keeping the existing financial sector.

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 Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 12:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Thorning: We haven’t decided yet - Politiken.dk

Denmark has not yet decided whether it will join the new agreement among the 17 Eurozone members according to Prime Minster Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

"Obviously we will have to discuss the issue with Parliament as to whether we join or not. What we have said is that we will be coming to the meeting today, which we will do. But obviously, Denmark has a euro opt-out. We cannot become part of anything until we have discussed the issue with Parliament," Ritzau reports Thorning-Schmidt as saying.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Croatia signs accession treaty amid EU turmoil - CROATIA - FRANCE 24
The Balkan state of Croatia signed a formal agreement with the EU on Friday, paving the way for full membership of the block by July 2013. But the milestone has been overshadowed by widening rifts between existing EU states.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French senate passes bill on votes for foreigners - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

AFP - A French bill to allow non-EU foreigners to vote in local elections passed its first hurdle Friday when it was adopted by the upper-house Senate after a tumultuous debate.

But the approval -- by a Senate dominated by left-wing parties -- remains mainly symbolic, as the bill stands no chance of passing in the lower house, the National Assembly, which remains under conservative control.

Some 300 supporters and opponents of the bill, separated by police, rallied near the Senate building to voice their opinions on the divisive issue of France's immigrant population.

After debate the bill was adopted by a Senate dominated by the opposition Socialists, Communists and Greens, with 173 against 166 votes.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:14:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romanian government office was secret CIA prison, media report | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 09.12.2011

A government building in Bucharest, the Romanian capital, was used as a clandestine CIA prison according to German media reports.

The facility was used between 2003 and 2006 and was located in the basement of the building in the northwest of the city, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and public broadcaster ARD.

Journalists at media outlets, as well as news agency The Associated Press, said former CIA operatives had identified the center in photographs. The facility was said to be located near a major city boulevard, in a residential area. Codenamed "Bright Light," it is reported to have consisted of six prefabricated cells based on springs so as to disorientate inmates.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
based on springs so as to disorientate inmates
Huh? Is it like being below decks on a boat at sea? Keeping your prisoners eternally seasick could certainly elicit cooperation, but I don't see how this gets past the US predilection for torture just because they put a 'spin' on it.
by Andhakari on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 05:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's simply another extra-judicial torture facility where the USA (and UK) can pretend to itself that it's somebody else doing the torturing so it's okay and we're all still the white hats.

Pathetic. We hung guys who did this in WWII, now we decorate them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 08:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This was a Romanian government building but it was given to and operated by the CIA, and identified on photographs by CIA agents, so no, they can't pretend that someone else did the torture.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 12:49:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:18 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU leaders embrace 'fiscal compact' demanded by central bank
BRUSSELS - European Union leaders have endorsed a series of rules tightening budget surveillance and institutionalising limits on public spending - the 'fiscal compact' that the European Central Bank (ECB) has demanded before it can more aggressively purchase Italian and Spanish debt.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what's the over/under on this whole crisis being a putsch, not an exercise in economic dogmatism?
by rootless2 on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 09:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not both?
by Andhakari on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 05:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno. Good point.
by rootless2 on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 09:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's downgrades France's 'big three' banks - BANKING - FRANCE 24
Moody's rating agency downgraded French banking giants BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale on Friday, pointing to funding problems and their exposure to the eurozone's worsening debt crisis.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bank of France chief says no need for more massive ECB intervention in euro crisis - FRANCE - ECONOMY - FRANCE 24
Bank of France chief Christian Noyer said Friday that there is no need for another "massive" intervention from the European Central Bank, for which he sits on the governing council.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - European viewpoints: The EU summit deal

I think this deal is just another fix - and as it is going in the wrong direction it is not a good deal at all.

As there is no agreement of all 27 EU members - especially not Britain - we are heading for two different treaties within Europe, which will split. And all because Germany demanded treaty changes.

Why were these treaty changes necessary? We already have the so-called "debt brake" - it is the Maastricht Treaty. This has been agreed on by all 27 states - but has been broken again and again for the simple reason that the minute a country needs the money they will find it.

It is an exercise in futility - if Maastricht didn't work, why would this? To risk breaking up Europe for something that won't work seems counter-productive.

Though if anything this deal will make the crisis worse, I don't actually think the euro will go down the drain because a euro break-up would be worse than anything else. But I don't know for how long countries such as Greece and Italy can take these austerity measures.

It seems to me that it is pointless, simply saying that we'll put a "debt brake" in the constitution and if countries go beyond that the European Court of Justice will say they are in breach and impose fines - as they wouldn't be able to afford to pay anyway.

Europe may speak German now, as a German government minister recently commented, but the markets speak English - and they don't give a damn about language. They just want to make sure their investments are safe. And I don't see that being the case under this deal.

Angela Merkel is covering her tracks. She is the main person responsible for this problem, though she is now pretending it wasn't her.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 10:14:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe's Deadly Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Bankers do not want to take responsibility for bad loans. This poses the financial problem of just what policy-makers should do when banks have been so irresponsible in allocating credit. But somebody has to take a loss. Should it be society at large, or the bankers?

It is not a problem that bankers are prepared to solve. They want to turn the problem over to governments - and define the problem as how governments can "make them whole." What they call a "solution" to the bad-debt problem is for the government to give them good bonds for bad loans ("cash for trash") - to be paid in full by taxpayers. Having engineered an enormous increase in wealth for themselves, bankers now want to take the money and run - leaving economies debt ridden. The revenue that debtors cannot pay will now be spread over the entire economy to pay - vastly increasing everyone's cost of living and doing business.

Why should they be "made whole," at the cost of shrinking the rest of the economy? The bankers' answer is that debts are owed to labor's pension funds, to consumers with bank deposits, and the whole system will come crashing down if governments miss a bond payment. When pressed, bankers admit that they have taken out risk insurance - collateralized debt obligations and other risk swaps. But the insurers are largely U.S. banks, and the U.S. Government is pressuring Europe not to default and thereby hurt the U.S. banking system. So the debt tangle has become politicized internationally.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 11:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:49 PM EST
Election commission declares Kabila winner - DR CONGO - FRANCE 24

AFP - Incumbent Joseph Kabila has won a new five-year term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the election commission said Friday, announcing the much-delayed full poll results.

Election commission chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda said Kabila had obtained 49.0 percent of the vote to 32.3 percent for his nearest rival, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

...The supreme court, which is seen as close to Kabila after he expanded it from seven to 27 judges at the start of the campaign, has until December 17 to hear election disputes on the provisional result and declare the definitive winner.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An admirer of Andrew Jackson apparently.
by Andhakari on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 05:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French soldiers targeted in Lebanon blast - LEBANON - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - A bomb exploded near a UNIFIL peacekeeping patrol on Friday, wounding five French soldiers in southern Lebanon, a witness and security sources said.

The blast, which hit a jeep carrying the French peacekeepers on the outskirts of the city of Tyre, was the third attack on the UNIFIL forces deployed to keep the peace along Lebanon's southern frontier with Israel.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Violence flares as Assad bids to choke off uprising - SYRIA - FRANCE 24
Activists say two children were among at least five people killed by Syrian security forces in Homs and Damascus on Friday as an increasingly isolated President Bashar al-Assad stepped up efforts to end a nine-month popular uprising.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:16:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mosque suicide attack kills six near Pakistan border - AFGHANISTAN - FRANCE 24
A suicide bomber attacked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan after Friday prayers, killing at least six, including a district police chief, according to a provincial police commander. The Taliban has reportedly claimed responsibility.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:16:47 PM EST
EU Signals Flexibility on Demand for Climate Treaty Deadline - Bloomberg

The European Union signaled it may be open to a different deadline for a new global warming treaty yet to be negotiated, widening the scope for an agreement at United Nations climate talks this week.

Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said its demand for countries to craft a legally binding pact by 2015 isn't "cut in stone." U.K. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said EU pledges on the environment would match other country's ambitions.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Negotiations: Green groups claim U.S. is blocking a climate change deal -- 12/05/2011 -- www.eenews.net

DURBAN, South Africa -- Along the coast of the shark-infested Indian Ocean where the United Nations global warming negotiations are being held, the United States increasingly is being viewed as a pariah.

Despite the presence of thousands of Obama supporters in this sub-tropical surf city, even liberal environmental activists at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference say disappointment and frustration toward the administration have reached new levels.

The past several days of talks have seen the U.S. seemingly unwilling to discuss more ambitious ways to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. China, meanwhile, has softened its once hardline position, indicating it could be willing to make binding carbon cuts.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 06:28:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Geopolitics of Climate Change: Will China Become the Green Superpower? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
At the UN climate summit in Durban, China has signalled for the first time that it could sign up to a binding global agreement on CO2 emissions. Indeed, fighting climate change will be impossible without the future superpower on board. Taking a green approach to economic development could bring China massive benefits -- if Beijing decides to go down that road.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 01:35:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report Projects Massive Solar Growth in India | Renewable Energy News Article

According to a new report by GTM Research and Bridge to India, the nation is facing a perfect storm of factors that will drive solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption at a furious pace over the next five years and beyond. The falling prices of PV panels, mostly from China but also from the U.S., has coincided with the growing cost of grid power. Government support and ample solar resources have also helped push the adoption along, but perhaps the biggest factor has been need. India, as a growing economy with a surging middle class, is now facing a severe electricity deficit that often runs between 10 and 13 percent of daily need.

Now the nation is increasingly seeing solar as a way to invest in its infrastructure quickly. Surprising to some extent has been how fast solar has becoming cost-effective. In December, a National Solar Mission auction awarded 27 PV projects totaling 350 MW to developers large and small. Bids came in as low as $0.18/kWh and the average price awarded was $0.21/kWh, down 9 cents from a similar auction 13 months ago. The low prices have stoked hopes that a major installation boom is inevitable.

In 2010, the country had big hopes for solar, but only 54 megawatts (MW) in installed capacity. Now, a year later, it is expected to install six times as much capacity by year's end, and there is well over 1,600 MW of projects with signed power purchase agreements in the pipeline. By 2016, the report projects that India could be installing more than 3,000 MW annually in PV projects. The biggest winner in this transformation could be large-scale developments that are built instead of traditional diesel plants.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wish this were  my village in Germany. But we get more solar all the time, judging from what I see just traveling.

'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 Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 03:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check the Solarbundesliga site. The solar part of Wildpoldsried's renewables portfolio only puts it at 47th place at present. I forgot which village you live in, but Berchtesgaden itself is only 1740th.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 06:32:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the link. Yes, that's why I wish I lived in the featured village. Berchtesgadener Land (I live in Bischofswiesen) has very little solar compared to the other parts of Bavaria I've seen. It's really disappointing, as I know they have money here, and it seems to me there's enough sun to justify it.

'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 Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 12:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bischofswiesen is 1227th. Has actually less than half of Berchtesgaden's per capita photovoltaic capacity, but got points for having solar heating, too.

BTW I saw the proliferation of solar cells in that corner of Bavaria, too, from the train window on my recent journeys to/from France and Belgium.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 12:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:00 PM EST
Dozens killed as fire sweeps through Kolkata hospital - INDIA - FRANCE 24

AP - Medical staff at an Indian hospital abandoned their patients and fled for safety early Friday as fire and smoke poured through the building, leaving 73 people dead, many from smoke inhalation, officials said.

As rescuers scrambled to evacuate survivors, police filed a case against the hospital in the eastern city of Kolkata for violating safety procedures. Top government officials vowed to hold the hospital accountable for the tragedy, and began proceedings to cancel its license.

"It's a very serious offense, and we will take the strongest action," Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state of West Bengal, said at the scene.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Betting authorities probe Lyon's 7-1 win in Zagreb - FOOTBALL - FRANCE 24

AFP - French online gaming authority (ARJEL) have opened a probe into the 7-1 victory by Lyon in their Champions League game against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, a spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

ARJEL are "currently carrying out checks" on the match in Zagreb on Wednesday night which gave the French side a surprise ticket to the last 16 of the competition at the expense of Dutch side Ajax.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Lion Man a Woman? Solving the Mystery of a 35,000-Year-Old Statue - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Archeologists have discovered previously unknown fragments of a figurine known as the "Lion Man," and are piecing it back together. Could the 35,000-year-old statue actually represent a female shaman? Scientists hope to resolve a decades-long debate.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
Not dependent on oil
Thus what would I propose for a State like Italy in this moment in history, to tackle this crisis? I would create a resilience project that is owned by a system to support external stress without collapsing. Italy is not at all a resilient country; it's a country that has taken a larger stride, has lived well above its means, even having a great party going beyond satisfying fundamental needs which was achieved with the economic boom in the years going from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Now we are already in the age of the superfluous. Italy is a country that has accumulated wealth, that has also wasted and that has as a lifestyle one that is pretty ephemeral. I would suggest investing the few economic resources that remain in making the Italians more and resilient in the face of this future with many traps and pitfalls. A future in which fossil fuels will cost more and more and thus we are a really fragile country, tied to the umbilical cord of a couple of gas pipelines and a few oil tankers that come and supply us. Can we be more autonomous in relation to energy? Well sure we can. We are a country that is really rich in renewable energy potential. We've used hydroelectricity a lot in the last few years, it can be modernised, but above all we have the sun, the wind, we have biomass that can be used for our domestic oil. As well as the renewable, democratic energy that each one of us can put on the roof of our houses, it's possible to make our buildings more efficient. Our houses are like sieves. The energy that we pay dearly for that comes from abroad, blackmailed by half the world, we could in fact produce most of that at home. I would do an operation of maintenance of the territory. Italy is a country that is completely infra-structured, and in many cases to excess, it's just that our infrastructures have little maintenance. We build. We construct and then we leave things to crumble. I would suggest the complete abandonment of the great public works. We no longer need great public works that are concentrated and pharaonic. The world of the future is a world, that at the most, is a world of small projects, but widespread. Small does not mean that they are not at the leading edge of technology. Small means nanotechnologies, means information technologies, transferring the vision of a world of heavy industry, of heavy transport to a lighter world in which relations take place via the internet, via telephone, by means of the exchange of information. We have a territory that we have made very fragile in relation to climate changes, to flooding, an agriculture that is no longer able to support us. Let us mend all these relationships we have with the territory. Let's make our cities places that have a better quality of life, that are not just tied to the arrival of goods from overseas and that then produce large quantities of refuse and that kill our industry and our local production. Thus let's recreate a world that is people-oriented, in which there is no need for a great competitiveness and where we don't have to compete so much with the external world.

Cooperation is the future
Competitiveness is not a value for the human race. The human race is a social species. What is the value today in a world that is so overcrowded, unless we want to have wars with each other? Competitiveness is almost always the precursor of conflict. It's cooperation that is the value of the future. We have to cooperate to use the resources, to produce the minimum quantity of refuse to be ready for a future that will take away a series of resources that we have always relied on for their abundance and in the wealth of the economic boom, an unrepeatable moment in the history of humanity. There will never again be oil at rock bottom prices as happened in the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, let's plan this type of Italy that can live well with lower objectives. But lower does not mean the Middle Ages, it means that instead of having the objective of an object that is costly and a luxury, that is as ephemeral as it is a waste of resources, there are so many things that give us a good quality of life, that have ridiculously low environmental and economic costs: culture, our museums, our libraries, immense treasures that make us the envy of the whole world and that are deserted by the Italians themselves. Today we can reconstruct an extremely qualitative world for quality of life and we can get rid of the superfluous by moving to light luxury, a luxury of culture, of knowledge, of music, of enjoying each other's company. The model of buying an SUV or a yacht is the model that creates social conflict, that is very costly, that obliges people to work much more. If we get rid of that we can work less. One of the objectives of degrowth is not that of leaving loads of people at home because all those superfluous goods are seen as a limit on employment: as soon as we take those away, the factories stop working. Anyway we have seen that this model has not worked. Anything superfluous that has been produced, inevitably with automation or with the shifting to emerging countries, this has taken away jobs all the same. So would it not be better to produce just the things that are truly useful for our quality of life and then work less? If we have less need to buy useless objects, perhaps we could all work but for half the time that we are working now, four hours a day and have the morning or the afternoon free, according to our choice. More possibility to stay with the family. More possibility to take care of your own culture, your kitchen garden in a truly physical sense, to even be able to grow your own food.

major clue dept...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2011 at 10:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:46 PM EST
Captive ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson pleads for help in video‎ - Middle East - World - The Independent

The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished years ago in Iran, issued a plea to his kidnappers today and, for the first time, released a hostage video they received from his unidentified captors.

The video message released on the family's website publicly transformed the mysterious disappearance into an international hostage standoff. Despite a lengthy investigation, however, the United States government has no evidence of who is holding the 63-year-old father of seven. 



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 9th, 2011 at 01:18:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]