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Greece: No other plan but plunder

by talos Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 03:26:22 AM EST

There's this old Nasreddin Hodja tale, where a villager sees Nassredin, standing sadly by the side of the road and asks him "What's the matter Hodja?". "I'm very upset my friend" he replies, "I have been teaching my donkey how to manage without eating, and just as he was getting the hang of it, he died!"

This was the story that came to my mind as I was reading about the great progress that the Greek economy has been making by following the ECB / EU Commissars' guide to bankruptcy market creditworthiness:

A deeper-than-expected recession caused Greece's central government deficit to widen by almost one third in the first half of the year, widely missing an interim budget target under the country's bailout plan, the finance ministry said on Monday...

... Net budget revenues dropped 8.3 percent year-on-year to 21.81 billion euros, compared with a 25.08 billion euro target. Spending before payments on the country's debt increased 4.5 percent to 25.62 billion euros, 7.1 percent above target.

The ministry attributed the revenue shortfall to a more severe economic slump than had been anticipated, and one-off road taxes that boosted revenue in the previous period

Promoted by DoDo


Note that the ministry is attributing the shortfall on reality not being kind enough with its voodoo BS projections, underwritten by the great financial minds at the ECB and the EU Commission I should add, and on something it already knew would happen well before it made the projection. This narrowly misses beating the Greek government's own record in uninsightfulness, that occurred last spring when the then Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou acknowledged that he was having a hard time cutting 500 million Euros from the unemployment agencies as troika and FM experts failed to anticipate that, as unemployment skyrocketed, unemployment benefits would increase as well.

I won't even start commenting on the performance of the EPP/PES leadership in fomenting a world-crisis from a minor glitch. The measures that the eurogroup is apparently coming up for Greece (or whatever) are a year too late - they would have made things a bit easier early on in 2010. Now it won't be much help, especially since the powers that be seem to have learned exactly nothing at all from the Greek fiasco, and are pushing Italy down the same austere road to perdition:

Italy's coalition government is coming under concerted pressure at home and abroad to calm market nerves and push its €40bn austerity package through parliament without delay

As Albert Einstein said "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". Or is there a method to this madness? Is all this principally, if not solely, not a crisis management issue but really a political project? Shock therapy for the EU, one country at a time? Well, yes - see David Harvey:

"What's going on, both in Europe and the US, is a political project, not an economic necessity. And the political project is about feathering the nests of the very, very rich, at the expense of the very poor..."

Note that even if a viable-looking facilitation of the Greek debt is achieved, the Great Greek Asset Fire Sale, which will involve selling off an asset every ten days for the rest of the year, under terms that look downright colonial, would still be operative. As would the cuts in public services, pensions, wages, labor rights etc.

Democracy's chemical blossoms

Meanwhile, after the 2863 canisters of expired tear-gas dropped in Syntagma Square - just on the 29th of June, and the unprecedented police-violence against everyone in Athens' center that day, the Orwellian-named "Citizens' Protection Ministry" through its leadership, applauded the measured response of the police to provocations, and condemned pretty much everyone that demonstrated that day. The same endorsement of the Mubarak-like police methods was voiced by the Prime Minister himself. Outside of government things were vastly less congratulatory... Thus and in the same vein, the government with the help of the Mayor of Athens is preparing to evacuate the camp in Syntagma, as it is distressing to the tourists' aesthetic appreciation of Athens and creates a "bad image" for the city and impedes commerce. This might turn out to be less easy than they imagine, summer or no summer...

The thing is that the members of this government and the parliamentary team that supports it, are not safe to walk around their cities anymore, heckled and booed as they are - when they don't suffer the indignity of an egg or a pale of yogurt on their face, perhaps worse - every time they appear in public. This has led the government to react by blaming SYRIZA, the radical left party, as well as assorted other parties and movements for organizing these "attacks", in an attempt both to blunt the harsh criticism from the left and taint these actions as something a minority would do. Unfortunately for the government, this is not what the polls show: 5-3 those asked approve these "attacks", while the fuss the very unpopular Socialists (reached 16% in the latest poll, not correcting for undecideds and non-voters) are making against SYRIZA is, according to pollsters, boosting its popularity. As the conservatives are leading at just 17,5% it seems that as things grow angrier and more depressed, pretty soon of not already there won't be a mainstream party in a position to be elected to govern any more.

Finally a great resource from the German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation:
Greece: 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis

... echoing much of what I've been stressing here and more, tailored at German audiences. Stuff the EU in general needs more of, I think....

Display:
An Explanation Of What Is Really Going On Behind The Scenes As Rome Burns   zero hedge

Unable to keep with the events in Europe which are now literally changing on an hourly basis? Fear not: SocGen's James Nixon has compiled the most succinct explanation for why we are where we are, and why things will get much worse, before they get even remotely better. In a nutshell, everything you know about the existing proposals is finished: what is currently on the table is "a wider strategy which includes lowering the interest rate on lending to Greece and returning to the idea of bond buybacks." Ah, yes, the Goldman proposal. However did we know we may end up precisely here. The problem with this proposal is that all bond buybacks at prices below par are, and always have been, considered by the rating agencies as immediate events of technical default. How this eliminates the ECB liquidity scramble bogeyman we have no idea. At this point we are absolutely certain that the only thing on the Eurozone and ECB's plate is to baffle everyone with steaming pile after pile of bullshit so unbelievable, that people are stunned for days, buying bankers valuable time to convert even more freshly printed paper into hard assets. In the meantime, there is no actual plan to deal with the problems of untenable debt, or at least not one that does not involve the outright monetization of debt...

On a roll --- until he veers off into hyperinflation territory, just after the word debt. But the downgrade of Italy might work to Greece's advantage -- if the whole "crisis mis-management" process blows up before the vultures have made off with too much.  Or not. The current crop of Greek politicians are a stunningly resolute crop of dumb fucks.

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 Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 12:24:40 AM EST
And also, how does the Goldman Proposal avoid waking the slumbering dragon of the CDO market by not being a default? It is like these idiots are trying to build a three legged stool but can never get beyond two legs nor understand why the stool falls over.

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 Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 12:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the plan is to take all of the debt onto the ECB's books, and then eliminate the euro and eurozone, what happens to the debt? Say the ECB is gone, kaput, tomorrow? Where does the debt go if the bank that holds all the debt, collapses?

I'm assuming that the ECB is not buying/selling derivatives on its debt.

by Upstate NY on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 12:53:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the ECB will put the bonds in an SPV, like the Fed's Maiden Lane I and II. That might be more cosmetic than keeping them on their books. Then they can pretend they are still worth par.

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 Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 01:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing about the Rosa Luxembourg 20 points, #20 may be off a bit.

Greece was not continuously above 3% annual deficit. It had a surplus after 2005, so presumably it would have entered then. This may (or may not) make the point about cheating moot since it would have gotten in anyway. Besides, wasn't every country above the 3% as well?

by Upstate NY on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 01:15:04 AM EST
Greece was not continuously above 3% annual deficit. It had a surplus after 2005

Huh!? According to Eurostat, there was a deficit throughout from 2000 (first year with data), the lowest of which was 3.7% in 2000. From 2003, deficit was never below 5%.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 03:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dang, those numbers keep changing! Thanks for the correction
by Upstate NY on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 09:10:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece had primary surpluses after 2005 (and indeed for most of the 1990s) not general surpluses...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 04:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation argues against the exit from the Euro and the reintroduction of the Drachma thusly:

...the government (as well as the Greek banks, companies and private households) would continue to have their debt in euros. As a result, the debts would increase rapidly in value and the debt situation would explode.

Didn't people here discuss a way around this? If so, maybe it would be worth to tell the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 03:25:30 AM EST
The point of exiting is not to get its own currency, it is to get out of EMU rules. Once out, government debt is optional.

But the plan I think was:

  1. Release New Drachma at 1:1 to the euro
  2. Change all debt you want to shrink to New Drachma
  3. Let the New Drachma float against the euro (in effect sink)


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 03:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... permit 2?

Or could that be done unilaterally?  I could see a lot of litigation if it were.

The same argument from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung applies to Ireland, the bonds of which have also been downgraded to junk by the insider traders aka rating agencies.  We get the same kind of argument here from populist non-orthodox economists that exit from the Euro will solve all our difficulties.  

I'm sceptical because our debts are in Euros and Ireland's status as a centre for corporate tax arbitrage / avoidance within the EU is to a certain extent facilitated by Euro membership.  And that is the only essential difference between Greece and Ireland right now.

by Pope Epopt on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 05:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand it, it would be done unilaterly. The state making the laws and all.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 05:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what a sovereign act is. When it entered the euro-zone Greece surrendered its monetary and financial sovereignty. Exiting allows it to reclaim that sovereignty. Once out the government can impose capital controls, declare defaults, in fact, declare some debt odious debt. The latter would be particularly appropriate for Ireland.

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 Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 11:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not up-to-date on this and maybe this has been discussed here before but what about the 'Montenegro Option'. Use the Euro without being in the Eurozone.
by epochepoque on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 09:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because dollarization worked so incredibly well in Latin America, and the Euro exchange rate dirty peg has worked so incredibly well in Croatia.

On the other hand, it can work as it does in the case of Hong Kong currency board.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 15th, 2011 at 02:31:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The measures that the eurogroup is apparently coming up for Greece (or whatever) are a year too late - they would have made things a bit easier early on in 2010.

Now they talk about buying back the debt or allowing a selective default. It could have been solved with €50bn but now there's talk about doubling the size of the EFSF to €1.5 trillion.

The EcoFin and the ECB have been €50bn wise and €1.5 trillion foolish. And that's just the monetary cost. The human cost is incalculable.

It's imaginable that the European authorities will end up doing the right thing, but only after inflicting the maximum possible amount of social, political and economic damage. And I'm not holding my breath for a resolution.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 04:59:08 AM EST
"eventually doing the right thing, after having exhausted all other options"

Hasn't that been used to described democracy or America? If it becomes used about the EU, it's positive news :)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 05:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're not grasping the extent to which this whole situation fails to amuse me.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 05:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Exhausting all the other options" looks like it will involve a civil war in Greece.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 15th, 2011 at 07:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at who owns the Greek debt:

The largest owner of Greek debt is, in fact, Greece with 43%.

The second largest holder is the European Central bank.

I note: these two add to 61% comprising the majority owners of the debt thus, the ones who should be driving Decision Making.

"Foreign Holders" only have 23%, they are a MINORITY.

BUT ...

In this process they have been the ones driving Decision Making in alliance (tactical or otherwise) with EU Zone governments (primarily Germany?) and the ECB.

Seems clear, to me, the ECB and important countries in the EU are rather using Greece as a 'pass-through' entity to shore-up the Balance Sheets of national banking entities - Deutsche Bank, anyone?  

Suggesting, to me, the crisis is: extra-Greek entities made stupid loans, when they were drunk or high on cocaine, without proper risk assessment¹, and now that these dud loans have gone ker-fluie national banking regulators & etc. are running around going, "Mein GOTT!  Die bonde's ist fur geshitten und unser Deutsche banken ist untergehen ims a zea of gefucked paper!"  

I submit, looking at in this way, what Merkel and etc. are doing makes perfect sense.  They could care two raps about Greece (and Italy and Spain and Portugal & usw.)  They deeply care about their own banking and finance sectors.  If Greece (and Italy and Spain and Portugal & usw) can't pay, or pretend to pay, off the dud loans their own banking and finance sectors will come crashing down.  Followed shortly by Merkel and etc. being thrown out of office.

Given a choice between saving their own political necks and destroying the Eurozone and EU ...

Well, it's not THAT difficult a decision to make.  Is it?

¹  I assume if I know Greece was using the borrowed funds to fuel a Real Estate Bubble and an arms race with Turkey instead of being invested in productive enterprises the knowledge wasn't all that hard to obtain  :-)

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

by ATinNM on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 12:05:06 PM EST
BTW, I'm sure my comrades who were in the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund are freaking out over the German government's (& etc.) policies towards Greece.

So my "Gerlish" is not directed at the German people, heaven's knows.

 

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

by ATinNM on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 01:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What's going on, both in Europe and the US, is a political project, not an economic necessity. And the political project is about feathering the nests of the very, very rich, at the expense of the very poor..."
----------
You just opened my eyes...
 I had a feeling that something is very wrong with this crises when "rational" very well educated , people in power are making such irrational moves...
"feathering the nests of the very, very rich, at the expense of the very poor" is something that we all have seen in decades (and specially last one) prior to this crises being unfolded but one would think ( wrongly , I see now ) that seeing where this projects is leading their countries (and world as such)  they would stop the project and try everything in their power to save what can be saved... Wrong...they do not care at all and project will go on and on until total collapse of all the values this civilization had achieved  is complied.
But it will not be easy and it may take a lot of violence including even big war...because there is no scruples where big money is in the game. Good thing ( if I can say so) is that while they (very, very rich) do not care for suffering of the poor at the same time they will destroy and "eat" each other fighting over wealth that they accumulated depriving poor of their basic needs and rights...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 11:12:03 PM EST
EU is feudalising seas to sea lords: (EU Observer)


One of the more controversial proposals, which saw "lots of discussions" among the 27 commissioners is the idea of having "tradable concessions" which fishing companies or associations can sell in order to reduce overcapacity of the European fishing fleet.

It would mean that fishermen or fishing companies which have a licence to exploit the stocks of a certain country are allowed to sell these concessions to each other.

Citing examples in the Nordic countries, Damanaki said the system would work "under strict rules" left to each member state to set out. She did admit, however, that one of the concerns expressed by other colleagues in the commission is that it would "be abused by the aggression of markets".

Green MEPs and environmental groups however said that the plan is not bold enough to tackle the systemic problems of EU's fisheries policy.

"The Commission's proposal to set up a market-based system to determine who has the right to fish is nothing short of scandalous," Spanish Green MEP Raul Romeva said in a statement.

Speculation and the concentration of fishing rights in the hands of big companies will be a direct consequence of this policy, in Romeva's view.

No resource rent taxes, instead "licenses" to private "investors." We all can soon pay rent to banks from eating fish.

by kjr63 on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 11:50:07 AM EST
The mental capture is staggering - this is like the CO2 emissions trading programme.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 11:52:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politicians have no shame.
by kjr63 on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 11:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When all you have is a hammer, all you see is nails.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 11:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Were a country make it legal to sell your lifetime voting rights for &euro10,000, how many would bet that an effective majority of the electorate would sell their votes? Then, with a coalition containing a majority of the votes, the government could vote to take what ever money or assets the sellers have left away from them. Then "government would be run like a business!"

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 Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 07:40:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Link to EUObserver: New EU policy aims to reduce overfishing by 2015.

There may be merit in a "cap and trade" approach to fishing quotas, but the problem with the fisheries policy is not only the quotas, not even mostly. What cap and trade does is take the political component of the policy, which is the assignment of quotas, out of the hands of the politicians who are always making a mess of them.

Under the proposal, which still needs approval of member states and the European Parliament, a legal obligation to have fishing of each species not exceed its replacement rate should be put in place by 2015.

Transition phases, compensations and subsidies to cushion the loss in jobs will be part of the package and agreed upon at a later stage.

...

The proposal will seek to ban discards, dead or injured fish that are thrown back into the sea after being caught because they are too small to sell or belong to a different species.

How is the "discard ban" to be policed?

If it is true that fishing by traded concession will result in industrial fishing totally driving out small fishing enterprises, it is easier to regulate and police a smaller number of large industrial operations and have them bear the cost. I think the most practical way to police this might be having an inspector on board, which would be prohibitively expensive and impractical on a small boat.

Funny how they leave the compensations for lost jobs "to be agreed at a later stage".

Meanwhile, it's amazing that "fishing not to exceed the replacement rate" is not a requirement already, but it is unenforceable without the discard ban.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 02:18:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What cap and trade does is take the political component of the policy, which is the assignment of quotas, out of the hands of the politicians who are always making a mess of them...

Can't leave the political responsibility in the hands of politicians, now, can we? Bureaucrats and "The Market" can obviously do so much better a job, as has been shown to be the case with fiscal and monetary policy in the EU.


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 Jul 14th, 2011 at 09:58:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is incredible what one can SELL and BUY on the market nowadays...is there ANYTHING that can't be sold and misused? Well we may not have good enough imagination to follow these guys any more. It's like teams of specialists have been created to think of every single thing that can be brought on the market to make more chances for corruption and misuse...
They are "packaging" bad loans, selling rights, buying CO2, trading peoples data...One thing you will not be able to see anywhere is responsibility...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 at 09:42:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Access to the seas for fishing is a public good and maybe, given the tendency for overfishing, it shouldn't be free. As with CO2, there are two alternatives, a tax, and cap-and-trade.

What cap and trade does, apart from not being a straight "tax", is take away the very political quota allocations from the political process. The only thing left to decide by the EU would be the total catch for each species, not how it's to be divided among the fishing enterprises. How it's to be divided among countries should be a interesting detail to watch when this thing gets to be under discussion.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 02:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not saying that it (and other things) should not be regulated but what bothers me that they made everything to be "stock" and subject to the sale on markets. Usually that means more space for corruption and misuse.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 02:43:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Access to the seas for fishing is a public good and maybe, given the tendency for overfishing, it shouldn't be free.

If there is a fixed supply (fishing quota), there are monopoly profits. Value created by the public.


..there are two alternatives, a tax, and cap-and-trade.

Cap-and-trade gives these profits to rentiers and banks. These rents do not even belong to the fishermen. They don't create this wealth.

..the very political quota allocations from the political process

Indeed. But i see no difference between political corruption and private rents. The money men capture the wealth in both cases.

Tax is simple, impartial and just. If some species is threatened, tax it more. And the wealth returns to wealth creators.

by kjr63 on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 06:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cap-and-trade gives these profits to rentiers and banks.

Not if you auction the permits instead of handing them out for free. Handing them out for free is simply a subsidy to legacy players in the sector.

A combined tax and permit auction would probably be best: Use a tax to set what amounts to a floor under the permit price, then use auctioned permits to make sure that sudden price spikes don't make fishermen empty the seas in search for short-term profit.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 06:20:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The auction would still favor deep pockets. Perhaps auction permits for vessels that displace more than a few tons and tax the catch according to species for all fishermen, but the problem with discards remains. You could also restrict the permits to fishing more than 3 km. from shorelines or in waters less than 10 m. deep. That would protect fish nurseries and provide work for small fishermen for local markets.

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 Jul 14th, 2011 at 10:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You auction the licences, deep pockets buy them, and then they hold hostage the ship owners and the fishermen. What's not to like?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 10:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Require a registered vessel capable of making delivery in order to participate in the auction.

Yes, that still favours the deep pockets. If you want to protect traditional industry for the sake of protecting traditional industry, set aside a part of the permits for whatever activity you wish to protect.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 10:59:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Damanaki's press conference it's obvious that the Commission's commitment to this idea is half-hearted. They are aware of the potential problems, and they try to repair them by fragmenting the market they are creating, rendering the whole scheme inoperative and therefore even more of an expensive and pointless boondoggle:
We propose tradability at national level only, and we propose safeguards to protect legitimate public policy concerns like preventing too many fisheries interests to be concentrated in the hands of a few. And the small-scale fleet will be exempt, to prevent it from being absorbed by bigger operators.
So, what exactly are they proposing?

The thinking is hopelessly muddled. The speech starts with

Our current system is not working in favour of sustainability. 75% of EU stocks are still overfished and a third of them are in a worrying state.
and ends with
Europe needs more fish, more wealth and more jobs.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 11:09:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe also needs magick flying ponies:

One hundred years ago the two most productive fisheries in the EU were the North and Baltic seas.  (IIRC, cod in the first and herring in the second.)  A combination of over fishing and pollution are putting paid to both and increasing sea temperature is hammering in the last nails in the coffin.  

Canadian experience suggests you guys and gals are going to dither until the fish stocks collapse, your fishing industries follow, and THEN you'll be forced to do what you need to do: stop fishing until the ecology recovers.

If you don't you'll force the fish population ever to the right:

which, at some point, can easily drive the fish stocks to complete collapse, wrecking the ecology, and putting yourselves in a situation that will take hundreds or thousands of years to recover from.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 01:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest number I saw had some 9 out of 10 fishing waters globally beign over-fished. IIRC we have also passed peak fish sometime around the year 2000.

An almost devestated public good I think should be left alone to regrowth. That means a ban on fishing, investment in socially needed replacement jobs and reeducation of fishermen. And policing anything large enough to be profitable, in effect leaving rowboats with people fishing for their own table alone.

But then again I think coal mining should be banned.

However, the difference between European fishing and European CO2 emissions is that the CO2 emissions will be costly to reduce. How many work in fishing in Europe? How much of the food is from fish?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 03:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission press releases: Maria Damanaki European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Breaking the circle: introducing a new Common Fisheries Policy

Press Conference on the Common Fisheries Policy reform package: speaking points (Brussels, 13 July 2011)
One way that contributes to giving responsibility back to the industry as well as to sustainability is a more market-based system of access to fleets.

Tradable concessions have been introduced in many countries and proved effective in tackling overcapacity: for instance in Denmark the demersal fleet was slimmed down by 30% in 4 years and the pelagic one by 50%. Norway, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand also show success with this approach.

We propose tradability at national level only, and we propose safeguards to protect legitimate public policy concerns like preventing too many fisheries interests to be concentrated in the hands of a few. And the small-scale fleet will be exempt, to prevent it from being absorbed by bigger operators.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 08:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Demanaki: "preventing too many fisheries interests to be concentrated in the hands of afew"

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 at 08:23:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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