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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 12 November

by afew Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:11:18 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1905Norway holds a referendum that chooses monarchy over republic.

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:37:41 AM EST
MEPs reject EU 'crime feelings' plan: theparliament.com
MEPs have rejected a draft EU law that aimed to gather statistics on people's 'feelings' about crime.

Parliament threw out the plan after it was claimed that it would have cost up to €12m.

Some MEPs argued that such an amount "could not be spent on a project with such questionable and subjective value".

The commission's proposal would have implemented a household and personal survey across the EU to gauge people's feelings regarding their own security, which would be used to supplement traditional crime figures.

However, some MEPs, including UK Tory Tim Kirkhope, said that the cost to compile the survey was "far in excess" of any value it may provide policy makers.

In particular, he said it was felt that such surveys present a "far too subjective basis that can easily be misinterpreted and were based on each participant's emotional response".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:45:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A sensible Tory???
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:45:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / EU budget on the brink after talks collapse

BRUSSELS - Negotiators on Friday (9 November) could not reach agreement on how to fund a €9 billion shortfall in 2012 EU spending, let alone on the full 2013 budget.

The European Commission tabled the €9 billion top-up request in October in order to keep up payments for flagship EU policies such as the Erasmus student-exchange programme and the European Social Fund, which compensates redundant workers.

But MEPs, ministers and EU officials could not agree on where to find the "emergency" money.

At one point, it looked like Italian regions hit by an earthquake earlier this year would not even get a previously-agreed €670 million aid package. But EU countries later confirmed it will be paid.

The dispute ended in bad faith and recriminations.

It also meant that negotiations were cut short before "substantive" talks on the 2013 EU budget could begin.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We simply cannot demand that many member states implement cuts bordering, and perhaps not just bordering, on the barbaric, yet increase the EU budget.
by oliver on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 05:55:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe when the barbaric cuts reach the Commission they will see that they are barbaric.

But, on the other hand, maybe what this shows is that the member states' own project to dismantle their own governments has as a corollary the dismantling of the EU itself.

After all, the EU budget is 1% of GDP, which is a very small fraction of the 15% that would be needed to have a true federal fiscal policy, but is a very large fraction of the deficits reductions that states are self-imposing.

Or we could just get our collective economic heads out of our asses and decide to have the ECB monetize the EU's budget. Fat chance of that, I know...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 07:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What the Commission sees or does not see is moot. They can't do anything about it. What they can do is piss away popular support. And that is exactly what calling for an increased budget does.
by oliver on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 01:48:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are asking to keep their 1% of GDP. Is that an "increased budget"?

If there's no popular support for keeping the 1% EU budget, then there is no popular support for the EU.

The fact is that austerity is being used as a wedge issue to eliminate all kinds of policies that have popular support by themselves, with the argument that "if we can't afford anything, how can we afford these other things?". For instance:

  • Erasmus
  • International development aid

And now, the EU itself.

If we wanted to afford these things, we could afford them. Of course, that might require cutting Germany loose with their religious prohibition of monetary financing of desirable things.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
religious prohibition of monetary financing of desirable things

Let's take that further: no financing of any kind of desirable things, since the purpose of economic activity is to hoard gold.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:30:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU budget is 1%. It does some good: Erasmus, and it does a lot of bad: CAP. But from a macroeconomic standpoint it is simply peanuts. So it doesn't matter economically speaking how large it is. If you want it to be beneficial to the majority of citizens, the question is how it is spent, not how large it is.
What matters here is public relations.

You are not going to shift public opinion in the member states which are net contributors over this. You may not like it, but this is the least suitable vehicle to get to that aim. Any attempt to do so will only serve to alienate the supporters that are left.

And furthermore the voters decide what they deem an increase. You may try to convince them otherwise, but chances of success are slim and the consequences of failure are bad. It is not worth trying.

by oliver on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 07:11:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's interesting here is that the member states that are proposing that in the future the Commission will police other member states' budgets, are threatening to starve the EU of funds.

Eventually people will be force to start biting bullets. Why of all possibilities austerity should be the concept that prevails is not evident or preordained. And then people like you present austerity as voters' preference when it's just the story that politicians tell voters is true.

Austerity is a disaster, it's just that it leads to easier soundbites. It's as intuitive as flat Earth theory, only much more pernicious.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 08:42:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you dislike austerity, asking for more money for Brussels is exactly what you should not do.
by oliver on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 06:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is probably mostly true of two countries' popular opinion, Germany and Britain.

In both cases, popular opinion has been influenced over the years by gutter-press lies. So it would seem (to follow you) that European policy should be decided by a jury composed of tabloids like The Sun and Bild Zeitung.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:34:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Voters vote how they vote, not how you want them to. It is necessary to base a realistic policy on realistic assumptions.
by oliver on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 07:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oliver:
not how you want them to

But apparently some people know how to make them vote the "right way".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 08:25:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does it change the voting behaviour very much if the net contribution per capita is 71 Euro or 71,50 Euro or even, gasp, 72 Euro? Do you believe many voters know which amounts we are talking about?
by Katrin on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 09:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter. Voters see the aggregate numbers. Therefore any nominal increase is unwise.
by oliver on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does matter, if this is subject of debate. All this can be pointed out and debated. Debate is an option, right?
by Katrin on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it isn't. The EU budget is peanuts. The change is crumbs of peanuts. The only thing that matters here is symbolism.

You are not seriously saying that from a PR perspective 1% of GNP is a viable argument when you could just compare two numbers and one of them is higher?

by oliver on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 06:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shorter oliver: "don't look behind the curtain" "don't talk about this" "there is no alternative" "don't question anything, it's better this way".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 06:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But no. You should by all means question whatever you want. And the current policies make little sense.

However, if your position is too bad, you will not win. Sometimes alternatives are indeed limited. The best option is simply for the EU to show some sensitivity and propose to cut its budget.

by oliver on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 06:07:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or the EU could stop demanding that member states cut theirs.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 07:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It strictly speaking doesn't. It just approves the conditions under which the net contributors (chiefly Germany) give money.

This crisis keeps showing the uselessness of the common institution in emergency.

by oliver on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:35:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you talking about the EcoFin or the Commission? Or the ECB?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 12:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The comission
by oliver on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:38:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It strictly speaking doesn't. It just approves the conditions under which the net contributors (chiefly Germany) give money.

Under a common currency, that is a distinction without a difference.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Under a common currency it would be better if that were no difference. Yet that doesn't make it so.
by oliver on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 05:34:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, under a common currency they are identical. It's just that some people prefer to lie about that fact for transitory partisan gain.

And some of those people write such lies into the law of the land, thereby ensuring that you get a constitutional crisis to go with your economic and political crises.

But since I am an economist, not a lawyer, I do not feel obligated to genuflect before such legal kabuki theater.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:57:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you fail to fight back, then of course you won't win.

One way to fight back would be to agree to cut the regional development budget... but not across the board. Only cut in members with a current account surplus and cut in direct proportion to the magnitude of the member's current account surplus. And point out that Germany is, of course, free to leave the European Union if it finds its obligations under the treaties onerous.

If Germany prefers to leave the European Union rather than pay its fair share of the cost of running the European Union, then good fucking riddance.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is exactly the opposite of what is happening
What makes us extremely worried besides the overall volume of the budget is the cohesion envelope. The members of the so-called cohesion countries are convinced that cohesion is in the interest of the European Union and that cohesion is an investment in the future. We want a decent-sized cohesion envelope.

The Commission already proposed a 5% cut and the last proposal of the Cyptriot presidency recommends even a 7.5% cut for the overall cohesion envelope. And if you look at the details you will see that the least-developed regions suffer the most. They might face cuts up to 20%. And Hungary is supposed to lose 30% of its cohesion envelope compared to the present period.

(EurActiv)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:08:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The best option is simply for the EU to show some sensitivity and propose to cut its budget.

You are, as usual, assuming that the German conventional wisdom is the most sensible political position. That may not be true outside Germany.

There is a very deep division among the players. There is a clear numeric majority of member states stating that we need a decent budget to fulfil all treaty obligations and the EU 2020 objectives, which have been agreed by all 27 member states. And a decent budget needs at least the size the Commission proposed.

There is another group of member states which are saying that during an era of budgetary cuts at home, we need to cut at the European level, too.

I do not agree with this logic since the EU budget is very different in its nature than the national budgets. I do believe in the European added value of the common budget. So we need fiscal consolidation on the national level and a reasonable budget on EU level.

(EurActiv)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Empirically, the voters will vote the way Bild Zeitung (or FAZ, which is Bild for literate people) tells them to vote, unless they have direct and pressing personal experience with the fallout from tabloid politics (and sometimes even then).

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 10:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political leaders exercise some paedagogic function over voters. So voters vote how political leaders influence them to. Merkel is rather guilty of propagating or fostering certain voter tendencies.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Commission plans to boost sugar supplies | EurActiv

The European Commission plans to propose steps to increase the EU's sugar supplies in the face of dwindling stocks and a growing gap between domestic and global prices.

The EU executive wants to boost supplies by a total of 1.2 million tonnes through a roughly equal combination of imports of raw cane sugar at reduced duties and sales of domestic beet sugar produced in excess of strict national production quotas.

"The balance sheet for the 2012/13 marketing year ... showed that ending stocks are expected to go down from 2 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes," the Commission said in a statement on Thursday (8 November).

"Therefore it seems justified to conclude that for a fluid market and a market that is more responsive to developments on the world market, additional sugar is needed."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:48:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sugar lobby doing good work...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:49:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kroes calls for 'reinvention' of healthcare: theparliament.com
EU commissioner Neelie Kroes has called for the "reinvention" of Europe's whole health and social care system.

The Dutch official, speaking at an event on demographic change, said that extending people's lives was one of the flagship EU policies.

Kroes, who is responsible for the digital agenda dossier, said, "There's a common desire from every country and every corner of the EU to deliver for citizens.

"We all need the same thing: to improve people's lives.

"We can't do this simply by throwing money at the problem, not in the current climate. Nor by simply cutting budgets. nor by just taking what we already do, and adding in a couple of fancy gadgets."

Speaking in Amsterdam, she said, "Rather, we need to use smart innovations to re-engineer and reinvent our whole health and social care system."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FYI, in American corporation-speak, "re-engineer" means "fire people at random."
by asdf on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 07:32:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in the context of health and social care it means "privatize".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 02:12:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so. The people who get fired either

  1. Don't kiss their bosses' asses enough, or

  2. Are competent and threaten their bosses' security.


The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 10:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Olli Rehn, austere guardian of budgetary discipline | Presseurop (English)

It will not be easy for bad pupils to beg for support from other member states. What's more, the new texts have given Olli Rehn's staff a brief to identify emerging "macroeconomic imbalances" in member states, like the loss of competitiveness in France or warning signs of a property bubble in the Netherlands. Once an imbalance has been identified, Brussels can issue one of its much-talked about "recommendations" and demand that the member state in question produce an action plan to correct it.

And all of this is just the beginning! In 2013, Brussels' supervisory role will be further reinforced by the entry into force of the fiscal compact, which imposes the "golden rule" of budgetary management. Finally, another legislative text that is still being discussed by parliament, the so-called two-pack, will give Brussels greater oversight of national budgets and allow it to view economic plans before they are adopted by national parliaments.

However, Olli Rehn is keen to downplay its ultimate impact: "Bear in mind, there will not be a veto, just the right to give an opinion." In the context of his increasingly predominant role, Olli Rehn's insistence on keeping a low profile is at times almost excessive.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
November 12 edition.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
«Fatigué» mais «déterminé», Gatignon poursuit sa grève de la faim - Libération "tired" but "determined" Gatignon continues hunger strike - Liberation
Le maire de Sevran, Stéphane Gatignon (EELV), était «fatigué» dimanche après une deuxième nuit sous tente mais «déterminé» à poursuivre la grève de la faim qu'il a entamée vendredi afin d'obtenir une aide financière pour sa commune.Mayor of the town of Sevran, Stephane Gatignon (EELV), was "tired" Sunday after a second night in a tent but "determined" to continue the hunger strike he began on Friday to obtain financial assistance for the town.
«Il fait un peu frais, mais la nuit s'est bien passée», a déclaré à l'AFP l'élu d'Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) qui campe face à l'Assemblée nationale depuis vendredi soir. «Je fatigue un peu à cause de la tente, de la faim, mais ça va.» M. Gatignon, 43 ans, réclame cinq millions d'euros pour sa ville de 51.000 habitants, enclavée en Seine-Saint-Denis, en proie au chômage, à la misère sociale et au trafic de drogue. "It's a bit chilly, but the night went well" told AFP elected Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) who has been camping in front of the National Assembly since Friday night. "I am a little tired because of the tent, the hunger, but it's all right." Mr. Gatignon, 43, claims five million euros for his city of 51,000 inhabitants, shut off in Seine-Saint- Denis, suffering from unemployment, social deprivation and drug trafficking.
Il souhaite que cette aide passe par une augmentation de la Dotation de solidarité urbaine (DSU), que verse l'Etat aux communes pour compenser les inégalités de ressources. L'Assemblée nationale doit débattre de ce mécanisme mardi. «Je suis déterminé à poursuivre ma grève de la faim», a déclaré l'édile. «Il faut laisser la pression pour que tout se passe bien mardi», a-t-il ajouté.He hopes that this assistance may come through an increase in the endowment of urban solidarity (DSU), which the state pays to municipalities to offset the inequality of resources. The National Assembly is slated to discuss this mechanism on Tuesday. "I am determined to continue my hunger strike," said the mayor. "We must maintain the pressure so all goes well on Tuesday" , he added.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:26:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Release of Greek loan tranche will be cliff-hanger (12.11.2012)
The eurogroup will delay the next Greek loan tranche further amid continued differences with the IMF; the Greek parliament last night voted in favour of the 2013 budget; but the country is now left on the verge of bankruptcy after the ECB refused to change its stance on the ELA; Greece needs to repay a €5bn bond this week, but a T-bill auction can only raise €3.5bn - as the country is now struggling to fill the gap; Wolfgang Schauble said he will not accept any pressure, as the Greeks themselves have been delaying the process; also said troika was unlikely to deliver its report today; Antonis Samaras and other Greek politicians say they have fulfilled their obligations, it is now up to the EU to act; Jorg Asmussen says Greece is likely to miss the 2020 debt target by a wide margin; Large parts of the eurozone will be subject to a general strike this Wednesday; the European Trade Union Confederation is planning an EU-wide strike day in protest against austerity; the IMF sees political limits to austerity; the German parliament sets new lower borrowing limits as the country is headed for more budgetary consolidation; the Italian industry and service sectors are expected to shed 120,000 jobs in Q4; state auditors say Italian government has insufficient funds to cope with older unemployed; Eugenio Scalfari argues that Monti's efforts are beginning to produce results; Beppe Grillo attacks the new electoral law as discriminating against his party; a new pro-euro political movement has established itself in Italy; alarm over eviction suicides prompts Spanish government to speed up foreclosure reform; the Spanish police says it won't sanction policemen who refuse to carry out eviction orders; Wolfgang Munchau says structural reforms are mostly misunderstood, and won't solve eurozone crisis; Amazon.de's recommended "technical" books on the euro, meanwhile, is a rag-bag list of anti-euro horrors.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 04:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Munchau on competitiveness

In his FT column Wolfgang Munchau argues that the lack of structural economic reforms is not what caused the eurozone crisis, and reforms will not get us out of it. The pro-reform consensus is based on the observation that Germany reformed ten years ago, and has since grown, and that other should emulate Germany. He lists three fallacies: First, the pickup in German growth was due to wage moderation, which itself was caused by outsourcing; Second, France and Spain have specific problems in their labour markets that need to be fixed, but this is not going to happen through Hartz IV type broad brush welfare reform; and finally, competitiveness is not the best target in any case: Germany improve its real exchange rate when everyone else was doing the opposite. You cannot logically advocate such a policy to everybody.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 04:42:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Competitiveness will not save the euro (Wolfgang Münchau, November 11, 2012)
The first of the three fallacies concerns Germany. Throughout the postwar period, Germany's economy performed strongly in fixed exchange rate mechanisms. Its first economic miracle occurred during the Bretton-Woods era of the 1950s and 1960s, as it managed to devalue its real exchange rate against other members of the system. It should come as no surprise that Germany prospers in the eurozone doing exactly the same thing. The recovery that followed the financial crunch in the early part of the last decade was caused by a long period of wage moderation.

...

Second, to fix the economic problems of France, one should apply a clear-headed and targeted approach. France and Spain suffer from high youth unemployment. The problem is well understood. It is caused by a fragmented labour market, which protects workers with a permanent labour contract but discriminates against outsiders and the young. With youth unemployment at 52 per cent in Spain, this should be the priority for economic reform. We should therefore distinguish between reforms that serve a specific and well-defined purpose - such as the introduction of a single labour contract, or a pension reform - from reforms with unproved effects. We should also separate specific reforms from those that stem from pure rightwing ideology.

Lastly, why do we always focus on competitiveness? Businesspeople talk endlessly about it but it is a less useful concept on a macroeconomic scale. It conflates two concepts: macroeconomic competitiveness, as expressed by the real exchange rate, and total factor productivity, or TFP, a proxy for a country's technological dynamism. A cut in unit labour costs is only a gain if you achieve it but nobody else does. Once you advocate it as a policy for everyone in the eurozone, you end up in a zero-sum game. We cannot all devalue at the same time. If we are saying that the eurozone should reduce unit labour costs to the level of Germany, why do we think that Germany will not do the same?



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 04:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Verhofstadt to be left out of the race for Barroso sucessor | EurActiv

EXCLUSIVE / One of the most popular and outspoken European politicians, Guy Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, is likely to remain outside the race for the post for the next Commission president, EurActiv has learned.

The liberal European family was unable to agree on a candidate for Commission president to replace José Manuel Barroso following the 2014 European elections because NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a Danish liberal, is tipped to get another top job - European Council President.

Sources at the Liberal Congress, held in Dublin from 8 to 10 November, said that even if Verhofstadt is an obvious candidate for Commission president, the party is unable to put forward his candidacy, because Rasmussen, a former Danish Prime minister whose mandate as NATO leader expires in 2014, has ambitions to get the job of Herman Van Rompuy as Council president, EurActiv was told.

As a second choice, Rasmussen could succeed Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief.

But in both cases, it is seen as impossible that more than one liberal politician would get more than one of the three top jobs that will be up for grabs almost simultaneously.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 06:12:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the NY Times. Even for them, this is a new low. I assume everyone here can see what they left out.
In recent weeks, tax experts at Greece's finance ministry have been scrutinizing the finances of about 15,000 Greeks to see if money they have sent abroad in the past three years -- about $5 billion in all -- exceeds the declared wealth on their tax returns, government officials say.

The government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is intent on cracking down on wealthy tax evaders as it tries to quell mounting public anger over a slate of austerity measures that the Greek Parliament last week passed by a thin margin. Early Monday, the government won approval for its 2013 budget, which, due in part to persistent tax evasion, must rely on a punishing mix of spending cuts and indirect tax increases to meet targets set by the country's creditors.

The emergence of the "Lagarde list" of 2,000 individuals with overseas bank accounts -- named after a list given to the Greek government in 2010 by Christine Lagarde, then the French finance minister and now head of the International Monetary Fund -- and the failure of previous governments to act on it has outraged a generation of austerity-weary Greeks. It highlights as well a longstanding societal fissure between those forced to absorb an ever-increasing tax burden and those who escape the duty by sending money overseas.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 06:17:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:38:05 AM EST
A lost chance to overturn Keynes with the fiscal cliff | Nicholas Wapshott

There is a lot of talk among conservatives and libertarians about "pushing the government out of the way so the free market can do its work." Having lost the election, they cannot hamper Bernanke in his Friedmanite boosting of the money supply to head off stagnation. But they could follow Hayek's example and insist that taxes be allowed to rise and public expenditures be cut starting on Jan. 1.

But where are those voices? Where is the clamor to abandon, as they would put it, Keynes's "pernicious" influence over economic policy? The same free-market economists were also noticeably absent when Wall Street crashed in the fall of 2008, the financial markets froze, banks went bust and the world peered over an earlier cataclysmic cliff. Perhaps the truth is to be found in the candid remark of the 1995 Nobel Prize winner for economics, Robert Lucas, a leading light in the ultra-conservative Chicago School of Economics, who said in October 2008, "I guess everyone is a Keynesian in a foxhole."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Bankers, Swindlers | Inter Press Service
PARIS, Nov 9 2012 (IPS) - For anyone who might not have realised it yet, the current crisis is demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that the financial markets are the lead players in the current economic situation in Europe. Power has passed from the politicians to speculators and crooked bankers. This is a fundamental change.

Every single day a staggering quantity of money floods through the markets - for example, seven billion euros worth of eurozone governments' debt alone, according to the European Central Bank. The daily collective decisions of these markets can now topple governments, dictate policies, and subjugate entire populations.

Moreover, these new "lords of the earth" have no concern whatsoever for the common good. Solidarity is not their problem, much less the preservation of the welfare state. Greed is the only motive for their actions. Speculators and bankers, driven by a hunger for profits, behave with total impunity, diving like birds of prey on target after target.

Since the crisis broke in 2008 no serious reform has been imposed to either regulate the markets or rein in the bankers. It is apparent that banks play a clear role in the economic system and that their traditional activities ­ encouraging savings, providing families with credit, financing businesses, spurring commerce ­ are constructive.

However, since the dawn in the 1980s of the "universal bank", which added speculation and investment to the above mix of functions, risks to customers' savings shot up dramatically along with deceit, scandals, and fraud.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing new to us ET folks. So?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 06:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So "ET folks" are not the only people around.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 02:15:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taxpayer Storm Shield Protects Casinos as Poor Take on Water - Bloomberg

As superstorm Sandy flooded Atlantic City, New Jersey, one area was shielded from damage by dunes constructed at taxpayer expense: casinos and other beachfront businesses and homes.

Nearby, another set of residents didn't get government-paid storm defense. In one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, water from Absecon Inlet filled the streets, knocking down doors, sloshing into bedrooms, destroying furniture and leaving residents wondering if they would drown.

What unfolded in this East Coast resort city of 40,000, the second-largest U.S. gambling market behind Las Vegas, shows how government decisions helped businesses escape almost unscathed and open just days after the storm, while people living paycheck to paycheck suffered.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW, business as usual.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 06:01:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will Britain's post-recession economy be resurgent, stagnant or greener? | Politics | The Guardian

Economic forecasting is a mug's game. Experts find it next to impossible to predict the next set of quarterly growth figures or the length of the dole queues in the latest month.

Most forecasts are made by extrapolating recent trends and tweaking them a bit, which is why they tend to be wrong when economies are subjected to powerful shocks. Last week, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development bravely tried to envisage what the world will look like in 2062. But, as the UK's recent experience shows, even imagining how things will pan out in 2013 is hard enough.

This time five years ago, the economy was still growing and Gordon Brown contemplated holding a snap general election, before eventually getting cold feet. The Royal Bank of Scotland had just bought ABN Amro in the biggest bank takeover in history. The official cost of borrowing set by the Bank of England was 5.75%. Only economic geeks had heard of quantitative easing.

It would have taken a brave forecaster to say back then that in late 2012 RBS would be largely owned by the British taxpayer, that interest rates would have been at 0.5% for the best part of four years and that the Bank would be sitting on £375bn of gilts bought from the private sector in an attempt to get the economy moving after a deep recession.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:38:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:38:24 AM EST
Israel says may escalate as Hamas joins Gaza clashes | Reuters

(Reuters) - Israel said it was poised to escalate attacks on the Gaza Strip on Sunday following a surge of rocket and mortar salvoes by Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

A missile strike wounded four Israeli troops on jeep patrol along the Gaza boundary on Saturday, triggering army shelling that killed four Palestinian civilians and, in turn, dozens of short-range rocket launches out of Gaza that paralysed Israel's southern border towns.

Two Gaza militants died in the ensuing Israeli air strikes. Two workers were wounded later when a plastics factory in northern Gaza Strip caught fire after it was hit by an Israeli tank shell, emergency workers said.

Israel's Iron Dome defence system knocked out a longer-range "Grad" rocket that was aimed at the southern city of Beersheba, the army said.

Thousands of Palestinians marching in the funerals of six people killed in the past 24 hours cried: "Revenge, revenge". One man said an Israeli tank fired at children then fired on adults who rushed to the scene.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:04:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Brazil Emerging as Key Player at U.N. | Inter Press Service

Over the last decade, going back to the presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ending in 2010, Brazil has participated in nine U.N. peacekeeping missions; hosted important multilateral conferences (in particular the Rio+20 summit last June); actively contributed to discussions on U.N. reform; worked to strengthen the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and encouraged a greater role for the U.N. in the promotion of economic and social development.

Brazil is also a founding member of the 132-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations, and is the 10th largest contributor to the U.N.'s regular budget, with 38 million dollars for the latest fiscal year.

Described as one the world's newly emerging powers, Brazil plays a key political and economic role in two of the most powerful international coalitions: IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This new story should be contextualized by somebody who knows about the topic, and be promoted to a front page diary.

Brazil is the fifth or sixth largest country in the world, depending on how you count (population, area, economy) and is growing fast. Along with China and the U.S., South America is a huge potential competitor to Europe. Only two languages, common cultural history, tons of unexploited resources, relatively low population density, range of climates--everything it needs to become a world power.

If the U.S. comes to its senses and re-engaged with Latin America, the 21st century could be the century of the New World. (Just in case the 20th century wasn't.) This situation, I think, poses the central issue for Europe: How to compete not just with the U.S., but with the Far East and South America?

by asdf on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 07:56:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like you know about it... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 02:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, no. I have opinions, just like everybody. But no actual knowledge.
by asdf on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 10:14:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Burma earthquake: At least 12 feared dead

A strong earthquake has rocked central Burma, with at least 12 people feared dead and dozens more injured.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck some 120km (70 miles) north of the second-largest city of Mandalay, at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.

A bridge under construction collapsed in Shwebo, close to the epicentre, throwing workers into the river.

In Mandalay, terrified residents dashed out of their homes for safety, fearing more tremors.

The earthquake hit at 07:42 local time (01:12 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:21:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Israel fires warning shots 'after Syria mortar strike'

Israeli forces say they have fired warning shots into Syria after a mortar round fired from Syria hit an Israeli post in the Golan Heights.

It is the first time that Israel has fired on Syrian forces since the Middle East war of 1973.

The latest incident comes days after Israeli troops were put on high alert after a vehicle was hit by Syrian fire in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The two countries are formally at war and a UN force patrols the buffer zone.

The Israel Defence Forces have filed a complaint through the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and "shall be responded to with severity".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, is this their wisest response ? To respond to stray shots with ordinance fired at random ? Or is Bibi ginning up a reaction so's he can get his war on ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But is the fire from Syria a random event, symptom of Bashar's loss of control, or a provocation by Bashar? Or by a rebel faction? Who might find advantage in drawing Israel into the conflict?

I don't see a good argument for an Israeli "intervention" in Syria : unless to seize another "buffer zone" to strengthen its hand in any negotiations with a post-Bashar government.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 04:16:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian opposition groups sign coalition deal - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Mouaz al-Khatib, a former imam, has been selected to head the newly formed Syrian National Coalition, a delegate has revealed.

Influential businessman Riad Seif, who proposed the US-backed initiative to set up an umbrella group of opposition
groups inside and outside Syria, was elected as deputy president along with Suhair al-Atassi, a well-known female activist.

Syrian opposition groups meeting in Qatar inked a hard-won unity deal on Sunday, agreeing to form a national coalition to fight against President Bashar al-Assad, delegates said.

"We signed a 12-point agreement to establish a coalition," Riad Seif said.

Participants in marathon talks in Qatar said discussions were continuing on details of a planned new government-in-waiting, but that the Syrian National Council had now heeded Arab and Western calls to join a new, wider coalition.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How Obama's Victory Looks In Moscow: Time For Another Reset? - Kommersant - Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Barack Obama's re-election has allowed many people in Moscow to sigh with relief: The Cold War really is over. And that is the most important take-away from the Russian capital after the 2012 presidential election in the United States.

The Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, had surprised everyone during the campaign by citing Russia as America's No.1 geopolitical opponent. So his defeat means the Kremlin can stop worrying about such caveman-like announcements. Indeed, Russia can be assured that Romney, who is 65 years old, will not be running in the next U.S. elections. 

Does Obama's re-election mean that Moscow and Washington have a second chance at a reset? The answer is obvious: yes, of course. However, the fact that history is giving these two former foes a second chance does not necessarily mean that the opportunity won't be wasted.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 04:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TPM
Conservative Weekly Standard columnist Bill Kirstol said it won't kill the country to raise taxes on millionaires during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday." Kristol said that after a bad night on Election Day, Republicans should reassess their positions and be open to new ideas.

"Don't scream and yell when one person says, 'you know what, it won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.' It really won't, I don't think," Kristol said.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 02:20:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can think of someone who's not going to be on Fox anytime soon

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i watched that on the chris wallace show, and it was definitely what john stewart calls a 'zen moment', lol.

wallace's jaw hit the floor so hard i thought it would shatter

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:38:49 AM EST
Food agency wants to strengthen EU risk assessment | EurActiv

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has called for a further strengthening of the EU's risk assessment capacity at a high-level scientific conference in Parma to mark the agency's 10th anniversary.

The two-day conference, Challenging boundaries in risk assessment - sharing experiences, which ended yesterday (8 November), brought together global specialists from a wide range of scientific disciplines.

The scientists examined the frontiers of risk assessment and considered future key issues and opportunities.

"EFSA functions thanks to the EU risk assessment community," Hubert Deluyker, EFSA's director of Science Strategy and Coordination, said in a speech.

"And we are central to its progress, for instance through the development of guidance that has harmonised and modernised methodologies relating to risk assessment for food and feed over the past decade."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:53:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK won't get EU cash for carbon storage - EU sources | Reuters

(Reuters) - The British government will not get any European Union funding under the first round of a subsidy scheme for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects because it has failed to provide the required financing guarantees, EU sources said on Sunday.

CCS technology captures carbon emissions from power plants before they enter the atmosphere and then stores them in long-term storage sites.

The British government has included CCS technology in its plans to meet its emissions reduction targets and says it has earmarked 1 billion pounds to fund a commercial scale pilot CCS programme.

One EU source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that no British projects had qualified for the so-called NER300 competition "because of lack of funding detail."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:08:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Canada's push for dirty tar sands oil is out of step

Immediately after the U.S. election, Canadian Minister Joe Oliver said that he fully expected the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to be approved by the reelected Obama administration. This is wishful thinking on the part of the Canadian federal government.

Approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is certainly not a given, especially when a second term for President Barack Obama is going to mean a strong commitment to fighting climate change pollution and promoting clean energy choices.

More than ever, Canada's current approach to energy development - which strongly favors a massive build up of tar sands production - is at odds with America's path. The Obama administration has already moved forward with an energy agenda that has, for example, resulted in historic fuel efficiency standards significantly reducing demand for oil and proposed carbon pollution limits for new power plants. And we can expect more in this second term.

The fossil fuel industry put energy front and center in this past election cycle - and the American people voted for clean energy over dirty energy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fault under Japan nuclear plant 'may be active'

Japan's only working nuclear power plant sits on what may be a seismic fault in the earth's crust, a geologist has warned, saying it is "very silly" to allow it to continue operating.

Mitsuhisa Watanabe says the earth's plates could move under the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan, causing a catastrophe to rival last year's atomic disaster at Fukushima -- although some of his colleagues on a nuclear advisory panel disagree.

"It is an active fault. The plates shifted some 120,000 to 130,000 years ago for sure," Watanabe, of Tokyo's Toyo University, told AFP.

"In research that I have conducted on active faults in Japan and overseas, structures built above them were all damaged" when they moved and caused an earthquake, he said.

Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphologist, is part of a five-member team tasked by the Nuclear Regulation Authority with looking into the tectonic situation underneath the plant, which houses the country's only working reactors.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Smooth as Silk: How big brands milk small farmers for all they're worth | Grist

If you drink soy milk, odds are high that you drink Silk. Found in the refrigerator aisle, the brand can be credited with bringing this non-dairy beverage to the mainstream around a decade ago. It's probably not surprising then that Silk's umbrella company, White Wave, was founded in the 1970s by Buddhist hippies (because who else was drinking soy milk in the '70s?) but sold for $190 million to corporate behemoth Dean Foods (maker of the Horizon line of organic dairy, as well as many other brands you may know) in 2002.

Silk also makes a really interesting case study of consolidation in the organics industry. You see, for years all the soy milk it sold was certified organic. And by the mid-2000s, the brand had become such a powerful market force that it was keeping a significant portion of organic soy farmers in business.

Then, in 2009, Dean executives made a subtle, but important change; they stopped making their "regular" blue-carton product with organic soybeans, switching instead to non-GMO, conventionally grown soy. They dropped the word "organic" from their label, and for those who were paying close enough attention to notice the shift, they created a special organic line.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Batho s'entoure de 5 "sages" pour débattre sur l'énergie - Le Nouvel Observateur Batho is surrounded by five "wise men" to discuss energy - Le Nouvel Observateur
Cinq "sages", dont l'ex-patronne d'Areva Anne Lauvergeon et l'ex-directeur de Greenpeace Bruno Rebelle, animeront aux côtés de la ministre de l'Ecologie Delphine Batho le grand débat sur l'énergie qui débutera le 20 novembre, a indiqué samedi le ministère de l'Ecologie.Five "wise men", among them the former boss of Areva Anne Lauvergeon and former director of Greenpeace Bruno Rebelle, will participate alongside the Minister of Ecology Delphine Batho in the great debate on energy which will begin on November 20, said Saturday the Ministry of Ecology.
Le climatologue Jean Jouzel, la directrice de l'Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (Iddri) Laurence Tubiana et le président du conseil d'administration de Valeo Pascal Colombani complètent ce "comité de pilotage", a-t-on indiqué de même source.Climatologist Jean Jouzel, the director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) Laurence Tubiana and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Valeo, Pascal Colombani complete this "steering committee", according to the same source .
Le débat sur la transition énergétique doit définir la trajectoire permettant de réduire les consommations énergétiques en France et de diminuer, comme promis par le président François Hollande, la part du nucléaire dans la production électrique.The debate on energy transition must define the path to reduce energy consumption in France and decrease, as promised by President François Hollande, the share of nuclear power generation.
Ce débat débutera le 20 novembre et se poursuivra jusqu'au printemps en vue d'une loi de programmation annoncée pour juin 2013.This debate will begin on November 20 and will continue until spring for a planning law foreseen for June 2013.
Le comité de pilotage aura pour tâche d'animer les débats entre les différents collèges représentés: patronat, syndicats, associations, Etat, collectivités locales et parlementaires.The steering committee will be responsible for facilitating discussions between colleges represented: employers, trade unions, associations, government, local authorities and parliamentarians.
"Ce comité est une bonne alchimie", a estimé la ministre de l'Ecologie dans le quotidien "Le Monde". "This committee is a good chemistry," said the Minister of Ecology in the daily "Le Monde".
L'ONG Greenpeace a toutefois qualifié d'"inacceptable" la composition du comité. "Nous sommes scandalisés par la présence de personnalités connues pour être des ardents défenseurs du nucléaire", a-t-elle réagi dans un communiqué. Si Areva et EDF ne sont pas présentes officiellement dans les instances du débat, elles sont certaines d'être bien représentées par Anne Lauvergeon et Pascal Colombani", ancien administrateur général (de 2000 à 2002) du Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA), a dénoncé l'ONG.The NGO Greenpeace has however described as "unacceptable" the composition of the committee. "We are outraged by the presence of personalities known to be ardent supporters of nuclear power," according to a statement. If Areva and EDF are not present in the official forums of debate, they are certain to be well represented by Anne Lauvergeon and by Pascal Colombani, "former director general (2000-2002) of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) , denounced the NGO.
L'ONG demande à être reçue "dés que possible" par Delphine Batho afin d'obtenir quelques garanties sur la teneur des débats et menace, "en cas de réponse insatisfaisante", de ne pas y participer.The NGO requests a meeting "as soon as possible" with Delphine Batho to get some guarantees about the content of the debates and threatens, "if the response is unsatisfactory," not to participate.
Même son de cloche du côté du Réseau "Sortir du nucléaire" qui estime dans un communiqué que "ces nominations ont tout d'une provocation : comment parler de transition énergétique et de démocratie tout en sollicitant des personnalités qui constituent jusqu'à la caricature l'incarnation du lobby nucléaire ? Le signal est clair : Delphine Batho vient d'indiquer sa volonté de protéger à tout prix les intérêts de l'industrie nucléaire".Same story on the side of the Network "Exiting Nuclear" which said in a statement that "these appointments look like a provocation: how to talk about energy transition and democracy while involving personalities that are the cartoonish embodiment of the nuclear lobby? The signal is clear: Delphine Batho had indicated her willingness to protect at all costs the interests of the nuclear industry. "


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PS to EELV: have another piece of crow pie.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 12 November
"This committee is a good chemistry,"

no madame, it's bad physics.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:21:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually (Google Translate fart) she said "good alchemy".

Greenpeace has announced it will not participate in this mascarade.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RealClimate: Trying to shoot the messenger

Does this sound familiar? A quantitative prediction is inconvenient for some heavily invested folks. Legitimate questions about methodology morph quickly into accusations that the researchers have put their thumb on the scale and that they are simply making their awkward predictions to feather their own nest. Others loudly proclaim that the methodology could never work and imply that anyone who knows anything knows that -it's simply common sense! Audit sites spring up to re-process the raw data and produce predictions more to the liking of their audience. People who have actually championed the methods being used, and so really should know better, indulge in some obvious wish-casting (i.e. forecasting what you would like to be true, despite the absence of any evidence to support it).

Contrarian attacks on climate science, right?

Actually no. This was assorted conservative punditry attacking Nate Silver (of the 538 blog) because his (Bayesian) projections for Tuesday's election didn't accord with what they wanted to hear. The leap from asking questions to cherry-picking, accusations of malfeasance and greed, audits, denial, and wish-casting was quite rapid, but it followed a very familiar pattern. People who value their personal attachments above objective knowledge seem to spend an inordinate amount of time finding reasons to dismiss the messenger when they don't like the message.

Fortunately for Nate, all it took was one day, and reality came crashing down on his critics entire imaginary world.

For climate science, it will probably take a little longer...



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 05:51:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:39:08 AM EST
BBC must reform or face uncertain future, says chairman | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britain's BBC must undergo a radical overhaul in the wake of "shoddy" journalism which led to the resignation of its chief or its future will be in doubt, the head of the state-funded broadcaster's governing body said on Sunday.

Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said opponents of the BBC, especially Rupert Murdoch's media empire, would take advantage of the turmoil to up the pressure on its long-term rival.

"If you're saying, does the BBC need a thorough structural radical overhaul, then absolutely it does and that is what we will have to do," Patten, a one-time senior figure in Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party and the last British governor of Hong Kong, told BBC TV.

BBC Director General George Entwistle resigned late on Saturday just two months into the job, after the corporation's flagship news program aired mistaken allegations of child sex abuse against a former leading politician.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 10:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's strange, in business if an underling screws up, they get fired and the manager directly over them may get a reprimand. At the BBC, the director general gets the push.

The beeb is too big for anyone at the top to have any knowledge or responsibility for what happens in any particular part. Yes, Entwistle responded poorly, but there should be a Director of PR whose job it is to respond for him, someone who's actually schooled in corporate bs in a way that he obviously isn't.

Should the BBC be reformed ? Yes, of course. Will it be reformed in the way it needs to be. No, not in any way.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 03:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tories still haven't forgiven the BBC for not being totally supine during the Thatcher years.

And currently Murdoch and the other horrible people in TabloidLand all hate the BBC for its independence. And the TV Licence is immensely unpopular with the peasants - many of whom are happy to spend four or five times as much a year on Sky.

So when the BBC is forced to apologise for outing a top Tory it didn't actually name as a paedophile and running a story about coverups of care home abuse which - allegedly - may still be relevant today, you can be sure the aim is to bring the BBC to heel politically.

A similar reminder of the BBC's place happened after the Kelly (alleged) suicide in the run up to the Iraq War, and the fact that Andrew Gilligan's claim that the WMD report had been 'sexed up' was entirely true.

The real fiasco is still the Savile story, and the reality that key participants had no connection to the BBC whatsoever - a fact which the BBC will no longer be allowed to report on now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 12th, 2012 at 07:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he had that over-abstracted look, which helped lead to his being dubbed 'incurious george' ;)

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:27:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China slams distorted view of copyright piracy problem | Reuters

(Reuters) - China's top official in charge of fighting copyright piracy on Sunday slammed what he said was deliberate distortion of the problem by the Western media caused by the country's poor global image, saying important facts had been ignored.

Foreign governments, including the United States, have for years urged China to take a stronger stand against pervasive violations of intellectual property rights on products ranging from medicines to software to DVD movies sold on the street.

The United States in April again put China, along with Russia, on its annual list of countries with the worst records of preventing the theft of copyrighted material and other intellectual property.

But Tian Lipu, head of China's State Intellectual Property Office, said the government's efforts were being ignored.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Major Malaria Vaccine Less Effective than Hoped | Inter Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov 9 2012 (IPS) - Researchers unveiling critical trial results of a potentially major anti-malaria vaccine are expressing disappointment that the drug's efficacy levels have proved lower than they had anticipated.

Following on decades of research, the third phase of testing on a vaccine known as RTS,S found that the drug reduced malaria rates among infants (age six to 12 weeks) by about a third, far lower than expected.

The study, funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is part of the largest malaria trial ever conducted, taking place in seven African countries. Results were published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, a U.S. publication.

While still significant, the results were disappointing in having followed surprisingly positive findings last year, when a similar study suggested that RTS,S was almost twice as effective (47-56 percent) on slightly older children, those five to 17 months old.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 11:16:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 at 08:39:39 AM EST


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