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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 3 December

by afew Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:57:49 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 

Europeans on this date in history:

1944 - Greek Civil War: Fighting breaks out in Athens between the ELAS and government forces supported by the British Army.

More here and here

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

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:30:10 AM EST
European Commission: Big Tobacco at home in Brussels | Spiegel | Presseurop (English)

The influence of the tobacco industry in the European Union has raised an increasing number of questions since the resignation of John Dalli, former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection.

Did José Manuel Barroso really force him out? And what role did the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) play in the case? Never before has the tobacco industry had so much influence in Brussels.

In Brussels, every meeting with a representative of the tobacco industry is a test of will - even for occasional smokers. Scarcely had we arrived when a spokesman for Philip Morris (Marlboro, L & M) slipped a packet of cigarettes into our hands. Instead of a brand name, the packaging has a picture of a man with a cancerous tumour in his throat.

"This is defamation," says the Philip Morris representative before showing us another packet featuring another cancer patient. The European Commission would like to print such images on all cigarette packaging to shock smokers, he protests, before lighting up a cigarette with evident relish.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU politicians immunity at stake | New Europe

After the rather rushed decision of Commission President Jose Barroso to dismiss Health Commissioner John Dalli, the President of the supervisory Committee of OLAF Christiaan Timmermans has resigned, without relating the resignation to the Dalli case and Joan Denolf was appointed as new President.

To this effect, the new President, on November 26, 2012 wrote a letter to Presidents Martin Shultz (Parliament), Herman Van Rompuy (Council) and Jose Barroso (Commission) asking, "The Committee must have immediate and unrestricted access to any document held by OLAF" and added, "to achieve this end the (OLAF Supervisory) Committee needs clearly defined powers and a strong Supervisory Committee".

OLAF (the Anti-Fraud Office) is the only EU Regulatory Body authorised to investigate EU staff and to transmit the cases to national judicial authorities if penal crimes are suspected.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tobacco products directive: Ingeborg Gräßle: theparliament.com
Ingeborg Gräßle is demanding to know the truth surrounding John Dalli's exit, Olaf's processes and the involvement of lobbyists.

Weeks after former health commissioner John Dalli resigned, we face more questions every day about the extent and the real background of this case. What seemed to be a clear case in the beginning, quickly turned into a mystery story with different plot lines and a still blurry ending. Wisely, the parliament has not taken a position.

However, it demands full transparency and wants the facts on the table. Having heard the commission president, the conference of presidents backs the budgetary control committee which, after having heard Olaf 's director general, expressed the wish to put forward written questions to be answered by the secretary general and Olaf. Studying the case, we see that there are relations between the tobacco industry and the commission.

It is rather puzzling why the inter-service consultation for the tobacco directive has been postponed several times, even though Dalli was insistent on getting the job done. The winner, it seems, is the tobacco industry.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:38:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The British media is in love with the Euromyth | New Europe

The invented tales about European Union policy have the ability to amuse and terrify the public. But Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England, explains why she has launched her Euromyth Buster campaign to make sure fact is not substituted for fantasy.  Let's face it, is it any surprise people in the UK get exasperated by the European Union?

They are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives and barmy plans from `meddling Brussels bureaucrats'.

I have my favourites. There was the `fear' sparked amongst the European male population after the story of the German man who claimed to have been made impotent by Euro coins. And even the rational were left reeling at news the EU was proposing to liquefy corpses and flush them down the drain.

More recently we had a minor storm caused by suggestions jam makers were going to be BANNED from reusing jars to sell their sweet spreads at charity events.

(...)  Rebutting falsehoods uttered about the European Union has become a full time job. The European Commission has introduced a policy of tackling negative coverage it regards as being distorted... or, just plain wrong. It gets hit hard, often because many UK tabloids seem to forget their journalistic duty to contact the commission for a comment on many of their stories.  I struggle to imagine other scenarios in which that would be the case. If a local newspaper is running a story criticising a council plan, they go to the Town Hall for comment.  If a police initiative is being scrutinised, a leading officer is asked for a quote. If a school is cutting classes, the headteacher or education authority is called upon to speak up. I took part in a radio debate last month, during which one caller said she wanted Britain out of the EU because it preached holocaust denial to school pupils.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:36:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Slovenians vote in run-off presidential poll after protests

Slovenians are voting in a presidential run-off, following days of protests over budget cuts and alleged government corruption.

The vote pits incumbent Danilo Turk against former PM Borut Pahor, who is favoured to win by opinion polls.

On Friday a number of people were injured as protesters clashed with police in the capital Ljubljana.

Slovenia is facing one of the deepest recessions among the 17 countries in the eurozone.

The country's economy has shrunk more than 8% since 2009.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:40:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Borg to block EU bank supervision plan - The Local

Sweden's Finance Minister Anders Borg will vote against a European banking union at a meeting in Brussels next Tuesday, effectively vetoing the plan.

When the finance ministers of Europe meet in Belgium next week, Borg's objection will effectively put a stop to the current proposal, as it would need unanimous support to get the green light.

"There are a number of important questions remaining. We don't think we've the reached a point where it's possible during this Ecofin meeting to make a decision," Borg told the TT news agency.

"There is still a lot of time left until the end of the year, if we need to make our minds up by then."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To point out where the agency sits:

  • Despite widespread sceptisism regarding EU in general and the euro in particular, there would not be any huge ramifications in the polls to joining a banking union, it is to technical and abstract a question.

  • The government has broad support, no government or opposition party has come out in favor of a banking union. The governing parties (the right wing bloc) and the Social Democrats are the pro-EU, pro-euro parties and they agree on this. That the left, greens and uglies also support is a given as they are (from different angles) the anti-EU, anti-euro parties.

So this is a deliberate choice by the Swedish political elite (in government parties + Soc Dems) to halt the plans for a banking union. In anticipating the future, there are three demands being made:

  • Not risking "Swedish money" - so no mandatory financing of emergency funds, or an opt-out clause for Sweden (which will be hard to get Finland to abstain from demanding if Sweden gets, and Netherlands, and so on)

  • That Swedish banks gets to have higher capital demands then the common regulation. Again no common line, or opt-out.

  • That Sweden gets formal power in the supervision, so no new powers for ECB. This is backed up with an interpretation that for ECB to get new powers there needs to be a treaty change.

And the very parties that are running this were the ones claiming (and probably believing) that "Sweden" (ie the Swedish political elite) would loose influence if we did not join the euro. Turns out to be the other way around. Bit of irony there.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 09:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While a banking union doesn't guarantee the survival of the Eurozone, without it a collapse is very likely.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As any solution that saves both the economies of the eurozone and the eurozone itself looks very unlikely, better the currency dies so that the economies can live.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:20:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The economies will be destroyed by the disruption of the payments systems should the Eurozone collapse. The only solution is one that saves both the Eurozone and the economies, but vasted interests, national interests, morality plays and atavistic notions of sound finance make any sensible solution politically impossible.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:24:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy sets UMP leadership ultimatum - The Local

France's right-wing opposition UMP are scrambling to end a damaging feud ahead of a deadline to party heavyweights who have both claimed victory in a shambolic leadership vote to reach a compromise or face disqualification.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy emerged from his election defeat to issue the ultimatum to his ally Jean-Francois Copé --  the twice-declared winner of last month's UMP vote --  and his former prime minister, François Fillon.

If the two men do not come to an agreement on a fresh vote by Tuesday, "I will say that you both are disqualified to lead," sources close to Sarkozy quoted him as saying.

"All this has gone on for too long," he said of the worst crisis in the French right in half a century.

Sarkozy's entourage said he was "infuriated" by the deadlock after the November 18th UMP election.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy has no power to do anything much. "If you don't sort this out, I'll call you names," is pretty much it.

Meanwhile, Eurointelligence in their news briefing (e-mail) say:

Also the endless dispute about the leadership election in the conservative UMP party continues to dominate the news. Screening through news magazines coverage as compiled by RFI, the whole story looks like a bad soap opera portraying the three protagonists, Sarkozy, Cope and Fillon in an ambience between hatred and ridicule.

Well, perhaps that's what it looks like, but that's a very superficial view. This is not about drama queens. Sarkozy's policy of leading the UMP to the near-National Front right has led to a deep split between those who favour that policy (led by Copé) and those who consider it dangerous (led by Fillon).

Sarkozy has himself destroyed the big single "centre-right" party he prided himself on creating.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 06:04:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko didn't create anything. Chirac and Juppé created the UMP in 2002 in the context of Chirac's re-election. Over the next couple of years there was a ferocious internal struggle, and Sarko emerged as the victor, having hijacked the vehicle. It stayed united as long as Sarko was on top.

Now the journalists (and hence, by extension, the People they are supposed to inform) imagine that the right has always been unified, and that something unusual is happening...

After another weekend of attempted deal-cutting, the stalemate is intact. Fillon wants a new election, now. Copé has proposed... wait for it... a referendum in December which could lead to a new election in two years. That's a reasonable compromise.

Copé knows that if there's a new election, he's toast. And his closest advisors know that their fat salaries are at stake. The rest of his "barons" want a compromise, but they can't force him.

So I guess we're heading for a two-state solution...

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

by eurogreen on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on creating. With his victory in 2007, Sarko claimed to have united the right and locked out the FN. Wrong.

As for the details of who will do what now, they're not hugely important. Sarkozy was being touted as a saviour, that isn't going to work now. Copé, as far as his ambition to be the 2017 presidential candidate is concerned, is already toast. Fillon might just escape from this mess with a chance at being the candidate, but that's uncertain.

As for a break-up, the centre-right has already started moving out with Borloo. The deep division between traditional "Gaullists" and Sarko-Copé-style rightists won't be papered over. A three-state solution is likely.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 08:30:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French minister doubts ArcelorMittal would stick to deal to keep furnaces open - France - RFI

ArcelorMittal, owned by Indian-born tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, had wanted to close the furnaces at Florange and lay off around 630 workers because of a slump in demand.

On Friday, French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a deal in which the steelmaker committed to invest at least 180 million euros at the Florange site over five years.

But on Sunday, the French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, told the French television network iTele she has no confidence in the deal.

"Mittal has never kept his promises in the past," she said. "We are absolutely mobilised and the arm-wrestling with Mittal will continue to ensure that the pledges are respected."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Samedi, le jour où Montebourg a failli démissionner Saturday, the day Montebourg almost resigned
Arnaud Montebourg, le ministre du redressement productif, a brandi la menace de sa démission du gouvernement au cours d'un entretien samedi avec le chef de l'Etat François Hollande après avoir été désavoué par le premier ministre sur le dossier Florange, affirme Libération lundi 3 décembre.Arnaud Montebourg, the Minister of productive recovery, threatened to resign from the government during an interview Saturday with the head of state François Hollande after being disowned by the Prime Minister on the issue of Florange, says Liberation Monday, December 3.
"Je lui ai dit que si rien n'était fait avant ce soir [samedi] pour réparer les dégâts sur cette question de nationalisation, je ne resterais pas au gouvernement, et la dislocation va commencer. Il m'a demandé de n'en rien faire", déclare M. Montebourg à Libération à propos de cette entrevue avec le président de la République, à l'Elysée samedi matin. "Ce n'était pas une question personnelle. Derrière ce dossier, il y a des gens", ajoute le ministre cité par le quotidien. "I told him that if nothing was done before tonight [Saturday] to repair the damage on the issue of nationalization, I would not stay in government, and the dislocation will start. He asked me not to do it ", says Montebourg to Liberation about this interview with the President of the Republic, at the Elysee Palace on Saturday morning. "It was not a personal issue. Behind this dossier, there are people" , added the minister.
Selon Libération, l'Elysée "a passé son samedi à éviter la rupture" après que la proposition d'Arnaud Montebourg de nationaliser Florange n'a pas été retenue la veille par le premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault. Finalement, samedi soir sur TF1, Arnaud Montebourg a écarté toute idée de démission. "J'ai décidé de rester à mon poste de travail et de combat", a-t-il affirmé.According Liberation the Elysée "spent his Saturday avoiding a breakdown" after Arnaud Montebourg's proposal of nationalizing Florange was not adopted on Friday by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Finally, Saturday night on TF1, Arnaud Montebourg rejected any idea of ​​resignation. "I decided to stay at my post to work and fight" , he said.
Dimanche, lors de l'émission"Tous politiques" France Inter/Le Monde/AFP, Claude Bartolone, le président de l'Assemblée nationale, a estimé que l'idée de nationaliser temporairement le site sidérurgique avait "servi à tordre le bras à Mittal" pour qu'il accepte un compromis avec le gouvernement.Sunday at the show "All political " France Inter / Le Monde /AFP, Claude Bartolone, President of the National Assembly, said that the idea of ​​nationalizing the steel plant temporarily was "used to twist the arm of Mittal" to accept a compromise with the government.

According to the CFDT (centre left union), it's all over for the blast furnaces :

ArcelorMittal s'apprête à couper l'alimentation en gaz des hauts-fourneaux de Florange, a déclaré, dimanche soir, Edouard Martin, délégué CFDT du site mosellan, sur France 3. "Je viens d'apprendre qu'apparemment, Mittal va procéder dans les prochains jours à l'arrêt de l'alimentation en gaz des hauts-fourneaux qui sont toujours en chauffe, ce qui veut dire que c'est la mort définitive des hauts-fourneaux. L'outil est cassé et je ne comprends pas que l'Etat puisse accepter ça", a-t-il déclaré. "Si jamais l'information est confirmée par le gouvernement (...), je considère ça comme une très haute trahison d'Etat et, personnellement, je n'irai pas à Matignon mercredi", a poursuivi le délégué.ArcelorMittal prepares to cut the gas supply from the blast furnaces of Florange said on Sunday night, Edward Martin, CFDT [trade union] delegate of the site in Moselle, on [TV] France 3. " I just learn apparently Mittal will proceed in the coming days to stop the supply of gas furnaces that are still hot, which means that it is the final death of the blast furnaces. The tool is broken and I do not understand that the state can accept that ", he said. "If the information is confirmed by the government (...), I consider it as a betrayal of the highest order and, personally, I'm not going to Matignon [to negotiate with the Prime Minister] Wednesday" , said the delegate.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 03:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But on Sunday, the French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, ...

Is that a typo or do you really have an ecology minister? Is that like the head of the US EPA?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically she's the Ministre de l'Écologie, du Développement durable et de l'Énergie

Ecology, Sustainable development and Energy.

They used to call it the ministry of Environment : it's Sarko's government that started calling it ministry of Ecology, in 2004. Cute.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 08:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High police support for Greece's Golden Dawn - Al Jazeera Blogs

What percentage of the Greek police voted for the far-right Golden Dawn ("Chrysi Avgi") party in the general elections of May and June?

We will never know exactly, because ballots are cast in secret. But when we studied the results from individual polling stations, we noticed a strange pattern.

Golden Dawn's share of the vote, which in central Athens (the electoral constituency known as "Athens A") was 7.8 per cent, fluctuated wildly between polling stations, some of which are very close to each other.

Several months ago the Greek newspaper To Vima also noticed this pattern and matched the polling stations where Golden Dawn did very well in Athens with those where on-duty police officers are given special permission to vote on election day.

I was intrigued by this, but was reluctant to draw any conclusions until I could be absolutely sure that I knew where the police had voted. In theory, this is public information that should be provided by the Greek ministry of the interior.

In practice, it proved extremely hard to obtain. Eventually, we did receive this information, and were able to see a consistent match between polling stations where Golden Dawn did well, and the 88 polling stations in Athens where uniformed officers (not just the police, but also the military, the fire brigade and first-aid paramedics) were instructed to vote, alongside local residents.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thousands rally against far right in Hungary | Reuters

(Reuters) - Around 10,000 Hungarians protested on Sunday against the far-right opposition Jobbik party, after one of its lawmakers triggered outrage and memories of Nazism by calling for lists of Jews to be drawn up.

The rally outside Budapest's parliament brought together leaders from governing and opposition parties in an unprecedented show of unity in the country's deeply divided political scene.

"We cannot allow things which belong to the darkest pages of history books to repeat themselves," Antal Rogan, head of the ruling Fidesz party's parliamentary group, told demonstrators who waved national flags and demanded the resignation of Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi.

On Monday Gyongyosi, one of Jobbik's 44 lawmakers in the 386-seat parliament, said after a debate on fighting in the Gaza Strip it would be "timely" to tally up people of Jewish ancestry in Hungary who posed a national security risk.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tory rural raid will ruin countryside, says Andrew Motion | UK news | The Observer

Andrew Motion, the president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, has launched a scathing attack on the "incredibly irresponsible" planning minister leading the charge to build on England's green fields.

The former poet laureate describes feeling emotions "somewhere between horror and enormous anger" as Tory minister Nick Boles set out his plans to build on 2m acres of unspoiled land.

In an unusually personal attack on the credibility of a new minister, Motion further castigates Boles for bringing an inappropriately "abrasive and irksome" attitude to the job on being promoted in the prime minister's last reshuffle.

The outspoken intervention comes in response to the minister's claims that land under development in the UK may have to increase by a third to tackle the housing shortage.

Boles, a former head of the rightwing thinktank Policy Exchange, warned on BBC2's Newsnight programme that, while he would seek to protect the green belt, large areas of "open land" may have to be given over for housing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, of course it will ruin the countryside, but it is the inevitable result of decades of right wing policy.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 01:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, (Tories:) can't have wind farms ruining the countryside, can we?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 04:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the fun of being filthy rich if you can't destroy beautiful things?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Criminal records of striking miners 'should be erased' | Politics | The Observer

Calls to erase the criminal records of the estimated 7,000 men detained and "falsely charged" during the miners' strike have been made by campaigners demanding a fresh inquiry into the policing of the dispute.

As the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigates allegations of assault, perjury and misconduct in a public office during the "Battle of Orgreave" - the pivotal 1984 clash between police and pickets at the British Steel coking plant in Yorkshire - a coalition of unions, campaigners and lawyers want complaints relating to the entire strike examined.

They say that the vast majority of arrests were politically motivated - particularly those for picket-line offences, for which miners were threatened with custodial sentences but offered less severe punishment if they accepted bail conditions that prohibited them from picketing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru Shimbun is out! http://paper.li/MigeruBlogger/1351816577 ... ▸ Top stories today via @FGoria @AdelinaMarini @inurrieta

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 04:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Munchau: Merkel's opponents offer too much consensus (FT, 2 December 2012)
The reason the SPD has not found a convincing way to say No is a combination of intellectual dishonesty and lack of political courage. The party leadership gave a narrow tactical argument of why MPs should support the motion. The Greens, the other opposition party, had already pledged to vote Yes. A No by the SPD would drive a wedge between the two parties, and this would make it more difficult to form a coalition in the national elections.

The SPD also does not want to be responsible for a Greek exit from the eurozone. The party sees itself as profoundly pro-European and is paranoid about being portrayed by others as irresponsible. Hence the dilemma. It has been trying to solve it by criticising Ms Merkel in the Bundestag for her persistent failure to recognise the problems early enough - while simultaneously supporting her policies.

Tactics aside, what is most infuriating is the SPD's sheer inability to explain in a clear way why the chancellor is wrong. The reason for this inability is that the party has bought into the same panoply of false crisis narratives. It bought into the lie about fiscal profligacy as the cause of the crisis, and the need for austerity to solve it. It bought into the lie that Greece is fundamentally solvent. In particular, it bought into the lie that foreign speculators have brought about the situation. This is how the party ended up supporting the eurozone's fiscal pact, which remains a solution in search of a problem.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's right. You cannot be credible as an opposition if you support the government in the question you both call the most important question. At the very least you need to really get concessions out of the government when they need you.
by oliver on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 08:11:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the SPD planned to be in oppposition they wouldn't have selected vice-chancellor candidate Steinbrück.
by generic on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 09:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is latent anger in the population. They could win. Yet they are playing for a good second place. That must backfire in the long run.
by oliver on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:18:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cécile Duflot annonce des réquisitions de logements vides d'ici fin 2012 Cécile Duflot announces requisition of empty homes by the end of 2012
Des réquisitions de logements vides auront lieu d'ici à la fin de l'année, a annoncé jeudi la ministre du logement, Cécile Duflot, au cours d'une visite dans un centre d'hébergement d'urgence pour sans-abri à Paris, géré par l'association Emmaüs Solidarité.
Requisitioning of empty homes will take place by the end of the year, announced Thursday the Minister of Housing, Cécile Duflot, during a visit to an emergency shelter for homeless in Paris, operated by the Association Emmaus Solidarity.
"Trois lettres" sont sur le point d'être envoyées aux préfets des régions les plus tendues en matière de logements - Ile-de-France, Rhône-Alpes et PACA - "pour se mettre en situation de procéder à des réquisitions d'ici la fin de l'année", a expliqué la ministre, en précisant que ces réquisitions concerneraient des bâtiments appartenant uniquement à des personnes morales. Fin octobre, Cécile Duflot avait dit sa volonté de mettre en oeuvre ce dispositif rarement appliqué par un gouvernement pour accueillir sans-abri et mal-logés. Le premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, lui avait emboîté le pas début novembre en demandant un "inventaire" des bâtiments vides pouvant accueillir des personnes sans domicile. A Paris, une soixantaine d'immeubles appartenant à des personnes morales ont déjà été repérés comme susceptibles d'être réquisitionnés, "dont la moitié présente un réel potentiel", avait annoncé mardi le préfet de Paris et d'Ile-de-France, Daniel Canepa. "Three Letters" are about to be sent to the prefects of the regions where housing is tightest : Ile-de-France, Rhône-Alpes and PACA "to prepare to make requisitions by the end of the year ", said the minister, adding that these requisitions relate buildings belonging only to legal entities [not individuals]. End of October, Cécile Duflot had annouced her willingness to put use this procedure rarely used by a government to accommodate homeless and poorly housed people. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had followed suit in early November requesting an "inventory" of empty buildings that can accommodate homeless people. In Paris, some sixty buildings belonging to legal persons have been identified as likely to be requisitioned, "half present a real potential" , announced Tuesday the prefect of Paris and Ile-de- France, Daniel Canepa.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 04:02:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cécile Duflot demande à l'archevêché de Paris d'accueillir des mal-logés Cécile Duflot asks the Archbishop of Paris to host underhoused
Cécile Duflot, la ministre du logement, qui a annoncé que des réquisitions de logements vides auraient lieu d'ici à la fin de l'année, déclare dans Le Parisien de lundi 3 décembre avoir écrit à l'archevêché de Paris en vue d'utiliser des bâtiments "quasi vides" lui appartenant. "Comme en 1954, où l'abbé Pierre avait lancé son appel, il nous faut aujourd'hui un vrai choc de solidarité !" explique-t-elle.
Cécile Duflot, the Minister of Housing , who announced that the requisitioning of empty homes would take place by the end of the year, said in Le Parisien of Monday, December 3 that she has written to the Archbishop of Paris in order to use "almost empty" buildings owned by the Church. "As in 1954, when the Abbé Pierre had made his appeal, we now need a real shock of solidarity!" she says.
"J'ai bon espoir qu'il n'y ait pas besoin de faire preuve d'autorité. Je ne comprendrais pas que l'Eglise ne partage pas nos objectifs de solidarité", affirme la ministre dans un entretien. "Je souhaite faire appel à toutes les bonnes volontés et faire appliquer la loi à tous ceux qu'elle concerne", ajoute Mme Duflot, qui compte appliquer aux bâtiments vides appartenant à des personnes morales le dispositif de réquisition, rarement appliqué par un gouvernement pour accueillir les personnes sans abri ou mal logées.
"I am hopeful that there is no need to exercise authority. I would not understand that the Church does not share our goals of solidarity" , said Minister in an interview. "I want to appeal to all people of good will and apply the law to all concerned" , adds Duflot, who intends apply to empty buildings belonging to corporate entities the requisition procedure, rarely used by government, to accommodate the homeless or inadequately housed.
"L'Eglise fait partie des personnes morales... dans tous les sens du terme !" poursuit la ministre du logement, selon laquelle "il semble que l'archevêché de Paris possède des bâtiments quasi vides. Je viens de leur écrire pour voir avec eux comment utiliser ces locaux". Elle compte aussi trouver des places "dans des bâtiments publics, par exemple des casernes de gendarmerie ou des bureaux administratifs. Nous travaillons avec la SNCF, pour que celle-ci mette à notre disposition des logements de cheminots devenus vacants". "The Church is a personne morale [untranslatable joke : moral person / corporate entity] ... in every sense of the word!" continues the Minister of Housing, that "it seems that the Archbishop of Paris has nearly empty buildings. I have just written to them to see how to use these premises" . She also intends to find places "in public buildings, such as barracks or police administrative offices. We are working with the SNCF, so that it can put at our disposal vacant railway housing" .

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 04:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Church has legal personality, is the meaning, but "moral" being used in French allows her to play on words.

This is a very nice tit for tat to the Catholic Church that has been prominent above all recently in resisting marriage equality and making outrageous public statements about it. The reminder about Abbé Pierre and his decades-long struggle for housing for the poor is perfect.

Of course, Abbé Pierre was no more appreciated by the Catholic hierarchy than St Francis was in his day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 04:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointeligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Bersani will lead the centre-left in Italian general elections (03.12.2012)
Pier Luigi Bersani has won the run-off in the Partito Democratico's primaries, putting him in the pole position to succeed Mario Monti as prime minister; Bersani won with a huge vote of over 60% against Metteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence; the latest polls put the PD at 30%, ahead of the anti-euro Moviemento 5 Stelle at 20%; polls put the support for a hypothetical Berlusconi-led breakaway party at 9%; Il Foglio writes that PD had lost an opportunity to renew itself; Paolo Manasse writes the primaries end the chance of another term for Mario Monti; Christian Noyer says the eurozone must repatriate financial business from off-shore London markets; the Greek government will present the bond buyback scheme to the eurogroup today; reluctant Greek banks will participate after all in the `voluntary' buy-back scheme; there will be a reshuffle in the Greek cabinet before Christmas with anti-reform ministers headed for the chop; Angela Merkel says she does not in principle rule out a haircut, but not before Greece reaches a primary surplus; the Bundestag approves the Greek aid package with a large majority, but Angela Merkel's coalition no longer carries its own majority on this issue; Wolfgang Munchau writes the SPD's inability to oppose the government on its eurozone policy is the result of a lazy narrative; the Irish government signed off on an austerity budget for 2013 after a long row over measures to increase social charges for higher incomes; Arnaud Montebourg threatens to resign over Arcelor-Mittal, but then fails to pull it off;  the trend towards capital outflows from Spain has been arrested through Draghi's intervention in the summer; Spain's promise of residency for property investors has raised fears in Morocco over capital outflows;  Catalonia's president Artur Mas is ready to accept heading a minority government with the support from the left-nationalist ERC; Mariano Rajoy breaks his last promise; eurozone unemployment rises, while inflation falls; syndicated lending falls to new lows amid a trend towards capital market funding; eurozone banks are withdrawing from trade finance for emerging economies; Paul de Grauwe says the eurozone crisis insoluble as long as it is portrayed as a morality play; Luigi Zingales writes that Italy should apply for OMT; Nouriel Roubini, meanwhile, says the worst is over for Italy, but recession will be worse than forecast.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 05:11:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is an interesting story in FT Deutschland about the externalities of the eurozone crisis. Eurozone banks are withdrawing from trade finance for emerging economies. The World Bank says European banks accounted for 80% of global trade finance, and expressed concern that this trend could lead to shortages of food and energy in certain countries.  The countries most effected are sub-Saharan Africa and the weaker economies of Eastern Europe. During the first quarter 2012, the volume of trade finance was down 18% compared to the previous year, the lowest volume since Q3 2009.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 05:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurozone is becoming a real drag on the global economy. The European recovery strategy ('expansionary austerity') is modelled after 'successful fiscal consolidations' which took place in small open economies in the midst of robust global growth.

The EU has 5% of the world population and 13% of world GDP. It is most definitely not a small open economy, and it intends to piggyback on the growthof others. It's madness.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 06:32:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
like it's time to bail.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yanis Varoufakis: The Eurozone after the November Eurogroup `Greek Deal': On the current state of play (1 December, 2012)
To accomplish the task of taking Greece off the minds of markets and Northern European electorates for this space of time, Eurogroup ministers came to an agreement with the IMF on how to patch up their conflicting agendas on Greece by means of a joint communiqué according to which Greece's de-railed Bailout Mk2 is, supposedly, back on track. The basis of their agreement is twofold:

  • The IMF will pretend it believes Europe's claims to have rendered Greece's public debt viable without an OSI (i.e. a haircut in the loans provided to Greece by the troika, aka its European partners), while
  • Europe will pretend that it can do this without an OSI.[1]

The idea here is that, yet again, the Eurogroup-ECB-IMF alliance is not ready, politically, to reveal the truth to its various constituencies.

  • The German and Dutch governments (not to mention the Finnish) feel it is impossible to tell their Parliaments, and voters, the terrible truth that some of the money they have put up as part of Bailout Mk1 & Mk2 will not be retrieved.
  • The IMF cannot admit that it allowed Europe to involve it in a country program that does not fulfill the debt-viability conditions that any IMF program ought to.
  • The Greek government has invested its survival on misleading its constituency into believing that the tailspin of the Greek macro economy can be arrested under the current arrangements.
  • And, finally, the ECB is struggling to maintain the illusion that it can remain faithful to its no bailout clause vis-à-vis governments, especially in view of the great challenge awaiting in relation to Spain and Italy.

This holly alliance of subterfuge and double-speak raises a pressing question: What does this new `Greek Deal' mean for the Eurozone in the medium to long run? Before discussing this question, a quick look at the latest `Greek Deal' may be helpful.^

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 06:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presseurop: Czechs and Slovaks snub EU's Nobel ceremony (3 December 2012)
Neither the Czech president Václav Klaus nor PM Petr Nečas will attend the Nobel ceremony in Oslo on December 10, when the EU will receive the peace prize for promoting democracy and human rights over six decades. Klaus, a notorious critic of the EU who has previously called the Committee's decision a "tragic joke," gave no reason for his absence, writes MF Dnes, and Nečas has cited "previous engagements." Only the foreign minister and candidate for the January presidential election Karel Schwarzenberg "would like to go, but nobody has invited him."


If giving the EU the prize today is a mistake, the paper suggests, it is only because "the Union's founding fathers - such as Adenauer, Churchill, Schumann or Spinelli - should have received one while they were still alive." Lidové Noviny, for its part, calls for a "Critique not boycott." The daily admits that the EU "may not be the ideal winner" and believes it is better to make specific criticisms of EU policy, rather than expressing dissatisfaction simply by boycotting the entire ceremony.

Yet it is "not only the Eurosceptic Czech Republic and Britain, but also Slovakia" who are snubbing the festivities, adds SME. The Bratislava daily explains that due to "acute problems" requiring his immediate attention at home, the Slovak PM Robert "Fico is not going to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony," either. And neither is President Gašparovič, who will instead be heading for Prague - to say goodbye to the soon-departing Klaus.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:39:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tPortal: In line with EU directives, Zero VAT on bread, milk to be repealed as of Jan 1 (30.11.2012)
The law was amended to align it with European Union directives which do not allow a VAT rate below five per cent. As a result, the government expects to earn an additional HRK 1.3 billion.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 12:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:30:33 AM EST
Euro rises for fourth straight month against dollar | Reuters

(Reuters) - The euro rose to its highest in more than five weeks against the dollar on Friday, posting its fourth straight month of gains as investors clung to hopes that U.S. politicians would reach a fiscal deal before the end of the year.

The yen slumped and registered its worst month since February against the dollar on speculation that a likely change in Japan's government would lead to aggressive monetary easing. Speculators boosted their bets against the yen to the highest since May, 2007. <IMM/FX>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis - EADS revamp brings government out of industry's shadow | Reuters

(Reuters) - An imminent shake-up of EADS is expected to lead to a rise in state shareholdings in Europe's largest aerospace group, but in reality merely changes the rules for what is already a wary co-habitation.

Officials were putting finishing touches on Sunday to a deal to bring Germany on board with 12 percent of the maker of Airbus jets and Ariane rockets, at parity with France.

The move paves the way for an exit by founder companies Daimler, the German carmaker, and French media firm Lagardere, increasingly viewed as state proxies.

Germany has not been a shareholder until now while France previously allowed itself to be represented by Lagardere. Spain will continue to hold up to 5.5 percent, leaving combined government shareholdings close to 30 percent and a larger float.

It is not the pure-market solution EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders, a critic of state interference, might have wanted.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:35:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geithner Joins Boehner to Trade Blame on Fiscal Cliff Talks - Bloomberg

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and House Speaker John Boehner hardened their positions over the fiscal cliff, each blaming the other for a standoff that could lead to more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts in January.

Geithner said Republicans in Congress will be responsible for hurting the economy if they refuse to raise tax rates on the highest-income earners as part of a deal.

"There's not going to be an agreement without rates going up," Geithner said in a taped interview that aired today on CNN's "State of the Union." Republicans will "own the responsibility for the damage" if they "force higher rates on virtually all Americans because they're unwilling to let tax rates go up on 2 percent of Americans."

Republican Boehner said the White House is wasting time.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geithner sounds tough now ... just wait. The inevitable Dem wossy-out is just around the corner. "We had to let the rich have their tax cuts!! It would have cost joooobs!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:51:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:30:50 AM EST
Israel Suspends Palestinian Funds After UN Vote | World | RIA Novosti

TEL AVIV, December 2 (RIA Novosti) - Israel is halting tax payments it collects for the Palestinians in response to their successful bid to raise their UN status, local media reported on Sunday, citing Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

"I have no intention of transferring the tax payments to the Palestinian Authority this month. I plan to use them to offset Palestinian debt to the Israel Electric Corporation," Steinitz said at the beginning of a weekly cabinet meeting.

"We have said from the beginning that the raising of the status of Palestine at the UN would produce a reaction from Israel."

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a total of 460 million shekels (about $120 million) would be withheld from the Palestinians.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Abbas returns to hero's welcome - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has returned to the occupied West Bank after his successful UN bid for upgraded status.

Abbas told cheering crowds on Sunday: "Yes, now we have a state. Palestine has accomplished a historic achievement at the UN."

The crowds chanted his name and waved Palestinian flags.

The upgrade has angered Israel, which said - hours after the UN General Assembly passed the vote - that it would construct 3,000 new settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Abbas called on Israel on Friday to halt the settlement construction and return to peace talks.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:57:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Netanyahu brushes off world condemnation of settlement plans | Reuters

(Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday brushed off world condemnation of Israel's plans to expand Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de facto U.N. recognition of statehood.

"We will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel's strategic interests," a defiant Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As the unofficial 51st theocratic state of the US, we will do whatever we damn well please and we have the US military and debt to back us up.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexican president sworn in amid protests - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Enrique Pena Nieto has been sworn in as Mexico's new president amid violent protests outside the congress.

Dozens of people were injured on Saturday as police clashed with protesters who claimed that Pena Nieto's election was fraudulent. 

The demonstrators were also opposed to the "war on drugs" and subsequent militarisation of the country as well as labour reforms that they feel favour foreign firms and take away jobs from ordinary Mexicans.

Police fired tear gas as hundreds of protesters threw stones and bottles and shouted "Mexico without PRI" - Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Activists alleged that dozens had been arrested by the police during the protests.

Nieto formally took office shortly after midnight, when outgoing president Felipe Calderon transferred power to his successor.

Nieto said he would emphasise security for Mexicans and their families, and would work to ensure that roads and cities were again "peaceful areas where Mexicans can travel safely without fear of loss of their liberty or life".

Outside of the palace, many did not buy Pena Nieto's pledges.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 01:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - DRC - Wishing the Rebels Would Remain | Inter Press Service

just before 11am on Saturday Dec. 1, trucks packed with M23 rebels drove out of Goma.

Military hardware has been seen being transported to their headquarters in Runshura north of Goma. Five trucks packed with countless weapons were parked outside one of the M23 headquarters in Goma, the former FARDC headquarters. On Friday, hundreds of government police were allowed to arrive at the city's port and enter to the city to provide security during the handover period.

The withdrawal marked the end of over a weeklong occupancy of Goma. The M23, named after a peace agreement in Mar. 23, 2009 between leaders of a former rebel group, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), started their recent insurgency in April this year. The rebel leaders said the government did not stick to the agreements made and claim to fight against the corruption and bad governance of the Congolese government.

The M23′s claims have been met with scepticism by many. Residents of Goma told IPS that they believed the main driving force behind the recent rebellion was Rwanda. The same allegations have been made by the U.N., which said that the government in Kigali is supporting them financially, logistically and with weapons. There have been unconfirmed sightings of Rwanda Defence Forces assisting M23 units on the ground. Rwanda has long desired the resource-rich state of Kivu, which is home to countless gold and coltan mines.

Another theory is that Kigali increased attempts to arrest ICC indited CNDP leader Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda which led him to desert the Congolese army. While M23 leaders have vehemently denied any involvement with Ntaganda, it is believed that he was the catalyst for the desertion of leaders from the CNDP, and for the M23 subsequently being formed.

Since the M23 took power in Goma, many residents reported feeling an increase in security around town.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - U.S. Senate Passes New Sanctions on Iran | Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec 1 2012 (IPS) - The U.S. Senate approved a new round of economic sanctions against Iran Friday, ignoring warnings by the White House that the additional measures could prove counter-productive to the goal of persuading Iran to curb its nuclear programme.

The 94-0 vote, which was immediately praised by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), marked a rebuff to President Barack Obama who has argued that piling on too many sanctions risks undermining the international coalition that has backed U.S. efforts to pressure Iran.

"As we focus with our partners on effectively implementing these efforts, we believe additional authorities now threaten to undercut these efforts," said Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council.

The new sanctions, which came in the form of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would impose sanctions against foreign companies or individuals engaged in trade with Iran in several sectors, including energy, ports, shipping, and shipbuilding, that allegedly support Tehran's nuclear or arms programmes

Among other provisions, they would also penalise foreign buyers of Iranian oil and natural gas if they pay for them with gold or other precious metals - a measure apparently aimed specifically at Turkey, a key U.S. ally, which reportedly exported 6.4 billion dollars in gold to Iran in exchange for natural gas during the first nine months of this year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:21:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Driving them into the arms of china

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 01:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Islamist protest shuts down Egypt's top court | Reuters

(Reuters) - Protests by Islamists allied to President Mohamed Mursi forced Egypt's highest court to adjourn its work indefinitely on Sunday, intensifying a conflict between some of the country's top judges and the head of state.

The Supreme Constitutional Court said it would not convene until its judges could operate without "psychological and material pressure", saying protesters had stopped the judges from reaching the building.

Several hundred Mursi supporters had protested outside the court through the night ahead of a session expected to examine the legality of parliament's upper house and the assembly that drafted a new constitution, both of them Islamist-controlled.

The cases have cast a legal shadow over Mursi's efforts to chart a way out of a crisis ignited by a November 22 decree that temporarily expanded his powers and led to nationwide protests.

The court's decision to suspend its activities appeared unlikely to have any immediate impact on Mursi's drive to get the new constitution passed in a national referendum on December 15.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunisia's Ghannouchi says Islamists will eventually dominate Arab world | FaithWorld

The leader of the Tunisian Islamist party that rose to power after the first Arab Spring uprising last year said this week that Islamist movements would eventually emerge triumphant throughout the Arab world after a difficult transition period.

Rached al-Ghannouchi, whose Ennahda party governs with two junior leftist partners, said secular groups should join forces with Islamists to manage the first phase after autocratic rulers were removed.

But in the end, Islam will be the "reference point".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll take this crap seriously once they oust "The King" from "The Kingdom".

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 07:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As China showcases carrier, global naval balance shifting | Reuters

(Reuters) - China has showcased its first aircraft carrier landings while maintenance woes have reduced the United States to a single carrier in the Gulf, pointing to the beginnings of a subtle shift in the balance of naval power.

With South China Sea tensions growing, the threat of Middle East conflict still very real and counterterrorism and counter piracy operations also demanding resources, demands on Western navies - and the U.S. in particular - seem ever-growing.

Even as it emerged that problems with the USS Nimitz would leave Washington unable to maintain its standard two-carrier Gulf force for the first time since 2010, its navy found itself sending new forces to a volatilce eastern Mediterranean.

Tough choices loom, with the U.S. military facing years of tighter spending - and the prospect of even starker reductions from sequestration still very real just as European allies seem less able than ever to offer support.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh for goodness sake, the chinese have a carrier they bought second hand off the russians.

The yanks have 5 carrier groups, each with more combined fire power than the rest of the world's navies put together

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 01:25:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And carriers are crazy boondoggles in an era of missiles. At least they are cheaper second-hand.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 09:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's How Bad the Deficit Problem Is in the Dominican Republic: Anna Szterenfeld, the Latin America Director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, says the government's financial situation is rather critical, but it's not exactly Greece. The Dominican government is expected to end 2012 with a deficit of $4.6 billion, an amount that represents roughly 6.8 percent of the country's GDP. This budget gap is two times larger than last year's deficit.
Protesters who have taken to the streets of Santo Domingo and other Dominican cities say they understand that there is a debt problem. But they believe the government should cut down its own expenditures, instead of hitting citizens with new taxes.
Like many at the protest, Castillo believes that government corruption and overspending have led to the country's bloated deficit. She mentioned Education Minister Josefina Pimentel, whose salary was raised from $4,660 to $7,500 per month, as tax increases were being discussed by the country's Congress.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 08:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:31:14 AM EST
Making the right energy choices for rural communities | New Europe

In 2013, the European Commission plans to propose a new climate and energy framework for the period up to 2030 and, as suggested by Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, binding targets for renewable energy are heavily on the Commission's mind. While the Commission aims to further cut greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen energy savings, one must not forget about the role of rural areas in achieving those goals. This is particularly important as currently the Commission and Member States are focused on providing clean energy solutions to cities, leaving out rural areas with dirtier energy choices.

According to a research study by Ecofys, the energy mix in rural areas is often dominated by dirtier fuels such as coal and heating oil. This leads to high CO2 emissions, and increased levels of health threatening air pollutants such as NOx, SOx and PM in rural areas.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 12:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Fossil Fuel Lobby in the Driver's Seat at Doha | Inter Press Service
DOHA, Qatar, Nov 30 2012 (IPS) - A new scientific report shows that global warming can be kept well under two degrees C, but only if most of the known deposits of coal, oil and gas remain in the ground.

The problem is no country is doing anywhere near enough to keep fossil fuels in the ground, according to the Climate Action Tracker released Friday on the sidelines of the U.N. climate change negotiations here in Doha, Qatar.

In fact, countries are going in the wrong direction, spending 523 billion dollars in 2011 in public tax money to subsidise the burning of fossil fuels, said Michiel Schaeffer, a scientist with Climate Analytics that produces the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) with Dutch energy consulting organisation Ecofys and Germany's Pik Potsdam Institute.

"The 2011 subsidies for fossil fuels were a 30-percent increase over 2010, according to the IEA (International Energy Agency)," Schaeffer told IPS.

By contrast, the IEA said that solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy received only 88 billion dollars in subsidies, one-sixth of the amount given to the highly profitable fossil fuels sector.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China, EU protect each others' asparagus and ham

Your "Dongshan Bai Lu Sun" asparagus for my "Prosciutto di Parma" ham: a deal between China and the European Union to protect each others' 10 famous foods came to fruition Friday.

Started in July 2007, the so-called "10 plus 10" project aims to ensure the protection on both markets of famous food names such as France's "Roquefort" or Britain's "Blue Stilton" as well as "Longjung cha" tea or "Longkou Fen Si" noodles.

The 10 Chinese names on the list have been added in the 27-nation bloc to the more than 1,000 names of agricultural and foodstuffs protected as Geographical Indications, known as GIs.

"The EU and China have rich traditions in the production of quality products, and the GI system is a good way of highlighting these regional traditions to consumers," the EU's farm commissioner Dacian Ciolos said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:45:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tom Philpott | Mother Jones

There's an age-old tradition in Washington of making unpopular announcements when no one's listening--like, you know, the days leading up to Thanksgiving. That's when the Obama administration sneaked a tasty dish to the genetically modified seed/pesticide industry.

This treat involves the unceremonious end of the Department of Justice's antitrust investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in the US seed market, which it had begun in January 2010. It's not hard to see why DOJ would take a look. For the the crops that cover the bulk of US farmland like corn, soy, and cotton, the seed trade is essentially dominated by five companies: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dow. And a single company, Monsanto, supplies nearly all genetically modified traits now so commonly used in those crops, which it licenses to its rivals for sale in their own seeds.

What's harder to figure out is why the DOJ ended the investigation without taking any action--and did so with a near-complete lack of public information.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:31:36 AM EST
IPS - There's Life in the AIDS Ribbon | Inter Press Service

"AIDS control in India is still largely limited to providing free counseling and ART," says Swapna, founder and former president of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in the southern Indian city Hyderabad - a network of HIV positive men and women with 2,00,000 members.

"But most of the HIV infected or affected people in the state (of Andhra Pradesh), especially women, are ostracised by society, thrown out of their homes and have no way to support themselves financially. So, besides counseling and medication, what they also need is a way to earn a living."

Swapna's belief arises from her own decade-long personal struggle to survive as a HIV positive person. At the age of 20, she was infected by her husband. Following her husband's death two years later, Swapna was on her own, fending for herself and her toddler son. A counseling job in an NGO gave her the chance to interact with thousands of HIV positive people across the state, and she gained deep insight into challenges and possible solutions.

The main challenge, she said, was that every woman feared her health would deteriorate to a point when she could not travel out of her home to take up a job.

In 2007, Swapna formed the PLHIV network in Hyderabad and started to train HIV positive women in making candles and Christmas trees, beads and paper lanterns, in embroidery, making flower bouquets and garlands and above all, stitching clothes, banners and ribbons.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China jails local government 'interceptors': report

A Chinese court handed jail terms to 10 "interceptors" for illegally imprisoning citizens hoping to lodge complaints with the central government, state media said Sunday.

The 10 were imprisoned after they illegally detained people from the central province of Henan who had travelled to Beijing to complain about local government abuses, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Under China's long-standing "petitioning" system, people can request that the central government step in to investigate abuses by local officials at a dedicated complaints office in the Chinese capital.

But the officials, eager to protect their reputations, often employ "interceptors" to catch petitioners and detain them in secret facilities known as "black jails" to prevent them from lodging complaints.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 02:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Native Americans and Northern Europeans more closely related than previously thought
ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2012) -- Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that Northern European populations -- including British, Scandinavians, French, and some Eastern Europeans -- descend from a mixture of two very different ancestral populations, and one of these populations is related to Native Americans. This discovery helps fill gaps in scientific understanding of both Native American and Northern European ancestry, while providing an explanation for some genetic similarities among what would otherwise seem to be very divergent groups.

This research was published in the November 2012 issue of the Genetics Society of America's journal Genetics.

According to Nick Patterson, first author of the report, "There is a genetic link between the paleolithic population of Europe and modern Native Americans. The evidence is that the population that crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago was likely related to the ancient population of Europe."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:03:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ancient Admixture in Human History
It is important to point out that we are not detecting gene flow from Germanic peoples (Suevi, Vandals, Visigoths) into Spain even though it is known that they migrated into Iberia around 500 A.D. We believe such migration must have occurred, based on the historical record (and perhaps is biasing our admixture date to be too recent), but any accompanying gene flow must have occurred at a lower level than the much earlier flow we discuss.

Though still at early stages I think this kind of research carries big possibilities of clearing up what different migrations looked like. Historical and traditional archelogical sources can often have a hard time differentiating between small elite replacing (with some intermarriage) former elite and population replacment through combination of genocide and former population fleeing. And gaps are as always filled with narrative.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 01:04:50 PM EST
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China unearths ancient palace ruins: state media

China has unearthed the ruins of an ancient palace near the tomb of the country's first emperor that was already famed for its terracotta soldiers, state media said on Saturday.

The discovery is the latest at the mausoleum, which dates back more than two millennia and became one of the greatest modern archaeological finds after a peasant digging a well stumbled upon the life-size warriors in 1974.

The palace "is the largest complex ever found at the cemetery", the Xinhua news agency said, citing Sun Weigang, a researcher at the archaeology institute of northern Shaanxi province where the site is located.

Qin Shihuang, a ruler during the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC), presided over China's unification and declared himself its first emperor.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schreier on Security: Feudal Security
It's a feudal world out there.

Some of us have pledged our allegiance to Google: We have Gmail accounts, we use Google Calendar and Google Docs, and we have Android phones. Others have pledged allegiance to Apple: We have Macintosh laptops, iPhones, and iPads; and we let iCloud automatically synchronize and back up everything. Still others of us let Microsoft do it all. Or we buy our music and e-books from Amazon, which keeps records of what we own and allows downloading to a Kindle, computer, or phone. Some of us have pretty much abandoned e-mail altogether ... for Facebook.


  • New Internet-enabled devices where the vendor maintains more control over the hardware and software than we do -- like the iPhone and Kindle; and
  • Services where the host maintains our data for us -- like Flickr and Hotmail.

Now, we users must trust the security of these hardware manufacturers, software vendors, and cloud providers.


Feudalism is good for the individual, for small startups, and for medium-sized businesses that can't afford to hire their own in-house or specialized expertise. Being a vassal has its advantages, after all.


Perhaps instead of hoping that our Internet-era lords will be sufficiently clever and benevolent -- or putting our faith in the Robin Hoods who block phone surveillance and circumvent DRM systems -- it's time we step in in our role as governments (both national and international) to create the regulatory environments that protect us vassals (and the lords as well). Otherwise, we really are just serfs.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 09:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Drugs are taken for pleasure - realise this and we can start to reduce harm

The web-based Net Pleasure Index is an attempt to gather information about a much-ignored element of drug-taking.

David Nutt talking sense as usual.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 09:32:03 AM EST
Chinese 'highway house' is demolished after owners agree to move | World news | guardian.co.uk

A Chinese house that became an internet sensation after being left in the middle of new highway because its elderly owners refused to move out has been demolished.

Photographs of the house went viral on China's social media websites last month after 67 year-old duck farmer Luo Baogen and his wife refused to sign an agreement allowing it to be demolished. This resulted in authorities building a planned road around the building. As the images spread around the world, the five-storey building became a symbol of protest against forced property demolitions, one of China's most pressing social issues.

Luo voluntarily agreed to leave his home for 260,000 yuan (£26,058) in compensation, said Chen Xuecai, the chief of Xiayangzhang village, Wenling city, in the coastal Zhejiang province. "Luo Baogen received dozens of people from the media every day and his house stands in the centre of the road. So he decided to demolish the house," Chen added.

Demolition video

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 03:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Microsoft exec hopes Washington State will become to marijuana what Kentucky is to bourbon.  

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:33:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some time in the not too distant past, Randy was born.
Happy birthday Crazy!

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 at 06:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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