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

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 7 December

by In Wales Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:45:23 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1960 - death of Clara Haskil, a Romanian classical pianist, renowned as an interpreter of the classical and early romantic repertoire.

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!


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

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

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

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

Display:
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:54:44 PM EST
Merkel non-commital on bid to ban far-right NPD | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The premiers of Germany's 16 states have decided to pursue a ban of an extreme-right political party. However, the federal government has not thrown its support behind the bid - at least not yet.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that before making a final decision, the federal government would take the next several weeks to study the case the state governments had made for launching a fresh bid to ban the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

"We haven't yet completed the process of forming an opinion," the chancellor said, adding that the government would announce its decision sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:01:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany moves closer to ban on neo-Nazi party - FRANCE 24

AFP - Germany moved closer to a fresh bid to ban neo-Nazi party NPD Thursday after state leaders backed the move, but Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government needed more time to weigh its chances of success.

Merkel said the federal government would make up its mind on whether to support a new attempt to outlaw the party in the country's top court "in the first quarter of next year".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She cannot stop the upper house. So the government will support this. Her public doubts are just a hedge in case of failure.
by oliver on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why shouldn't it fail? What has changed since last time?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 09:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reportedly all material from informers has been excluded and the informers have been disengaged. The last case was dismissed on technicalities concerning the nature of the evidence.

Nevertheless this is dangerous. The evidence is secret but has been leaked. It looks like they have over two thousand quotes, but no smoking gun and hope to win this by quantity.

Up to now the people the NPD sent to parliament turned out to be less than stellar. A likely explanation for this is that competent people with a chance for a career won't taint themselves for life to serve for a party seriously threatened by a ban.
If you remove that threat, this may change.

by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:12:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A more likely explanation is that they can advocate 90% of the NPD's aims in the CDU, which counts as respectable. That leaves the idiots without self-respect for the NPD. After a ban they will make propaganda with their hard lot and martyrdom and there are enough other organisations of the fascist right that they can use.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 02:27:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardly. This is about careers. The CDU cannot let somebody from the hard right rise to the top. Such people at best end up as interior ministers to placate pensioners who want something to be done about criminals and long-haired punks.

There is a right-wing voter block in Germany. This is like in the rest of Europe. There is no German Fortuyn, Le Pen or Haider. The reason must be sought in the specific German setup, not merely in the (somewhat) conservative party, which is closely mirrored in most of Europe.

For the CDU the existance of the NPD is a good thing in the long run. It makes sure no non-racist hard right (anti Euro, pro nuclear power, ...) party forms.

by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 03:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Summaries like this is why I come here. Succinct, informative and worth weeks or newspapers or months of TV discussions.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:41:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course there is a specifically German thing that nazism still is a career killer. The CDU can split along other lines though. Here in Hamburg it does that every few years, and it's becoming more difficult for the CDU to re-integrate their dissenters. The referendum campaign against the school reform of a CDU mayor took care not to be openly racist and this strategy was successful.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:46:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"For the CDU the existance of the NPD is a good thing in the long run. It makes sure no non-racist hard right (anti Euro, pro nuclear power, ...) party forms."

The openly neo nazistic NPD does prevent the rise of a populist right wing party. That of course isn't only a boon for the CDU, but for the whole german political system.

That said, it can happen: See Schill-Partei in Hamburg.  

by IM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 06:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure. If there wasn't the NPD, we would have a populist party that wants to let the Greeks bleed, blames Spain for it's large public debt, and slowly practises France bashing while continuing to apply thumb scrows on the domestic poor benefit scroungers. Oh wait...
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 07:07:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have no idea how far populism could go.
by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:09:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we all do.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:16:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have no idea of what I have no idea of.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:16:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, the populist reaction would be to pay nothing at all.
by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not true. Opinion is deeply divided there. 48% support "help" for the south, and presumably because they think it is helpful. The rest don't or don't know. What europhobia we have has only been created recently by the current policy. What is populist in that?
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 10:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would probably be a good thing. That way Soffin would have to pony up.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh come on. We don't have a party like Lega Nord or the danish DF or the fromer Haider-FPÖ or the dutch PVV in germany.

And you can't change this fact by just declaring our cneter-right party into something it isn't.  

by IM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't need such a party when the Chancellor's policy matches BILD's editorial line.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If that's centre-right, what was Kohl? Centre-left? The NPD isn't a political force, because in Germany nobody with a bit of self-respect or respect for their career chances wants to be seen dead with them. That's a difference to Haider or Wilders. History and so. Do I need to explain that racism, antisemitism, and other forms of enmity of humans are not central or even necessary for a move to the hard right?
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't say. That is my point: a neo-nazi party occupies the space that otherwise could be occupied by a populist right-wing party. And no, the CDU isn't one nor wasn't it one in the past. On most social policy issues they are quite to the left of Kohl. Also on ecology.

"Do I need to explain that racism, antisemitism, and other forms of enmity of humans are not central or even necessary for a move to the hard right?"

Yes. That is really an absurd claim.

by IM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some form of vicious tribalism is. The whole project of the hard right is based on an exclusive tribal circle of some sort is.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 02:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You misunderstand. I am saying that the NPD is NOT a political force occupying space that otherwise would be occupied by a populist party. The NPD is largely outside of spectrum that "respectable" parties cover, they are a system of their own.

I measure positions in the left/right spectrum by class. The CDU definitely does not serve the interests of the working class. It serves parts of the middle class and mostly the upper class. It no longer tries to integrate parts of the working class, which is a difference to Kohl's era. The CDU (like all four mainstream parties) has moved to the right.

In order to actively suppress the left, to introduce authoritarianism and generally disenfranchise large parts of the population one doesn't need racism or the like, although it is useful. Policies excluding certain groups like Jews, Muslims, whatever are useful to shift blame and to create a false image of what is "us" and what is the enemy, but they are not necessary.

by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 02:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you are wrong. Of course the NPD, being a neo nazi paty is outside the normal spectrum. But their actual and potential voters aren't. Most of them would as likely vote for a right-populist party. And so the NPD is occupying space.

"I measure positions in the left/right spectrum by class. "

So the greens are the most right-wing party, then the FDP, then the CDU, then the left, then the SPD. If we look at the class - income, education - of their voters.

Whatever: Even if the CDU is on economic issues to the right of the Kohl era, - and even that can be doubted - they are still a center right party. To the left of the republicans or the tories or most right-wing parties in eastern europe. And even if you try to ignore them, non-economic issues are relevant to the voters.  

"In order to actively suppress the left, to introduce authoritarianism and generally disenfranchise large parts of the population one doesn't need racism or the like, although it is useful. Policies excluding certain groups like Jews, Muslims, whatever are useful to shift blame and to create a false image of what is "us" and what is the enemy, but they are not necessary."

Have you any recent examples? A political party needs a mass basis and to get one, the hard right-.wing party will play some sort of identity politics against an "other". Is there even one non-xenophobe right-wing party now in Europe? I can't think of one.

by IM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 02:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Of course the NPD, being a neo nazi paty is outside the normal spectrum. But their actual and potential voters aren't."

Their voters vote nazi or they don't vote at all. Unlike the uglies in other countries that are no longer antisemitic, the NPD is. Their voters would have problems to switch to Islamophobian and racist and pro-Israeli Wilders (if they could).

"And even if you try to ignore them, non-economic issues are relevant to the voters."

I don't ignore non-economic issues, I just call them irrelevant to the position in the left/right spectrum. There are some issues where the left and liberals (even market-Taliban liberals) agree, gay rights, for instance. That doesn't make me a market-Taliban, though. On ecological issues I agree with parts of the conservative spectrum.

"Is there even one non-xenophobe right-wing party now in Europe? I can't think of one."

Parts of the EPP spectrum meander very much there. The CDU knows of course that there are many elderly, conservative, religious, middle-class immigrants of Turkish origin: exactly what they need as voters. In urban centres they try to integrate these immigrants, in rural parts they give vent to open Islamophobia. This is congruent with regional attitudes: most racism is where fewest immigrants are. In Germany most xenophobia is found in East Germany and rural West Germany, because most immigrants live in larger West German cities.

Thanks to neoliberalism the working class is atomised. There is no longer much that a skilled worker with a real job with full social insurance has in common with a temporary worker who gets less than the living wage. There is no working class solidarity to be broken up. The need for the identity politics is lower. It's still there: think of Sarrazin's scaremongering of the Arab immigrant benefit-scrounger producing one little "headscarf-girl" after the other. It is not central or necessary for the message, though. The message is one of social darwinism, not of race or religion.

When people talk about Merkel's "shift to the left", they mean civil liberties and they mean women's integration into the labour force. This is not exclusively the domain of the left though. It is an issue of modernity and the attempt to catch younger voters who don't live the traditional family roles.

by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 03:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On second thought this may mean trouble with the EU. It is not legally clear what happens when the Constitutional Court and the EU court disagree.

A decision to ban a party is not just administrative, nor can it be lifted without a constitutional change. Letting a party that has been banned take part in an election is a violation of the constitution.

by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strasbourg consistently accepts bans on nazi propaganda and organisations. I don't see why they should change that suddenly.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prior ruling in Herri Batasuna vs. Spain
by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What that in the European Union's courts, or in the Council of Europe's human rights court?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German President Gauck meets with Pope Benedict | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

German President Joachim Gauck has met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. The two leaders discussed religion, Europe's current economic crisis and the future of the continent.

Gauck spoke on Thursday of a "very friendly" and "very open" meeting between the two. They discussed the need "for the people to keep alive the awareness of the value of the European idea" given the current economic crisis.

The meeting in the Apostolic Palace was the first between the German-born pope and the German president, who is a former Lutheran pastor.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I either didn't know or had forgot Germany had a president.
Do Germans care who he is or what he does?

("[...] mainly ceremonial and supervisory duties" is what wiki says. Thought so. Kind of like the comedy King we have in Sweden. Poor bastard.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:53:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He can trigger off debates by speeches, and every president so far had his pet topic. Gauck's is liberty, and his take is an unmitigated neoliberal one.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As we speak, Gauck is using his state visit to Croatia to make himself unpopular there, by the way.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rental housing shortage a reality, German lobbyists say | Business | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The German Tenants' Association (DMB) has warned there's a dire lack of affordable housing across the country. It's called on the government to fix the problem with more subsidies and development funds.

The German Tenants' Association (DMB) warned on Thursday there was a lack of an estimated 250,000 rental apartments in the country. "We're heading towards a full-blown housing shortage," DMB President Franz-Georg Rips said in a statement in Berlin.

He noted the shortage was already affecting tens of thousands of young families, pensioners and low-income earners as affordable housing was increasingly at a premium.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / National parliaments 'not best' for EU's interests
BRUSSELS - A new ideas paper on progress towards further EU integration highlights the shifting power sands for national parliaments as the European Parliament is set to become the principle democratic guardian of a future EU.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:27:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurosceptics, start your engines!


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / EU data protection rules 'on schedule' despite delay

BRUSSELS - Despite not having begun formal deliberations in committee, the European Parliament is on course to define its position on the EU's new data protection regime by mid-2013, according to data privacy expert Sophie In't Veld.

Speaking with EUobserver, the Dutch Liberal MEP, who chairs the European Parliament Privacy Platform and is among the assembly's leading authorities on data privacy, confirmed that MEPs were "on schedule".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US deputy assistant attorney general, Bruce Swartz, told MEPs that the requirement for the renegotiation of international treaties within five years as well as those on data transfer rules would "cripple international investigations."

I like it already.

Are we still doing the ridiculous data retention thing, though?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / Balkan visa-free regime under scrutiny

BRUSSELS - EU ministers of interior are set to discuss visa policy in Brussels on Thursday (6 December) with several member states wanting to reintroduce visas for passport holders from Western Balkan countries.

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands say migrants from the region are abusing the current visa-free system by requesting asylum, reports the AP.

Each asylum application request has to be examined, they say, creating large caseloads and backlogs.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Max Clifford arrested on suspicion of sexual offences | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Max Clifford, one of the best known publicists in Britain, has been arrested by officers investigating sexual abuse claims against Jimmy Savile and others.

The Metropolitan police said on Thursday morning that officers working on Operation Yewtree arrested "a man in his sixties" at his Surrey home at 7.04am "on suspicion of sexual offences".

Clifford, 69, is the arrestee. He has been taken to a central London police station for questioning.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:32:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@MigeruBlogger
Migeru Shimbun is out! http://paper.li/MigeruBlogger/1351816577 ... ▸ Top stories today via @juanramajete @ecoen2tardes @CvetinChill


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 05:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Another fine mess in Rome (07.12.2012)
Mario Monti loses two votes - one in the Senate, one in the House - after Silvio Berlusconi's PdL withdraws support from the government; there were conflicting reports about whether the PdL would formally withdraw its support for the Monti administration; Italian sovereign yields immediate shot up on the news; Pier Luigi Bersani said the Monti government was now on the brink of collapse; there is increasing talk of early elections in February, as opposed to the originally scheduled date of May; President Giorgio Napolitano says whatever happens, reforms will continue; Ferrucio de Bortoli says the Italian centre-right is a mess, and it needs to separate from Berlusconi; the hard-left Il Fatto Quotidiano applauds Berlusconi for putting an end to German austerity; marvels at the thought that Italy could be without a government by Christmas;  the German government is furious about Herman van Rompuy's proposals for a three-stage process towards economic union; Germany is not ready to commit to any concrete action and timetables before 2014; German government is particularly angry that the van Rompuy proposal contains so many ideas from the European Commission's proposals, including a common fiscal space; van Rompuy also wants a framework in place by March 2013 to allow direct ESM-funding of banks; the Greek government presents its new income tax codes, which includes significant tax increases for ordinary citizens; Greek entrepreneurs have trouble paying their tax bills; Greek unemployment reaches 26%; ECB revises 2013 GDP growth forecast range down to -0.9 to +0.3%; no changes in interest rates, but Draghi confirms GC discussed negative deposit rates; Draghi said a banking union that fails to give the ECB power over all banks is unworkable; says he has received overwhelming legal advice that Art 127,6 TFEU constituted a sufficient  legal basis for a common bank supervisor; Benoit Coeure says goal of OMT is not to get rid of bond spreads; El Pais says Spanish government is in denial of the deteriorating economic outlook, and the impact of austerity on growth; Pol Antràs and Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, meanwhile, argue that Spain has been cooking the inflation numbers by putting pressure on oil company to delay price increases.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the German government is furious about Herman van Rompuy's proposals for a three-stage process towards economic union; Germany is not ready to commit to any concrete action and timetables before 2014;
A Naïve observer might interpret this as Merkel is not ready for concrete talk of economic union entering the German debate before she wins the September 2013 election.
German government is furious about van Rompuy's three-stage strategy

Frankfuter Allgemeine reports that Berlin is furious about the van Rompuy report towards economic union. The German government says these proposals go too far. In particular, the government is appalled by the idea of  a "three stage process". Berlin is happy to talk about everything in general and vague terms, but refuses point blank to be drawn in on any commitments beyond 2014 (we wonder why). The government is also angry that van Rompuy has taken over many elements of the proposals from the European Commission last week. The article says that a firm commitment towards these goals would trigger a dynamic that might be difficult to get under control. Berlin does not want to address the issues, including treaty change, until 2014.

 The three stages outlined by the proposal are the completion of the existing legislation in 2012 and 2013, including on banking union and Basel III. The second stage is a common bank resolution administration and a common resolution fund - but the article said a common deposit insurance has been dropped. A third stage includes changes to the European Treaties, with the setup of a common fiscal capacity.

Van Rompuy wants ESM bank aid framework by March 2013

Reuters reports that the van Rompuy report includes a framework for the direct recapitalisation of banks by the ESM before end-March (as part of the stage one proposals, we presume). The report also advocates a form of common debt issuance. In particular, it recommends a common fiscal centre to absorb economic shocks.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
President Giorgio Napolitano says whatever happens, reforms will continue

Why have elections if they won't change policy?

by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that the policies seem to have made Mario Monti of all people less popular than Beppe Grillo or Burlesqueoni is obviously not enough to give Europe's 'leaders' pause.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... Bersani warns about a possible Italian government collapse ...

Pier Luigi Bersani admits that Monti's government is on the verge of a breakup after Berlusconi's actions, which he called completely irresponsible, as L'Unità reports. The PD's Senate whip, Anna Finocchiaro, said that if the government no longer has a majority, Monti should go to the Quirinale for consultations with Giorgio Napolitano. If early elections come, they would take place in February instead of May.

... and Napolitano says Italy will avoid the worst case

In Italy, all powers rest with the president during times of political crises. Napolitano yesterday tried to bring back some calm by saying yesterday that there will be no change in economic policies, La Repubblica reports. He said he was ready to talk with Berlusconi, Bersani and Monti to guarantee the viability of the current government. But he ruled out early elections.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:40:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In effect Alfano pulled the support of PDL for the Monti government. However Monti replied immediately that if he's going, he'll go only through a vote in parliament-- and he still has the numbers to go ahead with his government. So it's going to be backroom jockeying the next days so everyone can take off for Christmas recess earlier.

Three things may have provoked B to act. On one account he has trials gnawing away his empire.  His companies are doing very badly now that he's out of power. Two, there is a remote possibility that his electoral law will be changed. By withdrawing support, any electoral reform would be out the window. Italians would be called once again to vote in a national farce in which they really have no sovereignty. Further, he feels that all the other reforms are against his interests and has successfully rendered most reforms toothless by remaining in the coalition. Now that everyone has been bled by Monti, he can come back and reap whatever marginal benefits this may bring. Three, Alfano and his ragged army of conservatives intended to hold primaries in a week. It too would have been a farce for a personal political entity to choose a successor to the guy who owns the party. Primaries for the right would have had next to nothing turnout for a straggling bunch of wannabe's. A fourth reason is that seeing how Monti's popularity is at an all time low and the Democratic Party's approval rating is at an all time high, B's instinct is to tip over the table and be the center of attention, the wanker ready to save Italy from Monti's austerity and the usual bullshit about commies.

It is highly unlikely that he would win the upcoming elections but he would be in a position to make it difficult for any future left-center government to govern.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 10:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It is highly unlikely that he would win the upcoming elections but he would be in a position to make it difficult for any future left-center government to govern."

How so? With the PD getting 15%, perhaps 20%?

by IM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:01:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you mean the PDL getting 20%. With the present electoral law, it's the coalition that is formed before the election that matters. The PDL- Berlusconi's personal political entity- would still have the majority within the coalition he will put together. So he'll be the boss of a mob of senile pirates. With all this pre-formed coalition crap, coupled with blocked lists that can only be tinkered with by party bosses, not the voters, there will be three or four groups in parliament made up of several dozen "parties" created ad hoc to have post-electoral leverage. The ruling coalition, which will be center-left, will have a thin majority.

It will be Prodi all over again with a Berlusconi who will simply buy up deputies and senators. After all, none will elected to their respective seats, nothing is due the electorate. An MP's loyality is only to whoever up high chose him to be MP and with that sort of mentality money talks.

The present electoral law makes for governance under blackmail.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SZ
Ein Jahr nach dem Volksentscheid wackelt das Projekt: Die Bahn lässt durchsickern, Stuttgart 21 werde 1,5 Milliarden Euro mehr kosten, als mit Bund und Land vereinbart. Bauverzögerungen und die Schlichtung sollen dafür verantwortlich sein. Doch die Bahn kann nicht auf mehr Steuergelder hoffen.
Stuttgart 21 will cost 1.5 billion euro more that planned, and additional subsidy is unlikely. Wasn't that predicted on ET several years ago?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 07:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 07:48:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too much work already done.
by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't they learn about sunk costs in their basic economics course?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:25:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The people deciding such things take politics 101, not economics 101.
by oliver on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too many people in both fields apparently have neither.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they've already done some work which would have to be undone and contract penalties would need to be paid. The plan will have to be carried out now.

We need to stop rewarding politicians for accepting unrealistically optimistic calculations.

by oliver on Sun Dec 9th, 2012 at 02:09:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:55:03 PM EST
ThyssenKrupp sacks managers amid graft, cartel allegations | Business News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp has dismissed three senior managers involved in a series of scandals about luxury travels, price fixing and mismanagement. The reshuffle is dubbed a "fresh start" for the struggling firm.

The contracts of management board members Olaf Berlien, Edwin Eichler and Jürgen Claassen would all be terminated as part of an effort to promote necessary changes in ThyssenKrupp's leadership system and corporate culture, the German steelmaker said Wednesday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany ranked 13th with a score of 79 in the last 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, ahead of the UK, France, Belgium...
by Bernard on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in terms of corruption.

These days they get busted for fixing prices and fiddling their expenses. In the good old days of Papa Fritz, they bought entire political parties.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:16:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB holds key lending rate despite bleaker outlook | Business | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The European Central Bank has left borrowing costs in the euro area unchanged. But it has also reiterated its resolve to help debt-stricken nations, with its new bond-buying program yet to be tapped.

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday announced it would leave its benchmark interest rate of 0.75 percent untouched despite a worsening business climate in the 17-member eurozone.

The decision by the ECB's Governing Council not to lower the interest rate matched most economists' expectations as the central bank had previously emphasized it did not want to ease the pressure on euro-area governments to do their homework and consolidate national budgets through austerity measures.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Argentina trade barriers have EU call for WTO ruling | Business | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The European Union, the US and Japan have jointly asked the World Trade Organization to rule in a protracted trade dispute with Argentina. They criticize what they believe are unfair import restrictions.

The European Union on Thursday appealed for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to rule in a spat with Argentina over import restrictions. The move was supported by similar complaints from the US and Japan.

"Argentina's import restrictions violate international trade rules and harm EU exports," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement. He noted that earlier WTO consultations with Argentina had not brought any positive solution.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Report: Greece most corrupt country in Europe | World | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

Has the financial crisis worsened a corruption problem? That's the conclusion of a corruption index, which looked at bribery in public offices in Europe. Transparency in Germany could also be improved.

Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, released in Berlin on Wednesday (05.12.2012), pointed to increased corruption in Greece. In light of its economic collapse and looming threat of state bankruptcy, corruption among state officials and members of the government was the highest in all of Europe, according to the report.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:06:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not going to bloody improve things, is it, Sherlock?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 05:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a "perception of corruption" survey. After the experience of the past 5 years, do you think the average Greek has a very positive perception of the economic and political elite, in Greece and in Europe?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 05:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But they're not corrupt.

[deadpan]

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 03:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they are. But all this story from Deutsche Welle actually tells us is that Germans have a lower perception of corruption in Germany than Greeks have of corruption in Greece.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 03:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU pushes for crackdown on tax evasion | Business News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The European Union executive Commission has unveiled details of a plan to curb massive tax evasion and avoidance. The plan urges EU members to crack down on tax havens and close legal loopholes.

According to an estimate released by the EU Commission on Thursday, tax dodgers incur revenue losses of around 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) every year in the 27-nation EU.

"Not only is this a scandalous loss of much-needed revenue, it is also a threat to fair taxation," said EU Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Semeta, as he unveiled EU plans to curb tax evasion on Thursday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / News In Brief / Cash-strapped countries skip Eurovision song contest
Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Poland are likely to pull out of May's Eurovision song contest in Malmo, Sweden due to economic problems. Countries are worried they will win and have to host the 2014 event, while the Greeks said they could not even afford the fee to enter the competition.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing happening here. Lot's of countries pulling out of the California Farting Contest.

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 Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:21:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starbucks to pay £10m tax after customer revolt | Business | guardian.co.uk

Starbucks is to pay £10m in taxes over the next two years as it restructures its complex arrangements that have seen its UK operation pay no corporation tax in the past three years.

Kris Engskov, the managing director of Starbucks UK, said even if the company failed to make a profit - due to a series of payments to various European subsidiaries - it will still make the unprecedented payment to HM Revenue and Customs.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Special Report: Amazon's billion-dollar tax shield | Reuters

Amazon's Luxembourg arrangements have deprived European governments of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax that it might otherwise have owed, as reported in European newspapers. But a Reuters examination of accounts filed by 25 Amazon units in six countries shows how they also allowed the company to avoid paying more tax in the United States, where the company is based.

In effect, Amazon used inter-company payments to form a tax shield for the group, behind which it has accumulated $2 billion to help finance its expansion.

Amazon revealed last year that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants $1.5 billion in back taxes. The claim, which Amazon said it would "vigorously contest", is linked to its foreign subsidiaries and payments made between them.

(...) This is an examination of how Amazon set up its tax shield, and how it works.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their idea of physics is from the 1850s and their idea of mathematics is pre-Gödel formalism.

Robert Vienneau: What Is Mathematics - And Sraffa (OCTOBER 27, 2012)

Noah Smith offers a definition: "Mathematics is the manipulation of the symbols of a language according to explicit, syntactical rules." ("Unlearning Economics" has also recently written on mathematics in economics). To me, the manipulation of meaningless symbols is a powerful form of reasoning. ...


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WTF?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 07:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Noah Smith styles himself an authority.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 08:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, he says:

Noahpinion: What is math, and why should we use it in economics?

For example, the definition I tended to like in college was called the "formalist" definition: 
"Mathematics is the manipulation of the symbols of a language according to explicit, syntactical rules."

It seemed to me that definition just boils down to "Mathematics is a language". Noah Smith goes on to say: "Basically, this just means "math" = "logic". So logic is a language.

He goes on to argue that maths is about making precise statements, and that is its usefulness to economics.

This seems woefully short (to my unschooled mind). I'd be in need of some Socratic midwifery on:

Migeru:

...their idea of mathematics is pre-Gödel formalism.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 02:26:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is the implication 'economics = logic' when 'economics = rhetoric' would be more honest and accurate.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just bring in Lakoff's Math = Rhetoric and be done with it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:20:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Logic is the study of the structure (formal or otherwise) of an argument. No such thing as "A Logic."  There is: Combinatory Logic, Default Logic, Deontic Logic, Deviant Logic, Dynamic Logic, Epistemic Logic, Erotetic Logic, Formal Logic, Free Logic, Higher-Order Logic, Infinitary Logic, Informal Logic, Intensional Logic, Many-Valued Logic, Mathematical Logic, Modal Logic, Non-Monotonic Logic, Ordinal Logic, Pluralitive Logic, Predicate Logic, Quantum Logic, Relational Logic, Second-Order Logic, Symbolic Logic, Tense Logic, Terminist Logic, Three-Value Logic, Syllogistic Logic, Boolean Logic, and Abductive Logic ... to build a short list ... all of which can determine the Truth/Falsity of an argument.  But they say nothing about the accuracy of an argument.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:58:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)

How related the second G is to the first one is what logic and math is about :)

The problems of economics is that most assumptions are G. All the maths in the world cant solve that.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:19:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"manipulation" is right, I guess.

Use silly assumptions, camouflage them with lots of equations, and taxa, you have "objective" policy recommendations.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of this, I've noted that many lawyers have trouble drafting properly documentation because they don't understand maths and logic. For them, "not all" and "nothing" is sometimes the same thing, and distinguishing ((A AND B) OR C) and (A AND (B OR C)) is basically impossible.

So on commercials items, I prefer to the do the legal drafting myself to avoid hopelessly wrong clauses.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Engineers vs. lawyers, part MDCCXXIII :)
by Bernard on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 11:04:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BusinessWeek: Urging Economists to Step Away From the Blackboard (November 29, 2012)
Ronald Coase published his career-making paper, "The Nature of the Firm," 75 years ago. He won the Nobel prize for economics in 1991. In a lecture in 2002, he argued that physics has moved beyond the assumptions of Isaac Newton, and biology beyond Darwin. (Not that he knew them.) But economics, he said, had failed to advance past the efficient-market assumptions of Adam Smith. This year Coase, a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Law School, is attempting to start a new academic journal ambitiously titled Man and the Economy. The premise: Economics is broken. Coase's journal is still just a plan, but his frustration with orthodox economics has energized his followers.

The financial crisis forced economists to confront the limitations of their profession. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted as much when he told Congress in October 2008 that markets might not regulate themselves after all. Coase says the problem runs deeper: Economists study abstractions and numbers, instead of firms and people. He doesn't believe this can be fixed by tweaking models. An entire generation of economists must be encouraged to think differently.

The idea for the journal stems from his collaboration with Ning Wang, an assistant professor at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University who grew up in a rice- and fish-farming village in the Hubei province of China. Coase, 101, began working with Wang in the 1990s at the University of Chicago. Neither has a degree in economics; the two understood each other. "We're not constrained by a mainstream, orthodox view," says Wang. "A lot of people would see this as a weakness." Coase declined to be interviewed.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:29:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know I'm just channelling Krugman, but it would be a start to acknowledge economic theory post 1930.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or even much of pre-1700 economics.

Like this bloke Adam Smith, who gives plenty of examples of market failures. Somehow, all that neo-liberals wanted to remember was the rather rare cases when the hypothesis somewhat approach real life.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 06:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, that was meant to be pre-1800 economics...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 06:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As we've demonstrated plenty of times here on ET using his own words, Adam Smith would be considered Not Serious today if he were actually read, rather than invoked as a mythical figure.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:55:22 PM EST
Israeli and German leaders paper over cracks in relations | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have said bilateral relations remain good despite recent disagreements. Merkel added, however, they had agreed to disagree on key policies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his disappointment with Germany for having abstained from the UN vote last week upgrading the UN status of Palestine to "non-member observer state."

In a newspaper interview before the bilateral talks he said he had hoped Germany would oppose Palestinian recognition along with the Czech Republic and a handful of other countries including the United States.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / Israeli PM 'disappointed' with Angela Merkel

BERLIN - A joint German-Israeli government meeting in Berlin on Thursday (6 December) is likely to be the scene of more disagreements between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the two traditional allies are having increased difficulty finding common ground.

The scene was set already on the eve of the meeting. Netanyahu told Die Welt about his "disappointment" at Germany's decision last week to abstain instead of saying "No" to Palestine's status upgrade within the United Nations.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egyptian soldiers restore order around palace | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

Egyptian soldiers have restored order around the presidential palace after a deadly night of clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters. However, there is still no sign of a resolution to the political crisis.

Members of the Republican Guard erected a barbed-wire barricade keeping members of the public around 150 meters (492 feet) away from the palace in a Cairo suburb. The tanks that had been deployed around the palace earlier in the day remained, and protesters pulled back after a mid-afternoon deadline imposed by the military. A presidential statement had threatened the protesters with forcible removal had they refused to leave of their own accord.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:02:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fugitive anti-virus pioneer McAfee denied asylum in Guatemala - GUATEMALA - FRANCE 24

Software company founder John McAfee was denied political asylum in Guatemala on Thursday and police in Belize said they expected him to be flown back soon for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.

Guatemalan authorities said McAfee's request for asylum had been denied. It did not explain why.

McAfee was in a Guatemalan immigration detention center after his arrest for illegally entering the country ended a bizarre weekslong journey as a self-styled fugitive with an active blog and constant contact with the press.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish they could get after Norton too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 01:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McAfee was in a Guatemalan immigration detention center after his arrest for illegally entering the country ended a bizarre weekslong journey as a self-styled fugitive with an active blog and constant contact with the press.
WTF?

That doesn't spell 'I'm a computer security expert'.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 03:38:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More
Smuggling himself across the border from Belize to Guatemala, Mr McAfee said he had evaded capture by dying his hair and beard, and puffing up his face by filling his mouth with chewing gum.

He claims he is being persecuted by the authorities and says that he has nothing to do with the death of his neighbour, Florida businessman Gregory Faull.

"Now that I'm here I can speak freely. I can speak openly," he told reporters in Guatemala City, saying that he would expose corruption in Belize's government.

Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow had a more prosaic explanation: "I don't want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers."

Belize police named him a "person of interest" in the murder, and Guatemalan police have now arrested him and said they would seek to send him back.

[...]

"I don't think he can be regarded as a major player in terms of the software he developed," says computer security expert Alan Woodward.

"He was certainly a good businessman at the time, though."

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 04:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such a weird story. Fine line between tragedy and farce.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:06:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gun-lovin' survivalist, suspected (he claims a plot against him) of manufacturing drugs at his Belize home. Where a neighbour was found dead of gunshot wounds.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Salong entry from a few weeks back.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:57:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So long.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a Vietnamese Salon?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha Long, oh Lord, Ha Long?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it indicates a situation where the fugitive believes more in creating opinion then hiding or finding exile through legal means.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 9th, 2012 at 09:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The bill
SEC. 2. MODERNIZATION OF LANGUAGE REFERRING TO PERSONS WHO ARE MENTALLY ILL.

(a) Words Denoting Number, Gender, and So Forth- Section 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by striking `and `lunatic'; and
(2) by striking `lunatic,'.

[and so on]

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on the bill:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) was unapologetic for his lone Wednesday vote against a bill striking the word "lunatic" from U.S. law, and said the word should be used more often to describe many of the people in Washington, D.C.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:52:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:56:04 PM EST
German Environment Minister Altmaier makes Doha appeal | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

Peter Altmaier has addressed the UN's world climate conference in Doha, just a day before the difficult talks conclude. He said a deal was needed, lest some delegates found their houses under rising seas.

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told delegates from 194 countries in Doha that they should strive to decide on a successor to the outgoing Kyoto protocol before the summit's end on Friday - saying that the elements would not wait for political consensus.

"The dramatic development of climate change stands in stark contrast with the slow progress of our work," Altmaier said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:01:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polar ice sheets melting faster than ever | Environment | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

The polar ice caps have faster in last 20 years than in the last 10,000. A comprehensive satellite study confirms that the melting ice caps are raising sea levels at an accelerating rate.

The polar regions are important drivers of the world's climate. When the "everlasting ice" melts at an increasing rate, the rest of the world is affected. Global sea levels are rising, dark meltwater pools absorb warmth from the sun which white ice would reflect back into space. Fresh water flows into the sea, changing ocean currents and the living conditions for marine organisms.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Typhoon Bopha wreaks havoc in southern Philippines - IN PICTURES - FRANCE 24
Rescue operations were underway on Thursday after typhoon Bopha wreaked havoc in the southern Philippines, killing at least 477 people according to government figures. The strongest typhoon to hit the archipelago this year made landfall in the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday, triggering deadly landslides and devastating floods both along the coast and inland.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China to flatten 700 mountains for new metropolis in the desert | World news | The Guardian

A long, long time ago, an old Chinese peasant named Yu Gong decided to move two inconveniently located mountains away from blocking the entrance to his home. Legend has it he struggled terribly, but ultimately succeeded. Hence the Chinese idiom "Yu Gong moves the mountains." Where there's a will, there's a way. Now Chinese developers are putting old Yu to shame.

In what is being billed as the largest "mountain-moving project" in Chinese history, oneof China's biggest construction firms will spend £2.2bn to flatten 700 mountains levelling the area Lanzhou, allowing developers to build a new metropolis on the outskirts of the north-western city.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doha climate talks: should rich countries shoulder 'responsibility' for carbon cuts? | Environment | guardian.co.uk

As this year's COP18 climate talks in Doha draw to a close, much of the horse-trading and debate has focused - as ever - on which countries should do most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to tackling climate change.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, directly raised this sensitive issue earlier this week when he said: "The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialisation of the developed world. [It is] only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:36:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What an extremist. Imagine if he had any power.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately, he's the WOMPROPOP.

WOrld's Most PROminent POwerless Person.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Enel Drops Participation in Flamanville EPR as Project Costs Soar by $2.6B :: POWER Magazine
A day after French utility EDF released a cost update for its Flamanville EPR reactor under construction in Normandy, France, claiming increases of a stunning $2.6 billion--bringing overall estimated costs for the advanced reactor to $10.5 billion--Italian power giant Enel formally withdrew its participation from that project and five other French EPR projects.

EDF said in a statement on Monday that, though the construction schedule for the 1,630-MW EPR was on track for production of the first kilowatt-hours in 2016, calculations for the full cost of the reactor had soared by $2.6 billion since the last cost revision in July 2011. The EPR, which was designed and is being built by French nuclear firm AREVA, is the first third-generation reactor--and the first reactor in 15 years--being built in France, a country that procures nearly 75% of its power from nuclear energy.

EDF said that beyond this "first of a kind" effect, "other factors" had a bearing on total construction costs of the 2007-launched Flamanville EPR, including "development of the boiler design, additional engineering studies, the integration of new regulatory requirements and everything learned in the wake of Fukushima." The update also reflects "additional costs as well as technical contingencies, such as the replacement of 45 consoles and the knock-on effects of this in terms of work scheduling and the financial impact of extending the construction deadlines."

On Tuesday, Italy's Enel withdrew its participation in the Flamanville project and in another five French projects slated to use EPR technology, citing cost overruns and delays, a significant drop in power demand, and an uncertain timeframe for nuclear investments in the nation resulting from France's recent about-turn on nuclear policy. A June 2011 referendum in Italy--just months after the Fukushima disaster--that opposed the development of nuclear energy in that country had also "diminished the strategic relevance of the overall partnership framework," Enel said.

Relinquishing its 12.5% stake in the project, Enel is to be reimbursed $801 million plus interest for prepaid expenses. The company was exercising an "exit right" per a 2007-signed strategic agreement, it said. Termination of the agreement also cancels the supply of 1,200 MW starting in  2012 by EDF to Enel under "anticipated capacity contracts." It also annuls knowledge transfer agreements between the two companies. Enel said, however, it would continue operations in the French power market through a presence in renewables, gas, and power trading activities.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:14:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:56:21 PM EST
Children being born with thalidomide syndrome | Globalization | DW.DE | 05.12.2012
Fifty years after the thalidomide scandal, the drug is still in use. It helps treat leprosy and types of cancer and AIDS. DW looks at the effects of its use in Brazil.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel goes second in Forbes' list, behind obvious Obama | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

A shoo-in for the most powerful woman on earth each year, Angela Merkel has climbed to second in Forbes' list of most powerful people. China's impending leadership change helped her climb the league table.

Angela Merkel has overtaken outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao - struck from the list entirely owing to his imminent departure - and claimed second place in Forbes' list of most powerful people. Only US President Barack Obama - an obvious choice at the best of times with the world's most powerful military and largest economy under his thumb, let alone when freshly re-elected - is ahead of the German chancellor.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:04:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German doctors improve burn treatment | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

A "spray-on skin" technique has revolutionized burn treatment, which has advanced significantly over the last 10 years. Berlin doctors have developed their own version, which helps burn victims return to normal lives.

The "spray-on skin" technique, pioneered by Australian surgeon Fiona Wood, was used to treat Australians who were victims of the Bali bombings in 2002.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"patient's own skin cells" - that's got to be an improvement over previous methods.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That has got to be good news.

Has anyone read "the gargoyle"? One of the most amazing books I've read in a long time - many things in that book, but a lot of it follows the travails of a burn victim.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2012 at 08:35:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Economic Perspectives: A Meme for Money, Part 1: Introduction (December 3, 2012)
Let me give you an example. Outside of the crazies, everyone knows the US government cannot run out of money. From Greenspan to Bernanke they all understand there is zero risk of involuntary default by the sovereign issuer of a currency.

And so the way that an MMTer approaches the current deficit hysteria is by pointing out that as the Federal government spends through keystrokes that credit bank accounts, it can afford anything for sale in dollars.

The reaction typically goes through four stages:

  1. Incredulity: That's Crazy!
  2. Fear: Zimbabwe! Weimar!
  3. Moral Indignation: You'd destroy our economy!
  4. Anger: You're a Dirty Pinko Commie Fascist!

And those are our Post Keynesian/Heterodox friends. The reaction of others is far more hostile.

Rather than winning the debate about unsustainability of debt and deficits, MMT loses the argument. How can that be?

Because it's immoral for the government to spend through the stroke of a key.

...

We need a new meme for money. The meme cannot begin from markets, from free exchange, from individual choice. We need a social metaphor, a public interest alternative to the private maximization calculus. We need to focus on the positive role played by government, and its use of money to serve us well.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Staying tuned ....

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 09:16:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conservative Senator DeMint to resign, heading to think tank | Reuters

(Reuters) - Republican Senator Jim DeMint, an independent-minded South Carolina conservative and a major voice of the Tea Party wing of the party, said on Thursday he will resign from the Senate in January to head the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank in Washington.

DeMint, often a thorn in the side of his own leadership in Congress, publicly criticized Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner earlier this week for offering revenue increases in the bargaining with Democrats over the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and budget cuts set for the end of the year.

DeMint was in many ways ahead of his time in his arch-conservative views, which have become more in vogue with the rise of the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement in recent years. That movement suffered some losses though in last month's elections.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight," DeMint, 61, said in a statement. "I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The insurgency within the GOP is now fully engaged...
by asdf on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 12:12:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"battle of ideas" - I think you just lost that one, bub.
What you need is new ideas.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 05:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 02:57:21 PM EST
Euro 2020 to be held in several European cities | News | DW.DE | 06.12.2012

Europe's football governing body UEFA plans to stage the 2020 European Championship in cities across the continent. The move is meant to ease the financial burden of hosting such a major sporting event.

The UEFA executive committee approved the plan at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday.

"UEFA Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today," UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino said, describing the tournament as "a Euro for Europe."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:05:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Australian prime minister announces end of world - video | World news | guardian.co.uk
A spoof video featuring the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, who says the Mayans were right: the end of the world is nigh. In her comedy trailer for radio station Triple J's breakfast show, Gillard speculates whether the apocalypse, which the Mayans say is due on 21 December, will come in the form of flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell-beasts or the triumph of K-pop
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 03:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oscar Niemeyer, architect of Brazil's capital, dies aged 104 | Art and design | The Guardian

Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who helped to shape the 20th century and mankind's vision of the future, died on Wednesday aged 104, according to Brazilian media.

Niemeyer died of respiratory failure in Botafogo hospital in Rio de Janeiro, the city where he was born in 1907, studied architecture and that he helped to shape with famous landmarks, such as the Sambadrome, notoriously modelled - like much of his work - on the body of a woman. But his influence spread much further to the design of the capital Brasília and many of its landmarks including the cathedral and Congress building. Overseas, he designed the United Nations secretariat in New York, the Communist party headquarters in Paris and Serpentine gallery summer pavilion in Hyde Park, London.

Brazil's biggest newspaper group announced the death at the top of its website with a photograph of the country's celebrated intellectual and two articles lauding him as "the concrete poet", "the pessimist who loved life" and the "traditionalist for tomorrow." Other stories recalled his nickname as the "Picasso of concrete".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 at 04:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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