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by autofran (autofran@mac.com) on Mon Apr 14th, 2008 at 11:17:00 PM EST
Berlusconi Wins Italian Election; Rival Veltroni Concedes | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2008
Italian center-left leader Walter Veltroni has telephoned his conservative rival Silvio Berlusconi to concede defeat in general elections. It will be the conservative billionaire's third term as Italy's prime minister.

Veltroni's concession came after early results from the two-day election projected a big majority in both houses of parliament for the 71-year-old media magnate, who now has a strong mandate to deal with Italy's deep economic and social problems.

 

"As is the custom in all Western democracies, I telephoned Berlusconi to acknowledge his victory and wish him good luck in his work," Veltroni told supporters.

 

The Piepoli polling institute had earlier tipped Berlusconi's center-right coalition to win 164 of the Senate's 315 seats, giving him an absolute majority in the chamber.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:35:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlusconi returns to power thanks to 'post-Fascist' ally - Europe, News - The Independent

Silvio Berlusconi celebrated an election comeback triumph last night, putting him back in charge of the world's seventh biggest economy for a third term as the centre-left failed to summon the unity to stop him.

Silvio Berlusconi celebrated a comeback triumph last night, putting him back in charge of the world's seventh biggest economy for a third term as the centre-left failed to summon the unity to stop him.

In his first comments after winning Italy's election, Mr Berlusconi told a political programme on RAI television: "I feel great responsibility; difficult years await us."

He said his priorities would include solving the rubbish crisis in Naples and that of the airline Alitalia, providing affordable new housing, and launching important new infrastructure projects - all without increasing taxes. "It will not take long to form the new government," he added. He said it would have 12 ministers "including at least four women" and would finish its five-year term.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Berlusconi to target immigrant crime in Italy

This guy seriously sounds scary.

If the EU can keep "God" out of the Constitution, can we please keep "evil" out of political rhetoric as well?

"One of the first things to do is to close the frontiers and set up more camps to identify foreign citizens who don't have jobs and are forced into a life of crime," Berlusconi said in a television interview.

"Secondly we need more local police constituting an 'army of good' in the piazzas and streets to come between Italian people and the army of evil," he said.



A language is a dialect with an army and navy.
by marco on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 08:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and what will he do about home-grown crime?
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 08:52:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Commit it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 08:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that's a brilliant one-liner.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does Italy not have a misuse of drugs act equivalent?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German State Premier Resigns Over Bank's Near Collapse | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2008
Saxony's state premier, Georg Milbradt, resigned on Monday, April 14, over criticism of how he handled a state banking crisis. He nominated Stanislaw Tillich, also a member of Angela Merkel's CDU, as his successor.

Milbradt resigned his functions both as Saxony state premier and chairman of the Saxon Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He had been under fire within his for months, ever since the virtual collapse of Saxony's state bank.

"I have decided to hand over my official functions, because an orderly and harmonious transition is especially important to me -- and to prevent injuries -- to me and others," the 63-year-old said on Monday in Dresden.

 

"Now is the right time," he added, indicating he would step down at the end of May.

 

State elections are scheduled for 16 months from now.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel ally resigns over mortgage crisis - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN: A regional ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to resign Monday, becoming the first political casualty in Germany of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. The move was expected to give a boost to the fast-growing Left party, which called immediately for new elections in the affected state, Saxony.

The Left's demands were the latest illustration of the paralysis and fragmentation currently reshaping German politics.

On one hand, the governing national grand coalition of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats seems to have ground to a halt in pursuing reforms.

That has helped open the way for smaller parties to make gains that would - if a national election were held today - spell huge losses for the Social Democrats, but also leave Merkel's party without a convincing majority.

The Christian Democrat Georg Milbradt, 63, had governed Saxony since 2002, but said he was stepping down, probably at the end of May, after the debacle over the state-supported SachsenLB bank, which racked up over €30 billion, or $47.5 billion, of shaky investments, including in subprime.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Left's demands were the latest illustration of the paralysis and fragmentation currently reshaping German politics.

LOLOLOL... this spin gets old.

Some context: after Reunification, the CDU managed to build a power base in Saxony that paralleled the strangehold of their sister party CSU on Bavaria. First PM Kurt Biedenkopf governed royally and, eh, with rather close 'cooperation' with former friends in the economy. After too many scandals, he was forced to step down and make way for Milbradt, who had to coalition with the SPD (a dwarf in Saxony) after the next elections.

Milbradt isn't only blamed for the bank crisis, but some affairs similar to his predecessors' - his government and party was plagued by corruption affairs, sex scandals, he himself made stupid remarks after xenophobes hunted a group of Indians across a village, and then it came out that he was personally involved in the bank's murky trade: taking out preferential bank credit for private speculation.

Regarding Merkel who according to the IHT supposedly lost an ally, it was rumoured that she wants to replace Milbradt with her chief of the chancellor's office, Thomas de Maizière (cousin of the last, and first non-'communist', PM of East Germany). Milbradt seems to have pre-empted that option.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:24:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Two smaller opposition parties - the pro-business Free Democrats, and the Left - seized on the resignation to demand state elections a year ahead of schedule.

Oh, so the FDP asked for elections, but the leading paragraph only focuses on the demands of the Links? It's onlt the Lefties that create "paralysis and fragmentation", of course, not the brave free-marketeers.


The Left, an amalgam of former East German Communists and disgruntled Social Democrats, has been gaining in both Eastern and Western Germany in recent votes and opinion polls.

Communists or disgruntled! Eew. As you say, it gets old.


"No wonder the Left is calling for new elections. It can play the anti-capitalist and anti-globalization card," said Neugebauer.

Hmmm.... If capitalism and globalisation are so successful, why does that work?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:11:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. And regarding "two smaller opposition parties", the Left Party was more than twice as big as the SPD.

I forgot poll numbers; here are the last (one month old), with the September 2004 regional election numbers in parantheses:

CDU: 40% (41.1%)
SPD: 16% (9.8%)
FDP: 7% (5.9%)
Greens: 5% (5.1%)
Left Party: 23% (23.6%)
NPD (far-right) 4% (9.2%)

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:30:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
disgruntled, huh?

i cast my mind back to when we all were blissfully gruntling, before the Great Unwinding.

disgruntled |disˈgrəntld|
adjective
angry or dissatisfied : judges receive letters from disgruntled members of the public.
DERIVATIVES
disgruntlement noun
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from dis- (as an intensifier) + dialect gruntle [utter little grunts,] from grunt .

 maybe the Great Golden Age of Grunt was before we invented politicians :)

oink

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 07:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biofuel: the burning question - Environment - The Independent

From today, all petrol and diesel sold on forecourts must contain at least 2.5 per cent biofuel. The Government insists its flagship environmental policy will make Britain's 33 million vehicles greener. But a formidable coalition of campaigners is warning that, far from helping to reverse climate change, the UK's biofuel revolution will speed up global warming and the loss of vital habitat worldwide.

Amid growing evidence that massive investment in biofuels by developed countries is helping to cause a food crisis for the world's poor, the ecological cost of the push to produce billions of litres of petrol and diesel from plant sources will be highlighted today with protests across the country and growing political pressure to impose guarantees that the new technology reduces carbon emissions.

On the day when the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) comes into force, requiring oil companies to ensure all petrol and diesel they sell in the UK contains a minimum level of biofuel, campaigners condemned as "disastrous" the absence of any standards requiring producers to prove their biofuel is not the product of highly damaging agricultural practices responsible for destroying rainforests, peatlands and wildlife-rich savannahs or grasslands from Indonesia to sub-Saharan Africa to Europe.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:38:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe Defends Biofuels as Debate Rages | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2008
Europe defended biofuels against charges that their production is a "crime against humanity" that threatens global food supplies. Yet pressure continues to mount for the European Union to back off on its biofuel targets.

The European Union said it is sticking to its biofuel goals despite mounting criticism from top environmental agencies and poverty advocates.

"There is no question for now of suspending the target fixed for biofuels," Barbara Helfferich, spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said Monday, April 14.

But her boss struck a different tone, acknowledging that the EU had underestimated problems caused by biofuels and saying that the 27-nation block planned to "move very carefully."

Yet the EU is wary of abandoning biofuels amid worries that doing so could derail its landmark climate change and energy package. In it, Europe pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Part of the package includes setting a target for biofuels to make up 10 percent of automobile fuel.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biofuels getting blame for high food prices - International Herald Tribune

The idea of turning farms into fuel plants seemed, for a time, like one of the answers to high global oil prices and supply worries. That strategy seemed to reach a high point last year when Congress mandated a fivefold increase in the use of biofuels.

But now a reaction is building against policies in the United States and Europe to promote ethanol and similar fuels, with political leaders from poor countries contending that these fuels are driving up food prices and starving poor people. Biofuels are fast becoming a new flash point in global diplomacy, putting pressure on Western politicians to reconsider their policies, even as they argue that biofuels are only one factor in food prices' seemingly inexorable rise.

In some countries, the higher prices are leading to riots, political instability and growing worries about feeding the poorest people. Food riots contributed to the dismissal of Haiti's prime minister last week, and leaders in some other countries are nervously trying to calm anxious consumers.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
has overtaken spin and politics rather quickly on this topic. I wonder if this is good news (reality prevails) or really bad news (this happened only because we no longer have safety margins for anything).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:06:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
both... The reality that there are no safety margins prevails...
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:11:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbia plans to hold elections in Kosovo despite UN objections - International Herald Tribune

BELGRADE, Serbia: Serbia plans to hold local elections in Kosovo in May, according to a government decree published Monday, defying U.N. objections.

U.N. officials in Kosovo have told Serbia it cannot hold the vote because it would breach the U.N. mandate for Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February.

By holding the vote, "we will clearly say that Kosovo is a part of Serbia," Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told Belgrade B92 television.

Some three dozen countries, including the U.S. and most EU states, have recognized Kosovo's independence. Serbia, which considers Kosovo the historic cradle of its state, has rejected the move as illegal under international law.

The decision to hold the local elections May 11 was published in Serbia's government gazette Monday -- a sign that Serbia is ignoring the U.N. objections.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:40:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was wondering over the weekend where this would be going, and suspected that at one point or another a stand-off would emerge.

Guess I got my wish.

I got a bad feeling about this...

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:19:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Member states consider perks and staff for new EU president - EUobserver.com
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU member states have begun preliminary talks on some of the most political aspects of the bloc's new treaty - the office set-up for the proposed new full-time president, the shape of the diplomatic service and the power-sharing arrangement for the regular ministerial meetings in Brussels.

With the European Commission due to present the first draft of the 2009 budget later this month, EU ambassadors last week discussed a possible salary, number of staff and perks for the EU president - a job created by the new treaty which is supposed to come into force on 1 January next year.

Characterising the talks as "very abstract and very general", an EU diplomat said that there appeared to be general agreement that that the president of the council - whose job description has yet to be defined - will get the same sort of treatment as the president of the European Commission.

This would mean a salary of around €270,000, a chauffeured car, a housing allowance and a personal staff of around 20.

What the EU president will actually do remains unclear.
by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and now with Berlusconi back in office, I expect more pushing and improved chances for the other B...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual, expect the mindless media, fed by populist anti-Europeans, to focus on the perks.

what's really relevant is what kind of staff, and what kind of diplomatic rank (protocol office, media office, EC staff or personal selection, etc...) he gets, because that will in turn drive what kind of attention the job can garner, and what kind of influence it will have.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the plus side Toneee's ability to self-publicise seems to have been seriously compromised since he left office - presumably because he's so busy talking to US students about Jesus (or possibly vice versa) that he's not really that interested in being World God-like Microbeing in Charge of Peace, Food and Total Amazingness, or whatever he's calling himself this month.

He won't want the EU job unless it comes with a shiny tiara and - more importantly - the chance to make even more money.

The downside is that if he gets the job, the UK Eurosceptics will feel vindicated in their EU loathing.

And that might not even be unfair, considering.
 

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he's looking for the Veep slot on McCain's ticket.  Tony Poppins, come to save the GOP in its hour of need.  Presents a real problem for us, though, because who, then, carries the nickname Little Bitch in the blogosphere -- Blair or Lindsey Graham?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 09:00:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkmenistan to cut EU dependence on Russian gas - EUobserver.com
Turkmenistan has agreed to supply 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the European Union each year - something that should cut the energy-hungry bloc's dependence on gas from Russia.

"The president [Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov] gave us assurances that 10 bcm will be set aside for Europe in addition to possibilities in new fields to be tendered," EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told the Financial Times on Sunday (13 April).

Ms Ferrero-Waldner described the deal as "a very important first step" in energy cooperation, although she acknowledged the amount agreed by the two sides does not represent a "vast quantity".

The former Soviet Republic in Central Asia has the world's fifth largest reserves of natural gas and substantial deposits of oil. It annually produces 60 billion cubic metres of natural gas, but two-thirds are exported to Russia's state-run Gazprom.
by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:43:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rest of the article makes it appear that Nabucco stands a realistic chance to be built and be connected to Turkmenistan. What do our experts think of this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
does "the EU" buy gas?

This is part of the ongoing propaganda effort to make it look like Nabucco can happen. This one is really laughable. This is not even about allocating gas volumes from existing production, but from undeveloped fields - so not only the pipeline does not exist, but the gas does not either (nor does the buyer).

There was an article about this in the FT yesterday, and even they had trouble hiding their skepticism about this announcement. I didn't even bother post it. This announcement deserves to be ignored, rather than commented ;-)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least the US missile shield will be perfectly placed to defend it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:32:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Spanish cabinet includes first woman defense minister - International Herald Tribune

MADRID, Spain: Spain's first woman defense minister was among 17 members of the Cabinet sworn into office Monday.

Carme Chacon, 37 -- who is seven months pregnant -- is one of nine women in Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's new government.

Chacon, from the Catalan town of Esplugues de Llobregat, served as a city councilor in 1999 and as deputy parliamentary speaker in 2004. She was promoted to housing minister in Zapatero's first government and was accredited with the Socialist party's success in the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia in the March 9 elections.

Zapatero's Socialists won 169 seats in Spain's 350-seat lower house in last month's elections.

Five key Zapatero allies retained their posts: Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega as deputy prime minister, Pedro Solbes in economy, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba as interior minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos in foreign policy and Mariano Fernandez Bermejo in justice.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:44:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Women Outnumber Men in Spain's New Cabinet | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2008
For the first time ever, women outnumber men in Spain's cabinet. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero chose nine women and eight men to lead the country, including a highly pregnant 37-year-old defense minister.

King Juan Carlos swore in the cabinet on Monday, April 14, two days after Zapatero's inauguration as prime minister for a second four-year term.

 

"I'm very proud that there are more female than male ministers," Socialist politician Zapatero said. "This is a modern and strong government."

 

For the most part, however, the premier has left key ministries untouched, with Miguel Angel Moratinos as foreign minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba as interior minister and Pedro Solbes as finance minister. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega remains deputy premier.

 

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious: what are our Spanish correspondents' impressions of Chacón and Fernandez? (And the others?) I have a somewhat uncomfortable feeling, reading Chacón's short bio reminded me of the 'Bliar Babes' (the group of female Labour politicians promoted by Bliar not for ability and independence, but for absolute worshipping loyalty to him).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chacón was a desaster of a Housing Minister, IMHO.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:56:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel in Dublin Urges Irish to Say 'Yes' to EU | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2008
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Irish voters Monday to allow the European Union to "continue to flourish" by voting in favor of the EU reform treaty in a referendum in June.

"What I can say looking back not least on my own life is that unification and the creation of the EU is the best thing that has happened to Europe in its long history," Merkel told a forum of politicians and campaigners in Dublin.

 

"To my mind the Lisbon Treaty offers the best preparation for Europe's future. Let us all make sure that the European Union continues to flourish," she said.

 

"To the skeptics, I can only say that if everything remains as it is now, your concerns will definitely not be better addressed."

 

Ireland is the only one of the 27 EU member states holding a vote on the treaty, and rejection could in theory block it and plunge the union into fresh chaos.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France plans to tighten rules on unemployment compensation - International Herald Tribune

PARIS: In an aggressive move to nudge people off unemployment benefits and into jobs, France plans to stop paying benefits to those who turn down two or more job offers, according to the country's labor minister.

After labor unions and employers failed to agree on a system of penalties for job seekers reluctant to come off the dole, the minister, Laurent Wauquiez, said the government was preparing legislation that could be voted on as early as this summer. He said the bill would introduce measures similar to those that became law - and caused some controversy - in Germany, where the unemployed are given only basic income support if they refuse a job deemed appropriate for their level of qualification.

Wauquiez said it would be the first time that French job seekers who refused work would face such penalties.

"It is a real little revolution for France," Wauquiez said in an interview. "We gave unions and employers five months to negotiate an agreement, but they didn't get anywhere. Time's up. We're going to do this."

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Contrôle des chômeurs : vers des sanctions renforcées au bout de six mois Managing the Jobless: towards mandatory penalties after six months
Aujourd'hui, des sanctions peuvent être légalement prononcées dès le premier refus. Mais cela n'est jamais le cas, les agents étant réticents à supprimer les allocations de publics déjà en difficulté. Today penalties can legally be applied after the first job refusal. But this never happens, as administrators are unwilling to eliminate benefits to people already in difficulty.
Tout l'enjeu réside dans ce que le gouvernement entend mettre derrière le concept d'OVE et c'est en cela que le texte est le plus instructif : pendant les six premiers mois, le chômeur serait tenu d'accepter tout emploi en conformité avec sa formation, ses qualifications, son salaire, sa vie familiale, etc., sans que ceux-ci donnent lieu à des critères chiffrés. C'est, à peu de choses près, ce qui existe déjà aujourd'hui. The issue is what the government means by OVE [offres «valables» d'emploi: "valid employment offers"], and that is where the text is more instructive: during the first six months, the jobseeker would be obliged to accept any offer [emploi: see my question below] that conforms to their education, qualifications, salary, family life, etc., without expressing these in terms of quantitative criteria [could someone help me out with sans que ceux-ci donnent lieu à des critères chiffrés?]. This is more or less already how things are today.
Mais la donne changerait radicalement au bout de six mois. Ce délai écoulé, le chômeur devrait accepter tout emploi requérant moins de deux heures de transport par jour et rémunéré, par exemple, au moins 70 % de son salaire antérieur. Ces données objectives encourageront les agents de l'emploi à appliquer la loi, espère le gouvernement, ce qui est rarement le cas aujourd'hui : « seuls » 1.500 chômeurs sont radiés des listes de l'ANPE, chaque mois, pour refus d'emploi, a indiqué jeudi Christian Charpy, directeur général de l'agence. At the end of six months, the deal would change radically. After this period, the jobseeker would have to accept any offer [tout emploi] requiring less than two hours of commute per day and paying, for example, 70% of their previous salary. The government hopes that these objective indices would encourage employment officers to apply the law, which is rarely the case today: "only" 1500 jobseekers are crossed off the ANPE [French National Employment Agency] lists each month for refusing job offers, said Christian Charpy, director general of the agency, last month.

Les Echos

However, reading the comments under that article, many of them are by jobseekers and are very critical of this proposed legislation.

I am confused about something very basic.  Tout emploi means a job offer, right?  i.e., if the jobseeker agrees to take the job, then they have it.  End of story.  At least that's how I understood the article, in particular, the word emploi in the article -- otherwise, why use the phrase offre valable?.  If on the other hand the "emploi" can be refused to a jobseeker by an employer after the jobseeker has applied for it, then obviously the jobseeker should not be penalized if they keep getting rejected by employers for over six months despite being agreeable to taking the positions "offered".

Can anyone clarify?

A language is a dialect with an army and navy.

by marco on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:18:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paying, for example, 70% of their previous salary.

should be

paying, for example, at least 70% of their previous salary.


A language is a dialect with an army and navy.
by marco on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. sans que ceux-ci donnent lieu à des critères chiffrés : I think you translated that correctly.

  2. On the final question, my feeling is that refusal would be either rejecting the advertised position out of hand (refusing to go to a job interview the agency person wants to set up), or rejecting a firm offer from the employer after interview.

It seems pretty futile to me. It's attempting to force people to move down instead of helping them to move up. Employers encounter difficulties in finding certain categories of skilled personnel because there are fewer people with those skills than jobs on offer. Many jobseekers are low- or unskilled, and there are more of them than the unskilled jobs on offer. Without investment in training, coercition seems unlikely to achieve anything.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the feedback.

It's attempting to force people to move down instead of helping them to move up.

Hmmm.  I tried writing a comment back, but this is a very sensitive and complicated issue, I think I will have to save it for a diary some time.

A language is a dialect with an army and navy.

by marco on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / In depth - Fears emerge over Russia's oil output

Russian oil production has peaked and may never return to current levels, one of the country's top energy executives has warned, fuelling concerns that the world's biggest oil producers cannot keep up with rampant Asian demand.

The warning comes as crude oil prices are trading near their record high of $112 a barrel, stoking inflation in many countries.

Leonid Fedun, the 52-year-old vice-president of Lukoil, Russia's largest independent oil company, told the Financial Times he believed last year's Russian oil production of about 10m barrels a day was the highest he would see "in his lifetime". Russia is the world's second biggest oil producer.

Mr Fedun compared Russia with the North Sea and Mexico, where oil production is declining dramatically, saying that in the oil-rich region of western Siberia, the mainstay of Russian output, "the period of intense oil production [growth] is over".

The Russian government has so far admitted that production growth has stagnated, but has shied away from admitting that post-Soviet output has peaked.

by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France's answer to global food crisis is EU protectionism - Times Online

France has launched a political campaign to restore food protectionism at the heart of Europe's agriculture policy as food riots erupt in poor countries and global leaders give warning of the dire consequences of soaring grain prices.

At a high-level EU agriculture meeting in Luxembourg, Michel Barnier, the French Agriculture Minister, called on Europe to establish a food security plan and to resist further cuts in Europe's agriculture budget.

Mr Barnier said that the EU should not bow to pressure from the World Trade Organisation to reduce further its agricultural subsidies but instead should increase aid to farmers in developing countries.

The French initiative at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council follows a week in which food riots toppled the Government of Haiti and the President of the World Bank voiced concerns about the consequences of food price escalation.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it just me?

Talk about food security plan when some posts up we can read:

Biofuel: the burning question - Environment - The Independent

From today, all petrol and diesel sold on forecourts must contain at least 2.5 per cent biofuel. The Government insists its flagship environmental policy will make Britain's 33 million vehicles greener. But a formidable coalition of campaigners is warning that, far from helping to reverse climate change, the UK's biofuel revolution will speed up global warming and the loss of vital habitat worldwide.

Amid growing evidence that massive investment in biofuels by developed countries is helping to cause a food crisis for the world's poor, the ecological cost of the push to produce billions of litres of petrol and diesel from plant sources will be highlighted today with protests across the country and growing political pressure to impose guarantees that the new technology reduces carbon emissions.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde staff strike over job cuts - Times Online

Staff at Le Monde, France's most authoritative newspaper, went on strike against their management yesterday for the first time in the paper's 64-year history over plans to cut the number of journalists by a quarter.

The scheme for 130 redundancies, two thirds of them journalists, is an attempt to staunch losses and stave off a takeover after years of turmoil at the house organ of the French thinking Establishment.

Le Monde's fiercely loyal staff, who still ultimately control the newspaper, have only once before stopped work. In 1976 they took part in a vain 24-hour protest against the takeover of France Soir, a respected popular daily, by an industrial group.

As staff marched in protest yesterday, Eric Fottorino, who was elected director in December after boardroom mutinies, said that he would not abandon his plan. "I understand the emotion of the staff and I share it to a certain extent," he said. "At the same time I am very determined to see it through because the independence of Le Monde depends on its success."

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:25:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wanted to write about the case of Ciaran Tobin for some time, now I can just summarize an article on [origo].

Ciaran Tobin is a director of the insurer Irish Life. On 9 April 2000, he was driving his Volvo across the Hungarian town of Leányfalu waay above the permitted speed (at least 80 instead of 50 km/h). In a curve, he overtook another car, but at the end he drifted off to the sidewalk -- and hit a small child and his even smaller sister in a baby carriage - killing both.

Tobin repeatedly left the country during the legal process against him, first in September, then - finally - in November 2000. No one held him up. (Now [origo] learnt from judicial papers that Tobin was first allowed to leave after the Irish ambassador in Budapest requested so and gave personal reassurances; and that against prior practice in such serious cases.) His lawyers tried all kinds of excuses, from brake error through tyre explosion to sudden appearance of a car from a side street, but in the end, he was sentenced to 3 years in May 2002. Reduced to 18 months on second instance.

However, Tobin was and remained in Ireland. So the Hungarian court issued an arrest warrant and requested extradiction. In January 2007, the Irish High Court rejected the request, and maintained the decision on second instance this March. The argument was that Tobin didn't flee from Hungary back in November 2000, but left legally. Tobin may in theory be arrested if he sets foot in another EU country before 2012. However, the Hungarian government doesn't feel they have to do anything, say turning to Eurojust.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<sigh>

Irish extradition law was written to avoid embarrassing extraditions to the UK during the Troubles without appearing to be trying to avoid extraditions. It's sort of fucked up.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found two articles in the Irish Independent referenced by [origo].

Extradition of child deaths driver refused - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

Ciaran Tobin's car mounted the footpath in a built-up area of Budapest in the accident seven years ago, killing a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl.

A High Court judge yesterday refused a request for Tobin's extradition by the Hungarian authorities, who wanted him to serve a sentence imposed on him by a Budapest court in his absence for negligence causing death in April 2000.

Mr Tobin from Cairn Manor, Ratoath, Co Meath, who is a senior manager with Irish Life plc customer services, Abbey Street, Dublin, was working for the company in Budapest at the time of the accident.

Yesterday, the High Court turned down an application by the Hungarian authorities to extradite the father of two from Ireland.

Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was refusing the extradition request because he was satisfied that Mr Tobin's departure from Hungary could not be defined as 'fleeing', as had been contended on the extradition warrant.

(Minor nitpick: Leányfalu is 20 km to the North of Budapest, not part of it.)

Courts refuse to extradite man in child death crash - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

last week the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, meaning Mr Tobin will never face prison as a result of his conviction.

The decision not to extradite the Meath man has infuriated Budapest locals and elements of the Hungarian press which has campaigned for his return to face a jail sentence.

...Following the accident, Mr Tobin was charged with negligent driving causing the children's deaths, was granted bail by a Hungarian court and told to surrender his passport.

Mr Tobin later applied for his passport back as he wanted to return to Ireland with his family for a wedding.

Earlier this year the High Court heard that Tobin went back to Hungary but did not surrender his passport to the authorities on his return.

Seven months after the accident, Mr Tobin and his wife left Hungary and returned to Ireland permanently as his three-year contract with his employer had come to its natural end.

(The bail BTW was 500,000 Ft, or about €2,000.)

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:12:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France Takes Up Body Image Law

PARIS - The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone -- including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites -- to publicly incite extreme thinness.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.

Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards.

The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models.

You can incite extreme thinness?  wow

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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