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by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:13:38 PM EST
German Finance Minister Blames US for Financial Crisis | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck deemed the US banking crisis an "earthquake" that will cost the US its role as a superpower of the world financial system. He stressed that German banks can cope with losses.

"Wall Street and the world will never again be the way they were before the crisis," said Steinbrueck in a speech to the German parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday, Sept. 25. Write-downs and write-offs of bad credit spawned by "a blind drive for double-digit profits" have so far totaled $550 billion and no end to the crisis is in sight, he added.

The world financial system will consequently become more "multi-polar," he predicted.

Steinbrueck told the Bundestag that the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers would be meeting in Washington next month to discuss how to tighten regulation of capital markets.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / World - US `will lose financial superpower status'

The US is poised to lose its role as a global financial "superpower" in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, German finance minister, said on Thursday as he called for a regulatory crackdown on financial markets.

"The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multipolar" with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament.

"The world will never be the same again."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
was more interesting...


US `will lose financial superpower status'

The US is poised to lose its role as a global financial "superpower" in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, German finance minister, said on Thursday as he called for a regulatory crackdown on financial markets.

"The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multipolar" with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament.

(...)

"Crisis management alone will not rebuild the lost confidence," he said. "We must civilise financial markets, and not just through moral appeals against excess and speculation. Self-regulation is no longer sufficient."

The US belief in "laisser-faire capitalism; the notion that markets should be as free as possible from regulation; these arguments were wrong and dangerous," he said. "This largely under-regulated system is collapsing today."

The US had failed in its oversight of investment banks, Mr Steinbrück said, adding that the crisis was an indictment of the US two-tier banking system and its "weak, divided financial oversight."

He pointed the finger at Washington for failing to take seriously proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, "elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans' know-better attitude."

... except that the older link now sends us to the new, tamer article...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:39:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US to Lose Financial Superpower Status: Germany - Economy * Europe * News * Story - CNBC.com

Germany blamed the United States on Thursday for spawning the global financial crisis with a blind drive for higher profits and said it would now have to accept greater market regulation and a loss of its financial superpower status.

AP

In some of the toughest language since the crisis threw Wall Street banks into financial disarray earlier this month, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck told parliament the turmoil would leave "deep marks" on both sides of the Atlantic, but called it primarily an American problem.

"The world will never be as it was before the crisis," Steinbrueck, a deputy leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), told the Bundestag lower house.

"The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system. The world financial system will become more multi-polar," he said.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Debt-Averse Germans Unlikely to Attract Sub-Prime Trouble | Business | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
Sub-prime mortgages are virtually unknown in Germany since home ownership rates are relatively low. Germans tend to be debt-averse and are required to put down more equity in financing a home purchase.

German politicians have criticized the US for failing to implement stringent controls on financial markets with many pointing out that the sub-prime mortgage crisis that felled Wall Street's venerable financial institutions week could not happen in Germany. They may have a point.

 

For one, experts say, the type of high risk lending practices that were exposed when the bubble burst in the US housing market a few years ago is more heavily regulated in Germany.

 

"The sub-prime market is virtually non-existent," said Elaine Kempson, director of the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU rules out US-style bailouts - EUobserver
"The situation we face here in Europe is less acute" than in the US, says the EU economy commissioner

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - There may be need for stricter financial monitoring worldwide, but in Europe in particular, US-style bank bailouts are not necessary at this stage, EU officials told MEPs on Wednesday (24 September).

Recent events in the financial sector are hurting the economy, as they are "of a magnitude that exceeds anything we have seen in our lifetime," EU economy commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.

However, referring to the recent decision by the US to buy $700 billion (€476 billion) of bad debt from banks and other financial institutions, he stressed that "the situation we face here in Europe is less acute and member states do not at this point consider that a US-style plan is needed."

"We are talking about a US plan, adapted for circumstances in the United States, where, it should be recalled, the crisis originated and where the financial sector has been most severely affected," the commissioner pointed out.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch Finance Expert: 'Europe Should Establish A Rescue Fund' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The credit crisis is not just an American problem. In Europe, too, banks could suddenly find themselves in trouble. Europe needs to find a way to handle this, argues ex-banker and finance professor Dolf van den Brink.

Dolf van den Brink is an experienced banker. He lived through the Latin American debt crisis, the currency crisis that hit the European Monetary Fund, the fall of the British pound in 1991, the Russian crisis of 1997 and the Asia flu in 1998. But he has never seen anything that compares with what is happening with the current financial markets crisis on Wall Street.

 "The last three weeks have been extraordinary," he says. "This is serious. We have been walking on the edge of a precipice."

Van den Brink, a former executive board member of Dutch multinational bank ABN Amro, is a professor of financial institutions at the University of Amsterdam. According to Van Brink, the European Union should establish a rescue fund for bad bank loans similar to the one being set up in the United States. This, he argues, would prevent big commercial banks in Europe from collapsing.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:28:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Azerbaijan diverts EU oil to Russia and Iran - EUobserver

Azerbaijan is sticking to plans to reduce oil exports to the EU and increase shipments to Russia and Iran, as the South Caucasus country - home to another Russia-influenced frozen conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh - seeks to spread risk.

In the immediate aftermath of the Georgian crisis Azerbaijan decided as a temporary move to reduce shipments through Europe's only direct import route from the energy-rich Caspian Sea - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline - and to increase exports to Russia.

President Aliyev (r) is hedging his bets between the EU and Russia

But Elhar Nasirov, vice-president of Socar, the Azeri state oil company, told the Financial Times on Thursday (25 September) that Azerbaijan would continue exporting oil to Russia and Iran even though shipments through Georgia had resumed, because of the increased risks in the Caucasus.

"We don't want to insult anyone ... but it's not good to have all your eggs in one basket, especially when the basket is very fragile," he said. Separately, Elmar Mammedyarov, the foreign minister, told the FT: "We are trying to be friends with everybody, at the same time as acting in accordance with our national interests."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a stupid title.
And it's wrong.

BTC pipeline: 1mb/d
Baku-Supsa (Georgian Black Sea): 150,000b/d
Baku-Novorossisk: 150-200,000b/d capacity

Maybe Socar, the Azeri state-owned company, is sending its share of the ACG oil (10% or thereabouts) to Russia, but the others are unlikely to do so, and cannot in any case, or simplt capacity constraints.

And even if they did, since when is Azeri oil "EU oil"???

Wankers

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:43:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latvian death penalty debate rumbles on - EUobserver

The head of the Latvian parliament's human rights committee has called for an EU-wide debate on reinstating the death penalty, as a new capital punishment debate has emerged in the country following the murder of a young girl.

"There is no death penalty in the EU but this is hypocrisy. Everyday unborn children are killed. Soldiers kill. The biggest religions in the world - Christianity, Judaism, Islam - allow the use of the death penalty in the case of certain crimes," Janis Smits told Polish daily Rzeczpospolita on Thursday (24 September).

Latvia - technically - can still execute people in war time

The MP - a Christian right-winger who in the past attracted Council of Europe criticism for taking part in anti-gay protests - is the latest in a line of high profile politicians to call for the reinstatement of capital punishment.

Earlier this month, Latvian justice minister Gaidis Berzins said on national radio that some crimes "require renewed debate on the suitability of not having capital punishment."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fuck off you barbarian twit. So there are a pile of primitive, brutal religions. Like we didn't know that.

<bangs head off wall>

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Path to power curbed for privileged pupils - Times Online

The finishing school of France's governing class is to lose its automatic access to top state jobs under a reform announced yesterday by the Government of President Sarkozy.

The measure is the first part of a move promised by Mr Sarkozy in his 2007 election campaign to end the near monopoly of the École Nationale d'Administration (ENA) over the levers of state power.

Mr Sarkozy, a longstanding foe of les énarques, as alumni of the small post-graduate college are known, has also pledged to shrink the institution and broaden its intake beyond the upper classes that dominate it.

"It is shocking that a competitive exam taken at the age of 25 can dictate your whole professional career," Mr Sarkozy said earlier this year.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not "privileged pupils", it's "brightest" (at least according to a narrow definition of "bright", ie succeeding at the ENA exams).

And what's announced is the elimination of the ranking of students, wehreby they get to choose in which administrative body they will go (like happens in most government - or military - schools) - this is unlikely to change the prestige of the various corps, and the fact that some mechanism of selection will be used to allocate the few seats they have each year.

As to the reputation of enarques going south, well duh. Just like finance dominating industry has brought us the 2008 Crash, administrators replacing engineers has brought us the same...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Competitive exams at the age of 25 are still more fair than being born in the proper neighbourhood at the age of 0, which is Sarkozy's main credential...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 08:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish Castration Plans for Pedophiles Angers Brussels | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
Plans drawn up by the Polish Ministry of Health to treat pedophiles with compulsory chemical castration by administering pills that lessen the libido have shocked EU parliamentarians. But there is little they can do.

In mid-September, the government issued a statement confirming that "work by ministers of health and justice on a draft law on obligatory chemical castration for pedophiles was nearing completion."

According to Polish media reports, the ministry plans to make the treatment compulsory for repeat offenders. The pills would reduce or eliminate sex drive by suppressing the production of testosterone.

"Our idea doesn't yet have the form of a law," ministry spokesman Jakub Golab told the daily Polska. "We're currently consulting with sexologists ... We want to bring it into effect as soon as possible."

In as little as one year, convicted pedophiles would also be fitted with electronic collars if they have a court order against going near their victims, Polska reported. If the collars are found effective, the Ministry of Justice will decide if they should be given to all pedophiles.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'An Unsuitable Instrument' for Sex Offenders: EU Politicians Angered By Polish Chemical Castration Plan - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wants to pass a law that would impose "chemical castration" on pedophiles. Politicians at the European Parliament in Brussels have raised their objections to the proposal, but there is little the EU can do to stop it.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk: "I want to introduce the toughest possible laws against criminals who rape children." At first it appeared to be just an overly emotional lapse in judgment on the part of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, but now it's official. The Polish government wants to pass a law that would force convicted pedophiles to be chemically castrated.

An incest case in the outskirts of the eastern Polish village of Grodzisk triggered the current debate. Police recently arrested a 45-year-old man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter for six years. His 21-year-old daughter claims she gave birth to two children sired by her father.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuck did we let these idiots into the EU again? Look, it's 1950, at not in a good way.

Now, how about some mandatory curing of homosexuals?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mind you, the ever charming evangelical christians in the DUP in the North have started pushing Creationism thanks to visits - and probably funding - from their US counterparts.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuck did we let these idiots into the EU again? Look, it's 1950, at not in a good way.

Ummh, aren't you Irish? Think of Ireland's policies circia a few years after joining the EU, hell, circa a couple decades after joining the EU. No divorce until about a decade ago, right?. Condoms first illegal, then at the end of the seventies sort of legal - by prescription only. And let's not even talk about abortion and gay rights. I'm also pretty sure there's been talk about chemical castration in France.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, the constitutional ban on abortion was a master stroke pulled in the waning years of the Church's power. What would happen in the US if you had to get people to vote in favour of abortion in a referendum to make it legal, eh?

We don't need the idiot wing in the centre or east encouraging the idiots here, thanks very much.                        

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gay rights?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:49:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Illegal until the early nineties, right?

I'm just saying, it takes time to catch up. If we were to follow your view with respect to Poland, Ireland wouldn't have been let in until about a decade or so ago, and that's assuming that the ongoing economic depression that would have meant didn't lead to more support for reactionary socal policies rather than less. Give us time.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold on, chemical castration isn't permanent. And it's not exactly two bricks either. and frankly if I was the parent of a child molested by one of these scumbags two bricks would be the least of their worries.

Now, speaking personally you may think there is some sort of equivalence in terms of society's views on homosexuality and paedophilia, but there is one difference that is unequivocal whatever your view of being gay. One is consensual and the other is not. And this isn't a power trip like rape, this is somebody who has a warped sexuality that cannot be changed. So how can society protect its children from these predators. And lets be clear these are predators, they trick, they blackmail, they kidnap and they kill.

Children !! They do this to children !!

Banging them up for a few years and then letting them out doesn't stop them. You can't lock them away for life, so what do you do ? Chemical castration can help in some cases, but by no means all.

I'll be honest. I don't know the answer. Sticking them on an island in the outer hebrides could work, but letting them walk the streets in eternal temptation scares the living shit out of me. These aren't people who might be tempted and we should restrain them in case, their arrest and punishment shows they can't control themselves and can never be trusted.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While this condition likely resulted from experiences in early childhood over which the only control they had was that of their reaction, if, amazingly, it occurred to a four to nine year old that they could react in anything but an automatic fashion, the fact remains that such sexual orientations are primal and highly resistant to change.  What is crooked cannot be made straight.

The alternatives are poor: 1- ignore the facts, provide "therapy" and hope for the best, (default solution in places;) 2- impose the death penalty and be done with it, (morally repugnant;) 3- impose lifetime imprisonment, (morally troubling and very expensive;)  4- attempt some other effective intervention, (e.g. chemical castration and electronic monitoring.)  The problem with 4 is that the chemical castration has to be ongoing and must be verified.  And even actual castration was not effective in suppressing sexuality amongst eunichs.  It just prevented pregnancy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:28:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These aren't people who might be tempted and we should restrain them in case, their arrest and punishment shows they can't control themselves and can never be trusted.

Isn't that the case for every criminal ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 08:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but with many acts of criminal behaviour, it is reformable. Although there are people such as sociopaths who we should control better.

Paedophiles seem unreformable, because their behaviour is wired into a sexual drive largely beyond reach, but their intent remains to rape children. So this isn't something an individual can protect themselves from, because we are talking about children who cannot protect themselves from such predation.

so, this is a unique type of crime from which society must organise an effective and ongoing defence.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the exact reasoning used by the "lock them up and throw away the key" proponents, and it is as faulty in this case as in the others.

Reprehensible Paedophilia - which is not the urge to rape children, but the acting upon that urge - is reformable. And for those upon which reform doesn't work, well, they'll quickly find themselves in jail for a very long time - like serial rapists, murderers, armed thieves, etc... Why a special treatment for the paedophiles ? Because of "think of the children" ? Please. I'm certain more lives are wasted in trauma because of car accidents than because of paedophiles "in the wild" (Not counting the paedophiles who act within the family, but who don't fit the predatory paedophile profile you are arguing about). Small children can't protect themselves from speeding cars either. Neither can I, btw.

The only result of the paedophilia scare is to make life much tougher on "minor" sexual offenders (exhibitionnists, the 19 yo kid with a 17 yo girlfriend...), who would have not "raped children".

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:44:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and those paedophilia scare (considering the actual, very low risk for a child to be raped by a predatory paedophile from outside the people close to him) are also very, very useful to implement a surveillance society with surveillance cameras, decreased defendants rights (shouted down by rallying to the absurd "victim's rights!"), and occupying the public opinion while more important matters are kept quite.

Hey, teaching young kids to be very distrustful of strangers is quite efficient in making sure solidarity and civilty become impossible.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there are two things to answer here.

1) We aren't talking about locking up and throwing away the key. I did say that I didn't know the answer but that the current situation was unsatisfactory because;-

ii) despite your glib assertion, padophila is not reformable. How do I know that ? The paedophiles themselves say so. It's not like giving up smoking or drugs, one day at a time I'm sober today type of thing. Sexuality happens at a lower drive and its compulsions are insidious and don't listen to reason.

No, I don't know what to do. But I really don't htink they should just be punished like it's shoplifting and then expected to go straight. It doesn't work like that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 03:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll find plenty of drug addicts who say they can't stop, as you can find paedophiles saying so. You'll also find many homosexuals only having heterosexual relationships (the reverse is less likely in our current society), plenty of people who actually never have sex. How can they repress their sexuality ?

Some paedophiles really can't repress themselves, and those, as I said, end up in jail. Most only abuse children close to them - and once that is know, and punished, the opportunity disappears, and they don't act again. And of course, actually spending resources on rehabilitation and reform, rather than media catching "chemical castration" with words that please the politicians - and the public - might be much more efficient.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 06:00:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MEPs keen to break up telecoms giants - EUobserver

The European Parliament has supported breaking up giant telecom firms and helping people switch mobile phone firm in a three-pronged legal package designed to deliver lower prices and offer greater protection to consumers.

On Wednesday (23 September), the chamber voted by 597 voices in favour of a plan to separate the network operations from the services operations of the large, previously publicly-owned telecommunications firms.

The parliament has taken on telecoms incumbent firms, breaking apart network maintenance from retail sales of services

Under the measures, national regulators would have the ability to split the dominant firms into two businesses - one that physically takes care of the phone lines and the other that sells the services, such as telephone calls or broadband internet, which use those lines. Although the two businesses would be separate units, they would remain within the same overall company.

The aim to prevent the dominant operator from giving preferential access to the network to its own retail services, instead of sharing them equally amongst all retail telecoms providers.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recommend deregulation, it works so well. Actually breaking up monopolies has worked so well to ensure that low prices are the rule for UK utilities.

Or actually that's cobblers. They're a cartel who fleece the consumer and all of this breaking stuff up is just a load of ideolgical nonsense from idiot neocons infesting european politics.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:15:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were some side-issues over privacy and IP, which were resolved in a halfway satisfactory manner.

The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » To do this weekend: ask your MEPs to vote for Telecom package amendments 133 and 138

Update (24/09/08): The votes are in. The bad news is that amendment 133 was rejected (watch this space for a link to a list of the MEPs who rejected it). But the good news is that amendment 138 was passed, with a last minute oral amendment. The European Parliament voted to adopt it in this form:

"applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the rights and freedoms of end-users, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, save when public security is threatened"

According to IP Integrity, this amendment to the Directive means that ISPs ability to impose restrictions on users' access to content will be limited.


The French government also tried to get some anti-piracy provisions in, but failed.

First reading, we'll have to see what the Council does now, and maybe some pressure will be called for on the second reading.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 06:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MEPs accuse anti-Treaty campaigner of US military backing - EUobserver
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, and Green group leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit have called for investigation of Irish anti-Lisbon Treaty group Libertas' funding, accusing Libertas leader Declan Ganley of links to the Pentagon. Ganley insists he loaned the group his own money.
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope they can prove that, because it would be nice to discredit that twerp.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austrian teens prepare for historic vote - International Herald Tribune

VIENNA, Austria: For her birthday, Nina Stanke gets 16 candles -- and one vote.

Austria makes history in the European Union on Sunday by becoming the first member of the 27-nation bloc to give 16-year-olds a voice in national elections. And Stanke, one of up to 200,000 eligible Austrian teenagers, isn't about to pass up this opportunity.

"Yes, I'm going to vote," Stanke, who turned 16 just this week, said on a recent afternoon as she chatted with friends outside her school in central Vienna.

Stanke has a slew of choices.

Following the collapse in July of the governing coalition between the center-left Social Democrats and the center-right People's Party, 10 parties have said they want to take a stab at ruling the Alpine republic. But only about half have a realistic chance of actually making it into parliament, where 183 seats are up for grabs.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Demonstrators in Berlin demand money for hospitals - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN: Some 135,000 health care workers from around Germany converged Thursday on Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, waving protest signs and banners demanding more government funds for hospitals and clinics.

Rudolf Koesters, president of the German Hospital Association, told the crowd that a third of German hospitals were in danger of going bankrupt amid rapid recent increases in energy costs, food prices and medical supplies.

"The German hospitals don't have the finances to cope with the surging costs in 2008 and 2009 without drastic help," Koesters told the crowd. Organizers had expected 70,000 people for the demonstration, but police said 135,000 showed up on a sunny fall day in the capital.

Beginning at three separate rally points, the protesters marched through the city, converging at the Brandenburg Gate for the demonstration under the motto "save the hospitals."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Church accused over short selling
The Church of England was facing charges of hypocrisy yesterday over its leaders' attack on short selling and debt trading after hedge funds pointed out it uses some of the same practices when investing its own assets.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church, said it was right to ban short selling, while John Sentamu, archbishop of York, called traders who cashed in on falling prices "bank robbers and asset strippers".

Hedge funds pointed to the willingness of the Church commissioners to lend foreign stock from their £5.5bn ($10.2bn) of investments - an essential support for short selling - and derided the pair for not understanding shorting.



A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The CoE lost huge bundles of cash from greedy and morally dubious trading in one of the other crashes of the last 20 years.

Just hypocrites really. Public piety, private greed. Talking about Jesus love, hating on teh gay.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:53:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Metrovacesa struggles to sell HSBC skyscraper
Metrovacesa, the Spanish property company, is struggling to find a partial sale for the HSBC skyscraper in London's Canary Wharf, with just weeks to go before a loan used to buy the building expires.

Goldman Sachs, which is advising the Spanish company, had been sounding out investors to buy part or all of the building.

Metrovacesa acquired it last summer from HSBC at the peak of the property boom for £1.1bn, making it Britain's most expensive building.

HSBC are shrewd - they got £1.1bn of cash in exchange for an overpriced building for which they would pay rent instead...

Metrovacesa was dumb, they bought the building on a 1-yr revolving loan which they're now finding hard to roll over.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dumb dumb dumb

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:53:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Parliament votes for tougher emissions targets - International Herald Tribune

BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers on Thursday proposed tougher-than-expected emissions targets for car manufacturers, dealing a blow to the German automobile industry.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been at the forefront of political efforts to modify a plan, put forward by the European Commission, that would penalize makers of larger and heavier vehicles, like Daimler and Porsche. Such cars produce higher levels of emissions than smaller models.

Automobile manufacturers also have waged an intense lobbying effort to win more time to adapt to stricter emissions standards.

[...]

On Thursday, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament backed important elements of the original proposal drafted by commission. The vote infuriated the car industry, which accused the committee of jeopardizing European jobs and manufacturing.

[...]

The measures await approval from the full Parliament, which could vote in mid-November, and from EU governments, which have called for a decision by the end of the year. Even so, the result is a setback for the car industry, which now must redouble its efforts to win concessions it had sought in the final version of the legislation.

On Thursday, the committee voted in favor of sticking to proposals mandating that the average new car should emit an average of 130 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2012, compared with a current European average 158 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

This counts as the day's good news, I guess. Sorta.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:46:05 AM EST
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