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by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 04:31:20 PM EST
Sarkozy intensifies anti-immigration rhetoric | Europe | DW.DE | 12.03.2012

French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has hardened his stance against immigration, claiming that France would exit Europe's open-border zone if the EU fails to clamp down on illegal immigration.

France will be the first country to suspend participation in the Schengen Area if no progress is made in curtailing illegal immigration in France, said incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy in front of cheering supporters at a Sunday campaign rally.

The gathering marked a key event in Sarkozy's presidential campaign, which with six weeks to go before polling day on April 22, has seen the incumbent's rhetoric focus more and more on immigration policy - much like his campaign five years ago, when he launched an anti-immigration drive in the run up to elections.

But Sunday's rally in Paris was the first time Sarkozy threatened action at the European level. Until now, his proposed action had been confined to France, with promises this time around to cut immigration by half during his five-year term.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaddafi 'contributed €50m to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election fund' | World news | The Guardian

Damaging new claims have emerged about the funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign and his links with former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged.

The French investigative website Mediapart claims to have seen a confidential note suggesting Gaddafi contributed up to €50m (£42m) to Sarkozy's election fund five years ago.

Similar allegations emerged a year ago when Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam claimed Libya helped finance the 2007 campaign and demanded the French president, who led the war on the Libyan leader, return the money.

In an interview with the Euronews TV channel, Saif al-Islam, who is currently being held in Libya after his father's defeat and death, threatened to make details of the bank transfers public after the French leader threw his weight behind opposition forces.

The latest allegations come at a crucial time for Sarkozy who is seeking a second term in office in a two-round election in under six weeks.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hahahaha...just great.
Here and there now we have it in the open who are people/politicians that are leading us (world wide). Scum!!!
No wonder that we are where we are...Oh if we can (God forbid) really see who they are and what they were and are doing (ruining our lives in the process) what exactly we could do anyway?
I am simply not voting as a matter of protest. Cause I do not want to choose between "two evils" and that's what we are pushed to do for a long time. Vote for less evil. Not any more for me.
They say "politic is a whore" and we have to accept all wrong doing because it's a politic. There are no honest people in politic. Ok but I am out of voting...do it without me.
People are either really too stupid or to busy with their own situations to even bother too much. They make their opinion about voting through TV and little talk with friends. But really there is not much choice there so people vote only on the bases of their "class". Some of them simply do not have real picture where they are standing (what "class" they actually belong to ,because of this credit madness). They sometimes find the truth about it when crises like tis kick...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 09:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, whilst it is always tempting to say that they're all as bad as each other or even that voting ultimately makes no difference, they're not and it does. Otherwise people all over the world would not be fighting and dying for the chance to do that which you so casually discard

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:01:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I doubt people all over the world are actually fighting and dying for the chance to vote for one of two nearly identical elite factions.

Still not voting is probably the most useless form of protest.

by generic on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What people are actually voting for is the chance to get rid of the bums without bloodshed by voting them out.

Violent revolution usually is either put down or results in replacing the old elite faction with a nearly identical elite faction anyway.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:29:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the exceptions which move us all forward.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe it's the interlude which moves us forward.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What people are actually votingfighting for

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 09:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What people are actually voting for is the chance to get rid of the bums without bloodshed by voting them out.

Yes and to replace them with other bums...it's so sickening.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's the best you can hope for. It's called incomplete information and not believing in the great men theory of history.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 04:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On this, the voters deserve a large part of the blame: for not looking closely (in particular at alternatives other than the biggest opposition party at the moment) and often making decisions on the basis of ridiculous whims (like "I would have a beer with him" or "he would be a nice son-in-law") and then not learning from the mistake the next time.

(The above was partly informed by my recent reading of an op-ed by a satirist I otherwise admire. He admitted outright of voting for Orbán's Fidesz in 2010 to get rid of the bums in power, then proceeded to trash Orbán's actions in government and claimed that he talked of none of this in the election campaign – yet all of those actions could have been foreseen.)

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

by DoDo on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 06:40:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, it's the elites' fault for not giving the poor, innocent voters, devoid of any agency or responsibility for their own actions, "proper" choices. Oh, and the media. It's the media's fault.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 06:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A person with a vote has agency, a person with a vote, a fortune, an ownership in media and easy access to politicians and other persons with fortunes and ownership of media has more agency. But searching for whose fault it is misses that it is a system.

I am leaning towards DiGondi's position that representative deomcracy is a oxymoron.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 09:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe that's why Sarkozy wants to close the borders, because he's afraid that people in the know will come over from Libya and tell on him...
by asdf on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and this morning there is one poll where he edges in front of Hollande in the first round, and this is making big headlines as to the inversion of the curves, and the campaign magic of Sarkozy at play again.

The media are desperate for a horserace and since it doesn't seem to be Sarkozy vs Le Pen for second, they're nurturing the fight for first place now. It's depressing.

But then I can't understand people, ven on the right, going for Sarkozy. There are perfectly decent alternative on the right available without needing to vote for the left if you can't do so.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:01:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Le Monde plays along with a lame interview of Sarkozy's hard-right-winger advisor/election guru Patrick Buisson, who claims that Sarkozy will "protect the weak" thanks to new borders.

Yuck.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't understand people, ven on the right, going for Sarkozy. There are perfectly decent alternative on the right

But Sarko is the not-yet-dethroned alpha male of the right.

You need to get your primatology on. :)

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and guess what: another poll today gives a radically different result: Hollande 30% (stable), Sarkozy 27% (-2%).

Sarkozy-Hollande: télescopage de sondages - Libération Sarkozy Holland: Polls collide - Liberation
Sauf que 18 heures plus tard, cet inversement de tendances est infirmé par une autre enquête d'opinion - également réalisée après Villepinte. Selon TNS-Sofres pour I-télé, non seulement Sarkozy est devancé au premier tour par le socialiste, à 26 contre 30%. Surtout, il perd deux points depuis le 27 février, alors que Hollande reste stable. De quoi embarasser certains sondeurs: «On est sur une science sociale, pas sur une vérité absolue, mais avoir deux orientations si différentes est embêtant», admet l'un d'eux, qui n'a travaillé sur aucune des enquêtes qui se télescopent aujourd'hui.Except that 18 hours later, this reversal of trend is dismissed by another opinion poll - also performed after the Villepinte meeting. According to TNS-Sofres for I-télé [TV channel], Sarkozy is not only behind the socialist in the first round, 26% vs. 30% [to Hollande]. On top of that, he loses two points since Feb. 27, while Holland is stable. Enough to embarrass some pollsters: "It is a social science, not an absolute truth, even though having two different orientations is rather annoying," admits one of them, who has not worked on any of the two polls that collided today.

Rather "embêtant" indeed for the polling outfits...

by Bernard on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 03:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IFOP has been polling the two much closer than the other polls for some time. It's all in the "cooking recipes" the pollsters use on the raw data.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 03:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nicolas Le Pen - WSJ.com

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ramped up the anti-immigrant rhetoric in recent days, telling a TV audience last week that France has "too many foreigners" and offering to cut the number of immigrants admitted to France by half should he be re-elected to a second term. Then on Sunday, before a monster rally in a stadium near Paris, he threatened to suspend France's participation in Schengen, Europe's internal borderless-travel zone, unless it is reformed to better keep out the great unwashed.

Even in France, it rarely gets more cynical than this. The attacks on immigration are an attempt to woo supporters of Marine Le Pen's xenophobic National Front ahead of the first-round poll on April 22. Mr. Sarkozy trails his Socialist rival, Francois Hollande, 29% to 27%, according to a recent poll for Paris Match magazine. Ms. Le Pen comes in third at 17%. Little wonder that's where the Sarkozy camp is now mining for votes.

by Bernard on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 01:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Hungary feels the heat under strengthened EU budget rules
Finance ministers are on Tuesday expected to approve the freezing of €495 million in funds for Hungary if Budapest fails to bring down its deficit in the coming six months. - the first such move under the EU's strengthened budget rules.

A large majority of member states is said to favour the two formal proposals: One giving Hungary a six-month deadline for "sufficient corrective measures" slashing budget spending by 0.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the other setting a funding freeze from 1 January 2013 if the deadline is not met.

According to a commission draft proposal tabled to finance ministers on 6 March and seen by this website, the Hungarian authorities "should put an end to the present excessive deficit situation by 2012." The paper sets 13 September as a deadline "to take effective action and to specify the measures that will be necessary to progress towards ensuring a durable correction of the excessive deficit."

If Budapest's actions are not deemed "sustainable" enough or if the deadline is not met, Hungary will be the first EU country to be sanctioned for excessive deficits under the strengthened budgetary discipline rules capping deficits at three percent of GDP.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:11:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair Trial At Risk: Report Slams Hungary's New Constitution - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The right to a fair trial is a cornerstone of democratic values, but it's one that is threatened by Hungary's new constitution, according to a report seen by SPIEGEL. The previously confidential document, written by the Council of Europe's legal advisory body, the Venice Commission, suggests that key points of the constitution flout not only European standards, but also put the right to fair trial in question.

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); "The reform as a whole threatens the independence of the judiciary," the 30-page document states.

The authors also sharply criticize the newly created Hungarian National Judicial Office (NJO). The new president of the NJO, elected by the parliament in December 2011, has the right to name judges, transfer them and to decide which cases they will be allowed to rule on.

"In no other member state of the Council of Europe are such important powers, including the power to select judges and senior office holders, vested in a single person," said representatives of the Council of Europe, an international organization and watchdog for human rights in a total of 47 member states in the European region.

The National Judicial Office president has "wide discretionary powers mainly not subject to judicial control," they added.

EU Taking Action

As soon as the parliament in Budapest has installed a leader, they have no ability to supervise that person. "The report is alarming," said Andreas Schwab, a member of the European Parliament with Germany's conservative Christian Democrats. "We are in discussions with our Hungarian colleagues about these shortcomings."

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For now the European Commission is still focused on the main EPP pre-occupation these days, the deficit, which might actually strengthen the Orbán government. The suspension of cohesion fund payments is opposed even by the Hungarian Socialists (a MEP spoke up against it, saying it punishes local governments, regions, enterprises and the population for the mistakes of the national government).

The Venice Commission is much better. It remains to be seen however whether its extensive criticisms (and the one seen by Spiegel is their fourth report on the legal changes if I counted right) will be a basis for a broader Commission action. It is also important whether more EPP MEPs will speak up and voice criticism. At least in Hungary: in recent days, Orbán and his minions again upped the rhetoric about the international leftist conspiracy that is supposed to be behind Hungary's troubles in the EU.

I don't expect Commission action on changes in labour law, of course. On this front, however, the local green party (LMP) launched five referendum initiatives, four of which went through the obligatory vetting and are in a phase of signature collection (I signed at a 10,000-strong protest of the unions on Saturday). The four referendum questions aim to:

  1. restore the right of employees to determine the timing of two thirds of their paid vacations;
  2. restore obligatory education until an age of 18 (the government wants to reduce it to 16);
  3. restore a limit of 100 days for probational employment (the government wants to double the time period for this form of employment with reduced labour rights);
  4. restore unemployment benefit payable for 260 days (the government cut it to just 90 days),

Of course, the LMP referendum initiative isn't opposed by Fidesz media only, but the neoliberals in opposition media, too... at least the party with the most neoliberal programme (that of formerly Socialist former PM Gyurcsány) had enough tactical clout to give its support.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radical Salafists on the rise in Germany | Germany | DW.DE | 11.03.2012

While right-wing terrorism is currently the focus of attention in Germany, the threat posed by religiously motivated extremism remains. Radical Salafists are considered especially dangerous.

"We have to understand that Islam is a religion of action, a religion of deeds. Each of us should know that paradise is the goal. So don't waste any time on your way to getting there." That is the message of Mohamed Mahmoud, a radical and previously convicted Islam convert active in Germany.

His message is aimed at the Salafist community in Germany, a movement emphasizing the earliest Muslims as model examples of Islamic practice - rejecting any modern changes to Muslim teachings. Salafists are the fastest growing group of Muslims in Germany, ranging from pious believers to radical followers.

Political Salafism is considered a breeding ground for radicalizing young Muslims and recent developments show that religiously motivated extremism remains a source of danger and concern.

"We are worried that known Salafists are traveling across Germany," says Mathilde Koller, head of the domestic intelligence agency in Germany's state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Teenagers and young people, she says, are the main targets as they are easily susceptible to radical teachings suggesting simple solutions for life.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:18:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh good grief, are we still here ? Or is this a group of people desperately fearing unemployment as rationality finally surfaces after a decade of madness

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:04:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trade unions organise mass rallies against labour law reforms - SPAIN - FRANCE 24

Hundreds of thousands of people in 60 cities across Spain took part Sunday in demonstrations called by the country's main trade unions to protest the government's tough new labor reforms and cutbacks.

The rallies are the unions' first trial of strength before a general strike called for March 29 to oppose the recently approved reforms and austerity measures.

Most gatherings were preceded by remembrance ceremonies that marked the eighth anniversary of the March 11, 2004 bombings that killed 191 people on Madrid's commuter rail system in Europe's worst Islamic terror attack.

The reforms, passed by decree last month and confirmed in Parliament Thursday, slash the cost of firing workers and ease conditions under which they can be dismissed.

"This is a reform that is not going to create jobs, so it is not justified," said demonstrator Marta Lois, 39, adding, "they are cutting our rights like never before."

The leaders of Workers Commissions and the General Workers Union, who jointly called the stoppage and Sunday's rallies, met before a large march in Madrid to call on the government to negotiate with them over the introduction of what they called "drastic" reforms.

Ignacio Fernandez Toxo of Workers Commission said the austerity package was so heavily tilted in favor of businesses that it made working conditions in Spain resemble those that existed under the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who ruled from 1939-1975.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:18:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Swiss vote 'no' to extra holidays - Europe - World - The Independent

Who turns down a long vacation? Known for their work ethic, Swiss citizens appear to be leading the way on European austerity, rejecting a minimum six weeks paid holiday a year.

Swiss polls closed yesterday on several national referendums, including one pushed by a union to raise the minimum holiday from four weeks to the standard used in Germany, Italy, Russia and other European nations.

The Swiss heeded warnings from government and business that more vacation would raise labor costs and put the economy at risk. Swiss public broadcaster SSR said two-thirds of voters and each of the nation's 26 cantons had rejected the measure, which required majority approval of all federal and cantonal voters.

"In rejecting the initiative, citizens have kept a sense of reality," said Hans-Ulrich Bigler, director of the Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts, which represents around 300,000 businesses. The referendum, he said in a statement, could have added 6 billion francs (£4bn) a year in labor costs to the Swiss economy, but the vote "clearly shows that the population continues to focus on individual freedom and responsibility of citizens."

But one initiative aimed at limiting the number of second homes in resort towns squeaked through with just more than 50 percent of the nationwide vote, according to SSR. The referendum, championed by environmental groups intent on keeping a lid on the use of natural resources and rising property prices, will be of particular interest to wealthy foreigners seeking a retreat in the Alpine nation.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another convenient myth.

Money laundering is not as hard as most people think.

by Euroliberal on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also here.
by Bernard on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Known for their work ethic, Swiss citizens appear to be leading the way on European austerity, rejecting a minimum six weeks paid holiday a year.

Virtue! Virtue!

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DutchNews.nl - European MPs work on motions condemning PVV anti-Pole website

Members of the European parliament are working on motions condemning a website set up by the anti-immigration PVV where people can complain about central and eastern Europeans, Dutch world service radio reports on Monday.

A draft version of one motion states the 'PVV hotline openly incites to discriminate against European Union workers from Central and Eastern European countries and is creating divisions between communities in the Dutch society'.

The motion calls on the 'European Council and the government of the Netherlands to formally condemn the PVV hotline since it undermines those rights as it is an affront to European values and principles'.

Refusal

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has repeatedly refused to condemn the website, saying it is a matter for the PVV alone. Rutte's minority government has a formal alliance with the PVV on economic policy and immigration.

The European parliament is due to debate the website on Tuesday, but it is unclear what, if any, status the motion has, the Volkskrant states.

The chairman of the European parliament Martin Schulz has already said the website is unacceptable.

by Nomad on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:18:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Members of the European parliament are working on motions condemning a website set up by the anti-immigration PVV where people can complain about central and eastern Europeans

BTW, where in Europe does PVV itself locate us? That is, does "Central" come up on that website, or only "Eastern", or not even that?

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:38:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Germany central europe is germany and everything to the east of Germany is eastern europe. (And in our hearts we think eastern germans are eastern europeans too).

Now do the dutch they still use the old definition were everything to the east of Germany is eastern Europe or does their eastern europe start at the dutch-german border?

Perhaps this website is an opportunity to complain at long least about all these moffen.

by IM on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps this website is an opportunity to complain at long least about all these moffen.

Or we can rehash the debates from 2006. This topic never gets old.

Apparently Prague is West of Vienna, and for people in the former Austria-Hungary they are Central Europe and the former Soviet Union is Eastern Europe.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:51:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a good, if probably not exhausting wikipedia article on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe

And I doubt the PVV want complaints about germans, austrians etc.

by IM on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:00:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this vision, too: European Watershed
It's perhaps not surprising but still fascinating to recognize national borders along the borders of river basins. Also, geopolitical units in the basins around seas.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:03:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought Europe extended over to the Ural mountains, which is not even on the map. "Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia" per Wikipedia.

According to that argument, the center of Europe is in Belarus somewhere...

by asdf on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read Geographical midpoint of Europe. Over the years, several calculations were made, the most recent put the center in Lithuania. Here are some of the historical centre points:

Note though that the westernmost on the above map is the geographical centre of the EU-25 (and Dresden is a mystery, while another early calculation result is missing, east of Prague).

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 03:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a naive American, I don't pretend to understand the nuances of this whole argument, but isn't it true that in the 19th century, Russia was fairly well integrated into the reset of Europe? My impression was that there was a fair amount of travel and communication between the centers of Europe--including Russia.
by asdf on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:11:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I don't get what you seem to be arguing against :-) All of the geographic center of Europe calculations took Russia's west-of-Urals part into account; I just pointed out that none of them arrived at a point in Belarus (your guess) but multiple ones, including the last best in lithuania, are fairly close.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, that's fine. As long as it's not Paris, or Belgium, or London!  :-)
by asdf on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A major European power for many centuries. Surely that would drag the centre down into Belarus, or even the Ukraine.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:13:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a major Asian (and earlier African) power at the same time, too...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for people in the former Austria-Hungary they are Central Europe and the former Soviet Union is Eastern Europe.

Central European self-identification has its roots in three past empires: Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A notion of Central Europe excluding Germany apparently arose towards the end of the Cold War in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, when intellectuals sought a separation from the Soviet Union by definition.

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:15:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
complain about the fact there are far too many dutch here in Paris.

They are poorly dressed, their language is painful to listen to, they send trainloads of pot-smuggling american tourists to undercut the local trade, they export outdated ideas like neo-liberalism, their beer is horrible stuff unfit for consumption and only exportable due to aformentioned outdated ideas on free trade, every time I fly through schipol a bag on average is stolen (feeding the local and historically improtant contraband trade) and did I mention that horrible language they speak?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:35:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In GermanyWest Germany central europe is germany and everything to the east of Germany is eastern europe. (And in our hearts we think eastern germans are eastern europeans too).

Corrected for you.

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

by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GermanyWest Germany

That's not a correction, that's pedantry :P

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:53:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but there is a east german attitude: "Prior to 1989 we Poland Hungary etc were in eastern europe. 1990 we joined western europe. They are still of course eastern europe.

But of course this is the old west german attitude.

by IM on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the east German attitude speaks of eastern Europe and western Europe, just East and West. (The Cold War division wasn't just a division of Europe; though the modern Western European notion of "Eastern Europe" has its origin in the Cold War.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When Hayek was writing "Road to Serfdom" it was quite clear he considered everything east and south of France to be Eastern Europe, and he wasn't writing in a way that suggested he thought this was a controversial point of view.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be quite surprising if true. In a search in a Google Books version, I find no mention of Eastern Europe, but I do find one mention of Central Europe in a section previously talking about " Danube Basin and South-Eastern Europe" and mentioning Czech and Hungarian miners in the previous half-sentence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:29:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's referring to not-the-West, I think. I don't know that he uses the phrase directly.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:32:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Central is not-the-West, too. Hayek himself is an Austrian, so he was certainly not unaware of the concept of Central Europe. In his infamous The Socialist Roots of Naziism treatise, I find him mentioning a WWI-time book advocating German imperialism, Mitteleuropa (= Central Europe) by Friedrich Naumann (whom Hayek falsely claims to have been a former Marxist and omits to mention that he was a guardian saint of German liberals).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did a search for "Central European", too, getting two more hits, though without countries named:
  • One where Hayek talks about using the instruments of economic policy to ruthlessly discriminate against national minorities,
  • Another where he accuses socialist parties of the region of establishing semi-military organisation that leads to totalitarianism.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 09:03:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And what about Germany? Switzerland? Are they still "central"?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course Merkel's bellybutton is the centre of the Universe...

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the website, the discussion is framed by classing people coming from "central and east Europe" (MOE in Dutch) - eight countries are meant with that, but these countires are not specifically listed. They hint at the countries which joined the EU since 2004. Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are specifically named - no wonder, the Netherlands has received most migrants from those countries.

In Dutch "MOElanders" (people from central and east European countries) is now practically a normal word.

Wilders seems in the need of a new scapegoat. The flow of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants has dried up, the Polish flux has risen steeply. True enough, in cities and villages there are local issues with the concentration of foreign workers packed together and plenty of fraudulent business schemes to extort workers for maximum profit. We've even seen a few cases of modern slavery, with people forced to pay for their own crappy accommodation.

by Nomad on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 09:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Q: What's the value of a contour integral around Western Europe?

A: Zero, because all the Poles are removable.

The old version was about WWII (or the partition of Poland):
Q: What't the value of a contour integral around Western Europe?

A: Zero, because there are no Poles.

Q: What's the value of a contour integral around Eastern Europe?

A: Zero, because there are Poles, but they are all removable.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 07:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yanis Varoufakis: What was it all for? The latest Greek Bailout-PSI in the Morning After's cold light
Europe's spectacular, but highly motivated, failure

...

Alas, instead of such a rational approach what we ended up with was a fallacy in search of a rationale; a complete separation of the process of providing liquidity and capital to the banks from that of writing down debt; a negotiation leading to an utterly unsustainable wholesale haircut for one country alone. The official sector is thus now exposed to half a trillion euros of loans to the european periphery, it has to keep printing mountains of new money that it channels, without rhyme or reason, to the banks (thus pushing them further into zombie territory) and, to boot, none of that has managed to make any appreciable dent into the vicious cycle that is deepening Europe's fault lines.

A spectacular failure indeed. Yet not an unmotivated one. Europe's banks have managed to unload their Greek bonds over a period of two years while, at the same time, receiving mountains of cash from the ECB to mop up any remaining losses. Greece's bankers are to receive €25 billion (and counting) of EFSF-sourced capital without having to forfeit an iota of voting power to the official sector (for at least three years). Even hedge funds have not suffered, indeed some will end up with significant gains: the new bonds issued by the Greek state, despite being stressed, will compensate them for the low, low prices they bought the old bonds at and, in addition, will be able to claim CDS proceeds plus several cases of full payment of the old bonds (as a result of skilful strategic holdouts).

In the cold light of the Morning After, Europe looks sad, rueful, dejected. The citizens of the surplus countries feel shortchanged, their deficit country brethren crushed under the weight of hopeless austerity, the winds of recession blowing a cold chill across the continent. Meanwhile the financial sector can enjoy its new delivery of fools' gold. Why fools'? Because every smart parasite ought to know that, if it overdoes it, its own demise will follow the death of an overcompliant host.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 07:31:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The facts of the flows of funds to the very financial sector that created the problem at the expense of the people and without solving the problem clearly demonstrates who is in control in Europe - the financial sector, just as much as in the USA, albeit in a different form. I can only hope that elections make more of a difference on this pivotal issue in Europe than they have in 2008 and look likely to have in 2012 in the USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 08:35:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where do you find that hope?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 09:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hope springs eternal in the human breast.
Man n'er is but is always to be blest.   A. Pope

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 01:28:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Eurozone sets itself up for the next crisis, with the decision to force Spain to accept even more austerity
The eurogroup set a new deficit target for Spain, of 5.3% of GDP, forcing the Spanish government to make additional adjustments of 0.5%; Luis de Guindos has accepted the new programme, which also includes bringing forward new mechanism to control budgetary overshoots in the autonomous regions; the FT says the new programme would force Spain to make a similarly radical adjustment as Greece, Portugal and Ireland; El Pais said the eurozone prioritised its own credibility over the concerns of an economic in recession with 5m unemployed; says Spain was too big to fail, too big to be rescued, and too large to ignore; the eurogroup takes the political decision to accept the Greek programme; Evangelos Venizelos says the Greek budgetary adjustment programme will continue irrespective of what happens in the elections; Ifo institute says Bangladesh is on course to overtake Greece in terms of purchasing-power adjusted GDP; a German law firm is preparing a class action suit against Greek banks, and the Greek government; Vitor Gaspar said expectations that Portugal was next to require another bailout were groundless; Thomas Mayer says that Portugal's double-digit bond yields suggest that another programme is likely in the summer; Jens Weidmann asks the ECB to adopt a strategy to withdraw from the non-standard measures; a first opinion poll has Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of Francois Hollande in the first round of the French presidential elections, with the gap in the second round down to 54.5% against 45.5%; a news report suggests that Hermann van Rompuy is sounding out Mario Monti as chairman of the eurogroup; Paul de Grauwe, meanwhile, says the LTRO won't work.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:19:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUObserver: Spain gets concession on budget deficit
"We are highly concerned by the high unemployment and increasing poverty, but we agreed Spain will stick to the 3 percent target in 2013, which is more important than the avenues chosen in 2012," Juncker explained.
To be fair, he's just the spokesperson for a group of 17 no less ass-holy people.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:39:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we knew that already.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:48:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you're being strangled, you can't utter your safeword.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"And, has thou slain the Deficit Monster?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That.Is.Creepy!
by Euroliberal on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:02:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That.is.Christian.Democracy

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:12:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paul de Grauwe: ECB intervention is the only way to end the crisis (March 12, 2012)
True enough, when the ECB intervenes directly in the bond markets, moral hazard risk is created because governments may have fewer incentives to reduce budget deficits. However, this risk has been reduced significantly in the new institutional environment, which gives considerable power to the European Commission to impose austerity programmes. It is a power the Commission has happily embraced to impose excessive austerity in the eurozone and to drive it into a recession.

...

As a result, the sovereign debt crisis will explode again, forcing the ECB to make hard choices. Either it will stick to its indirect LTRO approach, giving cheap money to trembling banks with all the problems this entails. Or the ECB will become pragmatic and intervene directly with a steady hand in the government bond markets.

...

It would help if these German opponents liberated themselves from the damaging dogma that it is a sin to create liquidity to buy government bonds when these bonds appear on the ECB's balance sheet - while believing that the same operation is virtuous when these bonds appear on the balance sheets of banks.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:51:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 04:51:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: EU close to Greece bail-out deal, officials say (13 March 2010)
Its deficit is more than four times higher than eurozone rules allow. Austerity measures aimed at reducing it have provoked public anger. The crisis has also undermined the euro.

...

Alongside the relief package, the commission is working on tougher rules to monitor fiscal discipline among eurozone countries, said Olli Rehn, the commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.

"The Greek case is a potential turning point for the eurozone," he told the Guardian newspaper, adding that failure would "do serious and maybe permanent damage to the credibility of the European Union".

...

Greece's austerity measures have sparked protests and nationwide strikes.

...

Greece has pledged to reduce its deficit from 12.7% to 8.7% during 2010. Its long-term plan aims to cut the budget shortfall drastically, to less than 3% by 2012.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 05:30:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rebekah Brooks among six arrested in phone-hacking investigation | Media | guardian.co.uk

Rebekah Brooks is among six people arrested by Scotland Yard detectives on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, as part of the investigation into phone hacking.

The former News International chief executive was arrested at her home in Oxfordshire by detectives from Operation Weeting. Sources also said that her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, was arrested.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 08:42:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rebekah Brooks has apparently contracted a woman to be a surrogate mother with a delivery date in early autumn. Some are suggesting that this baby is a prison prevention ploy

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Telegraph it has already been born.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:09:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was quick.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:53:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What was? The arrest? The baby? The Telegraph reporting it? The horse?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The baby. Scheduled for autumn, and then the deadline was moved (beacuse of the arrest I reccon) so they delivered it just-in-time.

Just trying to keep up with the Pythonesque developments.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 11:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they contracted three surrogate mothers for three months (an old IT technique that).

Alternatively, was the surrogate mother a policewoman on loan from the Met?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 12:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horse trading at the Met :

Leveson inquiry: Dick Fedorcio, Sara Cheesley - live | Media | guardian.co.uk

Fedorcio is asked about a work placement his son had at the Sun in 2003 and 2004.

He spent time on the Bizarre showbusiness desk, the newsdesk and Sun Online.

In 2007, after his son left university, another work experience stint was arranged.

Fedorcio says his son aranged this second stint himself.

Jay points out that the timing was close to the loan of the horse. "Was it, to put bluntly, a question of favours being called here?" he asks.

Fedorcio denies this was the case and says it is not fair to characterise it as "incestuous". He says the timing of the loan and his son's work experience is coincidental.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just as "truth has a liberal bias," it seems that "coincidence favors the powerful."

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 12:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Netherlands:


The Socialist Party of Emile Roemer is once again the country's biggest party, overtaking the pro-business VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, according to a weekly opinion poll.

In the weekly survey conducted by Maurice de Hond, the SP now would have 32 seats in parliament, whereas the VVD would to drop to 30. In January the SP also emerged as the biggest party in the survey. Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer was rated 6.8, a record figure his predecessor Jan Marijnissen had obtained ten years ago.

Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders is the only politician to see his popularity drop since December, the last time the survey gauged politicians' popularity ratings. Mr Wilders' rating now stands at 4.4, down from 4.7.

Unlike in France, the Socialist Party in the Netherlands is a real left party.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 10:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if only these poll results would be maintained until the next election rather than be stolen by some right-wing populist, unlike last time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 13th, 2012 at 03:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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