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Moving left = against 'reform' = bad

by Jerome a Paris Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 03:13:28 AM EST

Munchau is at it again:


Berlin should take note of French reforms

Looking beyond this economic cycle, I am not sure Germany is heading in the right direction. Take energy policy. Despite the high oil price and global warming, Germany remains committed to phasing out most of its nuclear power during the next decade. The 2009 federal election is probably the last chance to reverse the policy.

Nor is there any appetite to liberalise an incumbent-friendly corporate governance system. The banking sector remains woefully unconsolidated. The government has even tried to intimidate the European Commission into not challenging the latest version of the Volkswagen law, which protects the company against hostile takeovers. Germany also remains deeply hostile to full liberalisation of the EU service sector.

'reform' = nuclear energy, locust-friendly corporations, banks that don't know their customers.


The country is in the middle of a secular shift to the left. I do not mean this in purely psephological way. The Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel and their Bavarian sister party will probably remain the strongest group in parliament at the next election. The shift is taking place within parties - and across the centre-left spectrum.

(...)

In the short run, the most likely alternatives are a repeat of the grand coalition - bringing another four years of gridlock - or a coalition of the left, which would mean four years of anti-reform. I see no constellation that would produce sensible economic policies in the long run.

The left = anti-reform = not sensible.


So Germany, from a position of relative strength, is moving in the wrong direction. France, by contrast, is moving from a much weaker position but it is heading the correct way.

Both are doing badly, as usual.

The left is the root of all evil. Hey, it's easy to be a columnist - when you have nothing to say, bash the left.


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Interesting. I thought that this anti-reform demagoguery is a Hungarian speciality (from 1985 onwards). Try to brainwash the society with "reform". It is a jolly good neutral term.  
by Dr Minorka on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 09:29:47 AM EST
Hungary was on the IMF lifeline already in the eighties. Already in the seventies, the Party sent young cadres to study monetarist economics abroad (Medgyessy, Németh), others learnt that at home in the Ministry but got 'practice' in Western banks just after the Changes (including Matolcsy, Járai). So the local usage of "reforms" is very much the result of the global neoliberal push.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 10:23:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, that abuse of the word "reform" seeems to be quite widespread around Europe and elsewhere, and it is one of the topics that European Tribune focuses on - the change in the meaning of words like this one (such as "freedom", "growth", etc...) driven by ideologues and invading public discourse via a passive or complicit media.

We'd certainly be interested to hear more about examples from Hungary or other countries you know.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 10:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm beginning to think we need to adopt this language, though...reform is quite a strong word in our world today. People want a change, and reform, as a word, expresses that change quite powerfully.

And it doesn't necessarily require that the content of the word be neo-liberal in substance.

In fact, in the face of resource scarcity, global climate change, and coming demographic challenges, there is no other way to address mankind's future than with socialism, to expropriate another powerful meme.

And what is socialism, in today's world, if not a fundamental reform of our present inefficient, unjust, inegalitarian and increasingly inhumane social organization?

The mantle of reform affirms that we look forward, not backward, which is why the mantle of reform is one which, objectively, will fit us more than it does the neo-liberals, who essentially want to send us back to the 19th century social organization once again.

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

by r------ on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 04:13:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Comments - Moving left = against 'reform' = bad
I am not sure Germany is heading in the right direction. Take energy policy. Despite the high oil price and global warming, Germany remains committed to phasing out most of its nuclear power during the next decade. The 2009 federal election is probably the last chance to reverse the policy.

I am not sure whether Münchau considers the expansion of renewables in Germany

  1. a move in the wrong direction,
  2. is ignorant of it,
  3. still sees it as incapable of delivering a significant part.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 10:31:07 AM EST
Aren't you for nuclear?

I agree with him, for a change, on this particular point. It was quite stupid to make the decision to phase out nuclear in the BRD. Such a decision simply means, cetera paribus, more coal-fired plants.

Pick your poison, I guess, but coal is demonstrably quite a bad one.

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

by r------ on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 04:07:31 PM EST
Such a decision simply means, cetera paribus, more coal-fired plants.

For the thousandth time: no. Only in the  market share maintaining wet dreams of the companies that today run nuclear and coal.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 01:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can agree to disagree on this.

I simply note that quite a few coal-fired plants are being built, all the while the politicians bellyache about phasing out nuclear.

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

by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, they are NOT being built. Quite a few coal-fired plants are announced as plans, but as I noted to Martin, quite a few of those have already been cancelled, with the excuse of too high costs, planning problems, or local protests.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, those plants mentioned in your one-year-old article are market share maintaining wet dreams. I counted six cancellations/indefinite delays just in the timespan since that linked article was published.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, good.

They're not mothballing nuclear plants like the Greens were havign them do either though, right?

Think how much more energy independant Europe would be if the rest of you left AREVA build a bunch more for you. I bet they give volume discounts.

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

by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not mothballing nuclear plants like the Greens were havign them do either though, right?

Nope. Two have been mothballed so far (one in 2003, one in 2005), four more are due by 2009.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of energy independence, with 100% imported fuel, nuclear is none.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:37:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not true. There are deposits in the EU. I believe both Spain and Portugal, Portugal for sure.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are deposits in a few other places too, but all of them aren't mined. (I don't wonder why.)

I still prefer renewables for energy independence. (On which front in Germany, solar cells are becoming a serious contributor alongside wind - another 1100 MW added last year, with further growth possible now that the silicon production bottleneck was solved.)

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

by DoDo on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:51:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get me wrong, I do too.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 03:09:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and also, you should have your local politicians contact Jerome for wind farm construction advice too while they're at it.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 02:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Libé, le Figaro and Le Monde this morning:


The 4 biggest French energy companies publicly supporting wind power and saying they will continue to diversify their sources and invest in that sector.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 03:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's beautiful.

I also find this picture a picture of progress itself, and the modern windmill is really quite beautiful itself as well.

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

by r------ on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 03:20:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the best part is that this isn't a photo-montage: this must be one of the two wind farms (with identical wind turbine type) directly adjacent to the TGV Atlantique South of Chartres which I saw last year.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 4th, 2008 at 04:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't Areva still larger than Poweo ? (Or maybe it doesn't count as an energy company. Or maybe it doesn't do wind, possibly.)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:55:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Areva isn't a utility, is it?

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 Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:56:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

and also, you should have your local politicians contact Jerome for wind farm construction advice too while they're at it.

Quick bit of history needed here.  Germany has already installed some 22,000 MWs of windpower, and German developers have installed many more thousands around the world.  While France's current growth and program are admirable, as far as skill and infrastructure go, they're not yet in the Bundesliga.

In fact, if the comment was addressed to DoDo, there are already German companies with subsidiaries in Hungary developing projects, and every other new Euro country as well.  Of course they use local people, and are training them.  Part of the German Brand:

Renewables: Made in Germany

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 03:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is at 1,400 MW per year, and France at 800-1,000 MW. Of course, almost nothing is manufactured in France.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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