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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 7 October

by afew Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 04:20:44 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1571 – At the last major battle fought between galley fleets, the Battle of Lepanto, the Holy League destroys the Turkish fleet.

More here and here

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:05:32 PM EST
Let's shut the power stations down | Presseurop (English)

Of course, a nuclear power plant is no car. It is far more complex, designed to work for 40 years, and, where possible and at plants run by operators with a high awareness of safety, it is continuously upgraded. Nevertheless, a nuclear power plant, such as the plants of the first generation of reactors developed in the EU in the 60s and hooked up to the grid in the 70s, does have something in common with a VW Beetle: the cost of modernising one to meet modern standards and be eligible for approval today is nowhere near reasonable. Like the Beetle, the old reactors deserve to end up on the scrapheap.

Retro-fitting, and not a gradual shut-down, however, is apparently the strategy the European Commission is pursuing to preserve the big nuclear power plants in the Union. The astonishing conclusion that Commissioner Guenther Oettinger draws from the nuclear power plant stress tests carried out in the wake of Fukushima is that the safety of the plants was "generally high", and could be brought up to current standards at a cost of 30 to 200 million euros per reactor.

This is in tune with the tired old song of the EU, which ever since its inception has seen itself as a vehement proponent of nuclear power, unswerving in its faith even after (near-) disasters such as Harrisburg, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Oettinger's interpretation of the stress tests for the 134 reactors that the Commission's experts examined is thus explainable, but not understandable. At practically every plant they uncovered security flaws - and this without trying to assess them for new threats such as terrorist attacks or cyber attacks - and some EU Member States dragged their feet before allowing the nuclear experts sent by Brussels access to the reactors and the data. The stress test was only a "stress-test-lite". Even so, plenty of shortcomings were exposed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keeping in mind the fact that there are tens of thousands of antique VW enthusiasts who are offended by the suggestion that their prized vehicles should be put on the scrap heap...

by asdf on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 07:24:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he was saying that there's a high cost for doing this...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:16:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The comparison also suggests that the preservation of nuclear power is, for the current generation of our elites, more of an enthusiast's obsession than a value-for-money economic solution.

I think they were teenagers who became enthused by the hype of clean technological power, it was presented as the "solution to every possible problem" and they believed every word. Now, in their dotage, it remains an unchallengeable cornerstone of their ideology to be preserved at any price and beyond all reason

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:34:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And undeniably, that Beetle is less safe than modern cars. Sooner or later, they require exemptions from current safety standards.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 03:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I repeat: high costs.

That is the only argument that will bite.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 05:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - David Cameron 'would veto' EU budget

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would veto a new European Union budget "if necessary".

The EU is beginning negotiations on its next budget for 2014 to 2020.

Mr Cameron also told the BBC that in the longer term the EU should have two different budgets - one for countries in the eurozone and one for those outside the single currency.

Last year Mr Cameron vetoed an EU-wide treaty to co-ordinate budget policies and impose penalties on rule-breakers.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, on the first day of the Conservative Party conference, Mr Cameron said experience showed that "people in Europe know I mean what I say".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament committee approves plans for EU budget rise for 2013: theparliament.com
Parliament's budgets committee has, as expected, given its blessing to an approximate 6.8 per cent rise in the EU budget for 2013.

MEPs in the committee on Thursday voted through the commission spending priorities for 2013 and accepted the executive's argument that it needed the rise to pay for existing commitments.

However, this puts both parliament and commission on a collision course with national governments who called for either a cut in the budget or, as in the case of the UK, a freeze in spending.

Earlier this year, commission president José Manuel Barroso wrote to member states complaining about attempts, led by Germany and France, to cut next year's budget.

In the letter, Barroso said, "The cuts would affect regions, researchers and SMEs with the risk that they would then be starved of finance."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This illustrates how vital it is that the Eurozone should have its own parliament.

Intergovernmentality will be the death of us.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 03:56:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It illustrates how vital it is that a parliament gets sovereign spending rights for the eurozone. Making it the current EP would work - at least I think so - despite having members outside the eurozone too.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:44:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a measure of urgency, I think that a special sitting of Eurozone-only MPs would be acceptable. But as a matter of democratic accountability, I think it's vital that we should elect our representatives to the Eurozone parliament, on the basis of their policies for the Eurozone.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:56:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From today's Eurointelligence (linked above)
The FT reported over the weekend that David Cameron will block the EU budget, favouring separate budgets for the eurozone and the EU. The article quoted an unnamed British official as saying that the idea was gathering momentum because it allowed the base EU budget to remain stable, with extra funding from the eurozone for the eurozone. Another official is quoted as saying that Cameron would be delighted to veto an increase in the budget, as this would secure him a hero's return.

Reuters reports that at a private dinner among the EU ambassadors of several northern European countries, including Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland, there seemed to be a consensus in favour of a split budget.

(This idea does not surprise us, and is very likely to prevail. The financial needs of a tightly integrated monetary union are of a completely different order of magnitude than what can be provided by the EU budget, which has no macroeconomic relevance whatsoever - which is why we don't usually cover it here. The inevitability of separate budgets is one of several reasons why the eurozone is not sustainable as a club within the EU, but is likely to develop an organisation that will supersede the EU in the long run.)

(My emphasis)

In a Russian doll kind of way, the Eurozone may end up being to the EU what the EU is to the EEA.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron warns Britons to expect more budget cuts | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britain will have to keep cutting public spending to reduce the budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, underlining the government's tough task of pulling the country out of recession while winning back waning public support.

Cameron cited the euro zone crisis in explaining the problems facing the British economy, comments which are likely to please the influential euroskeptic wing of his Conservatives as they gather for the party's annual conference.

"It is a very challenging situation, you only have to switch on your television set and look at what is happening in the euro zone. We have got many countries going into quite a deep recession, these are very difficult times," Cameron said.

An aide said the government was paving the way for the next phase of austerity rather than signaling bigger than planned measures, but economists say longer or deeper cuts look likely after a return to recession cast doubt over its deficit targets.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently the banksters demand more sacrifice.

Those who did not create the problem must be punished yet again for the sins of their betters

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - BAE-EADS merger: France and Germany 'must reduce stake'

France and Germany must reduce their stakes in defence firm EADS if the UK is to allow a proposed merger with BAE Systems to go ahead, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

Mr Hammond told the BBC this was a "red line" issue for the UK.

He said the government was willing to use its golden share in BAE, which allows it to block any change in control of the UK-listed company.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:35:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mixed response to relaunch of EU's single market: theparliament.com
A fresh attempt by the commission to relaunch the single market in Europe has met with a mixed response.

The 'Single Market Act', launched on Wednesday, aims to plug gaps and press national governments to fully implement the commitments that they signed up.

The 'Act' was originally the brainchild of MEPs which was taken up by the commission when it was formally launched in April 2011, with 12 "levers for growth".

Now, the commission has followed up with a second wave of 12 proposals for integrating transport and energy networks, fostering cross-border mobility and supporting the digital economy.

Key actions include opening domestic rail services to competition from across the EU and not requiring goods transported into EU seaports to be subjected to the same formalities as goods arriving from outside the single market.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheap labour feeding a city | Presseurop (English)

The slaughterhouses of Anderlecht often use an Eastern European workforce - mainly Romanian - that is underpaid and without a contract. A problem that is linked to their vulnerability and economic imbalances between member states, writes De Standaard.

There is a rather unpleasant smell present in the slaughterhouses in Anderlecht, Belgium. Not the odour of offal, but one of exploitation and social dumping. Some of the women working there earn just six euros an hour.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel to face protests on first crisis visit to Greece | Reuters

(Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will tell Greeks she wants to keep their country in the euro when she visits Athens this week, but she faces a hostile reception from a people worn down by years of austerity and recession.

Many Greeks blame Merkel, who has publicly chastised them for much of the past three years, for the nation's plight. Opponents, some of whom have caricatured her as a bullying Nazi, have promised protests on Tuesday during her first visit to Greece since the euro zone crisis erupted there in 2009.

"She does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system," said Alexis Tsipras, who leads the opposition Syriza alliance. "We will give her the welcome she deserves."

About 6,000 policemen will be deployed in the capital for her 6-hour visit, turning the city center into a no-go zone for protest marches planned by labor unions and opposition parties.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your own Willard is coming to view her subjects. How wonderful for you all.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 06:32:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB's Coeure Says Euro Economy Will Grow Again in 2013: Delo - Bloomberg

European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said the euro-area economy will return to growth next year, Slovenia's Delo newspaper reported, citing an interview.

"Economic growth will come back in the course of 2013," Coeure was quoted as saying. "At first it will be slow. It will then accelerate gradually, thanks to reforms."

They call it la Méthode Coeuré.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: EU is headed for a dual budget (08.10.2012)
David Cameron is reported as threatening a veto of EU budget; FT quotes diplomats as saying that the idea of a dual budget, for the EU and eurozone, is gathering momentum; a Reuters report says the idea is also gathering support in other northern European states; as many as 20 French Socialists could vote against the fiscal pact, thus depriving Francois Hollande of his own majority; the fiscal pact itself is not in doubt, as opposition will support it; the French media are looking back in amazement how an online campaign by entrepreneurs succeeded in only a few days to overturn the threatened capital gains tax increase; protesters are gearing up for Angela Merkel's first visit to Athens during the crisis; the Greek finance ministry has set up a committee charged at determining Greece's total World War II claims against Germany; the leaders of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta have come out in support of a banking union ready for January 2012; the issue of legacy assets will be addressed by the eurogroup in its meeting today; Charlemagne says Mariano Rajoy is having to deal with two simultaneous crises; there is more confusion, some deliberate, on whether Spain will, or will not, apply for a rescue; a Spanish banker raises doubt on whether there will be enough private sector contributions to Spain's bad bank - which would have serious fiscal consequences; French bank Natixis precipitated the bankruptcy of two large Spanish real-estate investment funds; at its annual conference, the Northern League mounted a massive attack on Mario Monti's government; Francesco Giavazzi says Italy has a very long way to go: one priority must be to break up Italy's corporatism; Fabio Scacciavillani argues that Italy is very much like Greece;  Eugenio Scalfari says the Italian electoral decisions will have huge ramifications for both the country, and the eurozone; Frankfurter Allgmeine has recognised the existence of post-monetarist economics; Thomas Mayer explains why the OMT is not inflationary; Wolfgang Münchau, meanwhile, says Spain is now following exactly the same fiscal path as Greece, a path of unsustainable debt reduction


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking back in wonder

French newspapers editorials and blogs today are looking back to the big political surprise last week, how, within days, a campaign of entrepreneurs forced a government U-turn on a capital tax plan. in his blog for Les Echos Dominique Seux came out in favour of the campaign. It only took a few days of intense online campaigning from a collective of web entrepreneurs for the French government to repeal a measure nobody had thought particularly shocking, and which was at the centre of François Hollande's presidential programme, the pledge to bring capital gains tax (currently 19%) in line with income tax, with a progressive tax up to 45% for entrepreneurs selling their company. The Guardian retells their story, how the so-called "Les Pigeon" movement used Facebook successfully to defend entrepreneurs' rights.  

Any French comment?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:46:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not French, but the phenomenon of how "tech entrepreneurs" have helped shift the Overton window in the favour of the rich is worldwide...

And for me, it's not good...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:00:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting that you can have an online campaign by a few entrepreneurs and columnists/bloggers and force a U-turn on a basic electoral plank of the government, and yet you can have thousands of people protesting on the streets week in, week out (and with their own social media presence and some support by traditional media comment) an that achieves nothing.

I am reminded of Roosevelt's "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

Does this mean that Hollande didn't actually want to introduce a capital gains tax? Does it mean that Zapatero (let alone Rajoy) didn't want to accede to any of the indignados' policy demands?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two words: class war.

How is it not obvious that this is happening?

The right has somehow managed to associate the concept with stubbly leather-clad Marxist freaks.

But the reality is that this has nothing to do with austerity or even economics, and everything to do with a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise and abuse the 99%, and to dismantle the safety nets and redistributive policies that the rich apparently hate having to contribute to.

Worse, it's not even as if the current 1% have any interest in public philanthropy.

The Victorians built libraries, Town Halls and colleges. The current 1% just hoard their money and spend it on overpriced 'luxury' tat.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rich v Poor, but not necessarily inherited privilege v disadvantaged. We have enough sportspeople, celebrities, media functionaries, dealers, comedians and footballers these days who emerged from disadvantage to create their own concepts of privilege.

Liars and Empathisers, or Thieves and Victims could also be substituted for these classes.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not class warfare, species warfare. The wealthy don't look upon the rest of us as if we're the same species; we're a crop to be harvested ... and most people act like it so why not.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:11:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really know enough about Hollande or Zapatero to say, but I think there are a bunch of issues here.

  1. As TBG says, class war. There is always much more commitment to elite benefit policies.

  2. As I noted, recently I've been doing some research into new UK health reforms - and what's clear from the story of the development of the legislation is that the civil service is utterly captured by neo-liberal viewpoints. In the UK (not sure about France, Spain) this is a big deal because they are the implementers and details writers of any legislation. If they are against it, ministers will hear daily arguments.

  3. This blog is revealing about the detail of how UK Treasury policy was processed for a long time:

http://dpmcbride.tumblr.com/post/19717319716/at-half-time-in-last-nights-arsenal-game-i-was

This complements what I was saying above about multiple opportunities for rebuttal...

4) Years of neoliberal propaganda condition our politicians to believe the stuff these people were saying. And not to believe what indignados were saying.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The civil service is captured by neoliberal dogma because academic economics teaches the drivel and has done so for 30 years.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French comment: merdre foutre merdre encore

This is all part of the campaign, since Sarko was thrown out, to paint the rich as victims. Entrepreneurs are unloved and depressed (Parisot, head of employers' union MEDEF). The wealthy are voting with their feet (Bernard Arnault wants to become Belgian). And the pigeons (= patsies in popular language) are so hard-done-to they are all off to London.

These are not ultra-liberal little wankers who hope to pump some steam into a hot dot com and sell for a fortune, no no no.

The problem is the government have just shown they will cave when faced with opposition of no great importance to the majority of people (meaning most people are not fooled by this campaign even if they are taking any notice). Which means either Hollande & Cie are pusillanimous creeps, or they're sold out in advance. I can't tell which, and anyway practically speaking it will boil down to the same: they won't really re-establish any fiscal equity.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:18:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the government have just shown they will cave when faced with opposition of no great importance to the majority of people (meaning most people are not fooled by this campaign even if they are taking any notice)

So, what does that tell the majority of people about political representation?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:55:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh? In a post-post-modern media society?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:06:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The majority probably believe we have political representation.

Sadly only second amendment remedies will make tptb sit up and take notice.

by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 11:26:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much Moscovici, Montebourg et al have caved in is still to be seen: officially, they have just "listened to the entrepreneurs" and are taking their arguments into consideration. No firm promises though; the only thing confirmed is the reduced tax rates for "start-ups" shares (less than 5-6 yrs old).

The most important point, as afew highlighted, is that they gave every impression of surrendering even before the fight ever started. This will of course only embolden the right to demand even more. And more (in the name of "competitiveness").

Since the end of the summer, there a constant and unrelenting media onslaught on the tax theme; subtext: you are going to pay more because of the "tax-n-spend" Socialists. There are constant cries of victimization from the MEDEF, the "patsies-entrepreneurs", the exiled billionaires, you name it... They have captured the media (and their resident "economists") and they're not afraid to use them.

This is perhaps the 1% bigger victory: having convinced the other 9% of the 10% highest earners that they have the most to loose from any tax increase. It doesn't take that much to be part of the highest decile of income in France: about €50K/year. These are the 10% that pay the more income taxes in France, due to the progressive rates: the lower deciles pay much less income tax and half of the households are even below the threshold. But proportionally, the "other" 9% pay a higher tax rate than the 1% who can enjoy all the legal (and sometimes not so legal) mechanisms to, well, shift the burden to the others: that's exactly what's at play here.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 04:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Dominique Seux

of Les Echos is an ultraliberal pundit who officiates every morning on France Inter. It's no surprise he "came out in favour" of the campaign, he's doubtless been in on it since the start.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankfurter Allgemeine's short introduction to the modern world

This article is remarkable only in respect of where it appears. Frankfurter Allgemeine has, for the first time to our knowledge, acknowledged the existence of economic policy research beyond the 1960s, and told its certainly shocked readers that the relationship between monetary aggregates and inflation may be more complicated than the monetarist dogma once suggested. The article itself discusses empirical evidence about the relationship between monetary aggregates and credit data, and inflation, followed by a round-up of post-monetarist theories, including the fiscal theory of the price level.

Thomas Mayer on why the OMT is not inflation

In his Saturday column in Frankfurter Allgemeine, Thomas Mayer writes that the OMT is unlikely to be inflationary. He goes through the numbers. He says the ESCB's own capital is around €100bn. In addition, the ESCB's total reserves are €410bn. That would absorb some losses. But he said the gross reserves and capital are not the main criteria for price stability, but the net assets, which included discounted future profits. This is why central bank with a negative capital ratio can still produce price stability. Mayer cites the central banks of Chile and the Czech Republic as examples. He concludes that the ECB's help is thus much less costly that a socialisation of all debt.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:48:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The failure of austerity in Greece and Spain

In his FT column, Wolfgang Münchau looks at the failure of the austerity policies in Greece and Spain. Greece is piling on one austerity programme on top of another without any turnaround even after six years - as the troika now expects a GDP drop of 5% in 2013. Spain is going now exactly the same route. Munchau says the IMF's study on historic debt crisis (in its latest WEO), is very clear about the conditions in which debt consolidation can work, in particular that austerity needs to be complimented by a plausible growth channel, which is not the case here. He concludes that the policies are not consistent with the two country's continued membership in the eurozone. He makes clear that he does not predict an exit - merely states that present policy choices cannot be upheld.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Münchau: Relentless austerity will only deepen Greek woes (FT.com, October 7, 2012)
We have reached a point where the policies adopted to resolve the eurozone debt crisis are causing more damage than whatever may have caused the problems in the first place. This is painfully obvious in Greece and increasingly so in Spain.

...

As a member of the troika in Greece, the IMF is part of this self-defeating approach. One wonders sometimes whether this is the same IMF that in its latest World Economic Outlook produced a very thoughtful analysis of past debt crises. It came to the conclusion that deficit reduction programmes can function only under certain auspicious conditions and must not be pursued in a blind, mechanistic sort of way. "The first lesson is that fiscal consolidation efforts need to be complemented by measures that support growth: structural issues need to be addressed and monetary conditions need to be as supportive as possible," it says.

...

European policy makers have always clung to the hope that a subsequent recovery would take care of all the problems. They chronically underestimated the effect of austerity on growth, especially if other countries in the region pursue the same policies. As the IMF noted in its study, many successful episodes of debt reduction were accompanied by good economic growth elsewhere. Greece and Spain are not so lucky.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Reached a point" - we've been at the point for years now, literally.

(And it's pretty scary that it's literally years...)

In a similar vein, George Osbourne is now saying "Austerity may continue to 2018."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am currently avoiding listening to Osborne's speech cos I fear I might do violence to the television. But I can hear my Dad describing it repeatedly as "what a load of old codswallop".

Austerity isn't a means to the economic end of repairing an economy; we know from repeated demonstrations that it has no such ability. It is a means to progressively weaken the host so that wealth capture may be carried out with the increased efficiency that comes from diminished resistance.

So when George says austerity will continue until 2018, he believes it will take that long to loot the Treasury entirely.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well...
The FT reported over the weekend that David Cameron will block the EU budget, favouring separate budgets for the eurozone and the EU. The article quoted an unnamed British official as saying that the idea was gathering momentum because it allowed the base EU budget to remain stable, with extra funding from the eurozone for the eurozone. Another official is quoted as saying that Cameron would be delighted to veto an increase in the budget, as this would secure him a hero's return.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: EU braced for budget fight with UK
Brussels is bracing itself for a battle with David Cameron as fears grow that the British prime minister will block a proposed €1tn seven-year spending plan and push for a two-tier EU budget.

...

European diplomats are growing increasingly concerned that Mr Cameron is serious about demanding a freeze in the budget at next month's budget summit, with one saying: "He'd be delighted to veto a deal - he'll be greeted at home like a hero."

...

Mr Cameron had hoped for French and German support, but British diplomats fear the November summit could turn into a classic confrontation between London and most of the rest of the EU.

Fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, when are we going to have politicians with the courage to sit down and negotiate policy?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how can they negotiate when none of them have any shared agenda ? Right now, Cameron not only thinks he can screw the EU with almost total impunity, he believes it is in his interests to do so.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:46:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Warm North Atlantic Ocean causing UK's wet summers, study shows | Environment | The Guardian

The UK's dismal recent summers can be blamed on a substantial warming of the North Atlantic Ocean in the late 1990s, according to new scientific research. The shift has resulted in rain-soaked weather systems being driven into northern Europe, increasing summer rainfall by about a third.

The pattern is likely to revert to drier summers and may do so suddenly, according to Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading, who led the work. "I can't guarantee it but it is likely," he said. "However we are not sure of the timing, which is what every one wants to know - but we are working on this now." Sutton added that when the switch occurs, it could happen as rapidly as over two to three years.

The summer of 2012 was the wettest in a century and follows a series of above average years for summer rainfall. Sutton's team, who published their study in Nature Geoscience, examined over a century of data and found that the temperature of the North Atlantic remains above or below the long term average for decades at a time. The periods of warmer temperature, the latest of which started in the late 1990s, were found to correlate with wet summers in Northern Europe and hotter, drier summers in the Mediterranean. The team used existing detailed climate simulations to demonstrate a causal link between the warmer oceans and the change in the weather.

And conversely, the rain in Spain falls mainly when the Atlantic is cool, I suppose.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:04:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And yet,. all summer, the Met Office were saying that it was cos the warming Arctic was causing chaotic conditions in the upper atmosphere.

Which is cause ? which is symptom ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:44:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
into slavery :

George Osborne's speech at the Conservative conference: Politics live blog | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Osborne said that firms will be allowed to suspend employee rights for new workers provided they offer them shares in the company. The employee-owner scheme, as it is being called by the Treasury, would particularly appeal to small and medium-sized companies expanding fast, he said. (See 12.47pm.) Announcing the scheme in his speech, he took inspiration from Marx.

It's a voluntary three way deal.

You the company: give your employees shares in the business.

You the employee: replace your old rights of unfair dismissal and redundancy with new rights of ownership.

And what will the Government do?

We'll charge no capital gains tax at all on the profit you make on your shares ...
 
Owners, workers, and the taxman, all in it together.

Workers of the world unite.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt very much that anyone is fooled by such bs, but with unemployment shooting up all over, many people will take a job, any job, irrespective of rights or safety.

I think Osborne is saying these things cos he knows there's no point trying to persuade the undecided voter with lies about low wages stimulating the economy, so he may as well just add maximum sarcasm for his own amusement.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I remember the internet bubble. Good times.

Do we really need more gamblers? The above scheme is great for those who can sell at exactly the right time. For most, the old fashioned, "saving money" and "paying into a pension" is much better. Oh, and that "redudancy payment".

(If I'd been TUPE'd in to my current job from an old civil service contract, my redundancy pot would have been five times as big.)

by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 11:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:05:58 PM EST
Foxconn Labor Disputes Disrupt IPhone Output for 2nd Time - Bloomberg

Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhones, had to stop production for the second time in as many weeks after factory-line workers at one of its plants protested against increased pressure.

Foxconn employs more than 1 million workers in China and has suffered in the past three years from suicides, riots and strikes. To improve working conditions, Chairman Terry Gou raised pay and allowed inspections by outside observers. The employees, who work up to 12 hours a day, say the difficulties of meeting Apple's demands for quality and abuse from guards set off the latest incidents.

One of the company's factories in Zhengzhou, China, lost two shifts on Oct. 5 after workers became frustrated trying to prevent scratching on the casings of the iPhone 5, according to two people familiar with the matter. A dispute occurred between the production and quality teams at the factory, the company said. Some 3,000 to 4,000 people who walked off the job at the plant, have since returned to work, according to advocacy group China Labor Watch.

"Labor disputes are a fundamental issue unique to Foxconn," said Brian Park, a Seoul-based technology analyst at Tong Yang Securities Inc. "Foxconn is infamous for high suicide rates, and that means the intensity of labor is that much higher."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NZ PM Key brushes off idea to print money to lower currency | Reuters

(Reuters) - New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key brushed off suggestions by opposition party to print money to lower the country's strong currency because it would create inflation and increase business costs.

"The latest idea of the Green (Party) to print money that is a pretty whacky idea," Key told Television New Zealand on Monday.

"Printing money makes you rich. Zimbabwe would be the richest country on the planet and it's not."

Key reiterated inflation remains the primary focus of the country's monetary policy, adding that increasing money supply would raise inflation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Helsinki Boycotts Tax Havens | Inter Press Service

HELSINKI, Oct 6 2012 (IPS) - The City of Helsinki added its voice to a growing global call against corporate tax evasion with the passage of a new responsibility strategy that leaves no room for unethical business practices.

Last week, 85 city councillors from Finland's capital voted to sever business ties with companies operating in, or having links to, tax havens.

The resolution - which passed 78-4 in the City Council, the country's highest decision-making body in charge of local affairs - acknowledged that tax evasion undermines the capacity of municipalities to provide social services.

The council also recognised that tax havens deprive developing countries of vital tax revenues and denies them the opportunity to benefit fully from world trade.

Tax havens are either territories or countries whose authorities allow businesses or individuals to deposit their wealth at very low tax rates or, in some cases, pay no taxes at all.

The London-based Tax Justice Network has identified 10 of the most attractive tax havens around the world, including Bahrain, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Singapore and Switzerland.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iran imposes currency cap to boost rial - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iran has imposed a fixed dollar rate in a bid to reverse a collapse of its currency, days after protests erupted over the rial's plunge on the open market.

The order on Saturday came as ordinary Iranians struggled with growing economic problems that caused a big jump in daily prices.

Iranian news agencies reported that the government's new foreign exchange centre, used by importers of some basic goods, was selling US dollars at a rate of 25,970 rials.

"We received an order from the Money Changers' Association [under the control of the Central Bank] telling us to buy the dollar at 25,000 rials and sell at 26,000," one exchange bureau employee told the AFP news agency.

"Nobody is selling at this price and we are not trading," he said on Saturday.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pinera losing Chilean middle class support

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is losing middle class support for his administration in a further setback after the government appeared to minimize the impact of student protests, business data and opinion polls cited in the media say.

The billionaire president, who rose to power in March 2010 on a promise of transporting Chile into the 21st century, has faced growing resistance from young Chileans angered by what they see as his inadequate and ineffective response to student demands.

Chile's market-oriented economy has moved from one growth milestone after another since the days of dictator Augusto Pinochet but it is now faulted for unbalanced economic development and neglect of whole sections of society.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:24:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:06:16 PM EST
BBC News - Turkey responds to Syrian mortar fire in Akcakale

Turkish artillery has returned fire on Syria for a fifth day after a mortar landed in a border village.

Five people were killed in a similar incident, reportedly in the same street in the village, Akcakale, last week.

Turkey has been firing daily into Syria since Wednesday's deaths, as apparently stray munitions fall on its territory.

The incident came as fighting intensified in Syria's second city Aleppo, with fierce battles in two rebel-held neighbourhoods.

AFP news agency reported that warplanes were bombarding the districts of Bab al-Hadid and Shaar.

Syrian forces are also said to be on the offensive in Damascus and Homs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:33:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Syrian government make more troubles (with Turkey) than they already have at home? Just logical question...
Do not know Turkish but here is what supposed to be one Turkish newspaper that is claiming what is obvious to everyone who wants to think: Syrian rebels are firing with NATO missals that for the sake of irony rebels have got from Turkey. Oh I know whenever there is a logical explanation you call it "conspiracy theory" ...it's the best way to brush it off. And even when truth comes out like with Wikileaks it's quickly forgotten and no one has been ever find responsible. Assange had sacrificed himself for nothing.
Seems like people are protesting in Istanbul ...
http://observers.france24.com/content/20121005-turkey-istanbul-taksim-square-thousands-protest-amid- fears-war-syria-assad-erdogan
And they said it's about 40000 not 5000 as western media is reporting. They do not want to be "buzdovan (mace)" /weapon in NATO hands.

 

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 10:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, it's the obvious conclusion that the rebels re trying to bounce Turkey into involving itself. But, having lost a fighter plane for no good reason, I think turkey feels obliged to get its own back ....somehow

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chavez's socialist rule at risk as Venezuelans vote | Reuters

(Reuters) - Hugo Chavez loyalists blew bugles in a wakeup call for voters on Sunday as the Venezuelan leader faced the biggest electoral challenge yet to his socialist rule from a young rival tapping into discontent over crime and cronyism.

Henrique Capriles, a centrist state governor, edged toward the still-popular Chavez in final polls thanks to a vigorous campaign that united the opposition and made him its best chance of ending the president's 14-year tenure.

Chavez has used record oil revenue to support ideological allies around the world while preaching a fiercely anti-American line, so the election is being watched eagerly from the United States to Belarus and Iran.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuelans vote in presidential race - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Polls have opened in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez is facing the toughest race in almost 14 years in power after fresh-faced rival Henrique Capriles electrified the country's opposition.

In the capital Caracas, supporters of Chavez were up early on Sunday to blast horns throughout the city. 

Chavez is hoping to get a third term in office but is facing tough competition from Capriles.

... Chavez has been leading in most polls ahead of the election, with one survey showing him at a 10 per cent lead in October while others have projected that a neck and neck outcome is likely.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuela's Chavez re-elected to extend socialist rule | Reuters
(Reuters) - Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez comfortably won re-election on Sunday, quashing the opposition's best chance at unseating him in 14 years and cementing himself as a dominant figure in modern Latin American history.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, he will presumably die in office, having failed to prepare any orderly succession. Chaos ensues.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 04:26:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Shadow Fighting Erupts over Gaddafi | Inter Press Service

CAIRO, Oct 6 2012 (IPS) - Civilians in the town of Bani Walid, 170 km south-east of Tripoli, are facing a humanitarian crisis as Libyan security forces lay siege to the stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi supporters, cutting off water, food and medical supplies.

Local doctors told Amnesty International that on Oct. 4, three vehicles carrying medical supplies, oxygen, and medical personnel were prevented from reaching the city by a group of armed men, who set up a checkpoint on the main road from capital Tripoli.

Residents said that vehicles carrying petrol, water and food supplies from the capital had also been turned back at the same checkpoint in the previous four days.

"These people have given Libya a lot of problems and the town has been infiltrated by foreign elements, but this will come to an end soon when our men move in," Khaled Hamsha, a member of the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), an amalgamation of Libyan security forces and militias, told IPS.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the civil war still goes on...never stopped...country is in total chaos...like everywhere else where Americans are "bringing freedom"...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 10:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You ain't seen nothin' yet ... wait till Prez. Willard gets in. Hold on tight ... it's a long way down.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:15:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's a long way down.

And you'll light the way ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:39:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The destination is the same, but the "good intentions" won't be in use at all. We can use those for fuel.
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 11:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - World Forgetting Palestinian Rights | Inter Press Service

JERUSALEM, Oct 7 2012 (IPS) - The annual debate has just wrapped up and, already, the certainty is that if last year Palestinian statehood auspiciously dominated the international agenda, this time, the issue vanished from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and will vanish even further from world affairs.

When Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas looked down on the General Assembly plenum a fortnight ago, though the hall was packed, he probably felt lonely. He knew his would be the sole address devoted to the cause of an independent Palestinian state in peace alongside Israel.

For the umpteenth time, Abbas depicted how Israel's settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territories renders year by year a two-state solution to the conflict more unattainable - to no avail.

His speech was similar in essence to the one he'd delivered exactly one year ago at the same place - except that this time, his bid was limited to gaining non-member state status, not full statehood recognition at the U.N. Security Council.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not forgetting, just ignoring.
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 05:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Philippines in peace deal with Muslim rebels - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels have agreed to a preliminary peace deal for the country's troubled south, President Benigno Aquino has announced, signalling an end to a 40-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people and crippled the region's economy.

The deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), announced on Sunday, sets in train a roadmap to create a new autonomous region in the Muslim-majority areas in the south of the mainly Catholic country before the end of Aquino's term in 2016.

Aquino described the deal in a nationally televised announcement as a "framework agreement". It follows marathon negotiations between the government and the MILF in Malaysia, which is brokering the talks.

The agreement is expected to be signed in a few days in the capital, Manila, officials said. It spells out the general principles on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory of the Muslim region.

If all goes well, a final peace deal can be reached by 2016, when Aquino's six-year term ends, according to the officials.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:06:41 PM EST
IPS - World Bank Refuses Call to Halt Land Deals | Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct 5 2012 (IPS) - The World Bank has rejected a call to suspend its involvement in large scale agricultural land acquisition following the release of a major report by the international aid agency Oxfam on the negative impact of international land speculation in developing countries.

"We share the concerns Oxfam raised in their report," the bank stated in an unusually lengthy public rebuttal to the Oxfam Report. "However, we disagree with Oxfam's call for a moratorium on World Bank Group...investments in land intensive large-scale agricultural enterprises, especially during a time of rapidly rising global food prices."

"A moratorium focused on the Bank Group targets precisely those stakeholders doing the most to improve practices - progressive governments, investors, and us. Taking such a step would do nothing to help reduce the instances of abusive practices and would likely deter responsible investors willing to apply our high standards," the rebuttal said.

Over the past year, aid agencies, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and development watchdogs have warned that international investors are increasingly engaging in massive and sometimes predatory land deals in the developing world, particularly in Africa. These acquisitions are partly to blame for rising food insecurity.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:08:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Banksters...oh wait they care for people and how they can afford food...Right?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 10:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate: Scepticism highest in US, Britain - poll

Awareness of climate change is high in many countries, especially the tropics, but in Britain, Japan and the United States many are doubtful about the cause, a poll published on Thursday said.

A survey of 13,492 adults in 13 countries who were questioned by Internet found that 88 percent believed the climate had changed over the past 20 years.

The figures ranged from 98 percent in Mexico and Hong Kong and 97 percent in Indonesia to 80 percent in Belgium and 72 percent in the United States.

Rising average temperatures, drought and extreme rainfall were the phenomena that people most cited.

On the question whether climate change had been scientifically proven, agreement was highest in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Turkey (95, 89 and 86 percent respectively).

It was lowest in Japan (58 percent), preceded by Britain (63 percent) and the United States (65 percent).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the media have done the oil companies bidding well. Fear, uncertainty doubt

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:57:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK sounds like schools. Decades of Tory cuts and Labour targets/micromanagement.
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 05:57:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Superweeds linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops

A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops - cotton, soybeans and corn - has actually increased.

This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook's analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.

In the study, which appeared in the the open-access, peer-reviewed journal "Environmental Sciences Europe," Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How GMOs Unleashed a Pesticide Gusher | Tom Philpott | Mother Jones

Benbrook found that overall, GMO technology drove up herbicide use by 527 million pounds, or about 11 percent, between 1996 (when Roundup Ready crops first hit farm fields) and 2011. But it gets worse. For several years, the Roundup Ready trait actually did meet Monsanto's promise of decreasing overall herbicide use--herbicide use dropped by about 2 percent between 1996 and 1999, Benbrook told me in an interview. But then weeds started to develop resistance to Roundup, pushing farmers to apply higher per-acre rates. In 2002, farmers using Roundup Ready soybeans jacked up their Roundup application rates by 21 percent, triggering a 19 million pound overall increase in Roundup use.

Since then, an herbicide gusher has been uncorked. By 2011, farms using Roundup Ready seeds were using 24 percent more herbicide than non-GMO farms planting the same crops, Benbrook told me. What happened? By that time, "in all three crops [corn, soy, and cotton], resistant weeds had fully kicked in," Benbrook said, and farmers were responding both by ramping up use of Roundup and resorting to older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:30:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who Could Have Predicted?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops - cotton, soybeans and corn - has actually increased.

This counterintuitive finding...

Bullcrap.  Any biologist who wasn't whoring for Monsanto would know, and predict, that would happen.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 05:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And those who WERE whoring for Monsanto actively prepared it. Increased product placement : what's not to like?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 04:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's Agressive FIT Already Unlocking Gigawatts of Wind and Solar Power | Renewable Energy News Article
TOKYO -- As Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and billionaire Masayoshi Son lead a swarm of investors exploiting Japan's solar power subsidies, the world's biggest, Sumitomo Corp. is betting on wind.

The trading house, Japan's second-largest investor in power generation outside utilities, will add wind farms and at least two biomass plants to take advantage of the above-market rates for electricity from renewable sources the government introduced in July. Sumitomo's local utility, Summit Energy Corp., expects profits from wind power to triple in as many years, said the unit's president, Shinichi Kitamura.

Sumitomo's focus is in part a response to a rush into solar projects that's pushing up land prices and salaries, as well as luring investors from gambling parlor operators to asset managers. While government data show that Japan can build wind farms at a cheaper price and with higher returns than solar, 99 percent of applications for the new tariffs are for electricity generated from sunlight.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wind projects take years to plan, prepare and implement. You can install solar panels on a factory or office roof in months.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 04:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:07:00 PM EST
Marlboro Box Defaced in Australia Where Future Is Now - Bloomberg

the future of cigarette packs is on display in Australia, and it's not that pretty: large, graphic images of gangrenous limbs and cancer victims, with brand names printed in a uniform font on a background legally defined as "drab dark brown."

Tobacco products complying with the world's first plain- packaging laws have started arriving in stores, as an Oct. 1 manufacturing ban on the country's A$10 billion ($10 billion) tobacco industry comes into force, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 8 issue. While a U.S. court in August blocked the first change to that country's tobacco health warnings in more than two decades, more stringent plain- packaging rules like Australia's are already being examined in the U.K., New Zealand, Turkey, and the European Union.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Q&A: "The Children Take on an Artist's Lovely Identity, from a Young Age" | Inter Press Service

BONN, Germany , Oct 4 2012 (IPS) - Venezuela's youth symphony orchestras that have enamoured audiences on several continents are a social programme aimed at fighting poverty and marginalisation, more than an artistic endeavour, says the founder of the initiative, José Antonio Abreu.

The National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Venezuela, known simply as "the system" or El Sistema, got its start in 1975 in a basement where Abreu began to rehearse with a dozen teenagers.

Some 400,000 children, adolescents and young adults, mainly from poor families, currently attend the programme's educational centres and take part in 90 preschool, 130 children's, 288 youth and 30 professional orchestras and choirs.

One of them, the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra, completed its fourth international tour at the Beethovenfest in Bonn, Germany on Tuesday Oct. 2. The orchestra visited six European cities, accompanied by Abreu, who at the age of 73 still appears to be everywhere at once, taking care of details in rehearsals, participating in international tours, and managing relations with the world's leading musical centres.

The charismatic Abreu, a musician, composer, economist and social visionary, has sat in parliament and served as minister of culture from 1989 to 1993. He is the patron of musical institutions in different countries, and has received numerous prizes and awards for his work.

Interview.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Q&A: "The Children Take on an Artist's Lovely Identity, from a Young Age" | Inter Press Service

A: Music has to stop being an art for the elites, it has to stop being a monopoly of a small part of the population, and it must become universal patrimony, especially of the poor. And a culture for the poor cannot be a poor culture, but one of extremely high aesthetic level and extremely high pedagogical and social level.

Q: But how do music and this system pull young people out of poverty, exclusion, their needs and problems associated with crime or drugs?

A: At the very instant that a child is given an instrument and a teacher, the child is completely rescued, because an infinite path is opened up before the child - the path of art.

Art means perfection, and the road to perfection has no limits. That is the path that opens up before a child who receives an instrument and a teacher, but the rest is up to us: providing the child with an education, adequate infrastructure, quality instruments, teachers, and encouragement to continue.

Q: That is what you mean by rescuing them from poverty?

A: That is it. Because poverty is not only material. The most terrible poverty is not being anyone.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 07:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Homolog of mammalian neocortex found in bird brain

A seemingly unique part of the human and mammalian brain is the neocortex, a layered structure on the outer surface of the organ where most higher-order processing is thought to occur. But new research at the University of Chicago has found the cells similar to those of the mammalian neocortex in the brains of birds, sitting in a vastly different anatomical structure.

The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms a 50-year-old hypothesis about the identity of a mysterious structure in the bird brain that has provoked decades of scientific debate. The research also sheds new light on the evolution of the brain and opens up new animal models for studying the neocortex.

"If you want to study motor neurons or dopamine cells, which are biomedically important, you can study them in mammals, in chick embryos, in zebrafish. But for these neurons of the cerebral cortex, we could only do that in mammals before," said Clifton Ragsdale, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology at University of Chicago Biological Sciences and senior author of the study. "Now, we can take advantage of these other experimental systems to ask how they are specified, can they regenerate, and other questions."

Both the mammalian neocortex and a structure in the bird brain called the dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) originate from an embryonic region called the telencephalon. But the two regions mature into very different shapes, with the neocortex made up of six distinct cortical layers while the DVR contains large clusters of neurons called nuclei.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 03:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 12:07:22 PM EST


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 08:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit of a scandal has today erupted over a blog post called Per-Looks

I have in the past, politically uncorrectly, called the True Finns party ugly. The True Finns think that the Social Democrats are behind this 'dastardly' depiction of their candidates as 'losers.'

In fact, this blog post has been circulating for a couple of days among web and other designers, as a parody of the fashion website 'Hel-Looks' that depicts young hip Finns caught in their everyday wear on the streets of the capital. The Per-Looks photos are recently released official candidate portraits issued only locally by the True Finns in their campaigns for municipal elections. Normally these candidate pictures would never appear together in any national campaign.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 01:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Laughing at un-web-and-other-designed people for their looks can only backfire.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 01:44:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We wouldn't want them to feel offended...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:02:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a difference between criticizing an individual for looks, physique and dress, and exposing a group. There's no such thing as a culture of One.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the defining characteristic of this group being exposed except that they look lower class. What is the political relevance of urbane graphic designers sniggering at oiks or bumpkins?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 08:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have much fashion sense (understatement). I hadn't particularly noticed the way they dressed. What struck me is that they look bitter, ugly and stupid.

This fits with my own experience of the far right in France. It may or may not be their own fault that they are such losers, but by clubbing together for political reasons they make themselves a legitimate target.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the American white trash also look bitter, ugly and stupid. That doesn't mean I had it in me to laugh along when my American graduate school colleagues cracked white trash jokes at parties. Because, you know, it almost sounds like the rants of right-wing talk show hosts about latte liberal contempt for common people is actually on point. And the bitter, ugly and stupid vote, too.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:18:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly, being laughed at by hoity-toity urban middle-class is good for a party wanting to represent white working class as it cements the division. Conflict and a clear enemy is the life-blood of any tribal identity and hence of political parties built on it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the people who made this parody arguably shot themselves in the foot. is my point.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:42:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Freedom of speech, and why should people feel offended?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not proposing to ban the parody, I'm just saying it's politically unwise.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Hey, this guy's poor! Let's laugh at him!"
-Luis CK.
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 11:38:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because graphic designers concern themselves with perceptions based on the culture of the audience. Personally, I avoid derogatory reference to any individual's outward appearance as having political significance, though pictures of Bullingdon Boys, for example, do influence my perceptions of their political beliefs.

The True Finn pictures were staged and chosen by the candidates themselves, so one presumes this is exactly how they wish to dress, style and present themselves. It would not be true that they are lower class - that reveals more about your own perceptions. True Finn candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs and teachers, as well as layabouts. I don't read them as lower class - just living in the past.

The dress, hairstyle, facial hair, clothes are cumulatively indicators that, with the facial expression chosen by the candidate, combined with the impact of life upon faces, will be used by the majority of voters to compare with the candidate's political utterances, proclamations or behaviour. Whether useful democratically or not, judgements based on outward appearance play a significant role in many types of elections.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've said before, I'd prefer an electoral system that ameliorated the importance of 'image'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:26:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ameliorated?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the sense that it is a common behaviour that is almost impossible to erase, but a behaviour that could be improved.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 12:02:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, mitigated?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 12:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, though I should perhaps have replaced 'importance' by 'meaning'. The influence of 'image' can hardly be erased, but a major disadvantage could perhaps be turned into a benefit if we understood how it works - thus 'ameliorate.'

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 01:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's all fine. My issue is with the Per Looks moniker, which you describe as _ a parody of the fashion website 'Hel-Looks' that depicts young hip Finns caught in their everyday wear on the streets of the capita_, whereas the Per Looks is not a parody of Hel-Looks but a parody of the True Finns.

It would be more effective and less insulting (and less revealing of the authors' sense of amug superiority) if they had just called it Meet the True Finns.

Demographically, which is more representative of ordinary Finns: Per Looks, Hel-Looks or neither?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:48:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
aaargh!

No true Finns could look this bad.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 02:01:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boy, they look so in-bred they could be redneck republicans

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 03:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 03:28:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I thought that too. Especially since -- I think it was some time last summer -- I saw a panel debate which included Soini. There he was, up on stage, wearing this ill-fitting shirt that couldn't be buttoned, causing his rather prominent abdomen to be on display and exposing his bellybutton. Regrettably, it drew attention to itself like a magnet. I tried to follow what he was saying, but even if my Finnish had been perfect I doubt I would have been able to concentrate.  I thought, my word, he really does need a handler, or a stylist, or something. Unless you're on the stage for a beauty pageant or to do some belly dancing there's really no reason to be showing off your stomach, man.

Fast forward to last Thursday's session of coverage of Eduskunta and there's Soini, flashing what appeared to be a custom made shirt and well-tailored suit. He was even sporting cufflinks. Looked for all the world like he'd taken style lessons from Wahlroos.

by sgr2 on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 04:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The creator of Per-Look has now stated that there were no political motives or affiliations intended - it was simply a design contrast of publicly available material with the Hel-Looks site. According to the creator, it was True Finn Matti Putkonen who made it political.

Matti Putkonen was convicted of rape while he was the chairman of the Rural Workers Union and received an 8 month suspended sentence and a 10.000 € fine. Ugly indeed.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 03:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens have now further politicized the 'scandal'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 06:39:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pardon my French.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://vih-looks.tumblr.com/
works for me.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<may load slowly>

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ce n'est pas une addresse Intenet.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 07:58:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I was making a joke in French.

"Il n'y a pas photo" is an expression referring to horse racing, meaning it's not a photo finish. By extension, it is used ironically when, in any domain, one side beats another by a wide margin, e.g. Per/Vih

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

by eurogreen on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:14:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, you have enlarged my stock of interesting phrases. And a wily joke to boot.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 09:56:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the Green Party candidates are not true Finns.

They are smiling.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 11:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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