Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 9 March

by In Wales Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 04:53:01 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1961 - launch of Sputnik 9 carrying a human dummy, Ivan Ivanovich, demonstrating that the Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.

More here and here

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

    There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

    Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:23:28 AM EST
Ministers demand Athens stem flow of illegal immigrants | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Seven countries that receive the bulk of EU asylum applications have called on Athens to do more to stop illegal immigrants from entering through Greece, with some threatening to reintroduce border controls.

Germanyand Austria said Thursday that they could reintroduce border controls if Athens fails to take stronger action to keep illegal immigrants from entering the European Union through Greece.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told reporters in Brussels that this was one option that was being considered.

"The question is still open on what happens when a country is not in a position to sufficiently safeguard its borders, as we are currently experiencing with Greece," Friedrich said following a meeting with his counterparts from six other EU countries.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU border force should be paid for at EU level. Germany is basically getting border control for nothing

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:23:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They'll throw Greece out of the Euro and out of Schengen, and they will keep Romania and Bulgaria out of both, and they will maintain a nice Balkan backwater region within the EU.

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:41:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Friedrich continues in his attempts to whip up xenophobia and ride the waves. This after he 'revealed' the results of a study of immigrants his ministry commissioned in the Bild rag, only to be found quoting it out of context to paint the devil of the Muslim Menace on the wall.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:28:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like the Austrin ministers response.

Again with the homework insult!

I'm not European but the next time I get into a squabble with someone from Europe, I am going to tell them that they are very bad at doing homework. This appears to be an oft-invoked insult that's useful on almost any occasion.

by Upstate NY on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 02:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French PM meets with Muslim leaders over halal comments | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Criticism of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon for disparaging comments he made about the Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter of animals has led him to backtrack, meeting with leaders from both faiths.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon was to meet with Muslim leaders on Thursday to address controversy surrounding his public criticism of the ritual slaughter of animals for kosher and halal meat.

Fillon's meeting with the Muslim community comes a day after he met with Jewish leaders on the issue, attempting to assure them that he did not foresee banning halal and kosher slaughter practices in France.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:29:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here we see how Islamophobia parallels anti-Semitism – and how Islamophobic sedition becomes scandal only if groups not presently a free-for-all are affected, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Controversy surrounds former president's farewell ceremony | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Germany's former president has been unable to escape controversy even after he stepped down over a scandal three weeks ago. His four living predecessors are set to stay away from his official farewell ceremony.

Controversy continued to surround former German President Christian Wulff on Thursday in the hours leading up to a torch-lit military parade to officially bid him farewell from office.

His four living predecessors in the post - Walter Scheel, Richard von Weizsäcker, Roman Herzog and Horst Köhler - have all declined to attend the ceremony, as has his designated successor, Joachim Gauck. Leading members of the opposition Social Democrats and the Green Party have also said they will not attend.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Vuvuzelas mar German president's farewell | News24
Berlin - Vuvuzela-wielding protestors kept up a constant barrage of noise at a torchlit military ceremony on Thursday for Germany's former president Christian Wulff who left office under a cloud.

Around 250 demonstrators blowing the plastic horns that became famous during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa made their feelings loudly known as a military band battled to compete.

The vuvuzela concert begins at approx. 5:30. A karneval standard appropriate to the event can be heard at around 1:20.



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Angela Merkel: from physics to politics | Germany | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

She was seen as a politician with little chance of a future: dowdy and without much of a political background. But Angela Merkel made the most of her chances and became one of the world's most powerful women.

There is hardly a "homo politicus" in German post-war history who has been more underestimated than the pastor's daughter from East Germany. Not very telegenic, undogmatic, highly pragmatic - these are some of the phrases often used to describe the German chancellor.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"undogmatic"?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Confrontation is the only way, new EP chief says

BRUSSELS - The European Parliament can make or break laws in the EU but is considered something of an irrelevancy among the general public, something its new chief wants to change through some old-fashioned confrontation.

In the job for a little under two months and finding it an "enormous challenge" to be "prudent and impartial," Martin Schulz says that his institution is always at risk of disappearing in the public eye.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / British MPs paint scary picture of Putin's Russia

Coming two days after several EU leaders and top EU officials congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning elections despite the fact international monitors said they were rigged, the discussion painted a frightening picture of life in the European Union's biggest neighbour.

Conservative deputy Dom Raab described what happened to Magnitsky in 2009 after he blew the whistle on senior tax officials who embezzled $230 million of state funds

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy to quit politics if he loses re-election bid - FRENCH POLITICS - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would fight with everything he has to win a second term but will bow out of politics if he loses an April-May election.

Sarkozy, who is badly lagging Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls six weeks before the first round of voting, said Hollande's lack of ministerial or international experience was a problem at a time of economic turmoil.

"I worry when I look at the Socialist candidate's programme ... and I worry about this dearth of experience in such a troubled period. But if the French people do not put their faith in me, do you really think I would carry on in politics? The answer is no," Sarkozy told RMC radio.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Homelessness jumps by 14% in a year | Society | The Guardian

The number of people officially classed as homeless in England has jumped by 14% - the biggest increase for nine years - as what charities have described as a "perfect storm" of rising repossession rates and unemployment drives thousands more families into temporary accommodation.

Across England, 48,510 households were accepted as homeless by local authorities in 2011, according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on Thursday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:56:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Voluntary participation of 85.8% of Greek law bonds triggers CACs
After the CAC trigger, the total participation rate for all bonds will be 95.7%; €20bn in foreign law bonds were also tendered; CACs are likely to trigger a CDS payout; the deal still raises the possibility of law suits from hedge funds; ECB has begun to re-accept Greek bonds as collateral in refinance operations; Greek youth unemployment climbs to over 50% for the first time; the total unemployment rate now stands at 21%; as unemployment in the eurozone periphery rises, Germany shuts out foreigners from welfare entitlements; Michel Barnier shys away from a legislative proposal to involve investors in the resolution of banks; Nicolas Sarkozy says that he would leave politics altogether if he were to lose the elections; estimate suggest that VAT fraud costs France €10bn a year, €17bn in Germany and €24bn in Italy; Mario Draghi says: we have done our bit, it is now up to governments; ECB governing council leaves interest rates unchanged, but raises inflation forecast; Stephan Balling of Borsenzeitung comes close to calling Draghi a liar for saying that his relations with Jens Weidmann were cordial; Philip Plickert says ECB is now on course to miss its inflation target for the second year running, and is now losing credibility; Mario Monti, meanwhile, has completed his first 100 days as Italy's prime minister, with signs of growing tensions inside his coalition.


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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany stops Hartz IV payments to immigrants

Alarmed by the rising unemployment rates in south-European countries, the German labour ministry instructed to stop Hartz-IV social  transfers for EU immigrants, Spiegel online cites the Frankfurter Rundschau. Up until now, immigrants from 17 EU countries were eligible to unemployment benefits (Arbeitsgeld II) under the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance (EFA). Germany revoked its EFA contract commitments with regard to welfare and unemployment benefits. Socialists and the employment agency critised the move.

Does this include people who have been making social security contributions while employed in Germany?

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:49:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. It's entirely for people who come to Germany in order to look for a job, but who haven't worked here before. It concerns a completely irrelevant number of cases. The aim of this proposal is to show that our benefits are too high, of course.
by Katrin on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 06:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also to show that feckless foreigners are coming to Germany for handouts, I suppose.

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 06:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how they are these southerners. We really must watch out.
by Katrin on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 06:58:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is within its rights to do this kind of thing, of course:
Right of residence for more than three months

The right of residence for more than three months remains subject to certain conditions. Applicants must:

  • either be engaged in economic activity (on an employed or self-employed basis);
  • or have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay. The Member States may not specify a minimum amount which they deem sufficient, but they must take account of personal circumstances;
  • or be following vocational training as a student and have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay;
  • or be a family member of a Union citizen who falls into one of the above categories.

Residence permits are abolished for Union citizens. However, Member States may require them to register with the competent authorities within a period of not less than three months as from the date of arrival. Proof of registration will be issued immediately on presentation of:

  • an identity card or valid passport;
  • proof that the above conditions are complied with (see Article 9 of the Directive on the proof required for each category of citizen). Union citizens engaged in training must show, by means of a statement or any other means, that they have sufficient resources for themselves and for the members of their families to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State. This will be sufficient to prove that they comply with the resources condition.

Family members of Union citizens who are not nationals of a Member State must apply for a residence permit for family members of Union citizens. These permits are valid for five years from their date of issue.
(my emphasis)

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 07:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Critical review for [] Draghi's performance in the German press

The two most orthodox German newspapers in monetary policy terms, Börsenzeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, give Mario Draghi a very critical review for yesterday's post governing council press conference. Börsenzeitung's Stephan Balling comes close to calling Draghi a liar when he comments the ECB president's claims that his relations with Jens Weidmann is ,,excellent", that the Bundesbank is not isolated in the governing council and that the discussions about the 3y LTRO had been consensual is in the past - despite the Bundesbank's claims that the opposite is the case. He criticizes Draghi for not mentioning that Weidmann and Jürgen Stark were against loosening the collateral framework.  Balling says that the credibility of the Bundesbank is much higher than that of the ECB and that therefore it was more likely that the German central bank has told the truth than the ECB.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's Philip Plickert harshly criticizes Draghi because the staff projections yesterday revealed that the ECB will miss its 2.0% inflation target for the second year in a row in 2012. ,,For Germany, the real interest rate of minus 1.4% is much too low", Plickert argues. ,,Citizens will ask themselves what Draghi stands for: Is it his primary goal to save states and banks with cheap money? Or is the ECB's primary goal still price stability? What counts are deeds, not words", he writes.



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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The following is the trailer from a Greek political documentary titled "Lessons from the Vikings". In it the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, explains his intervention on behalf of the interests of icelanders during the crisis. He seems to be the last European official to believe in something that can be meaningfully be called Democracy:



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 10:11:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:23:42 AM EST
Fewer German insolvencies in 2011 as economy defies crisis | Business News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

In spite of the worsening of the eurozone debt crisis, Germany recorded the second consecutive drop in corporate and household bankruptcies last year. But market analysts believe the trend could reverse in 2012.

The number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany declined by 5.9 percent to 30,099 last year, according to data published by the national statistics office Destatis Thursday.

On the back of 3 percent economic growth, the annual drop was the second in a row and the steepest since 2007, Destatis said.

The number of German corporate failures last increased in 2009 when the financial crisis was at its peak and substantially hitting the real economy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece looks on nervously as write-down deadline looms | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Greece's fate hung in the balance on Thursday as it waited to find out whether enough private lenders would sign on to a debt write-down deal for it to avoid going into default.

Officials in Athens and Brussels on Thursday were eagerly awaiting an evening deadline to find out whether enough private lenders will sign on to a debt write-down in order for Greece to avoid a disorderly default.

An organization representing private banks agreed last month to write off 53.5 percent of the bad Greek debt they hold, or 107 billion euros ($140 billion). This was a precondition for European Union leaders to agree to a second bailout for Greece, worth 130 billion euros.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Greek default still possible as bond-swap deadline nears

BRUSSELS - Markets are again turning their eyes to Greece as today (8 March) is the last day for the country to convince banks to take on 'voluntary' debt restructuring or face default.

Participation at over 95 percent in the bond-swap deal - aimed at halving Greece's debt of €206 billion - would classify the operation as 'voluntary', allowing the country to avoid being officially declared bust.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:40:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain makes it easier to fire staff | Business News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

The Spanish parliament approved a sweeping labor market reform aimed at reducing layoff barriers for the country's ailing companies. The government hopes deregulation will help it overcome record unemployment.

The controversial labor market reform was approved by the Spanish parliament Thursday with 197 votes against 142.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy described the reform as "useful" in attempts to drive down Spain's unemployment rate of more than 23 percent - the highest in the industrialized world.

Notably, youth unemployment is particularly bad, with nearly half of those under the age of 25 out of work.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Green investment bank HQ to be in Edinburgh | Environment | guardian.co.uk

A green investment bank intended to attract billions of pounds in funding for new renewables projects will be run from Edinburgh, in a move designed partly to bolster the case against Scottish independence.

Vince Cable, the business secretary, announced that the new bank, expected to employ between 50 and 70 people, would have its headquarters in Edinburgh, but will also operate a large fundraising office in London to exploit the City's financial clout and global reach.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:58:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GAO: Almost Half of Bailed Banks Repaid the Government With Money "From Other Federal Programs" « naked capitalism

The Government Accountability Office continues its subtle war on the talking point used by Treasury that "TARP made money". Here's the GAO, with a report out today.

As of January 31, 2012, 341 institutions had exited CPP, almost half by repaying CPP with funds from other federal programs. Institutions continue to exit CPP, but the number of institutions missing scheduled dividend or interest payments has increased.

Much of the government-supplied TARP funding (to small banks) was replaced by the Small Business Lending Fund passed in 2010, which Republicans called "TARP 2.0″.  The larger banks, however, where much of the bank-based credit creation in the economy takes place, didn't use this program.  Instead, they got an implicit subsidy of between $6B and $300B a year from the widespread belief that the government will not let their bondholders lose money.

The talking point that the Troubled Asset Relief Program made money for the taxpayer is an important structural argument for the Treasury Department and the political elements in the Obama White House.  Yves Smith quoted an earlier GAO report on this phenomenon a few months ago.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 05:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Remploy plans factory closures with 1,700 job losses

Remploy - which provides work for people with disabilities - is planning to close 36 of its 54 factories, putting more than 1,700 jobs at risk.

Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller said the sites could be closed by the end of the year as they were not financially viable.

Labour called the decision "the wrong plan at the wrong time".

Big in the news today - although as a disability movement most of us argue for mainstreaming disabled people within the labour market, the political and economic reality that we have to work with is that disabled people who lose theirs jobs through the closure of Remploy factories will probably not find work.

The support infrastructure for disabled people in mainstream employment is woeful.  The scheme that supports disabled people at work through finding adaptions, communication support, equipment etc is being restricted and is harder than ever to obtain.

I personally never aspired to grow up and work in a Remploy factory but for some people this is the only environment in which they can hold a job and have the support they need. Now jobs will be cut without the support in place to help people move to new employment (excuse the assumption that there are enough jobs in the first instance...)

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 05:50:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's hard to understand the rationale for this, it's genuinely penny wise pound foolish

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's hard to understand? If you weren't provident enough to have  all your limbs and senses working properly you don't deserve government handouts or assistance with work. Useless, shiftless, lazy, half-witted disabled "people" should be out begging on the streets. Not the streets that decent people have to use though. Other streets.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over half of Greek youth unemployed | Reuters

(Reuters) - Greek unemployment hit another record high in December and for the first time the number of young people without a job outnumbered those in work.

Statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday that the overall jobless rate rose to 21 percent from 20.9 percent in November, twice the euro zone rate.

The average unemployment rate for 2011 jumped to 17.3 percent from 12.5 percent in the previous year, according to the figures, which are not adjusted for seasonal factors.

Youth were particularly hit. For the first time on record, more people between 15-24 years were without a job than with one. Unemployment in that age group rose to 51.1 percent, twice as high as three years ago.

That is an appallingly high youth unemployment rate, and I don't mean to belittle the dramatic problems it reveals as the Greek economy sinks.

But once again a journalist - Harry Papachristou in Athens for Reuters - walks straight into the unemployment rate fallacy, that the unemployment rate is a percentage of the total population (of the age group concerned).

"more people between 15-24 years were without a job than with one"

No, it means that more than half the active population is looking for a job. The active population, composed of those who have a job and those who are looking for one, in the 15-24 category is lower than in older groups because a large proportion at that age is in education or training, and classified inactive.

The proportions for Greece 15-24 (LFS Eurostat, latest 2010) are approximately

70% inactive
30% active
20% in employment
10% jobseekers

That gives an unemployment rate for 2010 of 33%. Things are obviously getting worse fast, with a move to over 50% during 2011. But the percentage of jobseekers to the total 15-24 population is around 15%, not 51%.

Of course, the inactive population may (and doubtless does) include young people neither in education or in work, and not officially jobseekers so not represented in the unemployment rate. My point, once again, is not to belittle the problem of unemployment in Greece or anywhere else.

But journalists... Gah.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should say h/t Eurointelligence, since Eurointelligence blithely repeats:

Over half of the Greek youth unemployed

Greek unemployment hit another record high in December and for the first time the number of young people without a job outnumbered those in work, Reuters reports.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis live: Greece claims success as bond swap deal concluded | Business | guardian.co.uk

What can we learn from the Greek debt swap process?

Sony Kapoor, director of the Re-Define thinktank, came up with a list of 12 lessons early this morning.

1) Developed country restructuring is no longer taboo,
2) Always try to issue bonds under domestic law
3) Desperation helps
4) Sovereign CDS markets are not that problematic
5) CACs & aggregation clauses can work well
6) Carrot-Stick approach best
7) Bridge financing is important
8) Best 2 restructure with fiscal surpluses, not large deficits
9) Reg forbearance rocks
10) Best to nationalize banks before restructuring
11) In peacetime issue long maturity bonds
12) try GDP-linked bonds

What did he misss?



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 09:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:24:39 AM EST
World powers take joint stance on Iran | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Six of the world's most influential countries have called on Iran to restart talks on its disputed nuclear program with an open mind and without preconditions, as fears of a nuclear bomb mount.

Six world powers on Thursday called on Iran to open a suspicious military site to international inspectors and to ensure that upcoming talks on its nuclear program are meaningful.

"We call on Iran to enter, without pre-conditions, into a sustained process of serious dialogue, which will produce concrete results," said a joint statement from the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany, known as the P5+1. Of the six, only Germany does not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Special envoy Annan urges peaceful solution in Syria | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Kofi Annan has warned against the use of military means to end the Syrian government's bloody crackdown on its opponents. Meanwhile, a UN humanitarian official is reporting devastation in Homs.

The United Nations-Arab League special envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan, urged peace after talks with Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby on Thursday.

"I hope no one is thinking very seriously of using force in this situation. I believe any further militarization will make the situation worse," the former UN secretary general told reporters in Cairo.

"We have to be careful that we don't introduce a medicine that is worse than the disease. We don't have to go very far in the region to find an example of what I am talking about," Annan said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deputy oil minister confirms resignation on FRANCE 24 - SYRIA - FRANCE 24

AFP - Syria's deputy oil minister resigned on Thursday, becoming the most senior official to join the rebel ranks, as Washington revealed it is mulling non-lethal aid to the insurgency.

Abdo Hussameddin announced his resignation in a video posted by activists on YouTube, saying he was joining the revolt.

"I, the engineer Abdo Hussameddin, the deputy oil minister... announce my defection from the regime and my resignation," he said in the video.

"I am joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime, which is seeking to crush the people's demand for freedom and dignity," he added.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:45:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria: deputy oil minister defects - Thursday 8 March 2012 | World news | guardian.co.uk
* Abdo Hussameldin becomes most senior official to switch
* Kofi Annan warns against 'militarisation' of the crisis
* Valerie Amos 'devastated' by what she saw in Baba Amr
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US sees progress as food talks with North Korea end | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

A plan to send desperately needed food to North Korea in exchange for a stop to its nuclear program has moved forward, as a top US envoy returns from two days of talks with Pyongyang.

A top US envoy to North Korea said talks on delivering food aid to North Korea in exchange for a drawback in its nuclear program made progress, but that details on the deal must still be worked out.

Robert King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, said the talks in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday were "complicated" but that both countries had "made progress." He said he would return to Washington to consult with the government.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For Republicans, the search continues | Americas | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

Six US states went to Mitt Romney, three to Rick Santorum, one to Newt Gingrich. Super Tuesday proved one thing: Republicans don't know what they want. This could be problematic in the presidential election in November.

How quickly things change. "Six months ago, thanks to the economic situation, it seemed as if the Republicans were guaranteed to win the presidential election," says Kyle Scott, a political scientist at North Carolina's Duke University.

But, he says, because they haven't been able to choose a single candidate to take on US President Barack Obama, the Republicans' chances are now dwindling. It's a fine line between a primary campaign that toughens a candidate for the actual fight and a duel that leaves the winner badly wounded heading in to the next round.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:36:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know where they got the idea they were a shoo in for the Presidency, cos that was never my impression. Although generic republicans might have had a couple of percentage points advantage over Obama, not even Rasmussen could push an actual named candidate into a lead over him. And now, as the clown parade rampages drunkenly over GOP hopes Obama's lead only lengthens.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-rebel forces seek revenge by locking Libyans in zoo cage | The Observers
The video shows a group of men, their wrists tied up, locked in a zoo cage. In their mouths are pieces of green cloth, which angry men standing around the cage order them to swallow. These shocking images were filmed at a zoo in the northern Libyan city of Misrata. They illustrate the lawlessness of militiamen who fought against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and who now control large parts of the country.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:50:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh well, who cares. We gave them "democracy". They did not understand what it is. Their fault.;) :(
Ohh...my...God...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 08:48:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congo rescue efforts still grounded days after deadly blast - REPUBLIC OF CONGO - FRANCE 24

Efforts to search for survivors in the Brazzaville neighbourhoods flattened by a huge explosion on March 4 remain on hold because of fears of further blasts, international aid groups told France 24 on Wednesday.

The Red Cross and other aid agencies were still waiting to be given the green light to enter the disaster area surrounding the Mpila district in the Congo Republic's capital city.

The explosion catapulted rockets and shells into the surrounding densely populated neighbourhood leaving at least 200 people dead, hundreds injured and many thousands without homes. There are fears that hundreds of bodies lie buried beneath the rubble.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Justice to argue rights of jailed French woman may have been violated - MEXICO - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

AP - A Mexican Supreme Court justice will argue that a French woman serving a 60-year sentence for kidnapping should be released because authorities violated her rights, according to a written opinion released by the court on Wednesday.

The opinion by Justice Arturo Zaldivar now must be discussed and voted on by a five-justice panel of the court, and no date has been set for that discussion.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's presence grows in murky world of arms trading - CHINA - FRANCE 24

The world might be struggling under the weight of the worst economic crisis since World War Two, but many countries are apparently more willing than ever to splash out on tanks, fighter jets and AK47s.

A new report by a Swedish think-tank on the often murky arms business revealed sales of weapons and military services by the world's biggest producers reached $411 billion in 2010, at a time when Western powers were struggling economically.

That figure represents a one percent increase on 2009 figures and a 60 percent rise since 2002.

The data, released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), concentrated on the world's top 100 arms producing companies, 44 of which were in the United States.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colombia:
BOGOTA - Colombia's National Liberation Army, or ELN, said it is willing to end its offensive against the oil industry if the government agrees to make some areas off-limits and to levy a $10 per barrel "social tax" on production of crude. The ELN, which has a history of blowing up pipelines and kidnapping oil workers in the petroleum-rich northeastern province of Arauca, made the proposal in a document posted on its Web site.
More here.
IKN: Blame the pipeline explosions or blame the recent strikes at the Rubiales field, but when push comes the shove the baseline is that Colombia's much-vaunted oil boom has stalled in the last few months.

Colombia Reports: The United States said Tuesday that Colombia continues to be the world's largest coca producer and source of 95% of the cocaine seized within the U.S.

Colombia Reports: The Colombian government and hostage mediators have approved protocols for the planned release of FARC captives, the Defense Ministry told Colombia Reports Thursday. The protocols were endorsed by the International Red Cross, hostage mediators Colombians for Peace,  and the governments of Brazil and Colombia.

Colombia Reports: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez have agreed to push forward a new bilateral trade agreement, said a statement released on Colombia's presidential website Thursday.  The agreement, a further sign of growing closesness between the two nations, includes plans to for joint infrastructure and production of agricultural products.

Setty's Notebook: There was a big, horrible oil spill in a Venezuelan river Feb. 4.
More here.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A prominent Haitian banker whose son recently pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal bribery case has been killed in the capital of Port-au-Prince, police said Wednesday.

The Cuban Triangle: Cuba and the United States share a mutual interest in reducing drug flows in the vicinity of the island, and in 2011, Cuba maintained a significant level of cooperation with U.S. counternarcotics efforts.
More Cuban Odds and Ends.

BBC: China's investment and aid looms increasingly large in the English-speaking Caribbean.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 06:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That last item should have been identified as The Economist, instead of the BBC.  Attribute the error to end-of-the-week exhaustion on my part...

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 05:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:25:58 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Environment / Poland to veto EU low carbon plan

BRUSSELS - Polish environment minister Marcin Korolec has said he will veto an EU proposal for CO2 cuts at a meeting in Brussels on Friday (9 March).

The minister told Polish press agency, Pap, in Warsaw on Wednesday: "Our position is - we do not agree to any higher EU reduction goals looking to the year 2020. To currently define climate policy, when we do not know what global negotiations will look like, is seriously premature."

The Danish EU presidency at a meeting of environment ministers in the EU capital is to propose the Union should make even deeper cuts to carbon emissions in an energy roadmap up to 2050.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / News In Brief / China blocks Airbus orders over CO2 tax
Louis Gallois, the head of Eads, which makes Airbus jets, has warned that China is blocking orders in retaliation against an EU tax on CO2 emissions from Chinese planes in EU airspace. "It [the CO2 tax] is creating ... opposition between Europe and the rest of the world," he said.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:43:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SMEs launch electric car push - FRANCE 24

AFP - Small and mid-sized firms are jumping into the electric vehicle market in Europe, hoping that their niche product and the buzz surrounding green cars generated by major automakers would help propel their success.

Most of them have been around for just five or six years, and count just a handful of employees.

Lumeneo, a French company based close to Paris, is a case in point.

"The idea is to build very small cars to resolve parking problems in town and it's because of the size constraint that we decided on the electric car," said its marketing director Xavier Moulene at the Geneva Motor Show.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:48:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhh, San Francisco:

An excellent report from the highly reliable ILSR (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
  Rooftop Revolution: Changing Everything with Cost-Effective Local Solar


With the cost of solar power plunging and retail electric prices rising, 100 million Americans in the nation's largest cities will be able to "go solar" for a lower price than grid electricity in the next ten years.  Seizing this opportunity requires rethinking electricity policy and planning even while solar produces less than 1% of the nation's electricity.  Investments in new centralized power plants and transmission could divert billions of ratepayers dollars from a democratization of the electricity system.  At the same time, energy subsidies - for fossil fuels and solar energy - must be gradually transformed into barrier-breaking incentives that maintain the pace of growth and push solar into all corners of the country.

Again, it all comes down to the hold on politics by the conventional energy industry. And that the largest share of the population remains asleep or narcotized.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 01:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You might want to click through to the parent organization, ILSR, with over 35 years experience in strengthening local democracy. I first discovered them during the founding years, through their involvement in setting community-based energy policy.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 01:19:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Klimazwiebel blog: The financial and the climate crisis: an anthropologist's view
I recently found an article in which [David Graeber] links the financial and the climate crisis: "Against Kamikaze capitalism: oil, climate change and the French refinery blockades" (shift magazine, Nov. 2010). It's worth to have a look at it for several reasons:
  • the target is not as usual the "public" or the "consumer"; instead, it is the oil industry;
  • the article links environmental justice with social justice;
  • he argues against the "productivity ethos" and the "work ethos trap"
  • and thinks  that  environmentalists and workers can be unlikely allies;
  • and he argues that not money is scarce, but natural resources.
As in "debt", Graeber shows that there are possibilities available to the administrative-academic monocultures which dominate the discussion about global warming. Instead, he opens up the discussion and translates the scientific consensus on climate change into a program of political activism.
(My emphasis)

There is no reason whatsoever that natural resource constraints should result in unemployment.

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 05:14:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:26:13 AM EST
Munich court upholds ban on publication of 'Mein Kampf' | News | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

A Munich court has upheld an injunction preventing publication of Hitler's "Mein Kampf." A German weekly had wanted to print excerpts accompanied by commentary from academics.

British publisher Peter McGee had planned to print passages from Adolf Hitler's book in the January issue of "Zeitzeugen."

"We believe the court's decision is wrong," McGee said on Thursday. Even so, he said he would respect the ruling and refrain from publishing the excerpts.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gorilla DNA reveals human history, study says | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

An international team of scientists has successfully sequenced the genome of the gorilla - the last great ape to have its genes decoded. Humans, it turns out, have more in common with gorillas than once thought.

Four years after taking DNA from Kamilah, a female western lowland gorilla from the San Diego Zoo, researchers say they have now completed a basic genetic library of the four great apes.

The team's results were published Wednesday in the journal, Nature.

A worldwide team of scientists, led by Britain's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, sequenced 20,962 genes extracted from Kamilah's skin, comparing for the first time the genomes of all four living great apes.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:38:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neo-Nazis cloak themselves in eco-rhetoric | Environment | DW.DE | 08.03.2012

They're into organic farming, oppose GMOs and worry about endangered species protection. Right-wing extremists are increasingly active in typically left-wing movements. Experts say the trend is troublesome.

"Environmental protection should be inherent to cultural progress." That's a statement that could easily be attributed to any environmentalist group. Instead it comes from the National Democratic Party (NPD), a far-right but still legal German party, and it's another sign of how right-wing groups are increasingly latching on to environmental topics.

The connection between right-wing extremism and environmentalism is not new, but experts believe the growing trend represents a real threat, because it helps push extremist views into the mainstream.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, the assumption of a strict left-right spectrum of political viewpoints is the real problem.
by asdf on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, ETA also supported all kinds of "radical" causes.

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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:24:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nazis tried to capture left-wing themes since their inception.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 04:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The unfinished revolution of Tunisia's women - TUNISIA - FRANCE 24

To commemorate International Women's Day on March 8, Amel Ben Attia says she will trade her customary jeans and sneakers for the colourful flowing traditional Tunisian robe still worn by peasant women in this North African nation.

For the 31-year-old artist and activist, her special Women's Day garb is a provocative act intented at "showing all those who stole the revolution and who want to impose customs that are not ours that the niqab [the Saudi-style, all-concealing Islamic garb] does not represent Tunisian women," she says emphatically.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:46:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The requirement is to dress modestly, yet men impose it upon women as an immoderate display of their own piety, "see how pious  am that I make my woman dress this way". It's a symptom of vanity and boastfulness. It's the exact opposite of Qu'ranic intent.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:50:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Female students protest DSK Cambridge invite - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY - FRANCE 24

Female students at the UK's distinguished Cambridge University are protesting disgraced former IMF boss Dominique Strauss Kahn's invitation to address the university's Union Society on Friday, one day after International Women's Day. The Cambridge University Student's Union Women's Campaign has collected more than 800 signatures calling for Strauss-Kahn, known in France as DSK, to be "disinvited" from the Union Society (known simply as "the Union").   Strauss Kahn was arrested in May 2011 and charged with an alleged sexual assault against Nafissatou Diallo, a hotel maid at the Manhattan Sofitel where the then-IMF chief was staying.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple unveils latest version of the iPad - TECHNOLOGY - FRANCE 24

AFP - Apple unveiled a third-generation iPad on Wednesday enhanced with features aimed at keeping it on top of the booming tablet computer market.

The new iPad boasts a more powerful processor, eye-grabbing resolution on par with that of an iPhone 4S, and the ability to connect to the latest 4G LTE telecom networks that move data faster than their predecessors.

"We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said, noting that iPad sales topped those of any personal computer maker during the final three months of last year.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Matisse show in Paris explores artist's obsessive work habits - ART - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - A major exhibition on Henri Matisse opening in Paris this week brings a new perspective to his work, showing the painstaking creative process behind the simple shapes and strident colours that made the French artist's name.

"Matisse: Pairs and Series" explores for the first time how one of the greatest painters of the 20th century would repeat the same composition again and again, varying colour and technique, before being satisfied with the result.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:28:14 AM EST
Late pope John Paul II 'could be made saint soon' - FRANCE 24

AFP - A second miracle attributed to late pope John Paul II has been reported and he could be made a saint soon, said Italy's Panorama weekly on Thursday, citing documents sent to the Vatican.

The miraculous healing occurred just weeks after John Paul II's grandiose beatification on May 1 last year, which put him on the path to sainthood just six years after his death and was attended by over a million people.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 11:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the first miracle was the curing of  Sister Marie Simon-Pierre who is supposed to have had Parkinson's disease. She is now 46, and is supposed to have contracted the disease at the age of 40, which is very unusual, and makes one wonder whether the diagnosis was correct. Pity they no longer have a Devil's Advocate to make such arguments.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Mar 10th, 2012 at 02:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<profanity elided>

Have these fools never heard of "Spontaneous Remission?"

Can we PLEASE return to ... heck, I don't know.  The Nineteenth Century?

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

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 10th, 2012 at 03:33:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Himself is stomping around the house, ranting and raving about the stupidity of this.  
by ElaineinNM on Sat Mar 10th, 2012 at 03:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he's discovering that life is a controlled hallucination ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 10th, 2012 at 04:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It best be a good trip then.
by sgr2 on Sun Mar 11th, 2012 at 07:37:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 12:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 09:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We just had few Australians last Sunday for Serbian BBQ and they were impresed.Something like this:

 

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

by vbo on Thu Mar 8th, 2012 at 09:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austin, Texas, loses a local icon. It's been all over the internet and all the "major" media in Austin:

Leslie Cochran dies at age 60.

He was the town's favorite thong-wearing, cross-dressing alcoholic, and a bit of a tourist attraction, too.  RIP, Leslie.

'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 Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 02:34:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good guy, sounds a bit like Joshua Norton, Emperor of the USA

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 03:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
San Francisco's one and only.
by sgr2 on Sun Mar 11th, 2012 at 07:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as he doesn't build up an army, like Emperor Smith (inspired by Norton)

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 12th, 2012 at 05:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries