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

8 February 2013

by In Wales Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 04:43:36 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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 - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  •  ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  • WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  • ON THIS DATE - an occasional item about what happened on this date in history.
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • If you click on "Post a Comment", this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page. Please use "Reply to This" to avoid doing that.

Display:
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:30:27 AM EST
Cameron's Conservatives cave in to the 'zeitgeist' | Europe | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

The passing of the same-sex marriage bill earlier this week was hailed by its supporters as a revolutionary moment, but Cameron risked rebellion in his own party to pass the bill. So can he heal the rifts in his party?

For Conservative parliamentarian Sir Peter Bottomley of the Worthing West region of southern England, Tuesday's UK Parliament vote (05.02.2013) on same-sex marriage in the UK was both personal and political.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:06:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Montenegro's peculiar path to EU membership | Europe | DW.DE | 07.02.2013
Montenegro is not a eurozone member; not even a member of the EU. But for years this small Balkan country has been using the euro as its currency. In an odd twist, it may now have to give it up in order to join the EU.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:06:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No anonymity for sperm donors, court rules | Germany | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

The decision of a regional appeals court in Hamm that the children of sperm donors have the right to know who their fathers are could have a wider impact - some 100,000 children in Germany were born to sperm donors.

For people who cannot have children, sperm banks can be a big help. Germany has 14 sperm banks, where women who want to have children can potentially realize their wishes, with the sperm of a healthy man. Until now, the anonymity of sperm donors was guaranteed most of the time.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:08:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's gay marriage bill has parliament in stitches... or asleep | Les blogs

French lawmakers have begun addressing the government's marriage equality bill along with the 5,396 amendments filed by the conservative opposition in the hope of hindering its progress. Fourteen consecutive days have been accorded to the bill, meaning a two-week parliamentary tug of war.

 

Seemingly fatigued by the tedium of more than 5,000 obscure amendments and the rash mudslinging that comes with late-night sessions, certain lawmakers have been finding it difficult to remain focused on the task at hand.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: At last, a deal on the Irish promissory notes (08.02.2013)
The ECB nodded off an agreement on the Irish promissory notes after all; deal swaps €28bn of promissory notes into longer term government bonds with an average maturity of 34 years; interest rate will be 3% per year, as opposed 8% on the notes; deal produces a total cashflow benefit of €20bn over the next 10 years; Michael Noonan says inflation will take care of the future fiscal burden; opposition invokes the spectre that unborn children have to pay off the debt; FT Alphaville points out that the deal will have important implications for the ECB's emergency lending assistance; Philip Lane says the deal will ensure that cheap ECB funding is there to stay; Mario Draghi reiterates one of the oldest and most standard lines in monetary policy, and sends the euro tumbling; ECB president made the profound observation he will consider the impact of a permanent appreciation on price stability; market interested the statement that the ECB had now officially entered the currency war; Gavyn Davies says relax, nothing has changed, ECB policies remain relatively the hardest; Silvio Berlusconi now goes for young voters, offering them special tax breaks if they set up a business or buy a property; Mario Monti has also jumped on the tax cutting bandwagon, but more cautiously with a promise to cut income tax, if the situation allows this; the PD's economic spokes says the Monti government got its math wrong when it raised taxes; Italian prosecutors find more evidence of illegal transactions, as they dig deep into Monte dei Paschi's accounts; Draghi defends his position at the Bank of Italy over the MPS scandal; Spanish Socialists asks prosecutors to investigate link between donations and government contracts; Esperanza Aguirre, Mariano Rayoj's internal rival, calls for an internal affairs investigator; El Pais has more details on the interviews with a key witness, who confirmed the payments from the slush funds; Spain prepares reforms to encourage the rental market for housing - through a register of rogue renters and an expedited eviction procedure; German real wage inflation declined for the third year running in 2012 - so much for real adjustment; Peer Steinbruck hits more troubles as a dubious Peer-blog, supposedly independent and funded by anonymous businessmen, closes amid a public outcry; Martin Wolf and Anatol Kaletsky, meanwhile, argue that the time has come to ditch the inflation targeting regime, and to fund government deficits directly.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 04:06:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So much for adjustment - German inflation keeps on falling and falling

We are probably more worried about this type of news than many others. Unlike some of the sceptics, we believe that real adjustment in the eurozone is possible, but requires some degree of symmetry. Unfortunately, Germany is now reverting to old form, and tries to improve its competitive position through disinflation. Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that real incomes have risen by only 0.6% in 2012, while nominal incomes went up 2.6%. You can see the trend: real incomes were up 1.5% in 2010, 1.1% in 2011, and now 0.6% in 2012. And the paper finds economists who are calling for even more wage restraint.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 04:08:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Noonan says inflation will take care of the future fiscal burden

Over the ECB's dead, stinking body.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 05:30:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More on the rise of labour conscription in Europe
Athens announced yet another civil mobilisation decree, this time against striking seamen, who were reportedly delivered military-style orders by coast guard officials Tuesday evening. Workers who refused to comply with the command face up to five years in prison.
[...]
in democratic societies, civil mobilisation has been pretty unheard of since the two World Wars.
[...]
Greece has engaged in civil mobilisation now ten times since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974
[...]
under the 2007 law, labour conscription is still possible only in a "sudden situation requiring the taking of immediate measures to face the country's defensive needs or a social emergency against any type of imminent natural disaster or emergency that might endanger the public health."

Rotting fruit in a truck, however frustrating and damaging to economic interests, still does not count.
[...]

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 09:12:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emprunts toxiques : la Seine-Saint-Denis crie victoire contre Dexia toxic loans: Seine-Saint-Denis claims victory against Dexia
Le tribunal de grande instance de Nanterre a annulé vendredi 8 février les taux d'intérêt considérés comme usuraires de trois prêts contractés par le conseil général de Seine-Saint-Denis auprès de la banque Dexia, a annoncé à l'AFP le département.The Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre has canceled Friday, February 8 interest rates considered usurious on three loans contracted by the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis with the bank Dexia, told AFP the department.
Ces taux d'intérêt, "qui ont contribué à plonger les finances du département dans une situation dramatique", seront remplacés par le taux d'intérêt légal en vigueur, a précisé dans un communiqué le conseil général, faisant état d'une "importante victoire judiciaire (...) contre le scandale des emprunts toxiques".These interest rates "that helped plunge the finances of the department in a dramatic situation" will be replaced by the rate of legal interest, said in a statement the council, reporting an "important legal victory (...) against the scandal of toxic loans" .


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 10:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter / euHvR: Deal done! #euco has agreed ...
Herman Van Rompuy Herman Van RompuyVerified account@euHvR 27m

Deal done! #euco has agreed on #MFF for the rest of the decade. Worth waiting for.

960 million euros a year, apparently. Europe short-changed.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 10:51:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They cut the good part of the budget and leave the crappy parts. Yay.

Countries should be able to unilaterally say "No thank you" to EU funds, and then automatically reduce their membership fee by the same amount.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 12:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Membership fee"? It's a club?

Doing what you suggest means leaving the EU.

But perhaps you jest.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 01:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh... the EU is a club. That's why we talk about EU membership countries.

I don't see what the problem is? Let's say the union want to pay country X regional and agricultural funds amounting to 1 billion euros. Then I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to opt out from that silliness, and just say "I think we'd rather pay the union one bllion less, and then spend that billion in some other way, according to the wishes of our elected officals for example".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 01:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is a treaty organisation with hard, signed, ratified obligations. It's only a club in a metaphorical sense favoured by journalists.

Opting out from "silliness" basically means you don't want to be in the EU. Or you want it to be a free-trade zone that happens to suit your economy, or some such.

If you don't agree on the use of funds from the EU budget, you attempt to get other member states to agree to make changes in the way they're distributed. Oh, and member states do have a certain amount of freedom to discriminate in the way funds allocated to them are spent. Concerning the CAP, the allocation of subsidies to different types of production is determined by the national governments. Regional funds are allocated according to applications by the member states, etc.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All the way since back in 1994 the words medlemskap (membership) and medlemsavgift (member fee) have been used by everyone in the Swedish debate about the EU.

I think you're just obfuscating here. Sure the EU is run through treaties. It's not like clubs don't have rules for their members. That's more usual than not.

Still, I insist it makes no sense that country A should pay the EU 2 billions euros and get 1 back, while country B pays 1 billion and get 2 back. Why not just have country A pay 1 billion and recieve nothing back, while country B pays nothing and gets 1 billion back?

I makes no sense at all just to pay money to the EU, process it through the EU bureaucracy and then get it back again. We would be much better off spending that money on things we decide ourselves, rather than having it forced into madcap programs like the regional funds or CAP.

If the EU could just remember the principle of subsidarity and focus on truly international issues like free trade, technical standards, crossborder infrastructure and pollution and the inner market, I'd be much happier.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 09:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have three words for you: surplus recycling mechanism.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 10:10:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have nothing against such a thing. But I do not like the idea of sending money to the EU just to receive some it back, and then not being able to use that money the way we see fit. It would be better to send less money in the first place.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 10:37:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see what's wrong with requiring contributions to be proportional to GDP and letting EU funding go to projects on their own merits and on its own rules. EU funding has different incentives than national funding, for instance requiring cross-border cooperation to be eligible for funds.

The 'net' amounts are ex-post-facto. The only thing you can calculate a priori is the gross member state contributions to the EU budget.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 11:19:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are several different types of "EU Funding", some of which are entirely spent nationally, so I'm not sure you can be so sweeping.

Also the national payments to the EU, and the funding (of all types) that is 'returned' to that nation, cannot necessarily be compared monetarily. When it comes back it has turned into Keynsian dosh! i.e. it is returned for specific 5 year projects that are intended to benefit all in Europe.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 12:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The numbers are those agreed by Merkel and Hollande on Wednesday night. Now watch them spin.

The triumph of Cameron?

Bearing in mind that the Parliament has warned that it will veto a budget cut. Let's hope they stick to their guns.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 11:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:30:44 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / Moldova takes action on EU-Russia money laundering

BRUSSELS - Moldova has launched criminal proceedings in a money laundering case involving its biggest bank, the Russian mafia and six EU countries.

The move comes after UK-based investment firm, Hermitage Capital, filed a complaint with the Moldovan prosecutor in June.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:58:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Opinion / The monetary masquerade
BRUSSELS - Since the great global recession, all major advanced economies have resorted to series of liquidity injections to alleviate fiscal challenges.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU leaders gather for budget horse-trading
BRUSSELS - EU leaders are gathering in Brussels on Thursday (7 February) for more horse-trading on the EU's long term budget, with any agreement having to satisfy penny-counting member states while not completely antagonising the European Parliament.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:00:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Long-term European Union budget proposal divides leaders | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

European Union leaders were prepared for a late night, as talks on a long-term budget for the bloc got underway in Brussels. Britain and France are among the countries at loggerheads over the financial way forward.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that success was far from certain ahead of talks aimed at reaching agreement on the European Union's (EU) 2014 to 2020 budget, but she also pledged to do her best to help get a deal done.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:01:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB financing rate on hold despite business pressures | Business | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

The European Central Bank has said its keeping its benchmark financing rate on hold at a record-low 0.75 percent. The ECB has refused to enact any changes despite pressures created by the rise of the euro.

Hope that the worst might be over for the eurozone prompted the European Central Bank (ECB) on Tuesday to decide against a lowering of its key interest rate already standing at a record-low 0.75 percent.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daimler group profits up in "mixed" 2012 | Business News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

German automaker Daimler posted record sales and revenues in all of its units in 2012. However, despite selling more busses, trucks and cars, growth in group profit was primarily achieved through an asset sale.

The net profit of German automaker Daimler rose by 8 percent to 6.5 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in 2012, as the group sold a total of 2.198 million vehicles worldwide, up 4 percent from the previous year.

However, the rise in net profit only came about through Daimler's sale of its stake in European aerospace giant EADS which netted the group 709 million euros, according to Daimler's annual earnings report released Thursday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:03:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
However, the rise in net profit only came about through Daimler's sale of its stake in European aerospace giant EADS

Actually, it was only half it's stake.

And look who they sold it to:

Daimler Sells Half Its Stake in EADS for $2.2 Billion - NYTimes.com

LONDON - The German carmaker Daimler sold half of its stake in the aerospace giant European Aeronautic Defense and Space on Thursday in deal worth 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The move is part of an overhaul of the ownership structure of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, which failed to complete a multibillion-dollar merger with the British aerospace company BAE Systems in October. The deal was aborted because of political divisions involving Britain, France and Germany.

Daimler said on Thursday that it had sold half of its 15 percent holding in EADS to a number of investors, including the German state-owned bank KfW. The automaker added that it had sold the stake at 27.23 euros a share, the closing price of EADS on Wednesday.

Also, IIRC Daimler will continue to exercise the voting rights for the entire KfW block.

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 Feb 8th, 2013 at 06:13:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brazilians heading home from Portugal | Europe | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

The European financial crisis is reversing old migration paths. Many Brazilians are now moving out of Portugal and back to their home country.

Seventeen years ago, Gabriela Nogueira moved from her home country of Brazil to Portugal. Back then, in the mid '90s, the Brazilian economy was struggling with very high inflation rates and the introduction of a new, revalued currency. Only a few Brazilians saw any perspective for the future in their own country.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence: At last, a deal on the Irish promissory notes (08.02.2013)
Wolf and Kaletsky on the monetary financing of deficits

Martin Wolf and Anatol Kaletsky both picked up on a speech by Adair Turner, in which he openly advocated monetary financing of debt. QE and other forms of non-conventional policies had not brought the desired benefits, and it was now time for the biggest of all bazookas.

Martin Wolf picks up on the debate about nominal GDP targeting, and calls for an official re-assessment of the current inflation targeting regime, which he says is failing in the current environment.

I agree with Lord Turner that the even more important question is how to make any policy effective. This, inevitably, raises questions about how monetary policy works in an environment of ultra-low interest rates. Lord Turner thinks the unthinkable: namely, monetary financing of the fiscal deficit. So should policy makers. They have to think afresh. If not now, when?
Anatole Kaletsky recalls that Keynes and the Monetarist agreed on the notion that in dire circumstance the central bank should create money. Keynes advocated money to be deposit in coal mines, for workers to extract it. The monetarists chose the then high-tech variety of a helicopter drop. This is how Kaletsky would do it:
Consider the U.S. Federal Reserve. At present the Fed prints $85 billion of new money monthly and distributes it to banks and Wall Street investors by buying government bonds. And the Fed has promised to continue this monthly "quantitative easing" until such time as unemployment drops and is clearly and sustainably declining to more normal levels. Now suppose instead that the Fed divided its $85 billion monthly money production into 300 million checks of $283 each and sent these to every man, woman and child in America. Suppose, moreover, that the Fed promised to keep sending out these checks, worth more than $1,000 a month for a four-person household, until the United States reached its unemployment target - and the Fed chairman added that he would increase the checks to $1,500 or $2,000 a month for that household if $1,000 monthly proved insufficient. There can be little doubt that this deluge of free money would stimulate consumer spending and revive employment - and no doubt that it would be infinitely more effective than distributing money to bond investors and banks through QE.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 04:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anatole Kaletsky: A breakthrough speech on monetary policy (Reuters, February 7, 2013)
Wednesday night may have marked the "emperor's new clothes" moment of the Great Recession, in which the world suddenly realizes its rulers are suffering from a delusion that doesn't have to be humored. That delusion today is economic fatalism: the idea that nothing can be done to break the paralysis in the global economy and therefore that a "new normal" of mass unemployment and declining living standards is inevitable for years or decades to come.

That such economic fatalism is nonsensical is the key message of a truly historic speech delivered on Wednesday by Adair Turner, chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority and one of the most influential financial policymakers in the world. Turner argues that a virtually surefire method of stimulating economic activity exists today and that politicians and central bankers can no longer treat it as taboo: Newly created money should be handed out to the citizens or governments of countries that are mired in stagnation and such monetary financing of tax cuts or government spending should continue until economic activity revives.

The idea of distributing free money to end deep recessions has been promoted theoretically by serious economists since the 1930s, when it was one of the few practical policies that Keynesians and monetarists agreed on. John Maynard Keynes proposed burying money in disused coal mines to be dug up by unemployed workers, while Milton Friedman suggested dropping money out of helicopters for citizens to pick up. Friedman also argued in a 1948 paper that governments should rely solely on printed money to finance their regular cyclical deficits. More recently, as conventional policies to revive growth have faltered, with widespread disappointment about the impact of zero interest rates and quantitative easing, proposals for distributing money directly to citizens have been quietly gaining traction among critics of orthodox central banks. I discussed this trend, sometimes described as "quantitative easing for the people," in several columns last year.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 04:15:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first comment predictably says "OMG Weimar".
I believe the answer to this is "Zero Lower Bound"?
(Or "Liquidity Trap".)

Here's Krugman

From the very beginning of the Lesser Depression, the central principle for understanding macroeconomic policy has been that everything is different when you're in a liquidity trap. In particular, the whole case for fiscal stimulus and against austerity rests on the proposition that with interest rates up against the zero lower bound, the central bank can neither achieve full employment on its own nor offset the contractionary effect of spending cuts or tax hikes.
[...] clearly, there's something about the notion that the rules for policy depend on the situation that some economists just don't want to understand.

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 06:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Much of that is good but...

"John Maynard Keynes proposed burying money in disused coal mines to be dug up by unemployed workers"

... I wish he did not help propagate that meme. Keynes was sarcastic there, showing how the goldbugs made no sense. He certainly proposed infrastructure spending as a better way to give newly created money to the unemployed.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lord Turner thinks the unthinkable: namely, monetary financing of the fiscal deficit. So should policy makers. They have to think afresh. If not now, when?
We really are in a dark age of macroeconomics when we have to rediscovered what we knew 80 years ago.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 06:05:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Lord Turner thinks the unthinkable: namely, monetary financing of the fiscal deficit. So should policy makers."

Indeed that should be olds, not news, but this is big. Because it's written in the FT.

It will be long before that becomes a reality, however after 40 years of right-wing propaganda, it's a welcome change to see some sense beginning to appear where it's likely to be read.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:31:56 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Opinion / Hezbollah at Europe's doorstep

BRUSSELS - What further evidence does the European Union need to declare Hezbollah an international terrorist group?

The latest proof comes from Bulgaria.

After a six month investigation, Bulgaria has concluded in a new report that Hezbollah was behind the July 2012 bus attack in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists, their Bulgarian bus driver and wounded more than 30 other Israelis.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is such an unlikely outrage that my more paranoid leanings suggest it was a black flag operation

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 10:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly unsure how EUobserver can talk categorically of proof.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 11:19:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ayatollah Khamanei rejects direct talks between Iran and US | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

Iran's supreme leader has rejected direct talks with the US, saying they would not solve problems. The statement casts doubts over dialogue between Tehran and Washington over Iranian nuclear policy.

The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Thursday rejected the idea for one-on-one talks, proposed by US Vice President Joe Biden at the Munich Security Conference in Germany last week.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party rejects PM's plan for technocrat government | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

Tunisia's ruling Islamist party has rejected a plan by the prime minister to form a government of technocrats amid unrest sparked by the killing of an opposition leader. Some protests have turned violent.

The parliamentary leader of Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party on Thursday rejected the planned formation of a new government made up of technocrats announced earlier by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

"We have rejected this proposal... The head of the government took the decision without consulting the (ruling) coalition or the Ennahda movement," Sahbi Atig said on national television.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Political crisis grips Tunisia in wake of assassination - TUNISIA - FRANCE 24

Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party on Thursday rejected the prime minister's pledge to form a government of technocrats and to call fresh elections, one day after the assassination of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid .

Tunisia's ambassador to France criticised Ennahda's opposition to Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali's plans to form a new government.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian fighter jets briefly 'violate' Japanese airspace | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

Japan's defense ministry has said two Russian fighter jets briefly breached its airspace off the northern tip of the island of Hokkaido, forcing Japanese fighters to scramble in response. Russia denied the intrusion.

The two Russian planes were detected for just over a minute Thursday. Defense ministry official Yoshihide Yoshida said it was not immediately known whether the violation was intentional or accidental, but that it was "extremely problematic."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High-speed bus crash kills 53 in Zambia | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

At least 53 people have died in a road accident north of the Zambian capital, Lusaka. Reports suggest that a bus taking passengers from a mining district to the capital collided with an oncoming truck.

The bus, operated by the Zambian Postal Service, was on its way from the Copperbelt mining province to the capital early on Thursday when the accident happened.

Zambian Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni said at least 53 people had died in the crash near the town of Chibombo, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the capital. A further 22 people were taken to local hospitals.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany and the Philippines diffuse airport row, talk investments | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

Germany and the Philippines have agreed to put a decade-long dispute over an airport terminal contract behind them. In Manila, Germany's foreign minister has said he sees great "potential" between the two countries.

Marking the first German cabinet minister to visit the Philippines since the 2002 dispute erupted, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met with his Filipino counterpart Albert del Rosario and President Benigno Aquino in Manila on Thursday.

Referring to the airport contract row Westerwelle said, "This shouldn't be an obstacle for our economic collaboration."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany set to aid Rwanda again | Africa | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

With accusations Rwanda was involved in supporting Congolese rebels, the German government suspended financial assistance to the country. Rights organizations strongly disagree with Germany's decision to resume aid.

The decision came as a big surprise. After a meeting between the German minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, and Rwanda's Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, the German government announced it would provide 7 million euro ($9.4 million) in aid to Rwanda over the next 12 months. The money though will not be feed directly into government coffers, but will instead be used for projects and development.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French troops attempting to secure Mali's Gao - Africa - Al Jazeera English

A French military operation to secure the northern Malian town of Gao is still under way, nearly two weeks after French and Malian troops moved into the city, a military spokesperson has said.

French troops are now searcing out al-Qaeda-linked rebels who may be mixing among the population of the town, after new clashes raised questions about the military's hold over the north.

Colonel Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesperson, said on Thursday that there was a risk of a "residual presence" of rebels among the population.

Rebels fired rocket launchers at French troops near Gao on Tuesday.

Further north in the area of Kidal, French Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighter jets have been hammering targets including the rebels' logistical depots and training camps, the French military says.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President's son leads Chadians against Islamists in Mali | Reuters

(Reuters) - Around 1,000 troops from Chad led by the president's son advanced towards the mountains of northeast Mali on Thursday to join French search-and-destroy operations hunting Islamist jihadists.

A column of 100 Chadian armored vehicles, jeeps and supply trucks rolled out of Kidal, the Saharan town 1,200 km (750 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako. From Kidal, French and Chadian forces backed by French warplanes are striking against Islamist rebel hideouts in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range straddling the border with Algeria.

President Idriss Deby's son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, commanded the Chadian column. He told Reuters its mission was to "fight terrorism, and eradicate it from the region", a reference to the al Qaeda-allied fighters in the mountains who are being bombarded almost daily by French aircraft.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France `paid $17 million' ransom for Mali hostages - FRANCE - MALI - FRANCE 24
According to a former US ambassador to Mali, France paid 17 million dollars in 2010 to free four French hostages still being held by their Salafist kidnappers, probably in the county's north-eastern Ifoghas mountain range. By FRANCE 24 (text)  

Paris paid a ransom in 2010 of some 17 million dollars to free four French hostages - who are still being held by al Qaeda-linked militants, probably in northern Mali, according to a former US ambassador to Mali.

The Malian crisis

"Two years ago, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped a number of French citizens at a uranium mine in Niger," Vicki Huddleston, who was US ambassador to Mali from 2002 to 2005, told French news channel iTélé late on Thursday.

"To get them freed, France paid a 17-million-dollar ransom. Like all ransoms, it was paid indirectly, through the Malian government, which forwarded at least some of the funds to the Salafists [Islamists]."

The four hostages for whom she said the ransom was paid were taken from the Arlit uranium mine on September 16, 2010.

A further two were taken at Hombori in Mali in November 2011 and the seventh in November 2012 at Kayes, also in Mali.

All seven are believed to be held somewhere in the Ifoghas mountain range in the far north-east of Mali near the Algerian border, where most of the insurgents are believed to be located.

Late on Thursday, French and Chadian troops arrived at the desert town of Aguelhok [LINK], 160 km from the Algerian border, in striking range of the Ifoghas.

As French-led forces moved through northern Mali in a lightning strike to drive out a 10-month Islamist occupation of the north of the country, security was tightened at the uranium mining sites in neighbouring Niger, which are vital to the French economy.

Late in January, there were unconfirmed reports that French energy giant Areva was using French Army Special Forces to reinforce their existing security operation at its Niger sites.

France has always denied paying ransoms to hostage takers. There has been no official reaction to the story since it was published.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 05:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:32:20 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Headline News / MEPs back end to fish discard 'madness'
BRUSSELS - MEPs have voted in more eco-friendly rules on fish discards as part of a package to reform the EU's much-maligned common fisheries policy (CFP).
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have read this a few times, but I still cannot figure it out.
What exactly are they proposing, in terms of what each boat or crew will do?
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 06:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on the article, I would say lower quotas.

The real reform I think is the way quotas will be calculated starting from what is sustainable rather then from what is wished. Which is good, but does not appear to be directly related to the problem of discards.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 08:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Yes, I didn't see that link either. Short of a policeman or a goverment beurocrat on each ship, I'm not sure what they can do.
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
60 years on, cities still struggle with smog | Environment | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

In big cities around the world, from China to Afghanistan, authorities are still fighting the battle against smog. This, despite the fact that 60 years ago, Londoners suffered from a dramatic air pollution event.

These days air pollution in the British capital, London, is less visible than it was in decades past. But, with the high car and truck volume heading along busy inner city streets like Euston Road, experts are still believe that, even if the problem is becoming less visible, it is still causing major problems.

Recently, smog levels in China were linked to the reduced weights of newborn babies in the country. In London, more than 4,000 people still die every year from illnesses linked to air pollution, said a recent House of Commons report.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WWF plans to use drones to protect wildlife | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Conservation group WWF has announced plans to deploy surveillance drones to aid its efforts to protect species in the wild, as the South African government revealed that 82 rhinos had been poached there since the new year.

The green group says that by the end of the year, it will have deployed "eyes in the sky" in one country in Africa or Asia, with a second country following in 2014 as part of a $5m hi-tech push to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:13:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:32:41 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / EU and Israel research crime-stopping drones
BRUSSELS - The EU and a large Israeli military contractor are co-funding research to build drones that can stop moving boats and cars.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
| News | DW.DE | 06.02.2013
For the next ten days, the German capital will be gripped by the best of the silver screen. The red carpet at the Berlin International Film Festival is set to usher in 404 films and stars from around the world.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carnival festivities underway throughout the Rhineland | News | DW.DE | 07.02.2013

A week of partying in what is commonly known as the year's 'fifth season' has begun in Germany's western Rhineland region. Carnival features bright costumes and high spirits.

Carnival festivities kicked off at precisely 11:11 a.m. on Thursday with tens of thousands of revelers jamming central squares and drinking establishments throughout the Rhineland, particularly Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:05:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please - don't remind me.

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 Feb 8th, 2013 at 06:33:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Kenyan Men Turning the Tide Against FGM | Inter Press Service

On Wednesday Feb. 6, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), together released new numbers that show FGM/C is becoming less prevalent on the continent and particularly among the younger generation of girls.

In a joint statement, the agencies highlighted Kenya as an example of sharp decline in the region, saying that "women aged 45 to 49 are three times more likely to have been cut than girls aged 15 to 19."

"This progress shows it is possible to end FGM/C," underlined UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake, adding that "we can and must end it to help millions of girls and women lead healthier lives."

Increasingly, men are assuming active roles in initiating this cultural shift, as UNFPA's 2012 report "Accelerating Change" points out. In addition to fathers like Lekupe, who wish to protect their daughters, young men across Kenya are speaking out publicly to announce their preference to marry uncut girls, according to the report - a significant development in a country where FGM continues to be a prerequisite for marriage in some communities.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polygamy Fading Out Of Fashion For African Muslims, Men And Women Alike - All News Is Global |

GOMA - Young Muslim men in the Democratic Republic of Congo are less interested in having several wives than their fathers were. Facing rising prices and feuds over inheritance, the new generation doesn't see how the benefits outweigh the costs of having multiple spouses in the same household.

As for the women of the current generation coming of age, they see that wives are often the victims of polygamous customs, and reject this form of marriage. It's also worth noting that it is no longer legal under Congolese law. 

"If you want to end up like me, embrace polygamy..." This is how 70-year-old El Hadji H.E warns his grandchildren. In the middle of his large parcel in Magendo, the popular neighborhood of the eastern city of Goma, a large, old house occupies much land. In the garden are two wrecked Volvo trucks, the latest symbols of yesterday's prosperity for this family of 40 children and eight wives.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:43:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:32:59 AM EST
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:33:19 AM EST
From my spam mail folder:
We are engaged in mechanized mining of gold and precious minerals in the West Africa Sub-Region. In view of your correspondence of interest, this is our Full Corporate Offer (F.C.O) for your perusal and subsequent action.

  1.   Product : Alluvial Gold Dust/Bar
  2.   Quality: 23+carats
  3.   Purity : 92% to 94%
  4.   Quantity:  50kg to 100kg
  5.   Origin: West Africa/Ghana
  6.   Price: US 38,000 per kilo

  7.   The goods would be delivered to buyer's destination.

  8.   Buyer will have to come to (Ghana) but in the situaition where by buyer cannot come to Ghana we can make an alternative arrangement to send the Gold via London to buyers destination for verification and testing of the gold. When buyer/mandate is satisfied with the inspection of the gold and sample of the product taken for the assay analysis the sellers mandate and the buyer will then convey the consignment to the buyer's refinery to be refined. After Final Assay at buyer's destination the buyer will then wire the full amount into sellers account or supply machinery.

  9.   The buyer will have to be responsible for the expense cost for the transport of GOLD from London to its country after being satisfied with assay made in London.

  10. Upon acceptance of these conditions our Lawyers will send to the buyer/buyers a Contractual Agreement binding both parties "seller and buyer/mandate" together to honour and respect the seal and legal documents as signed by the Lawyers. Any parties who the breach or are in default of the said contract will then be held fully accountable for the cost incurred.

Upon receiving this FCO a reply is needed as soon as possible as acknowledgement of the FCO.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 04:53:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At >$1.9m/deal they only need one rich idiot to make a (literal) mint.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 05:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Strange Enchanted Boy « Eden's Island
In 1947, Capitol recording artist Nat King Cole's valet handed him a piece of sheet music received from a stranger backstage during a spring gig at Downtown L.A.'s Lincoln Theater. Cole began playing the song for live audiences, who immediately took to its haunting melody, somber harmonics and mystical lyrics about a boy who wandered across the earth communicating man's greatest natural desire -- "to love and be loved in return." One problem: When Cole sought to record the song (titled "Nature Boy"), he could not track down its composer to firm up contractual obligations.

the melody of this song is really unusual, haunting...




'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 Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 08:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow! Dung beetles navigate by the stars -- Science & Technology -- Sott.net
Despite having tiny brains, dung beetles are surprisingly decent navigators, able to follow straight paths as they roll poo balls they've collected away from a dung source. But it seems the insects' abilities are more remarkable than previously believed. Like ancient seafarers, dung beetles can navigate using the starry sky and the glow from the Milky Way, new research shows.

"This is the first time where we see animals using the Milky Way for orientation," said lead researcher Marie Dacke, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden. "It's also the first time we see that insects can use the stars."

there's a metaphor!

'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 Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 08:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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