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

1 - 7 May 2017

by Bjinse Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:09:31 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:11:05 PM EST
Brussels punches back at Viktor Orbán - Politico
The European Commission attacked Hungary on multiple fronts Wednesday, including the threat of legal action over an education bill that targets the Central European University.

The Commission's decision ratcheted up the pressure on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ahead of his appearance later Wednesday at the European Parliament alongside the man who wants to take him to the European Court of Justice, Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans.

Hungary now has one month to argue that its education bill does comply with EU law, or face a fast-tracked court case, a Commission source said.

The Commission pulled no punches when it announced its moves against Budapest, which has been besieged by criticism over an education law widely considered an effort to force the closure of Central European University, founded by the billionaire Hungarian-American financier George Soros.

by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Podemos to table no-confidence vote against Mariano Rajoy amid corruption scandal  - Guardian
Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party has vowed to press ahead with a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, warning that the latest corruption allegations involving his governing People's party (PP) have crossed "red lines" and risk jeopardising the rule of law.

Podemos's leader, Pablo Iglesias, said his party had an "ethical obligation" to hold Rajoy to account after Ignacio González, a former PP president of the Madrid region, was arrested as part of an investigation into alleged embezzlement at a state-owed water company.

Evidence has also emerged to suggest that the chief anti-corruption prosecutor intervened in the case in an alleged attempt to block a line of inquiry.

"What's happened over the past two weeks is another step over the red lines by the People's party," said Iglesias.

by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SZ
Ein am Freitag in Frankfurt verhafteter Schweizer soll im Auftrag des dortigen Geheimdienstes deutsche Steuerfahnder ausspioniert haben. Nach Informationen von Süddeutscher Zeitung, NDR und WDR soll der Ex-Polizist vom Schweizer Nachrichtendienst eine Liste mit den Namen von Steuerfahndern in Nordrhein-Westfalen erhalten haben sowie den Auftrag, Informationen über die Fahnder zu beschaffen.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 06:33:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Teresa May's answer
There are many complex reasons why people go to food banks
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 10:24:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, let's see.  They're hungry and don't have money.  That's about it.  Very complex.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 12:31:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but that is a politically unpossible answer

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 05:04:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, there is moral hazard involved! Freeloading! Lazy poors! Opportunity cost! Educational malfunction! Global trade! It's complicated, oh so complicated, and it cannot be solved just by giving people money, or insuring jobs.
by Zwackus on Wed May 3rd, 2017 at 02:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Lohndumping hinter Gittern: Wie in Österreichs Gefängnissen Billig-Jobs verrichtet werden « kleinezeitung.at
-
Insgesamt haben sie im Vorjahr 6,83 Millionen Stunden Arbeitsleistung erbracht, berichtet "Datum" unter Berufung auf das Justizministerium.

...

9,70 Euro pro Stunde zahlt ein externes Unternehmen demnach pro Arbeitskraft. Davon behält der Bund 75 Prozent als Vollzugskostenbeitrag, mit dem ein Teil der jährlichen Vollzugskosten von derzeit rund 440 Millionen Euro gedeckt wird. 31 Millionen hat der Bund 2015 an der Gefangenenarbeit für externe Auftraggeber verdient.

I just learned that Austrian (state run) jails also sell their prisoners' labour to the private sector.

by generic on Wed May 3rd, 2017 at 04:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:11:07 PM EST
Citizens in the most litigious nation-state on the planet prepare class action civil suit against the Democratic Party (DNC), alleging fraud and fiduciary negligence.

Phase I: defandants' motion to dismiss

Welding et al. v. DNC Services Corp., d/b/a [!] Democratic National Committe

See also
reddit critique of the proceedings

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 01:38:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France: What Macron means when he says the EU must reform or face Frexit  Ed Harrison, creditwritedowns

At the weekend, French Presidential election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron told the BBC that EU leaders "have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable". He then warned that if EU leaders do not correct this dysfunction, either France would exit the eurozone or the National Front would take over or both. I think what he says is true and let me explain why.

Surely EU leaders will crush this nonsense just like they did with Greece?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 04:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there was an interesting interview with Varoufakis in the Telegraph over the weekend (behind paywall). He was mainly promoting his new book wherin he blows the lid on the undemocratic nature of the economic policy of the EU.

It's that, wholly unaccountable german policy, which is going to wreck the EU.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 05:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Five years ago, when running for the presidency in 2012, Hollande was making similar noises: renegotiate austerity with the EZ members. Hollande was elected in May 2012; in June, he folded like a cheap suit in front of Merkel & Schaüble. Macron can hardly do any worse.
by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, but sadly it is almost no bar at all to exceed.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 10:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, really I should check him out on this issue, it is plausible that he actually understands this stuff and knows how to fix it : apparently, in Varoufakis's book he says Macron was the only decider he met in the crisis process who had a clue.

The problem is that I'm studiously avoiding watching or reading anything Macron says since last election night and until next Sunday, in order to maintain my resolution to vote for him.

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

by eurogreen on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 10:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beats Hillary vs. Trump. Just.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 04:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't it Macron who explained Say's Law to Hollande? And Why TF did Hollande need it explained? Where was he educated? Again?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 04:11:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Macron who convinced Hollande of Say's law (ouch - something debunked for over 200 years, not least by Say himself) and persuaded him of adopting supply-side economics, with the result that many billions have been given back to companies, with no noticeable effect on activity or employment.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 08:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh here is the story... contained in an article Varoufakis published today in Le Monde :

Progressive French voters have every reason to be angry with Emmanuel Macron.

    His pursuit of labour market deregulation in the midst of a deflationary crisis was neoliberalism gone mad.
    His current proposals for a reconfiguration of the Eurozone that would turn it into a Federation-light plays straight into the hands of Wolfgang Schäuble's grand plan for a permanent austerity union in which France will lose whatever control it has retained over her national budget ("I want the troika in Paris", I have heard Schäuble say once) in exchange for a macro-economically insignificant Eurozone common budget.
    His more recent proposals for reducing wealth taxes and removing support from local government are on history's wrong side.

Nevertheless, it is nothing less than scandalous for any progressive to keep an equal distance from Le Pen and Macron. Of course we all wish, at least those of us on the left, that the French electoral system were not binary. But it is. And given that it is, I refuse to be part of a generation of European progressives who could have stopped Marine Le Pen from winning France's Presidency but didn't. This is why I am writing this article: To support unequivocally Macron's candidacy in the second round. The National Front cannot be allowed to stumble into the Elysee due to our misguided tactical indifference.
While that would have been my position whoever run against Le Pen on a non-racist ticket, there is something more in my endorsement of Macron:[1] During my tenure as Greece's finance minister in early 2015 Emmanuel revealed to me a side of him that few progressives have seen. While the troika of Greece's lenders and the Berlin government were strangling our freshly elected left-wing government's attempts to liberate Greece from its debt-bondage, Macron was the only minister of state in Europe that went out of his way to lend a helping hand. And he did so at a personal political cost.

I remember vividly the afternoon of 28th June 2015, that awful Sunday when the Eurogroup had decided to close down our banks to punish our government for resisting yet another predatory loan and more anti-social, recessionary austerity attacks on the weakest of Greeks. It was at around 6pm when I received a text message from Emmanuel with which he informed me that he was struggling to convince President Hollande and Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's Vice Chancellor, to find a solution: "I do not want my generation to be the one responsible for Greece exiting Europe," he said.

Must-read. It's a cute, heartwarming anecdote... but one suspects that Yanis may have been completely bullshitted by Macron, who has form in this respect.

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

by eurogreen on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 05:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do think Yanis tends to be a bit gullible on a personal level. He also seemed to think he and Tsipras were on the same page.
by generic on Wed May 3rd, 2017 at 02:50:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a really simple problem to solve: Step one, . vote Marcon, step two, vote in a leftleaning parliament. Marcon is not going to be a do nothing president. I do not believe his self-image would allow that. So if he has to work with a left parliament, he is going to govern from the center left. Done, dusted.
by Thomas on Thu May 4th, 2017 at 12:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Current polls show that he would win in parliament. It looks like he will have free hands.

Which I find utterly terrifying.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu May 4th, 2017 at 03:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me take that back - the methodology behind the poll is laughable.
So back to my views that he is highly unlikely to have a majority.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu May 4th, 2017 at 04:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one from Opinion way?

Is it based on the last parliament elections? And, I guess, assigns seats according to how PS parliamentarians are expected to split to Macron?

by fjallstrom on Thu May 4th, 2017 at 05:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can read their doc here.

Their model is a strange "sauce" of results from the 1st round results and also the past elections in 2012 (legislative) and 2015 (regional governments). They don't assume any PS "defecting" to EM, but this will happen, especially with the many incumbents who'll want to save their hide.

This election is so unlike anything since the beginning of the fifth Republic, that it's pretty much impossible to model at this point. So many things can happen - and will - after next Sunday, among the different parties. LR may turn out to be the great winner after all, and it is no secret that Sarkozy is pushing very hard for a LR majority and Prime Minister to run the government, leaving Macron on the sidelines.

by Bernard on Thu May 4th, 2017 at 08:14:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was that not the reason why we were supposed to not vote for Melenchon under any circumstance, as he was oh so irresponsible with regards to the EU by requesting changes and being prepared to leave as a worst case scenario if they were entirely ignored?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 08:28:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strong and stable.
by generic on Wed May 3rd, 2017 at 02:51:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:11:10 PM EST
by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:12:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
`They thought the man had gone bananas' - Politico
Several officials relayed anecdotes about their countries' respective efforts to find a way to Trump, and many said they had settled on Merkel's plan of copious outreach to a president who loves picking up the phone (the chancellor, I was told, even called to solicit Trump's "advice" on her upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia this week).

Several of those I spoke with hoped that Trump's recent reversals on some foreign policy issues -- from declaring he no longer viewed NATO as "obsolete" to his decision not to brand China a "currency manipulator" -- combined with his growing reliance on an experienced team of generals for national security advice might produce a foreign policy Europe could live with if not love.

Still, several officials remained stunned at the level of ignorance displayed by Trump -- and many of those advising him in an American government dominated by newcomers to international affairs. "I was told he had never read a book!" one senior European told me.

by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:19:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What passes for genius in the USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 11:45:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Genius is defined in the US as the ability to make a sales pitch.
by rifek on Fri May 5th, 2017 at 05:35:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets.  In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.  U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.


Europe Travel Alert, Last Updated: May 1, 2017

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 06:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, just another day in downtown USA then

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 7th, 2017 at 06:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:11:12 PM EST
Indians reject 'divisive' Erdogan's lecture on Kashmir - DW
In a recent television interview, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advocated a "multilateral" solution to the Kashmir dispute - and this is only one of his positions that may cause diplomatic tension with India.

President Erdogan made the comments during an interview with India-based news channel WION ahead of his arrival in New Delhi on Sunday. During the interview, Erdogan expressed his concern at the continuing stand-off between India and Pakistan on the disputed Kashmir region.

Before Erdogan's arrival in Delhi, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari paid tribute to victims of the Armenian genocide at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial in Armenia.

"Erdogan is becoming the new Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - controversial and divisive," P.R. Kumaraswamy, a professor of international studies at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, told DW.

by Bernard on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 06:30:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:12:14 PM EST
EU trend of CO2 reduction seems to have stopped - EUobserver


The EU's statistical agency Eurostat announced Thursday (4 May) that CO2 emissions resulting from the EU's energy use have "slightly decreased" in 2016, compared to the year before.

But Eurostat's press release did not mention that the small decrease has not made up for the small increase in CO2 emissions the year before, and that more CO2 was emitted in 2016 than in 2014.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions account for around 80 percent of all of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to potentially disastrous climate change.

In 2016, carbon emissions dropped by 0.4 percent compared to 2015, Eurostat said in a press release.

But in 2015, CO2 emissions had increased by 0.7 percent compared to 2014.

In other words, last year's CO2 emissions increased by 0.29 percent compared to 2014, which means that for the second consecutive year the EU's carbon emissions are higher than in 2014, albeit very slightly.

by Bjinse on Fri May 5th, 2017 at 04:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:12:16 PM EST
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:12:19 PM EST
Conscription ("selective service") passes the [USA] House 397-24 and the Senate 81-8. Both houses vote to double the current pay of enlisted men. The Senate version would draft men aged 21 to 27, the House version 21 to 40. States will be responsible for providing a number of soldiers proportionate to their population. No sign-up bonus will be allowed, no paying for substitutes as in the Civil War.

Today -100: April 29, 1917: Of separate peaces, conscription, and small nationalities

more pertinent to "re-imagining" Cinco de Mayo Eurocentric historicism

The censorship bill passes the House. Somehow the amendment requiring that publishing prohibited information could only be prosecuted if there was intent to harm the US has disappeared. The stupidest thing said during the debate was probably Edwin Webb (D-NC)'s "The newspaper ought to be required to make some sacrifices like the rest of us."

Today -100: May 5, 1917: Making some sacrifices like the rest of us


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 5th, 2017 at 06:44:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:12:22 PM EST
I've no idea how this got past VOA/NPR programmers.
A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America LISTEN

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat May 6th, 2017 at 05:40:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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