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Posts tagged ‘European Union’

Greece Slams EU Bailout-ers: “We Don’t Want The $7 Billion, We Want To Rethink The Whole Program”

 greece_elections_victory

UPDATE: “CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS” are over:

  • *GREECE’S VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL NOT ASK FOR BAILOUT EXTENSION
  • *VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL NOT ACCEPT SELF-PERPETUATING CRISIS
  • *VAROUFAKIS SAYS DISCUSSED EURO AREA, NEW DEAL FOR GREECE
  • *DIJSSELBLOEM SAYS UNILATERAL STEPS IS NOT THE WAY FORWARD
  • *DIJSSELBLOEM SAYS GREECE SHOULD CLARIFY ITS POSITION (we think they did!)
  • *GREECE’S VAROUFAKIS SAYS WILL CONVINCE EU PEERS ON NEW DEAL

As Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (of “template” foot in mouth infamy) heads to Athens for talks today, Bloomberg reports the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has a clear message for his European overlords of the past: “We don’t want the 7 billion euros…We want to sit down and rethink the whole program.” While this exposes the nation’s banking system to further runs, yesterday’s revelation that Russia could step in with financing should they need it, leaves Dijsselbloem and Shulz with less and less leverage even as Spain’s chief economic advisor warns, if Greece doesn’t play along, “there will be problems on all fronts.”

“Will Greece antagonize the European union? If they don’t there won’t be any problems,” Alvaro Nadal, chief economic adviser to the Spanish prime minister, said in a radio interview in Madrid on Friday. “If they do, there will be, on all fronts.”

And, as Bloomberg reports, that is what Greece’s new government is doing (as they promised the people),

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he’s not interested in persuading Greece’s official creditors to release the final 7 billion euros ($8 billion) of bailout funds as Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem headed to Athens for talks on Friday.

 

Greece wants to agree a new plan shifting from spending cuts to combating corruption and boosting public investment. The proposal hinges on the euro area and the European Central Bank agreeing to write down Greece’s public debt, a suggestion that has been met with skepticism by officials across the rest of Europe.

 

“We don’t want the 7 billion euros,” Varoufakis said in an interview with the New York Times published late on Thursday. “We want to sit down and rethink the whole program.”

 

 

“In all honesty, if you sum up all their promises then the Greek budget will very quickly be out of balance and then further debt relief won’t help anyway,” Dijsselbloem said in Amsterdam on the eve of his trip. “We want to keep Greece in the euro zone, in the European Union, but that also requires the Greeks to meet their commitments.”

Things are not going well…

European Parliament Martin Schulz confirmed the divide between Tsipras and the rest of Europe after two hours of talks with the Greek leader in Athens on Thursday.

full article at source:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/greece-slams-eu-bailout-ers-we-dont-want-7-billion-we-want-rethink-whole-program

How The German Minimum Wage And Investment Could Help The Eurozone

by

The new German government has now started work in earnest following its formation just before Christmas. As ministers get to work on their projects the big question is whether there will be significant policy changes and what impact such changes would have on Germany and the still unresolved Eurozone crisis. The short answer is that there will be positive change but much more should be done.

The sobering part is that in terms of redesign of the Eurozone quick progress is as unlikely as it was last year. The coalition treaty only makes brief and unambitious references to the malaise of the European Union, which means that we are stuck with imperfect solutions for the foreseeable future. Shared debt liability is explicitly ruled out and there is also no fundamental shift away from the austerity policies that have created so much damage in many European countries.

The ECB’s OMT, currently under investigation by the German constitutional court, has provided some crisis relief but the time bought has not been used to push forward necessary institutional reforms. What is proclaimed as a banking union will include a common supervisor for big banks but no joint bank resolution fund or a joint deposit insurance scheme. Therefore the fundamental objective – breaking the vicious link between financial sector vulnerability and the solvency of governments – will not be achieved…………………….

full article at source: http://www.social-europe.eu/2014/01/german-minimum-wage/

Facebook isn’t our friend

by David Cronin

A few days ago, I was told by the organisers of a “social media” festival that the hashtag was my “new best friend“. As I’ve never hugged a hashtag or cried on the shoulders of one, I felt it was important to question this “wisdom”.

Like millions of others, I’m addicted to Facebook and, to a lesser degree, Twitter. I check these websites so frequently that I often forget they are owned by vast corporations.

Some of these firms’ activities are inherently anti-democratic.

Facebook’s Brussels office is headed by Erika Mann, a former German member of the European Parliament. She has long fought to enable the interests of big business triumph over those of ordinary people.

During her 15 years as an MEP, Mann continuously advocated that the European Union should liberalise its trade with the United States.

At one point, it seemed that her calls were being ignored by political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. All that changed in February this year, when Barack Obama expressed his support for such an agreement during his State of the Union address. Talks aimed at reaching a very broad trade and investment deal were formally launched in July.

Now wearing her Facebook hat, Erika Mann is still extolling the apparent virtues of “free” trade at every available opportunity.

In April, she spoke at a conference in Dublin, where Facebook’s international headquarters are located. Mann argued that it would be “extremely important” for an eventual deal to make the standards faced by internet companies in the EU and US “more…. coherent”.

full article at source:http://blogs.euobserver.com/cronin/

comment:

DSCN0872

A Well written piece, thank you!

I Have long left Facebook or I have been frozen out, the fact is I cannot gain access even though I have tried to contact them here in Ireland and as mentioned in the above article there HQ in Dublin it remains impossible to contact them .But then they are not known to be user friendly: As a multi corporation using the TAX Haven that is Ireland, this company is forcing the Irish taxpayers pay the Taxes they should be paying! For every euro these corporate leeches don’t pay into the coffers of our corrupt and lying Government, we the people must stump up the difference! No wonder our natural resources are been plundered!

Wake up Ireland these multi National corporations are nothing more that leaches sucking us dry!

Russia and Europe Battle for Ukraine

By Stephen_Lendman

Ukraine matters. It’s strategically located. It’s in Europe’s geographic center. It borders seven countries.

In alphabetical order, they include Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. After Western/Central Russia, it’s Europe’s largest country territorially.

It’s resource rich. Zbigniew Brzezinski once said “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.”

Recently he said if Russia ever reunites with Ukraine, it’ll be a Eurasian powerhouse. If Ukraine allies with Western Europe, Moscow will be significantly weakened geopolitically.

The battle for Ukraine continues. Its future is up for grabs. A previous article said street protests are manipulated.

Washington’s dirty hands are involved. Young militants were recruited. They’re street thugs. They’re up to no good. They’re paid to protest. Radical nationalists joined them. Ukraine’s future is at stake.

On Tuesday, mixed reports surfaced. President Viktor Yanukovych was quoted saying:

“We cannot talk about the future without talking about restoring trade relations with Russia.” He stressed a “future treaty on strategic partnership.”

Does he or does he not mean a Customs Union? Agreeing to one rules out an EU alliance. It’s one or the other, not both.

At the same time, he repeated what he said earlier. He favors European integration. On December 10, Voice of Russia(VOR) headlined “Yanukovych approves plan to sign Ukraine-EU agreement in March 2014.”

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk announced it. So did Yanukovych. He did so after meeting with three former Ukrainian presidents – Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma, and Viktor Yushchenko.

“We have sent the government a task to speed up this work,” said Yanukovych.

“As soon as we reach an understanding and such a compromise is achieved, it will be signed.”

“I have said repeatedly that since 1997, the program of the Party of Regions has had the integration of Ukraine into European space as a strategic objective.”

On December 11, a First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Abruzov-led delegation left for Brussels.

Work on the “joint Ukrainian-EU working group” will begin, said Yanukovych.

full article at source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article43540.html

Perfect Storm Brewing for Ireland’s Economy

By Global_Research

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin writes: “We are now mainly borrowing to pay interest on the burgeoning national debt”[1]

While much has been made recently of Ireland’s exit from the punishing EU/IMF bailout programme, Michael Noonan, the Finance Minister, has welcomed post-bailout ‘surveillance’. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said Ireland would be subjected to ‘intensive surveillance’ “twice a year, but this would involve monitoring as supposed to new measures being imposed” because “under new European budgetary rules, countries leaving a bailout will be subject to extra attention until at least 75pc of the money owed is repaid.”[2]

The Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, has even gone so far as to state that Ireland would exit the bailout without the safety net of a credit line. Unfortunately for him Ireland’s economic crisis will not go away that easily. The economic consequences of the bailout may be about to bounce back and hit him in the face. Interest repayments are already taking a huge chunk out of the economy and the Irish people will be paying back EU [EFSF and EFSM] loans until 2042 and IMF loans until 2023. A fundamental economic crisis is in the making.

In 2007 Ireland’s general government debt was €47.2bn. It is estimated to be more than quadrupled to €205.9bn by the end of 2013.  As the debt has grown so have the interest repayments. In 2012 the ‘underlying’ deficit (deficits excluding direct payments to banks) was €-13.5bn of which €-6.7bn was interest repayments showing that interest repayments grew to become 50% of the deficit compared to 2008 when the deficit was €-13.2bn of which €-2.4bn was interest repayments. [See table below]
UnderlyingDeficits[5]

[Underlying Balance = Primary Balance + Cash Interest + Prom Note Interest]

http://economic-incentives.blogspot.ie/2012/03/changing-nature-of-our-budget-deficits.html

Even the somewhat positive projections for 2014 show that all the money to be borrowed, €8.3bn, is to be spent on interest repayments.

Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5%, and therefore a low corporation tax take, means that ordinary taxpayers are expected to make up the shortfall. For example, in 2012, the combined figure for income tax and VAT was €25.35bn while corporation tax came to €4.22bn. [See table below]

Fiscal-Table1_2

full article at source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article43172.html

Beware of German (KfW) Bearing Gifts?..

by

As reported in today’s press, Ireland has secured a sort-of backstop to its exit from the bailout via an agreement with Germany‘s state- and local authorities-owned KFW Development Bank (see: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/kfw-is-a-public-bank-providing-development-loans-at-lower-interest-than-commercial-rates-1.1595460 and http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/bailout-a-calculated-political-gamble-that-just-might-not-pay-off-249727.html). This was blessed by Germany (http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/merkel-backs-ireland-bailout-exit-without-overdraft-29754656.html). And it may or may not qualify as a backstop for the Exchequer (see speculative analysis here: http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2013/1115/ireland/bailout-exit-declaration-exaggerated-half-truth-249716.html).
One can only speculate as to the possible conditionalities imposed by Angela Merkel and her potential coalition partners on Ireland under the exit deal, but here’s an interesting parallel development that has been unfolding in recent weeks……

full article at source: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/

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