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European Union Breakup Looming?  
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

I think most of us already expect Greece to have to leave the EU in the next few months - and very possibly Spain and Portugal will have to do the same. But rumours are now circulating that more successful and prosperous countries like Finland are now considering withdrawal - and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, just visited Great Britain (the country that makes the biggest single annual contribution to the EU Budget, year by year) to seek assurances from the Prime Minister that Britain is not beginning to consider doing the same. And apparently got a less-than-certain response.......

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/...0121107-ZT6GU?OpenDocument&src=sph

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...7/angela-merkel-warns-uk-eu-budget

However, nowadays I live literally half the world away from Europe - I'm out of touch with the feelings of ordinary people there. Is there really a growing body of opinion, Europe-wide, that maybe the EU 'isn't worth the candle' and should be phased out? And how popular is the EU nowadays among the general public - are there still large majorities in the various member countries in favour of keeping it going, or is opinion more evenly divided nowadays?


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
101 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineoldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2073 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3354 times:

Perhaps in your dreams.  yawn 

[Edited 2012-11-08 04:01:25]


Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8681 posts, RR: 43
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
I think most of us already expect Greece to have to leave the EU in the next few months - and very possibly Spain and Portugal will have to do the same. But rumours are now circulating that more successful and prosperous countries like Finland are now considering withdrawal

Is that so?    Sounds like wishful thinking from the usual suspects to me.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Great Britain (the country that makes the biggest single annual contribution to the EU Budget, year by year)

That is simply not true.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3353 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):

I think most of us already expect Greece to have to leave the EU in the next few months

The Euro maybe the EU NO . We have heard the arguments of you cant leave the Euro and be in the EU but if it came down to it there would most likely be amendments made otherwise the EU would collapse overnight as Greece maybe the first to leave the Euro but it would not be the last. Once Greece was out the vulchers would go else where.

I can see if a referendum is held in the UK that it would be more likely to leave the EU than Greece. The last poll I saw was 51% of British citizens wanted to leave the EU which is a scary amount for any pro EU campaigners. I see a move back to a trade union rather than a political one. It also seems like the UK is not the only one who want this.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3354 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 2):
That is simply not true.

Sorry, Aloges, you're right! It was certainly true back in the '70s - I got hired to help organise a better share of regional aid for the UK to try to redress the balance. Moved to Oz soon after that; looks like the campaign eventually succeeded up to a point! But Britain still seems to be in the top four.

But how do you see the immediate future? Do you think it's possible that the economy of Greece can magically improve to the point where it can somehow 'hold its own' in economic terms, in a matter of months? Or is it going to go on needing increasing subsidies, while ALSO enduring more and more externally-imposed austerity measures, for the foreseeable future?

PS Cheers OA260, crossed with your post. Yes, agree that Greece reverting to the drachma while staying in the EU might work. Don't know what would happen to Greece's (Euro-denominated) debt, though, presumably it would have to be written off?

[Edited 2012-11-08 04:52:46]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
Quoting aloges (Reply 2):
That is simply not true.

Sorry, Aloges, you're right! It was certainly true back in the '60s - I got hired to help organise a better share of regional aid for the UK to try to redress the balance. Moved to Oz soon after that; looks like the campaign eventually succeeded up to a point! But Britain still seems to be in the top four.

But how do you see the immediate future? Do you think it's possible that the economy of Greece can magically improve to the point where it can somehow 'hold its own' in economic terms, in a matter of months? Or is it going to go on needing increasing subsidies, while ALSO enduring more and more externally-imposed austerity measures, for the foreseeable future?

First, aren't you mixing up two admittedly related realities: The EU(27) and the Euro zone (17)? And even if you mean to say Euro-zone, no, it is far from clear that anyone is imminently about to leave nor that this would solve much, Greece included. If Greece were to leave its problems would increase and the Euro-zone would be healthier technically but sicker in terms of market "perceptions" about 'contagion", which is funny, because the driver of 'contagion' is, 100% market 'perceptions.'

Second, I never cease to be amazed at how most Brits when they discuss the EU or Euro use the same false 'facts' that seem to circulate, unchallenged in the anti-EU majority of the UK press bubble (think GOP in the US). Your assertion is one of the most popular, that the UK is largest contributor, which is clearly untrue to anyone with even a passing interest in the numbers.

Third, if you read the Economist, the Murdoch stable of journals or follow Sky or CNN International, count-downs to the imminent collapse of either the Euro or the EU are announced a couple of time per year and have been for many years now. In short, English language Euro commentary is almost unremittingly doomsday. I suppose that is what you mainly have available. German, French, Italian, Spanish and other sources discuss and debate from all sides in a very vigorous manner, but bear little resemblance to the English language EU hysteria.

Does this help?



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3353 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
PS Cheers OA260, crossed with your post. Yes, agree that Greece reverting to the drachma while staying in the EU might work. Don't know what would happen to Greece's (Euro-denominated) debt, though, presumably it would have to be written off?

In reality no one knows what would happen. You can have all the armchair economists and government think tanks but until it actually happens no one knows. Its somewhat uncharted territory. You can compare similar instances to the past but this is only a small guide. Being out of the Euro does not mean you cant be in the EU. Greece has been a member since 1981 and joined the Euro currency in 2001. The majority of Greeks want to be in both but whether that is possible we shall see over the next 12 months. Last night the next level of austerity measures were passed by a small majority. The usual protests around the same contained area outside the parliament were seen coupled with a 48 hour strike. However the numbers taking part in these protests are shrinking all the time.


User currently offlineoffloaded From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 1):
Perhaps in your dreams.

Well certainly in mine.....

I used to be pro-European, in fact I still am pro-European, I am just anti-EU. The EEC was supposed to be about free trade (or at least that's the crock my parents were sold in 1973) which is what it should be.

The European Commission is a home of has been unelected half wits, usually intensely disliked in their own countries (eg Neil Kinnock, Jose Barroso) utterly detached from reality, the European Parliament is a 750 member talking shop, and probably the world's largest gravy train. For the 18th year in a row the auditors won't sign off on the accounts and now they want a 5% budget increase!

The EU is just totally unworkable with 27 countries; the expansion driven by politics not by economic reality.

From a purely personal perspective, everything I own is in Euro (property/business/savings - whats left!) so I am less than thrilled with the idea of a Euro collapse, but I am also beginning to think that saving the euro at all cost, is just to high of a cost. The taxation levels here (Portugal) are already at ridiculous levels and set to get worse from January, so there is no spare money for people to spend, now or in the foreseeable future. The only light at the end of the tunnel is a train that's coming! There are hungry people here, there are hungry people in Spain, and in Greece. You either get to grips with the possibility of alternative solutions such as an orderly exit from the Euro, or a disorderly one where violence spreads across the continent.

Whilst at is ridiculous to point the finger at the Germans for "forcing" austerity measures on their southern neighbours, some blame must be aportioned for the utter lack of oversight in the 20+ years of EEC/EC/EU funding for a myriad of projects where millions upon millions just disappeared. Also, in the last 20 years we have seen the creation of consumer societies in societies (like Portugal) where such things as credit facilities once uncommon, where handed out like smarties without any real realisation of what the true cost of credit was. For 20 years there was "free" money; great for the southerners with their eyes on BMWs, Mercs and Audis, and great for German exports. What the northerners failed to also "export" was any real sense of fiscal responsibility or understanding.



To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 5):

On reviewing the Guardian article, the proximate issue is just he approval of any augmentation to the EU Budget above inflation. That is all that is on the table. Cameron's repeated statements that he "will veto" any increase and only wants to see a reduction should be understood as mainly for a domestic audience, a populist pandering to anti-EU nationalists (who are not small in number and cultivated by the press and their owners). The sad thing is, this is extremely draining on good will and team work in building a successful Europe. Cameron's veto last year at the dire hour of need of the Euro-zone for a fiscal treaty, was a poisonous moment in UK-EU participation and will not be forgotten quickly.

Given the cycle of caricaturing the EU as bad for the UK, populist politicking on this, taking the benefits and fighting against the team contribution necessary to sustain them: perhaps it IS time for a UK divorce from the EU: there would be a lot of pain and upheaval, but:

- The UK people would get time to reflect on what they really want to do about the EU (they often argue the decision to join was made without their consent)
- It would be a good reality check for the UK to the assertion they "pay" for the EU and don't benefit
- It would be a good check for the rest of the EU to see how they survive without UK contribution or opposition

OR These aspects could be genuinely studied and reflected upon domestically in the UK and a referendum held on the basis of ACCURATE information.

Either way, it would be good to have either an EU team member on-board or else an external trading partner who feels free from the burden of association....



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1198 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

I highly doubt those incompetent fools in our government would consider leaving European Union no matter how much harm belonging to it would do to this country, and currently I don't think leaving whole EU would make sense anyway right now. Euro is then completely another thing, but certainly this government will not make Finland to leave from euro.

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
I'm out of touch with the feelings of ordinary people there. Is there really a growing body of opinion, Europe-wide, that maybe the EU 'isn't worth the candle' and should be phased out?

Well here EU-skeptic party "True Finns" did get huge increase in votes during last parliament elections, rose from small party to third biggest one. But after all I think majority of Finns listen all that propaganda about "True Finns" being racist party and how things will turn all wonderful in EU when we have thrown some more money in, so I doubt there will be a change. I think this rise of "True Finns" is the best people of this country can do, most Finns seem to believe way too much in authority and don't question it enough. Can't wait until I have finished my studies and can some day hopefully move away to some less pathetic country.

[Edited 2012-11-08 05:52:58]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 5):
First, aren't you mixing up two admittedly related realities: The EU(27) and the Euro zone (17)? And even if you mean to say Euro-zone, no, it is far from clear that anyone is imminently about to leave nor that this would solve much, Greece included.

See how you could wonder about that aspect, OzGlobal - but I was definitely referring to the EU........previously known as the 'European Common Market.'

When I first got involved (being officially ancient nowadays  ), efforts at European economic integration were 'split' between EFTA ('European Free Trade Organisation') and the ECM. The ECM eventually 'won,' though Britain (where I was living at the time) kept a foot in both camps for a while, before eventually opting for the ECM.

Things went really well for quite a long time. Trade, for most countries, increased in a 'balanced' way - since the EEC was mainly about reduced tariffs, most countries found that both their exports and their imports were increasing more or less in step with each other. And even in my own somewhat specialised area (regional policy, 'development areas') it was possible to achieve balanced situations. Europe really did 'come together' in many useful ways.

But then - in the '80s, as far as I recall - talk began about the possibility of a 'common currency.' Britain, because of its involvement with the Commonwealth, virtually ruled itself out of any involvement from Day One - but much of the rest of Europe went on talking about it.

Rather against the odds, the idea finally 'gained traction.' But I'd left Europe long before anything happened; it came as quite a shock when I found (by googling) that the Euro was only finally introduced as 'sole legal tender' in the participating countries as late as 2002.

As far as I'm concerned, EFTA and the ECM (in which all participating countries stuck to their own currencies) were both good ideas that worked well in their time. The Euro was 'a step too far;' and in the space of not much more than ten years, it has brought the EU (as it is now known) to a state of chronic instability, with one country after another suffering extreme economic setbacks, and needing bailouts on an increasing scale.

Sooner or later, hopefully, the Euro will be 'phased out,' and all EU countries will revert to their own currencies. But until that happens, we all have to face the fact that the 'casualty list' of 'broke-to-the-wide' countries like Greece, Portugal, and Spain is going to go on growing........

[Edited 2012-11-08 06:28:20]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10631 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Maybe one, or later two or three countries might leave, but a total breakup of the EU. Certainly not.

Greece seems to be be beyond salvation though. I dont see a chance for them. They have betrayed the EU, and the EU didnt control them enough and for too long were too laissez faire.

What I dislike about the EU beside the past bad financial control is that some countries obviously think or thought of it as a huge insurance company they can rely upon. And its a beaurocratic monster growing and growing so much its well-paid clerks find plenty of time to develop the most ridiculous rules and regulations. I think it would have made more sense to introduce similar tax rates, pension ages etc before introducing a common currency. It cannot be that the pensioner in paying countries like Germany receives pension when over 65/67 years old while money receiving countries send their old people home years earlier, and that pension on top is a higher percentage of their former wages! Imho the UK did it right to keep the pound and look whats happening first.

[Edited 2012-11-08 06:52:39]

User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2055 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):

I think most of us already expect Greece to have to leave the EU in the next few months

I sure don't.. The only country I could realistically see leaving the EU would be the UK, and not in the next few months. Other than that, the EU is here to stay. It may leave the path of an "ever closer union" and freeze the current state of integration for a while, or it may develop into a multi-speed Europe with some countries going ahead and others staying on the sidelines. But the chances for a breakup are near zero.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Have to confess that (having 'started life' as an economist myself) I have a soft spot for 'The Economist.' Not because it's 'always right,' by any means - but because it has the knack of producing a lot of good readable articles that at least get 'some things right;' and ask a lot of interesting questions.

This article, IMO, keeps that tradition going:-

"WHAT will become of the European Union? One road leads to the full break-up of the euro, with all its economic and political repercussions. The other involves an unprecedented transfer of wealth across Europe's borders and, in return, a corresponding surrender of sovereignty. Separate or superstate: those seem to be the alternatives now.

"For two crisis-plagued years Europe's leaders have run away from this choice. They say that they want to keep the euro intact—except, perhaps, for Greece. But northern European creditors, led by Germany, will not pay out enough to assure the euro's survival, and southern European debtors increasingly resent foreigners telling them how to run their lives.

"This has become a test of over 60 years of European integration. Only if Europeans share a sense of common purpose will a grand deal to save the single currency be seen as legitimate. Only if it is legitimate can it last. Most of all, it is a test of Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel maintains that the threat of the euro's failure is needed to keep wayward governments on the path of reform. But German brinkmanship is corroding the belief that the euro has a future, which raises the cost of a rescue and hastens the very collapse she says she wants to avoid. Ultimately, Europe's choice will be made in Berlin."


http://www.economist.com/node/21555916

Especially like "The €50,300 ($64,000) question" lower down - good entertaining journalism, keeps you reading........  Smile

[Edited 2012-11-08 07:10:07]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinesteman From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 1364 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

The EU certainly has many flaws, like the excessively burocratic European Commission or the inability to act on the world stage with one coherent voice.
Maybe it has grown too fast, admitting Countries that were not yet ready, creating huge differences inside
the Union.
Maybe more strict criteria to be admitted and a sort of introduction period would have helped.
But such decisions to bring in certain Countries (UK, DK, IE in the 70s, Greece in 1981, Spain/Portugal
in the 80s and more recently the former Eastern Block) were mainly driven by political/strategical reasons
than actual economic consideration.
Better have Greece in the Union, lest it falls into another dictatorship and starts a war with Turkey.
Better have Poland, Czeck Republich, Hungary, etc in the Union rather than have them fall back into Russian
influence.
These might be some of the main reasons that have driven the Union to admit these Countries.
And they were probably valid reasons.
Now it´s time for change. The EU needs to be reformed in order to get into the next step of a broader integration.
The potential of Europe as one Country is immense. In a historical time when new powers are rising (think of China and India among others) we really need to step it up if we don´t want to be history.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1198 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 12):

Got to agree, I doubt Greece will leave euro as long as other European countries send them more money. Alternative would be total fall of Greek economy and I don't know if it would be really any better.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
But German brinkmanship is corroding the belief that the euro has a future, which raises the cost of a rescue and hastens the very collapse she says she wants to avoid. Ultimately, Europe's choice will be made in Berlin."

Which is somewhat odd to me, if, as often explained, this is because DE is the 'biggest contributor'. Really, in 2011, DE contributed 19B euros, France 18B euros, Italy 14B and UK 11B. It can't just be a question of who provides the biggest slice of the EU revenues pie...



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 695 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):

Is there really a growing body of opinion, Europe-wide, that maybe the EU 'isn't worth the candle' and should be phased out? And how popular is the EU nowadays among the general public - are there still large majorities in the various member countries in favour of keeping it going, or is opinion more evenly divided nowadays?

The EU as a trading bloc is fine.

The Euro as a currency, and specifically the way monetary policy is managed, can not survive IMO.

The likes of Greece and Italy are so culturally different from the likes of Germany and Holland that this severely invalidates the idea that they should be using the same currency and same anti-inflation obsessed monetrary policy under ECB control.

Put simply, the Germans are austere savers and producers, the southerners are big spending consumers. Neither is better or superior, but it is a bad marriage: one where the husband writes cheques all over town and the wife is always wondering why they have no money in their accoount and have a credit card bill!



Pu


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20352 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting steman (Reply 14):
Maybe more strict criteria to be admitted and a sort of introduction period would have helped.
But such decisions to bring in certain Countries (UK, DK, IE in the 70s, Greece in 1981, Spain/Portugal
in the 80s and more recently the former Eastern Block) were mainly driven by political/strategical reasons
than actual economic consideration.

Having viewed the EU from afar over its lifetime, I have the firm belief that it should have never tried to become a pan-European economic and political bloc. The idea of a European common market was smart, the creation of a common currency perhaps not as smart, but the idea of a political bloc composed of independent, sovereign states I believe was always misguided.

It was inevitable that there would be inequities, especially as a nearly 'come one, come all' membership drive began, and it's not surprising that once the richer countries who saw the most benefit initially, would start to choke when faced with the cost of doing business this way.

That some advocate even more broad and intensive integration is surprising considering that the EU hasn't remedied first what currently ails the association in its present state.

As a non-European, I'm not about to start telling those directly affected what to do, but the ongoing cycle of crisis after crisis, mangled in large part from soverignity issues, doesn't exactly bode well for the EU's future in its current form as we're seeing.

N.B. I'm not a EU scholar by any stretch of the imagination, simply an interested observer.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3559 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3355 times:

It is about to get very interesting as Germany is now beginning to feel the results of the decline of its export markets. Manufacturing is now on the ropes, what will happen if Germany suddenly cannot afford to keep the EU propped up?

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6515 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

I think the EU is fine, and agree that the only country I could see leaving is the UK, for misguided reasons. I wish the UK would leave in fact, since I don't think the ship can be turned back, the propaganda has worked, and so the only way for the UK to realize it needs the EU is for it to leave and feel the consequences.

In practice I'm sure the many qualms about the size of vegetables and things like that would not change one bit, since the only way for the UK to trade with the EU will be to abide to most of the same rules, with the UK having lost most of its leverage by leaving.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
But Britain still seems to be in the top four.

Well it's the third largest economy of the EU so there is no surprise there !

Quoting mham001 (Reply 19):
It is about to get very interesting as Germany is now beginning to feel the results of the decline of its export markets. Manufacturing is now on the ropes, what will happen if Germany suddenly cannot afford to keep the EU propped up?

As long as Germany gets low interest rates it can afford many things, the real question is again what will the market want us to do to keep things that way. For a time it seems it wanted austerity, but now things are getting murky and austerity is increasingly appearing counterproductive.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20352 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
For a time it seems it wanted austerity, but now things are getting murky and austerity is increasingly appearing counterproductive.

What would you want to be done to solve the EU's ills as you see them?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinegingersnap From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2010, 893 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):

I think the EU is fine, and agree that the only country I could see leaving is the UK, for misguided reasons. I wish the UK would leave in fact, since I don't think the ship can be turned back, the propaganda has worked, and so the only way for the UK to realize it needs the EU is for it to leave and feel the consequences.

Come off it. The EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU and you know it.

A UK free of the EU would finally be able to take advantage of proper international trade without restrictions being put in place by Brussels. We would be free of the billions we put into the EU each and every year, and would be able to function better on our own. There is a message from within Europe to the UK that we would collapse if we left, and that is nothing more than scare mongering.
Without the UK, the EU would be on even more shaky ground and it would be in real danger of collapse. As much as the European media would tell you otherwise...the EU NEEDS the UK not the other way around.



Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2959 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3354 times:
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Quoting gingersnap (Reply 22):
A UK free of the EU would finally be able to take advantage of proper international trade without restrictions being put in place by Brussels

Utter crap.

If you know anything about the international trade of manufactured goods and supply into the developing markets and China you might want to know that these areas almost always request/detail EU standards and CE marking and compliance with directives.
This Is what they want.

The UK industry will continue to have to comply and also remember 60% of our trade is into partner EU nations.

Brussels is NOT the barrier, infact the EU has lowered more barriers than Westminster in recent years.
Look who got openskys with the US and unrestricted access to Heathrow - Sure wasn't The UK was it ?

As for the financial contributions/rebates well UK PLC sits on its hands in many instances when EU cash is actually available - Transport for instance - The UK could be entitled to hundreds of millions in rebates to support major infrastructure projects however consistently fails to apply - Fact.

Get over the FUD and Daily Mail lies about the EU .


User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 23):

Thank God for a voice of reason from the UK. It would be better for everyone if the UK stayed and got on board. But if they go, they will be the main loser...



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
25 Post contains images NoUFO : True, the UK would still have to comply but lose its voice when it comes to drafting new standards or otherwise advancing your country’s interests.
26 DeltaMD90 : There is a lot more to the EU than just the Euro... besides the problems with the Euro, why is the EU "about to break up?" (I put it in quotes because
27 rutankrd : It isn't ! That said the right wing Conservative Euro skeptics (A meaningless term !) would certainly like it to happen, along with some rather unple
28 Aesma : Well I see many ills with the EU, for example it has become the most free place in terms of trade for no good reason. Being free amongst us is fine a
29 SuperCaravelle : I think a break up would be deeply unpleasant, in a lot of ways. I also think it is not going to happen, not in this crisis. However, I'm not happy w
30 Rara : I'm not blaming you for this, but I feel this issue is totally blown up. If you really look at the facts, we're not doing a whole lot actually. Yes,
31 Pyrex : The EU should have stayed at that - that was what was sold to people but the problem was even at that it was a failure. The concept of free trade (fr
32 Dano1977 : That's a good thing? What did the EU get out of the deal? A deal like this should of been negotiated by Westminster, not by Brussels/Strasbourg The U
33 Conti764 : Well, I truly hope the EU will cease to exist one day. Or better, it shouldn't have ever existed in the first place. But hey, what's done is done and
34 Post contains links and images aloges : Please provide evidence that it was "Germany" (Our government? Our corporations? Trade unions? Churches? Garden gnomes?) that had those plants shut d
35 Dano1977 : I agree with you on that. Did i miss the day to vote to make Herman Van Rompuy the president of the European Council? Yet he turns up at various even
36 aloges : Hogwash. Various of your democratically legitimised governments have, over the years, shaped the development of the EU along with the democratically
37 Post contains links NAV20 : It looks as if crucial talks about the EU budget have broken down - which will, among other things, certainly delay (and possibly even rule out) any f
38 Pyrex : Other than Lizzie, you can't really compare the two things... on parliamentary democracies, the majority of the time people vote on their MPs precise
39 Post contains images Conti764 : Hm, let me see if I can dig up the reports of the board meetings of Opel and Ford... For the latter, only recently, the three models promised to Ford
40 Conti764 : Bollocks. I don't know how it works in Germany, but here European 'elections' are held every five years together with the elections for the regional
41 Post contains images aloges : ...and the CEOs of Opel and Ford hold which passports? Why did you completely ignore the examples of German corporations investing in smaller EU memb
42 Dano1977 : I voted conservative, as I wanted David Cameron as the next prime minister, so indirectly I did. Shock horror even Jaques Delores one of the main arc
43 aloges : Jackpot! You voted for him indirectly. Just like you indirectly voted for or against Barroso when you participated in the EP election. So the idea th
44 Post contains links Dano1977 : Er no. I knew who i would be getting as a prime minister. I had never heard of Herman Van Rompuy before he was made a president in the EU. The same g
45 aloges : Well, there's your problem: you failed to gather information before you voted. That's not something to blame on the EU. "Die Zeit" is highly respecta
46 Post contains links and images NAV20 : Die Zeit is a quality weekly - which, oddly enough, was originally set up by the British Army after WW2 as part of 'German reconstruction.' Here's th
47 Dano1977 : I'm not blaming the EU. I believe, when electing somebody important, then every person of voting age within the EU should have a say. It should be op
48 iakobos : Your young age brings mitigating circumstances when analysing such a rash statement. Ask your parents or even your grandparents what they think about
49 NoUFO : That's not how the European Commission or the Parliament works! It is true that when the Italian or German Secretary of State / Foreign Minister trav
50 Post contains images PanHAM : Love that too. OK, we did not have the choice between Merkel and Gauck. Mrs Merkel is the chancellor, which is the chief executive. the chancellor is
51 rutankrd : Do you live in Witney or Carterton - If not your didn't vote for Cameron ! Neither did your vote for the Tory party to form a government as the UK el
52 Dano1977 : Sorry for having an Opinion! o·pin·ion [uh-pin-yuhn] a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficie
53 Post contains links Derico : For what is worth: http://news.yahoo.com/3-bumpy-years-...ner-crisis-162356666--finance.html
54 rutankrd : Not criticising your political opinions in any way. Hey what ever they are at least you took the time to participate unlike the other 36+ % ! Just th
55 Post contains images aloges : Not only them... I find his arrogance more and more insufferable every time I have to suffer through hearing or reading one of his ramblings. It is n
56 Dano1977 : Taken from Wiki. We don't but we sort of do. The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom
57 NoUFO : Guilty of what exactly?
58 Aesma : About top officials of the EU I agree that things should be done differently, but a direct election like the French presidential election will never w
59 zippyjet : No offense but can't come soon enough in my book! Losing one's soverignity is a scary thought. Globilism favors the elite few and royally screws the r
60 Dano1977 : Material error
61 Post contains links iakobos : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-833_en.pdf Guilty of what exactly ?
62 Rara : Um.... yeah. 55 years of EEC/EC/EU, and we're only living in the most peaceful and prosperous era we've ever had on this continent. Quite the cluster
63 BNE : The Euro is a great currency, you can travel to a whole bunch of countries and not have to change currencies. Germany,, Holland, France and maybe one
64 DeltaMD90 : I know it's just your opinion, but why would you want your will imposed on the EU? I hope the EU goes in the direction Europeans want not what we wan
65 NAV20 : Peaceful, sure, Rara - but the 'prosperous' thing seems increasingly to depend on which part of the Eurozone you happen to live in. Sure, Germany's d
66 Post contains links iakobos : http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/myths/myths_en.cfm#1of15 http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/thefunds/funding/index_en.cfm Not much "academic" in
67 NAV20 : Had a look, iakobos - but those sites don't seem at all relevant to the current situation, as far as I can see neither of them says anything about ho
68 Post contains links iakobos : http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu_borrower/efsm/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/...r/balance_of_payments/index_en.htm For more s
69 Post contains links NAV20 : Thanks for the links, iakobos, interesting. However, it's pretty clear from the text that the EU 'system' envisages only short-term loans for up to fi
70 Conti764 : Irrelevant since those CEO's are mere employees who's first concern is to make a living just like you and me. More important is where the hq's of tho
71 shamrock604 : What is it about the Anglosphere that it seems to want this project to fail so badly? Is it because of a perceived threat to their alleged exceptional
72 Post contains links and images aloges : That is, to be blunt, patently absurd. So you believe that the German government can dictate where two American-owned corporations manufacture their
73 Post contains images par13del : I thought that was over a year ago, time flies Ok, the last time that the UK population got to vote on anything European related was when??? Since th
74 Post contains links aloges : From my observation, it is that plus the role of scapegoat that the EU so perfectly fills. June 2009
75 par13del : My bad, should have been more clear, was talking about the powers of the EU not the election of representatives. The Irish have a constituton which re
76 Post contains images aloges : Hmm... perhaps a UK constitution would include the same sort of provision. Anyway, I'm almost tired of repeating it: the EU is based on the principle
77 par13del : I would not hold my breath, right now fear and the know it all syndrome is the driving factor. If the UK people were allowed a vote on EU membership
78 Conti764 : It's not. Not to force, to influence. The scale of your country within the European entity gives your country incentives our country can never give t
79 aloges : Your point was that small size itself is no problem for a country. I simply mentioned a couple of examples where it certainly is a problem, so why ar
80 PanHAM : what kind of power does Mr. van Rompoy actually have? I do not want to be disrespectful and call him a "Gruess August" but the real power in the EU i
81 Post contains links NAV20 : Found a press article that partially explains why the Eurozone is having such difficulty finalising the Greek bailout. The Eurocrats (not unnaturally)
82 Dano1977 : They are not going to let Greece fail. Too much invested for it all to be just given up on. By Monday morning their will be an agreement in place.
83 Post contains images NAV20 : I'm sure that they'll cobble together enough half-measures to keep Greece going for another few months, Dano1977 - but, in my view, there can be no p
84 aloges : a) The British Pound would beg to differ. It has crashed and burned in comparison to the Euro, US Dollar and Japanese Yen. b) The Swiss franc on the
85 Dano1977 : Damned if you do, damned if you don't Keep pouring money in and hope it turns around Stop the money, and watch the domino effect.
86 Post contains links NAV20 : It's a big mistake, in terms of economics, aloges, to assume that a high-value currency necessarily equals prosperity. You may be interested in this
87 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : The ECB can't keep bailing out those fail nations forever. France and the euro The time-bomb at the heart of Europe Why France could become the bigge
88 Dano1977 : Not under Hollande Tax the rich Spend Spend Spend Pray the economic plan works I
89 PanHAM : Prayers don't help. The rich don't care, even if they pay the higher taxes there's still enough to keep the life style, but they have less money to i
90 Dano1977 : The rich do care... London is home to around 300,000 of the 400,000 French people in Britain, with so many French expats that it is considered France
91 Post contains images iakobos : Dont be too sentimental Aloges, we wont give you that pleasure.
92 Pu : At some point in a lender-borrower relationship the tables are turned and the borrower begins to control the destiny of the lender. It is a fundament
93 Dano1977 : It makes sense. As I said in the earlier post... If Greece fails, then the rest will tumble. It's one giant house of cards. Here is an idea... At the
94 Pu : Sure, that is the fear. I think that as usual, it is fear itself that is making things worse than any potential thing that could happen with Greece.
95 Post contains images aloges : ...'fraid you've lost me there. AFAIK, there are no such elections in Belgium, but then again the Belgians whom I've met have explained that even the
96 Post contains links NAV20 : That's more or less what is happening already, Pu. Cyprus just agreed terms for a bailout - joining Greece, Ireland, and Portugal; and Spain has a E1
97 Pu : Isn't that America's experience? ...and if so, what's wrong with that? It's economic federalism, which undoubtably leads to political federalsim, whi
98 NAV20 : That's the key difference, Pu. The United States is a single country. The Eurozone is basically only a 'customs union' of 17 different ones, with wid
99 Dano1977 : How long before the German tax payers, get fed up of bailing out the poorer EU countries? Or is the whole euro project so strong it's a case of keepin
100 Pu : I say Germans, despite sometimes loud bellyaching, have a big appetite for subsidising the EU bad boys. I think many of them see it as, "would I rath
101 rutankrd : Actually what the European Courts - the Highest Court to which the UK signed up to (and has NOTHING TO DO WITH The EU !) have said that we need to co
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