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European Union Breakup Looming?  
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3415 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, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3420 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, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3418 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, 27231 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3419 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 (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3420 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, 2728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3418 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, 27231 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3419 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, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 2728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 1360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3417 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 (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3416 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, 10804 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3416 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 onlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2133 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3417 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 (2 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 1401 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 1360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3416 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, 2728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3418 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, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3416 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, 20782 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3418 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, 3691 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3421 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, 6812 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 20782 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3416 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, 898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3417 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, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3420 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, 2728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3417 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.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7965 posts, RR: 12
Reply 25, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 23):
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.

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.

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 22):
As much as the European media would tell you otherwise...the EU NEEDS the UK not the other way around.

Yeah, those stupid journalists ...  
And what if they are right and Europe is indeed also good for Britain whether you recognize it or not?

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 22):
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.

Already, and thanks to its rebate, the UK pays a smaller percentage of its GNI than any other EU-member country.
Still, you would save 3.5 Billion EUR (2.8 Billion GBP), but how you would do better without easy access to the European market, and without seats in the European parliament and commission is beyond me. Likewise, how are you going to compete against American and European companies trying to do business in Asia? The only politicians rooting for British companies would be your own.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 24):
But if they go, they will be the main loser...

Both sides will lose, that's for sure.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7965 posts, RR: 51
Reply 26, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3528 times:

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 I don't think it would happen.)


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 27, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3569 times:
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Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 26):
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 I don't think it would happen.)

It isn't !

That said the right wing Conservative Euro skeptics (A meaningless term !) would certainly like it to happen, along with some rather unpleasant allies from the old east !

The UK conservative party (Tory Party) is not representative on main stream European opinion.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6812 posts, RR: 12
Reply 28, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3561 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
What would you want to be done to solve the EU's ills as you see them?

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 and I'm happy with it, but there is no reason not to defend our markets a little, like others (USA, China...) are doing.

There are also democratic flaws, but I doubt it's the right time to fix them, and not what will stop the current crisis. Frankly I have no clear idea on what has to be done and it seems our leaders are no better, as for economists, many have been predicting a collapse of the euro for years without it happening, so they're not visionary either.

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 22):
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.

I don't think the UK would collapse as I'm sure some kind of "preferred status" for trade would be put in place. I wonder if the City wouldn't lose a lot, though, maybe to the benefit of the rest of the country.

Most of the billions put into the EU come back in the form of many things that the local/national governments would just have to pay for directly otherwise, so there will be little benefit there.

Lastly the UK leaving would indeed cause trouble for the EU, but it would also eliminate an opposition force, and make the federal jump far easier.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineSuperCaravelle From Netherlands, joined Jan 2012, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3561 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 26):
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 I don't think it would happen.)

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 with the way the EU is operating, currently. Euro issues aside (which are very interesting by the way), I think the EU government is not transparent and much too prone to lobbying.

I don't understand why still half of the EU budget goes to agricultural subsidies. I don't understand why we need to have a European Investment Bank handing out loans to the likes of Ford, Toyota or BMW or many other multinationals. The EU has a worrying tendency to try to operate the buttons that should be left alone for a free market to prosper.

I read a few comments on The Economist here as well. I agree that The Economist has the tendency to be on the negative side concerning the EU and the euro. I don't think they are wrong though (and I am very happy that they exist as they are the only proper free-market right-wing newspaper that bases it's opinion on at least some facts), because their main issue is the lack of leadership and the lack of decisions. It's exactly what's going on. In the meantime, our new (Dutch) government has indicated that we have said goodbye to economic growth until at least 2017, while a loss of up to 4% of purchasing power is acceptable (with current calculations of government plans indicating a bigger loss).

On the whole, the plurality of the countries means there is only a certain degree of economic integration (barely any labor movement, for example), but every country needs to agree on everything to make meaningful progress, which is not going to happen with economies that are so different. That means we are going nowhere at the moment, and I believe we're only just beginning to feel the costs of this now.

[Edited 2012-11-08 15:27:43]

User currently onlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2133 posts, RR: 2
Reply 30, posted (2 years 2 weeks ago) and read 3555 times:

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?

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, we enter commitments for financially less stable countries that could potentially become very expensive, but there's also a chance we won't have to pay anything in the end. And as to the usual coherence funds etc., that's ridiculously little money, all things considered. It's doesn't even enter the percent range of the total budget.

So yes, if Germany wasn't committed, the EU would likely start to dissolve. But it's not like we're running the show with our money or anything. On the whole, we benefit a lot more from the internal market than we have to pay for the institutions and the various funds.

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. 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.

Well that's bollocks. Ask any British businessman about EU membership and the Euro and you see who needs whom. The EU doesn't need the UK because the Thatcher rebate ensures they don't pay nearly as much as they should anyway. Leaving the UK wouldn't be disastrous for the UK, but it wouldn't benefit anyone except please the isolationists.

The EU is about to start a large re-industrialisation campaign, to bring manufacturing jobs back and ensure that the value-creation chain doesn't completely move to Asia. The UK better pay attention to that. At the end of the day, you can't eat credit default swaps, and equity warrants make lousy fuel in cold weather.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4035 posts, RR: 28
Reply 31, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 17):
The EU as a trading bloc is fine.

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 (free anything, really) is anathema to many countries in Europe, and that is why you end up with a "free-trade zone" with massive, market-distorting subsidies (agricultural and otherwise), restrictions on cross-border competition and ownership of companies, etc. To disguise this failure, the EU had to take the next step, the monetary union.

Quoting pu (Reply 17):

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.

With that, I disagree. The Euro, for all its sins, actually provides some level of protection to the ordinary citizens of countries like Portugal. Without it, the politicians of those countries would have wiped away the savings of their citizens through inflation and currency devaluation (which are never a solution, but politicians like to think of them as one because it is the easy way out). Having the Euro (and a strong one) protects the citizens of Europe from effective nationalization at the hands of their own politicians.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 23):
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 ?

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 UK has a Veto, and we will use it how we see fit.

Last time it was used correctly, was to stop the financial heart of London being ripped out!



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineConti764 From Belgium, joined Dec 2007, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3526 times:

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 you can't turn back time.

The EU just gets way to involved in our daily lives and not in a good manner. For example, the EU forced a country like Belgium to allow a foreign Eastern European workforce to work here but in exchange forgot to force those same Eastern European countries to take their social systems up to existing European standards resulting in those workers being much cheaper then domestic workers resulting in the latter losing their jobs. And there's nothing that can be done against it.

On the other hand you have a country like Germany, which sucks out labour from smaller countries like Belgium. They managed to recently have two Belgian car plants to shut down (with Opel Antwerp being closed already and Ford Genk about to), so the European dream of solidarity and how the EU is such a positive thing for everybody living in it is rubbish. Germany acts like a big bully forcing its opinion onto everybody in the EU.

The European Union, like Belgium itself, is one of the biggest mistakes in history. Neither of them should have existed today. Both are geopolitical inventions to cater for the needs of a selected few.

And not to forget there is no democratic base at all for the EU. Nobody chooses to have it, and nobody can do something against it.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 34, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3528 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
On the other hand you have a country like Germany, which sucks out labour from smaller countries like Belgium. They managed to recently have two Belgian car plants to shut down (with Opel Antwerp being closed already and Ford Genk about to)

Please provide evidence that it was "Germany" (Our government? Our corporations? Trade unions? Churches? Garden gnomes?) that had those plants shut down, as opposed to the management of the two American companies that own(ed) them. Lies, deceit and propaganda...

By the way, it would be pretty easy for German corporations to "suck out labour from smaller countries". What they do instead is invest in them: Audi Győr, Audi Brussels, Audi Bratislava, BMW Steyr, Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét
...and I haven't even mentioned VW. Or Bosch. Or Siemens. Or a couple thousand other companies that are all "sucking out labour from smaller countries".   

[Edited 2012-11-09 13:37:33]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3517 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
And not to forget there is no democratic base at all for the EU. Nobody chooses to have it, and nobody can do something against it.

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 events, representing the European Union... Sorry i didn't vote for him, so he doesn't speak for me in any form.

Then we have Jose Manuel Barroso. President of the European Commission Didn't get a vote for him either!

José Manuel Barroso was a Marxist. He was a leading light in the Maoist movement at one time in his life. Can a leopard change its spots?



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 36, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3521 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
And not to forget there is no democratic base at all for the EU. Nobody chooses to have it, and nobody can do something against it.

Hogwash. Various of your democratically legitimised governments have, over the years, shaped the development of the EU along with the democratically legitimised governments of all other member states. If the EU was as enormous a threat as you make it out to be, these peoples would have elected anti-EU parliaments and/or governments. Those options have existed for decades.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 35):
Yet he turns up at various events, representing the European Union... Sorry i didn't vote for him, so he doesn't speak for me in any form.

I never voted for Angela Merkel or Joachim Gauck. Did you ever vote for Her Majesty or David Cameron?

Indirect democracy and indirect elections are perfectly normal and accepted, there is no reason to think any less of the EU for employing the very same principles that its individual member states have employed for decades.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 35):
José Manuel Barroso was a Marxist.

He led a Maoist student organisation, not a Marxist one. In any case, would you rather he'd been a supporter of the Portuguese dictatorship?

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 35):
Can a leopard change its spots?

Probably not, but a person can change his or her views and embrace new ideals. Barroso has been a member of a centre-right party since 1980... I suppose you were three at the time and not necessarily interested in Portuguese politics, so it's only understandable that you didn't follow Barroso's political career. That makes your implication of "once a Marxist Maoist, always a Marxist Maoist" a fallacy.

[Edited 2012-11-09 16:10:47]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 37, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3513 times:

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 further 'rescue packages' for Greece or for the other EU 'problem areas'

"The latest round tough talks on the European Union budget after a two week break has collapsed after austerity-minded states refused to plug a 2012 budget shortfall in funds destined for Europe's needy.
Friday's talks had been scheduled to approve a budget for 2013 but instead snagged on an 8.9 billion euros ($A10.98 billion) hole in this year's spending, according to figures provided by the European Commission.

"Approval for the massive EU budget must be agreed between the 27 member states and the European Parliament, but MEP Alain Lamassoure, who heads the assembly's budget committee, said: "The council (of ministers) were unable to negotiate so the negotiations were suspended.

"The collapse of the 2013 budget talks, which leaders will have a last-chance opportunity to resume on Tuesday, augurs badly for a November 22-23 summit called to settle the bloc's even more hotly disputed 2014-2020 spending plans.

"If we succeed in these negotiations now, we'll create a better atmosphere for convergence and agreement in the (summit) negotiations," Cyprus's deputy EU minister Andreas Mavroyannis, who chaired Friday's session, had said.

"But even before considering spending for 2013, governments refused to contribute funds to make up this year's shortfall, threatening the future of a wide range of social programs including 670 million euros ($A826.96 million) set aside to compensate Italian earthquake victims."


http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbu...p/8562303/eu-budget-talks-collapse

I hope that my own position on this business is clear. That the European Common Market was basically a good and successful idea; promoting increased trade and economic cooperation among countries that were and remain far too close together to maintain artificial trade barriers between each other. And that it worked well for many years and should in my opinion be retained.

But that the subsequent (and much more recent) setting up of the 'Eurozone,' a common currency, was 'a step too far;' resulting in the increasing division of the countries that joined in into 'rich and poor.' We are now seeing the results of that; the wealthier and more industrially-developed countries having directly to subsidise the poorer ones. Literally having, on an increasing scale, to lend the latter the money with which to buy the products of the former; with absolutely no practical possibility of the so-called 'loans' ever being repaid.

So my solution - which, I submit, appears to be the only one available - is an orderly process of phasing out the Euro, and restoring national currencies which can be devalued or revalued as necessary to mantain the viability/competitiveness of each of the countries involved. That may seem to be a radical idea. I expect that many people are likely to say that phasing out the Euro is impossible - but the Euro itself was introduced only very recently. What has been 'done' can usually be 'undone' - and, if the process is spread over years, the transition can certainly be kept manageable and achievable.

What's more, giving individual countries back their previous right to devalue or revalue their currencies as necessary is absolutely certain to reduce, and, over time, largely solve the present problems. To justify that view, I hope that I only have to point to the fact that the ten EU countries that have not so far joined the Euro are not, on the face of it, suffering anything like the economic problems that many that DID join are facing?

No reason why countries that choose to shouldn't retain the Euro if they wish - but I think that all the current Euro-users should definitely be offered the choice.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4035 posts, RR: 28
Reply 38, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):

I never voted for Angela Merkel or Joachim Gauck. Did you ever vote for Her Majesty or David Cameron?

Other than Lizzie, you can't really compare the two things... on parliamentary democracies, the majority of the time people vote on their MPs precisely to elect the Prime Minister they want, not to have them nominate someone to nominate some Belgian (Dutch? Luxemburguese?) dude they never heard of head of whatever European bureaucracy is up for a leadership change that day.

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):
He led a Maoist student organisation, not a Marxist one. In any case, would you rather he'd been a supporter of the Portuguese dictatorship?

He was a Maoist thug AFTER the dictatorship fell...



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineConti764 From Belgium, joined Dec 2007, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3513 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 34):

Please provide evidence that it was "Germany" (Our government? Our corporations? Trade unions? Churches? Garden gnomes?) that had those plants shut down, as opposed to the management of the two American companies that own(ed) them. Lies, deceit and propaganda...

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 Genk were moved to Valencia, Spain which - in turn - had to give up their populair 'Focus' model to... Saarlouis, in Germany. Not only got Genk closed down, their fairly unsuccesful models (Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max) were dumped in Spain whereas one of the German plants gets the succesful 'Focus'... And the plant in Genk was a part of Ford Werke Gmbh, the parenting company.

In a further past the models produced at Opel Antwerp were shifted directly to a German plant.

To be honoust, I don't even blame your country or politicians. They do as they should, taking care of the people they are supposed to represent. You selected your representatives to the EU as do we. But that's the hypocrisy of the EU or every unnatural federal state (like Belgium). German representatives only care about Germany, French about France, Spanish about Spain, etc. etc. I have no grudge against your country, I was only pointing out to it because we were only recently confronted with European hypocrisy and Germany was the country that got involved in these specific cases.

It's not easy for a small country like Belgium to compeed with the economic superpowers of the EU (Germany, France,...) but on the other hand some unproductive rules are forced upon us by the EU.

But hey, I don't believe in federal states, or at least not the likes of Europe or Belgium. Like I said, both are invented to cater for the need of a few elites, not for the general public living within.


User currently offlineConti764 From Belgium, joined Dec 2007, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):
Hogwash. Various of your democratically legitimised governments have, over the years, shaped the development of the EU along with the democratically legitimised governments of all other member states. If the EU was as enormous a threat as you make it out to be, these peoples would have elected anti-EU parliaments and/or governments. Those options have existed for decades.

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 governments. Unlike those regional governments, nobody cares about the candidates for the EU, they just get along, it gets no media coverage at all and people just happen to vote for the same party they voted for in the regional elections without even caring who's on the bill. Another issue is we just have no anti-European party in Belgium.

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):

I never voted for Angela Merkel or Joachim Gauck. Did you ever vote for Her Majesty or David Cameron?

Indirect democracy and indirect elections are perfectly normal and accepted, there is no reason to think any less of the EU for employing the very same principles that its individual member states have employed for decades.

Apples and oranges. At least you had the choice to vote for Merkel or Gauck, but you decided not to. Perfectly democratic. But for many of the EU officials, we never got to vote. Even as a Belgian, I couldn't vote for 'president' Van Rompuy. When he was selected for the job, he even held a temporary position as Belgian prime minister. So no democratic base at all.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 41, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 39):
Hm, let me see if I can dig up the reports of the board meetings of Opel and Ford...

...and the CEOs of Opel and Ford hold which passports?

Why did you completely ignore the examples of German corporations investing in smaller EU member states?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 39):
I have no grudge against your country,

You certainly have an interesting way of expressing that lack of a grudge:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
a country like Germany, which sucks out labour from smaller countries

  

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 39):
It's not easy for a small country like Belgium to compeed with the economic superpowers of the EU

If that were true, how would it be easier for the small countries to compete globally against powers like the US, China and India?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
Unlike those regional governments, nobody cares about the candidates for the EU

That's the problem. If the EU is such a menace, why doesn't anybody care about those elections? They would certainly be the easiest way to influence the policies of the EU.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
Another issue is we just have no anti-European party in Belgium.

We were talking about the EU, not Europe in its entirety. Ten seconds of browsing brought me to this:



The colours should be enough of a hint.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
At least you had the choice to vote for Merkel or Gauck

I did not. You should really get a basic understanding of the facts before making your judgement.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):

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 architects for the single European currency has said it was flawed from the beginning.

Are the pro Europeans going to write him off now as a crazy fruit loop?



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 43, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3510 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 42):
I voted conservative, as I wanted David Cameron as the next prime minister, so indirectly I did.

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 that Barroso is less representative is factually incorrect.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 42):
Shock horror even Jaques Delores one of the main architects for the single European currency has said it was flawed from the beginning.

I'm neither shocked nor horrified, in fact I agree with him. But I also agree with him that more integration and harmonisation would have been the way to go, do you?

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 42):
Are the pro Europeans going to write him off now as a crazy fruit loop?

Are those really the only alternatives? Unquestioning support or writing someone off as "a crazy fruit loop"?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 43):

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 goes for Barrosa.

Jaques Delores states - and i quote...

Commenting on those - like the British - who objected to euro membership by saying the currency could not work without a state, Mr Delors said: "They had a point."

The reaction of the current generation of EU leaders, he added, has been "too little, too late".

In particular Mr Delors identified "a combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control, and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries".

The lack of central powers to co-ordinate economic policies allowed some members to run up unsustainable debt.

As for the crazy fruit loop - It seems to happen within society, that somebody can be Pro about something, but when they have seen it go wrong, they speak out about the errors, but other people don't see those errors and label the people who were pro, crazy,old,fruit loops etc.


To top it all off!

http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2012-11/schaeuble-frankreich

I have no idea if Zeit Online is a good paper or a tabloid.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 45, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3503 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 44):
I had never heard of Herman Van Rompuy before he was made a president in the EU. The same goes for Barrosa.

Well, there's your problem: you failed to gather information before you voted. That's not something to blame on the EU.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 44):
I have no idea if Zeit Online is a good paper or a tabloid.

"Die Zeit" is highly respectable, which cannot be said for Mr Schäuble.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 46, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 44):
I have no idea if Zeit Online is a good paper or a tabloid.

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 the article in English - looks as if the German Finance Minister thinks that the French economy is in deepening trouble and that German 'economic experts' may have to 'advise' them...........

I'm sure that the French will just LOVE that idea!  

English translation of the article here (click on 'No.3, Europe Crisis,' under "Most Commented,' top right):-

http://translate.google.com.au/trans...GZiQeg8oGwDA&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQ7gEwAA



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 45):

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 open and transparent.
Who knows what deals go on behind closed doors to get a certain candidate hoisted into a position.

Is that too much to ask for.

Same with the EU accounts, they should get audited, unlike the 18+ years that it hasn't.

Almost 4% of allocated funds were wasted - how much of a budget increase they asking for the 2014 to 2020 budgets 6.8%?

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 46):

I can imagine there was some choking on the pain au chocolat.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 35
Reply 48, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
Well, I truly hope the EU will cease to exist one day. Or better, it shouldn't have ever existed in the first place.

Your young age brings mitigating circumstances when analysing such a rash statement.
Ask your parents or even your grandparents what they think about it...and meditate.

You future, like it or not, is in a (even) more closely integrated Europe.
The days of the Nation-States (in the developed world) are almost over.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 33):
For example, the EU forced a country like Belgium to allow a foreign Eastern European workforce to work here but in exchange forgot to force those same Eastern European countries to take their social systems up to existing European standards resulting in those workers being much cheaper then domestic workers resulting in the latter losing their jobs.

Update: nobody is forcing Belgium to swallow EE workers, they come here primarily because the market needs them, they know that they can work and that they will make a much better living here.
They are (generally speaking) not taking the bread out of Belgians' mouths...our system has "elevated" the locals into higher education, clean jobs, high wages, 38h/week and 5 or more weeks paid holidays.
Try to find a 20-yr old who wants to be a plumber, a bus driver, a street cleaner........good luck.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7965 posts, RR: 12
Reply 49, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 39):
German representatives only care about Germany, French about France, Spanish about Spain, etc. etc.

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 travels to China he will represent Italy or Germany first and foremost and only then the European Union. But even if only Germany would directlybenefit from trade with China, the European Union as a whole - including Belgium - would indirectly benefit from it as well.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
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 governments. Unlike those regional governments, nobody cares about the candidates for the EU, they just get along, it gets no media coverage at all and people just happen to vote for the same party they voted for in the regional elections without even caring who's on the bill.

Your problem.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
Another issue is we just have no anti-European party in Belgium.

If you consider this a problem, go and found one.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
At least you had the choice to vote for Merkel or Gauck

*LOL* wut?



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9656 posts, RR: 31
Reply 50, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3503 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
Apples and oranges. At least you had the choice to vote for Merkel or Gauck,

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 elected by the Bundestag parties that have either an own majority or form a coalition. The voter has two votes on federal elections, the direct candidate and the party list. Parties nominated their top candidates, hence the voters knows who will become chancellor if his choice party wins.

Mr. Gauck, the Bundespraesident is a figure head of state, like the Queen, without executive powers. At best he can delay a law becoming effective by not signing it.

He is voted by the Federal Assembly, which is made up by the federal parliament plus delegates from each state.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 51, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3499 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 42):
I voted conservative, as I wanted David Cameron as the next prime minister, so indirectly I did.

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 election system is not decided by popular vote. Its a constituency system with first past the post in which the vote is for a local representative in the House of Commons.
Your party vote is discarded nationally and is not transferable.

The government is an electoral college - Normally party with most /majority of seats is invited to form a government.
A threshold of 329 mainland seats (Remember the Ulster Scottish and Welsh nationalist attain around 20 seats plus the speaker is none voting ) is needed for an overall majority. The Tories fell well short of this.
And the UK mainland parties don't stand candidates in Ulster at all.
You need at least 316 just to form minority government !

NO ONE in the UK voted for the current fiasco of a coalition it has virtually no mandate and its only clinging on because the smaller party has made a pact for a fixed term parliament . This is in itself is un-constitutional !

If the liberals withdraw the government will collapse as the Tories have no working majority.


User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 51):

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 insufficient to produce complete certainty


I Voted Conservative, as the person standing in my constituency was at the time the best person to represent me in the house of commons. In a non direct way, I also believe that David Cameron is the best person to lead this country, rather than the Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg at that time. So I voted Conservative!

I still think he is the best person to run the country, rather than Milliband or Clegg

I don't have the time to trawl through the UK constitution, so I will take what you say as truth, and the Fixed Term Parliment Act of 2011 is a tool designed to keep the coalition in power. Hopefully that wont be needed in the 2014/15 elections



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4313 posts, RR: 11
Reply 53, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

For what is worth:

http://news.yahoo.com/3-bumpy-years-...ner-crisis-162356666--finance.html



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 54, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3498 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 52):
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 insufficient to produce complete certainty

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 the fact that like many even possibly the majority of the UK electorate have little idea how our system actually functions.

I will hold my own feelings re Cameron for now but I think you might find them here or elsewhere if you look not so hard !


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 55, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3500 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 46):
I'm sure that the French will just LOVE that idea!

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.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 47):
I believe, when electing somebody important, then every person of voting age within the EU should have a say. It should be open and transparent.
(...)
Is that too much to ask for.

It is not too much to ask for, which is why you do get a say: pretty much the same kind of say that you get in the elections for the House of Commons... or I get in the election for the Bundestag.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 47):
Same with the EU accounts, they should get audited, unlike the 18+ years that it hasn't.

Then what is the European Court of Auditors for?

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 47):
Almost 4% of allocated funds were wasted

Please define "waste" and then read up on the European Anti-fraud Office. Perhaps you've got some information that they'd like to know.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 52):
Sorry for having an Opinion!

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and nobody said there was.

What's wrong is basing an opinion on incorrect information, such as "I had no say in the election of Barroso, so he does not represent me" and then refusing to change it after you've learned the actual truth.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 52):
I don't have the time to trawl through the UK constitution

Considering that you'd have a very hard time finding any such document, it's a good job you're not planning on reading it.  

Quoting Derico (Reply 53):
For what is worth:

http://news.yahoo.com/3-bumpy-years-...ner-crisis-162356666--finance.html

No! No! No! You must not share any positive news about the EU or the Eurozone economy! It spoils the narrative!  Wink

[Edited 2012-11-10 12:01:24]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3503 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 55):

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 is governed.[1]
Unlike most other nations, the UK has no single constitutional document. This is sometimes expressed by stating that it has an uncodified or "unwritten" constitution.[2] Much of the British constitution is embodied in written documents, within statutes, court judgments and treaties. The constitution has other unwritten sources, including parliamentary constitutional conventions (as laid out in Erskine May) and royal prerogatives.
Historically, "No Act of Parliament can be unconstitutional, for the law of the land knows not the word or the idea."[3]
Since the Glorious Revolution, the bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law.[4] It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament. There is some debate about whether this principle remains valid,[5] particularly in light of the UK's membership of the European Union.[6]


This is the bit I find interesting

There is some debate about whether this principle remains valid,[5] particularly in light of the UK's membership of the European Union.

Now remind me what my parents voted for in the 1970's?

"Free trade agreement" with no plans for closer political or monetary union"

Now a referendum keeps getting mentioned within the politics, but I don't think we will see one within the next 10,15 or 20 years.

To many Former and current politicians on the Euro gravy train.


Audited Accounts

For today the European Court of Auditors – the body charged with auditing the EU’s accounts – has presented its annual report to the European Parliament and for the 17th – yes, seventeenth – year running, it has concluded that the payments underlying the 2010 accounts are “still affected by material error”.


“The Court concludes that overall the supervisory and control systems are partially effective in ensuring the legality and regularity of payments underlying the accounts. The policy groups Agriculture and Natural Resources and Cohesion, Energy and Transport are materially affected by error. The Court’s estimate for the most likely error rate for payments underlying the accounts is 3.7 %.

“In the Court’s opinion, because of the significance of the matters described [above] on the legality and regularity of payments underlying the accounts paragraph, the payments underlying the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2010 are materially affected by error.”

“the degree of non-compliance with the rules governing the spending, such as breaches of public procurement rules, ineligible or incorrect calculation of costs claimed to EU co-financed projects, or over-declaration of land by farmers”.

And that 3.7% error rate is as a proportion of the EU’s annual budget of €122.2 billion (£104.2 billion), which means that serious questions remain about a staggering €4.5 billion (£3.9 billion) of payments which have been made by Brussels – a figure which has increased since 2009.

And the error rate across the “Cohesion, energy and transport” budget alone was no less than 7.7%.

The fact that this happens year after year does not make it any more acceptable. Moreover, it underlines just how outrageous it is that the European Commission is seeking another increase in its budget when there are question marks over billions of its spending.

Anyone who knows the first thing about accounting concepts like material error would find hilarious, the EU is claiming that failing to get their accounts past the auditors yet again is some kind of triumph. They claim that: “For the fourth year in a row, the EU’s annual accounts have received a clean bill of health from its external auditors.”

If a UK Company operated their accounts procedures in the same way as the EU, the Inland Revenue would instigate an investigation and if found guilty the company would be heavily fined and the Directors could face a jail sentence.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7965 posts, RR: 12
Reply 57, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 56):
If a UK Company operated their accounts procedures in the same way as the EU, the Inland Revenue would instigate an investigation and if found guilty

Guilty of what exactly?



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6812 posts, RR: 12
Reply 58, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 3497 times:

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 work across a diverse union. What should happen is that European political parties should take more prominence, instead of being associations of national parties after the fact. One program for each party for the whole EU, with a list of possible leaders or something like that, so that when we get to vote we have an idea of who could end up in the top position, not "some random former leader of Luxembourg/Belgium" as has been the case so far.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Reply 59, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3500 times:

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 rest of us. Since the E.U. it's been one giant cluster f*ck on the continent. Over here in the States there are some that are trying to create a God Awful North American Union. CAnada, us and Mexico as one mega union with a standard currency The Amero with open borders. We need this like we need "W" and Cheney back in the White House plundering our great nation and trying to turn us into a Third World Mid East disaster. No Thank You!


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3497 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 57):

Material error



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 35
Reply 61, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 57):
Guilty of what exactly?
Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 60):
Material error
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-833_en.pdf

Guilty of what exactly ?


User currently onlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2133 posts, RR: 2
Reply 62, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3507 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 59):
Since the E.U. it's been one giant cluster f*ck on the continent.

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 clusterfuck.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3188 posts, RR: 12
Reply 63, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

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 or 2 others should have formed the Euro currency and then had other countries join up. The euro does make it easier for a lot of international companies to trade easier.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7965 posts, RR: 51
Reply 64, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 3494 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 59):
No offense but can't come soon enough in my book! Losing one's soverignity is a scary thought.

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 want. The EU, by and large, has done some great things for Europe. No one's sovereignty is threatened anyway, IMO, as there is no EU Army forcing any European country to comply with anything. The EU is voluntary and any country is free to get out at any time. Look at Switzerland... they have adopted most of the EU's policies and by many measures is in the EU, but no sovereignty has been given up.

I think Europeans should fear the day when Brussels FORCES measures upon other countries. Not "well the EU voted to do this, comply with it since you are in the EU or get out." I'm talking about "your country NEEDS to comply with ________, don't threaten to get out of the EU because we won't let you!"



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 65, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 62):
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 clusterfuck.

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 doing fine, France and Italy aren't doing badly. But an increasing number of Eurozone countries are caught in an 'economic trap.' Their industry isn't developed enough for them to be able to make most of the stuff they need, they have basically to import most manufactured goods; and can only really 'export' agricultural produce, raw materials, and 'tourism services' (in some cases) in return.

So the poorer countries all suffer from 'adverse balance of payments' problems. Year by year, they have to pay more for their imports than they can possibly recover from selling their exports.

The 'normal' remedy for that syndrome is 'devaluation.' Poorer countries devalue their currencies, so that their people find imported goods more expensive, and therefore buy less of them; while receiving more (in terms of the local currency) for anything they manage to export.

That is 'basic' economics - dating back to the days of the guy who more or less invented the subject, the 'late, great' John Maynard Keynes.

But the Eurocrats seem to be re-writing the economic textbooks. As far as I can see, they reckon that the solution to the Eurozone crisis is not that the poorer countries should devalue, but that the wealthier countries (like Germany and France) should impose more and more severe economic sanctions on the poorer ones, in return for them lending the poorer countries yet more 'hard currency' Euros that, in practical terms, can never be repaid?

As it happens, in my youth I 'drifted' into LSE and finished up with an economics degree. Only a B.Sc. though, never went on to a 'Masters.' Maybe someone who got further in the academic field can explain to me (and others) how enforcing total 'austerity' on the 'under-performing' countries, while simultaneously lending them money that they will never, ever, be able to repay - at penal interest rates into the bargain - can possibly solve the problems that the Eurozone is facing?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 35
Reply 66, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

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 these, but it might help understand in a "pragmatic" way how the EU works.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 67, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting iakobos (Reply 66):
Not much "academic" in these, but it might help understand in a "pragmatic" way how the EU works.

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 how the Eurozone deals with countries that have balance of payments problems?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 35
Reply 68, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3475 times:

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 specific cases outside of normal mechanisms, you have to look up the troïka, European Commission + European Central Bank + International Monetary Fund


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 69, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

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 five years; after which, presumably, they have to be repaid?

"When it is considered that a Member State is in difficulty or is seriously threatened with difficulties as regards its balance of payments, the Council, based on a recommendation by the Commission, takes a decision whether to grant mutual assistance.

"When it is considered that this should take a form of medium-term financial assistance, the Council decides (usually in the course of the same meeting), on the basis of a Commission proposal and following an examination of the draft adjustment programme presented by the Member State concerned:

"•whether to grant a loan or appropriate financing facility, its amount and average duration (normally about five years), as well as technicalities for disbursing the loan or financing facility;

"•the economic policy conditions attached to the medium-term assistance."


The basic problem Greece faces is that it has very little industry of its own; so that it is unable to pay for the manufactured goods that it imports from more developed parts of the EU; and therefore has an ever-mounting trade deficit. The only long-term solution to that problem is not five-year loans, as proposed by the EU; but a proper, systematic 'regional policy' aimed at assisting (that is, subsidising) manufacturing industry to establish more manufacturing plants in places like Greece.

This has been successfully done before elsewhere; notably in Britain. Back in the 1960s, the British government introduced a very far-reaching 'regional policy' under which most of Northern and Western England, and virtually the whole of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, were designated as 'Development Areas.' Under this scheme industry setting up in those areas could apply for and receive not mere 'government loans,' but non-returnable 'investment grants' amounting to up to 40% of the cost of buildings, plant ,and machinery; plus assistance with training etc.

Pleased to say that that policy succeeded dramatically. I was working in property in North-East England at the time; and I'm pleased to say that, when I was approached by a charity wanting to sell forty acres of agricultural land in an ex-coalmining area, which they just used as a 'boys' farm' for orphans, we were able to get the land re-zoned as a 'Business Park' - and then not just sell it for a very good price, but turn it into a prosperous 'estate' full of new companies from all over the world (all, as far as I know, making good money, mainly because of the keen and hard-working ex-miners and their families, who 'jumped at the chance' of solid new jobs, and made the most of them):-

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=ta...2ccd&bpcl=38093640&biw=989&bih=560

THAT, in my opinion. is the only proper answer to the Eurozone's problems; to grant-aid companies from the wealthier countries to set up new industry in the needier areas. In my experience, they'll MAKE money that way, not just pay it out in the form of useless five-year loans that will never be repaid - plus yet MORE loans in the NEXT five years..........

[Edited 2012-11-13 19:17:48]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineConti764 From Belgium, joined Dec 2007, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 70, posted (2 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3454 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
...and the CEOs of Opel and Ford hold which passports?

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 those companies are located. Opel is based in Russelsheim, Ford Werke AG in Cologne, both in Germany which gives that country a huge leverage into negociating with those companies.

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
Why did you completely ignore the examples of German corporations investing in smaller EU member states?

Well, VW Vorst turned into Audi Brussels only after VW left the plant and moved it's highly succesful Golf model to other locations and after both the government and employees gave huge incentives to the VW group to stay in Brussels.

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
If that were true, how would it be easier for the small countries to compete globally against powers like the US, China and India?

I admit it may sound contradicting, but a small country like Belgium has better chances without a higher governance. If size is such a matter globally seen, why are countries like Singapore and, closer to home, Switzerland so strong? I know both have their specific strong markets, but we are only talking about size in this... The problem with the EU is that one supreme governing body legislates for all 27 member states which have their own specifics. Europe's scale would be an advantage for all member states if there was true solidarity throughout member states, but there simply isn't. The only reason why countries like Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, etc... are investing into countries like Greece is because they have their own interest. In times like these, with a downwards economic spiral, solidarity is not the corner stone of Europe.

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
That's the problem. If the EU is such a menace, why doesn't anybody care about those elections? They would certainly be the easiest way to influence the policies of the EU.

Because they are ignored by mainstream media. I can only hope people will become more attentive of the EU and all troubles it takes along.

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
We were talking about the EU, not Europe in its entirety. Ten seconds of browsing brought me to this:

Great, you managed to find a poster of the one xenofobe party Flanders has, I'd never vote for them, even they'd promise me a European exit the day after the elections.

Quoting aloges (Reply 41):
I did not. You should really get a basic understanding of the facts before making your judgement.

Fair enough, but it took a fellow countryman of yours to explain the German electoral system to me.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 50):
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 elected by the Bundestag parties that have either an own majority or form a coalition. The voter has two votes on federal elections, the direct candidate and the party list. Parties nominated their top candidates, hence the voters knows who will become chancellor if his choice party wins.

Mr. Gauck, the Bundespraesident is a figure head of state, like the Queen, without executive powers. At best he can delay a law becoming effective by not signing it.

He is voted by the Federal Assembly, which is made up by the federal parliament plus delegates from each state.

So all in all you still get to more or less elect the Chancellor don't you? If you would vote for CDU, you know prior to election day that you vote for Mrs. Merkel as your Chancellor.

Now I had no saying whatsoever in who should represent the European Union as a president. Just a few weeks before his appointment, it was rumoured Mr Van Rompuy would become 'Europe's first president' and without any vote he got of the population he got his seat.

Quoting aloges (Reply 45):
Well, there's your problem: you failed to gather information before you voted. That's not something to blame on the EU.

And how could he have gathered information about Herman Van Rompuy? The man was temporary prime minster of Belgium when he got to move to another Brussels neighborhood. Even here it was only weeks before his appointment rumours started to swell. So no chance at all to elect 'our' president.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 48):
Your young age brings mitigating circumstances when analysing such a rash statement.
Ask your parents or even your grandparents what they think about it...and meditate.

My age doesn't matter at all. If I would ask my parents or grandparents something about Belgium and Europe however, they'd without a doubt tell me stories from the time Belgium still had a strong internal economy, when we still had a national company providing our energy, in stead of a French company, when the national Belgian railroad still bought Belgian trains in stead of French, Spanish or German ones, when major construction works were done by Belgian companies employing Belgian employees in stead of Portugese employees. I am not against trade and global economy, but the current situation gives Belgium a setback against countries like Eastern and Southern European states which lack the same social system we have and pay for or countries who can profit from their much larger scale.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 48):
You future, like it or not, is in a (even) more closely integrated Europe.
The days of the Nation-States (in the developed world) are almost over.

I wouldn't be too sure about that... In some states anti-European sentiments are growing and I am convinced in other countries, like our own, people will follow.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 48):
Update: nobody is forcing Belgium to swallow EE workers, they come here primarily because the market needs them, they know that they can work and that they will make a much better living here.
They are (generally speaking) not taking the bread out of Belgians' mouths...our system has "elevated" the locals into higher education, clean jobs, high wages, 38h/week and 5 or more weeks paid holidays.
Try to find a 20-yr old who wants to be a plumber, a bus driver, a street cleaner........good luck.

The European Union however, makes it impossible for Belgium to do something about the ever lasting flood in some sectors.
Belgian transportcompanies are working closely together with foreign companies or are setting up their own affiliates only to facilitate having much cheaper employees driving their trucks. Belgian employees are far more expensive due to our social system and our economy contrary to countries like Poland or Hungary (for example) who either don't have such system or a much cheaper one where life is way cheaper then here in Belgium. And never did the EU do anything to at least make sure those companies are on par with the 'old' Europe before letting them in.

And in the meantime, we have 10.000 jobs lost in Genk due to the closing of Ford Genk and numerous more job losses in other factories which are seeing work being moved to cheaper countries within Europe.

About your last sentence. I don't care what they want... If such jobs are up there to take and those youngsters are unemployed, they should be forced to take the job whether they like it or not by cutting of even ending their welfare.


User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4211 posts, RR: 12
Reply 71, posted (2 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3456 times:

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 exceptionalism?



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 72, posted (2 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3457 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Irrelevant since those CEO's are mere employees who's first concern is to make a living just like you and me.

That is, to be blunt, patently absurd.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
More important is where the hq's of those companies are located. Opel is based in Russelsheim, Ford Werke AG in Cologne, both in Germany which gives that country a huge leverage into negociating with those companies.

So you believe that the German government can dictate where two American-owned corporations manufacture their products, but fail to see that the government of one German state (Lower Saxony) does actually weild considerable influence over the decisions of a German corporation (Volkswagen AG) that does still produce cars in Belgium... why, may I ask?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
the government and employees gave huge incentives to the VW group to stay in Brussels.

You may now guess what German governments and employees gave to GM to secure jobs at Opel.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
If size is such a matter globally seen, why are countries like Singapore and, closer to home, Switzerland so strong?

Seriously?    I'm not even going to dignify that with a response, instead I'll just mention a few more small countries: East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lesotho, Nauru... they've got something in common and it isn't just their size.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
The problem with the EU is that one supreme governing body legislates for all 27 member states which have their own specifics.

That problem is certainly set in stone wherever the motto of the EU appears: "In Varietate Concordia" 

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
The only reason why countries like Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, etc... are investing into countries like Greece is because they have their own interest.

It's certainly in our best interest that the EU weather this storm and comes out of it stronger and more trustworthy. That interest is mutual, despite efforts to make it look like an elaborate scheme to ransack Greece, Portugal and the others.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
In times like these, with a downwards economic spiral, solidarity is not the corner stone of Europe.

Is that so... then I wonder why we continue to send billions in aid and guarantess for hundreds of billions of debt to those distressed countries?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Because they are ignored by mainstream media.

Really? How difficult is it to type "europa.eu" into the address bar of your browser, select whatever language you prefer and start educating yourself? Alternatively, you can search the web for the platforms of the various parties campaigning for EP seats in your country. Don't blame your own inaction on the media.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Great, you managed to find a poster of the one xenofobe party Flanders has, I'd never vote for them, even they'd promise me a European exit the day after the elections.

The point was to disprove this claim of yours:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
Another issue is we just have no anti-(EU) party in Belgium.

Whether or not you or anyone else would ever vote for them is besides that point. You do have an anti-EU party in Belgium - it just so happens that they're unpalatable for a number of reasons... wonder if there's a connection, I really do.   

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Fair enough, but it took a fellow countryman of yours to explain the German electoral system to me.

You made a claim without checking its veracity, a burden which was on you.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
So all in all you still get to more or less elect the Chancellor don't you?

No. We get to vote for a party list and a candidate. The dynamics of a parliamentary democracy mean that the chancellor can be exchanged by the parliament without any public vote being held. This happened when Helmut Kohl was elected after the F.D.P. had ended its coalition with the SPD and joined forces with Kohl's CDU.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Now I had no saying whatsoever in who should represent the European Union as a president.

You did, through an indirect democratic process: Mr van Rompuy was elected President of the European Council by that council, all the members of which are themselves democratically legitimatised: they are the heads of state or government of the 27 EU member states (plus three other people, but that's what the link to Wikipedia is for).

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
And how could he have gathered information about Herman Van Rompuy?

I should add that Van Rompuy was re-elected on 1st March 2012. David Cameron was a member of the European Council at that time (and obviously, he still is), so I can only presume presume that Dano1977 lobbied him to vote against Van Rompuy on his behalf - after all, he had had over two years to familiarise himself with Van Rompuy's policies and administration, during which he apparently didn't develop an appreciation for either.

As for sources of information... well, here's a start:

official
online
EU information centres
contacting an MEP

news media
http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=Rompuy
http://www.google.co.uk/#q=Rompuy&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=nws

books
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...s&field-keywords=Herman+van+Rompuy
_____

As for Barroso, the Council nominated him for re-election in 2009 (Dano1977's representative was Gordon Brown) and confirmed by the European Parliament (where Dano1977 is represented by some of the 72 UK MEPs).

_____

In short: more than enough information is available, you'd need ages to read and watch and hear it all. Much of it doesn't even cost anything. However, you cannot and never could expect any high-level politician in any representative democracy to come to every town in his country (or other) for individual discussions - which seems to be the demand from the "He's not my representative!" crowd. Neither can you demand that the historically correct principle of indirect elections be abandoned if you cannot even be bothered to do the tiniest bit of research on the candidates.

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
So no chance at all to elect 'our' president.

So what you're saying is that only a direct election of a politician can put him or her in an office legitimately?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 73, posted (2 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3451 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 thought that was over a year ago, time flies  
Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
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.......

Ok, the last time that the UK population got to vote on anything European related was when??? Since that time the EU was formed, powers transferred from the UK, etc. etc. etc. never mind the polls taking place in the UK today, the EU supporters only need to convince the elected officials and all will be well with the UK and the EU.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 16):
and UK 11B.

Is this figure before or after the vaunted rebate?


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 74, posted (2 years 3 days ago) and read 3455 times:

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 71):
Is it because of a perceived threat to their alleged exceptionalism?

From my observation, it is that plus the role of scapegoat that the EU so perfectly fills.

Quoting par13del (Reply 73):
Ok, the last time that the UK population got to vote on anything European related was when???

June 2009



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 75, posted (2 years 3 days ago) and read 3451 times:

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 required them to have a vote on the last treaty change, the UK is under no such obligation.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 76, posted (2 years 3 days ago) and read 3453 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 75):
The Irish have a constituton which required them to have a vote on the last treaty change, the UK is under no such obligation.

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 of indirect democracy, just like e.g. the UK and Germany. We vote for representatives, in the form of individuals or parties, but rarely on issues. Quite why this is fine for all aspects of politics except for the EU is beyond me.

The much maligned Treaty of Lisbon - the one that was guaranteed    to turn the EU into a dictatorship - introduced an exit clause, designed in such a way that unilateral withdrawals are possible. If the British people wish to secede from the union, they can do so.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 77, posted (2 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3481 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 76):
If the British people wish to secede from the union, they can do so.

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 my money is on them voting to stay, politicians usually have no faith in their people.
If trade with the Commonwealth was a hugh factor one might ask questions, but the Commonwealth was traded for the EU, that alone should let folks know where the UK stands.
The sun does now set on the empire.


User currently offlineConti764 From Belgium, joined Dec 2007, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (2 years 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
That is, to be blunt, patently absurd.

It's not.

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
So you believe that the German government can dictate where two American-owned corporations manufacture their products, but fail to see that the government of one German state (Lower Saxony) does actually weild considerable influence over the decisions of a German corporation (Volkswagen AG) that does still produce cars in Belgium... why, may I ask?

Not to force, to influence. The scale of your country within the European entity gives your country incentives our country can never give to those companies, while the EU in turn holds us back. Due to its size and importance within the EU Germany can easily handle such situation, but Belgium can't.

Again, I am not blaming anyone, I am merely pointing out why - in my opinion - the EU isn't such a good thing many want us to believe.

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
Seriously? I'm not even going to dignify that with a response, instead I'll just mention a few more small countries: East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lesotho, Nauru... they've got something in common and it isn't just their size.

Great. You named some third world countries, no Western countries doing relatively well.

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
That problem is certainly set in stone wherever the motto of the EU appears: "In Varietate Concordia".

Nice theory, but in reality such diversity does not work.

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
Is that so... then I wonder why we continue to send billions in aid and guarantess for hundreds of billions of debt to those distressed countries?

Because it's in your own (country's) interest to keep doing so. Loosing Greece out of the so called union will make countries like Germany loos billions of euros.

Quoting aloges (Reply 72):
Really? How difficult is it to type "europa.eu" into the address bar of your browser, select whatever language you prefer and start educating yourself? Alternatively, you can search the web for the platforms of the various parties campaigning for EP seats in your country. Don't blame your own inaction on the media.

I do my 'research', but the majority of the voters in this country obviously do not.

Quoting aloges, reply=72Whether or not you or anyone else would ever vote for them is besides that point. You do have an anti-EU party in Belgium - it just so happens that they're unpalatable for a number of reasons... wonder if there's a connection, I really do. [/quote]

This party sets itself offside, so isn't an option for many people. Those who dit vote for the party, voted for it out of protest or just because they are against immigrants.

[quote=aloges
(Reply 72):
You made a claim without checking its veracity, a burden which was on you.

I used my own countries situation as reference. Whatever the German system is, I frankly don't care because I don't live there.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 79, posted (2 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3480 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 78):
Great. You named some third world countries, no Western countries doing relatively well.

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 are you changing the premise?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 78):
I used my own countries situation as reference. Whatever the German system is, I frankly don't care because I don't live there.

If you make a statement about the German voting system, like this one perhaps:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
At least you had the choice to vote for Merkel or Gauck, but you decided not to.

you cannot use the Belgian system as a reference. Simple, isn't it?

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 40):
But for many of the EU officials, we never got to vote. Even as a Belgian, I couldn't vote for 'president' Van Rompuy.

I'd absolutely love to know when the last direct election for the Belgian head of government or head of state was held.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9656 posts, RR: 31
Reply 80, posted (2 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3478 times:

Quoting Conti764 (Reply 70):
Now I had no saying whatsoever in who should represent the European Union as a president. Just a few weeks before his appointment, it was rumoured Mr Van Rompuy would become 'Europe's first president' and without any vote he got of the population he got his seat

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 is with Mr. Baroso, the commissioners and those who hold the executive powers in the single member states, be that the Prime Ministers or the Presidents.


To use a comparison made, Mr.Gauck in Germany has no power., Mrs, Merkjel has much, but limited power.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 81, posted (2 years 22 hours ago) and read 3429 times:

Found a press article that partially explains why the Eurozone is having such difficulty finalising the Greek bailout.

The Eurocrats (not unnaturally) are clearly unwilling to foot the whole bill for the bailout themselves, and are pressing the International Monetary Fund to make a big contribution. But the IMF's terms of reference forbid it from lending money unless there are reasonable prospects of the country concerned reducing its debt to no more than 120% of its Gross National Product within a reasonable time. In this context that means that Greece should get its debt down to that level by 2020. The IMF thinks that Greece (whose debts currently amount to 190% of GDP) won't be able to do that.

"The IMF was insisting that measures be agreed to ensure that the ratio of Greek debt to output be reduced to 120 per cent by 2020 from an expected figure of 190 per cent, the source said.

"Currently, the IMF "is refusing to sign an agreement which it considers to be unrealistic," the source said."


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busi...ource/story-e6frg90f-1226521621618



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 82, posted (2 years 16 hours ago) and read 3396 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 81):

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.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 83, posted (2 years 11 hours ago) and read 3347 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 82):
They are not going to let Greece fail.

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 permanent solution unless Greece leaves the Eurozone and reverts to its own currency.

There's nothing unique about Greece's situation. It has been importing too much and exporting too little, so it has a king-sized balance of payments problem. The normal solution to that sort of problem is to devalue the currency; thus making exports cheaper and imports more expensive, and getting the balance of payments into better shape over time.

But Greece can't devalue the Euro, of course - so it is stuck with a worsening problem. And there's an almost amusing twist to the situation; that the wealthier and more industrialised countries, like Germany and the Netherlands, are having to lend places like Greece the money with which to go on buying their exports.......   Nor is Greece the only problem area; Spain, Portugal, and even Italy look to be heading down the same road, and will soon need handouts too to keep their economies going........

The Euro has only been 'going' for about ten years - I believe that it was first introduced in 1999, and only became widely used about 2002. But it has already done a great deal of damage. It's worth noting that none of the ten EU countries that have NOT so far adopted the euro are exhibiting any particular trading or currency problems?

So that would be my solution anyway - phase out the Euro in the weaker countries and have them revert to their old individual currencies. There are a few Eurozone countries with stronger economies that don't appear to be in any particular trouble yet - but they are in the minority. And even they will probably conclude, over time, that retaining the 'common currency' doesn't make a great deal of sense in a place as varied and individualistic as Europe.............



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 84, posted (2 years 11 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 83):
It's worth noting that none of the ten EU countries that have NOT so far adopted the euro are exhibiting any particular trading or currency problems?

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 other side continues to be under enormous pressure from speculators, which is hurting the Swiss economy. How can this happen? The Swiss franc is small enough to be a plaything of speculators.
c) Of those ten currencies, four (AFAIK) are pegged to the Euro with fixed or limited float exchange rates.
d) Have you seen some of the inflation rates of some of those supposedly unaffected countries?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (2 years 10 hours ago) and read 3325 times:

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.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 86, posted (2 years 10 hours ago) and read 3322 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 84):
a) The British Pound would beg to differ. It has crashed and burned in comparison to the Euro, US Dollar and Japanese Yen.

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 article:-

"The British economy is set to power ahead of the rest of Europe, with some countries at serious risk of descending into social breakdown, according to a think-tank.

"The Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted that UK output would shrink by 0.1 per cent this year, before rebounding in 2013 and 2014.

"Its forecasts suggest that even Europe’s strongest economies will be left behind by the resurgence, with growth of 0.8 per cent expected next year and 1.4 per cent in 2014.

"This would put Britain in first place among major European nations, including Germany, with expected growth of 1.2 per cent in 2014, and France on 0.2 per cent."

"Italy and Spain are predicted to remain in recession throughout the two-year period, prompting the CEBR’s economists to warn that Europe is on the brink of civil unrest.

‘The economic situation in some parts of Europe is moving from bad to catastrophic,’ said Douglas McWilliams, CEBR chief executive and co-author of the Global Prospects report."




http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...882/UK-economy-power-ahead-EU.html



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10917 posts, RR: 37
Reply 87, posted (2 years 10 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 85):
Keep pouring money in and hope it turns around
Stop the money, and watch the domino effect.

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 biggest danger to Europe’s single currency

As our special report in this issue explains, France still has many strengths, but its weaknesses have been laid bare by the euro crisis. For years it has been losing competitiveness to Germany and the trend has accelerated as the Germans have cut costs and pushed through big reforms. Without the option of currency devaluation, France has resorted to public spending and debt. Even as other EU countries have curbed the reach of the state, it has grown in France to consume almost 57% of GDP, the highest share in the euro zone. Because of the failure to balance a single budget since 1981, public debt has risen from 22% of GDP then to over 90% now.

read more:
http://www.economist.com/news/leader...es-single-currency-time-bomb-heart

special report:
So much to do, so little time
France is slowly heading towards a crisis, says John Peet. Can the country be reformed before it is too late?

http://www.economist.com/news/specia...-john-peet-can-country-be-reformed

   Wow!  



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (2 years 10 hours ago) and read 3309 times:

Not under Hollande

Tax the rich

Spend

Spend

Spend

Pray the economic plan works

I



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9656 posts, RR: 31
Reply 89, posted (2 years 9 hours ago) and read 3299 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 88):
Pray the economic plan works

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 invest and provide jobs.

The poor will only get poorer, always has been under socialist governments, regardless where and when.

Hollande should contact Mr. Schroeder and ask for advice. But only Schroeder, not that blimp and the cavalry general who run the SPD right now.

The first things should be to abolish that stupid 35 hour week. It's a no brainer that working 20% less leads to 20% less productiviy. If wages and costs are maintained at the same level, the industriy will be less competetive and jobs will either go or subsidized. If subsidized the value of the currency will go down. It's a vicious circle.

Hollande seems like he does not have a clue of what's going on and that is much more scary than the Brits wanting to eat the cake and keep it, or, in plain Italian, want to keep the blessings of the single market but exit the EU at the same time.

That kind of conservative politics does not work either.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (2 years 8 hours ago) and read 3279 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 89):

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's sixth biggest city. They even have their own MP.

That number is set to grow, under Hollande's economic plan.

We British, just want what my parents signed up for. A European common market. Not full speed ahead towards more integration and the first baby steps towards a Federal state.

We also want, Our courts to be the final say on legal matters, not dictated to by Europe. At the moment, Europe is dictating to the UK parliament, that we must give prisoners the vote, as its a denial of human rights.

I don't agree, Voting is a civil right, not a human right, and it should be decided by our parliament, not Europe!



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3316 posts, RR: 35
Reply 91, posted (2 years 7 hours ago) and read 3249 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 79):
I'd absolutely love to know when the last direct election for the Belgian head of government or head of state was held.

Dont be too sentimental Aloges, we wont give you that pleasure.  


User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 92, posted (2 years 3 hours ago) and read 3216 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 83):

wealthier and more industrialised countries, like Germany and the Netherlands, are having to lend places like Greece the money with which to go on buying their exports.


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 fundamental correction mechanism to the excesses of capitalism that the borrower can just say "I give up!" and bring down the lender with them. (but note the moral hazard of bailouts, government intervention etc...)

Its no coincidence Germans are the most passionate on this board and in real life about the EU, it is Germany that has the most to lose!. What does Greece have to lose?

I'm rather enjoying the price Germany is paying for all the benefits of the EU Germany created for itself, I mean created for all Europeans.


Pu


User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 93, posted (2 years 2 hours ago) and read 3203 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 92):

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 moment, EU leaders are debating over the budget.

Some countries want increases, some want to keep it the same, others want a cut.

Lets cut the budget, ask member states to contribute less, so that they can use the money saved on anything they want... Help stimulate their economies.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 94, posted (2 years 1 hour ago) and read 3198 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 93):
If Greece fails, then the rest will tumble. It's one giant house of cards

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. What would be so bad just to let Greece "fail" ? Let them stay in the EU and let them fail!

If by "fail" we mean the default of Greek debt, then let the Greek bondholders take it in the ass like the rest of us do when we lend money to our deadbeat friends, our ungrateful children, etc.... and the banks that suffer for it can either disappear or be directly rescued by the local government authority, if desired.

Otherwise, lets just stop beating around the bush and simply have Germany guarantee all Greek debt so this multiyear saga can finally end.



Pu


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8730 posts, RR: 42
Reply 95, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3141 times:

Quoting iakobos (Reply 91):
Dont be too sentimental Aloges, we wont give you that pleasure.

...'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 they have a hard time keeping up with their various governments; national, regional and communitarian.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 96, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days ago) and read 3029 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 94):
Otherwise, lets just stop beating around the bush and simply have Germany guarantee all Greek debt

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 E100Bn.-plus loan 'package' too, although so far no-one's called it a 'bailout.'

http://news.sky.com/story/1015585/eu...e-crisis-cyprus-poised-for-bailout

So the current situation is that 5 out of the 17 countries using the Euro are already 'on the dole.'

And if one bears in mind that the twelve remaining countries consist of Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia, it's abundantly clear (given that France and Italy are also in deepening financial trouble) that only Germany, and possibly the Netherlands, are in any position to go one 'bailing out' the others. And, as I said earlier, that would in any case boil down to those two countries making loans to the rest which can never be repaid.

I really see no realistic option other than phasing out the Euro for a majority of the current Eurozone member countries. Otherwise, the wealthier countries (in the end, more or less Germany alone) will just have to go on subsidising the rest of the zone on a permanent (and loss-making) basis.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 97, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3015 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 96):
Otherwise, the wealthier countries (in the end, more or less Germany alone) will just have to go on subsidising the rest of the zone on a permanent (and loss-making) basis.

Isn't that America's experience? ...and if so, what's wrong with that? It's economic federalism, which undoubtably leads to political federalsim, which is a cherished goal for the EU disciples.

Mississippi and the rest of the South is poor, Massaschusetts and the rest of the north[east] is rich, its always been that way, everyone is fine with it......oversimplified but basically the point is that we are all debtors or creditors. Why talk about disbanding the EU or ditching the Euro, when all we need is for everyone to accept their roles?




Pu


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 98, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 97):
It's economic federalism, which undoubtably leads to political federalsim, which is a cherished goal for the EU disciples.

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 widely-differing levels of prosperity; and with no practical prospects at all of any 'federal' unification.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineDano1977 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Jun 2008, 513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 99, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2931 times:

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 keeping it together at all costs for Germany?



Found this quite interesting. It's from the daily mail (which is enough for some people to label it rubbish) but it highlights the reality that France is facing.



Why should anyone listen to a country whose imploding economy could drag the whole of Europe down with it?

For the truth is that France is an economic basket case that is over-indebted, over-taxed, over-regulated, spendthrift, poorly governed and in desperate need of wholesale reform.

For under its socialist president, François Hollande, the country remains wedded to a subsidy culture and high taxes that are sapping its enterprise, and driving its most vital wealth-creators abroad.

Under the socialist presidency of François Hollande (pictured), France endures extremely high taxes that are driving its most vital wealth-creators abroad

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has become fed up with France — a nation that has the world’s fifth largest economy — running itself like a Third World country.

The German media have described France in recent days as ‘the sick man of Europe’. In Britain, the Economist newspaper last week devoted 14 pages and a leading article that explored France’s potential to implode so badly that it could derail the entire European economy.

If France’s refusal to shed its socialist, high-spending habits does result in the country’s economic collapse, it will take many other European countries with it. Its banking system is especially vulnerable and has heavy liabilities in Spain and Greece.

However, the EU estimated that French exports dropped by 20 per cent between 2005 and 2010, a bigger fall than Greece’s.

Perhaps half of French workers — the great majority working for the state — contrive to pay little or no direct tax, because of low wages and high thresholds. That means that French governments are increasingly forced to pursue wealthy individuals and corporations in order to raise revenue.

Predictably, this has led to a widespread loss of competitiveness — as proved by the car industry shedding thousands of jobs, exports slipping and production growth lower than the eurozone average.

With a host of other regulations that make it almost impossible to sack anyone, and therefore deter employers from hiring, unemployment is at nearly 11 per cent, or well over three million people. A quarter of those under 25 are out of work.

And since Mr Hollande took over as president in May, the taxation burden has been massively increased, and France’s weak recovery has stalled.

For its part, Britain’s top-heavy State accounts for 45 per cent of GDP. In France, though, it is an unsustainable 57 per cent.

Those earning more than €1 million a year (just over £800,000) face a top rate of 75 per cent tax. Dividends and capital gains are ruthlessly taxed, and a wealth tax is levied annually on the value of all assets.

Payroll taxes are crippling. Whereas less than 10 per cent of an employer’s costs in Britain are made up by social security payments such as National Insurance, in France the figure is almost 30 per cent.

Unsurprisingly this is resulting in a brain drain with the most enterprising leaving France.

Yet the truth is that infrastructure has been bought on the never-never. The SNCF’s debt is more than €40 billion, (£32 billion) and is predicted to reach €71 billion (£57 billion) within a decade.

This is symbolic of a country where money is spent without regard to the consequences, and borrowed without wondering how it will be paid back.

This week, France lost its ‘AAA’ credit rating from Moody’s, the rating agency, based on a pessimistic analysis of its economic prospects. This will make it much more expensive to borrow money on the world’s financial markets — thus adding to the country’s debts.



Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 100, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 99):
How long before the German tax payers, get fed up of bailing out the poorer EU countries?

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 rather pay subsidies or lose my job?"

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 98):

and with no practical prospects at all of any 'federal' unification.

The economic federalism (German financing) is either here to stay or we give up the euro.

There are so many colourful analogies to invoke, but I choose the addicted alcoholic.

. . . The aimless policy now is lets just keep him drinking at the bar because its going to be one hell of a bad day when we cut him off and ask him to pay his bill. Maybe he will ease up and gradually come to sobriety on his own if we say the bar is closing?

(Maybe he knows we can't close the bar or cut him off without wrecking the bar forever and leaving us with a gigantic unpaid bar tab!)



Pu


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 101, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2779 times:
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Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 90):
We also want, Our courts to be the final say on legal matters, not dictated to by Europe. At the moment, Europe is dictating to the UK parliament, that we must give prisoners the vote, as its a denial of human rights.

I don't agree, Voting is a civil right, not a human right, and it should be decided by our parliament, not Europe!

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 codify the situation re rights to vote.

At the moment there is an ASSUMED and AUTOMATIC blanket ban on those incarcerated.

This is unacceptable it MUST be codified and stated by the Judge as part of the sentencing of each convicted INDIVIDUAL and in every case.

If we can change the caution to something that makes no sense on reading , we can surely ensure the courts on sentencing make sure they INCLUDE the short statement that you also loose your franchise for a similar period !

Its actually THAT simple !

The European Courts have given us wriggle room we just need to use it effectively.

[Edited 2012-11-24 10:45:51]

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