NAV20
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European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:38 am

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
 
oldeuropean
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:00 pm

Perhaps in your dreams.  yawn 

[Edited 2012-11-08 04:01:25]
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aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:10 pm

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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OA260
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:30 pm

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.
 
NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:38 pm

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
 
ozglobal
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:59 pm

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?
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OA260
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:20 pm

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.
 
offloaded
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:23 pm

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.
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ozglobal
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:33 pm

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.
 
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pvjin
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:52 pm

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]
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NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:59 pm

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
 
na
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:05 pm

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]
 
Rara
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:44 pm

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.
 
NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:07 pm

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
 
steman
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:16 pm

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.
 
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pvjin
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:22 pm

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.
"Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable." - Voltaire
 
ozglobal
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:44 pm

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.
 
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pu
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:02 pm

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
 
AeroWesty
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:18 pm

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.
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mham001
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:52 pm

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?
 
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Aesma
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:09 pm

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.
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AeroWesty
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:17 pm

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?
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Gingersnap
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:44 pm

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.
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rutankrd
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:20 pm

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 .
 
ozglobal
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:23 pm

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.
 
NoUFO
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:34 pm

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.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:11 pm

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.)
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rutankrd
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:31 pm

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.
 
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Aesma
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:19 pm

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.
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SuperCaravelle
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:25 pm

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]
 
Rara
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:16 am

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.
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Pyrex
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:34 am

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.
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:40 pm

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
 
Conti764
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:14 pm

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.
 
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:36 pm

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]
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:29 pm

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
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:04 am

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]
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NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:22 am

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
 
Pyrex
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:10 am

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...
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Conti764
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:43 am

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.
 
Conti764
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:51 am

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.
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:38 am

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:01 am

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
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:00 pm

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"?
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:22 pm

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
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:59 pm

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
NAV20
Topic Author
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:03 pm

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
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:31 pm

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
 
iakobos
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:12 pm

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.
 
NoUFO
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:26 pm

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

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