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PanHAM
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:33 pm

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.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
rutankrd
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:08 pm

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.
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:47 pm

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
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
Derico
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:09 pm

My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
 
rutankrd
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:19 pm

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 !
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:58 pm

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]
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 10:29 pm

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.
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
NoUFO
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:20 am

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?
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Aesma
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:48 am

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.
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zippyjet
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:46 am

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 this message!
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:46 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 57):

Material error
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
iakobos
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:50 pm

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 ?
 
Rara
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:59 pm

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.
 
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BNE
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:24 pm

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
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:40 am

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!"
 
NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:24 am

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
 
iakobos
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:57 am

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.
 
NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:31 pm

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
 
iakobos
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:49 pm

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
 
NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:00 am

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
 
Conti764
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:38 pm

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.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:54 pm

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?
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:49 pm

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?
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par13del
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:04 am

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?
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:10 am

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
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par13del
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:19 am

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.
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:03 am

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.
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:03 am

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.
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Conti764
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:11 am

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.
 
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:19 am

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.
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PanHAM
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:05 am

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.
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NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:36 am

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
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:39 am

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.
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:27 pm

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.............
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aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:05 pm

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?
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:40 pm

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.
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:43 pm

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
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MadameConcorde
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:49 pm

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!  
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:03 pm

Not under Hollande

Tax the rich

Spend

Spend

Spend

Pray the economic plan works

I
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PanHAM
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:18 pm

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.
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:37 pm

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!
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
iakobos
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:57 pm

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.  
 
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pu
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:04 pm

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
 
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Dano1977
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:03 pm

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.
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.
 
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pu
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:36 pm

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
 
aloges
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:15 am

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.
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NAV20
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:44 am

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.
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pu
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:23 am

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
 
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RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:31 am

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
 
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Dano1977
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:49 pm

RE: European Union Breakup Looming?

Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:44 am

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.
The average EU official - he has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibility of the Germans and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch.

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