By: Stuart Trew | Originally published by Troy Media, on April 26, 2013: Jock Finlayson of the Business Council of British Columbia recently wrote a column for Troy Media on the virtues of the Canada-European Union free trade deal. He listed five reasons why he thinks the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, should [...]
The post Five reasons Canada should NOT ratify a Canada-EU free trade agreement appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
There’s a move afoot to have English declared the common language of the European Union and it’s a German who is pushing the idea. Here The Guardian gives a pretty clear reason why a common language might be helpful when representatives of the constituent nations sit down to parlay.
Money talks, especially in Brussels. A billion euros are usually “mil milhoes de euros” in Portuguese, or a thousand million. In Spanish, likewise, “billón” means a million million, so billion is “mil millones de euros”. Confusingly, “billion” translates as “milijarde” into Croatian, or “miljard” into Dutch. When the French talk (Read more…)
Transatlantic Statement Opposing Excessive Corporate Rights (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) By Trade Justice Network | Feb. 5, 2013: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM and OTTAWA, ONTARIO and MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Labour, environmental, Indigenous, women’s, academic, health sector and fair trade organizations from Europe, Canada and Quebec representing more than 65 million READ MORE
Merkel and dominoes …
One of the fascinating things about high level crises like the eurozone one, is the role played by the men and women who have the power or lack the power to influence events. And the key person in the past five years or so is a woman some nicknamed The Iron Lady – Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Der Spiegel has a fascinating article describing her practical approach to the eurozine crisis, which includes this:
For months, Merkel wavered over whether or not Greece should remain in the euro zone. As recently as summer, she couldn’t decide
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Chancellor Merkel plumps for the domino theory over the ballast theory
United States of Europe?
Financial integration is one major step along the road towards eventual political integration into one massive new federal state, the USE (United States of Europe), and yesterday a significant move was made in this direction: Europe’s finance ministers have taken another major step towards closer integration, with a significant transfer of authority from national governments to the ECB, he says.
The EU had already agreed that the ECB would act as chief supervisor of eurozone banks. But the deal gives the ECB powers to close down eurozone banks that do not follow the rules. It also . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Europe takes another big step towards the United States of Europe
Cyprus, it seems, is the Cayman Islands of the Mediterranean. Russian oligarchs are said to use it to launder their money. And, for the European Union, the Cypriot-Russian connection complicates efforts to bail out the financially-str… . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Cyprus, the European Union’s Dilemma
by Brian Lee Crowley | Troy Media | Macdonald Laurier Institute My mother could have told you why giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union would produce such a predictable and deserved outpouring of derision. An aspiring writer, she took a creative writing course. One of the assignments was to describe a single [...]
The European Union
A struggle for the future of Europe is being waged right now by the politicians of the EU.
Most of the fighting is being done by the leaders of France, Germany and Britain (the Big Three of Europe), with the other medium sized states putting the boot in every now and then but largely shouting encouragement from the sidelines. The big battle that is shaping up is over the contours of the future Europe. Germany: A tighter Union or Else: And the issue has been framed as a choice between two stark contracts: a move towards . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Anglo-Franco-German ménage à trois: A Federal Europe or a confederation of Nation States?
A new poll by Ipsos Reid, released today by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Health Coalition, shows that what would otherwise be high support for a Canada-European Union free trade deal collapses on the issue of pharmaceutical drug costs, with 69 per cent of Canadians opposing a deal that would lengthen patent protections for brand name drugs. The two organizations are asking the provinces, whose trade negotiators are in Ottawa this week for another round of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) talks, to insist on removing patent term extension and related pharmaceutical proposals from the EU trade deal. Failing to do
. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive: Canadians oppose drug patent extension in Canada-EU trade deal: POLL
In this corner, we have the former head of the infamous KGB, President Vladimir Putin, he of the rugged outdoor, macho activities. And in the other corner, we have the bureaucrats in Brussels, representing 500 million Europeans. In the middle, we have Russia’s most important company, the source of the bulk of the Russian government’s income tax revenue, Gazprom. Putin collars a tiger
Seconds are out of the ring, and the bell has been rung for the first round. There is no referee. I repeat: There is no referee. And the Queensbury Rules do not apply. Ask Ukraine and Belarus, . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Putin prepares for a fistfight with the EU over Gazprom gas policies: Who will win?
Lead or leave. Currency speculator George Soros laid down the law for Germany: change or get out of the way:
He warned that the split between creditor and debtor countries in the euro risked becoming permanent, with debtor nations condemned to low growth because they are forced to pay a high premium for access to credit. European union was liable to fall apart under the pressure, he added. George Soros
Soros singled out Germany as the country that should take responsibility for this “class divide” in the eurozone.
“In my judgment, the best course of action is to persuade
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Eurozone: George Soros is dead wrong
It’s not just the politicians who make decisions about how to rescue the foundering Euro: a Constitutional Court in Germany also has a say on the most important decisions: Germany’s Constitutional Court
Germany’s top court has rejected calls to block the permanent eurozone rescue fund – the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – and the European fiscal treaty. Leader Angela Merkel called it “a good day”, while markets rallied in relief. But the Constitutional Court imposed conditions including a cap on Germany’s contribution, which it said could only be overruled by the German parliament. Another Hitler? The Role of the Constitutional . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Eurozone: Move over politicians, here come the German Judges!
Mario Draghi, the president of the E.C.B., has managed to outflank some German opposition and gain approval for the European Central Bank to buy bonds of Eurozone countries, in an effort to save the Euro. ‘Super Mario’ Draghi
This is how the New York Times describes his deed: The European Central bank took its most ambitious step yet toward easing the euro zone crisis, assuming sweeping new powers to throw its unlimited financial clout behind an effort to protect Spain and Italy from financial collapse… Mario Draghi, the E.C.B. president, overcame objections by Germany and . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: European political leaders beat back international financial pirates
…that the European Union is dead… Or at best, on life-support. Discuss. Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario
Thank heavens for democracy!
In a world taken to the brink of financial implosion because of lax regulations of financial institutions, incompetence of regulatory authorities, pure greed on the part of the stakeholders in our investment banking industries (banks, merchant banks, regulatory agencies, regulatory authorities, lawyers, auditors and the like) and politicians effectively bought by the financial industry (in the USA especially, and to a slightly lesser extent in the UK), and a reluctance by politicians to buck the system and institute proper reforms, the voters in France and Greece have taken a stand. They have said No to . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Eurozone: The coming New Deal
The good news is that the European Union is considering mandatory quotas to get more women on corporate boards. They have tried the voluntary approach and, as is so often the case, it hasn’t worked. Currently only one in seven board members at Europe’s biggest companies are women despite the fact that 60 per cent of university graduates are now women. The percentage of women chairing major
Their leaders have names such as Durnwalder, Klotz, Widmann, and Mair. Their neighbours include Swiss, Germans and Austrians. And at the moment a good many of them are wondering why they should be saddled with the financial burden of remaining within cash-strapped Italy.
There has long been a secessionist movement in the northern Italian province of South Tyrol. The southern border with the rest of Italy is called, by der Spiegel, Italy’s Mason-Dixon line. The Tyroleans are the south’s rich cousins and they’re less than happy about having to pick up their share of Rome’s
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Italy’s Mason-Dixon Line
The Irish public may be charting the next round in the battle over European austerity politics. The coalition government in Dublin reluctantly yielded to overwhelming public pressure demanding a referendum on the latest Eurozone fiscal treaty.
Former Citibank senior international economist Michael Burke writes that angry Europeans are turning on their austerity-minded governments and with good reason.
It is hardly surprising that “austerity” is unpopular. It is nothing other than a transfer of incomes from labour and the poor to capital and the rich. One of the greatest fallacies of the current crisis is that “there is no money
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Could Irish Voters Scuttle Europe’s Austerity Madness?
It’s hard to make sense of the hubris and cruelty of European Union leaders towards Greece, unless their goal is to goad the Greek population into overthrowing their government. Why else would they demand from the Greeks ever greater levels of austerity, poverty and unemployment and then, when the government turtles and capitulates to their demands, tell them it isn’t enough?
Just look at the
What a dramatic few days we have just lived through! The grandest experiment in modern history – the European Union – has weathered a major threat to its existence, with 27 governments gathering in Brussels, and 26 agreeing on a roadmap for future stability and closer fiscal union. And the one country that is half-in and half-out of the Union smacking down its veto to prevent a full treaty incorporating terms the other 26 have agreed upon, and walking off in a huff, hoping it has protected its major industry. Cameron’s fight to save the City’s role: David Cameron . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Eurocrisis – A Gallic snub, No Haircuts & More Stability Funds
Lissen up, David: Click here!
And listen especially hard when Kenny Rogers has this to say: And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.
You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,Know when to walk away and know when to run…
Ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
Because you lost big in the wee hours of last night. Perhaps you missed . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: UK’s Cameron needs to take a lesson from The Gambler
Chancellor Merkel’s glacial crawl towards the creation of an all-powerful EuroCop with powers to veto the budgets of Eurozone nations is beginning to make Prime Minister Cameron a bit nervous. Cameron is on the outside, looking in, but is itching to give advice to the 17 European Union members of the Eurozone about how to manage their affairs.
But Merkel wants budgetary discipline uber alles: No comments from the peanut gallery …
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Europe is working towards setting up a “fiscal union”, in a bid to resolve the eurozone’s debt crisis. She told the Bundestag . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: David ‘Two-Speed’ Cameron and the EuroCop
The figures seem to show it would, according to Landon Thomas in The New York Times: This Lady ain’t for stampeding …
Bernard Connolly, a longtime critic of European policies, estimates that it would cost Germany, as the main surplus country in the euro zone, about 7 percent of its gross domestic product a year to transfer sufficient funds to bail out the deficit countries, including France. That amount, he has argued, would far surpass the $400 billion World War I reparation bill forced upon Germany by the victorious Allied powers — the final payment of which Germany made just last . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Will Germany pay more for helping save the Euro than it paid for losing the War?
Finally, someone is paying attention to one of the main problems of the 2008 financial meltdown: the rating agencies. Asleep at the switch, these agencies were caught napping when a whole industry – the US subprime industry – imploded under its own rickety structure, dragging down the world’s banking system.
An Industry Wide Failure in 2008: What is very clear is that the investment bankers, the lawyers working for them, the fund managers, the commercial banks, the stock market authorities, and the rating agencies were all complicit in the debacle, because they all were parties to the erosion of proper . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: EU should stress test the Rating Agencies, not just the Banks