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The Relief of Athens

Gavin Hewitt | 16:39 UK time, Friday, 26 March 2010

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with European Council President Herman Van RompuyIt was the morning after the night before and I was riding an elevator to the 13th floor in the European Commission. Two men smiled at each other and one said "I hear Greece has been saved". "Couldn't be better," beamed the other, before disappearing into the vastness of bureaucracy. It felt like news shared from a distant front: "Bastogne has been relieved" or "Malta is holding out".

And then to sit at breakfast with the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, who began by describing himself as "extremely happy". The single currency, in his view, was "one of the greatest achievements of European integration" and it had been rescued. "Common sense," he declared, "had prevailed," and he exhaled, an official satisfied.

And later to hear the President of the Council, Herman Van Rompuy, speak of the "courageous act" that had given birth to a deal. These encounters gave a glimpse of the largely unspoken fear that had rippled through the corridors of Euroland - that the crisis over Greece and its debt could threaten the European project.

The rescue of Greece grew out of a meeting between President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany. They are not natural soulmates. You don't get the impression that the French president warms to Germany, and Angela Merkel struggles with Sarkozy's unpredictability. Yet the two need each other. As one very senior official said today, "Europe requires Franco-German cohesion. You need them for European decision-making. They are still crucial."

So, after a week or so of sniping at each other, they traded. Merkel got the IMF involved.
It lessened the burden for the Germans and the IMF is in for between 10 and 20bn euros. If loans had to be made Sarkozy wanted the eurozone to be the dominant partner. He got that. The countries that use the euro will provide two-thirds of any loan. Although many senior officials are not theological about involving the IMF others are acutely sensitive at the very idea that the euro needs outside help.

The French president also got written into the draft a phrase that mentioned "the economic government of the European Union". It was the Irish, initially, that choked on the words. The Dutch and the British were not far behind. Officials emerged to say there had been "asymmetrical translation" and the word "government" was replaced by "governance".

In truth the Germans and French mean different things by the words "economic governance". The Germans want a tougher regulatory regime that won't tolerate cheats. The French want to see closer economic co-operation.

The immediate result of this deal is that Greece is given some space to breathe. It has to find 54bn euros this year, but already the cost of its borrowing has come down. One union leader has announced that strikes will be called off.

Yet no one imagines the crisis is past. Tax evasion is rife in Greece and the black economy accounts for about 20% of economic activity. Only this week in Athens a woman told me of having to hand over 100 euros to a doctor in a public hospital just for doing his job. The Greek economy is contracting and the cuts will only reduce demand further. The Greeks have not asked for funding so far, but don't bet against it in the future.

But after all the celebration over the relief of Athens some truths remain. Almost every economist sees flaws in the euro as a currency. It is difficult having monetary union without fiscal union. That has not been resolved. Secondly, the differences between the economy of Germany and those of the countries in southern Europe have not been narrowed.

Germany has put down a marker that it will not accept a club where bail-outs become the norm. Angela Merkel has insisted that she wants a treaty change that will allow for tougher sanctions with perhaps the ultimate penalty of expulsion.

There is little appetite for this. One senior official in the Commission said they did not want to open up treaty negotiations because they feared the Conservatives in Britain - if they get into power - would use the negotiations to try and repatriate some powers back from Brussels to London.

So, after these days of in-fighting, the question remains "what kind of Europe does Germany want?" There is a recognition that the mood there is changing and that the national interest may often trump the European interest. Europe will have to adjust to that.

There is pressure on Germany to stoke up demand at home to help weaker countries in Europe with their exports but Mr Van Rompuy is one of those who doesn't go along with this. His analysis is unusually candid and clear. He believes it's unrealistic to expect Germany to boost demand at home. He thinks it is up to other countries to put their houses in order. At least half of Germany's surplus has nothing to do with Europe. There is also a culture of high savings.

Countries like Spain, on the other hand, are struggling with low growth because they have an inflexible labour market and the political class there knows that.

That perhaps is the biggest threat to prosperity and the so-called "European way of life"; poor growth. Where will the new jobs come from? For the next few years country after country will be reducing their deficits, cutting spending, reducing demand. So how will the long lines of 24 million jobless Europeans be reduced?

Already there is talk that, although European countries are supposed to reduce their deficits to 3% of GDP under the Growth and Stability Pact, it may not happen. The strains on civil society might be too great. So although Germany is demanding greater discipline there is reason to doubt that all the savage cutbacks will actually be implemented, for the crisis in Europe is growth.

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  • 1. At 5:26pm on 26 Mar 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    ......and where has Marcus gone?
    Is he out there celebrating with some fine Belgian beer?

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  • 2. At 5:38pm on 26 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Yay, I get the first post!...

    Gavin, regarding your use of the phrase 'so-called "European way of life"'. Please don't use the term "so-called": it's injecting your own point-of-view into the report and it's poor technique. Ditto your use of scare quotes. Regards, viewcode.

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  • 3. At 6:00pm on 26 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Good reporting, Gavin.

    “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes” said the Dodo.

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  • 4. At 6:42pm on 26 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    I hope they all call in their friendly bank chairs and thank them for creating this situation and for using extortion with member governments wishing to enact legislation that might protect citizens from future theft of accounts. The stability of the nations is somewaht dependent on banks and financial institutions not repeating past get rich schemes for themselves. But the recent bonuses show that they have no intention of changing their behaviors and that the weak governments are unwilling to insist that they change. We will see it all again. Remember the debts were created by the gobal economy financial crisis created by the banks and the taxes given to the banks for reasons unknown to most. The next time they are standing on the ledge we should collective shout: JUMP!!

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  • 5. At 7:02pm on 26 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    GH "...the question remains "what kind of Europe does Germany want?"..."

    The same question could be posed of the UK. The answer would be who knows? The political class pretend the power rests with the people, yet the last time the three establishment parties suggested they'd ask us, by year five of the parliament the offer of a referendum came to nought and Brown had signed on the dotted line on our behalf.

    Imagine folks, an unelected PM with the gall to think he had the right to sign away our sovereignty. And the EU accepted this as the act of a legitimate government. How many believe that we live in a free union?

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  • 6. At 7:15pm on 26 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    2. viewcode

    "...Please don't use the term "so-called"..."

    viewcode you are being harsh on GH. I think one of the major points points of the article was that EU Europe is a different place depending on the perspective of the viewer. Fiscally sound Germany is a different show to Mediterranean over spenders. Funny the UK weather this week didn't seem to match our Mediterranean PSBR/GDP ratio.

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  • 7. At 8:10pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    5. At 7:02pm on 26 Mar 2010, rg

    EUpris: Spot on!

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  • 8. At 8:12pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    rg

    Re #5

    "..how many believe that we live in a free union?"

    Add to that anti-democratic process in the UK aided & abetted by Brussels the fact for the last 4 EU Parliament Elections there has been a fall in Citizen Voter turnout until in 2009 it was just 43% and the parody of 'ever closer union' takes itself into a corrupt structural outlook surpassing anything other than the old Soviet Union for its misrepresentation of the term 'Democracy'.

    For the UK, Eire, Netherlands to baulk at the term *government* and accept the term, "..the economic *governance* of the EUropean Union.." is just symptomatic of the wholly out-of-touch Political Leadership now spread across EUrope.

    If 'government' or 'governance' by the EU was in place then why were France, Germany, Greece etc. all struggling to find a way forward?

    The EUro-zone as it presently stands is utterly locked in an inefficiency vault of its own Brussels' design. There is talk of 'groups' to oversee the 'deal' etc., but how is that going to alter the EUro-zone in the future? It doesn't!
    So, they all have to come back to more negotiation and a redistribution of the agreements made at the EUro's inception and for the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Oh, that is going to be really easily settled among the National leadership. Then, when it comes to Citizens approval I cannot see how Brussels after the near debacle on ratifying Lisbon will be able to totally ignore EU Citizens right to have a Ballot box say.
    Of course there is no doubt Barroso, von Rompuy and Brussels EUrocracy in general will prefer to ignore the Electorate however the last vestige of claims to #democratic# principles will die if that line is followed.



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  • 9. At 8:15pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    From Open Europe:

    Quote of the fortnight:

    "The biggest member state, which has for so long silently been the guarantee of the EU, has now openly expressed that it is no longer prepared to pay any price for European unification. The present Euro crisis is more than a monetary matter. It changes the political rules of the game in Europe ."

    Leader article, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 March 2010


    EUpris: Maybe our best hope of freedom from the "EU" is that it becomes too expensive for the Germans like the British Empire became too expensive for the Brits.

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  • 10. At 8:19pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    From Open Europe:

    Figures published in Wednesday's UK budget show that the UK's contribution to the EU has increased from last year's estimates. The 2009 budget estimated that the UK's contribution for this year would be £5.6 billion. However, this figure has now increased to £6.4 billion and will rise to an estimated £7.6 billion in 2010/11. The £6.4 billion cost this year is more than twice the £3.1 billion the UK contributed last year.

    EUpris: One penny would be too much.

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  • 11. At 8:26pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @5 rg

    Re "Imagine folks, an unelected PM with the gall to think he had the right to sign away our sovereignty. And the EU accepted this as the act of a legitimate government. How many believe that we live in a free union?"

    Try to understand that 'Brussels' does not have the authority to question the validity of a national act. Therefore if PM Brown says a Treaty revision has been ratified according to the UK's constitutional requirements/a directive has been adopted according to the UK's constitutional/legal requirements, 'Brussels' and the other Member States have to accept this. If not, this would a breach of the Uk's sovereignty.

    It's always bizarre to read these remarks. You don't want 'Brussels' to say what should happen in the UK. But when 'Brussels' accepts the position of the UK government, you all of sudden are making a case to give 'Brussels' or 'Luxembourg' the authority to scrutinize a national decision of a Member State.

    Please enlighten me: you want a European Judge to do what? Verify whether the UK government has respected UK laws in implementing/ratifying EU law/Treaties?

    If not, please don't make remarks about 'Brussels' 'accepted' acts as legitimate acts.

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  • 12. At 8:50pm on 26 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    8. At 8:12pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #5

    "For the UK, Eire, Netherlands to baulk at the term *government* and accept the term, "..the economic *governance* of the EUropean Union.." is just symptomatic of the wholly out-of-touch Political Leadership now spread across EUrope".

    Hi cool_brush_work,

    I won't claim to speak for the UK or NL (I'll leave that to you), but a hell of a lot of people here in "Eire" believe anyone could do a better job of economic governance of the Irish economy than the current government or the previous one. One of the chief reasons we entered the Eurozone was for economic stability it affords us, after years of being thoroughly roughed up by preserving asinine links to Sterling which benighted a nation since well before independence.

    The Euro worked and works spectacularly well for Ireland, and ushered in unprecedented stability and prosperity. Government is the weak link - and we are now served by cretins and morons who have eroded the tax base to a whisker, crippled the economy through an idiotic fixation on the property market, and thoroughly farted around for eighteen crucial months at the onset of this crisis before the finance minister alone grew a pair and tried to do something.

    Right now the German/Swedish/Dutch model is looking very good from "Eire's" standpoint.

    Sorry to bust the British model in the chops old bean, but it don't work at all well ... so say Eire and Espana.

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  • 13. At 9:04pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    11. At 8:26pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc

    EUpris: I want out!

    NOW!

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  • 14. At 9:12pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    Dear EUPris,

    As far as I recall nobody asked the UK to join and nobody asks the UK to stay in the EU.

    Regards

    JL

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  • 15. At 9:23pm on 26 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    13. At 9:04pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    11. At 8:26pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc

    EUpris: I want out!

    NOW!

    Hi EUprisoner209456731,

    Perhaps you should consider EMUlating the actions of Emmeline Pankhurst who wanted Votes for Women? I'd love to watch you and Mork on TV resplendent in your Union Jack and he/she in Stars and Stripes pantaloons and bloomers demanding your referendum whilst disrupting Ascot races.

    What publicity!

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  • 16. At 9:25pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Gavin wrote that, " ... European countries are supposed to reduce their deficits to 3% of GDP under the Growth and Stability Pact, it may not happen. The strains on civil society might be too great. So although Germany is demanding greater discipline there is reason to doubt that all the savage cutbacks will actually be implemented, for the crisis in Europe is growth."

    Europe needs growth to ensure that tax revenues and structural borrowing is available to sustain the European social democratic welfare society we all apsire to but the recession has now meant that any growth must be used to repay the massive debt that many european countries have sustained to fend off the dire consequences of a global recession.

    Without growth Europe cannot repay the national debts and interest on national debts nor can it fund the now well-entrenched welfare society that we all want someone else to pay for.

    On the other hand the recession has not yet completed its full cycle as many debt interest payments have yet to be met and more borrowing may be needed before we can all safely say the Recession is finished with Europe as unemployment and business collapse often lags behind recovery as economies come out of recession.

    If Europe borrows more then it will need tax revenues and structural borrowing to fund the further borrowing let alone the maintence of existing welfare provisions.

    Therein lies the conundrum - does society now allow the social welfare driven societies to whither for lack of funding to repay debt or do nations continue to borrow like addicted credit junkies until no bank will lend the nations any more money and real economic catastrophe occurs.

    In the United Kingdom we can all be glad that public sector net debt will be £67bn lower in 2014-15 than was though to be the case in December 2009. That's £67bn down - only £1406bn to go.

    The United Kingdom needs an awful lot of growth just to stand still.

    Somehow I don't think that the hoped for growth in the UK economy is going to be anything like good enough to even let the UK sustain its current levels of public expenditure AND to also repay the national debt.

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  • 17. At 9:37pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    14. At 9:12pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    "Dear EUPris,

    As far as I recall nobody asked the UK to join and nobody asks the UK to stay in the EU.

    Regards

    JL"

    EUpris: Maybe not. There is however a pan-"EU" anti-democratic conspiracy an we in the UK and others are its victims.

    It does appear that anybody who betrays his country in the interest of "EU"-integration gets rewarded with an overpaid "EU"-job. My guess is that there is much more to it than that.

    The "EU" interferes in its "member states" all the time and tries to interfere in states outside the "EU" . It went along with the betrayal of the British people involved in ramming the Lisbon Treaty down the throats of the citizens of the UK. It could and should have demanded that there be a referendum in the UK and elsewhere.

    We should not let people like you forget it.

    More importantly, we should remind young people in the UK and in other countries that what has gone on is despicable and anti-democratic and illegitimate and that it gives a strong hint that the "EU" is just going to get more and more sick and may one day become a police state.

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  • 18. At 9:39pm on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Cher Jean Luc!

    You remind me of somebody who used to post on another site.

    Are you the gentleman who admitted to being paid to post there?

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  • 19. At 10:24pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #12

    First off, it was Mr Hewitt & not me that alluded to Eire's objection to the term 'government' being used in the statement on the 'Greek deal': My comment was merely based on that portion of the Article.

    Secondly, it was 1922 when the Irish Free State was founded: I think it is about time Eire got on with its economic ways & not try rehashing past issues on Britain's Pound when Dublin made the decisions!
    This last decade Eire from all reports was doing well in the EUro-zone & now it isn't - - well that's down to Brussels & Dublin - - you can leave London out of it!

    Third, it is entirely for You to judge how Eire's Dublin Government performs, however, I would say that You appear to be under the illusion the Irish Recession is entirely the fault of Dublin! Which leads me to ponder how you overlooked the problems elsewhere!?
    If Eire (& Spain!?) was the 'celtic tiger' using the EUro & now its Economy resembles more of a furry floor-rug then do you not think it may have something to do with World events & also, nearer to home, the utterly ineffectual performance of the EUro-zone 16 (you admire so much)during the last couple of years?

    Sorry, to put Paddy in his place, but if you're going to write after almost 90 years independence about the British model not working 'at all well' you had better have something more pertinent than some peat-bog standard gripes about your near neighbour to explain yourself!

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  • 20. At 10:43pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    I may be clutching at straws here but, in essence, if Angela Merkel seeks an amendment or new treaty for the EU to have 'governance' over member state economies to stop another instance where some or all of the EU nations are called upon to support one of the member states because they have 'broken the EU Financial Rules' then the United Kingdom will be committed to holding a referendum to accept or disapprove such a change/amendment/new treaty.

    This is because the UK Conservative Party have committed their administration to holding a referendum before the UK cedes any further UK powers to the EU AND making this a written law which would be very hard for any future governmemtn to repeal.

    Strangely enough Gordon Brown has also committed any future Labour administartion to the same need for referendum as he promised that no more powers would be ceded to the EU within the next two Parliaments (after ratifying the Lisbon Treaty) and committing the Labour Party to supporting a referendum if such demand from the EU were to arise before that time was up.

    I say bring it on!

    Lets see how the UK politicians try wriggle out of that UK constitutional committment. :-)

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  • 21. At 11:43pm on 26 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    19. At 10:24pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #12

    Hi cool_brush_work,

    Dearie me, did I touch a nerve from my peaty morass? Musha old bean, 'tis woeful sorry I am.

    Now I suggest you wake up and learn to discern fact from eurosclerotic propaganda.

    Firstly - Dublin didn't make the decisions. Ireland was part of the Sterling area, and London called all the shots. That fettered progress hugely until the link was broken by Irish entry to the ERM. This is fact - not a judgment of or on UK policy. No need for touchiness, friend. The Sterling area served UKs interests, not those of the other components. The Punt was simply too small. It made sense to link with a larger unit - firstly Sterling - which was a disaster leading us to export people and cattle in similar numbers, then the Deutschemark.

    In an aside it is disturbing how readily EUrophobes retreat so readily to cliched stereotypes when confronted by unpalatable facts.

    Secondly - look at the figures. The Irish recession is the severest in the OECD. Compare comparable economies, Eurozone and not - Finland, Denmark, Belgium, and New Zealand. All have suffered ill-effects. The scale of the severe loss (2008 -6%, 2009 -8%) in Ireland is down to utter Government paralysis, inaction and abrogation of regulatory and management competences by Irish authorities. I understand in relation to Spanish property markets, something similar pertains. It has nothing to do with the EU or the Euro - apart from making it a convenient scapegoat for EUrophobes. Facts - cool_brush_works- the EU Commission was furnishing Ireland with warnings about these issues since 2003. Murdoch newspapers here complained it was blatant interference in 'our' economy. The Eurozone has no competence to interfere with fiscal matters, only to sanction and warn. These failed in Ireland's case - our model based on the UK system inherited after independence, failed us utterly. Fact. I believe most here would accept it is now time for this - the Irish Government baulked not over the concept of greater governance, but simply that a referendum would be required to amend the Maastricht Treaty to give this effect. Imagine - a democratic government not wanting to give the people a referendum !! Any such referendum would be lost purely out of vengeance - a stick to beat a hopelessly ineffective and parasitic administration into eventual electoral oblivion. Plainly a recession effects economic performance, I am not a naif, in spite of your venom. However - the long-term performance of the Irish government has permanently damaged by Government policy - fact established by the OECD - fact. No illusion here, friend.

    Your invective is entirely misplaced. As I have assured you before, I have great sympathy for your beliefs in an independent England - why shouldn't it be if it so desires. In common with many non-UK bloggers here, I have good friends in the UK, and I hope all our nations remain friendly, regardless of future events. However, when I believe your facts are in error, I will speak up. You are incorrect. You should accept this. You ARE wrong about Europe - but that is your mistake to make. Enjoy yourself

    And since you bring it up, the European Union has put indeed Paddy in his place - On top of the world. And that cool-brush-work, is why we love the EU! Referendum after referendum after referendum.

    And not a forelock tugging required. Ah sure where else would ye find it? I'll be heading off now your worship Sir, if ye don't be minding. Sure tis a soft night thank God!

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  • 22. At 11:45pm on 26 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Round one goes to the German blond blue eyed bruiser. She wanted the IMF, she got the IMF. But it's still "early days" as the Brits say. I wouldn't count the Frenchman out yet. He may be small but he's a scrappy little feller. He can deliver a low blow where it hurts when you least expect it. I'm sure we'll see some more fireworks between them soon enough. He's not the kind to let his adversary get the better of him for very long. He'll be back in there scratching and clawing, pulling hair, kicking, and fighting dirty before you know it.

    Meanwhile, during intermission, I think I'll go out to the concession stand and get some popcorn and soda. I don't want to miss a second of round two.

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  • 23. At 00:01am on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @EUPris

    Re "The "EU" interferes in its "member states" all the time and tries to interfere in states outside the "EU" . It went along with the betrayal of the British people involved in ramming the Lisbon Treaty down the throats of the citizens of the UK. It could and should have demanded that there be a referendum in the UK and elsewhere."

    It could not have. Perhaps you should have another look at the Treaties to see there is no such power for any EU institution.

    However it is quite interesting to see that you want the EU to have powers to oblige a Member State to organize a referendum, thereby giving the EU powers to decide on matters that are essentially an internal affair.

    Re "More importantly, we should remind young people in the UK and in other countries that what has gone on is despicable and anti-democratic and illegitimate and that it gives a strong hint that the "EU" is just going to get more and more sick and may one day become a police state."

    A police state? And yet you are arguing for even more powers to the EU (see above)! What's more I need not remind you of which Member States is pushing hardest for strict policies in the Justice and Home Affairs policy: your own UK! So much so that your House of Lords is seeking support from the ECJ to strike down the overly strict UK implementation laws of EU framework decisions! (support which is provided by the ECJ indeed)

    Where is the police state?

    Re "You remind me of somebody who used to post on another site.

    Are you the gentleman who admitted to being paid to post there? "

    Nice to see you have run out of proper arguments (not to say your previous ones were proper as they betrayed a complete lack of understanding on the content of the current constitutional treaties of the EU).

    @CBW

    Nice to see you are still dodging and diving the pertinent questions I raise!

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  • 24. At 01:59am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    23. At 00:01am on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    '@EUPris

    Re "The "EU" interferes in its "member states" all the time and tries to interfere in states outside the "EU" . It went along with the betrayal of the British people involved in ramming the Lisbon Treaty down the throats of the citizens of the UK. It could and should have demanded that there be a referendum in the UK and elsewhere."

    It could not have. Perhaps you should have another look at the Treaties to see there is no such power for any EU institution. ... '

    EUpris: It could have been part of the conditions for that treaty. Germany and France could have refused to sign the treaty unless other countries got referenda.

    Barosso could have said we ought to get a referendum.


    ' ... However it is quite interesting to see that you want the EU to have powers to oblige a Member State to organize a referendum ..."

    EUpris: No I don't! I don't want the "EU" to have any powers.


    '... A police state? And yet you are arguing for even more powers to the EU (see above)! '

    EUpris: No, I am not.

    ' ...What's more I need not remind you of which Member States is pushing hardest for strict policies in the Justice and Home Affairs policy: your own UK! So much so that your House of Lords is seeking support from the ECJ to strike down the overly strict UK implementation laws of EU framework decisions! (support which is provided by the ECJ indeed) ...'

    EUpris: The governance of the UK is rubbish. This government is rubbish. It might be the worst government we have ever had. Gordon Brown might be the worst PM we have ever had.

    ' ... Where is the police state? ...'

    EUpris: The "EU" is a sick, arrogant monstrosity built up against the wishes of hundreds of millions of people. The people who rammed the Lisbon Treaty down the throats of the "citizens of the 'EU' " have something in common with Adolph Hitler and Stalin. They have already resorted to despicable methods to get their way. It is conceivable that they will resort to worse methods to keep their Greater European Reich together. The continentals have a tradition of dictatorship and fascist policing. "European Gendarmes" have been in training in Italy. IN ITALY!

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  • 25. At 02:02am on 27 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    The Germans are very pleased with Merkel. It is good that she forces her ways on us. Everyone needs to become more like Germany. Just imagine, an Autobahn with no speed limit from porto to talinn..

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  • 26. At 02:03am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    23. At 00:01am on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:



    ' ...

    Re "You remind me of somebody who used to post on another site.

    Are you the gentleman who admitted to being paid to post there? "

    Nice to see you have run out of proper arguments (not to say your previous ones were proper as they betrayed a complete lack of understanding on the content of the current constitutional treaties of the EU). ...'

    I don't have to read the treaties to see what has gone on.

    Well are you a gentleman who admitted on another site that he got paid to post there or are you not?

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  • 27. At 02:05am on 27 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    JL

    "Are you the gentleman who admitted to being paid to post there? ""

    I think he means me..

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  • 28. At 02:09am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    20. At 10:43pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    ' ...

    Strangely enough Gordon Brown has also committed any future Labour administartion to the same need for referendum

    ...

    Lets see how the UK politicians try wriggle out of that UK constitutional committment. :-) '

    EUpris: Last time they changed the name from a constitution to a treaty. Presumably they will say it is merely a modification of already existing by-laws or some such bull.

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  • 29. At 02:54am on 27 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Menedemus, in post #20 you said "...if Angela Merkel seeks an amendment or new treaty for the EU...then the United Kingdom will be committed to holding a referendum to accept or disapprove such..."

    OK, quick recap. Present UK Conservative policy regarding the EU broadly is:

    * Referendum before transfer of further power ("competences" in the jargon) from UK to EU
    * UK Sovereignty Act to restate parliamentary supremacy (it already is, btw, but it won't hurt)
    * Repatriate employment law and criminal justice competences from EU to UK
    * Opt-out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights

    The scenario you outline has been floated - I believe John Redwood pointed it out and Daniel Hannan seized on it with some glee. Leaving aside the weirdness of a UK government waiting for the German government to initiate a UK referendum (!), there are two points.

    1) The operative word is "to" the EU.
    If Merkel's treaty amendment covers the Eurozone only and binds only the Euro-16, then it could be plausibly depicted as not changing the UK's power relationship to the EU - no competences being transferred to the EU, no referendum trigger. Similarly, since the quid pro quo would involve competence repatriation from the EU, no referendum trigger there, neither.

    2) Leverage.
    Politics is trade: to get something, you have to give. If Cameron (Prime Minister in a future Conservative UK government) wants competence repatriation, he has to give. Similarly, if Merkel wants a treaty amendment, she has to give. Both parties wanting something, the stage is set for a deal: Cameron gets greater power over UK employment and criminal law, Merkel gets greater power to run the Euro. Everybody's happy. But if Cameron is hogtied by a referendum law, he has nothing to give ("Repatriate competences to the UK and I'll give you your treaty amendment...er, possibly. If I can get a yes in a referendum. Which I probably, er, can't. Ooops."). If he can't give, he don't get.

    I don't run the UK Conservative party (I work for a living), so I can't tell you what they will do if/when they get into power in the May UK General Election. But I can tell you the scenario you outline is not as automatic as everybody thinks.

    On a happier note, on a previous board, you asked how many sites physically printed Euros. They're printed in 15 sites, including (I kid you not), Gateshead. See the Wikipedia Euronotes page for details.

    Regards, viewcode.

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  • 30. At 03:03am on 27 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Cool_brush_work, in post #19 you said "...Sorry, to put Paddy in his place...peat-bog standard gripes..."

    CBW, for goodness' sake! That's not just flirting with xenophobia, that's taking it home, snogging it, and making it breakfast the next day! What the heck were you thinking?

    Viewcode.

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  • 31. At 03:28am on 27 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Mickalus & ChrisArta, hi! In posts on previous boards, you asked how the IMF works. I came up with an over-elaborate analogy involving South Park which drowned out the point. This is my second attempt. I think the IMF works as follows...

    1) The US places a large sum of real money in a room and pays interest on it. In return, it gets a large wedge of IMF pretend money ("Special Drawing Rights", or SDRs) worth the same amount and the interest back. This is a paper transaction: no money changes hands and the SDR's don't get spent.
    2) Germany places a smaller sum of real money in a different room and pays interest on it. In return, it gets a smaller wedge of SDRs and the interest back. Again, this is a paper transaction only and the SDR's don't get spent.
    3) Every other country on the planet does the same thing, only with progressively smaller amounts in progressively smaller rooms.

    Fine. Then bail-out time arrives: say it's Greece who's being bailed out. The bail-out goes like this:

    4) All the other countries transfer some of their SDRs (but not the original money, which stays in its original rooms) to Greece. In return, Greece pays the interest on those SDRs now and promises to repay the SDRs later. Greece can't spend the SDRs but it can use the SDRs as security to enable it to sell Greek bonds. Provided Greece continues to pay the interest and eventually repatriates the SDRs, everybody's happy.

    I think that's how it works: if inaccurate, please tell me. Hope that helps, regards, viewcode.

    (Incidentally, MAII, the advice I gave in a previous post seems to be wrong: the SDRs aren't denominated in dollars, they're arbitrarily defined using a weighted basket of four major currencies, although the value of a given wedge of SDRs is usually denoted in dollars. See here and here for more details. This may be a distinction without a difference...:-)

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  • 32. At 05:02am on 27 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Mr. Hewitt;
    You could FEEL the relief in many corners of Europe yesterday.
    Pres. Sarkozy and chancellor Merkel do not have the personal experiences from WW2 that previous leaders in France and Germany had, and that plays a role, but they have interests, and I expect them to agree in the coming period that more border crossing economic control in the Euro zone would be desirable.

    However, at the moment they hardly know what to do. It will not be clearer before chairman van Rompuy’s working party begins to act.

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  • 33. At 05:35am on 27 Mar 2010, PlanetEnglish wrote:

    If the EU is heaving a sigh of relief - as the caption for this topic suggests - becoming a SuperPower is really simple :
    A. Cook national accounts
    B. Accumulate Debt
    C. Plug into ASEAN, GCC, NAFTA, APEC, EU or USSR.
    D. Get IMF to intervene
    E. Pronto - you are on your way SuperPowerdom

    Ever wondered why :
    A. Mexico-Brazil-Argentia were unable to - in the 1980s when their loans went sour; and the omnipresent IMF was in the front door.
    B. Malaysia-Thailand-Indonesia were unable to - in the 1990s when their economies hit the buffers; and the omnipresent IMF stirred it up
    C. India-Pakistan-Bangaldesh are still unable to - since being disconnected from the First World 50 years ago; and the omnipresent IMF have been there more often than we can remember

    I cannot recall even one example where IMF intervention enabled the recipients to become an Economic Superpower.
    And to believe that the IMF intervention will enable Greece to keep the Eurozone afloat - is indeed cuckooland, or bongobongoland if you prefer.

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  • 34. At 07:39am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 07:44am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 08:03am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #21

    So, after almost 80 years independence it was still all the fault of the Brits!

    I'm tempted to say, "Grow up!"

    Who do you think you are kidding other than yourself!?

    The Eire economy was down to the Irish not the British - - whether in the Sterling or EUro 'zones' - - most certainly post-WW2 it was and is Eire Government policy that determines how well southern Ireland's economy performs. Or, are You indirectly saying it was the british made Eire join the EUropean Union and then the EUro-zone!?
    Naturally, over the decades in this increasingly globalised world the Eire economy was inter-linked with the rest of EUrope etc. When Eire did well or badly is surely partly determined by the performance of those around it - - Eire in the last decade did well in the EUro-zone stakes & more recently as that 'currency' has come under pressure Eire has done less well.

    As for Your "..cliched stereotypes.."!!!!?

    Sorry, but was it You (#12) who wrote "in the chops old bean.."?
    Please, it wasn't me who chose to introduce antediluvian attitudes into this debate!

    Just to repeat, my comments were directed at the content of Mr Hewitt's Article whereas Yours still appear to be mainly concerned with former Anglo-Irish affairs that have no concern with Eire's, EU's or UK's current economies.

    I have acquiantances from Ireland (north & south): They all live in England & Scotland - - sure isn't that a wonder!?

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  • 37. At 08:22am on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #30

    I wouldnt use that sort of language about our Irish friends but to fair Mickalus started it. 90 years of independence, peace in NI, but because their Celtic Tiger is now a rug its time to blame the Brits again.

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  • 38. At 08:40am on 27 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Menedemus (20):

    I don't think the British politicians have to wriggle at all...

    Treaty changes to establish European Economic Government (not likely) and European Monetary Fund (more likely) and European Auditing Agency (very likely) all concern only Eurozone. There is no actual benefit on having these institutions to work with non-Eurozone EU countries, benefits only come for the Eurozone for increased stability, accountability and security. Thus as there is no repatriation of power from Westminster, as all changes concern Eurozone only, there is no need to set up an referendum.

    In case of Tories using treaty negotiations as an opportunity to repatriate more powers back to UK, it should be noted that while Tories at this day don't want the UK to join the Euro, it is handy to left the door open. If proposed changes to the Eurozone are going to make it work better and would be those that the UK itself if being member of the Eurozone would see beneficial policies, then there is no practical reason for Tories to be against them.

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  • 39. At 08:48am on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #21

    It always disturbing when people insist on using the word "fact" over and over in a post. Its a sure fire guarantee that theres not one fact in there.

    The fact is (damn youve got me doing it now) , is that the Irish have done what everyone did when times were good. They spent and spent and spent on construction,maxing out the credit card and getting succour from property price rises. You cant blame the EU because without the billions in handouts you'd still be a basket case, you cant blame the US because they're you little busom buddies, its always painful to blame yourself (although you did a pretty good job) so who do you blame?.....the UK "system". Theres a thing.

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  • 40. At 08:49am on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    36. At 08:03am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #21

    37. At 08:22am on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #30


    "most certainly post-WW2 it was and is Eire Government policy that determines how well southern Ireland's economy performs"

    Well we actually agree on something - Ireland's current economic morass is actually the fault of Government policy NOT the EuroZone or the EU.

    And no - again yawn - I'm not "blaming the Brits" - touchy lot those of them who post here are - I'm again blaming Irish Government policy for slavish adherence to a model inherited from colonial days, which for reasons I've cited extensively - eg regulatory and oversight abrogation to maintain a model that doesn't work for us.

    This is not a criticism of the English/UK/EU/US/anyone else but the Irish Government. Blaming others for our issues is not useful. My central point again - Irish people would welcome economic governance - our current model has failed - the Irish Government disagreed with the German proposals as it would trigger a referendum they would lose, on a Treaty already possessing the germane constitutional .

    Again - not blaming anyone else, but the Irish government.

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  • 41. At 09:10am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Oh golly, gosh!

    2 censored comments in a row!

    In typical BBC Moderator tradition the ENGLISH amongst us can be called every name under the son by stereotyping, xenophobic other contributors, BUT woe betide if an ENGLISHMAN tries the same thing even though they are the ones WHO PAY THE LICENSE FEE!

    Bah, humbug!



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  • 42. At 09:16am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    commonsense_expressway

    Well, at least my schoolyard, "He started it!" antics has got us all of to a fine yelling!

    Time I withdrew for awhile - - my stuff is getting censored, so best I drop it - - afterall, can't have the BRITISH/ENGLISH falling out over the land of Erinnis, a small, insignificant 'western Isle' (as Juvenal & Claudian histories would have it)!

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  • 43. At 09:26am on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    42. At 09:16am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Master of the graceful exit to the end.

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  • 44. At 09:32am on 27 Mar 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    " What kind of Europe does Germany want"? The same kind of Europe it has sought for the last century, a Europe controlled and dominated by Germany. As for the Euro, it is a dead duck, it may survive this crisis and the next, but sooner or later it will collapse like the house of cards it is. Hopefully it will take the notion of a federal Europe with it.

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  • 45. At 09:44am on 27 Mar 2010, kevin wrote:

    Sure blaming the 'Brits' is a pastime...... Play nice now

    Is it me or should Greece accept responsibility for its problems just as much as us Irish should accept it for ours? and likewise everyone else?

    Billions of euro/pounds/dollars being spent to prop up a broken system that is more worried about saving the money of private investors than anyhting else.

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  • 46. At 10:07am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    27. At 02:05am on 27 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "JL

    "Are you the gentleman who admitted to being paid to post there? ""

    I think he means me.."

    EUpris: I don't think I mean you. If I remember rightly, you "admitted" to being paid to post on Mark Mardell's blog, but then said you were joking.

    I actually meant the Telegraph.

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  • 47. At 10:09am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    32. At 05:02am on 27 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    "Mr. Hewitt;
    You could FEEL the relief in many corners of Europe yesterday. ..."

    EUpris: How many corners of "Europe" were you in yesterday?

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  • 48. At 10:14am on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Germans! Stop being ripped off!

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100031641/germans-stop-being-ripped-off/

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  • 49. At 10:30am on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #45

    Absolutely it should. We all should. As much as you can trace some of Britains woes back to the US housing market collapse and the US banking sector, it was our own greed,profligacy and regulatory failure that have us in the mess we are in. By "us" i include the public - who got drunk on cheap credit.

    I also would have let Northern Rock and RBS fail with Adam Applegarth and Fred Goodwin having their heads stuck on spikes at the Tower of London. That would make the bankers think twice before screwing over our economy.

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  • 50. At 10:33am on 27 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    cool_brush_work wrote:
    "Oh golly, gosh!
    2 censored comments in a row!
    In typical BBC Moderator tradition the ENGLISH amongst us can be called every name under the son by stereotyping, xenophobic other contributors, BUT woe betide if an ENGLISHMAN tries the same thing even though they are the ones WHO PAY THE LICENSE FEE!
    Bah, humbug!"

    SILENCE! Be quiet, englishman.

    Watch, and learn, as we witness the tittering rituals of the sacred continental money dance. In this spectacle, we see money being created out of thin air, and distributed to the shareholders of banks and pension funds.

    There are many variations to this modern form of the rain dance, but the crucial thing for a good european is to sit silently and to applaud at the end. It is quite the only trick the professional party member knows, but he as a performer he ought not be blamed for the poor quality of the script.

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  • 51. At 10:36am on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @EU PRIS

    Re "EUpris: It could have been part of the conditions for that treaty. Germany and France could have refused to sign the treaty unless other countries got referenda.

    Barosso could have said we ought to get a referendum."

    I see you are unfamiliar with either international law and european law.

    1. Treaties get ratified by national states according to national law. Treaties themselves don't specify this or it would amount to making changes to national constitutions through international law (how would this then relate to the Uk's idea of parliamentary sovereignty?).
    Furthermore. If you would write this in a concluded (but not ratified treaty) this would still not bind the states party to the agreement, because the treaty is not binding on them until AFTER the ratification. On a sidenote, it's quite funny how you seem to think that France and Germany prevented the UK/other member states governments from writing such a clause in the Treaties. Not a single government would want such a clause, including the UK's be it Labour or Tory.

    2. Concerning your remark on Barosso: if you would have a basic knowledge of EU law, you would know that the EU treaties are treaties between member states, completely unlinked to any EU institution. EU institutions may say "we would want this", but only the member states decide what goes in the treaty and what not. Barosso therefore could in no way have demanded for referendums.

    Re "EUpris: No I don't! I don't want the "EU" to have any powers."

    But you are even if you claim not to be. You want the EU treaties to say that referendums should be put in place for Treaty ratifications in the member states. For one, this is amending national constitutional law through international law (a revolutionary idea indeed, even the staunchest EURO federalist would not dare to make such a proposal!). Practically more important, by putting anything in the EU treaties you are giving the Commission the authority to check whether Member states abide by the Treaty rules and ultimetaly you give the ECJ the power to making BINDING rulings on this point.

    Re "Well are you a gentleman who admitted on another site that he got paid to post there or are you not?"

    Dear Lord. No I am not, you could have figured that from my first answer. God knows why you think I'm being paid. I don't spread EU propaganda as you spread anti-EU propaganda. Just looking at this post now the only thing I do is pointing towards the legal consequences of your proposal.

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  • 52. At 11:25am on 27 Mar 2010, g_rizzly wrote:

    An interesting remark by a columnist in the Greek daily 'Kathimerini' today. He notes that the divisions in the Council were along political lines instead of national or regional lines. The Conservatives were negative as regards helping Greece, while the Socialists were positive.

    I thought the idea was interesting enough to share. Cheers.

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  • 53. At 11:39am on 27 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    It is my opinion that the agreement between Germany , France and the other Eurozone countries , to one way or another , help finance Greece out of its indebtedness , is just a verbal agreement with no practical foundations at all . Its purpose is to give the rest of the world assurance that the Euro is OK , that the Eurozone is not going to collapse ; that it can handle any financial difficulties that may occur by themselves .

    People who think that the crisis is over , that Europeans can breathe easy again , should be wary . Five of the sixteen Eurozone members are near to being insolvent themselves . None of the EU countries are in a financially secure position to help Greece alone or collectively .

    I note all the slagging matches between Europhiles and British Eurosceptics . One would think that the Europhiles would just laugh off the silly Brits . It seems that British Euroscepticism really gets under the skin of Europhiles , who get really annoyed with the attitude of English EU Xenophobes ( like me ). I guess we undermine the morale of mainland European Union members ; because it is known all over Europe how strongly anti EU we are ; whatever successive British governments try to do , to show British solidarity with the EU . I think if there were a referendum on a EU treaty ; the British response would be strongly negative , even if they were offered free Turkeys for Christmas .

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  • 54. At 11:58am on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    # 53. At 11:39am on 27 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    "It seems that British Euroscepticism really gets under the skin of Europhiles , who get really annoyed with the attitude of English EU Xenophobes ( like me )."

    Hi Huaimek,

    No - what gets under the skin is the falsehoods and propaganda Europhobes use to attempt to justify their position. There is nothing wrong with saying you hate the EU and what it represents, without feeling the need to offer increasingly odd and deranged rationales for that viewpoint. No-one objects to privately held viewpoints argued with passion and conviction - it's the other nonsense that atends it.

    Mickalus

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  • 55. At 12:09pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Huaimek (53):

    The problem with Eurosceptics is that their aim is to prevent and roll back European integration at any possible cost. If their aim would just be to take Britain out of the EU, then that would a-okey and there would no irritation. However many or most Eurosceptics don't just want to take Britain out of the EU, they either want to change the EU back to being just free trade area or wipe out all European integration and fall back to bilateral relations. That is the problem.

    I myself have no problem with people who just take an honest stand and say they want Britain out of the EU and let the rest continue where ever they are going, they even get some respect when they admit that solution to their problem lies solely in Westminster and not in the EU. However I have a huge problem with people who take any opportunity that they can to sabotage European integration or to get special rights in exchange for allowing the rest of the EU to continue in their integration.

    In essence..
    ..taking Britain out of the EU, a-okey.
    ..sabotaging or ruining the EU for the rest of us, not a-okey!

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  • 56. At 12:28pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #53. Huaimek wrote
    “It seems that British Euroscepticism really gets under the skin of Europhiles , who get really annoyed with the attitude of English EU Xenophobes ( like me ).”

    No, not really. You are mistaken a dozen of person for millions.
    Obviously, there are different evaluations of the EU among the Britons, in other words they are not all unsympathetic, and the UK remains a member for almost forty years. The Eurosceptics have not been able to pull the country out, and I must say the arguments you see here should not make anybody sleepless in that matter.

    Secondly, if you were to take certain parts of the British press seriously, you might get sleepless, but at the meetings the UK is speaking through its representatives and not through the press. Nobody expects the UK to have many ideas of how to continue, but Gordon Brown was very active - and had some assistance from the BBC - in the endeavour to fill one of the new posts in the EU with a Briton, and succeeded in getting Lady Ashton appointed.
    We don’t expect the UK to leave tomorrow.

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  • 57. At 12:31pm on 27 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    g_rizzly @#52

    That piece of information would be just about right I imagine.

    If the Eurozone Bailout package required by Greece (and it still well might be needed given the huge amount of money that Greece needs to pay back in April/May!) is called upon the 1/3rd of the money will come from the IMF and 2/3rds will come from Banks in the Eurozone.

    The global banking industry has been rescued in various countries by government intervention using tax-payers money.

    Those countries fortunate to have had banks that did not need rescuing or did not require huge bailouts were lucky but those banks would have as surely failed in due course if the 'rotten' banks had not been rescued as the 'rotten' debt has still not gone away and all banks are internationally entwined so that the individual bank rescues actually saved 'banking' globally.

    Where you have the split along political lines of Socialist and Non-Socialists is not at all unexpected as the Banks will provide the money and the citizens of the contributing country will pay the price if the Greek economy defaults (which it might still do despite the loan guarantees which at best 5bn Euros less than the immediate Greek debt interest payments that are due!).

    Socialist politicians are only too quick to guarantee and offer money belonging to the banks as they think they can use other people's money like water. Non-socialists tend to baulk at such profligate misuse of other people's money.

    I guess it all comes down to Socialist believing that the money you earn as an individual is there for them to tax directly, tax the remainder indirectly and to spend that revenue just how they like. Conservatives, like all politicians, will take some of your earning in taxes but they will try to leave you some to pass on to your kids and future generations.

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  • 58. At 12:35pm on 27 Mar 2010, John Ward wrote:


    This is an outstanding analysis, rooted in reality, and worthy of a http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/ link to and fro.

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  • 59. At 1:03pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A move back from the precipice for now but still on the same inevitable downward slide towards it. All they did is squander more money to buy a little more time. The ledge of the cliff still looms ahead.

    The underlying problem remains unaddressed. Promises to fix it are almost certainly as empty as they ever were. That is because Europeans continue to have a warped entitlement mentality that is sharply at odds with the economic realities of the world and their plight. They will never agree to reconcile the vast discrepency between their productivity and their consumption vis a vis other nations. Uncompetitive and unchangeable, they will find it increasingly difficult to invent one convoluted scheme after another to stave off inevitable bankruptcy and the crash of their currencies and economies. The mountain of debt just grew a little bit higher.

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  • 60. At 1:18pm on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #56

    The UK has not even begun to start to even think about maybe/possibly/at some point leaving the EU. UKIP is an irrelevance and none of the major parties believe in withdrawal. And yes I think its fair to suggest that the UK has nothing to offer the EU as far as a way forward is concerned. We have an election coming up and the EU is so far down the agenda its probably below who is going to win Dancing on Ice this year.

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  • 61. At 1:41pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The headline in big bold block letters should read "American taxpayers through the IMF bail out Europe's Euro because Europeans couldn't or wouldn't." I hope that it's written in French and nailed to Monsieur Sarkozy's door to remind him of the bluff and bluster he, his predecessors, and their other EU counterparts spouted when they boasted about how powerful and great the EU was.

    The minefield is just as trecherous as it was three days ago, the nearest mine was moved slightly further down the road but it got larger. It will be interesing to see how the fighting will go when the Euro finally dies and the reversion back to individual currencies returns. What will the conversion rates be? How will they be determined at the beginning? GDP? Per capita GDP? Debt versus GDP? Eventually of course the markets will tell us what each one is worth and there will surely be speculation and arbitrage between them at the start which should also prove very interesting. Lots of money to be made and lost in the ensuing chaos. I think when the dust settles in the post Euro world, there will be some surprises at just how little some presumed strong currencies will actually turn out to be worth.

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  • 62. At 1:50pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    offramp;

    "We have an election coming up and the EU is so far down the agenda its probably below who is going to win Dancing on Ice this year."

    Sad if it is true. That the British people don't care who governs them or what power their own government has over them compared to what powers those beyond their borders have over them. Perhaps that is because they feel helpless no matter who it is. They realize that none of the major political parties in the UK have their interests at heart anymore than foreigners on the continent do. David Cameron proved what a fraud and a liar he is when he taunted the voters with the prospect of the referendum many of them felt they had been promised but then proved he didn't really mean it at all when he wouldn't commit to it. It proved it was just a political ploy for his own personal advancement but when you get to the bottom line, he's also thinking about his future in Brussels as an MEP, not as someone who would give ordinary Brits control over their own domain and destiny for the first time ever. What passes for democracy in Britain and the rest of Europe doesn't pass muster by any standards I know of.

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  • 63. At 1:58pm on 27 Mar 2010, IHaveaDream wrote:

    Interesting chain of events.

    First corporates are bailed out for their recklessness, now soverigns are bailed out because of their recklessness.

    I feel really sorry for the conservative Germans who are basically standing surity while their Greek counterparts continue to party in the sunshine.

    Now the precident has been set I can see the rest of the PIIGS coming cap in hand for bailouts.

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  • 64. At 2:14pm on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #61

    Well the plan hasn't even been enactioned yet, its just a safety net if Greece fails to borrow the money it needs on the markets.

    "American taxpayers through the IMF bail out Europe's Euro because Europeans couldn't or wouldn't."

    No matter how many times you say it, it still wont be true. It also shows you dont know how the IMF works or how big the US weighting within it is. How you might like the IMF to work is not the same as how it does work. If you think its a US institution using US taxpayers money to bail-out undeserving European causes then you are just plain wrong. It would be better if you just went and boned up on the IMF before posting anything more about it.

    #62

    Reluctantly, amazingly, sadly...I agree with you

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  • 65. At 2:15pm on 27 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    MAII @#59

    I think you have it right.

    The volume of loans borrowed in the western world and elsewhere to save Capitalism by saving the Banks and the global finance sector is quite staggering.

    What is even more staggering and going to be the rod to break the camel's back is the loan/national debt interest payments that will start to fall due from 2013/2014 onwards.

    In the Eurozone, because of the disparity in the capacity and capability of the different economies, Quantitive Easing is not an option so borrowing is the only viable alternative. The problem is that more loans on top of previous loans makes the Eurozone start to look like a Helter-Kelter Tower built on debt ... the biggest Ponzi scheme ever.

    Growth is the keyword and Growth is the basis for ensuring sufficient taxes and structured debt can be invoked to pay for government expenditure. I suspect that Growth in the period 2011-2020 is going to be so sluggish or even non-existent that austerity and punitive taxation are going to be required to solely service the various national debts and that the Socialist ideals fo welfare and public expenditure for all are just going to whither away through lack of available funding.

    That or Europe nations go Communist or Fascist when people give up striving for themselves altogether and simply get given and do what they are told by the State!

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  • 66. At 2:18pm on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #62

    "he's also thinking about his future in Brussels as an MEP"

    Not sure what you mean there. Cameron is an MP not an MEP. Whole different set of elections.

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  • 67. At 2:40pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    It is absolutely impossible to reject anything but a fraction of the errors here.
    1) The largest EU member with a socialist government is the UK. Everybody knows that Gordon Brown had one thing in mind: To avoid paying anything to Greece.

    2) The description of IMF by a person, apparently coming from the USA and the author of a tsunami of contributions here, is not only wildly exaggerated, it is also wrong.

    A) The Europeans represent the majority in the IMF as the Frankfurter Allgemeine explained yesterday in an article with the headline: “Europe has more weight than America.” USA has 17,7% of the votes, the Euro zone countries 23,1% and EU has 31,9%. (By the way it means that the UK nevertheless is part of the guarantee to Greece).

    B) It can be written into the contract the USA does not take part. In that way the Europeans are responsible only.

    Half of what is written here is nonsense.

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  • 68. At 2:53pm on 27 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Ian G-B, you feel sorry why?

    I refer you to my messages 210, 213, 224 on "Blame it on the Germans" thread. I only need to tell you that the link is a BBC one, and so far no-one has been able to refute it.

    So you feel sorry for Germans when:

    - German working people work less hours than working Greeks?
    - German workig people are EU-taxed at around the 3/4 of the equivalent tax on Greek people?
    - When out of all the "aid" given to Greeks, the majority goes to to Greek agriculture (which is not an aid of course! it is given to enable Greece retire tax on imports) and the other to "projects" out of which a varying of 50% to 70% returns back in the form of lists of orders to German and French corporations, mainly the German ones, which by the way benefit German people obviously.
    - When Germans own half Greece, ports, telecoms, electricity etc and now want to buy more even cheaper?

    No no no ... most certainly we can blame the Germans for having funded the anyway endemic (but not up to the levels it got within EU) corruption of Greece. Greece economy had a little ulcer in the 1970s and in EU that became a cancer touching pretty much all its internal organs.

    Greeks are to be blamed for being so easily manipulated and giving up everything for buying Porche Cayennes while they should be driving Ferraris and Lamborginis if they had brought in early on the Russians to build their bases there, drill their oil, re-built their ships with Ukrainian steel, play the big guy in the area.

    Theoretically this could happen in EU too, but Germans are too obedient to their masters to act so. What can little Greece do? Its sole responsibility is that it is not so able to chose its own master.

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  • 69. At 2:56pm on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #67
    Good post even though I could argue with you about the UK having a socialist government. Some aspects maybe but not all.

    The UK is so bust we cant even afford to meet our own commitments never mind Greece.

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  • 70. At 4:28pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Math challenged;

    The US supplies 17% of the IMF funds, as much as Japan, Germany, and France combined;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund

    The US has bailed out the Euro....this time.

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  • 71. At 4:34pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    g_rizzly @52 wrote:
    "An interesting remark by a columnist in the Greek daily 'Kathimerini' today. He notes that the divisions in the Council were along political lines instead of national or regional lines. The Conservatives were negative as regards helping Greece, while the Socialists were positive. "

    No surprise there: the essence of socialism is to feel virtuous by spending other people's money.

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  • 72. At 4:43pm on 27 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #70

    So you found out the facts and STILL wont admit youre wrong. Youre a lost cause.

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  • 73. At 4:47pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Jukka Rohila @55 wrote:

    "In essence..
    ..taking Britain out of the EU, a-okey.
    ..sabotaging or ruining the EU for the rest of us, not a-okey!"


    The political elites (all major) in Britain will not allow a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, much less the withdrawal of Britain from the EU.

    As such, EUrospceptics can only realistically hope for one of two things to happen:

    1) We are expelled. (No chance - the EU needs our financial contributions to fund its expanding Project); or
    2) The EU implodes.

    Working to 'sabotage EU integration (sabotage being a very 'loaded' word with many connotations) will hopefully do two things:

    1) retard spread of EU rule over Britain; and
    2) bring forward the inevitable implosion of an undemocratic, unaccountable, supra-national superstate - something I believe all freedom-loving Europeans hope for.

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  • 74. At 5:02pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    offramp;

    One out of six dollars from the IMF going to bail out Greece and the Euro is coming from the pockets of American taxpayers. Considering that Europe is America's trade adversary, in fact America is virtually in a state of trade war with much of Europe, I think Americans have a right to ask their govrenment why. Now that may not mean much to you where you come from because people don't habitually question the wisdom of their government's policies there, they merely obey like sheep but that doesn't fly here. Not if word gets out. Evidently we have bigger fish to fry right now. This temporary reprieve is small potatoes to us.

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  • 75. At 5:49pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @Maxseptic

    re "1) We are expelled. (No chance - the EU needs our financial contributions to fund its expanding Project)"

    How very funny. The EU budget is only 1% of EU GDP. Hard to understand how you could possibly imagine that your contribution (although the UK is a net payer) is 'vital' to the EU.

    If you leave the EU the EU will simply levy customs on your exports to EU countries (in jan 2010 value of exports from Uk to EU amounted to 10 billion pounds). Ouch, I imagine the UK economy would be hurt quite a bit if it can only benefit from the MFN tariff of the WTO. Imagine the extre revenue out of customs duties the EU would receive if the UK economy which is very much integrated in the EU economy would all of a sudden leave the EU!

    Re "2) bring forward the inevitable implosion of an undemocratic, unaccountable, supra-national superstate - something I believe all freedom-loving Europeans hope for."

    Ah yes, we've read that before. But it isn't because you keep repeating those words 'unaccountable, superstate, undemocratic' ad nauseum, that they become true and applicable to the EU.

    You might want to furnish some arguments for your bold statements.

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  • 76. At 6:01pm on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    42. At 09:16am on 27 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    " ...

    Time I withdrew for awhile - - my stuff is getting censored, so best I drop it ..."


    EUpris: I sympathise. I have had totally true stuff censored presumably because it wasn't Europolitically Correct.

    Please would others step into the breech?

    SWEDES!

    AUSTRIANS!

    NORWEGIANS!

    PLEASE START POSTING HERE.

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  • 77. At 6:22pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    11. At 8:26pm on 26 Mar 2010, Jean Luc

    "...you want a European Judge to do what? Verify whether the UK government has respected UK laws in implementing/ratifying EU law/Treaties?.."

    Er no Jean Luc I wrote nothing of the kind.

    It is patently obvious that the EU progression under the Lisbon Treaty* was subject to no ratification by the British electorate.

    The remarkable thing is that EU leaders, supported by those in favour of the Treaty saw nothing wrong. They preferred the Treaty ratified, if not by legitimate means then so be it. I guess they reason the end justifies the means. And as they include the political classes then that's fine and dandy.

    * Yes I do realise this was called The Constitutional Treaty in UK election literature.

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  • 78. At 6:28pm on 27 Mar 2010, Peter David Jones wrote:

    Thank you for this update Gavin. However this is not really a full rescue plan yet. For example as I read on notayesmanseconomics web blog.

    "The initial flaw is the phrase “very serious difficulties” as a criteria which is rather opaque. Once a day or two has passed and relief gives way to thought and analysis market players and observers will start to wonder exactly what this phrase means. So an improvement would be to set actual criteria."

    Indeed other problems with the plan are quoted so whilst it may be better than what has been offered before it does not get Greece out of the woods. He also identifies how much of the support money will come from the UK's "share" in the IMF.

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  • 79. At 6:31pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    20. At 10:43pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus

    "...Lets see how the UK politicians try wriggle out of that UK constitutional committment..."

    They had not so much as an ounce of trouble wriggling out of the Lisbon Treaty Referendum. As far as the EU is concerned we will never be allowed a vote until the likes of UKIP start taking scalps.

    A tough call indeed for although UKIP came second in the EU parliamentary the British electorate are very conservative in their voting habits. Just ask the Liberal Democrats (last in power in the early nineteen twenties).

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  • 80. At 6:51pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    75. Jean Luc

    "...If you leave the EU the EU will simply levy customs on your exports to EU countries (in jan 2010 value of exports from Uk to EU amounted to 10 billion pounds). Ouch..."

    Presumably similar duties will be levied on EU imports? Though I have to admit, I doubt if our current political elite would consider either leaving the EU or imposing a corresponding duty.

    As a matter of interest I wonder if, all thing being equal, the UK could 'gain' in this theoretical battle (less administration costs) on the basis that we have a trade deficit with the rest of the EU? More likely no duties would be imposed by either 'side' IMO.

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  • 81. At 6:54pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ EU PRIS

    re "Er no Jean Luc I wrote nothing of the kind."

    Obviously you didn't write it, but it's a logical consequence of what you did write.

    You wanted a clause in the new EU treaty obliging member states to hold referendums.

    The rest is logic:

    1. Powers of EU institutions limited by the treaties
    2. Commission has power to check if member states rspect the treaties, if not commission can take member state before the ecj
    3. ecj has power to make rulings against member states who do not respect the treaty or secondary law

    Add this to your proposal of introducing your clause in the EU treaties.

    The result? ECJ has power to rule against member states if they have not held referendums/not held them correctly. What is needed? The commission or any other member state bringing the said member state before the ECJ.

    So with only the smallest knowledge of the content of the EU treaties you could have known you are in fact pleading for revolutionary powers for the ECJ: the power to check ratification procedures of national member states! This proposal would turn the logic of international public law completely upside down!

    You are indeed a very staunch supranational eurofederalist EUPRIS!

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  • 82. At 7:08pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @rg

    Re "Presumably similar duties will be levied on EU imports? Though I have to admit, I doubt if our current political elite would consider either leaving the EU or imposing a corresponding duty.

    As a matter of interest I wonder if, all thing being equal, the UK could 'gain' in this theoretical battle (less administration costs) on the basis that we have a trade deficit with the rest of the EU? More likely no duties would be imposed by either 'side' IMO."

    Well obviously because the Uk would leave the EU this would mean the EU can't access the Uk market anymore without paying custom duties. The problem is the UK economy depends more on the EU than vice versa.

    The biggest trade bloc always has the biggest attraction force. This is the reason why the EFTA's history is one of ever declining members and the EU's is of ever growing members. Every former EFTA member state is now member of EU simply because economically it doesn't make sense to remain part of the smaller trade bloc.

    To your theoretical question, I can only answer with the non-theoretical questions: Why did the Uk desperately seek membership of the EC (twice it's request refused and still desperate to join)? Why don't the Uk leaders give their citizens a referendum?

    The administration costs you mention are peanuts.

    Honestly it's mindboggling that people still earnestly doubt the net benefits of EU membership.

    There is a reason why UK governments will never give a referendum to their people on EU membership. The UK leaders know that the benefits are just to big and they know their people would vote on emotional instead of rational grounds.

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  • 83. At 7:26pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    82. Jean Luc

    "...There is a reason why UK governments will never give a referendum to their people on EU membership. The UK leaders know that the benefits are just to big and they know their people would vote on emotional instead of rational grounds..."

    It's odd then to think that until November 3, 2009 at least one of the three traditional UK parties was still offering a referendum on the EU Lisbon Treaty, (the other two ditched their commitments as soon as the unsavoury bore of a General Election was out of the way).

    I would have thought it up to the UK electorate to decide for themselves whether to vote on "emotional instead of rational grounds" or otherwise. That's the nature of democracy. We get into very dangerous waters when governments start to believe their electorate are 'incapable' of providing the 'rational' result they seek. Some say it is better to die on the feet than live on the knees. I'll leave the reader to decide which they'd rather for themselves, I'll not decide for you.

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  • 84. At 7:30pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Jean Luc @75,

    Firstly, the UK's contribution to the EU budget (40% of which goes to CAP) is sufficiently large for beneficiary states to squeal like piggies whenever there is talk of reducing it.

    Just tell me that France is happy for French farmers not to receive their slops of CAP and return the money instead to productive taxpayers and I'll start to take the notion of 'EU reform' seriously. (But then just last week Sarkozy said he was willing to start a 'crisis' in the EU rather than give up the CAP....).

    Secondly, customs & tariffs, like trade, are a two-way street. The EU will not levy customs on UK exports because it would not want the UK to levy customs on imports from the EU. (look at the bilateral trade figures and do the maths for yourself). A trade war would be stupid (not that that would stop EUrophiles from proposing it). In fact, a free trade pact is all Britons really wanted - and thought they were going to get - when they voted to join the European Economic Community back in 1975.

    As for my "bold statements":

    Is there any doubt that the EU is undemocratic? Who elected the EU Government (aka the EU Commission)? How do I as a 'citizen' vote them out? I certainly never voted them in.

    Unaccountable? To whom is the EU accountable? When was it last held to account by anyone?
    (Don't even mention the corrupt farce that is the EU Parliament. Besides, when did I and my fellow citizens ever knowingly give our mandate to a supranational 'parliament' composed mostly of foreigners to supercede our sovereign Parliament and legislate our laws? Oh yes - that's right: it was in the small print..... and our political masters hoped we wouldn't notice as they were so sure that they knew what was best for us... ).

    Supranational? By very definition the EU is supranational.

    Superpower? Well, it wishes to be one. Hence the creation of the 'External Action Service' (a name which sounds like a group of 1930s right-wing paramilitary thugs) to act as an EU 'Foreign Ministry' under the equally charmless and clueless 'Baroness' Ashton. Luckily for all concerned, the EU has so many cooks (Pompous Barroso, Whoever is the current President of the Council of Ministers, Herr Rumpy-Pumpy, etc) that they are all elbowing each other aside to be the head honcho.

    As for actually being a 'superpower': all its talk of 'soft power' is pretty apt, as when push comes to shove the EU is about as much use as a eunuch at an orgy.

    Cheers!


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  • 85. At 7:34pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    82. At 7:08pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc

    "...Why did the Uk desperately seek membership of the EC..."

    I wasn't there at the time though I doubt the government of the day would savour being described as 'desperate'.

    "...The biggest trade bloc always has the biggest attraction force..."

    All things being equal I'm sure this is true. Though my understanding of UK trade with the balance of the UK is that there is an imbalance of trade in the EU's favour.

    Either way, I'm sure the arguments either way will be 'put to the people'* in any subsequent referendum.

    *Hollow words courtesy of A Blair.

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  • 86. At 7:42pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Jean Luc 82 wrote:

    "There is a reason why UK governments will never give a referendum to their people on EU membership. The UK leaders know that the benefits are just to big and they know their people would vote on emotional instead of rational grounds."

    Very good Jean Luc. Your attitude - which is that of the UK political elites - is a very much an expression of what EU democracy means in practice:

    1. Don't give people the chance to vote the 'wrong' way.
    (France and the Netherlands, having rejected the Constitutional Treaty were not allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty - a document that all serious commentators agree is 'substantially' the same as the CT. Us poor blasted Brit were not, of course, even given a chance to have our say).

    2. If the people do vote the 'wrong' way, make them vote again until they get it right (Ireland. Twice).

    It is all very clever. But also downright deceitful and despicable.

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  • 87. At 7:44pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    Sorry all

    Me in 85:

    strike "Though my understanding of UK trade with the balance of the UK is that there is an imbalance of trade in the EU's favour."

    add "Though my understanding, of UK trade with the balance of the EU, is that there is an imbalance of trade in the EU's favour."

    I hope this makes sense. Basically the other EU countries export more to us than we export to them.

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  • 88. At 7:55pm on 27 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    When the pound is pounded and the nation starts getting hungry, it really wont matter about what the UKIP closet nazis say, people will want the euro.
    When the UKIP actually pushes for democracy in the UK maybe they will be taken seriously.
    Since the FPTP system is obviously not democratic and has led to Con Lab and Lib having no difference worth mentioning between their parties, effectively creating a one party state for the political class by the political class, it really doesn't matter whether Europe is democratic or not because the UK is certainly not democratic outside Europe.
    Something of course the UKIP lot wont talk about.
    Perhaps the only way to get democracy is from within Europe. There is certainly more chance of that happening than the UKIP introducing democracy in the UK.

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  • 89. At 8:05pm on 27 Mar 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    84 MaxSceptic wrote

    "Is there any doubt that the EU is undemocratic? Who elected the EU Government (aka the EU Commission)? How do I as a 'citizen' vote them out? I certainly never voted them in."

    I have voted in English elections for over 40 years and because of the first-past-the-post system I have never felt represented as whoever wins rarely has more than 30-40 per cent of the popular vote. The constituency I live in has always been and will always be Tory and is anathma to anything I believe in. Is that democracy when unless you live in a marginal seat you know you can never make a difference?

    As for your mention of "Pompous Barroso and Herr Rumpy-pumpy" I do feel when grown up people have to resort to name calling they have lost the argument.

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  • 90. At 8:14pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    86. At 7:42pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:


    Hi MaxSceptic,

    "1. Don't give people the chance to vote the 'wrong' way.
    (France and the Netherlands, having rejected the Constitutional Treaty were not allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty - a document that all serious commentators agree is 'substantially' the same as the CT. Us poor blasted Brit were not, of course, even given a chance to have our say)."

    Hmm - but then it is apparently fine to ignore the Spanish and Luxembourg "Yes" votes on their Constitutional Treaty referenda.

    "2. If the people do vote the 'wrong' way, make them vote again until they get it right (Ireland. Twice)."

    Well in fairness reams have been already written about this.

    Suffice to say that sufficient disinformation was put about by superficially credible sources that on the whole the Irish public concurred reruns were justified once treaty protocols protecting issues of concern were secured post-Lisbon I.

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  • 91. At 8:19pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    88. Doctuer_Eiffel

    "...When the UKIP actually pushes for democracy in the UK maybe they will be taken seriously..."

    By whom?

    Will droves suddenly usurp the traditional parties they, their parents and grandparents *always* voted for?

    No, change will happen because people will finally twig that they have been done like a kipper. Don't expect it to happen tomorrow, or the next day, on the day after it might start to dawn in just a few inquisitive minds...

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  • 92. At 8:26pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    margaret howard @89,

    FPTP has its drawbacks, but proportional representation is worse with the balance of power usually held by small unrepresentative parties. Just look at Israel where the religious minority dictate on issues of sabbath observance, etc. (And I'm not even addressing the

    The 'consensual politics' of our continental masters is highly overrated. I'd prefer a move to a more direct democracy such as in Switzerland. (The technology exists. All that is endangered is the status quo of the established parties and political placemen).

    As for my insulting the unelected politicians who lord over me by calling them names invalidating my arguments: As I don't know you, Ms Howard, and don't care whether or not you respect me, I truly don't give a tinker's cuss what you think. Is that 'grown up' enough for you?

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  • 93. At 8:27pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    90. At 8:14pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus

    "...then it is apparently fine to ignore the Spanish and Luxembourg "Yes" votes on their Constitutional Treaty referenda..."

    Who suggested this to be the case?

    Correct me if I'm wrong - For an EU Treaty to come into effect the vote has to be unanimous. If Luxembourg and Spain consider this unfair perhaps they would like to campaign for a new Treaty?

    We can then indulge in our sport of watching the UK political aristocracy acting tough before an election, only to surrender the day after.

    As for Eire, *any* excuse to hold a second ballot. All done and dusted now.

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  • 94. At 8:32pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Mickalus 90:

    Funny that nobody pressured Spain and Luxembourg to vote again....

    The rules called for unanimity. Once some countries voted 'no' the rules were fudged to ensure the desired result. All the rest is sophistry.

    Off for supper (French bread and butter, English egg, Spanish manchego and chorizo with Italian wine) and to watch Wallander (Swedish version). See: I am a good European. It's just the EU I hate.

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  • 95. At 8:37pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    Agree on the Wallander! Chilean wine - not EU at all.

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  • 96. At 8:37pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @rg 83

    re "I would have thought it up to the UK electorate to decide for themselves whether to vote on "emotional instead of rational grounds" or otherwise. That's the nature of democracy. We get into very dangerous waters when governments start to believe their electorate are 'incapable' of providing the 'rational' result they seek. Some say it is better to die on the feet than live on the knees. I'll leave the reader to decide which they'd rather for themselves, I'll not decide for you."

    Well of course that's democracy. My personal view is that direct democracy only makes sense if people are properly informed. The more complex things get the harder it would be to justify referendums. E.g. local referendum on a parking lot makes perfect sense, international treaties is something else. IMO people's knowledge on the EU is very poor. Which leaves the question what 'value' there is in asking people their opinion on something they don't really know (a bit like asking your grocer about the maintenance of your car, instead of your car mechanic). Still that would be a discussion on democracy. As you yourself point out it is up to the national governments to decide on referendums, the fact that you didn't get one is because of your own government, not because of the EU. Let's be clear about that.

    @Max 84

    re "Firstly, the UK's contribution to the EU budget (40% of which goes to CAP) is sufficiently large for beneficiary states to squeal like piggies whenever there is talk of reducing it"

    You might want to look into who the beneficiary states are. Apart from that you mention the CAP, the CAP debate is something else. The squeeling than is about that nice principle called equality of states. Why should the UK pay less than any other state according to objective paremeters? Is the UK special? No, it's just a member state like any other, so the rebate should not have been given in the first place. A last note is on the overal budget: a mere 1% of GDP. I defy you to find any government at any level in the industrialized world that works with a mere 1% of GDP. Good luck on that!

    Re "Just tell me that France is happy for French farmers not to receive their slops of CAP and return the money instead to productive taxpayers and I'll start to take the notion of 'EU reform' seriously. (But then just last week Sarkozy said he was willing to start a 'crisis' in the EU rather than give up the CAP....)"

    France is a net payer to the EU budget... Per capita it pays almost as much as the UK (although I admit not exactly the same). But there goes your argument about the money hungry french farmers!

    re "Is there any doubt that the EU is undemocratic? Who elected the EU Government (aka the EU Commission)? How do I as a 'citizen' vote them out? I certainly never voted them in."

    The EU commission isn't really a government. It's an executive. Made up of people proposed by national governments that received majority support in their own countries and legitimised by the European Parliament (which is made up of elected representatives) which can hold a vote of no confidence at any time. And you vote them out the same way you vote your national government out.

    Re "Unaccountable? To whom is the EU accountable? When was it last held to account by anyone? "

    Asking to whom the EU is accountable is like asking to whom the UK is accountable. 'The EU' is made up of institutions.

    re "(Don't even mention the corrupt farce that is the EU Parliament. Besides, when did I and my fellow citizens ever knowingly give our mandate to a supranational 'parliament' composed mostly of foreigners to supercede our sovereign Parliament and legislate our laws? Oh yes - that's right: it was in the small print..... and our political masters hoped we wouldn't notice as they were so sure that they knew what was best for us... ). "

    Not really small print. It was all in the Treaties when your country joined. What's more, the basic principles not written in the treaty had already been clarified by the ECJ before you joined and even before your succesful request! This is something the original member states can not say.

    re "As for actually being a 'superpower': all its talk of 'soft power' is pretty apt, as when push comes to shove the EU is about as much use as a eunuch at an orgy."

    Nice contradiction there. Why would you worry about the EU superstate if it doesn't have real power?

    @rg 85

    Re "I wasn't there at the time though I doubt the government of the day would savour being described as 'desperate'."

    Well I don't know. The EEC gets established in 1957 and the UK refuses. Instead it establishes it's own organization, the EFTA in 1959. Only two years later (when it saw the gap increasing between it's own economy and continental europe) it made a first application. Which got refused by the Gaulle. Then they made a second application, again refused. Then the Uk had to sit and wait untill De Gaulle would resign or die. In the end he resigned before he died and only in 1973 was the UK able to become a member of the EU.

    @Max 86

    Re "Very good Jean Luc. Your attitude - which is that of the UK political elites - is a very much an expression of what EU democracy means in practice:"

    Well that's just a conclusion based on the facts I see. Not to say I support such a situation (please try to see those two things seperate). Do not be fooled in thinking I want the Uk as a member of the EU. Far from it ;)

    Re "It is all very clever. But also downright deceitful and despicable."

    And it has nothing to do with EU democracy since the choices to hold referendums or to rehold them are national decisions.

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  • 97. At 8:40pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    93. At 8:27pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    Your pardon - I obviously mistakenly believed you were concerned about democracy.

    94. At 8:32pm on 27 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Well - we'll agree to differ.

    Perhaps in future we need to consider a mechanism where treaty disapproval in one jurisdiction automatically exempts it from the strictures of that treaty, and permits those who concur progress without those who do not concur.

    My compliments on your dining plans - sounds delicious. Enjoy.

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  • 98. At 8:45pm on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    88. At 7:55pm on 27 Mar 2010, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    "When the pound is pounded and the nation starts getting hungry, it really wont matter about what the UKIP closet nazis say ... "

    EUpris: Do you have any proof or even anything to indicate that UKIP are closet Nazis?

    If so, please present it here.

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  • 99. At 9:01pm on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    85. At 7:34pm on 27 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    82. At 7:08pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc

    "...Why did the Uk desperately seek membership of the EC..."

    I wasn't there at the time though I doubt the government of the day would savour being described as 'desperate'.


    EUpris: I was there at the time. It wasn't the EC we joined. It was the Common market.

    1) The people were lied to by Ted Heath. Even one of the people who was in the negotiating team said years later on Newsnight that the problem with the EU or whatever it was called at the time, was that the British people had been lied to. The interviewer changed the subject.

    2) As far as I can remember, the BBC and ITN never raised the issue of a real loss of sovereignty.

    I was in favour of the Common Market until I went to live in Germany in 1972. Only then did I find out what the real plan was. By January 1973 I was wobbling and by Easter 1973 I was against it and have been ever since.

    Jean Luc has, in the past, asked why we did not read the treaty.

    A) There was no need to since there was only talk of a free trade area.

    B) At the time of Maastricht I rang the House of Commons and left a very assertive message for then then Foreign Secretary. A 'nice man' from the foreign office rang me and told me that the preamble to the treaty had no legal significance.

    The UK did not desperately seek membership. We were lied to and stitched up.

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  • 100. At 9:08pm on 27 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    @ Viewcode - your 31 this thread an previous thread

    Hi viewcode,

    Belated thanks for your kind explanations of the machinations of the IMF. I've got to say I enjoyed the deposing of Mayor Quimby by Sideshow Bob.

    Well put, and thanks again.

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  • 101. At 9:11pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Docteur Awful;

    The only flaw in your argument about the Pound Sterling (well the ounce-pewter now actually) collapsing is that it may be in free fall at exactly the same moment as the Euro. In fact as I recall, the reason anyone cared about Greece defaulting at all is what might happen to the Euro as a consequence if it did. Nobody in Europe outside Greece really gives a damn about what would happen to the Greeks themselves.

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  • 102. At 9:17pm on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    55. At 12:09pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    " ...

    I myself have no problem with people who just take an honest stand and say they want Britain out of the EU ..."

    EUpris:

    " ... and let the rest continue where ever they are going ..."

    EUpris: You are making the mistake of thinking it is only the Brits who don't want your post-Lisbon "EU". Hundreds of millions of people do not want the "EU" as it is. Their wishes have also been ignored.

    Even when we are out of the "EU"the "EU" will (probably) be sick, arrogant, dictatorial inwards and outwards and a great danger.

    " they even get some respect when they admit that solution to their problem lies solely in Westminster and not in the EU."

    EUpris: IMUO the problem lies in the UK and in the "EU" and in the heads of people like Merkel, Sarkozy and Barosso.

    " ... However I have a huge problem with people who take any opportunity that they can to sabotage European integration or to get special rights ..."

    EUpris: What else can you expect? You know we were stitched up.

    " ... in exchange for allowing the rest of the EU to continue in their integration ..."

    EUpris: We don't have to give anything in return. We have been stitched up.

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  • 103. At 9:30pm on 27 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    To Max Sceptic,

    What about the Single Transferable Vote System?

    What about regional parliaments partly on the grounds that they give us a chance to observe people before the become national politicians?

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  • 104. At 9:56pm on 27 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jean Luc @96

    ...a mere 1% of GDP. I defy you to find any government at any level in the industrialized world that works with a mere 1% of GDP. Good luck on that!

    Caught my attention. In fact, true! Un-believable. Can it be? But it is.
    How? Either all governments work for the EU government as branches, therefore the total cost is blurred someplace in between. Hard to say how much of the time a? someone works for home and how much for EU general issues... ?

    Or may be that's why the EU government does not work effectively (enough) (in opinions of some Eu-ians) - they simply can't! on 1%

    Indeed it is an oxymoron, "a goverenment", and satisfied with "1 per cent". Something doesn't match there :o)

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  • 105. At 10:36pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    1% of the EU's GDP is about 150 billion dollars. This is the money it uses to administer EU offices and organs and to send to countries like Hungary to build roads and bridges to help it develop. This is a transfer of wealth from the rich members the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands to the poor countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, Latvia. The EU is not a government of a country even though it acts like one and wants to be one.

    By comparison, the Gross National Income of Russia (the money it earns and keeps) was 253 billion. I think this data is for 2005.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country/rs-russia/eco-economy

    Russia's GDP is around a trillion which is around 1/15 of the EU. But with 150 million people it has slightly less than a third of the 500 million in the EU. So on average, Russia is much poorer than the EU per capita.

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  • 106. At 10:47pm on 27 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @EUPris 99

    Re "EUpris: I was there at the time. It wasn't the EC we joined. It was the Common market."

    You did not join the Common Market. You joined the EEC. The Common market is not an organization.

    Re "There was no need to since there was only talk of a free trade area."

    Dear Lord. The EEC has always been a customs union, not a mere free trade area. The EFTA was just a free trade area, hence why it underachieved economy-wise compared to the EEC EC EU which was/is a customs union. I would have expected you to get these basic facts right...

    re "The UK did not desperately seek membership. We were lied to and stitched up."

    Of course your country did. If you were lied to it was by your own government. Who else was responsible for the information on EEC membership?

    It's not too late to change that name into UKprisoner209456731 ;)

    @EUPRIS 102

    Re "We have been stitched up."

    Again, by who exactly?

    @Webalice 104

    Re "In fact, true! Un-believable. Can it be? But it is. "

    Dear Alice. I hoped you would know by now that I only give facts + my own assessment. But I start from facts, unlike a lot of other contributors who can only endlessly repeat the same things over and over again, without giving facts on which they base there argument.

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  • 107. At 11:35pm on 27 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "dear" is good. :o)
    But Angela Merkel clearly worked for the EU general issues last week more than spending time on Germany. And, likely, heaps of analysers or financiers? of her team as well, defining problems and options and solutions. May be more than a week she spent on Greece.

    Well, "dear" is good :o), so I might compromise that this way she was protecting Germany from Greece :o))))))), so, how to say, money spent by Germans for their national elections electing her, were not totally spent in vain for them themselves. Elections in a country are expensive, always? On-going up-keep of Angela Merkel and Gov. expense I am sure is German, effective and minimum.

    _________
    Mavrelius, don't confuse me with figures :o) I've got no idea how much Russia earns (for that I always have Jukks rich in statistics :o)

    That Russians live worse than EUnians is visible by un-aided eye without any statistics.
    But free!
    :o))))))))

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  • 108. At 00:30am on 28 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    I am sure that Jean Luc means that the EU receives Membership contributions from the EU member states which are based upon the Gross National Income of each member state.

    The EU is also the beneficiary of all Tariff Duties and harmonised VAT revenue that each country collects and donates to the EU in the form of revenue income.

    For 2009 the EU Budget was set at 133.845bn Euros; just 1.03% of the EU's gross national income (GNI), i.e. the total collective income for all 27 member states of the EU not the EU itself.

    It is a tidy sum of which the bulk is spent on managing market regulation and generating jobs, growth and developing agriculture and amanufactuing through financial intiatives and direct funding.

    What Jean Luc ommitted to mention was that the EU does not have any GDP per se as it does not produce income nor does it manufacture, grow or develop anything .... the EU is just a Bureacratic Organisation that exists by courtesy of successive treaties and the patronage of the Council of Ministers.

    As an aside, the UK would be the highest net contributor nation to the EU but Margaret Thatcher negotiated a Rebate package to offset the way the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) favours agriculture within the EU at the expense of manufacturing which should receive more pro rata support than EU Farmers receive in the way of generous funding and even payments to sometimes NOT grow or produce agricultural product and the UK was worse off because of the CAP. The CAP is detrimental to the UK as farming in the UK does not receive sufficient funding from the CAP to offset the 'larger than France net contribution' the UK makes to the EU despite the population and GNI of France and the UK being similar.

    Tony Blair negotiated a reduction of the UK Rebate (a reduction of 1bn Euros per annum between 2007 and 2013) in 2007 with an EU promise to obtain a reduction in the CAP during the current decade however, although promises were made to considerably reduce the CAP quid pro quo, France will never let that happen in a millenium of Dimanches.

    This became the evident when, in 2009, Gordon Brown agreed to unlink the British EU Rebate of 7bn Euros from UK demands to have the CAP reviewed by 2014! Currently the CAP stiil consumes over 40% of the EU Budget alone money that would be tter spent ensuring the growth that all of the EU nations wil require in but a few years time rather than lining the pockets of what is, effectively, a very small section of the EU population, i.e Farmers.

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  • 109. At 06:32am on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    I cannot respond to everyone at once .
    #54 Michalus and Jukka Rohila
    Thanks for your comment , I , and I believe a very large number of British people would like Britain to leave the European Union . If we could persuade our politicians to extricate Britain from the EU , we should be very happy , whatever the consequences . The majority of the British people are misrepresented by successive British governments ; being tied Kicking and Screaming to the EU . If Britain was completely independent from the EU , we should not concern ourselves how the EU determined its future , we simply do not want to be part of a European superstate .
    If British Eurosceptics set about severely criticising the EU and trying to pull it apart or foresee its collapse and downfall , it is an expression of utter desparate frustration ; because the British people find no way of liberating themselves from the bonds that tie them to the EU .

    #56 Mathiasen
    I think you underestimate Euroscepticism in Britain . I think you would find many more than a few dozen people per million are Eurosceptic , I believe the majority of British people are Eurosceptic .

    You like many , refer to the British press , suggesting that people are influenced by what they read in the papers . It is the other way round ; newspapers print stories and Anti EU reports to sell newspapers , because that is what the British public want to read .
    Very few people buy or read a newspaper in Britain today .

    You say that Gordon Brown has been very active in Europe . Too Right , he is looking to secure himself a moneymaking cushy job in Europe .
    Gordon Brown has betrayed the British people by signing the Lisbon treaty without a referendum . The British Labour party are likely to be Kicked out at the next ( May ) general election . Gordon Brown will follow in the footsteps of other failed British politicians , Kinnock and Mandleson to work for the EU .
    So what if Lady Ashton was appointed to a supposedly important position , it is nothing to be pleased or proud of . Together with the Post of Presidency , both posts are a useless waste of money . Lady Ashton gives the impression that she is way out of her depth . I believe her selection was merely a sweetener for Brown's Euroenthusiasm in the face of popular opposition at home .

    #66 Commonsense_Expressway
    British Prime Ministers look to their future . When they fail in British politics , they can seek a secure job as a commissioner in Brussels , with a good salary and good pension prospects too .

    #75 Jean Luc
    I note that you point out that if Britain left the EU the large trade tarif they would have to pay on their exports to Europe . I don't know what the current figures are ; but Britain generally imports more from Europe than she exports to Europe , so maybe she would receive more in tarifs than she pays .
    #106
    Yes , British people voted in the 1975 referendum to stay in the EEC - European Economic Community .
    You may be in a position to read ALL the treaties your country's politicians may sign , like the Lisbon Treaty , I gave it a go . In 1975 British people knew nothing about The Treaty of Rome , Ever Closer Union , or that membership of the EEC might commit them to Ever Closer Union . Ever closer union was brought about by the Maastricht Treaty forming the EU . Britain could and should have declined to sign the Maastricht treaty , the majority of the people were against it . John Major's forcing it through parliament and signing it , brought his career as PM to an end and brought down the Conservative Party .

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  • 110. At 07:43am on 28 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #109. At 06:32am on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek
    Actually, I don’t make estimations of how widespread the scepticism against the EU is in Britain. I just say that the dozen of people that are writing here only to repeat a few arguments like “we want out” or “when comes the referendum” are not representative for the factual British EU policy.
    We have now seen the five priority points Gordon Brown will use in the general election, and I have also seen estimations of election themes from diplomats. I notice that EU is not an issue in any of these lists. If it becomes a theme, we will have to take the dynamics of an election campaign into consideration: Gain - falling-off, themes in and out.

    Concerning the press you wrote I wrote in #56:
    “..if you were to take certain parts of the British press seriously, you might get sleepless, but at the meetings the UK is speaking through its representatives and not through the press”

    which you answered with:
    “You like many , refer to the British press , suggesting that people are influenced by what they read in the papers.”

    I have more than one problem in understanding this. How you can interpret my remark in that way is sheer incomprehensible. I meant what I wrote: “at the meetings the UK is speaking through its representatives and not through the press”.
    Are you possibly introducing a complete new theory on the media; “People are not influenced by what the read”?
    I hope they are. Otherwise, it is pretty much in vain to read, but I don’t buy in to the so-called “hypodermic needle theory”, but instead the model of application, which might be the one you actually have on your mind.

    “Very few people buy or read a newspaper in Britain today.”
    Really? Would be interesting to see some statistics. Here in Germany we are blessed with serious newspapers and writers with a comprehensive understanding of the themes.

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  • 111. At 08:15am on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #106 Jean Luc
    I note that you say you always give the Facts .
    Unfortunately your facts are not always correct .
    Arrogantly quoting facts does not always help your argument when you are rather short on reasoning .
    I suspect that you Rabid Europhiles are worried about the state of things in Europe ; that The Euro and the EU might be threatened with collapse .
    The very Eurosceptics and Europhiles who regularly contribute to these Blogs , arguing for and against the EU , are hardly likely to make any difference .
    My instinct is that the European Union will in time fall apart , from the ineptness of those who created and run it .
    All the facts and silly nitty gritty that you and I and other commenters write here , will not have the slightest effect on the eventual outcome .

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  • 112. At 09:24am on 28 Mar 2010, georgethespartan wrote:

    Siemens,ΜΑΝ,Daimler and now Ferrostaal AG are accused of payin bribes ,who are the real crooks of Europe?

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  • 113. At 09:44am on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To georgethespartan (112):

    Those who took or even demanded them.

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  • 114. At 10:14am on 28 Mar 2010, rhwdj101 wrote:

    The reason that education and R&D are important is because they create innovative products that create jobs. So when you ask about what jobs will help these countries turn their economies around?, it falls on whether innovative products have been developed that could be sold to other countries. Greece, Spain, Ireland, need to invest more in education and R&D because I can't think of one single product that I want to buy from any of these countries.

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  • 115. At 10:55am on 28 Mar 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    "In essence..
    ..taking Britain out of the EU, a-okey.
    ..sabotaging or ruining the EU for the rest of us, not a-okey!"
    (Jukka, 55)

    In my view, what's not a-okey is sabotaging or ruining the democratic process when it comes to discussion about the EU.

    As has been well documented in other sections of this blog, democracy in Britain has been sabotaged in respect of our EU options:

    (1) Information was withheld from the British public in the 1975 referendum on EEC membership. Some would go further and say we were lied to.

    (2) The current Labour government betrayed its promise to hold a referendum on the European Constitution.

    (3) To the best of my knowledge, none of the 3 main political parties has referred to the BBC opinion poll showing that a majority of British people would like Britain to leave the EU:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/7949104.stm
    It would be unreasonable to expect that any of the main parties should react to this poll by promising to pull Britain out of the EU immediately. But it would be reasonable to expect that the parties should acknowledge the existence of this poll and try to understand, through democratic debate, what are the specific concerns the British people have about the EU and how they might be addressed. The fact that this hasn't happened shows the level of democracy in Britain when it comes to the EU. And it's inconceivable that this state of affairs exists without the connivance of the EU.

    No, sabotaging or ruining democracy is not a-okey. Not a-okey at all.

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  • 116. At 12:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    rhwdj101 wrote:
    "Greece, Spain, Ireland, need to invest more in education and R&D because I can't think of one single product that I want to buy from any of these countries."

    I am fascinate by this comment. I can't think of a product I want to buy from these countries either, but the very last thing I would propose as a remedy to the situation would be for the government to spend more money employing unemployed people to teach theory to unemployed people.

    This appeal to education as an economic remedy might work in an illiterate society, but in a highly advanced industrial society it means different things, and different outcomes.

    In the course of my work, I sometimes decide whether a client ought to purchase industrial equipment in Europe or the USA. I am drawn to the USA as a market because people there have things for sale at known prices, and they want to sell them. You get service, and to the point discussions. Business is fast and easy.

    In Europe, ordering a piece of industrial machinery means waiting for the cartel to organize who should be the one to sell it to you, then waiting while they fix the price, then dealing with who you are told to deal with and suffering every imaginable form of paper work and taxation. Because the machinery was likely made and almost definitely designed in the USA anyways.

    And that is inside the EU!

    So I think people need to take a broader view of what makes an economy operate effectively in the modern world. Fundamentally, a modern economy needs to be fast and effective. Globalization has made markets far smaller and less distinct, and competition is profoundly more swift to make itself felt.

    It is not training and education which will allow products to be developed and sold in the market most effectively, but rather a legal and political regime which stands back and allows the people working to make and sell the products to do so, unencumbered by a massive, all consuming state.

    If the state grows so large and intrusive, as it seeks to service an incredible mountain of debt, that it taxes working people in the market to the point where they lose money by entering the marketplace, then they will stay away, and do other things.

    People under communism stopped working effectively because there was no point, as individuals, in working when they did not have to do so.

    People under any regime which takes everything they work for in taxation will do exactly the same.

    A modern economy does not need politicians who say they are going to borrow their way into the good times. It needs an economy where the state limits its expenditure as a matter of market policy, so that society is protected from the stifling and morbid consequences of the total taxation state.

    The level of taxation, and government employment, in Europe is staggering. With that much administrative fat on the body, the body cannot move swiftly or effectively. The last thing Europe needs is more teachers, unless they work in private schools.

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  • 117. At 12:21pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    115. At 10:55am on 28 Mar 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    "It would be unreasonable to expect that any of the main parties should react to this poll by promising to pull Britain out of the EU immediately. But it would be reasonable to expect that the parties should acknowledge the existence of this poll and try to understand, through democratic debate, what are the specific concerns the British people have about the EU and how they might be addressed. The fact that this hasn't happened shows the level of democracy in Britain when it comes to the EU. And it's inconceivable that this state of affairs exists without the connivance of the EU."

    I read this post, and attached BBC survey with great interest. I entirely agree with your points, except the EU connivance point. I understand as part of our forthcoming General Election campaign, the candidates for Prime Ministerial office will take part in televised public debates. Concerned Britons need to confront politicians with these findings - perhaps these debates offer a forum to do this?

    If, on this basis, public opinion is so counter the EU, your politicians publicly need to address this issue directly - either by forthright explanation of the UK's role within the EU going forward, or agreeing a timetable for withdrawal.

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  • 118. At 12:22pm on 28 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    115. At 10:55am on 28 Mar 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    " ...
    To the best of my knowledge, none of the 3 main political parties has referred to the BBC opinion poll showing that a majority of British people would like Britain to leave the EU:


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/7949104.stm

    "

    EUpris: Thank you for pointing this out. I hadn't noticed this. I am disappointed with myself.

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  • 119. At 12:22pm on 28 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Huaimek wrote:
    "All the facts and silly nitty gritty that you and I and other commenters write here , will not have the slightest effect on the eventual outcome ."

    That is true enough, but it does not perceive the greater worth of analysis.

    Consider the mouse who perceives a large hawk bearing down upon his person, and has sufficient time to abscond to the safety of his burrow. He was not able to reason with the hawk, nor affect its ultimate purpose, or at least diplomatic efforts in that direction would likely have been futile, but yet our mouse is well served by his own ineffectual analysis. His analysis, notably not a failing quality in a wide variety of field mammals, correctly guided him towards his burrow, and prolonged his terrestrial permit.

    It is useful to speak of the leviathan "EU", because although it has neither the grace of a hawk nor the sanctity of being a product of natural creation, it does have a profound effect on people's lives.

    It is useful to know what it will swallow next.

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  • 120. At 12:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    Stockholm syndrome by web! My bad!

    "I understand as part of our forthcoming General Election campaign, the candidates for Prime Ministerial office will take part in televised public debates." should of course read "your forthcoming General Election"

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  • 121. At 12:45pm on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #110 Mathiasen

    Yes , I did miss your point .
    However I may say that the few europhiles writing here are no more representative of European peoples than the eurosceptics dozen or so representative of the British people . Only a few of us amuse ourselves responding to these EU Blogs .
    You are right that Britain is only represented to the EU by official representatives ; who may represent the government , but not at all the people . The EU is without scruple and couldn't care less that the British people are so broadly anti the EU ; British politicians are equally thick skinned and unscrupulous , completely ignoring the wishes of the people .
    I am sure Gordon Brown will avoid the subject of the EU in canvassing for the UK general election . I wouldn't be too sure though that his signing of the Lisbon Treaty without the promised referendum , won't raise its ugly head . Gordon Brown is viewed by the British people as a traitor ; I think he has very little chance of winning the election with the Labour party , no matter what his policies are .
    I have quite recently seen the figures of how many newspapers , on average , were sold daily . In terms of 60 million people it is very few . Newspapers are too expensive nowadays , people in cities buy them , but the large rural population less so . You can get most of it on TV , at no additional expense . I used to like The Times , particularly for its layout as a broadsheet newspaper , but not as a tabloid .
    If I misread misinterpreted what you said , it makes no difference to the majority Eurosceptic British view of the EU , about 65% plus of the British voting public , I have seen figures as high as 80% . Whoever is representing Britain is not representing the people . It is the fault of successive British governments , not the EU .
    If there was a referendum in Britain , to stay in or leave the EU and the people voted to leave ; the British government accepted there decision and arranged to take Britain out of the EU , my guess is that there would be a furore in Europe , because it would completely undermine the belief in the EU . If a country like Britain wants to leave , others may follow . Britains financial contribution is excessive and rising , that too might be missed . The loss could be spread over Germany , Holland and France .

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  • 122. At 12:52pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (116):

    You do understand that to produce various products you need lots of engineers, scientists and designers not only to produce an engineering design, but to design and run the whole manufacturing process for them. To get those engineers, scientists and designers you need to invest into education, basic research and R&D programs that assist start-ups and SMEs to get their products and manufacturing going. To fund this all you need government.

    Now you may say that all this can be left to private hands and site USA as an example. However the thing is that the USA has largely lived by importing educated people with higher wages and not by private sector producing them. Other major note that should be made is that the USA Federal government funds quite much of basic research and R&D via various military projects that pump government money to the hands of corporations.

    You might now suggest that we should emulate what the USA has done, but the thing is that what Americans have done has largely been based on decoying their middle class for the gain of higher-middle and higher classes: more pay and gains for higher classes with less taxation. This process started in 70s, but only 90s and 00s it has come more public with decaying infrastructure and with degrading social order and stability in the society, that is a price that Americans are now paying for their earlier decisions.

    In my opinion it is a better idea to invest into a society, to invest into education and infrastructure that produce stability and social order. If you throw to this mix enough economic and social freedom what you get is an innovative and efficiently producing society. This has worked for the Nordic and other European countries, it should work with other countries too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita

    PS. Do take into account that both USA and Britain aren't that productive, USA still produces largely 50% of oil it consumes domestically and to almost these days Britain produced the same amount of oil that it consumed. Having oil and gas production is a huge lucky spoon for a productivity of a country, a lucky spoon that most European countries don't have.

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  • 123. At 12:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #115 CornwallCoastPath
    WELL SAID !!!

    In view of the fact that the British Public are allowed NO SAY or direct truthful repesentation in Europe ; Sabotage and any way we can undermine or destroy the EU is fair . It seems that the only way we can escape the EU is to destroy it .
    Perhaps the Euro enthusiasts might confer among themseves and expel Britain in the interest of saving the rest and EVER CLOSER UNION .

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  • 124. At 1:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @Huaimek 109

    Re "In 1975 British people knew nothing about The Treaty of Rome , Ever Closer Union , or that membership of the EEC might commit them to Ever Closer Union . Ever closer union was brought about by the Maastricht Treaty forming the EU . Britain could and should have declined to sign the Maastricht treaty , the majority of the people were against it . John Major's forcing it through parliament and signing it , brought his career as PM to an end and brought down the Conservative Party "

    In 1975 the British people could have known (and therefore should have known, cf. Ignorantia juris non excusat) the following: Treaty of Rome (dates from 1957), ever closer union (which was part of the original Rome treaty and was not inserted by the Maastricht treaty unlike what you claim (See http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Treaty_establishing_the_European_Economic_Community_%28EEC%29 FIRST preamble, hard to miss the very first sentence of the preamble right?)

    comment 111

    re "I note that you say you always give the Facts .
    Unfortunately your facts are not always correct ."

    Could you then give examples of the 'facts' I give which are actually not correct? Or will you contend in postulating I don't give correct facts without elaborting your statement?


    Re "I suspect that you Rabid Europhiles are worried about the state of things in Europe ; that The Euro and the EU might be threatened with collapse .
    The very Eurosceptics and Europhiles who regularly contribute to these Blogs , arguing for and against the EU , are hardly likely to make any difference .
    My instinct is that the European Union will in time fall apart , from the ineptness of those who created and run it ."

    Nice to see you have an instinct, but I rather work from facts. According to you they are not correct, probably because your instinct tells you so, but you don't give any argument why my facts are incorrect or any example of something I presented as a fact which isn't one.

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  • 125. At 1:41pm on 28 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #117

    If, on this basis, public opinion is so counter the EU, your politicians publicly need to address this issue directly - either by forthright explanation of the UK's role within the EU going forward, or agreeing a timetable for withdrawal

    I dont think the British people know WHAT they want with regards to Europe. Thats why the politicians ignore so-called public opinion and why the EU is NEVER a focal point for any General Election.They also have no idea what our role is...other than to muddle along and react to whatever France and Germany do. Its very different for Ireland of course, and i understand why, but I dont think most Britons can think of one good thing that being a part of the EU offers other than free trade.

    We could leave the EU and still have free trade, those 2 positions are not mutually exclusive. The UK could have the same relationship with the EU as Norway does within EFTA, free trade except for agriculture and fisheries. If you know how small those two sectors are for the UK that would hardly matter.Also ,why would a country like Germany,say, want to put tariffs on the UK when we are huge mutual trading partners?

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  • 126. At 1:44pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #121. At 12:45pm on 28 Mar 2010, Huaimek
    It goes as a red thread through your posting that you possess a very great advantage:

    The PEOPLE is on your side.

    It reminds me of such human beings, who have God on their side. It is the ultimate argument, and many try to make “The PEOPLE” a similar ultimate argument. Angela Merkel also used it the other day. She has the German people behind her. You have the British. That is great.

    I realise that it will be difficult to do anything about your advantage, only you are making a major error in your understanding of interests. Private enterprises in the UK and their staffs have great interests in the membership. Economic interests. Therefore, I sleep pretty relaxed, when I hear EU sceptics repeat that they have the PEOPLE on their side. It tells me that the sceptics have a weak idea of interests.

    Less than 24 hours after it had become clear in the UK that the country doesn’t benefit from its membership whatsoever, Bruxelles would receive the application for a withdrawal. It would be signed by THE PEOPLE but instead BY the representative of the British electorate, the PM.

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  • 127. At 2:03pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Sorry, the meaning was lost throug an error:

    It would NOT be signed by THE PEOPLE but instead BY the representative of the British electorate, the PM.

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  • 128. At 2:05pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    offramp;

    What the British people want is what the British government wants and what all of Europe wants. They want to be prosperous under the system they now have and to remain prosperous even as they extend it to its logical limit of a single superstate. The fact that there is an inherent contradiction between the construction of that system because of its high tax and spend policies and impossible maze of rules, regulations, and bureaucratic red tape on one hand and prosperity on the other is something they refuse to even consider, a quintessential example of European irrationality which makes it so interesting. This contradiction comes about because the very conditions they have created destroys wealth, destroys the means to produce wealth, and destroys the incentive to try to produce wealth. Those who have such incentive either become resigned to living lives of mediocrity or get up and leave for friendlier climes to realize their ambitions such as emigrating to America.

    As separate nations or as one unity, their quasi socialist welfare state is doomed to bankruptcy, in fact it is on the verge right now. This is due to inherent structural deficiencies in it which can't be corrected without jettisoning the entire system, the current financial crisis merely having accelerated its demise. That Americans have "experimented" dangerously with aspects of the welfare state including this latest disaster, the Obama Health Care Insurance plan may be sending America down the same road. America would do well to learn from Europe's disaster and stop trying to emulate it. Europe's greatest value to America or anyone else is to serve as a bad example not to make the mistake of copying.

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  • 129. At 2:53pm on 28 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka Rohila wrote:
    "To democracythreat (116):
    You do understand that to produce various products you need lots of engineers, scientists and designers not only to produce an engineering design, but to design and run the whole manufacturing process for them. "

    Yes, well, Europe has all these worthies. In abundance. If you go down to Spain you'll not be able to move ten paces without tripping over engineers, scientists, designers and project managers.

    So where are the products? Show me the product I want to consume, instead of saving my money like a german and pretending the printing presses aren't thundering away in the distance, ruining my savings.

    Europe doesn't make the products for the same reason the soviet union, another state blessed with all manner of engineers and designers and what have you, didn't make "the products I want to buy". Because every time someone tries, taxation and other pseudo government mafias beat them down and steal the proceeds of the enterprise.

    I am not using the wrong words to describe the actions of a state with huge debts to service. Such states really do start to go after all property they can possibly tax. They need to.

    This theory about R&D tries to make political policy regarding the market subordinate to vague theories of economic productivity. First you need a political environment where business can grow, only after you have achieved that do you worry about tending new shoots.

    As long as huge government institutions require massive borrowing and taxation to support them, any theory of education is planting seeds in poisoned earth.

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  • 130. At 3:18pm on 28 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Marcus, you just do not get do you? In your affirmations of the all-failure of "socialism" (anyway what you consider as socialism is nothing more than state-aided capitalism), you are no better than any Marxist who thinks everything starts and ends with Marx. Capitalism and free markets have never existed, the country that approached more closely was Chile I think, USA is still very far from being a free market and the state has a huge active role in influencing businesses in the country and around the world and down to the basics, it is a system that is as much artificial and as much condamned to failure as communism and socialism.

    There is no magic recipe. The idea is to follow no ideology but to do the things that work. What works for America does not necessarily work for Europe and vice versa. As history shows there are 1000s ways to success.
    Usually (not always but usually) systems which are more prone to success are anthropocentric, and systems which are prone to failure are misanthropic. The rise of US for example had been based on empowering the people, and the idea of personal freedom is instilled in many of the US citizens still, but then what we have seen in the last 20 years is the inverse process with an increasing part of the US citizens willingly giving up their freedom and fanatically supporting totalitarian action around the world which either is reminiscent of social fascist transformation or an Empire that is on the boundary of failure.

    Look, I am not telling you to stop doing critiscism on others, you have to do, to tell others' weaknesses but at some point you should also do the same for US, for it is no exception to the rule. And above all avoid the vertical verdicts of the style "Capitalism is the keyword, socialism does not work" and such... well both are ideologies and as ideologies simply they do not work and they are bound to failure. What works are down to earth policies.

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  • 131. At 3:21pm on 28 Mar 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    The relief of Athens is not big enough. It's the EU that counts.
    So President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, is describing himself as "extremely happy".
    So President of the Council, Herman Van Rompuy, is talking "courageous act".
    I wonder if these words bespeak “unspoken fear”, or great hope becoming greater.
    France and Germany need each other, but to make the point more clearly, all of the EU together each other - united.
    Merkel may have mentioned the IMF, but trust me, the IMF will never lend to a EU country – NEVER. Well, I guess I should never say NEVER, but it's like mixing oil and water.
    It’s not just Germany that wants a tougher regulatory regime that doesn't permit cheats. The relief of Athens gives space to breathe, is important, but only until…(I’ll tell you, but you must wait for it – later in this submission.)
    There will be fiscal union in the EU. This will be resolved, and if London wants to repatriate some powers back from Brussels, if would be an act of prematurity as well as questionable financially.
    The "European way of life" will be made safe. There will be new jobs. The deficits will be addressed and NOT by cutting spending or social programs. Deficits will be reduced to @ 3% of GDP; in fact, deficits may run even lower. There will be discipline and the EU will become the envy of the world.
    I’ll bet you're shaking your head and thinking: what an overly-optimistic person, perhaps standing on the bridge of insanity and getting ready to jump.
    Well, here's the answer that I promised you earlier:
    The leaders of State or Government for 27 nations stressed they MUST reach an agreement before the G20 Summit June 26-27 in Toronto.
    On what?
    According to the President of the European Commission (EC), José Manuel Durão Barroso, “it is very important that the EU concludes its homework and is able to go to Toronto united.”
    On what?
    The President of the Spanish Government & President-in-turn of the European Council, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, stated that the future of the European Economy will depend on the general rules of the international economy.
    What does this mean?
    José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is advocating that the EU should take the initiative at the G20, where it must strongly assert its position regarding financial regulation. The leaders of State or Government for 27 nations reached a decision to postpone the decision to impose a levy on financial trading, but this decision came (Are you ready?) within 15 days of an overwhelming majority of members of the European Parliament proposing such a decision.
    The Euro Parliament adopted the resolution on a financial transaction tax (FTT) with 536 votes in favor!
    It has asked the European Commission to develop a plan for such a tax before the G20 summit.
    It further maintained that IF a worldwide tax could not be agreed upon, the European Union will implement unilaterally.
    The resolution urged the EU Council and the EU Commission to examine how the tax could be used to help developing countries to combat climate BUT ALSO CUT EU DEFICITS.
    What makes the proposition viable is that Germany and France are shoulder-toshoulder pushing for a 'Tobin' tax on transactions.
    Expect the IMF to resist.
    Expect the United States of America to resist, maybe even (sadly) my country of Canada will resist.
    Here’s the critical thing: A Financial Transaction Tax at a rate of 0.01% would generate income of about Euro 100B/year in Europe alone.
    For the EU leaders, failure is not permissible. Failure will affect the chances of millions of European men, women and children to live in dignity in the hardship caused by the economic & financial greed of the American financial elite.
    Failure would threaten the European way of life.

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  • 132. At 3:38pm on 28 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    131. At 3:21pm on 28 Mar 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    " ... but trust me ..."

    EUpris: NO! "EU"-lovers have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted.

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  • 133. At 3:45pm on 28 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    TO HISTORIANS!

    Are you writing a book about the "EU" or doing a Ph.D on it now? Or maybe years after these events when those who post here are long dead?

    Please be aware that analysis of the comments here is not enough to understand opponents of the "EU". They will not allow us to post things here which we believe and which are true. Because they will not allow us to post these things, supporters of the "EU" cannot argue against them. They will not stop us from saying what we want to say elsewhere.

    The same applies to the "EU"-parliament. If you tell the truth there you will be punished.

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  • 134. At 3:48pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    WebAlice

    Re #96, 104, 106 & 108

    It is all 'smoke & mirrors'.

    Of course the EU-Brussels cost far more than 1% or so of the 27's monies!

    If the UK Government claimed that the 'cost' of running G.B. was the total spent on the administration, upkeep & salaries of the buildings & people employed at the House of Commons, House of Lords, No.10 (PM) & No.11 (Chancellor) then it would be a really excellent cheap system!
    So it would be were President Sarkozy to insist France's Government only 'cost' the Elysee Palace & Assembly maintenance etc.!

    Of course, the reality of the cost of Governing Britain, France etc. is completely different when all the various sectors of devising, implementation, supervision & ongoing management of each and every policy are added into the equation of the true 'cost' to the Citizens & Nations of 'Centralised Government'.

    It is the same story with the EU-Brussels.

    As Menedemus displayed in his #108 - - the cost of (CAP) the Common Agriculture Policy is a ridiculously expensive & wholly disproportionate area of EU activity - - there is a vast 'cost' to each Member Nation & despite attempted reform the year-on-year costs remain a heavy burden. Unsurprisingly, given the EU's foundations, the main beneficiary of this supra-National largesse with Tax-Payers' money is of course, France.

    How else could the Economic-Fiscal fiction be maintained that France is the World's 5th largest economy?

    E.g. Without CAP France's Agricultural Industry would collapse: And yet France's Agricultural producers are said to be the 2nd largest exporters (behind USA) in the World - - well yes, France's farmers are, but ONLY with completely unjustified SUBSIDIES from the EU26 contributions to CAP!
    Naturally, as it is France, CAP is not seen as subsidisation - - which is odd - - if 'x' annually gives by agreement a tenner to 'y' to help 'y' run his tractor it is difficult to call it anything else, but those resourceful Brussels EUrocrats do!

    Much as the proposed EU Reserve Fund package is not 'subsidisation' of Greece although of course if Athens ever uses it, that is exactly what it will be!

    It is a similar story of Brussels officialise, jargon & sleight of political-legal concoctions to cover a multitude of expensive economic-fiscal measures across EUropean Industry & Commerce: It is said MEPs, Commissioners and Brussels bureaucrats don't cost a lot - - behind that blank statement lies a very unpalatble and very expensive truth!

    Reduced Tariffs & excellent cross-border links have been a boon to EUropean growth & development - - but then, that was precisely what the EEC did in 1975 (when UK last had a voice on membership) - - the immense 'costs' EU-Brussels intrusion to force 'ever closer union' into every facet of everyday life in each Member Nation has impaired all the Economic advantages to the point where the 'west' of the EU had been slowing rapidly until re-energised by the expansion 'east'. Expansion 'east' saved the 'west' from near entrepreneurial-manufacturing-investment stagnation in the 1992-2005 period.

    However, that EU Economic boom has all but ended and coupled with the Worldwide recession the stifling Brussels' 'cost' of Governing the EU27 does not equate to a progressive future.

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  • 135. At 3:53pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (129):

    Lets put some numbers in the table...

    Eurostat
    Science, technology and innovation in Europe - Issue number 8/2005
    http://tinyurl.com/ye4gop7

    Some notes from the article...
    GERD, Gross Expenditure on Research and Development per capita..

    Greece - 101
    Spain - 237
    ..
    France - 552
    Germany - 603
    ..
    Finland - 830
    Sweden - 1030

    Now compare this to list of countries by GDP nominal per capita

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita

    Now while correlation does not imply causation, it isn't that hard to think that there is a real link between these two things. The more educated populace you have and the more you spend on research and development, the more you end up producing.

    I would also make note about competition, for one to succeed in competition, you have to have some competitive advantage. Advantage of for example India and China is that they have lots of cheap labour, they compete with price. Now we can't compete with price, the only way we can compete is that we do things more smarter and more efficiently, and to be able to do so we need educated population as education gives tool for you to be and act smarter and more efficiently.



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  • 136. At 4:06pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    125. At 1:41pm on 28 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    Thank you for an interesting post.

    In a follow-up remark,

    1) Switzerland, Norway and Iceland actually the pay the EU money for market access. I believe in Norways' case this amounts to almost 1 billion euro per annum. I would expect the UK would have t pay a proportionate levy of some 14 billion per annum, for 'market access', for goods and services.

    2) I understand that if the UK left the EU, it may have to apply for WTO membership in it's own right. It may thus have to endure highly unfavourable tariff regimes for quite a number of years with many trading partners. I tried to establish if this were the case with the WTO a number of years ago, but was endlessly frustrated by WTO bureaucracy.

    3) The produce of former UK colonies would probably also lose preferential EU market access in the trade rounds subsequent to the UKs exit.

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  • 137. At 4:13pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nik, as always you mischaracterize the US economy. The US economy is a regulated capitalist system where government subsidies and tax policies provide incentives and disincentives to certain activities while laws and regulatoins restrict industry within limits. The US financial sector got into trouble in the last 25 years through deregulation. The theory was that the market would regulate itself. But self regulation is the same thing as no regulation and so we had exactly the same laissez-faire capitalism in the financial markets that we had in the 1920s with the same results, easy credit leading to a bubble market with the product in that market, houses in the recent crisis, stocks in the 1920s, being the only collateral for that credit, leading to a crash in the market and a collapse of the underlying financial sector because the collateral became worth far less than the loans used to buy them. On top of that, the recent market invented a pyramid scheme of insurance policies called Credit Default Swaps that magnified the problem greatly.

    America's experiment with the social welfare state began in the 1930s with the Roosevelt Administration. It is alien to the basic American ethos which expects self reliance and voluntary charity to those who are unfortunate, not government giveaway programs that spiral in cost and must be funded through eternally escalating taxes. If America continues down this same road it will wind up where Europe is now, broke forever.

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  • 138. At 4:26pm on 28 Mar 2010, Flybymike wrote:

    I'm sure something was vaguely mentioned about Greece at the start. That aside, It is difficult to say how many people are pro or anti EU. I suspect the truth is there are some people that are fanatic about either view and most slightly anti largely brought about by the tendency of British Media to concentrate of on headlines rather than debate (I don't know if that's uniquely British)

    The problem is twofold, Most people do. I believe, support the general idea of a free trade area. Most economists would look at the benefits the USA gains from the largest domestic market in the world. They achieve this because they have 1 set of laws covering technical standard, contacts, liability etc. A car manufacture makes 1 car for the whole of the USA. If it's legal in Minnesota it's legal in Miami. They can sue and be sued under the same laws and legal system, use the same currency and speak the same language, the civil service uses the same standards and a more common cultural perspective.

    Europe is trying to achieve the same. To achieve this requires thousands of specific rules. to ensure level playing fields on governments need limits on subsidies etc.
    Sooner or later everyone is going to have something they don't like. The currency has been partially achieved, or maybe not, Attempts have been made on some of the legal stuff (but completely different legal systems and traditions trying to implement it) but as for a common language, we can't even get one language for all the UK.

    The other problem is that Treaties are extremely complex and legalistic. I doubt if I could get a clear idea of what it actually means if I was sat with half a dozen experts in the relevant law. Part of the complexity is to try and make it legally sound but the other part is it is written by committees politicians that want to please everyone.

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  • 139. At 4:30pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    OK, quick recap: this is what everybody is thinking...

    * Democracythreat: EU is bureaucratic, research good, banks bad.
    * CornwallCoastPath: facts not known during UK 1975 EEC referendum, UK has Eurosceptic majority, UK should not have ratified Lisbon without referendum.
    * Rhwdj101 wrote: Greece, Spain, Ireland, need to invest more in education and R&D.
    * Mickalus: Ireland membership of EU is good, Ireland governance bad, Europhobes fib.
    * Georgethespartan: German companies take/make bribes.
    * Huaimek: EU is bad and will fall apart, Greece bailout won't work, Europhiles are bad. UK Prime Ministers go work for EU, UK will leave EU.
    * Mathiasen: EU membership not a factor in UK general election, EU major bailouter of Greece, UK will not leave EU, Greece bailout may work.
    * Menedemus: UK gives lots of money to EU, CAP is bad, EU is Socialist, Socialists are bad, UK & EU have big debts
    * WebAlice: Germany is involved in the Greece bailout.
    * Jean Luc: This is how the EU works, EU not just free trade area, UK in EU voluntarily, facts known during UK 1975 EEC referendum.
    * MAII: EU richer than Russia, US major bailouter of Greece, UK not meaningfully democratic, Greece bailout won't work, US yeah!
    EUpris: as CornwallCoastPath plus UKIP not closet Nazis plus Open Europe good.
    * MaxSceptic: FPTP better than PR, EU is bad and undemocratic.
    * Rg: UK electorate apathetic, UK not meaningfully democratic, EU export more to UK than UK exports to EU, no mutual tariffs imposed in event of UK EU secession, Gavin good enough.
    * Margaret howard: PR is better than FPTP.
    * Doctuer_Eiffel: UK not meaningfully democratic.
    * Peter David Jones: please read my blog.
    * Nik: It's Germany's fault.
    * Gheryando: It's not Germany's fault.
    * Commonsense_expressway: Greece bailout may work, Ireland governance bad, UK will not leave EU, banks bad.
    * Ian G-B: Greece bailout won't work.
    * G_rizzly: pan-European politics were involved in the Greece bailout.
    * Kevin: Greece bailout won't work.
    * Kaybraes: Euro will collapse.
    * Cool_brush_work: EU is bad and will fall apart.
    * Jukka Rohila: European Economic Government (not likely), European Monetary Fund (more likely) and European Auditing Agency (very likely) concern only Eurozone.
    * PlanetEnglish: EU bad, Greece bailout won't work.
    * Me: This is how the IMF works, this is where Euros are printed, UK referendum trigger not pulled, Gavin not good enough.

    There are some bits I can't comment meaningfully on (Greece bailout may/may not work, UK may/may not leave EU: how would I know?), and some bits I just can't be bothered (I've explained how the IMF works and provided a link to the Wiki page: you can do your own maths, I have no memory of the 1975 EEC referendum and haven't the time to read up). The bits I can and will comment meaningfully on are:

    * Mickalus: thank you, I try my best. I can't sign off on my IMF explanation 'cos I'm not sure SDRs are not spent but used for security, but it's my best guess at the moment - take it as suitably caveated.
    * EUpris: don't be so quick to believe Open Europe - I had to go thru some figures it produced once and couldn't make them add up (although that was only one set of figures, so not a wideranging check). If memory serves, BNP tried entryism into UKIP some years ago and Farage threw them out, so no, they're not closet Nazis. UKIP can be described as right-wing, solidly Thatcherite, xenophobic to a degree, Eurosceptic in theory but entirely ineffective in practice, but describing them as far-Right or fascist is not accurate.
    * Democracythreat, Mathiesen, Commonsense_expressway: amen.
    * Menedemus: is your objection to the EU the fact that it exists, or the fact that it's Socialist? (it isn't formally, btw: Christian Democrats hold the majority from memory, but that's not the point). If it was avowedly Conservative, would that make a difference?
    * Jukka Rohila: thanks for the heads up.

    Two more contributors make points that require a longer response, which I will make below this post.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 140. At 4:32pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    * Rg: re you previous posts:

    My objection to Gavin is perhaps unfair, but sincere. The UK chattering class consensus on the EU is that it's bad and consists soley of French Germans, and both Gavin Hewitt (the BBC's Europe editor) and Shirin Wheeler (host of the BBC's "The Record: Europe") report accordingly. And, sometimes, teethgrindingly badly. The Greece bailout reportage was a case in point: we were told what Sarkozy/Lagarde and Merkel/Schauble were thinking, and some others were mentioned in passing (notably Papandreou). But we were not told what the other Euro-16 HOGs/Finance Ministers were thinking, and it was left to a contributor on these boards to tell me that Swedes and Swiss (non-Euro-16) were involved. This bugs me.

    Gavin may not have the money/staff to report more, so my criticism may be unfair. But even so, it means I end up having to read the IHT or EUObserver to find out what the heck is actually happening in the EU. Hence my irritation.

    Regarding your point about tariff levy in event of UK secession. Your point that tariffs would not be levied harshly on a seceding UK may or may not be true (bear in mind that the EU response to the UK's "We're leaving the EU: don't tariff us else we'll tariff you" may just be "We're bigger than you: we'll tariff you as much as we like. Goodbye, and don't let the doorknob hit you in the back"). But your thought that the UK may profit in competitive tariffing is dead wrong. Tariff wars are like duels with flamethrowers: nobody wins. The fact that you wake up in the burns ward marginally less dead is not a victory.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 141. At 4:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    * G_rizzly: re you previous posts:

    Thanks for the heads up. The evolution of pan-European politics and political parties is noteworthy, and the fact that the Greece bailout could have been reported as a conflict between the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and the Party of European Socialists (Social Democrats/Socialists) instead as a conflict between member states was widely ignored.

    On an associated note, Paul Mason (who is brilliant, btw) in his BBC blog is developing his thesis that competitive currency devaluations in response to the credit crunch won't work, and eventually protectionism will result. Protectionism depends on a definition of "we": who is the "we" that gets protected? For the UK, the mental map of "we" is the US, Commonwealth, Ireland and some others, but not the EU. But what is Germany's definition of "we"? The Greece bailout indicates that (albeit very reluctantly), Germany includes the Euro-16 as "we".

    If this race to protectionism continues, the world will be dominated by blocs who are big enough to defend themselves, and I am concerned the UK will end up in the cold. The fact that GBP is deteriorating faster than EUR would seem to uphold this.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 142. At 4:45pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    viewcode;

    "MAII: ... Greece bailout won't work"

    Does a leopard change his spots? What makes you think that Greece will be any more responsible with money after the bailout than it was in the events that led up to it? What can it do that will use that money to generate wealth so that it has the means to repay it? You tell me!

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  • 143. At 4:48pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    139. At 4:30pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    OK, quick recap: this is what everybody is thinking...

    Hi viewcode,

    I laughed so hard at this I dropped my computer!

    At the end of that I'm sure we cam all agree we spend far too much time on-line to someone else's profit.

    One small point - I earnestly believe EU membership is beneficial to us all, not just the Irish.

    Long may your posts both inform and entertain.

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  • 144. At 4:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #136

    Spot the difference:

    Norway, Switzerland, Iceland combined populations: 13,000,000 & rising to 14,000,000 by some undefined future date!

    Great Britain & Northern Ireland: 60,000,000 & estimated rising to 70,000,000 by 2025.

    England: 48,000,000+ in 2008 & London, the World' 2nd largest Financial Services operator.

    So nobody from the EU would even consider Trading with that G.B. Population!?
    Especially not until WTO membership was sorted!?
    The EU26 are all going to withdraw their many investments, their manufacturing companies, their trading rights etc.!?
    Brussels on behalf of the EU26 is going to demand 14 Billion EUros from UK or to avoid the bad breath they'll go elsewhere!?
    The EU26 having lost the UK7England, its 3rd largest contributor is then going to cut off its 'trading nose' & demand additional payment from G.B.!?

    So, according to You, the UK/England will be left to economically shiver on the North Atlantic Drift!

    Please! Are You serious - - If you can just get the anti-Brit plank out of the eye for even a moment and address genuine Economic-Fiscal issues- - - a 'Market' of millions upon millions that is 55 to 60% within the EU & that has a World Cultural spread second only to the USA is going to be made to wait around and charged extra!?

    Look, I know You come froma relatively small, minor island in the Atlantic, but have You any real idea what You are talking about!?

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  • 145. At 5:10pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    @ CBW

    Thanks as always for your comments.


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  • 146. At 5:17pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @COOL_BRUSH_WORK

    Re "As Menedemus displayed in his #108 - - the cost of (CAP) the Common Agriculture Policy is a ridiculously expensive & wholly disproportionate area of EU activity - - there is a vast 'cost' to each Member Nation & despite attempted reform the year-on-year costs remain a heavy burden. Unsurprisingly, given the EU's foundations, the main beneficiary of this supra-National largesse with Tax-Payers' money is of course, France"

    I have told you before France is a net payer to the EU budget. Therefore it doesn't make sense to say the EU26 subsidize France's Agriculture, because the subsidy France gets is not nearly enough to balance the payments France does to the budget. Now I did tell you this before, you ignored it then and now you keep making the same statements, this just shows you are malignant. There certainly are problems with the CAP which can be debated, but you are just intellectualy dishonest.

    Re "How else could the Economic-Fiscal fiction be maintained that France is the World's 5th largest economy?"

    1. France pays more to the budget than it receives from the budget, therefore if there is any direct impact of the EU budget on France it is a negative one.
    2. This negative impact (which you claim to be is positive, which is impossible) still is marginal. The payments France makes to the budget can in no way change it's ranking in the international economies ranking as the EU budget is tiny.

    Again you are being intellectualy dishonest and malignant.

    More generally on the CAP: In the EU the European level is the major source for subsidization of the agricultural sector. If you would look at the total share of subsidization of agriculture in the total of government budgets, the subsidization of this sector in Europe is not different from the US.

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  • 147. At 5:27pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Capital Punishment, Sexual Equality, Racial Equality, Gay Rights, access to Health-Welfare-Education etc.

    I don't think anyone could argue that what was viewed as the acceptable norm of society in 1958 is the same 50 years on.

    However, there is 1 issue from 1958 that remains immutable, cast in stone & beyond any challenge to its right to exist in its original form.

    'Ever closer political union' according to 'pro-EU' is on a par with the God-given Jerusalem as the Israelites home!

    What's that?
    The EU27 Foreign Representative was recently quoted as saying on the Mid-East east issue?

    "Israelis cannot claim an inalienable right to Jerusalem for themselves!"

    Well, I never!

    I suppose Brussels is something a bit more divine?

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  • 148. At 5:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    * Mickalus: Thank you. I try for accuracy: if it's also entertaining...well, happy accident...:-)
    * Cool_brush_work: Your thesis that UK mass will prevent tariff imposition assumes that UK, WTO, EU etc are rational actors. They may be. They may not be. Tricky call. In a protectionist world...they probably won't be.
    * MAII: I do not know whether the Greece bailout will work or not. I do not know what Greece will do hereafter.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 149. At 5:53pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    viewcode;

    "MAII: I do not know whether the Greece bailout will work or not. I do not know what Greece will do hereafter."

    I don't know what Greece will do in the hereafter either. I don't know if there even is a hereafter. If there is, nobody who's been there has come back to report about it, at least not believably.

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  • 150. At 5:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #141. At 4:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode
    You are a relief to this blog! Your question was:

    For the UK, the mental map of "we" is the US, Commonwealth, Ireland and some others, but not the EU. But what is Germany's definition of "we"?

    The relation between France and Germany remains a vital issue to both countries. However, there are up to 100 mio persons with German as the mother tongue, and Germany shares a language and a culture with Austria and Switzerland. This area remains a primary cultural identity to Germany. (You will recognise the pattern.)
    At the same time, Germany has since 1945 been through a westernization, which many Germans are evaluating as a most positive thing.

    The “we” can be composed in various ways. It becomes clear if you ask some of the people, to whom borders are superfluous or most of the time means nothing else but troubles.
    It is true for the aristocrats (take a German phone book and see how many there actually are with a nobel title), artists, scientist, intellectuals, and previously it has been the case with tradesmen too. I do probably not have to mention that staffs of the international concerns or other international businesses like wine production, logistics and tourism are also in this category.

    The answer therefore depends quite a lot on, whom you ask, as this blog has also demonstrated to excess.

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  • 151. At 6:03pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Moderator for your info:

    A 'Pro-EU' has just written and had published the folloiwng because I wrote in opposition to the EU:

    You (meaning me) are "..malignant..", "..intellectually dishonest.."

    But hey!

    Calling an Englishman names & publicly denigrating him is NO reason to ban a Comment is it!?

    Now, if I had written those things about a certain Eire contributor to these Blogs would my Comment have got through?

    FRANKLY, ALL the evidence of previous Moderation suggests probably 'NOT'!

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  • 152. At 6:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    PS:

    France is a 'Net' contributor to the EU as any genuine appraisal of the statistics reveal.

    France is also the EU's 4th largest 'net' recipient as any genuine appraisal of the statistics reveal.

    France literally has the best of both EU worlds - - it gives generously and recieves generous subsidy in return.

    I note & smile with satisfaction that suddenly the term 'subsidy' slipped into the vocabulary of a 'pro-EU' & in relation to France - - a step foward by the EUrophiles - - who knows, another decade & intellectual honesty may start to be a habit with them!?

    No, only kidding!

    Those who contribute to these debates all know only too well the EU and 'honesty' are a rational impossibility.

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  • 153. At 6:24pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    @CBW and Moderators

    "Now, if I had written those things about a certain Eire contributor to these Blogs would my Comment have got through?"

    To facilitate balance, I consider myself suitably "..malignant..", "..intellectually dishonest.."

    Happier now?

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  • 154. At 6:28pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    * Mathiasen: Thanks for the heads-up. Useful info.
    * MAII: Accurate characterisation of the afterlife is outside my remit...:-)

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 155. At 6:30pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    Re "A 'Pro-EU' has just written and had published the folloiwng because I wrote in opposition to the EU:

    You (meaning me) are "..malignant..", "..intellectually dishonest.."

    But hey!

    Calling an Englishman names & publicly denigrating him is NO reason to ban a Comment is it!?"

    I didn't use those words because you are anti-EU. I said it a dozen times and I'll say it again so that it becomes obvious you don't want a real debate: I don't care if you are pro or anti EU, just start from the facts.

    I did use those words because I had shown (with a link to a source) before that France is a net contributor to the EU budget, while you keep stating in your arguments France benefits (net) from the budget (which is impossible as it is a net contributor).

    Neither did I use these words because you are an Englishman.

    Re "France is a 'Net' contributor to the EU as any genuine appraisal of the statistics reveal.

    France is also the EU's 4th largest 'net' recipient as any genuine appraisal of the statistics reveal."

    Meaning of 'net': "remaining after deductions, as for charges or expenses (opposed to gross)"

    Therefore it is impossible to be both net contributor and net recipient.

    If
    Contribution - receipts = positive, than you are net contributor
    Contribution - receipts = negative, than you are net recipient

    Re "I note & smile with satisfaction that suddenly the term 'subsidy' slipped into the vocabulary of a 'pro-EU' & in relation to France - - a step foward by the EUrophiles - - who knows, another decade & intellectual honesty may start to be a habit with them!?"

    What's the obsession with the word subsidy? Every redistributive policy is a subsidy. The CAP budget is a subsidy, so are the cohesion funds.

    Can't seem to recollect that anyone argued the Eu doesn't hand out subsidies.

    Or perhaps subsidy is a dirty word in the UK.

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  • 156. At 6:31pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    Re "Those who contribute to these debates all know only too well the EU and 'honesty' are a rational impossibility. "

    This single sentence says a lot about the intellectual level you are debating on.

    Must be that such remarks are the best you got ;)

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  • 157. At 6:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, Rustigjongens wrote:

    The spirit that once led Europeans into union has vanished, just as we now face the euro's widely predicted flaws

    The EU's even larger flaw is the fact that it ignores the wishes of its citizens, everytime the EU decides to increase its power and disallows its citzens the chance to have a referendum the cracks grow larger.

    Here in the Netherlands we voted no to the Lisbon treaty, our fellow citizens in France did the same, the result?..the treaty was ratified?. Undemocratic unions will eventually fail, the EU is just one more of these undemocratic political unions that will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

    It might be that the Euro will be the catalyst for this to take place, and if it the EU does fail then many more people in Europe will be rejoicing rather than crying.

    Angela Merkel is doing the correct thing, if the Greek government is not brought into line then what is stop other EU countries to also ignore sensible fiscal policies.


    What is not needed, as the French have been attempting to stealthy implement, is to throw out the existing rule-book and rethink the economic governance of the eurozone.

    For the French to do so would require a referendum would it not?, something that most governments in the EU would not like their citizens to have, or do some of the more rabid pro-EU bloggers think that the rules should be changed without the consent of the citizens?.

    To the poster who posted the following: "As far as I recall nobody asked the UK to join and nobody asks the UK to stay in the EU". I suggest that you check your facts, the UK voted to join the European Communities (EC), although commonly just known as the European Community. This they did in 1973, and even then they still had to be allowed to join, so factually you are incorrect to claim that they asked to join the EU.

    Secondly, the UK did not ask or need to ask to join the EU, the UK like the other members of the EC automatically became members of the EU which came into existence after the treaty of Maastricht in 1993.






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  • 158. At 6:38pm on 28 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #136

    Thanks Mickalus, I'll explore 1) and 2) at lot further as it would be very much worthwhile knowing what the potential costs might be if the UK left the EU.

    Point 3) Do you mean former colonies or are you referring to existing overseas territories like Gibraltar or The Falklands?

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  • 159. At 6:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To cool_brush_work (152):

    Dude, you have a problem. If you look at statistics, like the ones produces by Open Europe put France as net contributor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_the_European_Union

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  • 160. At 6:52pm on 28 Mar 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    Hewitt wrote: But after all the celebration over the relief of Athens some truths remain. Almost every economist sees flaws in the euro as a currency. It is difficult having monetary union without fiscal union.

    Exactly, and since we the peoples do not want fiscal union (as it would be used as a step-up towards political union, its best to dissolve the Eurozone. Yes I'll take referendums on that. Oh, and keep Turkey out too, we don't want them in.

    124. At 1:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote: In 1975 the British people could have known (and therefore should have known, cf. Ignorantia juris non excusat) the following: Treaty of Rome (dates from 1957), ever closer union (which was part of the original Rome treaty and was not inserted by the Maastricht treaty

    At the time, upon being asked whether there were such intentions, the UK political elite went out of their way to DENY that there were any political ambitions to make EEC into an EU. Ted Heath denied it several times, explicitly (and later in the 1990s admitted he had known all along). The British public were duped.

    And as for France, it may be a net contributor, but it would have to cough up a far greater net contribution without the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). And we all know CAP was designed to protect white French farmers against competition from black African farmers.

    Remember, nothing in the EU happens without it either benefiting France (either in terms of finances or influence) or being blocked/ignored by France.

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  • 161. At 7:11pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    158. At 6:38pm on 28 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    Hi commonsense_expressway,

    You're very welcome. I hope you have better luck with the WTO than I did.

    "Point 3) Do you mean former colonies or are you referring to existing overseas territories like Gibraltar or The Falklands?"

    I was referring to the so-called Afro-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP or Lome) process - where to assist development of former colonies of members like the UK and France - producers are given preferential access to Union markets.

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  • 162. At 7:26pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Frankly, NO I am not!

    How is it similar (though in fairness, not the same) words by myself get censored?

    How is it the 'pro-EU' on these Blogs time-and-time again get away with chucking every kind of epithet at 'anti-EU' and especially if 'we' happen to be English?

    How is it: And I can assure all conributors a number of us have been keeping a very careful eye on these matters (afterall, never for a moment imagine where the EU Debate is concerned that the BBC is not actively 'pro-EU') the incredible number of Comments that dump on 'anti-EU' CANNOT be by accident!

    To give just 2 of many examples:

    17th March - This is a familiar one to many of us 'anti' but nonetheless interesting how it always gets through Moderation no matter how bluntly it is couched: Burtine wrote suggesting 'I' & other anti-EU, needed "medical help".

    25th March - Granted, at the extreme end, but how did this ever get through Moderation: Paganbarbarian wrote (in 1 comment) 'I' and other 'anti' were, and I KID YOU NOT.. "..deranged.. demented.. spittle flying.. foam collecting at edge of mouth.. lunatic-fringe.. kooks.. genetically engineered bioweapons.. same genetic mutation.."

    Now, I am sorry, I expect and indulge in the helter skelter banter on these blogs, but if the 25th March is Moderation of the 'pro-EU' then what chance of sensible discourse is there!?
    The usual pap about 'jingoistic Brits', 'imperialists' is daft, but can be turned to good effect against those that would use such descriptions.

    My complaint is that someone I like to consider fairly rational (my views on EU aside) can be got at in such an uncalled for manner by people purporting to REPRESENT THE HEIGHT OF EUROPEAN CIVILISATION, the EU!?

    I am opposed to ANY censorship of comments on these Blogs: However, if there are House Rules and there is to be Moderation then let it at least have the appearance of equality of intent.
    As it is it just leaves many of us 'anti-EU' feeling that the BBC as part of the elitist UK Establishment is just one more sector LOADING THE DICE AGAINST OUR LEGITIMATELY HELD PERSPECTIVE.

    Yes, I over-reacted to Mickelus, but in all honesty, just how often are we supposed to allow snide, unpleasant & at times cruel (e.g. Me-rijn once wrote about "mongoloids.."!!!) comment that is completely out of order?

    I served 11 years in HM Forces and am 60 and no shrinking violet by any conception: Nevertheless, I find the tone adopted by many 'pro-EU' to be arrogant and rude which is bad enough, however, it is the unadulterated obnoxiousness of some content that particularly concerns me.

    Most of all: I am concerned how it is the BBC Moderators let content such as 'paganbarbarian' through whilst claiming even-handedness?
    Of course I am not privy to the content of censored comments by 'anti-EU' and I daresay some are unacceptable, however, if '..deranged.. demented.. genetic mutation.. ARE ACCEPTABLE, then what on earth can be moderated because I certainly have never come anywhere near writing such disgraceful filth!?

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  • 163. At 7:47pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    J_R

    Re 3159

    I don't have a problem about the 'net' contribution of France to the EU.

    What I and millions of Brits & infact millions across continental EUrope have is a problem with the argument the France should receive a CAP subsidy as large as the next 10 EU Nations put together whilst it claims does not include that 'CAP' benefit to its Economy!?
    What I and millions everywhere have a problem with is the idea after the debacle over the EUro-zone membership/Greek position 'pro-EU' such as yourself J_R, STILL persist in quoting EU Statistics as if they were reliable!?


    'Dude'!?

    When 11 of 15 EUro-zone member Nations are revealed as having failed original qualification for the EUro-zone & 9 of those covered up the facts of their Economic-Fiscal inadequacy my biggest problem is with trying to sort out in my own mind how it is possible for logical people such as yourself from an essentially logical, honest Nation such as Finland to STILL place your trust in such a duplicitous supra-National entity!?

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  • 164. At 7:47pm on 28 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    156. Jean Luc

    "...Re "Those who contribute to these debates all know only too well the EU and 'honesty' are a rational impossibility." This single sentence says a lot about the intellectual level you are debating on..."

    If the Lisbon Treaty ratification taught us one thing [from the UK perspective in particular] it is that the EU cannot proceed by democratic means.

    This union has a rule by which such treaties must be ratified with unanimity. Yet this proved to be an impossibility in the UK case. Not even the three traditional political parties could count on the positive and unambiguous support of their electorate.

    It is right to challenge the honesty of the EU for it exists today only because of assurances given to the UK electorate in 2005, assurances that proved worthless by November 3, 2009.

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  • 165. At 7:56pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #156

    As You wrote in another Comment that You entirely agreed with PaganBarbarian's 25/03, #50 "..deranged, demented.. genetic mutation.." (plus Your previous aberrations) description of myself (& others) I also 'know a lot about the intellectual level you are debating' from.

    Hence I have nothing to say to You.

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  • 166. At 7:59pm on 28 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    viewcode @#139

    You wrote, "* Menedemus: is your objection to the EU the fact that it exists, or the fact that it's Socialist? (it isn't formally, btw: Christian Democrats hold the majority from memory, but that's not the point). If it was avowedly Conservative, would that make a difference?"

    To clarify my position:

    I do not object to the EU as a concept of "ever closer union" as, politically and economically, Europeans being united together is a future requirement or else Europeans will fall into become part of a Third World area as our resources diminish and European manufacturing capacity is reduced in favour of service industries such as International Finance.

    I do not mind if the EU is red or blue in hue but the European Parliament is not a reflection of true democratic choice for the people of Europe as the candidates are Party nominated and, generally too much Party Politically motivated rather than representative of the VAST areas to which they have electorate responsibility. And, once elected, MEPs usually affiliate to a European Parliamentary voting bloc that may not even reflect the views of the majority of the electorates that vote the MEPs to the Parliament. Some might suggest that this is consensus politics but it is an anathema to the British who expect their MPs to be confrontational and want them to challenge the prevailing consensus if they feel it is in the interest of their electorates.

    This may be a fundamental difference in the way most Europeans want (or expect) their politicians to act but that is the way of British political life and what the British do expect of their politicians.

    Christian Democrats may form the majority bloc within the European Parliament but clearly the Christian Democrats are too left of centre to meet the political expectations of the British Conservatives who are a right of center political party.

    European may view the Christian Democrats as right wing but the fact is that they tend to be social democrats who tend to seek socialist solutions for most of their aspirations and issues they seek to resolve.

    In 1973, the United Kingdom held referendum to stay in the EEC. The then current Labour government were much divided over whether to promote staying in or leaving the EEC. The Conservatives tended to want the UK to stay as it was the previous Conservative government who took the UK into the EEC. Many of the leading lights who rallied for the UK to withdraw form the EEC were leading left wing or Socialist politicians and party hacks of the left.

    That has all changed as, nowadays, UK politicians who want the UK to remain in the EU tend to be of the left and the right wing of the UK political establishment tend seek to have the UK withdraw. This change around is surely coincidental with the fact that the EU these days tends to promote and support socialist ideals and aspirations and is seen to be 'typically' socialist in that it spends other people's money like water without providing need for value for money or sufficient check and regulation to ensure that other people’s money is spent wisely.

    To recap: I do not object to the EU per se and I do not care that the EU is Socialist or the opposite. My main objection to the EU is that it is not truly a representative democratic institution having been developed from consensus political agreement within a small forum of leading political figures who have imposed their ideals for a European Union on all Europeans without asking their peoples to contribute to the design structure, shape and democratic accountability of a political Union and, worse still, whether they want to participate in this political union.

    If Europeans can collectively agree to the EU and can participate democratically in the shape, structure and future of 'ever closer union' then I would be much more content with the EU than I am now.

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  • 167. At 8:11pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Oooo-errrrrrrrr!

    3 censored by the Mods in less than 24 hours!

    Hmm, somebody doesn't like having the truth aired!

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  • 168. At 8:14pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Rustigjongens, re your post #157.

    OK, EU bad & undemocratic, Greece bailout won't work, France bad, Germany good. Gottit, thanks. Now, to be ultra-picky.

    In 1975, the European er, things, were:

    * European Economic Community (EEC)
    * European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
    * European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or EURATOM)

    The bag these things were contained in was called the "European Communities" - plural. The EEC wasn't actually formally called the European Community (EC) - singular - until 1992.

    So in 1975, the UK stayed in the European Communities - plural - but not the European Community - singular - because the European Economic Community didn't become the European Community until 1992.

    In short, the UK stayed in the EEC, ECSC and EAEC, but the EEC didn't become the EC until 1992, when the EC became part of the EU. Simples...:-)

    But that's the continent all over: weird all day. It has 36 nations (if you include Iceland and Kosovo), 27 in the EU, 16 in the Eurozone, 25 in Schengen, more languages than a man can speak, more food than a man can eat, every single religion on Earth is represented here, every single political school of thought was invented here, it's packed to bursting with angels and maniacs, every bit of it has been at war with every other bit of it at least once in the last two thousand years, two countries have nuclear weapons, and on the Franco-Swiss border there's a machine which, if you switch it on wrong, breaks the entire universe. Welcome to Europe.

    Regards, viewcode

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Community
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Coal_and_Steel_Community
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Atomic_Energy_Community
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Community
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Communities
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

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  • 169. At 8:26pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    166. At 7:59pm on 28 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Hi Menedemus,

    Some very interesting points you raised here.

    Many – particularly from the UK stress that to their mind, the UK government lied when it came to their 1975 referendum, and now lacks legitimacy to negotiate with fellow members of the EU on behalf of the UK electorate – Treaty rewrites, redrafts and proposal being the exclusive preserve of the Governments of the Member States.

    Some Dutch amongst the various contributors echo this, with the Dutch Government apparently ignoring the Constitutional treaty referendum result in the Netherlands. I wasn’t aware this was so – that the Dutch and French voted the Constitutional Treaty down is one reason I had to vote yes twice to the Lisbon Treaty, after the CT redrafting.

    So how to move forward?

    1) Scrap the Union and go back to the way things were.
    It costs too much –take a look at how much scrapping the UAE cost Syria, Egypt and Yemen, or the EAU, which set Tanzania Uganda and Kenya back at least a generation. The EAU has actually since been reconsituted, within the AU.
    We’re too different to be comfortable with each other – similarity hasn’t forged a Union between the US and Canada, the Maghreb, the nations of the Persian Gulf, Spanish speaking America, the nations of the Dar-al-Islam – or even allowed the freedoms we take for grnated such as freedom of movement, between these very similar culturally related countries.
    It stifles liberty – I’m not sure how it does this – I don’t feel oppressed, and my country accounts for just less than 1% of the Union’s population.

    2) Roll back and repatriate some powers. End communitariansim officially, and states opt in and opt out as they wish, reverting to the old EEC. I'd suspect this arrangement will in have even more issues plaguing it’s every step, and n end up as in 1 above.

    3) I’m alright Jack – we continue as we are. Seems not to be a favourite option – some argue more Europe required, some less. This doesn’t seem to be a solution, and causes more problems of the kind that plague many contributors of all persuaisions.

    4) The Swiss model. We agree to accept that the current Treaty based organisation should form a central core of competences. Any further proposed extension of competences by the European Parliament of these must automatically be subject to the assent of the people of Europe in simulataneous single issue referenda. Ballots are in local langauage and are binding on local governments. To copper-fasten tihis, instruments of reatifcation are pre-deposited with the Council of Europe. States that ignore the referendum results breach human rights and face sanction from the CoE. Countries in which the referenda don’t pass are not bound by it, but cannot prevent it applying in states accepting – this would legitmate enhanced cooperation, without imposing on states which legitimately dissent.

    5) Fully fledged democratic federation - a single justice system, a single voting system , in which we are all represented, but all minorities.

    6) Some choice not covered in the five above.

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  • 170. At 8:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @167. cool_brush_work wrote:

    "Oooo-errrrrrrrr!
    3 censored by the Mods in less than 24 hours!
    Hmm, somebody doesn't like having the truth aired!"

    Maybe you should be more careful not to break the rules. BBC Moderators working for the EU to censor dissenters is verging on paranoid. Scratch that, it IS paranoid.

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  • 171. At 8:49pm on 28 Mar 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    Jean Luc, 124:
    “This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council,” the voice continued. “As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less that two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.”
    ....
    “There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.”
    ....
    “What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? For heaven’s sake mankind, it’s only four light years away you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout."

    [Douglas Adams]

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  • 172. At 9:03pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Menedemus, re your post #166.

    Thank you for the clarification: I genuinely appreciate it. You may be surprised to know I agree with a lot of what you say - tho' not all.

    I'm not sure using phrases like "left-wing" and "right-wing" have meaning in an European context - some countries consider Christian Democrats to be right-wing, some left-wing. Some traditions (French Radicalism, British Euroscepticism, Nordic Green politics) don't easily map onto a left-right spectrum. This is why I get ultra-picky about terms. To fully understand European politics, the fault lines are not just economic, but also religious (Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy - and that's just the Christians), whether the country had an empire, even things like the Hanseatic League left their traces. It's not just French Germans, World War II and the former USSR, no matter what Gavin thinks...:-)

    Witness the arguments over the Greece kerfuffle: we had arguments going back two thousand years. Lord above...:-)

    However, that's a by-the-by. Once again, thanks for the explanation.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 173. At 9:12pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Mickalus (169):

    I'm a-okey with the Fourth option, but only if nations themselves can decide if they want to make their decisions by referendums or by their parliament. This is because some states, like our little northern star, is build from the beginning to be an representative democracy and there is a wide belief that referendums don't belong to our system at all. Everybody else can do what they want as long as can have the freedom of running our system as it is.

    Fifth option doesn't really run because societies in the end are so different, for example compare the position of having a divorce between north and south, or some touchy subject like abortion, gay rights, etc.. Matters that need and should be addressed only in the national level.

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  • 174. At 9:18pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    CornwallCoastPath, re your post #171.

    Although I am sympathetic to the concept of an "Adams law" (that the first person to make a HHGTTG reference wins), it has to be said that the Treaties of Rome weren't hidden in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.' They were in plain sight.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 175. At 9:43pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    173. At 9:12pm on 28 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Mickalus (169):

    Hi Jukka,

    That'd be my choice too, and for individual states to decide for themselves how to address approval. I know Denmark for example sometimes opts referendum, sometimes not.

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  • 176. At 9:53pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Benefactor

    Hah!

    I know you're one of them!

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  • 177. At 10:06pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Actually Benefactor!

    My censored comment simply wrote the 'truth' from my viewpoint.

    In a previous comment by a 'pro-EU' no less than 9 epithets ranging from "..deranged.." to " lunatic fringe.." to genetic mutation.." were directed at myself (& other 'anti') and it was Published by Moderators.

    Yesterday I wrote a Comment which alluded to Eire and its Citizens assisting terrorists to attack HM Armed Forces - - I wrote it from personal knowledge/experience of the same - - I finished my remarks by stating I would not accept being talked down to/labelled by any Irish Citizen. Neither did I give away any personal details that might have exposed myself to difficulty (none of us who were there, do).
    I assure You, I neither swore nor defamed a particular Eire contributor (Mickalus), and made it clear my Comment was directed at an exchange of views we had had on the Eire - UK Economies.

    That Comment was censored.

    Yet, I can be called every name under the sun and the BBC Modertaion process, such as it is, allows a 'pro-EU' to write in that manner!?

    "..Paranoid.."?

    Maybe, it's a possibility - - then again - - 'deranged'/'lunatic' etc. is also possible - - however, as neither You nor I can know the workings of the BBC Moderation we are left to draw conclusions of our own.

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  • 178. At 10:11pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Menedemus

    UK Referendum on membership was in April 1975.

    Other than that You got it just about right on the real grounds for most of the UK 'anti-ERU' sentiment inc. my own.

    It is quite simply an anti-democratic organisation that is moving each year further and further from genuine democratic principles. It is therefore a very dangerous body and should be done away with, but failing that I really just want to see the UK out of it before it is too late.

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  • 179. At 10:24pm on 28 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Mickalus, re your post #169.

    Want 4, would prefer 5, could tolerate 2, will get 3. You will be interested in the EU enhanced cooperation facility, which allows 9 or more of the EU-27 to cooperate with each other via the EU institutions without binding the others.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 180. At 10:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    viewcode @#174

    Alas I am old enough to have had the vote in the early 1970s and actually voted in the United Kingdom referendum on whether the UK should stay in the, then EEC, or not. I chose then to have the UK be part of Europe as it is linked geographically I also feel the UK should be linked economically with the rest of Europe.

    Anyone with any real interest in the Treaty of Rome could then (and can still...) see that the preamble to that Treaty was that Europe should have 'ever closer union' but I have to say that no UK politician or professional commentator in the run up to the Referendum - neither such luminaries as Tony Benn who was one of the foremost anti-Common Market campaigners and a well-renowned Socialist and former-Communist (and incidentally, I would suspect, now be a staunch EU supporter!) nor the proponents for the UK staying in the Common Market including the government ministers of the day - admitted, denied, alleged, implied, suggested or even guaranteed that 'ever closer union', meant that the United Kingdom was going to be in a "Common Market" in 1973 and subsequently join a political union any time thereafter. "Ever closer union" in 1973 was never ascribed the political connotation it seems to be attributed with by proponents of the European Union these days.

    To my mind, the politicization of the Common Market - from EEC to EC and then EU - occurred in 1992, via the Treaty of Maastricht, which directly assigned some areas of sovereign parliamentary authority for the United Kingdom to the EC and this political change subsequently create the EU as a political entity rather than an 'ever closer union' that had already involved the UK for the previous 20 years.

    I believe that it was not the Referendum of 1973 on the UK's accession to the EEC that was THE problem as I do firmly believe that the British are as keen on European harmonisation and economic union as any other nationality within Europe but the Treaty of Maastricht was imposed upon the British without electoral choice.

    The UK government of 1992 was John Major's minority government which behaved ignobly by using parliamentary privilege to foist upon the British a political union in which the British people had no votive choice.

    From 1992 onwards, the EU has been an anathema for a considerable number of British citizens and all because of that Parliamentary decision to ride over political debate outside of Parliament because it was understood (and I believe this to have been true!) that any British electorate choice in the handover of powers to unelected officials outside of the UK would undoubtedly seen a rejection of the EC by the British people and the destruction of the Treaty of Maastricht and John Major's role as UK Prime Minister undoubtedly foreshortened.

    Regrettably, political expediency overruled democratic choice in Britain in 1992.

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  • 181. At 10:54pm on 28 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    cool_brush_work @#178

    Thank you for the reminder.

    I had a lot going on in my life from 1972 through to 1977.

    1972 started my professional career.
    1975 voted "Yes" in the UK Referendum on staying in the Common Market.
    1976 got married to the love of my life.
    1977 was gifted my now 32 year old daughter.

    Its very easy to get the dates and the days mixed up as I was a mere stripling in those days.

    Mind you three out the 4 events had excellent outcome - I leave it to you to work out the event with the now regretted outcome!

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  • 182. At 10:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    170. At 8:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:



    " ... BBC Moderators working for the EU to censor dissenters is verging on paranoid. Scratch that, it IS paranoid. "

    EUpris: Given what ant-democratic "EU"-lovers have done to us, nothing that appears to be paranoia can be assumed to be paranoia.

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  • 183. At 11:44pm on 28 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    177. At 10:06pm on 28 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "Actually Benefactor!

    My censored comment simply wrote the 'truth' from my viewpoint."

    ...

    "I finished my remarks by stating I would not accept being talked down to/labelled by any Irish Citizen. Neither did I give away any personal details that might have exposed myself to difficulty (none of us who were there, do).
    I assure You, I neither swore nor defamed a particular Eire contributor (Mickalus), and made it clear my Comment was directed at an exchange of views we had had on the Eire - UK Economies."

    Hi CBW,

    OK - help me out here. When you express derision in your comments to contributors it is "robust debate". When they reciprocate, they talk down to you. Is the problem that seems to dog your postings on this thread that I talked down to you or that I'm Irish?

    If the latter then I argue, no stronger case could be made for continued Irish and UK membership of the EU.

    Offence was not offered or the intention. I apologise if any was taken. But I will not be belittled.

    Mickalus

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  • 184. At 11:59pm on 28 Mar 2010, ed233 wrote:

    It is unfortunate that Greece is caught like an animal squeezed between a vice. On the one side you have strong unions, special interest groups and others receiving excessive monetary and social entitlements who are threatening civil unrest while on the other side you have demands calling for financial and economic reform which if properly executed by the government would cause economic hardship. As a result it places the Greek government between a rock and a hard place. But no matter what happens eventually all governments in the developed world not only Greece will have to come to terms with justifying the existence of certain social entitlements if they are to survive without the country suffering a total economic collapse. The buck has to stop somewhere.

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  • 185. At 00:41am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    EUprisoner, just out of curiosity, but how old are you? approx.

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  • 186. At 02:24am on 29 Mar 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    131. BlueBerry
    "The 'European way of life' will be made safe. There will be new jobs. The deficits will be addressed and NOT by cutting spending or social programs. Deficits will be reduced to @ 3% of GDP; in fact, deficits may run even lower. There will be discipline and the EU will become the envy of the world"............"For the EU leaders, failure is not permissible. Failure will affect the chances of millions of European men, women and children to live in dignity in the hardship caused by the economic & financial greed of the American financial elite.
    Failure would threaten the European way of life."

    There are no European financial elite?

    I think being optimistic is the way to live life. However, reality can be a bitch. In your comments you speak of the EU leading the G20 in financial regulation and the transaction tax. I couldn't help but think of Copenhagen. Reality is a bitch.

    I have no animosity whatsoever toward Europe. The neat part about Europe is all the various cultures and histories. If the people of Europe wish to meld all these together into one culture, so be it. A number of those who comment say they report the facts and nothing else. Even if that were true it is not enough. Alice says that facts without passion or history is useless (my interpretation of her remarks. she will let me know if I am off). I totally agree.

    Fact: The US dropped two weapons of mass destruction on Japan.
    Implication: Depends on which end of the bomb you're on.

    Lastly. It seems to me that having to make decisions based on everything being a consensus is unworkable. To say it can be so seems disingenuous to me. In the US there is hardly anything done based on consensus. The majority rules and we understand that. We may gripe but we have the option to work toward change and many choose to do so. The thing is in the US you can be in the majority this year and two years later you could be part of the minority. I know it's a helluva way to do business but it does keep people on their toes. How many summits will Europe have to have before they institute financial reforms? Our government is neck deep in it right now. They'll probably screw it up but the wheels are grinding. I wish you Europeans all the luck in the world cause you'll probably need a little and so will we. And that's a fact.





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  • 187. At 06:47am on 29 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    185. At 00:41am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "EUprisoner, just out of curiosity, but how old are you? approx. "

    EUpris: between 60 and 65. So now please tell me approx how old you are and why my age is interesting.

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  • 188. At 06:52am on 29 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    185. At 00:41am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "EUprisoner, just out of curiosity, but how old are you? approx."

    EUpris: At a certain British university in the late 60s in my hall of residence one of my fellow students used to walk around singing: "If we join the Common Market, stick an onion up yer bum." We were only aware of the MARKET aspect of the whole thing.

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  • 189. At 08:00am on 29 Mar 2010, Pedro Campo wrote:

    Gavin's article happily states that "Countries like Spain, on the other hand, are struggling with low growth because they have an inflexible labour market and the political class there knows that". In fact Spain had one of EU’s highest growth rates (over 3% GDP) during the whole decade preceding the crisis and the "inflexible labour market" was exactly the same. The above is a political biased statement probably echoed from one of the editorials of the Economist, not an objective truth. Good journalism must restrain from taking sides in political debates and concentrate just on good, quality information, as the BBC usually does. Eventually Gavin could have mentioned the above statement in his article as a quote from some politician, but it was certainly not fortunate to present it as factual.

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  • 190. At 08:03am on 29 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ AliceInWonderLand
    Dearest Alice, I avail myself of this opportunity for expressing my indignation and anger of the last barbarian act in the Moscow Metro that killed at least 40 people. I have seen in my life many horrible scenes of the kind and I know how do look all those innocent people remained handicapped, injured or distressed after a sudden and merciless attack some fanatic sadists had mounted. That happened many times, say 10 years ago, in Algiers where I was delegated as a trade dealer. /By the way, the Russian Diaspora there was very large and I and my wife Praskovia we enjoyed its solidarity and assistance/.
    What just happened in Moscow goes beyond any common sense. It makes me think of the Pushkin’s verse “Chechen zlodej” /russ. “Chechen, the evil-doer”/. It reminds me of the real cultural gap that divided the Algerian society in the early 90 and that cost more than 100000 lives there.
    I embrace you dear Alice, and I remain really sad and understanding with all those innocent people who happened to be involved in that tragedy…
    Sofia, March 29th 2010

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  • 191. At 08:09am on 29 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @187 EUprisoner
    Am I in the way? I just wanted to tell you that you are in good company. I am born in 1948, and, I share a good many of your disappointments, though I should say, that I am pro-EU... It's better, you know, to be in the club of the rich, no matter how we shall name it, the EUSSR or something else...
    Sofia, March 29th 2010

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  • 192. At 08:23am on 29 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    ~188
    'At a certain British university in the late 60s in my hall of residence one of my fellow students used to walk around singing: "If we join the Common Market, stick an onion up yer bum."'

    And here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is revealed the intellectual and philosophical foundation underpinning the anti –EU movement!

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  • 193. At 09:10am on 29 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #183

    In the end: That You are Irish matters not a jot.

    That You chose to finish off Your original Eire Punt v UK Sterling comment by directly addressing me with... "...in the chops old bean.." as if anything of that nature was called for is the original point of issue.

    In April 1975, whilst in HM Forces & having just returned from my first tour of Northern Ireland I was 1 of millions who Voted 'Yes' to Wilson's renegotiated UK Membership of the EEC.
    As I recall, among my principle reasons for doing so were:

    1) My parents & grandparents had undergone terrible wars on the Continent & my Regiment was based in West Germany - - it seemed to me a small price to pay for avoiding future conflict by reciprocity of Trade, Transport, Tariffs.
    2) To breakdown the stereotyping of nations
    3) Somewhere in my head I had the foolish notion it might ease tensions in Northern Ireland - - prosperity if Europeans could invest in the North etc. - - of course I was inexperienced & had not realised just how grossly limited & distorted was the outlook of the 2 sectarian communities.

    So, help me out here:

    I'm not prone to be first to express "..derision.."? So far as I'm aware it is normally in response to Contributions from people where they have directly insulted me (e.g. "..deranged.." "lunatic..") for holding a different opinion from theirs, or, as in your case the clear inference from the 'in the chops..' & 'old bean' is somehow a certain category of Englishman.
    Please, don't pretend it was anything else: Eire & UK have been in close proximity long enough for us to both know what was intended.

    So, we find common ground & we'll agree to 'belittle' someone is unacceptable. On that understanding I do also apologise for any offence and slipping below what I like to think is my more usual standard of debate.

    Cheers.


    Wonthillian & #192:

    As written above I Voted 'Yes' in April 1975: Now I would 100% Vote 'No'.

    I was a Graduate Junior Army Officer in 1975 & after 3 careers that took me to all 'corners' of this EUropean Union, aged 62 & resident in Finland I've changed my Vote.

    Think You will find an 'onion in the bum' was merely a ribald student remark & not to be confused with President Sarkozy's recent remark, "..the Germans haven't changed..", or Msr Commission President Barroso a year ago claiming 43% EU Citizen Turnout for Parliament Elections "..shows we are headed in the right direction.."!


    Cheers.

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  • 194. At 09:16am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    between 20 and 30.

    I was interested because sometimes your comments seem (to me) a bit infantile. You know, a bit like a yelling kid that says "no no no no"...and I also wanted to put into perspective your personal experiences so far. You obviously have a lot.

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  • 195. At 09:17am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    I second Generalissimo @190..

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  • 196. At 09:25am on 29 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    ed233 @#184

    You wrote, "It is unfortunate that Greece is caught like an animal squeezed between a vice. On the one side you have strong unions, special interest groups and others receiving excessive monetary and social entitlements who are threatening civil unrest while on the other side you have demands calling for financial and economic reform which if properly executed by the government would cause economic hardship. As a result it places the Greek government between a rock and a hard place."

    Transpose the word "Greece" within this passage with the word "United Kingdom" (or, indeed, probably any nation in the EU!) and use the future tense if the transposed nation were to take action to reduce their national debt and the cap would still fit appropriately!

    Perhaps it tells us something that is intrinsically wrong with European society in general.

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  • 197. At 09:52am on 29 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Jukka_R & other 'pro-EU'

    I raised this point awhile ago and I wonder if someone would attempt a clarification:

    Greece has been clearly shown to have been altering its Economic-Fiscal Statistics for the last 10 years or so.
    Greece has been providing those Fraudulent Statistics to the EU & EUro-zone on an Annual basis.

    I realise Greece's Economy is not one of the major ones within the EU27 or EU16, however, does not Greece's input of Statistics effect the overall Annual figures for the EU/Zone?
    Have those Statistics been revised or is the EU/Zone continuing to Publish Incorrect Data?

    I've looked up EUROPEANA & EUROSTAT and so far as I can see the original figures are all there from before Greece's admission of double-accounting.

    When will the corrections be made? Will the new figures be set beside the old ones for comparison?

    As a final point: At least 3 other 'zone' Nations have indicated their recording of Annual figures submitted to Brussels are also in doubt in certain areas of their Economies.

    Is it likely the EU/Zone will address this matter and completely Revise all its Statistical Analysis for the period 2001-2009, or is the EU content to let falsified figures stay on the Books?

    Honestly, I only ask out of concern for my neighbours!

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  • 198. At 09:55am on 29 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    Jean Luc
    You repeat facts again and again .
    You were of course in Britain in 1975 and know that the British people knew that membership of the EEC meant eventual Ever Closer Union ?
    It is not acceptible to say that the British people should have know , some 35 years after the event . British people did not interest themselves in European affairs at that time , such as the Treaty of Rome , which did not then concern them . Further our politicians kept the truth from the people and deliberately lied . You can argue that ignorance is no excuse as much as you like . You are pretending to be the know all to put us in our place , but you are wrong .

    Britain generally buy more from the EU member states than she sells , so Britain would be receiving tariffs rather than paying them . Perhaps you have to hand the exact figures , to be correct on the facts .

    I have read a recent report on distribution of the EU budget that France is by far the biggest recipient .

    It is France that kicks up a stink about Britain's rebate because France needs it to subsidise its farmers , who then dump their produce on Britain . Many British look at labels in shops , to be sure they dont buy anything French . In Thailand we get fruit labelled produce of the EU , which I don't buy , in case its French .

    You think that quoting facts ( that you have not fully researched ) makes a good discussion . The arrogant , self opinionated , debasing manner in which you comment , does not contribute to good debate .

    Re " Intellectual dishonesty " ; Intellect and Honesty are not terms which British people consider synonimous with the EU .

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  • 199. At 10:26am on 29 Mar 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #126 Mathiasen

    I have been surprised in recent years , to learn that British Private Enterprise is not so EU enthusistic .

    Britains profitable trade is outside the EU , with the rest of the world .

    It is obvious that on Britain's leaving the EU , that any document would be signed by a representative . Are you implying that a representative would not do it ? I'm sure the people would find a representative , there are many politicians who are Eurosceptic .

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  • 200. At 10:26am on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re139:
    Viewcode, hmmm... you said my opinion is "its Germany's fault". Maybe that is what I project. But my view is much more complex than this. Germany is not responsible for Greece's inherent corruption problems - for that historically Britain which controlled the country since its independence is much more responsible. Germany though has played an active role not only in maintaining it but also in contributing to the enlargement of the problem. If Greece had a painful ulcer back in the 1970s, when it got into the EEC the ulcer became cancer and by the 1990s it had already touched all vital organs. Mind you, since 1960s, Greece is a country mostly manipulated directly by the US rather than any European country within EU. So Germany really comes a panting second. However it found a "fertile" ground to get on with its business - and frankly, Germans proved much more proficient in corruption than other Europeans. See... even a car maker, Mercedes, would bribe - and I wonder what for!!! Now imagine what they did in other sectors.

    But to sum it up, the issue is multi-leveled and multi-responsibility. There is of course the internal collective responsibility of Greeks that got manipulated more than any other European nation into tolerating a hugely unfair situation for them first of all and out of which a tiny ruling elite posed anciently by the British and whose protection was undertaking since the 1960s by US and who make sure to keep the country to a level that does not bother the US in its plans in the region. And when I say US it is not US as a country but as several homocentric circles of power in it.

    Re189:
    Pedro Campo, absolutely! But that is the minimum. Just take note of the following:

    1) People said that "Greeks do not worke" - we have shown to them that the average Greek citiezen works considerably more than any other EU working citizen (in fact surpassing the average US working citizen and being on the top list of western and near-western countries!!!).
    2) People said that Greeks benefit and do not contribute to the EU: we have shown them that Greek citizens suffer the highest % of EU-taxation of all EU-citizens, about 3 times more than British and double than Germans!!!
    3) People said that Greece was "aided a lot". In fact, most of the aid is agricultural aid which is no aid at all (this is just money to avoid having import tax, it is actually detrimental to the local economy as it is for any other Eu country, just as French farmers on that...). The second biggest part of the aid, the development aid was spent in projects chosen by the EU (Germany?) of often dubious usefullness and in such a way so that the 50-50% on initial budget system was almost always ending up in Greece paying the 200% of the initial budget with the major companies (Germans?) taking the bulk of that money. On the other hand Greece received so little "foreign aid" and "security funds" (i.e. funds for countries bordering with non-EU ocuntries and countrys with "difficult borders") that it ranks even below... Danmark (perhaps Danish are afraid of German Talibans, and Scandinavian illegal immigrants desperately embarking on boats to reach the shores of Danemark...)...
    4) People thought that Greeks demanded more money - we told them Greeks asked only to continue taking loans with 3% interest rather than the double or more that US private firms suggested. I.e. they asked Europeans "not to profit so much" from their difficult position. I guess if US private firms suggest in future to loan say Germany at 10%, Germans will accept it... perhaps if they tell them to go hang themselves they might as well do it...

    Re 184:
    ed233, I will tell you a little story: back in 1910, in US Henry Ford was putting forward his mass production system. Ford knew, this system would take away they pleasure of mechanical work from his (up to then) technicians and render them simple workers, thus it would be fought and resented. So he decided to give some increase from the 2 dollars per day that his employees were taking on average. Workers asked 3 dollars, his financial analysts were saying its a robbery, they should give less than 2,5... Ford was tired of all these talks. He was a man that hated finance and bankers. He knew however that his success was certain due to the mass production of his model T offering low purchase prices. So he said "My final decision is 5 euros per hour!!!'".

    Guess what happened next: Unions started to provoke trouble, to elist (even by paying) more and more Ford workers and to resist the changes, to make strikes demanding 6 hours working days (!!! all that back in 1910 where 10 hours was the norm! - the equivalent of today doubling your salary and you asking to work 4 hours per day!!!) and such so Ford disgusted by what was going on refused to give the 5 dollars per hour to any Union registred worker.

    Moral lesson? Unions are not there for protecting workers' interests but the bankers!!! Ford had angered the bankers with what he did and he faced all that opposition.

    Similarly in Greece, unions never defended the workers' interests. Back in the 1980s they were dragging workers every 2 months or so on a strike for this or for that... even for Nikaragua, Ondura, Chile, Cuba and all the Latin America, Palestine, Iraq and the Middle East (but not Cyprus! too patriotic to be compatible to their internationalist agenda...)... the result? Major companies like Pirelli or Nissan fled the country after having built and operated for 2-3 years only (asembly unit of Nissan) what they described as their "best and most productive assembly line in the world" (a testament to the capacity of Greek employees). Unions almost absolutely controlled by left wing parties and manipulated by socialist party went on to the extend of punishing Greek conscious employers that gave salary increases above the limit that the state had proposed!!!!!

    What can we say more? Unions... workers' friend? Or workmaster? You know, in ancient Rome, the slavemaster was not coming from the ranks of the masters but always from the ranks of the slaves.

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  • 201. At 11:33am on 29 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @200 Nik
    Congratilations for the Union's saga analysis. Same picure in Bulgaria...

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  • 202. At 12:12pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Thank you, generalissimo and gheryando.

    They are taking bodies up now. I checked the wounded list, no acquaintance found.
    but the dead list is not published yet.
    only those by hospital, and in which ward/condition.
    they hush the mobile connection in down-town, in case the signal was mobile phone transmitted. because the metro video cameras showed where the "Caucasian-looking" two women entered the subway, both together, at the Southern end of the line, the ones whose faces survived and that was all that survived, but not the two more accompanying them on entry, these two more are un-clear where.

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  • 203. At 12:24pm on 29 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @CBW

    Re "I raised this point awhile ago and I wonder if someone would attempt a clarification:

    Greece has been clearly shown to have been altering its Economic-Fiscal Statistics for the last 10 years or so.
    Greece has been providing those Fraudulent Statistics to the EU & EUro-zone on an Annual basis.

    I realise Greece's Economy is not one of the major ones within the EU27 or EU16, however, does not Greece's input of Statistics effect the overall Annual figures for the EU/Zone?
    Have those Statistics been revised or is the EU/Zone continuing to Publish Incorrect Data?'"

    You'll need to specify which figures you mean. Not all Greek figures were bad, and not all figures avaible at Eurostat have to do (indirectly) with Greece.

    Greece delivered fraudulent figures concerning its budget in the framework of the Stabilization pact. Most of the figures of Eurostat are unrelated to this.

    So please specify which Eurostat figures would need correcting.

    @Huaimek

    Re "You were of course in Britain in 1975 and know that the British people knew that membership of the EEC meant eventual Ever Closer Union ?
    It is not acceptible to say that the British people should have know , some 35 years after the event . British people did not interest themselves in European affairs at that time , such as the Treaty of Rome , which did not then concern them . Further our politicians kept the truth from the people and deliberately lied . You can argue that ignorance is no excuse as much as you like . You are pretending to be the know all to put us in our place , but you are wrong ."

    Dear Huaimek,

    When you sign a contract and later on are confronted with 'unpleasant' terms of that contract, can you get out of such a contract by saying: But I didn't really read that contract properly, so surely it can't have effect?

    No you can not.

    As for the biased information you received at the 1975 referendum, this probably tells you more about your own UK politicians than about the EEC, don't you think?

    But you are lucky, you contract got revised recently, you have a clause now that allows you to annul the contract. All you have to do to get out of the contract is use the clause (art. 50 TEU Lisbon Treaty)

    Re "Britain generally buy more from the EU member states than she sells , so Britain would be receiving tariffs rather than paying them . Perhaps you have to hand the exact figures , to be correct on the facts ."

    AH yes, but I hope you don't think the current trade flow won't change once the UK leaves the customs union. Once the UK is out, something called 'trade creation' and 'trade diversion' will happen. Both lie at the basis of the rationale of a customs union, both explain why a country would want to join a customs union and both explain why the economic pressure on a country to join a customs union grows the bigger that customs union becomes (and guess which customs union is the greatest on earth).

    Re "I have read a recent report on distribution of the EU budget that France is by far the biggest recipient "

    This could very well be. But you might not only want to look into how much France receives, but also how much it pays.

    Re "You think that quoting facts ( that you have not fully researched ) makes a good discussion . The arrogant , self opinionated , debasing manner in which you comment , does not contribute to good debate ."

    A good way to debate for you would be to actually give other facts that reveal I haven't fully researched the facts I give. Instead you just postulate I haven't researched them, to me THAT is poor debating.

    Re "Re " Intellectual dishonesty " ; Intellect and Honesty are not terms which British people consider synonimous with the EU . "

    A Machiavellian would wonder why the EU should care about the British people if the British leaders themselves don't care for their people. All those nice promises of 'giving the people a say' on the constitution/Lisbon. I would almost feel sorry for you guys ;)

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  • 204. At 12:27pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    two Malaysians in hospital named after doctor Botkin; condition - averagely heavy, have been operated, metal splinter wounding.

    one Phillipino also but his hospital director is not on TV yet, other hospitals speaking.

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  • 205. At 12:35pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I hope nobody here needs it and will ever need. still, the name list of suffered, for relatives, 007 - Russia 495 - Moscow 626 37 07 the telephone. Ministry of Extraordinary Situations' line.

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  • 206. At 1:00pm on 29 Mar 2010, Freeman wrote:

    I am sad to hear of the attacks WA. :(
    Barbarians is the right word.

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  • 207. At 1:01pm on 29 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    Huaimek @ 198

    I think I posted this link on one of Gavins's other posts (can't remember whether it was the one where Angela Merkel was wearing the red outfit or the one where she was wearing the grey outfit, but no matter) but there's no harm in posting it again. It's the Government's pamphlet in favour of voting 'yes' to remaining in the European Community (aka the Common market) in 1975. In the interests of balance I also tried to find the pamphlet for the 'no' campaign – it would be interesting if anyone could dig this up. Anyway, if you look at the 'yes' leaflet, at no stage does it say 'don't worry folks, this is only a trading agreement'. In fact it states that the five aims of the common market were to:
    • To bring together the peoples of Europe.
    • To raise living standards and improve working conditions.
    • To promote growth and boost world trade.
    • To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.
    • To help maintain peace and freedom.

    It also tackles head-on many of the fears that were apparently around at the time, such as the possibility of the UK Parliament losing its power to 'faceless bureaucrats', fears that the UK would be forced to pay VAT on food, fears that Britons would be forced to eat euro-bread or drink euro-beer, and the fear that we would have to accept fixed exchange rates for the pound. It's an interesting read.

    http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm

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  • 208. At 1:03pm on 29 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    "…When you sign a contract and later on are confronted with 'unpleasant' terms of that contract, can you get out of such a contract by saying: But I didn't really read that contract properly, so surely it can't have effect?.."

    The people who signed this contract are long dead.

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  • 209. At 1:08pm on 29 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    '…why the EU should care about the British people if the British leaders themselves don't care for their people…'

    I suspect the EU is more concerned with what the political elite think; the decision makers, the ones who sign on the dotted line (all be it in a broom cupboard).

    It is the way of the world; money goes to money.

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  • 210. At 1:25pm on 29 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    194. At 09:16am on 29 Mar 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "between 20 and 30.

    I was interested because sometimes your comments seem (to me) a bit infantile. You know, a bit like a yelling kid that says "no no no no"...and I also wanted to put into perspective your personal experiences so far. You obviously have a lot."

    EUpris: I had you at about forty. That is not meant either as an insult or a compliment.The rest of your commented is pretty well what I predicted in my little head.

    "Experiences" - more than most!

    "like a yelling kid " We have a system which is meant to be a democracy. At the very least in the matter of the "EU" it has been caused to malfunction by despicable people. We have to find way to protest.

    Be grateful that I limit myself to non-violent protest. A number of prominent "EU"-loving politicians have crossed my path. In the case of most I accepted that as far as I was aware they were honest men. One of them is clearly a slimy, arrogant, mouthy liar. I twitched when I saw him but managed to get it under control in time.

    A violent protest would be counter-productive.

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  • 211. At 1:31pm on 29 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    203. At 12:24pm on 29 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:


    " ...

    A Machiavellian would wonder why the EU should care about the British people if the British leaders themselves don't care for their people. All those nice promises of 'giving the people a say' on the constitution/Lisbon. I would almost feel sorry for you guys ;)"

    EUpris:

    Re: Machiavelli. Remember what happened to him!

    Re:"A Machiavellian would wonder why the EU should care about the British people ..." It doesn't. It is Machiavellian. It stinks!

    Re: "I would almost feel sorry for you guys" But only almost. So you don't care. I suppose that sums your character up.

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  • 212. At 1:44pm on 29 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    191. At 08:09am on 29 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    "@187 EUprisoner
    Am I in the way? I just wanted to tell you that you are in good company. I am born in 1948, and, I share a good many of your disappointments, though I should say, that I am pro-EU... It's better, you know, to be in the club of the rich, no matter how we shall name it, the EUSSR or something else...
    Sofia, March 29th 2010"

    EUpris: Re: "Am I in the way?" I don't understand that comment. Have I offended you in some way. I certainly had no desire to do so. If I have done so, then I apologise.

    I was in the main railway station in Bulgaria trying to get a train to, I think, Plovdiv in 1968. One's Bulgarian is not entirely fluent. The lady at the ticket office wrote my time and platform down for me. A train pulled in. It was totally full of soldiers sitting in total silence. I think they had the blinds drawn. I thought "This is not my train." I'm quick like that. I went to various other platforms. The same again and again and again. I was in the middle of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. I had told my mum I might be going to Czechoslovakia. Anyway I got to the Black Sea where I had further interesting experiences including meeting Miss Czechoslovakia. Meeting! Nothing else!

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  • 213. At 3:28pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    There was a lady writing in BBC News service, why on Earth Moscow didn't close the subway after the first blast. She wrote she were in London subway explosion time and the London subway was closed within half an hour. That this could have prevented the second blast in Moscow. I think she is right. There were 44 minutes between the two blasts in the Moscow subway, at different stations. If all went out up at once at whatever stations they were, and new passangers were not let in from outside to no station, where would they have exploded their belt bombs?
    Could still, in the crowds out or gathering outside, but it'd less victims than in the closed underground halls where all are gathered together in thick crowds in the rush hour.

    What it was, they closed the subway only partly, that stretch, and there are many internet news of the extraordinary lucky people, who were on that line, train driver told them of "an accident ahead in the line", they got out of the subway at nearest station, that it is the last train in that direction, there won't be anymore get out to the surface, they got out, crossed the distance to where they wanted to get closer above land, by taxis - ENTERED SUBWAY AGAIN, on that VERY STATION OF THE SECOND BLAST-TO-BE, went down to the train lines to continue their road, and then one was lucky he didn't turn down the corridor bend was shielded by the wall from the splinters, another one entered the 1st wagon while the blast tore away the 2nd wagon, some were simply away off only smoked over and "something buzzes in my ears I felt dizzy had to sit down", and totally lucky ones were simply ENTERING the station while towards them, from under down the hall were running "a man in a white coat all in blood, I took him by hand what happened what is it, and he looked completely off didn't tell me", etc. Simply their luck was they were late to enter the 2nd blast station.

    There is one more belt, the third one, found un-blown up, full, on the floor of the Park of Culture station.

    A military analyst here blamed FSB on non-prevention of the 2nd blast. On violation of their own protocol No something, that mobile connection is to be shut immediately in Russia in the terrorist strike area, all mobile phone companies are to obey immediately and close their signal transmittion stations across the city. While they shut them only in an hour after the first blast, by fact, and the second blast was within 44 minutes. If it were a mobile phone signal - it could be prevented.

    The one terrorist girl found is described as "about 16-18 year old".

    Other things that make one think are of course this is beginning of Peisach Jewish Easter, and Russian Orthdox likewise first day of the pre-Easter week, the so-called "Passions Week" when all sufferings are thought to occur, it's been timed.

    Berl Lazar the Main Ravvin of the Federation spoke, and Patriarch Kyrill, and Council of Muftij of the Federation (tatars and muslims, different branches) and all of course consoled theirs and tried to cheer up other confession victims, but speak not speak what can be done.

    Patriarch Kyril especially touched upon dear Moscow taxi drivers, warning them he personally promises all extra buck made upon suffering of others "will not work for you good, return money at once you made on the suffering of others, and if you can't - spend them on helping someone immediately and promised them grave consequances from the sky and all :o)

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  • 214. At 3:34pm on 29 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 212 EUprisoner
    Firstly, I should apologize for my poor English. I thought that the idiom “Am I in the way..” had approximately the meaning of “I hope I do not bother you…”
    Well, it seems we were at the same place 42 years ago. It was in July 1968. I was still a second year naval cadet at the High Naval School of Varna /on the Black Sea/, when the army and the fleet here have /secretly/ been put on full alert. Needleless to say, we were all very scared. One early morning, at 2 o’clock, we, all the remaining cadets /some were on leave, others were at the naval bases/ were awakened, dressed, armed and dispatched to the harbour where two embarkation posts had been organized. The infantry men /about two regiments or so/ were arriving by railway /or on heavy trucks/ from the countryside. All of them were silent and bad tempered; nobody expressed whatever protest or curiosity. The discipline, the fear of what was going to happen and a secret hope that everything would finally be OK made me believe that the eventual war /with the Nato forces/ was feasible but not unavoidable. By 4 o’clock, several battalions have already been embarked and left for Sebastopol /Russia/. The same procedure happened on the next night /we were in charge of the battle outposts, I mean that we were entrenched around the harbour (!) and had been instructed to arrest any “suspect that would happen to be around” /Thank Lord, you were not there EUprisoner!/. One infantry man told me that they were going to Crimea /Russia/ where they were to take part in some special Warsaw Pact drill. Nobody would mention Czechoslovakia or something alike. The surprise came two weeks later…
    /Thank Lord, the big war never happened…/

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  • 215. At 6:17pm on 29 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    It isn't surprising that there was another terrorist attack, when things like this happen...

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6168959.ece

    While I'm sorry for the victims and their families, in my opinion the blood is in the hands of Putin and Russian political, military and security leadership. Their actions made this to happen.

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  • 216. At 8:23pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka, I trust you sent similar telegrams of condolences to the White House in its time and Downing street. Surely there are other interesting articles you keep in reserve?

    "happen"-ed

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  • 217. At 8:25pm on 29 Mar 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    Nik,
    As a Greek, can you tell us what chance there is of your country coming up with the 54 billion euros that Gavin H. has referred to?


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  • 218. At 9:10pm on 29 Mar 2010, ashkar wrote:

    @EuPris

    I'm pretty much aware of all your arguments, hence, let me throw in another thesis:

    Britain, after all those years, can't get along without EU without losing, and EU can't get along without Britain without losing. All states of Europe depend on each other. (And Britain wouldn't have entered, hadn't her gouvernment foreseen this! Grudgingly, agreed ;-))

    Possibly, all EU members lose a bit, due to EU. Thing is, how to know in advance, which way is worse? We've tried with centuries of war. I doubt, anyone wants to see anything suchlike ever to happen again. And we recently saw war in Europe, though not in the EU.


    And... since WW2 we've seen a period without war between the members in the EU. This is a possibly unprecedented period of time, and, probably, worth all the fuss? I really do think, this is to a considerable extent due to the EG/EU, and it's worth a lot. We all owe a lot to our politicians to swallow their hatred, grief and prejudices, though we ourselves might sometimes not be able to do so.

    In conclusion, I believe, the U.K. is very welcome in the EU, and not in the role of a paymaster, but as a stable and self-confident democracy with a long and proud history, especially since it counter-balances too hasty approaches, but in the end, the fates of all Europeans are tied-up.

    Putting it all in a nutshell might lead to it's explosion, however, I'd guess, the disussions in this thread are pretty much identcal to what's going on on the political stage; though they're performing behind closed curtains^^

    Ash

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  • 219. At 9:23pm on 29 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    The EU as a guarantor for peace is a very popular myth, but when you think about it, it does not hold much water. It is much more likely that the establishment of NATO plus the high number of American soldiers have made internal wars in western Europe impossible in the last 60 years. In the Yugsolavian case, of course, there were no Americans to keep the peace.

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  • 220. At 10:02pm on 29 Mar 2010, ashkar wrote:

    Ahh, Chris,

    can't say you're wrong; but I can't say you're right, either. This is tricky, and I'm reluctant to contradict you.

    NATO definetely has it's role; and it was the predominant role in the cold war; however, bonds that built up in Europe during the cold war shouldn't be underestimated.

    I agree, NATO still is a very important factor, however, I think, EU has grown, and NATO is more than a sort of "Western alliance" against an "Eastern enemy" (that no longer is present, by the way).

    NATO and EU are different things, though I agree, as a German, the U.S. American policy is still having a huge impact on -at least- german policy. Not alway in the way the U.S. would like ^^.

    But, so what? U.S. and Europe also depend on each other! As, interestingly, do Russia and the other parts of Europe, Russia and the U.S., Europe, Russia and China - and all of Asia-, and Africa, and South America and the other parts of North America by the way, not to forget Australia...

    What's the point?

    It can't always be the U.S. to sort things out, probably, they overdid it, recently. But hard to tell, honestly... no others had the courage to do it, so blame the ones who did it, for over-doing it? Difficult...

    I thought, this discussion was about Europe?

    I really have serious trouble to make up my mind with respect to that, and, actually, I would like to refrain from doing so, it's definetely beyond my competence; the whole story about Europe definetely already is difficult, but, at least, I've got a feeling about that; beyond that it's ... a mess.

    Ash

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  • 221. At 10:53pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re217: Islandhoper, good question. 54 billion euros that is a lot of money to be found in a country whose econmy ranges around 320-350 billion euros if I remember correctly that means actually much lower than many multinationals.

    But let me ask you first. Why do you think it is necessary to find them this year and not last year? Last year Greece was not in debt? The year before the last? 10 years ago? 30? 50? Eeee... to tell you the truth Greece has been indebted even before its own independence!!! Foreign powers like Britain had given the so called "independence loans" which I think we paid in mid-20th century, while the 1897 loans we took to redress the country after the defeat from the Ottoman army in a short border war in the then borders, we paid them in 1970s.

    So? Who asked us to pay these 54 now? Are you in a hurry? We have time till 2070.

    PS: I hope you got the spirit of the answer. It is not at all ironic. It is the sad truth: nobody asked Greeks to pay back their loans. It is out of question to have a country clear of debt, don't you realise it? The current situation came only as a result of Greece's effort in the last years to acuquire a little bit more of autonomy in relation to both US and EU. The country as simply "called back to order". Now it is alright, none will have a problem with its debt.

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  • 222. At 10:54pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    ... but if your question was "how can Greece make money" in general, that is another issue all together which I can reply to you easily...

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  • 223. At 10:57pm on 29 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Jukka_r

    Re #215

    Sometimes Jukka You are so incredibly dense about the emotions and sensitivities of others that it is impossible to understand how You can claim to have any genuine 'concern' at all!

    Those 2 Teenage School Shooting Massacres in Finland - - I blame the parents - - they didn't love their children enough!
    That recent Vantaa massacre - - I blame the Finnish Social Services - - they didn't give the foreign shooter enough care & concern!
    Next time there's a 'bomb' in Helsinki Shopping Mall as 6 or 7 years ago remember to 'blame' the Finnish Government!

    Jukka - - as nobody at this incredibly early stage can possibly know for sure who & for what reasons these vicious attacks were carried out - - don't You think You might just reflect a little on the actual tragedy for the individual Russians & any foreigners (maybe Finns!) caught up in it, and not automatically insult Russia!

    PS: As You have decided to dish out the 'blame'.
    An issue relating to Finland - - You will have seen the Finnish guy who kidnapped the young Finnish lady & held her prisoner in a hidden box for 2 weeks was this week sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.
    According to Lawyers he is expected to serve only 3 to 4 years before he is released!
    In my local bars I have NOT heard 1 Finnish Woman express agreement with this amazingly light sentence - - many of the Women are furious with the Finnish Courts - - some ask, what does a Finnish Man have to do to a Finnish Woman before He gets the long sentence/punishment he deserves!?

    So, Jukka_R, where do You stand on the issue? Going to 'blame' the Young Finnish Lady for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Afterall, though innocent clearly it is Her Government policy to allow Finnish Men to think it is not such a serious crime.

    It is an odd society in which a Man can hold prisoner & TERRORISE a Woman for 2 weeks while demanding a ransom and then find the National Courts give Him a sentence that suggests Her experience of Being In Fear for Her Life day & night appears to be thought relatively unimportant!

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  • 224. At 11:53pm on 29 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    * Chris Camp: re your post 219: see here regarding NATO attempts to ameliorate the Bosnian War, here regarding EU peacekeeping attempts in Kosovo, and here regarding EU peacekeeping force deployment in Kosovo, Chad, Central Africa Republic and FYROM. Rough rule of thumb: NATO prevented Warsaw Pact/USSR killing Europeans, EU (tries to) prevent Europeans killing Europeans.

    * WebAlice: just got in. Sorry to hear about the suicide bombers in Moscow: I hope you and yours are OK.

    * Wonthillian: re your post 207: thanks for the link.

    * Nik: re your post 200: thanks for the clarification.

    * MuadDib: re your post 186: "How many summits will Europe have to have before they institute financial reforms?" I suspect this was a rhetorical question, but seeing as the European Council meets about 4-5 times a year, it'll be about 8-ish.

    Regards, viewcode

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  • 225. At 00:09am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    CBW, correct your observations but why don't you see it from the perspective of the justice system is not there to render any justice but to maintain some short of social balance and tranquility for the capital. Nobody cares for these criminals if they are in or out unless the situation disrupts the financial activity of the country.

    That is the norm in any country, Finland is no exception. You should see what they have done in France or Belgium...

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  • 226. At 00:10am on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    British analysts say we have managed to grow up somehow a "Caucasian Halifat" in the belly belt and it must be a hello from there. That Doku Umarov a certain warrior man announced himself "The Emir". The Halifat size, acc. to the map I saw on BBC includes N. Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Chechnya.

    Only Chechnya objects, because they want to be bosses around in the Caucasus, not some side-business up-start crow "Halifat".

    To grow up a whole halifat on the side, and not to notice it :o)))) of course only Russia can.

    The head of Russian muslims, the Mufty, though, I noticed didn't show up on TV today. Some rep. sent, from their Council, to speak.
    Normally when they are asked by other confessions "why ours don't walk around in belts", neither Jewish, nor Orthodox, nor Buddhist are in the habit - he says they are not his subjects, the ones who send suicide women, they don't even attend Mosque ? "service" but are some Vakhabits, and he doesn't manage them.

    Well, for "vakhabists" we don't have anyone even vaguely "responsible", inside, no head of them, to blame.

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  • 227. At 00:15am on 30 Mar 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    Nik,
    Thanks for the response.....are you totally serious when you say that no one asked for a repayment on a loan? : ))))
    You must be just teasing me, I hope!!!
    In relation to No. 222 - please expand, I'm curious....

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  • 228. At 01:13am on 30 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Nik

    Re #225 & my #223 in response to Jukka_R's #215

    With respect: To some extent I think you may have misunderstood the intention of my 'PS' part of the Comment to J_R.
    It wasn't 'justice' or 'society' I was aiming at - - more along the line of J_R please consider other's feelings a little more carefully.

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  • 229. At 01:30am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re227: Hmmm... I will come back on that. As a teaser I will leave this:

    Just see how Greeks got rich in history (in Mycynaean times, in classical times, in Hellenistic times, in Roman times, in Byzantine times and in late Ottoman times...).

    I am not kidding here. Follow the ancient trade routes. Nothing is accidental. Everything depends on geomorphology and geopolitics. You will understand a lot if you think it that way.

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  • 230. At 06:33am on 30 Mar 2010, Deadlylampshade wrote:

    Firstly: My thoughts are with the victims of the horrific crime in Moscow yesterday-the families of those who have died and of people who have had their lives changed by being injured or maimed.There is no justification for these actions.

    ~207 Interesting. I haven't seen the pamphlet before though have heard of it.Interesting that the Government's ringing endorsement refers to the "Eurobeer" and "Eurobread" concerns. Some might suggest that to be a cynical attempt to trivialise opposition whilst those against might also point to the suggestion that there could be a food shortage if Britain did not remain in the EEC as being scaremongering. We can all draw our own conclusions. Unless I am missing something , I see no mention of the Treaty of Rome or of "Ever Closer Union" either. All in all a ringing endorsement for a "Yes" vote which, I understand, was backed by a major Government campaign with resources that dwarfed those of the opposition.
    It would be interesting if the question arose now, with far more information about and readily accessible.
    My Mother voted "No" though in spite of it all-good enough for me.

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  • 231. At 10:11am on 30 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    226 @ AliceInWonderLand
    I think all you wrote there is very, very alarming…
    In 1985 our extreme Muslim Underground people organized several bloody attacks in trains and on public places. We were horrified and immediately a gap of mutual mistrust and fear opened between the Orthodox people (90%) and the Muslims(7%). After the Berlin wall destruction, our politicians unanimously invited the Muslim people to take more active part in the ruling of the country. Many ex-security men of Muslim origin banded in a political movement that gradually was transformed into a political party named “Movement for the rights and the liberties” (now being the third political power after the right wing “GERB” and the left wing Socialist party). There are also many non Muslim people in the said “Muslim” party…
    For the last twenty years, the civic society along with the fragile democracy, have been gaining speed, and to-day, our kids do not believe that in Bulgaria such horrible things may happen.
    I am still cautious. Our commitment to the NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo could serve as a pretext to some Al Qaida people to attack the Sofia Metropolitan or some big Railway station… God keep us!
    Alice, I belong to the generation that still reserves high esteem and very, very warm feelings to the Russian people; the said generation is in very good command of the Russian language and is a traditional public of the Russian culture /literature, dramaturgy, poetry, classic music, ballet, cinema, fine arts, etc./. This is one of the main reasons /along with the historic reasons, I mean the liberation of Bulgaria from the Turkish yoke, the common orthodox faith, the Cyrillic alphabet, the very similar cultures, etc./ why the people here are so comprehensive with what happens in Russia, no matter whether it is good or not. Of course, I should avow that the people here have different measures when they think of the Russian people or of the Russian art achievements, and say, when they are asked to assess whether the Russian politicians are good or not… /the people here do not have much sympathy for the public authorities, no matter their nationality…and the rich/.

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  • 232. At 11:33am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Generalissimo, most of your muslims are actually Bulgarian people, Bulgarian muslims. You should make them atheists or at least diminuish their religious belief so that they don't identify themselves with the Turks or any other muslim in the world. But are you sure it is only them? You do not reiceive any of the thousands of muslims arriving from Turkey?
    We in Greece have a bigger problem, our muslims are not Greeks but Pomaks (Bulgarian related), gipsies and a few what-one-can-call-Turks. Then you have Albanians (in their majority muslims) and all illegal immigrants (almost all sunni muslims - what a coincidence that all these pass from Turkey!!!). So you see the real danger.

    When I tell other Europeans that Greeks do not bother so much if they are going to pay more tax but more about their own existence that is directly threatened, they refuse to believe. If France has 7-8 million muslims, it still has 50-55 million French (yet over certain regions they have lost complete control and there is the rule of the muslim mob). Greece is a 10 million country only so you can imagine the consequencies. France is a country that never felt the muslim yoke, Greece is a country whose nation was genocided by the muslim Turks not even 100 years ago. So the presence of so many muslims in Greece is a frightening prospect for all people. The last thing Greeks want is to take again the mountains trying to protect their families from the muslim mob.

    You have to take note of what is going on. There are "forces" right now and work for the complete destabilisation of our neighbourhood. The recent re-ottomanisation of Turkey is no accident and it is not accident that US does not commend. They feel threatened from Russia's recent gains in Caucasus and the stabilisation of Ukraine after the Fanta/Orangina movement lost its gas.

    For us, either Russia has to retreat completely - something not possible now - or they have to really come forward to fend off US-provoked destabilisation in the region. A mid-way for us will be catastrophic cos it will be Russia and US battling over our heads. And right now that is the last thing we need.

    Greece right now is on the limit. It needs clearing. It needs to impose Turkey to take back all those muslims that it technically forwarded all these years to Greece. EU is responsible for that. Either they have to help Greece on that or the other European countries will have to take the responsibility and give citizenship to all these Iraqis, Afganis, Pakistanis, Greece is not supposed to keep the for EU in our lands becoming the dustbin of Europe (I am sorry for the phrase but that is how EU leaders see my country). If EU is really wishing to see Greece as a "buffer zone" then let it be, we can live more isolated and more poor (we will see if...), we should get out of the EU and instantly sign an alliance with Russia, which will not care what measures we take internamlly. Right now, the least of the problems for Greece is the financial. Its geopolitical deficit is 10 times more serious, and for that the EU remains pathetically silent.

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  • 233. At 12:56pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re228: CBW, I do not still understand how I hurt anyone's feelings by saying that justice does not serve people. I was referring also to French and Belgian cases of punishing fantastically lightly the worst criminals and letting them out. I am as mad as you at such stories and even more. Nontheless, no matter if I have not found any hurting comment in my above message, I apologise blindly in advance for having possibly written somethign that could potentially be misinterpreted and hurt someone's feelings. But try to get used to my style of writing. It is never personal not on any attack (apart the case of well-meant irony to spice up discussion and exchange of views).

    Re227: Islandhopper... hmm... paying loans? If "international investors" lent Greece in 1897 and got their money back in 1970, i.e. 3 generations later while 2 generations of investors where already dead and it was their grand or even great-grand children running the institutions... you can imagine that nobody is in a hurry to press Greece to repay any loan.
    You have to be really into macro-finance to understand this reality. Investors are not after "money repayment". They create money, they win nothing by getting it back. What they want is land and ressources, i.e. the real value.

    Thus the issue of Greece is elsewhere...

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  • 234. At 1:39pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Generalissimo "alarming" is not the word.
    We live like? like if the USA let in all Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran in, un-limited, come whoever wishes :o))))

    Because that is what it means "Russian Federation" there aren't any borders between Caucasus and elsewhere here. All same Russians. Whenever any muslim Russian from any place in Caucasus wishes to blast out any other Russian :o))) from elsewhere - he that is she is free to do so.

    And now this mysterious "Halifate" Jesus Christ as if simply being Caucasus is not enough!!!

    Of course eh, "non-Caucasus" Russians have only 2 ideas about it:

    1. Kick them all out all who think they are Halifate and stop financing these regions from the common budget, pay them not pay them - they blast us anyway. The brand new "Emir" announced "we want a state - like Afghanistan" oh great news.

    2. Take a frying pan into the subway under coat, because all wounds are "120 cm from the ground", all hospitals reported pancreas, liver and stomuck tore-s.

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  • 235. At 2:00pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I read an interview of a very clever chap, head of Military Prognosis Centre, Tsygankov (the "gypsy" man :o)

    He said he sees only 3 practical things to do.

    1./ Gas analysers of the air, to be installed at entrance to every metro station in every Russian city, and then process all entering through them

    2./ Those clever trained sniffy dogs - currently there is only one school by Moscow who trains coaches and dogs for the whole Federation, for the boarder-line guards, mostly, and for airports.

    Dogs' graduation alumni how to say q-ties :o) should be increased 1,000 -fold, 6 dogs with masters per subway station to stroll around (taking into account their shifts, they can't sniff non-stop).

    3./ To do something with this damn wives system. He said we simply don't understand the system. Israel, during 63 years of its existence, has had 61 "live bombs". Is considered to be a worrisome, security-alert, nervous checking and all - place.

    Russia, in comparison, has had 43 "live boms" - during the past 5 years.
    Simply nobody raises the shouut when the girls blow up in regions, only when it affects either capital Then all go aaah, but any Volgograd market (-63 people in one blast), or a train someplace distant - nobody even winks. Or, like, shouts, but it doesn't attract int'l attention and is soon forgotten.

    43 "live bombs" - detonated - in FIVE YEARS. Only Russians can stroll around after that and think they live "normally" he said.
    And all of them - females, 18-24 years old.

    His conclusion is - "junior wives".

    He said the system is - the senior wife, the first one eh he marries with, is out in charge of making the next generation, children. In case dear husband dies young. Risky life style, this and that :o)
    He says, even TWO senior wives, are being directed towards child "production".

    The junior ones the man feels freer to dispose of, and they are kept educated that their task in life is - come any troubles - "to revenge for the dear husband".

    Now, as dear husband leads his risky life, and all, and happens often he indeed has to be "revenged for". For which this "junior wives institution" is , how to say, targeted at. Either the chap gets dead, or the chap gets mean - the junior wives business is to be the "live bomb", they are indoctrinated for that.
    Senior wives never blow up.

    I suspect the task of telling "junior" from "senior" in the Caucasus is something, how to say, beyond the type of men that "work" there capability.

    Anyway after him spoke another expert, and he said he agrees about the dogs and junior wives institution, but forget about gas analysers, there isn't technically one that gives the answer less than in a second, and cueues to check passangers will be un-manageable, even if we get equipped with the swiftest ones in the world. They all need to wink, buzz, have a break between two people.

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  • 236. At 2:16pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Guys, now forget about everything for a moment and lets concentrate in replying to Islandhopers nice question "what happens about Greece, does it pays its loans or not?" "how Greece can make money", and why things like that happened?

    Islandhoper please take and read for yourself:

    Read the titles fast... shuffle the pages...
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/analysis/35474.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/84419.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4436877.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5312132.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6896195.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6917002.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6951477.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6999029.stm
    ...now there is something missing here in the beggining of 2008...
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7770086.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7780313.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7979898.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8234843.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8285484.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8289147.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3472229.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8289674.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8407605.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8387190.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8406665.stm
    while...
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7817043.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8090104.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8051921.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7852145.stm

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  • 237. At 2:44pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Did you read the above links? Just the titles I mean nothing else.
    ... so what was the missing article in 2008?... hmmm... I have searched repeatedly in BBC and google to no avail... (where they have archived it?).

    Let us see the timeline of Greece.

    Strange... : on energy issues is has only this:
    2002 March - Greek, Turkish governments agree to build gas pipeline through which Turkey will supply Greece with gas.

    Wistuful thinking? It has this minor one and it missed this major?

    http://www.greekembassy.org/Embassy/Content/en/Article.aspx?office=1&folder=361&article=23481
    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/21089/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Stream

    How can it be possible? Misinformation? Propaganda?

    Hmmmm....

    Now lets get back to Greece's timeline above.

    Check summer 2007.
    Check elections October 2007.
    Check summer 2009.
    Check snap elections 2009.

    I only need to tell you that in Greece, yes there are often fires every summer. But we rarely if ever had any victims (in 2007 40 people died!), and rarely there are more than 2 fires on the same place (in 2007 only in Peloponesus there were fires in a series line (as if trying to trap pepole to their death or something... well it happened). Check "Greek fires summer 2007, images - they go directly to Peloponesus).

    Now check signature of gas 2008.
    Check murders and social trouble by end of 2008.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Still do you ask yourself if the whole issue is about Greece's loans?

    Ok... I have articles but they are in Greek. BBC has not them.

    In October 2009, first week of government, George Papandreou declared 3 things:

    1) Freezing of project with Russians on environmental issues!
    2) Freezing of talks with Chinese on Greek ports for "defending workers' rights"
    3) The automatic recognition as citizens of 200,000 illegal immigrants

    During this Greek financial crisis Papandreou:

    1) Signed a contract with equally pro-US Bulgarian PM (they had elections too in 2009, summer), for hte construciton of an inverse pipeline for the provision of Saoudi Arabian liquified gas to Greece and Bulgaria (double building and operational cost than Russian pipeline...)
    2) The creation of a unified "Greek Ports" structure that unites the management of touristic and commercial ports - in something that can be seen as a move to kick out Chinese by creating a communist-style structure paid by the Greek citizens... thus instead of receiving money, Greeks will be pumping more to feed the port mafia union workers (illiterate people, winning 10,000 euros per month non-taxed, all of them driving Cayennes!).
    4) And right now is on to giving the citizenship to 200,000 (i.e. in reality more than 500,000) illegal immigrants (90% sounni muslims) who will be voting his PASOK party to eternity as well as voting against Greece in every single national issue. It goes withoutsaying that Greeks are going to pay the social cost of intergrating all these people who of course are not going to jump out of the black (often criminal) market to enter the legal market, thus exploding the problem in social secutrity, health insurances and such...

    Note: Papandreou is son and grandson of "Greek" politicians. His fathern the Greek equivalent of French Mitteran on the more negative side, is responsible for the bulk of the current bad financial and political state of Greece - been termed as the destroyer of Greece. His grandfather came from Egypt with British and then the civil war had started...

    What I can I say more?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope that answers you everything you much of what you wanted to know...

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  • 238. At 2:55pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    And to finish off your answer "How Greece can become prosperous", the answer cannot be any easier:

    1) In Minoan/Mycenaean times,
    2) In Archaic/Classical times,
    3) In Hellenistic/early Roman times,
    4) In late Roman/Eastern Roman times
    5) ... and even in the Ottoman Empire from mid-18th century onwards till mid-19th, check what happened on both occasions...

    ... the Greeks became immensely rich
    1) not by their production agricultural or industrial
    2) not by having colonies and exploiting others
    3) not by banking games and investements

    ... but simply by being a part of 2 major trade routes:
    A) One linking Black Sea with Mediterranean
    B) One being the passage of the commerce coming from Asia via Middle East and Egypt).

    It is up to you to check why these two are not right here right now and it is up to you to verify who really these two historic trade routes will benefit.

    A & B are even more important than you think and down to the basics more important than the gas projects. Remember - the most hot issue in the area is the 12 miles...

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  • 239. At 3:23pm on 30 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    235 @ AliceInWonderLand
    Alice, I think that your last Caucasian saga is even more alarming than that of your previous post. If I have allowed myself to explain how thinks were going in my country, I had nothing else in mind but to argue that maybe there is some other way to integrate, say, the majority of the Caucasian people and to isolate the extremists who intend to revive some medieval traditions.
    I am possibly mistaken over the similarities between the Bulgarian Muslims /who integrated successfully the secular society here/ and some Chechen Muslims of the Caucasian region. True, I have lived several years in old Piter which was /along with the Baltic cities/ the most civilized place of the former USSR…The people there were nice and very, very educated… I certainly was misinformed of what was going in the southern part of the country...
    232 @ Nik
    Nikolay, if that horrible scenario comes true, I mean if the EU and the USA wouldn’t give a s…… to help Greece, I am positive that the next victim will be Bulgaria…
    However, knowing well how you /as being former Byzantines/ are successfully lobbying among the business and government circles throughout the whole Continent of Europe and in the US, I do hope that when the situation worsens /just like three weeks ago/, some almighty people will intervene to help you…
    Of course, Russia is the last resort both for you and for all the remaining orthodox folks /Serbs, Montenegrins, Cypriotes, Macedonians, Bulgarians../ All of them got free in the past not only through their continuous struggle for independence, but also with /the decisive/ help of the Russian arms…One can not remake the history Nikolay!

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  • 240. At 4:29pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Generalissimo, note that you talk to a Macedonian.I know you call them like that in a "regional" sense but for me even this is wrong since Macedonia is a region that is coastal around northwestern Aegean corner, it never had borders with Kosovo, Voivodina or... Hungary. FYROM is north of Macedonia. These people are Bulgarians, but you know how they were taught to see it... they were taught by Tito to demand our lands as their only scope of existence so as to forget they were originally Bulgarians (..demanding our lands as part of Bulgaria's expansion to the coastal south on the expense of Greeks). They actively demand pretty much the 1/3rd of Greece and in that my very own home and land thus becoming a potential weapon in the hands of whoever wishes destabilisation in the area. Needless I repeat why I will be always sharp on that.
    Said that, I view them as "misled immature" people for whom we have simply to wait to realise who is really on their side (Bulgaria, for being the same nation, Greece for sincerely caring about their development) and who is against them. When they will find the difficulties (because once US finishes with them, it will cause them pain - as US is more pro-Albanian) they will call you & us for help. You know how this story goes. As you said, one cannot remake history.

    Now, Generalissimo I greatly respect you for being a very open minded (and highly intelligent) thinker here.

    So yes, You got it right. You think fast.

    I am not playing the wizard here, do not have the oracle charisma but from what I see I am afraid, Bulgaria comes next. Cos even more than Greece, Bulgaria being more close and being a slavic neighbour to Russians, even if it will maintain a pro-US government it will never be trusted by US and will never be part of US long-term plans, not that such plans anyway favour any other country in the region (apart partially Turkey). Just be carefull how you handle the issues with EU - they are a double edged knife. EU did more harm to Greece's geopolitical position than good. It is not necessary but it is very possible that EU will do the same for Bulgaria.

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  • 241. At 4:33pm on 30 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To generalissimo (239):

    Lets imagine this whole discussion in another time and place..

    Istanbul 1876, a discussion in local bazaar after news of April uprising...

    Ottoman 1: "...What just happened in Bulgaria goes beyond any common sense. It makes me think of the Ilkbahar’s verse “Bulgar, gunahkar” /turkish. “Bulgar, the evil-doer”/."

    Ottoman 2: "...We should make them Muslims or at least diminish their religious belief so that they don't identify themselves with the Bulgarians or any other Christians in the world."

    Ottoman 1: "...Maybe there is some other way to integrate, say, the majority of the Bulgarian people and to isolate the extremists who intend to revive some medieval traditions"

    Point being is that we shouldn't forget in all our indignation that there are real grievances that Chechens and other North Caucasus people have. They are fighting for their freedom, for their right for national self-determination and sovereignty, this struggle has been going on since 1994.

    Now some might say that Chechnya is integral part of Russia and that the Russian state is the only legitimate authority over it, however when a state goes against its own citizens and abandons law and justice, it looses any legitimisation that it had. Remember that in 1876 and before, it was the same case with Bulgaria, Bulgaria was an integral part of Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman state the only legitimate authority over it.

    In my opinion the only thing that will stop bloodshed is that Moscow grants independence to any and all North Caucasian nations. That is the only way forward, anything else will only lead to more blood being spilled.

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  • 242. At 5:27pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    There are details.

    Both women arrived to Moscow from (undisclosed name) Caucasian city, by "mezhdugorodny"/ btw cities' bus, ordinary, private operator. The rest of the bus were shuttling baggie-shoppers, buying things at cheap markets in Moscow and carrying them back to Caucasus for re-sale. Small private traders, who came to Moscow to shop.

    Unlike train/airline you don't present a passport when travelling by bus between cities in Russia. Apparently tha's why this route was chosen.
    The two bombers arrived in the companny of 1 man and two women more. But only these two were dressed in dark clothes from toe till head.

    Bus driver identified them by print-outs from the subway cameras, the whole group of 5. The man was dressed blue and white, nothing "dark".

    After the explosion bombers' parts were collected together. The two missed the belly part and one hand each. Bombs were not in the belts at all, but each woman was carrying a hand-bag on a strap over the shoulder, and keeping it in front of her, in the subway, covering by one hand, as if minding robbers or ? to see it in front of you always, and feel.
    By extraordinary luck a subway ticket where the station when you enter is printed in Moscow subway system (1-ride ticket) (in St. petersburg we have metal tokens, no print-ins) eh, got pressed into the one suicide body. They read on it the entry station into the subway, and viewed all the films from the cameras in that station. And saw the group, and only a blind one wouldn't see them, as women were dressed dark-brown black head scarfs all head to toe.

    The photos were printed and inter-city bus drivers still in the bus station in Moscow questioned in case someone brought them in, after all not a 1 day trip, afar, and one recognised them.

    Whereabouts of the two women more and the man are unknown. Though police knows his name, but most likely a false name, when he split from the group inside the subway - he was stopped! at another subway station, by a policeman, who checked his documents! The man presented a passport, which was looked at and he was released. There is his good photo on the camera but the passport most likely was false.

    That's everyone's news. Additionally, there are journalists' own news, that Moscow police definitely knew of the terrorist act to take place, there was an alarm in the system, as heaps of people stopped by police THAT very morning, all "Caucasian-looking" addressed newspapers with their stories, how they were stopped and stopped and documents checked from the moment of the subway opening, from 5 o'clock Monday morning.

    One woman addressed Echo of Moscow and told how she was stopped on a down-town subway station likewise, not far, at 7:15, she showed her passport, which had Moscow registration! and ANYWAY they grabbed her and brought to the police station "for further investigation" (abnormal here, normally local regsitration - that's it). Where she was put to wait on a bench in the hall with SEVERAL OTHER MUSCOVITES (all of Caucasian origin, and all females).

    And involuntarily, she heard all that took place in the police station, what the men talked between them about. That's a station by Lubianka.
    She said there was a lot of buzz and traffic, all ran in out intensively (policeman), bringing more women.
    At 20 minutes past the explosion (as she found out later, when they were released, they didn't know of any explosions) a man broke in through the doors, a policeman seemingly in high ranks and shouted at the present police staff "How could you have missed them, you had full orientation!"

    In about an hour all women were let go.

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  • 243. At 5:34pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Jukka Rohila, you are referring to the different perspectives and in that sense you make a point in the first part. It depends on what angle you see it.

    Albeit there is a problem in your logic in the sense that each case is different. 1st, Chechenia is not a proper country and is habitated by a massive number of other nations that no matter their religion are not necessarily friendly to Chechens. If Chechens are isolated, their country becomes a small tribal place scattered over the mountains but them apparently want more. Said that, I am not surprised these people fought and may wish in future to fight against Russians. However, Russia does not poses any threat over them, nor against their religion and culture; it poses threat only when the threaten Russia to spoil its interests in the area - Chechens do no live in a fairy world, they are backed up by Americans. A kind of Russians supporting extremist groups of Mexicans in Texas and California - you may imagine what Americans would do?

    The case of Bulgaria in 1878 is different. While Bulgarian people, established themselves in what was anciently northern-central Thrace, mixed with Thraecians (and some Goths who had established there), and even partially with Greeks living in some cities and in Black Sea coastline (Pyrgos, Mesimvria etc.) and they produced what we know as modern Bulgarians, who are the direct descendants of that powerful medieval kingdom. Bulgarians thus tied themselves to the land, became a nation that tied itself in these lands, produced culture, spread the cyrilic alphabets (Cyril and Methodios were actually half-greek and had invented another alphabet inspired by Greek but it was actually Bulgarian students that invented the actual cyrilic alphabet adapting directly the Greek one...well!). In other words, Bulgarians had a legitimate history in their region. And quite a long one, 1400 years are not a little when most modern European nations have not even half of that.

    But Ottomans? Did they have a legitimate control over Bulgarians? Hmmm... 600 years one might say. Yes but they remained there pretty much as English remained in Rhodesia. Colonial power - and not even that. They remained there as an occupatio force. It is not Bulgarians that told them to do so but them how they preferred it to be: a relation of masters and slaves bringing the region down to a total zero using their mainly Albanian and slavic muslim militia. What was the legitimacy that Ottomans gained in the region? How did they gain it? Because they existed? Because it suited western Europeans? But it was them that were mentioning that visiting 19th century Ottoman Empire it was like visiting 15th century Ottoman Empire. Nothing had changed. Ottomans lived as conquerors, the rest as conquered with no notion of citizenship - the first Turks that talked of such were the young-turks and as it was proved in Bulgaria against Bulgarians, in Macedonia against Greeks, in Minor Asia against Greeks, Armenians, Assyrochaldeans et al, they meant it in a way of "become a turkish speaking muslim, leave the Empire or die".

    Sounds legitimate enough for you?

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  • 244. At 5:35pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Anyway, forget about your failed paradigm of 1878 Bulgaria, I propose you a quicker way of having peace in Caucasus:

    How about USA stop mingling in Russian affairs?

    Sounds much more rapid and effective.

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  • 245. At 5:40pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The twin blasts are formally , eh, by most media that is, and experts, referred to either one or the other killing in the Caucasus recently.

    A./ Revenge for the FSB operation who caught and shot "The Sword of Allah", he is the Prosecutor of the "Caucasian Halifat", that is, was their prosecutor, right hand of the "Emir". Instilled fear into everyone there, as all locals were scared of him. Well, except the ones who wanted to be part of the Halifate, of course.

    B./ Revenge for the FSB operation who caught and shot Said Buriatsky, another Caucasian fame, but a famous uncatchable for a long time, unlike the "Halifate Sword of Allah" (comparatively recent appointment).

    Said Buriatsky organised 9 blasts already for us, so this is No 10-11, if it's his crew this time. Including the Moscow-St.petersburg train blast, comparatively recently (last autumn). He was long wanted bbut when his location circled didn't surrender alive. They say. Well I actually think they wouldn't mind getting him alive at all.

    Said Buryatsky (50/50 say, "Caucasus" and Buriat, by mum) recruited a group of 30 from Chechnya and Ingushetia and sent at own expense to study eh, something, to Turkey. On return, 9 of the group became live bombs. May be 10-11, if these are his as well. The rest of the trainees in religious sciences are being searched for now, where exactly they are within Russia and what busy with.

    In case of A./ yesterday's twin blast are likely a one-off, for the "Sword of Allah", revenge.

    In case of B./ that is simply continuation of an on-going story, and only 1/3 of the group has blown up so far, 20 more may any day.

    Media says FSB is of the opinion that unfortunately can be case B./, as total alarm is now across all police in Russia, readiness level raised top, subways personnel in all cities on alert No1 , and overall, un-healthy expectation.

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  • 246. At 5:46pm on 30 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #146

    Quote from 'pro-EU', "..France is a net payer to the EU Budget.." & "..the subsidy (CAP) France gets is not nearly enough to balance the payments..":
    Meaning France's contribution to the EU is much greater than what it gets from CAP.

    So, CAP should be cancelled at once - - as France certainly doesn't need it and according to the above will not miss it all!?
    I'm sure France's Agricultural community will be mightily relieved not to have to receive unwanted, unearned & undeserved Monies from the EU26!


    Re #203

    Quote from 'pro-EU', "..Greece delivered fraudulent figures concerning its budget in the framework of the Stabilisation Pact..":
    Meaning Greece produced totally false Statistics which the EUrozone used as part of its overall Data to justify a EUrozone15.

    Quote from 'pro-EU', "..specify which figures need correcting..": Meaning as its only EU Citizen Tax-payers money nobody at the EU can bothered to do the corrections could some kind soul outside do the sums as at the moment the EU Data is based on fraudulent Statistics!

    Breathtaking duplicity: I couldn't make this up!

    Where does that leave the not-so-clever & the intellectuals? Lets see now, oh yes!

    Apparently, the not-so-clever, (we) in the UK who oppose membership of the EU and had voted 'Yes' in April 1975 were just foolish and inept people not to have read the 'Ever closer political union' clause.

    Apparently, the intellectuals, (those) who signed up to the EUro-zone with 9 Nations inc. Greece who were fixing their accounts to ensure they fitted the zone were just very bright and adept people not to have read the crooked accounts much more carefully!

    The above is 'pro-EU' in classic duck & dive mode - - completely incapable of facing reality - - E.g. 'EU is good, All else is bad!'

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  • 247. At 5:57pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Said Buriatsky is not a name, don't worry, moderators.
    It's a nick-name, a famed un-catchable character here, for a long time (until a month ago). Like ? Mackie Knife. Only far worse.

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  • 248. At 5:59pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Saj-id - because of the White Sun of the Desert movie, a popular muslim first name, with Russians, that is.
    Buriatsky - because from Buriatia republic, his looks. Buriats do look strongly different.

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  • 249. At 6:03pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    So all boring, nothing extraordinary highly un-catchable, terroristic tricks.
    Ordinary bus, simple route, very visible clothing, no scientific scheming.
    Well, plastit, the explosives - they did get somewhere. Even in the Caucasus - it is not "for sale", in the town markets.

    One woman wore black skirt to the ground, and ? beaded golden? how to say, those small shiny bits, on the shoes. The other - long dark brown trousers, also to the ground-length.

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  • 250. At 8:54pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    You know something WA? Since the times BBC's standards (Mr. Hewitt, your attention please) started to visibly fall, you may see the phenomenon of the editors putting ugly or comical photos of people they do not like and of putting flattering photos of people they like. I can show to you 100s of paradigms, it is not just my imagination.

    Of course for the case of Russians that could not be any more true:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8594826.stm

    Seeing this article I though of it talking about a Russian tennis player or something. Albeit, it talked about eye-witnesses of the terrorist attack that killed so many people.

    That is anything else than journalism.

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  • 251. At 9:55pm on 30 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    197. At 09:52am on 29 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Hi CBW,

    Regrettably, it does appear that statistics from some sources are less reliable than could be best hoped for. One big lesson from this crisis must be that EuroStat better polices data sent to it from the various national statistics offices, and insists on being provided more substatiated data.

    "as France certainly doesn't need it and according to the above will not miss it all!?
    I'm sure France's Agricultural community will be mightily relieved not to have to receive unwanted, unearned & undeserved Monies from the EU26!"

    They do produce the best food though. However, an interesting point about the unwanted monies - how then do you square the apparent circle of the Monarchy in the UK being one of the biggest CAP recipients in Europe?

    Mickalus

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  • 252. At 10:00pm on 30 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    245. At 5:40pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Alice,

    I've been away from news outlets for a while. Sincerest hopes that you and all yours are safe.

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  • 253. At 10:16pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, the photo BBC used is indeed dusgusting. Russia Today presenters are presenting every day and I suppose there are other captions of her that could have been used.
    In this case it is like one madman using the photo of another madman. Madmadam.

    Anyway I am more interested how all suddenly caught up on sympathising Russia, I mean, official No One-s and key world media-s.
    Don't remember such squall of "we are together with you" :o))))), though, God knows, it's not the first occasion to send us sympathy and condolences, to put it softly.

    I don't talk about ordinary people, here I've got own barometer of wide acquaintance, there it is all human as usual. I mean formal structures.

    Either one or the other

    a./ My heart-felt posting :o))) on BBC:o)))) had its international effect :o))))) and Russia has become the apple of the eye :o)))))

    b./ we are dragged into Afghanistan. All are happy that NOW Russia will join up the rows.

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  • 254. At 10:26pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    In fact. Why not. Let's all re-locate to Afghanistan.
    Peaceful, quiet, organised place - compared to Caucasus.

    May be we should take Afghanistan over from NATO, and leave them Caucasian Halifate to manage, instead.

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  • 255. At 10:30pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    O. Mickalus. and the e-mails I get - ordinary people. always human.

    Thank you, Mickalus

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  • 256. At 10:56pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka, I am going to walk the dog and then will look up what you have recommended. I longly wanted to read carefully, what if useful advice, you are practical. if anything :o))))

    Honestly I haven't, but if you are again suggesting to let all go ... :o))))) as you normally do :o))))))
    Well. At this point I won't write off any options.

    Only I swear to you it's not freedom fighters anymore. Freedom fighters were Chechnya first war, first generation. Led my Soviet army officers :o))), high rank career Soviet army profi-s, who were Chechens, and wanted to break off - have freedom, and Chechnya independence, headed the wave.

    That was all understandable and normal. If only! the same now.

    Back then when Yeltsin said take as much freedom as you can swallow - which absolutely agreed with own local intentions :o)))) - all got freedom.

    But some couldn't allow for separatism within, how to say, what they thought - freedom freedom but this is too much.

    Russia couldn't live with Chechnya go idea.
    Azerbajan couldnn't live with Karabakh (Armenian enclave) go idea.
    Georgia couldn't live with Abkhasia go idea.
    Moldova couldn't live with Transdniestria go idea.
    Ukraine couldn't live with Crimea go idea.

    None of us still can't, in case you skipped it.

    But it was all clear, independence inside independence striving, like Matryoshka doll inside a Matryoshka doll.

    And now is what? The Caucasus today is alas not the Caucasus it were 20 years ago. Don't you see the change in the feel?

    We don't face Matryoshka dolls anymore, kh! if only.

    It's indeed a fundamentalism attacking, and attacking world, and Russia is simply chosen as the weakest link in the chain.

    We are the weakest link now, with , you know what. 100 degress difference in income, un-heard of elsewhere - ANYWHERE. It is awful easy to approach with vakhabism ANY man in the Caucasus and say - "See how you live? See the difference between your rich and your porr? It is because infidels in Moscow are managing the place."

    Nothing easier in the world.

    It is because the police is focused on choking protests, and FSB is looking for seeds of disconent within own Russians. Instead of focusing on terrorism.

    You never heard the popular Russian rulers saying?

    "Sober Russians - nightmare of every Russian tsar".
    They think us more dangerous than terrorists :o)))), traditionally.
    I am pleased , of course :o))))

    Mis-placed brains, of the government. Government-s!
    They look for danger in wrong places. Well, in the correct place, in fact. :o)

    Why elsewhere live bombs are exception to the rule in the life, and here - proofs to the rule? Reduce the level of terrorism to "modern int'l Western average" - definitely possible.

    But to win over world fundamentalism - that's another matter. I don't know how. This is not money. I swear this is not money. You can not fight ideas with money. It is faith, which you don't buy.

    This you don't understand, as a "practical Western" - I assure you notions, and prevailing ideas - you can't buy either them, or yourself "out of it".

    It is a plague. And Russia is chosen as the weakest link in the Western countries (stress - Western) chain.

    It is 1917 again. When Russia was targeted by communism, as THE WEAKEST LINK in the capitalist chain.

    That's what "Caucasus" is. It's not "Caucasus", three ha ha. It's for worldwide change, again. A handle. Which we, Russians, are supposed to do, or to be provoked to do, and certainly expected to live through again.

    What a damn indeed "a big misfortune" place.

    The problem is the world treats fundamentalism in its usual white fluffy, politically correct, half-hearted manner. Typical Western manner.

    While the world ought to get united against it, like the last time against fascism.

    There is a similar battle ahead, no doubt. Acute feeling. We know the feeling. First communism, then fascism, now - fundamentalism.
    God loves trinity.
    Damn it all.

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  • 257. At 11:01pm on 30 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Nik (243) and (244):

    Before commenting you might want to read about the subject in hand...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechnya

    You can for example find out from there that.

    ..Chechens account for 93.5% of Chechnya's population.

    ..Before declaring Chechnya independent from Russia, it was of part of Republic of Chechen-Ingushetia. Ingush didn't want to leave Russia, so both parties, Chechens and Ingush formed their own republic.

    They are a nation among nations, they serve their own country as much as you me, or any body else.

    In case of your note about USA intervening to internal matters of Russia, the thing is that both USA and Europe have shamefully not intervened to the matters of Russia. When Russian army was committing grave human rights crimes in the first and second Chechen war, the official line was that it was an internal matter of Russia. That has been clearly a wrong way to do it as Russia has become a ruthless authoritarian police state.

    If USA alongside Europe would have intervened, then I can assure you that whole North Caucasus would be burning alongside parts of Russia. If USA would have shipped guns, ammunition, money, military instructors, etc.. as it did when USSR invaded Afghanistan, the war in Chechnya would already be over and we would have an independent Chechnya.

    Next time there is some trouble inside Russia, a group of people wanting to secede, we shouldn't wait, but funnel money and arms to whatever group and for whatever cause.

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  • 258. At 11:01pm on 30 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    255. At 10:30pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    You're very very welcome Alice.

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  • 259. At 11:13pm on 30 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (256):

    I recommend seriously reading the article, if you were referring it. It does explain somewhat why I and so many, while repulsed by these terrorist acts, can understand the reason why they were done.

    In case of Caucasus, it is not a world wide struggle. Just give them independence, close borders and let them figure out how they want and can organize their societies. Some will come practical places out of the need to survive. Some will come fundamentalist, especially if they have oil in the ground, but then again that can be dealt by trading oil to luxuries, weapons and pieces of paper.

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  • 260. At 11:41pm on 30 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mickalus

    Re #251

    In this 21st Century Prince Charles & the Duchy of Cornwall are an impossible anachronism to square following the long, illustrious & downright aggrandising actvities of the British Monarchy through the Centuries.

    All the same the CAP subsidy of the future King is hardly enough to keep France Farmers for a month in the wealthy manner to which by EU largesse & duplicitous financial chicanery they are accustomed!

    At least the Heir apparent pays Taxes to the realm: Of course, a portion of those then go to the EU which in turn returns them via CAP - - thus a small & odd pecuniary circle is maintained - - I dare say that would be the French farmers' argument, they pay-in & get paid-out, but in their case they get so much more back it is one of the more sickly 'yokes' of the vaunted EU!

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  • 261. At 00:24am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    " open

    In case of your note about USA intervening to internal matters of Russia, the thing is that both USA and Europe have shamefully not intervened to the matters of Russia. When Russian army was committing grave human rights crimes in the first and second Chechen war, the official line was that it was an internal matter of Russia. That has been clearly a wrong way to do it as Russia has become a ruthless authoritarian police state.

    If USA alongside Europe would have intervened, then I can assure you that whole North Caucasus would be burning alongside parts of Russia.

    If USA would have shipped guns, ammunition, money, military instructors, etc.. as it did when USSR invaded Afghanistan, the war in Chechnya would already be over and we would have an independent Chechnya.

    NEXT TIME THERE IS SOME TROUBLE INSIDE RUSSIA, A GROUP OF PEOPLE WANTING TO SECEDE, WE SHOULDN'T WAIT, BUT FUNNEL MONEY AND ARMS TO WHATEVER GROUP AND FOR WHATEVER CAUSE.

    " close

    Replace "Chechnya" with "Baltic States 1940" and it is deja vue.
    _______________________________________________


    And while walking Jolly Roger I was exactly going to ask you, how are the feelings, re supporting vakhabism, currently in the Baltic States, do you think?

    About Finland I do not even ask;
    You've indicated not once you are eager to join "rows of Chechen independence fighters".

    Funny we were thinking in parallel.

    So, you are calling Britain and USA, to "ship guns, ammunition, money, military instructors", "like the last time, in Afghanistan".

    I'd say, like the last time, when Finland enouraged them to take side with it and Hitler.

    They might have been already, don't get so exhited, it's alright.

    WIll you give me a permission to quote a "typical Finnish view on the situation" at a Russian blog site, say, "Echo of Moscow"?

    This all painfully reminds me of something. Didn't Chris Arta say recently that "Moscow and St. Petersburg are the only two functioning Russian cities?"

    We might need a safety zone again. You are too close to St.Petersburg, with your vakhabism support ideas. If Sweden hosts Chechen freedom-fighter meetings, Britain flirts with their chieftains, giving them cover - respectful address on BBC to self-proclaimed leader none other than "Mr President" - Finland can well become a base again.

    About you I am

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  • 262. At 00:35am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And I thought, may be, just once, something sensible.

    With such open displayed attitude - you are likely ALREADY a base.

    Did I understand you correct, you plan to campaign for all new states, emerged out of the ruins of the USSR, to let their separatist enclaves go?

    Russia releases Chechnya (are you planning to ask them, democratically, if they want to leave us? just a question)

    Georgia declares Abhasia is not their "geographical border".

    Moldova formally grants independence to Transdniestria, de jury.

    Azerbajan stops painful talks in trio format and announces Nagorny Karabakh their own self.

    ?

    Or your democratic thoughts are focused on dear Russia alone? How is it? Can it be you are simply biased? Want to dismantle us to pieces, peace-meal, "whoever declares wishes to separate, in future - we shall support", with a simple aim to stop Russia exist, or, at least, limit to to size equal to Finland?

    You don't have to answer.
    Sorry for taking you for a normal neighbour.

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  • 263. At 01:09am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Absolutely insane, as you always were.

    If America shipped.... "we would have independent Chechnya now".

    "America" didn't. In spite of your encouragement.
    Saudi Arabia did.
    Military instructors, vakhabism guru-s, armament, no lack of.

    If "America" "shipped" a single mariner - onto the Russian ground in Chechnya - you'd "have" not "independent Chechnya", but nuclear war between us.

    But then world wars never really worried Finland. Big deal, you can always take the aggressor side.

    And after the last one whole 25 Finns were accused by the Tribunal. Whole 8 of them imprisoned, after much USSR nagging, like, un-elegant, concentration camp owners, 65 thousand of Russian civillians inprizoned, children camps for ages 5-8 (carriers of communism virus, picked up by Finland in ruined by war St. Petersburg outskirts) - (first German bombs - then Finnish soldiers) (into metal cage) (hell knows what will grow up into) (Russians, after all).
    And released from prizon, 2.5 years later, for "good behaviour".

    Not much to worry of, indeed, come a third world war.

    How is that child, Jukks, Russo-Finnish, whose mum slapped him on the buttocks, as he said in school. Or his teacher said so, nevermind.
    He insists mum never did, but the school-teacher definitely knows better.
    After all he is just 7 year old, what can he know if mum loves him or not
    Especially a Russian mum.

    From what we heard here, after the boy quarreled with teacher, and shouted her back "I will leave your school! I don't like school! I will go to Russia, to another school - mum will take me - to grandma! I love grandma!"
    (incredible how silly those 7-year olds are. what did he say? doesn't understand the hell, about Finnish attitude to Russia)

    - there came child ? supervision workers, plugged him out of his bedroom on the 2nd floor of the house, and deposited into an orphanage.

    To save the kid from Russia ASAP.
    In vain his mum showed them his Russian passport, expired 2 years previously, said that she is happy in Finland, that she loves her Finnish husband, that she livves in Finland 10 years and never plannned to return to Russia - the authorities said that the child is first and foremost property of the Finnish state, not any silly "parents", future happy healthy Finnish citizen, and an idiot understands nothing worse can happen to him in his young age as parents exporting this Finnish property to Russia.

    They packed him to orphange for 8 months, for starters, at the end of which time a court case was promised to the Russo-Finnish couple, to deprive them formally of child "ownership".

    1 visit a week (by dad exclusively, duration - 1 hr)
    (language spoke - Finnish only) (at the presence of watchers of the eh, in-mate and his visitor meeting) (dad)

    Lots of screaming and crying "Dad take me home why they keep me here?"

    (silly children, don't understand the hell about politics. you really can't explain)

    Finnish dad - we give him credit - addressing newspapers with a promise to cast off Finnish citizneship, sell house re-locate to Russia, and change religion! to Russian Orthodoxy! if authorities won't return him his son

    A myriad applications to let the child go as minimum, to Finnish grandparents (declined, in indignation). Who knows them, those Finnish grandparents? What if also became "russified" aaah

    Russian Ombudsmen for Children rights travelling back and forward Moscow-Helsinki, trying to find a consensus, with Finnish powers. Promising Russia will never, never take them, neither the girl nor her husband - just PLEASE let the boy go home. They are happy family, have been, 10 years. They don't plan to steal Finnish children, he speaks Finnish better than Russian, will stay in Finland, forever. But desirably - at home.

    Then the boy is hit by teenage orphanage in-mates into head by a piece of ice, gets transported to the hospital. Mum meetings denied, all stand up on their ears (as minimum, in Russia). Not a single newspaper day without up-date how the boy is faring in Finland. For 2 months.

    Nothing helps.
    Except him being a 50% Russian boy, still :o)
    Even that just 7 year old :o)))))

    He cuts an escape, from the orphanage - home. And they barricade up there.

    So, how are matters, Jukks?
    You do have cages ready, this time?

    So

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  • 264. At 01:36am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And if the 7-year old told his teacher "I don't like this school!
    I hate school! Mum will take me to another school - in United States!
    I will ask her! There are my grandparents there! Grandma loves me!"

    you'd also imprison him?

    In case you forgot the art, I remind you: cages for Russian children should be pricky wire, in the open, just board off a barren land - there, in the fresh air, vitalising and all, you can always instill democracy into small but lost Russian souls. Excess of food will be extra, 1/2 loss to hunger quite acceptable levels, talk to them in Finnish, never come close "dirty, ugh! may be poisonous. all that mud, rain, snow, anti0sanitary conditions. those Russians, indeed.
    say, 5-6 thousand kids in several camps - and Karelia will forget you never.

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  • 265. At 02:00am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I really start to think we are un-fair to Turkey.
    Two "neutral" countries.
    No one heard of Turkey grabatising Russian civillians on the side, blasted over by German air raids or occupation in the Black Sea. To say nothing - putting them into own concentration camps.
    Not a single man. Though historical love accumulated - tons. Chances - a million. But - none.
    None.

    I wonder what Turkey thinks of this "Halifate". Are there two Turkey-s, may be? Which one will win?

    The lay-out with the "Halifate" is beyond all things credible. Never two Caucasus nations joined each other once in thousand years. Chances of their peaceful get-together, for life, how to say, are the same as Finland-Russian Unia, or Greece-Turkey embrace.
    That 4, together, I mean "together" - for longer than a month? for longer than 15 minutes? dreaming of becoming "ONE"?
    Even Northern Ossetia didn't desire to join up with South Ossetia. To say nothing of others. Dagestan together with Chechnya?!
    Even Ingushetia doesn't want to see a single Chechen in.

    Chechnya and "Halifate" are clearly two things incompatible. Chechens will never agree to have any tsars in the Caucasus but OK distant Moscow that only pays money and doesn't interfere.

    The fact is they are all separated from us de facto. And paid for not doing it de-jury. Independence talks long forgotten, they are shariat law states, on Moscow keeping. They wished for money, for independence, for shariat law, for what only not (incl. to blow muscovites and revenge them, in general.) - one thing they were not noticed in - is in ever willing to get together.

    I am sure they don't. Halifate is some self-appointee hallucination, and the men behind it are on a mission. What vakhabism? Who ever heard of vakhabism - among a single Caucasus religion? That's not that area law.
    That area law, by the way, allows male suicide bombers, and never - female. Not in the books.
    It's all novelties, imported on purpose.

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  • 266. At 03:52am on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The Jewish they have suffered very many,
    Armenians have suffered very many,
    The Chechens they have suffered very many,
    The Polish they have suffered very many,
    And Africans have suffered very many,
    And gay folk they have suffered very many,
    And as to Arab people of Palestina -
    They still suffer very many very much.

    The Jewish they have suffered without a reason,
    Armenians have suffered without a reason,
    The Chechens they have suffered without a reason,
    The Polish they have suffered without a reason,
    And Africans have suffered without a reason,
    And gay folk they have suffered without a reason,
    And as to Arab people of Palestina -
    They still suffer without a reason very much.

    And as to the French they suffered quite a little,
    And Englishmen have suffered quite a little,
    Italians have suffered quite a little,
    As to Americans it simply makes me laugh.
    But then they asked whole-heartely for forgivance
    For iquisition and for the camp Oswentsim,
    For inkas, for the atzetks, for sipays,
    For the repressive politics of Israel,
    For snobs of anglo-saxonian gentlemen,
    For slamming, by the Rome, of Karthagen,
    For Babylon as taken by the Greek,
    And for a little church, which once, in century 14th...
    They ought to be example for us all
    With their noble complex of the guilt.

    And Russians, may well be on the whole, suffered,
    - Not, surely, one would think, as the Jewish,
    Or, let's say, as the gay or African Africans,
    Not mentioning the Arab people of Palestina,
    But still, one can assume, in general - suffered.

    But main thing is - about those no one will say
    That they have suffered without a reason,
    For any man in world he knows,
    That, like a child, eevil and capricious,
    Aforementioned those Russians suffer
    From their own hopeless xxxxx!
    And dumbness without end of tunnel light.

    So all the hell that they themselves have suffered,
    They have been torturing themselves inside their country,
    And not only themselves and not only inside,
    The main thing is that those miserables
    They absolutely lack guilt complex,
    One can as well as wedge and sharpen a wooden pole on their head!

    So they it slice and wedge and sharpen.







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  • 267. At 08:27am on 31 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    241 @ Jukka
    I thanks for the effort you put for reading more about Bulgaria. Imagine, we substitute the two Ottomans by two English and the Bulgarian tribe they are speaking of, by say, the Irish people from North Ireland who support the IRA. If we go that way, we could substitute the English by two Russians sipping tea somewhere in Petersburg, say in 1910, and discussing /in very rude terms/ the behaviour of the Finns who the same year had hoisted the Finnish flag during the Olympic games and not the Russian one, etc., etc. The list will be really very long…
    There is not a “pure nation”. In each country there are at least two or three minorities which do not share the predominant faith and which speak another dialect. In the perfect democracy, those ethnic groups should not bother the institutions for the simple reason that their rights are absolutely guaranteed by the constitution, by the government policy and by the court of justice…Hence , there is no pressing need to “cut off” a piece of the national territory for the said ethnic group where it can organise its independant state…
    I think the virtual brotherhood we have established /with the clever assistance of the BBC/ here is constituted /in its crushing majority/ by civilised and educated individuals who present their own point of view and not the point of view of their public authorities. It would be ridiculous to advocate, say the Russian Duma that has just passed a law stipulating the death penalty for the terrorists /’cause there is no power over an individual who has made up his mind to sacrifice his life for some cause, no matter whether it is foolish or not/.
    What I am trying to convey here has much to do with the moral values, with the lack of human solidarity we face every day… For instance, I read in the newspapers that after the explosions in the London metropolitan and in the Madrid railway station, the taxi drivers /by their own will/ evacuated free of charge the handicapped, the injured, and the distressed people. And I would ask our fellow blogger Alice how did behave the Moscow taxi drivers at the first minutes following the explosion in the Metro…? Did they act as human beings or did they doubled or tripled the tax? And how did behave the militia men, the public authorities, the medics?
    Jukka, I got well your message. As Winston Churchill put it, “The democracy is a bad think, but there is not a better think”!

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  • 268. At 08:40am on 31 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @267
    Jukka, sorry for the mistakes. /To read: I thank you for your efforts...; The democracy is a bad thing, etc./




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  • 269. At 09:32am on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re:257: Rukka, thanx for the information, but know that you do not talk with the last one to be informed on such geostratetic issues.

    Chechens whether in autonomy ot under a Persian, Turkish, or Russian yoke never a proper state but of course they have their own proper motherland.

    The article referes to the "core Chechenia"
    About... 17,000 km
    About... 1 million habitants

    Well yes, then the figure you give might be correct (who else would want to live with them up in the mountains anyway? hehe!).

    ...problem is that Chechens are not fighting only in this area but are spread in the larger area trying to mingle with varying rates of success with other muslims of different ethnic backgorunds. The most known (I mean internationally) case is in Ingushetia.

    It is to the above I was refering. Not to the Chechen motherland.

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  • 270. At 10:01am on 31 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Jukka_R & WebAlice

    Re #257

    J_R, Read your comment on "..next time trouble in the caucasus.." west to send weapons, money..!

    Read it a few times - - though about it alot over some longeros - - chatted it thuogh with Finn friends who asked to see it.

    Last night they came & read the whole series.

    WebAlice I am sure you will be pleased to know everyoine from ages 17 to 70 males 6 female think J_R is suffering a very bad 'anti-Russian' fever.
    Not 1 could imagine how the 'west' backing Chechnya uprisng with weapons & money could have been anythuing but a World War - -

    Most hardly beieved J_R was a Finn and asked how to prove his contribution is from a real Finnish man?
    Of course I could not, but assured them from many contributions J_R was a real Finn.

    One lady, Elina (early 50s I think), said, "That boy didn't have his ears open at school, they don't teach such ideas anymore! Not after all this time."

    Sums it up WebAlice: J_R I find from almost every discussion with Finns is what in English is called, 'being out on a limb..'
    Meaning he's really not in touch with anything or anyone else's main thoughts.

    Russian Armed Forces have misbehaved in Chechnya (so many stories cannot all be wrong and I have seen/read articles over last 2 decades) and no doubt ( as UK found with N.Ireland miscionduct, Iraq etc.) this contributes to armed 'resistance' - - in the end there will be talk, talk nit war as nothing else is going to end the conflict - - however, the attacks in Moscow are the same criminal violence as those russian troops who've done the bad things.
    As they say, 2 or 200 wrongs don't make it right, whoever is perpetrating the ugliness.

    It is true many Finns worry still from their History about their giant neighbour, but they usually see it as a fact of their lives and for their children and therefore they prefer the road of cooperation. Most are also a lot more sensitive than J-R (remember, this is the fellow who once wrote "..Nuclear War is winnable.."!), so, unlikely to get many votes in the commonsense stakes here or elsewhere.

    Cheers.

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  • 271. At 3:21pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool_brush_work.

    Thank you, for reassuring. Trying to get alternative ideas. For Jukka_Rohila is the only Finn I know, and, how to say.
    I always want to see in him a good neighbour. and for a while it even works! and then again I get blown up on some of his sudden mines! that where he gets from is ? un-believable - but must admit very convincing as well.

    Anyway, it's the good thought that counts :o), thank you.

    :o) What would Finland do without you?
    I'll call off my Order on the Army :o)))), this time :o)))))

    Regards to the visitors. imagine, what they are thinking.
    say I expressed hopes that Jukka is not the everyday how to say, characteristic Finn in Finland (surely - NOT! :o))))), I hope there are many more various others. More peaceful, I mean, by character.

    And that I don't think Russia was aggressive towards Finland in its modern history. They may be better view it, like, what concerns Finland-Russia-Finland, not generalising about Russia and others, taking it personally, projecting onto themselves our relations with other regions.

    We don't mentally mix up Finland with anybody else :o)))
    Russia has always had a multi-vector politics, dealing differently, with different regions. Finland has an own, special place, in the Russian heart. :o)))))

    A joke! to mix up Finland - with anyone else!
    :o)))))

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  • 272. At 3:35pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And even, like when Jukka_Rohila complained, why Russian corporations don't speak directly with Finnish corporations, surely a display of Russia's arrogance :o))))) towards Finland, and display of Russia barbaria?nity? . not understanding how "democracy" works.

    Putin talking to their President, instead of private companies talking to companies.

    It is no vicious Russian planning towards Finland, or anything "Putin-specific".

    I know for sure, that the ship-building companies, for example, who are interested in Finnish ship-yards, as Putin indicated, they are all half-Navy half-peaceful ship-builders.

    It is a Russian law - they absolutely can not, as having a business in the military spehere, military ship-building - address any company abroad directly.

    That time has been (remember when I wrote "this ship costs 70 mln dollars; next slide please" :o) - and that time has passed.

    Military-related companies were first left without state financing, in perestroyka, lost and forgotten, then began working on their own ("next slide, please" :o) - as they could. Then they found that actually they are doing not bad at all! Huge interest built up in the world, pent-up demand :o)))), for years :o))))), so to say
    Judging by geography of my dad's presents to me and souvenirs :o)))), brought from all ends of the world :o)))), I mean I am able to put together quite a map :o)))) - there has been no lack of orders.

    This lasted for about 10 years. Then state realised that the companies are making quite a buck :o)))), instead of lying in ruins, and how could they, nobody knows even no English :o)))) - in other words they are making money - and the state has no relation to it!

    :o)))))
    The state found it a deeply, deeply annoying and offending situation :o))), to be corrected immediately :o)))), and first was created RosVooruzhenie/RosArmament, to help companies to find partners abroad :o)))), later re-named into RosOboronExport/Ros.Defence Export, and by now simply no one int'l contract can go by-siding them.
    They get a percentage of every deal, and , how to say, "for the sake of control", that nobody sells something to prohibited regions, all good intentions :o))))) - and the fact is a shipbuilder now can't place an order at Finnish shipyards direct.

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  • 273. At 3:40pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    It is not "especially done to hurt Finland", it's a law in Russia, that simply they won't change to have Finland an exception.
    That's why Putin feels free to speak of joint projects in mind, he represents state, and likewise state is the mediator company. he is exactly authorised.

    Now, I don't know what's in the agriculture business, but I also heard of the new big and mighty Zernovoy Soyz/Grain Union.
    What's that Union relation with the private producers I don't know.

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  • 274. At 3:43pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think mosr rich conglomerates are taxed by the state, in one way or another.

    Where else to get money from? for the budget? You can't live on oil and gas state income alone.
    The majority are so poor, that, honestly, :o))) you don't collect from us much :o))))

    Russian state introdeces special export taxes, trying to sift for the state a bit, of rich exporting corporations. If you won't do that rest assured, :o))) everything will be exported, and without a single rouble staying in the country :o))))

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  • 275. At 3:57pm on 31 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    Your posting may make good poetry in Russian but it makes poor history in English;

    "The Jewish they have suffered without a reason,
    Armenians have suffered without a reason,
    The Chechens they have suffered without a reason,
    The Polish they have suffered without a reason,
    And Africans have suffered without a reason,
    And gay folk they have suffered without a reason,"

    "And Russians, may well be on the whole, suffered"

    It was the Russians who inflicted much of the suffereng on the others. Russian suffering in this generation has barely begun. While we here may make a sharp distinction between the USSR and Russia, there are others closer to Russia's heartland who don't. Russia supplied the arms and encouraged those who indirectly inflicted all of that suffering. Africa is a vast armed war zone because of Russia. The terrorist's overwhelming weapon of choice through recent decades has been the AK-47. Many of those weapons have found their way to the Caucuses and will be turned on the Russians themselves. Russians are tasting some of their own medicine. All of those so called wars of liberation were in fact terrorist wars. For example the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong began their war of liberation by killing 10,000 local South Vietnamese elected mayors, town officials, and other elected local administrators. Cuba is 51 years after its Russian backed revolution still a terrorist state and nearly became the cause of the end of human civilization.

    "And as to Arab people of Palestina -
    They still suffer without a reason very much."

    Without reason? With very good reason. Like the Russians what they and their leaders did and still do is at the heart of their own sufferning. What does the world expect the Israeli Jews to do, lie down, roll over and die the way they did in Europe? Never. They will burn down the whole of the Middle East and the rest of the world with it before that will happen again. Like the Russians who supplied them with arms, who to this day are helping Iran build an atom bomb to wipe Israel off the map, to give to Hezbollah to use in killing Americans, the Islamic militants in the Middle East eat the poisoned fruit from the tree grown by the seeds of hate and conquest they sowed themselves.

    "As to Americans it simply makes me laugh.
    But then they asked whole-heartely for forgivance
    For iquisition and for the ... inkas, for the atzetks"

    You got that wrong. You can lay at least those on the Spaniards. Those were the crimes of the Spanish Conquistadors, Coronado, Pissaro, who slaughtered them as surely as the Cossaks slaughtered everyone they met too.

    Neither America nor anyone else needs send a single bullet or an ounce of C-4 to the Chechens, Ingushetias, Dhagistanis who want revenge against Russia. There are far more than enough on the world's markets to be smuggled easily into the Caucuses and then to every corner of Russia. Russia has the world drowning in the terrorist weapons they mass produced and sold or gave away. A spector is haunting Russia, it is the spector of revenge.

    Russia has replaced Germany and Japan who replaced Britain and France as the most hated imperialist nation in the world. What few gifts they ever brought to anyone came not with strings but with chains.

    We here in America do not hate Russians nor plot to inflict violence against them, that is for their victims, their victims' sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters, and down through generations to do. We just sit on the side and watch. We are as powerless to aid it or stop it as the Russians themselves are. Some say Americans create new terrorists by fighting the Taleban, al Qaeda, and the Iraqi insurgents. What does that say for what Russia has done especially in the Caucuses? The external empire is gone, crumbled to dust. Now the internal empire will be next.

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  • 276. At 4:34pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:


    "We have not conducted terroristic acts in Moscow and do not know who did it" - said to the Reuters agency foreign representative of the organisation "Imarate Caucasus" Shamsuddin Batukaev. We are planning attacks on the objects of infrustructure but not targeting civillians specifically".

    As Reuters marks, Batukaev permanently resides in Istanbul and acts as a representative of this organisation abroad. Head of the "Imarate Kavkaz" (Caucasus) is considered to be Doku Umarov who promised last month to the media "to take the war out onto the streets of Russian cities".
    Whic allowed many experts now to think that "Imarate Kavkaz" stands behind the twin bombings in Moscow."

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  • 277. At 4:41pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    All are so damn democratic.

    And if Russia housed a single "foreign rep", who speaks to the media promising "terroristic acts on the objects of infrustructure" in, say, Spain, or I don't know. Whenever there are known "separatists".

    What would all tell Moscow?

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  • 278. At 5:16pm on 31 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To cool_brush_work (270):

    First of all I haven't ever said that my opinion or view represents what Finnish think, they present what I think. In case of your Finnish friends, their thoughts and views don't neither represent what Finnish at general think. Actually they could and probably would represent only a small fraction of views and thoughts as they are your friends and people usually mingle with like minded people. I too have friends and few of my friends won't never ever go to Russia, many more think that Putin and friends are nothing less than criminals, most share the view of Russia corrupt aggressive imperial power. Now like I said, people mingle with like minded people. Maybe there is difference due to regionalism, I come from south-western part of Finland, and you if I have understood correctly, live in the eastern part. Maybe it is the level or specialization of education, business and technical schools seldom cultivate blue eyed people with soft inner feelings. Maybe it is the political and philosophical lining, are you surrounded by leftist, centrists or rightist.

    In case of "anti-Russian" fever, please, that is lame, and usually only used by people with unconditional love with anything coming from east be it communism or poems. With these people the answer is the same always when you make an argument..

    ..Russia is not democracy.
    Answer: YOU ARE BEING ANTI-RUSSIAN!
    ..There is no law and order in Russia.
    Answer: YOU ARE BEING ANTI-RUSSIAN!
    ..Russia has large amounts of nationalists and ultra-nationalist.
    Answer: YOU ARE BEING ANTI-RUSSIAN!
    ..Human rights situation is terrible in Russia.
    Answer: YOU ARE BEING ANTI-RUSSIAN!

    Claiming somebody is anti-something is clear indication that the other side doesn't have any arguments or actual understanding.

    In case of your friend Elina, it would have been awfully nice to point out what she thought isn't taught in school no more. Something about history? Something about politics? What? Because I can assure you, in those subjects I did especially well and have read quite a lot since leaving school. So maybe you should dish out some more so I can reply.

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  • 279. At 5:23pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius I read up to "these have inflicted the suffering on themselves and others" :o))))))))))

    - at which point wanted to reverse you back to the post with poetry - :o)))))) where the idea has been expressed already, and very well, seems to me, that only Russians are guilty in their suffering, while all the rest in human history so far have suffered "for nothing"

    :o)))))))
    but apparently it is lost on you.

    Next thing you proceeded in blaming Russia in flooding the world with AK that you have to heroically fight off in Afghanistan :o)))))))))

    May be, rabies?

    90% of worl Kalashnikovs are not Russia-made, our factory says that even 95%. Hardly a single one, beyond Russia, at all.
    We haven't patented it in our USSR time, and now, with minimum modifications :o))))) and well known to you "improvements to the scheme" :o)))))) they are being made in China, continue to be being made in Bulgaria, and where only not.

    I am not sure I will dare to read your post onwards.

    May be, rabies?

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  • 280. At 5:43pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "
    We here in America do not hate Russians nor plot to inflict violence against them, that is for their victims, their victims' sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters, and down through generations to do "

    Typical Jukka_Rohila.

    Mavrelius, I can not reply you with the same courtesy, wishing that the generations and generations etc. of those who the USA "inflicted damage"
    continue to revenge you :o))))))

    Too much honour, of changing to be a Russian, come any Mavrelius or Rohila on the way.

    Rabies. As I said.


    For that matter, "sitting on the side and watch", as you put it; am I to take it that in the third world war, against fundamentalism this time, you are again going to fight Japan?
    Over the same Pacific islands, may be? They don't plan to attack you, perchance?

    Please tell me all goes smooth lately between you and Japan.

    It's enough with Jukks' deja vue.

    ? I am silly.
    This time you are going to be attacked by Iran, and start looking hard for Usama Ben Laden there.
    Can just imagine how good Usama goes there with Ahmadinejad surely they rule Iran hand in hand.

    One just has to look well there, say, for 3-4 years of world war.

    By which time Russia would have Usama and his moustache rounded, by own democratic means, and it'll be time to fly over protect all around from undemocratic Russians.

    I have no doubt that the ratio of "civillian loss" is mentally allocated the same for the 3rdWW as for the 1st and 2nd.

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  • 281. At 5:46pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I very much liked it, when I read in BBC "twin bombings" or "explosions".

    The matter is they've always been a pair, the second one usually set off when crowds gather at the scene.

    However never heard them before described as "twin" in relation to Russia.

    You sure don't want anything from us?

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  • 282. At 6:04pm on 31 Mar 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland:

    In regards of the case of the Finnish-Russian boy and social services.

    Lets put some things out...

    In Finland it is illegal to hit, slap or in any other way physically abuse and assault a child, this includes even shaking by the hair. If a parent or custodian is caught doing so, they can and will be fined, and in worse case they loose custody of the child.

    The Finnish state has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both it and laws obligate the Finnish state to protect and take care of rights of the children, be them citizens, residents or just passing by.

    Both parents and children have rights, however rights of an parent don't override rights of children. When a parent hits or otherwise abuses child, rights of the child has been at that moment violated and the obligation of the state and social services is to protect and ensure the wellbeing of an child. In many cases a child might not want to be taken away from his or parents, but then again a child doesn't know any better, thus the state has to act behalf of the child.


    In this specific case the facts that we know is that...

    ..The boy told her teacher that her mother had slapped him on the head.
    ..Teacher contacted social services, which also contacted the police.
    ..Police started an inquiry because as the child is under 15 even a light assault is prosecutable crime, and which is why police has to make an full inquiry even if the victim wouldn't want it.
    ..Social services made the decision in February to take the boy in Foster case.
    ..Then started the media circus and after it, police finished their inquiry and then handed it to the prosecutor, the police could also have dropped the case, but it seems they have enough evidence to give to the prosecutor.

    Now we will wait for what the prosecutor does.

    In any case, social services don't just jump to take a child into a foster care, there always is much more to make them do a decision like that. Of course sometimes they do make mistakes, but mostly they do the correct decision.

    We could very well speculate... Maybe the family is dysfunctional, maybe even a classic case of family in trouble, middle aged man throwing his wife out from their home in middle of Christmas... We could very easily also imagine what happened... Maybe the wife is battered by her husband. Maybe the wife takes it out on their child who reminds her of his husband...

    I don't know what facts in this case are. However what I know is that family violence happens, child abuse happens, it isn't that rare and the perpetrators are just normal people from which most of do love their children, they just don't know how to behave and treat their children as they should.

    In my honest opinion it is better that we have social services that do take care of children. In this case, hopefully his mother just slapped him few times, hopefully it was just a one time event, but even it was, it is still too much and if this warning made the parents change their behavior then it was all worth it.

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  • 283. At 6:52pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    The 95% of what you accuse to Russians was actually commited by USSR. USSR was led by non-Russians for the most of it! Stalin was Georgian. No communist leader was Russian. Their funding came from west and as Henry Ford mentioned himself, he was ocnvinced that Trotsky embarked on Russia from New York with 20 million dollars of the times. If this is true or not, what we certainly know is that communists arrived from Zurich on a German train...

    50 million civilians died in the communist regime, out of which the vast majority where ethnic Russians. USSR communism did a genocide on ethnic Russians.

    Still want to accuse Russians? Explain yourselfs better.

    PS: On the other hand Marcus guess which is the country that for the last 200 years it was in peace only 1 year, 1897 if I remember well.
    Now what was so special that year I ignore...

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  • 284. At 7:18pm on 31 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ COOL BRUSH WORK 146

    Re "So, CAP should be cancelled at once - - as France certainly doesn't need it and according to the above will not miss it all!?
    I'm sure France's Agricultural community will be mightily relieved not to have to receive unwanted, unearned & undeserved Monies from the EU26"

    No idea how you make such a conclusion.

    All I did was show you how France pays more to the EU budget than it receives. Thus it doesn't make much sense to say France's economy benefits from the EU budget (obviously it benefits from the Internal Market).

    If you want to discuss the CAP that's fine. There are indeed problems with the CAP, they come mainly down to the fact that producers are supported based on the volume of produce, which economically doesn't make sense because the big producers aren't the ones who need subsidies.

    But if you want to debate the CAP do so in an intellectual honest way:

    the large part of the EU budget for CAP is also explained by the fact that the EU budget is the main budget in Europe that subsidises agriculture (not much in the national or regional budgets). Looking at overall level of subsidization of the agricultural sector, there isn't much difference with the US.
    by saying "I'm sure France's Agricultural community will be mightily relieved" you are spreading the idea that it's only the French farmers who would complain. This is ofcourse intellectualy dishonest. Why don't we scrap the CAP and see how the British farmers (as efficient or inefficient as the French) react. I'm sure they will be as (un)happy as the French. But of course I understand if you 'forget' to mention such trivial details. Anything to further your cause right? ;)

    Re "Meaning Greece produced totally false Statistics which the EUrozone used as part of its overall Data to justify a EUrozone15."

    The data are not used to justify the Eurozone. The Stabilization pact is a condition to be member of the Eurozone. If the Eurozone is justified by data, it's by other data. Why? Because nobody ever claimed that introducing the euro would result in balanced budgets. Yet it's the data on the greek budget that were forged.

    Re "Meaning as its only EU Citizen Tax-payers money nobody at the EU can bothered to do the corrections could some kind soul outside do the sums as at the moment the EU Data is based on fraudulent Statistics!"

    Nope, you must have misunderstood that. By 'which data' I did not mean 'specify the data and correct them for the EU' I meant 'specify the data', e.g. level of unemployment should be reconsidered, trade balance should be reconsidered, etc.

    So tell us, which data need revising?

    Re "Apparently, the not-so-clever, (we) in the UK who oppose membership of the EU and had voted 'Yes' in April 1975 were just foolish and inept people not to have read the 'Ever closer political union' clause.

    Apparently, the intellectuals, (those) who signed up to the EUro-zone with 9 Nations inc. Greece who were fixing their accounts to ensure they fitted the zone were just very bright and adept people not to have read the crooked accounts much more carefully!

    The above is 'pro-EU' in classic duck & dive mode - - completely incapable of facing reality - - E.g. 'EU is good, All else is bad!'"

    Not really, that's just what you make of it.

    But please clarify: when the British people gave their consent to remain member of the EEC in 1975 wasn't it normal to expect them know what the Treaty (the legal instrument triggering membership) in 1975 said?

    It's simple law my friend. Ignorantia leges non excusat and if you want to change that, you should start with your own UK law, which recognizes this principle as does any other civilised society and international law.

    Secondly, no one said anything about 'intellectuals' (again that's just you trying to impose a discourse).

    Thirdly, article 10 EC (now 4 TEU) stipulated the principle of sincere cooperation. Which means that the member states cooperate sincerely with the Eu institutions and the EU institutions cooperate sincerely with the member states. This means i.a. that the Eu institutions don't question the validity of figures given by the Member State, because there is an amount of trust between member states amongst each other and between them and the EU (institutions). If you mean to say that the EU institutions should not trust the member states at face value anymore and need to do more systematic checks on the member states, I wholy agree!

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  • 285. At 8:44pm on 31 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "..sincere.."!

    Not realy that's just what You make of it.

    'Sincere' is another word that along with 'integrity', 'veracity', 'transparency', 'consultation' & 'public mandate' is simply not a part of the vocabulary of the EU or of a large number of its 'pro-EU' lobbyists!

    Now, if we were to mention 'arrogance', 'rudeness', 'superiority complex', 'anti-democratic' then obviously most 'pro-EU' would fit all too easily in the framework!

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  • 286. At 8:55pm on 31 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    J_R

    Re #278

    They come anymore 'anti-Russian' than You in my personal thoughts on Finns - - and I have known quite a few over the last 40 years - - inc. my late father-in-law wounded 3 times fighting the Red Army, but he was rational and said only that the boys in the russian army were just like him, standing up for their country.

    Elina says 'Hi! Though she says You aren't her age group or You would know better than to boast of your education and not realise You actually 'know' so little of life!

    Anyway, I just wanted WebAlice to know not all Finns (North, South, East, West) think or write as You do - - it is probably true they are like-minded to me - - they, like me, think You don't realise what death & injury, sudden, and in numbers, is all about. They, like me are sorry that you don't understand You are not accused of being strictly 'anti-Russian' but of it being a symptom of a lack of life-knowledge.

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  • 287. At 9:08pm on 31 Mar 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #275 MarcusAurellius

    So you are also spreading your Adolphii Fascistii virus on this blog.

    Was it not enough for you to count your nuclear weapons and threaten the world with nuclear extinction on the on the Robin Lustig blog, if the world did not accept the Israeli and the settlers land grab ?

    The 16 hours/ 7 day a week propaganda ministry is really a monster.

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  • 288. At 9:32pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re:287 ... ehehe..

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  • 289. At 9:55pm on 31 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "We here in America do not hate Russians nor plot to inflict violence against them, that is for their victims, their victims' sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters, and down through generations to do "

    Typical Jukka_Rohila.

    Mavrelius, I can not reply you with the same courtesy, wishing that the generations and generations etc. of those who the USA "inflicted damage"
    continue to revenge you :o))))))"

    We understand Russian history. We know Russia has been invaded more times than you can count. We know it is not a glorious history but a pathetic and tragic one. It explains why Russia wants layers of land around itself, an inner empire, an outer empire in the near abroad and to control the entire world. We understand it but we do not condone or accept it. No amount of land can protect Russia. As Russia dwindles, it can hardly control itself.

    We do not wish to see revenge against Russians. We merely observe that it happens as the result of what Russians did in the past whether as Russia or under the guise of the USSR. To Ukranians, Poles, Chechens it doesn't matter, it is their perception that matters.

    We know the KGB and Putin still sees America as Russia's number one enemy. That is their psychosis. We can't change that. We will not react to it unless forced to, we cannot persuade Russia to stop supplying arms directly or indirectly to terrorists such as one billion dollars worth to Venezuela some of which will find its way to FARC in the jungles of Columbia to be used on civilians. Russia says it opposes terrorists but its actions still support some of them and they will pay a price for it. I've heard ordinary Russians refer to Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters. When Russian kids are killed in schools, just remind yourself that Israeli kids were killed with Russian supplied weapons sent explicity to Palestinians for that purpose.

    "Please tell me all goes smooth lately between you and Japan."

    Japan sits on one of the largest stockpiles of plutonium in the world. Unlike Iran, they could be building nuclear weapons in a matter of months once they decide to. If they want America out of Okinawa and South Korea wants the US to leave, that is fine with us, it will save us a great deal of money. We can remove our forces from East Asia. South Korea can face North Korea on its own. Japan doesn't even know its own history and why Chinese hate them. I'd be only too happy to let them defend themselves. We've paid for their defence for 55 years. That's enough.

    BTW, Stalin and Hitler...no difference. The same mass murdering psychotic genocidal paranoid maniacs. Stalin was Saddam Hussein's idol, his model. Reason enough to rid the world of Saddam Hussein.

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  • 290. At 10:12pm on 31 Mar 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #288

    The pot calling the kettle black, or haven´t you noticed ?

    Please explain the intellectual ´ehehe´.

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  • 291. At 10:21pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re289: Marcus, stop making us laugh. Russia's main priority is to sell its vast natural ressources to the world. It does not care about US which can stay in its corner. But it is the US that has a psychosis about Russia. A horrible fear that Russia might sell a liter more of its gas to Europeans or Chinese.

    Did Russians try to put missiles in Mexicom lately... baaahhhh No, it is US that tries to put missiles in Eastern Europe? What for Marcus? Iran?

    Who is afraid of who Marcus?

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  • 292. At 10:24pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka,

    you are anti-Russian not because you find Russia undemocratic and see further the defects you listed.

    But because of the conclusion you arrive to invariably, after starting each time with "Russia defects".

    So far these have been let's nuclear bomb them and let's support anyone who fights against them. Variations on the theme "thumbs down kill them".

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  • 293. At 10:34pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius, USA is No 1 arms' seller in the world. And has been, throughout "evil USSR times".

    Even after our market share went up vertically post perestroyka, companies able to trade themselves, we haven't reached you.
    Just last week saw the update for 2009, USA 36%, Russia 24%.

    If we stepped on your tail a bit in South America - and as a return courtesy, no even doubt for a sec, for your messing up in our borderline area, Russia doesn't sell to the companies from the UN black list.

    In Iran we went towards you, meeting your "USA personal black list", you perfectly know that all contracts signed and sealed Russia-Iran for armament are on hold 3 years in terms of actual delivery. Which makes Iran rightly paranoid, as the agreements have been signed and sealed, 5-6 years ago, and reasons for delay of delivery are nearly impossible to invent at this stage.

    To say nothing most of our trade are anti air raid systems, who have meaning when someone attacks a country, in the first place.

    Moreovver

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  • 294. At 10:39pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "Stalin equals Hitler" is old approach of your propaganda, Mavrelius.
    Modernise yourself, you are stuck.
    These days we await to hear "Putin equals Usama", any next day.
    Or do you save the slogan for the end of the world war, when the business will have been done? by undemocratic Russia, as usual.

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  • 295. At 00:10am on 01 Apr 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    I heard a rumour just a few minutes ago saying that the EU has decided to put all its financial transactions on hold until its accounts have been inspected and approved by external auditors. In addition, the Lisbon Treaty will be shelved until the people of all EU member countries have had a chance to discuss it in full (with plain language versions being made available by the EU's translation staff) and vote on it in national referendums. (For Ireland, the referendum result will be taken as a "best of three" decider).

    Could be interesting to see where this leads ....

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  • 296. At 00:41am on 01 Apr 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 297. At 02:44am on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "To say nothing most of our trade are anti air raid systems, who have meaning when someone attacks a country, in the first place."

    This is not an air raid alarm, this is an anti-aircraft possibly an anti-balistic missile defense system designed to protect Iran's nuclear weapons facilities against attack. If the Russians begin to deploy them, it is almost certain Israel will attack. This is the same dangerous game Khrushchev played in Cuba with the missles only this time the results may come out as war. Russia must be crazy to do this. Yes that would be an act of war.

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  • 298. At 06:39am on 01 Apr 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #207 Wonthillian

    I have been to the website you gave and have read all the details of the Pro-EEC pamphlet . I do not have any recollection of having seen it at the time . I might have thrown it in the bin without reading it . I was already determined to vote for Britain to leave the EEC . There are some mild indications regarding working together , but it does not Say Precisesly Ever Closer Union . I would not arrive at the opinion that it could be leading to a total political union or the EU .

    I have researched for the opposition campaign and can find nothing to inidicate a pamphlet . They were very poorly financed and relied on left wing politicians like Anthony Wedgewood Benn , Peter Shaw , Enock Powell , who were considered excentric , communist , left wing or extreme right wing .

    I was interested to read the the European Commission paid for public speakers to fly to wherever required , to put the case for remaining in the EEC . The European Commission was meddling in our affairs even at that time .

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  • 299. At 07:23am on 01 Apr 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #295 CornwallCoastFootpath

    This would indeed be good news , are you sure it isn't wishful thinking or an April Fools prank . The European Union have made some grave errors along the way .

    I cut an article out of the Times or Sunday Times several years ago , written by Margot Wallstron , entitled Grass Roots Change For Europe .
    The problem with the EU is that it doesn't have any grass , never mind roots . The EU is a union of heads of state , politicians , European Commission and bureaucrat enthusiasts , all enjoying bloated salaries , expenses and pensions that go with the job .

    The suggestion in the article is that there should be organised member country cross boarder forums , conventions to get European peoples together .
    In my opinion , there is already considerable cross border communication ; many British people have friends or family in other countries ; towns and villages twin with a European counterpart , Boules Weeks in Britain and France . None of this persuades British people that they want to be part of a federal state of Europe . The same could be said of many people in Italy , France , Germany , all the 27 countries . The British seem to make the most noise about it , because they feel cheated that their politicians have deliberately , knowingly , gone against the wishes of the people , to put Britain in the EU .

    I wonder where you live in Cornwall . I lived in Cornwall for many years and walked the coastal footpath in the Polruan/Fowey region , also Mounts Bay and Landsend regions .

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  • 300. At 07:33am on 01 Apr 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    With possession 9/10s of the law,the southern parts of California,Arizona,
    New Mexico & Texas should secede from the USA & join Mexico, according to
    Secretary General Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations u.n.s.y.g.In partnership with the European Council on Foreign Relations e.c.f.r.eu,the draft study document to the feasibility of this action is to be voted on & is expected to be accepted by the ministers concerned.America is expected to comply & ratify this proposal when it becomes international law
    soon after the yes vote on or around, April the 1st.....

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  • 301. At 07:40am on 01 Apr 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    Dear WebAliceinWonderland ,

    Like others here I am always so interested to read your posts .
    You are evidently a very enlightened person , whom many of us commenters appreciate .

    I live in rural northeast Thailand . The regular Thai television programmes are frightful and boring beyond .
    My Thai wife recently organised for us to have a satellite disc and receiver ; with the promise that I would get BBC world service .
    Not at all , that would require a very expensive monthly payment .
    Instead I have discovered Russian Television , which has news and business , world affairs , exactly like the BBC . The programmes are very interesting and informative , all in excellent English . I am so pleased to see glimpses of Russian life , to see ordinary Russian people just like ourselves . I am so sorry to hear and see scenes of distruction from the recent suicide bombings .
    Have a look at www.rt.com .

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  • 302. At 09:04am on 01 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Nik,

    you are a very giving fountain of misinformation......

    thank you so much--for your fantasy-"facts" driven hatred of America:)

    And much consideration to Web Alice and much actual condolences and sympathy to her and her nation.:)

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  • 303. At 10:32am on 01 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ COOL BRUSH WORK 285

    Re ""..sincere.."!

    Not realy that's just what You make of it.

    'Sincere' is another word that along with 'integrity', 'veracity', 'transparency', 'consultation' & 'public mandate' is simply not a part of the vocabulary of the EU or of a large number of its 'pro-EU' lobbyists!

    Now, if we were to mention 'arrogance', 'rudeness', 'superiority complex', 'anti-democratic' then obviously most 'pro-EU' would fit all too easily in the framework!"


    Ok, let's note a couple of things:

    1. You did not care to reply to my comment on the CAP. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to impose your unsubstantiated anti-EU discourse, regardless of the facts? (let me be pre-emptive: I don't care if you are pro or anti EU, just debate in an intellectually honest way)

    2. You did not care to specify which 'figures' you think require updating. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to blacken the EU and each and every figure Eurostat produces, because of the fraud of a Member State, regardless whether there are actual links between the fraudulent figures and the figures published by Eurostat?

    3. You did not care to reply to my comment on the 1975 referendum. Should we interprete this as you recognizing the British people ought to have properly read the document they agreed to in that referendum?

    This leaves you wondering who in fact is ducking and diving here. You have not addressed a single point I raised.

    But let me address the new point you raised (you see, I'm being cooperative, I am willing to address any point you raise, but I do expect you to return the favor concerning my previous points raised, that's courtesy in debating)

    On sincerity. I didn't invent all that. Let's just look at article 4 (3) of the TEU:

    "3. Pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Union and the Member States shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties."

    The word sincere is even explicitly used. The paragraph describes the gist of the principle, which has been further explained and interpreted in caselaw by the ECJ. Therefore you are wrong to say "Not realy that's just what You make of it."

    So, how about showing some courtesy and explaining your previous comments in the lights of the points I raised.

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  • 304. At 10:43am on 01 Apr 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    #298

    'I would not arrive at the opinion that it could be leading to a total political union'

    Neither would I. But 35 years later we are not in a total political union.

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  • 305. At 11:17am on 01 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re.302: What is misinformation according to you David?

    Wait a minute. Are you trying to tell me that the will of US to install military bases in Eastern Europe and install mlid-range missiles is to protect the world from Iran?

    Is saying the obvious: "US wishes to install military bases in Eastren Europe to face off the Russians whom it considers a threat"... driving hatred against America?

    Stop dividing the world into haters and friends. There are people that see things coldly. I am not judging morally US. It is the strongest power right now and it will do anything to remain so. OK, this is expected. Nothing strange. So? Stating it consists of hatred?

    Tell me, how do you want me to re-phrase my view on US's will to send missiles in Eastern Europe so that you don't consider me as a US hater. What do you say?

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  • 306. At 12:17pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Huaimek,
    you are very welcome :o)

    I am very jealous of you living in Thailand, a wonderful place no doubt.

    (If it were not so persistently warm, that is) :o)

    But then as minimum I understand it is not dry? But quite humid?
    Which of course improves matters greatly , In R.O. pinion

    The culture. The flowers!
    The hats! :o) Those boats with pointed up noses!
    Peaceful kind folks.

    I strongly suspect you live there in paradise. even that you write at times that the paradise is a bit poor, at places, could be better, in your opinion.

    I think you are too demanding :o)))))

    Well I may be biased, because I fell once for a certain Thai type of food, no idea what's the name, and as there aren't a single Thai eatery in St. Petersburg, used to head every time when in London (when I had "London times", studying), to one and the same pub in Chiswick that has a dining part consisting of a Thai restaurant with all their cheifs and staff. I ate one and the same thing about a dozen times, and finally, seeing that the London times' are rolling up with me, even approached the chef, explained the lay-out, and asked for directions how to reproduce the same in Russia. He explained me and I was taking notes, but I quickly realised it's no go, as some things I didn't understand in English what they are. Or may be it wasn't English :o)
    And he went into the mushrooms of unknown names. :o(

    On the first glance it looked straightforward , more or less, but the flavour comes from I don't know what.
    It looks like rice in a bowl on the side, and a frying pan contents that are pork or chicken or beef, strips and pieces, and sweet peppers strips and pieces, all of it roasted, and normal onions I think strips and pieces, and some other vegies of unrecognised character stripes roasted, and may be fruit, fried as well. Kind of sour-sweet combination. And the mushrooms there I think were flat black caps like meduses or umbrellas. And may be not the only ones :o( :o)))))

    If you know what it is all together tell me please any of the days or months no hurry I am waiting for years for the discovery can wait a decade more :o))))

    There was also a transparent bouillion ? transparent soup? (the first course), with some white bumps floating in it :o)))) like ? flour-made bumps. may be. and may be it was a fish soup. may be. may be not. also kind of slightly may be sweet. or not. that typical flavour.

    as min., the chef definitely mentioned some mysterious "fish? soup? concentrated? a concentrate to be dissolved? like a sauce sold? (don't know whre :o)))). but I don't know whether it made part of the soup with bumps or the second course fried pan and rice.
    :o)

    Lucky you anyway!

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  • 307. At 1:07pm on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee;

    By your logic Britain should become part of Pakistan. Ooops, I forgot that can't happen...because it already has.

    I've never seen anyone so consistently wrong as Brits on BBC blog sites. Even broken clocks are right twice a day. There's a saying that possession is nine points of the law, not 9/10 of the law. But it is just a saying. Theft is theft, kidnapping is kidnapping. Receiving stolen merchandise is a felony. All the rightful owner has to prove is legal ownership. A police report of a stolen item with an accurate description and the possessor's inability to explain how he legally acquired it is enough to get it returned at the very least, fine or imprisonment is possible. The threshold for a more serious felony, grand larceny in most states as I recall is a value of $5000. Items such as most cars fit that category.

    Your fantasy that the US will be emasculated one way or another will forever remain just that, nothing more than a fantasy. Lots of people wrote America off in the past. Every last one of them turned out to be wrong. For the forseeable future, they likely will be again. Keep up the bad work. It's an endless source of amusement and ridicule for me to poke fun at.

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  • 308. At 1:58pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, thank you for the hello-s and regards.

    The bad news is :o))))) I agree with many things Nik says, (and wow can add up much more ! :o))))))
    Only normally keep it to myself.

    We Russians are not agrressors, you know. None of our business' strategy. :o)))))) But when bitten. (bite-bit-bitten)

    Simply, silly! to start it yourself :o))))), with such q-ty of well-willing neighbours :o)))) and distant admirers :o)))))).
    There'd always be someone who'd start it first.
    That's approx. same as waiting on the bus stop "for the next bus to arrive" :o))))))

    Nik may be was a little bit to open :o)))) because he was stepping in for me, seeing I am squared here tactically temporarily :o)))), between Jukka and Mavrelius.

    Besides, what's a Greek who can't deliver a philosophic lecture on any subject oratory skill traditionally in high esteem there. Ask a question brace yourself :o)))))) and all :o)))))

    That's on excuses part.

    Otherwise I am approx. alright temporarily, it is sunshine today (ugh) :o))) only damn scared to take a subway !

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  • 309. At 2:12pm on 01 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #307

    As the hero in Casablanca did NOT remark on the untimely reacquaintance with a haunting past, 'Of all the colonised-joints in all the World You have to come into this one and make a fool of yourself again!'

    "..possession is 9 points of the Law... It is just a saying.."

    Whatever possessed an American to carp about Britain's dealings with Pakistan when the 80,000 USA troops can't find 1 Saudi on the Afghan-Pakistan border!?

    "..Theft is theft.."

    USA going to hand the brutally stolen North American continent back to the Native tribes, is it?

    "..kidnapping is kidnapping.."

    USA going to return the 'Guantanamo inmates' & the 'extraordinary rendition' victims to their respective Nations, is it?

    "..receiving stolen merchandise is a felony.."

    USA going to plead guilty & return Iraq's oil, antiquities & properties to Iraq, the numerous Native Indian artefacts to the indigenous peoples etc., is it?

    "..endless source of amusement and ridicule for me to poke fun at.."

    Have to agree with You there MAII - - without a doubt more people using this Blog than on any other have had immensely diverting fun, enjoyment and shere entertainment from Your endless supply of mind-boggling trivia!

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  • 310. At 2:15pm on 01 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "..courtesy.."!

    Another keyword lamentably absent from the 'pro-EU' Thesaurus of usabl words.

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  • 311. At 3:02pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    First of April, after all :o)

    Press-secretary of Maya people made a special public address "regarding situation in Russia". In which he pointed out, that, due to Russia having cut its 11 time zones to 9, the end of it will also come 2 hrs earler than planned for 2012. :o)))))


    The more I get to know women - the better I think about the gay!
    - that is - how? what do you mean?

    - Imagine: you return home late and drunk. And there there meets you a muzhik / a chap :o)) - with a happy smile - and a bottle of vodka!

    :o)))

    Robin Hood was always falling into stupor when meeting people of average income.
    :o))))


    First they introduced for children in schools the "God's Law" (tsar-time name of subject "religion-understanding").
    Next we got less of time zones....
    The Earth is becoming flat?

    Medvedev, before sleep, dreamingly: "First we will reduce the amount of time zones, then we will build a Silicon valley not worse than the Americans, then we will win the Olympic Games in Sochi and ...
    Wife: Sleep already now! Dmitry you are mine... Napoleonovich.

    :o))))

    In Togliatti to children before sleep they read instead of a fairy-tale the technical specifications' passport to Volga VAZ-2110 :o))))


    In view of the latest news, a man, buying a two-trip ticket to subway is automatically considered an optimist...

    First FSB were told to flush the terrorists down the toilet, now - to carve them out from the bottom of the sewage pipe and to the day-light.
    By all looks they'll have to master a new speciality - plumbing.

    Modern Russia - it's USSR minus FOC education and FOC medical service.
    :o)))))

    ... and the Soviet propaganda was telling us that jeans wear only the homeless and the unemployed! :o))))))

    - Have you seen Lord of the Rings?
    - Yes.
    - And, how?
    - Good film, only Germans there way too scary :o)))))))

    The ones who believe that white and fluffy - is always better than black and even - they never saw Maybach, Mercedes, Audi and BMW!

    Would you like some thrilling experiences?
    Greet a group of policemen in Moscow subway "Allah Akbar".

    Author of the American idea to drown space station "Mir" from childhood years dreamed to throw into the ocean a big rock from a big height at a big speed.

    Recently archeologists found a pair of marble arms and a note nearby "Discover for yourself Bounty!". And signature: Venus of Milos.

    :o))))))))

    There is such a feeling.. that in Russia is already August.










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  • 312. At 3:19pm on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    C_B_W;

    When is Britain going to return the Elgin Marbles back to its rightful owner Greece? When it does, then we can talk about how the US did not steal one drop of Iraq's oil or why you can't just arbitrarily own the vast territory that is now The United States of America because that is your happy hunting ground you've carved up with other native tribes and nobody else can travel across it let alone build a house, a town, a farm, a ranch, a railroad track, or a megalopolis on it.

    While the US didn't steal any of Iraq's oil (that was the lie America bashers in Europe said was the reason for the invasion), I see the UK is getting ready to steal Argentina's oil though. Argentina needs that oil badly. It needs the revenues from it to pay back the 100 billion dollars it "borrowed" but never returned to lenders around the world, probably some of it from British banks. Britain doesn't know how to manage oil anyway, its North Sea oil reserves where depleted in no time flat and its big oil company British Petroleum is such an egregious offender with such an awful safety record, it's negligence having caused a very large number of injuries and deaths in the US that it's been fined and sued over and over again. Perhaps Britain should stick to what it knows best, shearing sheep for making sweaters and hand painting periwinkles on porcelain china.

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  • 313. At 3:40pm on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    As European nations accumulated their wealth over the centuries through piracy in one form or another, Britain being possibly the most piratical nation in history, it is hardly surprising in an era when that is no longer acceptable to the rest of the world and it has the means to defeat pirates and punish them, Europe would be in terminal decline. It lives off of what it stole in the past fighting over the remaining crumbs it didn't destroy in war and what was created by American investment after the war, investment that is exiting (Volvo, Saab, etc.) Interesting and ironic that among the many ills that plague it are the migration of the descendants of those it stole from, often illegal migration to the heartland of Europe where the emigres are a threat to the very identity of Europe. BBC asks this week on its broadcasts on World Service what does it mean to be English. The answer is now so ambiguous that nobody really knows if such a thing even exists anymore. How many of the children of emigres to Britain who were born in Britain don't even consider themselves British but identify with the country and culture of where their parents and grandparents came from? Lots. The transfer of wealth from Germany, France, Britain, and the Netherlands to the likes of Greece, Portugal, Latvia, Hungary, carries with it another irony that cannot but be recognized by those on the outside watching it. By trying to create a European superstate internal empire, these nations have imposed upon themselves a kind of piracy in reverse, one they cannot escape from. They are so smart, they outsmarted themselves. I just watch and grin.

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  • 314. At 4:53pm on 01 Apr 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    My post 300 and MarcusAurelius reply at 307.


    SWEET,JOY JOY JOY.YOU TOOK MY POST SERIOUS.YOU APRIL FOOL....

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  • 315. At 5:23pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "No amount of land can protect Russia. As Russia dwindles, it can hardly control itself."

    How is it, no amount of land will save?
    We have already shrank to the centre, leaving safe couple of hundred thousands kilometres on the sides :o))), then, preparing a strategic retreat position :o))))) into the Northern Pole :o)))))

    "hardly controls" simply a joke. We got used to live without a state, not so scary as you think :o)))).
    As one of the popular articles yesterday was titled - "Russia is losing state". You open it , on the web, and it starts:

    -"Do we? One can't lose what doesn't exist. ... etc " :o))))) and then it develops the theme very optimistically :o)))

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  • 316. At 7:04pm on 01 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #312

    But, we've all had this Elgin Marbles discussion many times before! Though it's an interesting point, the 'Marbles' is hardly on a par with 400+ Native American Tribes ending up as less than 200 and being robbed of an entire Continent they had inhabited for several aeons!

    We all note You aint so fine & dandy at the mass robbery of the North American Continent from the indigenous Peoples!

    And if You are going to try to divert attention by talking about 'management' skills - - then please go ahead - - I'd particularly like to know Your views on... Lehman, Washington Mutual, Delta Airlines, Enron, FannyMae & FreddieMac, WorldCom, General Motors...

    You know those stellar USA Companies that either filed for Chapter 11, were Nationalised by the Oval Office, or went straight into Bankruptcy!

    Look MAII, we've been here before - - You still believe the State of Louisiana was drowned by Hurricane Katrina - - everyone else knows it aint so. You still think You're 'shooting fish in a barrel' and everyone else knows You're a fish out of water!

    Hey, I do agree (as happens every now & then - - much to your chagrin) about the 'English' question: However, I would start from the premise of the BBC asking itself 2 key questions, 1) 'When did the BBC last represent the British/English in its Broadcasting Corporation?'
    and 2) 'Why do so many Britons/English regard BBC as Bought By Continentals?'

    Perhaps a good deal of the issues surrounding English/Britishness could be dealt with by simple recognition of basic things like: There is a BBC Scotland, a BBC Wales & a BBC Northern Ireland.
    Coincidentally, there is a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly and a N.Irish Assembly.
    There is also a Scottish National Day, a Welsh National Day and N.Irish actually have 1 for each of the 2 sectarian groups. With National Flags & relevant Patron Saint much on display for Scotland, Wales & N.Ireland.

    Now I suspect MAII even You can spot the missing entity in all that?

    The United Kingdom 'Union' Nation of 49,000,000 Citizens who basically Tax-pay for all the rest (wait for the 'nationalistic' grumbles but it is the hardcore truth of the UK) are no surprise at all the one group the BBC feels it needs to ask, 'WHO ARE THEY!?

    MAII, You are right to claim most of the population of the USA are pleased and proud to call themsleves American: I suspect most of the Multi-cultural mix of Citizens in England would feel likewise about England, if any Official organsiation such as Parliament, the BBC etc. had actually ever taken the time & trouble to REPRESENT THE ENGLISH NATIONALITY.

    In short, it is a bit late for the BBC to start asking about its main License-Fee Paying AUDIENCE!


    So, all that said: I enjoy the occasional joust with You & applaud Your inventiveness & unending riposte to us all - - keep it going, I'm sure a Publisher deal is just around corner - - the Blogs would be a poorer place without Your extensive and 90% wrong-headed contributions.

    Cheers.

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  • 317. At 7:59pm on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee;

    Is that what your posting was, a joke? Having read so many of your other lunacies, how was I to tell the difference? Which doesn't change the fact that the UK is morphing into ???? There will always be an England but will there always be English? How will we recognize them? Certainly not by resemblance to any old Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce movies.

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  • 318. At 9:08pm on 01 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Nik,

    No ill will, but to lavish so much blame...is to be wrong, eventually.

    I know what you mean, though, about Greece's position in the future. It is a natural hub for trade. Unfortunately so is Istanbul.

    But, Greece has a more European outlook on things, we shall say. And it will always reap much profit for its geographic position..but, to blame others for yor own nations mistakes is to repeat ad nausium...mistakes.

    It's always best to know "of" others opinions and maybe like WA, to quietly gain perspective and knowledge is wonderful. I TRY to do that.

    Thank you anyway. Nik, for contributing.

    As for my thoughts I keep my pearls close, so they aren't misconstrued....(the old saying?)

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  • 319. At 9:31pm on 01 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ COOL BRUSH WORK 310

    Re ""..courtesy.."!

    Another keyword lamentably absent from the 'pro-EU' Thesaurus of usabl words."

    Let me first thank you for this constructive and well argumented contribution to the discussion.

    I would then invite you (for the third time) to shed your light on my previously raised comments:

    Ok, let's note a couple of things:

    1. You did not care to reply to my comment on the CAP. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to impose your unsubstantiated anti-EU discourse, regardless of the facts? (let me be pre-emptive: I don't care if you are pro or anti EU, just debate in an intellectually honest way)

    2. You did not care to specify which 'figures' you think require updating. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to blacken the EU and each and every figure Eurostat produces, because of the fraud of a Member State, regardless whether there are actual links between the fraudulent figures and the figures published by Eurostat?

    3. You did not care to reply to my comment on the 1975 referendum. Should we interprete this as you recognizing the British people ought to have properly read the document they agreed to in that referendum?

    This leaves you wondering who in fact is ducking and diving here. You have not addressed a single point I raised.

    But let me address the new point you raised (you see, I'm being cooperative, I am willing to address any point you raise, but I do expect you to return the favor concerning my previous points raised, that's courtesy in debating)

    On sincerity. I didn't invent all that. Let's just look at article 4 (3) of the TEU:

    "3. Pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Union and the Member States shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties."

    The word sincere is even explicitly used. The paragraph describes the gist of the principle, which has been further explained and interpreted in caselaw by the ECJ. Therefore you are wrong to say "Not realy that's just what You make of it."

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  • 320. At 10:41pm on 01 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    C_B_W

    "And if You are going to try to divert attention by talking about 'management' skills - - then please go ahead - - I'd particularly like to know Your views on... Lehman, Washington Mutual, Delta Airlines, Enron, FannyMae & FreddieMac, WorldCom, General Motors..."

    Send all those bastards to prison and throw the key away! Ooops, we did that with Bernie Ebbers from Worldcom. Do you think it was because he was Canadian :-) IMO Worldcom's fraud was only challenged by Bernie Madoff's as the largest single fraud in the history of capitalism. The investigation of Worldcom only went back 3 years. Beyond the 11 billion in the indictment, their books showed a lot of other bogus assets such as $50 billion in "good will." If British Telecom couldn't make a go of MCI for 21 billion, how was Worldcom, a relatively small player at the time going to avoid going broke after buying it for 42 billion?

    3 million people could not lay claim to 3 million square miles of land. Most Europeans have no idea how vast the United States actually is. The native Americans had fought over that land among themselves. As hunter gatherers their primitive cultures demanded vast tracts of land per capita that preclued anyone else from having any. History records that Europeans and later their American descendants would not permit that. They would not allow those people to prevent the building of the United States we know today. There is still vast amounts of unused arable land in America. The largest single land owner I think is the Federal government. That land will be needed for new towns, cities, megalopolises that will spring up as about 140 million more Americans are expected to populate the US by mid century.

    "You still believe the State of Louisiana was drowned by Hurricane Katrina - - everyone else knows it aint so."

    I don't know what you are talking about. Everyone knows that the levees broke and lake Ponchartrain escaped its containment and flooded much of Louisiana. We also know that there had been warnings of this possibility by the Army Corps of Engineers that had been ignored by federal and state governments for forty years. But we also know that the flood damaged area was greater than all of Great Britain and therefore, a lot of the damage was due to the hurricaine itself.

    "MAII, You are right to claim most of the population of the USA are pleased and proud to call themsleves American"

    I don't recall ever saying that. Nor that I am proud to be an American. Why should I be proud, I was born here it was the roll of the dice, I made no sacrifice or special effort to get here. Instead I just feel lucky.

    "1) 'When did the BBC last represent the British/English in its Broadcasting Corporation?'
    and 2) 'Why do so many Britons/English regard BBC as Bought By Continentals?'"

    If Brits feel that a British goverment owned media outlet, the largest and most powerful voice in the English speaking world has sold out to "continentals" why don't they do something about it? Either because they don't care or because they can't, Britain not being a democracy but an oligarchy. I think the latter is true. Brits are resigned to accepting whatever their overlords decide is in their best interest whether it's the BBC spouting "contenintal" propaganda or selling out Britain's sovereignty through the EU constitution or Lisbon Treaty. Their hands and feet are tied, they are helpless. Americans are not. Their destiny is in their own hands, nobody elses.

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  • 321. At 08:12am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 322. At 08:16am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "principle.."

    Yet another I overlooked:

    The list of keywords non-applicable to EU/pro-EU just grows & grows!

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  • 323. At 08:45am on 02 Apr 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #319 Jean Luc And Previously

    As I have written in a post to Wonthillion , I have read the pamplet for the 1975 campaign for Britain to remain in the EEC . It doesn't give an indication that there might be a political union in the future . I have commented to Wonthillion on this , who say there isn't as yet a total political of the type you imply . I don't think British people can be blamed for not knowing the underhand European Commission intentions .
    Did you know that the European Commission paid for speakers to fly to wherever they may be required to put the case for Britain to remain in the EEC . They were meddling in British affairs right from the beginning .
    I repeat , that I voted for Britain to leave the EEC .

    Your sneeringly comment to Cool_Brush_Work ; see how british farmers would like it if the CAP were abolished .
    It is Britain that wants to abolish the CAP . As I understand , Mrs Thatcher retained the Rebate in order to subsidise British farmers , directly from Westminster .
    British farmers are not beneficiaries of CAP money from Brussels .

    When you rely to such a large extent on facts ; it helps to get them correct before you so pedantically suggest that another contributor to the debate is being intellectualy dishonest .

    The manner in which you address Eurosceptic commenters as foolish and ignorant ; gives the impression that you might be speaking from the heart of the Brussels Intelectual Vacuum ; where opposers of the EU are Wrong , stupid , ignorant , dishonest , even if they are right .

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  • 324. At 08:55am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Let me guess:

    With an Election only weeks away the BBC is in safety-first/even-handed mode.

    I.e. I cannot be allowed to describe the UK Political elite in terms the Expenses scandal, the money for asking questions, the money for lobbying, the economic debacle, the rewarding & cosying up to failed Bankers, and the utter failure to abide by Manifesto promises reveals as the patently, glaringly, undeniable TRUTH about those who would attempt to induce Public endorsement at the Ballot box in order for them to follow a spectacularly lucrative career at Westminster!?


    Fine, it matters not a jot if my previous Comment #321 is not Published by the BBC - - many UK and most especially English Citizens know exactly the contempt I feel for the body-politic because they share the same thoughts.

    If there is even a 60% Voter Turnout it will be a triumph for the 3 Parties as everyone I have spoken to holds scant regard for any of them.

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  • 325. At 10:11am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Huaimek

    Re #323

    Thank you for putting the case forward to #319.

    Unfortunately, You will have realised as have so many others on these Blog articles that the insufferable superiority and gracelessness of that particular contributor precludes any sort of reasonable debate.

    We 'anti-EU' have all been classified as lesser beings whose intellect and veracity are never acknowledged as anything but inadequate before the great all-knowing 'pro-EU'.

    Certainly it is the case doing away with CAP for British Farmers has been a policy of the UK National Farmers Union for at least a decade.

    Unlike You I voted 'yes' to the renegotiated Accession treaty in April 1975: It seemed to me wholly logical to have a pan-European Trade-Transport-Tariff deal & the coalition of France-Germany-BeNeLux Iron & Steel communities seemed a very worthwhile project & relatively small price to pay for reduced 'international' tension on the Continent.
    Naturally, I now regret My disastrous Vote: I was in the HM Forces then & believed what we were told by Government & 'pro-EEC' members of other Parties that apart from a possible 'European Parliament' at some future date nothing on the 'political' front would change much.
    It is as You say, the 'Yes' pamphlets produced by HM Government & those I saw from the EEC (based in West Germany) made no mention of a 'political union'.

    To his credit I recall Anthony Benn MP warning of the 'supra-Nation' political ambitions of Paris & Berlin, but did not think he could be right - - as we all now know to our Nation's immense cost - - not only was Benn correct, but he underestimated the dangerous obsession of France-Germany with total hegemony in a unified EUrope!

    Don't be too concerned by the contributor at #319 (& elsewhere) - - their comments have riled many other contributors & You may have noticed several, like myself, prefer not to get involved with someone so obviously full of their own self-importance.

    Cheers & keep it coming.

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  • 326. At 10:14am on 02 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @HUAIMEK 323

    Re "As I have written in a post to Wonthillion , I have read the pamplet for the 1975 campaign for Britain to remain in the EEC . It doesn't give an indication that there might be a political union in the future . I have commented to Wonthillion on this , who say there isn't as yet a total political of the type you imply . I don't think British people can be blamed for not knowing the underhand European Commission intentions .
    Did you know that the European Commission paid for speakers to fly to wherever they may be required to put the case for Britain to remain in the EEC . They were meddling in British affairs right from the beginning .
    I repeat , that I voted for Britain to leave the EEC .

    Your sneeringly comment to Cool_Brush_Work ; see how british farmers would like it if the CAP were abolished .
    It is Britain that wants to abolish the CAP . As I understand , Mrs Thatcher retained the Rebate in order to subsidise British farmers , directly from Westminster .
    British farmers are not beneficiaries of CAP money from Brussels .

    When you rely to such a large extent on facts ; it helps to get them correct before you so pedantically suggest that another contributor to the debate is being intellectualy dishonest .

    The manner in which you address Eurosceptic commenters as foolish and ignorant ; gives the impression that you might be speaking from the heart of the Brussels Intelectual Vacuum ; where opposers of the EU are Wrong , stupid , ignorant , dishonest , even if they are right ."

    Dear Huaimek,

    I do not know whether I should laugh or cry about your ignorance on (international) law and EU affairs.

    I could laugh, because it is quite funny how you and other EU sceptics come on these (and other internet) boards/blogs and write down their frustrations and fears on the EU, but in quite a lot of the cases, the 'facts' you produce are completely false. Seeing a man frustrated because of something that in effect doesn't match reality is a very surreal thing to witness.

    I could cry, because you guys are so damned convinced that what you are frustrated about is actually true.

    In the end, I do none of the above, but keep posting the simple facts as they are. I see you don't like my arrogant style. That's fine.

    You also claim I should 'get my facts correct before I suggest someone else is dishonest'. But you (AGAIN!) do not indicate which of the facts I gave are wrong. You do not give alternative 'facts'.

    I'm sorry I my style upsets you, yet I wonder how you feel about CBW who plainly refused to further explain his comments in the light of my remarks on them. You would call that intellectualy honest?

    Now re "It is Britain that wants to abolish the CAP . As I understand , Mrs Thatcher retained the Rebate in order to subsidise British farmers , directly from Westminster .
    British farmers are not beneficiaries of CAP money from Brussels ."

    Anyone who would look at the most basic of facts would know that the UK as any other member states receives payments from the CAP. If it wouldn't this would be a flagrant breach of the principle of equality between member states in the EU.

    For your information, the UK receives 9% of the CAP budget and you can look up which farmers receive which subsidies in the Uk on this website http://cap-payments.defra.gov.uk/

    That's very strange isn't it? According to you no CAP money goes to British farmers, yet the UK government has created a public database and website for everyone to see which farmer does not (according to you) get any money from the EU!

    Re "I have read the pamplet for the 1975 campaign for Britain to remain in the EEC . It doesn't give an indication that there might be a political union in the future . I have commented to Wonthillion on this , who say there isn't as yet a total political of the type you imply . I don't think British people can be blamed for not knowing the underhand European Commission intentions .
    Did you know that the European Commission paid for speakers to fly to wherever they may be required to put the case for Britain to remain in the EEC . They were meddling in British affairs right from the beginning .
    I repeat , that I voted for Britain to leave the EEC "

    Now I don't know how many times I have to say this again. And you did not answer my first question to you, yet I keep answering to your comments!

    You speak about a pamphlet, yet it is not that pamphlet that has bound the UK in international law, it is the EEC EC EU treaties. Therefore, what your pamphlet says is legally irrelevant. You did not agree to a pamphlet but to a Treaty, therefore to make an informed decision you should have read the Treaty not the pamphlet. The fact that you didn't know 'ever closer union' was part of the Treaty means you did not read the Treaty. That's very sorry for you, but Ignorantia Leges non excusat (a principle recognized in UK law as in any other civilised law).

    The fact that you talk about the 'underhand intentions of the Commission' is quite sad as well. You still believe in the Commission as some kind of all powerful body that will in the end impose a superstate on Europe? Let me remind you that ALL Treaties are negociated and concluded between Member States with no formal role whatsoever for the Commission. The Commission can stand on it's head for all the Member Stats care. The fact that successive treaty revision (SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon) have taken away powers from the national level and given to the EU level is because ALL member states wanted this. This means including the UK and your own parliament.

    So what if the Commission paid for flights? What age do you live in? We have moved in since the idea of absolute national sovereignty in the 19th century. Welcome to the 21st century, were Europe (through) the EU is at the forefront of human development and history with the abolishment of the outdated national state!

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  • 327. At 10:15am on 02 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @COOL BRUSH WORK 322

    Re ""principle.."

    Yet another I overlooked:

    The list of keywords non-applicable to EU/pro-EU just grows & grows!"



    Let me first thank you for this constructive and well argumented contribution to the discussion.

    I would then invite you (for the fourth time) to shed your light on my previously raised comments:

    Ok, let's note a couple of things:

    1. You did not care to reply to my comment on the CAP. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to impose your unsubstantiated anti-EU discourse, regardless of the facts? (let me be pre-emptive: I don't care if you are pro or anti EU, just debate in an intellectually honest way)

    2. You did not care to specify which 'figures' you think require updating. Should we interprete this as a 'mea culpa' on your part? Recognizing you were just trying to blacken the EU and each and every figure Eurostat produces, because of the fraud of a Member State, regardless whether there are actual links between the fraudulent figures and the figures published by Eurostat?

    3. You did not care to reply to my comment on the 1975 referendum. Should we interprete this as you recognizing the British people ought to have properly read the document they agreed to in that referendum?

    This leaves you wondering who in fact is ducking and diving here. You have not addressed a single point I raised.

    But let me address the new point you raised (you see, I'm being cooperative, I am willing to address any point you raise, but I do expect you to return the favor concerning my previous points raised, that's courtesy in debating)

    On sincerity. I didn't invent all that. Let's just look at article 4 (3) of the TEU:

    "3. Pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Union and the Member States shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties."

    The word sincere is even explicitly used. The paragraph describes the gist of the principle, which has been further explained and interpreted in caselaw by the ECJ. Therefore you are wrong to say "Not realy that's just what You make of it."

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  • 328. At 10:39am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Ah, the 'ECJ'!

    That would be the EUropean Court of Justice which 'pro-EU' would have people believe does not have any effect on the 'political' decision-making of National Governments.
    Except of course, every single time the ECJ makes a Judgement its Law supercedes National Assemblies' Laws - - thus in any and every sense the ECJ suppresses and negates the Citizen approved policies of their National Elected Governments.

    The ECJ: Just one of several 'anti-Democratic' institutions of the EU.

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  • 329. At 11:00am on 02 Apr 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #306 WebAliceinwonderland

    Thank you for your charming reply .

    Thailand is a beautiful country and yes , it is very hot , especially in the northeast and it is not as humid here as in other regions , currently 37°c - 41°c by midday . I don't mind the heat , though it is not condusive to doing much . I have a fan cooling me at the computer .
    My Thai wife who has only once experienced cold weather , on a visit to San Francisco to my son's wedding ; says she would love to live in a cool or cold climate . I am not so sure ; when it is cold or wet all the time , one soon gets sick of that too . I lived in Tuscany , Italy ; before moving to Thailand ; the climate there encompasses it all , generally not too cold in the winter and an almost guaranteed long hot summer .
    My wife came to stay with me there , we had perfect warm Spring weather for the duration of her stay . I lived in the oldest part of a small hill village , with a little square infront of my house , beyond that was a deep rocky ravine with a series of waterfalls . At night we had the windows wide open , so we could hear the rushing water and the song of Nightingales in the woods beyond .

    When one lives in different countries one soon realises they are all pretty much the same , one way or another .
    Life in Thailand is very free of rules and regulations and nobody obeys those there are . I would rather live the simple life among kind good people than have all the facilities that make life so expensive in the western world . People Are very poor here , there homes are built of wood and corrugated iron ; but the people and their homes are clean . My 85yr old father-in-law makes a little business of collecting used , rusty , holed corrugated iron to sell on to people who couldn't afford new . He also collects used bent nails and straightens them to sell on .
    I have given up excellent free medical services in Italy ; but it's not expensive here . I hope not to be hospitalised .

    I have been looking up on your Thai dish . You description sounds a little like Pad Pak a favourite of mine . Pad Pak is stir fried Pork , Beef or Chicken with mixed vegetables and mushrooms , served with steamed rice .
    I do most of the cooking here , but my wife makes that really well .
    I prepare all the ingredients . We generally use fillet of pork , tender and no fat . I chop about 5 cloves of garlic . I slice the meat very thin , in postage stamp sizes , but strips or whatever shape is fine . I slice vegetables , like carrots , broccoli , baby sweetcorn ,snake beans , onions , flat peapods , sweet peppers , mushrooms , asparagus .
    I arrange them in bowls in order of how long to cook , the vegetables must be fresh and crunchy and the mushrooms not done to death slimey .
    My wife puts a little oil in the Wok and fries the garlic for a minute or two , she then adds the meat , tossing it and frying it gently . next comes a dollop of Mushroom sauce , or Oyster or Golden Mountain .
    The meat is tossed in that , then tougher vegetables and so on till all are in . She adds a little water , otherwise the sauce is too strong and salty tasting . My guess is that the cooking time is about 15 - 20 minutes . My wife then turns off the gas and covers the Wok , maybe for another 10 - 15 minutes , before serving .
    I prefer brown Jasmin Steamed Rice .

    I will further research your description .

    Many restaurants serve a clear soup made from chicken or pork stock or from fish or prawns . You describe it with Soya Tofu floating on top .
    The sauces I mentioned above are thick sauces . Fish sauce is thin fermented . Pa La is a thin puré of small fish prawns or crabs , but probably only found in Thailand .

    St Petersburg must be really beautiful . I enjoy so much the Kirov Ballet .

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  • 330. At 11:47am on 02 Apr 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Huaimek

    As You will see from just the last '2' so sensitive replies there is no measuring the depth of arrogance, discourtesy and self-opinionated tiresomeness to which some 'pro-EU' will descend in their wholly unjustified faith that only their version could possibly be reality!

    Let it pass: It speaks only to itself and is only heard by itself!

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  • 331. At 12:19pm on 02 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    Re "As You will see from just the last '2' so sensitive replies there is no measuring the depth of arrogance, discourtesy and self-opinionated tiresomeness to which some 'pro-EU' will descend in their wholly unjustified faith that only their version could possibly be reality!"

    That's strange. I have said a dozen of times I couldn't care whether you are pro (like me) or anti EU. As long as we debate from the facts. I have given facts and sources. You haven't. I asked you to give sources/facts, you refused.

    Re "Let it pass: It speaks only to itself and is only heard by itself! "

    Even stranger. I have replied to every point you have raised. Unlike you, who has ignored every invitation to comment on my remarks.

    Where is the lack of courtesy?

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  • 332. At 1:11pm on 02 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Hammock;

    "It doesn't give an indication that there might be a political union in the future . I have commented to Wonthillion on this , who say there isn't as yet a total political of the type you imply . I don't think British people can be blamed for not knowing the underhand European Commission intentions ."

    What they can be blamed for though is not reacting at the first signs they had been lied to. At the first signs that the treaty was not what it was first said to be, that it would be changed. That the British government would accept those changes on their behalf without then strongly reacting. Without even a meek reaction. That they did not debate and openly revolt. That they did not organize a political party if none of the existing ones wouldn't take it on and overthrow it. The passivity of people who are subject to an elitist dictatorship, who accept that those in the know have the right and responsibility to make all decisions for them is proof Britian is not a democracy. It is the psychology of a prisoner resigned to his fate. Not just an EU prisoner but a UK prisoner. Being a prisoner as a state of mind, an accepted role in life. The irony of course is that as in the ending of Satre's play "No Exit" the door is unlocked, in fact it has been all the time. All that would be required is to get up, open it, and walk out en masse. There is absolutely nothing the government could do to stop it. But like the characters in No Exit, they stay to be tortured forever. That is one of the major differences between the US and European countries. We don't sit still for just anything the government tries to dish out. When we don't like it, we don't merely protest, we react, we take action. That's how and why we threw the British out. We are not sheep to be taken to the slaughter. To say that the British government is corrupt, despotic, made up of entirely self serving hypocrites through and through in all its political parties is to state the obvious. And to say that Brits have passively accepted it for a millenium and still do is also beyond question. There is a saying that people get the government they deserve. Nowhere is that more true than in Britain.

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  • 333. At 3:01pm on 02 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re318: David, thanx for reading my comments (and I guess you referred to my comments above in 236,237,238).

    Pay attention, I do not do all that to claim innocence of Greeks in relaiton to their problems - on the contrary, I show this to indicate to what extend they are manipulated into doing the same errors again and again. This is the alarm bell that something very wrong is happening to Greece and Greeks are sleeping the "sleep of the just". They do have a huge responsibility for having let the situation evolve out of conttrol, they tolerated corruption, they voted again and again the same failed politicians in exchange of petty favours, and undermined their own position.

    And what is most exasperrating is that we talk about a population that by EU standards is extremely educated (at least in papers...). If you visit Greece you will see that behind the facade of unorganised, rather ugly cities representative of 2nd world countries there is there a vast number of extremely educated and very intelligent people who theoretically should have a huge potential, yet they are so manipulated as to be dragged around like sheeps.

    I come and go out Greee often. Last time I was in the company of several people in their late 20s early 30s. We had that discussion about the crisis. I mentioned to them that the country's media is controlled by the same persons at a rate of 80% (which is amazing - we do not even discuss about any democracy...), and that this 80% is continuously supporting PASOK, the current party. And there was no reaction, people just did not want to believe it! And then I heard them talking about Lazopoulos and one of them was saying "at least there is Lazopoulos to say things as they are!!!"... I did not event comment on this despeakable actor, a low sediment of society that rose to prominence being the megaphone of this "80% establishement" and daring to proclaim himself representative of the "average Greek" when he get millions and millions not only by private channels but also by state fundings (especially for his theater group) - i.e. people consider him as "genuine voice" when he is the one that exemplifies corruption and propaganda.

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  • 334. At 3:30pm on 02 Apr 2010, Kovacs Florian wrote:

    @Jean Luc

    If you don't mind, would you please disclose if you currently work in the public sector?

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  • 335. At 3:39pm on 02 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nik;

    "This is the alarm bell that something very wrong is happening to Greece and Greeks are sleeping the "sleep of the just". They do have a huge responsibility for having let the situation evolve out of conttrol, they tolerated corruption, they voted again and again the same failed politicians in exchange of petty favours, and undermined their own position."

    Yes but the EU shares that responsibility. Why did the EU turn its head away from the truth for so long? Why did the EU let Greece get away with it? Even aided and abetted it? The answer is that the creation of the EU superstate to challenge the US politically, economically, even in its wild fantasy militarily was far more important than mere corruption and an economy built like a house of cards that had to eventually collapse under its own weight for one reason or another. Practically all of them are built like that. And when the end came as the result of the credit crisis by surprise, the cutoff was not gradual giving Greece time to adjust to the realities of economics but sudden. This is because the EU had no other choice. It had to go to Germany and the IMF even to avoid immediately pending default because there was nowhere else to go.

    This would be bad enough but the crisis is far greater than just Greece. Greece is a symptom of what is rotten about the EU, not the cause. Greece is merely the first wave of the tsunami. There's far more and worse to come. Brace for it, when it hits Greece will be forgotten as a minor detail, a first warning gale of wind from an approaching perfect storm that will hit head on. The economy of the EU superstate is imploding. It cannot be sustained in the manner it has previously existed in, it cannot be abandoned because of the political consequences of the social pressures that would unleash. It will be fascinating to watch what happens...from a safe distance.

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  • 336. At 4:43pm on 02 Apr 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @334

    I don't. I'm a student. Why?

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  • 337. At 4:43pm on 02 Apr 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    Nik,
    As you acknowledge yourself there is plenty of corruption in Greece, so would it not be advisable for your native country to take some responsibility and dig itself out of the hole that it has dug for itself?

    Yes, its on the Med. and does have the trade routes, but access to the Black Sea is through Turkey, which is to the Turks advantage, not the Greeks. (Ref : 238)
    If I were a German taxpayer I would be very concerned about my money going to save Greece.
    Angela Merkel was correct by suggesting the IMF be used if necessary, but it primarily is the Greeks responsibility to put their own house in order.

    ..

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  • 338. At 5:03pm on 02 Apr 2010, Kovacs Florian wrote:

    @Jean Luc

    Just wondering what your opinion would be after, let's say, 10 years of working in the private sector...
    Or even better: 7 years in the private sector, 1 year for the European Commission, and then another 2 years in the private sector.

    I think it would give you a pretty good idea about the differences, in the work/benefits ratio, between the private sector and the EU bureaucrats.

    Until then, all your opinions have no grounding into the experienced (felt) reality.

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  • 339. At 5:14pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Huaimek,
    thank you very much for the recepie. I will google names of things I don't recognise and if there are no pictures will come back to you :o) again if you permit. What do you mean by mushrooms, just in case?

    I know only one int'l, that is part of English breakfast. or can be, rather. That Americans eat nearly raw or may be raw. Those, hot house, small white ones.
    That I have.

    Of other common ones we have ? oh? those, also internationally liked, normally pickled, small orange yellow ones. That here are called "foxies", little fox-s fox-es multiple "fox" That animal.

    Which are yours? I can't forget those strange thin black flat hats. :o)

    Your temperatures of course disaster. :o))))) Above plus 10 for me is kind of, how to say, already trying the patience limit :o))))

    By the way I swear I saw a butterfly yesterday. Flopping? flip-flopping? flippering? hoovering? over snow. Must be it's those Southern side non-snow spots, where ground cleaned up, that she oh - googled out! of one such a place.

    Can be of course it's a ? moth ? that googled out :o))) of someone's wardrobe :o))) was eating someone's fur-coat :o))))

    But I think a normal butterfly.

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  • 340. At 10:24pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Absolutely awful.
    A "junior wife", as that analyst Tsygankov predicted.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8600563.stm

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  • 341. At 10:38pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The photo of the 2nd bomber there is also in all newspapers, but can't give a link. And what's the point nothing to enjoy.

    An interesting thing is that the good photo and film of the second one was identified NOT by the police but by ordinary Russian you-tube-ers.

    A young man was looking through you tube mobile phone films, put out there, as some filmed how all run away out of various subway stations.
    And his attention called a woman at Kuznetsky Most adjacent to Lubianka station, who stood still and stared while all around ran. He stopped the film and wrote to other visitors type hey all, pay attention to the 15 sec onwards - that woman looks to me to be like the photo of the dead second bomber (which was placed somewhere in case anyone recognises here but I don't know wher. Definitely not main newspapers. May be FSB site or Moscow police site.

    Adnd the company gathered at that you tube film all agreed that may be her, let's call police and e-mail it somewhere, who knows any FSB sites ? :o))))) or anything. how to do it. They e-mailed and it was confirmed. Well, so far "confirmed". I saw both the photo and the mobile video shots, taken at 2 metres, very close, yes looks like her. Short-cut, dark hair, no nothing teenagers, about 30. Looks very stubborn, definite chin set forward, how to say. She simply checked that the first "bomb" worked, changed lines, and continued on the circle line (Which still worked!!!!! aaah!!!!! - it was 4 minutes after the 1st blast - and the Circular line still worked!!!!! to the second location.

    O why didn't they stop ALL the trains in ALL the lines, all whenever all were!

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  • 342. At 10:46pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And just imagine the 2nd bomber's train was the last train to arrive to that 2nd blast location station.

    The "driver", well, it's automatic, but the driver is always there in case - told passangers that that will be the last station, the train goes nowhere further. So she went out of the wagon and blew all around up. In fact, while still in the wagon doors, to catch all existing and all gathered on the platform, simultaneously.

    And moreover news - these two prayed! at a station! before the first blast! prayed, kneeling on the floor of the subway station! among the busy crowds running by! and nobody told the police and the police noticed nil!
    Sure, the most "common" thing to do in a subway - flop down on the floor and pray!

    People who saw it were asked later - why didn't YOU tell anybody, did NOT tell the station personnel you've seen 2 people praying on the floor!
    And they said "And who knows, it's muslims, we heard they have to pray several times a day to the East, must be was simply their time to pray"

    !!!!

    I am writing this so that all know just in case and tell all they know - any trouble - tell you authorities something, don't tell you - get out far away ASAP yourself! From whenever it is! Because those "troubles" have a inclination to come in two-s!

    And number 2 - about sudden interest for praying - I mean - I don't know. but you got it.
    blast

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  • 343. At 10:51pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "Between us, girls" :o)
    I thought it is Dagestan.
    From Chechnya it passed over onto Ingushetia. From Ingushetia - onto Dagestan.

    For the Ingush president newly appointed last year is a decent man (and was blown up for it, if someone remembers, last summer, after he began firing-hiring new admin), then he recuperated more or less - and returned back to job, right out of the Moscow hospital, where he didn't even come back to senses for 2 weeks, critical condition ward.
    But he got back, and Ingushetia improved a bit, so the next border for under-beaten I would say sorry but you understand me "quarters" was due to become Dagestan.

    Chechnya is small.
    Ingushetia is small.
    Dagestan is big, it's more "convinient", to ramble around, for some.

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  • 344. At 01:08am on 03 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The steps along the path to a single EUSSR superstate are clear. Among them are be forced redistribution of wealth from each according to his ability to each according to his need. The transfer of wealth from Germany, France, Britain, and the Netherlands to Greece and the other PIIGS will be seen as necessary for the common good. Of the four, only Britain is not in the Eurozone. The other three have a direct stake in the survival of the Euro. It was inevitable that Germany would be forced to send at least some money. A threshold has been crossed. First there was voluntary assistance, a kind of charity. Then what amounted to an involuntary tax negotiated by "representatives" to assist the poorer members catch up to the richer ones. Now we have the first case of a dire crisis which can only be resolved by a forced transfer of wealth not to help with national development but with rescue of a corrupt government and society. As the cases pile up, each one unique and individual in its causes, the pressure for Britain to make increasingly larger contributions, its own desperate circumstances not withstanding will be more compelling, more forceful. Each case will seem to those who make the demands to be totally compelling.

    The other aspect of course is the elimination of internal borders. This is the mechanism for eventual de-differentiation of cultures, the goal of one homogenious Euro-culture much as any single truly unified nation state like the US has. What were once sharp distinctions will become nothing more than regional variants, vestiges of a distant past. I think the French are more acutely aware of this process than perhaps others because they guard their cultural identity so tenaciously but in the end, it will have to go and Bretagne will seem much like Bristol, Barcelona, and Budapest. When will the process demand that internal migration be subsidized?

    I have to wonder when the impetus for a single language will gain momentum. This seems inevitable, if not in the next generation or two then perhaps maybe in three or four but it will come. This will be seen as an increase in efficiency and common understanding. I personally hope it is German. It will be interesting to see how British and French react when they are told that as of a certain date, all official government and private contractual transactions will have to be carried on in German whether verbally or in writing.

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  • 345. At 01:48am on 03 Apr 2010, Scotch Get wrote:


    Your name vill also go on ze list!

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  • 346. At 10:55am on 03 Apr 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    344 MA"2..

    Even with your bleak picture of our future,that future is preferable to another European war.With the talent that Europe is able to generate,even
    with so many problems our future will be complex but successful.A European trained specialist in any field will be welcomed world wide,& able to make a go of it any where.I always fancied living in the US for a short while,I could well end up next door to you.I am positive we will get on fine,even though I am learning the bag pipes,slightly tone deaf so that I must practice 4 hours in stead of the normal 1...

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  • 347. At 11:24am on 03 Apr 2010, CornwallCoastPath wrote:

    Huaimek, 299:

    Unfortunately it turned out to be a 'poisson d'avril'.

    I don't live in Cornwall, but I've enjoyed a few holidays and short visits there. The cliff-top coast path near Newquay provides a really bracing and dramatic walk. It used to be possible to do that walk as a daytrip from London by flying into Newquay Airport / RAF St. Mawgan, but I don't think that can be done now.

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  • 348. At 1:16pm on 03 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee;

    ".I always fancied living in the US for a short while,I could well end up next door to you."

    Now that is a very frightening prospect....at least to me it is.

    "I am positive we will get on fine,even though I am learning the bag pipes,slightly tone deaf so that I must practice 4 hours in stead of the normal 1."

    In the US we have effective legal defenses for killing someone that takes it out of the catgory of murder homocide. One is called "justifiable homocide" and it is not a crime. All that a jury has to be convinced of is that there were reasonable grounds. One listen to the execrable cacophony bag pipes emit and I'm sure no jury in America would find me guilty. In fact I might just get a medal for neighborhood improvement from those living within earshot of it. There are some things in life one human being cannot be required to tolerate from another. Why not go eat some haggis. Last year the English laid claim to having originally invented it.

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  • 349. At 3:05pm on 03 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re335: Marcus, your questioning is 100% logical! Ok, Greeks were corrupt and had their house in a mess; but why did EU turn the eyes elsewhere? They knew, of course they knew about everything - in fact, as I said repeatedly they funded corruption and they 10folded it between 1978 and 2008.

    However, where you make an error in the in the explanation. USE (United States of Europe) is not the right explanation. If EU tolerated Greece's state for this reason, there are 100s of elements that contradict this. If EU ever cared to present a USE face they would have used Greece as their vanguard in what is geopolitically the most sensitive area of Europe. They would support Greece not only on defending its rights but on taking out the rights of others!!! However in reality the EU has proficiently worked in undermining the right of Greece and in weakening the state and reducing its geopolitical weight while favouring the non-EU Turkey. However in that sense they only aided the US plans and not any vision of USE. You understand that even the EU funding the internal corruption in Greece was just a part of this scheme. Greece got into the EU with the hope of participating to the development of a new political weight in the world that would be independent of US or Russia, but 30 years later, what we see is a client state of US. Still.

    Now Marcus you are 100% aware of NAFTA. And when you attack the EU it is NAFTA you have in the back of your mind. For good or for bad, the whole EU case is not the EU but the EU-NAFTA integration. That is the plan. Greece is something so infinitesimally small in all that affair that can be sacrificed any time.

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  • 350. At 3:25pm on 03 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re337: Islandhopper, the question you pose is 100% correct! How come Turkey has not the absolute geostrategic advantage when it occupies the channel? What is the role of Greece in that?

    Well I have explained it in full details in a past thread some weeks ago - do not know how we can search it back now.

    But I will repeat in a few words - get your google map of the area:

    What do you see is Turkey having control over the Bospohorus channel, the Propontis sea, the Dardanelia Channel and only 2 small islands in the mouth of the channel but that is all. From there on Turkey has only its Minor Asian coast and a bit of European soil (the lowlands of eastern Thrace) but has practically no control over the Aegean sea whose even the smallest islands and even the rocks (which consist also lands) are Greek.

    In other words, Turkey controls only the narrows BUT NOT the full trade-route.

    Now the problem is that Turkey like Greece and like all countries internationally with sea-access have signed international treaties that specify a 12 mile minimum zone around every coast and island. Now according to these 12 mile zone, Greece closes the Aegean sea and nullifies the advantage of Turks in Bosphorus for which there are special treaties that permit (though in a restricted way) the passage of even warships. But there will be no such treaty for Aegean which simply is a Greek sea, where no warship can pass without the permission of Greece and on which Greece has only the obligation to point a route for commercial ships i.e. guiding the trade route on its own benefit - something that does not affect at all international shipping (there is no difference for them to pass between island A and island B or island B and island C - there are 3000 islands out of which 10% are large enough and about 5% are habitated). But it makes a huge difference for Greece.

    Now if Greek applies the 12 miles as it has an obligation according to international law! it nullifies the Turkish control over the channel. Normally to a largely non-maritime Turkey that should be none of its business but as it is known Turkey is an aggressive state representing for the most of it, the interests of US, a bigger aggressive state.

    So Greece does not follow its international obligation that has signed and has never done that in the Aegean since Turkey - that has signed the very same treaties! - refused to accept and warns Greece of full war. Also it goes even more, it does not recognise the Greece status of several Greek islands and for decades now arms its army with amphibious landing gear - arms that are directly pointed against Greece.

    EU is absent from all that, it sufficed to say that Greece - while it can 110% defend itself against Turkey - it managed to implicate EU air forces at least in a nominal contribution to the guarding of borders (for illegal immigrants and such) and EU (French, Dutch, Italian and German) helicopters were harassed by Turkish F-16 inside Greek (EU) airspace with EU countries saying absolutely nothing and hiding this fact from their citizens.

    Coldly speaking? The French, Dutch, Italian and German aircrafts were aggressively attacked by Turkish aircrafts with the only thing missing the missiles and the dead, inside EU airspace....

    ... and european states hid this fact from their citizens.

    That says it all. Are Europeans afraid of Turkish? Of course they re not. Even the small country of Greece is not afraid of them, we can put them in their position anytime even if today things are more difficult (back in the 1970s when the Cyprus invasion occured, military analysts say that in a possible war, Turkey would be destroyed as it had only land based army and no airforce or naval forces that could justify the name air/naval force). So we Greeks and Europeans too back up?

    Well there are other, greater, games being played there and it has to do with the US-Russian antiparathersis in which Europeans are in the middle but of course clinging more to the US side for the most of it.

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  • 351. At 4:32pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius.
    I long thought what it is.
    Now I know :o))))), it's "antiparathersis" :o)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 352. At 4:42pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, and you never thought, that without any USA the EU is scared that you will close up the lid on the Aegean. One can imagine :o)))) how much you will be charging :o)))) for a ship to pass. Divide amount of Greece debt to Europe by q-ty of ships per year :o)))) That'll make one of the highest pilot boats' charges in the world! :o)))))))))

    Honestly, I as Russia would be scared as well :o))))) Turkey lets ships through as it is, for a moderate fee :o))))) Or - FOC? While you'll be awful tempted :o)))))

    In fact, no. EU military ships don't go in/out Black Sea. much. Bulgaria mostly ? The EU doesn't care who controls it.

    All serious traffic is Russia in/out and US visiting friends in Georgia and Sebastopol. There isn't anybody else.

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  • 353. At 4:52pm on 03 Apr 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    Nik,
    Thank you for clarifying the Greek-Turkish situation to some extent.

    I am actually quiet bemused by the fact that the Russian president and the American president are landing on EU territory to discuss their arms reduction. Why the hell would they do that?
    There does seem to be a pattern here, look at Copenhagen.....

    Am I too sensitive or do I see the EU being snubbed again?

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  • 354. At 6:33pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Islandhopper1, can only add that Kiev was for a long time planned to be the rendezvous place, that is, not planned to, but they wanted it and advocated. And are disappointed they aren't a neutral ground to meet.

    Why Prague I don't know. You can't always meet in either "own" place, sometimes neutral places are used. May be Prague because it wanted to have American gear.

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  • 355. At 8:15pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8587946.stm
    Quote:
    "The Black Sea region... will be a very interesting hub, in terms of the arms race and everything we can can see developing on the eastern border of Nato," says Radu Tudor, a defence analyst in Bucharest.

    For some - Black Sea. For others "interesting hub for arms-race".

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  • 356. At 9:11pm on 03 Apr 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    WebAlice - Kiev actually would have been a better venue than Prague.

    I know that the Czech Rep. is part of Nato, and that for some odd reason the Chezh government allowed a US military base to be built there.
    I guess the reasoning for that is to protect the Czech Rep. and Slovakia, etc. from military powers like N.Korea and Iran ? :)

    Hey, maybe it was just a money thing or possibly a genuine feeling of kinship with America?

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  • 357. At 10:10pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Islandhopper1,
    Kiev mis-behaved for so long time :o)))))) , that to award them now , so much at once :o)))) , with our precious President visit :o)))) - would be too much!

    Though we all think Medvedev should have attended Janukovich's inauguration. Ukrainians got genuinely offended. Like, they became normal neighbours, and we are still mean, cherishing our old wounds.

    For inauguration all Russia agreed we could have ? spared them ? spent? a bit? how to say - shouldn't have been greedy, but sshould have sent them our Medvedev for a couple of days. :o)))))

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  • 358. At 10:14pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    So, it's no Europe "snubs". How can you "snub" someone, by coming over?
    It's when you don't come you snub.

    Anyway as I explained we, in particular, have been way too busy snubbing Ukraine :o)))), and as Kiev out - the two have to sit down somewhere. Not on two chairs in the open field :o))))))

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  • 359. At 00:27am on 04 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Medvedef rightly did not go to Ukraine for Janukovic inauguration. It would be like saying to Ukrainians "Hey bros! I am hire to patronise your new president".

    Janukovic has to prove a real president of Ukrainians that is 60% Ukrainians (out of which 30% are of old Polish roots) & 40% pure Russians and of Ukrainia a country that is half Russia. I speak roughly but sharply.

    As a president of all these lands and all these people Janukovic has a duty to defend their (often conflicting) interests. It goes without saying that it is to the interest of ALL Ukrainians to have a good relationship with Russians. It is their only hope of standing in their feet again.

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  • 360. At 01:20am on 04 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    This is why we need to withdraw militarily from the world....scale down to Russia's spending then just concentrate on borders and oceans...forget dominating world ...so unworthy and so stuuuupidly obsessively controlling.

    Publish the CIA budget and all it's papers, then let it all sort i self out.

    Would that not be interesting? Give answers to questions....banality ensues. Or newsworthy? Probably lots of strange doings...

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  • 361. At 02:26am on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Well David in fact I think in NOT settling down on Kiev as a rendezvous place, both your pres. and ours have agreed unanimously, how to say :o))))

    Each from own reasons :o)))) but the result the same.

    We I think because Janukovich first visited EU, to shakes hands, in the new capacity. :o)))) Plus a million old scores other :o))))))
    Obama because the same Janukovich said something vagueley about prolonging Russian fleet rent of Sebastopol, so no reasons to "award" Kiev with own visit either.

    And how they ended up in Prague I don't know.

    I think both find Eastern Europe a good place to visit.

    Your Obama plans to charm them all there are :o)))), accord. to the new plans :o)))) - not just Poland and the Chech as it were before - but each and EVERY country, to install US equipment.

    Medvedev with the same idea to charm :o)))) but in the opposite direction :o)))), to charm them NOT to do it :o))))))

    So, again, as we see, full agreement :o)))), btw the USA and Russia :o)))). Unanimously, how to say :o)))), and all.

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  • 362. At 04:28am on 04 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    I see, peaceful coexistance and constructive engagement?

    Someone Does write their speeches. I doubt any new base will be more than as yet theoretical.

    But, interestingly it is true that Iran does have the capacity to hit Europe and not the USA.

    I do think payment or use by Europe should be paid for by them ...
    hopefully....maybe Russia could pay or provide. (oil for EU entry?)

    OR...If Russia is truly threatened by nuclear terrorism by close unstable neighbors...India is a good idea for an alliance.

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  • 363. At 1:38pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, I am afraid we are not yet "truly scared by nuclear terrorism, from close unstabel neighbours". Never heard anyone yet here scared of this. Our terrorism is very simple and straighforward :o) Nothing tricky.

    In fact what I heard here is you can hardly qualify it as terrorism at all :o))), for "int'l terrorism" all mean something very tricky and something very sneaky.

    Here, as I said, it's a simple bus Chechnya-Russia as before or Dagestan-Russia as is now. With someone pressing plastit into the soles of his /her sports shoes. Simply, sticking into the empty partitions, of big sports shoes, like that "plaster" ? that sticky substance? with which children play, make figurines.

    As all say, only one thing consoles about it all - that the level of our police equals the level of our terrorists :o))) (both aren't very brainy :o)))

    We had a bulldozer driving into a house in Volgograd it was I think, blowing the house up. The "terrorists" kept explosives on the floor, hidden under a pile of water-melons, in the apartment of their relatives. A policeman came to check who lives in that apartment, some babushka-s reported there are about 10-15 new "Caucasians" swarming in the staircase. So he came, checked their passports. Passports alright. Then they said they all came visit their aunt. :o)))) The whole dozen at once :o)))) Strong family ties, you know. The policeman approved of strong family ties.
    To dissolve his potential further worries - they took a water-melon from the pile of them on the floor - and gave it to him. Softly water-melonly bribed :o))))
    He said thank you and left.

    The next day . for a bottle of vodka, they asked a Russian neighbour, from the same staircase, to borrow his bull-dozer for a couple of hours. He worked on it, and had a habit to park it by his house during lunch.
    The clever guy lend them his machine :o))))

    Then, when he heard of a bull-dozer blowing up together with a house, he ran to the police and said he saw the people who did it, and that they "hi-jacked" his bulldozer from the house while he ate his borsch at home or wehatever his wife made him.
    The police enquired babushka-s on the bench by the multi-apartment house again. :o)))
    Babushka-s said three ha ha 0 we saw how he was agreeing with them, wanted two bottles got one.

    That's all there is about our "terrorism".

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  • 364. At 1:51pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Without any "nuclear bombs", Moscow alone lost 562 and had wounded 840 people, by terrorists, in the recent 20 years' time.

    Two airplanes taking off Sheremetevo blown up by belt girls, one theatre, one subway passage in Gorky street (I was late there by about a couple of hrs. worked in the building by the subway. didn't go out to lucnch to cross Gorky street as normal people do :o))) at noon :o))))), twice subway. Or - three - times? Forgot.
    Etc.

    18 bombs of live and un-live sorts, both, were blown up in Moscow in the past two decades.

    And one - in the whole USSR time. Armenians in the subway train demanding that Kremlin stops supporting Azerbajan in Karabah conflict, that Armenian USSR Republic should have the Karabakh enclave, not the Azerbajani one.

    Without anyone going "nuclear" there won't be anyone left over soon :o)))

    As they saw now - "are you planning to go to war? Prepare two coffins."

    For each bandit killed by FSB in the Caucasus, someone Caucasian goes back and blows up a dozen or several dozens, or 250 at once - if their luck is to carry it on board a plane - of muscovites.

    The only consolation is it's always wives revenging or junior sisters or, in rare cases - a brother. Immediate family.
    Even cousins don't care :o)))), to say nothing of wider Caucasian audiences.

    It's not terrorism. It's vendetta.

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  • 365. At 1:58pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    For that matter, as many web comments I read on Russian sites, many - very MANY, express a desire to take a gun and go with a return visit to dear Caucasus, and shoot up anyone in view un-specifically, in the village from where a live bomb arrived to us.

    Measure for measure style - 40-50 anybodies for each muscovite girl killed.

    So that Caucasus has a taste of own medicine.

    This smells of civil war to me.

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  • 366. At 2:01pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    We don't have internal Federation borders or police stop-over check-ups, it is one space, same passports stating "Russian", and it is same easy to take a bus Moscow-Kizlyar as a bus Kizliar-Moscow.

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  • 367. At 2:06pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    If anyone wants to "separate" it is not Caucasus. Whole Caucasus is in Moscow. For that matter, you don't need to travel far.

    It is now "separatism" the upside down - Russians want to separate from a province :o))))), and Chechens and Dagestani insist they are even more "Moscow" than Moscow itself.

    In Moscow currently live 30% of muscovites. "Muscovites", ranging from 1 to 100 years old :o))) - the ones who who were born there.

    The rest 7 million who live in Moscow are fresh new-comers, from USSR elsewhere, post-perestroyka and till now. It's one big hotel.

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  • 368. At 3:00pm on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And by the way of all killed last week in the Moscow subway bombing, 40 people, 37 are exactly "muscovites". Born in Moscow. One from Sebastopol. 2 more from other cities.

    Which gives an idea who goes to work at 8 o'clock in the morning, by subway, instead of an own car.
    Locals, born there, the poorest. Not the ones "currently living" in Moscow.

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  • 369. At 5:11pm on 04 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "David, I am afraid we are not yet "truly scared by nuclear terrorism, from close unstabel neighbours". Never heard anyone yet here scared of this. Our terrorism is very simple and straighforward :o) Nothing tricky."

    That is because your population was shielded by your state controlled media for decades from knowledge of just how truly destructive these weapons are. Does anyone in Moscow actually believe they would have survived a nuclear war by taking shelter in the metro? A nuclear attack on any nation would be devastating. In most cases, it would likely be the end of that country. It certainly would never be the same. That goes for the US as well. 9-11 would be a minor incident by comparison.

    If Islamic terrorists did manage to get their hands on a nuclear weapon, their most likely target would be Washinton DC or New York City. However, other people should not be indifferent. If those targets are unattainable for whatever reason, every other city from London to Moscow is vulnerable.

    We have no idea of how the US government and military would react to a nuclear terrorist attack. There are surely plans in place for that possibility but what they are and whether or not that plan would actually be carried out or some other plan is impossible to say. The world as we know it today with all its faults would be a faded memory. The world that emerges will be far more grim.

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  • 370. At 04:42am on 05 Apr 2010, Islandhopper1 wrote:

    Web Alice,
    In relation to posting 358 ,I probably should have used the term 'sidelined ' not 'snubbed'.

    Hey David, actually I was incorrect, plans for an American military base in the Czech Rep. have been scrapped. Now ,I am sure the natives there are really scared!!!







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  • 371. At 12:00pm on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    In relation to the Bosphorus-Aegean passage WA, Islandhopper1, David, the issue is not about the money from commerce. Greece will not necessarily charge a lot, it might as well charge next-to-nothing. The issue is about control, that is the key word.

    If Greece does so - and it is its international right and obligation to do so - and if Turkey does not attack - a attack that will tear down international right of course - then Greece becomes the key country in the region, and it will have US and USSR running behind it to give concessions.

    In the long run Turkey's geopolitical position will be slowly but steadily indermined - but it is only its geopolitical position. Greece will want nothing from Turkey, as it will have no need to do so. It is Turkey that constantly remains and will continue to be aggressive no matter what efforts Greece will do (and we have done so much till now).

    I am for international co-operation but for Greece right now, having seen what Turkey is up to, after all these years of talks and talk it is to shut up, return to the barracks, put missiles in the islands and start shooting down any aircaft that does not give valid flight route. If Turkey wants war let it be. We will borrow 10 times more than now and will sell all of our oil for free if you want but they won't have any more land from us. They already took a lot more than what they should have.

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  • 372. At 12:02pm on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    ... sounds strange but it is like that. EU or no EU Greece is under the threat of war. So being in EU under the threat of a financial crisis is really the least.

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