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A snapshot of the eurozone

Gavin Hewitt | 15:38 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Container ship in Bremerhaven, Germany - file picAnother day. Another set of figures. Another day of edginess in the financial markets. Another day when the euro hit a new four-year low against the dollar.

So what do we know?

In the eurozone 16 million are out of work. In the wider European Union that figure rises to 23 million. In Spain a staggering 40.3% of those under 25 are unemployed. On the brighter side the increase in unemployment is slowing. In a further example of the difference between economies, the employment situation in France is stable and the numbers out of work in Germany actually fell by 0.2%.

Generally, however, the high rates of unemployment will continue to stifle consumer spending.

Manufacturing output in the private sector slowed in May to a level not seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. It's an indication that the eurozone crisis is beginning to affect the real economy.

Stocks are down and the cost of servicing debt in Spain and Italy is rising. Investors are troubled by the health of Spanish banks. The European Central Bank said that banks might have to write off another 195bn euros in bad loans.

There was some better news.

Export growth is the highest in ten years - that's due to the slump in the value of the euro.

According to Standard and Poors, Europe's housing market is generally "showing signs of pulling out of a decline". But any rebound is uncertain and fragile.

What this snapshot tells us is how tenuous growth is in the eurozone. What bounce there is seems to be coming from exports. There are also signs that Germany's shoppers were more active in April.

What today underlines again is that the biggest challenge facing Europe is how to grow its economies. The economist Nouriel Roubini wrote that the eurozone must "deregulate, liberalise, reform the south and stoke demand in the north to restore dynamism and growth; ease monetary policy to prevent deflation and boost competitiveness".

As so often in Europe the need to reform gets caught up with the political project. The Italian Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, said the threats to the euro were "affecting the very process of Europe-building". "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government".

Others are urging that moves towards closer integration be put on ice and that Europe's leaders focus on getting Europe growing and working again, even if that means weakening and reducing some regulations.

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:48pm on 01 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Co now ECB admits that European banks will have to write off close to $200,000,000,000 euros in bad loans?



    Why, let's introduce Merkel tax, to make US bankers happy.

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  • 2. At 3:49pm on 01 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH:

    "There are also signs that Germany's shoppers were more active in April."




    And that German voters will be more active next year.

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  • 3. At 3:58pm on 01 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    The Spanish just don't know how to manipulate the figures. Here in the UK we put them on 'disability benefit' instead....

    Seriously though, one reason why Spanish employment is low is the restrictive employment laws. In Spain redundant workers are paid the equivalent of 45 days pay for each year of employment. (In the UK, by comparison, it's one week). What employer in his/her right mind would ever consider employing people unless absolutely necessary.

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  • 4. At 4:46pm on 01 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 5. At 4:48pm on 01 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    Interesting article.

    """Export growth is the highest in ten years - that's due to the slump in the value of the euro."""

    Yes ok, good thing that we sold 1 car more with this lowering of the value of euro (but we bought our ressources a bit more expensive too). We have to remember Europe's production is the basis of its economy. To produce it has to have energy. The right balance in the price of euro has to be found so that it eases the import of ressources and export of this production. We also have to remember that large fluctuations always imply extremely well hidden but very vicious costs related to overproduction or underproduction (thus lost clients).

    """According to Standard and Poors, Europe's housing market is generally "showing signs of pulling out of a decline". But any rebound is uncertain and fragile."""

    Europe should understand that it has long past the days it could drive its economy with traditional housing projects. Its population is stagnant and relatively well housed at most cases for the time being. Let China do this now. Europe has to concentrate to other infrastructure projects which will create new needs in terms of construction driving the change, not repeating passively the same and same again. Eg. new industrial/technological centers reshaping the urban centers etc. It won't be as good as building houses on green field (as the cost on brownfield is higher) but we have to realise we cannot built the whole continent just to expand our economies.

    """What this snapshot tells us is how tenuous growth is in the eurozone. What bounce there is seems to be coming from exports. There are also signs that Germany's shoppers were more active in April."""

    China or no China, Europe is still and will continue to be one major production powerhouse of the world. And its products and services will be in demand from the rest of the world. It is other things that Europe should take care (see more the energy & ressources management question).

    """What today underlines again is that the biggest challenge facing Europe is how to grow its economies."""

    Why grow? Why the question can't be better management? Growth mean not necessarily long term benefits for people apart for investors who nowadays jumps from one place to another like flies seeking the shortest possible payback period. Growth oftens hides inherent problems which during the enlargement become insolovable. The question is to have the right balance. Be in the positive. And waste less. You just have to see how much money is wasted in non productive activities to get the whole image. Of course EU enters right in that picture but then another may reply that it is simply the replacement of a localised problem (put people to do business in 30 countries) to an upper level (all the hassle is dealt centrally at the EU...). In anyway, the non productive activities have to be killed.

    """The economist Nouriel Roubini wrote that the eurozone must "deregulate, liberalise, reform the south and stoke demand in the north to restore dynamism and growth; ease monetary policy to prevent deflation and boost competitiveness"."""

    Wrong. He looks at numbers. He does not look at the map. Make the north produce better and make it also drive demand and all that is ok, but it is the south and east that links Europe to the rest of the world. If the south continues to be treated as a holiday place where business should not be other thing than hotels then the EU does not have a coherent strategy within its own field and has lost the game. Unless we really gather and we decide that ressources will be falling from the sky down to Germany, Germans will make the airplane and Greeks will keep up the hotel to host the German tourist in his holidays and the other months it will be the Germans that will be paying Greeks to keep up with the average level so that their market can survive with tricks and gimmicks without presenting a properly developed economy. Now, forget about "Germans and Greeks", here I refer to the bigger picture. We have to define things well here and make a coherent model.

    """"As so often in Europe the need to reform gets caught up with the political project. The Italian Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, said the threats to the euro were "affecting the very process of Europe-building". "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government"."""

    We need first of all a strategic alliance. If we have that a common government is not needed. Even the most anti-EU Europeans know very well that a large number of their greater interests pass from all the neighboring countries and that no European country can survive as independent for very long in future by being alone in the world apart Norway (as long as its oil matters) and UK which has its own paradigm. Eastern Europe will be Russia, Portugal will be a Brazilian dealer house, Spain will be one block with Latin America (perhaps Spain might be better...) but for the rest of central western Europe I do not see any bright future apart being US slaves.

    """Others are urging that moves towards closer integration be put on ice and that Europe's leaders focus on getting Europe growing and working again, even if that means weakening and reducing some regulations. """

    ... and try to play like others? Leave our stadium to play in their stadium? Why? Did you see US, China or India trying to converge to our model? We are 500 million people. Large enough to present our model and impose it on others. It suffices to impose our laws (even our existing ones) on the market to make 60% of Chinese products illegal for importation in Europe (produced on the death of 1000s, with tragically underpaid, badly housed slaveforce etc.). Why should Europe do the opposite and change itself to accept the "hard facts" as some suggest? For the shake of international investors? Stop this finance talk, time for some real politics...

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  • 6. At 4:51pm on 01 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    At the risk of sounding a bit 'homespun', there is simply too much wobbling going on. It is absolutely pointless the Italian Economy Minister sounding off about the absence of a "common government". It is far from clear that this presents an intelligent solution and the idea that you could achieve it within a sensible time frame when it took 8 years to sort out Lisbon is absurd. This is not clutching at straws - it is cloud cuckoo land stuff.

    What is needed now is for the member nations to get their heads around the medium and short term problems and take the necessary steps to stimulate growth, contain public borrowing and progress their economies. Since those economies have very different problems, the solutions will be different. Only when a degree of stability has been restored will it be sensible to start looking at long term integration strategies and even then, it might be an exercise in futility.

    The problem the Eurozone has is not that a 'one size fits all' model does not fit everyone. The problem is that it does not fit anyone. The question, post 2008, is how you persuade those who have come to believe that stricter, even draconian regulation is called for is that actually their rules may end up suffocating the project they were intended to promote. The first casualty must surely be the ECB. Any pretense that this is an independent central bank has been blown clean out of the water by the realisation that it cannot act to prop up the failing economies without the political will of those governments who provide the resources.

    In Germany, the sense of disquiet is bound to grow. The French will look smugly on realising that, however painful it gets for them, it is going to hurt Germany a whole lot more (the odd spurious rumour of departure from the Euro can only serve to enhance this). Meanwhile, those on the outside will probably get some satisfaction from the 'we told you so' mentality but that will not spare them from contagion.

    Perhaps the time has come to think the unthinkable - that the EU was quite a good idea and that the Euro is doing it a grave disservice.

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  • 7. At 5:01pm on 01 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    By all means encourage the liberalisation of the Southern Economies, but I can't in good faith condone encouraging rampant consumerism in the North.

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  • 8. At 5:12pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    " 124. At 1:51pm on 01 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re 3115

    I'm sorry, I was replying to yet another 'pro-EU' complainant about the Ratings Agencies based in the USA - - apparently it is their fault Spain, Greece etc. are in trouble - - You are quite correct neither 'pro' nor 'anti' are soothsayers, but the Ratings Agencies doing their 'messenger' job is definitley NOT the cause of the EUro-zone debacle whether You & others would wish it so or not!"


    I do agree with you. Its not their "fault" per se but they are self-fulfilling prophets. They should not be trusted so blindly, especially in the wake of the subprime crisis, where they screwed up royally.

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  • 9. At 5:13pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "In a further example of the difference between economies, the employment situation in France is stable and the numbers out of work in Germany actually fell by 0.2%."

    How is this a difference?? This basically shows that in France things don't get worse and perhaps even better while in Germany there is slight improvement? Good lord, these journos..

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  • 10. At 5:14pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "And that German voters will be more active next year."

    which is fantastic news for everyone.

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  • 11. At 5:16pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Italian Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, said the threats to the euro were "affecting the very process of Europe-building". "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government"."

    What I appreciate about Italian politicians is that they understand the benefits of the EU. Regardless of left or right (ok, forget about Bossi - he is a bit meshugge)

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  • 12. At 5:32pm on 01 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    More on Nouriel (who is he anyway? I do not know him)...

    """"...the economist Nouriel Roubini wrote that the eurozone must "deregulate, liberalise, reform the south and stoke demand in the north to restore dynamism and growth; ease monetary policy to prevent deflation and boost competitiveness""""...

    I always marvel as to how easily people throw advices in the air. Yes, yes, I guess there are magical solutions. Deregulate, liberalise, then you anyway won't be able to sustain the competition which is of course unfair as you have nothing in favour of you and you are out. Smart strategy. Regulations are not there for any funny purpose you know...

    Take an example of lack of regulations:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10182824.stm

    Foxconn will be of course 10 times cheaper than any deregulated, liberalised European company, no doubt.

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  • 13. At 6:44pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    Nik - I have to repeat myself. You are very typically Greek in that your tendency to be melodramatic translates into novels. It does not help your argument to use many words. The shorter, the better.

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  • 14. At 7:05pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "12. At 5:32pm on 01 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    More on Nouriel (who is he anyway? I do not know him)..."

    Why don't you just google him and find out he is one of the most important economists of recent times instead of sounding as if people you don't know don't deserve to be quoted.

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  • 15. At 7:36pm on 01 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The recent unemployment figures are deceptive. They should start rising substantially when the mandated cuts kick in and the German banks will be far more selective about who they lend money to to buy German made goods. General strikes, work slowdowns, and other disruptive actions in protest of the cuts will only make matters worse. The edge of the precipice approaches. Don't think the markets aren't wary. If they get really spooked and the Euro starts to plumment and interest rates in Europe rise sharply, those unemployment rates will rise even higher and faster. It's over.

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  • 16. At 7:41pm on 01 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To threnodio_II (6):

    You said:
    "The problem the Eurozone has is not that a 'one size fits all' model does not fit everyone. The problem is that it does not fit anyone."
    "Perhaps the time has come to think the unthinkable - that the EU was quite a good idea and that the Euro is doing it a grave disservice."

    Oh come on! I really do have to ask you, how long is your memory? Do you remember the time before Euro? The reason why we have Euro is because we can't handle and live with 16 different currencies. All European countries including Germany, France, Britain and Italy are all too small to fare up with their own currencies and with inefficiencies that are caused by having them. If you are going to suggest that we would be better without Euro then you A) have to start making comparison on time before Euro; and B) have to explain how European wide networked production systems can work seamlessly without single currency?

    And no, you can't take Britain as an example as creation of Euro has had simplifying and stabilizing effect to Britain too due to decrease of number of currencies that exporters/importers had to deal with.

    You know I'm sorry to take such a hard line on this one, but I'm just tired of the whole conversation as in the end the answer will be: "No, Euro is not going anywhere". The only open questions at this point are what do we need and how much do we need to centralize and integrate in order to make our economic engine to go full speed again.

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  • 17. At 7:43pm on 01 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    must go hope eu survives...hope no more suicides...hope make it thru day sane

    y'all take care now..will pray for you..truly..sorry athiests, no disrespect meant

    just ironic, huh...lololol..love, David

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  • 18. At 7:45pm on 01 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

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

  • 19. At 9:40pm on 01 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka Rohila wrote:
    "Oh come on! I really do have to ask you, how long is your memory? Do you remember the time before Euro? The reason why we have Euro is because we can't handle and live with 16 different currencies. All European countries including Germany, France, Britain and Italy are all too small to fare up with their own currencies and with inefficiencies that are caused by having them. If you are going to suggest that we would be better without Euro then you A) have to start making comparison on time before Euro; and B) have to explain how European wide networked production systems can work seamlessly without single currency? "

    Jukka, you've been drinking the EU kool aid. What you are writing here is absolute rubbish. It is the most anti-historical claim I've ever heard.

    Your thesis, which you proclaim as self evident gospel, is that Europe under multiple currencies and with multiple independents never achieved anything economically.

    Given that the entire world was colonized and dominated by the economies of the many varied European states for many hundreds of years, and given further the unprecedented amount of education, innovation and economic development that came out of Europe for the few hundred years prior to the Euro, your claim is absolutely ridiculous. It is so clearly false that even a small child would be baffled.

    What you are saying is that without the Euro, european people have been poor and starving like a third rate part of africa.

    You point at European cultural wealth built up over hundreds of years, and with many competing currencies, and you say "this is what the Euro has given us".

    Jukka, wake up! Snap out of the trance you have entered. Wake up and join the real world. Whoever told you that Barrosso invented electricity, it isn't true. He didn't. Rudolph diesel did not invent the diesel engine in 1994. That isn't true either. And the steam engine was not a creation of the Eurozone. Sorry, but you;ve been misinformed.

    And the spanish empire, the portuguese empire, the dutch empire, the russian empire, the french attempt and the british empire: all these had their own currencies and sometimes multiple currencies. And whoever told you that these economic powerhouses were developed after 1991 is simply misinformed.

    Europe does not owe wealth to the Eurozone. It owes debt. Vast, vast mountains of unserviceable debt. And that is not a small claim based on a vague idea, Jukka. When you wake from your university induced trance, you will read a newspaper and discover that since the Euro was introduced, governments in europe have been digging themselves very deep holes, and climbing into them.

    That is not my idea or hope, Jukka. Please, verify it. Since 1991 and the Euro, it is a fact that public spending and debt have built up and up, and so has unemployment. The actual..... are you listening to me here, jukka? The ACTUAL result of the Eurozone has been an unmitigated disaster. The Euro has directly co-incided with the most dangerous escalation of economic peril for the member states involved.

    It has not been a success, and it has not created wealth. Not at all. Do you understand, jukka? The euro has created DEBT. The public of europe are NOW IN DEBT. MASSIVE DEBT. Not wealth, jukka. Debt.

    Do you understand the difference between these two concepts, or did your economics training gloss over that small part of the real world? You know, the difference between being wealthy and being in debt up to your eyeballs.

    Clearly you missed that lecture, so let me explain for you, so that in future when you look at the eurozone you will know what you are seeing.

    Wealth, jukka..... pay attention now... wealth is when a person or a state HAS THINGS. When a person or a state SAVES MONEY, and DOES NOT SPEND IT, and they RETAIN OWNERSHIP OF THAT MONEY..... are you following this?... then is such circumstances that person or state is said to be wealthy. We say, in the english language, that such a person or state is WEALTHY, and that they are an economic SUCCESS. We refrain from calling such a person a FAILURE. We'll get to that other word in just a minute.

    So, "savings" and NOT spending and borrowing equals WEALTH. Clear? Good man. Not far to go now, and you'll understand the whole issue.

    Now, when a person DOES NOT SAVE, and when they BORROW AND SPEND money they do not have and do not get..... still with me?.... good... in such a circumstance we say, in english and I presume in finnish also, that such a person is IN DEBT. We also say they are BROKE, and that they have FAILED ECONOMICALLY. NO MONEY, jukka. That is what debt is. No savings, no money. NOT WEALTH. FAILURE OF THE ECONOMIC MODEL. DEBT.

    Still with me, jukka?

    I dearly hope you have managed to understand these concepts, now that I have explained them to you.

    Of course, I understand that the people who taught you economics worked for the state and furthermore that they were deeply emotional fans of the EU experiment. Sure. And that is cool. Good for them, and good for you too if you liked these folks.

    But if you want to talk about economics and currencies systems, you need to understand that DEBT is NOT WEALTH, and furthermore that WEALTH is NOT DEBT. If it helps you to remember, one is not the other. They are sort of opposites, if you like, in the same way night and day are opposites. Or black and white, for example. And WEALTH means economic success, and DEBT means economic failure.

    I think you need to write these ideas out a thousand times on the blackboard, so that when you meet your EU friends and the state paid lecturers, you can impress them with your deep seated and finely tuned appreciation of complex economic theory. Maybe they will learn something from you. For example, you might say to them the following:

    "You know, chap (or whatever they call chaps in finland), don't you know that since the Euro idea was brought in, all the member states have become situated in massively BAD economic situations. Don;t you know, chaps, that the Eurozone has massive unemployment and massively high taxation ,a debt so big that failed states are the likely future."

    You could impress your friends no end, Jukka. They have clearly never contemplated these facts, so you could be the first to discover them for the peer group.

    Now you went on to say:
    "You know I'm sorry to take such a hard line on this one, but I'm just tired of the whole conversation as in the end the answer will be: "No, Euro is not going anywhere". The only open questions at this point are what do we need and how much do we need to centralize and integrate in order to make our economic engine to go full speed again."

    I know, don't worry. We all know that your head hurts and that you do not want to talk about the economic results brought about by the EU institutions and their management of the Eurozone.

    We understand, or at least I do. It must be very difficult to learn all about WEALTH and DEBT at such a late stage, and to fit these concepts into your world view.

    But give it a go, Jukka. Once you master the ideas, the world is a much easier place to live in.

    You may even find that the question is not "how much do we need to integrate and centralize" in order to create economic growth again.

    You may find, just as the soviet union found out after many, many years, that the real question is "how much do we need to disintegrate and decentralize" in order to create economic growth again.

    There is a clue buried in the facts for you to discover, jukka. That clue is that since the Euro began the member states have been integrating and centralizing, becoming very much like the former soviet union in that respect. And over that time, debt and unemployment have been rising and have become massive structural economic problems for member states.

    I think you need to question this article of faith you seem to hold that Europe's economic prosperity can be found in the period of time where the state debt exploded and the unemployment rate soared. I assure you, I think you have your words mixed up. "Prosperity" does not traditionally mean a massive increase in debt and huge taxation, with massive unemployment. We have other words for these concepts.

    You should learn them Jukka.

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  • 20. At 9:50pm on 01 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    CBW, why do the moderators torment you so? Is it because you are British and proud?

    Put them from your mind, CBW, and move onwards to higher ground.

    Though we cannot sing in unison, nevertheless we can take comfort in the verse of ages.

    "We shall overcome.."

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  • 21. At 9:57pm on 01 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "The recent unemployment figures are deceptive. They should start rising substantially when the mandated cuts kick in and the German banks will be far more selective about who they lend money to to buy German made goods."

    Not only that, Marcus, but what happens when the interests rates rise and those who could previously afford to borrow and spend can no longer afford to do so?

    For my taste, that will be the ultimate hammer blow to Europe.

    The entire edifice of this party made economy is based upon cheap debt. Not just government but also in the private sector.

    European "infrastructure" projects means roads, and government buildings. Not factories making products and research departments and new firms innovating new technologies.

    Why? Because new ideas and new industries require the energy and freedom of the private sector, and in europe that gets hammered into the ground by incredibly high taxation.

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  • 22. At 9:58pm on 01 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    One day this will be revisited and the bailing out of the banks will be seen as a major mistake and/or high-water mark for political corruption. If the governments had made the people who lost money whole the economies would be in good shape now, but bailing out the banks did nothing for industry, employment or national economies...it was the last part of the robbery. The daily purchases of everyday people is what drives and economy not that money trading that the banks told the governments. These things always happen when governments are corrupt and banking presses their unethical behaviors. History is full of these situations and they always follow the same pattern. Note: these situations are sometimes followed by reform, none yet on the horizon, or revolution....too early to tell.

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  • 23. At 10:46pm on 01 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    The Spanish unemployment figures are frightening but what if you add those on disability, state pensions and assorted government cost centers ?

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  • 24. At 11:48pm on 01 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @16 Jukka Rohila
    "Oh come on! I really do have to ask you, how long is your memory? Do you remember the time before Euro? The reason why we have Euro is because we can't handle and live with 16 different currencies. All European countries including Germany, France, Britain and Italy are all too small to fare up with their own currencies and with inefficiencies that are caused by having them. If you are going to suggest that we would be better without Euro then you A) have to start making comparison on time before Euro; and B) have to explain how European wide networked production systems can work seamlessly without single currency? "

    How are the European countries too small for single currencies?
    Most of the world has single currencies and it`s working just fine.

    I wouldn`t have made comparisons between pre-Euro and now, but you asked for it:
    German public debt has skyrocketed within the last 10-20 years.
    One part was reunification, the other was, as we know now, the Euro.

    That the Euro benefited German export is, though often used, faulty claim. Around 40% of the exports within the EU go to non-Euro countries.


    With the latest policy of French high officials and bankers, which made the ECB officially Europe`s bad bank, we are experiencing the first signs of a worsening French-German relationship.

    The ideologies of those two cultural areas (France, Italy, etc vs Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, etc) could never work.

    Your question B) is an insult to anyone who has the slightest hunch of economics and is no argument for a common currency.
    It also lacks any common sense, because not every nation in the EU is in the Eurozone and trade still works perfectly fine.

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  • 25. At 11:58pm on 01 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    19 democracythreat

    I much admired some of your previous very erudite constributions. Why then such a nasty tirade against Jukka. Are you drunk?

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  • 26. At 00:26am on 02 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    15. At 7:36pm on 01 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "The recent unemployment figures are deceptive. They should start rising substantially when the mandated cuts kick in and the German banks will be far more selective about who they lend money to to buy German made goods. General strikes, work slowdowns, and other disruptive actions in protest of the cuts will only make matters worse."

    You expect to see protests and general strikes from what you describe as the Continent of the meek and helpless?

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  • 27. At 01:38am on 02 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    5. At 4:48pm on 01 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:. and try to play like others? Leave our stadium to play in their stadium? Why? Did you see US, China or India trying to converge to our model? We are 500 million people. Large enough to present our model and impose it on others. It suffices to impose our laws (even our existing ones) on the market to make 60% of Chinese products illegal for importation in Europe (produced on the death of 1000s, with tragically underpaid, badly housed slaveforce etc.). Why should Europe do the opposite and change itself to accept the "hard facts" as some suggest? For the shake of international investors? Stop this finance talk, time for some real politics...

    Congrats Nik for that bit of truth.

    Everyone is spreading the word that to be successfully economic you have to the liberal and ultra capitalist.
    For those who promote this Anglo-American way of doing business I just wanna remind you something very important:
    - the amount of wealth at any given time is limited
    therefore the Anglo-American model implies :
    - to maintain (please read grow)your wealth someone has to get poor and more have to get poor.
    In a world where the Anglo-American propaganda shouts "We have to eradicate poverty" we can see that their model is not going to work for anyone else but the strong (physical and/or financial). And guess who are the strong ones?
    I bet not an African country or whatever.
    If you really let you mind working for a bit you can realize that their propaganda and their economic model does not really fit together. It is more like a hypocrisy.
    So yes,
    Europe has and has had a social oriented driven economy. What is wrong with that?
    It means that you take care of the less fortunate ones, it means that you help them grow and put them on their own feet.You take care of those in need. You do not let them die because they do not have money for a hospital bill and so on on on.

    There is a model in Europe and as Nik said we are many enough to make it work.

    Maybe, Europe just needs to find a way to redistribute wealth in a way that provides growth (do not forget, the amount of wealth is limited).

    And please do not talk anymore about hardworking north or west and the lazy south of east.
    Everyone with a bit of common sense knows that the south and east people can work as hard as the north or west ones. Just give them work.
    Or you wanna argue that genetically the north and west is better suited for work? Or maybe they are a superior race with the quality of had working while the others are some kind of inferior race with the quality of laziness?
    So please no more about this. Just makes people dislike each other without a real reason.

    So, my view:
    EU, Europe if you wanna survive, if you wanna make an impact in this world:
    please wake up!
    listen to your citizens!
    they are unhappy!
    But,
    you can change that.
    And do not forget the so called European way was build up on revolutions. From one revolution to another.
    Maybe its time for another. Maybe this time we need to find a new identity. A European wide identity.




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  • 28. At 03:08am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    11. At 5:16pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    " ...

    What I appreciate about Italian politicians is that they understand the benefits of the EU. Regardless of left or right "

    EUpris: Yeah!!! The can rip the Brits and the Germans off through the "EU"!!!

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  • 29. At 03:11am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    11. At 5:16pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Italian Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, said the threats to the euro were "affecting the very process of Europe-building". "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government"."

    EUpris: Bloody good job we don't have a common government! Why would anybody want to be governed in part by the Greeks, the Italians and the Spanish?????

    Duh!!!


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  • 30. At 03:13am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    13. At 6:44pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Nik - I have to repeat myself."

    EUpris: I never repeat myself. I never repeat myself.

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  • 31. At 03:14am on 02 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Malefactor;

    "You expect to see protests and general strikes from what you describe as the Continent of the meek and helpless?"

    As an alternative to revolution that is meek and helpless. But from my point of view it's a tempest in a teapot since neither side has a valid argument. The people demand to be sustained in the style to which they've become accostomed and the governments who no longer are able to keep the balloons in the air have no choice but to let them drop. There's no plan B that can get them what they want. I've pointed out over and over how the entire European way of life was based on a lie which the governments and people's agreed to pretend was true for as long as they could keep it going. Now that bargain is at an end because it depended on outside lenders who are no longer willing to supply the fuel for it out of their own wallets. I've told you so for the longest time on these blogs, you just didn't want to believe it. I don't think Europe as a whole has yet to come to grips with reality. It won't until it is forced to when the cutbacks actually start to take effect. I think the cuts announced so far that have raised so much ire are just the tip of the iceberg of what is coming.

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  • 32. At 03:57am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Austrian Radio website states that the "EU" continues to reject the idea of unhindered access to the "EU" for Russians.

    Good!!

    I doubt if any "EU"-lover will be complaining about xenophobia. However if people like me want controls on immigration from "EU"-countries they will, I believe, go on about xenophobia.

    Free movement benefits criminals most.


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  • 33. At 04:42am on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    DurstigerMann wrote:
    “That the Euro benefited German export is, though often used, faulty claim. Around 40% of the exports within the EU go to non-Euro countries.”

    And yesterday he wrote that he doesn’t read newspapers. A perfect way to your understanding of the world intact (maintain your prejudice).

    Germany has (for the moment) a trade surplus of 134 billion Euros. 86% of this, 115 billions, comes from the trade with EU. Germany’s export has been rising all the time. From 1995-2008 it was 7,4% each year within the EU. In Japan it was 2,2%.

    The claim he is making here is false, which of course is the consequence when you don’t want to be informed.

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  • 34. At 04:58am on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    I see that the article by Mr. Hewitt recommends “deregulation”. How it is possible to overlook the disastrous effects of the “deregulation” USA and UK has been propelling in the last many years, I don’t know.
    Confronted with such a lack of political musicality, I will just say that it is quite unlikely to gain any worth mentioning support (by the way just like the idea “Europeans should change their way of life”). We need regulation and policing of the financial sector instead.

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  • 35. At 08:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    @27. At 01:38am on 02 Jun 2010, opinion,

    What you described as Anglo-American economics is partly corrects it is not Anglo-American at all, it is bank/neo-libral free market nonsense promoted by the financial sector (dominates us here in the UK & of course the US) and a few well connected economists that have access to the media. I'm sure the finance sector in the rest of the EU has exactly the same nonsense ideas of endless growth, without thinking where will this growth come from? The easy answer economists give, is from efficiency! When you break down efficiency you discover they mean, less wages for everyone one else, so that a few can grow the savings they already have.

    If people can't see that this model is not sustainable there is something wrong with people in general. You can not go on with infinite growth. Again to remind everyone when they say growth they mean 10% (or whatever) more this year than last year, i.e. 110, and then another 10% the year after i.e. 121. With population in Europe (and I hope in the world soon) been stable or declining how is thta model going to be sustained? and what for?

    Also hearing from famous economists what the EU should do makes me wonder about the economist profession as a whole. If the brightest and most famous of them come up with such ridicilous suggests, little wonder we are in this mess. Where has he/she/they been hiding for the last few years? have no they seen the "success" in Latvia, or do they think the dissaster in Iceland happened because of too much regulation?

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  • 36. At 08:56am on 02 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government".
    Mr.Hewitt,
    If we go on debating what Signore Giulio Tremonti said, we should reluctantly avow that apart from a common government, we don’t yet have a common court of justice! And, if we ever agree on that point, we should reconsider once again the Lisbon treaty in order to guarantee the irreversible trend of the integration process, both economic and political! As a matter of fact, we have no other choice, if we really want to preserve and develop all those amazing achievements that started in 1950, when Robert Schumann launched for the first time the idea of a new Europe, based on the cooperation and the mutual respect between its inhabitants.
    What matters now is the willingness, the courage and the ability of the political classes to meet the challenge. We are on a crossroad now. Either we go on down the road that would provide for a relative prosperity for every member state, either we fall apart…facing the horrible demons of the past.

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  • 37. At 08:59am on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #34

    Quote, "..we need regulation and policing of the financial sector instead."


    In other words, 'we need more EU-Brussels encroachment into Citizens' lives and livelihoods.'

    If I believed there was any sort of divine entity I would at this moment be in begging prayer to save us from the 'almighty' centralising authority.
    Throughout all history of Humans the central-rule has been demonstrated time-after-time, often lasting centuries, to be a far more dangerous entity than the "..deregulated.." calamities that occur from time-to-time.
    A cyclical Economic Recession admittedly has very harsh effects, but history reveals it can be recovered from quite rapidly.
    Empire/Imperial domination from an elite base that decides all policies has never been anything other than a denial of Citizens' Rights & Responsibilities and in most of them has resulted in stagnation and reduced standards for the many compared to the fortunate very few at the authoritative core.

    "..political musicality.."! I.e. An EU devoted to 'big-Government/big-Business' because they will work hand-in-glove in each others' interests/profits/self-aggrandizement, and not for ordinary Citizens.
    How could it be otherwise?
    With 'centralisation' of Financial powers 'Who' will Brussels listen to and implement Policy on behalf of: Business or People? Banks or Pensioners? Politicians or the Sick?
    The EU already has an enormous 'Democratic deficit': Surely to tie Brussels in to the affairs of Capitalism will mean even less Representation of the Public?
    Or, is anyone sriously suggesting the Trade Union or the Individual Citizen will be heard as often & as loudly with the same degree of concern as Big-Business/Big-Government?

    Mathiasen, if Your view prevails, it will be a death sentence to liberty and equality of opportunity for Citizens.

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  • 38. At 08:59am on 02 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 34 Mathiasen
    "We need regulation and policing of the financial sector instead."
    And the policing logically requires a common court of justice.



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  • 39. At 09:10am on 02 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 17 David
    "must go hope eu survives...hope no more suicides...hope make it thru day sane"
    One of our old sayings would interprete your post approximately like this: The vineyard requires not a pray but a good hoeing...or, God helps those who help themselves...
    Regards

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  • 40. At 09:17am on 02 Jun 2010, Richard35 wrote:

    Thanks for the article Gavin. The European Central Bank did not only release a report on Europe's banks it was also publishing details on how it plans to "sterilise" its purchases of sovereign (mostly Greek) debt of which it has announced purchases of 35 billion Euros. According to the notayesmanseconomics web blog there is an issue with this.
    "This leaves an underlying issue. Moving this debt from private-sector balance sheets (banks) to a public-sector one (the ECB) is again exposing taxpayers to financial risks of which I bet they are not aware. Also there is yet another moral hazard for the banking sector not only do they get offered easy money and easy profits but should the taxpayer subsidised trade ever go really badly wrong then the central bank will step in again."
    So yet more moral hazards appear. Fot those interested http://notayesmanseconomics.wordpress.com

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  • 41. At 09:51am on 02 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #16 Jukka Rohila

    Personally I think that European countries managed perfectly well before the introduction of the Euro .
    Don't let us forget that the introduction of the Euro was primarily to serve political integration , rather than an economic benefit .
    Had enough independent research been done , relative to the economies of all the European sovereign states , the Euro might not have been introduced .
    Perhaps a solution would be to centrally devalue the Euro , to suit the poorest EU States .

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  • 42. At 09:53am on 02 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:

    So far the BOE has printed £198 billion and given it to the UK Government and I think the ECB has now printed around €35 Billion and given it to Greece.

    There is only one way out of the debt trap for the EU, and I include the UK in this, and that’s print your way out of it. The U.S. has done it, the Chinese weren’t too happy about it of course, but still ‘investments can go down as well as up’ as they say.

    No point having a fiat currency and not making good use of it.

    They may describe as an ‘economic stimulus’, or ‘quantitative easing’, or a ‘short term stabilisation package’, or some other equally silly expression, but I reckon printing money is what they’ll do.

    Because the plain truth is, in this debt based system, it’s the only way out.

    All the prudent savers won’t be too happy of course as a currency gets devalued to the point of disinterest. And all the fixed income pensioners likewise.

    All the effort being expended trying to magically convert bad debt into good debt, it’s almost farcical.

    It’s a pity we haven’t got someone with an extremely loud voice, that could stand on top of a mountain and shout out: EITHER WRITE IT OFF OR PRINT A LOAD OF MONEY AND SETTLE IT, JUST STOP ACTING LIKE A LOAD OF PANTOMIME DAMES AND GET ON WITH IT.

    The creation of money as debt in the fractional reserve banking system should be compulsory reading for every teenager before he leaves school.

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  • 43. At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:

    34. At 04:58am on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:
    'We need regulation and policing of the financial sector instead'

    In the UK for example, the financial industry has been regulated in the past by the following:
    The Bank of England
    The Financial Services Authority
    The Financial Ombudsman
    The Treasury
    The Basel ll Agreement
    The European Union

    Now that’s an awful lot of people doing an awful lot of regulating.
    And let’s face it, it’s not worked has it.

    The creation of money in private corporate hands = Debt slavery for the majority.

    In any event, the plain truth is, if the state (which is us) does not control the creation of money as debt, then the state (which is us) can only ever be at the mercy of those who do.



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  • 44. At 10:03am on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #37. At 08:59am on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:
    "Mathiasen, if Your view prevails, it will be a death sentence to liberty and equality of opportunity for Citizens."

    Really? There are some here that we have to remind about the following:
    There are speed limititations in the traffic. The idea is to proctect people against the fatal dangers of the traffic. It is also forbidden to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The whole thing is controlled by the police and increasingly by electronic systems on the road.
    It doesn't prevent people from driving. It just creates an order in the traffic most people prefer, but not deregulators. They are advocates of anarchy and the right of the strongest.

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  • 45. At 10:09am on 02 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #18 Cool_Brush_Work

    I too am surprised at how many times your posts have been withdrawn by the moderators .
    You generally do not write any comments that might be deemed harsh or offensive .
    Could it be that your choice of vocabulary or turn of phrase are letting you down . Perhaps you are able to type quickly with all your fingers , so you do not have sufficient pause for thought , how something you wish to say can be differently worded or phrased . I am a one finger typist , but I know where all the keys are .

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  • 46. At 10:09am on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

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

  • 47. At 10:22am on 02 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #25 margaret howard

    Jukka is the stuff the EU is made of , indoctrinated and blindly believing the EU propaganda .
    Businesses too are often run on a deficit , while the income is good and the proprietors live the high life .
    I suspect Jukka Rohila is truly worried that the Euro and the EU seem to be failing , but refuses to believe anything is wrong , that it was a brilliant and most successful idea , as Barosso tells us .
    The secret is believing !

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  • 48. At 10:36am on 02 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    @43. At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Dempster,

    Very well said! I just wonder if anyone understands what you say:)) most people here do now how money is created and that, who ever creates the money (banks in our case) controls the society and what the society should do, irrespective of who sits at the government desk!

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  • 49. At 10:37am on 02 Jun 2010, dinosaur wrote:

    It would be very interesting to see an international comparison of public sector debts and deficits, assigned credit ratings, and the discussion of those ratings. Particularly as we seem to developing a situation where all economies but one are encouraged to do debt reduction and take a growth hit, while the exception plans a Keynsian growth stimulus.

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  • 50. At 10:42am on 02 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    As so often in Europe the need to reform gets caught up with the political project. The Italian Economy Minister, Giulio Tremonti, said the threats to the euro were "affecting the very process of Europe-building". "We are a continent," he went on, "we have a market, we have a single currency, but we don't yet have a common government".

    And we don't want a common government. Care for referendums, EU-philes? Thought not, they intend to bypass the voters as usual when it comes to pushing 'more integration'. Sure, Tremonti and ministers from other countries in Southern Europe want to entrench a system where they benefit and the north pays for it.

    Others are urging that moves towards closer integration be put on ice and that Europe's leaders focus on getting Europe growing and working again, even if that means weakening and reducing some regulations.

    Fat chance, Brussels' ideology is 'more integration über alles'. It is ingrained in them that if they were to 'stop' it would be like letting the bar down and then its all over. Even if popular support for 'more integration' would drop to zero, they'd still continue with it because they have made an ideological commitment to 'more integration über alles' and cannot retreat from that position without the entire thing crashing in on them.

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  • 51. At 10:46am on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #46

    And so it goes on...

    The bias of the Moderation processis becoming a real cause for concern.

    It would appear Britons and those from the land of Abraham can be called any names under the sun, but the (Write) Right of Reply is denied by a BBC whose motives will be referred elsewhere by me.

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  • 52. At 10:51am on 02 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    margaret howard wrote:
    "19 democracythreat
    Why then such a nasty tirade against Jukka. Are you drunk?"

    No, not drunk.

    I find his high and mighty tone intolerable. Notice what he is saying: he doesn't disagree with other views, he is bored and frustrated that they even exist. He holds onto his faith in the Euro like a priest, and he is angered not only by dissent of any kind, but also the raw facts.

    He is, for want of a better word, dogmatic.

    And so I wanted to drive home the raw fact that the economic result for the eurozone has not been good. It has been terrible.

    He is refusing to accept the facts. He tries to chant the same old doctrine: everything the eurozone stands for is good and great. It is a "success". But the facts are that the eurozone has grown mired in debt since the euro was introduced, and the fact is that europe now faces huge economic problems.

    Anyway, I was not being nasty. I was being patronizing.

    And when someone clings onto an illusion and demands that others share it, and when they speak down to others from a very great height, then perhaps that is called for.

    How would you break the news to jukka that the EU is actually not in very fantastic shape, economically?

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  • 53. At 10:54am on 02 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    16.Jukka Rohila wrote: You know I'm sorry to take such a hard line on this one, but I'm just tired of the whole conversation as in the end the answer will be: "No, Euro is not going anywhere". The only open questions at this point are what do we need and how much do we need to centralize and integrate in order to make our economic engine to go full speed again.

    This is exactly the kind of 'more integration über alles' mentality that I mentioned in my post (#50, not approved yet as of writing this one).

    What Jukka is basically saying is, integration must continue even if 99% of the peoples were openly against it, he and likeminded EU-philes simply will not accept or consider any other way. And this is the kind of mentality that we the peoples are up against. No matter how we vote, integration continues, no matter how many times we vote NO to treaties that slowly kill democracy, integration continues.

    This patently ludicrous idea that we should continue to 'integrate' just because some worn out old men decided that over 50 years ago, needs to go.

    And as for the Euro, it is abundantly clear that the people at large have not profited at all. All who profit are politicians, bankers and corporatists. The people at large saw price increases, relative wage decreases and a complete disinterested political body not interested in what the people think if the people don't think like them (ie 'more integration über alles').

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  • 54. At 11:07am on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #44

    Classic 'pro-EU' duplicity.

    There is Regulation and it works reasonably all of the time and on a few occasions is found to be be wanting: The the tweaking of 'regulation' according to the evolving, prevailing modern circumstance is entirely fitting.

    Anything more, like the whole-sale takeover of 27 National Economies' Fiscal management by an unelected, unrespresentative, unaccountable EU Centralised Bank supported by an unelected, unrepresentative, unnaccountable EU Court of Justice serving a predominantly unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable EU Brussels' elite is the worst tyranny one set of overweaningly ambitious & anti-Democratic Politicians and their 'big-Business' partners could devise.

    You have utterly lost sight of what the 'Union' is supposed to be about: Citizens' Rights & Responsibilities first and foremost - - in place of that You would have no Citizen able to effect the decision-makers most concerned with Peoples' lives - - a new supreme, unchallenged Imperial edifice without regard for those held in its authority and power.
    Stalin's Kremlin would share Your's, Barroso, Tremonti, von Rompuy etc. enthusiasm.

    If it comes to pass You or Your off-spring will rue the day.

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  • 55. At 11:22am on 02 Jun 2010, frenchtommy wrote:

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

  • 56. At 11:23am on 02 Jun 2010, frenchtommy wrote:

    This is the calm before the storm. Most of the measures announced by Euro zone nations to cut debt are yet to be carried out. To date, the majority of declarations made by Euro zone politicians have just been blah, blah, firstly to persuade Brussels and secondly to persuade the markets.

    So the denial continues, in the hope that somehow the problems will go away and that grand gestures will be all that’s needed. Speaking for myself, I see a similarity with Europe of 1938 -1940.

    I do not believe that any Euro zone government has the courage to carry out the required deregulation of their welfare and employment laws. Does anybody seriously believe that France, as one example, will be able to restructure effectively its welfare state and highly regulated employment system and reduce its debt ? And the same goes for many Euro zone nations.

    So the situation will just get worse. In many countries living standards will fall dramatically. Health care regimes will lack funds, pension systems will fail and unemployment will increase. And why ? Simply, because of a lack of courage and determination by politicians and Eurocrats who prefer the status quo.

    Who says that the Ostrich is not an European species ?

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  • 57. At 11:35am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Re: 53. At 10:54am on 02 Jun 2010, mvr512


    Spot on as usual!

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  • 58. At 11:38am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Re: 53. At 10:54am on 02 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote

    EUpris: Ta all you "EU"-lovers who like to label people like me as "Little Englanders". What do you call this bloke who is Dutch? Little Dutchers?

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  • 59. At 11:55am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    "Britain would vote to leave the EU tomorrow "

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100041933/britain-would-vote-to-leave-the-eu-tomorrow/

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  • 60. At 12:05pm on 02 Jun 2010, I am not a number wrote:

    #58. "What do you call this bloke who is Dutch? Little Dutchers?"

    How about a little Hollander? :p

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  • 61. At 12:11pm on 02 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:

    If the European Union ends up as one integrated entity or remains as a collection of states, it is not going to make a great deal of difference to the average Joe.

    Because the average Joe, is going to get his hat nailed on anyway.

    That’s how the financial system works, and whether it’s operating in one large integrated Europe or a series of connected states, isn’t going to make a great deal of difference in my view.

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  • 62. At 12:15pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Frenchtommy (56): I think you are right. There will be a big economic crisis in the eurozone at some point, probably at the end of the next economic cycle circa 2018-2020. We will see a prolonged period of deflation in PIIGS countries until then, and Greece may well leave the eurozone. Also a lack of consumption in the eurozone periphery will be felt by exporters of industrial goods in Germany which will also be a poor economic performer. The whole region will be stagnant, but the political response will be quite different in Colbertist Europe and the land of Adam Smith across the Channel.

    The UK is not going to happy to be happy to delay confronting its competiveness challenges. The UK has long had the lion’s share of foreign inward investment in Europe, but this actually means we are quite vulnerable to relocation of previous investment to other parts of the world, such as China, India, Southern Africa etc. which have a big cost advantage. The UK really needs to take all necessary measures to remain an attractive place to do business and this will increasingly be frustrated by anti-completive EU regulations. My feeling is that both past and new EU regulation (e.g. in finance) is going to be a running sore throughout this parliament and could well result in a casus belli in the next parliament which obliges the UK to part company with the federalising and stagnant EU core simply so that the UK can survive as a completive part of the global economy.

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  • 63. At 12:18pm on 02 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    58.EUprisoner209456731 wrote: EUpris: Ta all you "EU"-lovers who like to label people like me as "Little Englanders". What do you call this bloke who is Dutch? Little Dutchers?

    The most common dutch word used by politicians or other EU-lovers to 'smear' those who do not agree with 'more political integration' is 'Eurofoob' (ie 'Europhobe').

    Difficult to say what would be a dutch equivalent of 'little Englanders', the literal translation 'kleine Nederlanders' could be interpreted in more than one way unlike its english equivalent.

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  • 64. At 12:23pm on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Okay then, let me try another approach.

    In view of the prevailing tremendous economic and fiscal difficulties in the Iberian Peninsula it is apparent to me that it is actually all the fault of those Spanish people who have made the conditions that have brought this situation about.

    In fact now that I consider the whole matter I think it is an absolutely fair assessment of Spain and Spaniards. I feel this so much I thought I would take a piece of DemocracyThreat's previous Comment and use it to fully illustrate my point:

    QUOTE: "I have looked within myself and I do not find that same hope for **Spain** or *Spaniards**. I suppose that does make me **anti-Spanish**. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced the **best Spanish** were killed in the **Civil War** and **Franco regime**, or left soon afterwards to move to America or the colonies.
    **Spain** has become like **Israel**, in that respect. **Spain** contains the *****dregs***** of its former society, because anyone with brains and or a desire for a decent life for their children got out long ago.
    And I concede that position is unreasonable. I understand that it isn't possible that everyone in **Spain** is a *****degenerate***** human being. That's crazy talk and yet if pressed on the matter that would be my view... the very thought of **Spaniards** makes my stomach turn."

    ** = Substitution of 'Spain' for Britain/English and Israel.

    Now, as that Contribution was Published by the BBC I am quite sure no one objects to an exact replication for a Nation other than Britain & Israel, particularly as it is in context for a view/perspective of what lays at the core of Spain's Economic issues.

    My apologies to all for lending myself to the above wholly 'bigoted' essay: However, it must be remembered the above repugnant prejudice was Published in full.

    I mean calling people from the Peninsula 'dregs' & 'degenerates' cannot be anymore offensive than doing so for the British Isles, can it BBC?

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  • 65. At 12:34pm on 02 Jun 2010, oeichler wrote:

    59. At 11:55am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:
    "Britain would vote to leave the EU tomorrow "

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100041933/britain-would-vote-to-leave-the-eu-tomorrow/

    "In a referendum, we would vote by 42 per cent to 35 to withdraw."


    ...and the remaining 23 per cent are still queuing in front of closed polling stations...

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  • 66. At 12:38pm on 02 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Going Dutch" is an expression meaning that everybody pays for himself/herself.

    It seems that German citizens feel Duch these days.

    [Not that citizens of some other EUSSR member-states - don't]

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  • 67. At 12:48pm on 02 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    How would more integration solve the EU's current debt problem? Or future debt problem for that matter. Sure, a federal europe would provide monetary tools not available now, but that doesn't solve the problem of spending more than you make. If the enormously expensive social model is causing the problems, then that's the problem that needs to be solved. The recession may have provided the catalyst, but the problem of too much debt was all ready there. Nothing will get better until spending is brought into line with income. Yes? No?

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  • 68. At 12:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @33 Mathiasen
    "And yesterday he wrote that he doesn’t read newspapers. A perfect way to your understanding of the world intact (maintain your prejudice).

    Germany has (for the moment) a trade surplus of 134 billion Euros. 86% of this, 115 billions, comes from the trade with EU. Germany’s export has been rising all the time. From 1995-2008 it was 7,4% each year within the EU. In Japan it was 2,2%.

    The claim he is making here is false, which of course is the consequence when you don’t want to be informed."

    Of course I read newspapers like WSJ or FT.

    And my sentence was not entirely correct. It was supposed to be:
    "That the Euro benefited German export overly is, though often used, a faulty claim. Around 40% of the exports within the EU go to non-Euro countries."

    This huge trade surplus is also the achilles` heel of the German economy.
    It does not benefit the country as a whole.
    The gain in wealth from foreign trade is not passed down to the population. Those firms rather use it for investment and not necessarily in Germany.
    This combination, given the fact that our domestic markets are lacking severely, can lead to one consequence only: the population is getting poorer.


    Anyway, you were talking about the Euro and now all of a sudden you are just using EU figures.
    So where is your evidence that Germany was the main profiteer of the Euro?
    For me, Germany is not just a conglomerate of a few corporations mind you.

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  • 69. At 1:01pm on 02 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    #64 cool_brush_work:

    Cleverly done. Congratulations.

    By-the-way, thanks for your comments regarding France and the EU.

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  • 70. At 1:04pm on 02 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    CBW, I didn't say that thinking of the english made my stomach turn. I said it made my stomach hurt.

    There is a difference. Please stick to the facts.

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  • 71. At 1:08pm on 02 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #65

    ...and the remaining 23 per cent are still queuing in front of closed polling stations...

    Haha, cheeky monkey!

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  • 72. At 1:23pm on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Taking recent advice from Mathiasen I have been looking at translations of Germany's Media coverage of the EU.

    This is a very much shortened and amalgamated Story published in Der Spiegel last week.
    I use it to illustrate a point I made previously to DurstTigerMann etc. about the use and exploitation by France of the EU entirely for its own purposes irrespective of any impact on other member Nations:

    Der Spiegel cites a senior German BundesBank Finance official as claiming that France's leading Banks are in a "..conspiracy.." over the so recently agreed ECB Bond purchase.

    The article claims the ECB's so far 25 Billion EUro purchase of Greek Bonds is intended to allow France's key Banks to unload their their Greek Bonds. It is suggested by the Bundesbank official that ECB President Jean-Claud Trichet gave into heavy pressure from Pres Sarkozy to change the ECB's stance on opposing the purchase of member States Governments' Bonds - - once the change of policy was in-place France's Banks were curiously at the head of the queue and have already transferred more Greek Bonds than any other State - - whereas Germany's Banks are forbidden to sell their Greek Bonds until May 2013.

    There it is in plain view:

    Which Nation pressed hardest for the change of ECB policy? France.
    Which Nation took priority in the exchange of Greek Bonds? France.
    Which Nation is using these additional ECB Monies to continue to Subsidise its vastly over-spent Economy7Welfare system? France.

    Which Nations by comparison are losing out? All EU26!

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  • 73. At 1:33pm on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #64: I cannot say I'm surprised the BBC has backed down. It was beginning to look & feel so patently unfair no other choice was open to it if it wishes to retain any integrity. Neither can I feel any sense of pleasure.

    It is surely reprehensible that I am obliged by crude device to repeat the most despicably callous of contributions in order to reveal the nature of my complaint about previous Moderation!?

    Peronally, I would hold the Spanish as being no more responsible for their grave Economic-Fiscal difficulties than the ordinary Greeks, Irish, Britons, Italians etc. It is 'big-Business/big-Government' that set-up the crisis and has gained most from it. Ordinary Citizens of Spain & everywhere are being made to pay for the reckless avariciousness of a system entirely endorsed by the EU-Brussels elite establishment.

    How any thinking, rational person could believe that handing over yet more authority and power to the EU, that is politically constructed to serve those same vested Financial interests at any cost to the People, will with additonal powers protect Citizens from such exploitation in the future is beyond any credible understanding!

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  • 74. At 1:42pm on 02 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:

    Ok. I know, this is a british blog written to discuss european politics with british readers.

    So, I apologize for my bad english and beg to understand, that from my point of view some things look rather different, than they are commented in this blog or Peston's Picks or Stephanomics.

    But, after about two years of reading, I feel it might be the time to ask, wether the ordinary british reader get's his informations mainly from BBC and other famous british sources, or if he takes enough opportunity to inform himself on the other side of the channel?

    You see, that english is the common 2. language nowadays is a big fortune in many aspects for the english speaking countries, but, on the other hand a big disadvantage. You know, must of the world can read your your publications and discussions, what gives us the whole picture. So, we not only know what our politicians and think-tanks lie to us, but we can also recognize, what is tried to manipulate your thinking to.

    Many british posters on this board seem to be very naive, they shout big words of easy solutions and think, that they wouldn't change the whole, fragile, construction of the global political system, if they, for example quit their EU membership.

    It's not as easy as you think. Every action generates re-actions. As you could not pull out of EU but keep all the benefits of open markets, Germany could not return to the deutschmark without getting big problems with their neighbours.

    Since months you can read in the british papers, or in the three blogs I named, that I follow here on BBC, daily new horror stories about the collaps of the Euro, the problems of the eurozone and tips for the continent, to cut their welfare state, to deregulate, to privatisise.

    Just to inform you, this measurments have been taken at least to a certain degree in most of the european countries in the last 15 years.

    And I tell you, there are not only silly socialist working in the continents governments. We have our great share of neolibs and austrian school economics as well.

    But a significant number of people on the continent believe, that this kind of politics cannot be the solution anymore, as we feel, it was part of the problem.

    Be it, as it will. I am not an economics scientist, but I imagine, that in the end, it is not a fight between economical schools, but just a power game.

    In the end, one could live with both modells, manhood is very flexible to adapt to political and social systems, but I am shure, that it is contra productive, if in one common market, two systems are competing.
    We may live better, if we all in the EU share the social market system, or if we all do it the american way, but a decision must be maid.

    The crisis now forces decisions. It would have been better, if we had finished our self organisation in the good times.

    But before we decide, I would prefer that the british people get their chance and take their chance, to really inform themselves about the pros and contras of both systems, and about the big consequences unilaterisms can generaste in times of crisis.

    As I see it, there's a big anti EU, anti Euro campaign going on in the british media, but you should be informed, that your economy and your currency is not a bit better positioned as the Euro.

    And that it is absolutely unthinkable, that not any eurozone country would do anything to rescue their common currency.

    And if the common opinion in these countries comes to the coclusion, that it takes common regulation, common fiscal and social frameworks, than that will happen, more sooner than later.

    The british discussion is, as I said, somewhat naive, as if we were in the state of discussing wether the eurozone should or not make a turn into the anglos-saxon direction. The time for this discussion is long gone, now we are in a kind of trade and currencies war, and that means, any measure to defend the Euro will be taken. And nobody in the Eurozone can imagine, that we would follow any english consultation in this question.

    As I said, it's not about the right or wrong way anymore, it's about power. About: which currency implodes first: or which will be the last survivor.

    I can understand, that some, or most british people place their bet on the dollar, but I am not convinced, that the british pound has a very long breath anymore.

    And: you might have the possibillity to chose, the eurozone countries have no other chance, as to go "all-in" on the Euro.

    And this means, that UK will sooner and not very much later have to answer the question, wether you bet on the Euro, or the Dollar.

    The case then is not, wether you're right or wrong, from Eurozone point of view it's only with us or against us. And you should not forget, that Eurozone means not only the 16 current countries, but also the 10 new countries, that have agreet the treaty, that they have to join the Euro as soon, as they reach the stabillity goals.

    UK in or out EU, that is the big question that is running ever faster to the showdown.
    And you're talking about a few points more or less currency trading or a bit more or less coordinated regulation of the finance markets. The time of picking the raisins, fiddling the national regulation framework around other countries edges to pick a profit here and give a taxhole their seems over to me.

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  • 75. At 3:11pm on 02 Jun 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    '74. At 1:42pm on 02 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:


    .... I feel it might be the time to ask, wether the ordinary british reader get's his informations mainly from BBC and other famous british sources, or if he takes enough opportunity to inform himself on the other side of the channel?'

    The BBC, bless it, get criticised for bias by all sides, but generally I think gets it about right. It's the rest of the 'British' press I have a problem with – and I put British in inverted commas because much of it is foreign owned.

    And yes, I think it's true that people in the UK are less well informed about what goes on other side of the channel than people on mainland Europe are about what goes on in the UK. This is partly because a lot of mainland European people who have a reasonable grasp of English watch or log onto the BBC, while very few British people will have sufficient knowledge of, say, French or German to watch or log onto the main French or German channels.




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  • 76. At 3:28pm on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    68. At 12:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann
    The numbers I used can be read in the interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine, 25th May 2010.
    You can read in my replay yesterday to Threnodio, how I look at Germany’s trade situation. I think the chancellor is right, when she says that it is much better than say Spain and Great Britain.

    To everybody else let me just add this: When president Barrosso is giving an interview in FAZ, I can guarantee that it is read all over in Germany and people outside Germany with access to FAZ like for instance bankers, economists, journalists and politicians in other countries, including the North American, which can read German or get a translation.

    Let me add especially to Cool Brush Work:
    It is wise to read German sources, they present quite another picture on Europe than for instance the British media. However, the generale rule that you should always try to evaluate an article and make your own estimation is also true here.

    France’s line in the bail out matter has convinced Berlin. The problem for the chancellor is that she needed long time to recognise it and accept the French solution.
    - Barrosso has made the same evaluations in the interview in FAZ.

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  • 77. At 3:44pm on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    starofthesouth

    re #74

    Welcome to the blog.

    I appreciate You mean well: Nothing You wrote is unfair comment.

    However, You plainly have missed the ongoing debate on these Blog Articles or You could not have mistaken anything we 'anti-EU' have to say as being 'naive'. Nor, had You read them, could You imagine from the wide-ranging contributions only English-speaking Brits are opposed to the 'ever closer union'.

    As for the '10' new entrants - - with the exception of Turkey (whose entry is opposed by France & Germany and supported by G.B.) - - every one is a very small economy and desperate for the bountiful largesse of the EU coffers.
    Monies, of course, almost entirely drawn from Germany, UK, Spain, Poland, Finland, Sweden & BeNeLux. Those 10 new entrants will contribute little more than a new drain on already over-stretched resources.

    Might I suggest to You that before the EU-Brussels' entity yet again ignores the 500,000,000 Citizens already within its compass that it gets its present day Economic house-in-order? Before the EU embarks on another wholly unsupported expansion exercise it tries to ensure the Constituent Citizens it has so lamentably failed to represent upto now are included in any discussion of what should happen next?
    Equally, would it not be a very sound Economic-Fiscal-Political-Social-Cultural step-forward for the EU to insist on a once-and-for-all resolution of the issue of UK/England membership?

    I would support withdrawal for England & leave it to the other 3 Union Nations to decide their political fate: Whilst it seems a majority oppose membership there is no guarantee and a referendum on membership would settle the matter. However, this wonderful EU You write in support of is unwilling to let Britons/English have that Democratic voice!
    I wonder why that is: Could it be Brussels fears an economically successful UK/England, stable Pound currency and thriving neighbouring Nation not within its stultifying Legislative remit? Afterall, if the EU is so convinced the British Isles cannot make it on its own what has it got to fear from allowing 'naive' Britons to hear all the arguments for/against and then making that Democratic choice?

    You write much about the EUro, Pound, Dollar: Frankly, whether the Pound or EUro is strong or weak is not the issue - - from my perspective the issue is which authority and power will determine the future Political-Economic-Cultural evolution of the UK/England: Will it be a National Democratically elected Government accountable & responsive to Citizens at National level, or, will it be a supra-National political entity that for 30+ years has not once gained the consent of the Majority of Britons or indeed EUropean Citizens for the policies that it has UnDemocratically embarked upon?

    Who is actually being 'naive': The 57% of EU Citizens who refused to participate in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, or, the EU Commission President Barroso who pronounced the elections a "..great success.."? The EU Citizens who feel Disenfranchised having rejected the EU Constitution and thus were prevented any say on Lisbon, or, Brussels with its further centralisation and expansion plans that no Opinion Poll suggests there is any EU Citizen support for at this time?

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  • 78. At 4:10pm on 02 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    65. At 12:34pm on 02 Jun 2010, oeichler wrote:

    59. At 11:55am on 02 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:
    "Britain would vote to leave the EU tomorrow "

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100041933/britain-would-vote-to-leave-the-eu-tomorrow/

    "In a referendum, we would vote by 42 per cent to 35 to withdraw."


    ...and the remaining 23 per cent are still queuing in front of closed polling stations...


    "lol"

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  • 79. At 4:19pm on 02 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:

    77. At 3:44pm on 02 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote: from my perspective the issue is which authority and power will determine the future Political-Economic-Cultural evolution of the UK/England: Will it be a National Democratically elected Government accountable & responsive to Citizens at National level, or, will it be a supra-National political entity that for 30+ years has not once gained the consent of the Majority of Britons or indeed EUropean Citizens for the policies that it has UnDemocratically embarked upon?’


    Well CBW, perhaps the answer may be neither.

    ‘Political-Economic-Cultural evolution’, is an interesting topic, hopefully it will keep the sheep occupied, so they won't notice the slaughter man loading his gun.


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  • 80. At 4:39pm on 02 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 49 Dinosaur
    "where all economies but one are encouraged to do debt reduction and take a growth hit, while the exception plans a Keynesian growth stimulus."
    I agree with all those economists who still share the logic of the old Keynesian approach that was aimed first at curbing the consequences of the recession, by giving money to the local unemployed people who were to spend it for the first necessities. True, the dept would inevitably rise, but later, the demand for goods would gradually motivate the suppliers to accelerate/enlarge the supply of goods/services, thus helping the whole economy to recover as quickly as it can. It still works, but we are too impatient to see the results to-morrow morning, before noon...
    Regards

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  • 81. At 5:24pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    As someone who fairly regularly reads the German press (and has lived in Germany) i would have to disagree with Mathiasen on the importance of reading the FAZ or other German newspapers to understand EU developments. It is actually something that i do, but i would not recommend it for effectiveness. In my experience the only ‘must read’ Continental newspaper as far as EU issues is concerned is Le Monde. The German papers are regional monopolies with neither a local commercial rival to outshine, nor particularly close links to politicians in far-away Brussels or even Berlin. In this respect they are more similar to American newspapers than the British national press. Reading the FAZ to understand what is happening in Brussels or Berlin is like reaching for the Chicago Tribune to find out what is happening on Capitol Hill when you could have picked up the Washington Post instead.

    The New York Times will not outshine the Washington Post in daily coverage of political events in the US capital, but it is still a more influential newspaper overall coming from the dominant cultural and business center in North America, a role which London performs in Europe. You do not read this blog or the British press to find out what people in Berlin think of the EU today, but rather what they will think of it tomorrow because ideas flow from cultural centers like London (or Paris) towards hinterlands like Berlin and not the other way.

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  • 82. At 5:43pm on 02 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Premier of Japan had a decency to resign (to help his party).

    Comrade Chairman Barosso doesn't have to; since neither he nor his Commision members will ever have to face any electorate.

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  • 83. At 6:28pm on 02 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    All depends on Germany...with all these cuts if Germany goes into an austerity type program in solidarity with the ...others,

    Then probably the whole of Europe will go down,

    If Germany uses this time to prosper and keep its head up and be arrogantly inflationist (moderately so) then Europe will have a chance,

    Get out of those post war stupid self debasing attitudes--Durstingermann knows what I mean...this is the time to save Europe by spending, buying, and profiting from exports

    TAKE OFF THE HAIRSHIRT OR EU IS DOOMED ..PEACE OUT :)

    Some rightly said that the governments turn on the people and want them to pay taxes or cut their benefits, well if Germany joins the "party" of vengence on the taxpayer, Europe is going down.

    So, be less rigid, get rid of the Merkul fool and start behaving responsibly ....

    FOR GERMANY

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  • 84. At 6:49pm on 02 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #81. At 5:24pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John
    On the importance of reading the FAZ or other German newspapers to understand EU developments:

    It is far out to write that I praised German newspapers for their insight in Bruxelles. They are probably not better in this aspect than other newspapers, but they know a lot about Berlin, and Germany is pretty influential in the whole matter!

    Also they have another approach than newspapers in Great Britain or Denmark for that matter, and that is a relief. What they are dealing with is how to solve problems instead of telling people that they cannot be solved.

    In Europe we have a number of important newspapers. Le Monde is among them. If you want to know more names, take a look at the newspapers that published the address of Jürgen Habermas and Jaques Derrida, supported by Umberto Eco, Adolf Muschg, Richard Rorty, Fernando Savater and Gianni Vatimo called "The 15th February or what connects the Europeans".

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  • 85. At 7:16pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (19):

    You are an lawyer, you fight with words, however words don't replace facts nor do any words create or alternate the reality on which we are.

    You make a tirade about history, however you fail to note that our world has changed, the past has come history. For example you fail to note that the technological edge that European states had when first encountering, conquering and then colonizing Americas, Africa and large parts of East-Asia is gone. Western countries don't have that huge relative advantage in technology. Neither do Europeans have the same economic power that they had...

    EU/Eurozone/Germany/Britain share of world GDP in different times of history...
    Calculated from Statistics on World Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2008 AD
    http://www.ggdc.net/Maddison/

    1820 - 24,23% / 17,55% / 3,87% / 5,22%
    1870 - 37,07% / 23,14% / 6,50% / 9,03%
    1900 - 37,82% / 22,84% / 8,23% / 9,37%
    1913 - 36,86% / 23,20% / 8,68% / 8,22%
    1940 - 29,47% / 20,19% / 8,38% / 7,34%
    1950 - 27,90% / 16,95% / 4,97% / 6,52%
    1963 - 29,11% / 19,65% / 6,54% / 5,15% (the high point post WW2)
    1970 - 27,76% / 19,39% / 6,12% / 4,35%
    1980 - 25,89% / 18,55% / 5,52% / 3,64%
    1990 - 24,07% / 16,90% / 4,66% / 3,48%
    2000 - 21,92% / 15,54% / 4,24% / 3,30%
    2008 - 18,68% / 12,79% / 3,36% / 2,84%

    Or we could use recent GDP nominal statistics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29
    2009 - 28,38% / 22,39% / 5,78% / 3,76%

    Our position in the world has changed, it has diminished. For Europeans to make an impact in the world it is necessary to pool and unite European countries be it single market, single currency or single federal government. That is the only way to have enough power to make an impact. In short, in 1900 Pound Sterling was a reserve currency due to both high British productive output and global usability of the Pound in all around the British empire, however today Pound Sterling isn't a reserve currency because Britain doesn't have the productive output it had nor it has the empire it once had. Times change.

    In case of your another tirade about debt. Debt in Europe nor anywhere else in the developed world is not the creation of the EU or Euro. The reason why all developed countries have problems with debt is because baby boomer generation of the post WW2 era going into retirement and not having enough workforce to replace nor to fulfill all obligations set up by this boom generation in the last 30 years. What we are getting now is the bill from the last 40 years. The only way to cover this debt and get over it is to increase efficiency, and that is where the EU and Euro come help.


    To DurstigerMann (24):

    European countries are too small to have their own currencies because...
    A) their relative share of the world production is so small
    B) they can't compete in worlds markets by being cost leaders, they can compete only with deep specialization...

    Specialization is impossible with out procuring much from outside ones country. That is because all European countries are so small that not one of them can have everything available domestically that the economy needs. Now procuring outside ones domestic market causes costs, in case of currencies it causes transaction costs and currency risks. These costs in todays competitive global market can be enough to make or brake an economy. That is why we have Euro.

    In case of your note about Germany, the real reason for ballooning German debt is not the reunification nor the Euro. The real reason is that Germany has less and less workers and more and more dependents and costs of these dependents are not anyway covered.

    In case of your note about Eurozone and having working economies, I can only say that no we don't have perfectly working economy, but we have a lot better economy thanks to having a single currency. Again, those transaction costs and currency risks when trading cross-country in Europe don't produce anything, they only create costs.


    To Huaimek (41):

    Actually, no they didn't. Before Euro what we had now and then was devaluations and sometimes runs into the bank that wrecked total havoc. You do remember the beginning of 90s? The reason why we have Euro is that there is no compromise between having a single currency or having a group of currencies, if you try to make some kind of compromise you only end up having a run into the bank.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Wednesday
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Exchange_Rate_Mechanism


    To Huaimek (47):

    To this assessment I strongly object. It is not belief when one puts solid stable numbers on the table and gives you reason and logic on how things work. In case you thinking that I'm worried, I can assure you I'm not, what I'm is frustrated to this whole discussion as it is total waste of time. It is as pointless as discussing on will the US dollar brake because of impending default of California and many other US states.


    To mvr512 (53):

    You do also know that 99% of people would want for us all to fare well and everybody to have all the material wealth that one possible can dream. However due to the fact that we live in a place called reality in an finite world, we can't have everything that we want.

    In case of your notes... "people at large saw price increases, relative wage decreases and a complete disinterested political body not interested in what the people think" ...Well, we have this thing called global market and for us to stay in the same position we need to work harder and more intelligently, if people can't handle that then their position will worsen, that is fact of life.

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  • 86. At 7:47pm on 02 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    58 EUprisoner wrote:
    "Ta all you "EU"-lovers who like to label people like me as "Little Englanders". What do you call this bloke who is Dutch? Little Dutchers?"
    No, not 'Little Englander' - more:
    "The little man who was willing
    to take the European shilling"


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  • 87. At 7:53pm on 02 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Sir Mick once sang.
    "You can't always get what you want, but you just might find..........you get what you need."

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  • 88. At 7:55pm on 02 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka,

    Fair enough. (your last post) But you are speaking of "efficiency" as if that term was neatly understood in economics. I'd submit that it is not.

    I think we need to revise that term, and ask "for whom?" is something efficient.

    Are we speaking of the efficiency of the large corporations in the financial sector, or are we speaking of efficiency for business's who trade across borders, or are we speaking of overall efficiency of resource distribution?

    In any case, the fact remains that EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT (and perhaps you are, in theoretical terms), the EU has not been a success.

    I think you would agree that there are serious deficiencies in the EU model.

    Now, maybe the EU does need more integration, on some levels. But might it not also need to scrap the way it is being designed?

    Is it not possible that the way the EU has been constructed is exactly the thing which causes it to fail in its aims?

    I am not against European federalism. In fact, it seems a great idea. I do appreciate that many benefits can flow from European integration.

    But surely it depends upon how it is achieved?

    As far as I can see, the current model, as embodied by the EU institutions, is a model that has been designed by political parties, with the conscious intent to preclude influence by the general public. And that has the terrible consequence of creating a model for governance which is fundamentally useless, in terms of creating overall efficiencies of resource distribution.

    I would once again cite the example of the USA. That nation was not created with a constitution designed to create "efficiencies" and to be run by a centralized, powerful bureaucracy. It was designed to enshrine liberty and freedom (for white males, of course: that point is well noted elsewhere), and political emancipation.

    And it was those things which created the economic marvel that was the USA. It was the unseen hand, not some grand economic plan formulated by a few wise men, which generated the wealth.

    I'd like to see a federation in Europe, but that is fundamentally based on real democracy, and which decentralizes power. I believe that such a federation would generate all the economic development we'd both like to see.

    Furthermore, I don't think you can expect to see this growth without a total revision of the EU institutions.

    The ideas might be good, but the people who are carrying it out are exactly the wrong people. The EU has always been party based, and fearful of the common public voice.

    It is a grand bureaucracy, imposed in order to solve the problems of many small bureaucracies.

    Now you object that I am wrong to draw a connection between the system of political party rule and the waste and debt of Europe, but consider that these are the same people. Too often we hear of "member states governments" creating the debt and the problems, whilst the EU institutions try to solve it. That is absolute rubbish. These are exactly the same people. The same parties who create the debt in the member states appoint the commission and staff the council. It is the same folks.

    I think the central issue here, in economic terms, is whether you believe in Adam Smith's unseen hand of economic growth. If you do, you'd have to agree that economic power flows from political freedoms for the individual, and cannot be created by massive central bureaucracies.

    If you don't believe in the unseen hand, then what doctrine do you follow?

    Marxism? Divine blessing for the pure?

    This idea you hold onto that the wise men create economic power through grand policy, it clashes with my view of how the world works.

    But I do appreciate your comments, and I hope I've not offended you with my terse comments. You seem to be above that, and I respect you for it.

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  • 89. At 7:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Incidentally, I've been very much in agreement and impressed by dempsters comments on this blog. Well very argued and difficult to fault.

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  • 90. At 8:20pm on 02 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    85 Jukka Rohila:

    "For Europeans to make an impact in the world..."

    That seems a strange goal. I wonder if you would mind elaborating a little on that for me.

    " The reason why all developed countries have problems with debt is because baby boomer generation of the post WW2 era going into retirement..."

    This seems unlikely. It isn't universally true and at best is only partially true.

    " The only way to cover this debt and get over it is to increase efficiency, and that is where the EU and Euro come help."

    This sounds a lot like the elminating corruption argument. This doesn't seem like a real solution.

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  • 91. At 9:31pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (88):

    We are talking about all actors in the economy from individuals to giant corporations. However giant corporations be they in manufacturing or in financing benefit the most on having a single currency. Manufacturing corporations can more easily divide their activities and reap benefits from different competitive advantage that different countries and regions offer, mainly cost advantage. Just imagine if we could get Romania and Bulgaria into the Eurozone or even better Ukraine, the cost benefits would be enormous. In my opinion, by allowing companies and corporations to maximize their efficiency, we will reach nearest the optimal resource allocation.

    Now lets jump more to politics and the EU. I would say that the EU has been a huge success in case of enabling European companies and businesses to be more competitive and allowing them to have a fair shot in the global markets. The EU has also been a fairly success in case of enabling European states to retain and gain power. Now however if you measure success on the EU being and acting like a federal or European government or being straightforward and transparent democratic institution, then in those cases it has more or less failed to reach the mark.

    Yes, the way we have been building European Union is not perfect and honestly not very smart, I think that it should be noted that this process has more or less been the only way to move forward. For example if you compare the EU and the USA, the reason why building process of the USA was more straightforward was that there was power vacuum, state governments weren't strong, there wasn't established institutions and power blocks, in that environment it was easier to move towards a federation in a shorter time span. However here in Europe we have established institutions and power blocks, moving into a federation isn't a straightforward process because of all the infighting.

    In more general terms about party politics and bureaucracy, have you ever wondered on what if politics is really a dead field? .. No political ideology can give better answers or match the advice given by professionals and academics. Preaching about Atlas Shrugged or Capital will in rational world be shrugged of. The reason why politics and party politics is so dull is because we have moved away from ideologies into administration. Political parties are administrators, the main parties may have different angle to things, but only as much as professional and academics disagree about the subject, no more and no less, and when the economy say no, it is no.

    Are you sure you are not rejecting party politics and representational government because it has moved from ideology to administration of things? Are you sure that you aren't suggesting that we have direct democracy because you, either in consciously or unconsciously hope that it will produce something more, a new idea or revised idea on how to live? ...Maybe you could ask yourself would you give all power to a supercomputer, to an artificial intelligence, if its decisions would produce most material benefits and grant you most freedom ever possible?

    PS. And in case of Adam Smith, you do realize that he didn't advocate for unrestrained markets?

    PS2. Offended, surely not, this has been and other conversations with you have been very light in comparison on what these conversations can at their height be in here.

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  • 92. At 9:38pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Jukka (85): The 5 main English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) account for 27% of global GDP, and are the leading nations culturally, militarily, ecomically and technologically. Unlike Germany and much of the eurozone, no English-speaking country has a declining population. The UK has better relations with each of these English-speaking countries than any on the Continent and a foreign policy that will now put greater effort into improving ties with India, China and other fast growing parts of the world. 

    So we in Britain have no lack of influence in the world and more plausible ways of improving that influence than systemically prioritising the interests of declining EU countries over our natural partners in the rest of the world. You may think (incorrectly in my opinion) that Finland has no alternative but to be a satellite of a Franco-German power-block but we in the UK have other options that are far more likely to be successful than to be the silent partner in a EU megalomanical bid for world power.

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  • 93. At 9:53pm on 02 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Freeborn John (92):

    Your problem as a British is that you will never become an American, at least if you don't immigrate and get a US citizenship. The 60 million Brits are always going to be British, not American, and that is the problem that you face.

    Why? Because the group of English speaking countries is a group of unequal partners. The USA is the mammoth in the room and where it sits or sets its sight other partners are to move out of the way or to follow the leader. Thus the influence is in the hand of the USA and it does what it damn pleases it, the job of other partners, the unequal ones is just to contribute to the influence of USA not actually make any influence, that is the job of the USA.

    No offense, but it would be more honest to talk about the USA and not this fantasy land of the English speaking world, at least as long as it doesn't have any common market, any common currency, nor any common institutions.

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  • 94. At 9:57pm on 02 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    @#92 Freeborn John,

    We have no infuence what-so-ever in NZ or Australia, I lived there for quite a few years so I'm talking from experience. Other than making jokes about us I don't think they see as anything more than that. I have no idea about US or Canada. So if you think that we can somehow drop out of the EU and join Australia, NZ, etc. in some sort of trade block, you are very wrong, think again.

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  • 95. At 10:09pm on 02 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    @Jukka

    "Just imagine if we could get Romania and Bulgaria into the Eurozone or even better Ukraine, the cost benefits would be enormous. In my opinion, by allowing companies and corporations to maximize their efficiency, we will reach nearest the optimal resource allocation."

    Cost benefits would enormous - for whom?
    maximisye their efficiency - for whom?

    The EU is perfect as it is already for large business and multi-nationals, the EU fails its citizens.

    If you want cost benefits & efficiency turn the system back to the middle ages, where there was landlords and serfs, with the landlords having the right the let the dogs on the serfs if they think about leaving his land to move to another! For sure that model was far more efficient than the current EU model, why not have that model if we just want efficiency?

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  • 96. At 10:15pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Mathiasen (84) said "If you want to know more names"...

    I don't think i ever came across anyone who manages to combine Mathiasen's total lack of original thought with a belief that he has so much to educate other people about. The only thought he can actually articulate is that our futures were decided for us by Monnet before we were born and no-one alive now may question or alter that. And to understand why one must read articles in the German newspapers that he can't explain!

    The brainwashed cannot understand those who can think for themselves. All they can do is say 'Please, just read this article in Die Gehirnwäsche and then you too will see how great the EU is'.

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  • 97. At 10:35pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Jukka (92): Actual experience is though that the UK has more influence in Washington than in Brussels.

    ChrisArta: I lived in Australia for a time too and my brother and sister live there. It is rather obvious we have 1000 times more in common with that country (5% of whose inhabitants are British citizens) than any country on the Continent. And we have even more in common with NZ than Australia. The English-speaking countries have always been able to effortlessly achieve what the EU cannot. e.g. share intelligence while France and the USA cannot even agree not to spy on one another. Blood is thicker than artificial institutions.

    Trade of physical goods is effected by geography but it is easily possible today for higher value services to be exchanged electronically between Continents when they share language and culture.

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  • 98. At 10:40pm on 02 Jun 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    On the now very rare occasion that I now dip into this blog, I become increasingly despondent about the state of the world, when so-called adults are reduced to the anonymous trading of slights in supposed defence of their viewpoints. There are some people like me in cyberland who are greatly worried about the state of our world, and the contents of this blog worry many of us enormously. The schadenfreude we find published here as commentary is both sickening and deeply depressing.

    I personally am unshamedly pro-EU, but I am well aware that, like the states that currently compose it, it has many many faults. I believe some of the most pressing of these arise at the ‘competence’ fault lines - which competences have been delegated to the sub-national states, to the national states, and what competences delegated to the EU, and again between those competences which are delegated to, as distinct from those best discharged by, each of these polities. Many of the issues and difficulties currently facing our Euro arise out of these issues. I believe we will in time address these to our satisfaction. Currencies values, of their nature fluctuate, and like water, will find their own level. We are on a learning curve here, and some lessons are more valuable and harder learned than others.

    To those of you in the UK, as this is a British based blog, but also to others of other member states and other states to whom the EU is anathema, it is your right to hold such views and to hold them dear for your countries. You are not being forced into the Eurozone – the UK and Denmark have enshrined treaty opt-outs, and while other members have a treaty based obligation to join, the decision when to do so is theirs alone, like Sweden. This is not a problem of your making – the solution should not be of your making either, just as the problems that face you, and your solution to them is and will not be not of Eurozone making.

    I am unaware of anyone who is pro-EU who wants to compel countries to continue as members if their people do not want it. I would hold such people in the lowest regard. This is entirely apart from what Brussels based functionaries may or may not say on the matter – they too have rights of free speech. It is your decision and my decision as citizens to make, not theirs as public officials. You need to have your referenda to guage public support for membership – and your public representatives need to organise this poll. Those of us who continue with the Eurpean project need a President and a Commission directly elected by universal sufferage to reform the Union, and replace Dhr. van Rompuy, Sr. Barroso and the rotating state presidencies. These people should use their democratic mandates to bring legitamacy to an organisation currently badly in need of further legitimation, and to challenge the nation-states directly at the ‘competence fault lines’, proving the case for European management, or failing this proof, surrendering these responsibilities back to whence they came.

    In relation to previous content, may I also state that I have great distrust of continental politicians, predominantly French ones, who came through the ENA system. I prefer public officials to have rounded careers in both private and public sectors and to operate according to best operating procedure, with an ability to assess situations intelligently and sensitively, not according to brainwashing acquired through incarceration in an institution, preaching a mandated political philosophy. I furthermore share opinons put forward here concerning Sr. Barroso, and believe everytime the man opens his mouth he invites unmitigated disaster – he needs to shut up much more, and use the time thus saved in meaningful action. This is an unfortunate trait which also dogs many, many national politicians – it is not unique to the EU.

    To the inevitable comments of those who claim that the representatives alluded to above would disallow a true democratic choice, I ask you to review the cyberscorn heaped recently on the Greek public who ventured that Greek politicians were almost entirely responsible for the predicament in which that country finds itself. In particular, please review the comments that hold that by electing such officials, the public were also responsible for them and their actions and inactions. The trust the Greek people apparently put in their officials to manage their economic affairs is the same trust you have put in such people to manage your democracies. Do you dare to repeat Greece’s error?

    In an unrelated matter - may I extend my heartfelt and deepest sympathies to any contributors or readers who have suffered losses in the Cumbria gun attacks.

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  • 99. At 10:57pm on 02 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    @#97,

    We have to agree to disagree, up until the WWII we had lots in common from the 50's onwards other than the old cricket & rugby match we have not much else. They have taken a huge amount of new blood and those new Australians have no wish to be associated with the UK. At least that has been my experience.

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  • 100. At 11:03pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    There are 1.3 million Britons living in Australia and 2800 in Finland. That is a ratio of 464:1 but Jukka thinks the UK and Finland are the countries with the most common!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/brits_abroad/html/  

    Euro-federalists live in a parallel universe.     

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  • 101. At 11:34pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Chrisarta (99) said : "We have to agree to disagree ... They have taken a huge amount of new blood and those new Australians have no wish to be associated with the UK."

    We don't have to agree to disagree when the facts indicate that we should agree you are wrong.

    -------
    Australian residents by Country of Birth (Austrlian Bureau of Statistics)

    United Kingdom 1,153,264
    New Zealand 476,719
    China 279,447
    Italy 220,469
    Vietnam 180,352
    India 153,579
    Philippines 135,619
    Greece 125,849
    Macedonia 120,649
    South Africa 118,816
    Germany 114,921
    Malaysia 103,947
    Netherlands 86,950

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  • 102. At 00:15am on 03 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    100 Freeborn John wrote:

    "Euro-federalists live in a parallel universe."

    Maybe - but surely you live in cloud cuckoo land.
    Most Americans don't know where Europe is, let alone England. (Please keep the Scots out of it - on the whole they (the US) prefer us and our ties with France are historically far stronger and real to us than with little Englanders like you)

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  • 103. At 00:32am on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Most people on this blog see the current situation from the perspective of a glorious past.
    Let me remember you:
    ..........that is over......
    ............wake up.........
    Most people on this blog defend an unsustainable economic model.
    Why?
    because they strongly believe those leaders that say:
    "We were better the way we were"
    True but you live now not in that past.
    So wake up.
    People, regions, countries, larger regions compete and will always compete for whatever can make them live better than the others.
    40 years ago at global scale there were only USA and Western Europe (just because USA allowed them)so these two parts of the world enjoyed growth and wealth by selling their products and financing governments and projects all over the world.
    ...............That was then..........
    Today, there is China, India, Brazil and few others that compete for the same limited market.
    So, guess what happened.
    Western Europe products and money have now to share the same limited market with all of these guys.
    Do you really want me to tell you what that means?

    So wake up people. Past glories won't keep your tummy full.

    I do agree with most of you that the way EU is going now has to change. EU has to let its people have a say in its decisions. All EU citizen have to feel that they participate in the building of a new country.
    To cut long short.
    EU and its citizens are running out of time.
    So please do something right.

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  • 104. At 01:59am on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @85 Jukka Rohlia
    "European countries are too small to have their own currencies because...
    A) their relative share of the world production is so small
    B) they can't compete in worlds markets by being cost leaders, they can compete only with deep specialization..."

    Do you even understand what a currency really is?

    "In case of your note about Germany, the real reason for ballooning German debt is not the reunification nor the Euro. The real reason is that Germany has less and less workers and more and more dependents and costs of these dependents are not anyway covered."

    It`s rather a problem of government spending which is absurdly overblown.
    Of course the Euro did not create the initial problem of government overspending.
    The net -8 billion a year of EU spendings from Germany don`t make debts skyrocket as well.
    However, recent developments have shown that the Euro indeed managed to let German debt skyrocket by breaking all agreements that made Germany (and probably other nations as well) join the Eurozone.
    And the fact that the German Central Bank, which holds around 27% of the ECB, is now paying directly for French banking institutions is the coupe de grâce.
    The Euro has become a bottomless pit.


    "In case of your note about Eurozone and having working economies, I can only say that no we don't have perfectly working economy, but we have a lot better economy thanks to having a single currency. Again, those transaction costs and currency risks when trading cross-country in Europe don't produce anything, they only create costs."

    What? Where is this better economy?
    I know Dutch, Germans, Austrians, Swiss people and all of them are saying that their nations standard of living went down.

    France, Italy, Spain, Greece. All those nations never were renown for keeping their currencies stable and in check.


    I thought for a few minutes before writing this and decided to write it in this way:
    The inability of any German government to this point has lead us to a situation, where Germany is the laughing stock of the Eurozone and the EU as a whole.
    We, along with a few other countries, pay and the French decide.

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  • 105. At 02:03am on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @97 Freeborn John

    ""Jukka (85): The 5 main English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) account for 27% of global GDP, and are the leading nations culturally, militarily, ecomically and technologically. Unlike Germany and much of the eurozone, no English-speaking country has a declining population. The UK has better relations with each of these English-speaking countries than any on the Continent and a foreign policy that will now put greater effort into improving ties with India, China and other fast growing parts of the world.

    As for the USA just let me say one thing:
    GDP does not exclude debt payed investment and consumption.

    Now I wish you a good time drooling on the phony GDP figures, before it comes crashing down on the US.

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  • 106. At 02:10am on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    That`s not to say that we don`t have the same problem of overspending all around the world.

    It`s just that the USA are the mother of all FIAT bubbles right now.

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  • 107. At 02:57am on 03 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:



    Austrian Radio website reports: "EU" plans to punish rating agencies for "false" ratings.

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  • 108. At 03:01am on 03 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:



    Austrian Radio website reports: "EU" wants to create THREE new agencies to control/oversee "European" financial markets.

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  • 109. At 03:23am on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Financial Markets reports:
    "We do not care"
    End of message
    Just kidding
    and Just hopping that someone can "regulate" these financial markets

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  • 110. At 03:51am on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    Can`t sleep for Christ`s sake =(

    @104
    "I know Dutch, Germans, Austrians, Swiss people and all of them are saying that their nations standard of living went down."

    Well, I actually went a bit overboard here, as my Swiss friend only brags about how foreigners who immigrated to his country tell him sad tales of their homes.

    Can`t sleep for Christ`s sake =(

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  • 111. At 04:40am on 03 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    #110 DurstigerMann:

    Try counting collateralized debt securities.

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  • 112. At 05:54am on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    or think about boring American culture:)
    D Mann

    think about boring things ..or sex...brain waves for s%$ are same as sleep brain waves

    FACT...well as least to psychologists:)

    sorry bbc, no offense or ill intent ..i mesn yuk a gay man saying the word in public grossssssssssss

    no offense D Mann

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  • 113. At 05:56am on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    im now im going to watch a gay horror film (true)...hey no jokes while im gone:)

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  • 114. At 06:07am on 03 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #96. At 10:15pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John
    The way you read my messages I am sure that if there were an original thought you would not detect it. Anyway, if I were you, I would exercise restraint with measure of that kind.

    I have no intention of bringing original ideas in this blog, where we suffer from a plethora of contributions full of a lot of false assumptions, distorted accounts, idiosyncrasies, as well as an unbelievable tedious and simple notions about societies from a political and cultural corner in which I stay as short as possible at all.

    If I together with a few others here can bring a little information into that and balance the picture of Europe and its character, I shall be happy.

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  • 115. At 06:09am on 03 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    #101. At 11:34pm on 02 Jun 2010, Freeborn John

    Where are the Irish in those numbers? anyhow so there are about 1.3M Brits out of 20M+ people in Australia. That still doesn't change the fact that they use us to make jokes about us or the fact that they woun't care less if our little island(s) sink to the bottom of the north Atlantic. They needed us around the late 1800's early 1900's but not any more. They are far to busy with getting themselves linked to ASEAN, than to join some English speaking trade club. So English speaking trade club, is a no brainer, its not going to happen. Us and the EU on the other hand, that's real, its next door to us, we are in it and if we play our cards right we can influence things and make things happen the way we like it.

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  • 116. At 06:12am on 03 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    95 ChrisArta
    “Cost benefits would enormous - for whom?
    Maximise their efficiency - for whom?”
    Sorry to intervene. In principle Jukka is right. The answer is quite clear – for the foreign investors, provided the governments of the said countries still maintain their application for entering the euro zone (I just mean B. & R., not Ukraine).
    Thanks to the measures taken here in 1979 (when a new agreement with the IMF was concluded) the foreign investments doubled and tripled. If Bulgaria will be allowed to join the single currency zone, that will facilitate the landing of credits at lower interests and consequently it will help the national economy.
    The problem is that the euro is not stable now, and our government is not so willing to adopt a currency that would diminish the national reserves. We prefer to wait a little bit and see whether thing will improve.
    Sofia, June 3rd 2010

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  • 117. At 06:35am on 03 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    74 Starofthesouth
    “And: you might have the possibillity to chose, the eurozone countries have no other chance, as to go "all-in" on the Euro.”
    First, I would comment that this BBC blog has won the sympathy of many mainlanders, to start from Russia, Finland, Bulgaria and Turkey and to finish with France. It gradually became a kind of international forum, where the Brits constitute a minority. It still works well, even very well…
    I agree with many of your arguments in favour of the future of United Europe because you have correctly understood the irreversibility of the integration process.
    What I would add to it as a reason for our inability to go on further, is the lack of enough political will, experience and knowledge of the present political classes of the old continent. We are again on the crossroad of history, when very important and non standard decisions are to be taken…
    Regards

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  • 118. At 06:40am on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Generalissimo,

    You are an appreciated voice of hope on here.

    Web Alice appreciates you so much...keep her well...as you can ..

    she is a beautiful flower--I never say things like that to her.

    Asme being gay -- not important..human actually..--she might think WHAT fresh hell is this????

    lol..but I agree with you on Alice. What a nice talented person:)

    If you pray for the gulf of Mexico, I'll pray for the Euro :)

    But peace to you,

    David

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  • 119. At 06:51am on 03 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    #116 generalissimo,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    your answer is the correct one. The reason I asked it was because I wanted to point out that before we rush and say its good to do "x" because it is more efficient we should think efficient for whom and what is in it for me? Efficiency only for efficiency's sakes is not a good enough reason.

    The EU is in its current state of unhappines because it focus only in one area, that is how to make it easier for (big) companies to do business in the EU. The English, Dutch, Germans etc. would not been anti EU if they got some benefits from it. But when the only thing we get is, be more efficient (i.e. receive less) because someone in Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, etc. can do the same job for less, Then it is hardly surprising people are not too happy about it.

    So the EU has to lift its game and ensure that also EU citizens receive some real benefits rather than only just big corporations.

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  • 120. At 07:42am on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    To solve within EU the problem of jobs going to lower wage countries (Bulgaria, Poland Romania etc.)there is only one solution.
    And that is
    An EU wide minimum wage.
    And please for the sake of "efficiency" keep all the production facilities (jobs) within EU. That will assure long term "efficiency".
    only and only there is no labor within EU should production be shifted outside. And even this can be solved by immigration.
    After all is not that bad a mix of genes.

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  • 121. At 07:48am on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Your comments DT, get better and better,

    And CBW, Threnodio II, and Jukka, you are all class acts:)

    I'm in a good mood Cause tomorrow, I'm finally starting the process for gatting lower teeth...laughing gas in me future.

    Don't be paranoid bout me, I'm sincere..thats me problem lol,

    And carry on Quiet Oak Tree,

    Marcus,

    Don't take any wooden nickels or hard candies (dont want you choking:)

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  • 122. At 07:51am on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    Its BARROSO no Barrosso or Barosso! Is it that difficult?

    Also, Italy is a net-contributor so spare me the northern superior complex

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  • 123. At 08:23am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #114

    "...if there were an original thought you would not detect it.." plus, "... If I together here with a few others can bring a little information into that and balance the picture of EUrope and its character, I shall be happy."

    Oh dear, the assumed vastly superior 'pro-EU' intellect strikes again!

    It is a source of immense comfort to our dull 'anti-EU' mindset we are able to bring some moments of joy into Your highly esteemed, sagacious, lifestyle.

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  • 124. At 08:29am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Margaret Howard

    Re #102

    "...(US) prefer Scots.. 'little Englanders' like You.."

    Laughing so much I kept making typos: You actually wrote that and couldn't see the irony!?

    That's one of the funniest pieces of writing by a 'pro-EU' from the UK I've ever come across!

    Thanks a lot.

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  • 125. At 08:46am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Jukka_Rohilla

    Re #85, #91 & #93

    Jukka, show us the Statistic/Numbers/Analysis in 2008 that made any Economic-Fiscal sense after Lehmann Brothers collapsed September 2009?

    For all Your use of numbers to justify everything that You see as statistically confirming the way the World turns nothing written in 2008 made a blind bit of sense just 12 months later!

    Yet, You would base Your's and everyone else's existence on what those numbers appear to represent today!?

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  • 126. At 08:57am on 03 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    #122. At 07:51am on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando

    True, some of us seem to suffer from it a bit, but not all:))) perhaps even Spain is either net or near even?

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  • 127. At 09:00am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Dempster

    Re #79

    "..keep the sheep occupied.." whilst, ".. slaughter-man loading gun.."

    Hmm, am I sensing yet another who perceives their own abilities & understanding as exceeding all the ordinary ones out there!?

    It is strange how given all the alleged dullness among the Citizens over the Centuries it is various forms of Democracy that have merged more-or-less as the triumphant political driving-force: One might have expected the majority of those dullards to have instinctively opted for the servile communist or fascist systems.

    Perhaps when ordinary Citizens are properly consulted, given the facts and asked to express their view via the Ballot box more often than not those simple folks have revealed ability and understanding the intellectuals among us would try to suggest they did not possess?

    Thus, we have a EUropean Union which at every possible moment denies the ordinary Citizen a right to express a view in a Democratic manner: Afterall, cannot have those 'sheep' messing everything up by Democratically insisting the 'slaughter-man' be replaced or made redundant!

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  • 128. At 09:07am on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    If you think that democracy is the answer to everything I just wanna sk you this:
    How many of you got what you voted for?

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  • 129. At 09:33am on 03 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #102

    Margaret

    "Most Americans don't know where Europe is, let alone England. (Please keep the Scots out of it - on the whole they (the US) prefer us and our ties with France are historically far stronger and real to us than with little Englanders like you)"

    Very disappointing post on so many levels. Quoting from the SNP manifesto are we?

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  • 130. At 09:44am on 03 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:

    Well, the English love football, beer and make jokes about the eurovision song contest, so the gene pool is obviously not much different than that of the ordinary Scandinavian, German, Dutch. Ok, there are some strange mutations that make them love cricket too, but otherwise?

    But, there are growing differences between the british and the continental european youth.

    As I see it, on the continent the youth is a generation of Erasmus students and Interrail travelers that like to join each others and see themselves as people of their country but as european people as well. They meet each other doing a student programme in Barvelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, they meet on their backpacking tour to Rome and Athens. But you rarely find english people in this companionships, at least not nearly in numbers that relate to the population of the UK.

    For them, I think, the discussions of the elder generations about the EU are not really relevant anymore. They see themselves as europeans and are used to it.

    So my projection is, that the time speaks for european unity, as this generation in general just does not want to fall back to the nationalism of yesterday. They are simply not used anymore, to border controlls, residential or working restrictions, money changing.

    And rightly so, as we live in a world, where ordinary middle aged german people like me can have an on the fly discussion on a british blog with people from all over the world, but especially from Europe. In a time, were my children have friends all over Europe and the companies want them to be flexible to work in different countries.

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  • 131. At 09:48am on 03 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @127 CBW

    "The People" are rarely ever consulted in any Western Democracy, the people function as a check/balance on Government and that is basically it. People who are incompetent (or perceived to be) are voted out so as to give someone else a chance, that is why the system succeeds.

    It also has some success at responding to broad changes of opinion within the electorate (i.e. Enviromentalism) but generally rather slowly and never to any sort of extreme.

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  • 132. At 10:26am on 03 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #130

    "so the gene pool is obviously not much different than that of the ordinary Scandinavian, German, Dutch"

    Err, actually that IS our gene pool...

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  • 133. At 10:36am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Opinion

    Re #128

    "If you think that democracy is the answer to everything I just wanna sk you this: How many of you got what you voted for?"

    And if You think there is an alternative to 'Democracy' that will give more of the people more of the time more of what they Voted for, You go ahead and suggest it?

    Then again, maybe tyranny by a supposed intellectual elite is Your preference?

    All down the ages Citizens have had to experience Your sort of ideas before concluding 'Democracy' isn't great, but it is eminently better than anything else so far proposed.

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  • 134. At 10:42am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Benefactor

    Re #131

    Broadly agree: Though I'm bound to say 'Democracy' IMO has succeeded in providing a wider spread of possibilities/solutions for the aspirations of ordinary Citizens than You would appear to suggest.

    Especially if one keeps in mind that by the term "..any sort of extreme.." You actually mean a Minority intent on their way over everyone else.
    Hence 'Democracy' is the best option as one way or another over time it does indeed root out these advocates of tyranny.

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  • 135. At 10:58am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    starofthesouth

    Re #130

    Unsure of Your facts for such a sweeping generalisation, "..rarely find English people in these companionships.."?

    Though I would agree there is a real sense of diference in the broader political-cultural-histoircal experience of UK Citizens from those on continental Europe.

    It should be remembered that the 'English' You write of are not quite what You like to suggest.
    E.g. in 2010 UK: 1 in 8 of 60 million Britons first language is not English; there are vast numbers of Brits from across all 5 Continents - - the UK has a greater Multi-cultural mix than any Nation except the USA - - the stereotypical image of a Briton disappeared long ago except in the minds of Continental Europeans who seem to delight in 'bowler hats'/'british lion & britannia'/'busby-hat guardsmen' cartoons that bear absolutely no relation to modern G.B.
    Large numbers of Pakistani, Indian, Nigerian, Chinese, Kenyan, Australian, Canadian, Malayan etc. Britons also it seems to some extent share with indigenous Brits concerns about the EU. Yet, they too can be found working, holidaying as well as substantial family contacts etc. across the whole EUropean Continent.

    I'm afraid 'Starofts', in this modern globalised age, as a general rule it is far better (as with all peoples) when attempting to describe the 'English' to avoid any generalised conception of them!

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  • 136. At 10:59am on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    ++133
    You are right.
    So far democracy has been better than all the other tried systems.

    "Then again, maybe tyranny by a supposed intellectual elite is Your preference?"

    No that is not my preference. But as I ca see it the same democracy brought us the elite intellectual and financial.

    Elite is good as far it does work for the people. Not good when it does work for elite.

    I can see that most people on this blog are considerate for the well being of people in general. That is true except few that do not know what to be good means. They are well too capitalist to understand that capitalism means moving wealth from one pocket into someone else. It all works good as long as you are at the receiving side.

    We need elite to drive us well and we need people to make sure that the elite does not take us into the wrong path.

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  • 137. At 11:00am on 03 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    opinion wrote:

    "I do agree with most of you that the way EU is going now has to change. EU has to let its people have a say in its decisions. All EU citizen have to feel that they participate in the building of a new country."

    Is that what the politicians in Brussels tell the common everyday so-called EU citizen, that they are to "participate in the building of a new country?"

    And how exactly do you build "a new country" with 23 official languages and so many very different cultures? You really think the EU can be a country like America?

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  • 138. At 11:03am on 03 Jun 2010, The Realist wrote:

    "but we don't yet have a common government"."

    Yet? Does this guy know something the public doesn't about a goal for a united europe?

    Myself though I have no problem with a united europe. I just think those against it are stupid to think the UK, Germany or France etc can compete in 2050 with that real big boys, USA, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan will all be outpaying us for prodcucts with their vastly superior spending power.

    It's a shame that they refuse to listen to the reasons why it is actually not so much wanted, but required. They are the ones who will be responsible for UK and all other EU nations slipping even further down the power list.

    And there is nothing they can say that disputes this fact. It is an actual fact. Anti-Euro's refuse to see it and so they cannot be convinced even if they can actually see it happening around them. It's called being in denial. The UK has already lost two places in the power list which measures a nations spending power, GDP, cultural influence etc combined, they have lost those two places in the last decade. And there are other nations with bigger populations getting rich quick as well. Brazil will be the next country to take over us and they certainly will not be the last.

    I wonder how happy those Anti-Euros will be when they find a shortage of their favourite product because there is higher spending power from India, China, Brazil. They will obviously blame the european governments when it is the European governments who are trying to prevent, and it is them the Anti-Euros who will be cause!

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  • 139. At 11:39am on 03 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #137

    You're not European, we dont want your opinions on how we should run our countries.

    (thats what you say to Europeans on the American blogs....)

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  • 140. At 11:40am on 03 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " It`s just that the USA are the mother of all FIAT bubbles right now."


    DM. Are you referring to Fiat 500 or some bigger model?

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  • 141. At 11:43am on 03 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: "Most Americans don't know where Europe is"



    Most Americans don't know where Belize, Lesotho or Burkina Faso is.

    Or even Zimbabwe.


    Same difference.

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  • 142. At 11:46am on 03 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #127 "And how exactly do you build "a new country" with 23 official languages and so many very different cultures?"


    And GWB was critised for following an unrealistic dream of "nation building". :)

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  • 143. At 12:02pm on 03 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:


    137. At 11:00am on 03 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    'opinion wrote:

    "I do agree with most of you that the way EU is going now has to change. EU has to let its people have a say in its decisions. All EU citizen have to feel that they participate in the building of a new country." ...'

    EUpris: The British people have never wanted to participate in the building of a new country. They have been lied to and cheated for almost forty years. If we are to participate in decisions then we must be given a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and/or an In/Out referendum.

    It is not enough to allow the prisoners of the "EU" to vote on something trivial like the colour of the walls in their cells.

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  • 144. At 12:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:

    To 127. At 09:00am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work

    I am neither for nor against the EU.
    I just don’t think that either being in, or conversely being out, will make a great deal of difference to an average working Joe like me.

    And I’m quite happy with the ‘democracy’ side of things, ‘one person one vote’ and all that.

    What I’m not too keen on though is the prospect of ‘debt slavery’ for the younger generation. Which is selfish of me being a father of three, but still there you have it.

    As regards your interest in my abilities, I perceive them to be nothing more than that befitting an average working Joe.

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  • 145. At 12:09pm on 03 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    137. At 11:00am on 03 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    " ...You really think the EU can be a country like America?"


    EUpris: I don't want to be part of a country like the USA. I don't want the UK to become a state of the union either.

    More US Americans died in their civil war than in WWI and WWII together. I think you can include Vietnam as well.

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  • 146. At 12:24pm on 03 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    122. At 07:51am on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:


    "Its BARROSO no Barrosso or Barosso! Is it that difficult?"

    EUpris: It isn't difficult at all, but who cares? Does he care what the majority of Brits think? Do you or Jukka or Mathiasen care?

    If people like you are so damn clever, how come you don't understand that NO means NO?


    "Also, Italy is a net-contributor so spare me the northern superior complex"

    EUpris: Italy is riddled with corruption. I could not possibly want to be in apolitical union with Italy.

    The "EU"-Dictatorship can Barrosso off.

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  • 147. At 12:24pm on 03 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    ++++138
    Well said.
    Still that does not mean that people do not have the right to ask for their share of decision making.

    ====137
    Do you really thing that people in EU are so culturally different?
    That is what years of promoting nationalism thought us.

    I have many friends from different parts of EU and believe except a different language we are not that different culturally. At least not more different than people from different parts of my native country.


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  • 148. At 12:34pm on 03 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:

    135. At 10:58am on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    starofthesouth

    Re #130

    Unsure of Your facts for such a sweeping generalisation, "..rarely find English people in these companionships.."?

    Though I would agree there is a real sense of diference in the broader political-cultural-histoircal experience of UK Citizens from those on continental Europe.

    It should be remembered that the 'English' You write of are not quite what You like to suggest.


    -------

    Of course, one tends to stereotype people in such discussion about the differences between countries.

    But I am fully aware of the structure of the population in GB, as my brother lives near London since more than 20 years.

    I intentionally used the term "The English" as I think, that there is the center of euro sceptisism in GB. The white english middle class and, as in any country, the uneducated with their tendencies of xenophobia.

    It ain't the Scots and I believe, that it is not the imigrant part of the population, that has this big differences to continental middle class, or the continental imigrants.

    You know, we have our share of imigrant as well, in Germany or France, in Spain or Italy.

    Of course, there are differences, as in Germany the imigrants are mainly from Turkey, eastern and southern Europe, while in UK you add the people from your former colonies, as in France, Spain or the Netherlands.

    But, without checking it, but to my remenmbrance, of the 80 million population in Germany around 7 millions have no german passport, and around 8 millions are ethnical germans who were born in Russia, Poland or other former eastern block countries that imigrated in the 80ies and 90ies.
    So, around 15 million people in Germany are imigrants, and, I estimate, another 10 million are germans who are 2nd or 3rd generation children of former imigrants.

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  • 149. At 12:57pm on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @138 The Realist

    "And there is nothing they can say that disputes this fact. It is an actual fact. Anti-Euro's refuse to see it and so they cannot be convinced even if they can actually see it happening around them. It's called being in denial. The UK has already lost two places in the power list which measures a nations spending power, GDP, cultural influence etc combined, they have lost those two places in the last decade. And there are other nations with bigger populations getting rich quick as well. Brazil will be the next country to take over us and they certainly will not be the last.

    I wonder how happy those Anti-Euros will be when they find a shortage of their favourite product because there is higher spending power from India, China, Brazil. They will obviously blame the european governments when it is the European governments who are trying to prevent, and it is them the Anti-Euros who will be cause!"

    I am sorry to be the bearer of the news, but the age of European dominance over the world ended after WWII if not earlier.
    Europe went out with its refined and perfected "killing for dummies" gunpowder technology and dominated the world, even former empires like Qing China, a nation with a lot more citizens than Europe had at that time, were toyed with.
    The reasons were pure military superiority.

    You cling to your "GDP-power list" and live in the dilusion of long gone grandeur.


    I was an avid supporter of the EU and the Euro. But at some point I had to realize that even though the basic ideas are great, their implementation was horrible.
    A shared market, free movement, stuff like that is great.
    But what do we need a government for?

    The bigger a federal nation/government is, the less effective it will become. That`s an empirical fact. It`s called diseconomies of scale.

    The EU right now neither has democratic legitimation, nor has it a slim, efficient administration. Instead, it is an overlown machinery that is siphoning off our resources.
    Our devoloped nations in Europe have quite low corruption ratings, so why is corruption soaring within the EU-apparatus?


    Lastly, a united Europe, especially a common currency cannot work if only a few nations are willing to give and make compromises, while others (namely France) are not willing to.
    The answer to this problem is often said to be along the lines of "if they are not willing to, we need to be a prime example and give even more!". How does this make sense? It doesn`t and at some point this will lead to the downfall.


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  • 150. At 12:59pm on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @140 powermeerkat

    "DM. Are you referring to Fiat 500 or some bigger model?"

    Fiat-Money

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  • 151. At 1:12pm on 03 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    137. At 11:00am on 03 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    "And how exactly do you build "a new country" with 23 official languages and so many very different cultures? You really think the EU can be a country like America?"

    23 official languages? So what? Pretty much everyone does or will speak English. Maybe we should simplify it a bit and throw in a variety of European words, call it European English to make the Continentals feel better ;-) .
    The EU could be a country like America, I doubt it will be though. It will almost certainly always be a far looser organization with far less obesity, law suits and gun nuts :-P .

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  • 152. At 1:14pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #16 - Jukka Rohila

    I have been away from the computer for a couple of days hence the late response.

    I did not say that a single currency was a bad idea. If we are being really silly about this, I did not say calling it the Euro was a bad idea.

    What I said is that they may have got it badly wrong. The 'one size fits all' idea of which I am dismissive is the absurd idea that a single interest rate will be appropriate to all economies within the zone at any one time given the wide variation in their economic structures and cycles. Arguably, had the Irish been able to contain inflation during the first 5 years of the Euro project, there would not have been such a massive shift towards the service, construction and banking sectors which has left them so badly exposed this time round. There needs to be a degree of deregulation at least to the point where the ECB can set a rate for international transactions within the zone but with national central banks being able to set a domestic rate which enables them to take into account prevailing conditions in the property and mortgage markets, take steps to stimulate or suppress domestic demand to keep a grasp on inflation and so on.

    It makes no sense at all to have non-flexible interest rate variation in a market where Greek bonds need to produce a 16% return to be sold (and then the ECB is having to either buy or underwrite them), which the triple A economies still sell bonds at well under 2%.

    My point is the the rigid, centralising mentality appears once again to be getting the better of common sense.

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  • 153. At 1:42pm on 03 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    There are two sides to every issue. 16 independent currencies does provide some difficulties but a single currency has lead to the mess that is at hand. The question is one of, are the inefficiencies of multiple currencies greater that the risk of a single currency?

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  • 154. At 3:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    and now back to the issue of rating agencies, when will the EU get those good for nothing rating agencies to report on actual facts and not fiction. Now we have a rating agency changing the grade of the BP bonds down because their latest attempt to stop the flow of oil in gulf of Mexico may not work??? Am I missing something here or are rating agencies really good for nothing?

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  • 155. At 4:03pm on 03 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:

    152. At 1:14pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    .....
    It makes no sense at all to have non-flexible interest rate variation in a market where Greek bonds need to produce a 16% return to be sold (and then the ECB is having to either buy or underwrite them), which the triple A economies still sell bonds at well under 2%.

    My point is the the rigid, centralising mentality appears once again to be getting the better of common sense.

    .....

    I am not sure, wether it's so clear, that a common currency must be bad.

    In the end, the currency is only one of many factors in the calculation of national economics. And one might think of an economical modell were these factors are commutativ.

    So, if this factor is fixed, changing of circumstances may force reactions of other factors. And that must not be bad in any case.

    Simple: it's not deceided, wether it is better for Greece in the long run, to absorb their problems by devalueing their currency, with all the problems that may bring to the people, or to be forced to have a few years of heavy cuts of public spendings.

    The problem is, if the factor currency is fixed, it is obviously not to the benefit of all participants of the common currency, if other factors are free and are used in national interest.

    The conclusion could be to end the common currency, or to coordinate the frameworks of the other factors.

    Both ways are possible, so please take both in consideration. There are alternatives.

    In the ideal case, the common currency is an engine, that forces the participants to optimize their state finances and to coordinate their politics with their allies. That must not be bad.




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  • 156. At 4:23pm on 03 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Threnodio said (152): "There needs to be a degree of deregulation at least to the point where the ECB can set a rate for international transactions within the zone but with national central banks being able to set a domestic rate which enables them to take into account prevailing conditions"

    How will you stop someone borrowing money at a low interest rate in Germany and then lending it to someone in Greece at a higher rate?

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  • 157. At 4:48pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #155 - starofthesouth

    You are right that there are alternative strategies to deal with some of the elements involved through taxation. The property market can be significantly influenced through taxation giving high levels of mortgage tax relief when you want to stimulate or levy taxation to suppress demand (stamp duty in the UK, sales tax elsewhere. You can use sales tax to influence demand and thereby to some extent control inflation.

    The problem arises with all forms of investment which are related to the base lending rate of the central banks. In the case of the Euro zone, the interest rate is applicable across the whole zone even though it is not appropriate to each prevailing set of circumstances. This is where I think the Euro system is in danger of being too rigid.

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  • 158. At 4:54pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #156 - Freeborn John

    I don't know. Presumably, provided the exchange rate is not a disincentive, there is nothing stopping you borrowing outside the Eurozone at low rates, changing it and lending it on. I wondered if anyone else had an idea how to do it.

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  • 159. At 5:04pm on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Sorry for acting weird yesterday, today is my root canal.

    And dentists have put me in major pain twice in the last 2 months...losing 2 weeks of work in the process. Luckily, the Family Medical leave Act covered my absenses.

    Odd, yes, dingy not.

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  • 160. At 5:14pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    "What this snapshot tells us is how tenuous growth is in the eurozone."

    Well, one thing is certain; although you are fixated with the Eurozone, and European affairs is in your job description you can extend your 'reasoning' to the UK

    "UK economic recovery to lag France and Germany, S&P forecasts"

    "[S&P] paint a picture of a three-speed recovery with big northern countries gaining the most momentum, southern countries such as Spain and Greece just about clambering out of recession and the UK sandwiched in between."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/03/uk-economic-recovery-lag-france-germany

    Hang on a minute... the UK 'sandwiched in between'? Which translated in non-culinary terms means the UK being a mediocre average if it was inside the Eurozone.

    Weren't all Europhobic theories pointing to the fact that the UK is sooooo lucky it is not in the Eurozone because by being out it can apply its own monetary policy, e.g. devalue its way out of trouble, and come out of the recession first and in the best shape of them all?

    Well, I am very sceptic about these Eurosceptic theories.

    The only difference I can see between the 'crisis hit' Eurozone and 'non crisis hit' UK is that the UK's inflation is way above that of the Eurozone.

    The other difference is, perhaps, that the UK scrapes a position in the middle of the 'sandwich' only thanks to vast quantities of money printing, e.g. property prices are up by 12% year on year.

    Haven't we been here before?

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  • 161. At 5:19pm on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @154 Chris Arta

    "and now back to the issue of rating agencies, when will the EU get those good for nothing rating agencies to report on actual facts and not fiction. Now we have a rating agency changing the grade of the BP bonds down because their latest attempt to stop the flow of oil in gulf of Mexico may not work??? Am I missing something here or are rating agencies really good for nothing?"

    I am not defending those agencies as at least some of them have been involved in criminal activities during the housing bubble. But in the case of BP it is quite logical. BP is trouble now and lending them money becomes more risky. That`s all the ratings are usually about. How risky it is to lend money.

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  • 162. At 5:22pm on 03 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Get your point, Mr. Common Sense Expressway,

    But, then the UK has never considered itself European until recently.

    Not till it lost its colonies as did the other European nations. Yes language and just a few things do we -- USA/UK have in common, ie,

    Better stick with these new European friends out of realism and future prosperity. But, perhaps with more respect? And responsibility?

    Have fun, don't forget to write. and WAR, (the EURO), WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

    NOTHING

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  • 163. At 5:54pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To threnodio_II (152) and (158):

    Freeborn John already maid the main point, allow me to continue from there...

    Under a single currency, a national government can take care of the inflation and overheating of the local economy by...

    A) Raising effective taxation, either by increasing tax rates or by cutting tax benefits, and using the money to pay state debt.

    B) Cutting down government spending by both freezing hiring of new employees and delaying non-essential public construction.

    These two are main options that a government can use to restrain economy from overheating. In Ireland successive governments didn't use neither of this options to restrain the economy and thus when the downturn came, both the Irish economy and the state were exposed to the worst effects of the depression.

    Living successfully inside a single currency isn't impossible, it isn't even hard, it only needs people and state to select the rational option, not the easiest option. This shouldn't be even that hard to do as most European Union and Eurozone states have comprehensive education system that also addresses general economics and economic policies.

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  • 164. At 6:26pm on 03 Jun 2010, oeichler wrote:

    156. At 4:23pm on 03 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:
    "How will you stop someone borrowing money at a low interest rate in Germany and then lending it to someone in Greece at a higher rate?"

    How do you stop today someone borrowing money at a low interest rate in the US and then lending it to someone in Australia at a higher rate?
    Simple - You don't...

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  • 165. At 6:27pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ FBJ

    "Jukka (85): The 5 main English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) account for 27% of global GDP, and are the leading nations culturally, militarily, ecomically and technologically"

    (White) Anglo-Saxon supremacism again?

    Other than that I cannot see in what way the UK in particular is one of the leading nations in all these areas.

    The US is the only leading nation of the ones you mention, although not in all these areas. It is the leading nation militarily (although not overwhelmingly superior to China or Russia), it is the leading nation economically (not on a per capita basis), but it is definitely not the leading nation culturally (what is your basis for that?...let alone Britain where a not insignificant proportion of the population is functionally illiterate) or technologically (Germany is the world leading exporter).

    So yes, the US is the leading nation in a number of aspects, all the rest you mention are just small satellites by comparison.

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  • 166. At 7:16pm on 03 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    The USA are not the leading nation economically anymore.
    GDP or PPP do not adequately reflect economic significance and strength of a country.

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  • 167. At 7:59pm on 03 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #102. At 00:15am on 03 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    100 Freeborn John wrote:

    ""Euro-federalists live in a parallel universe."

    Maybe - but surely you live in cloud cuckoo land.
    Most Americans don't know where Europe is, let alone England. (Please keep the Scots out of it - on the whole they (the US) prefer us and our ties with France are historically far stronger and real to us than with little Englanders like you) "

    I think you have not yet understood the French by your comment, if you had said the Flemish of Belgium I would agree with you as they are also in the nationalistic mode and continually referring to things that have should have been left in the past, plus they have many long standing contacts with Scotland. What is in the past should stay in the past. As for the French they are simply as always seeing whether they can take over your market should you leave the UK or stay in the EU if England leaves the UK.

    As for the US I still remember being asked by an USA customer where I was and when I said Brussels he said is Belgium the capital of Brussels.

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  • 168. At 8:23pm on 03 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    14. At 7:05pm on 01 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:
    "12. At 5:32pm on 01 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:
    More on Nouriel (who is he anyway? I do not know him)..."

    """Why don't you just google him and find out he is one of the most important economists of recent times instead of sounding as if people you don't know don't deserve to be quoted."""

    Well yes, I was just trying to resemble to Mr Nigel! And to recall another of his sayins, I am very sure that this Mr Nouriel is a specialist in finance, yet why on earth would I trust him talking science and not doing other peoples' job? On what payroll is he by the way?

    1+1=2. Deal too much with economy and you have lost it. In economy there is 1 law, that is the law of power, power to enforce your game on others and not let others enforce theirs on you. All I was saying is that 50 million people of the richest country in the world cannot enforce their will but 500 million people of the richest (per head)) and socially most progressive part of the world should be able to do so.

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  • 169. At 10:38pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #159 - David

    You had two weeks off for dentistry?

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  • 170. At 00:37am on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

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

  • 171. At 00:47am on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    AND THANKKKK YOUUUU FOR ASKING, THR 2,

    BECAUSE I DEFINITELY GAVE YOU TOO MUCH TOO MUCH UNFORMATION

    TTMI!

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  • 172. At 02:09am on 04 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Europeans are in search of a new identity.
    British are in search of a new identity.
    The world is changing.
    We have to change.
    It is up to us how we are going to live these new changes.

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  • 173. At 04:37am on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #172

    As those Americans who impatiently wait for November election say:

    "IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE" :)

    [unless you wanna end up with just a small change in your pocket]

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  • 174. At 04:37am on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Please publish my 170 comment, moderators...it shows what gay people still have to go thru to get treated by the medical community:)

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  • 175. At 05:10am on 04 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Re#173
    I do not get your point.
    I think we are talking about different things.
    Just because two sentences have a word in common does not mean that they have the same meaning.

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  • 176. At 07:27am on 04 Jun 2010, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    ChrisArta #115 wrote:
    "Where are the Irish in those numbers? anyhow so there are about 1.3M Brits out of 20M+ people in Australia. That still doesn't change the fact that they use us to make jokes about us or the fact that they woun't care less if our little island(s) sink to the bottom of the north Atlantic. They needed us around the late 1800's early 1900's but not any more. They are far to busy with getting themselves linked to ASEAN, than to join some English speaking trade club. So English speaking trade club, is a no brainer, its not going to happen. Us and the EU on the other hand, that's real, its next door to us, we are in it and if we play our cards right we can influence things and make things happen the way we like it."
    This part of the conversation is getting a little annoying. So I want to clear the point up as an Aussie. There is no way Australia would ever want to be part of a trading bloc led by the UK... before that happens it will snow on Ayers rock, the Opera House will sink into the ocean... or we will replace the National Anthem with God Bless the Queen... you get the idea.
    So you are right. Australians by a GREAT MAJORITY do not feel any attachment to the UK. The country is a composite of many cultures and there is no way poms dominate the mixture.
    As you say Australia looks towards Asia for its trading alliances and towards the USA for its security alliances. It is still a sore point how Australia was left hanging by the UK for its defence in WWII.
    Australia will MUCH SOONER sign trade agreements with the EU as a whole than with the UK by itself... frankly apart from any animosities towards the Old Country, the UK is too far and too small to bother with. Plus there is the great number of Australians with European backgrounds from countries that are active members of the EU... if anything this will probably outweigh the UK influence. On a European scale the EU matters to Australia and the UK matters only very little and probably only in so far as the UK is a part of the EU.

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  • 177. At 3:55pm on 04 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    ##176
    I must say I mostly agree with you.

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  • 178. At 6:08pm on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    sorry, Threnodio, I was just stressed,

    long story short...after my root canal, it turned out the nurse had stuck herself with a needle that had been in my mouth

    so i got tested for all these diff diseases voluntarily immediately, dentist paid for it.:)

    Alls well that that ends well:)

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  • 179. At 6:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The euro has hit a new four-year low against the dollar after comments from French Prime Minister Francois Fillon suggested its weakness was "good news".

    The euro fell 1.4% to $1.19920, marking the first time the currency had fallen below $1.20 since March 2006."


    Gavin, how about stopping to beat the dead horse (Greece) and start paying some attention to ...Hungary?

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  • 180. At 06:51am on 05 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    "More US Americans died in their civil war than in WWI and WWII together. I think you can include Vietnam as well."

    Uh, what exactly does that have to do with what was being discussed and specifically in reply to what I said?

    Are you sure you want to compare the number of casualties in the Civil War, which many if not most countries go through at one time or another, with the tens of millions that died as a result of European togetherness?

    And what is with this nonsense of "US Americans?"

    Whether you like it or not, and I bet you fall into the later category, there is a country by the name of America as there is a country by the name of Mexico.

    Why do I mention Mexico? Because both countries share the same beginning portion of their official names, the United States of.

    Do you also refer to Mexicans as US Mexicans? :)


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  • 181. At 07:09am on 05 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Benefactor wrote:


    "23 official languages? So what? Pretty much everyone does or will speak English. Maybe we should simplify it a bit and throw in a variety of European words, call it European English to make the Continentals feel better ;-) ."

    Is that why the EU politicians in Brussels are so linguistically united? :)

    "The EU could be a country like America, I doubt it will be though."

    One would have to be in serious denial to believe that.

    "It will almost certainly always be a far looser organization with far less obesity, law suits and gun nuts :-P .""

    Well, I will give the Eurocrats and the Europhiles one thing they share in common, good old fashioned anti-Americanism. After all, one needs a boogeyman to fool and rally the so-called "Europeans" into further integration, huh? :)

    That's OK, at least we can eat what we want without having to worry about the EU watching our diets.

    We can also freely express ourselves without worrying about being put in prison simply because we express an opinion that others do not like.

    We also retain the freedom and right to defend ourselves against oppressive and evil governments.

    These are all good things that make me proud to be American. :)

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  • 182. At 3:12pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Wanted to by some D-Marks (just for hedging)

    My N.Y. broker told me: "you have to wait another year".

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  • 183. At 3:10pm on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Rob_Hob

    Re #176

    Well, it's not 1.3 million & I can't figure out how that number came up.

    According to the Australian Government statistics some 12,000,000 of 20 million Australians are related by family descendants to the British Isles.

    As for Your antipathy to the 'old country': So what? My daughter has lived in Sydney 14yrs & is a Naturalised Aussie - - do You know her? You don't! Then what the heck are You writing about all those Aussies!?

    Come on, mate, lighten up - - in the 21st Century the UK & Australia probably would never enter an exclusive Trade deal - - there's just no call for it.

    Geography speaks for itself:
    Australia will naturally look to expand its already strong economic interests with the USA, Pacific rim Nations etc.
    Similarly, I'm sure in or out the UK/England will look to develop even further its economic tie-ins with continental EUrope.

    Kinship also has a voice:
    Whether in or out the EU the UK & Australia for a good many years to come will have very close connections: I presume You were at some stage in the 'colony' of Aussies in London, and so You will know that every year on average 50,000+ Aussies come to visit & often work in the 'old country' - - were You 1 of those few we sent back as punishment for selling us 4X!?
    In turn many Brits visit & work in Australia/New Zealand each year: Sharing a language, driving on the same side, knowing when its 'Your shout' & 'having a rage' together hasn't diminished in the 20yrs I've been going Down Under.

    You seem to want to invite us all to 'Rack off!'

    You're in a minority, in my experience, its almost always, 'G'day mate!'

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  • 184. At 02:24am on 07 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 147 Opinion
    “I have many friends from different parts of EU and believe except a different language we are not that different culturally. At least not more different than people from different parts of my native country.”
    Well said. I am inclined to think that the successful development of the EU will bring us, among other positive things, some kind of new feeling, I would cautiously name ‘pro-European mentality’. However, it will take time before we could be aware of that marvellous achievement of our civilisation…

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  • 185. At 03:11am on 07 Jun 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 118 David
    Thanks for the comments Dave. Your contribution here is pure human. At times, being in the position of commenting or defending such or such /national/ policy, we clean forget that we are human beings who have feelings, preferences, needs and hobbies. That kind of solidarity is so much needed when the interests of the multinational companies, heavily supported by the media and by some governments’ policy start deforming our conscience, thus depriving us of the gift of assessing the things through our own judgement… That is how history taught us to act if we really want to avoid misery, authoritarian regimes, wars, deceases and terrorism…
    Alice is another good example of a successful human presence here. True, she had some problems first when overcoming the resistance of those fellow bloggers who were wrongfully inclined to believe that all the Russian people were deprived of individual thinking and that the former regime had irreversibly made them all totally inadequate to the present realities… That is not true of course… Alice is just another proof of it, just like your presence here is an indication that your nation can not be embodied in the character of the smiling, good intended cow-boy, who would not hesitate to drew and fire each time when some tiny obstacle would obstruct his successful ride in the field…

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  • 186. At 03:20am on 08 Jun 2010, Harry wrote:

    Europe has one currency and many governments. The United States is likewise. There was good progress with European unity thus far. It can not happen overnight. Solving one crisis may solve future. Doing away the unity that has been accomplished thus far will be a set back for at least one century. Greek rich industrialists are pushing for their exit from Eurozone because then they will be able to drain the Greek tax payer and deposit their income to a Swiss or Dubai account. The stability of the region as well as an improved quality of life depends on a United Europe. The progress is great so far do not do away with it so quick.

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