Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html en-gb 30 Sun 23 Nov 2014 11:28:30 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html MacTurk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=99#comment123 John_from_Hendon. If anyone inadvertently thought that my quoting of mvr512's responses to your statements painted you as anti-EU, my apologies.Regarding mvr512's post 112, given the different member states participation in the Euro, Schengen Zone, freedom of movement,etc, it is effectively a multispeed, opt-in/opt-out system. Check out this diagram: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Supranational_European_Bodies.png Fri 02 Jul 2010 09:35:09 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=98#comment122 "Chapman's .....But quite what was her part in the spying network is a mystery. Inquiries in the US have established she was arrested after she herself had gone to a New York police station after a meeting with a supposed Russian agent who wanted her to pass on a false passport. In fact the Russian had been a US undercover investigator. While Chapman agreed to the task, when asked if she was willing to step up her spy work, she then failed to turn up to the set-up meeting. Instead she went to the First Precinct station in New York and told police that the passport had been forced upon her. It was only then that she was arrested by the federal authorities.The manner of her arrest has been seized on by her lawyer, Robert M Baum, as evidence she was not the super spy the prosecution claims. "The government's case is very thin against Ms Chapman. There is no allegation she ever met face to face with any government official; and no allegation despite constant surveillance that she ever delivered anything to anyone or received any money," Baum told ABC News."Nik, I cheered up a bit (more :o))))))Mavrelius says our spies are hopeless - well not all is so hopeless; Russian spies get arrested only after they go to a New York police station and say some mad people want them to pass over false passports:o)))))If she is a spy.And if she is - America is really spoiled; I mean, where else will they get such peaceful, harmless and good-looking spies more I am lost!What more to ask about? Really, baffling. Thu 01 Jul 2010 11:08:27 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=97#comment121 Fresh on the spy serie:"Envigorating air of American freedom with the smell of Coke and hamburgers played a nasty joke with Professor Medvedev: he didn't understand that iPhone-4, put out in the window of the White House, was a signal of network failure":o))))The Bad Boy, as we know from the Sov. fairy-tale, sold Motherland to bourgoisie for "a barrel of jam and a basket of bisquits".Advanced President Medvedev in the XXI century opted for a new iphone and a hamburger. :o)China began making a new toy: "Plush Bear with iphone":o)))))))))))))When the spy network was grabatised, Steve Jobs called Medvedev, apologised, and promised to correct the new iPhone bug.:o))))Some place at an American McDonalds: ".. and if you don't take your rockets out from Europe I will eat all the fried potatoes..." :o)))))- Mister President, CIA has info about a Russian spy network, but it is well conspirated we can't trace them up yet.- No problem, next week arrives Medvedev, give him a cool mobile phone and trace the calls.:o))))))))))Before tsars used to give "half-a-tsardom - for a horse!"And now - "spy network for an iPhone" :o("Why did they fail?" - wondered Medvedev, discussing the failure of the network with the FSB head by his new iPhone...:o))))Instruction to the spies in the far-away America:Official part:"You are staying in the USA for an extended period of time. Your education, bank accounts, car and house - all of it is to be used for reaching one aim only - complete your Mission, that is, to look for, and find connections, in the political circles of the USA and send information to the External Intelligence Service."Un-official part (which didn't get to the media):"Letters zh (i), sh (i) - are followed by letter i. Father Frost does not exist. In Motherland all is fine, your pet bear is being well fed. To raise your morals you will soon receive with a group of paratroopers a balalayka and a matryoshka doll.":o))))Russian Government has successfully reached agreements with America, with Europe; even with China.Now is left only a minor detail - to reach agreement with Russia. Thu 01 Jul 2010 02:44:56 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=96#comment120 Nik, :o))))))Pity you don't know, there was a Vysotsky song of spies, in 1970-s, there were instructions from the spy boss:"... dress up nicely, and at the Trade Fair, a man will approach you.He'll ask you "Would you like some cherries?" - to which you reply "Sure";Then he passes you a loaf of bread with explosives -Bring that loaf of bread to me."... and later on of that occasion they'll trumpet in BBC " :o))))come up to you Thu 01 Jul 2010 02:01:11 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=95#comment119 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS8EIpAZybg&feature=player_embeddedHumour from Shetlands!Exta-dedicated to WebAliceinwonderland! Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:43:47 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=95#comment118 """And perhaps you'd like to explain why Stalin and Krushchev thought lend lease to have been indispensible in 1941-1943 whereas you seem to not think this. Read Richard Overy's "Russia's war" before you make any more silly comments on this, please. Of all non military production (tanks, planes, artillery), the USA supplied well over 50% (rail tracks, box cars, trucks, jeeps, radio sets, telegraph wire, army boots, spam, etc....) and in some products even more than 80% so the Soviets could focus on tanks, planes and artillery."""Well I am not as uninformed as you think, I very much know about the US & even British supplies arriving from Iran to complement the Russian war effort. Stories of Russian soldiers driving trucks having counters in miles and latin letters asking their generals and getting answers that were "...Russian material for export to capitalist countries confiscated for the war effort...".The aid was of a huge scale yet it did not judge the outcome of the war. It did aid a lot Russians though giving them chance to reply faster to the German offensive after the first shock. Without it still Russians would win the war but it would take them 1 year more and having to bring their front line behind all their main cities and much more close to their supply lines in central Russia..As a side effect of that the Normandy landing would also occur about 2 years later cos Americans wouldn't try to face Germans if they had the luxury to concentrate their interest in the west (e.g. sending 1 million troops with appropriate material there. In that case, given the rations Americans set for their needs in troops, they would have to employ 4 million troops on the landing which even them could not had organised logistically...Indeed the landing of Normandy aimed at securing western Europe. It was preplanned anyway long ago and in conjunction with Russians. Wed 30 Jun 2010 21:30:30 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=94#comment117 @112 mvr512"I take it you refer to the 1933 'Ermächtigungsgesetz' (enabling act) which 'enabled' the government to take over the legislative powers of the national parliament."Ouch, my head. Of course it was the Enabling Act of 33!"Funny thing is, we now have a situation which has some similarities with that. Through successive EU treaties, with Lisbon making it worse than it was, national parliaments have been de facto stripped of some/many of their legislative powers, and those have been moved to Brussels where they are wielded by a combination of commission and council. We all know the council is representatives of national governments. So in a way, national governments have been enabled through EU treaties to wield the very legislative powers (together with the commission) that previously belonged to the national parliaments."Yes, the parliaments are deliberately conceding power in favour of Brussels.The parallel I see is that in both cases the people were subjected to a newly formed body without being asked.I don`t want to put Brussels on a level with the NSDAP of course. Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:10:50 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=93#comment116 May be because troubles were bigger and they couldn't allow themselves mistakes. Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:09:57 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=92#comment115 To say nothing "Shetland islands", you mean, to want England?! Into the USSR? :o)))))))))))))))))Self-handedly, upon yourself :o))))))))))), together forever :o))))))))))ojpowermeerBesides back then the grass was greener the leaders seemingly bigger and more altogether knew who their allies are in war. Wed 30 Jun 2010 16:08:30 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=91#comment114 Had Germany been defeated by Russians, Soviet Union's Western border would have been somewhere near Lisbon.[as Stalin had planned]Northern one - in Shetlands.And the southern one - perhaps in Pireus._____________Incredible these 60-70 yrs or whataver the chap is packed in the Kremlin wall - and still willing individuals extrapolate on his behalf what he had wanted and planned :o)))))))))))While we haven't noticed that he didn't get what he wanted - once :o))))))))) Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:57:29 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=91#comment113 "Yamamoto even studied in America for a while. At Harvard."Perhaps that's why his comments were much wiser than comments of those who studied at Patrice Lumumba Int. University in USSR. (yes, it shows)._________________________- How many were they, such Yamamoto-s?- Presumably, we count in thousands graduates and all had their programmes throughout the 20th century FOC?When landing in Kabul airport these days, I think it is wise to remember it was designed by a USSR graduate. Wind-rose and things.And I think whenever somethng technical still works in strange off far-away places, be that Africa or, whatever - you are likely to encounter a USSR grad. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:43:53 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=90#comment112 106.Nik wrote: Now, in Europe Americans landed (only with the help of British and others who normally alone should be able to contain the Germans...) only when Germans had lost the war to Russians.Normandy was to prevent Stalin from taking over all of Europe. Be grateful that it worked, because otherwise uncle Joe might have had your forefathers shot for some reason.However, without the landing threat in the direction of Western Europe, Germany sends its troops there to the East. The succes of the Soviet operation Bagration depended on troops being drawn away to counter Normandy landings. At no time was more than 60% of the German army on the eastern front.And perhaps you'd like to explain why Stalin and Krushchev thought lend lease to have been indispensible in 1941-1943 whereas you seem to not think this. Read Richard Overy's "Russia's war" before you make any more silly comments on this, please. Of all non military production (tanks, planes, artillery), the USA supplied well over 50% (rail tracks, box cars, trucks, jeeps, radio sets, telegraph wire, army boots, spam, etc....) and in some products even more than 80% so the Soviets could focus on tanks, planes and artillery.And that is without realizing that the Canadian and British armies too were partially supplied by the USA, who themselves in 1939 had an army smaller than Portugal's and no tanks, planes, artillery and fleet to speak of. What they did have (a little fleet) was mostly obsolete. And it all had to be built from scratch. Without USA effort, either Germany or the Soviet Union ends up in control of Europe. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:26:10 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=89#comment111 Before continueing to post, I'd like to point out that I am actually in favor of some form of European federation or USE or whatever you want to call it. However, my idea is to do this on an OPT-IN basis and countries cannot join without a succesful referendum. The EU as it is now I consider to be unreformable and not in any way a good basis for what I proposed. 48.threnodio_II wrote: Don't resort to language calculated to facilitate point scoring unless you have a point to make. As long as many EU-ites keep referring to the EU as 'Europe' I shall refer to the commission as 'politburo'. Either you want to directly elect the Commission, in which case you wave goodbye to sovereignty at the national level or you wish to retain a significant element of sovereign authority, in which case the governments you elect decide who should serve on the Commission. How about a third option: no commission at all? 'tis the one I prefer. Undo all political integration and retain only a minor number of officials of folks to coordinate things in an exclusively economic community set up on intergovernmental basis. Which is what it should have remained in the first place. 52.John_from_Hendon wrote: I've been calling for more democracy in Europe (you could find this out if you read back through my posts) I want to be able to directly elect the President of Europe. I really do not see why a bunch of state leaders should be able carve this selection up on the basis of buggin's turn. I want a figurehead that has been voted for by more Europeans than any other on the basis on one member on vote. One slight flaw in the plan. No demos = no democracy. And there is no demos on the EU level. Democracy takes place on the national level. It should be like this:Voter votes for national parliament that makes lawsNo extra layers added, at any time. Why should national government ministers be able to go meet their colleagues in Brussels together with the commission and be able to make laws and thus bypassing their own national parliaments. That is NOT democratic, by any standard.It takes more than an election for there to be democracy, one needs not only something that can be referred to as demos, but the folks we vote for actually must have the powers normally given to a parliament (such as full parliamentary control over the executive) in order to be called a parliament. The EU parliament does not remotely meet this standard. Also, a handful of countries voting amongst eachother isn't democracy either.54.jefferson2000 wrote: It would have been interesting to see what the result would have been, if the WHOLE EU-population had voted on the EU constitution on a single day and not on a national level.Indeed it would have been. But the thing is, politicians know very well the peoples don't agree with them and therefore feel it necessary to sideline the people and avoid referendums where necessary.Regardless of the result however, it would not have been a democratic vote, not even if it was a no. But imagine that in one of maybe even in 7 or 8 countries, 100% of the population would have voted against it. Why should those democracies then have something imposed on them by members of OTHER democracies? If other democracies want to abolish themselves, fine, but why should democracies that disagreed be bound?87.DurstigerMann wrote: The NSDAP was brought to power not by votes alone. Actually they suffered severe losses during the elections of 32. But power-hungry politicians like Kurt von Schleicher and most of all Franz von Papen helped Hitler to seize power. The Enforcing Act of 33 was a decision made by the parliament. They [national parliament] basically abolished themselves.I take it you refer to the 1933 'Ermächtigungsgesetz' (enabling act) which 'enabled' the government to take over the legislative powers of the national parliament.Funny thing is, we now have a situation which has some similarities with that. Through successive EU treaties, with Lisbon making it worse than it was, national parliaments have been de facto stripped of some/many of their legislative powers, and those have been moved to Brussels where they are wielded by a combination of commission and council. We all know the council is representatives of national governments. So in a way, national governments have been enabled through EU treaties to wield the very legislative powers (together with the commission) that previously belonged to the national parliaments. Wed 30 Jun 2010 15:17:02 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=88#comment110 RE #107Yamamoto even studied in America for a while. At Harvard.Perhaps that's why his comments were much wiser than comments of those who studied at Patrice Lumumba Int. University in USSR. (yes, it shows). Wed 30 Jun 2010 14:09:10 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=87#comment109 1+1=2 only in a decimal system. Not in a binary one, or any other.[I don't know what kind of mathematics they teach @ technical colleges these days.] Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:50:03 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=87#comment108 American natives have disguised themselves as American natives?Now, that's pretty funny, Nik, pretty funny.BTW. I know that you are Russia's staunch aficionado (whichever Russia: tsarist, Soviet, putinesque...)But don't delude yourself.Had Germany been defeated by Russians, Soviet Union's Western border would have been somewhere near Lisbon.[as Stalin had planned]Northern one - in Shetlands.And the southern one - perhaps in Pireus.And you would have been posting in Russian on a Russian forum, rather than here - in English.As they'd say in World Cup parlance: USA -1, Soviet Union-0; eliminated from further competition.Q.E.D. Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:44:03 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=86#comment107 This post has been Removed Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:41:42 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=85#comment106 #107 "Japan was tiny. I do not remember how many times less production it had in comparison to US"Japan was no slouch militarily hence why they overran a lot of south east Asia at the start of the war. Admittedly compared with the US potential they were in trouble. I believe Yatamoto himself had travelled in America prior to the war and had advised that attacking it and waking the sleeping giant would be a monumental mistake. Even if the Imperial Army had managed to reach the shores of America, they would have been in for a long and bloody struggle to make any headway and Yatamoto knew it. Wed 30 Jun 2010 13:00:49 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=84#comment105 # 102. At 10:52am on 30 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"""...as far as war goes, the USA beats up on the smallest countries in the world and generally gets a hiding"""Refer to Emmanuel Todd, "After the Empire"."""Invading tiny little countries, like, for example, Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan was indeed a shame."""Japan was tiny. I do not remember how many times less production it had in comparison to US, 10 times less perhaps? All I remember is that Germany and Japan together did not add to half the US military production... Do not watch too many movies where they give large Japanese aircraft carriers and such... if Japanese had 4 of them, Americans had 40 of them - I am not kidding, the difference of magnitude was of that order. There is absolute no comparison.Now, in Europe Americans landed (only with the help of British and others who normally alone should be able to contain the Germans...) only when Germans had lost the war to Russians. Still Americans had to face some 300,000 Germans in France while Russians had beaten some 3,O00,000 of them. Not to mention that Germans sent their real soldiers armed with their best stuff in the east and those who pulled strings (richer kids) armed most often with whatever found, to France. Still it was said by Americans themselves that they would not move forward if not having at least 3 times more forces than the Germans.Frankly, one has yet to find a battle where Americans fared efficiently (i.e. providing good results with minimal employment of troops)."""Just like we got soundly defeated by the itsy-bitsy Soviet Union (without any nukes) in the Cold War and fell apart as a result."""Soviet Union was running under a system that British & American investors had paid to install (i.e. creating their own enemy there... it happens you know as it is an efficient way to run the world, even if you don't rule the half of it for some time: one cannot eat more than a spoonufll a at a time...). Hence it was a system bound to fail. It had nothign to do with the organisation of the Soviet military."""P.S. I'm not sure who lost in the Civil War."""I am not sure it was a civil war. It was war between different states. Americans since abolishing the "British/English" dominion, were not a nation but a sum of people living in different states. If some states decided to go independent it was their right and their choice had to be respected. Thus the war was a proper war between two different states. The northern, more industrialised, more rich and more populous, mathematically was bound to win and imposed its will on the south."""Or Revolutionary War, for that matter. [It was so long time ago.]"""A rebelion is a rebelion. A plot is a plot. A revolution is based on the will of a mass of people. That revolution came out of the will of a small circle of people, often quite recent arrivals there not to pay taxes. They did not even dare to show their faces and they had to dress as American natives... such pride they had over their cause!!!"""[Although I may wrong]"""Do not know about you but myself I am correct as 1+1=2. It is pure mathematics. Wed 30 Jun 2010 11:59:51 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=83#comment104 100. At 10:19am on 30 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"""Nick, re: leading Socialist figures...I landed on Venizelos"""This Evangelos Venizelos is not related directly by family to the old one Eleutherios Venizelos (perhaps the biggest inadverted traitor or downright consenting traitor of the 20th century...). This is fat academic married to a powerful family, a proper arrivist who made the round of all political parties before landing at PASOK where since day 1 became a top member (thus you can imagine who pushed behind). It is said that after Jeffrey's catastrophic government, he might as well take on the leadership of the party or create his own party with disaffected ND (right wing) members like Dora Bakoyanni etc. So much for socialism. You should check the other fat guy, Theodoros Pangalos, yes the "anti-German" one: grandson of a general & dictator, son of a German collaborator (brought up with Wermacht milk and Gestapo chocolates... now pretending to speak on behalf of the massacred Greek people... whatever...), became a socialist. That is socialism in Greece. Check SYRIZA the other left wing party. Led by Alekos Alavanos: his family owns whole islands, they have property in the States and if I am not mistaken he holds also a US passport... who passed leadership to a youngster, Alexis Tsipras, also from an overly rich family, a youngster who never worked in his life passing from university to political party works.... that is socialism in Greece.... it is really moving to see all these overly rich people caring so much "for the worker's right"!!!"""BTW. I understand that people employed by tourist industry are livid about illegal docker strikes at Pireus and at Greek airlines, pointing out, that fully 20% of Greece's GDI comes from tourism.Now, they themselves may lose their jobs."""We have seen worse. Take a rather older example from the 1980s when Jeffrey's father ruled & ruined the country. Back then Greece was a rather fresh member of the EEC and Japanese (back then in their top conditoin) had declared their interest to invest in the country in rather large projects including even car assembly factories (NISSAN) followed by bids to undertake the construction of the country's all necessary highways (that should had been constructed in the 70s and which even today are far from being completed...). Jeffrey's father told them now and finally decided to kick out even the NISSAN assembly factory that was working full time and very successfully (acclaimed by NISSAN as their best assembly line in the world, and that despite Greece being not any nation with huge industrial base, thus a testament to the potential of Greek working people when placed in the right framework). So on the one hand the PASOK government started taxing the assembly parts as full car (a world first!) which nullified the advantage of NISSAN having a factory there. Still, no matter if the payback period increased, the factory was in the positive and would make a profit hoping for the cancellation of this suicidal policy, but then the Workers Unions entered in the game dragging the well paid NISSAN workers (and when I mean dragging, I mean BY FORCE: beating people who wanted to work, installing barricades in the gates etc.) to go out to strike on the first ridiculous occasion including... solidarity strikes to marginal sectors down to protests for... Nicaragoua and Palestine (of course no Cyprus there! workers unions will protest on anyone's elses right except for those of the Greek workers & the Greek nation, for obvious reasons, revealing where they come from and how Greek really is their order-line...). As a result, NISSAN closed the country and with it left all Japanese interest in Greece, leaving behind 1000s of unemployed who at best found café-jobs, while the Greek auto-market was filled with the more expensive European cars imported when in the 2-3 years that the brand new Nissan factory managed to work, the market had been filled with locally produced Nissan (from a 4% of the market they had taken the 25%-30%, also thanks to the good quality and the superb Nissan Sunny which was better than the equivalent class Fiats and Peugeots (and more cool than VWs while being 25% cheaper) which meant that a huge sum of money spent on cars was recircled in the country).So do you really get what is the role of """workers""" """""""""unions""""""".Check the PAME (Greek communist syndicate) in wikipedia:""The All-Workers Militant Front (Greek: Πανεργατικό Αγωνιστικό Μέτωπο, ΠΑΜΕ, Panergatiko Agonistiko Metopo, PAME)..."pame" (also means "lets go") is a coordination centre within the Greek trade union movement...""What? "Coordination centre"? Nice one! Now go up to Nissan example.""...founded on the initiative of Communist Party of Greece trade-unionists in April 1999. Amongst it membership are also cadres of Communist Renewal...""..all the nice people there... Average working experience of members 1-2 years... if they added their years of work it would not be sufficient to get a pension even under the old pension system....""PAME is critical of the official positions and leadership of the General Confederation of Greek Workers. According to its website, the trade unions that are affiliated in PAME have 415,000 members in total as of 2005. PAME is internationally affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.""... GSEE, another good old wasp-filled tree-hole. Their coca-cola lost its gas, thus the ascension of PAME. Note that 415,000 members are not members of PAME: in each sector workers are traditionally forced to belong to a trade union, then unions include internally teams from organisation like PAME. PAME members are thus just a tiny minority who of course since 1999 try to make themselves most visible having gained nicknames like "terrorists", "talibans" etc."""Moreover, an image of Greece as a prime tourist destination may be damaged long term."""The image of Greece as a prime tourist destination has been long tarnished by the inability of the country to do anything about it. We are talking about a country where the prime minister (Jeffrey's father) once called tourism a profession of "servitude" and that he "would not let Greeks become "les garçons de l'Europe" (populism of the most idiotic style - even the most uneducated of his own supporters were smart enough to know that tourism is an excellent business and had ridiculed this sayings) ... i.e. he did not want Greeks to get occupied too much with tourism (actually as you saw above he did not want Greeks to be occupied with anything at all) hence by 1990s the level of services to tourists had fallen even below late 70s standards. It is a big discussion but won't do it here. Prefer to talk on capitalocommunists. Wed 30 Jun 2010 11:40:33 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=83#comment103 And now I hear an explanation that mighty euro is sinking again because, you guessed it, Chinese economy grew much slower in April than predicted.[not by 1.7%, but by 0.3%]I guess Google will have to invest and employ more people in PRC to help. Wed 30 Jun 2010 10:06:28 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=82#comment102 Re #102 P.S. I've just remembered that United States was also beaten by tiny Spain in Spanish-American War and lost a sizeable territory as a result.Good too after U.S. having committed all those atrocities in Cuba.Which we repeated not so long ago in former Yugoslavia; and got rightly pummeled for it as well. Wed 30 Jun 2010 10:01:30 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=81#comment101 "The only real war the USA ever fought was the civil war, and they lost it. Ever since then, it has been drums and flags and banners and uh-rah! as they invade tiny little countries. Even then, the USA often got beat.[...] as far as war goes, the USA beats up on the smallest countries in the world and generally gets a hiding." [#97]Invading tiny little countries, like, for example, Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan was indeed a shame.But at least we got a good beating from both of them.[although those weren't "real wars"]Just like we got soundly defeated by the itsy-bitsy Soviet Union (without any nukes) in the Cold War and fell apart as a result.And now with citizens of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas desperately escaping en mass to affluent Mexico to join its mighty army's succesful campaign against local narkocartels we're bound to lose Mexican War. Again. :(P.S. I'm not sure who lost in the Civil War.Or Revolutionary War, for that matter. [It was so long time ago.][Although I may wrong] Wed 30 Jun 2010 09:52:49 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=80#comment100 #97 Yup...definitely need to add you to the MA2 'Mad as a bag of ferrets' basket."Switzerland has a very long and very distinguished military record against powers larger than itself."I think the last time involved muskets..."Georgia believed the america hype and got plastered. South Korea believed the hype and lost a ship for their troubles."So the USA avoided risking a full blown war with Russia with the REALLY BAD potential of that and is letting South Korea take the lead with the North (it being their country and all). I can guess what you would be saying if the USA had reacted in the opposite fashion."As far as war goes, Americans are unproven"I take it you do not know any US Servicemen (real ones, not armchair ones like MA2). I could question their wisdom and impulsive behaviour but never their courage. I would rely on them before any hatemonger cowering in Switzerland when it gets rough. Wed 30 Jun 2010 09:30:15 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=79#comment99 Nick, re: leading Socialist figures...I landed on Venizelos.Although not like a ton of bricks. [sorry!]BTW. I understand that people employed by tourist industry are livid about illegal docker strikes at Pireus and at Greek airlines, pointing out, that fully 20% of Greece's GDI comes from tourism.Now, they themselves may lose their jobs.Moreover, an image of Greece as a prime tourist destination may be damaged long term.[I know that after similar, repeated "labor actions" many people, including myself, have stopped using Alitalia, and more recently - BA.Unreliability being a key word.] Wed 30 Jun 2010 09:19:17 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=79#comment98 #72 Opinion I guess you must have migrated to Australia ; why else would you be following BBC news and Europe ?Many British people , like myself , were horrified when Britain joined the common market and were limited on trading with Australia and New Zealand .Trade Unions and the workers they represent have priced themselves out of the market . Asians now make many of the things that were formerly made in Europe . I note that Berlusconi in Italy's austerity measures , is drastically cutting the subsidy to " La Scala " opera house Milan . Again , the unions have implemented rules and regulations that make productions grossly more expensive than necessary . I am an opera lover ; but I favour sponsorship . I remember at Florence in the 1960s ; operas staged with borrowed/hired scenery and costumes , a limited number of chorus , but the finest principal singers of the day . It is perhaps the ignorance and complacency of ordinary people to exercise their democratic rights , that has led to the mess we are in today .You are alright in Australia . I have few complaints in Thailand ; life doesn't have to be so complicated and expensive . The British pound has fallen so far that the exchange rate is not good ; but one gets by .My wife and I pay no taxes other than VAT and 10bt a month for local refuse collection . Our highest monthly bill is for electricity 2000bt a month , most of which is for air conditioning in our bedroom . Wed 30 Jun 2010 05:19:39 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=78#comment97 Marcus, I must voice my concern that you have been, once again, breaking the house rules for this fine blog.Control yourself, sir. It is most unseemly, and brings down the tone of the entire joint. Tue 29 Jun 2010 23:47:58 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=77#comment96 marcus wrote:"I'll bet under those mountains of snow there are mountains of gold, hard currency, and in those computers untold wealth."Meh. It was actually pretty warm today, but I guess there is still some snow about.Marcus, if you want to read some really excruciatingly embarrassing stuff about Switzerland, see what you can find out about the Swiss federal reserves of gold.I am told that a few years ago, just a few months before the price of gold began its incredible rise to dizzy heights, some bright spark in the federal treasury decided that the best thing for Switzerland was to sell all its gold and invest in equity.Now there was a lot of debate about it, but after a while all the expert economists shouted down the ignorant farmers, and they decided to sell all the gold. At the very bottom of the market, it now turns out.The losses from this policy, in retrospect, are staggering. They are the crying shame of every proud swiss. Seriously, if you want to see a swiss sad, ask them about the federal sale of their gold. It was possibly the worst single economic decision ever made in the country. Regarding the military option, well i don't think it is arguable that nukes would take out Switzerland pretty swiftly.But unlike the USA, Switzerland has a very long and very distinguished military record against powers larger than itself. Switzerland did not build it martial heritage the way the USA did, by picking off small colonies belonging to other countries, and timidly staying out of real conflicts for fear of getting a wupping.The only real war the USA ever fought was the civil war, and they lost it. Ever since then, it has been drums and flags and banners and uh-rah! as they invade tiny little countries. Even then, the USA often got beat.The USA should really stick to business. Buying and selling. As far as war goes, Americans are unproven and unlikely prospects against a real military power.Indeed, if it wasn't for nuclear weapons, Americans would probably have been invaded and conquered by mexico by now.Even Iran is too much to contemplate! As for the mega power of North korea, well better leave that one well alone. You lost there already.Seriously, look at the fortunes of America's "friends" recently. Georgia believed the america hype and got plastered. South Korea believed the hype and lost a ship for their troubles.Sorry, marcus, but the record doesn't show the USA to be a historical military power. Hollywood movies, for sure. And comic book heros, there is no question. The USA is a world leader in comic book fantasies.But as far as war goes, the USA beats up on the smallest countries in the world and generally gets a hiding. Tue 29 Jun 2010 21:22:14 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=76#comment95 This post has been Removed Tue 29 Jun 2010 21:11:45 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=75#comment94 90. At 5:05pm on 29 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"""The last (11th) of alleged Sov..errr..Russian "sleeper" spies in US has been apprehended in Cyprus.Before he managed to fly away from Larnaka to Budapest.I knew Greece and Hungary were in trouble even before I read this breaking news."""Larnaka is in Cyprus which is a different state. So why really should Greece be in trouble? The reality is that Greece is in trouble since long ago, several decades, in fact more than a century... practically they are in trouble for really really a long time and it won't stop as things have. And I am not refering to the current financial crisis... money are the last of the Greeks' current problems."""92. At 5:17pm on 29 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:Nik,I've managed to fly to Athens (on Aegean) and sail away from Pireus (to Mykonos, Santorini, Rodos and Bodrum) before current strikes."""Have a nice holiday."""[fortunately I can set sails myself and even read a compass]"""Good. Use a GPS for making it easy but have always your map and your compass next to you. Good wind to you!"""But those who came later than me don't speak in glowing terms about Greece, and don't dream about returning there as tourists."""It is really a long time ago that Greece has been badly covered, sometimes fairly sometimes unfairly. Frankly, that is the last thing on my mind. The love of others never did any good for Greeks, constantly kicked and slaughtered and genocided and then put into civil war. We are so fed up with friends that now we prefer enemies."""Perhaps a comment on Communist-controlled unions?"""Yes. Communism in Greece was installed by someone whose name I wont write cos it is not Greek. Nor the second one, nor the third. Anyway, communism was never popular, was obliterrated by 1930s by the police and was revived under a huge British effort during the WWII (the British had brought in Greece to rule it better), so that they prepare the civil war. From there on the communists in Greece had always links to Britain & US while their relation to Moscow was just for the peoples' eyes. Chief communist leaders in Greece were people like Kokkalis (check his son: who is this man, and for whom he worked 25 years back and how he opened his entreprise, check also for whom he works today and what parties he supports... check his football team too.... ). Check the links of the leading socialist figures (Papandreou, Venizelos, Alavanos, Tsipras, Papariga).You have to understand deeply this notion of anglosaxon communism in Greece to understand why certain things happen in the country. When you start getting to the core of events, then you will understand how is it possible for Greek anarchists we see in the streets to be kids of high-profile politicians, of judges, of top journalists etc. You will understand why the decisions of """workers""" unions never protect the real interests of the working people of the country but actually work against them, downright against them."""And once at it, on price gouging during the recession?"""Nothing new under the sun. We have this for some more than 20 years... since the glorious days of americanogreek socialism.93. At 5:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"""Nik: "North Korea is just a justification for the US to be present there. That is all."So Nik, why don't ya remove that justification?"""I can't remove Russia. It is too big. Britain tried it for almost 300 years now, Russia is still there. The question is, why would anyone want to do so. Britain I understand, US I understand but why the rest of the world would need to care about their interests? N. Korea has chosen its path, good or bad, leave them in their corner. Tue 29 Jun 2010 19:22:00 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=75#comment93 #88. MacTurk wrote:"John_from_Hendon wrote: - no European based World war since 1945" in #7 above I did not write"Nothing to do with the existence of the EU or its predecessors." which you quoted. By sticking these two quotes together it appear that I was anti-European when I am the reverse. (see #7 above fro context)Please be more careful with your quotation!!!! Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:56:35 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=74#comment92 Nik: "North Korea is just a justification for the US to be present there. That is all."So Nik, why don't ya remove that justification?[you could get more famous than Mcarthur] Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:20:24 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=73#comment91 Nik,I've managed to fly to Athens (on Aegean) and sail away from Pireus (to Mykonos, Santorini, Rodos and Bodrum) before current strikes.[fortunately I can set sails myself and even read a compass]But those who came later than me don't speak in glowing terms about Greece, and don't dream about returning there as tourists.Perhaps a comment on Communist-controlled unions?And once at it, on price gouging during the recession? Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:17:34 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=72#comment90 No more Polish frozen cauliflower?Never mind, if Chinese lead and melamine additives wont' kill ya, they'll only make you stronger. Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:07:53 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=71#comment89 The last (11th) of alleged Sov..errr..Russian "sleeper" spies in US has been apprehended in Cyprus.Before he managed to fly away from Larnaka to Budapest.I knew Greece and Hungary were in trouble even before I read this breaking news. Tue 29 Jun 2010 16:05:29 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=70#comment88 Re #53Quote "..it is not a bad idea to pay attention to what Marcus writes, when he is not childishly provoking outrage. He is no hack when it comes to Economics or History..."Really?So, these quotes from the author of #53, like so much of his contributions, are only so much verbiage:Quote - - 18th May, 2010 - -".. In any case I feel blessed to have been invited into the rare tapestry of Marcus' thoughts, and it has had no ill effect on my view of Europe and the EUro sovereign debt crisis.." which was followed on 19th May 2010, by, ".. underneath the moronic sports fan persona MAII is consistent in his Economic analyses. He is also consistently wrong..".Keeping in mind the vast intellectual capacity I suppose confusion over what was written on a previous Blog should be expected. Tue 29 Jun 2010 14:57:39 GMT+1 MacTurk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=70#comment87 I have so missed MAII and his insane musings about how "..flatten every house in Zurich in twenty minutes", which while true, do not seem to involve any policy logic beyond the five year old saying "I can do it, so I will do it". How is the trade war going, Marcus?mvr512, in posts 41-44, wrote variously:"John_from_Hendon wrote: - no European based World war since 1945Nothing to do with the existence of the EU or its predecessors" Obviously, rising prosperity and increased trade, thereby reducing tensions, between the two main friction points in Europe - France and Germany - had NOTHING to do with the lack of war. I do not discount NATO, but to posit that the whole development of the EU happened in a vacuum is silly. "- freedom travel for all Europeans without the need for visas in Europe.The EU is not a necessary prerequisite for this" No, but it was the institution that nailed it into international law."- freedom to work anywhere in EuropeThe EU is not a necessary prerequisite for this". And again, no, but it was the institution that nailed it into international law.(Also, re Freeman's comment that "- freedom to work anywhere in Europe**** DID THAT BEFORE EU ****", he is being a little economical with the truth. Prior to the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, no-one had the unfettered right to live and, especially, work within the EU. There were always residence permits, work permits, limits on fields of work, etc. Starter for five points; which institution changed that?)."I have generally found that people who support the EU tend to dislike democracy and prefer it that governments can combine with a Politburo (Commission) to make directives and regulations and thus being able to bypass elected national parliaments that represent democracy. Many pro-EU/anti-democracy types tend to be elitists with university degrees who look down upon the 'common rabble'". Speaking personally,I support the EU, and am totally in favour of more democracy therein. And if the majority young people have university degrees, and disagree with you, does that mean that they are elitist? Re the Euro, the fact is that European banks did lose a huge source of income from foreign exchange when it was introduced. As for ordinary people always losing out, that is your opinion. I happen to disagree with it, as I have found that I keep more cash in my pocket with a single currency, rather then seeing it evaporate in the exchange offices. "Why do people who love the EU many times seem to display contempt for democracy? The EU is thoroughly, utterly and deliberately undemocratic so if you like the EU, in my view you are an enemy of democracy." Again, your opinion, not necessarily fact. "The EU has NO BENEFITS whatsoever for ordinary people. The only people who profit are bankers, corporate types and politicians". Again, I, and the people in my office would heartily disagree with you, living and working where we do, and there are some ten different nationalities among them, not counting non-EU."The electorates never approved their parliaments abdicating responsibility and sending its powers to Brussels to be wielded by an unelected Politburo (Commission)." Excuse me, ours did. Every transfer of power, and every major change in our relationship with the evolving EU, was subject to referendum in Ireland. "Furthermore, the mainstream politicians deliberately keep deceiving the national electorates into thinking national parliaments still matter, because they know that if people knew how the EU really worked, then there would be an uprising. Therefore, the mainstream politicians supported by the mainstream media have for decades conspired to keep this knowledge away from the common people". Opinion and conspiracy theory, not fact. Please also note that constant repetition of a statement - eg "The EU is thoroughly, utterly and deliberately undemocratic" - does not make it any truer. The EU is what we have, and it does need to be improved. The democratic deficit does need to be addressed. However, smashing it up and going back to the status quo ante would be a huge step backwards. Visa restrictions, competitive devaluations, beggar my neighbour economic policies, deportation of British citizens from Spain and France( the main beneficiary of free movement of citizens to other states is actually Britain),it is such an attractive picture, no? Tue 29 Jun 2010 14:15:29 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=69#comment86 @68 Mathiasen"You did not take you viewpoints to Karlsruhe, of course. In case there should be any doubt: They don't stand a ghost of chance to get any reality process in Karlsruhe.I shall go into any account since it would be a repetition of what I written here frequently, but you should know so much of the German history so that you understand, why the German constitution does not allow for referenda."Fifty percent of the judged in Karlsruhe are nominated by a committee from the Bundestag. Nuff said.I don`t really understand your comment about history and referenda. The NSDAP was brought to power not by votes alone. Actually they suffered severe losses during the elections of 32. But power-hungry politicians like Kurt von Schleicher and most of all Franz von Papen helped Hitler to seize power.The Enforcing Act of 33 was a decision made by the parliament.They basically abolished themselves.The voters gave the NSDAP only 44% on 5 May 33.One would think that the myth about the 19 August referendum is dispelled by now.Anway:By the time Hindenburg died, the Nazis had seized de-facto power over all of Germany. Upon Hindenburgs death, the Army of the Weimar Republic was sworn to Hitler. All political enemies and parties next to the NSDAP were abolished.When the people had to vote on whether they wanted Hitler to be the President as well, they had no real choice.Hitler didn`t even need that referendum, as he was already in full control of everything.If you consider how Hindenburg junior lied to the people and how the Nazis already were present in any aspect of daily life, the 11% of "no" votes are not low.In conclusion, if one was to learn one thing from the history of the Weimar Republic, its that you should distrust the parliament and politicians lusting for power rather than the citizens and their voice. Tue 29 Jun 2010 13:26:09 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=68#comment85 Huaimek, "The people who think up directives like this know nothing about cooking , eggs are used by numbers on the basis that an average egg weighs 2ozs , eggs are graded anyway to large , medium and small ."Absolutely, even in Russia :o) - small, medium and large. Here, though, available in boxes of 6, 10 and 30. In supermarkets.And in small tiny shops - even by 1! You can go buy 1 egg. Tue 29 Jun 2010 13:17:45 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=67#comment84 MA, @78I don't know many Russian spies personally, so can't tell, really.Come to think about it, only a couple. But then, last I heard, they actually seem to me to be absolutely fine! :o)))))))))))))You worry yourself as usual, for nothing. Relax. Tue 29 Jun 2010 13:10:55 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=66#comment83 opinion @72"I live in Australia and believe me the market is dominated by Asian products at all levels. 40 to 50 years ago the Australian market was clearly dominated at all levels by USA and European products. This example just shows that Europeans products and services lost the market in Australia. I wonder in how many other parts of the world is a similar situation?"Opinion, the other week, on top of all things un-eatable (goods) - there appeared eatable things "made in China" in Russian supermarkets.I stretched my hand towards frozen cauliflower, expecting to see below a familiar line "Poland" - and saw "China".Now, that we at home are unable to freeze up a piece of cauliflower, or a carrot, or any thing other :o)))))))))) - I am long used to. Too high tech a procedure and stressful, for the Russian brains :o))))Only fresh own vegetables, and only as long as they are ? existent? (in summer) To make a jar of jam anywhere beyond by hand at home - Russian agriculture can not. Neither to pickle the multiple own cucumbers.So far so good, all vegetables frozen has always been Polish.But - Chinese? cabbage? ???!!!this is something. Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:56:39 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=66#comment82 MAII - what makes you think I'm German? Besides, you continuously post controversial stuff that is, depending on the reader's views, funny, offensive or outright silly. Webalice - the issue is not that cbw could marry his wife without the EU...I can marry a Chinese girl in China. Or maybe Russia. I like Russians. Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:51:37 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=65#comment81 MA, I've heard you are moving NATO HQ from Brussels to Germany; why would be that? Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:41:50 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=64#comment80 @61 MAII"And here's a reality check for you drugstore man, if it weren't for the fact that the US is the world's dominant economy, the US dollar wouldn't be the world's dominant currency."You forgot to use past tense in the middle of that sentence."...that the US was the world`s dominant economy""And here's another one for you, without German bank financed exports to Greece and other EU countries that can't pay them back, Germany is Greece delayed."That must be it. German cars and other costly hightech goods are sold to social welfare recipients and not to the tax evading rich people of Greece.Now everything makes sense. Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:41:38 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=63#comment79 Gheryando @35"I agree with CBW that using offensive language does not further our cause. However, I do see where he is coming from. Especially to you CBW, the benefits of EU membership should be obvious, having such a diverse background but I guess there are these and those.."Gheryando, you are breaking my heart. You mean, that all that Voice of America was saying to us in the USSR (while being hushed as much as possible :o) - was lies?That there is freedom of travel beyond the fence; a certain cool_brush_work can easily move from London to Brussels and even marry his Finnish wife and no one will prohibit him?While there was no EU still yet on the horizon - and still all those incredible things (as listed above) were possible. We were definitely told that the grass is more green on the other side of the fence - and now it appears it wasn't - Voice of America lied, without the EU a cool_brush_work would never.aj jai jai.Well I always knew we were fooled. About the grass.:o))))))))))))))))))))) Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:32:06 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=62#comment78 @54 Jefferson2000"The second line is utter rubbish, durstigermann! It's correct that the German people didn't vote on the Grundgesetz (constitution). That was because it was meant to be preliminary until after all Allied occupied sectors would have been reunified again. Then, and only then should there have been a new constitution and that being put to vote to the German people. Well, 1990 came but it was not a real reunification, it was East Germany joining West Germany. So, there were not two equal partners creating a new state. It was the East German states being admitted to West Germany. So, no need for a new constitution, especially since the Grundgesetz had worked fine for 40 years. By the way in 1948 all German state parliaments accepted the Grundgesetz, except Bavaria. Technically the Grundgesetz has never been properly accepted by the state of Bavaria.Your reasoning a vote was not necessary since the new constitution after 1945 was similar to previous ones is really nonsense. The differences to the Weimarian constitution of 1919 and the Imperial constitution of 1871 can't be bigger. The whole concept couldn't be more different. So, that was really no reason for not putting the Grundgesetz to vote to the (West)German people."You misunderstand me. I don`t reason that the vote wasn`t necessary.I just mean that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany is partially identical to the constitution of the Weimarian constitution.The Constitutional Court of Germany already ruled that the Federal Republic is not the legal successor of the German Empire, as the latter was never terminated and is only incapable of acting.There is a difference between the Weimar constitution and the Grundgesetz of 1949. But you can still consider the latter to be a more progressive and more advanced version of it.The only big shift in conception was, in my opinion, the strengthened emphasis of human rights in the Grundgesetz.And as you said, after reunification, politicians saw no need to set up a new constitution.IMO this was a mistake and the whole process was a huge fraud along the lines of the "Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany".BTW there was a reason for not letting Germans vote on the Grundgesetz: its whole setup is based on a distrust towards the people and the dynamics of a majority sharing other views than those who set up the GG. Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:29:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=62#comment77 G and oAnd here I just told WA that Germans had a sense of humor similar to Americans. Finally the KGBBC allows one tongue in cheek posting to be published and a German doesn't get it.BTW, if the US really really really wanted to...the air force could flatten every house in Zurich in tweny minutes. It wouldn't be about winning hearts and minds but about stealing their money. Just think of it as an updated version of 18th century France or Britain. The only way to truly steal very large sums of money these days is with a computer. A very big and fast one.BTW WA, what do you think of our spycatchers? The KGB seems very angry that they were not only discovered but that their agents were being watched and had been found out over ten years ago. Very sloppy work since the end of the cold war. What's the matter, Russia slipping? And here I thought spying was in their blood. What's the world coming to when Russia and Israel can't even keep their spies protected? Is no one safe anymore? Tue 29 Jun 2010 12:21:31 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=61#comment76 Eupris and all you conspiracy lovers, here is a link to a video where someone explains how "evil" the EU is and how it is the precursor to the arrival of the Antichrist. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cf4_1277797852If the link breaks, just google "liveleak" and "The Birth Of The New World Order"Enjoy :) Tue 29 Jun 2010 11:36:25 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=60#comment75 MAII - every swiss household has a "Krieg" Assault rifle + 50 shots of ammunition to use while on the way to the military base.Furthermore, every tunnel in Switzerland has explosives built in. Switzerland can be cut off totally. Paratroopers jumping in there would have no way to escape.The only way is nuclear bombs (but that would surely destroy those valuable computers, wouldn't it) Tue 29 Jun 2010 11:32:09 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=59#comment74 I think the US should invade Switzerland...for the money. For a modest military effort with little real opposition, tens of thousands of American paratroopers could be in Zurich from Nato bases in Spain, Germany, and Italy in a matter of hours. I'll bet under those mountains of snow there are mountains of gold, hard currency, and in those computers untold wealth. More than enough for the US to pay off its fourteen trillion dollar national debt and then some. The only ones who would really care besides the Swiss themselves of course would be those who have all of their illegally ill gotten gains stashed there....and the French who would be mad as hell that they didn't think of it first. AFAIAC, the Swiss can keep their cheese, their chocolate, and their antiquated mechanical wristwatches. There are better on all accounts. Tue 29 Jun 2010 11:05:53 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=58#comment73 "67. At 04:23am on 29 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:#28 FreemanThey say that Love and Hate are very close .I guess the EU may by now know we don't Love it , So to be Hated is the next best thing ."In the words of Farrage, this is a "non-comment" Tue 29 Jun 2010 10:57:33 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=58#comment72 70. At 07:53am on 29 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:"""democracythreat @#55You wrote, "Instead of war, nations can always simply devalue their currencies and wipe out debt that way. ... but at the end of the day you'd have to agree it is better than war."I take Gheryando's point @#58 as well when he wrote, "is it?""""Menedemus, really, for certain circles it is not. War is much much more preferrable for the simple reason that it is others who are going to fight it. Have you ever seen any son, nephew or fourth cousin of the Rockfellers, Rothchilds or J.P. Morgans running with the rifle and bayonette in the front line? Me neither."""In my view, War is never acceptable ..."""As it was written in the Byzantine military manuals, war is the point of failure of all other political, diplomatic & financial efforts to resolve a situation."""...Chavez is a prime example of a politician who has problems with his economy and the social cohesion of his nation. His rhetoric is of war, threats to peace and will use the machinery of his state to nationalise foreign business, internal news and media organisations and is slowly but surely ratcheting up his vitriol against the USA."""I never saw that Venezuela had interests in the gulf of Mexico, outside Boston or in Oregon & Alaska. On the contrary US seems to have been so present in South America where is has no grounds and it has been going done there for more than a century. So what you call vitriol, common sense calls it natural reaction. If US do not like Chavez they can leave them alone as well and go buy petrol from Russians if they like it."""Argentina is slowly but surely ratcheting up vitriol against the United Kingdom regarding sovereignty of the Falkland Islands - more so since there is now the strong possibility of there being oil reserves to be tapped in the Falklands ... Argentina could do with those assets just as much as the current residents and owner."""There is a double issue here. Argentina even in the past had been hit by Britain (even militarily) as it had tried to contain this large and progressive Latin American country that could as well take the leadership of all South America (some decades back, including over Brazil - and without wars and such). It is more than natural for Argentinians to resent the presence of British nearby.However, the problem for Argentinians is that "legally" (if such a thing ever existed) it is Britain that has the rights over Falkalands since they had them first colonised while the pre-Argentinian Spanish had actually briefly conquered the islands in early 18th century and these were actually reconquered by... US who gave them back to ... Britain (so much for the US-British fight... whatever...hold my hand to hold your hand, the one hand washes the other...). From there on Argentina never had any touch over the islands and these are rightfully under British rule. However, as Britain has repeatedly harassed Argentina having repeatedly invaded it one cannot really blame Argentina for being negatively positioned against it. And at the end, as long as Britain had the right to do what it did to Cyprus, a big island with a large population, the same as much right can Argentina feel to lay a claim over these isolated islands.I really do not think it is for the oil. If there is oil that is not just around the islands. If there is oil there, Britain can drill in an area of 12 miles around the islands without bothering about Argentina since nothing hinders Argentina to come outside at 13 miles drill oil. If Britain hinders them doing so (and they have no right) then they might as well send a military ship or 2 but only if their rockets are Russian made and not French cos Frenchies have the bad habit of giving the British the "codes" (and you know what are the "codes")."""Iran's political leadership continues on its path to achieve the nuclear capability to wipe Israel off the map of the World. Further sanctions are being deployed and will further damage the economy of Iran and the livelihoods of its peoples."""First, Iran historically has been the most pacifist country in the area. As far as I know it has never attacked any neighbouring country and it has received all attacks and venomous political intermingling by western countries and western collaborating middle Arab countries - with even the revolution of the Ayatollahs being something that actually was sought by the west (common... Ayatollah was being hosted in Paris with the money of the French state...). As for that weird confrontation of Iran and Israel I find it funny: they have no borders and their sea spaces are not adjacent. Why Iran should have any confrontation with Israel and nor Lebanon for example? Religious explanations are just not enough as Palestinians are mostly Sounite and not Shiite - perhaps the sayings of an Israeli general saying "Ahmadinedjad is the best thing right now for Israel" is more enlighting but only him can explain this to us. Honestly, other than knowing that Israel represents anglosaxon (and not only) circles of interests, I ignore the details and I cannot make the full link. I do doubt though that a nuclear Iran would rush to make war with Israel that was given for free by the west 100s of nuclear warheads. One also wonders if really Iran is really much more dangerous than nuclear Pakistan which is a much more unstable country - one would say that it classifies as a rogue country. If Pakistan was allowed (and it was allowed with full US-British knowledge of course) to have nuclear, certainly a nuclear Iran is more good news than really bad news for the stability of the region."""North Korea's dictator and political minions continue to bait and threaten their neighbours and the USA/UN. The post-Korean War truce beteen the Koreas is very seriously under threat of becoming more than constrained mutual hostility and becoming open war reignited bewtween the UN and North Korea."""Whatever. North Korea is just a justification for the US to be present there. That is all.Poland, Georgia, Ouzbekistan, Kyrgistan, Afganistan, North Korea... ouaou... i.e. every point around Russia eh? Should I refer you back to Emmanuel Todd and what he wrote about the wannabe Empire?"""However, politicians do not fight wars but they do declare wars and declare truces and end of war. In between those events, people give up their lives, economic sacrifices are made and wars are won and lost. With peace comes reconstruction and the invigoration of economies through the reconstruction of societies and the enhancement of lives though investment and sacrifice."""Exactly."""Peace and War are the epitomy of Boom and Bust of the global economy."""Exactly."""As the Western Civilised Nations have lost manufacturing capacity and their politicians have moved from providing universal health and welfare paid for out of genuine GNP revenue to becoming partially (or even in some cases, entirely) paid for from borrowing on the 'never-never' and ever-increasing national debt, so there comes a point when either the health and social welfare provisions have to end or governments have to find more money."""Sounds too 12th century Byzantine Empire isn't it? And we all know what happened 100 years later, in 1204. Tue 29 Jun 2010 09:21:27 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=57#comment71 69. At 06:36am on 29 Jun 2010, HuaimekOf course life was different 50 years ago and maybe much safer from both social and financial point of view. However, the world economic situation was different as well. I did not live in 1950 or 1960 but I am sure that at that time you could hardly find products labeled "Made in China". I am also sure that at that time when you bought a product you considered to have it for many years to come not to replace it every month or every year and so on. Those times the only economic powerhouses were USA, Britain, France and W Germany (USSR was never at the same level), today there is Brazil, India, China, S Korea, Japan plus a few other Asian countries. I live in Australia and believe me the market is dominated by Asian products at all levels. 40 to 50 years ago the Australian market was clearly dominated at all levels by USA and European products. This example just shows that Europeans products and services lost the market in Australia. I wonder in how many other parts of the world is a similar situation? And I think this is not the peak of Asian taking over the markets. There is more to come.By loosing markets Europeans loose money. Foreign markets assure the surplus of money a country needs to finance high standards of living for its citizens. Loosing these markets means loosing these surplus money therefore you have to teach your people to live with less money which by personal experience I can tell that is not easy task. Tue 29 Jun 2010 08:10:35 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=56#comment70 25. At 5:27pm on 28 Jun 2010, Ellinas wrote:"""""...Fear concentrates the minds of leaders..."No more stories like the "Greek Fear concentrates the minds of leaders".""""Hmmm, I am not so convinced it was ever fear. If they were fearful of thre situation they would had done something much much earlier (like not permitting Greece to enter the Euro?). And what was the problem forcing our little Jeffrey to accept the extra-cheap Russian & Chinese loans which are followed with real projects that give real money that lead to real development? So it was certainly not fear, it was something else: containment of a well-known situation."""In the end what has become the European view that debt must be faced and faced now emerged the winner...David Cameron (Perseus)...ha ha ha!...and fiscal consolidation..."""Cameron and Merkel and even Sarkozy do well to try and contain the spiraling debts only that you miss a detail which DemocracyThreat above has underlined to us again and again: that all these leaders try to contain the deficit, NOT the debt itself which keeps on increasing mathematically. And that is a recipe for a future disaster."""And they live happily ever after"""Only those who will target in the long-term will live happily ever after. Those who chase short term targets will find themselves quickly (once again) in great difficulties. Historically no state formation can go on eternally on perpetual debt. Tue 29 Jun 2010 08:00:50 GMT+1 Menedemus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=55#comment69 democracythreat @#55You wrote, "Instead of war, nations can always simply devalue their currencies and wipe out debt that way. ... but at the end of the day you'd have to agree it is better than war."I take Gheryando's point @#58 as well when he wrote, "is it?"In my view, War is never acceptable ...When I write chillingly of the near future, alas, I see the portends of War in the news media, WikiNews, the utterances of politicians and the subliminal messages received through the machinations of people like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.Chavez is a prime example of a politician who has problems with his economy and the social cohesion of his nation. His rhetoric is of war, threats to peace and will use the machinery of his state to nationalise foreign business, internal news and media organisations and is slowly but surely ratcheting up his vitriol against the USA.Argentina is slowly but surely ratcheting up vitriol against the United Kingdom regarding sovereignty of the Falkland Islands - more so since there is now the strong possibility of there being oil reserves to be tapped in the Falklands ... Argentina could do with those assets just as much as the current residents and owner.Iran's political leadership continues on its path to achieve the nuclear capability to wipe Israel off the map of the World. Further sanctions are being deployed and will further damage the economy of Iran and the livelihoods of its peoples.North Korea's dictator and political minions continue to bait and threaten their neighbours and the USA/UN. The post-Korean War truce beteen the Koreas is very seriously under threat of becoming more than constrained mutual hostility and becoming open war reignited bewtween the UN and North Korea.War is never acceptable ...However, politicians do not fight wars but they do declare wars and declare truces and end of war. In between those events, people give up their lives, economic sacrifices are made and wars are won and lost. With peace comes reconstruction and the invigoration of economies through the reconstruction of societies and the enhancement of lives though investment and sacrifice.Peace and War are the epitomy of Boom and Bust of the global economy.As the Western Civilised Nations have lost manufacturing capacity and their politicians have moved from providing universal health and welfare paid for out of genuine GNP revenue to becoming partially (or even in some cases, entirely) paid for from borrowing on the 'never-never' and ever-increasing national debt, so there comes a point when either the health and social welfare provisions have to end or governments have to find more money.As you rightly suggest, Governments can resort to printing money and this will make their debt seem smaller and gives them the 'cash' to pay for the upkeep of the public sector of their economies but, if anyone, has lived through devaluation or massive currency inflation episodes, will say, the outcome for THE people of those affected economies is dire.Printing money inevitably flames inflation and inflation destroys value of peoples' savings, their hopes and their aspirations as they really do suffer the ignominy of falling income and loss of value of their possessions. People feel shame, anger and frustration towards politicians as they lose their job, their livelihood, their homes and their self-worth as inflation takes off.War is never acceptable ... but neither is inflation and the devastation that that causes.For a political elite though, War can be a godsend as the masses can be manipulated, motivated and asked to make sacrifices 'for the common good'. Often people will do just that.The outcome of war is as bad as inflation that is let off the leash but in some respect politicians can achieve far more economically and with the people willing to 'make the necessary sacrifices' through war and fostering nationalism than they can by 'cuts', 'austerity' or even by 'printing money'.War is never acceptable ... unless you are a politician. Tue 29 Jun 2010 06:53:37 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=54#comment68 #63 Opinion" What about Asia "? " There is the Growth "So , What about Asia ? Asian countries are developing , hence the growth . Asian countries don't have protectionist laws , like Health and Safety , no National Health , No Welfare State , unemployment benefit or pensions , unless you are a civil servant . Wages are pitifully low for the majority .Europe and the US are fully developed economies . Over developed one might say ! Finding room for growth is a problem in Europe .What do we want to grow for anyway , life will not get any better or cheaper . I would happily go back to the 1950s or 1960s . My first home cost £1100 to buy and £1500 to totally renovate . My second home , a small farm with beautiful 17th century house and buildings cost £8000 , but with rather more to renovate . My wife and I allowed ourselves £5 pounds a week spending money . ( Not Each )At the farm , we kept our car in an open barn , with the key in the ignition , we would go shopping to the local town 3 miles away and leave the house doors open . What is better about life today ?Greed and Growth have made life in Europe prohibitively expensive and for what ?I think of an example , scaffolding is necessary for building a house .Health and Safety regulations make it necessary for scaffolders to take out insurance , which is very expensive , which in turn makes hiring scaffolding very expensive . In Thailand builders erect a few thin timbers along the sides of the house and the men run along them with the ease of monkeys in the forest . If they fall off , that's bad luck , but generally they don't . Opinion I am not challenging you because I know we have similar opinions , but you trigger the thought . Tue 29 Jun 2010 05:36:53 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=54#comment67 #24 Durstiger Mann;You did not take you viewpoints to Karlsruhe, of course. In case there should be any doubt: They don't stand a ghost of chance to get any reality process in Karlsruhe. I shall go into any account since it would be a repetition of what I written here frequently, but you should know so much of the German history so that you understand, why the German constitution does not allow for referenda.#44 mvr512 We are now in Holland, where the common people live. Now, that is wonderful. I have heard about the common people a couple of millions of times in my life. I have also noticed that the Dutch voters, which of course are not the common people unless the vote for a right-wing, populist fire-raiser, time and again have elected governments consisting of the parties I mentioned in #15.Please tell these Dutch majorities that they are not only supporting an undemocratic constitution they are also living in an undemocratic country.Gee! Tue 29 Jun 2010 04:55:39 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=53#comment66 #28 FreemanThey say that Love and Hate are very close .I guess the EU may by now know we don't Love it , So to be Hated is the next best thing . Tue 29 Jun 2010 03:23:58 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=52#comment65 As many commenters here might have expected ; the G8 - G20 came to nothing as usual , 1 billion Dollars spent ; rioting in the street and much damage done , as in every other city that has hosted it .One is sick and angry at the arrogance , stupidity and wastefulness of politicians , who think they can rule the world .The world cannot be ruled as one unit , " One size fits all ".One size does not fit all , even two neighbouring countries , like the US and Canada .Individual countries should govern themselves , manage their own affairs , in small units . " They put GOOD scent in little bottles "To add to one's anger today , I read ," The UK scrambles to save The Dozen Eggs ". This is a prime example of the stupidity and pettiness of the European Union ! Perhaps we will have egg boxes to take odd numbers or dispense with them altogether , never mind that the eggs might get broken before reaching home . As if the EU hasn't got enough to think about with insolvency right across its member states .The people who think up directives like this know nothing about cooking , eggs are used by numbers on the basis that an average egg weighs 2ozs , eggs are graded anyway to large , medium and small . With large eggs you might get five or 5 1/2 eggs , as sold buy weight .Whoever thought of this idea and MEPs who support it should be put down . Tue 29 Jun 2010 03:14:34 GMT+1 baz http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=51#comment64 Obama has it right; sort of. I don't like Cameron doffing the hair shirt, it never helped. The issue at hand is balancing the world economy; how to do it and what mechanism to use. The front (runner) is the G8/G20.My suggestion is everyone having a close look at who holds the debt (it's not even on the table) and then waging a righteous war. We can do surgical strikes and no one gets hurt. A good ol' class war would help the New Labour Party. How about implementing draconian inheritance taxes and going after those secret accounts and countries which encourage black money. When they talk about the burden on future generations; they are talking about the future generations who don't have trust funds. Let's get real! Tue 29 Jun 2010 02:27:02 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=50#comment63 cherrydandyo:I'm neither born nor naturalized. I got carried away using the term "we" earlier. I am a despised auslander with no human rights. I don't vote or have any say in the affairs of the swiss state.But the way I see it, I'm swiss. I'm prepared to fight the swiss for the country, if they want. that is what i tell them, and it generally gets a grin. It is their heritage, after all.Regarding war, for sure it is worse than debt. There is nothing worse than mechanized warfare between states, as far as I have seen. It is an abomination, the ultimate failure of leadership by the sovereign power in any land.If there were a god, those who advocate for war would be crushed by it, and those who profit from it would suffer the agonies of the damned for eternity. But I suspect there isn't a god, because it is generally the innocents who are butchered, so we need to push hard for an end to it. That means dismantling the profit motive, and that means eradicating outdated models for political economies.i mean, come on. You saw what happened in Iraq. The corporate media did their level best to sanitize it so they could get exclusive access to those in the political class, and thus further their illustrious careers, but we all caught glimpses of the horror we paid for, and cheered onwards like a football tournament for the criminally insane.Even now we smash entire pashtun families with drones and it gets reported as if it is progress, in between a story about building a new sporting complex and a review of stock market fluctuations. that has to change, and the only way is to change the political economy of the industrialized world into something civilized. Tue 29 Jun 2010 01:37:13 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=50#comment62 I do not understand what is the fuss?Europeans governments understood that their time has passed and now its time for them to cut off spending so that they can assure their citizen can still enjoy for a while high standards of living. Unless they will start investing in growth austerity will keep to be the headline until even austerity can not work anymore. What about then?All this fuss about EU and USA. What about Asia? There is the growth. The center of finance and manufacturing is shifting slowly into Asian countries. How is that gonna affect Europe economies?The financial problems in Europe are not just homegrown bad habits, they are closely interrelated to the world economy. It looks like the pace of economic changes in the world is faster than the governments can adjust. No problem, I am sure that big multinational corporations can adjust faster and better. After all in a few years time will governments built around corporations. Political governments replaced by economical governments. Presidents and prime ministers replaced by CEOs. Hehe, now that is gonna be fun. Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:45:28 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=49#comment61 " In a democracy a constitution should be voted on by the sovereign."This is poorly stated, with respect.In every political economy, the sovereign votes on the constitution, and also . That is what it means to be the sovereign power within a political economy.In systems of representation, the sovereign power is that which sponsors the system of representation. Hence in communism, the communist party is sovereign. In systems or parliamentary representation, the sovereign power are the institutions which control the preselection of candidates.In a democracy, the people are the sovereign power.All systems can call themselves anything they like, but the way you find out under which sort of political system you live under is to ask who has the sovereign power. Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:35:19 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=48#comment60 Drugstore man;"Here is the reality check: if it wasn`t for the dollar being the world`s dominant currency, the USA would be Greece reloaded."And here's a reality check for you drugstore man, if it weren't for the fact that the US is the world's dominant economy, the US dollar wouldn't be the world's dominant currency.And here's another one for you, without German bank financed exports to Greece and other EU countries that can't pay them back, Germany is Greece delayed. Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:32:21 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=47#comment59 dt - "Why cannot we have both an elected national parliament AND an elected commission?"I agree. However, I'd vote for the EP parties who all field a candidate who can then choose a team.btw - r u born Swiss or naturalized? Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:23:11 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=46#comment58 @26 Mathiasen"At least it is absolutely clear that this blog is populated with contributors, who not only question the constitutional order of the member states of the EU, and that is perhaps less surprising, but also believe that they share this understanding with a lot of other people, not least THE PEOPLE.Election results, constitutions, court rooms, referenda and conferences, all in vain. Instead lecturing about their personal understanding of democracy.Just like a café of students at the university.... astounding."That must be it.A recent German survey in which 60% said they distrust the democracy we have right now.All your writing can`t cover that you yourself apparently think that you know better what the people want. Most anti-EU people on here are in support of holding referenda in order to grow a democratic EU without an allmighty autocratic empire.And while you ramble about some people`s individual understanding of democracy, I haven`t read any serious suggestion about democratic reforms on here that is actually worse or less democratic than the EU in its current state. Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:19:45 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=45#comment57 dt wrote:"it is better than war."Is it? Tue 29 Jun 2010 00:19:18 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=45#comment56 @21 Nanuk"Here's another "reality check" for you. The USA's woes stem from bad corporate citizens gone greed-crazy. And it's fair enough to blame the US administration for that. But what about Europe's woes? Borrowing beyond their means? Politicians in-fighting and blaming others nations?Which is worse? I'd bet on the US coming out of their troubles far, far ahead of Europe even coming to grips with their own troubles."I never said that Europe had no problems, but some people seem to think that the USA are some kind of superior nation with superior people and whatnot.You write that Europe is borrowing beyond its means as a key problem compared to the USA.But the national debt of all EU-nations combined does not amount to the US-national debt. On the other hand, the combined EU-GDP is also higher than the US-GDP.That means that the US debt as a percentage of GDP (the usual way to measure it) is higher as well.The savings rate within the EU is higher than the US savings rate and the EU sports a foreign trade surplus compared to the huge foreign trade deficit of the USA.You can take a look at any statistical yearbook to find evidence for all this. Mon 28 Jun 2010 23:44:57 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=44#comment55 threnodio_II wrote:"#44 - mvr512Of course you cannot have a directly elected Commission. Under the present arrangement, they are chosen by nomination of the elected national governments. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Either you want to directly elect the Commission, in which case you wave goodbye to sovereignty at the national level or you wish to retain a significant element of sovereign authority, in which case the governments you elect decide who should serve on the Commission. There is no grey area here. "Not sure I follow your reasoning here, thready old chap.Why cannot we have both an elected national parliament AND an elected commission?Are they not mandated to perform different functions?Indeed, why can't we have a directly elected commission with different functions, as well as elected national governments with entirely new set of functions?Your argument seems to be that we cannot have what we have now AND have something different as well, but that seems to me a straw man argument. I don't recall anyone proposing we ought to retain what we have, except Mathiasen.This inability to comprehend the possibility of a change towards more democratic procedures in both national and european government institutions is arguably the reason the EU is so unpopular, and ironically it is also possibly the reason it is popular.Has it never occurred to you that IF the commission took democracy seriously, and IF it offered the people of Europe a way to unite under a regime of real and tangible democratic emancipation, then the people of Europe might rise up and embrace it, and cast aside the redundant and unloved national regimes they currently labour under?I mean, we have politicians here in Switzerland. We vote for them as well as voting on laws. It is just that here the politicians do a very, very different job to politicians in systems of representation. Here they are the people who organize the public voting, who make sure the ballots for the people are printed, who make sure there are sufficient signatures on initiatives, who draft laws in legal format once initiatives have been adopted or rejected.And politicians here also make speeches, and promote their own ideas. We even have parties who contest membership of national, regional and local office.I think there is some weird public fear of anything new, regarding political systems. People always say "that will never work" long before they know the first thing about it.It is never a good idea to throw away the good in search of the perfect, and any serious student of real democracy will tell you that this is not the way forward. All the good things about the westminster system ought to be kept. All the good things about the party system ought to be kept. You don't want some vicious class war doctrine to set one part of society against another in a revolutionary fever. Not unless you are one of these insane people who preaches the end of the world and does everything possible to bring it about.Properly understood, direct democracy is the ultimate embellishment upon a system of parliamentary federal rule. It is not an alternative to it. It is a safeguard, a way of establishing the people as true sovereigns of their own destiny, and a way of preventing the control and looting of the public treasury by organized corporate bodies, be they religious, ideological, political, or merely motivated by greed for wealth.Democracy in all its forms is an evolution of the tribal political process of the human animal, and this is why I keep banging on about the system of direct democracy.It is where we are all going, whether we like it or not. It is the only possible future for mankind, not because it stops war or because it makes people rich or because it serves and protects human dignity .It is the only possible future because we are social animals with the capacity for reason (and greed), and it is the only reasonable way to run any society of educated people.Representation is OK and perhaps desirable if you are dealing with middle age populations of illiterate and superstitious peasants. In the modern age, of which we stand upon the threshold looking in, there can only be one form of political economy.It will be direct democracy. Mon 28 Jun 2010 23:10:42 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=43#comment54 Menedemus,What you write is chilling, and fills me with sadness, for I agree with your reasoning.But only up to a point. I think you have omitted the one great safety valve of modern governments: the printing press and a currency based on nothing but confidence.Instead of war, nations can always simply devalue their currencies and wipe out debt that way. I think that is why Marcus and I (you have to ask him if my memory serves me correctly here) concurred long ago that the only likely outcome for the major world governments is the printing of money on a grand scale.Of course, there are huge problems with printing money, not the least of which is that it destroys incentives to work and save, and it wipes out the value of wages and generates inflation, but at the end of the day you'd have to agree it is better than war. Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:51:30 GMT+1 jefferson2000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=42#comment53 @24:"In a democracy a constitution should be voted on by the sovereign.It`s bad enough that this did not happen in Germany after WWII, but then again, it was quite similar to previous constitutions."I agree with the first line. It would have been interesting to see what the result would have been, if the WHOLE EU-population had voted on the EU constitution on a single day and not on a national level. So, I really would have liked to see the ranting on here, when a lot of people would have realized that on the whole the EU-population would have agreed to that constitution. Well, we'll never know...The second line is utter rubbish, durstigermann! It's correct that the German people didn't vote on the Grundgesetz (constitution). That was because it was meant to be preliminary until after all Allied occupied sectors would have been reunified again. Then, and only then should there have been a new constitution and that being put to vote to the German people. Well, 1990 came but it was not a real reunification, it was East Germany joining West Germany. So, there were not two equal partners creating a new state. It was the East German states being admitted to West Germany. So, no need for a new constitution, especially since the Grundgesetz had worked fine for 40 years. By the way in 1948 all German state parliaments accepted the Grundgesetz, except Bavaria. Technically the Grundgesetz has never been properly accepted by the state of Bavaria.Your reasoning a vote was not necessary since the new constitution after 1945 was similar to previous ones is really nonsense. The differences to the Weimarian constitution of 1919 and the Imperial constitution of 1871 can't be bigger. The whole concept couldn't be more different. So, that was really no reason for not putting the Grundgesetz to vote to the (West)German people.P.S.: I don't comment on those EU pro and cons emotive expressions. It's like gheryando wrote! Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:51:02 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=41#comment52 Oblivion,Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, I think this guy is seriously cranked.He is an example of what I mean when I say I don't think anyone can create a perfect political system from first principles. And also, why I say you have to wonder about folks who think they can. You note this guy refers to himself as a visionary, amongst other startling self aggrandizements.That sort of thing just turns people off he concept of direct democracy. It also shows that they guy has really, really bad research skills. All one has to do is type a few words into google and it becomes apparent that data and systems already exist which have trialled the concept extensively. A lot of very able scholars have published a lot of books about these systems and have correlated the data.Self proclaimed visionaries who are ignorant of this body of work and who write poems setting out their plans for a perfect world are not my own idea of a worthy alternative to a serious study of the actual subject.Apart from Switzerland, the place which interests me the most is California. They have a form of direct democracy there, and I wish i knew more of the detail and the practical methods they use.I can tie the recent experiences of that state to this blog entry (degree of difficulty for this maneuver: 7.1).Recently California was "going broke". A lot was said about why this was so, and even more was said about who was to blame. A lot of the corporate media, and all the political parties, said that it was the system of direct democracy which was to blame. Very few pundits put forward the view that it was the political parties and their corporate sponsors who were to blame.And yet, it is very much worth looking at the californian situation, for European states are also in a position where many of them would be going broke, if they were hamstrung by the same popular prohibitions on raising taxes that are found in California.Because the European states are not so prohibited from raising taxes, they refuse to face economic reality, and we have the current debate. Should we just try and borrow forever, or should we just continue to try and borrow forever? Those seem to be the choices, because that is what suits the political entity called "the party". Professional politicians are groomed to borrow and spend. That is precisely why they seek office. The prize at the end of all that campaign spending is the key to the public treasury. Winning elections means the party can go crazy spending other people's money. That is how political parties see the process.So one can look at california two ways: one can say what the party members say, and condemn direct democracy there and say it is causing great harm by denying politicians the ability to raise taxes in order to perfect their grand visions. Or, one can praise direct democracy there, and say it is preventing great harm by vetoing government's reckless financial behaviour.The proof, to me, ought to be in the pudding. We should be able to look at the results of the system and make definite statements about whether or not it is successful.And I think we can. So, let's do that.First question: Is California a failed state? Answer: Hardly. It is an economic wonder of the world. It houses silicon valley and Hollywood, and is the fifth largest economic power on earth (including every other country).Second question: What is the quality of life like there?Answer: Awesome. California has become synonymous with a desirable standard of living. Even in a staggeringly wealthy country like the USA, California has long been seen as the land of opportunity for millions.Third Question: What is the future economic outlook, DESPITE government facing bankruptcy and being forced to massively slash its reckless spending habits?Answer: Great. It is home to Apple, Google and numerous other firms which embody the spirit of free market enterprise and wealth generation. Hollywood exports art to the entire world, and brings truly vast revenues to the people of california. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that California is on the brink of economic disaster. Sure, the government is, but in California the government is just another firm: it provides services and has a budget. Just because it is in trouble, that doesn't mean the well run firms in california are also in trouble. Indeed, it is precisely BECAUSE the people have voted to limit taxation that these firms will stay and prosper and provide wealth, education and highly paid for the inhabitants.So, I am inclined to look at california and say that it is a wonderful place for wealth generation, and that it is a strong, ultra modern, ultra nice place to live. Doubtless it is a terrible place to be a party politician hell bent on getting the keys to the public treasury. So is Switzerland. Both these places are terrible, if you want to run that kind of game.But there are a lot of places a person can go, if they want to get elected by corporations and then go crazy taxing the people and spending in their name until the whole society crumbles around them.The soviet union is not the garden of eden for such folks anymore, but there is always africa and central america. China, too, is a fantastic place for budding political animals who wish to go crazy spending other people's money. In china one can order the fate of literally billions of worker slaves and then simply steal everything from them and call it a grand economic success for the state government.So, my advice to you, Oblivion, is not to get too theoretical about the subject of direct democracy. Data and case studies exist. Scholars on this subject exist, and they have written quite a few excellent books.Avoid the cranks and the poets. They just give the whole movement a bad name.If you are serious, you should enroll to study constitutional law, and spend a lot of years reading everything you can on the subject.But be prepared to be the only person you know who is willing to do so. And be prepared for everyone to have their own opinion about why the system where they live is real democracy, purely because the newspaper where they live says that is the case. From London to North Korea, from Brussels to Tehran, you will encounter people who don't know what they are talking about who will defend systems of orchestrated representation and call them democratic.And when you begin to understand how the world's ultra wealthy societies have evolved, and under what political conditions they thrive, you begin to understand why every political system wants to call itself democracy. It is more or less putting lipstick on a pig, but that is how party politicians do. It is how they roll.And it is not a bad idea to pay attention to what marcus writes, when he is not childishly provoking outrage. He is no hack when it comes to economics or history, and one can learn a lot from him about the political and economic fundamentals of wealth creation. Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:46:54 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=41#comment51 #41. mvr512 wrote: "people who support the EU tend to dislike democracy " and other rubbish!I've been calling for more democracy in Europe (you could find this out if you read back through my posts) I want to be able to directly elect the President of Europe. I really do not see why a bunch of state leaders should be able carve this selection up on the basis of buggin's turn. I want a figurehead that has been voted for by more Europeans than any other on the basis on one member on vote.As in any club the more you engage the more likely you are to maximise your own benefit - this is why the anti-European position is just stupid, illogical and irrational. We need to do more together. A joint navy (and nuclear deterrent) and a joint air force as well as single EU embassies would save a tremendous amount of money for all of us.By the way it is all very well to state that the advantages I mentioned could have existed without the EU - but where is your proof? Just try being an American or Canadian and to travel around Europe in the way that we do and you will start to understand what we have all gained.Try making the best of things and you will be both happier and more fulfilled! Sniping from the sidelines is a sad and pathetic position for individuals and nation states.By the way there is another reasonably successful federal state - the USA. Somehow they have managed to get along speaking a myriad of different languages (now majority - almost - Latin American Spanish) and with radically different economies. And California's economy is still in tatters with the state defaulting every so often on its payments - a much bigger problem than a minor EU difficulty such as Greece! Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:23:49 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=40#comment50 #46 - Gheryando"last time I voted, I directly voted for my representative in the EU Parliament".Yes but you see, it is all so pointless. You make a statement of the obvious such as that and you will immediately be rubbished. People who are even remotely pro EU on this blog are routinely accused of referring to our opponents as 'xenophobic, little Englanders, seekers after lost empires' or whatever. I try to avoid such language because it is of no value in the debate and is simply insulting. I cannot recall ever seeing you resort to it either.But somehow it is OK for them to use equally rubbishing language such as 'EUSSR, politburo' and all the other claptrap they trot out to conceal their lack of plausible arguments. The moderation queue seems to be taking an age tonight but EUprisoner has two queued.I am not holding my breath. It will doubtless be the usual abusive rant. Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:18:02 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=39#comment49 EUpris: My background appears to be much more diverse than CBW's and that is why I am anti-"EU", because of what I know."whats ur background EUpris? Mon 28 Jun 2010 22:14:31 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=38#comment48 35. At 9:03pm on 28 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:" ... Especially to you CBW, the benefits of EU membership should be obvious, having such a diverse background but I guess there are these and those.."EUpris: My background appears to be much more diverse than CBW's and that is why I am anti-"EU", because of what I know. Mon 28 Jun 2010 21:42:34 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=37#comment47 #44 - mvr512Yes Mathiasen did say that and you had the grace to quote him precisely before going on to take refuge in emotive language such as 'unelected politiburo'. If you mean the Commission, say so. Don't resort to language calculated to facilitate point scoring unless you have a point to make.Of course you cannot have a directly elected Commission. Under the present arrangement, they are chosen by nomination of the elected national governments. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Either you want to directly elect the Commission, in which case you wave goodbye to sovereignty at the national level or you wish to retain a significant element of sovereign authority, in which case the governments you elect decide who should serve on the Commission. There is no grey area here. It's make your mind up time - but can we please leave out the emotive linguistic tricks which are merely designed to distort the issues. Mon 28 Jun 2010 21:39:01 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=37#comment46 mvr512Excellent, as usual!! Mon 28 Jun 2010 21:35:33 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=36#comment45 "43. At 9:34pm on 28 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:28.Freeman wrote: What is it about the EU that fails to twig just how unpopular this interference makes it?They don't have to care. The EU is thoroughly undemocratic and deliberately so"last time I voted, I directly voted for my representative in the EU Parliament. You are wrong but you won't admit it. Pointless exercise but had to say it anyway. Mon 28 Jun 2010 21:01:43 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=35#comment44 "42. At 9:33pm on 28 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:35.Gheryando wrote: However, I do see where he is coming from. Especially to you CBW, the benefits of EU membership should be obvious, having such a diverse background but I guess there are these and those..The EU has NO BENEFITS whatsoever for ordinary people. The only people who profit are bankers, corporate types and politicians.Plus: the EU is 100% undemocratic and deliberately so."Today, some American religious were in front of the Edgware Road Waitrose and handed out Arabic copies of the Bible. I'm afraid trying to convince anyone here on this forum of a different opinion has a similar chance of success...Go on, infidel! Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:59:23 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=34#comment43 15.Mathiasen wrote: Let it therefore be said: Each and every proposal behind the present organization of the EU has been made by politicians from conservative, liberal and occasionally social democratic parties, the main force being the conservative and the liberal governments of Western European democratic countries with the consent of the parliaments in these countries, which again have had a mandate in the electorate.The electorates never approved their parliaments abdicating responsibility and sending its powers to Brussels to be wielded by an unelected Politburo (Commission).Furthermore, the mainstream politicians deliberately keep deceiving the national electorates into thinking national parliaments still matter, because they know that if people knew how the EU really worked, then there would be an uprising. Therefore, the mainstream politicians supported by the mainstream media have for decades conspired to keep this knowledge away from the common people.If I vote for a politician and he is elected into a parliament to make laws, I did not vote for him so he could NOT make these laws and instead have them imposed by an undemocratic structure such as the EU.No demos = no democracy. Period. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:41:45 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=33#comment42 28.Freeman wrote: What is it about the EU that fails to twig just how unpopular this interference makes it?They don't have to care. The EU is thoroughly undemocratic and deliberately so, so that voters could not undo the laws the EU made. You see, the man who dreamt up the EU, Jean Monnet, hated democracy. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:34:57 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=33#comment41 35.Gheryando wrote: However, I do see where he is coming from. Especially to you CBW, the benefits of EU membership should be obvious, having such a diverse background but I guess there are these and those..The EU has NO BENEFITS whatsoever for ordinary people. The only people who profit are bankers, corporate types and politicians. Plus: the EU is 100% undemocratic and deliberately so. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:33:06 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=32#comment40 7.John_from_Hendon wrote: - no European based World war since 1945Nothing to do with the existence of the EU or its predecessors.- freedom travel for all Europeans without the need for visas in Europe.The EU is not a necessary prerequisite for this.- freedom to work anywhere in EuropeThe EU is not a necessary prerequisite for this.But I have generally found that the vast majority of anti-Europeans are xenophobes and totally self-centred and selfish so my guess is that you may be one of these.I have generally found that people who support the EU tend to dislike democracy and prefer it that governments can combine with a Politburo (Commission) to make directives and regulations and thus being able to bypass elected national parliaments that represent democracy. Many pro-EU/anti-democracy types tend to be elitists with university degrees who look down upon the 'common rabble'.The Euro helps every European citizen to move about and to do so efficiently and less expensively - it may be a cause of considerable consternation to banks who are deprived of the ability to steal and rob travellers every time the need to change money, and that is why the banks hate it!The banks love the Euro, they don't hate it. The Euro is a banker wet dream, now they can get Germany to guarantee Greek bonds! And the bankers and corporations are the only ones to benefit from the Euro, the common people get screwed over with price increases that wouldn't have happened without the Euro and also got screwed over with unfavorable exchange rates at the time of introduction of Euro.Why do people who love the EU many times seem to display contempt for democracy? The EU is thoroughly, utterly and deliberately undemocratic so if you like the EU, in my view you are an enemy of democracy. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:31:42 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=31#comment39 Apparently, agreeing wit Freeman's statement #28 is illegal. Calling the proposed rule "retarded" apparently constitutes something worth of being referred. Now if I'd call THAT "retarded", do you think I'd be referred as well?Either way, people have called each other "idiot" in this forum and not be referred. Calling a "policy" retarded is clearly not as offensive.But thanks anyway.. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:30:22 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=30#comment38 To cool_brush_work (6):First of all, thank you for your midsummer compliments. I had a very pleasant family friendly midsummer in Sarkanniemi and Puuhamaa amusement parks, hope you too had pleasent time.Secondly to bring some details to the overall discussion, in regards of your notes about Finland that do of course apply to some other places too...1) Rising housing prices...I would attribute this mostly to...A) scarcity of housing in bigger towns and cities due to strict regulationsB) increased costs of building new housing due to higher building standardsC) continued increase of private debt, i.e. banks are still pushing money to markets2) Finns feeling blue more than a year ago...Probably true, but that is mostly because A) group think spreads, and B) people were spending over their means before 2008 and now they are recovering from it.3) Increasing unemployment in raw material and heavy engineeringProbably true, but then again other engineering fields and service sectors have either stayed as they are or they have increased employment. For example IT and software companies have been hiring like there is no tomorrow for the whole recession. Some software entrepreneurs have attributed this on companies wanting to invest into automating more and more of their activities to be more competitive than just cutting costs the traditional way.4) Keeping in the limits of European Stability and Growth packageI wouldn't be so optimistic about this. While the economy works now, we have structural problem with aging population and for the economy to cope with this, we either have to cut down services and benefits heavily or make huge efficiency increases in public sector, mainly by investing to IT and automation systems.In overall it is little bit hard to notice that we are in the middle of one of the most biggest economic crisis since the great depression. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:29:22 GMT+1 Oblivion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=29#comment37 Democracythreathttp://www.barriesingleton.co.uk/Ponderings.html#Beyond_Demockracy Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:26:56 GMT+1 PopolVuh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=29#comment36 If the US is going the fiscal stimulus route, while other countries are not, then the US needs to make sure that those other countries don't get healthy of the US largess - Buy American! Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:20:25 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=28#comment35 This post has been Removed Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:05:17 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=27#comment34 cbw wrote:"Followed by the classic 'pro-EU' slur, sneer & jibe & stereotypical labelling:"..You must live in a cave somewhere very remote..""..vast majority of anti-EUropeans are xenophobes..""..totally self-centred and selfish..""..My guess is that you (me) maybe one of these..(the above)"I don't know how You can pre-suppose all the above about me: You must be psychic as the following will clearly demonstrate."I agree with CBW that using offensive language does not further our cause. However, I do see where he is coming from. Especially to you CBW, the benefits of EU membership should be obvious, having such a diverse background but I guess there are these and those.. Mon 28 Jun 2010 20:03:44 GMT+1 Oblivion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=26#comment33 The G20 is an opportunity for leaders to rub shoulders and agree things in private. What actually went on was that which was not reported. If they didn't agree anything in public, then something was agreed in private.Having said that, the truth is that they still employ the same old crooked soothsayers, and most of them still don't realise that the same old neoclassical nonsenses don't make sense.Is it any wonder that Obama stands out as the odd man with his Keynesian stimulus when Soros, his heterodox and admirable advisor, says precisely the same thing? Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:58:34 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=25#comment32 cbw wrote:"'No European based World War since 1945': That would be the excellent work of NATO & the European Economic Community circa 1946-90, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union."I agree with this. Both, NATO and the EU (or EEC as it was called etc) were responsible. Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:56:21 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=25#comment31 Freeman wrote:"And I have found that too many Pro-EU flag wavers are so intellectually challenged they need to throw insults around due to their inability to for a proper argument. You are a prize example of that type John."Anybody see the irony in this statement? Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:52:39 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=24#comment30 cbw wrote:"There was a Worldwide Economic collapse - - membership of the EU27 did nothing to protect or alleviate any of the effects experienced by non-members."Being member of the royal family didn't help against getting the plague, either... pointless try to discredit the EU. Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:50:39 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=23#comment29 #20 "Not sure I agree with that. NATO may have helped keep the peace with USSR/Russia but if you're talking about peace between Member States, establishing a good trading relationship, whilst retaining basic national sovereignty, is probably more effective in ensuring long –term peace than pointing weapons at each other."I certainly would not argue the old EEC had no effect especially on helping out trade wise but NATO has kept the peace within and without. 'whilst retaining basic national sovereignty' is a big one here. True peace throughout Europe could have been built with a new United States of Europe by, for and of the people of Europe and that would be the best defense against future war.Naturally politicians have made such a huge, epic pile of Failure out of it that we will not see such a thing for a very long time. Long after I am gone sadly. Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:43:32 GMT+1 Joeblo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=22#comment28 If they really wanted to fix the financial mess, they would take away the ability of governments to print money.Then they would have to come up with solutions that were not based at "throwing money" at the problem.It is an absurd notion to think that one can print and spend with no direction and things will be fine.What I find interesting is that Europe and the US are the biggest "hoarders" of gold (http://www.goldtraderasia.com/gold-news/Jan-09/220109-World-Official-Gold-Holdings-Ranking-December-2008.htm) yet they refuse to allow money to be backed by anything of intrinsic value and keep pushing the fiat currency.I thing they are "hedging" their bets as I feel at some point the public isn't going to put up with fiat currencies or the fiats are gonna collapse as they historically all do.The current system just breeds corruption and rewards liars.The ECB doesn't follow it's own rules, so anything goes and it will.Barry has a lot of gall lecturing other nations on what to do. Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:38:25 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=21#comment27 "Efforts to standardise food labels across the 27-nation EU have gained momentum with new draft legislation going through the European Parliament.MEPs backed labels indicating weight or volume, but rejected labels that just show the number of items in a pack.A UK minister said the EU should allow shoppers to "buy eggs by the dozen"."*FACEPALM* I would love to believe this is a wind up.Really I would.What is it about the EU that fails to twig just how unpopular this interference makes it? Mon 28 Jun 2010 19:36:30 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=20#comment26 John_from_HendonRe #7Hmm, the *advantages* from my "..cave.." (damn! You got me there - - in my case over the last 20 post-Maastricht years - - the remoteness of London & Surrey, England, the wilderness of Brussels, Belgium & I must admit the oh-so backward forested, rural Finland!). It's been a curse to have seen so little of life compared to one as in-touch as Your good-self!'No European based World War since 1945': That would be the excellent work of NATO & the European Economic Community circa 1946-90, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union.'Freedom of travel for all EUropeans without need of visas': Never mind the threefold increase in illegal immigration inc. millions of trafficked vulnerable women & children, the massive rise in criminality inc. huge quantities of drugs, counterfeit goods, weapons etc.'Freedom to work anywhere in EUrope': The 'freedom' for unscrupulous Businesses to employ & exploit cheap Labour Forces in one Nation at the expense of the indigenous communities and claiming Tax Write-offs whilst doing it!Followed by the classic 'pro-EU' slur, sneer & jibe & stereotypical labelling: "..You must live in a cave somewhere very remote.." "..vast majority of anti-EUropeans are xenophobes.." "..totally self-centred and selfish..""..My guess is that you (me) maybe one of these..(the above)"I don't know how You can pre-suppose all the above about me: You must be psychic as the following will clearly demonstrate.My Grandparents were Dutch-German on my mother's side and she was Belgian; all my Father's side were English - - I have a Finnish wife and homes in England, Belgium & Finland - - so, the xenophobia just reeks, doesn't it!?My basic life history is 11 years in the Paras & 2 more civilian careers that took in long-term work experience from Europe to Asia to Africa - - again, I can see where I went wrong - - all that Foreign Travel before retirement narrowed my mind!Mind You, it could just be that I Voted 'Yes' in 1975 to the EEC and have since watched closely the evolution of the movement for European integration and do not recognise or agree with the course it has taken? Maybe I happen to have this opinion formulated and expressed over many years: That whilst membership of the EEC was a good thing for the UK/England, membership of the 'political construct' the EUropean Union is a very bad thing for UK/England due to the anti-Democratic format of the EU.No, that cannot be right can it? You being such a clever chap: I'm sure You know all there is to know about me as I'm 'anti-EU'!Now, if You'll excuse me I must go and watch that spider trying to spin its cobweb across the cave entrance! Mon 28 Jun 2010 18:20:07 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=20#comment25 At least it is absolutely clear that this blog is populated with contributors, who not only question the constitutional order of the member states of the EU, and that is perhaps less surprising, but also believe that they share this understanding with a lot of other people, not least THE PEOPLE. Election results, constitutions, court rooms, referenda and conferences, all in vain. Instead lecturing about their personal understanding of democracy.Just like a café of students at the university.... astounding. Mon 28 Jun 2010 16:44:48 GMT+1 Ellinas http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/deficits_you_can_go_your_own_w.html?page=19#comment24 "...Fear concentrates the minds of leaders..."No more stories like the "Greek Fear concentrates the minds of leaders". The European or better say Germany (Zeus) have done everything that's possible in their hands to turn Greece into a Medusa. They have succeeded. Now they fear that their citizens can turn out to stones...whenever they look directly in her Greek eyes.So!...The world's 20 biggest economies of the Olympus have summoned......Deus ex machina President Obama at one point spoke of "violent agreement"In the end what has become the European view that debt must be faced and faced now emerged the winner...David Cameron (Perseus)...ha ha ha!...and fiscal consolidation...Let me say that to you Hero - Cameron Perseus!...Go kill the Greek Medusa and consolidate the "economical crisis beast" with her Greek look after that take in spouse the European Andromeda.And they live happily ever after Mon 28 Jun 2010 16:27:41 GMT+1