Showing posts with label Romanian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romanian. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2016

Raiffeisen Bank has snuck a gloomy prediction for the Romanian economy in the prospectus of the MedLife IPO, which it intermediates. "Most analysts claim that Romania needs a new stand-by agreement with the IMF", the MedLife prospectus , published yesterday in order to inform the investors interested in the Romanian stock market and in the MedLife shares in particular. The announcement is mind-boggling, especially as politicians and government members assure us that we are going to have economic growth, higher wages and lower taxes. Furthermore, prime-minister Dacian Cioloş has publicly announced that he would challenge all populist laws with the Constitutional Court. "Raiffeisen Bank" has dropped the aforementioned "bomb" in the Medlife IPO, five days ahead of the parliamentary elections. Except it hasn't taken responsibility for it directly, instead alleging this idea is the result of consensus from "most analysts", without naming them. It is not out of the question that "Raiffeisen Bank" just wanted to make noise and draw attention from investors, as the Romanian stock market has failed to become attractive, despite the projects for expansion conducted by the Bucharest Stock Exchange (the Project to remove the barriers to the entry on the stock market) and by the Financial Oversight Authority (the STEAM project, which has as its goal the move up to the emerging market status) and having brought in Pole Ludwik Sobolewski as CEO. Despite all these efforts, the BSE daily turnover only occasionally passes 7 million Euros a day. "Raiffeisen Bank" has stood out lately, precisely by the fact that it has threatened the Romanian government with a lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitrage, as well as following the ruling of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), which accused the bank of trying to intervene in the ruling rendering process in relation to the laws concerning the banking sector. The bank later changed its tune and sponsored an event of the Romanian government, which was attended by German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Europe braced for a revolutionary Leftist backlash after Greece  .. He has vowed to block anti-austerity measures such as reverses to wage cuts, rehiring of public sector workers, and halting privatisations. A constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds majority vote in the country's 230-seat parliament. It cannot pass with the support of the Socialists who are the second largest party in parliament.  If the motion fails, Anibal Cavaco Silva, the president, faces the choice of appointing a caretaker regime for six months, or relenting and allowing the Leftists to enter power.
He is due to make a decision in the coming days. Indebted Portugal is still the problem child of the Eurozone . The political stalemate comes as Portugal's economy has stalled. GDP growth ground to a halt at just 0pc in the third quarter for the former bail-out country. Portugal's former international creditors in the IMF and Brussels have urged any new regime to continue cutting government spending, reduce debt levels and make crucial economic reforms. "Since the onset of the eurozone crisis, Portuguese voters have shown remarkable loyalty to their traditional political parties," said Ben May at Oxford Economics. "The pace of structural reforms has dwindled and could even go into reverse under a Left-wing alliance", he said

Wednesday, November 4, 2015



Saturday, November 23, 2013

The UK and US must do more to protect internet users' privacy, the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has warned as a new survey of online freedoms is released.
Berners-Lee warned that "a growing tide of surveillance and censorship" posed a threat to the future of democracy, even as more and more people were using the internet to expose wrongdoing.
His remarks came before the second annual release of a global league table that classifies countries according to a set of freedoms. Since last year, the US has dropped from second place to fourth, while the UK has remained in third place. Sweden still tops the list, though Norway now takes second place. All of the Scandinavian countries – Sweden, Denmark and Norway – feature in the top 10.
The UK was poorly placed on privacy rights but was lifted by its high scores for availability of relevant content and the internet's political impact.
The table is compiled by comparing 81 countries, combining measures such as the extent of access to the internet, how much censorship is employed, and how "empowered" people are by its availability. The list has been expanded from the 61 countries surveyed last year.
Last year Berners-Lee introduced the inaugural index by pointing out that there was no off switch for the internet – a fact that was proving uncomfortable for a number of governments that had tried to shut down radical dissent in the previous 12 months through the Arab spring.
But this year his remarks focused more on the threat of surveillance, which has been highlighted by the Guardian's revelations about the extent of online spying and subversion of internet protocols by the US's National Security Agency and the UK's GCHQ.
The survey found that 76 of the 81 countries examined did not meet "best practice" standards for checks and balances on government interception of electronic communications.
Speaking before an event to launch the updated version of the index, the 58-year-old British computer scientist said: "One of the most encouraging findings of this year's Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world.
"But some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy.
"Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online."
The survey also found that almost a third of countries surveyed block politically sensitive content.
Web innovators, experts and policymakers, including Berners-Lee and the Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales, were gathering in London on Friday to assess the World Wide Web Foundation's independent annual measure of the web's impact.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If you listen to German politicians or economic leaders these days, Germany is being unjustly savaged in Europe for its export surplus. These German leaders largely argue the same thing: Germany is being punished for its success! Germany's performance must be rewarded!
But now -- in a move that was foreseen for some time-- the European Commission announced on Wednesday that it will put Germany's export surplus under the microscope. While the politicians have griped, Germany's export surplus has skyrocketed to around 6 percent of gross domestic product. In September alone, German exports exceeded imports by more than €20 billion. If the commission's investigation should decide the surplus is "excessive," then, in theory at least, Germany could be facing a fine of up to 0.1 percent of its economic output, more than €2.5 billion. According to experts in Brussels, it's unlikely things will come to that. In their anger, the German whiners are forgetting one small thing: They themselves were responsible for the rules designed to keep high export surpluses under control. This provision -- along with targets for deficits, national debts or inflation -- are part of the colorful bouquet of criteria which are supposed to finally make the euro zone macro-economically stable. Of course, German officials only agreed to this condition to prevent even more stringent regulations on export control. And yet in doing so, Berlin clearly recognized the principle that high budget surpluses, just like massive deficits, can lead to economic distortions. This principle has gained new relevance in the euro crisis, because many economists consider higher domestic demand and less exports in Germany an urgent necessity for the stimulation of growth in crisis states.
The real issue here is about rules and their application. The German government has emphasized at every opportunity that the euro zone must be a community of laws. It has admonished crisis states that have complained about overly rigid limits for budget deficits because, after all, they had agreed to the rules. But when it comes to Germany, apparently different standards apply. It's similar to how the Schröder government saw the country become one of the first EU member states to violate the Maastricht criteria -- the fiscal criteria which establish whether a country is allowed to enter the euro -- in 2003, when it implemented its Agenda 2010 social reforms.
If Germany once again displays a double standard, it will lose the credibility which is a nation's most important currency in these times of crisis. It should also not be surprised that the ambassador of a southern EU state angrily declared on Tuesday that German supremacy within the EU can only exist if "the same rules apply for all." Europe can afford such discord among partners even less than overly high deficits or surpluses. All which means: It's time the Germans quit their moaning.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The following information focuses on earthquakes because seismic activity poses a significant risk for Romania. However, Romania is at risk for other natural and manmade hazards. While much of the information below specifically addresses earthquakes, it is applicable to multiple hazards, and we encourage you to think broadly about the possible risks you and your family may face and to be prepared for any kind of emergency that may arise.
Romania is situated in a seismically active region and has a history of devastating and deadly earthquakes. The Bucharest area has experienced a number of tremors of varying intensities, and the probability that a severe and damaging earthquake will occur is high. The consequences of such a disaster will vary greatly depending upon the circumstances surrounding the quake, and no one can predict with any certainty what conditions will exist immediately following an intensive shock.
It is prudent that everyone be prepared to care for themselves in the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake. Every family and company should develop its own emergency plan, stock its own emergency survival kit, and ensure that its personnel and their family members familiarize themselves with emergency procedures and take precautions to protect their personal safety.

The Role of the Embassy

The Romanian Government is responsible for assisting foreigners in the event of a disaster, but authorities may be stretched beyond their capacity to respond in the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake. Telephone services will be severely overloaded, if they are functioning at all, and the Romanian Government will likely restrict phone use to priority users. Nonetheless, the Embassy will quickly want to ascertain the welfare and whereabouts of American citizens.
To aid in this process, American citizens should cooperate with Romanian authorities at evacuation sites and clearly identify themselves as Americans. Those connected with larger organizations such as companies, schools, or church groups should try to let these organizations know of their welfare and whereabouts if this is practical. If possible, American citizens should try to contact their American Citizen Services wardens and/or the Embassy.

The Embassy will be in touch with the Romanian Government and with larger umbrella organizations to attempt to identify as many American citizens as possible and determine their welfare. In the likely event that it is impossible to communicate by telephone or use motor vehicles, Embassy consular assistance teams may be deployed to major evacuation sites, international schools, hotels etc. to collect information from and about American citizens.

The Embassy will help provide information about the situation and communicate with Romanian government officials, if necessary, in order to obtain proper food, shelter and medical attention. However, a significant earthquake will likely overwhelm the Romanian government’s resources and individuals should be prepared to provide for their own emergency needs.
We will pass as much information as possible about the welfare of individual U.S. citizens back to the Department of State in Washington, D.C. so that this information may be shared with families, friends and employers.

The Role of the Romanian Government

The Romanian Civil Protection Command is part of the Romanian Defense System and is responsible for protecting the population, assets, national heritage and geographical environment in case of a natural disaster. The command’s activities include disaster intervention, search & rescue, warning and notification, sheltering, evacuation, etc. A central committee for evacuations is set up under authority of the Government if evacuation is required. In the event of a disaster, the location of the centers is determined depending on the area affected and the type of disaster that occurred. The Civil Protection Command coordinates with the local authorities in order to notify the population regarding evacuation or taking shelter.


Evacuations will likely occur after an earthquake. City authorities will issue evacuation advice. Americans, as well as others affected by the disaster, may seek assistance from the Romanian authorities, but you should be prepared to take care of your own emergency needs for the first several days of any disaster.

Earthquake Preparedness/Survival Information

FEMA produces a comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Guide called Are You Ready?, which can be easily downloaded by section or in its entirety. This indepth guide provides a step-by-step approach to citizen preparedness by walking the reader through how to learn more about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that affect their local area, and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster, and information specific to people with disabilities. However, it is designed primarily for residents of the United States, and not all of the information will be relevant to disaster preparedness in Romania. Regardless, it can be a useful resource and a good starting place when preparing for a disaster.

Additional resources are also available online. Please visit the following websites for additional information about preparing for a disaster:

Emergency Supply Kit

Essential Supplies (Store enough for three-five days)
  • Water (four liters or one gallon per person per day. Change water every three to five months)
  • Food (canned or pre-cooked, requiring no heat or water. Consider special dietary needs for infants, the elderly, pets, etc.). Can opener.
  • Flashlight with spare batteries and bulbs
  • Radio (battery operated with spare batteries)
  • Large plastic trash bags (for trash, waste, water protection, ground cloth, temporary blanket)
  • Hand soap and/or disinfecting hand cleaner gel that does not require water
  • Feminine hygiene supplies, infant supplies, toilet paper
  • Essential medications as required; glasses if you normally wear contacts
  • Paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, cooking foil and plastic wrap and paper towels
  • First Aid kit with instructions
  • Lei, euros, and/or dollars in small bills (ATMs may not work after a disaster), with coins and phone cards for public phones. Credit cards.
  • Sturdy, closed-toed shoes and work gloves
Place emergency supplies in a sturdy tub where you can quickly and easily access your kit.

Essential Home Preparations Before a Disaster
  • Secure water heaters, refrigerators and tall and heavy furniture to the walls to prevent falling.
  • Move heavy items to lower shelves, and install latches or other locking devices on cabinets.
  • Install flexible connections on gas appliances.
  • Remove or isolate flammable materials.
  • Move beds and children's play areas away from heavy objects which may fall in an earthquake.
  • Register at Embassy or Consulate serving your area. You can do so online at or contact the U.S. Embassy to register.
Essential Planning Before a Disaster
  • Draw a floor plan of your home showing the location of exit windows and doors, utility cut off points, emergency supplies, food, tools, etc. Share it with housekeeper, babysitters, neighbors, and guests.
  • Establish family meeting points with alternate sites inside and outside of your home for all members to gather in the event of an evacuation.
  • Establish reunion sites with alternate sites for when the family is not at home, e.g., local shelter, neighbor's house, park, school.
  • Designate a person outside of your immediate area for separated family members to call to report their location and condition if separated.
  • Learn or establish disaster policy/planning at your children's school.
  • Know your neighbors and make them aware of the number of people and pets living in your home.
  • Learn where the nearest designated shelter for your neighborhood is.
  • Photocopy passports and other important documents. Store copies away from home (for example, at work). Scan important information and keep a thumb drive with critical documents in a safe, easy-to-access place or save it in email that you can access from anywhere.
  • Learn how to contact the police, fire and rescue services in Romanian. Be able to provide your address in Romanian.
Essential Steps Immediately After a Disaster
  • Check your immediate surroundings for fire, gas leaks, broken glass, and other hazards.
  • Check your home for significant damage. Do not remain in your home if you believe there has been structural damage.
  • Open doors and/or windows to avoid being locked in if there are after-shocks.
  • Contact one friend or relative in the U.S., and ask them to inform other parties of your situation.
  • Monitor local TV and radio for evacuation information. Contact your American Citizen Warden or the Embassy, if possible.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A railway tunnel underneath the Bosphorus Strait is due to open in Turkey, creating a new link between the Asian and European shores of Istanbul.  The tunnel is the world's first connecting two continents, and is designed to withstand earthquakes.   It is being opened on the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for years championed the undersea engineering project, first conceived by an Ottoman sultan in 1860.  Work began in 2004 but archaeological excavations delayed construction.  The underwater section runs for 0.8 miles (1.4 km), but in total the tunnel is 8.5 miles (13.6 km) long. It is scheduled to be inaugurated at 13:00 GMT.
Reha Muhtar in Vatan: "It is a miraculous project that tells something about the horizons of this country and its people… Today, two continents are being united under the sea. This is a first in the world."
Suleyman Solmaz, from the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, in Radikal: "Firstly there are no safety wagons; secondly, there is no electronic security system. The tunnel about to open doesn't have a safety control centre."
Taha Akyoll in Hurriyet: "Let us make the opening of a historically great project like Marmaray, on the 90th anniversary of the Republic, a symbol of overcoming polarisation. In the inauguration of this work, which was constructed with the taxes of 75 million people, the government should use an inclusive tone."
Japan invested $1bn of the $4bn (£3.4bn) total cost of the project, named Marmaray, which is a conflation of the nearby Sea of Marmara with "ray", the Turkish word for rail.    The BBC's James Reynolds in Istanbul says the Turkish government hopes the new route under the Bosphorus will eventually develop into an important trading route.  In theory it brings closer the day when it will be possible to travel from London to Beijing via Istanbul by train.   The Marmaray project will upgrade existing suburban train lines to create a direct link joining the southern part of the city across the Bosphorus Strait.    Istanbul is one of the world's biggest cities, with about 16 million people. Some two million, according to the AFP news agency, cross the Bosphorus every day via just two bridges, causing severe traffic congestion.    The rail service will be capable of carrying 75,000 people per hour in either direction.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World Bank cuts China growth forecasts - America's deadlock isn't the only issue worrying the City today. The World Bank has warned that East Asia's economic growth is slowing as it cut its GDP forecasts several nations, including China.
In a new report, the Bank said weaker commodity prices means weaker growth in the region. It also urged Chinese policymakers to tackle the consequences of recent loose policy and tighten financial supervision.
Here's a flavour:Developing East Asia is expanding at a slower pace as China shifts from an export-oriented economy and focuses on domestic demand," the World Bank said in its latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update report.
"Growth in larger middle-income countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand is also softening in light of lower investment, lower global commodity prices and lower-than-expected growth of exports," it added.
It now expects the Chinese economy to expand by 7.5% this year, down from its April forecast of 8.3%. For 2014, the forecast is cut from 8% to 7.7%.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dezaster ??...or onother theory??

The plot with Comet ISON thickens! We have been speculating for a few weeks now about the whereabouts and path of the incoming interstellar object. We know that both the United States and Russia have been preparing for an October 1 disaster preparedness deadline. We also know that the comet in question will pass by Mars on that date and then begin to make its pass by earth before making its way around the sun and slingshotting itself out of our solar system. Will it even make it all the way through our solar system, though? What if it were to strike Mars, Earth, Venus or Mercury? How big is it? This too will affect how it makes its pass and the effect it has on these planets. According to the video seen here, Comet ISON is much larger than NASA would have you believe. In fact, the data seems to indicate that it may be as big as half the size of Jupiter! What does this mean? Well, for one, it dwarfs earth in terms of its actual size, making it about 650 times larger than earth in terms of its volume! If this is true, it could be catastrophic for life on earth. We will soon know the full impact of ISON’s arrival. Will you be ready?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Slump in eurozone manufacturing could prompt ECB to cut rates
With manufacturing in all eurozone member states contracting, analysts say GDP in the currency bloc is likely to have dropped in the first quarter.
Here's Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight:
The deeper contraction in Eurozone manufacturing activity in March is both disappointing and worrying. It now looks odds-on that the Eurozone suffered further GDP contraction in the first quarter of 2013, likely around 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, while the increased drop in orders and declining backlogs of work does not bode at all well for second quarter prospects.
But he does not expect the European Central Bank to rush to cut rates in order to try and drive a recovery.
Despite mounting signs that the already weak Eurozone economic situation is deteriorating anew and muted inflationary pressures, the ECB still seems likely to hold off from cutting interest rates at its April policy meeting on Thursday.

The ECB currently appears reluctant to take interest rates down from 0.75% to 0.50%, partly due to some doubts that such a move would have a beneficial impact given current fragmented conditions in credit markets. And there is a risk that this fragmentation could be magnified by the recent events in Cyprus.
However, some governing council members did favour an interest rate cut in March, and we suspect that likely ongoing disappointing Eurozone economic news will increasingly prod the ECB towards acting within the next few months. We suspect that the ECB will eventually take interest rates down from 0.75% to 0.50%, very possibly around June.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ROME — A brief sampling of politicians’ remarks made on Monday underline how far Italy is from forming a government after last week’s surprisingly inconclusive general election.
“No solution can be reached without the Democratic Party,” Massimo D’Alema, a former prime minister, said in Rome. His party is the lead member of the center-left coalition that won the most votes in the election, which translates into 340 seats in the 615-member Chamber of Deputies, making its support of any prospective government truly indispensable.
Meanwhile, in Palermo, Angelino Alfano said Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party and the center-right coalition “have emerged as the winners.”  In fact, his party came in third and his coalition second, and will have only 20% of the lower-house seats. But Mr. Alfano sought to make the point that his coalition was surging in polls and saw itself as on course to win the next election.
Ultimately, the next election is what all today’s maneuvering is about.  That’s even more true of the Five-Star Movement, a protest movement led by Beppe Grillo that won more than a quarter of votes and enough seats to make it a potential kingmaker. Mr. Grillo strongly believes he can emerge the outright winner if Italy’s establishment politicians remain true to form and try to govern through an unwieldy coalition. That’s one reason why he is tempted to hope that happens. On Monday, he caustically suggested his rivals opt for a cabinet led by Corrado Passera, a former bank chief executive who served as Mario Monti’s industry minister in the technocratic government that is widely blamed for halfhearted reform efforts that, along with austerity measures required by Europe, led Italy into a prolonged recession.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mired in what economists are calling a "great depression", with its GDP set to contract for a sixth straight year, Greece is projected to see unemployment exceed 30% by the year's end as a growing number of businesses file for bankruptcy. Over 60% of those without work are under 25.
Public-sector firings are among a series of neuralgic points likely to be raised by the troika. Representatives, who indicated they would not be visiting Athens "to renegotiate its rescue package but supervise its economic performance", are also expected to address the thorny issues of progress on privatisations, tax administration reforms and bank recapitalisation.
Paitence is in short supply. Creditors have committed more funds to Greece – at €240bn, the biggest bailout in world history – than any other troubled economy since the tiny nation, revealing the unsustainable level of its public debt, triggered the eurozone crisis in late 2009.
Piling on the pressure ahead of the monitors' visit, the Euro Working Group chief, Thomas Wieser, emphasised that Athens had to keep its side of the deal. "All that was agreed in the bailout plan has must be implemented. These reforms were agreed to make the Greek economy stronger, flexible and more competitive," he told the Greek newspaper Realnews.
Although the IMF has publicly admitted that it seriously underestimated the impact of Greece's recession on its ability to deliver, there are growing concerns over the government's determination to crack down on tax collection – the single biggest drain on the country's economic performance.
A confidential report prepared by the EU and IMF and leaked to the Greek media last week showed that the nation was lagging severely in key revenue targets, with Athens' tax collection mechanism being singled out for particular criticism.
While Greece had managed to rein in public spending – pulling off the biggest fiscal consolidation of any OAED country – tax avoidance, particularly among high earners, remained "astounding", said the report, estimating that at €55bn unpaid tax amounted to nearly 30% of GDP.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Italian manufacturing output slides-Economic data just released shows that the Italian economy is in a bad way - manufacturing activity has fallen for the 19th month in a row, and by more than expected. The monthly PMI survey came in at a mere 45.8 for February, down 47.8 in January -- which means the country's manufacturing sector is shrinking at a faster pace [any number below 50 means contraction].
Other European economies are also reporting PMI data - and it shows that Germany continues to outperform weaker members of the eurozone.
German manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3, from 49.8 in January - meaning it returned to growth.
But France manufacturing sector is still shrinking, but at a slower pace (with a PMI of 43.9, up from 42.9 in January). 
With the ESM, the Fiscal Compact and the troika behaviour in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, I absolutely agree on the power grab aspect. The ECB and the EU Commission are unaccountable and going out on a basically unsupported limb. That doesn't mean obviously that the EU parliament is without power or only doing bad things.
I do see the way forward as MORE Europe, but not of the kind we have seen since the crisis. And should such a way forward be found, the UK would make a major mistake in not being a part of it.
Yesterday Belgium's PM was commenting that Europe no longer will decide with unanimity, referring to the banker bonuses. The UK either get with it or are left behind imho.
To be clear, that decision on bonus cap made me pretty happy, as did the discussion on the Guardian - but the basic problems that caused the crisis - the size and interconnectedness of banks, and the mixing of retail and investment - have NOT been adressed.
As much as I think the bonus cap is called or, I fear it's only window dressing.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The vote in italy - a vot for independence

If you've ever worked and lived in Italy, you'd know that the real reason for the failure in the polls has more to do with vehement dislike of Germany, than the EU in general!
The outgoing leader stuck strictly to austerity rules, viewed (probably correctly) by the electorate as German rules......... and the Italians are not about to let the Germans control them again!
I was surprised to find, when working in Northern Italy, that the (dare I say) hatred of all things German dates back to beyond the World Wars, to the days of the Hapsburgs and beyond. The rank dislike is reciprocated in Germany, where the Germans treat Italian Gastarbeiters like dirt!
The dislike gets in the way of business between the two countries, to the detriment of both. I was, while working there, tasked with getting a fleet of vehicles modified with very precise navigation equipment of German manufacture. It was a relatively simple operation........... My team installed the kit and the German Technicians just needed to fly down from Munchen, to calibrate it all.......... a simple transaction, so one might think.........
HOWEVER! I had to load the entire fleet on transporters and get them shipped, at huge cost, up to the Manufacturer's headquarters in Germany!.......... The reason?........... According to the manufacturer their technicians were TOO AFRAID to travel to Italy! (surprising in view of the huge numbers of German tourists one meets every day in Italy!)..........
Subsequent conversations indicated the refusal to travel was an executive decision............. typical German bad customer service.............
The result, of course, was that, as the project progressed, the German interests were frozen out and it became basically a Nationalistic expression of independence.........

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Free trade not only for growth but social security, freedom - "Free trade is a driver not only for economic development in poor countries, but is also essential for building social security and promoting access to human rights and freedoms", said Alf Svensson MEP, responsible for the European Parliament's response to the Commission's year-old statement on trade, growth and development.The Report, that got the full support from the EP's Development Committee in a vote on Tuesday, calls for the EU's Aid for Trade instruments to be focused not only on trade between the EU and developing countries, but also on support for internal and South-South trade, in order to promote growth and prepare developing countries for trade on the global market.
It further calls on the EU to actively use the many instruments at its disposal to support peace, good governance and sound public finances in developing countries and thereby help create a conducive environment for efficient trade development.

"Human rights and free trade are two pillars for sound and sustainable societal development, and the EU needs to use its development instruments to promote both pillars", concluded Alf Svensson.  The Report will be voted in the March plenary.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Commenting on the British Prime Minister David Cameron's speech on the UK's future in the EU, the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul, said: "I find it surprising that after forty years of partnership and common decisions, one of our Member States discovers that it is unhappy and wants to renegotiate the terms for a joint future. It is even more astonishing that it is a Conservative Prime Minister who is trying to wipe out the contributions of his predecessors: Conservative Prime Ministers such as Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, and John Major, who all helped forge the European Union of today. We will not renegotiate the fundamental principles which have given us peace and prosperity on this continent; principles which were negotiated and accepted by the United Kingdom for forty years.
For sixty years, Europe has worked to create a model that remains a beacon for the rest of the world, one that received last year's Nobel Peace Prize. Europe is no longer just about the nation state. It never was just a Single Market, a single currency or a set of common standards. Europe is above all a community of shared destiny with common values, founded on solidarity and responsibility.
The Prime Minister's speech is a retreat from these common values and a retreat from a shared common future. The United Kingdom was always at its highest point when it was working with its partners, not retreating from them. Today, I worry that this has been done for electoral purposes more than for the benefit of the British citizens. Europe cannot be taken hostage until 2017.
I want the United Kingdom to be a full Member State of the European Union but, I want a European Britain, just as I want a European France, a European Germany. Europe needs 27 Member States which are fully European. More than anything, we need a united Europe, an integrated Europe, a political Europe and I believe each Member State can contribute to this."

Monday, January 21, 2013

MY POINT OF VIEW : David Cameron is now speaking more like the type of person of Scots ancestry, whom I’ve known throughout my life, in four different countries. I, too, was named after the Old Testament legend. Let us hope this David is able to skilfully negotiate, with his slingshot, an escape from the crushing, networking giant of the Continent, knowing euphorically as the ‘Guy Fawkes Club’ – to put it into context. As every attempt has been made to make the bible look irrelevant in today’s world (just see what Romans Ch1v22-32 says of homosexuality), those directing the course for British governments seemingly more concerned to make it easier for the Anglican church to be gobbled up by the Guy Fawkes Club – which long ago gave up any pretence of following Scripture (apart from the subject of marriage – talk of straining at a gnat...swallowing a camel)! Perhaps David has done a crash course in Comparative Religion, and has noticed how undemocratic it has been, for mostly Romans to have held key positions in government & quasi government organisations since UK membership of the Common Market – if only because no decent, self respecting Protestant could bring his/herself to be involved in the systematic destruction of the English Speaking peoples, to advantage that jealous rabble on the Continent. Which Cardinal was it who said, ‘Secret mines may take the town when open batteries fail,’ – on the very same subject ! At last, David Cameron is speaking like a Prime Minister of the Greatest little Britain of all time! UK only started to prosper, to the benefit of the rest of the world, also, when Henry VIII cut the haemorrhage of resources to Italy, & UK began to stand on her own two feet, trusting only in holy scripture, & herself. Mussolini’s mentoring Hitler was meant to reverse all that, & when it didn’t, citizens steeped in Mussolini’s theory & logic began settling in the nations of the victors after cessation of WW2 hostilities, with Mussolini’s Plan B. Part of that was Franca Arena’s setting up our first ever republican movement in Australia, & Ray Bellisario, family also from Italy, setting up England’s first republican movement since Cromwell, to discredit the leadership which caused Mussolini to lose, while other aspects of his culture were trumpeted as superior both directly & subliminally in influential nations, so that, for instance, cat spew chino & pissa (my spelling) became something considered superior, & with an arrogantly assumed dash of romance attached to it. A sense of inferiority amongst the nationals of some other countries, about their own cultures, only helped feed the appetite for self aggrandisement, of those keen to rebuild a new Roman Empire. To assist in this plan the IRA were entrusted with the removal of those who could have warned Great Britain’s leadership what was really going on: battle experienced heroes like the Queen’s relative, Earl Mountbatten, & Airey Neave, MP. I fear, though, that Cameron’s telling the nation how he would vote in any referendum, will tend to make it a foregone conclusion, as voters seem to follow what is seen as the ‘party line.’ Even the Soviet Union discovered that ‘individualism’ whether as nations or as persons, do far better when left to find their own level, instead of being part of some vast metaphorical farm growing peanuts, with individual humans’ means of self expression being emasculated – as though ‘bigger’ is ‘better !’ The communist experiment failed, so why allow catholic activists promote the lie that the British were better off under the Treaty of Rome? It has been an entirely religion driven exercise, cynically aimed at achieving what Mussolini failed to during WW2.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Uniunea Europeana va disparea?

Seful Erste a mentionat ca faimoasa plasa de siguranta a Europei in privinta politicilor de securitate sociala a facut continentul „un loc frumos pentru a trai”, dar, partial, a actionat ca o frana in calea spiritului antreprenorial, intrucat „oamenii au realizat ca traiul este mai comod, fara a fi antreprenor”.
Diferitele reglementari impuse de tarile din UE sectorului bancar in urma crizei, pentru a limita fluxurile de capital transfrontaliere, sunt contrare principiilor Uniunii in privinta liberei circulatii a marfurilor, serviciilor, capitalului si fortei de munca, a adaugat Treichl.
„In timpul crizei, numeroase tari, de fapt, toate tarile din Europa, au infiintat garduri, in scopul de a proteja pietele financiare locale. UE a aparut pentru ca frontierele sa dispara, dar in termeni de lichiditate si de capital, in ultimii patru ani au fost stabilite granite din nou”, a precizat Andreas Treichl, pentru
„Germania ridica granite, Austria la fel, Cehia la fel, aceste lucruri se fac peste tot”.
In tarile din Europa de Vest, autoritatile de reglementare au impus masuri pentru a se asigura ca bancile finanteaza operatiunile filialelor din Europa Centrala de pe plan local, decat cu bani de la parintii din Vest. La randul lor, tarile est-europene au impus masuri prudentiale de prevenire a retragerilor bruste de capital de catre bancile-mama, a indicat seful Erste.
„Daca astfel de lucruri au loc in timpul crizei, e de inteles, insa daca vrem sa avem o Europa in sens economic, aceste situatii trebuie sa inceteze”, a completat Treichl.
„Fiecare tara are o multime de instrumente pentru a impiedica bancile sa mute fonduri in afara tarii. Din tot ceea ce s-a facut nimic nu este ilegal, e doar complet impotriva spiritului Europei”.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Obama originally proposed a 'grand bargain' to deal with all the remaining issues in the hope that he would avoid these regular and debilitating stand-offs with Congress.Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, within minutes of Tuesday's vote, flagged up the coming battles ahead over spending and the debt ceiling. So too did the Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who said: "Now the focus turns to spending. The American people re-elected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable." But Obama insisted he had enough of such confrontation. If Congress decides to make an issue of raising the debt ceiling, it would be responsible for the "catastrophic" consequences. The fiscal cliff crisis has been runnning since Obama won the election in early November. Attempts by Obama and the Republican House Speaker John Boehner to do a deal before Christmas collapsed. So too did negotations between the Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart McConnell. In the end, the deal was brokered over the weekend by McConnell and vice-president Joe Biden. The bill was passed by the Senate, with 89 senators in favour and eight against, at 2am on Tuesday, too late to prevent the country breaching the midnight fiscal cliff deadline. The bill restricts tax rises to individuals earning $400,000 or more a year and households earning $450,000 or more. Estate tax also rises, to 40% from 35%, but inheritances below $5m are exempted from the increase. Benefits for the unemployed are extended for another year.