Showing posts with label politica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politica. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

 The Venice Commission passed the report concerning the amendment of the laws of justice and the criminal legislation by the PSD-ALDE majority parliamentary coalition. In its opinion, the Commission expresses its concern over the fact that many of the changes made to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code in Romania seriously weaken the effectiveness of the criminal justice system when it comes to fighting corruption, violent crimes and organized crime.
The Venice Commission advises Romanian authorities to conduct a global reevaluation of the changes made in both codes through a comprehensive and effective process, which would result in a solid and cohesive legislative proposal which would have significant support within the Romanian society, taking into account the applicable standards and the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
European officials also remind that, through the ruling of October 12th, the Constitutional Court of Romania has established that over 63 articles of the draft law for the amendment of criminal procedure have been unconstitutional and the decision is awaited concerning the objections of unconstitutionality raised concerning the amendment of the Criminal Code.
With some amendments, the Commission has also passed the preliminary opinion issued in July concerning the three draft laws which amend the existing legislation concerning the bylaws of judges and prosecutors, the judicial organization and the Supreme Council of Magistrates. This opinion claims that the amendments made to the laws of justice have e negative influence on the efficiency, quality and independence of the judicial system and negative consequences when it comes to the fight against corruption.
Overall, the European officials are unhappy with the insignificant role the Supreme Council of Magistrates plays when it comes to the appointment of the Chief Prosecutors of the General Prosecutors' Office, the Department for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and the National Anticorruption Department, thinking that the entire process of appointment and dismissal of these magistrates will be politically influenced by the minister of justice.
Concerning the retirement of magistrates with 20 years of activity, the members of the Commission have established that that would harm the activity of the courts and prosecutors' offices of Romania, because the reduction of numbers would lead to the slowdown of the prosecution of ongoing civil and criminal cases.
The Venice Commission has acknowledged that through Emergency Government Ordinance 92 of 2018 the Government has delayed by a year the retirement of magistrates with 20 years of service, but thinks that it is necessary for the law concerning the retirement of those who have 20 years of service to be abrogated.
The members of this European institution have expressed their concern over the other stipulations of the Emergency Government Ordinance, but they will be included in another opinion which will be issued in the meeting which will be held on December 14th and 15th 2018.
What is certain is that, through his maneuver to draw up and pass the EGO concerning the laws of justice in the beginning of last week, Tudorel Toader has not succeeded in changing the agenda set by the members of the Venice Commission for the meeting of October 19th and to shift the debate on the laws of justice in December.
President Iohannis is asking for the resignation of the Minister of Justice
Immediately after the Venice Commission formulated his opinion concerning the amendments made to the criminal legislation and the laws on the judicial system, president Klaus Iohannis said that the very serious aspects mentioned by the European officials represent an unequivocal signal which the current government needs to take into account to avoid pushing Romania towards a direction that is incompatible with the values of the European Union.
The head of state thinks that it is unacceptable for the entire legislation in this essential sector to be dramatically altered just to protect some political leaders who are in trouble with the law. Iohannis claims that the changes made by the PSD-ALDE law irreparably harm not just the rule of the law but also the citizens' confidence that nobody is above the law, regardless of their position in society, but also the efforts of an entire nation for which the fundamental European values are indisputable.
Klaus Iohannis strongly condemns "the irresponsible behavior of the Minister of Justice which, under the pretense of the implementation of the recommendations of the Venice Commission within the OUG 92/2018, has incorporated completely unrelated provisions, in actuality even their opposite, which would increase the concern of the European partners".
The head of state claims that Tudorel Toader has permanently compromised his credibility and is asking for his resignation as minister of Justice. Klaus Iohannis is also asking the Parliament to take into account the opinion included in the report of the Venice Commission and to reassess with the greatest speed the amendments made to the laws of justice, as well as to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes in order for the negative impact on justice and the rule of law to end.
Following the expressed opinion, the representatives of the opposition think that Tudorel Toader should resign as minister of justice, because he has accepted the legislative amendments and because he has drafted, promoted and passed Emergency Government Ordinance 92/2018.
Ludovic Orban, the president of the PNL, said: "Both reports are extremely critical of the changes made. Eight recommendations have been passed and have been discussed the two ordinances for the amendment of the laws of justice in a critical manner. As far as the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, the report is scorching. We are on the edge and the parliamentary majority needs to wake up. If they don't, I feel the need to warn my fellow citizens of the risks that hover over Romania and over the dangerous consequences which the failure to comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission might have. The report on the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification is coming, and that could be devastating for Romania. We are at risk of saying goodbye to Schengen, and to European grants. The PNL is asking for PM Viorica Dăncilă to come before the Parliament and to say whether she pledges to follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission or not. The time for doublespeak is over".
Dan Barna, the president of the USR, has stated that his political party will file today a simple motion of no-confidence against Tudorel Toader, because he views him as irresponsible, and claims that he is trying to fool society about his true intentions. The USR thinks that Tudorel Toader no longer has the moral legitimacy to lead the Romanian judicial system.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Liviu Dragnea "swore", in December 2016, on the electoral program, which then became the governing program and the "Bible of the PSD": he guaranteed, in a TV Show, that he would abide by it or else he would resign. Liviu Dragnea did not abide by the electoral program.
Liviu Dragnea did not resign, instead he changed the government....Along with the government, he also replaced the "Bible of the PSD". The new proposals of the PSD, published on the night prior to the investiture, have overturned the business environment. All the companies in Romania will pay, starting with January 1st, 2018, a turnover tax instead of the profit tax, which will disappear, according to the new governing program of the PSD-ALDE coalition. Also, according to the new proposal, the minimum wage level in Romania in the coming years would be 2,000 lei in 2018, 2,200 lei in 2019 and 2,400 lei in 2020, and for those with higher education it would be 2,300 lei in 2018, 2,640 lei in 2019 and 3,000 lei in 2020. According to the governing program, the solidarity contribution will be introduced starting with January 1st, 2018, as well as an additional tax on consumer products whose consumption has a major negative impact on the health of the population.  Analysts said that the government is blowing up the economy, businesspeople were shocked. The new ministers swore on the Bible to offer all their power for the material and spiritual progress of the Romanian people.  So help them God! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

BERLIN — Police ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack.  The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed as about a hundred police officers positioned themselves around the compound to make sure nobody could enter the mall. Several officers scoured the inside of the building to bring out early morning cleaning staff.  “As police, we are the security authority here and have decided to close the mall,” police spokesman Christoph Wickhorst said, adding that they had been tipped off late Friday by other security agencies. He did not want to provide further details because of the ongoing investigation.
The downtown mall at Limbecker Platz square will be closed for the entire day. The mall is one of the biggest in Germany with more than 200 stores, according to the shopping center’s website.  In 2016, three people were injured in an attack on a Sikh temple in Essen by radicalized German-born Muslim teenagers.
Germany has been on the edge following a series of attacks in public places over the past year.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mehmet Simsek, the deputy prime minister, tried to dispel fears on Thursday that the country would return to the deep repression seen the last time it was under similar measures. "The state of emergency in Turkey won't include restrictions on movement, gatherings and free press, etc. It isn't martial law of 1990s," he said. "I'm confident Turkey will come out of this with much stronger democracy, better functioning market economy and enhanced investment climate." But as he made his statement, the crackdown spread to journalists and human rights lawyers. Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a leading newspaper columnist and lawyer, was arrested at the airport as he tried to leave the country.  Police also raided the printing house of well-known satirical magazine Le Man...On Thursday, Austria became the first country to take diplomatic action over the crackdown, saying it would summon Turkey's ambassador to discuss Ankara's "increasingly authoritarian" behaviour and allegations it had been behind recent Turkish protests in Vienna. Meanwhile, the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee said it was to launch an inquiry into Britain’s relations with Turkey and the impact of the crackdown on democracy and human rights.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

CARACAS, April 26 (Reuters) - Venezuela's socialist government ordered public workers on Tuesday to work a two-day week as an energy-saving measure in the crisis-hit South American OPEC country.  President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela's 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption. "From tomorrow, for at least two weeks, we are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days for the public sector," Maduro said on his weekly television program.  Drought has reduced water levels at Venezuela's main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri to near-critical levels. The dam provides for about two-thirds of the nation's energy needs.  Water shortages and electricity cuts have added to the hardships of Venezuela's 30 million people, already enduring a brutal recession, shortages of basics from milk to medicines, soaring prices, and long lines at shops. Maduro has also changed the clocks so there is half an hour more daylight in the evening, urged women to reduce use of appliances like hairdryers, and ordered malls to provide their own generators.  Regarding the public sector measure, the government is excluding workers in sensitive sectors such as food.  Full salaries will still be paid despite the two-day week.  Critics have derided Maduro for giving state employees days off, arguing it would hurt national productivity and was unlikely to save electricity because people would simply go home and turn on appliances there instead.  "Maduro says that 'we in government don't stop working for a second'. Of course. Except for Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!" satirized Leonardo Padron, a columnist for pro-opposition El Nacional newspaper, via Twitter. Officials said the El Nino weather phenomenon is responsible for Venezuela's electricity woes. But critics accuse the government of inadequate investment, corruption, inefficiency and failure to diversify energy sources.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

" Police in Germany are investigating an alarming series of sexual assaults on women trying to celebrate the New Year by large groups of single men “of Arab or North African appearance”.
Authorities in the city of Cologne are to hold a crisis meeting on Tuesday after police described a group of some 1,000 men who took over the area around the main station on New Year’s Eve.
Women were robbed, groped, and had their underwear torn from their bodies, while couples had fireworks thrown at them.  Police have received 90 criminal complaints, around a quarter of them for sexual assault, including one case of rape.  Police in Hamburg say there was a series of similar incidents in the city’s Reeperbahn red-light area. Witnesses described groups of five to 15 men of who “hunted” women in the streets."   Merkel, the leader of the EU, has brought this upon her country, and Europe. She had enough warnings...but works to another agenda.  Let her continue to sink into the quagmire.  Bring on our opportunity, to get out of the EU madhouse, as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OCDE) has worsened its estimates concerning the growth of the world's economy, for the second time in the last three months, as the slowdown of the emerging markets is affecting other countries as well, such as Germany and Japan.
The OCDE forecasts that the global economy will see a 2.9% advance this year, down from its 3% September estimate, and after the 3.4% growth of 2014, respectively. According to the OCDE, the economic growth will accelerate to 3.3% next year, down from the previous 3.6% forecast.  "The growth outlook for the global economy has worsened this year. The forecast for emerging markets is currently the main reason for the global uncertainty", the OCDE warns: "The difficulties on the emerging markets are greater. If the situation of those countries deteriorates, the growth of Japan and the Eurozone will be affected".   According to the OCDE, the Eurozone will see 1.5% growth in 2015, and 1.8% in 2016.
Another flop for Jean-Claude Juncker's migration initiative as a major bounty fund for Africa raises just €78million - out of a target of €1.8 billion. The European Commission president wanted to raise the money to give to African states in exchange for them accepting the deportation of migrants. But a whip round among member states raised just a fraction of the target, leaving the entire deportation programme in doubt. It follows the flop of the relocation scheme which has moved just over 100 people out of a target of 160,000. I'm told Juncker and Merkel will press for more money for Turkey

Monday, November 9, 2015

Many years ago when Alan Greenspan first proposed using monetary policy to control economies, the critics said this was far too broad a brush.  After the crash Alan Greenspan loosened monetary policy to get the economy going again. The broad brush effect stoked a housing boom.
When he tightened interest rates, to cool down the economy, the broad brush effect burst the housing bubble. The teaser rate mortgages unfortunately introduced enough of a delay so that cause and effect were too far apart to see the consequences of interest rate rises as they were occurring.
The end result 2008.  With this total failure of monetary policy to control an economy and a clear demonstration of the broad brush effect behind us, everyone decided to use the same idea after 2008.
Interest rates are at rock bottom around the globe, with trillions of QE pumped into the global economy.  The broad brush effect has blown bubbles everywhere. 
The underlying problem is that the global monetary system has failed with too much debt in existence.
The current monetary system has the following characteristics:
1) It is debt based, new money can only be created from new debt
2) It uses compound interest
Compound interest is an exponential function that, without prudent lending, will run away to infinity at some point.  When money creation lies with banks, there is always the over-whelming desire to increase profits by lending out more than would be prudent (their profit comes from the interest received).  The temptation of jam today, makes borrowers forget about the penury tomorrow.
The system relies on prudent lending by bankers who are purveyors of the debt products, e.g. loans, mortgages, etc ...

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Chinese economy has continued to struggle despite repeated efforts to stimulate activity, according to official data, raising the prospect of further measures from Beijing if the country is to reach its growth targets.  China's enormous manufacturing sector surprisingly contracted for the third consecutive month in October, while its services sector - the economy's growth engine - expanded at the slowest rate since 2008's financial crisis.  The figures raise new fears that growth in the world's second-biggest economy could fall below 7pc this year, after official data last month showed expansion of 6.9pc in the year to September. Weak demand in China has already had a huge effect on the world economy, potentially delaying interest rate rises and hitting commodity prices.  The country's central bank has repeatedly cut bank lending requirements in an attempt to boost growth and ward off deflation, but economists suggested the new figures could herald further measures. "As deflation risks intensify, a further RRR cut [the reserves a bank must hold against lending] before end of this year is still possible," economists at ANZ Bank said. Sunday's PMI figures from China's National Bureau of Statistics gave a reading of 49.8 for the country's manufacturing sector, below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion for the third month in a row. Markets had widely expected a rebound, with expectations set at 50..."Because of the recent weak recovery in the global economy and downward pressure in the domestic economy, manufacturers still face a severe import and export situation," Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician at the NBS, said.  Meanwhile, the services sector, which has helped make up for disappointing factory output, saw its slowest growth for seven years. The non-manufacturing PMI fell from 53.4 in September to 53.1. China's official figures for economic growth, which are widely believed to over-estimate the true level, fell to 6.9pc in the third quarter of the year, the lowest pace of expansion since early 2009. This compares to a rough target of 7pc set by Beijing.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Well, Deutsche Bank, VW, immigrant welcome mat manufacture rates down, Mother Merkel beatification questioned. Bit bumpy huh!...Deutsche Bank has unveiled plans to split-up its struggling investment banking operations as part of a shake-up which will see the departure of a host of senior executives. The bank, which employs more than 8,000 people in the UK, said Colin Fan, who was co-head of the investment bank, has resigned, while Michele Faissola, the head of the asset and wealth management business, will also leave. Stefan Krause, who was Deutsche’s finance chief until earlier this year, is also departing at the end of the month. Stephan Leithner, currently a member of the lender’s management board, is quitting to join private equity house EQT ... The dramatic overhaul is part of a plan by John Cryan, who became co-chief executive in July, to revive the lender’s fortunes. As well as the personnel changes, Deutsche said that its investment bank, which is Europe’s largest, will be divided into two divisions: a new unit called Global Markets, comprising sales and trading activities, and another called Corporate & Investment Banking, incorporating its corporate finance and global transactions banking operations. The shake-up comes less than a fortnight after the bank revealed that it would slump to a €6.2bn loss during its third quarter. The huge loss was driven by a €5.8bn impairment charge that Deutsche blamed on a higher capital requirements, which hit the value of the investment bank, and a write-down of its Postbank business, which is being sold.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

OOHHH - YESSS - Another step in the collapse of the euro....

Poland consolidated its rightwing shift on Sunday as exit polls showed voters had handed an absolute majority in its parliamentary election to Law and Justice, a Eurosceptic party that is against immigration, wants family-focused welfare spending and has threatened to ban abortion and in-vitro fertilisation.  The current ruling party, Civic Platform, conceded defeat following the first exit poll, published by Ipsos moments after polling stations closed at 9pm (8pm GMT), which gave the national conservative Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice party) 39.1% of the vote, putting it far ahead of Civic Platform on 23.4%.  Jarosław Kaczyński, Law and Justice’s chairman and the twin brother of Poland’s late president Lech, immediately declared victory...the result would give Law and Justice 242 seats in the 460-member lower house of parliament, meaning the party could govern alone and that its lead candidate, 52-year-old Beata Szydło, is likely to be appointed prime minister...“If Law and Justice end up governing alone with an allied president, Poland will become another Hungary,” said Prof Radosław Markowski of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a reference to the extremist rightwing views of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán...Most of Europe is moving to the Right. Euroscepticism and anti-immigration feelings are running at an all-time high.  Even in liberal nations like Sweden where the politicians are grimly trying to maintain open door policies, the ordinary citizens are heading in another direction entirely, and showing their distaste for such policies by burning down refugee camps and (regrettably) going into schools and killing immigrants.  Merkel is becoming increasingly isolated and reviled - even by many German citizens.  If ever proof was needed that multiculturalism is a failed social experiment - we now have it writ large. I feel a BREXIT coming on. And it feels good....HAHAHA...Merkel should threaten Poland with Pexit until they learn to vote in the correct party.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

European justice needs a single European legal space, efficient justice needs simplified procedures.
The European Small Claims Procedure, in use since 2009, is a simplified procedure, based on standard forms, for recovering money owed by someone in another EU country.  New rules approved by Parliament today would broaden the use of the procedure, whilst safeguarding the procedural rights of citizens, by raising the threshold for claims covered by the cross-border disputes procedure from 2000 Euro to 5000. Up to now, the procedure was available only for cases with a value of up to 2000 Euro.  The proposed changes would make the procedure available for more cases, cut court fees and encourage the use of electronic communications, such as videoconferencing, and means for distance payments.  The European Parliament’s vote benefits EU citizens by providing simplified procedures for cross-border dispute resolution. National barriers will no longer be an insurmountable obstacle in judicial matters for individuals, nor, in particular, for SMEs. Electronic communication tools will facilitate the process for those involved.  "Good faith in the execution of civil and commercial contracts will be more vigorously protected and legal security will be guaranteed for the commercial circuit," said Daniel Buda MEP, the EPP Group's spokesperson on the issue.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Britain is among a handful of shining lights in the global economy this year as the world sees the slowest period of growth since the depths of the financial crisis, according to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF edged up its forecast for UK growth in 2015 amid downgrades "across the board" for advanced and emerging economies. It said China's slowdown, falling commodity prices and an expected increase in US interest rates would all weigh on output.   "Britain is among a handful of shining lights in the global economy this year"  I think someone must be holding this shining light in your eyes. I'd recommend a read of the Whole of Government Accounts for 2013-14, and of course for 2014-15 when they finally come out.  Here's a quick extract from 2013-14 WGA for you. "Assets have increased by £39.8 billion (3.1%) from £1,297.5 billion in 2012-13 to £1,337.3 billion in 2013-14. Property, plant and equipment (PPE) increased by £15.8 billion due to increased assets under construction and new academies; financial assets increased by £17.6 billion due to increased loans and advances to banks (repos) and trade receivables increased by £10.2 billion due to increases in taxation due.  Liabilities have increased by £263.7 billion (9%) from £2,925.4 billion in 2012-13 to £3,189.1 billion in 2013-14. The key factors behind this increase were an increase in the pension liability of £130 billion (11.1%), followed by an increase in government borrowing of £99.9 billion (10%) and financial liabilities of £17.8 billion (3.8%)."  Assets up by 39.8bn and liabilities up by 263.7bn, that's a net worsening of position of 224bn or so in a single year. Then of course we have the private pension sector whose recognised deficits have increased, according to the PPF, by 320bn over the last two years, primarily thanks to emergency low rates. They are going to need to suck that money out of the wider economy over perhaps the next ten years, as indeed many major companies are already doing.  As to GDP, well we have 8.9% of our GDP being provided by imputed rents, the rent that you'd theoretically have to pay yourself if you didn't already own your property, though it generates no real additional economic activity. Another large chunk of nominal GDP growth come from importing 330,000 people a year that we make no provision in terms of infrastructure or services for, we simply degrade existing ones with the extra load. And the remainder? Well we borrow three or four times the actual organic GDP growth to support it.
I'm not sure we can afford things being this good much longer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

China is the world's largest creditor. Beijing's massive money reserves (it is still the largest holder foreign holder of US government debt) currently stand at a healthy $3.6 trillion.  For more than two decades, the world's second largest economy has built up a war chest of foreign currency assets to act as a buffer against global headwinds. But the decision on August 11, to tweak its exchange rate regime and engineer the largest single devaluation of the renminbi in 21 years, has thrust the question of reserve depletion into sharp relief. What most People don't realize is, it's a Game that cost lives who ain't playing it, all the Banks, including the Central Banks in existent, bar 3 Countries to date, that aren't under the control of the Rothschild, Rockefeller Bankers, the main players, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, so it's an illusion that any Country act's independently regarding anything to do with Fiat Money, the Dollar of make believe with Interest, that wasn't tied to Oil for nothing, cause when you control the Money Supply over the last 3 Centuries , you can scam your way into Wealth , control all the major Industries on the Planet, including all those that have a habit of blowing Folks up in the name of Democracy, who just happened to fund Hitler and all his ideals.
The Dollar's worthless, they want to move away from it, they start taking another Currency for the Oil etc, like Saddam, or  Gaddafi going Gold with the rest of Africa, which was to commence in 2011, then we get fed lies via the Media that they control, the Politician's and these People end up Dead, Countries destroyed , but these Rothschild Bankers don't hang around long before they've got a Central Bank up and running, that's the reality, but China's been buying and mining Gold for over 15 years, waiting for the day for it to all explode, Gold is going to be their Savior, unlike USA who've only got others and Brown, well he sold most of Britain's, pocket change to China, they ain't daft, it's only matter of time before China is declared the Winner...With US$, GBP, Euro and Yen increase of money supply (M1) and near negative money velocity (M3); any creditor including China would be bonkers to hold on to US$ denominated assets. The Chinese devaluations of the RMB to US$ have in effect increased their profits measured in RMB. Smart moves.  Why should China care about US$ denominated assets created by a debtor, especially since the US and European economies are in implosion mode, except for a loss of market which is substitutable with the likes of Russia, India or Africa?  However, think ahead and after the implosion of the US economy, the Chinese will mop up all those good value insolvent companies and other hard assets worldwide with the new global substitute for the US$- Brilliant and playing the game like a true capitalist. 'Trust the free market', said the Chicago School of economics, Reagan, Clinton, Bush(s), Blair and Brown.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A great part of the European project is tainted with the fact that the Dutch, Belgians Luxembourgers do not like the Germans, the French do not like the Brits, nobody likes the Spanish etc.and so it goes on all over Europe. Suppose the big plan is to merge all the debt into one big pile and as one the then union explodes dissolving all monetary ties as no one will be able to untangle the debt pile. The result is a complete mess almost parity with one big nuclear bomb over the entire EU. Except the working man and woman wake up not to radiation sickness but to an empty bank account and little or no coherent government structure or judiciary to collect fresh debts such as utilities, etc. Begin day one...Germany is set on a collision course with Brussels' visions for deeper eurozone integration, by setting out its objections to greater financial risk-sharing in the single currency. Berlin is determined to break the toxic link between distressed banks and indebted governments, and will insist on new "bail-in" procedures to impose losses on private sector creditors in the event of another financial crisis. The eurozone has been thrown into turmoil since 2009, after the banking systems of Ireland, Spain, and Greece were rescued by taxpayer money, loading debt on to government balance sheets. As Europe's largest creditor nation, Germany wants senior bank bondholders and private sector depositors to take the hit when banking or government solvency is threatened.   The red lines have been laid out in a Germany finance ministry "non-paper" seen by the Financial Times. It will be presented by Wolfang Schaeuble at an informal gathering of European finance ministers in Luxembourg today. "The restructuring of banks without taxpayers’ money will function only if sufficient resources are available for a bail-in and if member states ensure that the bail-in is legally enforceable," said the paper.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Chinese government’s heavy handed efforts to contain recent stock market volatility – the latest move prohibits short-selling and sales by major shareholders – have seriously damaged its credibility. But China’s policy failures should come as no surprise. Policymakers there are far from the first to mismanage financial markets, currencies, and trade. Many European governments, for example, suffered humiliating losses defending currencies that were misaligned in the early 1990s.
Still, China’s economy remains a source of significant uncertainty. Indeed, although the performance of China’s stock market and that of its real economy has not been closely correlated, a major slowdown is under way. That is a serious concern, occupying finance ministries, central banks, trading desks, and importers and exporters worldwide. China’s government believed it could engineer a soft landing in the transition from torrid double-digit economic growth, fuelled by exports and investments, to steady and balanced growth underpinned by domestic consumption, especially of services. And, in fact, it enacted some sensible policies and reforms. But rapid growth obscured many problems. For example, officials, seeking to secure promotions by achieving short-term economic targets, misallocated resources; basic industries such as steel and cement built up vast excess capacity; and bad loans accumulated on the balance sheets of banks and local governments.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ECB - Christian Noyer said that Greece's debt cannot be restructured

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says Germany sees no basis at present for entering negotiations on a new bailout program for Greece. Steffen Seibert said Monday that Germany respects the "clear 'no' vote" by Greeks against austerity measures demanded by creditors and that "the door for talks always remains open." However, he said the conditions are "not there at present to enter negotiations on a new program." He said the "no" vote is a vote against the principle - still supported by Germany - that solidarity requires countries to take responsibility. Seibert says Europe will explore what possibilities there are to help Greek citizens and "a lot will depend on what proposals the Greek government now puts on the table." Regarding requests by Athens to restructure its debt, finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said: "I can see no reason to enter into discussions."  Meanwhile, ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said that Greece's debt cannot be restructured. "Greek debt held by the Eurosystem is debt that cannot by its very nature be restructured because that would be monetary financing of a state," he said...The French advisor went on to say that Merkel had gone out on a limb to reach a compromise with Greece over a credit deal. 
"Merkel was very open to negotiations with Greece, showing patience and even a sort of maternal protection regarding Alexis Tspras," he said. France's Socialist government still hopes to avoid Greece leaving the euro, but France's opposition conservatives are now calling for Greece's orderly exit from the eurozone.  Alain Juppé from Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right Republicans party, said: "Greece is no longer capable of sticking to the disciplines of the eurozone."
"We must help it to organise its exit without any drama."...Angela Merkel displayed "maternal protection" towards Greece's Leftist prime minsiter Alexis Tsipras who betrayed the trust of the German Chancellor and François Hollande - despite France's more conciliatory line with Athens, according to a French presidential aide. The comment comes as the French and German leaders are to meet in Paris at 6pm local time (5pm BST) to discuss the Greek crisis, followed by a working dinner at 7.30pm at the Elysée Palace.  The Hollande advisor's comment to AFP suggests France is hardening its line as facilitator vis a vis Greece and aligning itself more with Germany in a bid to show a united Franco-German front.  The aide admitted Hollande got his fingers burned after seeking a compromise with Greek PM Tsipras, saying: "It will be difficult with Tsipras. There's a real problem of trust between him and us and us and him."    Brussels to Greece: we're going to make your life much harder That was quite the press briefing from Commission vice-president Dombrovskis. In short, Brussels will not be giving the Greek government anywhere near an easier ride after last night.
Some points:
• "The place of Greece is and remains in Europe", but when pressed, Mr Dombrovskis did not repeat that Greece's place remained in the single currency
• Brussels questions the legality of the referendum and the nature of the question: it is "neither legally nor factually correct"
• The Commission will not carry out any talks with Athens before they get a mandate from the eurozone's finance ministers who are meeting tomorrow
• Greece's vague promise of debt relief as agreed back in 2012 is now no longer on the table after the second bail-out expired last week
• The No vote has made life much more "difficult" for the Greek government, but the ball is in their court to now come up with some credible reforms

Monday, March 23, 2015

OECD - In its latest interim economic assessment the thinktank warns that against a backdrop of better growth prospects for big economies, including in the eurozone, there is a growing risk of financial instability.  Its prime concern is that low borrowing costs and inflation mean activity is driven by easy money rather than fundamentals. The OECD highlights an over-reliance on central bank policy and warns that more needs to be done by governments in terms of tax and spending policy as well as structural changes.   Lower oil prices and widespread monetary easing have brought the world economy to a turning point, with the potential for the acceleration of growth that has been needed in many countries,” said OECD chief economist Catherine Mann.    “There is no room for complacency, however, as excessive reliance on monetary policy alone is building up financial risks, while not yet reviving business investment. A more balanced policy approach is needed, making full use of fiscal and structural reforms, as well as monetary policy, to ensure sustainable growth and public finances over the longer term.”   The OECD used its latest in-depth report into the UK to warn that more needs to be done to fix the country’s poor record on productivity, which it sees as key to raising living standards. The thinktank also had some encouraging words for George Osborne as he heads towards the election – it praised his economic policies and renewed backing for the chancellor’s austerity drive.   The group’s latest outlook highlighted a boost to the US economy from strong domestic demand, which, combined with a strengthening dollar, was adding to demand in the rest of the world. The euro area should benefit from low oil prices, monetary stimulus and euro depreciation, which “combine to offer the chance to escape from stagnation”, the OECD added.
Summarising the outlook for other big economies, the thinktank says:  In Japan, monetary and fiscal stimulus provide the impetus for faster near-term growth, but longer-term challenges remain. A gradual slowdown in China, towards the new official growth target, is expected to continue. India is expected to be the fastest-growing major economy over the coming two years, while the outlook is likely to worsen for many commodity exporting nations, with Brazil falling into recession.”

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The agreement signed between Greece and the EU after three weeks of lively negotiations is a compromise reached under economic duress. Its only merit for Greece is that it has kept the Syriza government alive and able to fight another day. That day is not far off. Greece will have to negotiate a long-term financing agreement in June, and has substantial debt repayments to make in July and August. In the coming four months the government will have to get its act together to negotiate those hurdles and implement its radical programme. The European left has a stake in Greek success, if it is to beat back the forces of austerity that are currently strangling the continent.   In February the Greek negotiating team fell into a trap of two parts. The first was the reliance of Greek banks on the European Central Bank for liquidity, without which they would stop functioning. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, ratcheted up the pressure by tightening the terms of liquidity provision. Worried by developments, depositors withdrew funds; towards the end of negotiations Greek banks were losing The second was the Greek state’s need for finance to service debts and pay wages. As negotiations proceeded, funds became tighter. The EU, led by Germany, cynically waited until the pressure on Greek banks had reached fever pitch. By the evening of Friday 20 February the Syriza government had to accept a deal or face chaotic financial conditions the following week, for which it was not prepared at all.  The resulting deal has extended the loan agreement, giving Greece four months of guaranteed finance, subject to regular review by the “institutions”, ie the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF. The country was forced to declare that it will meet all obligations to its creditors “fully and timely”.   Furthermore, it will aim to achieve “appropriate” primary surpluses; desist from unilateral actions that would “negatively impact fiscal targets”; and undertake “reforms” that run counter to Syriza pledges to lower taxes, raise the minimum wage, reverse privatisations, and relieve the humanitarian crisis.   In short, the Syriza government has paid a high price to remain alive. Things will be made even harder by the parlous state of the Greek economy. Growth in 2014 was a measly 0.7%, while GDP actually contracted during the last quarter. Industrial output fell by a further 3.8% in December, and even retail sales declined by 3.7%, despite Christmas. The most worrying indication, however, is the fall in prices by 2.8% in January. This is an economy in a deflationary spiral with little or no drive left to it. Against this background, insisting on austerity and primary balances is vindictive madness.  The coming four months will be a period of constant struggle for Syriza. There is little doubt that the government will face major difficulties in passing the April review conducted by the “institutions” to secure the release of much-needed funds. Indeed, so grave is the fiscal situation that events might unravel even faster. Tax income is collapsing, partly because the economy is frozen and partly because people are withholding payment in the expectation of relief from the extraordinary tax burden imposed over the last few years. The public purse will come under considerable strain already in March, when there are sizeable debt repayments to be made.  But even assuming that the government successfully navigates these straits, in June Greece will have to re-enter negotiations with the EU for a long-term financing agreement. The February trap is still very much there, and ready to be sprung again.  What should we as Syriza do and how could the left across Europe help? The most vital step is to realise that the strategy of hoping to achieve radical change within the institutional framework of the common currency has come to an end. The strategy has given us electoral success by promising to release the Greek people from austerity without having to endure a major falling-out with the eurozone. Unfortunately, events have shown beyond doubt that this is impossible, and it is time that we acknowledged reality.   For Syriza to avoid collapse or total surrender, we must be truly radical. Our strength lies exclusively in the tremendous popular support we still enjoy. The government should rapidly implement measures relieving working people from the tremendous pressures of the last few years: forbid house foreclosures, write off domestic debt, reconnect families to the electricity network, raise the minimum wage, stop privatisations. This is the programme we were elected on. Fiscal targets and monitoring by the “institutions” should take a back seat in our calculations, if we are to maintain our popular support. At the same time, our government must approach the looming June negotiations with a very different frame of mind from February. The eurozone cannot be reformed and it will not become a “friendly” monetary union that supports working people. Greece must bring a full array of options to the table, and it must be prepared for extraordinary liquidity measures in the knowledge that all eventualities could be managed, if its people were ready. After all, the EU has already wrought disaster on the country.   Syriza could gain succour from the European left, but only if the left shakes off its own illusions and begins to propose sensible policies that might at last rid Europe of the absurdity that the common currency has become. There might then be a chance of properly lifting austerity across the continent. Time is indeed very short for all of us. ( source : The Guardian)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Eurozone finance ministers have approved reform proposals submitted by Greece as a condition for extending its bailout by four months, officials say.  The Eurogroup said it had agreed to begin national procedures - parliamentary votes in several states to give the deal final approval.   The measures proposed by Greece include combating tax evasion and tackling the smuggling of fuel and tobacco.  The European Commission said earlier they were a "valid starting point".   Eurozone finance ministers - known as the Eurogroup - then held a conference call before giving their backing to the Greek proposals.  "We call on the Greek authorities to further develop and broaden the list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement, in close co-ordination with the institutions," the Eurogroup said in a statement.  The agreement had "averted an immediate crisis", said European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici.   "It does not mean we approve those reforms, it means the approach is serious enough for further discussion," he added.  'Lack of clear assurances' .  However, International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde was quoted as expressing reservations about the reform proposals.  "In some areas like combating tax evasion and corruption I am encouraged by what appears to be a stronger resolve on the part of the new authorities in Athens," she wrote in a letter to the Eurogroup.  "In quite a few areas, however, including perhaps the most important ones, the letter is not conveying clear assurances that the government intends to undertake the reforms envisaged."