Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

European Union: the bottom isn't in sight yet so let's keep sinking!

News about the Titanic European Union:

Quote
European Parliament approves Schengen bids by Bulgaria and Romania

With a large majority of 487 votes in favour, members of the European Parliament voted on June 8 2011 to support the accessions of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union's Schengen visa zone.

MEPs said that the two countries had met the entry conditions, based on European Commission progress reports, but added that the European Parliament should be kept informed of additional measures taken in the Bulgaria-Turkey-Greece area to cope with a possible surge in migration pressure.

There were 77 votes against and 29 abstentions.

The European Parliament’s opinion will now be sent to EU homes affairs ministers meeting on June 9 in Luxembourg.

Checking that new members have met all Schengen requirements (control of land, sea and air borders, issuing visas, police co-operation, readiness to connect to and use the Schengen Information System and data protection), is a prerequisite for the EU Council of Ministers to decide, after consulting the European Parliament, to abolish checks at internal borders with those member states.

After considering progress reports on Bulgaria and Romania and the findings of expert follow-up teams, MEPs concluded that although some remaining issues will require regular reporting and further attention in the future, they do not constitute an obstacle to full Schengen membership for Bulgaria and Romania.

"We are in a position to welcome Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area and I hope that the Council will adopt the same position as soon as they receive our positive opinion. (...) Their citizens should be regarded as fully European citizens, and should not be hostages of populist discourse", said rapporteur Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT).

Bulgaria - Turkey - Greece border area

However, Coelho also emphasised the need to acknowledge that illegal migration makes Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece one of the EU's most sensitive external border areas.

This means Bulgaria must take some additional measures, including a special action plan, to be implemented when it joins Schengen, and working out a common approach with Greece and Turkey to coping with a possible surge in migration pressure.

MEPs approved an amendment asking that Bulgaria and Romania inform the European Parliament and the Council, in writing and within six months of the entry into force of the integration decision, of any shortcomings in the implementation of these additional measures.

"Schengen is one of the biggest achievements of the EU. We must not destroy it with rash decisions. The Schengen system is providing the highest standards of border management. Romania and Bulgaria are meeting these standards today - hence, we must not delay their integration. I call on the Council to follow the recommendations of the vote expressed today by the large majority of the European Parliament", European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said.

The Schengen area currently has 25 members: 22 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and three associated non-EU countries (Norway, Iceland and Switzerland). Liechtenstein should soon become the fourth associated country.

http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/06/08/1102681_european-parliament-approves-schengen-bids-by-bulgaria-and-romania


Quote
European Parliament Rejects Freezing EU Budget until 2020

The European Parliament has refused to freeze the EU budget until 2020 in line with the cuts approved in the majority of member states facing the crisis, like United Kingdom, Germany and France. Instead, the Parliament calls for an increase of at least 5% in the next financial perspective from 2013.

The freeze “is not a viable option” and even with an increase of 5% “we can only make a limited contribution to achieving the goals and commitments of the Union and the principle of solidarity,” says the parliamentary report, whose speaker is the Spanish PP representative Salvador Garriga.

This will be the political position adopted by the European Parliament in the negotiations over the next EU budgetary framework, which will begin in June when the Commission presents its proposals. Garriga’s report was approved on Wednesday by the Budgets Committee with 39 votes in favour, 5 against and 4 abstentions, and will be fully ratified in June.

“During the last year I tried to reach the widest possible agreement among the political groups to send a clear political signal to the other EU institutions and citizens: freezing the level of resources, as requested by some member states, is not a viable option and in order to move forward we need to identify which tasks the EU should leave alone”, said the MEP.

The report also advocates maintaining regional and agricultural spending over the next period and is committed to a “significant increase” of EU investment in R & D, innovation, energy and transport.

MEPs also called for a new funding system of the EU’s own resources, referring to alternatives presented so far by the Commission, including VAT, energy tax or a tax on financial transactions, but not favouring any particular one.

http://www.cartranspain.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1051:european-parliament-rejects-freezing-eu-budget-until-2020&catid=37:property&Itemid=83

Crisis? What crisis? Just keep pumping money into corrupt countries like Greece that would otherwise get the fate they deserve: becoming third world countries. The European Union is like a big ship, all it takes is one leak and we all sink. So you just keep fixing those leaks with your taxpayers money, after all as a EU member that's your responsibility! Meanwhile we'll keep adding passengers and won't let you do anything about it. Because we're idealists and you're just being cynical bro. You should ignore reality and follow the dream like we do! Lie down and be counted, stand up and be ignored! This meeting is now adjourned.

Some party or many quietly benefits from the arrangement. Either that or leadership from parliamentary democracy always produces this sort of incompetence.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

Some party or many quietly benefits from the arrangement. Either that or leadership from parliamentary democracy always produces this sort of incompetence.

Germany for one is loving the situation. The whole single currency snafu was just a shell game to concentrate the wealth of Europe, and it just so happens that the concentration is occurring in German stock markets.

The enforced austerity of third world satellite territories (Ireland, Portugal, Greece) has led to an under-valuation of German share prices, as it is the richest part of the Eurozone. What should be a comparatively unattractive investment in BMW or similar is instead hugely undervalued because Greece is acting as ballast.

Were matters to actually spiral out of control, Germany is one of a few territories that could (and would) drop everything and return to the DM. Until then, they can continue to do everything they do best: lead with industry, remain frugal,  and complain about foreigners being lazy and profligate.

The Greek situation may have taken an interesting turn this week, as an opposition MP has accused Prime Minister Papandreou of state level fraud, according to this blog.

The accusation is that Papandreou employed the Gnomes of Zurich to smuggle more then $20B of public money out of Greece and into private bank accounts, using the shadowy financiers IJ Partners.

The claim is that Papandreou knowingly sold CDS derivatives just months before Greece applied for an IMF/ECB bailout that would have seen the contracts soar in value.

A CDS (credit default swap) is financial insurance. The Greek state paid $1.3B for this insurance. Just days after they had taken out this contract, they sold it on allegedly, to a private firm in Zurich, at almost cost price. It is the bearer of the contract who receives the payout if Greece defaults, and if the Greeks still had this contract and sold it in the open market today, they would immediately earn about $27B. Questions are being asked and IJP has denied having ever bought the contract, but this is incredibly similar to an occurrence last summer, where Libya's Gaddafi moved much of his nation's public wealth to London under the guise of hedge fund FM Capital Partners

As I recall, the Irish people resisted EU membership but were shoved in anyway. I don't know if that is the case for the other satellite countries like Portugal and Greece. The reason I bring this up is because of the possibility these less affluent countries imagined they were going to benefit from having a financial share among more affluent members like Germany.

In other words, their native contributions would stay weak as usual but they would benefit anyways from having an EU bond with the more productive neighboring economies. So, they thought they were going to game the system a little in their favor but instead the shrewd German bankers not only turned the tables but helped draw the viability of the union itself into serious question.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

As I recall, the Irish people resisted EU membership but were shoved in anyway. I don't know if that is the case for the other satellite countries like Portugal and Greece. The reason I bring this up is because of the possibility these less affluent countries imagined they were going to benefit from having a financial share among more affluent members like Germany.

In other words, their native contributions would stay weak as usual but they would benefit anyways from having an EU bond with the more productive neighboring economies. So, they thought they were going to game the system a little in their favor but instead the shrewd German bankers not only turned the tables but helped draw the viability of the union itself into serious question.

Yes and no. You are absolutely right that the small nations on the periphery of Europe expected to gain wealth from the Eurozone. Also remember that the problem is not the people, but their leaders. In Ireland as you say, the people voted down the full integration, but were bombarded with corporate propaganda (largely funded privately by Intel) and made to vote again. It was made explicitly clear by policy makers that the state would continue to hold referenda until the people voted 'yes'.

The world crash was characterised and explained by one single phrase: short-termism. Everybody cashed in their chips today, ignoring the fact that they would have to pay out more tomorrow.

In the small EU economies (Cyprus, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia) the result was a ludicrous housing bubble that has still not yet unwound. And other states hoping to get in on the activity (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro) are now being described as the new places for property speculators to go to avoid the inevitable bankruptcy ruling snapping at their heels. But a bubble will always deflate, and regular people will be mugged by the corrupt insiders who know when to withdraw their money from the game.

In the larger economies where corruption is endemic, (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece) the property market was again the one used by money launderers, speculators and private wealth kleptocrats to syphon off money collected as taxes into private pockets. In these cases it was largely (but not always) the construction side of the industry that was the basis for activities (Silvio Berlusconi has already openly spoken about his early career in the construction industry, and how he was unable to avoid doing business with organised crime simply because they ran the entire industry).

In Great Britain there is a simple case study in the mismanaged bank HBOS. from 2006-2007, HBOS invested in McCarthy&Stone, Crest Nicholson, Kilmartin, and Miller, all of which are construction and property developers. The bank was pouring money into the housing market and into private hands whilst the markets were collapsing. Now the British government has pledged the peoples' tax money to the bank because it has run out of money.

The Irish example is slightly different from the other PIIGs thanks to the Intel/USA connection. America pumped in large amounts of cash for development into Ireland in the form of business contracts. Intel based a large operation there. The reason for this was a specific objective which is an interesting mix of economic theory and computer technology: they wanted to build a trading hub for Wall Street in Dublin. In the modern age of stocks and shares being traded automatically by computers ("flash trades") then a factor as small as the length of fibre optic cable can allow you to get a better price, as you are effectively jumping the queue. So America wanted to launch a financial service hub in Dublin to trade in the Eurozone, and using EU-backed regulation which allows access to certain trades and markets that the USA does not recognise as legitimate. Ireland would have seen a decent kickback from this, but as we have all seen, the plan was never in their own long-term interest.