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Friday, 30 December 2011

BECKHAM TOO EXPENSIVE ?



The arrival of David Beckham at the Paris St. Germain football club has raised many eyebrows, if not a certain indignation.  He will be paid 800 000 euros per month for the next few months !!!  Ancelotti, the former Chelsea manager will be the new manager and he will be paid 500 000 euros per month !!!  Antoine Kombouaré has been thanked for his services !!!

At this particular point in time, everyone should know that PSG are the leaders by three points of the French Football Championship !!!

Perhaps Qatar Sports Investments, which bought PSG on 30 June 2011 are seeking a cast iron guarantee that PSG is a real "Winner" ?  Do they really want to "buy" the future ?

Furthermore, the Paris Council has decided to reduce the Subvention paid to PSG by 250 000 euros to 1250 000 euros. However, this paltry sum does not even cover the envisaged salary costs for one month which will be paid to Beckham and Ancelotti !!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

DOES ANYONE CONTROL BANKS ?


Theoretically Banks are controlled by their shareholders, but this is shrouded by more imperial considerations !!!


Government regulations and Central Bank rules, very simply said, greatly limit the independence of Directors who are coerced to follow the official "will".


The rules and controles in countries can vary greatly (e.g. in France and Britain) but it is clear that Banks should be rescued from bankruptcy if losses have been provoked by "Official Government Orders". 

What cannot, or should never be covered are losses from "losing bets" by Hedge Funds or Individual Speculators.   These operations are not "traditional banking investment operations" thus banks must control their "market operators" and gracefully accept to report any losses.  In fact, they never bleat when there are big profits !!!  They say nothing !!!     

Shareholders are however, excluded from many decisions concerning the abnormally high remuneration of Directors and Managers !!!


This is where Governments in fact, refuse to legislate !!!  Shareholders' rights are not protected !!!  There is never really any opportune moment for them to change any decision in this area !!!  At the Annual General Meeting it is clearly much too late.  This same situation exists in other sectors of operations.

Bonuses paid to some people, when the figure "gets out", are sometimes stupendously big !!! They are out of all proportion to what any shareholder might ever have imagined or expected !!!

Should all such "exceptional" payments not be based on a contract, officially filed when some one is engaged, and which is submitted to a vote or "explanation" at the AGM ?  Should shareholders not have a chance to be heard and to vote ?  

This concerns Banks but also other companies !!! The Government must act !!!   

      

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

HUNGARY IN THE EU, BUT WHO CARES ?


In the Hungarian elections in 2010, VIKTOR ORBAN's party won 52% of the votes but a two thirds majority in Parliament.  This has given him the freedom to do just what he wants in his country !!!


This former Russian "iron curtain" state, liberated in 1989 from the shackles of communism, amid scenes of euphoria, was accepted as a member of the EU in 2004.

Now inflationary problems in Hungary are part of the "justification" for the numerous restrictions of freedom, which were so valiantly earned in 1989 !!!  ORBAN's Hungary is now defying, refusing, to adhere to the principles of the EU.  

Is there still anyone available in the EU (or in the EUROZONE)  to concentrate on this problem ?       

Monday, 26 December 2011

BRITISH HUMAN RIGHTS ACT NOW URGENT


In the year 2000, Tony Blair and Jack Straw were deliriously happy to sign  Britain up to the E U Human Rights Act.  This was arguably the biggest and most costly mistake of the then Socialist Government.

Since then British Courts of Justice have lost the right to interpret the Law of Britain in a British manner.  They are overruled by Judges in Brussels.  There is hardly a week when the punishment of a criminal is not modified or that an illegal immigrant is not given the right to stay in Britain because he has other  "rights" !!!  Who pays the cost ?  The British taxpayer, of course !!!

David Cameron knows all this fully well.  He has often spoken about a British Act of Human Rights.  Well, it is now that such an Act should be drafted.  

Now is the time because the EU is in a mess, the EURO is sick and all efforts are concentrated on the creation of the EUROZONE of which BRITAIN (and other countries for sure) will not be a part !!!  Furthermore, SARKOZY and MERKEL, each face a general election in the coming months. 

No one will, now, suddenly start worrying about immigration and BRITISH HUMAN RIGHTS during the next six months at least !!!  When they do, Britain must be ready !!!     

Sunday, 25 December 2011

FRENCH PRESIDENTIALS: THE RACE FOR 500 "SPONSORS"

The first round of the French Presidential election in 2012 will take place on Sunday, 22 April 2012.  The two leading candidates will face each other in a run-off two weeks later on Sunday, 6 May 2012.

A candidate in the first round must obviously be a French national and must have obtained the signature of 500 elected people from at least 30 different departments in France or abroad.  There are potentially 45 000 elected people, including 36 000 Mayors.  No one can present more than one person in the election.

Although theoretically one could find 90 different Presidential candidates, this is far from what will happen.  To be sure they have enough valid sponsors, small candidates will collect many more than just 500 signatures.  Big party candidates will do the same thing, but with the object of stifling and blocking competition from smaller candidates !!!  Big parties will not help small candidates. 

The real problem is that the names of 500 "sponsors" of each candidate will be officially published !!!  This in fact means that the electors of small town mayors could discover that he has favoured a candidate who is not to their liking !!!  He could lose votes in his next election !!!   On top of this, if his home town is in a region which is now in the "opposition", it may get less regional subventions !!!   

This problem is well known in France, but the Constitution will not be changed before the coming election.     



  

Thursday, 22 December 2011

RUSSIANS WANT HIM OUT !!! PUTIN WANTS TO STAY !!!


Its the same old story !!!  The world has seen the same thing in Russia repeatedly, and likewise in its satellite states.  Russian leaders want to stay in power for the the rest of their lives !!!

The Russian revolution and Lenin did away with royalty, but for the same reasons Russian leaders today want to remain in power forever. The right of comrades to vote democratically is sacrificed for more urgent reasons !!!  The reason given is to fight western interference inside Russia.  

Unless he changes, MEDVEDEV will forever be seen as the stooge.  PUTIN will become a Dictator like all those who have preceded him !!!      

BRITAIN'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSED !!! BUT WHO CARES ?


Not for the first time British newspapers report that an International Court of Justice has overruled the decision of a British Court of Justice. The current problem which has surfaced concerns immigrants from outside the EU who managed to get a foothold in Greece !!!

It is the EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE in Luxembourg which overruled the decision of the British High Court !!!  On previous occasions it has been the EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS on many occasions !!!

What are the aims of these so called  "COURTS OF JUSTICE" ?  To prove their worthwhile ?  To justify and conserve their existence ?  Who pays for their upkeep ? They just avoid the problem !!!

There are so many laws one needs a farmer and a plough to understand the law !!! Is there no one in the EU who could get a grip on this problem and thereby make his reputation ?

Obliging Britain to accept illegal immigrants is another example of indirect taxation !!!  In the end, who pays for illegal immigrants ?  Britain and its taxpayers !!! Judges do not address this cost problem.

Finally, the big question !!!  Should countries not have the right to nominate a judge on the panel of judges when it is clear that a foreseeable judgement could interfere with national laws ?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

EUROZONE TREATY; WHAT WILL STOP IT ?


The euphoria surrounding the imminent birth of the EUROZONE is such that Leaders in the EU must, whether they are for, or against, or just hesitant, now decide whether the financial implications for their country are acceptable !!!

What options will be offered to the potential 26 candidates (not 27 because Britain has used its veto to abstain) ?  Will it be the right (or "pleasure" in the case of non-EURO countries !!!)  to participate in the costs of saving the EURO ?

Will the EUROZONE Treaty be perfectly clear on the financial conditions which apply to non-EUROZONE countries which want to join the EUROZONE set-up via the signing of the "expected treaty" ?

Will the EUROZONE Treaty specify how EU overhead costs will be shared ?

All the foregoing questions imply that a great deal of work and negotiation will be necessary to obtain agreed Financial Numbers which can be used to write a report leading to the ultimate  EUROZONE TREATY.

The best solution, timewise and from a cost point of view would be to engage Accountants and Lawyers from international firms to participate and sit-in on all key discussions !!!  That will cost millions of EUROS, but the outlay must be compared with the problems concerned, and there in fact, we are talking about  HUNDREDS OF BILLION EUROS !!!

One can only be pessimistic at the thought that Merkel and Sarkozy want a solution by APRIL 2012 !!! 

Monday, 19 December 2011

EUROZONE START-UP COSTS ? WHO WILL PAY ?


The EURO bail-out costs, which raised the question "Who pays and how much ?"  does not answer the next questions, which are -

      1) How much will the EUROZONE be charged by the EU, for the costs of its creation, which have logically been paid for in part by the central offices of the EU organization ?  There have been countless very official and less official meetings everywhere in Europe, this year and probably in prior years as well !!!

      2) Will the new EUROZONE TREATY cover the question of overhead cost-sharing in future years ?

These organizational questions raise many problems concerning the costs involved.  For example, will Mr BARROSO, as President of the EU Commission also work for the EUROZONE ?  Similar questions concern the MEPs (Members of the European Parliament). How will costs be apportioned ?

The EUROZONE TREATY must cover these points, before its adoption, before its legal birth !!!  Will electors in each of the European States get the right to vote ?  Only in Ireland is this a guarantee at present !!! 



      

Saturday, 17 December 2011

EUROZONE TREMBLES !!! WHY ?


Are U S Credit Rating Agencies now puting the wind up the backs of the EUROZONE ?  Or is it because David Cameron said "NO".


He said "No" because Britain is in the EU and does not want to share the woes of the EUROZONE !!! 

Britain has the Pound Sterling, a "World Wide Currency" in its own right since for at least the last  hundred years,  to consider and protect !!!  People who have travelled in Asia and British colonies and possessions realise that Britain also has duties towards the Pound Sterling.


Countries in the E U gain nothing by trying to destroy each other !!!  Big errors have been made in the recent past by Sarkozy and Merkel, but a new beginning can correct them all with a new EUROZONE TREATY.  

When the EUROZONE has been born with its new treaty, perhaps someons in the EU will have enough time to revise the Lisbon Treaty !!!  Britain could lead by demanding the revision of the powers of the European Court of Human Rights and the effect of some of the provisions in the Maastricht Treaty !!!

   

Thursday, 15 December 2011

EUROPE HATES CAMERON ? WHY ?


All of the "BIG HEADS" in Europe, who want progress towards the idealogical goal which is the "UNIFICATION OF EUROPE",  "whatever it costs", must think again !!!

Treaties are signed to be adhered to !!!  David Cameron was elected to protect British interests.  What has he done wrong ?  If there had been a proposition to amend the Lisbon Treaty, he would have had to respond.  Alas there was nothing !!! 

EUROZONE countries have big problems.  Will their electors have a chance to vote on the ultimate "EUROZONE TREATY" ?  Those countries who do not have the "Sacred Euro" as their national currency, will they get the chance to vote ? 

No real Briton will ever accept a Dictator in any sense or form !!!  Smaller EU countries can rely on this statement !!!       

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

MARKS & SPENCERS BACK IN PARIS, but...?


The M&S reopening in Paris, after they regrettably closed all stores about 10 years ago, is not very "Rosy".  The new "boutique" is very small, cramped in fact, and does not resemble in any way what one expects of an M&S store in Britain.

Women, who naturally love "boutiques", have a little bit of everything going for them.  The problem is that there is no room or anything on offer for their men who often have the chequebook or credit card !!!

With respect to the food counter, this too is miniature and will not attract the passing customer as in Britain.  At present the novelty of a new "M&S Boutique" in Paris, albeit on the Champs Elysées, means you have to queue before you can get in !!!  

It seems two very big stores are planned for the outskirts of Paris, but the well heeled British in Paris will always regret the closure of the well situated M&S store in Boulevard Haussmann;  it was beautifully placed to compete against the best, and also against the world renowned French stores !!!      

BRITISH EUROSCEPTICS ATTACK CAMERON !!! WHY ?


There are two simple Questions to be asked;

            1)  What has David Cameron done wrong, in using Britain's veto rights, to resist the EUROZONE requests to help solve the problems of the "EURO" ?  Anything ?
            2)  Britain is still in the EU, together with the 26 other countries which may want to join the EUROZONE.  Britain still benefits from an enlarged market, which it needs for its exports of all kinds, in particular Financial Services, which now will not suffer a tax destined to cover the costs of saving the EURO !!!  Is a referendum really urgent ?

Do EUROSCETICS really need a referendum now, in order to get out of the EU !!!  This, to me, this appears somewhat hasty at present !!! 

EUROSCEPTICS should watch closely what happens in the next four months.  To get into the EUROZONE will be easy.  Will their electors get a chance to vote on this ?  Or will it be waved through by National Parliaments like the Lisbon Treaty was ?  Everything is urgent !!!

British EUROSCEPTICS should be patient !!!  Lots of things will happen in the next four months.  Afterwards there may be things which may affect Britain !!!  Then, summer 2012, there may be important reasons which we do not yet see clearly, to have a referendum.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2012 FRENCH PRESIDENTIALS: INFIGHTING BY CANDIDATES


The Presidential Election in France is now less than five months away.  Candidates are becoming more lively and pointedly attack others.  This is normal, but sometimes special situations occur. 


The Socialists


They finally elected Francois Holland as their official candidate for the French Presidential elections next April and May 2012.  There seem to be hidden problems which for once this year, do not concern DSK. 


Montebourg was eliminated as a candidate;  Holland was finally chosen  in the "run off" against Martine AUBRY, who remains as secretary of the Socialist Party.   Montebourg however has put the cat among the pidgeons by implying that Socialist MP's in the Calais area were implicated in Financial Corruption and because he did not exclude Jack Lang, a former minister from his remarks.  

This comes at a delicate moment when all Socialists ideally want to attack President Sarkosy.  Francois Holland himself appears to be going through a period of "self doubt" if one judges him by his "hesitent impacts" on television.


The Presidential Ruling Right


Sarkozy is to be seen everywhere each time he breathes !!!  Whether it is as joint leader with Angela Merkel in Brussels in EU Treaty Talks, or on television making pronoucements on current events in the EU or EUROZONE, he also can be seen all over France visiting towns on what can only be described as election trail publicity.  He wants to be seen as being in contact with the people, in fact the electors !!!


President Sarkozy has not yet announced his intention to stand for re-election as President.  However many who would like to stand are watching closely !!!  One in fact has jumped the gun.  He is Dominique de Villepin, a former Prime Minister under President Jcques Chirac and who in fact has a bone to pick with Sarkozy after their legal battles !!! 

There are other "heavyweights" who are also monitoring the situation !!!

Other parties

The  "GREENS" are ploughing on, as is Francois Bayrou who has already lost two Presidential elections.  He wants to place himself as a center candidate between the Socialists and the government.  There are other small candidates who are still searching for the 500 signatures from mayors which all candidates must obtain.

The more candidates there are, the more problems will be created for the leading candidates to attain one of the two final Run-off places.  All small candidates always get a small percentage of the total votes and these votes will not go to big heavyweights !!!

This could, as many candidates fear, let in the National Front Candidate, Marine Le Pen.  That is what happened in 2002, but her father lost to Jacques Chirac, who became President thanks to massive votes from the Socialists.        

      

SARKOZY ON EUROZONE AIMS


Le MONDE yesterday (dated 13 December 2011) published an interview with President Sarkozy on the discussions in Brussels last Friday and the Intergovernmental Treaty the 17 "EUROZONE" countries have drafted, but from which the United Kingdom withdrew !!!

This interview should be read by all British politicians !!!  It reveals how President Sarkozy sees the situation at present, but it also reveals, in my opinion, some current problems that remain to be solved.

Suffice it to say that the aim is to settle legal problems during the next two weeks and then complete the finalized Treaty by the end of March 2012 !!!

Will this treaty then be adopted without any electors in EUROZONE countries ever getting the chance to vote ? Will all EUROZONE countries sign-up plus  9 others to make 26 ?    Britain will not be alone  !!!  All 27 countries are still in the EU !!! 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

CAMERON VETO MEANS WHAT ?


The subsequent confusion following the VETO exercised by David Cameron on behalf of Britain in Brussels this Friday, 9 December 2011 is hardly believable !!!

The EU leaders were called to a meeting in Brussels.  They were to participate in discussions on the proposals aimed at solving the EURO currency problems, which concerned in particular 17 countries which have the EURO as its currency.  It should be noted that 10 countries, like Britain, at present have other national currencies !!! 

Initially, the expected intention was to create a sub-division of the EU which was to become the EUROZONE.  After political manouvering it appeared that 23 to 26 EU countries would, subject to confirmation by their National Parliaments, perhaps join the new sub-division of the EU !!!

One could say that at this point in time, the current Treaty of Lisbon, would have been replaced by the new "EUROZONE Treaty" !!! This new treaty, which has not yet been written, would have removed all of the Potholes of the Lisbon treaty,  provided  new tax-raising possibilities, and, eliminated the VETO rights of Great Britain.  

David Cameron refused point blank to envisage any such possibility !!!  His courage was not expected and this was clearly seen by the way he was subsequently snubbed by Nicolas Sarkozy and others !!! 

The EU lives on, there are still 27 partner countries !!!  Furthermore one cannot today be sure that there will be as many as 26 members of the planned EUROZONE in the spring of 2012, after they have all referred back to their parliaments !!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

DSK, LE PIEGE ?


Depuis plusieurs jours, la rumeur court: un piège aurait été tendu à DSK au Sofitel de New York.

Le seul fait d'introduire dans la suite du président du FMI une femme de chambre pas particulièrement jolie, pas réellement séduisante,
pouvait il suffire pour éveiller un désir incontrôlable et faire commettre à DSK la "faute morale" qu'il a lui même confessée ?

Il est vrai qu'il faut s'abstenir d'agiter un simple chiffon rouge devant le taureau, sous peine de l'exciter ...

Friday, 9 December 2011

EUROZONE WILL IGNORE ALL OPPOSITION !!!


The EUROZONE BANDWAGON is on a high and will not slow down to listen to any opposition !!!  They have flouted basic principles in the past when dealing with EU problems and will do the same with the current creation of the EUROZONE.


David CAMERON defended Britain and the POUND STERLING by using the VETO in accordance with the rights prescribed by the Treaty of LISBON !!!  He was not prepared to sign away British rights in exchange for a hastily prepared "idea of a Eurozone treaty" designed in fact, to solve the problems of the EURO. 

Time is of the essence and a quick fix, sorry, solution, to the EURO problem must be found. 

The basic principle which will be flouted next time by the politicians of all countries will be to avoid submitting anything to a vote by electors in any country, because this would waste time;  what could be worse, if a country like Ireland could then, again, vote against something that is proposed  !!!

One also gets the feeling that the end solution could be not to set-up the creation of the EUROZONE TREATY but a new EUROPEAN TREATY.  In this treaty up to 26 countries (without BRITAIN) could take part if it cures the basic  problems of the EURO.  

In that way the EU TREATY of LISBON would become defunct, and BRITAIN would no longer be a stumbling block !!!   At the present moment these things are still only half cooked !!!

CAMERON VETO RIGHT FOR BRITAIN


David Cameron correctly used the veto to stop any attempt to spread the cost of saving the EURO to non-EUROZONE countries.  The proposed Financial Services Tax would have destroyed the City of London and would have opened the door to further fiscal impositions and intrusions in British governance.

There are two basic flaws which have resulted in the present crisis -

     -  The Lisbon Treaty remained flawed because it was hurried through to adoption by Politicians who prevented national electors from having a chance to vote.  A longer period of reflection would have revealed the potholes and latent serious faults in that Treaty now clearly visible.
     -  The initial Greek adherance to the EU was not properly monitored and the bankruptcy of Greece was badly handled.  This was because for idealogical reasons the real object really became the protection of the EURO rather than curing the problem of Greece bankruptcy !!!

David Cameron has shown real leadership.  Others will also realize that it is not now that electors should be given the chance to vote !!!  Ideologists must now be more patient. 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

PUTIN ACCUSES USA, but this blog....


Putin has served two terms as President of Russia, and now has served one term as Prime Minister.  His aim is to run for a new term as President of Russia. 


Things have gone badly for him in the recent elections and for this he accuses the USA !!!  Does this mean that only now, Russian authorities have realized that there were US agents in Russia interfering with the elections ?  It may be the case.


However, the electoral results could have something to do with the reasons described in this blog on November, 21 2011, entitled "PUTIN DOES NOT WANT TO RETIRE" !!! 

Yesterday, former Russian President Michael Gorbachev also said that perhaps new elections should be held because of irregularities.  He did not state in which direction the apparent irregularities leaned. 

We will have to wait and see what happens next !!!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

S & P ; AN APPEAL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA


Yesterday, in my humble blog,  I criticized S & P because they pontificated by announcing that six eurocurrency countries risked a downgrading of their AAA credit ratings !!!

When I read certain newspapers of the european press this morning, criticism was vehement towards US Credit "judges" like S & P. 

Mr President, do these agencies have the same standing as normal AMBASSADORS of the USA ?  Are they accredited in any way ?  Do you endorse or accept in any way their pronouncements ?  Are there any sanctions you would be prepared to apply ?

Mr President OBAMA, the EU has well known problems at present, and its leaders, President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel are actively engaged to find a real solution.  The USA, because of S & P, are not at present their favorite friends.  Can you help or intervene ?

BIRTH OF THE EUROZONE TREATY


The midwives of the EUROZONE, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, affectionately known as Merkozy, will certainly announce the imminent birth of the EUROZONE this week.

With the benefit of the experience of the flawed Treaty of Lisbon, they will certainly avoid the adoption of most of the potholes in that treaty.  The new EUROZONE TREATY could become an example of how, and what, to revise in the EU treaty of  Lisbon in the next two years.

The EUROZONE TREATY will be less extensive than the Lisbon Treaty of the EU.  It will be necessarily more concentrated on money aspects of the EURO and the organization required.

Will it not need its own parliament ?  Will that not mean fewer but more specialized, elected Eurozone MEPs ?  Should official EU observers not have the right to attend certain meetings ? 

Europe should not miss this opportunity to put its house in order in the light of the new EUROZONE treaty when this is ready. That means redrafting the LISBON TREATY.     

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

ARE STANDARD & POOR'S PLAYING AT POLITICS ?


What are the real objectives of S & P, FITCH and MOODY ? Are they
supposed to be financial rating agencies, or are they something else ?  Are they playing at politics ?

Recently, S & P jumped the gun when they announced that France had lost its AAA rating.  They withdrew the rating hours later but the harm had already been done !!!  Have they paid any compensation or appologized for their "error" ?

Now, just when EU leaders are meeting to make important decisions concerning the EUROZONE, its future organisation and orientation, S & P announce that six Eurozone countries risk losing their AAA rating in the near future !!! 

S & P have at present a high reputation, but if they want to anticipate, irresponsibly forecast, the effect of imminent political decisions they are overstepping their remit, the limit of their supposed functions !!!

If S & P get it wrong again, their reputation should be downgraded, but will they pay any penalties or compensation ?  POOR advice will hurt those who have to pay !!!  Will S & P be obliged to pay any compensation ?





  

Monday, 5 December 2011

BRITONS AND EUROPEANS WANT TO VOTE !!!


The present EURO problems in the EU which in turn lead to the realisation that a EUROZONE must be created to contain and govern the problem, in fact highlights a further problem !!!

EVERYONE, whether in the future EUROZONE or simply just hanging on in the EU, suddenly realises that he or she should have the right to have his "say".  They want to vote !!!  This is a right and it must be respected !!!

Alas, we have already seen that when the LISBON treaty was pushed through, no one except the Irish got a vote !!!  National politicians who had been elected "sacrificed" the right of electors to have their "say" and waived through the LISBON TREATY.  What did these "politicians" gain.  GLORY ?  POSTERITY ? Or anything at all ?

This cannot, should not, happen a second time !!!  Everyone wants to vote !!!  Is this an abnormal request from taxpayers ?  

Sarkozy and Merkel are in continual contact.  They must know that a vote will be obligatory.  Such a vote on the EUROZONE cannot be avoided !!!  They should plan now for such a vote, early next year !!!

The timing of everything is important, but if you forget the electors, it could be critical !!!   No one wants to be duped twice !!! 

EUROZONE AUDIT FUNCTION ?


In the recent past there have been severe comments on the lack of efficient audit controls of EU expenditure.  In the present climate of EU or EUROZONE reorganizations, it is perhaps a very opportune moment to ask who is responsible for auditing budgets and the subsequent expenditures ?


A contoller function is naturally set up in most private companies, because the absence of controls is dangerous and bankruptcy is a quick consequence !!!


To be efficient, an audit function must be independent and must be supervised and supported by someone at Board level.  A properly staffed audit function can help Directors.  It can help to avoid scandals and embarrassments.  Auditors know that where there is money or expenditure, theft or misappropriation is possible !!!

A previous article in English in this Blog entitled "Les Millions Perdus de l'Europe" dated 2 November 2011 provides some examples of what can go wrong.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

GOLDEN RULES ?


We hear a lot about "GOLDEN RULES" but on one occasion I saw a golden rule in action !!!

I had to go to Venezuela on a business trip more than 20 years ago, to visit a subsidiary company. While I was there I noticed that shops were closed and looked empty. The shop I had first noticed sold refrigerators and other household goods.

I asked the person with whom I was working on this trip what the reason was for this.

He replied quite simply that the budget for imports was limited.  When there was no more money available, one could not get import licences for certain goods anymore !!!

Angela Merkel has another golden rule !!!  Such rules can be very effective !!!

EUROZONE BIRTH PROBLEMS


President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel could go down in history as being the people who created the EUROZONE and who were instrumental in saving the EURO.  

There is still a lot of work to do and they know this, but no one country or person can do this alone !!!

The basic problem is that the EU treaty of LISBON is flawed; there are too many potholes in it.  The new EUROZONE TREATY of the 17 countries which have the EURO as their national currency, can avoid all these potholes and in so doing provoke a revision of the LISBON TREATY by all the 27 EU member countries afterwards !!!

The main structural problems to avoid, to correct, or modify are:

   -   100% unanimity in all votes:  a 75 - 25 % rule would avoid current stale-mates.

   -   There is at present a Parliament of the EU:  should there not be a Revision Chamber or Senate or Council of Super powers to adopt the Acts of the EU Parliament ?

   -    Should there not be a Prime Minister with a Cabinet elected     by MEP's ? (MEP = Member of the European Parliament).  Is the existance of the European Commission vital, or is it more of a hindrance ?

   -   Should MEP's not be elected at the same time when there are National Elections ?  Should EU elections every 5 years not be scrapped ?

The new Eurozone structure must take the above points into consideration in order to create a more conviviable structure to attain the important goals aimed at the survival of the EURO !!! 

Later, someone like David Cameron could perhaps mastermind the revision of the Lisbon Treaty.  One must not forget that
there are 27 member countries in the EU.    

Saturday, 3 December 2011

EU SURVIVES, EUROZONE BIRTH PLANNED


The 27 country EU has survived, but it will be joined by a 17 country EUROZONE which will be fast-tracked !!!  Forcepts will probably be needed to ensure a quick birth early next year !!!  


The urgency of the EURO crisis means that all avenues like the IMF have already been explored.


Simply said, Angela Merkel wants a fiscal union and she wants to impose bugetary controls, what she and the Germans call the "Golden Rule".  This in turn means "Do not infringe the current limit of over-expenditure". 


Teutonic thinking does not accept the more relaxed attitudes in the Latin mentality of countries like France and Italy, and others.....


Nicolas Sarkozy wants the Euro to be saved at all costs.  Angela Merkel is in agreement but wants to protect German productivity She does not want Germany to have to pay the bill of all the costs if the EURO "goes under",  i.e. becomes bankrupt as may be the case with certain countries at the present moment.

So the real question is, who will cede, or concede ?

We must wait !!!   That is the battle !!!  Without concessions from either side there will be a stale-mate chess situation !!!

Next week perhaps, we will know more and we may be able to discuss the problems connected with the establishment of a EUROZONE organisation and the effects on the current EU Treaty !!! 
  













Tuesday, 29 November 2011

EUROZONE AND THE EURO FUTURE


The discussions with China for it to finance Italian national debt repayments in the coming years, which took place a few weeks ago, seem to have come to nothing.  It would seem that China wanted outlets for its cheap exports which Italy could not guarantee.

This means clearly that the EUROZONE must quickly define what in future the policy will be if any eurozone country becomes bankrupt.  Will such a country be propped-up as in the case of Greece, or will Italy be left to sink because the EUROZONE does not have 1900 billion Euros readily available to cover the total outstanding national borrowings of Italy ?  

EU treaties have no rules to cover such a problem.  The EU Treaty prescribes that there must be a unanimity of all 29 countries to change the Treaty.  Realistically, the only way forward, and fast as well, is for the 17 EUROZONE countries to sign up to a EUROZONE TREATY.  Designing such a treaty will also take time, particularly if it must obtain the approbation of National Parliaments !!!  

Non-Eurozone countries will definitely resist being dragged into paying for the cost of any financing of Eurozone countries.  

The next step will be to sound-out what help the IMF can provide !!!  The problem there is that NON-EUROZONE countries in the IMF will be wary: they do not want extra risks !!!

The irony of the whole situation is that Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy (or MERKOZY as they are already known)  both have to face re-elections in the coming two years in their countries !!!  Making simple and logical decisions can sometimes become a real problem !!!

It would seem that Italy will have to face the prospect of paying through the nose for refinancing loans on the world money markets while waiting for a EUROZONE solution.          

UK UNEMPLOYED TO RISE TO 3 MILLION !!!


Recent reports forecast that unemployment in the UK will rise to more than 3 million by 2013.  Other recent reports state that immigration is not declining. Furthermore one also reads reports that immigrants get more jobs than British school leavers.

If that is not enough Union Leaders, some of whom earn almost as much as the Prime Minister, have encouraged strikes by immigration officers at key points of entry to the UK.  The dates of strikes are also carefully chosen to create the greatest disturbance and inconvenience to businesses and travellors, particularly tourists and holidaymakers.

Is there not a specialist trouble-shooter in the Government who can co-ordinate the various departments to work and act together ?  Next year the Olympic Games will be held in Britain.  If nothing is done to solve the current problems now, God only knows what will happen next year !!! 

To be quite clear and fair, 90% of the above comments are also applicable to France.  Perhaps in fact action should usefully be organized on an EU basis.  

Saturday, 26 November 2011

DSK, A POLITICAL PLOT TO DESTROY HIM ?


The lawyer of DSK, William Taylor, one of  DSK's American lawyers is suddenly seriously following a lead by an American theorist and journalist, Edward Jay Epstein, that DSK was the subject of a plot, to destroy him politically as a candidate for the Presidency of France. 


The whole theory reopens the question of what really happened in the N Y SOFITEL hotel on the morning of the alleged sexual agression by DSK of Nafissatou Diallo.  The criminal accusation against DSK was finally dismissed.


Whatever the new facts will reveal, subsequent events since the SOFITEL affair are enough to destroy any lingering hopes DSK might still have had with respect to his election as President of France. 


The only person who killed all his Presidential hopes was DSK himself.  History will  retain the fact that his uncontrolled sexual appetite led to his political suicide !!!


Friday, 25 November 2011

BANKRUPTCY PROBLEMS IN THE USA !!!


The EUROZONE credit problems of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and perhaps Spain, have attracted the attentions of the World, including the USA and in particular STANDARD & POOR'S.  However, the USA also has serious credit problems of its own.

On French Television last night we watched a documentary report on the consequences of the "bankruptcies" of certain towns and cities, such as DETROIT and JEFFERSON in ALABAMA.  Make no mistake, the people in these and other towns are hurting.  They have been abandoned and do not know where to turn for help.

What we saw was;

   -   Complete streets abandoned,
   -   Houses on fire,
   -   Security and police protection drastically reduced,
   -   Pensions not paid,
   -   Public employees not paid or sacked.

The whole situation presented was eerie, frightening.  It was certainly not what the entire world imagines the USA is like.  For those people facing the crisis, and to coin a phrase, the living STANDARDS are POOR !!!  They have been abandoned.

The USA has Social Protection and so has the EU, i.e. Europe.  In Europe the different systems are called Social Security.  We do not yet have the extreme problems like those we saw on the television last night !  The Eurozone Politicians have not yet solved the growing crisis but their approach is different from that in the USA.

To come to your own conclusions, you too can watch this Television Documentary on FRANCE 2.FR  "Envoyé Special" dated 24 November 2011. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

PUTIN DOES NOT WANT TO RETIRE !!!


Another example of a politician who does not want to retire is Vladimir PUTIN !!!  Born in 1952, he is now 59 years old and after two terms as President, he is currently the Prime Minister of Russia.  MEDVEDEVE is the current President but is seen as someone who is keeping the seat warm for PUTIN to reclaim next year.


PUTIN like many other politicians covered in the article in this blog on November 10, 2011 (POLITICIANS NEVER WANT TO RETIRE) wants to carry on, serving Russia like he has done for the last 12 years.  He has been a good President and servant, but it is not for me to judge him.

There are others younger than PUTIN who also want to serve as President.  Putin could help and guide them as an elder statesman !!!  To want to keep power will create animosity among the ranks.  This has already been seen recently in the ARAB Spring revolts !!!



 

NATIONAL ELECTIONS DO NOT CHANGE THE EU !!!


There has been a significant swing to the right in Spain as a result of the elections yesterday, 20 November 2011.  This reflects the anxiety of Spanish voters who are faced with national finances which are overstretched.  The cure will be very severe austerity measures !!!


This will not, however, affect the European Union in the slightest manner.  Spanish MEPs who were elected to the EU parliament will remain in place until the next  EU elections which are scheduled for June 2014. 

The way National Election results are ignored by the EU is completely undemocratic !!!  The EU remains completely aloof from changes voted nationally.  The only changes recognised arise from the results of EU elections every 5 years. 


These EU elections take place at a time when it is rare that they also coincide with national elections !!!  There are few debates for EU elections and the electorate displays complete apathy;  it has a "could not care less" attitude.  The percentage of voters who bother to vote is very low !!!  Many electors do not even know the name of their local MEP.


This situation must change and the EU treaty must be changed.  The MEPs of a country must be elected or re-elected at the same as any National Parliamentary elections are held. 

The real problem is "Which elected MEP or National Leader will undertake the task of pushing through such a change" ?  



 




Sunday, 20 November 2011

GADDAFI'S HEIR COULD CREATE PROBLEMS FOR POLITICIANS !!!


Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, the son and heir of Colonel Gaddafi, has been captured and like is father is facing a quick death.  Will he be executed by the Libyan fighters who captured him, like his father, or will he be judged for crimes against humanity either in Libya or by the International Criminal Court in The Hague ?

There are a number of politicians who must be trembling at the thought that if "Saif" is not "executed " or "assassinated" without a trial he could (or would) reveal details of the dealings between his father and certain international politicians !!!  

One should not forget that there was the problem of  "Lockerbiegate" and the release of the dying Al Megrahi.  He was not expected to live for more than three months but more than two years later is still alive.

Politicians like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Lord Mendelson cannot be proud of their involvement in this affair !!!  The British public never had a satisfactory or clear explanation of  why they ordered the release of Al Megrahi !!!  Scottish politicians and doctors were blamed.  

If my affirmation is wrong, let's have a real enquiery !!!    

   

Friday, 18 November 2011

BLATTER NEEDS HELP TO GET OUT !!!


I get the impression that the only person in FIFA who has permission to voice his thoughts and speak to the press is Sepp Blatter !!!  Does he always work alone ?


The older he gets, the more insipid his comments and statements become.  He does not move with the changing face of the world.  In a previous article in this blog I have compared him with some of the despots who have recently been deposed in the "Arab Spring". (See "POLITICIANS NEVER WANT TO RETIRE", dated Nov. 10, 2011)


It is my opinion that the last Presidential election in FIFA was flawed:  there was no election, as there was only one candidate.  Was Blatter right to eject the only candidate standing against him ?  Was Blatter then right to go ahead with the so called  "election"  without giving a chance to another candidate to stand against him ?  Is that democracy ?  Blatter has too many cronies in FIFA !!!  They are far from young. 

I get the impression that they are there for the "meal ticket" !!!  Out with the old, in with the new !!!  By the time Platini gets a chance he will probably already be drawing his pension !!!  

Monday, 14 November 2011

DSK, NOW COMPLETELY ALONE !!!


The press now presents DSK as a lonesome, lost person which in fact is a fair comment bearing in mind what has gone before.  Before means after the latest reports of his presence at certain special evenings in Lille and other places.

To say that DSK was once generally recognised as being the leading Socialist candidate for the presidency of France, before the Socialist Primaries, that the way was open for him to assume the role of official candidate, is to say how low he has since fallen in the esteem of the public, all due to what appears to be his uncontrolled sexual appetite !!!

He has always denied everythingIn the USA he pleaded not guilty and his accusatrice was judged to be an unreliable witness. The case against him was dropped.  Likewise a case against him in France was dropped because of legal prescriptions. Now there are other accusations.

France and the Socialists have been lucky !!!  First of all who really wants a pervert as President ?  Imagine the situation if he had been adopted as official candidate of the Socialist Party, and afterwards, not before, all these scandals had then hit the headlines of the tabloids !!!

Everyone in France recognises the deception that his wife, Anne Sinclaire, must feel.  She could have become the Leading Lady in France as the wife of the President !!!  She has perhaps not yet said her last word !!!

Friday, 11 November 2011

GREEK BANKRUPTCY ? WHAT WILL THE NEXT STEPS BE ?

This whole problem is entirely new and very complex.  The problem is also very urgent.  In my opinion some of the main problems could be resolved as indicated below.

In order to declare itself bankrupt, Greece must leave the EUROZONE, adopt the New Drachma as its currency and then declare the Parity of the New Drachma as a % of the EURO.  (e.g. 35% which represents a devaluation of 65%).   Greece must then be prepared to support the parity of the new Drachma  against any attack on the financial markets.


Greece must also then:


    - Devalue all foreign currency liabilities at the same rate of  65 % held by the State or by its banks and inform the creditors of the change.
    - Decrease all internal assets and liabilities in Greece by 65%, such as rent, pensions, salaries, taxes etc .
    - Banks should buy Euros owned by Greeks or Tourists at the new exchange rates.  No other system would work.


Other important steps will be discovered as time goes on.  The Greeks must now learn to be good neighbours when unexpectedly some people or problems have been forgotten or not covered.


The reason why Greece must leave the EUROZONE is because it must devalue internal costs in order to become competitive on the international markets, particularly the tourist market.  The loans obtained from the Eurozone prevented Greece from making the  devaluation which was necessary.


This will be a painful experience not only for Greeks, but also for creditors of Greece, whether they are individuals, companies, banks or countries. If the EURO was not involved, this would be an "internal devaluation" by Greece.


The Greek experience will serve as a good example of what to do in the future.  This situation has not really occurred before.  There are countries which will be watching closely;  not to mention them, would be remiss.  They are well known, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.


        

STANDARD & POOR'S ARE SORRY ?


Yesterday STANDARD & POOR'S published worldwide the fact that the Credit Rating for France had been downgraded from AAA.  This statement was then withdrawn minutes later.  An investigation has been started !!!

Let us all be clear.  This was a Serious Professional Fault !!!  STANDARD & POOR'S are probably very sorry that their reputation has been tarnished, but what about the reputation and standing of France in the present financial climate of the world ?   France did not and does not need the added anguish this has caused.  In cases like this, everyone will remember this temporary downgrading.

Was someone in S & P a bit too quick off the mark and wanted them to be the first to publish this latest "bit of news", this "scoop" in fact ?  Or will the investigation reveal it was the fault or misunderstanding of a poor secretary ?  Will any sanctions be taken against anyone in S & P ? 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

POLITICIANS NEVER WANT TO RETIRE !!!


Not anywhere is it prescribed at what age politicians must retire.  In fact, it would seem that most politicians, once they have power, they want to keep it forever.

We have seen this in the "Arab Spring" uprisings where politicians, who in fact have become dictators, have been in power for more than 30 or 40 years.  In some instances, with the help of the army, re-elections have been completely suppressed.

Thankfully this is not always the case. However, repeatedly we are faced with such instances, of old people hanging on to power, some of whom have accumulated and been elected to several mandates. 

The example of Berlusconi in Italy springs to mind. Likewise we also have Sepp Blatter the President of FIFA, who has been a leading light in the organisation for more than 30 years and is still cleaning-up suspected fraud.  There have been Popes and Politicians and other leading lights in public life who have long passed the age of 75 and who are no longer "young" men !!!

When the majority of people reach the age of 70 or 75 they no longer have the reflexes or strength of youth.  They have experience but less patience !!!  They in fact no longer reflect or understand the feelings or requirements of the average younger man.

This does not mean that older people have nothing left to offer.  They do have a greater perspective of life and its problems, just like Grandparents or elder Statesmen.  The advice such people can offer does not necessarily mean they must be "elected" or occupy permanently a role more suited for a younger person.  Also, the advice of older people is not always necessarily "right" !!!

The real problem is "What group of politicians would be prepared to propose an age limit for political re-election or service ?"  Where does one start ?

Here in France Arnaud Montebourg, recent candidate in the Socialist primary election, this week proposed an age limit of 67, for Socialist candidates in the next General Election in 2012. Could this be a start ? 

   

Monday, 7 November 2011

STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION !!!


What one can read in the British Press today amounts to an admission that nobody in Government has come to grips with the problem of controlling illegal immigration !!!  The current Coalition Government inherited a flawed system from the Socialists but nothing seems to have changed since.

The Conservatives want to reduce illegal immigrants and even legal immigrants.  Any official figures or statistics will soon prove the contrary.  To know why, one just has to read the press today.  Every rightful Briton, who is a taxpayer or in Government service, should realize that these same newspapers are avidly read the world over, by Britons like me and also by potential illegal immigrants !!! 

What clear instructions did the Home Secretary, Theresa May issue to her services ?  What instructions has the Justice Minister, Kenneth Clark, issued to judges who are confronted with criminals who are also illegal immigrants ?  These two Government departments must get their act together !!!

Every illegal immigrant has a mouth that needs feeding and wants a job.  There are already enough unemployed Britons looking for jobs in Britain !!!    

  

Friday, 4 November 2011

GREECE CANCELS THE REFERENDUM; WHY ?


The real question is to know why has the Greek Minister of Finance formally cancelled the Referendum on the EU announced by the Prime Minister, Mr Papandreou ?

Is it to obey the orders of President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel and the EU ?  Or is it in preparation for the next step this coming weekend when Greece, after the Banks have closed for business, will announce its withdrawal from the EURO and a Devaluation ?

Speculation is always rife !!! 

In all events the withdrawal from the Referndum is already a defeat for democracy. In addition one should realize that nothing can be attained without the agreement of the Greek electorate. 


THE GREEK MONEY TURMOIL


If Greece opts to leave the EU and then declares itself Bankrupt, it must then adopt a new currency.  This could be "The New Drachma".

At that point in time Greeks will have EUROS in their pockets while awaiting the Physical arrival of new Drachmas.  The new Drachma will necessarily be devalued against the EURO.  In fact after devaluation there will be a new fixed parity.

Pensions, salaries, shop prices, petrol costs, etc will all have a depreciated New Drachma value. The EUROS still in the pockets of Greeks will still have a real value which is higher than the NEW Drachma. 

Bank account balances in Greece will automatically be converted into New Drachma values !!!  Will there be a run on banks to withdraw money before the New Drachma is introduced ?

The EUROS in Greek pockets will be hoarded for a "rainy day", just like the US Dollar in South America and many other countries.  It will be their reserve currency !!!  The promise is that there will be a great deal of turmoil during the coming days.    

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"LES MILLIONS PERDUS DE L'EUROPE"


Last night in France I saw a documentary film on the ARTE CHANNEL entitled  "Les Millions perdus de l'Europe"  (The millions lost by Europe).  You can easily find the video of this transmission on the ARTE website.

The documentary film is an exposée of how EU subventions are in fact wrongfully diverted, without any real questions being asked by EU officials who never control the spending.

The uncontrolled subventions represents  5% of the payments by the EU. Almost 3 billion Euros are distributed by error. 

The film highlights several instances of  "Conflicts of Interests" on the part of retired, high powered, former EU executives who are now consultants...



PAPANDREOU; A LESSON IN DEMOCRACY


To the great surprise of President Sarkozy, Mr Papandreou proposed a referendum to the Greek people to ratify or not, the decisions taken by the Leaders of the EU on the Greek Bail-out.

In this way he gave a salutary lesson in democracy to Mrs Merkel and to President Sarkozy and also to the whole of Europe !!!

For once the National Voice of the Voters will be heard in the EU !!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

REFERENDUM ON GREEK BAIL-OUT


Greek politicians have forced the Prime Minister, Mr PAPANDREOU, to announce a referendum on the Bail-out which the EUROZONE imposed on Greece, but the main aim of which was to protect the EURO.

Such a referendum is urgent, but may not be able to take place before the New Year.

EURO politicians are riddled with anxiety at the thought of the effect this may have on the EURO and the EUROZONE. Bank shares have already been severely marked down on stock exchanges, but is this justified ?  The loans made to Greece had already been written-down by at least 50%, so this reaction may not be entirely justified.

It has been clear for more than a year that Greece was on the edge of bankruptcy and needed a devaluation of at least 50% if not more.  Greece needs a complete shake-up to get back on an even keel and then become profitable.  EURO-ZEALOTS have cost taxpayers 100 billion EUROS in unrecoverable loans which were forced on Greece.

Now the EUROZONE and the other EU member countries must re-write the EU treaty to avoid other scandals like this Greek tragedy. There will be a great deal of social unrest in Greece in the coming weeks.    

Saturday, 29 October 2011

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN 2012: THE CANDIDATES



The two rounds of the next Presidential election will be held in April and May 2012.   Certain candidates are already in their starting blocks, but some have not yet definitely announced that they will stand for election.  The main candidates are the following:

1)  NICOLAS SARKOZY (Currently  President)

He has not yet indicated whether he will stand for a second term of five years.  As a result no meaningful Opinion Polls are at present available. If he does not stand the race for the Presidency would be thrown wide open.

2)  FRANCOIS HOLLANDE (Socialist Party)

He has been elected as the Officially Sponsored Socialist Party Candidate after his second round victory when he comfortably beat Martine Aubry.  Six candidates stood for the primary election and they all agreed beforehand that if they lost they would not stand against the winner as an independent candidate in the election next April.

It should be noted that Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), initially the hot favourite to become the next President of France, has declined to stand due to accusations of Rape that have been levelled against him.

3)  MARINE LE PEN (National Front Party)

She has now replaced her father, Jean-Marie LE PEN, as President of the National Front Party and she will stand as the official candidate.

4)  EVA JOLLY (The Green Party).

Her supporter, Daniel Cohn Bendit will not stand against her. She has, however, surprised a lot of people by declaring that she wishes to abolish the traditional celebrations on July 14 !!!  In fact it would be a real surprise if she totals more than 5% of the total votes.

5)  JEAN-LUC MELENCHON (Communist Party)

He has announced his intention to stand .  He could poll 5 to 10% of the votes. The votes he gets in the first round will not go to the Socialist candidate !!!

6)  OTHER CANDIDATES.

There are several other possible candidates, but mainly from the Right of the polical spectrum.  In fact everything really depends on whether the outgoing President, NICOLAS SARKOZY, will announce his intention to stand (or not).  This will not be, he has already explained on television this week, before next February or March.

If he does not stand other candidates will jump to replace him !!!  In particular there are;

    -  FRANCOIS FILLON (The current Prime Minister)

    -  DOMINIQUE de VILLEPIN (Former Prime Minister)

    -  JEAN-FRANCOIS COPE (Secretary of the governing UMP party)

    -  ALAIN JUPPE (Former Prime Minister)


One could say that if any two, of the last four possible candidates, replace PRESIDENT SARKOZY, this would split the vote and could result in MARINE LE PEN facing FRANCOIS HOLLANDE in the final run-off next May !!!

Other candidates such as FRANCOIS BAYROU (Modem) and HERVE MORIN (New Center Party) are expected to announce their intentions in the coming weeks.

Friday, 28 October 2011

EUROPEAN UNION - DOES IT STILL EXIST ?


The answer to this question is quite simply "NO", not in its present Treaty form !!!

This was made quite clear when the EUROZONE countries had a meeting in Brussels, on Wednesday 26 October 2011, which excluded all the countries which did not have the EURO as their national currency.  The reason for this separate meeting is well founded; the EUROZONE needs to organise itself to ensure its future survival. 

This highlights the biggest and the most fundamental problem the EU has at present.  The EU or LISBON treaty is already out of date and must be completely re-written to properly reflect the rights and duties of all the current members of the EU.

In fact what is needed is one treaty for the EUROZONE and another for other members of the EU, together with a covering act which could ultimately be the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE treaty.

Something of this nature must be done.  The first steps could be announced at the "G 20" meeting in Cannes next week by President Sarkozy. This is the future !!!

What is quite clear is that the EUROZONE countries will in future meet when and where they wish to the exclusion of other EU members.  This would not prevent non-EUROZONE countries from having their own meetings !!!  They too must meet to ensure that a re-written or rehashed EU treaty includes all changes and guarantees they want it to enshrine.

Would this not be the "heaven sent" occasion to review and limit, the application of the Human Rights act, Immigration into the EU, the role of the European Court of Justice ?  There are a host of other matters which could be revised. 

Now is the time !!!  Perhaps David Cameron could play a leading role in this area for non EUROZONE countries ?