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Monday, 27 June 2011

THE UNSOLVED PROBLEMS OF THE EURO AND GREECE

The European leaders are desperately clutching at straws to provide a "fast fix" to solve the current Greek crisis !!!  To summarise all the problems is simple, but to solve the problems, alas, is now much too late.

The evolution of the way this problem has developed could be summarised as follows;

1) The EURO was created with the idea that the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE could in future play a similar role as the USA and its DOLLAR.

2) 17 EU countries adopted the EURO and abandoned their old currencies.

3) The rules of the Central European Bank never envisaged that a member country could go bankrupt, and what had to be done if this occurred !!!

4) Nobody in the EU apparantly requested, received or actioned reports from member countries on their financial condition.  The sudden financial difficulties of IRELAND, PORTUGAL and GREECE were a complete surprise for everyone !!!  Nothing happened or was controlled during at least 10 years !!!

These are the fundamental problems which escaped the attention of all the highest paid EU managers. Nothing can be done now to correct the dire financial condition of Greece, and, to be quite clear, other countries who are hovering on the brink of Bankruptcy.

The Presidents or Prime Ministers of each EU country have been called to urgent meetings to find a solution for the EURO.  To save the EURO and Greece a special Credit Line of 110 Billion EUROS was organised for Greece last year. Now this has proved to be insufficient !!!  Greece needs as much again !!!   Desperation is setting in and everyone wants to find a temporary solution fast.

If Greece was just a little company, liquidators would be called in and creditors would bear the cost of any debts which the company could no longer honour.   The country of Greece is in exactly this position !!!  And various countries in the EU are the creditors, but there are certainly other creditors from outside the EU.  In addition there are Greek nationals who also have claims on the Greek state;  what about pensions, etc ?

In retrospect, the Greek governments have wildly overspent during the last 10 years.  The people are now hurting from the sudden reduction of their living standards.  Now the Greek government is agreeing to the introduction of austerity measures which are long overdue, but only because the EU has proposed strict conditions. 

The latest proposals are that credit conditions should be extended to up to 30 years !!!   This would be the next tragic mistake !!! The Greeks could never repay, and the credit rating of the EURO would also suffer. New social unrest and strikes, not to say a revolution will soon be seen in Greece.  In the end one can see the short term result, within 12 months. 

Greece will withdraw from the EURO and return to the Drachma, convert all foreign debts into drachmas and then devalue the Drachma !!!  Can anyone foresee a better solution for the EU and the EURO and for Greece ? 

                
  

Sunday, 26 June 2011

THE SOCIALIST PRIMARIES FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN 2012



In two days time, i.e. 28th of June, candidates wishing to participate in the Primary Election of the Socialist Party, must present their file.  The closing date is the 13th of July 2011.
 
The first round of the Primaries will take place on the 9th of October and then the two leading candidates will face each other in a run-off on the 16th of October.  The winner will be the sponsored Socialist Candidate in the Presidential Election in May 2012.

The three months from now until the 16th of October will be like a 100 days war among the candidates !!!

The fact that DSK, arguably the best Socialist bet to win Socalist Nomination for the Presidency, cannot now stand because of his ongoing legal problems in the USA, has opened the door for numerous other candidates.

As of today, it is certain that three heavyweight candidates have the intention to put their names forward.  They are the following:
    -  Segolene ROYAL, who was the official Socialist candidate in 2007, but she lost in the second round run-off against Nicolas SARKOZY who became the President. This was in spite of the help she got from François Hollande, the then Secretary of the Socialist Party. 
    -  Martine AUBRY, who is at present the Secretary of the Socialist Party.  She has a long practical experience of French politics, and it was she who reduced the working week to 35 hours when Jacques CHIRAC was President and Lionel JOSPIN was Prime Minister !!!  She was extremely disappointed when her father, Jacques DELORS, a well respected E U politician, declined to be a candidate in the 1995 Presidential Election against Jacques CHIRAC !!!
    -  François HOLLANDE, who was the Secretary of the Socialist Party, until Martine AUBRY was voted into the post. He and Segolene never married but they had four children together. (There are not many children in this world who have both their natural  parents as potential candidates in the same Presidential Election !!!). 

In addition to the three major candidates above, there are at least ten other people who have indicated that they may run as candidates !!!  How many will ultimatetly present their files remains to be seen.  However, the three following candidates may really be present;
    -  Manuel VALLS
    -  Arnaud MONTEBOURG
    -  Pierre MOSCOVICI

The coming weeks promise to be more than just lively !!!  Other parties will also start to organise themselves and join the political debates !!!     

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

"SAMCAM CAN" AND CURTSIES TO THE QUEEN !!!

Everyone was expecting "the curtsy" which "SamCam" made when receiving the Queen at 10, Downing Street.   It is part of the respect due to a Monarch and even to some visiting Heads of State !!!

How can any person perform his duties as Prime Minister if he, or his wife, cannot show any respect for even their own Head of State ?

Mr and Mrs Blair have long been judged and found wanting in this respect !!! 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

THE FIASCO OF THE EURO AND THE EU ?


The EU has rattled all the policians, British as well as European, at all levels of responsibility, with the problems surrounding the EURO !!!  Jack Straw, the former Labour minister in the Labour Government has gone as far as to declare that the EURO is doomed !!!  Were Tony Blair and Gordon Brown not in place in 2000 to controle the effects of the creation of the EURO ?

It is no good simply to say that Britain did not adopt the EURO !!! The reasons not to abandon the POUND STERLING were overwhelming considering the international importance of the currency worldwide, in particular with respect to the Commonwealth of Nations !!! 

Jack Straw has only identified half of the problems which currently disturb and excite the Politicians in EUROLAND !!!  One must go back at least 12 years or more to ask the eternal question " WHO IN THE EU CONTROLS WHAT AND HOW ?" 

To be even more precise, where are the reports, what action was taken, when and by whom ?  What did the heirarchy do with the reports or were there none ?  One should not be naiive !!!  There is not one Politician from the past who would dare to get involved in answering any such questions !!!

This highlights the problem the EU has today. Everyone has ideals they want to promote.  They have the zeal but no one has the patience, at the same time, to introduce the necessary controls to ensure or maintain success !!!  

When the EURO was introduced, did any highly paid EU financial expert ask himself what the  procedure should be if a country having the EURO became Bankrupt  like Greece is today ?  There is a big difference between providing financial help, compared with underwriting all the debts of a country, which seems to be the current objective of the EU concerning Greece at present !!!

Again the same questions arise. Did any highly paid EU executive verify the solvency of Greece when they joined the EURO ?  Did anyone in the EU Central Bank monitor the "exposed position" (the net of the Payables minus the Receivables) of Greece during recent years ?   If so, whom did he alert to potential problems ?  Would a real expert not have forewarned the Heirarchy that a crisis could be expected ?

Jack Straw has clearly drawn attention to one problem.  There are others which concern the EU as a whole !!!  They are fundamental problems and need urgent attention in  the near future.

The EU has an immigration problem and current practices reveal that there is an "open door" policy where no one really cares who wants to enter the EU. There is a Human Rights Charter which aids criminals but does not protect victims of crime !!!   There are too many expensive Politicians with idealistic ideas but no ideas how to control expenses !!!

Simply said, the EU Charter needs to be revised, but very fundamentally !!!  The sooner the better, but if in fact no one wants to move, some members of the EU will resign !!!  The highly paid bureaucracy costs a lot of taxpayers money but produces little tangible worth !!!       
      

Saturday, 18 June 2011

SAVE GREECE FROM BANKRUPTCY ? WHY ?


Huge efforts are being made to save Greece from "Bankruptcy" !!!  Why are President Sarkozy and Angela Merkel multiplying meetings at every turn and everywhere ?

From published figures it seems that their two nations, France and Germany, have the highest exposure, i.e. risk of financial loss, if Greece becomes bankrupt !!!  Is this due to the financial risks that companies in these two countries have taken ?

There is a basic principle of financial common sense which states: "Do not throw good money after bad !!!"  In other words, take the loss on Greece as it is at present !!!   The cost, or loss, should fall where it is !!!  Greece must devalue, readopt the Drachma, and perhaps much later decide to readopt the EURO again as its currency !!!  If the EU is in agreement !!!

Such a decision would oblige the Greeks to take and accept measures which are hard and not popular and which should have been taken a long time ago !!!  Why should everyone in the EU suffer ?

The system of the EURO is flawed !!!  The EURO was created about 12 years ago by idealists who did not realise that a currency needs controls.  Before 17 countries adopted the EURO as their currency, there were 17 Ministers of Finance who were responsible for monitoring the health of the currency of their country. Afterwards this became the responsiblity of the EU !!!  Who in the EU has the ultimate responsibility  to supervise this function ?

The EU now has, officially, three countries with financial problems.  Others are watching in the corridors to decide what will be the best time to profit from EU financial aid !!!  Perhaps this is also an opprtune time to for the EU to introduce and tighten financial controls !!!

President Sarkozy and Angela Merkel must lead the way !!!  The losses from a Greek Bankruptcy should fall where they fall !!! If Bad debts are suffered they should be recorded in the accounts !!!  This in fact would serve as a lesson to all financial institutions, including  particularly, the Banks !!!

      

Thursday, 16 June 2011

YES, GB "COULD" LIMIT IMMIGRANTS IF........


To limit immigrants Great Britain must act decicively.  At present British subjects born and bred in the United Kingdom only need a Birth Certificate to prove their right to live in the UK !!!

Alas, things have changed and now immigrants can enter the UK if they were born in an EU country !!!  But there are also immigrants who come from countries outside the EU !!! 

Matters must be clarified and simplified. Any visitor to the EU, should be refused entry if the visitor does not present a valid entry visa, obtainable from a British Embassy or EU embassy before arrival. BEFORE ARRIVAL is the key condition !!!

To formulate principles is easy !!!  Whatever they should be depends on the will of all EU Nations !!!  Will EU politicians take up the Gauntlet ? 

Visitors without the necessary documents should be refused entry and be detained !!!They should then be returned to where they came from.  The cost, in principle, should be borne by the inward transporter !!!   

The theory of all this is simple and good !!!  Alas if no real action is taken, illegal immigrants will continue to arrive in hordes from everywhere !!!

And the Human Rights Organisation will ensure that unwanted immigrants into the EU must be accepted favourably !!!  David Cameron and all the Conservatives cannot alone resolve this problem if no action is taken.  It is not the EU who will act !!!  

The EU no longer leads or acts, it is bogged down by too many "urgent" priorities to have time  to "waste" on   things like illegal immigration into EUROPE !!!

POLITiCIANS AND THE GREEK EURO CRISIS !!!


Is there any politician in Europe anywhere, who would accept now that he was in favour of the creation of the EURO and the way it has been handled  since !!!   But politicians subscribed to the project which was adopted !!!. 

However now that the EURO is facing a real crisis, namely the Greek inability to repay its external creditors, the Leaders of EU countries are clutching at straws to avoid the inevitability of Greece becoming a typical example of someone who has lost control of his finances.  Who can or wants to save a Bankrupt ?

The hidden problem is that no one in the EU can be accused of not having done his job !!!  The job was to monitor the level of overspending by Greece and the effect of this overspending on the ability of Greece to finance its balance of payments !!!

The latest proposals are that the Creditors of Greece, the companies which have receivable accounts, should bear a part of the cost of refinancing Greece !!!

This is a typical proposal by current politicians to put off the inevitable reality that Greece will become Bankrupt !!!
  
What should Greece do now ?  Should it not readopt the former currency of the country, the drachma and then declare that all foreign currency debts must have a Drachma equivalence !!!

The next step would be to devalue the Drachma, which would have the same effect on foreign currency payables !!!   The net result would be that EU politicians would get off the hook !!!  They could plead that they were not responsible for such a solution !!!

Who would suffer ?  Not the current Politicians !!!  Only the Taxpayers because companies will, of course and quite rightly, write-off currency losses on debts in their accounts !!!

This Blog can only wait and see !!!  Your comments on other solutions would be welcomed !!! 

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TRADE UNIONS SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE !!!


There is something very wrong when Trade Unions in Britain can call a Wild Cat Strike, when someone somewhere has suffered a wrong !!!  Wild Cat Strikes are a scourge of normal business life.  When issues escalate it strikes at the very existence of a company !!!

Running a profitable Company means being very competitve at very step.  Shopfloor workers must work, hard, just like managers !!!  Nothing falls into their laps just like that !!!

When will Trade Unions understand, once and for all, that when a company makes losses,  it cannot expand !!!   It cannot save jobs !!!  The company may need more than just strikes or finance ?   It may need real help from its workers who are about to face  unemployment and subsequent poverty !!!

Workers must understand and Trade Unions must understand, like Management, that running a company, which is a business, needs respect, support and help !!! 


Should Trades Unions and the Prime Minister not get together to hammer out a mutual understanding which recognises each others rights ?  Which of our numerous Ministers or Parliamentarians, could undertake such a task ?

This Blog ignores what has been achieved on all these issues by American Trade Unions !!!  The impression is, however, that Unions in the USA have adopted a more responsible attitude when a company faces liquidation.

All these matters require to be discussed !!!  There is also another very important issue !!!   Should all Trade Unions not have a limited right to call an outright Strike ?
To organise this could be complicated. The basic right to strke must be preserved.

Quite right !!!  It, and all else, would be complicated !!!  The whole issue should not be viewed subjectively.  Each humble participant should see the wider picture and  ask:  What can I do to improve the life of British Citizens ?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

SIR ALEX AND M.U. ?

Manchester United were thoroughly beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League Final. One could plead that it was because the Manchester players were "old and over the hill" !!!

Perhaps so, because Sir Alex is again in the transfer market with his Cheque Book to replace leading old players for next season !!!  Everyone is watching !!!  Few home bred players make it into the M.U. first team.  Home bred players are farmed out to other teams on loan to gain experience.  This is a cheaper way to find out if they could make the grade !!!

If MU show any interest in a player in the home leagues the cost of buying the player immediately spirals.  This is also true if a player abroad is targeted !!! 

The real question is who is at fault in the M U set-up ?  The players or the manager ? Sir Alex does an admirable job, and has history behind him !!!  However, was it not the sparkling performance of the Barcelona Team that defeated Sir Alex'es  M U team ?

Should not the M U management be looking to sign the Barcelona manager, Guardiola ?  Should it not be Guardiola who should be deciding which players need to be signed ?  Out with the old and in with the young !!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

DSK RAISES SOCIALIST ELECTION HOPES !!!

Any hopes that DSK had of becoming the next President of France have taken a nosedive, a battering, particularly if one takes into account that he is not the only Socialist candidate !!!  DSK's next court appearance is on 17th of July 2011.

Theoretically, if in the American Courts he is  acquitted of all the charges he is facing, he could still become an independent candidate.
 
However, "not guilty" does not mean "innocent" and the French electors know and will remember this !!!  It is extremely unlikely therefore, that he would present himself as an Independent Candidate for the next Presidential election.

There really is no lack of Socialist candidates !!!  Those who are members of the Socialist Party and who want to become the Official and Sponsored Candidate of the Party, have until the 13th of July 2011 to register their candidature. This means they will then take part in a Primary Election in October after having participated in debates beforehand.

It is almost certain that some candidates although "beaten", will then still want to present themselves as independent candidates !!!  That is when the Horse Trading will begin.  Government posts will be secretly promised to avoid a split of the socialist ticket in the first round of the Presidential Election !!! 

It should be realised that for several  beaten "future candidates", this would be their last real chance to write their name into the history book of France !!!   Everyone does not have the means like DSK, who could launch a campaign as an independant candidate to become the next President of France !!!

President Sarkozy has also started his re-election campaign. At the moment it is relatively calm but who really can anticipate what will happen ?  He has had low opinion poll results but at present this does not really indicate anything important !!! 
      

Thursday, 9 June 2011

BORIS JOHNSON IS DEAD RIGHT ON CRIME !!!


Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, joined the police on dawn raids and whitnessed with his own eyes the problems facing the police in London and elsewhere. He summarised his experience at the end by saying : "If we can clamp down on drugs, we can win the fight against robbery" !!!

Any person involved in handling drugs in the "supply chain" before the drugs are sold to the addict, should face prosecution for aiding and abetting the ultimate death of an addict.  Long term prison sentences should become a standard punishment !!!

Kenneth Clark, the Justice Secretary, will certainly not like to read this, because what is suggested here is stiffer justice and sentencing.  This implies that new prisons must be built to house more long term prisoners !!!  Mollycoddling criminals is not an acceptable solution. Criminals must be deterred !!! 

Judge Trigger and other judges are completely frustrated by the limitations that are placed on them when it comes sentencing criminals !!!  Why can judges in Britain not punish criminals, even when they are habitual criminals ?  The answer is quite clear. There are not enough prisons, there are not enough suitable prisons !!!

On this subject, Britain must avoid hiding behind EU rules and the Human Rights Act.  Criminals have too many rights and victims not enough.

Boris Johnson should have a meeting with Kenneth Clark, and other members of the Government.  Something positive must be done !!! 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

WILL THERESA MAY CHANGE THE EU ?


Theresa May, the British Home Secretary has embarked on the same mission which has been undertaken many times before.  The simple fact is that the problem of immigration is not just a problem between Britain and France !!!

To be even more clear, there is migration within the EU and legal or illegal Immigration into the EU.  The basic problem is who controls the entry into the EU of potential immigrants when they present themselves at points of entry into the EU ?

That is the question which the EU has never realistically addressed or resolved !!!  Because the EU has never wanted to oblige any immigrant, on arrival in any EU country, to obtain an official entry document, illegal immigrants try to settle there where they think life is best !!!  They often come as tourists and then stay !!!

That is the problem in Calais, where footloose illegal immigrants want to get into Britain !!!  Once in Britain they just want to disappear.  They bring nothing but manage to live.  They know they have Human Rights !!!

The answer of what should be done is straight forward.  Britain should close its frontiers !!!  The EU, however, would refuse Britain the right to do this !!!  In refusing , the EU would also refuse to make its frontiers watertight !!! That would probably be justified as being against the Human Rights Act to which all EU members have subscribed !!! 

Theresa May, will you change the EU ?   

There are many other problems which are equally important and which could be solved if Britain leads the way and announces that it intends to quit the EU !!! This old EU and its old principles needs modernising !!!

Monday, 6 June 2011

SIR JOHN MAJOR OVERSTEPS THE MARK !!!


Sir John Major, when he was Prime Minister, certainly would not have appreciated retired former Prime Ministers suggesting that Britain should increase its aid to poor Third World countries !!!

Has he not noticed that at present David Cameron is fighting to get Britain and its finances back on an even keel ?  Does Sir John remember he and the Conservatives lost the election in 1997 which let Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and the Socialists into power in 1997 ?  It will need another few years before David Cameron can say he has at last cleaned up the mess he inherited !!!

Has Sir John Major not realised either, that Britain's biggest Foreign Aid beneficiary now is the EU ?  Added to this, poor third world illegal immigrants and others from Europe, have flooded into Britain to profit from any benefits available.

If Sir John Major considers that Britain's contribution is not sufficient, should he  not set up a foundation and lead by example ?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

HAS EU OR IMF FOUND THE SOLUTION ?

Every family, every household, every businessman knows that if you overspend, or if you lose control of your spending, the time will come when creditors want repayment !!! The next step is bankruptcy or liquidation, and that hurts !!!

Bailing out EU countries with billions of EUROS to save the face of the EURO, the EU, or leading European politicians, has no sense or logic !!!  Billions of EUROS have been loaned to GREECE and PORTUGAL on favourable credit terms, but their urgent current problems and social upheavals do not inspire the confidence EU taxpayers in any way !!!

Mr. Barroso is the head of the European Commission, but unfortunately a portuguese  national.  He would not be the best person to front a discussion or to explain simply  the reasons why the EU and the IMF want to continue to support bankrupt EU countries !!!

There is a good old English expression.  Never throw good money after bad !!!

There is also the lesson we all have whitnessed several times in South America. When a currency can no longer defend itself, it devalues  The new Peso and others, start a new life !!!.  In South America and other countries, the better off save money buying US dollars or Sterling to hide under their beds !!!

The EU with its EURO is not one country.  It does not dare to let a EURO country become bankrupt, hence all the loans !!!  However, it would be cheaper and more realistic to let countries default and readopt their old currency than to lend them Billions of EUROS.  Let us be quite clear and lucid.  It will not be the European leaders who repay losses ultimately, it will be the EU taxpayers !!! 

As they all say to themselves: "après moi le déluge".          

Friday, 3 June 2011

KING BLATTER WILL DO IT ALL ALONE !!!


It's just like a story from the Arabian Nights !!!  King Blatter comfortably won the election and will now, all on his own, consolidate the FIFA way of doing things !!! His cronies will be rewarded one way or the other, but nothing will oppose their continuance as executives of FIFA.

This Blog has published many articles about the shortcomings of King Blatter and FIFA. Unless outside pressure comes to the fore, nothing dramatic will change.   Recent articles have shown the way.  A Revolution, an Administrator, fundamental changes in the way FIFA manages its resources, are absolutely necessary.

A team of lawyers, accountants, administrators and their lower level assistants is required. The aim should be to call an Extraordinary Meeting of all FIFA associates in 12 or 24 months time to discuss findings
.
KING BLATTER CANNOT DO IT ALL ALONE !!!  He has not done anything worth speaking of for the last 12 years !!!  This is what the problem is at present !!!

Like 4 years ago he wants just one more chance !!!  In 2015 he will plead he needs just a few more months to complete his task !!!  Did anyone see anything encouraging in his election manifesto to modernise FIFA or to change its present habits ?

  

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I.S.F. ET OEUVRES D'ART


Dans ce blog, le 15 fevrier dernier, nous faisions remarquer que celui qui, au lieu d'acheter sa residence principale, loue son habitation et achète des oeuvres d'art ou de collection n'est pas pour cet investissement, quel que soit son montant assujetti à l'impôt sur la fortune...   Une injustice pour beaucoup de propriétaires.

Cette exonération des oeuvres d'art avait été prévue dès la mise en place de l'ISF, il y a trente ans, par les Socialistes et certains y avaient vu l'influence de Laurent Fabius alors ministre du budget de Mitterrand et fils d'un grand antiquaire parisien... !!!

Il se pourrait que cette exonération prenne fin puisque une majorité de députés de la Commission des Finances s'est prononcée mercredi 1er juin 2011 pour l'intégration des oeuvres d'art et de collection dans l'assiette de l'ISF; au Parlement de décider. Affaire à suivre donc...!!!