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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.