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Sunday, 30 September 2012

RYDER CUP "SNOOKER" PROMOTIONS ?


As a keen amateur golfer of course I follow the Rider Cup.  It is instrumental in creating world wide interest in the Sport.  It is a pity that this Cup is limited to the USA and European Continents !!!

Should there not be more "continental" competitions ?

Television, which sponsors so much interest, is also left flat with so many repetitive scenes on Greens where "putting for the hole" becomes somewhat drab !!! One watches Singles and Pairs in various formats but the only problem is who gets down the hole first !!!  Who misses the putts ?

Should the Rider Cup not become more adventurous and sponsor new forms of competition ?  

How about a foursome where balls remain on the Green after a putt, can be "bounced" by another ball and where the last ball down the hole would be the "loser" !!!  With bunkers around a par three and also a water hazard, this could introduce new tactics and new interest for television sponsored watchers !!!   

The ultimate rules need to be written when this "snooker" type game is tried.  If the Rider Cup started with promotions this format could perhaps ultimately be adopted as one of the foursome formulations !!!    

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

RYDER CUP HOPES AND STATISTICS !!!


Passions are rising both sides of the Atlantic !!!  Who is going to win, who will condemn either side to a fatal loss in one foul hit in the 2012 Ryder Cup in Chicago ?

Without wanting to judge or condemn any participant I invite readers to decide for themselves how they are prepared to bet on the result of the current Ryder Cup !!!

I have analysed the presentation of the two Ryder Cup teams in the British Press.  

1) Average age of competitors:
                                                  EUROPE: 32.7 Years
                                                  U S            34.4

2)Number of Ryder Cup Appearances of members of this year's team:
                                                  EUROPE:  26  
                                                  U S             28

3) Total Number of individual WINS - LOSSES of all the members of the 2012 teams in previous Ryder Cups;

                                                  EUROPE:  60 - 32
                                                  U S             40 - 59    

4) There is also another surprising statistic.  8 players of  the EU team have won more games than they have lost.  2 players have lost more than they have won.

In the U S team no player has won more games than he has lost, but 6 players have lost more games than they have won in the Ryder Cup.

On the whole statistics count for nothing on the day of a game.  In the past the EU team has been better in the Singles, whereas the US has been superior in the Pairs.

In the end every golfer, even hackers, knows full well that you've got to keep your nerve when the heat is on !!!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

GREEDY GREEK POLITICIANS DESTROY THEIR COUNTRY


Every day with increasing intensity, one sees pictures and reports in the press of the bloody suppression of riots and strikes in Greece !!!   Why ?

For more than two years the EUROZONE has been injecting Greece with Billions of Euros of "aid" with draconian conditions aimed at curing structural economic faults.  Why has this had no effect ?

The answer is partially that only 75% of the population in Greece has been skinned alive !!!  The other 25% is comprised of Politicians and State Employees whose  salaries and pensions have remained intact. 

The proportional representation rules in Greece also ensure that the main parties receive additional seats in Parliament.

There are other reasons why Greece should never have been aided in the first place; were their accounts really accurate when they applied to adopt the EURO ?

What is clearly obvious now is that Greek politicians prefer more EU "aid" rather than to proceed with a mamouth devaluation, abandon the EURO, and adopt the "new" Drachma.  That could hurt everyone !!!

EU politicians must force the issue otherwise there will be no money left in the Stability Fund to help other countries like Spain and Italy !!!  Let us not forget that the German coffers and reserves and patience do have a limit !!! 

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"THREE IN A MARRIAGE" WITH FRENCH PRESIDENTS !!!


The French are avid and discerning readers of any scandle concerning their President or even their Ministers. During the last 30 years they have been amply served even if some "situations" have remained absolutely secret !!!

François Mitterand, who was elected to be the President in 1981, only revealed the existence of a "love child", Mazarine Pingeot aged 19, towards the end of his second term of office, and in fact shortly before his death in 1996      !!!  This was a complete surprise for the French public who also discovered they had in fact borne the cost of Mitterand's second family !!!

President Sarkozy was more correct.  He married three times, the last time shortly after his election as President, but he suffered when his second wife "played away" !!!

We now have the latest of a series of scandals concerning President Holland, who was elected on May 6, 2012 !!!  

In fact, President Hollande has never been married !!! But scandals there are none the less !!!  His first "companion" was Segolene Royale with whom he had four children.  Their "partnership of more than 20 years" fell apart when apparantly she discovered he was flirting with another woman. She sent him packing shortly after she lost the Presidential election against Sarkozy !!!

Everything was quite quiet until the election of President Hollande.  Then France became aware of the presence of Mme Trierweiler, a woman who has been divorced twice !!!  She was the new "companion" of the new President, who has never been married !!!

The big question which was raised is "what is her place in official ceremonies ?"  Is she the First Lady ?  There has not been a clear answer.  In fact one could also ask whether she will be the "last companion" !!!

There is a jealous "fight" between Valerie Trierweiler and Segolene Royale.  This became clear when Segolene was standing for election this year to the National Assembly with the sole aim of becoming (with the benediction of François Hollande) the next Speaker in the National Assembly.

Valerie sent a "tweet" of encouragement to a Socialist candidate who decided to stand against Segolene.  This hit the Headlines, Segolene was beaten and François was left to calm what he termed was a private "family affair" !!!

This week, both companions were in New York.  François was at the United Nations meeting, Segolene was at the meeting of World-Wide Socialists (as Vice President) and Valerie was there on a shopping trip !!!  However, on television we saw an embarrassed François  who had seen Segolene on his path ahead, suddenly change track with all his entourage to avoid meeting her !!!  The French Press missed nothing !!!

Does every young man not quickly realize that meeting an old girlfriend or flame could lead to trouble !!!            

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION : IS IT TO REMAIN A "TOOTHLESS LION" ?


The newly elected President of France, François Hollande, in his first speech to the UNO Assembly, highlighted the inertia of UNO, its ineffective capability to tackle international problems fundamentally !!!

This Blog has already proposed that UNO must change  its rules.  The rules adopted more than 60 years ago to accomodate the "Great Powers" after the Second (and last !!!) World War, gave Russia and others a "Veto" !!!

The powers of UNO countries must be updated !!!  To intervene in massacres like at present in Syria, UNO needs a mandate.  The voting rules in UNO must be changed !!!  If UNO countries cannot come to a comprise on the voting issue, UNO should be disolved !!!  

If UNO remains a toothless lion, what hope does the World have of effectively solving any future "conflicts" like the massacre of resident nationals in Syria ?  There are other major problems on the boil !!!

A new International Organisation must be created with new voting rules and to protect generally accepted principles.  One member country cannot be allowed to jeopardise the application of normal, moral, international principles.     

     

Monday, 24 September 2012

CLEGG WANTS MORE TAX !!! TO DO WHAT ? TO SPEND MORE ?


At the Liberal Conference in Brighton Nick Clegg has come up with a completely unheard of, new,  revolutionary, policy, to raise taxes !!!  

The idea is to "Tax the Rich" !!!  The top 10% earning more than 50 500 pounds should be ready to face new tax increases !!!

What does Clegg want to achieve by destroying the Conservative middle classes ?  Does he not realise that there are Liberals who would be destroyed at the same time ?

Will he explain whether politicians, diplomats and Quango employees will also be covered by his revolutionary policies ?  If these groups of  "Protected Government Agents" avoid closer Clegg scrutiny, Liberal though it might be, the "Rich to be taxed" have the right to an explanation !!! 

Finally, Clegg and other politicians, must realise that when there is a World-wide Recession, everyone must tighten their belts and their aspirations.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

DES AIDES MENAGERES PLUS COUTEUSES ?


Actuellement les particuliers qui emploient du personnel à domicile, femmes de ménage, nounous, aides ménagères  etc...ont la possibilité de calculer les cotisations sociales correspondantes sur la base soit du salaire réel soit d'un salaire forfaitaire égal à 10,34 euros par heure de travail.

Or le gouvernement, soucieux de renflouer les caisses de la sécurité sociale, envisagent de supprimer le calcul  sur la base forfaitaire pour n'appliquer que le calcul sur la base du salaire réel.

Cette disposition qui figurera dans la loi de finances pour 2013, bénéfique pour l'Etat et pour le salarié, entraînera une augmentation des cotisations patronales et salariales sans que l'employeur puisse répercuter  celles-ci sur son salarié.

Par exemple un particulier rémunère sa femme de ménage 15 euros net de l'heure :

Calculées sur la base forfaitaire, les cotisations payées par l'employeur s'élèvent à 4,20 euros pour la part patronale et 2,40 pour la part salariale.  Le salaire net de 15 euros correspond ainsi à un salaire brut de 17,40 euros.

Calculées sur le salaire réel, les cotisations s'élèvent à 7,91 euros pour la part patronale et 4,51 euros pour la part salariale, soit un salaire brut horaire de 19,51 euros !

Cette hausse de la cotisation salariale, prise en charge par l'employeur, équivaut ainsi, dans notre exemple, à donner au salarié une augmentation de son salaire brut de plus de 12% !  Exceptionnel en cette période de rigueur !

Tout ceci ne risque-t-il pas de contraindre certains employeurs, retraités ou personnes âgées, à renoncer à des services devenus trop onéreux ou de favoriser le travail au noir ?

DML















TALKS ABOUT A NEW EU FEDERAL STATE ?


A meeting in Warsaw, in the presence of only eleven Foreign ministers of EU countries, has taken place.  Once again the ultimate aim is to introduce more "Federalism" in the EU by changing treaties.

What hampers frustrated EU politicians is the power they do not at present have and which they urgently want !!!  What they need, in order to change treaties, is to remove the "Unanimity Rule" to change the EU Treaties.  Another handicap is that some countries have "Veto" rights in certain areas. 

There is, however, something else which flies in the face of what these politicians so urgently want.  This is called DEMOCRACY !!!

In the past the ultimate electors in most countries (not Ireland !!!) have been deprived of their right to vote because their national elected MPs have "saved" them the trouble !!!  To hold a referendum could have been a dangerous operation if the result had been "NO" !!!

Likewise, this is the moment to highlight another anacronism concerning the lack of democracy in the EU. All the 27 countries in the EU hold elections at different times.  Their MEPs are all elected on the same day throughout Europe !!!  This is a comfortable solution from an EU viewpoint.  There will never be any immediate repercussion on anything the EU may enact; the EU Parliament is never affected by any change in a national   government !!!  Is this normal ?  Is this the "democracy" which the EU aspires to ?

Other more informed commentators may have other hidden consequences to highlight !!! 

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

WILLIAM & KATE OBTAIN INJUNCTION


William and Kate have obtained an injunction from a French Court against the Closer Magazine, preventing it from publishing topless photos of Kate, which were taken without their knowledge, while they were on holiday in the South of France in a private property, owned by Lord Linley !!!

The photos were taken at a distance of more than 200 metres from where the couple were relaxing.

Closer Magazine, is part of the Mondadori Group which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian Prime Minister.  Closer Magazine  has been ordered to return the originals of the photos to William and Kate, because they are considered to be their private property, within 24 hours of the judgement.  A fine of 10 000 Euros daily is payable for non compliance.  In addition, any further sale of the photos in any way is covered by the judgement.

Criminal proceedings have been engaged by William and Kate, but this will take some time.

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Monday, 17 September 2012

WHICH COUNTRIES STILL WANT THE EURO ?


To be quite clear, in the current critical circumstances of the EURO, the real question is "Which countries really still want the EURO ?"

There are at present 27 countries in the EU.  Of these 17 countries have the EURO as their National currency.

Denmark and the United Kingdom have a recognised right in the EU Treaty not to be obliged to adopt the EURO !!!

This leaves 8 countries which are expected to adopt the EURO "ultimately" .  When ?  That is "The Question" !!!  There is no fixed date for these 8 countries, which are;

                        Sweden
                        Latvia
                        Lithuania
                        Poland
                       Czech Republic
                       Hungary
                       Romania
                       Bulgaria.

However, with the current EUROZONE problems, smaller countries are wary about joining and adpoting the EURO.  A typical example is Bulgaria; its currency, the Lev, is solid just like its economy !!!

Lithuania and Latvia are two other countries which have adopted a "wait and see" policy before joining the EURO. Poland has simply delayed any final decision about adopting the EURO.

The EU, and the World in general, is facing a difficult economic period.  Smaller countries want to avoid being sucked into the current problems provoked by Italy and Spain, not to mention Greece !!!  This is understandable !!!

The remedies at present proposed by Mario Draghi are purely financial !!!  They do nothing to solve the real basic  problem which is "economic".

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HOLLANDE, LE LOCATAIRE DE L'ELYSEE


Lors de la visite du palais de l'Elysee, dans le cadre des journées du patrimoine des 15 et 16 septembre 2012, le Président Hollande s'est plu à déclarer qu'il n'était que le locataire des lieux.

Soyons plus précis!  Il n'est que le bénéficiaire d'un logement de fonction dont l'occupation prendra fin en mai 2017, si les français en décident ainsi dans 5 ans.
Et ce, sans aucun droit au maintien dans les lieux...!!!

DML

Friday, 14 September 2012

HALTE AUX "NICHES FISCALES" ...!!!


...Ou plutôt halte à l'emploi inapproprié de l'expression "niche fiscale"!

Le terme évoque cachette, dissimilation, astuce, montage fiscal, dans le but toujours d'échapper à l'impôt....!!!

Or, dans la quasi totalité des cas, il s'agit de réductions d'impôts ou d'avantages fiscaux auxquels les contribuables peuvent prétendre en toute légalité dès lors que sont réunies les conditions requises par le législateur !!!

Citons par exemple la déduction forfaitaire pour frais professionnels dont bénéficient les éclaircisseuses et les polisseurs de pipes de la région de Saint Claude, ou encore la réduction d'impôts pour l'emploi d'un salarié à domicile. 

A ce jour il existe plus de 500 avantages fiscaux appelés abusivement "niches fiscales". 

DML

MARIO "SUPER" DRAGHI LIMITED BY GERMANY !!!


The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has accepted that Mario Draghi is "free" to act but that the liabilities of Germany amount to 190 Billion EUROS. 

 This decision presupposes that the Leaders of the "EUROZONE" will "give their blessing" to what Draghi wants to undertake,  namely "buy up short term national debt" (debt with less than three years before redemption) of EURO countries which require help.

Such action could in fact become a nice source of income for the EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK !!!  If National debt is quoted on Stock exchanges with a discount beyond what would be expected before the next interest payment, the Draghi operation would be a winner and stabilize the cost of the credit necessary for the new financing required to repay current debt falling due for repayment !!!

It is not surprising that the IMF wants to participate in such an operation !!!

However, what the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has clearly said is that the German Liability is limited to 190 Billion EUROS !!!   Before the EUROZONE Leaders meet to approve the "Super" Draghi proposition, the limit of the obligations of each EUROZONE country must also be calculated and spellt out !!!  Every country wants to know what their ultimate liability could amount to !!!  

Germans quite rightly feel abused and strangled by the obligations they face to save the EURO !!!  Where do their efforts stop ?

This also means that the proposititions of Marius Draghi and any limitations, must be defined !!!  This is fundamental for the future of any EUROZONE !!!

When these problems have been  been addressed, it will perhaps be necessary to revise the proposed details of the "Proposed Treaty of Monetary Stability" of the EUROZONE !!! 

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

EXAM RESULTS IN BRITAIN AND FRANCE ARE RIDICULOUS !!!


In both France and Britain, two countries I know well, the exam results of school leavers have regularly improved.

All the Ministers of Education have congratulted themselves on the levels achieved by Schools and the teachers !!!

It has got to the point where, if a school leaver does not "pass" comendably, with whatever "low" grades available, he really must have had a special excuse !!!

Over the years getting to university has become more easy.  Staying at university and achieving a commendable degree has escaped more than a few students.

Governments are partly to blame because a student cannot be classified as "workless" !!!  To avoid  increased "unemployed" statistics, governments do not prevent "hopeless" students going to Universities.

In fact, Government money to encourage the young, at an early age (14 perhaps) to become "apprentices", to learn a manual trade, could redivert money from useless education to something more practical.  Doing a manual trade is not "failure" !!!   Failing at university level is not an achievement !!!

It would seem that Ministers of Education have lost the plot !!! 

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Monday, 10 September 2012

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE: LE NAÏF AUX 60 PROMESSES?


Il l'avait promis pendant sa campagne: "le changement, c'est pour maintenant"!

Quatre mois plus tard, il nous l'assure "le redressement, c'est pour 2014!"

Le 9 septembre, le Président Hollande s'est longuement exprimé sur la taxe "temporaire " à 75% sur les revenus supérieurs à 1 million d'euros et qui concernera entre 2000 et 3000 personnes...Un vrai symbole pour la gauche !!!

En revanche, le Président est resté flou sur les hausses de la CSG et sur l'institution de "prélèvements écologiques".  Il nous faudra donc encore attendre.
 
DML

MARIO DRAGHI SOLUTIONS LACK CREDIBILITY !!!


This blog does not have the benefit of insider information concerning the propositions of Mario Draghi, aimed at solving the current "refinancing difficulties" of certain EURO countries !!!

What Draghi proposes is purely "financial" !!!  It does not at all, touch on the "economic" problems of EURO countries, to be clear,  Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and above all Italy !!!

A "glib" answer would be to say that economic problems are covered by the "TREATY ON STABILITY, COORDINATION AND GOVERNANCE IN THE ECONOMIC  AND MONETARY UNION" ("Euro Treaty" to be short).  

The glib reply is that Draghi has a good solution, "short term" but which long term solves nothing on the economic front for the EUROZONE !!!  What will happen if the Economic depression in Europe (Eurozone) continues for another 5 years ? 

Italy, Spain and Greece will patiently wait for what "help" is available.  The " Draghi help" will solve none of the basic economic ills of any of these countries !!!

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

MARIO DRAGHI PROPOSITIONS NEED TO BE VERIFIED !!!


The latest propositions by Mario Draghi are very seductive, they seem to be the perfect answer to all the financing problems in the "EUROZONE" !!!

The effect of embarking on a policy of buying "repayable short-term national debt" to prevent spiraling interest rates is a good idea.  However, what are the limits to such a policy ?

Does it only concern Spain and Greece and perhaps Italy ?  What about Portugal, Ireland and later others ?

Furthermore, as President of the EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK will he guarantee that there be publications, monthly, of the Bank's Balance Sheet ?  Germany in particular will want to be clearly informed if their obligations are to be in any way extended !!!

Legal Balance Sheets in fact are not too much of a problem.  Many "dangerous conditions" are hidden in the footnotes of the Balance Sheet !!!  In the current circumstances of the EU or "EUROZONE", these hidden conditions must be evalued, country by country, to show the extent of any possible risks !!!

This could be a revealing fact which could determine the ultimate limitation of what Mario Draghi is now proposing !!!  It could also sway the way countries which are not yet in the EUROZONE, will decide their future !!!

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

HESITATION IN THE "EUROZONE" !!!


There are in fact two groups of interested parties in the "Eurozone" who are hesitating about the future !!!

First of all, Merkel and Mario Draghi are unsure how far they can go to "calm" the problems in the "Eurozone", or to be more blunt, how to save the EURO !!!  Draghi wants, or proposes, to buy unlimited amounts of Bonds issued by "embattled" countries such as Spain, and why not later Italy ?  Finally, will this really solve all the problems more than temporarily ?

Merkel wonders if she has the authority of the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ?  When Germany must accept or "subscribe" Merkel cannot really move unless she is authorized !!!  This is normal as her party in Germany does not have the majority.

Secondly, there is growing hesitation by "Non Euro" countries which are expected to adopt the EURO as their currency during the coming "years". 

There are 8 such countries but to be brief, all have indicated that they will delay their adoption of the Euro for the time being !!!  Simply said, they are watching closely developements in the "Eurozone".

There are currently many "contacts" and discussions among those for or against the "EURO".  These conversations are secret and never reported in the press !!! 

Finally, is the big problem not also the question whether the "Treaty on Stability" in the monetary Union should be changed or modified in view of recent developements ?

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

PRESIDENT HOLLANDE IS NORMAL BUT UNDECIDED !!!


The whole of France is closely watching every step of François Hollande to decipher what he intends to do !!!

During his election campaign Hollande crucified President Sarkozy because he did not deliver on his promises after his election in 2007 !!!  In fact months after his election Sarkozy was faced with the Euro crisis.

President Hollande made "60 election promises" and now is expected to deliver !!!  Of course he inherited a "rotten situation", and at a time when the EURO was still the major problem in Europe !!!  This he knew in advance but he declared that he was a "normal" President !!!

Alas, what the French were hoping for was "an exceptional" President !!!  Someone who would take the bull by the horns and who would lead by his example:  someone who would activate decisively !!!

This is not what French electors have seen.  He wants to introduce measures which correspond with his election promises, but these are slow coming and few.

For example, Holland promised to contol the price of petrol !!!  What he has done reduces prices by six centimes a litre !!!  To be precise, if you fill your tank with 40 litres you save 2 euros 40 !!!  Motorists are more than disappointed !!!

He has of course taken steps to tax the rich !!!  This is very popular, only creates more poor and dampens individual initiatives !!!

The reality is that Hollande has never held a ministerial post !!!  He was secretary of the French Socialist party for 11 years until 2008, when Martine Aubry took over.  He became a Candidate for the Socialist Presidential run-off in October 2011 and beat Martine Aubry !!!    

The Opinion Polls in France reveal a complete disenchantment of the electorate with what Hollande has achieved after almost four months as President !!!

The slogan of his campaign was "The Change is for now".  French electors are asking "when" is "now"  ? 

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

CONSEQUENCES OF A GREEK BANKRUPTCY THIS WEEK


The long expected bankruptcy of Greece has suddenly become a "certain and frightning" reality for next weekend, 8 September 2012 !!!

The indecision of the leaders of Europe, Angela Merkel, Mario Draghi, François Hollande and the Prime Ministers of Spain and Greece, reveals a reality, which is that Germany does not want to provide more support for countries which have lost the control of their Finances !!!

The economic depression in Europe as a whole, reflected by the continued increase in unemployment, is dampening all hopes of a fast recovery.

Greece is on the edge of declaring itself bankrupt !!!  This has been expected for a long time, but the next question is "will this have a ripple effect", will Spain and Italy also follow ?

If each country leaves the EURO, what happens then ?

Greece will be the big example to follow !!!  Any Greek errors will not be followed by other countries !!! 

Greece will adopt a "New Drachma".  Any EURO assets and debts in  Greece will be devalued and expressed in "New Drachmas".  In addition Greece must devalue state liabilities like pensions.  It must also get a grip on Tax which its citizens must be made to pay !!!  But how ?

There will be turmoil very soon, strikes, lack of food and a lack of the new currency, the New Drachma !!!  Anyone with euros in their pocket could spend them, but only in another Euro country.  No bank in Greece will exchange them at  any rate but the official rate !!!

The leaders of the EUROZONE will soon know how far they can realistically go to "save" or "protect" the EURO in future !!!

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