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Friday, 28 February 2014

MERKEL AND CAMERON UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER !


Have you seen the picture in the Daily Telegraph to-day (31/02/2014) of David and Angela "rubbing noses" on her arrival in London yesterday ?  

Friends around me in Paris have remarked that her reception was in stark contrast with the one the French President received last month !  We all still have memories of seeing a bloated François Hollande looking shattered after leaving a remote "pub" in the middle of nowhere !

There is an understanding between Merkel and Cameron.  He wants changes to EU Treaties but She does not want to rock the boat.  For the time being she has poured cold water on any quick fix possible.  Both know some changes are necessary.  This was already clear after their last meeting.  The time will come perhaps even after the result of the EU Parliamentary Elections in May 2014.

Merkel made a good impression when addressing a selected audience of Parliamentarians in German.  Alas for Television viewers everything was spoilt.  One could not hear the German version and the translation was a disaster.  

Her last few words were in English !  Her pronunciation was perfect, faultless and clear. One now regretted that she had not dared to make the whole of her presentation in English ! 

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

LE" BON SENS" DE NATHALIE KOSCIUSKO -MORIZET...


Dans la lettre du 5 février 2014 que Nathalie Kosciusko- Morizet, candidate UMP à la Mairie de Paris, adresse aux parisiens, nous avons relevé pas moins de 30 promesses hétéroclites, concernant par exemple;

   -  l'installation d'une véritable conciergerie de quartier,
   -  la création d'un service civique parisien,
   -  la création d'un million de mètres carrés d'espaces verts,
   -  la conquête de nouveaux terrains constructibles,
   -  la couverture du périphérique et des voies ferrées...

Le tout, bien sûr, avec zéro augmentation d'impôts et même, cerise sur le gâteau, "dès que de nouvelles marges de manœuvre auront été dégagées", une baisse de la taxe d'habitation !

Vaste programme aurait dit le Général de Gaulle...
                         .
Et, pour la très pragmatique NKM  pleine de bon sens : "Qui travaille à Paris doit pouvoir vivre à Paris".

Cet aphorisme aura-t-il aussi pour corollaire "Qui vit à Paris doit pouvoir travailler à Paris" ?  Cela éviterait aussi les grands chassés croisés journaliers...

DML

Monday, 24 February 2014

UKRAINE ; CRITICAL WEEK FOR RUSSIA AND THE EU !


Is Ukraine now out of the clutches of Russia ?  Can Ukraine now decide its own political future ?  Will democratic  Elections be held on May 25, 2014 ?

For a large part the answers to these questions depend on what Putin and Russia decide is best for their Russian interests !

Russia does not want to lose the control of the huge network of Gas Pipelines which provide Siberian Gas not only to Ukraine but other former "satellite countries" now already in the EU.  In eastern Ukraine the residents are mainly Russian speaking and there are factories  which produce a wide range of goods exported mainly to Russia.

The opportunities available in the EU have seduced Ukrainians in the west of the country.  They revolted immediately when President Yanukovych preferred ties with Russia and stopped negotiations to join the EU. 

Will Putin, now free from the shackles of "Sochi", invade or attack Ukraine ?  Or will he prefer to split Ukraine by holding on to the East of the country to serve as a "Buffer" between Russia and the EU ?

Alternatively, will the EU or the EUROZONE bail-out Ukraine ?  Without the Russian Loans promised on November 21, 2013 but still not paid, Ukraine faces a bleak future ! 

The solution must come quickly.  There are many Russian speakers in the East who now sympathise with the Rioters in Kiev, where even the police have apparently already changed sides ! 

Yanukovych is in hiding (or in Russia) !  The new interim President, Oleksandr Tourchynov, the hitherto Speaker of Parliament, must quickly be seen to act, and wisely !  He knows full well what his people want. 

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

TRUCE IN UKRAINE, BUT FOR HOW LONG ?


After "unarmed" diplomats from Poland, Germany and France intervened, a "Truce" was signed by President Yanukovych and opposition Leaders to stop the mayhem slaughter of civilians and to restore order in Ukraine.

This Truce was greeted with jubilation in the Ukrainian Parliament which voted to adopt the Truce and then voted for the liberation of Yulia Tymoshenko, the losing candidate in the last Presidential Elections.

The real question is whether the Russian President Putin, whose Sochi Olympic Games end this weekend, will respect this Truce !   He has not yet had the opportunity to say his last word !  He certainly does not want Ukraine to join the EU nor to slip out of the grips of Russia !

The details of the Truce remain to be defined !  President Yanukovych has disappeared.  Is he in Russia preparing his next meeting with Putin ?

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

POLAND JOINS EU SUMMIT TALKS ON UKRAINE CRISIS !


Poland will today be at the EU Summit Meeting in Kiev with the leaders of France and Germany to decide what measures must be undertaken to stop the slaughter of civilians.

The crisis in Ukraine started on November 21, 2013 when President Yanukovych alone decided to follow Russian President Putin's orders not to let Ukraine join the EU. This was against the will of Ukrainians and the start of protests and bloody riots.  The crisis has escalated since that day, and now the police are killing countless protestors in "Independence Square" in Kiev.

Ukrainians want Yanukovych out and replaced !  Is he not a "turncoat" or a "Judas" who betrayed his countrymen ?  They also want new elections and more democracy !  They do not want any more Russian Communist Dictatorship. 

Putin does not want a repeat of 1991 when the URRS collapsed and when several "satellite" countries (including Poland) left to flee the grips of the Russian bears !  More than 10 countries joined the EU and now 3 are even in the EUROZONE !

Poland has dared to join the Summit Talks;  this may act to encourage other ex-Soviet satellites to make themselves heard ! 

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

ELECTION DU PARLEMENT EUROPEEN: QUELS ENJEUX ?


A la suite de l'article publié sur ce blog, le 17 février dernier "E U Elections : Alarm bells are ringing", un lecteur nous interroge : "Ne surestimez vous pas l'importance des élections européennes qui choisissent un Parlement doté de si peu de pouvoirs ?".

Peu de réels pouvoirs, certes. Toutefois cette année pour la première fois et ainsi que cela a déjà été ici souligné (voir 17 septembre 2013), le Parlement Européen aura son petit mot à dire lors de la désignation du prochain Président de la Commission Européenne. 

En effet le traité de Lisbonne prévoit que "en tenant compte des élections au Parlement Européen, le Conseil Européen à la majorité propose au Parlement Européen un candidat à la fonction de Président de la Commission".  Une amorce de démocratie...

En outre, pour toutes les décisions qu'il sera amené à prendre, le Conseil Européen ne pourra ignorer la volonté de ceux qui se seront exprimés à travers leur vote entre le 22 et le 25 mai dans les Etats membres de l'Union Européenne. Nos politiques seraient en effet bien imprudents de ne pas vouloir les entendre...

DML

Monday, 17 February 2014

BARROSO "SWAN SONG" ATTACK SHOCKS THE SCOTS !


Yesterday on BBC television, Manual Barroso clearly explained that Scotland had virtually no hope of joining the EU or the EUROZONE if they voted for "Independence" in their "Referendum vote" on September 18, 2014.

Mr Barroso is the outgoing President of the EU Commission.  His second and last term of office ends early December 2014.

Mr Barroso said he did not want to interfere in the problems of the Scottish referendum but this is exactly what he did ! 

His partial and "gratuitous" comments in the present context are like a "swan song"!   Much too early and of no help to anyone !  He has interfered in the internal politics not only of Scotland, but also of the UK !

The leaders of the UK are getting to grips with the details of what is possible or not for Scotland.  The most difficult question is  "Will Scotland ultimately create and adopt a new currency ?".  Or will it continue to use the Pound Sterling ?

If Scotland votes for independence it will take quite some time to decide equitably, in detail, the assets and liabilities of each country !  The date of Independence Day is not yet identifiable ! 

By then Mr Barroso will have been replaced and the EU and the EUROZONE will probably also have changed !

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SALMOND NEEDS A 2015 BUDGET AND PLAN FOR SCOTTISH VOTE !


In the business world when one company wants to make a takeover or propose a merger, all the facts and figures must be presented to Directors or Shareholders to obtain their agreement.  The "Plan" must disclose expected results in the next five years.

Astute Scottish voters will expect coherent arguments to make them vote for Scottish Independence.  Will Alex Salmond be ready in time to circulate his Plan with detailed figures early August at the very latest ?

The vote for or against Scottish Independence is scheduled for September 18, 2014.

What Scottish voters want to know is how different life will be after Independence.  For example,

     -  What will be the Scottish rates of Income Tax ?
     -  What will be the VAT rate ?
     -  Will total Taxes in Scotland increase or decrease ?
     -  How will new administrative costs be financed ?
     -  Will Scottish passports be issued ?

Real Independence means adopting a new Scottish currency !  That is quite clear.  Look at the EUROZONE  where countries have lost control of their future because they cannot "devalue" when that would be the best solution !  That is the crisis at this very moment !

Alex Salmond has a "Dream", but he must define its limits !  Has he got enough time before the vote on September 18 to convince voters to share his dream ?

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SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM - WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO VOTE ?


The key question is "who has the right to vote" this coming September 18 in the Independence Referendum ? 

     -  Only Scottish born residents?... or also
     -  Scottish born people resident abroad or in the UK ?
     -  English UK born permanent residents ?...or also
     -  Non UK born EU permanent residents ?

The answers to these and other questions are also closely linked to the question of who would be automatically entitled to a Scottish Passport if Scotland becomes an Independent Country.

Furthermore, what would help the fervent partisans of Scottish Independence the most ?  Would it not be to limit the vote to the Smallest Electorate possible, i.e. to voters born in Scotland and resident there on the day of the vote ?  

Would English UK born residents in Scotland not prefer to keep Scotland in the UK ?

The real question for Alex Salmond becomes "Is the appropriate Registry of Voters ready ?" 

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

EU ELECTIONS : ALARM BELLS ARE RINGING !


Three recent major alerts have suddenly set the alarm bells ringing in Brussels:
 
  1  -  The Swiss Referendum result which demands a reduction of immigration and a better selection of immigrants.
   2  -  The German Constitutional Court decision in Karlsruhe which begs the question "should Germany leave the EUROZONE ?".
   3  -  Opinion polls in France and Britain and other countries, which indicate that the "Extreme Right or National Parties" will poll many more votes than 5 years ago. 

Suddenly the 5 year comfort of some of the unknown MEPs has been shattered !  Voting in these elections  promises to be higher than in the past.

The main problems which frustrate and rankle EU  electors are : 
- Uncontrolled Immigration, mainly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
- Human Rights Court decisions which override National legal judgements.
- Unwillingness of EU polititions to want, or to accept, to change anything in EU Treaties !
- Inability of their National Leaders to influence anything in the EU.

In other words, the EU and the EUROZONE have become deaf and aloof. Will they now hear the voice and woes of their electors ?

EU election debates promise to be interesting during the coming three months !

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Friday, 14 February 2014

1100 000 BENEFICIAIRES DE TARIFS SNCF PREFERENTIELS !


La gratuité ou les tarifs préférentiels alloués par la SNCF à son personnel étaient à l'origine une contrepartie de l'exigence de mobilité imposée aux personnels des entreprises de chemin de fer. 

En 2010, la Cour des Comptes avait traité de ces facilités de circulation et souligné l'importance de leurs bénéficiaires: plus de 800 000 personnes en 2009 , cheminots actifs ou retraités, leur conjoint, concubin, partenaire pacsé, enfants, beaux enfants et ascendants... La cour recommandait alors de réviser les modalités d'attribution et d'usage des facilités de circulation et d'intégrer l'avantage correspondant dans l'assiette des cotisations sociales et de l'impôt sur le revenu.

Trois ans plus tard, quelles sont les suites données par la SNCF aux recommandations de la Cour des Comptes ?  Celle ci constate que le sujet est tellement sensible que toute initiative de simplification s'en trouve freinée et relève qu'à la fin de 2011 plus de 1 100 000 personnes bénéficiaient de facilités de circulation dont seulement 15% de cheminots en activité !

En ce qui concerne l'intégration de l'avantage correspondant aux facilités de circulation dans la base de calcul des cotisations sociales, c'est chose faite depuis le 1er janvier 2010; mais c'est la SNCF qui prend en charge la part salariale des contributions sociales incombant normalement aux agents !

Quant à la prise en compte de cet avantage pour le calcul de l'impôt sur le revenu, il faudra encore attendre ! 

Selon la Cour des Comptes , La SNCF doit procéder à un exercice de remise à plat jamais entrepris jusqu'à maintenant...


DML


GB - SOFT JUSTICE BREEDS ONLY CONTEMPT !


Another case, reported in the Daily Express yesterday, has hit the headlines, this time about a Lithuainian migrant who broke into the home of a young mother in her absence, ransacked her house, then stole her money and jewellery.  She has been shattered mentally and left frightened even when she is in her own home !

The criminal was identified through fingerprints he left in the house which corresponded with records consulted in Lithuainia.

After all this what did the judge do ?  He gave him a 10 month suspended sentence and a fine of 300 pounds payable as compensation to his victim !  Is this example of "soft justice" acceptable ?  

The robber obviously needed money but now is still free to rob another victim to pay his fine !  

One wonders what the judge would have said or done  if the victim had been his own wife or daughter ?

The Secretary of State for Justice is Chris Grayling and one must ask what he has done and now intends to do.  Previous Ministers for far too long have pussy-footed the whole issue of soft justice.  

What lines of guidance has Chris Grayling issued to judges recently ?  Who assesses the performances of Judges and their Judgements ?  Who gets the reports ? What has been done ?

Weak  or soft justice is no deterrent for criminals. They are prepared to take a small risk !  Their numberless victims, often aged or infirm, expect better protection.

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

COULD GERMANY LEAVE THE "EUROZONE" ?


The possibility of Germany leaving the EUROZONE and the EURO, has been envisaged following the judgement of the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

This Court ruled that the European Central Bank might infringe German legislation by using "quantitative easing" methods to combat the effect of "deflation" in the EUROZONE and thereby defend the EURO.

Alternatively this also implies that the German court considers that German Laws are superior to EUROZONE LAWS. However, the German Court has referred the matter to the ECJ - the European Court of Justice.  This will take time.

What this reveals is that not just a few people in Germany are worrying about the cost of "saving" the EURO and the methods the ECB (EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK) is employing. 

To avoid these costs, some think Germany could simply just "leave" the Eurozone, but this not possible.  It must also leave the EURO (and then create the NEW EUROMARK ?).  All this could be even more costly than anyone has yet had time to calculate.  

No country can just walk away without paying for its obligations, for its share of outstanding past costs for "saving" the EURO and also for many other EUROZONE benefits.

                                . 

VEHICULES IMMATRICULES A L' ETRANGER : ECHAPPENT ILS AUX AMENDES ?


Dans leur grande majorité, les véhicules immatriculés à l'étranger échappent à l'amende en cas d'infractions routières, l'adresse du conducteur ne pouvant être connue à partir du numéro d'immatriculation du véhicule.  C'est ce qu'avait constaté la Cour des Comptes dans son rapport annuel publié en 2010.

En 2014, la Cour des Comptes note que la directive européenne sur " L'échange d'informations en matière d'infractions routières" (1), entrée en vigueur en novembre 2013, permettra plus aisément le recouvrement des amendes.

D'ores et déjà, les accords conclus par la France avec la Suisse, le Luxembourg (2) et la Belgique permettent d'envoyer les avis de contravention aux contrevenants ressortissants de ces pays.


(1) Applicable dans les pays membres de l'Union Européenne , à l'exception du Royaume Uni, de l'Irlande et du Danemark.
(2) Seulement pour les infractions commises en Moselle et en Meurthe et Moselle.

DML
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

REMUNERATION DES AGENTS DE L'EDF:TOUJOURS PLUS !


S'assurer du bon emploi de l'argent public et mettre en évidence les dérives budgétaires, tel est le rôle de la Cour des Comptes qui vient de publier son Rapport Annuel 2014.

Il se compose de trois tomes:

 -  le premier comporte les observations et recommandations de la Cour et des Chambres Régionales et Territoriales des Comptes(CRTC),
 -  le deuxième est consacré aux suites données par les organismes contrôlés,
 - le troisieme retrace les activités de la Cour et des CRTC.  

Les médias font toujours une large publicité  à ce rapport mais le plus souvent passent sous silence les mesures qui s'ensuivent ou pas...

Ainsi le Rapport Annuel 2013 de la Cour des Comptes avait notamment étudié les rémunérations à EDF (politique salariale généreuse, accumulation d'avantages et le peu de lien avec les performances) et relevé que tous les salariés des industries électriques et gazières acquittent leur facture de gaz et d'électricité à un tarif préférentiel appelé "tarif agent" .

 Cet avantage est ouvert :
- pour la résidence principale du bénéficiaire,
- pour ses résidences secondaires dont il est propriétaire ou celles de son conjoint ou de son concubin,
- pour ses résidences à caractère occasionnel lors des séjours que lui même ou ses ayants droit y effectuent,
- sans limite de consommation d'énergie quels que soient les équipements électriques dont disposent les agents, y compris les équipements de chauffage des piscines ce qui représente un manque à gagner annuel pour le groupe EDF de 381 millions d'euros en 2010 (différence entre le prix public et le tarif préférentiel).

Par ailleurs, l'avantage en nature est sous évalué pour le calcul des cotisations sociales et le calcul de l'impôt sur le revenu acquitté par les bénéficiaires...D'où un manque à gagner pour l'Etat.

On attendra donc avec intérêt les prochains Rapports Annuels de la Cour des Comptes qui feront le point sur la politique salariale d'EDF !

DML









UNCONTROLED IMMIGRATION FIRES NATIONAL FEELINGS !


Last Sunday, little Switzerland voted to reduce not only mass immigration from the EU, but also from other parts of the world.  In the final analysis, they also want better selective immigration.

This flies in the face of current EU policies which advocate free movement of labour and which do not control in a watertight manner immigration from outside the EU.  Recent reports on LAMPEDUSA illustrate this point perfectly. 

MEPs are preparing to face their electors in May 2014 and are shocked by the Swiss "votation".  All the major EU principles are enshrined in a series of Treaties which cannot be "simply" revised or updated.   MEPs and National Leaders all know this !   This is their very comfortable environment, but, is this not tantamount to denying voters their right to democracy !

The Swiss votation has provoked many comments in the Press but also from many well known politicians and leaders who have already applauded this small country.

Some MEPs, at present are securely installed in Brussels without really being well known in their own country.  They may have a shock awaiting them.  Some are worried !  National fervers are such that many new and unexpected faces may be elected in three months time !

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Monday, 10 February 2014

SWISS "VOTATION" SHOCKS THE EU !


In a referendum yesterday, Swiss Nationals voted with a majority of 50.3% to curb and limit mass immigration into Switzerland.

This result flies in the face of the principles in the Porto Treaty adopted by the EU in 1992, which in particular introduced the principle of the free movement of labour.

Switzerland did not sign this treaty, but instead made bi-lateral agreements with several EU countries which permit foreigners to work there.  Switzerland will, during the next three years, renegotiate these agreements with the aim of reducing the current influx of about 80 000 immigrants each year. 

The result of the "votation" has created anger in Switzerland but also in the EU, where  General Elections will be held in May 2014. 

Unlimited Immigration into EUROPE from all over the world, has already produced heated debates  because it nurtures high unemployment.

However Switzerland has at present a very low rate of unemployment (3.5%)...

This morning the previous Prime Minister of France, François Fillon, applauded the result of the Swiss vote !  He will certainly be followed by many others and be joined by Marine LePen, who, as the new leader has created a new style Extreme Right !  It is also well known that, David Cameron in England, wants to limit the benefits which immigrants can claim as soon as they arrive ! 

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Sunday, 9 February 2014

FOOD AID FOR HOMS - DOES BACHAR AL ASSAD CARE ?


If the President of Syria, Bachar al Assad, still obtains enough food for his family and for the people around him, can he not ensure that Food Aid from UNO reaches  his starving countrymen in HOMS ?

There are endless meetings in Geneva at present.  Could all parties not agree to permit the presence of a UNO International Police Force in just HOMS to ensure Food Aid Deliveries ?  An even better solution would be to invite an armed UNO Army to ensure law and order !

The people in HOMS are starving.  They need Food, Doctors and Medical Supplies.  If all the sides in the Syrian Dispute refuse to "stand back" to allow help to come to the aid of the citizens of HOMS, they are collectively guilty of organized  "GENOCIDE".

Who would want such "political" people to be in the next Government of Syria ?

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

CAN ONE CANCEL THE VALUE OF POSTAGE STAMPS ?


A storm has been created by numerous groups in France which have "suddenly" declared themselves "revolted" by a series of stamps (known as "Marianne et la Jeunesse") which were put on sale on July 14, 2013 with the direct benediction of President Hollande.

This belated but furious reaction started only a few days ago even though, on July 15, 2013, the artist behind the stamps, Olivier Ciappa stated that his inspiration for the face on the stamps came from Inna Shevchenko the leader of the "Femen".  This woman is  waiting to be judged by a Tribunal Court in Paris on February 19, 2014 for a series of alleged Public Outrages.

The aim of protestors against Inna Shevchenko is to oblige the French Government to withdraw the stamps from circulation.  As a philatelist, I think stopping the sale of these stamps is all that could be done. 

Like all Stamp Collectors, I bought all the stamps I wanted more than six months ago !   If now suddenly they become scarce items, all the better !  Their rarity and resale value can only climb !

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SOCHI: MAGNIFICENT OPENING CEREMONY IN WINTER OLYMPICS !


Vladimir Putin, as everyone knows, wanted an impressive Opening Ceremony for the first Winter Olympics in Russia, and television viewers everywhere got a feast for their eyes.   The presentation will linger a long time in our memories.

Just how many people participated during more than two hours in the ceremonies, without a flaw, is not known but it was very impressive. 

If President Putin has also supervised the training to perfection of the Russian competitors,  we shall see some unbelievable sport during the coming two weeks !

Everyone will be watching very closely !  

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

UN TIMBRE FRANCAIS A L'EFFIGIE D'UNE "FEMEN" !

Il n'en finit pas de choquer ce timbre "Marianne et la jeunesse", nouveau visage de la République choisi par François Hollande, dessiné par Olivier Ciappa et David Kawena, et commercialisé depuis le 16 juillet 2013...

De l'aveu même d'un de ses auteurs, Olivier Ciappa, (cf "Huffington Post " du 15 juillet dernier), le dessin met en scène une Marianne arborant les traits de la leader des "femen" Inna Shevchenko qui selon Ciappa "incarne le mieux les valeurs de la République, liberté, égalité et fraternité " (sic).

Faut il rappeler que Inna et ses "femen" sont les auteurs de multiples actes de profanation perpétrés dans les églises, et en particulier le 12 février 2013 à Notre Dame de Paris et le 20 décembre 2013 à l'église de la Madeleine à Paris ?

Pourtant le 14 janvier 2014, lors de sa conférence de presse, le Président de la République déclarait: "Il y a des actes antichrétiens avec des personnes qui pensent qu'on peut s'exhiber dans une église et faire des gestes qui touchent profondément les consciences des croyants.  Aucun de ces actes ne peut être accepté".

Il est vrai que cette déclaration intervenait trois jours avant la visite de François Hollande au Pape François et que notre Président de la République n'en est pas à une contradiction près...

Quant à Inna Shevchenko, elle s'est réjouie via cette très élégante formule postée sur Twitter: "Maintenant tous les homophobes, extrémistes et fascistes devront lécher mon cul pour envoyer une lettre "
DML
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Monday, 3 February 2014

PUTIN'S POLITICAL "STALE MATE".


All amateurs of Chess know exactly what a "stale mate" situation represents.  It can be compared with a bottleneck of traffic on a Motorway !  No one can really move !

In the political world of Russia's President Putin, there is a stale mate situation !

In the immediate future Putin is fettered by the Winter Olympics in Sochi from February 7 until February 23, 2014.  He cannot risk another rebuff like in 1980 when the "Summer Olympics in Moscow" were ruined by the withdrawal of the USA (followed by several other countries including China) after Russian troops invaded Afghanistan. 

This time the problems are the Ukraine and Syria !

Putin wants to keep the Ukraine out of the EU !  It became independent again when the Russian Federation was dissolved in 1991.  At that time other satellite countries joined the EU.  The Ukraine then became a useful "Buffer State" between Russia and the EU ! 

Ukrainians really also wanted to apply for EU membership; preliminary contacts started as early as 1994 and finally a preliminary agreement was to be signed in November 2013.  At the last moment President Viktor Yanukovych yielded to the threats by Putin concerning winter Gas Supplies to heat Ukraine ! Yanukovych ended the discussions with the EU, but this at once provoked the current serious riots all over the country which could even lead to a civil war.     

Putin also has an on-going international problem concerning Syria. He used the Russian Veto in the UNO Security Council to keep a UNO peacekeeping force out of Syria. 

This also protects Bachir al Assad who is wanted for "War Crimes" but it also slows down the destruction of Syrian Chemical Weapons which UNO inspectors have identified.   Finally, the Russian Navy is happy as it can keep its ships strategically anchored in Syrian Ports !

Diplomats everywhere do a lot of talking but nothing changes !  UNO must revise the Security Council voting rules !  Ban Ki-moon the General Secretary must act otherwise Russia will forever decide everything !  Putin will rule !

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Saturday, 1 February 2014

WHAT DO SCOTLAND AND THE SCOTS, REALLY WANT ?


Does Scotland want total INDEPENDENCE or just more LOCAL GOVERNMENT ?  That seems to be the "REAL" question !
  
This is a thorny problem but it be can be reduced to a simple "either or" option !  In the end the electorate in Scotland must have "the" vote, "the" option to decide the future of Scotland ! 

Politicians in Scotland, but also others in Westminster, must point out the advantages of being part of "Great Britain" or of becoming part of a smaller country, which would be "Scotland" ! 

There are obvious advantages but there are also hidden consequences !  "Hidden" because either way wrong options  could be costly if the "COST" of "INDEPENDENCE" is not realistically put before the electorate !  

Hidden costs which must be assumed by an Independent Country, are costs connected with International Relations, Diplomats, Passports for real Scots, adhesion to the EU and UNO and other Organisations, not to speak of the cost of establishing a Scottish Parliament !  

Would Scottish electors really want to create more posts for Politicians to reduce unemployment ?

Finally, the REAL and VERY SERIOUS problem is how would Scotland finance its future ?

If Scotland wants to become independent of "BRITAIN" it must manage its own finances !  It must create its own "Money" and its own "Bank" to control its parity with other currences !

BUT, if Scottish voters really only want more influence over their "Regional Government" responsibilities, such an option would be a relatively minor Financial or Organisational problem ! 

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