Wednesday, 26 November 2014
On Friday, 28 November 2014, in Brussels Jean-Claude Juncker the President of the European Commission will reveal the problems faced by certain countries which have overspent by more than the "Golden Rule" of 3% in 2014. Any sanctions will be delayed until the Spring of 2015 when final hard figures will be available !
The activities of the 17 countries in the EUROZONE vary widely and cannot be directly compared. What is however very clear is that unemployment everywhere in 2014, has had a brutal and negative impact on the economy of all countries.
Juncker knows this and will explain that more than 300 Billion Euros of Investments by the EU and EUROZONE in 2015 will be required to kick-start the European Economy. The finance is expected to come from private sources. Perhaps then the EURO will be safe for another year.
Alas there are other difficulties which EUROZONE (and EU) countries face which are not being addressed ! To name but a few,
- Immigration and inefficient Frontier Controls
- Freedom of movement of Migrants
- Unlimited and uncontroled imports from ASIA
The basic Treaties of the EU need changing to permit the EU to protect itself in a changing and more modern World !
When the EUROZONE judges Budgets and Financial Statements, it must admit France and Italy (and Britain in the EU) are concerned by these matters, and that they are serious ! Has Mr Juncker understood the result of the recent EU Elections ?
These problems will not just go away ! If nothing is done electors will make themselves heard !
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
A l'occasion des fêtes de fin d'année, il est fréquent que le comité d'entreprise ou l'employeur offre un chèque cadeau ou des bons d'achat aux salariés. Certains salariés s'étonnent d'avoir à payer des cotisations sociales sur les montants correspondants. Rappel donc de la réglementation applicable.
En principe, il s'agit d'un élément de rémunération qui doit être assujetti aux cotisations et contributions sociales.
Toutefois les chèques cadeaux et bons d'achat octroyés aux salariés échappent aux cotisations sociales à une double condition : leur montant annuel doit être inférieur à 5% du plafond mensuel de la Sécurité sociale, soit 156 euros en 2014 et "le cadeau" ne doit pas être attribué en fonction de l'ancienneté du salarié ou de sa présence effective dans l'entreprise.
Par exemple des bons d'achat ou des cadeaux réservés aux salariés ayant six mois d'ancienneté dans l'entreprise seraient, quelque soit leur montant, réintégrés dans l'assiette des cotisations sociales (Réponse ministérielle à Pellois , JO AN du 6 mai 2014).
Sunday, 23 November 2014
This week (24/30 Nov. 2014) President Hollande is scheduled to visit West Africa (Conakry and Dakar) to see for himself what France can do to stop EBOLA spreading.
Is this prudent for his personal health and that of his entourage ? He will be the first Western Head of State to visit EBOLA stricken West Africa since the outbreak in March 2014.
It is normal that people will clamour to meet him, or even just to see him, but when he returns to Paris will he be thoroughly checked medically, before leaving the airport and being escorted to the Elysee Palace in central Paris ?
With all the possibilities of modern technology, could the Conference of French Speaking Countries in Dakar not be organised on a "telephone conference call basis" ?
Would this not be a more prudent solution ? Or is taking this risk a safe option ?
Saturday, 22 November 2014
The SNP party in Scotland seems to have upgraded its future aims and intentions after not winning the recent vote for Scottish Independence from the UK .
It is quite true one cannot go into battle on an empty stomach. Replacing Salmond with Sturgeon is a delicate way pacify party faithfuls and to drum up more interest !
All the Western Leaders could help Scotland by imposing a Sanction on Russian Caviar, to encourage Putin to withdraw his Russian troops from Ukraine !
Would that not also benefit the Scottish Fishing Industry ! Every little bit helps !
Friday, 21 November 2014
Ecouté ce jeudi 20 novembre sur RTL, la chronique de François Lenglet sur la flexibilité de l'emploi en Autriche, dont le taux de chômage est le plus bas de l'Union européenne : 4,9%.
En Autriche notait François Lenglet "on peut licencier sans motif, mais la contrepartie c'est que les entreprises paient des indemnités de licenciement élevées", et ajoutait-il "comme elles ont la liberté de supprimer des emplois même si ça leur coûte cher, elles sont plus enclines à créer des emplois".
Quel contraste en effet avec le carcan qui, en France depuis 1973, entoure les employeurs contraints de licencier un salarié. Notamment, la lettre de licenciement doit comporter le motif "réel et sérieux" de la rupture c'est à dire des faits prouvés, objectifs et suffisamment sérieux pour justifier le licenciement.
Tout licenciement sans cause réelle et sérieuse doit être indemnisé : 6 mois de salaire au moins pour les salariés travaillant dans une entreprise d'au moins 11 salariés et ayant au moins deux ans d'ancienneté; indemnité calculée en fonction du préjudice subi pour les autres.
Mais pour obtenir ces indemnités, le salarié doit contester le caractère réel et sérieux de la rupture devant le Conseil des Prudhommes et patienter plus de 15 mois en moyenne avant le jugement. S'il y a appel, il lui faudra attendre encore deux ans !
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Yesterday this blog appealed to the Swiss Director of Public Prosecutions to ask FIFA for a copy of the 350 page report produced early September by Michael Garcia and which FIFA has refused to make public. A 40 page summary of the report was made by Hans-Joachim Eckert and it vindicated FIFA of any wrongdoing ! Garcia has said that this report did not reflect his findings.
Regularly the Press, even since 2010, has carried articles which suggest that the voting for the Host countries for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals was fraudulent.
This is not good for the World of Football and reflects badly on the reputation of Switzerland if nothing is done.
Suddenly yesterday afternoon FIFA announced it had lodged a criminal complaint against unidentified people ! Why ? Dealing with such a complaint takes a long time normally !
What really needs to be examined are the FIFA procedures and the evidence in the two reports. Why was an embargo put on the publication of the report by Mr Garcia ?
Was it to protect FIFA executives who want to be re-elected next year ?
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
En concédant aux militants du courant "Sens commun" (anti-mariage pour tous) l'abrogation de la loi Taubira sur le mariage homosexuel, et pas seulement sa réécriture, Nicolas Sarkozy a lâché ce samedi 15 novembre : "si ça peut vous faire plaisir, franchement, ça coûte pas très cher".
En cédant ainsi à la pression d'une partie de ses sympathisants, Nicolas Sarkozy n'apparait pas très clair dans ses convictions et lance un bien mauvais signal à ses électeurs potentiels de 2017 ! Ca risque de lui coûter cher...
For the last 4 years there have been continuous "leaks" of information in the Press and mounting suspicion connected with the nomination of the Host Countries for the FIFA World Cup Finals in 2018 and 2022 !
This culminated recently when an embargo was placed on the publication of a 350 page report produced by Michael Garcia. A 40 page summary of the Garcia report was prepared by Hans-Joachim Eckert and was then published. This report absolved all FIFA officials of any wrong-doings !
This whole sorry FIFA saga has tarnished, not enhanced, the image which Switzerland wants to project of its country in this world. This fact leads straight to the next question !
Does the Swiss legal system not have a Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with the powers to launch an Inquiery into unclear and suspicious events ?
Should the DPP not demand to see both Reports, with their authors, to determine what needs to be done to calm the nerves of all the people concerned and to protect the public image of Switzerland ?
Finally, and is this not another hidden objective behind the Eckert summary, should all the coming elections of FIFA Officers and Executives not be suspended until the DPP has finished his investigation and reported his conclusions ?
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Before fleeing the Summit early to get some rest, Vladimir Putin said the Summit had been constructive. Perhaps he did not want to hear what the closing Communique would contain ?
From reports there were some home truths which were addressed to Putin by David Cameron and other Leaders in private conversations over Russia's activities in Ukraine. Putin as always denies sending any troops or armaments to Russian Rebels in Eastern Ukraine, but he never explains how the Rebels have managed to obtained them ! Furthermore there are continuous Russian military exercices close on the frontier with Ukraine ! Why ? Is Russia so small that these exercices cannot possibly be held anywhere else ?
Putin is facing many problems at present, not least the collapse of the Russian Rouble on the money markets ! To save his reputation in Russia as President, he is "Saber Rattling" and making alliances with China. Russians would ask questions if any new Sanctions cancelled the next FIFA World Cup and if Russian Sportsmen were barred from competing outside Russia !
Until there are fundamental changes in Organisational Rules and in the "Elected Officers" FIFA will never recover its respectability.
Four years ago, Bin Hamman was disqualified from FIFA and then Sepp Blatter, the only remaining candidate, stood unopposed to became President for the fourth time, to complete his mission to "clean-up FIFA". The mess in which FIFA now finds itself must be the "Swan Song" for Blatter because he has not cleaned it up, it has become a "Quagmire" !
Daily more snippets of wrongdoings are revealed in the Press. There are cries that the entire 350 + pages of the report ordered by FIFA on the investigation by Michael Garcia should be published. The 40 page summary of conclusions by Hans-Joachim Eckert has been repudiated by Garcia as being inexact !
The FIFA Organisation has broken down and the only way forward would seem to be to nominate a "Steering Committee" of Three or Five professional people, independent of FIFA, to undertake an Inquest and to propose changes.
If present FIFA executives refuse to accept changes, a revision of procedures and its Statutes, then regional organisations like UEFA must consider withdrawing from all FIFA activities ! This would force a new beginning !
Thursday, 13 November 2014
A signaler cette nouvelle disposition qui intéressera tous les propriétaires de petites surfaces d'habitation, telles que les chambres de service dans des immeubles anciens:
Jusqu'alors la communication directe entre des toilettes et une cuisine ou une salle de séjour, était interdite. Cette interdiction qui imposait la création d'un sas, quasiment impossible dans une pièce de 9 m2, est supprimée à compter du 1er décembre 2014 (décret du 6 novembre 2014, JO du 8). En outre le cabinet d'aisance peut ne former qu'une seule pièce avec la salle d'eau.
The recent decision by the European Court of Justice now requires legislation at the EU level and also at local National level.
EU legislation must protect the rights of workers who have contributed towards a National Social Security system. Local legislation must detail the rights to benefits of citizens who have never contributed or even worked !
In each country a minefield of problems will need to be revised including the rights of temporary foreign immigrants.
Again any changes will necessarily lead to more discussions of the introduction of co-ordinated Frontier Controls on the borders of the EU !
Is this not what voters in the recent EU Parliamentary Elections clearly said they wanted ?
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
After staging the World Cup in Brazil so successfully it seems that FIFA has gone into hibernation !
Staging the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia and the 2022 Finals in Qatar has raised new problems but no credible solutions. In particular with reference to the suspected irregularities connected with the surprise selection in 2010 of Qatar as Hosts, there has been a blackout of information due to the embargo on making public a 350 page report on the vote !
The very fact that there is an embargo has nourished suspicions that something is wrong somewhere ! Will this embargo be lifted before the next FIFA Presidential election ?
Since 2010 little, or nothing, has changed in FIFA under the stewardship of Sepp Blatter ! Ebola has spread panic throughout the world but FIFA has issued no guidelines. Never are there any votes to adopt "reserve venues" as cover if a major catastrophy occurs in the world of FIFA !
Who would bear the loss if an international footballer died from Ebola while playing in the African Nations Cup ?
Finally, does FIFA have any solution for the World Cup if Russia is at war in 2018 ?
Yesterday, November 11, 2014, a decision by the European Court of Justice reopened the debate on Tourists who seek to "profit" from Social Benefits when visiting countries where they have never worked or even tried to find work.
This judgement, which now ignites a vast discussion, arises from an appeal by a Romanian woman who was refused "rights" in Germany, where she had lived with her sister for five years ! Long term it will provoke a revision of certain fundamental provisions in the Treaties of the EU !
However, this is just a small drip of the water in the Orient ! The ripple effect will last until EU Treaties have been properly redefined. The affirmation by Manual Borroso that "Benefits Tourism" does not exist in the EU or EUROZONE has now been officially contradicted !
David Cameron knows this is just a start. He will now have the support some other countries which have been less combative in the past ! Even Angela Merkel cannot ignore the impact of this Judgement !
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Will politicians be allowed to modify EU Treaties, in accordance with the clear wish expressed by voters in the recent Parliamentary Elections ?
This is a simple "democratic" question, but the answer is far from being simple ! There are politicians who refuse to accept that Treaties must be modernised to reflect a changing world and to protect the whole objective of the EU or the EUROZONE.
First of all, what are the main changes that must be considered ?
a) Immigration into the EU and Migration in the EU !
b) Free Trade principles when there is "Dumping".
c) National sovreignty for judicial decisions on local legislation.
d) Death Penalty for Terrorist killers.
Secondly, should the EUROZONE not create its own rules to protect the EURO and the interests of its member countries ? For example, Germany wants Immigration but other countries, in the EUROZONE or not, only want very selective immigration !
Also, the EUROZONE wants its "Golden Rules" but EU countries have other rules and methods to protect their currencies. All the countries in the EU vary, particularly in size and in what they can achieve at present. The same basic principles of the EU are therefore not always tailored for their needs.
This year 2014 has seen an economic depression all over the World. Tomorrow the Golden Principles of the EUROZONE will be tested when the European Commission reviews the 2015 National Budgets and plans of Eurozone countries ! Several countries, like France, are expecting losses for 2014 and must take corrective action in 2015 to stave off problems for the EURO !
The EU must modernise itself to survive and.....to save the EURO !
Monday, 10 November 2014
A chaque semaine, désormais, son lot de vraies et fausses confidences de hauts responsables politiques, ses ragots, ses secrets d'affaires en cours d'instruction. On ne se contente plus de les rapporter dans les diners en ville mais on en fait des livres et ce qui relevait d'une presse, que l'on qualifiait volontiers de presse de caniveau, se retrouve désormais à la une de journaux d'opinion. Opinion ou manipulation ?
Il en est ainsi pour le journal "Le Monde", daté du lundi 10 novembre 2014, qui n'a pas hésité, sans précaution aucune ni réserve, à titrer en page une : "Fillon a sollicité l 'Elysée pour accélérer les poursuites judiciaires contre Sarkozy". Ceci, comme on peut le lire plus loin, sur la base d'une révélation de Jean-Pierre Jouyet rapportée par deux journalistes du journal " le Monde" dans l'ouvrage " Sarko s'est tuer".
Jusqu'où ira le pitoyable colportage des commérages ?
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Comments by the Public and in the Press after the interview of President Hollande on TV, watched by 8 million citizens, have been withering ! "Why did he want to be interviewed when he had nothing new to say ?", is a gentle way to summarise the discontent !
After two and a half years as President, the mid-point of his five year term, what has Hollande done to reverse, as he has said, the mess left by Sarkozy, his predecessor ? The general public impression is "NOTHING !".
To make France more competitive and to kick-start the economy, Cost Savings by the State are required for more State and/or Private Investments. This would then help to reduce unemployment and the National Debt !
To be really precise, Hollande has not attacked any of the following possibilities;
1) - Created cost savings by
- streamlining government services and departments.
- raising the retirement age in line with inreased longevity,
- introducing a declining scale of benefits for the long term unemployed to force them to accept to work,
- decentralising certain national services.
2) - Created more jobs through direct government investment,
- by building more housing for the needy (as had been planned),
- by launching long-term modernisation projects,
3) - Redefined the rights and duties of Employers, Unions and the Government when businesses face severe economic difficulties, by
- revising the rules of the 35 hour working week,
- modernising employment rules for employers.
- modernising the rights of Trade Unions.
These are just a few options that should have been exploited during the first two years of President Hollande's term of office. In this way the National Debt would not be as serious as it is now !
Everyone in France is acutely aware that Brussels and the EUROZONE have been very critical of the 2015 Budget and Plan submitted by France ! Logically, if France cannot reduce its overspending , the EURO itself could be in danger. In his TV interview Hollande avoided all discussion of this subject but Brussels will surely want action !
All these matters need attention, and they will not simply go away if they are not addressed !
Deux ans de confidences de Nicolas Sarkozy, tel est le thème de l'ouvrage de Nathalie Schuck et de Frédéric Gerschel publié chez Flammarion, "Ca reste entre nous, hein?".
De ce livre qui, selon les auteurs, est la chronique, vue des coulisses, d'une renaissance politique, Nicolas Sarkozy ne sort pas grandi et son image d'homme d'Etat est singulièrement terni.
Des confidences ? En fait un florilège de petites phrases, de propos peu amènes voire quelques horreurs prononcés par l'ancien Président de la République.
On citera, "à l'UMP tous des cons", "L'UMP, ce ventilateur à merde", sur François Fillon,"un loser", sur Marine Le Pen "elle fait hommasse", sur Xavier Bertrand "ce bon à rien, ce petit assureur"...
On en vient à douter qu'un ancien Président de la République se soit laisser aller à de tels propos et s'ils étaient prononcés en "off" on s'étonne que des journalistes aient, en les publiant, contrevenu aux règles déontologiques.
Quant au lecteur, il referme le livre un peu gêné avec le sentiment d'avoir été le témoin de conversations qu'il n'aurait pas du entendre...
Friday, 7 November 2014
François Hollande face aux français, sur TF1 , le programme était alléchant! mais la déception a été à la hauteur de l'attente ; pas de grandes annonces hormis l'éventuelle candidature de la France à l'organisation des jeux olympiques et de l'exposition universelle dans 10 ans...
Toutefois, ce n'est pas tant François Hollande mais la forme de l'émission qu'il convient d'incriminer: Le premier temps de l' émission consacré à l' interview confession du Président de la République était quasi insupportable. Imposer aux téléspectateurs le rôle de voyeur rendait chacun mal à l'aise et suscitait un réel sentiment de compassion vis à vis de François Hollande.
On attendait avec impatience que se termine cette mise sur le grill afin de passer aux vraies questions économiques qui intéressent les français.
The most unpopular President of France in living memory was expected to be "grilled" with leading questions of how he intended to "get France back to work", to "lead the fight", towards economic recovery.
Alas, nothing he said last night gives the smallest clue of how he will attain this objective !
8 million spectators were scotched to their television sets last night, expecting a raft of measures designed to reverse the Economic Disaster their country is facing ! 90 minutes later they suddenly realised the "show" was over ! There were no magic measures !
This morning the first media comments are very unfavourable. The first hour was spent answering the questions of four individual French citizens for which Hollande had all the detailed answers at his fingertips. He explained how he had already tried to cover their problem.
The last 30 minutes were designed to find out what changes he and his Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, were intending to introduce during the last half of his mandate as President. Nothing really new was forthcoming !
France is in an economic mess but nothing new was proposed ! A discussion of the "cause and effect", the "ripple effect", of any new economic options was avoided.
The impression now is that Hollande has no idea how to solve current problems ; there will be social unrest in the coming weeks and months as a result !
There will also be many more acid comments on his Leadership as President !
Thursday, 6 November 2014
L'acceleration du calendrier des reformes, c'est ce que les français attendent en priorité de François Hollande. C'est ce que nous réclamions déjà il y a plus de deux mois dans l'article que nous republions ci dessous !
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
PRESIDENT HOLLANDE : "ACCELEREZ LE CALENDRIER DES REFORMES" !
Il y a près de huit mois déjà, le Président de la République annonçait "le Pacte de responsabilité et de solidarité" : moins de charges sur le travail et plus d'embauches.
Le choc de simplification également annoncé devrait simplifier la vie des entreprises et faciliter l'embauche. Dans ce cadre, un nouveau principe selon lequel le silence de l'administration vaut acceptation devrait s'appliquer en novembre 2014.
En pratique, tout a été annoncé mais rien n'est encore applicable...
La simplification du Code du Travail, le relèvement des seuils qui dans les entreprises déclenchent des obligations nouvelles et sont souvent un frein à de nouvelles embauches, restent également au nombre des mesures toujours en attente...
Le changement de quelques titulaires de portefeuilles ministériels suffira-t-il à accélérer le calendrier ?
Trop de temps a déjà été perdu depuis Mai 2012 !
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
President Hollande will be interviewed on the French television channel TF1 by Yves Calvi, a well known and respected political journalist, on Thursday November 6, 2014 at 20.30 CET.
That day marks the exact mid-point of the 5 year term for which President Hollande was elected in May 2012. All the Opinion Polls since his election have plunged and have made him the least popular President in living memory !
The reasons for this predicament will certainly be explained, as well as the changes in Policy which Hollande and his Prime Minister Manuel Valls intend to introduce. They need to convince and seduce Socialist voters to survive in future elections in 2017.
Yves Calvi will coax Hollande to answer key questions, but he will also have an invited audience which can suggest topics to be discussed. Hollande will certainly cover the unexpected problems on the International scene, - in Africa, the Middle East, Ukraine...
The French President will use this chance to explain how difficult it is to survive in an ever changing world. However, he will almost certainly be tempted to enlighten the interview with his wit, for which he is renowned !
Monday, 3 November 2014
The ferocious stand by Angela Merkel and David Cameron on "Immigration or Migration" begs the question whether they both have the same definition of what these two words mean in the context of EU Treaties !
Immigration or immigrant, describes someone who enters a member country of the EU with the intention of staying there. Short term visits by tourists, diplomats or businessmen cannot be described as "immigration" !
Migration or migrant, describes a person who was born in, or legally registered as a Resident and Citizen of, a member country of the EU and who then chooses to live or work in another EU member country ! Migration of legally recognised EU citizens is permitted by EU Treaties.
If these two definitions are basically accepted, disputes and problems arise when the limitation of "Immigration" into the EU, or "Migration" within the EU is discussed !
One should not loosely use the words "Immigration" or "Migration" !
Theoretically, if an Immigrant has been registered as a resident of an EU country, he could then migrate to another EU country. But, some member countries of the EU only want "selected immigrants" to enter their countries !
Is this not the stumbling block between Mrs Merkel and Mr Cameron ? To put it another way, she does not want to change EU Treaties, but he does !
Both need to take into account the results of the recent EU Parliamentary elections ! The Electors voted clearly for a limitation of "Immigration", or should one say they prefer "selective immigration" ?
Changing the Treaties to respect the choice of Voters will not be easy. This was explained in the article in this Blog, dated 9 October 2014, entitled "Closing the Frontiers : what this implies".
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Les cartes nationales d'identité sécurisées délivrées depuis le 1er janvier 2014 ont une durée de validité de 15 ans au lieu de 10 (décret du 18 décembre 2013).
Cette durée de 15 ans s'applique également aux cartes nationales d'identité sécurisées en cours de validité au 1er janvier 2014, c'est à dire délivrées à des personnes majeurs entre le 2 janvier 2004 et le 31 décembre 2013. La durée de validité de ces cartes est automatiquement prolongée de 5 ans sans qu'il soit besoin de modifier la date de validité inscrite sur le titre.
Mais leur titulaire ne risque-t-il pas d'être refoulé à la frontière en présentant un tel document ?
Pour éviter un tel désagrément, le Ministre de l'Intérieur conseille aux voyageurs de télécharger sur les sites ministériels "diplomatie.gouv.fr" et "intérieur.gouv.fr" un document traduit en plusieurs langues attestant de la validité de leur carte nationale d'identité (réponse du ministre de l'Intérieur à Dominique Le Méner publiée au JO du16 septembre 2014).
Saturday, 1 November 2014
Dr Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes he has evidence which might indicate that the EBOLA plague is receding in West Africa. He did, however, cover his optimism by saying the problem is still ongoing !The fact that EBOLA has not been vanquished is now at the crux of the matter ! The WHO must address the problem so as to be better prepared when future outbreaks occur !
Historically the first major outbreak of this desease occurred in Zaïre, in 1976, on the River EBOLA, hence the name ! There have been frequent outbreaks in West and Central Africa on a smaller scale since then. Various strains of EBOLA have been identified over the years.
What is to be lamented is that there is still no cure or prevention to comabt a plague, even 38 years later ! Has any co-ordinated research ever been undertaken ?
One cannot blame Pharmaceutical companies for not having a remedy. Research is financed by products that can be sold on a large scale. The EBOLA problem is not like the common cold or cancer ! It could, however, become a dangerous plague !
Should the WHO not consider sponsoring research directly in co-ordination with Pharmaceutical Groups worldwide ? Current WHO efforts to organise the fight against EBOLA are admirable but what is really needed is a cure and an antidote !