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Greece one step away from massive fines
EU Observer ^ | Feb 17 2005 | Richard Carter

Posted on 02/20/2005 8:25:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv

Greece is one step away from being the first member state to face huge fines for breaking the EU's Stability and Growth Pact - the rules underpinning the euro... If Athens fails to achieve this, it could be fined up to 0.5 percent of its GDP - roughly 500 million euro. And the Greek government must produce a report in March on how it intends to reduce its deficit. Greek Finance Minister Giorgios Alogoskoufis told reporters that Greece would "fulfil its obligations" and was grateful for the extra year to do so. Finance ministers judged that to force Greece to slash its deficit by the end of this year "may prove economically costly".

(Excerpt) Read more at euobserver.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: eu; france; greece; neoeunazis

Progress towards euro rule reform stalls
by Richard Carter
EU Observer
Feb 16 2005
No agreement was reached over reforming the Stability and Growth pact at a meeting of finance ministers that dragged on late into Thursday (17 February) morning. However, ministers were still relatively upbeat, with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker claiming "great progress"... Holding up progress is the thorny problem of how to punish member states that breach the rules... But, after damaging clashes between the Commission, which initiates this procedure, and big member states – Germany and France – which have fallen foul of this rule, ministers are now agreed that more flexibility should be introduced into the Pact... Germany also wants net contributions to the EU budget to be taken into account, along with the costs it has undergone during reunification... Finally, the draft conclusions of the meeting will call for higher statistical standards after Greece was found to have misrepresented the extent of its budgetary difficulties.
Ministers aim for euro rule deal in March
by Richard Carter
EU Observer
Feb 18 2005
EU finance ministers on Thursday (17 February) failed to reach consensus on how best to reform the Stability and Growth Pact but have expressed confidence that a deal can still be brokered next month... And in a sign that some progress had been made, EU diplomats said that the reform proposals would not be returned to the experts on the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) but kept at political level. Mr Juncker will present new compromises next month... French finance minister Herve Gaymard said there were about "10 subjects that are open". The broad disagreement is between France and Germany, who want much more flexibility to be injected into the rules and some smaller countries - led by Austria - who want to keep a tight fiscal framework... However, there was unanimous agreement on the appointment of Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi to replace fellow Italian Tommaso Padoa-Schippoa on the powerful executive board of the European Central Bank. There were no other candidates.
Good luck with all that, Euroweenies.

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1 posted on 02/20/2005 8:25:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

the EU is doomed.


2 posted on 02/20/2005 8:30:18 PM PST by King Prout (Remember John Adam!)
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To: SunkenCiv

What a great idea, fine a country for going into a deficit. I'm sure that will work. *rolls eyes* That's almost as good an idea of extorting money from the successful countries to fight global warming. What the hell is wrong over their in never never land.


3 posted on 02/20/2005 8:32:07 PM PST by bahblahbah
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To: King Prout

This would never happen if it was France or Germany in violation.


4 posted on 02/20/2005 8:32:16 PM PST by Belisaurius ("Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Ted" - Joseph Kennedy 1958)
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To: SunkenCiv

Let the fun begin


5 posted on 02/20/2005 8:32:20 PM PST by maine-iac7 (."...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time" LINCOLN)
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To: bahblahbah

their = there


6 posted on 02/20/2005 8:34:33 PM PST by bahblahbah
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To: SunkenCiv

I really do not see how the European Union can survive as a entity. There are not enough checks and balances in the system. It is not really a country but a club that tries to interfere in the governments of it's members. The weaker countries will chafe under the bumbling micro management of their internal affairs by the stronger nations.


7 posted on 02/20/2005 8:36:25 PM PST by dog breath
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To: Belisaurius

France and Germany have both been in violation (skipped out, claiming the accounting was in error), which is why Greece has been given so much slack year after year. All this falls under the "we can't possibly keep our timetable if we have to stop and pick up passengers" Euro-rule. :')


8 posted on 02/20/2005 8:37:16 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: Belisaurius

France and Germany are BOTH in violation. If I were any of the smaller countries, I would demand that they be fined first. After all, they have been in breach for about two years now.


9 posted on 02/20/2005 8:39:40 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: SunkenCiv

> ... the Greek government must produce a report in
> March on how it intends to reduce its deficit.

This has always been the biggest threat to the Euro,
that one or two member nations would inflate the
money supply to their benefit, and devalue the Euro
at the expense of all the other countries.

And the control mechanism looks very much like
cat herding. Would we expect anything else from
this loose association of weasels and whiners?


10 posted on 02/20/2005 8:45:03 PM PST by Boundless
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To: dog breath; King Prout; bahblahbah

This is a terribly complicated process, made more complicated by the fact that the larger states don't want to surrender sovereignty unless they have guarantees of control of the whole works. Imagine if you will that thirteen independent states tried to do that, say, over 200 years ago, and had not had leaders of such ability.


11 posted on 02/20/2005 8:46:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: Boundless

Heh... yeah, I agree wholeheartedly. The inevitable cheating will be used as yet another good reason for the surrender of national sovereignty. Heads I win, tails you lose.


12 posted on 02/20/2005 8:47:27 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I would guess that Greece would rather quit the EU than pay a half-billion dollar fine.


13 posted on 02/20/2005 8:55:56 PM PST by thoughtomator (If Islam is a religion, so is Liberal!)
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To: thoughtomator

Greece is still opposed (regardless of conflicting public statements) to Turkish entry into the EU. There is plenty of street opposition to Turkish EU membership throughout the EU. Greece will skate out from under this current problem with its deficit, probably for other reasons, but Greek opposition to Turkish EU membership is a big bargaining chip within the EU, and not just for Greece.

Austria says it will have referendum on Turkey
EU Observer | Dec 17 2004 | Honor Mahony
Posted on 12/18/2004 1:29:51 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1304238/posts

EU irked by Turkish adultery law
BBC News | Thursday, 9 September, 2004 | correspondent
Posted on 09/09/2004 10:34:26 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1211132/posts

EU Rebuff Would Affect Ties With Turkey: Turkish PM
Agence France Presse | Sunday, September 12, 2004 | correspondent
Posted on 09/12/2004 7:13:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1214238/posts

France calls on Turkey to recognise Armenia killings
EU Observer | Dec 14 2004 | Honor Mahony
Posted on 12/14/2004 10:06:36 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1301675/posts

Germany and France to take common position on Turkey
EU Observer | Dec 3 2004 | Richard Carter
Posted on 12/06/2004 10:29:46 AM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1295533/posts

MEPs give thumbs-up to Turkey
EU Observer | Dec 15 2004 | Richard Carter
Posted on 12/18/2004 2:01:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1304256/posts

Turkey warns of terror wave if EU membership is rejected
EU Observer | Dec 13 2004 | Lisbeth Kirk
Posted on 12/14/2004 10:10:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1301677/posts

Why Turkish business needs the EU
Daily Star (Lebanon) | Saturday, September 25, 2004 | Michael Glackin
Posted on 10/01/2004 10:41:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1232764/posts


14 posted on 02/20/2005 9:10:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: thoughtomator
thats in euros so its more that 1/2 billion dollars LOL
15 posted on 02/20/2005 9:17:54 PM PST by aspiring.hillbilly
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To: bahblahbah

"What a great idea, fine a country for going into a deficit. I'm sure that will work. *rolls eyes* That's almost as good an idea of extorting money from the successful countries to fight global warming. What the hell is wrong over their in never never land."

They need to raise their taxes, that'll do it.


16 posted on 02/20/2005 9:17:58 PM PST by lotusblos
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To: SunkenCiv

What about the multiple violations of France and Germany over the past couple of years? Oh, I forgot, they are the two bullies who get away with everything. All others have to pay.


17 posted on 02/20/2005 10:24:06 PM PST by rawhide
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To: SunkenCiv

France and Germany were given passes for violating this pact


18 posted on 02/20/2005 10:30:03 PM PST by GeronL (Bush on the PRESS "They just float sewer out there.")
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To: lotusblos

"They need to raise their taxes, that'll do it."

There's a story about that on the same source (EU Observer) -- tax on airline flights, or airline fuel, or something to do with airlines. And why? One minister said it would take the burden off the national budget. ;'D


19 posted on 02/20/2005 10:48:30 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: GeronL; rawhide

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1347592/posts?page=8#8


20 posted on 02/20/2005 10:49:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, February 20, 2005.)
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To: bahblahbah
What a great idea, fine a country for going into a deficit.

Sort of like suspending a student for cutting class?

21 posted on 02/20/2005 10:50:24 PM PST by Go Gordon
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To: McGavin999
France and Germany are BOTH in violation. If I were any of the smaller countries, I would demand that they be fined first.

Where does the money from the fines go? If all countries are in violation, would they all just call it a wash?

22 posted on 02/20/2005 10:52:14 PM PST by Go Gordon
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To: SunkenCiv
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it was a Greek Socialist government that created the problem by cooking the books, and it is now a Greek Conservative ("conservative" by Greek standards) that has to clean up the mess.
23 posted on 02/21/2005 1:41:56 AM PST by Malesherbes
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To: King Prout; Belisaurius; maine-iac7; bahblahbah; dog breath; McGavin999; Boundless; ...
Good comments, all. Update.
Ministers clinch deal on euro rules reform
by Richard Carter
21.03.2005
The main sticking point during negotiations was a debate over what factors should be considered when deciding whether to punish a country in breach of the rules – as France and Germany have been for three consecutive years... Smaller member states felt that there were too many exceptions on the list and bigger states – notably France and Germany – felt that there were too few. This row was solved by the removal of the list from the proposal... The Pact has also been softened in terms of the amount of time a member state is allowed to correct its deficit problem... The only finance minister not entirely happy was Austria’s Karl-Heinz Grasser, who has consistently argued that the Pact should not be loosened.

24 posted on 03/21/2005 8:05:04 AM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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Brussels to pursue Greece and Hungary for breaking euro rules
EUobserver | Dec 26 2004 | Richard Carter
Posted on 12/25/2004 4:48:26 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1308437/posts


25 posted on 03/21/2005 8:06:45 AM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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CIA - The World Factbook -- France
last updated on 10 February, 2005
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/fr.html

"The current government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment. The government is focusing on the problems of the high cost of labor and labor market inflexibility resulting from the 35-hour workweek and restrictions on lay-offs. The government is also pushing for pension reforms and simplification of administrative procedures. The tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (43.8% of GDP in 2003). The current economic slowdown and inflexible budget items have pushed the 2003 deficit to 4% of GDP, above the EU's 3% debt limit. Business investment remains listless because of low rates of capital utilization, sluggish demand, high debt, and the steep cost of capital."

Business blamed for lack of growth
18.04.2005 - 18:13 CET | By Meghan Sapp
http://www.euobserver.com/?aid=18876&print=1


26 posted on 04/20/2005 5:26:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Monday, April 11, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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