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Keyword: europeanunion

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  • 'Lay down the red flag and serve France' Nicolas Sarkozy tells his country's militant unions

    05/01/2012 7:53:39 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 15 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/1/2012 | Henry Samuel in Paris
    Nicolas Sarkozy told his country's militant unions to "lay down the red flag and serve France" yesterday as he used his final mass rally before Sunday's presidential vote to counter the traditional May Day show of force by the Left. Despite polls suggesting François Hollande is heading for a clear victory in Sunday's run-off, Mr Sarkozy gave a defiant performance in front of the Eiffel Tower, warning France of the consequences of voting for a Socialist presidency. Warning that the Left was stuck in an outdated class war that pits "workers against bosses", Mr Sarkozy told an estimated crowd of...
  • Salafists Attack German Police at Far-Right Rally

    05/01/2012 6:07:55 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    Radical Islamists attacked police in the western German city of Solingen on Tuesday in protest of a far-right demonstration where anti-Islamic cartoons had been put on display. Some 30 Salafists were arrested after injuring three police officers and a passerby by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners, police said. Pro NRW, categorized as an extremist right-wing group by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, had staged a demonstration near a Salafist mosque in Solingen. The violence erupted when Pro NRW demonstrators showed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. One of his drawings was among...
  • As Europe's Most Pathological Liar Departs, Questions About Europe's Band-Aid Union Reemerge

    05/01/2012 6:11:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Zero Hedge ^ | 04/30/2012 20:28 -0400 | Tyler Durden
    We doubt many tears will be shed over the now official departure of Europe's most embarrassing political figurehead: the head of the Euro-area finance ministers, one Jean-Claude Juncker, whose presence did more documented damage to the credibility of Europe than... well, we would say virtually anyone else, but then again since everyone else in the European pantheon is a shining example of DSM IV-level sociopathology, we are kinda stuck. But anyway: Juncker is finally gone; "he’s tired of Franco-German interference in managing the region’s debt crisis." And while the decision was known for a while, the ultimate catalyst is rather...
  • Is Europe Sailing on the Titanic?

    05/01/2012 2:34:38 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 10 replies ^ | May 1, 2012 | Pat Buchanan
    U.S. growth in the first quarter fell to 2.2 percent, a disappointment. But in Europe, that news would have caused general rejoicing. For consider the gathering crisis on the old continent. With negative growth now for six months, Britain has fallen back into recession. "I don't think we're anywhere near halfway through the eurozone crisis," said Prime Minister David Cameron this weekend. Romania's government fell last week. The Czech government barely survived a vote of no confidence. In the capital cities of both countries, tens of thousands have angrily protested the new austerity. The Dutch government also fell last week,...
  • EU: France's Francois Hollande and Germany's Angela Merkel clash over euro austerity pact

    04/27/2012 10:47:40 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 6 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 4/27/2012 | Emma Rowley
    The growing gulf between France and Germany was underlined as the eurozone's two biggest economies clashed over tackling the debt crisis. It is "not for Germany to decide for the rest of Europe", said Francois Hollande, the frontrunner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as French president. If elected, Mr Hollande says that he will not pass the fiscal austerity pact agreed by the leaders of 25 European nations, unless it contains measures to spur on growth. His stance puts him on a collision course with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. She hit back at the French Socialist candidate's plans, warning the...
  • EU: Monti takes on Merkozy

    01/13/2012 8:56:15 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 5 replies
    Presseurop ^ | 1/12/2012
    Two days after French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit, Mario Monti traveled to Berlin on 11 January for discussions on saving the Eurozone with Angela Merkel. The Italian PM, who advocates a more flexible approach to the crisis, succeeded in obtaining the support of the German Chancellor. "I am demanding heavy sacrifices from Italians," Monti told Die Welt newspaper. "I can only do this if concrete advantages become visible." If not, he said, "a protest against Europe will develop in Italy, including against Germany, which is seen as the ringleader of EU intolerance, and against the European Central Bank." His words...
  • German president resigns in setback for Merkel

    02/17/2012 9:36:01 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 1 replies · 2+ views
    Yahoo ^ | 2/17/12 | Noah Barkin and Madeline Chambers - Reuters
    ERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president resigned Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone debt crisis. In a curt five-minute statement at the Bellevue presidential palace, Christian Wulff acknowledged that he had lost the trust of the German people, making it impossible to continue in a role that is meant to serve as a moral compass for the nation. "For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad...
  • Unemployment in February Increases to 9%, Up From 8.6%; Underemployment Increases to 19%

    02/18/2012 7:14:24 AM PST · by Kaslin · 21 replies ^ | February 18, 2012 | Mike Shedlock
    The latest Gallup survey finds U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February Gallup only polls those 18 and above while the official BLS number includes 16 and above. Given teenage unemployment, this would (or at least should) artificially lower unemployment numbers for Gallup. Yet, Gallup is higher, way higher, when one considers underemployment. The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for January. The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month, and is up from 8.3% in mid-January. US Unemployment Rate, Monthly Averages Gallup also finds...
  • EU: The crisis, golden opportunity for employers

    03/23/2012 11:50:32 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 2 replies · 1+ views
    Frankfurter Rundschau ^ | 3/23/2012 | Stephan Kaufmann
    Pressed hard by the recession and national debts, European governments are rewriting the labour law, whether watering down job protection or cutting wages cuts. And employers are smiling. by Stephan Kaufmann In Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, the crisis is raging. All of southern Europe has been laid low. All of southern Europe? Not exactly. Some people in these countries are seeing long-cherished wishes come true. One is Juan Rosell, head of the Spanish employers' organization CEOE, who has been calling for a relaxation of job protection for years. Now the government has heeded his call. “It won’t be the...
  • EU: Anti-austerity front grows in Europe

    03/01/2012 11:35:05 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 2 replies · 31+ views
    Le Monde, Paris ^ | 1/1/2012 | Philippe Ricard
    The European Union Council, which begins on Thursday, is scheduled to sign the new fiscal compact. But at the same time, a dozen countries, led by Italy, are contesting the austerity policies imposed by "Merkozy" and calling for an economic stimulus package. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has given the pact minimal support, out of consideration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. His Socialist opponent (in the up-coming presidential election) François Hollande has promised to renegotiate the accord if he wins the ballot. The Budget Pact is scheduled to be signed by 25 European heads of government on Friday, March 2, in...
  • German president Christian Wulff set to resign

    02/17/2012 5:39:32 AM PST · by Texas Fossil · 6 replies
    India Times (Economic Times) ^ | 17 Feb, 2012, 03.37PM | none stated
    BERLIN: Angela Merkel's hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president was expected to resign on Friday in a scandal over political favours, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone crisis. Christian Wulff, who has been under fire for months, was to give a statement at 1000 GMT. Merkel abruptly postponed a trip to Rome where she was to hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and scheduled a news conference for after Wulff speaks.
  • Italy and Spain call for eurozone rescue fund booster

    01/22/2012 8:49:35 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 8 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 1/22/2012 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    Political leaders in Italy and Spain have called for a massive boost to the EU rescue fund and a blast of monetary stimulus by the European Central Bank (ECB), putting them on a collision course with Germany over the handling of the eurozone crisis. Italy's premier Mario Monti has told Berlin that the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) must be doubled to €1 trillion (£828bn) to restore investor confidence in southern European debt, according to Der Spiegel. The move comes days after Mr Monti warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel that austerity fatigue is growing in the debtor states and there...
  • EU: Italy seeks boost to bail-out fund

    12/30/2011 8:39:38 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 14 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 12/30/2011 | Louise Armitstead
    Italian PM Mario Monti has pleaded for the eurozone to expand its "big bazooka" bail-out fund as an expensive Italian bond auction suggested that even last week's flood of cheap loans from the European Central Bank (ECB) has failed to stem the crisis. The Italian prime minister used his end of year press conference to warn that indebted countries will be "in difficulty" unless the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is boosted with "significantly greater" firepower. Italy raised €7bn (£5.9bn) in the first big test of the bond markets since the ECB opened its doors with €489bn of cheap loans...
  • A SWIFT Denial - How In Europe, Even Admission Of A "Plan B" Is Equivalent To Failure

    12/27/2011 10:41:47 AM PST · by Mariner · 15 replies
    Zerohedge ^ | 12/25/2011 | Tyler Durden
    While we have long known that the drachma, and recently the lira, have seen significant "when issued" interest by institutional clients desiring to hedge their currency collapse exposure, and thus early markets by various trading desks, little did we realize just how destabilizing this fact to the system would be, at least according to SWIFT. According to the WSJ, this organization, best known for making an abrupt appearance any time one wishes to do a wire transfer, then promptly disappearing until the next such instance, ended up promptly shutting down any Plan B optionality when "at least two global banks...
  • The EU's 'techno party' is hollowing out democracy

    11/30/2011 7:03:05 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 30.11.11 @ 12:56 | Leigh Phillips
    Not everybody's into techno music. Some folks are a little bit country; others a little bit rock and roll. But under what one Brussels wag recently called the EU's 'techno-party' strategy—replacing elected representatives with technocrats and an end to consideration of fiscal policies by parliaments in favor of fiat by civil-servant 'experts'—nobody has any choice any more about what kind of music they want to listen to. Economic policies will be decided for them, by the experts, by, if you will, those bangin' bureaucrat and banker DJs in Brussels and Frankfurt. … But technocracy is not to be limited to...
  • ECB Expected to Unleash QE after Launching of Euro-Bonds

    11/30/2011 6:02:29 AM PST · by Diana in Wisconsin · 16 replies ^ | November 30, 2011 | Gary Dorsh
    Hardly a week goes by, without a major summit between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, trying to devise another clever scheme to save the Euro. Yet after 1-½ years of trying to contain the wildfire, - the Euro-zone’s debt crisis is more dangerous than ever. The collapse of Greece’s €360-billion bond market, now trading at 26% of face value, has triggered contagion sales from periphery of the Euro-zone - Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and into the next upper tier of the Euro-zone, namely, the bond markets of Spain and Italy, which together owe €3-trillion of debt....
  • Britain's Foreign Office Prepares For Riots In Europe. Sees Euro Collapse "When, Not If"

    11/26/2011 1:40:29 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 43 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 11/26/2011 | Tyler Durden
    As every major developed economy hits Bass's Keynesian Endgame, the status quo is set to change dramatically. Nowhere is this climax playing out louder than in Europe and the implicit solution of Germany-uber-alles (while seemingly inevitable though nevertheless lengthy in execution) is likely to not sit well with many of the EMU nations. To wit, The Telegraph today reports that Britain's Foreign Office is advising its overseas embassies to draw up plans to help expats should the collapse of the Euro turn explosive. Almost incredibly, a senior minister has revealed that Britain is now planning on the basis that a...
  • Woman who lost Ark. lotto ticket entitled to $1M

    05/01/2012 5:32:39 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 29 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 1, 2012 | CHUCK BARTELS
    SEARCY, Ark. (AP) -- An Arkansas woman who cashed $1 million lottery ticket may have to give up the winnings to a woman who threw away the ticket after she bought it. A judge ruled Tuesday that Sharon Duncan is entitled to the prize money, not Sharon Jones, who claimed the prize money after she took it from a trash can of discarded lottery tickets at a convenience store in Beebe.
  • Italy sides with Germany against eurobonds

    11/25/2011 10:45:45 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 25.11.2011 @ 09:28 | Leigh Phillips
    At Italy's first invitation for an audience before the Franco-German duo that powers European decision-making, Prime Minister Mario Monti made it clear that he backs the German position on eurobonds. Meanwhile, little advanced at the meeting of the EU triumvirate, with Germany refusing to discuss whether the European Central Bank (ECB) should intervene more robustly to defend the eurozone. … It was the first time an Italian leader had been welcomed into the Franco-German tent, although little emerged on Thursday apart from an announcement from Sarkozy that Paris and Berlin will propose their own modifications to the EU treaties. "We...
  • Germany unmoved by French pleas for more ECB action

    11/24/2011 10:56:50 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 57 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 11/24/2011 | Louise Armitstead
    French appeals for Germany to sanction extra powers for the European Central Bank have been firmly rejected, despite warnings from politicians, economists and even the Vatican that it is the only way of "averting a catastrophe". Italian premier Mario Monti (right) pledged to balance the budget by 2013 - but failed to prevent the country's 10-year bonds from closing in the danger zone again at 7.13pc Angela Merkel was unmoved by another roller-coaster day that saw Portuguese debt being downgraded to junk status, Italian bond yields pushed into the bail-out zone, and doubts cast over France's AAA rating: the German...
  • THE RALLY COLLAPSES IN EUROPE: Stocks Slide, Italian Yields Shoot Back Above 7%

    11/24/2011 7:44:06 AM PST · by blam · 11 replies
    TBI ^ | 11-24-2011 | Joe Weisenthal
    THE RALLY COLLAPSES IN EUROPE: Stocks Slide, Italian Yields Shoot Back Above 7% Joe Weisenthal Nov. 24, 2011, 9:29 AM Tower of Pisa It looked initially like today might be quiet in Europe, a merficul gift to those of us in the US who were hoping for a quiet Thankgiving. In fact, there was a pretty solid rally across the board, with yields down and stocks much higher. But all that's changed. At a press conference with Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, and Mario Monti, talk of an unlimited ECB bailout for all of Europe was downplayed. Since then markets have...
  • The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of The Rest Of Europe

    11/20/2011 7:42:19 AM PST · by blam · 22 replies
    TEC ^ | 11-20-2011
    The Coming European Superstate That Germany Plans To Cram Down The Throats Of The Rest Of EuropeNovember 20, 2011 A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would "mean more Europe, not less Europe". Well, now we are finding out. A leaked internal German government memo entitled "The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union" actually proposes the creation of a "European Monetary Fund" which would be given the power to run...
  • Obama Elites' European Solution

    11/18/2011 7:03:01 AM PST · by Kaslin · 5 replies ^ | November 18, 2011 | John Ransom
    Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men.- C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man   In Greece and Italy two unelected prime ministers, with banking backgrounds similar to members of our own government, have sworn to rescue their countries for the Euro Liberty, Fraternity and Currency!And they will save their countries by bringing to bear the expertise of every “non elected pipe smoking and tweed wearing university don,” in the Daily Mail’s derisive phrase, to tackle the problem of the Great European...
  • Germany's secret plans to derail a British referendum on changes to the EU

    11/17/2011 9:17:26 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 18 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 10:02PM GMT 17 Nov 2011 | By Bruno Waterfield, in Brussels
    Germany has drawn up secret plans to prevent a British referendum on the overhaul of the European Union amid concerns it could derail the eurozone rescue package. German chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to tell David Cameron that Britain does not need a referendum on EU treaty changes, despite demands from senior Conservatives for more powers to be repatriated to Britain. The leaked memo, written by the German foreign office, discloses radical plans for an intrusive new European body that can take over the economies of beleaguered eurozone countries. Germany is also preparing for other European countries, which are too...
  • Utopian Germans risk full-blown EMU depression

    11/14/2011 5:08:47 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 7 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 11/14/2011 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    The relief rally from technocrat takeovers in Italy and Greece has already wilted, once again reviving the elemental question of whether Germany will go beyond rhetoric and commit its full strategic power to halt Europe's debt crisis. Yields on Italy's 10-year bonds jumped back up to 6.7pc after Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann dashed hopes for muscular intervention by the European Central Bank to stabilise bond markets and buy time for the new government of Mario Monti. "Monetary policy cannot and must not solve solvency problems of states and banks," he told a Frankfurt forum, calling for a halt to incessant...
  • Italy borrowing costs hit record 7%

    11/09/2011 2:40:36 AM PST · by AnAmericanAbroad · 28 replies · 1+ views
    BBC News ^ | November 9th, 2011 | Staff
    Italy's cost of borrowing has touched a new record, a day after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would resign once budget reforms are passed. The yield on Italian 10-year government bonds reached 7%, the highest since the euro was founded in 1999. The debt was pushed up as a clearing house asked for a larger deposit to trade Italian bonds - to cover the increased risk of non-payment. Investors fear that Italy could become the next victim of the debt crisis.
  • Isolated Merkel embraces Monti and growth

    05/01/2012 2:00:36 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    PressEurop ^ | 26 April 2012
    Angela Merkel doesn’t want to be left alone in the turmoil of the crisis. With her long time partner Nicolas Sarkozy on the way out after the first round of French elections, the chancellor is already looking for another ally, and Mario Monti seems to be her choice. German government’s spokesman Steffen Seibert has revealed that Merkel and Monti’s staff have already met to plan a series of joint German-Italian initiatives to promote economic stimulus measures to be discussed at the European council in June, La Stampa reports. In addition to the possible loss of traditional stalwarts France and Netherlands...
  • Berlin Worried About 'Muhammad Cartoon Contest'

    04/30/2012 7:56:06 PM PDT · by Nachum · 11 replies
    Spiegel ^ | 4/30/12 | Staff
    A far-right group in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is running a 'Muslim cartoon contest' and plans to display the works outside mosques. The move has alarmed authorities which fear it could incite violence and hurt German interests abroad, similar to the backlash that followed the 2005 publication of cartoons in Danish newspapers. The German government has voiced concern that far-right activists in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia may incite violence with plans to hold a so-called "Muhammad cartoon contest" and to stage demonstrations outside mosques in the run-up to a regional election there on May 13.
  • Britain falls foul of Brussels over immigration

    04/30/2012 10:39:23 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Financial Times (sub) ^ | April 26, 2012 11:35 pm | Alex Barker in Brussels
    Brussels is threatening to sue the UK unless it removes illegal curbs on the rights of EU citizens to use the National Health Service and bring their non-EU family members to Britain without a visa. The European Commission’s ultimatum gives ministers two months to comply with the EU rules or face court, setting the stage for a legal battle with Britain over several highly charged immigration issues. On Thursday night Theresa May, home secretary, vowed to fight the Brussels ruling so that ministers can protect rules designed to stop the “abuse” of an EU directive that underpins the single market...
  • EU mulls ‘Marshall plan’ for Europe

    04/30/2012 1:24:53 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 30 April 2012
    The European Commission is preparing a €200 billion “pact for growth” to be presented at the next EU summit in June. According to leading Spanish newspaper, El País, the plan aims to raise funds valued at €200 billion for investments in infrastructure, renewable energies and advanced technologies with the involvement of the private sector, in a bid to kick-start economic growth without raising public debt in the 27 member states. The plan, which takes into consideration ideas of the French Socialist front-runner François Hollande, namely leveraging the European Investment Bank to boost growth and jobs, will be presented after the...
  • More money for EU investment bank as leaders re-focus on growth

    04/30/2012 1:14:10 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 30.04.12 @ 21:08 | Valentina Pop
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing calls by the EU commission to boost the funds of the European Investment Bank (EIB), a move meant to show that leaders are putting their money where their mouth is in terms of growth. As leaders are increasingly shifting their focus from austerity to growth-boosting measures, older plans tabled by the EU commission in the past few years are being revived. Boosting the lending capacity of the Luxembourg-based EIB is one of those ideas. Merkel over the weekend told Leipziger Volkszeitung she "can imagine that we further strengthen the capabilities of the European Investment...
  • EU auditor used public funds to hamper anti-fraud inquiry

    04/29/2012 9:36:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 27.04.12 @ 06:50 | Valentina Pop
    The secretary general of the European Court of Auditors used public funds to hire lawyers and to sue the EU's anti-fraud office (OLAF) over an inquiry into how he hired security guards. He lost the case, but no action was taken against him. A ruling by the European Court of Justice dating back to 28 February dismissed Eduardo Ruiz Garcia's claim for OLAF to withhold publication of a report into alleged irregularities regarding the security tender he had overseen. It also dismissed his claim for the EU commission, which is the overarching body OLAF is part of, to pay €6,000...
  • Sales of women and girls booms in Europe (slavery)

    04/29/2012 9:32:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 32 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 26.04.12 @ 18:21 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    Human trafficking is booming in Europe, the Hague-based Eurojust, the EU’s crime-fighting unit, said on Thursday (26 April). But the number of cases brought against traffickers is grossly disproportionate to the number of reported victims. “Something is wrong; not enough people are being brought to justice. One thing is sure is that it is a booming business,” said Michèle Coninsx, President-elect of Eurojust. Eurojust, which coordinates with national judicial authorities on serious cross-border crimes, is aiming to get member states to bring more cases to it. Despite the alarming numbers, Eurojust handled 74 registered cases in 2009, up from only...
  • Why car makers lie about fuel consumption (in Europe)

    04/28/2012 12:06:31 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 59 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 27 April 2012 11:16 AM | Michael Hanlon
    There are lies, damn lies, statistics—and official EU car fuel consumption figures. I and others have been banging on about this for years; the figures quoted by manufacturers in their ads usually (but, interestingly not always) bears absolutely no relation whatsoever to what happens in the real world. … To get those “official” figures, new cars are subjected to something called the “New European Driving Cycle”, a series of short runs on a “rolling road” where the car is accelerated, put on a short cruise and decelerated under laboratory conditions. All the car makers have to put their cars through...
  • Lockerbie bomber's health deteriorates 'dramatically' as he fights for life after blood transfusion

    04/13/2012 11:13:23 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | PUBLISHED: 18:42 EST, 13 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:52 EST, 13 April 2012 | Nabila Ramdani and Victoria Allen
    The Lockerbie bomber has been given an emergency blood transfusion following a sudden deterioration in his health, his brother revealed last night. Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal cancer, was taken from his home in Tripoli to the intensive care unit of a private hospital. The news came less than a fortnight after he celebrated his 60th birthday. He was released from prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds with three months to live, but has survived for more than two-and-a-half years. … Last night, Megrahi's condition was not known, but his wife Aisha was...
  • Jews to face new challenges in post-elections France

    04/28/2012 1:06:24 AM PDT · by Cincinna · 23 replies ^ | April 25 2012 | Richard Presquier
      The challenge is daunting for Nicholas Sarkozy. The second round of the French Presidential elections will be decided by the transfer of votes.   For the French Jewish community, appalled by the murders in the Jewish school in Toulouse, one of the key issues is how willing each candidate is to fight the new anti-Semitism that has developed under the mask of anti-Zionism.   Nicolas Sarkozy has developed strong links with the French Jewish community; he has a deep knowledge of Israel and a deep sympathy for this country, which he uses sometimes for chiding the Israeli government. France has become the...
  • S&P cuts Spain ratings two notches to BBB-plus [ Socialism Fails, again ]

    04/26/2012 5:33:45 PM PDT · by NoLibZone · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 26 2012 | Reuters
    Standard & Poor's on Thursday cut its credit rating on Spain to BBB-plus from A, a two-notch downgrade, citing its expectation the government's budget deficit will deteriorate even more than previously thought due to economic contraction. The ratings agency put a negative outlook on the credit and said it believes the government will also have to provide more financial support for the euro zone nation's banking sector. Moody's Investors Service rates Spain one notch higher at A3 with a negative outlook, and Fitch Ratings has it two notches higher at A, also with a negative outlook.
  • The mark of the EU: £666 cost to every British family for being part of Europe

    04/23/2012 2:57:22 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | PUBLISHED: 04:42 EST, 21 April 2012 | UPDATED: 07:35 EST, 21 April 2012 | Pamela Owen
    Taxpayers could end up having to fork out another £900 million to the European Union next year, costing each family in the UK an extra £666. A draft budget for 2013 is believed to propose a seven percent increase, £7.4 billion, of spending on this year's budget of £107 billion or around €129.1 billion. The move would raise the cost of membership for Britain to £14 billion from £898 million, according to the Daily Express.Britain contributes 12.4 percent net of the Brussels budget and the increase would be double the UK's latest inflation rate and more than four percent above...
  • UK obstructing EU accession to human rights convention (good for the UK)

    04/22/2012 11:28:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 19.04.12 @ 18:42 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    The United Kingdom is obstructing attempts by European Union institutions to accede to the European Convention of Human Rights, British center-left MEP Richard Howitt has said. "The United Kingdom in a working group in the council for the past year has at every stage dragged out and tried to delay recommendations on the accession," Howitt, the assembly's rapporteur on human rights, told EUobserver over the phone on Thursday (19 April). "At first it was France and the United Kingdom; now it's just the United Kingdom. It's shameful," he added. EU institutions obliged themselves to accede to the convention, a 60-year...
  • Ministers ponder creation of EU super-president

    04/22/2012 10:50:59 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 27 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 20.04.12 @ 09:16 | Andrew Rettman
    Ideas kicking around in a reflection group of select EU foreign ministers include merging the roles of the EU Council and European Commission presidents. A senior EU source told this website following a meeting of the club in the Val Duchesse stately home in Brussels on Thursday (19 April) that the new supremo would have more power than either Herman Van Rompuy or Jose Manuel Barroso do today but also more "democratic legitimacy" because he or she would be elected by MEPs. In other reforms, the new figure would "streamline" the European Commission into a two-tier structure.Every EU country would...
  • Crisis Proves a Curse for Greece's Orthodox Church

    04/21/2012 10:24:47 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 4/20/12 | Harry Papachristou
    * Government cutting priests' numbers and salaries* Demand for church charity soaring as crisis bites* Conservative church turns to modern business dealsATHENS, April 20 (Reuters) - Close links between the Greek state and the Orthodox Church are turning from a blessing for the clergy into a curse as the debt-laden government struggles to fund the ancient institution, just as impoverished Greeks need its charitable work most. Starved of money as the state makes huge spending cuts, the deeply conservative church which grew from one of the earliest centres of Christianity is seeking new sources of funds. But despite a new...
  • Syria Liquidating Gold to Mitigate Sanctions

    04/19/2012 8:07:22 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    arutz sheva ^ | 4/18/2012, 7:58 PM | By Gabe Kahn
    Syria is moving to liquidate its gold reserves to raise revenue as Western and Arab sanctions targeting its central bank and oil exports cut into its cash reserves. Syria's foreign exchange reserves have been halved from about $17 billion, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday. "Syria is selling its gold at rock bottom prices," he said after a meeting with about 60 nations aimed at coordinating measures against President Bashar al-Assad's government. On February 27, the European Union agreed more sanctions including prohibiting trade in gold and other precious metals with Syrian state institutions, including the central bank....
  • How an Election in Greece Could Cause Europe to Crumble

    04/20/2012 6:26:16 AM PDT · by C19fan · 16 replies
    The New Republic ^ | April 20, 2012 | Yannis Palaiologos
    Anyone anxiously waiting for the European Union’s death knell could do worse than circle May 6 on his calendar. That’s when Greece, a nation brought to its knees by an unprecedented economic crisis, is scheduled to hold what promises to be a turbulent parliamentary election. It’s an open question whether Europe’s fragile political balance—and Greece’s tenuous hold on membership in the Eurozone—will survive the subsequent aftershocks. What’s already clear is that life in Greece will never quite be the same.
  • China's Wen in Iceland, eyes on Arctic riches

    04/20/2012 10:06:16 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:17am EDT | Mia Shanley
    China's premier Wen Jiabao was in Iceland on Friday, beginning a tour of northern Europe that will focus on Chinese investment in a continent eager for funds and to trade with the rising world power. … That the prime minister of the world's most populous nation should stop first, however, on a remote island of just 320,000 has raised hopes for an injection of Chinese cash into an economy ravaged by the bursting of a financial bubble in 2008—but also suspicion of Beijing's hunger for natural resources. A Chinese developer is fighting a government decision last year to bar him...
  • Ashton, Not Obama, in Charge of Iran Talks

    04/17/2012 9:39:11 AM PDT · by Nachum · 7 replies
    Commentary Magazine ^ | 4/17/12 | Jonathan S. Tobin
    Laura Rozen’s account of the behind-the-scenes action during the Iranian nuclear talks in Istanbul undermines the notion that President Obama is in control of the P5+1 diplomatic process that he fiercely defended during the weekend. As Rozen’s reporting makes clear, it is the European Union’s Catherine Ashton who was clearly in charge of the affair, and as long as that fierce critic of Israel is calling the shots, it’s unlikely the Iranians will surrender their nuclear ambitions. Indeed, by championing Iran’s right to nuclear development, which could be ultimately used for military purposes, Ashton may be steering the negotiations toward...
  • Iran's Armenian Connection

    04/17/2012 8:48:37 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 4 replies
    excerpt- As the United States, the European Union, and western allies expand efforts to squeeze Iran through crippling sanctions, Tehran is working to create loopholes to mitigate the impact. Often, the Iranians have used third countries for this purpose. From the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Germany, Iran established networks of businesses and front companies designed to assist and finance the regime’s illicit procurement activities. But the UAE and Germany, alongside other erstwhile partners of Iran, have since joined the sanctions’ effort, pushing Iran out of their financial systems and scaling down on trade. -excerpt- For Armenia, Iran’s presence is...
  • The European Evidence Shows Why the Left’s Real Goal Is Higher Taxes on the Middle Class

    04/14/2012 8:40:51 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 21 replies ^ | April 14, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell
    Why are taxes so much higher in Europe, consuming 46 percent of economic output compared to 32 percent of GDP in America? Is it because nations such as France, Greece, and Sweden have adopted the kind of class-warfare policies that Obama wants for the United States? Surprisingly, the answer is no.As explained by Veronique de Rugy, the United States actually has a more “progressive” tax code than European nations. The corporate tax rate is higher in the United States than in any European country, and the double taxation of dividends and capital gains also is far above the European average....
  • EU: Uncertainty about Spain Worries Euro Zone

    04/13/2012 11:27:39 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 3 replies
    Spiegelonline ^ | 4/12/2012 | David Böcking
    The markets appeared to have forgotten about the euro crisis for a few weeks, but now uncertainty is returning, with yields rising again on Spanish and Italian government bonds. The effects of the ECB's massive cash injection are wearing off, and Spain's banks have already reportedly run out of the cheap cash they got from the central bank. In Rasquera, they reckon marijuana is the solution. On Wednesday, the authorities in the eastern Spanish village, population 900, announced that the residents had agreed to an unsual plan that the municipality has come up with to fight the crisis. In the...
  • Officials, diplomats want even more EU secrecy

    04/13/2012 7:53:44 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 12.04.12 @ 18:19 | Andrew Rettman
    Most member states and EU institutions are keen to draw a new veil of secrecy over how they appoint top officials and enforce EU law. The rights of journalists, NGOs and average people to get access to internal EU documents is currently governed by a regulation from 2001. It is already hard to gain access because there is no simple registry of which documents exist and because it can take long legal battles to make institutions drop their objections—for instance, on grounds that it would violate people's privacy, threaten national security or that there is no "overriding public interest" to...
  • Will the Pirates democratise Europe?

    04/12/2012 10:27:39 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 24 replies
    Die Welt, Berlin ^ | 4/12/2012 | Detlef Gürtler
    Overnight the Pirate Party has become a third political force in Germany, and has become much more than a dragnet trawling protest voters. According to Die Welt, the Pirate Party could be the pioneer of a new democracy in the post-industrial era, and indeed throughout Europe. The jury is still out on whether from the Pirates will prove to be more than a footnote to European democracy. But if the pirates are not crippled by growing pains they stand a good chance of formally transforming democracy in the 21st century, mastering the end of the era of growth, achieving a...