Officials in the EU have urged Turkey to let in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees trapped on its border at Kilis after fleeing fighting. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said there was a moral, if not legal, duty to provide protection. Turkey says the refugees are receiving food and shelter inside Syria and there is no need to allow them to cross. About 35,000 Syrians have fled a Syrian government offensive on rebel-held positions near Aleppo. Ms Mogherini said the EU was providing funding to Turkey to make sure it had the "means, the instruments, the resources to protect and to host people that are seeking asylum". In November, the EU clinched a deal with Turkey, offering it €3bn (£2.3bn; $3.3bn) to care for Syrian refugees on Turkish soil. Ms Mogherini's call was echoed by EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, whose country currently holds the EU presidency. "I look at these images of people standing at the Turkish border and I just wanted to underline the message people who are in humanitarian need should be allowed in," said Mr Koenders. However Kilis governor Suleyman Tapsiz said the move was not necessary. "Our doors are not closed but at the moment there is no need to host such people inside our borders," he said. Turkey already hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees - 2.5 million. In the past few days, the Syrian army - backed by Russian air strikes - has made a series of gains around Aleppo, Syria's largest city. On Thursday, 60 donor countries meeting in London pledged billions of dollars to ease the plight of Syrian refugees. About 4.6 million people have fled Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Another 13.5 million are said to be in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Independent researchers reported detecting elevated methane levels as far as 8 miles from the massive, ongoing leak of natural gas from a storage site in northwestern Los Angeles. A ruptured well at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon underground facility has spewed more than 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere since the leak was discovered Oct. 23. The release of the powerful greenhouse gas led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood a mile from the leak after reports by residents of nosebleeds, rashes, headaches and nausea.Finding elevated methane levels well beyond the Porter Ranch area raises potential health concerns for people living outside the immediate vicinity of the leak, the researchers said. Inhaling low concentrations of methane, the primary component of natural gas, is generally not considered a health concern, but natural gas often contains trace amounts of other, more harmful gases. "Whatever else may be in the gas-benzene, toluene, xylene -- that is what people may be breathing," said Nathan Phillips, an earth and environment professor at Boston University. "Even though we're not measuring things other than methane, there is a legitimate concern that there is that other nasty stuff in there." The findings challenge assurances from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the regional air pollution control agency, and the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that the leak hasn't increased residents' exposure to toxic gases. The cumulative methane emissions from the Aliso Canyon facility to date have the greenhouse gas equivalent on the Earth's atmosphere of burning nearly 800 million gallons of gasoline, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander called on SoCal Gas to extend its residential relocation program to residents of neighborhoods adjacent to Porter Ranch, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. People in these communities were also reporting similar symptoms related to the leaking gas, according to the paper. SoCal Gas spokeswoman Kristine Lloyd said the gas company is providing temporary accommodation and air filtration for residents within a five-mile radius of the leak, extending beyond Porter Ranch. Democratic US Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California sent a letter to the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice Wednesday calling on the federal agencies to offer further assistance to the State of California in responding to the gas leak. In a mapping effort funded by the Home Energy Efficiency Team, a Cambridge, Mass., nonprofit, Phillips and Robert Ackley of Gas Safety Inc. measured methane emissions for the past several days near the Aliso Canyon leak. Gas Safety Inc. provides natural gas leak detection services to industry, businesses and homeowners. They used a laser-based system mounted to a car. It recorded methane concentrations and plotted the readings on Google Earth. On Tuesday and Wednesday the researchers drove further from the leak and recorded methane concentrations as much as two times higher than background levels, as far as 8 miles away from the site.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Report UE - The central question in the report is that of forced loans the Nazi occupiers extorted from the Greek central bank beginning in 1941. Should requests for repayment of those loans be classified as reparation demands -- demands that may have been forfeited with the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990? Or is it a genuine loan that must be paid back? The expert commission analyzed contracts and agreements from the time of the occupation as well as receipts, remittance slips and bank statements. They found that the forced loans do not fit into the category of classical war reparations. The commission calculated the outstanding German "debt" to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014, which would amount to about €11 billion. As such, at issue between Germany and Greece is no longer just the question as to whether the 115 million deutsche marks paid to the Greek government from 1961 onwards for its peoples' suffering during the occupation sufficed as legal compensation for the massacres like those in the villages of Distomo and Kalavrita. Now the key issue is whether the successor to the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany, is responsible for paying back loans extorted by the Nazi occupiers. There's some evidence to indicate that this may be the case. In terms of the amount of the loan debt, the Greek auditors have come to almost the same findings as those of the Nazis' bookkeepers shortly before the end of the war. Hitler's auditors estimated 26 days before the war's end that the "outstanding debt" the Reich owed to Greece at 476 million Reichsmarks. Auditors in Athens calculated an "open credit line" for the same period of time of around $213 million. They assumed a dollar exchange rate to the Reichsmark of 2:1 and applied an interest escalation clause accepted by the German occupiers that would result in a value of more than €11 billion today.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Gold Rush ??? -A few years ago annual production was 13,000,0000 ozs,it is now 10,000,000 ozs worldwide,although figures for Russia and China are vague and possibly unreliable.We do know,however,that they do not export in any volume that which they do mine. I have a friend ,a board member ,of a company ,that produces 1,000,000 ozs per annum.it s no secret that they have enough ore above ground for about two years production,they are ,at the moment,not mining. Now,onto consumption,prefaced by the admission that I reside in Thailand,and I am speaking as I see the situation here and indeed the surrounding countries of S.E.Asia. The general population buy gold to keep for weddings and the rainy day syndrome.They do not buy as an investment or for trading,the spread is too great. The Chinese will,if the coming year is thought to be unfavourable. India,the largest consumer, placed tax on imports a couple of years ago of (I believe) 5%. My question to my self at the time was answered by an Indian who was trying to come to an agreement with the company mentioned above,to no avail of course,when he reminded me of our conversation of sometime before,years in fact,when he predicted that middle class Hindu brides,say five or ten million every year,would swallow world production. The presumption I now have confirmed to myself is that most markets are manipulated,you and I will be allowed to gamble in shares bonds and propery,because they are our decisions and will be our fault.The underpinning we used to enjoy fifteen years ago ,is no more.Good luck and God bless you all ... $1000 dollars of gold stuffed under the mattress a hundred years ago would be more valuable today than $1000 in cash stuffed under the same mattress, so people saying pieces of paper issued by a central bank are a better bet than gold are clearly talking nonsense, how are those Hapsburg thalers, Reich marks or Czarist rubles doing these days? But, and it is a huge but, gold only retains its value in a civilized society, it is spectacularly useless when society breaks down a fact about which many gold buyers seem to be completely unaware. How the heck do you think gold coins will save your neck when the Morlocks are coming over the garden fence? The mere fact of owning gold will mark you out for immediate attack. The first time you go to the market to buy your bag of rice with a gold sovereign is the moment your fate is sealed. Historically Jews and other persecuted groups kept their wealth in gold as they figured it was their passport when the crisis came, all it meant was that the bad guys knew to strip them naked and steal their clothes and luggage after chasing them out while the peasants ransacked their homes looking for the secret stash. Think of those caches of gold dug up by archeologists, which we are told were hidden to keep it safe from the Vikings and ask yourself how much use all that gold was to its original owner.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The former head of the US central bank, Alan Greenspan, has predicted that Greece will have to leave the eurozone. He told the BBC he could not see who would be willing to put up more loans to bolster Greece's struggling economy. Greece wants to re-negotiate its bailout, but Mr Greenspan said "I don't think it will be resolved without Greece leaving the eurozone". Earlier, UK Chancellor George Osborne said a Greek exit would cause "deep ructions" for Britain. Mr Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, said: "I believe [Greece] will eventually leave. I don't think it helps them or the rest of the eurozone - it is just a matter of time before everyone recognises that parting is the best strategy. The problem is that there there is no way that I can conceive of the euro of continuing, unless and until all of the members of eurozone become politically integrated - actually even just fiscally integrated won't do it." Following the election in Greece of the anti-austerity Syriza party, Greek ministers have been touring European capitals trying to drum up support for a re-negotiation of its bailout terms. However, there appears little willingness in Berlin, or at the European Central Bank, to alter the terms of its €240bn (£182bn) rescue by the European Union, ECB, and International Monetary Fund. "The [bailout] conditions with Greece were generous, beyond all measure,'' German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said last week. He saw not justification for relaxing them further. Euro break-up ... Mr Greenspan said: "All the cards are being held by members of the eurozone." He also warned that trying to hold the 19-nation euro bloc together "is putting strain on everybody". He said as well as Greece leaving the eurozone, there was a real risk of a "much bigger break-up" with other southern European countries forced out. Earlier on Sunday, Mr Osborne told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the UK was stepping up contingency planning to prepare for a possible Greek exit. "This stand-off between Greece and the eurozone is increasing the risks every day to the British economy," the chancellor said. A Greek exit from the single currency would create instability in European financial markets and cause "real ructions" in Britain, too, he added.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Banks with high levels of distressed debts will have to face the music eventually as interest rates return to normal and this will be the moment of highest risk for the Eurozone. The question is what will be the trigger for rates to increase - growth in the US, a credit crunch in China or war in Russia - take your pick! The deepening slowdown in emerging markets is holding back global recovery and risks fresh financial strains in Spain, Britain and other European countries with large bank exposure to the bloc, the OECD has warned.
Rintaro Tamaki, chief economist for the OECD club of rich states, said bond tapering by the US Federal Reserve has “only just begun” and threatens to trigger a fresh wave of capital flight from vulnerable parts of the emerging market nexus. “There remains a risk that capital flows could intensify,” he said.
Mr Tamaki said Spanish bank exposure to developing countries is 35pc of Spain’s GDP, mostly through the operations of Santander and BBVA in Latin America. Exposure is 21pc for Britain and 18pc for Holland. The US is largely insulated at just 3pc of GDP.
Much of Britain’s link is through lending to Chinese companies on the dollar market in Hong Kong. British-based banks account for almost a quarter of the estimated $1.1 trillion of foreign-currency loans to China.
The OECD called on the Fed to go easy on bond tapering and said the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan may have to step up stimulus to prevent the recovery faltering. This round if it really gets out of sync, would be far worse than anything previous. I have my doubts if Yellen will soften up on the tapering as she is a home baser. Vlad could knock the chessboard as EU landers stew with fiscal ferment. The Greeks will need more bailout dosh too....given the recent meetings for the 3rd bailout have stalled.
I have my doubts that Draghi can control a potential runaway situation when real asset shifting starts. The Eurozone economics aren't that sound as he makes them out to be given lander debt is rising faster.
A new "low" is coming with levies; just park ones dosh in the right place.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Public confidence in the European Union has fallen to historically low levels in the six biggest EU countries, raising fundamental questions about its democratic legitimacy more than three years into the union's worst ever crisis, new data shows.
After financial, currency and debt crises, wrenching budget and spending cuts, rich nations' bailouts of the poor, and surrenders of sovereign powers over policymaking to international technocrats, Euroscepticism is soaring to a degree that is likely to feed populist anti-EU politics and frustrate European leaders' efforts to arrest the collapse in support for their project.
Figures from Eurobarometer, the EU's polling organisation, analysed by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a thinktank, show a vertiginous decline in trust in the EU in countries such as Spain, Germany and Italy that are historically very pro-European.
The six countries surveyed – Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, and Poland – are the EU's biggest, jointly making up more than two out of three EU citizens or around 350 million of the EU's 500 million population.
The findings, published exclusively in the Guardian in Britain and in collaboration with other leading newspapers in the other five countries, represent a nightmare for Europe's leaders, whether in the wealthy north or in the bailout-battered south, suggesting a much bigger crisis of political and democratic legitimacy.
"The damage is so deep that it does not matter whether you come from a creditor, debtor country, euro would-be member or the UK: everybody is worse off," said José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the ECFR's Madrid office. "Citizens now think that their national democracy is being subverted by the way the euro crisis is conducted."
EU leaders are aware of the problem, utterly at odds over what to do about it, and have yet to come up with any coherent policy proposals addressing the mismatch between the pooling of economic and fiscal powers and the democratic mandate deemed necessary to underpin such radical policy shifts.
José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, said on Tuesdaythis week the European "dream" was under threat from a "resurgence of populism and nationalism" across the EU. "At a time when so many Europeans are faced with unemployment, uncertainty and growing inequality, a sort of 'European fatigue' has set in, coupled with a lack of understanding. Who does what, who decides what, who controls whom and what? And where are we heading to?"
The most dramatic fall in faith in the EU has occurred in Spain, where the banking and housing market collapse, eurozone bailout and runaway unemployment have combined to produce 72% "tending not to trust" the EU, with only 20% "tending to trust".
The data compares trust and mistrust in the EU at the end of last year with levels in 2007, before the financial crisis, to reveal a precipitate fall in support for the EU of the kind that is common in Britain but is much more rarely seen on the continent.
In Spain, trust in the EU fell from 65% to 20% over the five-year period while mistrust soared to 72% from 23%.
In five of the six countries, including Britain, mistrust prevailed over trust by sizeable margins, whereas in 2007 – with the exception of the UK – the opposite was the case.
Five years ago, 56% of Germans "tended to trust" the EU, whereas 59% now "tend to mistrust". In France, mistrust has risen from 41% to 56%. In Italy, where public confidence in Europe has traditionally been higher than in the national political class, mistrust of the EU has almost doubled from 28% to 53%.
Even in Poland, which enthusiastically joined the EU less than a decade ago and is the single biggest beneficiary from the transfers of tens of billions of euros from Brussels, support has plummeted from 68% to 48%, although it remains the sole country surveyed where more people trust than mistrust the union.
In Britain, where Eurobarometer regularly finds majority Euroscepticism, the mistrust grew from 49% to 69%, the highest level with the exception of the extraordinary turnaround in Spain.
A separate, more detailed study published this week on the impact of the currency and debt crisis and the austerity policies that have followed also found steep falls across the EU in faith in democracy and national political elites.
The study for the Cabinet Office by the European Social Survey, linking university researchers across the EU, found that soaring unemployment, anxiety and insecurity had eroded faith in politics.
"Overall levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy [declined] across much of Europe, but this varied markedly between countries. It was significant in Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Finland, particularly notable in France, Ireland, Slovenia and Spain, and reached truly alarming proportions in the case of Greece," it said.
The financial crisis "not only eroded the objective economic conditions of many citizens, but also created widespread anxiety about a country's future even among those who did not experience hardship directly".
Faced with this erosion of political support and the battering traditional politics is taking from populist newcomers such as Beppe Grillo's Five Star movement in Italy, policymakers appear at a loss.
On Monday, Barroso said the austerity policies being applied, mainly under pressure from Berlin, had reached the "limits of political and social acceptance" and were "unsustainable" in their current form. On Tuesday, though, the commission in Brussels sought to row back on his remarks.
Within the eurozone, the key response to the crisis, apart from bailouts, has been to embark on a systematic surrender of budgetary and fiscal powers from national governments and parliaments to Brussels, as well as having countries being bailed out overseen by a "troika" of technocrats and economists from the commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These are "federalising" steps in a long process of eurozone integration that might see it transformed from a currency into a political union.
"The EU has hit home and is here to stay as a watchdog of budgets, labour markets, pensions etc. This is unprecedented, and risky," said Torreblanca. "Unless it is fixed, it will feed the vicious circle between anti-EU populism and technocracy which we are currently seeing operating."
Barroso argued strongly in two speeches this week that federalism was the only answer to Europe's crisis of finances and of confidence. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, brushing off widespread fears of a new German "hegemony" in Europe and the eurozone, also said that governments had to give up much more power to Brussels.
"We still haven't found the answer to the question of whether we're actually now prepared to unite on common economic parameters inside the single currency area," she said in a Berlin debate with the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk. "If we want to have a common currency, a common Europe, we have to be ready to give up our hard-won habits … That means we have to be prepared to accept that in the end Europe has the final word in certain things. Otherwise we can't keep on building this Europe … To an extent, we have to jump over our own shadows. I'm ready for that."
But Tusk delivered an unusually stark warning that German prescriptions could bring increasing nationalism and populism across the EU in a backlash that was already well under way.
"We can't escape this dilemma: how do you get a new model of sovereignty so that limited national sovereignty in the EU is not dominated by the biggest countries like Germany, for example," he said pointedly. "Under the surface, this fear will be everywhere: in Warsaw, in Athens, in Stockholm. It will be everywhere without exception."
Aart de Geus, head of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German thinktank, also warned that the drive to surrender more key national powers to Brussels would backfire. "Public support for the EU has been falling since 2007. So it is risky to go for federalism as it can cause a backlash and unleash greater populism."
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Greece may need a third aid package as soon as next year, Klaus Regling, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) permanent bailout fund is quoted as saying in the Friday edition of the German business daily Handelsblatt. He also said that it was conceivable that Greece might not be in a condition to raise money by selling sovereign debt on the open market in 2014.
"Given these circumstances, Greece will probably need another aid package," Regling said, which would require the approval of the finance ministers of the 17 euro-zone countries.
Regling is not the first to publicly voice expectations that there will be a third bailout package for Greece. In August, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed a similar belief although he explicitly noted that it would have to come without fresh payments from other euro-zone countries.
In the interview, Regling also criticized as "irresponsible and unfounded" the fact that "some in Northern Europe are stoking fears against the euro." The costs and risks associated with the euro bailout need to be assessed in a reasonable manner "in Germany too," he added.
So far, Greece has received two large bailouts. The first aid package included €110 billion ($150 billion) and was first agreed upon by the euro-zone member states and the IMF in 2010 (see table). Back then, the permanent euro bailout fund had not yet been established, so €80 billion of the loans provided at the time came from the individual euro-zone countries. But only €53 billion of these loans were actually paid out to Greece.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
European Union talks on how to assign losses at failing banks broke down as conflicts on "core issues" doomed 19 hours of talks in Luxembourg. Finance ministers plan to reconvene July in search of an agreement on proposed rules for bank resolution and recovery in time for an EU summit that begins the following day in Brussels. "There are still core issues outstanding," Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said as he left the meeting on early Saturday. "We have another meeting next (this) week and there's no guarantee it'll reach a conclusion." The new rules are intended to set standards for how to prop up or shut down failing banks, along with requirements for the kind of backstops each country must have in place. The draft law adds to the EU's push for common bank supervision in the eurozone and tougher across-the-board standards for authorities. After more than three years of crisis and bailouts in five eurozone nations, EU leaders have pursued banking union as a way to reassure investors that they can break the cycle of contagion between banks and sovereign debt. Talks foundered on the question of which creditors face write-downs when banks fail. Some countries demanded more flexibility for national authorities, while others sought strict rules across all 27 EU nations. Ministers considered several ways to set thresholds for losses that would need to be assigned via strict formulas before national discretion would be allowed. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said he had "no doubt" ministers will reach an agreement next week, while his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said a final deal must be constructed in a way that won't burden taxpayers. The fight mirrored an earlier battle among eurozone ministers over when countries may seek direct bank aid from the European Stability Mechanism, the currency zone's 500 billion euro ($656 billion) firewall fund. On June 20, eurozone ministers said private investors must be tapped before the ESM will be allowed to step in, once ECB oversight begins and the new tool is in place. If finance chiefs don't reach a deal on the resolution rules before the EU's summer hiatus, this would jeopardize their ability to reach a deal on the bill with the European Parliament and could delay the EU's follow-on proposal for a single resolution mechanism, said Sharon Bowles, chairwoman of the parliament's economic affairs committee. "It needs to be handled very carefully," Bowles said. "Telling a citizen their savings are gone and that EU rules stop you from helping out via the taxpayer even if you want to, or stop you from saving small businesses and jobs, is about as political and tough as anything." During the talks, ministers sought to bridge differences between countries inside and outside the 17-nation eurozone. Austria and the European Commission sought common rules for all 27 EU members, while Sweden led the call for rules that grant more freedom to non-euro nations to prop up banks when financial stability is at risk. Anders Borg, the Swedish finance minister, said his country isn't "asking for anybody else's money" to take care of its banks. "We think we should have the leeway to do what we think is necessary," he said. "If we are building a very rigid system that can hardly work in practice, this could be something creating more uncertainty in the European economy."
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Romania has dropped setting a target date for adopting the euro, although officials insisted that joining the single currency remains a fundamental objective for the country, according to reports.
The Romanian news agency Mediafax said the Romanian government would submit to the European Commission for the first time a programme on progress towards adoption of the euro without a target date.
Going to Germany, the country's leading economic think tanks have trimmed their growth forecast for Europe's biggest economy this year.
The four institutes- Ifo in Munich, IfW in Kiel, IW in Halle and RWI in Essen, predicted that the German economy would expand by 0.8pc in 2013, a downward revision from 1pc growth, then grow by 1.9pc in 2014. They said the cut to projected 2013 growth was due to the fact that the economy had to catch up this year after contracting in the fourth quarter of 2012. I look at this the other way....let the sinking German economy pay in full for the Cypriotic mess....the only awkward caveat being they have the influence to hoodwink the Troica to raid depositors accounts.
So other countries have no say; they can simply block any contributions to IMF fund and direct sequestration attempts.
In essence; the man in the wheelchair has just confirmed that Germany will dictate how the EU economy is run. This is a big mistake....The Cypriot bail-out may now hinge on the Mediterranean island's own parliament, which is sorely divided over the rescue.
Early signs are that nearly half the members of the 56-seat Cypriot parliament may oppose it, a step that could plunge the island into fresh crisis, possible bankruptcy and all but spell a eurozone exit.
How Cameron is going to attempt EU top-end reforms has been made near impossible.
Aah Herr Schaeuble, you resort to the politician's time-honoured ploy: When you have lost the rational argument, use fear.
One day soon, you and all the others trapped in the dysfunctional Eurozone will find out that nothing happens when a country leaves. Nothing for the departing country except a short, sharp shock followed by equally quick recovery - you know, like Iceland.....
Of course the great fear that dare not speak its name is that once one country leaves the Eurozone, others will stampede for the exits. And once they leave the Eurozone and prosper, serious doubt will arise over the need for ever-closer political union within the EU.
That will cause a flutter in the Brussels dovecote won't it?
Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund, has been summoned to a French court to testify in the probe into a high-profile scandal that occurred when she was a government minister.
According to news website Mediapart, Ms Lagarde could be placed under formal investigation for a decision she made while finance minister to go ahead with an arbitration to settle a dispute between the state and billionaire businessman Bernard Tapie, in defiance of objections from her advisers.
Magistrates from a special court that handles alleged abuses by government ministers suspect Ms Lagarde of complicity in misusing public funds as finance minister when she decided to go ahead with the arbitration.
Ms Lagarde denies any wrongdoing.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Eurozone - compared with a YoYo which springs up everytime a summit happens and falls in between.
So how long this time? Economist Wolfgang Münchau argues in today's FT that it could be 20 years before we solve the eurozone crisis: "The consensus among observers had been that the EU had taken an important step in the right direction by agreeing a pathway towards a banking union, but that they did not do enough on crisis resolution. I disagree with that statement. I think it was a very large step – in the wrong direction. The summit made a concrete crisis resolution decision contingent on a future decision, which will be even harder to reach, and thus even more likely to fail". They agreed that there shall be no common bank overcapitalization until a full banking union is established. And the Bundesbank has reminded us that the latter is not possible without a political union. The logical implication is that we won't solve the crisis for the next 20 years. What we know now is that Germany will not agree to mutualised deposit insurance. It cannot even agree to give the European Stability Mechanism a banking licence so that it can leverage itself. If Germany cannot do the minimum necessary now, why should anybody think it can agree a political union? This is less credible than the promise by an alcoholic to give up drinking in five years.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Mămăliga din Orientul Mijlociu" ("Middle East Polenta") that is the title chosen by Shachar Shaine, the former head of Tuborg Romania, for his speech delivered at the luxury Loft restaurant in Bucharest, held by a businessman closely connected to the beverage industry, Pepe Berciu, on Wednesday night. Shaine, 42, said goodbye to his co-workers, as well as to competitors in a relaxed atmosphere, pointing out that Romania was definitely "the country worth living and investing in". The manager who spent the last six years at the helm of United Romanian Breweries Bereprod (URBB), the bottler of Tuborg and Carlsberg, says he decided to stay in Romania, despite propositions from shareholders for whom he had worked to take over similar businesses in other countries. "I will stay and develop business here," Shaine said without providing further details. He is one of the managers with the longest-standing career in the beer industry, having worked for the same company for the last eleven years. Israeli-born Shaine has repeatedly said he loves Romania and even became a Romanian citizen six months ago.(Z.F.) BCE,ECB,IMF,Germany,France,Euro,currency,forex,investments,bucharest,Romania,cluj,