Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Quote : 30 September John Gray about USA

"... Having created the conditions that produced history's biggest bubble, America's political leaders appear unable to grasp the magnitude of the dangers the country now faces. Mired in their rancorous culture wars and squabbling among themselves, they seem oblivious to the fact that American global leadership is fast ebbing away. A new world is coming into being almost unnoticed, where America is only one of several great powers, facing an uncertain future it can no longer shape."

John Gray, The Observer, Sunday September 28 2008

Cartoon : 30th September Bush, Bailout, Socialism, Republicans Delegates Revolt


The Times, Sept 2008 (UK)

Blogs 2 : 30th September

Whoops ..... Alpha.Sources-CV (en)
Doomed? Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Credit markets, Libor and Bank failures! Irony Too (en)
European Parliament elections 2009: Overview article. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
Worldfocus - Martin Savidge on public television. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle
Some Lessons From Bailout Week. Jerome, European Tribune (en)

Too soon to be smug. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
"... How this crisis impacts the rise of the rest (particularly developing economies in Asia and the Middle East) vis-a-vis America and Europe too will indeed be one of the fascinating trends to watch in future. For the moment, though, there are an awful lot of moving pieces in this storyline ..."

Crise financière: vers un gouvernement économique européen? Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
".... Le sauvetage de Dexia par la France, la Belgique et le Luxembourg, annoncé tôt ce matin, après que le titre ait plongé en bourse, a fourni une nouvelle illustration de cette étroite coordination et de cette adaptabilité dont on disait les Européens dépourvus....
.... Ne faudrait-il pas se donner les moyens d'agir au niveau européen? Si les pays européens veulent se donner les moyens de résister aux tempêtes venues d'ailleurs, un nouveau saut fédéral est nécessaire. Plus que jamais, la crise actuelle montre que les petits Etats européens pris isolément sont incapables de faire face et que l'Europe n'a pas encore les moyens de les remplacer. Un entre-deux mortel ..."

Faillite française. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" ... Celle-ci, (le Dette) qui avait diminué de 66,4% du PIB en 2005 (record absolu) à 63,9 en 2007, va rebondir à 66% du PIB en 2009, selon le projet de budget présenté par le gouvernement la semaine dernière. Dire que la France est "en faillite" comme l'a dit le Premier Ministre, François Fillon, l'automne dernier, est à peine exagéré : il ne lui reste quasiment plus aucune marge de manœuvre pour financer ses dépenses d’investissement et préparer le futur. Si rien n'est rapidement fait, la dette va rapidement devenir incontrôlable, comme l'ont déjà expérimenté des pays comme l'Italie ou la Belgique ..."

Elections in Bavaria: Huh. Douglas Muir, a Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Surprise: the Christian Social Union, which has ruled Bavaria without a break since forever, lost big. For the first time since 1962, they won’t have enough seats in Parliament to rule alone; they’ll have to take on a partner, most likely the FDP ... "

Europe’s contrasting reactions to sub-prime crisis. Michael Berendt, Blogactiv.eu (en)
" ... While the United States and Britain reel from one catastrophe to another in the storm of the sub-prime crisis, the eurozone has seemed remarkably detached ... For the Americans and the Brits the news is totally dominated by stories of collapsing banks, bail-outs, vast lines of credit insurance which turn out to be no insurance at all ...
... there does seem to be a difference. The US and UK economies are so much more dependent on their financial services sector than most of the countries of the eurozone ..."

In defence of Anglo-Saxon capitalism. Charles Grant director of Centre for European Reform (en)
" ... Of course, the credit crisis has exposed huge weaknesses in the American and British financial systems ... Financial crises are inherent in the nature of capitalism, rather than one particular brand of it. However the current crisis turns out, many continental European governments will have to tackle serious structural flaws in their economies ...
... Moreover, the City of London remains a big British strength – despite everything that has happened ... Nobody should write off the American economy. Compared to its European peers, its history of recovering rapidly from recession is impressive. Its track record on innovation and start-ups is the envy of the world. Where are the European Googles, Microsofts, Ciscos and Intels? The US has most of the world’s best universities ...
... Some European leaders may view the Lisbon agenda of economic reform as ‘Anglo-Saxon’, but they should not abandon it. Parts of the agenda are rather Anglo-Saxon, such as the emphasis on creating employment, liberalising utilities and enhancing competition. But much of the agenda has a broader scope: boosting innovation, improving R&D, reforming pensions and helping start-ups. All the European economies need the Lisbon agenda, whether they are Anglo-Saxon, Rhineland, Nordic, East European or Mediterranean ...

Interview : 30th September Ehud Olmert

Olmert Says Israel Should Pull Out of West Bank. Ethan Bronner, The NYT (en)
" ... “What I am saying to you now has not been said by any Israeli leader before me,” Mr. Olmert told the newspaper Yediot Aharonot in the interview on the occasion of the Jewish new year, observed from Monday evening till Wednesday evening. “The time has come to say these things” ...
... He said that maintaining sovereignty over an undivided Jerusalem, Israel’s official policy, would involve bringing 270,000 Palestinians inside Israel’s security barrier. It would mean a continuing risk of terrorist attacks against civilians ...

Newspapers : 30th September

Eurozone inflation falls for second month . Ralph Atkins, The FT (en)
Congress repeats 1930s errors with bailout vote. Gerard Baker, The Independent (en)

French and German anger misses the fact. Charles Wyplosz, The FT (en)
" ... Strikingly, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, and Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, have both announced the end of Anglo-American financial supremacy. It is not clear what their prediction is based upon ...
... Both leaders had harsh words for “speculation”, but this misses the fact that finance is speculation. Both zeroed in on short selling. Short selling is like cars. Drivers can be reckless; disciplining them seems more reasonable than banning cars. Denouncing market short-termism runs against evidence that markets better predict companies’ long-term performance than their own managers ..."

Ireland guarantees deposits at six banks. John Murray-Brown and Neil Dennis, The FT (en)
" Ireland’s government on Tuesday unveiled a guarantee arrangement to safeguard all deposits at six financial institutions in response to turmoil in the international financial markets.
Shares in the three biggest banks rose sharply after the government announced the immediate start of the scheme, which expires in September 2010, for the deposits in Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Life and Permanent, Irish Nationwide Building Society and the Educational Building Society ..."

Russian jet 90 seconds from Hull. Jessica Salter, The Telegraph (en)
" The supersonic Blackjack changed course 20 miles from UK airspace, it has been reported ... The RAF is also expected to lose two of its frontline Tornado GR4 ground attack squadrons as part of cuts to existing forces. A senior RAF pilot told The Sun: “The Russians made us look helpless. The Blackjack could have got even closer. It was a disaster — it basically gave the Russians the green light to fly wherever they want.” ..."

Sarkozy calls for global crisis summit. Tony Barber
" ... “We must not give in to the forces of destabilisation. We must support the banks. But there are structural problems. I confirm my call for a summit in coming weeks to establish the basis for a new international financial system,” Mr Sarkozy said ...
... France is the current holder of the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, and Mr Sarkozy is keen to exploit the influence that this position gives him to put a French stamp on any future redesign of global financial institutions ..."

Video : 30th September Livedraw, Bank Bailout Crisis


The Telegraph, Sept 2008

Blogs : 30th September

Politique de l'Autriche. Emmanuel, Ceteris Paribus (fr)

The Truly Alarming News From Afghanistan. Douglas Farah, Counter Terrorism Blog (en)
" ... Perhaps the single biggest deterrent to a successful insurgency or armed movement is the civilian population. If they are with the insurgency, the armed group will endure, if not necessarily prevail. Without popular support, or at least tolerance, the group will wither.
So it is really alarming to read the Washington Post story about the growing nostalgia for the Taliban in Kabul and other areas under government control in Afghanistan ..."

Monday, 29 September 2008

EP Elections : 29th September

Online campaigns 'key' to voter turnout in EU elections. en.europa-eu-audience (en)

"... The internet could help European parties to "reinvigorate and rejuvenate" politics and generate a higher turnout in the upcoming European Parliament elections in June 2009, a panel of election strategists told MEPs in Brussels on 17 September ..."
Tracking: European parliament elections 2009 (XVII). Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... On 1 December 2008, PES leaders will aprove in Madrid the joint programme of all socialist and social-democratic parties united in the PES, as well as the campaign plan. The leaders will also "pick five European cities as the venues for high-profile PSE election rallies" ..."

Blogs on Blogging : 29th September (en)

European Parliament buries Mikko's anti-blogger initiative. Julein Frisch, Watching Europe
" ... Relief. Happiness. Bliss. Felicity. Time for a coffee ... The text of the resolution says : 25. Encourages an open discussion on all issues relating to the status of weblogs;I think that is appropriate and I can only encourage parliamentarians to discuss openly the status of weblogs, especially considering their brilliant acknowledgement also to be found in the resolution:
[W]eblogs represent an important new contribution to freedom of expression and are increasingly used by media professionals as well as by private persons.Brilliant. Amazing. Lovable. Cute. Substantial ..."

Shut up, critics! Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
"R.I.P, England Expects blog. This blog by an EP employee has been forbidden by the European Parliament's Secretary General Harald Rømer."

Identity : 29th September

L'euro, un bouclier discret, trop discret. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ... Au tout début de l’euro, en 1999, Wim Duisenberg, le premier Président de la Banque centrale européenne (BCE), avait lancé à un journaliste qui s’inquiétait du recul de la monnaie unique face au billet vert : « si vous demandez à un Américain : que vaut le dollar ? Il vous répondra : le dollar ? Un dollar est un dollar. Et je crois que nous devons apprendre en Europe à dire nous aussi : un euro ? Un euro est un euro » ...
... Cette identification de l’euro à l’Europe montre aussi que la monnaie unique est perçue, par le monde extérieur, comme un élément de l’identité et de la puissance naissante de l’Union. Mais cela n’est pas vrai au sein de l’Europe : l’euro n’a pas créé un sentiment de fierté et d’appartenance, faute, sans doute, pour les politiques de s’en être emparé pour vanter les succès de l’Europe. Cela a même souvent été le contraire, l’euro étant utilisé comme un commode bouc émissaire expliquant les difficultés nationales.
Et, sur une juste remarque d'Arthurh et les conseils amicaux d'Hims Lapin, voici une vidéo de Jay-Z, rappeur US, qui brandit des liasses de 500 euros comme élément de richesse..."

Blogs : 29th September

Bail-outs all around. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
Ségolène's new look. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
New developments in France? Helen, EUReferendum (en)
A puzzling development. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
EU to investigate Bradford and Bingley bail out. 29th September, Irony Too (en)

Happy Families Russian Style. Edward Hugh,A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... Russia seems to have been hit by some sort of “perfect-storm trifecta” in the shape of falling oil prices, a back reaction to Moscow’s “go it alone” attitude to Georgia’s two separatist regions, and economic overheating on the back of the global oil boom and the rising consumer and corporate credit growth in the Russian economy itself ...
... Basically Russia is suffering from some sort of modern variant of what is colloquially known as the “Dutch disease”. Revenue generated by the recent sharp oil and commodities boom has served to accelerate the Russian economy way beyond its real short term capacity - bringing home the impact of the underlying demographic challenge in the shape of labour shortages produced by many years of very low fertility and exceptionally poor health among Russia’s male over-50 male population ...

L'euro, un bouclier discret, trop discret. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ... Le tsunami financier parti des États-Unis en août 2007 n’en finit pas d’ébranler le monde avec une violence inouïe. L’Europe est particulièrement exposée, l’interpénétration des deux principales économies mondiales étant forte. Mais il faut imaginer ce qui se passerait si le bouclier de l’euro n’existait pas ...
... L’Europe l’a expérimenté lors des grandes crises monétaires des années 92-93 qui l’ont plongé dans la récession. Selon Michel Sapin, alors ministre socialiste des finances, cette crise a sans doute coûté à la France près d’un million de chômeurs supplémentaire

We'll Always Have Paris. Eurosoc 3, EuroSoc (en)
" ... But French president Nicolas Sarkozy has a fervent belief that there needs to be a change in the landscape. In a rare outbreak of agreement with Paris's Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanöe, he has already enrolled Richard Rogers’ firm of British architects, amongst other prestigious non-French consultants, to ponder and perhaps draw up blueprints for a new and improved Paris ..."

A Good Season For France. Eurosoc 2, EuroSoc (en)
" .. The French are traditionally glum (well, more glum than usual) at this time of year ... Yet France is on something of a roll, internationally. In Nicolas Sarkozy, they have, until the US election at least, one of the world's most visible statesmen. France's state electricity "champion" has just agreed to buy British Energy, the UK's biggest power producer, in a deal which even the British government's supporters are saying will "keep the lights on" in Perfidious Albion. And finally, Anglo-Saxon government responses to market turmoil suggests to some that maybe the French were right about international finance all along ...
... Also, concentrating on only a few factors doesn't give the entire picture, as the French have always been keen to point out when their GDP per capita is compared unfavorably with that of the US, or when its universities are ranked far below Harvard and Yale.
France has had a bad few years, and its own system has proved unable to share the enviable lifestyle of its middle classes with the unemployed inhabitants of the housing estates. Longer-term problems related to pensions (and the like) still plague France, though the wider global crisis has drawn attention away from these ..."

" ... Psyche and reliability - SNCF is a national treasure, while British trains are a national disaster, and related to that the perceived lack of reliability of British trains ..."

EU budget committee criticises EU agencies. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... NOTES WITH CONCERN the general findings of the Court that the audited decentralised agencies do not plan their activities adequately nor, for most of them, have at their disposal sound tools for monitoring their activities, and that the reporting of the activities and the evaluation of the results need to be improved."

Adjusting to a non-European world. Open Europe Blog (en)
" ... Now more than ever, Europeans inhabit a non-European world. There is no choice but to adjust to that and safeguard, as quickly and soberly as we can, what is left of Europe's role in global politics and economics." Menon touches on a key failing in the thinking of much of the European political class - the idea that Europe's rapidly declining power can be remedied by closer institutional centralisation ...
... In the broad sweep of history, Europe's period of dominance was short - 200 years at most. This ascendance was achieved as a result of complex factors that are hotly debated amongst historians. But there are two key points to note. First, Europe may be weak now, but it was relatively much weaker in the past (as recently as 1700, Qing China and Mughal India each represented a little less than 25 per cent of world GDP). Second, Europe's meteoric rise was achieved not through the centralisation of power, but through technical, fiscal, political and cultural innovation amongst diverse nation states ..."

" ... The renewal of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine will simply maintain the formal status quo. I’m not sure that we can interpret an automatic treaty renewal as a “positive development.” ..."

Cartoon : 29th September


The Independent, Sept 2008 (Gordon Brown, Bradford & Bingley and the Taxes)

Quote : 29th September (en0

...“The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multi­polar” with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe,“The world will never be the same again.”
Mr Peer Steinbrück, Federal Finance Minister, German Parliament 2008

People : 29th September (en)

Nicolas Sarkozy accused of 'brutal' temper. Peter Allen , The Telegraph (en)
" ... "He was used to being served," says Mrs Fulda, "He would ask me in the morning, 'Can you get my things ready?' Faced with my refusal, he would say, 'But Cecilia used to do it'." ...
... "The man of power often behaves like a child when he is told 'no'," Coudurier said. Cecilia then returned yet again, and Mr Sarkozy desperately tried to make her feel at home once he was elected president, suggesting that she would be the "new Jackie Kennedy" and sending her off on a mission to Libya ... "He is extremely considerate to people when they're on his side," said Coudurier. "But he can also be brutal." ... "

Newspapers : 29th September

Wolfgang Münchau: Paulson’s problem presents lessons for us all. Wolfgang Münchau, The FT (en)

China aims for military might. Thomas Harding, The Telegraph (en)
"... The rapid growth of China's navy is matched by its desire to expand into the Indian Ocean and South China Sea to feed resources into its voracious economy ...
... The analysts, from Jane's Information Group, believe that the Chinese Communist Party can only continue to rule the country if it maintains economic growth at more than 10 per cent ... China is developing a modern highly manoeuvrable force able to operate anywhere as good if not better than Western armies ... "

Merkel stung in Bavarian polls. Bruno Waterfield , The Telegraph (en)
" ... The CSU, which has ruled Bavaria since 1957 and held an absolute majority since 1962, suffered a major defeat as its share of the vote crashed to 43 per cent, well below the 60.7 per cent it won five years ago.

Anti-foreigner campaign boosts Austrian far-right . Tony Paterson , The Independent (en)
" ... The election was held a year earlier than planned after infighting caused the collapse of the country's 18-month grand coalition of Social Democrats and conservatives in July. Austria lowered the voting age from 18 to 16 for the poll – enabling an extra 200,000 young people to take part. However, many complained that they were too ill-informed to do so.
The result appeared to leave Austria with an uncertain political future as both main parties said prior to the election that they were reluctant to form another grand coalition or join forces with the far right ... "

Hague ready to hold Europe referendum . Jonathan Oliver, The Times (en)
" ... “The integration of Europe will have gone too far. We won’t let matters rest.”
A referendum would be popular with the Tories’ Eurosceptic MPs and grassroots activists who believe that the European Union reform treaty undermines Britain’s national sovereignty. But it would be resisted by some of David Cameron’s strategists, who would fear that a prolonged debate on the minutiae of EU procedures would be a turn-off to voters.

CIA ‘backed’ Irish battle against Brussels treaty . Nicola Smith, The times (en)
" ... The European parliament wants an inquiry into whether Declan Ganley, the multi-millionaire chairman of the Libertas group that campaigned against the treaty, could be in the pockets of US defence and intelligence services ..."

Nuclear Power. Leading Article, The Times
" ... the structure of this deal says much about the limits of nuclear power’s appeal to the private sector. EDF has agreed to meet all nuclear waste management and decommissioning costs associated with any new plants it builds in Britain. But it will not have to pay for inherited waste and decommissioning work at the sites that it is buying. That cost will fall to the taxpayer. Nor will it confront many planning hurdles: the single most valuable asset that EDF is buying is the right to build new reactors on existing nuclear sites.

Brussels extends import tax on shoes. Alan Beattie, The FT (en)
" ... Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, said the “anti-dumping” duties imposed two years ago – levied against imports deemed to be priced unfairly low – would remain, pending a review. Officials said they would try to complete the review in half the usual 12- to 15-month period, raising the possibility that the duties could be lifted as early as spring ..."

US ‘will lose financial superpower status’. Bertrand Benoit,
" ...“The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multi­polar” with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück (German finance minister) told the German parliament. “The world will never be the same again.” ...
... He blamed Washington for refusing to consider proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, “elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans’ penchant for over-regulation”.
... Mr Steinbrück’s proposals include a ban on “purely speculative short selling”; a crackdown on variable pay for bank managers, which had encouraged reckless risk-taking; a ban on banks securitising more than 80 per cent of the debt they hold; international standards making bank managers personally responsible for the consequences of their trades; and increased co-operation between European super­visors ..."

Analysis: Nuclear fusion. Ed Crooks, Kate Burgess and Peggy Hollinger, The FT (en)
The UK government’s role in the EDF deal has been central: first in creating an environment in which companies would think about investing, and second in closing off the Centrica option favoured by Invesco and M&G.
There is still work to do to establish Britain’s nuclear framework: reform of the planning system, certainty about the rewards for low-carbon generation and training of nuclear engineers. But Mr Hutton describes the government as “100 per cent committed” to new nuclear investment – and its actions over British Energy bear him out.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Quote : 25th September

"... We've nationalized the financial system ... We're about to quasi-nationalize the Detroit auto companies ... Our Social Security system is going broke ... How long before we have national health care? Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food."
How We Became the United States of France. Bill Saporito, The Time (en)

The Time, 2008

Blogs : 25th September

Vote of confidence? P O Neill, A Fistful of Euros (en)
Bon appetit. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
Mature debate? Richard, EUReferendum (en)

New Eurobarometer on EP elections: national issues more important than European ones. Brussels Blogger, Blogactiv.eu (en)
" .... Only 3% of UK citizens are aware that next EP elections are in 2009 (European average: 30%). 30% of citizens responded that they will definitely vote in the upcoming elections. Nearly half of European say that if they would vote it would be because they are not interested in politics in general. Candidates positions on national issues will have be slightly more important than their views on European issues."

The invisible takeover. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" … it needs to be emphasised, the UK no longer has any meaningful existence in the world of international trade negotiations as it has ceded Brussels controls of most aspects of its trade relations with third countries apart from currency and trade promotion. While she retains nominal WTO membership, it is now in reality little more than a region of the EU in trade policy terms, with the periodic right to nominate one of its nationals as EU trade commissioner ..."

Newspapers : 25th September

Path to power curbed for privileged pupils. Charles Bremner, The Times (en)
Medvedev says Kremlin must ease grip on power. The FT (en)
Sarkozy risks anger on budget. Ben Hall, The FT (en)
Danes scramble to rescue lenders. Robert Anderson, The FT (en)
Global storms darken mood in eurozone. Ralph Atkins, The FT (en)

Turkey’s nuclear tender falls flat. Delphine Strauss, The Ft (en)
"Turkey suffered a setback in its efforts to reduce a costly dependence on energy imports on Wednesday, receiving just one bid in a tender to build the country’s first nuclear power plant ... The only proposal submitted by Wednesday’s deadline came from a consortium led by Russia’s Atomstroyexport and Inter Rao, together with Turkey’s Park Teknik Group."

The answer to the great speech riddle. Matthew Parris, The Times (en)
" ... Most of the media corps massed in Manchester on Tuesday, and most Labour delegates, reported seeing Gordon Brown make “the speech of his life”. And most of the rest of Britain reported hearing the same old pap that politicians always spout: totally forgettable.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Cartoon : 24th September Economy Bail Out

Cartoon from Tab, Sept 2008

Quote : 23th September Global Overshoot Day

"September 23 is Earth Overshoot Day 2008" Global Footprint Network, Sept 2008

Read also :
September 23 is Earth Overshoot Day:The day our demand surpasses nature’s budget
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/
" ... Il s'agit de quantifier les surfaces biologiquement productives nécessaires pour construire villes et infrastructures, pour fournir les ressources agricoles, aquatiques et forestières que nous consommons et pour absorber les déchets que nous produisons, y compris le CO2 issu de la combustion des énergies fossiles. L'unité de mesure utilisée pour calculer l'empreinte écologique d'un individu, d'une ville, ou d'un pays est l'"hectare global", dont les capacités de production et d'absorption de déchets correspondent à la moyenne mondiale ..."

Webzines : 24th September


Sticky, Sweet, Stupid, Scary. Takuan Seiyo, The Brussels Journal (en)

Europe's digital library versus Google . Benjamin Lasry, CafeBabel (en)
" ... The European digital library will allow everyone, easily and quickly, either from their own country or from abroad, to access European artistic and literary works, explained Viviane Reding ...
... the commission estimates that it would cost 225 million euros to digitise five million works from European libraries, not counting paintings and manuscripts. In brief, europeana.eu won’t become a worthy competitor to Google overnight. In addition to this is the problem of authors’ rights: though the works that would be in the public domain could be accessed without problems, No solution has been found for accessing works protected by authors’ rights yet. This means then that the works that Europeana will make accessible in November will all be pre-20th century ..."

Europe's population would soon decline without migrants, says EU stats office.
" ... The EU's total population was up 0.48 percent last year - some 2.39 million people, reaching 497.5 million inhabitants, Eurostat said on Tuesday (23 September). The union is now getting very close to the ‘500 million' Europeans rounded-up number widely quoted by Brussels public figures ...
... The role of immigrants in maintaining Europe's population is larger even than these figures suggest, says Eurostat, as once they become established in their new countries, they also contribute to the natural change in population by having more children on average than native-born Europeans ... "

Blogs : 24th September

Blunting the Samurais' Blade? Alpha Sources.CV (en)
EU domain names for sale. Brusselsblogger, Blogactiv.eu (en)
In support of the freedom of speech of someone with whom I almost completely disagree. NoseMonkey, EUtopia (en)

The good, the bad and the ugly. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... Londoners might rejoice in knowing that their city does not make the top 10 list for rainiest in Europe. That honour goes to Halle in Germany, followed closely by Cologne. If you're looking for a tan, though, head for Faro in Portugal or Izmir in Turkey, which are listed as the two least rainy places to be ..."

Crise financière: le Parlement européen réveille la Commission. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" ... Dire que le Parlement européen est excédé par l’inaction de la Commission présidée par José Manuel Durao Barroso dans la crise financière actuelle est une litote ... il demande à l’exécutif européen de légiférer afin d’encadrer l’activité des fonds spéculatifs (« hedge funds ») et des fonds de capital-investissement (private equity) : exigence de fonds propres, transparence, surveillance européenne des agences de notation, etc ..."

North By Northwest. EuroSoc Three, EuroSoc (en)
" ... Canada proclaimed its formal freehold in 1925 to a swathe of territory extending by longitude to the North Pole. (It could be argued that Canada’s claim dates back to an official visit by the English explorer Henry Hudson in the 16th century).
Last year Ottawa put money on the table to challenge Moscow. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a 1.3 billion dollar order for six-to-eight special ice-breaking patrol ships with the latest in surveillance technology. These vessels will be armed ..."

Rumors of Sarko's Blow Up in Medvedev Negotiations. Robert Amsterdam (en)
" ...Apparently, shortly after the talks began Medvedev left the room, leaving the French president alone with the negotiators. Four hours into the talks with the Russian president still nowhere in sight, Sarkozy lost his temper. With the protocol snub of having been left with Russian negotiators as his interlocutors, the French president stood up and told his team they were walking out ..."

And the scores are in… (Transparency International CPI 2008). Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)

Newspapers : 24th September

EU orders international phone cuts. Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph (en)
They smiled and clapped, yet they're doomed if Brown stays. Simon Heffer, The Telegraph (en)
Micex chief calls for analysis of Moscow’s role . Jeremy Grant, The FT (en)

Eurozone falls into recession. Ralph Atkins, The FT (en)
" ... Industry was “reeling” from weak demand, Mr Williamson added, with the growth slowdown in emerging market economies and China “really hurting European manufacturers”.
The latest data, which offered scant sign of an improvement in coming months, were a blow for the ECB. Prior to the crisis on Wall Street the central bank had argued that a weak third quarter would be followed by a gradual recovery in growth. Yesterday’s surveys showed new orders – an indication of likely future trends in production – fell this month at the fastest rate in five years."

Sarkozy presses for capitalism summit. Harvey Morris, The FT (en)
" ... Mr Sarkozy, however, was among those who pressed for a world response, insisting on the reform of international institutions to meet the challenge. “The 21st century world cannot be governed with the institutions of the 20th century,” he said, reflecting support by France and other governments for reform of the so-called Bretton Woods financial institutions established in the framework of the UN after the second world war ...
... Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva .... “The global nature of this crisis means that the solutions we adopt must also be global, and decided upon within legitimate, trusted multilateral forums, with no impositions,” ... "

Will Strasbourg repairs end the 'travelling circus'? Vanessa Mock , The Independent (en)
" There have been fresh calls to scrap the European Parliament's 'travelling circus' after it was revealed that repairs running into millions of euros are needed to secure the parliament building in Strasbourg ... "By staying in Brussels these last two sessions, everyone has realised how much easier life is. No hours wasted with travel from all over Europe to a city that is not well connected, no tons of boxes and files to send back and forth, no temporary staff hired in. Everyone can see this is far more efficient." ... "

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Cartoon, Comic : 23rd September Subprime Crisis for Dummy

Here is a very interesting Comic explaining our world financial crisis. It is not politically correct, but it shows that some people should give back their last YEARS Bonuses, pay fines and eventually go to Jail ... for irresponsible and concious acts.
Here in english :
Comic : Subprime for Dummies
Here in French :
Crise : la petite BD qui court de banque en banque sur Rue 89.

Here is an extract from a post on a blog, dated from the 23rd February 2008, already 9 months ago and very wise :
" ... Live and learn! For those who touted this as a loss, I say: “How can you lose something that was never there?”. $80 million subprime mortgages has never been worth $500 mils (Oops sorry, not mils, but Bills - billions). So in a way, we’re waking up to the reality, where as before we were dreaming ..."
Subprime woes explained, in comic form. Hilarious! Sharing is Living (en)

Identity : 23rd September

Russians back hardline policies. Charles Clover, The FT (en)
" ... A majority now do not consider confrontation with the west to be a threat to internal stability, according to Valery Fedorov, director of Vtsiom ... this view resembled the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, where “war is peace”...
... The prototypical Europhile is an 18- to 24-year-old female Muscovite with higher education and property. The prototypical “America-hater” in Russia is male, attended technical school, is over 55 and lives in a small town ... "

Quote : 23rd September Angela Merkel

“Time and again it was said: ‘Let the markets be free, we do not need more transparency' But today we are further on: because America and Britain say yes, we need more transparency, we need better standards for the rating agencies.’”
Angela Merkel, Austria, Sept 2008
" ... Her comments reflected the lingering bitterness felt in Berlin since UK and US opposition stymied German plans for the stronger policing of the hedge fund industry proposed at the Berlin-hosted summit of G7 industrial nations in June, 2007 – just months before the global credit crisis erupted .."
also Read :
The finger-pointing begins. Certain Ideas Of Europe (en)

Blogs : 23rd September

It's a Conspiracy! (part II) Open Europe Blog (en)
Soviet grocery stores: how it was. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle
Blonde on blonde: State elections in Bavaria. Douglas Muir, A Fistful of Euros (en)
Forza Flandria ! Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
User Expectations of Government start outside Government. en.europa-eu-audience (en)
If the market doesn’t work, cap prices? Jon Worth, Euroblog (en)
Hansjoerg Haber leading EU mission in Georgia. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)

"The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released today a report on the candidate states Croatia and Albania..."

US military ties to the Lisbon 'no' camp?. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European Parliament, is demanding a probe into Libertas, its founder Declan Ganley and the American military. Mr Poettering said he and his colleagues have "huge concerns" about Libertas, its fund-raising and future plans ..."

The finger-pointing begins. Certain Ideas Of Europe (en)
" ... Gordon Brown, who is fighting for his own political life at a party conference this week, is among those stepping up calls for more coordinated international regulation of financial markets. The prime minister's calls ring hollow for many, though, since he was chancellor during Britain's go-go financial era, when "light-touch regulation" transformed London into a global financial centre to rival New York. It all apparently sounds rather belated to many on the continent."

The instrument of destruction. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... One prediction we are prepared to make, however, is that one of the most vital issues to the health and prosperity of this country – the fate of our agricultural industry – will not be discussed at the Labour Party conference nor at next week's Tory bash...."

Between a rock and a hard place. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" .. The recent economic downturn could push the EU to adopt more modest ambitions in its fight against climate change, reports EU Business - an issue we reported on last week ..."

Cowards of Congress and Foreign Central Bankers threaten Paulson's plans. Irony Too (en) 23rd September
"... the best analysis I have found follow this link to Resource Investor, here ...
... The key problem on this side of the Atlantic is that the largest European banks have become not only too big to fail but also too big to be saved. For example, the total liabilities of Deutsche Bank (leverage ratio over 50!) amount to around 2,000 billion euro, (more than Fannie Mai) or over 80 % of the GDP of Germany. This is simply too much for the Bundesbank or even the German state to contemplate, given that the German budget is bound by the rules of the Stability pact and the German government cannot order (unlike the U.S. Treasury) its central bank to issue more currency. The total liabilities of Barclays of around 1,300 billion pounds (leverage ratio over 60!) surpasses Britain’s GDP. Fortis bank, which has been in the news recently, has a leverage ratio of "only" 33, but its liabilities are several times larger than the GDP of its home country (Belgium) ..."
"...The authorities in the UK and Switzerland –- who cannot rely on the ECB – can only pray that no accident happens to the giants they have in their own garden."

Blogging : 23rd September

MEPs want anonymous blog ban. Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph (en)
" Marianne Mikko, an Estonian centre-left MEP, is concerned that growing numbers of blogs are being used by individuals with "malicious intentions or hidden agendas".
"The blogosphere has so far been a haven of good intentions and relatively honest dealing. However, with blogs becoming commonplace, less principled people will want to use them," she said ... Chris Heaton Harris, a British Conservative Euro MP, has rejected any moves to "regulate and restrict independent media sources".
"Mrs Mikko obviously does not understand that blogs have become the life blood of a vibrant democracy" ..."

" ... But this effort seems not as easy as I have thought when starting to blog. Not least because it is much harder to be a European blogger than just to have a European blog. I think I have to reflect more on the things I am writing about, be more self-critical to the perspectives taken, and should try harder to identify exactly those topics that have this all-European dimension I am looking for. The best thing that came to my mind so far is the "Tracking: European Parliament Elections 2009" category, but it remains a limited subject with a forseable peak in the spring of 2009 ..."

Newspapers : 23rd September

France reforms its Anglo-Saxon attitudes. John Thornhill, The FT (en) Report boosts European policy on CO2. Tony Barber,
Russia-Venezuela moves stir cold war ghosts. Benedict Mander and Daniel Dombey, The FT (en)
Other G7 members have no plans to follow US. Alan Beattie, Ben Hallin and Bertrand Benoit, The FT (en)
Outlook for Eurozone grim as PMI falls. The FT (en)

EU to slash the cost of text messaging while abroad. Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph (en)
''... The cost of sending a text message for consumers on holiday or travelling for business is expected to fall by 60 per cent, from a European average of 23 pence to 8.7 pence ..."

Brown to promise 'fairness for all' in crucial speech. Robert Winnett, The Telegraph (en)
" Gordon Brown is preparing to make one of the most important speeches in his political life at the Labour Party conference in Manchester ..."

French opposition withdraws Afghanistan support . Charles Bremner, The Times (en)
" ... We have learned the lessons of the murderous ambush", he said. Ten soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in the 10-hour battle east of Kabul on August 18. "Caracal and Gazelle helicopters, drones, listening devices, and supplementary mortars will be sent," Mr Fillon said ...
... Wives also reported that their husbands were poorly equipped to fight. One has to take off his body armour to shoot because it is too big, she said. The media have been full of reports of low morale in the French Afghan contingent. "

France agonizes over Afghan war. Charles Bremner, The Times (en)
" ... The latest fuss is over the leaking of an American report on the French bungling of the hillside battle. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper, which published extracts, the French paratroopers ran out of bullets and did not have proper communication equipment, forcing them to stop fighting after 90 minutes. The Taleban were better equipped and trained and used incendiary bullets to punch holes in the French armoured vehicles, and so on. The army denied that this was a Nato analysis, saying that it was just an ill-informed e-mail from an officer with American special forces who had taken part in the French patrol. But the damage has been done ... "

Washington divided over European bailout . Suzy Jagger and Tom Baldwin, The Times (en)
" ... While Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, wants to allow foreign banks to benefit from the scheme, some Democrats in Washington and others on Wall Street are angry that taxpayer funds may be used to prop up overseas businesses ... In their defence, banks such as HSBC and Deutsche have substantial businesses in the US and offered to contribute to last week’s $77 billion emergency fund for all banks to use after the collapse of Lehman Brothers ..."

Monday, 22 September 2008

Identity : 22nd September

European communication (III): Euro-speak. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)

My faith in politics is restored. NoseMonkey, EUtopia (en)
" ... I wonder what the success rate would be for photos of European Commissioners? I’d be amazed if anyone from pretty much any EU state got more than two or three right. Let’s find out - here they are. With no cheating by looking at the filenames or checking the Commission page, how many can you honestly put a name to? How many could you put a job to? ..."

Blogs : 22nd September

Last but not least. Open Europe Blog, (en)
Georgia and Taiwan. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
A Few Words on Foreign Policy . Wallace Osborne, Blogactiv.eu (en)
Can the next US president heal the transatlantic rift? Tomas Valasek, Centre for European Reform
Oxbridge v government, round two. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
Plundering the private purse. Richard, The EUReferendum (en)
User Expectations of Government start outside Government. en.europa-eu-audience (en)

Ukraine, Russia and the EU. Helen, The EUReferendum (en)
" ..A few thoughts on the subject over on BrugesGroupBlog. The EU is ready to resume negotiations with Russia about that partnership in October if troops move out of Georgia proper (something that still has not happened). Judging by Prime Minister Fillon's comments, the French Presidency will want to resume negotiations even if those troops stay as they have done so far."

The lame left? Douglas Muir, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... No matter what they call themselves—Social Democrats, Socialists or Labour—rarely have they simultaneously appeared so troubled. In Britain, Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s popularity has hit rock bottom. Germany’s Social Democrats are a dwindling party, squeezed between conservatives in the center and populist extremists on the left. In France and Italy, telegenic new-style rightists have managed to reduce the left-wing opposition to tatters. Even Spain’s José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the last unchallenged mainstream-left ruler of a major European power, looks increasingly besieged as the Spanish economic miracle crashes all around him…"

La gauche européenne va-t-elle disparaître ?
" ... L’apparition de partis d’extrême gauche – qui refusent toute alliance gouvernementale ou, s’ils l’acceptent, pratiquent une surenchère qui paralyse toute action — ne fait qu’empirer la situation de la gauche : en Allemagne, « Die Linke » va interdire pour longtemps le retour du SPD aux affaires ...

Curing Britain's Property Price Crash. Irony Too (en), 22nd Sept
" ... Britain, it is generally acknowledged, has the second gravest property price crunch in the world, yet unlike in the USA with the magic Mr Paulson, the UK government, oh so typically, seems to be doing nothing to address it ...
... Nobody yet knows how far UK property prices will plunge but it is essential to be aware that a fall of 20 per cent from peak levels requires a rising property market of 2 per cent above inflation for a period of twelve years before the original peak value is once again achieved ...
Careful what you…translate. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
" ... Recently, the European Union faced some rather embarrassing mistranslation issues. The first one, caught by Neeka, has to do with mistranslating Nicolas Sarkozy’s statement following the EU-Ukraine summit. Did Mr. Sarkozy say…
"This association agreement [to be signed in 2009] does not close any paths, nor does it open any paths." or "Be clear that this agreement shuts no door, and maybe it opens some doors."
To find out which major newspapers (The Times, Deutche Welle, The Irish Times, the Financial Times, etc.) butched the translation and which caught the error, see this dissecting post.
By the way, the original in French is this: “...cet accord d’association ne ferme aucune piste, que même il en ouvre…” ..."

People : 22nd September

Cécilia returns to puncture Sarkozy’s pomp. Matthew Campbell, The Times (en)
" ... According to Cécilia, Attias, 48, was told on the day of their marriage that his services were no longer required as an organiser of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Klaus Schwab, the business professor who founded the forum in 1971, did not want it “to be at loggerheads with the French government”, she claimed.
“It was a nice wedding present,” said an ironic Cécilia. “Since then I have learnt that the French president will probably attend the next Davos although he had never gone before.” ... “You could hardly expect [Sarkozy] to show up in the knowledge that his former wife’s new husband is the organiser,” said the source .
.. A spokesman for the World Economic Forum denied that it had sacked Attias, describing him as simply a “subcontractor”. Mark Adams said: “We never employed him directly, so we couldn’t sack him.”

Newspapers : 22nd September

Russia defies West with new arms spending. Adrian Blomfield, The Telegraph (en)
Moscow widens emergency funding . Charles Clover, The FT (en)
Merkel vents annoyance over US and UK . Ralph Atkins, The FT (en)
Spain urges jobless immigrants to leave. Victor Mallet, The FT (en)
British Prime Minister’s Grip on Job Is Weakened. John Burns, The NYT (en)

France Worries About Financial Shock Wave From Across Atlantic. Steven Erlanger, The NYT (en)
" ... Eric Le Boucher, an economist and editor, said Thursday that “it’s frustrating for Europeans to think they are paying for the excesses of the American financial system,” according to Jacques Mistral, head of economic studies at the French Institute of International Relations.
Élie Cohen, director of research at the Center for Political Research at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, known as Sciences Po, and a member of the government’s Council of Economic Advisers, was blunter. “There’s certainly an idea that the American financial system has gone crazy,” he said in an interview. “This has dealt a mortal blow to the timid admiration we had of the American system. But not even the most conservative French person is capable of defending it anymore.” ... "

"... "The future coagulation of oil supplies to OPEC is a concern," said Christian Le Miere, a senior analyst at Janes Country Risk. "But Russia has previously pushed for the creation of a natural gas cartel along the lines of OPEC but it has been unsuccessful. And while it has cut supplies to countries in its 'near abroad' it has not done so to aggravate Western Europe."..."

Cern atom-smasher delayed at least 2 months. Kevin Dowling, The Times (en)
"Plans for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to start smashing its first particles have been set back by at least two months by damage to the plant, scientists at the project in Switzerland said today ..."

Brussels set to slash trademark fees. Nikki Tait, The FT (en)
" Trademark applicants in Europe could see fees slashed by more than one-third, after a deal was struck this weekend to resolve the long-standing problem of hundreds of millions of euros in unwanted surpluses at the European trademark office.The Alicante-based office - formally known as the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, or OHIM - has accumulated over Euros300m in spare funds, thanks largely to the greater-than-expected popularity of the ”community trademark”, an intellectual property right covering the EU ..."

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Webzines : Weekend 20th September

Eurocrats Step In Where MEPs Fear to Tread. Elaib Harvey, The Brussels Journal (en)

Romania: EU dreams, but prostitution and poverty reality. Mocanu Madalina, Cafe Babel (en)
" ... Right opposite the Mausoleum is a car park, ostensibly for visitors to the building. During the day, the car park becomes an ad-hoc car wash, with or without the consent of the owners. By night, the area is transformed into a paradise for pimps, prostitutes and truck drivers. The authorities seem powerless to intervene. And although many local residents display profound respect for the monument dedicated to national heroes, poverty has long since degraded the purpose and dignity of the Mausoleum ... For many people in Marasesti ... there is still deep scepticism as to exactly how much real long term impact EU membership will have on the daily lives of people in Vrancea County."

Lukashenko Calls on West to 'Accept' Belarus . Deutsche Welle (en)
"... "Belarus does not want dialogue with the West through the 'iron curtain' it has built on its border," Lukashenko said in an interview with Western journalists ahead of the parliamentary polls. "We want dialogue in all areas."
"We want you to accept us and to recognize our elections," Lukashenko said"

Czech Republic seeks EU institute on totalitarianism. Renata Goldirova, EUObserver (en)
" ... The Czech Republic, sitting at the EU's helm from January 2009, is to seek the establishment of a new European body that could serve as a research institute into totalitarianism and a museum of victims of totalitarian regimes. "The institution could cover our totalitarian past from Portugal through Greece to the Baltic States," ..."

Russia’s armed forces : Advancing, blindly The Economist (en)
" ... What Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, has called a “punch in the face” for Georgia may have been an attempt to demonstrate the restoration of Russia’s military power. But it also exposed the poor results from Russia’s recent surge in defence spending. This has doubled in nominal rouble terms since 2004. Yet much of the extra money has been eaten away by inflation ...
... On September 16th, Mr Putin announced a 27% increase in spending next year on “national defence and security”. Yet much of that money goes on maintaining Russia’s nuclear deterrent. During the cold war it was the West that relied on nuclear weapons to offset the Soviet Union’s conventional superiority; now it is the other way around ...
... Outside experts estimate that one-third of defence spending is embezzled or otherwise mis-spent ... “the Russian army is a black hole” into which money simply disappears. The result is a military fantasy in which Russia sends barely functional bombers and warships on long-range missions. Take the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft-carrier ... It has undergone interminable repairs since being commissioned in 1985. It took part in rare exercises in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean between December 2007 and February this year ... Russia’s announcement in July that it will build five or six more aircraft carriers has been met with derision. Russia does not have shipyards able to build such vessels; the Admiral Kuznetsov was built in a shipyard that is now in Ukraine ..."

" Ever since Vladimir Putin and his ex-KGB friends came to power in Russia, they have had one big advantage: a booming economy, rising prices for oil and gas exports, and strong capital inflows from abroad. All of a sudden, that has changed ... As regulators and politicians in Moscow struggle to contain the damage, and firms worry about bonds due later this year, a big question is how the economic turmoil will affect Russian politics at home and its policies abroad ..."

Friday, 19 September 2008

Cartoon : 19th September (en)

Chapatte, 2008

Interview : 19th September McCain and the Bad, Ugly, not Cool Zapatero ! Who?


I guess that having almost the Same Age than my Grand Dad should be enough to understand why McCaiiin does not have a QuadraCore Pentium 2.7 Mega Hertz blabla... in the Brain ... but his prestation could almost be considered hilarious if he was not Candidate for the White House, House of the current most powerful man on earth, after God of course, would add my Beloved Sarah ... who might never get in the Oval office if McCaiiin continues to burn his last brain cells before Judgment Day.

John McCain Makes Spanish Gaffes During Interview. USNews.com
McCain Meant To Reject Spain Meeting, Adviser Says. HuffingtonPost.com

Here is the transcript of the radio interview:
QUESTION: Senator, finally, let's talk about Spain. If you're elected president, would you be willing to invite President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero to the White House to meet with you?
MCCAIN: I would be willing meet, uh, with those leaders who our friends [sic] and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion, and by the way, President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very very tough fight against the drug cartels. I'm glad we are now working in cooperation with the Mexican government on the Merida plan. I intend to move forward with relations, and invite as many of them as I can, those leaders, to the White House.
QUESTION: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government, to the president itself?
MCCAIN: I don't, you know, honestly I have to look at relations and the situations and the priorities, but I can assure you I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.
QUESTION: So you have to wait and see if he's willing to meet with you, or you'll be able to do it in the White House?
MCCAIN: Well again I don't, all I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that's judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region.
QUESTION: Okay... what about Europe I'm talking about the President of Spain?
MCCAIN: What about me what?
QUESTION: Okay... are you willing to meet with him if you are elected president?
MCCAIN: I am willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom, and I will stand up to those that do not.

Bogs : 19th September (en, fr)

Georgia: next? Douglas Muir, A Fistful of Euros
The view from Montenegro . Helen, EUReferendum (en)
The mother of all failures. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Chill out Denis. Open Europe Blog (en)
Belgique: quel bel avenir! Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
Making the most of collaboration. en.europa-eu-audience (en, fr)
The 'Russian ambassador' wades back into German politics. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)

" ... The new list includes, acording to Spiegel.de, the Iranian resistance groups PMOI, for which there are no official proves of actually being a terrorist organisation.But luckily for all humans affected by the list, it were the ministers for agriculture who decided on the future of their lives..."

Climate vandalism. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" Writing about anything other than the financial crisis today seems akin to the house journalist on the Titanic penning an article on flower arranging – two hours after the ship hit the iceberg. The tale is told, though, of passengers on the deck some hours after the impact enjoying snowball fights, heedless of the danger they were in ... "

Crise financière:Barroso monte au front. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ... Moi qui n’ai jamais dissimulé mon scepticisme sur le personnage, je dois m’incliner. Alors que la crise financière mondiale fait rage, l’exécutif européen vient de montrer sa capacité de réaction et sa proximité avec les citoyens en proposant aujourd’hui une réglementation… visant à réduire les souffrances des animaux dans les abattoirs de l’Union européenne ..."

Le "socialisme financier" est-il l'avenir du marché? Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ...Bref, l’intervention des pouvoirs publics américains n’est nullement en contradiction avec le grand méchant libéralisme, bien au contraire. Il s’agit de l’aider à faire face à cette crise et de le purger. L’Union, confrontée à une même tempête, agirait de la même façon (on l’a vu avec la banque britannique Northern Rock, nationalisée début 2008 sans que la Commission y trouve à redire) ..."

Do You Wanna Be In My Gang? Eursoc4, Eursoc (en)
"... Anne Widdecombe is one of the few Conservative MPs who gives a damn about Britain's decline. She's also one of those even more exotic political creatures: An MP with ideas on how to go about reversing the decline ..."

Henry Paulson - Saviour of the world? IronyToo (en) 19th September
" ... No such daring plan in the UK with its incompetent and mortally wounded government and advisers such as the dreadful three on Channel 4 News last evening a former SEC head, the EUmazed editor of the FT and The Times economics columnist Anatatole Something (full of crap), all crowned by completely moronic statements ...
... No indeed Britain's problem is far, far deeper the burst bubble resulting from incredible greed, buy to let to massed families of immigrants in conditions which would not even have been tolerated for the urban sprawls thrown up during the industrial revolution ..."