Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blogs : 15th October

The Baltic States May Soon Follow Hungary Into IMF Receivership. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
Ukraine Joins The Swooning Bout And Heads For The IMF. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
Bureaucratic Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Richard, EUReferendum (en)
It is all soooo complicated. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Protests in the Balkans. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle
Beyond legalistic commitment against corruption. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle

This Weekend in Thrilling European Administration. Alex Harrowell, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" There are essentially two basic critiques of the EU’s institutions; one is the classic, Monnet/Schuman house ideology view that its problems are simply because there isn’t enough of it ...
... The other one is the classic Eurosceptic or libertarian (genus: north american) view, that all its problems are down to the fact that it exists, because it’s a bureaucratic monster operating a planned economy ...
... But let us consider the system’s performance. To begin with it looked poor; as the third wave of the bank crisis arrived, everyone still thought bank failures could be handled as individual cases ... The crisis kept up; it looked like no-one had any grip; but then, the mighty federal bureaucracy of the US Treasury Department was if anything even more lost.
In the event, the British announcement of last week pulled in one idea from Ireland (guaranteeing wholesale lending) and another from Sweden (equity recapitalisation), and probably owed quite a bit to the VoxEu paper; but it was the first serious suggestion to apply across the board and offer a comprehensive solution. Once it was out there, it took only one European Council and one Eurogroup meeting over the weekend to get consensus on the plan and press the trigger.
There’s a real sense in which the value of the EU is simply in getting into the habit of cooperation, and getting over the coordination/trust problems. Beyond that, it strikes me that the “laboratory” argument for federalism applies very well here ..."

Financial meltdown: personal standings. Stanley Crossick, (en)
" ... En hausse :
Gordon Brown - Extraordinary success in influencing Euro and American leaders
Nicolas Sarkozy - Successfully drove EU leaders to agree EU package
Manuel José Barroso - Sarkozy seems to have changed attitude towards him. Invited to Camp David with Sarkozy
Dominique Strauss-Kah - His stark warning influenced EU leaders
Jean-Claude Trichet - Showed responsibility and good communication skills
Jean-Claude Juncker - Sound, wise, low-key
Barack Obama - Trusted in crisis, steady and seen as responsible

Mandelson's "golden goodbye" from Brussels. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... The critics are sure to be dumb-founded with the news that as Mr Mandelson ascends to the House of Lords (now to be known as Baron Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool) he will be double-dipping on taxpayers for a while. As the BBC reports, he is eligible for EU pay totaling £234,000 over the next three years, on top of his ministerial salary of £104,386 per year. The pay-outs are in addition to his EU pension and resettlement costs for the move to London ..."

Nicolas Sarkozy, un « hyperprésident » à vie pour l’Union ? Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" ... Imaginons un instant que la présidence de l’Union soit exercée en ce moment exceptionnel de l’histoire européenne par la République tchèque. Ce petit pays périphérique, membre depuis seulement 2004, gouverné par une majorité eurosceptique, adepte d’une dérégulation totale du marché, farouchement anti-Russe aurait-il pu faire front comme l’a fait la France ? Poser la question, c’est y répondre ...

It ain't going to work. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... Despite all the gushing in the media, the drooling about "saviour" Brown (or not, depending on what you read), this "rescue" package is not going to work. It is addressing the symptoms of the problem, not the disease itself ..."

House price falls gather pace. Ironies Too (en)
"... Meantime Sky News has its own report, linked here. The broadcaster has the fall in prices estimated as much as 40 per cent. If anything like this reduction is indeed being experienced then mortgage lenders will be about to experience a huge fall in mortgage payments as this blog has now been warning for almost a month ...
... Yesterday we had the Government dreaming that the nationalised banks could quickly return to the lending levels of the past two years for mortgages - like targeting water to flow uphill and supreme market ignorance opined an expert before the Commons Treasury Committee today - precisely, none in the Government nor the Opposition seem to have the first clue of the depths of the economic hole they have all created ..."

Joschka Fischer: talk is cheap about an avant-garde. Jon Worth, Euroblog (en)
" ... I think we need an avant-garde to deepen integration. We are unable to move together because of some misperceptions by our British friends. We need an avant-garde, such as the Eurogroup, to deal with challenges such as the developments in Georgia and the current financial crisis. Otherwise we will be sitting, doing nothing, waiting for the Irish miracle ..."

Welcome, dictator Lukashenko! Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... It seems to be enough to release a few prisioners for the European Union to welcome again the last dictator on the continent ..."

Lithuanians support Ignalina, and the EU response to Belarus. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle
" ... Lithuania is not the only state in the region faced with the need for nuclear power. Belarus, one of the most Chernobyl disaster affected countries, is seeking to go nuclear again. On the subject of Belarus, the EU just lifted its ban on the country’s leadership including (Dictator) President Lukashenka with an authoritarian streak ..."

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