Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Blogs' News : 28th October

Academy of Lagado. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
Lord Tebbit on the future of the EU. Ironies Too (en)
20 years since Bruges. Ironies Too (en)
The Great Juncker: Back to the nation state. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en
EU as a democratizing force: Croatia. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
European Central Bank: Procurement rules. Grahnlaw (en)

Bruges, Twenty Years On. EURSOC Two, EurSoc (en)
" ... It is twenty years since Margaret Thatcher's heroic Bruges Speech ... Her most pertinent criticism, however, is of the drive towards a superstate. We may be closer than we think to such a phenomenon today ...
... Valéry Giscard d'Estaing on Britain's European future: "If countries such as Britain do not want to move to the next stage, we should be prepared to agree with them a special status that would preserve close ties but avoid them acting as a brake on the progress of others." ...
... Tebbit, Thatcher and Giscard are of a previous generation, though the fact that the former French President led the committee which drew up the failed European Constitutional Treaty suggests that their views and political clout still count for something. If Sarkozy, the Germans, Tebbit and Giscard agree on an issue, there's sure to be something up ..."

With a heavy heart …. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... the European defence ambitions have nothing to do with mounting a credible defence. The European defence forces are a hollow joke, inadequate, disorganised, demoralised and useless.What this is all about is keeping up the appearance of military might, while actually spending less on defence ...
... the European defence ambitions have nothing to do with mounting a credible defence. The European defence forces are a hollow joke, inadequate, disorganised, demoralised and useless.What this is all about is keeping up the appearance of military might, while actually spending less on defence ..."

Ukraine and Hungary To Receive IMF Loans, While Belarus Joins the Line. Edward Hugh, A Fistful od Euros (en)
" ... Hungary announced the loan at more or less the same time as Ukraine received a USD16.5bn loan from the IMF. Under normal circumstances both these moves would be good news for Central and East European equity markets assets. This was not the case on this occassion, however, and Hungary’s stock markets fell more than 10% on opening yesterday, suggesting that either investors are not convinced the packages will be sufficient, or that they fear there is more to come ..."

Tongue twisters. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... Linguists have counted 239 known languages in Europe, which is about 3.5% of the world's total. The big ones--English, French, Spanish, German--are well-known. Some regional languages that were dying, Catalan and Welsh for instance, have bounced back ..."

Be tiny, live longer?. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... THE World Health Organisation recently reported that Andorra, that little pocket tucked in the Pyranees, has the highest life expectancy of any country in the world. One can speculate on the many reasons why this would be so: in addition to the mountain air and lifestyle, being well-situated to pick and choose from the best of French and Spanish culinary influences (all in moderation, of course) can't hurt ..."

Lean Time for Green? Afew, European Tribune (en , fr)
" ... Et, souligne Jérôme Pouyet, professeur à l'Ecole d'économie de Paris,"si le gouvernement commence à injecter des milliards d'euros dans le système financier, il faudra les trouver quelque part, et on peut peut penser à la suspension de projets d'infrastructure", comme les LGV ..."

Boring: The European Ombudsman and his 2007 report. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... The European Ombudsman receives complaints from European citizens and European organisations about EU institutions (the main addressee in 2007 was the Commission and the main issue was intransparency) and is supposed to support the solving of the underlying problems.So in fact, his work should be interesting for all citizens.But neither the 2007 report nor the Executive Summary are interesting to read. The summary really should be more concise, more directed towards the public, much more visual, much more obvious, not the kind of largely bureaucratic language that we encounter in the main report ..."

Are bond traders pricing in an EMU break-up? Open Europe Blog (en)
" ... Tony Barber on the FT's Brussels blog urges readers to "watch the yield spread" when it comes to the debt of eurozone governments.This is an issue Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph has been writing about for a while, and is certainly an interesting proxy for the market's faith in European monetary union. Barber singles out the spread between German and Italian 10-year government bonds: 25.8 basis points one year ago, 69.6 one month ago, 72.3 one week ago and 95.6 today ..."

IMF loans to Hungary and Ukraine: potential consequences. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
" ... Countries that sign IMF agreements, ceteris paribus, attract 25% less FDI inflows than countries not under IMF agreements. Of course, this result should be taken with a grain of salt until closer inspection by the reader, but it is a concrete empirical finding we have published in a peer-reviewed journal. Then the natural question is why do politicians in countries like Hungary and Ukraine sign IMF loans? Jensen offers some answers: "The IMF may provide immediate capital for countries in crisis and some ability for the government to deflect criticism for austerity measures to the IMF, but it is at the expense of long-term economic performance" ..."

Qu'est-ce qu'un paradis fiscal ? Gus, Publius (fr)
" ... Il y a une manière fort simple de répondre à cette question, qui a le grand mérite de ne pas exiger de décision européenne unanime ou même majoritaire : il suffit de demander aux spécialistes en défiscalisation, plus souvent nommés spécialistes en structuration de patrimoine, c'est à dire ceux qui font profession d'aider leurs clients à faire échapper leurs revenus à l'impôt ..."

Don't Count Out the Petrostates. Robert Amsterdam (en)
" ...However, announcing the "fall" of Russia, Iran and Venezuela as a result of the about-turn in oil prices would be naive. A state's power in world politics is not absolute, but relative to the power of other states. If petro-states are on the back foot on account of the plunging value of their chief export, then the oil-importing nations of the West are stuck in an even deeper hole. The relative political power of the US and other Western states has taken a massive dip as a result of unregulated financial fiction, and petro-states cannot fall when their rivals are getting battered ..."

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