Thursday, 11 December 2008

Blogs : 11th December

Irish people to be made an offer they can’t refuse. P O Neill, a Fistfull of Euros (en)
" ... The package will essentially be unchanged from what was voted on before, but the 26 others will have to agree to keep the Commission at a size allowing at least one commissioner from each country. Declarations regarding Ireland’s neutrality and tax autonomy will apparently also be added, but the Irish government will be in the slightly strange position of arguing that these declarations are significant when it previously argued that the associated concerns were meaningless ..."

Spare a thought for Edison. Certain Ideas of Europe (en)
" ... Proponents of the EU plan, which has not yet been finalised, have plenty of arguments. They contend that the average family will save $64 per year on electric bills, and carbon emissions could be cut by 15 million tons. On the flip side, some 3,000 jobs could be lost since most incandescent bulbs sold in Europe are made in the region, while the fluorescent variety come from elsewhere ..."

L'avenir de l'Europe selon Nicolas Sarkozy. Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" ... Nicolas Sarkozy, qui n’était pas, lors de son accession au pouvoir, un Européen de cœur, a pris goût à l’Europe au cours de son semestre de présidence de l’Union. Le chef de l’État ne le cache pas : il est épuisé, mais heureux d’avoir réussi à faire bouger ce « moloch bureaucratique », pour reprendre l’expression de l’ancien chancelier allemand, Helmut Kohl ...
... Nicolas Sarkozy a compris ce moment-là que les institutions européennes étaient plus malléables qu’il ne l’imaginait et qu’il pouvait pousser son avantage : « il n’a jamais aimé le consensus mou, l’immobilisme, la pensée unique, les négociations interminables » ...
... Sarkozy a une claire idée de l’architecture de l’Europe du futur. Elle devra comprendre trois niveaux : un « espace économique et de sécurité » englobant l’Union, la Russie, l’Ukraine et la Turquie. L’Union ensuite. Et enfin, la zone euro, noyau dur de l’UE. Le chef de l’État estime que la Russie est un partenaire incontournable qu’il est hors de question de traiter comme un ennemi potentiel : c’est pour cela qu’il s’est rallié, le 14 novembre à Nice, à l’idée de Moscou de négocier un traité sur la sécurité en Europe, suggestion rejetée par ses partenaires qui redoutent de voir les États unis marginalisés sur le vieux continent… Dans une telle organisation, il est clair que le rôle des institutions communautaires restera marginal et que l’essentiel du pouvoir reposera entre les mains des États. Sarkozy, de ce point de vue, reste fidèle à l’idée gaulliste d’une Europe des États ..."

It's the economy stoopid. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... The level of unrest here, and the huge support for direct action, is clearly more than a rump of disaffected youths running amok. The whole country is crying out, and there is clearly something seriously and fundamentally wrong ... "

UK - DE War of Words. Jerome, Eruopean Tribune (en)
" ... Beyond the addition to crassness that this last argument brings, and the panic in London it reveals, I'd like to note two things:
1 one is that the profligate profiteers visibly have no intentions of repenting, and fully intend to make those that behaved more responsibily to pay for their continuing follies, rather than accept that in the recent past, they were not rich and successful but only blowing unearned money (which they have to pay now via lower standards of living);
2 the other, more worrying, sight is that of Sarkozy standing on the side of the irresponsible Anglo-diseased rather than on that of the more prudent Germans. This promises evil tensions for the EU;
To side with Brown now and say that we need to spend debt-provided public money in order to avoid a nasty recession that will hurt the poor first is, once again, to accept that the financiers take the rest of the population as hostage. Public money needs to be spent, yes, but it should not be debt-provided (and that is the - correct - Germans' point): it should be tax-funded, and distributed in much more discriminate and selective ways (and I use distribute on purpose) ..."

UK Interest rates must rise. Irony Too (en)
" ...What can stop sterlings continuing plunge which threatens the wealth of all the country's citizens?This blog has been arguing for austerity and interest rate rises - it is the only cure after all these years of profligacy (why wait for the IMF to insist, further delay risks even they will lack the funds to help) ... "

1 comment:

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