Sunday, November 16, 2008

Building the state of Europe: archive

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Greece under Brussels rule (II) -

Telegraph: "Greece loses EU voting power in blow to sovereignty"

The European Union has shown its righteous wrath by stripping Greece of its vote at a crucial meeting next month, the worst humiliation ever suffered by an EU member state. (...) >>>

Feb. 19, 2010

Greece under Brussels rule (I) ... To all intents and purposes Greece (motto" "Freedom or Death") is now in some form of Brussels rule. Yes, Greek independence lasted from 1829 to 2010. I wish the bureaucrats good luck and great fun of the Greek unions. They're not unlike the French unions, but armed!

9&10 News: "Greek unions launch 1st assault on austerity plan"

Greek labor unions are mounting their first major challenge today to austerity measures in the debt-plagued country. Air traffic controllers, customs and tax officials, hospital doctors and schoolteachers walked off the job for 24 hours to protest sweeping cuts. The cuts will freeze salaries and new hiring, reduce bonuses and increase the average retirement age by two years. The strike grounded flights and shut down public services.

Turnout in rainy Athens' two peaceful protest marches was low in a country where union demonstrations typically draw tens of thousands. About 3,000 people showed up for two rallies in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city. Greece is under intense pressure from its European Union partners to slash spending after it revealed a massive and previously undeclared budget shortfall last year that continues to rattle financial markets. (...) >>>


Feb. 10, 2010

Der Spiegel: "How Brussels Is Trying to Prevent a Collapse of the Euro", by Armin Mahler, Christian Reiermann, Wolfgang Reuter and Hans-Jürgen Schlamp

The problems facing Greece are just the beginning. The countries belonging to Europe's common currency zone are drifting further and further apart, and national bankruptcies are a distinct possibility. Brussels is faced with a number of choices, none of them good. There is a risk that euro-zone members will continue to grow apart economically, a trend that could cause the monetary union to eventually collapse. Doing nothing is not an option. In light of the national debt in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, the euro zone is in danger of transforming from a "common destiny to a common liability," Nölling says.

And so it won't be any ordinary meeting when finance ministers from the 16-euro zone countries meet for a regularly scheduled get-together in Brussels next Monday. (...) In the more than 10 years since the euro was introduced, the Commission states, it has become clear that simply controlling the development of member states' budgets is not enough. What that means, more concretely, is that the stability provisions stipulated in the Maastricht Treaty to regulate the common currency aren't working, and member states need to better coordinate their financial and economic policy measures.

That is precisely what euro skeptics have said from the beginning -- that a common currency can't work in the long run without a common economic and financial policy. The member countries' governments ignored these objections, unready to give up a further aspect of their national sovereignty. Now politicians are facing a difficult decision: Should they continue as they have, thus potentially undermining the euro's ability to function? Or should they yield a portion of their national sovereignty to Brussels? (...) >>>

Feb. 9, 2010

2010, Europe's annus horribilis

Hudson NY: "The EU's Horrible Honeymoon", Paul Belien

Last week, Barack Obama snubbed the Europeans by refusing to attend next May's European Union summit in Madrid. The Europeans are very upset. But that is not the worst of their problems, and neither is the looming bankruptcy of Greece. Analysts fear that Spain might sink the euro, the EU's common currency, and with the euro also the dreams of greater political integration. (...) If Brussels puts Madrid under EU supervision or forces Spain out of the euro, the repercussions for Zapatero will be worse than missing a photo-op with his political hero, Barack Obama. However, in this matter, too, the man who is to blame most for the debacle, is not the one who will suffer most harm from it. It is unlikely that the euro can survive a Spanish catastrophe. It looks as if 2010, which should have been the year of its triumph, is going to be an annus horribilis for the EU. >>>

Febr. 8, 2010

Cato@Liberty: "Great Moments in Government Waste, the European Version", by Daniel J. Mitchell

While American politicians are experts when it comes to squandering money, they may not be the world’s most profligate group of lawmakers. To be sure, American politicians sometimes give big piles of other people’s money to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the politicians at the European Commission in Brussels engage in similar forms of corporate welfare with their Emissions Trading Scheme.

The overall burden of government is heavier in Europe, so that certainly suggests that there are greater opportunities to waste money, but what makes the European Commission special is that it is insulated from democratic accountability and there is no system of checks and balances. So even though the actual amount of money spent by Brussels is small compared to what is wasted by national governments in Europe, the outcomes are especially obscene. Here’s a story from the UK-based Daily Mail, reporting on a program (no joke) to fund activities such as basket weaving and siestas: (...) >>>

Jan. 4, 2010

If you have an interest in the subject, do click through to the original post and also scroll down to the comments. As for your new Foreign Minister if you live in a EU member country, also scroll down present post back to Nov. 19:

Nourishing Obscurity: "Baroness Ashton Britain’s new Foreign Minister"

(...) David Miliband has become a fixture by Gordon Brown’s side at EU summits. But yesterday, to the surprise of his own officials, he told MPs that he had been banned from coming to Belgium today. And so it transpires. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who is the last national leader to chair a summit before Van Rompuy takes over for good, has told national foreign ministers that they are no longer welcome because High Representative Ashton will represent them all when leaders gather.

The Albion Alliance is calling for a referendum to be put on the question of EU membership and this, above, is one main reason. No foreign ministers required. The EU runs the foreign policy through someone called Baroness Ashton, unelected by the British people but making policy on its behalf. Leading beyond authority, the Common Purpose motto. (...) So there it is – if you wish to ask about this nation’s foreign policy, ask Baroness Ashton. for all other policy, ask Brussels. And we allowed this to happen, with both major leaders either promoting or acquiescing in this treason. Never forget that Millipede was “told” he wasn’t required any more. Told. >>>

Dec. 12, 2009

On Nov. 19 we introduced you to the EU's post Lisbon "Foreign Minister", Britain's Cathy Ashton (scroll down). We read how she rose through the Labor ranks from an anti nuclear armament platform (i.e. she would have handed Europe to the Soviets on a silver platter!). It is therefore no surprise that the cat's already out of the bag!

Fausty's Libertarian Blog: "BBC: Don't report the source if it’s UKIP"

Paul Wiffen, of BBC Refusiniks, reveals a disturbing airbrushing of facts by the BBC to conceal the Soviet connections of Ashton (...) Fortunately, David Charter, writing in The Times, was more honest and revealed in the first of several pieces on the story, that the source was the BBC Refusenik's very own Chief Spokesman, Gerard Batten, London’s UKIP MEP and a tireless seeker after truth. So much so that Gerard actually employed Pavel Stroilov, sometime researcher and assistant to Vladimir Bukovksy to look into the roots of those in the EU with links in their past to Communist organisations and former Soviet governments. The process had started with Pavel’s original article in the Spectator on Soviet collusion at the beginning on November in which he discussed several key Labour figures and their relationships with Moscow from documents he found in the Gorbachov archive.(...) >>>

Dec. 7, 2009

Part II - Nourishing Obscurity: "Our green and pleasant land"

(...) European history shows that elements in the major cities, the same families and the same names which spawned Hitler and Merkel, referred to by people as diverse as Churchill and escapee Svali and referred to in diverse publications from such people as Quigley, House, Wilson and Strong, all say the same thing – that there is a most powerful force at large, it is anti-human in nature in that it wishes to enslave the common man, it manifests itself through the royal families of Europe, the old money deep in Europe, especially in Switzerland, through the round table groups and through the wannabe elitists like Mandelson, Sutherland, Clarke, Balls and Millipede. (...) >>>

Dec. 3, 2009

Nourishing Obscurity: "Why there won’t be a Britain next year"

(...) The EU is going to pump money in anyway, the moment any UK referendum is mooted, whether it’s next year or five years down the track. It’s the chance of a lifetime for them because in one fell swoop, they can kill off Euroscepticism and nothing will then stop them. The money in Switzerland, London, Paris and Bavaria is obscene – they’ll have lovely young ladies and kids in yellow T shirts in every town, constantly campaigning for a Yes vote. “No” will seem dour and angry, “Yes” will seem happy, bright, youthful and positive.

Not only that but they are poised anyway to pump money into regional businesses, the brakes will come off the economy, jobs are to be created with much fanfare and it will look, to the average punter, that heaven has arrived, even though it is unsustainable and designed purely to kill off scepticism. The longer the time gap between the election and the referendum, the stronger this process will grip and the stronger the grip on our nation through the law.

There isn’t going to be a UK, a Britain after next year. This blog and others have been constantly mentioning 2012 and there are reasons for that. Let me direct you to a few links (...) >>>

Dec. 1, 2009

Reuters: "FACTBOX-Who's who in the new European Commission"

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced on Friday the line-up of the European Union's executive arm for its forthcoming five-year term. Following is Barroso's list of candidates who will face hearings at the European Parliament on Jan. 11-19 before the assembly votes on the Commission on Jan. 26. (...) >>>

Nov. 30, 2009

... yes, get used to it. Call it what you want: mob rule, dictatorship of the majority ... it's based at least on one man, one vote. Not so post democratic power-sharing based on minority groups, quota if you want, the new collectivism.

And the winners are ... two complete non-entities .... Belgium's Herman van Rompuy and UK's Baroness Cathy Ashton (note how these career Socialists never forsake a title, nor refrain from handing them out! NB she rose through the Labor ranks from an anti nuclear armament platform, i.e. she would have handed Europe to the Soviets on a silver platter!). Update: scroll up for revelations of her Soviets associated past).

The Foundry: "Herman and the Hermits"

European leaders will meet for dinner tomorrow for a special summit to decide who will become the first permanent EU president and the new EU foreign minister. With the ink barely dry on the illegitimate Lisbon Treaty, EU elites are rushing with indecent haste to anoint the next leaders of Europe. And in typical EU fashion, negotiations over who will become the formal ‘faces of Europe’ will be conducted behind closed doors with zero public input. (...) >>>

Nov. 19, 2009

Here we go again ... someone detecting a pattern here yet? If we don't do this and do it fast, we're doomed! Leftist solution: add another bureaucratic tier!

NRC: "Own diplomats should give the European Union a face"

Government leaders argue in Brussels about a diplomatic service for the EU. "If this fails, the influence of the union will be done for."

(...) It is a constant annoyance for politicians who feel European cooperation is important: the fact that the great economic power of the EU has not been converted into political authority and influence in the world. This should change as a result of the Lisbon Treaty. When it comes into effect, a new 'High Representative for Foreign Affairs’, a sort of foreign minister, will take office. This representative will have more powers than Solana and a diplomatic service of five to eight thousand people. (...) >>>

Oct. 30, 2009

The moral indignation at opposition proves Klaus' point ...

Prague Daily Monitor: "Klaus compares EU to Soviet Union"

The Czech Republic's leader has long been one of the most strident critics of the European Union, blasting the bloc with withering attacks at every opportunity. Now he has inherited the ideal pulpit to air his views: the EU presidency itself. In a startling diatribe before EU legislators Thursday, Czech President Václav Klaus branded the club an undemocratic and elitist project comparable to Soviet-era dictatorships that forbade free thought. (...)
"Not so long ago," Klaus thundered, "in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives and therefore also no parliamentary opposition. We learned the bitter lesson that with no opposition, there is no freedom." His speech provoked boos from many lawmakers, some of whom walked out, but applause from a minority of nationalists and other anti-EU legislators. While deeply unpopular in EU circles, Klaus strikes a deep chord in some member states where citizens fear European plans to share more powers come at the cost of national sovereignty (...) >>>

Read also: The Foundry: "EU Legitimacy Disintegrating"

Feb 20, 2009

These people are indeed thugs (see also "Ruled by the Mob") - emotional blackmail (if that is the word) elevated to official policy ...

Prague Daily Monitor: "Poettering in Prague: No further EU enlargement without Lisbon"

The European Union would not be further enlarged if the Lisbon treaty is not ratified, EP President Hans-Gert Poettering said in Prague on Friday. Speaking to journalists during a meeting with representatives of the parliaments of France, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain, the four countries that consecutively hold the EU rotating presidency in 2008-2010, Poettering said that no further EU enlargement would take place, perhaps with the exception of Croatia's admission, if the Lisbon treaty were not ratified. The EU country which would fail to ratify the treaty would be responsible for preventing the EU accession of the states that seek EU membership, Poettering said. (...) >>>

Feb 2, 2009

Prague Daily Monitor today have a curious article vis a vis Europe and Israel. The Czechs have a pro Israel stance and have been planning for some time to hold the first Europe-Israel summit since the World War II. What to think of: "The Czechs have spent the past months trying to break the resistance of the countries that did not approve of the idea of an Israeli summit. There is no great hope of success after the Israeli bombing in Gaza. "I'm afraid this is collapsing." No further details mentioned, but just so we are aware of the European position in a time of moral crisis. What are we dealing with? Whom, and whether it's a matter of moral fence-dwelling (diplomatic neutrality or agnosticism), or of some countries just being in the enemy camp? Anyone who knows, please leave a comment. Read it all:

Prague Daily Monitor: "Czechs face a difficult task: dealing with Gaza"


- Daily Telegraph: "Relations with Moscow could be strained by Czech assumption of EU presidency"
- Prague Daily Monitor: "Historian: Czech EU presidency may initiate new approach to Balkans"

Dec 31, 2008

... the neotots are unstoppable ... overheard on Dutch television ... "Is it dangerous to criticize the EU? [during this time of financial crisis] - according the Dutch Finance Minister Bos (Lab.) the Netherlands thanks its very survival to the EU: "We would have become a second Iceland". Regarding Turkey, the narrative is 'when Turkey joins, residence and labour rights are out of the question due to Turkey's sheer size' ... and then, there's this ...

TBJ: "For the EU, Sarkozy and the UN, Turkey Is Already in Europe"

During the ceremony honoring the 70th anniversary of the death of Ataturk (d. Nov. 10, 1938), organized at the Turkish Embassy in Brussels, the Turkish Defense Minister, Vecdi Gönül, launched into an atrocious denial, praising the policy of what he termed the “deportation” of the Armenians, because it allowed the construction of the Turkish nation.

“Would it be possible today to maintain the same national State if the existence of Greeks in the Aegean region and of Armenians in several regions of Turkey had continued as before?” Vecdi Gönül asked. “Remember, before the republic, Ankara was composed of four sectors: Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, and Greek... When I was governor at Izmir I realized that the Izmir Chamber of Commerce had been founded only by non-Muslims. There was not a Turk among them.” (...) >>>

... the new Machiavelli of Postmodern Europolitics has quietly concocted this little piece of Napoleontic statesmanship ... read it all, the proposals extend to Statism in the field of economics ... “Self-regulation to solve all problems, it’s finished,” Sarkozy says. “Laissez-faire, it’s finished. The all-powerful market that is always right, it’s finished…. It is necessary then for the state to intervene” ...

TBJ: "Europe Is Obama’s First ‘Global Test’"

President-elect Barack Obama is already facing his first global test. And it’s not coming from the usual suspects like Iran or North Korea, but from America’s “allies” in Europe. European leaders have congratulated Obama on his election victory by sending him a six-page letter in which they benevolently “offer” the United States a “partnership of equals” in order to address global problems in the post-Bush era. That’s right: Europeans are calling on Obama to “accept” Europe as America’s equal on the global stage. The idea behind this new man-to-man relationship with Washington was hatched by (surprise, surprise) France, which currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the reason for establishing an equal transatlantic partnership is that “the world has changed.” Europe has suddenly realized that the United States “is not the only one concerned by the world’s problems. The European Union has become more resolute…. We don’t want to play a secondary role any more,” says Kouchner. (...) >>>

16th Nov 2008

... no opportunity lost to grow bigger, larger, fatter ... to become Leviathan ... (on a personal note: Dutch PM Balkenende (Chr. Dem.) and FM Bos (Lab.) were among the first to endorse the idea (talk about default positions and knee-jerks)) ...

FT: "Europe split on bank rescue fund"
European policymakers on Wednesday clashed over how to protect the EU's financial system from the global credit crisis as France floated the idea of a single rescue fund to deal with bank failures. Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, raised the possibility of a European fund "to support the financial sector".

However, the idea of a fund - which some officials said could have been as large as €300bn (£237bn) - was immediately rejected by Germany and, by Wednesday night, France was rowing back. Britain is also sceptical about the idea of a pan-European fund, preferring to tackle crises on an ad hoc basis (...) As the reaction over the EU-wide plan grew, French officials said they were not promoting a specific plan, but the idea of a common pool would be discussed among other ideas at a meeting of EU leaders on Saturday. The idea is to help bail out banks, not mop up toxic assets, as in the $700bn US Paulson plan. (...) >>>

2nd Oct 2008

... the paranoia of a counter-culturati ... (boom boom)

Open Europe: "It's a Conspiracy (Part II)"

MEPs are to investigate claims that Libertas, the Irish group that campaigned successfully against the Lisbon Treaty, is some sort of CIA-backed front.

Nostalgic student revolutionary Prominent MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit said in a statement that if these allegations are proved correct, "this would clearly show that there are forces in the United States willing to pay people to destabilise a strong and autonomous Europe. If this can happen for the treaty vote, it raises grave concerns for interference in next year’s European elections."

Apart from wondering why shadowy forces in Washington would have much interest in 'interfering' in the European Parliament elections in the first place, it struck us that cranky conspiracy theorizing is becoming a distinct trend amongst the pro-Lisbon crowd. We were reminded of claims back in June from French Europe Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet that the Irish no vote was masterminded by sinister American neocons:

"Europe has powerful enemies on the other side of the Atlantic, gifted with considerable financial means. The role of American neo-conservatives was very important in the victory of the No." >>>

28th Sep 2008

Publicis Consultants: Ethan Winner, Executive Vice President, Winner & Associates - Hat Tip: The Jawa Report

Ethan Winner specializes in international marketing and development for professional services. Mr. Winner has over 15 years of experience in traditional and multimedia advertising and communications, both in U.S. and international markets. (...) His emphasis is on business development, crisis and campaign management, marketing strategies, as well as project research and development. Presently, Mr. Winner is heading an international team in creating a Europe-wide crisis and communications campaign to promote the European Union. (...) >>>
22nd Sep 2008

EurSoc: "EU Budget Rejected Again"

Dan The Man reports that the European Court of Auditors will refuse to sign off on the EU budget for the fourteenth consecutive year. He adds that he can't get his editor (at the mildly Eurosceptic Daily Telegraph) interested in this. Corruption on an epic scale surely merits a front page story, he claims. (...) >>>

18th Sep 2008

... how else can one be expected to indoctrinate ... this is what you get when you try to see what you get for your taxpayer's money (probably not online till Wednesday) ...

EUX.TV: "EU Parliament Set to Launch World's Biggest Web TV Platform"

The European Parliament on Wednesday goes public with EuroparlTV, an array of four webtv channels in 22 languages that is described by one expert as “probably the biggest, most complicated web TV platform in the world.” The parliament said it has earmarked an annual budget of 9 million euros for the channel, making it one of the most expensive webtv projects in the world. In a statement, the parliament said its project has been inspired by the public’s “right to know” about what happens and hopes that it will bring “the life of the institution to its citizens in a modern and creative format.”

From Wednesday, the channel can be accessed via: The channel will compete for eyeballs on the web with smaller, less endowed projects like EUX.TV - The Europe Channel, which is an independent webTV channel dedicated to European affairs. EUX.TV, which celebrated its second anniversary on Saturday, covers all the main developments at the EU institutions, is not restricted to only the parliament, and operates without subsidies. The European Parliament’s channel was initially due to launch at the beginning of this year but had to overcome severe technical challenges of making all content available in all the official European languages. (...) >>>

... earmarks and special interests ... sounds familiar? ...

EUX.TV: "Verheugen: EU Needs More Transparency on Origins of Legislation "

Gunter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, has said he is “shocked” by discovering that the European Union’s legislative process is often abused by special interest groups and companies who falsely claim to represent the public interest. Verheugen said that in the future the EU needs to create more transparency on the origins of legislation, for example by including a special paragraph on top of every proposal under discussion that explains by whom it was initiated and why. (...) >>>

Updated: 15th Sep 2008

... the reaction to the Georgian crisis is illuminating:

WSJ: 'Stop! Or We'll Say Stop Again!'

(...) that's the line that comes to mind when weighing the European Union's declaration Monday on Russia's continued occupation of Georgia. At a special meeting in Brussels, EU national leaders told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to abide by the terms of a French-brokered cease-fire, including a pullback of Russian troops to their preconflict positions. If he doesn't do so, they warned they will hold another meeting. It's been almost three weeks since Mr. Medvedev signed the cease-fire, and five days since Moscow broke with the world by recognizing the self-declared independence of Georgian provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (...) The most cynical comment of the day was Mr. Sarkozy's attempt to use the conflict to bully the Irish over their rejection of the EU's Lisbon Treaty in June. "This crisis has shown that Europe needs to have strong and stable institutions" (...) No, what Europe needs is political will. Rather than scolding Irish voters, Mr. Sarkozy would do better to name and shame those member states whose desire to curry favor with Moscow keeps the EU from taking a firmer stand. >>>
3rd Sep 2008
Politeia: "Proudly Introducing ... GlobSoc"

(...) It is astonishing to realize to what extent European leaders - in the worst of Hegelian traditions - have managed to insulate themselves from the electorate. (...)

“Democracies owe their existence to national loyalties – the loyalties that are supposedly shared by government and opposition, by all political parties, and by the electorate as a whole. Yet everywhere the idea of the nation is under attack – either despised as an atavistic form of social unity, or even condemned as a cause of war and conflict, to be broken down and replaced by more enlightened and more universal forms of jurisdiction. But what, exactly, is supposed to replace the nation and the nation state?” (...)

After the tiny minority of Irish dared challenge the dictatorship of the majority and plunged Europe headlong into crisis; and also the Czech Republic voiced its reservations; today the proud nation of Poland is expressing des qualmes and pangs of the conscience. (...) >>>

1st July 2008

... EURSOC today announced a series of posts titled "The Birth of an Empire" to be published over the coming days. It's a brilliant analyses and compelling reading for all followers of the goings-on in the Brussels halls of power. We'll just post the links without any excerpts:

1. Post-Lisbon Europe;
2. The creation of a European identity;

June 26-27 2008

EURSOC: "France Reveals EU Navy Plans"

Here's one that got away - France is proposing a European Union "carrier group" and joint fleet of military transports in a bid to boost the EU military. Reuters reports that Nicolas Sarkozy sees more muscular EU armed forces as a condition for France's return to NATO. France takes over the EU's rotating Presidency in July and Sarko, with stubbornly low approval ratings at home, is hoping flashing initiatives will help France take a grip of the EU's destiny. "Ownership" of the EU was once viewed as France's birthright, but expansion eastwards and economic decline have shifted the centre of gravity away from Paris; perhaps Sarkozy will take advantage of the post-Irish vote disarray in order to propose new directions for the EU. (...) >>>

17th June 2008

- "Ruled by the Mob"
- "The Treaty of Lisbon"
- "The Post-Democratic Preferences of the Neotots"
- "Hegel's Legacy"

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