The Tea Party that has gotten all the attention, the amorphous, self-generated protest against the growth in government and the deficit, is what I’d actually call the “Tea Kettle movement” — because all it’s doing is letting off steam.
The Tea Kettle movement can’t have a positive impact on the country because it has both misdiagnosed America’s main problem and hasn’t even offered a credible solution for the problem it has identified. How can you take a movement seriously that says it wants to cut government spending by billions of dollars but won’t identify the specific defense programs, Social Security, Medicare or other services it’s ready to cut — let alone explain how this will make us more competitive and grow the economy?
And how can you take seriously a movement that sat largely silent while the Bush administration launched two wars and a new entitlement, Medicare prescription drugs — while cutting taxes — but is now, suddenly, mad as hell about the deficit and won’t take it anymore from President Obama? Say what? Where were you folks for eight years?
For more: Op-Ed Columnist - The Tea Kettle Movement - NYTimes.com
Following the meeting, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Energy and Industry in Qatar and German Ministry of Economy and technology on scientific and technical co-operation in the areas of new and renewable energy.
The two sides also signed the minutes of the second session of the Qatari-German joint Economic Committee, besides a letter of intent to open a German commercial office in Doha.
For more go to : Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - Qatar
Yes, the past few years have seen him play such scintillating golf that many seasoned observers believe he has the game to be the best in the world and a multiple major winner.
For more: BBC News - Ryder Cup team ready to mop up at Celtic Manor: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
Holders Inter and newcomers Tottenham both achieved their feats in Group A. Samuel Eto'o starred for the Nerazzurri as he scored three and made the other for Wesley Sneijder in a 4-0 defeat of SV Werder Bremen. Joining them on four points, Tottenham beat FC Twente 4-1 in their home UEFA Champions League debut, all the goals coming in the second half.
For more details: Lyon, FCK make it two as Inter and Spurs hit four on UEFA.COM
Airline Industry - Airline cartel including Air France, KLM, Martin Air faces huge EU damages claim - by Nikki Tait and Jane Croft
A group of companies led by Philips of the Netherlands and Ericsson of Sweden will allege they have suffered more than €400m ($545m) of damage as a result of price-fixing by KLM, Martinair and Air France. Lawyers advising the companies, however, say the total sum is likely to top €500m once interest is included.
International competition watchdogs have been investigating a worldwide cartel, based around air freight traffic rates for the past four years. In countries such as South Korea, Australia, Canada and the US, almost two dozen airlines – including KLM, Air France and Martinair – have admitted involvement in illegal activities going back to 2000 and faced substantial financial penalties as a result. Air France and KLM merged in 2004, but retain separate legal identities.
For more: FT.com / Companies / Airlines - Airline cartel faces huge EU damages claim
Netherlands: Angela Merkel unhappy with make-up of new Dutch government - other European reactions also not favorable
Merkel, a Christian Democrat, pointed to the EU sanctions against Austria when the extreme right-wing Jörg Haider joined the cabinet.
'Isolating Austria was not very successful and did not help the European idea,' she said. Geert Wilders' anti-Islam PVV will play the role of silent partner in the new Dutch coalition, influencing policy and supporting government measures but not providing ministers.
Former Belgian prime minister Luc Dehaene told RTL news a cabinet involving the PVV is a danger to democracy.
For more: DutchNews.nl - Angela Merkel unhappy with make-up of new Dutch government
Wave of strikes cripples Europe as workers vent fury at budget cuts - by Anita Brooks and Vanessa Mock
VVD leader Mark Rutte is likely to become the Netherland's next prime minister. "Geert Wilders in his non-government supporting role will hold the key to the success or fall of the new Dutch Government."
News reports quoting unnamed sources and the state information office said a formal coalition agreement could be signed today and presented to Queen Beatrix's official representative on Thursday.
For more: Dutch far-right party set to be part of a minority government | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 29.09.2010
Sensitive trading documents seen by the Guardian show the UK-registered company stepped up its orders of Iranian oil at a time when other major buyers, including BP and Reliance Industries, India's largest conglomerate, halted orders amid impending trade sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's perceived desire to acquire nuclear weapons.
Shell is not accused of acting illegally because the sanctions – enforced by the US, UN and EU – stopped short of banning the import of Iranian oil. But its trades with the state-owned oil company, a major contributor to the finances of a government which has made its nuclear programme a priority, are likely to expose Shell to growing political pressure.
For more: Shell increases oil trade with Iran – despite sanctions | World news | The Guardian
'When Turkey becomes a member of the EU, it is not going to be in a secondary position, that's one of the reasons why countries like Germany and France are quite nervous about our membership,' Turkish vice-premier Ali Babacan declared at a World Leadership Forum in New York during the recent UN plenary session. "
Note EU-Digest: Wishful thinking ....
Presseurop – English
"I come from a generation that suffered school lessons in porta-cabins and crumbling hospitals. I tell you one thing, for the eighteen years they were in power the Tories did nothing to fix the roof when the sun was shining. Our legacy is a generation for whom newly built schools and modernised hospitals are an everyday fact of life. I am proud of the fact that because of what we did, yes we did save the National Health Service in this country."
"You saw the worst financial crisis in a generation, and I understand your anger that Labour hadn't changed the old ways in the City which said deregulation was the answer."
"This generation wants to change our economy so that it works better for working people and doesn't just serve the needs of the few at the top. This generation wants to change our society so that it values community and family, not just work, because we understand there is more to life than the bottom line. This generation wants to change the way government works because it understands the power of the state to change lives but also how frustrating it can be if not reformed."
For more: Siemens Velaro High-Speed Train Coming to Florida -- TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/
Earlier this year the former Dutch government of PM Balkenende was toppled as a result of its dispute with the labor party PVDA, who were part of the Balkenende Government coalition.The Labor Party was unwilling to extend the stay of Dutch troops in the Afghanistan Uruzgan area beyond the formally agreed date of 2010 The PVDA wanted the troops brought home as scheduled while the CDA of Balkenende wanted more time to study the matter.
Netherlands troop support for NATO forces in Afghanistan was approved by the Dutch Government in 2006. Estimates show the Netherlands, which at the peak of its involvement in Afghanistan had about 2000 troops there, has already spent approximately 3 billion euros, seven times more than was actually planned on the Afghanistan mission. The Netherlands has a total population of 16 million.
Given the possibility of the CDA now becoming part of the new right-wing Dutch government, the likely-hood of the Netherlands re-committing to the Afganistan war effort seems pretty likely.
According to a new study by U.K. insurance group Aviva plc, Europe is now facing a 1.9 trillion euro pension gap. That figure is equivalent to 19% of the European Union's 2010 gross domestic product, and "indicates that unless individuals increase their savings for retirement the majority will face a seriously reduced standard of living once they retire," Aviva said.
At the country level, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain have the biggest pension gaps, at 379 billion euros, 243.5 billion euros, 468.8 billion euros and 170.5 billion euros, respectively, according to Aviva.
For more: Insurance News - Insurers Warn of European Pension Crisis
The creative industry has praised the progress highly which endures a revenue loss and jobs through against the law file sharing.
Before this year a study by French consultancy TERA into Internet piracy in Europe’s music, film and television and software industries found that piracy could locate more than one million people out of work by 2015. In Spain it seems that the dependability for protection copyright is being put definitely on the shoulders of the copyright owners themselves.
For more: Millions of French Internet users can pay a price for piracy network | French Tribune
Czech Republic: Speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the General Debate of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly
Changes of that kind are necessary, but – on the other hand – something must continue without changes. I don’t think that the UN needs to search for a new mission.
The goals of the United Nations should remain those defined in the original UN Charter:
- to maintain international peace and security;
- to develop friendly relations among nations;
- to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems.
For more: Speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the General Debate of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly | Václav Klaus
The most recent issue of Sure! (September 2010) deals with recent developments in the international insurance industry, including news on a proposal done by re-insurers concerning future BP-type blowouts and an overview of the most important European political highlights, in addition to a selection of global economic issues.
Make sure you check out SURE ! and get a free subscription.
A bid to force the 27 European Union nations to deposit billions of euros with Brussels, that would be forfeited in the event of failure to tighten national spending, will be laid out to finance ministers starting crunch talks on Monday.
Detailed proposals will be made public on Wednesday, when millions are expected to take part in a general strike across Spain and 100,000 protesters are tipped to march against "austerity" in Brussels. Radical European plans to fine governments that hide from painful cuts crash headlong into strikes and protests this week as labour leaders flag up the human cost of austerity.
"Let's not focus too much on the size of the sanctions," the spokesman for EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, who is driving the bid to get tough, said as diplomats said of the plans' scope. "It's the effectiveness of the proposals we set out next week (that matter)," Rehn's pointman said.
For more: Europe strikes out in austerity drive
US November Elections: Republicans In Congress Get Worse Marks Than Democrats On Job Performance, Economy Poll shows
More than half have negative views of each party. Most say Obama isn't cooperating enough on the economy, but even more accuse Republicans of the same thing. And former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – the only two Republicans the AP-GfK Poll tested – are significantly less popular than Obama.
For more: Republicans In Congress Get Worse Marks Than Democrats On Job Performance, Economy (POLL)
When Greece ran into trouble a year later, the conclave, whose existence has never before been reported, had yet to agree on a strategy. In a prelude to a cantankerous public debate that would later delay Europe's response to the euro-zone debt crisis until the eleventh hour, the task force struggled to surmount broad disagreement over whether and how the euro zone should rescue one of its own. It never found the answer.
The Wall Street Journal says investigation, based on dozens of interviews with officials from around the EU, reveals that the divisions that bedeviled the task force pushed the currency union perilously close to collapse. In early May, just hours before Germany and France broke their stalemate and agreed to endorse a trillion-dollar fund to rescue troubled euro-zone members, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told her delegation the euro zone was on the verge of breaking apart, according to people familiar with the matter.
Note EU-Digest: It seems like the Rupert Murdoch owned corporate news empire including the Wall Street Journal are competing among themselves in who is the best at bad-mouthing the EU, while being cheered on by the financial world and its Wall Street Casino network
For more: EU Set a Secret Group to Save the Euro - WSJ.com
With the GM industry and its opponents each sharpening their legal claws, European nations will debate a proposed rule change on Monday that would allow officials to accelerate authorisations for 15 new transgenic crops while letting those who want to keep them off their territories do so.
The continent is deeply divided on the GM issue, which has crept back up the agenda after Germany's BASF "accidentally" sowed seed from an unauthorized potato in Sweden and a furore in Britain about milk and meat from cloned cattle entering the food chain.
Note EU-Digest: Europe must vote NO to approving Genetically Modified Food and not cave in to the pressures imposed by the powerful Chemical and Food Industry lobby.
For more: Europe in a pickle over GM crops rules
You can really see how determined the Fed is in its pursuit to create inflation. How stable prices and positive inflation are compatible is beyond me. I thought truly stable prices meant 0% inflation, but then again I care about the purchasing power of the dollar. The Fed obviously does not. The dollar is getting smacked in the minutes after the Fed statement. EUR/USD is over 1.32. Gold futures hit record high. Ahh--more competitve currency devaluations, just like the 1930's.
For more: Fed Statement--Will Print More Money If Stock Market Declines | Black Swan Insights: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
The almost simultaneous rulings from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marked an attempt to draw a line under the debate over the safety of Avandia, which has dogged GSK for three years.
For more: Glaxo's Avandia drug pulled from Europe - Telegraph
Speaking at a forum organized by the Foreign Policy Association in New York, Babacan noted Turkey’s employment figures increased by 1.6 million and the unemployment rate dropped by 2.6 percent in the April-June period of 2010 from a year ago. At the same time, however, the total number of unemployed within the EU grew by 1.8 million in the same period according to EU statistics body Eurostat, Babacan told the audience during Wednesday’s meeting.
he impact of the global financial crisis driven by the credit crunch in the US was most keenly felt in Turkey in the field of employment last year when its jobless rate hit a record high of over 16 percent in February 2009 and was calculated at 14 percent for the entire year. However in June of this year, the rate of unemployment, one of the primary indicators of economic performance, dropped to 10.5 percent according to the latest official data. Government authorities and observers believe the sharp decline in the rate will continue through 2011 as the common expectation is that it will return to pre-crisis levels hovering around 8-9 percent in nine months at the latest.
For more: Turkey far ahead of EU in creating employment, Ali Babacan says
Altafaj said the commission has no further comment to make on Ireland’s economy shrinking 1.2 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter. The contraction in Irish gross domestic product was announced by the country’s statistics office yesterday.For more: EU Says It Remains Confident Ireland Will Meet Fiscal Targets - BusinessWeek
The Netherlands: "Jesus is not allowed to save you in the County of Giesenlande, Province of South Holland"
If you are concerned about what appears to be an erosion around the globe of human rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion, you can show your concern by taking action wherever you are and where it counts. In this particular case e-mail the County of Giesenlande at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org :attention Mr. Jan de Groot - councilman with a copy to the Province of South Holland - attn: Danielle Bolton at: email@example.com and voice your concern.
If this Wilders Cabinet comes about it can only count on a majority of one, with the "de facto PM" Wilders still as free as a bird to spout all his one-liner derogatory comments around, but this time with the blessing of VVD's Mark Rutte and CDA's Maxime Verhagen. One Dutch politician called this possible new coalition Government a "Ménage à trois turning into a one man show". ( Mark Rutte)
(Maxime Verhagen) In a taste of what is to come Geert Wilders said he felt his party came under attack by the Dutch Queen when in a speech on the occasion of an annual Dutch ceremony celebrating the opening of the new parliamentary year, she referred to the need for a 'stable government' , interpreted by many as pointing the finger at Wilders.
In the speech, the queen also got into "hot water" again when she said: 'That requires give and take, tolerance and also adaptation. This is the responsibility of us all.' Following the Queens remarks Wilders told the press: 'We have to get rid of this sort of political correctness.
' The queen's speech to Parliament, written by the outgoing PM Balkenende, also contained details of proposed budget cuts for the upcoming parliamentary year. Among the numerous budget cuts announced it was also revealed that Dutch royalty is included in the "bite" of these budget cuts. Members of the royal family, other than the Queen and her direct heir, will now have have to pay inheritance and gift taxes, and pay all expenses for personal travel.
Such rhetoric has helped elect the Sweden Democrats to parliament for the first time. Now the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party is fueling nationalism in its campaign, hoping for resurgence this weekend.
The "Bye Bye Mosque" game was released by the Freedom Party as part of its bid for election into regional government in Styria – Austria's second largest province – and the game’s message has hit a raw nerve. The aim is simple: take aim and shoot down as many new mosques as you can, as they rise relentlessly above Austria's Alpine skyline. If you are not quick enough, the country is Islamized.
For more: Austria’s far right riding anti-Islamic wave in elections - RT Top Stories
For more: Niall Ferguson: Will Debt Trigger US Collapse?
The parliament overwhelmingly backed the plan to set up watchdog boards for the financial markets, banking and insurance sectors in addition to a European board to make sure the EU can avoid new crises.
The institutions should become active at the beginning of next year.
Parliamentary approval in Strasbourg, France, was the last hurdle for the plans, which were hailed as a major step forward in EU-wide financial management. The EU member states had already approved them earlier this month. "This is a historic watershed," said Finance Minister Didier Reynders of Belgium, which currently holds the EU presidency.
For more go to: AP
Two documentaries, “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” directed by Alex Gibney, and “Inside Job,” from Charles Ferguson, take direct aim at Wall Street powers who are described as contributing to the financial implosion. The films also land some shots on Mr. Spitzer, the watchdog who became governor of New York and who fell from grace in a prostitution scandal but has now been somewhat rehabilitated as a host on CNN.
“Client 9” is set for release on Nov. 5 by Magnolia Pictures. “Inside Job” will be shown at the New York Film Festival later this month, then will be released commercially by Sony Pictures Classics in October. A third film, “Casino Jack,” directed by George Hickenlooper, casts Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff, the former businessman and lobbyist who was sentenced to federal prison after a conviction for defrauding Indian tribes and contributing to official corruption.
Note EU-Digest: Its good to have these films out. Will it change much of the Wall Street casino culture, probably not. What would work, which hardly anyone wants to mention or tackle, is to putting some of the culprits in jail and getting some really effective laws in place to see this does not happen again.
For more: Documentaries Set Sights on Wall Street - NYTimes.com
For more Op-Ed Columnist - The Angry Rich and Taxes - NYTimes.com
Note EU-Digest: Before Obama, Americans elected George Bush, who among the many weird things he said once made the following profound statement: "More and more of our imports come from overseas."
Today.... impatient Americans are disappointed with Obama, because he is not delivering them "instant" prosperity". After all, that is what US citizens are used to with everything, their food, losing weight, success, you name it. So now they are going for the Tea party, which promises less Government, lower taxes and "magic" to make the US deficit disappear. Oh yes,we nearly forgot, they also cherish Sarah Palin - One sometimes wonders ...have they all got it together up there across the pond? But America, don't worry, Europe is always ready and willing to follow you...and believe it or not, the crazies are also lining up here.
For more - Shaun Jacob Halper: Crazy on the March: The Tea Party Takes Over the Republican Party:
For more: Turmoil In France Largely Due To Economy : NPR
His proposal has three main points: a) Dutch courts to get the power to have information considered "not accurate" removed from the Internet; b) people or organizations who distribute or sell "non-public" information via the Internet can get a one year prison sentence; c) people who pass on information about credit card codes or passwords will be prosecuted by the legal system. By combining in the proposal item A and B with C, which is already in effect, the proposal is given the appearance to be a crime combatting proposal. Presently the blocking of websites in the Netherlands still requires due process and the approval of the Chief Prosecutor.
The proposal immediately resulted in a written protest to the Dutch Minister of Justice, signed by scientists, public interest and internet organizations. The letter was also signed by the Dutch Lawyers Organization, the Committee for Human Rights and the Digital Freedom Organization "Bits of Freedom". The proposal is seen by the signatories of the letter as a tool which can obstruct the Public's right to freedom of expression on a variety of issues including mal-practise at several levels, even that of the Government. It would also restrict the activities of "wistle- blowers" and public "watch-dogs ", such as wikileaks who have exposed many a Government un-democratic and secret activities.
For more news see EU-Digest
After receiving his degree as an accountant, Grillo became a comedian by chance, improvising a monologue in an audition. Two weeks later he was discovered and launched by Italian TV presenter Pippo Baudo. He became more and more popular as the years went on and his performances began to be characterized by an increasing level of political satire, often expressed in such a direct way that he quickly offended a lot of Italian politicians. In the past he once attacked the then Italian Socialist Party and its leader PM Bettino Craxi, during his visit to the People's Republic of China. Grillo said: "If the Chinese are all socialists, whom do they steal from?"
He maintains a blog (available in Italian, English and Japanese) at beppegrillo.it which is updated daily. Comments to posts regularly top the thousands (in the Italian version). According to Technorati, the blog is ranked among the 10 most visited blogs in the world.
Grillo has proposed that members of the Italian Parliament, who have a criminal record should be barred from public office. During his shows Grillo never hesitates to name firms and personalities he considers corrupt, always supporting his views with data and documents. For this reason he has been sued several times by many people and organizations which he had exposed, such as Telecom Italia and farmalat.
Of all his satire and critique, the one Grillo applies most effectively is that against Berlusconi, which appears tobe without a doubt probably the most effective verbal weapon against a man who appears to be out to destroy freedom of speech in Italy and who runs the country like a Maffia boss.
Boroujerdi said sanctions have had no impact on Iran's development, adding, "Over the past 30 years, the Iranian nation turned sanctions into opportunities for progress in advanced sciences and technologies".
The Iranian lawmaker reiterated that all reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed non-diversion in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.
For more: PressTV - 'Europe damaged by submission to US'
Only 38 percent of Turks regard future EU membership as a “good thing,” down from 48 percent last year and 73 percent in 2004, according to a poll released today by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Italian foundation Compagnia di San Paolo.
A 150 percent increase in gross domestic product per capita since 2003 has lessened Turkey’s need for European links and emboldened it to pursue a more independent foreign policy.
For more: Turks Less Interested in Joining EU as Economy, Political Influence Grow - Bloomberg
Europe Minister David Lidington announced government plans for a ‘referendum lock’ that would give UK citizens a say on any future proposals to transfer major powers from Britain to the EU. He said: “The lock would cover any proposed transfers of competence – the EU’s ability to act in a given area – between the UK and the EU; and transfers of power, such as the giving up of UK national vetoes and moving to majority voting in significant areas, such as in Common Foreign and Security Policy.” He added: “Treaty changes which do not transfer competence or power from the UK to the EU would not be subject to a referendum. For example, Accession Treaties.”
Note EU-Digest: Yet this opinion finds almost no echo in the British Parliament. Only two-and-a-half per cent of of MPs are declared opponents of EU membership; if you exclude Northern Ireland MPs, the figure drops to below one per cent. Obviously this means the British Public seems to be listening to the very vocal group of Euro sceptics while the parliamentarians who are supposed to know better are themselves doing a pretty bad job in promoting the benefits of the EU.
For more: INDEPENDENT online
Note EU-Digest: a typical Anglo Saxon comment by a eurosceptic British journalist. At least arguments come into the open during these EU meetings and are not swept under the carpet.
For more: FT.com / Europe
- Sent using Google Toolbar"
In spite of the backlash, the party is expected to gather much more than the 4 per cent of votes necessary to win seats in parliament and may even end up holding the balance of power, a shocking prospect for the land of Ikea and social democracy.
In fact, the collectivist, egalitarian creed for which Sweden is famous has been fading in recent years, reflecting a change across the European Union. From Belgium to Bulgaria, the demise of the Left and rise of the populist Right have turned Europe's political map into an expanse of blue in which the Iberian peninsula and Greece are among the few remaining islands of red.
For more: The Left under siege in Europe | The Australian
However, the big news of the night for a country which has long prided itself as being one of the most tolerant in Europe was that the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats (SD) looked set to win 20 seats, their first entry to the national parliament.
For more: Sweden elections end in hung parliament, rise of far-Right - Telegraph
But – with his rock-bottom opinion poll ratings falling once again – France’s mercurial leader appears determined to press on regardless, despite strikes, street protests and a barrage of international criticism.
With less than two years to run before he must seek re-election, Sarkozy opened the newspapers on Sunday to find his personal approval rating falling four points to 32 percent in an IFOP poll carried out for the Journal du Dimanche.
For more: Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - Beleaguered Sarkozy faces another tough week
For example, military officers will be subject to civilian trials; the rights of women, the elderly, handicapped people and children will be enhanced; restrictions on unions will be lifted; and individuals will have greater privacy rights and the ability to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
But the constitutional package, which was presented to voters for a single, up-or-down vote, also contains a sweeping reorganization of the Constitutional Court and Turkey's other top judicial body, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. Each would be expanded, and the power of appointment would be shifted to the president and legislature. Until now, Turkey's judiciary has been a bastion of secularism and thus of resistance to Mr. Erdogan. The Constitutional Court struck down his initiative allowing women to wear head scarves in state schools and came within one vote of outlawing his party.
Now Mr. Erdogan will have the power to place his appointees in a dominating position. The opposition charges that the courts will become merely another arm of the ruling party -- which, it claims, is carrying out a "creeping coup" against the secular state. While some of the critics' rhetoric may be exaggerated, Mr. Erdogan's actions give cause for concern. In the last several years his government has used questionable tax charges to lean on opposition media. Sprawling investigations of alleged coup plotters have swept up not just military officers but also businessmen and journalists.
For more: Is Turkey becoming more democratic, or less so?
Gross domestic product (GDP) per head, when adjusted for differences in the cost of living in different countries, was 31 per cent above the EU average. Although sharply down from its peak in 2007, when it stood at 48 per cent above the average, Ireland remained fractionally above the Netherlands, the country with the third highest standard of living. Luxembourg is by far the richest country among the 27, with per capita average GDP 168 per cent above the average, while Romania is the poorest at less than half the average.the second richest country in the 27-member EU last year, according to the Central Statistics Office’s annual compendium of statistics, entitled Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2009.
Gross domestic product (GDP) per head, when adjusted for differences in the cost of living in different countries, was 31 per cent above the EU average. Although sharply down from its peak in 2007, when it stood at 48 per cent above the average, Ireland remained fractionally above the Netherlands, the country with the third highest standard of living.
Luxembourg is by far the richest country among the 27, with per capita average GDP 168 per cent above the average, while Romania is the poorest at less than half the average.
For more: Report lists Ireland as second richest EU country - The Irish Times - Fri, Sep 17, 2010
The quandary facing the 27-member union is how to make sure profligate states never again bring the single currency into disrepute as events in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain continue to animate bond markets.
Before the summer, leaders signed up to allow their peers greater scrutiny of spending plans and a new timetable for submitting budget outlines to Brussels, but deep divisions remain over what kind of sanctions to apply to those countries that persistently flout the rules.
For more: EU can't agree on how to halt rule-breakers - European, Business - Independent.ie
France's stepped-up removal of Roma migrants this summer, part of what President Sarkozy has called a crackdown on crime, has caused quite a stir in the EU. President Sarkozy says the expulsions are a matter of security and that the European Commission should come up with Europe-wide solutions rather than criticizing France. He said there had been no expulsions based on ethnicity. On the other hand President Sarkozy was unrepentant as to his actions and vowed during a EU Heads-Of-State meeting in Bruxelles to continue dismantling illegal immigrant camps.
The French policy also involves offering Roma families a financial incentive to return to Romania and Bulgaria. The row has underscored differences in Europe over how to deal with problems related to immigration, persistent unemployment and ethnic minorities, particularly at a time of economic slowdown and social hardship. Presently more than 400 camps have been dismantled in France and about 1000 Roma have already been deported to Romania and Bulgaria.
There are about 400.000 Roma of which 15000 Roma from Romania and Bulgaria in France. Even though as EU citizens they are allowed in, there is a three-month limit on people who don’t have jobs or incomes. France is enforcing that, and clamping down on the illegal camps in which the Roma live.
France is also not the first EU country deporting the Roma people: Italy also deported Roma last year, but pretty much got away with it.Some countries in the EU, such as Spain, have treated the Roma problem more humanely, investing resources to integrate the Roma economically and socially into society, instead of marginalizing and deporting them.
“Class warfare,” the GOP leaders shout, claiming that any tax increase in this economy would cause every calamity except, perhaps, stopping the earth from rotating.
Class warfare? Yes, there’s class warfare occurring in this country, but it’s not what the GOP and the blue dogs claim. It’s the other way around: a war being waged by the country’s privileged financial elite against the great American middle and lower financial classes with the help of politicians whose coffers are kept brimming by the privileged people. It began in 1981 with the introduction of Reaganomics and it has continued unabated, with the possible exception of Bill Clinton’s second term, ever since.
Taxes were cut, deficits soared and during all that time, the wealthiest 1 percent in the United States increased their share of the country’s financial wealth from less than 25 percent to more than 35 percent today. The bottom 99 percent’s piece of the economic pie dropped from 75 to 65 percent.
For more: Plain Talk: Ending tax cuts for top 2 percent a step in the right direction
George Papaconstantinou says his government hopes Greece's economy will shrink less than the four per cent predicted under the bailout plan.
He spoke Thursday after meeting with French counterpart Christine Lagarde — part of a two-day road show to woo investors in London, Paris and Frankfurt.
For more: Greece's finance minister says country's recession could be less sever than forecast | Markets | Headline News | Canadian Business Online
“The global perception of the country as a land of opportunity and as the mecca for individuals wanting to do something new and different seems to be somewhat challenged by the facts,” wrote the report's authors, Zoltan Acs of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and Laslo Szerb of Hungary's University of Pécs. Those facts, according to their report: Stacked against other major economies, the U.S. lacks high-growth business and cultural support for entrepreneurship and is frail in the technology sector.
The weaknesses caused the United States to rank an unlikely sixth in entrepreneurial attitudes — society’s feelings toward entrepreneurship, based on education and social stability — and eighth in entrepreneurial activity: what citizens are doing to improve the quality of human resources and technological efficiency.
Best country for entrepreneurs? Hint: Not the US. - CSMonitor.com
France expressed it bewilderment in reply to her statement on Tuesday.It exiled approximately 230 Roma on Tuesday only, sending them to Romania from Paris and Marseille. In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry articulated disappointment at the EU commissioner's declaration. According to a ministry spokesman he did not feel that the EU minister's remarks can perk up circumstances for Roma.
Since mid-August, France has exiled more than 1,000 Roma to Romania and Bulgaria, and dislocated more than 100 of their camps, in a stir that President Nicolas Sarkozy calls a clean-up on crime.
For more: EU might react legally against France on Roma | French Tribune
Netherlands: Dutch Police arrest Drunk Delta Pilot in Cockpit:- Airline Captain Was Planning to Fly from Amsterdam to New York
The Dutch National Police Corps has not identified the pilot but says he is a 52-year-old captain from Woodbury, N.J.
Delta issued a statement about Flight 35, saying that it was "canceled out of concern that a crew member appeared to be unfit for duty."
Note EU-Digest: This probably was only one of the many pilots caught flying under the influence of alcohol. Why not test every pilot going on a flight as to his or her level of alcohol content in the blood? It's a simple breathalyzer test which takes less than 2 minutes. Far less time consuming than the "security tests" the flying public already have to endure every day. Best of all, it will save lives.
For more: Drunk Delta Pilot Arrested in Cockpit: Airline Captain Was Planning to Fly from Amsterdam to New York
At the start fans behind the home goal unfurled a banner that spanned the entire stand with the Twente and fan club logos emblazoned over a map of Europe. As the home support roared their side on, it is clear the Dutch champions will enjoy the ride.
For more: Twente proud after tremendous night on UEFA.COM
The study has been developed in conjunction with law firm, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, and its network of insurance law practitioners in jurisdictions across Continental Europe.
It highlights European Commission consultations regarding cross-border road traffic accident claims and an Austrian Supreme Court ruling on premium arrears.
For more: Guy Carpenter reports on European casualty insurance law
But therein lies the opportunity for investors like John A Paulson, the hedge fund executive who made billions by betting on a housing crash, and Bill Miller, the mutual fund manager at Legg Mason Capital Management who is best known for his 15-year streak of beating the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
The bad news bulls do not dispute that the relentless beat of lost jobs and sagging house sales represents a serious economic threat. But they argue that in many respects this avalanche of bad news has little bearing for a growing number of corporations that are making money by relying more on technology, borrowing at rock-bottom rates and increasing sales to galloping overseas markets in China, Brazil and India.
For more: Grim US economy: An opportunity in adversity? - The Economic Times
The suggestion, which experts say will be strongly opposed by the US, addresses a politically highly symbolic dispute about voting power and seats on the fund’s executive board. Shifting power towards emerging market countries is one of the central elements in the Group of 20 nations’ drive to make the fund and other international institutions more representative.
Last month the US used a procedural manoeuvre to force the European countries to agree reforms to the executive board by November 1. The 24-member board currently has nine European executive directors, and negotiations have been under way to increase representation from emerging markets, particularly in Asia.
For more: FT.com / Europe - Germany asks US to give up its IMF veto
The European Union raised its core eurozone growth prediction on data from its seven biggest members, having forecast just 0.9 percent in the spring, but was at pains to remain prudent.
Encouraged to see “revival ... particularly in Germany,” Brussels warned that risks “remain elevated” with a “multi-speed” recovery accentuated by problems with national finances in Ireland and elsewhere.
For more: Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - EU nearly doubles eurozone growth forecast
A single statistic completely undermines the "China will decouple from the U.S. because Chinese domestic demand will absorb all its production capacity" story: The proportion of the China's GDP contributed by the household sector (wages, salaries and consumption) peaked at 56 percent in 1983 and has since dropped to 36 percent—roughly half the size of the consumer economy in the U.S. That means that China's households are receiving a smaller piece of the pie as China's GDP grows, even the annual average wages of workers in urban areas of China increased from 12,422 yuan ($1,832) in 2002 to 29,229 yuan ($4,311) in 2008.
Another factor is that Chinese households are prodigious savers: China boasts a savings rate of 38%, fully ten times that of the U.S. But Chinese savers have few choices on where to invest their money: they can either leave it in a savings account which draws 2.25%, less than the inflation rate of 3.1%, or invest in real estate or domestic stocks.
Those proclaiming the coming decoupling and rise of the Chinese consumer neatly glide over the fact that investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI), accounts for 44% of China's economy, a higher level than Japan or South Korea ever reached in their modernization drives. This is an economy that is exquisitely dependent on massive inflows of capital to sustain its growth; the entire household sector is a mere 80% of direct investment.
For more: The Myth of "Decoupling" and the Chinese Consumer | Benzinga.com
Earlier this summer McGinley predicted a handsome European victory, but he sounds more cautious now. "A couple of months ago we were quite clear favourites – but things have changed. We have been hurt by Lee Westwood's injury. There's no doubt about that. It's going to be an unknown factor until Lee turns up that week and we see how he feels, having not competed since the Open. That's a disappointment for Europe.Earlier this summer McGinley predicted a handsome European victory, but he sounds more cautious now. "A couple of months ago we were quite clear favourites – but things have changed. We have been hurt by Lee Westwood's injury. There's no doubt about that. It's going to be an unknown factor until Lee turns up that week and we see how he feels, having not competed since the Open. That's a disappointment for Europe.
For more: Paul McGinley: 'It's very important we win the Ryder Cup again' | Sport | The Guardian
For more: Iranian Diplomats Defect In Finland, Belgium - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2010
As for the sea cruises, at the beginning of the summer that segment began to show steady growth in the number of bookings. Experts estimate that the flow of tourists has risen by about 70% compared to the same period last year.
For more: Cruise News Russian cruise industry experiencing significant increase - eTurboNews.com
He predicts significant gains for rail’s market share in Italy after the opening of two new high-speed sections in the last two years completed the Rome to Milan high-speed line, cutting journey times by an hour to two hours 45 minutes.
Rail’s main competitive advantage is that, while trains never match aircraft for speed, shorter check-in times and railway stations’ central locations give rail time and convenience advantages for short-haul journeys. In Europe, air’s market share in long-distance travel has been falling almost continually since the continent’s first dedicated high-speed rail line linked Paris to Lyons in 1981.
For more: FT.com / Reports - Business class: Rail industry on track for gains in market share
The Microsoft founder and investment guru are bringing "The Giving Pledge" campaign to the Chinese capital on the heels of their success in the U.S. convincing 40 mega-rich to donate half their wealth to good causes -about $125 billion U.S. -either while they are alive or on their death beds. But according to Chinese media, several of the 50 invited Chinese guests to the dinner Gates and Buffett will host have declined and many have phoned to ask for clarification.
For more: Guess who's not coming to dinner?
Perhaps the most significant change brought by the referendum campaign is the greater visibility brought to the objective of EU membership. The “yes” campaign made reference to the EU to convince Turkish public opinion of the package’s benefits. And today’s statement by the European Commission welcoming the adoption of the package underscored the growing interest of the EU in Turkey’s domestic dynamics.
For more: FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Europe must react to Turkey’s vote
Working like thermometers in the sky, the Along Track Scanning Radiometer and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer on ESA’s ERS-2 and Envisat satellites measure thermal-infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth’s land surface.
Flames reach temperatures that are detected by these sensors and confirm the presence of fire.
For more: ESA Portal - Satellites reveal Russian fires worst in 14 years