Tag Archives: Juncker

A changing language

Europe is in several stages of unease; there is the spending of Mario Draghi, Brexit remains on the mind of many. Yet, the one change that is now more and more in the foreground of many is the problem that Turkey seems to be. There are those set on the stage to end Turkey as a NATO member and subsequent becoming part of the EU, there are things going forward and backward, but the language involved in all this is changing, so are the settings for the meetings yet to come. In all this the latest Turkish act to double down on the Russian S-400 purchases in 2020. There is, as I stated unease and as I see it the entire EU-Turkey mess is now a dance around unclear settings. Yet the settings are founded on what some would call, clear and blatant lies.

So to recap, on March 26th in the Bulgarian port city of Varna with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there will be a summit. The given setting is “to discuss EU-Turkey relations as well as regional and international issues“, this we got from the spokesperson for Donald Franciszek Tusk. The meeting held at the leaders’ level will be hosted as a working dinner, a statement signed by Tusk and Juncker said. Yet soon thereafter it begins. With: “Ankara has been stressing that the EU fails to understand the challenges that the county faces, and calls on all sides to take Turkey’s concerns into consideration, particularly against the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which carried out the failed July 15 coup attempt“, yet how is that true when it has been clear for the longest time “Turkey witnessed the bloodiest coup attempt in its political history on July 15th, 2016, when a section of the Turkish military launched a coordinated operation in several major cities to topple the government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan“, this is the quote from Aljazeera, but they were not the only one giving this.

The Turkish government blames the failed coup attempt on Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher and businessman who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. So as we accept that the Gülen movement is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey under the assigned names Gülenist Terror Organisation (Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü, FETÖ) or Parallel State Organisation (Paralel Devlet Yapılanması, PDY), we see the link offered, yet another path in this is “MIT officials admitted that they received the very first intelligence report about a possible attack on July 15, only hours before their own headquarters was under heavy artillery fire“, as well as “As of today, more than 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended and 50,000 arrested in an unprecedented crackdown. The government has deemed the crackdown necessary to ‘root out all coup supporters from the state apparatus’“. When we consider those parts, we need to realise that the Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT) was completely out of any loop, which makes Turkish Intelligence not just a flawed setting, it would implicate that it has limited counter terrorism options and no resources to speak of (in intelligence terms).

In opposition to this, there would be enough data to offer that it was an internal issue from within the Turkish military and whatever opposes Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey got a fat target painted on them. This fills and completes the view we need to have of Turkey much better. In support of this we need to consider that one exiled cleric could not have orchestrated the military support that would have been required and that was seen in action. The width of the Turkish military acting seems to be that of an internal star chamber than a clerical imprint on the military, the latter would have given more visibility to other ranking officers within the Turkish armed forces. As this becomes more and more visible and accepted, we are treated to the view on the unacceptable acts against the Kurds yet again, which followed the Turkish official view of the coup that they ‘survived’.

So in this light the setting for March will be one that is a puzzle. You see as Turkey keeps on playing this game, their credibility will only go down further. The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) (at http://www.ecfr.eu/article/essay_eu_turkey_relations_the_beginning_of_the_end_7226) gives us: “Both Turkey and the EU need the continuation of this partnership. It is a matter of definition whether this partnership will be in the form of full membership or in a different form. What is important is not to break the process and not to cause alienation. The need for sustainable EU-Turkey relations obliges both sides to take steps to honour their commitment to integration“, we can accept that, but at this point, is continuation feasible? We see the shifting language that shows that Germany is less and less taken with Turkey, now siding more and more with France on the anti-Turkey alliance. It gets worse for Turkey as we now hear: “A Turkish court on Wednesday denied entry to the German ambassador to Ankara to the hearing of Selahattin Demirtas, the former co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)“, which we get from http://www.dw.com/en/turkish-court-denies-german-ambassador-entry-to-kurdish-politicians-trial/a-42579957, even as France is trying to work with Turkey regarding a ‘diplomatic road map‘ on Syria, the sounds of accusation of Turkey violating international law was not far behind it, so there is pressures on nearly every level. Only 12 hours ago, Deutsche Welle gave us “Even NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wouldn’t hazard a guess ahead of this week’s defense ministers’ meeting. He said Turkey needs to clarify the status of the contract” (at http://www.dw.com/en/turkish-russian-missile-deal-puts-nato-on-edge/a-42572965), as I said earlier, the language is changing. As we see ‘Turkey needs to clarify the status of the contract‘ that it is about cancelling the contract? Yet in that respect, what would Turkey demand in return? How much is that going to cost and where does that invoice end up? You see, when you consider Reuters with ‘U.S. tells NATO allies spending plans still falling short‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-nato/u-s-tells-nato-allies-spending-plans-still-falling-short-idUSKCN1FY013), where we see “Spain has said it will not meet the 2024 target. Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Norway and Denmark are also lagging. Hungary expects to meet the goal only by 2026“, as well as “France will increase its defense spending by more than a third between 2017 and 2025, but Germany, is not expected to reach the 2 percent target by 2024“, this gives us that the three large economic anchors of the European Union cannot get there. It is these elements that make me wonder on the changing language involving Turkey. From a setting that would have given a clear rejection of Turkey becoming an EU member, we see the setting of new talks, new events and more ‘collaboration’ projects. I think that France is already learning the hard way that this path leads to nowhere, but the others need Turkey to be a spender here, and Erdogan is using that tactic to his own advantage, because once they are in, you cannot throw them out anymore (the EU that is), not even willingly as the UK is learning the hard way. Even as we accept that to some extent Turkey helps to reduce an influx of Syrian and other migrants and refugees into the EU bloc, the question is to what extent and for which purpose, because once these refugees make it into Turkey, Turkey is either stuck with them or they must ‘divert’ them to another place.

In this, in an earlier blog I mentioned the Visa Free EU travel for Turkey and that they had not met the demands. So as we see “Last week, Turkey manifested determination to restart a new chapter in its ailing relationship with the European bloc by submitting a paper detailing Turkey’s roadmap for the fulfilment of the remaining seven benchmarks of 72 criteria” we need to get worried on the non-committed acts from the EU on the matter which had not been met. It seems like Brussels is trying to find any way to either delay it all or give Turkey a pass, which would be disastrous for several players. This is seen in several articles, in this case the Irish Times gives us: “Instead of formally ending EU membership talks, Dr Merkel said she would look at imposing “real restrictions on economic contact” including through the European Investment Bank, EU aid, World Bank and by blocking talks on expanding Turkey’s customs union agreement with the EU, a move that could hit billions of euro in potential Turkish exports“, whilst the EU themselves was ‘dismissive of call for end to Turkey accession talks‘, stating that this is for the heads of government, European Commission says, so the EU revels in inaction and restrictions in other ways. This is a dangerous and explosive combination.

So even as one issue was the contention in the counter terrorism benchmark which has been the definition of terrorism in the counter-terrorism law that Turkey was called repeatedly to amend in order to comply with European democratic and judicial standards. Now, according to reports, a legal provision will be added soon to the current anti-terror law stating that “any critical expression that does not exceed the boundaries of journalism does not constitute a crime“, how is that enough? As we see the Kurdish issues as shown earlier as well as a new complete failure by the Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT) should leave anyone a clear indication that not only is the counter-terrorism failing, there is an increased worry that Turkey does not really comprehends the term ‘counter-terrorism’, in support of that fact, or evidence to that, you should talk to the journalists Deniz Yücel, Huseyin Akyol, Ragip Duran, Ayse Duzkan, and Huseyin Bektas. Oh no, you can’t they are in jail! Turkey could have had a genuine excuse, but they lost that option when they denied the German ambassador to Turkey access to the court proceedings. That alone should be regarded as evidence to dismiss the ascension of Turkey to the EU.

And whilst the entire language on Turkey seems to be in a fluid state, the Brexit noise goes on, whilst some are relying on fear-mongering with noise like: “You could have a permanent Operation Stack for 20 miles” regarding shipping between the UK and the EU, ‘could‘ being the operative word. So how large was that ‘stack’ in the 70’s and 80’s? In addition we see the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/0a8799c6-1190-11e8-940e-08320fc2a277) give us: “Brussels is urging EU leaders to consider radical options such as raiding corporate tax receipts and money raised from selling carbon emission permits to fill a €15bn a year budget hole left by Brexit“, in addition it gives us: “the need to find more money for priorities such as border control and joint defence, mean negotiations are likely to be even more poisonous than previous EU tussles over money“, whilst we see “Some member states don’t want to pay more but they want to do more. Other member states want to receive more“, these elements show the desperate state the EU is in now, that whilst Mario Draghi has printed almost 2 trillion Euro in money for ‘Quantative Easing‘. This relates directly to Turkey, because it shows the desperate EU trying to open a many doors as possible, this is how I see the impact of not dismissing Turkey as an EU member at present. So when we see “impose tougher conditions on access to EU funds as a way to force the likes of Poland and Hungary to comply with EU policies on the rule of law and on asylum” as is a given view on the two needing more money, wanting a stronger voice but cannot contribute. Add to that the earlier pressure from the US for NATO member to do more gives a shifted view of the needed activities within the EU, Turkey is seen as the one floating elements that will allow a few players to keep their heads above water, but it is as I personally see it a desperate act from certain short term viewers, that whilst they also know that it will descent EU elements into chaos. As I (again merely a personal view) see it, it would cripple Strasbourg in getting issues resolved and as Turkey fails to comply with humanitarian sides, it could in equal measure become the puppet for Russia for dislodge other item in consideration, an option honoured by perhaps negating some invoices for S-400 systems, spare parts, training and consultancy? It is merely speculative thinking, but would I be wrong? It would work out very well for Turkey, for the other bloc members a lot less so.

A danger that could have been resolved almost 2 years ago, I will let you ponder on the reasons why the EU never negated this danger.

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, Politics

Conservatively valued

When I was relaxing last night, I knew that there was an issue with the UK Labour party. There has been one for the longest of times, what was not clear to me is that it went a lot further than I expected. Not only was I unaware that in all the waves of Media bias, the voters themselves had figured out a few things. Not that the voters are in need of education, because proper information tends to give voters a better view of what way not to go. No, the fact that we se (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/local-elections-tories-profit-from-ukip-collapse-amid-labour-losses), that the local pats of the Labour party have been decimated by losing over 300 seats, they are not out of the war yet. In that the General elections of June will still be a fight to consider. What seems to be the case is that on a local level, the people seem to have had enough of the Labour party. UKIP took a dive too and has now no election seats left. I am not sure how I feel about that, because it is a local thing and the people will vote for those who will achieve something for them, in that regard I cannot state that for one, how active UKIP has been, and in the second part that for the most, the charisma of Nigel Farage was the driving force of UKIP, without him active in the party, it would all be about the people of the local electorate and how they perceive their local elected youkiperino. The LibDems did OK, which was a little bit of a shock, but perhaps like in the previous elections as there was an interchangeability in electorate councils between UKIP and the LibDems, there is a chance a chunk of those people switched back. I would need the actual datasets to take a better look at that part. The quote in the article by Anushka Astana and Heather Steward is an interesting one, we see: “May’s claim that the EU was meddling in British affairs, which propelled her on to the front page of every national newspaper on Thursday morning as voters headed to the polls, was believed to have contributed to her party’s success against Ukip”, there is every bit an optional truth in that, the entire EC issues and the Europe against Britain has given Theresa May a much stronger view and an increased improved exposure and that is what the local voter are influenced by. I agree with that part, yet that would still not have been possible without Labour pooching their political game. In that Jeremy Corbyn is that larger loser, as I pointed out the day before yesterday in my previous blog. So as the UK moves forward towards next month elections, we will see levels of accusation of foul play by the Labour Party and possible UKIP too, the truth is that the people are realising that it is not one against the other, it is the UK against a non-trustworthy engine in Brussels and in addition the European Central Bank and Germany. Two sides that are trying not to get thrown of the European Gravy train. In that side, the additional usage of a German opening his mouth in, what I would classify as ‘stupidity’ with ‘Brexit: English is losing its importance in Europe, says Juncker’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/brexit-english-is-losing-its-importance-in-europe-says-juncker), where we read: “Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” Juncker said, to applause from his audience. “The French will have elections on Sunday and I would like them to understand what I am saying.” After these opening remarks in English, he switched to French for the rest of the speech”. It was bad form, even worse decorum and in that he is now desperately not be seen as a failure, which still has a 50/50 chance of getting getting painted as the ‘village idiot’ in the cold light of day this coming Monday.  The fact that a French election was super unpredictable in round one was pretty much a first in French modern history, the fact that t is not just party polarisation, it is the fact that the people have suffered a massive quality of life, whist in addition that level of loss has been frozen for over a decade is also an issue never addressed by those parties and the opposition is now screaming ‘everyone but Le Pen’ is doing so whilst he was part of a business that took the quality of life away from the French in the first place. It seems that the moment the voters remember their 10 years of hardship and see that one of the choices is a former investment banker, his goose is cooked and ready to get gobbled.

What we do know is that the English language has only increased in importance and it will do so for a long time to come, it does not matter whether the UK is in or out of the EC, the UK remains part of Europe, a trivial matter that Juncker overlooks, in equal measure, when people do business out of their own country in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, it is the English language that they hold one too, both sides feel comfortable with. The European population has not felt comfortable with the German language since WW1 and the French in all honesty elide on the elitist ambassadorial need for French, which tens to be not used in those circles either. So Juncker strikes out twice and the hostility created here is also setting the UK population in what might be seen as ‘fighting mode’, which supports conservative values lot more than many bargain for. When a person is attacked on values, that person looks towards family, the homestead, the workplace and staying strong, all conservative values (here I mean original values, not just Conservative party values) and the Tories profited by the situation.

Even as Theresa May keeps a cool head not relying on this victory for the general election, there is a truth in he fighting stand to keep Britain together. In that the Labour party with all its infighting is hurting itself with every round that some Labour person comes out with some strong statement trying to look clever. They merely seem to alienate their own member base. The fact that the Welsh side of the Labour party feels safer doing it on their own is a second sign that shows how much they bungled their own chances (not the Welsh mind you). I have seen and heard cries for Miliband, yet I am not certain how he could fit in. We could argue that anything is better than Jeremy Corbyn, yet the strength of Labour was always coming from a local side and they los that, implying that without that momentum there is no Labour to consider. I am not certain that this is true, in that France can be a driving force for the Labour message in the UK, especially is Le Pen wins. I have stated before and a few times that ‘nationalism’ is not an ugly word, we al believe in our nationalism to drive national pride in sports and products. Do you think that ‘buy Australian’ is merely an empty gesture? As the French rely on the national pride to grow its economy, Labour could do that in the next local elections and regain their own strength (be it with an essential lack of infighting). Yet, this is for the next local elections and in that, unless a miracle happens, the General elections are a wash for the Labour Party. If you doubt me, then consider that this path had proven to be a winning strategy for UKIP and it is still giving momentum to the LibDems. Too bad that the Corbyn groups did not figure this out in time. Will there be a power shift in Labour? It essentially need to be because they have nothing left to rely on, Corbyn threw that away. I cannot state that Miliband is the solution, it is weird, but I do believe that if Ed takes the lessons of his father Ralph to heart, he could swing it all over the next elections. Those who rely on the hatched job the press did two years ago need to realise that his father a Polish Jew immigrated to the UK, fought the Germans (as all British did) and as a University professor created what is now known as ‘the New Left’, Marxist in origin or not, you need to be a person of particularly strong vision to pull that off and he Labour party grew from near nothing to true strength, historical sides that were ignored, even by junior himself. I am not going into he said, she said, and the mud slinging. We know that historically both sides have been fiercely Nationalistic as only the Brits can be. That side has been lost by Labour as it tried to be more European at times, which is now a decided disadvantage, because how did the UK fare under the ECB? Not that great, or at least not to the degree they could have been and the people are seeing the realisation of that more and more, to the detriment of the Labour numbers. Even as some people are urging that Mario Draghi is easing down from his spending spree, Draghi is defiant in his need to wave the trillion-euro credit card around, leaving whatever to come next to pay for the bills. It only resolves the need for Brexit and any anti-Brexit noises we hear will impact the voting numbers, UKIP started it, the people voted on it and now France is moving on it too, yet that outcome is not a given. In all this we see the IMF calling in negativity towards the UK, whilst they have been wrong already three times. In all this we also see the influence of Greece on all this, because it will. Ekathimerini reports: “Greek bonds are investors’ last chance to take a free ride courtesy of the European Central Bank. Athens could soon be eligible for the bank’s program of bond purchases, pushing up prices just as those of other Eurozone bonds start going the other way”, they did not learn the last time, now they have to get to be this stupid again? You see, bonds are lovely for those mediating in this, the expected windfall for those mediating was roughly 50 million Euro last time, and this time? Consider that the Greeks ended up with literally nothing t show for, so why repeat such a stupid mistake, this just drives the need for Brexit and Frexit faster and stronger. That is how Greece is impacting on Europe. We can argue on how desperately the Greeks need it, yet when we know the consequence that it merely keeps the lights on for merely a month and it will take the people years to pay it off, how good an idea do you think this is? And that is when we realise that the interest levels will only rise again giving additional hardship to the Greeks, in all this that so called ‘independent’ ECB seems to be setting the stage for themselves alone. How is that European, acceptable or even problem solving this ECB is? So far there has been no evidence that they are anything but a facilitation to a group that was not elected and seems to have an agenda that is locked down and detrimental to the heath of the entire Eurozone.

Now I agree that my previous statement s a little too strong and perhaps off the boil, yet the election over the next 48 hours are giving us the reality that the people are feeling the hurt, whilst unelected elements are paving the way for big business to get free rides and easy access to the options of profit which will not help the voting population any. Website Fortune.com is giving us “The gross domestic product of the 19-country euro zone bloc grew by 0.5 percent on the quarter in the first quarter, which translates to annualized growth of 1.8 percent in all of 2017, the European statistics agency Eurostat said”, my issue is that the year is not over and in the bulk of all instances in the past, expectations ‘suddenly’ get winded down in Q1 2018, In addition we know that after one quarter 0.5% does not make for 1.8%, and that reality has been shown to many of us too often, the issue is also that this is happening whilst Mario Draghi is spending €60 billion a month, so basically it is fuelling some commerce which is not any level of economic growth, in that realisation, the UK is growing decently and France could go the same way when it Frexit’s the hell out of the ECB jurisdiction. With every spiced report we read, with every ‘speculated translation’ we are given less of less faith in a system that is fuelling itself by plunging the European nations in deeper debt. Tell me, when was that EVER a solution to economic hardship? In my view nationalism seems to be one of the few working solutions left. We just need the right champion and so far (even as I was not a fan of her) Theresa May has been doing the right job, steering the right path, so as a conservative, I feel pretty good. I just hope that Labour gets its act together, because better politicians are forged through opposition, and in the coming four years we need Theresa May to be as strong as possible, because Brexit will not be a cake walk, as the European players are losing their power base and as their fear of a mediocre income grows they will be changing their games and tactics into something insidious, hoping to strong along weaker players and seeing what they can bank for themselves. The lack of transparency will increasingly allow for it. The fact that there is such a lack of transparency has been voiced by others for some time, yet the lack of actions ran updated code of conduct, whilst the ECB powers have grown (source: Handelsblatt Global), when we see such a failing after a decade, whilst the ECB is all about stopping people leaving the European Fraternity is a weird situation, the act that you cannot be thrown out (see Greece) and when a party seeks a better place (see UK) we are confronted with actual issues on the ECB and its spending spree, even hen its largest player (see Germany) is asking  Mario Draghi to ease off. All this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth and that is even before we realise that the UK has big national fish to fry and solve (see NHS). In all this should we even wonder how France will react? How the French will act when Emmanuel Macron wins and makes a quick deal with his former investment banker friends? I reckon that there is the smallest of chances that in the hereafter Louis XVIII will ask Emmanuel Macron: ‘You too?’. In that, it is so Monty Python to quote that Emmanuel Macron was 171cm in life, whilst at the day of his death he was only 149 cm tall. I joke and offcourse it is unlikely to happen, yet the rage of the French people is such that 50% is siding with Marine Le Pen, a situation that would be unthinkable before Francois Hollande became president. So you tell me, if Le Pen does not win (not unrealistic) and suddenly the people see Frexit fall away (also not unrealistic), how unrealistic is it when some elements of the ECB get exposed and the French rage that follows, especially when the UK economy remains growing stronger and stronger, that not only will a Frexit referendum be demanded by well over 70% of the French, or what will happen at that point when Emmanuel Macron starts dragging his feet?

We will not know for two days, but after that, no matter who wins, France will be in for several large changes. You might have seen how Emmanuel Macron voiced his view on Frexit, yet like Jeremy Corbyn, talk is cheap and the agenda of an elected official tends to change after getting elected, that much has been proven for decades. The question is how far is Macron willing to take it and how will the French view the changes offered. This all impacts on the UK general elections as it will set the tone for Europe. It will have an impact that will last the rest of this current generation to clean up the mess that EC non-elected officials created.

For those who vote, do so, be true to yourself and your family, whilst being in support of your nation, that is as much as anyone can do, do so truthfully and you should be fine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Dress rehearsal (part 1)

That is the question in my mind, are we in the final preparations of a new theatre play that will change everything? In the Green Room we have the people in preparation of the new mess they are about to bestow on the people of the EEC. A game that changes everything, yet the people behind all of this have a short term solution, because soon they will move out of the seats of power with a golden parachute, a golden umbrella, a golden handshake and a gold watch. They will get the most luxurious life imaginable, only by prolonging the power players. That is the very first thoughts going through my mind when I was looking at the article ‘Greek debt crisis: day of decision for Alexis Tsipras‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-crisis-day-of-decision-for-tsipras)

When we look at this production in the limelight, we get a few parts, the introduction is all about comedy with the quick comedy play ‘It’s Greece’s problem, says Kremlin‘, yes, as Russia distances himself from that lefty organisation called Syriza that has elements of Marxist–Leninist, Trotskyist and Euro-communist. Must feel really nice for Alexis Tsipras to be the debutante at a Kremlin ball, only to realise he gave away his cherry for naught and got left out in the cold afterwards. Which means that one option he thought he had just left the exit on the left.

The intro act comes from Mariano Rajoy, our Spanish player. The quote ““What would happen if Greece came out of the euro? There would be a negative message that euro membership is reversible,” Rajoy said in a radio interview. “People may think that if one country can leave the euro, others could do so in the future. I think that is the most serious problem that could arise (from a Greek exit).”“, reflects not on Greece, but emphasizes on the danger France is about to pose. The players are comprehending the dangers, the news on Greece is coming from a few direction, but right from the bat, the others are now starting to manage the news any way they can. My reasoning?

Reuters reports: “Greece has not yet made any movement in response to a last-minute bid by creditors to broker a deal to end a deadlock over the Greek debt crisis, the European Commission said on Tuesday. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday night and Juncker, after speaking to the chair of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem, explained what a last-minute deal could look like, Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters. “This would require a move from the Greek government which President Juncker asked (for) before midnight last night. As we speak, this move has not yet been received, registered, and time is now narrowing,” Schinas said“.

In addition we see from Reuters:

30-Jun-2015 11:19:20 – EUROPEAN COMMISSION SAYS DOOR OPEN FOR GREEK DEAL, BUT TIME RUNNING OUT QUICKLY
30-Jun-2015 11:20:27 – EUROPEAN COMMISSION SAYS NO MOVE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM GREECE
30-Jun-2015 11:21:05 – EUROPEAN COMMISSION SAYS GREEK GOVERMENT WOULD NEED TO ACCEPT PUBLISHED PROPOSAL

In addition we see in the Guardian: “Danuta Huebner, chair of the committee on constitutional affairs at the European Parliament, has tweeted about the legality of Grexit“, she gives the following Tweets “A member state’s exit from #EMU without a parallel withdrawal from the EU, would be legally inconceivable #Greece

The link refers to a PDF (at the end of the article), where we see in the abstract “that a Member State’s exit from EMU, without a parallel withdrawal from the EU, would be legally inconceivable; and that, while perhaps feasible through indirect means, a Member State’s expulsion from the EU or EMU, would be legally next to impossible. This paper concludes with a reminder that while, institutionally, a Member State’s membership of the euro area would not survive the discontinuation of its membership of the EU, the same need not be true of the former Member State’s use of the euro

So, if the abstract holds any level of water, have we, the audience been played? Are we the people now being misdirected by missing legislation because politicians could not do their job properly? That is the question, because one EU paper, does not policy make. The introduction gives us “Until recently, to talk of ‘secession’ from the European Union (EU) would have been next to absurd“, really? Did you policy makers remember a man named Adolf Hitler in one corner and Arthur Neville Chamberlain with the Munich agreement in the other corner?

A paper linked to all this by Karolina Boronska-Hryniewiecka called ‘The Risky Game of EMU Withdrawal‘, which is implied to come from the Polish institute of international affairs gives us: “The EC’s statement about the legal “impossibility” of EMU withdrawal stems from the fact that no European treaty has included a provision for how a Member State could leave the single currency area. While Art. 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides that any Member State may withdraw from the EU on the basis of a negotiated agreement with the EU institutions, it does not mention anything about the possibility of exiting EMU itself. At the same time, Art. 140 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides that the rate at which the former national currencies are substituted by the “euro” for EMU members has been “irrevocably” fixed. What also follows from the EU treaties is that while membership is voluntary, participation in the EMU, apart from certain exceptions, is a legal, if eventual obligation of every EU Member State.

The links come from Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, European Parliament. So why did no one properly look into this, or even report on this? I personally expected that the European members of constitutional affairs had their affairs in order, which means that if one local yokel (Alexis Tsipras) cannot get his act in order, there are decent steps that can be taken to either get that person in line, or expel his nation. Now we seem to get introduced that expulsion is not really an option. So in all the theatre plays we watched, it seems that the part, ‘expulsion is impossible‘ was never ever mentioned, was it?

And in addition we get “Reports are mounting that the Greek prime minister has not only accepted a deal but will travel to Brussels, possibly as early as this evening, to discuss it with senior EU officials. The deal, based on reforms proposed by EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker late last night, is believed to have been rubber stamped at a meeting of senior government official held at the prime minister’s office, the Megaron Maximou, this morning. The German daily, Bild, is also backing up the reports, saying Tsipras has had contact with high ranking EU officials whom he will meet imminently. “The prime minister’s plane is at the ready,” the paper said.

This all comes from Helena Smith from the Guardian reporting. So, I feel comfortable trusting the source here. So now we have ourselves a fifth act. You see, in my view this is all about opening 7.2 billion if the 1.6 billion get paid. It must be really comfortable for any banker to underwrite a 7 days loan, with a nice percentage knowing that this payment is the first payment out of 7.2 billion. At 1% that banker ends up with a 16 million euro bonus, that is, if it is only one percent.

Yet, is it not me? Am I trivialising things, perhaps even over-dramatizing it?

Consider the next news “Here’s Bloomberg on Schaeuble’s comments: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers in Berlin that Greece would stay in the euro for the time being if Greek voters reject austerity in a referendum scheduled this week, according to three people present. Schaeuble also said the European Central Bank would do what’s needed to protect the euro if Greeks voted against the bailout terms in the July 5 referendum, according to the people, all of whom participated in the closed-door meeting on Tuesday. They asked not to be identified, citing the private nature of the discussion. The German Finance Ministry declined to comment.

Now we have a ballgame. There is also an issue, why do they need to be ‘not identified’? It seems to me that the European Central Bank would need to do what’s needed to protect the euro. Yet, in light of what made the news from Danuta Huebner, chair of the committee on constitutional affairs at the European Parliament, we now need to consider what options are there?

These are important questions to keep in mind. Consider all the news I have brought in the last 6 months through my blog. This is now ‘set’ in the limelight with the Guardian article ‘Alexis Tsipras: Mr Reasonable seizes the initiative from Project Fear’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/alexis-tsipras-greece-deal-vote-referendum), how misguided is that title? The quote “Faced with Project Fear, Tsipras wants to be seen as Mr Reasonable“, is as misguided as it can. They have not just changed the game, they have left, what should be regarded as criminal activities open to reactivation. (I will get to that part in part 2).

First two quotes “It little mattered that the new blueprint from Athens had a shelf life of only a couple of hours before Angela Merkel said there could be no fresh negotiations until after Greece’s referendum on Sunday” and “Somehow or other, Greece’s debt burden will be reduced. It can happen through a deal in which Athens gets debt relief for economic reform. Or it can came through a default that would swiftly follow Greek exit from the single currency. Everybody knows this, and it is bizarre that an explicit proposal for debt relief was not formally made to Tsipras in last week’s talks

You see, the game is changing, yet some elements have been ignored and some were never given clarity. So as Greece wants another extension 2 minutes before midnight, as they want another bailout of 30 billion with better terms, the game is now taking another term, one that the people behind the screens cannot contain, in the end, they are cutting their own veins even deeper than Greece ever did, but let me back that up with some facts, because without facts, this all becomes a rant (which anyone can get whilst reading the Telegraph, or an equally disastrous form of news coverage).

The quote “Juncker earlier told Tsipras that a last-minute deal was still possible if Athens agreed to sign up to the creditors’ proposals presented last Friday. He also dangled the prospects of debt relief for Greece and a €35bn “new start for jobs and growth” programme” from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/30/greece-brink-financial-collapse-imf-deadline-hours-away) gives us the salutation I made on May 6th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/05/06/whats-the-matter), where I stated “when the voters learn that Greece is about to desire up to 30 billion before the end of the year, so that it can pay the outstanding bills“, so not only was I right all along, it is possible that the Greeks delayed because of the fear what it would do to the UKIP numbers and subsequently a first serious move away from the EU. Now, not only is Juncker offering 5 billion in addition, it comes with very little extra hardship for the Greeks, especially the previous Greek politicians.

Yet, now, as I mentioned, the game changes. With the migrant issues in Calais, Marine Le Pen is about to take control of another piece of France, which will soon prove to be really bad news for President Hollande. In addition, the quote “In January she asked French President Francois Hollande to suspend the visa-free Schengen Area in Europe and strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they carry out “barbaric crimes”“, give us an additional change. It is not a given that the changes to Schengen will happen, but if it does, it is clearly in addition a preparation to move France away from the EU. Her statement a week ago clearly indicates the change she wants to impose.

In all this, Greece now stands alone, because the drive on the shores of Brexit and Frexit are now clearly stated in the news, stated by these politicians, which in case of Marine Le Pen is not a good thing for Europe, because unless her demands are met, she will call for an exit from the EEC, not just the Euro, which changes the game by a massive margin. So when I see the quote “but what Tsipras has done is seize the initiative“, it must be stated that it is an incomplete view, because the response from both the UK and France is about to give the world of finance a massive headache, one that will continue for the next 20 months, especially as Marine Le Pen ends up as the next possible leader of France, for which she is currently in the lead, ahead of Sarkozy and Hollande. The laughing whisper two years ago, is now a realistic threat, interesting how so many journalists missed this escalation.

There are more signals, all indicative of one more act on the floors of the theatre.

And the act starts with a gloomy theatre, men and women in black, handing a folder, from person to person, they all look at it for a few seconds and give it to the next person. This goes on and on. Yes, we get to the article ‘IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-troika-analysis-says-significant-concessions-still-needed). The story already starts with questionable statements “Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors“, the reason that I call it questionable, is because Greece is what I call a 3G nation, which means it will take three generations for this debt to become close to manageable. So, with that I imply that the debt is still a massive form of pressure in 2061, there is no escaping it. Even with reforms Greece is no longer able to meet the interest payments and the payments after the payment reduction, unless it makes MASSIVE changes to its laws and its social system. This includes holding politicians accountable for overspending, making them prosecutable for criminal negligence if they cannot meet the budget. It is close to the only change that will start stopping the madness. In addition, tax laws need a massive overhaul, one that should be part of the IMF demand before Greece gets one additional eurocent.

By the way, Greece is not alone, Spain, France and Italy are all 3G nations at present. The UK is not that deep yet, but it will take a generation of hardship to get the debt under control.

That (secret) document also states “that under the baseline scenario “significant concessions” are necessary to improve Greece’s chances of ridding itself permanently of its debt financing woes”, is that even a surprise? I figured that out over a year ago, doing the math of my fingers, an Abacus was not required, this is exactly why I opposed Greece to be allowed back on the market selling another 5 billion in bonds. But the power players wanted their commission and as I see it a 100 million euro bonus is just too good to pass up.

So here in short is part one of this story. Certain elements are in play and have been in play for some time. Greece has done next to nothing to clean up its act, its laws and its massive shortcomings. As we see again the voices of many shouting against Austerity, we have to wonder whether people even realise what they are shouting against. You see, austerity is merely keeping a budget, for close to two decades governments have overspend every year, this is how Greece got into this mess, it had spent money that it never had. It is not alone in this pretty much every EEC nation is guilty of this and whilst some are still afloat, Greece is the first one who cannot even commit to the due interest bill, that is at the foundation of this debacle. So austerity is not a punishment, it is not a right, it is a mere responsibility and it has been forfeited by nearly every EEC nation for much too long.

I will give more answers in part 2 of this article, hopefully the day after tomorrow.

Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Exit strategies anyone?

Today is an interesting day. The article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/28/european-union-exit-will-harm-britain-says-cbi) is well worth reading and in addition, I must state that I am not sure whether I have made up my mind what would be the best course of action. I have been on both sides of this and I am currently on the fence. First of all, the UK must do what is best for the UK and beyond that the UK should do what is best for the Commonwealth. I personally think that this is the status as it should be at the moment. The question becomes whether Europe is the best for the UK. I am not talking about the Juncker issue (even though that seems to be part of any decision), but where should we be? The headline states “EU exit will harm UK, says leading British industry group“, yes THEY will talk in their own interest, they always do. The Eurostat numbers are unconvincing (at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-22012014-AP/EN/2-22012014-AP-EN.PDF), today’s reserved savings are tomorrows signal to abundantly overspend funds, that much has been seen again and again ever since 2009, when the taps should have been closed. This is also at the heart of the matter for what is best for the UK. And in all honesty, the UK has overspent their quota a fair bit too. Now we have a new issue. Up to 2013 we got to see a picture from some of the more decently reliable sources, yet, now later in 2014, there is almost nothing on the projected and actual numbers for 2013. There lies the hidden issue, it is not that there is little, there is too little information now, so who to believe. When governments are not boasting, they are definitely hiding some issues under the carpet and those issues will impact the UK too. I will not bore you with the numbers UKIP gives us (at http://www.ukipmeps.org/uploads/file/Cost_of_the_EU_25_5_11.pdf), they are talking their own brand of flavour, as would Prime Minister David Cameron, but where is the truth?

My benefit here is that I speak half a dozen languages, which gives me additional sources. The ‘Nederlands Dagblad‘ gives us (at http://www.nd.nl/artikelen/2014/februari/28/lagere-overheden-verwachten-te-hoog-tekort) the following: “Gemeenten, provincies en waterschappen verwachten dat hun begrotingstekort dit jaar uitkomt op 3,7 miljard euro. Dat is zeshonderd miljoen euro meer dan volgens de afgesproken norm mag” [translated] “Municipalities, counties and Water boards (a flood control and water resources management group) expect that their budget shortage will total at 3.7 billion, which is 600 million more than agreed upon“.

So the Dutch are already coming up short at present. This does not mean that this will be the end result! At http://www.bnr.nl/nieuws/beurs/487506-1302/liveblog-economie-krimpt-begrotingstekort-naar-33-procent-in-2013, we see the mention that the Dutch will have a budget shortage of 3.3% in 2013 and 3.4% in 2014. How much of this is correct, and when were some projections made?

We see the Dutch news on how the American economy is down 2.9% and that Bank managers are now getting a sizeable raises, yet the overall shortages of the Dutch is not really discussed on sites with above average reliability (like the NOS). The only one in a ‘happy happy joy joy’ position is Germany who now seems to have a budget surplus. Again, the harsh cuttings Germany did from 2010 onwards paid off, but they seem to be the only one. France deficit was set at 4.1% for 2014, so as we see the list grow, is it truly a good idea to stay in the Euro group? Industrials might think this, but they will not be confronted with the financial measures that will hit the UK and its taxpaying citizens. I was at first in the same boat where I thought that going out of the Euro was a bad idea, but as we see the growing concern of nearly all EEC countries going over the deficit limit, can the UK afford to stay in there? Moreover, will staying in until 2017 turn out to be a dangerous issue?

This is part of the issues, which I have stated before. When, not if the American economy goes over the edge, those in deep debt will get a new approach to humility. That part is still a dangerous situation for the UK as well (with a balance of almost minus 1.5 trillion). So, the dangers of additional debts from Europe would cripple the UK as well. This is as I see it part of the reason why the UKIP got such a huge success. The bulk of the politicians and all the other parties have been dancing around the economic situation. Most people have noticed it and 26 months of ‘feigned’ economic recovery is nice for the industrials, yet the people have not seen ANY improvements in their lives, which is the centrepiece of all the stress out there. This is part of the situation all are avoiding.

If we consider the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-nigel-farage-and-ukip-are-deceiving-british-public-and-holding-back-the-unemployed-with-immigration-rhetoric-9472289.html) we see another side. I would be willing to agree with this, yet the voice of Ed Miliband is not giving decent clarity and David Cameron is voicing the need of big business (to a larger extent), they all are talking in their own fast lane and the people end up being not in any good place.

Even now, less than an hour ago, Ed Miliband is quoted by Reuters as ‘looking to shed the anti-business label‘, which gives a lot less security to the people. In this confusion Nigel Farage is cleaning house as he is stating what people seem to want to hear. The correct critique remains how truthful are his statements?

This is what is driving the people in regards to an exit strategy. As the news is playing a game of what I personally regard as ‘managing bad news’ in several nations, the people are catching up and losing faith in governments in general. This is partially driving the demand for a European exit. The people are losing faith in the ‘facts’ as presented, because good news gets overinflated, bad news is managed and the press seems to help out governments and big business in not giving proper tallies, as too many are depending on advertisement funds (often from Big Business). We all seem to watch a weighted scale. Under those conditions, many prefer to go it alone and see that part return. Let’s not forget that before the Euro, the UK was in a pretty good position. The entire mass flocking to UKIP are remembering those days and they are hoping that they will return to these days and UKIP is talking right into that alley of expectations.

In regards to the article with the quote involving Tony Blair “The answer to the white, working-class unemployed youth in alienated communities in Britain is not to tell them their problems would be solved if there were fewer Polish people working in the UK, he said“. I tend to agree, but the truth is that these Polish workers seem to be getting some jobs and this is causing more stress with those desperately seeking work. I am not voicing any anti-Polish thoughts, the question becomes how did they get those jobs and more important, if this is how some businesses are getting cheap labour, why is this not dealt with in regards to unfair working conditions. The Telegraph (never a great source for quality info) is publishing articles on how 10% of a company is Polish. This is getting to the people, who do not look at the whole picture. The Independent is bringing us a much better story quality wise (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/migrants-in-britain-a-decade-on-the-poles-who-brought-prosperity-9278710.html). The article by Emily Dugan shows the story of a Polish entrepreneur, who because a success through hard work, employing dozens of people. This Radomir Szwed shows another side, one that does not get illuminated that often. It is a story all should read, only to show that immigration is not a source of job losses, but one that brings jobs too, yet the Telegraph is not that likely to bring such a story.

All this brings us to a less appealing story in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/18/nigel-farage-far-right-european-parliament). As the power of Nigel Farage grows in regards to his European side whilst joining with former members of French ‘Front Nationale’ and a more extreme viewed Swedish party, the issues will continue. Even though there is debate on Nigel Farage, he sees himself as the person to voice the needs of Britain, a voice Prime Minister Cameron lost when his opposition to Juncker was defeated 26-2. If Nigel Farage delivers any victory for the British people in any way, the powers in the UK will change leaving the Tories very little options in regards to the EEC. Will David Cameron be forced to call an early vote to exit Europe? Perhaps Nigel Farage will have that option as he currently has the strongest options in Europe. However, not all is well in that regards either, now the votes are done, we see a splintering in what was a solid danger. Some are re-establishing themselves and some are defecting to the new Le Pen group. So, not all is quiet on the eastern front with the EEC.

These matters will bring question to any exit strategy we see on the European front. No matter what happens, until the people get some clear information on how the debts are, where they are and how deficits are going as well as their own options, there will be no relief. The party that brings the best story and adds true relief on the hardship the people in the UK currently have will get a massive spike in votes.

I am not sure any exit strategy will bring that, yet, when we consider the response by Richard Branson (at http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/why-an-exit-from-eu-would-be-bad-for-british-business), my response is that this is not a given either. If we see what some Commonwealth partners are agreeing to within the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), then we are seeing how politicians seem to be lining American Big Business pockets, whilst not overly protecting the their own local interests. This will in the end hit back to the UK as well. Consider that these Trade Agreements are not at all discussed out in the open (which makes sense until some point is reached). It seems to me that the UK needs to talk to Australia, Canada and New Zealand at that point. Because not only will the TPP impact the UK, whomever signs the TPP could be in for a long rough spell whilst US and Japan will hunt down a new currency, which is no longer the dollar, but a currency named IPR (Intellectual Property rights). IPR will be the new gold over the next 10 years. Those who have enough of them survive.

This is the unspoken side of the exit strategy. As the EU is chained to the US in several ways, the UK must secure its future in any way it can, yes we must all get rid of our debts, but in equal measure the UK will rely on its entrepreneurs, which includes people like Radomir Szwed, that is the side UKIP is not really talking about and their immigration changes would have negatively impacted the UK.

I remain on the fence on whether the UK should or should not leave, but complete clarity is a must which is a side the press, in all their whining after the Leveson trials have remained awfully unclear about.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics