Friday, March 9, 2012

Britain to blame again for the new EU fiscal treaty referendum?

British opposition to the EU’s original fiscal treaty proposal is partly responsible for forcing a referendum on the issue in the Republic, former Taoiseach John Bruton argued yesterday.

The Republic has to hold a constitutional referendum to ratify the fiscal treaty, which imposes budgetary rules on EU members limiting the amount of money they can borrow and the deficits they can run.

Addressing the Ireland Canada Business Association yesterday, John Bruton, a former Taoiseach and EU ambassador to the US, said the British government’s refusal to agree to amend existing European treaties to accommodate the new fiscal rules had “forced everybody else” to go outside existing agreements.

“The fact that a member state would do such a thing, to my mind, suggests something not far from malice,” he added.

Mr Bruton argued that if Britain had agreed to amend the existing EU treaties to accommodate the fiscal pact, it is possible the Republic could have avoided the need for a referendum. He suggested it would have been possible for the Government to rely on the fact the electorate have already ratified those existing treaties in previous referendums.

Mr Bruton is president of IFSC Ireland, a private organization that promotes the Republic, and particularly Dublin, as a location for international financial services. His brother, Richard, is Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation in the Coalition.

Mr Bruton was giving the Ireland Canada Business Association’s inaugural lecture, which was hosted by accountancy firm Price-Waterhouse-Coopers at its offices in Dublin. In his speech, he argued the welfare state, designed during a period of sustained growth in the 1950s and 1960s and promising generous pensions to workers, was the root cause of the EU’s sovereign debt crisis.

He said the markets recognized in many EU states the ratio of workers to pensioners was falling, making it harder to sustain retirement benefits. As a result, the markets were targeting the EU.

By: Barry O'Halloran
The Irish Times, 09/03/2012.

The above article just sickens me. We all know what the Brits are doing in the E.U., they want to protect their interests that lie with the Markets and the financial sector. But at least please call a spade a spade and stop the nonsense! They hate the euro and they want it gone. They advocate for the debt ridden nations to leave the euro-zone as soon as possible.

They tried to block the new EU fiscal treaty, because they will lose out in manipulating the European currencies and economy. And now that they managed to force Ireland to have a referendum on it with their objections and withdrawal, they will meddle again in the referendum and try to shoot down the treaty.

If the Irish vote NO they will be doing Britain's job and making them a favor, for the worsening of the crisis for all of the nations that are in dire need for a solution right now, including Ireland! But only Ireland's reputation will be damaged by this, not Britain's.

I understand that the British Government has invested a lot over the decades to maintain the financial sector and it is one of Britain's main economic sectors, since they got rid off a lot of their industries. But if Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Italy are called to face tough austerity and make the necessary reforms, with very painful consequences for their people, why Britain isn't?

Perhaps they should go back to what they had before and not rely on easy money from the Markets. It will be for Europe's, the British people's and the World's benefit to control the financial sector. 

The U.K. is acting selfishly again, to protect the very institutions that brought us to this mess: the banks and the markets. Next time please stop lecturing us about how Europe is robbing Britain out of its resources, and consider that you (the ordinary British citizens) might also not escape the will of the Markets, after they have consumed everything in the other European countries.

We need to control the markets and the banks, not support them, side with them and give them more power over our citizens. But the City of London has different views!

Putin is re-elected, Europe debates how to deal with it!

And yes, he did it again; (everlasting) Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin is elected once more to be the country's President for yet another term! And while we in the rest of Europe do not quite understand Russian politics, somehow the Russians (or the majority of them at least) seem quite content with what is going on in their country. And I do mention the majority of them, because lately we have seen strong opposition and many protests in the streets of Moscow and other large Russian cities, calling for Putin to leave the Russian political scene for good.

Europe of course and "the West" in general are trying to figure a way of dealing with the Russians, Putin and their kind of "democracy." No, having the same President re-elected the Putin way is not democratic at all, that is one thing for sure. But why do we have to understand them or even make them change in order to do business with them? Why do we have to make everyone that is trading with us or is near to us behave the way we do, or spread our version of "democracy" to every country in the World?

As if Democracy in Europe and America are perfect! I won't even go to the American version of "democracy", a "gift" from America that is being forced to some unfortunate nations with invasions and bombings! Either you are going to have "democracy"  or else we are going to force it upon you. Excuse me, isn't democracy by its definition deriving straight from the will and actions of the people, the citizens and not by foreign powers? In my opinion "democracy" for the Americans means one thing: Capitalism! Unless you are free to consume and spend money on buying things that you do not need, then you are not democratic enough for their liking! And they are going to convert you to it.

And what about Europe? Recently the German Minister of Finance Mr. Wolfgang Schauble, virtually threatened the Greeks to vote again for either the PASOK or the New Democracy Party in the upcoming election in the country, in order to secure the second bail-out loan. To remind you, those two parties run Greece since the '70s and they are responsible for the current economic mess in Greece but also in the eurozone! The same people that we want to get rid off so badly, our European partners now are threaten us that we have to keep them or else! But then how will Greece change? Why insist on keeping in power those people who are guilty of bringing their country to its knees? Is it because they are the ones who signed the sell out of the country to our "partners" in Europe and America and if we get rid off them, the deals they signed will perhaps be cancelled by any new political establishment?

Of course this makes me wonder how democratic are Greece and Europe itself, when they allow such things to take place! It also makes me wonder if the corrupt political elite who was supported by Europe for decades, was only placed in the lead of the country to do just that; drive the country bankrupt and bringing it to the mercy of the bankers, the marketers and the capitalists. And I won't even go to the democratic deficit within EU, or examine the case of other countries, like Italy for example; they had someone very similar to Putin, he is called Berlusconi and he dominated the country's media, public opinion and politics for years, yet Europe tolerated him until things reached a dead end! No one was asking the question he ask about the Russian case: how to deal with Italy?

Russia is a major trade partner for Europe for its oil and natural gas, among other things. We should not try to change their politics; it could be dangerous! Russia is not Iran. And even with Iran what have we achieved so far? We banned their oil into Europe, it is the weak European economies like Greece that suffer because they can not import oil from there! The Iranians simply sell it on to the Chinese; there are other markets you know apart from Europe. We can not afford to do the same with Russia, can we. Russia had never had the type of democracy we have in the rest of Europe and perhaps they will never do; or even if they will eventually it will take much more time and it must come from within the country, from the Russians themselves.

Why try to force it or why shall we make everybody conform with our way of doing politics in order to do business with them? Besides who tells us that our way is the best? There are a lot of skeletons in Europe's closet and if we get involved in other people's politics, be sure that they will get involved in ours in return; why go back to the Cold War days?

Personally I am more concerned about what is unfair and undemocratic in Europe/EU right now. We can not change or interfere in Russian internal affairs, not without consequences. Putin must go but we can only watch, or perhaps assist the groups that call for our help; but they have to reach out to us first. We should try to sort our problems in Europe before we criticize Russia, because right now we are not in much better place. Democracy in Europe is fading and we have unelected "technocrats" put in our governments, while bankers, the markets and the capitalists rule our countries.  And we dare criticize Russia for its elections? Sort your own back garden Europe, before you dare to criticize others!!