Posts tagged ‘Government’

June 6, 2011

European Union’s own public expenditure goes up by a staggering 5% in 2012 whilst it orders member states to put theirs in reverse

[Tammy Jones, UK Financial News Contributor]

In a gesture, breathtaking by its sheer slime-oozing texture, MailOnline reports that UK Tax Minister, George Osborne, joined the ranks of the EU slithering elite which are bringing the economy of Britain to a shuddering halt, by pronouncing that the government’s austerity measures imposed by the IMF and the EU in return for the country’s bailout loans are: ‘essential’ for Britain’s recovery.

The Tax Minister’s pronouncement spawns from the emptiness of the IMF and EU’s failure to produce any model for austerity measures (which essentially entail a dramatic cessation in public spending) ever bringing back any country in Europe from ruin to prosperity, coupled with the PIGS countries clear inability to not only sustain any kind of prolonged public expenditure cuts, but now clearly to pay back their bailouts.

And in a dramatic failure to lead from the front on public expenditure cuts, whilst the EU Commissioners are so busy championing ‘austerity measures’ to member states, they are in shopping mode with member states’ taxpayer’s contributions as the EU’s own public spending/ administration costs are set to go up by 5% in 2012.

As such, the clear-cut strategy for the EU Commissioners seems to be:-

a) transfer public spending from member states to the EU (which has never been audited)
b) EU Commissioners will then control and eventually dominate all member states
c) member states, via economic and political union, become ‘prefectures’/ ‘regions’ of the European Union.

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April 26, 2011

Germany, new mecca for cash-strapped eastern Europeans

[Daciana Antonescu, EU News Contributor]

Spiegel Online International: It seems that, in times of the global financial crisis, ‘wealthy Germany‘ has become not only the final destination for many disadvantaged fortune-seekers from the less affluent east and south, but also a favoured destination for desperate eastern Europeans whose counties are practically bankrupt states.

Because of that, the trade for human trafficking is Germany is going through the roof as traders flood the country with cheap work forces from Bulgaria, Romania and other ‘new member states’ made up of those who are so desperate to get any kind of work. For them, the prospect of as little as 3 EUR per hour (tax and social insurance free) and a place to sleep in a crowded warehouse, or cellar, is a vision from heaven itself.

The Outskirts of the EU

Since 2007 when Bulgaria was accepted in the European Union, the number of Bulgarians residing  in Germany is estimated to be 36,000, although no one really knows the true figure. Thousands and thousands are there, unknown and unaccounted for, living on less than EUR15 a day and having their children around as still cheaper workers.

The flow of labour from the eastern Europe is intense because, being citizens of the European Union, Bulgarians and other eastern European citizens, whose countries are in the EU, can enter any EU state without a visa.  Many of the workers have no choice.  “If the children weren’t in Germany we would starve,” says one old woman from Bulgarian countryside as her son leaves for Germany. The majority of them can afford to send home no more than around EUR 200 a month, however, in Bulgaria it is the size of the average salary and their parents need it to pay their debts and for food.

Sinan Kemal’s – a Bulgarian slave labourer in Germany

Sinan Kemal, 27, has worked in Germany for four years. His ‘luck story’ is quite different from what many prospective immigrants would like to think. For example, he had to pay  EUR150 a month for a bed which comprised a dirty mattress at an acquaintance’s house. At some time, he had worked at a warehouse under the surveillance of Turkish managers and remembers that each time he had slowed down in his task of packing boxes, he had got hit in the face by one of the managers. He reflects:  “You’re an EU citizen, but you just happen to be born in the wrong country. But EUR3 an hour is good, compared with going hungry in Bulgaria.”

April 23, 2011

European Union’s EUR500m foreign public spending grants

[Anne Marwick, EU Finance & Economy Contributor]

Whilst the ‘bailout’ funds injected by the EU into their failing member states’ economies during the financial crisis will need to be paid back by them and in the meantime, their public spending programs remain severely restricted by the EU, the EU has  committed more than EUR 500m in free grants to foreign states to boost the foreign countries’ public spending programs.

As a result, the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) countries and others in the European Union like Latvia, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, struggling to keep their citizens from dire straits during the financial crisis as a result of the EU’s clampdown on their public spending, are becoming increasingly angry over the EU’s public spending double standards.

New Europe reports that the European Commission is to spend more than €500 million in non-repayable grants  under its Vulnerability FLEX mechanism which is a program for helping African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries  deal with the effects of the global financial crisis. The funds are targeted as assisting the countries to maintain their public spending programs.  Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development said: “Developing countries continue to face important difficulties, including funding gaps in their government’s budgets, as a direct consequence of the global financial crisis. This year, this EU mechanism will help 19 ACP countries maintain their level of public spending in priority areas, and therefore mitigate the social impact of the economic downturn”.

The countries that have benefited from the program so far include:  Benin, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Malawi, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Island, and Zambia.

In addition, Dominica Central Newspaper reported last week that the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) received over €32 million from the European Union to assist governments in developing the private sector in CARIFORUM countries.

Analysts are asking that if the EU, by its foreign grants program policy, like the IMF, recognises that a country’s public spending is vital to its economic recovery, it is not logical, nor financially viable for the member states in the long run  for it to require  them to enforce austerity measures in their public spending programs.

April 20, 2011

Syria’s cancellation of ’emergency’ law, unlikely to save government

[Michael Harris, Middle East and Africa News Contributor]

BBC News reports that the Syrian government has now cancelled its emergency law which allowed it to detain without charge and torture thousands of its citizens. It has also passed a new law allowing peaceful protests and it special court for prosecuting political activists has now been abolished.

Analysts are commenting that the moves by the current regime seems merely intended to placate the onlooking international community in the main judging from the regime’s security forces’ ongoing harsh treatment  of the anti-government protestors which have resulted in hundreds of their deaths and injuries.  As such the moves are unlikely to keep the government in power, even though the two items were key demands of the protestors.

On Monday, joining country-wide demonstrations against the government, more than 5,000 anti-government protestors were in Hom demanding for the current regime to step down.

April 2, 2011

Afganistan’s Roaring Democracy – where has all the money gone?

Democracy and the Missing Millions in Afganistan

New York Times reports today: Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.

[Middle East & Africa Contributor]

March 30, 2011

Public Spending Cut-backs in Europe, but EU Invests in the Caribbean

[John Besic, EU Affairs Contributor]

According to a report by Dominica Central Newspaper, the Dominica Water & Sewage Co ltd (Dowasco) with part-funding from the European Union, is forecasting that 2011 will be a very good year for it.  Water storage and distribution projects throughout the island are being funded in the region of some EC$30 million of which a significant part is being provided by the European Union.   However, these kinds of investments by the EU, outside Europe, when it is calling for its member states to exercise austerity in public spending, are bound to provoke controversy among EU citizens feeling the pinch of the prevailing bad times.

With mass protests taking place in London in recent weeks about the country’s EU-imposed austerity program, should the EU be continuing to invest outside Europe even at times when it is ‘bailing’ out its member states in dire financial difficulty and insisting on sharp reductions in public spending in member states which are impacting severely on EU citizens?  Also, as the EU in its history has never passed any public audit of its finances, what are the implications for transparency in respect to the donors of the funds invested by the EU?

March 29, 2011

Under the noses of Europeans – a creeping and sinister menace

Click on the picture to play the video

[Jooles Klines, EU Affairs Contributor]

MEP and UK Independence Party Leader, Nigel Farage, on the warpath again with the bureaucrats of the European Union. He accuses the drivers of the governmental system to be ‘dangerous people’ who are driving their dream of an integrated Europe at the expense of the ordinary masses.

‘Who the hell are you people?  Who do you think you are? – he says passionately to the blank, empty faces of the onlooking bureaucrats, “…to dictate to (a sovereign state) Ireland when it should have a general election?”.

A wonderful and inspiring performance by this shining light of democratic freedom of the European people. Watch the video and make up your mind. But if you liked the concept of the EU before watching it, you will not be the same after – guaranteed!

March 29, 2011

Shocking controversy in European Union’s employment policy

Click on the picture to view the video

[Jooles Klines, EU Affairs Contributor]

Many are becoming increasingly concerned about the double standards obtaining in the European Union’s employment policies.

That is because, whilst it is impossible to get a job in the European Commission if you have a criminal record, this does not seem to apply to the EU’s Commissioners, most of whom appear to have criminal records, or censures for fraud or misconduct in their previous offices.

The Commissioners are the power behind the EU as they initiate EU legislation, pass it and enforce it. However, they are unelected and unrepresentative of all EU citizens.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party gives a summary of the not-so-squeaky-clean resumes of the EU Commissioners. This account is not for the squeamish, or easily offended – you have been warned!

March 29, 2011

News from the other Side – checking out Russia Today..

[Simon Vetrjakov, Russia News Contributor]

Have you ever heard of Russia Today?  Well, it’s the Russian Federation ‘making and breaking’ news portal giving refreshingly alternative views on world developments and Russia in the world today. It’s worth checking out what iToD Daily says…

March 26, 2011

Roma beauty contest promises gala event in Bucharest

Calgary Herald: Romania‘s Roma (gypsy) beauties are getting ready for Romania’s Miss Piranda 2011 contest which will take place on March 27 in Bucharest.

The event’s jury will judge the contestants in accordance with their ‘beauty’ ratings and belly-dancing skills. The show is expected to be a gala event with the country’s most popular modern Roma music bands and singers taking part.

[Roma Contributor]