Home » Posts tagged 'european union'

Tag Archives: european union

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

Turkey Faces Threats for Inking Landmark Arms Deal with Russia

Turkey Faces Threats for Inking Landmark Arms Deal with Russia

Turkey Faces Threats for Inking Landmark Arms Deal with Russia

The long awaited deal has taken place. A deposit has already been paid. Turkey has finally signed the $2.5bn (£1.9bn) contract with Russia to buy S-400 advanced missile defense system. With a range of 400 kilometers (248 miles), the system can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one, at an altitude of up to 30 km.

The system is not operationally compatible with the systems used by NATO countries, which gives Turkey a military capacity independent of the alliance. NATO commanders will not have control over it. The identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment won’t prevent Turkey from using it against NATO aircraft and missiles. Reaching full operational capability will require Russian personnel to be stationed in Turkey on advice, assistance and training missions.

The technology transfer component of the S-400 deal is especially important as it would allow Turkey to rapidly expand domestic defense industry with Russia’s help. Russia would supply two batteries and help Ankara build two more such systems. A few years ago, the US refused to let Turkey produce Patriot air defense systems on its soil and the deal was off.

Ankara does not have industrial infrastructure to produce air defense systems. Russian specialists will have to come and build it from scratch. As a result, Russia will get access to the defense infrastructure of a NATO member state. The agreement to build the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey, which is to be launched by 2023, is another example of fruitful economic cooperation.

NATO insists members of the alliance are obligated to use military hardware that is interoperable with each other’s systems. But the S-400 deal is not the first time the principle of interoperability is not observed. Greece purchased Russia’s S-300 missile system several years ago.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Bid for Independence Seen in Broader Context of European Disintegration

Catalan Bid for Independence Seen in Broader Context of European Disintegration

Catalan Bid for Independence Seen in Broader Context of European Disintegration

Catalonia’s secession movement has been growing in Spain for decades. The region has its own language and culture. On August 28, two pro-independence parties in Catalonia, the Junts Pel Sí («Together For Yes») coalition and the radical-left Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), submitted a bill to the regional parliament, which outlines the legal framework for the transition to independence. The two parties currently hold the balance of power in the assembly and, therefore, control the regional government.

The bill is set to be passed before the next referendum on secession will take place on October 1, fulfilling a pledge made by a majority of Catalan MPs. According to opinion polls, a majority of Catalans favor holding a referendum on their status.

While Catalonia has been steadfast in its determination to hold a separation vote, the idea of referendum has been firmly opposed by the central government in Madrid. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government is attempting to use the courts to prevent it from happening. Spain’s Constitutional Court has previously quashed Catalonia’s resolution to hold a referendum.

The court and Spanish government have also warned Catalonian officials that they could face legal repercussions and sanctions if they help organize the vote. The war of words between Catalonia and the central government has escalated recently. The recent terrorist attack in Barcelona has failed to bring unity against a common foe. The Catalans are reluctant to comply with Spanish courts’ rulings and the use of force by the central government is hardly an option.

Catalonia, a prosperous region in northeast Spain, which generates a fifth of Spain’s GDP and already has wide sovereignty, managing its own education system and police forces. But it lacks the privilege the Basque Country enjoys, running its own taxes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Migrations Always Bring Infectious Diseases

A new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), has confirmed that there has been a sharp rise in disease since 2015 with the arrival of the refugees in Germany. The disease is tuberculosis and just being exposed to a person in the same restaurant carries the rise of you becoming infected as well. Of course raising this topic will cause many to call it racism. Yet in fact, travel to Asia and if you even look sick, they pull you over and will send you to quarantine.

Back in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue as they say and returned with more than discovering a new continent. He and his crew brought back a new disease to Europe – Syphilis. New skeletal evidence confirmed that Columbus and his crew brought back syphilis to Europe. In turn, Europeans brought disease to America that wiped out Indians.

Take AIDS or HIV. Scientists have identified the origin of HIV tracing it to a specific type of chimpanzee in West Africa. It was probably transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat.

Gaëtan Dugas (1953 – 1984), was a Canadian flight attendant who became regarded as “patient zero” for AIDS in the United States, although that was disputed by others claiming there were others around the same time. Nevertheless, regardless of who brought it from Africa to America, someone did. Such disease travels historically with migrations. The reintroduction of tuberculosis to Europe can end up being a serious epidemic in the years ahead.

Fitch Downgrades Italy To BBB From BBB+

Fitch Downgrades Italy To BBB From BBB+

Having largely disappeared from the market’s scope for the past 6 months, ever since Europe “bent” its rule allowing the bailout of Monte Paschi and several smaller banks despite Italy having the greatest amount of disclosed NPLs of any European nation, moments ago Fitch decided to drag Italy right back in the spotlight when it downgraded Italy to BBB from BBB+, citing “Italy’s persistent track record of fiscal slippage, back-loading of consolidation, weak economic growth, and resulting failure to bring down the very high level of general government debt has left it more exposed to potential adverse shocks. This is compounded by an increase in political risk, and ongoing weakness in the banking sector which has required planned public intervention in three banks since December.

And some more:

Italy has missed successive targets for general government debt/GDP, which increased by 0.5pp in 2016 to 132.6%. This is 11.2% of GDP higher than the target in the Stability Programme of 2013, the year Fitch downgraded Italy’s Long-Term IDRs to ‘BBB+’, and compares with the current ‘BBB’ range median of 41.5% of GDP. Fitch forecasts general government debt to peak at 132.7% of GDP in 2017, falling only gradually to 129.3% in 2020 in our debt sensitivity projections.

Fitch’s rating Outlook for the Italian banking sector is Negative, primarily reflecting the challenge of reducing the high level of un-provisioned non-performing loans (NPLs), alongside weak profitability and capital generation. The rate of new NPLs edged down to 2.3% in 4Q16, and there is some greater impetus for disposals and write-downs, which has slightly reduced total NPLs. However, sofferenze, the worst category of loans, increased to EUR203 billion in February, from EUR199 billion in October. Total NPLs amount to close to 17.5% of loans and 20% of GDP, and just over half are provided against.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The High Cost of Renewable Subsidies

The High Cost of Renewable Subsidies

I have for some time wanted to get to the bottom of renewable subsidies and their impact upon electricity prices. But the complexity and opacity of the system has always defeated me. And then last week a report titled “Status Review of Renewable Support Schemes in Europe” landed in my inbox and it seemed to contain much of the information I was seeking. The headline numbers: the weighted average subsidy paid to renewable generators in EU 26 in 2015 was €110 / MWh. The maximum was €184 / MWh in the Czech Republic and the minimum €16.2 / MWh in Norway and the UK came in at €75 / MWh.

Considering that the wholesale price of electricity in Europe is typically €40 to €60 / MWh we can see that renewables are costing on average about 3 times as much as conventional power (wholesale~50, subsidy~110, total~160). And politicians, who have mandated the use of renewable electricity, are wondering why electricity prices are rising.

The report was published by the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER)  on 11th April 2017. But since it summarises a vast amount of complex data that has taken considerable time to compile, the reference years reported are 2014 and 2015. The report can be downloaded here.

Figure 1 [Report Table 4] Total renewable electricity produced that received subsidy support in 2015 in MWh.

Figure 2 Sorting total subsidised generation from Figure 1 shows Germany way out in front with 162 TWh of subsidised renewable generation followed by the UK, Italy, Spain and France.

Figure 3 The 4 largest RE producers with categories of generation broken out and normalised to 100%  shows different solutions for different countries. Germany relies mainly on bio energy, solar and onshore wind. The UK on bio energy onshore and offshore wind. Italy on bio energy solar and onshore wind, rather similar to Germany but with more solar and less wind. Spain on solar and onshore wind. It is notable how important bio energy has become. Only time will tell if this leads to deforestation. There seems to be a lot of woodland disappearing in Scotland right now.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Bag Holder and His Bag

Can you see those swans coming in for a landing on Pond USA? They’re not exactly black swans, because you knew they were out there circling, but they’re dark enough against the twilight’s last gleaming to give you the heebie jeebies.

Troubles and portents of more trouble are stacking up as we approach the Ides of March zone of financial turmoil. You must surely surmise that a debt ceiling impact, a Federal Reserve interest rate hike, and the election of a Dutch anti-EU leader all scheduled for that one day are a good start on the greater unravel to follow. Glowering in the spotlight at center stage will be President Donald Trump, designated bag-holder of the Deep State and its myrmidons. And what’s in that bag he’s holding? Just a couple of shit sandwiches and a hair shirt for his journey down the lonely road to exile. But getting rid of Trump would only leave the Deep State with a bigger problem: itself. That is, an economy and a society that can’t be governed by any means.

I think many professional observers-of-the-scene are missing something in this unspooling story: the Deep State is actually becoming more impotent and ineffectual, not omnipotent. Case in point: RussiaGate — come on, let’s finally call it that — the popular idea that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. It’s popular because it’s such a convenient excuse for the failure of a corrupt, exhausted, and brain-dead Democratic establishment. But all the exertions of the Deep State to put over this story since last summer were negated this week by two events.

First, there was former NSA Director James Clapper’s appearance on NBC’s Sunday Meet the Press show with Chuck Todd featuring the following interchange:

CHUCK TODD:
Does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials?

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

European Parliament Censors Its Own Free Speech

Democrat v Republican

Party Politics

We are perhaps witnessing the political crisis of a life time. Our model has been projecting this crisis and I warned more than 20 years ago that the Democratic Party was in serious decline. Keep in mind that Trump effectively became a third party candidate within the Republican Party. So by no means is this a major victory for Republicans. We are witnessing the collapse of government from internal corruption gone wild. Both parties have sold their souls to the elite. Why would all the bankers and hedge funds donate to Hillary if she REALLY cared about the middle class? Politicians have lied constantly from both parties. This crisis of abuse of power trying to link Trump to Russia was a desperate attempt to win. There was no proof and that is the only reason Obama had to accept the vote.

Where we go from here is nothing but chaos. We are witnessing the meltdown of the European Parliament structure as well. This is the self-destruction of the West and the necessary element that will shift the financial capital of the world to China. So buckle up. This is by no means Democrat v Republican. This is game over. The sooner we all realize that both sides are really against the people, the better off we will be in the long-run. To save something of what we have DEMANDS we stop the partisan bickering. If you see yourself as a Democrat or Republican BEFORE being an American, you are going to end up on the short-end of the stick.

Europe or Anti-Europe?

Europe or Anti-Europe?

MILAN – A knowledgeable friend in Milan recently asked me the following question: “If an outside investor, say, from the United States, wanted to invest a substantial sum in the Italian economy, what would you advise?” I replied that, although there are many opportunities to invest in companies and sectors, the overall investment environment is complicated. I would recommend investing alongside a knowledgeable domestic partner, who can navigate the system, and spot partly hidden risks.

Of course, the same advice applies to many other countries as well, such as China, India, and Brazil. But the eurozone is increasingly turning into a two-speed economic bloc, and the potential political ramifications of this trend are amplifying investors’ concerns.

At a recent meeting of high-level investment advisers, one of the organizers asked everyone if they thought the euro would still exist in five years. Only one person out of 200 thought that it would not – a rather surprising collective assessment of the trending risks, given Europe’s current economic situation.

Right now, Italy’s real (inflation-adjusted) GDP is roughly at its 2001 level. Spain is doing better, but its real GDP is still around where it was in 2008, just prior to the financial crisis. And Southern European countries, including France, have experienced extremely weak recoveries and stubbornly high unemployment – in excess of 10%, and much higher for people younger than 30.

Sovereign debt levels, meanwhile, have approached or exceeded 100% of GDP (Italy’s is now at 135%), while both inflation and real growth – and thus nominal growth – remain low. This lingering debt overhang is limiting the ability to use fiscal measures to help restore robust growth.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Strange That The Same Point In Time For The Economic Crisis Keeps Coming Up

Strange That The Same Point In Time For The Economic Crisis Keeps Coming Up

This video was produced by X22 Report

Netherlands is making a move to leave the EU. Theresa May is worried that a Scottish Referendum vote will happen at the same time as the Article 50 vote. Former IMF chief sentenced to jail in Spain. The EU says no bail-ins at this time because it would hurt the creditors. Maine drops 9,000 from Food Stamp roll says people need to look for jobs. Pending home sales tumble. Durable goods decline. David Stockman says it will begin on March 15 and the economy will really go down hill in the summer and the fall will be a disaster.

Dutch Parliament to Debate Leaving the Eurozone: Nexit on the Way?

Dutch Parliament to Debate Leaving the Eurozone: Nexit on the Way?

Potential Eurozone disruption possibilities keep compounding. The Netherlands Parliament will now debate leaving the Eurozone.

For example, the Netherlands Parliament will now debate leaving the Eurozone.

In long-winded wording for a potential “Nexit”, Reutersreports Dutch relations with euro up for debate after lawmakers commission probe

The Netherlands’ future relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by its parliament following elections in March after lawmakers commissioned a report on the currency’s future.

The motion approving the investigation by the Council of State, the government’s legal advisor, coincides with a rising tide of euroscepticism in Europe, which populist parties are hoping to tap into in a series of national elections this year also taking in eurozone powerhouses France and Germany.

The probe will examine whether it would be possible for the Dutch to withdraw from the single currency, and if so how, said lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt.

Omtzigt, of the opposition Christian Democrats, tabled the parliamentary motion calling for the investigation, which legislators passed unanimously late on Thursday.

It was prompted by concerns the ECB’s ultra-low interest rates are hurting Dutch savers, especially pensioners, and doubts as to whether its bond purchasing programs are legal, he said.

Its findings will be presented in several months, by which time the make-up of parliament will have changed dramatically.

While most Dutch voters say they favor retaining the euro, the eurosceptic far-right party of Geert Wilders is expected to book large gains though it is unlikely to win enough votes to form a government.

The most probable outcome of the March 15 vote is a new centrist coalition including some parties, such as Omtzigt’s Christian Democrats, that have been vocal in their opposition to current ECB policy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EU Bailout of Portugal Has Failed

Lisbon

This year, 2017, is the beginning of the Sovereign Debt Crisis. While Greece is popping up on the financial radar, the Euro rescue in Portugal has also completely failed to reverse the trend of the country. There has been no effective relief from the debt crisis in Southern Europe. The debt in Portugal is also once again as high as before the crisis of 2010. The 78 billion euros of the European taxpayers money did nothing to reverse the economic trend, but in fact the funds simply went to save the banks.

IBEUUS-Y TEK TO 2020 1-22-2016Politicians really should be criminally prosecuted for trying to manage an economy. They have no experience and their own political careers always come first. As I have stated before, when the Euro was being planned, the commission in charge attended our World Economic Conference in London. I warned them that the Euro would fail unless the plan consolidated all the debts of member states. They said they understood the problem, but that the European people would never vote for that plan and so they wanted to get the currency through first and deal with the debt later.

That Phase II never came and as a result, as the euro then rallied from 80 cents to the dollar to about $1.60, all PREVIOUS debt of  member states DOUBLED in real cost. Joining the euro effectively destroyed Southern Europe and the politicians still cannot figure this out. It is as simple as you borrowed a foreign currency to buy your house and then that currency double in price. You now owed twice the amount in your home currency.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

From New World Order to Hazy Global Disorder

From New World Order to Hazy Global Disorder

From New World Order to Hazy Global Disorder

The Donald Trump administration and the Brexit severance of ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union have, in a matter of a little over a half year, changed the world from a post-Cold War «new world order» based on American supremacy to a global «disorder» of altered alliances on a multipolar geo-political chessboard. In many respects, the new global disorder has also placed in jeopardy various post-World War II contrivances, including NATO, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS) alliance.

Every international relations textbook and playbook can be thrown away with the advent of the new global disorder. Trump has kicked off his foreign policy by introducing an incoherent foreign policy. On one hand, Trump claims he wants to partner with Russia on the war against «radical Islamic terrorism». Yet, Trump has also indicated, through his UN ambassador Nicky Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis, that he is committed to NATO and wants Russia to withdraw from Crimea. It is well known that the annual National Football League’s Super Bowl coordinates its patriotic military-oriented events with the Pentagon. In recent past years, U.S. troops serving in places like Afghanistan and Iraq were featured during and after the game on the host stadium’s jumbotron television screens.

The 2017 Super Bowl in Houston was different. This year the live shot of U.S. troops with the 3rd Brigade Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was from a military base in Zagan, Poland. The Pentagon’s psychological operations specialists wanted to convey the message that under Trump, the new U.S. front lines were no longer in Afghanistan and Iraq in a war against Muslim radical insurgents but in Poland with Russia as the new «enemy». The optics simply do not match Trump’s statements about seeking closer ties with Russia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cash No Longer King: Europe Moves to Begin Elimination of Paper Money

The financial uncertainty amplified by Brexit has incentivized governments throughout Europe to seize further control over their banking systems. France and Spain have already criminalized cash transactions above a certain limit, but now the commission has unilaterally established new regulations that will affect the entire union. The fear of physical money flowing out of the trade bloc has manifested a draconian response from the State.The European Action Plan doesn’t mention a specific dollar amount for restrictions, but as expected, their reasoning for the move is to thwart money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Border checks between countries have already been bolstered to help implement these new standards on hard assets. Although these end goals are plausible, there are other clear motivations for governments to target paper money that aren’t as noble.

Negative interest rates and high inflation are a deadly combination that could further destabilize the already fragile union in the future. With less physical currency circulating, these trends ensure that the impact of any additional central bank policies will be maximized. If economic conditions deteriorate, the threat of citizens pulling cash out of their accounts and starting a bank run is eliminated in a cashless system. So long as the people’s wealth is under centralized control, funds can be shifted at will to conceal any underlying problems. But the longer this shell game is allowed to persist, the more painful it will be when reality overrides the manipulation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase