Home » Posts tagged 'eu'

Tag Archives: eu

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

The Brewing European Debt Crisis

Macron is pushing for the European Finance Minister to raise money by selling EU bonds and then distribute the money to the 19-member Eurozone. France is very heavily indebted and here once again we have simply the goal to raise more money rather than reform. Because of the riots in France, Macron is trying to get the EU to fund France. They want to call this the European Monetary Fund and it would be pitched as stabilizing the Eurozone, but in reality, it is circumventing the austerity principles and budget constraints.

Juncker was the European Finance Minister to chair a body of European Finance Ministers from each member state. He would also become the Vice President of the European Union.
Juncker is seeking to use the European debt crisis that is brewing as the means to the ends resulting in the final federalization of Europe. If the EU raises the money and hands it out like welfare to the states, then they become addicted and totally dependent upon Brussels and thus eventually all sovereignty is surrendered.

This new European Monetary Fund would incorporate the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which is a Luxembourg-based fund that lends money to states in crisis. They lent money to Cypris, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. They were issuing their own debt but were not an EU entity. The ESM capitalization was guaranteed by the euro countries. Therefore, the proposal is really a takeover and it would be a way to funnel money to states such as France.

Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Energy-security

Image: Camilla MP.

What is Energy Security?

What does it mean for a society to have “energy security”? Although there are more than forty different definitions of the concept, they all share the fundamental idea that energy supply should always meet energy demand. This also implies that energy supply needs to be constant – there can be no interruptions in the service. [1-4] For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) defines energy security as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price”, the US Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) defines the concept as meaning that “the risks of interruption to energy supply are low”, and the EU defines it as a “stable and abundant supply of energy”. [5-7]

Historically, energy security was achieved by securing access to forests or peat bogs for thermal energy, and to human, animal, wind or water power sources for mechanical energy. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, energy security came to depend on the supply of fossil fuels. As a theoretical concept, energy security is most closely related to the oil crises from the 1970s, when embargoes and price manipulations limited oil supply to Western nations. As a result, most industrialised societies still stockpile oil reserves that are equivalent to several months of consumption.

Although oil remains as vital to industrial economies as it was in the 1970s, mainly for transportation and agriculture, it’s now recognised that energy security in modern societies also depends on other infrastructures, such as those supplying gas, electricity, and even data. Furthermore, these infrastructures increasingly interconnect and depend on each other. For example, gas is an important fuel for power production, while the power grid is now required to operate gas pipelines. Power grids are needed to run data networks, and data networks are now needed to run power grids.

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

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Image source – here.

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

THE EU DEFENCE FORCE

Earlier this year, the EU voted to “punish” one of its own members, Hungary, for the internal policies of its elected government. To be clear about this – whatever you think of Viktor Orban, he was elected by the people of Hungary. He is their legally recognised democratic leader. Hungary voted for him – in contrast, Hungary did NOT vote for any of the 448 MEPs who supported the motion, posed by Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, that:

The Hungarian people deserve better…They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties.”

Note that “democracy” is not included on that list. “Tolerance”, “justice” and “equality”, but not democracy. A Freudian slip, perhaps.

The European Parliament vote was, itself, a corrupt nonsense – one in which abstentions were disregarded so the 2/3rds majority could be reached. Forcing through a bill that, essentially, calls for a change of regime in Hungary via:

appropriate measures to restore inclusive democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in Hungary”

One suggested punishment – “The Nuclear Option” – is a loss of voting rights. Hungary would still be a member of the EU, would still have to pay into the EU, would still have to obey all EU laws and regulations, but would no longer have a say in what those laws were.

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

May Unleashes ‘Project Fear 3.0’ As Brexit Vote Looms: Stockpile Food, Drugs, Prepare For The Worst

On Tuesday, the UK Parliament is slated to vote on whether PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal should survive or die.

All the signs are that politicians in the House of Commons will choose overwhelmingly to stop the agreement May has struck after 18 months of talks with the EU.

And so, in what seems like a desperate last minute play, May’s government (that is whoever remains loyal to her) has issued a dramatic letter of warning to the country warning of the consequences of a ‘no’ vote and the case of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

This is Project Fear 3.0 (to be clear, Project Fear 1.0 was PM Cameron’s 2016 warnings of national security threats, among other things; and Project Fear 2.0 was The Bank of England’s latest economic depression forecast)

The government is telling supermarkets to keep as much stock as possible in warehouses around the country.

“The problem for supermarkets throughout this process is the seasonality of fresh produce,” said Brian Connell, a supply chain consultant at KPMG.

“Some of the stuff they would want to stockpile hasn’t even been sown yet, let alone grown or harvested.”

Retail giants including Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc, Walmart Inc.’s Asda and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc — the country’s four biggest grocery chains — are now asking their main suppliers to ramp up their stock over concerns that half their shelves will be empty if there is a hard or no-deal Brexit, according to Joe Clarke, national officer for food, drink and tobacco at the Unite union.

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

Macron Heralds The End Of The Union

Paul Almasy Paris 1950

The concept of the EU might have worked, but still only might have, if a neverending economic boom could have been manufactured to guide it on its way. But there was never going to be such a boom. Or perhaps if the spoils that were available in boom times and bust had been spread out among nations rich and poor and citizens rich and poor a little more equally, that concept might still have carried the days.

Then again, its demise was obvious from well before the Union was ever signed into existence, in the philosophies, deliberations and meetings that paved its way in the era after a second world war in two score years fought largely on the European continent.

In hindsight, it is hard to comprehend how it’s possible that those who met and deliberated to found the Union, in and of itself a beneficial task at least on the surface in the wake of the blood of so many millions shed, were not wiser, smarter, less greedy, less driven by sociopath design and methods. It was never the goal that missed its own target or went awry, it was the execution.

Still, no matter how much we may dream, how much some of the well-meaning ‘founding fathers’ of the Union may have dreamt, without that everlasting economic boom it never stood a chance. The Union was only ever going to be tolerated, accepted, embraced by its citizens if they could feel and see tangible benefits in their daily lives of surrendering parts of their own decision making powers, and the sovereignty of their nations.

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

Italy, the EU, and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Italy, the EU, and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Italy, the EU, and the Fall of the Roman Empire

The EU leadership is trying to contain a crisis that is emerging at increasing speed: this challenge comprises the rise of contumacious states (i.e. the UK, Poland, Hungary and Italy), or of defiant, historic ‘cultural blocs’ (i.e. Catalonia) – all of whom are explicitly disenchanted with the notion of some coerced convergence towards a uniform EU-administered ‘order’, with its austere monetary ‘disciplines’. They even dismiss the EU’s claim to be, somehow, a part of a greater civilizational order of moral values.

If, in the post-war era, the EU represented an attempt to escape the Anglo-American hegemony, these new defiant blocks of ‘cultural resurgence’ which seek to situate themselves as interdependent, sovereign ‘spaces’ are, in their turn, an attempt to escape another type of hegemony: that of an EU administrative ‘uniformity’.

To exit this particular European order (which it originally was hoped, would differ from the Anglo-Americanimperii), the EU nevertheless was forced to lean on the latter’s archetypal construct of ‘liberty’ as empire’s justification (now metamorphosed into the EU’s ‘four freedoms’) on which the EU strict ‘uniformities’ (the ‘level-playing-field’, regulation in all aspects of life, tax and economic harmonization) have been hung. The European ‘project’ has become seen, as it were, as something that hollows out distinct and ancient ‘ways-of-being’.

Indeed, the very fact of their being attempted, at different levels, and in distinct geographical cultural regions, these assays indicate that that EU hegemony has already weakened to the point that it may not be able fully to hinder the emergence of this new wave. What is at stake precisely for the EU, is whether it can succeed to slow down, and curb in every way, the emergence of this process of cultural re-sovereigntisation, which of course, threatens to fragment the EU’s vaunted ‘solidarity’, and to fragment its matrix of a perfectly regulated customs union and common trade area.

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

EU Proposes Widespread ‘De-Dollarization’ Initiatives

In the most blatant and transparent reaction to Washington’s continued vassal-ization, the European Commission has reportedly formulated a plan to reduce the role of the dollar in international trade.

Amid increasing tensions between Trump and various European leaders (cough Macron cough) and the ongoing threats of sanctions and tariffs, the European Commission plans to outline initiatives to develop the international role of the euro, according to a draft document obtained by Bloomberg.

As Viktoria Dendrinou reports, the plan has three dimensions including the European financial sector, the international financial sector and key strategic sectors such as energy…

Member states should promote wider use of the euro in relations with third countries in field of energy,including in contracts within the framework of bilateral and multilateral international agreements,”

“The Commission calls on member states to include in their intergovernmental agreements with third countries a model clause, developed by the Commission, related to the use of the euro as default currency

“Participants in European energy markets should use more energy-related contracts denominated in euro

“Price reporting agencies should facilitate the launching of euro-denominated price benchmarks for crude oil

“Commodity exchanges should facilitate the further development of euro-denominated derivative contracts on crude oil and refined products

With Russia actively de-dollarizing, along with Iran, and China slowing its Treasury purchases (while publicly proclaiming support) but promoting its petroyuan contracts, Europe’s shift away from the petrodollar could be more posturing or could be the end of the beginning of the end as the dollar’s reign as reserve currency ends slowly at first then all at once.

With allies like these, who needs enemies?

 

 

 

The Next French Revolution – Is it Beginning?

The austerity measures of the EU are having a profound impact in Europe. In Paris of December 1st, 2018 (right on time with our volatility models for December) there was a major civil uprising, the worst France has witnessed in recent decades. Yellow Vests have converged in Paris to protest high living costs or in other words – a TAX RIOT. Rioters ran across central Paris torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and clashing with police. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, was in Argentina for a G20 summit and said he called an emergency meeting on Sunday when he would return. Jeanne d’Hauteserre, the mayor of Paris’ 8th district, near the Arc de Triomphe, came out and told the press: “We are in a state of insurrection, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

This has followed what was billed as a violent protest two weeks before of nationwide against fuel taxes and living costs. This tax rebellion is known as the “Yellow Vest” movement after fluorescent jackets kept in all vehicles in France. Politicians simply never learn. This is not just the youth. This is the older generations as well. Revolutions come become of taxes and corruption. The famous saying of Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” was the popular slogan during the French Revolution. There is no evidence that she ever actually said those words. Still, it inspired a revolution. The “cake” was not a desert, but it was a term that referred to the crust of the pâté which was left over. It certainly seems that the EU politicians are making the very same mistake. With that callous remark that was attributed to her, the Queen of France became the most hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and fueled the revolution that would cause her to (literally) lose her head several years later.

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

Yes, the EU’s New #CopyrightDirective is All About Filters

Yes, the EU’s New #CopyrightDirective is All About Filters

When the EU started planning its new Copyright Directive (the “Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive”), a group of powerful entertainment industry lobbyists pushed a terrible idea: a mandate that all online platforms would have to create crowdsourced databases of “copyrighted materials” and then block users from posting anything that matched the contents of those databases.

At the time, we, along with academics and technologists explained why this would undermine the Internet, even as it would prove unworkable. The filters would be incredibly expensive to create, would erroneously block whole libraries worth of legitimate materials, allow libraries more worth of infringing materials to slip through, and would not be capable of sorting out “fair dealing” uses of copyrighted works from infringing ones.

The Commission nonetheless included it in their original draft. Two years later, after the European Parliament went back and forth on whether to keep the loosely described filters, with German MEP Axel Voss finally squeezing a narrow victory in his own committee, and an emergency vote of the whole Parliament. Now, after a lot of politicking and lobbying, Article 13 is potentially only a few weeks away from becoming officially an EU directive, controlling the internet access of more than 500,000,000 Europeans.

The proponents of Article 13 have a problem, though: filters don’t work, they cost a lot, they underblock, they overblock, they are ripe for abuse (basically, all the objections the Commission’s experts raised the first time around). So to keep Article 13 alive, they’ve spun, distorted and obfuscated its intention, and now they can be found in the halls of power, proclaiming to the politicians who’ll get the final vote that “Article 13 does not mean copyright filters.”

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

Black Sea Provocation… Vintage Putin or Poroshenko Dregs?

Black Sea Provocation… Vintage Putin or Poroshenko Dregs?

Black Sea Provocation… Vintage Putin or Poroshenko Dregs?

The latest potentially disastrous flare-up in violence between the Kiev regime and Russia near the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait is clearly a blatant provocation aimed at strengthening the autocratic regime under President Petro Poroshenko.

It’s also a reckless gambit to push Kiev’s madcap agenda for joining NATO and the European Union. No matter, it seems, if that gambit risks igniting a full-scale war between Russia and NATO.

The US-led NATO military alliance and the European Union appeared to back Kiev’s claims of aggression by Moscow following the latest escalation in the Black Sea. That response fits Poroshenko’s long-held narrative of casting Russia as an aggressor and to mobilize support from NATO and the EU.

Ironically, Western news media featured pro-NATO pundits who have claimed that the weekend confrontation was “vintage Putin”. It is speculated that the Russian president was taking advantage of several political distractions for Western governments – Trump’s public relations problems with Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Brexit debacle and so on – to strike a heavy hand at Kiev.

That typically cynical anti-Russian view completely overlooks the glaring facts that the naval clash between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the Black Sea plays conveniently for the Kiev regime and Poroshenko. It’s less a case of “vintage Putin” and more the dregs of Poroshenko’s intrigue.

The prompt declaration by Poroshenko’s national security council for imposing martial law in Ukraine – within hours of the naval confrontation on Sunday – effectively strives to give Poroshenko and his Kiev regime dictatorial powers. Potentially, a state of emergency could permit Poroshenko to call off presidential elections due in March next year.

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

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Those who have been saying that the West has turned Russia into a scapegoat to be blamed for each and every thing that goes wrong have been proved right. We have witnessed concocted stories invented to denigrate Moscow that have gone viral as directed by the secret services. The UK, the country that is spearheading the anti-Russian information campaign, offers a good example that illustrates how this is being done.

An online group of hackers known as Anonymous has just revealed covert UK activities in the EU. According to the documents released by that group, London is in the midst of a major program to interfere in the internal affairs of EU members, the US, and Canada. Anonymous threatens to release more information on the clandestine operations of the UK government, unless it agrees to remove the shroud of secrecy protecting those information-warfare efforts. On Nov. 24 Twitter deleted RT comments on the issue. The UK knows it has friends it can rely on in a crunch.

The Integrity Initiative is a London-based organization set up and funded by the government-friendly Institute for Statecraft, in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to wage information-warfare operations against Russia. Anonymous calls it a “large-scale information secret service.” It aims to “change attitudes in Russia itself” as well as the influence of Russian natives living abroad. The Integrity Initiative’s budget for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019 is estimated at £1.96 million ($2.51 million). The network has received grants from NATO, the US State Department, and Facebook.

The Initiative’s operations have been kept under wraps. Its activities are conducted by “clusters” of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists, and academics involved in anti-Russian propaganda efforts. The list includes William Browder, a US-British businessman convicted in absentia in Russia for tax evasion.

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

Salvini Takes Control of Europe’s Future

Salvini Takes Control of Europe’s Future

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini just declared himself the leader of the Europe’s future.  He refuses to budge one inch in negotiations with the European Union over Italy’s budget now threatening to take down the government.

And in doing this he not only speaks for Italians, he is now speaking for that growing part of the European population who sees what the EU is morphing into and recoiling in horror.

Protests in France over Emmanuel Macron’s new tax on diesel have turned violent.  The British leadership has completely betrayed the people over Brexit.  They may win this battle but the animosity towards the Britain’s leadership will only grow more virulent over time.

As the core leadership in France and Germany fades in popularity, held in place because of domestic political squabbling, Angela Merkel and Macron are ratcheting up the rhetoric against the rising nationalism Salvini represents and are now pushing hard for their Federation of Europe before both of them leave the scene in the next few years, at best.

If they lose their battles with Salvini and Hungary’s Viktor Orban they may be run out of office with pitchforks and firebrands.

Bernard Connelly, author of the brilliant expose The Rotten Heart of Europe (which should be required reading) asks the salient question about Brexit no one associated with Project Fear can confront.

If separation from the EU is so complicated, why was no one talking about blockades and economic catastrophe before the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014?

The answer is simple. No one in power expected the referendum to pass and when it didn’t the issue ended.

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

Salvini Threatens To Collapse Italy’s Government If Deficit Target Is Changed

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini escalated the ongoing standoff between the EU and Italy, saying he would bring down the government if the coalition’s budget deficit target was changed.

The remarks by Salvini, Italy’s de facto leader who has been enjoying a steady climb in public opinion polls as he has continued his hardline negotiating approach with the European establishment, were quoted by newspaper La Repubblica hours before the country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, was scheduled to make an attempt in Brussels to convince the European Commission that the country’s budget is sound. That, as is widely known by now, include the 2.4% deficit goal for 2019 that has become a lightning rod for Commission objections.

“The 2.4 percent deficit target can’t be touched, otherwise I will bring down the government,” Repubblica quoted Salvini as saying in a telephone call to Conte. The report said Salvini was willing to make only minor concessions in next year’s spending plan.

For Savlini the threat of new elections poses little downside risk: according to a recent poll, most Italians view Salvini, the outspoken leader of the anti-immigrant League party, as the real head of government, with just one in six casting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in that role. The monthly survey in La Repubblica newspaper showed 58% considered Salvini the leader, while 16 percent picked Conte and 14 percent chose Luigi Di Maio, who heads the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and is the co-head of the coalition government. Salvini and Di Maio are deputy prime ministers in Conte’s coalition government, which took office in June and which the Demos poll found that 58 percent of respondents support.

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

The Big Bet Against Italian Banks

The Big Bet Against Italian Banks

Italy

The eurozone’s third-largest economy, Italy, is marooned in a deep political and economic crisis, with seeming endless problems: an economy that has barely grown in decades, sky-high unemployment rates, ballooning national debt, an inability to form a stable coalition government and, lately, a looming showdown with the EU over mounting debt.

These have precipitated a wave of populism that has rejected the old establishment and brought in a new guard.

Unfortunately, that has done little to resolve another Italian bugaboo: a massive banking crisis.

European banks have accumulated about $1.2 trillion in bad and non-performing loans (NPLs) that have continued weighing down heavily on their balance sheets. Italian banks are sitting on the biggest pile of bad debt: €224.2B ($255.9B), with NPLs and advances making up nearly a quarter of all loans.

As if that is not bad enough, the banks now have to contend with potentially heavy penalties coming from Brussels after Italy’s recalcitrant leadership refused to revise the country’s fiscal 2019 budget to lower debt and borrowing.

The sharks can already smell the blood in the water, and investors have been shorting Italian banking stocks to death. Italian banks hold nearly a fifth of the country’s government bonds.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Bloomberg

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Reuters

Short sellers have mainly been targeting medium-sized lenders as well as asset manager Banca Mediolanum and investment bank Mediobanca. According to FIS Astec Analytics data, the volume of these banks’ shares on loan—a good proxy for short interest—has shot to its highest in 15 months.

Short interest on Mediolanum’s shares now stands at 8.7 percent of outstanding shares, while Mediobanca has 15 percent of its shares sold short.

Rome Refuses To Back Down

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

Take Heed Italy, Brussels Doesn’t Care One Whit About You

Take Heed Italy, Brussels Doesn’t Care One Whit About You

Take Heed Italy, Brussels Doesn’t Care One Whit About You

Watching the complete betrayal of Brexit by British Prime Minister Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May is proving to be a wake up call for Italians. The latest polling results coming out of Italy show that while the populist coalition in Italy is unpopular in Brussels it is still very popular with Italians.

And that’s a good thing because when you look closely at Brexit negotiations it is clear that all that matters is the EU retaining power over the U.K. and not what is in the best interest of anyone involved, British or otherwise.

The Italian coalition partners still command nearly 60% of all Italians’ support, only their preference has changed. Lega now outpolls Five Star Movement (M5S) 33% to 26%, while the other center-right parties, namely Silvio “Stalking Horse” Berlusconi’s Forza Italia have collapsed (from 14% at March’s elections to just 7% now).

And roughly that same number now see the EU as mistreating Italy. These numbers will only get worse if the EU goes through with levying fines against Italy for submitting a budget Brussels doesn’t like.

Moreover, now we’re seeing support for Italeave rise as well. A recent poll by Politico Magazine posted over at Zerohedge shows a slight majority of Italians under age 45 are ready to do just that, leave the European Union.

The over 45 crowd is still enamored with the ideal of the EU tying together a warring Europe rather than confront the reality of what it actually is, a distant and tyrannical oligarchy led by unelected technocrats with strong ties to old money and old power.

The source of this support comes from, I think, the stark contrast between May’s appeasement of rankled EU leadership over the British people’s temerity to want out of their wretched union and how Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is attacking Brussels’ hypocrisy over fiscal restraints.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

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