How the European Parliament is spending your taxes

There are highlights of the draft budget proposed by the European Parliament for its own building programme:

  • €40 million for new office space in Brussels to accommodate the 150 new staff members and 66 contract staff
  • €586 million to renovate and extend the European Parliament building in Luxembourg (you didn’t know that the European Parliament had a building in Luxembourg as well as Brussels and Strasbourg, did you?)
  • €80 million to provide an additional office for each MEP for the accommodation of a third or fourth assistant
  • €10 million for a second creche in Brussels
  • €20 million for a “House of European History”

Although the member states are working to constrain their expenditure, one item in their national budgets keeps rising: contributions to the EU budget. Recession? What recession?

Read moreHow the European Parliament is spending your taxes

Papandreou Gives EU One Week to Seal Aid Plan as Germany Pushes IMF Option

See also:

Banksters Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide

Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

Greece: 2009 Budget Deficit Was Just Revised From 12.2% To 16% Of GDP!

The CDS Puppetmaster Behind It All And The Ever Increasing Parallels Between AIG And Greece

The people will have to pay the bill …

… and the elite that controls the banksters, the governments, the media and the central banks always gains more money, power and control.


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George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister, gestures during a press briefing at the European Union Parliament headquarters in Brussels, on March 18, 2010. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

March 18 (Bloomberg) — Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou set a one-week deadline for the European Union to craft a financial aid mechanism for Greece, challenging Germany to give up its doubts about a rescue package.

Papandreou said he may turn to the International Monetary Fund to overcome Greece’s debt crisis unless leaders agree to set up a lending facility at a summit March 25-26. The IMF option has already been dismissed by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who say it would show the EU can’t solve its own crises.

“It’s an opportunity to make a decision next week at the summit,’’ Papandreou told reporters in Brussels today. “This is an opportunity we should not miss. When you have that instrument in place, that could be enough to tell the markets hands off, no speculation, let this country do what it’s doing.”

Read morePapandreou Gives EU One Week to Seal Aid Plan as Germany Pushes IMF Option

When The Gun Is In YOUR Mouth…. (CDS / Merkel)

Related article:
JPMorgan Employee Who Invented Credit Default Swaps is One of the Key Architects of Carbon Derivatives, Which Would Be at the Very CENTER of Cap and Trade


suddenly politicians “get religion” about making damn sure it has no bullets in it:

“We’re of the opinion that a quick implementation of actions in the area of CDS has to happen,” Merkel said. Citing “ongoing speculation against euro-region countries,” she called for the “fastest possible” implementation of new rules. Europe must “do everything to avoid unhealthy speculation,” said Juncker, who heads the euro-area finance ministers group.

Where ‘ya been Angie?

Oh, and you too Papandreou:

“Europe and America must say ‘enough is enough’ to those speculators who only place value on immediate returns, with utter disregard for the consequences on the larger economic system,” Papandreou said yesterday in a speech in Washington.

And, of course, Sarkozy.

Note that I’ve been calling for these things to be either exchange-traded with central counterparty “blinding” (on purpose) as is the case with the regulated option and futures markets or be torn up since The Ticker began publication.

Why?  Because it is my position and remains so that unless you have this sort of market these contracts are all a scam.

They are a scam because:

Read moreWhen The Gun Is In YOUR Mouth…. (CDS / Merkel)

EU Chief Vows To Run The Economies Of All EU Members From Brussels

See also:

Lisbon Treaty: Now EU Takes Charge Of Britain

EU President Herman Van Rompuy Announces 2009 as ‘First Year of Global Governance’

And here comes the New World Order.


EU CHIEF VOWS TO RUN OUR ECONOMY FROM BRUSSELS

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Barroso plans to grab power

EUROPE’S chief bureaucrat last night provoked fury after threatening to use the “full force” of the Lisbon Treaty to impose economic control over every EU nation.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso claimed that financial stability was so critical that sweeping new powers were needed for Eurocrats in Brussels to meddle in the economies of all EU members.

But his threat sparked an angry backlash from critics of an ever- growing Brussels bureaucracy.

It raised fears that the EU – under unelected (!) new President Herman van Rompuy – is planning a power grab.

Timothy Kirkhope, the leader of Tory Euro MPs, said: “The idea of compulsory economic policies is deeply disturbing. It reflects a very old fashioned ‘command and control’ approach which does not solve problems of the 21st century.” Mats Persson, director of think-tank Open Europe, said: “Economic growth cannot be forced from the centre.

“The unelected Commission is seeking to gain power over one of the corefeatures of democratic politics, deciding how a country’s economy is run. This has no public support and runs the risk of being hijacked by narrow political interests.”

Read moreEU Chief Vows To Run The Economies Of All EU Members From Brussels

Greek Workers Shut Down Transport And Tried To Storm Parliament As Lawmakers Passed 4.8 Billion Euros Budget Cuts

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Empty rail tracks are seen at at the entrance to the Thision underground railway in Athens on March 5, 2010. (Bloomberg)

March 5 (Bloomberg) — Striking Greek workers shut down transport and tried to storm parliament as lawmakers passed 4.8 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in budget cuts, including wage reductions, needed to trim the region’s biggest budget deficit.

Police with riot shields fired tear gas as demonstrators wearing biker helmets and ski masks pelted them with stones outside parliament in Athens where lawmakers approved the measures. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told parliament the cuts will show European Union allies and investors that Greece is making good on its deficit pledges.

“We didn’t create this crisis but now we have to pay for it,” said Manthos Adamakis, who was protesting with other catering workers outside the five-star Grande Bretagne Hotel on Syntagma Square in downtown Athens.

Read moreGreek Workers Shut Down Transport And Tried To Storm Parliament As Lawmakers Passed 4.8 Billion Euros Budget Cuts

Germany Snubs Greek Aid Plea As Protesters Seize Finance Ministry in Athens

See also:
Greece passes new deficit cuts to avert ‘catastrophe’ (Telegraph)


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George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister, pauses during a conference organized by The Economist in Athens, on Feb. 2, 2010. (Bloomberg)

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Greece’s pledge to deepen planned budget-deficit cuts failed to yield an offer of assistance from Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, as protesters in Athens seized the finance ministry building and blocked roads in the city center.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a meeting tomorrow with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won’t be “about aid commitments.” Her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said the third round of deficit-reduction measures this year were probably enough to convince investors to buy Greek debt.

While Papandreou is risking a backlash at home to meet European Union demands for more deficit cuts before allies even consider providing aid, Merkel is facing domestic opposition to tapping taxpayers to extend a financial lifeline to Greece.

“There would be no understanding in Germany for bailing out Greece,” Henrik Enderlein, a political economist at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, said by phone. “It’s a bit of catch-22 situation: if you give in to Greece and you put 5 billion or perhaps even 10 billion into some kind of rescue package or into some guarantees, then the German government would look irresponsible. However, if it doesn’t, then European Union leaders might put a lot of pressure on Merkel and say, look, we have to bail out Greece.”

Read moreGermany Snubs Greek Aid Plea As Protesters Seize Finance Ministry in Athens

Europe: Quantifying The Donors And Moochers – Without Germany, The EU Would Not Exist

With the dramatic emergence of intra-EU bickering between various “banana-eating countries” and “tax cheats”, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the banana trees. While it is subjective to say who owes whom what, one thing that is very objective, is whose money is critical to sustaining the European Union.

And here there is no doubt: without Germany, the EU would not exist. The country, which receives €78 billion from the EU annually, pays out more than double that, or €164 billion, for a net impact of (€1,045) per capita.

Surely the Germans would be just as happy to see this money retained by their economy instead of going to assorted hangers-on. And speaking of the latter, one of the biggest recipients, with a net benefit of €2,284 per person, is Greece, which pays just €15 billion a year to the EU but receives nearly triple, or €40 billion.

We wonder just how Greece will plug that particular hole should the EU dissolve after the recent escalation in rhetoric threatens to royally piss off the Germans.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

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Graphic via FSTeurope.com

Read moreEurope: Quantifying The Donors And Moochers – Without Germany, The EU Would Not Exist

Leading Scientist Warns of Ice Age: ‘Most of Europe Will Be Under Ice’

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Professor Vladimir Paar

A leading scientist has revealed that Europe could be just five years away from the start of a new Ice Age.

While climate change campaigners say global warming is the planet’s biggest danger, renowned physicist Vladimir Paar says most of central Europe will soon be covered in ice.

The freeze will be so complete that people will be able to walk from England to Ireland or across the North Sea from Scotland to northern Europe.

Professor Paar, from Croatia’s Zagreb University, has spent decades analysing previous ice ages in Europe and what caused them.


“Most of Europe will be under ice, including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Slovakia and a part of Slovenia,” said the professor in an interview with the Index.hr.

“Previous ice ages lasted about 70,000 years. That’s a fact and the new ice age can’t be avoided.

“The big question is what will happen to the people of the Central European countries which will be under ice?

“They might migrate to the south, or might stay, but with a huge increase in energy use,” he warned.

“This could happen in five, 10, 50 or 100 years, or even later. We can’t predict it precisely, but it will come,” he added.

And the professor said that scientists think global warming is simply a natural part of the planet.

“What I mean is that global warming is natural. Some 130,000 years ago the earth’s temperature was the same as now, the level of CO2 was almost the same and the level of the sea was four metres higher.

“They keep warning people about global warming, but half of America no longer believes it as they keep freezing,” he said.

And he added: “The reality is that mankind needs to start preparing for the ice age. We are at the end of the global warming period. The ice age is to follow. The global warming period should have ended a few thousands of years ago, we should have already been in the ice age. Therefore we do not know precisely when it could start – but soon.”

Read moreLeading Scientist Warns of Ice Age: ‘Most of Europe Will Be Under Ice’

Marc Faber on Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis: Next Countries to Default are the US, Japan and the ‘PIIGS’

Listen to what Marc Faber exactly says in the beginning of the video.

See also:

Experts: Dollar Crisis Looms if US Doesn’t Curb Debt (Reuters)

Fitch: US Must Cut Spending To Save AAA Rating; US December Deficit Nearly Doubles (Telegraph)

The Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis (Forbes)

A global fiasco: Japan is about to blow up (Telegraph)



After every financial crisis there’s a sovereign debt crisis, Marc Faber says. Countries that borrowed too much during the boom times start struggling to pay their competitors back, and eventually some of them default.

The countries most likely to blow up this time around are the “PIIGS”: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain.  One ore more of them, Faber says, will likely default in the next couple of years. And, that could result in the death of the Euro currency.

Longer-term, Faber says, Japan and the US are in line for the same fate.

The US crisis won’t hit us this year or next year.  But within 5-10 years, the United States will be forced to quietly default on its debt, most likely by printing money and destroying the value of the currency.

The main problem comes down to two things: 1) ballooning debts and 2) future interest costs.

As these charts from Faber’s Gloom, Boom, And Doom Report show, in the past decade, the U.S. government’s total debt and liabilities have gone through the roof, especially when Fannie, Freddie, Medicare, and Social Security are taken into account.  This trend is unsustainable, and it will correct itself only through a rapid acceleration of economic growth and tax revenues, a new-found financial discipline, or a crisis–or a combination of all three.

Read moreMarc Faber on Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis: Next Countries to Default are the US, Japan and the ‘PIIGS’

Winter Chaos Around The World

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A train stranded in Shangdu, Inner Mongolia

World:

Now that really IS the wrong type of snow on the line! Winter brings travel chaos around the world (Daily Mail)

US:

Midwest bracing for heavy snow, wind chills of -50; South freezes too (AP)

Colorado Becomes Country’s Cold Spot (ABC News)

South struggles with record-setting freeze (USA Today)

Europe:

Airport chaos as icy weather grips northern Europe (BBC News)

Temperatures across Europe plunge to near record lows (CNN)

Europe shivers as Britain braces for brutal winter (AFP)

With the UK being hit hard:

Weather-related death toll rises to 22 as Britain braces for coldest night yet (Times):

The death toll from Britain’s biggest freeze for decades reached 22 today as the country prepared for its coldest night so far, bringing the promise of even more treacherous conditions.

UK gas supply dwindles as country experiences sub-zero weather (Electric):

The UK faces the possibility of gas supply crisis as the worst cold season in 30 years hit the country.

UK’s only got enough gas to last eight days, say Tories (Daily Mail)

U.K. Gas Market No Laughing Matter (Wall Street Journal)

UK’s only got enough gas to last eight days, say Tories (Daily Mail)

Some parts of the country have just ONE day’s supply of grit left (Daily Mail)

Panic buying at supermarkets as Britain braces itself for the big freeze (Daily Mail)

As a sidenote: Met Office chief receives 25 pc pay rise (Telegraph):

The head of the Met Office, the national weather service which has been heavily criticised for getting its forecasts wrong, is now paid more than the Prime Minister, after receiving a 25 per cent pay rise.

China:

China freeze to continue as power use, food prices rise (AFP)

Chinese cities not ready for harsh winter (Xinhua)

China tells factories to cut power use amid cold (BusinessWeek)

Central China power supply in jeopardy on coal,weather (Reuters)

Cold wave in India:

Cold waves in northern India claim 195 lives (Indian Express)



Army rescues 1,000 drivers stranded in cars for 12 HOURS as UK is paralysed by heavy snow

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Going nowhere: The A3 in Horndean, Hampshire was closed this morning after 1,000 motorists were stuck in their cars overnight and hundreds of vehicles were abandoned

Up to 1,000 stranded motorists had to be rescued by the Army today after some of the heaviest snowfalls in 20 years left drivers trapped in their cars overnight.
Among those stranded without food and water on the A3 in Hampshire was a heavily-pregnant woman and her baby daughter.

Millions of people across Britain were unable to get to work this morning as snowstorms caused massive disruptions on the roads and railways.

Thousands of schools remain closed, while major airports have been forced to ground flights as snow ploughs try desperately to clear runways of snow and ice.

More than 16 inches (40cm) of snow has fallen in the hills of north east England and the Scottish borders, while 12 inches (30.5cm) was recorded in Berkshire. Parts of the Northern Highlands recorded 18.5 inches (47cm).

The Met Office said southern England could see another six inches (15cm) this afternoon, with the ‘treacherous’ weather lasting for up to ten more days.

The Army, drafted in to save 1,000 drivers stranded on the A3, used military trucks and Land Rovers to rescue those trapped in a ten-mile jam on the trunk road at Waterlooville.

But some of the trapped motorists claimed they received no help at all and that ‘no one knew what was going on’.

Carla Holt said she and her 13-month-old daughter Lily-May were stuck for 12 hours in the freezing conditions. She said she received no support from the police overnight and was only able to leave the road when it was partially cleared at 6.30am today.

The 23-year-old said: ‘We went through hell. I am eight months pregnant, I couldn’t go to the toilet all night, I couldn’t warm the bottle up for my baby daughter. It was very frightening.

Read moreWinter Chaos Around The World