David Cameron wants the UK to stay in the EU. Many politicians and economists want the UK to stay in the EU. Now Frau Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has decided that she would like the UK to stay in the EU. The problem is a large percentage of the population of the UK want to wave bye-bye to the EU.Today David Cameron made his keynote speech on British membership of the European Union. The speech was scheduled for last Friday but was postponed due to the Algerian hostage crisis. As the Tory election campaign gets into full swing a referendum as to whether or not the UK stays in the EU has been proposed.Much of Cameron's speech was anticipated but, confirmation finally came that he was planning an in-out referendum.
The UK PM plans to re-negotiate the terms of UK membership of the EU first. He will then hold a referendum with a straight forward in-out vote for the British electorate.
Barely had Cameron's words been reported than Chancellor Merkel of Germany was promising to seek an EU compromise with the UK, reports the Telegraph.
Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union,". "We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas but that has some time over the months ahead."
Opinion. If Cameron wanted to spur the EU into action perhaps his referendum announcement has done the trick.
The timing of Merkel's offer a compromise says it all. What will Germany and the others do if the UK votes to leave the EU? That is hard to say.
Many citizens in the UK are sick to the back teeth of the EU. The country looks set to have an influx of Romanian immigrants as restrictions end. The European Court of Human Rights has scuppered the extradition of some whilst others have been sent around the world. The UK currently operates under wide ranging EU regulations that most people find laughable.
Before you get too excited at the prospect of a referendum there are a few things to bear in mind.
- None of this will happen beore the 2015 election.
- The Tories are adding a re-negotiation of EU powers into their 2015 manifesto.
- Other member states will have to agreee to new terms
- This means that, if they do not, a referendum will not be held.
- Cameron has suggested that any referndum would be held in the first few years of a term of office
- The Tories must have a majority. A coalition would probably mean no referendum.
- The Conservatives have a track record of breaking manifesto promises.
Was Cameron's proposal of a UK EU referendum anymore than electioneering?There are too many ifs, buts and ands to be able to say Cameron is truly planning a referendum. He is facing an election in 205. Focusing the public's attention on the eU detracts from real issues at home. It prenets euro sceptic right wing voters shifting their allegiance to fringe parties such as UKIP and the EDL.In announcing an EU referendum is David Cameron doing more than electioneering? You decide
Keynotes from the speech can be found here.
The latest Nobel Peace Prize award may come as a surprise to many people, especially those of us who live in Europe. According to the BBC, "The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of work in advancing peace in Europe."
During the last century Europe experienced two significant World Wars. Ten years was wasted fighting and destroying large chunks of Europe. Rebuilding after each War was long and hard. There have been smaller wars around the world plus civil unrest in some countries since but all out war has been kept under lock and key for the last 60 plus years.
In awarding the EU, the Nobel Peace Prize committee said that the EU had enabled Europe to become a peaceful continent rather than one of War.
Currently the EU faces austerity measures, gloom and doom plus many ordinary citizens seeing a down turn in their financial situation. It will be a testing time for all EU nations. Most people do not need reminding that Germany was at the forefront on the 20th Century confrontations. In the 21st Century many Europeans see Germany as once more trying to conquer and rule Europe, albeit this time with its economic policies.
Even today as the IMF Head Christine Legarde has asked that Greece be allowed more time to implement strict austerity measures, Germany has refused. Germany have insisted that Greece sticks to the bail out deal which was agreed. With the German economy less bouyant than in reacent years it is easy to see the reason for the German stance.
Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland made the award and admitted that the EU faces a tough time. He concentrated on the EUs reconciliation work in the post second world war era and currently in the Balkan countries. His words and the award have delighted senior EU officials but the people may feel differently.
We tend to agree with those who think this EU award is a joke. The timing could not be worse. Europe looks set to implode once more. People such as Merkel may like to think that they have been recognised but they live in cloud cuckoo land. With people suffering austerity measures future conflicts may be more inclined to be civil rather than national wars. Spain and Greece have experienced violent protests and they are not alone.
Perhaps the timing is strange as there are so few candidates suitable for the peace prize this year. Then again maybe it is to gve the troubled EU a welcome morale lift. Perhaps it is a late April Fools joke?
The last time an organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize outright was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won in 1999. Now that one we can understand. The EU right now is tearing Europe apart.
As the economies of so many countries in Europe have hit the skids one country has been portrayed as
invincible. Germany has appeared as the prudent traditional housewife of Europe watching the cents in order to protect the Euros. Her Economy has gone from strength to strength and to date Germany has been holding the purse strings as far as EU bail outs go. This has led to German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeming cold and unfeeling as she lays more restrictive measures on the people of Greece and beyond.Now it seems all may not be as economoically sound in Germany as once thought.Frau Merkel is facing an election in Germany in 2013. We have seen so many other countries go to the polls in recent months. Most who have been experiencing poor economic figures and high unemployment have responded by voting in to office a new regime. Labour or Socilaist governments have been toppled and replaced with Conservative or right wing politicians. In France the reverse happened when Nicolas Sarkozy, a right wing leader, was toppled by Hollande for the left.All of this means that Frau Merkel will have one eye on the polls as she negotiates and tries to balance the books.The latest predictions on the German economy come by way of "German think Tanks"
.It seems that a prediction of a possible 2% growth in the German economy in 2013 may have been overly generous. The figure has been revised down to 1%. Still better than many countries that are looking at the possibility of negative growth but not good for Germany and its people.There will be Germans alive today who well remember the recession in the early part of the 20th Century. The one that led to global conflict and poverty for many.
In the end paper money was worthless and there remain images of cart loads of worthless bank notes being dragged around.For most of us ordinary citizens the EU economic crisis is confusing. Here is some information on the latest news, found at the BBC, Last month the ECB unveiled plans to buy up the government debts of struggling eurozone members, but only if those governments first signed up to a rescue package, including strict conditions on cutting their overspending and reforming their economies. "This process could be triggered by the ECB effectively providing monetary financing for states," according to the semi-annual report by the four think tanks, Ifo in Munich, IFW in Kiel, IWH in Halle and RWI in Essen. "Europe's citizens and players in the markets may lose trust in the ECB's ability to ensure long-term price stability as a result. "In the longer term there is a great danger that the ECB will continue to purchase bonds and provide excessive monetary policy stimulation even if states deviate from the adjustment programmes, which could drive up prices and lead to an increase in inflation expectations." The four also cut their forecast for German growth this year to 0.8% from 0.9% previously.
Purchasing these debts though could lead to a whole range of problems. Inflation could rise. Money become vitually worthless and so on. The fortunes of Germany and its people depend on the rest of Europe. The Domino effect could still catch Germany out. Currently they have a 20-year record low rate of employment of 6.2%. It is predicted that next year this could increase to 6.8%. Not high compared to many European countries but a worry for Merkel and her government.The EU community means that too many countries rely heavily on each other. No matter how good one countries budgeting is the economy could fail at the hands of devil may care
policies of another country. Sheer madness.Commenting on the assumption that the German government will balance the books in 2013 the "think Tank" had this to say,"This assessment of the German economy is based on the assumption that the situation in the eurozone gradually stabilises over the forecasting period and that confidence, especially on the part of investors, is restored," the report warned. "Should the situation in the eurozone continue to deteriorate, this will also impact the German economy. Over the forecasting period as a whole the downside risks prevail and there is a great danger that Germany will fall into a recession."As we said, Sheer Madness.
Former prime minister of the Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, is under arrest facing charges of tax evasion. Prior to EURO 2012 there were reports that she had been beaten. The Ukraine has a bad record of human rights and animal welfare. It would appear to be a harsh society.
Many EU leaders were outraged when Yulia was beaten and accordingly countries such as Germany and the UK insisted that they would boycott EURO 2012 as a protest. This became a protest as long as the national teams were not playing in the country of joint host nation Poland.
English Ministers no doubt felt safe expressing they would follow such a ban, by assuming that England would be on their way home from the competition pretty quickly. As it was England survived to the quarter finals. Yesterday they lost on penalties to a superior football team, Italy and it was problem solved for English Ministers.
Last Friday an extremely pleased German leader, Angela Merkel, was seen cheering her national side on
from the football ground where they were playing. It was in Poland. They beat Greece 4-2 stamping their authority on the game. The German squad are expected to go all the way in this competition which could leave Merkel in a quandary
. Sooner or later she will have to decide if the German boycott of EURO 2012 in the Ukraine will stand.
The Ukraine has put a smiling happy face on for football fans. Worries about fighting local fans and extremism appear to have been resolved. Of course they must simply have been swept under the carpet. These problems were far too big to be resolved easily.
Here at TEK and our sister site Where But The UK
we have boycotted reporting on EURO 2012 football matches. Our stand has been made in protest of the mass killings of street dogs and cats. Many have been cruelly killed, some being burnt whilst still alive. Charitable intervention was trying to run a capture, neuter, free campaign in the Ukraine but this has been halted. This means that the killings have begun once more.
Look at the attached video regarding street children in the Ukraine and you can see that country has a lot of problems to solve.
Today June 25, 2012, the Ukraine has attempted to hide more of its dirty laundry. The trial of Yulia Tymeshenko has been postponed until mid July. The Ukrainian authorities are hoping this will limit the bad publicity they have been receiving. The trial will recommence conveniently on July 10, 2012. Yulia is to undergo a medical assessment to see if she is fit enough to stand trial.
OPINION: EU leaders were wrong to say that they would boycott EURO 2012 as a protest and then to water this down to just games played in Poland. Will EU ministers make a stand against the final matches played in the Ukraine?
If they do not it should tell the world what there are priorities and how dishonourable they are too.
You can find related reading on the trial here
Tags: Yulia Tymeshenko trial adjourned, Orange revolution, Yulia Tymeshenko, EURO 2012 boycott, ministers boycott EURO 2012, Urainke killing dogs and cats, UNICEF, Poland matches, football
Merkel at a previous football match
On Wednesday our sister site of UK news wrote about the UKs wavering stance
on boycotting EURO 2012. Now that England have progressed to the quarter final stage of the competition it appears less certain that ministers will not attend. In line with other EU countries the UK had said that no Ministers would attend as a protest against human rights in the Ukraine. This was with particular reference to
"The plight of glamorous Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Jailed last year after what has been called a "show" trial she has allegedly been beaten more than once. She was sentenced to seven years, in 2011, on charges of alleged corruption." Even Prince William and Prince Harry had said they would boycott EURO 2012.We at TEKJournalismUK and WhereButTheUK have been making our own stand by boycotting reporting of any of the matches due to the Ukraine's mass killing of street animals ready for EURO 2012. That killing continues. We have stuck to our guns but it seems politicians, ministers and leaders have been unable to do the same.The UK have now decided that ministers will attend the next UK match as it is being held in Poland the joint host country. That is surely not in the spirit of such a boycott of conscience?
However the UK are not alone.Tonight Germany and Greece played in their quarter final and watching in the stands was Chancellor Angela Merkel. How did she manage to get a ticket we wonder?. This match was held in Poland but again that is not the point. As Germany scored their first goal a little before half time Merkel was seen triumphant and smiling. What a thorn in the sides of the Greek team. Poor Greece are plagued by Merkel these days.The quandary for all of these leaders will be if their national squad makes it to the final or semi final and it is played in the Ukraine. Will they stand by their boycott or not?Perhaps we all know the answer to that one.
If chewing the fat could solve the economic woes of Europe we would be well on the way to financial recovery. As it is, one meeting after another seems a huge waste of money when in reality nothing changes for the better. Are these leaders simply aiming to justify their jobs?
Today June 22, 2012, there has been a meeting of EU leaders in Europe. Hosted by Germany's Angela Merkel, (Who died and made her Queen?) the outcome looks likely to warrant yet more money. If it was yourself managing such a failed budget by now you would have decided to call it a day rather than keep throwing good money after bad, wouldn't you?
These European meetings have something of the school yard about them as they often only involve two leaders, selected leaders or all leaders and involve false promises and Chinese whispers. Today's looks to have been no different. Of coure the UK is not in the Eurozone as such, wisely having clung on to its own currency. This however makes us a poor relation in negotiations, that is unless they want the UK to stump up more cash.
Today's talks in Rome involved, unelected Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. How four leaders can decide the fate of other countries without including them in the talks is beyond this blogger. Including a non elected leader is a disgrace when leaders continue to advocate democracy and free, fair elections in Middle Eastern countries.
The four leaders are said to be in charge of the top four economies in the Eurozone. As three of those economies are experiencing difficulties it shows what a joke the European Union is.
Mr Monti said that "The first objective we agree on is to relaunch growth, investments and to create jobs."
The measures that they agreed are needed will be worth around 130bn euro. As usual then, not chicken feed. He went on to say, "We want there to be a significant European growth package, that is worth about 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or 130bn euro."
Merkel's two-penneth was that "the lesson of this crisis is more Europe, not less Europe".
We think that many people will disagree with Ms Merkel on that score.
The divisions are there to be seen though even in this small minority meeting. Hollande for France wants countries to share financial burdens more whilst Merkel is pushing for a financial transaction tax which Cameron will not be in favour of. Of course the UK is not part of the Eurozone, but other countries who were not at this meeting are.Opinion:
What is it with all these little summits, meetings and tet a tetes?. Is it following the old adage of the bosses and the workers, that to divide is to conquer? How would you feel if you found out that an important meeting you attended had already run the week before without you. That is exactly how other Eurozone leaders will feel when they meet in Brussels next week. Of Course "Queen" Merkel will no doubt hold court first, with one or two leaders, but that is no way to do business. It smacks of dodgy dealings and underhand agreements. No wonder Europe is in such a mess.
Today's talks lasted less that two hours and the four did not agree wholeheartedly. Hollande wants assurances before sovereignty is surrendered to the EU whilst Merkel holds the opposite opinion. This is why many Europeans feel that Germany is once more attempting to rule Europe, this time by holding the purse strings.More Here
If you were in any doubt before last week's various Elections in Europe were held, you must now see that Europe is in danger of collapsing. It could be a long, slow, painful death, or a veritable massive heart attack but the Eurozone dream is over. It has been a nightmare for many people for too long now and finally the time to say NO MORE draws close.
Eurosecptics have always existed but for the last few years leaders such as France's Sarkozy and Germany's Merkel have attempted to prop up Europe and fight a losing battle Successive governments of Europe are falling at rapid speed, as the people of each country turn their backs on those loosely held responsible for the current financial crisis.
Whilst some will view such sentiments as merely anti-establishment views there is much more to it than that. The statistics show that of the seventeen EMU member states, twelve have seen their governments collapse or be voted out, in just the last two years. A daunting prospect for those politicians who attempt to take hold of the poisoned chalice of Europe. In the UK it was only local elections but we Brits sent a stark message to Westminster.
One of the winners in the UK was Nigel Farage and the UKIP Party. As a party which advocates the end of our membership in the EU that certainly told our current coalition something they did not want to hear. That is, the people of Great Britain do not want to be involved in the EU anymore. Many never did Perhaps this is why today's Queen's speech included an attempt to prevent the UK offering any more bail outs to the EU.
This of course is too little too late. It will damage our standing and leave us high and dry should our economy fail. The fact that we have paid through the nose for years will count for nought. King World News
has today carried an interview with Nigel Farage which makes for an interesting, if not worrying, read. Whilst this blogger does not usually agree with Mr Farage she often sees some of what he says as good sense. His stance on Europe is after all for many of us his saving grace. In the interview with King World News Farage paints what most of us believe to be an accurate picture of Europe in the days, weeks and months to come. This is one that shows the EU crumbling as politicians take measures to shore up the faults, knowing full well they are simply delaying the inevitable.
TEK reported at the weekend that Lord Mandleson was predicting a more Federal Europe. He in fact appeared to be all in favour of such a measure as a positive move. People in the UK will by and large disagree. Soon after we ran an op-ed on our fears regarding Ms Merkel and her arrogant behaviour
. Again it seems that we are in agreement with Mr Farage's view.
What could probably be the most dangerous issue for UK democracy is apathy. With so many people failing to vote, claiming politicians are all the same, politics does not concern me and more, we are ripe for a take over.
A dictatorship in the Eurozone may sound like a bad joke but it is not that far away, nor is it an impossibility. Greece and Italy already have a non elected technocrat as leader, that is a dictator in all but name. Germany has tried many times to dominate Europe and it is attempting to do so again. This time it may not be by the sword but rather by the economy. Time will tell though.
The People of Europe must stay informed and active if they are to have any chance of surviving or fighting what may be to come. Sounds to over the top? Not at all. Greece is just one small part of the problem. Following the Greek election a government has not been formed. Different parties are trying to work together. Depeding which form a coalition they could decide to tear up the bail out plan and maybe leave the EU. German leader Angela Merkel has already said the agreement is not open for debate, but who will stop them and how?
Tags: Angela Merkel, EU deal, Eurozone crisis, Greek debt, Nigel Farage UKIP, federal Europe, EU dictator. op-ed
Chancellor Angela Merkel is a powerful woman. She shies away from calling herself leader as in Germany that would harp back to Hitler, the Fuhrer. She appears right now to hold all the cards as far as Europe goes but will she be able to keep that iron grip with the new leader of France, Francois Hollande?
Added to the equation is the Greek election which at this moment in time has left Greek politicians struggling to form any sort of coalition government. Austerity has been demanded across Europe by Merkel but this has left many people unsettled. This does not refer to the hardship austerity causes but that it is a foreigner in another country laying down the law. We Brits tend to say in such situations "who died and made her Queen"
There are obvious reasons why Germany currently is not suffering from the same crisis as the rest of Europe. Those so inclined may remark that Germany had a huge helping hand after the last Great War. Whilst other countries in Europe struggled to rebuild Germany were given the upper hand. Now it seems that they have no compassion for countries feeling pressure.
For many people the problem with Merkel is her arrogant manner. Of course you may believe that arrogance and Germany go together hand in hand but you can never generalise about any race of people. She may not be representative of Germans in
general. Merkel made a rather long speech following the election of Hollande in France. She stressed the continuing Franco - German alliance, although Hollande will know that she was actively pushing for Sarkozy to win.
The leaders of Europe though will have to work together, like it or not. For many citizens of Europe though, they want their own leaders making the laws, and not the technocrats of the EU. Merkel ruffles feathers, especially when she makes statements such as “We do not merely want to survive this crisis. Germany shall re-emerge from it stronger and better equipped for the future.”
That means that Merkel is looking after her own whilst trying to prevent other leaders from following suit. Germany has tried to dominate Europe twice in the past by aggression. Currently it is hoping to do so, but not with war.
The people of Europe though may have a tentative relationship with Germany, as old wounds take time to heal. Angela Merkel could still open them if she is not careful.
is being told that it will have to in effect jump through yet more hoops, in order to secure the next financial bail-out. With so much at stake it is easy to see why Germany is keen on Greece curing its financial ills. That said once again it is Germany and France demanding. Perhaps the two leaders, Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy, the Merkozys, that should make a community of their own. As it is the Greek people will be expected to make even more cuts.
Thousands of public sector job cuts have been announced. Sooner or later there will be nothing left to cut. What will happen then? Will the richer countries of the Eurozone offer aid? After all we are sending aid by the bucket load to countries such as India and Pakistan. Surely that would show true community spirit. Offer a fresh start.As usual it will be the poorest people of Greek society that will lose out. More job cuts are on the way. Already some Greeks have abandoned their children in the hope that will have a better life in care.
Whilst the money men and women of the EU consider budget and financial implications do they spare a thought for the citizens of Greece? The people who now have an imposed leader rather than an elected one.The German Franco alliance now hope to ensure that Greek bail out money is not paid directly to Greece. They do not want it going straight to Athens but rather to an interim bank. This way they can feed the money to Greece a little at a time.
If Greece does not dance to the tune of the Franco German alliance it will not receive the rest of the money.Of course all EU countries stand to lose a great deal if Greece defaults on its debts.
However expecting the Greek people to live as paupers, for what could be the rest of their lives, should not be an option. Better to set them free to fend for themselves. Yes it would be sink or swim but isn't it going to be that anyway?Debt deal talksGreek bail out funds could be split
Just because EU debt problems have not been headline news for a while does not mean that they have been resolved. It is doubtful that they will be properly resolved, ever. So much depends on the people of the EU being prepared to take the nasty tasting medicine being doled out to them.Whist the technocrats and EU politicians sweat over bail out packages and deals which will benefit their own countries the people of Europe will be the ones tightening their belts. They can only tighten them so far. Soon they will be at their most extreme point.You can understand the frustration of the German people. They already have a much older retirement age than the Greeks. The Greek people are fighting extending their retirement age, tooth and nail. All EU countries are having to increase the age of retirement but that offers a mixed bag.
With unemployment high, a nation of mature workers continuing to work into old age is bad news.Today confidence in Europe and the EU has begun to slip a little. Again it is mainly about Greece. The country may now have its unelected technocratic leader at the helm but as yet their financial problems are far from resolved. The country's creditors have agreed to accept Greek losses. They have said that they are willing to accept 50% losses on the debt.
In reality no doubt we will all pay for this. Greece is set to face another debt crisis any time now unless the next stage of financial deals are sorted out. What a mess. It must be time to give up the ghost?
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is hoping to have an outline for the 100 billion-euro ($127 billion) plan next week. Perhaps hoping is the wrong word. Without it Greece will be scuppered. Bloomberg have the full story.So many countries have invested heavily into Greek debt and the EU. It may have been better to have called it a day sometime go. Now it seems that we are stumbling from one month and set of problems to another. The debts increase, economies wobble and it is hard to imagine economic stability being the order of the day again.