German tax payers will not pay other people’s debt. This is in substance what the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told the Frankfurter Algemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 3, when she said there could be no “union of the debt.” The comment was in response to news out of Italy that the new ‘populist’ coalition wants the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros in Italian debt. The problem is, when you forgive debt, someone has to pay, and in Europe, that someone is Germany; the only EU country whose economy is strong enough to prop up the euro.
Europe is taking off its gloves and lashing out at the US president in unusually strong language, and, in this case, the EU has the support of its population. The question is can the EU muster the muscle to face down an aggressive US?
“With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Donald Tusk, European Council President, May 16.
Paris, France: Macron is pushing Europe, i.e. Germany, for greater integration but so far he is just pissing in the wind.
French President Emmanuel Macron pleaded for more European cohesion while receiving the Charlemagne Prize May 10 in the German city of Aachen. With his eyes turned towards German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron told a captive audience that what is needed is a common eurozone budget — an idea the Germans don’t like and with good reason.
French Muslim leaders reacted angrily Monday to a Manifesto published over the week end blaming “the new anti-semitism” in France on “Islamization” and which calls on Muslim theological leaders to get rid of the texts in the Quran which could be used to justify crime. (click here)
The Rector of the Great Mosque of Paris called the text signed by 300 leading French figures “an unjust and delirious trial” against French Muslim citizens. Dalil Boubakeur warned that the tribune “presents an obvious risk of pitting religious communities against each other.”
The tribune comes on the heels of a similar text signed by 200 leading intellectuals denouncing the “Islamization of France”. (click here) Sunday’s Manifesto, also signed by three former Prime Ministers, and former President Sarkozy, castigates what it calls a new form of anti-semitism being fed by “radical Islam’ which is responsible for a “low volume ethnic cleansing”aimed at Jews in some quartes of France.
Some 300 leading French figures, from both the left and right, including three former Prime Ministers, have published a manifesto denouncing “the new anti-semitism” in the country which they attribute to the growth of radical Islam. The text, written by Philippe Val,a former director of Charlie Hebdo, scolds politicians and the media for covering up the “Islamic” nature of this new anti-semitism and say there is “a low intensity ethnic cleansing” taking place in certain quarters of the country. The call to action comes with the publication of a book by fifteen intellectuals to denounce the “poison of anti-semitism.” (1)
I sincerely believe there are some things the government should run with our tax money because they are a collective duty to the collectivity. Among these are health care, education, transportation, basic utilities. These are things which cannot be left to the profit-motivated private sector alone; they leave aside those less fortunate and unable to pay.
But what do you do when the public sector labor aristocracy, through its unions, uses its monopoly to gain special privileges at the expense of the tax payer? Such as early retirement (age 52 for the SNCF train company), cheap subsidized housing, free services, special health care facilities, generous vacation and so on. This is what has French public opinion so angry. This anger is allowing the government to push through sweeping reforms which will lead to the partial or full privatization of many services and that, of course, is the end game.
One hundred French intellectuals published a tribune in the daily ‘Le Figaro’ on March 20 denouncing what they call “the Islamization of France.” They write that there is a “new totalitarianism” which “threatens freedom in general.” The French media chose to ignore it.
They are writers, historians, scientists and university professors. They come from both the right and the left. The one thing they have in common is their attachment to the secular nature of an inclusive French Republic which they fear is in grave danger of ethnic and religious seccession.
By S.G. Kazolias. They are Black. They are African. They are serious practicing Muslims. They are French citizens. And they vote for extreme right wing anti-immigrant candidates. The “natives” of the French Indian Ocean “Department” of Mayotte launched a general strike February 22, barricading roads, occupying public facilities and shutting down the island. Basically, they want more generous French subsidies to Mayotte, more police, more infrastructure development and an end to lawlessness which they blame on massive illegal immigration.
The Maore demand the French President, or the Prime Minister, come to talk to them or they will take law into their own hands and, yes, get violent.
by S.G. Kazolias: President Emmanuel Macron campaigned to put an end to what he called “Social Dumping” —- the practice of temporarily hiring workers from poorer EU countries at the minimum wage and paying their much lower social security in their home country. On March 1, EU delegates in Brussels agreed to revise the 1996 accord allowing this. But getting all EU countries to agree may be harder.
When the then 12 EU members approved the 1996 ‘Posted Workers’ directive, labor costs between the different countries was one to three. As the EU enlarged to 28 with the former Soviet Block countries, that differential became one to ten and employers took advantage of it. Skilled labor was brought in from countries like Bulgaria, Romania and Poland at a fraction of the cost.