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.