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Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 03 May 2015 18:08
by Philip
The Ukranians are being suckered by the US/EU into resuming their fight in the UKR after US and EU mil advisers trooped in over the last few months.The aim is to keep Russia engaged in the UKR and divert its attention from other global hotspots,where the US/NATO mil adventurism is receiving major setbacks against ISIS,etc. The US/NATO and their Arab allies like the Soothi Barbarians desperately want regime change in Syria and are doing everything that they can to oust Assad,who is surviving mainly because of Russian and Chinese help. Russian and Chinese joint naval exercises for the first time ever in the Meditt shows the importance both nations give to the Syrian crisis.

On the eco front,the so-called "Leftist" Greek govt. is playing the Russian card well,where Russia is countering the EU's support for the UKR in a flanking attack. With the Crimean peninsula absorbed into Russia and its strat. naval bases,etc. firmly in Russian control,with the beefing up of the Russian fleet there with new warships and subs,a new dimension is emerging in the naval arena and if the Russians get operational use of any Greek ports,it will place them in far stronger position from which to influence events on land,in and around the Meditt Sea.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 03 May 2015 19:06
by prahaar
Thanks Pandiranhariji, for the detailed response. All the necessar trade numbers make sense but demographic stagnation and security don't give confidence in Euro as in case of USD. Overall looking at local news India is almost a nonentity for any politico-financial relationship. Most seem to prefer Chinese relations since they are able to work better with them. India may have to try very hard for any up tick in the relationship.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 06 May 2015 10:54
by Philip
"Mammary Mia!" Talk about DSK,M.'ollande and iz early morning "bicycling",with iz paramour,will it never end?

Politician and 'friend of President Francois Hollande' said he only 'liked journalists with big breasts', claim French female reporters ... 26994.html

40 political reporters said it was time to end the 'lascivious paternalism' to which they were routinely subjected to in the French corridors of power

A group of female journalists in France have blown the whistle on the repeated sexist comments and behaviour of the country’s male politicians.

Under the banner headline “get your paws off”, 40 political reporters said it was time to end the “lascivious paternalism” to which women journalists were routinely subjected to in the French corridors of power.

A lengthy article in Libération listed examples of sexual harassment, and sometimes outright sexual blackmail, practised mostly by older, male politicians and government officials.

Libération's front page, calling for action against sexism among France's male politicians Libération's front page, calling for action against sexism among France's male politicians An unnamed politician and “friend of President François Hollande” was quoted as saying that he only “liked journalists with big breasts”. In another instance, a member of parliament door-stepped by female TV reporters was reported to have said: “You are street-walking, Are you looking for a client?”.

A presidential candidate refused to answer questions from male journalists but spoke to a woman reporter because, he said, “she is wearing a pretty dress”.

Female journalists are constantly bombarded, the article said, with text messages offering information in return for a “meeting over a drink” or “dinner on Saturday night”.

The article said: “We thought that the Dominique Strauss Kahn affair had started a new era and the macho habits, which symbolise old fashioned politics and attitudes, were on the way to extinction. Alas no,”

Mr Strauss-Kahn, the former French finance minister and IMF chief, was accused in 2011 of, amongst other things, sexually assaulting a young journalist, Tristane Banon, nine years before. She told police that Mr Strauss-Kahn invited her to an apartment for an interview and then attempted to rape her.

Under police questioning, the politician admitted attempting to kiss the journalist and writer but denied any attempt at rape. Investigators dismissed the rape allegations. They concluded that Mr Strauss-Kahn had committed a sexual assault but that the time limit for prosecution had expired.

French journalist and writer Tristane Banon French journalist and writer Tristane Banon (EPA)
The habitual harrassers of female journalists come from all political parties of both the left and the right, the 40 journalists said yesterday. Many other French politicians, especially younger ones, behave correctly towards women, they said.

A large number of polticians and officials “at all levels” habitually act in a sexist or predatory manner. If challenged, the article said, they claim that their comments were “only banter” or part of “the French art of seduction”.

The article also addressed obliquely the question of whether some female journalists use sex appeal to gain information. The article pointed out that in the 1970s, Françoise Giroud of L’Express, the first woman to edit a French weekly news magazine, boasted that women journalists were much better at extracting information from male politicians.

Love affairs and romantic partnerships between politicians and journalists are common in France. Recent examples include President Hollande’s ill-fated partnership with the Paris Match journalist Valérie Trierweiler.

It was time, the article said, to put an end to the “ambiguity” implied by Francoise Giroud in relations between make politicians and female reporters in France. Women in political journalism, they said, actually found it harder than male colleagues to get close to politicians because they feared that friendliness would be misunderstood or exploited.

The article said: “We avoid one-on-one meetings as much as possible. We are permanently on our guard against use of the familiar ‘tu’ instead of ‘vous’ to preserve the proper distance between the journalist and those they write about.”

The true source of the problem, the article concluded, was that politics in France remained dominated by old men – hence the phrase “lascivious paternalism”.

“As long as politics remains mostly in the hands of heterosexual, 60-something males, nothing will change,” the women concluded.

Only 16 of the 40 female reporters signed the article. The others said that they wished to remain anonymous because their positions at work were already “complicated” enough

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 06 May 2015 11:10
by chetak

In what way is it different from India??

exactly the same pump and jump situation here.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 06 May 2015 11:18
by Singha
atleast the french journos are open about liaisons instead of sweeping it under the rug like India.

some journos must have been in bed (sometimes literally) with the powers that be of the past regime

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 26 May 2015 16:45
by A_Gupta
"German Defence Minister begins India visit"
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen arrived here on Tuesday for a visit aimed at deepening bilateral ties between the two countries.

Soon after arriving in the capital, Leyen visited the Amar Jawan Jyoti martyrs memorial and paid his tributes.

Later, she was accorded a guard of honour at the presidential palace. She was accompanied by Germany's Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner.

During her three-day visit, Leyen will hold bilateral talks with her counterpart Manohar Parrikar and also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The German minister is also scheduled to visit the Army Research and Referral Hospital.

Leyen will also visit the Western Naval Command in Mumbai and tour the Indian Navy ship INS Mumbai.

Leyen will leave for Singapore on May 28 to participate in the Shangri-La Asia Security Summit.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 26 May 2015 20:13
by panduranghari
Whom should India deal with?


Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 26 May 2015 20:56
by chetak
Singha wrote:atleast the french journos are open about liaisons instead of sweeping it under the rug like India.

some journos must have been in bed (sometimes literally) with the powers that be of the past regime

Sirji, do you remember the time when doordarshan was the only TV around and each of the news readers (mostly) in the dilli doordarshan was the keep of one big time politician or the other. guys like hegde from karnataka were bonking anything that moved. the stories of sly liaisons were legion. very few of ladies were married, mostly divorced or separated making it easier for the rampaging gents.

men in power don't need to hunt, they get their choice of meats presented on a platter and these guys rarely say no to a nice smorgasbord. This is even true of many offices. it's like the moths to a flame, no matter sarkari or private.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 29 May 2015 20:12
by A_Gupta
"Dutch PM to lead business delegation to India, offer expertise on smart cities" ... _id=323156
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is coming to India on a three-day visit June 6-7 with a trade delegation to strengthen economiic and political ties between the two countries.

He will be accompanied by Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen and Minister for Economic Affairs Sharon Dijksma.

Rutte will on June 5 meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be paying a two day visit to Bangladesh June 6-7.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 01 Jun 2015 11:58
by Philip
Everyone wants to sell us "smart cities"! However,it is astonishing that this pro-desi regime has apparently forgotten about the Indian smart cities built centuries ago,perfectly in tune with our culture,climate and technology of the time.Look at Jaipur,Jaisalmer,the fortified cities all across India,temple towns of the south,east,etc. Smart cities means intelligent design,proper construction,good transportation systems and regular maintenance.S.American cities have actually shown the way as they also have high population densities.Replciating the skyscraper tech of Singapore,etc. would be a disaster.How many of the poor can afford to live in costly high-rise complexes? The "smart city" agenda will become just another populaist slogan like Garibi Hatao. We have hundreds of crowded existing cities which require ICU style treatment.

The main drawback in India is the cute lack of good public transportation.Instead we are heavily investing in the automobile and auto infrastructure,a trick by the West,which has ruined Chinese cities with acute pollution. Al across Europe rail is the preferred clean mass transportation system. High speed trains and underground metros link cities with each other and serve as the best public transportation system for large cities along with trams and electric buses. Every Tier-2 city should have its own rail mass transportation system,whether overground or underground.Small elevated monorail systems cannot transport the large population of Indian cities and disrupt the fabric of the built environment above ground. Investing in rail systems is the way to go whioch will also decongest cities like Mumbai,Delhi,Chennai,BLore,etc.

The Dutch are experts at hydraulics,their dykes,etc.We do not have low-lying areas which get flooded by the sea as they do,but their water transportation systems and expertise could transform Kerala and other states with large waterbodies.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 01 Jun 2015 15:51
by A_Gupta
"Pranab Mukherjee visits Sweden; the first ever by an Indian President" ... 99977.html

Stockholm: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday arrived at Stockholm on the first leg of his five-day state visit to Sweden and Belarus, the first ever by any Indian head of state, during which a number of key agreements on sustainable development, scientific research are likely to be signed.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 02 Jun 2015 15:59
by A_Gupta
'Sweden Backs India's Bid for Entry Into MTCR' ... tcr/900009
Sweden, a key member of the Missile Technology Control Regime, has backed India's bid for entry into the elite group of countries that seek to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

The backing was conveyed to President Pranab Mukherjee, who is here on a state visit, the first-ever by any Indian head of state, by Swedish Prime Minister Stefen Lofven who called on him along with his cabinet colleagues.

Lofven told the President that Sweden supported India's bid for entry into the MTCR, a voluntary association of 34 countries favouring non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

The backing came as India is looking to secure an early membership of the four multilateral export control regimes -- Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), MTCR, Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 20 Jun 2015 00:21
by Bhurishrava ... 10722.html
Greece: What happens when a country defaults on IMF

The prospect of Greece missing a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) payment to the IMF due by the end of June theoretically places the country on track to Fund expulsion.

On Thursday IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that Greece would have no grace period if it does not make the scheduled debt payment by June 30.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 22 Jun 2015 08:56
by Avinash R

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 23 Jun 2015 02:15
by Philip
GREXIT imminent? Is the deal about to implode and take many banks across the world with it as Greece totters on the brink?

Greece deal in doubt as ministers discuss prospect of capital controls ahead of emergency EU summit
Finance ministers discuss prospect of capital controls on Greek banks as they write off a prospect for a deal tonight

Belgian finance minister admits chiefs discussed capital controls
• Leaders' summit will go ahead after Greeks send late proposals
• Emergency liquidity extended by ECB as deposit flight due to hit €1bn today
• Reports: Greek plan includes rise to pensions age; reforms to VAT
• Special report: Why the state of Greek hospitals tell us the drachma could be coming
• Special report: The fight to end Greece's Great Euro Depression

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 28 Jun 2015 05:35
by Rony
If Greece Defaults, Imagine Argentina, but Much Worse

But even Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s firebrand finance minister who advocates standing up to the European Union’s demands, said the idea that Greece could default and emulate Argentina was “profoundly wrong,” as he put it in a recent blog post— a point he reiterated when we spoke a few weeks ago.

Argentina’s economic recovery was largely driven by a fortuitously timed surge in commodity exports driven by demand from fast-growing Brazil and China. (Although the commodity boom is long over, and Argentina’s economy today is at best stagnating, those two countries still account for about 28 percent of its exports.) Soybean meal, corn and soybean oil are the country’s top three exports. Argentina had a population of over 41 million and gross domestic product of $610 billion in 2013. Although it’s a net importer of energy, it has vast shale oil and gas reserves that could make it self-sufficient.

Greece, by contrast, is heavily dependent on imports. Its top three are crude oil, refined petroleum and pharmaceuticals, all necessities. While its top export is also refined petroleum, it has to import crude oil for its refineries. Its only major homegrown exports are fresh fish and cotton. It would be hard to significantly increase sales of either product: The European Union has strict quotas to prevent overfishing, while cotton production is struggling from reduced demand for textiles and a lack of bank financing.

“Idle productive resources in Greece cannot produce much for which there is increasing demand,” Mr. Varoufakis wrote.

Mr. Gros noted, “Greece doesn’t export much.” If the country left the European Union and brought back a sharply devalued drachma, “They’d gain some from tourism,” he said. “But they’ve already cut prices and tourism has gone up. But it hasn’t really helped because total revenue hasn’t gone up.”

And compared with Argentina, Greece is tiny, with a population of just over 11 million and gross domestic product of $242 billion in 2013. “Argentina is a resource-rich country that, if forced to, can live with its own resources,” Mr. Porzecanski said. “The economic viability of Greece on its own has never been tested” since 1981, when Greece joined the European Union.

Everyone pretty much agrees that, if Greece could devalue its currency, as did Argentina, its economy would benefit. But it was also relatively easy for Argentina to devalue the peso by severing its link to the United States dollar, a tie that was self-imposed. As Mr. Varoufakis put it, Greece doesn’t have a currency that’s pegged to the euro: “It has the euro.” The practical challenge of disseminating a new currency would be enormous. Moreover, Greek savings now denominated in euros (and, in many cases, deposited in European banks outside Greece) can’t be converted to drachmas, as the Argentines converted savings into pesos.

Converting to the drachma would also be a crushing blow to the private sector, much of which finances its activities with euro-denominated loans from non-Greek banks. “They wouldn’t be able to service the debt with devalued drachmas,” Mr. Porzecanski said. Nor would Greek courts have the final say in any ensuing litigation.

In Argentina, “the government ruled that a corporation or bank that owed debts denominated in dollars were payable in pesos at a one-to-one exchange rate,” Mr. Porzecanski said. “They could do that with internal debt. But Greek companies have a lot of cross-border obligations. The European Central Bank has kept Greek banks alive. Its collateral would be worth only a small fraction if Greece leaves the euro. The Greek banks would be insolvent immediately.”

In sum, he said, “It would be a royal mess.”

But as game theorists point out, there’s no guarantee a rational outcome will prevail.

After surging early this week on optimism that Greece had come forward with a workable proposal, markets gyrated on concerns that it still didn’t go far enough to satisfy Greece’s major creditors. And Mr. Varoufakis, while conceding that leaving the euro would be a disaster, still contends a Greek default would be manageable and give Greece more leverage in longer-term negotiations to keep Greece in the European Union and eurozone.

No matter how much worse it might be for Greece than Argentina, “the outcome will ultimately be determined by politics, not economics,” Mr. Gros said. “Economists are terrible at predicting political outcomes.”

Mr. Porzecanski put it another way: “Do the Greek people know they’re playing with fire and might get burnt? It’s what they voted for, and they seem to have voted with their eyes wide open. Not everyone values prosperity the same way” as people in the United States and most of Europe do.

For others, which evidently includes many Greeks, ceding national sovereignty to foreign lenders may be worse than economic chaos. As Mr. Varoufakis wrote, “I salute the Argentinian people for having toppled a regime, and more than one government, that tried so desperately to sacrifice a proud people on the altar of I.M.F.-led austerity.”

People in countries like Venezuela and Cuba have tolerated failed economies and low standards of living for years, and the Russians seem all too willing to follow President Vladimir Putin into recession. “Populism and nationalism,” Mr. Porzecanski said, “are still potent forces.”

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 30 Jun 2015 13:03
by Philip
We should have a separate td forthcoming "blockbuster" disaster epic,the "Global Eco Crisis",which will be simultaneously screened all across the globe!
Viewing this film comes with a grim warning.Not for the weak-hearted,medical teams to be kept at the ready at all theatres and "Strictly for Adults".It comes with a XXX+ rating too! ... ance-italy
Europe's big guns warn Greek voters that a no vote means euro exit
Germany, France and Italy joined the European commission in insisting that Sunday’s poll is about continued eurozone membership

The eurozone’s three biggest countries have raised the stakes in next Sunday’s Greek referendum with an orchestrated warning to voters that a no vote would mean exit from the single currency and the return of the drachma.

As the Greek economy suffered on its first day of stringent capital controls, politicians from Germany, France and Italy joined the European commission in insisting that the poll was not about whether Athens could secure more favourable bailout terms but was about continued euro membership.

The stark assessment was shared by George Osborne who told MPs that the UK economy would be affected by the chaos that would result from Greece leaving the eurozone.

The chancellor’s comments came as ratings agency Standard & Poor’s issued a grim analysis of the repercussions that could follow an euro exit, the chances of which it has raised from 33% to 50%. S&P said there could be “a serious foreign currency shortage for the private and public sectors, potentially leading to the rationing of key imports such as fuel”.

Greece in chaos: will Syriza’s last desperate gamble pay off?
Read more

S&P added that without continuing European Central Bank support for Greek banks, the country’s “payment system would shut down and its banks would not be able to operate”.

Eurozone leaders sought to exploit pictures of cashpoint queues and empty Athens restaurants to stress what was at stake if Greeks supported the decision of their prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to reject the fresh austerity measures being demanded by the country’s creditors for continued financial support.

At the end of a day that saw sharp falls in share prices around the globe, Tsipras used a TV address to ask a public still stunned by the imposition of a €60 daily limit on bank withdrawals to back his resistance to a new round of tough tax increases and spending cuts demanded by the troika of the commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund.

Tsipras urged Greeks to vote no in the forthcoming referendum, saying the plebiscite would be a strong “negotiating tool” in talks with lenders. Denying that Greece had walked away from negotiations, he told state-run TV: “The greater the number of no [votes], the greater the weapon the government will have to relaunch negotiations. Greece never left the negotiating table, it is still at the negotiating table. ”

Appearing by turns combative and nervous, the 40-year-old leader suggested, for the first time, that he and his radical left Syriza party would resign if the yes vote triumphed in the referendum.

“We will respect the result but we will not be there to serve it,” he told the station.

Greece’s international creditors clearly did not want a no vote because they wanted to kill “the hope” of enacting policies against austerity, he claimed. “They want to kill democracy in the place where it was born,” he said, adding that the “negative decision” to close banks was aimed squarely at thwarting Sunday’s vote.

“Greek people have experienced more difficult moments and they will survive,’ he said..

Alexis Tsipras appeals to the Greek people in an interview for the country’s ERT TV station on Monday night.

With polls showing Greeks in favour of remaining inside the eurozone, the Greek government made no mention of exit from the single currency in the wording of Sunday’s referendum. This will ask Greece whether they support the “plan of agreement” drawn up by the troika and will put the no option Tsipras wants at the top of the ballot paper.

The publication of the wording coincided with Greece admitting that it would not meet the Tuesday deadline for making a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the IMF in Washington and new evidence of the parlous state of Greek banks following the referendum announcement. It emerged that the Bank of Greece asked in vain for the ECB to increase its emergency funding by €6bn in order to cover panic withdrawals.

Greece fiercely divided as referendum campaign gets under way
Read more

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice-chancellor, voiced concerns that a so-called Grexit could start to unravel six decades of closer integration. He said the crisis was the most serious faced by Europe since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. He added that if the Greeks voted no on Sunday, they were voting “against remaining in the euro”.

He was supported by French president François Hollande, who came under strong pressure from US president Barack Obama to find a solution to the deepening crisis before it caused more damage to a still-fragile global economy. Hollande said: “It’s the Greek people’s right to say what they want their future to be. It’s about whether the Greeks want to stay in the eurozone or take the risk of leaving.”

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the 19 nations using the single currency, said the door was still open for negotiations to resume despite time running out before Sunday’s referendum.

But the hardening stance among Greece’s partners was evident from a tweet by Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister and hitherto seen as one of the European leaders closest to Tsipras. The referendum, Renzi said, was not a question of the commission versus Tsipras but of “the euro versus the drachma. This is the choice”.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission president, said: “It’s the moment of truth ... I’d like to ask the Greek people to vote yes ... No would mean that Greece is saying no to Europe.”

In a sign of how relations have been soured by last week’s rejection of what was seen by Tsipras as a take-it-or-leave-it final offer, Juncker accused the Greek prime minister of telling lies about the proposals and said they did not include plans to cut pensions. A government spokesman in Athens accused Juncker of telling a “preposterous lie”.

Analysis/ Alexis Tsipras must be stopped: the underlying message of Europe's leaders

Germany’s vice-chancellor has become the first senior EU politician to voice the private views of many - that the Greek PM is a threat to the European order

Read more

Greece’s stock market was closed but a share price fall that began in Asia spread to Europe and later the US. London’s FTSE 100 lost almost 2% of its value, with drops of 3.5% in Frankfurt and 3.7% in Paris. New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2%, the biggest one day decline this year, while the Nasdaq tumbled 2.4%. The euro slid to its weakest level against the pound since 2007 and now stands at almost €1.40 to the pound. Twelve months ago it was trading at €1.25.

On global markets, the interest rate on Greek 10-year bonds rose by four percentage points to 15%, a sign that financial markets fear the country’s days in the euro are numbered. About 850 Greek banks could open for business on Thursday in order to pay pensions, the government said.

Osborne said British holidaymakers travelling to Greece should carry enough cash for the whole trip and to cover emergencies. After the chancellor held a contingency meeting with David Cameron and the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, he said he was “hoping for the best but preparing for the worst”.

The chancellor said British taxpayers could be liable for hundreds of millions of pounds if Greece fell out of the eurozone and relied on an emergency loan scheme supported by the EU’s budget which is funded by all 28 member states.

He said that an early decision by the coalition government was to exempt the UK from eurozone bailouts, dramatically reducing the “direct exposure” of the UK. But Osborne added: “Of course we are part of the financial system of Europe and we will be affected if there is a Greek exit.”

The chancellor’s remarks referred to the EU’s balance of payments support system which is open to non-eurozone members of the EU. The scheme has been used in recent years to release billions of euros to Romania, Hungary and Latvia when they were hit by the global financial crash.

If Greek falls out of the euro, it is expected that the IMF would become its main lender of emergency. Under the arrangements for Hungarian and Romanian, the EU balance of payments scheme provided about 40% of their loans

PS:Breaking news: Hammer films have offered Greek PM Alexis Tsipras millions of Euros in a lucrative deal for the embattled Greek,the most hated mannin Europe for their new horror series based upon Bram Stoker's all-time horror bestseller on "Dracula"! Tsipras will replace the recently deceased film world's greatest villain who played the part of Count Dracula,the immortal Christopher Lee. Hammer films and Hollywood estimate billions to be made out of a new Dracula series starring Tsipras,imagine the new Count in his most evil whisper asking the filmgoer to "count your money" before its runs out of your pocket even before the film has finished! Watch this space.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 09:37
by Pratyush

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 10:41
by Philip
Sunday,Greek referendum day will be "Judgement Day" for the Eurozone as Tsipras and Co.remain defiant. ... reece.html
Europe has suffered a reputational catastrophe in Greece
The eurozone has shown itself unable to manage its basic moral responsibilities .

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Athens

7:52PM BST 01 Jul 2015

Comments631 Comments

Oxi Day has totemic significance in Greece. It commemorates the defiant Greek “No” to Mussolini’s ultimatum in October 1940, and the heroic acceptance of war against a vastly bigger military machine.

It is the same word that will top the ballot sheet when Greeks vote in a snap referendum this Sunday on creditor demands, and prime minister Alexis Tsipras is not shy in evoking the same spirit of wartime resistance.

His speech to the nation on Wednesday night was peppered with talk of ultimata. He accused “extreme Right-wing circles” of forcing the closure of the Greek banks and the imposition of capital controls through liquidity asphyxiation.

He lashed out at “authoritarians” in charge of the IMF and EU institutions. He spoke of attempts to blackmail the Greek people. And he vowed to campaign against the creditor package - which, strictly speaking, is no longer on offer - deeming it the “destruction of Europe”.

Where this will take him, and take Greece, is anybody’s guess. The latest Efimerida ton Syntakton poll shows the “No” side leading by 54pc against 33pc for “yes”. But that lead - if it really exists - may evaporate as the ghastly consequences of financial collapse become clearer by the day.

Distraught pensioners have been gathering in small, tense crowds outside banks trying to withdraw their weekly allowance of €120 (£85). Many have not been paid. A throng of veterans protested outside the finance ministry on Wednesday morning, denouncing EU “dictatorship” and Mr Tsipras with equal fury.

Alexis Tsipras addresses the Greek nation on Wednesday

Ambulances in parts of northern Greece have run out of fuel. The Greek Chamber of Commerce warns of “serious shortages” of basic goods and pharmaceutical supplies within days. The radical-Left Syriza government is skating on very thin ice.

If Europe’s creditor powers have succeeded in bringing Greece to its knees, they have paid a fearful price themselves. As Pyrrhus said after the battle of Asculum: “Another such victory, and we will be utterly ruined.”

We can already see that the EU itself has suffered a reputational catastrophe on several fronts. This is of far greater importance in the sweep of events than daily twists and turns in Athens.

It has brought about a state of affairs where a member of its own eurozone family has become the first developed country in history to default to the IMF.

Let us be clear what this means. The currency union itself is delinquent. The rich countries of northern Europe are refusing to pay African, Asian and Latin American states. Blaming it on Greece alone does not wash.

The eurozone has shown itself unable to manage its basic moral responsibilities. Russian president Vladimir Putin could hardly resist his own wicked dig, professing “great concern” over the EU’s vanishing credibility.

Customers queue to withdraw cash from ATMs in Thessaloniki

This default is doubly shameful given that the original IMF-Troika loan in 2010 was not intended to save Greece. The extra debt was imposed on an already bankrupt Greek state to buy time for the euro, against Greek interests.

Leaked documents leave no doubt that the real purpose was to save monetary union and the European banking system - and to avert a “Euro-Lehman”, in the IMF’s own words - at a time when the eurozone had no defences against contagion.

Worse, the bitter showdown has made brutally explicit what many long suspected, that sovereign democracies count for nought when push comes to shove in Euroland.

The European Central Bank is not the chief villain, perhaps, in the latest chapter. It is in an impossible position. Yet citizens across Europe can see with their own eyes that the ECB has been rationing emergency liquidity (ELA) for a prostrate country as a tool of political pressure, and that it forced Syriza to take the drastic step of shutting the banks by freezing ELA at €89bn.

It is an odd spectacle to watch a central bank with a treaty duty to uphold financial stability take the deliberate decision to precipitate the collapse of banks that it regulates. But the deeper point is that the insane construction of the euro - a naked currency union without fiscal and political foundations - must inevitably tend to authoritarian monetary dystopia in the end.

It is, however, too soon to conclude that Syriza will buckle to creditor demands. It is certainly hard to read the real intentions of Mr Tsipras. His defiant stand on Wednesday night is starkly at odds with the letter he sent to EMU officials earlier in the day and the IMF on Tuesday that seemed, at first blush, to make big concessions. But nothing is ever what it seems in this weird drama.

“Those who say we have a secret plan for Greece to exit euro are lying,” he swore, with an impressively straight face. He denied that a “No” vote implies Grexit - though the leaders of France, Germany and Italy say it means exactly that - knowing that few Greeks are yet willing to take such a drastic step.

Yet one might suspect - and I have not made up my mind - that he and Syriza’s inner circle concluded in April that they could not do business with an EMU regime that acts solely as the enforcement arm of the creditors.

They may have concluded that demands for further fiscal contraction were economic lunacy - a view shared by the Nobel fraternity and the US Treasury - and that no serious debt relief was on the table, and therefore they would do better to default and restore a Greek sovereign currency.

If so, they cannot admit it. They must make it appear that the decision was forced upon them, just as France’s Leon Blum had to tell white lies to free his country from the Gold Standard in 1936.

Syriza officials are fully aware that the likely consequence of a “No” vote would be a parallel currency - or IOUs - along with the nationalisation of the banks along the lines of the “Icelandic Model”. Syriza’s Left Platform has already drawn up plans along these lines. Variants almost certainly exist in the Greek finance ministry.

Such action implies a return to the drachma in short order. The Greeks would continue to insist that the country remains a member of the euro, with full legal rights - blaming the creditors and EU bodies for acting illegally. Only by doing so could they ensure that the full losses from Grexit fall on the ECB and the EMU bail-out funds, while the assets of Greek citizens remain legally protected in foreign accounts, free to return later to rebuild a new banking system.

If you were of a suspicious mind, you might wonder whether Mr Tsipras has not in fact lured European leaders and officials into a legal trap, and that they have fallen for the bait.

His Byzantine negotiating tactics may make perfect sense after all. Just a thought.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 12:25
by Neshant
Greek IMF "loans" are nothing more than disguised European bank bailouts with primarily Asian suckers/creditors being stuck with the loss.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 18:12
by rsingh
IMF and ECB wanted to that Greek companies pay tax for next year in advance. Never heard that. I like the fighting spirit of Greek PM. He may end up killing few old dinosaurs and change the way Germany commands EU.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:45
by vera_k
Things are massively improved in Europe. The last time a German tried dictating terms, they ended up with a war. This time its just comic entertainment.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 13:57
by Philip ... 62374.html
Robert Fisk
Friday 3 July 2015
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it's a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?
If this 'democracy' doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India? Or the Middle East?

Friday July 3rd 2015

So the Greeks are going to vote Yes on Sunday. Fear. Humiliation. Patriotism (pro-European or pro-euro, we shall see). Or pragmatism, that great industrial powerhouse of European politics. And so the EU, the IMF, the ECB, the lot – they will have won. Greece – nil. Delete the Second World War.

The problem – and let’s forget for a moment how many millions the profligate Greeks owe us – is that the No voters will vote for the same reason. They are patriotic and they want hope. And they are also doomed by our version of their history. The 18th-century Greeks believed in nationalism born of civilization, an idea that Byron enjoyed but which left out the Ottoman Empire, the wonderful dinar (forget the euro) and a history that has no place in our present narrative.

The 1940s lies like a shadow over Greece today. Those who will vote Yes on 5 July are called traitors – Jermanotsolias (German shirt-soldiers is perhaps the best translation) – while the No voters will be children or grandchildren of the socialist patriots who fought on against the bourgeois-British rulers who took over Athens after Churchill and Stalin agreed that Greece would stay on our side of the Iron Curtain. The puppets and their masters are irrelevant.

Leftist protesters try to burn an EU flag at European Commission offices in Athens on Thursday Leftist protesters try to burn an EU flag at European Commission offices in Athens on Thursday (AFP/Getty)

Alexis Tsipras is – and here I quote an economist friend – the spoiled boy who long ago managed to get on television with his interviews supporting students, his “face sweet, he was angry and aggressive”, his career spent in the internal politics of the left, zero experience of the real world.

Yanis Varoufakis (this from a less economic and far more political Greek friend) is the ever-smiling economy minister, a “narcissistic idiot”, a far-too-fond-of-his-own-voice show-off student-academic – that’s why Madame of the IMF wearingly insisted on talking to “adults” in her best civil service voice a few days ago – who thinks he can play with the big boys and girls in Brussels without realising that they don’t care about his performance.

The problem here: Europe – perhaps we should say “Europe” in quotation marks – is a bit like the 1930s Europe of Yanis’s grandfather’s era, far more worried about socialism and Marxism and workers’ power than it is about democracy. That’s why it has decided that 5 July's referendum is about Europe rather than democracy. Did not Christine Lagarde say that she hoped the vote would indicate “clearly” what she called “a path”?

You don’t have to be in Athens many hours to see how the image of history has changed. In earlier years, I admired the brass plaque in the Grande Bretagne Hotel which reminded guests that this was Nazi headquarters between 1941 and 1944. Now it is replaced by a gleaming (and equally brass) plaque telling clients that this was the headquarters of the Greek army between 1940 and 1941. No hint of what happened to the Greek army in 1941.

The “split” which our journos suspect may prefigure another civil war here – Elas versus the royalists, backed by the Brits – is not so clear-cut. But if you talk to the Yes voters, they tend to be civil servants, pharmacists, small shopkeepers – let us now analyse those who voted for Hitler in 1933 – while the No men and women are more emotional, more mindful of history, constantly reminding you that the last time the unbalanced, fragmented pension system was “modernised” was 14 years ago. There are hungry people, they tell you, and many are those who remind you of Greece’s 1941 famine. 100,000 dead, perhaps? And we all know who occupied Greece then…

And yet, there is also something dark and dangerous and all too relevant about those days. Europe – from the perspective of Athens – is a very dictatorial institution. It cares less about democracy than it does about money. And faced with the disintegration of the euro, it cares more about money than it does the voice of hungry Greeks.

Tsipras may talk about Europe’s leaders “blackmailing” the voters of Greece – but when those same factotums dictate what 5 July's referendum is supposed to be about (staying in or outside the glorious People’s Republic of Europe), it’s hard to disagree.

Yes, we would all like the Greeks to talk like Euclid Tsakalatos, Greece’s chief negotiator in Brussels – whose Europeanism is emphasised by his brilliant English (courtesy of St Paul’s School and Oxford). “A classic UK academic,” a Greek banker told me at breakfast, “a very nice person, totally unsuited for any political role.”

But then the conversation turned nasty. No such poison in the political lexicon since the Second World War. There are Stalinists inside Syriza, “including the minister of development who thinks Putin is the continuation of Stalin”.

This description came from a man – humorous, a no-hoper with a smile, the kind you come across during revolutions – who insisted that there was a real danger of “political collapse” in Greece.

Protesters supporting a No vote in Sunday’s referendum on the terms of Greece’s bailout march through Thessaloniki

“The economic collapse has already happened,” he said – we were interrupted by a beggar refugee whom I thought was a Syrian but who was an Afghan, another part of the Greek story – “but the IMF has miscalculated badly. What’s at risk now is political stability, democracy and public safety. The banking system will collapse next week – banks will go into liquidation, private deposits will disappear. We will be unable to buy and sell internationally – and locally.”

There will be those who will vote Yes on 5 July because they are afraid. There will be many, I suspect, who will vote No for the same reason. And there are extremists (how apt this word is in the Islamist sense) like Golden Dawn who blame immigrants rather than Germans for their predicament. And let’s not forget the 4 per cent of the nationalist vote who are in Tsipras’s government with 14 members of parliament. But who is to blame?

“Our populist past,” my banker friend announced firmly. “It started with the military dictatorship, the constant pampering of our lower feelings – that we can do no wrong. The idea that we are the chosen people. This is what destroyed our public finances. It was a very bad idea to join the euro – we thought: ‘Finally, we have received our destiny, we have joined the West.’ But our economy was unsuited to this.”
Oh yes, indeed. And corruption, I added (his banker’s face beamed). “All those centuries of admiring classical Greece,” he said. “Byron has a lot to answer for.”

Read more: • • Poll shows voters will say 'no' to the troika's terms
• Tsipras vows referendum 'will go ahead' on Sunday
• Crowdfunding campaign crashes Indiegogo

But there are bigger questions of course. How can we go on admiring the dictatorship of banks (European ones, not Greek)? How can we go on beating our chests with talk of “democratic Europe” when Europe – not Greece – tells the Greeks what their referendums are about? If this “democracy” doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India? Or the Middle East? If we only want people to say Yes on 5 July – Yes or else – who are the dictators?

Stickers urging people to vote 'No' in the referendum adorn the wall of the Bank of Greece (AP)

Is this a bit too much? An old friend, “Monty” Woodhouse, SOE’s operative in Greece during the German occupation – many years later, this young reporter and Woodhouse jointly pursued the wartime record of a certain Kurt Waldheim, former UN Secretary General and a Wehrmacht intelligence officer in the aforesaid Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens – once wrote that he loved Greece when he realised that “living people still spoke Plato’s language”.

But therein, I suspect, lies the flaw. We all love Plato. And Aristophenes. Did not the frogs croak ‘Rakak-coax-coax-coax’? Why, they Hellenised the Romans, for God’s sake. And we took all this to heart. And we thought the Greeks were our friends, didn’t we?

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 04 Jul 2015 13:23
by Philip ... fetishists

This euro is destroying the European dream
Jonathan Freedland

On Sunday the Greeks vote while the rest of Europe holds its breath. No matter how clunky the wording on the ballot paper, everyone knows what’s at stake. This is a moment of great peril, not only for the euro but for the European project itself.

If Greece votes no, it’s hard to see how it can stay in the euro, which will represent the most grievous blow in the 16-year history of a currency whose momentum was always meant to be irreversible.

If yes wins, and Syriza duly falls, the victory for the European powers could prove to be pyrrhic. Too many will believe that Brussels, and more pointedly Berlin, engineered the toppling of a democratically elected government. Once Alexis Tzipras had, admittedly, put a gun to his own head by calling Sunday’s vote, the EU in effect told the Greek nation that the leaders they had chosen just six months ago were unacceptable and had to be removed. The moment will be cited ever after as proof that the EU’s approach to democracy is akin to Henry Ford’s view of consumer choice: you can have whatever colour you like, “so long as it is black”.

Greek referendum: how voters interpret unclear question will decide outcome

For things to have reached such a pass – in which Greeks are being asked to select yes for organised penury or no for the chaotic variety – is surely an indictment of the single currency. Any scheme that can result in such a crisis – to say nothing of the stagnant growth, unemployment and poverty that have plagued much of the eurozone since the crash – is bound to be branded an unambiguous failure. What’s more, it is now acting as a repellent for the European idea itself: witness the rise of populist anti-EU parties in Spain, Italy and beyond.

That prompts a question, one that will only get sharper whether the Greeks leave the euro and descend into economic mayhem or stay and suffer back-breaking debt repayments. Is the disaster of the euro strangling the larger European project it was meant to serve? Could it be time to kill off the euro in order to save the European Union?

So much as whisper that thought to seasoned Euro-folk, as I have this week, and the response is telling. Among other things it reveals the gap, much wider than the Channel, that separates Britain from the rest of Europe – a gap of understanding and experience that explains so much.

The immediate reply to talk of dumping the euro is practical. For struggling economies, the likes of Portugal or Spain, leaving the euro would be a calamity. They want to stay in for the same reason even Syriza is trying to avoid a Grexit: the costs of attempting to leave and revert to a past currency are, say the experts, guaranteed to spell ruin.

As for the rich countries, the euro has been a marvel. Germany gets to trade in a currency that is sufficiently weak to make its exports internationally competitive, all the while selling its cars and washing machines into a captive market of near-neighbours who cannot devalue their own currencies against it. If Berlin had stuck with a too-strong Deutsche Mark, it would have seen its goods become prohibitively expensive.

There are other arguments too, including the assumption that a return to the pre-euro Babel of currencies would see the resurrection of tariffs and protectionism, jeopardising the single market. But economic arguments are not the heart of the matter. Indeed – and this is what can feel so alien to Britons – the euro was never really about economics. It was always a political project, even a dream.

From the start, the animating European idea was to bind the countries of the continent so tightly to each other that they would never again be at war. Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, is upfront: “The whole dream was to use economic means for political ends.” That was perhaps its fatal flaw: economic steps taken for political reasons tend to end in catastrophe. But you have to acknowledge that initial ideal if you want to understand why so many continental Europeans are attached to a scheme that outsiders breezily dismiss as a failure ripe for the trashcan of history.

And the euro stirs other passions that might not be obvious. For the Baltic states, the Latvians or Estonians, the euro is a matter of national security. Perennially anxious about Russia, they believe their safety relies on being part of something bigger. The more integrated they are in Europe, even sharing a currency, the safer they feel. Nato shelters them under one umbrella, held by the US. The euro protects them under another, gripped by Germany.

Hence the resentment in some “new European” capitals of the current antics in ancient Athens: they believe Syriza is jeopardising a scheme that, for them, is not just about money, but about the independent existence of their nations. In other words, the commitment to the euro is too deep to be forsaken.

But that does not mean that the peoples of the eurozone are trapped inside an inescapably doomed enterprise, even if it looks that way. The roots of the current Greek crisis might not lie in some structural, innate flaw in the euro, but rather in the more contingent and therefore soluble realm of European economic policy. The problem is not so much the euro as this euro.

I’m told plenty of European leaders are ready to do it – but not for Alexis Tsipras. That relationship is too broken

I’m referring to the peculiar brand of deficit fetishism associated with, but not exclusive to, Angela Merkel’s Germany. It is this ultra-austerianism that has led to the cataclysmic beggaring of Greece, bleeding the patient white and then – when seeing that he’s dying – insisting that he bleed some more.

None of that is logically inherent in the euro. Just as it’s possible to oppose George Osborne’s initial deficit monomania on sound, Keynesian grounds without wanting to jettison the pound, so it poses no contradiction to demand an end to Merkelism while wanting to hold fast to the euro.

Framing the problem this way points to the solution. It says that the European creditors should change their focus on Greece from cutting spending to promoting growth, doing whatever it takes to enable the Greeks to rebuild. Eventually the latter might even be in a position to pay back some of their debts. But for now that will mean cutting them some, even a lot of, fiscal slack.

I’m told plenty of European leaders are ready to do it too – but not for Alexis Tsipras. That relationship is too broken, and too few mainstream leaders want to hand the populist challenger Syriza a victory – not when they face rebel parties of their own. But they will need to make such a move eventually. They need to demonstrate that the euro and austerity are not synonymous terms. That the euro need not always look like this euro. And that, indeed, Europe is not fated to look like this Europe – a place not of dreams, but of nightmares.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 05 Jul 2015 08:39
by A_Gupta
"Airbus, Mahindra to make military choppers in India"

European aerospace giant Airbus and India’s Mahindra group have inked a deal to jointly build helicopters as the Indian government moves to upgrade the country’s ageing military hardware, the companies said. The joint venture will be set up in the coming months, “aiming to become the first private manufacturer of helicopters in India“, the companies said in a statement late Friday. “The joint venture will be dedicated to supplying the Indian armed forces with Made-in-India, state-of-the-art helicopters of high reliability, quality and safety standard based on combat-proven platforms,” Guillaume Faury, president and CEO of Airbus Helicopters, said in the statement.

Read More :

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 05 Jul 2015 09:25
by kancha
Neshant wrote:Greek IMF "loans" are nothing more than disguised European bank bailouts with primarily Asian suckers/creditors being stuck with the loss.

IMF has made €2.5 billion profit out of Greece loans

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 05 Jul 2015 12:57
by panduranghari
Jonathan Freedland wrote:So much as whisper that thought to seasoned Euro-folk, as I have this week, and the response is telling. Among other things it reveals the gap, much wider than the Channel, that separates Britain from the rest of Europe – a gap of understanding and experience that explains so much.

Bull shit. I posted this elsewhere. Its beyond funny that Britain (whose debt to GDP ratio is 900% as of now) is considered a paragon of virtue.

Jonathan Freedland wrote:There are other arguments too, including the assumption that a return to the pre-euro Babel of currencies would see the resurrection of tariffs and protectionism, jeopardising the single market. But economic arguments are not the heart of the matter. Indeed – and this is what can feel so alien to Britons – the euro was never really about economics. It was always a political project, even a dream.

The financial press in the west is very much incestuous like the Radia Media in India. One- they do not recognise there is a problem. Second - If the think there is a problem, they look at the so called problem with a tinted glass which makes the solutions erroneous. Third - self survival is important. There is a saying,' you cant get blood out of a turnip'. There is a weird expectation from these pandits that the system will permit returns far beyond what is mathematically possible.

Jonathan Freedland wrote:From the start, the animating European idea was to bind the countries of the continent so tightly to each other that they would never again be at war. Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, is upfront: “The whole dream was to use economic means for political ends.” That was perhaps its fatal flaw: economic steps taken for political reasons tend to end in catastrophe. But you have to acknowledge that initial ideal if you want to understand why so many continental Europeans are attached to a scheme that outsiders breezily dismiss as a failure ripe for the trashcan of history.

One way to look at this problem is if the politicians do not take economic steps for political reasons, it will happen the other way round. i.e political steps for economic reasons. Now what does this mean? It means not facing up to the facts that you are in debt and adding more debt to this is like a drug addict seeking the next fix. We would more or less agree that a drug addict should be treated by eliminating the drug from the system to begin with. But alas the $ based economic paradigm is forcing us to think in a way that brings erroneous conclusions to the understanding of the problem and thus the solutions proposed are equally flawed. There is a very good book published about 50 years back called 'When Money Dies'. ... 1906964440 . Taking Economic steps for political reasons can cause hardship as seen in Greece. However, If you take political steps for economic reasons, the consequences are catastrophic. It was seen in Weimar Germany of 1923. The Germans have lived through something that US or UK have not yet seen.

Jonathan Freedland wrote:But that does not mean that the peoples of the eurozone are trapped inside an inescapably doomed enterprise, even if it looks that way. The roots of the current Greek crisis might not lie in some structural, innate flaw in the euro, but rather in the more contingent and therefore soluble realm of European economic policy. The problem is not so much the euro as this euro.

The above paragraph is the perfect example of newspeak.
Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as "thoughtcrime".

Jonathan Freedland wrote:I’m referring to the peculiar brand of deficit fetishism associated with, but not exclusive to, Angela Merkel’s Germany. It is this ultra-austerianism that has led to the cataclysmic beggaring of Greece, bleeding the patient white and then – when seeing that he’s dying – insisting that he bleed some more.

None of that is logically inherent in the euro. Just as it’s possible to oppose George Osborne’s initial deficit monomania on sound, Keynesian grounds without wanting to jettison the pound, so it poses no contradiction to demand an end to Merkelism while wanting to hold fast to the euro.

Framing the problem this way points to the solution. It says that the European creditors should change their focus on Greece from cutting spending to promoting growth, doing whatever it takes to enable the Greeks to rebuild. Eventually the latter might even be in a position to pay back some of their debts. But for now that will mean cutting them some, even a lot of, fiscal slack.

But because their debts are denominated in euro, and because they're a member of the euro system, at the end of the day they are going to be backstopped by the ECB which ultimately is controlled by Germany. And the reason I say that is if you're Germany, and you're the ECB, and you're Trichet, and you start throwing members under the bus, where does that end? I mean if you allow Greece to default and, in effect, impugn the value of sovereign bonds denominated in euros, who's next? I mean it probably will be Ireland, and it will be Spain, and then it will be Portugal. And if you start losing four or five members, there goes the whole euro system. The whole thing falls apart and there's a flight from that currency. link

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 11 Jul 2015 12:42
by Multatuli
Italy struggles with mountain of seized mafia assets

Italy's battle against the mafia has provoked an unusual problem for the government -- the headache of managing a staggering portfolio of assets and cash seized from mobsters.

Officials control by some estimates about 3,000 companies, 12,000 properties and two billion euros in bank deposits and other assets from organised crime outfits, leaving the government with hundreds of extra employees and properties not seen very favourably by banks.

"In Italy it is more difficult to manage the property seized from the mafia than it is to confiscate it," Michelangelo Patane, a prosecutor in Sicily, said.

Authorities announced a new seizure Wednesday of 1.6 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in alleged mafia property, that included dozens of businesses as well as some 700 houses, villas and buildings.

Seized mafia assets are such an issue in Italy the government created in 2010 a national agency, the ANSBC, to manage the mountain of property in hopes of better handling it.

"We have real estate holdings, companies and other seized mafia assets that have grown more than expected," ANSBC head Umberto Postiglione told AFP.

One of the properties it manages is a sprawling and spectacular beach resort in the Sicilian town of Catania. Its gardens are local historic landmarks and the resort holds some 300 beach huts for tourists, but banks are left nervous by its past as a mafia-owned property.

"The banks slow us down, they don't trust confiscated businesses and if we ask for a loan they refuse to give us one," said Salvatore Piggioli, who works for the company that runs the site.

It is no surprise the government is drowning in mafia assets because it possesses considerable powers to seize them.

Italian law allows authorities to carry out preventative seizures when mafia involvement is suspected, said accountant Giuseppe Giuffrida, an expert in managing seized mafia assets.

He said an official fund for seized assets like bank deposits and stocks currently holds some two billion euros.

- Staggering sums -

Determination of whether the assets are ill-gotten gains can come swiftly. Authorities simply look to see if the values of the property matches up with the owner's publicly declared income.

The assets can also be held while their owner is on trial and are returned in the case of a not guilty verdict.

"I have managed assets temporarily (under government control) as well as those that have been seized," said Giuffrida. "I have never had any problems with the heads of mafia businesses because they know its useless. I have been named by a court and I do my best for the company in question."

The seizure figures are impressive. Over the past six years authorities have seized 1,286 hectares (3,178 acres) of land, which is about a tenth of the size of Catania, prosecutors said.

Over the same period the number of employees in the seized companies has hit 684, making the collection of properties that fourth largest private employer in Sicily.

But taking away assets from the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra in Naples and the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria is not without risks.

Two workers from ANSBC who went to seize a house owned by a local mafioso in Naples got a nasty surprise when they tried to open the home's door.

"When they inserted the key handed over by the former owner they were thrown into a wall by a shock of 380 volts," agency head Postiglione said.

"Luckily they weren't trying to kill us," he added.

Once seized, properties can be sold or leased at no cost to towns and associations for new, more honourable uses. One example is the villa that once belonged to Naples crime boss Egidio Coppola and was turned into a museum.

It is also not unusual to spot a flashy Porsche bearing the Red Cross logo at events like the marathon in Rome which also has a label saying "Vehicle confiscated from the Mob."

ANSBC has in its time sold off 33 supermarkets and a shopping centre, while handing over to firefighters 33 trucks that have come under its control.

When it comes to business, "they are liquidated if they are insolvent if they are (financially) healthy we try to run them normally with the final goal being to sell them off," Giuffrida said. ... 23876.html

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 13 Jul 2015 04:12
by Bhurishrava ... d=11480004
In this news abour Greece crisis, what caught my eye is this -
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a tough line as usual, echoing her usual position and that of several mainly newer eastern European euro members.

So states of Poland and Lithuania which are the `newer east European members` agree more often with German line to the French line. These territories(Poland Lithuania etc) belonged to germany before the first all European war. The French try to balance this by supporting other states like greece. But then they dont have the money.

The EU could end up being an extension of the germanic states which wil be an extension of Germany. The non german states are facing economic problems anyway.

Germany has resurrected the Reich without the Krupps guns this time.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 10 Aug 2015 16:44
by A_Gupta ... 48395.html
ndia and Vietnam may be interested in the Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, which France has refused to deliver to Russia, Ruslan Pukhov, Head of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies told TASS.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Francois Hollande agreed to terminate the contract for the delivery of two helicopter carriers of the Mistral class, concluded in the summer of 2011.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has recently hinted that some countries have already displayed interest in the Mistrals.

“It is logical to presume that the French will offer these ships to the countries, which planned to have this type of vessels under their naval program, or sell these ships at a reduced price to the countries traditionally buying used French hardware,” Pukhov told TASS.

“The first country is India, which has expressed its desire to buy one ship and build three more ships of this type at its shipyards, and, as far as I know, the French would want us to assist them in this,” he added.

The Indian Ministry of Defense refused to comment on the TASS report. Sources close to the ministry told RBTH that it would be too soon for the country to explore a deal for the Mistrals since India and France are still finalizing the sale of Rafale aircrafts to the Indian Air Force. “Both countries dragged their feet on a tender which a French company won, and a compromise was reached very recently…The countries are still in talks over licensing and technology transfer issues,” the official said.

- ... 48395.html)

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 06:54
by A_Gupta ... chases.htm
ndiGO, India's largest domestic airline by market value, has purchased a massive order of 250 A320 neo aircrafts from Airbus for $26. 5 billion. According to an Airbus' spokesperson, it is the company's single largest order based on the number of aircrafts but the second-largest order by value.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 05:41
by Paul

Could not find the maps thread

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 06:12
by sanjaykumar
Why not draw the Scandanavian peninsula as what it looks like, a penisula, complete with meatus.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 11:55
by chaanakya
India suspends trade talks with the EU over generic drugs ban

Interestingly while India suspended trade talk with EU , it was French action which led EU to ban Indian pharma company . Express Report linked at the bottom indicates that concerns were raised by India at the highest level including by the PM. However the ban came without any response from EU or other countries. whether French action to put pressure on India to finalise Rafel deal . If so NaMo played the diplomacy in very astute manner. Cancel the deal altogether for which announcement came from DM in India and state intent to purchase 36 Rafale ( instead of 18) if French are able to deliver within 24 months subject to price negotiations. Just a hunch, could it be linked with overall trade deal/GVK Ban or is there something more to this show of power play?

India said on Wednesday (5 August) it had put off for now the resumption of talks on a planned free trade accord with the European Union due to the bloc's refusal to lift a ban on the sale of around 700 pharmaceutical products.

European regulators recommended in January suspending marketing approval for 25 generic drugs on concerns over the quality of data from clinical trials by GVK Biosciences. The ban came into effect last month.

The Indian government has previously said it found no evidence of data manipulation and has been in talks with the European authorities for more than eight months to end the ban.

Announcing its decision to defer the planned resumption of talks this month on the 'India-EU Broadbased Investment and Trade Agreement, the government expressed disappointment over the EU ban on its products, adding that pharmaceuticals was a "flagship sector" for the country.

"It is pertinent to mention that most of these drugs have already been in the EU market for many years without any adverse pharmaco-vigilance report from any member state," it said in a statement.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström told reporters in Brussels this week the two sides would hold a "stocktaking meeting" probably in early September to assess whether there was sufficient "ambition" to restart the trade talks.

The privately-held GVK Biosciences, part of India's infrastructure builder GVK Group, conducts clinical research for domestic and foreign drugmakers.

The EU regulatory actions were taken after France's watchdog inspected a GVK Biosciences manufacturing plant in southern India last year and found manipulation of data from electrocardiograms for at least five years.

The French regulator said at the time that suspensions were taken out of precaution and there was no reason to suggest the drugs were ineffective or harmful.

GVK Biosciences is one of the largest Indian clinical research organisations to come under international scrutiny over quality issues. Several large Indian drugmakers have over the past two years faced U.S. and British sanctions over issues ranging from data fabrication to sanitation.


India and the EU have been negotiating a bilateral free trade and investment agreement (BTIA) since June 2007 and have missed several deadlines to conclude the talks, due to unresolved issues mostly related to market access. The deal aims to be a broad-based trade and investment agreement, which will cover over 95% of tariff lines.

Bilateral trade stood at roughly €93 billion in 2013-14.

At stake is an agreement that would create one of the world's largest free-trade zones by population - covering 1.8 billion, or nearly a quarter of the world's people. ( with 1.25 bn from India and rest from EU)

EU companies doing business in India are still facing important market access barriers in the IT and electronics sectors, a 2015 Commission report, published in March, has found(Well it seems Indian Companies faces arbitrary actions and hurdles in doing business with EU) ... itharaman/

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the move to suspend the chief negotiators’ scheduled talks in August on European Union-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) was indeed “unilateral”, but not an “unconsidered or an instant decision”.

“The Prime Minister of India raised this issue during his visit to France. I raised it… Several joint secretary and secretary-level teams had laboured over the issue and continuously drawn the attention of European authorities for almost a year. But they did not revert back to us. And then came this ban without any reply to our questions,” Sitharaman told The Indian Express in an interview.

“I am glad the Prime Minister stood in sync with us that it’s not fair … especially for the India drugs and pharmaceutical sector which has received clearances from USFDA, obtained EU quality certification and were producing international quality generic drugs and selling at affordable prices for life saving diseases. What prompts the banning without even telling us the reason. The decision to not hold the chief negotiators’ meeting was taken at the highest level,” Sitharaman said.

The minister said India took up the issue of anomaly being raised by one French inspector who took the decision based on data inaccuracy in clinical trials, but did not consider the germane issue of drugs composition, potency or safety when the drugs are being administered to patients. “All these drugs were being used, are still being used. They did not have any negative impact on patients. Further two independent doctors — one from Germany and the other, I think from the Netherlands — went through the paper work, and they too were under the impression that the French inspector’s findings were not relevant,” she said.

In fact, the minister said she had even openly pushed for starting the negotiation BTIA with the European Union. “India had every intention to complete the negotiations at the earliest. In fact, to start the negotiation with the EU, I met their trade representative Cecilia Malmstrom during the WTO ministerial in Paris in June. I had fixed the date for the chief negotiators talks. I had also used every forum to clearly convey to the then EU Ambassador to India that I want the negotiations to move ahead,” she said.

When asked if this would adversely affect India’s bargaining power, particularly with EU-India Summit scheduled in November, she said, “You are right in saying so…but given the status quo — ban on export of 700 Indian drugs — I anyway had very little bargaining power.” Sitharaman, however, said, “I had not said I have called off the talks. I had only said it was not the right environment for the chief negotiators to meet then.”

The minister said she was still waiting for the EU to revert back to India and explain why the ban. “After we decided to cancel the chief negotiators’ meeting, they sent a letter stating that this (the decision to ban) was a regulatory decision. This is not a regulatory issue, even if it were so, we deserve an explanation,” she said.

Expressing concern over the continuous decline in exports over the last several months, Sitharaman said her ministry was engaging with sectors in an attempt to chart out short-term and medium-term remedies. “We are doing all that is required to make manufacturing easy. We are also helping states… But clearly, external factors are much more at play than our own. External demand has saturated, whether you are looking at European Union countries or countries to our east or our traditional markets. The demand is tapering across the world. Sitting here, we can’t pep it up elsewhere,” the minister said.

Currency was another issue the exporters are grappling with, she said. “The fall in Euro has not helped us,” she pointed out, adding these two issues contributed directly to the declining exports. Even sectors such as garments have not done well because small regional agreements in force elsewhere have impacted them.

The minister said that the department of commerce has now cast rules for interest subvention to various sectors. “This will help some of the affected sectors. While a budgetary allocation has already been made for interest subvention, the ministry had to finalise the rules. We have done it now, and will take it to the cabinet soon,” she said

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 05:35
by ramana
Germany with Austria-Hungary was the core and the rest were periphery.

Even now Germanic people are the core of Europe.

France and UK are the problem periphery.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 21:25
by ramana
Neela wrote:First time saw the stream of refugees from Syria ( and some Pakis and BDs too ) in Munich Central Station. At least 1500.
Refugees usually come in the afternoon and late evening trains ( from Hundary and Austria ). Both countries are standard paths taken by human (refugee) smugglers .
Peak arrival numbers is around 3000 in the last few days. Estimate is arounf 30000 that have landed in past month.

Germans have quickly got their sh1t together.
Volunteers all over. And they dont want any more - too many too eager to help. And one volunteer is coordinating volunteers. You can register and someone will call you when to come.
Or you can write down when you want to volunteer. Someone will call.

Steady stream of locals bringing in clothes, food, fruits, toys, shoes etc. Some bringing cooked food.
Saw a bunch of locals clapping (and welcoming them) as they entered a big hall in the 1st floor where refugees are fed with warm food .
Nationwide coordination has begin and some refugee groups are directed to trains heading to Dusseldorf, Mannheim etc.
Others are taken by buses to cities in Bayern and BadenWuerttemberg.
Merkel ordered 3B for central and 3B for different states as emergency funding for this.
INtegration courses ( incl. German classes) count hiked. Plans afoot to relax work rules for refugees.

The missus is teetering on the edge of being outright racist against them - that too with Germans around. I guess she is too swayed by me showing her snippets from Islamaphobia thread.
Appears her German friends dont seem to be too bothered - I think they think she is entitled to her opinion . Some of her German friends were volulnteers earlier in the month. Despite her opinions, no change in their behaviour towards the missus over the last weeks. I guess they are torn between helping and a deep seated anxiousness that missus's words could come true.
Radio survey said some 60% odd of surveyed ppl favoring refugees from Syria,Afganistan but only 26% favoring economic migrants.

We live close to a asylum center. FIL, during wark in the park,was accosted by one who introduced himself as from Pak. FIL spoke a few words and quickly scooted fearing he could be a terrorist. :D .

I saw them in Vienna Westbanhof station a week ago. There were welcome refugees stations disbursing packages and hot coffee.

We cut off our trip to Budapest as there were reports of large influx of refugees there at the train stations.

I saw some refugees from Syria in Istanbul. They have take to seeking alms.

I gave all my Turkish Lira change to a small girl at the Istanbul airport.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 08:18
by Jarita
My post from another thread

Merkel ki jai ho ... 5104588800

Angela Merkel is trying to be to the ME refugees what Indira Gandhi was to the Bangladesh Refugees.
The parallels are dazzling and so delicious.
Germany = India / solace to refugees
US/UK and their associates = Pakistan & it's associates / villains of the piece and creating chaos

I wonder if the Germans thought so far. I am sure they thought so far. Will Germany finally intervene militarily. They will have the strongest voice globally on behalf of the beleaguered refugees for sure even if they don't.

This is such a pivotal point. People are looking at trivialities like demographics. Germany provides only 4-5 year asylum visas and are really strict about sending people back. Plus this will not make much of a dent.

Merkel is playing the great game and she is the queen right now. I can imagine the browning of pants that is happening with those who have been cast as villains. The first 5 rounds go to Germany. Der de aaye but bang macha kar aaye

What is the probability of Germany intervening militarily

I think this is the tipping point for a resurgent Germany. People in ME are sick of tinpot dictators e.g, Syria is sick of Assad and ISIS. With Germany's reputation they would be viewed as a viable 3rd front for the creation of a neutral zone. Even if they do not intervene militarily they have the people on their side.

Are we looking at a new nation in the ME carved out of Syria/ Lebanon/ Yemen?

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 08:30
by NRao
No way Germany intervenes. Cannot see it happening.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 13:25
by panduranghari
USA would want Germany to intervene. And that is the main reason why they wont.

Re: India-EU News & Analysis

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 16:44
by Vipul
Germany has offered to take 500,000 migrants including the new refugees. Wants EU to have an annual quota for such migrants.
In return Saudi Arabia offers money to build 200 Mosques in Germany :rotfl: :rotfl: