Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace


Dec 15, 2018 at 8:13 AM | Mark Hodgson

That reads as another example of the unelected EU Leadership losing patience with the elected Leaders of the EU's Nations, and blaming them.

Dec 15, 2018 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I think it's fair to say that membership of the EU (excepting the issue of the eurozone) has been good for most of its member countries. As I pointed out here on Unthreaded a while ago, those countries with trade deficits within the EU tend to be significant net recipients of EU funding. Those countries which make the largest net contributions to EU funds tend to be those which benefit from huge trade surpluses with the rest of the EU (Germany and the Netherlands being the most obvious examples). France, although a net contributor to EU funds, for many years did very well out of the CAP, though latterly France has suffered almost as much from its EU membership as has the UK. I think it's fair to say that the UK has been the only member state for who, throughout its period of membership, the EU has been a significant net drag on its economy (whatever highly-paid economists and others say to the contrary). At the least, the UK is the one member state for whom the benefits of membership have been far less obvious than for others, since we are the second largest net contributor to EU funds while "enjoying" the highest trade deficit with the rest of the EU of any member state.

Where I think the EU made a dreadful mistake was its rush to the Euro before the convergence criteria had been met, in the hope that monetary union would lead inevitably to political union, whereas pretty much all economists of all political views believe that political union must always precede monetary union if monetary union is not to be a failure - even a disaster. It is the monetary union of the eurozone that has crippled so many economies in southern Europe and led to mass unemployment. It could be argued, then, that this unemployment has resulted from those countries' membership of the EU, since it is the EU that (aided and abetted by their supine national governments) foisted the euro - with all its associated problems - on them.

Dec 15, 2018 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

You have been duped by project fear Mk.2. Switzerland is ready to sign a trade deal whether or not we leave with a deal.

The first of many.

Dec 15, 2018 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Ross Lea what evidence can you submit that attributes this unemployment to membership of the EU? I will be paying particular attention to unemployment statistics after Brexit, as I'm sure you will be.

Dec 15, 2018 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertrol, Like the young people in Greece, Italy, France and Spain who remain unemployed ?

Dec 15, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Well Charly, I bow to your superior knowledge (I wonder from whence it was acquired?). All I know is that, earlier this year I went back to northern Spain (which I hasn't been back to since I did my PhD work there in the 1960s). I was staggered by the changes, exemplified by the multi-lane motorways, with their acknowledgement of EU funding. Even more impressive was the traffic on them - huge lorries from all parts of the EU - mostly from France, Germany and the Benelux, but I saw vehicles from Finland and a fair few from the UK. I doubt that they were returning from transporting farm produce because a) their sides showed what they were carrying (not vegetables), and b) they weren't refrigerated.

A few years ago I went to Poland and was shown around by another geologist. During that visit we travelled by car west from Warsaw along the main road to Germany and the rest of the EU. This was a dreadful road, full of huge potholes. Every now and then we were diverted onto temporary stretches because the road was being replaced by a shiny new motorway, sponsored and partially paid for by the EU. It was expected to totally change the economic prospects of huge swathes of the country. My friend and companion couldn't wait. I imagine Spain was similar just after joining the EU.

Indeed it's someone else's money, but building transport infrastructure across depressed parts of Europe opens up new markets (as all those lorries on Spanish motorways testify to) so all benefit, and helps remove poverty. I know it's anathema to say it here, but the EU has been good for many.

Dec 15, 2018 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Funnily enough, I can't find that last story reported anywhere on the BBC website. Drill down to their Europe section, and you can find a misleading headline (misleading because it only tells part of the story, as is evident as soon as you start to read the story):

"Euro falls as 'gilets jaunes' protests hit French economy"

"The euro has fallen against the dollar after disappointing French and German economic surveys dismayed the markets.

In France, private sector business activity contracted for the first time in two and a half years as the "gilets jaunes" protests took their toll.

In Germany, private sector activity slowed to a four-year low. The surveys pointed to weak fourth-quarter growth in the two biggest eurozone economies.

After the figures were published, the euro fell 0.6% to below the $1.13 mark."

Further down again:

"Bart Hordijk, market analyst at Monex Europe, said: "The sentiments among the yellow vests may have quite some support from the French public. However, businesses beg to disagree.

"If the magnitude of this drop continues in other countries and coming months, the European Central Bank's assessment that the eurozone economy 'risks moving to the downside' will quickly seem outdated, as the risks will already be there.

"The ECB president talked yesterday of 'lower growth, not of no growth'. However, a tail risk is forming that eurozone economies will slip into a recession while the ECB interest rates are still sub-zero.

"This would be a Japan-like scenario: a prospect which the euro understandably does not take well.""

Dec 15, 2018 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"EU leaders fail, again, to agree on migration policy
Frustration at inability to find agreement."

EU leaders, at their last summit of 2018, failed to reach agreement on a comprehensive overhaul of migration and asylum policy.

The failure to reach a deal was a particular defeat for the Commission, which had made a last-ditch attempt to try to push through a deal. The European Council's refusal to act even on legislative initiatives that were close to completion drew a sharp rebuke from Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who accused some national capitals of "hypocrisy" by critcizing Brussels but then refusing to implement policy changes.

...He expressed particular frustration that the EU27 leaders did not even agree to move forward with an initiative to add 10,000 new border protection agents to help step up enforcement on the bloc's external boundaries, despite spending years asking for reinforced borders protection.

"I must say that this is one area where I am slowly losing my patience," Juncker said. "This is not something which a president should say to the Council but I did say there is a white elephant in the room and that is hypocrisy. Everyone is urging us and inviting us time and time again to increase the controls at our external borders ... which is why we came forth with these new proposals." Inside the room he threatened to withdraw the proposal for the additional 10,000 new border guards, according to three diplomats.

...Council President Donald Tusk, who diplomats said has been reluctant to return to the contentious debate on migration, suggested that the original version of the conclusions be adopted as-is, and that was the result.

According to one diplomat, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel then took the floor to stress that a frank and honest discussion was needed and he noted that Belgium, where the government coalition has collapsed because of a dispute over migration policy, is now in crisis largely because Michel had sought to respect EU commitments on migration.

Dec 15, 2018 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Alan Supertroll,

No e in charly, s'il vous plait.

The lorries are going to Spain to pick up fruit n veg. Too little traffic the other way. They are empty when they get to the Costa del plastic.

Yes, of course it would. Even without a fine upstanding academic to come up with a "conceptual framework" to explain it to the great unwashed. ( That's you Alan ). No, you are the "fine upstanding", not the other thing. Not that I know.

The financing came from the private sector. Only the EU invested in airports and railway stations to nowhere.

Where do you think the financing came from to expand or build the airports? The private sector.

Guess who financed part of it?

The European taxpayers of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Ireland, Visegrad countries, Croatia, Kosovo?

OK, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg are net contributors.

Belgium, France? Probably net recipients.

But it is all someone else's money. Big problem when it runs out.

ECB balance sheet now a real horror story.

Dec 15, 2018 at 5:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

@stewgreen, Dec 15, 2018 at 1:27 AM

#YELLOWVESTUK kicked off today in London and is spreading.

Thanks for highlighting of BBC anti-democracy position.

Brexit Crowd facilitating ambulance is what I would expect, if obstructed I'd be angered and wondering why - antifa interlopers maybe

Dec 15, 2018 at 1:47 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

PostCreate a New Post

Enter your information below to create a new post.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>