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 Post subject: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:27 pm 
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This title may surprise some, but IMO it's justified. I'll try to explain why and hope others will try to explain to me if I'm wrong.

For those of you who don't know, a referendum was held on Sunday 29th July in Romania, about the impeachment of the elected President.
The referendum followed a constitutional suspension procedure that was voted on the 6th July by the Parliament.
Here are some Wiki links, although IMO those don't tell the whole story:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_p ... ndum,_2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Roman ... cal_crisis

My problem with the anti-democratic attitude of the European Commission is the forcing upon the Romanian Government and Parliament
of the 50% turnout rule, which by itself may sound democratic, but not when the other side takes advantage of this and boycotts the vote.
Without the 50% turnout rule, all parties involved would have called the voters to come and vote, resulting in a turnout of about 60% IMO.
After seeing the new 50% rule adopted by the Parliament, the suspended President and the parties supporting him decided to change his
message and urge the voters 'DO NOT VOTE'. That's because the polls were showing 75% in favor of impeachment and he's a sore loser.
The results of the referendum were announced and 88% of the voters were in favor of the impeachment, but the official turnout is only 46.23%.
This is not really true, because the official voters number is overvalued by 1-1.5 millions, so the real turnout may have been over 50%.
Without the new 50% turnout rule this wouldn't have mattered, and no political party cared about this discrepancy until now.
So IMO the meddling of the European Commission has resulted in a lower turnout, favoring a 'DO NOT VOTE' message.
For me the fact that the EC favors winning an electoral process by not participating is mind-boggling.
To make matters worse, the Hungarian prime minister urged the Hungarian minority in Romania 'DO NOT VOTE', but I don't want to
comment more on this, because it would enflame an already tense situation (if an ethnic Hungarian would read my post).

I am curious if this is a 'normal' behaviour of the European Commission, is there a shift towards diktatorship at the highest levels of EU leadership?
Or it's just a 'you're in theory full members of the EU, but not really' attitude towards the Romanian people?
There has been a majority of europhiles in Romania, myself included, but after this meddling we'll probably become euroskeptics.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Same thing happened in the US state of Wisconsin recently. The Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature fled town so there would not be enough for a quorum (which requires 60% of legislators to be present) because the Democratic wanted to stop the Republican majority from passing any laws. A very similar thing happened in the Texas Legislature in 2003 when the Democrats fled the state capital in Texas to a hotel in Oklahoma. Texas requires a quorum of 2/3 (67%) of members to be present to pass any laws.

IMO both of the above actions were much worse than what you describe in Romania, because at least you have a chance to change things if 50% of the people are willing to vote. In Wisconsin and Texas, a minority the legislators were able to thwart the will of the majority.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:13 pm 
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This 50% rule is a travesty. What was the turnout for the European Parliament elections?

Tzupy wrote:
I am curious if this is a 'normal' behaviour of the European Commission, is there a shift towards diktatorship at the highest levels of EU leadership?
Or it's just a 'you're in theory full members of the EU, but not really' attitude towards the Romanian people?

This is only the kind of behavior I would expect. It's always been an anti-democratic institution. And they're especially hostile to direct democracy.
They've ignored the wishes of the peoples of other countries, not only of the people of Romania.

Tzupy wrote:
There has been a majority of europhiles in Romania, myself included, but after this meddling we'll probably become euroskeptics.

That would arguably be an over-reaction. This crap only makes a difference if the people is divided or apathetic to begin with.
There are more important issues I think! By joining the Eurozone or the Shengen Area, the Romanian people would lose big chunks of sovereignty in other ways and there would be no appeal regardless of the determination of the voters. On the other hand, there are big advantages.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:38 pm 
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@m0002a: It's interesting that US representatives can abuse democracy too, but I think you missed my point.
Is there any party in the USA who urges the voters, the people (not the representatives), 'DO NOT VOTE', because
that's how that party is going to win? That's after someone in Washington forces a 50% turnout for vote validity in that state?

@HFat: AFAIK the 2009 European Parliament turnout was 43%.
So in your opinion the EC behaviour is 'normal'. Hmm, interesting. And the EC gives us 'democracy lessons'...


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:00 pm 
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So the referendum had a higher turnout than the EU elections, as I thought. But that's not good enough for them!

Turnout in the US is under 50% as a matter of course (depending on what the election and/or vote is about). No need for a boycott. Lots of countries have low turnout rates.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Tzupy wrote:
@m0002a: It's interesting that US representatives can abuse democracy too, but I think you missed my point.
Is there any party in the USA who urges the voters, the people (not the representatives), 'DO NOT VOTE', because
that's how that party is going to win? That's after someone in Washington forces a 50% turnout for vote validity in that state?

They certainly would do that if there were minimum voter turnout laws and if that would help their cause. But the voter turnout laws only apply to the Legislature itself.

The US is a republic of states with a federal government in Washington DC. The US federal government has virtually no power to tell states how to run their government, as specified in the US Constitution, especially the 10th Amendment:

10. "The powers not [specifically] delegated to the United States [federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Quote:
This is only the kind of behavior I would expect. It's always been an anti-democratic institution. And they're especially hostile to direct democracy.
They've ignored the wishes of the peoples of other countries, not only of the people of Romania.


Much of the following info is for people living in the EU dictatorship who don't actually realise just how evil the EU is, and for those outside of the EU who most likely don't have a clue how it even works - the EU is NOTHING like the USA for example the EU is comprised of 27 nations

The EU is a massively corrupt organisation that has sneaked its way into power, and can give itself more power whenever it feels like it. When I say "sneaked into power", i mean it. In the UK you would have to be aged 55 or over to have been old enough to vote to join "The Common Market", which then morphed into the "EEC" and then morphed into the "EU". My parents voted to join the "Common Market" (I wasn't even born), they and I have not had a vote on the matter since, none of us would have voted for the "Common Market" to be morphed into the "EEC" or then the "EU" - as I say, totally undemocratic.

The EU is "inherently evil" from the perspective of anyone who likes "democracy", the EU is simply a dictatorship by the backdoor - no "voters" in the EU actually voted for the President of the EU - this is so unbelievable most people you tell this to in the street wont actually believe you, but then again no one knows who it is.

In the UK, the second largest UK political party in the EU (whose members end up sitting in EU seats to represent the people of the UK) is UKIP "UK Independence Party", guess what they want :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_P ... Kingdom%29

If there was a vote cast tomorrow UKIP would be neck and neck for becoming the largest party - in part to do with the collapsing Eurozone that is seriously hurting the UK's (and everywhere else on the planets) ability to re-surface from the 2008 financial meltdown. Also there is every chance that UKIP will become the 3rd largest party in the UK at the next general election, if they put up a candidate in my area they will get my vote.

There are many reasons why people in the UK and most other countries in the EU despise the EU, mostly because EU member countries have much less political freedom and democracy than those outside of the EU.

You only have to look at the map in the wiki link below to see the problem, whole countries voting in blocks against other democratic nations - those democratic nations have their democracy ruled over by others - that is a legal dictatorship - but it gets even worse than that, Not all countries are equal, as you will see from the first graph on the left, each country has a number of seats. What this means is that smaller countries can simply have their entire vote wiped out by a larger country, or more like a voting bloc - how wonderfully democratic :roll:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_P ... tion,_2009

I would suggest that Tzupy does his best to convince his fellow countrymen to leave the EU, that is the only way that the country that you call "home" regains democracy and its voters regain the democratic right govern yourselves.

FYI, in the UK 75% of all of the laws passed in recent years were made in Brussels, where representatives of the UK measure only 10% of the voting power - that is not democracy, that is a dictatorship if I ever saw one. With any luck the UK governments hand will be forced by the collapse of the Euro to give its voters a referendum on EU membership, and then people will vote to leave the EU, if we then leave the EU other members will be more inclined to do so as well.

Sorry about the little rant Tzupy. There was a minor news story in the UK (that has been totally overshadowed by the Olympics in the media) that I must confess I didn't read about the President surviving a vote of some kind. Your country is being shit on by people voted into power by people from other European countries, you need to leave the EU.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Thank you for the replies. The 'rant' by Andyb was quite interesting, I didn't know the EU is that anti-democratic.
You see, after enduring many years in a communist regime, many Romanians saw the Western countries and the EU
as democracy examples. It turns out it's not what many of us perceived.

I won't vote or persuade others to leave the EU, for now, for a simple reason: I need to travel to EU countries, and
I don't want to queue for visas again. Before joining the EU, getting a 6 months visa for the UK meant spending most
of a day queuing at the Embassy, being herded with other 100 visa applicants, and this was humiliating.
Getting the USA visa was less humiliating and it's a 10 year visa (they were not scrooges, lol).

For those interested to find out who the suspended President is, this watered-down Wiki page is a start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traian_B%C4%83sescu


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Let's keep things in perspective: western countries and the EU were more democratic than the USSR or the Ceausescu regime. But some countries (such as the Netherlands and the Nordic countries) are better examples than others. And the EU (which was never such a great example) got worse after the end of the Cold War.

No, leaving the EU wouldn't be such a great idea!
But you could remain within the EU without losing more sovereignty than the UK, by staying out of the Eurozone for instance. You could also vote against upcoming changes to the EU as the Dutch and the Irish have done recently.

Andy's post was over the top and wasn't 100% factually correct.
And some of the stuff which was correct is subject to interpretation. No one votes for the President or indeed the executive of Switzerland and not only do I have no idea who the President is: I don't know who sits on the executive committee (there's no Prime Minister). The political parties are more important than individuals. It's nevertheless a more democratic system than you'll find in most european countries.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Quote:
Let's keep things in perspective: western countries and the EU were more democratic than the USSR or the Ceausescu regime. But some countries (such as the Netherlands and the Nordic countries) are better examples than others. And the EU (which was never such a great example) got worse after the end of the Cold War.


I am sure that you are right that many of the eastern European countries are far better off than they were a decade or more back, but that is not the same as saying that they are in as good a situation as they could be.

Quote:
But you could remain within the EU without losing more sovereignty than the UK, by staying out of the Eurozone for instance.


You have lost me there.

Every country in the EU has lost sovereignty - how much, or exactly what each country has lost I cant answer for personally.

What sovereignty has the UK lost by not joining the Euro.? Probably the same amount that Switzerland has lost by not joining the Euro.

The UK has been in a far stronger position than many of our fellow heavily indebted neighbours precisely because we have our own currency that we have complete control over, unlike any county that uses the Euro currency, e.g. Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal or Italy, who would all be in a much better situation if they had power over their own currency - they don't, Germany and France do.

Quote:
You could also vote against upcoming changes to the EU as the Dutch and the Irish have done recently.


You can, but your votes will be worthless as you will be out-voted. Netherlands and Ireland between them have 1/3rd of the voting power of Germany - they will either do what Germany wants them to do, or they will have to leave the Eurozone - this is a ridiculous situation for many countries that are "trapped" in the Eurozone - they cant get get powers back, they cant vote their way out, they have to LEAVE the Eurozone (and possibly the EU) to get any real political control over their own country.

Quote:
Andy's post was over the top and wasn't 100% factually correct.


Please correct me on those points which were (A) Over-the-top, and (B) that were not factually correct.

Quote:
And some of the stuff which was correct is subject to interpretation. No one votes for the President or indeed the executive of Switzerland and not only do I have no idea who the President is: I don't know who sits on the executive committee (there's no Prime Minister).


The President of the EU has quite a lot of power, read the Wiki below. The President of the EU is also voted into power by the people voted into power from each of the EU Member States, thus they largely vote in political bloc's and not as political representatives for their own people (otherwise known as Politicians).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_ ... Commission

The Swiss President is described as "largely ceremonial" in the Wiki article below - this is hardly a fair comparison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Switzerland

Quote:
The political parties are more important than individuals.


If you think that a "political party" is more important than the person YOU voted into power to be "your democratic representative" then you have you have a very different understanding of democracy and politics than I do. This is even more strange in the case of the EU, where political parties from several countries will team up to vote against another political bloc made up of many political parties from many countries - and why...? The answer is simple, to out-vote the other side on a very generic EU-wide decision that is never perfect for any single country, but that is still better than losing right...... of course it is, every single decision made within the EU is a bad one.

Quote:
It's nevertheless a more democratic system than you'll find in most European countries.


I wont argue with that, as I don't know how undemocratic various European countries were before they joined the EU.

Here are a few snippets of plain stupidity.

As far as a totally idiotic waste of money is concerned, forget the huge amount of fish that are caught in nets (and die as a result) but are too small to take back to shore and sell (according to stupid EU laws), have to be thrown back into the sea - this is insane on every level, but the moronic bureaucrats in the EU couldn't arrange a shag in a brothel inside 3-years of wrangling, there is one thats even better.

The EU actually claims that "water does not rehydrate", and it took 3-years for these muppets to get the answer wrong by simply changing the order of the words slightly.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ation.html

Being a member of the EU costs every man woman and child in the UK £1,000 per year - great :roll:

http://www.democracymovementsurrey.co.u ... costs.html


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:23 pm 
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andyb wrote:
What sovereignty has the UK lost by not joining the Euro.?

You misunderstood. Romania is currently in a position relatively similar to the UK. So they could imitate the UK and lose no more sovereignty or keep their current direction and join the Eurozone, etc. (and lose still more).

andyb wrote:
You can, but your votes will be worthless as you will be out-voted. Netherlands and Ireland between them have 1/3rd of the voting power of Germany - they will either do what Germany wants them to do, or they will have to leave the Eurozone.

I was talking about the EU, not the Eurozone.
On constitutional matters (so to speak), a single country can block everything. The Irish had to be convinced (with a few concessions and a lot of intimidation) to vote differently in the second round for instance.
Larger countries have the same power but are less easily intimidated. See for instance: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... inges.html

andyb wrote:
Please correct me on those points which were (A) Over-the-top, and (B) that were not factually correct.

I'm not going to discuss every right-wing fabrication under the Sun.
So here's just one thing you got wrong: there never was a "Common Market". That was just a right-wing friendly name. It was the EEC all along. Not that names matter as you would have us believe. The UK had the opportunity to refuse every institutional change. If you didn't vote as often as some other countries, that's on the undemocratic British form of government and on your politicians who obviously do not value your opinion. Yes, you can blame the EU for encouraging this travesty but the final anti-democratic decision wasn't made in Brussels.

andyb wrote:
The Swiss President is described as "largely ceremonial" in the Wiki article below - this is hardly a fair comparison.

True but like I said, the same applies for *the whole executive* (the equivalent of your PM, cabinet, and Queen wrapped into one). I didn't vote for any of the top politicians and I don't know their names, only their party affiliations.

andyb wrote:
If you think that a "political party" is more important than the person YOU voted into power to be "your democratic representative" then you have you have a very different understanding of democracy and politics than I do.

It's not an understanding but a fact: I didn't vote for any member of the executive. Neither did you I guess but you at least knew who the PM would be if this or that party won. We don't have anything like that. Politicians are largely selected for the executive on the basis of their political party (and petty provincial issues which would bore you).
And get this: the last major change in government happened because the Nazis were losing the war! There wasn't even a minor change in the composition of the government between 1959 and 2003, regardless of election results. Democracy can assume many unfamiliar shapes...

andyb wrote:
This is even more strange in the case of the EU, where political parties from several countries will team up to vote against another political bloc made up of many political parties from many countries

Same as in Westminster...
The Parliament is not the most anti-democratic institution of the EU.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:44 pm 
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The European Union is not a democracy. There are elections for the European Parliament and the European Commission is chosen by the democratically elected officials of the nation states. It's just that nobody cares. Everything the European Commission does it approved by the elected officials of the nation states. But they've been getting away with carrying a motion on the European level and then get back to their home countries to complain about it.

Because the media, who have been dropping the ball on their job as guardians of democracy on the national level anyway, have absolutely zero interest in accurately reporting on EU business. The European Union is, if anything, a back-room for national politicians to withdraw to and make politics without transparency.

But the current crisis has demonstrated how utterly powerless the European Commission actually is. It's the Chancellor of Germany and the French President, who are pulling the strings.

And more than this, it has shown who is actually boss: Big Capital.

The whole Greece travesty was just a sharade to save some (predominantly, but not exclusively German and French) banks, who had capital sunk there. Greece has been tortured for a couple of years now to give those banks time to rid themselves of the poison in their books. Now that they have, people start to think out loud that maybe we chould let them out of the E.U. anyway.

It's one gigantic scheme to socialize the losses of Big Capital. And it's happening EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Quote:
You misunderstood. Romania is currently in a position relatively similar to the UK. So they could imitate the UK and lose no more sovereignty or keep their current direction and join the Eurozone, etc. (and lose still more).


I am sorry, I did misunderstand you. I hope for the sake of Romania that the people of Romania do the right thing for themselves which is often not the same as what the politicians tell them.

Quote:
I was talking about the EU, not the Eurozone.
On constitutional matters (so to speak), a single country can block everything. The Irish had to be convinced (with a few concessions and a lot of intimidation) to vote differently in the second round for instance.


So was I, but these things seem to get very tangled, and they are both controlled by the same people with the same ideology.

I was just about to refer to Ireland, the EU got a no vote and simply changed a couple of things and then got a yes vote, I have no doubt that if Ireland had rejected it a second time the EU would simply force through yet another vote.

Quote:
Larger countries have the same power but are less easily intimidated.


I disagree, the larger the country - the more votes they have, so they have more power and can be far more intimidating than the simple numbers suggest.

Quote:
See for instance: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... inges.html


I cant find the info on the net right now, but I am quite sure that not every EU country actually has the option to Veto, as the UK did in your linked news story, I think that there are only 5 or 6 countries with that power.

Quote:
I'm not going to discuss every right-wing fabrication under the Sun.
So here's just one thing you got wrong: there never was a "Common Market". That was just a right-wing friendly name. It was the EEC all along. Not that names matter as you would have us believe. The UK had the opportunity to refuse every institutional change. If you didn't vote as often as some other countries, that's on the undemocratic British form of government and on your politicians who obviously do not value your opinion. Yes, you can blame the EU for encouraging this travesty but the final anti-democratic decision wasn't made in Brussels.


The first line says everything that needs to be known about the name "Common Market"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_E ... _Community

Yes, the people of the UK have been lied to and deceived by our very own politicians from each of the 3 main political parties at various points in time, and cant blame that on the EU itself. What I can blame on various UK politicians and the EU is collaboration of deception. The EU promises "ABC" to the UK, the UK politicians either don't give the people of the UK the choice to give their opinion or the UK politicians sell the people of the UK "ABC" to get their votes and the turn to the EU to get their promised "ABC", however the internal EU wrangling then means that the UK actually gets "CFR". This has happened several times, and now the people of the UK are fed up with the political parties that have lied to us for decades and the EU that now has a stanglehold on our democracy.

Quote:
True but like I said, the same applies for *the whole executive* (the equivalent of your PM, cabinet, and Queen wrapped into one). I didn't vote for any of the top politicians and I don't know their names, only their party affiliations.


I think that we have got ourselves confused here.

The EU President has quite a lot of power, no single voter in the EU has voted for the President of the EU, the EU President was voted in by a huge political bloc from many countries, this political bloc is called the "EPP", it has 265 seats currently, the parliamentary majority is 369 out of a total of 736 seats. In the UK we have 72 of the 736 votes, not a single one of our votes are members of the EPP - this crazy situation does not reflect UK democracy at all.

Quote:
Politicians are largely selected for the executive on the basis of their political party (and petty provincial issues which would bore you).


Its the boring provincial issues that are often the most important ones, because they are the ones that individual MP's that we voted into power can do something about - small politics in the UK is very much alive and working every day for the people in that area who voted them into power. In the UK MP's often vote against their party if they think that a policy would be bad for their constituents - this may not be the same everywhere.

Quote:
And get this: the last major change in government happened because the Nazis were losing the war! There wasn't even a minor change in the composition of the government between 1959 and 2003, regardless of election results. Democracy can assume many unfamiliar shapes...


Switzerland is probably the most democratic country on earth, why change something that works well.

Quote:
Same as in Westminster...


The people in Westminster are there because the people of the UK voted for them to be there, they are there to serve the people of the UK. The situation currently is that 90% of all of the EU votes are made outside of the UK and yet become law in the UK, these laws cannot be rejected by the politicians that the people of the UK voted into power in Westminster, unless the UK leaves the EU.

I cant possibly imagine Switzerland joining the EU to let people in other countries pass its laws for Switzerland against the wishes of the Swiss people - that is exactly what is happening in the UK, and that is why people are very angry - not just with the EU itself, but the lies we have been told by our own politicians.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:13 pm 
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There's a number of voters in the UK who'd object to be called "people of the UK", you know.
If don't want to reckognize that the UK is composed of several nations marginalized in Westminster while at the same time failing to consider that the EU Parliament might be elected by some kind of "people of Europe", that tells more about you than the EU.

andyb wrote:
the EU President was voted in by a huge political bloc from many countries, this political bloc is called the "EPP", it has 265 seats currently, the parliamentary majority is 369 out of a total of 736 seats. In the UK we have 72 of the 736 votes, not a single one of our votes are members of the EPP - this crazy situation does not reflect UK democracy at all.

I don't know why the Tories are playing this game with their own little parliamentary group instead of joining the EPP (anti-Catholic bigotry?) but they naturally supported the candidacy of the current "EU President" anyway so please stop fabricating offenses to the UK.
There's nothing to stop Labour from agreeing on a leader with the socialist parties of Europe and to run EU elections like they run the elections to Westminster. That would "reflect UK democracy". And if only the Tories were willing to own up to their choice of bedfellows, they could do the same.
If you're opposed to the whole concept of the EU, fine. But this thread was about an actual wrong done by the EU, something which could me corrected. The people who contrive outrages to suit their political agenda on the other hand will never be satisfied...

As to the Swiss voters, yeah: they currently seem to have an issue with the whole concept of the EU which is why they declined to vote for joining the EEC (indirectly, by stalling a less ambitious treaty), unlike voters in the UK.
But the political parties they vote for do not share the issues of the Tories or the UKIP with the EU's major parliamentary groups.


tim851 wrote:
The whole Greece travesty was just a sharade to save some (predominantly, but not exclusively German and French) banks, who had capital sunk there. Greece has been tortured for a couple of years now to give those banks time to rid themselves of the poison in their books. Now that they have, people start to think out loud that maybe we chould let them out of the E.U. anyway.

It's a tiny bit more complicated than that. :-)
You've probably heard about this Euro currency that Greece has adopted. Well, there's a few big countries other than Germany and France who have adopted the Euro as well and they've got a stake in this game as well for one thing. And I'm not talking about their banks...


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:08 am 
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HFat wrote:
It's a tiny bit more complicated than that. :-)
You've probably heard about this Euro currency that Greece has adopted. Well, there's a few big countries other than Germany and France who have adopted the Euro as well and they've got a stake in this game as well for one thing. And I'm not talking about their banks...

The Euro seems to have caused more problems in a few countries than it solves, so maybe they should just let countries out if they want to get out. For Greece, that would mean that their own currency would be greatly devalued, but at least they could attract some foreign investment and tourism (due to cheap prices) to try and get out of the economic hole they are in. The current strategy of austerity seems to cause very high unemployment, which is not only dehumanizing but also creates massive political in


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:35 am 
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There's a number of voters in the UK who'd object to be called "people of the UK", you know.


Of course there are, the UK is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as immigrants from every other country on the planet - a great deal of people including me refer to themselves (in my case) as English first, British second, "a person of the UK" third and European fourth - this is not to say that I don't recognise myself as a member of the UK.

Quote:
If don't want to recognise that the UK is composed of several nations marginalized in Westminster while at the same time failing to consider that the EU Parliament might be elected by some kind of "people of Europe", that tells more about you than the EU.


The UK has existed for a significantly longer period of time than the EU has meaning that it has been embedded and refined for a very long time, we share a common language, culture and heritage with a considerable amount of "inter-breeding" solidly meshing the UK together in almost every way - unlike the EU.

Quote:
I don't know why the Tories are playing this game with their own little parliamentary group instead of joining the EPP (anti-Catholic bigotry?) but they naturally supported the candidacy of the current "EU President" anyway so please stop fabricating offenses to the UK.
There's nothing to stop Labour from agreeing on a leader with the socialist parties of Europe and to run EU elections like they run the elections to Westminster. That would "reflect UK democracy". And if only the Tories were willing to own up to their choice of bedfellows, they could do the same.


erm.... the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems, UKIP and everyone else. What on earth is "anti-Catholic bigotry".??? How could the UK not be considered "anti-Catholic", look at why the "Church Of England" was created. Whether or not the current EU President was voted in by the UK member of the EU, I had no say in the matter at all.

Quote:
If you're opposed to the whole concept of the EU, fine. But this thread was about an actual wrong done by the EU, something which could me corrected. The people who contrive outrages to suit their political agenda on the other hand will never be satisfied...


I am not "opposed" to the "concept" of the EU, I am opposed to the "reality" of the EU - the EU routinely over-rules UK law, that is not right - as I have said a few times I am angry with UK politicians for handing the EU the power to ignore and over-rule Westminster.

Quote:
As to the Swiss voters, yeah: they currently seem to have an issue with the whole concept of the EU which is why they declined to vote for joining the EEC (indirectly, by stalling a less ambitious treaty), unlike voters in the UK.


It is very clear that we have been LIED to by our own politicians, as well as the EU - the majority of people alive in the UK right now have never had a choice to voice our opinion on our place in Europe - obviously Swiss history is quite different from ours, has a quite different culture and whose politicians probably told the the Swiss people different things from what the people of the UK were told by our politicians.

Quote:
You've probably heard about this Euro currency that Greece has adopted. Well, there's a few big countries other than Germany and France who have adopted the Euro as well and they've got a stake in this game as well for one thing. And I'm not talking about their banks...


One thing that the UK politicians did get right was the choice to NOT join the Euro, the Euro (as was pointed out before it was launched) was (and still is) a fundamentally flawed concept. There is Currency Union with no Fiscal Union or Political Union. Greece should never have been allowed to join the Euro, Greece lied to everyone else - they then went on a low interest spending binge - with no way to pay back the money they have borrowed even at those low interest rates, so it comes as no shock to see that with much higher interest rates Greece simply has no chance of paying their debts.

Adding to this they have been persuaded to stay in the Euro with huge bailouts which have been partly written-off - nothing has been done to actually "fix" the problems in Greece - that is partly to do with the Greek people, the Greek politicians and the EU not having the ability to fix Greece (that's the lack of Fiscal and Political union).

Spain is in many respects in a much worse position than Greece, it does not have enough income (taxes) to pay for its costs (heath, security, bureaucrats, fire, police, ambulance, pensions and so on), which is why it is having to borrow more and more money from external sources because it cant gather enough tax, it also has a much higher rate of unemployment than Greece, and just like Greece it cant reduce the value of its currency to better compete for business.

Italy and Portugal are again in a similar place to Greece and Spain - there is not enough money left to bail out Spain when the time comes (before 2013), this can only result in the bankruptcy of Spain, as well as any other country that needs more money such as Greece - this is the direct fault of those individual countries and the EU as a whole simply for creating such a ridiculous Financial Union called the Euro and yet letting Greece into that Union, and not keeping an eye on the huge amounts of low-interest borrowing/spending by many southern European countries that previous to the Euro could not borrow anywhere near as much money as they did and anywhere near as low interest-rates as they did - only those individual countries and the EU should be blamed.

Quote:
The Euro seems to have caused more problems in a few countries than it solves, so maybe they should just let countries out if they want to get out. For Greece, that would mean that their own currency would be greatly devalued, but at least they could attract some foreign investment and tourism (due to cheap prices) to try and get out of the economic hole they are in. The current strategy of austerity seems to cause very high unemployment, which is not only dehumanizing but also creates massive political in


If you can believe it, its actually worse for Greece than you say.

Greece are being handed money to pay its bills so long as it drastically increases its unemployment, and makes many other changes that are not helping reduce unemployment. No-one is going to invest money in Greece because Greece is a serious financial risk, Greece is a more expensive place to go on holiday than it has been for a decade - which is a shame as tourism is very important to Greece. So in summary Greece is in a financial prison partly of its making and partly because it is still in the Euro. If Greece had escaped the Euro when this crisis first started, it would be well on its way to recovery and would be a tourism hot spot right now - also a great deal of the contagion would not have existed meaning it would have had less of an affect on other counties as well of course keeping loads of money to bail-out other countries.

The real success story has been Ireland. Ireland got a bail-out, it proceeded to make real changes to bring it back in line so it will be able pay its debts and be solvent in the future. However Ireland were totally screwed by the EU when they got their bailout - the interest rate was crippling (like in Greece) and they didn't get this rate dropped until Greece's second bail-out - since then, they have been doing well - well done Ireland.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:35 am 
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andyb wrote:
erm.... the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems, UKIP and everyone else. ... Whether or not the current EU President was voted in by the UK member of the EU, I had no say in the matter at all.

You had the same say as to the matter of the appointment of your PM.
The difference is that while everyone knows Labour will vote the 2nd Internationale's candidate for "EU President" (if said candidate has a chance), the Tories are being coy about who they support so people are confused.

andyb wrote:
he EU routinely over-rules UK law

That's the whole concept of the EU. And of the UN, the WTO and so on. Now as to why the establishment in the UK is willing to ignore the UN but feels compelled to take the EU and the WTO seriously... well, maybe they like the EU and the WTO more than they're willing to say.

andyb wrote:
obviously Swiss history is quite different from ours, has a quite different culture and whose politicians probably told the the Swiss people different things from what the people of the UK were told by our politicians.

Maybe but what mattered in the end is that Switzerland had different, more democratic institutions. Namely: government decisions are routinely challenged and cancelled by the people outside of elections.

andyb wrote:
they then went on a low interest spending binge ... nothing has been done to actually "fix" the problems in Greece - that is partly to do with the Greek people, the Greek politicians and the EU not having the ability to fix Greece (that's the lack of Fiscal and Political union).

It's a bit more complicated. It's not only a fiscal problem. It was made worse by the half-baked Euro agreement but there's no easy fix now. It doesn't mean it couldn't be accomodated, just that it would take long-term constructive management.

andyb wrote:
there is not enough money left to bail out Spain when the time comes (before 2013), this can only result in the bankruptcy of Spain

More right-wing BS. They're constantly trying to pass their arbitrary decisions as facts of life but this is simply preposterous. Worse: it's irresponsible to say such things in public! Please think about what you're doing...

andyb wrote:
not keeping an eye on the huge amounts of low-interest borrowing/spending by many southern European countries that previous to the Euro could not borrow anywhere near as much money as they did and anywhere near as low interest-rates as they did - only those individual countries and the EU should be blamed.

Are you a socialist now?
The interest rates were set by private actors in the market, with information regarding the amounts borrowed and the financial position of these countries supplied by private actors. You do understand that you don't need any agreement with Brussels to issue Euro bonds, right?
What are you suggesting exactly? Should people have been forbidden from buying Greek bonds specifically? Or should some unelected official in Frankfurt have taken upon himself to buy up German debt and sell Greek debt, thereby making Greece's situation worse and Germany's better?

andyb wrote:
No-one is going to invest money in Greece because Greece is a serious financial risk

Yeah, that's the real issue. But perception is as important as reality. And leaving the Euro (how?) is not going to fix the problem in the short run.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:36 am 
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HFat wrote:
Yeah, that's the real issue. But perception is as important as reality. And leaving the Euro (how?) is not going to fix the problem in the short run.

I am not an expert on the EU or the Euro, but I don't understand the comment above. If Greece did leave the Euro, it would cause some hardships (imports would be prohibitively expensive), but wouldn't it make foreign investment and tourism in Greece very attractive after devaluation of the Greek currency?


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:50 am 
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If Greece left the Euro, it would be even harder for the government to pay its debt. In addition, it would also be harder for the individuals and private organizations.
A conversion of the debt from the Euro to the new currency would solve the problem but that would of course be default under another name as creditors would be left with a large and possibly nearly complete loss if the new Greek currency plummeted (Greece is no great commodity exporter!). That's not what they signed up for.

A new Greek currency would need confidence to be any use. Considering the structural issues of the Greek economy, it would be quite a challenge to inspire confidence. And a default is hardly the way to generate such confidence!
If people distrusted the new currency excessively, everyone but the state and its employees would either keep using Euros or quickly revert to Euros. Inflation would likely be extremely high and the black market would flourish, diminshing state revenues further.
As you may know, some Latin American countries faced with similar issues ended up using the US dollar. The Greek government might also end up reverting to the Euro after a while, but without any support from the core Eurozone countries this time.

The best thing the Greek government could do I think (Euro or not) is to increase tax revenues, for instance by taxing real estate aggressively.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:05 am 
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Quote:
You had the same say as to the matter of the appointment of your PM.


The PM does not have the same degree of power as a Political President such as the one in that role in the EU.

Quote:
That's the whole concept of the EU.


To over-rule our own home-grown democracy, you are quite right, but as I keep on saying. Due to the lies that the British people have been fed, we have never had a choice on the matter of EU membership, and many of us want to exit from the EU.

Quote:
Now as to why the establishment in the UK is willing to ignore the UN but feels compelled to take the EU and the WTO seriously... well, maybe they like the EU and the WTO more than they're willing to say.


I don't know a great deal about the "World Trade Organisation", and I must have missed the UK "ignoring" the UN..... when did this happen.?

Quote:
Maybe but what mattered in the end is that Switzerland had different, more democratic institutions. Namely: government decisions are routinely challenged and cancelled by the people outside of elections.


Which is simply brilliant :D How practical or even possible that would be to do in the UK I don't know, but it would be nice to see.

Quote:
It's a bit more complicated. It's not only a fiscal problem. It was made worse by the half-baked Euro agreement but there's no easy fix now. It doesn't mean it couldn't be accomodated, just that it would take long-term constructive management.


It certainly is a lot more complicated, and due to the poor design it is very complicated to fix.

Quote:
More right-wing BS. They're constantly trying to pass their arbitrary decisions as facts of life but this is simply preposterous. Worse: it's irresponsible to say such things in public! Please think about what you're doing...


It is Bull-Shit you are right. The EU based finances are insane, the 500 Billion+ Euro cost to bailout Spain is going be partly paid for by Portugal, Italy, Greece and Ireland. You could not make this up, but this is true, this has already happened with Greece, the Greek bailout was paid for with money from countries that have already had a bailout - basically this money is being leveraged to the point that we might as well call it "money laundering".

And no I don't think that it is irresponsible to say such things in public, I think that it is irresponsible to trickle-feed this constant stream of bad news out over the last few years, with another few years of bad news still to come - if this were to cause panic maybe something might actually get done. What needs to be done is a huge surgical operation instead of all of these plasters and bandages that are being used. The surgeons knife should start with Greece, the should be given a couple of Hundred Billion Euro's as a farewell present, because that will be much cheaper than keeping them in the Euro, then the surgeon might want to take a look at some other countries.

Quote:
Are you a socialist now?
The interest rates were set by private actors in the market, with information regarding the amounts borrowed and the financial position of these countries supplied by private actors.


That is not the way it has worked since the launch of the Euro - what happened in simple terms is that the cost of borrowing dropped down to near German levels, this allowed Greece and Spain and Ireland to borrow lots of money at a cheap rate because the markets saw the borrowing cost risks of Greece and Spain to have lowered significantly due to using the same currency as Germany. Greece and Spain and Ireland went on a spending spree. Everything went pear-shaped in 2008, since then economies shrank, Greece was not able to pay its debts so it had to borrow more money, but the markets now saw Greece as a risk, so the borrowing costs went through the roof, which makes it more expensive for Greece to borrow and more difficult to raise more money and the cycle continues.

My view point here is hardly "socialist", Greece and Spain and Ireland should not have been given such low interest rates, if they were given much higher interest rates to start with, they would not have been able to borrow as much and would not now be in such debt.

Quote:
You do understand that you don't need any agreement with Brussels to issue Euro bonds, right?


Eurobonds would significantly help the struggling countries, but would increase the risk greatly for those countries that are doing better e.g. Germany. The German people don't want to give away any more of their money to other countries who have not been careful with their own money in the past. Germany is the single largest stumbling block to getting Eurobonds.

Quote:
Yeah, that's the real issue. But perception is as important as reality. And leaving the Euro (how?) is not going to fix the problem in the short run.


If Greece were to leave the Euro tomorrow, there would be huge problems for its people. In the near-term (6-months) the Greek economy would have stabilised, in 12-18 months time Greece would be out of recession and unemployment would be falling. If Greece had have bailed out of the Euro 2-years ago they would be in a much better position than they are now. However the trends suggest that as things are going in Greece at the moment, Greece will be in a much worse position than it is in now.

If however Greece was currently and secretly printing their new currency as well as planning for the huge change back to the Drachma, it would be quite similar to the change from the Drachma to the Euro, but of course the new Drachma would be much less valuable than the Euro - it must be to bring Greece back to prosperity. Currently it is cheaper to build a car in Germany than it is Greece - devaluation is a must, and being in the Euro means that Greece simply cannot devalue its currency.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:11 am 
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Quote:
I am not an expert on the EU or the Euro, but I don't understand the comment above. If Greece did leave the Euro, it would cause some hardships (imports would be prohibitively expensive), but wouldn't it make foreign investment and tourism in Greece very attractive after devaluation of the Greek currency?


Exactly.

Quote:
If Greece left the Euro, it would be even harder for the government to pay its debt.


It cant pay its debt now, and wont be able to in 20-years time, it has already defaulted on a large part of it, this is and endless pit that must be closed - you may as well write-off the rest of the Greek as they will only default on it anyway.

Quote:
A new Greek currency would need confidence to be any use. Considering the structural issues of the Greek economy, it would be quite a challenge to inspire confidence. And a default is hardly the way to generate such confidence!
If people distrusted the new currency excessively, everyone but the state and its employees would either keep using Euros or quickly revert to Euros. Inflation would likely be extremely high and the black market would flourish, diminshing state revenues further.
As you may know, some Latin American countries faced with similar issues ended up using the US dollar. The Greek government might also end up reverting to the Euro after a while, but without any support from the core Eurozone countries this time.


I would assume than many people would end up using the USD anyway.

Quote:
The best thing the Greek government could do I think (Euro or not) is to increase tax revenues, for instance by taxing real estate aggressively.


You cant tax people who don't have a job, and you cant tax people for owning real estate, you can only tax them when they sell it, its currently worthless so no-one is going to sell, therefore the government would not make any money. And obviously the Greek people consider tax avoidance as a national sport, so good luck increasing any taxes ATM.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:13 am 
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HFat wrote:
If Greece left the Euro, it would be even harder for the government to pay its debt. In addition, it would also be harder for the individuals and private organizations.
A conversion of the debt from the Euro to the new currency would solve the problem but that would of course be default under another name as creditors would be left with a large and possibly nearly complete loss if the new Greek currency plummeted (Greece is no great commodity exporter!). That's not what they signed up for.

Yes, they would have to default (or at best pay off the debts with a devalued currency). That is a given. But if Greece left the Euro, it would be for the benefit of Greece, not for their creditors. But it would also benefit the other Euro countries in the long run because the Euro would be stronger, and stop the continuous rounds of bailouts that are not going to work anyway.

There is a reason why only 17 of the 27 EU countries did not adopt the Euro. It is simply not going to work on the scale as it is now. You can pay now, or pay later, but someone will have to pay for this mess.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:26 am 
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None of you seems to reckon that private debts are also Euros debts. No surprise there.

andyb wrote:
we have never had a choice on the matter of EU membership, and many of us want to exit from the EU.

The people voted for the EEC. And they voted for the politicians who pushed the EU forward.
What choice did you have on the latest invasion of Iraq for instance? Even less. That's only the usual amount of democracy you get in the UK.

andyb wrote:
... basically this money is being leveraged to the point that we might as well call it "money laundering".

It's not leverage when countries do it with their own fiat currencies. The gold standard is history. No country needs to go bankrupt.
And money laundering is something else entierly. Lay off the hyperbole!

andyb wrote:
if this were to cause panic maybe something might actually get done.

So you're deliberately setting out to encourage panic. Damn the consequences, is that right? And in the name of what? Some nebulous hope based on what exactly? This is as bad as the crazies jockeying for a good, quick war in 1914.
Others have been irresponsible, yes. It's not an excuse to follow suit for the sake of your emotional needs.

andyb wrote:
That is not the way it has worked since the launch of the Euro ... because the markets saw the borrowing cost risks of Greece and Spain to have lowered significantly due to using the same currency as Germany. .... My view point here is hardly "socialist", Greece and Spain and Ireland should not have been given such low interest rates

So I tell you it was a market rate and you tell me... what exactly? Yeah, it's a market rate but it's not?
You would want Brussels to regulate interest rates? On what basis? If that's not a socialist proposal then what is it? One last time: what are you proposing?

andyb wrote:
Currently it is cheaper to build a car in Germany than it is Greece - devaluation is a must, and being in the Euro means that Greece simply cannot devalue its currency.

Yes, and it can not devalue the Euro by introducing a new currency either.
So what's the cost of building cars in Greece? :-) The point of devaluations is not to produce cheaper cars. It's not magic! Are you seriously hoping that German industries which could have been moved to Poland (for instance) years ago will now move to Greece? Poland has lower wages than Greece, is not in the Eurozone (yet), is next to Germany and has qualified workers who actually produce cars.
The point of devaluations is to lower the debts (they're Euro debts now so it wouldn't work) and to lower the purchasing power of the people whose income is set in some kind of inflexible contract (taxing such incomes works just as well).

andyb wrote:
you cant tax people for owning real estate

You bet?

This is getting ridiculous...


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:40 am 
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HFat wrote:
andyb wrote:
you cant tax people for owning real estate

You bet?

This is getting ridiculous...

Of course you can tax real estate. In the US, we typically pay anywhere from 1-3% of the value of real property per year as real estate taxes to local governments (much of which goes to pay for public schools). These real estate taxes are tax deductible (reduction of taxable income, not a direct reduction in taxes owed) when calculating federal and state income taxes, assuming one itemizes deductions instead of taking the standard deduction.

However, in a country where there are low (or non-existent) wages due to high unemployment, there may not be enough money to pay such taxes. Even in the US, those over 65 years old typically get a substantial tax break on real estate (exact rates depend on the state and county).


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:02 pm 
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The point would of course not be to tax the humble dwelling of the average Greek. But there's a minority of wealthy tax dodgers who own several properties (some of them close to the sea in well-to-do areas) and who can't hide their real estate holdings. There are are lots of real nice places in Greece which could be opened to tourists and German pensioners if Greek tax dodgers chose not to hold on their real estate after all...
Then you've got commercial and industrial real estate. You might not want to touch industrial real estate but prime commercial real estate...


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Quote:
None of you seems to reckon that private debts are also Euros debts. No surprise there.


I don't see where you are going with this - my debt is £££ debt not Euro debt.

Quote:
The people voted for the EEC.


Which was fine.

Quote:
And they voted for the politicians who pushed the EU forward.


Which is not fine.

Quote:
What choice did you have on the latest invasion of Iraq for instance? Even less. That's only the usual amount of democracy you get in the UK.


Correct.

Quote:
It's not leverage when countries do it with their own fiat currencies. The gold standard is history. No country needs to go bankrupt.
And money laundering is something else entierly. Lay off the hyperbole!


They are not doing that though. Country A loans money to country B, add 10% leverage, that money then gets loaned from country B to country C, add 10% leverage, that money then becomes a bailout for country D - this is all the same Currency, they are just adding imaginary value to someone else's money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_laundering

This is obviously Money Laundering because EU countries are "concealing the source of obtained money".

Quote:
So you're deliberately setting out to encourage panic. Damn the consequences, is that right? And in the name of what? Some nebulous hope based on what exactly? This is as bad as the crazies jockeying for a good, quick war in 1914.
Others have been irresponsible, yes. It's not an excuse to follow suit for the sake of your emotional needs.


I wanted to see a conclusion to the Euro crisis a year ago, this isn't happening because the EU is made up of 27 countries who cant agree on anything - look at how long it took for the UK to begin sorting out our own financial mess that was caused by the previous government spending more money than we had. Panic is not always a bad thing.

Quote:
So I tell you it was a market rate and you tell me... what exactly? Yeah, it's a market rate but it's not?
You would want Brussels to regulate interest rates? On what basis? If that's not a socialist proposal then what is it? One last time: what are you proposing?


It was a market rate that was only so low because of the perceived security brought about by the Euro. The market rate was obviously far to low, and yes it was controlled by individuals rather than by the EU - that is no excuse at all for the the EU to not have seen this problem and reigned in those countries that were spending money they didn't have - no doubt this is also a factor of the terrible way that the Euro was set up, there was no Fiscal Union of Political Union.

The only way the Eurozone countries were not going to fall foul of Greece, Ireland and Spain going nuts with Germany's credit card is if the EU had the power to stop them. I am not a fan of socialism in general terms, and because the EU is run so badly and so wastefully I would not wish burdening Europe's people with a Fiscal and Political Union which is exactly what is in the pipeline to fix the Eurozone's problems - I would like to see the opposite - countries leaving the Euro and the EU to gain back their sovereignty and democracy rather than losing it all which is what will happen if the Eurozone does not collapse.

Quote:
The point of devaluations is not to produce cheaper cars. It's not magic! Are you seriously hoping that German industries which could have been moved to Poland (for instance) years ago will now move to Greece? Poland has lower wages than Greece, is not in the Eurozone (yet), is next to Germany and has qualified workers who actually produce cars.
The point of devaluations is to lower the debts (they're Euro debts now so it wouldn't work) and to lower the purchasing power of the people whose income is set in some kind of inflexible contract (taxing such incomes works just as well).


You just said it, "Poland has lower wages than Greece, is not in the Eurozone", Greece as a net importer cannot reduce its wages because food will then be to expensive to buy, which means that it cannot compete, no one wants to go to Grece on holiday when Turkey is much cheaper due to not being in the Eurozone.

Quote:
Of course you can tax real estate. In the US, we typically pay anywhere from 1-3% of the value of real property per year as real estate taxes to local governments (much of which goes to pay for public schools). These real estate taxes are tax deductible (reduction of taxable income, not a direct reduction in taxes owed) when calculating federal and state income taxes, assuming one itemizes deductions instead of taking the standard deduction.


In the UK that is simply called "Council Tax", your local council taxes your property to pay for local services. If you are renting, the landlord takes the council tax into account and adds it to your bill.

If the Greeks don't already pay such a tax I would be surprised - how else do their local facilities, police and schools get paid for.?

Quote:
However, in a country where there are low (or non-existent) wages due to high unemployment, there may not be enough money to pay such taxes.


Which is exactly what happened with Greece and its creditors - the tax was too much they couldn't pay, they defaulted, exactly the same thing would happen with the people, if there is no money, the tax man walks away with nothing - that is exactly the nightmare the Greek people are in at the moment.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Posts: 429
Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
@Tzupy: I think you misunderstood what democracy is.

First of all, democracy as political system doesn't exist anywhere. Democracy will exist when each person will have the right to vote on each law change. But that won't happen, because people are stupid. Don't misunderstand me - if people would decide what should happen, then the result would be 0% taxation and huge unemployment benefits and retirement payments. The result would be total collapse of state and anarchy in few weeks to months range.

What we have instead is republic, where your rights as citizen in politics end up pretty much as :
- right to be elected if enough people vote for you according to the rules of your country
- right to vote for someone
- right for referendums, according to rules of your country.

So, let's talk now about this referendum, and "EC against democracy". Number of voters who could vote in your referendum is 18,292,464. 7,403,836 of those voted yes. Why do you then consider voice of 40,4% voters who voted for impeachment to be bigger than voice of 59,6% voters who voted no, failed in voting or didn't vote ? Why do you consider requirement of 50% of registered voters for such huge political change to be anti-democratic ? What is democratic then ? Imagine a referendum about changing of political system from republic in Romania to Constitutional monarchy, where only the guy who wants to be the king gets the voting letter, he votes yes. 1 voter of 18,292,464 voted yes, that means 100% result from all voters who attended the voting.

If any party can't get 50% of all voters to show up and vote for some change, then they don't have the backing for such change, it is simple as that. 50% of all voters (not 50% of people who voted) is actually exactly the democracy you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:47 am
Posts: 1503
Location: Bucharest, Romania
This thread was going off topic, so your post is welcome for bringing it back on topic.
I'll leave to others to tell if your idea of democracy is better than mine, and I'll try to explain again why I rant against the EC.

Without the EC meddling (threatened to sanction Romania if the 50% turnout rule wasn't adopted), there would have been
no boycott and the resulting turnout would have been at least 55%, maybe even 60%. So the 'democratic' 50% rule had the
opposite effect on the turnout, by favoring a boycott, which IMO is abusing democracy.
Of course, the suspended President would have been impeached with only about 75% of the votes, not the 88% resulted
after he decided to be a coward (a few days before calling for boycott he spoke on TV that he doesn't want to win this way
and only a coward would do that). Now the Constitutional Court will decide on the validity of the referendum, and probably declare it invalid.

There is also the issue of the fake number of 18,292,464 voters. The real number is around 16.5 - 17 million. That's because the
local authorities that should have updated the number, for each town, village, etc have failed to. They'd get less funds for less people.
There are at least 1 million dead counted as voters. You are free to laught at that, but it 's true.
With the real number of 16.5 million voters, the real turnout would be about 52%.

To tell the whole truth, the suspended President has lied to Angela Merkel that the suspension is a 'coup' and there's no legal ground
for his suspension. Merkel asked her lackey Barroso to put pressure on the Romanian goverment, without checking if there's a real coup
going on. Or maybe she knew the truth but didn't care. It's not the first time he got suspended, first was in 2007. He returned to power
after a 44.45% turnout in a referendum that he won by 75%. That referendum had no 50% rule and was valid. It's a precedent that
could allow this referendum to be validated with an official turnout of 46.24%.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_p ... ndum,_2007


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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Location: Essex, England
So what you are saying Tzupy is that there are not just the standard lies and misinformation going about, but hypocrisy and you believe that the EU knows about this and is taking sides against democracy.

I could believe that.

Please share some news articles with us, I would like to see how they match up with UK news articles on the same stories.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: European Commission against democracy in Romania
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 623
Location: Germany
Tzupy wrote:

To tell the whole truth, the suspended President has lied to Angela Merkel that the suspension is a 'coup' and there's no legal ground
for his suspension.


If it's really true that the romanian president lied on purpose, how exactly should Europe deal with politicians that lie on purpose in order to get what they want (i.e. the greeks lied by not telling the truth about their financial situation, if they told the truth, they probably wouldn't have met basic criterias for getting into the EU in the first place)? And if he really lied, how can anyone from romania stand to be governed by a liar?

Seems to me a bigger threat to democracy, keeping a politician at the number one spot that deliberatly lies to partners. How could anyone or any country trust romania again, if their government really lied on purpose?


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