Tag Archives | European Union

EU To Ban Cars From Cities By 2050

No Cars AllowedBruno Waterfield writes in the Telegraph:

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto “alternative” means of transport.

“That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres,” he said. “Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”

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IMF Prepares For “Threat To International Monetary System”

IMFTyler Durden writes on Zero Hedge:

There is a new threat to the international monetary system which means Europe May 2010 redux is imminent. US taxpayers: our condolences.

Back in April 2010, before Waddell and Reed sold a few shares of ES, effectively destroying the market on news that Europe was insolvent, we made the following observation: “The IMF has just announced that it is expanding its New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) multilateral facility from its existing $50 billion by a whopping $500 billion (SDR333.5 billion), to $550 billion.” Little did we know that our conclusion “something big must be coming” would prove spot on just a month later after Greece, then Ireland, then Portugal, and soon Spain, Italy, Belgium, and pretty much all other European countries would topple like dominoes tethered together by a flawed monetary regime. Well, based on news from Dow Jones we can now safely predict the following: “something bigger must be coming.”…

For more information, see original article.… Read the rest

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China Vows To Help European Debt Crisis

2010 had Greece and Ireland receiving financial help from the Internatioanl Monetary Fund and Eurozone nations. 2011 has Spain, Germany and Britain finding help from Chinese investors as Vice Premier Li Keqiang began his European tour. Via The Jakarta Globe:

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang backed Europe in its sovereign debt battle on Wednesday, starting a three-nation tour by promising to buy more Spanish government bonds.

Li, widely tipped to be the next premier, delivered a significant vote of confidence given China’s world record foreign reserves of 2.648 trillion dollars (2.0 trillion euros), much of it in euros.

On his visit to Spain, Germany and Britain he is supporting Europe’s recovery efforts and seeking to soothe global market fears of a debt quagmire spreading from Greece and Ireland to Portugal and even Spain.

[Continues at The Jakarta Globe]… Read the rest

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America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane

Tea PartyDemocrats Ramshield writes in Alternet:

As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective.

The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less — right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical — the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.

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UK Gives EU ‘Big Brother’ Powers To Spy On Britons

Just when we thought the UK government was going to reverse some of its aggressive nanny-state surveillance laws, it appears that instead they are passing the baton to European Union police forces, as reported in the Daily Mail:

Ministers are ready to hand sweeping Big Brother powers to EU states so they can spy on British citizens.

Foreign police will be able to travel to the UK and take part in the arrest of Britons.

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They will be able to place them under surveillance, bug telephone conversations, monitor bank accounts and demand fingerprints, DNA or blood samples.

Anyone who refuses to comply with a formal request for co-operation by a foreign-based force is likely to be arrested by UK officers.

The move will spark a damaging row with backbench Tory MPs opposed to giving such draconian powers to Brussels.

The Tories were opposed to the directive in opposition, saying it showed a ‘relish for surveillance and disdain for civil liberties’.

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The Financial Crisis Is Back: Get Ready For Contagion

Watch for markets taking a dive tomorrow. Or for governments to heavily interfere to try to prevent plunging stock market indices. It ain’t going to be pretty. From the New York Times:

After a brief respite following the announcement last week of a nearly $1 trillion bailout plan for Europe, fear in the financial markets is building again, this time over worries that the Continent’s biggest banks face strains that will hobble European economies.

In a sign of the depth of the anxiety, the euro fell Friday to its lowest level since the depth of the financial crisis, as investors abandoned the currency as well as stocks in favor of gold and other assets seen as offering more safety. And in an interview published Saturday, the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, warned that Europe was facing “severe tensions” and that the markets were fragile.

Contagion, a loss of confidence that feeds on itself and leads investors to sell assets in one country after another, remained a possibility, he said.

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Greek Protesters Urged to Retreat from ‘Abyss’ (Video)

BBC News reports:

Greece is “on the brink of the abyss”, President Karolos Papoulias has warned, after three people died during protests over planned austerity measures. “We are all responsible so that it does not take the step into the void,” the president said in a statement.

It followed a day of violence during which protesters set fire to a bank, killing three employees. Greece’s government has vowed to pursue the spending cuts — a condition of its 110bn euro ($142bn; £95bn) bail-out.

“We are prepared to pay the heavy political cost,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told parliament during Wednesday’s debate on the bill. “We will not take a single step backwards.”

The euro hit a fresh 13-month low against the dollar and European stock markets were also hit, amid concerns over Greek bail-out plans. There are also fears Greece’s debt crisis could spread to other countries.

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Belgium Becomes First European Country To Ban Muslim Veils

BBC News reports on Belgium’s banning of face-covering Islamic veils for women, making the nation the first in Europe to do so. Similar laws may be on the way in other places:

A Belgian parliamentary committee has voted to ban face-covering Islamic veils from being worn in public. France is also considering restricting face-covering veils.

There are several types of headscarves and veils for Muslim women – those that cover the face being the niqab and the burka. The BBC’s Dominic Hughes reports from Brussels that there are about 500,000 Muslims in Belgium, and the Belgian Muslim Council says only a couple of dozen wear full-face veils.

Denis Ducarme, from the Belgian centre-right Reformist Movement that proposed the bill, said he was “proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter.”

But the proposal has alarmed some who see it as an attack on civil liberties.

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Secret Plan For European Union Income Tax

The UK’s Daily Express is claiming that something unthinkable is in the works: an EU income tax. Remember, EU residents, that US residents once thought there would never be a US federal income tax either…

Secret plans to seize more than £4billion a year from Britain and make its citizens pay taxes direct to Europe emerged last night.

The leaked proposals, seen by the Daily Express, state that Britain should lose the billions of pounds in rebate that was agreed by Margaret Thatcher 25 years ago.

The plans – with a foreword by European Union Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso – would cost every British family at least £155 a year.

They would also mean Brussels being given the power to dip straight into taxpayers’ pockets.

The proposals prompted fury last night…

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