Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Iceland voters reject plan to repay bank debt

By News Wires (text)

 REUTERS – Iceland faces more economic uncertainty and a drawn-out European court case after its voters rejected for a second time a plan to repay $5 billion to Britain and the Netherlands from a bank crash.
The British and Dutch governments voiced disappointment with the result of Saturday’s referendum, in which almost 60 percent of voters opposed the repayment deal.
“We must do all we can to prevent political and economic chaos as a result of this outcome,” Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir told state television.
The issue will now be settled by the court of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), the European trade body overseeing Iceland’s cooperation with the European Union.
“My estimate is that the process will take a year, a year and a half at least, Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told a news conference.
The debt was incurred when Britain and the Netherlands compensated their nationals who lost savings in online “Icesave” accounts owned by Landsbanki, one of three overextended Icelandic banks that collapsed in late 2008, triggering an economic meltdown in the country of 320,000 people.
Economists have said failure to resolve the issue means Iceland faces delays ending currency controls, boosting investment and returning to financial markets for funding.
But the centre-left coalition government said it would not resign despite the defeat.
“The government will emphasize maintaining economic and financial stability in Iceland and continuing along the path of reconstruction which it began following the economic collapse of 2008,” it said in a statement.
It said a fresh round of talks on further funding from the International Monetary Fund, which led a bailout for the island, would be delayed several weeks, but that it had enough foreign exchange reserves to cover debts maturing this year and next.
Court case ahead
The proposed deal at issue in Saturday’s vote set a clear timetable for repaying the Dutch and the British, including interest. But voters rejected the idea that taxpayers should foot the bill for what they see as bankers’ irresponsibility.
“I know this will probably hurt us internationally, but it is worth taking a stance,” Thorgerdun Asgeirsdottir, a 28-year-old barista, said after casting a “no” vote.
Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said: “This is not good for Iceland, nor for the Netherlands. The time for negotiations is over. Iceland remains obliged to repay. The issue is now for the courts to decide.”
Economists have said the court route could be much costlier.
The government still hopes most of the debt will eventually be paid back from the estate of the bankrupt Landsbanki. Ratings agencies were following the vote closely. Moody’s had said it might lower Iceland’s rating in case of a ‘no’.
Standard & Poor’s analyst Eileen Zhang said a ‘no’ vote “might possibly result in a lengthy legal process and further uncertainties regarding the ultimate fiscal cost”.



EU says Portugal needs about $114 billion in aid



GODOLLO, Hungary – Europe’s top financial officials said Friday that Portugal will need around euro80 billion ($114 billion) in rescue loans, but a tense election campaign in the debt-ridden country is set to complicate reaching a deal with opposing political parties.

A full-fledged adjustment program should be in place by mid-May, allowing the debt-ridden country to meet huge bond repayments in June, the EU’s Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

Rehn said that the program would have to be agreed by all major political parties, to ensure that it will be implemented after elections in early June, which will likely heave the opposition into power.

International Monetary Fund Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Friday that IMF had received a request for financial assistance from the Portuguese authorities, and was prepared to move “expeditiously” and hold “swift discussions” with the government.

However, Portugal’s acting Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos quickly thwarted hopes of cooperation between the opposing political forces, saying the caretaker government will not talk directly to the opposition and that any talks would have to be led by the European authorities and the IMF instead.

“The negotiations are not the government’s responsibility,” Teixeira dos Santos told reporters after meeting his European Union counterparts in Godollo, a small town just outside Hungary’s capital, Budapest.

Portugal this week became the third country in the eurozone to request international help, after last year’s multibillion rescue packages for Greece and Ireland from the EU and the IMF.

While a rescue of Portugal had long been anticipated and its cash needs can easily be met by Europe’s existing financial backstops, the country’s political situation makes reaching a final deal more difficult.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned late last month after opposition parties rejected unpopular spending cuts and tax increases that the government said were necessary to get the country’s struggling economy back on track.

EU finance ministers said Friday that the economic adjustment program that accompanies the rescue loans will have to go beyond the measures rejected by the opposition.

Rehn urged the different political parties to “realize their major responsibility of overcoming the current difficulties.”

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China upset with American and Western policies about invading sovereign nations has now moved naval vessels to the Mediterranean by Libya. Flexing it’s might, no one knows if this to show support, watch how western allies conduct war, or if they will intervene and now have a war that spans the globe. We are looking at world war 3. Children never grow up. This reminds me of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. When Americans pushed their naval vessel into an area in Vietnam that was under fire. Of course what happens is a bullet hits the US Naval Vessel and we were at war with Vietnam (which was originally a French Vietnamese war).

A First: Fully Armed Chinese Missile Frigate Spotted Off Libyan Coast

Author: Mac Slavo

Though China abstained from a UN Security Council vote authorizing a no-fly-zone in Libya, and are not among the 16 nation coalition involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn, for the first time in modern day naval history, a Chinese warship sailed in the Mediterranean Sea. The 4000 ton Xuzhou missile frigate sailed to Libya after having been deployed of the coast of Yemen, on the other side of the Red Sea, a few days ago.

The missile frigate’s role is not exactly clear, but based on China’s position thus far it is not likely that the ship is part of the US, UK and French led attack. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s newspaper, earlier pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and criticized the US for launching a third attack “on a sovereign nation,” so the chances that China is providing assistance are slim. While China may be flexing some of its military might, they are more than likely in the area strictly to observe operations – for the time being.

Fucking war mongrels! Why did the US UK UN not press to go to war in Bahrain, Yemen, or Egypt? Is it because they are “allies” and give up their oil easily? So it’s ok to murder your citizens in countries like, torture them and dictate them as along as they are friends of the UN? So the issue isn’t with dictatorship. The issue is oil. Venezuela lookout, you are next. Obama is coming to latin countries to organize and oust you. Obama is something we can believe in. We can believe he is a war lover like the others, we can believe the policies will stay the same, we can believe he cares about corporate interests! This makes me sick to my stomach.

International forces bombard targets in Libya

Coalition forces launch Libya assault, which Gaddafi calls “colonial, crusader” aggression

United States and European military forces have bombarded Libya with cruise missiles and airstrikes as part of a broad international effort to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone.

French planes fired the first shots on Saturday in the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, destroying tanks and armoured vehicles in eastern Libya

Hours later, US and British warships and submarines launched more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya’s air force.

An unnamed US national security official said the air defences in the oil-producing North African country have been “severely crippled” by the barrage of missile strikes.

“Gaddafi’s air defence systems have been severely disabled. It’s too soon to predict what he and his ground forces may do in response to today’s strikes,” the military source said on condition of anonymity.

Libyan state television later said civilian areas of Tripoli and fuel storage tanks that supplied Misurata had been hit.

In Tripoli residents said they had heard an explosion near eastern Tajoura district, while in Misurata they said strikes had targeted an airbase where Gaddafi’s forces were based.

Several thousands gathered at the Bab al-Aziziyah palace, Gaddafi’s compound in the capital that was bombed by US warplanes in 1986, to show their support.

Defiant Gaddafi

In response, Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, vowed to arm civilians to defend the country from what he called “colonial, crusader” aggression by western forces against him.

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This is getting out of hand. This is a sovereign nation. We have no business there. Where does the UN derive it’s authority. This is disgusting. We have several Arab and Muslim countries that are fighting it’s governments. They are also getting slaughtered by their dictators, yet the USA  UN and UK does nothing. But we have one government that we are not on the best of terms and has an issue with just handing over all of it’s oil and power to US UK and next thing you know, Obama is sending us into a third war. This war is unconstitutional and unauthorized by our Congress, yet he sought approval from the UN, therefore sending the message the USA is in full submission to a foreign power and that the USA is no longer sovereign.

Video of story here:


Libya: France recognises rebels as government

France has become the first country to recognise the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Libyan Council (NLC), as the country’s legitimate government.

But other members of the European Union held back, with a spokesman for the EU’s foreign affairs chief warning against “rushing” into decisions.

In another development, the Gaddafi government said a captured Dutch helicopter crew was being handed over.

Nato chiefs have also been meeting in Brussels to discuss Libya.

Separately, a search was under way in Libya for a missing reporter for the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.

The award-winning Iraqi journalist entered the country from Tunisia and was last in touch with the paper through a third party on Sunday, when he was on the outskirts of Zawiya, which saw heavy fighting in recent days.

‘Unilateral rush’

The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Paris regarded the NLC as Libya’s “legitimate representative”.

Mustafa Gheriani, a representative for the rebels in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi, said he expected other EU members to follow suit.

But a spokesman for the EU foreign affairs chief, Baroness Ashton, said: “We cannot unilaterally rush into recognising groups.”

The foreign ministers of Italy and Spain emphasised the need for the EU to act with one voice.

“Italy wants a European decision that everyone shares unanimously because that’s how we act credibly,” Italy’s Franco Frattini said.

Spain’s Trinidad Jimenez said: “The possibility of this recognition must be the result of agreement among all of the countries of the European Union.”

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Dude people are going bonkers!

When are we going to realize that money, inflation, and deflation are all an illusion. Seriously? The problem with here is the price of things go up, the wages and raises go up. So why the hell raise the cost of anything then? Who cares if you make $50,000/yr when your costs are $50,000/yr. If your costs were $12,000/yr and you made $12,000/yr you would be in the same predicament. This just an illusion for the average human sheepminded individual thinking they are accomplishing something by have more denominations of something that is valued as something in less denomination.

Let’s take for an example, if I say “1 trillion dollar” sounds like alot but you can’t relate. But if I say “$787,000” or “$541,000,000″ you think ” WOW THAT IS ALOT OF MONEY”. It is a mind trick. Corporations use it on you all the time. Y’know when you ask “why do they make something $2.99 or $2.98?” Because they know the average consumer is too dumb to figure out that $2.99 and $3 is the exact same thing! But the three is imprinted into your head since you were a kid that it is MUCH bigger than 2. 787 sounds bigger than 1 no matter how many zeroes are behind it or lack thereof.

Freedom for every human will only come when we drop mental chains realize that it has all been a magic trick and a scam!

“Even in the developed world I think we have very, very low wage growth, so people aren’t getting more in their pay packet to compensate them for food and energy, and I think we could see social unrest certainly in parts of the developed world and the UK as well.”