European Union

Idiot stupidity

The single currency has been a resounding success on many levels, but soaring inflation poses a serious threat to its survival

No. Most of Europe’s macroeconomic problems can be laid at the feet of the euro. That’s not a success. Further, it doesn’t have a problem with inflation in general. It has a problem with different inflation rates across the eurozone. That this is the problem is exactly why the euro isn’t a success on that macroeconomic level…..

That EU response

Oh Aye?

Faced with Covid, Europe’s citizens demanded an EU response – and got it
Luuk van Middelaar
The pandemic finally brought into being a European public, as we discovered that our health is a common concern

That’s the one where the bureaucracy pissed about for months trying to kill off industry standards – vaccine liability standards – in the middle of a pandemic because they had no fucking clue?

Ah, yes, that is the one, isn’t it?

The pandemic led to mishaps, distrust and fierce clashes of all kinds, but it also mobilised unforeseen forces and led to huge political shifts. In the summer of 2020, the bloc’s presidents and prime ministers took two far-reaching decisions: the EU would purchase vaccines centrally,

Yep, that’s actually being touted as a victory. That they collected power and then fucked up the exercise of that power is a victory.

He’s got a point here

Might not be entirely politic to say it out loud but he’s got a point:

The head of Poland’s ruling party, Jarosław Kaczyński, has said Germany is trying to turn the EU into a federal “German fourth reich”.

Speaking to the far-right Polish newspaper GPC, the head of the Law and Justice party (PiS) said some countries “are not enthusiastic at the prospect of a German fourth reich being built on the basis of the EU”.

“If we Poles agreed with this kind of modern-day submission we would be degraded in different ways,” said Kaczyński, who is also a deputy prime minister. He added that the European court of justice was being used as an “instrument” for federalist ideas.

The ECJ is being so used…..

Next year, Jerusalem!

City firms are likely to revive plans to shift staff to the EU once Covid-related travel restrictions ease next year, a financial sector report has said, as the number contemplating such moves continues to rise.

It will you know, eventually Brexit will turn out to have been a bad idea. Just keep believin’.

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feeling
Streetlight people
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on
Streetlight people
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feeling
Streetlight people

Government by twats

An interesting defence:

The claim dates back to 2014 and the introduction the following year of EU directives covering labels meant to show the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners.

Dyson argued that its bagless designs were more efficient than traditional models, which lose suction and become less effective as their bags fill up.

This means they have to use more power to maintain the same levels of suction.

Because they have no bags, Sir James argued his “cyclonic” devices do not suffer from this problem.

He also said the testing regime was a sham that benefitted traditional vacuum makers, because it only sampled vacuums when they were empty and failed to reflect real-life usage.

This meant vacuum cleaners with bags might attain the highest “A” grade when tested by the EU, even though they could fall to a “G” grade when used by consumers at home.

So, he wins. The tests were crap, instituted by twats. He pursues damages. The reason he’s not going to get damages?

However, the General Court of the EU has rejected their claim and ordered them to pay the Commission’s legal costs.

“The court concludes that the Commission demonstrated conduct that could be expected from an administrative authority exercising ordinary care and diligence and, consequently, that the Commission did not manifestly and gravely disregard the limits on its discretion,” the court said.

Government are fucking twats so government being fucking twats isn’t a reason for damages.

Well, of course!

Britain must be shown that Brexit is “damaging”, the French prime minister told Brussels as he called for support for tougher sanctions in the fish war.

How can you maintain the membership of a not very good club unless it is shown that leaving the club is an expensive proposition?

Nice politicosocial set up you;ve got here, be a shame if something happened to it, wouldn’t it?

Yes, indeed, blame Brexit

Christmas crackers exported to Northern Ireland must be exempt from Brexit red tape in the same way as British sausages, Tory and DUP politicians said on Wednesday.

British cracker makers face burdensome regulations for the first time this Christmas if they want to export to Northern Ireland because of Brexit and the Irish Sea border.

The dinner diversions are subject to new paperwork and testing rules because the UK left the EU on December 31 after the Brexit deal was struck on Christmas Eve last year.

And now think a little bit. When we were inside the EU all those things made by the 6.5 billion people outside it were faced with these same sorts of obstacles. Now that we’re outside we can – if we wish – reduce those barriers to such imports.

Just think how terrible the place would become

Really:

French should be instated as the sole working language of the European Union instead of English because of Brexit, according to a plot prepared by almost 40 French MPs.

French was once the dominant language in the corridors of power in Brussels but English is now effectively the lingua franca.

That shift was accelerated by the accession of Eastern European countries to the bloc in 2004 and entrenched by the fact that many people speak English as a second language.

Only folks who speak French would be able to work there. That’s going to increase the talent pool they can draw from, isn’t it?

Read to the end

A Facebook outage that left billions of people without access to the social network, Instagram or WhatsApp shows that large tech firms should be broken up, the EU’s competition commissioner has said.

Margrethe Vestager said the incident yesterday highlighted the risks created when individual firms hold such dominant positions.

“We need alternatives and choices in the tech market, and must not rely on a few big players, whoever they are,” the Danish EU commissioner wrote on Twitter.

Of course, foreigners don’t get irony, do they?

Brexit, eh?

All about Brexit?

There’s a quiet panic happening in the US economy. Medical labs are running out of supplies like pipettes and petri dishes, summer camps and restaurants are having trouble getting food, and automobile, paint and electronics firms are curtailing production because they can’t get semiconductors. One man told me he couldn’t get a Whopper meal at a Burger King in Florida, as there was a sign saying “Sorry, no french fries with any order. We have no potatoes.”

Imagine that, no french fries in America.

The EU really are ghastly little shits, aren’t they?

Two examples from today:

The EU only deemed the UK’s regulatory regime for euro-denominated clearing to be equivalent to its own for a temporary period after Brexit.

That period is due to expire next June – raising the risk that financial institutions based in the bloc would be forced to find a clearing house in the EU after that date. About a quarter of the business carried out in the UK is denominated in euros.

By contrast the EU has deemed the US regulatory regime to be equivalent on a more permanent basis, despite the UK having identical rules to Brussels.

Can’t have euro-clearing in London, must be inside the EU. Can have euro-clearing in New York, despite the need to have euro-clearing inside the EU.

Plus:

Lobbyists in Brussels waged a campaign against the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine by claiming it was insufficiently European, a new book by the jab’s inventors has said.

Opponents allegedly told politicians last year that they should not order doses of the injection because BioNTech, a German company, had teamed up with US behemoth Pfizer rather than working with another company based in Europe.

According to the book – written by journalist Joe Miller in collaboration with BioNTech’s founders Dr Ugur Sahin and Dr Özlem Türec – lobbyists branded Pfizer “the epitome of cold capitalism” and claimed: “If we give one euro to CureVac, or Sanofi, or a European company, it is one euro for Europe. If we give it to BioNTech, 50 cents will always end up in the US.”

Missing, of course, the point that the purpose of trade is to gain the goods, here a vaccine that actually works. As opposed to the Sanofi and whatever that one that begins with a V is.

What’s New, Pussycat?

“Pro-European” centrists such as Macron increasingly think of international politics in terms of a Huntingtonian “clash of civilisations” – but whereas Samuel Huntington saw the west as one civilisation that would find itself in conflict with China and Islam in the post-cold war period, they see Europe as a civilisation that is distinct from, and which must also assert itself against, the United States.

This has always been true. Vied such nonsenses as Quaero, a European rival to Google, because there must be a European rival, see?

Cultural stupidity.

When Macron became French president in 2017, he spoke of a Europe qui protège – “that protects”. This was initially, above all, about protecting citizens from the market;

Given that it’s the market that makes the citizenry rich why in buggery would you want to do that?

Economic stupidity piled upon top.

Ahahahahaha

Ryanair is to stop all flights from both Belfast international airport and Belfast City airport, in a further blow to connectivity between Northern Ireland and the rest of Europe.

The airline blamed government passenger duty and the absence of any Covid recovery incentives for the two airports.

“Due to the UK government’s refusal to suspend or reduce APD [air passenger duty], and the lack of Covid recovery incentives from both Belfast airports, this winter Ryanair will cease operations from Belfast international and Belfast City airport from the end of the summer schedule in October, and these aircraft will be reallocated to lower-cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule, which starts in November,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

You know what? I don’t believe them.

It will stop its flights from Belfast international to six destinations – Alicante, Málaga, Kraków, Gdansk, Warsaw and Milan – by 30 October.

Half the flights are to Poland – from Ulster? – and it really wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise if Brexit and the changes in free movement of labour had something of an effect now, would it?

It’s only the justification that changes

They’ve been trying to have these continental lorries and trailer arrangements for decades:

Extra-long “eco-friendly” lorries which cut down the number of freight journeys could be on the roads next year, the Government has announced, amid a shortage of long-haul drivers.

Longer-semi trailers (LSTs), which are up to 2.05m (6.8ft) longer than the current limit of 13.6m (45ft), could save up to one in eight journeys by fitting more freight in, according to a nine-year trial by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Government had initially planned to conduct a 15-year trial until 2027, but last year consulted on ending the scheme early after it concluded that the experiment had yielded enough data.

Used to be “to be like the continent”. Now it’s “green”. Justifications change but not the desire.

Explaining Europe

For example, the Cafe Hawblik in Asaa has stayed open longer into August than it normally would because of the stream of curious visitors, and has even put a mermaid sandwich on the menu.

Asaa is really a little tourist village. And it takes a special moment for the cafe in the tourist village to open in August. August being the main tourism season in Europe.

Which does rather explain something about Europe.

Of course, the Danes are less bad than some others. They did at least keep the cafe open for longer to feed the crowds. Paris is near entirely closed in August, peak tourism season.

There does come that point, yes

Hungary could reassess its membership of the European Union by the end of the decade, according to the country’s finance minister.

Mihály Varga warned Hungary may rethink its position once it becomes a net contributor to the EU’s budget, reigniting the debate ahead of the country’s elections next year.

“When we calculate that we will already be net contributors to the EU, the issue could get a new perspective,” said Mr Varga, one of the more moderate members of Viktor Orban’s cabinet, in an interview with Hungarian media. “Especially if the attacks in Brussels are continuous because of the choice of values.”

Although it’s the values that have always been important in my opposition.

No, not over Teh Gays or whatever. But the ability of a group of folks to decide how that group of folks is going to live. Rather than being subject to some unelected technocracy x hundred or y thousand miles away.

But if having to actually pay for it leads to the rethink then bring on the rethink.