Well, as of this writing the drama surrounding the fiscal crisis in Cyprus is still unresolved one way or the other. The citizens reacted en masse in virulent and outspoken opposition to the terms of the fiscal bailout proposed by the ECB. That is to say that they wanted nothing to do with a government raid on their bank accounts to the tune of 6.75 % on balances under 100,000 Euros.
They asked a question that no one was able to answer – why them and why not was this done to the Greeks instead of the almost endless loans and write offs that were given to them?
And that is a really good question.
Cyprus has less than 3% of the European economy and they are to be held hostage?
And many believe the force behind this is the Germans.
A close look at the way the Euro structure was set up shows some interesting facts.
First with there being no central bank that all countries use, each country kept their own. What this did was in essence was to lower the cost of the goods produced by the northern countries (Germany, Norway and the like) while raising the price of the goods from southern countries like Italy, Greece, Cyprus. So the south has been subsidizing the north for years now.
Of course the southern countries then had access to cheap loans with the Euro and instead of paying down bills, they embarked on costly and expensive social programs. France is now teetering on that brink as well with over paid and under efficient workers complemented by an expensive health care system and other costly social programs deemed “basic human rights”.
And now the Germans are making the Cypriots pay the piper for all this.
Maybe the Germans should look at themselves and then propose a better way to start to resolve this crisis. One solution might be to have a common bank or another just might be for the Euro to be eliminated altogether – something that the fat cat bureaucrats in Brussels (and the French who seem to think their “grandeur' is linked to a pan Europa concept – with them as co-leaders with the Germans of course) will fight to the bitter end.
It just might happen though.
Did you notice that during the official installation of the new Pope that there was only 1 woman in the official party and she was the one doing the translation of the spoken word into sign language?
Speaks volumes of the way the Church thinks of women doesn't it?
The Argentinian Peso is really taking a pounding this week as it is now at almost 8 to 1 on the so called Blue market (underground). Last year at this time while we were visiting there the rate was half that. This is almost certainly a sign of serious inflation even though according to Government stats. this is not true.
Most times money markets rarely lie while history is littered with the remains of governments that have.
Hopefully the situation in Argentina corrects itself soon.
Speaking of fiscal confusion, in America this week the American Senate passed its first budget in over 4 years this week.
In 4 years....
And all reports indicate that it will not pass the House so this was basically no more than a P/R effort by politicians of both parties to embarrass those of the other party, and not really an honest effort at all.
The Federal Aviation Authority is slating over 149 airport towers for closure due to the newly imposed budget cuts, all the while making no effort to reallocate funds in secretive Research and Development programs to keep them open.
A large majority of the tower closures just “happen” to be in districts represented by the Republican opponents of the President – a Democrat.
This just lends more and more credibility to thoughts that these steep cuts are targeted at opposition politicians districts and meant to generate massive pain and anger against the Republicans and not towards the complete chaos in the government done by all parties.
How sad is that?
So, for a story to shake your head upon we go to Vancouver, Canada.
There is an area in the wonderful city that is similar to many other cities throughout the world in that it has once seen better days and now is an area that most people make a conscious effort to avoid due to its reputation as a “seedy” and dangerous end of town. It is called Commercial Drive. Recently a couple of business have opened their doors in formerly abandoned buildings and have hired people from the area to work there. One is a classy restaurant and another is a pizzeria. Both have programs to offer free or low cost meals to people of the area and are actively involved in the community.
So what is the problem?
It seems that there are some “professional” anarchists that are incensed that anyone wants to change the character of the district. Imagine offering employment to the unemployed! Instead these “people” are vandalizing the businesses and picketing in front of them and physically harassing their clientele in an effort to drive the business out of the area. They demand that instead of offering employment and cleaning up parts of a filthy area and having more taxes flow into civic coffers to help pay for social programs that the government keep the area the way it is (no “gentrification” for these folks!) and also increase welfare payments to these non working parasites.
Maybe instead of always bowing down to these “citizens” the government should gather them all up, put them on a plane to, say, Syria or Iran, and just drop them off there to live for maybe a year as “guests” of those countries social welfare system, OK?
If any survive, maybe if they are allowed back into Canada, they might appreciate what this country can offer to its people. Unfortunately many seem to think that just being in Canada or being born here entitles them to have a way of life paid for by others while they do not have to work a day at all-ever.
That is not the way it is and maybe they should learn this and fast.
Speaking of Russia, you have to love the story about how the rich run that country. In Moscow, many of the uber rich now hire taxis disguised as ambulances (with luxurious interiors) to rush them through the crowded streets with sirens blaring in order to get to wherever they want to get to. No waiting in traffic for these special folks!
Also news reports indicate that Boris Berezovsky, a Russian tycoon who fled to sanctuary in England has died at the age of 67. A one time “buddy” of Mr. Yeltsin and Mr. Putin, he fell from favour over the years and his death is apparently shrouded in accusations of “mysterious” causes supposedly at he behest of Russian authorities. Whether true or not, another outspoken critic of the Russian political system is now silenced.
Easter is on the horizon, I wonder if that will be the next cause for activists. That is, will a movement emerge to abolish this time because the religious connotation makes atheists feel discriminated against?
Don't scoff – in Saskatoon a “gentleman” was so offended by message on transit buses wishing a Merry Christmas this past December, that he has taken his hurt feelings to the Provincial Human Rights junta, oops, sorry, Board for help.
Never ends does it?
Meanwhile here on the Island, while on a walk (sorry snow bound Saskatchewan) this week I saw what can be called a rare sight – a Canadian Navy submarine! Amazing to say the least. I thought all 2 were in drydock or something like that. I bet the Russians, Chinese and the Yanks are trembling in their shoes at this display of military might from Johnny Canuck – right?
I finished off the day with a walk around a local waterfront park and considered it a day well spent.
Now that Spring is officially here, may the melt start on the Prairies and warmth return to this wonderful country.
Take care out there,