I am really and truly trying not to laugh at this. No, seriously. I’m totally trying to cut out the schadenfreude this week. But Greece refuses to make it easy for me:
A week ago, Greeks partied in the streets after voting to resoundingly reject terms of a new European bailout. On Sunday, those same streets were filled with a dazed and confused populace struggling to understand how they were now faced with swallowing a deal even tougher than the one they had just snubbed.
Continue reading Greece discovers that the European Union has altered the deal.
Said referendum being, of course, whether they should pay the bills that their government has been racking up for some time. The Daily Telegraph explains the situation that would arise from a No vote:
…it’s game over for Greece’s membership of the single currency. The country’s banks don’t have enough money to last for much longer, and there is little reason why the European Central Bank would wish to extend them billions more if it is snubbed by voters. Either the banks would have to stay shut, which means that the country will run out of food and essentials as it becomes impossible to pay for imports, or depositors would have to be bailed in, wiping out a large chunk of their wealth but recapitalising financial institutions.
The only other alternative would be for the Greek state to introduce IOUs and then a new physical currency, while re-denominating all Greek bank accounts into drachmas. The national debt, which is owed in euros, would explicitly be repudiated, triggering a major crisis and inflicting vast losses on the European Central Bank, IMF and other creditors. The new drachmas would, of course, plummet in value, and it would be hard to avoid widespread chaos and hyperinflation if the government is forced to crank up the printing presses to pay for its bills.
Continue reading Greece votes no on referendum, Euro, probably EU membership, long-term stability as a nation-state…
Heck of a thing when the Europeans are adjusting to reality and when we’re not. Then again, they’re farther down the road. Walter Russell Mead has the report:
Getting rid of biofuel programs would cut Europe’s food costs in half by 2020, and lower global food prices by 15 percent. That’s according to a new report, commissioned by the EU’s own Joint Research Center (JRC), released ahead of a critical European Parliament vote on Wednesday to cap biofuels’ contributions to the EU’s 2020 green targets.
Current EU targets have more than half of the continent’s vegetable oils going towards biodiesel production in 2020. The new paper points out that global food prices are “strongly driven” by their end use. As Euractiv puts it, “[w]hen more soy and palm oil are used for biofuels production, less is available for food use and the resulting scarcity drives food price inflation.”
Continue reading European Union shying away from man-killing food-based biofuel programs.
And the Democrats don’t even have the common decency to do it in public.
The Obama administration has warned British officials that if the UK leaves Europe it will exclude itself from a US-EU trade and investment partnership potentially worth hundreds of billions of pounds a year, and that it was very unlikely that Washington would make a separate deal with Britain.
The warning comes in the wake of David Cameron’s visit to Washington, which was primarily intended as a joint promotion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Barack Obama, which the prime minister said could bring £10bn a year to the UK alone, but which was overshadowed by a cabinet rebellion back in London.
Continue reading Democrats choose European Union over Great Britain.
Basically, it goes like this: the EU bails out Cypriot banks to the tune of 10 billion euros, in partial exchange for a 6.75% to 9.9% raid on Cypriot personal accounts (which is supposed to net about 5.8 billion euros in revenue), collectable probably now Tuesday*. See also here, here, and here.
Naturally, the subjects of Cyprus (I can’t in either good conscience or grammar call them “citizens”) are freaking out and trying to yank what money they can out of the banks; many wonder if the rest of the EU is going to follow suit. Should the average European be worried? Well, Walter Russell Mead (who is not entirely sympathetic to the Cypriots, given that they’ve been operating as money launderers to various unsavory Russians for some time) notes this: Continue reading Cyprus to raid private bank deposits, on orders from European Union.