EU mulls bank law to impose losses on depositors [Reuters]

European Union ministers will consider a proposal this week to impose losses on interbank deposits of lenders in dire financial trouble as they shape a draft EU law introducing powers that would also penalize those with big savings.

Such an idea, should ministers back it, could further rattle the confidence of lenders, already nervous about draft legislation to determine who alongside shareholders should suffer losses when a bank gets into trouble.

EU finance ministers, gathering in Dublin this Friday, will discuss how to shape this law that could take effect from 2015, covering what is known as bank recovery and resolution.

The talks follow the recent decision to impose heavy losses on some depositors in Cyprus, in return for an international bailout. That set a precedent, which is likely to be mirrored in these EU rules, making losses for large uninsured savers a permanent feature of future banking crises.

But the ministers will have to tread carefully in their discussions.

ECB President Mario Draghi recently cautioned that Cyprus’s bailout was “no template”, in a bid to ease market fears that bank deposits would in future be fair game for international lenders supporting struggling euro zone countries.

In a document prepared by government officials in Ireland, which as holder of the rotating EU presidency will chair the ministers’ gathering, they write that interbank deposits of less than one month should also be penalized.


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European Commission Announces “Full Engagement” In Agenda 21 [explosivereports]

On February 27, the European Commission published a document announcing it will take on itself the “lead role” in global environmental governance through “a unified policy framework”- in effect aligning itself with Agenda 21.

In the 30-page document titled A Descent Life For All the EC says it aspires to a “leading role” in an “overarching framework” towards global governance. The commiszars profess to care about worldwide poverty, environmental degradation and other no-brainers, carefully handpicked by an elite-class prepared to use any and every pretext behind which power is being centralized at the international level at the expense of sovereignty at the national one.

“The world has undergone enormous change over recent years”, the document reads, “including major shifts in the global economic and political balance, increased global trade, climate change and depletion of natural resources, technological change, economic and financial crises, increased consumption and price volatility of food and energy consumption, population changes and migration, violence and armed conflict and natural and man-made disasters, and increased inequalities.”

Quite some parade of calamities the EU is willing to tackle. A lead role is what they work towards, the authors state- and the EC Commiszars are perfectly willing to “debate” their plans with the European (only in name) parliament. A few exceptions aside, this parliament consists of nodding, dozing- sometimes outright sleeping individuals who are there to approve the commission’s proposals and send their lunch-bills to the European taxpayer:

“The EU needs to engage fully in the forthcoming international processes with coherent and coordinated inputs at the UN and in other relevant fora. In this respect, the adoption of this Communication should be followed by a debate with Council and Parliament during the spring of 2013 for the development of a common EU approach for the next stages of the ongoing processes (…)”

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Eurozone unemployment hits new record high of 11.8% [RT]

People wait to enter a government-run employment office in Madrid January 3, 2013. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

People wait to enter a government-run employment office in Madrid January 3, 2013. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached a record high, increasing to 11.8 per cent in November, the EU’s statistics office reports. Spain and Greece are suffering the most with roughly one in four workers unemployed.

On Tuesday Eurostat released the detailed report about November’s unemployment figures along with data on the past 12 months.

According to the report, some 2 million people throughout the Eurozone lost their jobs between November 2011 and November 2012. The total number of jobless workers reached 18.8 million.

Spain and Greece top the list of countries with the highest unemployment rate, with 26.6 and 26.0 per cent (for September) respectively. The lowest rates were registered in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Latest figures also show that youth unemployment has risen from 24.4% from 23.9% a month ago.

But while youth unemployment was at 8.1% in Germany and 9.7% in the Netherlands, in Spain and Greece it was 56.5% and 57.6% respectively.

In total Eurostat reported that 18,820,000 people are now out of work in the euro area.

Both Spain and Greece have been rattled by massive, sometimes violent, protests and numerous strikes throughout 2012, as people vent their frustration to severe cuts and rising unemployment.

The anti-austerity protests came to a climax on November 14th when millions of people took to the streets in 23 countries across Europe to mark the European Day of Action and Solidarity.


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Eurozone’s economy continues to deteriorate at ‘alarming pace’ [Telegraph]

The flash estimate out this morning by Markit shows the PMI Composite Output Index was little-changed in November up to 45.8 from 45.7 in October.

October’s reading had been the lowest since June 2009.

Activity has now fallen in 14 of the last 15 months, with the exception being a marginal increase seen in January.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said the eurzone economy continued to deteriorate at an “alarming pace”.

“Officially, the region saw only a very modest slide back into recession in the third quarter, with GDP falling by a mere 0.1%, but the PMI suggests that the downturn is set to gather pace significantly in the fourth quarter,” he said.


Cracking EU flag - concept representing euro default / debt / break up of the European Union


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‘Nazis out!’ Greek protesters attack conference, throw coffee at German diplomat

Dozens of Greek activists protesting austerity policies broke into a conference and clashed with police in a protest against a German government official.

Law enforcement officers used truncheons and teargas to disperse some 250 activists in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where a meeting of Greek and German mayors was taking place.

Riot police formed a shield around German Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier, who was attending the event, after some of the protesters stormed into the conference center complex. The intruders were trying to pelt the diplomat with bottles of water and coffee.

The protestors changed “Nazis out” and “This will not pass”, while holding mock gravestones and banners proclaiming “Fight until the end!”

A protester holds a plackard of  German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens during a demonstration against the vist of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 9, 2012. (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

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Europe Faces a Multi-National General Strike Against Austerity [world.time]

Austerity has spawned general strikes in individual countries across the troubled European Union. But this week may see something to add to the union’s tensions: a coordinated, multi-national mega-strike. Organized labor plans a general strike against the E.U.’s austerity policies, borderless and spanning the south of the continent. With more than 25 million people out of work, Europe’s biggest unions have vowed to lead marches and demonstrations on Nov. 14 that unite opposition parties, activist movements like Spain’s M15 and a growing sea of unemployed to challenge their national governments, banking leaders, the IMF and EU policymakers to abandon austerity cuts ahead of a high-stakes budgetmeeting in Brussels later this month.

What makes Wednesday’s strike even more threatening to Europe’s managerial elite is the strong support it is receiving from traditional labor groups that rarely send their members into the streets—foremost, among them, the European Trade Union Confederation, representing 85 labor organizations from 36 countries, and totaling some 60 million members. “We have never seen an international strike with unions across borders fighting for the same thing—it’s not just Spain, not just Portugal, it’s many countries demanding that we change our structure,” says Alberto Garzón, a Spanish congressman with the United Left party which holds 7% of seats in the Spanish Congress. “It’s important to understand this is a new form of protest.”

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Europe’s young rebels [Bild]

Million people stopped work. The European Trade Union had called for a “Solidarity Day” to the austerity measures. In Spain and Portugal was the traffic to a standstill, flights were canceled, schools and factories closed.

Young people in particular made their anger on Wednesday. You get the crisis will be felt particularly hard in Spain, youth unemployment is over 50 percent in Portugal and Italy at 35 percent.

Not all the protests were peaceful: traditional In Madrid protesters clashes with the police, the officers used a rubber bullets. In Rome, the police arrived with armored vehicles in front against rampaging students.

In Spain and Portugal in the morning nationwide, 24-hour general strike began, while the workers were called in Italy and Greece for several hours of work stoppages. In Belgium to participate railwaymen at the strike action.


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