Western European News Digest
Support for Glass-Steagall in Europe
PARIS, Oct. 6 (EIRNS)On the economic radio network BFM, Edouard Tétreau, a financial insider who advises major French industrial corporations and a French Senate committee, today said that "the immediate re-enactment of Glass-Steagall, separating investment banks, which are allowed to speculate in equities, from 'normal' deposit banks, is of utmost urgency." Tétreau made his comments in the context of the conviction of Jérôme Kerviel, the derivatives trader who caused a EU4.9 billion loss to the French bank Société Générale, and who lost his criminal case the day before.
In Austria, the financial spokesman for the nation's largest opposition party, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) parliamentary group, Lutz Weinzinger, called for a Glass-Steagall system, at a session of the Financial Committee of the Austrian Parliament.
In Switzerland, Konrad Haedener, a Thun city council member, posted a call for Glass-Steagall on his blog on Oct. 3. Headlined as a rhyme, "When Banks Fail and City Finances Ail."
Exposed: The 'Germany Pays for Everyone' Clause in the EU Bailout Scheme
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)A clause in the European Financial Stability Fund (the EU440 billion bailout scheme set up by the European Union to "solve" the Greek financial crisis) has been discovered, which puts Germany in the position of paying the bill for all members of the EFSF.
The EFSF framework agreement was signed on June 7 by the 16 member-states of the Eurozone; each committed to play the guarantor for loans to EU member-states, proportional to their quota in the European Central Bank. Thus, Germany puts up guarantees for EU119.3 billion (27%), France EU89.6 billion (20.3%), Italy EU78.7 billion (17.9%), Spain EU52.3 billion (11.8%), and so on, down to the Republic of Malta with EU0.39 billion (0.09%).
However, a member-state that needs to borrow, becomes a "Stepping-Out Guarantor" and is exempted from paying its quota, e.g., Greece has become a "Stepping-Out Guarantor" since signing the agreement.
And here comes the "Germany pays for all" clause, under Chapter 8, Paragraph 2:
"In the event that a Guarantor experiences severe financial difficulties and requests a stability support loan or benefits from financial support under a similar program, it [the Stepping-Out Guarantor] may request the other Guarantors to suspend its commitment to provide further Guarantees under this Agreement. The remaining Guarantors, acting unanimously and meeting via the Eurogroup Working Group, may decide to accept such a request and in this event, the Stepping-Out Guarantor shall not be required to issue its Guarantee in respect of any further issues of or entry into Funding Instruments by EFSF and any further Guarantees to be issued under this Agreement shall be issued by the remaining Guarantors and the Adjusted Contribution Key percentage for the issuance of further Guarantees shall be adjusted accordingly" (emphasis added).
Now, take the (not unlikely) case that the next Stepping-Out Guarantor is not tiny Ireland, nor even Portugal, but Belgium, Spain, or even Italyor all of them. In the worst case, the other "Guarantors" should step in with up to EU164 billion. Germany would then, according to the "Adjusted Contribution Key percentage," probably shoulder more than half of it.
The EFSF is an offshore "vehicle" based in Luxembourg, not subjected to EU Law, chaired by hedge fund specialist Klaus Regling.
2-3 Million Demonstrate Again in France
PARIS, Oct. 5 (EIRNS)The French trade unions organized their third demonstration and day of action on Oct. 2, mobilizing 2-3 million people nationwide against President Nicolas Sarkozy's bill to force people to work two years longer before they can draw pensions. Since early September, this is the third time the unions have succeeded in mobilizing so many people, in a confrontation with the government, whose pension reform is now going through the National Assembly for a vote. The government so far has not given up the policy, but compromises are likely to occur as the discussion goes through the Senate, where the government does not have a majority. While it is not expected that the bill will be withdrawn, as the main unions are demanding, there has been a process of radicalization of the population around these demonstrations, which could lead to a replay of the 1995 general strike against the Juppé reform of the health system, which the government then had to junk. Following the last demo, the CGT union federation, the most radical at this point, is pushing for a strike on Oct. 12, which opens the possibility of a general strike.
British-Spawned Greenies Launch Direct Action in France
PARIS, Oct. 5 (EIRNS)Camp for Climate Action (CCA) is organizing an operation against the French oil multinational Total at its production site in Le Havre on Oct. 16, among other actions they call "Crude Awakening" against the oil industry. CCA is a green autonomist-fascist operation launched in Britain in 2006; its growth has skyrocketed ever since, not only in Britain, but internationally. CCA chooses a target and organizes a week's action against it.
Their models are movements such as "Reclaim the Streets" and "Rising Tide." Their tactics come also from the Pink Blocs. What makes them particularly dangerous, is their "direct action" mode of operations, so-called "non-violent" obstruction and sabotage actions. They are attractive to disaffected youths in the same way the proto-Nazi Wandervögel back-to-nature freaks did in Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Italy: Water Infrastructure Must Be Upgraded
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)A report published by a national think-tank, Censis, shows that one-third of Italy's drinking water is lost through obsolete pipes. In order for 100 liters of water to reach households, 147 liters must be put into the pipes. If one adds the water that is consumed but not paid for (stolen), the rate is 165 to 100. This high loss can be reduced only through investments in new facilities and maintenance. The last large investments in water infrastructure were undertaken about 50 years ago by the TVA-modeled Cassa per il Mezzogiorno. Privateers are using this situation as an argument against state ownership of the water-supply network. The issue will be at the center of a conference of local governments tomorrow, organized by Dexia Crediop bank.
U.K. To Begin Slave Labor Program in Prisons
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)In the tradition of Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon plan for mind control in the prisons, British Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke announced plans to invite private companies to set up factories in the prisons, and even to build new prisons centered on factory complexes. Clarke said: "We will make it easier for prison governors to bring more private companies into their jails to create well-run businesses, employing prisoners in 9-to-5 jobs."
Showing that Clarke believes in the famous Nazi dictum at the entrances of Auschwitz and other concentration camps that "Arbeit Macht Frei," Clarke added: "Most prisoners lead a life of enforced, bored idleness, where even getting out of bed is optional. We need to instill in our jails a regime of hard work."
Italian Textbook Contrasts LaRouche-Riemann Method to Club of Rome Model
Oct. 5 (EIRNS)A physics textbook used in Italian high schools dedicates a section to the "LaRouche-Riemann method," at the end of the chapter on the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, and degradation of energy: The consequences on human development according to the Malthusians.
Another document on the subject us taken from Pope Paul VI's 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio. The book, Fenomeni e Fisica, Vol. 2, is written by Paolantonio Marazzini, Maria Elisa Bergamaschini, and Lorenzo Mazzoni, and published by the leading publishing house Mondadori.