I foresee decline, and soon. The well off will fight tooth and nail to keep their wealth crying "socialism" at the first mention of taking care of the disadvantaged, and let the common man fend for himself, because they just don't get it. The more broadly defined 27-nation European Union recorded real (inflation adjusted) economic growth in 2006 of 3.0%. The 13 nations that share the euro currency saw real growth last year of 2.7%.
Growth forecasts for 2007 adopted by the European Commission--the executive arm of the European Union--see real growth near 2.9% for the larger Europe, with the euro currency nations seeing growth of 2.6%. In both cases, growth rates would likely exceed that found in the U.S.
Broad European unemployment was 7.2% in March 2007, the lowest in 14 years of recordkeeping. By comparison, U.S. unemployment is currently 4.5%.
European growth forecasts for 2008 are slightly weaker than expectations for this year. In contrast, most U.S. forecasts for 2008 see real growth returning to near 3.0%.
Various export-dependent European nations, particularly the Germans, are benefiting from strong global economic growth and rising demand for exports. While the stronger euro currency could, in theory, depress European exports, such a development has yet to occur.
By certain measures, the European economy is similar to where the U.S. economy was 2-3 years ago. Beginning in June 2004, the Federal Reserve--America's central bank--began a lengthy process of monetary tightening in order to minimize inflation pressures tied to solid U.S. economic growth. Such a program is now underway in Europe.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has boosted its key short-term interest rate seven times since December 2005. The ECB announced recently that another 0.25% tightening move would occur in June, pushing the rate to 4.00%. In addition, the Bank of England...yes, that nation's central bank...boosted its key rate to 5.50% recently, a six-year high. The Bank noted strong U.K. economic growth and high levels of business investment as its rationale.
Many economists see an additional move or two before the end of the year. In contrast, America's key short-term interest rate has been at 5.25% since late June 2006 following 17 tightening moves, with many forecasters, including yours truly, seeing a chance for slight Fed ease late in 2007.
So what are the Europeans finally doing right? Besides a boost from strong global growth, the Germans, the Spaniards, and others have introduced greater labor flexibility into their economies. As a result, various European companies are more willing to hire at home, versus shifting current jobs and new hiring to Eastern Europe.
The recent French election also bodes well for French economic competitiveness, although it will be a rocky road. The election of pro-America, pro-free market President Nicolas Sarkozy suggests the French are finally bending to the realities of 21st Century global competition.
Such was not the case over the past quarter century as French leadership sarkocasuffitsaw the French "entitled" to do things their way. Double-digit unemployment and limited job opportunities for millions of young people of recent years finally got the electorate's attention.
Reporters are only human. They enjoy getting the inside scoop, even when it's off the record, and they also like invitations to swanky parties. But when reporters start pulling favors for their friends in high places, like keeping embarrassing comments out of the papers, they do the public and their profession a disservice.
Some may argue that the comments were suppressed, not because of any desire on the reporters' part to curry favor, but simply because of differing national standards for what constitutes news. Because the technical glitch involved simultaneous translation and because the summit took place in France, most of those who heard the remarks were French. In France, press tradition gives public officials a much wider degree of privacy than is common in America or England. That's why we hear less about the sexual misadventures of French politicians. But, in this case, the discussion was clearly of public significance. Ideas about politicians' personal privacy should not have been relevant.
Occasionally, of course, journalists should practice discretion. If serious state secrets are accidentally leaked, and particularly if lives are endangered, a journalist may truly serve the public interest by burying a story rather than reporting it. But this should happen only in rare cases. A journalist's job nearly always is to report the news, not to cover it up.
In this case, while the comments were certainly interesting enough to be newsworthy, they were hardly confidential. Both Sarkozy and Obama have previously criticized Netanyahu before microphones that they knew were switched on. And as Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel's Army Radio, in politics, "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, certainly in such competitive professions."
Political pros know that offhand comments picked up on open mikes are an occupational hazard. In 1984, President Reagan was accidentally recorded checking a microphone by joking, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." In more recent times, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and George W. Bush's embarrassingly candid comments have all made their way to public airwaves. You would think that by now our leaders would know enough not to say anything inflammatory anywhere near a microphone unless they are willing to stand by their words.
But despite their best efforts to control things, politicians will occasionally make news when they don't mean to. It is a journalist's role to report it when they do.
1) The Daily Mail, "Sarkozy: 'Netanyahu, I can't stand him. He's a liar...' Obama: 'You're sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day...'"
Last week French President Nicolaslafrance forte called for a parliamentary debate to decide whether to legislate a ban on the Islamic niqab, the face covering veil which is estimated to be worn by less than 2,000 members of France's Islamic community. He called the garment "a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement" and said he believed that it threatens the dignity of women. If such legislation is enforced women who are found guilty of defying the ban could face fines of up to 750 Euros.
Due to Mr Cameron's hardline defence of the City of London, a separate deal outside the EU's architecture will now have to be established by the countries who wish to participate in the new euro-zone 'fiscal compact'. This will not just set down new rules imposing stronger EU controls over national budgets but also how to enforce them.
Either other EU leaders will realise the scale of the task of putting together such an inter-governmental deal and will conclude that they were too hasty to force a British veto over financial regulation. Or, alternatively, the countries who have expressed a wish to participate in 'fiscal union' will forge ahead regardless and the result will raise new questions about how that will affect the balance of power between the UK and the 'euro plus' group of other EU member countries.
Should such a new voting block also work informally within the European Union institutions as well as outside in order to consistently out-vote Britain on financial services regulation and in a range other policy areas, this will very likely feed popular demand for a more full reconsideration of Britain's membership of the EU.
If this situation serves to clarify Britain's lack of influence over EU law-making deriving from having only 10% of the votes in the main EU decision-making institutions, politicians could struggle to justify why the UK should continue to accede to EU laws or pay the billions of pounds every year that Britain contributes to the EU's budget.
Beneficially, the result of these latest developments could be that holding an EU referendum and debating Britain's membership of the EU will start to look all the more appealing.
Like many people I have my favourite place in the world to go on holiday but unlike many people my perfect place is close to home and is France. I love France for many reasons; I love the countryside and the picturesque villages along with the fantastic food and relaxed life. I also love the culture and the fashion. Although I love France I appreciate for many people they would prefer information on the country before venturing out so I've written the following article to inform you about France. I hope you find the following article informative.
The current president of this country is lafrance fortespeech and he's been the president since 2007. The Prime Minister Francois Fillon has also been in seat since 2007.
The area of France is 210,668 square miles and the population in 2010 was 64,057,792 which is a density of 100 people per square kilometre. There is currently a growth rate of 0.5% and a birth rate of 12.4/1000.
The capital of the country is Paris which is around 9,854,000. Other large cities include Bordeaux, Nantes, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lyon, Nice and Marseille.
Although the currency was franc's it was changed in the last 10 years to the Euro which is used in most of Europe.
France is reasonable small and is roughly 80% of the size of Texas. France is home to the Alps which are situated near the Italian and Swiss border in Western Europe and is the highest point in this region. This highest point stands at 15,781ft and is called Mont Blanc.