Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns ‘democracy….

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  • #55682
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    Anonymous
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    Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns ‘democracy could disappear’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal

      😯 EU begin emergency billion-pound bailout of Spain
      😯 Countries in debt may fall to dictators, EC chief warns
      😯 ‘Apocalyptic’ vision as some states run out of money

    Democracy could ‘collapse’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the debt crisis, the head of the European Commission has warned.

    In an extraordinary briefing to trade union chiefs last week, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso set out an ‘apocalyptic’ vision in which crisis-hit countries in southern Europe could fall victim to military coups or popular uprisings as interest rates soar and public services collapse because their governments run out of money.

    The stark warning came as it emerged that EU chiefs have begun work on

    A £650 billion bailout for Greece has already been agreed.

    John Monks, former head of the TUC, said he had been ‘shocked’ by the severity of the warning from Mr Barroso, who is a former prime minister of Portugal.

    Mr Monks, now head of the European TUC, said: ‘I had a discussion with Barroso last Friday about what can be done for Greece, Spain, Portugal and the rest and his message was blunt: “Look, if they do not carry out these austerity packages, these countries could virtually disappear in the way that we know them as democracies. They’ve got no choice, this is it.”

    ‘He’s very, very worried. He shocked us with an apocalyptic vision of democracies in Europe collapsing because of the state of indebtedness.’

    Greece, Spain and Portugal, which only became democracies in the 1970s, are all facing dire problems with their public finances. All three countries have a history of military coups.

    Greece has been rocked by a series of national strikes and riots this year following the announcement of swingeing cuts to public spending designed to curb Britain’s deficit.

    Spain and Portugal have also announced austerity measures in recent weeks amid growing signs that the international markets are increasingly worried they could default on their debts.

    Other EU countries seeing public protests over austerity plans include Hungary, Italy and Romania, where public sector pay is to be slashed by 25 per cent.

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who visited Madrid last week, said the situation in Spain should serve as a warning to Britain of the perils of failing to tackle the deficit quickly.

    He said the collapse of confidence in Spain had seen interest rates soar, adding: ‘As the nation with the highest deficit in Europe in 2010, we simply cannot afford to let that happen to us too.’

    Mr Barroso’s warning lays bare the concern at the highest level in Brussels that the economic crisis could lead to the collapse of not only the beleaguered euro, but the EU itself, along with a string of fragile democracies.

    But it risks infuriating governments in southern Europe which are already struggling to contain public anger as they drive through tax rises and spending cuts in a bid to avoid disaster.

    Mr Monks yesterday warned that the new austerity measures themselves could take the continent ‘back to the 1930s’.

    In an interview with the Brussels-based magazine EU Observer he said: ‘This is extremely dangerous. This is 1931, we’re heading back to the 1930s, with the Great Depression and we ended up with militarist dictatorship.‘I’m not saying we’re there yet, but it’s potentially very serious, not just economically, but politically as well.’

    Mr Monks said union barons across Europe were planning a co-ordinated ‘day of action’ against the cuts on 29 September, involving national strikes and protests.

    David Cameron will travel to Brussels on Thursday for his first summit of EU leaders since the election.

    Leaders are expected to thrash out a rescue package for Spain’s teetering economy. Spain is expected to ask for an initial guarantee of at least £100 billion, although this figure could rise sharply if the crisis deepens.

    News of the behind-the-scenes scramble in Brussels spells bad news for the British economy as many of our major banks have loaned Spain vast sums of money in recent years.

    Germany’s authoritative Frankfurter Allgemeine Newspaper reported that Spain is poised to ask for multi-billion pound credits.

    Mr Barroso and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank are united on the need for a rescue plan.

    The looming bankruptcy of Spain, one of the foremost economies in Europe, poses far more of a threat to European unity and the euro project than Greece.

    Greece contributes 2.5 percent of GDP to Europe, Spain nearly 12 percent.

    Yesterday’s report quoted German government sources saying: ‘We will lead discussions this week in Brussels concerning the crisis. It has intensified to the point that the states do not want to wait until the EU summit on Thursday in Brussels.”’

    At the end of last month the credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Spain, triggering sharp falls on stock markets.

    On Friday the administration in Madrid continued to insist no rescue package was necessary. But Greece said the same thing before it came close to disaster.

    Yesterday the European Commission and the statistics authority Eurostat met to consider Spain‘s plight as many EU countries consider the austerity package proposed by the Madrid administration insufficient to deal with the country‘s problems

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1286480/EU-leaders-thrash-rescue-package-Spain-faces-bankruptcy.html

  • #99118
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    Anonymous
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    Nine reasons why Spain’s economy is about to ‘hit the fan’:
    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/9-reasons-why-spain-is-a-dead-economy-walking

  • #99120
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    petej
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    I love this site, allways cheers me up 😆

  • #99122
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    Anonymous
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    Expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed. 😉

  • #99124
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    I think the problem with Spain is that very few people outside the country seem to have any confidence in its institutions and government.

    From what I have seen of its property market, it seems corrupt, opaque, bureaucratic, unfair and works within a legal framework that seems loaded against natural justice. My impressions are that the property market simply provides a window through which the rest of the world can view the chaotic way in which everything else operates in that country.

    I honestly feel that the political class in Spain is incapable of resolving its economic problems, because there are too many vested interests, too much corruption and too many structural problems. On top of this, time for resolving these issues is not on their side. Quite where it will all end is anyone’s quess

    Richard

  • #99126
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    An excellent analysis, but we should remember that expats have often used the corrupt and inefficient system for their own ends, building and buying houses where there shouldn’t be any; and then complaining bitterly about the system they have used wholeheartedly along the way.

    In the same way, expats have opened businesses and bank accounts, largely by-passing the regulations, and cynically borrowing huge sums from the under-regulated financial institutions to finance dubious projects that would never have got off the ground back in their own countries. Even Fred Goodwin would have shown them to the door.

    That large ‘foreign’ influence in Spain has been largely negative to the country’s overall health.

    (Can you really blame the mayor in some out of the way, dusty town for allowing the rich foreigner to build a few nice houses on derelict farmland? It will provide jobs and income for local people with the vote.)

  • #99129
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    Anonymous
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    @Rocker wrote:

    An excellent analysis, but we should remember that expats have often used the corrupt and inefficient system for their own ends, building and buying houses where there shouldn’t be any; and then complaining bitterly about the system they have used wholeheartedly along the way.

    In the same way, expats have opened businesses and bank accounts, largely by-passing the regulations, and cynically borrowing huge sums from the under-regulated financial institutions to finance dubious projects that would never have got off the ground back in their own countries. Even Fred Goodwin would have shown them to the door.

    That large ‘foreign’ influence in Spain has been largely negative to the country’s overall health.

    (Can you really blame the mayor in some out of the way, dusty town for allowing the rich foreigner to build a few nice houses on derelict farmland? It will provide jobs and income for local people with the vote.)

    Of course you can blame the Mayor (its illegal) and whilst people share your view of the system there will be many more illegal builds. So lets all finally agree THAT BUILDING ON RUSTIC LAND WITH DUBIOUS LICENCES ISSUED BY LOCAL MAYORS IS ILLEGAL.

  • #99131
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    Anonymous
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    rt1: You have nailed it . However what you have overlooked is that even Spaniards dont have confidence in their institutions. It is for this reason that they have the attitude of pasa nada.

  • #99133
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @vilprano wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:
    An excellent analysis, but we should remember that expats have often used the corrupt and inefficient system for their own ends, building and buying houses where there shouldn’t be any; and then complaining bitterly about the system they have used wholeheartedly along the way.

    In the same way, expats have opened businesses and bank accounts, largely by-passing the regulations, and cynically borrowing huge sums from the under-regulated financial institutions to finance dubious projects that would never have got off the ground back in their own countries. Even Fred Goodwin would have shown them to the door.

    That large ‘foreign’ influence in Spain has been largely negative to the country’s overall health.

    (Can you really blame the mayor in some out of the way, dusty town for allowing the rich foreigner to build a few nice houses on derelict farmland? It will provide jobs and income for local people with the vote.)

    Of course you can blame the Mayor (its illegal) and whilst people share your view of the system there will be many more illegal builds. So lets all finally agree THAT BUILDING ON RUSTIC LAND WITH DUBIOUS LICENCES ISSUED BY LOCAL MAYORS IS ILLEGAL.

    You can shout about it all you like, but the fact remains that thousands of people from the UK bought those ‘illegal’ houses relying on advice from developers, property agents, lawyers, bank mangers, notaries and, of course, the friendly local mayors. I’ll declare an interest, I’m one of those buyers.

    Rather than blame Spanish corruption, and as a UK citizen we daren’t even think that our system is any better, we should blame our misunderstanding of Spanish laws and practices.

    I’ve lived in Spain for many years, I’ve gotten used to their ways, they’re different to ours, very different when it comes to property laws, the majority of Spanish people live in apartments (70 percent of them), and they wonder what all the fuss is about when some camposino from abroad challenges the way of rural life they know nothing about.

  • #99134
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    Anonymous
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    Challenges way of life is a separate issue to legality. I recall few years ago when in Seville some Gypsies were given apartments to live in. Their presence was creating a lot of anger, resentment in the barrio and as such perhaps did challenge the way of life of the residenmts of the barrio.
    The apartments that they were moved into were not illegal nor were the ones that their neighbour’s had before the arrival of the gypsies.

  • #99136
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
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    I think the problems with the Spanish Property market go beyond a misunderstanding of Spanish laws and practices. The only misunderstanding that non Spanish people may have had when buying property in Spain was that Spain was a developed country and that its laws and institutions were on par with other Western European nations. Despite the pretensions of the Spanish Government to be otherwise this is clearly not the case.

    The Spanish (property) laws and practices are a throwback to medieval times when justice was arbitrary and dispensed in ways which were parochial to the barrons of the day. Hence we witness Regional authorities taking land from homeowners and giving it to developers in the name of progress. Add in the mixture of corruption and unfairness in the way that homeowners have to pay for the infrastructure charges of the developer and hay ho we have a modern version of medieval justice. In Andalucia the Regional Authority allowed mass building to take place often at the discretion of the local ayuntamiento. I can only compare the situation to the Wild West in America in the 1800s. Buyers often placed their trust in lawyers for advice on property purchases only to later find that they were in cahoots with developers. After years of complacency or perhaps even worse collusion the Andalucian Regional Authority decided to intervene retrospectively and hand out their own form of partisan justice. In one case, involving the unfortunate Priors, they ignored the judicial process and just demolished their house. As I have already mentioned this sort of rough justice is more akin to a medievial society than a modern one.

    In the Uk and other modern societies, the law has developed over centuries to take account of social pressures and has introduced the concept of equity. In my view this branch of law is the one thing that separates modern societies from all others. Spain does not appear to have anything remotely similar to the principal of equity. The law does not appear to protect its citizens or for that matter other E.U. citizens from the the abuses of executive power. Until it does Spain will forever remain a country with pretensions to be a developed country.

    Richard

  • #99137
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    Anonymous
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    The trouble with defining modern society within Europe is that we still have monarchies in some countries and others have emerged from dictatorships quite recently. Many bloody wars have produced unfair and illogical borders and emerging democracy has led to autononomous regions fighting within mother countries.

    Spain has only been a democracy for 35 years, and even a confetti of Royal Decrees has not changed the law much, that will take many more years. In a political sense, only coalitions seem to work, neither the ‘left’ or ‘right’ have sufficient support from a country’s voters.

    Luckily, on current statistics, there is only a one in a million chance that our houses will be bulldozed. Will that change if the Peseta comes back along with other examples of national pride returning? I think it might.

  • #99147
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    Anonymous
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    “Will that change if the Peseta comes back along with other examples of national pride returning? I think it might.”

    The probebality will not change. Only thing that will change will be the fine imposed will be in Pesetas and Euros. The fine will be higher as the greedy Councils will realise that devalued pesetas will make it cheaper for the foreigner’s so the fine will be hyped.

  • #99149
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    katy
    Spectator

    They certainly wouldn’t just move the decimal point like they did when the Euro was introduced eg. 150 peseta coffee became 1.50 Euro overnight. The start of Spain’s rocketing prices!

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