Started by FuroraCeltica, January 07, 2009, 04:48:07 PM
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There is a note that we should remain on topic. I will however say to JT that he suggests that I am a Marxist. I am socialist...a different animal and that you well know. (I have been described as the French answer to Wedgewood Ben)You also say that I have choked on my silver spoon... far from it...but it does not stop me from trying to move towards better social equality.
Economic 'Iron Curtain' threatens to divide EuropeThe European Union has been warned not to let a new economic "Iron Curtain" divide the continent during the global downturn.Hungary urged the 27 EU leaders meeting at an emergency summit in Brussels not to let the bloc's weakest members go under in the crisis.Ferenc Gyurcsany, Hungary's prime minister, said the credit crunch was hitting poorer, eastern member states the hardest. The Hungarian leader called for a special EU fund of up to €190 billion (£168 billion) to help restore trust and solvency in eastern EU members' financial markets."We should not allow that a new Iron Curtain should be set up and divide Europe," said Mr Gyurcsany. "In the beginning of the nineties we reunified Europe, now the challenge is whether we will be able to reunify Europe financially."EU nations are all grappling with a worsening recession, compounded by a severe credit crunch that has left many EU countries looking ever more inward to protect jobs and companies from international competition. Those policies are now undermining the open market cornerstone on which the EU is founded.Ahead of the summit, the leaders of nine countries - Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and the three Baltic states - forged a common stand to pressure richer members to back up vague pledges of support with action.Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, said the nine leaders called for "a spirit against protectionism and egoism."Hungary, Poland and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also want the EU to fast-track their bids to join the euro-currency, which could offer them a stable financial anchor. Latvia's government has already collapsed amid the economic fallout.Other EU members, like Sweden, want to co-ordinate a Europe-wide bail-out plan for car producers.Mirek Topolanek, prime minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency, has called on his counterparts to act together.A draft summit conclusion centred on the need to reconfirm their commitment to "make the maximum possible use" of the EU's cherished free market "as the engine for recovery."Topolanek said the EU does "not want any new dividing lines. We do not want a Europe divided along a North-South or an East-West line, pursuing a beggar-thy-neighbour policy is unacceptable."The crisis has sorely tested solidarity among EU nations.The Czech Republic has accused France of trying to protect its local car plants at the expense of foreign subsidiaries, while Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, has rejected calls to help bail out economies in Ireland, Greece and Portugal.Sunday's talks are meant to restore a unified purpose and help prepare for the April 2 Group of 20 nations summit in London.Once-booming east European economies have been hit hard by the economic downturn. As cheap credit dried up their export markets shrank, causing eastern currencies to sink and triggering more financial turmoil.Gyurcsany said eastern EU countries could need up to €300 billion (£266 billion), or 30 per cent of the region's gross domestic production this year.He warned that failure to offer bigger bailouts "could lead to massive contractions" in their economies and lead to "large-scale defaults" that would affect Europe as a whole. It could also trigger political unrest and immigration pressures as jobless rates soar, he said.EU governments have already spent €300 billion in bank recapitalisations and put up €2.5 trillion (£2.2 trillion) to guarantee loans of many banks in the EU and neighbouring states.On Friday, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank said they will jointly provide €24.5 billion (£21.7 billion) in emergency aid to shore up the battered finances of eastern European nations.
Gordon Brown insists the European Union is united in response to global economic crisisGordon Brown has insisted the European Union is united in its response to the global economic crisis after joining fellow leaders for an emergency summit in Brussels.Amid reports of a split between the major economies and members states from central and Eastern Europe, the Prime Minister said: "People neither want protectionism nor do they want to be in a situation where we don't take the interest rate and the fiscal action that is necessary."I found complete support for the measures that I am talking about that are central to the success of the G20 [summit in London next month]."Speaking after the talks, Mr Brown said: "Today was the start of a European consensus on all these major issues that are facing the world community: yes to better regulation; yes to action on the shadow banking system and hedge funds; no to protectionism; yes to fiscal and monetary stimulus; no to maintaining the old status quo on the role of our financial institutions."He said he would take a "clear message" to Barack Obama from all EU leaders when he travels to Washington on Monday.Mr Brown will be the first of the EU leaders to hold face-to-face talks with the new US President."Bold global action, a global grand bargain, is not now just necessary but it is vitally urgent to deal with the challenges of the world economy," Mr Brown said."When, in exactly one month's time, world leaders gather in London to take the big decisions necessary to secure our economic future we must, and we will, succeed."Earlier Hungary urged the 27 EU leaders not to let the bloc's weakest members go under in the crisis.Ferenc Gyurcsany, Hungary's prime minister, said the credit crunch was hitting poorer, eastern member states the hardest. He called for a special EU fund of up to €190 billion (£168 billion) to help restore trust and solvency in eastern EU members' financial markets."We should not allow that a new Iron Curtain should be set up and divide Europe," said Mr Gyurcsany. "In the beginning of the nineties we reunified Europe, now the challenge is whether we will be able to reunify Europe financially."