The Absolute Mess of the Eurozone

Whatever the outcome of the Greek crisis, the image of the EU has been very badly damaged. Breitbart:

What an absolute mess the Eurozone has become. Does David Cameron really think he can mount a persuasive argument for the UK to stay in a minute longer or will he be the only rat swimming towards that sinking ship?

The Week:

Greece must be cudgeled into cringing subordination — or if it leaves the euro, it must be as brutal an experience as possible, so as to put fear into the hearts of anyone else who would question elite hegemony.

That seems to be the ultimate endpoint of European post-democracy. Eurozone elites were too stupid or insane to avoid crushing Spain and Greece (and every member of the eurozone to some extent, even Germany) with austerity and tight money. Now that the worst-hit country has tried to wriggle out of the iron maiden, it will either be forced to submit or scourged out of the euro. If Spain tries the same trick — it has seen the rise of a similar leftist party — it will surely get the same treatment. God only knows who might be next, when the next financial crisis comes.

Unity, prosperity, and democracy have been struck off the European monument. In its place are division, economic collapse, and an aristocracy of well-credentialed idiots.

Zero Hedge:

Europe has moved, at a very rapid clip, from a union of 28 different sovereign states, each with their own governments and political views and directions, to one where a top heavy bureaucratic structure, hand-puppeted on by a mere handful member states and systemic banks, dictate what each member state, both its politicians and its citizens, may do or not do. Or think. Electing a left wing government, for instance, equals asking for trouble.

There is no democracy left in Europe, people have no direct say anymore, there’s just a two-pronged dictatorship: there’s Merkel and Hollande, who in the Greek crisis have proven themselves to be mere tools to vested interests

And H/T Rene van Geffen (why he commented in About, I do not know) for this:

From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

The U.S. Chamber’s work in support of the tobacco industry in recent years has emerged as a priority at the same time the industry has faced one of the most serious threats in its history. A global treaty, negotiated through the World Health Organization, mandates anti-smoking measures and also seeks to curb the influence of the tobacco industry in policy making. The treaty, which took effect in 2005, has been ratified by 179 countries; holdouts include Cuba, Haiti and the United States.

Facing a wave of new legislation around the world, the tobacco lobby has turned for help to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the weight of American business behind it. While the chamber’s global tobacco lobbying has been largely hidden from public view, its influence has been widely felt.

Letters, emails and other documents from foreign governments, the chamber’s affiliates and antismoking groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, show how the chamber has embraced the challenge, undertaking a three-pronged strategy in its global campaign to advance the interests of the tobacco industry.

In the capitals of far-flung nations, the chamber lobbies alongside its foreign affiliates to beat back antismoking laws.

The treaty mentioned is undoubtedly the FCTC, about which Chris Snowdon had this to say today:

The ‘Treaty’ has never been enshrined in law in Britain or the EU, so this is wibble from the outset. There are no ‘legal obligations’. From a legal perspective, the FCTC is nothing more than a bunch of aspirations, but even if Article 5.3 was the law, it clearly refers to health policy, not trade policy, smuggling or waste disposal.

I’d always understood that once the UK had ratified the FCTC (which it has), it was bound by it, and that’s one of the main reasons why smoking bans have been rolled out by signatory countries all around the world. This needs further investigation (see comments here).

Anyway, I didn’t know the US Chamber of Commerce had taken the side of tobacco companies. I’m so used to big organisations being fully-paid-up antismoking shills that it came as a bit of a shock to find one that wasn’t. I guess that is because it’s probably not a government agency.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. They all share one thing–they count on the Chamber to be their voice in Washington, D.C.


About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to The Absolute Mess of the Eurozone

  1. junican says:

    You should have given more prominence to the source of the Rene Van Geffen comment than the embedded word ‘this’. The source was the New York Times:

    Who the hell is Danny Hakim who wrote the article? What do his conjectures (for that is all they are) matter? Who cares? The Tobacco Control Industry has already extracted billions of dollars from smokers. How many more dollars does this guy want to extract?
    Why is TC so frightened of ecigs? It is because smokers could switch, if they wished to, en masse, tomorrow to this cheap alternative. If TC encouraged the use of ecigs, they would be cutting their own financial throats. Show me an industry which cuts its own throat.
    Having said that, the more articles such as this appear, the better, for they show the inherent dishonesty of tobacco control.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cousin even TC doesn’t last forever,the Greek collapse is the best thing to happen. When money dries up the first thing a government does is get rid of laws that cost it mega revenues and so goes TC to the shitcan of history AGAIN.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Greece should immediately go back to the drachma and drop its value and watch the money start rolling in again….that’s what all the countries will do in the end as this socialist world experiment collapses on its head.

  2. Frank J says:

    FCTC is a treaty, an agreement only and, as such, carries as much weight as Neville Chamberlain’s famous ‘peace in our time’ agreement, i.e. ditched at any time.

    The UK has followed it’s recommendations (in the guidelines) almost to the full and passed into Law through Parliament the smoking ban, display ban. etc. making it a criminal offence not to comply. The target for any agitation should be those bums on the green benches and nobody else.

    The UK has always had a tendency to Puritanism given the chance with only the Restoration breaking the mould.

    The green benches is the target.

  3. Frank Davis says:

    Europe has suffered a reputational catastrophe in Greece

    It is an odd spectacle to watch a central bank with a treaty duty to uphold financial stability take the deliberate decision to precipitate the collapse of banks that it regulates. But the deeper point is that the insane construction of the euro – a naked currency union without fiscal and political foundations – must inevitably tend to authoritarian monetary dystopia in the end.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      There was never any real value backing the euro to begin with except for Germany and france and the UK being in the system. Everyone else had no values to bring to the table.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        France is pretty well the Greece of the big three economies of Europe now. It would be the first big country in the EU to collapse in the contangion that’s here now.

    • nisakiman says:

      Interesting times here, Frank. Basically, nobody, but nobody knows what the fuck is going on. They don’t even know whether they want to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the forthcoming referendum. Do they vote ‘yes’ for the same depressing shit that could go on ad infinitum, or do they vote ‘no’ for even worse shit, but shit that may improve in a few years? Or not.

      It’s a tricky one for the Greeks.

      What is clear though is that TPTB in Brussels will sacrifice every last Greek to get Tsipras out of power, and replaced with a europhile toady so Le Grand Projet isn’t derailed. However, it may be too late. The cat is out of the bag.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Put me up a video on facebook if anyone wishes to see my recovery room/bedroom.

    I walked a 1/2 mile today indoors around the house basically a round track run around the dining table and kitchen. 30 times makes a half mile. Chest is still sore but likely will be for another month or so. As far as the PTSD I went to VA PTSD clinic and the top shrink told me I just need some therapy and the anxiety would be gone and it all depended on how emotionally strong you are. In just 10 minutes she had me half cured of my anxiety. She wrote me a script for wellbutrin but I passed on taking it deciding I better achieve anxiety free the old fashioned way,DEAL WITH IT and the lil panic attacks. It is 90% sure if you suffer a trauma you will have anxiety/ptsd symptons post hock out of nowhere. But you get over it in time she said everyone does!

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Czech government introduces ban on smoking in restaurant and bars

    July 1 2015

    In June 2015, the Czech government unanimously approved a new draft act on health protection against the harmful effects of addictive substances (“the Act”). The Act, which aims to improve the protection against the negative effects of addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco, has been now submitted to the Czech parliament for discussion. It has been proposed that the Act will be effective from 1 January 2016.

    The most important social, health (and perhaps economic) effect of the new Act is the ban on smoking, with no exceptions, in all indoor restaurant facilities such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. The ban applies not only to conventional cigarettes but also to electronic cigarettes, which have significantly gained in popularity in the recent years, as well as to hookahs (“water pipe”) tobacco smoking. Any breach of this ban may be penalised with a fine of up to CZK 5,000 (i.e. approx. EUR 180) for the smoker and up to CZK 50,000 (i.e. approx. EUR 1,800) for the restaurant facility.

    Furthermore, the Act bans the sale of tobacco products (and other related products) in healthcare facilities, schools and school facilities and other facilities with children and, at the same time, tightens the conditions for the sale tobacco products through vending machines and online. The Act allows the sale of tobacco products via vending machines only if the vendor is able to ensure (by any means) that only persons over 18 years of age will be able to purchase the products. With regards to internet selling, the vendors will be obliged to operate through a computer programme which is able to verify the buyers’ age.

    The Act also includes various restrictions regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. Most notably, all restaurant facilities and kiosks will be obliged to have at least one non-alcoholic drink on their menu cheaper than an alcoholic drink of a similar volume. This measure is aimed at a typical phenomenon in many Czech restaurants where beer is often cheaper than water.

    The draft of the Act must still be passed by Parliament and be signed by the President before it will come into legal force and be effective. As previous attempts in the Czech Republic to introduce a smoking ban in the restaurants have failed and although the current proposal seemingly has large support in the Czech Parliament, there is still a possibility that the draft Act will not be adopted or that the scope of the ban will be changed.

    • Furtive Ferret says:

      I sincerely hope this isn’t passed in to law otherwise my only reason to go back to CZ will be to see how many of the bars and restaurants I frequented have closed. One thing I did notice is just how unnoticeable other people’s smoke was even after four years of UK conditioning.

      It may not come to pass. I recall that the current President is a smoker himself. I’m off to light a pipe in memory of the many happy evenings in CZ bars puffing on the pipe.

    • nisakiman says:

      The Act, which aims to improve the protection against the negative effects of addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco…

      So are they intending to ban alcohol in bars too?

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Indoor Smoking Ban Halts Scientific Research on Smoking (Nanny of the Month, June 2015)

    This month the Nanny of the Month award goes to the Garden State for its anti-smoking zealotry.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Cyprus Police report thousands violating smoking law

    Police in Cyprus have reported a total of 2,232 people over the past two months violating the law against smoking in banned areas.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Police in Cyprus have reported a total of 2,232 people over the past two months violating the law against smoking in banned areas.

      This is what the Health Ministry and police announced on Wednesday, adding that a total of 9,333 inspections were carried out during the two-month-long island-wide campaign.

      “The campaign aims at raising awareness and conscience of citizens towards the law, but also at the adoption of an anti-smoking attitude,” the announcement also said.

      “Both the police and the health services of the Ministry will continue carrying out inspections and they will certainly continue reporting entertainment and other spots where the law is violated,” it added.

  8. Rose says:

    Another Melbourne prison ‘on verge of riot’ over smoking ban

    “Tensions are still running high in Victoria’s prison system over the new smoking bans.

    Convicted mass murderer Julian Knight has told a Melbourne court that Port Phillip prison is on the verge of a riot similar to the rampage by inmates in the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall late on Tuesday.”

    “Knight said he had been telling the courts for years what would happen if a smoking ban was introduced but had been ignored.

    “I think Ravenhall says it all,” he said.

    Victorian prisons have been in lockdown since Tuesday’s riots, the worst in Victoria’s history, where inmates smashed doors, windows and fences, started fires and damaged staff areas over the ban.

    The prison is expected to return to some normality from Friday, with a Corrections Victoria spokesman saying inmates should be transported to courts for existing matters for the first time since the riots erupted.

    Meanwhile, the Victorian government is assessing the damage at the remand centre which could reportedly cost taxpayers up to $10m.”

    From the comments.

    “In what parallel universe did anyone think this ban was a good idea? What the fuck did they think was going to happen?”

    It has on occasion crossed my mind that those who have such contempt for the law that they do not feel bound by it, might sometimes do something useful for all those tortured law-abiding citizens who ultimately pay for all the damage and constrained by their own consciences to the point of anguish, can’t do a thing about those same oppressors.

    This might be one of those rare occasions.

  9. Frank Davis says:

    Had a power cut here last night. It lasted somewhere between 5 and 10 hours. Defrosting my freezer. At least 5, because that’s when I went to bed. That’s why no post last night.

  10. RdM says:

    And yet you have Tim Worstall saying…

    and I remember this too, the arms race idea sold way back then

    Sad for Greece – what can be done?

    Days to go – is Russia coming in to this?

    Woohoo Independence Day!

    It’s just another day…

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