Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

From fugitive to taxpayer

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Economist

European countries should make it easier for refugees to work
It eases the fiscal burden without hurting locals’ prospects

MOUHANAD SALHA would like nothing better than to work. But since arriving in the Netherlands in late 2014, he has managed to do so for just one week. Like more than 80% of Syrian refugees in Europe, he is unemployed.

He was studying information technology when he fled Syria in 2012, and worked as an apprentice electrician in Lebanon, where “you can just go in and fix everything.” Not so in the Netherlands. Becoming an electrician requires elaborate certification, and jobs usually need proficiency in Dutch. Such rules, intended to shield native workers, deter asylum-seekers from looking for jobs. Refugees who do find work lose their government-paid benefits.

Asylum-seekers in the Netherlands are housed in government-run centres and not allowed to work until six months after they arrive. If they then find a job, the government withholds 75% of their wages to cover room and board. (Unsurprisingly, few do.) Once granted refugee status, as Mr Salha was last year, they are moved out into subsidised housing. Mr Salha registered with a temporary-job agency, but the local government told him working would mean losing housing and other subsidies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious plans for Europe are running aground

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

The EU is neither optimistic enough nor panicked enough for big new projects

WHEN France’s president speaks about Europe, his remarks are directed in part at Germany. Before his election in 2017 Emmanuel Macron went to great lengths to show Angela Merkel that he could be a credible partner. He lauded her leadership on refugees and Russia, took the fight to populists, and promised to tackle France’s economic rigidities, all wrapped in a European Union flag. The Elysée Treaty of 1963, the basis for Franco-German co-operation, would be given a fresh lick of paint. For years visitors to Berlin had grown familiar with weary complaints about unreformable France. Now the Germans seemed to have what they had long claimed to be waiting for. If Mr Macron had not come along, perhaps Germany would have had to invent him.

Mr Macron has always argued that his domestic plans cannot be isolated from his European ambitions. So this week, as transport strikes and university sit-ins roiled his country, he took his calls for EU reform to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. France’s Jupiterian president loves a good scrap, and it showed. Mr Macron sparred with MEPs from across the spectrum, passionately defending his decision to attack weapons sites in Syria, and reserving particular venom for a former ally of Marine Le Pen, the nationalist leader he bested last year. Mr Macron issued his customary battle-cry against illiberal populists and European naysayers—but also tried to dispel what seems to him to be a whiff of complacency.We can’t carry on as if this is any old debate,” he said, adding that he did not want to belong “to a generation of sleepwalkers”. As he knows, the warnings in Christopher Clark’s book of the same name, which charts the diplomatic missteps that led to the first world war, resonate with Mrs Merkel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel and Macron Begin Sparring on Eurozone Reform

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 20-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

French president seeks backing from reluctant German leader for a eurozone revamp with little time to overcome differences before EU summit in June

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday kick-started what promised to be difficult talk about strengthening the eurozone’s architecture, as Berlin maintained its skepticism over ambitious French proposals to deepen the integration of the currency union’s economies.

Mr. Macron has been seeking support from Ms. Merkel for his campaign to overhaul the eurozone’s institutions, with proposals for common spending and burden-sharing, and was counting on Thursday’s meeting to overcome resistance from the German chancellor.

However, at a joint press conference ahead of the talks, Ms. Merkel remained noncommittal. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Change of state

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is doing lasting damage
Once hollowed out, the rule of law is hard to restore

FOR a glimpse of Poland under the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, tune in to the news on the state television channel, Telewizja Polska (TVP). The opening sequence, a computer-animated tour of Polish landmarks, homes in on the clock tower of Warsaw’s royal castle. The capital’s most recognisable building, the towering Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science, is nowhere to be seen. Then the anchors appear, and proceed to praise PiS slavishly while branding its critics treacherous crypto-communists.

This combination of subtle and brazen nationalist revisionism captures the two-and-a-half years of PiS rule. The party has purged the public administration, made it illegal to accuse the “Polish nation” of complicity in the Holocaust, and peddled conspiracy theories about the aeroplane crash in 2010 which killed then-president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others outside Smolensk, in Russia. It has turned a blind eye to chauvinism among its supporters, while prosecuting peaceful counter-protesters at the monthly commemorations of the Smolensk disaster led by Lech’s twin brother, Jaroslaw (pictured), who is PiS’s chairman. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Plans to Pitch Trade Bargain to Trump

Posted by hkarner - 20. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Deal would feature lower tariffs on U.S. cars, access to government bidding for Europe, and joint action on China

European officials want a permanent exemption from new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The European Union is drawing up a peace offer it hopes will end trade hostilities with the White House and avoid steel and aluminum tariffs being imposed on the bloc in two weeks’ time, according to European officials.

Its centerpiece: A miniature, simplified version of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership—the controversial EU-U.S. trade agreement that was negotiated but never concluded under the Obama administration.

To complete the offer, the EU is considering joining forces with the U.S. in tackling what both see as China’s unfair trade practices, the officials said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Don’t Rule Out an EU-U.S. Trade War

Posted by hkarner - 20. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

Europe is demanding the Trump administration permanently exempt it from tariffs. A flashpoint in the dispute comes May 1

The European Union shares U.S concerns about Chinese trade practices but may soon find itself in a trade war of its own with Washington.

So far, the European Union has managed to stay out of the escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Along with other U.S. allies, it negotiated for itself a temporary exemption from the tariffs on imported steel that President Donald Trump announced last month, citing national security concerns. Since then, the U.S. has introduced a further $50 billion of tariffs on an extensive list of Chinese imports in retaliation for what it claims is theft of intellectual property and has threatened a further $100 billion. The EU shares many of the U.S.’s concerns about Chinese trade practices and would like to work with the U.S. to put pressure on China to agree to a reform of global trading rules that would address Chinese overcapacity problems. Yet there is a real risk that the EU and U.S. may soon find themselves embroiled in a trade war of their own. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel blockt Macron

Posted by hkarner - 18. April 2018

Handelsblatt.com, 18-4, HANS-JÜRGEN JAKOBS

Emmanuel Macron muss sich vorkommen wie ein Galan, der wirbt und wirbt um seine Angebetete, der sogar unter ihrem Balkon singt, der aber mit Plattitüden und Plastikrosen abgespeist wird. Er wirkt wie Alain Delon, der Romy Schneider nie bekommt. Am Dienstag hat der französische Staatspräsident wieder  eine seiner Pro-Europa-Reden gehalten, diesmal ging es in Straßburg um „Europas Wiedergeburt“ und Finanzhilfen für Kommunen, die Flüchtlinge aufnehmen. Und natürlich um eine Reform der Währungsunion, für die Macron einen Euro-Finanzminister und ein Euro-Budget anregt. Deutschland aber, Objekt seiner Begierde und lange paralysiert von den Wirren seines Regierungsaufbaus, hat Krähwinkel zur Hauptstadt erklärt. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can the EU Break Out of Its Political Limbo?

Posted by hkarner - 17. April 2018

Date: 16-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

June summit will test leadership’s ability to reduce the risk of another sovereign crisis, and settle its asylum policy

French President Emmanuel Macron has given fresh urgency to the debate over completing the eurozone’s banking union, strengthening its bailout funds and creating a new central fiscal capacity to smooth shocks.

For the last two years, the European Union has been stuck in limbo. During this time, its priority has been simply to survive.

In mid-2016, in the wake of the Brexit referendum, with the migration crisis and eurozone debt crisis still fresh in the memory, and with euroskeptic parties riding high in the polls ahead of looming elections in key member states, it seemed as if it might fall apart.

The fact that it didn’t is partly due to the willingness of mainstream politicians to work together in grand coalitions and minority governments to keep the euroskeptics away from power. It is also partly due to the unexpected strength of the economic recovery and the dramatic fall in the rate of  illegal migration—but also because EU leaders agreed to defer difficult decisions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Landwirtschaft: Österreich für Totalverbot von Bienengift

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2018

Endlich eine neue Position nach dem schwindligen Berlakovich ! (hfk)

Österreich wird am 27. April auf EU-Ebene für eine Ausweitung des Verbots von Neonicotinoiden stimmen, sagt Nachhaltigkeitsministerin Köstinger. Sie fordert dafür aber Solidarität von Handel und NGOs mit den Rübenbauern.

Wien. Nachdem der Frühling endgültig eingekehrt ist und die Blüte von vielen Obstbäumen und Feldpflanzen in ihre wichtigste Phase geht, wird auch dem Thema Bienensterben wieder größere Aufmerksamkeit gewidmet. Rund 350.000 Bienenvölker gibt es in Österreich, die für die wichtige Bestäubung der Pflanzen sorgen. Vor rund dreißig Jahren waren es allerdings noch gut 100.000 Völker mehr. Der Grund für diesen Rückgang liegt zwar zum Teil darin begründet, dass die Zahl der Imker seither auch um rund zehn Prozent auf knapp 28.000 gesunken ist. Als noch wesentlich wichtiger wird von vielen Experten jedoch das kontinuierliche Bienensterben angesehen.

Vor allem in den kalten Wintermonaten berichten Imker immer häufiger davon, dass ihnen komplette Völker einfach wegsterben. Verantwortlich dafür ist vielfach die Varroa-Milbe, die seit den 1980er-Jahren in Österreich Bienenvölker angreift. In den vergangenen Jahren wurde man jedoch zunehmend auch auf die Wirkung von drei Pestiziden aus der Gruppe der Neonicotinoide aufmerksam. Laut der Europäischen Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (Efsa) führen diese Stoffe bei Bienen dazu, dass deren Nervenleitungen nicht mehr ordnungsgemäß funktionieren. Dadurch verlieren die Bienen die Orientierung und finden nicht mehr zu ihrem Stock. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Lessons Can Washington Learn From Europe About Regulation of Tech Firms?

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2018

Date: 13-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The EU has advanced dozens of initiatives, including privacy rules that take hold next month

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

U.S. lawmakers this week set the stage for a possible new era of regulation for big tech companies as they questioned Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s handling of user privacy.

They offered few specifics about what type of oversight they would favor for an industry that has up to now been governed in the U.S. with a light touch. But as they mull how and whether to pursue regulation to address increasing concerns, including about digital privacy, they might look to Europe to seek answers and to avoid some pitfalls.

Across the Atlantic, both Brussels and European Union member states have pushed for a raft of different regulations of the tech industry in recent years—covering issues including privacy, hate speech, taxes and unfair trading practices.

That has led to accusations in the past by U.S. officials and companies that the EU is unfairly targeting American firms, while EU officials have said they are just trying to level the playing field for smaller players. Brussels’ regulation has also been accused of stymieing innovation.

Mr. Zuckerberg told U.S. lawmakers he was open to regulation, but warned against far-reaching rules that could harm innovation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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