Posts Tagged ‘EU’


December 15, 2011

Has David Cameron put Britain offside and off-shore in Europe?

In his failed last-minute quest for special treatment over financ ial regulation, it would seem the Prime Minister has taken Britain out of the room where decisions on the future of  Europe will be shaped.  The consequences could well be a prolonged, bitter parting of the ways between Britain and the rest of the European Union, a divorce in which both parties lose.

Politicians and commentators across Europe have pronouced Britain’s move disastrous, that it has lost its  seat at the European negotiating table, and that retaliation from Europe will damage Britain’s economy.

And it’s not just Europe that is upset with Cameron’s decision.  So is his co-leader in the coalition, Nick Clegg, leader of  the Lib-Dems.

To be sure, I should point out that Euro-skeptics in Britain are cheering Cameron’s decision and so, I would guess, are a majority in the country itself.

Will the decision affect Britain’s trade with Europe?  If so, is this an opportunity for Canada to step up and increase our trade with the mother country?

Has Cameron isolated Britain?

What do you think?


November 4, 2011

The global financial crisis left the Greek government, which had spent and borrowed heavily but had not collected enough tax, without sufficient funds to pay its bills.

Bail-out plans came with unpopular reforms;  some had feared a “No” vote on a proposed referendum would have forced Greece from the euro leading to another financial crisis.

Fortunately plans for the referendum have been abandoned.  But does it really matter one way or the other?  In either case the Greeks are facing a stark  choice.  They can say yes to the terms of the European bailout — in which case they face a life sentence of harsh austerity under the watchful eyes of European technocrats who will basically be telling the Greek government what to do.  Or they can say no – in which case they face a life sentence of harsh austerity but at least they’ll be in charge.

Today Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will face a vote of confidence in parliament.  If he wins, he says he will voluntarily step down and let a new government be formed.

Will it make any difference whether the Greek prime minister bows out?

Will failure in Greece affect our financial recovery in Canada?

Can the Greek economy be saved?

What do you think?


October 27, 2011

In a critical do or  die summit in Brussels, European leaders only came up with a partial solution to their debt crisis.  The leaders agreed to the broad outline of a trillion euro plan to end the continent’s two year old financial crisis.  But they remained deadlocked on how their plans will work, when they will happen and what they will truly cost.  And time is running out.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel put the matter starkly.  “If the euro fails, then Europe fails.”

The plan requires existing holders of Greek bonds to take big losses on their investments – and they are balking.

The plan also requires a European stablization fund but countries like Germany, Britain and France can’s agree on how much they should chip in.

The plan is now expected to be nailed down by finance ministers in November.

Whether the markets will put up with further delays is a question.

A collapse of the euro will negatively affect Canada and the U.S.

Can Europe be saved?

What do you think?