Cyprus, The Eurozone Breakup, & “The Dog in Charge of the Sausage Supply”

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

Finland doesn’t get the white-hot attention Germany does, but it should because it could be the driving force behind a breakup of the Eurozone. And it fired another shot: it demanded collateral for its share of the billions of euros that Cyprus would receive from the bailout Troika.

Cyprus is the fifth of 17 Eurozone countries to ask for a bailout. It’s panic time. The first tranche, €1.8 billion, is needed by June 30 to prop up its second largest bank, Popular Bank. And suddenly, Bank of Cyprus, the largest bank, needs €500 million. That’s just the beginning. All its big banks have been eviscerated by Greek government bonds, Greek corporate debt, a real estate bubble that collapsed, and a title-deed scandal that they colluded in—whose outcrop is now gumming up their balance sheets [I warned about it in October.... Another Eurozone Country Bites the Dust].

Though the government denied any amounts had been discussed, Reuters' “Eurozone sources” attached a number to it: €10 billion—for a country that acceded to the Eurozone in 2008, has a GDP of only €17.3 billion, and has the population of San Francisco (just above 800,000). It takes a lot of talent to do so much with so little.

In return, the bailout Troika will prescribe its bitter medicine: bank recapitalizations, structural reforms, privatizations, reductions in civil servants, and budget cuts. Communist President Demetris Christofias, who speaks fluent Russian, attended university in Moscow, and is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had already endeared himself to the bailout Troika—the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF—by accusing them of being run like a “colonial force.”

Being so closely tied to Greece and having seen what happened there, Cypriots are worried about the fate that might befall them. But Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly had soothing words. It would be premature to speculate, he said on state radio, but the terms of the bailout “won’t be so painful as some may believe.”

Cyprus has been playing a guessing game. It would prefer a bilateral loan from either Russia or China. A veritable shuttle diplomacy has been taking place, with Cypriot officials flying to one or the other country and returning with promising smiles but little else. Last year, after it had been cut off from the capital markets, Cyprus received a €2.5 billion loan from Russia; and earlier this month, rumors were swirling around that it would receive another €5 billion. But so far, nothing. And the Chinese, who know how to negotiate, even with their communist friends, have shifted their attention to Malta on another project.

Russia and China have reason for wanting a stake in Cyprus: vast off-shore deposits of natural gas. The field off the southern coast might hold as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of gas. It’s likely that there are other fields around Cyprus. 15 major oil and gas companies and consortiums, including some from Russia and China, are bidding to do exploratory drilling, and they’re eager to build LNG export terminals and other massive infrastructure projects [read.... Manna for Bankrupt Cyprus].

But Russia and China could demand a heavy price in return for a loan—and that’s why Cyprus is even talking to the despised Troika. President Christofias, whose communist heart is closer to Russia and China, has perhaps already seen that price. So he’s fishing for a better deal. But by June 30, Cyprus must get the first €1.8 billion.

Ironically, the next day, Cyprus will rotate into the Presidency of the Council of the EU for a six-month term, as spelled out in the Lisbon Treaty. That’s democracy at the EU level: mechanized, predetermined by treaty, beyond vote. And the only directly elected institution of the EU, the European Parliament, shares the legislative functions with the Council (that Cyprus will preside) and the European Commission, but it’s emasculated because it cannot even propose bills.

This lack of democracy is the dark backdrop to the tohubohu about a fiscal union, a banking union, Eurobonds, and the idea of integrating the Eurozone more deeply, and all the other panaceas to be discussed at the EU summit: they hinge on transferring important aspects of sovereignty from democratic nations to unaccountable bureaucrats, appointed technocrats, or predetermined officials, all with an ever-increasing thirst for power. And the frustration is already high....

“An EU paradox! Now we have a situation where the dog will be in charge of the sausage supply,” said Kurt Lauk, President of the economic advisory board of the CDU, the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “How can Cyprus engage in crisis management when it’s stuck deep in a crisis itself?” he asked. An eloquent paradigm for all Eurozone bailouts. He then demanded that all bailed-out countries be excluded from the presidency. An issue left up to voters, directly or indirectly, in democracies.  

During the two-day EU summit, all eyes will be breathlessly riveted on Chancellor Merkel—with one question on all lips: will she blink? Because nothing less than the future of the Eurozone and the euro is at stake. And by extension, the world economy. Only she can save it. And she’d have only 48 hours! Read.... The EU Summit To Save The Euro: It Already Collapsed.

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Jack Sheet's picture

What collateral?

matterhornclimber's picture

I' m pretty sure, that most bloggers here, do not even know wherer Cyprus is. Cyprus is an island in the

east meditarrean see, the north being under turkish influence the south beeing an independant european

community country. Cyprus is very hot in summertime (e.g. 40-45 degree celsius for 6 month or so.)

almost 50 % of income to that country comes from summer tourism.


JamesBond's picture

small country -

big energy recources -

which they will have to pony up for more debt.  isn't that a kicker?!



Element's picture

But if there's no functional credit system won't NATO just bomb and ransack the place instead?

Peter Pan's picture

Europe will be fine........after it collapses..... because at that time the free market might be able to extend its expertise.

bourbondave's picture

Why do people keep saying that Merkel/Germany can save the Eurozone?  Everyone knows that they aren't nearly big enough.

janus's picture

yup, props to the preacher-man ---

sure nuff...da man.  well, him and soren can fairly blame them both for janus.  but me, the man behind it all, well, i figure i'm faultless.  i'm just doin my duty...ich dein and all.

anyway, i reckon some of you are a-wonderin why janus hasn't been 'taken-down' by some freckle-faced bully from san jose...well, that's because i'm the baddest mutha fuckah around.  in the whole goddam world, you read me right; no one can challenge me.  not in any subject -- theology to politics.  think i'm fuckin around?  buck up against me, bitchez...see what the fuck happens.  tremble when you approach the throne.

'oh, janus...' some may say, 'what if, you know, someday these words come back to haunt you'...what if, heaven forefend, you have to make an answer?

"i was a-just a dumb ole country-boy jus-a playin games and all....huh, huh, huh.  nuthin anything approachin serious or anything.  just the good ole fella that every mother wants for a son, every brutha wants for a kin and every papa longs for a fellow-soul.  just that guy you meet on a plane.  you know...the single-serving friend.  well, i'm sweet till the end.  i was just playin a charecter...just a humble affectation.  don't mind it at all."

that's what i'll say.  and it'll be much more than plausable.

now, where wuz I?

oh, the new age...dats right.  that lil nothin approachin.  what kind of government will it be?  what dogmatic orthodoxy? oh, my, what do we need believe?  

the truth within ya...dats all.  now, i know many of you mock fraternities...but, all the same, they do impute some merit unto the young men that join.  for instance (and, still unto this day, i LIVE by this creed above all others...and this is from memory, from 18+ years pledge year.  a great year...  lifelong bruthahs.  can count on them till the grave...know it...would trust them with anything...and i think, as far as things go, this is a world-order to attain to.  so, here it goes, my freshman-year fraternity oath -- may it endure always:

The True Gentleman...

the true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good-will and an acute sense of propriety/

and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies./

one who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty/

the obscure man of his obsurity or any man of his deformity or inferiority/

who is himself humbled if necessity compells him to humble another/

who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, nor boast of his own possesions or acheivements/

who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy/

whose deed follows his word/

who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own/

and who appears well in any company/

a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue is safe.

Sir John Walter Wayland

dat's right...awesomeness enclosed in verse.  okay, maybe prose -- somewhere janus.

that's the world i want...and i won't stop till we're at least a lot closer.


here's another janus theme-song:

wanna hear an ancient joke, bitchez?

why was 6 afraid of 7? because 7-8-9.

don't forgit bout 5-what-5-what-5

this monkey's gone to heaven,

okay, since we're going there, might as well dive

let's go full-circle, israel.  so, the only 'democracy' in the middle east grounds its raison de entre in the firmament of Scripture.  do they now?  supposin janus knows a bit about dis shit...supposin janus knows that, whatever the 'truth' may be, the modern jew (at most) claims decendency from the tribes of judah and benjamin only.  that'd be the southern kingdom...that'd be seperate captivites in babylon...that'd be two distinct national identities.  that'd be those other 10 northern tribes you may have heard something of -- in the lands you claim above certain lines.  point is, the 'kingdom of the south' (judah/benjamin) was less ambitious than the likuds today demand.  so, zionists, you want you some theological debatin...come and fuckin get it!  i am the lion.

i just want peace, goddam it.

if peace demands the silence of some shrill, chest-thumpin nile-to najaf nincompoops...well, silenced they shall be.  you are nested in a land of nettles, judah.  this was your conscious decision.  did you think you would establish some modern caliphate?  all the same, none shall be established over you.  selah. 

now, i need an irrational segue (as i needed an excuse to caution you hubristic expanionists in jordan's valley): 

how bout dis:

learn to be content, judah...tis no sacrifice to yeild what was nevah yours.

all of this leads me to a much larger 5Xs larger; like the share joseph larded on benjamin's plate in egypt, only 5Xs -- 5Xs--5Xs greater...but that's the story of joseph; and we'll get to that later.

i'll admit something most of you already know.  i'm kinda like the bastard-son of william jefferson clinton.  i've never confessed such...but i've long known as much.  not that we're related...but we're most definintely related.

this is the scene from whence billy-boy and i met...

naw...just kiddin, Mr. President.  we just chose differnt routes...but, mark it well, mine always wins

(the olde man told me to take any rug in the house)


any of you remember when i said i didn't remember my dreams?  well, there was one i remember well:

it was back in college (things were happenin in and for janus back then).  i don't recall if the moon was full or small, nor if there were any comets nor meteor-storms at all.  all i remember is that felix-the-cat acid was, at the time, wreakin havok on our young minds.  these were the dayz of murk and muck and haze.  something like this:

we used to do this thing called 'wednesday night trip-club' was toatlly depraved; if you're curious.

just in case you were holding out a lantern for redemption, i won't tease you; it doesn't excell unto virtue from here,  this is where i'm tryin to explain that folks, no matter how good-hearted they may be, may be led into vice...cause it can come and find you.

okay, me and my inner-circle were bookies and small-time junkies.  no goods from the right side of the tracks.  all we needed was a lil push to the dark-side.  but, if you've evah played the game...well, i couldn't explain.  good and evil/right and wrong can get so fuckin blurred.  it sometimes gets down to a moment; which can drag out for a long time...till reality smacks yo upside the mutha fuckin mouth. 

many of those involved are now deacons and whatnot in their respective churches; so janus will omit the names...but, make no mistake, we ARE responsible.  and none of us cares one wit...that's sorta the point.

let's call him catfish john.  he was a nasty influence.  used to bring us QPs of coke for a more than reasonable price.  such as can be divided up among lots of delta boyz all great profit and plurailty of fine-ass pussy.  but i digress.

so one day he tells us about a lil this:

the law permitted anyone over the age of 18 to transport themselves and obtain all manner of meds.  really, no shit...the 'doctors' would just hand you menus that listed catagories like "pain", "sleep", "diet" get the point.  it was like an imbecile's SAT...just circle what you wanted and check the price.  meds were subsidized in ole mexico back-when.  anyway, catch was, you could only get a 90 day supply.  except, that is, for the majik lil white pill called rohyphonal (sp?).  they later took to callin em rape drugs and whatnot.  now, understand, janus would never (and I am here most sincere) imagine that some loser-twerp would use such meds for such ends.  but, way back when, i was naive.

there was no limit for the rophies...just tape em to your leg and all was good.  it was crazy back then.  i mean, me and xxxx got stopped in houston 3 times in one trip (and movin in one direction), and, because our script was legit, they had to let us go.   grateful dead stickers and long hair notwithstanding...maybe the ducks unlimited stickers helped.  no matter how hippified rednecks git, we always love our guns.  nevertheless, again, i digress.

yeah, we slipped through texas and louisiana unmolested time and time again.  each time with tighter pussy to pull surplus pills.  we just needed their name and affection -- they got what they needed from the arrangement, too.

(miss ya, ya, mexico!)

anyway, we (and other fratboys from other SEC schools) soon flooded the southeast with rophies; and so started a national plague.  you should be proud of us, america...we are your golden boyz.

best part about this was that it funded further ventures.  i mean, why stop at pill pushing when you can forge ahead and claim new ground for chemistry.  demerol and valium and morphine and speed can dull a man's soul.  any who've stalked these demons through hell can here testify.  but, like all good things, they come to a rather unpleasant end.  at this point we must expand our horizons...cast thy gaze west-ward, young man...or, really, wherever the better buzz beckons.

extacy...yup.  two summer's worth.

we used to sell in this bar called AJ's in destin, fl. late night, by the time we were done, they were sellin water or juice or nothin.  didn't matter; cause #1 we were sellin through the finest sorority gals you evah seen (nobody narcs on girls this fine...and they knew it), and, #2 the place was always hoppin & #3 our shit was the best anyone had evah had.  pure MDMA, mutha fuckah.  we were grabbin it for 3.33 a pill outah monterrey, mX.  and you bitchez were gladly givin up 30 per tiny white oval.  God Bless capitalism!

shit got so out of fuckin hand!!! i can't even begin to start on all the stories.  HOLY SHIT.  i haven't thought of those dayz in years.  we were so crazy in the days before facebomb...back then, you could do shit and repent; and that's all there was.  and, even though i never took pictures i remember all you ho's and i love you all more than you could dat moment in time, and sealed with janus forevah -- yup, bitchez, i'm your wife's spring break fling!!! now what?   fuckin awesome that you should so freely give of yoursleves and your hos.  you're a model for america's young people (he he he).

i say all that to preface that which i started out intending to describe.  it goes sometihng like this:

so, i'm all hangin out drinking and blowin lines at a garden party of sorts.  i think i'd been playing tennis earlier...and i'm certain i'd won.  anyway, it was an otherwise glorious day...things couldn't get much better.  well, if you're like janus, at this point you're starting to develop a bad case of boredom...time to sort of rattle life.  you stroll notice the young co-ed lookin for a broader education.  you consider.  well, let's let hollywood do the rest:

the dream was but a derivation...and i sense that similar real-life scenarios are impending...but, derivatives and all notwithstanding, the dream was VERY vivid.  like it was real life.  and, i'm gonna lay it all out there, it was a sloppy fuck-fest with me and ole gal.  she taught met things that i still use today; and i think she feels the same way.  her name was courtney, if i remember correctly.

little does it matter.  what seemed important at the time was that, when i exited the bungalow (it was at this sort of camp), there was ole billy, ready to slap-five.  he looked proud.  i was happy for him.

hell, i was happy for me, too.  she was sin...all blonde and thin.  

so, that's my relationship with ole clinton.  like i said, we go WAY back.  far as you can go.  

thought you all may enjoy a bit of zanyness that means absolutely nothing at all...nothing.

later i'll tell you about the northern ten tribes and what some believe about joseph.

for now, seems best we just turn to rock and roll:

the child arrived just the other day,



GeneMarchbanks's picture

WTF? Write articles not posts you douchebaguette.

janus's picture

i think i shall do what the fuck i please, nitwit.

as for you, be more're wanting in so many regards.  like ideas, for example.  you clearly haven't any of your own...oh, don't suspect that i've many times foresaken the opportunity you often provide for a brutal bullying.  you see, i try to be a nice guy.

that was a super-cool name you called me.  how many hours did it take you and your boyfriend to cobble that one together, huh?

now you've drawn my gaze...not good.


Peter Pan's picture

I think you meant ......posts not articles.

falak pema's picture

in the current debate on globalisation and what future centrally planned versus free markets hold for mankind, now constrained by RM shortages and "peak resource" logic, it is useful to look back into the past and see how these very issues were considered by our forbears as herebelow :

Mercantilism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physiocracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

we haven't invented anything new under the sun! Its the same old songs...

Philipp von Hörnigk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

9 point program to buckle down into a Ron PAul country ! Nigel Farage would buy that too!

Makes for awesome reading and the Physiocrats could be very contemporary today as ecological crusaders and "the answer lies in the soil" clique.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

We never really left mercantilism entirely, Britain and the US are out to re-write history of capitalism to give the world a completely false impression of their 'progress'.

Almost all of today’s rich countries used tariff protection and subsidies to develop their industries. Interestingly, Britain and the USA, the two countries that are supposed to have reached the summit of the world economy through their free-market, free-trade policy, are actually the ones that had most aggressively used protection and subsidies.


Contrary to the popular myth, Britain had been an aggressive user, and in certain areas a pioneer, of activist policies intended to promote its industries. Such policies, although limited in scope, date back from the 14th century (Edward III) and the 15th century (Henry VII) in relation to woollen manufacturing, the leading industry of the time.  England then was an exporter of raw wool to the Low Countries, and Henry VII for example tried to change this by taxing raw wool exports and poaching skilled workers from the Low Countries.

falak pema's picture

practice what we preach, not what we do...

Interesting to see Merkel is mutualising banking debts amongst Lander banks, which are regional under a Landers umbrella; by offering them federal guarantees through Bundesbank! So Germany protects its banks involved in RE meltdown in Spain via this safety net; which is contrary to its constitution (apparently), but is politically useful to get opposition support to its ESM package legislation for Europe. All the while being opposed to mutualising banking/soveregin debts at euro level...I know we are still nation states, not a federal unit, in EU, but its ironic to see how Germany bends the constitutional rule internally and then refuses to do so externally of its own frontiers, to rationalise activity in its commercial/ financial empire of Euro zone! 

Ghordius's picture

falak, I'm not an expert on German Constitutional matters, but a friend explained to me that it was all political posturing - he says the court is getting impatient with all those bickerings. His view is that it's constitutional...

gojam's picture


I'm going to give this post a rating of 5 out of 5 just for the title - 

Cyprus, The Eurozone Breakup, & “The Dog in Charge of the Sausage Supply”

Nachdenken's picture

The German equivalent "Bock zum Gaertner" the ram is now the gardner.  Greek debt contagion bright before our blinded eyes.

Ghordius's picture

Again this hogwash: "That’s democracy at the EU level: mechanized, predetermined by treaty, beyond vote. And the only directly elected institution of the EU, the European Parliament, shares the legislative functions with the Council (that Cyprus will preside) and the European Commission, but it’s emasculated because it cannot even propose bills.

This lack of democracy is the dark backdrop..."

Hello? It's a Confederation, you are just describing the fact that the EU is confederated, i.e. that democratic processes happen at the level of the members of the confederation, who all have elected parliaments that usually appoint an executive, usually a PM, that represent the member countries in the Council. And because they are representing sovereigns (one sovereign, one vote), they make treaties, which is nothing else than the common accepted way of stipulating agreements between sovereigns. Thank you very much, I prefer it this way. You are just exploiting the fact that your readers generally don't know who is the Council. And the english speaking media makes it even murkier by calling the Council meetings "summits".

The Irish, for example, have a referendum on treaties. This is democracy.

Ghordius's picture

i-dog, before you ask: is this all a bunch of socialists? The majorities are CONSERVATIVE.

The EU Council - is profoundly conservative. Here the composition:

- TWO without political affiliation

Mario Monti  Italy (EUR)     (Technical)

Dalia Grybauskaite  Lithuania       (Independent)

- ONE Socialist/Communist:

Demetris Christofias  Cyprus (EUR)

- FOUR Socialists:

Francois Hollande France (EUR)    

Elio Di Rupo Belgium (EUR)                   

Helle Thorining-Schmidt Denmark 

Robert Fico Slovakia (EUR)  

- ONE Social Democrat:

Wermer Faymann Austria (EUR)           

- TWO Liberal Democrats:

Mark Rutte Netherlands (EUR)       

Andrus Ansip Estonia (EUR)           

This makes the Total of the votes for the Left: EIGHT

- TWO Liberal Conservatives

David Cameron UK              

Petr Necas Czech Rep.      

- FIFTEEN Conservatives

Angela Merkel Germany (EUR)   

Mariano Rajoy Spain (EUR)             

Donald Tusk Poland          

Pedro Passos Coelho     Portugal (EUR)  

Jyrki Katainen          Finland (EUR)   

Frederik Reinfeldt        Sweden          

Antonis Samaras   Greece (EUR)    

Enda Kenny                                   Ireland (EUR)           

Jean-Claude Juncker     Luxembourg (EUR)        

Lawrence Gonzi                             Malta (EUR)             

Boyko Borisov             Bulgaria                

Traian Basescu                              Romania 

Valdis Dombrovskis        Latvia          

Janez Jansa               Slovenia 

Viktor Orban                                   Hungary 

- ONE Observer without vote

Zoran Milanovic         Croatia

- Two additional members without vote, i.e. the president of the council and the president of the commission.

This makes the Total for the Center/Right. SEVENTEEN

Recap: 17 (63%) on the Center/Right, 8 (30%) on the Left, 2 (7%) Non-affiliated (and 3 non-voting members)

i-dog's picture

Since I'm anti-statist, the whole arcane shebang looks to me like a labyrinth designed to obfuscate the erosion of nation-state rights and individual rights ... formerly known as "self determination" and "individual responsibility". So I'm biased!

In other words, the "conservative" who roped the UK into the "union" (then held a referendum a few years later to see if anyone agreed with him ... and 44% of eligible voters apparently did!) was a closet socialist (and 3-times Bilderberg attendee before he managed to pull it off). Many of your listed "conservatives" are also Bilderbergers (Merkel, Katainen, Reinfeldt, Samaras) and the one "without political affiliation" has attended Bilderberg 24 times!

And when you label Cameron as a "liberal conservative", is that [rightly] because he is "liberal" with the truth and "conservative" about actually implementing any of his election promises? In that case, the label fits!

Giving any of those turkeys a label is no different than attaching a 'left' or 'right' label to I'llBombYa or Obombney ... they're all politicians and their own personal or party positions take a backseat to propaganda-driven electioneering, corporate lobbying, and threats to their job security by the puppet masters. The "public" has no say at all ... whether in Europe, America, or anywhere else.

Perpetuating the "socialist" or "conservative" labelling machine is just perpetuating the hegelian dialectic and missing the fundamentals of statism.

Ghordius's picture

What I'm trying to explain is that politics is always a dirty business - what matters is the degree of corruption. Democracy has to be applied, day after day. No free lunch here, I'm afraid...

Ghordius's picture

hundreds and hundreds of Member of Parliaments are voted here, and those conservatives are real. The Bilderbergers, the sleaze, the cabals, the small get-rich-groups are everywhere, yes, but infiltrating 27 conservative parties, 27 liberal parties, etc. etc.? No way. This is only possible when you concentrate power. so again, yes, 5 Bilderbergers? Still a minority in the Council. Does Viktor Orban belong to them? I don't think so.

Ghordius's picture

i-dog, regarding how the UK got into the EU: it's their matter. that's the whole deal: it's a national decision. If the Britons are happy to vote MPs that than form a liberal-conservative (Cameron's Torys) and liberal-democrat (Clegg's) coalition of two parties so that Cameron can be the PM, well, it's their country. The principle that then the PM represents his country is not touched by it. It's still the elected parliament that can just pull him back to the last benches, if it forms a new majority - or force a new election.

sorry, but when it comes to Britons I have only regrets: they are sometimes and in certain matters the least politically informed and interested people of Europe. lots of good traits, but politically, they are sometimes a catastrophe.

Ghordius's picture

i-dog, I shocked you lately by writing that I symphatize with our european anarcho-syndacalists. what exactly is anti-statist?

nevertheless, here, in Europe, you can forget any plans to scrap our nation states. they costed too much time and blood and sweat - you'll find perhaps some 1% of the population willing to listen to "anti-statism" in any radical form.

Nevertheless, when it comes to having less state, we europeans are attempting something very exciting with the Fiscal Compact. Imagine, the State that can only spend as much as it taxes... radical... though, sadly, the UK does not want to join this endeavour...

i-dog's picture

LOL ... Ghordie: you keep scrabbling around in the drawer for a label to attach to everyone you discuss things with! "Anti-" means "against"; "statist" means "passionately desires a central state to direct all activities".

I realise you probably can't figure out how roads could be built and operated without a central state to manage the allocation of budgets and contracts, and to hold the 'stop-go' signs (though I could point you to the "state" of the roads in most all centrally-planned states and say "How's it working for you, so far?"). And you will, no doubt, have no idea how banks could be controlled without "the government" to license them, restrict outside competition, set reserve and interest parameters, oversee them, and bail them out - but some of us have some good ideas on how it could be achieved. But I won't bore you with the details right now.

However, I'm a little puzzled by your contention that it would take a "very exciting" nouveau "Fiscal Compact" to replace the last "very exciting" nouveau "Fiscal Treaty" (It's all in a name?) to get states to live within their means. Some of us think that the original treaties already had clauses that restricted annual budget deficits ... did they somehow get deleted? Couldn't they just cross out the 3% and repalace it with 0%? Weren't there enough accountants in the Brussels Back Office to check Greece's "off balance sheet" shenanigans?

WTF have you been smoking all these years, Ghordie? Forget lung's rotting your logic circuits!!

Love and kisses,

The Dog

Ghordius's picture

i-dog. first I'd like to thank you. your responses are never boring. I'll try to keep it short

1. You are right. 100%. This is only the second attempt, and the first failed. So perhaps we'll need a third, a fourth, etc. It's worth it.

2. No, you are missing the big chunk of europeans like me that are faintly amused by all the rules and by all those statistist we have here, though we have a higher tolerance to them, perhaps due to longer and stronger exposure.

Nevertheless, we live on the big landmass. If I try to reach on foot the place where people hate most all the bands, gangs, empires and invasionary alliances we had in history, I would land in Afghanistan, a wonderful example of a place where people would like to be just left alone with their own local organization in tribes. Wherever we have a vacuum here, a flag of someone else is immediately planted. Here, if you don't gang up, you'll be ganged up by someone else. Frontier romanticism is a luxury we never had.

3. Labels in politics? Yes (there is lots of silliness in it) and No (lots of people take this very seriously and apply them). We have a much more diverse political landscape here, this leads to narrower definitions of ideology. Cameron's Torys', for example, could have joined the other big conservatives's group in the EU Parliament. Instead they defined a new group with others of the same bent. You might find this amusing, but please be reminded that you might be used to an electoral system where you always get two choices - only.

Here, the electorate (as always that part that does take it seriously) does make a difference between Far Left (ex-Communists), Socialists, Regionalists, Liberals, Radicals, Greens, Eurosceptics, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Conservatives, Christian Conservatives, plain vanilla Conservatives, EuroFans, National Conservatives (often ex-fascists) and the Far Right (fascists and national-socialists), and a few more.

Hell, I remember times when people (like Dickhead Barroso in his youth) were making a serious difference between Maoist-, plain-vanilla-Kremlin- and Trotskyist- Communism in order to get the votes. But note that even the German Conservatives are split into two parties, one Bavarian Catholic Conservative and one Pan-German Lutheran Conservative. The effort Americans put into issues like the 2nd is put here into labels of ideologies, the containers of issues.

i-dog's picture

Nice reply, Ghordie. Thanks. (And not one strawman in there! ... just your considered opinions, which I do value).

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Democracy is the road to socialism. --Karl Marx

Perhaps then you are anti-democracy if the above quotation is held up as a truism, which I tend to think it is.

obfuscate the erosion of nation-state rights and individual rights ... formerly known as "self determination" and "individual responsibility". So I'm biased!

You're not so much biased as you are a prism observer where you trace everything back to an individuals' collective group association to reach erroneous conclusions about that person's motivations or interests.

The "public" has no say at all ... whether in Europe, America, or anywhere else.

Yes, very true. However I tend to believe this is a question of degree. Seemingly the UK and US public have less say in matters than in EU where 'they' have almost completely insulated themselves from public opinion.

Ghordius's picture



Pandering the principles of "shallow" democracy and forgetting the principles of strong democracy.

I think even most Subjects of Her British Majesty would agree with me that the cornerstone of our european democracy lies in our National Parliaments. They are elected by the People, and in most european nations they appoint - by forming majorities - the national governments, usually a PM and a bunch of Ministers, who govern on sufferance and based on the support of a majority in Parliament

The EU is, therefore, not a Nation and it's not a Federation. It's a Confederation of Free and Sovereign Nations (we don't use this term because our dear American Cousins have a strange history regarding Confederations). Each Nation has it's own armed forces, it's own judiciary, it's own police, etc. And the national governments represents their nations, in the EU Council format, 27 Heads of Governments. Because 97% of politics is still (thankfully) done at the national level, they meet only a few times per year, so they each appoint one representative that should be called Secretaries, Ministers or Ambassadors to the EU, but in fact are called Commissioners, another word for Appointee (which for all purposes means recallable). And, best of all, nations can join or leave the EU, and have a lot of leeway in the application of the EU laws, including temporary non-application.

So again: EU Council: 27 Governments representing 27 Nations - EU Commission: their appointed permanent representatives. All key decisions are taken at the Council level, are patiently explained to (the dickheads of) the Commission, which then proposes drafts for EU laws and regulations who then have to be approved or rejected by the EU Parliament, which is directly elected, and has to approve or reject also the appointments to the Commission (compare to how US Secretaries are appointed by the President and then confirmed by the Senate).

The Parliament of the EU is (only IMO) an application of "shallow" democracy, i.e. a bit of lipstick on the pig - I mean club - to appease those who don't want to understand the EU format. In fact, I would prefer to have the National Parliaments each to send a recallable delegation to Brussels to fill those EMP seats (similar to how US Senators were sent by the State Legislatures - and were recallable - before 1913). But this would fail to pander to all the parties that don't have access to their national parliaments, for example the British Anti-EU party of Nigel Farage, the UKIP. But I digress...

Another lipstick to the fact that the EU is a club of sovereign nations is this discussion about Gollum and Dickhead, ehmm… the right honorable President of the Council (van Rompuy) and the right honorable President of the Commission (Barroso). To appease the idiot requests for "more democracy", some people are thinking that those non-voting members of the Council are to be elected by direct pan-european elections. Which is sheer idiocy, because if we would ever do this, we would have to give those position real power. Which would transform the confederative principle into a federative principle. And there goes national sovereignty. The whole matter is about as absurd as asking the direct election of the US Ambassador to the United Nations. The very last thing we want is an elected President of the EU with real power, unanswerable to the governments and the national parliaments.

Strong democracy, you ask? Well, look at Ireland. Treaties there have to be subject to a referendum. THIS IS STRONG DEMOCRACY, a whole electorate voting on issues like treaties, not on pseudo-dictators. And don't come with the argument that the Irish have sometimes changed their mind in the second or third referendum. This is a Sovereign Prerogative. Note how Ireland voted yes for the European Fiscal Compact, btw.

Which just reminds me that the Government of Her British Majesty granted the British People a referendum on joining the EU, in the 70's. I have seldom met a Briton that was aware that political pressure on the British Members of Parliament could be applied in order to push government to "grant"  a new referendum. Most Britons, being blissfully unaware how their own political system works, prefer to moan about the EU (a national pasttime and very endearing tract).

If you are interested, note how the EU Treaties are ratified - in the example of the European Fiscal Compact: <

And here the wiki articles on the EU Council <> , the Commission <> and the EU Parliament <

Further, if you are young, I strongly recommend this <

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

it's nice to see how even in Europe we have brainwashed people as in the US......


you will soon realize, but for you it will too late

Ghordius's picture

very useful comment. and where exactly does my "brainwashing" exactly consist in? bring some arguments instead of repeating shallow propaganda paroles

i-dog's picture

The European Council has no formal legislative powers. It is purely a strategic political steering committee ... meeting once every few months to strategise how to rope in new members (or try to keep the existing ones).

What is the difference between that and a [quarterly] booze-up, errrr, summit?

Ghordius's picture

ok, i-dog, since you are - I presume - asking, I'll post two big EU rants here, on the broader version below my original comment. I believe they should explain what I mean. GeneMarchBanks will then proceed in junking them because he hates long comments, but this is another story.

the short version is that the Council is the "owner" or "boss" of the EU, and that I, like most europeans, like it the way it is...

now, to the specifics of your question: they meet, they booze, they appoint their puppets, sorry, ministers, sorry, members of the commission, pat on the head of Gollum and Dickhead, and then leave. Yes, this is what they do in their meetings.

Nevertheless, nothing is done without the 27 nations having their say, as in every proper club. Specifically, only they can propose legislation.

Nachdenken's picture

The taxpayers in the contributing nations pay for this charade, and the eurocracy grows with its own decrees and decisions which nations must accept and enforce.  The 27 nations have little choice, only time, to put those into domestic law.

Democracy is dead anyway.  How much of what you voted for is today in policy ?

Ghordius's picture

Nachdenken, perhaps you need a new nick. did you read my EU RANT? nothing is "own" in the EU. "The 27 nations have little choice, only time, to put those into domestic law" this is pure propaganda. read my rant. it's all decided at government level, i.e. in the EU Council.

genr8n's picture

Just in .. Buffett buys Cyprus for $10B and plans to rename the country Buffettania....

ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

a quick thank you (again) to ZH for turning me on to Wolf (and many others ala Reggie M, ..).  Wolf has gotten onto my limited  'favorites' list

Wolf has an uncanny knack for giving the reader the granular understanding for an emerging dynamic that of course is nowhere to be found in 'lamestream media'.  I 'll take Wolf or Michael Yon (solitary military reporter ...former Special Forces) overr most news network reporters .. talkers

cbxer55's picture

I agree. I recently added him to my hit list, "things I must read every day come rain or shine".

I also like TTMYGH, Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmmm!!!!!

janus's picture

why do wolf and janus have the rare abililty to see round corners?  cause they are both hard workers.  

cheers to hard work, wolf!

janus has something grand a-brewin.  i will post it on this thread when i've listened to enough music.  

BTW, math is the language of GOD; and music (insofar as it's all about the math) is the closest communication we have.

still have an hour or so left of merry-makin, beer-drinkin and cig-smokin to attend to...but, make no mistake, i will return.  and i intend to deliver something shocking; shocking with an added appendage of grandiloquince -- and other relevant fiddle faddle...

that's how i roll, mutha fuckers.

wednesday (know who this day was named for?  twas a demi-god...much like janus),


wstrub's picture


Obituary from the London Times......... Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense ,who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; - Life isn’t always fair; - And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, -by his parents, Truth and Trust, -by his wife, Discretion, -by his daughter, Responsibility, -and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers; - I Know My Rights - I Want It Now - Someone Else Is To Blame - I’m A Victim - Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you don’t remember him, join the majority.


q99x2's picture

They are meeting to rumor the market up. That's all.

They should take the opportunity to have a pie fight or put Merk in a dunk the clown seat or something that has some real value.

bankruptcylawyer's picture

cyprus has 1 milion PEOPLE. with probably no more than 400, 000 adult working full time people. 


mayb  400 ---000 incomes. 


asking for how much? 

shovelhead's picture

Hey, island living is expensive.

otto skorzeny's picture

rich Euro/Russkietrash don't tip very well

FeralSerf's picture

There should be quite a few empty condos on the books of the Cyprus banks.  It's cold and dark in Finland in January, not so much in Cyprus.   A match made in heaven?

The tabernas may need to stock a different libation.

mjk0259's picture

A lot of people already bought condo's there only to find out they didn't really own them.

Still attractive to Russians used to that type of thing and needed to hide money outside of Russia. 

Let the Russians have it. That will keep the Turks from taking over the rest of it.

Who cares who has naval control of the Med unless it's Al Queda types.


ahull123's picture

I think Nigel Farage sums it up pretty well,  just take one country out and replace it with another......  really funny and sad at the same time!



who-is-john-galt's picture

How hard it is to live within one's means?  

OneTinSoldier66's picture

Just my opinion, but  these days, I think you have to be a Libertarian to even understand the question.

AbelCatalyst's picture

Exactly!! This is not Austerity! It's living within ones means. Austerity is living below what one takes in and saves/invests the surplus. Can we please, please, please stop with this austerity B.S. as if it is some horrible thing. The name of the game is not hard. In fact, it is so very simple.

Spend what you have and not a penny more!! Then, talk about austerity and doing some saving for a rainy day. This entire planet is upside down and backwards and everyone thinks it right side up and progressive!!

Some dark days are coming to planet earth!! This will not be fun, but very much needed....

dizzyfingers's picture

"The name of the game is not hard. In fact, it is so very simple."


Simple ONLY if cartel banks are ignored, but they are at the center. For them, debt is life. They must have the lifeblood of every person in every country.