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Europe's New Entente Discordiale: The Other French Connection

Tyler Durden's picture





 

While images of car-chases and Gene Hackman's pork-pie hat may be conjured, the tough new reality that has emerged this week in Europe's rising tensions is the decisive development in France as the election proved a strong showing for both far-right and far-left political parties at the same time. Somewhat surprisingly these extremes are in agreement on critical economic policies: they both want to restrict free-trade and the labor market, and also want to subjugate the ECB. Together with the Socialists and even most Centrists, the extremes clearly converge on a very strong consensus for anti-growth structural policies and massively lax fiscal (fair estimate might be 60% of the voters) and monetary (ditto, perhaps 90% of the voters) policies. This means that France has given up its ambition to become anything like economically similar to Germany. Instead, they have reverted towards joining their natural economic allies in the Eurozone: Italy and Spain. Perhaps this is why French spreads/yields have risen over 40% in the last few weeks as the politically pragmatic Anglo-Saxon spirits are starting to seize the enormity of what is happening: France is no longer any form of supporter of ally of Germany.

French spreads are rising rapidly - perhaps reflecting the country's shift away from Germany's bosom of inflexible stability and austerity towards one of stimulation and debasement...

France - Strategic Comment

  • The decisive development is the strong showing of both the far right and the far left, in tandem.
  • Both extremes are in agreement on critical economic policies: they both want to restrict free trade, the labor market and both also now want to subjugate the ECB.
  • Together with the Socialists and even most Centrists, the extremes clearly converge on a very strong consensus for anti-growth structural policies and massively lax fiscal (fair estimate might be 60% of the voters) and monetary (ditto, perhaps 90% of the voters) policies.
  • This means that France has given up its ambition to become anything like economically similar to Germany.
  • Instead, they have reverted towards joining their natural economic allies in the Eurozone: Italy and Spain.
  • Germany will be outvoted by the PIIGS, France and Belgium. The EURO, having ceased to be the DM in 2010, will now shift to become the French Franc in 2012.
  • Eurobonds are inevitable in this process.
  • Capital flight will be massive, but no longer only from the South to Germany, but out of the Zone to USD, GBP, and CHF.
  • Such large scale capital flight will be repressed with much more energy than even the current fight against tax evasion (France and Italy had these issues way into the 1970s), to force money into Eurobonds and PIIGSFB Bonds.
  • The convertibility of the EURO will be questioned by the new PIIGSFB. Here, remember that only Germany, but not the Eurozone as a whole, depends on the export economy.

In summary, there is now evidence an overwhelming political force in the Eurozone, perhaps almost all of French voters, are against growth and against fiscal and monetary responsibility.

Especially the politically pragmatic Anglo-Saxon spirits are failing to seize the enormity of what is happening:

  1. France is no longer any form of economic supporter or ally of Germany, but only of the PIIGSB or “Garlic Belt”.
  2. Not only the Socialists, but close to virtually everybody in France supports economically destructive and dysfunctional policies and there is no intention or tradition to adapt to their lacking in competitiveness.
  3. Instead, demand stimulation through increased deficits and monetary debasement.

The cultural background of this is that the French react to economic decline with irrational and destructive political aggression and revolts (expropriation of the rich, protectionism, severe public sector strikes, etc) rather than in an adaptive manner (the poverty in England and the US has never led to serious political revolt, to common knowledge).

The idea that somehow, pragmatic voices will stop this political groundswell is entirely misplaced: this destructive belief set has started to run its course. It is now in the Continental blood and the healthiness of economies over the Channel is deteriorating fast.

 


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Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:29 | Link to Comment nomorebuyins
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Pontiac Lemans in a car chase is over due. That should clear things up.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:27 | Link to Comment macholatte
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So who wrote that article?

Was it TD or Steven King? The outcome could be quite horriffic and sudden.  Ain't democracy wonderful.

 

Frog in a Blender - Joe Cartoon

http://joecartoon.org/?p=37

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:29 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
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Schroedinger election...

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:48 | Link to Comment spiral_eyes
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Better than America.

Vote Romney, get Richard Nixon.

Vote Obama, get Richard Nixon.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:52 | Link to Comment TahoeBilly2012
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That's so weird. I was just today going to Facebook post that I would have voted for Nixon over Obamney, caveat being prior to the "bust". I mean, shit, Nixon, Obama or Romney? Nixon ended the fucking dumb jungle war AND made friends with China. What can these two fuckwits try to pull, without getting us all killed!

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:32 | Link to Comment Manthong
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Why is the Champs de Elysee lined with trees?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:38 | Link to Comment cossack55
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To provide shade for outdoor diners at McDonalds?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 06:14 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

In southern europe trees were planted on the side of the roads so that people travelling would be able to walk in the shade at the hottest point of the day.

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:46 | Link to Comment Nussi34
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So you can piss on them?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:37 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

If one is aligned with the "garlic belt", one has much less to fear from the vampire.  Paradoxically, one then has more to fear from the vampire-squid. Go figure.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 02:58 | Link to Comment Nachdenken
Nachdenken's picture

France takes care of France.  Has always been so.  Check out French arms sales,  related technology transfers, and net inter EU transfers. 

The pressure on immigrants secures cheap and submissive labour sources, French influenced  Africa and Pacific Island connections remain lucrative.

A minority language has been foisted on the 27 nations in Europe as the first language of the European Commission, Parliament Investment Bank and Court of Justice.

France works in its own mysterious ways and gets to where it wants to, the rest of us are still in Kindergarten when it comes to French national interests.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:49 | Link to Comment koperniuk666
koperniuk666's picture

"France takes care of France" - Correct - all these policies are simply 'the french way' . It seems to work for France. Look forward to more xenophobia inside France. Non- French people with assets in France will be caned. But short to medium term it WILL work for the french if you ignore all externals.

Personally I think France is a shit hole full of arrogant, ignorant wankers. So why would you go there in the first place???  Thousands are now leaving - having found 'La vie francaise' to be a mirage.......

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 05:56 | Link to Comment frenchie
frenchie's picture

i see none of u folks lived in France right... ?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:42 | Link to Comment tarsubil
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Your problem is that you've never been with a French woman. It is a bit of an eye opener in regards to American women.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:52 | Link to Comment GMadScientist
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Their masterful engagement in Vietnam was truly a splendor to behold.

/sarc

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 18:36 | Link to Comment Redgrunt
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French are so arrogant they enjoy sarcasm.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:00 | Link to Comment Peter K
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What we are witnessing is the demise of Socialism western rite :)

Viva la France, and Socialism es Muerte :)))))))

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:10 | Link to Comment Catullus
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Just hastening the collapse of the EU experiment.  Without the free trade and movement across boarders, what is the EU? A credit freeloader off the productive classes in Europe. 

What's great is that the movement against "austerity" will cause the mechanism for funding their governments to collapse.

Many thanks to the nationalists for killing off this globalist monstrosity.  There is no "Europe" or European Identity. 

Anyone in the US who uses the "Europe has it right" argument looks like a complete fool right now.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:28 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The cultural background of this is that the French react to economic decline with irrational and destructive political aggression and revolts

_____________________________________________

The question is whether or not they can export violence and keep the fruits of it as it is core to US citizenism.

The US of A has been reacted to perceived decline with violence.

War is destructive aggression policy (as should be termed executive orders like protectionism, expropriation of the rich etc...) and the US has been committed lately to a wave of wars that had led president GWB to become the best elected US citizen president in the US history.

But since the days, it is understood that in US citizenism, expropriation of the poor can not be compared to expropriation of the rich. Both sit down on their resources but as the US citizen middle class is middle, hate on the poor and is envious of the rich, well, it frames the perception.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:54 | Link to Comment GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 10:37 | Link to Comment TheFourthStooge-ing
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Now the Chinese citizenism cultural background being irrational is to react to the atrophy in regard to harmful political invasion and rebellion and economy.

Because question that is the center to Chinese citizenism, whether or not those export violence, are possible to retain that coconut is.

The blob up of Chinese citizenism overtaking in rickshaws the Mongolian and Tibetan between, since the days of Zhou Enlai premier resource policy extraction being.

It is understood in Chinese citizenism that, as for excretion of the peasant comparing with excretion of the wealthy, both squat down on the roadside and the perception is framed well.

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:34 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Together with the Socialists and even most Centrists, the extremes clearly converge on a very strong consensus for anti-growth structural policies and massively lax fiscal (fair estimate might be 60% of the voters) and monetary (ditto, perhaps 90% of the voters) policies.

_________________________________________________

What are anti growth structural policies?

Aint lax fiscal policy supposed to be part of the growth structural policy?

Now, expropriation of the rich has to happen through taxation so is that lax taxation policy?

What is the point?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:23 | Link to Comment OttoMBMP
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Yep. The author of this article is somewhat confused about the terms he uses.
First, he should drop the word "growth". "Prosperity" is much better.
Growth politics are usually unsustainable spending politics. Stimulus is the other term those Keynesians love...
And the so pragmatic anglosaxons are money printing crony capitalists. Not much better, I would say.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:50 | Link to Comment Beaver_Valley
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The frogs have a few advantages when it comes to turning their back on evil, anglo-saxon globalisation.

  • The state may be broke and seriously overdrawn, but due to their pessimistic outlook on life, the french people actually have a lot of money in savings. [Not the case in the UK or USA]
  • The french are rabid nationalists, so will continue to preferentially buy french products even if they don't consider them to be as good as the foreign competition - a good example is cars.
  • French bankers can nip over the channel and earn the big money in London, where the french have now become the biggest immigrant population. They can offshore their earnings, then return to Paris and pretend to agree with the bleeding heart socialists.

Will this be enough to save them? Probably not, but it will ensure that the decline continues to be a gradual sinking like the end of an empire gone decadent.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 03:57 | Link to Comment slackrabbit
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All good for gold. Nothing like stiking your head in the sand, when your already up to your  neck!

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:01 | Link to Comment EcoFlow
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Tyler, this already hard for a french to analyze french politics. But for a foreigner, there are about 99 % chance he will be wrong.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:11 | Link to Comment Wolferl
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Since the guy posting as Tyler and using bold letters is allways 100 % wrong on all European matters, 1 % is a pretty good chance to be right. 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:31 | Link to Comment flight77
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With Hollande nothing will change. The only thing they want are some more subsidies out of German tax payers pockets. Hollande doen´t have the standing nor the energy nor the will to change things profoundly.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:57 | Link to Comment EcoFlow
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Wether it is Hollande or Sarkozy does not matter. What is important for the current account balance tom improve is the interest rate regarding the nominal growth.

That's all what it takes.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 05:04 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
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they both want to restrict free-trade and the labor market, and also want to subjugate the ECB

 

'Tis as it ever was - two beasts fighting for control of Europe. Last time the fascists won - lets hope people have learnt their lessons.

Truth is - when people panic, people at the extremes seem to be more comforting.

Lets not forget though - this isn't some sort of 'God driven event we can do nothing about' - this is a repeat of the 'dangers of capitalism' - which is instability in economics brings about instability in politics and eventual social breakdown into opposing extremes.

 

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Never more accurate than when talking about the supporters of capitalism.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:03 | Link to Comment skipjack
skipjack's picture

Clearly, you wouldn't know "capitalism" if it took a bite out of your arse.  Turn off Cramer sometime and observe the real world.

 

The US was founded primarily because there wasn't capitalism in Europe..and nothing has changed in the few hundred years since. 

 

Those who fail to define their terms correctly are doomed to misunderstand history.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 05:55 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

The first big cancer on "free" world table is the financial hegemony of a Ponzi banksta system. Gotta kill that before it kills the people. Understand that. Merkozy caved in to that; and its NOT acceptable to the french people. Austerity to feed the SQUID cabal not on! We will see this becoming MOOT point ALL accross Europe, INCLUDING northern Europe, as in HOLLAND, and soon in UK where the Economy, apart from CIty, is caving in!

Germany CANNOT stay immune to this trend, as it EXPORTS most of all to these very countries!

Second big cancer on the world scene is the Militarist play of USA in oil patch. You can see that the ongoing focus on IRAN, if it goes HOT, will take out a major oil producer just when the world needs energy badly. Not acceptable. This has to change. Pax Americana has to be more consensual less militarist in this key area. As this OIL feeds Europe and ASIA. Not so much USA. 

Third big cancer in first world is the Ricardian labour arbitrage model, with an ageing population and lower growth perspectives; as all growth is now programmed by the Oligarchy structure in third world countries, aka Apple-Walmart universal model. Oligarchy makes 25 USD margin for 1USD margin in Chindia! And none trickles  back to first world social structures and 99% population, especially if there are TAX havens for Oligarchs and transnationals.  Not acceptable. 

Fourth big cancer in first world is the statist welfare state construct, which becomes difficult to fund especially with costly age pyramid structure change. This has to slim down and government has to be more productive, responsible, transparent and accountable. Less handouts more sweat if you want benefits. 

All these indicators point to a model where the current financialised debt and current global hyperconsumer economic model, cut and pasting first world consumerista sins, is unsustainable; something has to change. Big time. We are seeing it and it won't be neat and pretty...So one irrational but understandable knee jerk could be hyper Keynesian fiat pumping until the pump just breaks down totally. We may be there as the powers that be in ALL of first world cannot face the REAL issues listed above. We don't know how to resolve these problems based on the past Reaganomics momentum. We need thirty years to shift gear generation wise. We don't have that time lapse. That is clear. Somethings gotta give!

SO....It is not Wise or Consequential to just harp on about issue number four and forget ALL the bigger ones of #1 to #3. As in this post, as many others here on ZH.

Obviously there ARE OTHERS which are too complex to address, like climate change and air/water shortages, and population explosion. I don't want to complicate the discussion beyond the rubic cubic dimension. 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 06:56 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Less handouts more sweat if you want benefits.

You (like many, many others) make the assumption that there isn't already enough 'sweat' to provide for all...and that the solution is to make those who are unemployed (which is a undeniable feature of Capitalism) work for nothing (or next to nothing)

You don't seem to have considered the impact on capitalism or working people (clue - US inmates making all the army helmets - punishing those who didn't break the law to take advantage of free labour from those that did)

The problem is never, and has never been the unemployed - they survive on handouts - but these are infitesimally insignificant compared to the extraction of wealth by the corporations - assisted by banks and Governments.

I mean really - are people so dumb they don't know WHY Governments borrow?

They sold their power to the private sector (capitalism) but they had no right to do so. This is because Governments confuse 'mandates' with 'ownership' - and the power they handed over was never theirs (it was the people's)

They convinced themselves (foolishly) that "the private sector" were "the people" - when actually (and logically) under capitalism the "private sector" in indeed a very small number of individuals - aka fascism.

 

I don't expect people to understand complicated ideologies - but they could at least appreciate 'how we got here' - rather than just blindly banging the drum of reform - and expecting those who created this mess are the ones who should reform it.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:00 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

I'd up arrow you if your comments permitted that.

Why dont they?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:07 | Link to Comment skipjack
skipjack's picture

Honey, it's you who don't understand "complicated ideologies".  You seem to have a total aversion to calling the current governing structure of the USA by it's real name - fascism.

 

Let that sink in - it's fascism, not capitalism.

 

Go spew your stupidity elsewhere.

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:52 | Link to Comment nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

He did call it what it was...

 

"They convinced themselves (foolishly) that "the private sector" were "the people" - when actually (and logically) under capitalism the "private sector" in indeed a very small number of individuals - aka fascism."

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:10 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

just read History : every time a king ran a deficit budget, he HAD to go to WAR to steal from his neighbour; simple as that. So the whole issue of Big State spending is not just occupying labour in innocent pot hole mending to keep the sheeple occupied and happy; Its preferably waging war : more exciting, more profitable. 

By having the people keeping state lean, mean and balanced within decent boundaries, the people may lose the 'easy sustainance pump' but they ALSO lose the 'Pernicious warmaking pump'; much more lucrative for statist bureaucracies than having people punch holes into election cards or fill them up in pot holes. 

Don't be fooled, man to pursue happiness has to voyage between Charybdis-statism and Scylla-private Oligarchy feudalism. Its been like that from day one. 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:12 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
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You're both entirely correct, there is nothing mutually exclusive between your comments only maybe the 'productivity' issue. I can't imagine productivity to be less than a quarter or half century ago with women working full time now in the DMs.

Work has become the disease for some, leisure for others. The rent seeking model is done within a decade, then we'll see some death for now it's Night of the Living Dead.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:22 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

+1

"The problem is never, and has never been the unemployed - they survive on handouts - but these are infitesimally insignificant compared to the extraction of wealth by the corporations - assisted by banks and Governments."

Whipping the unemployed isn't going to solve this problem.

And the increased efficiency in the extraction of wealth, e.g. off-shoring of jobs, has increased unemployment, destroyed savings/increased borrowing and destroyed the tax base.

Who cares if a CEO gets to buy a 7th vacation home?  The kids cannot buy a starter home.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:18 | Link to Comment Optimusprime
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Excellent overview, and clearly stated.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:08 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Pax Americana" is a little short on the "Pax".

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 09:09 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

..AX...?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 09:04 | Link to Comment nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

Doctor, the patient has four types of cancer, what's the prognoses?

In cases like these we advise more palliative treatments to keep the patient comfortable..Since there is no cure..

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 05:54 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Polarization and nationalism; where have I heard that story before?

Think, think, think....

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:00 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
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If the human race doesn't realise where we're heading - then I wonder if it's even worth saving....

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:55 | Link to Comment nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

With 7 Billion on the planet...We are going to have to have some real Creative Destruction going on..

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 06:01 | Link to Comment Pretorian
Pretorian's picture

This is the Communist country in the world. Comparing to them China is semi Capitalist.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 06:09 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

This is good for stocks no?

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 06:26 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

The purpose of the EU is not to make us rich it's to prevent war on european soil.

It's gone slightly Awry.

On the plus side, 80% turnout, if only we had that in the uk or usa.

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:05 | Link to Comment hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

"The cultural background of this is that the French react to economic decline with irrational and destructive political aggression and revolts (expropriation of the rich, protectionism, severe public sector strikes, etc) rather than in an adaptive manner (the poverty in England and the US has never led to serious political revolt, to common knowledge)."

So you think the French should become more like American sheeple?

Viva La Résistance!

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:24 | Link to Comment hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

As way of example, if we had more young US students with enough courage to oppose the bullshit tuition costs we might not have the student loan bubble getting ready to burst.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/04/20/students-palais-...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/04/25/montreal-student...

Canada's real estate bubble is getting ready to burst, when it does it is going to be very interesting to see what will happen.  The impact to CDA's GDP and tax revenue will force austerity.  It is going to get interesting.

http://theeconomicanalyst.com/content/how-might-canadian-housing-correct...

Might be getting a little "political aggression" going on North of the Boarder.....

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 09:07 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

Courage is inversely proportional to success in student dorm hoopla bunga bunga. It's the number one concern for those who are in; not paying for their tuition but playing with their coeds in profusion. You are only young once, and so the troubles start when you change your geiger counter from tracking sexual sparks to financial sparks; if you ever get round to it! 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 07:05 | Link to Comment Rubicon
Rubicon's picture

The French have never liked the Germans - apart from the current runt running the country of course!

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:31 | Link to Comment nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

"the poverty in England and the US has never led to serious political revolt, to common knowledge"

Oh really? You think there wasn't political consequence for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exuGv3HsV-U

All I can say is: Short Memories...

From "Front Running"

"Merkel Pushes Back Against Hollande Call to End Austerity Drive"...

This should read: As Germany continues it's Financial Blitzkrieg on all fronts in Europe,  the French resist!

Hey Germany, remember WWII and how we forgave the fucking debt you owed the rest of the world. Fuck You!  We want our money back now..You fucking ungrateful Nazi's with your kinder, gentler austerity concentration camps!

Yea, you're not fooling anyone...You still think for some reason you should rule the world..Maybe I'm wrong but this looks all too familiar..

Between England, Germany and good ol' USFA..We'll rule the rest of the world with our Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction and then if that doesn't world we'll us the real thing...

http://bit.ly/IaV1Xo

 

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:42 | Link to Comment nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

You elites want to starve people? Great! Just you wait until the people have nothing to lose..

BTW I know some folks from Germany and they get free everything, they've got it made and why? Because thier people (aryan) deserve to do better....

We starve people in the USA and England for our elites...But since the Germans are the elite of Europe they'll starve the rest of the Eurozone...

Everyone in the Eurozone needs to default and fuck Germany over...

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 18:28 | Link to Comment Redgrunt
Redgrunt's picture

Stupidly wrong as a whole.

- No such thing as a strong support for the far-left parties. Far left parties under 2% of the voters. Mélenchon is not far left or then Roosevelt and De Gaulle were communists too.

- Most centrists are claiming for austerity. Socialists including Mélenchon are claiming for GROWTH

- Are you including Czech republic, The Netherlands, Slovakia in the garlic belt too?

- Free Trade restriction NO. Balanced competition YES

- Labor Market restriction NO. Fighting against modern days slavery YES

- All of french voters are against fiscal and monetary responsability : Insane. Fighting against Tax Havens, tax evasion, clearing houses and dark pools is being very fiscally responsible.

- France supporting economically destructive and dysfunctionnal policies : Insane. Check US households debt and French private savings (reminder : France 65 millions inh.). Check social security and retirement fundings. Not relying on the markets, not relying on pension funds pillaging other countries. Check how the public spending is spent. Not on the military but on real life and real economy equipment, and for real people.

- French cars are cool and they have the best mileage/gallon in the world.
http://uk.askmen.com/cars/car_reviews/bugatti-veyron.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_308#Design

 

 

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