September 30, 2010


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Putin Stays In The Shadows As Medvedev Ousts Luzhkov

September 30, 2010 02:49 PM
The unceremonious ousting of veteran Moscow Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, by President Dmitry Medvedev seemingly ended an acute political standoff between the city and the Kremlin (EDM, September 15, 21, 28). It was initially reported that Luzhkov may challenge his dismissal in court, but later he reconsidered, apparently accepting the inevitable. In 2004, after a terrorist attack on a school in Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia, former President Vladimir Putin promoted legislation that banned the election of...

Cat: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Featured, Home Page, Domestic/Social, Russia
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Russian Observers Expect No Groundbreaking Results From Latest Anti-Rebel Push

September 30, 2010
On September 27, a policeman died and four others were injured in an armed clash with insurgents in Chechnya’s Vedeno district. This was the latest reported incident in the mountainous area of the republic’s south, where...
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, North Caucasus Analysis, Terrorism, Home Page, North Caucasus , The Caucasus, Russia

Nineteen Candidates Register For Presidential Election In Belarus

September 30, 2010
The Belarusian Parliament has scheduled the next presidential elections on December 19. By the deadline to register on September 24, the names of seventeen candidates had been accepted by the Central Election Commission, after...
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Home Page, Domestic/Social, Belarus, Europe

Moldova Faces Yet Another Election As Governing Alliance Falls Apart

September 30, 2010
On September 28, Moldovan Parliamentary Chairman and acting head of state, Mihai Ghimpu, dissolved the parliament by decree effective on September 29, and scheduled parliamentary elections for November 28. Both dates had been...
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vlad’s Corner, Home Page, Domestic/Social, Moldova , Europe

The Roots and Transformation of the Dagestan Insurgency

September 29, 2010
In early April, two women from Dagestan were named by the federal authorities as key suspects in the March 29 suicide attacks which targeted the Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations near to the interior ministry and the...
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Terrorism, North Caucasus Analysis, Home Page, Russia, North Caucasus , The Caucasus

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Famous Russian painter urges to kill Putin

Publication time: Today at 13:16 Emirate time
Russia on Wednesday confirmed that it had blocked the export of 4 paintings by a famous contemporary Russian artist due to be shown at the Louvre in Paris because they "incite extremism".
 
The abstract works by artist Avdei Ter-Oganyan "could be seen as calls for a coup d'etat," deputy culture minister Andrei Busygin told.
 
Ter-Oganyan was due to send four works to the exhibition of Russian contemporary art, due to open in October.
 
The one work consists of geometric patterns with the caption "This work urges you to commit an attack on the life of the statesman V.V. Putin in order to end his state and political activities."
 
Some newspapers in Russia reported about the ban, but no Russian media ever dared to give the name of the picture due to severe censorship in Russia-
 
The other three banned pictures are less interesting and were banned only in order not to attract the attention to the urge to kill the bloody mass murderer and tyrant Putin.
 
Deputy culture minister Busygin told that the work "falls under the federal law on fighting extremism".
 
The culture ministry and a federal arts watchdog "expressed doubts about the advisability of exhibiting these works at the Louvre," he said.
 
Several major artists due to take part in the exhibition announced a boycott on Saturday in support of Ter-Oganyan.
 
"Counterpoint: Russian Contemporary Art" is scheduled to open at the Louvre on October 14 and run through to January 31, 2011. It is organized by two Moscow galleries, including the state-owned National Centre for Contemporary Art.
 
Prominent gallerist Marat Guelman on Wednesday slammed the ministry decision.
"In our country, by law there is no censorship. This is a disgrace," he told AFP.
 
Meanwhile, Russian painters threatened to boycott an exhibition of contemporary Russian art at the Louvre over the removal of works, a gallery owner said.
 
"Seven artists have declared that they won't participate in the exhibition in solidarity with Avdei Ter-Oganyan whose works were censured by the culture ministry," prominent Moscow gallery owner Marat Guelman told AFP.
 
The boycott of the exhibition at the Louvre opening next month "will draw attention to this absurd conflict between art and the authorities. My works were created for this purpose and demonstrate the idiocy of idiots," Ter-Oganyan wrote on his website.
 
The "Counterpoint: Russian Contemporary Art" is scheduled to open at Paris' top museum on October 14 and run through January 31, 2011.
 
The work entitled "This work urges you to commit an attack on the life of the statesman V.V. Putin in order to end his state and political activities" was created by the painter in 2004 and has been previously demonstrated in Spain and France. It was not forbidden for export at that time because the KGB junta that rules Russia didn't feel strong enough to persecute painters until 2010.
 
Ter-Oganyan fled Russia for Prague in 2000, where he still lives today, after the KGB started his religiuos persecutions for some chopped Russian OrthodoxChurch icons that, like many Russian Protestants under the Tsars, smashed with an axe during a public meeting in 1998. The KGB started to persecute the painter immediately after the KGB Colonel Putin came to power in 2000. As is known, a so-called "Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow" is a religious branch of the KGB/FSB.
 
Russian Protestants consider icons as a sign of idolatry (worship of images, instead of God) forbidden for true Christians.
 
Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center

http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2010/09/30/12578.shtml

Beware 'neo-imperial' Russia, says Kaczynski

MATEJ HRUSKA
Today @ 18:53 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Former Polish prime minister and leader of Poland's main opposition party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has warned of Russia's "neo-imperial" foreign policy to all 738 MEPs in Brussels and to dozens of ambassadors.

The message, in the form of an as-yet-unpublished opinion piece due to appear shortly in the Wall Street Journal, accuses Russia of "systematically" trying to "re-acquire its sphere of interest" at a time when the US is paying less attention to Europe.

Mr Kaczynski (l) on a visit to Brussels during his time at the head of the Polish government (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

"There are more signs that there is increasingly less America in Europe. This is bad for both sides. Unfortunately, this is taking place at a time when Moscow's neo-imperial foreign policy causes no objections from the major playmakers in Europe and the US."

It criticises EU states for allegedly putting bilateral business interests with Russia ahead of EU values and strategic considerations.

"Such attempts are simply a gift to those states that do not recognise democratic values and human rights. They [Russia] may appear to be more attractive business partners but they do not adhere to the values and standards that dominate the Euro-Atlantic political sphere."

It also defends the idea of national vetoes against EU policy - a tactic for which the Kaczynski-era Poland became notorious in Brussels in 2006 and 2007.

Referring to Belgium and Germany, Mr Kaczynski wrote: "Two out of three EU countries that use the instrument of veto most often are the 'A students' of European integration ... This means that it is possible to love European unity and, at the same time, creatively oppose some of its aspects."

The opinion piece was also mailed out to MEPs by Mr Kaczynski's Law and Justice party colleague, Ryszard Legutko, who sits with the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the EU parliament.

Former Polish foreign minister Anna Fotyga also sent it to all the EU member states' embassies in Warsaw as well as to the Polish missions of the US, Canada, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

Mr Kaczynski lost the presidential election in Poland in June to the liberal-centrist and Russia-friendly politician Bronislaw Komorowski.

The snap vote took place after his twin brother and former president Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash in Russia in April. The Russian authorities' solemn reaction prompted a short-lived wave of pro-Russian sentiment in Poland, mixed with conspiracy theories about an FSB plot.
http://euobserver.com/9/30936
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The Chessboard is Now Set in the Middle East

The Chessboard is Now Set in the Middle East “CIVILIZATION AGAINST BARBARISM” by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret.) (Sept. 29, 2010) — It appears while our State Department and White House are asleep at the switch; the Iranians have been busy and fastidious in resetting the chessboard in the Middle East to their liking. What has Iran been doing in addition to moving [...]

Open Letter to All Active Military Members

Open Letter to All Active Military Members WILL YOU ALLOW THE LAST VESTIGES OF FREEDOM TO DIE? by Jeff Tetreault (Sept. 29, 2010) — To all Active Duty Personnel: I have mentioned what I am about to say on various blogs and received plenty of flak, deletions and blacklists for it. You are military officers and enlisted, and must stand up and [...]

The Propagation of Freedom in the Age of the Internet

The Propagation of Freedom in the Age of the Internet THE AWESOME POWER OF THE INTERNET AND HOW IT CAN KEEP US FREE “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” — President George Washington by Ron Ewart (Sept. 28, 2010) — During the Revolutionary War it took almost a month for any news of the war to reach Europe [...]

Natural Born Citizen and Natural Law

Natural Born Citizen and Natural Law POSITIVE LAW, NATURAL LAW, AND NATURAL RIGHTS by Jedi Pauly (Sept. 28, 2010) — I just wanted to teach everyone the true meaning of ‘natural born Citizen’ because I am astounded at the level of incompetence and ignorance that exists surrounding this issue. First, let me say that the term ‘natural born Citizen’ from Article [...]

Did Glenn Beck Respond to the Open Letter Posted Here on August 17?

Did Glenn Beck Respond to the Open Letter Posted Here on August 
17? CREEPING PROGRESSIVISM HAS BEEN ERODING OUR LIBERTIES by David F. LaRocque (Sept. 26, 2010) — For almost two years, millions of Americans who have been watching Glenn Beck’s late afternoon TV program every day have been receiving a valuable education on the one hundred-year-old agenda of the progressive movement in America to subvert the United [...]

Administration’s inaction criminal and impeachable

Administration’s inaction criminal and impeachable OBAMA IS AIDING AND ABETTING CRIMINALS AND THEREFORE GUILTY OF TREASON by Don Hank (Sept. 25, 2010) — I recently published a column on the gradual seizure of ranches in Arizona by Mexican cartels with the tacit consent of the current administration. I need to clarify that any person in a position such that he/she [...]

JAGs protecting Obama have committed treason

JAGs protecting Obama have committed treason IS THE “FIX” ALREADY IN FOR LT. COL. LAKIN?  IF SO, WHAT DO WE DO? by James H. Roberson (Sept. 23, 2010) — Folks, we may be getting close to Civil War II. Lt. Col. Lakin (M.D.- Active Army) – first asked the Army to affirm that Obama was constitutionally eligible to serve as President, [...]

Do You Think Your Vote in November Will Restore Freedom?

Do You Think Your Vote in November Will Restore Freedom? HOW MANY ARE PREPARED TO WALK THE LONG ROAD BACK? by Ron Ewart (Sept. 23, 2010) — “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson Way too many Americans dwell in la-la land, on either side of the political spectrum.  Naiveté [...]

What About Sovereignty, Security and Free Will?

What About Sovereignty, Security and Free Will? GLOBAL SOCIALIZATION HAS INFILTRATED OUR GOVERNMENT FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS by JB Williams, ©2010 (Sept. 23, 2010) — The socialization of America came out of the closet back in the mid-1940s when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed his Raw Deal making social engineering a primary function of the federal government. Since then, America has [...]

Political Correctness: Guilty by Design

Political Correctness:  Guilty by Design IS THE QUEST FOR “SOCIAL JUSTICE” A WAY TO KEEP THE ANIMOSITY FLOWING? by Harry Wilmott, blogging at http://giveusliberty1776.blogspot.com/search?q=Political+Correctness (Sept. 22, 2010) — It’s time to call a spade a spade. Oh, you find this phrase offensive? Nonsense, you’ve been brainwashed to believe it’s racist. Its precise meaning is quite clear. It means to speak [...]

Press Summary Archive

Fears over Ireland grow as cost of its banking bailout increase to €50bn

30 September 2010

Fears over Ireland’s public finances are continuing with Ernst & Young predicting that the country’s public deficit will remain the highest in the eurozone until 2014 at the earliest, according to the Irish Independent. The news comes as the Irish government has announced that the cost of its banking bail-out will rise to €50 billion, Bloomberg reports.

The Telegraph reports that markets are concerned by the growing number of ECB governors calling for an end to emergency support measures for the eurozone, such as bond purchases and other lending facilities. Hans Redeker from BNP Paribas is quoted saying, “We think there is going to a double-dip recession in eurozone periphery.”

Meanwhile, Le Figaro notes that Moody’s has downgraded Spain’s debt rating and Portugal has announced a new set of austerity measures, while Euractiv reports that the ECB has warned that Europe’s banking sector is still vulnerable to the eurozone’s debt problems. A leader in Le Monde argues, “The eurozone is less unified than one could think. 16 countries are still sharing the same currency, but the markets no longer consider them as part of a single homogeneous space.”
Bloomberg Telegraph Telegraph 2 WSJ Le Monde: Editorial Irish Independent BBC: Peston Irish Times: Beesley Irish Independent 2 BBC: Today Le Figaro 2 Le Figaro AFP Nouvel Observateur Le Monde El Pais Expansion City AM Euractiv City AM 2 Handelsblatt Handelsblatt 2

Barroso declares “sea change” in economic governance of the EU
FT: Eurozone leaders must stomach the idea of sovereign default
There is widespread coverage of the proposals for stronger economic governance unveiled yesterday by EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn. The first set of proposals only envisages financial sanctions for rule-breakers and is restricted to eurozone member states. Fines for countries which persistently fail to meet the Stability and Growth Pact criteria will be “quasi-automatic”, meaning that they could only be blocked by a qualified majority within the Council. Controversially, sanctions could possibly be imposed on countries with trade or current account imbalances.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, “The proposals we are making today represent the biggest step forward on economic governance since we adopted the Stability and Growth Pact. Once approved and implemented by the Member States, they will mark a sea change in the way economic governance is dealt with in the European Union, and in particular in the Euro area”.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Euractiv Deutschland, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has voiced his opposition to Treaty changes aimed at strengthening the EU’s economic governance. "Everything that is within the bounds of current legal measures can be used. But all measures that would require Treaty change I find – thinking back to the Lisbon Treaty – hard to imagine in the next two years", he said.

In the WSJ, Richard Barley argues that the Commission's “proposals still represent something of a transfer of power to the Commission – and for that reason alone, some countries may try to water them down.”  A leader in the FT argues, “A well-enforced [Stability and Growth] pact might have stopped Greece’s reckless borrowing sooner, but would not have stopped the problems in Spain and Ireland, which were built up by private financial flows.” It concludes that EU leaders cannot “stomach the idea of eurozone sovereign default. No one wants that, but an open-ended promise of bail-out weakens the force of the best-laid rules.”
Independent  El Pais Euractiv: Faymann Irish Independent Le Figaro BBC European Voice EUobserver Euractiv FT: Leader WSJ WSJ: Analysis Guardian Irish Times FT Handelsblatt: Leader EC press release

France wins German support on AIFM Directive
France has won the backing of Germany in opposing the ‘passport’ provision in the AIFM Directive, which would allow funds and managers outside the EU to obtain pan-EU marketing rights, raising fears that the Directive will take an even more protectionist format than before. Finance ministers will today discuss the proposal with a view to reaching a compromise.
FT City AM Open Europe research Open Europe research 2

The European Commission gives France an ultimatum on Roma but refrains from taking legal action on discrimination
It is widely reported that the European Commission has threatened to launch legal proceedings against France for failing to implement EU rules on freedom of movement. The French government has been given until 15 October to provide evidence that its policies on repatriations of Roma people comply with EU law. Crucially, the Commission has refrained from suing France for discriminating against the ethnic group. However, Le Point reports that EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday that “this dossier is not closed”, suggesting that there could still be room for a legal action specifically against discrimination. The FT describes the Commission’s decision as “a political victory” for Paris.  
Le Monde Le Point WSJ Mail Guardian Irish Times FT Irish Independent BBC European Voice EUobserver Euractiv AFP Independent IHT El Pais

More than 100,000 marchers converged on Brussels from across the EU to protest against austerity measures yesterday. Open Europe’s Mats Persson appeared on Sky News’ Jeff Randall show yesterday, discussing the protests and European governments’ austerity programmes.
Telegraph Guardian: Leader FT: Brussels blog Mirror Irish Independent BBC BBC: Hewitt EUobserver El Mundo WSJ: Real Time Brussels blog

Head of EU’s food agency accused of conflict of interest over GM foods
Le Monde reports that Hungarian scientist Diana Banati – who chairs the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – has been accused of a conflict of interest. While the EFSA is supposed to provide the European Commission with scientific advice on genetically modified foods, Ms. Banati did not reveal that she had previously sat on the board of directors of the International Life Science Institute, which lobbies in favour of genetically modified products and includes among its members several multinationals such as Kraft Foods, Danone, Nestlé, BASF and Bayer.
Coulisses de Bruxelles Le Monde

EU officials’ union: “If there are no EU institutions, there is no Europe
EUobserver reports that Renzo Carpenito from the European Council’s FFPE union has complained about some national governments’ approach to EU expenditure, describing it as “scapegoating” and “caricaturing”, following French and British demands for reduced budget increases. “They [European leaders] come here to Brussels and they agree to the Lisbon Treaty, to more Europe but they are not willing to pay for it. If there are no EU institutions, there is no Europe”, Carpenito argued.
EUobserver

Dutch University research: European Arrest Warrant leads to race to the bottom in human rights protection
NRC Handelsblad reports that Dutch judges and prosecutors have “strong suspicions" that the European Arrest Warrant is being abused by authorities in other countries. Researchers from Utrecht University found that judicial protection for suspects is often insufficient and that the instrument is mainly being used to transfer “petty criminals” from country to country.
NRC Handelsblad Utrecht University research

Der Spiegel reports that the discovery of secret documents now ‘proves’ that Germany only traded the Deutschemark for the euro as a French condition for German reunification.
Spiegel

MEPs are threatening to freeze part of the budget for European Commissioners' salaries and allowances unless changes are made to the Commissioners' code of conduct.
European Voice Open Europe blog

Euractiv notes that Egemen Bagis, Turkey's chief EU negotiator, sought yesterday to unblock Ankara's accession bid by calling on EU member states to call referenda on the country's membership. Meanwhile, European Voice reports that NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on the EU to give Turkey a role in the Union's security policy.
European Voice Euractiv

The Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein yesterday warned that overregulation could force banks to move out of Europe. He is concerned that the new Basel III rules aimed at toughening banks’ capital and liquidity requirements may be enforced more rigorously by European regulators than by other jurisdictions.
Telegraph FT

FT Deutschland has called into question the influence of the newly created European Systemic Risk Board, noting that its recommendations will only be made public in ‘special cases’. The article notes that this is unlikely to have much impact on member states, unless early warnings of financial hazards are made public.
No link

The WSJ’s Real Time Brussels blog notes that a legal advisor to the European Court of Justice has said that insurance companies may not charge men and women different rates for products. That would include life insurance, in which women routinely get better deals than men because they live longer.
WSJ: Real Time Brussels

ORF reports that the EU is considering yearly stress test for banks.
ORF
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Assemblyman Chuck DeVore
UN’s Taiwan Travesty
09/28/2010

At its 65th General Assembly session last week, the United Nations played host to a speech by the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But, while the UN gave a platform to a Holocaust-denying leader of a nation that sentences adulterous women to death by stoning while hanging “convicted” homosexuals, one voice was strangely absent: that of Taiwan’s.

Taiwan, a democratic nation of 23 million, has rule of law, religious freedom, and the 20th largest economy in the world (ironically, just behind Iran)—but, it doesn’t have membership in the UN.

Interestingly, at the time of the UN’s creation, Taiwan was occupied by Imperial Japan, which had annexed the island in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War. Prior to the 50-year period of Japanese colonization, China had a weak and periodic hold on Taiwan, culminating in a formal renunciation of Chinese sovereignty in 1871.

As an area under the control of Japan at the close of World War II, the people of Taiwan would have ideally held a plebiscite to determine their political future, but the Allies handed Taiwan over to the Nationalist Chinese under Chiang Kai-shek. When the Nationalists lost their war in mainland China to the Communists in 1949, Chiang’s forces retreated to Taiwan with some 2 million refugees.


By 1971, the UN General Assembly, its ranks swollen with decolonized African nations friendly to the Communist regime in Beijing, voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China. The Taiwanese government ceased claiming to represent mainland China in 1991 after which it began an effort to seek UN membership—only to be constantly rebuffed by China’s veto.
The UN’s history has been full of such injustices. The UN was founded on June 26, 1945, after the defeat of Nazi Germany but before the defeat of Imperial Japan, the original five permanent members of its 15 member Security Council consisted of WWII’s “Big Five” Allied powers: Nationalist China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. Seen as a replacement to the failed League of Nations in 1943, the UN started with lofty pretensions, adopting President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” as part of its initial charter: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
That the UN would make an immediate mockery of its charter by admitting Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union was bad enough. Further insult was added to diplomatic injury when the “nations” of Belarus and Ukraine were given UN membership as well, this, despite that fact that they were not independent nations in any sense of the word in 1945 as they were constituent parts of the former USSR.

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Israeli military offsets Turkey's loss with Greece, Romania

ÜMİT ENGİNSOY
Amid severely damaged ties with Turkey, the Israeli army has moved to replace the formerly valuable military cooperation through newly developed relations with Athens and Bucharest. The Romanian element was publicly revealed only through the crash of an Israeli military helicopter
 
Greek PM Papandreou hosted his Israeli counterpart in Athens in 
August. AP photo

Greek PM Papandreou hosted his Israeli counterpart in Athens in August. AP photo
Since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli President Shimon Peres clashed 20 months ago in Davos, Switzerland, the talk in Western capitals has been about whether Ankara has reversed its traditional pro-Western foreign policy. Being debated much less, however, are Israel's countermeasures to make up for lost military opportunities in Turkey.
Amid the severely damaged ties, the Israeli army has moved to replace its formerly valuable military cooperation with Turkey through newly developed relations with two Balkan countries, Greece and Romania. "The Israeli military in recent months has been very keen to develop a strong defense

relationship with some Balkan countries near Turkey," said one Turkish defense source Tuesday.

September 29, 2010

 

 Press Summary Archive

AIFM Directive: France seeks more power for itself and Paris-based EU supervisor on market access rules

29 September 2010

Euractiv notes that "a French attempt to concentrate more regulatory power in Paris has thrown a spanner" in the negotiations over the AIFM Directive. Although details remain unclear, France proposes to keep national rules to determine market access for fund managers outside the EU with minimum standards in place across the bloc, as opposed to EU-wide access based on a single set of requirements, which several other member states are pushing for. The soon to be created European Securities Markets Authority, based in Paris, would then be given a key role in resolving divergences between national fund rules, notes the WSJ's Real Time Brussels blog. MEP Syed Kamall is quoted in City AM saying, "The French are trying to undermine the Belgian presidency and form a blocking minority, and they claimed [last night] to have done so."
Open Europe research Open Europe research2 Euractiv Telegraph City AM FT WSJ: Real Time Brussels blog Times

Ireland's borrowing costs reach new highs as rating agencies warn of new downgrade
The Irish Times notes that Ireland's borrowing costs hit a record high again yesterday after two credit rating agencies warned that Irish state debt faces further downgrades. The Telegraph notes that Standard & Poor's said the final cost for the Anglo Irish bank bailout could be much higher than the €23bn (£20bn) earmarked so far and may exceed €35bn, putting severe strains on Ireland's public finances.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent quotes Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan insisting that entering the euro had not caused Ireland's boom to bust, even though the single currency was "part of the illusion" that sustained the toxic cycle.
Telegraph FT Handelsblatt Irish Times Irish Times 2 Irish Independent OMFIF IHT Irish Independent 2 Irish Independent 3 Irish Times 3

Angela Merkel: no more bailouts until eurozone budget rules are strengthened and an orderly default mechanism is established
Handelsblatt reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there can be no extension of the European Financial Stability Fund until the Stability Pact is strengthened and an orderly insolvency procedure is agreed for eurozone members. A leader in the paper welcomes Chancellor Merkel's proposal for an insolvency procedure, arguing that neither banks nor countries should be "too big too fail".

On his EUobserver blog, Open Europe's Mats Persson argues that "instead of taxpayers footing the bill for the poor decisions of governments and companies they cannot vote out of office, [an orderly insolvency procedure] would mean that ultimate liability will rest with those who actually made the mistakes".

EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn will today present his proposals for the introduction of sanctions against countries running excessive public deficits and debts. The FT reports that the first round of proposals will be limited to eurozone countries, while a proposal allowing for EU funds to be withheld for non-euro countries that persistently fail to meet the Stability and Growth Pact criteria will be tabled at a later stage. However, the UK has an opt-out exempting it from EU rules on debt levels.

Meanwhile, writing in Les Echos, Laurence Boone from Barclays Capital argues that the compromise reached on sanctions is not sufficient to protect the eurozone from the risk of a new debt crisis, as it remains strictly limited to the budgetary domain, without addressing the huge competitiveness gaps existing between stronger and weaker eurozone economies. However, a comment piece in FAZ suggests that today's proposals from the Commission will go a lot further than what was expected. According to the paper, Commissioner Rehn follows what the German government wants on many points.

In the WSJ, Vice-governor of the Czech National Bank Mojmir Hampl argues: "A monetary union without a state is a unique experiment. By definition, the national budgetary sovereignty of the euro-zone's members doesn't go too well with the strict enforcement of supra-national rules. It is like having the power to sentence culprits but leaving it up to them whether they actually go to prison".
Handelsblatt: Gerken Handelsblatt Handelsblatt: Leader Wirtschaftswoche FT Les Echos BBC IHT WSJ El Pais WSJ: Hampl OE blog EUobserver: Persson

EU administration costs increased to 6.5% of the budget;
Commission to look at additional "compensation mechanisms" for net contributors
The EU released its 2009 Financial Report yesterday which explains how the EU spent its budget in 2009. The UK's contribution went up from £6.2bn in 2008 to £6.7bn in 2009. The Telegraph reports that as the fifth highest contributor to the EU, "the average British household paid £440 to be a member of the European Union last year but received only £312 back in direct benefits". The EU's administration costs increased to 6.5% of the budget (€7.4bn) from 6.2% in 2008.

EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski has said the Commission will consider additional "compensation mechanisms" for net contributors and will present a proposal in June 2011, reports EUobserver.

Meanwhile, FD reports that the Netherlands disputes the Commission's claim that it only contributed €4bn to the 2009 EU budget. The Netherlands wants customs levied at Rotterdam Port to be included in the calculation, increasing its contribution to €5bn.
EC Press Release Telegraph EUobserver European Voice Le Figaro NU.nl Trouw FD DPA  FAZ

FT Deutschland quotes Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders saying that, "It should be possible to penalise rating agencies" if these "wrongly" downgrade a eurozone country. Meanwhile, to avoid conflicts of interest, the Commission has said it wants to abolish the practice by which member state governments pay agencies to rate their debt.
FT Deutschland

Sarkozy "repeatedly pressed" the ECB to commit to aggressive intervention in bond markets
The WSJ features a two part special on the alleged "secret committee to save the euro". The articles notes that French President Nicolas Sarkozy "repeatedly pressed" the ECB head Jean-Claude Trichet to commit to aggressive intervention in bond markets. "Mr. Trichet, unwilling to show his hand, replied that the ECB didn't take orders", notes the article. The European Commission has said it has "no information" on the 'secret committee', reports ORF.
ORF WSJ WSJ 2

Reformatorisch Dagblad reports that Dutch MEP Peter Van Dalen has urged the European Parliament to cut the number of cars available to staff, which cost €6,5m per year. MEPs are allowed to use luxury rental cars to travel between the airport, hotels and Parliament.
Ref Dag

Knack reports that the European Court of Auditors has criticised the fact that impact assessments are rarely carried out for draft EU legislation in its final stage noting, "whilst it is common that amendments are proposed during the legislative procedure, the related impact assessments are not updated." The report cites Open Europe's research on the impact of EU regulation.
Knack  ECA Press Release ECA Press Release 2 ECA Report Open Europe Research

European Voice reports that the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control has refused to approve the 2008 accounts of the UK-based European Police College due to a lack of progress in improving the body's financial management.
European Voice EP press release

MEPs want more control over EU foreign policy spending
European Voice reports that yesterday the European Parliament's Committees on Budget and Budgetary Control endorsed a series of amendments to the financial rules proposed by the European Commission for the new European External Action Service (EEAS), including making the European Development Fund part of the EU's regular budget. The European Parliament is due to vote on the EEAS's financial and staff regulations at its plenary session on 18-21 October.
EUobserver European Voice Euractiv

RP-Online reports that Commission President Barroso spends a total of €730,000 per year on travelling and representation - more than twice his yearly salary of €304,000. The article further reports that the ECJ will soon decide on the proposed salary increases for 44,500 EU officials.
RP-Online

The Irish government is in danger of losing up to €10m a year in EU funding because it imposed pay cuts on top university researchers who are funded entirely by Brussels, reports the Irish Independent.
Irish Independent

The European Commission has attracted fresh criticism over its fledgling EU lobby register, with new analysis suggesting that data for five out of the top 15 entries is likely to be inaccurate, reports EUobserver.
EUobserver

Private Eye reports that a group of environmentalists are suing the European Commission and the Council for refusing to give the group access to internal EU documents on renewable energy targets.
No link

The Mail reports that Cadbury has been forced to axe its 'glass and a half' slogan from its Dairy Milk bars under EU rules, which state that by 2010 all weights and measures on packs must be in metric.
Mail

The European Commission is due to decide today whether to take legal action against France over the controversial deportation of the Roma.
El Mundo BBC Economist: Charlemagne
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European Sovereignty Network

ECJ Denies Access to Judicial Proceedings for Journalists

September 26, 2010
 On Tuesday, September 21, the European Court of Justice held that judicial proceedings are outside the bounds of the EU's access-to-documents rule. The case in concern, Sweden and API v. Commission (and related actions), involved Brussels journalists who had sued the European Commission to secure copies of the Commission's legal briefs in landmark cases but were denied access. A copy of the ECJ decision is available here. A copy of a Wall Street Journal blog post on the ECJ decision is available here.

EU Commission President Pledges 1 Billion Euros for MDGs

September 26, 2010
 On September 20, at the UN Millennium Development Goals ("MDGs") Summit in New York, the EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso pledged 1 billion euros to help facilitate the realization of the MDGs by 2015, with an emphasis on African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.  The money will come from the European Development Fund.  To read more, click here.

European Parliament Approves New Financial Supervision Architecture

September 26, 2010
 On September 23, the European Parliament approved a package of reforms which will see a fundamental shift in the way banks, stock markets and insurance companies are policed as of 2011.  A copy of the EP Press Release is available here.

European Commission Publishes Report on Social Protection in Ukraine

September 24, 2010
 The European Commission has published a study that analyzes the challenges facing Ukraine in the areas of poverty, social exclusion, pensions and health/long-term care. To read the study, click here.

Pro-LGBT Members of European Parliament Demand Recognition of Same-Sex Unions

September 17, 2010
 The European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights told the EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship that more must be done to uphold same-sex couples' fundamental rights throughout the European Union.  To read more, click here.

COE Parliamentary Assembly Committee Issues Report on Ukraine Democratic Institutions

September 17, 2010
 The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has produced a report titled "The Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Ukraine." The report concludes by urging Ukrainian authorities "to implement constitutional reforms that would create a robust and stable political framework with a clear separation between the different branches of power and an effective system of checks and balances between them." A copy of the report is available here.

EC President Barroso Lays Out Strategic Program for EU In Speech

September 17, 2010
 During his State of the Union speech last week, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, explained his vision for addressing five major challenges in the next year: dealing with the economic crisis and governance; restoring growth for jobs; promoting freedom, justice and security; launching negotiations for a modern EU budget, and the EU pulling its weight on the global stage. To read more, click here.

EP Resolution Calls for Protection of Roma Freedom of Movement

September 17, 2010
 Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation of Roma and on freedom of movement in the EU. In the resolution, the the EP expresses its deep concern at the measures taken by France and other Member States' authorities targeting Roma and providing for their expulsion and urges those authorities immediately to suspend all expulsions of Roma. A copy of the resolution is available here.

EC Publishes Paper on "Innovating Financing at a Global Level"

September 17, 2010
 The European Commission paper proposes new "innovative financing" public policy measures "to build a more robust financial system in which financial institutions are required through taxes and regulatory measures to internalise the social costs of their activities." A copy of the paper is available here.

ECJ Rejects Austrian Protection of Domestic Gaming Companies

September 17, 2010
 The Court of Justice of the European Union held last week that Austrian legislation under which only companies having their seat in Austria have the right to operate casinos is contrary to European Union law. A copy of the ECJ decision is available here.