Opinion – Greece debt crisis: the offer from Athens in detail | Business | The Guardian – John Gelmini

Dr Alf brings us interesting news from the Guardian , which is parroting the “line to take” on Greece that the Americans, under Obama, have decided to impose on Chancellor Merkel and the creditors to ensure that Greece does not fall under Vladimir Putin’s spell.

The proposals from Greece may not have the desired effect because higher corporation taxes will make Greece unattractive as a place to do business, whilst higher VAT will increase the size of their black economy as it has in Britain and Italy, where it is 11% and 15% of GDP already. Also Greece might agree to their proposals but their record suggests that they will not keep to the “straight and narrow way” but will keep on encouraging people to demonstrate in the streets as a way of applying additional pressure on a weary group of creditors.

The turning of the tide of newspaper opinion is being deliberately orchestrated by those who want a Greek bailout with a little “vigorish” for themselves at the expense of taxpayer in the UK, Germany, Northern Europe and France. The sordid deal if it goes through will cost everyone a great deal of money. Within a year or so, I fear that we will be back here again with Greeks letting off firecrackers in the street and asserting their rights to more bailout money.

The pattern is now clear:
1) Greece evokes sympathy and guilt for wrongs done to it by its creditors
2) Greece refuses to repay anything or reform its economy
3) Greece threatens to fall into the Russian orbit
4) America leans on Germany to bail the Greeks out
5) Creditors blink and fall for the blackmail
6) Extra money is added to the bailout for siphoning off first
7) Greece is bailed out and the siphoners are enriched again at the expense of European taxpayers
8) The deal is heralded as a triumph of commonsense and compassion and as a way to avoid contagion.
9) The bailout money is frittered away
10) Steps 1) through 9) are repeated

John Gelmini

Is energy security a job for Nato? | Nick Butler



English: Map to show current affiliations of E...

English: Map to show current affiliations of European Countries with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Several NATO Member areas not included in the map, such as the United States, Canada, Greenland, and French Guiana. Česky: Mapa zobrazující partnerské smlouvy NATO v Evropě a okolí. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a really interesting article from Nick Butler published in the FT. Check it out!

Is energy security a job for Nato? | Nick Butler.

It is good news that Nato recognize energy as a strategic risk for Europe.

Personally, I believe that the European Commission’s paper in May was inadequate. As well as mitigating the risks, there is an urgent need to leverage the opportunities.

For example, what about helping Cyprus to accelerate the development of offshore gas? Of course, the Cyprus LPG fields are adjacent to those of Israel. There is also an opportunity to secure long-term supply of gas from Israel. At the same time, surely the EU can influence Turkey’s foreign policy, warning Turkey that a gas pipeline would be conditional?

Overall, what worries me is the slow state of decision-making in Europe with few leaders prepared to look to effective strategies for the whole of Europe