Saturday, June 11, 2005

Doctor, the patient keeps trying to kill himself!

Amotz Asa-El comments in the Jerusalem Post on the persistent economic and social failures of Old Europe, which are connected, but hardly worth pondering over: which came first, the chicken or the egg?. In truth, if you find yourself in the bottom of a hole, stop digging. But if you are a French trade unionist, demand a larger trenching crew:

«The morning after the effective demise of the United States of Europe vision, it is clear that the project's collapse was largely caused by the Old Continent's growing misunderstanding of work and money. The French voters who torpedoed the proposed European constitution are believed to have expressed their fear for their 35-hour work week. The Dutch who opposed the scheme were often the very same voters whose aversion to low-paying work has brought into their midst the very foreign workers whose presence they increasingly resent. And the Italians who now miss the lira think their problems stem from the euro's ostensibly excessive strength.

Having sensed his [Chiracs] cowardice, the French suspected that the constitution he was promoting was effectively a nicer way of leading them to the same operating table they so much fear. A true leader would have told the unions - not now but already back in 1995 - that he had been elected and not them, and that he would do what he thinks is right, and that he does not care even if they paralyze all of France indefinitely.

And yet, all this political cowardice is dwarfed by the lack of historic intuition that the failed constitution represents. »

The indicators support the obvious repercussions. Social support doesnt grow on trees. Bloomberg reports that in a economically healthy global economic environment and mainstreaming in Europe, all they can conclude is:

«French industry is on its way to recession,'' said Marc Touati, chief economist at Natexis Banques Populaires in Paris. He forecast a 0.2 percent drop in April.

Economic growth in Europe is slowing, putting the euro region on pace to lag the U.S. for the 13th year in the past 14. The European Central Bank last week cut its 2005 growth estimate for the third time in six months. It forecast an expansion of about 1.4 percent. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts the U.S. economy to grow by 3.6 percent.

A 2 percent expansion doesn't seem very realistic, said Maillard, who predicts 1.4 percent growth this year.

The outlook in the short term is fairly bleak, said Elwin de Groot, an economist at Fortis Bank Nederland NV in Amsterdam. We shouldn't expect too much in the coming months.''
In April, French production of cars rose 0.7 percent after a 1.4 percent drop in the previous month, today's report showed. Production of consumer goods, including pharmaceuticals, advanced 0.7 percent, and production of capital goods such as planes and machines increased 0.6 percent. »

Reform is impossible with the population having this need to demand more porridge from the schoolmaster, and elevating the state of the population is impossible without reform of this very affliction.

- Many thanks to Carine for the link

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