Panic is beginning to overwhelm the eurozone. Italy and Spain are caught in the maelstrom. Belgium is slipping into the danger zone. As France is dragged down, the widening gap between its bond yields and Germany’s is severely testing the political partnership that has driven six decades of European integration.
Even strong swimmers such as Finland and the Netherlands are straining against the undertow. Banks are struggling to stay afloat – their capital providing little buoyancy as funds drain away – while businesses that rely on credit are in trouble, too. All signs point to a eurozone recession.
Left unchecked, this panic about sovereign solvency will prove self-fulfilling: just as a healthy bank can fail if it suffers a run, even the most creditworthy government is at risk if the market refuses to refinance its debt.… Seguir leyendo »
With a stagnant economy and Led Zeppelin performing, Britons could be forgiven for thinking they had travelled back to the 70s. This week saw yet more throwbacks, with the proposal of Labour MP Frank Field for non-EU migrants to be thrown out after four years - sorry, for "balanced migration", and the return of manpower planning. Oh dear.
Field should know better than to team up with the Tory MP Nicholas Soames and MigrationWatch to put forward a "one in/one out" temporary-worker scheme. The plan is unfair, unworkable and harmful to the economy. Throwing out people who have been working here for four years would deprive us of people who have demonstrated their contribution to society and adapted to British life; it would also deter many talented people from coming.… Seguir leyendo »
Europe prides itself on being a continent of human rights, freedom and international solidarity. Yet it is fighting an increasingly dirty war against immigration, with casualties mounting every day. The biggest victims are the poor and the vulnerable, who are demonised as "illegal" or "bogus". But EU governments are also doing huge harm to the societies they purportedly want to protect.
Britain continues to hunt down unauthorised migrants and is planning to introduce ID cards for foreigners. In Italy, Gypsy camps have been burned down, and the Berlusconi government, far from protecting the targets of such racist attacks, is whipping up animosity against them and fingerprinting them.… Seguir leyendo »