Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Arab News | Tell us if you love a Palestinian, Israeli Defense Ministry orders foreigners, 3 Sep
If any foreigner marries a Palestinian, immigration restrictions mean they will need to leave after 27 months and cannot return for at least half a year.
Regulations include a demand that foreigners inform the Israeli authorities within 30 days of starting a relationship with a Palestinian ID holder.
The European Commission said that it was concerned about the restrictions on foreign students and academics at Palestinian universities, which the BBC reported was shared with the "highest levels" of the Israeli authorities....
by Cat on Sat Sep 3rd, 2022 at 09:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telesur | Thousands Demand the Resignation of the Government in Prague, 3 Sep photos
The organisers said after the end of the demonstration that if the government does not resign by 25 September, they will announce pressure actions and will plan for another protest on 28 September.

"We demand the establishment of a temporary government of experts and the calling of early elections. If the government does not resign by 25 September, we will declare the right to resistance under the Constitution of the Czech Republic at a nationwide demonstration and announce coercive actions. We are already in talks with trade unions, businessmen, farmers, mayors, transport operators and other organisations to declare a strike," the organisers warned.
According to [EUCo pres] Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), the event was called by forces that claim to have a pro-Russian orientation, are close to extremists and are against the interests of the Czech Republic. However, the protest are so far peaceful and without any serious problems.

Some of the groups represented at the demonstration included the major anti-migrant populist Freedom and Direct Democracy party and the Communist Party. The protesters demanded the resignation of the current coalition government led by conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala, criticizing it for a number of issues, including its Western-oriented policies.
"The aim of our demonstration is to demand change, mainly in solving the issue of energy prices, especially electricity and gas, which will destroy our economy this autumn," event co-organizer Jiri Havel told iDNES.cz news website.
[4 Sep] An unfortunate statement, politicians evaluate Fial's words about the pro-Russian forces at the protest
Government ministers and opposition politicians react to Prime Minister Petr Fiala's statement about the pro-Russian conveners of Saturday's demonstration against the government. According to the governor of the South Bohemian Region and the chairman of the Association of Regions, Martin Kuba, his words were unfortunate. According to him, the government should not underestimate people's fear of the current price hike and crisis and should make it clear to them that it will guide them through the situation....
The protest at Wenceslas Square in the city centre was held a day after the government survived a no-confidence vote amid opposition claims of inaction against inflation and energy prices. The vote showed how Europe's energy crisis is fuelling political instability as soaring power prices stoke inflation, already at levels unseen in three decades.
by Cat on Sun Sep 4th, 2022 at 06:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austria's Volker Turk appointed UN human rights chief
"Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Lisa Carty said Turk 'must serve as an independent, impartial, and unwavering voice for human rights issues around the world.'"

EU plans new military aid for gas-rich Mozambique amid energy crisis
"The energy squeeze due to the Ukraine war has added impetus to Europe's scramble for gas off Mozambique's northern coast, where Western oil firms are planning to build a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal."

G7 πορνεία
Russia is preventing access to Ukraine war prisoners, [G7] UN says
"a 'welcoming process' whereby they are forced to walk or run between rows of Russian guards who take turns severely beating them as they enter the facilities"

by Cat on Fri Sep 9th, 2022 at 10:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vOldeMoRT: US rule out Russia visa ban, 3 Sep
Washington won't restrict the visas for all Russians as a punishment for Russia's actions in Ukraine, said John Kirby, US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, in an interview with the Dozhd TV channel that was released on Saturday.

The US has introduced visa restrictions for individual Russians whom it considers to be "regime supporters," Kirby said. However, Washington doesn't believe that "holding all Russians accountable" is a productive measure, as the US' decisions shouldn't be turned into a war with the entire Russian people.

archived "Our sanctions don't affect ..."
It is not the Russian people who should be blamed, but "president [Vladimir] Putin and his cabinet," he explained.

On August 31, the foreign ministers of the 27 EU countries decided to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia

EU foreign ministers agree to suspend visa facilitation agreement
... The ministers primarily discussed two topics, namely the EU's relations with Africa and the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The main outcome of the meeting was agreement among the Member States to suspend the visa facilitation agreement.
According to [Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan] Lipavský, it is also however necessary to achieve mutual understanding between the Member States. On the one hand, there is the problem of the northern states that directly border Russia and which are seeing the arrival of large numbers of Russians. On the other hand, the individual Member States have differing stances on the issue. What is important now is that the European Commission and EU institutions prepare a proposal that reflects these different aspects....
which means reducing the number of visas issued and making it more difficult to obtain them. The details remain unclear, yet it's certain that the introduction of the ban will result in more difficult, longer and more expensive procedures for Russians to obtain a Schengen visa.
archived Josep Borrell Sealing Europe's Fate

mobility score | passport power rank (2015-2022)

by Cat on Sun Sep 4th, 2022 at 08:54:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VRT News | Energy crisis: "Opportunity to leap forward" says Mr De Croo, 4 Sep dont-say-fuel
Mr De Croo conceded the situation was now serious. Rising energy prices form a threat to the economy. The premier insists any cap on gas prices needs to be agreed at the European level. European energy ministers meet next Friday.

The premier expressed his anger at the fact that Europe had failed to act with speed. Belgium alone can't sort it he noted: "At long last the European commission is now signalling comprehension: citizens need to be protected".
The Belgian leader has been accused of fuelling panic by suggesting the next five to ten winters will be difficult. Mr De Croo refused to withdraw his words: "This is the reality. If we can get a grip on this, we're in for five difficult years. If we fail due to poor policies, it's ten difficult years. As a country and as a continent we can sort it, if we get all our ducks in a row. We can leap forward twenty years by loosening ties with fossil fuels and countries we prefer not to trade with"

"Our reliance on Russian gas has already decreased enormously.  We thought it would take years. If we do a good job, it will be a matter of months. During these months we will do our utmost to the chart a course through the crisis for everybody. People need to understand this is a temporary [?] solution. We won't leave people in the cold or allow them to lose their jobs. We will take action".
The Plan
belgium.be | A federal crisis plan to COMBAT soaring energy prices, 2 Sep
The federal government has decided to extend the support measures (VAT reduction and social rate for one million households) to cope with the explosive increase in energy prices. The banks are committed to protecting the most affected families. Measures will be taken to skim off [dont-say-tax] the industry's excess[?] profits to finance a solidarity fund. The government also calls on Belgians and companies to reduce their consumption and set a good example....
The problem = prices
The current wholesale prices for gas and electricity are so disproportionately high that market intervention is required. In Asia, the wholesale price of LNG is € 150/MWh and in [*-]America € 30/MWh. There is no reason why gas prices in Europe (€ 300/MWh) should disproportionally higher, when transport [from WHERE? HOW?] to Europe only costs a few euros per MWh.

Like the high gas price, the wholesale price of electricity no longer reflects the [power plant] production cost of [distributing] electricity. A great deal of energy is generated by (renewable and nuclear) plants that do not face rising fuel costs. In Europe, there is a wide chasm between the actual costs and current prices. This means the market is no longer functioning. ...

archived "Our sanctions don't affect ..."
by Cat on Mon Sep 5th, 2022 at 08:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MENAFN | Jonas Gahr Store to Ursula vdL, 13 Sep
"A maximum price does not change the fundamental issue that there is a gas shortage in Europe."
by Cat on Tue Sep 13th, 2022 at 06:06:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | EU's von der Leyen rows back on plans to cap [EU RUSSIAN EMBARGO] fossil gas prices, 14 Sep
In her annual State of the Union speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 September), Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said negotiation would be a more efficient way to lower gas prices, which are set on the global market.
by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 05:39:12 PM EST
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APsplainin EU chief wants to tap excess producer profits, 14 Sep *-English
A top European Union official unveiled a plan Wednesday to cap the revenue [dont-say-cost] of electricity producers [ENTSO-E operators?!] that are making extraordinary profits because of the effects [nth derivative] of Russia's war in Ukraine and climate change, saying the proposal could raise $140 billion [if enacted by EU27 parliaments] to help people hit by spiraling energy prices.
archived "Our sanctions don't affect ..."
"Russia keeps actively manipulating our [global?] energy [dont-say-fuel] market," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU lawmakers in Strasbourg, France. "So, this market is not functioning anymore."
O RLY? What is perfect competition?  inna HFT forward contract "environment"? Possibly, a (tight|loose|flex) PANDEMIC labor.market(workforce size)?
"These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dream[ed] of," von der Leyen said. "In these times, it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of consumers."
archived 1973-1974 "oil crisis" and anteKyoto Jimmy Carter freedom molecules
During her State of the European Union address to the EU assembly, attended by Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk*, von der Leyen said company "profits must be shared [dont-say-tax] and channeled to those who need it the most.[dont-say-subsidy]"
Most of the money would come by setting a price cap [sic] on electricity produced through renewable energy sources and nuclear power ["inframarginal technology"] of 180 euros [DOWN from €200!] per megawatt hour, less than half the current price. EU countries would also collect a "solidarity contribution" [dont-say-tax] from oil, gas[,] and coal refineries [?!] earning 20% more [operating, EBITDA, or "net"?] profit than they averaged over the last three years.

With [EU] Russia [EMBARGO] tightening the natural gas ["Nordstrom"] taps, demand for gas and electricity also must be reduced, even if reserves of the fuel are on average 84% full across the EU. Capping [EU retail] prices [to subsidize EU "energy" trading] will not draw down use [O RLY?], so the European Commission also wants people HH rate-payers to consume less [so "energy intensive" industries can consume more], particularly during peak [1st shift] hours. ....

by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 07:05:21 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 10:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BrusselsTimes.com | Doel 3: Shutdown confirmed for Friday despite politicians' pleas, 23 Sep inframarginal price cap foo(demand)
...In spite of this, the Doel 1 and 2, as well as the Tihange 1 reactors (that started producing power in 1985) were allowed to extend their operations until 2025....
by Cat on Sat Sep 24th, 2022 at 07:22:42 PM EST
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They'll have to restart more coal fueled power plants.
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:14:26 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:33:14 AM EST
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Perhaps recognizing nuclear safety regulations are imperative?

Belgium shuts down nuclear reactor over suspected vessel cracking | Bellona - Aug. 10, 2012 |

But the wear and tear on one of its reactor vessel is an alarming sign for at least three other European countries and possibly more worldwide, all of which purchased vessels from the same now-bankrupt Dutch manufacturer.

Nils Bøhmer, Bellona's general director and nuclear physicist said that similar problem will begin to appear worldwide due to ageing nuclear reactors, whose average lifespan is about 30 years.

The wear and tear observed in Beligium, said Bøhmer, "is something that comes of neutron radiation from power generation" within the reactor core that is housed by the vessel.

"This will, as reactors get older, cause cracks," in reactor vessels said Bøhmer.

The 1,006 MW Doel No 3 reactor, operated by GDF Suez unit Electrabel, is scheduled to close in 10 years according to the nuclear exit plan the Belgian government adopted in July. A pressurized water reactor, it went into service in 1982.

The suspected fractures at the reactor, 25 kilometers  north of Antwerp near the Dutch border, which provides a sixth of Belgium's nuclear-generated power, do not pose any health and safety threat, said AFCN, the country's nuclear watchdog.

Some 9 million people live within a 75 kilometer radius of the plant.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | LEAK: Brussels floats ["non-paper"] for capping gas [explosion] prices, 29 Sep
w"Establishing the appropriate level for the cap would be a challenging exercise due to internal and global market dynamics and entailing risks from the point of view of security of supply," the non-paper reads. "Furthermore, the risk of triggering supply disruptions from third-countries supplies is higher for a generalised wholesale price cap than it is for a price cap on the imports of pipeline gas."
Once again, it advocates for a cap on Russian gas imports, which currently make up 9% of EU supply
nope. Try again.
The European Commission says it is ready to discuss developing a temporary EU framework to limit the influence [?] of high gas prices on electricity prices.
Other ideas include engaging with "reliable supply partners" to reach a "common understanding" on reducing prices and a new "transactions-based LNG benchmark" to encourage more accurate pricing.
oh. prix fixe Nordic NG and US LNG racketeering for the world, now that EU's Russian gas pipes are empty. OK.
If this measure were to work, it would require creating a body at the EU level to replace the workings of the market and ensure gas is sent to places with scarce supply.

A price cap would also remove the financial incentive for consumers to reduce consumption, so there would need to be a "significantly more drastic" demand reduction framework, including curtailment, to address the increase in demand due to a lower price.

The EU would also need to find "significant financial resources" to attract gas to Europe if global gas prices are higher than The Cap™.

The Commission non-paper can be consulted below or downloaded here.

Politico.eu.com | Germany introduces €200 billion gas price cap to counter Russia's 'energy war', 29 Sep dont-say-EU-embargo
Under the proposed scheme, the state will set a limit for [retail] gas prices and pay the difference between that [retail] cap and what gas importers pay on the world market.
"We want to clearly separate crisis spending from our regular budget management," Lindner said, insisting that the German government remained committed to a conservative fiscal policy that aims to limit inflation, which is expected to reach 10 percent in Germany.

"We want to send a very clear signal to the capital markets: Even if we now use such a defensive umbrella, Germany will stick to its stability-oriented, sustainability-oriented fiscal policy," Lindner said, adding: "German government bonds remain the gold standard in the world."

Politico.eu.com | EU announces Russian oil price cap in NEW! sanctions plan, 29 Sep dont-say-zero
by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 01:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kawsachunnews | IMF Tells Bolivia to Drop its Successful Economic Model, 16 Sep
... The bulk of public investment is destined for infrastructure, while the majority of subsidies are for ensuring the price of fuel doesn't rise. Bolivia is the only country in the region to see no rise in fuel prices, a policy that has kept inflation at less than 2%, unlike the rest of South America.

The report even states that fuel prices must rise, and the inflation that would inevitably cause could be offset by cash-transfer [payments] programs for the poorest sectors, says the IMF: "The successful implementation of an increase in domestic fuel prices will require recycling a part of the budget savings in cash transfer programs aimed at the poorest deciles of the population."...

by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 02:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh. prix fixe Nordic NG and US LNG racketeering for the world, now that EU's Russian gas pipes are empty. OK.

Oh, so you're a neolib now? Don't like socialism? Planned market economies?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 02:52:49 PM EST
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Nooooo, I'm a silent member of teh EU Comish, antitrust division. mwahahahahahahahahha
by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 04:13:38 PM EST
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Politico.eu.com | German audit court slams Scholz's €200B gas price cap, 30 Sep
"'When money is drawn down from special funds, the state has to borrow. Ultimately, special funds, even if they are not called that, are federal debt,' the auditor's court president said."
by Cat on Sat Oct 1st, 2022 at 01:15:33 AM EST
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by Cat on Fri Sep 9th, 2022 at 02:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Sep 9th, 2022 at 11:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ELECTION 2022 September 11
Politico.eu.com | 'Make Sweden great again.' Far right on the cusp of power, 8 Sep Sweden Democrats (SD) v Swedish Social Democrats (SD) Politico poll of polls smoke
[SD leader Jimmie] Åkesson is unlikely to become prime minister[,] if his side wins because the opposition bloc's other parties -- the center-right Moderates, Christian Democrats[,] and Liberals -- have said they back Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson for the role, even if his party polls less well than SD.

But the emergence of SD as a key player in Swedish policymaking would still be a radical shock to the Nordic state's political system, which for the past century has been based largely on consensus < wipes tears > building.

While Sweden's immigration policies have long been liberal < wipes tears > SD's platform would aim for zero asylum seekers. Sweden's criminal justice system has traditionally focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment but SD is calling for longer prison sentences and wider use of deportation.

"Deport foreign criminals ... and no discussion," says one of SD's new election posters. ...

by Cat on Sun Sep 11th, 2022 at 05:47:20 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 12th, 2022 at 02:01:29 AM EST
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I'm guessing they will favour the left, but I don't know if the effect is big enough. It's tight enough that it may matter.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Sep 12th, 2022 at 07:34:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | EU intelligence chief cancels Taiwan trip after Beijing learns his secret plans, 13 Sep
José Casimiro Morgado, director of the European Union Intelligence and Situation Centre, was supposed to make the below-the-radar visit to meet Taiwanese officials in October, according to the diplomats.

However, the EU spy chief's plan came to a halt after Beijing got hold of the information and put pressure on the EU to scrap what would have been an unusually sensitive visit amid China's escalating military threats on Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its own territory.

I question your morality.
The development calls into question whether a human or data leak from the EU was involved, with diplomats also concerned about the EU's change of plans after Beijing's intervention.
The revelation also sheds further light on the quiet deceitful diplomacy between the EU and Taiwan, after last year's covert trip to Brussels by Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. The EU Intelligence and Situation Centre, known in the Brussels bubble as INTCEN, focuses on civilian "intelligence-based situational awareness" and forms one of two pillars of the EU's "single intelligence analysis capacity," alongside the military-focused Intelligence Directorate of the EU Military Staff....
by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 02:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
platform worker entered the room, Jan 2022. Who knew zero-hour contracts and terms were sooo technical?
The intention, amongst other things, is to improve working conditions by ensuring that there is the 'correct' determination of their employment status.
concept of "employer" is not well understood, so...
The Court of Justice of the European Union has historically interpreted the EU concept of 'worker' very widely, and has always emphasized the need for legal 'subordination' or control and direction of the worker. The Draft Directive provides that when a digital labor platform [sic] 'controls' the work of the platform worker, there will be a presumption that an employment relationship exists - i.e. the onus will no longer be on, for example, the individual to prove that this is the case....
euractiv | EU institutions inch closer to an agreement on platform worker status, 14 Sep
New compromise amendments, which EURACTIV obtained, indicate explicit wording has been added in the binding part of the legal text to confirm that "the legal presumption does not produce the effect of an automatic reclassification of all persons performing platform work as platform workers, since the presumption is rebuttable."
file in Mental disorder is a communicable disease
EC | EU proposes directive to protect the rights of platform workers, 17 Mar
by Cat on Fri Sep 16th, 2022 at 12:07:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Parliament set for clash with EU countries over new energy savings target, 15 Sep
"Parliament has today voted for ambitious and binding energy efficiency targets for the EU and for individual member states," the Danish MEP said after the vote on Wednesday (14 September). The position was adopted with 469 votes in favour, 93 against and 82 abstentions.

With the plenary vote cleared, Parliament can now enter negotiations with the [European] Council [of the European Union?] and the [European] Commission as part of so-called "trilogue" talks to finalise the law....

EP President to campaign to open EU treaties, "constitutional convention" UPDATE
by Cat on Fri Sep 16th, 2022 at 12:18:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza.gr | Tsipras: SYRIZA's lead in the elections for the new change in the country, 18 Sep transcript (machine trans.), A/V 00:27:33 (GR) no closed caption
G. LOTSOPOULOU (ERT 3): Thank you, Mr. President. And above all, thank you for consistently honoring ERT3. We listened to you in your speech yesterday and we heard a series of announcements that correspond on the one hand to an increase in spending and on the other to a decrease in revenue. We heard about the increase in the minimum wage, about the return of retroactives, about indexation, about mother's allowance, I will not list them all. And on the other hand, the reduction of the Excise Tax and the VAT correspond to a reduction in revenues.

I would like to ask you how cost effective and reliable this program is and how after these announcements you will answer your political opponents who accuse you that with these announcements and this program you will either lead the country to a new memorandum or they will stay just some announcements that will never materialize and cheap promises.

AL. TSIPRAS: Ms. Lotsopoulou, thank you for the question. They accuse us of the possibility of leading the country to memorandums again, those who led us to memorandums. Who bankrupted the country, left it bankrupt in 2009 and who today follow the same recipes of bankruptcy. And they blame us for managing this bankruptcy, getting the country off the books. Because today we are in danger of having eavesdropping on this issue as well. They are undermining the great achievement of the SYRIZA government which was to create a framework of fiscal stability and sustainability, to regulate the debt so that it is sustainable with a clean corridor to the next low repayments....

by Cat on Tue Sep 20th, 2022 at 09:42:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | Veni, vidi, veto: Giorgia Meloni's march on Brussels, 22 Sep wut
Italy's far-right firebrand is poised to join like-minded leaders in Poland and Hungary as a spoiler to European Union ambitions
by Cat on Thu Sep 22nd, 2022 at 02:25:06 PM EST
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