Fascinating excerpts from the March 14, 2014 Open Europe news summary in italics and my comments below each:
All mobile phones and some other electronic appliances on the European market will have to come with a standard charger by 2017 following a vote by MEPs yesterday. The new rules could save around 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually.
The costless regulation! What geniuses are these European Members of Parliament! (Uh…just what is “electronic waste” anyway?)
Data released yesterday showed that Greek unemployment rose to 27.5% in the final quarter of 2013, a 0.5% rise from the previous quarter and 1.5% increase on 2012.
Kathimerini ELSTAT press release
Greece cheats on its financial reports in order to join the Eurozone, which allows it to borrow more money at lower rates. Years later it is a huge EU success story!
At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said, “We want to make clear that the Czech Republic is a country at the heart of Europe that works very intently with eurozone countries.” Merkel congratulated Sobotka for his decision to sign the ‘fiscal treaty’ on budgetary discipline.
It seems to me that seventy-five years ago another German head of state congratulated the Czechs on doing the right thing. Does anyone else find this scene even slightly disgusting?
Data released yesterday showed that Ireland’s economy surprisingly contracted by 2.3% in the final quarter of 2013, meaning the economy contracted by 0.3% for the year as a whole, well below expectations of 0.4% growth. Just before the data was released, Ireland sold €1bn in ten year bonds at auction for the first time since September 2010.
FT City AM EUobserver
Aren’t the Irish lucky that their government gave them a second chance to join the EU? The Irish voted it down the first time, but their politicians saw that the people really didn’t know what they were doing. So the Irish were forced to keep voting until they got it right. Miracle upon miracle, it passed the second time! Now, after raising its taxes to EU levels, which put an end to the Irish boom in high tech industries, Ireland enjoys all the benefits of the euro and the EU. It gets to stand in line behind a dozen other EU countries and beg for a handout.