From inception, Eurozone monetary union was an idea doomed to fail. Nonetheless, it was engineered fraudulently to look workable.
In 1979, Europe’s Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced as part of the European Monetary System (EMS) to propel the continent to one European currency unit (ECU).
ERM never worked. ECU is failing. At issue is duplicity, conflicts of interest, and uniting 17 dissimilar countries under rigid euro straightjacket rules. Doing so usurps their monetary and fiscal autonomy disastrously.
Nonetheless, banking giants partnered with EU, ECB and IMF Troika power decide everything. Policies require lowering living standards, sacking public workers, and selling off state assets lock, stock and barrel at fire sale prices.
Today, the euro corpse only awaits its obituary to be written. Successive bailouts and fixes haven’t worked. Troubled Eurozone economies are drowning in debt. Adding more makes bad conditions worse.
So do forced austerity measures, layoffs, and higher working household taxes. Lost purchasing power means less spending, fewer jobs, and greater public anger than today’s high levels.
Nonetheless, Germany and France pressured other EU members (except Britain) closer to economic collapse. Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary said their parliaments would decide whether or not to agree. Nonetheless, they went along.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
“It’s interesting to note that 20 years” to the day after the Maastricht Treaty was drafted, “we have succeeded in creating a more stable foundation for (its) economic and monetary union, and in so doing we’ve attended to weaknesses that were included in the system.”
(TELEGRAPH) Mr Rabeder, 47, a businessman from Telfs is in the process of selling his luxury 3,455 sq ft villa with lake, sauna and spectacular mountain views over the Alps, valued at £1.4 million.
Also for sale is his beautiful old stone farmhouse in Provence with its 17 hectares overlooking the arrière-pays, on the market for £613,000. Already gone is his collection of six gliders valued at £350,000, and a luxury Audi A8, worth around £44,000.
Mr Rabeder has also sold the interior furnishings and accessories business – from vases to artificial flowers – that made his fortune.
My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come.”
Instead, he will move out of his luxury Alpine retreat into a small wooden hut in the mountains or a simple bedsit in Innsbruck.
His entire proceeds are going to charities he set up in Central and Latin America, but he will not even take a salary from these.
“For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness,” he said. “I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years,” said Mr Rabeder.
But over time, he had another, conflicting feeling.
“More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life’,” he said. “I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.
I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing.”
However, for many years he said he was simply not “brave” enough to give up all the trappings of his comfortable existence.
The tipping point came while he was on a three-week holiday with his wife to islands of Hawaii.
“It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five star lifestyle is,” he said. “In those three weeks, we spent all the money you could possibly spend. But in all that time, we had the feeling we hadn’t met a single real person – that we were all just actors. The staff played the role of being friendly and the guests played the role of being important and nobody was real.”
He had similar feelings of guilt while on gliding trips in South America and Africa. “I increasingly got the sensation that there is a connection between our wealth and their poverty,” he said.
Suddenly, he realised that “if I don’t do it now I won’t do it for the rest of my life”.
Mr Rabeder decided to raffle his Alpine home, selling 21,999 lottery tickets priced at just £87 each. The Provence house in the village of Cruis is on sale at the local estate agent.
All the money will go into his microcredit charity, which offers small loans to Latin America and builds development aid strategies to self-employed people in El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.
Since selling his belongings, Mr Rabeder said he felt “free, the opposite of heavy”.
But he said he did not judge those who chose to keep their wealth. “I do not have the right to give any other person advice. I was just listening to the voice of my heart and soul.”
Italy quake kills 92, devastates historic town
A powerful earthquake tore through central Italy on Monday killing more than 90 people as Renaissance buildings in a historic town were reduced to rubble.
The quake hadn’t been completely unexpected. Italy muzzled a scientist who foresaw it.
(YahooNews) – Police have been ordered to release footage of the July 7 bombers after a three-year freedom of information battle.
In chilling scenes, Hasib Hussain is also seen shopping for a battery and stopping at McDonald’s as he struggles to make his device work after the other bombs have been detonated.
The footage was described in detail in the Home Office‘s Narrative report, which was published the year after the devastating 2005 attacks.
But very little of the material has so far been made available to the public. Continue reading