Monday, May 31, 2004

The Weasels Watch 

In France, "Architect 'humbled' by Paris airport collapse." For God's sake, this is not an award, it's a disaster. "In his first extensive interviews in the French press, Andreu said he did not think he had made any error in designing the EUR 750 million (USD 900 million) building, 'but an accident such as this imposes a certain level of modesty'." Not to mention, potential criminal or civil liability.

Still in France, an official parliamentary report comes to a conclusion that "the country has only itself to blame if its 'golden age' of power has waned":

"It claims France's refusal to implement European Union regulations, its 'arrogant' reputation and the poor work record of French Euro-MPs - among the laziest in Europe - has damaged its credibility and undermined its authority."
Good God, so now it's official.

Meanwhile, "German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Friday his invitation to 60th anniversary ceremonies of the D-Day landings in France next month marks Berlin's acceptance as an equal partner by its former enemies." Although, sadly, probably not as a reliable ally anymore. "The real meaning of this invitation is that the Second World War is over - once and for all," Schroeder told the media. With the Second World War now officially over, the world media will now be free to move onto Vietnam. The report doesn't say whether Schroeder is planning to drop by the Netherlands, where it now transpires, German soldiers might have fathered 50,000 illegitimate children (and not 10,000 as previously thought) during that conflict which is now officially "over - once and for all."

Europe overall continues to enjoy a low growth and high unemployment (make that also higher than expected inflation) economic environment, as jobs keep migrating East:

" 'Our politicians tell us we're getting 75 million new customers' in the new EU countries, said Alfons Thijs, a shop steward for Ford Genk's midlevel management. 'But at this moment we realize we have 75 million potential new employees who will take our jobs'."
It might have something to do with the fact that Eastern European corporate taxes are half of what they are in France and Germany - how do you compete with Estonia's zero corporate tax? Rethinking your own tax regime would be too logical, so instead you claim that low taxes "are tantamount to unfair fiscal 'dumping', luring investment away from higher tax countries." Precisely. How very unfair of the Easties to try to stimulate economy.


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