Referendum

Poland would happily trade in its EU membership to save its culture

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An IBRiS poll conducted for the liberal and pro-EU weekly Polityka was published on July 5. The two questions posed to 1,000 people polled was essentially to gauge loyalty to the EU or Poland. Poland would seemingly be happy to trade in EU membership than sell out their culture. This is not a debate about the rights and wrongs of taking in asylum seekers rather to point out what is happening on the ground.

Q1: “Should Poland refuse to accept refugees from Muslim countries even if this should lead to the loss of European funds?”
– YES: 56.5%
– NO: 40.4%

Q2: “Should Poland refuse to take in refugees from Muslim countries even if this should lead to the obligation to leave the European Union?”
– YES: 51.2%
– NO: 37.6%

This opposition to the relocation of asylum seekers arriving in Greece and Italy is reflected in the popularity of the Polish conservative PiS party. The PiS hit 41% in a June IPSOS poll for the first time (against Donald Tusk’s Liberal party PO at 26%). The poll was conducted at the same time the European Commission had announced the launch of sanctions against Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary for their refusal to accept immigrant relocation quotas.

It was only last week that Italy threatened to issue 200,000 refugees with EU travel documents that would legalize their movement around Europe (i.e. encourage their departures from Italy to the desired destination of Germany).

In response to Italy’s threat, Austria is now looking to shut its border with Italy at the Brenner Pass. Bild newspaper has said that Vienna was ready to close the Brenner Pass within a day if migrant arrivals increased. Tensions are already high. Austria has threatened to send armoured vehicles and 750 soldiers to stop migrants crossing.

Whether we like it or not, for all of the altruism in the world, it seems that a growing number of citizens want their governments to prioritize them first. Failure to do so is being typified by what is happening in Greece.

According to the annual survey by the firm Adecco titled “Employability in Greece,” the brain drain phenomenon has been increasing over the last three years. In 2005 only about 11% of unemployed respondents said that they were actively looking for a job abroad. This figure increased to 28% in 2016 and reached 33% so far this year.

The responses show that the unemployed have different reasons to seek work abroad. Whereas in 2005, the main reason was the prospect of a better wage, in 2016 and 2017 the main reason given were better career opportunities abroad. Greeks are giving up on Greece. EU fiscal thuggery is leaving a public system (especially health) under so much strain that it is buckling. 36% of Greeks live below the poverty line. That means many can’t access affordable healthcare because it is generally provided by corporates and when you lose a job you lose the healthcare. This means many are forced to use A&E of major hospitals which are now overcrowded and understaffed as more doctors are leaving to seek better fortune for their services.

If that wasn’t enough, mothers who had given birth were being restricted from taking their new-borns home if they couldn’t pay the fees. While the government has banned this practice they have introduced new laws to allow the seizure of assets (e.g. homes) if debts are not settled.

Forced refugee quotas on countries that plainly don’t want them is a bad strategy. Economic conditions are clearly not in the EU’s favour with poverty and youth unemployment at record high levels. For refugees, most do not want resettlement in either economically weak zones or those that are openly hostile toward them. That is completely understandable. For the citizens of member states to be threatened with sanction or penalty for failing to comply is the wrong way to go. By the EU’s own statistics bureau, 80% of asylum seekers are ‘economic’, not fleeing war zones. It is understandable that citizens become concerned when public services that are already under strain become overburdened.

Some can scream at these people for being bigoted, racist or intolerant till the cows come home but ignoring their views, much less ridiculing them has the opposite effect of winning hearts and minds. As a grandchild of refugees, helping those in dire need is basic human decency. One can be sure that many in real ‘need’ will give back to those that have given them a second chance. Those who have come to help themselves at the expense of others who have worked hard to attain it should hardly be surprised when they are not given the same level of sympathy.

What we are seeing in Poland, Italy, Greece and Austria is ‘actions’ over ‘words’. Unless concerns are addressed by political leaders, altruistic lip service will be ignored and sadly people will increasingly take the law into their own hands.

Hungary to be stripped of its EU voting rights?

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The EU is voting to strip Hungary of its EU voting rights for consistent failure to heed their values, including migrant quotas. Last year an apathetic turnout to a referendum held on the subject said 98.4% of Hungarians were against forced migrant quotas. Putting to one side the altruism of the EU, trying to force a member state to tow the line is absurd, not so much for the country but the migrants.

Let’s not forget this is the EU making up for Merkel’s single-handed poorly executed thought bubble in the first place. She put forward a come one come all rhetoric on her own.

In a sense the EU can rant on all it likes about humanitarism (although 80% are economic refugees (i.e. not fleeing war zones) according to figures by Eurostat) but forcing asylum seekers into a country that doesn’t want them doesn’t seem optimal. We can snigger at Hungary and call them bigoted, racist or worse but the fact of the  matter is migrants on the whole won’t be welcome.

The EU forcing unwanted guests to a Hungarian dinner table has obvious consequences. The embittered host is likely to ruin the goulash and spoil the palatschinke in an attempt to get the visitors to leave.  Many are unaware the third largest political party in Hungary is Jobbik (won 21% of seats in the 2014 election) which has all the hallmarks of Roehm’s SA, right down to the uniforms. Jobbik has a record of roughing up Jews, Gypsies and Roma so before Brussels tells Budapest it must accept migrant quotas perhaps an assessment of the reality would be wise. Jobbik is left to do its ruffian business and Hungarian authorities turn a blind eye. That is the bigger issue at sort before imposing quotas.

Surely if refugees were asked Hungary is the last place they want to go after leaving their homeland. Refugees aren’t cattle but the EU is treating them so. Aren’t they surprised when the majority seek Germany as the end destination because of the relative generosity? Do the EU authorities think these migrants don’t have excellent internal information networks? Of course they do.

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To rachet this down a notch what are EU values anyway? The Brits are leaving because they don’t agree with EU values. The Greeks are being trodden on for refusing to accept EU austerity values. The Austrians were threatened with sanctions and punishment if they democratically voted in a right wing president. Are these worthy values? The Swiss handed back a 30 year free pass to join the EU presumably because they didn’t believe in EU values. The list goes on.

Sometimes it is had not to think of the EU as the Gallactic Senate from Star Wars trying to get aliens from different galaxies to agree on everything.

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We all know how unwelcome visitors are treated in the Star Wars Bar when different backgrounds and cultures literally don’t see eye to eye. The EU would do well to respect the diversity of its members, which includes diversity of thought and culture. It is not to say the EU doesn’t have a point from time to time they are dreadful executors of it.

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When electoral maps speak much more than 1,000 words you’ll clearly get the picture

One thing that has struck me when looking at before and after electoral maps it is the clear signs of the growing divide of the haves and have nots. Of course people vote but imagine if land mass was the decider it would be a no contest. It is almost as if there is a bubonic plague spreading throughout many nations, especially Europe.

FRANCE (2017)- Le Pen’s first round in Dark Blue, Melenchon in Red, Macron in Grey

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FRANCE (2002) Presidential first round (Jean Marie Le Pen in Dark Blue, Jacques Chirac light blue and Lionel Jospin in Pink

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BREXIT (2016)- in blue – how many Labour safe areas turned against the party  line

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UK election (1997) – Labour Party (Red), Tory (Blue)

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ITALY (2016)- referendum – the redder the stronger the NO vote (generally denotes poorer areas of Italy)

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USA (2016)- Trump’s GOP in Red

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USA (2008) – Obama in Blue, McCain in Red

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AUSTRIA (2017) – Presidential election – Right wing Hofer in Blue, Socialist van der Bellen in green (the winner)

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HUNGARIAN REFERENDUM ON MIGRANTS (2016) – Redder the zone the higher the NO vote

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THE NETHERLANDS (2017) – election – Wilders’ VVD in blue

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History of Dutch elections – VVD (Wilders) in blue

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Brexit – why the EU shouldn’t treat the UK like a hostage with a ransom note

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Isn’t it ironic that the Bullies of Brussels are already throwing random numbers for Britain to pay to leave the EU. GBP 52bn billion based on thin air. Isn’t the UK a shareholder in all of the assets, buildings and infrastructure in the EU having invested over GBP 200bn net during its membership? Shouldn’t the EU have to buy out the UK’s stake in the project? The EU is now dictating the UK can’t discuss potential trade deals with other countries while the exit process is ongoing. Are they mad? They are now saying that Gibraltar gives Spain the right to veto any trade deal with the UK. The UK is being treated like a hostage with a ransom note being sent to the Queen.

Doesn’t the EU realise that Marine Le Pen is way above what the mainstream polls are predicting? 24% of French youth see her as a viable candidate who promises real change vs decades of failure with mainstream parties. Youth unemployment is over 25% in France and many view increased risks of more terrorism are other reasons to support her France First views.

Brussels still fails to get that IT is the problem. It should be showing humility and self reflection not ramping up the vitriol.

Gladiator in arena consilium capi

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Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty states: “The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.”

For all of the bullying talk from Merkel, Verhofstadt and Juncker post PM Theresa May’s Article 50 letter the harsh realities of writing a doctrine in such a cocksured way based on the assumption no one would leave is ironic to say the least.

As much as the Lisbon Treaty speaks to friendly cooperation it has never stopped the EU from ignoring its own charter when it suits. Perhaps the  EU should heed Seneca, “Gladiator in arena consilium capi” – “The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena” or essentially “Too late.”

5-Star Movement surges in Italy

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M5S has overtaken the ruling Democratic Party (PD) in the most recent poll. An EMG poll shows Beppo Grillo’s party taking 30% of the popular vote, with PD on 27%. M5S is a Eurosceptic party.

An interesting blog from 5-Star Movement’s (M5S) head Beppo Grillo. He has been convicted himself so can’t run for parliament but he gels with many Italians for his insults and barbs of incumbent politicians. To understand the M5S is to know that none if its members can be current/former career politicians. This blog sort of speaks volumes as to why the NO vote won today.

It is not hard to work out why Italian’s rejected the status quo, especially in the south which I wrote earlier was responsible for the highest referendum rejection levels throughout Italy. As Grillo writes,

Sicily is on the verge of being without water. A state of emergency has been declared in Messina. 259,000 people are without running water. In Gela, they just get water once a week. In Agrigento the provision of water has been suspended because of the presence of bacteria.

Water in Sicily is managed (if you can say it’s managed at all) by a private firm (Siciliacque, 59.6% of which is owned by the French firm, Veolia) to whom Cuffaro gave the job of managing it for 40 years. The wishes of the citizens expressed in a referendum on the management of water, were completely ignored. There was a similar situation in Campania, where nine towns were without water yesterday. We have to return to the public management of water. The leaking network needs to be brought back to a good state with investment from the public purse and the risk of hydrological disturbances has to be eliminated as these disturbances are destroying the reservoirs. This is what Italy needs, but instead we are now being taken for a ride with the umpteenth announcement from someone who seems less like a statesman and more like the comic character lngegner Cane from the Gialappas, talking about the construction of the bridge over the Straits of Messina.

A mammoth task that will never see the light of day. It has already cost the tax payer about 600 million euro and 3 years ago the Monto government allocated 300 million for the payment of penalties if the project is NOT completed. According to the economic plan approved by the Board of Directors of the company called Stretto di Messina Spa on 29 July 2011, the overall cost of the project was to be 8.5 billion euro, which is half what’s needed for the Citizens’ Income with which the M5S will save 10 million Italians from hunger and unemployment. Up until now, a bridge measuring 3,000 metres with an aerodynamic profile has never been built. There’s no certainty that it will stay standing and especially in a zone that has a high seismic risk (do you remember the Messina earthquake?) and really strong currents. The news about the construction of the bridge is just a way of taking us for a ride. It’s useful to the PD to have something to talk about on a talk show and to cover up its every day failures. It’s useful to the mafia to open up construction sites that will never get closed down and that will cost a further hundreds of millions to the citizens who are now experiencing thirst.”

He followed up this blog which threw stones at convicted politicians still siphoning off the public purse.

Enough!

Clean up Parliament!

We’ve had enough! Clean up Parliament!

Members of Parliament cannot represent citizens if they’ve been convicted by the courts.
And if the law allows it, the law needs to be changed.

The thousands of citizens that subscribed to Beppe Grillo’s appeal on his blog http://www.beppegrillo.it and ask that those convicted of a crime should not represent citizens in any Parliament any more, starting from the European Parliament.

It’s profoundly immoral that they are allowed to represent us.

Below is the list of names of Italian representatives in the Italian and European Parliaments that have been convicted of a crime:

Berruti Massimo Maria (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Biondi Alfredo (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)
The guilty sentence that was given by the Genoa court to Alfredo Biondi was taken away on 28 September 2001 because the crime was abrogated.

Bonsignore Vito (Udc – Member of European Parliament)

Borghezio Mario (Lega Nord – Member of European Parliament)

Bossi Umberto (Lega Nord – Member of European Parliament)

Cantoni Giampiero (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Carra Enzo (Member of Parliament Ulivo)

Cirino Pomicino Paolo (Member of Parliament Democrazia Cristiana – Partito Socialista)

De Angelis Marcello (Member of Parliament Alleanza Nazionale)

D’Elia Sergio (Member of Parliament Rosa nel Pugno)

Dell’Utri Marcello (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Del Pennino Antonio (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

De Michelis Gianni (Nuovo Psi – Member of European Parliament)

Farina Daniele (Member of Parliament Rosa nel PRC)

Jannuzzi Lino (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

La Malfa Giorgio (Member of Parliament mixed group)

Maroni Roberto (Member of Parliament Lega Nord)

Mauro Giovanni (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Nania Domenico (An)

Patriciello Aldo (Member of Parliament Udc)

Sterpa Egidio (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Tomassini Antonio (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Visco Vincenzo (Member of Parliament Ulivo)

Vito Alfredo (Member of Parliament Forza Italia)

Previti Cesare (FI)

To read the charges See below:

Three new entries in Clean Up Parliament. I know. I know. I’ve cottoned on late. A few of you have already given me the information. But it’s difficult to stay on top of all this coming and going of convicts in Parliament. Now we’ve arrived at twenty. The judicial route to politics. That’s what we’ve got to. To delinquents who make laws after having violated them. Well then, I’m saying this softly softly to these twenty people: GETOUTOFOURHAIR!

If they want to make a new life for themselves, let them do it with discretion, far away from the media. No one will say anything to them. There are so many other activities other than representing the citizens. Listen to D’Elia in the evening News programme “redeemed and in Parliament”. This isn’t democracy. It’s being taken for a ride. And the same is true for the other 19. The crimes are not all the same. But anyone who has been convicted should have the honesty to do something else, to go somewhere else. Not to sit in Parliament and make the citizens give them a living. To end up, here are the new convicts:

– Borghezio Mario (euro parliamentarian Lega Nord): convicted of setting fire with aggravating circumstances as an act of discrimination for having set fire to mattresses of some immigrants from outside Europe who were sleeping under a bridge in Turin. He was sentenced to 2 months and 20 days in prison but this was changed to a fine of 3,040 Euro.

– De Angelis Marcello (senator AN): convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for being in an armed band and for subversive association as an important member of the neofascist group, Terza Posizione.

– D’Elia Sergio (member of the Lower House, Rosa nel Pugno): convicted and sentenced to 25 years for being in an armed band and for collaborating in homicide. He was a leader of Prima Linea and participated in the planning of the assault on the Florentine prison delle Murate. On 20 January 1978, it was attacked and one of the prison officers, Fausto Dionisi, was killed. As soon as he was elected as a member of the Lower House, he was nominated by the Unione as Secretary of the Lower House.

It is so easy to see Beppo Grillo’s appeal to the Italians. M5S is pointing out the obvious blindness displayed by the incumbent politicians and his broom across the Italian flag shows exactly why the EU should be worried. The Italians care less and less about the Eurozone. They are next in line to be treated like the Greeks. If Mr Schauble gets his wish for the Greeks to leave the Eurozone then don’t expect the Italians to pick up the mantra as whipping boy of the EU. They’ll happily express vafunculo and a word of warning to the EU – they’ll mean every bit of it.

To even propose handing out voting rights like confetti suggests how little politicians respect their citizens

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Honestly how much longer can German politicians take their citizens for mugs? To have certain parties (SPD, Greens) suggest that non-citizens be given the right to vote is ridiculous. Is this all part of the bigger welcoming society they claim or a ploy to add to the ranks of dependents on government hand outs to build a voter base for life? Social Democrat (SPD) voters are 63.7% in favour and Greens voters 64.8% in favour of letting refugees vote. The voters for Alternative for Germany (AfD) showed 96.9% against the idea.

In total 57% rejected the proposal with 42.9% voting “absolutely no way”. 16.2% were definitely in favour. 55.6% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 support the proposal. However, at least one third (32.8%) in this age group also says “Absolutely no way”. The greatest rejection is among participants between the ages of 50 and 64 years. 68.1% of respondents to this age group reject the idea for the proposed right to vote.

Potential voters need not be an EU citizen nor do they need to pay taxes. The mere right to vote depends on being there at the time. Although Martin Schulz’s SPD is leading the polls the idea that voting rights are no more valuable confetti will give rise to further (current) voter discontent. Once again where is a nation’s pride and respect when long term law abiding taxpayers are told that one doesn’t even have to contribute to a society before given rights to determine the course of its destiny.

I’ve lived in Japan for 20 years and I’ve paid more tax than I care to remember the entire period yet I have no voting rights. They are for citizens. I am a permanent resident not a citizen. I accept it. We’re the Japanese to offer voting rights to me of course I would take them if legally offered but I can choose to leave Japan if I don’t like the fact I can’t vote. What Germany is doing is selling out citizens. No amount of ‘assimilation and integration’ rhetoric could convince me that this is a sensible strategy. Why not let Canadians and Mexicans vote in American elections and vice versa. Why not go a step further and have a global vote and dispense with countries. Sounds like the precursors to global government. That Schulz left his cozy presidency in the EU was not as a snub to Brussels but a plan to push EU federalism beyond that of what Merkel has been prepared to.

If Germans vote in Merkel or Schulz to power they have themselves to blame for self inflicted schadenfreude.