The Modern-Day EUThroughout the 1990s, the “single market” idea allowed easier trade, more citizen interaction on issues such as the environment and security, and easier travel through the different countries.Even though the countries of Europe had various treaties in place prior to the early 1990s, this time is generally recognized as the period when the modern day European Union arose due to the Treaty of Maastricht on European Union which was signed on February 7, 1992 and put into action on November 1, 1993.The Treaty of Maastricht identified five goals designed to unify Europe in more ways than just economically. The goals are:1 To strengthen the democratic governing of participating nations.2 To improve the efficiency of the nations.3 To establish an economic and financial unification.4 To develop the “Community social dimension.”5 To establish a security policy for involved nations.In order to reach these goals, the Treaty of Maastricht has various policies dealing with issues such as industry, education, and youth. In addition, the Treaty put a single European currency, the euro, in the works to establish fiscal unification in 1999. In 2004 and 2007, the EU expanded, bringing the total number of member states as of 2008 to 27.In December 2007, all of the member nations signed the Treaty of Lisbon in hopes of making the EU more democratic and efficient to deal with climate change, national security, and sustainable development.
The precursor to the European Union was established after World War II in the late 1940’s in an effort to unite the countries of Europe and end the period of wars between neighbouring countries. These nations began to officially unite in 1949 with the Council of Europe. In 1950 the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community expanded the cooperation. The six nations involved in this initial treaty were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Today these countries are referred to as the “founding members.”
During the 1950’s, the Cold War, protests, and divisions between Eastern and Western Europe showed the need for further European unification. In order to do this, the Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25, 1957, thus creating the European Economic Community and allowing people and products to move throughout Europe. Throughout the decades additional countries joined the community.
In order to further unify Europe, the Single European Act was signed in 1987 with the aim of eventually creating a “single market” for trade. Europe was further unified in 1989 with the elimination of the boundary between Eastern and Western Europe – the Berlin Wall.
As they meet today to thrash out next years budget! Better be quick as time is running out boy’s, to book your place on the gravy train!
Eurozone finance ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss reform of the banking sector and a request by Cyprus to revise the terms of its ten billion euro bailout.
Austria’s Finance Minister Maria Fekter criticised Nicosia’s demands, saying “I can’t imagine that there’s a better alternative to what we have painfully agreed on all together. To question a contract we have made, and which has passed all national parliaments – including the Cypriot parliament – is a quite bold announcement!”
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This is the case of failed Olympic Contractor G4s who never got off the ground with their security issues, during the Olympics! So what better way to reward them, than to grant a £150 million gas contract through none other than their favoured company “British Gas” l was also told by my contact that in the very near future, we will all have no choice but to have smart meters fitted, by none other than, you guessed it “G4’s” http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/news/news_story.asp?id=198009&title=G4S+awarded+%26%23163%3B150+million+meter+reading+contract+by+British+Gas
Technical disruptions at China’s largest state-owned lender caused temporary panic among customers at the weekend, with some expressing fears of a hacking or deliberately engineered credit squeeze.
Various banking services at ICBC – including internet, mobile and phone banking as well as automated teller machine services – were “paralysed” on Sunday morning for nearly one hour.
Unable to withdraw cash from ATMs or get through to the customer help hotline, some customers believed the outage was longer, but state broadcaster CCTV reported it was 45 minutes.
Cities said to be affected by the problems included Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xiamen, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.
The bank issued a statement via Sina Weibo on Sunday, reassuring customers that electronic channels were undergoing “system upgrades” since 10.38am and that certain services would be affected. The bank said it had restored all systems by 11.23am.
The glitch at the bank – one of China’s “big four” state lenders and largest in the world in terms of profit and market value – sparked concerns of a national credit crunch as it came just days after interbank lending rates had hit new record highs.
Others fanned worries that China’s financial system had been compromised by cyberattacks or hacking. The outage came just weeks after fugitive intelligence-leaker Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post that the US National Security Agency had been hacking mainland Chinese and Hong Kong networks for years.
Online rumours circulating among financial insiders on forums such as Zhihu, China’s version of Quora, suggested that it was a deliberate show of force by the bank in response to Premier Li Keqiang’s bid to encourage private capital via “non-government affiliated banks” and a general overhaul of the financial system.
Courtesy of SCMP – More at:http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1267756/mysterious-icbc-banking-glitch-sparks-panic-frustration-among-customers
Understanding third-party contracts is the key to knowing where the tax-payers money is going! Once you understand that these companies put in tenders and get the contract (witness G4s) and others such as “Capita” then they can use their agreed grant in which ever they like! This then allows them to divide up the money, with the great portion given to themselves, and utilising the balance usually 60/40 in favour of themselves, but can be as high as 70/30 in some cases! The benefit to any government as it was to the bankers is that they carry no blame and can pass it on to the third party contractor, as they did with the G4’s debacle on the Olympics. Thus they look squeaky clean and if the third party screws up they can get another to take over the contract, making them look like they care ,when in fact they do not give a dam. Also as contract pricing is done by their departments ,they can save money and hide where they put it!
I have been studying these contracts for many years and this is the latest way governments, companies and countries pass the buck!
The fact that keeping their promises does not come into the agenda, maximising profit as a private company is what this is all about!
Germany’s top economic policymakers have clashed in court, setting out very divergent views on the legality of measures to tackle the eurozone crisis.
At Germany’s Constitutional Court, the Bundesbank’s chief opposed the European Central Bank’s buying of bonds to ease the pressure on eurozone countries.
But Germany’s finance minister and a German ECB board member strongly defended the policy.
Thanks to BBC News at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22852929#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
This is the same in the United Kingdom with the ” Bank Guarantee Scheme” but as incomes have grown so have savings and the fear is that one day, we will not be covered. So do not “put all your eggs in one basket” or maybe suffer the consequences!
At the height of the first Great Depression, President Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933, which established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. This was meant to insure account holders and protect them from losing everything in the event of another crash. While the majority of Americans conformed to the new banking system, a smaller percentage did not and instead rely on a cash-based economy – a group that came to be known in the financial industry as the “underbanked.”
Fast forward to 2013 and America’s underbanked population has swelled to some 68 million people. Research from the Federal Reserve Board shows, surprisingly, that the underbanked have adopted mobile and smartphones at a higher rate than the average American. And not only are they more likely to own a cellphone, but because these low-to-moderate income consumers are less likely to have in-home internet access, they rely more on their phones for…
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Local authorities should block access to payday loan websites from council computers in a bid to protect vulnerable residents, according to a Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor. Brian Silvester is calling for access to payday loans. Yesterday, Citizens Advice issued a warning over payday lenders’ after finding three out of four people struggled to repay the loan. It is urging the OFT to immediately ban these lenders, saying they are causing real harm to borrowers. http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=109944