The Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017, Story 1: Chinese Communists Need To Replace North Korean Kim Jung Eng To Stop Nuclear Proliferation Or Face Embargo On All Chinese Goods Going To North America and European Union –Neither Diplomatic Nor Military Options Are Viable — Conventional and Nuclear War Are Not Viable Options — Videos — Story 2: Microsoft’s Founder Bill Gates Finally Gets A Clue — Open Borders Mass Migration Is Not In The Interest of Neither The American People Nor The People of Europe — Bad Ideas Have Negative Consequences — What Is Bill Gates Afraid of? — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 923,  July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922,  July 3, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 921,  June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920,  June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919,  June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918,  June 26, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 917,  June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916,  June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915,  June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914,  June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Image result for cartoons communist china and north koreaImage result for cartoons communist china and north koreaImage result for cartoons open borders and mass migration into europeImage result for cartoons bill gates on mass migrationImage result for cartoons bill gates open borders

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 Story 1: Chinese Communists Need To Replace North Korean Kim Jung Eng To Stop Nuclear Proliferation In Asia and Middle East Or Face Embargo On All Chinese Goods Going To North America and European Union –Neither Diplomatic Nor Military Options Are Viable — Conventional and Nuclear War Are Not Viable Options — Videos —

Image result for north korea icbmImage result for north korea icbm

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Image result for u.s. trade imbalance with china 2016

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Image result for u.s. trade imbalance with china

 

U.N. Security Council holds emergency meeting after North Korea missile test

How North Korea’s ICBM test has “changed the game”

John Bolton calls for ‘sweeping’ set of sanctions on China

Dr. Sebastian Gorka talks US response to North Korea

A military attack would need to be severe to stop North Korea: Rep. Rooney

US vows to use “military force” against North Korea if needed

Heavy move: US threatens China for trading with North Korea after missile test

THE DEBATE – North Korea Missile Threat: Old problems, new solutions?

U.S. and S. Korea respond to N. Korea’s ICBM test with missiles

North Korea tests ICBM

North Korea launches first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test

  • he current population of China is 1,388,284,755 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • China population is equivalent to 18.47% of the total world population.
  • China ranks number 1 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in China is 148 per Km2 (383 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 9,390,784 Km2 (3,625,800 sq. miles)
  • 59.1 % of the population is urban (819,767,019 people in 2017)
  • The median age in China is 37.3 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-population/

  • The current population of the Russian Federation is 143,374,281 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • Russia population is equivalent to 1.91% of the total world population.
  • Russia ranks number 9 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in Russia is 9 per Km2 (23 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 16,299,981 Km2 (6,293,455 sq. miles)
  • 73.2 % of the population is urban (104,883,814 people in 2017)
  • The median age in Russia is 38.9 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/russia-population/

 

  • The current population of North Korea is 25,406,349 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • North Korea population is equivalent to 0.34% of the total world population.
  • North Korea ranks number 52 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in North Korea is 211 per Km2 (546 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 120,387 Km2 (46,482 sq. miles)
  • 61.2 % of the population is urban (15,557,359 people in 2017)
  • The median age in North Korea is 34.1 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/north-korea-population/

  • The current population of the Republic of Korea is 50,706,772 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • South Korea population is equivalent to 0.67% of the total world population.
  • South Korea ranks number 27 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in South Korea is 522 per Km2 (1,351 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 97,235 Km2 (37,543 sq. miles)
  • 81.9 % of the population is urban (41,511,797 people in 2017)
  • The median age in South Korea is 41.1 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/south-korea-population/

  • The current population of Japan is 126,041,849 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • Japan population is equivalent to 1.68% of the total world population.
  • Japan ranks number 11 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in Japan is 346 per Km2 (896 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 364,571 Km2 (140,761 sq. miles)
  • 94.5 % of the population is urban (119,160,931 people in 2017)
  • The median age in Japan is 46.9 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/japan-population/

  • The current population of the United States of America is 326,491,238 as of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • The United States population is equivalent to 4.34% of the total world population.
  • The U.S.A. ranks number 3 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in the United States is 36 per Km2 (92 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 9,155,898 Km2 (3,535,111 sq. miles)
  • 82.9 % of the population is urban (270,683,202 people in 2017)
  • The median age in the United States is 38.1 years.

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/

 

Countries in the world by population (2017)

This list includes both countries and dependent territories. Data based on the latest United Nations Population Division estimates.
Click on the name of the country or dependency for current estimates (live population clock), historical data, and projected figures.
See also: World Population 

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

 

The world’s 10 biggest economies in 2017

Kayakers take in the last of the day's light as they paddle past a ship anchored off Cape Town, May 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: IMAGES OF THE DAY SOCIETY) - RTR2LVIK

The US dominates, but other economies are catching up
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The economy of the United States is the largest in the world. At $18 trillion, it represents a quarter share of the global economy (24.3%), according to the latest World Bank figures.

Image: World Bank

China follows, with $11 trillion, or 14.8% of the world economy. Japan is in third place with an economy of $4.4 trillion, which represents almost 6% of the world economy.

European countries take the next three places on the list: Germany in fourth position, with a $3.3 trillion economy; the United Kingdom in fifth with $2.9 trillion; and France in sixth with $2.4 trillion.

India is in seventh place with $2 trillion, and Italy in eighth with an economy of over $1.8 trillion.

Ninth place goes to Brazil, with an almost $1.8 trillion economy.

And in 10th is Canada, with an economy of over $1.5 trillion.

The economy of the United States is larger than the combined economies of numbers three to 10 on the list.

 The world's biggest economies

Fastest-growing economy

The US may not dominate for much longer, however.

Although China trails the US by $7 trillion, it’s catching up. China’s economy grew by 6.7% in 2016, compared with America’s 1.6%, according to the IMF.

China has also overtaken India as the fastest-growing large economy. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook estimated China’s economy grew at 6.7% in 2016, compared with India’s 6.6%.

Brazil’s economy has contracted in the last year by 3.5%, the only one in the top 10 to do so.

The chart above shows the world’s 40 biggest economies individually, but grouped by colour into continents.

The Asian bloc clearly has a larger share than anywhere else, representing just over a third (33.84%) of global GDP. That’s compared to North America, which represents just over a quarter, at 27.95%.

Europe comes third with just over one-fifth of global GDP (21.37%).

Together, these three blocs generate more than four-fifths (83.16%) of the world’s total output.

The biggest economies in 2050

new study by PricewaterhouseCooper says that China will be in first place by 2050, because emerging economies will continue to grow faster than advanced ones.

India will rank second, the US will be third, and fourth place is expected to go to Indonesia.

The UK could be down to 10th place by 2050, while France could be out of the top 10 and Italy out of the top 20 as they are overtaken by faster-growing emerging economies such as Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam.

The report also says that the world economy could more than double in size by 2050, far outstripping population growth, due to technology-driven productivity.

 

 

 

Image result for u.s. trade imbalance with china

Image result for u.s. trade imbalance with china

Image result for u.s. trade imbalance with china

 

Demographics

North Korea South Korea
Population 24,851,627 (July 2014 est.) 49,039,986 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure 0-14 years: 21.5% (male 2,709,580/female 2,628,456)
15-24 years: 16.3% (male 2,041,861/female 1,997,413)
25-54 years: 44% (male 5,465,889/female 5,456,850)
55-64 years: 8.6% (male 1,007,667/female 1,127,455)
65 years and over: 9.7% (male 826,175/female 1,590,281) (2014 est.)
0-14 years: 14.1% (male 3,603,943/female 3,328,634)
15-24 years: 13.5% (male 3,515,271/female 3,113,257)
25-54 years: 47.3% (male 11,814,872/female 11,360,962)
55-64 years: 12.4% (male 3,012,051/female 3,081,480)
65 years and over: 12.7% (male 2,570,433/female 3,639,083) (2014 est.)
Median age total: 33.4 years
male: 31.8 years
female: 35 years (2014 est.)
total: 40.2 years
male: 38.7 years
female: 41.6 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate 0.53% (2014 est.) 0.16% (2014 est.)
Birth rate 14.51 births/1,000 population (2014 est.) 8.26 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate 9.18 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.) 6.63 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate -0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.) 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate total: 24.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 27.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
total: 3.93 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Life expectancy at birth total population: 69.81 years
male: 65.96 years
female: 73.86 years (2014 est.)
total population: 79.8 years
male: 76.67 years
female: 83.13 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate 1.98 children born/woman (2014 est.) 1.25 children born/woman (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate NA less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
Nationality noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS NA 9,500 (2009 est.)
Religions traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)
note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
Christian 31.6% (Protestant 24%, Roman Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%, other or unknown 0.9%, none 43.3% (2010 survey)
HIV/AIDS – deaths NA fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
Languages Korean Korean, English (widely taught in junior high and high school)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2008 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 99.2%
female: 96.6% (2002)
Education expenditures NA 5% of GDP (2009)
Urbanization urban population: 60.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.63% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 83.2% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.71% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water source improved:
urban: 98.9% of population
rural: 96.9% of population
total: 98.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.1% of population
rural: 3.1% of population
total: 1.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.7% of population
rural: 87.9% of population
total: 97.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.3% of population
rural: 12.1% of population
total: 2.2% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access improved:
urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 72.5% of population
total: 81.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 27.5% of population
total: 18.2% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population0% of population
0% of population
0% of population (2012 est.)
Major cities – population PYONGYANG (capital) 2.843 million (2011) SEOUL (capital) 9.736 million; Busan (Pusan) 3.372 million; Incheon (Inch’on) 2.622 million; Daegu (Taegu) 2.447 million; Daejon (Taejon) 1.538 million; Gwangju (Kwangju) 1.503 million (2011)
Maternal mortality rate 81 deaths/100,000 live births (2010) 16 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Physicians density 3.29 physicians/1,000 population (2003) 2.02 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density 13.2 beds/1,000 population (2002) 10.3 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity – adult prevalence rate 3.9% (2008) 7.7% (2008)
Contraceptive prevalence rate 68.6% (2002) 80%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2009)
Dependency ratios total dependency ratio: 44.9 %
youth dependency ratio: 31.1 %
elderly dependency ratio: 13.8 %
potential support ratio: 7.2 (2014 est.)
total dependency ratio: 37.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 19.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 17.2 %
potential support ratio: 5.8 (2014 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook

http://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/north-korea.south-korea/demographics

 

 

Story 2: Microsoft’s Founder Bill Gates Finally Gets A Clue — Open Borders Mass Migration Is Not In The Interest of Neither The American People Nor The People of Europe — Bad Ideas Have Negative Consequences — What Is Bill Gates Afraid of? — Videos

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Bill Gates in HUGE borders U-turn: ‘Brussels must make it HARDER for migrants to reach EU’

BILL GATES has made a massive open-borders U-turn and urged Brussels to make it more “difficult” for migrants to reach Europe.

By JOEY MILLAR

He had previously called on countries to take in more migrants but now appears to have completely reversed his view.The Microsoft chief said instead of opening the  borders, Brussels should fix the push-factors at the source by sending more foreign aid.He said: “On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this – which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.
“[ cannot] take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”He said instead the EU must make it “more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes” while also relieving “enormous pressure” by sending foreign aid.
The 61-year-old said it was “phenomenal” German Chancellor  is currently spending 0.7 per cent of the country’s GDP on foreign aid and urged others to follow its example.Last year Mr Gates, who is worth an estimated 60 billion pounds, called on America to open its doors to Syrian migrants.
And he said Germany and Sweden were “to be congratulated” for opening its doors during the migrant crisis.He said the USA “had the capacity” to follow suit, claiming: “The total number of refugees is not a world record.”

Bill Gates migrantsGETTY

Bill Gates called on Europe to open its borders to migrants last year

Bill Gates migrantsGETTY

Last year Bill Gates praised Germany and Sweden’s approach to the migrant crisis

Mr Gates’ warnings came days after Italian interior minister Marco Minniti held emergency talks with his French and German counterparts regarding the migrant crisis.More than 80,000 migrants have already arrived in Italy this year, a rise of nearly one-fifth on the same period last year.

 

 

Bill Gates warns that Germany’s open door policy to migrants will overwhelm Europe and urges leaders to ‘make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via current routes’

  • Bill Gates warned of ‘huge’ number of migrants waiting to come to Europe 
  • He said generosity of European leaders will only encourage more to come 
  • 61-year-old said Europe must make it more difficult for people to cross border
  • Instead he suggested spending more money on foreign aid to treat the problem

Bill Gates has warned that European leaders risk deepening the migrant crisis by being too generous to those arriving on the continent.

The Microsoft founder said countries such as Germany will not be able to handle the ‘huge’ numbers of migrants waiting to leave Africa and find a better life overseas.

Instead, the 61-year-old suggested spending more on foreign aid to treat the root causes of migration, while making it more difficult for people to reach the continent.

Bill Gates warned European leaders they will worsen the migrant crisis by being over-generous to those arriving on the continent, and suggested spending more on foreign aid instead

Bill Gates warned European leaders they will worsen the migrant crisis by being over-generous to those arriving on the continent, and suggested spending more on foreign aid instead

Mr Gates said countries such as Germany cannot handle the 'huge' numbers of people wanting to travel to Europe (pictured, migrants arrive in Munich)

Mr Gates said countries such as Germany cannot handle the ‘huge’ numbers of people wanting to travel to Europe (pictured, migrants arrive in Munich)

Speaking in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, with a translation published by Breitbart, he said: ‘On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees.

‘But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.

‘Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.’

Mr Gates praised Chancellor Merkel’s commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid as ‘phenomenal’, and asked other European leaders to follow suit.

But he added: ‘Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.’

His own foundation has spent years and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to fight poverty and disease in Africa.

Mail Online contacted the foundation for comment, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Mrs Merkel has been heavily criticised for her previous policy of open-door migration which saw 1million people arrive in Germany in a single year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been criticised for her previous policy of open-door migration. Italian interior minister Marco Minniti raised the prospect of closing ports to private ships helping migrants ashore earlier this week

It is thought that 82,000 migrants, largely from North Africa, have arrived in Italy since the start of the year, with 2,000 drowning in their efforts to cross

It is thought that 82,000 migrants, largely from North Africa, have arrived in Italy since the start of the year, with 2,000 drowning in their efforts to cross

Video playing bottom right…

At the time conservative European politicians warned that providing migrants with an open door into Europe would make the problem worse.

Mr Gates’ comments came as Italian interior minister Marco Minniti held emergency talks with his French and German counterparts over the migrant crisis.

Mr Minniti has threatened to close Italian ports to privately-funded vessels helping to rescue migrants from ships in the Mediterranean.

He said that other European nations must agree to shoulder some of the burden, or Italy will cut funding to those refusing to help.

An estimated 82,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year, up 19 per cent on previous year, The Telegraph reports.

A German government report which leaked to the Bild newspaper suggests there could be up to 6.6million people trying to get into Europe, including 2.5million waiting to cross from North Africa.

It is thought that 2,000 people have lost their lives making the crossing since the start of the year.

Mr Gates’ comments also came after the G20 Africa Conference which took place in Berlin last month.

The summit aimed to discuss ways to improve economic growth, develop infrastructure, and strengthen private investment across the continent.

Austrian troops lock down border

Austria is sending 750 soldiers to its border with Italy in order to head off and expected influx of migrants.

The troops will join four armoured personnel carriers already stationed at the Alpine Brenner Pass to impose checks on those trying to cross.

The move comes after 82,000 migrants landed on Italian shores in the first six months of this year, and the country’s government demanded that other EU nations share the burden.

Austria is sending 750 troops to its southern border with Italy in order to head off an expected influx of migrants (pictured, riot police face off against protesters over the last time border checks were imposed)

Austria is sending 750 troops to its southern border with Italy in order to head off an expected influx of migrants (pictured, riot police face off against protesters over the last time border checks were imposed)

‘I expect border controls will be introduced very soon,’ Defence Minister Peter Doskozil said on Tuesday.

Both Italy and Austria are members of the European Union’s Schengen open-border zone, but free movement has been jeopardised by the reimposition of controls at many crossings across the bloc since the surge in migrants seen in 2015 and 2016.

There was no immediate comment from Italy or EU officials, but Doskozil’s spokesman said there was no concrete timetable for the new controls.

The spokesman added: ‘We’ll see how the situation in Italy is becoming more acute and we have to be prepared to avoid a situation comparable to summer 2015.’

Armoured vehicles were used by Austrian authorities during the migrant influx of 2015 to block roads and stem the flow, and would be used in a similar way this time around, authorities said.

Meanwhile the 750 troops would be able to descend on the region within 72 hours should the need arise.

The troops will join four armoured vehicles in the areas around Brenner Pass (pictured) and would be used to block roads and impose checks on arrivals

The troops will join four armoured vehicles in the areas around Brenner Pass (pictured) and would be used to block roads and impose checks on arrivals

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4665198/Bill-Gates-warns-open-door-migration-overwhelm-Europe.html#ixzz4lzmvTBwo

 

Bill Gates: Europe Will Be Overwhelmed Unless It Stems Flow of Migrants

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has warned that Africa’s population explosion will overwhelm Europe unless the continent makes it more difficult for migrants to reach its shores.

The American billionaire’s comments come as European leaders discuss what to do about the surging number of Africans arriving in Italy each week, with Rome calling for other European Union (EU) nations to open their ports to docking migrants so as to ease pressure on the Mediterranean nation.

In an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Gates said massive population growth in Africa will result in “enormous [migratory] pressure” on Europe unless countries increase overseas development aid payments.

Praising Germany having achieved its commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of GDP to foreign aid as “phenomenal”, the 61-year-old called on “other European nations to follow its example”.

But Gates also spoke of a dilemma caused by ‘the German attitude to refugees’, referring to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Europe’s borders to illegal migrants arriving from the third world.

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this  — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa,” Gates told the Sunday newspaper.

“Germany cannot possibly take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

Because of this, Gates stressed that “Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes”.

Italy is demanding that other EU nations open their ports to migrants ferried from Libya as the country struggles to cope with having already received over 80,000 people this year.

Calling for African newcomers to be spread throughout Europe, the Mediterranean nation’s globalist centre-left government insisted that the EU migrant relocation programme  — which is largely limited to people from Eritrea and Syria  — should be expanded to include other nationalities, such as Nigerians.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on Saturday decried an “unfolding tragedy” in Italy.

“Without a swift collective action, we can only expect more tragedies at sea,” he declared, noting that around 2,000 migrants have lost their lives on the sea route from Libya to Italy this year.

The Italian diplomat repeated calls for an “urgent distribution system” for incoming migrants and asylum seekers, and “additional legal pathways to admission”.

 

05 July 2017 – 05H40

Bye-bye locals: Europe’s city centres sound alarm

 © AFP / by Daniel Bosque and Michaela Cancela-Kieffer | Barcelona’s picturesque Gothic Quarter has gone from residential district to tourist magnet, as deserted buildings full of history make way for quaint hotels

BARCELONA (AFP) – Memories of the past come flooding back as Manuel Mourelo strolls through Barcelona’s picturesque Gothic Quarter: children playing, fun with the neighbours, traditional bars… But now, “all of that has disappeared.”

Hordes of tourists fill the narrow, winding alleys on guided tours, bike and Segway rides, while residents have deserted buildings full of history to make way for quaint hotels and tourist rentals — an issue that affects popular spots Europe-wide.

Last year, Mourelo himself joined the exodus out of a district he had lived in since 1962 when he came to the Spanish seaside city from Galicia in the northwest.

The flat he had been renting for 25 years was sold to an investor and he was evicted. Having paid 500 euros ($560) a month in rent, he was unable to find anything else affordable in the area.

“They were asking for 1,000, 1,200, 1,500 euros,” says the 76-year-old, his face framed by thick glasses and a bushy moustache.

“This was my village. I had it all here, my friends, my shops, I got married here, my children were born here, and I thought I would die here.

“I feel displaced,” he adds, his eyes welling up.

– ‘Emptying out’ –

According to the city hall, the fixed population in the Gothic district so loved by tourists has dropped from 27,470 residents in 2006 to just 15,624 at the end of 2015.

Now, 63 percent are “floating” residents — tourists or people in short-term lets.

At the same time, according to real-estate website Idealista, rental prices in Ciutat Vella, where the Gothic Quarter is located, have gone from 14.4 to 19 euros per square metre in just two years.

Rising rental prices, noise and crowds jostling for space in the streets and the disappearance of traditional, everyday stores have all contributed to forcing people out for economic reasons… or due to sheer frustration.

The arrival of Airbnb and other such home-renting platforms has only aggravated the problem, locals say.

“We’re not talking about gentrification, about substituting the original population by another more wealthy one,” says Gala Pin, a councillor in Ciutat Vella.

“We’re talking about the historic centre emptying out.”

For sociologist Daniel Sorando, co-author of “First We Take Manhattan,” an essay that analyses the phenomenon in various cities, the trend is towards “urban centres conceived as machines to make money while the working classes are displaced outside.”

– Paris, Amsterdam, London –

The problem also affects cities further afield.

In Paris, concerned residents of the 4th district, where Notre-Dame Cathedral is located, organised a symposium on the “invisible desertification” of city centres in March.

The city hall in the French capital said earlier this year that it had lost 20,000 housing units in five years, partly to tourist rentals.

This contributes to a “rise in prices” and a “drop in the population,” Ian Brossat, in charge of housing for Paris’ city hall, told AFP.

In Amsterdam, meanwhile, the ING bank found that owners could earn 350 euros more per month with seasonal rentals, pushing the prices up, Senne Janssen, author of the study, told AFP.

To try and remedy the situation, Paris, London and Amsterdam want to regulate the duration of rentals and register all flats and houses being used for short-term lets in order to better control them.

In Berlin, people are only allowed to rent out one room in their home since last year, and the whole flat or house if it is a secondary or occasional use pied-a-terre.

– ‘Too few to impact’ –

Barcelona, whose mayor Ada Colau is a former anti-eviction housing activist, has chosen to be even more strict.

The city hall last year imposed a 600,000-euro fine on home rental platforms Airbnb and HomeAway for marketing lodgings that lacked permits to host tourists.

But Airbnb Spain says housing problems existed before.

In Ciutat Vella, for instance, “there is three times more empty accommodation (that is not being rented out) than accommodation ads on Airbnb,” says Spain spokesman Andreu Castellano.

And research in cities like Berlin, Los Angeles, London and Barcelona into occupancy shows that “the amount of accommodation put online for purely professional use (rented out more than 120 days a year) is too low to have an impact,” Airbnb adds.

– ‘Tourism fast food’ –

Hard data on the impact of seasonal rentals on accommodation prices are few and far between, but all experts questioned by AFP said these could worsen the situation in already saturated areas.

Barcelona has been particularly hard hit by a rise in prices as investors are attracted by the profitability of a city that sees some 30 million visitors annually.

Sergi Leiva, of real-estate firm MK Premium, says half of his clients are foreigners, who are looking for a second home or a good investment.

And for those who hold on tight despite the prices, life is far from peaceful with the crowds, noise and lack of convenience stores.

“If the prices don’t throw you out, daily pressure does,” says Marti Cuso, a 27-year-old local activist in Barcelona.

Raised in the district, he is the only one among his friends to still live there.

For Socorro Perez, an expert in human geography, the outcome is “cities without residents, dead districts.”

“Cities transform into ‘clusters’ of entertainment and consumption, into tourism fast food.”

by Daniel Bosque and Michaela Cancela-Kieffer

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 879, April 24, 2017, Story 1: The Elites vs. The People Not Nationalism vs. Internationalism — Decline and Fall Of The Socialist Welfare State — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Transparent Executive Orders — Videos

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Story 1: The Elites vs. The People  Not Nationalism vs. Internationalism — Videos —

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Image result for chart of parties in france 2017

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Official first round result

With 107 of 107 departements counted | At 17:58 CEST
Macron 24.01%
Le Pen 21.3%
Fillon 20.01%
Mélenchon 19.58%
Hamon 6.36%
Dupont-Aignan 4.7%
Lassalle 1.21%
Poutou 1.09%
Asselineau 0.92%
Arthaud 0.64%
Cheminade 0.18%

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron Advance

For the first time in modern French history, neither candidate is from a major party.

Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot in the first round of French presidential election at a polling station in Le Touquet, France on April 23, 2017.

Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot in the first round of French presidential election at a polling station in Le Touquet, France on April 23, 2017.Eric Feferberg / ReutersYASMEEN SERHANAPR 23, 2017

Macron and Le Pen’s strong showings Sunday, which saw an approximately 77 percent voter turnout (slightly lower than the 79 percent who voted in the first round in 2012), signaled a rebuke of the political establishment that has dominated French politics for decades. Macron launched his centrist party in August 2016 after he quit his role in President François Hollande’s Socialist government, and despite the party’s youth it boasts a quarter of a million members. Meanwhile, Le Pen’s FN secured the most votes it has ever received in its nearly half-century history, surpassing the 18-percent first-round finish it saw in 2012. 
Even Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far-left candidate who ran under a movement called La France Insoumise, or “Unsubmissive France,” had his strongest performance to date. Though his last-minute surge in the polls wasn’t enough to propel him to the second round, he still managed to claim 19.5 percent of the vote, far surpassing the 11 percent he won during his first presidential bid in 2012.Republican candidate François Fillon also earned 19.5 percent of the vote, tying Mélenchon for third place. The center-right candidate and former prime minister enjoyed a comfortable lead early on in his campaign, but support wavered in January after his candidacy was embroiled by allegations he misused public funds to pay his wife, Penelope, and two of their children for parliamentary work they are alleged not to have performed. Fillon denied any wrongdoing, although the launch of a formal investigation into both him and his wife prompted several of his Republican allies to quit his campaign.Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon, who came in last of the main contenders with 6.2 percent of the vote, also suffered from fissures within his own party. Despite clinching a decisive victory during the January primary, Hamon failed to command the support of Socialist party leaders, many of whom, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, endorsed Macron instead. This, paired with the deeply unpopular presidency of Hollande and the competition of similarly far-left Mélenchon, made the ruling party’s poor showing all but certain. The results prompted the losing candidates to urge their supporters to back Macron. Hamon said there was a distinction between a political adversary and an “enemy of the Republic,” referring to Le Pen. Fillon warned that Le Pen would lead France to “ruin.”

 

The advancement of two non-traditional candidates will certainly have an impact on their ability to govern once they make it to the Élysée Palace. In the month following the presidential contest, French voters will return to the polls to elect members of the National Assembly, France’s lower but more powerful house of parliament. This election is particularly important because whoever becomes prime minister almost always comes from the party that controls the chamber and, at present, neither Le Pen’s FN (which claims two of the National Assembly’s 577 seats) or Macron’s En Marche (which claims none) are expected to command a majority. This makes cohabitation, in which the president must share power with the prime minister of a different party, almost certain. Though this power-sharing arrangement is not unprecedented in French political history, as Politico’s Pierre Briançon notes, it has never been a favorable one.

It reduces the head of state to a figurehead, akin to northern European monarchs or ceremonial presidents such as those of Germany or Italy. In those times, the prime minister holds most of the executive powers, save for those governing foreign policy and defense, which the constitution puts specifically in the president’s domain. …It has happened three times in postwar history — first from 1986 to 1988, when Socialist President François Mitterrand had to live with Jacques Chirac as prime minister. From 1993 to 1995, Mitterrand had to deal with another conservative premier, Édouard Balladur. And finally, from 1997 to 2002, President Chirac had to contend with Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

Macron and Le Pen now have two weeks ahead of the runoff to court the voters who backed their former competitors, as well as the estimated one-third of French voters who are still undecided. From the recent terrorist attack in Paris to the country’s 10 percent unemployment rate, issues such as security and the economy will likely remain at the forefront of the contest.

https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/04/french-election-results-first-round/523965/

Outsiders Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen sweep to victory as France kicks out old guard: Europhile newcomer narrowly wins first vote to take on far-Right’s Madame Frexit for the presidency

  • Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron have made it to the second round 
  • 36.7million voted, a turnout of 78.2 per cent; Macron won 23.9 per cent of the vote, Le Pen 21.4 
  • Republican candidate Francois Fillon conceded after initial results showed he achieved 19.5 per cent of vote
  • Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon refused to concede until final results of first-round vote announced
  • France’s Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has called on voters to support Macron instead of Le Pen 
  • This is the first time in 60 years none of France’s mainstream parties have entered the second round
  • Riots broke out in Nantes and Paris’ Place de la Bastille – the birthplace of the French Revolution 

French voters turned their backs on the political establishment last night in round one of the presidential election.

Emmanuel Macron – an independent centrist – won first place ahead of National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

The result will have major implications for Britain and its departure from the EU.

Miss Le Pen wants to completely renegotiate France’s relationship with Brussels while Mr Macron wants closer links.

Scroll down for video 

Marine Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen (left) and Emmanuel Macron (right) celebrated the initial results of the polls, which said they both made it to the second round of the election

Le Pen went to greet her supporters after the initial results and said: '‘This is a historic result. The French must take the step for this historic opportunity. This is the first step to drive the French [people] into the Elysee Palace'

Le Pen went to greet her supporters after the initial results and said: ”This is a historic result. The French must take the step for this historic opportunity. This is the first step to drive the French [people] into the Elysee Palace’

Supporters of Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, were seen waving their flags emblazoned with ‘Marine Presidente’ at her election headquarters in Henin-Beaumont, after the inital results were announced

Supporters of French centrist candidate Macron were also seen cheering in delight at the results and waving the French flag

Supporters of French centrist candidate Macron were also seen cheering in delight at the results and waving the French flag

Many people were seen hugging after initial results showed Macron winning 23.9 percent of the vote, beating France's two main parties

Many people were seen hugging after initial results showed Macron winning 23.9 percent of the vote, beating France’s two main parties

According to France’s Interior Ministry, 46 million people voted in the first stage of the elections which knocked the traditional Right and Left parties out of the running for the first time in 60 years.

With 97 per cent of the vote counted, Macron achieved 23.9 per cent, followed by Le Pen on 21.4. A total of 36.7million voted, a turnout of 78.2 per cent.

But it is thought that Le Pen’s chances of winning the second round are limited as supporters for Republican candidate Francois Fillon, who conceded but has gained 19.9 per cent of the votes, will support Macron.

However, far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who gained 19.6 per cent, refused to concede until the final results of first-round vote were announced. 

Macron took to the stage in Paris earlier, with his wife Brigitte, and urged national unity against Le Pen.

To chants of ‘Macron president!’ and ‘We’re going to win,’ Macron began his speech by paying tribute to his opponents, and praised his supporters for his lightning rise.

He said: ‘We have turned a page in French political history,’ and added he wants to gather ‘the largest possible’ support before May 7.

Macron acknowledged widespread anger at traditional parties and promised ‘new transformations’ in French politics.

At a rally last night, Le Pen told her supporters she is offering ‘the great alternative’ in the presidential race. 

Crowds celebrate as Macron & Le Pen expected go through to next round

She added: 'It is time to liberate the French people from the arrogant [political] elite.' Le Pen was later given a bunch of flowers

She added: ‘It is time to liberate the French people from the arrogant [political] elite.’ Le Pen was later given a bunch of flowers

Le Pen addresses supporters as she goes through to second round
She said: ‘This is a historic result. The French must take the step for this historic opportunity. This is the first step to drive the French [people] into the Elysee Palace.

‘It is time to liberate the French people from the arrogant [political] elite.’

Former favourite Fillon conceded and voiced his support for Macron after initial projections showed he and Melanchon got 19.5 per cent of the vote. 

Shortly afterwards, France’s Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, also called on voters to support Macron.

The outcome capped an extraordinary few months for a deeply divided France, which saw a campaign full of twists and turns and widespread anger at traditional parties.

It signals a stinging defeat for the Fillon and Socialist Benoit Hamon, meaning neither of France’s mainstream parties will be in the second round for the first time in 60 years.

Macron, a 39-year-old who had never before stood for election and only started his independent centrist movement 12 months ago, will be the overwhelming favourite to win the second round on May 7.

He served as an economy minister under President Francois Hollande, ran without the backing of an established party, forming his own called ‘En Marche!’.

His wife Brigitte is 25 years his senior and taught him at school.

Macron, a 39-year-old who had never before stood for election and only started his independent centrist movement, En Marche!, 12 months ago

Macron, a 39-year-old who had never before stood for election and only started his independent centrist movement, En Marche!, 12 months ago

Macron thanks supporters for campaign that changed French politics

He said he wants to gather 'the largest possible' support before the May 7 runoff. He praised his supporters for a campaign that 'changed the course of our country'

He said he wants to gather ‘the largest possible’ support before the May 7 runoff. He praised his supporters for a campaign that ‘changed the course of our country’

Macron acknowledged widespread anger at traditional parties and promised 'new transformations' in French politics

Macron acknowledged widespread anger at traditional parties and promised ‘new transformations’ in French politics

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Macron on Sunday and wished the centrist well for the May 7 French presidential runoff against Le Pen.

‘Juncker congratulated Macron on his result in the first round and wished him all the best for the next round,’ Margaritis Schinas said on Twitter.

Underlining broad support for Macron among leaders of the European Union institutions in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini from the Italian centre-left added her congratulations to those of Juncker, a centre-right former prime minister of Luxembourg.

‘To see the flags of France and the EU hailing Emmanuel Macron’s result shows hope and the future of our generation,’ tweeted Mogherini, 43, after the 39-year-old Macron’s first-round victory speech to supporters was broadcast on television.

Last night he was congratulated by former Labour MP David Miliband and by former chancellor George Osborne.

Mr Miliband said: ‘Tremendous achievement by Emmanuel Macron. Bulwark against evil forces and tribune for modernization in France and Europe.’

Mr Osborne said: ‘Congratulations to my friend Emmanuel Macron. Proof you can win from the centre. At last the chance for the leadership that France needs.’

Fillon urges supporters to vote for Macron as he concedes

Despite his defeat, supporters for the election candidate far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon still cheered for him outside his election headquarters

Despite his defeat, supporters for the election candidate far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon still cheered for him outside his election headquarters

Anti-fascist activists clashed with riot police in Paris' Place de la Bastille - the birthplace of the French Revolution

Anti-fascist activists clashed with riot police in Paris’ Place de la Bastille – the birthplace of the French Revolution

Demonstrators in Nantes chanted anti-Le Pen slogans as they showed their opposition to the National Front leader

Demonstrators in Nantes chanted anti-Le Pen slogans as they showed their opposition to the National Front leader

The euro has jumped 2 per cent on Sunday night, to more than 85p ($1.09), after projections showed Macron and Le Pen would go head to head.

Macron has vowed to reinforce France’s commitment to the EU and euro.

Stock markets will next open in Asia before Europe starts trading on Monday morning.

But despite stock markets around the world improving significantly, investors fretted beforehand that another unforseen election outcome could upend the market. In addition, the  presidential race was plagued by controversy.

 Republican candidate Fillon, 63, is accused of embezzling state money by paying his British wife Penelope, 61, as his assistant – despite her allegedly carrying out no work.

Le Pen faces a fraud inquiry, with her chief of staff accused of misusing EU funds while Melenchon, 65, had vowed to pull his country out of Europe and get rid of the euro.

Earlier this evening, Le Pen had security authorities on high alert, with rioting expected across the country in protest due to her election success.

More than 50,000 police and gendarmes were deployed to the 66,000 polling stations for Sunday’s election, which comes after Thursday’s deadly attack on the Champs-Elysees in which a police officer and a gunman were slain.

However, initial election results triggered riots across the country, initially sparked in Paris’ Place du la Bastille, the birthplace of the French Revolution, tonight against the Le Pen’s National Front.

The crowds of young people, some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups, gathered in eastern Paris as results were coming in from Sunday’s first-round vote.

Police fired tear gas to disperse an increasingly rowdy crowd. Riot police surrounded the area.

Protesters have greeted several of Le Pen’s campaign events, angry at her anti-immigration policies and her party, which she has sought to detoxify after a past tainted by racism and anti-Semitism.

There were angry scenes in Nantes in western France, where anti-fascists took to the streets to protest

There were angry scenes in Nantes in western France, where anti-fascists took to the streets to protest

Ballot boxes in Le Port, on the French overseas island of La Reunion were seen locked after the polls closed earlier this evening

Ballot boxes in Le Port, on the French overseas island of La Reunion were seen locked after the polls closed earlier this evening

Two officials were seen tipping out the votes ready to count them ahead of the results, which are expected to be announced within the hour

Two officials were seen tipping out the votes ready to count them ahead of the results, which are expected to be announced within the hour

Le Pen has vowed to offer French voters a referendum to leave the EU and wants to leave the euro, known as Frexit.

Her father, the convicted racist and anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, won through to the second round of the 2002 presidential election but was then crushed by the conservative Jacques Chirac.

However she faces a similar prospect of defeat when she goes up against Macron in the second round of the next week.

He is widely expected to win the contest against Le Pen.

In France the election took place with the nation on high alert, with the vote taking place just three days after a police officer was gunned down by a Jihadi on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

In Besancon, eastern France a stolen car was abandoned outside a polling station with the engine running.

A policeman secures the entrance of a polling station as people arrive to vote in the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Henin-Beaumont, France, April 23, 2017

A policeman secures the entrance of a polling station as people arrive to vote in the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Henin-Beaumont, France, April 23, 2017

Policemen stand near a polling station during the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Paris, France

Policemen stand near a polling station during the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Paris, France

Femen activists with masks, including one wearing a mask of Marine Le Pen, top left, are detained as they demonstrate in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, where far-right leader and presidential candidate Le Pen voted during the first round of the French presidential election

Femen activists with masks, including one wearing a mask of Marine Le Pen, top left, are detained as they demonstrate in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, where far-right leader and presidential candidate Le Pen voted during the first round of the French presidential election

Police found a hunting rifle inside the vehicle which had been disguised with stolen number plates.

In Rouen, Normandy, a gunman shot and wounded another man but the incident was classified as ‘non-terror related’.

Two other polling station, in Saint Omer, northern France, were evacuated because of a suspicious vehicle with Dutch number plates.

Ballots were cast in the wake of took place after a series of devastating terror attacks across France, but despite that armed police and soldiers are outlawed from protecting 67,000 French polling stations.

There had been a serious concern that groups including Islamic State would target the election.

However the 50,000 policemen and gendarmes that were only standby along with 7,000 soldiers were not required as the day went on.

The presidential poll is the first to be held during a state of emergency, put in place since the Paris attacks of November 2015.

A Femen activists wearing the mask of Marine le Pen is detained as they demonstrate in Henin Beaumont, northern France

A Femen activists wearing the mask of Marine le Pen is detained as they demonstrate in Henin Beaumont, northern France

TOPLESS demonstrators protests outside French polling station

Voters are choosing between 11 candidates in the most unpredictable contest in decades, and the poll conducted by RTBF suggests just that.

Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group caused a commotion as they staged a stunt against Le Pen outside a polling station where the far-right presidential candidate was heading to vote.

Around six activists were detained Sunday morning after jumping out of an SUV limo wearing masks of Le Pen and United States President Donald Trump.

Police and security forces quickly forced them into police vans, confiscating their signs.

Le Pen voted at the station shortly after without further disruption.

After nine hours of voting, turnout was 69.4 percent, one of the highest levels in 40 years.

While down slightly on the same point in the 2012 election, an extra hour of voting in smaller towns was expected to take turnout to around 78 to 81 percent.

A Femen activist wearing the mask of U.S President Donald Trump is taken away from the scene near a scrum of photographers 

A Femen activist wearing the mask of U.S President Donald Trump is taken away from the scene near a scrum of photographers

People line up before casting their vote for the first-round presidential election at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, April 23, 2017

People line up before casting their vote for the first-round presidential election at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, April 23, 2017

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande casts his ballot at a polling station in Tulle

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande casts his ballot at a polling station in Tulle (left) as Marine Le Pen emerges from a booth (right)

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande picks up ballot papers before casting his vote at a polling station in Tulle, central France, on April 23, 2017, during the first round of the Presidential election

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande picks up ballot papers before casting his vote at a polling station in Tulle, central France, on April 23, 2017, during the first round of the Presidential election

Former French President and former Head of Les Republicains right wing Party Nicolas Sarkozy (centre) and his wife, the singer Carla Bruni Sarkozy (left) vote in the first round of the 2017 French Presidential Election at the Jean de la Fontaine High School in the 16th arrondissement on April 23, 2017 in Paris, France

Former French President and former Head of Les Republicains right wing Party Nicolas Sarkozy (centre) and his wife, the singer Carla Bruni Sarkozy (left) vote in the first round of the 2017 French Presidential Election at the Jean de la Fontaine High School in the 16th arrondissement on April 23, 2017 in Paris, France

Former French President and former Head of Les Republicains right wing Party Nicolas Sarkozy sweeps the curtain aside as he leaves a voting booth

Former French President and former Head of Les Republicains right wing Party Nicolas Sarkozy sweeps the curtain aside as he leaves a voting booth

Marine Le Pen was today poised for a historic breakthrough in France’s nail-biting presidential race

Marine Le Pen was today poised for a historic breakthrough in France’s nail-biting presidential race

Her campaign has been dominated by anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric and critics said she has used the violence to stoke further hostility.

Defiant voters proclaimed the Paris terrorist attack would not alter their political loyalties in the French presidential elections today, although many feared a surge in support for the National Front.

As citizens flocked to polling stations across the country Parisians told how they would ‘vote with their hearts’ to reject extremist ideas, in the first round of voting to decide the new leader of France.

Mother-of-one Marie-Noelle Liesse told MailOnline she voted for independent centrist Emmanuel Macron to stop Marine Le Pen.

She said: ‘I voted with my heart to stop the extremists, the National Front, from getting into power.

‘The terrorist attack on the Champs Elysee has not affected the way I voted, but I fear it may have influenced some people.

‘I voted for Macron. I believe he is the right candidate to lead France.’

Mrs Liesse, 45, a communications executive, brought her five-year-old son Amant, to the polling station in the central Marais district of Paris.

Marine Le Pen casts her vote in the French presidential elections

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party, Marine Le Pen casts her ballot in the first round of the French presidential elections in Henin-Beaumont, Northern France, shortly after the commotion

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party, Marine Le Pen casts her ballot in the first round of the French presidential elections in Henin-Beaumont, Northern France, shortly after the commotion

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron waves supporters after casting his vote in the first round of the French presidential election, in le Touquet, northern France, Sunday April 23, 2017

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron waves supporters after casting his vote in the first round of the French presidential election, in le Touquet, northern France, Sunday April 23, 2017

People line up before casting their vote for the first-round presidential election at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, April 23, 2017

People line up before casting their vote for the first-round presidential election at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, April 23, 2017

Young professional couple Max Nivoix and Mariam Guedra voted for independent centrist Emmanuel Macron for said they feared the terrorist attack would galvanise support for Marine Le Pen’s National Front.

Mr Nivoix, 28, an industrial products buyer, told MailOnline: ‘I have voted for Macron. I think he is the best candidate to lead France.

‘The terrorist attack last week has not influenced the way I voted. But I fear that people outside of Paris will turn to Le Pen because of it.’

French nationals in the UK casting their votes

Among the 60,000 polling stations to open their doors was the French Consulate in South Kensington, where the bulk of the UK’s French nationals are expected to cast their votes.

According to figures from 2014, there are 400,000 French people living in London, which prompted Boris Johnson to call it France’s sixth biggest city.

At the end of 2013, the Foreign Ministry recorded 1.6million French expats living in the UK, according to The Independent.

Outside of the capital, there are polling stations in Ashford, Brighton, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

 His partner Ms Guedra, 28, an engineer, added: ‘I voted for Emmanuel Macron too. He has the best policies for young people and for the time we live in now.

‘But we are both educated and from the city. I know that old people and people in the countryside are more in favour of Le Pen.’

Flight attendant Baptiste Laurent said he voted for communist-backed firebrand Jean-Luc Melonchon he feared National Front candidate Marine Le Pen could come top in the poll.

Mr Laurent, 39, told MailOnline: ‘I voted for Melonchon because I voted for what I believe in – a more equal society.

‘But I fear that Le Pen could be the biggest winner today.’

Mr Laurent came to the polling station with his 14-month-old daughter Romy.

A primary school teacher also backed communist-backed firebrand Jean-Luc Melonchon but feared a surge of support for Le Pen’s National Front.

Alexandre, 42, told MailOnline: ‘I voted for Melonchon because I support his programme and his socialist policies.

‘But Le Pen will do well in the polls today. She has a strong base of support. And after the terrorist attack she will get more votes. I think she will get through to the second round of voting.’

The second round of voting between the two front runners of today’s poll will take place on Sunday 7 May.

She is locked in a duel with centrist front-runner Emmanuel Macron, 39, a staunch defender of the single market who has told Theresa May he favours a ‘hard Brexit’.

If, as expected, Le Pen and Macron are successful in the first round of voting today, they will face each other in the run-off on May 7.

People line up to vote at a polling station in the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Vaulx-en-Velin, France, April 23, 2017

People line up to vote at a polling station in the first round of 2017 French presidential election in Vaulx-en-Velin, France, April 23, 2017

Brigitte Trogneux casts her ballot next to her husband, French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron during the first round of the Presidential election at a polling station in Le Touquet

Brigitte Trogneux casts her ballot next to her husband, French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron during the first round of the Presidential election at a polling station in Le Touquet

But analysts say the battle for the Élysée Palace is by no means a two-horse race.

Le Pen has moved from 22 per cent to 23 per cent in the latest opinion poll while her three rivals have all lost half a percentage point of support.

Macron dropped back to 24.5 per cent, while republican candidate François Fillon and leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon were back on 19 per cent.

The far-Right leader is confident her chances of winning the election’s first round have been strengthened by last week’s terrorist murder of a police officer on the Champs-Élysées

The far-Right leader is confident her chances of winning the election’s first round have been strengthened by last week’s terrorist murder of a police officer on the Champs-Élysées

Experts said a Le Pen victory in the first round could mean cheaper holidays for Brits heading to Europe.

Kathleen Brooks, of City Index Direct, said: ‘I think if Le Pen wins today by a wide enough margin, then the euro will fall significantly, possibly to the lowest levels we’ve seen this year. And a weak euro will initially be great for us as everything will be much cheaper in Europe.’

Le Pen’s father, the convicted racist Jean-Marie Le Pen, caused shockwaves around the world in 2002 when he came second in the first round. He then went on to lose to Jacques Chirac by a landslide of more than 80 per cent.

But Marine Le Pen is convinced she can go one better by positioning herself as the candidate who is toughest on terror.

She had pledged to ‘immediately reinstate border checks’, to expel foreigners and to ban all immigration, whether illegal or not. Supporters include Donald Trump who said the Paris attack would ‘have a big effect on the presidential election’ because the French people ‘will not take much more of this’.

But Prime Minister Cazeneuve accused Le Pen of ‘shamelessly seeking to exploit fear and emotion for exclusively political ends’. Mr Cazeneuve pointed out that Karim Cheurfi, the 39-year-old responsible for the murder of traffic officer Xavier Jugelé, 37, was a born and bred Frenchman.

Le Pen has called for negotiation with Brussels on a new EU, followed by a referendum; extremist mosques closed and priority to French nationals in social housing; and retirement age fixed at 60.

Macron forged a reputation with his ‘Macron Law’, a controversial reform bill that allowed shops to open more often on Sundays. On security, he has said France is paying for the intelligence jobs cuts made when Fillon was PM between 2007 and 2012.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4437156/Leading-candidates-cast-votes-French-election.html#ixzz4fEBy4Ooi

 

Is Macron the EU’s last best hope?

For the French establishment, Sunday’s presidential election came close to a near-death experience. As the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, it was a “damn near-run thing.”

Neither candidate of the two major parties that have ruled France since Charles De Gaulle even made it into the runoff, an astonishing repudiation of France’s national elite.

Marine Le Pen of the National Front ran second with 21.5 percent of the vote. Emmanuel Macron of the new party En Marche! won 23.8 percent.

Macron is a heavy favorite on May 7. The Republicans’ Francois Fillon, who got 20 percent, and the Socialists’ Benoit Hamon, who got less than 7 percent, both have urged their supporters to save France by backing Macron.

Ominously for U.S. ties, 61 percent of French voters chose Le Pen, Fillon or radical Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon. All favor looser ties to America and repairing relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Le Pen has a mountain to climb to win, but she is clearly the favorite of the president of Russia, and perhaps of the president of the United States. Last week, Donald Trump volunteered:

“She’s the strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France. … Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”

As an indicator of historic trends in France, Le Pen seems likely to win twice the 18 percent her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won in 2002, when he lost in the runoff to Jacques Chirac.

The campaign between now and May 7, however, could make the Trump-Clinton race look like an altarpiece of democratic decorum.

Not only are the differences between the candidates stark, Le Pen has every incentive to attack to solidify her base and lay down a predicate for the future failure of a Macron government.

And Macron is vulnerable. He won because he is fresh, young, 39, and appealed to French youth as the anti-Le Pen. A personification of Robert Redford in “The Candidate.”

But he has no established party behind him to take over the government, and he is an ex-Rothschild banker in a populist environment where bankers are as welcome as hedge-fund managers at a Bernie Sanders rally.

He is a pro-EU, open-borders transnationalist who welcomes new immigrants and suggests that acts of Islamist terrorism may be the price France must pay for a multi-ethnic and multicultural society.

Macron was for a year economic minister to President Francois Hollande who has presided over a 10 percent unemployment rate and a growth rate that is among the most anemic in the entire European Union.

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He is offering corporate tax cuts and a reduction in the size of a government that consumes 56 percent of GDP, and presents himself as the “president of patriots to face the threat of nationalists.”

His campaign is as much “us vs. them” as Le Pen’s.

And elite enthusiasm for Macron seems less rooted in any anticipation of future greatness than in the desperate hope he can save the French establishment from the dreaded prospect of Marine.

But if Macron is the present, who owns the future?

Across Europe, as in France, center-left and center-right parties that have been on the scene since World War II appear to be emptying out like dying churches. The enthusiasm and energy seem to be in the new parties of left and right, of secessionism and nationalism.

The problem for those who believe the populist movements of Europe have passed their apogee, with losses in Holland, Austria and, soon, France, that the fever has broken, is that the causes of the discontent that spawned these parties are growing stronger.

What are those causes?

A growing desire by peoples everywhere to reclaim their national sovereignty and identity, and remain who they are. And the threats to ethnic and national identity are not receding, but growing.

The tide of refugees from the Middle East and Africa has not abated. Weekly, we read of hundreds drowning in sunken boats that tried to reach Europe. Thousands make it. But the assimilation of Third World peoples in Europe is not proceeding. It seems to have halted.

Second-generation Muslims who have lived all their lives in Europe are turning up among the suicide bombers and terrorists.

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida seemed confined to Afghanistan. Now it is all over the Middle East, as is ISIS, and calls for Islamists in Europe to murder Europeans inundate social media.

As the numbers of native-born Europeans begin to fall, with their anemic fertility rates, will the aging Europeans become more magnanimous toward destitute newcomers who do not speak the national language or assimilate into the national culture, but consume its benefits?

If a referendum were held across Europe today, asking whether the mass migrations from the former colonies of Africa and the Middle East have on balance made Europe a happier and better place to live in in recent decades, what would that secret ballot reveal?

Does Macron really represent the future of France, or is he perhaps one of the last men of yesterday?
 http://www.wnd.com/2017/04/is-macron-the-eus-last-best-hope/#e9TbxGcObXt9Bpu5.99

 

Story 2:  President Trump’s Transparent Executive Orders — Videos — 

Image result for list of trump executive ordersImage result for list of trump executive ordersImage result for list of trump executive ordersImage result for cartoons trump executive ordersImage result for list of trump executive orders

What Are Executive Orders?

President Trump Signs Financial Services Executive Orders

How Trump’s executive order begins to reform the H-1B visa program

Trump’s executive order to help the American worker

President Trump Signs Executive Orders Regarding Trade

What do all of President Trump’s executive orders mean?

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov2-KwmkMNQ]

The impact of President Trump’s executive actions

WATCH: President Trump Signs Executive EPA Orders (FNN)

Executive order (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Executive order” redirects here. For other uses, see Executive order (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Presidential proclamation or Presidential memorandum.

Executive orders are orders issued by United States Presidents and directed towards officers and agencies of the Federal government of the United States. Executive orders have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself. The ability to make such orders is also based on express or implied Acts of Congress that delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation).[1]

Like both legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by government agencies, executive orders are subject to judicial review and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution.[2] Major policy initiatives require approval by the legislative branch, but executive orders have significant influence over the internal affairs of government, deciding how and to what degree legislation will be enforced, dealing with emergencies, waging wars, and in general fine-tuning policy choices in the implementation of broad statutes.

Basis in the United States Constitution

The United States Constitution does have a provision that explicitly permits the use of executive orders. The term executive power in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution is not entirely clear. The term is mentioned as direction to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and is part of Article II, Section 3, Clause 5. The consequence of failing to comply possibly being removal from office.[3][4]

The U.S. Supreme Court has held[5] that all executive orders from the President of the United States must be supported by the Constitution, whether from a clause granting specific power, or by Congress delegating such to the executive branch.[6] Specifically, such orders must be rooted in Article II of the US Constitution or enacted by the congress in statutes. Attempts to block such orders have been successful at times when such orders exceeded the authority of the president or could be better handled through legislation.[7]

The Office of the Federal Register is responsible for assigning the executive order a sequential number after receipt of the signed original from the White House and printing the text of the executive order in the daily Federal Register and Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations.[8]

Other types of orders issued by “the Executive” are generally classified simply as administrative orders rather than executive orders.[9] These are typically the following:

Presidential directives are considered a form of executive order issued by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of a major agency or department found within the executive branch of government.[10]Some types of Presidential directives are the following:

History and use

With the exception of William Henry Harrison, all presidents beginning with George Washington in 1789 have issued orders that in general terms can be described as executive orders. Initially they took no set form. Consequently, such orders varied as to form and substance.[11]

The first executive order was issued by George Washington on June 8, 1789, addressed to the heads of the federal departments, instructing them “to impress me with a full, precise, and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States” in their fields.[12]

The most famous executive order was by President Abraham Lincoln when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Political scientist Brian R. Dirck states:

The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order, itself a rather unusual thing in those days. Executive orders are simply presidential directives issued to agents of the executive department by its boss.[13]

Until the early 1900s, executive orders went mostly unannounced and undocumented, seen only by the agencies to which they were directed. This changed when the Department of State instituted a numbering scheme in 1907, starting retroactively with United States Executive Order 1 issued on October 20, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln.[14] The documents that later came to be known as “executive orders” apparently gained their name from this order issued by Lincoln, which was captioned “Executive Order Establishing a Provisional Court in Louisiana”.[9] This court functioned during the military occupation of Louisiana during the American Civil War, and Lincoln also used Executive Order 1 to appoint Charles A. Peabody as judge, and to designate the salaries of the court’s officers.[14]

President Truman’s Executive Order 10340 in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) placed all steel mills in the country under federal control. This was found invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have generally been careful to cite which specific laws they are acting under when issuing new executive orders. Likewise, when presidents believe their authority for issuing an executive order stems from within the powers outlined in the Constitution, the order will simply proclaim “under the authority vested in me by the Constitution” instead.

Wars have been fought upon executive order, including the 1999 Kosovo War during Bill Clinton‘s second term in office. However, all such wars have had authorizing resolutions from Congress. The extent to which the president may exercise military power independently of Congress and the scope of the War Powers Resolution remain unresolved constitutional issues, although all presidents since its passage have complied with the terms of the resolution while maintaining that they are not constitutionally required to do so.

President Truman issued 907 executive orders, with 1,081 orders by Theodore Roosevelt, 1,203 orders by Calvin Coolidge, and 1,803 orders by Woodrow Wilson. Franklin D. Roosevelt has the distinction of making a record 3,522 executive orders.

Franklin Roosevelt

Prior to 1932, uncontested executive orders had determined such issues as national mourning on the death of a president, and the lowering of flags to half-staff. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the first of his 3,522 executive orders on March 6, 1933, declaring a bank holiday, forbidding banks to release gold coin or bullion. Executive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold coin, bullion and gold certificates. A further executive order required all newly mined domestic gold be delivered to the Treasury.[15]

By Executive Order 6581, the president created the Export-Import Bank of the United States. On March 7, 1934, he created the National Industrial Recovery Act (Executive Order 6632). On June 29, the president issued Executive Order 6763 “under the authority vested in me by the Constitution”, thereby creating the National Labor Relations Board.

In 1934, while Charles Evans Hughes was Chief Justice of the United States (in the time period known as the Hughes Court), the Court found that the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was unconstitutional. The president then issued Executive Order 7073 “by virtue of the authority vested in me under the said Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935“, reestablishing the National Emergency Council to administer the functions of the NIRA in carrying out the provisions of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act. On June 15, he issued Executive Order 7075, which terminated NIRA and replaced it with the Office of Administration of the National Recovery Administration.[16]

In the years that followed, President Roosevelt replaced the outgoing judges with those more in line with his views, ultimately appointing Hugo Black, Stanley Reed, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, Robert H. Jackson and James F. Byrnes to the Court. Historically, only George Washington had equal or greater influence over Supreme Court appointments, choosing all of its original members. Justices Frankfurter, Douglas, Black, and Jackson dramatically checked presidential power by invalidating the executive order at issue in The Steel Seizure Case (i.e., Executive Order 10340). In that case Roosevelt’s successor, President Truman, had ordered private steel production facilities seized in support of the Korean War effort, but the Court held the executive order was not within the power granted to the President by the Constitution.

Table of Presidents using Executive Orders

President Number
issued [15]
Starting with
E.O. number [15]
George Washington 8 n/a
John Adams 1 n/a
Thomas Jefferson 4 n/a
James Madison 1 n/a
James Monroe 1 n/a
John Quincy Adams 3 n/a
Andrew Jackson 12 n/a
Martin van Buren 10 n/a
William Henry Harrison 0 n/a
John Tyler 17 n/a
James K. Polk 18 n/a
Zachary Taylor 5 n/a
Millard Fillmore 12 n/a
Franklin Pierce 35 n/a
James Buchanan 16 n/a
Abraham Lincoln 48
Andrew Johnson 79
Ulysses S. Grant 217
Rutherford B. Hayes 92
James Garfield 6
Chester Arthur 96
Grover Cleveland (first term) 113
Benjamin Harrison 143
Grover Cleveland (second term) 140
William McKinley 185
Theodore Roosevelt 1,081
William Howard Taft 724
Woodrow Wilson 1,803
Warren G. Harding 522
Calvin Coolidge 1,203
Herbert Hoover 968 5075
Franklin D. Roosevelt (~3.05 terms) 3,522 6071
Harry S. Truman 907 9538
Dwight D. Eisenhower 484 10432
John F. Kennedy 214 10914
Lyndon B. Johnson 325 11128
Richard Nixon 346 11452
Gerald R. Ford 169 11798
Jimmy Carter 320 11967
Ronald Reagan 381 12287
George H. W. Bush 166 12668
Bill Clinton[17] 308 12834
George W. Bush[17] 291 13198
Barack Obama[17] 276 13489
Donald Trump (as of April 21, 2017) [18] 25 13765

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order_(United_States)

Trump has already signed 66 executive actions — here’s what each one does

donald trumpPresident Donald Trump signs the executive order halting immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s first months in office have been filled with a flurry of action, and he’s just getting started.

The 45th president has signed 66 executive actions so far, with far-reaching effects on Americans’ lives.

There are technically three types of executive actions, which each have different authority and effects, with executive orders holding the most prestige:

  • Executive orders are assigned numbers and published in the federal register, similar to laws passed by Congress, and typically direct members of the executive branch to follow a new policy or directive. Trump has issued 24 orders.
  • Presidential memoranda do not have to be published or numbered (though they can be), and usually delegate tasks that Congress has already assigned the president to members of the executive branch. Trump has issued 22 memoranda.
  • Finally, while some proclamations — like President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation — have carried enormous weight, most are ceremonial observances of federal holidays or awareness months. Trump has issued 20 proclamations.

Scholars have typically used the number of executive orders per term to measure how much presidents have exercised their power. George Washington only signed eight his entire time in office, according to the American Presidency Project, while FDR penned over 3,700.

In his two terms, President Barack Obama issued 277 executive orders, a total number on par with his modern predecessors, but the lowest per year average in 120 years. Trump, so far, has signed 24 executive orders in 89 days.

Here’s a quick guide to the executive actions Trump has made so far, what they do, and how Americans have reacted to them:

Executive Order, April 18: ‘Buy American, Hire American’

Executive Order, April 18: 'Buy American, Hire American'

President Donald Trump speaks at Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin on April 18, 2017.Associated Press/Kiichiro Sato

At a tools manufacturer in Wisconsin, Trump signed an order directing federal agencies to review and propose changes to the popular, but controversial H-1B visa program meant to attract skilled foreign labor.

Critics say it’s used by companies to hire cheap, foreign workers in place of Americans, while proponents — including many in the tech industry — say it provides much-needed skilled workers to sectors where companies have struggled to hire Americans.

Trump’s “Buy American, hire American” order also directs federal agencies to maximize the American products they purchase, particularly calling out “steel, iron, aluminum, and cement.”

Read the full text of the order here »

Presidential proclamation, April 14: National Park Week

Presidential proclamation, April 14: National Park Week

White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke the first quarter check of Trump’s salary to the National Park Service as Tyrone Brandyburg, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Superindendant, looked on during the daily press briefing at the White House on April 3, 2017.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump designated April 15-23, 2017 as National Park Week, during which all 417 sites (59 official “parks”) across the country are free to enter, a move many past presidents have made as well.

The president also donated his first quarter salary to the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Critics were quick to point out that Trump’s $78,333.32 donation could hardly make up for the nearly $2 billion his federal budget proposes cutting from the Interior Department this year.

 

Presidential memorandum, April 12: Delegating terrorist report request

Presidential memorandum, April 12: Delegating terrorist report request

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.AP Photo/Cliff Owen

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directs the president to review “known instances since 2011 in which a person has traveled or attempted to travel to a conflict zone in Iraq or Syria from the United States to join or provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization,” and submit a report to Congress.

Trump delegated this responsibility to FBI Director James Comey.

Read the full text of the memo here »

Presidential memorandum, April 11: Signing letter on including Montenegro in NATO

Presidential memorandum, April 11: Signing letter on including Montenegro in NATO

Montenegro’s PM Djukanovic attends a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.Thomson Reuters

At the end of March, the US Senate voted to include Montenegro’s in NATO, 97 to 2. While Trump called the alliance “obsolete” as recently as January, he said he no longer feels that way, and didn’t veto the small southern European country’s inclusion.

The president has called on members of NATO to pay their fair share, saying the US carries too much financial responsibility for the military stronghold. The addition of Montenegro is likely to irk Russia, however, as it means one more country looks to West instead of staying under the influence of the Kremlin.

Read the full text of the memo indicating Trump’s approval of the Senate’s vote here »

Presidential memorandum, April 8: Notifying Congress of the US Syria strike

Presidential memorandum, April 8: Notifying Congress of the US Syria strike

In this image from video provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017.Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP

This memo formally informed Congress of Trump’s order to launch a salvo of 59 cruise missiles on Shayrat airfield and nearby military infrastructure controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in the northwestern part of the country on Tuesday.

Some lawmakers slammed Trump for not getting congressional or UN approval before ordering the strike, as the president’s legal authority for doing so is unclear.

“I acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Trump said in the memo. “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”

Read the full text of the memo here »

5 presidential proclamations, April 3-7: Honoring and drawing awareness

5 presidential proclamations, April 3-7: Honoring and drawing awareness

John Glenn was the first US man to orbit the Earth as part of Project Mercury.NASA

Trump proclaimed various days and weeks in April were in honor of five different causes:

  1. April 2-8, 2017: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
  2. Honoring the Memory of John Glenn
  3. April 7, 2017: Education and Sharing Day
  4. April 14, 2017: Pan American Day; April 9-15, 2017: Pan American Week
  5. April 9, 2017: National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

Read the full text of each proclamation in the links above.

 

Presidential memorandum, April 3: Principles for reforming the draft

Presidential memorandum, April 3: Principles for reforming the draft

The president’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner talks with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. during his visit to Iraq with the US military on April 4.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

The United States has had a volunteer-based military for over four decades, but nearly all American males still have to register for the draft when they turn 18.

In the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress called on the president to outline his principles for reforming the draft. So in his order, Trump told Congress that the US military should recruit a diverse pool of citizens, and offer them training opportunities that will benefit the armed forces as well as their future employment, in order to “prepare to mitigate an unpredictable global security and national emergency environment.”

Read the full text of the memo here »

2 Executive Orders, March 31: Lowering the trade deficit and collecting import duties

2 Executive Orders, March 31: Lowering the trade deficit and collecting import duties

Vice President Mike Pence tries to stop President Donald Trump as he leaves before signing executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office on March 31, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Ahead of Trump’s first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he signed two orders focused on an issue he decried during the campaign: the US trade deficit.

The first order directs the executive branch to produce a country-by-country, product-by-product report on trade deficits in 90 days, in order to figure out how to reduce the $500 billion trade deficit the US had in 2016.

Business Insider’s Pedro Nicolaci da Costa wrote that the order’s plan for a “90-day ‘investigation’ into why the US had trade deficits with specific countries, [was] a quixotic exercise most economists say shows a deep lack of understanding of the workings of international trade.”

The second order seeks to strengthen the US response to its trade laws preventing counterfeit or illegal imports, citing “$2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties” that the government hasn’t collected.

“On a typical day, CBP screens more than 74,000 truck, rail, and sea cargo containers at 328 U.S. ports of entry — with imported goods worth approximately $6.3 billion,” a Department of Homeland Security press release on the order wrote. “In Fiscal Year 2016, CBP seized more than 31,500 of counterfeit shipments and collected more $40 billion in duties, taxes, and fees, making CBP the U.S. government’s second largest source of revenue.”

Read the full text of the deficit order here »

And the full text of the antidumping order here »

Executive Orders, March 31 and February 9: Changing the DOJ order of succession

Executive Orders, March 31 and February 9: Changing the DOJ order of succession

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks after being sworn-in in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9, 2017.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

On February 9, Trump signed an order establishing a line of succession to lead the US Department of Justice if the attorney general, deputy attorney general, or associate attorney general die, resign, or are otherwise unable to carry on their duties. In order, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and then the US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri will be next in line.

The action reverses an order Obama signed days before leaving office. After Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his first travel ban, he appointed Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general in her place. This order elevates his position in the order of succession.

Read the full text of the first order here »

On March 31, Trump signed another order reversing this order. The new order of succession after the AG, deputy AG, and associate AG are as follows: US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and then the US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the DOJ probe into Trump’s associates contacts with Russian operatives, the order of succession will determine who will oversee that investigation. Trump will have to fill the North Carolina post soon, the Palmer Report points out, possibly allowing the president to influence who leads the Russia investigation.

Read the full text of the second order here »

6 presidential proclamations, March 31: Sexual assault awareness and others

6 presidential proclamations, March 31: Sexual assault awareness and others

Jessica Drake (R) was one of several women who accused Donald Trump of past sexual misconduct during the 2016 election.Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

Trump proclaimed April 2, 2017 World Autism Awareness Day, and that the month of April 2017 was in honor of five different causes:

  1. Cancer Control Month
  2. National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  3. National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
  4. National Financial Capability Month
  5. National Donate Life Month

Many criticized Trump’s National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, in particular, because multiple woman came forward during the campaign and accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the past. He also bragged on a 2005 tape that surfaced in October 2016that he could “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star they let you do it.”

A very Ironic Trump Declares “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/donald-trump-april-national-sexual-assault-awareness-month  via @MotherJones

Photo published for Trump Declares "National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month"

Trump Declares “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month”

The president has been accused of assaulting more than 15 women.

motherjones.com

Trump’s defense of O’Reilly underscores how farcical his proclamation of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is.

Read the full text of each proclamation in the links above.

Executive Order, March 29: Combating the opioid crisis

Executive Order, March 29: Combating the opioid crisis

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a panel discussion on an opioid and drug abuse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

This order established the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is supposed to report to the president strategies to address the epidemic, which is now killing 30,000 Americans a year.

But many experts said the president’s action is “underwhelming.”

“These people don’t need another damn commission,” an anonymous former Obama administration official who worked on the issue told Politico. “We know what we need to do. … It’s not rocket science.” Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin outlined some strategies that scientists think will work.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, March 28: Dismantling Obama’s climate change protections

Executive Order, March 28: Dismantling Obama's climate change protections

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, third from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, signs an Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington with coal and oil executives.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to bring back coal mining jobs and dismantle Obama’s environmental policy, declaring climate change a “hoax.” While coal jobs are unlikely to come back in droves, this executive order makes good on the second promise, directing federal agencies to rescind any existing regulations that “unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources.”

It also rescinds four of Obama’s executive actions, two of his reports, and tells the Environmental Protection Agency to review his landmark Clean Power Plan that would have capped power plant emissions. Since many of Obama’s actions were complex, however, it may take Trump a while to reverse them.

Democrats, environmentalists, and protesters demonstrating outside the White House after Trump signed the order decried the action, declaring it would lead to runaway climate change, while many Republican congressmen applauded the action for promoting energy independence.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, March 27: Revoking Obama’s fair pay and safe workplaces orders

Executive Order, March 27: Revoking Obama's fair pay and safe workplaces orders

President Barack Obama meets with then-President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on November 10, 2016.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In 2014, Obama signed an executive order requiring federal government contracts over $500,000 had to go to companies that hadn’t violated labor laws. He signed two more orders making minor clarifications to that original order later that year and in 2016.

Trump’s new order revoking those three orders, and directed federal agencies to review any procedural changes they made because of the orders. When companies bid for federal contracts, they’ll no longer have to disclose if they’ve violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Protection Act, or the National Labor Relations Act.

Read the full text of the order here »

Presidential memorandum, March 27: Establishing the White House Office of American Innovation

Presidential memorandum, March 27: Establishing the White House Office of American Innovation

President Trump departs the White House in Washington with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.Thomson Reuters

Trump established the White House Office of American Innovation, choosing his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to lead it. The office will aim to overhaul government functions with ideas from industry.

Business titans Gary Cohn (National Economic Council director), Dina Powell (senior counselor to the president for economic initiatives and deputy national security adviser), Chris Liddell (assistant to the president for strategic initiatives), and Reed Cordish (assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives) will also be on the team.

Read the full text of the memo here »

Presidential proclamation, March 24: Greek Independence Day

Presidential proclamation, March 24: Greek Independence Day

President Donald Trump speaks to guests during a Greek Independence Day celebration in the East Room of the White House, on March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump declared March 25, 2017, as Greek Independence Day.

“American patriots built our Republic on the ancient Greeks’ groundbreaking idea that the people should decide their political fates,” the president wrote in the proclamation.

Read the full text here »

2 presidential memoranda, March 23: Declaring an emergency in South Sudan

2 presidential memoranda, March 23: Declaring an emergency in South Sudan

The same day he signed these memoranda, Trump honked the horn of an 18-wheeler truck while meeting with truckers and CEOs on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, March 23, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Trump signed two memoranda declaring a national emergency in South Sudan, and notifying Congress that he did so, extending the emergency Obama declared in 2014. One million people there are on the brink of dying from a lack of food.

United Nations officials have called the famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis in 70 years.”

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said that the president’s proposed budget would “spend less money on people overseas and more money on people back home” and “absolutely” cut programs like those that would aid those starving in South Sudan.

Read the full text of the memos here and here »

Presidential memorandum, March 20: Delegating to Tillerson

Presidential memorandum, March 20: Delegating to Tillerson

President Donald Trump smiles at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after he was sworn in in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.Associated Perss/Carolyn Kaster

Trump delegated presidential powers in the National Defense Authorization Act to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The law doles out funding “for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths.”

Read the full text of the memo here »

Presidential proclamation, March 17: National Poison Prevention Week

Presidential proclamation, March 17: National Poison Prevention Week

President Donald Trump departs the White House with his grandchildren Arabella and Joseph on March 3, 2017.Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump proclaimed March 19 through March 25, 2017 National Poison Prevention Week in order to encourage Americans to safeguard their homes and protect children from ingesting common household items that may poison them.

Read the full text of the proclamation here »

Presidential memorandum, March 16: A letter to the House of Representatives outlining Trump’s proposed budget

Presidential memorandum, March 16: A letter to the House of Representatives outlining Trump's proposed budget

Winners and losers in Trump’s first budget.Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Trump sent his first budget to the House of Representatives, requesting an additional $30 billion for the Department of Defense to fight ISIS and $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to protect the US border.

To offset the massive defense money, Trump proposes slashing funding for several key federal agencies, dropping budgets for the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency by almost a third.

Several noteworthy Republican lawmakers signaled they didn’t approve of Trump’s first budget, and Democrats across the board decried the deep spending cuts.

Read the full text of the memorandum here »

Executive Order, March 13: Reorganizing the executive branch

Executive Order, March 13: Reorganizing the executive branch

President Donald Trump’s Cabinet gathers in the Oval Office on March 13, 2017.Donald Trump/Twitter

With the written aim of improving the efficiency of the federal government, Trump signed an order to shake up the executive branch, and “eliminate or reorganize unnecessary or redundant federal agencies” identified in a 180-day review.

It directs Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to review agency head’s proposed plans to reorganize or shrink their departments, and submit a plan to Trump by September 2017 outlining how to streamline the government.

Historians expressed skepticism that Trump would be able to effectively shrink the government, since many past presidents have tried and failed to do so. Critics argued that Trump could use the order to dismantle federal agencies that he or his Cabinet members don’t like.

Read the full text of the order here »

Presidential proclamation, March 6: National Consumer Protection Week

Presidential proclamation, March 6: National Consumer Protection Week

Pool/Getty Images

March 5 through March 11, 2017 was National Consumer Protection Week, Trump proclaimed, which “reminds us of the importance of empowering consumers by helping them to more capably identify and report cyber scams, monitor their online privacy and security, and make well-informed decisions.”

Read the full text of the proclamation here »

Executive Order, March 6: A new travel ban

Executive Order, March 6: A new travel ban

President Donald Trump signs a new temporary travel ban in the Oval Office on March 6, 2017.Sean Spicer/Twitter

Trump’s second go at his controversial travel order bans people from Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Libya from entering the US for 90 days, and bars all refugees from coming into the country for 120 days, starting March 16.

Existing visa holders will not be subjected to the ban, and religious minorities will no longer get preferential treatment — two details critics took particular issue with in the first ban. The new order removed Iraq from the list of countries, and changed excluding just Syrian refugees to preventing all refugees from entering the US.

Democrats denounced the new order, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying the “watered-down ban is still a ban,” and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez saying “Trump’s obsession with religious discrimination is disgusting, un-American, and outright dangerous.”

Read the full text of the order here »

UPDATE 3/15: US District Judge Derrick Watson put an emergency halt on the revised travelban the day before it would have taken effect, after several states and refugee groups sued in court. Trump vowed to appeal the decision and take the order all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Presidential Memorandum, March 6: Guidance for agencies to implement the new travel ban

Presidential Memorandum, March 6: Guidance for agencies to implement the new travel ban

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly make statements on Trump’s new travel ban on March 6, 2017.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

This memo instructs the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security how to implement Trump’s new travel ban.

It directs the three department heads to enhance the vetting of visa applicants and other immigrants trying to enter the US as they see fit, to release how many visa applicants there were by country, and to submit a report in 180 days detailing the long-term costs of the United States Refugee Admissions Program.

Read the full text of the memorandum here »

3 Presidential proclamations, March 1: National months for women, the American Red Cross, and Irish-Americans

3 Presidential proclamations, March 1: National months for women, the American Red Cross, and Irish-Americans

Donald Trump signs bills to promote women in STEM.Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The president proclaimed March 2017 Women’s History Month, American Red Cross Month, and Irish-American Heritage Month.

Read the full text of the women’s history proclamation here »

And the Red Cross proclamation here »

And the Irish-American proclamation here »

Executive Order, February 28: Promoting Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Executive Order, February 28: Promoting Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, takes a photo of leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Trump in the Oval Office.Getty Images

This order established the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which will aim to increase private funding of these schools, encourage more students to attend them, and identify ways the executive branch can help these institutions succeed.

Students at some HBCU protested the meeting their leaders attended to witness Trump signing the order, expressing their disapproval of the president in general, and questioning whether the action was “truly a seat at the table” or merely “a photo op.”

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 28: Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule

Executive Order, February 28: Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' rule

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt holds up an EPA cap during his first address to the agency.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The order directed federal agencies to revise the Clean Water Rule, a major regulation Obama issued in 2015 to clarify what areas are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.

Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called the rule “the greatest blow to private property rights the modern era has seen,” in 2015, and led a multi-state lawsuit against it while he was Oklahoma’s attorney general.

David J. Cooper, an ecologist at Colorado State University, cautioned that repealing the rule wouldn’t settle the confusion about what the federal government can protect under the Clean Water Act, or where.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 24: Enforcing regulatory reform

Executive Order, February 24: Enforcing regulatory reform

President Donald Trump meets with union leaders at the White House.Getty Images

This order creates Regulator Reform Officers within each federal agency who will comb through existing regulations and recommend which ones the administration should repeal. It directs the officers to focus on eliminating regulations that prevent job creation, are outdated, unnecessary, or cost too much.

The act doubles down on Trump’s plan to cut government regulations he says are hampering businesses, but opponents insist are necessary to protect people and the environment. Leaders of 137 nonprofit groups sent a letter to the White House on February 28 telling the president that “Americans did not vote to be exposed to more health, safety, environmental and financial dangers.”

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 9: Combating criminal organizations

Executive Order, February 9: Combating criminal organizations

Recaptured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted by soldiers at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico on January 8, 2016.Reuters/Amanda Macias/Business Insider

The order is intended to “thwart” criminal organizations, including “criminal gangs, cartels, racketeering organizations, and other groups engaged in illicit activities.”

The action directs law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute citizens, and deport non-citizens involved in criminal activities including “the illegal smuggling and trafficking of humans, drugs or other substances, wildlife, and weapons,” “corruption, cybercrime, fraud, financial crimes, and intellectual-property theft,” and money laundering

The Secretary of State, Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Director of National Intelligence will co-chair a Threat Mitigation Working Group that will identify ways that local, state, federal, and international law enforcement can work together in order to eradicate organized crime.

It also instructs the co-chairs to present the president with a report within 120 days outlining the penetration of criminal organizations into the United States, and recommendations for how to eradicate them.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 9: Reducing crime

Executive Order, February 9: Reducing crime

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with county sheriffs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Following up on his promise to restore “law and order” in America, Trump signed an executive order intended to reduce violent crime in the US, and “comprehensively address illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime.”

The action directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to assemble a task force in order to identify new strategies and laws to reduce crime, and to evaluate how well crime data is being collected and leveraged across the country.

Trump has come under fire recently for claiming the national murder rate was at an all-time high, when it has in fact dropped to one of the lowest rates ever, with 2015 merely experiencing a slight uptick from the previous year.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 9: Protecting law enforcement

Executive Order, February 9: Protecting law enforcement

Police break up skirmishes between demonstrators and supporters of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that broke out after it was announced the rally on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois would be postponed.Scott Olson/Getty Images

The order seeks to create new laws that will protect law enforcement, and increase the penalties for crimes committed against them.

It also directs the attorney general to review existing federal grant funding programs to law enforcement agencies, and recommend changes to the programs if they don’t adequately protect law enforcement.

The action is likely in response to multiple high-profile police killings over the past year, including a sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers in July.

Read the full text of the order here »

Executive Order, February 3: Reviewing Wall Street regulations

Executive Order, February 3: Reviewing Wall Street regulations

President Donald Trump signs an executive order rolling back regulations from the 2010 Dodd-Frank law on Wall Street reform on Feb. 3, 2017 in the Oval Office.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump signed two actions on Friday that could end up rewriting regulations in the financial industry that Obama and Congress put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.

The executive order sets “Core Principles” of financial regulation declaring that Trump’s administration seeks to empower Americans to make their own financial decisions, prevent taxpayer-funded bailouts, and reduce regulations on Wall Street so US companies can compete globally.

It also directs the Secretary of Treasury to review existing regulations on the financial system, determine whether the Core Principles are being met, and report back to the President in 120 days.

Experts worry that loosening regulations could roll back the Obama administration’s landmark consumer protection reform bill, Dodd-Frank, aimed at reducing risk in the financial system. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive darling from Massachusetts, led the charge decrying the actions.

Read the full text of the order here »

Presidential Memorandum, February 3: Reviewing the fiduciary duty rule

Presidential Memorandum, February 3: Reviewing the fiduciary duty rule

President Donald Trump signs an executive action in the White House.AP

The memorandum directs the Labor Secretary to review the “fiduciary rule,” another Obama-era law intended to protect Americans’ retirement money from conflicted advice from financial advisers that has long drawn rebuke from Wall Streeters and was scheduled to go into effect in April.

If the secretary finds the rule conflicts with the administration’s Core Principles, adversely affects the retirement industry, or causes increased litigation, then he should recommend revising or repealing the rule.

Democratic lawmakers and 38-million-member retiree nonprofit AARP came out against the action. Read more about Wall Street’s response to the memorandum here »

Read the full text of the memorandum here »

Presidential proclamation, February 2: American Heart Month

Presidential proclamation, February 2: American Heart Month

President Donald Trump and his wife Melania stand for the singing of the National Anthem during his inauguration ceremony at the Capitol on January 20, 2017.REUTERS/Carlos Barria

This ceremonial proclamation invited Americans to wear red on Friday, February 3, 2017 for National Wear Red Day, and followed Congress’ request in 1963 for presidents to annually declare February American Heart Month. The goal is to remember those who have died from heart disease and to improve its prevention, detection, and treatment.

Read the full text of the proclamation here »

Executive Order, January 30: For every new regulation proposed, repeal two existing ones

Executive Order, January 30: For every new regulation proposed, repeal two existing ones

President Donald Trump.Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The order states that for every one regulation the executive branch proposes, two must be identified to repeal. It also caps the spending on new regulations for 2017 at $0.

Some environmental groups expressed concern that the order could undo regulations put in place to protect natural resources.

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 28: Drain the swamp

Executive Order, January 28: Drain the swamp

Trump’s Cabinet nominees.Skye Gould/Business Insider

The order requires appointees to every executive agency to sign an ethics pledge saying they will never lobby a foreign government and that they won’t do any other lobbying for five years after they leave government.

But it also loosened some ethics restrictions that Obama put in place, decreasing the number of years executive branch employees had to wait since they had last been lobbyists from two years to one.

Read the full text here »

Presidential Memorandum, January 28: Reorganizing the National and Homeland Security Councils

Presidential Memorandum, January 28: Reorganizing the National and Homeland Security Councils

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon.AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Trump removed the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.

The executive measure established Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as a regular attendee, and disinvited the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence to attend only when necessary.

Top Republican lawmakers and national security experts roundly criticized the move, expressing their skepticism that Bannon should be present and alarm that the Joint Chiefs of Staff sometimes wouldn’t be.

Read the full text here »

Presidential Memorandum, January 28: Defeating ISIS

Presidential Memorandum, January 28: Defeating ISIS

Donald Trump at a rally with James Mattis, his pick for defense secretary.AP

Making a point to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” (something Trump criticized Obama for on the campaign trail), Trump directed his administration “to develop a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS,” drafted within 30 days.

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 27: Immigration ban

Executive Order, January 27: Immigration ban

Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country.Associated Press/Craig Ruttle

In Trump’s most controversial executive action yet, he temporarily barred people from majority-Muslim Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days, and Syrians from entering until he decides otherwise.

Federal judges in several states declared the order unconstitutional, releasing hundreds of people who were stuck at US airports in limbo. The White House continues to defend the action, insisting it was “not about religion” but about “protecting our own citizens and border.”

Tens of thousands of people protested the action in cities and airports across the US, company executives came out against the order, and top Republicans split with their president to criticize Trump’s approach.

Read the full text here »

UPDATE: Since the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down this order on February 9, Trump issued a new order intended to replace this one on March 6.

Presidential Memorandum, January 27: ‘Rebuilding’ the military

Presidential Memorandum, January 27: 'Rebuilding' the military

Marine General James Mattis.US Marine Corps

This action directed Secretary of Defense James Mattis to conduct a readiness review of the US military and Ballistic Missile Defense System, and submit his recommendations to “rebuild” the armed forces.

Read the full text here »

Presidential proclamation, January 26: National School Choice Week

Presidential proclamation, January 26: National School Choice Week

Thousands rally in support of charter schools outside the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.AP Images

Trump proclaimed January 22 through January 28, 2017 as National School Choice Week.

The ceremonial move aimed to encourage people to demand school-voucher programs and charter schools, of which Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos is a vocal supporter. Meanwhile, opponents argue that the programs weaken public schools and fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense.

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 25: Build the wall

Executive Order, January 25: Build the wall

Supporters of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump chant, “Build that wall,” before a town hall meeting in Rothschild, Wis. on April 2, 2016.Associated Press/Charles Rex Arbogast

Trump outlined his intentions to build a wall along the US border with Mexico, one of his main campaign promises.

The order also directs the immediate detainment and deportation of illegal immigrants, and requires state and federal agencies tally up how much foreign aid they are sending to Mexico within 30 days, and tells the US Customs and Border Protection to hire 5,000 additional border patrol agents.

While Trump has claimed Mexico will pay for the wall, his administration has since softened this pledge, indicating US taxpayers may have to foot the bill, at least at first.

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 25: Cutting funding for sanctuary cities

Executive Order, January 25: Cutting funding for sanctuary cities

Lordes Reboyoso, right, yells at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.Associated Press/Jeff Chiu

Trump called “sanctuary cities” to comply with federal immigration law or have their federal funding pulled.

The order has prompted a mixture of resistance and support from local lawmakers and police departments in the sanctuary cities, which typically refuse to honor federal requests to detain people on suspicion of violating immigration law even if they were arrested on unrelated charges. The city of San Francisco is already suing Trump, claiming the order is unconstitutional.

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 24: Expediting environmental review for infrastructure projects

Executive Order, January 24: Expediting environmental review for infrastructure projects

Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a campaign rally.Mark Lyons/Getty Images

The order allows governors or heads of federal agencies to request an infrastructure project be considered “high-priority” so it can be fast-tracked for environmental review.

Trump signed the order as a package infrastructure deal, along with three memoranda on oil pipelines.

Read the full text here »

3 Presidential Memoranda, January 24: Approving pipelines

3 Presidential Memoranda, January 24: Approving pipelines

President Donald Trump looks up while signing an executive action to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017.Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Trump signed three separate memoranda set to expand oil pipelines in the United States, a move immediately decried by Native American tribes, Democrats, and activists.

The first two direct agencies to immediately review and approve construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the third requires all pipeline materials be built in the US.

While pipeline proponents argue that they transport oil and gas more safely than trains or trucks can, environmentalists say pipelines threaten the contamination of drinking water.

Read the full text of all three memoranda here »

Presidential Memorandum, January 24: Reduce regulations for US manufacturing

Presidential Memorandum, January 24: Reduce regulations for US manufacturing

President-elect Donald Trump talks with workers during a visit to the Carrier factory on Dec. 1, 2016, in Indianapolis, Ind.AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Trump directed his Secretary of Commerce to review how federal regulations affect US manufacturers, with the goal of figuring out how to reduce them as much as possible.

Read the full text here »

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Reinstating the ‘Mexico City policy’

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Reinstating the 'Mexico City policy'

Hundreds of thousands of protesters march down Pennsylvania avenue during the Women’s March on Washington January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC to protest newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Image

The move reinstated a global gag rule that bans American non-governmental organizations working abroad from discussing abortion.

Democratic and Republican presidents have taken turns reinstating it and getting rid of it since Ronald Reagan created the gag order in 1984. The rule, while widely expected, dismayed women’s rights and reproductive health advocates, but encouraged antiabortion activists.

Read the full text here »

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Hiring Freeze

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Hiring Freeze

Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

Trump froze all hiring in the executive branch excluding the military, directing no vacancies be filled, in an effort to cut government spending and bloat.

Union leaders called the action “harmful and counterproductive,” saying it would “disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone.”

Read the full text here »

UPDATE 4/12: The hiring freeze is lifted, but budget director Mick Mulvaney says many jobs will stay unfilled because the Trump administration wants to reduce the federal workforce. The AP reported that the federal government added 2,000 workers in February and January, despite the freeze.

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Out of the TPP

Presidential Memorandum, January 23: Out of the TPP

A protester holds signs against the TPP during a rally in Lima, Peru.Esteban Felix/AP Photo

This action signaled Trump’s intent to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that would lower tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Japan and Mexico but excluding China.

Results were mixed. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone,” while Republican Sen. John McCain said withdrawing was a “serious mistake.”

Read the full text here »

Executive Order, January 20: Declaring Trump’s intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Executive Order, January 20: Declaring Trump's intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Then President-elect Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Capitol Hill November 10, 2016.Reuters

One of Trump’s top campaign promises was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

His first official act in office was declaring his intention to do so. Congressional Republicans have been working to do just that since their term started January 3, though there was dissent among Republicans over whether or not to complete the repeal process before a replacement plan is finalized and strident Democratic resistance to any repeal of the ACA.

Read the full text here »

UPDATE 3/28: House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill to repeal and replace the ACA, officially called the American Health Care Act, on March 24 after Republicans didn’t have enough votes to pass it. But some members of the GOP are still working on a way to dismantle Obamacare.

Presidential Memorandum, January 20: Reince’s regulatory freeze

Presidential Memorandum, January 20: Reince's regulatory freeze

President-elect Donald Trump and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on election night.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus signed this action, directing agency heads not to send new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register until the administration has leaders in place to approve them.

Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel signed a similar memorandum when he took office in 2009, but as Bloomberg notes, Priebus changed the language from a suggestion to a directive.

The action is partly carried out to make sure the new administration wants to implement any pending regulations the old one was considering. Environmentalists worried if this could mean Trump is about to undo many of Obama’s energy regulations.

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-executive-orders-memorandum-proclamations-presidential-action-guide-2017-1/#presidential-memorandum-january-20-reinces-regulatory-freeze-50

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The Pronk Pops Show 707, June 27, 2016, Story 1: The People’s Freedom vs. The Elite’s Ruling New World Order Racket — British People Choose Freedom — American People Choose Freedom In November Outing President Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan — Get The United Nations Out of United States and The United States Out of United Nations — Breakup The Rackets of The European Union and United Nations! — Dump House Speaker Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton — Elect Trump — Three Cheers For The British People Who Voted For Brexit — Videos

Posted on June 25, 2016. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, British Pound, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Countries, Currencies, Euro, European Union, France, Germany, Great Britain, House of Representatives, Italy, Netherlands, Senate, U.S. Dollar | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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EUROPEAN political chiefs are to take advantage of Brexit by unveiling their long-held plan to morph the continent’s countries into one GIANT SUPERSTATE, it has emerged today.

PUBLISHED: 11:01, Mon, Jun 27, 2016 | UPDATED: 17:20, Mon, Jun 27, 2016

Frank-Walter SteinmeierGETTY

German Angela Merkel met with European heads today at the EU summit

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.
Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland – a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism – after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.

The European Central Bank in FrankfurtGETTY

Polish politicians say the plans include loss of control of a number of key policy areas

Witold WaszczykowskiGETTY

Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski has blasted the plan

The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today.Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.In the preamble to the text the two ministers write: “Our countries share a common destiny and a common set of values ??that give rise to an even closer union between our citizens. We will therefore strive for a political union in Europe and invite the next Europeans to participate in this venture.”The revelations come just days after Britain shook the Brussels establishment by voting to leave the European Union in a move some have predicted could leave to the break-up of the EU.

A number of member states are deeply unhappy about the creeping federalism of the European project with anti-EU sentiments running high in eastern Europe, Scandinavia and France.

David Cameron in front of a map of EuropeGETTY

Opponents of the EU have warned of its ambitions to create a superstate

A British umbrella in front of Big BenGETTY

Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum last Thursday

Responding to the plot Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski raged: “This is not a good solution, of course, because from the time the EU was invented a lot has changed.“The mood in European societies is different. Europe and our voters do not want to give the Union over into the hands of technocrats.“Therefore, I want to talk about this, whether this really is the right recipe right now in the context of a Brexit.”There are deep divides at the heart of the EU at the moment over how to proceed with the project in light of the Brexit vote.

Some figures have cautioned against trying to force through further political integration, warning that to do so against the wishes of the European people will only fuel further Eurosceptic feeling.

This is not a good solution

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski

A few weeks before the Brexit vote European Council president Donald Tusk warned that European citizens did not share the enthusiasm of some of their leaders for “a utopia of Europe without conflicting interests and ambitions, a utopia of Europe imposing its own values on the external world, a utopia of Euro-Asian unity”.He added: “Increasingly louder are those who question the very principle of a united Europe. The spectre of a break-up is haunting Europe and a vision of a federation doesn’t seem to me to be the best answer to it.”His view was backed up by the leader of the eurozone countries, Dutch politician Jerome Dijsselbloem, who added: “In the eurozone some are pushing for a completion of the monetary union by creating a full political union, a euro area economic government or even a euro budget… to me it is obvious.“We need to strengthen what we have and finish it, but let’s not build more extensions to the European house while it is so unstable.”

Meanwhile Lorenzo Condign, the former director general of Italy’s treasury, has said it is nearly impossible to see Europe opting for more integration at such a time of upheaval.He said: “It seems difficult to imagine that the rest of the EU will close ranks and move in the direction of greater integration quickly. Simply, there is no political will.“Indeed, the risk is exactly the opposite – namely that centrifugal forces will prevail and make integration even more difficult.”But others see the Brexit vote as an opportunity to push ahead with the European elite’s long-cherished dream of creating a United States of Europe.

Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo has called for “more Europe” whilst Italy’s finance minister, Carlo Padoan, is advocating a common budget for the eurozone states.

And Emmanuel Macron, France’s economy minister, wants to go even further and set up a common eurozone treasury which would oversee the permanent transfer of funds from wealthier northern Europe to shore up Mediterranean economies

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/683739/EU-referendum-German-French-European-superstate-Brexit

Brexit 2.0: Populist Revolt Worldwide Catches Fire as Donald Trump Takes Aim at Globalist Hillary Clinton

The globalist movement is on the run as the British people on Thursday voted to “Leave” the European Union.

The vote to Brexit—a hard-fought campaign by nationalist populists in the United Kingdom—puts the world elite on their heels, as a similar but bigger and stronger such movement is brewing right here in the United States.

Donald J. Trump, the presumptive 2016 GOP presidential nominee, has run a campaign so far—and since winning the nomination—focused squarely on the exact same issues that the Leave campaigners ran on in the United Kingdom. Uncontrolled migration, out-of-whack trade deals, national sovereignty, popular control of government, and rejection of world elites are what propelled Leave campaigners to a stunning victory in the United Kingdom. Those same issues are what has propelled Trump to a similarly shocking victory over 16 other Republican presidential candidates in the primaries, where he—as Breitbart News has documented—received millions more votes than anyone else who has ever won the GOP nomination has.

They also set the stage for the 2016 general election. Trump has not shown a sign of backing down at all, on any of this, and in his speech earlier in the week laying out the case against Hillary Rodham Clinton—the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, his opponent in November—he set the stage for this battle.

“Everywhere I look, I see the possibilities of what our country could be. But we can’t solve any of these problems by relying on the politicians who created them,” Trump said in his Tuesday address. “We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place. The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money.”

Throughout the speech, Trump excoriated Clinton for her ties to the world’s international elite—citing Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash to detail how she and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, “used the State Department to enrich their family at America’s expense.”

“She gets rich making you poor,” Trump said of Hillary Clinton, talking directly to the voters.

The matching themes of Trump’s campaign, and the successful Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, are in large part why Trump’s well-timed trip to Scotland—purportedly for opening a golf course with his children, but seemingly because of the Leave success—makes him the captain of an international populist rejection of the world’s elite.

Trump seized the mantle of the movement on Friday morning in Scotland, embracing the populism that has propelled him this far and sustained him even as the most sinister and brutal of attacks come his way from inside his own party and from the other side.

“This is an amazing honor,” Trump said on Friday, almost taking credit for Brexit. After noting Brexit won, and by a bigger margin than pundits, analysts, and prognosticators could have ever predicted, Trump noted that the will of the public is all powerful.

“It’s always the will of the people ultimately that wins out,” Trump said.

As Trump soars back into the United States riding the populist wave on high, he will over the next several months seek to define his general election opponent—Hillary Clinton—correctly as the face of the global elite that the British voters just defeated. The lies, smears, and false alarms that Remain campaigners pushed out as part of a giant misinformation campaign designed to deceive the public into choosing against Leave all failed.

Those same misinformation campaign tactics are coming into focus here in the United States against Trump. High dollar donors are spending millions on attack ads. The mainstream media is inaccurately calling him a racist, a xenophobe, a sexist, and painting a grossly unfair and wrong picture of Trump as a buffoon who has no idea what he’s doing and would be a disaster for the economy and world security. That is the George Soros playbook, the exact same type of campaign the Remain folks in the United Kingdom ran against Leave campaigners.

Perhaps, despite serious concerns over his competence, Leave campaign’s Boris Johnson summed it up best during the BBC debate earlier this week:

At the end of this campaign, I think you’ll agree: There is a very clear choice between those on their side who speak of nothing but fear of the consequences of leaving the EU, and we on our side who offer hope. Between those who have been endlessly rubbishing our country and running it down, and those of us who believe in Britain. They say we can’t do it. We say we can. They say we have no choice but to bow down to Brussels. We say they are woefully underestimating this country and what it can do. If we vote Leave, we can take back control of our borders and huge sums of money—10 billion pounds a year net—of our tax raising powers, of our trade policies, and of our whole lawmaking system. The democracy that is the foundation of our prosperity and if we stand up for democracy we will be speaking up for hundreds of millions of people around Europe who agree with us but who currently have no voice. And if we vote Leave and take back control, I believe that this Thursday could be our country’s Independence Day.

Johnson lifted the Independence Day line from Nigel Farage of the U.K. Independence Party—also a Leave campaigner—and an actual leader of the populist movement who has been banging the drum on the issue for 25 years.

Trump struck a similar note in his New York City speech exposing Clinton:

Come November, the American people will have a chance to issue a verdict on the politicians that have sacrificed their security, betrayed their prosperity, and sold out their country. They will have a chance to vote for a new agenda with big dreams, bold ideas and enormous possibilities for the American people. Hillary Clinton’s message is old and tired. Her message is that things can’t change. My message is that things have to change – and this is our one chance, and maybe our only chance, to do that change. If we don’t do it now, folks, I don’t know that we’ll ever, ever have another chance. We have to have change, but real change—not Obama change.

What the Leave campaigners did in the United Kingdom—and what Trump is doing here—is taking the moral high ground away from the global elitists. Trump is turning Hillary Clinton into the “no you can’t” candidate, just as Leave campaigners framed the Remain campaigners as those holding Britain back.

The next several months leading up to the United States’ own presidential election are going to be some of the most brutal in U.S. political history. Hillary Clinton and her globalist allies are going to pull out every trick in the book—and more—to protect the face of the world elite. Clinton is their icon, their last hope to maintain control. The mud they will sling at Trump—from the Democratic Party, from Clinton’s campaign itself, and from outside allies like Super PACs and from the media—will be the worst anyone of us on the right has ever seen. But, if Trump can continue framing the election in this light and ride this wave, he could just soar right on through it and above it into the White House.

Populist nationalism has won U.S. House campaigns, U.S. Senate campaigns, and various other smaller ball political battles around the country and around the world. It can even win, as it helped Trump do when he roundly defeated some of the most talented governors and Senators in the primaries — a U.S. presidential primary. What Brexit shows is that populist nationalism can win national general elections, as it just did in the United Kingdom. That has the world elite fearing, and rallying around Clinton as we speak. Now that populist nationalism can win, and has won national general elections, is it only logical that Brexit 2.0 pumps Trump up into the White House? We shall see, come November.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/24/brexit-2-0-populist-movement-worldwide-catches-fire-donald-trump-takes-aim-globalist-hillary-clinton/

It wasn’t me! Obama shrugs off his humiliating failure to stop Britain quitting Europe by claiming ‘globalization’ was to blame for shock result

  • White House attempted to calm choppy global waters on Friday brought on by Britain’s spectacular decision to leave the European Union
  • The president, on the West Coast for a summit and fundraising events, said in a speech he talked Prime Minister David Cameron 
  • He also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel – they agreed the US and the EU will ‘work closely together in the weeks and months ahead.’ 
  • Obama had publicly aligned himself with Prime Minister David Cameron – who is resigning – in the fight to keep the EU intact
  • In the race for the White House, Hillary Clinton joined Obama on the side of the ‘remain’ campaign and Donald Trump urged Britain to ‘leave’ 
  • Vice President Joe Biden was in Ireland, receiving an honorary doctorate; he said in his speech, ‘I must say we had looked for a different outcome’ 

President Barack Obama says he spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the phone today, and he is ‘confident’ after their discussion that the United Kingdom ‘is committed to an orderly transition’ out of the European Union.

Obama said that the United States will remain in close contact with Britain, and their economic and financial teams will ‘stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability.’

He also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said, and they agreed the US and the EU will also ‘work closely together in the weeks and months ahead.’

‘I do think that yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization,’ Obama said in his opening remarks at Stanford University’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Obama had publicly aligned himself with Cameron in the fight to keep the EU intact, an unusual intervention in another country’s politics at the invitation of its leader of the moment.

He attempted to calm choppy global waters on Friday afternoon brought on by Britain’s spectacular decision to leave the EU by promising that the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States would remain the same.

President Barack Obama says he spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the phone today, and he is 'confident' after their discussion that the United Kingdom 'is committed to an orderly transition' out of the European Union

President Barack Obama says he spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the phone today, and he is ‘confident’ after their discussion that the United Kingdom ‘is committed to an orderly transition’ out of the European Union

As a result of the vote, Britain’s relationship with the EU will change, Obama assessed at Stanford. ‘One thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations.’

The president said in a statement that both the UK and the EU would continue to be ‘indispensable partners’ and touted the former’s involvement in NATO as an example of Western stability in face of tumbling worldwide markets.

‘The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,’ he said in a statement.

On the West Coast for a summit and fundraising events, Obama did not immediately speak to Cameron on Friday. In the interim, the White House offered no formal declaration of policy as the pound plunged and the stock market crashed abroad.

At Stanford, Obama had little to say about how the vote will affect the United States’ trade partnership with Britain, now that it will soon exit the EU.

It will need to ink a new deal with the United States, he warned in April, and that could take months, and even years.

The referendum result was as much a smack down of the U.S. president as it was the British prime minister, who said this morning that he would resign in October.

‘David has been an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage,’ Obama said today of Cameron, whom he closer with than any other world leader.

Obama said that the United States will remain in close contact with Britain, and their economic and financial teams will 'stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability' 

Obama said that the United States will remain in close contact with Britain, and their economic and financial teams will ‘stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability’

The U.S. president had publicly aligned himself with Cameron in the fight to keep the EU intact, an unusual intervention in another country's politics at the invitation of its leader of the moment

The U.S. president had publicly aligned himself with Cameron in the fight to keep the EU intact, an unusual intervention in another country’s politics at the invitation of its leader of the moment

Vice President Joe Biden was in Ireland on Friday, receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin. 'I must say we had looked for a different outcome,' Biden said of Brexit

Officially in California for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, with two Democratic fundraising events lined up later in the day, the U.S. president waited until the event at Stanford – a speech and discussion with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – to offer a televised comment on the shocking world event.

Hours after the vote totals poured in the White House issued a statement on Obama’s behalf that asserted, ‘The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.

‘So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.’

The chief executive of the United States promised that both parties ‘will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following news that the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The Dow Jones industrial average quickly fell nearly 500 points on the news with markets around the globe plunging

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following news that the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The Dow Jones industrial average quickly fell nearly 500 points on the news with markets around the globe plunging

How Brexit could affect Americans right now

Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU on Thursday, shocking the world and electrocuting the financial markets 

Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU on Thursday, shocking the world and electrocuting the financial markets

WHITE HOUSE ON CAMERON CALL

President Obama spoke by phone today with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss the outcome of yesterday’s referendum on membership in the European Union, in which a majority of British voters expressed their desire to leave the EU. 

The President assured Prime Minister Cameron that, in spite of the outcome, the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, along with the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO, remain vital cornerstones of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. 

The President also expressed his regret at the Prime Minister’s decision to step aside following a leadership transition and noted that the Prime Minister has been a trusted partner and friend, whose counsel and shared dedication to democratic values, the special relationship, and the Transatlantic community are highly valued. 

The President also observed that the EU, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond, will remain an indispensable partner of the United States. 

The President and Prime Minister concurred that they are confident that the United Kingdom and the EU will negotiate a productive way forward to ensure financial stability, continued trade and investment, and the mutual prosperity they bring.

Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU on Thursday, shocking the world and electrocuting the financial markets.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Ireland on Friday, receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.

‘I must say we had looked for a different outcome. We would have preferred a different outcome,’ he said in his speech, ‘but the United States has a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom and that very special bond will endure.’

Biden added, ‘We fully respect the decision they have made.’

Obama warned at at a joint news conference with Cameron in April that the UK would be sent to ‘the back of the queue’ if it voted to leave the 28-nation arrangement and go its own way.

‘Maybe some point down the line, there might be a UK-U.S. trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon,’ Obama said, ‘because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done.’

The US president added, ‘The UK is going to be in the back of the queue — not because we don’t have a special relationship — but because, given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely inefficient.

Obama justified his toiling with the EU by casting the possible Brexit as a US security matter.

‘What happens in Europe is going to have an impact here,’ he said at the news conference at No. 10. ‘And what happens in Europe is going to have an impact in the United States.’

Like Obama, Hillary Clinton, the next Democratic nominee, had urged Britain to 'remain' in the EU. She echoed again echoed Obama in a statement - released after the White House had finally spoken - that said, 'We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made'

Like Obama, Hillary Clinton, the next Democratic nominee, had urged Britain to ‘remain’ in the EU. She echoed again echoed Obama in a statement – released after the White House had finally spoken – that said, ‘We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made’

Obama warned at at a joint news conference with Cameron in April that the UK would be sent to 'the back of the queue' if it voted to leave the 28-nation arrangement and go its own way

Obama warned at at a joint news conference with Cameron in April that the UK would be sent to ‘the back of the queue’ if it voted to leave the 28-nation arrangement and go its own way

Obama telling BBC Britain should stay in EU back in 2015

GOP leaders and presumptive Republican Donald Trump blasted Obama’s meddling as ‘inappropriate.’

‘He came in and really tried to convince people to stay, and I thought it was inappropriate,’ said Trump, who threw his lot in with the ‘leave’ faction. ‘And I actually think that his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail.’

At a press conference that officially marked the reopening of his Turnberry golf course in Scotland, Trump said Obama is ‘constantly dictating to the world what they should do.

WHITE HOUSE ON MERKEL CALL

The President spoke today by phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany regarding the British people’s decision to leave the European Union. 

Both said they regretted the decision but respected the will of the British people. 

The two leaders agreed that the economic and financial teams of the G-7 partners will coordinate closely to ensure all are focused on financial stability and economic growth. 

The President and the Chancellor affirmed that Germany and the EU will remain indispensable partners of the United States. 

The leaders also noted that they looked forward to the opportunity to underscore the strength and enduring bond of transatlantic ties at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, July 8-9.

‘The world doesn’t listen to him, obviously. You can see that from the vote.’

Trump promised the country’s closest ally that if he succeeds Obama, he’ll quickly negotiate a new trade deal with Britain.

‘That wouldn’t happen with me. They’ll always be at the front of the line,’ he said in reference to Obama’s ‘back of the queue’ comment in April.

Trump said, ‘They’ve been great allies. I was very surprised when I heard President Obama say that.’

The U.S. presidential election is in November. The sitting president does not leave office until two and a half months later.

Like Obama, Hillary Clinton, the next Democratic nominee, had urged Britain to ‘remain’ in the EU.

She again echoed Obama in a statement today – released after the White House had finally spoken – that said, ‘We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made.’

‘Our first task has to be to make sure that the economic uncertainty created by these events does not hurt working families here in America. We also have to make clear America’s steadfast commitment to the special relationship with Britain and the transatlantic alliance with Europe.

Clinton said in the written statement: ‘This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans’ pocketbooks and livelihoods, to support our friends and allies, to stand up to our adversaries, and to defend our interests. It also underscores the need for us to pull together to solve our challenges as a country, not tear each other down.’

FULL WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON BREXIT

The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. 

So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond. 

The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.

Trump blasted Obama today: 'He came in and really tried to convince people to stay, and I thought it was inappropriate,' said Trump, who threw his lot in with the 'leave' faction. 'And I actually think that his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail'

Trump blasted Obama today: ‘He came in and really tried to convince people to stay, and I thought it was inappropriate,’ said Trump, who threw his lot in with the ‘leave’ faction. ‘And I actually think that his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail’

Previously, Jake Sullivan, her senior policy adviser, said she supported Cameron and Obama’s position.

‘Hillary Clinton believes that transatlantic cooperation is essential, and that cooperation is strongest when Europe is united. She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU,’ he told the Observer in April, a day after the Obama-Cameron presser.

Trump used it as a cudgel against her on Friday. He said, ‘She’s always misread everything…She’s misread this.’

‘The only reason she did it is because Obama wanted it,’ he said. Clinton ‘doubled down’ on what Obama said ‘and she did the same thing.’

‘And obviously, for the 219th time, they were wrong. They’re always wrong. And that’s the problem with them.’

House Speaker Paul Ryan refused on Thursday to get involved in the Brexit debate UK voters made their decision.

‘I’m going to do exactly what the president did not do and not weigh in on this, and send the signal to our great friends and allies in Britain that we stand with them regardless of what decision they make,’ Ryan said.

The GOP leader said today in a statement, ‘I respect the decision made by the people of the United Kingdom. The UK is an indispensable ally of the United States, and that special relationship is unaffected by this vote.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3658258/White-House-crisis-talks-Britain-DEFIES-Obama-quit-European-Union-

They Got It Wrong: Swarms of Global Chatterers Misread Brexit

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 499, July 6, 2015, Story 1: Greeks Vote No To Creditors (IMF and ECB) Demands In Austerity Referendum! — Will Greece Exit Both Eurozone and European Union — 50 Ways to Leave your Creditor — Take This Debt and Shove It — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 499  July 6, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

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Story 1: Greeks Vote No To Creditors (IMF and ECB) Demands In  Austerity Referendum! — Will Greece Exit Both Eurozone and European Union — 50 Ways to Leave your Creditor —  Take This Debt and Shove It — Videos

50 Ways to Leave your Lover – Paul Simon

PAUL SIMON LYRICS

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”

The problem is all inside your head
She said to me
The answer is easy if you
Take it logically
I’d like to help you in your struggle
To be free
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
She said it’s really not my habit
To intrude
Furthermore, I hope my meaning
Won’t be lost or misconstrued
But I’ll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover[CHORUS:]
You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
She said it grieves me so
To see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do
To make you smile again
I said I appreciate that
And would you please explain
About the fifty ways
She said why don’t we both
Just sleep on it tonight
And I believe in the morning
You’ll begin to see the light
And then she kissed me
And I realized she probably was right
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover
eurogreek_elections_the_result__spiros_derveniotisGreek-referendum_ChappatteZeroHedge-Greece-Oxi-Votevote yes or nogreeks votenoreferendum

Keiser Report: Yanis Varoufakis ‘Shane’ of Greece (E780)

Keiser Report: Greece pivoting from debt slavery (E779)

‘Greek referendum results may cause domino effect in other European countries’

MORE than 61% of Greeks say ‘No’ in crucial bailout referendum final tally

Greeks Vote No In Referendum: More Than 60% Said No To Europe’s Latest Bailout Offer

Greece Votes NO!

Financial Turmoil Alert: Greece Votes No on Referendum!

Understanding the Financial Crisis in Greece

Greek Referendum: Their Yesterday, Our Tomorrow | True News

BBC Documentary || The Global Financial Crisis Of Greece – Documentary Films

Greece: Drone soars over thousands of ‘NO’ protesters as referendum looms

Greeks Vote In Crucial Referendum On EU Bailout

‘Greece should Grexit which is fantastic, they could restart their economy’ – Max Keiser

Greece crisis: No vote would mean euro exit, leaders warn

Bank exposure to Greece being evaluated

Why Does Greece Have So Much Debt?

Greece likely to exit euro & EU without deal with creditors – central bank

The Salvation of Greece. Prepare Yourself Accordingly.

What Pisses Me Off About Greece’s Debt Crisis

The Economic Collapse of Greece (full version 8 min). Whiteboard Animation by Angelow

Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job and Shove It

Eurozone struggles to find joint response to Greek referendum

Heads of governments at odds as Germany and European commission let Greece stew while France, Italy and Spain are impatient for a deal
Monday 6 July 2015 15.10 EDT Last modified on Monday 6 July 2015 19.55 EDT
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Germany and France scrambled to avoid a major split over Greece on Monday evening as the eurozone delivered a damning verdict on Alexis Tsipras’s landslide referendum victory on Sunday and Angela Merkel demanded that the Greek prime minister put down new proposals to break the deadlock.

As concerns mount that Greek banks will run out of cash, and about the damage being inflicted on the country’s economy, hopes for a breakthrough faded. EU leaders voiced despair and descended into recrimination over how to respond to Sunday’s overwhelming rejection of eurozone austerity terms as the price for keeping Greece in the currency.

Tsipras, meanwhile, moved to insure himself against purported eurozone plots to topple him and force regime change by engineering a national consensus of the country’s five mainstream parties behind his negotiating strategy, focused on securing debt relief. Tsipras also sacrificed his controversial finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, in what was seen as a conciliatory signal towards Greece’s creditors.

In Paris, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande tried to plot a common strategy after Greeks returned a resounding no to five years of eurozone-scripted austerity. The two leaders were trying to find a joint approach to the growing crisis ahead of an emergency eurozone summit on Tuesday to deal with the fallout.

The prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are rapidly diminishing
Chancellor George Osborne
But Merkel said there was no current basis for negotiating with the Greek side and called on Tsipras to make the next move.

As eurozone leaders prepared for today’s emergency summit in Brussels, the heads of government were at odds. France, Italy and Spain are impatient for a deal while Germany, the European commission and northern Europe seem content to let Greece stew and allow the euphoria following Sunday’s vote to give way to the sobering realities of bank closures, cash shortages and isolation.
At a joint press conference with the French president, Merkel says Greece can still negotiate with creditors, but that proposals must be made quickly to find a cash-for-reform deal
Greek banks are to remain closed until Thursday at the earliest, it was announced, with ATM withdrawals rationed to €60 daily.

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“The prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are rapidly diminishing,” said the British chancellor, George Osborne, after speaking to some of the key policymakers. “If there is no signal from these meetings that Greece and the eurozone are ready to get around the table again, we can expect the financial situation in Greece to deteriorate rapidly.”

The commission had nothing positive at all to say about Sunday’s Greek referendum, while Germany’s increasingly hardline social democratic leader, Sigmar Gabriel, warned that Greece was on the brink of insolvency.

He accused Tsipras, the radical leftist prime minister who outmanoeuvred the rest of the eurozone with his plebiscite, of ruthlessly pursuing the Greek national interest at everyone else’s expense. His message suggested a Grexit was now inevitable as he stressed the need for EU humanitarian programmes to forestall social implosion in Greece.

Greece debt crisis: ECB tightens screw ahead of emergency eurozone summit – as it happened
The leaders of France and Germany say the door is still open to Greece, as banks are shuttered for two more days and a new finance minister sworn in
Read more
Tsipras is expected to table new bailout proposals on Tuesday to eurozone leaders meeting in Brussels after he ditched the flamboyant Varoufakis. Over five months of negotiations, Varoufakis, a leftwing economist and neophyte politician, has rubbed his interlocutors up the wrong way, persistently arguing he is right and everyone else is wrong when it comes to dealing with the Greek debt crisis.

The detail of Sunday’s voting patterns left no doubt about the devastating verdict and the challenges it now presents to Europe’s leaders. Around 80% of voters under the age of 34 voted no on Sunday.

Germany’s Gabriel said the Greeks had simply rejected the single currency rules, while Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, delivered a cri de coeur lamenting the desperate situation the eurozone and the EU now found themselves in.

“Two political building sites need our work urgently, in European capitals and in Brussels,” he said. “If we stand still, prisoners of rules, regulations, and bureaucracy, Europe is over. Reconstructing a different Europe will not be easy … The first one is Greece, a country in very difficult social and economic conditions. Meetings tomorrow will have to indicate a conclusive solution to this emergency.”

Merkel has taken a hard line with Greece since Tsipras announced his snap referendum 10 days ago, while the French have been much more accommodating towards Athens. A brief statement issued after the leaders had dined together on Monday evening showed little sign of the two main EU leaders bridging their differences.

There were no signs either of movement from the eurozone towards the main demands from Athens – a new deal writing down the Greek debt mountain, as urged last week by the International Monetary Fund.

German government sources said there would be no debt reduction measures offered and that it was up to Greece, which ended negotiations with its creditors 10 days ago and called the referendum, to make the next move.

“In light of the decision by the Greek citizens, the conditions to start negotiations on a new aid programme are not met yet,” said Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the most senior European commission official in charge of the euro, said the referendum result risked leaving everyone a loser. “The no result unfortunately widens the gulf between Greece and other eurozone countries … There is no easy way out of this crisis. Too much time and too many opportunities have been lost.”

A day of frantic politicking in Greece, and internationally, left few clues as to what happens next. Tsipras has persistently surprised and out-manoeuvred his opposite numbers, but without securing any net gains for a country in the throes of financial collapse. Greece’s bank holiday and the rationing of ATM withdrawals to €60 a day was extended until at least Thursday.

Analysis Greek referendum: smart response from Tsipras, but triumph may be brief
Larry Elliott
Larry Elliott Read more
The country’s banks are entirely dependent on the European Central Bank to keep standing and last night the ECB toughened it stance towards Greece’s banks by demanding they put up more collateral in return for the emergency liquidity allowance which has been keeping them afloat. The ECB said its government council is “closely monitoring the situation in financial markets and the potential implications for the monetary policy stance and for the balance of risks to price stability in the euro area”.

Tsipras spent much of the day with other Greek party leaders, resulting in the five-party national consensus behind his negotiating strategy committed to debt restructuring. Tsipras’s leftwing Syriza, and his rightwing nationalist coalition partner, Anel, were joined by centre-left Pasok, liberals To Potami, and centre-right New Democracy.
Now that Greece has returned an overwhelming no vote in the referendum, columnist Jonathan Freedland and economics editor Larry Elliott discuss the possible next moves for the European leaders
Tsipras’s ‘new’ proposals are likely to lean heavily on his recently tabled third bailout ideas, which call for €29bn in new loans over a two-year period under the eurozone’s ESM permanent bailout fund, combined with a debt swap that would see the ESM buy up Greece’s obligations to the European Central Bank and convert this into longer-term loans at cheaper rates. Greece would have to commit to many of the austerity measures that were roundly rejected by voters on Sunday.

Gabriel, however, emphasised the problems of devising a new bailout under the ESM, whose rules are more exacting than those for the eurozone instrument used for the previous bailouts since 2010.

The ESM rules say that a bailout can be considered for a eurozone country if its financial plight imperils the stability of the euro area as a whole. Many argue that this is not the case with Greece, that there is little risk of contagion and destabilisation of the broader currency area. But no one really knows.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/06/eurozone-struggles-joint-response-greek-referendum

Greek ‘No’ Vote Poses Angela Merkel’s Biggest Challenge

German leader’s response will shape future eurozone, but options are limited

A protester holds a sheet with the Greek word for 'No' during an open house presentation of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union on Saturday in Berlin, while Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks in the background.ENLARGE
A protester holds a sheet with the Greek word for ‘No’ during an open house presentation of Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union on Saturday in Berlin, while Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks in the background. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

BERLIN—The resounding “no” vote in Greece on Sunday presents German ChancellorAngela Merkel with her toughest challenge since the eurozone crisis broke out five years ago.

Her choice is now between yielding to Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras and sweetening the bailout terms for his country, or sticking to her hard line—and her own voters’ sentiment—in refusing any further concession.

Both avenues are fraught with risks: Watering down the Greek bailout could spark a political rebellion at home and dilute the strict rules the eurozone has assembled in the past five years to ward off future crises.

Refusing to bend could see Greece exit from the euro and unleash economic and political chaos in the country.

Given how much Germany has shaped the management of the crisis—a mixture of emergency loans and unpopular economic overhauls in the affected countries—the strong “no” vote to the terms was a stinging blow.

On Monday, Ms. Merkel was to travel to Paris to consult with French President François Hollande. In a phone call Sunday night, where they agreed “that the vote of the Greek citizens is to be respected,” the two called for a summit of eurozone leaders Tuesday, according to her spokesman.

Yielding some ground on the terms of a new bailout, in particular by pledging some of the debt relief Greece and the International Monetary Fund have been asking for, could still save Greece from a devastating exit from the eurozone.

Yet while such a deal might secure the required approval of the German parliament thanks to opposition votes and those of Ms. Merkel’s Social Democratic coalition allies, it would face considerable opposition in the chancellor’s own conservative ranks. And it would still require a firm commitment to economic overhauls an emboldened Greek government is now unlikely to give.

Conversations with lawmakers in the past week suggest many conservatives might have rejected even the tough terms then under discussion. Any deal that requires lawmakers to pump more taxpayer money into Greece while seeing some of their past loans go up in smoke could spark a full-scale rebellion, lawmakers say.

“For a successful rescue operation, the one who wants to be rescued must let himself be rescued,” Gunther Krichbaum, the conservative chairman of parliament’s European Union Affairs Committee and advocate of a Greek exit from the eurozone, said last week. “As Greece obviously doesn’t want this, there’s no option left for those who want to rescue it.”

When parliament convened last week for a debate on Greece, Ms. Merkel’s cautious speech gathered tepid applause from the conservative benches—nothing like the thunderous ovations that greeted Wolfgang Schäuble, the chancellor’s uncompromising finance minister.

Broader public support for a fresh Greek bailout isn’t guaranteed either. While several polls published last week showed Germans were split on whether Greece should exit the euro, up to three-quarters rejected further concessions to Athens. Mr. Schäuble, the embodiment of German intransigence in Greece, received his highest rating ever.

A sweetened bailout could be particularly damaging for Ms. Merkel because it would invalidate the very rationale for Germany’s approach to the crisis: that it can only be fixed if uncompetitive economies are rebuilt and the eurozone’s fiscal rules never bent again.

In case of a Greek exit, German voters are sure to put the blame largely on Mr. Tsipras, as recent polls indicate they have done so far.

Given all that, principles and an instinct for self-preservation may persuade Ms. Merkel to opt for the second option and stick with her tough line, an outcome many analysts see as more likely.

In a research note published on Sunday, Deutsche Bank said the most probable result of a “no” vote would be the end of Greece’s euro membership, followed by the toppling of the Syriza government as economic hardship mounts.

Berlin officials have also warned about this scenario in case of a no.

Mr. Tsipras had “destroyed the last bridges across which Europe and Greece could have moved toward a compromise,” Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel was quoted as saying in an interview with the Tagespiegel daily, to be published on Monday.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/emerging-no-vote-in-greece-poses-merkels-biggest-challenge-1436123516

Greece votes No: The European Union is dying before our eyes

It’s not just disaffected pensioners: young Greeks have worked out that they don’t need the bloated EU

People shout slogans in front of the White Tower, city's landmark, in Thessaloniki

Photo: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP

Despite the scaremongering and bullying from those in Brussels, we are waking today with Greece having delivered a resounding No.

That comes despite EU bosses saying that it would mean a Greek exit from the Euro, not to mention the heavy economic pressure placed on the Greek people to go along with the wishes of Brussels. It is a crushing defeat for those Eurocrats who believe that you can simply bulldoze public opinion.

Chief bully-boy Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and other supposed leaders of the European Union did their best to terrify the Greek people into submitting to the wishes of the European Union. But they utterly failed. The fear espoused by the Yes campaign was rejected. Opinion polls that put the Yes side ahead just days before were way out, as thousands upon thousands of Greek citizens lined the streets chanting “Oxi”.

Where does Greece go from here? Well it seems to me that Alexis Tsipras cannot go on having his cake and eating it. A more prosperous Greece, ran by the Greeks rather than by the EU must surely face up to the reality that a euro exit is both inevitable and desirable in order for a long-term economic recovery to truly begin.

There is a bigger picture to consider, however. A huge generational dynamic exists, running through all of this. One poll from Antenna News in Greece found that 67 per cent of Greeks under the age of 35 voted No which shows just how much the seismic plates are shifting within European politics. The fact that young Greeks overwhelmingly rejected the Brussels dictat and voted No in huge numbers is of massive significance.

Whilst some of the older generation may still buy into the notion of the EU having brought peace to Europe, the younger generations are just not sold. And why should they be? The European Union today is causing massive resentment between European nations. Just look at how relations between Germany and Greece have deteriorated. Far from bringing peace, the EU now sows resentment.

Whatever fine aims there were fifty or sixty years ago have no relevance to the reality of life for young people right across the EU now, including in Greece. The EU’s old, outdated ideas have been rejected at the ballot box in exchange for a new approach and fresh thinking.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Creditors will gain nothing from toppling Varoufakis

The result is a tired, stumbling European Union that is dying on its feet before our very eyes. Credibility for the project is fading fast as citizens right across Europe awaken to the reality of its authoritarian instincts that seek to run roughshod over public opinion.

With younger generations now turning against the EU project, we can see support for the EU’s dream of a United States of Europe fading fast. An outdated European Union has been found out and rejected emphatically by young Greeks in the 21st century.

It is all too clear to see why: both the euro single currency and the European Union itself have done great harm to the prospects of young people who are now realising that we do not need a single currency or a political union to be friends, neighbours and trading partners. Far more important than this European Union is the concept of national democracy, of which this Greek referendum and its result are a beaming example of.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11720081/Greece-votes-No-The-European-Union-is-dying-before-our-eyes.html

About EFSF

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created as a temporary crisis resolution mechanism by the euro area Member States in June 2010. The EFSF has provided financial assistance to Ireland, Portugal and Greece. The assistance was financed by the EFSF through the issuance of bonds and other debt instruments on capital markets.

A permanent rescue mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) started its operations on 8 October 2012. The ESM is currently the sole mechanism for responding to new requests for financial assistance by euro area Member States. It has provided loans to Spain and Cyprus.

The EFSF will not provide financial assistance to any further countries. The final ongoing EFSF assistance programme (for Greece) expired on 30 June 2015. However, even after this date, theEFSFwill continue to operate in order to:

– receive loan repayments from beneficiary countries;

– make interest and principal payments to holders of EFSF bonds;

– roll over outstanding EFSF bonds, as the maturity of loans provided to Ireland, Portugal and Greece is longer than the maturity of bonds issued by the EFSF.

The mission of both the EFSF and ESM is to safeguard financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to countries of the euro area. The two institutions share the same staff and offices located in Luxembourg. 

European Financial Stability Facility – EFSF

DEFINITION of ‘European Financial Stability Facility – EFSF’

An organization created by the European Union to provide assistance to member states with unstable economies. The European Financial Stability Facility is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) managed by the European Investment Bank, a lending institution. The fund raises money by issuing debt, and distributes the funds to eurozone countries whose lending institutions need to be recapitalized, who need help managing their sovereign debt or who need financial stabilization.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘European Financial Stability Facility – EFSF’

European countries have several options outside of the open market to seek financial help. Other than the European Financial Stability Facility, European countries can seek money from European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM), which is guaranteed by the European Union’s budget, or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These funding mechanisms are supported by the EU because, while not all countries have debt problems, the failure of one European economy can have a widespread effect on the health of other economies. Starting in 2013, the EFSF will be replaced by the ESM, or the European Stability Mechanism.

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http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/european-financial-stability-facility.asp#ixzz3f9SQyKAw

European Financial Stability Facility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
European Union
Flag of the European Union
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government
of the European Union

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is a special purpose vehicle financed by members of the eurozone to address the European sovereign-debt crisis. It was agreed by the 27 member states[1] of the European Unionon 9 May 2010, with the objective of preserving financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to eurozone states in economic difficulty.[2] The Facility’s headquarters are in Luxembourg City,[3] as are those of theEuropean Stability Mechanism.[4]Treasury management services and administrative support are provided to the Facility by the European Investment Bank through a service level contract.[5] Since the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, the activities of the EFSF are carried out by the ESM.[6]

The EFSF is authorised to borrow up to €440 billion,[7] of which €250 billion remained available after the Irish and Portuguese bailout.[8] A separate entity, the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), a programme reliant upon funds raised on the financial markets and guaranteed by the European Commission using the budget of the European Union as collateral, has the authority to raise up to €60 billion.

Function

The mandate of the EFSF is to “safeguard financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance” to eurozone states.

The EFSF can issue bonds or other debt instruments on the market with the support of the German Finance Agency to raise the funds needed to provide loans to eurozone countries in financial troubles, recapitalise banks or buy sovereign debt.[9] Emissions of bonds would be backed by guarantees given by the euro area member states in proportion to their share in the paid-up capital of the European Central Bank (ECB).

The €440 billion lending capacity of the Facility may be combined with loans up to €60 billion from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (reliant on funds raised by the European Commission using the EU budget as collateral) and up to €250 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain a financial safety net up to €750 billion.[10]

Had there been no financial operations undertaken, the EFSF would have closed down after three years, on 30 June 2013. However, since the EFSF was activated in 2011 to lend money to Ireland and Portugal, the Facility will exist until its last obligation has been fully repaid.[11]

Lending

The Facility can only act after a support request is made by a eurozone member state and a country programme has been negotiated with the European Commission and the IMF and after such a programme has been unanimously accepted by the Euro Group(eurozone finance ministers) and a memorandum of understanding is signed. This would only occur when the country is unable to borrow on markets at acceptable rates.

If there is a request from a eurozone member state for financial assistance, it will take three to four weeks to draw up a support programme including sending experts from the Commission, the IMF and the ECB to the country in difficulty. Once the Euro Group have approved the country programme, the EFSF would need several working days to raise the necessary funds and disburse the loan.[11]

Guarantee commitments

The table below shows the current maximum level of joint and several guarantees for capital given by the Eurozone countries. The amounts are based on the European Central Bank capital key weightings. The EU requested the eurozone countries to approve an increase of the guarantee amounts to €780 billion. The majority of the risk of the increase from original €440 billion falls on the AAA rated countries and ultimately their taxpayers, in a possible event of default of the investments of EFSF. The guarantee increases were approved by all Eurozone countries by 13 October 2011.[12]

The €110 billion bailout to Greece of 2010 is not part of the EFSF guarantees and not managed by EFSF, but a separate bilateral commitment by the Eurozone countries (excluding Slovakia, who opted out, and Estonia, which was not in Eurozone in 2010) and IMF.

In addition to the capital guarantees shown in the table, the enlarged EFSF agreement holds the guarantor countries responsible for all interest costs of the issued EFSF bonds, in contrast to the original EFSF structure, significantly expanding the potential taxpayer liabilities.[13] These additional guarantee amounts increase if the coupon payments of the issued EFSF bonds are high. On 29 November 2011, European finance ministers decided that EFSF can guarantee 20 to 30% of the bonds of struggling peripheral economies.[14]

Country Initial contributions Enlarged contributions
(see enlargement section)
Guarantee Commitments (EUR) Millions Percentage € per capita
[citation needed]
Guarantee Commitments (EUR) Millions Percentage
 Austria €12,241.43 2.78% €1,464.86 €21,639.19 2.7750%
 Belgium €15,292.18 3.48% €1,423.71 €27,031.99 3.4666%
 Cyprus €863.09 0.20% €1,076.68 €1,525.68 0.1957%
 Estonia €1,994.86 0.2558%
 Finland €7,905.20 1.80% €1,484.51 €13,974.03 1.7920%
 France €89,657.45 20.38% €1,398.60 €158,487.53 20.3246%
 Germany €119,390.07 27.13% €1,454.87 €211,045.90 27.0647%
 Greece €12,387.70 2.82% €1,099.90 €21,897.74 2.8082%
 Ireland €7,002.40 1.59% €1,549.97 €12,378.15 1.5874%
 Italy €78,784.72 17.91% €1,311.10 €139,267.81 17.8598%
 Luxembourg €1,101.39 0.25% €2,239.95 €1,946.94 0.2497%
 Malta €398.44 0.09% €965.65 €704.33 0.0903%
 Netherlands €25,143.58 5.71% €1,525.60 €44,446.32 5.6998%
 Portugal €11,035.38 2.51% €1,037.96 €19,507.26 2.5016%
 Slovakia €4,371.54 0.99% €807.89 €7,727.57 0.9910%
 Slovenia €2,072.92 0.47% €1,009.51 €3,664.30 0.4699%
 Spain €52,352.51 11.90% €1,141.75 €92,543.56 11.8679%
European UnionEurozone (16) without Estonia (°) €440,000.00 100% €1,339.02
European Union Eurozone (17) with Estonia €779,783.14 100%

(° Estonia entered the eurozone on 1 January 2011, i.e. after the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility in 2010). Greece, Ireland and Portugal are “stepping out guarantors”, except where they have liabilities before getting that status. Estonia is a stepping out guarantor with respect to liabilities before it joined the eurozone.

Management

The chief executive officer of the EFSF is Klaus Regling, a former Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, having previously worked at the IMF and the German Ministry of Finance.

The Board of the European Financial Stability Facility comprise high level representatives of the 17 eurozone member states, including Deputy Ministers or Secretaries of State or Director Generals of the Treasury. The European Commission and the European Central Bank can each appoint an observer to the EFSF Board. Its chairman is Thomas Wieser, who is also chairman of the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee.[15]

Although there is no specific statutory requirement for accountability to the European Parliament, the Facility is expected to operate a close relationship with relevant committees within the EU.[11]

Developments and implementation

On 7 June 2010 the eurozone member states entrusted the European Commission, where appropriate in liaison with the European Central Bank, with the task of:

  • negotiating and signing on their behalf after their approval the memoranda of understanding related to this support;
  • providing proposals to them on the loan facility agreements to be signed with the beneficiary member state(s);
  • assessing the fulfilment of the conditionality laid down in the memoranda of understanding;
  • providing input, together with the European Investment Bank, to further discussions and decisions in the Euro Group on EFSF related matters and, in a transitional phase, in which the European Financial Stability Facility is not yet fully operational, on building up its administrative and operational capacities.[16]

On the same day the European Financial Stability Facility was established as a limited liability company under Luxembourg law (Société Anonyme),[17] while Klaus Regling was appointed as chief executive officer of the EFSF on 9 June 2010[18] and took office on 1 July 2010.[19] The Facility became fully operational on 4 August 2010.[20][21]

On 29 September 2011, the German Bundestag voted 523 to 85 to approve the increase in the EFSF’s available funds to €440 billion (Germany’s share €211bn). Mid-October Slovakia became the last country to give approval, though not before parliament speakerRichard Sulík registered strong questions as to how “a poor but rule-abiding euro-zone state must bail out a serial violator with twice the per capita income, and triple the level of the pensions – a country which is in any case irretrievably bankrupt? How can it be that the no-bail clause of the Lisbon treaty has been ripped up?”[22]

Granting of EFSF aid to Ireland

The Euro Group and the EU’s Council of Economics and Finance Ministers decided on 28 November 2010 to grant financial assistance in response to the Irish authorities’ request. The financial package was designed to cover financing needs up to €85 billion and would result in the EU providing up to €23 billion through the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism and the EFSF up to €18 billion over 2011 and 2012.

The first bonds of the European Financial Stability Facility were issued on 25 January 2011. The EFSF placed its inaugural five-year bonds for an amount of €5 billion as part of the EU/IMF financial support package agreed for Ireland.[23] The issuance spread was fixed at mid-swap plus 6 basis points. This implies borrowing costs for EFSF of 2.89%. Investor interest was exceptionally strong, with a record breaking order book of €44.5 billion, i.e. about nine times the supply. Investor demand came from around the world and from all types of institutions.[24] The Facility chose three banks (Citibank, HSBC and Société Générale) to organise the inaugural bonds issue.[25]

Granting of EFSF aid to Portugal

The second Eurozone country to request and receive aid from EFSF is Portugal. Following the formal request for financial assistance made on 7 April 2011 by the Portuguese authorities, the terms and conditions of the financial assistance package were agreed by the Euro Group and the EU’s Council of Economics and Finance Ministers on 17 May 2011. The financial package was designed to cover Portugal’s financial needs of up to €78 billion, with the European Union—through the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism—, and the EFSF each providing up to €26 billion to be disbursed over 3 years. Further support was made available through the IMF for up to €26 billion, as approved by the IMF Executive Board on 20 May 2011.[26]

EFSF was activated for Portuguese lending in June 2011, and issued €5 billion of 10-year bonds on 15 June 2011, and €3 billion on 22 June 2011 through BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International and The Royal Bank of Scotland. [27]

Enlargement

On 21 July 2011, the eurozone leaders agreed to amend the EFSF to enlarge its capital guarantee from €440 billion to €780 billion.[28][29] The increase expanded the effective lending capacity of the EFSF to €440 billion. This required ratifications by all eurozone parliaments, which were completed on 13 October 2011.[12][30]

The EFSF enlargement agreement also modified the EFSF structure, removing the cash buffer held by EFSF for any new issues and replacing it with +65% overguarantee by the guaranteeing countries. The increase of 165% to the capital guarantee corresponds to the need to have €440 billion of AAA-rated guarantor countries behind the maximum EFSF issued debt capital (Greece, Ireland, and Portugal do not guarantee new EFSF issues as they are recipients of Euroland support, reducing the total maximum guarantees to €726 billion).[31]

Once the capacity of EFSF to extend new loans to distressed Euroland countries expires in 2013, it and the EFSM will be replaced by the European Stability Mechanism (once it is ratified, see Treaties of the European Union#Eurozone reform). However, the outstanding guarantees given to EFSF bondholders to fund bailouts will survive ESM.

On 27 October 2011 the European Council announced that the member states had reached agreement to further increase the effective capacity of the EFSF to €1 trillion by offering insurance to purchasers of eurozone members’ debt.[32] European leaders have also agreed to create one or several funds, possibly placed under IMF supervision. The funds would be seeded with EFSF money and contributions from outside investors.[33]

Greek bailout

As part of the second bailout for Greece, under a retroactive Collective action clause, 100% of the Greek-jurisdiction bonds were shifted to the EFSF, amounting to €164 billion (130bn new package plus 34.4bn remaining from Greek Loan Facility) throughout 2014.[11]

Rating

The Facility aimed for ratings agencies to assign a AAA rating to its bonds, which would be eligible for European Central Bank refinancing operations.[34] It achieved this in September 2010 when Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s awarded it AAA and Moody’s awarded it Aaa,[35] making it easier for it to raise money. The rating outlook was qualified as stable.[36] On 16 January 2012 the Standard and Poors (S&P) lowered its rating on the European Financial Stability Facility to AA+ from AAA; the downgrade followed the 13 January 2012 downgrade of France and eight other euro-zone nations which has sparked worries that EFSF will have further difficulties raising funds.[37] In November 2012, Moody’s downgraded it.[38]

Controversies

The EFSF enlargement process of 2011 proved to be challenging to several Eurozone member states, who objected against assuming sovereign liabilities in potential violation of the Maastricht Treaty of no bailout provisions. On 13 October 2011, Slovakia approved EFSF expansion 2.0 after a failed first approval vote. In exchange[clarification needed], the Slovakian government was forced to resign and call new elections.

On 19 October 2011, Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Finnish parliament passed the EFSF guarantee expansion without quantifying the total potential liability to Finland. It turned out that several members of the parliament did not understand that in addition to increasing the capital guarantee from €7.9 billion to €14.0 billion, the Government of Finland would be guaranteeing all of the interest and capital raising costs of EFSF in addition to the issued capital, assuming theoretically uncapped liability. Helsingin Sanomat estimated that in an adverse situation this liability could reach €28.7 billion, adding interest rate of 3.5% for 30-year loans to capital guarantee. For this reason the parliamentary approval process on 28 September 2011 was misleading, and may require a new Government proposal.[39][40][dated info]

Operations

As of January 2012 the EFSF had issued 19 bn euro in long-term debt and 3.5 bn in short-term debt.[41]

  • 25 January 2011 5.0 bn euro 5-yr bond
  • 15 June 2011 5.0 bn euro 10-yr bond
  • 22 June 2011 3.0 bn euro 5-yr bond
  • 7 November 2011 3.0 bn euro 10-yr bond
  • 13 December 2011 1.9719 bn euro 3-month bill
  • 5 January 2012 3.0 bn euro 3-yr bond
  • 17 January 2012 1.501 bn euro 6-month bill

Bailout programs for EU members (since 2008)

The table below provides an overview of the financial composition of all bailout programs being initiated for EU member states, since the Global Financial Crisis erupted in September 2008. EU member states outside the eurozone (marked with yellow in the table) have no access to the funds provided by EFSF/ESM, but can be covered with rescue loans from EU’s Balance of Payments programme (BoP), IMF and bilateral loans (with an extra possible assistance from the Worldbank/EIB/EBRD if classified as a development country). Since October 2012, the ESM as a permanent new financial stability fund to cover any future potential bailout packages within the eurozone, has effectively replaced the now defunct GLF + EFSM + EFSF funds. Whenever pledged funds in a scheduled bailout program were not transferred in full, the table has noted this by writing “Y out of X”.

EU member Time span IMF[42][43]
(billion €)
World Bank[43]
(billion €)
EIB / EBRD
(billion €)
Bilateral[42]
(billion €)
BoP[43]
(billion €)
GLF[44]
(billion €)
EFSM[42]
(billion €)
EFSF[42]
(billion €)
ESM[42]
(billion €)
Bailout in total
(billion €)
Cyprus I1 Dec.2011-Dec.2012 2.5 2.51
Cyprus II2 May 2013-Mar.2016 1.0 9.0 10.02
Greece I+II3 May 2010-Jun.2015 48.1 (20.1+19.8+8.2) 52.9 144.6 245.63
Greece III4 Jul.2015-Mar.2016 (remainder of 1st program) (new commitments) 4
Hungary5 Nov.2008-Oct.2010 9.1 out of 12.5 1.0 5.5 out of 6.5 15.6 out of 20.05
Ireland6 Nov.2010-Dec.2013 22.5 4.8 22.5 18.4 68.26
Latvia7 Dec.2008-Dec.2011 1.1 out of 1.7 0.4 0.1 0.0 out of 2.2 2.9 out of 3.1 4.5 out of 7.57
Portugal8 May 2011-Jun 2014 26.5 out of 27.4 24.3 out of 25.6 26.0 76.8 out of 79.08
Romania I9 May 2009-Jun 2011 12.6 out of 13.6 1.0 1.0 5.0 19.6 out of 20.69
Romania II10 Mar 2011-Jun 2013 0.0 out of 3.6 1.15 0.0 out of 1.4 1.15 out of 6.1510
Romania III11 Oct 2013-Sep 2015 0.0 out of 2.0 2.5 0.0 out of 2.0 2.5 out of 6.511
Spain12 July 2012-Dec.2013 41.3 out of 100 41.3 out of 10012
Total payment Nov.2008-Mar.2016 120.9 6.05 1.1 7.3 13.4 52.9 46.8 189.0 50.3 487.75
1 Cyprus received in late December 2011 a €2.5bn bilateral emergency bailout loan from Russia, to cover its governmental budget deficits and a refinancing of maturing governmental debts until 31 December 2012.[45][46][47] Initially the bailout loan was supposed to be fully repaid in 2016, but as part of establishment of the later following second Cypriot bailout programme, Russia accepted a delayed repayment in eight biannual tranches throughout 2018-2021 – while also lowering its requested interest rate from 4.5% to 2.5%.[48]
2 When it became evident Cyprus needed an additional bailout loan to cover the government’s fiscal operations throughout 2013-2015, on top of additional funding needs for recapitalization of the Cypriot financial sector, negotiations for such an extra bailout package started with the Troika in June 2012.[49][50][51] In December 2012 a preliminary estimate indicated, that the needed overall bailout package should have a size of €17.5bn, comprising €10bn for bank recapitalisation and €6.0bn for refinancing maturing debt plus €1.5bn to cover budget deficits in 2013+2014+2015, which in total would have increased the Cypriot debt-to-GDP ratio to around 140%.[52] The final agreed package however only entailed a €10bn support package, financed partly by IMF (€1bn) and ESM (€9bn),[53] because it was possible to reach a fund saving agreement with the Cypriot authorities, featuring a direct closure of the most troubled Laiki Bank and a forced bail-in recapitalisation plan for Bank of Cyprus.[54][55]
The final conditions for activation of the bailout package was outlined by the Troika’s MoU agreement in April 2013, and include: 1) Recapitalisation of the entire financial sector while accepting a closure of the Laiki bank, 2) Implementation of the anti-money laundering framework in Cypriot financial institutions, 3) Fiscal consolidation to help bring down the Cypriot governmental budget deficit, 4) Structural reforms to restore competitiveness and macroeconomic imbalances, 5) Privatization programme. The Cypriot debt-to-GDP ratio is on this background now forecasted only to peak at 126% in 2015 and subsequently decline to 105% in 2020, and thus considered to remain within sustainable territory. The €10bn bailout comprise €4.1bn spend on debt liabilities (refinancing and amortization), 3.4bn to cover fiscal deficits, and €2.5bn for the bank recapitalization. These amounts will be paid to Cyprus through regular tranches from 13 May 2013 until 31 March 2016. According to the programme this will be sufficient, as Cyprus during the programme period in addition will: Receive €1.0bn extraordinary revenue from privatization of government assets, ensure an automatic roll-over of €1.0bn maturing Treasury Bills and €1.0bn of maturing bonds held by domestic creditors, bring down the funding need for bank recapitalization with €8.7bn – of which 0.4bn is reinjection of future profit earned by the Cyprus Central Bank (injected in advance at the short term by selling its gold reserve) and €8.3bn origin from the bail-in of creditors in Laiki bank and Bank of Cyprus.[56] The forced automatic rollover of maturing bonds held by domestic creditors were conducted in 2013, and equaled according to some credit rating agencies a “selective default” or “restrictive default”, mainly because of the fact that the fixed yields of the new bonds did not reflect the market rates – while maturities at the same time automatically were extended.[48]
3 Many sources list the first bailout was €110bn followed by the second on €130bn. When you deduct €2.7bn due to Ireland+Portugal+Slovakia opting out as creditors for the first bailout, and add the extra €8.2bn IMF has promised to pay Greece for the years in 2015-16, the total amount of bailout funds sums up to €245.6bn.[44][57] The first bailout resulted in a payout of €20.1bn from IMF and €52.9bn from GLF, during the course of May 2010 until December 2011,[44] and then it was technically replaced by a second bailout package for 2012-2016, which had a size of €172.6bn (€28bn from IMF and €144.6bn from EFSF), as it included the remaining committed amounts from the first bailout package.[58] All IMF amounts are used to finance budget deficits and the ongoing refinancing of maturing public debt. The payment from EFSF has been earmarked to finance €34.6bn for the Greek debt PSI, €48.2bn for bank recapitalization,[57] €11.3bn for a second PSI debt buy-back,[59] while the remaining €50.5bn is used for budget deficits and the ongoing refinancing of maturing public debt.[60] The programme was scheduled to expire in March 2016, after IMF had extended their programme period with extra “reimbursement of interests” tranches scheduled from January 2015 to March 2016, while the Eurogroup at the same time opted to conduct their reimbursement of interests outside its bailout programme framework – so that it could end in December 2014. Due to the inability of the Greek government to comply with the agreed payment terms, both IMF and the Eurogroup opted to freeze their programmes since August 2014. To avoid a technical expiry, the Eurogroup postponed the expiry date for its frozen programme to 30 June 2015, paving the way for the payment terms first to be renegotiated and then finally complied with to ensure completion of the programme by then. If Greece manage to complete its current Eurogroup bailout programme by 30 June 2015, it is envisaged IMF will transfer the remaining part of its programme to become part of a new joint follow-up third bailout programme covering the period July 2015 to March 2016, in which ESM will commit a so far unspecified new extra amount of funds.
4 It is envisaged, that once Greece completes its I+II bailout programme with the Eurogroup, then a new third follow-up bailout programme will be launched, which will comprise new additional ESM commitments paid by the Eurogroup – along with IMF transferring the “remainder of its 2015-16 programme” to become part of this new follow-up bailout programme. As of May 2015, the size and duration of this follow-up progamme is still unknown, but it is envisaged as minimum to span from July 2015 to March 2016.
5 Hungary recovered faster than expected, and thus did not receive the remaining €4.4bn bailout support scheduled for October 2009-October 2010.[43][61] IMF paid in total 7.6 out of 10.5 billion SDR,[62] equal to €9.1bn out of €12.5bn at current exchange rates.[63]
6 In Ireland the National Treasury Management Agency also paid €17.5bn for the program on behalf of the Irish government, of which €10bn were injected by the National Pensions Reserve Fund and the remaining €7.5bn paid by “domestic cash resources”,[64] which helped increase the program total to €85bn.[42] As this extra amount by technical terms is an internal bail-in, it has not been added to the bailout total. As of 31 March 2014 all committed funds had been transferred, with EFSF even paing €0.7bn more, so that the total amount of funds had been marginally increased from €67.5bn to €68.2bn.[65]
7 Latvia recovered faster than expected, and thus did not receive the remaining €3.0bn bailout support originally scheduled for 2011.[66][67]
8 Portugal completed its support programme as scheduled in June 2014, one month later than initially planned due to awaiting a verdict by its constitutional court, but without asking for establishment of any subsequent precautionary credit line facility.[68] By the end of the programme all committed amounts had been transferred, except for the last tranche of €2.6bn (1.7bn from EFSM and 0.9bn from IMF),[69] which the Portuguese government declined to receive.[70][71] The reason why the IMF transfers still mounted to slightly more than the initially committed €26bn, was due to its payment with SDR’s instead of euro – and some favorable developments in the EUR-SDR exchange rate compared to the beginning of the programme.[72] In November 2014, Portugal received its last delayed €0.4bn tranche from EFSM (post programme),[73] hereby bringing its total drawn bailout amount up at €76.8bn out of €79.0bn.
9 Romania recovered faster than expected, and thus did not receive the remaining €1.0bn bailout support originally scheduled for 2011.[74][75]
10 Romania had a precautionary credit line with €5.0bn available to draw money from if needed, during the period March 2011-June 2013; but entirely avoided to draw on it.[76][77][43][78] During the period, the World Bank however supported with a transfer of €0.4bn as a DPL3 development loan programme and €0.75bn as results based financing for social assistance and health.[79]
11 Romania had a second €4bn precautionary credit line established jointly by IMF and EU, of which IMF accounts for SDR 1.75134bn = €2bn, which is available to draw money from if needed during the period from October 2013 to 30 September 2015. In addition the World Bank also made €1bn available under a Development Policy Loan with a deferred drawdown option valid from January 2013 through December 2015.[80] The World Bank will throughout the period also continue providing earlier committed development programme support of €0.891bn,[81][82] but this extra transfer is not accounted for as “bailout support” in the third programme due to being “earlier committed amounts”. In April 2014, the World Bank increased their support by adding the transfer of a first €0.75bn Fiscal Effectiveness and Growth Development Policy Loan,[83] with the final second FEG-DPL tranch on €0.75bn (worth about $1bn) to be contracted in the first part of 2015.[84] No money had been drawn from the precautionary credit line, as of May 2014.
12 Spain’s €100bn support package has been earmarked only for recapitalisation of the financial sector.[85] Initially an EFSF emergency account with €30bn was available, but nothing was drawn, and it was cancelled again in November 2012 after being superseded by the regular ESM recapitalisation programme.[86] The first ESM recapitalisation tranch of €39.47bn was approved 28 November,[87][88] and transferred to the bank recapitalisation fund of the Spanish government (FROB) on 11 December 2012.[86] A second tranch for “category 2” banks on €1.86n was approved by the Commission on 20 December,[89] and finally transferred by ESM on 5 February 2013.[90] “Category 3” banks were also subject for a possible third tranch in June 2013, in case they failed before then to acquire sufficient additional capital funding from private markets.[91] During January 2013, all “category 3” banks however managed to fully recapitalise through private markets and thus will not be in need for any State aid. The remaining €58.7bn of the initial support package is thus not expected to be activated, but will stay available as a fund with precautionary capital reserves to possibly draw upon if unexpected things happen – until 31 December 2013.[85][92] In total €41.3bn out of the available €100bn was transferred.[93] Upon the scheduled exit of the programme, no follow-up assistance was requested.[94]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility

Greece’s Debt Due: What Greece Owes When

Greece is negotiating with its eurozone creditors to get more aid before the indebted government runs out of cash. Here’s what Greece owes, when.

Last updated July 6, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. ET

|

Published Feb. 19, 2015 at 2:09 p.m. ET

Debt Due by Holder in billions

€0€20€40€60€80€100€120€140€160€180€200€220€240€260€280€300

€15
€21
€27
€34
€53
Total: €131

Individual Repayments

*The IMF’s basic rate is 1.05%, but there are surcharges of between two and three percentage points for large and longstanding loans of the type Greece has received.

†These loans, called an Extended Fund Facility, charge a basic rate of 1.05%, but there are surcharges of between two and three percentage points for large and longstanding loans of the type Greece has received.

‡Greece pays 0.5% plus a short-term rate that is now near zero.

Notes: Debt doesn’t include debt held by ‘holdout’ creditors from the 2012 default. EFSF loans that amortize are spread over their years of maturity; EFSF loans that are designed to roll over are assumed to do so.

Sources: Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency; International Monetary Fund; the Irish Statute Book; European Commission

http://graphics.wsj.com/greece-debt-timeline/

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The Pronk Pops Show 495, June 29, 2015, Story 1: Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos

Posted on June 29, 2015. Filed under: Addiction, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Communications, Corruption, European History, Federal Government, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Investments, Language, Law, Media, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos

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euro zone EU-Unemployment-Comparison  Greekbanks  greek_debt_infographicpull out

Greece misses 1.5 billion euro IMF payment 01:12

Greece officially defaults 02:28

Greece defaults on $1.7 billion payment

Laura Branigan – Self Control

last chance

Donna Summer Last Dance

The History of Odious Debt

Not Much Difference Between U.S. and Greece

How Will Greece’s Default to the IMF Impact Europe?

Analysis: Who is to blame for Greece’s debt crisis?

Nightly Business Report — June 29, 2015

Greece’s Economic Disaster May Spread To Other Countries – Episode 704

SR381 – Why Greece Will Default

Keiser Report: IMF failed Greece long before bailout (E776)

Why Does Greece Have So Much Debt?

Greece Makes The First Move, Debt Is Illegal And Odious – Episode 694

Should Greece Answer The Debt Crisis By Pulling A Trump?

Greece and the Euro Breakup; Why the US Dollar Is Facing an Even Bigger Crisis

Ep. 89: Greece is a sideshow. U.S. is the Main Event.

Greek Economic Crisis: Three Things to Know

Parsons: Greece default will be ‘big time’ problem for U.S. banks

Greece on the Brink – Documentary [HD]

DONNA SUMMER – I feel love (1977) HD and HQ

Laura Branigan – Gloria [1982]

Forever Young Laura Branigan

Greece’s bailout expires, country defaults on IMF payment

By ELENA BECATOROS and DEREK GATOPOULOS

y to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.

After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late Tuesday that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

“It would be crazy to extend the program,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbleom, who heads the eurozone finance ministers’ body known as the eurogroup. “So that cannot happen and will not happen.”

(AP) An elderly man passes a graffiti outside an old bank in Athens, Tuesday, June 30,…
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“The program expires tonight,” Dijsselbleom said.The brinkmanship that has characterized Greece’s bailout negotiations with its European creditors and the IMF rose several notches over the weekend, when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he would put a deal proposal by creditors to a referendum on Sunday and urged a “No” vote.

The move increased fears the country could soon fall out of the euro currency bloc and Greeks rushed to pull money out of ATMs, leading the government to shutter its banks and impose restrictions on banking transactions on Monday for at least a week.

But in a surprise move Tuesday night, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis hinted that the government might be open to calling off the popular vote, saying it was a political decision.

The government decided on the referendum, he said on state television, “and it can make a decision on something else.”

(AP) A demonstrator waves a Greek flag during a rally organized by supporters of the YES…
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It was unclear, however, how that would be possible legally as Parliament has already voted for it to go ahead.Greece’s international bailout expires at midnight central European time, after which the country loses access to billions of euros in funds. At the same time, Greece has said it will not be able to make a payment of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF.

With its economy teetering on the brink, Greece suffered its second sovereign downgrade in as many days when the Fitch ratings agency lowered it further into junk status, to just one notch above the level where it considers default inevitable.

The agency said the breakdown of negotiations “has significantly increased the risk that Greece will not be able to honor its debt obligations in the coming months, including bonds held by the private sector.”

Fitch said it now considered a default on privately-held debt “probable.”

(AP) People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the…
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Hopes for an 11th-hour deal were raised when the Greek side announced it had submitted a new proposal Tuesday afternoon, and the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers held a teleconference to discuss it.But those hopes were quickly dashed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she ruled out further negotiations with Greece before Sunday’s popular vote on whether to accept creditors’ demands for budget reforms.

“Before the planned referendum is carried out, we will not negotiate over anything new,” the dpa news agency quoted Merkel as saying.

Greece’s latest offer involves a proposal to tap Europe’s bailout fund — the so-called European Stability Mechanism, a pot of money set up after Greece’s rescue programs to help countries in need.

(AP) The word “NO”, referring to the upcoming referendum, is written in red paint outside…
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Tsipras’ office said the proposal was “for the full coverage of (Greece’s) financing needs with the simultaneous restructuring of the debt.”Dijsselbloem said the finance ministers would “study that request as we should” and that they would hold another conference call Wednesday, as they had also received a second letter from Athens that they had not had time to read.

Dragasakis said the new letter “narrows the differences further.”

“We are making an additional effort. There are six points where this effort can be made. I don’t want to get into specifics. But it includes pensions and labor issues,” he said.

European officials and Greek opposition parties have been adamant that a “No” vote on Sunday will mean Greece will leave the euro and possibly even the EU.

(AP) Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote…
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The government says this is scaremongering, and that a rejection of creditor demands will mean the country is in a better negotiating position.In Athens, more than 10,000 “Yes” vote supporters gathered outside parliament despite a thunderstorm, chanting “Europe! Europe!”

Most huddled under umbrellas, including Athens resident Sofia Matthaiou.

“I don’t know if we’ll get a deal. But we have to press them to see reason,” she said, referring to the government. “The creditors need to water down their positions, too.”

The protest came a day after thousands of government supporters advocating a “No” vote held a similar demonstration.

(AP) Demonstrators gather under the rain during a rally organized by supporters of the…
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On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a new offer to Greece. Under that proposal, Tsipras would need to accept the creditors’ proposal that was on the table last weekend. He would also have to change his position on Sunday’s referendum.Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the offer would also involve unspecified discussions on Athens’s massive debt load of over 300 billion euros, or around 180 percent of GDP. The Greek side has long called for debt relief, saying its mountainous debt is unsustainable.

A Greek government official said Tsipras had spoken earlier in the day with Juncker, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

Meanwhile, missing the IMF payment will cut Greece off from new loans from the organization.

And with its bailout program expiring, Greece will lose access to more than 16 billion euros ($18 billion) in financial support it has not yet tapped, officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because talks about the program were still ongoing.

On the streets of Athens, long lines formed again at ATM machines as Greeks struggled with the new restrictions on banking transactions. Under credit controls imposed Monday, Greeks are now limited to ATM withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) a day and cannot send money abroad or make international payments without special permission.

The elderly have been hit particularly hard, with tens of thousands of pensions unpaid as of Tuesday afternoon. Many also found themselves completely cut off from any cash as they do not have bank cards.

The finance ministry said it would open about 1,000 bank branches across the country for three days beginning Wednesday to allow pensioners without bank cards to make withdrawals. But the limit would be set at 120 euros for the whole week.

 http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150630/eu–greece-bailout-26fc170deb.html

What happens if Greece defaults on its International Monetary Fund loans?

Cash-starved Athens has resorted to extraordinary measures to avoid defaulting to the IMF. But what would be the fall-out of a disorderly default?

No county has ever defaulted to the Fund in its 70-year history

The Greek government faces the prospect of becoming the first developed nation to ever default on its international obligations.

After a harrowing five months, and in a drama of soft deadlines, the cash-strapped government now faces a €1.55bn payment to the International Monetary Fund due at 11pm tonight.

With negotiations have broken off in dramatic fashion last week, a cacophony of voices on Syriza’s Left have vowed to prioritise domestic obligations unless creditors finally unlock the remainder of its €240bn bail-out programme. Greece only avoided going bust earlier this month after the government has asked for a Zambia-style debt bundling which will now be due on June 30.

The rhetoric is a far cry from February, when Greece’s finance minister pledged his government would “squeeze blood out of a stone” to meet its obligations to the Fund.

Greece owes €9.7bn to the IMF this year. Missing any instalment to the IMF would see the country fall into an arrears process, unprecedented for a developed world debtor.

Although no nation has ever officially defaulted on its obligations in the post-Bretton Woods era, Greece would join an ignominious list of war-torn nations and international pariahs who have failed to pay back the Fund on time.

What happens after a default?

In choosing to bundle up four separate June repayments, Greece avoided triggering an immediate default.

But in the event of a delayed repayment, according to IMF protocol, Greece could be afforded a 30-day grace period, during which it would be urged to pay back the money as soon as possible, and before Ms Lagarde notifies her executive board of the late payment.

However, with talks have broken down in acrimonious fashion between the country and its creditors, Ms Lagarde has said she will renege on this and notify her board “immediately”.

Having spooked creditors and the markets of the possibility of a fatal breach of the sanctity of monetary union, Greece may well stump up the cash if an agreement to release the country more emergency aid is reached (that’s looking increasingly unlikely however).

But should no money be forthcoming however, the arrears process may well extend indefinitely.

Greece’s other creditor burden would also start piling up, with the government due to pay another €6.6bn to the European Central Bank in July and August.

Stopping the cash

Although the exact process is uncertain, falling into a protracted arrears procedure could have major consequences for continued financial assistance from Greece’s other creditors – the European Central Bank and European Commission.

“If Greece defaults to the IMF, then they are considered to be in default to the rest of the eurozone,” says Raoul Ruparel, head of economic research at Open Europe.

The terms of Greece’s existing bail-out programme stipulate that a default to the IMF would automatically constitute a default on the country’s European rescue loans.

“Such a scenario would risk the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) cancelling all or part of its facility or even declaring the principal amount of the loan to be due immediately,” say analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Should the EFSF take such a decisive move, it could activate a range of cross default clauses on Greek government bonds held by private investors and the ECB. These clauses state a default to one creditor institution applies to all.

The political and market damage that may ensue would be substantial. Popular sentiment in creditor nations would turn against the errant Greeks, while the position of the ECB in particular could quickly come under the spotlight.

The central bank has kept Greek banks on a tight leash, maintaining that it would only restore normal lending operations to the country once “conditions for a successful completion of the programme are in place”.

A wave of defaults may force the ECB into finally pulling the plug on the emergency assistance it has been providing in ever larger doses since February.

What would happen if Greece left the euro? In 60 seconds

Scrambling for funds

Whatever the outcome, Greece on many measures, is all but bankrupt.

In addition to the half a billion euros plus it owes the Fund this month, the Leftist government will still be paying back the IMF until 2030. In total, its repayment schedule stretches out over the next 42 years to 2057.

Greece makes new aid proposal, seeks debt restructuring

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has submitted to creditors a new two-year aid proposal calling for parallel debt restructuring, the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, in what seemed like a last-ditch effort by Athens to resolve an impasse with lenders.

The statement came hours before Athens was set to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund. It was unclear how creditors would respond.

“The Greek government proposed today a two-year deal with the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) to fully cover its financial needs and with parallel debt restructuring,” the government said in a statement.

“Greece remains at the negotiating table,” the statement said, adding that Athens would always seek a “viable solution to stay in the euro.”

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-makes-aid-proposal-seeks-debt-restructuring-134508038–business.html

If Greece defaults on its debt, it will be the biggest default by a country in history.
Greece is expected to miss a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) debt payment on Tuesday. That won’t be enough to put it in the record books yet, but it could eventually make Greece default on its entire debt load: €323 billion ($360 billion).

This isn’t the first time Greece has been on the brink. Greece already holds the record for the biggest default ever by a country from 2012 when it went into technical default and had to restructure about $138 billion of its debt. Back then, Greece was quickly bailed out by its European peers. That’s unlikely to happen now.
The Greek government pulled its negotiators from talks with European officials Friday after little progress was made on a debt payment plan and economic reforms. Greece has called for a referendum vote on July 5 on the latest proposal from Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece already holds the record: Greece’s 2012 technical default shattered the previous record set by Argentina in 2001, when the South American nation defaulted on $95 billion in debt. While there are parallels between the two countries, experts say this potential Greek default could be much worse.
“Things are incredibly dire,” says Anna Gelpern, a Georgetown University professor. “For political reasons and market-confidence reasons, they need to deal with the debt…It’s not clear to me how they deal with it without defaulting on anyone.”

Greece won’t officially be in default right away. The International Monetary Fund generally gives countries a month after missing a debt payment before it declares a country in defaulted. However, the markets will most likely judge Greece to be in default by July 1.
Greece’s debt is spread out across the board. Greece owes money to the International Monetary Fund, Germany, France, Greek banks and several others.
But consider this: Whatever happens to Greece, it’s likely to be a long process. Argentina is still in default. But a key difference is that Greece has four times the debt load of Argentina — the next worst default — but Greece’s economy is only half the size of Argentina’s.
While Greece would be the biggest sovereign default, Lehman Brothers had over $600 billion in assets when it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. A Greek default would be smaller and unlikely to rattle the global financial system like Lehman, but it would have a long-lasting impact on the Greek people.
Here are some of the worst sovereign defaults since 2000.

1. Greece — $138 billion, March 2012. Despite going into a technical default, the Greek government is propped up by bailout funds from its European peers. Those bailout funds eventually lead to the current dilemma.
2. Argentina — $95 billion, November 2001. Argentina’s currency was “pegged” or equal to one U.S. dollar for years — a currency exchange that eventually proved to be completely inaccurate. Like Greece is doing this week, Argentina also clamped down on Argentines trying to take money out of the banks. It didn’t help. The country’s economy was nearly three times smaller just one year later, according to IMF data. In July 2014, Argentina went into a technical default after it missed a debt payment to its hold out creditors.
3. Jamaica — $7.9 billion, February 2010. Massive government overspending for years and rapid inflation pushed Jamaica into default five years ago. At the time, over 40% of the government’s budget went to paying debts. Its economy, which depends on tourism, suffered when the U.S. recession began in late 2008.
4. Ecuador — $3.2 billion, December 2008. Ecuador pulled a fast one on its creditors. With a debt payment looming, the Ecuardor’s government, led by President Rafael Correa, just said no to its creditors. He claimed the debt, some which was owned by American hedge funds, was “immoral.” Rich in resources, Ecuardor could have made debt payments, but intentionally chose not to.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/29/investing/greece-default-bigger-than-argentina/

Despite Lagarde’s initial reluctance, IMF on the hook for Greece

By Anna Yukhananov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As French Finance Minister in 2010, Christine Lagarde opposed the involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Greece.

Now as the country stands on the edge of defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) payment to the Fund, Lagarde’s tenure at the head of the IMF since 2011 will be shaped by Greece, which holds a referendum on Sunday that could pave the way to its exit from the euro.

By its own admission the Washington-based institution broke many of its rules in lending to Greece. It ended up endorsing austerity measures proposed by the European Commission and European Central Bank, its partners in the troika of Greece’s lenders, instead of leading talks as it had done with other countries such as Russia and in the Asian financial crisis.

“I think the IMF has missed the opportunity (on Greece), because it has not fully leveraged the lessons it learned from the previous crises it was involved in, due to this asymmetric relationship within the troika,” said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF board member.

That the IMF lent to Greece at the behest of Europe, which has nominated every IMF Managing Director since the inception of the Fund in 1946, may expose the institution to greater scrutiny, especially as it has $24 billion in loans outstanding to Greece in its largest-ever program.

“When it was clear that the Greek program was underperforming, they did not push back sufficiently against the euro zone, which had at the time a misguided policy emphasis on only austerity,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a fellow at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

The involvement of the Fund in Greece and its continued support for decisions driven by eurozone governments caused a deep split in the institution.

Some IMF economists had misgivings about lending to Greece in 2010 within the constraints of the so-called “troika” of lenders, where the Fund would be the junior partner to the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

IMF board members also protested the “exceptional” size of the program, as Athens did not meet the Fund’s criteria for debt sustainability, meaning it would have trouble repaying.

Yet swayed by the fear that contagion in Athens could spread to French and German banks, the IMF agreed to participate in a joint 110-billion-euro bailout of Greece with the Europeans.

“The Europeans have a third of the voting rights (at the IMF), and they have appointed the managing director since the beginning, so essentially it is the governance that has driven the Greek program,” said Lombardi who is now with the Canada-based Center for International Governance Innovation.

Later, the Fund admitted that its projections for the Greek economy had been overly optimistic. Instead of growing after a year of austerity, Greece’s economy plunged into one of the worst recessions to ever hit a country in peacetime, with output falling 22 percent from 2008 to 2012.

While the euro zone’s insistence on drawing a direct link between euro membership and Greece’s debt sustainability and the negotiating tactics of the Greek government have exposed both to questions of credibility, the Fund stands charged as well.

“The IMF’s reputation, too, has been shaken from widespread criticism of the Greek program, including its own admission of its failures,” said Lombard Street Research economist Konstantinos Venetis.

TEMPTATION TO GO BIG

If Greece does default on all $24 billion it owes to the Fund, that will dwarf previous delinquencies from countries like Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

While the IMF was worried about contagion when it made the loans, it also had institutional incentives for wanting to bail out troubled countries, said Andrea Montanino, a former IMF board member who left the Fund in 2014 after participating in reviews of Greece’s second bailout in 2012.

“The IMF is in a preferred creditor status; the more you lend, the more you earn,” said Montanino, now with the Atlantic Council.

The IMF’s heavy involvement in large bailouts for euro zone countries, which included Ireland and Portugal, have enabled it to build up its reserve buffers in recent years. It is now aiming to store away some $28 billion by 2018.

From interest and charges on the Greek program alone, the IMF has earned some $3.9 billion since 2010, according to figures on the IMF’s website.

“I think the Greek lesson is in the future, the IMF will be much more careful,” said Montanino.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/despite-lagardes-initial-reluctance-imf-hook-greece-223005193–business.html

Greece lifelines run out as IMF payment looms

Greece is widely expected to miss a crucial payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday—hours before its bailout officially ends at midnight and the country is left with few, if any, financial lifelines.

Greek officials have already warned the country is unable to pay the 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) due to the IMF by 6 p.m. ET, after reforms-for-aid talks with creditors broke down at the weekend.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup, subsequently tweeted on Tuesday that there would be a teleconference to discuss an “official request” from the Greek government “received this afternoon” at 1 p.m. ET.
The Greek government on Tuesday proposed a new, two-year bailout deal with the European Stability Mechanism. This would be to “fully cover its financing needs and the simultaneous restructuring of debt,” according to a translated press release from the office of the Greek Prime Minister.

A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters
A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

This comes at a time when Greece’s financial future is in jeopardy. The country will potentially have no access to external sources of cash, once its funding from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) expires at midnight.

Read MoreEFSF: CNBC Explains

Meanwhile, Greece’s banking system is being kept afloat by emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank, which is up for review on Wednesday.

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, Tsipras has called a referendum on July 5 of the Greek people on whether to accept the bailout proposals—and accompanying austerity measures—proposed by creditors.

Tsipras has urged the public to vote “no” to more austerity.

“The Greek government will claim a sustainable agreement within the euro. This is the message of NO to a bad deal at the referendum on Sunday,” the translated statement from the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.

‘Running out of notches’

Meanwhile, credit ratings agencies are increasingly nervous about the country’s solvency.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Greek banks on Monday to “Restricted Default,” after Athens imposed capital controls to prevent an exodus of deposits from Greece.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered Greece’s credit rating to CCC- from CCC, saying the probability of the country exiting the euro zone was now 50 percent.

Moritz Kraemer, chief rating officer of sovereign ratings at S&P, told CNBC on Tuesday that the group was “actually running out of notches” for Greece.

“We have the rating at CCC- and that’s pretty much the lowest rung that we have on our scale,” he told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box.”

Default?

If Greece misses its payment on Tuesday, then the IMF will consider it in “arrears” – a technical term used by the IMF, which is similar to default.

If a country is in arrears to the IMF, it means it won’t get any future aid until the bill is repaid.

Read MoreIMF’s Lagarde on Greece: Next few days are crucial

Although the IMF payment is dominating headlines, S&P’s Kraemer said that Greece’s bailout program ending at midnight was just as significant.

“Basically after that we’re back to square one,” he said. “So even if there was to be a change of heart in Athens and they did decide to take the creditors’ offer, that’s legally no longer possible as the program would have elapsed.”

Greece’s debt crisis: It all started in 2001…

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters

Odious debt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.[1]

History

The doctrine of odious debt was formalized in a 1927 treatise by Alexander Nahum Sack, a Russian émigré legal theorist. It was based on two 19th century precedents—Mexico‘s repudiation of debts incurred by Emperor Maximilian, and the denial by the United States of Cuban liability for debts incurred by the Spanish colonial regime.[2]

Sack wrote:

When a despotic regime contracts a debt, not for the needs or in the interests of the state, but rather to strengthen itself, to suppress a popular insurrection, etc, this debt is odious for the people of the entire state. This debt does not bind the nation; it is a debt of the regime, a personal debt contracted by the ruler, and consequently it falls with the demise of the regime. The reason why these odious debts cannot attach to the territory of the state is that they do not fulfil one of the conditions determining the lawfulness of State debts, namely that State debts must be incurred, and the proceeds used, for the needs and in the interests of the State. Odious debts, contracted and utilised for purposes which, to the lenders’ knowledge, are contrary to the needs and the interests of the nation, are not binding on the nation – when it succeeds in overthrowing the government that contracted them – unless the debt is within the limits of real advantages that these debts might have afforded. The lenders have committed a hostile act against the people, they cannot expect a nation which has freed itself of a despotic regime to assume these odious debts, which are the personal debts of the ruler.[3]

There are many examples of similar debt repudiation.[4]

Reception

Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, a Canadian environmental and public policy advocacy organisation and author of Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption, and the Third World’s Environmental Legacy, stated: “by giving creditors an incentive to lend only for purposes that are transparent and of public benefit, future tyrants will lose their ability to finance their armies, and thus the war on terror and the cause of world peace will be better served.”[5] In a Cato Institute policy analysis, Adams suggested that debts incurred by Iraq during Saddam Hussein‘s reign were odious because the money was spent on weapons, instruments of repression, and palaces.[6]

A 2002 article by economists Seema Jayachandran and Michael Kremer renewed interest in this topic.[7] They propose that the idea can be used to create a new type of economic sanction to block further borrowing by dictators.[8] Jayachandran proposed new recommendations in November 2010 at the 10th anniversary of the Jubilee movement at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.[9]

Application

In December 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa attempted to default on Ecuador’s national debt, calling it illegitimate odious debt, because it was contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes.[10] He succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters before continuing paying the debt.[11]

After the overthrow of Haiti‘s Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, there were calls to cancel Haiti’s debt owed to multilateral institutions, calling it unjust odious debt, and Haiti could better use the funds for education, health care, and basic infrastructure.[12] As of February 2008, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution had 66 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.[13] Several organizations in the United States issued action alerts around the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution, and a Congressional letter to the U.S. Treasury,[14] including Jubilee USA, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and Pax Christi USA.

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odious_debt

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The Pronk Pops Show 416, February 12, 2015, Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Posted on February 12, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bombs, Business, Economics, Education, Empires, Energy, European History, Government, Government Spending, History, Law, MIssiles, Natural Gas, News, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Regulation, Rifles, Security, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

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Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Civil-War-In-Ukrainemap ukraineRussian_language_map_Ukraineukraine-map

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

A previous cease-fire last year between Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels barely took hold, eventually collapsing altogether. What are the chances the new agreement will last? Gwen Ifill talks to Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

Can Russia-Ukraine Cease-Fire Hold Without U.S. Help?

Ukraine Russia ceasefire agreed

Minsk Deal Reaction: Participants emerge after night-long peace talks

Minsk deal provides hope for peace in eastern Ukraine but leaders warn ‘major obstacles’ remain

How This Cease-Fire Between Russia And Ukraine Is Different

New Ukraine Peace Deal Met With Distrust

Skepticism in Ukraine, after a peace deal is hammered out between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Under the agreement Ukraine will trade broad autonomy for the east to get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015. (Feb. 12)

Putin briefs press after marathon Minsk talks on Ukraine peace deal

Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving a press conference after 14-hour talks with the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine on the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk, Belarus

Russia vs Ukraine – War & Peace 2015

The European Union may impose further sanctions if a ceasefire deal sealed in Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said after an EU summit in Brussels tonight.

Fresh from brokering a deal in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel told a news conference that EU leaders had asked the European Commission to prepare further sanctions in case the ceasefire did not hold.

“We hold open the possibility, if these new agreements are not implemented, that we must take further measures,” she said, adding that existing sanctions could only be lifted when the grounds that led to them are removed.The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia had committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a joint declaration distributed by the Kremlin.

“The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,” Mr Poroshenko told journalists.

Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande had joined Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on yesterday evening and continued into this morning. As the fighting escalated, the US began openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from “Russian aggression”, raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.

US President Barack Obama said he has yet to make up his mind on the question of sending weapons.

He spoke by phone to Mr Putin on Tuesday, and the White House said he warned the Russian leader that the costs would rise if Russia kept aiding the separatists.

The White House released a statement today welcoming the ceasefire, saying that the move represents a “potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

As the French and German leaders’ peace initiative was announced, pro-Russian rebels appeared determined to drive home their advantage ahead of a deal.

Armoured columns of Russian-speaking soldiers with no insignia have been advancing for days around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

On the Russian side of the border, Russia has begun military exercises in 12 regions involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported this morning, citing a Defence Ministry official.

World War 3 : The Beast to arm Ukraine as the Russian Bear mobilizes 100,000 troops (Feb 02, 2015)

US ‘should send Ukraine arms’

Ukraine Conflict Reignites U.S. Considers Sending Arms | NBC Nightly News

The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression

Obama on Ukraine: A diplomatic path for now

Last Hope for Minsk Peace Talks: Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France leaders to meet in Belarus

Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine Gas prices rise in London Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point

Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.

This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

Gas Battle: Ukraine Vs Russia – An Animated History

WW3 RUSSIA Set To CUT OFF All GAS SUPPLIES to UKRAINE

 

‘Ukraine gas poker with Russia not over’

Published on Oct 31, 2014

Moscow and Kiev have sealed a gas agreement after several hours of tense talks in Brussels. Previous rounds in recent weeks had failed. The deal on supplies and transit to Europe has allayed EU fears of staying in the cold this winter. Geopolitical analyst William Enghdal says the deal won’t solve anything in the longterm.

 

 

Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday

The peace deal reached Thursday for Ukraine, if it holds, would be a partial win for both Moscow and Kiev: Ukraine retains the separatist eastern regions and regains control of its border with Russia, while Russia holds strong leverage to keep Ukraine from ever becoming part of NATO.

But neither side came away from the marathon talks unscathed.

There’s no sign Russia will soon escape the Western sanctions that have driven its economy down sharply, and Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.

But the complicated calculus of whether any side came out truly ahead can’t be determined unless a single, straightforward term is fulfilled: halting the shooting and artillery salvos that have killed more than 5,300 people since April. That is supposed to happen on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.

A cease-fire called in September never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month. Questions remain about whether either side possesses the will or discipline to ensure a truce this time.

The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.

But that “will probably go nowhere if there isn’t a huge political will to beef up the OSCE, pull in many more monitors, give them clear support,” said analyst Judy Dempsey, an associate of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.

The OSCE mission head, Ertugrul Apakan, said Thursday that he expected it would expand by the end of the month to about 500 observers, up from about 310 currently, the Interfax news agency reported.

Under the terms of the deal reached after 16 hours of talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140 kilometers) wide, depending on the weapon caliber.

Then come the knotty and volatile political questions.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters the deal envisages special status for Ukraine’s separatist regions, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, maintained there was no consensus on any sort of autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine.

In addition, the agreement foresees the regions being able to form their own police forces and to trade freely with Russia, both of which would bring a degree of division and uncertainty within Ukraine that could be leverage to keep the country out of NATO.

Those measures would require constitutional reform, certain to be a highly fraught process.

“Anything that has to go through the Ukrainian parliament has a huge question mark attached to it,” said Eugene Rumer of the Carnegie center. “It is going to be the subject of a huge and very fierce debate in Kiev.”

Only after such reform is passed would Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia be restored, according to the pact.

Aside from the political resolution of the east’s status, Ukraine also faces severe challenges with its troubled economy, which is close to bankruptcy. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ukraine a new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros). The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it was ready to commit up to $2 billion to help Ukraine with reforms, to fight corruption and for other purposes.

Despite the uncertainties, the agreement’s initiators saw it as a step forward.

“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk together with French President Francois Hollande.

“But the concrete steps, of course, have to be taken. And we will still face major obstacles. But, on balance, I can say what we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing.”

As for Putin, he told reporters: “It was not the best night of my life.”

“But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” the Russian leader said.

Battles continued Thursday even as the talks went on, and Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.

In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, residents who have seen their city pounded daily by artillery since late May were skeptical of the deal.

“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” said resident Tatyana Griedzheva. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”

A previous cease-fire in September was violated repeatedly as Ukrainian forces and the rebels both tried to gain more ground.

Poroshenko stressed that the pact contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russian fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies that.

Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

“I have no illusions. We have no illusions. A great, great deal of work is still necessary. But there is a real chance to make things better,” she said.

In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.

The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.

“The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The urgency felt by all sides was underlined by the extraordinary length of the talks, which began Wednesday evening and continued uninterrupted through the night as crowds of reporters waited anxiously in a marble-floored, chandeliered convention hall in Minsk.

While the four leaders hailed the agreement, Russia and Ukraine still disagreed on how to end the fighting around Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leaders-minsk-crucial-ukraine-peace-talks-28908311

 

 

Russia–Ukraine gas disputes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from R