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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Colonialism in action, 2013

The first one is little bit old, but I think it's very important and actual. I wont comment any of the news, because they are pretty self-explanatory and the perfect examples of colonialism with its lack of respect for the small nations and its adoration of big money.
Apart from that, it was just announced that:
South Stream bilateral deals breach EU law, Commission says - 04 December 2013 - "EXCLUSIVE / The bilateral agreements for the construction of the Gazprom-favoured South Stream gas pipeline – concluded between Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria – are all in breach of EU law and need to be renegotiated from scratch, the European Commission said today (4 December)."
i.e. that the EC tries to kill the South Stream project. I personally find this act as one more proof of the politics of colonialism of the EU. I mean, what is the point of waiting until all the bilateral agreements are signed and THEN to inspect them and to declare them null?! It is ridiculous and kind of offensive to all the teams worked on them. It is also offensive for the countries, who fought to make the best possible agreements with a very tough opponent - Russia, which took all the heat and negative consequences and then to tell them - oh well, try again. The EU could have participated in the agreements, a position which would no doubt lead to better agreements for the EU countries. Instead, they just stood aside and waited. I was under the impression that the gas trough the South Stream would benefit the developed states, but it seems that now that Nabuko is dead, the EC decided it's much better to make Gazprom pay for the construction of the pipe and then just use it in any way it sees fit. Another sad day for the European democracy. I'm not saying the those bilateral deals are (or were) that good, I'm saying that this shouldn't be how the politics is done. The question now is when this decision was first announced and is it related to "Ukraine puts creditors’ nerves to the test" according to which "Wolman predicts, first, that creditors, including the IMF could grow kinder to Ukraine after the expected Nov 28 signing of political and trade deals with the EU." I guess only time will tell.

Crisis allows China to 'divide and rule' Europe: Report

/30 June 2011/ China is "taking over Europe" by stealth bond purchases and strategic investments, exploiting internal divisions arising from the financial crisis, according to a forthcoming influential think-tank report seen by EurActiv.
The policy brief, called 'The Scramble for Europe', will be published by the European Council on Foreign Relations in July and claims that a lack of European cohesion has invited China to deal bilaterally with individual member states to exploit their divisions.
The think-tank claims that more than half of the total investment in Europe from China since early 2008 – $64 billion (€44 billion) – has taken place since October 2010. This figure will inevitably grow as Chinese overall direct investment is set to triple to $1 trillion by 2020. source 

Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians - August 30, 2011  - Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits. 
Where BP had planned to swap stock, Exxon, which is based in Texas, agreed to give Rosneft assets elsewhere in the world, including some that Exxon owns in the deepwater zones of the Gulf of Mexico and on land in Texas. more on this 
 French nuclear giant Areva slammed for ‘tax negotiation’ in Niger - 25 November 2013 - The French uranium mining firm Areva is facing calls to end its practice of securing tax exemptions from the government of Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, as contract negotiations between the two reach a critical stage.
Uranium makes up about 70% of exports from Niger, but only 5.8% of the country’s GDP. Campaigners say that one of the reasons for this is a series of national tax opt-outs that the company has secured in its existing contracts. France owns an 80% stake in Areva, but the company has not disclosed its tax accounts.
Central African Republic ‘on the verge of genocide’- 22 November 2013 - France said yesterday (21 November) that the Central African Republic was "on the verge of genocide" and it expected the United Nations to give Paris and the African Union permission to intervene. Central African Republic has reserves of gold, diamonds and uranium, but decades of instability and the spillover from conflicts in its neighbours have left it crisis-prone and poor.
Report: Illegally produced palm oil is financed by European banks -  21 November 2013 - Biofuels giants Bumitama and Wilmar have knowingly traded illegally-extracted palm oil from plantations that encroach on and threaten orangutan habitats, says a report released today (21 November). European banks are amongst the firms' biggest investors. 
EU agrees new deadline on car emissions limits -  27 November 2013 -
The European Union on Tuesday (26 November) agreed a new compromise that delays stricter rules on carbon dioxide emissions for EU cars, ending months of wrangling after Germany insisted on tearing up an earlier deal.
The new outline agreement delays full implementation of a limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (CO2/km) for all new cars until 2021 from a previous deadline of 2020.
 It also changes the rules on flexibility, giving more leeway to German luxury car manufactures such as Daimler and BMW whose emissions are higher than those of smaller, lighter automakers such as Fiat.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party received money from BMW, took up the cause of the big German carmakers, declaring she was protecting German jobs, and persuaded other EU states to agree to scrap an agreement on 2020 emissions targets that was reached in June. - And more: EU presidency proposes new weakening of car emissions rules - Lithuania, holder of the EU presidency, has made a new proposal to weaken rules on how much carbon new cars can emit from 2020, in line with demands from Germany and its luxury manufacturers, EU diplomats said
Antarctic Sea reserve cut linked to US-Russia tensions - 11 September 2013 -  A proposal by the US and New Zealand to cut a planned Marine Protection Area (MPA) for the Ross Sea by 40% - and remove its permanent status - is being linked to souring US-Russian relations by the Pew Charitable Trust, a leading American think tank. As such, the scaled-down US proposal has irked European diplomats. “
France dragging its feet on EU tax-evasion fight - 29 November 2013 - France has been a vocal supporter of EU attempts to fight tax evasion but is dragging its feet when it comes to transposing a crucial EU fiscal directive.The European Commission transmitted a reasoned opinion to the French government on 20 November demanding the implementation of the directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation, which was supposed to be incorporated in national law by 1 January 2013. A reasoned opinion is the second stage in the pre-litigation procedure between the Commission and a member state, after a letter of formal notice has been sent.
With Latvia, France is the only country that has not yet transposed the directive into its national legislation, an utterly surprising move for a country which constantly demands stronger fiscal rules at EU level.

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