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Anti Euro Sentiment Growing

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euroRight across the eurozone people are waking up to the damage the euro has done to their economies. In Italy there is a growing backlash against the euro as both Berlusconi and Grillo have an anti euro policy. It now seems Germany is getting in on the act.

 

Anti-euro movements were pushed aside or squashed by political establishments across the Eurozone. There is, for example, Marine Le Pen, of the right-wing FN in France—“Let the euro die a natural death,” is her mantra. Though she finished third in the presidential election, her party has next to zero influence in parliament. Austria has Frank Stronach, who is trying to get an anti-euro party off the ground, without much effect. Germany has the Free Voters, an anti-bailout party that has been successful in Bavaria but not on the national scene.

Then Italy happened. Two anti-austerity parties with no love for the euro, one headed by Silvio Berlusconi the other by Beppe Grillo, captured over half the vote—and locked up the political system. Newcomer Grillo had thrown the status quo into chaos, for better or worse. Suddenly, everyone saw that anger and frustration could accomplish something.

It stoked a fire in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s euro bailout policies—“There is no alternative,” is her mantra—hit increasing resistance, particularly in her own coalition, but wayward voices were gagged.

“Time has come,” Konrad Adam called out as a greeting to the crowd Monday night and reaped enthusiastic applause. Despite the snowy weather, over 1,200 people had shown up at the Stadthalle in Oberursel, a small town near Frankfurt, for the first public meeting of the just-founded association, Alternative for Germany (AfD), that isn’t even a political party yet, and that wants to be on the ballot for the federal elections on September 22.

So Adam, one of the founders and a former editor at the Welt and FAZ, was pressed for time. It’s wrong to say there’s no alternative to the euro bailouts, he said. “Politics is nourished by alternatives.” He introduced his demands:

– Dissolution of the “coercive euro association.” An orderly end of the monetary union. Countries should be able to legally exit if they “could not, or did not want to remain.” The euro would be replaced by parallel national currencies or smaller, more stable monetary unions.

– Observance of the rule of law, specifically the laws laid out in the now totally flouted Maastricht Treaty that specified, for example, that no Eurozone member would guarantee the debts of other members.

– A referendum if “the basic law, the best constitution that Germany ever had,” were modified to allow the transfer of sovereignty to a centralized European state.

The event had been opened by co-founder Bernd Lucke, an economics professor who’d been a member of Merkel’s CDU for 33 years until he abandoned it in 2011 over her bailout policies. So he hammered her. “We have a government that has failed to comply with the law and the rules and the contracts, and that has blatantly broken its word that it had given to the German people,” he said to rousing applause.

But this wasn’t the radical fringe of Germany. The mood was enthusiastic and serious. The people weren’t so young anymore. Supporters, by now 13,000, were a well-educated bunch, with a higher concentration of PhDs than any party. Among the early supporters were prominent economics professors, ex-members of the CDU, and even Hans-Olaf Henkel, the former president of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), an umbrella lobbying organization representing 100,000 businesses. And so the event was orderly, a picture, as the Wirtschafts Woche described it, of the “German bourgeoisie.”

Many supporters hailed from the center-right CDU and FDP, but AfD didn’t want to be categorized in the classic scheme of left and right. “We represent non-ideological values that people of different views can share,” Lucke said.

A claim that was validated: 26% of Germans would consider voting for a party that would steer the country out of the monetary union. They came from all political directions: on the right, 17% of CDU voters and almost a third of FDP voters; on the left, 15% of SPD voters, 27% of Green voters, and 57% of Left voters.

The challenges are huge. One is fragmentation. It would be difficult to get people from that kind spectrum to agree on anything. Another is time. The founding convention will be on April 13 in Berlin. By June 17, the party and sections for each state must register with the federal election office. By July 15, the party must collect signatures in every state amounting to 0.1% of the electorate or 2,000, whichever is lower, just to get on the ballot. But Lucke was optimistic. “With you, we can easily get the signatures,” he told the crowd.

It will be tough. Merkel is immensely popular. The major parties are well-oiled political machines. The AfD lacks truly prominent personalities, experienced politicians, economically powerful supporters, financial resources, structure…. And its platform is still skimpy.

But it doesn’t need to govern. The parliament let itself be intimidated by the executive branch “through the assertion that there is no alternative,” Lucke said. When the AfD arrives in parliament, “it will cause the large parties to begin to rethink.” This would lead to “a critical questioning of the monetary union.” And to a look at the very alternatives that Merkel said didn’t exist.

There have been waves of threats by Eurozone politicians to bully people into accepting “whatever it takes” to keep the shaky monetary union glued together. These threats peaked last year with disorderly default, and when that wasn’t enough, with collapse of the Eurozone. But now, the ultimate threat has been pronounced: war. Read…. The Ultimate Threat In The Euro Bailout and Austerity Racket: War

Source: testosteronepit

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Italian Families’ Spending Monitored By Police

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Italian families’ spending pattern is being monitored by the police to determine who needs to handover more tax. I’m sure other states within the EUSSR will closely monitoring this move to see how effective it can be. Certainly eurozone nations are turning to newer taxes and more drastic methods of raising revenue to hand over to the banks. It completely goes against someones right to privacy but since when does that matter within the EUSSR.

The Italian authorities have been accused of resorting to police state-style tactics with the introduction of a new weapon to hunt down the nation’s many tax dodgers.

The new procedure makes it possible to scrutinise any family’s spending pattern, and compare this with what it says it earns. Tax evasion in Italy has been a chronic problem for generations The authorities say the equivalent of nearly 120bn euros (£100bn, $160bn) worth of revenue is lost every year. And the nation’s army of tax inspectors desperately needs more firepower. But some commentators have been outraged by this month’s launch of what is called the Redditometro – the Income Meter. It has been described as unacceptably intrusive, the sort of thing that East Germany’s secret police might have dreamt up .

How it will work

The Italian tax inspectors have always had a lot of useful information to help verify income tax returns. They have had data relating to major items of expenditure, like home and car ownership, and so on. But the Redditometro will now help the authorities get a better fix on people’s likely spending habits in many other areas of daily life. First, the system has divided the entire population into 11 classic, household types; couples, singles, families with children, etc. Then it has built up very detailed models that show how each category is likely to spend its income.

The average probable outlay across 100 different areas of expenditure has been examined; food, drink, clothing, leisure pursuits, etc. Then these predictions have been further refined by taking into account regional variations. So the tax authorities believe that they will have a very good idea what sum, for example, the average family of four in southern Italy will be required to spend to get by.

Then, if such a family’s tax return suggests its income is substantially lower than that sum the authorities might get suspicious. The family will have fallen outside its expected spending pattern model, and an investigation might be triggered. The family might be asked, “How could you have so little income, and yet be spending the kind of money that we know a family like yours, in your part of Italy, must be spending every day?”

The family may then have to explain more about where its money is coming from, and how exactly it is being spent.

……….

Meanwhile you can use the Redditest, which is an app that you can download to test yourself, to see if your income matches your spending and if you are “at risk”.

Source: BBC

Berlusconi Hints At Italy Returning to Lira

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Berlusconi has mentioned in the past of Italy possibly returning to the Lira and has is at it again as he warns of an Italian exit from the eurozone unless the European Central Bank gets more powers to ensure lower borrowing costs.

Reminding the world of just the kind of truthiness that got him sacked originally by that other Italian, the Ex-Goldmanite Mario Draghi, back in November 2011, and which the world has to look forward to when Silvio Berlusconi returns to power some time in 2013, even if not as PM (a position he currently has a snowball’s chance in hell of regaining based on current political polls), Reuters informs us that the Italian, who certainly has not read the Goldman book on status quo perpetuation, just said the unimaginable: the truth. To wit: “If Germany doesn’t accept that the ECB must be a real central bank, if interest rates don’t come down, we will be forced to leave the euro and return to our own currency in order to be competitive.” Berlusconi said in comments reported by Italian news agencies Ansa and Agi. The 76-year-old media tycoon has made similar remarks in the past about the possibility of Italy, or even Germany, leaving the euro, but has often at least partially rectified them later.” Not this time. Now with Germany and the Buba folding like a broken chair, Silvio is coming back and knows he can demand anything and everything, and Germany has no choice but to accept, Merkel reelection in a few months be damned.

Perhaps the former PM who recently got engaged to this 28 year old girl who obviously loves him for his personality has read our little primer on what happens in a Europe in which external devaluation (i.e., FX) is not a possibility, and where another 30-50% drop in PIIGS salaries would be neccesary to restore competitiveness. That, or a return to the Lira of course. And Berlusconi has seen that in the duel between Greece and Germany so far the former (and specifically its creditors) have gotten all the advantage. It is only a matter of time before he parlays that negotiating approach to Italy as well, and in the process destabilizes whatever artificial balance the ECB may have created.

….

Enjoy the little European respite ladies and gents, because in a few weeks, the Magic Money Tree-free reality is coming back with a vengeance.

Source: ZeroHedge

Mexico To Restrict Cash Transactions

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Another country has joined the list for limiting cash transactions by it citizens. Mexico has signed into law, a ban on large cash transactions carrying a minimum penalty of 5 years in prison.

Large Cash Transactions Banned In Mexico … Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signed into law a ban on large cash transactions. The ban will take effect in about 90 days and it is part of a broader effort to control monetary flows within the country. Under the law, a Specialized Unit in Financial Analysis operating within the Attorney General’s Office will be created to investigate financial operations “that are related to resources of unknown origin.” For real estate transactions, cash payments of more than a half million pesos ($38,750) will be forbidden and, for automobiles or items like jewelry, art, and lottery tickets, cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos ($15,500) will be forbidden. The law carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison. – Forbes

and as the Daily Bell put it

The power elite intends to lock down the world, it seems, in order to track every monetary transaction of any significance.

We wrote about this trend previously in “Spain Bans Cash.” Here’s an excerpt:

… As we have long predicted, the phony “sovereign debt” crisis in Europe is being used to justify all sorts of authoritarian measures.

…..

these national bans continually pressure more and more freedoms, including the freedom of shielding one’s wealth from prying eyes. And that’s just the point …

In the last 2 years the following countries have made similar restrictions.

Source: The Daily Bell

IMF Hints At EuroZone Nations Introducing Capital Controls

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Now you know things are bad when there is talk of “capital controls”. Just ask the Argentinians. The IMF has hinted that it maybe time for eurozone nations bring in capital controls as reported below by ZeroHedge.

In a most intellectually disingenuous statement, European leaders recently announced that Spain is A-OK and would not require a bailout. I suppose it’s true to a degree. Spain doesn’t really need a bailout. More like an exorcism. Or at least last rites.

After all the debt, austerity, government collapse, riots, etc., there’s a new crisis du jour here: the banking system. Individuals, businesses, and institutions are all predicting a breakup of the eurozone, and nobody wants to have cash in this country on the day they introduce a new currency (and then immediately proceed to devalue it.)

Consequently, depositors are moving money out of the country en masse, often to the tiny principality of Andorra next door– a highly capitalized, low tax banking jurisdiction. This leaves the already thinly-capitalized Spanish banks in an even weaker position.

As you probably know, the way the banking system works in most of the world is a complete fraud. Most banks only hold a tiny percentage of their customers’ deposits in cash. The rest is ‘invested’ (gambled) or loaned to a bankrupt government.

This is a high-risk model that only works well when people have tremendous confidence in the system. The moment there are more than a handful of depositors wanting their money back, the bank has a big problem.

This is happening nationwide in Spain, so the entire banking system has a problem. Nearly every bank here is technically insolvent… and yet they have droves of customers trying to withdraw funds that aren’t there.

As such, the IMF is now recommending that Spain (and other nations in the eurozone periphery) take action “at the national level” to stem this flight of funds and prevent people from moving money abroad.

Of course, they won’t come right out and say it, but there’s a name for ‘national level’ action to stem the international flight of funds. It’s called capital controls.

This is when governments restrict the free-flow of funds across borders, often -requiring- that citizens hold a rapidly depreciating currency at sub-inflation rates.

It’s one of the worst forms of theft imaginable– robbing the purchasing power of people’s savings and incomes, all to meet some unachievable objective, or for ‘the greater good’ as defined in the sole discretion of the ruling elite.

Over the summer while in Europe, I saw early signs of capital controls being rolled out.

In Italy, for example, the government imposed bank withdrawal limits… essentially holding people’s savings captive. Then they initiated strict border controls with Switzerland in an attempt to thwart citizens trying to sneak cash out of the country.

It’s going to happen here in Spain as well. And unfortunately, the people who didn’t see the writing on the wall and take action early are going to find the door shut in their faces by the next wave of regulation.

Moving some savings abroad isn’t the sort of thing where you want to run with the crowd. As with anything, the dynamics change quickly when the idea becomes mainstream. Smart, thinking people ought to recognize the signs early and be well ahead of the crowd.

 

Source: ZeroHedge

 

Venice Looks For Independence From Italy

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Its not just Scotland and Catalonia that are seeking independence but also Venice is joining the list as a mass rally over the weekend marched in a call for a referendum. Support for independence has grown to 70% and most cite Italy’s economic woes as a major reason to breakaway. Scilly and Sardinia are also considering such a move. As the economic situation worsens across Europe I’m sure we will see more and more regions wanting to split. The politicians will have their hand full.

Cash Transaction In Italy To Be Banned Over €50 In Next 2-3 Years

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Back in January this year, Italy announced plans to limit cash transactions and also all credit card transaction had to be reported. Now it looks to push the limit even lower by possibly early next year the limit could be  as low as €50. Other countries have announced cash limits but none as draconian is this YET. How long before all cash transactions and we go full digital?

 Below is a google translate from Sudtirol News:

Rome – The technical Rome government wants to limit cash transactions in Italy.From 2013, citizens may pay amounts in excess of 50 euros only by credit or debit card. Dies hat der Ministerrat heute beschlossen. That the Council of Ministers decided today.

The measure is intended to reflect the money laundering and black money payments to clamp down.  Since July, the government has banned cash transactions over 1,000 euros.

Source: Suedtirolnews

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