Monday, March 29, 2004

France: Jacques Chirac's party got blown out in mid-term elections already being called a debacle, due to unpopular reforms to cut back on the welfare state that has kept France's economy from growing and a 10% unemployment rate. The elections were for local councils, but it showed a huge discontent with Chirac's party who must now do a cabinet shuffle and slow down/stop their reforms. The irony to all this is that any hope of the French economy coming out of its stagnant state is pretty much dead in the water, the welfare state is dead, but the people refuse to see it. Socialism will do that to you. Germany: Now German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is raising doubts about the Kyoto Policy because unless Russia signs it, it could harm the EU's economic competitiveness. 2005 is the start date for the EU to reduce emissions. Unless the EU comes up with major incentives for Russia to sign, its not happening. If Russia signs, how many countries you think are actually going to follow it? If you read the article, the whole emissions credit is an accounting gimmick. Russia joins, lots of "credit" can be used by other countries to keep their current levels of emissions German officials are desperate to hold on to American Bases. EU: Article on what is wrong with the EuroZone, but I have serious doubts it will ever get corrected in time, at the rate they are going, I suspect in 20 years, China and India being competitive and maybe even surpassing the EuroZone. FoxNews: Good article on Shepard Smith from the NYTIMES. He will never live down the J-Lo moment on his show. Ireland: There is an actual smoking ban going in effect in Ireland. Chances of it actually working? I give it less than 30% chance of success.

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