Thursday, December 09, 2004

Trinidad: "Students light candles to mark first UN Anti-corruption Day " Now while you snicker at that headline and story that includes passages like this. Charmaine Gome, representative of UNDP in Trinidad and Tobago, said that as a major boost to international efforts to fight corruption, the UN General Assembly had adopted a landmark anti-corruption treaty, the UN Convention Against Corruption. She said the convention took 130 UN member delegations two years to draft and had 71 articles covering topics that included public procurement, bribery, illicit enrichment, embezzlement, misappropriation, money laundering and more. I will try to keep my disgust that my home land is turning into a United Nations suck up to a bare minimum. Germany: Wash Post on German labor unions losing power due to competition from Eastern European countries. "Undercut by vastly cheaper labor in neighboring Poland and by increasing global competition, the union at Adam Opel AG acceded to a plan by General Motors Corp. to cut 12,000 jobs throughout Europe -- 10,000 of them in Germany and an estimated 4,000 at the Bochum plant alone. The job reductions will be voluntary, and GM, which owns the Opel, Saab and Vauxhall brands, is offering buyouts, early retirement and retraining worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for the most senior workers." This is going to be a huge problem for Germany, because this is not the last big batch of jobs lost, they have to reform their labor and social system in order to even start to compete against cheap labor available to in eastern Europe and China.

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