Cameron and UKIP in Trouble – European Membership is Irrevocable States Executive Commission

5 Jan 2015

EU spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said Monday that if the Greek elections call for a need to look again at the conditions of Athens’ membership within the 19-country eurozone, “we will deal with that once the Greek voters have cast their verdict.”

At the same time, she insisted that a full exit by Greece was not on the cards since the euro rules say that “membership is irrevocable.”

Some say that if the left-wing Syriza party wins the election in Greece, the new government may renege on the terms of the country’s bailout, possibly putting in question its euro membership.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=aef_1420465517

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Get to Know – the Man Who Will Control Your Worldly Financial Affairs

1. Opening Narrative

a. Lord Hill is to be appointed to a key role within the EU, delivering through his office, Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union portfolio in the Juncker Commission. The newly-created Directorate-General will assimilate existing EU expertise and has responsibility for ensuring that the European Commission remains vigilant over banking and financial sectors and is pro-active in implementing new supervisory and regulatory rules accordingly, (exempt overseeing pay in the financial sector) which has been allocated elsewhere. He will be in post until 2019 and will be expected to bring change to the EU reforming marketing policies working hard cementing alliances so that the UK and EU achieve success.

b. His introduction to the Tory government and subsequent elevation to high office within Europe is remarkable since he has never placed himself before the UK electorate for approval but perhaps the ever expanding appointment of ex advisers to cabinet posts reflects a continuing development of political Party’s in the UK. It is a fact that an increasing number of MP’s have never worked outside the Westminster machine taking up well paid, (through the public purse) advisory posts to ministers before being allocated safe seats allowing their progress through the ranks of the Party to high office. Ed Miliband and David Cameron entered politics this way. Of concern is the marked increase in the influence of Lobbying companies in Westminster and Europe and Lord Hill’s extensive links to private enterprise.

2. Recruitment, Award of Life Peerage, Government & European Commissioner Appointments

a. Lord Hill has known Mr Cameron since they were advisers in Sir John Major’s government. He left front line politics after the defeat of the Tory government and co-founded the PR and lobbying firm Quiller Consultants, whose clients include, PricewaterhouseCoopers, HSBC Bank, the United Arab Emirates government, Telefonica O2, the controversial outsourcing company Capita, the right-wing think-tank Migration Watch and Tesco.

b. Hill owned 50% of Quiller before it was sold to Huntsworth Plc for £5.9m in autumn 2006 — in a mixture of cash and shares, the latter of which appear on Hill’s entry in the Register of Lords’ Interests. Hill in consequence maintains an interest in Huntsworth’s massive network of communications businesses — including Grayling a leading Public Relations, Government Relations, Investor Relations and Events Consultancy with specialist services including CSR, environment and sustainability and digital. Operating from 54 offices in 26 countries worldwide across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia the company has revenues in excess of €100 million. A second company based, in London is Citigate a leading international consultancy specialising in financial and corporate communications. It’s mission is to ensure that clients engage to best possible effect with all relevant stakeholders across capital markets, government, business and consumers. Both companies also boast offices, “in the heart of Brussels’ EU quarter”.

c. Quiller Consultants is led by Conservative peer Lord Chadlington and George Bridges, (a friend of George Osborne’s) who helped run the Tory Party’s 2010 general election campaign. Quiller also employs Stephen Parkinson, who used to prepare David Cameron for Prime Minister’s Questions, and Malcolm Morton, a former adviser to Cabinet office minister Mark Harper. The company has already been brought to book over their clients’ regular access to Conservative ministers – having employed one of the Chancellor’s mates in a leadership role at the company.

d. International PR group, Huntsworth recently purchased another PR agency the Mmd Group for £12m. The company is a group of public relations businesses operating in 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It was acquired from Anglo Irish Trust Company Limited for a total of £12m. The existing management team, under Chairman Alistair McLeish, will continue to operate the business following the acquisition. There is an earn out planned over the next three years which could result in a maximum total consideration of £35 million.

e. Lord Chadlington, Chief Executive of Huntsworth said ‘We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Mmd which builds on our core strategy. Central and Eastern Europe is an area of tremendous growth and opportunity in public affairs and public relations and a key strategic hub for our global network. Together with our existing 25 offices in mainland Europe and our very strong presence in the UK, this acquisition into Central and Eastern Europe extends our existing presence into these fast-growing markets to create what we believe is the most comprehensive European network in the PR industry. Huntsworth and Mmd are already working on a number of client assignments together.”

f. Mr Cameron at the start of the Tory government, tempted Mr Hill back into politics, made him a peer and appointed him schools minister. As a peer and whilst employed at the Department of Education, Lord Hill intervened in a controversy over plans for Newquay Tretherras Academy in Cornwall to sell playing fields to the supermarket giant Tesco. The proposals provoked fierce opposition and generated a national outcry but were approved, “in principle” by the Department for Education, where Lord Hill was a minister until he was promoted to the Cabinet. Explaining the decision to back the sale, he told opponents that it would “significantly enhance” the learning experience of children. In a letter on official government headed paper, seen by The Telegraph, Lord Hill said: “Our consideration of this case concluded that the proposed development would significantly enhance the learning experience of the pupils at the Academy, which would outweigh the loss of land.”

g. The lobbying industry’s official register, published by the Association of Professional Political Consultants, states that Tesco was one of Quiller’s clients at the time and remains on the company’s books. Lord Hill had declared his shareholding on the Lords register of interests but not on the register of ministers’ interests. Lord Hill’s spokesman insisted that the Cabinet Office remained content that the peer’s shareholdings complied with the ministerial code, despite his move to a broader brief covering all government business. “He does have shares in Huntsworth,” the spokesman said. “When he became a minister at the Department for Education in 2010 he complied fully with all Cabinet Office advice and he continues in his new job to comply fully.” The spokesman said the ministerial code said it was not necessary to duplicate declarations already made on the Lords register of interests in the separate register of ministers’ interests.

h. At the beginning of 2013 Lord Hill, replaced Lord Strathclyde as the government’s Leader of the House of Lords. His appointment made him the most senior former lobbyist in Government ensuring his direct access to ministers and subsequent input into Government policy across all areas of legislation. lobbying transparency campaigners were dismayed at the appointment and said it was yet another example of the, “revolving door” between the Tory Government and the industry. Tamasin Cave, of Spinwatch said at the time, “We are still waiting for the Government’s plans for a statutory register of lobbyists two years since it was first promised, This promotion just underlines again the very strong links between the industry and this Government. It does not inspire confidence that they ever intended moving away from the old way of doing things.”

3. European Commissioner Nomination and Appointment

a. In July 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron nominated Lord Hill as UK European Commissioner under Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the European Commission, hoping for a “top economic portfolio”. The nomination of Lord Hill rather than a better-known British politician, was regarded as controversial particularly since Hill had apparently expressed initial reluctance to go to Brussels. However two former Conservative Party leaders, Michael Howard and William Hague, both reportedly turned down the opportunity and David Cameron was keen to avoid triggering a potentially difficult by-election by nominating another sitting Tory MP.

b. Juncker had stated after his election that female and high-profile candidates would be among his preferred choices, prompting speculation by some that Cameron’s nomination – of a virtually unknown male in European political circles, despite his competence – to be a protest against Juncker whose election he had opposed. On September 10, 2014 Lord Hill was announced as EU Commissioner-designate for the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio in the forthcoming Juncker Commission. His newly-created Directorate-General will assimilate existing EU expertise and has responsibility for ensuring that the European Commission remains vigilant over the banking and financial sectors and is pro-active in implementing new supervisory and regulatory rules accordingly, save overseeing pay in the financial sector which has been allocated elsewhere.

c. He was one of four appointees who “struggled to impress” at their initial confirmation hearings before the European Parliament, and who were required to appear for a second hearing — leading some hostile MEPs to start speculating that his commission could be revoked in a reshuffle. Hill was required to answer what the UK’s position is regarding European banking union, and to submit a completed questionnaire on behalf of the UK Government, and with Juncker helping to smooth the way, Lord Hill won the endorsement of the sceptical MEPs at his second hearing.

d. The peer’s nomination will be presented by the prime minister to the European Council at a summit of the EU’s 28 national leaders in Brussels. If approved by the European Parliament, Lord Hill will serve a five-year term until 2019. The appointment was seen as an important indication of the prime minister’s strategy in Europe, with Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party urging him to pick someone who would take a tough line in negotiations.

e. In a press conference in Brussels, Mr Juncker said: “We have to take into account that the UK government will propose a list of competencies located in Brussels in order to repatriate them, to bring them back to the British Parliament, and other governments have ideas of the same kind. “This will be a matter for negotiation. I will negotiate with David Cameron and with others and we will make a fair deal with Britain.”

4. Summary

a. Lord Hill kept his head down as leader of the House of Lords so it is just possible you might not have heard of him. But his appointment is important. Lord Hill claimed recently he didn’t want the job, But today he said he was excited to play a part in reforming the EU. Jonathan Hill got the post because he is a highly effective operator and political insider. He ran John Major’s policy unit at Downing Street, he set up and sold a successful PR business, before returning to government under the coalition. He was also chosen because his departure would not prompt a risky by-election which the Conservatives might lose.

b. Director General Simon Walker said: “Lord Hill has a track record of rolling up his sleeves and getting on with the job at hand, and his proven ability to deploy these skills within the machinery of Whitehall will serve him well in Brussels. “He is engaged with the business community and has a pragmatic approach to policy making, both of which are crucial to the UK being able to secure a significant economic portfolio in the Commission. The task at hand is to deliver reforms which will benefit Britain, as well as make the whole of the EU more competitive, flexible and growth-orientated.

c. Jean Claude Juncker said, “It is now up to Lord Hill to set out clearly what his priorities will be in Brussels, to reassure the business community that he understands their concerns and that he is committed to making Europe more entrepreneurial and more business-friendly.”

d. Katja Hall, deputy director general of the CBI, also welcomed Lord Hill’s appointment and said he would be best-placed to, “push for a more open, outward-looking and competitive EU”. She added, “Whatever the portfolio, we have the partners to turn reform into reality, so he must work hard cementing these alliances, making the UK’s case in Brussels while also selling the benefits of the EU in the UK.”

e. The Labour Party called on David Cameron to allow MPs to scrutinise Lord Hill’s appointment after the prime minster suggested he was prepared to consider such a move. In a letter to the prime minister Labour’s shadow Europe minister Gareth Thomas said, “I’m sure you will agree that given the importance of the role, it is vital that such scrutiny takes place and that your nominee is able to demonstrate they are committed to an ambitious EU reform agenda, are capable of working across parties, and are able to demonstrate an ability to prioritise British interests. “It would be disappointing if your nominee were only to face scrutiny from the European Parliament, and not our own, before their nomination is confirmed.”

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/07/lord-hill-commission-eu-nominee-owns-shares/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9796803/Lord-Hill-faces-conflict-of-interest-claim-over-shares.html

http://www.gorkanagroup.eu/news/all/deal-news/huntsworth-buys-two-agencies-mmd-and-quiller-2/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28310707

http://www.citigatedewerogerson.com/

http://www.grayling.be/en-be/aboutus/

Austerity in the EU Sometimes known as, ‘Olli’s Rehn of Terror’.

Austerity in the EU Sometimes known as, ‘Olli’s Rehn of Terror’.

Ollie Rhen was active in Finnish politics as a student achieving election in 1987 to the post of President of the Finnish Centre Youth a precursor to being fast tracked to a major post in government. He was subsequently elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1991. He soon excelled and headed the Finnish delegation to the, “Council of Europe”. In that capacity, from 1992 to 1993, he was appointed to the role of, “special adviser” to the Finnish Prime Minister, Esko Aho.

The Finnish Banking Crisis of 1990s was a deep systemic crisis of the entire Finnish financial sector that took place mainly in the years 1991–1993, after several years of debt-based economic boom in the late 1980s. Its total taxpayer cost was roughly 8% of the Finnish GNP, making it the most severe of the contemporary Nordic banking crises. The crisis has been attributed to a combination of macro-economic turbulence, weak regulation, and bank-specific problems. Governmental intervention included nationalizing banks, direct monetary assistance and temporary blanket guarantees to the banks. Unemployment reached 20%. The value of capital assets halved and real GDP dropped by 15%. The area of education was exempt the harsh cutbacks, indeed investment in the nations children equated to 1% of GDP. Benefits gained from this policy did much to assist Finland’s emergence from the period of austerity and on-going success.

He resigned from the Finnish Parliament in 1995 and became an MEP, aligned to the, “Liberal Party Group”. He was, however, not re-elected in the 1996 European election. Not out of politics for very long he was appointed by the Finnish government to serve with the European Commission, (1998-2000) managing the offices of, Erkki Liikanen, representative on the Prodi Commission. In 2002 he left European politics for the University of Helsinki, where he led the Centre for European Studies. In 2003 he again became an adviser on economic policy to the Finnish, Prime Minister, a position he held until his appointment to the European Commission the following year.

Olli Rehn was nominated to the European Commission, representing Finland and was appointed to the post of, “European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information” in July 2004, taking over the role from the previous Finnish Commissioner, Erkki Liikanen, who left his post the same day to become Governor of the Bank of Finland.

The Finnish government re-nominated Rehn for membership of the incoming, “Barroso Commission”, which took office on November 2004. Rehn was appointed to the post of, “Minister of Enlargement”. At the time a central issue for the EU in the run-up to the landmark accession of ten countries in May 2004, the role diminished in importance since that time. But he still presided over the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, as well as maintaining membership negotiations with Croatia and establishing a contentious membership dialogue with Turkey.

In 2008 his role was extended when he was appointed, ” Vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro”, (for all 27 member states of the EU). In this role, perhaps mindful of the, “Finnish austerity period” he had presided over in the 1990’s he was entirely at peace with himself dispensing tough love and hard facts whilst protected from the pressures of democratic accountability, useful for politicians wishing to maintain distance from their directives. It was a role Rehn proved to be well suited.

His appointment coincided with the financial crash of Europe’s banking system’ brought about by the excesses and greed of financial marketeers who had been operating unregulated, “Casino Banking” committing non-existent finance, funding ever increasing housing mortgage lending, and other credit lending against questionable assets.

Rehn, who, in his new role, “carried a big sword” decided that the, “Finnish model of recovery” focusing on fiscal discipline, dismantling social safety nets and reducing the size of government, was entirely suited to finding a way out of the crisis and despite opposing voices he instructed that a, “programme of fiscal austerity” would be implemented across the EU. ‘The Rehn of Terror’ had begun. Any criticism of the policy was met with the statement that the, “European Commission” was simply being pragmatic, balancing austerity measures with pro-growth policies. Financial support would only be provided to government’s that fully complied with measures issued through the offices of Rehn.

Rehn’s management decided whether cuts made by governments, including, (but not exclusively) Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland met the criteria so that money could be released allowing payment of interest against the many and varied loans incurred across the Union. The thinking driving the policy was evident – public finance must honour any debt obligations before any other commitments, (even to its citizens) were even given thought. The thinking was that there was danger that, any inconsistency applying financial systems might result in another major crash due to, “systemic contagion”. and this needed to be avoided at any cost. It was this, “fear of failure” that drove governments forward implementing savage financial cuts. In time however people began to realise that austerity was directed solely against members of the public and not at those determined to keep their profitable stake in the financial system. The regime of privatization and cutbacks meant that those dependent on the public sector went to the wall in ever increasing numbers, while those with significant market power thrived and gained significantly.

For nearly 4 years, Rehn insisted that the, “light at the end of the economic tunnel was in sight”. Success awaited those countries who focused on the future. Yet the gap between the have’s and the have not’s continued to expand. Societies became ever more unequal and troubled. Economic growth remains to be poor to non existent and youth unemployment is stuck around 50% in countries like Greece and Spain. Yet the dinner party circuit continues to be well attended by politicians and their wealthy backers across the corridors of power. It now appears France is in deep trouble, (because of it’s ill advised determination to achieve fiscal discipline through tax increases).

Summary

After nearly 4 year’s of austerity measures millions of people across Europe have been driven into poverty. A recent UN report further revealed that nearly seven million more, including over 800,000 children, have fallen into poverty due to EU economic policies. The disastrous effects of the EU drive to cut budgets and slash public spending are detailed in a 357-page, “World Social Protection” report by the UN agency, “The International Labour Organization”. “The achievements of the European social model, which dramatically reduced poverty and promoted prosperity in the period following the Second World War, have been eroded by short-term adjustment reforms,” noted the report.

Disregarding the effects of his push for austerity Rehn went on to investigate the finances of 13 member states with the purpose of identifying causes of recurring, “macroeconomic imbalances” within their financial profile. At the launch of his report many of those present admitted to a lack of knowledge as to just what, “macroeconomic imbalances” were. But all was well since, “Wee Olli” knew. Addressing the UK Olli said, ” I am presenting this analysis as, “raw material” to the British government for when they draw up their next economic plan. The British, like the rest of the 27, must draw up a plan which will meet the approval in the economic policy coordination of this year’s European Semester, (Otherwise known as the economic government of the EU).

Yes indeed, the Cameron – Clegg government have colluded in the establishment of an unelected EU economic government. Rehn and his successors now have increased powers to direct the decisions of George Osborne. This particular bit of new legislation stems from the, “Alert Mechanism Report”, of November 2012, which led to Olli’s, “In-Depth Review” under the, “Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure”. It may be sleep inducing but all I can say of the, “new” legislation is, “blink and you’ll miss it”. More powers have been transferred away from the UK to Brussels.

So here are some of what is wrong in Britain: They will need to be corrected meeting the instructions of the – Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro.

a. Consumer debt is very high and is likely to remain so.
b. External competitiveness, is deteriorating, with negative trade balances mainly as the result of a chronic deficit in goods trade.
c. Government deficit, although decreasing, remains elevated.
d. Government debt is very high and increasing.
d. UK corporate debt is high and less-than-viable companies being kept in business through low interest rates and bank forbearance.
e. Structural weaknesses. Shortages in airport and seaport capacity.

Olli Rehn is no longer employed with the European Commission having stood for and been elected to the EU parliament. He has since been appointed 1 of 14 Vice Presidents of the EU. But his legacy lives on.

How,s this for a bit of mischief?

Danny Alexander, Liberal Party MP and ultra hard line, “No” to independence campaigner, (mischief maker) wrote recently, (in a personal capacity) to Finnish Liberal MEP, Olli Rehn seeking to involve him in Scottish affairs asking that he give vent to personal held opinions regarding the upcoming referendum. Olli, dear fellow has a track record of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and true to type in a long, fussy and over detailed reply he first expressed strong support of Danny Alexander’s views regarding independence. He went on to say that he CONSIDERED IT HIS DUTY to draw on his wide experience of EU business providing full and detailed responses to each of the matters raised by Alexander. All this is fair enough, if the correspondence was to remain , “private” since there was no written permission included in Olli’s letter allowing Alexander to pass copies of the letter to the UK press for publication. The press faithfully reproduced it in their early and later editions, to the delight of Alexander. But, as yet Alexander’s letter to Olii has not been published so we only have one side of the story. Naughty Naughty Mr Alexander. But, hang on a mo’, Olli has a track record of foxy behavior. A, “Freedom of Information” request,(submitted by the Corporate Europe Observatory) revealed that throughout the almost 4 year’s of the, “Financial Crisis” Rehn’s office had been met regularly with MAJOR BANKS and FINANCIAL STAKEHOLDERS, (such as the investment banker Goldman Sachs. Minutes of these important meetings were not drafted or recorded since they were held under, “Chatham House Rules”. There were no meetings with NGO’s or trades unions, which is questionable. The main points of his letter are covered below:

Rehn. An independent Scotland would not be able to keep the pound and join the European Union.

Answer. An independent Scotland, wishing to join the EU can in no way be “forced” into joining the Euro, as one of the key conditions is that a member state must have been part part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) for a minimum of two years. Joining ERM II is entirely optional giving Sweden a de-facto opt out and is why Sweden has never joined the Euro despite being obligated to in it’s accession treaty. Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreseeable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, one of 14 vice presidents of the European Parliament has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.

Rehn. EU membership requires countries to have access to an independent central bank.

Answer. Scotland will adopt the Scottish pound from day Independence day 1, pegging it 1:1 with rUK Sterling.(as did Ireland for many a year) In the 2 year’s before formal separation Scotland will set up it’s own Central Bank, as in the case of Sweden.

Rehn. Mr Alexander asked Mr Rehn to clarify if “a country that had recently reneged on its debt would be welcome in the EU”. Mr Rehn responded that the EU treaty “requires that all member states and candidate countries respect their commitments in public finances, including the debt and deficit targets.

Answer. The UK formally confirmed all debt held by the Bank of England to be the sole debt of the bank. As such, in the event Scotland was to be denied a formal monetary union, (effectively cut loose to fend for itself) it would do so clear of any obligation to accept any of the Bank of England’s debt. This would be in full compliance with international law, (rUK could not have it’s cake and eat it). The question of reneging on debt is a spurious red herring.

Independent Scotland Would Maintain EU Membership

Independent Scotland Would Maintain EU Membership

A former senior British diplomat who negotiated the UK’s entry into the European Commission in the 1970s, the forerunner of the EU, has said it is not in London’s, “material interests” to leave an independent Scotland outside the European Union.

Professor Graham Avery was a senior British civil servant for 40 years and Private Secretary to two former British Ministers. He argues, “none of them, none of the 28 member states, least of all London, has a material interest in Scotland leaving the European Union even for a brief time.” He further stated, “anyone with experience of the European Union knows that the decision to allow Scotland to become a full EU member will be a political decision.”

The issue of Catalionian independence would be resolved by providing Spain with the reassurance that Scottish independence and subsequent membership of the EU, would not act as a precedent for Catalonia.

In conclusion, he identified that although rules and procedures would need to be followed, ultimately political expediency and the individual national interest of EU members will dictate the outcome. Full article;

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140603/190323867/Independent-Scotland-Would-Maintain-EU-Membership–Former-UK.html