REASONS TO LEAVE THE EU: A building series

Reasons #1, #2 & #3: Guy Verhofstadt, J-C Juncker, and The Italian Job

1. Update on Sleazeball Verhofstadt

guyfuck1ptFurther to the Slog’s last exposé on Fatty Verhofstadt, it turns out that Greasy MEP Guy’s Sofina connection is also going to help him make a bob or two from the proposed Thessalonika Water privatisation. But his sticky fingers extend beyond the Boël dynasty.

The old Athens airport in the seaside neighbourhood of Glyfada was acquired by Lamda Development (owned by Spiros Latsis, Greece’s richest man) in February 2014. It was the only one asked to take part in the tender announced by the Greek Privatization Agency – in a joint offer with a fund from Abu Dhabi, Chinese Fasun and private European capital.
Valuation sources later estimated that the Latsis bid secured the development site at somewhere between a seventh and a third of its real worth. Latsis remains close to fierce Tsipras critic and all-round hypocritical Belgian crook Guy Verhostadt. Two weeks ago, Verhofstadt failed to declare an interest in either this deal or other Greek privatisation ventures. In this latest case, the money goes to Guy’s Friends of Europe (FOE) cronies via consistent and generous donations from…..Spiros Latsis.
Spiros is on the Board of FOE Trustees….as is Verhofstadt:
latsisFOEverhofstadtFOEThere are no less than three former Belgian Prime Ministers in the FOE’s cosy little club. The Slog will be taking a closer look at its activities as time goes on….all relevant and accurate information gratefully received.
guyfuck2ptIn return for these packed-full brown envelopes, part of Guy’s job in lobbying for Latsis is to ensure that Syriza (which has cancelled the old airport privatisation) is banished from power in Greece at the earliest opportunity. But the Belgian Booby is not Spiros’s only EU lapdog, peeps: he also té-toi’s with our old friend Jean-Claude Drunker.
2. Juncker, Europe’s top tax-evasion fixer
Spiros Latsis lives with his wife Margarita in Switzerland, where his main businesses are based. But 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010 have also been central to his successful evasion of EU tax.  These secret deals feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions, providing written assurances that companies’ tax-saving plans will be viewed favourably by Luxembourg authorities.
junckupyrsptJean-Claude Juncker, who has vowed – as Commission President – to crack down on tax evasion, risibly insists that Luxembourg’s tax laws are in ‘full accordance’ with European law. They are not. Along with Guy Verhofstadt, he is a whore rewarded by Latsis to defend his interests in preference to those of the People – a protector of serial tax evaders: nothing more, nothing less.
3. The Italian basket-case
There was a hilarious piece at the BBCNews website the other day, referring to Italy’s economy as ‘infinitely more mainstream and stable’ than that of Greece. I love it when major MSM institutions write this kind of twaddle, probably without ever going near the place beyond two weeks in Chiantishire every year.
Post Berlusconi Italy is a mess. Greece functions (despite the infinitely more severe bullying it has taken from the EC/ECB/Eurogrope axis of depravity) whereas Italy doesn’t. Greek élitists took huge backhanders but at least the projects happened. Berlusconi and his Blairite mates took all the money, and did nothing.
Italian infrastructure is a joke, unemployment a nightmare (it’s increased without cessation since Q3 2007) crime is out of control, corruption beyond anything the Greeks could imagine, and obstructionism beyond belief: it takes 223 days on average to have a building permit approved. Italy somehow retains its position as a G7 country, and yet is 102nd out of 189 countries for getting electricity, 141st for paying taxes, 56th for ease of doing business.  In Spring 2013, it lied about its gdp growth figures. Even the weather service has been known to take bribes and lie about the hours of east-coast resort sunshine. Unsurprisingly, 89% of Italians think politicians are either corrupt or very corrupt.
However, the core problem – as always with ClubMed – is the debt to gdp ratio. Like unemployment, it’s risen steadily since 2007 when it was at 103%, and now stands at over 132%. Given the Italians achieved this without the unique Troika bailout accelerator feature (but with the usual limp wrist of Tricky Trichet at work in the background) you can judge for yourselves the depth of the tutti-frutti doodoo Italy is in.
Let’s be real here for a second and face up to one very simple, obvious reality: Italy’s national debt is every bit as unsustainable as that of Greece. And while its economy is at last showing weak signs of recovery, the income this might generate to reduce that debt is minute. Just servicing its debt costs the country €90bn a year, and last year the total budget surplus was €78bn…weaker than the year before. If current trends were to continue, it will be a century before Italian debt is down at a manageable level – and that assumes higher growth plus reduced government costs for the entire period. This clearly isn’t going to happen: when Italy blows – and it is when, not if – we will be talking about failed fiscal control on a scale way above Greece.
We will also be staring down the barrel of a gun with a hair trigger compared to that of Greece. The comfortable Greek professional classes have a near-compulsive fear of leaving the euro: such a compliant attitude to Brussels-am-Berlin bullying is almost absent in Italy. The treatment of Greece has already forced Italians to wonder whether eurozone membership is really worth it. Italy’s second largest party, the Five Star Movement, overtly demands a referendum on whether to stay in the currency union.
This series will continue throughout the run-in to Britain’s IN/OUT referendum, now scheduled for June 2016. It is already clear that the Conservative government will blur all the lines between Party and governance comms expenditure in order to pull things its way…as well as having the might of UK europhile media behind it.
To be clear, The Slog is not “supporting UKip”; rather, it supports the idea of getting away from a corrupt, dictatorial and debt-riddled European Union in search of better long-term prospects elsewhere. My case is nothing whatever to do with patriotism and Little Englander attitudes: it is to do with getting more commercial minds into government, not corporacratric greed. Staying a member of the EU is bad for individual liberty and security, bad for the long-term economy, and a locking device that will make it impossible to pursue a more entrepreneurial and communitarian econo-fiscal strategy wherein the keynote is independent self-sufficiency.

18 thoughts on “REASONS TO LEAVE THE EU: A building series

  1. thank you JW. i also do not suggest trusting Nige too much. He does show a commitment to the common cause so i try not to slag him. Members of criminal networks do not get the option to leave. The networks will undermine and intentionally destroy any opposition to leaving the group. Its a fight we must win no matter the cost. Freedom is always better than debt slavery.


  2. more commercial minds into government, not corporacratric greed – my thoughts JW after seeing it.

    The corporatic greed rules the roost now, buy from China and the far east cheap and pretend you made it before selling it on with a nice FAT profit. That is the economy the government grew and yoiu can’t halt it until the cost of labour is equalised between here and there.

    Those who currently have the corporatic greed do not have commenrical minds because of the above principal and plenty of money do not have to be creative the east actually gives it too them by selling themselves short.

    Need to cap the fat profits along the line the little Chinaman gave you his labour cheap and you exploited it well this is government now we are going to take a hefty cut of that fat profit because the Keynes mechanism we implemented made it this way. Not so easy then, commenrcial minds can return because now you can compete with China and do me a favour remove the free trade concept because it feeds those two previous points.


  3. I think the out campaign cannot win unless the MSM backs it.
    Joe voter is addicted to the newspaper and the BBC etc….
    Seems that government by referenda has some inherent problems after all?


  4. None of the southern European countries should ever have been allowed to join the EU: you are trying to impose a monetary union on 17-odd countries, where you try and synchronize the currency but at no time ever try to synchronize the culture, fiscal policies, cost of production etc or any other aspects of their economies. It was doomed to failure:

    1. The EU started off as a noble idea but the system that has emerged is unwise.
    2. They have countries in there that should not be in there
    3. You wouldn’t contemplate starting a business with an alcoholic brother-in-law, so why include Greece?
    4. By overlooking the fact that Greece had submitted false statements in 2001, the European Union aided fraud.
    5. Germany and France have both been known to break EU rules and nobody did anything.
    6. There are inherent flaws with the current structure, that still need to be addressed. When dealing with the last financial crisis, the US Constitution had to be amended a number of times.


  5. It is quite clear that the No campaign will only have any chance at all if the various players can for its duration work together. It would be a good start if the Slog could draft just one piece without taking a gratuitous swipe at UKIP.


  6. By the way, if this isn’t a swipe at UKIP

    “To be clear, The Slog is not “supporting UKip”;… My case is nothing whatever to do with patriotism and Little Englander attitudes”

    then it is open to misinterpretation.


  7. I considered changing my ordoliberalism blog to be critical of the EU, but I already have one that does something along those lines – EU Ramshackle Empire, that I started as a critique of the EU edging further into East Europe. That is still ongoing and I try to post every day. Go for it, John!


  8. If the culture of one country differs from another in terms of basic honesty then how can these two countries share a common currency without the “morally challenged” one defrauding the other?

    This goes far beyond individual politicians every country has corrupt politicians but not every country has a large amount of the population that tolerated bribery. Travel just a few miles between the US and Mexico and see the difference.


  9. Great post, JW.
    Thank you…
    and this just now from the
    “The Greek economy has begun to reverse the gains it was making before Mr Tsipras’s Syriza-led coalition took power in January on an anti-austerity platform.
    The European Commission expects Greece to go back into recession this year, with the economy contracting by between 2% and 4%.
    The Greek economy was in recession for six years until 2014.”

    JW – just as you predicted: the Greek malaise is all caused by the last few months of Syriza being in power.
    Would anyone Adam and Eve it?



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