Doubly-deported bombers, swarm of EC ‘helpers’ descend on the Greek colonies, Labour’s EU kerfuffle, and secret French capital controls (allegedly)

Does anyone out there know where the alleged Brussels bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui was deported to when Turkey chucked him out two years ago? Rather like the cowardly Japanese Kamikaze pilot Ori Gami who flew twelve successful missions, Bakraoui was apparently deported twice by Turkey. Logic suggests that he got back into Turkey again fairly easily, which in turn hints that it might not be that hard a country to hop in and out of; as of course it isn’t, because there are at least three unguarded routes into Iraq, and two into Syria.

Mind you, I suppose Bakraoui would’ve stuck out a bit, walking in the opposite direction to all the tanks, munitions and Jihadists heading for Assad’s palace. Anyway, if you know what fotunate country was designated to receive Ibrahim, please let me know.

Meanwhile, Erdogan’s in the clear on this one. He deported the bloke, and warned Brussels about him. So it was their own fault. You can can almost hear him saying, “Didn’t you get my email?” Rather like posting some anthrax spores to the London Central Post office marked “Special offer – open today”.

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The creeping colonisation of Greece continues. Most of the Western press went gangbusters this week on how the Greeks were ‘dragging their feet’ about sending refugees back to Turkey as part of the Erdogan “deal” (an odd accusation to level at Greece given it does more for refugees than anyone).  I would hazard a wild guess that not having any money might have something to do with it.

Anyway, the poor Sprouts have run out of patience with the Greeks, as a result of which this small army is descending on Athens (my emphases):

  • For the asylum process: 200 Greek asylum service case workers, 400 asylum experts from other Member States deployed by EASO and 400 interpreters
  • For the appeals process: 10 Appeals Committees made up of 30 members from Greece as well as 30 judges with expertise in asylum law from other Member States and 30 interpreters
  • For the return process: 25 Greek readmission officers, 250 Greek police officers as well as 50 return experts deployed by Frontex. 1,500 police officers seconded on the basis of bilateral police cooperation arrangements (costs covered by FRONTEX)
  • Security: 1,000 security staff/army

Greek friends continue to tell me that all real decision-making in the country is now carried out by Eurocrats, mainly recruited by Dijesslbloem and Schäuble…although from which budget (given their eurogroupe is a remit short of legal existence) remains unclear. Talking of our old friend Wolfie Wheels – being kept in a locked dungeon by Geli until the UK referendum is safely out of the way – the FOI-released emails to and from him to President-elect Hillary Clinton make for very interesting reading on the subject of the ‘Plan B’ clearly laid out by Wolf and his gang in the event of a ‘problematic’ election  result in 2015. The Plan and the ensuing actuality are astonishingly close.

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“Hello? Hello yes…is that Mr Corbyn’s office? Ah, right – where is he then? Er, at the AGM of the FGM Society. Right-ho. Do you know when he’ll be back? You don’t. Is he doing anything this afternoon? Um, going to a Remain rally. Right. What? No, not really…it’s just that I’d rather he didn’t go the rally. Yes, I’m sure he made the arrangement weeks ago and he hates to let people down, but that isn’t really my point. No. You see, he’s in the wrong….what? Well, I’m not so sure that’s……………….I see. Well, fair enough. Can you at least just tell him that there’s are some words missing on his Remain logo…do you have a pen and paper? Good, the words are ‘a bit of a kerfuffle’. Yes, that’s K, E, R, F…you know the rest? Excellent. Thank you. Have a good Easter.”

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I don’t really understand why Corby the Scourge of Capitalist Crony Corruption wants to stay in the EU, which is palpably obviously the EUCCC. I can understand why Jeremexis Corbychov the Internationalist wants to be in it, but as he hasn’t been on the fourth moon of Saturn for the last decade, he must surely see that annexing Greece, breaking the German Constitution, exceeding the remit of the ECB, illegally subordinating EU bondholders, manipulating the French bond market, covering up Italian bank embezzlement and signing  up to the American TTIP without any sovereign or citizen democracy isn’t the sort of internationalism we all had in mind at the outset.

Equally, I’d imagine we didn’t think that, once the eurine went a bit pear-shaped, there’d be secret currency controls to stop the flight of capital from the eurozone. We were a little surprised when Signor Dragula simply stopped publishing the numbers. But then, as time’s gone on, nothing surprises us any more about Count Mario.

But can one put it all down to Draghi?

Some of you may recall a Slogpost from early 2015 about me trying to send a money transfer to Athens, and then another one to Poland. And another to Hungary. The stock excuse from my French bank Credit Agricole was “this is part of an EU-wide crackdown on money laundering”. Spookily, however, all three countries I wanted to send to are, um, in confict with Brussels and Frankfurt on a number of big issues…and seen as potentially ‘dodgey’ when it comes to getting paid.

Two days ago, I got this email from an expat who, like me, now lives in France – ie, in the eurozone. This is a telling extract from it. On trying to send to ‘Turkish’ Cyprus, he’d been told..

‘….a new law had been brought into force prohibiting businesses from transferring any sum in excess of €8,000 out of the country. Apparently, I am now permitted to send €8,000 per month so, in order to pay this bill, my supplier would have to be content with 3 separate payments over a 3 month period.

 Asking my ‘conseillère’ what this bollox was all about, she responded “It’s a new initiative designed to prevent fraud and the finance of arms for terrorists. It’s nothing personal you understand. The same applies to all businesses and it only concerns transfers outside of the European Union.” ‘

Well, it all sounds like capital controls to me. So, having a daughter in Australia, I popped into a branch yesterday on the pretence of trying to send her the deposit on a flat of “around €12,000″. Ah, they said. Much tooth-sucking. That would be problematic, M’sieur. You see, there’s a new law just been passed…”.

Greece, I asked?

Ah, well. No. Greece is, as you know, a special case.Correct, I said – but that’s for funds leaving Greek banks. I’m doing the opposite. I was stared at.

I must choose the following words carefully….given there is a freedom-loving media ban here on all negative comments about French banks. It carries a whopping fine of €25,000 – which just goes to show that Comment isn’t Free, and C P Snow is thus proved wrong yet again.

I don’t think the problem is an EU one in this case, I think it’s a French one. As to what the problem is, well, I couldn’t possibly comment.

But I will add this. I tried to unload some surplus parquet flooring a month ago, at around 50% off list price, via three sites. I had one serious respondent. He said thanks, but “I can get it cheaper at the bankruptcy auctions”. Two years ago, that flooring would’ve flown out of the door within hours.

To the north of me here, I know an English techie buying near-new pcs at 10 cents on the Dollar and, with minimal remedial work, selling them on at half-price. But even she is now finding she can’t sell them on.

Not having a spare €25,000 of wonga hanging about, I must ask you to draw your own conclusions.

Yesterday at The Slog: At last, the Bullingdon backlash is under way