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Manfromzurich

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Well I don't want to live in a country which is only sone meters above the sea, or even less meters than the sea level. You will have a lot of problems cause of global warming. And anyway I'm living in the Swiss Plateau and not in the Alps. And anyway we have the luck NOT TO BE in the EU, while the Dutch are in this mess.

 

We Dutch can build fairly good dykes, so there is nothing to worry about :)

 

You clearly don't see how much we have gained from the European Union. The EEC, ECCS etc. prevented Germany and France from having new wars. If this hadn't been done we'd all pretty much live in poverty and be under some kind of dicatorial german/french regime, including Switzerland. Haven't you noticed the economic impact that the EU has had? The economies grew at a decent rate for several years, because getting rid of the borders enabled much more trade between the countries, stimulating consumption & producing jobs. The EU enables us to cooperate with our armies, which saves each country a lot of mony each year. Don't forget about the moral support it gives as well. The EU gives us a lot of more political power too, who would even be intrested in small countries like Lithuania, Holland Greece etc, if they weren't united in the EU? Plust it enables us to make statements to other countries, instead of everyone squarrelling and giving their own opinion happenings.

 

Yes I know, that atm we are in quite a rough financial situation. I am sure that we can overcome this, and more of this mess in the future, if we give up our financial sovereignity. But the most important thing is is that the EU stimulates economical growth and specialization for every country so that we can easily compete with way larger countries such as China, the USA, India etc.

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Caesium makes a very good point: Europe has experienced the longest peaceful period since... since when actually? Since the Pax Romana? We have not had a war for 68 years. You can say whatever you want, but that should definitely be partially attributed to the EU.

 

The EU is like daycare for politicians. Keeps them so busy talking about money that they can't afford to fight a war. smile.png

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A actual poll says only 16% of the Swiss would vote for a entering into the EU. So you see we don't like these iexpensive burocrats in Brussel.

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Well, I don't think that expensive burocrats are the main reason (I think each counrty itself decides what their representatives earn). You are mostly afraid about losing some of your sovereignity, and other 'disadvantages' such as having to pay a bit more taxes, so that the poorer countries such as Rumania can develop notable industries as well.

 

But Manfromzurich, why do you think that it is not a good idea for Switzerland to enter the European Union?

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A actual poll says only 16% of the Swiss would vote for a entering into the EU. So you see we don't like these iexpensive burocrats in Brussel.

 

The budget for the European parliament for 2012 was set to €1,732 million.

Wikipedia estimates the actual costs of "Brussels" at 2 billion. Or, about 4 euro per person (the EU has 500 million inhabitants). Or about 0.016% of the GDP of the EU. If that is the price of peace, prosperity and progress, then I have to disagree that this is "expensive".

 

The total budget of the EU is €142 billion. Or about 284 € per person. Or about 1% of the wealth generated in the EU (=GDP). So, this shows that the large majority of the budget is spent for something else, not for the bureaucrats themselves.

 

I know there have been scandals where people in Brussels wasted millions. But that is not an argument against the whole EU. That is just an argument against those particular individuals. Contrary to what you think, or what you have been told by some populists, the EU is not expensive.

 

The majority of the costs come from other streams of money: we pay tax, which is then used to subsidize farmers elsewhere (which in turn makes our food cheaper). We have paid a LOT to improve the infrastructure of central and eastern Europe. Personally, I am happy to pay for such things.

 

The simple fact is that large majority of the money that we pay to the EU is also invested straight back into the EU. And we all pay a massive 4 euro per person to the actual bureaucrats.

 

p.s. I am inclined to agree that the political course in Brussels is heading the wrong way, drawing too much power towards Brussels. But it has not yet gone wrong.

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All you people got it wrong, the EU is getting more dictatorship by the day and just like when the soviet union came up with Communism it was in good intentions, but ended up killing 40 million of their people. Just ask your self what happened to the Irish referendum on the Lisbon treaty, why was the last Greek politician told to step down after he said he was going to ask the people for a referendum. When the bureaucrats went to Italy they where told it was inappropriate to have a general election, really? So what next for Greece and maybe other will follow, the only option for Greece to get out of this political and economic prison is civil unrest and eventually CIVIL WAR which will shock the world once more, i mean people are still shocked by Nazism in 1930's and its simple the only thing that caused it was economic failure. The only way Greece can get back some dignity is by defaulting and going back to the drakmer, we've seen Iceland do it, why can't Greece or i forgot the bureaucrats have them in a choke hold, same for Italy, Portugal and Spain soon.

Please watch Nigel Farage in the EU parliament he's been a president for over 10 year, he's not just UKIP leader who came from no where

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Others have touched on this already above, but the main problem is really that they share one currency (which opens up great business opportunity and movement of goods across borders), but do not share a central fiscal decision making authority.

Exactly. If the financial burden on business in one country is greater than another, it's the another that fairs better. And the financial burden runs through all activities, from simple parking rules, traffic jams, taxation and just about everything. And that doesn't include location. Like if you're on an island and you're exporting to a larger area across water, you have extra transport costs to include.

 

And then there's the rest of the world. If they can make something for sixpence that costs Europe a shilling to make, then Europe goes out of business. Like, when I look around my local shops it appears a large quantity of the goods seem to have been made by the rest of the world. For the simple reason if we made the things, we wouldn't be able to afford them. And until such a situation is reversed, the European dream will be nothing more than a dream.

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The structure and organisation of the EU seems similar to the USSR it will fall apart in a similar manner.

 

I won't bite until you present a little explanation of this opinion. Without such explanation, this can only be considered trolling, I'm afraid.

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The structure and organisation of the EU seems similar to the USSR it will fall apart in a similar manner.

That's right. Central control, rules controlling just about everything. Flourishing and feeding less need to strive resulting in diminished aspiration leading to decline and fall - not to mention the current penchant of spending money they don't have. Similar to said system.

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But are there not some things quite dissimilar to the old USSR?

 

- Free traveling within the EU and outside the EU

- Elections for the EU parliament

- Multiple parties in parliament

- No centralized army (there's no equivalent in the EU to the old Red army)

- No KGB (at least not centralized)

- Free speech in the EU

 

Seriously guys, don't you think you're exaggerating slightly? This thread has been simple EU bashing from the start. Do you all live in that awesome place that is Switzerland or something??

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Also the multiple parties is extremely relevant as they are obviously representatives from a given nation. More importantly, the parties are made up from certain parties of the originating countries, which also means that the EU parliament members obviously are also involved in national politics.

 

As such the EU is a huge battleground for national interests as well as an international platform for national in-fights rather than a tyrannical organization that can dictate the individual member states with impunity. Due to its very system it would be the most useless tool for tyranny as we not only have conflicts along party lines, but also between nation representatives belonging to the same umbrella party.

 

Also note that throughout the EU severe austerity measures are in place. So severe that many economists (most vocally Krugman) argue that they will heavily hamper growth. Although that would lead to a different discussion (as financing a complex system such as a nation is markedly different from the simple calculations one would do for a private household).

Edited by CharonY

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But are there not some things quite dissimilar to the old USSR?

 

- Free traveling within the EU and outside the EU

- Elections for the EU parliament

- Multiple parties in parliament

- No centralized army (there's no equivalent in the EU to the old Red army)

- No KGB (at least not centralized)

- Free speech in the EU

 

Seriously guys, don't you think you're exaggerating slightly? This thread has been simple EU bashing from the start. Do you all live in that awesome place that is Switzerland or something??

- They had free travel within the USSR

- No election for the EU i'm afraid to tell you, that means when monstrosities happen in Greece no one can be held accountable on the decisions of the country. Its the hole of Europe and most will agree Europe is completely different especially north and south as we see them Tear away from the rest of Europe. I'm not saying Europe is like USSR but its just this project i believe is going to spiral out of control just like USSR. When 2014 comes along the Greece's economy all in all since the crisis is predicted to retract 25%, this isn't flat lined this is shrinking- Money leaving at a massive scale. This is worse than the great depression where we saw the Germans take the identity of Nazism, i just can't see how much Greece and others to come can take. Look i love my European brothers and sisters but were strangling them with this dream that we can become a United states of Europe when we can't.

 

 

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- They had free travel within the USSR

Do you have any sources for that?

 

All I could find was this from wikipedia:

Kolkhozniks and individual peasants did not have passports and could not move into towns without permission. Permissions were given by chairpersons of collective farms or rural councils. Repeated violation of the passport regime was a criminal offence.

 

Living in the EU, I don't have to contact any official if I want to go to Paris, London or Budapest today.

 

- No election for the EU i'm afraid to tell you,[...]

Well, I live in the EU (in the Netherlands), and I voted for the EU parliament in 2009. Here's some more about those elections (wikipedia).

 

that means when monstrosities happen in Greece no one can be held accountable on the decisions of the country. Its the hole of Europe and most will agree Europe is completely different especially north and south as we see them Tear away from the rest of Europe. I'm not saying Europe is like USSR but its just this project i believe is going to spiral out of control just like USSR. When 2014 comes along the Greece's economy all in all since the crisis is predicted to retract 25%, this isn't flat lined this is shrinking- Money leaving at a massive scale. This is worse than the great depression where we saw the Germans take the identity of Nazism, i just can't see how much Greece and others to come can take. Look i love my European brothers and sisters but were strangling them with this dream that we can become a United states of Europe when we can't.

Not many want it to become the "united states of Europe". You should stop listening to your populist politicians or media.

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- Free traveling within the EU and outside the EU

- Elections for the EU parliament

- Multiple parties in parliament

- No centralized army (there's no equivalent in the EU to the old Red army)

- No KGB (at least not centralized)

- Free speech in the EU

All very laudable, and rightfully so, but doesn't address the basic flaw or flaws with the EU. As someone once said: it's the economy, stupid.

 

I'm sure we can all pick on all sorts of side issues: this bit, that bit, this rule, that rule and so on. But the underlying factor is the economy.

 

The basic problem is borrowing money, and the reason why money is borrowed. Or to express it another way: earning one's keep and living within one's means. Each is clearly dependant and complimentary to each other, but they are something the EU is patently and clearly unable to deal with, or it seems, even willing to acknowledge.

 

The euro has been running for over ten years and all they've done is encourage borrowing and blowing economic bubbles. A problem? Oh, just borrow a bit more, revalue assets and we'll get over it. Mind you, they don't call it borrowing, they apparently call it investment. And if that don't work, borrow - sorry, invest - a bit more. I'm sorry, that's not a way to run an economy.

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Do you have any sources for that?

 

All I could find was this from wikipedia:

Kolkhozniks and individual peasants did not have passports and could not move into towns without permission. Permissions were given by chairpersons of collective farms or rural councils. Repeated violation of the passport regime was a criminal offence.

 

Living in the EU, I don't have to contact any official if I want to go to Paris, London or Budapest today.

 

Well, I live in the EU (in the Netherlands), and I voted for the EU parliament in 2009. Here's some more about those elections (wikipedia).

 

Not many want it to become the "united states of Europe". You should stop listening to your populist politicians or media.

Yeah your right about the free movement of people my mistake.

I do think your understanding my point of elections ,you voted for an MEP, the four president have not been elected by the people, they make the big decisions. So we can't reelect someone else if we don't like their policies. I don't listen to the media i actually think you do, i do quite the opposite you let them tone down what is happening in Europe and you just take it on face value. It is serious and i know its nice to be all politically correct and go with the flow, but what i'm saying is its going to get worse.

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All very laudable, and rightfully so, but doesn't address the basic flaw or flaws with the EU. As someone once said: it's the economy, stupid.

 

I'm sure we can all pick on all sorts of side issues: this bit, that bit, this rule, that rule and so on. But the underlying factor is the economy.

 

The basic problem is borrowing money, and the reason why money is borrowed. Or to express it another way: earning one's keep and living within one's means. Each is clearly dependant and complimentary to each other, but they are something the EU is patently and clearly unable to deal with, or it seems, even willing to acknowledge.

 

The euro has been running for over ten years and all they've done is encourage borrowing and blowing economic bubbles. A problem? Oh, just borrow a bit more, revalue assets and we'll get over it. Mind you, they don't call it borrowing, they apparently call it investment. And if that don't work, borrow - sorry, invest - a bit more. I'm sorry, that's not a way to run an economy.

Delbert, how is that different from how the USA treat their financial problems? Or Japan? Comparing the net government debt as percentage of the GDP of EU countries and the USA, I notice that the USA's govt. has a higher debt than most EU countries. Sure, if we are still comparing the EU to only Switzerland, then the Swiss beat the EU easily on debt. It appears there is an inverse correlation between the amount of mountains and the amount of debt. Who knew.

 

And nobody disagrees that mistakes were made. Many agree that Greece shouldn't have been allowed into the Euro-zone. But is the solution to abandon the whole EU? No, it is not the solution. None of you address the alternative of the EU: no EU, but instead 27 individual smaller states. Would they really all be better off? I seriously doubt it.

 

I still think that the EU is for a large part the reason we have not had any wars in most of Europe since WWII. Also, it has brought freedom and open borders, which is totally awesome. Do you guys even know that one can drive from Amsterdam to Paris (that's 2 borders: Dutch-Belgian and Belgian-French) without ever stopping? 100-130 km/h all the way. Not even any border police. Between Belgium and the Netherlands, they've even removed the border offices altogether. I call that progress. It makes the lives of all the people living here better.

 

Sure, they squander some billions... but seriously, who the hell cares that politicians waste some money if you get peace and prosperity in return? I don't. I think that the banks are much bigger a**h****. They are the ones that create the actual bubbles.

 

Nobody is saying the EU is perfect, but I'd rather have an EU than no EU. And I hope they regulate the hell out of the banks.

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Delbert, how is that different from how the USA treat their financial problems? Or Japan?

 

Probably none at all. But this thread is about the EU. Just because the west and others in general are similar doesn't make it better or okay. Two wrongs don't make a right, as my parents used to say.

 

If you want my overall view of the lot, it is that the economic system adopted by those you mention doesn't work. But that's off subject and I won't develop it further.

 

I think we all know how the west has always got around economic conflagrations, it creates a bit - or maybe a bit more than a bit - of inflation to devalue the money in your pocket. Or to put another way, they rob you. Low interest rates and printing money devalues that hard earned pound, euro, dollar or whatever in your pocket.

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Delbert, how is that different from how the USA treat their financial problems? Or Japan? Comparing the net government debt as percentage of the GDP of EU countries and the USA, I notice that the USA's govt. has a higher debt than most EU countries. Sure, if we are still comparing the EU to only Switzerland, then the Swiss beat the EU easily on debt. It appears there is an inverse correlation between the amount of mountains and the amount of debt. Who knew.

 

And nobody disagrees that mistakes were made. Many agree that Greece shouldn't have been allowed into the Euro-zone. But is the solution to abandon the whole EU? No, it is not the solution. None of you address the alternative of the EU: no EU, but instead 27 individual smaller states. Would they really all be better off? I seriously doubt it.

 

I still think that the EU is for a large part the reason we have not had any wars in most of Europe since WWII. Also, it has brought freedom and open borders, which is totally awesome. Do you guys even know that one can drive from Amsterdam to Paris (that's 2 borders: Dutch-Belgian and Belgian-French) without ever stopping? 100-130 km/h all the way. Not even any border police. Between Belgium and the Netherlands, they've even removed the border offices altogether. I call that progress. It makes the lives of all the people living here better.

 

Sure, they squander some billions... but seriously, who the hell cares that politicians waste some money if you get peace and prosperity in return? I don't. I think that the banks are much bigger a**h****. They are the ones that create the actual bubbles.

 

Nobody is saying the EU is perfect, but I'd rather have an EU than no EU. And I hope they regulate the hell out of the banks.

Ok so were both doing the same thing bringing up the good/bad points. I'm going to end my say here, i agree with all those good things but i believe that its not going to work. Something big will happen to the Euro

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Probably none at all. But this thread is about the EU. Just because the west and others in general are similar doesn't make it better or okay. Two wrongs don't make a right, as my parents used to say.

 

I think this is not the point. What is being wrong, if the bottom line is similar? Also it has not been established that it would be better (or worse) without the EU.

 

To me there is a lot of opinion in this thread, but almost no data to support them. Also if debt is any indicator of good policy then we should promptly copy, say, Iran (about 1% government debt as % GDP). Or Sweden (-17%!). Wait no, Sweden is being destroyed by the EU.

Edited by CharonY

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Probably none at all. But this thread is about the EU. Just because the west and others in general are similar doesn't make it better or okay. Two wrongs don't make a right, as my parents used to say.

 

If you want my overall view of the lot, it is that the economic system adopted by those you mention doesn't work. But that's off subject and I won't develop it further.

 

I think we all know how the west has always got around economic conflagrations, it creates a bit - or maybe a bit more than a bit - of inflation to devalue the money in your pocket. Or to put another way, they rob you. Low interest rates and printing money devalues that hard earned pound, euro, dollar or whatever in your pocket.

 

Well, I would agree with you that we have economic problems, and that our current system seems to have some major flaws. But how much of that can be blamed on the EU? Not much. The whole capitalist system, where banks are major players was developed before the EU became a thing. In fact, if anything, I'd say that the EU try to regulate the banks and the economy more than in other parts of the world. The EU attempt to play an active role to fix all the problems caused by the economic crisis. But as a result, they seem to get the blame for the crisis in Europe. Not really fair, I think.

 

CharonY, of course there is a lot of opinion, and little fact. We're discussing politics and the economy, not an exact science. Economic policy is for a large part based on an ideology, which at the core of it has an opinion (and some facts).

 

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To me there is a lot of opinion in this thread, but almost no data to support them. Also if debt is any indicator of good policy then we should promptly copy, say, Iran (about 1% government debt as % GDP). Or Sweden (-17%!). Wait no, Sweden is being destroyed by the EU.

Tell me I'm wrong, but the reason it doesn't work is that the system we (the west) have seems to have always required a cheap manufacturing process. Currently, it appears we need to import a considerable amount of cheaper goods from abroad. We simply couldn't make the widgets over here because the cost would be too high - which if we did would mean only a few would be able to afford them. And even with said cheap imports we still need to borrow shedloads of money each day just to stand still. And here in the UK I read recently the shedload amounts to £400,000,000 a day! Now that's serious money each day - just to stand still.

 

You try manufacturing something here in the UK. How much paperwork have you got to deal with even before you can get a prototype made? Get it done aboard in (say) China and you might get a prototype in a couple of weeks. And you'll almost certainly get it manufactured at a price you could sell the thing.

 

Just caught part of a TV prog the other day, apparently following an EU official on her daily activities. In simple terms and as far as I could see, it appeared that what she got up to was a mile (if not longer) away from the coalface. Pontificating about this and that in an ivory tower, attending meetings, all completely divorced from the cut and thrust of what's required in business. I'm sorry to be so bigoted, but such just gets right up my nose.

 

I understand there's a lot currently at the G20. I saw them on TV, all full of how they are solving, or going to solve, economic problems. But it's those with their nose on the grindstone at the sharp end doing business, making money and overcoming the imposed financial and bureaucratic burdens that provide through taxation the financial support a country needs. And as a result are the ones that have any chance of solving problems.

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Well, the EU is clearly necessary for us European nation states to compete on the global economic stage, which is probably why USA is so insistent that the UK doesn't leave it. Asia is catching up technologically with the West and exceeds massively on production and export. China is just starting to see its people demand a higher standard of living, to reap the rewards of their country's fruitful economy; a trend which will grow quickly in the near future. Will this mean some production coming back to the West? Most likely not, seeing as China is investing so heavily in Africa, somewhere abroad where they can move their industries for dirt cheap production... Africa benefits, China benefits, it's a win win situation, if you ignore the exploitation. India and USA have followed suit and have started investing in Africa too. Maybe EU and USA together will continue to be competitive; as well combined with allies from USA's quasi-empire (South Korea, Japan etc.)... not to mention Australasia.

 

I don't like the EU, I think it's a movement whose aim is become a world superpower through undemocratic and wreckless means. It's harmful for the UK already, and we're being bullied into joining completely. There are definitely benefits, but they come at great costs IMO. But you can't get away from the fact we need it.

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Well, the EU is clearly necessary for us European nation states to compete on the global economic stage,...

 

No it isn't. What determines the ability to compete is one's ability to deal and confront market forces. One might not like the apparent cold brutality of market forces, so detached are they from what we consider to be a compassionate society, but nonetheless it seems to me to be the thing we all engage in everyday. When we set out to buy something in a shop, we want to pay the lowest price for the best widget, food or whatever. We might not like it but we act in a cold and brutal way. For example, a friend of mind was complaining about the low wages his employer was paying him. But when he was shopping I noticed that he was very choosey and said: I'm not paying that price for those goods, I'm only buying it if it's £X! It's clear to me he was doing exactly the same as he was complaining his employer was doing! Why should his employer pay him more than he has to, the same as why should he pay more than he has to for things in a shop? It might appear detached from what we like to think is our caring and compassionate society, but that's the brutality of market forces, and something I suggest we all engage in every day. Something the EU is totally detached from.

 

The EU mandarins like to portray themselves as some sort of essential requirement to enable market forces, but they aren't and they don't. They just burden and hinder market forces. That's why countries within the EU are overburdened with debt and essentially bankrupt, because they are overburdened with bureaucracy and rules and the policy of throwing money at problems.

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Now China's investing influence in Europe too:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23887509

 

 

 

No it isn't. What determines the ability to compete is one's ability to deal and confront market forces.

 

Yep, and it's better to confront said market forces with the power of numerous economies under one control, than it is for each comparatively small individual economy to do so on their own. I wish what you're saying was true, but it's just not the case.

Edited by Iota

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