Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Who Owns Greece's Debt

Don't Blame Laziness. Greeks Work Longest Hours In Europe, Far More Than French Or Germans

(Forbes)  As the world watches to see who blinks on the Greek debt debacle, it’s worth noting one thing that is most definitely not behind the crisis: the working hours of the nation’s everyday citizens. As our partner Statista pointed out earlier this year, “data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that workers in Greece put in an average weekly shift of 42 hours, even more than Germans who only manage 35.3. Some experts claim this is due to the nature of the work in Greece – people put in long hours in the agricultural sector and shops that stay open late. It does not necessarily have anything to do with efficiency.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back in the USSR

Surely, Russia has better things to do than THIS!  I thought they no longer wanted the rest of the world to identify Russia wirh the Soviet Union, which I had assumed no longer existed?
The Euro in Flames
(Huffington Post)  This crisis is not purely the result of Greece's failure to improve its competitiveness and establish a minimally functional state with the ability to collect taxes. The crisis is also the result of Europe's failure to overcome its disagreements. We already had proof of this problem in the mishandling of the crisis in Ukraine and the pusillanimous attempts to address the human drama of immigration from Africa, which has already claimed so many lives. Europe does not really exist as an entity, only as a collection of mutually suspicious states. If it exists, it does not appear to have the ability to make decisions and tackle problems.
Europe is at the mercy of forces spinning out of control. The growth of emerging economies, an aging population, right and left extremism, and political corruption are threatening its future. Left-wing populism is right now the most immediate challenge because it has the potential of destroying the European project, as the case of Greece demonstrates. Europeans in other countries should take good notice before casting their vote at the next election.

What will happen next? The unemployed face years of suffering. There will be more European summits, and more commitments that nobody will fulfill. The Greek problem may be fixed in the short run, but at the expense of a long-term solution. The Eurozone needs to be founded a second time, including only the countries that have the institutions and the desire to be part of a true monetary union. The countries that are not committed to investing in the future and regaining their competitiveness would be better off with a currency of their own.

Strengthening military ties between Russia, China serve the cause of peace — minister

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

ST.PETERSBURG, June 30. /TASS/ The strengthening of ties between the armed forces of Russia and China serves the cause of peace and stability, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

"In the current international situation, the strengthening of friendly ties between the armies of Russia and China is of particular importance. This is our common contribution to securing peace and stability," Shoigu said. He was speaking in St.Petersburg on Tuesday during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Asia-Pacific: Ukraine crisis complicates Japan’s growing ties with Russia

(Vancouver Sun)  One of the driving factors in Tokyo’s recent push for better relations with Moscow is energy. After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, a shutdown of the country’s entire nuclear power-generation capabilities led to an acute need for fossil fuels, especially LNG.  Since 2011, Russia has been one of the top energy trading partner for Japan, and there had been discussions to build a $13-billion terminal in the Russian port of Vladivostok.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Tokyo later this year, and although both sides say trip is still on (as of last week), it is clear there are now tensions in the relationship. Japan is sending National Security Council member Shotaro Yachi to Moscow next month to ensure Putin’s visit is still on.

Earlier this month, after Abe’s visit to the Ukraine, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Moscow will accelerate the construction of military and civilian facilities on the disputed Kuril islands, a move that observers viewed as a clear sign of Moscow’s displeasure with Tokyo’s stance.

More pressingly, the Russian parliament last Wednesday passed a ban on driftnet fishing for salmon in Russia’s exclusive economic zone. The implication for Japan’s fishing industry will be significant. Russian news agency Sputnik said 35 Japanese vessels are currently fishing using driftnets in Russian waters, as per a previous bilateral agreement.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28 1389

Today is St. Vids Day ( Vidovdan) a Serbian holy day commemorating the battle of Kosovo, June 28 1389. On that day battle took place on Kosovo  field. Both Turkish Sultan Murad and Serbian Knez Lazar were killed. Turks barely won. After that Serbs were under the Turks for 400 years

Friday, June 26, 2015

This Cold War With You

Eastern European news is so repetitive today that it might be appropriate to post this 1949 Cold War classic by Floyd Tillman 

This Cold War With You

The sun goes down and leaves me sad and blue
The iron curtain falls on this cold war with you
Though you won’t speak and I won't speak that's true
Two stubborn people with a cold war to go through

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come
To couples, like you and me
Whose cold, cold wars are never done
And whose hearts just can't be free
Oh let's do right or let's just say we're through
I just can't stand another cold, cold war with you

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come
To couples, like you and me
Whose cold, cold wars are never done
And whose hearts just can't be free
Now let's do right, or let's just say we're through
I just can't stand another cold, cold war with you

Thursday, June 25, 2015

War, Russia, Poverty: Europeans’ ‘negative’ view of Ukraine

(  It was French writer Gustave Flaubert who said there is no truth, only perception. According to the Institute of World Policy in Kyiv, Europeans have a rather negative image of Ukraine.

In a recently released report war, Russia and poverty appear to be the three key words that average citizens of Europe’s most populous countries associate with the country.

Russian historical statistics

The Electronic Repository for Russian Historical Statistics brings together data extracted from various published and unpublished sources in one place. Its principal focus is Russian economic and social history of the last three centuries (18th-21st).

The repository caters to the needs of the scholarly community, of teachers and students in the social sciences and humanities in higher education, and aims to provide the basis for an informed public debate on Russia's past and present social and economic performance. Data are available online for all interested users, free of charge.

The repository provides regional level data for the territory of the current Russian Federation over the last two centuries (1800-2000), standardised to facilitate access and to enable comparative research over time and across space. Data are gathered on a standard programme, along seven principal lines of inquiry (population, labour, industrial output, agricultural output, services, capital, land) and for five cross-sections of Russian history (1795, 1858, 1897, 1959, 2002).

By systematically making available data with a regional breakdown the repository intends to further the development of regional perspectives on Russian history and enhance the integration of Russian cases in the rapidly evolving field of transnational history.
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