Archive for Economy

The Trouble In Spain

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, European Union, Government, News, Politics, Relationships, Spain with tags , , , , on 28/10/2017 by floroy1942

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For forty years there has never been so much trouble in Spain as today. The Catalan government has declared it’s secession from Spain, but the Spanish government does not accept it. Catalan wants to be an independent  nation, but how many people accept this? We see daily on the news hoards of people celebrating the departure of Catalan from Spain, but how many really want to see this happen?

Crowds gather in Barcelona and cheer the secession but are they the majority of the population? Although thousands have gathered in Barcelona to cheer on their government it is nowhere near all of the people. Very many of them do not want to take this step and the upcoming vote, planned by Rajoy, will show how many really back this separation from Spain.

The leader of the separation movement Carles Puigdemont announced the separation from Spain a week ago and Premier Mariano Rajoy  was livid at the sheer arrogance of this announcement. At the moment he is planning to removed the current government of Barcelona, intending to replace them with people of his own. It is for sure this will cause a lot of trouble in the north, as people who voted for the secession will demonstrate on the streets of Barcelona and there will probably be riots on the streets.

Catalan is the biggest earner in the country, and if this goes ahead we can see that Spain will become a poor country as Catalonia flourishes with its wealth. Most of the wealth in the rest of Spain comes from tourism. Will we see the numbers drop if this plan goes ahead?

No-one knows how this will turn out, but Rahoy has called a general election in the near future. What the outcome will be of this vote no-one knows.

Roy.

 

So Trump Has Won – What Next?

Posted in America, Britain, Elections, England, European Union, Immigration, Islamic State, News, President, Russia with tags , , , , on 10/11/2016 by floroy1942

Against all the predictions Donald Trump has won the American election for President. So what now? There seems to be great unrest in America at the result, for many are not waiting to see what the man can do for America and demonstrate on the streets against him. Will he be a good President and solve many international and domestic problems or not. That is the question on many people’s lips at the moment.

Top of the agenda will be solving the tensions with Russia, but Putin has already said he is hopeful of  relieving the tensions that currently exist with Trump when he becomes President. That at least is a step in the right direction.

It will be interesting to see what input he has with regard to the ongoing war in the Middle East. Will he be able to solve the problem of ISIS by working with other countries? We will have to wait and see.

Many countries are a little fearful of what he will do on international relations with various countries. He is not a politician but a business man, so there may not be a softly softly approach to his dealings with many countries. His idea of building a wall along the border with Mexico is just one example.

On the domestic side many are fearful of what he will do to solve the problems currently evident in the USA. Crime must surely be top of the list as it steadily increases. Sad to say, but a lot of it is due to the blacks and Mexican immigrants and it remains to be seen how he will deal with this problem. The economy is also something that he needs to look at, but being a business man he may be able to help get it back on its feet again.

Without doubt the position of President of the United States is a powerful post and whoever holds it can do a lot of good in the world. On the other hand it can bring the world into chaos. We will just have to wait and see how Trump handles it. We can only hope he does the right thing.

Roy.

Why Is Britain Outsourcing Contracts?

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Government Spending, News, Politics, Royal Navy, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 07/10/2016 by floroy1942

Is the UK government going mad or what? I have read over the last year of major manufacturing projects being outsourced to foreign companies by the dozen. Looking for the cheapest option is not always a good thing, and it is killing our own manufacturing industry. Our steel industry was sold off to Tata, an Indian company some years ago, but why? I guess it was so the original directors and owners could make a handsome profit.

Our own steel industry is in dire straits having lost thousands of jobs over the past two years, and yet there is no help from the government. This loss of jobs was due to the government buying the cheap, state-subsidised Chinese steel.

Take for example the Hinkley Point nuclear plant that is being built. Why outsource it to France? Are our engineers not capable of building a nuclear power station? Why are we buying steel from China when our own steel industry is collapsing? If the contracts had been awarded to our own companies it would have saved thousands of jobs, and perhaps our steel industry as a whole.

And now yet another idiotic decision has been made by allowing France to supply the steel used to build a major part of our next fleet of nuclear submarines! A contract has been signed with French group Industeel to supply the steel used to build the pressure hull of our new Trident replacement.

In years gone by we had the greatest manufacturing industry in Europe but this has been whittled away by successive governments. Even our trains and busses are manufactured in Germany among many other things, and for what?

British manufacturing is slowly being strangled by so many contracts being given to foreign country’s. It is time the government did something to try and save our manufacturing  companies, for otherwise the entire industry will collapse completely. I live in hope that things will change – soon.

Roy.

Proof Most of The Refugees ARE Fake!

Posted in Afghanistan, America, Benefits, Britain, David Cameron, European Union, Germany, Immigrants, News, Pakistan with tags , , , , on 22/09/2015 by floroy1942

EurostatA report released by Eurostat, the E.U’s official statistics agency, has laid bare the lie of refugees fleeing to Europe saying they all come from Syria. It endorses what I have said for many weeks about the influx of refugees and their origins.

They all claim to be from Syria in the hope of being accepted into the E.U. as war refugees, but now official figures confirm this to be a massive lie. It has taken quite a while, but finally the European Union politicians have the truth in front of them. What they will do with this information is anyone’s guess.

Coming Thick And Fast

Coming Thick And Fast

The report covers just the second quarter of this year when 230,000 crossed into Europe with only 44,000 actually originating from Syria, and a further 13,900 coming from Iraq. The second largest group of 27,000 are in fact from Afghanistan, with another 17,700 coming from Albania of all places where there is no war or strife. The rest come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa.

While the 57,900 from Syria and Iraq have a legitimate claim to be refugees from war torn countries, the rest most certainly do not. This makes them purely economic migrants, and means that a total of 173,000 from the entire 230.000 are not entitled to refugee status in the E.U., and do not forget that this is only from April, May and June of this year.

In recent weeks of course the influx has more than doubled, but the same is still true. It’s a safe bet to assume that in time it will be shown the large majority of refugees coming to our shores since this report was issued also have no right to stay here!

Coming Thick And Fast And All On Top Of The Non-EU Economic Migrants.

Coming Thick And Fast And All On Top Of The Non-EU Economic Migrants.

Most of the economic migrants are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and a few African countries, all claiming to be from Syria in order to gain entry, but now the facts are out in the open.

Pakistani Passport

Pakistani Passport

I previously reported on the Macedonia police and border guards finding a huge number of discarded Pakistani and Bangladesh passports and identity documents in fields along the border. It becomes obvious that asylum seekers from these countries know they have little chance of being accepted as refugees, but thought they could be if they had no documents and claimed to be from Syria.

Germany alone is expecting more than a million asylum seekers by years end, and the fact is that should Europe accept all those swarming over our external borders this year, you can be sure they will keep on coming year after year because they look upon Europe as the ‘Promised Land’. Eventually the entire continent will be totally overrun and the economy of all European countries will be destroyed.

Example of Child Benefit Across The E.U.

Example of Child Benefit Across The E.U.

How on earth can the many European nations afford to house, cloth, and feed such numbers for free when their people are already being hard hit by the slowdown of the European economy?

I am just amazed that the dumb idiots in Brussels cannot see this and start returning those who have no right to be here. While I do have pity for those who are genuinely fleeing war in their home country and think they should be helped, I have none for those who come here just to make money and live off benefits.

This unprecedented influx of refugees has turned Europe on its head and caused severe problems for the whole bloc. The idiots in Brussels have been demanding that each country take its share of 120.000 refugees but many have refused, and rightly so. Why should Europe accept several hundred thousand refugees who have no right to be here? It is tearing the economy of Europe to shreds, and will eventually cause severe suffering for the European people, especially the not so well off.

Spreading Out Across Europe

Spreading Out Across Europe

Right now they are spread out all across Europe which will make it almost impossible to rectify this major blunder. Many have already been registered and their lies believed, so they are now able to accept the handouts, housing and health care being offered to them by the various European governments for free. Also, after five years they will be given permanent status and legally become European citizens, which I think is a huge mistake.

The only thing I am grateful for is that Cameron has kept Britain out of this circus by refusing to accept any of the refugees currently flooding Europe. His plan of taking refugees directly from the transit camps in Jordan and Lebanon is a far better and more measured response.

Indeed - How Many?

Indeed – How Many?

What does come out of all this is that the British public are hardening their attitude towards the E.U. and Brussels as thousands of people sign up to the various pressure groups that want us out. As many know, Britain is to hold a referendum before the end of 2017 on whether we should stay in the E.U., but with this refugee crisis, more and more people are swinging to the ‘No’ side of the argument.

The Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “It is clear that the issue of immigration is going to dominate this EU referendum campaign, with the border chaos across Europe making the issue even more of a concern for the British people than ever before. The choice is clear: either we vote to leave the EU and begin controlling the quality and quantity of those coming into the UK or we have complete open borders, with all of the problems and dangers that come with it.”

Sir Bill Cash

Sir Bill Cash

Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee, called on Home Secretary Theresa May to press the German government to do more to tackle the migrant crisis. He urged her to “have a word with her counterpart to ensure that Germany does actually step up to the mark in doing the sort of things that are really going to help and stop the tsunami of millions of people who could well come over here and swamp Europe.”

More And More Will Come!

More And More Will Come!

It will be difficult to sort out the real refugees fleeing war in their own country, but it must be done and the economic refugees sent back. If the governments and the E.U. idiots in Brussels do not do this, the continent will indeed be swamped and that will have dire consequences for the future of us all.

Imagine that due to the stupidity and gross negligence of the current idiots in Brussels, at some time in the future Europe becomes ‘Europistan’, then you can bet your last dollar that America will be their next target.
I’m just glad I won’t be around to see it.
Roy.

Is This The Beginning?

Posted in America, Britain, European Union, Germany, Immigration, News, Politics, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 17/12/2014 by floroy1942

Last Monday saw what could possibly be the beginnings of major Europe-wide protests about the number of immigrants that are flooding into the Union. Whether this small demonstration opens the floodgates across Europe remains to be seen, but who knows, it could be the spark. There is certainly a huge swell of dissatisfaction among the European people on this subject, and in my view the dam will have to burst soon.

Dresden Germany 15/12/14

Dresden Germany 15/12/14

In Dresden Germany, 15,000 people marched against the ‘Islamization’ of their country in a show of solidarity. Such a small demonstration could be the spark that is needed for people in many European countries to come out and say what they have long thought.

By most standards the demonstration was small, but it soon became evident that among the German people 49 percent sympathised with the marchers stated concerns, and 30 percent indicated they “fully” backed the protests’ aims.

A further poll indicated that 73 percent of Germans were worried that “radical Islam” was gaining ground, and 59 percent said Germany accepted too many asylum seekers.

Demonstration Dresden

Demonstration Dresden

The people marched under the banner PEGIDA which translates as ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident ‘ (Occident standing for the Western nations). Membership of PERGIDA has risen by fifty percent since the first small demonstration in October, and it is certain to rise even further in the months ahead.

The group’s founder Lutz Bachmann said to the crowd, “Everywhere now, in every news rag, on every senseless talk-show, they are debating, and the most important thing is: the politicians can no longer ignore us! We have shown by taking another ‘little stroll’, and by growing in numbers, that we’re on the right path, and that slowly, very slowly, something is beginning to change in this country,”

German politicians have been shocked by the emergence of this group and its rapid popularity, for the people are telling them that the immigration and asylum system in Germany is broken and rapidly needs repair.

It is a fact that since the European economy fell flat, Germany is in a better financial state than most other Union members. This has in turn caused the country to be the number one destination for immigrants and refugees, second only to America.

Anti-Mosque Demonstration Berlin 18/8/2012

Anti-Mosque Demonstration Berlin 18/8/2012

The one big complaint among the German people is as stated by one demonstrator Michael Stuerzenberger, who said he does not oppose asylum for refugees, but asserted that 70 percent of people claiming political asylum here are economic refugees.

Not only that, but the majority of them live off benefits, much the same as in Britain. Germany has a major problem with its Turkish immigrants. A case in point is a man called Kamal and his wife Shadia who have ten children under eighteen and earn from the benefit system €3,000 a month. More than the average western family. On top of this he gets his rent, health care, transport, heating, etc. paid by the state.

Klaus, Kamal’s landlord says, “The man is fit. He even confessed to me that he lies when he says he is ill. He told me once, why should I work if I can live well without” Klaus quotes Kamal.

German Employment Office

German Employment Office

When Kamal has to report to the Federal Employment Office to get a job he tells them he has “unbearable pains in his back and joints.” Therefore, he cannot take any job. Much the same scam as happens under the British system.

I think there are many similarities among the greater majority of those coming to Britain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and France. All these countries have the same problem, just too many immigrants, too many of whom have everything paid for by the tax payer.

Town Centre Closed For Muslim Prayers?

Town Centre Closed For Muslim Prayers?

The ‘baby’ scam has led to many Muslim families having a large number of children in order to get more benefits, but this also has another negative affect in that the birthrate among the Muslim population far outstrips that of the indigenous people. The inevitable outcome is that they will outnumber us in twenty or thirty years time.

In Britain in particular the people are muttering under their breaths much the same thing, but dare not say anything out loud for fear of being arrested under Tony Blair’s disgraceful Racism Laws.  The laws he specifically enacted to prevent criticism of his Multi-Cultural Britain policy.

EU Leaders - People With A Lot To Answer For.

EU Leaders – People With A Lot To Answer For.

Now that the ‘cat is out of the bag’ in Germany so to speak, there is the possibility that people in other European nations will finally stand up against the politicians and tell them in a clear voice that they too have had enough.

It will happen eventually as the hundreds of thousands of immigrants continue pouring into Europe because of weak politicians and an interfering Brussels. With the governments doing nothing to stem the flow it is up to the people to tell them they will stand for no more.

There can be little doubt that turbulent times are ahead of us, but the sad thing is, the politicians seem incapable of doing anything about the problems facing us. Europe, and in fact many other western countries, need a new breed of politician who can not only see the threat the western world is under, but be brave enough to do something about it. I live in hope!

Roy.

So Starbucks Finally Paid Up!

Posted in America, Britain, Demonstration, England, Government, Justice, Theft, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 24/06/2013 by floroy1942
"We Keep Our Bucks"

“We Keep Our Bucks”

I read with interest this last week that the coffee chain Starbucks have finally paid the UK tax man the Corporation Tax they owe, or at least part of it. So that’s one down and more to come, hopefully, with Google and Amazon the remaining main defaulters. We, the less well off, seldom get a chance at the opportunities these big multi-national companies have to duck taxes, but there again, we do not have all the high-powered lawyers they have. Starbucks admitted they had not paid any Corporation Tax on sales worth £400 million in the years between 2009 and 2012, which should have netted the Treasury £92 million at 23%. That amount of money would have bought a lot of apples!

Whichever way you look at it, these companies hire the best lawyers and economists with one thought in mind: How can we get around the tax laws? Mind you the filthy rich are at it too, and if just 50% of these people paid what they owe, we, the rest, would be paying much less and the financial crisis would be over. It was interesting to read that Starbucks said they ‘made a loss last year’, why, because they were siphoning off the profits by “paying fees to other areas of its business — such as ‘royalty payments’ for the use of the brand”. How convenient!

Demonstration

Demonstration

Now they have suddenly decided to cough up what they owe for the tax year 2012, and in a statement they said: “We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10 million in corporation tax this year and a further £10 million in 2014”.  Yea, Right! I suppose the fall-off in custom and the demonstrations outside various branches had nothing to do with that decision. Face it Starbucks, you finally got found out!

My only remaining question is, when are they going to cough up the back taxes of £92 million?

Roy.

To Beat Austerity Measures, Pay Your Taxes

Posted in Benefits, Budget Cuts, Europe, Government Spending, Spain with tags , , , , , on 22/02/2013 by floroy1942

The people in both Spain and Greece have made it known they are fed up with their governments austerity measures, but in part, they are the ones making them necessary. The number of tax dodgers is rising day by day, and that fact alone means governments are not getting the money they need to get the economy back on its feet.

More People Want Cash Transactions

More People Want Cash Transactions

I can talk from personal experience here in Spain, because when someone does something for you here they invariably ask for cash instead of a card payment or bank transfer. Why? Because a cash payment does not go through the bank and is therefore not recorded, hence they do not have to pay tax on it. Even some shops will only take cash now as the economic squeeze bites. Many big businesses are not paying the level of taxation they should, and this too is hurting the economy.

Falling House Prices In Spain

Building Boom Collapse

The government is hemorrhaging money to keep the economy afloat and the ever-increasing number of tax dodgers only makes the situation worse.  Both the Spanish and Greek governments are struggling to pay social security and unemployment benefit to those who need it, and the number of unemployed is rising daily, which only increases the load.

With prices rising, pensions and benefits being cut, people are looking for any way possible to make ends meet and the most obvious is to avoid paying taxes. It is a cycle for destruction of the entire economy and both countries are heading into the abyss.

A Comparison Of Tax Evasion By Country

A Comparison Of Tax Evasion By Country

The Greeks have always avoided paying the proper level of taxes on a massive scale, and that is the main reason for the breakdown of their economy in the first place. Spain is now going down the same road. I do not blame just the people, for the governments of both countries need to get their spending priorities right and make the paying of taxes fair across the whole population.

The Greek Rich Are Moving Their Money Overseas

The Greek Rich Are Moving Their Money Overseas

Many super rich in Greece have not paid taxes for decades because they were bringing investment and money into the country, and the ordinary people had to carry the load, although most of them avoided paying their full share through corrupt tax officials. In the last few years the rich have been moving their capital out of the country to off-shore accounts to avoid heavy tax bills. Many of them have so much money they could probably settle the Greek debt on their own. It’s the old story; if you are rich you can easily move your money around, unlike the man in the street.

Unfinished Apartments Due To The Building Trade Collapse

Unfinished Apartments Due To The Building Trade Collapse

The big problem with Spain, unlike Greece, is that the catalyst for this current debacle was that everyone put ‘all their eggs in one basket’, i.e. the building industry. The collapse of the banks, coupled with the massive fall in property prices and the related stagnation of the building trade put Spain on the road to economic collapse.

Keeping Out The Stench Of Corruption

Keeping Out The Stench Of Corruption

Corruption has also cost the economy dear with just about anyone in a responsible position taking bribes and in some cases, skimming money. The April 7 2006 arrest of practically the entire local council of Marbella on corruption charges is a prime example. Recent allegations of corruption have even been made by the press against the current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rahoy and his Party, although it is not for me to speculate on whether they are true or not. Since that time Rahoy has stated that he will crack down on corrupt practices in both national and local government, but that is hard to do when most people are at it. I wish him luck.

Roy.

Time For The Rich To Pay Taxes!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Equality, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 22/07/2012 by floroy1942

Many parts of the world are suffering the biggest financial turmoil for many decades and yet there are tens of thousands of individuals across the globe who pay but a tiny fraction of the taxes they should. Of course, by that I mean the super rich! A band of selfish, greedy, self-important, conniving, shady, lying, cheating…. Oh Dear! Did I go too far??? I am sure many of the super rich will be quite upset at these words, but thank god for free speech and the right to express your opinions in a democratic world.

And These Are Just The European OnesNow to the nitty gritty! Why do I write such things about the super rich? The reason is a major study has taken place, much to the dis-satisfaction of those who are the subject of it, into tax-free havens and the huge amounts of money that are squirreled away in secret bank accounts on many of these secretive off-shore hide-aways.

It may astound you to know that the wealth hidden away at the end of 2010 is equal to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined i.e. $21 TRILLION! That is 21 times 1,000 billion dollars. This far reaching investigation is the work of James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, and was carried out at the request of the Tax Justice Network.

There can be little doubt that should you have lots of money it is easy to hide it away in many of the tax havens like Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Monaco and the off-shore havens like The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Virgin Islands. The more money you have, so the more your ability to employ the right people to move it around and avoid paying taxes.

…Except About His Tax Returns!

Being an average individual with a high moral code and set of standards, I find it distasteful to say the least that those among us with the most money get away with not paying taxes on their income while the rest of us ordinary folk get bled dry to pay for their excesses. I know for sure that I could not live with myself knowing that my tax contribution would put an end to ordinary people being thrown out of their homes for not being able to pay the mortgage while I sat in my castle counting my ill-gotten gains. It is without doubt one of the greatest injustices in the world today. I can well understand why Mitt Romney doesn’t want the world to know how much tax he has paid in recent years! It’s probably a fraction of what he should have paid.

You have to look at it this way, if all these privileged people paid the taxes they are supposed to, the current financial crisis would be over in  minutes. People would be back in work, homes would be secure and everyone would know their is some justice in the world.

So I have to ask, why cannot the governments of the world come together at the United Nations and put an end to this disgrace by shutting down all these tax-free havens? If there was nowhere for these people to hide their vast fortunes they would have no choice but to start paying taxes. If they did, the tax rates everywhere could be brought down to a realistic level for all, including the rich.

It is unfair on society that the majority must pay the lion’s share of taxes so the rich can make more money! Most of these people have more than they could spend in two lifetimes, and yet they are so greedy and heartless, they stand idly by and watch as hardworking people are thrown out of their homes, quietly rubbing their hands with glee at their massed wealth.

Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett

As most readers of this blog will know, I like to be fair, and in doing so, I have to mention that some super rich people do use their money for good causes. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft is one such person, who with his wife Melinda, formed the world’s largest transparent private foundation i.e. the Gates Foundation. It is dedicated to globally enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The billionaire Warren Buffet works with Bill and Melinda Gates, and there are other rich people who do charity work with their wealth, it’s just a shame there are not enough like them, for there are countless others who hide their money away and do everything they can to avoid the tax man. I have nothing against people getting rich, but I do balk at the idea of them doing it at the expense of everyone else.

Money, like power, has become the number one drug everyone is addicted to, and no matter how much some people have, they always want more. It is definitely time to change the rules so that all men, and women, pay their dues in today’s society. Will it happen? Not on your life because most government’s could not stand without the backing of these powerful people, and they are out to protect themselves at all costs.

Roy.

The Trouble With Barclay’s

Posted in America, Britain, England, Government, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 03/07/2012 by floroy1942

What does it take these days to get a bank operating within its mandate, and in an honest and efficient way? This week revealed yet another scandal involving Barclay’s bank after the doubtful practices unearthed with many others over the past year. CEO’s have been falling like leaves in an autumn gale this last year and yet they never learn. Now the clock has finally ticked down to zero for Barclay’s, a British bank that has faithfully served the public since 1690, and resulted in a whole flurry of resignations by its top staff.

Chairman Marcus Agius – What Say You Marcus?

First to go was the Chairman Marcus Agius, followed by chief operating officer Jerry del Missier, and now the CEO Bob Diamond is quitting. Its fine to hear that those ultimately responsible are losing their jobs, but is it enough? Firstly, even though they are leaving the bank under a cloud, I am sure they will all collect substantive bonuses running into millions of pounds, and secondly, which one of them will go to jail? Not one I’ll bet!

If we ordinary citizens carried out such a massive fraud, like fixing bank lending rates in an international market, we would be hung, drawn, and quartered and thrown to the dogs! But then again, this crew have money and influence so the chances of any of them ending up in jail are infinitesimal to zero.

CEO Bob Diamond – Hang Your Head In Shame!

It is a prime indication that the current generations are obsessed by money, and even those among us who have more than we could spend in two lifetimes, are gripped by a never-ending drive to make more and more. The banks were institutions where ordinary people like you and I could put our money to be held safe until we need it, but not any more. Like most other things, it has become a money-making machine without an ‘off’ switch.

Since 1763 there have been 39 different banking crisis across the world affecting many major banks, 11 of these have happened since 2002, although if you include the current Spanish bank crisis the total is 12, and all that in just ten years! Of course everyone knows that the banks were bailed out with public money in 2008 and 2009, so why are we still having scandals hitting the banking sector. Do these people never learn!

Jerry del Missier – Explain Your Way Out Of This One!

I have to say, that if I were a Barclay’s customer I would take out every cent I have with them and put it somewhere else. I do not wish to be associated with any bank that is knowingly ‘cooking the books’ and manipulating market interest rates for their own benefit.

One Of The Oldest Structures That Once Housed Barclay’s Bank – 1872

It is past time when governments should step in with very strict controls on all banking practices and carry out regular inspections of the books to make sure they get back to following the straight and narrow. When banks play silly games they are doing it with our money and if it should go badly wrong we are the ones that lose our life savings or pensions, not them. They just collect their massive bonuses and retire. Its enough that the last person on Earth you would trust is a lawyer, but now the banks come a very close second. Enough is enough I say, and send the perpetrators of this latest scandal to jail for a good few years as a lesson to all those other shady individuals who wish to gamble with our money.

Roy.

Why A Spanish Banking Crisis?

Posted in Europe, Government, Insanity, Modern World, Spain with tags , , , , on 18/06/2012 by floroy1942

More than enough people have been asking why and how the Spanish banks got in to such a state that they needed another bailout. Well, I can tell you from personal experience that one of the reasons is massive inefficiency.

My wife and I had cause to go to the S……… bank in Marbella to send money to a friend in Romania, and I was appalled at the sheer inefficiency of the service. If you wish to send money outside the country to someone who does not have a bank account of their own, you can only do it from certain banks, and then only if you have an account with them. In our town the only one that would do it without us having an account is the one ‘mentioned’.

We regularly send money to Romania, but to do it I have to show my passport and give them the special code of the place where the money is to be sent, one of the most popular being a Western Union office. A couple of years ago my details were entered into the banks computer and we made the transfer. Last year I had to renew my passport, but instead of just being able to update my information I found they had deleted it all. So with the new passport I had to start from scratch, meaning we had the approval process of one month to go through again. More time wasted. This finally worked for a short time, but when we went back last month they couldn’t find me in their computer again.

We were told that once they had sorted out the problem they would give me a call and we could make the transfer. Guess what? After a month we still didn’t get a call (surprise! surprise!). So off we trotted to the bank again to find out what the hell was going on. After waiting a considerable time, we got to talk to the lady who took another fifteen minutes to find my data, check my documents again and finally fill in the transfer form.

By this time a queue of at least twenty-five people had built up behind us at the cash desk, but we were told we would have to wait in line. If the service had been even adequate, she could have taken the money and we would have been out of there. Instead we spent another thirty-five minutes waiting in the cashier line. There were three positions but only two were manned and the cashiers themselves seemed to know only two speeds, dead slow and stop!  Finally a young man opened up the third desk and things moved to just above a snail’s pace.

To cut this short, it was a very frustrating hour and fifteen minutes waiting around at the whim of a bank that doesn’t have a clue on what the word efficiency means. The money clutched in my hot sweaty little hand waiting to be sent was my money, and on top of that I had the €3 admin fee in my hand as well, so if I am taking my money into the bank, paying their expenses for doing the transfer, why am I given so much hassle???  With most banks, why can I only do if I have an account with them?

I am sure that most people will not believe this but it is a verifiable fact that Spain has 109 different banks, only 9 of which are inter/national. This means that there are 100 regional and spanish city banks. The UK for example has only 9 banks, while France has 24, and these figures include regional banks that come under the main banking groups.

In Spain however, the 109 are independent banks all trying to make money from the Spanish people. Personally I fail to see how such a system has developed, because it seems that apart from the regional banks, cities like Seville, Malaga and San Sebastian all have their own local banks, but it goes down to town level too. To a foreigner it is without doubt a chaotic system especially when you consider that many of the smaller banks do not provide a full banking service at all.

One thing we all need to remember is that the Spanish way of doing things is to say the least, chaotic. The banks in Spain cry about their ‘toxic debts’ and cite that as the reason for the banking crisis. True, there is a massive slump in house purchases and many economic problems over the last three years, but their attitude to solving them is crazy to say the least.

Families who bought property during the ‘good old years’ are being thrown out on the street because they can no longer keep up with their mortgage payments. When this happens the house is repossessed by the banks and is added to the massive number of houses that cannot be sold (currently estimated at 215,000) because no-one can afford them. Surely it makes more sense for these people to stay put and pay off their mortgage at a reduced rate until things get better. In this way at least the banks would have some form of income from their holdings instead of the property standing empty with no-one wanting to buy, and thereby generating no income whatsoever. In our area alone there are places that have been repossessed and are still waiting to be sold after three years. 

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Spain is sinking deeper and deeper into crisis and how they are going to extract themselves is still a mystery. It will not change until someone in the government decides that the lazy individuals in the country need to get up off their asses and start working efficiently. Government, local council offices and the law all need a swift kick up the backside and some rapid instruction on how to do things in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Otherwise, I see more dark clouds on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great country and most of the people are great, but the leadership and know-how needs to come from the top. For decades this has not been happening because most of those in charge are too busy lining their own pockets. Come on Spain – Get off your backside and start marching forward!

Roy.

And Still The Greeks Avoid Taxes!

Posted in Budget Cuts, Europe, Government Spending, Modern World with tags , , , , , , on 08/06/2012 by floroy1942

It would seem some people never learn, for even when they end up to their necks in the mire through their own stupidity and greed, and with their country on the verge of total bankruptcy, they continue to make the same mistakes. I am of course referring to the Greek habit of not paying their taxes, which is the main cause for the massive debt they are now suffering.

In my 23/10/2011 post The Shocking Truth Behind the Greek Debt, I explained why the Greek people ended up in a crisis that has shaken the very foundations of Europe, and yet the latest news is that nothing has changed.

She Tells It As It Is!

It bugs me somewhat to think that the Greek people were very angry at the remark made by IMF head Christine Lagarde when she said the Greeks were avoiding paying taxes. Indignation was rife and she received many angry complaints, but the simple truth is – she spoke the truth!

For decades, very few people in Greek society have paid the level of taxes they should, in fact the rich have not paid any at all, and the latest estimate is that the country will run out of money completely by the end of July!

An Economy Based On Deceit

Government officials are now scrambling for ideas in an effort to collect taxes from people, but some just haven’t got the money, and many businesses are using ‘cash only’ methods in an effort to forestall paying taxes on their income. Despite the recent bailout of 130 billion, the government still faces a shortfall of 1.7 billion because tax revenue and other sources of potential income cannot be collected.  Nikos Maitos, an official in Greece’s financial crimes investigation unit said, “One repercussion of the crisis is that people are harder to find, and when you do find them, they don’t have money.” Harry Theoharis, a senior official in the Greek Finance Ministry is quoted as saying, “You can’t flog a dead horse”.

The government has stated that it is owed a total of €45 billion in back taxes and the outlook is that only a fraction of that will ever be recovered.

Paperwork Chaos

According to reports, the Greek government has begun enforcing a 1995 law that allows tax inspectors access to the bank accounts of suspected tax evaders. The banks however have so far obstructed 5,000 requests for information since 2010, and are delaying the hand-over of other documents by up to 10 months, and then dumping such a huge pile onto the tax department that trying to get the necessary information is next to impossible. So, you see, considering the whole European financial mess started with the banks in  2008, they too have not learnt any lessons in Greece.

To add to the country’s woes, the rich are moving their capital out of the country as fast as they can, for they too are ducking paying tax on the largest proportion of their wealth, which is a bit sick considering before the current crisis they never paid any at all! 

The Underground ‘Honesty’ Barrier

Among the people there is anger that salaries have been cut by as much as 50% due to the austerity measures, but if you read my last post on the subject, you will realise that the salaries earned before the crisis were out of all proportion with the rest of the world. Cleaners employed by the Greek Rail Company earning €60,000 a year, and on top of that, no-one buys a subway ticket in Athens because there are no controls, meaning millions travel for free every month. 

Any country run on these lines is doomed to irrevocable failure, and from all accounts, the crunch is going to come soon. The sad thing is, when it does come it will likely drag the rest of the continent down with it, and eventually we will all suffer. Whether the Euro will survive this is without doubt questionable. Greed will eventually be the undoing of man!

Roy. 

For those interested, the following link will take you to my previous post on this subject:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/the-shocking-truth-behind-the-greek-debt/

 

Doctor’s Sick Note System in Urgent Need of Reform

Posted in Benefits, Britain, Conservative Party, England, Health, UK with tags , , , , , on 20/11/2011 by floroy1942

A new government proposal to reform the current system of doctors handing out sick notes for long and short-term illness is on the cards, and it’s well overdue. For decades people have been able to go to their local GP and obtain the necessary piece of paper that allows them to take time off work and still get paid, either by their employer or the government.

There is Evidence Enough

While many sick notes are legitimate, there are millions that are nothing more than an excuse for the work-shy to lounge around and live off benefits. This has to stop, and the government is looking at ways to curb this criminality. For it is criminal when a person lives off the back of the tax payer when capable of doing a job of work and paying taxes. But such is the decline in moral standards these days, that many people are always looking for something for nothing, while fully capable of going out and earning it for themselves.

Doctors’ Dilemma

Many family doctors find it hard to keep up with the ever-increasing flow of patients in their surgeries, and most I’m sure just sign a sick note without a proper examination these days. It is therefore difficult to lay the blame at their door.

It is a medical fact that many incapacitating illnesses are difficult to diagnose, or in fact disprove, like certain back-pain for example. Wily work dodgers know this and are adept at working the system.

Dept. For Works and Pensions

According to information released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), around 140 million work days a year are lost to sickness, which is costing a massive £15 billion in lost economic output in the UK annually. The bill for short term illness has to be paid by the employer, but those with long-term sickness must be supported by the state. The DWP figures indicate that the cost to employers comes out at around £9 billion, while the state pays out a massive £130 billion annually in sickness benefits.

Now, as I have previously said, many claims are legitimate, for we cannot all be healthy all the time, but the government hopes to employ a method that will hopefully cut back on those who ‘milk’ the system.

The proposal is that a local GP will only be allowed to issue sick notes for a period not exceeding four weeks, after that the claimant can be made to attend an independent panel of doctors by his/her employer to certify their illness. If you are genuinely sick you should have nothing to fear, but those ‘trying it on’ will hopefully have a tougher time. To me, this seems an excellent idea, considering some 300,000 people a year drop out of work to live on benefits long-term.

Many people may require some months ‘on the sick’ after perhaps a car or work-related accident, and the honest ones will be back at work as soon as they are fit enough. They deserve applause, but for the scroungers it is nothing more than an excuse to get out of working for a living. With luck the new system will ‘winkle out’ these parasites and get them back to being productive members of society once again.

Disability Need Not Stop You Working

Some people are getting benefits because they are permanently incapacitated in one way or another, but that does not preclude them from doing some form of work that suits their affliction. Just because a person is in a wheelchair does not stop them from working. There are many jobs suited to such people, and they should be integrated back into society and given the opportunity to contribute.

I am glad to see an administration with the balls to tackle this problem that has festered unchecked under the previous Labour government. It is way past time!

Roy.

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