“European Union regulators may get the power to overrule national banking authorities under plans to tighten banking supervision that are aimed at avoiding a repeat of mistakes that led to the credit crisis,” the New York Times noted on May 27 in “European Union Looks to Tighten Banking Supervision.” The proposals “call for new European supervisors to have the right to step in and settle disputes if national regulators cannot agree on the oversight of multinational financial institutions.”
The highly secretive Bilderberg Group held its 2009 annual meeting from May 14 to 17 at a luxury resort in Athens, Greece. As always, there was very little publicity and so we have a lot of speculation and few actual specifics.
Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at Israel’s Yad Veshem Holocaust Memorial this past Monday, during which he paid tribute to the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide. His words were not well-received by all, however, as some Israeli critics expected an apology from Benedict and felt that he was “restrained” in his remarks. Most notably, speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, said, “[I was] hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing." Reuters tells us that the speaker also “referred to Benedict as ‘a German who joined the Hitler Youth and ... Hitler's army.’”
The EU's European Commission imposed a fine of 1.06 billion Euros ($1.45 billion) on Intel Corporation on May 13, allegedly "for violating EC Treaty antitrust rules on the abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82) by engaging in illegal anticompetitive practices to exclude competitors from the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (CPUs)."
The United Kingdom released a list of the names of 16 people not allowed into the U.K. (apparently six more people are banned, but their names are not being released).
Alfred Lord Tennyson may be turning in his grave. The author of some of the most exalted poetry in the English language, such as “Crossing the Bar” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” would probably be appalled to learn that Britain’s newest poet laureate — an honor Tennyson held from 1850 until his death in 1892 — is Carol Ann Duffy, an open lesbian much of whose poetry is a celebration of her sexual deviancy.
It appears as if another country is afraid of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders because of his outspoken views about Islam and his film Fitna, which intersperses excerpts from the Koran with depictions of Islamic violence. Following the lead of Great Britain, Denmark has postponed a conference on free speech to which Wilders was invited by the Danish People’s Party.
The UN's Durban Review Conference on racism got off to a rocky start in Geneva on April 20, as about 40 delegates from 30 countries walked out during a speech delivered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Even before the Ahmadinejad talk, the conference was sparsely attended owing to a boycott by eight Western nations (including the United States) that anticipated that the event would become a forum for anti-Israeli rhetoric.
Ex-prime minister Tony Blair is seen as the front-runner for a permanent EU presidency post, when and if the job is actually implemented. The post of President of the European Council is held for six months on a rotating basis by various heads of member states. Currently the Czech Republic holds the seat, with Mirek Topolanek as president of the council and Vaclav Klaus as president-in-office. The president-in-office is a rather insignificant unofficial position.