While America's President shrinks from facing the demographic catastrophe lurking a decade or two down the road for Social Security, Medicare, and public pensions, there is evidence in Germany that such a debacle might be avoided — and a glimmer of hope in France. Last year French President Nicolas Sarkozy raised the retirement age in his country from 60 to 62 — for which he endured weeks of demonstrations and a lessening of his popularity.
Italian authorities vowed a few days ago to send home more than a thousand Africans who invaded the isle of Lampedusa after leaving Tunisia and Libya to seek fortune in Europe. The latest pronouncement from Italy, London's Telegraph reported, came after the detained illegal aliens set fire to the facility in which they were housed.
The announcement by Kaspar Villiger (left), Board Chairman of UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland), that CEO Oswald Grübel had resigned on Saturday caught many by surprise, partly because just the day before he had said he had the board’s complete support. According to Villiger, “The Board regrets Oswald Grübel’s decision. Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident.” He added:
Since France passed legislation earlier this year banning the Islamic burqas, or face-veils, from its streets, the law has engendered a wave of protest. Now, in a show of opposition against the ban, an Islamic Frenchwoman, Kenza Drider, has decided to launch a bid for the French presidency. “When a woman wants to maintain her freedom, she must be bold,” she asserted.
Authorities in the United Kingdom have arrested seven suspects in connection with a terror plot. British intelligence raided more than a dozen homes and collared six men and a woman between midnight and about 7 a.m. Monday, according to news reports. They are connected, the New York Times reported, to “Islamic militancy,” which describes yet another plot by “British citizens” who are really "Asians" or of another nationality. Typically, those words are media code for Muslims.
The sovereign debt woes of the European Union are nearing a critical stage. Greece's short-term bonds have recently shot to 60 percent, indicating an extremely high probability that the ancient country will default. Though Portugal and Spain, two of the other “PIIGS” member-states in the EU, are temporarily off the radar screen, neither has solved its fundamental debt problems.
Swiss bank UBS trader Kweku Adoboli (left) was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with two counts of false accounting and one count of “suspicion of fraud by abuse of position.” His position was director of the Delta One trading desk at UBS in London, where he had worked as a trader for the past three years and as a technical advisor for two years before that.
If the European Union begins to disintegrate, what signs would portend its spiral into disunion? One would be a member nation utterly ignoring the financial rules intended to support the EU by providing false and misleading information about its economy — actions already undertaken by both Greece and Portugal. Another indication of impending EU disintegration would be a member state simply printing its own euros — after only technically meeting the requirement of notification — as did Ireland a few months ago.
Pro-life leaders in Poland remain optimistic despite the narrow defeat of a bill that would have completely banned abortion in the largely Catholic nation. The historic bill, the result of a nationwide grassroots campaign that garnered 600,000 petition signatures in support of the law in two weeks, was narrowly defeated in late August in Poland’s parliament by a 191-186 vote, with five abstentions and 78 lawmakers not present for the vote, according to LifeSiteNews.com.
Prime Minister George Papandreou’s speech on Saturday evening in Thessaloniki was designed to reassure not only his Greek citizens that all would be well but also that those holding Greek sovereign debt would be getting their money back. The government’s top priority, he said, is “to save the country from bankruptcy.”