Malta

Apparently bludging foreign ratbags don’t actually exist

In the UK at the moment there is outrage about bludging foreign ratbags, but it appears it is a false assumption that hordes of gypos and wogs are descending on Western Europe on the bludge looking for good times at the taxpayers expense.

From London to Berlin, the tabloids and right-wing press whipped themselves into a xenophobic frenzy as the end of 2013 neared. They warned of “swarms of immigrants,” “soaring crime rates,” a “swamped labor market,” and “benefit tourism.” Even government officials got in on the action: Lodewijk Asscher, the Dutch social affairs minister, issued a “Code Orange” alert — a warning normally issued in the Netherlands, a country prone to flooding, when water levels reach dangerous heights. In the United Kingdom, there was talk of introducing “Olympic-style security” at airports. French President François Hollande and his Socialist government called for a “crackdown.”

The cause of all the panic: On Jan. 1, 2014, migration restrictions imposed on Romania and Bulgaria by several Western European countries ended. After the two eastern states joined the European Union (E.U.) in 2007, these rules placed substantial limitations on the ability of Romanians and Bulgarians to emigrate for the purposes of work to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  Read more »

They had it coming

Julia Gillard isn’t one to hold back with her opinions and her opinion on Europe and their mass credit downgrades was that they had it coming:

THE Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has rubbed salt into the wounds of European nations reeling from weekend credit downgrades, declaring they had it coming for avoiding tough decisions.

Speaking after Standard & Poor’s stripped France and Austria of their AAA ratings and downgraded Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, Ms Gillard said the moves were the “price to be paid” by governments that had put off reforms.

“For too many years, European governments have deferred the nation-building, productivity-enhancing reforms which Australia has made the foundation of our dynamic and resilient economy,” she said yesterday.

“In stark contrast to Europe”, Australia had strict fiscal rules that would return it to surplus in 2012-13. European leaders should “swiftly undertake structural reforms to boost their economic potential and lift growth”.