Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)
30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)
French National Assembly head Edouard Herriot and British Foreign minister Ernest Bevin surrounded by Italian, Luxembourg and other delegates at the first meeting of Council of Europe's Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg, August 1949 (AFP Photo)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, one of the Renaissance palaces that line the Michelangelo-designed Capitoline Square in the Italian capital

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
EU leaders pose for a family photo during the European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/JOHN THYS)

Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nursing home workers win big in Spain's Christmas lottery

Yahoo – AFP, 23 December 2017

Pupils of the San Ildefonso school sing out a winning number during the draw 
of Spain's Christmas lottery "El Gordo" at the Royal Theatre in Madrid

Spain's annual Christmas lottery on Friday showered over 10 million euros on employees of a nursing home in a struggling town where one in five people is out of work.

Celebrating employees of the "Sagrado Corazon" nursing home in the central town of Campo de Criptana, many wearing their white uniforms, jumped up and down, sang and drank sparkling wine outside the building, images broadcast on Spanish TV showed.

Twenty-two workers at the home held at least one ticket bearing the winning number for the first prize, each paying 400,000 euros ($475,000).

"They are workers who really need it," the home's director, Ana Maria Campos, told local media.

A truck driver who volunteers at the nursing home bought 30 winning tickets during a trip to the northwestern region of Galicia.

He kept two for himself, gave one to each of his two brothers and re-sold the remaining 26 to staff at the nursing home.

"I am thrilled that I brought so much luck and money to my hometown," Jesus Martinez, 54, who has been a volunteer at the home for the past decade, told online newspaper El Espanol.

His two tickets won him 800,000 euros while the nursing home staff's 26 tickets will award them a combined 10.4 million euros.

Campo de Criptana mayor Antonio Lucas-Torres said he was "very happy, because anything that rains money on Criptana is good because it has repercussions on the economy of the town."

Some winners celebrate winning "El Gordo" lottery first prize

The town of around 14,000 residents, located in an arid plain in the province of Ciudad Real, has an unemployment rate of 19.4 percent.

"Everyone deserves to win, but these people especially so because they are very hard working. They have given their all to this nursing home," Lucas-Torres added.

Spain's annual Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo" or "The Fat One", is ranked as the world's richest, handing out a total of 2.38 billion euros this year.

Unlike other big lotteries that generate just a few big winners, Spain's Christmas lottery aims to share the wealth, with thousands of numbers getting a prize.

This year's winning number - 71198 - appeared on 1,600 tickets, for a total payout of 680 million euros.

The vast majority, 1,300 tickets, were sold in Galicia.

The Christmas lottery has been held uninterrupted since 1812. Even Spain's 1936-39 civil war did not end it, as each side held its own draw during the conflict.

It has become a popular Christmas tradition in Spain, with friends, colleagues and bar regulars banding together to buy tickets.

The standard ticket costs 20 euros ($22) and queues form outside lottery stores weeks ahead of the televised draw, which goes on for over three hours.

Children from a Madrid school that used to be a home for orphans pick small wooden balls bearing the winning numbers and prizes out of two giant tumblers, and sing them out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

EU triggers unprecedented censure mechanism against Poland

Yahoo – AFP, Cédric SIMON, 20 December 2017

Thousands of Poles have protested against the controversial court reforms
by the rightwing goverment

The European Commission launched unprecedented disciplinary proceedings against Poland on Wednesday over its highly controversial judicial reforms which Brussels says threaten the rule of law.

The bloc's executive arm triggered article seven of the EU treaty over what it sees as "systemic threats" to the independence of the Polish judiciary from the right-wing government.

Never before used, article seven proceedings are seen as a "nuclear option" against an EU member state as they can lead -- albeit at the end of a complex process -- to a suspension of voting rights at the European Council.

"It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to initiate Article 7.1. But the facts leave us with no choice," Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told reporters in Brussels.

The Dutch commissioner said that 13 laws adopted by Poland in the space of two years had created a situation where the government "can systematically politically interfere with the composition, powers, the adminstration and the functioning" of judicial authorities.

But Timmermans gave Warsaw three months to remedy the situation, saying Brussels could withdraw the measures if it did.

Poland's right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government began making changes to the judiciary after coming to power in late 2015 and says the reforms are needed to combat corruption and overhaul the judicial system still haunted by the communist era.

Brussels has repeatedly warned Warsaw that it views the changes as a threat to the democratic principles and rule of law Poland signed up to when it joined the European Union.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said states have a right to
reform their judicial systems

The initial phase set in motion by the EU's commission, the bloc's executive arm, allows member states to "determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach" of the rule of law. Such a ruling would need the backing of 22 states.

Any possible sanctions would only come at a second stage and would need unanimous support of all EU members -- apart from Poland.

Hungary has already said it would veto such a move, making sanctions unlikely, but Brussels is hoping the start of proceedings will have significant symbolic power.

Poland defiant

Poland's parliament last week adopted new reforms allowing it to choose members of a body designed to protect judicial independence and reinforce political control over the Supreme Court.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has said the new reforms will undermine judicial independence by making judges "subordinate" to the executive and legislature.

As well as heavy criticism from Brussels, the reforms have sparked street protests in Poland and concern from the US State Department.

Warsaw and the EU have clashed over the reforms for more than a year with little result. Poland has refused to implement the "recommendations" from Brussels, defending its right to clean up what it says is a corrupt judicial "caste".

"I am firmly convinced that sovereign states -- and Europe must be a Europe of sovereign states -- have an absolute right to reform their judicial systems," Poland's new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week, sticking to the line of his eurosceptic predecessor Beata Szydlo.

In the face of this doggedness, the commission has been threatening to trigger article seven for months, but given that the threat of sanctions is no more than theoretical, the EU is trying to come up with other ways of getting Poland to comply.

One idea is to link access to European funding for major infrastructure projects to respect for EU values and rulings.

"A country that is drifting away from the rule of law cannot at the same time ask Brussels to be supported by billions (of euros) in funding," France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said this week.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lafarge ex-CEO denies knowing of Syria payments until late

Yahoo - AFP16 December 2017

Former Lafarge CEO Bruno Lafont has been charged with "financing a
terrorist organisation and "endangering the lives of others"

A former CEO of French-Swiss cement maker LafargeHolcim said he was made aware of payments to the Islamic State group in August 2014, contradicting an account by another top executive, a source close to the case said Saturday.

Lafarge is accused of paying the terrorist group and other militants $12.9 million between 2011 and 2015 so that the company's factory in Jalabiya, northern Syria, could continue to operate despite the war.

According to a report commissioned by LafargeHolcim and seen by AFP, Lafarge's Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS) paid out some $5.6 million (4.7 million euros) between July 2012 and September 2014.

Of this, more than half a million dollars went to IS, according to an April report by US consultants Baker McKenzie.

Last week, Bruno Lafont -- chief executive from 2007 to 2015 when the company merged with the Swiss building supplies company Holcim, before serving as co-chairman of LafargeHolcim until April this year -- was charged with "financing a terrorist organisation and "endangering the lives of others".

The group's former Syria chief Christian Herrault and Eric Olsen, who took over from Lafont as CEO after the company merged with Switzerland's Holcim, were also charged with the same crimes.

Investigators contend that Lafont was aware of the millions of dollars being paid to various armed groups including IS.

The three men have been in detention since December 6.

According to the source, Lafont told judges in a hearing that Herrault announced "an agreement with Daesh (IS)" during a board meeting in August 2014.

"I did not comment at the time, except to say that the deal was not a good idea," Lafont said, adding that he then decided to close the plant.

It would eventually fall into the hands of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi group a few weeks later, on September 19, 2014.

'Regularly informed'

Herrault acknowledged earlier this year that Lafarge was involved in a "racket", but that he kept Lafont "regularly informed", according to the commissioned report.

Herrault apparently told Lafont about what was going on in Syria beginning in summer 2012 and of the jihadist payments in September-October 2013.

Herrault told judges he paid IS "the sum of 5 million Syrian pounds ($20,000) monthly from November 2013," because "all the stakeholders have to make sure that this investment lasts and works".

"There are many things I did not know and that may have been hidden from me," Lafont told the judges.

The former CEO denied having wanted to stay in Syria at all costs only for a "commercial" reason, seeing as the group had spent $680 million on its Jalabiya factory a few years earlier.

"Obviously an asset of that amount is taken into account but it is not the only thing taken into account," Lafont said. "A cement factory is very difficult to dismantle (and) our custom is to not let people down".

Lafont told judges he realised in July 2013 that the situation in Syria had worsened and that the company needed an exit strategy.

"Mr. Lafont never expressed doubts or any intention of closing the factory to Mr. Herrault from that date and until August 2014," Herrault's lawyer Solange Doumic said.

Lafont's lawyer was unavailable for comment.

Lafarge hung on for another 14 months, after most French companies had left as IS made major territorial gains.

Three former officials at the Jalabiya factory were also charged in the case last week.

'Nothing to fear' as Austrian far-right enters government

Yahoo – AFP, Simon STURDEE, December 16, 2017

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen (left) receives Sebastian Kurz a
day after his People's Party reached a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom
Party, headed by headed by Heinz-Christian Strache (right) (AFP Photo/HANS PUNZ)

Vienna (AFP) - Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) secured Saturday its return to power in a coalition with the conservatives, capping a year of successes for Europe's nationalist movements.

The anti-immigration party obtained the interior, defence and foreign ministries, but the incoming interior minister Herbert Kickl insisted that "nobody has anything to fear".

The chancellor-elect, Sebastian Kurz of the conservative People's Party (OeVP), stressed also that the new government, to be sworn in next week, was pro-EU, although it would press for Brussels to have less say in national affairs.

"We have agreed a clear pro-EU stance with the aim of boosting subsidiarity in the EU," Kurz told a news conference, favouring an EU that is "stronger in big questions and which should step back on smaller issues".

In addition, while the new government favours more Swiss-style "direct democracy", there will be no British-style referendum on Austria's EU membership, FPOe chief and future vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said.

"We stand by the European Union, we stand by the peace project of Europe. But we see various developments critically, and we will of course articulate this and seek partners," Strache told reporters.

Strache, 48, has in the past been ambivalent about EU membership, calling Brussels a "bureaucratic monster" and saying that Britain will "probably be better off" after it leaves the bloc.

'Whizz-kid'

Kurz, 31, who will become the world's youngest leader, took over the reins of the OeVP in May, and swiftly pulled the plug on its unhappy "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats.

Kurz -- dubbed "wunderwuzzi" or "whizz-kid" -- rebranded the party in turquoise as his own personal "movement" and secured first place in snap elections in October after yanking the party to the right.

The FPOe came third with 26 percent of the vote, which was double the stunning 13 percent notched up by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in elections the month before.

Both Kurz and Strache won over voters by stoking concerns about immigration following a record influx in 2015, mirroring elections elsewhere in Europe this year.

Geert Wilders' Freedom Party became the second-largest in the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen of France's National Front was in a runoff for the presidency in May and the AfD entered the Bundestag.

But the FPOe, which was last in government in the early 2000s, is rare in western Europe in having translated its ballot box success into real power. Last year it also came close to winning the largely ceremonial presidency.

Speaking at a far-right congress in Prague on Saturday, Wilders said the FPOe's entry into government was "an excellent result". Le Pen called it "very good news for Europe".

Strache's "electoral success shows that the future is of a Europe of peoples," Le Pen said. "Every election shows a form of rejection of the EU."

Tax cuts

The joint programme says that Austria will seek to stop illegal immigration and ensure that people whose asylum claims are rejected are quickly deported. Asylum is "temporary protection" only.

Those "refusing to integrate must expect sanctions" and "parallel societies" must be prevented, it says. Citizenship for people not born Austrian will only come "after a successful integration process".

There will also be a halt to people coming to Austria to claim benefits, the programme says. Monthly payments to those with asylum and subsidiary protection will be cut to 365 euros plus an "integration bonus" of 155 euros.

In addition, labour laws are to be loosened, taxes will be cut and bureaucracy slashed. Austria, the programme says, is "world champion when it comes to regulation and limiting freedom and personal responsibility".

"In my talks with Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPOe I experienced a willingness not just to work together but also to bring about real change in Austria," Kurz said, promising a "new style" of government.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dutch civil servant to chair influential Eurogroup planning committee

DutchNews, December 15, 2017


Dutch senior civil servant Hans Vijlbrief is to be the new chairman of the working group that prepares all the meetings of the influential Eurogroup of European finance ministers. 

This means The Hague remains assured of a good flow of information when former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem stands down as chairman on January 13, the Volkskrant reported on Friday. 

The paper says Vijlbrief’s only challenger, Finland’s Tuomas Saarenheimo, withdrew withdrawn his candidacy when it become clear Vijlbrief had more support. 

Vijlbrief’s appointment will be confirmed today and the decision will be endorsed by the ministers of finance at a Eurogroup meeting on January 22, the paper said. 

On Monday evening, European finance ministers voted Portugal’s Mario Centeno as new Eurogroup chairman to succeed Dijsselbloem.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

British PM suffers defeat in Brexit bill

Yahoo – AFP, Alice RITCHIE, December 13, 2017

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May managed to strike a deal in Brussels last
week to move onto the next stage of Brexit negotiations, but is already facing
more problems (AFP Photo/Niklas HALLEN)

London (AFP) - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday suffered a damaging parliamentary defeat over Brexit, after her own MPs rebelled to demand parliament have the final say on the divorce deal with Brussels.

Members of May's Conservative party joined with opposition lawmakers to inflict the government's first defeat over the flagship EU (Withdrawal) Bill, sparking huge cheers in the House of Commons.

Ministers had sought to buy off the rebels with a last-minute promise of a parliamentary vote on the separation agreement, but their leader, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, warned: "It's too late."

His amendment demanding a statutory vote on the deal before Britain leaves the EU in March 2019 passed by 309 votes to 305.

The Brexit ministry said it was "disappointed".

"We will now determine whether further changes are needed to the bill to ensure it fulfils its vital purpose," the ministry said in a statement.

It is a blow to May on the eve of a crucial summit in Brussels, where EU leaders are expected to approve the terms of the interim Brexit deal agreed last week after months of tortuous negotiations.

Gina Miller, a leading pro-EU campaigner, reacted saying: "Parliamentary sovereignty wins the day!"

But Nigel Farage, a key driving force behind the Brexit campaign, said: "My contempt for career politicians knows no bounds".

Hampering 'smooth' Brexit

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is intended to formally end Britain's membership of the EU, as well as smooth its exit by transferring thousands of pieces of European legislation onto the UK statute books.

It also gives ministers powers to amend the laws as they move across, to address any technical glitches.

But MPs objected to the fact that these so-called "Henry VIII" powers also extend to the implementation of the withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, a hardline Brexiteer, had accused Grieve of "looking for ways to derail the bill", saying his amendment would "tie the government's hands" in negotiations with the EU.

But one Conservative MP, Antoinette Sandbach, had warned: "The government is presiding over a monumental task of immense importance for the future of this country.

"With any such change it is imperative that parliament maintains close scrutiny and oversight of the process."

In a written statement to parliament earlier Wednesday, Brexit Secretary David Davis promised that no withdrawal agreement would be implemented until a vote in both Houses of Parliament.

Parliament would then be asked to approve a further piece of legislation to implement the deal.

But ministers wanted to preserve their special powers in the event that this law is not passed in time.

"That could be at a very late stage in the proceedings, which could mean that we are not able to have the orderly and smooth exit from the European Union that we wish to have," May told MPs earlier.

'Blank cheque'

After months of wrangling, May secured a deal last week on three priorities of the separation -- Britain's financial settlement, the Irish border and the rights of expatriates.

It was a rare moment of triumph for the prime minister, who has been struggling to assert her authority since losing her parliamentary majority in a disastrous election in June.

The European Parliament on Wednesday gave its backing to the deal, and EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are expected to give the green light to move the Brexit negotiations onto trade.

However, the sense of victory has been tempered by a dispute with Brussels over comments made by Davis at the weekend, suggesting Britain was not fully committed to the agreement.

Wednesday's vote spells further domestic trouble ahead for May, as parliament and her party are divided about Britain's future relationship with the EU.

Ahead of Wednesday's vote, Grieve warned that ministers were asking for "a blank cheque to the government to achieve something that, at the moment, we don't know what it is".



Friday, December 8, 2017

Britain, EU in historic Brexit deal, but tough talks still ahead

Yahoo – AFP, Damon WAKE, December 8, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President
Jean-Claude Juncker met as the UK and EU reached a breakthrough on
Brexit talks (AFP Photo/EMMANUEL DUNAND)

Brussels (AFP) - Britain and the European Union reached a historic deal on Brexit divorce terms on Friday, but Brussels swiftly warned that even harder talks lie ahead on a future relationship after the split.

British Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Brussels for early morning talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to clinch the breakthrough.

The European Commission announced that it judged "sufficient progress" had been made after Britain agreed to keep the Irish border open, pay a 40-45 billion-euro divorce bill and protect expats' rights.

But EU President Donald Tusk -- who will recommend to leaders at a summit next week to open trade and transition talks -- warned that the toughest task was to come.

"Let us remember that the most difficult challenge is still ahead. We all know that breaking up is hard but breaking up and building a new relation is much harder," Tusk said.

Negotiators worked through the night to seal an agreement after the EU set a deadline of Sunday.

May said the key part of the agreement was to ensure there would be no return of checkpoints on the frontier between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after March 29, 2019, the date Britain is to leave the bloc.

"In Northern Ireland we will guarantee there will be no hard border," she told a press conference with Juncker.

The rights of EU citizens in Britain will be "enshrined in UK law and enforced 
by British courts", May said (AFP Photo/Gillian HANDYSIDE)

Northern Ireland 'alignment'

Northern Irish unionists who prop up May's minority Conservative government scuppered a possible deal on Monday with their fierce opposition to wording they felt would divide the North from the rest of the UK.

The deal commits both sides to respect the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which ended decades of violence between nationalists who want a united Ireland and Northern Ireland unionists loyal to Britain.

Under the agreement, London will try to find a way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland "through the overall EU-UK relationship" but if this cannot be achieved, Britain will keep "full alignment" with the EU single market and customs union rules that are crucial to the Good Friday Agreement.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the deal, saying his government had "achieved all that we set out to achieve".

On its divorce bill, previously the most contentious issue, Downing Street said Britain had agreed to pay a settlement of between 35 billion and 39 billion pounds (40 billion to 45 billion euros).

The welfare and social rights of some 3.7 million European citizens living in the UK after Brexit are protected in the deal -- and for eight years after Brexit it gives them recourse to the EU's top court if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

However, the3million, an advocacy group for expats living in Britain, said the deal still leaves people in uncertainty.

The breakthrough was given a cautious welcome around Europe, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman calling it a "step forward" and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian saying "common sense" had prevailed.

UK business leaders breathed a sigh of relief, with Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the CBI business lobby saying it opened the door to an accord on trade, the "true prize".

There will be no hard border with Ireland, Britain and the EU have agreed 
(AFP Photo/Gillian HANDYSIDE)

European markets were up and the pound briefly topped $1.35 on the news, though analysts said with difficult trade talks still to come, it was too early to start popping corks.

Tusk warned that with October 2018 set as a deadline for settling a final withdrawal agreement, there was "de facto less than a year" for trade talks -- and it has taken a year and a half since Britain's June 2016 Brexit referendum just to reach Friday's accord.

Senior members of the European Parliament -- which will have to give its approval of the final agreement -- said they were happy with Friday's accord and would vote on it on Wednesday.

Former Polish premier Tusk, who deals with EU leaders, released nine draft guidelines on future relations so member states could approve them for next week's summit.

He said he would propose the "immediate" opening of talks on a transition period, which Britain has estimated at around two years, but warned Britain would have to "respect the whole of EU law, including new law" during that period -- and would have no say in its drafting.

That -- and the continued influence of the European Court of Justice -- is set to infuriate ardent Brexit supporters, including some in May's Conservative party, who have argued for Britain to walk away from the talks with no deal rather than compromise on sovereignty and the financial bill.

Canada model for trade

Tusk called for more clarity from Britain on what kind of trade relationship it wants, but the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said London had left little room for manoeuvre.

He said Britain's insistence on leaving the single market and customs union gave the EU no choice but to work on a post-Brexit free trade agreement modelled on the bloc's deal with Canada.

"It's not us, it's our British friends who are giving these red lines which close certain doors," Barnier said.

New ‘Basel 4’ capital requirements for banks will impact Dutch mortgages

DutchNews, December 8, 2017


New capital requirements for banks, known as Basel 4, will have a major impact on the Dutch financial services sector, Dutch media said on Friday. 

The European central bank declared on Thursday that agreement had been reached reviewing the post crisis Basel 3 regulations. Basel 3 required the banks to add equity to their balance sheets and Basel 4, as the revisions are know, will further add to the requirements. 

According to the Dutch central bank in the Financieele Dagblad, the Dutch banks are a combined  €14bn short of meeting the new capital requirements. That means banks will be more restricted in what they can do and what risks they are prepared to take. 

‘It will have a major impact,’ central bank official Paul Hilbers, one of the two Dutch negotiators, told the FD ‘You have to compare it with the average combined annual profits of €6bn posted by all the large banks in the last few years.’ 

Rabobank chief financial officer Bas Brouwers is quoted as describing the new rules as ‘absurd and irrational’ by the Volkskrant

Mortgages

In particular, Basel 4 is likely to have an impact on the Dutch mortgage system by reducing the amount people can borrow – the loan to value ratio – because banks will have to further minimise their risks. The ltv Dutch rate, now 100%, is one of the most generous in Europe.

However, as the new rules won’t come into effect until 2020, and will be phased in over five years, the impact is likely to be muted, the Volkskrant said. 

Nevertheless, from January, home buyers will only be able to borrow up to 100% of the value of their home, but the Dutch market regulators – the central bank and AFM – want this to be reduced to 90%, further reducing the risk to banks. 

Such a change, which is politically highly sensitive, would require first time buyers to bring in some €25,000 in cash to buy a home, the paper said.

Related Article:

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

EU blacklists 17 tax havens

Yahoo – AFP, Alex PIGMAN, December 5, 2017

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said officials from 
member states were negotiating from an initial list of 29 countries (AFP Photo/
EMMANUEL DUNAND)

Brussels (AFP) - European Union ministers adopted on Tuesday a blacklist of 17 non-EU tax havens including Panama, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates after a year of tough negotiations.

The Paradise Papers leak last month gave a new impetus to the plan, making public some of the intricate ways the world's rich evade tax using offshore havens.

"We have adopted at EU level a list of states which are not doing enough to fight tax evasion. This blacklist includes 17 states," French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters in Brussels.

The EU has struggled for over a year to finalise the blacklist, with smaller, low-tax EU nations such as Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg worried about scaring off multinationals.

The countries on the list are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

A further 47 countries are on a "grey list", sources said.

Other jurisdictions are understood to have been given leeway after suffering severe damage during hurricanes in the Caribbean earlier this year.

Britain fought particularly hard against the list, afraid that its crown dependencies, including Jersey and the Virgin Islands, would be singled out.

Senior officials from member states had whittled down an initial draft of 29 countries, with divisions still strong in recent days on who would make the final version.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said ahead of the official announcement that this was fewer than the 20 countries he had hoped for but would be a "initial victory".

The list is the latest international effort to clamp down on tax avoidance, 
increasingly seen as a moral issue (AFP Photo/Thomas SAINT-CRICQ)

Enforcement problem

Enforcement is the biggest problem, with EU countries split over whether blacklisted countries should be subjected to financial sanctions or if the list itself is shaming enough.

Several states, including France, support tough measures against the listed tax havens such as exclusion from EU and World Bank funding, though the debate is still open.

Other countries are reluctant to draw up common sanctions, believing that responsibility is better left to member states.

"To be on a blacklist is in itself bad enough and of course there will be consequences for these countries," Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said.

An existing list of tax havens compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) currently includes only Trinidad and Tobago.

The EU originally screened a total of 92 jurisdictions and once the list is compiled it is expected to be continuously updated.

In a blow to activists, states that charge no corporate tax are not automatically considered at risk of breaching EU tax criteria.

However, the criteria do single out countries that facilitate the creation of shell companies and other structures that could aid tax avoidance.

Countries in the EU's firing line have been given an opportunity to stay off the list if they provide a political commitment and a detailed plan to comply.

All countries, which initially included the US, were given until Tuesday's meeting of the EU's 28 finance ministers to provide feedback and possible measures to satisfy EU demands.

The list is the latest international effort to clamp down on tax avoidance -- increasingly seen as a moral issue -- following the OECD's move to compile a list of "uncooperative tax havens".


Monday, December 4, 2017

Mario Centeno, the 'Ronaldo' of the Eurozone

Yahoo – AFP, Levi FERNANDES, December 4, 2017

Not just the 'Ronaldo' of finance: Centeno loves rugby, cooking, his family
and Benfica (AFP Photo/Francisco LEONG)

Lisbon (AFP) - Mario Centeno, who was Monday picked as Eurogroup chief, has pulled off a rare balancing act between growth and budgetary discipline as Portuguese finance minister, earning him a comparison with football star Ronaldo.

The 50-year-old economics professor who is often called a liberal but sees himself "culturally of the left" accedes to the top post among eurozone finance ministers after only two years in politics.

Former German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, not excessively prone to handing out flattery and a staunch defender of budgetary rigour, last May called him "the Cristiano Ronaldo of the Ecofin", the meeting place of EU's finance and economy ministers.

The remark, lapped up by Portuguese media, helped make Centeno the face of economic recovery in Portugal, that was once one of the eurozone's weakest economies depending on international aid to survive the area's debt crisis.

Rugby and cooking

But now, two years after the arrival in power of Portugal's Socialist government backed by the radical left, the statistics look much brighter.

Portugal's public deficit is the lowest it has ever been in 43 years of democracy, growth is humming along at levels not seen since the start of the century, and the unemployment rate is back to pre-crisis levels.

"Portugal's recent experience shows that it is possible in Europe to reconcile the objectives of budgetary recovery and growth," Centeno said last week as he announced his candidacy to succeed Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem at the Eurogroup.

His target, he said, was to "contribute to obtaining the necessary consensuses needed to complete the economic and monetary union" and make the euro into an instrument "to promote economic and social convergence".

Centeno, who loves rugby and cooking, is the son of a bank employee and a postal civil servant who grew up in the southern Algarve region and moved to Lisbon at the age of 15 to take up his studies.

He is a graduate of the prestigious Harvard University which left a lasting impression on Centeno partly because the American experience got him interested in micro-economic questions.

Who said you can't have both growth and budgetary discipline? (AFP Photo/
EMMANUEL DUNAND)

Quiet man

"I became much more receptive to the link between the economy and people," he says. "Sometimes macro-economics forgets that there are people on the receiving end."

On his return to Lisbon with his wife and three children he joined the Bank of Portugal as an economist and went on to become deputy director at the central bank's economic research department.

"He was a quiet young man, affable, intelligent, and well-versed technically," said Luis Campos et Cunha, the bank's former vice president.

Nothing pointed to a political career for Centeno until Prime Minister Antonio Costa asked him to pen the Socialist party's economic platform and to stand in the general election of 2015. Centeno complied, but ran as an independent candidate.

Completely unknown to the public at the time he entered government, Centeno had a reputation for economic liberalism in academic circles because of his positions in favour of greater labour market flexibility.

But he himself tries to sidestep traditional ideological schisms, promoting instead what he calls a "fusion" approach to economics.

Family and Benfica

"The only things that define me are my family and Benfica", Portugal's most popular football club, he says.

Always the pragmatist, Centeno quickly dropped the idea to introduce a single labour contract -- a measure many economists support to bridge the gap between temporary and permanent contracts -- because of opposition from the anti-liberal left on which the current government depends for its survival.

Despite his relative lack of political experience, Centeno has proved to be a quick learner in the ways of government, making him a heavyweight in Portugal's cabinet.