France: Labor Reform Gathers Steam Among Lawmakers

Re-Blogged From Worldview.Stratfor.com

The French government has the backing to potentially pass a broad labor reform package. During a press conference Aug. 31, French officials presented details on labor reform, including five “ordinances” (legislative acts similar to presidential decrees). French President Emmanuel Macron promised during his campaign to restore France’s reputation as a European power at the same level as Germany. These pro-business measures aim to increase France’s competitiveness and to help the second-largest EU economy.

The labor reform initiative proposes to give more flexibility to enterprises and aims to reduce unemployment from 9.4 percent to 7 percent by the end of the current legislature and presidency in 2022. The proposed reform includes changes to workers’ representation and contracts. Negotiation of salaries will take place at the enterprise level, instead of the sector level. French businesses would also be able to fire workers based on their economic impact domestically rather than internationally.

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The Fiscal Benefits Of Free Trade

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Western governments have an overriding problem, and that is they have reached or exceeded the bounds of taxation, at a time when legally mandated welfare costs are accelerating. Treasury departments in all the welfare nations are acutely aware of this problem, to which there’s no apparent solution. The economic recovery, so consistently forecast since the great financial crisis, has hardly materialised and has added to the problem.

There is, if treasury economists could only understand it, a solution in free trade.

One of the UK’s leading economists and Brexiteers, Patrick Minford, produced an interesting paper, which brought up this subject. It got little coverage in the press, and even that was extremely negative. Trading on the Future was the only economic modelling exercise that showed significant benefits for Britain from free trade.

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Spain’s New Big Bubble Begins to Wobble

By Don Quijones – Re-Blogged From WOLF STREET.

Since hitting rock bottom in 2013, Spain has been one of the biggest engines of economic growth in Europe, expanding at around 3% per year. But according to a report by the Bank of Spain, most of the factors behind this growth — such as cheaper global oil prices, the ECB’s expansionary monetary policy, and the subsequent decline in value of the Euro — are externally driven and transitory in nature.

This is particularly true for arguably the biggest driver of Spain’s economic recovery, its unprecedented tourism boom, which some local economists are finally beginning to call a bubble.

In large part the boom/bubble is a result of the recent surge in geopolitical risks affecting rival tourist destinations like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and, in smaller measure, France, which helped boost the number of foreign visitors to Spain in 2016 to a historic record of 75.3 million people — an 11.8% increase on 2015.

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Support for Hard Brexit in the UK Hardens

By Don Quijones – Re-Blogged From WOLF STREET.

“Significant economic damage” is a “price worth paying.” But businesses are not so sure.

Europhiles hoping that time might heal or at least narrow the rift separating the UK and the EU after last year’s Brexit vote are likely to be sorely disappointed by the findings of a new poll jointly conducted by Oxford University and London School of Economics.

The survey reveals that there is more support for harder Brexit options because Leavers and a substantial number of Remainers back them. The survey’s findings bolster the case for the hard-Brexit-or-nothing position favored (at least publicly) by British Prime Minister Theresa May. The alternative — a so-called “soft” Brexit — would imply having to accept full freedom of movement for all EU citizens in return for some form of privileged access to the single market. Given that regaining control of UK borders was one of the key issues that swung the referendum in Brexit’s favor, such a proposition was always unlikely to sway a majority of British voters.

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Italy Looms on the Eurozone’s Horizon

By Adriano Bosoni – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The skies may not be clear, but these days Europe’s leaders are more relaxed than they were when the year began under foreboding clouds. Economic growth is gaining momentum and unemployment is slowly going down. More important, voters in France rejected candidates opposed to the European Union, and moderate forces will remain in power after September’s general elections in Germany. But while things are relatively calm in the eurozone’s two main economies, the next big challenge for the currency area will come from its third-largest member, Italy. The country has to hold general elections by May, and the vote will take place amid discontent with the status quo, which in many cases includes skepticism about the euro. Given the size of the Italian economy and the depth of its problems, the country’s politics could have consequences far beyond Italy’s borders.

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Martel, Patton, and Burnside… Warriors Three

By Larry Usoff- Re-Blogged From iPatriot 

Martel, Patton and Burnside…warriors three:

Charles Martel, born around 686, and died in 741 was a Frankish statesman and military leader who as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death.  Building on his father’s work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began a series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul.   After he established a unity in Gaul, his attention was called to foreign conflicts, and dealing with the Islamic advance into Western Europe was a foremost concern.

Arab and Berber Islamic forces had conquered Spain, crossed the Pyrenees, seized a major dependency of the Visigoths, and after intermittent challenges, under the Arab Governor of al-Andalus Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, advanced toward Gaul and on Tours, “the holy town of Gaul”; in October 732, the army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Al Ghafiqi met Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel in an area between the cities of Tours and Poitiers, leading to a decisive, historically important Frankish victory known as the Battle of Tours, ending the “last of the great Arab invasions of France,” a military victory termed “brilliant” on the part of Martel.

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