Friday, February 10, 2012

Evening post - Take A gander At Belgium And Then Greece And Ask How Long Before Belgium Goes Boom ?

Scenes From Belgium ! Yeah , Belgium , not Greece !

Many Occupy protesters who have been pepper sprayed or injured by police might be interested in what unfolded in Belgium as firefighters marched in opposition to proposed benefit cuts.
The Guardian and Russia Today have video footage of firemen soaking police officers with high-power hoses during a protest in Brussels. Russia Today's video shows police standing passively while their riot shields drip with water.
According to the Guardian, firefighters are upset over plans to raise their early retirement age.
The government's plans come as Press TV reportsthat economic data show Belgium was the first eurozone member to slip into recession in the second half of last year.
Belgium's planning bureau says the government must find 2.5 billion euros in either spending cuts or new revenue to close its current budget deficit, according to Bloomberg News.

Belgian Firefighters Hose Down Cops In Protest (VIDEO)

First Posted: 02/10/2012 4:04 pm Updated: 02/10/2012 5:49 pm

Meanwhile in Greece..... laundry list for Parliament - by next Wednesday ? 

The 30 measures Athens must pass

 The interventions that form a condition for the first tranche of the new package

By Sotiris Nikas
Thirty tough legislative interventions affecting key sectors have to be rushed through Parliament for the government to secure the first tranche of the new bailout package. The measures are the following:
- Reductions in pharmaceutical spending by 1.076 billion euros, in defens by 300 million euros, in arms by 300 million euros and in doctors’ overtime by 50 million euros.
- The abolition of 550 deputy mayor posts, saving 30 million euros.
- Cuts in consumer spending and election allowances amounting to 270 million euros, in other allowances and grants by 190 million euros, and in the Public Investment Program by 400 million euros.
- Ministerial decisions for the application of objective criteria for the self-employed, for the full application of the single salary system for all state corporations, for the Public Power Corporation to pay its revenues from the special property tax paid through the electricity bills to the state within two days (instead of 20), and on the cost of permits for new trucks for public use.
- A 22 percent reduction of the minimum wage, with people below the age of 25 years taking a 32 percent cut.
- The suspension of the additional allowance for every two years of work that civil servants were paid.
- The maximum period for collective labor contracts to be set at three years, the duration of existing contracts to be up to one year, the extension of expired contracts to be by just three months. Other allowances for past experience, children etc will be maintained after contract expiry until a new contract is signed.
- An end to the unilateral resort to arbitration and to contracts with a specific time limit that expire with retirement.
- The reduction of social security contributions by 2 percent.
- The abolition of the organizations providing state-subsidized housing (OEK and OEE).
- The amendment of regulations for expired debts.
- The completion of inspections for value-added tax payment.
- A pension cut in healthy funds by 15 percent and by the same rate in auxiliary pensions, whose funds will also be reformed.
- A restructuring of the banking system and strengthening of the fund safeguarding bank deposits.
- A revision of the operation of the Credit Stability Fund.
- The deregulation of 17 closed-shop professions.