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Pastimes : Kosovo -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: goldsnow who wrote (17450)3/21/2001 10:15:40 PM
From: George Papadopoulos  Read Replies (2) | Respond to of 17770
thanks, that was worth it...I liked the "Economy Class Syndrome" the best, I should have been dead some flights ago<g>

To: goldsnow who wrote (17450)3/22/2001 3:39:40 AM
From: GUSTAVE JAEGER  Respond to of 17770
Hi Goldsnow,

This whole foot-and-mouth disease is a hoax... It's BS.

First we had the ESB and now the fièvre aphteuse (in French). So the outcome is that all the meatstuff that currently makes up the bulk of Western Europe's agricultural output gets hit. But the REAL reason these farm plagues have been spun out of control by the media is purely POLITICAL: Germany is tired of footing the bill for Southern Europe (read France)'s mom-and-pop farms... The so-called CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) is a costly boondoggle that won't be sustainable once Poland and other Eastern European countries join the EU --in 2004. Problem is, farmers are a troublesome constituency and, even though they merely account for no more than 3% of the EU's workforce, political leaders --both leftist and rightist-- don't have the b.... to tell them the truth, that is "It's OVER guys, you'd better close your farm biz and go to the cities.... plenty of good jobs await you --burger flippers, shoeshining, cabbies, you name it!"

Part of the reason for the politicos' pussyfooting is Europe's gerrymandering that dates back to the XIXth century when the countryside was granted much more deputies and senators than the (proletarian) big cities...

Hence the current plagues that swirl over Europe's agribusiness are a GODSEND: it'll streamline the whole sector. Here're a few key data:

(1 Hectare = 2.4710 Acres)
The U.S. has about 2 million farms over more than 420 millions of "hectares" whereas Europe has more than 7 million farms over less than 135 millions of "hectares"... Get the picture?

Add to that the cost of modernizing the Polish agribusiness (to make it compliant with the EU's health criteria --whatever that means!) and the cost of building up the European army (Eurocopter, Euro-heavy-carrier [a super C-130],...) and you get enough clues to see why it's time for the EU to pull the plug on Subsidized Cowtown.

Of course, the Germans could have done it the blunt way and tell public opinion that "enough is enough" but such an open move would have had a disastrous PR impact as the French would have accused the Germans of wrecking the very basis of the European Union.... But what can we do about an "Act of God", eh?


To: goldsnow who wrote (17450)3/22/2001 4:28:14 AM
From: GUSTAVE JAEGER  Respond to of 17770

Let me give you one more clue....
How come the ESB, the foot-and-mouth BS, and whatnot have not been --AND WILL NEVER BE-- reported in POLAND and other livestock producers in Eastern Europe so far??? Face it, Goldsnow: according to the media, this F&M disease has already spread over the whole planet! Cases have been reported as far as Mongolia, Saudi Arabia... even Argentina's most famous cattle are not spared! Yet, nothing, not a single tiny weeny case has been spotted in Eastern Europe so far... Did Pope John Paul bless all the Polish cows?? You tell me.


To: goldsnow who wrote (17450)3/22/2001 5:26:50 AM
From: GUSTAVE JAEGER  Respond to of 17770
Footnote to my previous post:

Playing Agricultural Poker: Poland and the EU
09 November 2000

Poland's European Union negotiator Jan Kulakowski announced that his country may delay its accession if the EU doesn't provide direct subsidies for Polish agriculture. Poland's economy depends on agriculture more than do most EU nations. The EU is unlikely to concede to Poland's demands, however, and Poland will probably join the EU anyway.

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy, which subsidizes Europe's agricultural sector, is already overextended. Forty-six percent of the EU budget supports the program, although agriculture only accounts for 2 percent of the EU's overall GDP.

Nearly 22 percent of Poland's work force is in agriculture, compared with Germany's 3 percent or France's 5 percent. Poland's agricultural sector, however, accounts for only 6 percent of the country's GDP. Polish agriculture's economic contribution to the EU would not be enough to warrant subsidizing its work force.

The EU, which may reduce the scope of the CAP program in the near future, is likely to ignore Poland's threat of delayed accession. Poland needs the EU far more than the EU needs Poland. Plans for expansion, through the Czech Republic and Hungary, are likely to proceed, thereby isolating and pressuring Poland. In the meantime, Poland would miss out on membership benefits. Faced with this reality, Poland will probably withdraw its threat and proceed along its scheduled course with the EU.

To: goldsnow who wrote (17450)3/26/2001 12:54:09 PM
From: Yaacov  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 17770
Today Greek troops opened fire on "peacefull" armed Albanians near the town of Kastoria and managed to capture two mules, six camels and three goats! Albanians managed to get away!

In separated border incident a Greek soldier seeked asylum in Albania after having been accused by his superiors of having stolen baklava from the village "zaharopelastion!!"