Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

February 3, 2009

Prime Minister François Fillon on Monday rejected demands that the French government seek to stimulate consumer spending, rather than follow his plan to stimulate corporate and infrastructure investment, to lift France out of its economic slump.

“It would be irresponsible to chose another policy, which would increase our country’s indebtedness without having more infrastructure and increased competitiveness in the end,” Fillon said in a speech in Lyon.


More than 1.1 million people took to the streets across France last Thursday, according to the Interior Ministry, with unions putting the number of protesters at 2.5 million, to call on President Nicolas Sarkozy to stop cutting government jobs, increase the minimum wage and spend more on households as the economy enters its first recession since 1993.

Opponents of the government have been calling for an “Obama-style” stimulus plan, one that puts money directly into the pockets of working people.

French unemployment rose by about 45,000 people in December, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday, taking the jobless ranks to the highest level in about two years.

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China Discovers Compensation for Pain, Agony; But Don’t Expect Much

January 26, 2009

Unemployed: China will help out.  Loved ones lost in the earthquake?  China will pay.  Kids killed by poisoned milk: not to worry.

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao just visited survivors of last May’s earthquake which devastated large parts of Sichuan province last year to help them celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

Many Chinese lost family members, children and friends in the earthquake, along with their homes, jobs and towns.

China Premier’s gifts to Europe come with price-tags

Wen cooked spicey Chinese stew and handed out money to some earthquake victims.  The cooking was done in a government tent shelter.

Above: Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Sichuan Province, in a photo distributed by the official Chinese news agency. Yao Dawei/Xinhua, via Reuters

China’s state run media said about 75 million earthquake victims got the equivalent of $15.00 to help them celebrate the New Year.  Per family.

Isn’t this called “papering over” trouble?
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also announced on Monday that the government is to help train as many as one million jobless college graduates over the next three years.

Graduates will also be offered small loans to help them start their own businesses.

Let’s hope it’s more than fifteen bucks.

Experts say there are more than 20 million newly unemployed people in China, many of them migrants.  China is worried that unemployment will cause social unrest.

But analysts say the education and job-start programs show the government’s increasing concern with rising unemployment.

Tomorrow Mr. Wen travels to Europe to pass out goodies.

There hasn’t been an earthquake in Europe unless you count the global economic melt-down.

Lets hope fifteen U.S. dollars doesn’t buy China any loyalty in Paris, London and elsewhere.  Oh, excuse us, Paris is not on Mr. Wen’s itinerary….

President Sarkozy’s love of the Dalai Lama cost him at least $15.00….and China’s love….

Related from the BBC:

China celebrates New Year:


The China Dairy Industry Association has claimed that 90 percent families of the victims in the country’s tainted milk scandal have been compensated.

Without disclosing the compensation amount, the association said that families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements and accepted compensation, the reports.

Out of the families of six dead children and 891 other infants, all except two had accepted compensation, the association said. However, families of 23,651 sickened children have yet to be reached mainly because of wrong or untrue registration of names, it added.

There are only a handful of families of sickened children who want to realize their rights and interests by filing lawsuits and did not accept compensation, it said.

The Chinese Health Ministry has confirmed deaths of six infants who died after consuming contaminated milk products, whereas 296,000 infants suffered kidney stones and other urinary problems.

In a letter sent to victims last month, Sanlu Group which was at the center of the scandal along with 21 other dairy companies, offered 200,000 yuan for families whose children died and 30,000 yuan for serious cases such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure. The less severe case victims got 2,000 yuan as damage.

The dairy companies have also set up a fund to pay the medical liabilities of the sickened children until they reach the age of 18.Read the rest from ANI and New Karala:


China Premier’s gifts to Europe come with price-tags

January 26, 2009

China’s Premier flies to Europe on Tuesday bearing vows of support for its crisis-rattled economies, in a bridge-mending visit that shows Beijing‘s potential to use its financial muscle for diplomatic sway.

Premier Wen Jiabao is traveling during China’s big Spring Festival holiday and his diplomats have said his seven-day “journey of confidence” will sprinkle agreements and uplifting declarations on European states battered by economic woes.


China Loves You: Here’s $15

This holiday cheer comes less than two months after China called off a summit with the European Union, venting anger over French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama.

“This visit is intended to have a lot of symbolic value. I think the Spring Festival time was chosen for good reason,” said Zhou Hong, an expert on relations with Europe at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading state thinktank in Beijing.

“China wants to show it’s ready for a fresh start after the recent troubles, ready to expand communication and coordination, especially over the financial crisis.”

Such heartening sentiment from the world’s third biggest economy with its $2 trillion in reserves will probably be welcomed at Wen’s five destinations: Switzerland and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Germany, the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Spain and Britain.

But Beijing’s gifts have price-tags attached.

China is still fuming over Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader condemned by Beijing as a separatist for demanding autonomy for his homeland.

Paris is conspicuously off Wen’s itinerary. Too little time for that, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo told reporters last week.

Wen can use the lure of investment and deals to remind the often jostling European states that Chinese cooperation comes with perhaps unspoken but nonetheless clear conditions, said John Fox, a former British diplomat in Beijing now at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.

“Certainly, from the European side and Number 10 Downing Street the focus of this visit will be almost entirely on the financial crisis,” said Fox, referring to the British Prime Minister‘s residence.

“But China is also looking for Europe to rebalance relations, to take the sting out of these disputes.”

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