Category Archives: Economics

Euro falls to nine year low; Greece and ECB in focus

LONDON Mon Jan 5, 2015 8:45am EST

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange

1 OF 2. Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the German share price index DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange on January 5, 2015.

CREDIT: REUTERS/REMOTE/STRINGER


(Reuters) – The euro hit a near nine-year low on Monday as markets bet the prospect of inflation across the region turning negative and political uncertainty in Greece will force the European Central Bank to launch quantitative easing.

European shares were under pressure after the Athens bourse slumped again and, amid yet another hefty slide in oil prices,

Wall Street was expected to open lower too DJc1 SPc1 NDc1.

The euro fell as low $1.18605 EUR= overnight, its weakest level since March 2006, and was struggling at $1.1895 as U.S. trading began to gather momentum. [FRX/]

Investors taking a punt that the ECB will open up a bond-buying program as the U.S., UK and Japanese central banks have done were emboldened by an interview with ECB president Mario Draghi in German paper Handelsblatt on Friday.

He said the risk of the central bank not fulfilling its mandate of preserving price stability was higher now than half a year ago.

German regional inflation figures saw more weakness in December, adding to the downward pressure on the euro and government bond yields before Wednesday’s euro zone estimate.

Economists forecast that euro zone consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in December, the first decline since 2009 EUHICF=ECI. That should fan expectations the ECB will ease at its first policy meeting of the year on Jan. 22.

Greek politics were also at the forefront of market thinking as the debate around the possibility of elections later this month resulting in the country leaving the euro zone picked up again.

Germany still favors stabilizing the euro zone without losing any of its members, government wants Greece to stay in the euro zone, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said on Monday, responding to a media report that Berlin believes the bloc could cope withoutGreece.

“Wednesday’s inflation data might determine the extent of the ECB’s action,” said Gary Jenkins, chief credit strategist at LNG Capital.

“Confucius said it was good to live in interesting times, although Mr Draghi might well be thinking ‘yes but not quite this interesting.’

DIVERGENCE

The dollar .DXY rose broadly, extending its recent bull run to a nine-year high as markets wagered a relatively healthy U.S. economy will lead the Federal Reserve to raise rates in the middle of this year.

Although it will start slowly, there is a heavy calendar of U.S. data this week including PMIs, retail figures and car sales ECONALLUS, all expected to show a strengthening of theeconomy.

Europe, in contrast, remains in a far more fragile state as it battles the prospect of euro zonedeflation and the threat of Britain leaving the European Union.

The region’s FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading shares was down 0.4 percent .FTEU3 as Britain’s FTSE .FTSE, France’s CAC40 .FCHI and Germany’s DAX .GDAX lost 0.5-0.7 percent. Greece’s stock market .ATG slumped 4 percent to take its losses since March to over 40 percent.

Overnight, Asian shares excluding Japan fell 0.8 percent .MIAPJ0000PUS and Japan’sNikkei dipped 0.25 percent .N225, although Chinese shares .SSEC maintained their hot streak with a fresh 5-1/2 year high.

The political and monetary policy uncertainty in Europe helped support major government bond markets. Euro zone yields were anchored near record lows with Germany’s 10-year yield at 0.5 percent DE10YT=RR, and equivalent U.S. Treasury yields were steady at 2.12 percent US10YT=RR.

Greece’s bonds were in the firing line again, however, as 10-year yields GR10YT=TWEB rose 21 basis points to 9.46 percent and 3-year ones GR0029312=TWEB climbed further above 12 percent. [GVD/EUR]

OIL SLIP

Oil prices, whose decline of more than 50 percent from peaks hit in June rattled many energy producers, hit a fresh 5-1/2-year low as global growth concerns fanned fears of a supply glut.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $54.60 and still dropping at 1300 GMT (0800 ET), their lowest since May 2009. [O/R]

“Oil demand is unlikely to be robust this year when we look at the state of economies inChina, Japan and Europe,” said Yusuke Seta, a commodity sales manager at NewedgeJapan.

Saudi .TASI and Nigerian .NGSEINDEX stocks took another tumble in the wake of the further slip in oil and there was also more volatility for Russian and former Soviet markets.

Just days after Turkmenistan devalued its currency to try and stay competitive with the battered Russian rouble, Belarus said it was doing the same as it cut its rouble by 7 percent.

(Additional reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Andrew Heavens and John Stonestreet; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click here; for the MacroScope Blog click onblogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click onblogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)


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BRAVING THE AMAZON—ENTERING THE BRAZILIAN MARKET

Dec 17th, 2014 by Blaine Curcio

Of the 5 BRICS economies, the one making the most noise in the satellite telecom sphere recently is Brazil. Indeed, it seems as though not a month goes by without the announcement of more capacity coming online or another big contract signed. This has led to questions of a capacity bubble, and whether there will be sufficient demand to soak up the staggering amount of capacity coming online. NSR’s BRICS Satellite Capacity Supply & Demand study highlights a number of potential issues and opportunities within each of the BRICS economies, with Brazil providing some of the most intriguing storylines.

FSS Analysis

There are several factors to consider in the Brazilian market on the traditional FSS side. The most widely utilized frequency within Brazil, Ku-band, will see capacity more than double from 2013 to 2023, increasing from under 200 TPEs in 2013 to nearly 400 TPEs by 2023. This will lead to a dip in fill rates to around 65% in 2016, before rebounding to the low-70% range by 2023. Thus far, the capacity glut in Brazil has not curbed the optimism of operators there—indeed, local players such as Star One have continued to report high fill rates despite the entry of payloads from non-local operators, such as the launch of SES-6 in mid-2013. In particular, the Brazilian DTH market will see excellent demand growth due to a competitive market with strong impetus to upgrade to more HD content. DTH is expected to see demand double by 2023, from around 75 TPEs to 150 TPEs

BRICS_BL_1

HTS Analysis

The HTS market in Brazil is currently limited to a number of spot beams on Amazonas-3. This payload will be dwarfed in/around 2017, with the launch of the Brazilian governmental payload SGDC-1, a satellite with 55 Gbps of capacity. Despite its size, the fact that it is governmentally supported means that fill rates will not necessarily be a great indicator of success. SGDC-1 will be utilized for not only Gov/Mil, but also broadband projects in second-tier cities as well as the Amazon where demand could take off. This may lead to some spillover demand as connectivity requirements outstrip capacity available in a given area; however, this would require a “wait and see” approach to take advantage of excess demand. Most HTS demand will come from Broadband Access, with ~30 Gbps of demand by 2023 accounting for 85% of total HTS demand. HTS fill rates are expected to approach 40% by 2023, but again, fill rates here will be brought down due to a governmentally-subsidized program.

BRICS.BL1.2

How Will HTS Alter the Traditional FSS Landscape?

NSR expects some applications within Brazil, namely Enterprise Data, will see a degree of cannibalization by HTS during the forecast period. While Ku-band will still see solid growth coming from Enterprise Data to 2023, longer-term it is expected that the bandwidth economies of HTS will lead to a transition for things like VSAT networking from Ku-band to HTS. This will put some downward pressure on Enterprise Data pricing, particularly via Ku-band, while C-band Enterprise Data pricing is expected to remain flat.

Overall, HTS is expected to aim largely at new markets within Brazil, but some cannibalization will exist.  The Amazon where broadband access demand can and will likely spillover to Enterprise Data for wireless backhaul services should lead to a transition from FSS capacity to HTS.

Bottom Line

Of the BRICS economies, NSR expects Brazil to present the best growth opportunities moving forward. Due to relatively friendly governmental policy, strong growth in video markets, and need for broadband connectivity, NSR expects much of the excess supply to be filled in the medium-to-long-term. However, in the short-term, a supply glut remains a real possibility, with the majority of new Ku-band supply in Brazil coming online between now and 2016. Therefore, any bet on the Brazilian market should be taken with an air of caution, and with the assumption that it will be a long-term play aimed at developing key customers and increasing bandwidth requirements, rather than making a quick buck in Latin America’s biggest economy.

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Is Spain About to Embrace Chavismo?

podemosrally1

When the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez came into power in 1998, he saw in his movement an answer to capitalism and a solution to Latin America’s soaring inequalities. Chávez’s aspirations were clearly global, and he even had the gumption to list “preserving life on the planet and saving the human species” as part of his 2012 election platform.

For a while, it seemed as if all of Latin America would catch the chavista wave. But though voters in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Nicaragua elected governments that shared Venezuela’s ideology and outlook, the wave seemed to die down toward the end of the 2000s.

Now, it seems to be rising in the unlikeliest of places: Spain.

Recent poll numbers in Spain suggest that Podemos, a new left-wing party with deep ties to Venezuela’s government, is now the most popular party in Spain, polling better than the two parties that have dominated Spanish politics since the late 1970s. The party was founded by a group of young, left-wing political science professors from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. They seek to capitalize on the indignant movement, a disorganized group of mostly left-wing citizens not unlike the “Occupy” movement, that held massive protests against the Spanish government’s harsh austerity measures in 2012.

The movement came as a result of Spain’s profound economic crisis. The European nation and NATO member is only now beginning to emerge from recession, but its citizens have been suffering for years. Even though the economy is improving, the unemployment rate is still at a painful 24 percent, while unemployment for young people hovers around 50 percent. It is no wonder that citizens are desperate for something different — and Podemos, with its combination of left-wing rhetoric and young leadership, fits the bill.

The party was registered in January of this year, and found success quickly. In the European elections in May 2014, it surprised pundits by winning 8 percent of the total vote and five seats in the European Parliament, including one for its founder, the charismatic, ponytailed Pablo Iglesias. (The photo above shows Iglesias greeting supporters at a party meeting on Oct. 18.)

Iglesias and his two main allies, fellow academics Juan Carlos Monedero and Íñigo Errejón, have deep ties to Venezuela’s government. There are extensive financial links between the leaders of Podemos and the Chávez government. These men also worked with the Venezuelan leadership for a number of years on everything from “corruption” to “social security,” and on a variety of projects involving Venezuelan state TV, the Interior Ministry, and the Central Bank of Venezuela — institutions with questionable democratic credentials. Monedero, for his part, has lived in Caracas on and off for the last 10 years, advising Hugo Chávez personally and frequently appearing on state TV.

There are numerous videos on YouTube where Monedero advances his idea that Chávez was building a democracy on the basis of popular will while his opponents were intent on destabilizing it. At one point, he even calls the Venezuelan opposition “indecent.” A year ago, Errejón appeared on state TV denying that Venezuela was on the edge of collapse, and expressing his belief that the South American nation is possibly the world’s “most democratic” country because of the frequency of its elections. Iglesias has also made the rounds on Venezuelan state TV to praise Venezuelan “democracy.”

Iglesias’ take on Spain’s deep economic crisis pulls its strategies straight out of the Chávez playbook. He believes the poor state of Spanish democracy can be attributed to the fact that the European Central Bank acts with little regard to the policy preferences of sovereign nations. He rails against capitalism, and says that Latin America offers an example of how to fight against it. He has said that he is “envious” because Venezuelans live in an “exemplary” democracy, even though Venezuela scores poorly on many indicators of democracy. He has railed against private media outlets, while lionizing media reforms in Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela, all countries where governments have moved to place stringent limits on the freedom of the press.

On the economy, Podemos clearly supports more state intervention. It has come out in favor of a 35-hour workweek, a freeze on firings in companies that are turning a profit, and maximum and minimum wage legislation. Meanwhile, they hedge their pledges by saying that they do not wish to exit the Euro, claiming that they will not copy Venezuela because it “is not a model for Spain,” reassuring Spanish voters who view Venezuela with disdain that they have nothing to worry about.

Regardless of the distance they want to put between themselves and the chavista revolution, chavismo is strikingly evident in most of what Podemos’ leaders say. For example, Iglesias, upon being sworn in as a member of the European Parliament, vowed to respect the Spanish Constitution “until the citizens of his country change it.” The move had more than a trace of Chávez in it. When the Venezuelan was sworn in for his first term, he also swore on a “moribund” constitution while at the same time vowing to change it, all in the name of “democracy.”

Podemos’ approach to the Constitution directly parallels the rise of chavismo in Venezuela. Chávez began the process of reform in Venezuela by dismantling the institutions that the public saw as corrupt. The system in Venezuela was evidently broken, and Chávez used his initial popularity to do away with the old system and build a new one tailor-made for his movement. Popular approval of most of his reforms in frequent elections gave his changes the legitimacy they needed. Fifteen years after Chávez was first elected, Venezuela is mired in civil unrest and economic turmoil. Its democracy is severely eroded, and the chavista elite is deeply entrenched.

Like Chávez, Iglesias has sworn to open the doors to a “constitutional” process that undoes the “locks” of the 1978 Constitution. His justification is Spain’s dire economic situation, which he blames on “oligarchs.”

Spain’s next general election is currently scheduled for December 2015, and Podemos’ road ahead will not be smooth. Yet the rise of an anti-status quo, populist party should not come as a surprise. Economic and political collapse has sometimes paved the way for radical, heavy-handed autocrats in places as different as Venezuela, Russia, or even Hungary. These leaders then use their popularity to upend institutions and undermine the principles of liberal democracy.

Spanish voters are justified in their anger, and they may decide to give Podemos a vote of confidence in spite of the doubts they may harbor. One has to wonder, though, if they understand what they are getting themselves into.

Juan Nagel is the Venezuela blogger for Transitions, editor of Caracas Chronicles, and author of Blogging the Revolution. Read the rest of his posts here.

DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images

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Global business confidence plunges to post-crisis low

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OJO Images | Getty Images

Worldwide business confidence slumped to a five-year low, with company hiring and investment intentions at or near their weakest levels in the post-global financial crisis era, according to a new survey.

“Clouds are gathering over the global economic outlook, presenting the darkest picture seen since the global financial crisis,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

The number of companies expecting their business activity to be higher in a years’ time exceeded those expecting a decline by just 28 percent. This was below the net balance of 39 percent recorded in the summer, the Markit Global Business Outlook Survey showed.

Read MoreIMF warns global economy at risk, calls for bold action

The tri-annual survey, published on Monday, looked at expectations for the year ahead across 6,100 manufacturing and services companies worldwide.

Optimism in manufacturing fell to its lowest since mid-2013 but remained ahead of that seen in services, where confidence about the outlook slumped to the lowest in the survey’s five-year history.

Hiring, investment to slow

Global hiring intentions slid to within a whisker of the all-time low seen in June of last year, deteriorating in the U.S., Japan, the U.K., euro zone, Russia and Brazil.

“U.K. firms were the most upbeat about employment plans among major economies, while French firms were the most downbeat, France being the only country where a net drop in employment is indicated for the year ahead,” Markit said in the report.

Read More Obama touts new China visa deal as way to create U.S. jobs

Investment intentions also collapsed to a new post-crisis low across major economies.

China and India bucked the trend, however, with capital expenditure plans in the two countries improving.

Laundry list of concerns

The survey highlighted a growing list of concerns among companies about the outlook for the year ahead including a worsening global economic climate, the prospect of higher interest rates in countries such as the U.K. and U.S. and geopolitical risk emanating from crises in Ukraine and the Middle East.

“Of greatest concern is the slide in business optimism and expansion plans in the U.S. to the weakest seen over the past five years. U.S. growth therefore looks likely to have peaked over the summer months, with a slowing trend signaled for coming months,” Williamson said.

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“There’s also little sign of the euro zone’s malaise ending any time soon, as companies have become even less optimistic about the outlook,” he said.

Read MoreRisk of triple-dip recession in euro zone: S&P

Business sentiment in Japan wasn’t encouraging either.

“Optimism in Japan continued to lag behind that of the U.S., U.K. and even the euro zone, dropping to a two-year low to suggest companies have become increasingly disillusioned with the potential for ‘Abenomics’ to boost growth,” Williamson said, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-pronged plan to lift the economy out of stagnation.

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Ebola, Anarchy, and Failing States: The Crisis in West Africa

November 24, 2014

Benjamin Syme Van Ameringen
west-africa-distribution-map-300x270

According to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) the number of Ebola cases as of November 12, 2014 were reported to be 1878 in Guinea, 6822 in Liberia, and 5368 in Sierra Leone. These organizations have reported the official number of confirmed cases to be 14,068, however, according to Doctors without Borders (MSF) the number is actually much higher. To date, Ebola has killed over 5,160 people and has infected more than 14,000 people in West Africa.

To make matters worse, WHO has received less than half of the $260 million it deems necessary to handle the Ebola outbreak. Though an additional 15% of the total amount has been pledged to WHO, it is still waiting for 36% of the required sum. Out of 4,611 hospital beds planned for Ebola treatment centers in the three hardest-hit West African nations, just 24% are functioning, and only 4% of the some 2,636 beds planned for community care centers have been set up. Just 38% of the 370 or so burial teams the WHO plans to train are operational.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September released worst-case modeling scenarios, forewarning that unless new processes are adopted to counteract the virus, between 550,000 people and 1.4 million people could be infected by mid-January in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The World Bank Group said if the virus continued to surge in the three worst-affected countries and spread to neighboring countries, the regional economic impact could reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015, dealing a calamitous blow to already delicate states.

The three nations at the epicenter of this outbreak are amongst the world’s poorest. All rank in the top 25 poorest countries on the planet, with Liberia being the least developed of the group. In Liberia 94.4% of the population lives on less than USD 2 per day.

Both Liberia and Sierra Leone are still trying to recover from bloody civil wars in the 1990’s that led to the deaths and displacement of millions of people. These conflicts destroyed much of the two nations’ health, governance, and industrial infrastructure, and by the time these conflicts were done both nations were on the brink of becoming failed states, which prompted UN peacekeeping interventions in both cases.

In 1994, the American journalist and geopolitical analyst Robert D. Kaplan published an essay in the Atlantic magazine entitled, “The Coming Anarchy” where he examined how scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease were rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet. He used the case of West Africa to best illustrate his hypothesis.

According to Kaplan in 1994, “West Africa is becoming the symbol of worldwide demographic, environmental, and societal stress, in which criminal anarchy emerges as the real “strategic” danger. Disease, overpopulation, unprovoked crime, scarcity of resources, refugee migrations, the increasing erosion of nation-states and international borders, and the empowerment of private armies, security firms, and international drug cartels are now most tellingly demonstrated through a West African prism. There is no other place on the planet where political maps are so deceptive—where, in fact, they tell such lies—as in West Africa.”

Kaplan’s analysis in 1994 was both predictive and frightening. His examination shed light on the magnitude of the challenges faced by these nations and foreshadowed why Ebola has been able to spread at such a rapid pace.

Legacies of Conflict and Political Instability

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are all states that suffer from a critical lack of infrastructure, brutal legacies of mineral/political conflict, child soldiers, endemic corruption, and poverty. Liberia and Sierra Leone both endured almost a decade of civil war that destroyed most of the two states already decaying infrastructures.

The Liberian civil wars led to the deaths of more than 220,000 people – mostly civilians – and the complete breakdown of sovereignty, law, and order. It displaced scores of people, both internally and beyond, resulting in some 850,000 refugees in neighboring countries.

The Sierra Leonean civil war lasted from 1991 to 2002, and it resulted in some 70,000 casualties and 2.6 million displaced people. The war was characterized by widespread crimes against humanity, including the use of child soldiers and systematic rape. The conditions that led to the war included a repressive state, dependence on mineral rents, the impact of structural adjustment policies, a disenfranchised youth population, the availability of small arms after the end of the Cold War, and meddling from regional neighbors.

Guinea, though in a slightly better position too has a history of authoritarianism, corruption, and military rule. Until the military once again took control in 2008 the country was ruled by President Lansana Conte, who seized power in a coup 24 years before. Since 2010, Guinea has held democratic elections and has made some progress that brought about greater political stability.

Decimated Public Health Infrastructure

The wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone decimated the two nation’s already weak infrastructures to the point of near collapse. This has further impaired their ability to act in a responsive way to curb the spread of Ebola.

Liberia

According to the World Bank, Liberia’s power generating capacity and national grid were completely demolished during 14 years of civil war. Piped water access fell from 15 percent of the population in 1986 to less than 3 percent in 2008. War also left the national road network in a state of severe disrepair. The country’s power generation capacity is barely one-tenth of the benchmark level of Africa’s other low-income countries. The cost of generating power is exorbitant, and the power tariff is three times the regional average. Addressing Liberia’s public infrastructure needs will require sustained expenditures of between $350 million and $600 million annually, mostly to fund power and transport. In the mid-2000s, with all sources of spending taken into account, Liberia spent around $90 million a year on infrastructure. An additional $17 million was lost to inefficiencies, such as underpricing of power.

According to the WHO, the Liberian health system was also destroyed in the war: of the 293 public health facilities operating before the war, 242 were deemed non-functional at the end of fighting due to destruction and looting. Doctors, nurses, and other health workers fled the country, leaving just 45 doctors to care for a population of 4.5 million. Outside Monrovia, where humanitarian agencies provided some services, most of the population has little or no access to health care. The government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, elected in 2005 in the country’s first post-war democratic election, faced a dire health situation.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil destroyed the country’s infrastructure, and rebuilding the road network and ports while improving the electrical, water, and telecommunications infrastructure is proving difficult. According to the World Bank, electricity access stands at only 1-5 percent of the urban population, and 0 percent in rural areas. The water and sanitation sector faces similar challenges, as only 1 percent of the rural population has access to piped water.

The civil war brought all of the health and economic infrastructures down to zero during the 10 years. Many clinics established by the government were completely demolished. Many people moved from the countryside into main cities and towns, which compounded the poor health and sanitation situation. Today, Sierra Leone has one health worker for every 5,260 people.

Failing States, Anarchy, and Porous Borders

At a recent high-level meeting WHO head Ms. Chan remarked that, “the Ebola epidemic threatens the “very survival” of societies and could lead to failed states.” She went on to say that, “I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments in already very poor countries, I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure.” She further warned that Ebola was a “historic risk” and that the economic impact of “rumors and panic spreading faster than the virus,” citing a World Bank estimate that 90% of the cost of the outbreak would arise from “irrational attempts of the public to avoid infection.”

Anarchy and a lack of law and order is nothing new to West Africa. Since the end of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the governments in Freetown and Monrovia have exercised little control outside of the two capitals. The interiors of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and most states in the region can be categorized as ungoverned spaces. The lack of the ability of West African governments to exercise control over their territories has given rise to West Africa becoming a transit point for narcotics, human traffickers, conflict minerals, terrorist organizations (AQIM) and smuggling. According to the Economist, “the UN reckons that cocaine worth $1.25 billion passes through West Africa every year, more than the national budgets of several countries in the region.” In addition, many national and international criminal organizations have managed to gain a foothold in the region. Such groups have been able to corrupt public office holders and military officials, use former child soldier gangs to do their bidding and to operate without fear of being prosecuted. Guinea is at the eastern end of “Highway 10″, the name given by drug enforcement agents for the 10th parallel north of the equator, the shortest route across the Atlantic, used by traffickers over the past 10 years to smuggle Latin American cocaine destined for Europe. United Nations experts estimated in 2013 that some 20 metric tons of cocaine, mostly from Colombia and Venezuela, passed through West Africa, which has become an attractive transit point as U.S. and European authorities cracked down on more direct routes.

State security, border control, and police forces in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone also lack the capacity, numbers, and authority to maintain law and order and sovereignty over their respective nation’s territories. Rural borders between these three states are porous and under-policed. This has allowed Ebola to spread from Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone at such a rapid pace. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, admitted that Africa’s porous land borders made the Ebola crisis worse.

A Call to Action

International and regional actors must act now to bring Ebola under control. The global community must move beyond the rhetoric, stigma, and fear and act to deliver the funds they have pledged. To date the United States has decided to send 3,000 military personnel to construct treatment centers and train health workers in Liberia, the UK military is providing further support to Sierra Leone and the French military has committed to opening a military hospital in Guinea. China has also sent medical staff to the region and doctors from the small nation of Cuba have been essential players in the Ebola response.

Though these are steps in the right direction, The International Crisis Group (ICG) believes, “it will not be nearly enough.” In September the ICG stated in a situation report that, “The international community must allocate more personnel, resources, and strategic planning not only to the medical response but also to the longer-term problems of food insecurity, political unrest and poor governance, to build resilience to these sorts of crises.  In the near term, the international community should consider holding an emergency donors conference, including international financial institutions and health organizations, to coordinate action against a disease that indeed presents, as the resolution says, a threat to international peace and security.”

In conclusion, one must not forget that the Ebola outbreak has not occurred in a vacuum and that the region’s geopolitical challenges have allowed the disease to spread across regional and international borders unchecked. The international community must not only act quickly to contain the current Ebola outbreak but also go further by addressing the reasons why this rare tropical virus was able to become an epidemic. Focus and support must also be on allocated to the political, human security, and economic challenges that the epidemic has created. Failing to adequately address the current crisis will not only lead to the proliferation of failed states but could also result in Ebola becoming a global pandemic, in which case the human and economic costs would be astronomical.

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Interview Rob Zwetsloot met Anne Lize van der Stoel VVD Campaing Watch 2012.

NL Verkiezingeng 2012, Rob Zwetsloot in interview met Anne Lize van der Stoel VVD.

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by | 2012/10/03 · 01:55

NL Campaign Watch 2012 Daniel de Wit met Rob Zwetsloot

Interview met Daniel de Wit # 27 SP met Rob Zwetsloot

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by | 2012/10/02 · 23:57

VVD MINDER IMMIGRATIE CampaingWatch 2012

De VVD wil een eerlijk en restrictief vreemdelingenbeleid. De VVD ziet kansen voor hoogopgeleide kennismigranten om ons land en onze economie te versterken. Maar de ongecontroleerde toestroom van kansarme en laagopgeleide migranten van de laatste decennia, leidde tot grote problemen in de wijken, op scholen, op de arbeidsmarkt en op het vlak van criminaliteit.

De aanhoudende toestroom van kansarme migranten werkt het oplossen van integratieproblemen tegen en moet daarom worden gestopt. Dankzij de VVD zijn vanaf 2002 belangrijke stappen genomen om het asiel- en immigratiebeleid streng, rechtvaardig en consequent toe te passen. Dit beleid wil de VVD voortzetten. Goede bewaking en controle van de Europese buitengrenzen zijn daarbij van belang.

Huwelijksmigratie

Als je als Nederlander de liefde van je leven in het buitenland ontmoet, moet het natuurlijk mogelijk zijn samen in Nederland te gaan wonen. Maar wel onder de voorwaarde dat de buitenlandse partner zicht heeft op een volwaardige plaats in de samenleving.

Huwelijksimmigranten worden daarom alleen toegelaten wanneer zij naar Nederlandse maatstaven voldoende zijn opgeleid en de Nederlandse taal in woord en geschrift beheersen. Zij moeten ook kunnen aantonen voldoende kennis te hebben van de Nederlandse samenleving en hier positief tegenover te staan. Er wordt geen verblijfsvergunning toegekend als de partner jonger is dan 24 jaar, of als deze een neef of nicht is van de aanvrager, of als de aanvrager over een inkomen beschikt van minder dan 120 procent van het minimumloon. Misbruik van huwelijksmigratie – zoals schijnhuwelijken – moet hard worden bestreden. Ook om dit te voorkomen wil de VVD de termijn voor het verkrijgen van een permanente verblijfsvergunning oprekken naar tien jaar. Inkoop van AOW geschiedt op basis van een reële kostprijs.

We maken een eind aan de export van kinderbijslag buiten de EU. Jongeren onder de 27 jaar kunnen als het aan de VVD ligt voortaan geen aanspraak meer maken op bijstand. Deze maatregelen voorkomen dat mensen onterecht aanspraak maken op onze sociale voorzieningen en stimuleren dat mensen integreren door middel van arbeidsparticipatie. De VVD wil de Europese richtlijn voor gezinshereniging wijzigen. De leeftijds- en inkomenseis moeten omhoog. Als dit niet lukt moet Nederland een opt-out bepleiten zodat Nederland deels zijn eigen regels kan bepalen.

Immigratie uit overzeese gebiedsdelen

Ook vanuit de voormalige Nederlandse Antillen komt een stroom kansarme migranten richting Nederland. De VVD wil de vestiging van kansarme migranten uit Curaçao, Aruba en Sint Maarten tegengaan door criteria te verbinden aan een permanent verblijf in Nederland. Dit is in lijn met de voorwaarden die de Antillen zelf stellen aan Nederlanders die zich daar willen vestigen (een bepaald inkomen, geen strafblad). Deze voorwaarden gelden voortaan ook andersom.

Kenniswerkers

De VVD wil kenniswerkers en talenten actief uitnodigen om zich in Nederland te vestigen om onze economie te versterken. Daartoe moeten we de procedures voor kennismigranten versoepelen, ook de regels van huwelijksmigratie en inburgering. Bedrijven en kennisinstellingen moeten toptalent met een minimum aan bureaucratie naar Nederland kunnen halen. Vergunningen voor kenniswerkers willen we sneller toekennen.

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Exhibiting at IBC September 6 – 11 2012 Rai Amsterdam

IBC provides an unprecedented chance to communicate your company’s vision and showcase innovations to a global audience. Interact with 50,000+ attendees from 160 countries attracted by the wealth of technological advances and strategic thinking that IBC uniquely offers. Join 1,300+ exhibitors in one of fourteen carefully themed and easy to navigate halls and take advantage of IBC’s host of activities to generate leads, raise your profile, develop distribution channels, move into new markets or network with peers. Achieve your business goals at IBC2012. ibc.org

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Cedia Expo 2012 Indianapolis

 

CEDIA EXPO is the show to attend if you are working with technology in the home. Re-energize your revenue at this year’s CEDIA EXPO 2012 where every overlapping technology within the integrated home connects.

The leading tradeshow in the residential electronic systems industry, CEDIA EXPO is the only show that serves every home technology professional, no matter their service focus.

Attending CEDIA EXPO gives you an advantage over the competition by providing:

  • Exposure to up and coming technologies
  • Exclusive FREE training on the latest product lines
  • The industry’s most comprehensive education with CEDIA University courses

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