Friday, 20 February 2009
And what do you think was the reason the council gave for the repainting of the spaces? Because they had to comply with an EU Directive which lays out how big the spaces must be. I ask you.
What on earth has the size of car parking spaces in Tunbridge Wells got to do with the EU?
The home market is looking bruised as well. Sweden's property prices have begun to buckle after rising by 175pc since 1996 in a British-style boom. The Riksbank slashed rates to 1pc last week and is openly mulling currency devaluation as well as bond purchases as a part of a radical stimulus. The kronor has fallen nearly 20pc against the euro, helping to cushion the downturn.
"It's been a blessing. This is exactly why a country needs its own currency," said Mr Magnusson.
Quite. You need to have flexibility in an economy and a floating currency is one of the best ways of getting that.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
None of this misery should entitle Britons to much Schadenfreude; indeed, it will intensify our own recession. But we can at least afford ourselves a grim smile over the fact that this crisis is not ours alone. And we should thank the Lord that we stayed outside the euro. This is precisely the moment when free-floating independent currencies and interest rates come into their own. The nasty dose of medicine doled out to the patient is starting to work.
Alarming and discomforting as it is to see the Bank of England pledging to start the printing presses, or to watch the pound slide by more than a quarter, these are precisely the factors that will ensure Britain's recession is less intense than that experienced by other countries. The only worry is that the freeze in world trade leads to a full-blown slide into protectionism, but that is a horror story for another day.
It costs £53,000 for every hour broadcast but under 160,000 people have watched it since broadcasting began in mid-September. Over 60,000 of those were in the first week.
This means that this lavishly funded European Union channel attracts less than 1200 viewers every day, from a potential audience of over 400 million.
It is, of course, the European Parliament's EuroparlTV. That's the web-TV service that will cost more than £32 million over four years, over £9,000 worth of vanity programmes for each and every MEP per annum.
1200 a day? For £32 million?
That's less traffic than my blog gets. No, not this party one, but my personal one, the one that's just me grumbling at the world.
They're really not getting very far in this bright new online world, are they?