ESTONIA’S government has collapsed after prime minister Taavi Roivas lost a vote of no-confidence on Wednesday.
The EU member state’s falling government is now expected to be replaced by the traditionally pro-Russia Centre Party following the collapse.
– Estonia Fears Being “Overrun By Russia In Minutes”, Sweden Sends Troops To Baltic Sea Island (ZeroHedge, March 13, 2015):
“Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack,” warned one politician recently as it appears NATO fear-mongering and Russia sabre-rattling is having a significant effect on many of the Baltic Sea’s border nations. As The FT reports, Sweden will put troops back on the strategic Baltic Sea island of Gotland after a decade-long absence and will also step up military exercises around the island involving the army, navy and air force. “Hunting submarines is a priority area,” Sweden’s defense minister explained, adding that “everything we do is a part of underlining Swedish sovereignty.”
– US and British army parade 300 yards from Russia border (Telegraph, Feb 25, 2015):
American armoured vehicles and British soldiers parade through Estonian border city of Narva, as tensions between Russia and the West continue to escalate
US army vehicles and British soldiers paraded through the streets of an Estonian city just 300 yards from the Russian border yesterday, in a display of Western unity against the encroaching threat from Moscow.
Armoured vehicles from the US Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment and British troops were officially taking part in a military parade marking Estonia’s Independence Day, but the choice of location was deeply symbolic.
The city of Narva sits in the easternmost part of Estonia, where the country’s border juts out into Russia, and has been cited as a potential target for the Kremlin if it should turn its attention from Ukraine to the Baltic states.
A majority of the city’s 60,000 residents are ethnically Russian.
– “Putin Destroyed The New World Order”, According To Estonia’s President Ilves (ZeroHedge, Jan 15, 2015):
On the heels of Russia’s decision, as we reported here, to “increase [their] combat units in accordance with the new military doctrine,” particularly focused on Crimea, NATO responded with threats/promises of more military drills and patrols. Having used their airspace but condescended their perspective as “hysterical,” Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is calling for much stronger NATO presence as he rages that “the world order found after the Cold War has been destroyed,” by Putin.
– “Megablizzard” forecast for eastern Australia (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
“Best snowfalls in a decade.” Maybe the “storm of the century.”
– Aleutian volcanoes waking up (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
Five volcanoes now simultaneously active, the most activity in 26 years.
– Record snowfall in Norway (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
First time since records began that snow has been recorded in June.
– Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
June 20, 2014 – “A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week,
– Confirmed – Earth’s protective magnetic shield is weakening (Ice Age Now, June 22, 2014):
The most dramatic declines are occurring over the Western Hemisphere, says European Space Agency.
– Poland, Estonia exercises part of plan to increase presence in eastern Europe (Stripes, April 19, 2014):
STUTTGART, Germany— A small contingent of U.S. soldiers will deploy to Poland and Estonia for a series of upcoming ground exercises aimed at reassuring allies shaken by Russian intervention in neighboring Ukraine, according to a report.
The U.S. is planning to send a company sized Army element of roughly 150 troops to conduct drills with allies, spanning roughly two weeks respectively in both Poland and Estonia, The New York Times reported Friday.
– More Americans Go Hungry Than All But 2 European Nations (ZeroHedge, April 8, 2014):
Since 2007, when the financial crisis touched down across the world, the proportion of people going hungry in Europe has soared, according to the OECD. As Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, the number has doubled in Greece alone from 8.9% in 2007 to almost 18% currently unable to afford food. Across the European Union, the proportion of people going hungry ranges from 4.6% in Germany to over 30% in (ironically) Hungary. However, before one gloats at the weakness in Europe and the cleanest dirty shirt the US pretends to be, at 21.1% of Americans unable to afford food, only Hungary and Estonia are in worst shape…
USA USA USA…
Source: @economistniraj via Bloomberg Briefs
– Has The World Gone Mad (Again)? (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2014):
A few select headlines from the day that made us, well, wonder…
- OBAMA’S GOAL IS FOR RUSSIA TO STEP BACK IN CRIMEA, LEW SAYS (hope and change?)
- CHINA SHOULD LOOSEN RESTRICTIONS OVER HOME PURCHASES: SEC. NEWS (but, but, but the reforms?)
- DONETSK GOVERNOR (AND BROTHER) HAD MOAT DUG OUT ON RUSSIAN BORDER (and filled with crocodiles?)
- BEIJING TO SPEND 20M YUAN TO CHANGE WEATHER TO CUT SMOG: DAILY (winning the war on weather and hence the economy)
- PUTIN SPOKESMAN SAYS UKRAINE FORCES MUST CHOOSE SIDES: BBC (hhmm, tough decision)
- FLAHERTY SAYS DECISION TO LEAVE POLITICS WAS NOT RELATED IN ANY WAY TO HIS HEALTH (just being pissed off)
- CARNEY SAYS LOW RATE ENVIRONMENT IS CONDUCIVE TO COMPLACENCY (and water is wet and we’ll keep doing it)
- IRS INFORMS EMPLOYEES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION DATA BREACH (shame really)
- UKRAINE FAILS TO SELL DEBT AT DOMESTIC AUCTION: FIN MIN. (but TSLA did – shoulda sold stock)
- BANK OF CANADA’S POLOZ SAYS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT RECENT ECONOMIC SOFTNESS IN CANADA IS ALL DUE TO THE WEATHER. (wait what?)
- ESTONIA’S PRESIDENT ILVES SAYS EU RESPONSE “SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT THE PRICE OF GAS” (what else is there?)
- U.S. TREASURY CORRECTS TICS DATA RELEASED EARLIER TODAY (#Ref/0)
- KERRY SAYS PUTIN SPEECH “DIDN’T JIBE WITH REALITY” (YouTube reality?)
- UKRAINE MAY SEEK COMPENSATION FOR CRIMEA ASSETS: PETRENKO (we don’t recognize it unless you pay us?)
- MERKEL SAYS NO CHANGE IN RUSSIA G-8 STATUS FOR NOW (nope, they’d have to really cross the red line)
- RUSSIA FELT ROBBED BY BREAKUP OF SOVIET UNION, PUTIN SAYS (uh oh)
- CYPRUS OPPOSES MORE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA: FOR’N MINISTER (RIK) (just capital controls is good)
- SUGA: WILL DEAL APPROPRIATELY WITH PUTIN’S PLANNED JAPAN VISIT (umm what?)
- PUTIN: RUSSIA WILL NEVER SEEK CONFRONTATIONS IN WEST, EAST (fingers crossed?)
- JAPAN HALTS TALKS WITH RUSSIA ON VISA ISSUANCE (and nobody cared)
- WHITE HOUSE CARNEY “I WOULDN’T IF I WERE YOU” INVEST IN RUSSIA (what do you think of TWTR?)
- JAPAN DISPLAY STARTS TRADING 15% BELOW IPO PRICE IN TOKYO (shoulda IPO’d in USA)
- VIETNAM DELAYS SOME BAD DEBT CLASSIFICATION UNTIL APRIL 2015 (will all be fixed by then)
- SUGA: ABENOMICS WILL WITHOUT DOUBT LEAD TO ECONOMIC REVIVAL (yep no dooubt about it)
Has the world gone totally mad?
And then there’s this:
- Fed Tightening May Begin Sooner Than Thought: Hildebrand in FT (not holding our breath)
– “Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coalition” – A Stunning New Leak Released (ZeroHedge, March 5, 2014):
The last time a leaked phone call out of Ukraine was released about a month ago ostensibly by the Russian NSA equivalent, one between US assistant sec state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, it was revealed that the real puppet masters behind the Maidan movement, and the true instigators of the Ukraine “revolution” were none other than the “developed” world superpowers, lead by the US. Also revealed were tensions between the US and EU strategies on how to overthrow the current government, culminating with the infamous “Fuck the EU.” Needless to say the US, which implicitly confirmed the recording, was angry at Russia and accused it of using dirty tricks.
That’s ironic, because when it comes to “dirty tricks” what is about to be presented, blows the top off anything Russia may or has done to date.
YouTube Added: Mar 5, 2014
The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.
– Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders – leaked EU’s Ashton phone tape (RT, March 5, 2014):
he snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.
“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet said during the conversation.
– Euro Area Government Debt Rises To New Record High (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2013):
While the European economy may be moving in a straight line from upper left to lower right, the same can not be said for the level of debt in Europe, which has taken on the inverse trajectory. As per the just released quarterly update of Euro area government debt, in Q1 2013, total government debt in Europe as a % of GDP just hit a new all time high of 92.2%. This compares to 90.6% in the previous quarter, and up from 88.2% in Q1 2012.
The proud Q1 debt-to-GDP outliers, where the local economies are expected to continue plunging and thus send the stock markets (if mostly that in the US) surging, are the following:
The US should have been downgraded a ‘looong’ time ago:
– The Greatest Economic Collapse Is Coming:
“To give you an idea of how big a problem these deficits are, consider that the US government could tax its citizens 100% of their earnings and NOT have a balanced budget.” (!)
– Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank:
The“very big hole” in unfunded pension and health-care liabilities is over $99 trillion.
(Full article: Here)
S&P like the Obama administration is controlled by the elite behind the scenes.
The sovereign debt of Latvia and Estonia have been downgraded as the brutal slump plays havoc with public finances and tests commitment to euro currency pegs across the Baltic states.
Tallinn in Estonia, where sovereign debt has been downgraded
Standard & Poor’s, the credit-rating agency, cut Latvia’s rating to “BB” and warned that its economy will contract by a further 16pc this year. The public debt will vault from 19pc of GDP last year to 80pc by 2011. “This very fast increase in debt is unprecedented,” said Moritz Kraemer, S&P’s head of sovereign ratings.
S&P said the country is facing a “struggle” to find a path back to growth while also maintaining its currency peg, but the agency stopped short of advising whether devaluation would help.
There is an intense debate in the Baltics over whether the euro pegs are themselves causing an unnecessarily harsh adjustment, entailing salary cuts of up to 20pc. The International Monetary Fund had privately suggested a devaluation in Latvia to help cushion the blow, but this was overruled by the European Union on grounds that most of the country’s corporate and mortgage debt is in foreign currencies.
GDP has fallen 20pc in Latvia and 22pc in Lithuania over the past year – more concentrated falls than anything seen in the Great Depression. Both countries expect unemployment to peak at almost a quarter of the workforce.
Sweden is preparing to part-nationalise banks exposed to the economic collapse in Baltic states, raising fears that a string of Western European countries could face similar fallout from rising defaults in the former Communist bloc.
Swedish banks have lent more than $75bn (£46bn) to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, led by Swedbank and SEB. Photo: REUTERS
Finance Minister Anders Borg said the Swedish state will buy stakes in distressed banks if they fall deeper into trouble but will impose draconian terms.
“We want to be very clear so that people know what could happen,” he said. “If the banks come to us with big credit losses, where they have previously earned big money on lending, then shareholders will take the consequences. We’re going to be clear that insolvent banks that don’t meet legal requirements will see an injection of funds, primarily through government ownership.”
Swedish banks have lent more than $75bn (£46bn) to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, led by Swedbank and SEB.
MOSCOW – Riots broke out once again in the Baltic states on Friday, this time in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where a group of 7,000 gathered to protest planned economic austerity measures. A smaller group began throwing eggs and stones through the windows of government buildings until the police moved in, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
The episode was nearly identical to one on Tuesday in Latvia, when a peaceful protest of 10,000 people erupted into violence. And on Wednesday, a gathering of 2,000 in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, began throwing stones and snowballs at the Parliament building, calling for the nation’s leaders to resign.
In all three countries, years of steady economic growth have come to a jarring halt, and citizens are facing layoffs and cuts in wages. In each case, the authorities were left wondering whether they were facing organized activism or just the anger of people whose expectations have been disappointed. “I think this is just the beginning,” said Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “We should expect this to happen in many places.”
– Latvia Is Shaken by Riots Over Its Weak Economy (New York Times)
– Recession sparks riots in Sofia and Riga (Irish Times)
– Protests spread in Europe amid economic crisis (Los Angeles Times)
Like its neighbor, Latvia, Lithuania has enjoyed a reputation as a “Baltic Tiger,” buoyed by foreign investment, a housing boom and annual growth rates of around 8 percent. Although Lithuania is not facing as dire an outlook as Latvia, economists predict a 5 percent drop in gross domestic product there next year, and the newly elected Parliament has announced tough austerity measures: workers in the public sector will see pay cuts of up to 15 percent, pensions will fall and an array of taxes will rise.
PARIS: Nearly a year after Estonia weathered an onslaught of cyberattacks, its name has become a rallying cry for countries pressing to streangthen global cooperation between governments and private Internet service providers to combat computer crime. But some privacy advocates and computer experts remain wary of such efforts.
On Tuesday, the Council of Europe plans to introduce guidelines to aid computer crime investigators, building on a cybercrime treaty that has been signed by 43 nations, including the United States. A controversial proposal would require service providers to give the authorities a list of the types of information that they could offer.
On Wednesday, NATO will present a strategy for countering computer attacks at a meeting for heads of state in Bucharest, with a proposal to create a central cyberdefense authority.
“The attacks on Estonia – directed at services on which Estonian citizens rely – could happen anywhere,” said James Appathurai, a NATO spokesman. “The only way to defend against them is through multinational, multilateral cooperation.”
That kind of military talk concerns privacy advocates and computer experts, who fear that private companies will be pressed into service to police users as part of these strategies.
“One of the great consequences of all of this is that an agenda is created for a society that is under surveillance,” said Peter Sommers, a senior research fellow at the London School of Economics and author of “The Hacker’s Handbook,” written under the pseudonym Hugo Cornwall. “And in the panic, we lose the quality of control.”