Portuguese farmers are turning their backs on Monsanto’s genetically modified MON810, which is the only GM crop commercially grown in the European Union, according to the Portuguese government.
Official government data shows that Portuguese farmers have reduced the number of hectares under GM maize cultivation for the second year in a row. Portugal is one of only five countries in the European Union that commercially cultivates GM maize.
H/t reader squodgy:
“It may be the title of the latest Hollywood frightened series, but it is also an appropriate title for the pandemic hitting Europe…….CONTAGION…..”
It appears, just as we warned, that Brexit was indeed the first of many dominoes. Even before the Brexit result, a poll by Ipsos Mori showed that the majority of people in France and Italy want to at least have a referendum on leaving:
Meanwhile, over 40% of Swedes, Poles, and Belgians are in the same boat.
But now, as Martin Armstrong notes, Brussels simply went too far. They cross the line moving from an economic union to a political subordination of Europe. Now eight more countries want to hold referendums to exit the EU – France, Holland, Italy, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia all could leave.
Energy is perhaps the most important issue of human civilization at this time, and we are fortunate to bear witness to many exciting changes happening right before our eyes when it comes to creating the shift away from destructive fossil fuel power.
Germany has impressed Europe and the world with its success in providing nearly all of the power for its forward-thinking people from green energy sources. The small but progressive Latin American nation of Costa Rica has been in the spotlight for fueling its entire nation for some 285 days of the year 2015 with renewable energies. The movement towards renewable energy seems to be taking hold in Europe:
Glyphosate testing on urine and food products, carried out by the Portuguese No GMO Coalition in cooperation with the Detox Project, has revealed much higher levels of the World’s most used herbicide in Portugal than in other EU countries.
There has been a heated political and public debate since the release of the results in Portugal and the state-owned TV channel RTP has covered the story all week (see video of top headline news here).
Glyphosate, which is a probable human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC, is the most used herbicide in Portugal, as it is all over the World. More than 1600 tons of glyphosate are sold every year in the country which, beyond agricultural use, is also sprayed widely in urban areas both by local councils and gardeners.
“The new Portuguese administration is not the first government to resort to asset confiscation and populist expediency. Venezuela and Argentina also belong to this club. The important distinction is that Portugal is a eurozone member state, and its systemically important banks are regulated by the ECB.”
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Anti-austerity lawmakers forced Portugal’s center-right government to resign Tuesday by rejecting its policy proposals at the start of what was supposed to be a second consecutive term in office — and four more years of cutbacks and economic reforms.The government’s dramatic collapse came less than two weeks after it was sworn in and raised questions about debt-heavy Portugal*s commitment to the fiscal discipline demanded of countries sharing the euro currency.
Late last month we highlighted to reappointment of Portuguese PM Pedro Passos Coelho, noting that, in the words of Communist leader Jerónimo de Sousa, the President’s move to ignore the left’s attempt to form a government in the wake of largely inconclusive elections may be a “manifest waste of time.”
As FT put it a few weeks back, “no government on the left or right [can] hope to survive without support from the PS, which won 32.3 per cent [in October]” which means President Anibal Cavaco Silva might have made a mistake in propping up Coelho as the PM’s restoration will only serve to embolden an already angry left coalition.
Well sure enough, socialist leader Antonio Costa has now “formalized” plans to unite with the Left Bloc and Communists in order to reject the Coelho government. Here’s Bloomberg:
“The conditions in the economies of the rest of the world have undoubtedly proved weaker compared with a few months ago, in particular in the emerging economies. Global growth forecasts have been revised downwards. This slowdown is probably not temporary.”
Undoubtedly, the most amusing this about the prospect of more easing from the ECB (as telegraphed by Mario Draghi last week) and the BoJ (where Haruhiko Kuroda just jeopardized his status as monetary madman par excellence by failing to expand stimulus) is that both Europe and Japan both recently slid back into deflation despite trillions in central bank asset purchases.
In other words, the market expects both Draghi and Kuroda to double- and triple- down on policies that clearly aren’t working when it comes to altering inflation expectations and/or boosting aggregate demand. Indeed, both Goldman and BofAML said as much last week. For those who missed it, here’s Goldman’s take
Nigel Farage unleashes another of his must-watch rage-fests aimed at the collapse of democracy in Europe. Amid the stunning “democracy crisis” in Portugal, where, as we detailed here, the government has lost its majority but the anti-EU opposition is being prevented from attempting to form a coalition, Farage fumes “this is the modern day implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. This is exactly what happened to states living inside the USSR.”
One of his best…
Transcript… (via Order-Order.com),
“This is the modern day implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. This is exactly what happened to states living inside the USSR . What is being made clear here with Greece and indeed with Portugal is that a country only has democratic rights if it’s in favour of the [European] project. If not, those rights are taken away.
“Note what’s happened here. The will of the people is now being characterized as a “false signal” to “financial institutions, investors, and markets.”
In other words, what voters want means nothing. This is about what “markets” and “financial instiutions” want. What the electorate wants is nothing more than a “false signal.”
This is precisely what we predicted would happen should the political situation in Portugal not unfold in a way that pleases Berlin and Brussels. Germany and, to a lesser extent, the IMF are now in complete control of the European political process. There’s no “democracy” left. It’s either get with the austerity program and stick with it, or face the consequences which, as we saw with Greece, could entail the closure of banks and the willful destruction of the economy. “
On Thursday evening, we took a close look at how the political landscape has changed in Portugal following inconclusive elections held earlier this month.
For those unaware, the worry in Brussels has always been that either Spain, Portugal or, in a less likely scenario, Italy, would go the way of Greece by electing politicians that would seek to roll back austerity, shun fiscal rectitude, and demand debt relief.
As we’ve noted on any number of occasions over the past nine months, that’s why Berlin adopted such a hardline approach to negotiations with Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis. There was never any hope of setting Athens on a “sustainable path.” It was always about deterring more “meaningful” states from going the Syriza route.
Newly-upgraded Portugal unleashed a budget bombsell on Wednesday when it revised its 2014 deficit higher by some 60% after a failure to liquidate the predecessor to bailed out Banco Espirito Santo left taxpayers holding a €5 billion bag.
– Portugal’s Debts Are (Also) Unsustainable (Sinclair & Co., July 18, 2015):
Everyone seems to be focusing on Greece these days – a country so indebted that it needs even more loans to repay just a fraction of its gigantic credits. Clearly this is unsustainable and something has to give. Even the IMF agrees. But what about the other Southern European countries? Actually, Portugal’s financial situation is looking particularly shaky, and any hiccups could have serious cross-border repercussions from Madrid all the way to Berlin.
– Germany’s Most Noted Euroskeptic Is Now In Control (ZeroHedge, July 12, 2015):
This weekend’s events in Europe have clarified who is really running the show across the ‘union’. Hans-Werner Sinn, Chairman of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, vehemnt euroskeptic, and head of the so-called ‘five wise men’ advising the German government and specifically Angela Merkel, confirmed his call from 2012 for a “temporary grexit from the euro.” The right wing economist previously explained “Greece and Portugal have to become 30-40% less expensive to be competitive again. This is being attempted through excessive austerity measures within the euro zone, but it won’t work. It will drive these countries to the brink of civil war before it succeeds. Temporary exits would very quickly stabilize these countries, create new jobs and free the population from the yoke of the euro.” Anyone positioning for more centrist union-supporting rhetoric, hope is no longer a strategy as the hardest conservatives are now in charge.
… at this very moment, politicians from Spain’s Podemos to Italy Five Star movement are drafting memos demanding that the IMF evaluate their own debt sustainability. Or rather unsustainability.
– Did The IMF Just Open Pandora’s Box? (ZeroHedge, July 3, 2015):
By now it should be clear to all that the only reason why Germany has been so steadfast in its negotiating stance with Greece is because it knows very well that if it concedes to a public debt reduction (as opposed to haircut on debt held mostly by private entities such as hedge funds which already happened in 2012), then the rest of the PIIGS will come pouring in: first Italy, then Spain, then Portugal, then Ireland.
– The Fairy Tale Of Portugal’s Successful Turnaround (The Globalist, March 2, 2015):
For all the attention given to Greece, is Portugal really that much better off?
Even a brief glance at the facts suffices. Portugal is no less bankrupt than Greece. The country’s government debt, at 124% of GDP, might be lower than in Greece. However, government debt is just one – even though important – part of the full debt picture.
On an aggregate level, Portugal’s overall debt level — at 381% of GDP when also including private households and non-financial corporations — is well above Greece’s total debt level (286% of GDP).
– The Economy Of The Largest Superpower On The Planet Is Collapsing Right Now (Economic Collapse, Nov 5, 2014):
How do you fix a superpower with exploding levels of debt, that has a rapidly aging population, that consumes far more wealth than it produces, and that has scores of zombie banks that could collapse at any moment. You might think that I am talking about the United States, but I am actually talking about Europe. You see, the truth is that the European Union has a larger population than the United States does, it has a larger economy than the United States does, and it has a much larger banking system than the United States does. Most of the time I write about the horrible economic problems that the U.S. is facing, but without a doubt economic conditions in Europe are even worse at the moment. In fact, there are many (including the Washington Post) that are calling what is happening in Europe a full-blown “depression”. Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning. In the months to come things in Europe are likely to get much worse.
– Is Portugal Next In Line For Wealth Confiscation? (Doug Casey’s International Man, Aug 22, 2014):
The pattern should be seared in your memory by now. If you fail to recognize it, you could be struck with a huge financial blow.
It’s a pattern that has played out over and over throughout history: a government gets into financial trouble, then denies there’s a problem, which is followed by a surprise wealth grab.
That’s exactly what happened when bank deposits in Spain and Cyprus were raided. We’ve also seen retirement savings confiscated in some form in Poland, Portugal, and Hungary. Capital controls have been imposed in Cyprus and Iceland.
Of course these aren’t the only examples of blatant government thievery. These examples are just within Europe and just within recent years. They can and will happen anywhere.
– World Reserve Currencies: What Happened During Previous Periods Of Transition? (Economic Reason, Aug 11, 2014):
The decline of the US dollar hegemony is ever so clear today and this article aims to provide the reader with what exactly happened during past periods of reserve currency transitions. Historically, when a reserve currency transitioned over to a new one, it marked a pivotal change for the world. The economic paradigm shifted and the rules of the game changed. This time will be no different when the US dollar loses its status as the reserve currency!
The transition process of the world reserve currency brings much uncertainty
– Portugal’s Insolvent Banco Espirito Santo To Be Bailed Out, Existing Equity To Be Wiped Out (ZeroHedge, Aug, 3, 2014):
- Portugal may use the Resolution Fund to recapitalize Banco Espirito Santo, Diario Economico reports, citing unidentified people linked to the process.
- Resolution Fund may inject more than €3 billion
- A “bad bank” may be created for the toxic assets of the credit portfolio
- Solution aims to rescue Banco Espirito Santo without spending taxpayers’ money, and is being prepared by the government and the Bank of Portugal
- From Aug. 4, Banco Espirito Santo will leave the stock market and will be 100% owned by the Resolution Fund, an entity created in 2012 and financed by Portuguese banks and by revenue from the special contribution that the banking sector pays the Portuguese state
– Banco Espirito Santo Plunges: Shareholder Meeting Cancelled Due To “Unexpected Facts” (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2014):
With all other operating holdcos having already declared bankruptcy, the anxiety over Banco Espirito Santo is growing (despite DE Shaw and Goldman Sachs recommending investors buy the shares). Despite Bank of Portugal reassurance last night that “BES is able to raise capital), the stock is plunging on news of “unexpected facts” this morning…
- *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO SAYS SHAREHOLDER MEETING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO “UNEXPECTED FACTS”
- *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO FALLS MORE THAN 13% IN LISBON TRADING
Remember, this is systemic (as the Portugues President has warned), and the contagion is potentially global… not “contained.”