Cyprus has just asked for a bailout from the EU's ATM, joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal and, most recently, Spain. So what's the excuse this time? Apparently Cyprus' intimate exposure to the Greek economy was more than enough economic Ebola.
So another beggar's cup starts rattling just in time for yet another summit of European leaders. Are they still actually hoping to find a solution to this fiasco? Are we to presume that it's going to come from someone who has been living in outer space for the past several years? Because that's about the only being who might actually have a solution that hasn't yet been tried.
Despite Europe's woes, the European climate is favoring an increased entitlement culture, if you can believe it. For example, the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg has ruled that employers -- often meaning the taxpayer, since we're talking about civil-service-heavy Europe here -- need to give workers another vacation in the event that they happen to fall sick during their annual four-to-six-week paid vacation. Apparently sick time and vacation time are two separate things and ought to be kept that way at all costs, even if the European economy is on the verge of keeling over completely. That's because all of Europe is now officially just a life-support system for some civil servant's entitlement package.
Two countries, Canada and China, have responded to this unfettered culture of fatal entitlement by refusing to play along.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is refusing to donate Canadian taxpayer money to the International Monetary Fund, given how much the IMF is doling out in European bailouts. Why would Canadians, who have just had their retirement age raised from 65 to 67, want to fund early retirement for Europeans? Moreover, Canada is facing a potential block and a "dirty oil" label in its attempt to offer Europeans the opportunity to lower their cost of living by purchasing Alberta oil sands crude. One could conclude that Europe is only interested in Canada's "dirty oil" money if it's laundered through the IMF.
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