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kris_77

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About kris_77

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  1. Now what does that mean? That you got the bit about the Poles wrong and have nothing meaningful to add?
  2. PPP in measured in dollars and hence most of the recent increase in PPP is due to a weak dollar rather than any real strenght of the UK economy. The most objective measure of a country's wellbeing is the HDI, which has been on the decline in the UK since 2000. Poles are Western slavs who are more similar, culturally and linguistically, to the Slavs of the Eurasian Stepps than to Anglo Saxons( apart from the Catholic faith)....The only association they have with the US is the presence of a large Polish expat community there.
  3. The UK is in a unique position with re: to the US due to a more or less common ancestry, English language etc. The UK's relationship with the US is often at odds with those of France and Germany who have traditionally given the US a cold shoulder. The UK has more in common with the US than with,say, Poland or Bulgaria. Why should Britain be forced to adopt an antagonistic approach towards the US(as it would be, once a common EU foreign office is established) when it is clearly not in its best interests? Britain also has a special relationship with India due to the colonial past and the presence of a large Indian diaspora in this country. I feel Britain would do rather well if it stays out of the whole EU mess and tries to manage its affairs independently while maintaining good trade ties with the EU( like Switzerland). The EU might emerge as the next superpower as the power of the dollar wanes and the likes of Romania and Bulgaria grow at 10% pa for the next 30 years(a highly unlikely prospect, it should be added). However, the more likely scenario is one of falling living standards,stagnating wages and recession,atleast in the medium term. One cannot expect to establish parity among all the 27 economies in the EU without accepting a massive redistribution of wealth from the richer nations to the poorer ones (either through subsidies or capital flight), a prospect that would not go down well with the British public.
  4. I am not making a case for UK qualifications but just pointing out what risks speedy accession of the kind we saw yesterday brings with it. Last week, a French GP practising in London was found guilty of negligence after he failed to get a patient with a heart attack to casualty on time due to 'linguistic' difficulties. I have had the experience of working with colleagues from new EU in my field(which is that of saving lives) and have found most of them to be skillful and competent. But I also know of cases where lives have been put at risk due to their unfamiliarity with the healthcare system in the UK and treatment modalities in use here. Professional training needs a lot of investment on part of the government and I doubt if Romanian and Bulgarian governments have invested as much in training their nurses and doctors as the UK has done in recent years. I am sure the situation is same in other fields, including technical education. I reckon I am digressing from the main topic yet again...Mr Twatmangle, could you kindly list any tangible benefits the accession of Bulgaria and Romania would bring to the EU?(apart from their 'dynamic, vibrant' economies, the 'merits' of which we are already aware of)
  5. Hmm..good to know that even corrupt officials have scruples (unless they are offered a large enough sum of money)
  6. Here goes... http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf
  7. Norway,Iceland and Switzerland are not part of the EU and enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the world (Nos 1,2 and 9 respectively on the UN HDI report for 2006) as a result. They access all the trading benefits enjoyed by EU members by paying a 'fee' to the bloc whilst avoiding the excess bureaucracy and uncontrolled immigration associated with the EU. The only 2 EU countries in the top 10 are Ireland(heavily subsidised by the rest of the EU) and Sweden. The UK has slipped to 18 in the 2006 report,down from 15 last year. Only 4 countries from 'Old' Europe (Germany, Spain and two pseudo olds, Greece and Portugal) trail the UK on the list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Develop...dex#2006_report It is clear that the living standards in this country are steadily declining and allowing uncontrolled access to labour markets in this country(which in turn facilities the flight of capital out of the country) is definitely not part of the solution. I am not suggesting that professionals from the two countries are in any way inferior to ones in the UK but as forging documents seems to be a virtual cottage industry in those countries (judging from the piece in the Telegraph), systems must be put in place(similar to the ones for professionals from non EU countries) to ensure that standards are not compromised.
  8. The thinking behind the latest round of expansion defies all logic..Bulgaria and Romania have nothing to offer to the EU..they are desperately poor(only adding 1% to the EU GDP whilst adding almost 10% to the population), have no natural resources and no sizeable internal market that other EU countries can take advantage of. They also do not serve the purpose of cheap production bases as wages are higher than,say, North Africa which is probably cheaper and closer to the UK than Bulgaria or Romania. Add to it high levels of crime and corruption and the risk of criminal gangs moving their operations to this country,taking advantage of the lax criminal justice system here. EU membership means that qualifications obtained in Bulgaria and Romania are automatically considered equivalent to British ones, removing the requirement for any qualifying exams,sometimes with dangerous consequences. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...2/31/wbul31.xml http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml.../31/wbul131.xml I would rather have Russia as part of the EU..atleast they are more prosperous than Romania and Bulgaria (GDPwise), have vast energy resources with only comparable levels of crime and corruption. This enlargement is part of a game of stratergic oneuppism being played out by the EU with its adversaries to the East (read: Russia and its satellite states(or what remains of them)) and has nothing to do with improving the living standards of the citizens of EU countries..The earlier Britain pulls out of this ungainly alliance,the better.
  9. From what I understand, Russia's state owned gas monopoly Gazprom is trying to charge Georgia $ 230 per 100 cubic feet(or whatever the measure is) to bring it in line with current international prices. I have seen my gas bills skyrocketing in the last couple of years and there is no reason why people in countries like Georgia and Ukraine should expect to continue receiving subsidised gas from Russia,especially when their governments have burned bridges with Moscow.Georgia should realise that the USSR is long gone and they should start getting used to the idea of having to pay international prices for energy supplies purchased abroad (just like any impoverished country in Africa would) I think Gazprom is negotiating similar price rises with Belarus, which is a long time ally of Moscow. It appears to be a purely commercial decision and the government in Georgia is hoping to gain concessions from Gazprom by giving a political twist to it,taking advantage of the climate of russophobia currently prevelent in the West. Putin's Russia leaves much to be desired in terms of democracy/freedom of speech but I do feel a lot of criticism directed at it is unjustified.
  10. 29, based in Surrey/West Sussex, married, wife still in Uni.I`m on 46000 kpa, which probably puts me in the lower income group (excluding DSS chavs) for this part of the country. Over the last few years, I have seen my pay drop from 55000k to 44000k last year. Expecting more pay cuts in the future, hence contemplating move to the private sector. I agree with a previous poster that many people on this forum are 'financially astute' types who are on above average incomes but that does not mean they are all financially secure and able to easily get on to the property ladder. For instance, a couple earning 30k each would be much better off financially compared to me although they might be less clued in on whats happening with IRs or whatever. The more you earn,the more you spend..in the end there is nothing much to choose between someone who earns 30k or 50k..your take home pay is not significantly different due to higher taxation.
  11. Is it possible for NI residents to take out mortgages from banks based in ROI? IRs in the Eurozone are around 1% less than the UK so presumably the mortgages would be cheaper too? I know the rules are a lot more relaxed for people living in NI when it comes to doing business with Ireland proper..
  12. My brother, a techie in the US, has spoken of similar problems back there.He is a qualified Telecom Engineer with an M.S. and years experience in the industry. He has actually found that his wages have gone down in recent years due to outsourcing of tech jobs at all levels to India.Apparently they even have a word for it ('Bangalored'). He wants to move to the UK but things are pretty bleak here as well. A number of US nationals who work with him have chosen to move to India...that way they can keep their jobs for slightly below US wages but it sort of evens out with the low cost of living in India.
  13. Junior docs start at around 28k but get paid an extra 20-80% on top for doing on calls.Personally I am not newly qualified (have been working for 4 years ) but have found that my pay,if anything, has actually gone down over the last 2 years (thanks to dubious policies adopted by trusts). I am certain this is the case with most junior (and not so junior) docs. Paradoxically, you tend to get paid more if you work in the more deprived (and relatively inexpensive) parts of the country compared to London or the South East,where pay tends to be the worst. However I do agree that many consultants and GPs get paid ridiculous amounts of money.. Coming back to the issue of house prices,my pay(around 50k) would not allow me to buy a decent place in Sheffield, let alone where I live(in Surrey)
  14. I am a doc and I am certainly not on 100k
  15. Although rising IRs might result in a slowdown in HPI, I really can't see how it would benefit FTBs...Say a 0.5% hike in rates leads to a 10% reduction in prices, the mortgage repayements would also go up accordingly...I guess an HPC would only benefit people who have enough dosh to buy outright..it would only mean continuing renting+misery for FTBs. Is there another way of looking at it?
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