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Austrian Finance Minister, Maria Fekter: a loose cannon?


Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6,309
Forget Foreign Affairs - the ministerial portfolio that requires the greatest application of careful diplomacy, verbal subtlety and (yes!) the occasional foray into doublespeak is Finance. An unfortunate choice of words need not do long term damage with other countries: a couple of contrite speeches and apologies should unruffle feathers. Not so with the flighty markets where rumours and the herd mentality rule.

All of which makes the Austria's choice of Finance Minister - Maria Fekter - the more puzzling. As Interior Minister, she had a reputation as a hardliner on immigration. As Finance Minister, she's already notched up a number of international controversies despite being less than two years in the job.

Just this morning as the Cypriot bailout crisis deepens, she has announced that the European Central Bank will cut Cyprus off from liquidity unless the Cypriots agree to the bailout. Is she on the board of the ECB? I thought the Austrian representative was a chap called Ewald Nowotny?

She infuriated Italians last year when she suggested Italy might need a bailout - this at a very delicate time in the crisis when the hymn sheet everyone else was singing from basically contained the words "No Italian bailout", not least because Italy is Grade A TBTB - To Big to Bailout.

The Germans lambasted her last year too over comments on Greece when she appeared to suggest that Greece could be thrown out of the eurozone. Like talk of Italian bailouts, Grexit is a concept that Must Not Be Mentioned.

It gets worse. She has contemptuously spoken of the Greeks being lazy. Referring to the lack of implementation of certain measures requested by the Troika, she said that Greeks had been lying in their hammocks and now they'd fallen out.

She frets over negative attitudes towards bankers in Europe today, comparing criticism of them with anti-Jewish feeling before World War II that ultimately led to the Holocaust. I'm not joking, check sources 5 and 6.

She's been in the wars with Jean Claude Juncker having blurted out the conclusions of a euro-area Finance Ministers' meeting about bailout limits before Juncker, who was chairing the meeting, got a chance to announce them at a press conference. A furious Juncker cancelled his scheduled conference saying he was "against babbling".

She's also taken on French president Hollande in a full frontal attack, dismissing as nonense his approach to solving the eurozone debt crisis. "Growth financed by debt?", she said. "Those are the recipes from the day before yesterday. The arguments that France's new president Francois Hollande is putting forward again are nonsense and got us into this whole mess in the first place,"

Sometimes she's wrong, sometimes she's right. But even if one is right, there's a time, a place and a way of saying things. She seems to struggle with all of these criteria.


Sources:
1. Emergency talks over Cyprus bailout crisis - RTÉ News
2. Austrian minister says Italy too may need bailout | Reuters
3. Germany chides Austrian minister's Greek comment | Athens News
4. Austrian Minister Says Greeks Fell Off Hammocks | Greek Reporter Europe
5. Austrian finance minister: plight of bankers like Holocaust | JPost | Israel News
6. Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter's comments about rich folks, banks & jews
7. Euro Spat Erupts as Fekter Upstages Juncker at Crisis Talks - Bloomberg
8. Hollande's euro arguments nonsense: Austria's Fekter | Reuters
 

Lempo

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Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
6,314
I'm all for honest talk. Look where the diplomacy has got us in solving this crisis. Pretend, pretend, pretend, up to the point of believing it yourself.
 

artfoley56

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Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
9,595
Shes actually has a doubled barrelled name its fekter estoffhem
 

Ryan Tubbs

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Sep 20, 2012
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3,660
I'm all for plain-speaking, but her comments on the Cyprus thing yesterday were spectacularly ill-advised and foolish.
 

Picasso Republic

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Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
2,446
She may have dropped clangers in the past, however as an EU Finance Minister she is entitled to voice her opinion.

Austrian and Italian tv were carrying fairly pointed comments attributed to Michael Noonan re Cyprus late last week - which suprised me as much as you seem suprised by Maria Fekters comments.

However - I agree with your anger re below:

She frets over negative attitudes towards bankers in Europe today, comparing criticism of them with anti-Jewish feeling before World War II that ultimately led to the Holocaust. I'm not joking, check sources 5 and 6.

She has created a completely upside/down analogy and uses far too strong an example (bankers equated to the jews under the nazis). The public have been abused, the bankers are the abusers and contine to abuse day in and day out, the political class have obviously been bought off and she is way off the mark if she believes 'the public' needs to change its tune.
 

callas

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Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
5,188
Forget Foreign Affairs - the ministerial portfolio that requires the greatest application of careful diplomacy, verbal subtlety and (yes!) the occasional foray into doublespeak is Finance. An unfortunate choice of words need not do long term damage with other countries: a couple of contrite speeches and apologies should unruffle feathers. Not so with the flighty markets where rumours and the herd mentality rule.

All of which makes the Austria's choice of Finance Minister - Maria Fekter - the more puzzling. As Interior Minister, she had a reputation as a hardliner on immigration. As Finance Minister, she's already notched up a number of international controversies despite being less than two years in the job.

Just this morning as the Cypriot bailout crisis deepens, she has announced that the European Central Bank will cut Cyprus off from liquidity unless the Cypriots agree to the bailout. Is she on the board of the ECB? I thought the Austrian representative was a chap called Ewald Nowotny?

She infuriated Italians last year when she suggested Italy might need a bailout - this at a very delicate time in the crisis when the hymn sheet everyone else was singing from basically contained the words "No Italian bailout", not least because Italy is Grade A TBTB - To Big to Bailout.

The Germans lambasted her last year too over comments on Greece when she appeared to suggest that Greece could be thrown out of the eurozone. Like talk of Italian bailouts, Grexit is a concept that Must Not Be Mentioned.

It gets worse. She has contemptuously spoken of the Greeks being lazy. Referring to the lack of implementation of certain measures requested by the Troika, she said that Greeks had been lying in their hammocks and now they'd fallen out.

She frets over negative attitudes towards bankers in Europe today, comparing criticism of them with anti-Jewish feeling before World War II that ultimately led to the Holocaust. I'm not joking, check sources 5 and 6.

She's been in the wars with Jean Claude Juncker having blurted out the conclusions of a euro-area Finance Ministers' meeting about bailout limits before Juncker, who was chairing the meeting, got a chance to announce them at a press conference. A furious Juncker cancelled his scheduled conference saying he was "against babbling".

She's also taken on French president Hollande in a full frontal attack, dismissing as nonense his approach to solving the eurozone debt crisis. "Growth financed by debt?", she said. "Those are the recipes from the day before yesterday. The arguments that France's new president Francois Hollande is putting forward again are nonsense and got us into this whole mess in the first place,"

Sometimes she's wrong, sometimes she's right. But even if one is right, there's a time, a place and a way of saying things. She seems to struggle with all of these criteria.


Sources:
1. Emergency talks over Cyprus bailout crisis - RTÉ News
2. Austrian minister says Italy too may need bailout | Reuters
3. Germany chides Austrian minister's Greek comment | Athens News
4. Austrian Minister Says Greeks Fell Off Hammocks | Greek Reporter Europe
5. Austrian finance minister: plight of bankers like Holocaust | JPost | Israel News
6. Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter's comments about rich folks, banks & jews
7. Euro Spat Erupts as Fekter Upstages Juncker at Crisis Talks - Bloomberg
8. Hollande's euro arguments nonsense: Austria's Fekter | Reuters
The fekker!
 

Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6,309
I'm all for honest talk. Look where the diplomacy has got us in solving this crisis. Pretend, pretend, pretend, up to the point of believing it yourself.
But if someone is staying stuff that's just plain wrong or is outside their realm of knowledge, they're not being honest. She was wrong on the Italian bailout and she can't possibly know what the ECB's plans are for liquidity for Cyprus. Any idea that a finance minister would have an input into or knowledge of such decisions would have Draghi tearing his hair out.
 

Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6,309
I'm all for plain-speaking, but her comments on the Cyprus thing yesterday were spectacularly ill-advised and foolish.
It's not the first time she's been very outspoken on Cyprus. She lashed out at her Cypriot opposite number at a meeting earlier this month asking, "What about the Russians and their fake companies laundering their cash through your banks?".

Now maybe she's right - she's certainly not the only one to have suspicions. However, would it not be better to wait for some sort of audit to be done so at least the thing can be made official? I don't believe that there's a comprehensive and available list of depositors in Cypriot banks, is there?

Money-Laundering Suspicion Stalls Europe's Latest Bailout - WSJ.com
 

Shqiptar

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Mar 18, 2012
Messages
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She may have dropped clangers in the past, however as an EU Finance Minister she is entitled to voice her opinion.
To an extent, yes. But some misplaced words can make the crisis so much worse. Remember how the Deauville Declaration sank whatever chance we had of avoiding a bailout?

Austrian and Italian tv were carrying fairly pointed comments attributed to Michael Noonan re Cyprus late last week - which suprised me as much as you seem suprised by Maria Fekters comments.
Oh God, what did he say? Was it something along the lines of:

Apart from holidaying there, I think most Irish people don’t have a lot of connections with Cyprus. If you go into the shops here, apart from halloumi, how many Cypriot items do you put in your basket?
:cry::shock:
 

Shqiptar

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Fair play on a concise, interesting and well presented OP.
Thanks. A three line rant in textspeak would probably have generated 100 replies by now but c'est la vie.
 

Colin M

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Jul 23, 2012
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5,356
I'm all for plain-speaking, but her comments on the Cyprus thing yesterday were spectacularly ill-advised and foolish.
Think you're being kind with 'ill advised and foolish'. From her previous history of comments, she's clearly not a fan of those not of Germanic origin.
 

Lempo

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Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
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But if someone is staying stuff that's just plain wrong or is outside their realm of knowledge, they're not being honest. She was wrong on the Italian bailout and she can't possibly know what the ECB's plans are for liquidity for Cyprus. Any idea that a finance minister would have an input into or knowledge of such decisions would have Draghi tearing his hair out.
She's being honest about her thinking and her perceived problems, whether they are factually right or wrong. If she is wrong she can be presented with the right facts and a chance to revise her thinking according to the facts. Alleged Cypriot money laundering is a genuine huge problem to everyone, but nice-talk about "special elements in the banking sector" won't necessarily get the issue addressed.
 

leftsoc

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Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,848
She may have dropped clangers in the past, however as an EU Finance Minister she is entitled to voice her opinion.

Austrian and Italian tv were carrying fairly pointed comments attributed to Michael Noonan re Cyprus late last week - which suprised me as much as you seem suprised by Maria Fekters comments.

However - I agree with your anger re below:

She frets over negative attitudes towards bankers in Europe today, comparing criticism of them with anti-Jewish feeling before World War II that ultimately led to the Holocaust. I'm not joking, check sources 5 and 6.

She has created a completely upside/down analogy and uses far too strong an example (bankers equated to the jews under the nazis). The public have been abused, the bankers are the abusers and contine to abuse day in and day out, the political class have obviously been bought off and she is way off the mark if she believes 'the public' needs to change its tune.
Nazism was about saving the rich by sacrificing the Jews. So comparing the bankers , who are intent on sacrificing everyone to save their wealth , with the Jewish victims of the last depression is a little misguided, if not sick. In her defense , they don't teach WW2 in Austria, so as not to have to admit that Catholic Austria was even more entusiastic toward Hilter (an austrian Catholic) than was Germany as a whole.
 

leftsoc

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Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,848
It's not the first time she's been very outspoken on Cyprus. She lashed out at her Cypriot opposite number at a meeting earlier this month asking, "What about the Russians and their fake companies laundering their cash through your banks?".

Now maybe she's right - she's certainly not the only one to have suspicions. However, would it not be better to wait for some sort of audit to be done so at least the thing can be made official? I don't believe that there's a comprehensive and available list of depositors in Cypriot banks, is there?

Money-Laundering Suspicion Stalls Europe's Latest Bailout - WSJ.com
She may be right, but it is not what caused the crisis. Crime, like the poor , will always be with us. Bank deregultion is the cause , this is a banking crisis in Cyprus. There is one assumes far more dodgy money in London and the IFSC, in switzerland and in Frankfurt for all we know. That doesn't seem to bother this one too much. Its when the darkie southerners get in the act that it becomes a disgrace.
 

Lempo

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She may be right, but it is not what caused the crisis. Crime, like the poor , will always be with us. Bank deregultion is the cause , this is a banking crisis in Cyprus. There is one assumes far more dodgy money in London and the IFSC, in switzerland and in Frankfurt for all we know. That doesn't seem to bother this one too much. Its when the darkie southerners get in the act that it becomes a disgrace.
Are you sure that it's the darkie southerner part and not asking sh1tload of money to save the culprits part that's causing the irritation?
 

Shqiptar

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Mar 18, 2012
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She's being honest about her thinking and her perceived problems, whether they are factually right or wrong.
Would it be too much to ask her to find out for herself whether or not her thinking was factually right or wrong?

If she is wrong she can be presented with the right facts and a chance to revise her thinking according to the facts.
Meanwhile, the markets will sit there patiently until her latest outburst is smoothed over? I think not.

Look, whatever the best solution is - and I lean towards an organised dismantling of the euro - there needs to be a lot of coordination and singing off the same hymn-sheet, even if the errr......individualists find that a bit restrictive.

What do you think of her bankers-Holocaust analogy?
 

Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6,309
She may be right, but it is not what caused the crisis. Crime, like the poor , will always be with us. Bank deregultion is the cause , this is a banking crisis in Cyprus. There is one assumes far more dodgy money in London and the IFSC, in switzerland and in Frankfurt for all we know. That doesn't seem to bother this one too much. Its when the darkie southerners get in the act that it becomes a disgrace.
The bit in bold - you might well be right. It's all kept under wraps though because those centres didn't get too big for their proverbial boots. Once the crash comes, then outsiders (IMF, EU, ECB) get involved and the can of worms is opened for all the world to see.
 
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