I was amused to hear today - in the context of the stricken cruise ship - that the island of Mahé in the Seychelles is "exclusive". It certainly wasn't when I was teaching there in 1966. "Dirt-poor" would be a more accurate description for way back then. On the other hand, since there were no boats or planes calling there, I guess it was exclusive to the extent that no one could get either off or on it.
And so it goes on . . .The ex-Chairman of Real Madrid, Ramón Calderón, has been "indicted for fraud and for falsifying the club's accounts. Calderón and several of his collaborators are accused of disloyal administration, falsifying of accounts and obtaining agreements by fraud and fictitious means." One begins to wonder what percentage of directors in Spain can keep their hands out of the corporate till.
Facing elections, Mr Sarkozy has been lyrical in praising the Fiscal Pact and in announcing an end to the eurozone's crisis. But he's been blasted out of the briny by Big Bertha, who's reminded everyone that they've merely bought time with the help of an ECB fix and that the EU remains in a "fragile state". For good measure, she added that "The crisis is far from over. We now have the time to improve competitiveness, growth and the employment situation . . . We absolutely have to use this time. Otherwise, we will find that the world does not trust us.”
But, as one observer put it:- "Even euro-friendly commentators agree that the Treaty is unlikely to do much for the eurozone. It's widely seen as a fig leaf for German public opinion. It's not widely liked by other, weaker, members of the Eurozone and it's difficult to see how it delivers the desired goal of lower budget deficits, more cuts and higher taxes all at the same time." Time will tell, I guess. Though it shouldn't go unnoticed that "A raft of economists has warned that the targets will plunge the eurozone into deeper recession.·
Meanwhile, the Spanish government - having unilaterally lowered its 2012 deficit target - is "on a collision course with other eurozone leaders. And this clash hints at the challenges which lay ahead for the eurozone and how tough it may be to balance domestic political will with the drive for austerity in the eurozone."
Of course, things will really get complicated if France's Socialist presidential candidate, Francois Hollande, beats Mr Sarkozy and then tries to deliver on his pledge to renegotiate the pact.
Finally . . . Did you know (or care) that Google takes all the clicks you make, subjects them to their algorithms and then responds to your searches with results that are tailored to you? Another thought - If you're getting a free service on the internet, you can assume that you (and your predilections) are the commodity that's being sold.