Europe Enjoys ‘Shutdownfreude’ Over U.S. Debt Troubles
Poland and northern Italian cities also had high levels of particulates and ozone respectively. That said, air pollutants in Europe have declined over the last 10 years due to stricter regulations. But that’s still not enough. “To get onto a sustainable path, Europe will have to be ambitious and go beyond current legislation,” said the EEA’s executive director Hans Bruyninckx. While Europe at one time suffered the worst air pollution in the world, that mantle now rests on East Asia, particularly around Beijing. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/131015/bulgaria-has-europes-dirtiest-air-report-finds Art Basel gathers works from around the world for its annual shows. Photo Jaume Plensa’s “Tel Aviv Man” at Art Basel, the worlds premier trade fair for leading galleries and collectors focused on modern and contemporary art. – [/] Photo The front of the Art Basel building. This years show attracted 303 of the worlds top galleries from 36 countries, showing the works of more than 2,500 artists. It drew more than 62,000 visitors, a new record. – [/] Photo Platform Gallery’s Chen Wei and one of his “Recovery Room” series at Liste Young Artist’s show. By the time the week was over he had sold more than 10 works, with prices ranging from $1,800 to nearly $3,000. – [/] A performance spectator admires some of the pieces at Basel Art. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Basel Scope, done by an unidentified nearly naked man who moved in slow motion up and down the aisles dressed like a Greek version of Mars, the god of war. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Scope.
And when Georg Fahrenschon, the president of the Sparkassen association, took the stage in the Louis XVI ballroom of the fancy Concert Noble venue, he launched into a frontal attack on the U.S. credit rating. Where is the reaction of the rating agencies to the irresponsible behavior of the worlds biggest economy? Mr. Fahrenschon, a former Bavarian finance minister, asked the crowd. Even in Europe, theres a tradition of parliaments struggling to seal a budget deal, Mr. Fahrenschon said, harvesting a round of applause. But in Europe it is good form that contracts that have been made salaries and social benefits are still serviced even in a period without a budget. Mr. Fahrenschon was speaking before Fitch Ratings Service put the U.S. credit rating on negative watch and warnedthat the governments failure to honor interest or principal payments on U.S. Treasury securities would trigger a downgrade to restricted default. But Mr. Fahrenschon was demanding harsher treatment than the one set out in the Fitch warning. Government finances in the U.S. were systemically and qualitatively different from Europe, he said, because by not paying salaries and benefits the government was already reneging on the social contract it had entered with its citizens. I believe that a budget that cannot guarantee that commitments that have been made are followed through has to be evaluated differently, he said.
Europe needs to rethink tourism to stay on top
They also want to see a beautiful blue sky” Santander explained. ETC research in China underlined that residents of its megacities face a constant battle with pollution — a simple fact that enables Europe’s tourism industry to add pure-aired Alpine stops to group travel itineraries. The study also said that Chinese travellers place great store in feeling at ease and safe, with language barriers a leading concern. “The Chinese are looking for very safe destinations because many of them don’t speak a European language. They want to see more adaptation. It means that hotels or restaurants should provide them more brochures or menus translated into Chinese,” Santander said. Increasing use of social media in emerging markets makes it crucial to understand what tourists want, because they are increasingly likely to write reviews of their experience online. Industry officials underline that it is also important to understand the needs of Chinese tourists and counterparts from emerging powers India and Brazil, given that competition is getting tougher with destinations such as Florida, Las Vegas or Dubai. “In Dubai, tourism is not just an extra, it’s not just a nice thing to have. It is fundamental to how the whole state will develop,” said James Philipps, vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Fit Hotel Sourcing, which is part of the GTA Travel group. When it comes to increasing its competitive advantage, the Gulf emirate has no space constraints for the construction of breathtaking hotels and other infrastructure that will pull in tourists, Phillips added. In contrast, travel agents in Europe often have to battle to find places for their customers to stay in major tourist draws such as Venice and Rome in Italy, and Paris in France. The problem affects travellers from both emerging markets and more traditional tourist source countries.