|Economics & Politics|
|ON March 24 the Portuguese
prime minister, Jose Socrates,
resigned after all the opposition
parties rejected his austerity
plan, which included slashing
pensions by more than €1,500 a
month and more cuts in tax benefits.
His government´s collapse triggered an
election, which could not take place for
another two months. During the interim
Socrates stayed on as acting prime
minister and reached an agreement
with the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund for a
€78bn bailout. The terms? Almost
exactly the same as those proposed by
him and rejected by the Portuguese
parliament six weeks earlier.
When the elections finally took place
the political class could sense a certain
degree of cynicism. The Portuguese
president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, warned
voters they could not complain about
|CASH CON BY
|WATCHING the evolution
of economic discussion
Washington over the
past couple of years
has been a disheartening experience.
Month by month, the discourse
has gotten more primitive;
with stunning speed, the lessons
of the 2008 financial crisis have
been forgotten, and the very ideas
that got us into the crisis - regulation
is always bad, what´s good
for the bankers is good for
America, tax cuts are the universal
elixir - have regained their
And now trickle-down economics
- specifically, the idea that
anything that increases corporate
profits is good for the economy -
is making a comeback.
On the face of it, this seems
bizarre. Over the past two years
profits have soared while employment
has remained disastrously
high. Why should anyone believe
that handing even more money to
corporations, no strings...
India dismisses Ukrainian coach in doping scandal
NEW DELHI INDIA’S sports minister on Tuesday sacked the Ukrainian coach of the country’s top female 400m runners after six of them tested positive for banned steroids in a major doping scandal.
“I have asked for his removal.
He has already been removed,” Ajay Maken told a news conference in New Delhi, referring to Yuri Ogrodnik, who coached three of the six to gold medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year.
Late on Monday, one of India’s brightest female track stars, Ashwini Akkunji, joined her 4x400m relay team-mates Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur in failing a drugs test because of traces of a banned anabolic steroid in her urine.
Akkunji, Jose and Kaur were part of India’s Commonwealth and Asian Games-winning team in New Delhi and Guangzhou, China, last year.
Akkunji also took the 400m hurdles Asiad title in a personal best time.
The trio are among eight athletes — six female 400m runners, a female shotputter and a male long-jumper — who have now failed drugs tests, casting a cloud over Indian athletics and denting the country’s Olympic ambitions.
All have been provisionally suspended pending the testing of their “B” samples later this week, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) said on Tuesday.
“I’m innocent and I’ll prove it.
I won’t let all my years of sweat and blood be tainted,” Akkunji was quoted as saying by the Asian Age newspaper.
Maken told reporters that he has asked the Sports Authority of India, NADA and the Athletics Federation of India for detailed reports into the circumstances leading to the positive tests and ordered an inquiry by a retired high court judge.
“We will catch coaches and officials who were involved, not just athletes,” Maken vowed, adding: “We can’t be lenient... “The coach says he didn’t know that the athletes were taking banned substances then I think he’s all the more responsible for what’s happened.
The coach is supposed to know what they’re taking and and tell them what to take.” The tests were carried out either at a national training camp in Patiala, in the northern state of Punjab, in the last two months or after a track meeting in the southern city of Bangalore in late June.
The athletes have all protested their innocence and blamed contaminated food supplements for the results.
They have also claimed that there were not enough doctors to advise them on which supplements to take.
India has never won a track medal at the Olympics and the women’s 4x400m relay team was seen as the country’s biggest hope of a podium finish at next year’s Games in London after their Commonwealth and Asiad golds.