Dear Sir, UNITED Europe? What a joke! The French have yet again shown their trustworthiness in the trenches in the face of adversity in asking the Brits to bail them out by making a “gesture of solidarity for Europe” by giving up Britain's budget rebate whilst they flatly reject calls for France to give up generous EU farm subsidies. As much as I dislike Blair he is right in saying that, “Britain has been making a gesture, because over the past 10 years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution into Europe two and half times that of France. Without the rebate, it would have been 15 times as much. That is our gesture.” I suggest Britain adds the famous two fingered gesture that the poodle fanciers will remember from Agincourt. John Rule, Dear Editor, TONY Blair's disclosure of $674 million in U.S. humanitarian aid for Africa, the July Live 8 concerts and the million person march on Edinburgh July 6th to 8th, which Bob Gerdof is organizing, will all draw enormous attention to the plight of millions of the world's poor and starving. These events will not – and cannot – solve any of the real problems of Africa or of the sickening poverty throughout the third world – which is now increasing faster than the ability of any single nation, including the USA, to call halt. Total world debt forgiveness, and effective international control over aid financing to nations in receipt of aid, is the only solution to save millions from starvation and to restart third world economies. Impossible? No, the answer is in fact, simple, inexpensive and staring the world in the face but being deliberately ignored by most world leaders including Tony Blair and George Bush. It is the Tobin Tax. This tax, first suggested by Nobel prize–winning economist James Tobin, would raise millions, even billions, of revenue on a constant basis by simply applying a very tiny Currency Transaction Tax on all international financial trading. On 1 July 2004 Belgian parliamentarians passed legislation for a CTT, becoming the second European country after France to take such a step. In September 2004 world leaders such as Presidents Chirac of France and Lula of Brazil, UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and Spanish Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, endorsed the Tobin tax saying: “a tax on foreign exchange transactions is technically feasible”. According to War on Want the daily world money market trade is worth more than 50 times the value of all other international markets combined and represents a pile of 50 Euro notes reaching from the Earth to the moon. The beauty of the Tobin Tax is that, at its inception, it could immediately serve as a promissory note to secure eventual payment of third world debt. This would not only save the face of international financial houses but ensure their active participation in getting the Tobin Tax off the ground. These same financial houses could, along with a specialised United Nations committee, ensure transparency and accountability in the manner in which the tax money and aid was distributed and so side–step the present massive corruption which too often goes along with food and even medical aid. S'arraco. Dear Editor, I feel I have to write to you about the horses that pull the carriages in Palma. It looked like a cheap and tacky way to make money. They are a sorry pitiful sight, they look absolutely fed up, hot, stressed out and thirsty and having to pull those carriages in all that heat. I felt very sad when I saw them and realised that hearsay turned out to be true. They are not looked after properly, horses need hay, carrots, water, and rest, these looked like they didn't get any at all. In Britain we look after and take care of our animals as we owe them and feel very strongly about the way Europe mistreats their animals in almost a cruel way. Carol Wilkinson, Fleet, Hampshire, UK

Sol de Mallorca

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