EU Observer (Link)
- Leigh Phillips (September
The Dutch government has proposed that highly indebted states
be put into “guardianship,” with spending decisions seized from the elected
government and placed under the direct control of a European commissioner.
If a state is unwilling to surrender its sovereignty in this
way, then it would be forced to exit the euro.
“Member states not willing to make themselves a ward, may
choose to make use of the option to leave the eurozone,” Dutch Prime Minister
Mark Rutte said in a letter to the national parliament co-signed by the finance,
economy and foreign ministers.
“To continue to be part of the monetary union, states should
fully respect agreements.”
Under the proposals, seen by EUobserver, a special
European commissioner would be appointed to oversee the budgets of euro-area
EU Observer (Link)
- Leigh Phillips (September
It took nearly a decade of squabbling amongst EU states, a
series of referendum disasters and a last-minute game of high-stakes
brinksmanship from a stubborn Czech president, but the bloc finally managed to
radically refashion the way it worked with the passage of the Lisbon Treaty in
So exhausted were they by the struggle by the time the soap
opera ended, European leaders then swore it would be very long indeed, perhaps a
generation, before the EU treaties would be opened again.
But now, in the last few days, as Europe’s economy and the
single currency stand on the precipice, these same leaders have begun to eat
On Tuesday, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called
for the second time in a week for changes to the treaties.
“Strengthening the eurozone’s architecture ... may need
profound treaty changes,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the Financial
The likelihood of an all-out regional war in the Middle East
is increasing, the head of the IDF Home Front Command said on Monday, Channel 10
Speaking to the Institute for National Security Studies,
Major General Eyal Eisenberg said that such a conflict could potentially include
the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Eisenberg cautioned that the Arab Spring could turn into the
“Radical Islamic Winter.”
Eisenberg also noted that a new weapon was used by Gaza
militants in the recent round of escalation in the south, which led the Home
Front Command to instruct the public to seek shelter under two roofs, rather
than one. †
Christian Science Monitor (Link)
- Ariel Zirulnick (September 2, 2011)
Turkey-Israel relations dipped to a new low today over a
long-awaited United Nations report on the Gaza flotilla debacle, freezing a key
regional alliance despite more than a year of attempts to resuscitate ties.
Turkey announced today that it is expelling Israel’s
ambassador and suspending all joint military agreements after failing to secure
a formal apology from Israel for the deaths of eight Turks and one
Turkish-American on May 31, 2010, when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi
Marmara, the flagship of the flotilla.
The convoy of ships had been seeking to break Israel’s naval
blockade of Gaza, which Israel said was necessary to prevent the Islamist
militant group Hamas from obtaining weapons but which many in the international
community had objected to on humanitarian grounds.
The UN report, due to be formally released today but
leaked yesterday by The New York Times, surprised many by declaring
Israel’s blockade of Gaza as legal. While it criticized Israeli commandos for
using “excessive and unreasonable” force in halting the mainly Turkish flotilla,
it requested merely that
Israel “express regret” for the deaths and pay unspecified reparations to
the families, the Times reported.
The world’s developed economies are trapped at the “stall
speed” of low growth and need to have greater fiscal stimulus and less austerity
to kick-start growth, leading economist Nouriel Roubini told CNBC Friday.
Speaking at the Ambrosetti Forum on the shores of Lake Como,
near Milan, Roubini said in an interview: “We are in a worse situation than we
were in 2008. This time around we have fiscal austerity and banks that are being
Roubini, known for his
bearish views on the world
economy, thinks that there is a 60 percent chance of a second
recession imminently. Economic data of recent weeks presents a mixed picture.
On Thursday, the US government announced that jobless
claims dropped by 11,000 to 409,000 last week. Friday’s employment report in the
US is expected to show a gain of only 75,000 nonfarm jobs during August, with
the unemployment rate steady at 9.1 percent.
Recent surveys point to slumping business and consumer
confidence across the developed world.