World View: Angela Merkel Praises Canada for Not 'Living on Borrowed Money'

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Angela Merkel praises Canada for not 'living on borrowed money'
  • Greece postpones request for extension of austerity requirements
  • Spain's debt spiral accelerates at high speed
  • In ironic twist, Assad's planes kill ally's kidnap victims

Angela Merkel praises Canada for not 'living on borrowed money'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a trip to Ottawa to meet with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said that Germany intends to do "everything we can to maintain" the euro. She renewed her call for fiscal discipline by praising Canada for not "living on borrowed money," saying it should serve as a model for Europe. Almost everyone in Europe is on vacation right now, but the next major event on the euro timeline is expected to occur on September 12, when Germany's Verfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) will issue a verdict on whether the euro zone rescue plan for Spain and other countries is legal under European treaties and the German constitution. AP and Bloomberg

Greece postpones request for extension of austerity requirements

News reports have been swirling with rumors that Greece's prime minister Antonis Samaras plans to ask for a two-year extension on meeting austerity requires imposed by the EU and the IMF in return for its third bailout package. However, no sooner did the swirling start, but it became clear that European leaders are very hostile to the idea of giving Greece any more time, especially since the extension would have to be funded by an additional 20 billion euros in bailout funds. Austria's foreign minister, for example, said Thursday that "We need to create ways to be able to eject someone from the eurozone," referring to Greece. And so Samaras has decided to postpone his extension request until an EU leaders' summit scheduled for October 8-9. Kathimerini

Spain's debt spiral accelerates at high speed

ECB lending to Spain's financial institutions (FTA)
ECB lending to Spain's financial institutions (FTA)

 It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Spanish financial sector is having to increasingly rely on loans from the European Central Bank (ECB). However, analysts are surprised that the borrowing is accelerating very rapidly. FT Alphaville

In ironic twist, Assad's planes kill ally's kidnap victims

In the welter of conflicting stories about various types of atrocities in Syria, readers may recall that in May, Syrian opposition fighters kidnapped a busload of Shia Lebanese citizens as they traveled back to Lebanon from a religious pilgrimage to Iran. (From June: Hezbollah leader Nasrallah's defiant threat to Syrian kidnappers backfires) All but 11 of the kidnap victims were freed in May, but the fate of the 11 remaining has been in question. Iran, of course, is a close ally of Syria's leader Bashar al-Assad, whose army launched a bloody bombing assault on residential neighborhoods of Azaz, as we reported yesterday. Now, Abu Ibrahim, head of a Syrian opposition militia, says that the 11 were being held in Azaz, and that they were the victims of al-Assad's bombs:
"Four Lebanese were killed. The other seven are in critical condition as a result of the severe bombardment. [Syrian President’s] Bashar Assad’s warplanes bombarded the buildings and medical centers in Azaz."
If the claims are true, it would be ironic if al-Assads warplanes killed his own Shia allies, when all he really wanted to do was exterminate a few Sunni women and children. Daily Star (Beirut)
 
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