World View: Europeans Demand Sovereign Control of Greece

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China and Japan continue to prepare for war over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
  • Chinese xenophobia towards Japan skyrockets amid noodle wars
  • Europeans demand sovereign control of Greece

Europeans demand sovereign control of Greece

Athens: Riot police clash with protesters last week (AP)
Athens: Riot police clash with protesters last week (AP)

An interim report by the leaders of the EU "troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- indicates that a "kick the can down the road" strategy is not currently being considered. Germany is refusing to consider any further "haircut", like the one earlier this year that reduced the principal of Greece's investors, such as banks, pension funds and insurers, by a full 75%. Those sources of money have been squeezed dry. Instead, a plan is being considered that:

  • Requires Greece to implement a long list of 150 additional reforms, beyond those already agreed;
  • Forces the implementation of the reforms by holding any bailout money in a special account under Troika control;
  • Gives the Troika the power to raise taxes in Greece without Greek parliamentary approval;
  • Requires passage of new laws that make it easier to first workers;
  • Adjusts the minimum wage downwards.
In return for this drastic loss of sovereignty, Greece will be given two extra years, until 2016, to meet its budget targets. However, the cost of the delay may be 38 billion euros, higher than the 30 billion euros announced last week, and even higher than the 20 billion euros announced several months ago.

Separately, Mario Draghi, president of European Central Bank (ECB), warned both Greece and Spain that they must be willing to give something up if they want a bailout. "Countries have to give up part of their sovereignty if we want to restore trust in the eurozone," he said.

There is apparently only one alternative being considered: Allowing Greece to leave the eurozone, and return to the drachma currency. According to one official:

"The austerity needed to restore wage and price competitiveness will break society first. We are sacrificing a generation of young people who cannot find work, and all in the name of the euro. It is irresponsible. A euro exit would offer hope at last."

Russia's president Vladimir Putin agreed, saying Greece would "have a way out" if it could return to the drachma and devalue. Telegraph

China and Japan continue to prepare for war over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

Japan's military, the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), is cancelling joint amphibious military exercises with the United States to defend the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The joint exercises have been scheduled for a long time, but Japan is canceling them out of sensitivity to China. However, the GSDF is planning to develop its own amphibious capabilities, so that it won't have to depend on the U.S. to help it defend the islands. The GSDF has never had to develop large-scale amphibious landing operations in the past, since up till now, the GSDF has been strictly limited to the defense of Japanese territories. However, China is watching these activities very closely, and is preparing it's own military forces.

"We are watching very closely what action Japan might take regarding the Diaoyu islands and their adjacent waters. The action that Japan might take will shape China's countermeasures.”

If Japan continues down its current wrong path and takes more erroneous actions and creates incidents regarding the Diaoyu Islands and challenges China, China will definitely take strong measures to respond to that.

There is no lack of countermeasures China might take in response,” he added.

We have the confidence and the ability to uphold the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. No amount of foreign threats or pressure will shake the resolve of the Chinese government and people."

Japan is patrolling the islands with its coast guard ships, and China has sent its own warships to patrol the islands. So far, they've had only verbal confrontations, ordering each other to get away from the islands, but both sides are prepared for battle. Asahi Shimbum (Tokyo) and China Post (Taipei)

Chinese xenophobia towards Japan skyrockets amid noodle wars

Master Kang Artificial Pork Flavor Instant Noodles are caught in the crossfire between China and Japan
Master Kang Artificial Pork Flavor Instant Noodles are caught in the crossfire between China and Japan

The press is full of anecdotal stories about enormous Chinese hatred directed toward the Japanese.

Tingyi, the leading Chinese instant noodle producer, has had sales of its "Master Kang" instant noodles because the company is partially owned by a Japanese firm. Protesters are holding up flags saying, "Boycott Japanese products, boycott Master Kang." Tingyi is making accusations of corporate sabotage -- it said that its main competitor, Uni-President, maker of "Tong-I Minced Pork Noodles," is spreading lies that Tingyi is controlled by Japan. Tingyi is getting even by distributing leaflets claiming that Uni-President is also a Japanese firm. Global Times

A Shanghai-based American expat reports about Furenju Realty, a real estate broker with a sign on their store front window saying, "We will not do business with Japanese pigs!" He tells of the nasty encounter he had with the racist agency over plans to rent a new place to live. Shanghaiist

Sales of Nissan and Toyota cars in China have plummeted because of the islands dispute, and both companies have suspended shipments of finished vehicles at least until January. In fiscal 2011, Nissan sold 1.247 million vehicles in China, including luxury models exported from Japan. Nissan's sales in China account for about 25% of the maker's total global sales. Asahi Shimbum (Tokyo)

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these anecdotes reflect surging xenophobia and nationalism in China -- something will keep on surging until it leads to war.


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