28-Feb-12 World View: Germany May Be Replacing America as the New International Villain

28-Feb-12 World View: Germany May Be Replacing America as the New International Villain

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Germany approves Greek bailout amid continuing bad news
  • S&P says that Greece is in ‘selective default’
  • Merkel chastises German interior minister over Greece leaving eurozone
  • Germany may be replacing America as the new international villain
  • Timing of foiled plot to assassinate Putin raises skepticism in Russia
  • Assad kills 65 more Syrians, as opposition fragments
  • China calls Hillary Clinton ‘super arrogant’ over Syria remarks

Germany approves Greek bailout amid continuing bad news

Germany’s Bundestag on Monday approved the new bailout package for Greece by a large margin — 496 to 90, with five abstentions. But politicians warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel that they would be opposed to any more support for Greece. Standard & Poor’s lowered the debt rating of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), whose purpose is to borrow money from countries like China or Brazil and use the money to bailout other European countries. A lower rating means that it will have reduced chances of borrowing money (assuming that it ever had any chance). Telegraph

S&P says that Greece is in ‘selective default’

Greece’s credit rating was cut to ‘selective default’ on Monday by Standard & Poor’s, because of the implementation of collective action clauses (CACs) on its debt. The bailout package depends on private investors “voluntarily” giving up 75% of their original investment. The CACs are retroactive laws passed on Friday by Greece’s parliament to force any holdouts to accept the 75% haircut anyway. According to S&P,

“In our opinion, Greece’s retroactive insertion of CACs materially changes the original terms of the affected debt and constitutes the launch of what we consider to be a distressed debt restructuring,” read S&P’s post-market release.”

S&P says that if all works out will and the participation rate is high in the “voluntary” program, then Greece would receive an upgrade back to CCC. But woe unto Greece if the participation rate is low — because that would lead to outright default. The deadline is March 12. Forbes


Merkel chastises German interior minister over Greece leaving eurozone

Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear on Monday that she disagrees with Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who called for Greece to quit the euro zone. Her rebuke caused Friedrich to distance himself from his own politically incorrect statements: “I have no doubts about the chancellor’s bailout course.” Spiegel

Germany may be replacing America as the new international villain

According to conservative German politician Jan Fleischhauer:

“The German parliament is set to approve a new multibillion euro bailout package for Greece on Monday, but instead of thanks, southern Europeans are expressing their dislike of us. Germans will have to get used to their new role: We have become the Americans of Europe. …

Sentiment towards the Germans isn’t very good in the region right now. Hardly a day goes by without Chancellor Angela Merkel being depicted in a Nazi uniform somewhere. Swastikas are a common sight as well. It doesn’t seem to help at all that we faithfully approve one aid package after the other. If calculations by experts are true, then we are far beyond the point where we are just providing loan guarantees.

A good deal of the €130 billion expected to be approved by the German parliament on Monday will never be seen again. But if you read the editorial pages of newspapers in the crisis regions, for whom this money is intended, you would be led to believe that we are out to achieve what our grandfathers failed to do 70 years ago (and this despite the fact that research into Hitler outside of Greece is fairly unanimous in the belief that National Socialism didn’t launch its tyranny of Europe with a bailout package). …

The Americans also had every reason to expect a little more gratitude — after all, it was their soldiers who had to intervene when a dictator somewhere lived out his bloody fantasies while the international community stood by wringing its hands. People came to secretly rely on the USA as a global cop in the same way that Germany’s neighbors are now expecting the Germans to save the euro.”

Spiegel

Timing of foiled plot to assassinate Putin raises skepticism in Russia

Reports that Russia’s secret services have foiled a plan by Chechen separatists to murder Vladimir Putin have raised suspicions of a PR stunt. The report comes just six days before a presidential election, just as Putin needed something to distract the public from the recent large anti-Putin street protests. According to one analyst, “Although nothing can be ruled out nowadays, it’s perfectly clear that this thwarted plot comes at a crucial time in Putin’s election campaign. Before this news was announced, many analysts said his campaign must receive new impetus in order to show how important Putin is for the country and how much Russia’s enemies hate him.” A similar assassination attempt was allegedly foiled on the day of Russia’s last presidential election in March 2008. RFERL

Assad kills 65 more Syrians, as opposition fragments

Bashar al-Assad grins as his people are slaughtered like cockroaches

Bashar al-Assad grins as his people are slaughtered like cockroaches

At least 65 more people were killed on Monday by the security forces of the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. Worst hit was the city of Homs, where security forces shelled residential neighborhoods and fired live ammunition at protesters. Perhaps the reason that al-Assad is grinning in the adjoining picture is that the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has splintered, with several members forming a rival organization. Al-Bawaba

China calls Hillary Clinton ‘super arrogant’ over Syria remarks

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the U.N. Security Council vetoes by Russia and China “despicable” acts, in view of the massive slaughter of civilians by the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry struck back, saying that Clinton was “super arrogant” to claim to speak for the Arab people. “This is totally unacceptable for us. China has always determined its stance on the Syrian issue proceeding from the peace and stability of Syria and the Middle East, and from protecting the long-term, fundamental interests of the Syrian and Arab peoples.” Shanghai Daily


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