This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- France and Germany clash sharply over debt crisis solution
- New U.N. ‘peace envoy’ to Syria dithers, describing a grim situation
- Catalonia will vote for independence from Spain on Thursday
France and Germany clash sharply over debt crisis solution
When France’s President was Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor AngelaMerkel could count on being able to reach agreement with him over howto proceed on the euro debt crisis. Like Merkel, Sarkozy was a fiscalconservative, but France’s new president is François Hollande, who isa socialist and anything but a fiscal conservative. And so while thetwo were in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on Saturday, celebrating the 50thanniversary of Germany-France unity, they were sharply disagreeing onfiscal matters. The two major areas of disagreement are:
- Hollande advocates giving Greece all the bailout money it needs and granting the requested two-year postponement on fulfilling austerity commitments; Merkel does not.
- Hollande advocates quick implementation of the proposed euro zone the 17 euro countries. The European Central Bank (ECB) would have supervisory powers over the banks, and there would be an area wide deposit insurance system. Merkel also supports a banking union, but wants to move much more slowly, and says that quality is more important than speed.
The irony, of course, is that even though Merkel and Sarkozy couldagree on what to do, their plans have accomplished nothing, and thesituation is much worse than it was two years ago. That’s because, asI’ve been saying for two years, NO SOLUTION EXISTS. So now we’ll gothrough a period where France and Germany will disagree overeverything and blame each other, but the final outcome will be nodifferent. Bloomberg
New U.N. ‘peace envoy’ to Syria dithers, describing a grim situation
Lakhdar Brahimi, who recently became the new United NationsUnited Nations Security Council on Monday and provided a verygrim assessment:
I think there is no disagreement that the situationis extremely bad and getting worse. I refuse to believe thatreasonable people do not see that you cannot go backward; youcannot go back to the Syria of the past. I think I told everybodyin Damascus and elsewhere that reform is not enough. What isneeded is change.
Brahimi was referring to the almost unprecendent situationwhere Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed one resolutionafter another.
If I do not represent the entire council, I amnothing. I need to be seen to represent a united council and aunited League of Arab States, and I think the Security Councilunderstands that perfectly well.
Brahimi is just running around the world talking to everyone, with nohope of progress. Kofi Annan and his “six-point plan” were worse thanuseless, because they provided cover for Syria’s president Basharal-Assad to continue his massacres of Syria’s women and children. NowBrahimi will replace Annan in that role. AP
Catalonia will vote for independence from Spain on Thursday
Some people are calling this a confrontation that harks back to 1936,when Generalissimo Francisco Franco seized power in Spain, launchingthe brutal Spanish civil war. On Thursday, the parliament ofCatalonia will vote on whether to declare independence from Spain.Now the Spanish Military Association is threatening to charge withhigh treason anyone who is participating in this cause:
If this plan is actuated, let there be no doubt thatthose who have permitted this, or participated or assisted inreaching this threat of fracture of Spain, either by commission oromission or through their constitutional positions, shall beaccountable to the fullest extent possible of the serious chargeof treason before the courts of militaryjurisdiction.