This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Switzerland votes to impose immigration quotas, violating EU agreements
- Opposing sides in Ukraine exchange threats of terror and bankruptcy
- U.S. General criticizes Japan, Philippines for China-Nazi comparisons
Switzerland votes to impose immigration quotas, violating EU agreements
The caption says: ‘The excess is harmful! Stop mass immigration – YES.’ I’m not sure what the tree symbolizes, but in the picture its roots are strangling Switzerland.
In a nationwide referendum on Sunday, Switzerland voted by a razorthin vote of 50.3% to re-impose quotas on immigrants from othercountries, including EU countries. Switzerland is not a member of17-nation eurozone bloc, nor is it a member of the 28-nation EuropeanUnion, though it’s surrounded by eurozone and EU countries. For 12years, Switzerland’s borders have been open to all EU countries(though not to other countries). The referendum was strongly opposedby the Swiss government. The greatest effect of implementation ofSunday’s vote would be to close the borders to workers from the EU,many of them highly qualified.
The size of the vote varied across the country. Ticino is the onlycanton with an Italian language majority, and it voted 78% to curbimmigration. Ticino borders Italy, and is having major social andeconomic problems from grossly underpaid foreigners, sometimes workingas black market laborers. On the other hand, cantons in westernSwitzerland were strongly against limiting immigration, with 60-70%voting “no”.
The “yes” vote threatens several agreements with the European Union,including trade agreements that permit most of Switzerland’s exportsto go to the EU. EU officials say that they’re reviewing thesituation to which of these agreements will have to be terminated.Swiss officials have three years to implement the new immigrationquotas, and they’ve indicated that they plan to move very slowly.Geneva Lunch and Bloomberg
Opposing sides in Ukraine exchange threats of terror and bankruptcy
Some 30,000-50,000 anti-government activists rallied in Kiev onSunday, the capital city of Ukraine, to demand the resignation ofPresident Viktor Yanukovych, chanting:
“A new constitution. A new president. A newgovernment. A new country. This is what we want and we willprevail. Glory to Ukraine.”
Many wore blue and yellow ribbons, the colors of both Ukraine and theEuropean Union, to emphasize their demands that Ukraine should be moreclosely linked to Europe than to Russia.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) placed its anti-terrorist unitson high alert, saying in a statement that it had received reports ofterrorist incidents, including bomb threats at nuclear andhydroelectric power stations.
The government opposition warned that the country is headed forfinancial default. In the last month, the logic of bankruptcyhas been reversed. Ukraine has been headed for bankruptcy forsome time, but Russia’s president Vladimir Putin offered tobail them out with a $15 billion loan, provided that theysigned a trade agreement with his Eurasian Customs Union ratherthan the EU. However, as the riots and violence have grown,Putin announced that he would withhold the bailout money untilUkraine joins the customs union.
So now the opposition is saying that since Putin is withholdingpayment, the country is headed for default again. But oppositionleader Arseniy Yatsenyuk says that the U.S. and the European Union areready to step in with financial aid. Good to know. AFP and Ukrainian News Agency andBloomberg
U.S. General criticizes Japan, Philippines for China-Nazi comparisons
Gen. Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle, the commander ofthe Pacific Air Forces, is criticizing leaders of Japanand the Philippines for drawing comparisons between China’sactions today and those of Nazi Germany prior to World War II.In these columns, I’ve repeatedly referred to China’s currentpolicies as being similar to Hitler’s “Lebensraum” policies.
According to General Carlisle:
“The rise of Germany and what occurred between theU.K. in particular and Germany, and what happened in Europe, Idon’t draw that comparison at all to what’s going on today [in theAsia-Pacific].
Some of the things, in particular that have been done by Japan,they need to think hard about what is provocative to othernations.”
Carlisle urged all countries in the region to try to defuse tensions.In particular, he cautioned China not to extend an air-defenseidentification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea as it did in theEast China Sea separating China from Japan, because itoulw be “veryprovocative.”
Several days ago, I quoted U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for EastAsian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel as “Any Chinese claim tomaritime rights not based on claimed land features would beinconsistent with international law.” This statement turns out to bean official U.S. rejection of China’s famous “nine-dash line map”claiming regions that have historically belonged to Vietnam, Brunei,Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. According to Russel,any Chinese claims “must be derived from land features,” andnot from a historical map not recognized by anyone else.According to a China analyst formerly of the Obama administration:
“[F]or the first time, the United States governmenthas come out publicly with an explicit statement that theso-called ‘nine-dash line’ … is contrary to internationallaw.”