20-Jun-11 World View — Eurogroup Unexpectedly Fails To Approve Greece Bailout

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Eurogroup unexpectedly fails to approve next Greece bailout payment

George Papandreou speaking passionately to Greek Parliament (Kathimerini)
George Papandreou speaking passionately to Greek Parliament (Kathimerini)

As thousands of self-proclaimed “Indignant” demonstrators staged peaceful protests outside the Parliament in Athens, Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou made a dramatic plea for the political parties to unify behind the austerity measures — tax hikes, spending cuts and privatizations — that he’s proposed, but which have failed in previous attempts to gain approval. “The consequences of a sudden bankruptcy or exit from the euro zone would be immediately disastrous for Greek households, banks, and the country’s credibility,” he said, appealing to opposition politicians “to stop fighting in these critical times, stop projecting the image that the country is being torn apart.” However, the leader of the radical left coalition said that the austerity measures are the “kiss of death for the Greek people.” Papandreou faces a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday. Kathimerini

The Eurogroup of European finance ministers decided to play brinksmanship on Sunday, by unexpected failing to approve the next tranche — 12 billion euros — of payout from last year’s bailout commitment. It had been expected that this payment would be approved, allowing Greece to pay its bills through Septembeg, and giving the EU and IMF time to figure out how to bail out Greece through 2012. ( “18-Jun-11 News — Europeans devise a ‘voluntary’ bailout of Greece”) The approval decision has been postponed until early July. (Greece needs to cover about 4 billion euros of bills maturing between July 15 and July 22, and faces about 3 billion euros of coupon payments in the month, and then must redeem 6.6 billion euros of maturing bonds on August 20.) Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters, “We forcefully reminded the Greek government that by the end of this month they have to see to it that we are all convinced that all the commitments they made are fulfilled.” Bloomberg

Nato admits it probably killed civilians in Tripoli, Libya

People gather outside the rubble of apartment building struck by missile (AFP)
People gather outside the rubble of apartment building struck by missile (AFP)

Nato officials admitted on Sunday that Nato airstrikes were probably responsible for the destruction of of an apartment building in a residential neighborhood of Tripoli, killing nine people, according to Libyan authorities. Nato said “there may have been a weapons system failure which may have caused a number of civilian casualties.” A military missile site was the intended target of the air raid, but “one weapon” apparently went astray. LA Times

Tens of thousands protest in Madrid, Spain

Some 37,000 protesters in the May 15 Movement, named for the day on which the protests started, converged on Madrid, Spain, on Sunday for peaceful protests. They were protesting their governments austerity measures, but they were also protesting the European Union’s efforts to stabilize the euro. CNN

Ten thousand young people protest in Casablanca, Morocco

Although there hasn’t been the violence experienced in other countries, thousands of Moroccans have been holding pro-reform demonstrations since February 20. Some ten thousand young people from what is now called the February 20 Movement rallied in Casablanca to reject the constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI. Mohammed is 47 years old, and took over the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty in 1999. He holds virtually all power, and is also its top religious authority. AFP

Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev become cartoon superheroes

Panel from Super-Putin comicPanel from Super-Putin comic

Check out — where Russian PM Vladimir Putin becomes a superhero beating the terrorists, along with his sidekick, President Dmitry Medvedev, who is dressed as a bear. The comic strip is apparently the first in a serious about “Super Putin, Man Like Any Other.” According to the creator, “We wanted to stir Russia’s depressing political scene and create some dialogue.” AFP


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