World View: Europeans Demand Sovereign Control of Greece

World View: Europeans Demand Sovereign Control of Greece

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 organizationsbailing out Greece — the European Commission (EC), the EuropeanCentral Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) –indicates that a “kick the can down the road” strategy is notcurrently being considered. Germany is refusing to consider anyfurther “haircut”, like the one earlier this year that reduced theprincipal of Greece’s investors, such as banks, pension funds andinsurers, by a full 75%. Those sources of money have been squeezeddry. 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 giventwo extra years, until 2016, to meet its budget targets. However, thecost of the delay may be 38 billion euros, higher than the 30 billioneuros announced last week, and even higher than the 20 billion eurosannounced several months ago.

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

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

“The austerity needed to restore wage and pricecompetitiveness will break society first. We are sacrificing ageneration of young people who cannot find work, and all in thename of the euro. It is irresponsible. A euro exit would offerhope at last.”

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin agreed, saying Greece would “have away 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 cancellingjoint amphibious military exercises with the United States to defendthe Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The joint exercises have been scheduledfor a long time, but Japan is canceling them out of sensitivity toChina. However, the GSDF is planning to develop its own amphibiouscapabilities, so that it won’t have to depend on the U.S. to help itdefend the islands. The GSDF has never had to develop large-scaleamphibious landing operations in the past, since up till now, the GSDFhas been strictly limited to the defense of Japanese territories.However, China is watching these activities very closely, and ispreparing it’s own military forces.

“We are watching very closely what action Japan mighttake regarding the Diaoyu islands and their adjacent waters. Theaction that Japan might take will shape China’s countermeasures.”

If Japan continues down its current wrong path and takes moreerroneous actions and creates incidents regarding the DiaoyuIslands and challenges China, China will definitely take strongmeasures 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’ssovereignty and territorial integrity. No amount of foreignthreats or pressure will shake the resolve of the Chinesegovernment and people.”

Japan is patrolling the islands with its coast guard ships, and Chinahas sent its own warships to patrol the islands. So far, they’ve hadonly verbal confrontations, ordering each other to get away from theislands, 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 hatreddirected toward the Japanese.

Tingyi, the leading Chinese instant noodle producer, has had sales ofits “Master Kang” instant noodles because the company is partiallyowned by a Japanese firm. Protesters are holding up flags saying,accusations of corporate sabotage — it said that its main competitor,Uni-President, maker of “Tong-I Minced Pork Noodles,” is spreadinglies that Tingyi is controlled by Japan. Tingyi is getting even bydistributing leaflets claiming that Uni-President is also a Japanesefirm. Global Times

A Shanghai-based American expat reports about Furenju Realty, a realestate broker with a sign on their store front window saying, “We willnot do business with Japanese pigs!” He tells of the nasty encounterhe 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 theislands dispute, and both companies have suspended shipments offinished vehicles at least until January. In fiscal 2011, Nissan sold1.247 million vehicles in China, including luxury models exported fromJapan. Nissan’s sales in China account for about 25% of the maker’stotal global sales. Asahi Shimbum (Tokyo)

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these anecdotesreflect surging xenophobia and nationalism in China — something willkeep on surging until it leads to war.

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