This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- EU budget talks collapse in acrimony
- Greece’s bailout payment unlikely to be approved by Monday
- Norwegian mass murderer says prison ‘violates his human rights’
- Syrian refugee crisis explodes with new flood of refugees
EU budget talks collapse in acrimony
The European Union’s 2013 budget talks, which were supposed to approvea budget on Friday, collapsed. In fact, the talks never really go the2013 budget, as an acrimonious debate over how to plug an 8.9 billioneuro shortfall in the 2012 budget ended without resolution. At thetalks, eight nations — Austria, Britain, Denmark, Germany, France,Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden — demanded that the EU’sexecutive branch, known as the European Commission, use 15 billioneuros of non-spent monies to plug the hole, but the Commission saidthose monies had already been spent. If the 2012 shortfall is notmade up, then a wide range of social programs will have to end.Net contributor countries (countries that pay more in taxes than theyreceive in benefits), led by Britain, want to sharply cut spending,to match austerity policies of most countries. France, Finlandand Germany want to cut the budget. But net beneficiary countries,led by Poland, urged everyone to do everything possible toget the increased budget passed. Talks will resume on Tuesday,with a November 20 deadline that appears unlikely to be met.
On Friday, I watched President Obama’s speech live, where he talkedabout the deficit and “fiscal cliff,” and said that since he won theelection on Tuesday, he did not have to compromise, while hisopponents did have to compromise. It appears that the next few monthsin America will be just as acrimonious as in Europe — and in China,for that matter. AFP
Greece’s bailout payment unlikely to be approved by Monday
Greece’s officials had hoped that the leaders of the EU “troika” oforganizations bailing out Greece — the European Commission (EC), theEuropean Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)– would have approved a 31.5 billion euro bailout payment by Monday,in time to allow Greece to repay 5 billion euros of debt next week,and avoid bankruptcy. There is sharp disagreement among the troikamembers over whether Greece should be required to meet its austeritycommitments, in view of the fact that Greece’s economy continues tospiral down the drain. It looks like the next few days are going tobe very tense. Guardian (London)
Norwegian mass murderer says prison ‘violates his human rights’
33-year-old mass murderer Anders Breivik, who was convicted of killing77 children in Norway, mostly children, and who repeatedly said he wasglad he did it, wrote a letter to prison authorities whining aboutconditions in his maximum security prison. After a newspaper exposedhis correspondence with high-ranking neo-Nazi extremists, he no longeris permitted to use a computer, and all letters he sends and receivesare censored to omit any mention of politics. Needless to say, thefamilies of his victims are not sympathetic. Daily Mail (London)
Syrian refugee crisis explodes with new flood of refugees
Some 9,000 refugees fled from Syria to Turkey in a single day onThursday, while another 2,000 went to Jordan and Lebanon. This bringsthe number of Syria refugees registered with the United Nations tomore than 408,000. Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogancriticized the United Nations:
It is very strange. There are currently atrocitiesbeing committed in Syria, and these atrocities are being directedby a state leader. While these atrocities are continuing … thereis a United Nations that is remaining silent towardsit.
How far will this go? When will the permanent members of the UNSecurity Council take responsibility? We are obliged to acttogether to counter this, otherwise we cannot refer to this worldbody as being democratic.
Among the 9,000 Syrians crossing over into Turkey, there were manyarmy officers, including two generals, 11 colonels, two lieutenantcolonels, two majors, four captains and five sergeants.Today’s Zaman (Istanbul)