World View: Surge in Boko Haram Attacks Raises Questions About New President of Nigeria

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This morning’s key headlines from

  • Greece’s crisis deepens as German position hardens
  • Surge in Boko Haram attacks raises questions about new president of Nigeria

Greece’s crisis deepens as German position hardens

Pro-Tsipras Greeks celebrate referendum win (Getty)
Pro-Tsipras Greeks celebrate referendum win (Getty)

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras made several promises to the Greek people to secure their “NO” vote on the referendum. He promised that the eurozone leaders would immediately come to him with a new, more favorable proposal, and that the new deal would be signed within two days. He promised that the European Central Bank (ECB) would keep Greece’s banks open with plenty of liquidity, and that the banks would re-open the day after the referendum. And he promised that the Greek people would keep their dignity.

Now the Greek people face the harsh light of reality. Even if everyone agreed to a new deal, it would take weeks to implement, because the German parliament would have to approve it. But Tsipras cannot make any concessions after his overwhelming referendum victory, and the Germans, the Dutch and Finns are opposed to making any concessions at all. The ECB on Monday rejected any further liquidity infusions into Greek banks, and they will have to remain closed for at least a few more days, and possibly many days. The 60 euro per day cap on ATM withdrawals will probably have to be reduced further, possibly to 10-20 euros per day.

Compounding the problem is that Greece is a different country than it was two weeks ago, a much poorer country. A country’s economy is like a huge engine that can take weeks or much more to come up to speed. Greece’s economy has been almost completely shut down, so even if Tsipras’s fantasy of a quick deal came true, it would still take months for Greece’s economy to fully recover.

The eurozone leaders are meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, and Tsipras is supposed to make some proposals.

There is a great deal of irony about this. Tsipras made some commitments to the Eurogroup when he took power in January, and promised within a couple of weeks to submit proposals for meeting those commitments. He stalled and stalled, and never made those proposals.

Now he is back where he was — he has to make proposals to the Eurogroup to meet his commitments. The referendum gained nothing, but it further impoverished the Greeks.

According to reports, he will “propose a deal based on the most recent set of proposals published by the European Commission.” Well, he could have proposed that deal two weeks ago, and Greece will be a lot better off today.

If there is no deal, then the country will run out of money within a few days. At that point, the government will have to issue IOUs in lieu of salary and pension payments. These IOUs will serve as a “parallel currency” that can be used until the country returns to stability and can return to the euro. Kathimerini and BBC and CNBC and Kathimerini

Surge in Boko Haram attacks raises questions about new president of Nigeria

Like national leaders in other countries, Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari made promises during his campaign that he is now finding himself unable to fulfill. During the campaign, his billboards read, “We will defeat Boko Haram.”

But in a surge in violence, Boko Haram in the last week slaughtered more than 145 people in villages in the northeast, and bombed churches and mosques across Nigeria’s north.

Buhari promised to crush Boko Haram, and he made some initial gains, with the Nigerian army recapturing most of the territories from the militants this year. But the recent attacks show that Nigeria is nowhere near defeating the jihadists. According to one Nigerian analyst:

Most Nigerians expected something drastic, something dramatic, something concrete on the ground. They did not expect this spate of bombings across the country. They feel that OK, by now, Boko Haram should truly be a thing of the past. They do not seem to be impressed by the handling of the situation so far.

However, a Buhari spokesman says that the president is working on a plan. Leadership News (Nigeria) and VOA and The Hindu (India)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Greece, Alexis Tsipras, European Central Bank, ECB, Nigeria, Boko Haram, Muhammadu Buhari
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