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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Nov-2011
8-Nov-11 World View -- With Italy crumbling, euro crisis approaches an end game

Web Log - November, 2011

8-Nov-11 World View -- With Italy crumbling, euro crisis approaches an end game

Assad regime's fantasy virtual world of denial

This morning's key headlines from

* Euro crisis approaches the endgame for Germany
* Is Nigeria's Boko Haram into terror for the cash?
* Slaughter against innocent civilians continues in Syria
* Assad regime's fantasy virtual world of denial
* Italy's Berlusconi uses Facebook posting to deny resignation
* Silvio Berlusconi postpones release of his latest love songs

Euro crisis approaches the endgame for Germany

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (right) performs with Italian composer Mariano Apicella at a private function in 2003 in Sardinia (AFP)
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (right) performs with Italian composer Mariano Apicella at a private function in 2003 in Sardinia (AFP)

"Run for your lives" is the new motto of Europe, as flight of capital to safe havens is in full swing, especially in Italy, Spain and Greece. Money is pouring into Switzerland (not a eurozone country), and wealthy Greeks are buying expensive second homes in Berlin and Europe. Germany agreed to join the euro currency based on certain promises and commitments -- that only stable countries (not like Greece or Italy) would be allowed in, and that German taxpayers would never be held liable for the debts other other countries (as has already happened with Greece). And now another breach of confidence is on the horizon, with the Germans being expected to accept the notion that the European Central Bank (ECB) will be allowed to make almost unlimited "special drawing rights" available to ailing euro countries, forcing the German taxpayer, once again, to be liable. The question the German government now faces is whether to pay for a stable currency, or dissolve the monetary union. The decision can no longer be put off for long. Spiegel

Is Nigeria's Boko Haram into terror for the cash?

Concerns have been expressed that Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group that killed up to 150 people in a huge terrorist attack on Saturday, is linking up with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in order to perpetrate terrorism more widely in their quest to make northern Nigeria an Islamic state. But many people believe that Boko Haram (which means "Western education is a sin") is not all that interested in ideology, and instead is using terror to draw media and political attention to economic problems in the north, and to seek a government payout similar to the kind given two years ago to rebels in Nigeria’s oil rich south. CS Monitor

Slaughter against innocent civilians continues in Syria

Less than a week after the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad promised the Arab League to end the violence against innocent civilians, regime troops on Monday moved into a residential district of Homs after six days of tank bombardment that killed scores of people and wounded hundreds. The government says it is fighting armed gangs, but foreign journalists are not permitted to verify those claims, and according to an activist, "They are now storming houses and arresting people.... The shabbiha (pro-Assad militia) have brought pick-up trucks and are looting buildings. Arab countries so far have not demanded that al-Assad step down. They fear a potentially contagious chaos could ensue, given Syria's volatile sectarian divisions, which are replicated in varying degrees in other Arab countries of the region. Reuters

Assad regime's fantasy virtual world of denial

According Syrian TV (former) presenter Ibrahim al-Jabin, interviewed on the BBC (my transcription):

"To be honest, this needs a special kind of analysis, because the Syrian regime is genuinely stuck in a mentality of denial. They are truly unable to believe that there is actually a protest movement against them. Everything that's going on around them is actually a conspiracy. Therefore, they try to paint a new reality, a virtual reality, in which they live....

When I say the Syrian media are dishonest, I mean they are dishonest even in weather forecasting. They believe that if they say, 'It's too hot today', it will negatively affect tourism. They believe if they speak about the drought in Syria, it will be an indirect reference to government policy.

They actually go so far as to invent these armed terrorist gangs. They get people to act the role, and they go and film them, and any professional can tell that they are quite professional in filming and in directing and in using zoom-in and zoom-out, but it's low quality."

Italy's Berlusconi uses Facebook posting to deny resignation

Italy 10 year bond yield at 6.66% on 7-Nov
Italy 10 year bond yield at 6.66% on 7-Nov

Bond yields (interest rates) on Italy's ten-year bonds took another sharp upward spike on Monday, to the devilish level of 6.66%. Italy has €1.9 trillion in debt, and large chunks of it have to be rolled over in the next few months. Bond yields are rising rapidly, are already unsustainable, and may soon exceed 7%. In this environment, Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is being pressured to resign. On Monday, Berlusconi used a posting on Facebook to deny that he's planning to resign, but his support is deteriorating, and many believe he'll step down soon. That won't be the end of his troubles, as he's facing some legal actions that were postponed as long as he's in office. Mirror

Silvio Berlusconi postpones release of his latest love songs

Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been forced to delay the release of his latest love song album, entitled "True Love," with words by Berlusconi and music by his long time guitarist partner Mariano Apicella. The album had been due for release in September, with a huge launch party planned in Milan. Berlusconi is a former cruise ship crooner, and this would be his fourth album of love songs. But as he struggles to tackle Italy's massive public debt, hold together his crumbling coalition and defend himself in three trials, Berlusconi has been forced to push the release date back, Guardian

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Nov-11 World View -- With Italy crumbling, euro crisis approaches an end game thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Nov-2011) Permanent Link
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