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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 12-Nov-2011
12-Nov-11 World View -- Lucas Papademos promises to keep Greece in the eurozone

Web Log - November, 2011

12-Nov-11 World View -- Lucas Papademos promises to keep Greece in the eurozone

Who owns the northern lights?

This morning's key headlines from

* Lucas Papademos promises to keep Greece in the eurozone
* France demands an investigation into S&P's 'shocking' error
* Investors pop the champagne corks - again
* Who owns the northern lights?
* Human Rights Watch asks Arab League to expel Syria
* Syria's army defections may lead to a coup d'état

Lucas Papademos promises to keep Greece in the eurozone

Lucas Papademos receives a blessing from Archbishop Ieronymos
Lucas Papademos receives a blessing from Archbishop Ieronymos

Greece's new interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos, swore his oath of office in a traditional ceremony where he received a blessing from the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos. In an earlier speech, he said,

"The choices we make will be decisive for the Greek people.

The participation of our country in the eurozone is a guarantee for the country's monetary stability. It is a driver of financial prosperity.

The path will not be easy but I am convinced the problems will be solved faster and at a smaller cost if there is unity and consensus."

He'll need all the blessings he can get. His job is being called a 'poisoned chalice': to push through harsh austerity measures needed to qualify for the EU's next €8 billion bailout installment before Greece goes bankrupt in December. BBC

France demands an investigation into S&P's 'shocking' error

The S&P Ratings service accidentally released a message on Thursday saying that France's AAA credit status had been downgraded. Although the mistake was corrected quickly, it resulted in a spike in France's bond yields (indicating increased fear of French default). French officials are demanding an investigation into the mistake, but some analysts are pointing out that the fact that the message accidentally went out indicates that the ratings agencies are working on an eventual downgrade. Euro News

Investors pop the champagne corks - again

It doesn't take much these days to get investors' hopes soaring, and that's what happened on Friday, when Greece swore in a new prime minister, and Italy's parliament passed austerity measures on Friday, paving the way for final approval over the weekend. Wall Street stock prices soared with investors' hopes, rising 2-3%. Everybody's now hoping that the worst is over. Greece and Italy have new "technocrat" governments, poised to pass their austerity measures, France will keep its AAA rating, and everything will settle down again. In other news, the Boston Red Sox are expected to win the 2011 World Series. Fox News

Who owns the northern lights?

Northern Lights in Norway (DPA)
Northern Lights in Norway (DPA)

Norway's officials are unhappy about an attempt by Finland to use the aurora borealis, or nothern lights, in a marketing campaign promoting tourism in Finland. The Norwegians like to think that the northern lights are associated first and foremost with their country, that the Finns may be looking to muscle in on their territory. A Norwegian tourism promoter said, "We can not stand by and watch the Finns try to grab a bigger share [of the northern lights market]. We will not give up -- the northern lights will be ours." Spiegel

Human Rights Watch asks Arab League to expel Syria

Based on more than 110 interviews with victimes and witnesses from Homs, Syria, Human Rights Watch is accusing the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad of committing crimes against humanity, including torture and unlawful killings. At a Saturday meeting of the Arab League, HRW will ask the League to impose sanctions on Syria. But they face stiff opposition from Mr Assad's allies in the League, among them Iraq, Lebanon and Sudan. Human Rights Watch and Telegraph

Syria's army defections may lead to a coup d'état

The violence in Syria has been increasing in the two weeks since the regime of president Bashar al-Assad agreed to a peace plan offered by the Arab League. It's now clear that Assad's acceptance of the plan was simply a smokescreen, but it's significant nonetheless because accepting the plan was an admission that it was Syria's own army, rather than foreign conspirators or "armed terrorist gangs," who were using bloody violence against unarmed civilians. However, Syrian troops are increasingly unwilling to fire on innocent protesters, and the surge in daily defections is quickly becoming the "Free Syrian Army." Although Assad hopes to buy enough time to beat down the protesters, he's gradually losing control over security conditions, and a military coup d'état can no longer be dismissed as an impossibility. Gulf News

There is widespread fear that we're going to see a repeat of the bloody Syrian civil war that climaxed in the 1982 massacre of tens of thousands of civilians in Hama in a few days by Syria's army, under the orders of the current president's father. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, that kind of outcome is completely impossible, for the simple reason that the generations of survivors of that war are still around, and will do everything possible to prevent a repeat of that horror.

So a military coup d'état does appear to be the likely climax of Syria's generational awakening era conflict. Very often, this kind of government change is completely bloodless, like the resignation of Richard Nixon that climaxed America's last awakening era. We can't really expect a completely bloodless coup (or "velvet coup") in Syria, however, since there's already been a fair amount of blood spilled, with some 3,000 people killed in eight months. But a coup d'état, if it comes, is less likely to come with a bang than with a whimper.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 12-Nov-11 World View -- Lucas Papademos promises to keep Greece in the eurozone thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (12-Nov-2011) Permanent Link
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