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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 10-Oct-2012
10-Oct-12 World View -- IMF warns of an 'alarmingly high' risk of deep global slowdown

Web Log - October, 2012

10-Oct-12 World View -- IMF warns of an 'alarmingly high' risk of deep global slowdown

Athens protests against Angela Merkel evoke WW II memories

This morning's key headlines from

German Chancellor Merkel greeted with hate-filled protests in Athens Greece

Angela Merkel greeted with Nazi salutes and violence in Athens (Getty)
Angela Merkel greeted with Nazi salutes and violence in Athens (Getty)

Memories of World War II were evoked on Tuesday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Athens Greece as a show of support for Greece and the government of prime minister Antonis Samaras, and she was faced with rock-throwing protests by tens of thousands of Greeks portraying Merkel as a Nazi war criminal. Merkel has become one of the most hated figures in Greece, as she is being blamed for the harsh austerity measures that Greeks are facing. Police used teargas and stun grenades at a crowd threatening to swarm into the Parliament building, throwing rocks and petrol bombs. Merkel's voice was strained with anxiety as she provided encouragement for the Greece and the Greek government, and acknowledged that Greece had made a great deal of painful progress since 2010. Merkel seemed to feel that Samaras was someone she could work with. However, the basic situation is unchanged, in that there is still substantial opposition in Germany and Europe against giving Greece any more leeway in meeting its austerity obligations. Kathimerini and Independent (London)

Nato will defend Turkey as border tension with Syria escalates

Cross-border shelling between Turkey and Syria continued for a sixth day on Tuesday, and Turkey has been shifting heavy artillery units, tank battalions, missile batteries and troops to the border, with F-16 jet fleets shifted from western Anatolia bases to the southeast, warships setting sail for the Mediterranean with wartime rations. According to a Turkish military expert:

"The Syrian regime has very little left to lose. If Turkey retaliates more strongly next time and kills Syrians, then that would only add a few more to the casualties on the Syrian side. But if another shell from Syria side kills more Turks, civilians or soldiers, God forbid, then the Turkish government, with Parliamentís authority in its hand, and all that troop buildup, may be under further pressure to act."

Nato's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced on Tuesday that Nato, of which Turkey is a member, is prepared to defend Turkey from Syria, if that should become necessary:

"We have all plans in place to protect and defend Turkey, but we do hope that it will not be necessary. We do hope that all parties involved will do their utmost to avoid an escalation of the crisis and focus on finding a political solution to the conflict.

I strongly regret that so far the Security Council has failed in finding an agreement on a legally-binding resolution that could send such a strong message to the Syrian leadership."

It's believed that Iran and Russia are supplying both arms and military advisers to the Bashar al-Assad regime, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been supplying small arms to al-Assad's oppositions. Hurriyet (Ankara) and VOA

Turkey's politics become bitterly sectarian

The situation in Turkey's politics is becoming increasingly bitter and sectarian as a result of the situation in Syria. Kemal KiliÁdaroglu, the leader of the principal opposition party, Republican Peopleís Party (CHP), called Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu an "idiot," and suggested that he was opposed to the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad because the latter is part of the Alawite sect, practicing an offshoot of Shia Islam:

"We donít want war. We donít want our sonsí blood to be shed in Arabian deserts. ... We have marked a historic event by saying Ďnoí to the motion [authorizing the military for cross-border operations]. The CHP has become the hope of all mothers and fathers. We will not disappoint them. ...

How can we describe the policy that put Turkey into this situation? Is this Ďstrategic depth,í or strategic blindness? The process that resulted in Turkeyís becoming part of such a meaningless balance comes from a foreign minister whose incompetence is known by the entire world. You donít need deep knowledge to know that. You have to be a real idiot to do that."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply rebuked KiliÁdaroglu:

" ďIt is not possible to understand how the CHP has become blind due to the love it has for [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad. The people getting killed [as a result of the Syrian mortar strikes] are our citizens. They are our people, aren't they?

Were you expecting us to remain silent, Mr. [Kemal] KiliÁdaroglu? You might tolerate such [attacks], but we will not. ...

I want to remind this to Mr. KiliÁdaroglu: the issue of sect has never been influential in outlining Turkish foreign policy. Most of those who fell from power along the period dubbed ĎArab Springí are Sunni.

We havenít supported oppressors and dictators because they are Sunni. Both a dictator and an oppressor may come out of a Sunni. Wherever they come from, we are against all of them."

Hurriyet (Ankara) and Zaman (Istanbul)

IMF warns of an 'alarmingly high' risk of deep global slowdown

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded its economic projections and warned of an "alarmingly high" risk of a serious global slowdown because of fiscal problems in the U.S. and Europe. The risk for a deep global economic slowdown next year is "alarmingly high" because of several short term factors, the IMF said. The most serious are a further deepening of the European debt crisis, failure in Washington to avert large tax hikes and government spending cuts looming in January, and another spike in oil prices caused by Middle East tensions. "A key issue is whether the global economy is just hitting another bout of turbulence in what was always expected to be a slow and bumpy recovery or whether the current slowdown has a more lasting component," the IMF said. LA Times and IMF World Economic Outlook (PDF)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 10-Oct-12 World View -- IMF warns of an 'alarmingly high' risk of deep global slowdown thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (10-Oct-2012) Permanent Link
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