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Economy

Merkel, Sarkozy And The Blind Waltz Of Europe's Rescue Plans For Greece

Op-Ed: After being forced to shelve their proposal for a European-appointed Greek budget commissioner, the German-France "Merkozy" duo now are floating the idea of a special account for Greek debt. But this is just one more symbolic atte

Students demonstrating last October in Florence (Collettivo Politico Scienze Politiche)
A quick fix won't do (kevinpoh)
Jan Dams

BERLIN - Over the past two years there has been no shortage of suggestions about how to rescue Greece. And none has received as much attention as the diplomatically unwise German proposal to appoint a "budget commissioner" to Athens.

Having gotten the thumbs down on that one from other euro-zone countries, Angela Merkel along with her French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy have now come up with an equally spectacular plan. This time, the idea is for a special account to be opened into which Greece would pay the interest it owes on debts, thus ensuring that holders of Greek debt were paid off.

Unfortunately, this proposal is as peculiar as the commissioner idea – in this case, because all that is likely to accrue in the account is negative interest from being permanently overdrawn.

The idea is little more than an expression of the deepest kind of desperation. Europe's most powerful politicians don't have a clue how to bring this small country into line. Merkel and Sarkozy, aka "Merkozy," have long recognized that not only is the will for change missing in Greece – so are the bureaucratic structures needed to implement promises of reform.

But both Merkel and Sarkozy are afraid to admit this publicly, and draw the necessary conclusions. It's better to take a symbolic stab at policy. And the Greeks understand that only all too well.

They know that the only thing driving these proposals is short-term fear of severe turbulence in the rest of the euro zone if they are kicked out. And as long as that's the case, nothing's going to change in Athens. It's high time, instead, that this or that new idea gives way to a whole new strategy.

Read the original article in German

Photo - kevinpoh

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Geopolitics

The West Must Face Reality: Iran's Nuclear Program Can't Be Stopped

The West is insisting on reviving a nuclear pact with Iran. However, this will only postpone the inevitable moment when the regime declares it has a nuclear bomb. The only solution is regime change.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have lasted for 16 months but some crucial sticking points remain.

Hamed Mohammadi

-OpEd-

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear inspectorate, declared on Sept. 7 that Iran already had more than enough uranium for an atomic bomb. He said the IAEA could no longer confirm that the Islamic Republic has a strictly peaceful nuclear program as it has always claimed because the agency could not properly inspect sites inside Iran.

The Islamic Republic may have shown flexibility in some of its demands in the talks to renew the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, a preliminary framework reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany). For example, it no longer insists that the West delist its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. But it has kept its crucial promise that unless Western powers lift all economic sanctions, the regime will boost its uranium reserves and their level of enrichment, as well as restrict the IAEA's access to installations.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have been going on for 16 months. European diplomacy has resolved most differences between the sides, but some crucial sticking points remain.

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