IL GIORNALE (Italy), WALL STREET JOURNAL (USA)

Worldcrunch

Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale chose a deeply provocative headline for Friday's front page: "Quarto Reich" - Fourth Reich, to comment on Germany's refusal to give the European Central Bank more leeway.

Il Giornale is a right-wing newspaper owned by Silvio Berlusconi"s brother Paolo. "Since yesterday, Italy is no longer in Europe, it is in the Fourth Reich," writes the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Alessandro Sallusti, who writes that Germany has won, but Italy, Europe and the euro have lost after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi .

Sallusti also says Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has been defeated, after being "led around for months by the Germans and their false promises." Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank has lost, had to "bow to the will of Angela Merkel."

In the First Reich, writes Sallusti, "the German head of state also had the title of Emperor of Rome," while two world wars and millions of deaths were not enough to appease the German hegemonic ambitions in the next two Reichs. History repeats itself, "not with cannons, but with the euro." The Germans want Italians and other Europeans to give up and hand over power to the "new Kaiser, Angela Merkel."

"The problem," Sallusti concludes, is that nobody is reacting.

A somewhat more neutral commentator, Allen Mattich of the Wall Street Journal, instead sees Draghi's reaction Thursday as the best option in a tricky situation, "to buy the single currency two or three years; enough time for Europe's politicians to hammer out the fiscal union."

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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