June 20th, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Daily Roundup: Finance ministers negotiate Greek bailout

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Eurozone finance ministers committed late Sunday night to providing Greece with a second financial rescue package (Guardian) that will include more official loans and a voluntary rollover by private investors. However, a decision to provide Greece with the next €12 billion tranche of its first aid package was postponed until July, with a new round of strict austerity measures set as a precondition.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called on Greeks to accept tax hikes, spending cuts, and privatization efforts in order to avoid the "catastrophic" default (Reuters) if Greece does not receive its next batch of the existing EU-IMF aid package. Following a cabinet reshuffle last week–amid countrywide strikes and riots–Papandreou will face a vote of confidence Tuesday (FT) to determine if he has the backing needed for new austerity measures.

Newly appointed Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (DeutscheWelle) continued meetings with his eurozone counterparts today, offering assurances that Athens will pass the necessary budgetary measures when a parliamentary vote is held on June 28.

Analysis:

Fiscal indiscipline could not have occurred without unhealthy politeness and excessive deference to large member states, writes Mario Monti in the Financial Times.

Eight experts and analysts discuss the merits of an IMF-EU bailout on the New York Times "Room for Debate" forum.

While Standard and Poor's ranks Greece as the world's lowest-rated economy, LSE economist Iain Begg tells CFR that the debt crisis will paradoxically have the effect of deepening EU integration.

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MIDDLE EAST: Assad Calls for National Dialogue

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for a national dialogue on reform (Reuters), while blaming "saboteurs" for the recent unrest. Assad's speech came as Syrian troops continued cracking down in the northwestern border region and moved to block more refugees from fleeing to Turkey.

The Assad dynasty appears to be on a long path to collapse, posing new challenges to the Obama administration's efforts to break the axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, expert Andrew Tabler tells CFR.

Libya: NATO admitted that it was likely responsible for airstrikes in Tripoli (LAT) that killed nine civilians and injured eighteen.

PACIFIC RIM: Millions of Chinese Impacted by Flooding

Over five million people have been affected by ongoing flooding (al-Jazeera) in eastern and southern China, which has caused over $700 million in damages and left 170 dead or missing.

Japan: In the wake of the nuclear disaster that devastated parts of Japan, the International Atomic Energy Agency (BBC) is meeting to discuss new international regulations to make nuclear energy safer.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: U.S. Holding Talks with Taliban

Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed yesterday that the United States is involved in preliminary talks with the Taliban (AFP) in an attempt to find a political solution to the nearly ten-year war in Afghanistan.

In the Daily Beast, CFR's Leslie H. Gelb says Obama's still unknown plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan should satisfy those pushing for a quick exit as well as those determined to stay the course.

Pakistan: U.S. drones fired missiles (Reuters) into the northwest tribal region of Kurram on Monday, killing at least seven militants along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

AFRICA: Somali PM Resigns

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo resigned following a UN-backed agreement (DailyNation) that called for his ouster. The accord also extended the mandates of the president and parliamentary speaker for another year, requiring that elections be held prior to August 2012.

AMERICAS: Iraqi Money Unaccounted for

Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi claimed Americans are responsible for $18.7 billion in missing Iraqi funds (al-Jazeera) that was meant to go toward reconstruction efforts following the 2003 U.S. invasion.

Mexico: The country's first nationally coordinated anti-crime operation (LAHT) has led to the arrest of over 3,700 people suspected of drug trafficking and other crimes in the six days since it launched.

In a Bloomberg editorial, CFR's Shannon K. O'Neil says domestic responsibility is needed to win Mexico's drug war.

EUROPE: Mass Protests in Spain

With unemployment at a crippling 21 percent, over one hundred thousand demonstrators flooded the streets (DeutscheWelle) of Madrid and Barcelona yesterday to protest against Spain's politicians and banks.

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Topics: Daily Roundup • Economy • Europe

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    greek state is on the verge of national bankruptcy
    should use the services of an executor some companies: D
    such as http://www.sosexekuce.cz or other.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Hardly has the Arab Spring waned there waxes the Mediterranean Summer!

    June 21, 2011 at 8:19 am | Reply

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