by The Streit Council Staff
As Ireland Nears Bailout, Portugal Waits in the Wings
18 November 2010 – The New York Times – Steven Erlanger and Raphael MinderPortuguese leaders, like their counterparts in Ireland, are insisting that they have enough money to run the government as they continue to make deep cuts to government spending. However, the political situation in Portugal is tenuous, making it difficult for the country to make the promised reductions in the government’s deficit. In comparison, Ireland’s government has an adequate money supply, but the government has pledged to guarantee extremely large bank debts, thus making the state vulnerable. Portuguese debt, conversely, rests with the government, and low growth predictions are worsening the situation. Both states hope that European economies rebounds, but other EU member states are concerned that if action is not taken, bad markets could further destabilize other Eurozone countries.
IMF/EU teams continuing talks with government
19 November 2010 – Irish Times
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meeting with the Irish government today to discuss a multi billion euro rescue package for the state. In addition to IMF experts, representatives from the European Central Bank and the European Commission are also taking part in discussions. Taoiseach Brian Cowen said that the talks were going very well, and he rejected calls by the opposition to resign. Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said today that an immediate election should take place to form a new government. He said that the current government had caused the economic crisis and should be removed from power.
OECD slashes UK growth forecast to 1.7%
19 November 2010– The Guardian – Phillip Inman
Britain’s rate of recovery will be hard hit next year, as the government’s decision to raise VAT and to implement 81 billion pounds worth of public sector budget cuts will increase unemployment and affect consumer spending. In a report released by the OECD, it is predicted that the UK national income will rise by 1.7 percent next year. The OECD agreed that budget cuts were necessary to control spending, but acknowledged that this would have detrimental effects on the economy. Every European country except Germany also had its growth outlook downgraded by the report.
EU regions back Schwarzenegger initiative to save climate
19 November 2010 – Euractive
When neither the international institutions nor national governments take sufficient action to address global warming, regional actors must take a leadership role, said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This week, he called for regional governments to join the new “R20” initiative. Building on Californian experiences with the passage of AB 32, a law meant to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, the R20 is supposed to bring together regional leaders from around the world to share knowledge on global warming prevention and to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transport. The initiative is strongly backed by European regions which see the importance of local governments in this matter.
NATO Missile Shield to Get the Go-Ahead
20 November 2010 – The Australian
NATO states are preparing to give an okay to a revised missile shield plan that will protect 900 million citizens, intercepting conventional and nuclear weapons bound for any of the 28 members of the Atlantic alliance. NATO leaders have already broken ground on a smaller shield from the one proposed during the Bush administration, which is designed to protect combat forces. The proposed system, which will be fully prepared within 10 years, will cost member states $270m to develop, with the United States bearing the primary cost of the main missile systems.
Photo Credit: ScriS