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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

EuroFools Betray Greek Brethren, Undermine Their Own Creation -- Prove that Their "Peace" Advice to Israel Is Either Hostile or Stupid

UPDATING 5-19 & 6-2-2012

As an Israeli, I am tremendously amused to see how the EU, more specifically the Eurozone, plus the IMF, cannot solve the debt crisis. It should warn us against taking any advice from the EU about our conflict with the Arabs. The Greek debt-cum-economic crisis at present is due not only to the failure of Greek governments prior to Papandreou secretively building up debts with the advice of US financial firms. It is also due --and even more so-- to the utterly stupid and counterproductive "remedy" demanded by the eurozone and IMF. And the German role here is especially thick-headed and outrageous.

I consider Wolfgang Schaeuble, German finance minister, a weapon of European self-destruction. It should have been obvious 2 years ago that without either the Eurozone [EMU = european monetary union] and/or IMF guaranteeing loans to Greece [as Krugman recommended] or/and the provision of an easy loan facility for Greece at a reasonable, low interest rate [maybe something like eurobonds], that interest rates for Greece would balloon and swell up on the open market and Greece could never pay back the loans at --let's say-- 33% interest. Especially without growth. So the original Greek "bailout" was stupid and unworkable, which some foresaw. Now, the Germans --led by Schaeuble are insisting on punishing Greece [watch films of the German finance minister seething with rage over Greeks "breaking" promises]. This is outrageous because the Germans all too easily forget that Germany did not come out of its WW2 ruin & wreckage on sheer austerity & hard work but got Marshall Plan billions from America in the form of cheap, low interest loans as well as grants. Actually in the end, most of the loans were forgiven & Germany paid back only about 15% of its Marshall Plan aid!!! The Americans could have left the Germans to grope for food in their post-war ruins, after a war that they had started [also see here & here & here]. Of course, some German economists are more sensible than Schaeuble.
Yes, Greece needed structural reforms but easy loans too were indispensable. Without them Greece got into a vicious circle that the Euro fools still don't understand. As an Israeli I see that EU "peace" prescriptions are as reliable as their economic stupidities. Doctor EU, heal thyself.

UPDATING 5-19-2012
Solidarity is a two-way street, Greece must keep its promises.
Guido Westerwelle, German Foreign Minister, FDP party
[Israel TV, channel 1, Ro'im `Olam 5-19-2012]
Solidarity is a two-way street. . .
the European Community
must stand firm and demand the necessary structural reforms. . .
Only when the Greeks also provide evidence that they
are serious [must we provide help]

Rainer Bruderle, FDP party leader in Bundestag.

We called Schaeuble a European weapon of self-destruction. This implies that he has been the brains and the force behind Germany's policy on the Greek debt crisis [now a crisis in several eurozone states since the Greek "rescue" plan of 2010]. Indeed. Angela Merkel, German chancellor [PM] does not seem very bright and takes her economic d
irectives from Schaeuble, supported by most Germans. Since Germany is the largest successful economy in the eurozone and has the most money reserves, it can force its will on the rest of the EMU, which is what has happened. Yet the first austerity plan for Greece of 2010 has obviously failed. But no change in EMU policy is likely. Nor any admission of fault in the "rescue" plan itself. Schaeuble blames the Greeks. Now Greece may leave the eurozone, the EMU, which could lead to higher interest rates for other eurozone states and to eventual break up of the EMU. This would harmfully affect EU states like the UK that are outside the eurozone as well as the whole world economy. Hence Schaeuble is a European weapon of self-destruction.

Could a different rescue plan in Greece in 2010 have saved Greece? Maybe, but as said above, it would have had to provide an easy borrowing facility for Greece --not even necessarily as generous as the Marshall Plan was to Germany [see addendum below] but with reasonably low interest rates-- plus provisions for growth. Now it is probably too late to save Greece and/or keep it in the eurozone. Maybe the EMU itself can no longer be saved. News out of the G8 summit [5-19-2012] reports that Merkel resisted the calls by other G8 members for a focus on growth & stimulus over austerity. The eurozone which the Germans love so much may be on the way to "break up," as David Cameron, UK prime minister, wondered about the other day. The Germans have shown appalling harshness and stinginess in this affair. The German urge to punish may end up punishing the Germans too. Schaeuble himself seems at times to be playing a Gestapo officer in one of those old WW2 movies.

Nevertheless,
the other eurozone [EMU] states and the IMF --mainly run by Europeans-- went along with this sad comedy, this farce of greed, harshness, stinginess and historical amnesia --which especially characterizes Germany. Doctor EU, heal thyself. And don't come to Israel with barely disguised proposals for having the Arabs do your dirty work, finishing Hitler's job in the name of "palestinian self-determination."

- - - - - - - - - - -ADDENDUM- - - - - -
More on the Marshall Plan & Germany from Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
The 1953 London Debt Agreement, or the German debt
If West Germany could redeem its debt and rebuild its economy so soon after WWII it was thanks to the political will of its creditors, i.e. the United States and their main Western allies (United Kingdom and France). In October 1950 these three countries drafted a project in which the German federal government acknowledged debts incurred before and during the war. They joined a declaration to the effect that “the three countries agree that the plan include an appropriate satisfaction of demands towards Germany so that its implementation does not jeopardize the financial situation of the German economy through unwanted repercussions nor has an excessive effect on its potential currency reserves. The first three countries are convinced that the German federal government shares their view and that the restoration of German solvability includes an adequate solution for the German debt which takes Germany’s economic problems into account and makes sure that negotiations are fair to all participants.” |5|
. . . . .
The agreement set up the possibility to suspend payments and renegotiate conditions in the event that a substantial change limiting the availability of resources should occur. |7|
To make sure that the West German economy was effectively doing well and represented a stable key element in the Atlantic bloc against the Eastern bloc, allied creditors granted the indebted German authorities and companies major concessions that far exceeded debt relief. The starting point was that Germany had to be able to pay everything back while maintaining a high level of growth and improving the living standards of its population. They had to pay back without getting poorer. To achieve this creditors accepted first, that Germany pay its debt in its national currency, second, that Germany reduce importations (it could manufacture at home those goods that were formerly imported), |8| third, that it sell its manufactured goods abroad so as to achieve a positive trade balance. These various concessions were set down in the above-mentioned declaration. |9|
Another significant aspect was that the debt service depended on how much the German economy could afford to pay, taking the country’s reconstruction and the export revenues into account. The debt service/export revenue ratio was not to exceed 5%. This meant that West Germany was not to use more than one twentieth of its export revenues to pay its debt. In fact it never used more than 4.2% (except once in 1959).
Another exceptional measure was that interest rates were substantially reduced (between 0 and 5%).
Finally we have to consider the dollars the United States gave to West Germany: USD 1,173.7 million as part of the Marshall Plan from 3 April 1948 to 30 June 1952 with at least 200 million added from 1954 to 1961, mainly via USAID. [here Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt]
UPDATING George Soros, billionaire money manager, far from our favorite person, warns that the eurozone has only 3 months to solve or alleviate its financial crisis otherwise the crisis may lead to the break up of the EU altogether. Soros, surprisingly, blames Germany for profiting from the single currency while harming the peripheral countries.
Germany benefitted from debt relief after WW2 but not willing to help Greece by granting debt relief. How they forget!! [here]

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Egyptian Copt Blames Obama for Abetting Egyptian Chaos

Naguib Sawiris is one of the top businessmen in Egypt and a member of the Coptic Christian minority, the purest descendants of the ancient Egyptians. He shared his views of Obama in an interview with Style, a monthly magazine of the Italian paper, Corriere della Sera, just about a month after Obama's political intervention in Egypt --Mubarak must step down-- set off the series of events that seems likely to bring the anti-peace, anti-Jewish and anti-Christian Muslim Brotherhood to power in the Land of the Nile. Sawiris' words seem prophetic:
Style: . . . your position has recently changed; you were a supporter of Barack Obama and now, on the other hand, you criticize him bitterly.
NS: Like many I had placed so many hopes on him. But he has done little, too little, and today the United States is still thrashing about in the quagmire of a deep, aggressive crisis.
[Style di Corriere della Sera, March 2011]

Style: You bemoan the lack of action of a president who in a short time carried out a reform, such as the health reform for which decades would be needed in other countries.
NS: Apart from the fact that many, including myself, do not approve the way in which the health reform was carried out. . . But what was most needed for America in these years was a policy of economic and jobs recovery. . .
NS: If I stood for election in this country, I would pick up a lot of votes.
Style: And why don't you do it?
NS: It is complicated. I am a Christian and this is a Muslim country.
NS: I must say that I don't like President Barack Obama. He projects weakness, sends the wrong message, feeds too many expectations. . .
NS: We must be very tough and have no mercy on the terrorists. Whoever kills innocent persons in the name of religion deserves to die. It doesn't seem to me that Obama is firm in the struggle against Islamic terrorism. He is too conciliatory.
Style: Do you also consider as terrorists the Palestinians who are fighting against the Israelis?
NS: Yes, if they go to Tel Aviv to put a bomb in a discotheque. Yes, when they kill women and children with Hamas' rockets. Not when they struggle in Gaza against the Israeli occupation.
Style: And as a businessman, how do you judge Obama?
NS: . . . Frankly, there is nothing about him that I like. . .
Sawiris negotiated at one stage as Mubarak was falling with Omar Suleiman and the Egyptian opposition. He wants a Marshall Plan for Egypt funded by Europe, the USA and the Gulf states, in order to create jobs and guarantee stability in Egypt. He supported Omar Suleiman for the transitional period after Mubarak and also feared constitutional chaos.
NS: And then it is important that first the Constitution should be changed because with the present constitution Egypt might fall into juridical chaos, which might benefit the Muslim Brotherhood.
[Style di Corriere della Sera, March 2011]
This last statement by Sawiris was prophetic. Now we see that Egypt is in chaos in more ways than one. Its economy is failing, the state is running out of money needed to buy basic foods abroad, Muslim mobs attack native Christians, Islamist leaders --including of the Muslim Brotherhood-- and candidates for office want to go back to a state of war with Israel, etc etc. Sawiris openly calls Obama soft on Islamic terrorism. And Obama, by pushing Mubarak out and letting his "intelligence experts" [like Clapper] pretend that the Muslim Brotherhood was moderate ["largely secular"] or even letting it be said that the United States was not opposed to religious groups taking part in the Egyptian government, helped a great deal to bring on today's chaos and crisis in Egypt which threatens Middle Eastern peace and stability in the Mediterranean region.

Sawiris founded Orascom Telecom, the largest in the Middle East, which he sold not long ago. He also is chairman of Wind telecom in Italy and has other telecom interests. Forbes lists his net worth at over $2.9 billion.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Nazi Collaborator's Son Becomes President of France

Yes, I am referring to Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party. Is there some rule that says children of Nazis and Nazi collaborators cannot become "socialists." Of course, it might be unfair to point out that the Nazis called themselves "socialists," and that their party was a "workers party." To be precise: Nazional Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei [arbeiter is the German for workers].

OK, maybe the Nazis weren't real socialists, real mass murderers yes, but not real socialists. But nowadays who can explain what words like "socialist" or "left" or "right" mean? Be that as it may, Hubert Vedrine, another son of a Nazi collaborator --vichysste in polite French-- was the foreign minister in the last French socialist government, that of Lionel Jospin, up to 2002. Hubert was the son of Jean Vedrine, a high Vichy govt official. Hollande's father was Georges Hollande, a petainiste, that is, a supporter of the Vichy govt, and in later years a close associate of Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour, a pro-fascist, petainiste. Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front party, now headed by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, was an assistant of Tixier-Vignancour.

Of course, one might say that the sins of the father should not be visited upon the son, that the son belongs to a political party with principles diametrically opposed to those of Petain, Tixier-Vignancour and Le Pen. However, how do we explain all of his, Hollande's, false promises during the election campaign? He was promising pie in the sky to the French electorate. He issued a list of 60 promises, whereas it is likely that only a few if any will be kept. False promises mean demagoguery. Typical of politicians of course. But Hollande went very far. There simply isn't the money for nearly all of his promises. And the Germans are not going to give it. It's our money and we earned it and we don't want to share it with lazy Greeks or spendthrift Frenchmen, etc, they argue. We might point out parenthetically that the Germans all too conveniently forget that their post-WW2 economic "miracle," the
wirtschaftswunder, was made possible only by the generosity of the Americans through the Marshall Plan billions. Otherwise the Germans could have been left to dig and grope for food in the ruins and wreckage of Germany after another war that they had started.

Be that as it may, Hollande made many false promises. He also issued other lies. For instance, and this concerns Emet m'Tsiyon, he claimed in a recent interview [broadcast or rebroadcast by France24 on 7 May 2012, 11 pm Paris time], that if elected, he would try to persuade Israel to come back to the negotiating table with the "palestinians" in order to reach peace. However, this is a big lie because it was precisely the Arab side, the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmud Abbas, that has refused to negotiate with Israel for almost four years, that is, since September 2008. Even though Israel had agreed to suspend settlement activity for ten months from November 2009 to September 2010, Abbas did no more than show up for a few photos with Netanyahu in New York and then went back to his refusal to negotiate. To be sure, Abbas has made demands on Israel as preconditions for negotiations. The main demand made by Abbas is for Israel to stop settlement activity, to stop all building in Jewish settlements over the 1949 armistice line. But this is a violation of the PA/PLO's commitment and agreement in the 1993 Oslo Accords to leave settlements and Jerusalem for negotiation as final status issues, not as preconditions for negotiation.
Isn't Hollande aware of that? One can only assume that he is lying by depicting Israel as the party unwilling to negotiate whereas the truth is the opposite. One assumes, furthermore, that he knows that he is lying.

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