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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 9-Apr-2013
9-Apr-13 World View -- Greece may demand 162 billion euros in WW II reparations from Germany

Web Log - April, 2013

9-Apr-13 World View -- Greece may demand 162 billion euros in WW II reparations from Germany

North Korea pulls its 53,000 workers out of industrial complex

This morning's key headlines from

North Korea pulls its 53,000 workers out of industrial complex

Kaesong industrial complex
Kaesong industrial complex

For many days we heard analysts say that everything North Korea said was just bluster, because the Kaesong industrial park, the cooperative venture with South Korea, was still operating. But then the North Korean announced that South Korean workers would not be allowed to return. And now, on Monday, the North Koreans pulled out the 53,000 North Korean workers from Kaesong, effectively shutting it down.

No one knows what's going to happen next, though people are worried. A number of people have suggested that "something" is going to happen between April 10 and April 15, the latter date being the birthday of revered North Korean founder Kim Il-sung. A North Korean military attack on South Korea or on U.S. assets is a possibility, but is generally discounted. It appears that the most likely possibilities are a new nuclear weapon test, or a new missile test. CNN

Greece is in negotiations again for next bailout payment

Yesterday I wrote that Portugal would be the next eurozone bailout crisis, but Greece is right up there with Portugal. Greece is resuming negotiations with the "troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The main issue will be layoffs. There are some 4,000 civil servants who have been accused of breaking a code of conduct, and everyone agrees that they will be fired. But the troika wants more layoffs, and that's going to be a major contentious issue. These issues have to be resolved before the next 2.8 billion euro and 6 billion euro loan installments can be paid. Agreement was supposed to have been reached last month, but as usual, negotiations have been put off as long as possible. The real drop-dead date is May 20, when Greece has to pay 5.6 billion euros in payment for bonds that are set to expire. Kathimerini

Greece may demand 162 billion euros in WW II reparations from Germany

A top-secret Greek report has been partially released to the press, and it comes to the conclusion that Germany owes Greece as much as 162 billion euros in World War II reparations. According to the report, "Greece never received any compensation, either for the loans it was forced to provide to Germany or for the damages it suffered during the war." That money would go a long way to relieving Greece's debt, allowing it to return to full wasteful spending mode for a couple of years before it gets into trouble again. However, Germany has no interest in revisiting the question of reparations to Greece, and Greek leaders are afraid to "pick a fight" with the country that's mostly responsible for approving or rejecting bailouts. However, the Greek public has a different view, and this report "has detonated like a bomb" among Greek people who are already inclined to refer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a Nazi. Spiegel

Syria redeploys soldiers away from border with Israel

A deadly car bomb exploded in Damascus, Syria, on Monday, killing at 19 and injuring dozens more. The opposition rebel forces to the regime of president Bashar al-Assad have been attacking Damascus more frequently, as they've been increasingly successful in penetrating the regime's heavy security measures. In this case, rebel forces hid in buildings prior to the bomb attack, and fired at security forces when they arrived.

The bombing comes after the al-Assad regime has withdrawn large numbers of troops, up to 20,000, from Syria's Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, moving them to Damascus to provide greater security there. Israel fears that the vacuum along the border will be filled by jihadists who will use the area as a staging ground for attacks on Israel itself, and is building up its own forces on the border. Al-Jazeera and Guardian (London)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 9-Apr-13 World View -- Greece may demand 162 billion euros in WW II reparations from Germany thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (9-Apr-2013) Permanent Link
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