Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
The European Union has come under sharp criticism for having a fragmented approach to the financial crisis. It is exemplified by Ireland’s go-it-alone decision to guarantee all accounts and Germany’s surprise announcement after a meeting of leading members that it was taking unilateral action too.
Relief, then, that the 27 member states issued a statement on Monday that they would do what it takes to bolster citizens’ savings and build financial stability. Only problem was, they could not coordinate the announcement. First Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi released it, then Portugal. Only after a while did French President Nicholas Sarkozy weigh in. He does head the current EU presidency after all.
No wonder Washington called for more coordination.
While markets plunged in Russia and Turkey, the emerging markets of central Europe saw only muted reaction (some of their currencies are actually up on the year) largely because their EU status guarantees them access to easy money from the bloc.
The heir to one of Greece’s most distinguished political families, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, helped his conservative New Democracy party sweep to power in 2004 by convincing Greeks tired of decades of socialist graft that he would clean up Greek politics.
But public discontent with a new set of scandals and a slowing economy has hit the popularity of his government and party.
“Stop Russia,” says the first. The second is a quotation from British World War Two leader Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up.”
Tension is mounting around the Black Sea following Russia’s recognition of two Georgian regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as independent states.
Russia said its navy was monitoring ”the build-up of NATO forces in the Black Sea area” as the U.S. Navy shipped humanitarian supplies to Georgia on Wednesday.
The people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were celebrating on Tuesday after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recognising the independence of the two regions.
Western leaders responded with harsh words. U.S. President George W. Bush said it increased world tensions and Britain called for “the widest possible coalition against Russian aggression in Georgia,” where the two regions lie.
The extradition of former Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic on Wednesday to
face genocide charges in The Hague sends
a signal that the international community
means business in bringing fugitives to
Reinforcing the same message,
Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor
of the International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, called again
for the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime
commander Ratko Mladic. Like Karadzic,
Mladic is accused of genocide over the
43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995
massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at
Was the meeting in Geneva filled with “meandering” small talk? Or did the discussions between world powers and Iran begin work on an intricately woven carpet, that in time, would yield an “elegant and durable” outcome?
The two views, the first voiced by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the second by chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, say much about how the two foes approached Saturday’s meeting to resolve Iran’s long-running nuclear row with the West.
Imagine driving a car with 27 people on the back seat trying to steer. That’s the image Peter Mandelson painted of his role negotiating at the World Trade Organisation on behalf of all European Union countries – some of which are not entirely supportive of the way he is taking things.
Although the EU gave the trade commissioner a negotiating mandate for the crunch talks under way in Geneva, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, hardly Mandelson’s greatest fan, said he would not sign up to the deal on the table.
The capture of Radovan Karadzic
after 11 years on the run is likely
to improve Serbia’s chances of joining
the European Union and enhance the
new government’s credentials with EU
leaders. It also gives ordinary Serbs hope
of a better life, 17 years after the start of
the wars that preceded the break-up of
Karadzic wanted Serb areas of Bosnia to be linked to a greater
Serbia at a time when Slobodan Milosevic was fanning nationalism in
Serbia. When I first met him in November 1990, he was already
warning of civil war because of what he saw as a conspiracy against
Serbs in multi-ethnic Bosnia.
He still has some die-hard supporters in Serbia but
otherwise there is little sympathy for the man facing genocide
charges over the deaths of about 100,000 people in the siege of
Sarajevo and 8,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of
Srebrenica during the war.
The U.S.-brokered Dayton peace agreement ended the war
without a clear winner, dividing the country into two
ethnic-based halves — the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb
Republic, which have co-existed in an uneasy alliance since.
Karadzic’s arrest sets the stage for a major trial at the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,
created 15 years ago to prosecute war crimes committed during
the 1992-95 Bosnia war. Milosevic, his former ally, went on
trial at the ICTY on genocide charges but died in 2003 before
the end of the trial.
Avril McDonald, an associate lecturer at Groningen
University and a specialist on the tribunal’s proceedings, says
the Office of the Prosecutor will need to deliver a speedy and
efficient trial as the tribunal faces a deadline to wrap up
proceedings within the next couple of years. “The trial
doesn’t need to last more than a year,” McDonald said.
“They will try to get a conviction quickly.”
During Milosevic’s four-year trial, prosecutors called
nearly 300 witnesses and the annual budget at times ran to more
than $270 million. Milosevic chose to defend himself and used
the tribunal as a platform to advance his political views and
Critics fear Karadzic could do the same. Costs will be high.
But the arrest and trial offers many individuals a chance of
some closure on a bloody chapter in their personal lives. It
also represents an opportunity for Serbia to finally move on
after a violent period of recent history.
“They can now begin to put the past behind them and move
forward towards Europe,” said Paddy Ashdown, who for almost four
years was peace overseer in Bosnia.