News Archive – July 2015

EU-flagEurasec FlagEUROPEAN UNION OR EURASIAN UNION?
eurasian-european_unionsGeorgia Dials Down Conflict With Russia
Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2015 – Last year, over the Kremlin’s objections, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU, which promises closer economic integration with the bloc. Moscow has been promoting a regional alternative called the Eurasian Economic Union, and has already signed up several post-Soviet states, including Georgia’s neighbor Armenia, plus Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan…. But despite the economic deal, EU leaders didn’t give Georgia much-coveted visa-free travel at a summit in late May, promising to revisit the issue later. Russia has indicated it is prepared to abolish the visa requirement for Georgians imposed earlier as punishment for the country’s pro-Western course. Alongside carrots to encourage pro-Russian overtures, Moscow has also used sticks to punish pro-Western drift.
Georgia diplomat: No plans to join new EU sanctions against Russia – UPI, July 31, 2015 – Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s envoy to Russia, told reporters Thursday that his country has no plans to join new sanctions leveled at Russia by the European Union.

AU-FlagAFRICAN UNION:
Kenya and Ethiopia are just cogs in Obama’s grand Africa plan
AU - one-people-one-africa-uniteEthiopian Herald, July 28, 2015 – The Power Africa Plan, unveiled by Obama in South Africa in 2013 , has the most potential to change the one issue Africa has clearly identified as holding it back–infrastructure….with the goal of lighting up homes for 600 million Africans, or 70% of the population. It has so far attracted a significant $20 billion in pledges, three quarters of it from private investors, while its clean energy component plays to the continent’s sustainability goals.
While it may be slowed down by domestic politics, such as the crippling of the US’s Export-Import Bank, and competition from other players such as China and the EU, there is no doubt its premise has whetted appetites of African governments. A latent strength of Obama’s initiatives is that they align with African blueprints towards growth, as outlined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, further giving them some much-needed local buy-in.
Excerpts from The African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’:
The political unity of Africa will be the culmination of the integration process, including the free movement of people, the establishment of continental institutions, and full economic integration. By 2030, there shall be consensus on the form of the continental government and institutions….
By 2063, Africa will have the capacity to secure peace and protect its citizens and interests, through a common defense, foreign and security policy….
We hereby adopt Agenda 2063, as a collective vision and roadmap for the next fifty years and therefore commit to speed-up actions in the following areas:
…. h. Fast-track the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017, a programme to double intra-Africa trade by 2022, strengthen Africa’s common
voice and policy space in global trade negotiations and establish the financial institutions within agreed upon timeframes: African Investment Bank and Pan African Stock Exchange (2016), the African Monetary Fund (2018), and the African Central Bank (2028/34)
…. l. Introduce an African Passport, issued by Member states, capitalising on the global migration towards e-passports, and with the abolishment of visa requirements for all African citizens in all African countries by 2018.

Obama, Museveni in Addis to Talk South Sudan Peace
AllAfrica, July 28, 2015 – US president Barack Obama is set to address African leaders in Addis Ababa tomorrow on the last day of his fourth African visit. Yesterday evening, the US leader flew from Kenya to Ethiopia where he will visit the African Union, the 54-member continental bloc…. He will then hold a bilateral meeting with the AU commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and commissioners…. Ms Zuma will take the opportunity to present Africa’s priority areas as articulated in the Agenda 2063 framework document and the 10-year implementation plan aimed at achieving Africa’s vision for prosperity, integration and peace.
Ethiopia stature grows with Obama’s visit, but criticism remains of lack of political space
U.S. News, July 26, 2015 – Grave concerns remain, however, over political freedoms in this nation of more than 90 million — Africa’s second largest — and opposition figures fear that the visit, coming on the heels of an improbable 100 percent ruling party win in elections, will give international legitimacy to a repressive government. With its history of pan-African activism, Ethiopia is also the home of the African Union and on Tuesday Obama will be addressing the whole continent from the organization’s new headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Obama to visit African Union HQ in Addis Ababa
Global Post | Xhinhua (China), July 24, 2015 – U.S. President Barack Obama will visit the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, where he will meet with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and other AU officials…. During the visit, the AU Commission Chairperson will take the opportunity to present Africa’s priority areas as articulated in the Agenda 2063 framework document and the 10-year implementation plan, aimed at achieving Africa’s vision for prosperity, integration and peace, according to the statement…. The AU Commission will also be engaging and discussing with a delegation of Senators and Congressmen travelling with the U.S. President, said the statement.
From the archives – see also:
Why Are Jeff Miller, Others in Congress, Senate Promoting the Political Federation of East Africa?
Illegal Immigration, ‘Free Trade’ and the ‘Free Flow of People’

ECOWAS-MAPAFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
Non-Enforcement of Judgments of the ECOWAS Court Of Justice by Member States
Eagle Reporters (Nigeria), July 25, 2015- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice (“ECCJ” or “the Court”) was established as a sub-regional international court in 2001 …. By the combined provisions of Article 15(4) of the Revised Treaty … the judgments of the Court are made binding on the Member States, the Institutions of the Community, individuals and corporate bodies….
As a result of the growing non-compliance with the judgments of the ECCJ, it has become particularly important to enact a uniform and self-implementing legislation which will expressly vest the national courts of Member States with the jurisdiction to enforce judgments of the Court using the enforcement procedures prescribed in the legislation. Thus, the ECOWAS regional body could borrow a leaf from thepractice in some European Union (EU) Member States where statutes provide for uniform enforcement procedures of the judgments of their regional courts….
In light of the foregoing, there is an urgent need for the establishment of more effective enforcement mechanisms for the judgments of the Court. Such methods may include:
AU - African Union & Sub-Regions(a) Enacting a Uniform Legislation for Enforcement of the Judgments of the Court….
(b) Collaboration with Other Regional and International Organizations: In line with the provisions of Articles 79 and 83 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty, the Community should enter into co-operation agreements with other regional and international organizations for the purpose of compelling Member States to enforce judgments entered against them. Thus, for example, there should be a mechanism by which the African Union, the United Nations and other international bodieswill be notifiedof the non-enforcement of judgments given against Member States with requests for these bodies to refuse, suspend, withdraw and/or cancel financial assistance, legal aid,and other assistance available to the recalcitrant Member States.
(c) Transmission of the Court’s Judgments to the Political Organs of ECOWAS….
(d) Establishment of Department for Execution of Judgments….
(e) Execution in other Member States: Member States should permit the enforcement of judgments of the Court against the assets of other Member States held in their territory, in cases where a Member State fails to comply with judgments entered against it.
EAC - MAPAFRICAN UNION – EAC: What Obama Should Say in Africa – Bloomberg View, July 24, 2015 – To attract foreign investment and speed up industrialization, the White House should encourage African countries to form regional pacts. For instance, the East African Community — an intergovernmental organization representing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda — should move toward a true free-trade zone to make border crossings easier and financial transactions less costly.

Eurasec FlagEURASIAN UNION & IRAN:
Persia’s approaching gold rush
Eurasian Union, IranRT (Russia), July 22, 2015 – It is the certified scientific power in Southwest Asia; the 17th largest producer of scientific papers in the world – ahead of Turkey and Israel. Not to mention Saudi Arabia, that global leader of, well, beheadings. As the sanctions vanish, Iran will be able to boost its already sprawling industrial and scientific infrastructure…. It’s right at the center of the Chinese-led New Silk Roads, and an ideal candidate to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)….

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION:

Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote
Reuters, July 22, 2015 – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras contained a rebellion in his left-wing Syriza party to win parliamentary approval on Thursday for a EU - european_union_mapsecond package of reforms required to start talks on a financial rescue deal. A first set of reforms that focused largely on tax hikes and budget discipline triggered a rebellion in Syriza last week and passed only thanks to votes from pro-EU opposition parties.
EU Orders France to Recover State Aid From EDF
European Commission says the French tax breaks were ‘incompatible’ with EU rules
Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2015 – European Union regulators ordered France to recover €1.37 billion ($1.5 billion) in state funds from Electricite de France SA after concluding the French electricity supplier had benefited from illegal tax breaks…. The Paris-based company said it would pay the French government as ordered by the EU, but would also lodge an appeal with the EU courts

Eurasec FlagEURASIAN UNION:
Syria wants to join Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union – prime minister
eurasian_economic_union (1)RT (Russia), July 21, 2015 – The Syrian Prime Minister Wael Halqi has said joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will allow Damascus easier economic and trade cooperation with friendly nations. Russia and Belarus are also discussing a new loan to Syria. “Negotiations with Russia on joining the Eurasian Union and customs-free zone are being held. We see this as a benefit and strengthening the relations with friendly states, which will facilitate economic and trade cooperation with them,” said Halqi in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday.
Containing and engaging Russia – Boston Globe, July 20, 2015 – Beyond this is a larger strategic vision of potential cooperation between the West and Russia. The European Union could open a dialogue with Moscow about economic and trade relations with the new Eurasian Union. An isolated Russia that blames the West for its troubles will only enhance the threat posed to Europe by a new Cold War.

AFRICAN UNION:
AU standby funding on SADC agenda
AU - African Union & Sub-RegionsIndependent Online (South Africa), July 20, 2015 – Southern African ministers were meeting in Pretoria to discuss how to finance the major African Union military exercise Amani Africa 2 which was due to be held in South Africa soon to prepare the continent to address security crises. The money for the exercise – which will be the first real test of the AU’s long-awaited African Standby Force (ASF) – has still not been found, according to diplomatic sources…. AU member states are growing ever more embarrassed by having to rely on foreign powers, especially France, to address some of these security crises militarily. The Amani Africa 2 exercise is one of the key items on the agenda of the ministerial meeting of the politics, defence and security organ of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)….
New African trade agreement will provide economic boost for continentCOMESA-SADC-EAC Tripartite
International Business Times, July 20, 2015 – The 19th-century British colonialist Cecil Rhodes’ dream of unifying Africa from “Cape to Cairo” was not so far-fetched after all. Tinged with a dash of déjà vu, this dream was fulfilled yesterday with the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) in Sharm el Sheikh when 26 African heads of state endorsed an economic integration plan for the continent on an unprecedented scale. The arrangement was described by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as creating a “borderless continent”. It assembled three regional economic communities into a single free trade area that establishes a framework for preferential tariffs to ease the movement of goods and people in the region.

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION:
Greece Debt Deal: Toward a More Perfect (and United) European Union?
EU - Schengen AreaThe National Interest, July 21, 2015 – While there is a hard core group in Germany that wanted to force Greece out of the euro, the fact is that Merkel and other EU leaders are de facto assuming the liabilities of the weaker nations. Surely Merkel and the other leaders of Europe knew that Greece could not possibly support the debt it has incurred over the past five years. Why else, a reasonable person might ask, did the EU allow the entry of Greece in the first place? Thus the latest deal suggests that the EU leadership is proceeding under the assumption that the EU will eventually be unified financially, even if such an evolution is politically impossible today…. But the basic structural problems in the EU will not be solved until all of the member states agree on a full political and fiscal union.
France’s Hollande Proposes Creation of Euro-Zone Government
Bloomberg, July 19, 2015 – “Circumstances are leading us to accelerate,” Hollande said in an opinion piece published by the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.” While the euro zone has a common currency, fiscal and economic policies remain mostly in the hands of each member state.

Eurasec Flag EURASIAN UNION:
Big Step Forward: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Attracts Iran, Turkey
ShanghaiSecurityOrganizationRussia and China have taken ‘concrete steps’ to unite the New Silk Road with the Eurasian Union.
Sputnik (Russia), July 16, 2015 – ….But if the ‘Silk Union,’ which is primarily an economic project, plays an economic part, then the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which was recently joined by India and Pakistan, is serving a geopolitical and strategic role…. The [SCO] now brings together almost as many nuclear powers as the UN Security Council, and the prospect of Iran’s membership will further strengthen this tendency…. The organization’s security goals, among which are the fight against terrorism and extremism and cooperation to act as sort of a counterweight to NATO, is quickly widening.

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION:
Greek Parliament approves bailout measures as SYRIZA fragments
EU - european_union_mapKathimerini (Greece – New York Times International), July 17, 2015 – The Greek parliament passed sweeping austerity measures demanded by lenders to open talks on a new multibillion-euro bailout package to keep Greece in the euro, but dozens of hardliners in the ruling SYRIZA party deserted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras… Tsipras said there was no alternative to the package, which he acknowledged would cause hardship, but he stood by the decision.
European Union tramples over British opposition to Greek rescue plan
Brussels will press ahead with plans to use a defucnt EU-wide bail-out fund that will put Britain on the hook for €690m of loans to Greece
The Telegraph (London, UK), Jul6 15, 2015 – The European Commission has ignored David Cameron’s objections to using British taxpayer money to keep Greece from going bankrupt over the summer. Brussels announced today that it would press ahead with plans to use a moribund EU-wide rescue fund – the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism – to provide a €7bn emergency loan to Greece.

NEW REGIONAL ORDER:
BRICS Development Bank an Instrument for Globalization
World Regions wGray MapForeign Policy Journal, July 14, 2015 – The concept of BRIC was floated within Goldman Sachs in 2001 by Jim O’Neil, in his Global Economics Paper, “Building Better Global Economic BRICs”.[3] He called it the “BRICs dream,” in a 2003 paper, “Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050.” So far from the BRICS development bank being in so-called “rivalry” with the International Monetary Fund, the BRICS call for the reform of the IMF and the world economic system originates within the international financial system…. During the 1970s the same push for reform of the IMF and the world financial system, with the “third world” as the focus, was being sold as a supposed initiative from the “developing economies.” It was called the “new international economic order,” and behind the façade of helping the “third world,” the actual purpose was to have the developed economies assume the burden of debt accrued by the “third world” to the international financiers….
The developing economies, which have historically been suspicious of “Western” capital, are—it seems—going to be opened up through the back door. It will be the BRICS bank rather than the IMF imposing the same types of economies…. BRICS could serve as the means of penetrating the “developing economies” of states that have suspicion and resentment towards the IMF…. In this case, it is being done behind the façade of assisting the “developing economies” to achieve parity. Who better to lead this than China, the totalitarian capitalist state par excellence, still posing as the champion of the “third world” against the “West.”
Every BRICS member, (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) except China, is a dominant anchor nation in a regional bloc, within the structure of the Western financial system. Recent reports indicate China’s possible entry into either SAARC (South Asia) or Putin’s Eurasian Union.

GCC flagGCC-mapGCC:
After Kuwait, GCC vs Daesh: 
The long war
One, uniform law across the GCC, enforced by a single supranational authority will make it significantly harder for Daesh, Al Qaida and other groups to use loopholes to their advantage
Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), July 14, 2015 – In attacking Kuwait the way it did, Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is forcing the hand of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — they must fashion a collective response truly reflective of the threat they face…. A common cause of frustration for foreign intelligence organisations has been the different laws governing terror financing across the bloc. A “single address” would go a long way in terms of addressing that problem. If empowered by a GCC summit, this organisation would have a legal enforcement mechanism…. Additionally, by establishing a “single address”, foreign partners would be cooperating with the GCC as a whole, and not separate countries with which political disagreements may exist.

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION:
The EU Should Act Like an Empire
EU 'Tower of Babel' 330 x 467The Daily Beast, July 14, 2015 – The unpalatable truth is that the EU needs to behave like an empire. All its members will benefit if it secures the periphery. All will lose if it doesn’t. The largely overlooked consequence of the Greek crisis is that Europe has already taken some important steps towards greater integration. The European Parliament debate in which Alexis Tsipras

Guy Verhofstadt

Guy Verhofstadt

faced a fiery critique from Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian liberal, was a remarkable first: that often-despised body played its real role as a sounding-board for trans-European public opinion. In short, the same combination of political will and institutional muscle which the EU needs to exert in Greece is what is also needed in Ukraine. For that matter, it could also make the EU into a lethal adversary for the Putin regime in Moscow.
Tormenting Greece is about sending a message that we are now in a new EU
– Irish Times, July 14, 2015 – What’s the difference between the Mafia and the current European leadership? The Mafia makes you an offer you can’t refuse. The leaders of the European Union offer you a deal you can neither refuse nor accept without destroying yourself. The European Union as we have known it ended over the weekend. That EU project was all about the gradual convergence of equal nations into an “ever closer union”. That’s finished now…. A new idea has been shoved into the foundations of the EU – the idea that a member state can and will be brought to heel.
The Euro Shows the Way for the EU – Carnegie Europe, July 14, 2015 – The euro was originally designed to make European integration irreversible by forcing Europe’s nations to integrate politically as a result of deep economic integration. The goal was to create peace in a traditionally violent continent through integration so deep and comprehensive that the old patterns of European conflict would become obsolete. And the euro created exactly that kind of dynamic. Monetary union pressed ahead with economic integration so dramatically that much deeper political cooperation became necessary to keep the powers at bay that the euro unleashed. The financial crisis after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers demonstrated the impossibility of integrating economically without also integrating politically.
Greece Agrees Its Third European Bailout After Marathon Talks
The terms of the deal are the harshest Greece has ever faced from its creditors
Time, July 13, 2015 – Indeed, the terms of the bailout that European leaders agreed over the weekend were far harsher than the ones Greek voters had rejected only a week earlier. To regain the trust of its creditors, Greece will have to scrape together about $50 billion in state assets, which will effectively be used as collateral on the latest package of emergency loans to Greek banks and the Greek government. None of Greece’s previous bailouts have included such draconian terms.

Eurasec FlagEurasia - Map-Europe-China-Track2EURASIAN UNION:
China, Eurasian Economic Union to launch EPA talks: official
WantChinaTies, July 12, 2015 – China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will start negotiations on an economic partnership agreement (EPA) as soon as possible, Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng said here Friday…. During the EPA talks, the two sides will align their rules, mechanisms and cooperation areas, said the minister, adding that they will give full play to the roles of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a link and a platform.
Seizing the Eurasian moment – The Star (Malaysia), July 12, 2015 – The way Washington has managed to alienate China and Russia at the same time has helped develop their partnership…. Russia and China were thus prodded by the US to work more closely together…. Russia places a special priority on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which also covers Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, with Russia dominant. China has prioritised its Silk Road Economic Belt initiatives linking Asia with Europe. Working together, the EAEU and the Silk Road projects would be promoted jointly by the SCO.

EU-flagEU - european_union_mapEUROPEAN UNION:
Greece closer to desperately needed deal with creditors
MyWay | Associated Press, July 12, 2015 – The broad outline of a deal appeared to consist of a long series commitments from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to push through much of a drastic austerity program within days…. Despite the stinging conditions on pension, market and privatization reforms, Tsipras insisted his government was ready to clinch a deal. “We owe that to the peoples of Europe who want Europe united and not divided,” he said. “We can reach an agreement tonight if all parties want it.”
Busting the Myth of Russian Aid to Greece – Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2015 – Religious affinity through the Orthodox Church, and recent high-profile visits by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Moscow and St. Petersburg, have cultivated among many Greeks, from voters to some in government, the dream that their Russian brothers will come to the rescue should relations with Europe fall apart. But their dream may stay just that, analysts say, as Russian officials back away from any idea of a Kremlin aid package, and Greece’s problems grow so large that Moscow would face difficulty mounting a rescue even if it wanted to …. making it clear that Athens’s diplomatic flirtation with Moscow was likelier done for leverage against its eurozone creditors, rather than because it might lead to an alternative pact.
In Greece, defiance dissipates into capitulation – Washington Post, July 10, 2015 – But by Friday, the euphoria had faded as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s vows to stand up to ­Europe caved to the harsh realization that the birthplace of democracy stood just 48 hours away from financial ruin — and Greeks were poised to swallow what amounted to the same dose of austerity they had refused in a vote Sunday…. Greece’s troika of lenders — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — discussed Greece’s request for a bailout in a conference call Friday afternoon.

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Meet Pakistani Leader Nawaz Sharif
Time, July 9, 2015 – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will engage in bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Friday, at the sidelines of the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Ufa, Russia.
PM Modi, Sharif will hold bilateral talks in Russia tomorrow – Hindustan Times, July 9, 2015 – The two leaders had a brief chat on the sidelines of the Saarc summit in Kathmandu last November and have spoken on the phone several times. But the ice-breaker was Modi’s recent telephone call to Sharif to greet him on Ramzan followed by a decision to release fishermen in each other’s jails.

EU-flagEU - european_union_mapEUROPEAN UNION:
Greek government finalizes details on last-ditch request for bailout
Washington Post, July 9, 2015 – European leaders have expressed skepticism that Athens is truly prepared to make tough sacrifices to win a new deal less than a week after Greek voters resoundingly rejected a previous cash-for-cuts offer by its euro-zone partners…. But several Greek politicians acknowledged that the onerous spending cuts that have plunged this Mediterranean nation into a deep depression would be inevitable in any bailout agreement…. European Union leaders will make a final decision Sunday on whether to bail the country out or let it descend into bankruptcy — and possibly on a path to be pitched from the euro common currency.

PIF FlagPIFPACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM:
Framework for Pacific Regionalism
Scoop (New Zealand), July 9, 2015 – In response to a public call for ideas and proposals for action at the regional level through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat received a total of 68 submissions. Proposals have been received from civil society organisations, intergovernmental bodies, regional agencies, academic institutions, Member Governments, individuals, private sector organisations, technical agencies, and media organisations…. The initiatives cover a wide range of thematic areas including: security and human rights, oceans, economic-related issues, climate change, tourism, education, governance, labor mobility, health, cross-cutting issues, sustainable development goals, ICT, environmental issues, regional architecture, and culture. The submissions can be viewed at: http://www.forumsec.org/pages.cfm/strategic-partnerships-coordination/framework-for-pacific-regionalism/regional-initiative-submission.html.

ASEAN FlagASEAN map_1ASEAN:
Prospects for Southeast Asian security cooperation
AsiaOne, July 9, 2015 – Times have changed, and so has ASEAN, which is to become an economic community in 2015. Integration will require parts of state sovereignty to be surrendered. As such, other fields of co-operation will be more open to ASEAN, albeit gradually.
US, Vietnam Hold Historic Talks in Washington
NDTV (India), July 8, 2015 – With an eye on increasing Chinese influence in the region, US President Barack Obama held historic talks with the Vietnamese Communist Party’s leader at the White House, marking a significant transition of former enemies into “comprehensive partners”…. According to the joint statement, the US and Vietnam are committed to enhancing cooperation in regional fora, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, Lower Mekong Initiative, and the East Asia Summit, and recognize the importance of a united and strong ASEAN, ASEAN’s central role in the regional political and security architecture, and the United States-ASEAN Strategic Partnership.

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION:

‘Merkel has lost’ – how the Greece referendum vote split Europe
Greece’s rejection of a cash-for-austerity package in its referendum on Sunday has opened old rifts between European rivals
EU 'Tower of Babel' 330 x 467The Telegraph (London, UK), July 6, 2015 – Watching gleefully from the wings was the Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took the opportunity to stir the pot by ringing the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and offering to strengthen “Russian-Greek co-operation”…. It was Mr Tsipras who had initiated the call to Putin, to crank up the pressure ahead of crucial Eurozone meetings, but it nevertheless led to talk among some analysts of Greece joining the Eurasian Union, the Moscow-led trade bloc that includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.
Greece Referendum Day live: EU tells Greeks they can’t use euro after a ‘No’ as ATMs could be shut off tonight
Greece is split as voters face the choice of saying ‘Oxi’ (no) or ‘Nai’ (yes) to Europe’s bail-out conditions and Greece’s future in the euro
The Telegraph (London, UK), July 5, 2015 ….But yesterday former IMF bail-out chief Ashoka Mody also hit out at the IMF …. Here’s a snippet:
….But the problem with the IMF report is much more serious. Its claims to having learned lessons from the past years are as self-serving as its call on other creditors to provide the debt relief. The report insistently points at the Greek failings but fails to ask if the creditors misdiagnosed the Greek patient and continued to damage Greek economic recovery. Protected by the authority and respect that the IMF commands, it is easy to lay the blame on the Greeks whose rebuttals are treated as more hysterical outbursts of an (ultra) “radical” government.
This is a scenario reminiscent of the loan-shark banksters’ dereliction and implication in the U.S. mortgage crisis that resulted in the further erosion of Americans’ economic independence.
Paths six others have taken outside of EU – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 5, 2015 – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was in St. Petersburg this month, stressing historic and cultural ties with Russia and praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans for a Eurasian Union to rival the European one. Putin is sure to be sympathetic…. This is the scenario that has Washington worried — that a strategically located NATO ally could be sucked Belarus-like into Russia’s sphere of influence.

EU-flagEUROPEAN UNION and a ‘UNITED STATES OF EUROPE’ :
Farage on Friday: The EU does NOT care about what is best for Greece
Daily Express (London, UK), July 3, 2015 – By Nigel Farage, MEP – As I have said time and again, year after year, the Euro project wasn’t about economics. It wasn’t about a more prosperous future for European citizens, but about a political project. By tying countries together with the single currency, political integration was achievable at a more rapid rate by those who wanted to see a United States of Europe.
Nigel Farage, a former commodity broker, is a Member of the European Parliament as the leader of Britain’s UK Independence Party (UKIP), the leading voice in calling for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

UNASUR - FLAG - 119 x 73UNASUR - Clenched FistUNASUR:
Parlasur advances in shaping the South American Parliament
El Universal (Venezuela), July 3, 2015 (Google Translate) – Board members of the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur) and the secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, agreed during a meeting in Quito on the need to unify efforts to implement Parliament South American…. Carmona said that the contribution of national parliaments to the process of regional integration should lead to the gradual strengthening of Parliament Unasur.

EU-flagEurasec FlagEUROPEAN UNION or EURASIAN UNION?
Russia waits in wings as Greek eurasian-european_unions
debt crisis deepens

Yahoo News UK | Reuters, July 3, 2015 – Some Russian experts want Greece to give up on its Western partners, join a Russia-led customs union and sign up for the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, intended to challenge the economic power of the EU, China and the United States. “It has one option; leave NATO and then, for company, join us,” said Mikhail Delyagin, a prominent economist.

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