Monday, June 20, 2011

News from the EU

The first article is of such interest, because I can recall several years ago at a bible study when discussing Turkey, as an ultimate member of the Gog-MaGog alliance, a question was raised that went something like this (and it was a very reasonable question at the time), "Turkey has a conservative government and they are a likely candidate for the EU...How can they reverse course and enter into an alliance with Russia and Iran?"

My only answer at the time was the fact that we know that biblical prophecy is 100% accurate, and something would have to happen in the interim - to turn Turkey away from the EU and towards the Russian/Iranian axis. Indeed it has. Not only based on the article below, but what we have been seeing over the past 18-24 months, as their relationship with Russia and Iran has grown and their anti-israeli rhetoric has also grown dramatically:

'EU has lost its leverage on Turkey', ambassador says

Flush with post-election self-confidence, the Turkish administration has said it will no longer take EU recommendations into account in its internal reforms.

...there's no reason why Turkey should align its legislation toward narrow EU standards. To put it simply, the EU has lost its leverage on Turkey."

One EU concern is that Erdogan will increase presidential powers and run for president in 2014, taking Turkey in an authoritarian direction. But the EU would have little say if the scenario came to be.

Turkey accession talks effectively halted in late 2010 when the commission opted not to open the competition chapter amid opposition from several EU states.

The ambassador said the move left "a bitter taste in the mouth" and that Turkey has no confidence in EU intentions to revive the process

We even see references to their tight relationship with Iran:

In terms of Turkish foreign policy, Ankara is unmoved by Western concerns that it is too close to Iran. "It's easy if someone is sitting in Washington to pontificate about Iran as a threat. But Iran is our neighbour ... we have to talk to Iran and we have to trade with Iran," Kuneralp said.

And this:

The ambassador said Turkey, an Islamic country, is a "source of inspiration" to Muslims in the region

Pretty much what we expected all along - based solely upon biblical prophecy.

Turning to the EU's financial crisis emerging from the situation in Greece, we see this interesting tidbit from the IMF:

IMF tells EU: Stop 'unproductive debate' and integrate 'now'

The International Monetary Fund has bluntly warned the European Union it must put an end to its "unproductive debate" over debt restructuring and, in an unprecedented outside intervention in the construction of the European Union, told the bloc it must integrate faster and more deeply in order to stop a global disaster.

Using much of the same censorious language about the EU that the EU has used about Greece, the international lender told the bloc to act "now" and that its handling of the situation "needs attention".

While "courageous attempts" have been made by the eurozone to address the crisis, "failure to undertake decisive action could rapidly spread the tensions to the core of the euro area and result in large global spillovers," read a report of the Fund's review mission investigating the effectiveness of eurozone policies, published on Monday (20 June).

Saying Europe is at a "crossroads", the IMF's acting director, John Lipsky, in Luxembourg for a meeting with EU finance ministers, declared: "The euro area needs to strengthen economic governance and may need to be more intrusive in terms of national structures."

"more intrusive in terms of national structures"?

"must integrate faster and more deeply"?

Those are interesting thoughts coming from the IMF. he didn't stop there either.

...the IMF said that still "more economic and financial integration" and EU intervention in national economies is necessary.

The Fund's European director, Antonio Borges, even went so far as to compare the unification process unfavourably to that which happened in the United States over a century ago.

"We really believe that many of the current problems result from incomplete integration," he told reporters upon presentation of the report.

Specifically, the report mentioned that "without political union" and fiscal transfers, "stronger governance of the euro area is indispensable."

So, this may give us an indication of where the EU is headed. Rather than a break-up of the Eurozone, we are possibly seeing the early movement towards strengthening the EU, along with less national sovereignty - that certainly seems to be where the IMF is headed. That makes these comments very interesting and highly germane as far as the current "crisis" is concerned. It may also give us a window into what we can expect in the coming weeks or months as the EU faces their first real crisis. Very interesting indeed.

Also see:

Eurogroup chief: 'I understand Greek rebellion, but there is no choice'

The president of the group of EU states that use the euro currency announced on Monday (20 June) that yet another emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers will be needed before the latest, €12 billion tranche of Greek bail-out cash can be dispersed.

"I have decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the eurogroup on Sunday 3 July," Luxembourg Prime Minister and eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in the Grand Duchy during a meeting of EU finance ministers.

And this

EU to Greece: New austerity package or no cash

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