11 September 2015   Leave a comment

The UN General Assembly  has voted on a resolution to protect countries who are experiencing pressures for repaying debts from unreasonable demands for reforms and budget cutbacks that harm the general citizenry.   All countries have the sovereign right to repudiate debt but the consequences for such defaults is usually that the country is frozen out of international credit markets for an extended period of time.  Short of that right, countries are generally hostage to laws that overwhelmingly favor the creditors to demand whatever reforms they deem appropriate.  The General Assembly resolution is designed to limit the scope of those demands.  Unfortunately, General Assembly resolutions are not binding (only Security Council resolutions are binding).  The vote, however, was overwhelmingly in favor and it does send a political message.

It now appears as if US President Obama will be able to begin lifting sanctions against Iran in order to implement the Iranian nuclear agreement.  Analysts will be pondering Obama’s success in getting the agreement passed over the strenuous objections of the Israeli government.  Jeffrey Goldberg argues in The Atlantic that it was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s strategy that ultimately led to the willingness of the Democrats in the US Senate to side with the President.

Economic hard times often lead to right-wing politics, and no where is that tendency more obvious than in Greece.  Greece has been in a sustained depression for the last five years and it has gone through three debt bail-outs which have only made the economic situation worse.  In this climate it is no surprise that a new political party, called Golden Dawn, has emerged.  The party is powerfully anti-immigrant and has adopted a swastika-like image as its political symbol.   As with most right-wing parties, it places a strong emphasis on the historical narrative of the nation–in this case, the battle of the Spartans against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.E.

A Flyer From One of the Most Historically Inaccurate Films Ever Made–the 300


Posted September 12, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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