Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

G-20 TORONTO SUMMIT: LAST CHANCE TO SEE THE CRISIS FROM ANOTHER ANGLE

June 23, 2010
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Spanish Version              http://wp.me/pRlnf-1a


After a futile Busan meeting of economic ministers earlier this month, hopes of progress and consensus amongst world leaders at the G-20 Summit are scarce.  One inevitable question crops up – Are these government leaders governing their nations and the world for the citizens that elected them or for the financial markets that sway their fragile decisions?

Just as Obama was about to take over at the White House and Spain was first invited into the group, the G-20 met in Washington D.C. under a retreating George Bush. Two other summits, London https://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/hello-world/ & Pittsburgh https://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/the-pittsburgh-summit-the-world’s-future/ , have been held since then with practically the same futile results. Chances are that the Toronto summit will be more along the same line.

Whilst the USA has flirted with China in what was dubbed ‘G-2 formula’, the EU has been incapable of having a solid single stance towards international economic policies in the successive summits. Furthermore, the White House is cautious about withdrawing public expenditure hastily meanwhile recovery is hardly convincing. On the contrary, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has whipped other EU leaders with French President Sarkozy’s consent towards drastic public debt cutbacks in the 27-member club. This opposed views will make it difficult to come to a common ground in the truly indispensible actions G-20 leaders must take without further delay.

Canada’s Prime Minister and summit host, Stephen Harper, is precisely against the only common point between US and European leaders – the levy on bank operations. His posture will probably be used by other leaders from emerging economies to delay any actions that may endanger their respective growth rates. However, this very growth may well be the cause of economic overheating in Brazil, China and India that could put any recovery in serious trouble. Harper, who boasts of Canada´s economy y banking solvency seems to forget that he heads a nations that has steadily lost relevance in worlds affairs and whose banks are too conservative to be a reference as institutions for the New Millennium.

Moreover, China may have apparently made a concession to the USA with regards the Yuan but it would prove naive to consider such tactical move as a definite trend towards Chinese permanent cooperation in all economic and political international issues. On the contrary, this move may well be countered by a rather steadfast stand against any of the US–EU proposal at the Toronto summit.

In a similar manner, Brazil’s outgoing President, Lula Da Silva, in an effort to impress Brazilian electors and assure his proposed successor’s victory will probably play a hard-line strategy against US proposals.

I feel that world leaders continue being incapable to think big https://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/world-leaders-uncapable-to-think-big/ nor are they creative enough to view the crisis issue from another angle. It is evident that the G-20 meet must start off by recognising the main cause of this sneaky situation. No solutions will ever be effective if free-trade and globalisation isn’t governed by global financial & investment regulations agreed by world leaders and implemented under strict authorized international supervisors. The care-free ways of liberal monetary flows has been unleashed for three decades to produce the existing crisis that may well pervade another decade or so.

Is any world leader brave enough to put the warning bell leash on the market’s unscrupulous misdoings?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona

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WHEN WILL EUROPE’S DEBT FOR D-DAY BE FULLY PAID?

June 6, 2009
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Normandy-Colleville

It is today 65 years since that historical event of the Normandy invasion by Allied combined strategic forces in a first direct action to defeat the Nazi army deployed all over the European mainland.

In numerous occasions, other U.S. Presidents have crossed the Atlantic to commemorate such significant anniversary and honour their dead, American soldiers who lost their lives in a war waged against Hitler’s anti-Jewish oppression and lust to rule the destiny of Europe. Time and time again, European leaders have played host to ceremonies at French cemeteries when thousands of soldiers – Americans, Canadians and Europeans – share humble graves with a simple marker, either a cross or a Star of David surrounded by grass and poppies. Although a historic moment, war went on for over a full year and thousands of civilians has to lose their lives in bombings and raids all over Nazi-occupied Europe and in the bastions in Hitler’s demoralized Deutschland.  

I was born scarcely a year later yet in another warfront thousands of miles away, when likewise more thousands of soldiers lost their lives in the retaking of a former American protectorate, The Philippines, invaded by Japan, an Axis ally of Hitler’s Germany. And when still unaware of what went on about me, the mighty United States of America dropped on the defeated Japanese Empire to psychologically destroy an already humiliated nation.

As a European, I have often asked myself how far much gratitude be demonstrated to the acclaimed liberators of Europe and the rest of the world. Not denying the values of those young Allied soldiers that gave their lives in the name of freedom, one cannot deny that having defeated the evils of Nazism, the United States and Great Britain had to accept an ally which was just as dangerous – Josef Stalin. In fact, Churchill always mistrusted the alliance with the Soviet leader, who had in 1939 has likewise signed an alliance with Hitler.

D-Day 2009

When President Obama was delivering his speech at Caen, I remembered that from the smouldering wreck of II World War rose new hopes for a better world; but also began the making up of an economic confrontation between a modified capitalism in the wake of Roosevelt’s New Deal and a Soviet counter-model to the image of a socialist-communist interventionist state.

Today, the U.S. Administration has again had to turn about the laxly regulated liberal capitalist model of the ‘80s to apply state intervention, in a clear sign of capitalism’s new excesses. Hopefully, no world war will be necessary to straighten out socio-economic politics in a globalised planet. Europe has paid a high price for Hitler’s ambitions and must pay no more. All commemorations must rest on the respect for our dead but we should stop it from being an annual revival of a debt I feel has been fully paid up.

 

Madrid, June 6, 2009


LABOUR DAY THE WORLD OVER EXCEPT IN NORTH AMERICA

May 1, 2009
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Since  1894, May 1st. has served as commemoration  to mark workers’ gaining social rights all over the world. Curiously enough, said celebration is held in practically all nations except in the United States of America & Canada, with their own holiday set on the first Monday of September.

 

True to say that labour rights are far from reaching an equilibrium point applicable to any and all workers alike. Each state and government progresses at varying speeds of social achievements and protection for workers in the multiple entrepreneur activities at local, national & international fronts. Far from being eradicated, child labour and women’s discrimination still are practices in vigour in a great number of underdeveloped and developing countries in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Furthermore, the conquests of the Eight-hour A Day Movement that motivated the setting up of the popular May Day (Labour Day) holiday in Britain in the late 18th. Century has not erased completely long working shifts of more than 10 hours per day in developed countries, with the U.S.A. and Canada at the top.

 

Globalisation has further deepened workers’ lack of protection towards a dignified working post and even their health & welfare put in danger. The concept of free-market competitiveness has only set its aim at maximum economic profit with little concern for the means of attaining same. In consequence, it is the weaker members of the international community that bear the load of excessive working hours for minimum retributions.

 

At such times of crisis where even qualified workers are laid off  from traditionally well-paid secure jobs such as those in High-Tech industries, one must consider what is to become of this globalised work environ full of mediocre potential labour competing in unequal terms in countries with increasing unemployment. Going even a step further down, we should attempt to understand the desperate intents of Chicanos  crossing the Río Grande border into supposedly prosperous America or Africans defying the ocean in cayucos  to reach the Spanish and/or Italian coasts of the  European Promise Land.

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If this world in crisis is incapable of understanding that misery & hunger in underdeveloped regions of the world are nurtured with modern-day means of communication such as television & internet to keep them informed of the bounties in other hemispheres, then we have not learnt the basics of human nature and our capacity to fair out even in extreme danger. Perhaps, we may have been blinded by the privileges we have enjoyed thus far without considering that in the meantime others have suffered the backlash of our excesses in the wake of our own economic progress and status-seeking selfishness.

 

The time has come to ponder on the responsibility of each and every citizen of the world in creating a collective conscience towards a true-hearted movement aimed at equal opportunities in attaining a dignified work post and optimum social welfare coverage.

 

This is the challenge for all of us in a world in crisis in this New Millennium.

 

 

 

Madrid, May 1st. 2009      


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