World News Brief, Friday July 10

Greece extends bank closures; Chinese stock market rises after 10 days of falling prices; US and Japanese officials meet ahead of TPP meeting; Syrian refugees top four million; Nigerian troops arrest bombing 'mastermind' responsible for 69 deaths; and more


Greece Extends Bank Closures

Greek authorities extended (Deutsche Welle) bank closures and a sixty-euro limit on cash withdrawals through Monday as Athens faces a midnight deadline to put forward a plan for reforms in exchange for a bailout. IMF chief Christine Lagarde and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that Greece will need debt restructuring (FT), in what is seen as a move to increase pressure on European leaders to avoid Greece's possible departure from the eurozone. Eurozone leaders will meet to discuss the Greek debt crisis in Brussels on Sunday.


"Sunday is not a final deadline. There are creative ways to find bridge financing (including addressing a large July 20 payment due to the ECB) so that even without a deal, it will still be possible to pull Greece back from the brink in coming weeks. The primary impediment to a deal at this stage is policy, not financing," writes CFR's Robert Kahn in a blog post.

"Saving Greece was always going to be difficult, given its previous fiscal excesses and weak economy. But last year, it seemed that success was within reach—until the clash of narratives derailed the progress the two sides had made. This highlights a larger problem: the European Union lacks a unifying narrative strong enough to prevent the emergence of conflicting—and highly destructive—narratives," writes Daniel Gros in Project Syndicate.

"Greece is sui generis and, by and large, the author of its own predicament. Yet it remains a vital piece in the geopolitical stability of the continent. And whatever the central bankers and finance ministers say, a euro without Greece would be a much weakened enterprise — closer to a fixed exchange rate regime than a monetary union. Of course, holding on to Greece would be costly. Losing it would be seriously expensive," writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times.


New Intervention Triggers Uptick in Chinese Stocks

In a bid to shore up China's stock market, authorities issued (WSJ) new measures on Wednesday, including a six-month ban on selling for large shareholders. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 5.8 percent after sustaining losses over the past ten trading days.

JAPAN: U.S. and Japanese officials met (Kyodo) on Thursday to discuss outstanding bilateral issues ahead of a ministerial meeting  with the twelve participating nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement slated for later this month.

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick comments on what the TPP will mean for Southeast Asia in this blog post.


Syrian refugees top four million

Nigerians arrest bombing 'mastermind' responsible for 69 deaths

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