World News Brief, Wednesday September 28

Greek and German prime ministers meet to discuss Greek's debt and implications for eurozone; Greek parliament expected to pass a new property tax to reduce budget deficit; Thai rebels target civilians; Australian government to allow women to serve in special forces and frontline combat units in next five years; Ahmadinejad visits Sudan, says like Iran it is victim of "powers of arrogance"; Russian finance minister resigns over Putin's planned return to presidency; and more

Top of the Agenda: Papandreou, Merkel Meet in Germany over Debt Crisis

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin to discuss Greece's burgeoning sovereign debt crisis and its implications for the rest of the eurozone. Papandreou made a bid to German lawmakers (DeutscheWelle) to pass an EU plan to expand the temporary eurozone bailout mechanism, the European Financial Stability Fund, and provide Greece with a second financial rescue package. The German parliament is set to vote on the measure on Thursday.

Later today, Merkel and Papandreou will discuss Greece's progress in meeting its austerity commitments. The Greek parliament is expected to pass a new property tax (FT) that could reduce the budget deficit by around €2 billion this year. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said he planned to have fresh austerity measures approved by parliament by the end of October.

Meanwhile, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund are expected to visit Athens this week to determine whether Greece has made adequate budget cuts to receive the next €8 billion tranche (BBC) of last year's bailout.


Merkel faces a difficult political test on Thursday, as parliament considers a bill to broaden the euro backstop fund, explains Der Spiegel.

The world has to recognize that the eurozone's problems are now too big for the eurozone alone to deal with, writes the University of Chicago's Raghuram Rajan in the Financial Times.

Last week's bleak assessments by the IMF and the Fed underlined a worsening European sovereign debt crisis and stagnant U.S. economic growth, putting renewed pressure on global financial markets and intensifying policy debate, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

The eurozone, once seen as a crowning achievement in the decades-long path of European integration, is buffeted by a sovereign debt crisis of nations whose membership in the currency union has been poorly policed, explains this CFR Backgrounder.

The International Monetary Fund, both criticized and lauded for its efforts to promote financial stability, finds itself again in the forefront of global economic crisis management. This CFR Backgrounder examines the Fund's history and role.



Thai Rebels Targeting Civilians

Muslim ethnic Malay (BBC) rebel fighters in southern Thailand have increasingly attacked civilians in their war against the Buddhist Thai state, said a report by Amnesty International.

AUSTRALIA: The government lifted a ban (Australian) on the roles that women can fulfill in the Australian armed forces, allowing them to serve in special forces and front-line combat units within five years.



Russian finance minister resigns

Ahmadinejad visits Sudan


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on