OK, the ink has not dried and it is too early to know if the agreements will be honored, a moment ago I web-searched for the latest activity in Donetsk and armed conflict is still being reported, perhaps the orders have not reached the military or rogue elements (contractors)…
Yet, these are significant departures from destructive policies. ~Ron
Greek Gambit Succeeds As Germany Said To Ease Bailout Terms
With tax receipts tumbling and ELA funding hitting its limit, the Greeks are up against it. On the other side, the Greek strength in the face of EU’s demands (and Eurogroup’s realization of the uncertainty this could lead to) has apparently led to the start of compromise. As Bloomberg reports,
- *GERMAN, GREEK OFFICIALS SIGNAL COMMON GROUND ON AID DEAL
- *GERMANY SAID NOT TO INSIST ALL PARTS OF CURRENT BAILOUT STAY
- *GREECE SAID TO BE OPEN TO SURPLUS, PRIVATIZATION DEBATE
As Merkel noted earlier, “Europe is always about finding a compromise,” and it appears they are getting closer – as long as a ‘program’ continues. Bundesbank’s Weidmann has noted that Grexit would not solve either side’s longer-term problems.
Greece and Germany are pursuing a deal on the conditions required to continue the Greek bailout as each side signals a willingness to compromise, according to government officials taking part in the talks.
Germany won’t insist that all elements of Greece’s current aid program continue, said two officials in Berlin. As long as the program is prolonged, they said, Germany would be open to talking about the size of Greece’s budget surplus requirement and conditions to sell off government assets.
For its part, Greece is prepared to commit to a primary budget surplus, as long as it’s lower than the current 4 percent of gross domestic product, according to Greek government officials. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s coalition also might be willing to compromise on privatizations, one of the officials said.
All the officials asked not to be named because the deliberations are private and ongoing.
* * *
“You make compromises when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Germany is ready for that, but you also have to say that Europe’s credibility depends on us sticking to the rules and that we deal with each other in a reliable way.”
So to summarize: Greece fails on its ‘promise’ to uphold one-third of its program’s requirements but because it upheld two-thirds, Germany insists that shows commitment and supports Merkele’s earlier comments that “Europe’s credibility depends on us sticking to the rules.”
Please read the related: The Greek Issue Just Got Personal
The Terms Of The Ukraine Cease-Fire: Presenting “East Ukraine”
The Terms of Ukraine’s Cease-Fire
Following marathon talks in Minsk that lasted more than 17 hours, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement that appears to align with the Kremlin’s demands. The document calls for a cease-fire to begin Feb. 15, the withdrawal of weapons and the enactment of constitutional reforms in Ukraine. Though Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has denied that the agreement includes provisions for the creation of autonomous regions or the federalization of Ukraine, the document on the whole does fulfill several of the Kremlin’s long-standing demands with regards to the status of Donbas.
The new cease-fire agreement is based largely on the original one that went into effect Sept. 5. It focuses on the withdrawal of heavy artillery systems, which have been prominent throughout the conflict, within 14 days of the cease-fire’s implementation. The new cease-fire requires these artillery systems to be withdrawn far beyond their maximum effective ranges, a move that will create a buffer to prevent escalation and heavy artillery fire on the demarcation line. Missing from the agreement, however, is a decision on the fate of the still heavily contested Ukrainian positions in Debaltseve. Because both sides will have to withdraw their artillery systems, the result will be a very deep area without artillery cover in the center of the demarcation line.
The agreement’s most important impact on the military balance is its requirement to withdraw foreign forces and mercenaries from Ukraine. Separatists have depended heavily on the combat power of the Russian military and Russian volunteer forces. Without these, the separatists would have been incapable of repelling the Ukrainian offensive, and in the future would be rendered much weaker than their Ukrainian counterparts.
The signing of the new Minsk agreement, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct participation in the negotiations, points to the Kremlin’s willingness to at least partially de-escalate the conflict at this time. The agreement includes some vague measures and conditions that all sides may ultimately chose not to implement. Several key points of contention remain unaddressed, and there are still many opportunities for the agreement to break down if they are not resolved. Therefore, political will, rather than the actual terms of the agreement, will determine whether a significant de-escalation is to take place.
Addendum: To Add Joseph Farrell’s Video Below
Published on Feb 12, 2015
Farrell: Did the U.S. just blink?
The answer would appear to be yes.
But the question is why?
Did that PRAVDA article about 9/11 have something to do with it?
Feb 5, 2015 … Pope Francis will make history this fall, becoming the first pope to address a joint session of Congress, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said