The scent of jasmine

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source: The Economist

The euro-zone rescue package does not mean common economic government. But the rules are clearly changing..

SINCE 1949, Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty has bound NATO members to a solemn vow: an armed attack on one of the alliance shall be treated as an attack against all. With international markets closed to Greece, and contagion threatening Portugal and Spain, European Union leaders agreed to a similar pledge after a pair of gruelling, late-night meetings on May 7th and 9th.

From now on, they in effect declared, markets betting against one member of the euro zone would meet a swift response from all 16. Emergency finance would be channelled to vulnerable governments from an array of fighting funds of up to €750 billion ($950 billion) variously loaned or guaranteed by EU countries, euro-zone members and the IMF (see article).

The European Union’s policymakers were forced to act with unaccustomed speed and unprecedented force. A promised huge rescue fund and central-bank help for indebted governments have eased the euro area’s crisis. The respite must be used wisely.. (see article)

Electoral defeat at home and the euro-zone rescue package have rocked Angela Merkel’s chancellorship. She now faces some tough decisions..

MAY 9th is not a day Angela Merkel will soon forget. First voters in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, booted the chancellor’s allies out of office, meting out her worst political drubbing in more than five years in office. That evening European finance ministers meeting in Brussels armed a financial bomb to deter speculators threatening the stability of the euro (see article). It seemed to work, but may also demolish Germans’ long-term trust in the single currency. Both events will transform Mrs Merkel’s chancellorship. (see article)

Some interesting charts and photos related to the topic:

Some new and some old political jokes….

 
 Caricature from this link
Stalin’s ghost appears to Putin in a dream, and Putin asks for his help running the country. Stalin says, "Round up and shoot all the democrats, and then paint the inside of the Kremlin blue." "Why blue?" Putin asks. "Ha!" says Stalin. "I knew you wouldn’t ask me about the first part."
 
What was the nationality of Adam and Eve?
-Russian of course. Why else would they think they’re in Paradise when they were homeless, naked, and just had one apple for both of them?

Is it true that under communism people could order food by phone?
-Yes, but the delivery was by TV.

Alexander the Great, Caesar and Napoleon observed the army parade in Red Square, as honorable visitors.
‘If I had Soviet tanks,’ Alexander said, ‘I would have been invincible!’
‘If I had Soviet planes,’ Caesar speaks, ‘I could have conquered the whole world!’
‘And if I had had the newspaper "The Truth",’ Napoleon said, ‘the world, even now, would not have found out about Waterloo!’ 

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