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Top Press Commentary

A careful selection and summary of editorials, commentaries, and analyses from the world’s leading newspapers and magazines to help you stay on top of the latest debates and developments in the transatlantic agenda. See list of monitoring sources.
Readers can also see how the perspectives and priorities diverge in different regions.

Russia's Role in Ending Syrian Bloodshed

Volker Perthes, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik | June 20, 2012

Rescuing Syria will require a “Yemen-style” solution by granting impunity to Assad, his family and top aides, which quite possibly will end the bloodshed in the country. ++ It must be made clear to Assad that he cannot win militarily, and that there is an alternative to fighting to the end - a safe way out. ++ Moscow must play a pivotal role in this process. ++ Damascus is aware that the music will stop if Russia puts its foot down, while it is also aware that Russia can offer safe residence in, perhaps, Sochi.

Making the G-20 Count

Julia Gillard and Lee Myung-bak, AU PM & ROK President | June 18, 2012

Four years after the beginning of the global crisis, the world economy is still fragile. ++ The G-20 meeting in Mexico is an opportunity to shift public perception, but resolute action is needed. ++ First, Europe needs to send a clear message that it is taking decisive actions to stabilize its banks and restore growth. ++ This would include fiscal union and a banking union. ++ Second, the G-20 must give the message that its members are focused on growth. ++ This means resisting protectionism and opening up trade and investment.

Don't Forget Burma

Steve Crawshaw, The Independent | June 15, 2012

While these are historic days for Burma, there is still much to be done. ++ Aung San Suu Kyi will finally give her delayed Nobel acceptance speech. ++ This shows what can be accomplished, but the real battle is just beginning. ++ Hundreds of political prisoners remain in jail. ++ Cruelties against the ethnic Kachin in the north have increased after the collapse of a 17-year ceasefire. ++ There is indeed no hint of accountability for past crimes. ++ As such, political pressure is still important to guarantee continued reform.

Berating Berlin is Detrimental to Europe

Gideon Rachman, The Financial Times | June 13, 2012

Spain is now viewed as part of a wider struggle to rescue Europe, with Germany portrayed as the villain. ++ Intellectuals are calling for Berlin to take measures that may lead to political radicalization. ++ From Berlin's view, it is unfair to underwrite banks of countries with taxpayers' money for social benefits that are better than their own. ++ This goes against what was promised to them: a single currency with a no-bailout clause. ++ Not only has Berlin taken the brunt of the burdens and risks, it is still getting a beating for not doing more.

Bejing's Confusion Over Arab Spring

Johan Lagerkvist, The Daily Star | June 11, 2012

China’s initial stance on the Arab Spring was grounded in Mao Zedong’s five principles of co-existence: advocate stability, support state sovereignty and favor a return to normalcy. ++ From opposing Libyan intervention to abstaining in its resolution and then returning to non-interference in Syria, China's stance on intrastate conflicts is wobbly. ++ Beijing’s behavior can be explained by its external resource dependency (whether intervention affects its economic influence), the country losing its reputation and if Chinese lives are at stake.

Making a True Friend in Turkey

David Ignatius, The Washington Post | June 8, 2012

President Obama has invested much time and effort to cultivate a friendship with the prime minister of Turkey and it's beginning to pay off. ++ Turkey’s preeminence in the region, although apparent today, was less so in 2009. ++ Obama impressed Ankara when he argued for Turkish membership in the EU, while Turkey installed a US missile defense radar system. ++ Despite a few minor hiccups, there has been mutual trust between both sides – Obama’s administration should appreciate its alliance, which is something of a trump card.

Non-Intervention is the Better Solution

Seumas Milne, The Guardian | June 6, 2012

Syria is sliding toward a deeper civil war and, perhaps, a war involving foreign forces. ++ The US has made it clear that it might opt for unilateral humanitarian intervention, along with other western states. ++ However, intervention in Syria will escalate violence, since the conflict is being fought in heavily populated areas. ++ The conflict might also spill over to Lebanon and Iraq, given Syria’s sectarian schisms. ++ What is needed instead is an internationally guaranteed negotiation settlement for Syrians to exercise their right to self-determination. 

Rescuing Spanish Banks

Mark Whitehouse & Paula Dwyer, Bloomberg | June 5, 2012

The EU must find a way to salvage its banks and should start with Spain. ++ Spain's banks are paralyzed amid losses incurred by real estate loans. ++ An injection of capital, 120 billion euros, is required. ++ The situation is only getting worse, as bank credit tightens, further increasing banks' potential losses. ++ Spain's response vis-à-vis the government-induced bank mergers has not resolved its needs. ++ Since Europe's bank have 186 billion euros in claims on Spanish banks, Europe must take action and create a bank recapitalization model.

Confronting Serious Threats from Cybercrime

Preet Bharara, US District Attorney (NY) | June 4, 2012

With much attention focused on avoiding plunging off a fiscal cliff in 2013, little attention has been given to the cybercliff that the US is moving toward. ++ National security and private industry are at risk. ++ Businesses are not doing enough to protect themselves, customers and shareholders. ++ Corporations must adopt a culture of disclosure and not fear exposing proprietary information when reporting a robbery. ++ Businesses need reassurance that law enforcement would adopt methods to protect such information.

Prepare for Eurozone Worst Case Scenario

Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group | June 1, 2012

The Eurozone could be approaching an emergency moment. ++ The markets are signaling anxieties: Eurozone sovereign debt is a risky investment and banks are under stress. ++ If Greece leaves the Eurozone, it is impossible to predict what might happen. ++ There are doubts about the ECB's ability to respond, seeing as massive injections of ECB liquidity may not be enough. ++ Governments have to guarantee bank deposits and probably other liabilities. ++ The seriousness of the problem means precautions must be taken now.


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