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Names of the Week

  • November 8th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

Plusses and minuses:

gillard2.jpgJulia Gillard (picture, left) back in Canberra welcomed the passage of her government’s climate change legislation, having just got back from the G20, and seeing the soldiers in Afghanistan …

Other Prime Ministers not managing quite so well: George Papandreou, in Greece,  contemplates life out of office after agreeing to step down, and Silvio Berlusconi. In Italy, continues his rear-guard action against growing numbers who want him out …

Carlos the jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, terrorist and said one-time beneficiary of the late Muamar al-Gaddafi, faced court on fresh charges in Paris …

…  while much more innocuously, Casey Stoner, Australian motorbike rider, savoured a difficult victory in the Valencia MotoGT event, underlining his supremacy as outright champion for the series.

JULIA GILLARD’S WEEK

Legislation passed by the Senate in Canberra (8.11.11), with government and Green members providing the numbers, sets up a tax on carbon emissions starting at A$23 per tone.

The government says the idea of the tax, to apply for three years, is to provide a stable price for carbon as an industrial commodity, to be marketed after that, in an emissions trading scheme.

Leading partners are expected to be other traders in the European Union, and likely others, e.g. state of California.

That response to climate change has been bitterly contested by the Australian opposition, wanting a spread of conventional energy-savers, stimulus to use of renewables, and tax relief for industries cutting their carbon output.

The Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said the impost to be levied on 500 main polluters in the country would reduce emissions by over 160-million tonnes a year by 2020, equal to taking 45 million cars off the road.

“For the first time, Australia’s biggest polluters will have to pay for every tonne of carbon pollution they emit,” she said.

Ms Gillard the day before was in Afghanistan, to visit troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), calling at their base in Tarin Kowt, and extending condolences over recent losses, including three murdered by a rogue Afghan soldier last month, (see EUAustralia Online, “Afghan rogue attack …”, 31.10.11)..
She also saw the President, Hamid Karzai, and opened new premises for the Australian embassy, telling staff there, and people from other Australian-based agencies, that the opening symbolised a determination to stay on in the country, and that their work in very difficult conditions was being appreciated.

Earlier Ms Gillard was at the G20 meeting of world leaders in Cannes, where she announced the next summit of the group would be in Australia, in four years’ time. (See EUAustralia Online, “Greece gets its mention …”, 4.11.11).
DEBT STRESS IN EUROPE

berlusconi-two-2001-ec.jpgInterest charged on loans to the Italian government has gone up as more loans came to maturity, increasing the pressure on the centre-right Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi (picture), to further tighten budget austerity measures.

Uncertain of a majority in forthcoming parliamentary votes, this week, he continued ignoring a chorus of voices demanding his resignation from  government.

See VIDEO, a sobered Mr Berlusconi, toughing it out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNTA6l798J8&feature=player_embedded

papandreou-g3.jpgThe renewed risk-aversion on the part of Italy’s creditors is linked to the continued trouble in Greece, where the squeeze of government borrowing has brought down the former centre-left Prime Minister, George Papandreou (picture).

A dynastic leader, Mr Papandreou inherited stupendous public debt when winning office at elections two years ago.

Said a commentary in the New York Times: “Not even the Papandreou name could save him.”

As part of that plan, he resigned from office on Monday, making way for a new Prime Minister, and agreed to national elections this February.

European Union Finance Ministers are again discussing implementation n of the package of measures set up to confront  the crisis over debt, this week in Brussels.

JACKAL REVISITED

Partially forgotten in a French gaol, the notorious left-wing assassin of the 1970s, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, appeared in court on new charges, to do with four bomb attacks in France  some 30. years ago (two against trains).

He was caught by French agents in Sudan in 1994, and convicted of the 1975  murder of two security officers and one of their contacts in Paris.

Now 62, the man called “Carlos the Jackal”, originally from Venezuela, operated in various terrorist networks in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

CASEY STONER’S VICTORY

casey-stoner-facebook.jpgCasey Stoner (picture) grabbed a knife-edge victory on Sunday, coming from behind to win the Valencia MotoGP event.

He had already won the championship series with a victory back home, at Phillip Island last month. See EUAustralia Online, “Sports: Casey Stoner’s hat-tick”, 15.6.11.
His ten wins spelled out dominance, and prospects for the next season.

Bad weather at Valencia had put his “heart in his throat”, said Casey Stoner, and he had not known “how far to open up at each bend”.

The competitors made a lap of honour for the Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, killed at the Malaysian MotoGP on 23.10.11.

Reference

Al jazeera, Doha, Video: Italy’s Berlusconi fights for political survival Al Jazeera, 8.11.11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNTA6l798J8&feature=player_embedded, (8.11.11).

The Australian, Sydney, “Stoner had ‘heart in throat’ as he hit line”, 8.11.11. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/stoner-had-heart-in-throat-as-he-hit-line/story-e6frg7mf-1226188131856, (8.11.11).

BBC, London, “Italy’s Berlusconi faces key vote amid economy fears”, 8.11.11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15631265, (8.11.11).

Chris Johnson, “Carbon price passed”, Canberra Times, Canberra, 8.11.11. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/carbon-price-passed/2350827.aspx, (8.11.11).

Sally Sara, “Gillard offers diggers condolences on Afghan visit”, AM, ABC, Sydney,7.11.11. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3357448.htm, (8.11.11).

Landon Thomas, “A Greek Political Scion Undone by Economics”, NYT, NY, 7.11.11. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/world/europe/prime-minister-george-papandreou-of-greece-undone-by-economics.html, (8.11.11).

Kim Willsher, “France: Jackal trial”, Los Angeles Times, LA, 7.11.11. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-france-jackal-trial-20111108,0,2772050.story, (8.11.11).

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