“We need a larger firewall.” So declared Christine Lagarde (left), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a speech in Berlin on January 23, in which she called on taxpayers of the world to chip in $1 trillion to the IMF to stave off a global crisis. “We need to act quickly or else we could easily slide into a 1930s moment,” Lagarde warned, in an obvious reference to the Great Depression.
Monday’s meeting of the European Union in Brussels resulted in agreement of 25 of the 27 member states to inflict upon themselves and their hapless and increasingly powerless citizenry the tools of international fiscal dictatorship.
Greece’s Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, rejected the German idea of imposing a eurozone “overseer” as part of the agreement to keep bailout funds flowing to his country.
A coordinated effort to increase the United Nations’ role in the fields of mental health and substance abuse is now underway, with experts, national governments, and global bureaucracies lobbying for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to get more involved. Critics of the schemes, however, blasted the notion of a global mental-health regime.
The Dutch Muslim Party, an Islamist political party in the Netherlands, has announced its intention to compete for seats in the nation’s parliament. Given the success of the party in several smaller political campaigns — securing offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other Dutch cities — it is possible that a party, which targets the approximately 6 percent of the nation’s population that identifies itself as Muslim, may find it has sufficient support to gain influence in the Dutch parliament.