The quartet — a group comprised of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations that focuses on Middle East peace — met in Moscow on March 19. At the meeting, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the proposals offered by the Israeli government to reduce diplomatic tensions with the United States were “useful and productive,” and that the Obama administration would continue talks with Israel in Jerusalem and Washington.
Germany, which has a higher rate of savings and a lower government debt than other nations in the European Union, is being criticized by officials in nations like Greece, Spain, and Portugal for a “deficit fetish.” The government debt and government spending in a number of European nations have been spiraling out of control. Unions and political pressure have driven up costs, and there is no strong political will in those nations to undertake steps to control debt or spending.
Major news sources reported on March 17 that five U.S. men who were arrested in Pakistan in December were charged this day with plotting terrorist attacks in Pakistan, charges that could lead to possible life sentences. The Los Angles Times reported that the men, ages 18 to 24, are U.S. citizens of Pakistani, African, and Egyptian descent who lived within blocks of each other in Alexandria, Virginia.
Let us be perfectly clear: The fiscal woes of Greece, one of the European Union’s weaker economies to begin with, are quite likely beyond even the abilities of the denizens of Mount Olympus to solve. Greece, a thoroughgoing socialist basket case for decades, is probably going to lead the rest of the soft economic underbelly of Europe — Spain, Portugal, and eventually Italy — into insolvency, a chain of events that may dissolve Europe’s decades-old experiment in economic unity.