Tag Archives: britain

West grounded on the issue of imposing No fly zone over Libya

No fly zone over Libya continues to make headlines as the battle for control between rebels and pro Muammar Gaddafi forces continue in Libya.

These three letters have been doing rounds creating speculations, making and breaking equations with fluctuating possible outcomes.

As Britain now joins the France and Lebanon in the UN to impose a no flying zone on Libya, it receives opposition from Russia, China and Germany who are against any military intervention in the region. To make things worse the United States of America haven’t made their stand clear.

Empathetic towards the situation of this North African nation the West is undecided on imposing no fly zone.

Having burnt its fingers in the past with Iraq, so far the humanitarian plight trump is not working this time round.

Even as the pros and cons are being valued taking into account the loss of human life in both the cases, for me it’s a futile exercise at this point in time.

Looks like a carrot and stick strategy to tell the world and a section in Libya that they are involved and committed to bringing peace in the region and in turn buy time for the rebellion to run out of steam.

The change of mind by leaders in the west and the state of almost inertia has worsened the crisis and even allowed Gaddafi regimen to win back lost ground.

Everyone seems to be waiting for other to make the first move and keeping an eye on Obama administration to take a definite stand. It all boils down to what the US will do and who will follow suit?

But as this happens it might just be too late to act.



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Britain to foot extra bill to bail out Ireland

Britain comes across as a friend the ‘in need’ Ireland requires in their hour of  grave economic crisis.

The UK will be offering an additional £7 billion direct loan to the Irish republic apart from its contributions the international bail out package,George Osborne confirmed the BBC.

Citing Ireland as a ‘friend in need’, Osborne told BBC: “Ireland is our close neighbor, I judged it to be in our national interest to be part of the international efforts to help the Irish.”

Osborne’s thoughts of footing the extra £7 billion as part of its share hasn’t gone down too well with many.

Sam Bowman, head of research, The Adam Smith Institute, opposes the UK’s commitment.  “The proposed bailout for Ireland is a bad deal for the UK. It puts the interests of the European Union and the eurozone before the interests of Ireland and the British government should have no part in paying for it,” Bowman told the Guardian.  He further added, “The British taxpayer should not be held responsible for past mistakes by Irish politicians.”

Business wise

In 2009 Ireland consumed British products worth £15.9 billion according to a report in the Times.  This was double of what 4.5 million Irish people consumed which was thrice of what the over 1 billion Chinese people consume.

It’s not only about exports, the British banks have given huge loans to the Irish banks and if the Irish banks fail the consequences will be bad for Britain.

Royal Bank of Scotland has given away £53 billion of loans to Irish customers. Similarly the Lloyds Banking Group has to recover its £27 billion outstanding.

Despite the interests the announcement was not good news for British and Irish stocks. According to Bloomberg, stocks of Bank of Ireland Plc took a dip of 21 percent as investors speculated that the bailout will dilute their holdings in the lender. Likewise Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest government-owned bank, fell 3.1 percent. Pearson Plc rose 1.3 percent after the publisher made an acquisition in South Africa.

Pay back

Concerns arise about Ireland’s pay back capabilities

Tory MP John Redwood told the BBC: “I’m sure many of us will want to know why, how much, how long are we out of the money, what are the prospects of being repaid, what is the interest rate?”

Osborne says: “The details of the entire package, not just the UK contribution but the eurozone and IMF contribution, is all being worked out as we speak and we should, by the end of the month, have the details on that,” he told BBC

The rate of interest and other terms on a UK bilateral loan would be similar to the conditions of the international package, Osborne said.

Having taken the big leap citing its own interest, it remains to be sen, was the friendship worth it.

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