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European Policy Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

European policy responses

Until September 2008, European policy measures were limited to a small number of countries (Spain and Italy). In both countries, the measures were dedicated to households (tax rebates) reform of the taxation system to support specific sectors such as housing. The European Commission proposed a €200 billion stimulus plan to be implemented at the European level by the countries. At the beginning of 2009, the UK and Spain completed their initial plans, while Germany announced a new plan.
On September 29, 2008 the Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch authorities partially nationalized Fortis. The German government bailed out Hypo Real Estate.
On 8 October 2008 the British ...view middle of the document...

A first summit dedicated to the crisis took place, at the Heads of state level in November 2008 (2008 G-20 Washington summit).
The G-20 countries met in a summit held on November 2008 in Washington to address the economic crisis. Apart from proposals on international financial regulation, they pledged to take measures to support their economy and to coordinate them, and refused any resort to protectionism.
Another G-20 summit was held in London on April 2009. Finance ministers and central banks leaders of the G-20 met in Horsham on March to prepare the summit, and pledged to restore global growth as soon as possible. They decided to coordinate their actions and to stimulate demand and employment. They also pledged to fight against all forms of protectionism and to maintain trade and foreign investments. They also committed to maintain the supply of credit by providing more liquidity and recapitalizing the banking system, and to implement rapidly the stimulus plans. As for central bankers, they pledged to maintain low-rates policies as long as necessary. Finally, the leaders decided to help emerging and developing countries, through a strengthening of the IMF.

The recently concluded U.S.-Russian agreement on nuclear arms reduction signed April 8 in Prague, literally a stone's throw from the proposed radar location of the scrapped Third Site, enshrined the strategic role of missile defense.

In a somewhat flowery preamble to the new treaty, both countries recognized the "interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms," but noted that "current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the parties."

Is this the return of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty through a back door?

The issue of missile defense, and particularly the Bush administration plan to deploy a missile defense site in Europe - the so-called Third Site - was a bone of contention between Washington and Moscow. When President Barack Obama scrapped the Third Site with its large intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-busting interceptors and replaced it with the phased adaptive approach (PAA) plan, with its much lighter Standard Missile-3 interceptors, it was first hailed (or condemned) as a conciliatory step toward Russian sensitivities.

Later, however, when details of the PAA were gradually fleshed out, Russian officials reacted angrily. Sergey Ivanov, Russia's deputy prime minister, called it "just as bad or even worse" than the Third Site plan. In a recent Moscow conference on nuclear proliferation, Russia's deputy national security adviser, Gen. Yuri Baluevsky, complained that "the U.S. did not abandon the old plan, it just replaced older missiles with more modern and more mobile missiles."

Later comments by Russian Prime Minister...

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