Atlantic Update 3/15/11


Germany reacts to nuclear fears by taking the 7 oldest reactors offline for 3 months, and G8 powers drop plans for a Libyan no-fly zone.


G8 drops plans for Libyan no-fly zone (Deutsche Welle)

As forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi edged closer to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, G8 powers dropped the idea of military intervention in Libya. France and Britain were unable to convince their reluctant partners.

Germany’s new boom: making money by making stuff (The Guardian)

While the UK and US increasingly relied on the financial sector, Germany concentrated on manufacturing

Clinton Meets in Paris With Libyan Rebel Leader (New York Times)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met late Monday with a leader of Libya’s increasingly beleaguered opposition, but did so privately and without a public statement.

EU to consider nuclear stress tests, Germany to take 7 oldest reactors offline for 3 months (Washington Post)

The European Union on Tuesday was considering stress tests to see how its 143 nuclear plants would react in emergencies and said it might have to reassess the construction procedures in the wake of Japan’s atomic crisis.

Gbagbo is ‘plundering’ Ivory Coast cocoa, says France (AFP)

France on Wednesday accused Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo of "plundering" his country’s strategic cocoa and coffee industries after he ordered his government to seize them.

Gbagbo’s move was an "illegal decision" which amounted to "the plundering of the cocoa and coffee businesses in Ivory Coast," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

Credit rating agencies under fire (Presseurop/El Pais)

“Brussels is training its sights on the rating agencies” writes El País, summing up the request made by the finance ministers of the EU Commission to act “urgently” to regulate the activity of these agencies. The newspaper notes that the Eurogroup decision comes shortly after ratings agency Moody’s downgraded its rating for Greece by three notches and for Spain by one.

 EU’s Libya Sanctions Unlikely to Wobble Regime (Der Spiegel)

The UN and EU have applied additional financial sanctions against Libya, but questions remain over how effective they can actually be. Gadhafi has an estimated $160 billion cash reserves that remain mostly untouched. And the oil industry, where they could hurt the most, remains off limits. 

NATO air strike killed two Afghan children in east: officials (Reuters)

An air strike by NATO-led forces killed two children as they were watering fields in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province late on Monday, an Afghan official and lawmaker said.


EU and Nagorno-Karabakh: a ‘better than nothing’ approach (EUobserver)

Earlier this month, the mandate of the EU’s Special Representative (EUSR) for the south Caucasus, Peter Semneby, ended. While Georgia’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts will still have full-fledged EU involvement (at least until August when Pierre Morel’s mandate expires), the same cannot be said for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which will, apparently, be left high and dry. This decision goes against numerous calls for the EU to have a greater role in the conflict, which currently represents the greatest security threat to the region.

 Compiled with the assistance of Klee Aiken.

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