Merkel’s Chilly Welcome in Greece
Germany’s Angela Merkel did not get a warm welcome as she traveled to Greece. More than any other nation, Germany has pressed austerity measures there and threatened to withhold aid. Many Greeks understand that a huge bailout has become necessary, but that has not kept them from resentment. Merkel has been greeted with protests, which are nothing special in Greece. She apparently flew to the country to join hands with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the architect of many budget cuts. She also will voice support for Greece remaining in the European Union. But that support may not mean much. Greeks have read the polls from Germany that show little voter support for bailouts. Merkel’s job may be on the line when national elections happen in 2013. And German support has come with more and more insistence that Greece has not cut its budget enough. Reuters reports:
Ties between the two countries run deep. Thousands of Greeks came to Germany there after World War Two as “guest workers” to help rebuild the shattered country and more than 300,000 Greeks currently reside there.
But relations are also clouded by the atrocities Greeks suffered at the hands of the Nazis during World War Two.
Huawei Technologies Lashes Out at U.S.
Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei Technologies was not pleased with a congressional report that it is a risk to national security because its products could be used to spy on America. Huawei officials said the comments are “little more than an exercise in China-bashing.” And, while that many not be true, they come at a time when President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have both seized what they call unfair China trade practices as the cause of losses of millions of U.S. jobs. Each has promised that China’s advantages in trade, which are said to be helped by currency manipulation and dumping of goods, will not continue. The House has tried in the past to vote through a law that would require the Administration to label the People’s Republic a “currency manipulator.” If it caused the president to use that label, that in turn would trigger a large number of sanctions and tariffs, which almost certainly would result in a trade war. The Huawei Technologies debate will sharply escalate trade tensions just ahead of the election.
Coca-Cola Joins Calories Count Initiative
The American Beverage Association’s President Susan Neely said members of her group have agreed to what they call the Calories Count Vending Program. ABA officials said the plan is a:
public-private partnership to provide clear calorie information on vending machines, encourage lower-calorie beverage choices and remind consumers that “calories count” in all the choices they make. This program will be launch in 2013 on more than 500 vending machines in municipal buildings in Chicago and San Antonio.
The program is scheduled to move nationwide after that. The association’s “We Deliver” site says that the “big three” soda companies will join the effort:
The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo are working with government leaders, food service operators, vending companies and other customers to introduce new stickers on the front of beverage vending machines to remind consumers that “calories count” when making beverage choices and encourage them to “Check then Choose” or “Try a Low-Calorie Beverage.”
Douglas A. McIntyre