Europe has arrived at its moment of double truth. The muddling is over with and the path ahead is clear for all to see.
DUBLIN -- The decisive nature of the No vote should persuade European leaders to set aside their hopes of forcing regime change and to focus their minds on the practical implications of a Grexit. They need to acknowledge something that is widely accepted: that Greece cannot pay back all of the money loaned by Europe. Pushing Greece towards a euro exit is probably the strategy that will ultimately minimize the return of money to the creditors.
Although the eurozone is better equipped than it was in the past, it is still a highly imperfect monetary union. In fact, if Greece exits, new vulnerabilities will emerge, and there is no certainty other weak southern periphery economies will actually be protected. This may add to the many reasons for the two parties to reach an agreement this week, allowing Greece to remain in the eurozone. The alternative could be the beginning of the end of the euro.
ATHENS -- The outcome of this Greek drama is not up to the Greeks anymore. It now depends on how European leaders will react. Whether they will view the referendum result as an opportunity for a big deal or a chance to rid themselves of the Greek issue, putting all the blame on the Greeks, remains to be seen.
ROME -- So it's Berlin and Paris. Once again so close and yet so far. Once again European history will move along the red line that unites these two national capitals. There's nothing to be done for those who, like our Italian Premier, believed as recently as five days ago to have established a special relationship with the Chancellor of Europe.
MADRID -- The Greeks have defied fear. But how will the European governments deal with their own fears? Specifically, how will they react to the possible light-speed contagion of Syriza's rebelliousness in Spain, Portugal and Italy?
QUITO -- No country -- including Greece -- should expect to be offered debt relief on a silver platter; relief must be earned and justified by real reforms that restore growth, to the benefit of both debtor and creditor. And yet, a corpse cannot carry out reforms. That is why debt relief and reforms must be offered together, not reforms "first" with some vague promises that debt relief will come in some unspecified amount at some unspecified time in the future (as some in Europe have said to Greece).
The reason that we cling to Europe, the EU and the Euro despite all our suffering and however much we attribute to their poor handling of our present predicament, is that with all the disillusionment we have in the capacity of our own governments and our institutions, imperfect Europe remains our beacon of hope.
Li Junfeng of China's National Development and Reform Commission has provided a helpful comparison of China's climate pledge and that of leading developed countries. He concludes that China is making significant contributions comparable to that of developed countries, based on a number of indicators we'll discuss below.
Unlike many letters from Congress that are ignored by the executive branch, this one might be taken more seriously by the IMF and the U.S. Treasury department -- which is the IMF's most powerful overseer. One reason is that the IMF has been trying for five years to enact reforms in its governance structure that are very important to the Fund and Treasury -- reforms that can't be enacted unless they are approved by Congress.
MAPUTO -- It is estimated that some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. So we must act decisively.
TEL AVIV -- As we reach the one-year anniversary since the announcement of ISIS, much of the commentary has been far too ephemeral, taking whatever comes out immediately in the news as indicative of long-term trends. ISIS is neither winning nor losing: rather, like any long war, there is much ebb and flow.
Defaults are difficult. But even more so is austerity. The good news for Greece is that, as Argentina showed, there may be life after debt and default.
BRUSSELS -- The feeling of belonging to Europe might make the difference. It might lead a majority of Greeks to accept another austerity program, and prevent Greece from repeating Argentina's tragedy.
It may not be a breakdown, but it is undoubtedly an unveiling: Europe is abandoning its State of Grace, its Olympus of Rules, and doing something that in the language of international politics is brutally labeled "meddling."
The supporters of Troika have revealed themselves. They are not interested in the Greek people; they are interested in the banking system. We hear views like, "Banks are the backbone of the national economy." But we don't hear anything concerning the Greek people who suffer.
Given the EU's fundamental interconnectedness -- in economic, financial, geopolitical and social terms -- the disruptive impact of each shock would amplify the others, overwhelming the region's circuit breakers, leading to recession, reviving financial instability and creating pockets of social tension. This would increase already high unemployment, expose excessive financial risk-taking, embolden Russia and strengthen populist movements further, thereby impeding comprehensive policy responses.
BUENOS AIRES -- Athens in 2015 will become like Buenos Aires in 2001. Greeks now face the prospect of prolonged capital controls, severe political unrest and eventually a confiscation of ordinary citizens' savings to finance a government's withdrawal from the world.
The June 30 deadline for the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5 1 group -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany -- to reach a comprehensive agreement has once again been extended. Both the supporters and opponents of the agreement in Iran and the United States have intensified their efforts. But a speech on June 23 by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has attracted wide international attention.