EU summit in ‘small revolution’

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European leaders have agreed a deal on a banking union.

France and the European Commission arrived at the summit keen to run ahead with a new European bank supervisory mechanism to be in place by January, but the cautious German chancellor, Angela Merkel said she thinks baby steps are needed first: “Concerning the move towards banking supervision, we have decided to move forward with the principle that quality is more important than rapidity. This means we will not have a working banking supervision at the beginning of 2013.”

The summit agreement now says that “work on the operational implementation will take place in the course of 2013” rather than in January.

European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy hailed the result of the summit as highly successful: “This is a small revolution, it means that we’ll have only one supervisor for the whole Europe, who – to a certain extent – will replace all the national supervisors.

“You know the source of our problem is the financial crisis. Now we will have only one supervisor for Europe, if we had this in 2008 I don’t think the crisis would have reached this level.”

The art of compromise has prevailed once again in Europe, but there is still much more that needs to be done, as the Spanish and Greek emergencies are still waiting.

Myanmar: Government worsens sectarian violence

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Myanmar security forces committed rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya Muslims in June according to a new Human Rights Watch report.

It said the attacks happened after forces had already stood by during an outbreak of sectarian violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Arkan State, which resulted in dozens of deaths and many villages destroyed.

Phil Robertson, the Deputy Director of Watch’s Asia Division, said that many lives would have been saved if government forces intervened from the outset:

“What was consistent in this narrative was that there was a government failure to intervene, and that meant that the people from the both sides began to arm to defend themselves. And ultimately, a lack of government protection meant that emboldened partisans on both sides more thoroughly planned and executed coordinated attacks on the other side. So in rather short order, the situation descended to chaos.”

The report entitled: ‘The Government could have stopped this,’ also says that over 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been displaced and are in need of food, shelter and medical care after the government restricted humanitarian aid.