From Volume 38, Issue 20 of EIR Online, Published May 20, 2011

Global Economic News

China Reconstructs Sichuan; What Obama Didn't Do in Haiti, Nor Bush in New Orleans

May 11 (EIRNS)—Immediately after the Sichuan Province M8.0 earthquake on May 12, 2008, which killed 87,000 and left millions homeless, the nation of China mobilized itself, its military, and its population to rescue the trapped, care for the helpless, and bring food and shelter to those without.

Now, three years later, the worst-hit areas there and in neighboring provinces have been rebuilt. Ninety-five percent of planned reconstruction projects have been completed, with the rest to be finished by the end of September, according to China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

By the end of April, 885.15 billion yuan ($136 billion) had been spent, according to official figures from the NDRC. And there's enough left to complete the remaining scheduled work.

In Sichuan alone (neighboring provinces, such as Gansu and Shaanxi, were also affected), nearly 3,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, and more than 5 million homes have been built or renovated, according to Wei Hong, executive vice-governor of Sichuan province.

Another EU60 Billion To Be Piled on Greece

May 12 (EIRNS)—In a desperate attempt to forestall the complete collapse of the Greek bailout, and thereby, the euro system, yet another EU60 billion in debt is being planned to be piled onto the backs of the Greeks.

"Greece is expected to sign a new memorandum with the troika (ECB-EU-IMF) to secure its continued funding with about EU60 billion, in addition to the EU110 billion bailout that is being disbursed," wrote the Ta Nea daily. "The new loan, provided that it is approved, will cover the needs of 2012, about EU27 billion, and those of 2013, which are estimated at around EU32 billion. It will be given by the European Financial Stability Facility."

Another daily, Imerisia, claimed that a EU50 billion deal was in the works. This is supposed to be backed by a fire sale of Greek government-owned assets worth EU50 billion.

But the real issue is to shore up Greece in a desperate attempt to prevent contagion from striking Spain. London's Financial Times writes under the headline, "Greek Woes Hit Hopes for Spain," that the looming collapse of the Greek bailout, is dashing the hopes that Spain will not be next. After Greece, Ireland, and now Portugal. "Spain's EU1,744 billion gross external debt burden and its dependence on foreign financing place it technically next in line for emergency aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund."

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