Small business owners join workers as strikes shutdown Greece; EU leaders to announce expanded rescue fund (+ analysis); Moody's downgrades "vulnerable" Spain by two notches; Turks strike back after Kurdish rebels kill 26 troops; IMF picks six percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa; Chinese scientist admits stealing trade secrets; and more
Top of the Agenda: Greek Workers Go on Strike
Greek unions launched a nationwide strike, essentially shuttering the country (DeutscheWelle) ahead of a parliamentary vote on fresh budget cuts. The new austerity measures are a prerequisite for Greece to receive the next €8 billion tranche of last year's €110 billion EU-IMF bailout and avoid an imminent default.
Small businesses joined union members in striking, as thousands of workers descended on parliament. The government brought in thousands of riot police to Athens to combat what activists have called the "mother of all strikes" (Guardian).
Prime Minister George Papandreou called on lawmakers to maintain a "stance of responsibility" (LAT) and pass the new measures, which include spending cuts and tax increases.
The strike comes days before a crucial European Council summit at which eurozone leaders are expected to unveil a comprehensive plan--including details on a second Greek bailout agreed on over the summer--for combating the widening eurozone sovereign debt crisis. France and Germany indicated they may move to increase the size of the eurozone rescue fund (Bloomberg) to €2 trillion.
In the Atlantic, Heather Horn writes that while it might seem crazy to protest a bailout to help your country out of its self-imposed mess, for many Greeks, there's more than just money at stake.
It is conceivable that the eurozone will find ways to manage its emergency. It is inconceivable that it will cure the illness, writes the Financial Times' Martin Wolf.
G20 finance ministers are pressing their EU counterparts to provide a comprehensive plan for stabilizing the eurozone and easing fears of contagion, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.
In this CFR Video, CFR's Sebastian Mallaby says Greece is nearing a turning point in its debt crisis.
Chinese Scientist Admits to Economic Espionage
A Chinese scientist admitted to stealing trade secrets (BBC) from two US agricultural companies and sending them to competitors in China and Germany.
AUSTRALIA: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (Australian) arrived in the Australian capital of Canberra for a ten-day visit, during which she will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.
Moody's downgrades Spain two notches
Kurdish rebels kill 26 Turkish soldiers
IMF predicts strong African growth