Greece appoints economist as new PM promising to pass EU package; Italy may follow suit with its own technocract PM; Italian bond yields soar; Asian markets fall over EU uncertainty; China posts massive trade surplus as imports fall; IAEA report says Iran building nuclear weapon; Iran condemns report while Russia rejects santions call; Palestine expected to lose Security Council vote on statehood; and more

Top of the Agenda: Uncertainty in Greece and Italy as Eurozone Fears Persist

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou officially stepped down (DerSpiegel) on Wednesday, paving the way for a new coalition government. Greek leaders say a new government will have the authority to implement a new EU debt rescue package that demands lawmakers implement fresh austerity measures.

After a fourth round of negotiations (DeutscheWelle), Greek officials named technocrat and former European Central Bank vice president Lucas Papademos as the country's new prime minister.

Meanwhile, the eurozone sovereign debt crisis continued to engulf Italy (NYT). Yields on government ten-year bonds soared above 7percent, despite a pledge by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign as soon as parliament passes austerity measures being pushed by the EU.

Facing mounting pressure from world leaders, Berlusconi may back economist Mario Monti to head a new technocratic government (Guardian) as early as Sunday.

Analysis

If the eurozone survives the crisis--and the meltdown of Italy's bonds suggests that is becoming ever more difficult--it will require deep reform of the EU's treaties, says the Economist.

Parts of Europe are working well and should be examples to emulate--both by the continent's more reckless debtors and the United States, writes Foreign Policy's David Rothkopf.

Despite Berlusconi's pledge to resign, Italy faces pressure to address its sovereign debt burden by quickly implementing austerity measures or risk a new magnitude of eurozone contagion, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

 

PACIFIC RIM

Asian Markets Fall on Euro Fears

Asian markets plunged amid uncertainty over the future of Italy and the eurozone, with stocks in Hong Kong and Tokyo dropping 5 percent and 3 percent (EconomicTimes), respectively.

CHINA: The trade surplus (WSJ) in October rose only to $17.03 billion, with exports and imports down sharply from September. The data could relieve US pressure on China to appreciate its currency.

An undervalued Chinese yuan remains a contributing factor to the US-China trade imbalance, but experts warn that labeling China a "currency manipulator" will not rein in mounting US deficits, according to this CFR Backgrounder.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Iran condemns UN nuclear report as Russia rejects sanctions

Predictions Palestine will lose Security Council vote

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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