Daily Archives: June 27, 2012

Cypriot and EU flags. PATRICK BAZ/AFP/GettyImages

The Cypriot and EU flags. PATRICK BAZ/AFP/GettyImages

The same place it was in the 2008 Iceland bailout and that China took in the financial rescue of Pakistan: providing only a supporting role, and showing that cash-for-geopolitical-influence has yet to replace multilateralism as the dominant mode of crisis lending.

In all three cases, there was lots of excited chatter in the run-up to the bailouts about aid-for-influence deals to avoid the strictures of an IMF rescue. Russia was going to bail out Iceland and keep Cyprus out of the clutches of the EFSF/IMF in return for naval bases; Islamabad appealed to China to use some of its huge forex reserves to help out its old foreign policy pal. Read more

Kofi Annan. Photo: Reuters

Kofi Annan, the international envoy on Syria, is trying to salvage his six-point peace plan with an international conference in Geneva this Saturday to build consensus over the form of a political transition.

The UN and Arab League backed plan was in tatters long before today’s statement from the UN that the violence in Syria has, at least, matched levels reached before ceasefire brokered in April. Read more

Euro 2012: Football and politics in Poland and Ukraine

With the European football championship reaching its climax this week, we look at how Poland and Ukraine have fared by hosting the tournament. Neil Buckley, east Europe editor, Jan Cienski, Warsaw correspondent and Simon Kuper, the FT columnist covering the tournament, join Gideon Rachman.

Here are our tips from the world new desk today:

Photo: AP

A day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  Turkey’s powerful prime minister, effectively declared Damascus a hostile state and announced that Ankara would retaliate without warning against Syrian border incursions, the rest of the country is still trying to work out what those words mean – for rules of engagement, for Syria’s rebels, and for politics at home.

The short answers are that the border will become more militarised, with the Turkish army aiming at Syrian forces before they cross the frontier, that the rebels can expect considerably more help, probably including arms, and that Erdogan, long a dominant political figure, now has even more room for manoeuvre. Read more