Troubled Countries

10Jul10

Lee Kuan Yew pens a piece for a rotating column at Forbes, touching on the Koreas, Thailand and monetary union in East Asia with reference to the euro:

It’s not clear what North Korea hoped to gain by this wanton act of state terrorism. But cross-border tensions tend to rally North Koreans around their leader, and Kim Jong-il is well aware that similar destructive acts of terror have not escalated into war. …

What began as a fight between former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Bangkok establishment, which detests his populist, opportunistic policies, morphed into a movement. The farmers seek redress, wanting their share of the economic growth that has been concentrated in Bangkok. The establishment will have to address this push for equity. …

There are no easy solutions. Dropping the euro to go back to the drachma would be disastrous for Greece. Besides, the Europeans won’t allow the euro zone to disintegrate. British financial analysts have suggested a two-tiered EU: Germany, France and Benelux as the inner core countries, with the remainder making up the second tier. EU countries must find the political will to enact the structural reforms needed to save the euro.



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