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China Said to be Helping EU Finance Debt and Ease Euro Crisis

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Chinese officials have reportedly assured EU leaders that Beijing will be continuing (and perhaps step up) its rate of buying the government bonds of fiscally beleaguered member states of the euro.  Chinese support will be a powerful asset for these countries and the EU as a whole as they try to cope with markets’ attack on peripheral member states with large sovereign debt exposure. The previously undisclosed pledge was reported in the Financial Times.

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"Net Neutrality" Refined by Regulators in EU and U.S. to Provide Concessions to Broadband Carriers

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(Dec. 8)   Key regulators of broadband internet service on both sides of the Atlantic seem set to adopt rules that will allow the “carriers” (such as phone companies) to “amend” notions about the prevailing doctrine of “net neutrality.”  The touchstone of “net neutrality” is the impermissibility of discriminating among users and providers. But increasingly, particularly in wireless broadband, some discrimination is starting to be countenanced to ensure that large carriers, who provide the “pipes” for the internet, continue investment in the infrastructure to permit wide access to high-speed Internet. 

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Swiss “Deportation Referendum” for Foreigners Convicted of Crimes Fuels Populist Surge in Europe

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In its latest controversial referendum, Swiss voters have approved a measure put forward by a far rightwing political party to automatically deport foreigners convicted of crimes ranging from murder to welfare fraud.

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Can Berlusconi, His Image Battered, Survive and Impose Much Needed Austerity Budget?

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(Dec. 3)  Rome - -  Italy's government faces a precarious test in the form of a confidence vote in parliament later this month -- a symptom of worsening  political instability that is serious not only for the Italian economy but also for the economic stability of the EU.  The Italian parliament is in the process of considering a new austerity budget, crucial for the future of the Italian economy.  If the government falls -- and the austerity budget fails or is postponed -- it will be another domino in an already dire series of fiscal crises affecting the eurozone. 

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