X-rating for ratings agencies

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION vice-president Antonio Tajani has claimed that those pantomime dames, the ratings agencies, work in favour of the dollar.

He also believes the EU should set up its own ratings agency to offset what he termed “a global attack” on the euro. The agencies frequently made errors, pointed out Tajani, who forbore to mention Lehman Brothers notorious AAA rating awarded in 2008.

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Neither did he mention what everyone but the agencies admits: they themselves are part of the problem.

Winner loses all  

THE West’s suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons are probably correct.


Nevertheless, even Ahmadinejad’s government would stop short at using them on Israel, the country which feels most threatened by Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran must know that – the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki apart – there can never be a lasting winner in any conflict that relies on the tactical use of nuclear weapons.

Photo credit: Daniella Zalcman


Watch this space

LAST week Egypt inaugurated its first freely elected parliament for 60 years.

Seventy-five per cent of the seats went to Islamists but only 11 per cent are occupied by the liberals representing the young people who triggered last year’s revolution while the Army’s role remains uncertain.

All of which raises the uncomfortable question of how long this freely-elected parliament will be allowed to remain a democratic body.

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