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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 13, 2003

Duisenberg Update

Gretta Duisenberg has just decided to apologize for her comparison of the Israeli occupation and the Nazi subjugation of Holland, er, cough, "excepting the Holocaust".

"The wife of European Central Bank president Wim Duisenberg acknowledged in a short statement made last Friday night that her remarks, reported in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, had been hurtful."
I''ll reproduce the actual statement when it becomes available.

Meanwhile, the AP has noted that "uncertainty clouds" Jean-Claude Trichet's expected succession of Wim Duisenberg -- who better than a Frenchman to follow in Mr. Gretta's footsteps? -- because he is now going on trial for a decade-old coverup of misdeeds at Credit Lyonnais:

"The charges deal with inaccurate accounting records at the end of 1991, in 1992 and the first half of 1993 to cover up losses. Trichet was head of the Treasury at the time and is charged with diffusing false information."
Wim Duisenberg has offered to continue serving as European Central Bank president while Trichet sorts out (or doesn't) his trial. This move is facilitated by earlier foot-dragging on Duisenberg's part due to the nebulousness surrounding the protocols of ECB presidential succession. The appointment of a Frenchman was considered controversial initially and helped smooth Duisenberg, a "neutral" Dutchman, into the position.

All of this is of great significance, because, as I noted yesterday, Gretta Duisenberg's ultimate goal is to effect an Israeli withdrawal through EU trade sanctions, and her husband is in a particularly effective position to achieve that. The longer Wim Duisenberg lingers, the more possibility there is of Gretta realizing her somewhat far-fetched but frightening dream. Perhaps her dissembling apology was palatable to her because of this.

Cross-posted on Fightin' with Grabes.