June 2 - An Historian of the Armenian Genocide on Germany's Historic Move; Germany Walks a Tightrope With Turkey; Reigning in the Predatory Payday Loan Industry

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Part 1

We begin with the German parliament’s overwhelming vote to approve a resolution calling the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915, genocide. Richard Hovannisian, a professor of Armenian and Near East History and Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles, joins us to assess the historical significance of this move by Germany, Turkey’s strongest ally in Europe and its ally during World War 1 when the Armenian genocide occurred. We discuss Turkey’s decades-long dogged resistance to widespread calls from more than 20 countries and Pope Francis to recognize the killings as genocide and Germany’s role as Turkey’s ally during World War 1 when its military did nothing to stop the genocide, a guilt that Germany acknowledged today while Turkey doubled down on denial and withdrew its ambassador as President Erdogan threatened retaliation.

Part 2

Then we get a perspective on the political tightrope Germany is walking with Turkey as diplomatic relations are increasingly strained by Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule at the same time Berlin needs Turkey’s help in resolving the refugee crisis with more than 1.1 million migrants having been settled in Germany last year. Andrei Markovits, the Karl W. Deutsch Professor of German Studies at the University of Michigan joins us to discuss how much the deal struck between Chancellor Merkel and Erdogan in March to take back migrants arriving on Greek Islands in exchange for money and visa-free travel for Turks in Europe, is now in jeopardy.

 

 

Part 3

Then finally we get an analysis of the new Federal regulations for payday lenders proposed today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch who served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. We discuss whether the new rules will be sufficient to stop the predatory practices of loan sharks whose $38 billion industry rips off 12 million poor and unsuspecting Americans every year under the protection of our cash-and-carry Congress.

Photograph of Robert Weissman

 

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