MySQL and UTF-8 - missed chances

One thing I never understood is why MySQL insists on creating a table with 'latin1_swedish_ci' as 'collation'. Now, this does more than just collation, it specifies encoding, collation order, and case sensitivity. That's not the issue, but why, oh why, does it insist on making this the default? What is wrong with actually using UTF-8? I mean, MySQL is only used across the world, which means the geographic spread when it comes to character sets would be served by actually having a default that could handle those languages! A missed chance if you ask me.