Angela Merkel ‘does not want to complete full term as German chancellor’

You have not anchored Germany to a unified Europe…You have anchored Europe to a newly unified and dominant Germany! In the end my friends, you will find it will not work.

- Margaret Thatcher

With America on the way out and committing national suicide… say hello to The Fourth Reich and the world’s next superpower.

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering quitting ahead of the 2017 elections and is interested in UN Secretary-General or President of the European Council roles, Spiegel reports

Angela Merkel does not want to complete her full term as German chancellor and is planning to resign before elections due in 2017, according to reports.

The German leader is aiming to become the first chancellor to leave of her own accord since 1949, and is interested in a new role as United Nations Secretary-General, or President of the European Council, Spiegel magazine reported.

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Blowback! U.S. trained ISIS at secret Jordan base

JERUSALEM – Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.

The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida. Continue reading

German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Hard for NATO to defend Baltic states from Russia: Spiegel

BERLIN (Reuters) – NATO would struggle to defend the Baltic states from any Russian aggression “with conventional means”, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday, citing sources close to the organization and a draft of a NATO planning document.

“Russia’s ability and intention to undertake significant military action without much forewarning poses a far-reaching threat for the maintenance of security and stability in the European-Atlantic area,” the weekly magazine said, citing a NATO defense planning committee document. Continue reading

Angela Merkel: Russia ‘will not get away’ with annexation of Crimea

The German Chancellor’s tough message underlines how America and the EU have agreed a joint response to Ukraine crisis

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has promised that Russia will not “get away” with “annexing” Crimea as world powers agreed to impose targeted sanctions on senior figures close to the Kremlin.

Mrs Merkel told a meeting of her parliamentary party that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine violated the principles of post-war order in Europe.

Her stark message came as America and the European Union agreed a joint response to Russia’s de facto seizure of Crimea, backed by other countries including Canada and Japan. Continue reading

Germany is ‘planning to step up counter-espionage’: report

Germany is planning to possibly resume counter-espionage measures against several Western allies, according to a report in the news magazine Spiegel. The report said British and US embassies could be targeted.

Germany is debating plans to expand its counter-espionage personnel and conduct “foundational monitoring” of the embassies of such nations as the United States and Britain, Spiegel said in its report on Sunday. Continue reading

ECB paralysed by German court decision as deflation threatens

Last week’s ‘thunderbolt’ ruling on eurozone rescue policies by Germany’s top court marks a serious escalation of Europe’s governance crisis and may ultimately force Germany to withdraw from the euro, the country’s most influential magazine has warned.

A sweeping report by Der Spiegel said the court ruling amounts to a full-blown showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank over the methods to shore up southern Europe’s debt markets.

“It is nothing less than a final reckoning with the crisis-management strategy pursued by the ECB. The German justices insist that the German constitution sets limits on the ECB’s crisis strategy. In a worst-case scenario, the Court could forbid Berlin from contributing to efforts to save the euro or even force Germany to leave the currency zone entirely,” it said. Continue reading

Germany’s Dramatic and Alarming Foreign Policy Pivot

2014 could be the year Germany replaces America as the world’s unilateral superpower.

Germany’s relationship with the international community in recent years has been one of unrequited affection. America and other world powers have been begging Germany to get more involved in world affairs and to exert more global leadership. But Berlin has responded slowly and coyly, with a reluctance many find curious and vexing.

That changed in January 2014. Continue reading

Germany preparing third financial rescue for Greece

Germany has signalled it is preparing a third rescue package for Greece – provided the debt-stricken country implements “rigorous”austerity measures blamed for record levels of unemployment and a dramatic drop in GDP.

The new loan, outlined in a five-page position paper by Berlin’s finance ministry, would be worth between €10bn to €20bn (£8bn-16bn), according to the German weekly Der Spiegel, which was leaked the document. Continue reading

Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama

Don’t kid yourselves. The BND, like the CIA/NSA, is also highly informed about things before they happen. Presidents and chancellors don’t learn their being spied upon from a newspaper.

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: “This is like the Stasi.”

The newspaper also reported that Merkel was particularly angry that, based on the disclosures, “the NSA clearly couldn’t be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out.”

Snowden is to testify on the NSA scandal to a European parliament inquiry next month, to the anger of Washington which is pressuring the EU to stop the testimony.

Full article: Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama (The Guardian)

Nobel Prize economist warns of U.S. stock market bubble

BERLIN (Reuters) – An American who won this year’s Nobel Prize for economics believes sharp rises in equity and property prices could lead to a dangerous financial bubble and may end badly, he told a German magazine.

Robert Shiller, who won the esteemed award with two other Americans for research into market prices and asset bubbles, pinpointed the U.S. stock market and Brazilian property market as areas of concern. Continue reading

Friend and Foe

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – New reports are confirming the close cooperation of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) with the National Security Agency (NSA). According to these reports, BND agents have repeatedly visited the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to discuss technical issues. The NSA has also furnished the BND instruments for analyzing intercepted data. A former head of the Austrian intelligence service has confirmed that it was a “common understanding among all European intelligence services” to be “aware” of the NSA Prism surveillance program. Already years ago, officials of the US military have been quoted saying that the US military espionage center that is being established in the Hessian capital Wiesbaden – and that will reportedly also be used by the NSA – is destined to gather information “on the current situation of friend and foe, and everything that can influence our mission.” The German government has also admitted that the Western block’s cooperation of the intelligence services – which includes abduction and torture of suspects in the so-called war on terror – dates back to secret agreements between the leading NATO powers during the post-WW II decades. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia wants missiles for Syrian rebels: report

AFP – Saudi Arabia plans to supply the Syrian opposition with anti-aircraft missiles to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s air force, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

The article, citing a classified report received by the German foreign intelligence service and the German government last week, said Riyadh was looking at sending European-made Mistral-class MANPADS, or man-portable air-defence systems. Continue reading

Syria: Assad regime is making gains and ‘planning a major push’

Recent military victories have severed rebel supply and retreat routes, allowing the regime to plan a major push to to crush divided opposition forces, a senior British security source told The Daily Telegraph.

“The Syrian opposition is doing badly and there is a risk of [further] defeats, although Assad cannot ultimately win,” the source said. Continue reading