The 100-year period from 1815 until World War I began in 1914 was one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.
That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century. Continue reading
BRUSSELS – Seven EU countries have formed what France calls a “club” to produce military drones from 2020 onward.
The scheme was agreed in Brussels on Tuesday (19 November) at a meeting of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the EU’s defence think tank, by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Continue reading
SPY agencies in Germany, France, Spain and Sweden are carrying out mass surveillance of online and phone traffic in collaboration with Britain, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The Guardian newspaper reports Britain’s GCHQ electronic eavesdropping centre – which has a close relationship with the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) – has taken a leading role in helping the other countries work around laws intended to limit spying.
The report is likely to prove embarrassing for governments including those of Germany and Spain, which had denounced earlier reports that the NSA was electronically spying on their citizens. Continue reading
Hordes of bankrupt French invade Switzerland to get their hands on their “stolen” money — such is the imaginary scenario cooked up by the Swiss military in simulations revealed over the weekend.
Carried out in August, the apparently outlandish army exercise was based on the premise of an attack by a financially stricken France split into warring regions, according to Matin Dimanche, the Lausanne-based daily. Continue reading
Scientists report the first self-healing thermoset elastomer that requires no intervention to induce its repair.
Self-healing polymers mend themselves by reforming broken cross-linking bonds. However, the cross-linking healing mechanism usually requires an external stimulus.
An industrially familiar, permanently cross-linked poly(urea-urethane) elastomeric network was demonstrated to completely mend itself after being cut in two by a razor blade. It is the metathesis reaction of aromatic disulphides, which naturally exchange at room temperature, that causes regeneration. Continue reading
- Witnesses said they saw the submarine surface on Saturday
- Believe sub is HMS Tireless but officials refuse to confirm sighting
- Comes days after Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster arrived
Witnesses said they saw the vessel surface on Saturday as tensions between Spain and Britain continue to rise over fishing rights around the Mediterranean enclave. Continue reading
“The emotional side of me tends to imagine France, like the princess in the fairy stories or the Madonna in the frescoes, as dedicated to an exalted and exceptional destiny. Instinctively I have the feeling that Providence has created her either for complete successes or for exemplary misfortunes. Our country, as it is, surrounded by the others as they are, must aim high and hold itself straight, on pain of mortal danger. In short, to my mind, France cannot be France without greatness.
– Charles de Gaulle, from his memoirs
Recently there have been a spate of horrific train wrecks in the news. Almost inevitably we find out there was human error involved. Almost four years ago I began writing about the coming train wreck that was Europe and specifically Greece. It was clear from the numbers that Greece would have to default, and I thought at the time that Portugal would not be too far behind. Spain and Italy clearly needed massive restructuring. Part of the problem I highlighted was the significant imbalance between exports and imports in all of the above countries. Continue reading
Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.
Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are providing resident permits to foreign buyers, while Spain is about to adopt a similar measure. The chance to purchase a home at depressed prices in southern Europe and gain what’s known as a golden visa is mostly being sold to Chinese investors, according to brokers. Continue reading
With violence in Xinjiang continuing and tensions in Chechnya and Dagestan back in the public consciousness, it seems almost cliché to say the end of the sprawling, imperial nation-state is here, or at least not far off. Hell, a couple thousand signatures for an independent Texas got the foreign press questioning if even the U.S. wasn’t immune from secessionist conflict.
Now, have the massive, multi-ethnic superpowers of the modern world really reached their breaking point? The answer’s a big, emphatic no. While there’s certainly no shortage of secessionist claims in Russia, China, and the surrounding geopolitical region they dabble in, it’s unlikely we’ll see any new (internationally recognized) countries emerge from the Caucuses or Central Asia. A major precedent — any one secessionist success story — could set off new fervor in any number of independence-minded areas that could radically undermine the neighborhood superpowers’ international standing. For the leaders of Russia and China, maintaining their borders against secessionist challenges is an essential part of maintaining their political legitimacy. Sorry, Tibet. Continue reading
Given the absence of serious moves from Europe, anything could set off another bout of international financial contagion
Dow Jones Market Watch is warning of major problems emanating from the Eurozone. This comes amid the latest data from Spain where the economy contracted yet again, this time by 1.7 percent in the second quarter on a year-on-year basis. More problems were reported out of Greece, Italy and Germany.
In an article today, Michael Casey, managing editor for the Americas at DJ FX Trader, said: Continue reading
With the United States suiciding itself back into the stone age, the EU is not idly waiting for someone else to depend on, such as NATO. It would leave them too exposed to China and Russia. A European Army is slowly being born (Additional sources: Here and here) while the EU itself continues to force itself through economic and social means into the United States of Europe. Its very own intelligence apparatus is only part of the overall objective.
In the end, all roads lead to Berlin which controls and runs the EU via economic might and heavily wielding influence through such organizations as “The Troika” that subjugates other nations (i.e. Greece and Cyprus) and turns them into German vassal states. The Fourth Reich is here.
In any case, the EU does and always has known that the NSA has been spying on them — as well as having been a source of their own intelligence. Germany in fact has been collaborating with the NSA since the 1960′s. Germany itself cannot spy legally on their own citizens in such a manner as the NSA, thus needs the outside source which is out of legal jurisdiction and cannot be held accountable. This is only a politically driven tactic to slowly push the US out of its backyard and for the EU to stand out on its own as a world superpower.
The European Union (EU) is planning to assemble an independent intelligence body of its own in “an urgent response” to the recent revelation that the US has been spying on EU officials as well as European citizens.
The planned apparatus, which will be set up by owning and operating spy drones, surveillance satellites and espionage aircraft by the EU itself, will be used for “internal security and defence purposes,” the Telegraph reported, citing “officials.” Continue reading
Spain and the US are expected to formalize an agreement in the coming weeks over the stationing of four destroyers at the naval base in Rota, Cádiz, for an initial period of over four years. The deal is worth 200 million euros to Spanish public company Navantia, which will be responsible for the maintenance of the four Arleigh Burke class vessels. The destroyers form part of the NATO missile defense shield and are equipped with Aegis combat systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles. Continue reading