Europe Launches War On Italy’s Fiscal Plans: Warns Of Debt “Explosion”, Threatens Savers

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In the aftermath of Italy’s defiant announcement that it would expand its 2019 budget deficit to 2.4% of GDP, above both the initial proposal from finmin Tria which was 1.6%, and also higher than the European “redline” of 2.0%, the question was how would Europe respond to this open mutiny by Italy.

The answers started to emerge on Friday, when European Parliament head Antonio Tajani said that fiscal targets set by Italy’s eurosceptic government were “against the people” and could hit savers without creating jobs.

“I am very concerned for what is happening in Italy,” said Tajani, who is a center-right opposition politician in Italy and close ally to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The budgetary plans “will not raise employment but will cause trouble to the savings of the Italians,” Tajani said. Continue reading

All Euros Gravitate To Germany

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The Euro has been around for almost 20 years. The Russian transfer ruble survived 25 years. As GEFIRA explains, the two currencies have something in common: they were and are not a success story…

The introduction of the transfer ruble was intended to enable free trade between the countries of the Eastern bloc. The creation of the common clearing system led to the exchange rates for the East German mark, zloty, forint, lev, and even the Mongolian tugrik being arbitrarily fixed by the Soviet Union, regardless of the purchasing power of the national currencies. In the 1960s, the Bulgarian lev was 20% undervalued and the Polish zloty about 45% overvalued. Since the transfer ruble was not yet convertible into Western currencies, it remained an illusion and a means by which the Soviet Union could enrich itself and save its budget at the expense of its satellite states: the Russians bought raw materials, goods, food for convertible currencies in the West and sold them to their “socialist friends” for transfer rubels. The international bank for economic cooperation, which sat in Moscow and handled all transactions in the transfer ruble, swept the real trade surpluses and deficits under the carpet. With the political change the common settlement currency came to to an end, and it turned out that the Soviet Union owed huge sums to its “brothers”. Continue reading

In Sweden, Europe’s Drift To The Right Continues

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“Populism” seemed to have suffered a premature death a year ago. Emmanuel Macron had beaten Marine Le Pen in the French presidential elections, Dutch right-winger Geert Wilders had underperformed massively, and the EU had found — or at least thought to have found — new popularity all around Europe. After a turbulent 2016, in which the UK voted to exit the EU, and which saw Donald Trump become US president, everything seemed well again.

Ever since, however, the tide has turned again, and Europe’s drift to the right, coupled with the ongoing demise of center-left parties, has continued. Highlights of the past year included a strong performance by the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany (they are polling second behind Angela Merkel’s CDU right now), a right-wing coalition government in Austria, and the Italian election in March, which saw two “populist” movements come to power together (and since then causing havoc on the European level). Continue reading

Greece’s Bailout May Be Over, but Not Its Economic Woes

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A ripped off Greek national flag flutters in central Athens on July 22, 2015. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Underlying obstacles to job creation and entrepreneurship remain

After eight years, Greece has finally exited bailout territory, and the European Union is making a strong case that the program was a success.

While Greece may have ended the bailout process, the underlying issues that wrecked its economy in the first place remain largely intact. Continue reading

Did Germany Win the 100-Year War?

Everything that has been mentioned on Global Geopolitics since 2011 regarding Berlin and it’s United States of Europe project is pretty much summarized within this article. The only thing missing is the end game.

Germany has once again conquered Europe and the entire world has missed it. The plan and timeline has changed but the goals once again remain the same. Instead of Nazis you have Germans running the EU through the Troika with key figures in key places, subjugating the entire continent through political sabotage and economic might. It’s been said oft here that if you’re looking for Nazis, you’re over 70 years late. It’s now a multicultural and multinational European superstate once united by a common goal, but now by force, and by Berlin. It even has its own European Army under construction.

The Fourth Reich has landed.

 

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“Periodization” is a trendy academic term for historians’ use of particular (and sometimes arbitrary) chronological terms—often in reference to wars in general, and in particular to when they started and ended.

Were there really “three” Punic Wars rather than just one that continued for well over a century from 264-146 BC, ending only with the Roman absolute destruction of Carthage? Continue reading

Geopolitical crisis : A moribund NATO

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As we have explained on other occasions, NATO is still there, of course, but only because there are no better options at hand. Everyone wants to be rid of it – the Europeans who want a common European defence[1] and Donald Trump who wants Europeans to participate more in their own defence. They are all contributing to a slow process in which NATO continues to get in the way whilst Europeans dither between several strategies:

  • To increase their share[2] and thus acquire an equal say with that of the US within NATO (with the long-term aim of separating off to form a European NATO[3]). Problem: For this strategy to have a chance of success, much greater cohesion is needed in the European camp – something that is still a long way off at the moment. Continue reading

Russia moving into Libya

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Libyan National Army forces, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Khalifah Haftar, is pushing for a Russian military presence in eastern Libya. (The Washington Times/File) Photo by: Mathieu Galtier

 

U.S. intelligence agencies are closely monitoring Russian military activities in Libya for signs that Moscow may soon build a military base in the divided North African state.

Intelligence reports indicate that Russia is planning to expand its Syrian bases at Tartus and Hemeimeem to Libya.

The possible Russian move into Libya represents the most recent failure stemming from the policies of President Obama that backed Islamist rebels who overthrew and killed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Mr. Obama has said that the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the ouster of Gadhafi was the worst mistake of his presidency. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also came under fire for failing to provide security for Americans who were attacked and killed in Benghazi after Gadhafi’s fall. Continue reading

Germans Actually Want US Troops Out Of Germany, Poll Finds

While Donald Trump is 100% correct on Germany being controlled by Russia, it’s not a 100% influence over Germany… and he’s also unwittingly helping someone else fill in the vacuum of a post-American-protected Europe. Europeans have already longed for the day American troops leave Europe, long before this poll ever came out. The question is who will fill that vacuum. The likely answer is a European Army replacing NATO, which is already Under Construction as we speak.

There may be partnerships going on between Europe and Russia, but Europe, militarily speaking, understands the need for its own independent defense mechanism and still feels threatened by Russia despite energy and business deals. Moreover, this is not necessarily something thought of by EU members as a whole, but Germany. Germany is the powerhouse of the EU and has always had ambitions to take Europe — even in this new generation. It dictates its policy and those who don’t follow end up being vassal states like Greece and Cyprus. Although harder to push around, Italy is the next target for the chopping block after the election of an anti-EU leadership. This is Germany’s way of getting member states in sync.

The creation of a new superpower is underway, all lead by Berlin’s Fourth Reich. If you’re still looking for Nazis, you’re 70 years too late. The game plan has changed, but the goal remains the same: A multi-national United States of Europe with its own European Army.

 

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A central irony behind Trump’s rumored “threat” that he could withdraw or at least greatly reduce American troops stationed in Germany, who last month wrote to Angela Merkel of “growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised” on defense spending, is that Germans don’t actually want US troops on their soil to begin with, according to a new poll. Continue reading

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

 

The predictions have come true about the emergence of a new defense group that will change the European security environment. On June 25, the defense chiefs from nine EU countries signed off on the creation of a new force called the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which is spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. The new organization will have a common budget and a doctrine establishing its guidelines for acting and joint planning for contingencies in which NATO may not get involved. The group includes the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal. Italy may join soon. The initiative is not tied to the EU’s Common European Defense, which includes the PESCO agreement as well as NATO. Great Britain has always opposed the idea of creating a European defense alliance, fearing it would undermine transatlantic unity. Now it has done an about-face, as the rifts within the US grow deeper. Continue reading

Farage: Merkel’s finished, migration policy is her downfall

 

“She was the most powerful European leader, been in power over a decade. She was the dominant figure, not just in Germany, but in the entire European Union,” Farage said. Continue reading

“It’s A New Chapter For Europe”: Merkel, Macron Unveil Plan To Reform Europe

Lost among the other overnight news, was the launch of “a new chapter” for the EU as termed by Germany’s troubled chancellor Merkel. After her meeting with French President Macron on Tuesday, Merkel said Germany and France have agreed to cooperate to reform the EU’s asylum system as both “understand the topic of migration is a joint task” and “our goal remains a European answer to the challenge.” What she really meant is that if her government is toppled by the collapse of the CSU-CDU coalition – recall Merkel has a 2 week ultimatum to reach a solution on Germany’s treatment of refugees by July 1 – the rest of Europe gets it too, and the grand experiment is over.

Aside from immigration, the two leaders agreed to an in principle plan to strengthen the Euro area, including setting up a euro-area budget and a crisis backstop under the ESM (European stability mechanism), although they postponed decisions on some elements which could prove consequential. Chief among them: specifics on the size and conditions of the euro-area budget. Continue reading

Germany’s Interior Minister ‘can’t work with Merkel anymore’

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The German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, has been increasingly outspoken in the need for a far tougher approach on migration, including the turning away of migrants without documentation. Continue reading

As the G-7 Implodes, SCO Meeting Confirms the New Century of Multipolarity

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The historical changes we are witnessing have never been so evident as in the last few days. The G7 summit highlighted the limits of the Atlantic alliance, while the SCO meeting opens up unprecedented possibilities for Eurasian integration.

At the G7 meeting in Canada in recent days, we witnessed unprecedented clashes between Trump and G7 leaders over the imposition of tariffs on trade. We must now conclude that the event has been relegated to irrelevance, as the G7 has heretofore derived its clout from speaking as one voice. Trump even went further, refusing to sign the final draft of the organization’s joint statement after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Trump’s trade decisions. Trump showed how little he cares for his allies, leaving the summit a day early to arrive early for the meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore to make preparations for the long-awaited encounter between the two leaders. Continue reading

Italian Troops Deployed Alongside US And French Forces In Eastern Syria: Turkish Media

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Italy has sent troops to the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported on June 12 citing local sources. Continue reading

Why Italians are fed up with Europe

Joep Bertrams

 

The rise to government of Eurosceptic parties is the consequence of austerity policies made in the name of cleaner public finances and of the euro convergence criteria.

Two Eurosceptic forces are now governing Italy. On one hand the 5-Star Movement, the anti-system party of Luigi de Maio founded by the humorist Beppe Grillo. On the other, far-right xenophobic Liga led by Matteo Salvini. How could this have happened? How did one of the European Union’s six founding members, host of Treaty of Rome in 1957, and for a long time the EU’s most Europhile country, give a parliamentary majority to groups so hostile to European integration? Continue reading