A Matter of National Interest

BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the drastic warnings of the EU’s possible disintegration, Berlin seeks to prevent the formation of contending forces. “The European Union is drifting apart to an extent hardly imaginable 15 years ago,” according to a recent analysis, written by a board member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The “dividing lines” between the north and the impoverishing south, as well as between western and eastern EU member countries are disquieting. To prevent the formation of a southern European bloc opposing the German austerity dictate, Berlin is particularly trying to integrate France into its EU policy. Yesterday, the German chancellor sought closer cooperation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to undermine an alliance of the Visegrád members against German predominance. At the same time, promotion of the EU has been intensified within Germany. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel explained how Germany ultimately profits from its net contributions to the EU budget: The success of German exports depends on “the people in the other EU countries” being able “to afford” German products – with the help of Brussels’ subsidies. Continue reading

Secession as a Point of Leverage (II)

LONDON/BERLIN (Own report) – Scotland has established an investment center in Berlin, thereby reinforcing its economic ties to the EU and causing – with German support – new tension in Great Britain. According to critics, in its intended secession from the United Kingdom, for which it must establish economic security, the Scottish government is relying on German help. In fact, to increase the pressure on London to achieve the “softest” Brexit possible, Berlin and Germany’s regional governments are going out of their way to strengthen relations with Edinburgh. This is considered essential to German interests. Government advisors in Berlin are recommending using Ireland for obtaining influence in the negotiations concerning the borders between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. In the event of a “hard” Brexit, this border would be a particularly sensitive point. Berlin is also using EU foreigners, residing in the United Kingdom, as an additional bargaining chip. Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to have their rights of residence clarified beforehand. Continue reading

Germany’s Geopolitical Interests

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – In spite of the Turkish government’s recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as “fascist,” thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara’s brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from “becoming even more alienated from us,” which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany’s capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin’s ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara. Continue reading

EU Prepares for Trade War with U.S. – Süddeutsche Zeitung

Photo: RIA Novosti / Aleksey Vitvitskiy

 

EU countries are considering three main variants of answering possible changes in the US trade policy.

Active discussions on how to react to plans of US President Donald Trump to introduce a 20 percent duty on imported goods in the US are held in EU countries, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported.

First of all, EU states themselves could subsidize their enterprises in order to save the companies from additional costs for new duties. In addition, companies would manage to remain competitive. However, this variant would hit the budget of European countries. Continue reading

Divide and Rule

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – With today’s special summit of four heads of state, Berlin is preparing the EU’s transformation in response to the Brexit. The German chancellor will meet in Versailles this afternoon with France’s president and the prime ministers of Italy and Spain. Selected southern EU members have been included in alleged leadership meetings with the German chancellor to prevent a southern European bloc from emerging, which could possibly, in the future, put an end to German austerity dictates. With Great Britain’s exit, the neo-liberal oriented EU countries are loosing the necessary quorum for a veto in EU bodies. Berlin could also encounter problems with the Eastern European “Visegrád Group,” which does not want to support the emergence of a powerful integrated core around a German hub, because it would consolidate a two or even three-class EU. Reinforcement of the EU’s anti-refugee border-management and particularly its resolute militarization are emerging as the common denominators for the Union’s transformation. Continue reading

Focus on Global Politics

A ‘multi-speed EU’ isn’t a recent idea Merkel has had, as she first called for a ‘two-speed’ Europe in 2012. Continue watching developments as they unfold and get ready for a German-dominated United States of Europe.

 

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – A new “White Paper” is supposed to precipitate the debate about the EU’s future. The paper, presented by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday, sketches out five scenarios for the EU’s possible development. These should be taken into consideration in preparations for the EU’s March 25 special summit. One of the scenarios corresponds to that of the “multi-speed EU,” which Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently called for. Juncker also now favors this demand. This demand means that certain groups of countries forge ahead with intensive cooperation in particular fields of politics leaving others two or three steps behind. This scenario permits the creation of multinational armed forces in Europe, in spite of persistent resistance from several EU member states. This is why Berlin favors it as a solution. Another of Juncker’s scenarios suggests that the EU reduce its number of key policy fields, to include warding off refugees, foreign and military policy. With elements of this scenario, Berlin could avoid paying billions to shoulder the consequences of the Brexit – at the expense of poorer EU members. Continue reading

It’s Happening: France’s Le Pen Declares War on Germany’s Merkel, to Her Face, at EU Assembly

The video is actually from 2015, but shows you the direction France (and Europe) is heading, as predicted: A strong right turn.

 

 

This is a savage assault upon Merkel, delivered with fierce Marine Le Pen — who called Germany a ‘servant to America.’ I’ve never seen anything quite like it, frankly. It bordered on sabre rattling before a declaration of war. Continue reading

Merkel yields to Trump: Germany should meet defense spending obligation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 

U.S. President Donald Trump is actively pressuring NATO allies to increase their defense spending. Germany currently spends about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense, which Merkel vows to change if she is elected for a fourth term in office this September.

“Obligations have to be fulfilled,” Merkel said at a campaign rally on Feb. 25. “And, others in the world will demand that of us. And, I think they’re right that Germany must uphold its obligations.” Continue reading

Germany to Be a Bigger Military Power Than Russia

Caption: Bundeswehr soldiers (CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Even a modest boost to German defense spending means radical changes to the world order.

Germany will boost the size of its military to nearly 200,000, hiring an additional 20,000 soldiers by 2024, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 21.

Germany had already announced plans to increase its army to 193,000 by 2023, so this is merely an incremental increase compared to earlier plans. However, it does confirm the radical change in direction for Germany. Its army had shrunk to a low of 166,500 last June and has only just begun turning around. Now, each new announcement about the German military is an increase. Continue reading

Canada Copying Merkel’s Open Door Policy

arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com

 

Canada to become the new Germany.

Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau has said Canada will continue to accept asylum seekers crossing illegally from the US in what amounts to a replication of the disastrous Angela Merkel open-door policy. Continue reading

Russia seeks ‘post-West’ order as US vows loyalty to allies

Russia Saturday called for an end to what it said was an outdated world order dominated by the West after US Vice President Mike Pence pledged Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to transatlantic allies in NATO.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a diametrically opposed global vision, just hours after Pence vowed to stand with Europe to rein in a resurgent Moscow.

“I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order — a post-West one — in which each country is defined by its sovereignty,” said Lavrov. Continue reading

America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

Caption: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosts a joint press meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. (Brigitte N. Brantley/Flickr)

 

Europe doing more means Germany doing more.

United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.

“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”

“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned. Continue reading

Torchbearer of the West

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – In the run-up to the Munich Security Conference this weekend, leading German foreign policy experts are calling on the EU to reposition itself on the world stage, replacing the United States as the West’s “torchbearer.” Since Washington’s change of government, the United States no longer “qualifies as the symbol of the West’s political and moral leadership,” according to Wolfgang Ischinger, Chair of the Munich Security Conference. It is therefore up to Europe “to make up for this loss.” Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a programmatic speech at this weekend’s conference, focusing on the future relationship between the EU and the USA. In anticipation of the looming power struggle, in the German capital, the EU is already being warned not to allow itself to be torn apart by outside rivals. Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth cautioned against “special deals” being made between individual EU countries and the new Trump administration. If there is sufficient coherence necessitating, for example, majority decisions in foreign policy, “we Europeans” could become an “impressive political and military power,” Ischinger cajoled. Continue reading

Greece warned Troika they are Playing with Fire

 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis is finally getting some backbone thanks to BREXIT. He has now warned the IMF and the German Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble and Merkel along with the Troika, that they should no longer “play with the fire” in the Greek debt crisis. The Troika’s demands have been an all or nothing approach to subjugate Greece. They have pushed Greece beyond human endurance and the EU will pay the price. Continue reading