PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Germany is participating in a new European military formation that was launched yesterday. Originally a French proposal, the European Intervention Initiative (EII) will be open to EU and Non-EU member countries to join. Expanding the existing EU military cooperation (“PESCO”) with a new operational component, the EII should facilitate rapid decisions on joint military interventions. A first meeting of military commanders from the hitherto nine participant states is set for September. The EII includes Great Britain, which plans to continue its military cooperation with the continent, even after Brexit, as well as Denmark. Since the coordination of military interventions is now officially set outside of the EU framework, Denmark can sidestep the opt-out from EU military policy, it had once granted its population. Referred to by experts as a European “coalition of the willing,” it goes hand in hand with the EU Commission’s militarization plans worth billions and the high-cost German-French arms projects.
VIENNA/BERLIN (Own report) – The United Nations is protesting against the surveillance of its Vienna-based institutions conducted for years by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). The Vienna International Center (“UNO City”) “expects” that member states “respect the organization’s independence as well as the inviolability of its premises.” According to recent reports, from 1999 to 2006, the BND had monitored at least 2000 communication lines in Austria including those of the Vienna Chancellery and 128 telecommunication lines of the United Nations. The BND’s espionage in Austria has been known since 2015, but never clarified, because the competent German authorities, including the German Chancellery, refused to render Vienna the necessary assistance. The BND is accused of repeatedly refusing to tell the intelligence service monitors their reasons for spying, for example, on a “public body” of an EU member state. At the time of the large-scale spying in Austria, the current German President bore the highest responsibility for BND activities.
Austria is working with like-minded EU countries to set up migrant reception centres outside of the bloc, saying that shelters should provide protection and not a better life in Europe.
Speaking to public broadcaster ORF, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “efforts are underway to create protection centers outside of Europe where we can accommodate refugees, offer protection but not a better life in Central Europe.” Continue reading
German chancellor voices approval for French president’s military integration proposal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared on Sunday, June 3, that she held a “positive view” of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for further European military integration.
Macron outlined his plan for a reformed eurozone in a September 2017 speech. He called for a European Union military intervention force with a budget agreed upon by the year 2020. He has been pushing for Germany to come on board with such a plan for a European military unity, stating, “Our ambitions cannot be realized alone. I have said it already several times, they need to be accompanied by Germany’s ambitions.” Continue reading
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Austria’s populist government for its decision to shutter seven mosques and expel dozens of Turkish-funded imams.
“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said, according to a report by AFP. Continue reading
Last weekend, around 10,000 people gathered in a field near the town of Bleiburg in southern Austria for what the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance calls the “largest regular neo-Nazi rally” in Europe. Hitler salutes, racist flags and slogans were common. Kids ran around with fascist slogans on their T-shirts. Featured guests gave speeches defending fascism.
Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the event “an affront to the memory of Holocaust victims.”
But the most surprising part of this event may be the identity of its organizer: the Croatian Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.
What is the Catholic Church doing organizing a neo-Nazi rally? A look at history points to the answer. Continue reading
For years there has been a struggle in the Eurozone between those that want to transform it into a transfer union and those that who want a Europe of independent and cooperating countries. The latter including Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany want strict limits for deficits and debt brakes as envisioned in the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Some, such as the European Constitutional Group, even demand a mechanism for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone. The former including Mediterranean member states led by France, do not openly call their objective a fiscal union or the creation of a “European Super State” but prefer to talk about a “deepening of the European project.” The reason for this division is straightforward: The central and northern European countries would be the contributors to a transfer union while the club Med would be on the receiving side. Continue reading
The Turkish government has made the decision to repatriate all of its gold reserves that are currently housed in the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). Overall Turkey was storing 220 tonnes, valued at $25.3 billion, in the US, which it repossessed on April 19, 2018.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toughened his stance against the US dollar (USD), declaring that international loans should be made in gold instead of the American currency. Ankara is seeking to reduce dependence on the US financial system. The gold’s homecoming was partly prompted by the US threats to impose sanctions if Turkey goes through with the signed deal to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems. Continue reading
After Venezuela, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to reports in Turkey’s Yeni Safak. It won’t be the first time Turkey has asked the NY Fed to ship the country’s gold back: in recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.
According to the latest IMF data, Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 591 tons, worth just over $23 billion. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. Continue reading
“I am a burkaphobe.”
- “What is clear at any rate: the financing [of imams] by foreign actors must stop.” — Jens Spahn, Deutsche Welle.
- “The message that ‘If you reach a Greek island, you will be in Germany in six days,’ not only encourages refugees from Syria, but also many people in Bangladesh and India. No country in the world, and no European Union, can withstand that if we give up control of our external borders.” — Jens Spahn, Die Zeit.
- “To anyone who makes their way to Germany, it must made be clear that their life here will be very different from that at home. They should think carefully about whether they really want to live in this western culture.” — Die Welt.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has sparked a mutiny from within her own party over a controversial coalition deal that allows her to remain in office for a fourth term. The deal, in which Merkel agreed to relinquish control over the most influential government ministries, has led a growing number of voices from within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to say — publicly — that it is time to begin looking for her successor. Continue reading
Austria’s new government has pledged support for the EU, but aims to give a hard time to refugees and to be friendlier to Russia.
The policy lines emerged on Sunday (17 December) in a coalition deal between the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).
The pact is to see the OVP’s 31-year old Sebastian Kurz become Austria’s youngest-ever leader, with the FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache as deputy. Continue reading
CATALONIA’S quest for independence from Spain could spark a domino effect plunging the European Union into crisis as a map reveals the other regions across the continent desperate for autonomy.
Catalonia threw Spain into a constitutional crisis yesterday after declaring independence following a controversial referendum.
But the region is not alone in its hope for independence and the aftershocks of the Catalonia crisis could further splinter the EU with dozens of regions hoping to return to autonomy and fighting their own battle to regain control. Continue reading
As stated over and over again, Europe is going to take a far right swing. All it needed was a catalyst and the immigration issue has proved to be one, along with islamic terrorist attacks and Germany’s fourth power grab for Europe.
SEBASTIAN Kurz has declared victory in the Austrian elections following the latest vote projections, which could see him form an alliance with the far-right in a crushing blow for the European Union.
The People’s Party (OVP) got 30.2 per cent of the vote, according to exit polls from Austrian news channel ORF.
Mr Kurz’s party is tough on migration, easy on taxes and widely Eurosceptic after rebranding itself over the last few months to propel its popularity in the wealthy Alpine nation. Continue reading
In the future, power projection via drones will not be limited to Asia or the Asia-Pacific, but the Western Pacific on America’s doorstep — if not pushing through.
You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. – Ezekiel 38:16
DOD predicts China will produce tens of thousands of drones by 2023
A new report reveals how the Chinese military uses unmanned drones as a means of power projection and surveillance in the hotly contested South and East China Seas.
Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else. Continue reading