Head of German Institute for Economic Research demands €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt contraction of credit and avert Japanese-style trap
A leading German institute has called for full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) to head off a deflation spiral, marking a radical shift in thinking among the German policy elites.
Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, demanded €60bn (£50bn) of bond purchases each month to halt the contraction of credit and avert a Japanese-style trap. Continue reading
KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – As the Crimean crisis escalates, the German Navy is dispatching one of its spy ships to the Mediterranean. The “Alster,” which had already been carrying out espionage on the Syrian war zone, is reported to have sailed from its homeport. Whether it will pursue a route through the Mediterranean to the Black Sea remains the Bundeswehr’s secret. With the Crimean conflict, the power struggle over the Ukraine is involving an area of utmost geostrategic importance to Moscow. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed on the Crimean Peninsula, which is considered “Russia’s diving board into the Mediterranean,” where Russia has increased activities since 2013, seeking to counterbalance the USA. It is already being speculated, that the pro-western putschist government could annul the accord on stationing the Black Sea Fleet, thereby depriving Russia of this strategic position. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow has had to watch how NATO has expanded its position in the Black Sea – with Bundeswehr participation and at the expense of Russia. Crimea’s geostrategic importance explains why Germany – unlike in the case, for example, of Yugoslavia – is trying to prevent the peninsula’s secession and a rapprochement with Russia by all means. Continue reading
WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – An expert at Berlin’s Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is warning against an expansion of German-European military missions. “The analysis of interventions over the past twenty years” has led to “sobering insights into the limitations” of foreign military operations, according to a current position paper published by the SWP. This even applies to those military operations having the official objective of preventing massacres. In Libya, for example, “the risk of mass violence” is, by all means, “considered to be higher today, than before the intervention” in 2011. The SWP’s expert writes that in the USA “politicians and scholars” are “to a growing extent, agreeing that military interventions are an ineffective and extremely expensive instrument.” In fact, US experts are drawing a devastating conclusion about Washington’s intervention policy. One political scientist, taking the example of Syria, found that a military mission to that country, when seen in light of the experiences of Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya, would “make a bad situation much worse.” Regardless of such warnings, Berlin continues to adamantly pursue its expansion of German-European military missions – for the time being, particularly in Africa. Continue reading
As Washington and the Europeans – and especially the UK – continue to decry Russian military aggression, the US and Russians have quietly entered into intense negotiations on a compromise for resolving their dispute over Ukraine, debkafile’s Washington and Moscow sources report.
Moscow insists on keeping in place the military forces which took control of Crimea over the weekend, but is ready to discuss terms for restraining the Russian army from advancing into the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. Continue reading
Calling Obama’s bluff and showing how incapable both America and Europe all in one step. The repercussions for this are likely nothing as they will have a limited or no effect. Obama can do nothing but continue to make hollow threats of ‘economic sanctions’. Russia does not care, nor do they think the same, as they are awash in oil and gas export profits.
Put on your seat belts, we’re in uncharted territory with an angry Putin bent on retaking the Ukraine that was destabilized by Berlin and Washington.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, pro-Russian demonstrators raise the Russian flag on government buildings; speaker of Russia’s lower parliament house said that ‘for now, there is no need’ to send armed forces.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has told Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender by 5 A.M. on Tuesday or face a military assault, Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry as saying.
The ultimatum, Interfax said, was issued by Alexander Vitko, the fleet’s commander. The ministry did not immediately confirm the report and there was no immediate comment by the Black Sea Fleet, which has a base in Crimea, where Russian forces are in control.
“If they do not surrender before 5 A.M. tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea,” the agency quoted the ministry source as saying. Continue reading
BERLIN/KIEV/BERN (Own report) – In the aftermath of the Western-oriented putsch in Kiev, German politicians are preparing German public opinion for the disastrous deterioration of the Ukraine economic situation. Even though it was most recently suggested that the country could only expect a thriving development by linking up to the EU, it is now – truthfully – being announced that Ukraine is practically bankrupt. The CDU European parliamentarian, Elmar Brok, predicts “difficult times” ahead: “It has never rained gold coins, except in fairy tales.” In fact back in the fall, experts had already indicated that, because of its out-dated industry, the Ukraine would have to expect dramatic economic slumps if it signs the EU Association Agreements – unemployment and poverty would dramatically rise. In a position paper, the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is now proposing the introduction of a special status in EU ties for the Ukraine as well as other countries, such as Turkey. This sort of EU “second ring” would also permit the economic integration of such countries as Switzerland, which politically resists joining the EU. The SWP contends that these plans could also be used for Catalonia, should it secede from Spain and Scotland, from Britain. Continue reading
Berlin and Washington upped the ante, had the current Kiev regime overthrown and now Moscow has responded. In addition to what DEBKAfile had reported, the Russians are now preparing for potential conflict in the nearby sea. To what extent this will play out is not yet known.
According to Russian news site flot.com, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the Crimea.
Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Continue reading
What is happening on the streets of Kiev right now is really a proxy war between the East and the West. On the one side you have the USSA and the EUSSR, which are quite determined to bring Ukraine under their sphere of influence. On the other side you have Russia (the former USSR), which is quite determined to keep Ukraine out of the EU and out of NATO. In addition, Russia is extremely concerned about the strategic natural gas pipelines that go through Ukraine that transport gas from Russia to the rest of Europe. Ultimately, it is not in the interest of the people of Ukraine to be dominated by either side, but that is going to be what ends up happening. The Cold War is playing out on the streets of Kiev as you read this, and this conflict is going to greatly increase tensions between the East and the West. As these tensions continue to rise, someday this Cold War could actually end up sparking a real war between the superpowers.
If you want the real deal on the Ukraine, here it is. Berlin is going all in. There are no such thing as sporatic uprisings where college kids empty the university classrooms to go out, demonstrate with wooden picket signs, or throw bottles and stones at police officers in riot gear. These are 99.9% of the time well thought out and methodically planned in advance, such as the Occupy Wall Street (see also here) thugs.
KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Yesterday, the day after the German Chancellor held deliberations with two leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, protests in Kiev escalated into bloody confrontations. Demonstrators, unconditionally sponsored by Germany and other western countries for months, began, over the past few days, to arm themselves with firearms and ammunition. Two police officers were shot to death during yesterday’s uprising. This escalation into a bloody confrontation followed on the heels of government compliance with a fundamental demand of the demonstrators, just as it seemed that a de-escalation was about to begin – to the tactical disadvantage of the “German’s man” in Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, who has been calling for the president to resign. Klitschko, who flew to Berlin Monday, to discuss the next steps, threatened an even more bloody escalation and declared, that he does not “rule out the use of force in the evacuation of the Maidan.” One of the organizations he is relying on is explicitly named after Nazi collaborators, who had carried out mass-murder of Soviet Jews. Escalation strategies, such as those currently implemented in Kiev, are not alien to German foreign policy. Continue reading
Washington and Berlin raise the intensity another notch in wrestling Ukraine away from Russia. From the state-sponsored (FSB/KGB) RIA Novosti:
KIEV, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – At least 25 people, including nine police officers, were killed Tuesday in bloody clashes in the Ukrainian capital that are threatening to tip the former Soviet nation into civil conflict.
With police engaged in an overnight battle to clear central Kiev of anti-government protesters, fears abounded that the death toll could rise as eyewitnesses reported seeing bodies not apparently accounted for by the authorities.
The scale of the violence prompted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appeal for restraint and “genuine dialogue” between authorities and the opposition. Russia, which has staunchly backed President Viktor Yanukovych, accused Western governments of fanning tension by interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Continue reading
BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – The derogatory German campaign against Russia and its President Vladimir Putin has persisted even after the Olympic Games have opened. The campaign is not only aimed at mobilizing German public opinion; it seeks to also further incite the emerging Russian middle strata against their government. These middle strata are gaining in strength and are seen as a potential leverage for Western influence in Moscow since the 2011 and 2012 mass demonstrations against the current President Vladimir Putin. German government advisors are proposing that Berlin establish new channels of influence through contacts to oppositional milieus of these middle strata. The German government is not only exploiting liberal but also national chauvinist circles of the opposition – just as it does in the Ukraine, where it also relies on the fascist milieu’s potential for protest. A Russian opposition leader, who is popular in Berlin, refers to natives of the Caucasus as “cockroaches” and recommends the pistol as the means for dealing with them. He is praised as an “anti-corruption expert” in German media reports on the Sochi Olympic Games. Continue reading
The project to impose political union is bringing economic ruin, making the legitimacy of the EU project ever more vulnerable
On the face of it, they seem worlds apart. Switzerland’s referendum vote against the free movement of labour, the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) attempts to save the euro, and the warning to Scotland that it won’t be allowed to keep the pound if it votes for independence – these might seem unrelated, but in truth they are all part of an increasingly explosive stand-off between the forces of national sovereignty on the one hand, and political and economic integration on the other. Continue reading