Germany Is Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command

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Berlin is using a bland name to obscure a dramatic shift in its approach to defense: integrating brigades from smaller countries into the Bundeswehr.

Every few years, the idea of an EU army finds its way back into the news, causing a kerfuffle. The concept is both fantasy and bogeyman: For every federalist in Brussels who thinks a common defense force is what Europe needs to boost its standing in the world, there are those in London and elsewhere who recoil at the notion of a potential NATO rival.

But this year, far from the headlines, Germany and two of its European allies, the Czech Republic and Romania, quietly took a radical step down a path toward something that looks like an EU army while avoiding the messy politics associated with it: They announced the integration of their armed forces. Continue reading

Increasing Power at the Gulf

BERLIN/KUWAIT CITY (Own report) – Berlin is considering deploying German fighter jets in Kuwait to systematically expand its foothold in this Middle East Emirate. It is not yet clear, whether the Bundeswehr’s Tornados, currently participating in the anti-IS war, will be removed from Incirlik Air Base or where they may otherwise be stationed. The Kingdom of Jordan or the British colony on Cyprus (Akrotiri and Dhekelia) may be alternatives. Kuwait is also an option, given the fact that the German government has been intensifying its cooperation with the Emirate for quite some time – not only economically but also with arms deliveries. Increasing the German military presence in Kuwait would raise German-Kuwaiti relations to new heights. The Bundeswehr would also gain another foothold directly at the Persian Gulf. So far, particularly the US, British and French armed forces have a presence in that region. Continue reading

Merkel worried about Brexit Britain gaining Economic Advantage

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Speaking to a group of businesses in Berlin, Merkel said that once the UK formally leaves the bloc, which will currently set to be by the end of March 2019, we will be able to have a bonfire of EU regulations which will make us even more competitive on the world stage, gaining a possible economic edge. Continue reading

Germany warns it could pull its NATO troops out of Turkey base

Source: Spacewar

 

Berlin on Monday slammed Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit a NATO base near Syria and warned it could move its troops elsewhere.

The German foreign ministry described as “absolutely unacceptable” Turkey’s latest ban on a visit to the Incirlik base in southern Turkey, used by the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

Germany has about 250 military personnel stationed there, flying Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refuelling flights for partner nations battling IS jihadists. Continue reading

China’s Project of the Century

BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin und Brussels are obstructing China’s “New Silk Road” mega project. Last Sunday, the EU refused to sign a declaration pertaining to this project at an international summit in Beijing with representatives from more than 100 countries, including 29 heads of states and governments. Beijing plans to invest trillions in this project to develop overland and maritime transport corridors from East Asia to Europe. It is considered one of today’s most important economic-strategic projects. A similar project, initiated by Berlin and Brussels in 1993 was a failure. China seeks new markets for its economy, but also seeks to consolidate unstable regions in the West of the People’s Republic. The “New Silk Road” is intended to closely connect the economies in Europe and Asia – without the United States, which had opposed it. German interests are contradictory: While business circles hope for new profits through intensified cooperation, China’s rise, propelled by this project, is challenging Germany and the EU’s geopolitical interests. Thus, Berlin and Brussels are taking an ambivalent position. Continue reading

Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants

Hamburg, Germany. (Image source: Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images)

 

“A massive attack on the property rights”

  • In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
  • Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.
  • Some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?

Authorities in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years. Continue reading

Erdoğans Transition

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – The German government is negotiating new German Turkish arms deals, as was confirmed by the German Ministry of Economics. Brigitte Zypries (SPD), Minister of the Economy, spoke with the CEO of Rheinmetall weapons manufacturer about upgrading the Turkish Leopard battle tank. “In principle,” such deals with NATO partners “can not to be restricted,” according to Berlin. The German government is also seeking to re-invigorate German-Turkish economic cooperation, to strengthen bilateral relations. Germany does not want to loose Turkey as a “bridge” connecting Germany and the EU to the Middle East. Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara is not only strengthening the country’s economy and, in the long run, make it one of the world’s top ten economies (“Vision 2023”), he is also planning to transform the country into an independent regional power, forming alliances as it chooses – no longer dependent on the western states. The reorientation of its foreign policy is accompanied by the country’s transformation into a presidential dictatorship. Continue reading

Brussels’ Provocations

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) – German business associations are calling on the EU Commission to end its Brexit provocations. An unorderly Brexit would entail enormous costs for the German economy, the President of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) warned; therefore an amicable Brexit agreement with London must be reached. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) expressed a similar view. The head of the EU’s Commission’s recent audacious financial demands and deliberate indiscretions have stirred massive resentment in the United Kingdom and were rightfully considered an attempt to influence Britain’s upcoming parliamentary elections. Observers attribute these indiscretions to EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker’s German Chief of Staff, Martin Selmayr (CDU), who is currently playing a key role in the Commission’s Brexit negotiations’ preparations. The German Chancellery is now calling for restraint in view of the severe damage a hard Brexit could entail for the German economy. Continue reading

German finance minister jumps on Macron to demand great EU integration and economic reform

Finance minister Wolfgang Schauble will discuss boosting the Eurozone with the new French government

Finance minister Wolfgang Schauble will discuss boosting the Eurozone with the new French government [GETTY]

 

GERMANY is to urge Emmanuel Macron to push for more EU integration and a stronger Europe.

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron has already spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone as she heralded his win a victory for a “united Europe”.

Mr Macron plans to visit Berlin shortly with German ministers poised to use the new French government to strengthen the eurozone.  Continue reading

Germany Hit by Merkel’s Imported Crime Wave

 

  • According to the Germany’s annual crime report, compiled by the Federal Crime Bureau (BKA), there has been a more than 50% rise in migrant crime in the country compared to the year before.
  • They not only indulge in petty crime but have come to dominate serious and violent crime in Germany.
  • European mainstream media may keep on putting a positive spin on Merkel’s “courageous” and “selfless” stance, but her policy continues to incur heavy economic, social and human cost, not only on Germany, but on the cultural future of European civilisation.

At the height of the European migrant crisis in early 2016, when masses of migrants were pouring into Europe, the German Green Party Chairwoman Katrin Göring-Eckardt could not control her joy. “We have just received an unexpected gift in the form of people,” she told her fellow Germans, reminding them to be grateful. This gift, she said, was going to make the country “more religious, more colourful, more diverse and younger.” It was gift, it turns out, that keeps on giving. Continue reading

Assisting Famine

BERLIN/RIYADH (Own report) – This Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in the Saudi capital Riyadh for talks on the wars in Syria and Yemen, according to the Saudi media. Her talks in the Golf monarchy will therefore focus not only on expanding economic relations but on the proxy wars, Saudi Arabia is currently waging against Iran. Berlin supports Riyadh in these proxy wars – politically but also with the supply of weapons proven to have been used in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is strongly criticized for its war in Yemen, which is causing numerous civilian casualties. In addition, Riyadh’s maritime blockade of Yemeni ports is causing a famine. 2.2 million children are malnourished, including half a million who are severely malnourished and at imminent risk of death. In March, Berlin authorized the delivery of supplementary German patrol boats to Saudi Arabia, in spite of them being used to enforce the maritime blockade. Aid organizations are sounding the alarm. Continue reading

Iranian spies second most active in Germany, says Interior Ministry

 

Iranian intelligence operatives are the second most active in Germany after Russian spies, with much of their activity focusing on Israeli targets in the country, according to the German Interior Ministry. The information is contained in a report that was issued in response to a request by a member of Germany’s Bundestag last week. It states that Iranian spies have engaged in nearly two dozen known intelligence operations on German soil since 2007, and have even targeted individuals for assassination. Continue reading

Ivanka Trump in Berlin as Merkel Seeks White House Conduit

Ivanka and Donald Trump. (Photographer: Molly Riley/Pool via Bloomberg)

 

  • U.S. first daughter meeting German leader at women’s summit
  • ‘Typical Merkel’ move to identify back channel to Trump

While Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump don’t have a lot in common, Germany’s chancellor is seeking out President Donald Trump’s daughter as a back channel to moderate his views. Merkel was impressed with Ivanka Trump’s seriousness on global issues when they first met at the White House in March, and hopes she’ll be a conduit for influence, according to three German government officials. Continue reading

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