Now pushy European Union angers the US as it tries to control AMERICAN banks

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Brussels is annoying Wall Street banks with new rules (Getty)

 

FURIOUS American banks are fighting back against burdensome Brussels plans, which would allow European regulators to exert more control over foreign lenders.

Wall Street financial giants warned they will not be able to tie up more cash in their operations within the European Union (EU), as proposed by the European Commission (EC).

The rules hand the EU more oversight of foreign firms and are set to cost the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, as the banks would need to stump up fresh funds to keep within the bloc. Continue reading

Beyond the EU

BERLIN/NUUK/REYKJAVÍK/TÓRSHAVN (Own report) – Whereas the Brexit has been met with wholesale rejection by the German and other EU member states’ establishments, it was positively assessed in the little noticed countries of Northwest Europe, growing in strategic importance. Iceland’s president recently invited Great Britain to enhance its cooperation with the “triangle of non-EU countries,” meaning Iceland, and the autonomous regions Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Greenland left the European Community (EC) in 1982; the Faroe Islands have never been members and Iceland officially withdrew its application for EU membership in 2015. All three countries refuse nuclear weapons and NATO’s missile defense shield on their territories, while showing a greater openness towards Russia than most other western countries. Iceland and particularly Greenland have been growing in their strategic importance with the impending opening of Arctic sea routes and exploitation of Arctic natural resources. German experts have already suggested inciting Greenland to secede from Denmark. This would offer Germany greater influence on Greenland and consequently on the Arctic’s political, economic and military affairs.

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Greek crisis: Who is the troika bailing out Greece?

What organisations are included?

The European Commission is an executive arm of the EU. It does the day-to-day work of implementing EU policies and spending EU funds. But it must still answer to the member states of the EU.

Germany is the EU’s largest economy and is perceived to have the final say on the Greek bailout.

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South Stream puts Serbia in conflict with EU

With the decision by Bulgaria to suspend construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline, there is more pressure on Serbia, which is balancing its longstanding ties with Russia against its desire to join the European Union.”The Serbian situation is the most difficult because it ‘paid ‘ the entrance to the pipeline by giving to Gazprom low prices for NIS (Naftna Industrija Serbia – Oil Company of Serbia) and Banatski Dvor (and underground gas storage in Vojvodina),” Jelena Milic, director of the Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies for Belgrade, told SETimes.

“It is not regulated by the energy agreement with Russia what will happen if Russia gives up the project or if it will not be able to realise its obligations. Serbia counts on incomes of transit and to pay back its debts to Russia,” Milic said. Continue reading

Cyprus resists international pressure to sell gold reserves

Cyprus is resisting pressure from the European Commission (EC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to sell its gold reserves to finance its “bailout.”

Yesterday the Cypriot Finance Minister said that a sale of its gold reserves was not the only option under consideration to pay down its debt and that other alternatives were being considered. Continue reading

Germany Snatches Gold from Cyprus

Just when it appeared the news cycle had moved on from Cyprus, the island nation came splashing back yesterday with news from the European Commission: Nicosia will be made to sell around three quarters, or €400 million (US$5.2 million), of its excess gold reserves. (“Excess?” Who has too much gold?)

What’s the big deal? ask some. When a person or nation is in a financial pinch, assets have to be liquidated.

True. But with Cyprus it’s not that simple. From the outset of this crisis, Cyprus has not been in control of its own destiny. Sure, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was in on most, though apparently not all, of the discussions. Cyprus’s parliament voted on this and that, and ultimately “agreed” to the bailout agreement. But it was all smoke and mirrors. In the end, Cyprus was compelled to agree to a ruinous bailout package created and prescribed by Germany in consort with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund. Now we learn from the Trioka that as part of the bailout agreement, Cyprus will have to sell the majority of its gold.

The important point to note is that this decision was effectively made by Germany and its ECB/EC/IMF allies, AND NOT CYPRUS. Continue reading

The great Portuguese sell-off

First Greece was subjugated and forced to yield (still is) national sovereignty, now comes Portugal. One country at a time, the European continent is being captured via economic warfare. Be it the Troika  or the EU itself, all roads lead back to Europe’s powerhouse, Berlin, and it’s Fourth Reich making the capture. With the Vatican undergoing a leadership transition and possible candidate elected this St. Patrick’s Day, we could likely soon see the revived Holy Roman Empire.

Little by little, the Portuguese state is going down in defeat. In April 2011, when the country got a loan of €78bn from the troika (EC, ECB and IMF) to avoid bankruptcy, it committed itself to privatisation. But under the leadership of Passos Coelho, a model student of the fiscal discipline demanded by the troika, the sell-off of the “crown jewels” – what’s left of them, that is – has sped up.

Losing control of their destiny

For the 80,000 or so inhabitants of Viana, like for the rest of the country, the powerful wave of privatisation is causing a lot of worry. “Some of these state enterprises are gems, others are junk buckets, but they’re all strategic assets. And we’re losing them forever,” worries Bernardo S Barbosa, head of the local weekly Aurora do Lima. The Socialist mayor, José Maria Costa, shares a growing national concern: the feeling that the country is losing its sovereignty. In a vast room at City Hall, this engineer by training reacts very angrily to the policy of the executive: “By taking away our public assets, which are so vital, to the benefit of foreign companies, and private interests at that, we’re losing control of our own destiny. I even fear that in the end it will affect our freedom and democracy.” Continue reading