Your Friend and Neighbor

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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.

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Germany refuses to let Greece off hook

The crisis in the eurozone was set to escalate on Monday night after the Germans said they could not write off Greek debts without offering financial assistance to Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, on Monday urged Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to consider backing down to ensure there was not a “disorderly exit” from the eurozone.

He said “the situation risks going from bad to worse” and warned that “Britain will be affected the longer the Greek crisis lasts and the worse it gets”.

He suggested Britain could fly planeloads of euro notes to Greece to assist stranded tourists.

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Le Modèle Gerhard Schröder

And now we see the Èlysée Palace has buckled under pressure and capitulated to the (upcoming) Fourth Reich.

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is loudly applauding French President François Hollande’s adaptation of Germany’s model of austerity. His announcement of a cutback in public expenditures to clearly favor business, could “only be seen as good news,” declared Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. German media point to the fact that Hollande has announced measures that – in certain aspects – are modeled on Germany’s “Agenda 2010,” which had been developed by the Federal Chancellery under the auspices of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the time, Federal Chancellery Chief of Staff under Gerhard Schröder. It had enabled Berlin to consolidate its economic predominance over Europe. Whether Paris will be able to imitate the German austerity policy is unsure. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy had tried, but he lost the presidential elections in the spring of 2012. Notwithstanding, in Berlin further steps to cut back on social welfare achievements are again in discussion. Yesterday, German President Joachim Gauck complained that the term “neo-liberal” has a negative connotation, which must be changed. Continue reading

France’s triumphant ‘Joan of Arc’ vows to bring back franc and destroy euro

Marine Le Pen is spoiling for a fight. The leader of France’s Front National vows to smash the existing order of Europe and force the break-up of monetary union, if she wins the next election.

It is no longer an implausible prospect. “We cannot be seduced,” she said, brimming with confidence after her party secured 46pc of the vote in a by-election earthquake a week ago. Her candidate trounced the ruling Socialists in their own bastion of Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

The euro ceases to exist the moment that France leaves, and that is our incredible strength. What are they going to do, send in tanks?” she told the Daily Telegraph at the Front National’s headquarters, an unmarked building tucked away in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Her office is small and workaday, almost austere. Continue reading

Europe can survive without Britain, says François Hollande

François Hollande launched a three-pronged attack on Britain saying that Europe would survive without the UK, while claiming David Cameron risked splintering the EU and that his austerity policies were failing.

In a marathon press conference just shy of three hours, the embattled Socialist President promised to “go on the offensive” in year two of his five-year mandate with France sinking into recession and enduring record unemployment levels. Continue reading