Marine Le Pen SURGES INTO THE LEAD in latest French presidential election polls

As foretold on Global Geopolitics many times throughout the years, Europe will make a sharp turn to the right.

 

A French politician who is the president of the National Front (FN), a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces. [AFP/Getty Images]

 

MARINE Le Pen has rocketed into the lead in the race to become France’s next president – just months ahead of the country’s general election.

The National Front leader has usurped Conservative candidate Francois Fillon to take the lead according to an Ifop-Fiducial opinion poll.

Le Pen is now leading the polls for the first time after taking advantage of Fillon’s declining popularity among France’s working class voters, according to the survey carried out for French weekly newspaper Paris Match, TV channel iTele and radio station Sud-Radio. Continue reading

EU Council Receives Note From Switzerland on EU Membership Withdrawal

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“A letter with the notification on withdrawal of Switzerland’s application for EU membership was received last Wednesday,” the spokesperson told RIA Novosti. 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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Brexit is a WARNING: There must be NO MORE referendums, says German president

GERMANY’S president has urged EU member states NOT to hold any referendums amid fears Brexit could spark the break-up of the bloc.

Last month’s historic vote to cut ties with Brussels led to speculation other countries including Holland, Italy and France would follow suit.

But Joachim Gauck believes politicians across the continent should refuse to hold referendums on any issue, not just EU membership.

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On eve of defining British EU referendum, rivals race for final votes

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his eurosceptic opponents made final pitches for wavering voters on Wednesday on the eve of a defining referendum on European Union membership with the outcome still too close to call.

The vote, which echoes the rise of populism elsewhere in Europe and the United States, will shape the continent’s future. A victory for “out” could unleash turmoil on financial markets and foreign exchange bureaux reported a surge in demand for foreign currency from Britons wary sterling may fall.

“Quitting Europe is a risk to your family’s future because a vote to leave on Thursday means there is no going back on Friday,” Cameron said.

Most pollsters said the result was too close to predict, and would depend on turnout on the day and any late swing among the substantial number of undecided voters.

“It’s our last chance to sort this out and take back control,” said former London mayor Boris Johnson, the main leader of the Leave campaign and favorite with bookmakers to replace Cameron in the event of Brexit. Continue reading

Switzerland withdraws application to join EU

Following a vote in the lower house, the government will now tell the EU to “consider [the application] as withdrawn,” Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter was quoted as saying by the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, POLITICO wrote. Continue reading

REVEALED: European Commission will SUE Britain just WEEKS before Brexit vote

The EU believes the lorry levy breaches the bloc’s equal treatment rules as it simultaneously lowered excise duty for British trucks – effectively, says Brussels, penalising foreign vehicles driving on UK highways.

In a letter earlier this month to German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr expressed his “concerns” about the legality of the British model under EU law. Continue reading

Bank of England’s EU exit strategy leaked to national newspaper – by its head of press

A senior official at the Bank of England “inadvertently” sent research assessing the economic dangers of the UK leaving the European Union to an editor at a national newspaper.

The Bank was left in an embarrassing situation on Friday after it accidentally emailed details – including how to fend off inquiries related to the report – directly to the Guardian newspaper.

A Bank spokesperson said that the error was “unfortunate”. Continue reading

Grexit Could Boost Russia’s Influence in Balkans – Reports

Greece’s exit from the eurozone could lead to the establishment of very close relations between the two countries and contribute to the expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reports. Continue reading

An EU referendum will be a nightmare for Britain. But it has to happen

There is palpable confidence in the Tory party that David Cameron will still be prime minister after the general election. It flows not from any surge in public enthusiasm for the idea of Conservative government, but from a lack of evidence that voters are ready to trust Ed Miliband with power.

But as a second term in government comes into focus for the Tories, it also brings another spectre from the past: the civil war over Europe, deferral of which has been a defining feature of Cameron’s leadership. The promise to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU has been a modest success. It has not suffocated Ukip, nor even stopped Tory MPs defecting to Nigel Farage’s side. But it has comforted others with the illusion of agreeing on something about which they disagree. The vote may one day rip the Conservative party in half, but on the question of whether that day should come they are strangely united. Continue reading

Turkey could build ‘EU army’ if allowed membership

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkύr said during a visit to Berlin that if Turkey becomes a member of the European Union, the EU would be able to establish an army of 60,000 soldiers.

Bozkύr said that the EU had always only been able to hold “soft power” due to the lack of a single European army, which Turkey could have helped form if it had been made a member before, daily Milliyet reported. Continue reading

The Hegemony over Southeast Europe

BERLIN/BELGRADE (Own report) -The “Western Balkans Conference”, opening in Berlin today, is overshadow [sic] by the dispute over sanctions against Russia and criticism of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Serbia, a participant in the conference, has declared, it will not join the EU’s sanctions. Serbian enterprises are therefore not affected by Russian countermeasures and are even replacing agricultural products, whose importation from the EU has been banned by Moscow. The German government is attempting to prevent this. Berlin, in turn, has been forced to admit that, for years, the BND had systematically spied on Albania. Albania, Germany’s NATO ally, will also attend the conference. Berlin has initiated the “Western Balkans Conference” to shore up the hegemony over Southeast Europe, which it had acquired in the 1990s against the growing influence of China, Turkey and, particularly, Russia.

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Goldman Sachs threatens to leave London if Britain leaves EU

Should it transpire, Frankfurt would likely be the winner as it’s slowly becoming the world’s new financial center. Paris only toes the German line.

Invetsment bank could switch European operations to Paris and Frankfurt

Goldman Sachs has said it would move much of its European business out of London if Britain leaves the European Union.

The warning from the world’s most powerful investment bank comes as political pressure for Britain to leave the EU mounts. 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

Looking Eastward: Turkey’s Bluffing Game

On January 25, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he thought Turkey should consider looking east for allies instead of to the Western European powers. Europe has been stringing Turkey along with the carrot of EU member status since Oct. 3, 2005, when, alongside Croatia, Turkey began accession talks.

“We are not the ones that are undecided; the European Union is. Whereas if they would just reveal their true intentions to us, we would be at ease. … The European Union needs to stop stalling us. … We told [Russia], if you say come, we will come,” said Erdogan in an interview printed in the Turkish newspaper Sabah (translation from Pravda).

Why doesn’t the European Union want to bring Turkey into the fold? It is stronger economically than Croatia. Its GDP of over $783 billion grew at a real rate of 3 percent last year, 2012 unemployment was 9 percent and its budget deficit was only 2.6 percent, a little more than half of Croatia’s. And with a labor force some 25 times the size of Croatia’s, there is a greater potential for industrial capacity and productivity. Continue reading