Berlin Calls for a “One-Europe Policy”

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin sees China’s growing economic presence in the EU’s eastern periphery as an increasing threat to German predominance over Eastern and Southeastern Europe. During his visit to Paris at the end of August, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned against the People’s Republic’s alleged “division of Europe.” Beijing’s cooperation with 16 Eastern and Southeastern European countries is threatening the EU’s “unity” and must be stopped. China should follow a “one-Europe policy.” German media and think tanks have been sharply criticizing Chinese economic activities in Eastern and Southeastern Europe since years. In a recent analysis, the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation (FDP) assailed the Czech government for signing a “declaration on the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China” in view of comprehensive Chinese investments in that country. Beijing has reacted to these attacks by pointing to Germany’s dominant status in the EU.

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The Limits of the Dictates

BERLIN/ATHENS/BELGRADE/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin’s austerity dictate, ruthlessly imposed on Athens, is suffering its first blowbacks, weakening German hegemony over the EU. The China Ocean Shipping Company’s (COSCO) purchase of stakes in the Piraeus Port Authority, Athens had been forced to sell under pressure from Berlin and Brussels, is one example. COSCO, which had already acquired a small share in 2009, has been upgrading the port with investments in the three-digit millions. In the meantime, Piraeus has become Europe’s eighth largest port and is among the top 40 worldwide. Greece, which economically has been completely ruined by the austerity dictates, is hoping for more Chinese investments – and is no longer willing to participate in the EU’s routine official condemnation of China at the UN Human Rights Council. A similar development can be seen with Serbia. As part of its “Silk Road” initiative, China is planning to upgrade the rail line between Belgrade and Budapest. For the Serbian government, this offers hopes for a long term recovery. Brussels has now launched a probe into this project. According to experts, a policy based solely on austerity dictates and open pressure, as has been pursued by Berlin and the EU, can no longer be successful “in a multi-polar world.”

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Italy Threatens EU With “Nuclear Option”: Give 200,000 Migrants EU Visas, Sending Them North

 

Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria’s deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, while reactivating border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two EU nations.

According to The Times, an Italian minister and a senator have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to “resolve” Italy’s escalating migrant and refugee crisis, which would then allow the refugees to travel north. The move, which has been described as a ‘nuclear option,’ would allow the nearly 200,000 migrants currently stranded in Italy, to travel across Europe using a Brussels directive loophole. 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

Leader and Followers

BERLIN (Own report) – Leading German media are demanding that the German government transform the EU into “an effective counterforce to Trump” and, thus become “the savior of the free world.” Berlin must assume “a leading function” in the EU and assure that the rest of the member states “follow.” Germany must take the “responsibility for leadership.” It is “Europe’s last powerhouse,” one journal writes, in a snub to France, which, over the past few years, was unable to contend with Germany in the power struggle, and has lost much of its influence. Non-German observers doubt that Berlin will be able to sustain its claim to leadership within the EU. In Germany’s capital, an abundance of “triumphalism and sense of mission” is felt, reported an experienced foreign policy expert. There is a widespread conviction that “Germany has a mission in Europe, to lead the others down the right path.” Berlin refers particularly to France “with contempt.” “The French have no idea and must be disciplined.” The expert sees the possibility of coalitions in opposition to Germany being formed among EU countries. The German government is launching a new appeal for a common military policy and for “sticking together against Russia and the new US administration.” Continue reading

Leading from the Center

BERLIN (Own report) – The Berlin office of an EU-wide think tank, is warning of how the “frustration over German dominance” is growing among EU member countries. Over the past ten years, the Federal Republic of Germany has become the EU’s undisputed strongest power, according to a recent analysis of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The “EU partners” must now “decide how to handle Germany’s power.” Some have expressed resentment; others have “centered their EU strategies around Germany,” and look for “ways to influence Berlin’s policy machinery.” None of this leaves any doubt that “Germany’s political class” continues to see the EU as “the best available framework for the articulation of its national interest.” Whereas the ECFR’s analysis concentrates its attention primarily on the political establishment of the other EU countries, the supplementary question to be raised in how to deal with German dominance is becoming increasingly urgent. Berlin is impelling the militarization of foreign policy as well as domestic surveillance and repression, measures, serving the preparation for war – a concern of everyone.

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Think Tank Outlines Possible Scenarios for Russian Collapse

These scenarios are likely why Putin created his own private and personal army, as mentioned in the previous post.

 

Report: Russia beset by ‘growing economic woes, crumbling infrastructure, and warring elites’

Kiev, Ukraine—The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) released an assessment of possible scenarios for Russia’s collapse last week.

The report, written by visiting fellow Nikolay Petrov, concludes that the Russian political system “has no capacity to reform, and faces growing economic woes, crumbling infrastructure, and warring elites.” Continue reading

The New Barbarians

BERLIN (Own report) – Within the German establishment, individual criticism of the expansion of military and police operations in the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS) is being raised. Last Friday, following the intensification of French airstrikes against IS positions and the French government’s imposition of a state of emergency, the EU interior ministers initiated new domestic repressive measures. In fighting IS, it should not be forgotten that in the primarily military and police-led post-9/11 “war on terror,” the “number of violence-prone Islamists, who have joined terrorist groups” has not diminished but rather “multiplied dangerously,” warns a renowned Middle East expert. Referring to the fact that the majority of the Paris attackers were citizens of France or Belgium, Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) asks, “what is the purpose of war rhetoric, when a large portion of the problem is homemade?” This “talk about ‘defending our values’,” will only “steady the stirrups” for a police/military buildup, according to a longtime expert of German/European think tanks. There is a “sorely felt discrepancy between the values we proclaim and reality,” which is a “breeding ground for IS.” “We are certainly the rich, but since quite some time, no longer the ‘good guys,’ in the eyes of many. And some even view us as the barbarians.”

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Saudis Mull Launch Of Regional War As Russia Pounds Targets In Syria For Fourth Day

As each day passes by with the proxy war over Damascus, it’s looking like this could be the time and how Bible prophecy Isaiah 17:1 is to be fulfilled — that’s to say, slowly reduced to rubble through world powers making their moves in a high stakes game of chess. Although we’re likely heading in that direction, only time will tell. Until then, keep your eyes on the proxy war.

 

While the US has certainly made some epic strategic blunders in Syria that raise serious questions about just how “intelligent” US intelligence actually is, there’s little doubt that if one were to look behind all of the media parroting, the Pentagon and Langley understand all too well what’s going on in the Middle East.

That is, the significance of the Russia-Iran “nexus” in Syria isn’t lost on anyone in the US military and you can bet there have been quite a few high level discussions over the past 72 hours about the best way to counter Moscow and Tehran’s powerplay before it spills over into Iraq and ends up degrading Washington’s influence in Baghdad. Continue reading

Is Europe Getting Ready to Fight Back?

The trend was most clearly demonstrated by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who called for the EU to create an army. He told Die Welt on March 8 that “a common European army would convey a clear message to Russia that we are serious about defending our European values.”

His statements received broad support, especially in Germany. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that “a European army is the future,” and Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “deeper military cooperation in Europe.” Continue reading

The Alliance of the Threatened

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) – The EU and USA have expanded their sanctions against Russia and – in addition to individuals – have now also placed important Russian companies on their lists. Washington has restricted dealings, for example, with Rosneft and the Gazprombank. Brussels has announced the possibility of preventing EU companies from doing business with Russian companies and is planning to list them by the end of July. German business circles are protesting. They have already suffered billions in losses. Experts are warning that, with its sanctions against Russia, the West may experience, in the economic arena, an overreach similar to that experienced by the US in the military arena with its war on Iraq. With the power of the West obviously waning, it has already become noticeable that even close allies are defecting. Observers explain this with the Crimea conflict: NATO countries had been unable to retain the Crimea within the reign of its allied Ukrainian government; therefore it seems that an alliance with NATO countries would no longer be a reliable assurance against ones enemies. Defections can be noticed in Asia and Latin America, not least of all because of the recent founding of the BRICS development bank, rivaling the US-dominated World Bank. Russia and China are among the founders of this bank. Continue reading

Integration Rivalry with Moscow

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Because the German government-backed attempt to overthrow the government in Kiev has not taken place, foreign policy experts in Berlin are now discussing cautious changes of course in Germany’s policy toward the Ukraine. Retrospective analyses are now admitting that, had the Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement, serious economic and social damage would have been inflicted on that country. The foreign policy establishment continues to assert that Berlin should bring the Ukraine into its sphere of hegemonic influence. This therefore places Berlin in an “integration rivalry with Moscow.” To integrate the Ukraine, new proposals call for either bypassing elite circles by fostering contacts to “civil society” or by compelling integration with targeted economic interventions. In any case, the rightwing extremist Svoboda Party has been able to enhance its position within the protest movement during the recent demonstrations. It could benefit from the cooperation also with German diplomats during the agitation against the current Ukrainian government. Continue reading

Germany’s New Role

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – In the prelude to this weekend’s new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to Germany, a prominent German think tank is pleading for closer German-Chinese cooperation. If Germany seeks to continue to have influence in Beijing, it must “put more weight in the balance than it has in the past,” warns a recent statement by the Bertelsmann Foundation. Otherwise Berlin risks suffering the same fate as the EU, which China is marginalizing to a growing degree – not least of all, because of the persisting crisis. The EU’s institutions have – “as has often been the case in foreign policy – also overestimated their roles with China.” The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) sees the development of European-Chinese relations similarly. According to SWP, Germany has become the focus of China’s attention on Europe, while the EU “has been demoted to a ‘political dwarf’ in the course of the crisis.” Foreign policy specialists outside Germany had critically noted last year that there is a disparity between Germany’s China policy and that of other EU countries – wherein Berlin has been having growing success in Beijing. “Europe,” in comparison, is being marginalized. Continue reading