Europe’s “Geopolitical Identity”

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MUNICH (Own report) – At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the power struggle between Berlin and Washington openly escalated to an unprecedented level. US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his ultimatum that Berlin and the EU immediately renounce their political and economic projects, which are not fully in accord with US policy, pertaining particularly to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran nuclear deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the US demands. In view of the dispute with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared at the Security Conference that “Europe” faces the “crucial question” whether it will be “the subject or the object of global policy in the future.” It must, therefore, “transform geo-economic capital into geopolitical capital” to become “a cornerstone of the international order” and “develop its own geopolitical identity.” Maas is expressing his demands, at a time, when the EU’s Iran policy is about to fall apart and the European power base needed for Berlin’s ambitions is crumbling.

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New Spy Headquarters Highlights Germany’s Changing Role

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German police stand guard in front of the Federal Intelligence Service headquarters in Berlin on February 8. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The newfound importance of Germany’s national spy agency is deeply symbolic of its changing foreign policy.

Germany opened a new headquarters for its national spy agency, the bnd, on February 8. The opening of this new facility in the very heart of Berlin is symbolic of an ongoing transformation in Germany’s foreign policy.

Deutsche Welle noted that “the move signals a major symbolic change for Germany, no longer shying away from taking a prominent role on the global stage.” The opening is not only a step forward for the bnd, but also for Germany’s international role.

The bnd headquarters was previously located in the countryside near Munich. Now that it has moved to the center of Berlin, it is close to other government offices and the former site of the Berlin Wall. Moving the headquarters to this area where Germany was once divided but is now united and resurgent is a symbolic victory. Continue reading

The Power of the Pipes

BERLIN/MOSCOW/BEIJING (Own report) – The privileged German-European access to Russian natural gas could be lost, is the warning, as the battle over the “Nord Stream 2” pipeline persists. According to a recent analysis published by Oxford University, western sanctions, imposed on Russia in 2014, have encouraged Moscow to seek alternative markets for its resources. China, in particular, plans to purchase large amounts of Russian natural gas. The first pipeline is scheduled to go into operation this year. A second pipeline – tapping the fields currently supplying gas exclusively to Europe – is in planning. The same applies to new Russian liquefied gas projects. In the future, “European customers” will most likely have to compete in Russia with “Asian customers,” the Oxford University analysis predicts. Instead of forcing Moscow to its knees, the sanctions could put an end to Berlin’s privileged access to Russian natural gas and if the “Nord Stream 2” fails, it could further worsen the EU’s position.

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German chancellor inaugurates world’s largest spy agency headquarters in Berlin

BND Germany

 

The chancellor of Germany has officially inaugurated the largest headquarters of any spy agency in the world. Last Friday, Angela Merkel led the public ceremony that marked the opening of the Zentrale des Bundesnachrichtendienstes, which is the new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Service. Known by the initials BND, the agency operates as Germany’s primary foreign intelligence service. It employs close to 7,000 people in more than 300 locations around the world, and its annual budget is approximately €1 billion ($1.13 billion). Continue reading

France and Germany Team Up for New Fighter Jet

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French Defence Minister Florence Parly, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Safran Chairman of the Board Ross McInnes , visit the French high-technology group Safran plant in Genneviliers, near Paris, on February 6, 2019, during the inauguration of a construction platform as part of the French-German FCAS (Future Combat Air System). (THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Working together on advanced military capabilities strengthens the prophesied Franco-German alliance.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 6 that France and Germany will sign a €65 million (us$73.5 million) deal to proceed with a project to produce a joint stealth fighter jet.

“What we are doing today with the Franco-German fighter jet of the future is concrete, balanced, makes us stronger, and prepares for the defense of Europe,” wrote Parly. Continue reading

Hundreds of foreign spies in Brussels, European diplomatic agency warns

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According to Die Welt, the EEAS estimates that “approximately 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies” are operating in Brussels. Most of these intelligence officers are allegedly embedded in their countries’ embassies, trade missions, cultural centers and other outreach facilities in the Belgian capital. There are also many intelligence operatives from Western agencies, including those of the United States, as well as from Iran, Turkey and Morocco, among other foreign nations. The report in Die Welt adds that the EEAS advised European Union diplomats to avoid certain establishments in the European Quarter of Brussels, which are believed to be heavily frequented by international spies. Among them are “a popular steakhouse and café” that are “within walking distance of the Berlaymont building” —the headquarters of the European Commission. The same building houses the offices of the EEAS. Continue reading

Three Blocs

BERLIN (Own report) – The German government is proposing a new industrial strategy to shield German companies from takeovers by foreign corporations, while facilitating mergers of large German and EU corporations. The “National Industrial Strategy 2030” presented yesterday, by Germany’s Minister of the Economy Peter Altmaier intends to enable the German industry to prevail in global competition against Chinese, as well as, US corporations. So-called “national” or “European champions” are needed, even if they do not comply with current anti-trust regulations. This has been a proposal in Berlin for quite awhile. Measures are needed “to secure” or “regain Germany’s and the European Union’s economic and technological leadership.” This is also in response to a protectionist race to reindustrialize the USA and the EU, which was launched under Barack Obama and is now being accelerated by the Trump administration.

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German-Russian Friendship Blossoms

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (left) and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov shake hands during a joint press conference following their meeting at the Reception House of Russia’s Foreign Ministry. (Sergei Savostyanov\TASS/Getty Images)

 

Germany bows to Russia in negotiations over the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea as dangerous cooperation between the two increases.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow on January 18 to discuss, among other things, a new proposal to ensure unimpeded shipping through the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea. After the meeting, Maas flew to Ukraine to inform its leaders of the negotiations. The exclusive discussions between Germany and Russia, excluding Ukraine, reveal the close ties developing between these two powers. Continue reading

De-Dollarization Accelerates: Iran Unveils Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

 

Four banks in the Islamic Republic of Iran have developed a gold-backedcryptocurrency called PayMon, financial news website Financial Tribune reported on Jan. 30.

According to the article, the crypto asset has been developed in cooperation with the Parsian Bank, the Bank Pasargad, Bank Melli Iran and Bank Mellat. Iran Fara Bourse, an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange, will reportedly list the new cryptocurrency. Continue reading

EU Concerned by Iran Missile Work, Regional Security Role

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Monday it was gravely concerned by Iran’s ballistic missile launches and tests and called on Tehran to stop activity that deepened mistrust and destabilized the region.

Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of opposition from the United States and expressions of concern by European countries. Tehran says the program is purely defensive. Continue reading

The Core of Europe

BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the growing rivalry with China, business officials and foreign policy makers in Germany are warning against the performance of EU critical forces in the European elections in May. “Alone, no individual European country” could “play a major role” in the global competition, says Eric Schweitzer, President of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). German companies need the EU’s single market, the “core of Europe,” as an economic foundation, to assert themselves on a global level against companies from the People’s Republic of China and the USA. Should EU critical “populists” – regardless of their political orientation – obtain more influence in the European Parliament, “the future of the German economy” would also be at risk, according to DIHK Chief Executive Martin Wansleben. Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) is pleading for business representatives to commit themselves “audibly in favor of an open Europe.” At the same time, German businesses are openly demanding that their interests be imposed within the EU – a main reason for the growth of influence of “populists” in other EU member countries.

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Several EU Member States considering creation of EU Space Forces

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A number of EU member states are discussing the possibility of creating European space forces, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry and Entrepreneurship, Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is also in charge for EU space policy, said. Continue reading

Five Eyes

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – In the dispute over boycotting the Chinese Huawei corporation, the German government is considering joining a campaign of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, it was reported in Canada and Australia. According to the media, intelligence chiefs of the five English-speaking “Five Eyes” countries launched a boycott campaign last July under US leadership. The campaign seeks not only to put pressure on the governments of Five Eyes members Great Britain and Canada, which – for economic reasons – have initially been reluctant to boycott Huawei, but also to increase the pressure on the Germany and Japan. Experts in Australia speculate that, in return for its participation in the boycott, Berlin could become an accepted FIVE Eyes member, something Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been striving to do for years. To “maintain their own technology competence,” EU companies should develop 5G, according to Berlin. German managers, however, are up in arms, fearing falling far behind and never catching up with China.

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France, Germany Agree to Mutual Defense Pact

As pointed out many times throughout the years on Global Geopolitics, the Fourth Reich has landed. Those are tough words to swallow and many will want to deny it. It doesn’t, however, change the facts on the ground which are supported by well-documented events and actions.

If you’re looking for Nazis running around, you’re over 70 years late. The face has changed and is under the guise of multiculturalism along with the economic, social and political subjugation of sovereign nations by Germany through its German plants within the Troika and other key European-wide institutions — and with a castrated France always toeing the line. France, along with nations such as Cyprus and Greece are today nothing more than vassal states. The European continent is once again dominated by Germany through it’s vehicle, the European Union.

Its European Army is under construction and will aim to support a newly designed United States of Europe. The European Army even has its own flag and official name: European Defense Agency. It’s also in a sense a revival of the Holy Roman Empire.

 

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(Photo Credit: Bergmann/Bundesregierung)

 

Now the leading EU nations are fully pushing a European standing army.

This morning—the 56th anniversary of the signing of the Elysee Treaty—French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in the former capital of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire to sign a new pact that obligates each of them to come to the other’s defense. Continue reading

The Battle Over Huawei (II)

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Strong criticism is coming from Germany’s business community, as the German government prepares to exclude the Chinese company Huawei Technologies from the development of Germany’s 5G network. According to media reports, the government tender for the 5G will be formulated in such a way that Huawei cannot apply. This is based on allegations of espionage by US intelligence services, for which, not a single piece of evidence has been presented anywhere in the world. The Trump administration is seeking to shut Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies out of the US market, to drive them bankrupt. The US is calling on its allies to join; and in mid-December, a US delegation visited Germany’s foreign ministry to apply pressure. This aggression is aimed at halting China’s ascendance. Protest is being raised from Germany’s business community: Huawei is leading in 5G technology and a functioning 5G network is imperative for using state-of-the-art technologies of the future. Managers warn that excluding Huawei would mean higher costs and a painful setback in Germany’s 5G development.

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