The Euro has been around for almost 20 years. The Russian transfer ruble survived 25 years. As GEFIRA explains, the two currencies have something in common: they were and are not a success story…
The introduction of the transfer ruble was intended to enable free trade between the countries of the Eastern bloc. The creation of the common clearing system led to the exchange rates for the East German mark, zloty, forint, lev, and even the Mongolian tugrik being arbitrarily fixed by the Soviet Union, regardless of the purchasing power of the national currencies. In the 1960s, the Bulgarian lev was 20% undervalued and the Polish zloty about 45% overvalued. Since the transfer ruble was not yet convertible into Western currencies, it remained an illusion and a means by which the Soviet Union could enrich itself and save its budget at the expense of its satellite states: the Russians bought raw materials, goods, food for convertible currencies in the West and sold them to their “socialist friends” for transfer rubels. The international bank for economic cooperation, which sat in Moscow and handled all transactions in the transfer ruble, swept the real trade surpluses and deficits under the carpet. With the political change the common settlement currency came to to an end, and it turned out that the Soviet Union owed huge sums to its “brothers”. Continue reading →
Infantry soldiers of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, take part in a reconassaince mission during Thunder Storm 2018 multinational NATO military exercises on June 7, 2018 near Pabrade, Lithuania. (Getty Images)
German chancellor voices approval for French president’s military integration proposal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared on Sunday, June 3, that she held a “positive view” of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for further European military integration.
Macron outlined his plan for a reformed eurozone in a September 2017 speech. He called for a European Union military intervention force with a budget agreed upon by the year 2020. He has been pushing for Germany to come on board with such a plan for a European military unity, stating, “Our ambitions cannot be realized alone. I have said it already several times, they need to be accompanied by Germany’s ambitions.” Continue reading →
ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive pressure from Berlin, Italy’s new government has renounced on appointing a well-known euroskeptic to become economy and finance minister. The renowned economist Paolo Savona must accept a less prominent post as Minister for European Affairs – above all because he criticizes Germany’s blatant policy of domination at the expense of the other euro zone countries. The far right Lega Nord is now almost as strongly represented in Rome’s government as the 5-Star Movement: Due to Germany’s open interference, Lega’s poll ratings have soared, thereby significantly increasing its political clout. In the run-up, German politicians and media had reactivated a tactic they had been using since the beginning of the euro crisis: With warnings of harsh financial market reactions, they fuel the fear of a crisis, thus applying even more pressure on Rome. According to German media with wide circulation, Italy’s policy “concerns all of us” – “Interfere!”
Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the Lega will both be ministers in the new government (Credit: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)
Italy’s populist parties were finally given the green light to form a coalition government on Thursday evening, after they backed down over their initial selection of a deeply eurosceptic economy minister.
Both parties had come close to forming a government at the weekend, only for their efforts to be torpedoed by President Sergio Mattarella, who refused to approve their controversial choice of Paolo Savona as economy minister.
Paolo Savona, 81, has called Italy’s adoption of the euro a “historic error”, describing the single currency as “a German cage” and calling for a “plan B” that would allow the country to exit the eurozone. Continue reading →
All roads continue to lead to Berlin, the powerhouse that runs and dictates Europe’s future. In this case, Berlin is spearheading an effort to keep Italy subjugated before an economic crisis (it’s already capitalizing off of) gets politically out of hand as it did in Greece, which is now a German vassal state. It’s Germany’s goal to create a United States of Europe and economic levers are but one tactic in harmonizing Europe how it sees fit in achieving that end.
ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive complaints from Germany, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella blocked a euroskeptic from becoming his country’s finance minister, appointing an IMF man – favored by Berlin – to be prime minister. The democratically elected 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord majority’s opportunity to form a government was thereby denied. Euroskeptic Paolo Savona, a renowned career economist, was rejected because he could not have insured the maintenance of the EU’s common currency. Under his administration, resistance to Berlin’s austerity dictate could have been expected, whereas the newly appointed Prime Minster Carlo Cottarelli passed the test a few years ago as the Rome government’s austerity commissioner (“Mr. Scissors”). Savona’s nomination is the result of Italy’s growing euroskepticism, which, in the meantime, is also shared by other economists. “Germany profits, Italy loses” through the introduction of the euro, concludes Savona’s alternative candidate to the post of finance minister.
For years there has been a struggle in the Eurozone between those that want to transform it into a transfer union and those that who want a Europe of independent and cooperating countries. The latter including Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany want strict limits for deficits and debt brakes as envisioned in the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Some, such as the European Constitutional Group, even demand a mechanism for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone. The former including Mediterranean member states led by France, do not openly call their objective a fiscal union or the creation of a “European Super State” but prefer to talk about a “deepening of the European project.” The reason for this division is straightforward: The central and northern European countries would be the contributors to a transfer union while the club Med would be on the receiving side. Continue reading →
The Cologne Institute of German Business sees in the planned European deposit insurance is simply incapable of proving protection against a bank crash in Europe. The EU deposit guarantee is simply not practical under any concept of austerity. The Eurozone still has inherent significant risks in the balance sheets of European financial institutions. This is primarily because where the USA took the bad loans from the banks and stuffed them into Freddie and Fanny, in Europe, the bad loans are still on the books of the banks. Systemically, this has been the leading problem why Europe has been unable to recover and Quantitative Easing merely robber savers of their income and it failed completely to stimulate the economy. Banks were still reluctant to lend and people would not borrow if they did not have confidence in the future. Continue reading →
BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading →
While the majority keep bashing the Federal Reserve, other central banks seem to escape any criticism. The European Central Bank under Mario Draghi has engaged in what history will call the Great Monetary Experiment of the 21st Century – the daring experiment of negative interest rates. A look behind the scenes reveals that this experiment has been not just a failure, it has undermined the entire global economic structure.Continue reading →
The EU commission wants to plough ahead with plans for a banking nion [Getty]
BRUSSELS chiefs are piling pressure on EU members to back plans for a banking union, which will see nations forced to cover bank failures anywhere in the bloc, as it ramps up efforts to reform the Union.
The European Commission wants to plough ahead with the creation of a bloc-wide banking union, which was first proposed in 2012 by the end of 2018, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the 2008/09 financial crisis. Continue reading →
Angela Merkel is considered to be the world’s most powerful woman and perhaps Europe’s most powerful person. She’s about to be re-elected as Germany’s Chancellor for the fourth consecutive time. Her policies have provoked a lot of debate, from Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy over the Eurozone bailouts onto her refugee policies.
What has received much less attention is how she entered politics. A number of biographies have been written about her, with the most critical one perhaps being “the first life of Angela M”, written in 2013 by a journalist for Die Welt who later joined the rightwing populist AfD party. This centered on how she was a member of the FDJ, the communist youth organization, when she was at school, and how she later served as cultural secretary for the FDJ while working as a physicist at the Academy of Sciences, leading to Merkel denying this role included propaganda. Continue reading →
As mentioned several times in the past, Germany is running the European Union and Europe once again. This time around the conquest is via subjugation of national sovereignty and economic warfare. They have their key politicians in key positions across the European board. The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary fund (the Troika) are all but one example. Regardless of how everything on the EU landscape currently looks, further federalization/integration is the only solution they keep proposing to their problems, and this is ultimately leading to a United States of Europe with its own European Army, which is already beginning to supplant NATO. The Fourth Reich has landed and if you’re looking for Nazis, you’re 70 years too late.
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – The EU finance ministers’ decision to appoint the Spaniard Luis de Guindos to be vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), will boost the chances of German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann to become its next president. Berlin has welcomed the decision for Spain’s current Minister of the Economy Guindos, considered to be one of the fathers of the Spanish real estate bubble. Subsequent to his designation as vice-president, a northern European is expected to be given the post of ECB president, due to the EU’s proportional regional representation. According to observers, a conceivable deal may be reached with Germany’s Weidmann at the helm of the ECB and the post of EU Commission President going to France. The current German Bundesbank president is unpopular in Southern Europe because he has been systematically trying to prevent current ECB President Mario Draghi’s bond buying programs, considered to be vital for the crisis stricken countries. With Weidmann as ECB president, Germany would further tighten its grip on the euro zone’s financial institutions.