PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Germany is participating in a new European military formation that was launched yesterday. Originally a French proposal, the European Intervention Initiative (EII) will be open to EU and Non-EU member countries to join. Expanding the existing EU military cooperation (“PESCO”) with a new operational component, the EII should facilitate rapid decisions on joint military interventions. A first meeting of military commanders from the hitherto nine participant states is set for September. The EII includes Great Britain, which plans to continue its military cooperation with the continent, even after Brexit, as well as Denmark. Since the coordination of military interventions is now officially set outside of the EU framework, Denmark can sidestep the opt-out from EU military policy, it had once granted its population. Referred to by experts as a European “coalition of the willing,” it goes hand in hand with the EU Commission’s militarization plans worth billions and the high-cost German-French arms projects.
Today’s Germany emerged in 1990 when the formerly communist East Germany was incorporated into the Federal Republic. Nearly half a century of disunion had left an economic and social divide in the country that took more than two decades to mend — and some imbalances remain. Historically, however, the more pertinent geographical divide in Germany has been between its north and south.
This Nord-Süd-Gefälle actually mended an economic divide that had previously been to the advantage of the north. Trade centers like Bremen and Hamburg, as well as Berlin, have since imitated the south’s focus on high technology and employed more workers in services.
Competition between the highly autonomous Länder and Germany’s big cities stems from its long division into different sovereign states. Prussia, which had come to occupy virtually the whole of the North European Plain during the Napoleonic Wars, including today’s northern and western Poland as well as Russia’s Kaliningrad province, was by far the most powerful. Its prime minister, Otto von Bismarck, forged an empire out of the many German kingdoms and principalities in 1871. Continue reading
LONDON (MarketWatch) — In the wake of the first round of the French presidential election, a leaked document from Berlin, conveniently and somewhat revealingly translated into English, has found its way into MarketWatch’s hands.
Confidential Memo to Chancellor
Bundeskanzleramt, Berlin, 23 April 2012
From [ ] NAME BLACKED OUT
Esteemed Bundeskanzlerin, I am sorry. The results of the first round do not look good. I have to tell you that French elections traditionally propel change in the Franco-German monetary alignment. One of the reasons for monetary union in Europe was, as you may recall, to free us from the old style of doing things. But France is an old nation, and old patterns die hard. The French seem to be becoming more French, just as we are growing more German. So I would get ready, distinguished lady, for another change now.
Full article: Insider’s secret advice to Merkel: Get used to it (Market Watch)