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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The Economy of Secession (II)

BERLIN/BARCELONA/MILAN/ANTWERP (Own report) – As can be seen in an analysis of the separatist movements in Catalonia, Lombardy and Flanders, the deliberate promotion of exclusive cooperation between German companies and prosperous areas in countries with impoverished regions has systematically facilitated the autonomist-secessionist movements in Western Europe. According to this study, Flanders, as well as Lombardy – two already economically prosperous regions – have been able to widen the gap between themselves and the impoverished regions of Belgium and Italy, also because they have played an important role in the expansion of the German economy, the strongest in the EU. Through an exclusive cooperation with the state Baden Württemberg, Catalonia and Lombardy have been able to expand their economic lead over more impoverished regions of Spain and Italy, which has spurred their respective regional elites to seek to halt their financial contributions for federal reallocations through greater autonomy or even secession. The consequences of deliberate cooperation – not with foreign nations – but only with prosperous regions, can be seen with Yugoslavia.

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The New Silk Road (I)

And Germany will do it. When push comes to shove, it has historically sided with Russia and other axis powers. China should be no exception. In a time when America is suiciding itself off the world stage, it’s a matter of survival for its allies as they seek more stable and consistent alliances.

 

BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) – With tensions rising between China and western powers, the German chancellor is using her current visit in Beijing to enhance Sino-German economic cooperation. German investments in the People’s Republic of China had increased to around 60 billion Euros in 2014 – tendency still rising – surpassed only by investments in the USA and a few EU countries. Business representatives are campaigning in favor of stronger German participation in a Chinese trillion-dollar project. This project named the “New Silk Road,” is aimed at bolstering ties between Eastern Asia and Europe. The project, also on the agenda of today’s German-Chinese government consultations, has two components, overland and maritime transport routes. Trade by train from Chongqing to Duisburg and by ship through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean will be enhanced. While German companies hope for lucrative business deals, strategists warn that the New Silk Road could enhance Beijing’s global influence – and ultimately break the western powers’ global dominance.

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Germany Will Conquer Europe With Migrants’ Help – Polish Media

Germany has already economically conquered Europe. The subjugation of Cyprus and then Greece are proof. All that’s left are to force Great Britain out and force France, Italy and Spain to fall in line. After this comes the United States of Europe and its EU Army, both of which are already in the making. To the Germany’s credit, it will be hard for anti-Germans and the rest of Europe to call today’s Germans racist or Nazis. This calculated move will help them shed off stereotypes from the past and allow further ascension on the world stage and a tighter grip over Europe.

 

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By throwing its doors wide open to thousands of migrants Germany has a clever plan in mind. The influx of migrants will help solve the country’s precarious demographic situation, boost the economy and make Germany a moral example for the rest of Europe, a Polish journalist wrote Tuesday.

Germany plans to take in 800,000 migrants this year alone and millions more in the coming years. Fully aware of the most immediate downsides of this decision, the Germans are still taking the risk because they realize the long-term benefits this could bring them, Eliza Litak wrote in an article carried by wPolityce.pl news portal. Continue reading

An Unofficial Plebiscite

BERLIN/BARCELONA (Own report) – The German establishment is sending mixed signals in reaction to the announcement of an unofficial plebiscite on Catalonia’s secession from Spain. Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas has declared the September 27 regional elections a de facto plebiscite on the region’s secession. Should his alliance secure the absolute majority, he will proclaim independence from Spain within 8 months. In the past, Germany had repeatedly supported Catalan secession. Influential German think tanks are demanding that secession not be obstructed. However, there is opposition rising from within business circles. Catalonia is a central site for German companies in Spain. Engaged in trade throughout Spain, they do not want to see their business possibilities limited to one region and Barcelona’s secession from Madrid could possibly prove an obstacle. According to German government advisors, on the other hand, these problems could be solved. Some economists contend that the EU’s currency, the Euro, can, in the long run, only be maintained within a uniform economic area. This would exclude Spain, but include a seceded Catalonia, the strongest economic zone on the Iberian Peninsular. Continue reading

Corruption in Greece (I)

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – The Greek government does not exclude the eventuality of indictments of German companies on charges of corruption, according to recent reports, on a contingency plan Athens has prepared for the event that Berlin forces it into state bankruptcy (“Grexit”). According to this plan, Athens would try to bring German companies to court – who have not or have only partially been subject of bribery investigations – to have them pay at least part of the restitution for damages caused by the alleged corruption, officially estimated in the billions. Siemens is the most famous example. A Greek parliamentary investigating committee estimated that, through systematic bribery, this Munich-based company has caused damages of two billion Euros in Greece. However, Siemens got off cheap in an out-of-court settlement and had to pay only 270 million Euros – hardly one fifth of its current quarterly profit. A court in Munich gave a Siemens manager a suspended sentence – significantly less than what he could have expected from a trial in Athens. Already in the fall of 2014, new legal proceedings had been opened in Athens to comprehensively investigate this systematic corruption.

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A New Era in the Middle East

TEHRAN/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is rushing to renew economic ties with Iran and to engage in reshaping the Middle East by dispatching its minister of the economy to Tehran. The nuclear agreement, signed last Tuesday with Tehran, offers German companies the opportunity to normalize their trade with Iran, which was once among the most lucrative in the Middle East, but had sharply declined due to sanctions. Exports in the double-digit billions are expected. Meanwhile experts are calling for realigning power relations in the Persian Gulf under western leadership to establish a balance of power between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This would prevent the hegemony of either and offer the West favorable opportunities to influence developments in the region. Comprehensive German arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the weakening of Iranian positions, particularly in Syria, would form the basis of this desired balance of power. According to experts, the EU could play a leading role in reshaping the region, if resistance in the US Congress, at the last moment, does not block the nuclear deal.

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Conflict over Natural Resources

BERLIN/LIMA (Own report) – The Catholic relief organization Misereor is sharply criticizing the new “Raw Materials Partnership” accord, concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Peru. Misereor writes that it fears “an aggravation” of the already growing “social conflicts developing around mining projects” in this South American country. This recently signed raw materials treaty grants German companies privileged access to Peru’s resources. The German government has now “signaled the Peruvian government” that “the expansion of the raw materials sector takes priority” over social and ecological regulations affecting that sector. The “raw materials partnership” is one of the measures Berlin is implementing within the framework of its “raw materials strategy” adopted in 2010, to be able to stand its ground in the global competition for access to the most important natural resources – particularly in relationship to China. Peru is an important source of metallic raw materials for Germany. The guarantee of raw materials is more important to Berlin than Misereor’s misgivings. Continue reading