- “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.” — From a leaked German intelligence document.
- “We need to be clear that there must be limits and quotas for immigration — we cannot save the whole world.” — Markus Söder, Finance Minister of Bavaria.
- “The migration crisis has the potential to destabilize governments, countries and the whole European continent. … What we have been facing is not a refugee crisis. This is a migratory movement composed of economic migrants, refugees and also foreign fighters” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
- “Meanwhile, refugees are still heading into Germany — at a rate of around 10,000 a day. … The decade after Ms. Merkel first came to power in 2005 now looks like a blessed period for Germany, in which the country was able to enjoy peace, prosperity and international respect, while keeping the troubles of the world at a safe distance. That golden era is now over.” — Gideon Rachman, Financial Times.
- Hamburg city officials say that owners of vacant real estate have refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, and thus the city should be given the right to take it by force.
- “The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg. It amounts to an expropriation by the state [and a] “law of intimidation.” — André Trepoll, Christian Democratic Union.
- “If a property is confiscated… a lawsuit to determine the legality of the confiscation can only be resolved after the fact. But the accommodation would succeed in any event.” — Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer.
- Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia seized a private resort in the town of Olpe to provide housing for up to 400 migrants
- “I find it impossible to understand how the city can treat me like this. I have struggled through life with grief and sorrow and now I get an eviction notice. It is a like a kick in the stomach.” — Bettina Halbey, 51-year-old nurse, after being notified that she must vacate her apartment so that migrants can move in. Continue reading
According to the newspaper, the EU consists of numerous imperfect institutions which have proved unable to function in times of the crisis. It has become a hostage to the Troika: the ECB, the IMF and the EU Commission which have totally failed.
Moreover, the EU member states are pursuing different goals: Southern countries want a different Europe, not a Europe of austerity, but of a growth, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.
If Greece is forced out of the euro in acrimonious circumstances – a 50/50 risk given the continued refusal of the creditor core to acknowledge their own guilt and strategic errors – the country will not only default on its EMU rescue packages, but also on its “Target2” liabilities to the European Central Bank.
In normal times, Target2 adjustments are routine and self-correcting. They occur automatically as money is shifted around the currency bloc. The US Federal Reserve has a similar internal system to square books across regions. They turn nuclear if monetary union breaks up.
A Greek default – unavoidable in a Grexit scenario – would crystallize these losses. The German people would discover instantly that a large sum of money committed without their knowledge and without a vote in the Bundestag had vanished.
A top German body has called for a clear mechanism to force Greece out of the euro if the left-wing Syriza government repudiates the terms of the country’s €245bn rescue.
“Financial support must be cut off if Greece does not comply with its reform commitments,” said the Institute of German Economic Research (IW). “If Greece is going to take a tough line, then Europe will take a tough line as well.”
IW is the second German institute in two days to issue a blunt warning to the new Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras, who has vowed to halt debt payments and reverse austerity measures imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.
Germany’s cabinet has approved draft laws that effectively give the go-ahead to Europe’s plans for banking union – its main confidence-building response to the financial sector crisis.
With the laws, Germany is pressing ahead of EU requirements in protecting German taxpayers from having to foot the bill when a bank gets into trouble. Instead, in a process dubbed a “bail-in”, creditors and owners will have to take losses from 2015, a year before EU rules take effect. Continue reading