Greek records first surplus as EU moves closer to balanced budgets

BRUSSELS – Cash-strapped Greece recorded its first primary budget surplus in a generation last year, according to data released by Eurostat on Wednesday (23 April).

Excluding interest on its debt repayments and a number of one-off measures to prop up its banks, Athens recorded a surplus of €1.5 billion, worth the equivalent of 0.8% of its economic output in 2013. Despite this, Greece still recorded an overall deficit figure of 12.7 percent, up by 4 percent on the previous year as the crisis-hit country endured a sixth straight year of recession. Continue reading

‘An Historic Opportunity’: Turkish Cypriot Minister Says Reunification Deal Pending

Negotiations to end the division of Cyprus have been ongoing for years. Now, Northern Cyprus Foreign Minister Özdil Nami tells SPIEGEL that a deal is close. And he wants Germany to help with reunification.

SPIEGEL: You have recently been part of talks in the Chancellery in Berlin regarding the future of Cyprus. Why? Continue reading

Germany preparing third financial rescue for Greece

Germany has signalled it is preparing a third rescue package for Greece – provided the debt-stricken country implements “rigorous”austerity measures blamed for record levels of unemployment and a dramatic drop in GDP.

The new loan, outlined in a five-page position paper by Berlin’s finance ministry, would be worth between €10bn to €20bn (£8bn-16bn), according to the German weekly Der Spiegel, which was leaked the document. Continue reading

Bundesbank calls for capital levy to avert government bankruptcies

Lets be absolutely clear: As history has shown us through repetition, there is no such thing as a “one-off” capital levy, which is a fancy and whitewashed term for stealing from the citizens — yet it is spinned in such a way that the people perceive it as their government working hard in their interests. Once the government has confiscated a piece of wealth, it will consider it a test of the public’s patience, and likely do it again. We saw it in Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland the last few years — and these are only examples during modern times. As the economies continue to plunge, they will take more and more until everything has imploded.

(Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank said on Monday that countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.

The Bundesbank’s tough stance comes after years of euro zone crisis that saw five government bailouts. There have also bond market interventions by the European Central Bank in, for example, Italy where households’ average net wealth is higher than in Germany. Continue reading

Millions for Billions

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – New allegations of corruption have been leveled at leading German arms manufacturers. According to a former employee of the Greek defense ministry and several mediators of the arms industry, German arms manufacturers paid millions in bribes to induce Athens to purchase German weaponry, worth several billion Euros. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall were among the companies named. These deals helped inflate the country’s debts and were, therefore, in part responsible for escalating the crisis. Others, such as Siemens, had also paid millions in bribes to land lucrative contracts from Athens. According to a Greek journalist, who has done extensive research on corruption in Greece, German companies are the “main beneficiaries” of Greece joining the Euro zone because they subsequently profited from highly lucrative Greek government contracts. The sumptuous contracts helped plunge Greece into crisis while they, at the same time, helped the German industry to blaze its trail to the predominant position in Europe. Continue reading

EU signs deal with Turkey lifting restrictions on its citizens travelling to Europe

  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the signing a ‘milestone’
  • The EU membership negotiations had been stalled for years because of Turkey’s dispute with EU-member Cyprus
  • Under the agreement, Turkey would take back immigrant who illegally enter the EU from Turkish territory

The European Union and Turkey have signed agreements which could see the possible lifting of visa restrictions for Turkish citizens travelling to Europe.

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the signing today as a ‘milestone’ in relations between his country and the 28-member bloc.  Continue reading

IMF’s Lagarde says euro crisis not solved, demands pre-emptive action from ECB

Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, says it is premature to declare the eurozone crisis over

The International Monetary Fund has poured cold water over claims that the eurozone is safely recovering, calling on the European Central Bank to take pre-emptive action to alleviate the credit crunch for small business and head off the risk of deflation. Continue reading

The World’s Next Superpower

The 100-year period from 1815 until World War I began in 1914 was one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.

That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century. Continue reading

Seven EU states create military drone ‘club’

BRUSSELS – Seven EU countries have formed what France calls a “club” to produce military drones from 2020 onward.

The scheme was agreed in Brussels on Tuesday (19 November) at a meeting of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the EU’s defence think tank, by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Continue reading

Greece Wants Turkey Out of Cyprus

In a statement certain to be ignored, Greece has urged Turkey to comply with international law and to withdraw its occupying forces from Cyprus, where they have had a presence since seizing the territory in 1974. Continue reading

Sleeping Demons

The late Margaret Thatcher had also strongly warned that Germany, after World War II, was not anchored to Europe — but that Europe was anchored to Germany.

However, it was planned to fail in order to create a solution for an artificially created crisis. When the crisis peaks, subjugate the surrounding nations as planned via economic warfare by forcing bailouts upon them and have them surrender their national sovereign rights to you in exchange.

Not too many see the signs, but the Fourth Reich is indeed coming, and it will be under the guise of the United States of Europe – ten nations — when final integration is complete.

BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin has launched a new offensive to consolidate its predominance over the EU and strengthen its geopolitical position. On the occasion of this year’s national holiday, last week, German President Joachim Gauck claimed that more and more “voices” in Germany and abroad are demanding that his country should play “a stronger role in Europe and the world.” Germany is “not an island” and should not “belittle” itself in the future, after all, it is the “fourth largest economic power in the world.” As his source of inspiration, he also named the Polish foreign minister, who had called for “German leadership” already in late 2011, and a prominent transatlantic publicist, who had recently called on Berlin to act “more resolutely” in the EU following the elections. Gauck’s offensive had been carefully prepared in the foreign policy establishment. Whereas sectors of the elite in other EU countries condone German “leadership,” large majorities of the populations in the southern EU countries are criticizing German predominance. The intra-European power struggles are continuing. Already a few months ago, Luxemburg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker had warned that he can see similarities to the period leading up to WW I. Continue reading

Swiss war game envisages invasion by bankrupt French

Hordes of bankrupt French invade Switzerland to get their hands on their “stolen” money — such is the imaginary scenario cooked up by the Swiss military in simulations revealed over the weekend.

Carried out in August, the apparently outlandish army exercise was based on the premise of an attack by a financially stricken France split into warring regions, according to Matin Dimanche, the Lausanne-based daily. Continue reading