Angela Merkel allies warn: A Donald Trump could happen in Germany too

Head of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, Frauke Petry.

Head of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, Frauke Petry. Photo: AP

 

Berlin: Leading allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday that populists would pose a problem for Europe unless mainstream politicians came up with answers after Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Trump’s win has encouraged right-wing parties in Austria, France and the Netherlands, among others. A Politbarometer poll for broadcaster ZDF showed 82 per cent of Germans viewed it as bad or very bad, and 65 per cent expected relations with the United States to deteriorate under Trump’s presidency. Continue reading

Germany in China-bashing mode over strategic takeovers

Sectors of the government in Berlin are calling bluntly for an intervention of the European Union (EU) to protect its members against unfair investment practices from Chinese state-owned and private companies. While both EU institutions and member states are sending mixed signals over this German proposal, hawkish supporters of Brexit – Britain’s exit from the EU – are pushing for their leaders to seize on the “China-bashing” that is taking place across the Channel.

Berlin fears that the rise in China’s takeovers of German national assets, notably in the dual-use (i.e. civil and military) hi-tech industry, is driven in large part by the Chinese undisguised desire to buy up Western know-how and intellectual properties, something that will negatively affect the country’s security. Continue reading

Greece accuses Europe of plotting regime change as creditors draw up ultimatum

The European Commission braces for a “state of emergency” in Greece, fearing social unrest and a break-down of basic supplies

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has accused Europe’s creditor powers of trying to subvert Greece’s elected government after five years of “pillaging”, warning in solemn terms that his country will defend its sovereign dignity whatever the consequences.

The defiant stand came as the European Commission lashed out at the Greeks and warned that the country would collapse into a “state of emergency” unless there is a deal to avert a financial crash.

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EU preparing for ‘state of emergency’ after Greek talks collapse

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at his office in Maximos Mansion for a governmental council in Athens June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

 

ATHENS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s EU commissioner said on Monday it was time to prepare for a “state of emergency” after talks collapsed at the weekend to rescue Greece from default and ejection from the euro.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ignored a litany of pleas from European leaders to act fast and instead blamed creditors for the collapse in aid-for-austerity talks, the biggest setback yet in long-running talks to secure more aid for Greece.

Athens now has just two weeks to find a way out of the impasse before it faces a 1.6 billion euro bill due to the International Monetary Fund, potentially leaving it out of cash, unable to borrow and cast out of the single currency. Continue reading

Germany’s ascendancy over Europe will prove short-lived

Although the article has a point and the population is truly in decline, Germany should not be counted out. Germans have the know-how, a very modern infrastructure, are still the most industrious and forward thinking people with a vision that no other on the European continent has or can be compared to. It didn’t literally give its manufacturing base to the Chinese.

Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces.

If demography is destiny, it may be clear within five years that ageing Germany is going the way of Japan. Within 20 years it may equally be clear France and Britain are regaining their 19th century role as the two dominant powers of Europe, albeit a diminished prize. Continue reading