EU Launches Rebellion Against Trump’s Iran Sanctions, Bans European Companies From Complying

Following our discussion of Europe’s angry response to Trump’s unilateral Iran sanctions, in which European Union budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger made it clear that Europe will not be viewed as a vassal state of the US, stating that “Trump despises weaklings. If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the US then we are lost”, moments ago Reuters reported that the European Commission is set to launch tomorrow the process of activating a law that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

“As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act and this is why we are launching the process of to activate the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

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European Values (II)

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) – Whereas Berlin is attacking the Polish government because of its media law; massive criticism is being raised against the German public broadcasting. While German politicians are calling for sanctions to be imposed on Poland, because it is placing its public media under government supervision, a right-wing conservative former CDU minister has become Chair of an influential panel of Germany’s ARD public television channel. Observers note that, even after the Federal Constitutional Court’s intervention, state officials or individuals with close government ties exercise significant influence on the public broadcasting steering committees. Due to their structural relationship to the state, on the one hand, and the programs’ political orientation toward government policy, on the other, one could speak of “embedded journalism” in Germany, a former correspondent of the ZDF public television concluded a few years ago. The journalist went to work for the Swiss Television, because it does not have “a NATO state’s obligatory alignment.” The German public television’s foreign news reporting is even increasingly being accused of using falsifications.

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Struggle for the Ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV/MOSCOW (Own report) – The struggle between Berlin and Brussels, on the one side, and Moscow, on the other, for the predominating influence in the Ukraine is growing sharper. Since the end of 2012, the German RWE company has been systematically expanding its natural gas deliveries to this East European country. Its objective is to break Kiev’s dependence on Russian natural gas, by reversing the flow in the pipelines already in place, to deliver large quantities of the gas from the West. However, these efforts – also being supported by the German EU Energy Commissioner, Günter Oettinger – are not advancing rapidly enough. According to reports, pro-western circles in the Ukraine are complaining that Slovakia – without whose pipelines, a breakthrough would hardly be possible – is opposing the project. Brussels, therefore, should exert pressure on that country, because time is running out. The Ukrainian government signed a memorandum last week, which is considered an important step toward its integration in the Russian-dominated EurAsian Economic Community, about to be established. In Berlin, Ukrainian participation in this community is perceived as incompatible with Kiev’s integration into EU structures. This conflict, which in principle, has been going on for twenty years, is being fueled by this new accentuation. Continue reading