Germany’s Geopolitical Interests

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – In spite of the Turkish government’s recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as “fascist,” thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara’s brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from “becoming even more alienated from us,” which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany’s capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin’s ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara. 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

Impact of the Crisis

Experts and analysts always say China, but it’s the one you never see coming that hits the hardest. They likely do not account for the fact that China, although ‘rising’, is not trusted throughout the world and will likely have a limited role instead of a leading one on the world stage because of this.

On the other hand, Germany’s stranglehold on and ever-growing control of the EU (the world’s largest economy) is also not accounted for. Couple that with the misguided appearance of being 100% pacifist since the second World War, yet it’s the third largest arms exporter in the world, you can give the upper hand to Germany. It’s a highly overlooked and dismissed fact.

BERLIN (Own report) – The EU crisis is causing a serious weakening of the EU’s foreign policy, concluded a recent study published by the Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Not only are the member states’ financial outlays for foreign and military activities clearly diminishing, due to leeway shrinkage caused by budget cuts, but “conflicts between member states have grown” around how to handle the crisis, according to the SWP. This has stifled “joint foreign policy initiatives.” The think tank points out that the enduring crisis and the hard-line German austerity dictate have damaged the prestige of the EU and, therefore, also severely tarnished its global “soft power.” Particularly damaging are the cuts in the military sector, even ranging up to 30 percent reductions in defense spending of the smaller and medium sized EU countries, jeopardizing their long term capability of participation in EU wars. The option of instrumentalizing a common EU foreign and military policy, to reinforce German clout and eventually promote it to world power status, had always been an important motive in Berlin for the buildup and development of the EU. Continue reading