Trump on Possible Iran Meeting: ‘No Preconditions; If They Want to Meet, I’ll Meet’

 

President Donald Trump said during a Monday joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that he would meet with the leaders of Iran with “no preconditions.”

A Reuters reporter asked Trump if he would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a similar way he met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladamir Putin. Continue reading

Geopolitical crisis : A moribund NATO

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As we have explained on other occasions, NATO is still there, of course, but only because there are no better options at hand. Everyone wants to be rid of it – the Europeans who want a common European defence[1] and Donald Trump who wants Europeans to participate more in their own defence. They are all contributing to a slow process in which NATO continues to get in the way whilst Europeans dither between several strategies:

  • To increase their share[2] and thus acquire an equal say with that of the US within NATO (with the long-term aim of separating off to form a European NATO[3]). Problem: For this strategy to have a chance of success, much greater cohesion is needed in the European camp – something that is still a long way off at the moment. Continue reading

Russia moving into Libya

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Libyan National Army forces, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Khalifah Haftar, is pushing for a Russian military presence in eastern Libya. (The Washington Times/File) Photo by: Mathieu Galtier

 

U.S. intelligence agencies are closely monitoring Russian military activities in Libya for signs that Moscow may soon build a military base in the divided North African state.

Intelligence reports indicate that Russia is planning to expand its Syrian bases at Tartus and Hemeimeem to Libya.

The possible Russian move into Libya represents the most recent failure stemming from the policies of President Obama that backed Islamist rebels who overthrew and killed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Mr. Obama has said that the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the ouster of Gadhafi was the worst mistake of his presidency. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also came under fire for failing to provide security for Americans who were attacked and killed in Benghazi after Gadhafi’s fall. Continue reading

Germans Actually Want US Troops Out Of Germany, Poll Finds

While Donald Trump is 100% correct on Germany being controlled by Russia, it’s not a 100% influence over Germany… and he’s also unwittingly helping someone else fill in the vacuum of a post-American-protected Europe. Europeans have already longed for the day American troops leave Europe, long before this poll ever came out. The question is who will fill that vacuum. The likely answer is a European Army replacing NATO, which is already Under Construction as we speak.

There may be partnerships going on between Europe and Russia, but Europe, militarily speaking, understands the need for its own independent defense mechanism and still feels threatened by Russia despite energy and business deals. Moreover, this is not necessarily something thought of by EU members as a whole, but Germany. Germany is the powerhouse of the EU and has always had ambitions to take Europe — even in this new generation. It dictates its policy and those who don’t follow end up being vassal states like Greece and Cyprus. Although harder to push around, Italy is the next target for the chopping block after the election of an anti-EU leadership. This is Germany’s way of getting member states in sync.

The creation of a new superpower is underway, all lead by Berlin’s Fourth Reich. If you’re still looking for Nazis, you’re 70 years too late. The game plan has changed, but the goal remains the same: A multi-national United States of Europe with its own European Army.

 

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Map source: Wikimedia Commons

 

A central irony behind Trump’s rumored “threat” that he could withdraw or at least greatly reduce American troops stationed in Germany, who last month wrote to Angela Merkel of “growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised” on defense spending, is that Germans don’t actually want US troops on their soil to begin with, according to a new poll. Continue reading

Russell Napier: “Trade War Is The Beginning Of A New Global Monetary System”

A Country Matures, An Exchange Rate Declines

After two weeks on the road visiting clients your analyst returns with a better view of the consensus outlook. There is, though, much in the consensus to disagree with. In particular it seems peculiar that the consensus believes the democratically elected government of Italy, with policies entirely contrary to EU membership, will be put through the bureaucratic meat grinder in Rome and Brussels and turned into EU sausage, in a similar process that minced the political representatives of Greece.

While this might well be the case, it is hard to understand that the grinding destruction of this democracy, even if it is only moderate compared to the Greek experience, can be anything but bad for growth and asset prices in the EU. Disciplining these politicians to abandon their manifesto promises and follow the ways of the EU is highly unlikely to be a painless experience, either for Italy or the rest of the EU. Nonetheless, investors are content to believe that a painless disciplining of Italy’s elected representatives is all but inevitable. We shall see.

Perhaps the most prevailing consensus view is that the recent weakness of the RMB represents a Chinese counter-punch in the trade war with the US. Coming when it does, it is easy to see the accelerated decline of the RMB as a tactical and not a strategic move. Comments by the PBOC on July 3rd have probably reassured many investors that the managed exchange rate regime is not at risk and that the RMB will continue to be managed against a basket of currencies. Your analyst does not agree. Continue reading

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

 

The predictions have come true about the emergence of a new defense group that will change the European security environment. On June 25, the defense chiefs from nine EU countries signed off on the creation of a new force called the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which is spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. The new organization will have a common budget and a doctrine establishing its guidelines for acting and joint planning for contingencies in which NATO may not get involved. The group includes the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal. Italy may join soon. The initiative is not tied to the EU’s Common European Defense, which includes the PESCO agreement as well as NATO. Great Britain has always opposed the idea of creating a European defense alliance, fearing it would undermine transatlantic unity. Now it has done an about-face, as the rifts within the US grow deeper. Continue reading

Farage: Merkel’s finished, migration policy is her downfall

 

“She was the most powerful European leader, been in power over a decade. She was the dominant figure, not just in Germany, but in the entire European Union,” Farage said. Continue reading

“It’s A New Chapter For Europe”: Merkel, Macron Unveil Plan To Reform Europe

Lost among the other overnight news, was the launch of “a new chapter” for the EU as termed by Germany’s troubled chancellor Merkel. After her meeting with French President Macron on Tuesday, Merkel said Germany and France have agreed to cooperate to reform the EU’s asylum system as both “understand the topic of migration is a joint task” and “our goal remains a European answer to the challenge.” What she really meant is that if her government is toppled by the collapse of the CSU-CDU coalition – recall Merkel has a 2 week ultimatum to reach a solution on Germany’s treatment of refugees by July 1 – the rest of Europe gets it too, and the grand experiment is over.

Aside from immigration, the two leaders agreed to an in principle plan to strengthen the Euro area, including setting up a euro-area budget and a crisis backstop under the ESM (European stability mechanism), although they postponed decisions on some elements which could prove consequential. Chief among them: specifics on the size and conditions of the euro-area budget. Continue reading

Germany’s Interior Minister ‘can’t work with Merkel anymore’

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(Shutterstock)

 

The German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, has been increasingly outspoken in the need for a far tougher approach on migration, including the turning away of migrants without documentation. Continue reading

As the G-7 Implodes, SCO Meeting Confirms the New Century of Multipolarity

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The historical changes we are witnessing have never been so evident as in the last few days. The G7 summit highlighted the limits of the Atlantic alliance, while the SCO meeting opens up unprecedented possibilities for Eurasian integration.

At the G7 meeting in Canada in recent days, we witnessed unprecedented clashes between Trump and G7 leaders over the imposition of tariffs on trade. We must now conclude that the event has been relegated to irrelevance, as the G7 has heretofore derived its clout from speaking as one voice. Trump even went further, refusing to sign the final draft of the organization’s joint statement after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Trump’s trade decisions. Trump showed how little he cares for his allies, leaving the summit a day early to arrive early for the meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore to make preparations for the long-awaited encounter between the two leaders. Continue reading

Why Italians are fed up with Europe

Joep Bertrams

 

The rise to government of Eurosceptic parties is the consequence of austerity policies made in the name of cleaner public finances and of the euro convergence criteria.

Two Eurosceptic forces are now governing Italy. On one hand the 5-Star Movement, the anti-system party of Luigi de Maio founded by the humorist Beppe Grillo. On the other, far-right xenophobic Liga led by Matteo Salvini. How could this have happened? How did one of the European Union’s six founding members, host of Treaty of Rome in 1957, and for a long time the EU’s most Europhile country, give a parliamentary majority to groups so hostile to European integration? Continue reading

“Interfere!”

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ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive pressure from Berlin, Italy’s new government has renounced on appointing a well-known euroskeptic to become economy and finance minister. The renowned economist Paolo Savona must accept a less prominent post as Minister for European Affairs – above all because he criticizes Germany’s blatant policy of domination at the expense of the other euro zone countries. The far right Lega Nord is now almost as strongly represented in Rome’s government as the 5-Star Movement: Due to Germany’s open interference, Lega’s poll ratings have soared, thereby significantly increasing its political clout. In the run-up, German politicians and media had reactivated a tactic they had been using since the beginning of the euro crisis: With warnings of harsh financial market reactions, they fuel the fear of a crisis, thus applying even more pressure on Rome. According to German media with wide circulation, Italy’s policy “concerns all of us” – “Interfere!”

Continue reading

Italy’s populist parties reach new deal to form a government

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Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the Lega will both be ministers in the new government (Credit: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)

 

Italy’s populist parties were finally given the green light to form a coalition government on Thursday evening, after they backed down over their initial selection of a deeply eurosceptic economy minister.

After days of intensive negotiations and pressure from the markets, the anti-immigrant, hard-Right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement agreed to a compromise.

Both parties had come close to forming a government at the weekend, only for their efforts to be torpedoed by President Sergio Mattarella, who refused to approve their controversial choice of Paolo Savona as economy minister.

Paolo Savona, 81, has called Italy’s adoption of the euro a “historic error”, describing the single currency as “a German cage” and calling for a “plan B” that would allow the country to exit the eurozone. Continue reading

Eurocracy

All roads continue to lead to Berlin, the powerhouse that runs and dictates Europe’s future. In this case, Berlin is spearheading an effort to keep Italy subjugated before an economic crisis (it’s already capitalizing off of) gets politically out of hand as it did in Greece, which is now a German vassal state. It’s Germany’s goal to create a United States of Europe and economic levers are but one tactic in harmonizing Europe how it sees fit in achieving that end.

 

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ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive complaints from Germany, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella blocked a euroskeptic from becoming his country’s finance minister, appointing an IMF man – favored by Berlin – to be prime minister. The democratically elected 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord majority’s opportunity to form a government was thereby denied. Euroskeptic Paolo Savona, a renowned career economist, was rejected because he could not have insured the maintenance of the EU’s common currency. Under his administration, resistance to Berlin’s austerity dictate could have been expected, whereas the newly appointed Prime Minster Carlo Cottarelli passed the test a few years ago as the Rome government’s austerity commissioner (“Mr. Scissors”). Savona’s nomination is the result of Italy’s growing euroskepticism, which, in the meantime, is also shared by other economists. “Germany profits, Italy loses” through the introduction of the euro, concludes Savona’s alternative candidate to the post of finance minister.

Continue reading

Cologne Institute of German Business Warns of Deposit Protection May Not Survive in Europe

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The Cologne Institute of German Business sees in the planned European deposit insurance is simply incapable of proving protection against a bank crash in Europe. The EU deposit guarantee is simply not practical under any concept of austerity. The Eurozone still has inherent significant risks in the balance sheets of European financial institutions. This is primarily because where the USA took the bad loans from the banks and stuffed them into Freddie and Fanny, in Europe, the bad loans are still on the books of the banks. Systemically, this has been the leading problem why Europe has been unable to recover and Quantitative Easing merely robber savers of their income and it failed completely to stimulate the economy. Banks were still reluctant to lend and people would not borrow if they did not have confidence in the future. Continue reading