Sigmar Gabriel: Now Is the Time to Strengthen Europe

Neujahrsempfang der Braunschweiger SPD

Sigmar Gabriel: “We don’t need ‘more Europe,’ but rather a different Europe.” Source: DPA

 

The German Economics Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party tells Handelsblatt Europe must forge its own trade relations with Asia, and face down Donald Trump’s protectionist threats.

On an intercity train zooming through the lowlands of the German state of Lower Saxony, German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel talked to Handelsblatt about Germany’s role in Europe and the world, the need for investment in infrastructure and the challenges posed by the shift away from nuclear power and toward green energy, known as the Energiewende. Click here for a summary of his comments.

Handelsblatt: Mr. Gabriel, is Germany ready for Donald Trump’s “America First” policy?

Mr. Gabriel: Germany should act with self-confidence and not be fearful or servile. We are a highly successful, technologically-advanced export nation with many hard-working people and smart companies.

Germany is not only stable at this time, but also serves as an anchor of stability for many other countries in Europe. Mr. Trump’s first speech as U.S. president shows that he is dead serious. We will have to put on some warm clothes for the chill ahead. But there is no reason for faintheartedness. Continue reading

Competing for Business with Iran

TEHERAN/BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – Germany’s Minister of the Economy, Sigmar Gabriel, will travel to Iran at the beginning of next week to initiate new business deals in a highly competitive market of the future. German authorities are doing all they can to insure that once sanctions are ended, Teheran will allot contracts to German companies. Besides Gabriel, for whom this will be his second trip to the Iranian capital in the past nine months, premiers or ministers of a total of six German states have either flown to Iran for talks or are planning to do so in the near future. The competition is intense. Asian countries – from China, via South Korea all the way to India – are currently by far the most important suppliers of this country that is exceptionally rich in raw materials. According to business circles, time is running out. Although Germany has good chances, in light of the strong competition from Asia, it cannot hope to reconquer its previous 30-percent market share in Iran’s mechanical engineering and plant construction. However, if business is not accelerated, they could fall far behind. The first steps have been taken. Siemens will build a high-speed railway line linking Teheran to Isfahan and modernize Iran’s electrical power supply.

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A New Era in the Middle East (II)

TEHERAN/HANOVER/MUNICH (Own report) – Now that the sanctions are coming to a close, German enterprises are initiating major investments in Iran and multibillion-dollar gas deals with Teheran. Over the past few weeks, several business delegations have already visited Iran. The state of Bavaria will soon open a business representation in the Iranian capital. On the one hand, German business circles have their eye on the Middle East market, because Iran “is the ventricle of an economic zone comprising a cross-border population of 400 million people.” With car sales in Iran, Volkswagen would like to compensate for the slump it is suffering on other major markets, particularly China and Brazil. On the other hand, Berlin and Brussels are trying to acquire access to Iranian natural gas. The EU Commission estimates that by 2030, Iran should be annually selling 25 to 35 billion cubic meters – probably liquid – gas to the EU. BASF natural gas subsidiary Wintershall has also shown interest. During his recent visit in Teheran, Lower Saxony’s Minister of the Economy proposed the construction of a LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven as a German-Iranian joint venture. This is all happening at a time, when the conflict over Syria – with Iran and Russia on the one side and the West on the other – is escalating.

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Mass Immigration and the Undoing of Europe

  • In Germany, where traffickers are now dropping off illegal immigrants on Autobahns, authorities have reacted — not by trying to intercept or discourage traffickers, but by putting up new road signs alerting drivers of potential pedestrians on the highway.
  • Last month alone, more migrants landed on the shores of Greece than in the whole of 2014.
  • If the mainstream media keep reminding everyone how the rioting immigrant youths in France or Britain are driven by economic inequality now, imagine the scale of unrest once European welfare states cannot finance “half the planet” anymore and are forced to cut welfare benefits.
  • No one, however, especially the media, blames migrants for their own actions.
  • This is the real tragedy of the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe: apart from those fleeing combat zones, most migrants swarming European borders and coastlines do not appear to be in any real or dire need.

Even before this year’s mass immigration began, Germany was struggling to deal with roughly a quarter of a million asylum applicants — without even accounting for the illegal immigrants already in the country. The recent wave of migration would push those figures to record heights.

The trend in Germany merely reflects the overall scale of the European immigrant crisis. In July 2015, an estimated 50,000 refugees entered Greece, a surge of 750 percent. Last month alone more migrants landed than in the whole of 2014.

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21st Century Warfare (II)

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Own report) – Today, NATO’s “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF), with its significant contingent of German troops, will launch a series of maneuvers to prepare for its role as “Spearhead” in the alliance’s future war operations. A first “performance test” will be conducted until Friday, followed by the two-part “Noble Jump” exercises. The training will focus on alerting the elite troops and on their rapid relocation within NATO territory, with the official objective being to prevent “terrorists” from advancing onto the territory of an allied country and provoking a “government crisis.” The culmination of this year’s maneuvers will be the “Trident Juncture” exercise in September. Twenty-five thousand soldiers are expected to participate, training for a war of intervention in a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa. The western troops will not only be confronting a guerilla army but will also encounter chemical warfare, food insecurity, and have to channel population displacements. According to NATO, “lessons” have been learned from the military operations in Afghanistan and the “contemporary conflicts” such as in Ukraine.

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Neutral and Non-Partisan

BERLIN/NIENBURG AN DER WESER (Own report) – The German Red Cross (DRK) and the German Bundeswehr have entered an unprecedented cooperation agreement. The so-called Future Pact foresees the direct integration of the DRK into the “Civil-Military Cooperation Center” of the German military located in Nienburg in Lower Saxony. The relief organization will also maintain a “permanent liaison office” and participate both in the planning and execution of combat operations. Back in 2003, the DRK explicitly committed itself to “cooperate” in military missions. In 2008, a federal law stipulated that the primary “task” of the relief organization was to “support the Bundeswehr’s medical service.” Since 2009, the DRK has maintained its own “representative for civil-military cooperation.” Since last year, this cooperation has been exercised within the framework of the “Joint Cooperation” maneuvers, which are explicitly aimed at the implementation of the “network” of the military and relief organizations, to be applied in foreign missions in civil war regions.

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Under Tutelage

Ukraine, now destabilized, infiltrated and redirected via new leadership planted by Washington and Berlin (via its domination of the EU/Troika), will soon have boots on the ground from the Fourth Reich. History is repeating itself and Eastern Europe has always been a source of contention between Germany and Russia as it militarily puts either one on its neighbor’s doorstep. This could also lead Russia to strike first, and as previously mentioned, go as far as Poland before Germany can get a military foothold and put Ukraine under the NATO umbrella protectorate.

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – The German government is preparing the Bundeswehr’s deployment in Ukraine. According to reports, in support of the OSCE mission to monitor the ceasefire between the Kiev government troops and the insurgents, up to 200 German soldiers will be deployed in the East of the country. The decision on the deployment is expected to be made in the next few days. Following armament and training operations in Iraq and the airlift to West Africa, this would be the third intervention to have been decided in a short period time. It shows that the German government is increasingly willing to supplement its foreign policy activities with military engagement. With the planned Bundeswehr deployment in Ukraine, Germany wants to reinforce its direct control over military activities inside that country. It would be the first combat mission of German troops since WW II on territory of the former Soviet Union, placing German soldiers close to the Russian border. This goes hand in hand with considerations to actually place the state administration under German-European tutelage.

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Bundeswehr to send 200 armed troops to observe the Ukraine ceasefire

For translation purposes, as the original is in German, the entire article translated toEnglish will be posted here.

Für Leute die die in deutsch lesen möchte, gibt es den originales Kopie zum lesen vom den Link ganz unten.

 

The Bundeswehr is preparing for a mission to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen advised the Stewards of the Bundestag about the planned German involvement in a mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “Our common goal is that the situation stabilized in eastern Ukraine and in a peace process ends,” she said.

However, a final decision on the application shall be made after completion of talks with the OSCE and France.

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