Germany: Trump victory to spur EU military union

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German soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan (Photo: Wir. Dienen. Deutschland.)

 

Donald Trump’s victory, as well as Brexit, ought to speed up plans for EU defence integration, Germany has said.

“Europe needs common political will for more security policy relevance. The outcome of the election in America could provide an additional impetus”, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an opinion article in the Rheinische Post, a German newspaper, on Thursday (10 November).

“The Brexit decision and the election in the United States have set a new course” for the EU, she added.

She said it was “difficult for Germany and Europe, on the day after the election, to assess what to expect from a Trump presidency”. Continue reading

Varoufakis: Eurogroup ‘Completely and Utterly’ Controlled by Germany

Although he’s as corrupt as the rest of them, to be fair, he is correct about Germany and France. Germany runs the continent and France tows the line, as it has been scared into towing the line.

 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Eurogroup, which has been negotiating with Athens over the past few weeks to resolve the Greek debt crisis, is dancing to the tune of Germany and is completely controlled by Germany and its Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, Greek former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Monday in his first interview since surprise resignation.

“It is all like a very well-tuned orchestra and he [Schauble] is the director. Everything happens in tune. There will be times when the orchestra is out of tune, but he convenes and puts it back in line,” the outspoken finance minister told the New Statesman magazine.

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France rebels against austerity as Europe’s recovery collapses

France’s finance minister sends tremors through European capitals with a defiant warning that his country would no longer try to meet deficit targets

Eurozone strategy is in tatters after economic recovery ground to a halt across the region and France demanded a radical shift in policy, warning that austerity overkill is driving Europe into a depression.

Growth slumped to zero in the second quarter, with Germany contracting by 0.2pc and France once again stuck at zero. Italy is already in a triple-dip recession.

Yields on 10-year German Bunds fell below 1pc for the first time in history, beneath levels seen during the most extreme episodes of deflation in the 19th century. French yields also touch record lows. Much of the eurozone is replicating the pattern seen in Japan as it slid into a deflation trap in the late 1990s.

It is unclear whether tumbling yields are primarily a warning signal of stagnation ahead or a bet by investors that the European Central Bank will soon be forced to launch quantitative easing, buying government bonds across the board.

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France hits out at dollar dominance in international transactions

France’s political and business establishment has hit out against the hegemony of the dollar in international transactions after U.S. authorities fined BNP Paribas $9 billion for helping countries avoid sanctions.

Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, called for a “rebalancing” of the currencies used for global payments, saying the BNP Paribas case should “make us realize the necessity of using a variety of currencies”.

He said, in an interview with the Financial Times on the sidelines of a weekend economics conference: “We [Europeans] are selling to ourselves in dollars, for instance when we sell planes. Is that necessary? I don’t think so. I think a rebalancing is possible and necessary, not just regarding the euro but also for the big currencies of the emerging countries, which account for more and more of global trade.”

Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, France’s biggest company by market capitalization, said he saw no reason for oil purchases to be made in dollars, even if the benchmark price in dollars was likely to remain. Continue reading