Britain and Germany Sign Military Pact

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Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), Minister of Defence, and Gavin Williamson, British Minister of Defence, talk during an exercise of tank pioneering. (Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance/Getty Images)

 

‘The UK is just as committed to Europe’s security in the future as it has been in the past.’

Germany and Britain signed a military pact on October 5 that ensures Britain will retain a military relationship with the European Union after Brexit. The agreement, signed in Germany by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, is intended to strengthen military cooperation between the two parties.

Von der Leyen called the agreement a “symbolically important sign” that the strategic partnership between Germany and Britain will continue after Brexit. The pact will reinforce British-European military cooperation “in the navy, the air force, and in cyber capabilities.” The agreement states that Germany and Britain are “determined to deepen and strengthen” their relationship by working together on their “common defense and security goals.” Continue reading

The World’s Next Superpower

The 100-year period from 1815 until World War I began in 1914 was one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.

That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century. Continue reading

Why Is Germany Collecting Taxes for the Catholic Church?

The German Catholic Bishops Conference issued a decree in September warning that those Germans who opted out of paying the country’s “church tax” would no longer be entitled to sacraments, religious burial or any part of parish life.

This “church tax” is a special tax collected in Germany and several other Western European nations that was introduced in the 19th century in compensation for the nationalization of religious property. All Germans who officially register as Catholics, Protestants or Jews on their tax documentation must pay a religious tax of 8 to 9 percent on their annual income tax bill.

Continue reading