German finance minister jumps on Macron to demand great EU integration and economic reform

Finance minister Wolfgang Schauble will discuss boosting the Eurozone with the new French government

Finance minister Wolfgang Schauble will discuss boosting the Eurozone with the new French government [GETTY]

 

GERMANY is to urge Emmanuel Macron to push for more EU integration and a stronger Europe.

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron has already spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone as she heralded his win a victory for a “united Europe”.

Mr Macron plans to visit Berlin shortly with German ministers poised to use the new French government to strengthen the eurozone.  Continue reading

Europe: Laughing at the Messenger

In response to US President Donald Trump’s recent reference to “what’s happening” in Sweden, Swedish Twitter users mocked him by posting photos of people putting IKEA furniture together. The joke would have been funnier had a failed asylum seeker from Eritrea not murdered Carola Herlin (left) and her son in an IKEA store in Västerås, Sweden, in August 2015.

 

  • Once again, an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem identified or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified.
  • We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem.
  • If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues.
  • It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny.

How can one excavate the minds of so many European officials and the extraordinary mental gymnastics of denial to which they have become prone? Continue reading

On a Par (II)

MUNICH (Own report) – At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the German government assumed the role of an ally “on a par” with the United States. The chancellor and several ministers of Germany formulated conditions for continued cooperation with the US government, while holding out the prospect of a “stronger Europe,” which, according to Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, should be capable of independently “coping successfully” with the “reality of crises and wars outside the bounds of the European Union.” Appropriate rearmament measures are being prepared. The chancellor conceives of a military budget increase of around eight percent annually, while the discussion on German-European nuclear arms is continuing. Publicists are hinting at the possibility of Berlin sharing influence over the Force de Frappe through co-financing France’s nuclear arms arsenal. Berlin is still relying on the alliance with Washington, at least for the time being, because rearmament and access to nuclear arms take time. Continue reading

PARIS ERUPTS IN VIOLENCE: Many streets are NO-GO ZONES as five suburbs in flames

The streets of Paris have been turned into no go areas

 

POLICE in Paris are struggling to cope with the fall out from a plague of riots which have kicked off in the city’s northern suburbs.

Five large areas have been reduced to no go areas for the past five nights as masked men cause mayhem on the streets.

Now there are fears the fall out from allegations of police brutality could spread all over the country as unrest in the city grows. Continue reading

In the Name of Europe

BERLIN (Own report) – The first telephone call between the German chancellor and the US president was flanked by appeals for the EU to close ranks. Following Saturday’s call, both parties declared that they would “deepen” their bilateral relations. However, Berlin is preparing to assert its own interests offensively vis-à-vis Russia – also with the EU’s help. This is why the EU must finally “close ranks,” as German politicians are demanding. On Saturday, on his first foreign visit as German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel met his Parisian counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault. His vigorous insistence “that Germany and France demonstrate they have common positions on nearly all issues” was also aimed at closing the EU’s ranks. While Gabriel was visiting France, the seven southern European countries’ heads of states and governments – including the French president – were meeting in Lisbon to determine their own positions, also regarding their economic policy. In view of British Prime Minster Theresa May’s recent visit to the USA, observers note that the Brexit is creating “a second geopolitical pole in Europe,” and “for Germany, which has become accustomed to speak in the name of Europe, […] this is not a favorable development.” Continue reading

Leader and Followers

BERLIN (Own report) – Leading German media are demanding that the German government transform the EU into “an effective counterforce to Trump” and, thus become “the savior of the free world.” Berlin must assume “a leading function” in the EU and assure that the rest of the member states “follow.” Germany must take the “responsibility for leadership.” It is “Europe’s last powerhouse,” one journal writes, in a snub to France, which, over the past few years, was unable to contend with Germany in the power struggle, and has lost much of its influence. Non-German observers doubt that Berlin will be able to sustain its claim to leadership within the EU. In Germany’s capital, an abundance of “triumphalism and sense of mission” is felt, reported an experienced foreign policy expert. There is a widespread conviction that “Germany has a mission in Europe, to lead the others down the right path.” Berlin refers particularly to France “with contempt.” “The French have no idea and must be disciplined.” The expert sees the possibility of coalitions in opposition to Germany being formed among EU countries. The German government is launching a new appeal for a common military policy and for “sticking together against Russia and the new US administration.” Continue reading

No Chance

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – Shortly after the conservative candidate in the French presidential elections was decided, Berlin began to apply pressure on François Fillon, who had won his party’s nomination. Even though Berlin is applauding Fillon’s neoliberal austerity measures – which include an increase in the value added tax and the firing of half a million civil servants – his foreign policy plans clearly run counter to Berlin’s policy, according to experts. A fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), for example, criticizes the fact that Fillon “aims” to “retake France’s sovereignty” and to have a cooperative relationship with Russia. Invoking “European civilization,” Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, declared with an air of an ultimatum that this “obviously must be discussed with François Fillon.” Even France’s experts are assuming that should Fillon win the presidential elections – according to polls a real possibility – he would not be able to pursue a policy toward Russia independent of Berlin’s. Continue reading

Shock as Opportunity

BERLIN (Own report) – Thanks to Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Berlin sees its opportunities for pushing for the creation of EU military structures and possibly European nuclear armed forces growing. Wolfgang Ischinger, the influential diplomat and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, is “hoping” that the “Trump shock” has “dramatically increased” the willingness to militarize the European Union. Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that includes setting up an EU Operational Headquarters, establishing a “political leadership” for EU military operations, and raising the military budgets of all member states to at least 2% of their GDP. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, continues to promote the idea of an “EU superpower.” Leading politicians and commentators are beginning to pick up the idea, previously launched by a number of experts, of the EU developing its own nuclear military forces on the basis of French and British nuclear weapons. However, for this, the French and British arsenals would be insufficient, according to a suggestive article published in one of Germany’s leading opinion-forming dailies. Continue reading

European Central Bank gold reserves held across 5 locations. ECB will not disclose Gold Bar List.

Table 1: Central bank FX and Gold transfers to the ECB, January 1999

 

The European Central Bank (ECB), creator of the Euro, currently claims to hold 504.8 tonnes of gold reserves. These gold holdings are reflected on the ECB balance sheet and arose from transfers made to the ECB by Euro member national central banks, mainly in January 1999 at the birth of the Euro. As of the end of December 2015, these ECB gold reserves were valued on the ECB balance sheet at market prices and amounted to €15.79 billion. 

The ECB very recently confirmed to BullionStar that its gold reserves are stored across 5 international locations. However, the ECB also confirmed that it does not physically audit its gold, nor will it divulge a bar list / weight list of these gold bar holdings.

Questions and Answers

BullionStar recently put a number of questions to the European Central Bank about the ECB’s gold holdings. The ECB Communications Directorate replied to these questions with answers that appear to include a number of facts about the ECB gold reserves which have not previously been published. The questions put to the ECB and its responses are listed below (underlining added): Continue reading

How Dangerous Ideas Crumbled France in Six Weeks

Hitler and his men walk through the capital city after the French surrender. (harWood/keystone/getty images)

 

The results of relying on the wisdom of man

The outbreak of World War i was met with cheering crowds in Paris. Frenchmen and eager youth jumped at the opportunity to join what they thought would be a short, victorious war. Propagandists sprang into action.

“I hope,” wrote France’s minister of public instruction as teachers prepared for the 1914 academic year, “that on the day schools reopen, in every town and every class, the teacher’s first words to his students will raise their hearts to the fatherland and that his first lesson will honor the sacred battle in which our armies are engaged.” Continue reading

The Winds of War

 

This is a video of Putin explaining the balance of power from the Russian viewpoint. He is absolutely correct in saying that an anti-missile system neutralizes opposition. It would certainly embolden the war hawks into believing that they could defeat Russia and rule the world at the expense of American and Russian citizens.

Montesquieu, who influenced the Founding Fathers in creating the Constitution, met the political leader and soldier known as the Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). The political discussions between these two men helped Montesquieu understand the evils of government and forged the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and the right to bear arms. The Prince of Savoy was considered, even by Napoleon, as one of the seven greatest strategists in military history. He fought against the Turks (1683-1688, 1697, 1715-1718) and he fought against the French in the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-1691). He was also the teacher of Frederick the Great of Prussia (b 1712; 1740–1786) who he shaped into a brilliant military strategist. Continue reading

Germany and France to share military facilities, aircraft

The two countries signed an agreement with a view to sharing C-130J Super Hercules military transport planes, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in Paris.

His German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen, in Paris to sign the deal, told reporters both countries wanted to have the new arrangement in place by 2021. Continue reading

Is Merkel about to form a new alliance with Baltics to plug Brexit power vacuum?

DESPERATE Angela Merkel could be looking to forge a new alliance with Baltic nations in a bid to cling on to power in the wake of Brexit.

As EU leaders gathered in Bratislava for a summit on the future of the union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel mooted the idea of a “northern liberal block” to replace Britain’s role and influence, it has been reported.

After the UK voted to leave the superstate, the remaining 27 leaders are searching for a new direction so as not to let the European project stagnate.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Mrs Merkel said: “I think we can overcome Britain’s decision [to leave]. But we have to work hard to do that.

Continue reading

Germany warns of threat from more than 500 ‘potential attackers’

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s interior minister has warned that the country is home to more than 500 Islamic militants who could be capable of carrying out assaults on their own or as members of “hit teams.”

Speaking in an interview with Bild newspaper, Thomas de Maiziere said there were currently at least 520 “potential attackers” in the country, which has been on edge since two Islamic State-inspired attacks in July. Continue reading

Is Europe Finally Ready for an Army?

Caption: (Gary Dorning)

 

Demands for it are getting louder than ever. Here is why we know it will happen.

Top leaders in Germany, France and the European Union are calling for a pan-European military. Such a military would be a truly world-shaking development. Yet many dismiss the idea because it has yet to materialize despite a long-term desire to create it.

But now, a European military seems likelier than ever. The attacks in Paris and Nice, as well as those occurring elsewhere in Europe, have left France desperate for European military help. Germany is more willing than ever to take the lead in Europe, and is remilitarizing. And Britain’s vote to leave the European Union removes Europe’s biggest obstacle to building a combined military.

Continue reading