The trend was most clearly demonstrated by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who called for the EU to create an army. He told Die Welt on March 8 that “a common European army would convey a clear message to Russia that we are serious about defending our European values.”
His statements received broad support, especially in Germany. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that “a European army is the future,” and Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “deeper military cooperation in Europe.” Continue reading
Banks are preparing staff to deal with riots after Greece switches back to the drachma.
Banks are quietly preparing for Greece to leave the EU, Süddeutsche Zeitung warned August 22. “An army of management consultants and lawyers” have spent weeks on “the infinite number of things to do,” it wrote (translation from Presseurop throughout). Continue reading
Ahead of her visit Friday, Federica Mogherini says actors in the region ‘need the European Union to be present to make steps forward’
The European Union’s new foreign policy chief called for the creation of a Palestinian state within the five years of her term, and announced that the EU intends to play a more influential role in the Middle East than it has in the past.
“What’s important for me is not whether other countries, be they European or not, recognize Palestine,” Federica Mogherini told the European press in comments published Tuesday, referring to Sweden’s recent recognition of a Palestinian state. “I’d be happy if, during my mandate, the Palestinian state existed.”
This weekend, she is scheduled to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories for her first official visit. During her two-day trip, she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, President Reuven Rivlin, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. She is also expected to travel to Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, where she will meet with senior Palestinian officials. Continue reading
Germany has ordered surveillance of British and American intelligence gathering on its soil to begin for the first time since 1945, according to reports.
Under the decision, US and British intelligence operations in Germany will be subject to the same counter-espionage measures as those of Russia, China and Iran.
“We need to send a strong signal,” a source close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The unprecedented move is a direct response to a series of spy scandals that have rocked British and American relations with Germany in the past year.
Mrs Merkel’s government has given the go-ahead to surveillance plans that first emerged after two suspected double agents were found allegedly spying for the Americans inside the German security establishment a few weeks ago. Continue reading
Your new post-America superpower:
Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.
The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the pending incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Federation, German politicians and media are stepping up their Russophobe agitation. The public’s “understanding for Moscow’s alleged motives” regarding the Crimea, remains “strikingly high,” complains a leading German daily. This reflects the view that Western global aggressions are either “not better or even worse.” In this context, a leading German newspaper, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” has discontinued a Russian PR insert, which it had begun carrying following a lucrative European-Russian economic conference. Another leading publication, the weekly “Die Zeit”, has “apologized” for having printed differentiated articles about the Ukraine. The author, a freelance journalist, had also earned his living, doing editorial work for the above-mentioned Russian PR insert. Last week, the leading German Green Party’s candidate for the European parliamentary elections tabled a motion for a gag order on former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who had criticized the EU’s Ukrainian policy. This motion, to restrict his right of freedom of expression, has been ultimately rejected by the European parliament, however, not by her Party. Continue reading
Climate opinions and controversy aside, what we see here are the foundational building blocks for a stronger European economy and another tool to be used in shifting away from the Russian bear and its energy strong-arm tactics. Berlin has come to the conclusion that environmental restrictions stifle its fourth rise.
The EU’s reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking — jeopardizing Germany’s touted energy revolution in the process.
The climate between Brussels and Berlin is polluted, something European Commission officials attribute, among other things, to the “reckless” way German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked stricter exhaust emissions during her re-election campaign to placate domestic automotive manufacturers like Daimler and BMW. This kind of blatant self-interest, officials complained at the time, is poisoning the climate. Continue reading
“Psssst!” whispers Süddeutsche Zeitung: Want to know the worst-kept secret of the big US and European banks? They’re preparing for the worst: the exit of Greece from the eurozone and even the break-up of the eurozone itself, writes the newspaper. “An army of management consultants and lawyers” have been working for weeks on “the infinite number of things to do” in response to bankruptcy in Athens. Tasks range from how to manage riots in the crisis countries, where the safety of bank employees will be an issue, through to ensuring the stability of the hot lines for advising investors and preparing computer systems to reckon in drachmas.
Full article: Banks are preparing for “Grexit” (Presseurop)