Three Blocs

BERLIN (Own report) – The German government is proposing a new industrial strategy to shield German companies from takeovers by foreign corporations, while facilitating mergers of large German and EU corporations. The “National Industrial Strategy 2030” presented yesterday, by Germany’s Minister of the Economy Peter Altmaier intends to enable the German industry to prevail in global competition against Chinese, as well as, US corporations. So-called “national” or “European champions” are needed, even if they do not comply with current anti-trust regulations. This has been a proposal in Berlin for quite awhile. Measures are needed “to secure” or “regain Germany’s and the European Union’s economic and technological leadership.” This is also in response to a protectionist race to reindustrialize the USA and the EU, which was launched under Barack Obama and is now being accelerated by the Trump administration.

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Europe Renews Tariffs On Chinese Steel Pipes As High As 72%

As the world watches breathlessly if Trump will follow through with his threat to slap steel and aluminum import tariffs, Europe continues to quietly ratchet up its own trade war with China and nobody seems to mind. Continue reading

An Unofficial Plebiscite

BERLIN/BARCELONA (Own report) – The German establishment is sending mixed signals in reaction to the announcement of an unofficial plebiscite on Catalonia’s secession from Spain. Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas has declared the September 27 regional elections a de facto plebiscite on the region’s secession. Should his alliance secure the absolute majority, he will proclaim independence from Spain within 8 months. In the past, Germany had repeatedly supported Catalan secession. Influential German think tanks are demanding that secession not be obstructed. However, there is opposition rising from within business circles. Catalonia is a central site for German companies in Spain. Engaged in trade throughout Spain, they do not want to see their business possibilities limited to one region and Barcelona’s secession from Madrid could possibly prove an obstacle. According to German government advisors, on the other hand, these problems could be solved. Some economists contend that the EU’s currency, the Euro, can, in the long run, only be maintained within a uniform economic area. This would exclude Spain, but include a seceded Catalonia, the strongest economic zone on the Iberian Peninsular. Continue reading

Contain China

NEW DELHI/COLOMBO/BERLIN (Own report) – Today, Tuesday, German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen will begin several days of talks in New Delhi on questions of military and arms policies. India’s new armament projects are the immediate reason for von der Leyen’s visit. India wants, among other things, to construct German submarines under license, and Berlin is seeking a more intensified cooperation in foreign and military policy. This visit will prepare numerous agreements, within the framework of the German-Indian government consultations, scheduled for October. It takes place in the context of India’s efforts to roll back China’s influence in the Indian Ocean – an effort Berlin supports. Sri Lanka is a current point of contention of this power struggle. Over the past few years, this strategically important island nation has begun to ally itself closely with Beijing. To avoid a too strong dependency on China, the new Sri Lankan government – in office since January – is seeking to reduce its ties to China and strengthen relations to the West. Last week, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed his Sri Lankan counterpart in Berlin, to reinforce Germany’s position in Sri Lanka – in light of the power struggle with Beijing.

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Germany emerges as leading supplier to Israel’s navy

LONDON — Germany plans to subsidize an Israeli procurement of naval corvettes.

The German government said it would contribute to the purchase of four corvettes for the Israel Navy. The government said the subsidy for Israel was approved by the parliament in Berlin. Continue reading

Germany rejects Israeli pressure over subs sale to Egypt

This shouldn’t necessarily be a shocker given that Germany has historically been militarily aligned with the Arab bloc. However, this gives a good indication of how the region is dramatically changing with Israel’s neighbors that once used to be peaceful enemies. Over 30 years of stability in Egypt has been overturned and this is the new creation.

German arms sales to foreign countries have to be approved by a federal security commission, whose discussions and decisions are not disclosed.

The Internet site of the weekly Der Spiegel on Tuesday revealed that the commission was due to discuss the proposed sale again even though it gave the green light in November 2011.

The agreement for Germany to supply Egypt with the two conventional diesel-electric submarines manufactured by ThyssenKrupp was first revealed by the commander in chief of the Egyptian Navy Osama al-Gindi two weeks ago in an Egyptian newspaper.

A few days later the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot quoted government sources as saying there had been “a marked deterioration in relations between Israel and Germany” over the deal.

Full article: Germany rejects Israeli pressure over subs sale to Egypt (Defence Talk)