France sets new budget, rejecting German austerity plan – Revolt in the Eurozone

 French Finance Minister Michel Sapin (Reuters / Philippe Wojazer)

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin (Reuters / Philippe Wojazer)

RT News

France’s new budget plan brings the deficit to below the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP by 2017, defying Germany’s austerity program.

Adoption of the document comes as there is new evidence of the country’s disagreement over the austerity policy led by Europe’s strongest economy, Germany.

Paris has taken the decision “to adapt the pace of deficit reduction to the economic situation of the country,” Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters on Wednesday.

“Our economic policy is not changing, but the deficit will be reduced more slowly than planned due to economic circumstances – very weak growth and very weak inflation,” he said.

Under the new budget plan, the public deficit is set to fall from 4.4 percent of output this year to 4.3 percent next year, 3.8 percent in 2016 and 2.8 percent in 2017.

The new budget plan still runs counter to earlier promises by Paris to lower the deficit to less than 3 percent by the second deadline set for next year. The first deadline was previously set for 2013, but extended.

“No further effort will be demanded of the French, because the government – while taking the fiscal responsibility needed to put the country on the right track – rejects austerity,” the budget statement made by Paris read.

However, Paris has committed to government cuts of public spending 21 billion euro by next year and 50 billion euro by 2017 on Wednesday. Still, Sapin said that France will not further extend the cuts as it would badly hit the economy.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged at a media conference in Berlin “everyone to fulfill their commitments and obligations in a credible way,” saying that Europe is still “not at the point where we can say the crisis is fully behind us.”

While Merkel did not particularly point at Paris, Germany’s main exporters’ association, the BGA, accused France of putting the European economy at risk.

“If that country doesn’t figure a way out of the downward spiral, the euro and therefore Europe are at risk,” BGA president Anton Boerner said, according to his statement cited by Reuters.

In August, Hollande asked French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ to form a new government following tensions within his cabinet over the country’s economic policy.

The decision came after strong criticism of the country’s economic direction which, according to former Economics Minister Arnaud Montebourg, has hindered France’s development.

He frontally attacked Merkel for imposing “austerity policy” across Europe calling for a “major shift.”

“My responsibility as economy minister is to tell the truth, and observe…that not only are these austerity policies not working but they are also unfair,” Montebourg said in a statement at a media conference on August 25.

Germany’s attempts to resurrect the EU’s economy after the 2008 financial crisis have been marked by cutbacks and taxation. The austerity plan has proven to be severely unpopular in the eurozone, still struggling with economic weakness.

Occupy Wall Street more popular than Obama

Demonstrators associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement face off with police in the streets of the financial district after the deadline for their removal from Zuccotti park. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Demonstrators associated with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement face off with police in the streets of the financial district after the deadline for their removal from Zuccotti park. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

RT news

While politicians and the mainstream media waited weeks to acknowledge Occupy Wall Street, it looks as though the public hasn’t ignored the movement. A new poll shows that more Americans favor the protests than they do President Obama.

A new poll released on Thursday from Time assessed Americans’ opinions of all things current events, only to reveal that the general public’s favor of the continuing Occupy Wall Street movements exceed that of their own commander-in-chief. Approaching its fifth week now, the ongoing protests that originated out of New York’s Zuccotti Park that have since spread internationally have managed to garner more support than Barack Obama himself, with 54 percent of those polled favoring the demonstrations to the president’s measly 44 percent.

And although conservative critics have largely shunned the Occupy Wall Street protests as being an disorganized and chaotic attempt to recapitalize on the Tea Party’s success from yesteryear, the same poll from Time shows that the approval rating of the populist-geared GOP gang is only half that of Occupy Wall Street.

Speaking to RT yesterday, The Market Ticker’s Karl Denninger, one of the co-founders of the Tea Party movement, said that the protesters with Occupy Wall Street can learn from the mistakes that Palin and pals encountered when they waged demonstrations of their own.

“One of the things that the Occupy movement seems to have going for it is it has not turned around and issued a set of formal demands,” Denninger said. “This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Everyone is looking for a set of demands.”

Denninger added that in the case of the Tea Party, organization was largely to blame for the movement’s downfall. “One of the things we wanted was the end to bailouts and an end to government deficit spending, and as you can see that didn’t happen,” said Denninger.

Elsewhere in the poll, an overwhelming majority of Americans (81 percent) say that the country has “seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” While many Americans say that they are in support of the Occupy Wall street movement, a majority of participants in the poll also add that the gap between the rich and poor in the US has grown too large and that banks should be held accountable and prosecuted for their role in the financial collapse.

In support of Obama, the poll suggests that more Americans favor his job as president when pitted against the George W Bush administration.

Time’s poll was conducted between on October 9 and 10, 2011, and pulls data taken from 1,001 adults surveyed.

Professor Cornel West arrested in DC

Prof Cornell West @ a protest

Prof Cornell West @ Occupy Wall Street protest

RT news

Acclaimed professor and activist Dr. Cornel West was arrested with 18 others on the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington DC on Saturday during a local demonstration with the growing Occupy Wall Street movement.

Dr. West says that he was in Washington earlier in the day to witness President Barak Obama’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, only to join protesters hours later at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is there that activists have been congregating for over a week down as part of the October 2011 Stop the Machine protest that hopes to draw attention to the ongoing war in Afghanistan — which earlier this month reached the 10-year mark, making it the longest-going American war ever.

Once at Freedom Plaza, West and dozens others marched through Washington to the Supreme Court building. A spokesperson for the high court confirmed that West was one of 19 people arrested for refusing to the leave the grounds. Video shows that protesters remained peaceful as they sat on the steps of the courthouse awaiting arrest.

Speaking from the steps of the building, West told a crowd of protesters and reporters, “We want to bear witness today that we know the relation between corporate greed and what goes on too often in the Supreme Court decision. We want to send a lesson to ourselves, to our loved ones, our families, our communities, our nation and the world that out of deep love for working and poor people that we are willing to put whatever it takes, even if we get arrested today, and say, we will not allow this day of Martin Luther King Jr’s memorial to go without somebody going to jail.”

Before his arrest, Dr. West told a reporter with that the ongoing movement, approaching a full month of protests, has already reached historical status. “The question is where it will continue and what form it will take. We just don’t know at this point.”

Dr West added that “Martin King would be here right with us, willing to throw down out of deep love.”

“We love poor people, we love working people and we want Martin Luther King Jr to smile from the grave that we haven’t forgot him,” said Dr West.

The Princeton University professor that formerly taught at Harvard has spoken publically of the ongoing protests for several weeks now. To CNN earlier this month, Dr. West asked, “Who’s going to really speak for poor people? Who’s going to really speak for working people? That’s very much what I think the . . . ‘Occupying Wall Street’ movement is all about.”

In an interview earlier this year, Dr West accused President Obama as being “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

Cornel West will be arraigned at the Supreme Court this afternoon.

Crisis and Violence at the Ballot Box: Ukraine Presidential Election

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By Russia Today
Global Research, May 25, 2014

The early presidential election in Ukraine has started amid looming civil war and economic collapse, precipitated by a recent power takeover and dispute with top trading partner Russia. Two eastern regions have refused to take part in the election.

Polling stations have opened at 8am (06:00 GMT) and will be operating until 8pm.

To learn more about uneasy presidential election in Ukraine check out RT’s 10 you need to know about Ukrainian presidential poll. There are 21 presidential candidates participating in the election, which in some cities coincide with mayoral ballots.
Sunday, May 25
12:55 GMT:

As of 3pm Kiev time (12:00 GMT), the overall turnout at presidential election has reached 38.53 percent, reported Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission.
12:32 GMT:

All 5 million ballots printed for use in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions for presidential elections have been stolen, revealed Zhanna Usenko-Chernaya, deputy head of Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission. A day ago the abovementioned regions declared the creation of the unified state of Novorossiya (New Russia) and ruled out participation in the presidential election.
12:06 GMT:

Ukrainian presidential candidate and ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko of the Batkivschina (Fatherland) Party has called for a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO. According to Tymoshenko, such a referendum should be held simultaneously with the run-off of the presidential elections on June 15.

Tymoshenko – who was released from jail in February after the Ukrainian MPs amended the law and decriminalized the charge of abuse of power for which she was serving a seven-year jail term – has promised to immediately apply for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership if she wins the race.
12:01 GMT:

Ballot papers for the entire Donetsk Region have been collected in region’s third-largest city of Makeevka and burnt to ashes, one of the leaders of Donetsk People’s Republic told RIA Novosti. The activist was a prisoner of the new authorities in Kiev, but was exchanged for a Ukrainian security service officer 10 days ago. The act took place on the territory of the regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime.
11:37 GMT:

By midday local time in Ukraine, the highest voter turnout was registered in the Kiev (22.49 percent) and Kirovograd (22.12 percent) Regions. The lowest result is expected to be in Donetsk Region, where only 5.48 percent cast their ballots over the first four hours of voting.

According to Ukrainian central election committee, the turnout has been “significantly higher than expected.”
11:29 GMT:

Armed with knives, militants from the ultranationalist Right Sector are guarding the headquarters of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission in Kiev. Journalists are required to present their accreditation cards and passports, with Russians especially being asked about their professional activities.

Bottles of water are being allowed inside the building only after their holders agree to take several sips from them. All CEC speakers are delivering information solely in Ukrainian. There’s no Wi-Fi in the CEC headquarters.
11:23 GMT:

In Nikolaev an anonymous person phoned the local election committee warning that six polling stations had been rigged with explosives. This put the casting of ballots on hold for a while. Police are attempting to track down the caller.
11:15 GMT:

The presidential election protest in Donetsk, attended by over 2,500 citizens and fighters of the ‘Vostok’ (East) self-defense unit that arrived at the scene on eight military Kamaz trucks, ended with a column of about 400 activists marching to the residence of Ukraine’s richest man, billionaire Renat Akhmetov, to picket the installation.

Akhmetov, who owns a large number of coal mines and industrial facilities in the Donetsk Region, has spoken against the independence of the region and called upon citizens to boycott the independence referendum.
10:57 GMT:

According to updated information, there were 33,673 polling stations throughout Ukraine, but after the Crimean Autonomy’s secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia, only 32,236 remain. Today in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions only 735 out of a total 3,900 polling stations opened. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission prepared 34,693,000 ballot papers, about 10 percent of which will not be used at all.

Meanwhile, social network users are sharing a photo of Ukraine’s presidential ballot with the name of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, written across it.

CIA, FBI Agents Dying for Illegal Junta in Ukraine


ukraine-cia-400x232The US/CIA/NATO have stepped up their military operations and continue to actively wage their secret war in Ukraine against the Ukrainian people in an extremely dangerous poorly planned operation that is failing and carries with it the real threat of sparking off a full-fledged war, if not World War III, against an unwilling Russian Federation which continues to attempt to deal with the aggressive-in-your-face-threat to its security through diplomacy and peaceful means. The recent capture and killing of 25 CIA officers in Ukraine only shows the desperation of the US effort and the complete disregard for not only international law and the people of Ukraine but also for the lives of their own CIA personnel.

The facts are as follows (backed up by dozens of reports, eyewitness statements and visual evidence): on the 18th of May the People’s Mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov announced that: ”Kiev-controlled troops and ‘law enforcers’ had sustained heavy losses during a so-called ‘counter-terrorist’ operation in the east of the country.”


“At least 650 servicemen were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in the past ten 10 days,” he said.

“There are 70 foreigners among them and of those 13 agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were killed and 12 others were wounded”, Ponomaryov told reporters.

The Mayor also said that the self-defense forces afflicted heavy losses on Right Sector/Ukrainian army forces and also completely wiped out the junta’s “Alpha” operatives.

According to media and television reports Mayor Ponomaryov stated that with regard to the “…foreign mercenaries in the ranks of Ukrainian executioners, they also suffered losses. According to Ponomarev, a private military company Analizy Systemowe Bartlomiej lost 6 people, Greystone – 14 people, Academi – 50 people. CIA and FBI have lost 25 employees, of which 13 – killed.”

“Furthermore, killed or injured 40 soldiers of the 95th airmobile brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as 20 members of the MUP . Loss Donetsk militias from May 2-12 8 were killed and 3 wounded.”

US Denies

The Voice of Russia also reported that the CIA denied the claims on a Twitter post, which of course is to be expected: ”The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has denied reports of a number of CIA agents allegedly killed in clashes between forces loyal to the Kiev authorities and self-defense units in eastern Ukraine.”

“A CIA official claimed on the US embassy in Berlin’s official Twitter page of the that no such incidents had taken place and that allegations by pro-Russian activists did not correspond to reality.”

Plausible Deniability

Plausible Deniability is a phrase coined by the CIA itself ”to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.”

Due to the fact that the denial comes through a Twitter post and not from an official CIA or FBI statement, or from the White House for that matter, and that the CIA/FBI is heavily involved in illegal operations in Ukraine and has been for decades, I would argue that it is a given that the CIA has lost officers, agents, mercenaries and support staff in Ukraine. That is almost a given, the only question is how many.

Illegal Operation

Due to the huge flow of information and the massive amount of reports, leaks and revelations there is little debate in the media about one simple fact and that fact is what is most troubling about the entire US/CIA/NATO/EU meddling in the sovereign affairs of Ukraine. To make matters worse the US/CIA/NATO/EU undeniably now have blood on their hands, not only that of Ukrainian civilians, Tatars and Russians but also of citizens of other countries.

The fact that is being ignored is that US/CIA/NATO/EU “operations” and meddling in Ukraine are ILLEGAL. From the overthrowing of the democratically elected government, to the shooting and murder of police, to the killing of anyone who is against the junta, to the backing and training of the Right Sector, and finally to the importing of US/CIA/Greystone and other mercenaries to kill Ukrainians, the entire “mission” is illegal.

The United States of America is involved in a dirty illegal war in a country it had no business in being in in the first place. The Ukrainian operation serves no us security interest, it is no “protecting American lives” and it does nothing for the American people, to advance democracy or human rights or anything else. US/NATO want missiles in Ukraine to further threaten Russia which has done nothing but to try to be friends and simply do business. CIA operations in Ukraine are illegal. Period. End of discussion.

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