As EU Becomes Pariah, Iceland Dropping Membership Bid

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First published online Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Written by Alex Newman

1f0c12f0f9749de5c831973ee1b3bc5d_MWith the European Union becoming increasingly unpopular across the continent amid a rapid plunge in what little public support ever existed for the unaccountable super-state seeking to become an all-powerful federal regime, authorities in Iceland announced last week that they planned to back out of membership talks and preserve what remains of their tiny island nation’s sovereignty. EU critics, who have been soaring in the polls, celebrated the news.

In a recent interview with a national radio broadcaster, Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, elected in 2013 on what has been widely described as a “centrist” platform, declared that all previous work on joining the controversial EU was “obsolete” and “not valid anymore.” He also suggested that Parliament would vote soon on a measure to officially withdraw Iceland’s membership application.

“Participating in EU talks isn’t really valid anymore, both due to changes in the European Union, and because it’s not in line with the policies of the ruling government to accept everything that the last government was willing to accept,” Sigmundur Davíð was quoted as saying during the radio interview by the Reykjavík Grapevine, sparking headlines worldwide.

“Because of that, we’re back at square one,” continued the Icelandic prime minister, whose Progress Party governs the estimated 325,000 Icelanders in an alliance with the conservative-leaning Independence Party. “All the work on it that had been carried out before is in fact obsolete.”

Icelandic Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson reportedly applauded the prime minister’s announcement and the decision to back out. According to media reports, Sveinsson also said he wanted the EU membership issue to be closed as soon as possible — and that Iceland should not join.

Critics of the EU reacted with glee to the news, while proponents of smashing national sovereignty and crushing self-government were left fuming. UK Independence Party (UKIP) chief Nigel Farage, whose anti-EU party dominated elections to the EU’s pseudo-Parliament last year on a platform of secession for Britain from the bloc, was among those who celebrated the Icelandic leader’s comments.

“This move by Icelandic authorities and the increasing Mediterranean opposition to the EU shows that the idea of the inevitability of EU integration has been smashed,” declared Farage, who also co-chairs an anti-EU political alliance in what passes as the Brussels-based super-state’s legislature. “More and more people throughout Europe either no longer wish to join the EU or, as in Greece, to leave the euro currency altogether.” Elections and surveys across the bloc show the EU is now deeply unpopular.

Blasting the super-state’s embattled single currency known as the euro, Farage also said the rapid rebound in Iceland’s economy following the global economic crisis could be attributed to the fact that, unlike many formerly sovereign European nations, it still retains its own currency. “Greece and other Mediterranean countries are caught inside the straitjacket of an unsuitable euro currency and unsympathetic political union dominated by Germany,” he continued, saying other nations should be encouraged by Iceland’s example and that Greece ought to ditch the euro to restore prosperity.

The previous Icelandic government, run by a coalition of leftist Social Democrats and radical Left-Greens, formally applied for EU membership in 2009 amid the economic crisis that hit Iceland especially hard. By early 2010, the European Commission, a hybrid legislative-executive branch run by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, responded favorably. Accession negotiations began shortly after that.

When the new prime minister and his coalition were elected in 2013, though, they promptly froze the discussions indefinitely. Especially problematic for Iceland, with an economy heavily reliant on its fishing industry, were EU-imposed “quotas” on how many fish can be caught.

Last year, the newly elected “center-right” government even floated a measure to abandon EU negotiations and formally withdraw its application to surrender what remains of national sovereignty and self-government. The effort was met with AstroTurf protests demanding a “referendum” on joining the EU.  

According to polls taken at that time, most Icelanders supported voting on the issue. However, the same surveys revealed that almost half of the nation’s voters would vote against the EU, while just over a third supported joining. The rest were undecided.

Ironically, pro-EU apparatchiks — after brazenly bulldozing over the wishes of voters in nation after nation that voted against expanding and empowering the controversial continental regime — suddenly displayed a newfound passion for referendums. In interviews with the Sputnik news agency, the Kremlin’s latest foray into the media world, various Icelandic EU supporters blasted the ruling alliance’s efforts to preserve national sovereignty.

Social Democratic lawmaker Össur Skarphéðinsson, for instance, Iceland’s foreign minister when the application to join the EU was fist submitted, lambasted the prime minister for not concluding negotiations with Brussels and then asking voters whether to join the super-state. “I think it is wise for Iceland to become a member of the large currency union,” Össur added, brushing aside concerns about the ongoing troubles facing the controversial single currency. “It is a security issue.”

In a separate Sputnik article aimed at salvaging efforts to quash Icelandic sovereignty, another lawmaker, Guðmundur Steingrímsson, who chairs Iceland’s Bright Future party, also blasted the ruling alliance over its decision. “I strongly oppose this move,” he said, referring to the government’s efforts to back out of membership talks. “I strongly believe that Iceland would benefit, with a good agreement, from EU membership.” Guðmundur also said negotiations should be concluded and then voters should decide in a referendum.

In the EU, however, referendums do not have the same meaning generally associated with the term around the world. When French and Dutch voters decided overwhelmingly not to shackle themselves to the draconian EU “Constitution,” for example, so-called “eurocrats” changed its name to the “Lisbon Treaty” and imposed it anyway. When Irish voters said no, they were bullied and threatened into holding another election and eventually voting yes. In Croatia, tax money and threats to pensions were used to terrorize voters into submission.

The vast majority of Europeans never even had a chance to vote on the scheme. The Swiss, meanwhile, despite voting overwhelmingly to remain independent, are regularly terrorized by the super-state to change their policies — sometimes after referendums. The EU continues to bully tiny Switzerland over everything from immigration to low taxes, and the Alpine nation is not even a member.

Today, the vast majority of “laws” imposed on around 500 million Europeans emanate from Brussels rather than national capitals, which have essentially become vassals of the EU bureaucrats who now rule the continent with an iron fist. Numerous top European politicians and even a former Soviet dictator have stated that the perpetually expanding super-state is moving quickly in the direction of the mass-murdering regime ruling the Soviet Union.

Of course, Iceland’s government is still a party to various sovereignty-usurping European regimes including the European Economic Area (EEA), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the visa-free travel Schengen area, and NATO. Because of its membership in the EEA, many of the radical decrees issued by the legions of Brussels bureaucrats are already imposed on Icelanders without their consent.

Aside from the fishing catch quotas and other draconian policies that would be imposed on the people of Iceland by unelected bureaucrats in faraway Brussels, Icelanders’ nerves are still raw following a vicious campaign by the EU to shackle taxpayers to unfathomable levels of debt. In the end, though, Iceland won.

In early 2013, Icelandic taxpayers secured their major victory against the EU and the European banking establishment, which sought to terrorize national authorities into foisting the wild debts of a failed private bank onto the backs of innocent Icelanders. After years of battling the super-state, an obscure European court ruled against the EU and said taxpayers had no obligation to cover the bank’s debt. Over nine out of 10 voters had previously rejected paying off the private bank’s debts in referendums.

Rather than surrendering what remains of their national sovereignty and self-government to out-of-control bureaucrats with an insatiable appetite for power located thousands of miles away, the people of Iceland would be much better served by withdrawing from existing sovereignty-crushing schemes such as the EEA. Of course, Brussels will shriek and threaten the tiny nation with loss of access to the market and more. But as the EU becomes increasingly authoritarian and openly boasts of plans to become an all-powerful federal regime, preserving self-government is now more important than ever.

 

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe.

Why Greece must default or restructure its debt

 

 

Greece will never be able to pay all its owes and the sooner its principal creditors — the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — face reality, the better for everyone.

 

(L-R) French President Francois Hollande, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attend a Eurozone emergency summit on Greece in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2015.

Yves Herman | Reuters
(L-R) French President Francois Hollande, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attend a Eurozone emergency summit on Greece in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2015.
 

 
The “Troika” of Greek creditors is demanding more austerity — cuts in government spending, higher taxes and labor-market reforms — to release another tranche of bailout funds. Without it, Greece can’t pay the 1.54 billion euros due the IMF on June 30.

Withdrawals from Greek banks would accelerate further and Athens would have to impose limits on private withdrawals and on the euros investors could take out of the country.

In the panic, a broader default on Greek debt would likely follow.

A disorderly collapse of Greek finances would do few involved — or global markets — much good but it’s foolish to believe more austerity and labor market reforms could fix Greece.

Thanks to austerity imposed since 2010, Athens has accomplished a primary national budget surplus. Spending, net of interest payments, is about 1 percent of GDP, and private-sector wages have fallen some 25 percent.

Contrary to the predictions of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF Managing Director Christine Legarde, those have not rekindled growth. GDP is down 25 percent and national debt has soared from 130 to 180 percent of GDP.

Servicing that debt would require a primary surplus of almost 6 percent of GDP — assuming creditors would accept a paltry 3 percent on bonds — and send Greece into a death spiral.

The required additional spending cuts and tax increases, applying conservative macroeconomic assumptions, would shrink the economy by another 6 percent. That would impel even more spending cuts, tax increases and economic downsizing.

The Greek government owes €131 billion — with the Troika holding in one form or another about €100 billion. Only forgiving half — likely more —of that debt offers any hope of stabilizing Greece, but politics and simple ignorance stand in the way.

Germany would take a big haircut on any Greek restructuring, and German voters suffer the fantasy they are rugged and industrious, whereas the Greeks are indolent and deadbeats.

Although Germany has greatly reformed the letter of its employment laws to be in step with the requirements of global competition, during the recent financial crisis, Berlin paid private employers to keep huge numbers of workers on the job. It seems reforms apply only when more generous policies are not needed to keep everyone employed.

Pushing down wages hasn’t worked for Greece, because it lacks a well-developed export sector in manufacturing. A good deal of its private foreign revenues flow from petroleum refining and shipping, and those are not as sensitive to movements in wages as stitching apparel and assembling iPhones in Asia. The constant fiscal crisis and uncertainly about Greek membership in the EU and tariff-free access to western European markets discourages new foreign investment to exploit lower wages.

For Germany and other creditors, the only sensible options are to accept big losses on the debt they hold now or let Greece leave the euro altogether. The latter would impose losses as the Greek debt remarked in drachma fell in value as the new currency depreciated to balance Greece’s foreign payments and receipts.

The size of those losses would depend on the terms of the divorce. If Greece were permitted to remain a member of the EU without the euro, or at least continue to have tariff-free access to EU markets, it would attract more foreign investment and the drachma depreciation and creditor haircuts would be more limited than if Germany and the others insisted on banishing Greece from the EU altogether.

At some point the facts and reason must triumph, but that may require new leadership in Germany and the IMF-leaders willing to see the light of day.

Commentary by Peter Morici, an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist. Follow him on Twitter @pmorici1.

 ASIPRAS SAYS NO TO CREDITORS

(Adds big gaps after Tsipras/lenders meeting, Greek official)

* Tsipras meets heads of EU, euro zone, IMF and ECB

* Big gaps remain on taxes, pensions, labour reform

* Greek demand for debt restructuring not discussed

* Street protests in Athens against more austerity

* Backlash at home complicates parliamentary approval for Tsipras

BRUSSELS, June 24 (Reuters) – International creditors demanded sweeping changes to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ tax and reform proposals on Wednesday, adding fresh uncertainty to talks aimed at unlocking aid to avert a debt default next week.

Sources close to the negotiations said the creditors had presented counter-proposals covering an array of differences on sensitive issues, hours before euro zone finance ministers were due to convene (1700 GMT) to try to approve an agreement.

Before flying to Brussels, Tsipras attacked the position of “certain” creditors – a swipe at the International Monetary Fund – as strange since he said they had rejected fiscal measures Athens put forward to plug a budget gap.

“This odd stance seems to indicate that either there is no interest in an agreement or that special interests are being backed,” the leftist premier tweeted.

Financial markets reacted nervously, with investors rushing into safe-haven German bonds and the euro suffering a brief sell-off. European shares dropped and U.S. stocks opened lower.

A European Union official insisted the talks had not broken down and said the exchange of different proposals was a normal part of the negotiation. But a Greek official said the lenders’ five page counter-proposal – full of crossings-out and underlining in red ink – differed little from their initial June 3 offer and took scant account of Athens’ document.

In Athens, an official in Tsipras’ Syriza party said a state minister had branded the latest proposals “absurd” at a meeting of the party’s political committee.

The talks were especially fraught because there is so little time left to reach a deal before Greece has to make a repayment to the IMF on June 30, the day its current bailout expires.

If Greece misses that payment and is declared in default to the IMF, it could trigger a bank run, capital controls and an eventual Greek exit from the euro zone, showing that membership of the currency is not irrevocable as its founders intended.

Among the many unresolved issues were labour laws, collective bargaining, pension reform, public sector wages, opening up closed professions, investment as well as value-added tax and corporate income tax.

Also in dispute were Tsipras’ demands for debt relief, which euro zone partners do not want to address at this stage.

BARGAINING PROCESS

“Of course we want changes and they don’t, and this is part of the bargaining process, albeit less effective when done publicly,” a senior official from one of the creditors said.

Several sources said International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde was taking the hardest line against the Greek proposals on the table.

Tsipras met Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the heads of the IMF, the European Central Bank, the Eurogroup of finance ministers and the euro zone’s rescue fund to try to bridge the gaps.

Looking tense, he was driven into Commission headquarters through an underground garage to avoid the usual arrival statements, and given only a perfunctory handshake by Juncker before plunging into the meeting.

An official close to the creditors said in mid-afternoon the outcome of the negotiations remained up in the air.

“It is still very uncertain. We do not yet have a deal,” the official said when asked if the talks had made progress.

All 28 EU leaders will be in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a regular summit, allowing more time to wrangle over Greece on the sidelines if there is no solution on Wednesday.

Officials said the IMF was most concerned about the balance of the package, too heavily skewed towards tax increases that could further weaken the Greek economy and prove hard to collect, rather than structural reforms.

“If you ask the question ‘Is this enough for the IMF to disburse?’, I suspect it’s not enough,” one official said.

Hardline German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s spokesman said there was a long way to go before an agreement.

A senior German official said Berlin could not imagine clinching an aid-for-reform deal without the IMF, which was needed not only for its funds but also its expertise.

The Greek proposals featured a series of tax hikes and higher contributions to pensions to meet budget targets. The IMF wants to see more savings achieved through budget cuts.

Greece will have to put the agreed measures through its parliament by Monday so that some other euro zone parliaments can endorse the deal and unblock aid funds.

Athens must repay 1.6 billion euros to the IMF next Tuesday. EU officials said the only way to fund that was for euro zone governments to hand over nearly 2 billion euros in profits from ECB holdings of Greek government bonds purchased in 2011-12.

EMERGENCY HELP

To keep Greek banks afloat, the ECB increased its emergency liquidity ceiling again on Tuesday. ECB sources have said the lifeline will be extended daily as long as there is a chance of a deal by end-June.

The more concessions Tsipras makes, the more resistance he will face in parliament within his leftist Syriza party and on the streets, where a series of recent protests, some organised with Syriza’s support, have underlined public opposition to yet more belt-tightening.

“There are four people in my household, and we are living on 600 euros a month. Where else does that happen?” said 59-year-old Antonia Methoniou, a cancer patient who took early retirement for health reasons.

The IMF says Greece will need either some form of debt restructuring or further loans to make its finances sustainable.

But euro zone officials insisted that the creditors would not discuss any debt restructuring until after Greece implements the remainder of its bailout programme, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any “haircut” or debt write-off.

This will add to the difficulty of getting parliamentary approval in Athens, notably from the nationalist Independent Greeks, whose support Tsipras needs for a majority.

They also reject moves to scrap VAT exemptions enjoyed by some Greek islands.

“I could not vote for such a measure, nor, obviously, could I participate in a government violating a line on which we received a mandate from the Greek people,” party leader Panos Kammenos tweeted on Tuesday.

But Economy Minister George Stathakis said he was confident parliament would back a deal before June 30: “I think this balanced deal is defensible to Syriza, and in Greek society too.” ($1 = 0.8929 euros)

(Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris, George Georgiopoulos and Michele Kambas in Athens and John O’Donnell; Writing by Paul Taylor; editing by James Mackenzie, Kevin Liffey, Janet McBride)

VIDEO. Military Escalation in Ukraine. Poroshenko Pushes EU into War, US Tightens Sanctions against Russia

 

 

 

poroshecnko-merkel-hollande-400x225Kiev continues intense shelling of Shirokino, Peski, and Gorlovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, pro-Kiev forces opened fire 74 times over the past 24 hours using battle-tanks, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms. Furthermore, the Ukrainian military started an offensive in the settlement of Novotoshkovskoe in the Lugansk People’s Republic. During last 24 hours, 3 pro-Kiev fighters were killed and 16 injured.

Self-styled Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Mun will help him get the European Union involved in the Ukrainian civil war. Poroshenko’s official website reported he had a call with the UN Secretary-General last night.

Scroll down for complete Transcript

21.04.2015 Ukraine Crisis News. War in Ukraine, EU, UN, Poroshenko, Kharkov

 

 

 TRANSCRIPT

Kiev continues intense shelling of Shirokino, Peski, and Gorlovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, pro-Kiev forces opened fire 74 times over the past 24 hours using battle-tanks, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms. Furthermore, the Ukrainian military started an offensive in the settlement of Novotoshkovskoe in the Lugansk People’s Republic. During last 24 hours, 3 pro-Kiev fighters were killed and 16 injured. Additionally, Kiev lost 8 fire positions, 2 infantry combat vehicles, 1 armored vehicle, 1 battle-tank and 1 combat reconnaissance patrol vehicle during the fighting. Novorossian Armed Forces sustained 5 warriors wounded in action, 1 infantry combat vehicles damaged, 1 armored vehicle damaged and 2 fire positions destroyed.

Unknown individuals blew-up a jeep in the Kiev-controlled city of Kharkov last night. According to media reports, the jeep belonged to pro-Kiev paramilitary gunmen. We remember on April 7 another explosion took place in the city center near the flag of Ukraine. Tensions between average Kharkov citizens and pro-Kiev patriots are rising. Chaos is spreading over Ukraine.

Self-styled Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Mun will help him get the European Union involved in the Ukrainian civil war. Poroshenko’s official website reported he had a call with the UN Secretary-General last night. The officials discussed implementation of the Minsk Agreements and steps required for deploying EU or UN peacekeepers in the Donbass region. After systematic military provocations against DPR and LPR, getting the EU involved in the war by any means is the primary strategy of Poroshenko’s administration and its US masterminds. Thus, Ban Ki-Mun helps them.

US attempts to tighten anti-Russian sanctions for what it may interpret as default on the Minsk Accords are absurd because Kiev is the main brake on the peace process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained on Monday. “Just feel the logic of it. They say: ‘If the Minsk Accords are complied with, then the sanctions will be lifted, and if not, then Russia should be punished ever stronger’”, Lavrov said describing the position of the EU and US. “In the meantime, a closer look at who complies with the Minsk Accords and who does not makes it clear that Kiev is the main brake on the Minsk process.” On account of this, the longer Kiev disrupts the implementation of the Minsk Accords, the more excuses the West invents to go ahead with pressure on Russia. That’s real absurdity.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Has the Mafia Taken Over in Brussels? This is how it started…

 A EUROPE FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE?

European_flag_in_Karlskrona_2011

Any lingering doubts as to which political direction the European Union is now heading in were cleared up once and for all in 2008 when Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini announced plans to fingerprint and screen all visitors who cross its borders. From 2009 it will become mandatory for all EU passports to include a digital fingerprint and photograph and, from 2011 non-EU citizens who apply for a visa will have to give their biometric details.

Frattini’s plans currently envisage taking the fingerprints of children as young as six, but Security officials predict that records will eventually be taken at younger and younger ages as the technology develops. If approved by all 27 member states, the plan would represent one of the largest security overhauls ever undertaken in the European Union and cost billions of dollars.

So who exactly is Franco Frattini and why do he and his associates seemingly want to turn Europe into a “Big Brother” society where the privacy rights of individuals are routinely violated? And what about the Mafia connections of Mr. Frattini?

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini, who, along with his associates, wants to turn Europe into a “Big Brother” society where the privacy rights of individuals are routinely violated under the pretext of “fighting organized crime”.

Appointed to the Commission in 2004 – having previously been Italian Foreign Minister and a loyal aide of the then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – Frattini’s selection was immediately mired in controversy amidst accusations that he was a Freemason.

Freemasonry has been a highly sensitive issue in Italy since 1981, when a secret and illegal right-wing Masonic lodge known as P2 – Propaganda Due – was broken up amid public scandal. Notably therefore, Silvio Berlusconi was revealed to be amongst the almost one thousand names listed as its members – who included senior figures in banking, business, the intelligence services, journalism, the military and politics.

Silvio Berlusconi was revealed to be amongst the almost one thousand names listed as members of the illegal right-wing Masonic lodge known as P2.

Currently campaigning to return to power in Italy as Prime Minister, Berlusconi is alleged to have joined P2 in 1978. Over the years he has subsequently found himself involved in more than a dozen different criminal trials, appeals and other investigations and been accused of fraud, false accounting, bribery and Mafia connections.

It turns out that Berlusconi is in good company however. One of his closest friends and business colleagues – the Italian Senator Marcello Dell’Utri, who is also the Italian delegate at the Council of Europe – has already been convicted of collusion with the Mafia. Whilst Dell’Utri’s case is still under appeal, his job at the Council of Europe will shelter him from the verdicts of Italian courts due to the immunity from prosecution it provides, as enshrined in article 15 of the European Union’s general agreement, signed in Paris in 1949.

The Italian Senator Marcello Dell’Utri, who is also the Italian delegate at the Council of Europe, has been convicted of collusion with the Mafia. Whilst his case is still under appeal, his job at the Council of Europe will shelter him from the verdicts of Italian courts due to the immunity from prosecution it provides.

Historically, P2 is well known to have had links to Nazism and extreme right-wing groups. Licio Gelli, its former grandmaster, was jailed in 1998 for corruption and fraud in connection with the Banco Ambrosiano scandal and has been openly described by the New York Times as “a known Fascist.” The investigative writer David A. Yallop, in his book ‘In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I’, even alleges that Gelli was involved in a conspiracy that led to the murder of Pope John Paul I, who reigned for only 33 days, in 1978.

Even more disturbingly, some sources, including the New Zealand Herald and The Observer newspaper in the UK, allege links between P2 and state terrorism. Others meanwhile, such as the BBC, state it had connections with both the Mafia and right-wing terrorist groups.

Is this the sort of Europe that you want to live in? A Europe controlled by the likes of Franco Frattini and powerful, super-wealthy individuals such as Silvio Berlusconi? A Europe where your privacy rights and freedoms are routinely violated and in which you will have no democratic means of expressing your opinion?

Unless these people are stopped, it is clear that Europe will increasingly turn into an “Orwellian continent” where dictatorship, not democracy, is the sole order of the day.

 

EU Increasingly Abandons Obama on Ukraine?

 

 

eu-us-russia-ukraine-400x400As reported on Saturday March 7th by both German Economic News, and Spiegel magazine, the ongoing lies and arrogance from U.S. President Barack Obama’s Administration regarding Ukraine and Russia have finally raised to the surface a long-mounting anger of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Government.

This is especially the case with Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who comes from Germany’s Social Democratic Party, which is far less conservative (and far less anti-Russian) than the Christian Democratic Union Party, Chancellor Merkel’s party. The CDU has traditionally been hostile toward Russia, but the SDP has instead favored an unprejudiced policy regarding Russia, after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of communism there.

Steinmeier has always been skeptical of Obama’s intentions regarding Ukraine and Russia, but now it appears that even Merkel is veering away from the United States on these policies.

“Resistance to the US strategy toward Russia is growing in the EU,” reports GDN, which names especially U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Commander, as the major source of this turn-about, because Breedlove has “exaggerated the military role of Russia in Ukraine.”

Spiegel provides the details on Breedlove, but especially blames Victoria Nuland, the Obama official who actually ran the February 2014 coup in Ukraine and who selected the person who would steer the new, post-coup, Ukrainian Government in the ways that President Obama wants.

Spiegel’s headline is “Breedlove’s Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine.” GDN’s is (as auto-translated by Google’s Chrome browser) “Ukraine Policy: First open conflict between Germany and NATO.”

Spiegel notes that, after the second — which was the Merkel-Hollande — Ukrainian ceasefire was reached at Minsk in late February, Breedlove announced that “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” had just been sent to the conflict-region, Donbass, from Russia. “What is clear,” Breedlove said, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.” All of that was fictitious.

Spiegel continues: “German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency,” heard Breedlove lie and were shocked by it.

But Spiegel then goes on to subhead “The ‘Super Hawk’,” when describing Victoria Nuland’s role. Spiegel says there:

“She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats. Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel’s diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine.”

Spiegel has always tried to portray U.S. President Obama as being trapped by conservatives, such as Breedlove and Nuland, who somehow became parts of his Administration and who are, supposedly, independent actors in the roles that they perform — as if they weren’t instead his employees. For Spiegel, Nuland’s (and they spell it out there, so I will here) ”Fuck the EU” statement, was only speaking for herself, as if she weren’t Obama’s hire, though Spiegel does note there that, “Her husband, the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, is, after all, the originator of the idea that Americans are from Mars and Europeans, unwilling as they are to realize that true security depends on military power, are from Venus.” Precisely why Mr. Obama selected Dick Cheney’s former chief foreign-policy advisor, Nuland, to become the person who would carry out his Administration’s polices regarding Ukraine and Russia, the ever-‘tactful’ Spiegel ignores. Instead, Spiegel goes on to say, “When it comes to the goal of delivering weapons to Ukraine, Nuland and Breedlove work hand-in-hand.”

Throughout, Spiegel ignores that Obama has been driving his entire Administration to marginalize, weaken, and crush Russia, and that this overriding goal of his foreign policies does not originate with his hires but with himself: he chooses these “Super Hawks” regarding Russia, because this is who he secretly is. When he plays the good cop in the good-cop bad-cop routine on Russia, it’s an act, which is designed to fool the public.

Obama bombed Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was friendly to Russia; he bombs Syria because Bashar al-Assad is friendly to Russia; he overthrew Ukraine’s Government because Viktor Yanukovych was friendly to Russia; and he has been and is squeezing Iran because Iran is friendly to Russia. Israel is no different than the U.S.: it’s rabidly anti-Russian (and most of the large political donations to there come from American billioinaires; Israel is America’s 51st state, which has lots more than one-fifty-first of the power over the American Government — it’s the most powerful of the 51 actual states, even though it has no fealty to the U.S. Constitution and no constitution of its own); and both the U.S. and Israel are allied with Saudi and other Arab royals because they’re all anti-Russian. America’s ally is Saudi Wahhabist jihadist Islam, not the EU.

America created Al Qaeda, and ISIS. Everything else than the obsession to isolate and destroy Russia is just an act, for the American aristocracy (including the ones who own Israel) — and especially for all Republican politicians and for the top Democratic ones.

Maybe the EU will finally decide that they’ve had enough of it, and invite Russia to join with them, and will tell Ukraine that they’re a bit too American for European tastes, after all: Europe has had enough experience with fascism and nazism, so that they don’t want to invite it back in again.

But will Germany actually do this? Will France actually do this? Have they had enough of “Sunni jihad“, and of “Christian nazism“ (both just aristocratic ploys), to decide that they want no part of either one? Maybe goodbye, U.S.; hello, Russia? What type of Europe would that be? Might it out-compete the U.S.? Would it be the best thing for Europeans?

That’s the big strategic question in our time. And it’s not America’s to answer. Either Europe will go with democracy and peace and abandon NATO (i.e., abandon the U.S. military), or else it will go with nazism and war and abandon democracy (like the U.S. itself has done, especially in Ukraine).

Which will it be? Europe will need to choose between Russia and the United States. If it goes with the U.S., Europeans will become servants to America’s aristocracy — to the people who are now actually running Ukraine. If it goes with Russia, then perhaps a United States of Europe will become possible so that no nation’s aristocracy will have either the inclination or the ability to dictate to the governments of Europe.

Stay tuned. These are exciting times: the stakes for future history have never been higher.

It’s not really Obama who is on the fence. It is Europe. And the decision will be for Europe’s leaders — not for America’s, nor for Russia’s — to make.

They are in the driver’s seat, for Europe’s future — and for the entire world’s.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

European Union to Lose 40 Billion Euros Due to Economic Sanctions imposed on Russia- Lavrov

 

382192_Russia-Lavrov-400x224Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the European Union will lose some 40 billion euros this year as a result of Russia sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov presented the figure on Tuesday, citing it from Brussels itself, adding that the damage for the bloc is expected to widen to 50 billion euros in 2015.

The Russian top diplomat called for a lift of sanctions against Russia, which target state-owned companies and individuals over the Ukraine crisis.

Lavrov added that if Brussels cancels the bans, Russia will then lift its one-year food ban against the 28-member bloc.

According to Lavrov, Russia never intended to play the sanctions game, however the imposed bans against Russian companies and individuals forced Moscow to apply retaliatory measures.

Lavrov added that “decisions in Brussels, in particular, to impose sanctions against Russia, were made under strong American pressure.”

The EU and the US have imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

The West accuses Russia of sending troops into eastern Ukraine and arming anti-government forces in there.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected any involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, saying the pro-Russia protests in eastern regions of the country began spontaneously against the new interim government in Kiev following the ouster of former president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.

Following negotiations in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on September 5, Kiev and the pro-Russians inked a Russian-proposed ceasefire pact aimed at putting an end to heavy clashes in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

 

Why Is Europe Staying with the Leading Fascist Power, That’s Now Turned Nazi?

 

nazi-us-flag-400x252The United States is a gung-ho supporter of a genocide that it created. (Click on those links, for the verification of these shocking facts — shocking only because they’re covered up by our ‘press.’) Why does Europe tolerate this, and even participate in it? But, they do.

On November 14th, France missed the second deadline for them to supply to Russia the Mistral helicopter-carrier ship that Russia had already paid for in full, and which had been built to Russian specifications, not suitable for use by NATO.

Back on 14 May 2014, Michael R. Gordon — one of the New York Times ‘reporters’ (more-realistically: stenographers for the U.S. Administration) who had ‘reported’ back in 2002 about how horrific were the WMD or Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein was building up, but which actually didn’t exist except in the Administration’s disinformation-agencies — headlined in that propaganda-outlet for the U.S. Government (propagandistically calling itself a ‘news’paper), “France’s Sale of 2 Ships to Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns,” and he lambasted the dastardly purveyor of what U.S. nationalists had contemptuously called “freedom fries”; he opened his ‘news report’ as the stenographer to power that he and his newspaper are, with: “In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it ‘would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe.’” In other words: Russia is the enemy; don’t deal with them in any other way.

Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, headlined the next day disdainfully, “Europe goes its own way,” and she opened, “France’s attempt to sell warships to Russia is both a ‘sell the rope to hang themselves’ moment and a comment on U.S. stature these days.” She lied: Russia isn’t France’s enemy; the U.S. has become that. And France wasn’t in any “attempt to sell warships to Russia”; those warships had already been sold and built and paid for, but Washington was turning the screws on their ‘friend’ France, to induce them not to deliver what had already been sold and manufactured.

 America’s fascists, and even for our racist-fascists or “nazis,” the Cold War has never ended, not even when the Soviet Union did and when Marxist economics became rejected everywhere but in Cuba and North Korea. Apparently, the Cold War was never really about communism, if one believes these fascists; it was about destroying Russia. For them, it has actually been just a marketing plan for U.S.-made weapons. Now that Russia is a democracy — perhaps more so than the U.S. now is — the old hatred still burns like hot coals in the black hearts of Barack Obama, Republicans, and all other far-rightist, pro-oligarchic, U.S. politicians, who serve the people at Raytheon Corporation and Lockheed-Martin, and other producers for NATO, the Western arms-buying club.

Gutless France isn’t telling Uncle Sam to shove off about that, but is instead setting itself up to pay a very heavy price for today’s peddler of genocide, the U.S. You don’t see this fact — or this, or even this — reported in the New York Times, or theWashington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. Those facts come from ‘the enemy.’

America needs a real press, not an aristocratically controlled ‘news-media,’ that are constantly for sale to the highest bidder, whomever can put up the advertising bucks to buy the ‘news reporting’ and ‘editorial opinions,’ that shape ‘democracy.’