Tag Archives: EU

Hated by those who hate Russia, by Iben Thranholm

A Danish Christian’s criticism of Europe’s immigration policies lands her on an EU task force’s list as a pro-Russian propagandist and disseminator of Russian disinformation. From Iben Thranholm at thesaker.is:

Recently Marie Krarup, a member of the Danish Parliament for the Danish People’s Party – contacted me to say that the EU task force East Stratcom has placed me on a list branding me as a pro-Russian propagandist and is accusing me of spreading Russian disinformation.

This organisation was set up in March 2015 by the European Council to implement an action plan on strategic communication to address what it labels ”Russia’s on-going disinformation campaigns”, allegedly aiming to destabilize European democracy. To this end, East StratCom ”publishes two public weekly newsletters to stay up to date with the latest disinformation stores and narratives”. Have a look at EastStratcoms website.

This was shocking news to me. Marie Krarup requested a consultation with Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen. She found that the task force accusation violated my constitutional rights under Danish law to exercise freedom of speech, and found this to be stark evidence of the EU usurping undemocratic and totalitarian privilege to list commentators, pundits and journalists that criticize EU policies and EU leaders.

The minister disagreed. He stated that Iben Thranholm deserved her listing as a pro-Russian agent and should remain so listed. He indicated that I was hired by the Kremlin to destabilize Europe. Despite the consultation, this remains his position. No action has been taken to amend the list. No further comment has been offered on the case in the media.

The consequences may be dire. If the conflict with Russia escalates, the state will have the right to imprison me as an enemy of the state. Already now I have been branded a traitor and unpatriotic. Many opinion leaders and colleagues have composed and published an open letter criticizing the ministry. Social media have been brimming with support, but my government remains stubborn in its accusation that I am a Russian agent. This means that I am no longer protected by the state of which I am a national.

For the last couple of years, I have used Russian English-language media like RT op-ed section and Russia Insider for publishing my thoughts on the way the Western elites’ hatred of Christianity weakens and undermines Western culture.

My choice of non-Western media like RT as a platform is certainly not motivated by any payment from Putin. No, it is rooted in the fact that as a conservative Christian Catholic, my thoughts and views are simply increasingly difficult to get published in Europe.

To continue reading: Hated by those who hate Russia

Advertisements

France’s Marine Le Pen Says EU Responsible For “Monstrous Chaos In Syria,” by Tyler Durden

The US has received a good deal of help from Europe creating refugees in the Middle East. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

With the proxy war in Syria escalating dramatically on a day by day basis, with ideological support for the warring powers split along West vs Russia (and China) lines, one particular outlier in the “western world” emerged overnight when Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party and the frontrunner for the role of president in near year’s French elections, accused the European Union of being responsible for the ongoing chaos in Syria. She added that Europe has been too busy trying to overthrow Assad while Russia was actually fighting terrorists.

“You’ve done everything to bring down the government of Syria, throwing the country into a terrible civil war, while accusing Russia which is actually fighting Islamic State. Your responsibility could not be concealed”, she said speaking at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

“You cannot hide your responsibility […] for plunging this part of the world into an absolutely monstrous chaos,” Le Pen said, alleging that policies advocated by both the United States and the European Union had contributed to the state Syria is currently in, as well as neighboring Iraq.

“Enfin, vous avez tout fait pour faire tomber le gouvernement de la #Syrie livrant ce pays à une terrible guerre civile.” #PlenPE
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) October 5, 2016

x
She also mentioned that conservative policies advocated by both the United States and the European Union contributed to plunging Iraq into chaos.As a reminder, following the presidential veto override of the Sept 11 bill last week, a group of Iraqis are planning to sue US seeking monetary damages for the US invasion of 2003.

The eurosceptic politician then moved from the war in Syria to its logical, and intended according to some, outcome – Europe’s refugee crisis – and slammed the bloc’s approach toward immigration as “irresponsible,” stating that the current migrant policies only increase the number of economic migrants.

“No real measures are taken to curb the crisis. Your irresponsible policy, on the contrary, brings us more and more economic migrants,” Le Pen said, adding that only 30 percent of the migrants that had arrived in the EU were from Syria.

Le Pen, who intends to ride the wave of anti-immigrant anger sweeping French society in next year’s presidential election, has repeatedly spoken out on the migrant crisis and security issues in Europe and France. France has been hit by a number of deadly terror attacks within the past two years, with a state of emergency declared after the November 2015 attacks in Paris and prolonged following an attack this July in Nice.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in September that the EU should play a part in Syria peace negotiations and proposed developing a common European strategy for the war-torn Middle East country. However, as RT reports, no developments have so far been made in this regard, despite EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini making a number of calls on the US and Russia to renew their “diplomatic consultations” regarding the war-torn state.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-06/frances-marine-le-pen-says-eu-responsible-monstrous-chaos-syria

Why the EU Is Doomed, by Alasdair Macleod

The Europeans are having a tough time making the economics and finance of union work, but it will probably be noneconomic and financial factors that cause the EU’s downfall. From Alasdair Macleod at mises.org:

We are accustomed to looking at Europe’s woes in a purely financial context. This is a mistake, because it misses the real reasons why the EU will fail and not survive the next financial crisis. We normally survive financial crises, thanks to the successful actions of central banks as lenders of last resort. However, the origins and construction of both the the euro and the EU itself could ensure the next financial crisis commences in the coming months, and will exceed the capabilities of the ECB to save the system.

It should be remembered that the European Union was originally a creation of US post-war foreign policy. The priority was to ensure there was a buffer against the march of Soviet communism, and to that end three elements of the policy towards Europe were established. First, there was the Marshall Plan, which from 1948 provided funds to help rebuild Europe’s infrastructure. This was followed by the establishment of NATO in 1949, which ensured American and British troops had permanent bases in Germany. And lastly, a CIA sponsored organisation, the American Committee on United Europe was established to covertly promote European political union.

It was therefore in no way a natural European development. But in the post-war years the concept of political union, initially the European Coal and Steel Community, became fact in the Treaty of Paris in 1951 with six founding members: France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. The ECSC evolved into the EU of today, with an additional twenty-one member states, not including the UK which has now decided to leave.

With the original founders retaining their national characteristics, the EU resembles a political portmanteau, a piece of assembled furniture, each component retaining its original characteristics. After sixty-five years, a Frenchman is still a staunch French nationalist. Germans are characteristically German, and the Italians remain delightfully Italian. Belgium is often referred to as a non-country, and is still riven between Walloons and the Flemish. As an organisation, the EU lacks national identity and therefore political cohesion.

This is why the European Commission in Brussels has to go to great lengths to assert itself. But it has an insurmountable problem, and that is it has no democratic authority. The EU parliament was set up to be toothless, which is why it fools only the ignorant. With power still residing in a small cabal of nation states, national powerbrokers pay little more than lip-service to the Brussels bureaucracy.

The relationship between national leaders and the European Commission has been deliberately long-term, in the sense that loss of sovereignty is used to gradually subordinate other EU members into the Franco-German line. The driving logic has been to make the European region a protected trade area in Franco-German joint interests, and to protect them from free markets.

It was not easy to find the necessary compromise. Since the Second World War, France has been strongly protectionist over her own culture, insisting that the French only buy French goods. Germany’s success was rooted in savings, which encouraged industrial investment, leading to strong exports. These two nations with a common border had, and still have, very different values, but they managed to conceive and set up the European Central Bank and the euro.

To continue reading: Why the EU Is Doomed

EU Launches New Power Grab, to Roaring Public Approval, by Don Quijones

The EU is using Apple’s taxes, or lack thereof, as a backdoor way to set EU nations’ tax policies, or “fiscal union.” Do you think it will set uniformly high or low taxes? From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

A “Back Door” to Fiscal Union

The Apple Tax is about a lot more than just Apple and the billions of euros in backdated corporation tax it purportedly owes to European governments. It even goes far beyond the question of how — and how much — central authorities should tax recalcitrant multinationals that make billions of dollars in profits on their turf but share few or none of the proceeds.

What is most at stake is the question of who gets to set the fiscal rules in Europe’s foreseeable future. One thing is clear: if Brussels gets its way, it’s not going to be the national government of each member state. And that could be very bad news, at a very bad time, for a number of European economies, in particular Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

“Total Political Crap”

The EU’s Competition Commission slapped Apple with a €13 billion retroactive tax bill. That money is apparently owed to the government of Ireland, its decades-long partner in one of the biggest tax-avoidance schemes of living memory. The Commission argues that the arrangement cooked up between Irish authorities and Apple’s tax lawyers and accountants represented illegal state aid, enabling the U.S. company to get away with paying an effective taxation rate on its European profits as low as 0.005%.

Naturally, Apple does not want to pay the money. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, even went so far as to call the EU ruling as “total political crap”:

They just picked a number from I don’t know where. In the year that the commission says we paid that tax figure, we actually paid $400 million. We believe that makes us the highest taxpayer in Ireland that year.

The government of Ireland doesn’t want the money either, despite the fact that it could certainly do with it: at 128% of GDP, it boasts one of the highest levels of public debt in Europe, which is no mean feat these days. The EU ruling comes at a time of growing concern about the potential fallout from the decision by Ireland’s closest neighbor and second biggest single trading partner, Britain, to leave the EU, which according to some reports is hurting the Irish economy even more than the UK’s.

A “Back Door” to Fiscal Union

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told Irish broadcaster RTE on Monday that: “As far as I am concerned there is no economic basis for this decision.” He added: “They [the European Commission] don’t have responsibility for taxes and they are opening a back door through state aid to influence tax policy in European countries when the European treaties say tax policy is a matter for sovereign governments.”

As a Member State of both the EU and the Eurozone with a “business-friendly” environment that is brimming with local, English-speaking talent, Ireland is an enticing base for global multinationals. Or at least was.

To continue reading: EU Launches New Power Grab, to Roaring Public Approval

Apple travesty is a reminder why Britain must leave the lawless EU, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief, exercises powers that would not be tolerated in a democracy

Europe’s Competition Directorate commands the shock troops of the EU power structure. Ensconced in its fortress at Place Madou, it can dispatch swat teams on corporate dawn raids across Europe without a search warrant.

It operates outside the normal judicial control that we take for granted in a developed democracy. The US Justice Department could never dream of acting in such a fashion.

Known as ‘DG Comp’, it acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and can in effect impose fines large enough to constitute criminal sanctions, but without the due process protection of criminal law. It misused evidence so badly in pursuit of the US chipmaker Intel that the company alleged a violation of human rights.

Apple is just the latest of the great US digital companies to face this Star Chamber. It has vowed to appeal the monster €13bn fine handed down from Brussels this week for violation of EU state aid rules, but the only recourse is the European Court of Justice. This is usually a forlorn ritual. The ECJ is a political body, the enforcer of the EU’s teleological doctrines. It ratifies executive power.

We can mostly agree that Apple, Google, Starbucks, and others have gamed the international system, finding legal loopholes to whittle down their tax liabilities and enrich shareholders at the expense of society. It is such moral conduct that has driven wealth inequality to alarming levels, and provoked a potent backlash against globalisation.

But the ‘Double Irish’ or the ‘Dutch Sandwich’ and other such tax avoidance schemes are being phased out systematically by the G20 and by a series of tightening rules from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The global machinery of “profit shifting” will face a new regime by 2018.

We can agree too that Apple’s cosy EU arrangements should never have been permitted. It paid the standard 12.5pc corporate tax on its Irish earnings – and is the country biggest taxpayers – but the Commission alleges that its effective rate of tax on broader earnings in 2014 was 0.005pc, achieved by shuffling profits into a special ‘stateless company’ with its headquarters in Ireland.

“The profits did not have any factual or economic justification. The “head office” had no employees, no premises and no real activities,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief.

This may be true but that does not empower the Commission to act arbitrarily, retroactively, and beyond the rule of law. What is really going on – as often in EU affairs – is a complex political attack on multiple fronts. It is a reminder of why Britain must remove itself entirely and forever from the clutches of this Caesaropapist construction.

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, has a €13bn axe to grind, but he is almost certainly right in arguing that Mrs Vestager is making up state aid rules as she goes along, and has yet to produce evidence that Dublin granted Apple a sweetheart deal on taxes. “This claim has no basis in fact or in law,” he said.

To continue reading: Apple travesty is a reminder why Britain must leave the lawless EU

Picking Up The UK Tab, by Jeff Thomas

One little-noted facet of Brexit is that Great Britain pays into the EU a lot more than it gets back. When it leaves, what are the net moochers going to do? From Jeff Thomas at  internationalman.com:

Back in the late ‘90s, I began saying, “I’ll give the EU twenty years.” At that point, the EU seemed to be going great guns, but I believed that it was an ill-conceived concept that wouldn’t stand the test of time.

There were several reasons for my view. First, I didn’t believe that those countries that were entitlement-focused, such as the Greeks, would ever be as fiscally responsible as, say, the Germans, so the Germans (and other countries where there was a responsible work ethic) would end up subsidizing the Greeks (and to a lesser extent, Spain, Portugal, etc.)

Second, culturally, there was so great a divide between, say, the Austrians and the French, that they could never substantially agree on the union’s laws and directions.

Third, the countries of Europe have been at war with each other countless times over the centuries. They might agree to trade cooperation, but they would never agree to having a former enemy dictate policy to them. And it was baked in the cake that some members would have a louder voice than others, and so, would seek to dominate.

In recent years, we’ve watched the EU stumble repeatedly. Invariably, Brussels has arrogantly assumed that it can dictate to all EU members, and offers few apologies for doing so. The individual countries’ leaders then do their best to explain to their own voters why Brussels should be able to behave like an oligarchy, and the voters understandably have become increasingly angry.

Eventually, the wheels were sure to come off the trolley and, with the UK Brexit vote, we’ve witnessed the first major blow to the survival of the EU.

Whilst the “leave” vote has been acknowledged, we should expect to see politicians placing stones in the road to Brexit, in addition to creating repeated delays. It would also not be surprising to see demands for a recall or even a nullification by the UK Supreme Court.

In the midst of this, we’re already seeing the predictable backpedaling by those politicians and pundits who, up until the vote, were warning that a Brexit would spell unmitigated disaster for Britain. Most of them are now speaking instead of “working on crafting a successful settlement.” (After all, when the sky has failed to fall, they won’t want the public to remember that they ranted like veritable Chicken Littles prior to the vote.)

But, in one sense, the Brexit will unquestionably spell disaster—not for Britain, as was claimed, but for Brussels.

Britain was never fully married to the EU; she was more a “woman on the side,” but in this case, it was the woman that was picking up the tab for the affair. In 2015 alone, the UK paid £13 billion into the EU budget, whilst EU spending on the UK was £4.5 billion. The UK’s “net contribution” was therefore about £8.5 billion—a loss of 65% of its investment. Not money well-spent, considering the trade restrictions heaped on the UK by Brussels.

The £8.5 billion loss, of course, went to support the net-receiver members of the EU, such as the ever-unapologetic Greece.

Most of the above will be common knowledge, but here’s a few pertinent questions that no one seems to be asking—at least not publicly:

At what point does the UK cease to pay into the EU?

To continue reading: Picking Up The UK Tab

The EU: Economically and Morally Peverse, by Hans-Herman Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is distinguished fellow at the Mises Institute and founder and president of the Property and Freedom Society. He hits multple nails on the head in this interview. From Hoppe at lewrockwell.com:

An Interview With Hans-Herman Hoppe in the Polish weekly Najwyższy Czas!

What is your assessment of contemporary Western Europe, and in particular the EU?

All major political parties in Western Europe, regardless of their different names and party programs, are nowadays committed to the same fundamental idea of democratic socialism. They use democratic elections to legitimize the taxing of productive people for the benefit of unproductive people. They tax people, who have earned their income and accumulated their wealth by producing goods or services purchased voluntarily by consumers (and of course especially the ‘rich’ among those), and they then re-distribute the confiscated loot to themselves, i.e., the democratic State that they control or hope to control, and their various political friends, supporters, and potential voters.

They do not call this policy by its right name: punishing the productive and rewarding the unproductive, of course. That doesn’t sound particularly attractive. Instead, they tap into the always popular sentiment of envy and claim to tax the few ‘rich’ to support the many ‘poor.’ In truth, however, with their policy they make more and more productive people poor and a steadily increasing number of unproductive people rich.

But what about the EU?

Looking at the EU, the picture becomes even worse. The EU is the first step on the way toward the creation of a European Super-State, and ultimately of a one-world government, dominated by the USA and its central bank, the FED. From its very beginnings, and despite all high-sounding political proclamations to the contrary, the EU was never about free trade and free competition. For that, you don’t need tens of thousands of pages of rules and regulations! Rather, the central purpose of the EU, supported all-along by the USA, was always the weakening in particular of Germany as Europe’s economic powerhouse. To facilitate this, Germany was sent on a seemingly never-ending ‘guilt trip’ and thus pressured to transfer increasingly larger parts of its already limited (vis-à-vis the USA) sovereignty to the EU in Brussels. Especially noteworthy in this regard: Germany’s giving up its monetary sovereignty and abandoning its traditionally ‘strong’ currency, the DM, in favor of a ‘weak’ Euro, issued by a European Central Bank (ECB) composed overwhelmingly of politically connected central bankers from traditionally ‘weak’ currency countries.

The EU, then, is characterized by three main features: First: The harmonization of the tax- and regulation structure across all member states, so as to reduce economic competition and especially tax-competition between different countries and make all countries equally uncompetitive.

Second: On top of the economic and moral perversity within each country of punishing the productive and subsidizing the unproductive, another layer of international income- and wealth-redistribution is added: of punishing economically better performing countries like Germany and the countries of northern Europe and rewarding economically worse performing countries (mostly of southern Europe) and thus successively rendering the economic performance of all countries equally worse.

And third, of increasing importance especially during the last decade: In order to overcome the rising resistance, in many countries, against the steadily increasing transfer of national sovereignty to Brussels, the EU is on a crusade to erode, and ultimately destroy, all national identities and all social and cultural cohesion. The idea of a nation and of different national and regional identities is ridiculed, and multi-culturalism is hailed instead as an unquestionable “good.” As well, in promoting the award of legal privileges and of “special protection” to everyone, except white, heterosexual men, and especially married family men (who are portrayed as historic ‘oppressors’ owing compensation to everyone else as their historic ‘victims’) – euphemistically called “anti-discrimination” or “affirmative action” policy – the natural social order is systematically undermined. Normality is punished, and abnormity and deviance is rewarded.

To continue reading: The EU: Economically and Morally Peverse