Tag Archives: EU

The EU’s Response To Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Is Finally Here, by Felicity Bradstock

The U.S. government and the EU are engaging in a classic battle to see who can subsidize uneconomical technologies the most. The loser wins. From Felicity Bradstock at oilprice.com:

  • ollowing the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S., pressure grew on the EU to introduce its own legislation to help fund the clean energy push on the continent.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resultant energy security issues in Europe have only added to the pressure on EU politicians to solve the bloc’s energy problems.
  • The EC’s new draft proposal is designed to encourage companies to remain in the EU rather than move operations to the U.S. to take advantage of IRA-related benefits.
When President Biden introduced his Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last summer, he surprised the world with the extent of the climate commitments within it While supposedly aimed at inflation reduction, the legislation also provides extensive political support and funding for the green transition, providing tax cuts, subsidies, and other incentives for companies looking to use cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels. The EU has long been hailed as the leader in the switch to renewable energy, encouraging other countries worldwide to follow in its footsteps when it comes to climate pledges and policies. However, following the introduction of the IRA, pressure on the EU grew to introduce its own far-reaching, region-wide climate policy. After several months, it appears that the EU is ready to launch a transition policy that will provide the funding needed to keep up with the U.S. in the race to green.  The EU has announced plans to reduce restrictions on tax credits for renewable energy projects in response to Biden’s IRA. Following mounting public pressure to expand its climate policy following the introduction of the new U.S. law, the European Commission (EC) has stated that it aims to loosen state aid rules to encourage greater investment in production facilities in the green energy industry. However, this kind of major policy shift requires broad support from its 27 member states, which often slows down the introduction of new laws.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russian energy, the EU and many other parts of the world have experienced severe energy shortages and rising consumer costs. This has led to greater pressure from the public and policymakers to accelerate the green transition, to ensure the future of the region’s energy security. The EC’s draft proposal reportedly proposes the redirection of some of the $869.8 billion in Covid-19 recovery funding to green tax credits. It states: “The provisions on tax benefits would enable member states to align their national fiscal incentives on a common scheme, and thereby offer greater transparency and predictability to businesses across the EU.”

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EU Technocrat Threatens Musk With “Sanctions” Unless He Stamps Out Free Speech On Twitter, by Tyler Durden

From the article, here’s the money question: What is so threatening about free speech? Unravel that, and you get the answers to a lot of other questions. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The battle over Twitter is often made to appear complex and chaotic, but it can all be boiled down to a simple dichotomy – It’s about the people who demand censorship in favor of the establishment narrative vs. the people who want free speech and fair rules applied to everyone equally.

Everything else is noise and distraction.

The complications arise when we try to define free speech when it comes to social media.  Private companies are not subject to many legal boundaries related to free speech rights.  This is an argument that the political left and government representatives made constantly during the massive purge of conservative and liberty oriented accounts by Big Tech companies since 2016.  And, as we saw with Twitter previous to Elon Musk’s takeover, governments took full advantage of this legal loophole in order to silence people using social media websites as middlemen.

The ongoing release of the Twitter Files proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that collusion between Big Tech and governments for the sake of censorship is a reality.  In America, at least, this is a constitutional no-no.  The fact that politicians and agencies like the FBI were actively seeking out and targeting ideological opponents and having them silenced on Twitter is a direct violation of the 1st Amendment and these people should be subject to prosecution (the FBI even shelled out at least $3 million to Twitter for services rendered).

Prosecution might never happen, but at least the evidence is undeniable today after years of the public being lied to.

The reality that Twitter was acting as an enforcement agent for government censorship around the world tells us exactly why so many establishment officials have been up in arms over Musk’s purchase of the platform.  Until now, every single major Big Tech company has been operating in lock-step with the establishment narrative.  People couldn’t even talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop, let alone talk about the inconvenient facts surrounding “climate change” or the covid mandates and vaccines.

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Has the Counter Revolution Arrived in the US? By Tom Luongo

Washington has been outsmarted by Vladimir Putin every step of the way. The drone strike on a strategic air base inside of Russia is a moronic crossing of a clear Russian red line. The inevitable response will be devastating, at the time, place, and manner chosen by Russia. Is America tiring of its leaders’ idiocy? From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

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The Ukraine War: Cracks in Unexpected Places, by Ted Snider

The Ukraine team in the Ukraine-Russia war is beset by internecine fissures. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

As the war in Ukraine grinds on, cracks are forming in unexpected places. The US is mad at Ukraine, Europe is mad at the US and Europeans are mad at each other.

The cracks are neither wide nor structural. But they are there, and they are unexpected. The first crack in the US relationship with Ukraine formed around frustration and concern over unrelenting demands for arms from Ukraine.

As the war devours weapons and artillery, the hunger for them continues and the demand for more advanced weapons grows. Western nations committed to arming Ukraine are struggling to keep up as their own arsenals become depleted. The New York Times reports that there is a “mad scramble to supply Ukraine with what it needs while also replenishing NATO stockpiles.”

And yet, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba complained on November 28 that “We also have to face one fact: There are countries in the world who have what Ukraine needs but who are not going to sell it in sufficient quantities for political reasons.” He criticized western nations “who have stuff in stocks but who are not willing to share it.”

Loss of patience over the unending demand was first made public in June when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to Biden’s news that the US had just authorized $1 billion for more military assistance with complaints about what he was not getting. Biden, reportedly, “lost his temper.” “Raising his voice,” Biden told Zelensky to “show a little more gratitude.”

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EU Accuses Washington Of Making A Fortune From Ukraine War, by Tyler Durden

The EU probably had the U.S. government’s game figured out long ago, but now it is going public with it’s well-founded suspicions. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

“Nine months after invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is beginning to fracture the West,” Politico observes in a surprising admission which marks a stark reversal from prior mainstream media optimism and cheerleading of the White House’s blank check approach to supporting Ukraine. “Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer.”

There’s clearly growing frustration among European officials over Washington’s refusal to push the Zelensky government to the negotiating table while an unprecedented billions worth of weaponry and defense aid pours in, risking unpredictable escalation between NATO and Russia. Meanwhile European populations will continue being the first to pay the price amid frigid winter temperatures and a simultaneous severe energy supply crisis even as some leaders still spout abstract ideals of “sacrifice”.

Macron and Biden on sidelines of a G20 meeting earlier this month in Indonesia, via AFP.

And all the while Biden has continued rolling out his controversial green subsidies and taxes which are widely perceived as unfairly punishing European industries at this most sensitive juncture.

A senior European official speaking to Politico additionally blasted the White House policy of in effect using the Ukraine war to line the pockets of American defense contractors while at the same turning a deaf ear on European pleas for some relief to the no-win situation.

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Eastern Partnership, the EU’s Geopolitical Gamble Leading Europe Into the Abyss, by Laura Ruggeri

Former Soviet states discover being part of Europe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. From Laura Ruggeri at strategic-culture.org:

The European Union’s co-optation of six ex-Soviet countries around an anti-Russian agenda turned them into a hybrid warfare battleground and fundamentally undermined Europe’s security architecture.

In February 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Vladimir Putin delivered a powerful speech that signalled Russia’s newly restored confidence and heralded Russia’s desire and readiness to play a more significant role in international affairs. The Russian president criticized the US attempts to create a unipolar world order as both dangerous and futile at a time when many new poles were appearing. He unequivocally pointed out that NATO expansion and the deployment of missile systems in Eastern Europe constituted a threat to Russia’s security. The US deemed the speech an act of defiance: US-Russia relations grew colder, more tense and Washington started drawing up new plans to contain Russia’s legitimate aspirations. The implementation of these plans required a closer collaboration between NATO and the European Union: spurred by the US, the EU stepped up its involvement in the post-Soviet space.

Obviously, the EU has always had an interest in matters beyond its own borders. For instance, the 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS) had already recommended “preventive engagement” through the promotion of “a ring of well-governed countries to the East of the European Union”(1) but lacked an institutional framework to coordinate efforts. A step change was urged by the US after the Munich speech.

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The Euro Without German Industry, by Michael Hudson

German industry has been the powerhouse behind the euro. No energy, no German industry. What happens then? From Michael Hudson at unz.com:

The reaction to the sabotage of three of the four Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in four places on Monday, September 26, has focused on speculations about who did it and whether NATO will make a serious attempt to discover the answer. Yet instead of panic, there has been a great sigh of diplomatic relief, even calm. Disabling these pipelines ends the uncertainty and worries on the part of US/NATO diplomats that nearly reached a crisis proportion the previous week, when large demonstrations took place in Germany calling for the sanctions to end and to commission Nord Stream 2 to resolve the energy shortage.

The German public was coming to understand what it will mean if their steel companies, fertilizer companies, glass companies and toilet-paper companies were shutting down. These companies were forecasting that they would have to go out of business entirely – or shift operations to the United States – if Germany did not withdraw from the trade and currency sanctions against Russia and permit Russian gas and oil imports to resume, and presumably to fall back from their astronomical eight to tenfold price increase.

Yet State Department hawk Victoria Nuland already had stated in January that “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward” if Russia responded to the accelerating Ukrainian military attacks on the Russian-speaking eastern oblasts. President Biden backed up U.S. insistence on February 7, promising that “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it. … I promise you, we will be able to do it.”

Most observers simply assumed that these statements reflected the obvious fact that German politicians were fully in the US/NATO pocket. Germany’s politicians held fast turbines refusing to authorize Nord Stream 2, and Canada soon seized the Siemens dynamos needed to send gas through Nord Stream 1. That seemed to settle matters until German industry – and a rising number of voters – finally began to calculate just what blocking Russian gas would mean for Germany’s industrial firms, and hence domestic employment.

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Giorgia on Our Mind, by Pepe Escobar

Fascist globalists of all stripes are upset by the election of Giorgia Meloni. Many have resorted to calling her a fascist—pure projection. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time.

It’s tempting to interpret the Italian electoral results this past Sunday as voters merrily hurling a bowl of lush papardelle with wild boar ragu over the collective bland faces of the toxic unelected Euro-oligarchy sitting in Brussels.

Well, it’s complicated.

Italy’s electoral system is all about coalitions. The center-right Meloni-Berlusconi-Salvini troika is bound to amass a substantial majority in both the Parliament’s Lower House and the Senate. Giorgia Meloni leads Fratelli d’Italia (“Brothers of Italy”). The notorious Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi leads Forza Italia. And Matteo Salvini leads La Lega.

The established cliché across Italy’s cafes is that Giorgia becoming Prime Minister was a shoo-in: after all she’s “blonde, blue eyes, petite, sprightly and endearing”. And an expert communicator to boot. Quite the opposite of Goldman Sachs partner and former uber-ECB enforcer Mario Draghi, who looks like one of those bloodied emperors of Rome’s decadence. During his Prime Ministerial reign, he was widely derided – apart from woke/finance circles – as the leader of “Draghistan”.

On the financial front that otherworldly entity, the Goddess of the Market, the post-truth equivalent of the Delphi Oracle, bets that PM Giorgia will insist on the same old strategy: debt-funded fiscal stimulus, which will turn into a blowout in Italian debt (already huge, at 150% of GDP). All that plus a further collapse of the euro.

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As Democracy Dies in the EU, Von der Leyen Reveals its Sins, by Tom Luongo

The nothing democratic or even autocratic about the EU; it’s essentially a dictatorship. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

It’s no secret at this point that the EU is an anti-democratic organization. The leadership isn’t elected, but selected from a pre-determined pool of candidates from within the Party structure.

Everyone with the power to make a decision was placed there not by popular vote but by backroom collusion.

As we approach this weekend’s Italian elections there is real despair in the air that there is any light out of this dark time. That no matter what decisions we try to make, they are only in service of those that seek total dominion.

And yet all you hear from these Eurocrats is that we are in a “war of Democracy versus Autocracy,” as EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen put it in her hellish EU state of the union address to the European Parliament recently.

Cloaking herself in the inverse of the EU flag’s colors to show solidarity with another anti-democratic regime, Ukraine, Von der Leyen and her merry tribe of vandals in Brussels cast themselves as the protectors of the sacred right of a ‘democracy’ they deny to anyone who disagrees with her.

The same can be said for nearly every major government in Europe. Every time an ‘election’ rolls around the local system is gamed to ensure a particular outcome. The political establishment always coalesces around maintaining the status quo, freezing out any possibility of an ‘unworkable’ or ‘representative’ coalition.

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Germany’s (and Europe’s) Self-Inflicted Upcoming Energy Crunch, by Weimin Chin

If you think one government can screw things up hugely, look what happens when several act together, or when some supranational government like the EU acts. From Weimin Chin at mises.org:

At the end of September 2021, the Nord Stream 2 project was a reality after many years of uncertainty. At that time, there were only a few more regulatory hurdles remaining for Germany and Russia to seal the deal on the long-awaited and highly controversial natural gas pipeline. Achieving such a feat would have been a milestone in energy cooperation between the two countries. Sadly, the regional order has tilted hard and quick off that track, and Europe has plunged into a perilous future of uncertainty.

In the first weeks of the Russian-initiated war in Ukraine, Germany, along with the rest of Europe, found itself backed into a corner regarding its energy sourcing as Western sanctions cut off routes and links in the established regional energy and financial infrastructures. There has been no perceptible success in breaking out of this bind. Instead, Germany has watched time tick by. Russia’s Gazprom recently cut gas flow for Nord Stream 1 to 20 percent of capacity.

German nuclear power plants remain mostly idle, with three facilities providing 13 percent of the country’s electricity compared to France’s 69 percent. Coal power plants have now ramped up output, with the inevitable approach of the fall and winter seasons in the near term.

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