Tag Archives: EU

The Unspeakable Crime of V. Orban, by F. William Engdahl

It won’t spoil the article, only pique curiosity and stimulate readership, to reveal Mr. Orbán’s crime: he’s a national leader who puts the interests of his nation before those of a supranational organization. From F. William Engdahl at journal-net.org:

Some people seem like they never learn how to play the game. At the top of the list in the European Union these days is Hungary and her stubborn Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. He just doesn’t seem to get it. He doesn’t understand that it’s not “European” to defend the sovereign rights of your citizens and your nation. No matter how the EU faceless technocrats hovering around the dubious Luxembourg EU President Jean-Claude Juncker try to educate Orbán and his government, he doesn’t seem to get it.

The past year has been a tough one for the Brussels’ EU political correctness Supremos. First Mr Orbán insisted on going through with a national referendum. How anti-European! Letting citizens vote on issues affecting their lives in their own countries! What a dangerous idea if that ever spreads. Next thing you know women might demand genuine equality and to be taken seriously as human beings. Horror!

Last October 2016 Viktor Orbán’s government organized a referendum vote on whether to let the faceless, unelected EU Commission of President Jean-Claude Juncker (or his successors) dictate the number of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East Hungary would be forced to welcome, including to pay for and more. The Hungarian voters voted with over a whopping 98% in agreement with their Prime Minister that Brussels should have no such right.

In matter of fact it was Germany and France in September 2015 who convinced EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to turn to using a “qualified majority” vote, a sly way under the EU Lisbon Treaty to ram through decisions of the more powerful states against the smaller EU member wishes. Instead of the EU practice of using unanimity to decide such sensitive matters as forced taking of refugees, Germany and France forced through a relocation plan for 120,000 refugees using a qualified majority vote in an area where it has no legal competence to act according to EU legal scholars.

Fortunately, Brussels could ignore the Hungarian referendum vote on a technicality that just under 50% of eligible voters voted. Soros-allied NGO’s and their allies in Hungary waged a massive boycott campaign before the vote. “Whew! That was a close call. Democracy almost caught us in the act.”

And just to be sure no one in the rest of the EU would get suspicious that some basic democratic rights were being trampled on in Hungary, the anti-nationalist mainstream EU media threw a relentless barrage of calumny against Orbán for even daring to ask a popular vote.


To continue reading: The Unspeakable Crime of V. Orban

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Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Views from Central Europe, by Soeren Kern

The nations of Central Europe don’t think that signing up for the EU meant they had to accept unwanted refugees without any say in the matter. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia. In addition, hundreds of migrants who have been relocated to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which rank among the poorest EU countries, have since fled to Germany and other wealthier countries in the bloc.
  • “It needs to be said clearly and directly: This is an attack on Europe, on our culture, on our traditions.” — Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydło.
  • “I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country. That is a historical experience for us.” — Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, referring to Hungary’s occupation by the Ottoman Empire from 1541 to 1699.

The European Union has initiated legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to comply with a controversial order to take in thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The so-called infringement procedure, which authorizes the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, to sue member states that are considered to be in breach of their obligations under EU law, could lead to massive financial penalties.

The dispute dates back to September 2015, when, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, EU member states narrowly voted to relocate 120,000 “refugees” from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000migrants from Italy and Greece.

Of the 160,000 migrants to be “shared,” nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe were ordered to take in around 15,000 migrants. Although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the agreement, they were still required to comply.

Since then, several Central European EU member states have vehemently refused to accept their assigned quotas of migrants. Poland, for example, has a quota of 6,182 migrants, not one of whom has been admitted. The Czech Republic has a quota of 2,691 migrants, of whom only 12 have been taken. Hungary has a quota of 1,294, none of whom have been admitted.

In the EU as a whole, so far only around 20,000 migrants have been relocated (6,896 from Italy and 13,973 from Greece), according to the EU’s latest relocation and resettlement report, published on June 13, 2017. Of the 28 EU member states, only Malta has taken in its full quota — 131 migrants.

Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia. In addition, hundreds of migrants who have been relocated to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which rank among the poorest countries in the EU, have since fled to Germany and other wealthier countries in the bloc.

To continue reading: Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Views from Central Europe

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

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

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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