Tag Archives: Europe

How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track, by John Rubino

Sooner or later, Europe and its euro will collapse under its debt load. From John Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

Every few years, it seems, one or another mismanaged eurozone country falls into one or another kind of crisis. This leads to speculation about the end of the common currency, which in turn spooks the global financial markets. Then the ECB conjures another trillion euros out of thin air, buys up and/or guarantees all the offending country’s bonds, and calm returns for a while.

At least, that’s how it’s gone in the past.

The latest crisis has more than the usual number of flash-points and could, therefore, be something new and different. Currently:

Greece. This charming but apparently ungovernable country only got into the eurozone in the first place because its corrupt leaders conspired with Goldman Sachs to hide the true condition of the government’s finances. It quickly blew up and has been on intensive care ever since. Now the latest bailout has become deal-breakingly messy:

‘From bad to worse’: Greece hurtles towards a final reckoning

(Guardian) – With another bailout set to bring more cuts, quitting the euro is back on the agenda.

The country’s epic struggle to avert bankruptcy should have been settled when Athens received €110bn in aid – the biggest financial rescue programme in global history – from the EU and International Monetary Fund in May 2010. Instead, three bailouts later, it is still wrangling over the terms of the latest €86bn emergency loan package, with lenders also at loggerheads and diplomats no longer talking of a can, but rather a bomb, being kicked down the road. Default looms if a €7.4bn debt repayment – money owed mostly to the European Central Bank – is not honoured in July.

Amid the uncertainty, volatility has returned to the markets. So, too, has fear, with an estimated €2.2bn being withdrawn from banks by panic-stricken depositors since the beginning of the year. With talk of Greece’s exit from the euro being heard again, farmers, trade unions and other sectors enraged by the eviscerating effects of austerity have once more come out in protest.

To continue reading: How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track

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Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash, by Don Quijones

Europe is tightening the screws on all those benighted idiots and criminals who want to use cash. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

To protect citizens from threats as defined by apparatchiks in Brussels.

The central authorities in Europe just launched their most important offensive to date in their multiyear War on Cash. The new move comes directly from the European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, which just announced its intention to “explore the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments,” with a view to implementing cross-regional measures in 2018.

Maximum limits on cash transactions already exist in most European countries, and the general trend is downward. Last year, Spain joined France in placing a €1,000 maximum on cash payments. Greece went one better, dropping its cap for cash transactions from €1,500 to €500. In simple terms, any legal purchase of a good or service over €500 will need to be done with plastic or mobile money.

In some countries, the maximum cash limit is significantly higher. For example, in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, recent attempts by the government to set a threshold of €5,000 triggered a fierce public backlash. The German tabloid Bild published a scathing open letter titled “Hands Off Our Cash,” while a broad spectrum of political parties condemned the proposed measures as an attack on data protection and privacy.

Cash allows us to remain anonymous during day-to-day transactions. In a constitutional democracy, that is a freedom that has to be defended,” tweeted the Green MP Konstantin von Notz. Even Bunderbank President Jens Weidmann criticized the government’s proposals, telling Bild (emphasis added): “It would be fatal if citizens got the impression that cash is being gradually taken away from them.”

To continue reading: Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash

Trump Fires Up Europe’s Anti-Establishment Movement, by Soeren Kern

Change is coming to Europe. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

• “The genie will not go back into the bottle again, whether you like it or not.” — Geert Wilders, MP and head of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands.

• A growing number of Europeans are rebelling against decades of government-imposed multiculturalism, politically correct speech codes and mass migration from the Muslim world.

• Europe’s establishment parties, far from addressing the concerns of ordinary voters, have tried to silence dissent by branding naysayers as xenophobes, Islamophobes and neo-Nazis.

• “In many respects, France and Germany are proving they do not understand the meaning of Brexit. They are reflexively, almost religiously, following exactly the path that has provoked the EU’s current existential crisis.” — Ambassador John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

• “There is a genuine feeling that Trump taking over the White House is part of a bigger, global movement. Our critics, looking at Trump’s candidacy and his speech yesterday, would call it the rise of populism. I would say it’s simply a return to nation state democracy and proper values…. This is a genuine political revolution.” — Nigel Farage, former head of Britain’s UKIP party, who led the effort for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.

• “This disruption is fruitful. The taboos of the last few years are now fully on the agenda: illegal immigration, Islam, the nonsense of open borders, the dysfunctional EU, the free movement of people, jobs, law and order. Trump’s predecessors did not want to talk about it, but the majority of voters did. This is democracy.” — Roger Köppel, editor-in-chief of Die Weltwoche, Switzerland.

To continue reading: Trump Fires Up Europe’s Anti-Establishment Movement

Fire With Fire, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

NATO has to go,Brexit was a good thing, the EU is an instrument for Germany’s domination of Europe, and Donald Trump was right to say all these things, to the consternation of American and European elites. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Sometimes you best fight fire with fire. This knowledge goes back to the advent of agriculture. Australian aboriginees have used it since as long as their stories of dream time can remember. For Native Americans it was an essential part of their lives. These days, we need Trump to fight the fire of an elite class world power that is a threat to all of us.

Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
Of bragging horror

Shapespeare: King John, 1595

Been greatly enjoying Donald Trump’s pair of interviews with the European press this weekend, in the shape of German scandal paper Bild’s chief, very-right Kai Diekmann, and disgraced Brexiteer Michael Gove for the Sunday Times. What a pair of choices, by the way, what’s next, a Russian interview conducted by Zhirinovsky?. Who picked those clowns? Let’s just hope it was the Trump campaign.

Enjoying it not in the least because Trump is right in just about everything he says. At least, as per what we at the Automatic Earth have been saying about some of the topics involved all along. And we’re not Trump fans, we just think the others are more wrong than he is, and that it’s high time to abolish the EU, and NATO, and sure, the CIA too.

Speaking of which: Chuck Shumer has made it all the way to Senate leader for the Democrats, right? And then he says about Trump’s criticism of US intel and the Steele ‘report’:

“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. For a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Want to take any of that back, Chuck? While you still can? Because, you know, threatening the president-elect with the might of the CIA, what does that say about your view of who actually rules the country, Charlie? That’s not a gaffe, that’s what would in America’s better days have been a career buster, buster. But your own rudderless party won’t call you on it, and Trump would love for you to keep your seat; one less worry. Still, c’mon, you just can’t say sh*t like that. It’s beyond any pale. Or, you know, it once was.

To continue reading: Fire With Fire

Trump the Disruptor, but Justin Raimondo

European powers that be are just as pissed off at Donald Trump as American powers that be. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

If the New York Times is to be believed – a problematic proposition – then it looks as if Trump Derangement Syndrome has gone international. In a front page article headlined “As Trump Era Dawns, A Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World,” we are told:

“The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.”

Oh heavens-to-Betsy, whatever shall we do?

So what’s the source of this latest Trumpanic? It’s an interview with Tory mandarin Michael Gove and Kai Diekmann, a former editor of the German newspaper Bild, in which the President-elect reiterates what he’s been saying to the American people for the past year, and on the basis of which he won the election: US foreign policy is going to change, and in a big way.

However, to Times reporter Steve Erlanger, this all comes as a big revelation, evidence that “Trump has again focused his penchant for disruption on the rest of the world.” Oh, the poor babies! Perhaps they need to find a safe space in which to park themselves for the next four-to-eight years.

This being the Times, there’s the requisite Russia-baiting:

“No one knows where exactly he is headed – except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For now.”

If this reads like a paragraph torn out of one of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s strategy memos, well then consider the source. And speaking of the source, what exactly did Trump say in this supposedly “disruptive” interview that has the Powers That Be in such a tizzy?

To continue reading: Trump the Disruptor

American Troops “Roll Into Poland” In Largest Deployment Since The Cold War, by Tyler Durden

What would the US government do if Russia or China rolled troops into Mexico or Canada? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

“American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.”

That’s how the AP begins its report on the first deployment of US soldiers into the central European country, previewed here earlier in the week as “One Of Largest Deployments Since The Cold War”, even as Russia warned that the move represented a threat to its national security, and the Kremlin said “Russia regarded the move as an aggressive step along its borders.”

Two convoys of have been photographed heading to Poland from Germany today

40 vehicles across two separate convoys are on their way to Poland

The largest US military brigade since the end of the Cold War arrived in  Bremerhaven in northern Germany on Saturday

The largest US military brigade since the end of the Cold War arrived in Bremerhaven in northern Germany on Saturday

While in the past the US and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO’s eastern flank, this deployment, which includes around 3,500 U.S. troops and 2,800 tanks, trucks and other military equipment, marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally. It also represents a commitment by outgoing President Obama to “protect” a region that became deeply nervous over Russia’s response to the CIA-orchestrated presidential coup in Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea, and the resulting proxy war in east Ukraine.

Two convoys of 20 vehicles were pictured leaving Brueck near Lehnin in Germany today heading to Poland. They spent the night 80km from Berlin. Troops will also deployed to Romania, Bulgaria and across the Baltics.

To continue reading: American Troops “Roll Into Poland” In Largest Deployment Since The Cold War

 

European Immigration: Mainly Muslim, Mainly Male, Mainly Young, by Douglas Murray

If European politicians make a big deal about burkas and burkinis, maybe European voters won’t notice that the politicians were the ones pushing Islamic immigration. From Douglas Murray at gatestoneinstitute.org:

• In the wake of the attack in Nice, there should have been a fulsome public discussion over what if anything can be done to ensure that people who have been in France for many years — in some cases their entire lives — are not indoctrinated to hate the country so much that they drive a truck through a crowded sea-front on Bastille Day.

Or there could have been a wide public debate over whether, with so many radicalised Muslims already in France, it was a wise or foolish idea to continue to import large numbers of Muslims into this already simmering situation.

Merkel seems to hope that with this raising of a burka ban the German public will forgive or forget the fact that here is a political leader so devoid of foresight that she unilaterally chose to allow an extra 1-2% of the population to be added to her country in a single year, mainly Muslim, mainly male and mainly young.

The burka and burkini, like the headscarf, are only issues because millions of people have been allowed, unchecked, into Europe for years. The garment is merely the simplest issue at which to take aim. Far harder are the issues of immigration and integration. It is possible that Europe’s politicians cannot answer these questions, because any and all answers would point the finger at their own failings.

• The European publics might get fed up with the distraction tactics of talking about garments and instead seek answers to the challenge we now face, as well as retribution at the polls for the politicians who brought us here.

To continue reading: European Immigration: Mainly Muslim, Mainly Male, Mainly Young