Tag Archives: Germany

Italy challenges the Western order, by Frank Sellers

Italy doesn’t like its debt, its immigrants, or the EU, and thinks perhaps Europe’s ought to loosen up towards Russia. This is all contrary to the EU playbook. From Frank Sellers at theduran.com:

With a massive influx of immigrants from across Africa and the Middle East, and growing poverty, Italy voted in a populist government representing policies which would seem to virtually overturn the postwar European order.

The austerity measures which have been imposed upon the Italian people have pushed more and more of them down into poverty, with the poverty rate doubling over the course of the past decade.

Relative to migration, Italy is one of the Southern European countries taking the brunt of the migrants who are flooding into Europe by the thousands, helped along by various NGOs which seek to alter the demographic makeup and economic and political order of Europe under the guise of humanitarianism.

The present economic metrics tend to perceive the profits of multinational corporations as a gauge of the health of the economy, rather than the economic situation on the ground level, faced by the Italian citizen. All of these and more are things which this new government has a view towards radically changing.

To combat Austerity, which may be tossed out the window, the option on the table is to review treaties to which Italy is partied which impose or advise them. Rather than gutting the population for the money which the government needs in order to cover obligations to multinational financial interests, a proposal was broached of launching a universal basic income, reduction in the pension age, as well as a flat tax system.

And while the migrant policy is still evolving, it has had a view towards repatriating the migrants which are already within Italy’s borders. Italy has already flexed its will on the migrants issue over refusing a ship full of migrants port in Italy, forcing it to set sail for Spain.

Foreign policy aims at softening the approach towards Russia by eliminating sanctions and by putting the focus on improving relations, benefitting Italy both by allowing a resumption of trade, and the perspective of Russia’s will and capacity to help get a handle on the situation in the Middle East, which is part of what prompts the migration issue, due to the region’s instability.

What this could mean is that an already strained relationship between Italy and the EU could be put to the test, or altered in a significant manner if these proposals are put into play after the fashion in which they were introduced during the elections cycle.

To continue reading: Italy challenges the Western order

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The End Of Merkel? CDU Lawmaker Admits Germany Could Have A New Chancellor “By The End Of Next Week”, by Tyler Durden

Angela Merkel’s stance on asylum and immigration may have become so toxic that she’ll have to go. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It’s looking increasingly likely that German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have attended her last G-7 conference.

A day after the euro whipsawed on conflicting reports touting the collapse of Merkel’s governing coalition, a lawmaker from Merkel’s own party said the Chancellor could be out by the end of next week during an appearance on BBC World at One (via Express). On Friday, German media reported that Merkel’s junior coalition partner, the CSU, had announced the end of its alliance with Merkel’s CDU – though that report was quickly denied.

While the German public’s anger over Merkel’s “open door” policy has been simmering for years, the instability within the ruling coalition – which features a decades-old political alliance between the CDU and CSU – intensified when Merkel decided over the weekend to veto a planby Interior Minister Horst Seehofer aimed at controlling and reducing illegal migration. The minister’s refusal to back down has already shattered an uneasy truce between conservative backers and opponents of her liberal asylum policy.

German MP Kai Whittaker, a CDU member, said Merkel’s clashes with Seehofer – who is demanding that German border police be given the right to turn back migrants without identity papers or who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union – are threatening to bring about “a new political situation. And probably a new chancellor.

As Whittaker astutely points out, the political crisis stems from the fact that the issue of immigration has become “a power question”.  The AfD, which outperformed expectations during Germany’s fall elections, owes its rise largely to its anti-asylum stance. And as the chaos builds, Whittaker explained that German lawmakers are largely in the dark about what is happening with the leadership.

We are in a serious situation because the question of the migration crisis evolved into a power question…the question is who is leading the Government? Is it Angela Merkel or is it Horst Seehofer? Everybody seems to be standing firm and that’s the problem.”

[…]

There is a master plan to solve the migration crisis, which consists of 63 ideas of Horst Seehofer.

Wittaker also pointed out that Seehofer’s clashes with Merkel could be linked to upcoming local elections in Bavaria, where the conservative party is concerned about retaining a majority.

“This must have to do with the coming election in Bavaria because it is vital for the Conservatives to win an overall majority because that’s why they have a national importance.”

“This kind of has the potential to diminish the authority of her and Horst Seehofer and it could well be that at the end of next week we have a new situation. Probably a new Chancellor.

To continue reading: The End Of Merkel? CDU Lawmaker Admits Germany Could Have A New Chancellor “By The End Of Next Week” 

G-6? 7? 8? How About the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight? by Tom Luongo

President Trump doesn’t much like the EU, and he especially doesn’t like it’s guiding light, Angela Merkel. And they don’t like him. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me.com:

I have to say that as much as I don’t like the direction Trump’s foreign policy has gone, there are still plenty of moments of unbridled joy in watching the man work a crowd.

His suggestion of allowing Russia back into the G-7 is one of those moments.  Trump has a nearly preternatural way of getting under the skin of his opponents.  And this stink bomb was one of them.

It highlighted the divide between the G-7, one of the most important tools of control by the globalists, and Trump.  It also highlighted its irrelevance to him, since China was hosting Russia and six other important countries at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Quindao at the same time.

In effect, Trump was saying, “Why should I listen to you?  You aren’t important enough to listen to.”

It also highlights how he’s been tough on Russia while his domestic opponents still cling to the fantasy he’s somehow Putin’s water carrier.  Putin and Trump haven’t spoken since the end of March, according to Putin.

He’s moved on and, like Trump, makes no bones about not needing the G-7’s approval of his actions.

Most importantly, however, Trump dared them all to kick him out of the G-7 for not playing by their rules, just like they did to Putin for reunifying with Crimea.

I’ve been hard on Trump about his trade policy.  I fundamentally do not believe tariffs solve anything.  They are a symptom of deeper economic problems.  All they do is shift capital away from profitable endeavors to unprofitable ones for political purposes.

But, at the same time if he truly is using them to get all the protection barriers to trade dropped, then I will applaud him loudly.

I don’t, however, believe that is his ultimate goal.  So, a lot of this performance at the G-7 this weekend was just that, performance.

It’s Trump’s greatest strength, sowing chaos and discord, forcing everyone to reassess their positions.

Breaking Germany

The more I watch Trump in action the more I’m convinced his goal is to break Germany.  His antipathy for Angela Merkel is palpable.  He knows she’s the main conduit for the worst impulses of the globalists meeting at Bilderberg this weekend.

He knows her goal is to destroy Europe through forced immigration and internal wealth transfer payments.  So, it almost seems to me that any policy stance he takes is designed to harm Germany and that includes continually driving a wedge between Germany and Russia.

To continue reading: G-6? 7? 8? How About the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight?

Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis: “Failure of the State”, by Soeren Kern

The rape and murder of a fourteen-year-old girl by an Iraqi Kurd denied asylum may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back on Germany’s migrant crisis. Public opinion has shifted decisively against Angela’s Merkel’s open door policy. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • “Susanna is dead. Maria from Freiburg; Mia from Kandel; Mireille from Flensburg; and now Susanna from Mainz….” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.
  • “Susanna’s death is not a blind stroke of fate. Susanna’s death is the result of many years of organized irresponsibility and the scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is victim of an out-of-control leftwing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its sense of moral superiority.” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.
  • “On the day of Susanna’s murder, you [Merkel] testified in parliament that you have handled the migrant crisis responsibly. Do you dare to repeat that claim to Susanna’s parents?” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.

The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker has cast a renewed spotlight on Germany’s migrant rape crisis, which has continued unabated for years amid official complicity and public apathy.

Thousands of women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The latest crime, entirely preventable, is uniquely reprehensible in that it highlights in one act the many insidious consequences of Germany’s open-door migration policy — including the failure to vet those allowed into the country and the practice of releasing migrant criminals back onto German streets instead of incarcerating or deporting them.

The crime also exposes the gross negligence of Germany’s political class, which appears to be more concerned with preserving multiculturalism and the rights of predatory migrants than protecting German women and children from them.

Police say that Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, raped Susanna Maria Feldman, strangled her and then dumped her body in a wooded area alongside railroad tracks on the outskirts of Wiesbaden. Bashar then fled to Iraq on false identity papers.

To continue reading: Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis: “Failure of the State”

German Officials Admit “Still No Evidence” From UK That Russia Poisoned Skripals, by Tyler Durden

It’s a toss-up as to which phony-baloney story has been more botched: Russiagate or Skripal. There may be a connection between the two. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It seems notably fortuitous that the world is now distracted with the ongoing actions surrounding President Trump – whether in Quebec tweet-slamming PM Trudeau, or in Singapore ahead of his historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

We say ‘fortuitous’ since it offers UK PM Theresa May some breathing room as her dramatic, quickly determined, and globally propagandized claims that Russia was the culprit for the poisoning of the Russian ex-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter; remain entirely unsubstantiated by any proof.

However, just as May was hoping the world had forgot dozens of nations expelled hundreds of Russian diplomats on nothing more than her word and the constant Russophobic narrative pumped thru the eyeballs and earholes of the rest of the world; the Germans just threw a rather loud wrench in the slient-running PR campaign that has taken the Skripal-murdering Putin off the frontpage.

German media reports that the German government has zero evidence from the British authorities that could back London’s claims that Moscow was behind the poisoning of the Skripals.

More than three months since the start of the probe into the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, RT reports that the UK is still conspicuously tight-lipped when it comes to any real evidence that could prove its accusations against Russia.

This week, the German government informed a parliamentary oversight committee during a closed hearing that it still has not received any evidence suggesting that Russia might well be behind the incident that took place in early March, German TV station RBB reports.

“It is [still] only known that the poison used in the attack was a nerve agent called Novichok, which was once produced in the Soviet Union,” Michael Goetschenberg, a correspondent of German ARD and an expert on security services, told RBB, commenting on the results of the hearing, which he is familiar with.

Apart from this information, which was released by the British authorities soon after the incident, no new data on Russia’s alleged implication in this case was provided to Germany so far, he added.

To continue reading: German Officials Admit “Still No Evidence” From UK That Russia Poisoned Skripals

Why the Eurozone and the Euro Are Both Doomed, by Charles Hugh Smith

One currency cannot serve nations with diametrically opposed economic goals. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Papering over the structural imbalances in the Eurozone with endless bailouts will not resolve the fundamental asymmetries.

Beneath the permanent whatever it takes “rescue” by the European Central Bank (ECB) lie fundamental asymmetries that doom the euro, the joint currency that has been the centerpiece of European unity since its introduction in 1999.

The key imbalance is between export powerhouse Germany, which generates huge trade surpluses, and its trading partners, which run large trade and budget deficits, particularly Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Those outside of Europe may be surprised to learn that Germany’s exports are roughly equal to those of China ($1.2 trillion), even though Germany’s population of 82 million is a mere 6% of China’s 1.3 billion. Germany and China are the world’s top exporters, while the U.S. trails as a distant third.

Germany’s emphasis on exports places it in the so-called mercantilist camp, countries that depend heavily on exports for their growth and profits. Other (nonoil-exporting) nations that routinely generate large trade surpluses include China, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

While Germany’s exports rose an astonishing 65% from 2000 to 2008, its domestic demand flatlined near zero. Without strong export growth, Germany’s economy would have been at a standstill. The Netherlands is also a big exporter (trade surplus of $33 billion) even though its population is relatively tiny, at only 16 million.

The “consumer” countries, on the other hand, run large current-account (trade) deficits and large government deficits. Italy, for instance, has a $55 billion trade deficit and a budget deficit of about $110 billion. Total public debt is a whopping 115.2% of GDP.

Spain, with about half the population of Germany, has a $69 billion annual trade deficit and a staggering $151 billion budget deficit. Fully 23% of the government’s budget is borrowed.

To continue reading: Why the Eurozone and the Euro Are Both Doomed

A Yuge Mistake, by Robert Gore

Trump didn’t think this one through.

What does President Trump hope to accomplish by withdrawing the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal? Does he want to go to war? Does he want to renegotiate the deal? Is he hoping sanctions stir so much unrest in Iran that its citizens overthrow the government?

Regardless of Trump’s goals, the withdrawal decision rests on a series of tactical errors and mistaken assumptions. He is overestimating US strength and underestimating that of its adversaries. His strategy has far too many moving parts. The risk that one or more fail is much higher than he apparently believes.

Trump may think he understands the Middle East and that he can trust his allies there. He’s wrong on both counts. The Middle East is a welter of ancient enmities and alliances, tribalism, sectarian strife, greed, duplicity, and intrigue (it’s not all that different from Washington) that nobody fully comprehends. Things are almost never as they appear. One categorical statement can be made: you put your own interests first or you don’t survive.

Saudi Arabia, the other Sunni Gulf states, and Israel have formed an alliance of convenience against their common enemy, Shiite Islam. Saudi Arabia is Sunni, Iran is Shiite, and the two countries have historically been the most powerful in the Middle East, vying for influence and dominance.

The alliance dreams of replacing the governments of Shiite Iran, Iraq, and Syria (Shiites are a minority in Syria, but Bashar al-Assad is Alawite, a Shiite sect) with Sunni satrapies. Next best is chaos and terror in those countries to keep them weak. The Sunnis, with the tacit support of Israel, bankrolled al Qaeda and ISIS to further their goals of chaos and regime change in Syria and Iraq

The United States has been duped into the alliance. There are no good reasons for the US to become involved in the Middle East’s toxic internecine rivalries. Israel can take care of itself, the US has its own oil, and even if it didn’t, the petro-states have to sell theirs to someone.

The US government has never articulated a coherent rationale for its Middle Eastern involvement, because there is none. It has sown the discord and destruction the Sunnis and Israel desire, enriched US defense and intelligence contractors, and fueled neoconservative pipe dreams of a “stable” (i.e. US-dominated) Middle East, all at a huge cost in blood, money, moral standing, destabilizing refugee flows, and terrorist blowback.

Nothing screams “duped” like Trump citing Benjamin Netanyahu in his Iran Nuclear Agreement withdrawal speech. Netanyahu lied in 2003 when he swore Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and assured the world a US invasion would be the best thing that ever happened to the Middle East. Netanyahu got what he wanted—Saddam Hussein deposed and Iraq subjugated at no cost to Israel. The US got stuck with the tab, which it’s still paying. After his Iraq whopper, Netanyahu should be held in the same regard as the boy who cried wolf. The rest of the world does, ignoring Netanyahu’s “evidence.” Much of it was old news, and Mossad is a proficient document fabricator. As for the US, fool me once….

Back to the original question: what does Trump hope to accomplish? Even if Trump were as stupid and crazy as his most demented critics claim (he’s not, not by a long shot), he wouldn’t be so stupid and crazy as to actually want to go to war with Iran. After the inglorious succession of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, you don’t attack a nation that is larger, more populated, more economically advanced, and a tougher military challenge than any of those prior targets. You especially don’t attack when that nation’s big brothers are Russia and China.

Trump’s bluffing. He’s trying to give the bluff more credibility by embracing figures who may be just stupid and crazy enough to want a war with Iran: Netanyahu, Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Trump’s largest campaign contributor, Sheldon Adelson (who once said Iran should be nuked). Iran, Russia, and China will call his bluff.

Iran has huge oil and natural gas reserves and China is the world’s largest importer. As part of the de-dollarization offensive against the reserve currency, Russia and Iran accept payment for their oil in yuan. Iran is a geographic and commercial linchpin of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Russia and China are involved in Iranian development and infrastructure projects and sells arms to the Iranian military. They will not sit still for a US war and regime change operation directed at their ally.

There are three main objections to the Iran nuclear deal. Obama’s sleight of hand in getting the deal—which is not a treaty—through Congress still rankle. The deal’s 10 and 15-year sunset clauses makes it a moratorium on nuclear development, not a permanent ban. And the inspection provisions do not allow for inspections of certain military facilities where Iran could be surreptitiously developing a bomb.

The procedural objections are valid, but do not impinge on the tactical merits of Trump’s withdrawal. If Iran considers itself no longer bound by the deal, withdrawal brings forward the sunset clause to the date of the withdrawal. That means Iran could restart its nuclear program today and, if Netanyahu’s warnings are correct, have a bomb in a year or two. Iran would also kick out the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, so the JCPOA signatories would lose even the “imperfect” inspection and monitoring capabilities they had under the agreement.

Trump would only risk bringing the objectionable sunset dates forward and losing the JCPOAs inspection and monitoring capabilities if he thought he could win a “better,” more stringent deal through renewed sanctions, threats of war, upheaval within Iran, and renegotiation. It’s a variation on his North Korea strategy, which may produce some sort of breakthrough agreement with that nation.

However, Trump’s negotiating position is weaker than Obama’s when the JCPOA was signed. The US has lost the war in Syria against the same alliance it would go up against in Iran. Sanctions have become the US’s main non-military weapon. Germany, France, and Great Britain may fall in line, but they’ll be hurt economically if they do. If they don’t, sanctions won’t work.

There’s no chance Russia and China will observe them. With Turkey, which helped Iran evade the last round of sanctions, they will help it evade the new ones. China will buy Iran’s oil and natural gas, providing it with yuan and perhaps gold reserves outside the US-dominated global payments system. The BRI will go on, building links from Iran to the rest of Eurasia. Iran is not North Korea, and with the support of its big brothers has far more ability to stand up to Trump.

Whether or not any of the other JCPOA signatories implement sanctions, they probably will not support a more stringent agreement. It would be a classic case of rewarding what they regard as Trump’s bad behavior. The Europeans are annoyed and Russia and China certainly won’t play ball.

If Trump doesn’t get his new agreement, there are yawning downsides. Iran may continue to abide by the JCPOA if sanctions are evaded or rejected by the Europeans. There would then be no willingness among the signatories to renegotiate and no need to do so. Trump will have done nothing but hasten the world’s transition from US unipolar dominance and humiliate himself.

Or Iran may kick out the inspectors and try to build a bomb, the outcome Trump thought he was preventing. He would then have to decide whether to wage a war that could draw in the world’s major powers and engulf the Middle East.

Trump is overplaying a weak hand. There’s no 4D chess here; he just hasn’t thought this one through. His gesture pleases Israel, Saudi Arabia, and neoconservatives back home, but it will be Trump and the United States, not his “friends,” who will bear the cost of failure.

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

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