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Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

DIANA JOHNSTONE: The Specter of Germany Is Rising

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2022

To meet this imaginary threat, Germany will lead an expanded, militarized EU. First, Scholz told his European audience in the Czech capital, “I am committed to the enlargement of the European Union to include the states of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and, in the long term, Georgia”. Worrying about Russia moving the dividing line West is a bit odd while planning to incorporate three former Soviet States, one of which (Georgia) is geographically and culturally very remote from Europe but on Russia’s doorstep.

Consortium News

By Diana Johnstone
in Paris 
Special to Consortium News

The European Union is girding for a long war against Russia that appears clearly contrary to European economic interests and social stability. A war that is apparently irrational – as many are – has deep emotional roots and claims ideological justification. Such wars are hard to end because they extend outside the range of rationality.

For decades after the Soviet Union entered Berlin and decisively defeated the Third Reich, Soviet leaders worried about the threat of “German revanchism.” Since World War II could be seen as German revenge for being deprived of victory in World War I, couldn’t aggressive German Drang nach Osten berevived, especially if it enjoyed Anglo-American support? There had always been a minority in U.S. and U.K. power circles that would have liked to complete Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union.

It was not the desire to spread communism, but the need for a buffer zone to stand in the way of such dangers that was the primary motivation for the ongoing Soviet political and military clampdown on the tier of countries from Poland to Bulgaria that the Red Army had wrested from Nazi occupation.

This concern waned considerably in the early 1980s as a young German generation took to the streets in peace demonstrations against the stationing of nuclear “Euromissiles” which could increase the risk of nuclear war on German soil. The movement created the image of a new peaceful Germany. I believe that Mikhail Gorbachev took this transformation seriously.

On June 15, 1989, Gorbachev came to Bonn, which was then the modest capital of a deceptively modest West Germany. Apparently delighted with the warm and friendly welcome, Gorbachev stopped to shake hands with people along the way in that peaceful university town that had been the scene of large peace demonstrations.

I was there and experienced his unusually warm, firm handshake and eager smile. I have no doubt that Gorbachev sincerely believed in a “common European home” where East and West Europe could live happily side by side united by some sort of democratic socialism.

Gorbachev on June 13, 1989 in the market-square in Bonn. (Jüppsche/Wikimedia Commons)

Gorbachev died at age 91 two weeks ago, on Aug. 30. His dream of Russia and Germany living happily in their “common European home” had soon been fatally undermined by the Clinton administration’s go-ahead to eastward expansion of NATO. But the day before Gorbachev’s death, leading German politicians in Prague wiped out any hope of such a happy end by proclaiming their leadership of a Europe dedicated to combating the Russian enemy.

These were politicians from the very parties – the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the Greens – that took the lead in the 1980s peace movement.

German Europe Must Expand Eastward

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a colorless SPD politician, but his Aug. 29 speech in Prague was inflammatory in its implications. Scholz called for an expanded, militarized European Union under German leadership. He claimed that the Russian operation in Ukraine raised the question of “where the dividing line will be in the future between this free Europe and a neo-imperial autocracy.” We cannot simply watch, he said, “as free countries are wiped off the map and disappear behind walls or iron curtains.”

See the rest here

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Germany Can Save Itself, and Possibly the World, by Abandoning Four Failed Policies

Posted by M. C. on August 9, 2022

Conclusion: What’s Good for Germany Is Good for the World

https://mises.org/wire/germany-can-save-itself-and-possibly-world-abandoning-four-failed-policies

Patrick Barron

The following is a plea to Germany—the war is over and has been for three-quarters of a century. It’s time to stop prostrating yourself for the supposed “good” of Europe. It’s time to take complete control of your domestic and foreign policy, without interference from haughty, busybody world elites, and do what is best for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised that what is good for yourself is also good for your neighbors and the world.

Here are four failed policies that must be ended:

  1. The green energy projects.
  2. Membership in the European Monetary Union (EMU).
  3. Membership in the European Union.
  4. Membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and economic sanctions against Russia.

None of these policies are working. As American humorist and political sage Will Rogers said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

  1. End the green energy projects. This is a good place to start, since your hardworking citizens are likely to freeze this winter. The green energy project, born of the global warming / climate change hysteria, will never power Germany or any other country, that matter. It has failed and cannot succeed. Simply scrap all the publicly funded green energy projects, end all “green energy” subsidies, and wish the private ones well. Sure, maybe there’s a niche here and there for wind and solar, but the national goal to replace fossil fuels must be abandoned. You cannot heat your homes and run an industrial economy on green energy.
  2. Abandon the euro and reinstate the deutschmark. If ever there were a competition for the world’s most foolish currency bloc, the European Monetary Union (EMU) would win all the prizes. As Claudio Grass explained recently, the euro is worse than even a state-sponsored fiat currency. It has no one national owner but nineteen, and a majority want to print more euros. It is the tragedy of the commons applied to currency.  See the rest here

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Hungary’s Orban Shoots Down Russian Oil and Gas Embargo Discussions at EU Summit

Posted by M. C. on May 25, 2022

https://sputniknews.com/20220524/hungarys-orban-shoots-down-russian-oil-and-gas-embargo-discussions-at-eu-summit-1095742684.html

Budapest has resisted the European Union’s proposal to ban Moscow’s oil and gas, with its prime minister arguing that the bloc’s sanctions only work “on paper”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that an agreement on the proposed EU embargo of Russian oil and gas is “very unlikely” to come in the coming days. He went on to argue that the lack of consensus between the European leaders indicated the unproductivity of discussing the sanctions package.

“Looking at the gravity of the issues still open, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution could be found before the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May,” Orban wrote in a letter to EU Chief Charles Michel, cited by AFP.

The Hungarian prime minister went on to recommend against addressing the issue at upcoming meeting.

Hungary’s stance on the proposed Russian oil embargo remains steadfast, with Budapest continuing to resist Brussels’ move to ban Russia’s energy products. Orban has argued that his country cannot support sanctions against Moscow that undermine Hungarian energy security.

On the contrary, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock voiced optimism that the European Union will reach a consensus on the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions “soon”, boasting about the EU’s “solidarity”.

According to the German foreign minister, Berlin is also on track to become fully independent from Russian energy in the near future.

Last week, the EC rolled out a €210 billion plan titled REPowerEU that established a bold goal of ditching Russian energy resources by 2027. However, as the Hungarian prime minister pointed out, the plan lacked “[funding] envelopes for the most concerned landlocked member states”. According to him, the proposed sanctions would trigger “serious supply problems” for Budapest and undermine Hungary’s economy.

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BRICS Ministers of Finance Hold a Meeting – It Is Time to Replace Western Financial Trade Mechanisms and Remove The Dollar

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2022

The objective of the BRICS group is simply to present an alternative trade mechanism that permits them to conduct business regardless of the opinion of the multinational corporations in the ‘western alliance.’

Sundance 

This is not some grand conspiracy, ‘out there‘ deep geopolitical possibility, or foreboding likelihood as an outcome of short-sighted western emotion.  No, this is just a predictable outcome from western created events that pushed specific countries to a natural conclusion based on their best interests.

You can debate the motives of the western leaders who structured the sanctions against Russia, and whether they knew the outcome would happen as a consequence of their effort, but the outcome was never really in doubt.  Personally, I believe this outcome is what the west intended. The people inside the World Economic Forum are not stupid – ideological, yes, but not stupid. They knew this would happen.

[Left to Right] Xi Jinping (China), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Narendra Modi (India) and Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), the BRICS group.

The finance ministers of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have decided to create their own financial mechanisms to continue trade between nations of similar disposition.  Once the internal issues inside the BRICS alliance are resolved, and once the mechanisms are created, then other nations will be able to decide to join or not.  The great global cleaving will commence.

(Reuters) – Russia, hit by Western sanctions, has called on the BRICS group of emerging economies to extend the use of national currencies and integrate payment systems, the finance ministry said on Saturday.

[…] On Friday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a ministerial meeting with BRICS, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, that the global economic situation had worsened substantially due to the sanctions, the ministry’s statement said.

The new sanctions also destroy the foundation of the existing international monetary and financial system based on the U.S. dollar, Siluanov said.

“This pushes us to the need to speed up work in the following areas: the use of national currencies for export-import operations, the integration of payment systems and cards, our own financial messaging system and the creation of an independent BRICS rating agency,” Siluanov said.

International payment cards Visa and MasterCard suspended operations in Russia in early March and Russia’s biggest banks have lost access to the SWIFT global banking messaging system.

Russia set up its own banking messaging system, known as SPFS, as an alternative to SWIFT. Its own card payment system MIR began operating in 2015.

[…] They were part of Moscow’s efforts to develop homegrown financial tools to mirror Western ones, to protect the country in case penalties against Moscow were broadened.

The finance ministry said BRICS ministers have confirmed the importance of cooperation in efforts to stabilise the current economic situation.

“The current crisis is man-made, and the BRICS countries have all necessary tools to mitigate its consequences for their economies and the global economy as a whole,” Siluanov said. (link)

For a deep dive on BRICS, as predicted by CTH, {SEE HERE}.  The bottom line is – the 2022 punitive economic and financial sanctions by the western nations’ alliance against Russia was exactly the reason why BRICS assembled in the first place.

The multinational corporate control of government is exactly what the BRICS assembly foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration.  When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem.

In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist.

BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist.  That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want corporations to become more powerful than they are.  As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly.

The countries run by multinational corporations are in Yellow, the countries who have not yet chosen a side are in GREY:

The BRICS team intend to create an alternative option for all the other nations. An alternative to the current western trade and financial platforms operated on the use of the dollar as a currency.  Perhaps many nations will use both financial mechanisms depending on their need.

The objective of the BRICS group is simply to present an alternative trade mechanism that permits them to conduct business regardless of the opinion of the multinational corporations in the ‘western alliance.’

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Russia wants to force the US to respect the UN Charter

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2022

Russia and China have just written to the United States asking it to respect the United Nations Charter and the word it has given. This approach, devoid of any aggressiveness, calls into question not only the functioning of the UN, NATO and the European Union, but almost all the US advances since the dissolution of the USSR. It is obviously unacceptable to Washington. But the US hyper-power is not what it used to be. It will have to begin its withdrawal.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article215199.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The world today is ruled by the United States of America and NATO, which present themselves as the only global powers, while the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are more powerful than them, both economically and militarily.

On December 17, 2021, Moscow released a draft bilateral treaty with Washington providing guarantees for peace [1], as well as a draft agreement to implement it [2]. These documents are not directed against the United States, they are only aimed at enforcing the UN Charter and complying with its own commitments.

On December 23, at President Putin’s annual press conference, a question from Sky News journalist Diana Magnay led to a spat. Vladimir Putin curtly replied that Russia’s remarks on US behaviour dated back to 1990 and that Washington not only ignored them, but persisted in going ahead. Now Nato weapons were about to be deployed in Ukraine, which would be an unacceptable fact for Moscow [3]. Never before has a Russian leader expressed himself in this way. It is important to understand that placing missiles four minutes’ flight from Moscow poses an extreme threat and is a cause for war.

On 30 December, a telephone conversation was held between Presidents Biden and Putin. The US side put forward proposals for resolving the Ukrainian issue, while the Russian side brought the discussion back to the US violations of the UN Charter and of its word.

The US is considering showing its good faith by not welcoming Ukraine into Nato. This is an approach that only marginally answers the question posed and is only likely to prevent war if accompanied by withdrawal measures.

It is clear that we are entering a period of extreme confrontation that will last for several years and could degenerate into a World War at any moment.

In this article, we will examine this conflict, which is largely unknown in the West.

1- The extension of Nato to the borders of Russia

During the Second World War, the United States deliberately made the maximum effort weigh on the Soviet Union. Between 22 and 27 million Soviets died (13-16% of the population) compared to 418,000 Americans (0.32% of the population). When this butchery ended, the US formed a military alliance in Western Europe, Nato, to which the USSR responded by creating the Warsaw Pact. Nato soon proved to be a federation that violated the principle of state sovereignty laid down in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter [4], which Third World countries denounced in 1955 at the Bandung Conference [5]. Ultimately, the USSR also violated the UN Charter by adopting the Brezhnev Doctrine in 1968 and imposing it on the members of the Warsaw Pact. When the USSR was dissolved and some of its former members created a new military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty, they chose to turn it into a confederation in compliance with the UN Charter.

To be clear about the meaning of federation and confederation, let us take an example: during the Civil War, the Northerners formed a federation because the decisions of their government were binding on all its member states. In contrast, the Southerners formed a confederation because each member state remained sovereign.

When the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the Germans wanted to reunite their nation into one country. However, this meant the extension of Nato into the territory of the German Democratic Republic. At first, the Soviets were opposed to this. A reunification with the neutralisation of GDR territory was envisaged. In the end, First Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to the expansion of Nato through the reunification of the two Germanies on the condition that the Alliance did not seek to expand to the East.

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, his Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and French President François Mitterrand jointly supported the Russian position: NATO had to commit itself to no further expansion to the East. US President George H. Bush Sr. and his Secretary of State, James Baker, made numerous public statements and commitments to this effect to all their interlocutors [6].

As soon as the USSR was dissolved, three neutral countries joined the European Union: Austria, Finland and Sweden. However, the EU and Nato are one and the same entity, one civilian and one military, both based in Brussels. According to the Treaty on European Union as amended by the Lisbon Treaty (Article 42, paragraph 7), it is NATO that ensures the defence of the European Union whether or not its members are also members of NATO. De facto, these countries are no longer neutral since their accession to the European Union.

In 1993, the Copenhagen European Council announced that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe could join the European Union. From then on, the process of NATO membership for the former members of the Soviet bloc went smoothly, apart from the traditional Russian remarks.

But by the 1990s, Russia was a shadow of its former self. Its wealth was plundered by 90 people, the so-called ’oligarchs’. The standard of living collapsed and the life expectancy of Russians dropped by 20 years. In this context, no one listened to what Moscow was saying.

In 1997, the Nato summit in Madrid called on the former Soviet bloc countries to join the North Atlantic Treaty. After East Germany (1990), but the next five times in violation of its word, it was the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999; then in 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia; in 2009 Albania and Croatia; in 2017 Montenegro; and again in 2020 Northern Macedonia.

Ukraine and Georgia may soon join Nato, while Sweden and Finland may abandon their theoretical neutrality and openly join the Atlantic Alliance.

See the rest here

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Hungary: “Europe’s Borders Must be Protected” | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2020

“Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore, not only our thousand-year-old statehood but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/hungary-europes-borders-must-be-protected

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler DurdenSaturday, Dec 19, 2020 – 7:00

Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,

The Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU’s top court, has ruled that Hungary violated EU law when it prevented illegal immigrants from seeking asylum. The ruling paves the way for the European Commission, the EU’s powerful administrative arm, to impose financial penalties over Hungary’s restrictive immigration policies. The Hungarian government has vowed that it will not bow to pressure to jump aboard the EU’s multicultural bandwagon.

In its December 17 ruling, the court, informally known as European Court of Justice (ECJ) accused the Hungarian government of corralling migrants into so-called transit zones and of limiting their ability to apply for asylum. The court also found that Hungary did not allow asylum seekers to leave detention while their cases were being considered and offered no special protection to children and the vulnerable.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the European Commission over a 2015 decision by Hungary to establish two transit zones on its southern border with Serbia to stop a mass influx of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The action prevented migrants from entering Hungary or transiting the country to reach other parts of the EU.

In May 2020, the ECJ ruled that the transit zones were illegal under EU law. In order to comply with the ruling, Hungary has since closed the transit zones. Asylum seekers wanting to enter Hungary now have to apply for asylum at Hungarian embassies or consulates in neighboring non-EU countries. “External border protection is an issue that Hungary cannot, does not want to, and will not concede,” said Gergely Gulyás, from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The ECJ, in its latest ruling, acknowledged that Hungary had closed the transit zones but that it was still guilty of breaking EU law. The ruling states:

  • “In the first place, the Court holds that Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligation to ensure effective access to the procedure for granting international protection, in so far as third-country nationals wishing to access, from the Serbian-Hungarian border, that procedure were in practice confronted with the virtual impossibility of making their application.”
  • “The Court recalls that the making of an application for international protection, prior to its registration, lodging and examination, is an essential step in the procedure for granting that protection and that Member States cannot delay it unjustifiably. On the contrary, Member States must ensure that the persons concerned are able to make an application, including at the borders, as soon as they declare their wish of doing so.”
  • “The Court confirms…that the obligation on applicants for international protection to remain in one of the transit zones for the duration of the procedure for examination of their application constitutes detention.”
  • “The Court emphasizes that the Procedures and Reception Directives require, inter alia, that detention be ordered in writing with reasons, that the specific needs of applicants identified as vulnerable and in need of special procedural guarantees be taken into account, in order that they receive ‘adequate support’, and that minors be placed in detention only as a last resort. Owing, in particular, to its systematic and automatic nature, however, the detention regime provided for under the Hungarian legislation in the transit zones, which concerns all applicants other than unaccompanied minors under 14 years of age, does not allow applicants to enjoy those guarantees.”
  • “Moreover, the Court rejects Hungary’s argument that the migration crisis justified derogating from certain rules in the Procedures and Reception Directives, with a view to maintaining public order and preserving internal security.”
  • “The Court holds that Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Return Directive, in so far as the Hungarian legislation allows for the removal of third-country nationals who are staying illegally in the territory without prior compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided for in that directive.”
  • “The Court recalls that an illegally staying third-country national falling within the scope of the Return Directive must be the subject of a return procedure, in compliance with the substantive and procedural safeguards established by that directive, before his or her removal, where appropriate, is carried out, it being understood that forced removal is to take place only as a last resort.”
  • “The Court considers that Hungary has not respected the right, conferred, in principle, by the Procedures Directive on any applicant for international protection, to remain in the territory of the Member State concerned after the rejection of his or her application, until the time limit within which to bring an appeal against that rejection or, if an appeal has been brought, until a decision has been taken on it.”
  • “The Court notes that, when a ‘crisis situation caused by mass immigration’ has been declared, the Hungarian legislation makes the exercise of that right subject to detailed rules not in conformity with EU law, in particular the obligation to remain in the transit zones, which resembles detention contrary to the Procedures and Reception Directives. On the other hand, when such a situation has not been declared, the exercise of that right is made subject to conditions which, while not necessarily contrary to EU law, are not defined in a sufficiently clear and precise manner to enable the persons concerned to ascertain the exact extent of their right.”

In a “note” at the end of the ruling, the ECJ revealed the apparent purpose of its ruling against Hungary:

  • “An action for failure to fulfil obligations directed against a Member State which has failed to comply with its obligations under European Union law may be brought by the Commission or by another Member State. If the Court of Justice finds that there has been a failure to fulfil obligations, the Member State concerned must comply with the Court’s judgment without delay.”
  • “Where the Commission considers that the Member State has not complied with the judgment, it may bring a further action seeking financial penalties. However, if measures transposing a directive have not been notified to the Commission, the Court of Justice can, on a proposal from the Commission, impose penalties at the stage of the initial judgment.”

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga vowed to continue to protect Hungarian sovereignty. In a December 17 Facebook post, she wrote:

Today’s decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union has become devoid of purpose, as the circumstances at issue in the present proceedings no longer exist. Transit zones have been closed but strict border control is maintained.

“We will continue to protect the borders of Hungary and Europe and will do everything we can to prevent the formation of international migrant corridors.

“Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore, not only our thousand-year-old statehood but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders.”

The ECJ’s ruling comes less than a month after the European Commission unveiled a controversial “Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion” which aims to streamline the migration and asylum process with faster screening and to have EU member states contribute their “fair share” based on their GDP and population.

The EU’s bid to reform its migration policy has been met with mixed reactions from a number of EU countries. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have been vocal in their opposition to it.

Zoltán Kovács, the spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, wrote on Twitter that Hungary’s stance on migration remains unchanged:

“1/5 Since 2015, the stance of the HU Gov’t on migration has been clear and unchanged. We have presented this stance and our proposals on several occasions. We believe that the EU and its member states must cooperate in keeping the looming migration pressure outside our borders.

“2/5 To this end, we should form alliances with countries of origin, so that they are able to provide proper living standards and ensure that their people do not have to leave their homelands. Instead of importing the trouble to Europe, we must bring help to where it is needed.

“3/5 We believe that Europe’s borders must be protected: External hotspots will have to be established to process asylum claims; we must ensure that the external borders of the EU and the Schengen Area remain perfectly sealed along all sections.

“4/5 Our goal is to see EU member states support each other in achieving the tasks above. While HU does not support obligatory distribution, it does defend joint borders, and we expect to receive the same amount of support as other Schengen states protecting those external borders.

“5/5 We would like to remind everyone that since the 2015 migration crisis, the Hungarian Government has spent more than 1 billion euros on protecting the borders of Hungary and the European Union, without a single cent of contribution from Brussels.”

After the ECJ delivered its ruling, Kovács repeated Hungary’s opposition to the EU’s migration action plan. In a December 17 statement posted to Orbán’s official blog, he wrote:

“On November 24, 2020, the European Commission presented its migration Action Plan on the social integration and inclusion of migrants. The Commission believes that barriers to the participation and inclusion of immigrants in European societies need to be removed. At the press conference presenting the document, it was clear from the words of the EU Commissioners responsible that the Commission would continue to encourage the reception of migrants, as they believe that this will be necessary in the future for economic reasons.

“While the Action Plan would give immigrants more rights and entitlements, it does not seem to take into consideration the security risks associated with mass migration.

“According to the main points of the action plan, Brussels would provide migrants housing and give them a greater say in public affairs at all levels of government. With this, more migrants and EU citizens with a migrant background would be involved in consultations and decision-making processes at the local, regional, national and European level.

“The Union, according to the plan, would give more support to immigrants than to its own citizens by supporting businesses established and run by the former. Moreover, the plan, by supporting the employment of migrants, would put unemployed EU citizens in an even more difficult position.

“As if this is not enough, Brussels would also force us to adopt the mindset of the eurocrats on the issue, clearly setting forth in the Action Plan that it seeks to change the way Europeans think about migration and migrants: ‘Inclusion is also about addressing unconscious bias and achieving a change in mentality and the way people perceive one another and approach the unknown.’ Good to know.

“If you are thinking that all of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The Action Plan looks similar to George Soros’ plan to have Europe admit ‘at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.’ The financial speculator has been for years promoting his ideas of an ‘open society’ to change Europe and European society. Those migrants that Europe should be admitting, according to the Soros plan, their distribution should be permanent and mandatory. He also made it clear that his plan aims to protect immigrants and that national borders are an obstacle to this.

“But the Commission’s Action Plan goes even further, seeking to bring in some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens (nearly 8 percent of the current EU population). That is, 34 million migrants would be granted citizenship and the right to vote.

Who says this is what Europe wants or needs? When have the citizens of Europe voted for this? As Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Parliament earlier this week, Hungary will oppose this plan with all its might and will not compromise.”

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The Covid Crisis Has Helped Make the Blueprint for a European Superstate | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2020

The main problem with this record-breaking stimulus package is essentially the same one of all its predecessors over the last decade. Not only does the EU like to redistribute wealth from the north to the south with clockwork regularity, but all these plans also fail to incorporate any kind of serious checks and balances about where and how the money is spent.

Sound familiar?

This deal signaled the official adoption of the idea of debt mutualization as a funding tool, which clearly paves the way for far deeper EU centralization, even greater powers of taxation and, Brussels’s much more direct political power over national governments. This is already evident in the early drafts of the terms and conditions of the loans and grants in the package.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-crisis-has-helped-make-blueprint-european-superstate?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=27fdf502c4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_08_07_04_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-27fdf502c4-228343965

After intense negotiations, long days and nights of clashes, and a distinctly sour note underlying the entire summit, European Union leaders finally agreed on an unprecedented €1.82 trillion ($2.1 trillion) budget and covid recovery package. This agreement provides €750 billion in funding meant to counter the impact of the pandemic and also includes €390 billion in nonrepayable grants to the hardest-hit EU members, with Italy and Spain being the main recipients.

The harsh negotiations brought to the surface once again the deep economic, structural, and cultural divide between north and south. This divide has been at the core of every serious political and economic crisis in the bloc so far, and its reemergence served as yet another reminder of how unnatural, forced, and unsustainable the integration vision of the Europhiles really is. Their wider strategic aims, much like this covid relief package itself, are nothing more than a massive redistribution of wealth and a vain effort to impose uniformity on a radically diverse group of national identities, economic profiles, and local political realities.

As we have seen so many times in past crises, the main sticking point in these most recent “rescue” talks were the legitimate grievances and concerns of the richer countries in the north, including the Netherlands and Austria, about having to foot the bill yet again and bail out their cash-strapped southern neighbors. In this case, the disagreement centered on the question of loans vs. grants, as the richer members initially insisted that the immense sums of money they were forced to give away should at least be repaid at some point in future. And so, in the name of “solidarity,” the nations that put up some opposition, the “frugal four”—Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and the Netherlands—were named and shamed in the media, portrayed as heartless, Dickensian misers. Naturally, the fact that the chief beneficiaries of all that free money were in deep, chronic financial trouble long before the coronavirus even emerged was conveniently left out of the debate. Instead, the “frugal” were put under immense pressure to “do the right thing,” namely to agree that the majority of the support funding would be in the form of pure cash gifts. Apparently, these “persuasion” tactics also included histrionic outbursts: according to the BBC, “at one point French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly banged his fists on the table, as he told the ‘frugal four’ they were putting the European project in danger.”

The main problem with this record-breaking stimulus package is essentially the same one of all its predecessors over the last decade. Not only does the EU like to redistribute wealth from the north to the south with clockwork regularity, but all these plans also fail to incorporate any kind of serious checks and balances about where and how the money is spent. As a result, we keep seeing massive waste and levels of corruption that are normally associated with developing economies. The scale of this most recent package alone brings this issue into sharper focus, especially as it is underlaid by a joint borrowing scheme that enables poorer EU countries to take out cheap loans using the creditworthiness of their richer neighbors, which act as guarantors.

This brings us to the very practical shortcomings of the mechanics of this relief plan. All these loans and handouts will be financed through an unprecedented amount of debt, which is unsustainable and myopic in and of itself. The fact that this debt is shared, however, makes this “historic deal” all the more insidious, intensely political, and dooms it to failure. This deal signaled the official adoption of the idea of debt mutualization as a funding tool, which clearly paves the way for far deeper EU centralization, even greater powers of taxation and, Brussels’s much more direct political power over national governments. This is already evident in the early drafts of the terms and conditions of the loans and grants in the package. There no real strings attached when it comes to transparency and the all practical aspects of how the funds will be used, but there are heavily political requirements. For example, 30 percent of the aid must be spent on a “green” agenda and on combating climate change. There’s also clear language in the agreements that ties the distribution of the aid to compliance with “the rule of law.” That’s a thinly veiled threat against conservative member states like Poland and Hungary, where the democratically elected national governments are known to pass laws that the EU frowns upon. There is, therefore, clear and purely political conditionality attached to that great “unifying” plan.

It might be wrapped in idealistic and melodramatic language, e.g., “rescuing our shared European future,” but what this deal is really about is a blatant power grab. The self-inflicted damage caused by the shutdowns and the lockdowns has been effectively misattributed to the coronavirus itself, which has allowed politicians and Eurocrats to present this recession, that was already evident since the end of last year, as a natural disaster and therefore nobody’s fault. In turn, the resulting economic fallout and the deep financial crisis affecting countless households has been used as an excuse to usher in policies geared towards more centralization. Thus, the answer to all our current problems is “a stronger EU,” even though it was that exact mindset that caused them in the first place.

In this light, the “cure” that is forced upon all Europeans now is not just worse than the disease; it is the disease.

 

Author:

Contact Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass is a Mises Ambassador and an independent precious metals advisor based out of Switzerland. His Austrian approach helps his clients find tailor-made solutions to store their physical precious metals under Swiss law. ClaudioGrass.ch.

 

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Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/stopped-clocks-the-european-union-gets-war-with-iran-exactly-right/

By Bill Wirtz

Regular readers of my contributions to this site may have noticed that I am in no way a fan of the European Union. Yet even with the EU, the stopped clock principle applies: they have to be right sometimes. And when Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said that everyone should tread carefully when it came to the attack on the oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, she was absolutely correct.

Mogherini stated: “We are living in crucial and delicate moments, where the most relevant attitude to take—the most responsible attitude to take—is, and we believe should be, maximum restraint, and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

This month, one of the EU’s top advisors on security questions declared that no military intervention from the European side should take place. This echoes French President Emmanuel Macron saying that France had no place in such interventions, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for a peaceful solution to the Iran problem. Seventy-four percent of German opposed a military intervention in Syria last year. In 2002, 71 percent of Germans opposed the war in Iraq, as did 64 percent of the French. During anti-Iraq war protests that took place on February 15, 2003, 100,000 people demonstrated in Brussels, 75,000 in Amsterdam, between 100,000 and 200,000 in Paris, between 300,000 and 500,000 in Berlin, 150,000 in Athens, 60,000 in Budapest, and well over 600,000 people in Rome.

And in the United Kingdom, more than one million showed up to protest in London…

In a January poll, 48 percent of Germans favored a withdrawal of their country’s troops from Afghanistan, with 29 percent opposing it. In 2009, almost two thirds of the French opposed the intervention in Afghanistan. In 2012, all French combat troops were withdrawn under President François Hollande…

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who is not known for his efforts to please his European counterparts, is an exception: he says that he is ready to take a “more rigorous” approach towards Iran. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has even come under fire from Iranian officials after he gave interviews in the United States explaining that he was “happy that Italy has long since relaxed its relations with Iran, a country that wants to wipe out Israel in 2019 has no right to speak.”…

So overall, in Europe, support for the hawks inside the Trump administration looks grim. Without at least a handful of European countries supporting an intervention, the United States would look like it was standing alone on the world stage, and America could once again come under fire for needless aggression. The WMD lies of the early 2000s have set the bar high for interventions based on military intelligence. And Syria has shown that without conclusive evidence, Europe isn’t about to send in the troops.

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The EU, Not Brexit, Killed British Steel | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 30, 2019

Cap and Trade-killing industry to prop up government sponsored boondoggles.

Rent-seeking is a concept in public choice theory as well as in economics, that involves seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through misallocation of resources, reduced wealth-creation, lost government revenue, heightened income inequality,[1] and potential national decline.

Attempts at capture of regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly can result in advantages for the rent seeker in a market while imposing disadvantages on their incorrupt competitors. This is one of many possible forms of rent-seeking behavior.

https://mises.org/wire/eu-not-brexit-killed-british-steel

On 22 May 2019, British Steel announced that they had become insolvent and the company entered receivership with the UK. The explanation provided for this failure is that British Steel is a victim of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union’s bureaucratic fold . On the surface, this appears to be true, as the company stated that orders from the continent have declined due to uncertainty over the exit process that the UK Parliament has dragged out over the past three years. However, if we dig deeper, we find that it was the EU, not the Brexit decision, which killed the company.

European Overregulation

If we look at the company’s latest annual report, we find that the company went from a profit of £92 million in FY ending 2017 to a £19 million loss in FY ending 2018. To douse water on the Brexit claims, the company’s revenues actually increased 11% year-over-year. The real problem was the company’s expenses bloated by a tremendous 25% over the same period. The steel production process is energy intensive, so a significant portion of this price increase is related to a sharp spike in energy prices in the UK over late 2017 to early 2018. The second major cost driver is British Steel was no longer able to delay paying for the EU’s mandatory cap-and-trade policy. Under the cap-and-trade system, companies were able to pull forward future credits to pay for current years. British Steel’s future credits ran out in 2018 and were facing a £100 million bill to cover their 2018 charges. This amount represents a full 10% of the company’s annual revenue base and was so large that the company requested the British Government to provide a loan to cover the costs as the company only has around £5 million in cash to make such a payment. A good deal of the aforementioned energy price spike is also related to the EU’s cap-and-trade regime becoming more aggressive as it moves into the 2021-2030 phase of the program .

British Steel would have become financially insolvent on 22 May 2019 even had the UK voted to remain in the EU…

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European Union Launches Its Own Online ‘Fact-Checker’ to Fight ‘Europhobics

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2019

The EU is fact checking to keep you from stumbling upon the truth yourself.

This is like Hillary Clinton or Richard Nixon censoring fact checking what we hear.

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/04/07/european-union-launches-its-own-online-fact-checker/

by OLIVER JJ LANE

The EU has set up its own “fact checking” service in order to combat the spread of so-called “fake news” ahead of May’s European elections.

The new ‘Decoders of Europe’ site, based on the Boulevard St Germain in Paris, seeks to “answer a series of questions or accusations, explaining what constitutes the reality and sometimes the complexity of European policies. Beyond these explanations, our goal is also to better inform, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, what works in Europe!” according to the EU website.

The site was launched by Isabelle Jegouzo, head of Representation of the European Commission in France. She said “Without getting involved in politics, we want to inform citizens, restore the balance between factual and misinformation ”.

Most of the “independent fact-checkers” operating at present tend towards a strong left-liberal bias, however, with well-known services such as Snopes rating debunked anti-conservative memes as “true”, and a clearly satirical article about left-liberal news network CNN purchasing a washing machine to “spin the news” as “false”, as if it had been a genuine news report.

PolitiFact, another well-known “fact-checker”, rated accurate claims by U.S. President Donald Trump about Russia’s nuclear arsenal as only “half-true”, on the subjective grounds that he was “missing the big picture”, and claims that Democrat presidential candidate Hilary Clinton had called for open borders as “mostly false”, despite her clearly stating that “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”…

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