Skip to main content

VIDEO-
COLUMN #4

Founding Act
for Europe: Pančevo

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. "We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline." At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries' intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a "policy of 'softer' or 'more robust' countervailing power formation." Europe's "strategic autonomy" is at the core of this power struggle. more…

BERLIN/ROME/BEIJING | | chinaitalien

BERLIN/ROME/BEIJING (Own repot) - The West's power struggle against China is provoking new tensions between Germany and Italy. According to reports published last week, the Italian government plans to conclude a cooperation agreement with Beijing within the framework of the "New Silk Road" (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) to benefit from Chinese investments in Italy's infrastructure, e.g. the Trieste port and Italy's power grid. China has already invested in several of the EU's periphery countries, heavily affected by Berlin's austerity dictate - such as Greece and Portugal - which gladly welcome these investments as relief. The German government is now beginning to make moves against this. Berlin seeks to prevent the People's Republic of China from increasing its influence within the EU and fears inner-European resistance if it takes aggressive action against its East Asian rival. Fierce debates are expected at the EU summit at the end of next week and at the EU-China summit on April 9. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Non-governmental organizations are warning that criticism of Berlin's policies may be repressed by financial pressure applied to organizations critical of the government. The Federal Finance Court has deprived Attac of its public service status. Members of the government coalition parties are demanding that this be also applied to other organizations. The German section of Transparency International warns that this ruling could seriously "restrict" the spectrum of opinions. At the same time, the German government has raised suspicion that student protests for better climate protection are influenced by foreign powers. The French President is calling for the creation of an EU "Agency for the Protection of Democracies" to prevent alleged foreign "manipulations." Pressure on critics of the government is being intensified at a time when, Berlin and the EU are intensifying their struggles to have leading positions in world policy-making. Historically, the fact that attempts to suppress domestic criticism are made in times, such as these, is nothing new. more…

BERLIN/LVIV | | ukraine

BERLIN/LVIV (Own report) - The German government has supported the reconstruction of a street named after the Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera in the Ukrainian town of Lviv. As was confirmed by the government’s response to a parliamentary interpellation, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) granted €72,000 for this project. Bandera was the leading Ukrainian Nazi-collaborator. Members of his group, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) had participated in the mass murder of 4000 Jews in Lviv in late June - early July 1941. Today Bandera is widely revered in Ukraine and the commemoration of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which had participated in the Shoah, is state-supported. The government in Kiev, which is closely cooperating with Berlin, is also supporting fascist organizations that attack and destroy Roma settlements. Endorsed by the administration, one of these organizations ("C14") is on patrol in a district of Kiev. It has also been granted state financing for a youth camp - as a contribution to "national-patriotic education." more…

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON | | usachina

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) - An opening is emerging for Berlin to be able to include Huawei in Germany's 5G grid installation - contrary to the massive US campaign. The President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schönbohm declared that "an anti-espionage treaty" between Germany and China could help, open the possibility of Huawei's participation in setting up the grid. Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently seeking to conclude such an agreement. The industry is in favor of using Huawei Technology, because it promises to be the fastest and most cost-effective construction of the strategically important 5G grid. Experts warn that without Huawei, Germany could lag at least two years behind in the development. Meanwhile it has become known that for years, the NSA has been eavesdropping not only on China's president but on Huawei as well. Allegedly, US spies cannot show any evidence of Huawei being involved in espionage operations - even after having read the emails of numerous employees and those of the company's board chair. more…

BERLIN/SHARM EL SHEIKH |

BERLIN/SHARM EL SHEIKH (Own report) - The EU and the Arab League are strengthening their strategic partnership and expanding their cooperation in thwarting refugees. This is the result of the summit meeting of the two international associations, which ended yesterday. This was the first of the summit meetings due to be held in regular intervals. The summit was convened in accordance with Berlin's strategic plans to play a leading role in the "arch of crisis" at Europe's southern and southeastern borders, and counter not only the influence of Russia and China, but also of the United States. Thus, the agreements reached at the summit run counter to US Middle East policy. The participating nations particularly took positions in opposition to the presumed contents of the so-called Middle East peace plan Washington intends to unveil soon. It seems odd, that in their summit declaration, both parties declare international law to be their benchmark, at a time when the EU is promoting a putsch in Venezuela and members of the Arab League are accused of officially sanctioned murder and massacres. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/DAMASCUS | | syrien

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/DAMASCUS (Own report) - Syria faces an open economic war with the new EU and US sanctions, experts contend. A recent analysis of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) notes, the sanctions have a "hugely detrimental impact on the most vulnerable members of Syria's population." The sanctions imposed on Syria have been strongly criticized internationally for many years. Already in 2016, the United Nations noted, that it is the "most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed." UN officials cite Western sanctions and not the war as the "principal factor" in the erosion of Syria's health care system. Now that Brussels has even extended its sanctions, Washington is about to impose sanctions on all companies and countries lending support to Syrian government projects to rebuild the country. The ECFR speaks of a „scorched earth policy." more…

MUNICH | | usa

MUNICH (Own report) - At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the power struggle between Berlin and Washington openly escalated to an unprecedented level. US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his ultimatum that Berlin and the EU immediately renounce their political and economic projects, which are not fully in accord with US policy, pertaining particularly to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran nuclear deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the US demands. In view of the dispute with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared at the Security Conference that "Europe" faces the "crucial question" whether it will be "the subject or the object of global policy in the future." It must, therefore, "transform geo-economic capital into geopolitical capital" to become "a cornerstone of the international order" and "develop its own geopolitical identity." Maas is expressing his demands, at a time, when the EU's Iran policy is about to fall apart and the European power base needed for Berlin's ambitions is crumbling. more…