Europe Adrift (II)

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Under the pressure of the Euro crisis, secessionist conflicts - some directly supported by Berlin - are escalating in various European countries. Italy is most affected, where the country's more prosperous regions seek to secede from the nation, to escape Berlin's austerity dictate. According to the reasoning, Italy's more impoverished southern regions are responsible for the country's enormous national debt and should therefore be the main ones to pay the price. Secessionist demands are raised particularly in the German-speaking region of South Tyrol and in the Po Valley region "Padania". Whereas in "Padania," prestigious elements, particularly those affiliated with the "Lega Nord" (North League), are seeking to form an independent nation, ethnic chauvinist circles in "South Tyrol" are seeking annexation by Austria. Following the pattern of both Hungary and Germany, Vienna is currently considering granting citizenship to "Austrians abroad." Secessionist forces are also gaining ground in Great Britain. In Scotland, a referendum on the question of forming an independent country is scheduled for 2014 or 2015. Germany would be the primary beneficiary of a weakening of its British rival.

Payment Refused

One of the internal European secessionist conflicts being inflamed by the current Euro crisis is the national affiliation of the northern Italian Bolzano - Alto Adige (South Tyrol) province. That region has been part of Italy since the Habsburg Empire was dissolved following World War I. Ever since, ethnic chauvinists have been seeking to have it reattached to Austria, with repeated financial and miscellaneous other support from West German organizations, including West German foreign policy proxy organizations. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]) Now demands for secession are gaining popularity because Italy must submit to the German dictated austerity measures and make major budget cuts. "The South Tyrol regional parliament decided against any further financial burden (...) on the region and community of South Tyrol," according to the resolution, adopted by the provincial parliament in Bolzano, in late November: Refusal of Participation in Crisis Measures.[2]

The Maelstrom of Temptation

Since the persistently escalating Euro crisis could engender still more hardship, new conflicts are inevitable. The South Tyrol Freedom Party, a small secessionist party in a small community not far from the Austrian border, recently organized a referendum, in which 95 percent - of the approx. 30 percent participation - voted in favor of the "application of self-determination," meaning separating from Italy. Throughout the province, the three parties campaigning for the secession of South Tyrol have polled more than 20 percent of the votes in past elections. In the case, stringent austerity measures were to be imposed, even the South Tyrol People's Party (SVP), the strongest party by a wide margin, which, until now, has formally insisted on remaining within the Italian nation, would, according to the German press, no longer be able to resist the temptation of the 'separate from Rome' maelstrom."[3]

Austrians Abroad

In Austria, steps are being taken to intensify the linkage to the North Italian province. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), for example, is promoting granting Austrian citizenship to German-speaking North Italians. Until now, the government in Vienna has refused. However, according to a legal expertise presented by a jurist at the University of Innsbruck, granting Austrian citizenship to so called Austrians abroad would be absolutely permissible. This would correspond to the Hungarian practice toward "Hungarians abroad," reasons the jurist.[4] Budapest, in turn, refers to Berlin's practice of granting German passports to German-speaking citizens of Poland and Czechoslovakia.[5] The Vienna chancellery, according to sources, sees therefore no fundamental obstacles prohibiting granting double citizenship to South Tyroleans. Bolzano points to the FPÖ's activities - and that the latter has hopes of winning the next elections in 2013 and being in a position to appoint the Austrian chancellor. One cannot imagine that an FPÖ chancellor would refuse granting Austrian citizenship to German-speaking North Italians.

Autonomous Currency

In Italy, new secessionist demands are also being raised even beyond the Bolzano - Alto Adige Province, particularly in the North Italian Po Valley by the Lega Nord. This party has polled up to a quarter of all votes in some of the Po Valley provinces, appointing numerous mayors - even of larger cities. The Lega Nord promotes the secession of this extremely wealthy region - under name of "Padania" - or at least demands wide-ranging autonomy. It has announced a boycott of the Monti government's new property tax for implementing Berlin's austerity dictate. This announcement seems credible, at least, in towns with Lega Nord mayors. As in the case of South Tyrol, this refusal to shoulder the burden imposed by Rome on the population because of the German austerity dictate, is threatening Italy's national existence. Lega Nord Chairman, Umberto Bossi is quoted to have said: "if the Euro fails, Padania will issue its own currency, we will definitely not return to the old Lira."[6] This would signify nothing less than "Padania's" secession from Italy.

Secession Referendum

Secessionist tendencies are on the rise also in Great Britain, where the devolution process initiated in the 1990s has already led certain regions - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - to demand more rights of autonomy and even complete sovereignty. Scotland's nationalist government is planning a referendum on the question of secession for 2014/2015 and subsequent steps. In early December, it became known that Scotland will demand 9 per cent of the UK's defense hardware and establish its own armed forces [7], which would cooperate more closely with the Scandinavian countries. It plans a general shift toward closer cooperation with North European countries, for example with Norway. The Euro crisis is also sharpening this conflict. Following the British Prime Minister's rejection of German demands at the EU summit December 9, Scotland has intensified its pressure on London. Disgruntled by the UK's single handed action, Edinburgh is demanding to be included in essential decisions in Brussels. In any case, the Scottish establishment is considering maintaining the Pound only for a short period after secession, but - should the Euro still exist - gradually introduce the Euro.

Greater Germany

The Scottish perspective demonstrates how separatism in Europe reinforces Germany by the enlargement of Berlin's circle of supporters within the Euro zone and seriously weakening its rivals, such as Great Britain. The ethnic policy behind European secessionist conflicts has always been supported by West Germany - through direct intervention, but also through German foreign policy proxy organizations.[8] This not only weakens its rivals, such as Great Britain, Italy and France. It also places territories of foreign nations - for example South Tyrol - more strongly under German influence and consolidates the long-term perspective of German hegemony over the European continent. The European Free Alliance Party, whose parliamentarians in the European Parliament are in the caucus with the German Green Party, published a map quite a few years ago that clearly illustrates this fact. The map depicts nearly all of the major nations of Europe dramatically diminished - except one, Germany, which is presented significantly enlarged. German-foreign-policy.com documents this vision - first published back in 2002 - of a German dominated Europe created along ethnic lines. The map is still available in the internet, serving as a synoptic map on the website of the European Free Alliance, close collaborators of Germany's 90 Alliance/The Greens. Our image shows an excerpt of the version in the internet. The complete map, published in 2002, can be found here.

[1] see also Schutzmacht-Klausel, The German Ethnic Model (III) and Kapitale Destabilisierung
[2] Keine weiteren finanziellen Belastungen für Süd-Tirol, um Italien zu retten: Landesregierung muss sich an Beschluss des Landtages halten; www.landtag-bz.org 05.12.2011
[3] Los von Rom? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 16.12.2011
[4] see also Völkisch radikalisiert, Pillars of the Future and Nation ohne Grenzen
[5] see also Berlin calls "expatriate germans" to the ballot boxes and Alles, was Deutschland nutzt
[6] Lega Nord will eigene Padanien-Währung statt Euro; derstandard.at 13.12.2011
[7] Bye, bye England? SNP plans closer Scandinavian ties after independence; www.independent.co.uk 05.12.2011
[8] see also Hintergrundbericht: Die Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen and Hintergrundbericht: Das Europäische Zentrum für Minderheitenfragen