BERLIN/LA PAZ | | bolivien

BERLIN/LA PAZ (Own report) - Massive protests have erupted in Bolivia against a German-affiliated lithium mining joint venture for use in E-car batteries. The consortium, in which the German ACI medium-sized enterprise is participating, is being accused of illegally withholding from the communities surrounding the sites of the lithium deposits in Bolivia's highlands, their share of the export returns. Doubts are growing about whether the joint venture ("YLB ACISA E.M.") will actually construct a complete lithium value chain, all the way to the finished car battery, in Bolivia, as President Evo Morales' government had originally demanded. The German project partners' claims to patent rights and the control of the financial flow are nurturing additional suspicion toward the medium-size enterprise from Baden Wurttemberg. The company had been given massive support at the federal level, to prevail in the competition against consortiums from China, Russia and the USA. more…

BERLIN/PARIS | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - Franco-German power struggles are blocking further EU expansion plans and overshadowing the EU-summit, which begins today in Brussels. Berlin is pushing hard for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania to prevent these two countries from turning their backs on the Union - which brings them little advantage - and turn instead toward other powers such as China and Russia, with whom cooperation promises greater benefits. Paris is rejecting Berlin's demand. As long as the German government rejects French projects, such as a euro zone budget, France is simply unwilling to bow to Germany's wishes, one hears in Paris. The discussion on accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania will be continued at the summit. Whereas the EU remains bogged down, Beijing and Moscow, - but also Washington - are seeking to strengthen their positions in Southeast Europe. more…

QUITO/BERLIN | | ecuador

QUITO/BERLIN (Own report) - Current mass protests in Ecuador are directed against Lenin Moreno, Berlin's foreign policy establishment's ray of hope. Shortly after taking office in May 2017, Moreno abandoned the social and educational programs, as well as the independent foreign policy pursued by his predecessor, under whom he had served as vice president for several years. He is again tying Ecuador closer to the USA and, in February, secured for his country an IMF loan, which is forcing him to adopt drastic austerity measures. Moreno is deploying soldiers against the escalating mass protests. Last February, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Ecuador and promised German support to his counterpart for his policy course. Last week, Moreno was scheduled to come to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Merkel and to canvass billions in investments from German companies. Due to the current protests calling for his resignation, he has cancelled his visit to Germany. more…

BEIJING/BERLIN | | china

BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - A leading German automotive expert is calling for taking a greater "distance to the USA" and turning more toward China. According to Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Spokesman of the Board of the CAR Center Automotive Research at the University Duisburg-Essen, the German automotive industry is one of the main losers of the current US economic wars. Instead of exacerbating the conflict, Berlin should seek closer cooperation with Beijing. Dudenhöffer declared this after it became known that the People's Republic of China is distancing itself from the German government because of its support for secessionists in Hong Kong. For Beijing, any interference into its domestic affairs is taboo, also because it was the interventions by European colonial powers that caused the beginning of the dramatic decline of the Middle Kingdom. The German Reich had shown itself to be particularly brutal. Thousands fell victim to massacres committed by the German troops in China, during the years 1900 and 1901. Berlin implemented racist concepts in the German colony of Qingdao. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - In the spring of 2020, the NATO power block will hold a war game to test its mobilization against the East, according to a letter from the German Ministry of Defense. With the "Defender 2020" military exercise, the USA and its European allies will be testing the military infrastructure, command structures and supply routes it has been building up over the past few years in Eastern Europe. As in the case of a hot war with Russia, US troops will be rotated across the Atlantic to Europe and advance toward the Russian border. The German government is actively contributing to this exercise, which will further militarize Europe and fuel tensions by positioning Germany as the hub for warfare logistics. Assuming a strategic role as the hub for logistics and command, it is seeking to increase its global power. "Defender 2020" is the largest military maneuver for US forces in Europe in the past 25 years. more…

BEIJING/BERLIN | | china

BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - Since Berlin's ceremonial reception of a secessionist from Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China has been reducing its working relations with Germany. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi canceled a series of bilateral meetings with his German counterpart Heiko Maas. China's easing customs restrictions for German automobile companies are in jeopardy. Maas recently met with Joshua Wong, General Secretary of the Demosisto party, which is campaigning for a referendum on Hong Kong's secession from China. Germany, which is thus blatantly interfering in the People's Republic of China's domestic affairs and is strengthening those forces, hostile to the Chinese nation’s continued existence, had already been one of those European powers, which, at the turn of the 19th century, had sought to weaken China, to colonially subjugate regions of the country - including Hong Kong - and to plunder the Middle Kingdom. From the outset, German colonial troops had committed massacres of countless civilians, to crush the fierce resistance within the population. more…

Divide Britain

BERLIN/LONDON/EDINBURGH | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON/EDINBURGH (Own report) - Berlin's foreign policy is in support of Scottish nationalists, preparing to hold a second referendum to secede from the United Kingdom. Last week, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of the Scottish regional government and chairperson of the Scottish National Party (SNP), was received in the German capital for confidential talks with representatives of the German foreign policy establishment, including with Michael Roth (SPD), Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Officially, the meetings were focused on the Brexit, bitterly opposed by Sturgeon and the Scottish nationalists. However, Sturgeon was, in fact, also pleading for support for her secessionist project and to bring Scotland, as an independent country into the EU. About three years ago, German government representatives had already been in support of this plan. However, a reliable Scottish majority, needed for this project, is nowhere in sight. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government seeks to expand civilian-military interventions abroad, to obtain a more favorable position in the global struggle for spheres of influence. To meet the challenge in the context of the "great-power rivalry between the United States, Russia and China," the EU military missions must be combined with "civilian assistance," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) declared recently. This "networked approach" should become "a hub" for EU-policy and lead to the creation of a "crisis prevention center" in Berlin. The plan is particularly to train police officers and other "rule-of-law experts" to be deployed in countries, where "German interests" appear threatened by "outside influence." "Legitimate partners," such as the governments of Mali or Afghanistan or opposition forces, as in Syria, could be "strengthened," explains the German Foreign Ministry. more…

BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS (Own report) - Brexit will reduce by one third the EU's share of global capital markets and will shift relations within the EU in France's favor, as was revealed in a recent study on the impact the UK's departure will have on the Union's financial sector. Brexit will therefore reduce the EU's share of global capital market activities to 14 percent - around one third the size of the US and roughly the same as China. France will become number one among the EU-27 - a bit ahead of Germany. The shrinkage can also be attributed to the fact that the EU was unable to induce major banks and other financial institutions, on a large scale, to relocate from London onto the continent. Brussels has tried to use strict regulations, stipulating that financial transactions within the EU may only be conducted by legally independent entities within an EU country. However, the financial sector has limited its relocation onto the continent to only the bare essentials. The anticipated banking boom, for example, in Frankfurt, is not materializing. more…

Lust for Power

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING |

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - The future EU Commission should play a "geopolitical" role and provide the Union with a leading position in global policy, confirmed Commission President Elect Ursula von der Leyen, whose team, according to observers, shows a newfound "lust for power." Von der Leyen’s plans for the coming five years are very much in line with Berlin's plans to position the Union as an independent global power between the USA and China. French President Emmanuel Macron shares this project and - in view of the escalating conflict between Washington and Beijing - cautions that, if it fails, all influence on global policy would be lost. Influential German business circles opine that a German-European intermediate position cannot be avoided. Otherwise they would lose business with China and suffer severe setbacks. According to transatlantic circles, however, sooner or later, Berlin and Brussels will not be able to avoid siding with Washington. more…