BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - Germany's Minister of the Economy, Peter Altmaier, warns of the consequences a "hard" Brexit would have on Germany, and sees the danger of the loss of "thousands of jobs." Brussels and London must absolutely "prevent the big crash at the last moment," declared Altmaier yesterday. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) had already warned that a hard Brexit could cost Germany a half-percentage point in growth - €17 billion this year alone. For months, think tanks have been pointing out that Germany would be the country most affected on the continent, if the United Kingdom makes an unregulated exit. Germany possibly may have to expect double-digit billions in annual losses. Most recently, the Bertelsmann Foundation assumed that the losses could be broken down to €115 per inhabitant of Germany. Those losses are looming at a time, when the German economy is in danger of slipping into a recession. Berlin and Brussels could prevent a hard Brexit by setting a time limit on the "backstop," however, they are still hoping for a second referendum - and upping the ante. more…

All or Nothing

BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME | | grossbritannienfrankreichitalien

BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME (Own report) - London's government crisis escalated yesterday under the pressure of Berlin and the EU’s unaccomplishable Brexit requirements. Prime Minster Theresa May has barely survived a vote of confidence, which was ultimately triggered by the so-called backstop. Brussels insists on a regulation, which could indefinitely subjugate Great Britain to a customs union, without an option for a unilateral withdrawal and erect a trade border between two areas of the United Kingdom. These provisions are in Germany's interests, but they will plunge Great Britain into chaos. The current government crisis in France is largely due to the austerity programs imposed by Berlin on Paris - while refusing to make any concessions at the EU level. In France and Great Britain, the extreme right is profiting, like in Italy, where Berlin’s drastic austerity dictates, have already crushed the traditional political establishment. more…

LONDON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN | | grossbritannien

LONDON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) - The EU's heads of states and governments were again unable to make progress in the Brexit negotiations last Wednesday, provoking strong criticism from the German business community. Their only proposal was to prolong the transitional period another year, which is out of the question for London, because this would cost the UK additional billions of pounds. The EU is "too inflexible" in the Brexit negotiations, criticized the head economist of Commerzbank. It is a "stickler for principles," even though it has itself "stretched the rules to the point of becoming unrecognizable" - such as those of the currency union. Commentaries assume that Brussels seeks to set a deterrent example. The EU sees itself "too unattractive," to be able to prevent other countries from leaving by other means. At the same time, Brussels is running the risk of the Brexit negotiations collapsing, which would cause serious losses, particularly to German industry. Experts do not rule out German export losses in the double-digit billions. more…

No New London

LONDON/FRANKFURT ON THE MAIN | | grossbritannien

LONDON/FRANKFURT ON THE MAIN (Own report) - Berlin seeks the relocation of numerous banks from London to Frankfurt on the Main and the promotion of the Hessian metropolis to Europe's strongest banking center. With five and a half months left until the ultimate British exit from the EU, this has still to materialize. Initially, the German financial sector had hoped that with the Brexit, financial institutes located in London would relocate a large number - up to 5-digits - of their employees to Frankfurt. In fact, recent studies have disclosed that only 630 financial jobs have left London for the continent. Although Frankfurt has risen to the rank of the tenth global finance market, it lags insurmountably far behind London. According to insiders, the attempt to compel other financial institutions to move to the continent is linked to the EU's refusal to take precautions for cross-border financial affairs, against the possibility of a "hard" Brexit. Brussels is taking a risk of losing dozens of trillions of euros and jeopardizing Europe's financial stability. more…

LONDON/BERLIN | | grossbritannien

LONDON/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government still has no evidence to substantiate serious allegations it used to justify its participation in the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from several western countries. In its response to a parliamentary interpellation, the government admits it has no findings of its own on the Salisbury nerve gas attack other than the alleged evidence presented by the British government. At the same time, the "arguments" that have been presented so far to suggest Russian guilt are loosing their credibility. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for example, had to contradict the claim of its director general that up to a half-cup of novichok was used in Salisbury. The assumption that only Russia could have produced the neurotoxin has been refuted, since it became known that Germany had also been in possession of the agent. These unproven allegations show, more than anything else, an unrestrained willingness to escalate the power struggle with Moscow. more…

LONDON/BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | grossbritannien

LONDON/BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - Fierce power struggles over EU foreign policy orientation and leadership accompany western threats against Russia following the Salisbury poison assassination attempt. With its accusations of Russia, London has succeeded in imposing "a united western foreign policy approach under British leadership," a leading German daily has noted. Great Britain has become the "West's new front-line state." After leaving the EU, the UK is presently setting course for its ensuing European policy, by focusing not only on a military treaty with France, but also another with Poland, aimed against Russia. Berlin is maneuvering: On the one hand, it is closing ranks against Moscow and, on the other, it is not willing to cede leadership of EU foreign policy. "Good and close collaboration between Russia and Germany" is very "important," the German president declared, thus marking a first counterpoint to British policy. more…

BERLIN/LONDON/MOSCOW | | grossbritannienrussische-foederation

BERLIN/LONDON/MOSCOW (Own report) - NATO is envisaging a new arms buildup against Russia, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced yesterday in an interview. Stoltenberg expects that the heads of states and governments of NATO's member countries will "face new decisions" at the NATO summit in July in Brussels to "improve" the "defensive capabilities" and military "preparedness" of the member nations. Officially, this was triggered by the double assassination attempt in Salisbury, Great Britain, which until now has not been solved. Police predict that the investigation may take months. A former British ambassador explains that employees of Britain's foreign office compare the pressure they are now under for this case, with the pressure in 2003, when the government claimed that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is also introducing new measures against Moscow, whereas the majority of the German population favors rapprochement with Russia. more…

BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - With nearly double-digit billions in losses, the German business community would be the main loser of a "hard Brexit" among the remaining EU members, according to a recent analysis on the upcoming Brexit. The EU27 would thus face greater losses than the UK, should Brexit not be followed up with a comprehensive trade and tariff agreement. German companies must expect annual losses of around nine billion euros. The German automotive industry most likely will be the hardest hit. At the moment, a "hard Brexit" seems more likely, because Brussels refuses to include in a post-Brexit trade agreement not only the protection of EU interests but also access to UK financial services. Due to the EU's obstructionist policy, public opinion is growing increasingly sour toward Brussels. Even British Brexit opponents are lamenting the "EU's arrogance" and warning that "a Britain that feels humiliated by the EU could be an uncomfortable neighbor." more…

BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - In the course of the Brexit negotiations, apprehension is mounting in Brussels over possible divisions among the remaining 27 EU countries, according to a report about a leaked document on the current debate between EU member countries. Berlin is obviously seeking to delay the formulation of EU positions on the future relationship with the United Kingdom as long as possible, to prevent giving London tactical advantages in the negotiations. The 27 EU countries have, in fact, quite diverging interests in relationship to Great Britain. The German automobile industry is exerting massive pressure to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union. German car companies expect annual losses of up to two billion euros, if new trade barriers are erected. On the other hand, the Eastern and Southeastern European countries attach great importance to freedom of circulation. For example, the money Polish residents in Great Britain send home amounts to 1.5 percent of the Polish Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Other countries receive three to six percent of their GDP this way. more…

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) - A defamatory German newspaper article and its alleged source - an insider of the EU's bureaucracy - are increasingly impeding the Brexit negotiations. Martin Selmayr, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's Chief of Staff is being blamed for leaking alleged details of a private conversation between Juncker and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to a German daily. The content - untrue, according to Juncker - could be very damaging for Great Britain in the Brexit negotiations. Selmayr, who, already months ago, declared that the Brexit would "never be a success," is considered the most powerful bureaucrat in Brussels. He is not only known as Juncker's gatekeeper, but also known for his "very authoritarian rule." Other Germans in key EU positions are also involved in the Brexit negotiations. more…