BERLIN/VIENNA/BERN/VADUZ/LUXEMBURG | | oesterreichschweizluxemburg

BERLIN/VIENNA/BERN/VADUZ/LUXEMBURG (Own report) - Berlin is advancing its political positions in the middle of Europe by coordinating exclusive meetings of the four German speaking countries' foreign ministers. Last Friday's "quadripartite meeting" of the German foreign minister and his counterparts from Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein was also focused on the political crises in North Africa and the Middle East. Over the past few years, special meetings of ministers of the German speaking countries have been systematically intensified. They are based on the extraordinarily close economic ties, which secure Germany a predominating position. By way of its ties to the media market, Germany achieves a significant ideological influence within the German speaking countries. These meetings of the alpine countries have now been extended to include the participation of Luxemburg. This growing cooperation has been justified with the assertion that these countries constitute a "unitary cultural realm." However, the integration is not determined by culture, but is the result of German domination, supplanting the previously strong French influence in Luxemburg and Switzerland. more…