VIENNA/BERLIN | | oesterreich

VIENNA/BERLIN (Own report) - The United Nations is protesting against the surveillance of its Vienna-based institutions conducted for years by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). The Vienna International Center ("UNO City") "expects" that member states "respect the organization's independence as well as the inviolability of its premises." According to recent reports, from 1999 to 2006, the BND had monitored at least 2000 communication lines in Austria including those of the Vienna Chancellery and 128 telecommunication lines of the United Nations. The BND's espionage in Austria has been known since 2015, but never clarified, because the competent German authorities, including the German Chancellery, refused to render Vienna the necessary assistance. The BND is accused of repeatedly refusing to tell the intelligence service monitors their reasons for spying, for example, on a "public body" of an EU member state. At the time of the large-scale spying in Austria, the current German President bore the highest responsibility for BND activities. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/VIENNA | | oesterreich

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/VIENNA (Own report) - In cooperation with NSA, a US military intelligence service, the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has massively intercepted and stored emails from Austria, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. This became evident through an internal email from an employee of the Deutsche Telekom AG, responsible for cooperation with the intelligence service and police. According to the email, published by the Austrian parliamentarian Peter Pilz, Telekom, already in early February 2005, had given a green light to the BND having access to a fiber optic cable for internet communication connecting Luxembourg to Austria and numerous other countries. At the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD), as Head of the Federal Chancellery, bore the highest responsibility for the activities of the BND. According to reports, Austria's domestic intelligence was also being tapped. Whoever is cognizant of this communication, knows "almost everything about the Republic's political life," summarized Pilz. The governments concerned have raised no serious protests, in the Germany-dominated EU. The German government is continuing the BND's technological upgrading, aimed ultimately toward raising German espionage "to an equal footing" with the NSA - also in internet spying. more…

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…

VIENNA/ANTWERP/BERLIN | | belgienoesterreich

VIENNA/ANTWERP/BERLIN (Own report) - Several of the uttermost right-wing parties in Europe are proceeding - with the cooperation of German organizations - to forge international alliances. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) has announced its extension of relations to the rapidly developing US-American Tea Party movement. Just a few days ago, FPÖ functionaries visited Israel, together with leading party members of the Belgian Vlaams Belang (The Flemish Cause) in an effort to dispel their reputations of being anti-Semitic. Both parties are based in the tradition of Nazi collaboration. They are among the strongest uttermost right-wing parties on the continent and are profiting from the renewed German hegemony over Europe. They are including the German "pro-"movements into their current efforts to build an alliance. Parallel structures are being established, also with German influence, under the leadership of the Dutch racist, Geert Wilders, meaning that two rival racist party networks are vying for the leadership of the European extreme right - both with German participation. more…

BOLZANO/VIENNA/BERLIN | | italienoesterreich

BOLZANO/VIENNA/BERLIN (Own report) - Ethnic chauvinist forces in Austria are demanding the practical application of German "ethnic rights" to the German speaking population of northern Italy. According to these forces, the government in Vienna should issue Austrian passports to the approx. 300,000 northern Italians (South Tyroleans), whose ancestors had been Austrian up until the First World War. Germany has a long practice of absorbing the citizens of its East European neighboring countries, but this would be the first time involving a West European neighbor. This demand accompanies talks about the addition of a paragraph to the Austrian Constitution, declaring Vienna the "protective power" of the "South Tyroleans" - a direct infringement on the national sovereignty of the EU member nation, Italy. At the same time demands are gaining momentum in South Tyrol for an ethnic based right of secession, also along the lines of German concepts. Already last spring, the word was going around in Northern Italian Green Party circles that the foundation of a "Free State South Tyrol," along the lines of the Liechtenstein model was being considered. The ethnic chauvinist rightwing is seeking annexation by Austria. more…

Lying in Wait

VIENNA/ZAGREB/BERLIN | | oesterreichjugoslawienkroatien

VIENNA/ZAGREB/BERLIN (Own report) - The Austrian government is pushing the government of Croatia to compensate the Nazi profiteers resettled in the aftermath of the Second World War. This was reported by an association of resettled persons in Vienna. According to a letter written by the Austrian President to the Danube Swabian Working Group, Austria's foreign minister will "raise the issue of restitution time and again" with the Croatian government. The president himself is strongly supporting the ratification of an accord negotiated in 2005. The accord provides for restitution or compensation of Danube Swabians, who, after the war, had had their property confiscated and had been resettled because of their collaboration with the Nazi occupying power, or at least had profited from the German occupation. Its ratification was halted in the last minute by the Croatian Parliament. Already years ago, Berlin had declared its wish to have Germans benefit from these restitution regulations, which currently apply only to Austrian citizens. This operation also pertains to Serbia and serves as precedence for demands posed by resettled Germans to the Czech Republic and Poland. more…

VIENNA/COLOGNE | | oesterreich

VIENNA/COLOGNE (Own report) - A crisis-induced wave of fusions among European airlines companies offers a taste of the possible concentration of economic power that could develop out of the Western financial crisis. Lufthansa, a German corporation, is among the top beneficiaries. The airlines company is preparing the takeover of smaller competitors and is seeking to replace the current number one in the business, Air France-KLM. Its aim is to buy airline companies in Northern and Southern Europe and companies serving destinations in Eastern Europe and Africa. Only a third European airlines company, British Airways, can still compete. All others are being bought out or relegated to a marginalized existence. The current wave of fusions has been caused by the crisis in air travel. Features specific to this business sector (the acute rise in the price of kerosene), had already led to a stronger concentration than in other business sectors. But they are also beginning to feel the effects of the global financial crisis. In the struggle for takeovers, Lufthansa is benefiting from special relations, from exclusive contacts to Moscow, created for German businesses by the German see-saw policy. more…

COLOGNE/ANTWERP/VIENNA | | oesterreich

COLOGNE/ANTWERP/VIENNA (Own report) - At an international congress to be held in Cologne over the coming weekend, right-wing extremist parties, from several EU nations, will seek to consolidate their cooperation. The chairman of "Pro-Koeln," which is organizing the congress, announced that the "intermediate" objective is the founding of a "European right-wing party." Among the participants are organizations from Belgium (Vlaams Belang), the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party - AFP) and the Italian (Lega Nord). The European right-wing party, whose German partner is yet to be determined - even the Nationalist Party of Germany (NPD) is in consideration - is supposed to field candidates for the European parliamentary elections and constitute a parliamentary group once elected. The campaign focuses on the fight against Islam. This campaign is using the animosity prevalent also outside of right-wing extremist circles that is being strongly fomented in the context of the "war on terror." This could "possibly lead to an electoral success of the prospective right-wing party," according to Alexander Haeusler, an expert on right-wing extremism in a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com. The new structure, to be extended to all of Europe, is based upon the old tradition of collaboration with Nazi Germany. more…

DUESSELDORF/ESSEN | | spanienitalienfrankreichniederlandeoesterreich

DUESSELDORF/ESSEN (Own report) - Anxiety is growing in several European states, that Germany could take control over their strategically important national power supply, because of the expansionist endeavors of German energy companies, such as Eon and RWE. Some governments are merging their national energy suppliers, in an attempt to impede these efforts - until now without much success. These preventive measures are encountering not only domestic difficulties, the European commission is declaring these efforts as in "violation of the freedom of capital". Spain, for example, is putting up a resistance to Eon buying into its largest native power supplier, but probably will succumb to the pressure from Brussels and will finally accept the offer made by the German energy giant. In France and Austria efforts to establish "national safeguards" against takeover attempts by foreign energy companies, had to be postponed until the fall, due to strong resistance. Lastly a takeover battle is approaching the Netherlands, which could lead to her loss of control over her energy supply to German companies. more…

MUNICH/VIENNA | | oesterreich

MUNICH/VIENNA In the year 2000, the German HypoVereinsbank (HVB) became the leading banking group in East and South East Europe by taking over Bank Austria. Now HVB is floating 25% of the shares in its Bank Austria subsidiary and will raise one billion Euro. The new capital is to be used for further purchases and participations in eastern Europe. more…