BUCHAREST/BERLIN | | rumaenien

BUCHAREST/BERLIN (Own report) - Under President-elect Klaus Johannis, Germany will greatly strengthen its influence on Rumania. This has been confirmed by a government spokesperson, who explained that Chancellor Angela Merkel explicitly assured Johannis "her support" in the "reinforcement of Rumania's European orientation" and agreed "to coordinate standpoints on important foreign policy issues with him in the future." This will particularly affect policies involving Russia. Whereas Traian Băsescu, the country's outgoing president had been considered a US ally, Victor Ponta, the loser in last Sunday's presidential elections, was seen more as being Russia-oriented, while Klaus Johannis, a long-time "Rumanian Germans" functionary, is seen as unambiguously pro-German. He has good contacts to Berlin's bureaucracy as well as to the German economic community, and, for some time, has prided himself with his personal relations to Chancellor Merkel. This new constellation offers Berlin the possibility of appreciably reinforcing its national grip on Southeast Europe. more…

BERLIN/BUDAPEST/SIBIU | | rumaenienungarn

BERLIN/BUDAPEST/SIBIU (Own report) - With her appearance at yesterday's annual reception of the German League of Expellees (BdV), the German chancellor has again demonstrated her appreciation of its significance for Berlin's foreign policy. Already at last years BdV annual reception, the chancellor had declared that the resettled Germans serve as a "link" to their regions of origin in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and, along with the local German speaking minorities, as "an extraordinary cohesive force" in an increasingly integrated EU. Hungary is a current example. That country improved its bilateral relations by declaring a day of commemoration of the resettlement of Germans. On Monday, Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, participated in the commemoration ceremonies for the resettled Germans held in the Hungarian parliament. Unexpectedly, a prominent Germandom functionary has recently been appointed deputy chairperson of one of the ruling parties, in Rumania - in an effort to improve relations to Germany, according to observers. At the same time, extreme right wing forces remain active in the "expellees" associations. In late 2012, one of the largest homeland associations awarded its "Cultural Prize for Science" to a prominent publicist, who denies that Germany bears sole responsibility for World War II. more…

ESSEN/SKOPJE/BELGRADE | | jugoslawienrumaenienmazedonienbulgarien

ESSEN/SKOPJE/BELGRADE (Own report) - The Serbian Minister of the Economy, Mladan Dinkic is calling on the WAZ media group from Germany to leave Serbia because of its dubious intrigues. After a deal was revealed that was aimed at making the Essen-based company a leader on the Serbian market, Dinkic said that the WAZ cannot be allowed to take control of one of the country's most important daily newspapers, with "backroom business deals". The WAZ and its manager Bodo Hombach, (SPD), attempted, with the help of a front man, to buy, step by step, majority shares in the Vecernje Novosti, the country's largest selling daily newspaper. But the front man, a Serbian oligarch, does not want to turn over the shares in his temporary possession. A front man was needed for the deal because antitrust regulations did not allow the WAZ to buy the Serbian public opinion forming daily, Vecernje Novosti. The German media group, headquartered in Essen, is the strongest West European company on the Southeast European press market owning up to 70 percent in several countries - padded by excellent relations to the political and business establishment. more…

SIBIU/BUKAREST | | rumaenien

SIBIU/BUKAREST (Own report) - The chairman of one of the "Germandom" organizations in the German foreign policy network is the focus of a Rumanian government crisis. The Rumanian opposition wants to name the mayor of Sibiu, Klaus Johannis, to fill the vacancy left by the prime minister, who was toppled by the opposition at the beginning of the week. Rumanian President, Traian Băsescu has rejected this plan and nominated a financial expert for prime minister. Johannis heads the "Democratic Forum of Germans in Rumania" (DFDR), an associated member of the "Federal Union of European Nationalities" (FUEN), which from its headquarters in Northern Germany also coordinates Europe's German language minorities - with government support. The FUEN, founded by former Nazi racists, is working with Johannis as well as with Germany's Hermann Niermann Foundation, which was the target of large protests in Eastern Belgium, because of its covert lobbying efforts for "Germandom" organizations. Johannis' nomination is the second exceptional step taken in behalf of Rumanian "Germandom" within a week. The first was the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to a "Rumanian German" author. more…

BERLIN/STOCKHOLM | | rumaenien

BERLIN/STOCKHOLM (Own report) - Berlin's "Germandom" organizations are cheering the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to the "Romanian-German" author Herta Mueller. As the President of the League of Expellees (BdV), Erika Steinbach, CDU declared this award is an indication of "how precious the Germans' cultural heritage is in the East". "It means this heritage must be maintained and promoted." The BdV has recently launched an exhibit of the "German Eastern Settlements" throughout the centuries, with the intention of drawing new public attention. This project is patterned after the "Center against Expulsions" and is centered on the German speaking minorities of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, exploited by Germany's politicians and businessmen as bridgeheads for Berlin's expansionism. The Nobel Prize Committee has bestowed an exemplary popularity upon one of these minorities, the "Banat Swabians," of which Herta Mueller is a member. The political intentions of the committee in Stockholm, whose decisions are supported by foreign interests, are helping the BdV and giving a boost to the "Germandom" policy. Criticism of the Nobel Prize choice is being heard in countries, for example in Poland, affected by "Germandom's" interference. more…

BERLIN/ASTANA/SIBIU | | rumaenienkasachstan

BERLIN/ASTANA/SIBIU (Own report) - The German Federation of Expellees (BdV) has announced a new PR-project to promote "Germandom" in East- and Southeast Europe. According to the Federation, an exhibition presenting the history of "German settlements in the East" will open in the Berlin Crown Prince Palace (Kronprinzenpalais) in mid-July. It will also focus on German speaking settlements in Russia ("Volga Germans") and on the Danube Plain ("Danube Swabians"), presenting their history as a model: "People were living peacefully side by side," asserts BdV President Erika Steinbach. German speaking minorities are today still living in numerous "Germandom" regions presented in the exhibition, and, from their privileged position, support German policy as well as German industrial expansion into East- and Southeast Europe. Berlin is lending assistance and strengthening their organizational structures also with so called "development policy" funds. Political radicalization is becoming apparent among members of these minorities, who immigrated to Germany and maintain close contact to the regions of their origin. For example, members of the "Russian Germans" - whose history is commemorated in the BdV exhibition - have begun to cooperate with the right wing extremist NPD. more…

Irregularities

BUCHAREST | | rumaenien

BUCHAREST The Romanian Government has engaged in some fancy electoral footwork to accommodate the demands of Brussels and Berlin for the imposition of EU law. The Romanian Government managed to ring massive constitutional changes from its people only with the aid of widely criticised ,,irregularities". The new Constitution reflects the demands of Germany and the EU by establishing a more accommodating framework for inward investment, strengthening ,,ethnic"minorities and regulates the transfer of sovereign powers to the EU. more…