BERLIN/MADRID | | spanien

BERLIN/MADRID (Own report) - The escalating Catalan secessionist conflict is upsetting Spain, a country hard hit by Berlin's austerity dictate. Spain - occasionally praised in German media as a showcase for an alleged successful austerity policy - is still confronted with enormous social and economic problems, in spite of a modest economic growth. Unemployment and poverty remain at high levels. Crisis policies over the past few years have also increased the economic gap between Spain and the euro zone's centers of prosperity. One still cannot speak of debt reduction - the official objective of Germany's austerity policy within the EU. The poor economic situation, the high debt burden level and the distribution of federal and regional debts are fueling Catalonia's secessionist conflict. more…

BARCELONA/BERLIN | | spanien

BARCELONA/BERLIN (Own report) - Just days before regional elections in Spain's Catalonia - elections declared a plebiscite on secession - a political partner of the German Green Party is calling for the rapid secession of that region from Spain. Ethnically defined "peoples" throughout Europe should have the "right to self-determination," recognizing "no borders," according to a declaration signed by the Spanish member organization of the "European Free Alliance" (EFA). The EFA unites separatist parties of various political orientations from numerous EU member countries. These include organizations closely connected to Viktor Orbán's ruling Fidesz Party, in Hungary, conservative Flemish nationalists and a party in the tradition of northern Italian separatists, who, years ago, had used terrorism as a means of imposing South Tyrol's absorption into Austria. Both, the EFA and the German Green Party are members of the same parliamentary caucus collective in the European Parliament. EFA subsidiaries disseminate a map of European so-called nations without states, depicting, for example, Catalonia as independent of Spain and merged with other territories in Spain and France to constitute a "Greater Catalonia." Leading politicians in the current campaign for Catalonian separatism are propagating pan-Catalonian views, which opponents sharply criticize as "cultural racism with an expansionist demeanor." The EFA's map of Europe also depicts Germany merged with Austria and territories of neighboring countries to form a Greater Germany. more…

BERLIN/BARCELONA | | spanien

BERLIN/BARCELONA (Own report) - The German establishment is sending mixed signals in reaction to the announcement of an unofficial plebiscite on Catalonia's secession from Spain. Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas has declared the September 27 regional elections a de facto plebiscite on the region's secession. Should his alliance secure the absolute majority, he will proclaim independence from Spain within 8 months. In the past, Germany had repeatedly supported Catalan secession. Influential German think tanks are demanding that secession not be obstructed. However, there is opposition rising from within business circles. Catalonia is a central site for German companies in Spain. Engaged in trade throughout Spain, they do not want to see their business possibilities limited to one region and Barcelona's secession from Madrid could possibly prove an obstacle. According to German government advisors, on the other hand, these problems could be solved. Some economists contend that the EU's currency, the Euro, can, in the long run, only be maintained within a uniform economic area. This would exclude Spain, but include a seceded Catalonia, the strongest economic zone on the Iberian Peninsular. more…

MADRID/BARCELONA/BERLIN | | spanien

MADRID/BARCELONA/BERLIN (Own report) - Driven by the Euro crisis and the German austerity dictate, secessionist aspirations in the Spanish province of Catalonia are becoming accentuated. Following a major demonstration demanding the founding of a sovereign nation, the region's parliament and prime minister have announced intentions to table a referendum on secession in the course of the next legislative period. New - pre-term - elections have been scheduled for late November. According to Barcelona, the break with Spain must come, even if it means violating prevailing law. Catalan separatists have been receiving German support for a long time. The German Green Party is in the same European Parliamentary caucus as the secessionist parties. Their umbrella organization has published maps in which the majority of European nations have been broken up into smaller entities - including a nation Catalonia. According to their map, Germany had annexed Austria, the German-speaking region of Switzerland and several other territories. Cooperation with Catalonia as the "Partner Nation" in 2007, at the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, provided the separatists with an appreciable boost. German federal state Baden Wuerttemberg's special cooperation with Catalonia provides economic support for its secessionist efforts - and points to Europe's breakup into an economically successful core and poverty-stricken, hopeless marginalized zones, just as has crystallized under Euro zone pressure. more…

STRASBOURG/GERONA/BOLZANO | | frankreichspanienitalien

STRASBOURG/GERONA/BOLZANO (Own report) - Several German federal states and municipalities are using a new EU legal instrument to promote a fusion with German-speaking regions of neighboring western nations. That instrument (the European cross-border cooperation groupings - EGCC) allows regional authorities of various nations to consolidate into common administrative structures, enjoying a large measure of autonomy. With the help of such an EGCC, the greater Strasbourg urban community fused a few weeks ago with a German county. Saarland would like to fuse with Luxemburg to form an EGCC, North Rhine-Westphalia is courting the German-speaking regions of Belgium. An internet journal of EGCC Strasbourg-Ortenau proponents declared that at the Spanish-French border the "reunification of Catalonia" has been achieved in an EGCC after being "separated" for 350 years. Other EGCCs are fusing Hungarian-speaking Slovak residential areas that Budapest would like to influence, to Hungarian municipalities. This is how numerous EGCCs are promoting ethnic structures and in the long run, an ethnic oriented Europe. more…

BARCELONA/BERLIN | | spanien

BARCELONA/BERLIN (Own report) - Catalonian secessionists are progressing toward the ethnic dismantlement of Spain with referendums to be held in 161 cities and communities. Scheduled for mid-December, referendums will be held in one-sixth of Catalonia's municipalities on a - non-binding for now - resolution on secession from Spain and the founding an independent country. Secessionists in other parts of the country - the Basque Region and Galicia - are carefully watching what happens. The referendums are providing new impetus to the German strategy of restructuring Europe along ethnic lines. The Federal Republic of Germany provided Catalonian secessionism relevant support over the past few years, most recently, two years ago in the framework of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Berlin's foreign policy front organizations have long since catalogued the Catalan as a "Volksgruppe" (an ethnic entity) justifying eligibility to special rights. Catalan secessionists are being spoken of in the same breath as other ethnic minorities demanding similar autonomous rights, including the Bretons in France and the Welsh in Great Britain. more…

RUESSELSHEIM/VIENNA/MOSCOW | | spaniengrossbritannienbelgien

RUESSELSHEIM/VIENNA/MOSCOW (Own report) - Under massive protests, Opel is preparing further steps toward the consolidation of the European auto industry in Germany. According to recent reports, the company's plants and those of its affiliate Vauxhall in Great Britain and Spain will be scaled back by one-third. The Opel plant in Belgium will be completely shut down. At the same time, loss of jobs in the company's German plants will be far below the average, and an enormous share of this phased out industrial capacity will be transferred to Austria, which has very close economic ties to Germany. Whereas employees in Spain and Belgium have taken to the barricades in opposition to these measures, German trade unionists are defending the plans. Whoever is "not in a competitive position" will have to look job reductions "in the eye," explained the chairman of the German Opel shop committee, Klaus Franz. German trade unionists are among those standing to benefit most from these deals. With the help of billions in Opel employees' wage waivers; they are seeking a ten-percent share of the company, promising an enormous boost in their power. more…

Ethnic Europe

FRANKFURT/BARCELONA/STRASBOURG | | spanienitalien

FRANKFURT/BARCELONA/STRASBOURG (Own Report) - Separatists from several regions of Spain used the Book Fair in Frankfurt to make strategic arrangements. As official representatives of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands announced in front of the international press in Frankfurt, the two provinces will institutionally consolidate their cooperation ("Culture Policy Cooperation"). Another Spanish region, the coastal strip around the city of Valencia, shall also participate in this cooperation, declared the Vice President of Catalonia. He seeks the secession of this territory from Spain. His party is a member of the "European Free Alliance" (EFA), that is campaigning for border revisions throughout the EU - in accordance with the ethnicist German "Volksgruppen" ideology. The EFA and the Greens of Germany, the party of the former foreign minister, Joseph Fischer, are partners within the same parliamentary group in the European Parliament. According to an EFA map published on the internet, Spain is to be broken up into six and France into five sectors, and Belgium is to disappear completely. Regions of Switzerland and Italy as well as the whole of Austria, will become German. The common goal of the Greens and the EFA is a "European Union of Free Peoples." more…

FRANKFURT (MAIN)/BARCELONA | | spanien

FRANKFURT (MAIN)/BARCELONA (Own report) - The Frankfurt Book Fair opened on Tuesday, October 9, amid protests against the organizers' decision to make "Catalan Culture" the guest of honor. Until now, Frankfurt has reserved this honor for sovereign states or groups of states. This year, Catalonia, an autonomous region seeking secession, is the focus of this event. Particularly resentment provoking is the selection of writers representing the "guest of honor". Only writers, cultivating the Catalan idiom - and not the Spanish language - are in attendance. This is strongly in the interests of the secessionist government, seeking to do away with the Spanish language in Catalonia, says the Barcelonian regional parliamentarian, Antonio Robles, in a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com. The attempt to turn the world's largest book fair into an instrument of separatist ventures is being met with sharp criticism. For years, Catalan separatists have been supported in Germany, particularly by the Green Party. But the present affair is of special importance, because the German foreign ministry is an official "partner" of the Frankfurt Book Fair. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/DAKAR/TRIPOLI | | libyenspanienitalien

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/DAKAR/TRIPOLI (Own report) - The escalating hunt for refugees along the coasts of Africa, with German participation, is encountering resistance. The governments of Senegal and Libya, indicating inhumane practices by the European states, are refusing to place their territorial waters at the disposal of EU "border commandos". Despite the lack of an accord with Senegal, EU border control circles announced on Wednesday, Aug. 9, that they were dispatching a patrol boat to the territorial waters off the coast of Dakar - an open affront to this West African nation. Frontex, the EU border control agency, which is steering the project, is also active, in the meantime, on the Italian island, Lampedusa, and on Malta. Recently the first rebellions in a European refugee camp occurred on Malta. As EU interior commissioner Franco Frattini confirms, Berlin expresses "great interest" in the development of the Frontex special forces (the "Rapid Border Intervention Teams") and has made "an extraordinarily generous offer concerning its participation". more…