VATICAN CITY/MUNICH (Our own report) |

VATICAN CITY/MUNICH (Our own report) The new head of the Roman Catholic Church sings the praises of Europe as the ,,Christian West"and sees the present EU as underpinned by a ,,shared concept of empire", an idea derived from Charlemagne (who lived in Aachen) and, according to the Holy Father, renewed after the Second World War by the German Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Many Germans work for the Bavaria-born Pope, occupying ,,key positions in the Curia". Both Catholic laypeople and international critics are worried by, and raising questions about, a Germanocentric Papacy obviously close to ultra-nationalistic elements. One of their concerns is the new Pontiff's life history. Joseph Ratzinger served in an anti-aircraft unit that protected a BMW factory making armaments for the Nazis, was in the occupying forces in Hungary, and was later accused of ,,theological anti-Semitism". Prominent politicians in Berlin are urging their countrymen to ,,take pride"in there being a German Pope. more…

TRIESTE/BERLIN (Own report) | | italien

TRIESTE/BERLIN (Own report) The German ,,Bund der Vertriebenen" (BdV, ,,Association of Expellees") announced cooperation with the organizations of resettled Italians. The Italian government in Rome has declared a day of commemoration for the ,,Esuli" (exiles), who, as a consequence of the Second World War, had to resettle in Italy from Yugoslav territory. Erika Steinbach, president of the BdV was guest of honor at the first commemoration day. The ,,Esuli" are currently in negotiations with the Italian administration over the question of financial compensation for their former property in what is today Slovenia and Croatia. Their chances are good, since nearly all Italian parties are sympathetic to their demands. The German/Italian cooperation of the ,,expellees" is placing the states of the former Yugoslavia under diplomatic pressure and strengthening revisionist forces also at the European level. more…

GÜTERSLOH/EAST RIDING (Own Report) | | grossbritannien

GÜTERSLOH/EAST RIDING (Own Report) Europe's largest media company, the German firm Bertelsmann AG, is taking over official tasks normally performed by public authority in Great Britain. From July 2005 a Bertelsmann subsidiary will undertake the majority of public administration in a British local authority. The plan is regarded by the German firm as a ,,pilot project of strategic importance"for its expansion into a multi billion market. Across Europe, Bertelsmann aims to expand within the framework of the so-called ,,Public/Private Partnership"into areas which are presently under the control of nation states and to carry out activities which are normally reserved to publicly responsible local authorities. Great Britain is also a target of Bertelsmann's expansion in print media. By a joint venture enterprise with two other German media firms in the construction of new large-scale printing facilities abroad, Bertelsmann is aiming to gain market leadership in European newspaper printing. more…

BERLIN/PARIS/BEIJING (Own report) | | chinafrankreichusa

BERLIN/PARIS/BEIJING (Own report) The German chancellor wishes to secure his country's ascent in the UN by promising aid to the People's Republic of China. France supports him in the hopes for Beijing's consideration in return. Paris needs China's agreement in order to bring the fusion reactor ,,Iter"into France (total cost is 10 billion Euro). Berlin depends on China for its ascent in the UN Security Council. The pressure group politics by the dominant European powers are in conflict with the objectives of the US strategy which considers Beijing as a future adversary and intends to prepare for a nuclear war. The transatlantic conflict has been leading to serious conflicts within Germany's party camps and an increase of the existing tension in the foreign office. more…