TOMSK/MOSCOW/HANOVER/BERLIN | | russische-foederation

TOMSK/MOSCOW/HANOVER/BERLIN (Own report) - The "Siberian Year in Germany" has been inaugurated at the industrial fair in Hanover (located in the German state of Lower Saxony). The promotion and contact offensive is intended to prepare an extension of German/Russian economic cooperation, aimed at the world's most profitable region of natural resources. In the gigantic, in part, unexplored, region of Siberia, 90% of Russia's natural gas reserves are deposited which makes up 30% of the global reserves. Also located in this region are large metallurgic works and significant branches of the aerospace industry. Ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder holds the strings to these civilian-military activities in Siberia. Already back in 1992, Schroeder, at the time, prime minister of Lower Saxony promoted the Siberian initiatives of the BASF Chemical Corp. and had the parliament in Hanover pass a "Declaration of Partnership Cooperation." During the course of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with Schroeder's state assistance, the BASF subsidiary, Wintershall, was able to gain entry in the exploitation of the resources in the area of Tyumen, where the largest portion of Siberian natural gas deposits are to be found. Even today, Tyumen, Wintershall and Schroeder pursue common interests. The natural gas supply to be pumped to Germany through the so-called Baltic Pipeline (North Stream) originates in Tyumen. Gerhard Schroeder is Chairman of the Board of the pipeline consortium. more…

CIUDAD DE MEXICO/SANTO DOMINGO | | mexiko

CIUDAD DE MEXICO/SANTO DOMINGO (Own report) - The conclusion of free-trade and association agreements with several alliances of Latin American states was accompanied by lessons on neo-liberalism by the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Steinmeier was in the Dominican Republic, April 19, after having visited Mexico and Panama. Steinmeier said whoever had reservations concerning German free-trade offers, was "insufficiently developed" for the regional requirements. The purpose of his Latin American tour was to hconsolidate the German economic basis in the competition with the USA and the People's Republic of China. In Mexico, Steinmeier called for a "geo-strategic partnership" that is directly aimed at the USA, in Panama the program was centered around the German participation in upgrading the canal, one of the most important waterways for the USA. The German minister's tour is supplemented with wide-ranging activities of other EU dignitaries. Both the EU Commissioner for External Affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, were also on tour in Latin America. Social organizations criticize the dire consequences the competing industrial powers' growing pressure is having on the economies of the states south of the Rio Grande. more…

BERLIN/OSLO/STUTTGART |

BERLIN/OSLO/STUTTGART (Own report) - The dispute over an adequate assessment of elite German officials in occupied Europe is being accentuated by calls for the resignation of Günther Oettinger, the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg. In his funeral eulogy delivered on April 11, Oettinger absolved his predecessor, Hans Filbinger, a former Nazi navy judge, of the charges of criminality. In occupied Norway, this Nazi jurist was responsible for death sentences and draconian pleas for "discipline and order" among the occupation troops. As a commissioned officer, Filbinger had ordered the execution of a German navy deserter. Leaders of all parties represented in the German parliament, Bundestag, as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel are participating in this escalating dispute, which has the appearance of a special historical debate. Mrs. Merkel criticizes the lack of a balanced representation, including the negative aspects, of Filbinger's alleged life-time achievements. "In the course of World War II, 24.559 German soldiers were sentenced to death by their own military courts," explains Heinrich Senfft, an attorney in London, in a conversation with german-foreign-policy.com. "These young men, who were executed, and the millions of others, who died on the front and in the war zones, had no opportunity for life-time achievements." more…