BERLIN/PARIS/MOSCOW | | frankreichrussische-foederation

BERLIN/PARIS/MOSCOW (Own report) - French officials of the EADS arms company, are warning against Berlin's factual take-over of the company. Germany is in the process "of usurping none other than the aerospace as well as the European defense industry" according to Jean-François Knepper, vice shop chairman at the EADS Corporation. The power struggle within the company's new management and leadership structure as well as the dispute concerning the introduction of "Golden Shares" has provoked this alarm. The German government is gloating, because it already has "more influence than ever over the company," declares Peter Hintze, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics. Berlin is pushing for the company's cooperation with Moscow to enhance its own standing vis à vis Paris. As the German head of the EADS subsidiary Airbus confirmed, the German-French enterprise is considering buying into the Russian state controlled United Aircraft Construction Corporation/OAK. The close cooperation with Moscow is extending to the space industry - including its military application. more…

LEVERKUSEN/NAIROBI |

LEVERKUSEN/NAIROBI (Own report) - Amid protests, Germany's Bayer Chemical Corporation opened the Third Tunza International Youth Conference last weekend. Organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) the conference was held at the private company's communications center at its Leverkusen headquarters (on the outskirts of Cologne). According to UNEP, this conference aims at strengthening young people's environmental awareness. Bayer, on the other hand, sees its objective in developing regional and global networks and - with the help of the United Nations - in training future decision-makers in German ecological programs, particularly on the Asian continent, a target region for the company's expansion projects. The current conference is embedded within the contractual cooperation between the German company and UNEP. This was initiated during the former German UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer's, term of office. Prior to becoming UNEP Executive Director, Toepfer had been a German cabinet minister. The cooperation he consolidated with Bayer facilitated worldwide access for the German ecological industry's products. This cooperation has been maintained during the administration of his German UNEP successor, Achim Steiner. The company's critics protest against the obvious interplay with the United Nations. more…

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU | | nigeriasuedafrika

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU (Own report) - A NATO naval unit's trip around Africa is preparing the alliance's new military operations. The German Navy is also a participant. The military expedition of the "Standing NATO Maritime Group 1" (SNMG-1), that is already in progress, is qualified as historical by the alliance. Military maneuvers with African armies are planned, alongside the reconnaissance of African territorial waters. Rather than "exercises", the SNMG-1 announces it will carry out nondescript "presence operations" for several crisis regions, which are but partially covered by parliamentary mandates. NATO declares that these measures are in preparation for the security of mercantile trade routes and oil transports on the open seas. It has been negotiating with several European oil companies about intervening to protect production sites in Nigeria, the first stopover of this NATO operation. The Indian Ocean and the Red Sea are also viewed as possible theatres of intervention. more…

KHARTUM/N'DJAMENA/PARIS/BERLIN | | tschadsudanfrankreich

KHARTUM/N'DJAMENA/PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Following the UN's decision to deploy troops to Sudan, war mongers in Berlin are pushing for German participation. German foreign policy specialists from the opposition, as well as, from circles close to the ruling CDU Party are calling for Germany showing a presence in the Western Sudanese province of Darfur, at least with military observers or high ranking officers. Because of a French offensive in Darfur, destined to strengthen the French standing in Eastern Africa, but in contravention to German plans, the German government is, for the moment, opposing another German military (Bundeswehr) troop deployment. Germany is rather seeking to secure its own influence via African allies. Last week Foreign Minister Steinmeier visited Ghana and Nigeria, two states having a prominent role in German plans to militarily control Africa. Ghana and Nigeria are playing decisive roles with their participation in the Sudan deployment and are receiving millions in German financial aid, for the maintenance of their troops. Further militarization of the African continent is a direct consequence. more…

PARIS/BERLIN/TRIPOLI | | libyenfrankreich

PARIS/BERLIN/TRIPOLI (Own report) - With distinct warnings, the government in Berlin is pressuring the French government to relinquish some of its new president's main foreign and economic policy projects. The reason behind this pressure is the agreement whereby France furnishes Libya nuclear equipment and armament. Though Germans have been involved for over a year in preparing the deal, it was Paris that drew the political profit, to demonstrate its leadership claim to the North African Mediterranean nations. Influential German foreign policy makers are calling this "irresponsible national single-handedness:" in the EU "each country can't just go around doing as it pleases." With these complaints, Berlin is launching an offensive aimed also at the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy's central economic policy projects, that conflict with German interests. Soon after Sarkozy's election, political advisors began to warn that Sarkozy's program provides "considerable points of friction with Germany" and "nourishes the French miscalculation of the feasibility of an 'Europe à la française'." The warnings are precursors of the new one-upmanship struggles between the number one European key power, Germany, and its junior partner in Paris, seeking to climb out of its second place status. more…