BERLIN/ATHENS/BISSAU | | griechenland

BERLIN/ATHENS/BISSAU (Own report) - The European refugee-blocking system is to be perfected with the installation of a uniform EU border surveillance system proposed by the German government. This was confirmed Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, by EU Interior Commissioner Franco Frattini ("European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security"), during the 11th European Police Congress in the German capital Berlin. With this new system, non-EU citizens, who have entered onto EU territory, can be placed on a pan-EU wanted list if they have not left before their visa expires. This project seeks to further reduce the number of refugees in Europe. The EU commissioner's plans conform to Germany's hard-line migration policy. These plans supplement the current migration policy that forces refugees out of the key European centers to the peripheral EU border states and intensifies the refugee tragedies on those EU outer borders. Germany, to a growing extent, would remain free of undesirable migrants. As a matter of fact, the number of refugees in Germany has been reduced significantly. Germany, with its migration policy oriented exclusively toward servicing domestic economic demands, bears a major responsibility for the humanitarian tragedies taking place at the EU's peripheral borders. According to the latest refugee statistics from the German Ministry of the Interior, the prospect of a Germany devoid of refugees can no longer be excluded. more…

BEIRUT/BERLIN/GAZA | | libanonisrael

BEIRUT/BERLIN/GAZA (Own report) - German government advisors are considering the German naval deployment along the coast of the Gaza Strip. German naval "experience acquired off the coast of Lebanon (...) could serve possibly as a precedent for similar maritime missions," according to a recent publication by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), for example off the coast of the Palestinian Autonomous Territory. This remark coming out of Berlin shows that the Lebanon deployment was intended to pave the way for a more extensive military presence in the Near East. German repressive authorities already have police units engaged in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. The German government's effort to enhance its influence through the deployment of police or military is pursuing the intermediary goal of deploying pro-western forces in the vicinity of Israel. According to the DGAP, Berlin should be careful not to directly serve Tel Aviv's interests - otherwise this will endanger its success in Arab countries. This suggests a strategy for attaining a "mediating" role between Israel and the Arab world to secure - strategically - an independent German position of power in the Near East. more…

BERLIN/FLENSBURG |

BERLIN/FLENSBURG (Own report) - The German government is establishing an Internet portal to connect German-speaking minorities in Europe and Asia, thereby expanding the political manipulation of population segments of foreign countries. "Members of ethnic German minorities of one country" could more easily than ever "be linked up to German minorities of other nations" and can "cultivate intensive relations to interested parties in Germany," explained Christoph Bergner, the German government's Commissioner for Repatriation Issues and National Minorities in Germany. The German government has already initiated a special support for the German "Volksgruppen", conceived of as communities of blood-ancestry and is using them as "bridgeheads" within their respective nations, e.g. Poland, Denmark and Kazakhstan. The new internet portal is being initiated by an association that was founded in the 1950s by "Volksgruppen" experts of the 1930s. Since its inception, the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), with headquarters in Flensburg, (Schleswig-Holstein) has been confederating the ethnic minorities from all over Europe under German leadership. The association pursues the prototype set by a predecessor organization in the period of the Weimar Republic. The chair of the association's advisory committee is an undersecretary in the Ministry of the Interior. more…

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PRISTINA/BERLIN/THE HAGUE | | jugoslawien

PRISTINA/BERLIN/THE HAGUE (Own report) - The trial against a close collaborator of Joachim Ruecker, the German UN administrator in Kosovo, is drawing to a close with the concluding declarations before the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague due to begin this week. The International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had charged the former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj with ordering - and even participating himself in - torture and numerous murders of Serbs, Roma and Kosovo Albanians in 1998, a year prior to NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia. While being a commander of the KLA, Haradinaj, according to intelligence circles, was also the leader of a powerful Mafia organization. He enjoys close ties to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) including its current Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Joachim Ruecker. In a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com, the journalist Boris Kanzleiter explained that high ranking UN officials helped intimidate witnesses due to testify in The Hague against Haradinaj. The structures of organized crime in Kosovo, in which Haradinaj is said to play an important role, extend all the way to Germany. It is being reported that German government authorities prevented investigations of Kosovo Albanians residing in Germany. more…

GÜTERSLOH |

GÜTERSLOH german-foreign-policy.com documents excerpts from a strategy paper which has been published by the Bertelsmann Foundation. more…

GUETERSLOH |

GUETERSLOH (Own report) - Germany's most influential political think tank is demanding the comprehensive disempowerment of smaller EU member states in questions of foreign and security policy, as shown by the newly published strategy report of the Bertelsmann Foundation. The report promotes "Europe's" development of global power and contains numerous suggestions for the EU's formation, including the demand to establish an "EU Security Council" to supervise all of the EU's security policies. Only those seven countries with the largest military budgets will be permanent members. All other states, according to the Bertelsmann document, have to content themselves with a temporary and rotating membership. It is proposing comprehensive arms programs and is calling on the EU to compete with US power policy. Because the population of the EU is more concerned about the fight against poverty than the development of global power, the document's authors are calling for concerted propaganda measures and determined leadership. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is continuing its military aid to Addis Ababa,s one year after the Ethiopian military invasion of Somalia. According to information from the German Defense Ministry, in spite of the war being waged by their country and in spite of the accusations of serious war crimes against their army, Ethiopian soldiers have repeatedly participated in training programs organized by the German Bundeswehr. Aid to Ethiopia is part of Germany's efforts to intensify her control over the continent, through the buildup of African military structures under German-European influence. To attain this objective, selected regional powers, such as Ethiopia, and regional organizations are being financed, trained and equipped. On the continental level, Berlin is strengthening the African Union's (AU) military structures. The European Union is "by far, the most important financial contributor" to the AU's militarization, African politicians confirm. This not only spares the EU from having to deploy its own soldiers, to secure resource rich regions, the military influence of Berlin and Brussels also strengthens the German position vis à vis China's economic power in Africa. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Through a significant budget increase, the German Foreign Ministry is extending its worldwide cultural lobbying. It is focusing particularly on the main expanding markets for German exports: aside from Eastern European countries, these are principally Middle Eastern and Asian nations. Cultural activities are considered the "third pillar" of German foreign policy, alongside political and economic activities. German schools abroad will particularly benefit from last year's "third column's" 15% budget increase. These investments - the largest ever in this field - will serve to double their number. The students of these German schools abroad will, according to the foreign ministry in Berlin, eventually form a Germany oriented "network" on which German "foreign policy, export business and culture can rely". The semi-official German Goethe Institute is also receiving additional finances. German cultural projects abroad not only serve to raise Germany's prestige, but primarily serve economic interests, according to the Foreign Ministry's "guidelines" for cultural relations policy: "in the ideal case, sales will be increased, new target groups and markets will be tapped and public sympathy won." more…

TBILISI/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | georgien

TBILISI/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German/US-American dissention is surfacing in the assessments made of the Georgian presidential elections controversy. Mikhail Saakashvili, a henchman of the United States, was declared victor, of these elections, so obviously fraught with irregularities. The defeated opposition candidate, Levan Gachechiladze, had announced his plan to appoint the former foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili prime minister. Zurabishvili, a French citizen, had been a diplomat of the French foreign ministry until she began her career in Georgia. The power struggle for the presidency is concealing important developments in Georgia, developments that have been supported by both Berlin and Washington since the so-called "rose revolution" in late 2003. Tbilisi is loyally living up to its responsibility as transit country for Western energy supplies originating in Central Asia and furnishing troops for Western occupation armies in Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the past few years, the country's economy had been radically transformed to meet Western standards. While Germany is increasing its supplies to the small, wealthy elite, large segments of the population are sinking deeper into poverty. more…