BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (own report) – Berlin is using the upheaval in the western region of the People's Republic of China to pursue its campaign of attrition against Beijing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is demanding that the Chinese government enter a "dialog" with the Dalai Lama, the most famous leader of the Tibetan secessionists. Roland Koch, prime minister of the German federal state of Hesse, would like to have international observers sent to Lhasa and does not exclude a boycott of the coming Olympic games. Since last year German politicians have been using the Olympic games as a means of applying pressure to force a change in Chinese policy toward Tibet and a destabilization of Beijing's control over Western China. This plan was the focal point of events organized last year by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, an affiliate of the Free Democratic Party, and a working group in the German parliament (Bundestag). Beijing gambled and lost with its preparations for the Olympics, alleges a government advisor in Berlin. The rising East Asian rival will be in a worse position after the games than it had been before. more…

BERLIN/PARIS/WASHINGTON | | frankreichusa

BERLIN/PARIS/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Just after having been awarded the "contract of the century" by the US Air Force, the German-French arms manufacturer, EADS, announced its intention to take over companies in the United States. According to an internal EADS memorandum, the company will effectuate already in 2008 "at least one" acquisition in the USA. The expansion will be in the sectors of armament and repression and seeks a share in the world's largest national weapons market. Simultaneously the forced entry into the US weapons market is pulling the German-European industry deeper into Washington's global war plans. Just as the agreement to deliver 179 refueling aircraft, the announcement of expansion corresponds primarily to German interests and is undermining the French position in EADS, already weakened by last year's German offensive to gain influence. This is pushing Paris further on the defensive and reinforcing German hegemony over core European competition. more…

BERLIN/AUSCHWITZ/MÜNSTER |

BERLIN/AUSCHWITZ/MÜNSTER (Own report) - Citizens' initiatives across the country are calling for a centralized demonstration against the Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railroad Corp.) The demonstration will lead to the logistic company's headquarters in Berlin to protest against the Bahn AG's financial demands. The Bahn AG is imposing exorbitant fees for the commemoration of European victims of Nazi deportations. The culprits' successor enterprise is demanding hourly payments for access to the touring exhibition at stations through which children and youth were taken to death camps. The organizers of the "Train of Commemoration" calculate the sum total of the Bahn AG's claims to be in the vicinity of 100,000 Euros. The train carrying biographical testimonies of the murdered youth from the Netherlands, Belgium or Poland is scheduled to arrive at the Auschwitz Memorial on May 8. Dozens of culprits, who, as logisticians for the Nazi's Reichsbahn (railroad), were responsible for the smooth functioning of the death transports to Auschwitz, continued their careers in the West German railway system in the post-war period. The West German Railroad (DB) honored perpetrators of mass crimes, while bitterly resisting commemoration of the victims. In a position statement, the initiators of the "Train of Commemoration" noted that "the current boycott of the 'Train of Commemoration' by the Bahn AG is an attempt to smokescreen and hide the state continuity in major German organizations." By remaining silent about this continuity, the Bahn AG is using the victims of the Holocaust. more…

David Barouski | COLOGNE | | kongo-kinshasa
(David Barouski)

COLOGNE german-foreign-policy.com recently interviewed David Barouski about General Laurent Nkunda and mineral smuggling activities in Eastern Congo. Mr. Barouski is a freelance researcher, primarily on African affairs, and he authored the book "Laurent Nkundabatware, his Rwandan Allies, and the ex-ANC Rebellion: Chronic Barriers to Lasting Peace in the Congo," last year. more…

PARIS/BERLIN | | frankreich

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Preceding today's summit between the German chancellor and the French president, the dissention over Paris, Rome and Madrid's plans for a "Mediterranean Union" have escalated. French foreign policy specialists consider the project necessary for preventing the marginalization of Southwest European states through the EU's eastward expansion from becoming permanent. This assessment corresponds to analyses made by German government advisors, who view President Sarkozy's hectic measures as an attempt to "at least partially" withdraw France, economically speaking, out of "the shadows of the export world champion, Germany." The French government's desperate counter-measures to safeguard its influence in North Africa and with Arab states, is at the price of losing influence in Sub-Saharan Africa and access to Middle Eastern energy sources. Berlin is noting with satisfaction that Sarkozy's maneuvers to rescue the position of power is causing growing discord in the French capital. The French economy is in difficulty and influential forces are suggesting French subordination to German leadership. more…