BERLIN/PARIS/DAKAR | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS/DAKAR (Own report) - Under protests from several West-African countries, the Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference adopted this week the "Three-Year Cooperation Programme" for migration control. The programme, of which major aspects correspond to German concepts, has actually been imposed on the African countries participating in the conference. The programme is aimed at developing new mechanisms for organising African labour immigration to satisfy European needs. European countries, confronted with stagnation in the growth their working population, see the need to attract millions of foreign workers in the future. The three-year programme proposes new measures for repelling or deporting unsolicited immigrants, including the use of expensive high tech identity control equipment. This technology is controversial, but its use in Africa is highly profitable for the German-European industry of repression and will help to strengthen this strategically important branch. West-African NGO's are outraged and the EU plan to have African countries participate in migration control is being met with indignation: "We are not Europe's gendarmes" one can hear in Senegal. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KABUL | | afghanistanusa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KABUL (Own Report) - Before the new administration in Washington takes office, a new transatlantic accord concerning the future war strategy at the Hindu Kush is in the making. This accord foresees a rise in troop levels to 20,000 soldiers, while the civilian-military accompanying component will be given more importance, as Berlin demands. In addition, efforts will be made to see if the loyalty of individual clan chiefs can be bribed. The program is very controversial. Critics are warning that this would strengthen the warlords, responsible for the decades of Afghan civil war. The new strategy includes a large portion of Pakistan. The German government is already participating in the initiative, with which the growing frequency of military attacks on Pakistani territory is to be supplemented with a non-military component. Berlin has doubled the "development aide" to Islamabad and reinforced its projects in the border regions with Afghanistan. As was confirmed by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the "civilian-military" cooperation, which is now to be extended, "has little to do with humanitarian and development aid," but rather contributes to the acceptance of the mission "as well as to operational planning and command." more…

PRISTINA/BERLIN | | jugoslawien

PRISTINA/BERLIN (Own report) - The arrest in Kosovo of several agents of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) shines the spotlight once again on the political criminal happenings in this western protectorate. The three men, working for a front company of the German foreign espionage service, are charged with involvement in several bomb attacks against facilities of the EU and the UN. As a matter of fact, the BND had been implicated in criminal intrigues in Kosovo in the past. It assisted in setting up the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA) terror organization and maintained contact to organizers of the Kosovo-Albanian Pogroms that caused numerous deaths in March 2004. The objective in both cases was to have a decisive influence on political developments in the region. It remains to be seen if this is also the case now. Observers are not excluding the possibility that the arrests had been initiated by the Kosovan Mafia. On various occasions, the BND has reported on organized crime in Pristina. Several members of the "government" are from this milieu, such as the current "prime minister." Berlin is primarily responsible for the criminal conditions in Kosovo. With the collaboration of the BND, Germany prevailed in the formation of a Kosovan "state" under the leadership of suspected gangsters. more…

Smash China

BERLIN/BEIJING/DHARAMSALA | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING/DHARAMSALA (Own report) - At a conference of more than 600 exiled Tibetans that began Monday at the seat of Tibet's self-proclaimed "exile government" in Dharamsala (India), a long-time employee of the Heinrich Boell Foundation (affiliated with Germany's Green Party) was demanding a radicalization of the Tibetan secessionist policy. This meeting will decide on the Tibetan secessionist strategy for the next few years. The Berlin-based Green-affiliated activist demanded, that the Tibet movement no longer formally be fighting for autonomy, but rather for the secession of this territory. In Dharamsala, this demand is becoming more popular. In spite of unambiguous radicalization tendencies, several German politicians and political organizations, for example the party affiliated foundations of the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), are maintaining their contacts to the Tibetan exile institutions and supporting their structures. The Heinrich Boell Foundation explains that its presence and capacity to "moderate" is important precisely because of a threatening escalation. German participation in future conflicts taking place in Western China will therefore be insured. more…

GUETERSLOH/RUSSELSHEIM/WASHINGTON | | usa

GUETERSLOH/RUSSELSHEIM/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The Bertelsmann Foundation presented a list of foreign policy demands to the new US administration. According to the Bertelsmann Foundation, the "Briefing Book," which was presented last week in Washington, is a "policy blueprint that proposes strategies" for the US president-elect and his team, "from a distinctly European perspective." The Briefing Book highlights the central issues of current world policy - from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the financial crisis - demanding that the US give more importance to Europe. Washington must "take the right approach and tone" in the future, is how the Bertelsmann Foundation describes the German-European demand for increased influence. A similar orientation is outlined in a paper that the EU foreign ministers addressed to the new US administration, focusing on Europe's demand for an increased share of power. To implement its demands, the EU is cooperating with Moscow. The EU's demand for a more significant role is leading toward an intensification of armed conflicts: The EU foreign ministers announced their increased readiness to participate in wars. The struggle, waged particularly by Berlin, to, in the future, play a role as a major power, is being overshadowed by a meltdown of the real economy. more…

ABUJA/BERLIN | | nigeria

ABUJA/BERLIN (Own report) - In the midst of accusations of corruption, Berlin is using a German president's state visit to Nigeria to expand business relations with this West African nation. Germany is interested, above all, in the country's natural gas deposits, the seventh largest in the world. The German Eon Corp. seeks to profit from its exploitation and shipment to Europe, which is why it has now promised billions in investments. Within the framework of an energy agreement that is accompanying the natural gas deal, numerous German companies concluded contracts in Nigeria, among them the Siemens Corp. Siemens had been recently placed on the Abuja government's blacklist, for having paid millions in bribery to Nigerian government officials. During this current visit, the German President Horst Koehler insisted that decisive measures be undertaken to fight corruption. Human Rights organizations are demanding the same, but note that those Nigerians fighting corruption are receiving little support from Berlin - in their efforts to investigate German banks, accused of money laundering. Experts on West Africa say the corruption used by a major German construction company is "notorious." more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Reaffirming their desire for a position of global leadership, Berlin and Brussels have put forward their first demands to the incoming US administration. After last week's informal EU summit, European leaders stated that the EU would like to be a trail-blazer in overcoming the world's financial crisis. Concrete proposals have been elaborated for next weekend's World Financial Summit, which could provoke a power struggle with the United States, because they are diametrically opposed to US priorities and are seeking to weaken the US position in the global financial system. The days of the dollar's uncontested predominance are over, and it is about time that the Euro's growing importance is reflected in the rules of the world's financial exchanges, French President Sarkozy declared in the name of the EU. German government advisors see a certain risk: if the EU surges ahead, it would likely end in failure. The German government is attempting to camouflage its German-European offensive for gaining influence as a transatlantic alliance "renewal" proposal, supplemented with proclamations of sympathy for President-elect Barack Obama. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The Federal College for Security Studies (Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik - BAKS) is organizing a conference on logistics to promote close cooperation between private industry and the organs of repression. The two day conference, ending today, is focussing on protecting global freight transport from violent attack. The government, business, the intelligence services and the military are represented as well as important logistics companies, including the Deutsche Post AG and a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn. These two former state monopolies are closely cooperating with the German military (Bundeswehr). This conference is a continuation of BAKS' earlier initiatives, some of which have already begun to show signs of success. Under pressure from BAKS, for example, that German firms operating abroad have already begun designating individuals ("Single Point of Contact") to serve as "exclusive contacts" to German state organs. The growing foreign trade boom is an incitement for German businesses to cooperate with the repression/military complex. The prospect of lucrative profits, endangered by escalating global conflicts, is inducing business representatives to cooperate with intelligence services and the Bundeswehr. more…