MUNICH/PARIS/MOSCOW | | frankreichrussische-foederation

MUNICH/PARIS/MOSCOW (Own report) - The German Siemens Corporation is planning to extend its nuclear activities in collaboration with Moscow. According to reports, Siemens seeks to end its cooperation with the French nuclear company, AREVA, because it is being refused participation in the operative leadership of the joint venture. At the Siemens headquarters in Munich, one hears that Siemens could, instead, upgrade its nuclear activities with the Russian state-owned holding company Atomenergoprom,. Moscow consolidated the entire chain of production of the Russian civilian nuclear industry within Atomenergoprom and is prepared to involve Siemens in the leadership of a German-Russian nuclear alliance. This offer is very important for the economic expansion of the Munich-based corporation and of great political significance for German-Russian cooperation. US-think tanks are warning Berlin against trying to take a middle-of-the-road position between Washington and Moscow: such a traditional seesaw policy could "lead to dangerous frictions." more…

BONN/BERLIN |

BONN/BERLIN (Own report) - With today's founding of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Berlin is seeking more influence over the global energy supply. IRENA aims to enhance the use of renewable energy sources on a global scale, therefore implementing what ecological organizations have been demanding for the past 20 years. At the same time, IRENA is supporting an already heavily subsidized industrial branch that is capable of covering a large part of the future energy supply. While denied leading roles in the oil industry, German businesses are holding top positions in this industry of the future. Whereas Berlin has been pushing hard for IRENA's establishment and would like to have its headquarters in Germany, serious misgivings can be heard in other countries. Critics in Brazil are pointing out that biofuel is being produced throughout their country under conditions similar to slavery. Plans, for the use of North African deserts as solar energy sources - for Germany - are being made in the German foreign ministry. more…

GAZA/BERLIN/TEHERAN | | iranisrael

GAZA/BERLIN/TEHERAN (Own report) - The German government is resolutely pressing for rapid deployment of German repressive forces at the border of the Gaza Strip. In Berlin one has been hearing for days that a "team of experts" of the German federal police is ready to fly to the Middle East. Up to now, Egypt has refused to relinquish its sovereignty and allow German "advisors" to be involved in its border controls. The German Foreign Ministry's more far-reaching demand for a German military mission in Gaza, has also not been approved by the local authorities. But because of the struggle with Iran over hegemony, the German government is very attentive to questions of reconstruction. In the aftermath of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 2006, Teheran rendered tangible support to the local reconstruction effort and thereby, won sympathy. This runs contrary to Western Middle East policy and, if Berlin has its way, will not be repeated in the Gaza Strip. Government advisors are working out strategies for prohibiting the rise of Iran to become a leading Middle Eastern power, even beyond the current crisis. more…

ABU DHABI/KABUL/BERLIN | | vaeafghanistan

ABU DHABI/KABUL/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin seeks to get Arab forces more involved in the occupation of Afghanistan. Just a few days ago, representatives from Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) laid the cornerstone for a new police headquarters in Kabul. The foreign ministers of both countries also agreed to work together on the upgrading of the Mazar-e-Sharif Airport, which is currently being also used by the German military (Bundeswehr). The German Foreign Minister announced his wish to cooperate more closely in the future with the Emirates at the Hindu Kush. Support from Abu Dhabi is not only reducing the cost of the occupation, it is also providing an Arab-Muslim countenance to the Western activities. This, according to the ministry, could be helpful in weakening the resistance to the occupation. Germany had already called upon Abu Dhabi's services as an intermediary for the training of Iraqi soldiers and the rearming of Iraq. Recourse to the Emirates for the occupation of Afghanistan, exposes the objectives of the "strategic partnership" that Germany concluded with this Persian Gulf state in 2004. more…

COLOGNE/ROME | | italien

COLOGNE/ROME (Own report) - With a series of significant company takeovers, the German Lufthansa and its rival Air France-KLM are continuing to pursue their struggle for leadership in the European aeronautics branch. Following Lufthansa's purchase of the Austrian AUA Airlines, Air France-KLM secured, yesterday, its merger with Alitalia, acquiring one fourth of the shares, and the option to buy more. The two rival core European aeronautics enterprises are also in competition for the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and are closely observing the developments in the on-going negotiations of the Spanish Iberia Airlines and British Airways, for a fusion. The rivalry, which appears to have become more intense this year, is impelling Lufthansa, in spite of its defeat in the competition for Alitalia, to try to gain ground in Italy, where it founded a subsidiary and is seeking to expand - particularly in the north of the country. There it is banking on the regionalist forces in the wealthy Lombardy region and is being supported by the political arm, the right-wing Lega Nord Party. more…

GAZA/BERLIN | | israel

GAZA/BERLIN (Own report) - The news agency Reuters reported that a German shipping company is involved in arms deliveries for the war on Gaza. According to the report, a German ship took on an exceptionally voluminous cargo of US American combat material destined for the Israeli port Ashdod. A second delivery is currently being prepared. Because of its obvious connection to the war on Gaza, British military experts have characterized the shipments as "irregular." German participation draws attention to Berlin's arms exports to the Middle East, with which Germany has over the past few years been arming both Israel and several of the Arab states. German weapons have been helping to fuel the tensions that, from the outset, have been inflaming the region. On the other hand, as announced by Foreign Minister Steinmeier over the weekend, Berlin wants to help prevent the influx of foreign weapons that exceed Western control. This is referring to the suspected influx of Iranian weapons into the Gaza Strip. more…

GAZA/BERLIN | | israel

GAZA/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin's foreign policy politicians do not rule out a German military mission to the Gaza Strip. The Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the German Parliament (Bundestag) demands that under certain circumstances, Germany should furnish soldiers to a multi-national Gaza Force. The demand for German military presence in the immediate vicinity of Israel has been raised in Berlin already in 2002 and is being systematically pursued ever since, particularly via the German naval mission off the Lebanese coast. An eventual Gaza intervention would not only serve to prevent further combat, but, as in the Lebanon mission, also reinforce the friendly forces - on both sides. With this in mind, Berlin and the EU have been active for years in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and have influential structures at their disposal also in Israel. In the meantime, the German government is seeking to benefit from the conflict, through allegedly non-partisan "mediators". Turkey and Arab allies are being used as proxies. Since the founding of the state of Israel, the establishment of a military balance of forces has been sought between the parties to the conflict, permitting Western industrial nations to play one off against the other. more…

A New Axis

BERLIN/CIVITELLA IN VAL DI CHIANA | | italien

BERLIN/CIVITELLA IN VAL DI CHIANA (Own report) - Nazi mass crimes, with hundreds of thousands of civilian victims, are not only to remain unpunished, but even rewarded with a "a clear docket" for the state of the Federal Republic of Germany on the remaining cases. This is the primary objective of the German state's official lawsuit before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Berlin filed this suit in the last few days of December, hoping to elude prosecution for crimes committed by its predecessor - the German Reich. Berlin seeks to permanently thwart the application of claims raised by the victims and their descendents. In its suit, the German government is claiming "immunity" and considers that the German Reich's crimes fall within its regular national jurisdiction. The suit literally states that verdicts ruling reparations to the victims should not be enforced because they violate "Germany's sovereign immunity". The Federal Republic of Germany sees itself as the direct legal successor of the German Reich, whose heritage it had assumed in 1949, while renouncing its responsibilities. The "sovereign immunity" that Germany now seeks to claim, was annulled during the Nuremberg Trials with the assessment that the German Reich had committed unimaginable crimes against humanity. Essential elements of its government bodies functioned as criminal associations, spreading murder and terror throughout Europe. more…