LONDON/BERLIN/ATHENS | | grossbritanniengriechenland

LONDON/BERLIN/ATHENS (Own report) - German government advisors are insisting on concerted efforts to politically neutralize British EU-skeptics. As explained in a recent paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the British Conservatives' attitude will have a "decisive influence on helping to set the EU's future radius of action," because the ambitious possibilities in EU foreign policy making, opened through the Lisbon Treaty's coming into force, will depend, to a certain extent, on London's cooperation. It is expected that the elections scheduled in May will bring a government change - from Labor to Conservative. The chairman of the conservatives, a flexible "Euro-pragmatist," is taking a Euro-skeptic position because of the balance of forces within his party, according to the authors of the SWP paper, but he can be brought to oppose his party's EU-critical wing. The main reason for British EU-skepticism is the fear of the loss of the country's sovereignty. This is not unjustified, as can be seen in the controversy around Greece's national debt. The German chancellor is threatening Athens that the EU needs to consider whether it should impose an austerity budget on Greece - if necessary, even against the will of the elected parliament in Athens. more…

PRISTINA/BERLIN | | jugoslawien

PRISTINA/BERLIN (Own report) - A new mafia scandal involving Berlin's Kosovo partner is creating unrest in Pristina. A former agent of the Kosovo intelligence service explained that a close associate of Kosovo's incumbent Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, had commissioned the assassinations of political opponents. According to his report, spies from Thaci's entourage were also responsible for threats and assaults on witnesses, who were to testify against former UCK commanders before the ICTY war crimes tribunal. The European Union, who's "Rule of Law Mission" (EULEX) has known of the accusations for months, is still dragging its feet. Hashim Thaci, who, from the beginning has been rumored to have been involved in organized crime, has been collaborating closely with Berlin and Brussels. In the German capital, he is considered to be the guarantee for preventing unrest in Kosovo, whose secession is being examined for its compatibility with international law by the International Court of Justice since last week. Whereas German jurists, with eccentric argumentation, are seeking to lend the illegal secession from Serbia an appearance of legality, Spanish jurists are confirming that the act was illegal. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/LONDON | | grossbritannien

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/LONDON (Own report) - Berlin is insisting on access to essential posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS). According to news reports, the German government is demanding that the post of EEAS General Secretary be given to a German. Leading personnel from the Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry are being suggested. The general secretary heads the administration and is second only to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, who is considered to be very weak, meaning that a German EEAS general secretary would have a free hand. The structuring of the EEAS is one of Berlin's most essential objectives since the Lisbon Treaty took effect, reinforcing the EU on its path toward becoming a world power. As was expressed in Berlin's foreign ministry, the basic features of the new administration must be institutionalized by April 2010, so that the British Conservatives, expected to be the victors of the next parliamentary elections in the spring of 2010, will not be able to have any influence. They are capable of putting up serious resistance to German hegemonic policy. more…

BARCELONA/BERLIN | | spanien

BARCELONA/BERLIN (Own report) - Catalonian secessionists are progressing toward the ethnic dismantlement of Spain with referendums to be held in 161 cities and communities. Scheduled for mid-December, referendums will be held in one-sixth of Catalonia's municipalities on a - non-binding for now - resolution on secession from Spain and the founding an independent country. Secessionists in other parts of the country - the Basque Region and Galicia - are carefully watching what happens. The referendums are providing new impetus to the German strategy of restructuring Europe along ethnic lines. The Federal Republic of Germany provided Catalonian secessionism relevant support over the past few years, most recently, two years ago in the framework of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Berlin's foreign policy front organizations have long since catalogued the Catalan as a "Volksgruppe" (an ethnic entity) justifying eligibility to special rights. Catalan secessionists are being spoken of in the same breath as other ethnic minorities demanding similar autonomous rights, including the Bretons in France and the Welsh in Great Britain. more…

BERLIN/KIEV | | ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) - German military circles are debating NATO's continued eastward expansion and the partitioning of the Ukraine. As a former advisor in the Amt für Studien und Übungen (Bureau for Research and Training) of the German Bundeswehr writes, the question of expanding the western war alliance to the territory of the Ukraine is still on the table. If this step is taken, "probably only the western Ukraine" will join NATO. The "eastern Ukraine" would "in this case, become independent or a de facto nation like Abkhazia." The author, a lieutenant colonel of the reserves, presented his ideas in a military magazine, embedding them in a retrospective on the entire past twenty years of NATO's eastward expansion. According to the author, a "cordon sanitaire" separating this war alliance from Russia, conceded by the allies of World War II to the Soviet Union, has, for the most part, been absorbed into NATO, essentially crossing every "red line" drawn by Moscow. According to the author, Russia finds itself on a historical defensive. Only Moscow's 1989 project of winning security for itself through an axis with Berlin, has a chance of succeeding, says the author. more…