BERLIN | | polen

BERLIN (Own report) - Extreme rightwing German militants have announced new lawsuits against Poland to have former property of "expelled" Germans returned. The newly formed "Property Owners Association - East (EBO)" announced that it is demanding not only the transfer of property rights to resettled Germans for real estate and buildings in Poland, but are also demanding that a "use compensation" be paid by the so-called expelling country. According to a report broadcast on Swiss television, already in the past, the association's president has forced his way into a house in southern Poland, he claimed belonged to him. The association has also announced its intention to wage a political campaign this spring in several Polish cities. EBO's president is the national executive director of the extreme rightwing "pro-Deutschland" party, affiliated with an extreme rightwing splinter group of the German League of Expellees (BdV). Its honorary president would like to transform a large segment of Polish territory into a neutral country: "Zentropa." The fact that the Federal Republic of Germany has, since 1949, consistently declared the resettlement of Germans "unjust" and the "question of reparations open" is encouragement for the lawsuits demanding reparations for the resettled. more…

HEIDELBERG |

HEIDELBERG (Own report) - A new study confirms that the West is world champion in waging war. A newly published analysis of the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research confirms that, last year, the number of wars being waged around the world was the highest since World War II. The research also indicates that the NATO countries, including Germany, either are engaged in the majority of these armed conflicts with their own troops as aggressors or are instigating local proxies. These wars are concentrated on countries in the Arab world and South Saharan-Africa, which are in the focus of western interests because of their natural resources or their geostrategic situation. The West's leading position in waging war is in correlation with the fact that western nations have the world's largest military budgets and are its largest exporters of combat material - supplying NATO member countries or its allies. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - An extreme rightwing journal is celebrating the agreement on Joachim Gauck as the next German president. Whereas the outgoing president Christian Wulff made headlines with "platitudes about Germany being 'a multi-ethnic republic'," Gauck's "statements were sober," for example on the question of "migration," praised the ultra-rightwing weekly "Junge Freiheit." Gauck had in fact expressed his approbation of Thilo Sarrazin, the SPD politician, known for his racist statements against "Turks and Arabs." The next German president also raised eyebrows when he spoke out on the question of the German-Polish border, the resettlement of ethnic Germans and the Shoah. He considers that the "excessive exaltation" of the "German Judeocide to become something unique," sometimes begins to take on a quasi-religious "dimension of absoluteness," which he says must be rejected. In about four weeks, with the votes of the parliamentarians of nearly all of the parties in the Bundestag, Joachim Gauck is supposed to be elected the eleventh president of the Federal Republic of Germany - with a cross-party consensus. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - In view of this year's US presidential elections, German government advisors have diagnosed major tensions in relations between Berlin and Washington, which have arisen because of the USA's grave economic difficulties demanding inevitable drastic austerity measures. It is also uncertain how long the dollar will be able to maintain its exceptional global status. According to an expert of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAB), it had already become apparent at the last G-20 Summit that "the enormous power of the US" had "noticeably diminished" because of its economy's chronic weaknesses. The US government will therefore continue to apply pressure on Germany and the EU to increase the importation of US products and insist on a much stronger participation in military interventions. Because of its harder line toward Beijing, Washington can also be expected to formally or informally seek to expand NATO's range to Asia - to encircle China. more…

BRASILIA/BERLIN | | brasilienmexiko

BRASILIA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German foreign minister is using his current trip to Latin America to implement a new strategy for Berlin's policy as a global power. The strategy foresees Germany forging closer partnerships with so-called regional leading powers throughout the world, to expand Berlin's global influence. In Latin America - the focus of the German foreign minister's current visit - Germany sees Brazil and Mexico in this role. According to experts in Berlin, Brazil is the subcontinental country with "a clear leadership aspiration," which it will be able to fulfill, in the long run, thanks to its "hard power" and its very effective foreign policy. Therefore, it is a highly suitable ally for Germany. Mexico is viewed more skeptically. It places too strong an emphasis on the "doctrine of non-interference" in the affairs of other countries and is too dependent on the USA, according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Therefore, extensive groundwork will be necessary. As usual, Berlin camouflages its power policy ambitions with feigned apolitical initiatives. As the foreign minister announced, next year Germany will initiate a "Year of Germany" with comprehensive cultural and scholarly activities. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - Last night, under strong popular protests, the Greek parliament accepted the latest "austerity package," that the German government had promoted in the form of an ultimatum. This "austerity package" will lead to a 20 percent cut in private revenue and the minimum wage, therefore also in the public sector wages, which are dependent on the minimum wage. One hundred fifty thousand government employees will be laid off. Criticism of Berlin has become sharper because of its efforts to transform Athens into a de facto EU finance protectorate, using so-called austerity commissioners. Demonstrators burned German flags; Greek parliamentarians have announced an initiative to remind that German World War II reparations are still outstanding. Since 1945, the Federal Republic of Germany has consistently refused not only to pay reparations, but also Nazi debts, even those undisputed by the German Reichsbank at the end of the war. These would amount to more than three billion Euros today. But, the debate continues in the German capital about the suspension of democracy in Greece. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - At a trade fair in Dubai next week, German companies in "Security" industries will be seeking to land new contracts with the executive organs and secret services of the Arab world. At the "ISS World MEA 2012" trade fair, beginning Monday, so-called intelligence support systems for the surveillance of telephone, email and SMS communication will be presented to the mainly Arab potential customers. A Munich-based company is the main sponsor of the fair. "In light of the 'Arab Spring' and a tangible potential for conflict in the region, the high interest in security technology remains undaunted" in the Arab world, declared the "Germany Trade and Invest", a federally financed agency. Even though the revolts of 2011 provoked new redistribution measures within the dictatorships at the Persian Gulf, they did not lead to more democracy. "The already proficient government surveillance mechanism" in place, will therefore be "greatly enhanced." The German government shares the assumption that Arab countries offer good export opportunities for the German "security" industry and sabotages EU efforts to exercise stronger controls over exports of this type of technology. more…

BERLIN/DAMASCUS | | syrien

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) - Since the defeat of the UN Security Council Resolution on Syria, Berlin has been insisting on the overthrow of its long-term cooperation partner, Bashar al Assad. The German foreign minister declared in harmony with the other western powers that the Syrian president "no longer has a future." This is a president, whose repression apparatus had used torture to prepare prisoners for interrogations by German officials and is currently held responsible for large-scale massacres. What remains uncertain is to what extent pro-western countries are furnishing weapons to the armed contingents of Syrian rebels, who, according to reports, are responsible for a massacre of dozens of Christians in the city of Homs. The civil war in Syria that seems inevitable falls in line with western geostrategic plans aimed at isolating Iran. This has been confirmed by reports from correspondents in Israel. The Syrian conflict provides a good example of how Berlin uses the issue of human rights arbitrarily, but very effectively. Even though the German government is posing as the protector of the Syrian opposition, whose oppression it had facilitated over the decades through its cooperation with the Syrian secret services, Berlin is still deporting Syrian refugees. more…