ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - The German austerity dictate is driving Greece - even after the most recent financial "bail-out" operations - deeper into the economic and social abyss. Economically, the country is still in a "free fall," according to the German Institute for Economic Research. Citibank experts are expecting the Greek economy to shrink by 7.4 percent next year and 11.8 percent in 2014, because the austerity policy being imposed by Berlin allows no margin of maneuver for measures fostering growth. The unemployment rate will rise to 40 percent during the same period, predict the economists. Social collapse is accompanying the escalation of the crisis, leading to not only a doubling of the suicide rate since 2010, but also to hostility toward Athens' political elite and the EU, under German domination, as well as to rapidly spreading xenophobic violence. Recently the UN High Commission for Refugees reported that from January - September, at least 87 migrants had been victims of brutal attacks - including murders. At the same time, neo-Nazi organizations are growing stronger than ever before - and are heating up rumors of a putsch. more…

BERLIN/BUDAPEST/BOLZANO | | italienungarn

BERLIN/BUDAPEST/BOLZANO (Own report) - A new study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) warns of the heightened "potential for conflicts" in the EU due to the ethnic policy promoted by Berlin. Most recently, according to the paper, the Hungarian government under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán particularly made waves with provocative steps for supporting "Hungarians Abroad" in neighboring countries. Dissention is currently growing also in other countries over ethnically defined minorities, particularly since certain governments have begun granting their citizenship to ethnic minorities of neighboring countries. Berlin also - erroneously - praises the South Tyrolean Autonomy Statute as a model solution. Erroneously, because, as can be seen by current secessionist demands in northern Italy, this can, under no circumstances, be "the model for solutions to conflicts" of other minorities. Throughout the study, there was no mention of the Federal Republic of Germany's ethnic policy though it describes its application by other countries such as Hungary and Romania, as well as the German-speaking minority of South Tyrol - criticizing them sharply. Germany not only practices this incriminated ethnic policy generally, it is elaborately granting German citizenship to members of minorities in neighboring countries, which, according to the SWP, is even in violation of official OSCE recommendations. more…

STRASBOURG | | frankreich

STRASBOURG (Own report) - German-speaking autonomists in Eastern France have applauded a decision by French authorities to establish an "Alsatian Regional Council," but are demanding rights of autonomy for the region of Alsace, similar to those for South Tyrol. Strasbourg's recent decision to consolidate important responsibilities for the various regional municipalities in a new "Conseil d'Alsace" (Alsace Council), concords with their objectives, declared supporters of the autonomy movement. The "Alsace Council" provides, for the first time, an effective political representation for the whole of Alsace, including segments of its German-speaking population, thereby fulfilling prerequisites for strengthening an "Alsatian identity." Other steps are due to follow, for example the valorization of the German language. The ultimate goal is autonomy, similar to that in the northern Italian South Tyrol province. In South Tyrol, demands for secession from Italy have been growing in intensity. Specialists of German policy toward "ethnic minorities" assume that decisions in Alsace will give impetus to other French regionalists - for example, Basque separatists. more…

BERLIN/PARIS | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - German government advisors are pleading for the creation of a joint German-French air force. In light of an alleged "deterioration of EU military efficiency," the "two major nations" in Europe are "required to take the leadership," according to a position paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). "Clear signals" must finally be given and "concrete proposals for security policy cooperation" presented, rather than non-binding declarations of intent. For example, a fusion of the air forces of Germany and France would provide a good opportunity for promoting military as well as arms industry cooperation. Experts in Berlin have been complaining since some time that the desperately needed cooperation of the arms industries throughout the EU still has not really materialized, despite persistent political appeals. Aside from the advantages for the arms industry, this plea for the creation of a German-French air force is aimed at the recent French-British military cooperation, considered in Berlin as a means for preventing a German predominance of the EU's war policy. Practical measures have now been taken to split the British-French alliance. more…