KIEV/VILNIUS/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/VILNIUS/BERLIN (Own report) - In the run-up of the EU's "Eastern Partnership" summit scheduled to begin tomorrow in Vilnius, Berlin's expansion project is threatened to fail. Only two countries, Georgia and Moldova, will sign Association Agreements, while Belarus and Armenia prefer to join the "Eurasian Customs Union" with Russia. However, the biggest blow comes from the Ukraine, which has halted preparations for signing the EU Association Agreement. Germany has left no stone unturned in its efforts to eventually break the Ukraine completely out of the Russian sphere of influence and integrate it into Berlin's hegemonic system. German media now speaks of the "battle for the Ukraine" and a "new Iron Curtain," to be vanquished in the East. German government advisors had, in fact, already planned to forge ahead to integrate Russia into a European free trade zone, after the six countries have been firmly integrated into the German sphere of influence. This now has also been put into question. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is promoting the production of combat drones by the European arms industries. This week, seven EU countries - including Germany - decided to accelerate development and production by companies from EU member countries of these highly controversial weapons systems. The production is scheduled to begin by 2020. The SPD can therefore announce that the next government, in which it will participate, will not formally purchase combat drones. The decision to waive the purchase of US-American and Israeli drones shows that Berlin aims at the EU securing its own independent arms industrial base - the prerequisite also for an independent global military policy. Germany is increasing its arms exports to countries outside of the EU and NATO, to counterbalance cuts in the European and North American military budgets and to secure its national defense industrial base. This increase has been documented by the recent government's Arms Exports Report. more…

QUITO/BERLIN | | ecuador

QUITO/BERLIN (Own report) - Ecuadoran partners of right-wing German foundations are using an ecological campaign to weaken the government's pursuit of an autonomous development for the country. They are using the conflict over the Yasuní-ITT-Initiative, which began a few years ago, to facilitate Ecuador's renunciation of oil extraction in the ecologically highly sensitive Yasuní National Park. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has declared the initiative a failure last summer. One of the reasons for this failure is Germany's withdrawal of its support for the project. The Ecuadorian Ambassador to Germany, Jorge Jurado, has confirmed, in an interview with german-foreign-policy.com that Germany's withdrawal from the project had "very significantly" contributed to this failure. The Ecuadoran President's announcement that oil will be permitted to be extracted from a small area of the national park is now being protested. The old Ecuadoran elite, which, unlike Correa, has always loyally served North American and West European interests, is also joining the protests. They are, in turn, supported by several German party-affiliated foundations. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is intensifying its relations to the new Latin American "Pacific Alliance" and, thereby, heightening tension on the subcontinent. The Pacific Alliance, a network of four Pacific bordering Latin American nations, has a neo-liberal orientation and is closely allied with the EU and the USA through free trade agreements. It is currently growing rapidly stronger and could, possibly also threaten Brazil's standing as the subcontinent's most powerful economic power. However, it is mainly aimed at Latin America's Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance, struggling for autonomous development, which includes strong socially oriented policies. "The strategy of the Pacific Alliance" is "not just commercial," it is more "a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus," according to a minister of ALBA member Bolivia. At the beginning of the month, Germany obtained observer status at the Pacific Alliance, with which the German industry is expanding its trade relations. Alongside its increasing tensions on the Latin American continent, the alliance is helping the West prepare for the conflict of the century - between China and the USA. more…

BERLIN/PARIS | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - The boulevard press has commented the German chancellor's visit to Paris with derisive headlines. One of the Springer publisher's journals bore the headline, "Radiant Victor meets Helpless Hollande," referring to the dramatic economic situation France finds itself in: The country is looking "into the Abyss." Beyond this blatant smear campaign, experts are noting that there is a "disengagement" of the French economy from that of Germany. According to their analysis, Berlin has created significant advantages for the German industry with its "Hartz Reforms" - wage waivers and cuts in social spending. France has not been able to break popular resistance to these kinds of austerity programs. The German-French dichotomy has become so large that "there are growing doubts" about "whether there remains a sufficient basis for German-French cooperation," according to a recent analysis of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Observers interpret France's recent decision to repatriate an important detachment of the German-French Brigade from German territory, as further evidence of erosion in the ties between the two countries. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Own report) - New records in German foreign trade are provoking massive international criticism of Berlin's concentration on exports. According to reports, the German economy has achieved a foreign trade surplus of 20.4 billion Euros in September - a new record. It is estimated that for 2013, German companies' exports will exceed by around 200 billion Euros the amount imported. That is the world's highest national import-export gap. Protests are growing because many of the customer countries for German products thereby are driven into debt, as was the case in the crisis countries of the southern Euro zone. Other than the EU Commission threatening Berlin with an official reprimand, the US Secretary of Finances is accusing the German government of threatening the stability of the global economy. The IMF is also emphatically insisting that Germany rein in its export offensive. It is based on the low-wage policy, initiated by the SPD-Green government coalition - and continued by the CDU-SPD grand coalition - which provides a decisive competitive advantage to German industry. During those administrations, Germany was the sole EU nation with decreasing real wages. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors support the establishment of new integrationist procedures to pre-empt future resistance to German predominance over the EU. "A major redistribution of power" is currently taking place in Europe, with France and Great Britain falling clearly behind Germany, according to a recent declaration of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). In Southern Europe, there are already massive protests against the German government's dictates. These have not yet had major consequences, but timely preventive measures should be taken to pre-empt the establishment of a "countervailing power." The SWP's suggestions support various initiatives from within Berlin's establishment aimed at consolidating German domination over the EU and pushing the next German government toward a more offensive global policy. The German president, for example, called in this year's National Holiday speech for a more offensive German approach to global politics, and the SWP pleads for Berlin to assume a more decisive "leadership." Whereas German predomination over the EU is today taken for granted, a shift is perceived in relations to the most important global rival - the United States. more…