BERLIN/PRIŠTINA | | jugoslawien

BERLIN/PRIŠTINA (Own report) - Germany is significantly responsible for helping create the conditions causing tens of thousands to flee from Kosovo. This has been confirmed by an analysis of the development that seceded territory has taken since NATO's 1999 aggression, in which Germany had played a leading role. Prominent German politicians have also played leading roles in establishing Kosovo's subsequent occupation, helping to put the commanders and combatants of the mafia-type Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) militia into power in Priština. They created social conditions that have drawn sharp internationally criticism. In 2012, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reported that organized crime continues at "high levels" in Kosovo. The Council of Europe even discerns some of the highest-ranking politicians, including a long-standing prime minister, as being members of the Mafia. Poverty is rampant. After 16 years of NATO and EU occupation, around one-sixth of the children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. Germany has played an important role in organizing the occupation. If it were not for cash transfers refugees send home, many Kosovo families would not be able to survive. In the first semester of 2015 alone, more than 28,600 found themselves forced to apply for refugee status in Germany - with little chance of success. Berlin is now seeking more rapid ways for their deportation. more…

BERLIN/BARCELONA | | spanien

BERLIN/BARCELONA (Own report) - The German establishment is sending mixed signals in reaction to the announcement of an unofficial plebiscite on Catalonia's secession from Spain. Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas has declared the September 27 regional elections a de facto plebiscite on the region's secession. Should his alliance secure the absolute majority, he will proclaim independence from Spain within 8 months. In the past, Germany had repeatedly supported Catalan secession. Influential German think tanks are demanding that secession not be obstructed. However, there is opposition rising from within business circles. Catalonia is a central site for German companies in Spain. Engaged in trade throughout Spain, they do not want to see their business possibilities limited to one region and Barcelona's secession from Madrid could possibly prove an obstacle. According to German government advisors, on the other hand, these problems could be solved. Some economists contend that the EU's currency, the Euro, can, in the long run, only be maintained within a uniform economic area. This would exclude Spain, but include a seceded Catalonia, the strongest economic zone on the Iberian Peninsular. more…

BERLIN/JUBA |

BERLIN/JUBA (Own report) - The German government has contributed to the causes of people fleeing in three of the world's five countries generating the largest number of refugees. This was exposed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). By the end of 2014, Syria, according to the UNHCR, was the country that generated most refugees, with Afghanistan second. Since mid 2011, the West had massively exacerbated the civil war in that country, causing a steadily growing number of refugees. Back in the 1980s, the West began supporting the complete destruction of Afghanistan's social structures, which has been driving countless numbers to seek safety abroad. Pursuing geopolitical objectives, the West pressured South Sudan - number five in the UNHCR's statistics - to declare its independence in 2011, disregarding warnings by observers that secession could inevitably re-enflame tensions inside the territory, possibly even leading to a new round of civil war. The civil war is now reality with millions fleeing. To ward off refugees ("border management") from Europe, Berlin and the EU are seeking an even closer cooperation with the Juba government - whose militias have carried out horrible massacres. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN/MUNICH | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN/MUNICH (Own report) - The German judiciary has initiated new criminal proceedings against German arms companies because of their multi-millions in bribes payments in Greece. Last month, the states attorney's office in Munich brought charges against a former manager of the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) tank producing company. He is charged with having personally pocketed up to €1.5 million of a much larger bribe without paying the adequate taxes. Other managers, for example of the Rheinmetall arms manufacturer, are also being threatened with criminal charges. In late last December, a German court sentenced the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall company to pay the unprecedentedly inflated profit of nearly €37 million into the budget of the Federal State of Bremen. These €37 million were paid by the Greek government for bribery-induced arms deliveries. In answer to its compensation demands, the Greek government is being told that Rheinmetall cannot be punished twice for the same offense. Greek lawsuits against German managers usually remain without consequences, because the German government refuses extradition to Greece after German courts gave more lenient sentences, than they could have expected from a court in Athens. The Greek government estimates its damages alone from the bribes in arms deals at €100 million. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - The Greek government does not exclude the eventuality of indictments of German companies on charges of corruption, according to recent reports, on a contingency plan Athens has prepared for the event that Berlin forces it into state bankruptcy ("Grexit"). According to this plan, Athens would try to bring German companies to court - who have not or have only partially been subject of bribery investigations - to have them pay at least part of the restitution for damages caused by the alleged corruption, officially estimated in the billions. Siemens is the most famous example. A Greek parliamentary investigating committee estimated that, through systematic bribery, this Munich-based company has caused damages of two billion Euros in Greece. However, Siemens got off cheap in an out-of-court settlement and had to pay only 270 million Euros - hardly one fifth of its current quarterly profit. A court in Munich gave a Siemens manager a suspended sentence - significantly less than what he could have expected from a trial in Athens. Already in the fall of 2014, new legal proceedings had been opened in Athens to comprehensively investigate this systematic corruption. more…