Western European News Digest
German Foreign Minister Warns vs. Iran Saber-Rattling
In an exclusive interview with the March 12 Bild am Sonntag, the Sunday edition of Germany's largest tabloid, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned categorically against any escalation of the dispute with Iran, for example through military threats. Excerpts of the interview were already out on the wires March 11. Politicians in the West, he said, should avoid getting carried away into saber-rattling, which would undermine the ongoing diplomacy. Steinmeier said during the week of March 12-18, the UN Security Council would send an unmistakable diplomatic message to Iran, which effort should not be neutralized by gestures of muscle-flexing against Iran. "This is the hour for diplomacy," and the conflict should be handled by diplomats, Steinmeier said.
Deutsche Bank Economist: Elderly Pay Raises a Waste
Norbert Walter, the chief economist of Deutsche Bank and head of its economic research division, said, in an interview published by Bremen media March 6, that wage increases for workers and employees above age 60 make no sense, as the total wage sum is limited. Instead, younger workers should receive higher pay.
Walter made one exception from his scandalous new rule: Because of their "valuable" special experience, corporate management should naturally receive higher pay, including after age 60.
SPD Head Calls Atom and Oil 'Resources of the Past'
At the Social Democratic Party (SPD) energy conference in Berlin March 6, national party chairman Matthias Platzeck said that "progress must stop going at a snail's pace," and called nuclear power and oil the "energy sources of the past," which have to be replaced by "sources of the future." That is why the SPD would never again say "yes" to the atom, he added.
The SPD's Minister of Environmental Affairs in the Grand Coalition government, Siegmar Gabriel, told the conference that "we must regain freedom, and that means to be free from the atom and oil." The SPD's policy on the energy of the future should be wind, solar, conservation, efficient use of hard and brown coal, and natural gas. The SPD otherwise insisted that at the planned national energy summit convoked by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), atoms be kept off the agenda.
The aforesaid may have to do with the recent London meeting between Platzeck and Prime Minister Tony Blair, about which little was made known, and with the March 3-4 Policy Network conference in Venice, about which even less is known. The Policy Network is chaired by Peter Mandelson of New Labour. Anthony Giddens, another Third Way spin doctor, plays a key role in the Network.
Platzeck's long-time advisor Tobias Duerr attended the meeting in Venice (another former Platzeck advisor, Sebastian Heil, is now general party manager of the SPD). Duerr is publisher of the Berliner Republik, journal of the so-called "SPD Party Left," or "Networkers," as they call themselves.
BueSo Rally on Hedge-Fund Crisis Covered in German Paper
The default of the Munich-based Hedge Fund Lion Advisors is the theme of reflections in an article in the financial market section of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung March 10. The SDZ runs a large full-color photo showing a rally of the BueSo (Civil Rights Solidarity) party, headed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, last year, with a banner saying: "That which nobody except us dares to say: Hedge Funds are imploding! Collapse by 40%! Systemic crisis of the banks is in full swing!BueSo 2005."
The picture is captioned: "Loud warning: hedge funds are seen as flexible, but risky investment instrument. Among citizens and investors, they often are met with skepticism."
Chirac in Saudi Arabia: Guns and Money
At a press conference March 7, French President Jacques Chirac said he thought Hamas, which won a majority in Palestinian elections recently, should be given time to form a government, and that he opposed sanctions. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, who announced that a Hamas delegation would visit Saudi Arabia within days, said his country held the same view, adding that they would meet with no preconditions.
Chirac otherwise focussed on defense deals for big bucks: a multibillion-dollar security deal is under discussion, with a plan for France to sell Rafale fighters and Miksa electronic border-monitoring systems to the Kingdom. The deal is for 48 fighters, to be followed by 48 more, to the tune of $7.2 billion. The monitoring system with 225 radars, a telecom network, and recon aircraft, has a price tag of $8.4 billion.
As regional experts have emphasized, France, in a Sykes-Picot reflex, is moving aggressively to position itself in the region.
Italian 'Southern Bank' To Be Led by Bourbons?
The Founding Committee for the "Banca del Sud," the new bank which is supposed to finance the development of Southern Italy, was announced on Feb. 24 by Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, the author of the project. The chairman of the committee is Gerlando Gesualdi, current deputy chairman of the European Investment Bank; the first deputy chairman is Tremonti's cabinet chief, Marco Milanese; the second is Prince Lilio Sforza Ruspoli; honorary chairman is Prince Charles of Borbon-Parma.
Lilio Sforza Ruspoli is currently candidate with the neo-fascist party Forza Nuova. An advocate of a neo-physiocratic "no-global" policy ruled by a feudal system of old Roman families under the Pope as King, Ruspoli hosted the founding meeting of the "Italian neo-con movement" that was chaired by Michael Ledeen last November.
Prince Charles of Borbon is the heir to the dynasty that ruled Southern Italy until 1860, first as viceroy to the Spanish Hapsburg Empire, then as King of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. With the exception of Charles VII of Naples, who became Carlos III of Spain, the Borbon dynasty has savagely looted Southern Italy over the centuries. Notably, Charles VII's son Ferdinand did a particularly nasty job by first handing over his government to Britain's Lord Acton, and then allowing Britain's Horatio Lord Nelson to crush the pro-republican movement in 1799.
Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, whose ancestor Victor Emmanuel II destroyed the Borbon kingdom in 1860, endorsed Prince Charles of Bourbons role in the new bank.
Blair Confesses: 'I Am a Trotskyist'!
"I might as well make a confession now," Blair said at London's Commonwealth Club earlier this week. "There were people who got me very involved in politics. But then there was also a book," which he named as Isaac Deutscher's three-volume biography of Trotsky, the promoter of Parvus's "permanent revolution" idea, and the mentor of the neo-cons and their "permanent warfare." Blair said the book "made a very deep impression on me."