From Volume 7, Issue 16 of EIR Online, Published Apr. 15, 2008

Western European News Digest

Synarchists Slander Idea of 'Planetary New Deal'

April 5 (EIRNS)—Jacques Attali, a co-thinker of synarchist banker Felix Rohatyn, wrote a scenario for Global Viewpoint (reprinted by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera) to slander the idea of a "planetary New Deal," and put Europe in conflict with the United States in such a perspective. Attali was a close advisor to the late French President François Mitterrand, one of the enforcers of the European Union dictatorship project, and chairs a foundation called "PlaNet France," on whose board Rohatyn also sits.

In Attali's scenario is a worsening of the crisis, with the collapse of the largest U.S. bank, the nationalization of the bank, a depression in the U.S., and the failure of all attempts to generate a recovery. Zero interest rates, and freezing the options market fail to stop the crash before the U.S. elections. The new President then starts a "planetary New Deal," proposing "to the most powerful countries in the world—China, Russia, and oil producers—to finance major infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, creating orders for U.S. firms. On these bases, in less than two years, world growth starts again. The world financial system becomes a Chinese one. Industry is American again. Europe is forgotten."

London's Financial Times Lashes Out at Tremonti

April 8 (EIRNS)—Tony Barber writes in today's Financial Times that he had enjoyed former economics and finance minister Giulio Tremonti's company in the past, but now that he is "playing a more populist game," "lashing out" at globalization, and condemning the "dictatorship of the market," he's not so sure. Tremonti is the vice chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, and an endorser of Lyndon LaRouche's New Bretton Woods proposal.

Barber adds that with indications that Silvio Berlusconi will win the national election April 13, and "being a creature of habit," will appoint Tremonti as finance minister. In that case, "a victory for Tremonti ... would strengthen the defensive, inward-looking forces of Europe."

NATO on a Road Toward Geopolitical Conflicts and Wars

April 4 (EIRNS)— Though hidden behind dry diplomatic language, NATO's decisions at the summit in Bucharest, last week, are clearly pointing in the direction of more geopolitical conflict and war. The alliance endorsed the U.S. missile defense stationing plans in Poland and the Czech Republic, called for more integration of the EU's and NATO's military capacities, called for "energy security" (which implies both cutting energy links to Russia, as well as intervening in Southwest and Central Asia to allegedly "protect" Western energy supplies).

NATO emphasized intensified cooperation with 17 non-alliance member states (like Japan, Australia, New Zealand) globally, and it also stated its intent to increase presence in the Balkans beyond the new alliance members Croatia and Albania, via military assistance to the creation of the Kosovar-Albanian armed forces, and special agreements with Bosnia and Montenegro. The start of formal membership processes for Ukraine and Georgia was not called off, but postponed until next year. The combat troop presence in Afghanistan will be increased, as well, and the long-term cooperation with Iraq was also stressed.

PPP Vultures Say Transport Infrastructure Too Costly

April 8 (EIRNS)—A report prepared for the European Parliament by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC), an advisory firm for PPP's (Public-Private Partnerships), claims that Europe's 30 most important transport projects will cost far more than originally thought, forcing governments and the EU to delay financing, or to call in private capital. PwC claims that those trans-European projects—which are Europe's part of the Eurasian Landbridge—will cost nearly Eu40 billion more than the 2004 estimate (Eu 379 billion instead of Eu340 billion). PwC singles out Corridor 3 (Lisbon-Kiev), Corridor 1 (Berlin-Palermo), and the motorway from Gdansk (Poland) to Vienna and Bratislava.

While the IMF and other mouthpieces of the British Empire are calling for state bailouts in the trillions for the bankrupted financial system, the same British Empire says that public financing of large-scale infrastructure should be cut in Europe.

'Europe and France's Interests Are with Russia, Not NATO'

April 8 (EIRNS)— The above headline is the gist of three striking op-eds published in Le Figaro of April 5-6, arguing in favor of strengthening the relationship between France, Europe, and Russia, as a strategy against financial crisis. LaRouche associate Jacques Cheminade commented that he views this "as important reactions against the very dangerous rallying by Nicolas Sarkozy to the British policies and those of the men in power in the United States."

40,000 Demonstrate Against ECB Low-Wage Policy

PARIS, April 7 (EIRNS)—Mobilized by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), close to 40,000 demonstrators representing 54 trade unions from 29 countries demonstrated on April 5 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which is hosting the EU finance ministers meeting. Demands included substantial wage increases and the adoption of a minimum wage, at the very moment inflation is sharply rising, and some corporate profits are skyrocketing, while governments call for austerity. Among the demonstrators, were German public-sector workers, Italian steelworkers, Romanian autoworkers, and Polish teachers.

Stopping Investigation of BAE Scandal Was 'Unlawful'

April 10 (EIRNS)— A British high court has ruled that the London government Serious Fraud Office (SFO) acted "unlawfully" when it stopped the investigation into the massive corruption of the notorious "Al-Yamanah" arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia. In December 2006, SFO director Robert Wardle stopped the ongoing investigation of the bribery and corruption involved in the £43 billion Al-Yamamah deal. In 2006, Tony Blair, then prime minister, and then-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith both brought a lot of weight to bear, to stop the investigation, claiming it would have caused "serious damage" to U.K.-Saudi relations and threaten national security, because the Saudis were allegedly refusing to continue counterterrorism cooperation.

The two judges, Lord Justice Moses and Justice Sullivan, ruled that "No one, whether in this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. It is the failure of government and the defendant [Wardle] to bear that essential principle in mind that justifies the intervention of this court."

As yet, there is no order to resume the investigation.

Former FIAT Chief: A 'Mattei Solution' for Alitalia

April4 (EIRNS)—Cesare Romiti, former CEO of automaker Fiat, intervened today in the debate around the Alitalia crisis, saying that Italy's national airline should not be sold, but should get, finally, a competent management. Romiti gave the historical example of Enrico Mattei, the state manager, who in 1946 disobeyed government orders to liquidate the oil company AGIP and, instead, rescued and built upon it the energy giant ENI.

Romiti, who started his career as an Alitalia manager in the 1950s, says that Alitalia has not had a competent management "for the last 20 years." His suggestion is that Alitalia go through bankruptcy reorganization, and the man for this job is Enrico Bondi, the manager who rescued Parmalat. "Bondi does not pay homage to anyone. The banks hate him. We need someone like him."

Spanish Real Estate Sector in Free-Fall

April 5 (EIRNS)— Spain's real estate sector is crashing and taking the rest of the economy down with it. According to a report by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in today's London Daily Telegraph, large French and German funds and insurers are liquidating holdings in Spanish mortgage and related assets at a 40% discount, while property prices are falling as much as 20-25%. Large property groups such as Inmobiliaria Colonial and Martinsa Fadesa are already in talks in efforts to stave off insolvency.

The real estate agents lobbying group API reports that no fewer than 40,000 real estate agents have closed their doors while laying off 120,000 staff workers. These figures don't include construction and other housing related job holders. This could bring the figure close to a million.

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