Western European News Digest
Italy Debates Zepp-LaRouche's Call for Lisbon Referenda
MILAN, April 16 (EIRNS)A debate about Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call for national referenda on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty was opened today on www.effedieffe.com, the popular website of Italian journalist and author Maurizio Blondet. It opens with a piece by Blondet, entitled, "Eurocracy reintroduces death penalty. Secretly." "This is what has been exposed by Zepp-LaRouche (wife of Lyndon)," he writes, "who was warned about it by a group of famous German and Austrian jurists."
The website connects the fight against the Lisbon Treaty to the one for a New Bretton Woods, which is the main campaign of LaRouche's movement in Italy: "This treaty is truly dangerous, and you should really go to movisol.org as Liliana Gorini suggests, you will discover a lot of horrible things. There is a weak hope that, thanks to his friendship with [outgoing Russian President Vladimir] Putin, [incoming Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi will at least oppose the entrance of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. Berlusconi was upset when he heard that and said 'I made such an effort to get Putin close to us and this is the result?' Will he be a follower of de Gaulle? Also Tremonti speaks of Bretton Woods and is beaten up by the Financial Times for it. So let's open a discussion about the Lisbon Treaty."
10,000 Irish Farmers Protest the EC, Lisbon, and WTO
April 17 (EIRNS)Ten thousand Irish farmers converged on Dublin to denounce European Commissioner Peter Mandelson of the U.K., who is negotiating a European Commission (EC) deal with the World Trade Organization, which, they charge, will "wipe out beef and dairy farming in Ireland." The farmers marched from the European Union headquarters to Dublin Castle, where EC head José Manuel Barroso was addressing the National Forum on Europe, trying to sell the WTO deal and the Lisbon Treaty. The agricultural workers outside the castle protested that some 50,000 farmers would be put out of business, with a further 50,000 processing jobs at risk by Mandelson's proposals.
In addition, 16 agri-businesses in Donegal closed their doors for three hours to show support for the farmers' protest in Dublin, and the Donegal county council voted their support.
Sarkozy Pushes Maastricht Austerity
April 15 (EIRNS)After having granted Eu75 billion in various tax reductions for the rich in the early part of his Presidency, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is now moving to bring France into conformity with the Maastricht Treaty's criteria governing budget deficits and indebtedness. For a couple of weeks, the government has been adopting, one by one, the measures of a global austerity policy which should allow it to reduce its spending by Eu5-7 billion per year.
The first measure confirmed, was that only one out of two civil servants retiring will be replaced, which means a loss of some 33,000 jobs. Second, the government will no longer subsidize a "large-family discount" for French National Railways, but will leave it up to the company to subsidize it, which means that in a short period of time, the company, which has no obligation to the common good, will drop it. Rail travel in the era of high-speed TGVs has become quite expensive, and this discount allows large families to travel together throughout the country. Other changes targetted at the lower 80% of family income-brackets include cuts in Social Security and unemployment benefits.
Carla Del Ponte Denounces UCK Organized Crime in Kosovo
April 17 (EIRNS)The former general prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (CTFY), Carla Del Ponte, has written an explosive 400-page book called La Caccia (The Hunt). In it, she reports on an investigation that never was completed for lack of proof acceptable to the tribunal. The crimes were taking place, during the Summer of 1999, in clandestine clinics in Kosovo, involving Serbian prisoners of war, whose useful organs, such as kidneys, were taken to be sold on the international market. The prisoners, once emptied of their marketable organs, were executed.
Although the investigation was never carried out, according to Del Ponte, the crimes really happened and the trade was protected by the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation ArmyKLA, or UCK). Del Ponte writes that the leaders at the medium and top level of the UCK were informed and actively involved in the organ trafficking.
The revelations are a bombshell, since the UCK leaders at that time were Agim Cekun, who became the Prime Minister of Kosovo between March 2006 and January 2008, and Hashim Thaci, the current pro-European Prime Minister, both being assets of the US/NATO/EU trans-Atlantic operation against Russia.
Del Ponte, who was always covered by the international media when exposing Serbian war crimes, is now being told to shut up, and the Swiss government told her that promoting her book was incompatible with her new function as the Swiss ambassador to Argentina.
Gordon Brown Less Popular than Chamberlain in 1940
April 14 (EIRNS)British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's political support is so battered by the financial crash and his own ineptitude, that his popularity has crashed further and faster than Neville Chamberlain's after the Nazi invasion of Norway, the tabloid Daily Mail reported today. Less popular, it would be hard to get!
The hapless Brown is beingrightlyblamed for the banking and real estate crisis looming over the pitiful remains of the British economy, since he presided for ten years as Tony Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer over the creation of the huge "New Labour" Party financial bubble. He became Prime Minister barely ten months ago. Now, Brown "is less trusted to steer his country through the global financial crisis than any other major western European leader," the Mail reporteda pretty dismal rating, considering the competition.
Brown's leadership will be tested in mayoral and other local elections in Britain on May 1. The Mail quotes one senior member of Blair's last Cabinet, saying after a recent meeting of both Brown's supporters and those of his predecessor and rival Blair, to assess the Labour Party's prospects: "We all agreed that we are f**ked."
Goldsmith Urges Appeal Against BAE Ruling
April 14 (EIRNS)The British are moving quickly to squash any chance that the British Serious Fraud Office will reopen its investigation of massive bribes by BAE in the sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Their fear is that any serious investigation of the BAE "bribery" scandal would quickly become what EIR has called "the scandal of the century"the $100 billion slush fund growing out of the Saudi-BAE deal which was used to finance terrorism, covert arms deals, and secret wars around the world.
Indications from Downing Street are that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is planning a "hands on" operation to ensure that the government faces down any attempt to reopen the inquiry. The Conservative Party reportedly would also back killing the case once and for all.
Demanding an inquiry, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has written to Brown, objecting to plans to strengthen the role of the attorney general, to block criminal investigations. He told Sky News: "I want it restarted because we cannot allow the precedent to be set that blackmail by other powers or individuals should stop the course of justice."
Under the Brutish system of justice, the appeal will be heard by the House of Lords, which functions as Her Majesty's supreme court.